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Trail Mix Granola Bars

I feel so proud of myself! I finally tried to tackle my own granola bars, and I must say that they’re one of the easiest things I’ve made yet!! I probably will no longer buy any more granola bars at the grocery store, and neither will you. It’s funny how the more you make at home, the easier things seem. Now when I pass by certain isles I always tell myself that I don’t need to buy it since I’ll just whip it up at home.

Trail Mix Granola Bars

One of my goals when I started this blog was to tackle some of snacks and other premade foods from scratch. When I first thought about this, it sort of overwhelming and daunting. I thought it was going to take all my time, energy, and resources. There was supposed to be all this drama over failed recipes and it would be like some kind of miracle when it finally turned out.

Trail Mix Granola Bars

Well…as it turns out, none of that’s true or happened. Most of the time I find it takes very little time to put together (about or less than the time it takes to run to the store and back), less money (usually) since I usually get way more servings, and almost no drama (except when I get hangry and can’t wait for it to finish).

Trail Mix Granola Bars

What I’m try to get at, is that making homemade versions of your favorite snacks is very easy and rewarding. If you’ve been intimidated in the past, give these a try! They’re one of my favorite thing to eat at the moment, and I’ve been thinking about adding in some chocolate chips as well. It’s a good feeling to know exactly what’s going in to your food, and it’s always exciting to know that you’ve conquered one more recipe.

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Easy Onigiri

Some of you may be aware of how much I am missing rice balls (onigiri) since I’ve come back from Japan. I mean…you just can’t find the same deliciousness that was over there in the states. So I decided to take matters into my own hands and make my own! I didn’t make ones with stuffing, but that’s ok. These are just as tasty and super quick to put together.

Easy Onigiri

I made up 2 cups of rice and it made about 10 onigiri. I decided to cover some with nori and leave the nori off others. You can totally decide if you want to add the nori or not. Both ways are delicious and it’s definitely a person preference (I like it with, but I know for a fact some people prefer theirs without).

Easy Onigiri

Maybe one day I’ll get more creative and make some with stuff inside, but for now I am content to eat these just as they are. You can use whatever rice seasoning you’d like. I always get the purple one (or as it’s really known as shiso, which is a delicious plant), and maybe sometime in the future I’ll branch out to other flavors, but I really don’t see that happening any time soon. These make great snacks and you can wrap them in plastic wrap for on the go. I do recommend eating them the same day as the rice does tend to dry out by the next day. Who needs another excuse to stuff their face with onigiri!? I sure don’t!

Easy Onigiri

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Pita Chips

If you haven't tried making your own pita chips, you definitely should start now.  Not only are they increddibly easy, but they'll save you soooo much money.  These would be great to bring for all those holiday parties.  I think it actually takes less time to make these than it does to run to the store and back (if you bought the pitas ahead of time).  Isn't it great to be able to plan ahead a bit and relax during all the running around this time of year.

Pita Chips

These chips have just the right amount of crunch to them!  I was msot impress that they stayed crunchy through the next day, though I do prefer them warm out of the oven.  This was the first time I used my silicone baking mat and I absolutely loved how easy it made everything.  I picked up a packet of them at Costco, and now I want to get a few more.  Nothing stuck to it, and the oil was very easy to clean off.  You don't even need to flip the chips halfway through.  I highly recommend picking up one or two, but if you don't have one I'm sure aluminum foil would work.

Pita Chips

I hope everyone is having a great holiday season.  I know it's hard to keep the stress to a minimum (it's somethign I'm working on myself), but this is a great time to have fun and laugh with family and friends. I wish everyone safe and happy holidays! Let me know if you have any special plans for this time of year!  I'm curious to see what everyone is up to.

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Loaded Mashed Potatoes

I love potatoes! I mean, who doesn’t love potatoes?!? I wouldn’t really call them a staple around here, as I don’t go out of the way to buy them. When people are coming over for dinner though, mashed potatoes are always a huge hit. I know you’ve probably had your fill over the Thanksgiving weekend, but when you’re planning your next holiday party, these should definitely make the list.

Loaded Mashed Potatoes

Not only are these made with Yukon gold potatoes (which even if you don’t add anything else make the perfect mashed potatoes), there’s also green onions and bacon bits for good measure. It’s like eating a baked potato in mashed form! I love these…and the best part is that they’re super easy!!

Loaded Mashed Potatoes

Since the golden potatoes have so much flavor packed within themselves, I didn’t even need butter! I just added a bit of greek yogurt for a bit of tang. You can use sour cream in place of greek yogurt. I just feel better about myself when I sub in greek yogurt. It’s like, look at me trying to be healthy! You really need to make these…and like right now. We ate this with everything and they were gone in about 2 days.

Loaded Mashed Potatoes

I’m just letting you know right now, that I’m never ever again going to make mashed potatoes with boring russet potatoes. The Yukon gold are really that much better for this type of dish. Trust me! Living with an Irish person has me seeing more than my fair share of potatoes! People really will notice and be blown away.

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Cheesy Pigs in a Blanket

While you’re looking at these delicious pigs in a blanket (which are one of my favorite appetizers), I’m going to be stuffing my face full of delicious Japanese food. I’m going to be in Japan for a couple of weeks on business, and it should be a good time. It’s been quite a while since I’ve been there, and I’m sure lots of things have changed since then. I can’t wait to eat my fill of rice balls! I’m just not crazy about the super long plane ride.

Cheesy Pigs in a Blanket

Getting back to these pigs in a blanket, I made these for Thanksgiving and then again just for myself. I actually got a bit lazy the other night and just munched on these and paired it with a hard cider…yeah that was my dinner. These things called to me and I just had to eat them.

Cheesy Pigs in a Blanket

I will say these are best straight from the oven. BUT you can reheat them the next day and they’ll still taste freshly made. The trick is to heat them for about 20-30 seconds in the microwave and then transfer them to the toaster oven for a minute or two. I actually ate them a bit cold the next day, but my boyfriend will only eat them heated.

Cheesy Pigs in a Blanket

These would be perfect for your holiday gathering! I know they’re always the first to go at mine. It’s hard to resist these fun finger foods!

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