Thursday, September 24, 2015

Homemade Granola Bars

I try not to keep many snacks in the house, aside from fruits and veggies, but granola bars are one of our favorites and I just can't NOT have them in the house. But I've never been super impressed with store-bought granola bars so I make my own and they are FANTASTIC. At least, we think so. This recipe makes a lot of thick and chewy granola bars, feel free to halve the recipe.

Homemade Granola Bars


6 cups old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup oil (vegetable or grapeseed works well)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup honey
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup peanut butter
3 cups of add-ins (nuts, dried fruit, pretzels, etc)

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the oats in a 9x13 baking pan and toast (stirring once) for about 15 minutes. 

Step 2 

While the oats toast, heat the oil, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, vanilla, and cinnamon in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and heat until the brown sugar has dissolved. Stir in peanut butter and set aside.

Step 3

Add 3 cups of add-ins to the toasted oats and stir. I chose dried chopped figs, raisins, dried cranberries, pretzel pieces, sunflower kernels, almonds, walnuts, and chocolate chips. 

Step 4

Pour the syrup over the oat mixture and stir to coat. With a spatula, press the oats into the pan. Flatten and press the mixture until it's smooth and even. Let cool for about an hour. Then cut into bars. 

Monday, June 1, 2015

Chicken Cordon Bleu with Parmesan Cream Sauce

Chicken Cordon Bleu is one of my favorite dinners. Especially covered in creamy Parmesan sauce. 

Chicken Cordon Bleu with Creamy Parmesan Sauce


3  skinless chicken breasts, cut in half length-wise
12 slices good quality deli ham
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 pound (8 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese
For the sauce:
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Step 1 

Layer the chicken breast halves in a baking dish.

Step 2

Layer the ham on top of the chicken breasts (I accidentally bought ham that wasn't sliced...oops)! 

Step 3

Sprinkle the Swiss cheese over the ham.

Step 4

Sprinkle with bread crumbs. And drizzle with melted butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes until chicken is cooked through and bread crumbs are browned.

Step 5

While the chicken is baking, make the sauce. Melt the 2 Tbs of butter in a sauce pan. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the milk/chicken broth while whisking. Whisk constantly and cook over medium-high heat until it starts to thicken. Remove from heat. Add the salt, Worchestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, and Parmesan Cheese. Stir until blended.

Step 6

Top the chicken with the warm sauce and serve.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Soufeel Charm Bracelet Review

I hope everyone had a fantastic Mother's Day! Mine was great! My husband and kids spoiled me, like they do every year.

But of course, it was also a day to celebrate the Mothers in MY life! I knew I wanted to do something really special for my Mother-in-Law. She helps us so much with the kids. She's always available to keep them so we can have date nights, or so I can run errands. She even keeps them overnight at least once a week. If you have small children, you can imagine how amazing that is! This year, we decided to go the jewelry route. But we wanted something we could customize for her...something that told her just how special she is to us!

We have looked at Pandora bracelets before but they are a little rich for our blood. We knew we wanted to go the charm bracelet route since that fits her personality. That's when we discovered They make beautiful charm bracelets and charms, but at much more affordable prices. Soufeel charms are made from .925 sterling silver, so I wasn't worried about the quality. The charms themselves fit Pandora and Chamilia Bracelets, which is great since my Mom is a Pandora fan.

So we ordered her the Silver Basic Bracelet  and five charms.

The first charm we chose was the Alphabet Charm in W (for her last name).

The second charm we chose was the I Love My Grandkids charm. This charm also had the words "Live, Laugh, Love" on the other side.

The third charm (and my favorite) was the Green Flower Murano Glass Bead charm. Green is her favorite color. And how beautiful is this charm?!

The fourth charm we chose was the Mom Heart Shape charm. It was Mother's Day, after all.

The final charm we chose was the Carved Cross Charm.

I was very happy with the quality of the bracelet and charms. They had a good weight to them, but not so heavy that she wouldn't want to wear it. I also loved that Soufeel had lots of great promotions and freebies! They offer free shipping worldwide with orders over $50 and 365-day return and exchange guarantee. They also offer a free ring with orders over $59.00, free Charm with orders over $79.00, and a free bracelet with orders over $99.00! I love free stuff!

They also send a beautiful box and gift bag with your order so it's ready to give the day you receive it! 

Overall, I'm very happy with my purchase from Soufeel and my Mother-in-Law absolutely loved her bracelet! I've caught her wearing it each time I've seen her since Mother's Day. I think she approves!

And THANK YOU to Soufeel for offering a coupon code to my readers! Use the coupon code "Amanda5" to get 5% off your order at! Now's the time to check them out, they are currently offering discounts up to 75% off during their After Mother's Day Sale!