Summer's Time & the Livin is Easy

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Oat Fudge Bars

Posted by Justin and Linda Summers on September 6, 2014 at 1:50 PM Comments comments (0)

i'm not even going to bother with the whole "long time no blog" speach, these bars are too delicious to waste time with idle chit chat.

There is this coffee shop here in our town that makes these AMAZING! oat fudge bars.  I love them.  They are goey and chocolatey and they have oats so they're healthy right? right.  Well I couldn't keep going and buying them for $2.75 a square, so I found them on pinterest and made them for myself!  OMG people.  These are life changing.  

You are welcome.


Cookie Layer

1 cup butter

2 eggs

2 cups brown sugar

1/3 cup milk

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

3 cups oatmeal

Fudge Layer

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt together


1 can eagle’s brand sweetened condensed milk

1/3 cup butter

1 tsp. vanilla

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips



Mix the butter, eggs and brown sugar. Add vanilla and milk. Slowly incorporate the rest of the dry ingredients. Mix well. I prefer using a stand mixer since it’s quite thick.

Spread 3/4 of the cookie mixture on the bottom of a greased 13×9 pan, pour chocolate mixture, then spread rest of cookie mixture on tops in spoonfuls (won’t cover completely-but will leave cool designs). The top can tend to get done before it’s completely cooked, so you can put aluminum foil over it for the last five or so if it looks like it’s browning too much. Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Let cool, otherwise it won’t set up and will just run when you cut into it.

Thank you Living Beyond Measure for the awesome recipe!

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

Posted by Justin and Linda Summers on April 14, 2014 at 11:45 AM Comments comments (0)

I may have found a new favorite cookie recipe!  This is the easiest, fastest, most delicious peanut butter cookie I have ever made!  Seriously there are 5 ingredients and they take a total of 18 minutes from pantry to mouth.  Definite winners in my book!  Sorry about the horrible instagram pic, but it's all I could get today.  Enjoy!


1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 cup chunky all-natural peanut butter

1 egg

1 tsp baking soda

chocolate chips (optional (but not really optional))


Cream together peanut butter and sugar until well combined.  Add egg and baking soda and mix well.  spoon onto a cookie sheet and press with a fork in a criss cross pattern.  Top with chocolate chips and bake in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.  Let cool on the cookie sheet for one minute then transfer to a wire cooling rack... if you can get them past your mouth on the way!!!

Banana Crumble Cake

Posted by Justin and Linda Summers on March 24, 2014 at 10:50 AM Comments comments (0)

I always end up buying one more banana than I can eat.  It doesn't matter if I buy 6 bananas or 2 bananas I always have one left!  I don't mind though, all it means is that about once a month I have enough over ripe bananas in my freeer to make a tasty confection!  This cake is dense, moist, and delicious.  Enjoy!


for the cake:

2 cups sugar

1 cup coconut milk

2 cup flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 stick margarine

2 eggs

3 bananas, ripe

1 teaspoon vanilla

crumb topping:

1 stick (1/2 c) margarine

1 cup brown sugar (dark or light)

1 cup flour (self rising or plain, whatever you have on hand)



spray a 9x13" pan with cooking spray.

place peeled bananas in mixing bowl, add sugar. mix until bananas are liquefied. add margarine, mix until creamed together with banana mixture. add all other ingredients and blend well.

in medium bowl, place all topping ingredients. cut together with a long tined fork or pastry cutter until well blended.

pour 1/4 of batter into each pan, top with 1/4 crumb mixture. pour remaining batter over and top with remaining crumb mixture.

bake for 45 minutes to an hour at 350. (ours was exactly 49 minutes)

cake is done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Posted by Justin and Linda Summers on March 21, 2014 at 6:40 AM Comments comments (0)

I love chocolate chip cookies.  Like seriously there aren't many things that I like better than a chewy chocolate chip cookie straight from the oven!  Sometimes it can just take too much time!  mix everything, make them into individual cookies, and then you have to bake it in batches!  These days I simly don't have that much time.  I have anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours while my baby naps and I honestly never know how much time i'm going to get.  It's like a crazy guessing game!  These cookies take 10 minutes to put together and about 20 minutes to bake so they're perfect!  



1/2 cup butter

1 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup flour sifted

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. baking soda

3/4 cup chocolate chips



Melt butter in microwave safe bowl until melted. Let cool.

Add brown sugar, vanilla and egg - mix well.

