These fresh fruit kabobs drizzled with chocolate are the perfect item for adding a bit of beauty and pizzazz to the table without a lot of time-consuming work. You can’t beat that, right? So, keep it in mind next time you need to take food somewhere. It doesn’t even require a fork so it works for “bring finger food” occasions. These particular ones were made for my husband Shannon to take to a company potluck at his office at Keller Williams Real Estate.
There is no recipe, just use any kind of fruit you want to… They all work great. Well, except apples. Apples sometimes split when you put them on the skewers. If you’re using apples, the thinner the skewer the better. Just for the record, apples and chocolate go together awesomely! Is awesomely a word? I figure as long as you know what a word means, it doesn’t really matter if it’s technically not a word.
Chunk up/slice all the fruit that gets chunked or sliced. Take stems off of fruit that gets de-stemmed. Toss fruits that get brown with lemon juice (more on that later).
In other words, before I start threading them on skewers, I like to have them all ready to go.
Then, start poking fruit on until: 1. Fruit is gone, 2. Skewers are gone, or 3. You have the desired amount.
After the fruit is all on the skewers, put about a half cup of chocolate chips or candy melts in a sandwich bag, but don’t seal shut. Put it in the microwave for 30 seconds. Flip it over and microwave it for 20 second. Work the bag with your hands and put them in for 10 seconds. Do this until all the chocolate feels smooth and no chunks are left.
I need to get back in my zone… that zone where I automatically remember to take pictures at each step! I was having too much fun and just kept rolling instead of stopping for pictures.
Now, you’re ready to drizzle. Put the kabobs all really close together so less drizzle lands on the table. Snip a little corner off of the bag and just scribble back and forth over the fruit. Then immediately separate them or else the chocolate will harden and pull drizzles off of its neighbor.
Put them on a plate. Garnish if you want to.
Here are tutorials on the rose and leaves, in case you want to make some:
Rose • Chocolate leaves
The rose tutorial is actually for making a tomato rose, but it’s the same technique.
Now, about the bananas and keeping them from browning.
Lemon juice is the secret here. I did a little test where I checked them after 3 hours and after 6 hours. A little after the 6-hour mark, my girls came home from school and I let them eat my experiment for an after school snack… and then thought of it later that I should’ve tested the bananas longer, like 24 hours. But what I did learn is that lemon juice works its magic for at least 6 hours, and that was the info I needed because unless they have to set/freeze/marinate/etc, I rarely make things more than 6 hours ahead of time. Maybe that’s because I’m a procrastinator.
So here we go, the experiment. The pictures above were taken right after I made it, where even a fresh banana would still be looking good. The pictures below were taken 3 and 6 hours afterwards.
3 hours after being tossed with lemon juice:
From left to right: uncovered room temp, covered room temp, uncovered refrigerated, covered refrigerated, covered frozen, and a fresh slice.
The fresh slice is NOT 3 hours old, it’s just there for comparison. The frozen one is thrown in there for fun… it actually has no lemon juice on, it was peeled and put into the freezer right away and is probably more like 3 months old.
6 hours after being tossed with lemon juice:
The middles are starting to get a little brown, but are still fine.
What I was surprised was that between all the lemon-juiced ones, there was pretty much no difference! I’m glad about this tidbit because it gives flexibility. Here is a closer up. They all stayed firm too, no mushiness.
Here come the Holidays… make some of these pretty things! It’s a delicious, healthy snack to set out on the snack table (with the chocolate covered Ritz crackers, cookies, red-green-silver-foil-wrapped Hershey kisses, and party mix).
REESES PUFFS! Any ‘amen!’s to that?
Whoever invented cold cereal with milk was brilliant. It’s quick. It’s good. It’s healthy.
This post isn’t going to have a recipe to make your own cold cereal, it’s just a post about cold cereal. BUT, if you do want to make something as good as cold cereal to eat with milk, make this granola.
Hands down, the best granola I’ve ever had. Maybe it’s because it has chocolate chips in it. Or maybe it’s because it has all regular ingredients in it.
