Homemade Granola Bars

homamde granola bar, homemade granola, health granola

With many of you taking on a healthy ‘diet’ or ‘lifestyle’ in the new year, I wanted to share a healthy snack. These granola bars are super easy to make! By making them at home, you can control the sweetness and add extra that you like most.

I added mini chocolate chips, but feel free to omit them or substitute for dried fruit, freeze dried fruit, raisins, banana chips, coconut flakes, pistachios, pecans, walnut ect…

homemade granola bars, granola bars

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Rosemary Roasted Carrots

carrots roasted with rosemary

During the 100th episode of MasterChef, I was the first round draft pick to join Nick Nappi’s team. We set out to create a menu to celebrate this huge milestone. The guests of honor included previous MasterChef contestants, restaurateurs,ย and food bloggers!

Our menu consisted of an appetizer of oysters and caviar (so fancy!) and our entree was duck breast with rice and roasted carrots!

We had little time to prep everything and I was worried about having to peel carrots for 50 people! But then,ย Mr. Stephen Lee, master gardener, ultimate veggie connoisseur had a brilliant suggestion! He handed me aย 

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International Food Blogger Conference Overview

IFBC, International Food Blogger Conference

Sadly, the International Food Blogger Conference has come to an end. It was an exciting, and energizing weekend of food, friends, photography and technology. I enjoyed some aspects far more than others and I’m feeling most excited about the new blogger friends I’ve made.

The highlight of day two was hearing and meeting Kim Severson. She is incredible talented (she’s received several awards for her writing), absolutely hilarious and completely relatable.

Kim Severson, Amanda Saab, International Food Bloggers Conference Key Note

After Kim’s fun talk, I attended the Krusteaz Cookie Swap session! You can’t really go wrong with crafts and cookies, can you?

I met a great group of fellow food bloggers, made some cute vessels for sharing cookies in a fun way and got to taste a variety of Krusteaz cookies!

IFBC, International Food Blogger Conference

I’m not going to lie, I was skeptical that a cookie mix would taste like a bakery quality cookie but these did. My favorite was the butter cookie.. I had two.

IFBC Krusteaz cookies

Day three was short and the most exciting part was hearing the incredible Christopher Testani.

You’ve probably seen his work on the covers of Bon Appetit, Martha Stewart Living, GQ, Women’s Health and more.

Christopher showed a slide show of his work and I was in complete awe. From the markets of Peru, to a studio in New York, every photo told its own story; the food is always the star.

At the closing of the conference, it was announced that next years conference will be held in Sacramento, CA at the end of July. I am not sure if I will be able to make it, but encourage those who can to take advantage of such a great conference!

 

Xoxo,

Amanda

 

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International Food Blogger Conference

Internationl Food Bloggers Conference

I am so excited for my very first International Food Blogger Conference

As a fairly new blogger, I am always looking for ways to improve my blog, connect with other food bloggers and learn more about the industry. I was on Twitter when I came across a tweet about an International Food Blogger Conference.

Before I even opened the link, I was thinking it would be held in LA or NY (because that’s where a ton of cool conferences are held). To my surprise and delight, I learned it would be held in SEATTLE! Wohoo!

I immediately registered and connected with the IFBC Facebook Page. I had some many questions and the group has been able to answer them all!

 

I have heard so many amazing things about this conference that is dedicated tor food bloggers! Some advice that I have received from IFBC veterans are as follows:

  • Wear comfortable clothes

*Yes, I love casual conferences!

  • Sign up for an excursion

*I signed up for the Chef’n excursion!

  • Bring space for all the swag you will receive

*Wait! Aside from learning from the best in the industry, networking and connecting with other food bloggers, we get more kitchen/food goodies?

  • Be prepared to be exhausted!

*Luckily the IFBC is held in Seattle, where we have the BEST coffee.. I plan to caffeinate so I do not miss a beat!

 

Will you be attending the conference? What are you most excited about?

For me, I am most excited about connecting with like minded people who “get it” and learning how to improve my blog, to make this an even better place for us to share ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Xoxo,

Amanda

DISCLAIMER: I attended the conference at a discounted rate in exchange for 3 blog posts about the conference. All opinions are my own.

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Homemade Fruit Roll Ups

fruit roll ups, fruit leather, healthy snack

With all the kids returning to school, it is time to begin thinking about their lunches! These homemade fruit roll ups are the perfect lunch box treat! By making them at home, you are controlling the sugar content and can ensure they have no chemicals or preservatives ๐Ÿ˜€

These take a while to make, but almost all the time is inactive; its 5 hours in the oven. know that is a lot of time. Make a large batch on a weekend and you’ll be good to go!

