Our Favorite Granola

Hello friends, happy almost-spring! It’s raining and gloomy here in Minnesota…but I’ll take it, because it’s 39 degrees and the mounds of snow are slowly getting washed away. I’m beginning to see the light!

If you follow along on Instagram, you know that I shared some ideas on how we buy our yogurt and put yogurt parfaits together. And as I was talking about it, I realized I haven’t shared our go-to granola recipe as of the last few years with you. Shame on me!

This recipe is super adaptable…you can use whatever nuts or seeds your family prefers. You can also leave out the coconut or add in dried fruit like raisins or cranberries after it’s done baking if you’d like. The version I have below is our favorite…but I’ll be sure to add substitution options into the recipe so that you can create your own.

It’s also the PERFECT recipe for your kids to help with. It’s so easy and requires only measuring and mixing with your hands…my kiddos love to help with this! It keeps really well in an air tight container in the fridge for up to a couple weeks…and you can also freeze it too. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Our Favorite Granola

Note: you can easily add dried fruit to this..just stir it into the mixture right when it comes out of the oven. Also, if you prefer a sweeter granola go for 4 tablespoons of syrup…if you prefer a more mildly sweet version go for 3. If you’d like to keep this recipe gluten free, just be sure that the oats you are using are gf.

Ingredients

3 Cups Rolled or Old Fashioned Oats

1 Cup Finely Chopped Walnuts-or any combo of Chopped Nuts or Seeds

1/2 Cup Unsweetened Coconut Chips-you can swap out for coconut flakes

3-4 Tablespoons Pure Maple Syrup, see note above

3 Tablespoons Coconut Oil, melted

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

3/4 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

1/2 Teaspoon Finely Ground Sea Salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 300 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well with your hands. Spread in an even layer on your prepared baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, stirring halfway in between cooking. Remove from oven, cool and store in an air tight container in the fridge.

Chocolate Chip Cherry Bites

My kids are totally into making all kinds of snack bites like these lately. They’re such a yummy treat, are great for lunchbox packing, and best of all…the kids can literally make these from start to finish all by themselves….Just look at Jude’s work of art…I can’t handle how cute and homemade looking they are!

Chocolate Chip Cherry Bites

Ingredients

1 Cup Rolled Oat

1/2 Cup Flax Meal

1/2 Cup Peanut, Cashew or Almond Butter

1/3 Cup Pure Maple Syrup

1/4 Cup Chocolate Chips

1/4 Cup Dried Unsweetened Cherries

Pinch of Sea Salt

Directions

Place all ingredients in a medium sized bowl and stir until well combined. Form into tablespoon sized balls and store in the refrigerator.

Our Favorite Chicken Wings

The big game is approaching. So while I actually have no idea who is playing or where the Super Bowl is taking place, I think I’ve got your back in the food department. And that’s worth something, right?

These wings are replayed around here again and again. I always keep a container of the dry rub to have on hand so getting these in the oven is such a cinch.

They are sweet, smokey and have the perfect crisp crust…Every one of us goes into devour mode when they hit the table. Throw them in a serving dish with bleu cheese dressing and fresh cut veggies and you can call one perfect meal!

Our Favorite Chicken Wings

Ingredients

1/3 Cup Coconut Sugar or Brown Sugar

1 Tablespoon Smoked Paprika

2 Teaspoons Garlic Powder

2 Teaspoons Onion Powder

2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper

3-4 Pounds Chicken Wing Sections

3 Tablespoons Peanut Oil or other high heat cooking oil

Bleu Cheese Dressing, for serving-recipe here

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 and line two baking sheets with foil. Place a baking rack inside of each baking sheet and set aside.

In a small bowl combine the sugar, paprika, garlic and onion powders, salt and pepper. Place the chicken wings in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle on the spice rub and toss the wings well to ensure they are evenly coated.

Lay wings in a single layer on top of each baking rack. Place in the oven and cook for approximately 35 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and skin is deep golden brown, nearly charred, flipping halfway in between cooking. Serve with bleu cheese dressing, if desired.