Anyway, back to rambling about cold cereal. I think cold cereal actually started with Mr. Kellogg and Mr. Post, but whoever is behind General Mills came up with the kinds that are the biggest hit in our family. A couple weeks ago, Kelloggs was on sale AND I had Kelloggs coupons, so I bought a bunch of Kelloggs cereal. Well, big mistake. EVERY single day, Tiffany asked for “Yucky Charms” (she can’t say her L’s) and Lexi asked for Reeses Puffs or Cinnamon Toast Crunch. We were all glad when it was time to get cereal again… welcome to our cupboards again, General Mills! Especially Reeses Puffs!
We do also like Post Honeycomb, Kelloggs Fruit Loops and Big-bite Mini Wheats, Quaker Life and Cap’n Crunch, but not enough for them to be ‘regulars’ in our cereal cupboard. Give us Golden Grahams, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Lucky Charms, and Resees puffs any day! Tiffany would eat cold cereal 3 meals a day plus snacks if I’d let her. And it really does make a great bedtime snack!
Anyway, I’m just curious… what kind of cereals are regulars in your cupboard? What do your kids like?
I’ve never made granola before. Or granola bars. They always call for bran or wheat germ and those are 2 ingredients that keep me flipping thro’ the cookbook and thinking, “Well, I guess I won’t make granola this time”. (*whisper* I’ve never even seen bran and wheat germ or know what they are.) So, I buy my granola at the bulk foods store (only on rare occassions because it’s pricey) and buy my granola bars at the grocery store.
Then, just lately a few of my friends started raving about this granola and when I looked at the recipe, I was glad to see that it took ‘normal’ ingredients! So, I made some. It is SO good! Like one of my friends said, it’s good at any stage of the making process… you can’t help but sampling it here and there while mixing, baking, and stirring it.
Eat it with milk in it, put it on top of yogurt, eat it plain as a snack, or sprinkle it on top of a dessert.
10 cups quick oats
3 cups graham cracker pieces (this was 1 1/2 packs of Honey Maid)
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups coconut
2 tsp. soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup chopped pecans
3 sticks of butter (1 1/2 cups)
1 cup peanut butter chips (I tried some with chocolate chips… it was better )
Melt the butter and mix with dry ingredients.
Divide between 2 large baking sheets. I did it on 3 baking sheets… the vertical one is chocolate chips and peanut butter chips mixed, the horizontal one in the back is peanut butter chips and the one in front is chocolate chips.
Bake at 300 for 40 min or until golden brown. Stir every 15 min the 1st 30 min, then every 5 min. Add peanut butter chips in the last few minutes of baking time.
I sampled all 3 varieties and liked the one with just chocolate chips the best. I thought the next best was the one with chocolate and peanut butter chips mixed. The one with peanut butter chips was good too, but I will from now on just use chocolate chips and maybe put some peanut butter chips in too if I have some on hand.
And this is how I like to eat it the best: with milk and a spoon…
Other than the desserts and cookies, THIS recipe would have to be one of the best dishes on this site. And it’s easy to make it a nice presentation too.
The last time I was at a Bob Evans restaurant for breakfast, I was looking at the menu and, as usual, everything was grabbing me. I always have that problem at restaurants. Sometimes it’s so bad that after we’ve ordered and are waiting for our food, I forget which one of the 5 things I couldn’t decide between that I actually ended up ordering. Anyway, when I saw these pancakes on the menu, the decision-making was OVER.
To make a long story short, I got hungry for these and decided to do a search to see if there was a recipe online. I found one at Meemo’s Kitchen …this cooking blog has alot of recipes from restaurants on it!
I didn’t do any short cuts, in fact there are 3 recipes within this recipe! So, this is REALLY from scratch!
Caramel Pecan Banana Cream Cheese Pancakes …I think Bob Evans’ and Meemo’s name for them was a little different, but mine aren’t EXACTLY the same, so I’ll name them this.
Printable recipe for now.
2 cups vanilla pudding
2 cups (or 2 8 oz pkgs) cream cheese
2 Tbsp. honey-roasted pecans
1 banana, sliced (So far, in talking about this recipe to my friends, there’s been some opposition to the bananas… you know who you are! ;) They (the bananas) could easily be left out and it would not take away from the quality at all.)
