Oatmeal Bars

As far as I am concerned anything that contains oats is a health food.
Who is with me?
Just overlook all the butter involved in this recipe and focus on the healthy oats.
Lets also focus on the fact that you can use any flavor of preserves you like in these "healthy" oatmeal bars.
I used blueberry on this batch.
I'm think I will try blackberry next.
Oh the possibilities are endless.
What preserves will you use?
- 1 3/4 stick cold butter, cut into pieces
- 1 1/2 cups All-Purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups oats
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 jar of preserves (10 to 12 ounces)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9x13 baking dish.
2. Mix together the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt.
3. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter until coarse crumbs form.
4. Sprinkle half the mixture into the pan and pat lightly to pack it down.
5. Gently spread your preserves over the oat  mixture.
6. Sprinkle the remaining oat mixture over the preserves and lightly pat.
7. Bake 30-40 minutes (top should be golden brown). Let cool then cut into squares.

*Recipe from Pioneer Woman


Pasta Primavera

Happy Sunday!
My wonderful husband wanted to go vegetarian for a week.
I wasn't crazy about it but I agreed because I'm such a wonderful wife ;)
Vegetarian isn't really on my radar.
When I plan dinner there is ALWAYS a meat involved.
It's in my blood. 
The way I was raised.
You have a meat and then two sides (which are usually carb/starch heavy)
Anyways, my hubby was sweet enough to print out some recipes for me so how could I say no.
He found a Pasta Primavera recipe by the lovely Giada De Laurentiis.
I will admit I was totally blown away by how much I liked this dish.
I think you should try it.
Like tonight.

- 3 carrots, peeled and cut into thin strips
- 2 medium zucchini, cut into thin strips
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips
- 1 red bell pepper,cut into thin strips
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon dried Italian herbs
- 1 pound pasta
- 15 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

2. On a large heavy baking sheet, toss all of the vegetables with the oil, salt, pepper, and dried herbs. Bake until the carrots are tender and the vegetables begin to brown, about 20 minutes (stir after the first 10 minutes).

3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta as directed on the box. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water.

4. Toss the pasta with the vegetables in a large bowl. Add the tomatoes and the pasta water. Stir. Top with the Parmesan Cheese. Enjoy.

Such a pretty dish!
Light, colorful, and delish!


The Perfect Gift

As I've mentioned before, I have the worlds best sister in law. Sorry to all the other sister in laws but she really is the best. She is awesome for many reasons but today lets talk about her gift giving ability. 
I think gift giving is really stressful. Anyone else?
I'm always searching for that perfect gift that is thoughtful and unique.

When my sister in law gifted me a 3 month subscription to Birchbox shortly after giving birth I thought what a perfect gift! I loved getting the box in the mail every month and couldn't wait to see what was in it.
Birchbox is a great gift for men, women, birthdays, bridal showers, pick me ups, etc... 

Photo from www.birchbox.com

Now we can't forget our four legged friends! Barkbox is the equivelent to Birchbox but for doggies! 
How cute is that? What a perfect gift for someone with a new pup, or a sick pup, or a pup that needs some extra attention because there is a baby in the house now (poor Marley). 
They really do think of everything these days.

Photo from www.barkbox.com

Wait there is more! Citrus Lane is the latest gift from the sister in law. It was Atlas' Easter present. I know, I told you she is awesome. It's a box wit baby items (age appropriate) and mom items. We get our first box in May and we can't wait. Okay Atlas has no clue but I'm sure he will love it when it gets here.
Photo from www.citruslane.com

So the next time you are in need of a gift check these websites out.
 I guarantee the recipient will  love it!


Spaghetti Squash Alfredo

True story.
I just ate spaghetti squash for the first time last weekend.
My lovely sister-in-law made it for me.
It was a party in my mouth.
So now I'm obsessed and I think its the coolest veggie ever.
During my nightly Pinterest session I stumbled upon this recipe and had to try it.
I use to LOVE me some Fettuccine Alfredo but stopped eating it because I always felt so guilty afterwards.
Not anymore folks.

- 1 Spaghetti Squash
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- 2 1/2 tablespoons of flour
- 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon cream cheese (room temp)
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
- Salt and pepper

1. Pre-heat oven to 350. Poke a few holes deep into the squash with a large knife. Place squash on baking sheet and bake for 60 minutes. Let squash cool for 10-20 minutes after baking. Cut in half length wise then scoop out the seedy inside leaving the "spaghetti strands." Use a fork to gently scrape the "spaghetti strands" into the middle. 

2. Melt the butter in a sauce pan. When melted add minced garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute while stirring. Stir in the cream cheese then the milk. Bring mixture to a simmer and the sauce thickens. Remove from heat and stir in the Parmesan Cheese and season with salt and pepper.

3. Pour Alfredo sauce over each squash half and gently stir. Sprinkle with a little more Parmesan Cheese and place under the broiler for 2-4 minutes until golden and bubbly. 

*I used low-fat cream cheese and milk to make it lighter.
*One spaghetti squash is plenty for two people but this recipe can easily be doubled if preparing two squash.


Breakfast Casserole with Herb Seasoned Stuffing

When you have a baby things don't always go as planned. 
Okay they like never go as planned.
So when I invited friends over for breakfast last week I knew I needed a dish that I could make in advance.
I could just see the baby throwing a fit or having a diaper blowout while I was trying to get breakfast ready.
Then my friends would walk in on a hot mess, both me and baby and immediately regret saying yes to breakfast at my house with a screaming poop covered baby and a disheveled mom.
You get the picture?
Not pretty. 
So a breakfast casserole that you make the night before (when baby is sleeping) was the obvious route to take.
This dish is easy to make and the herb stuffing adds such a nice flavor.
Give it a try this weekend!