Add dry ingredients gradually. Blend well, and pour into greased 9x9 pan.

Sprinkle with chocolate chips and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.


Bacon Wrapped Venison Sausage Meatloaf

Posted by Justin and Linda Summers on March 19, 2014 at 10:10 AM Comments comments (0)

That is quite the title isn't it!  Doesn't it make your mouth water just reading it?  Well it couldn't be easier to make and it's another one you can make ahead of time then just throw in the oven at diner time!  My Favorite.



1 lb Venison Sausage (or if your father-in-law cant kill dear like mine, pork sausage will do)

1 lb Ground Turkey

1 egg

20 saltine crackers (crushed)

1 tsp dijon mustard

1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce

1 tsp thyme leaves

salt and pepper to taste

8 - 10 strips of bacon


Mash everything up in a bowl.  Seriously.  Then shape into a loaf and wrap in the bacon strips.  Bake in a 400 degree oven for 55-65 minutes or until it has an internal temperature of 155 degrees.  Then broil for another 5 - 10 minutes to crisp up the bacon.  Let it rest for 10 minutes and then slice and enjoy!

Quinoa Taco Casserole

Posted by Justin and Linda Summers on March 6, 2014 at 11:40 AM Comments comments (0)

One of the things I took away from my time as a diabetic was to love quinoa!  It is an awesome grain that is high in protein and easy to make and delicious, it's a great substitute for white rice in casseroles.  Hence this Taco Casserole was born!  It is an awesome cheap recipe that can be prepared in advance, and can be prepared with one hand!  great for people with no time and no money aka, new moms!

We couldn't help digging in.  Also when you have a little one you eat first and take pictures later!

Quinoa Taco Casserole


1 lb ground turkey

2 cups quinoa

1 can corn (drained)

1 can black beans (drained)

1 14 oz Tomatoes (undrained)

1 tsp each :corriander, cumin, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, powdered chipolte pepper, powdered red pepper

1/3 cup water

1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese

1 cup mexican blend cheese

1 cup crushed tortilla chips


Brown ground turkey with all of the seasonings then add the water to the pan and simmer for about 5 minutes.  Meanwhile cook the quinoa in 4 cups of water until all the water is absorbed.  Combine the turkey, quinoa, canned vegetables, and cheddar cheese in a 9X13 casserole dish.  if you want to freeze the dish here is where you would stop.  If you are cooking right away top with the crushed tortilla chips and mexican blend cheese then bake in a 375 degree oven until hot and bubbly!

Enjoy :0)

Snow and Bread

Posted by Justin and Linda Summers on March 4, 2014 at 1:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Snow Days are baking days!  I was so excited to bake something again!  After not being able to eat any carbs or sweets for the last half of my pregnancy this bread was so amazing!  I picked the easiest recipe in the book since I had to do this one handed and between the little ones naps, but it turned out well and was a great gateway drug back into the world of baking.

I slathered mine with nutella because... well why not!

Simple Farmhouse White Bread 


1 cup warm water

1/3 cup white sugar

1 and 3/4 tsp active dry yeast

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 cup whole wheat flour

2 cups (plus a little more for kneading) white flour

1 tsp salt

1 egg

1tsp water


Dissolve the sugar and yeast in the warm water and let sit until foamy.  About 10 minutes.  mix in canola oil and wheat flour.  Then add the white flour and salt and knead for 8-10 minutes.  Cover with a damp cloth and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.  Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  form risen dough into a loaf and put in a well greased loaf pan.  Let rise for another 30 minutes then cover with the egg wash and bake for about 30-40 minutes until hollow sounding and slightly browned on the top.  Remove from the pan and let cool... or don't and serve and enjoy!

Sloppy Joe Casserole

Posted by Justin and Linda Summers on April 24, 2013 at 11:35 AM Comments comments (0)


I am going to dedicate this post to Justin.  He is very patient with me in the kitchen and lets me try out all these healthy recipes on him all the time!  Sometimes they are very good and he is a lucky guy, and then other times... well they could have been better we'll just leave it at that.  So for dinner last night I decided to do a good old fashioned Sloppy Joe Casserole.  I don't even like Sloppy Joe's and I thought it wasn't bad!  The cornbread and cheese layers probably had something to do with that...