I very seldom use instant vanilla pudding. Instead, I use the filling recipe that I use in peanut butter pie. I grew up with homemade pudding like that and there is just no other pudding that compares to it. So, I made this pudding, measured out 1 cup, added an 8 oz block of softened cream cheese, and whisked the mixture till smooth.
For the pancake batter, I used my regular pancake recipe here.
For the honey-roasted pecans, I took regular pecans, tossed them with some honey (approx 1/2 cup pecans w\ 1 Tbsp. of honey) and baked them at 350 for about 15 min.
For the caramel sauce, I put 1 cup of sugar in a kettle (dry). Stir over medium heat and eventually it turns to a tan liquid! I should’ve timed it, I’d say it took maybe 7-10 minutes. After it’s all liquid, add 6 Tbsp. butter and stir.
Remove from the heat and slowly stir in 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream. Whisk till smooth. Pour into a different container to cool. Note: That sugar is easy to burn! I made the caramel sauce twice because the first time, I stirred it intermittently while doing other stuff and burned it a little. I didn’t know it was burned till I tasted it, it wasn’t bad, it just had a tiny bit of a burnt flavor. The second time, it turned out perfect and was actually a shade lighter in color.
Now, the fun part… we’ve got it all ready to go here:
Pour batter into the frying pan like usual. I always do 3 pancakes in my frying pan because that’s what fits the best. So, instead of a stack of 2 big ones like Bob Evans does, I made a stack of 3 smaller ones. And yeah, sometimes they get too big and run together, so my pancakes don’t always turn out round. Put a few banana slices and some pecans on top.
Flip pancakes as usual (and sometimes a banana slice may go flying off).
When done, put a pancake, bottom side up, onto a plate.
Spread a couple spoonfuls of the pudding mixture on top.
Put another pancake on top.
Spread some more pudding mixture on and drizzle with caramel.
Put the 3rd pancake on top, drizzle with more caramel, sprinkle with powdered sugar,
…and add a dollop of whipped topping.
Mmmmm, I can’t tell you how good this is! And it’s very filling too! I didn’t even eat lunch.
You’ve gotta try this! If it looks too complicated, you could buy caramel sauce, use regular pecans, and use instant pudding. But, it’s so worth it to do it from scratch, especially the pudding!!!! (In my mind, I’m adding about 20 more exclamation marks about the pudding.)
I love hot breakfast foods. Sometimes when we go out to eat to we-serve-breakfast-all-day restaurants, I never get past the breakfast section of the menu. So, there I am, eating an omelet or stuffed French toast while everyone else is eating a cheeseburger and fries. But I’m fine with that. I don’t get hot breakfasts enough. And now that I think of it, I guess that’s nobody’s fault but mine, what with me being the cook around here.
I oughta start doing what my mom does… I grew up with having one evening meal a week a breakfast foods meal. With school and Dad going to work early, it didn’t work out in the morning to have breakfast as a family, so that is how we got those good hot breakfast meals in… have them for supper. I know quite a few of my friends do that now and then too.
This baked omelet is what we had for a Saturday brunch recently. Mmmmmm, it was good! And quite easy too! It comes from the 2001 Quick Cooking annual cookbook. By the way, if you’re keeping track of how often I’ve used this cookbook lately, awhile ago I sat down with it and whenever a recipe grabbed me, I wrote the recipe name and the page # on a separate piece of paper. Till I got to the end of the cookbook, I had 25 recipe names written down. So, little by little, I’m making them.
Oven Denver Omelet
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
2 cups frozen shredded hashbrown potatoes
1 cup diced fully cooked ham
1 cup (4 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
1 Tbsp. dried minced onion
In a large bowl, beat the eggs, milk, and seasoned salt.
Stir in the remaining ingredients.
Pour into a greased 8″ square baking dish.
Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 45-50 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
Yield: 6-8 servings.
I’m going to have you all start helping me a little with serving ideas. I find a recipe I want to make and then get stuck on the ‘What shall I serve with it?’ question. I like to have a minimum of 3 things at each meal. What would you serve with the Oven Denver Omelet?
I know, it won’t help for this time because I already served this omelet, but I want your suggestions anyway for future reference, in case I make this again or something like it. By the way, I served this with Raspberry Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls, fruit, and orange juice.