- 1 roll of breakfast sausage, regular or hot
- 1 package of Pepperidge Farm herb seasoned stuffing
- 1 cup sharp cheddar, shredded
- 1 cup pepper jack, shredded
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 8 eggs
- 2 cups half and half
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- salt and pepper

1. Start by cooking the sausage and onion, crumbling, until browned. Drain and set aside.

2. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 baking dish. Spread herb seasoned stuffing on the bottom. Top with the cheddar and pepper jack cheese. Sprinkle cooked sausage and onion mixture over the cheeses.

3. In a bowl, beat the eggs with the half and half and milk. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Pour egg mixture over sausage. Cover and refrigerate over night.

5. Bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.


Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Anyone else weird about their chicken wings?
It took me awhile to fully embrace eating chicken right off the bone.
Sometimes it still freaks me out. 
Like when the hubby orders chicken wings from Domino's.
I love all the flavors that go along with chicken wings. 
 When I saw this recipe from skinnytaste I knew I would like it.
 It cooks in the crock pot which is awesome news because I can put it on while the babe is napping. 
That is IF he naps. Sometimes he likes to go on a nap strike. That makes for a really fun day. 
Anyways, you should totally make this dish. 
- 3-4 boneless skinless chicken breast
- 2 stalks of celery
- 1/2 onion diced
- 1 clove of minced garlic
- 16oz chicken broth, low-sodium and fat free
- 1/3 cup Franks Red Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce
- Iceberg Lettuce
- Blue Cheese or Ranch Dressing

1. Put the chicken, diced onion, celery, and garlic in the crock pot  Pour in the chicken stock. It should cover the chicken breast, if not, add water. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours.
2. After 4 hours, remove the chicken. Keep 1/3 cup of the cooking broth and discard the rest. Shred chicken and return to crock pot. Add the 1/3 cup of cooking broth as well as 1/3 cup hot sauce. Cook on high for 30 minutes.
3. Place shredded chicken in a lettuce leaf and top with your choice of condiments (blue cheese crumbles, blue cheese dressings, ranch dressing, celery, carrots, etc...) Roll it up and enjoy!

We used the leftover chicken in a salad the next day.


Is It Really March?

So long February.
Atlas enjoyed his first Super Bowl.
He is a big 49ers fan.
I made Cowgirl Cookies again.
I will use any excuse really.
These were for Valentines Day.

I found a new favorite wine.
It's called The Count and I want a case of it immediately!

Marley is still...Marley
Sleeping a good 15-20 hours a day.
When he is awake he is either eating or licking Atlas' feet.
Atlas turned 4 months old.
How is that possible?
I feel like I should start planning his first birthday.
Okay who am I kidding, I've already been brainstorming themes.
*All photo from Instagram. Follow me @leanneinwonderland1

Nutella Banana Bread

Nutella + Banana Bread
In the words of Barefoot Contessa, "how bad could that be?"
It wasn't bad at all. In fact it was delicious.
Especially when it is warm with a nice cold glass of milk!
- 5 tablespoons of Nutella
- 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon canola oil, divided
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 medium ripe bananas, sliced
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup buttermilk *

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine Nutella and 1 teaspoon canola oil in a microwave-safe dish. Microwave at 30 second intervals until melted, stirring every time.
3. Combine 3 tablespoons canola oil, butter, brown sugar, and bananas in a large bowl. Beat at medium-high speed until well blended. Add eggs one at a time, beating well.
4. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Beating at low speed, add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to banana mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
5. Pour half of the batter into a greased 9 x 5 loaf pan. Top with the melted Nutella mixture. Pour remaining batter over Nutella. Using a toothpick, swirl batter.
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack.

* If you don't have buttermilk on hand you can always make your own by pouring 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar in a measuring cup then add enough milk to bring the liquid measurement  to 1 cup. Let the mixture stand for 5 minutes. Then just use whatever amount the recipe calls for and discard the remaining.

*Adapted from Cooking Light



I've got a present for you! 
Have you heard of StickyGram
Its pretty neat. I recommend you check it out.
They turn your Instagram pictures into magnets.
You can pick up to nine pictures and shipping is free!
A sheet of the magnets cost $14.99 but...
 if you order some and use the code FRIENDJI3P you get $2 off!
Your welcome.
Okay, I'm not a good liar. 
I also get a $2 credit. 
So help a sista out. 
I have a fridge that needs to be covered with magnets!


Roasted Rosemary Almonds

I cooked a pot roast the other day. It was yummy. I always misjudge the amount of meat I need. I was cooking for 4 people but I bought enough meat to feed The Duggars. Do you guys do that? I also bought way too much fresh rosemary. I started to feel really bad about all that sweet delicious rosemary left unused in my fridge but then I remembered this recipe and suddenly didn't feel so bad anymore. So, I made a batch, and then I made another batch, and then I made one more batch. Oops. In my defense I did give 2 batches as gifts because I'm nice like that. 
Look how beautiful!
- 2 cups of raw almonds
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp fresh chopped rosemary
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- fresh cracked pepper

1. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.

2. In a bowl, combine the almonds, oil, rosemary, chili powder, salt, and a little cracked pepper. Stir to coat the almonds.

3. Pour almonds onto a baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Let cool then enjoy.

As I mentioned earlier I gave some as gifts.
A mason jar, a piece of cloth, some twine, a tag and boom!