1 pound ground beef

1 cup ketchup

2 tablespoons mustard

2 tablespoons white vinager

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon (or to taste) of Sriracha

1 teaspoon Worstershire

2 cups of cheddar cheese

1 box Jiffy Mix

1 egg

1/3 cup milk


Saute beef until browned seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

 Mix all the sauce ingredients together then add to the meat.  

Spread meat in a 9 inch pie pan

then add the cheese layer. 

Meanwhile mix the Jiffy mix, egg, and milk together

then pour the batter on top of the cheese layer and spread to coat.

 Don't worry if it doesn't go all the way to the edges, it will spread out in the oven.

Cook the whole thing in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 -35 minutes.


Kumquat Tart

Posted by Justin and Linda Summers on April 15, 2013 at 7:55 PM Comments comments (0)

When I lived in Florida we had all kinds of citrus trees in our backyard.  We had grapefruits the size of beachballs and oranges the size of softballs.  But my favorite one of our fruit trees was the kumquat tree.  You could just run by the tree and pop one of these orange beauties in your mouth.  It was the perfect on the go snack right in your yard!

When I went to the Fresh Market this week and found them selling the golden gems and had to find a recipe to use them in.

I found it at An Adventure in Cooking.  They have a recipe for a Kumquat Tart.  This recipe calls for candying the kumquats which was something i've never done before.  Challenge Accepted!


Tart Crust


1 Egg

1 and 1/2 Cups Flour

1/2 Cup Plus 1 Tablespoon Butter, frozen

1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar

1/2 Teaspoon Almond Extract

1/4 Teaspoon Salt


Sweet Cream Cheese Filling


1 Egg Yolk

1 Cup Cream Cheese, softened

1/3 Cup Sugar

2 Tablespoons Ricotta Cheese

1 Tablespoon Honey

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1/2 Teaspoon Orange Blossom Water (can substitute rose water)

1/4 Teaspoon Salt


Candied Kumquats


1 lb Kumquats, sliced 1/8 inch thick (use a very sharp little paring knife for this)

1 Cup Sugar

1/2 Cup Water

1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract


First make the crust.  Combine the flour, powdered sugar, and salt.  Then cut the butter into the flour with a fork or pastry cutter.  Then incorporate the almond extract and egg wit the dough hook of your mixer.  The dough will take a while to come together, don't be afraid and add water or anything, it will come together in time I promise!

Once the dough is formed cover and put in the fridge for 30 minutes while you candy the kumquats.

The next step is to Candy!  This sounded intimidating to me, but it really was easy.  The hard part was breaking down all the kumquats into 1/8th inch slices.  

A labor of love though I assure you.  Combine the sugar, water and vanilla in a wide shallow pan.  Bring to a boil until the sugar dissolves.  Then add your kumquat slices and simmer for 30 minutes.  Remove the slices with a slotted spoon and lay them to rest on a drying rack.

Then to make the filling combine all the ingredients and mix until smooth.  

Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll the dough out to fit your tart pan.  Make sure all surfaces are well floured so they don't stick to the dough!

Prick the dough with a fork.  Bake the dough initially at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.  Then add the filling and bake until the crust is golden brown.

When the tart comes out of the over decorate with the candied kumquat slices then serve at room temperature or chill and serve cold.

Enjoy!  :0)


Posted by Justin and Linda Summers on April 13, 2013 at 1:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Saturday  I love Saturday's when i'm off work!  They are this magical gift of a day when I get to enjoy being off when everyone else is off too!  This Saturday definitely did not let me down.  We started the morning with the 3.2 for 32 Run in Rememberance which was a great experience.  I enjoy this run so much because I always run it with a lovely group of people.  This year was no exception!  Here is the group for this year.

and of course the lovely balloon release!

This, plus all the great food I hauled from Fresh Market yesterday led to an amazing lunch out on our deck.

I got my hand on some baby zucchini, they are so freakin adorable!  I mean look at them!

I was inspired by them and the Pappardelle Pasta, to make pesto pasta with Zucchini and Broccoli, and of course some crusty bagguette peices, for my saturday lunch.

First order of business is to make Pesto.  


1 cup basil leaves

1/2 cup parmesan cheese 

1/3 cup nuts

1/3 cup olive oil


Super easy.  Put it in the blender and push the button.  It will go from this....

to this...

Then boil yourself some pasta, sautee your veggies with a little salt and pepper and voila! Lunch!

 Then of course you chow down.  This was all that was left on my meal...

It didn't stand a chance.

Do something awesome with your Saturday! :0)