Apple Walnut Granola


How is it October already?!  I am super behind on posting recipes lately, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been enjoying the best flavors fall has to offer!

Truth be told, it feels more like August right now in Florida than October, but my brain is programmed to want all things spiced this time of year.  And all things apple (that’s probably the New Yorker in me).  A few weeks ago, I made this apple walnut granola, and I’m pretty sure it’s one of my favorite granolas yet!


Like most granola recipes, this recipe is very simple.  If you don’t have quinoa, don’t fret — it just adds a little extra crunch to the granola, but it isn’t necessary.

When I made my granola, I stirred the dried apples into the granola before baking, but a friend of mine (hi Wendy!) made the recipe after I made it and said her apples burned.  Long story short, I’m recommending you stir the dried apples in about half way through baking. 🙂

The granola is perfect with yogurt, added to cereal, or as a snack on its own!


[print_this]Apple Walnut Granola

Makes about 3 cups

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

  • 2 cups rolled oats (old-fashioned, not quick oats)
  • 2 tablespoons uncooked quinoa (optional, just makes it crunchier)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil (or canola oil)
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried apples or apple chips

Heat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Mix the oats, quinoa, and walnuts in a mixing bowl.

Combine the coconut oil and maple syrup.  Pour into the oat mixture, stirring to coat evenly.

Spread into a baking pan (line it with foil for easy clean up). Bake 15 minutes; remove from oven and stir in the chopped dried apples.  Bake an additional 15 minutes, until the granola is lightly toasted.  Allow the granola to cool before storing.[/print_this]

Corn Salsa


Ah, another week, another Monday… time sure does fly when you’re immersed in graduate school!  I thought I’d pop in here today though to share with you a recipe for corn salsa.  Yeah, corn salsa, as in Chipotle-like corn salsa!

I guest posted over on Erin’s blog yesterday, The Spiffy Cookie, and figured I’d post the recipe here as well.  Erin is in the process of wrapping up her doctoral studies, so she needs all the help and encouragement she can get right now! 🙂

Anyway… for more on the corn salsa, head over to Erin’s blog.  I’ve posted the recipe below!


[print_this]Corn salsa

Makes about 4 cups of salsa

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: n/a

  • 1 pound frozen corn kernels
  • 1 poblano pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup diced roasted red peppers
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • Juice of 1 to 2 limes
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • Salt to taste

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl; stir to combine.  Refrigerate in a covered container until serving.[/print_this]

Pretzel Rolls

Soft pretzel rolls lbbakes

It’s football season!  And you know what that means… good food!  I’m pretty sure I definitely fall into that category of folks who love football not for the actual game itself but for the tailgate/social setting that comes with it.  Who’s with me? 🙂

I made these pretzel rolls last month when I was still in New York on vacation, but I should probably make them again as soon as possible because they’d be *perfect* for tailgating.

Soft pretzel rolls little bitty bakes

Anyone who knows me well knows I have an affinity to anything and everything pretzel, and pretzel rolls are no exception.  I love the pretzel rolls from Wegmans, and Trader Joes makes a pretty good one too!  It was only a matter of time before I attempted to make my own. 🙂

To make the pretzel rolls, I simply adapted my recipe for soft pretzels.  And even though I know working with yeast can be intimidating, I promise these rolls are totally worth it.  Just look at how fluffy they are!

Soft pretzel roll

You can make the rolls small and serve them as dinner rolls with chili or soup (like we did when I made these), or make them slightly larger and use them for burgers or sandwiches. Either way, they are delicious!

Soft pretzel rolls

[print_this]Pretzel Rolls

Soft, fluffy pretzel rolls made from scratch.  Make the rolls “dinner roll” sized as a side, or make larger rolls for sandwiches.  

Makes 12 to 16 rolls

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
  • 4 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (regular or white whole wheat)
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

For dipping:

  • 8 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 egg white
  • Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling

In a small bowl, stir the yeast into the lukewarm water; allow to dissolve about 1 minute.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, salt, and sugar.  Pour the yeast mixture into the bowl, along with the oil.  Use the paddle attachment and mix on low speed for 30-60 seconds (or use a handheld electric mixer).  Switch the mixer to the dough hook and mix on lowest speed (or continue mixing by hand) 3 to 4 minutes, until dough is smooth.   Adjust the water/flour content as needed to form a smooth, firm, but slightly tacky ball of dough.