Honey Sriracha Chicken Bowls

Well if there’s anything that can brighten up these gray days here in Minnesota, these bowls would be it!

They have the whole shebang..savory-sweet-spicy-tangy-creamy-crisp-crunchy yum!!! A definite repeat offender around here!

Honey Sriracha Chicken Bowls

Adapted from this recipe

Note: for less heat, use 1 Tablespoon Sriracha. For more, use 2. 1 Tablespoon was mild enough for my kiddos to eat…2 would be perfect for my husband and I. Also, you can grill the chicken using the exact same method..but the broiler works great in the winter months.

Ingredients

For the Slaw

1/2 Cup Sour Cream

1/2 Cup Mayonnaise

2 Teaspoons Apple Cider Vinegar

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher or Sea Salt

Pinch of Black Pepper

12 Cups Packaged Slaw Mix

For the Chicken

3 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar

1-2 Tablespoons Sriracha, see note

2 Tablespoons Honey

1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard

2 Pounds Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder

1 Teaspoon Onion Powder

1 Teaspoon Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika

Diced Avocado, for topping

Sunflower Seeds, for topping

Cilantro, for garnish

Directions

For the Slaw

Whisk sour cream, mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper together in a large bowl. Add slaw mix and stir to coat well. Set aside or refrigerate for up to 4 hours.

For the Chicken

Preheat broiler. In a small bowl whisk together the rice vinegar, Sriracha, honey and Dijon. Set aside.

Cut the chicken into 1-2 inch pieces and place in a bowl. Add the olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and smoked paprika; toss well to coat. Thread the chicken on skewers and place the skewers on a broiler safe baking sheet. Brush both sides of the skewers with a generous coating of the Sriracha sauce. Place in the oven and broil for five minutes. Brush both sides with more sauce and flip the skewers over and broil for an additional five minutes or until chicken is golden brown and cooked through; basting with more sauce as needed. Remove the chicken from the skewers and place back in the pan, tossing the chicken in the cooking juices/sauce.

To assemble:

Divide slaw among bowls and top with chicken, avocado, sunflower seeds and cilantro. Serves 4-6

Chicken Tortellini Soup

Happy 2019, friends! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season. We had so much awesome time together as a family..but man can that time get hectic. As much as I loved the time, I’m happy as all heck to be back to reality and schedules!

So, with all of the chaos and lack of sleep came the annual Oprish post-Christmas colds. And in the event that any of you are also trying to recover from the symptoms, this soup could come in veeeerrryyy handy.

I seriously can’t believe I haven’t shared this recipe with you before; I’ve been making it for as long as I can remember. It’s full of warm, savory comfort and its hands down my family’s most requested soup. The problem is that it’s so simple to make, I never need to follow a recipe..so it was difficult for me to share it with you with no measurements-a dang good problem to have. I mean look at that ingredient list..simplicity at its finest! But this last time I made it I wrote it out as I cooked..and now I’m so happy to pass it on!

It really is so yummy, you guys. And it has that chicken soup comforting ability without a ton of work. You’re going to love it as much as we do, I just know it!

Chicken Tortellini Soup

Notes: I always attempt to make this with bone in split chicken breasts, but they can be difficult to find. Both bone in and boneless work great here..I just love the nutrient and flavor benefits that the bone provides…but either will do, the soup tastes great with boneless too.

Ingredients

1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter + 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1 Pound Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast’s, or 2-3 Pounds Bone-in split chicken breasts, seasoned liberally with salt and pepper *see notes

1 Large White Onion, peeled and halved

10 Cups Chicken Stock

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/8 Teaspoon Black Pepper

1 Heaping Cup Sliced Carrots

20 Ounces Prepared Cheese Tortellini

3/4 Cup Heavy Cream

Grated Parmesan, for serving

Chopped Fresh Parsley, for garnish

Directions

Heat the butter and oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven oven over medium high heat. Add the chicken and cook until just beginning to brown on the first side, about 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook for an additional 2 minutes on the other side. Remove the chicken and set it aside on a plate-it will finish cooking through when you add it back to the soup.