I was really surprised by how much my husband and I enjoyed these! A truly guilt free treat and they are just as fun for adults as they are for kids ๐Ÿ˜€

I decided to make peach raspberry fruit roll ups, but you can use any fruit you have on hand (nectarines, strawberries, blueberries, plums, apples, pears, mango, pineapple ect). Get creative with the flavor combinations! The possibilities are endless ๐Ÿ™‚

I added turbinado sugar to my puree, but if your fruit is sweet enough, you can use less or omit the sugar entirely!

 

Here is my recipe:

 

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups ripe peaches, quartered

1 cup ripe raspberries

1/4 cup turbinado sugar

 

Procedure:

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Puree fruit in food processor until smooth. Add in sugar and blend well. *You may wish to strain the mixture to remove the raspberry seeds, but I kept them in for texture ๐Ÿ™‚puree
  3. Spread puree evenly on a silpat lined baking sheet. spread evenly
  4. Place in oven for 5 hours or until no longer tacky.
  5. Allow to cool. Using kitchen sheers, cut into long strips. *You may choose to roll in parchment.
  6. Enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

fruit leather yummy fruit roll ups

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Roasted Garlic and Parmesan Green Beans

I enjoy Thanksgiving for several reasons. I appreciate a day that is set aside to remember, reflect and give thanks for all the blessings we have, to remember those less fortunate, to give thanks by sharing in our blessings and spending time with family.

Thanksgiving is now only a few days away. Is your menu planned? Have you done your shopping? Do you have things prepped and ready?

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Green beans are a traditional accompaniment to holiday dinners. They come dressed in sauces and spice, are blanched and baked and are so very delicious!

These green beans were inspired by roasted garlic and Parmesan potatoes by husband made a while back (recipe is in the comments section of my Instagram page: AmandasPlate).

 

Here is my recipe:

 

Prep: 10 minutesย ย ย  Bake: 10 minutesย ย ย  Servings: 6

 

Ingredients:

1 pound green beans, trimmed

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1/4 cup sliced garlic cloves

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

ingredients

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss green beans in olive oil and place on baking sheet. Roast for 7 minutes. Remove from oven.

olive oil

2. Using the same bowl you tossed green beans in the oil, combine green beans with garlic, salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese. Place back on baking sheet and roast for another 3-4 minutes.

IMG_3445 procedure

3. Remove from heat. Place on serving platter and add more freshly shaved Parmesan (optional but who doesn’t love extra cheese).

garlic parmesan green beans

4. Enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

 

*The sun set faster than I was able to cook, so I apologize for the poorly lit photos of the finished dish. Trust me they are delicious ๐Ÿ˜€

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Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

When making my pumpkin puree, I kept thinking about the flavors I would use to season the pumpkin seeds. I knew I wanted more than just the traditional salt and I also knew I wanted some spice. It is really important to note that these are kid tested and approved ๐Ÿ˜€ wohoo!

Here is what I came up with…

 

Ingredients:

Seeds of one medium sized pumpkin

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

 

Procedure:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Clean pumpkin seeds.

pumpkin seeds

2.Blanch in boiling water for 3 minutes.

pumpkin seeds

3. Strain pumpkin seeds and then pat dry. Add in spices, olive oil and Worcestershire sauce.

pumpkin seeds

4. Arrange on baking sheet and place in oven.

pumpkin seeds

5. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until seeds are crisp.

pumpkin seeds

6. Enjoy!

 

*These are great on salads and soups. The shells become crunchy and can be eaten with the inside seed!

 

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Homemade Pumpkin Puree

What do you get when you divide the circumference of a pumpkin by its diameter?  Pumpkin Pi… Baa-Dum Tshhh!! Lol.. I am funny right?

A few weekends ago we went to a pumpkin patch because it was a beautiful day and it is fun! We picked some pumpkins and since that I have been thinking about what I wanted to do with them.

The possibilities for pumpkin puree’ are endless.. but how do I get that from a large raw pumpkin to puree?

I did some research and the process is quite simple. Cut. Roast. Skin. Puree.

I want to share the details of this process with you all, as I imagine now that Halloween is over, you have many pumpkins around your home (if the squirrels didn’t get to them).

I also roasted the pumpkin seeds and wanted share that process because frankly I haven’t enjoyed pumpkin seeds as much as the ones I made ๐Ÿ˜›

 

Here we go..

You will need…

A pumpkin ๐Ÿ™‚

pumpkin

Procedure:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Cut off the top of your pumpkin and clean out the inside. Place seeds in a bowl (see next post for how to roast these).

3. Cut pumpkin flesh into 3 inch sections. Then cut those sections into smaller, equal size pieces. Arrange on baking sheet and bake with 40-50 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender when a fork is inserted into it.

pumpkin

4. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Using a knife, remove the skin off the pumpkin.

skinned pumpkin

5. Using a food processor, puree pumpkin until smooth. This took about 5 minutes.

IMG_2868 pumpkin puree pumpkin puree

6. Create your favorite pumpkin recipes using your fresh, homemade pumpkin puree ๐Ÿ™‚

*This also freezes well!

 

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