Knead dough by hand about 1 minute.  Form into ball and place in lightly oiled bowl.  Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and allow to rise about 1 hour.

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine the baking soda, water, and egg white in a shallow dish.

Depending on desired roll size, divide into 12 to 16 rolls (you may need to roll the dough into balls).  Dunk the rolls in the baking soda mixture, then set on the prepared baking sheet.  Sprinkle with coarse sea salt.  Bake at 400 degrees about 15 minutes or until deep brown.[/print_this]

Cake Batter Bars

Rainbow sprinkle bars

Mondays are so much better as holidays.  Come back, Labor Day!  *sigh*

Since we all have to be legitimate people today, I thought I’d offer you these fun cake batter bars as a consolation.  Mondays + sprinkles = almost a holiday, right? 😉

Rainbow sprinkle bars 2

Although you can easily use a boxed cake mix to make “cake batter bars” (and I do! and they’re delicious!), sometimes I like to do things the old-fashioned way… you know, from scratch.

The key to making these crisp, chewy bars taste like cake?  Oh, just the usual suspects — butter, sugar, vanilla… and lots of it. 🙂

This recipe could easily be made into cake batter “cookies” instead of bars — simply chill the dough for about 20 minutes, then drop by rounded tablespoon onto a cookie sheet.  Bars or cookies, they’ll both brighten your day!

Rainbow sprinkles bars

[print_this]Cake Batter Bars

Crispy, chewy cookie bars that taste and look like confetti cake.  Add a layer of frosting for a real “cake-like” treat.

Makes about 16 bars

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sprinkles
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • Extra sprinkles for topping (optional)

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 8- or 9-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugars until creamy.  Add the eggs and vanilla, mixing until smooth.

In a separate mixing bowl, stir the baking powder, salt, and flour.  Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until blended.  Stir in the sprinkles and white chocolate chips

Spread the cookie dough into the prepared baking pan.  Top with extra sprinkles (about 1 tablespoon), if desired.  Bake 20 minutes or until the edges are golden brown (the bars may seem undercooked when you pull them from the oven, but they will set as they cool).  Allow the bars to cool completely before cutting.[/print_this]

Chocolate Chip Graham Cracker Cookies

Chocolate chip graham cookies lbbakes

Chocolate chip cookies.  The world could use another recipe for those, right? 😉

I think I have enough chocolate chip cookie recipes of my own to satisfy the masses (look here for proof), but that has never stopped me from continuing to experiment with the classic cookie.

When I was in New York over the summer, I made these cookies to bring to a party and I don’t think anyone had a clue about the secret ingredient in them… graham cracker!

Chocolate chip graham cookies 2

The interesting thing about the graham cracker crumbs in these cookies is that even though you can’t necessarily put your finger on what exactly is different, they definitely taste different (in a good way).  They’re a bit sweeter, a bit nuttier, and a bit chewier.  All good things, in my opinion. 🙂

With Labor Day weekend almost behind us, I know summer is “officially” over, but if you’re still embracing summer like I am (I really have no choice in this Florida heat), bake these cookies and sandwich a toasted marshmallow between two for a cookie s’more.  I’m really regretting not doing that myself.  Eat one for me!

Chocolate chip graham cracker cookies

[print_this]Chocolate Chip Graham Cracker Cookies

Traditional chocolate chip cookies with graham cracker crumbs for a chewy twist on the classic cookie. 

Makes about 3 dozen cookies

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 12-15 minutes

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugars with an electric mixer until creamy.  Add the eggs; mix until blended.

In a separate bowl, mix the remaining ingredients.  Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until combined.

Drop the cookie dough by rounded tablespoon onto the prepared cookie sheets.  Bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown.  Allow the cookies to cool 2-3 minutes on the cookie sheets before removing to cool completely.  Store the cookies in an airtight container, or freeze extra cookies.[/print_this]

Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars

Pb and j bars little bitty bakes

It’s back to school time (*sigh*).  So long, slow mornings and days filled with sunshine and relaxation…  I know a lot of kids already started school, and I myself start school today!