Add the onion halves to the pot and cook for 30 seconds, stirring often. Add the stock and salt and pepper, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pot, and bring to a boil. Once at a boil, add the chicken/juices back to the pot, cover, turn the heat to medium low and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the onion and discard. Remove chicken to a plate; when cool enough to handle shred the chicken meat.

Turn the heat up to medium high or until the broth is at a heavy simmer and add the carrots and Tortellini to the pot. Cook until both are just shy of tender, about 6-8 minutes. Stir in shredded chicken and cream and simmer for 5 additional minutes. Season, to taste, with additional salt and pepper.

Ladle into bowls and serve topped with grated Parmesan and parsley, if desired. Serves 4-6.

Roasted Ranch Potatoes

Friends! Happy holidays! How are things?

It’s the season of madness in our home..we’ve got 4/5 birthdays over the holiday season so things have been pretty nutso around here. We are also going through a small home renovation…so add being displaced from our home for a short time…and living in our basement with three small kids for a while..and well, things have felt a tad chaotic. I’m really just not the best at feeling good about unsettledness. But I am SO grateful for the fun changes we are making to our home…and the light is totally being seen at the end of the tunnel! Trying my best to stay present to my family throughout all of the hustle and bustle..so I apologize for my lack of blogging.

So basically, with all of the crazy has come way too much eating out for my liking. I mean my kids no longer want macaroni and cheese because they’ve had too much. That’s certainly a sign that we are ALL extremely excited to get back to our kitchen and home cooked meals!

On the nights that the mess has allowed me to use the kitchen, these potatoes have made a frequent appearance. There’s hardly any prep and I always have the ingredients in my pantry. They are something I can always count on my whole family gobbling up..and they make the perfect side for basically any protein. A great addition to the weekly meal rotations!

Roasted Ranch Potatoes

Ingredients

1 1/2 Pounds Russet Potatoes, cut into 1-2 inch pieces

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Teaspoon Onion Powder

1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder

1 Teaspoon Dried Dillweed

1 Teaspoon Dried Parsley

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 and place cut potatoes on a baking sheet. Drizzle oil on top and sprinkle the rest of the ingredients all over; toss well to coat. Place in the oven and roast for 35-40 minutes or until potatoes are golden brown, stirring twice in between cooking. Serves 4 as a side.

Cinnamon Apple Pear Sauce

Look, you guys

It’s here. My most favorite, beautiful, scenic time of year. I told the kids it was supposed to snow this week so we had to ask Alexa when the first technical day of winter is. Do you want to know what she said? December 21st. Yet we have snow in the forecast for today, November 6. You try explaining all of this to a 4 year old. Why oh why can’t crispy, cool autumn fulfill its assigned 3 full months?! Winter is so dang greedy and aggressive around here🙄

But we certainly won’t stop celebrating autumn in this house until that far away day in December…and this yummy Cinnamon Apple Pear Sauce will certainly be a constant in our fridge. I’m addicted. My kids could take down an entire batch in one sitting. I even got a “I want to eat this every day of my life!” from Jude. Winning.

It’s both tart and sweet with the perfect amount of warm cinnamon running through it. Incredibly slurpable by itself with a spoon, but my kids also love it for breakfast on top of plain Greek yogurt. A happy happy happy autumn, indeed, even if it does snow today!

Cinnamon Apple Pear Sauce

Adapted from this recipe

Ingredients

7 Medium Honeycrisp Apples, peeled, cored and quartered

4 Medium Ripe Pears, cored and quartered

Zest and Juice of 2 Navel Oranges

Zest of 1 and Juice of 2 Lemons

3 Tablespoons Pure Maple Syrup

2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, cut into four pieces

1 1/4 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon

1/4 Teaspoon Ground Allspice

1/4 Teaspoon Salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 350. Place all ingredients in a oven safe pot or Dutch oven and stir to combine. Cover and bake for 1 1/2 hours. Remove from oven, let cool just slightly, place in a blender or food processor and blend until desired consistency.