Back to school time makes me think about peanut butter and jelly.  Maybe it’s the excessive amount of pb&j sandwich lunches I ate in school growing up, or my newfound obsession with pb&j wraps for a quick breakfast (ohmygosh, so good)… or maybe it’s these peanut butter and jelly bars.

Pbandj bars

The dough for this recipe is more or less a peanut butter cookie dough, but with oats as well.  Peanut butter + oats = chewy, nutty deliciousness.

The recipe is simple to prepare: just mix up your dough, press the majority of it into your pan, spread with your jam or jelly of choice, and then sprinkle the remaining cookie dough on top.

Pbj bars

I went with strawberry jam here, since it’s what I had on hand, but I would totally be into a variation with red or black raspberry jam (both my favorites). Really though, can you go wrong?! 😉

These bars are perfect for a quick snack, simple dessert, or, a perfect ending to a school lunch! 😉

Pbj bars little bitty bakes

[print_this]Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars

Crisp, chewy peanut butter cookie bars with a layer of sweet strawberry jam.  Feel free to vary the recipe with your favorite flavor jam or jelly. 

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes

Makes 15 bars

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup strawberry jam (or preferred jam/jelly)

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a 8- or 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper; spray with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl, stir the butter, peanut butter, and sugar until creamy.  Add the vanilla and egg; stir until smooth.

In a separate mixing bowl, stir the flour, oats, baking powder, and salt.  Gradually add the flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture, stirring until combined.

Press 2/3 of the dough into the prepared pan.  Spread the jam evenly over the cookie dough.  Crumble the remaining cookie dough over the jam layer.  Bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until the bars are golden brown.  Allow the bars to cool completely before cutting.

Adapted from this recipe.[/print_this]

Peach Apple Galette

peachapple galette slice

You didn’t think I’d let summer near its end without sharing another peach recipe, did you?! Well, it turns out today is the perfect day to talk about peaches because it’s national “eat a peach” day.  If you insist, national food holiday gods, if you insist. 😉

Even though I’m back in Florida now, fresh peaches seem to be everywhere right now.  When I was still in New York, I had a craving for juicy peaches, so my mom and I drove out to a local farm store. While we were there, we noticed they had early apples available as well.  Since apple season is more or less nonexistent here in Florida, I took advantage. 🙂

peach apple galette

With pounds upon pounds of peaches and apples in hand, I decided to put the two fruits together to make one delicious tart… a peach apple galette.

What’s a galette, you ask?  The simple answer: a free-form, one-crust tart made with pie dough.  As the name may suggest, it’s very popular in France… Anyway, I was all set to make a real pie, but when I saw Sally post a recipe for a strawberry peach tart, I thought… well, I think I’ll make a galette. 🙂

peach apple galette slice

This tart is really the perfect transition into fall — peaches and apples. The duo are unexpectedly delicious and perfect, especially when you involve buttery, flaky pie crust.

Speaking of the crust, I’ll be honest — I used a pie crust mix here, but if you have a pie crust recipe you like to use, go ahead and make your own from scratch!

peach apple galette lbbakes


If you need a simple, delicious “end of summer” dessert recipe, I highly recommend you try this galette!

[print_this]Peach Apple Galette

A simpler version of pie, this free-form tart is filled with fresh peaches and apples for a unique dessert.  Serve with ice cream, yogurt, or whipped cream, if desired.

Serves 8

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 60 minutes

  • Pie dough for one (single layer) pie, chilled
  • 2 large apples, peeled and sliced
  • 2 large peaches, peeled and sliced
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk
  • Sugar, for garnishing

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a mixing bowl, toss the sliced apples and peaches with the sugar and ginger. Set aside.

On a flat, lightly floured surface, roll the pie dough out to 12-14 inch thickness (for a thicker crust, roll only to 12 inches; 14 inches for a thinner crust).  Carefully transfer the rolled out dough onto the prepared baking sheet.

Mound the fruit in the center of the crust, leaving about 1 1/2 inches around the edges.  Fold the edges up and over the fruit to seal (pinch to seal if necessary).  Brush the dough with the milk, then sprinkle with granulated sugar.

Bake 30 minutes.  Decrease the heat to 350 degrees F; bake an additional 30 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown.  Allow to cool before slicing.[/print_this]