Hello! It’s Molly; it’s been a while, but I’m still here! I’m currently sitting here looking at pumpkin decor, smelling fall-scented candles, and really wishing I had a warm slice of pumpkin bread. It’s starting to *kind of* cool down, fall decorations are coming out, and the holiday season is in sight. All of this can only mean one thing: aside from eating all the goodies, of course, it’s time to bake the goodies! However, if you’re like me, you still get a little sweaty turning the oven on; I’m also still slightly sleep deprived from having my second baby only five months ago, so any extra energy I have is usually devoted to tidying up. I would love to be able to bake more, but right now most dessert recipes are a little too time intensive for me. So what’s a sweaty, tired mama to do when Fall comes a-knocking asking for goodies? Make this recipe! It is super simple, delicious, sweet, crunchy, and salty; these two ingredient Chocolate Nut Clusters satisfied my third trimester cravings, and are the perfect go-to in this busy season if you’re craving a treat but short on time. Hope you enjoy!
1/3 cup of nuts of your choice, chopped (I used pecans and almonds)
Flaky sea salt (optional)
Toast nuts for about 2 minutes on a dry skillet on medium heat, just until aromatic. Set aside
Melt chocolate in a microwave safe bowl, stirring well after 30 second increments.
Stir nuts into melted chocolate
Drop spoonfuls of chocolate covered nuts on a parchment lined (or my favorite silicone mats)
Sprinkle with sea salt, if desired
Refrigerate until firm
Store covered in the fridge for a week, but they’ll be gone long before that hehe
For more fall goodness, check out my Pumpkin Pecan Muffins, Apple Pie Parfaits, or my No Bake Pumpkin Pie. I hope everyone has been healthy and well during this post-apocalyptic movie of a year we’ve had. You will find plenty of comfort food on this site, and feel free to reach out to chat if needed. Stay healthy, hug your family, eat fall goodies…and enjoy your Pinch of Crazy!
This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase using the links, it is of no extra cost to you; just a small commission for me. Thank you for supporting A Pinch of crazy!
See what I did there? Thanksgiving. Cornucopia. But instead of fruit and gourds, my cornucopia is full of ideas for your Thanksgiving menu! To be honest, I only have one extra recipe photographed right now, it has nothing to do with Thanksgiving or the holidays (it’s a make-ahead breakfast cup), and all my creative juices are going towards stopping temper tantrums, lessons, and reorganizing to get Zemirah’s big girl room and the baby’s room ready. So that being said, my cornucopia of ideas is all pulled from recipes past, but all linked in this handy dandy notebook post! Hope you can glean some ideas for your turkey day!
Slow Cooker Apple Cider – This would be perfect to have simmering in the slow cooker when guests arrive. For adults, add a splash of spiced rum!
Death by Hot Chocolate – Perfect to serve alongside desserts; you could even have a fun hot chocolate bar set up by the dessert table. My favorite kind of bar 😉
Pumpkin Pie Coffee Creamer – Another one of my favorite bars is a coffee bar, and if you have creamer options out by the coffee, this is a must!
Spicy Deviled Eggs – Everyone loves a deviled egg appetizer, and these have just the right amount of spice thanks to tangy pickled jalapenos.
Slow Cooker Meatballs – These tender meatballs are swimming in a flavorful tomato sauce and ready for your appetizer table.
Pumpkin Bread with Crumb Topping – A sweeter appetizer, but this pumpkin bread is delicious, and would be so perfectly adorable sliced on a little wooden cutting board. Next to the butter dish of course!
Classic Garlic Hummus – The perfect dip to add to your charcuterie board – goes great with crackers, breads, or veggies!
Ghee, Garlic, and Herb Turkey with Gravy – If you’re going for a classic main dish at your Thanksgiving dinner, turkey it is. This turkey has a garlic, herb compound ghee (you could also use butter) rubbed under the skin for moistness (gag. I said it.), with a squeeze of grapefruit juice for acidity. With great flavors, perfectly crispy skin, and tender meat, this is a crowd pleaser, and it comes complete with a simple gravy recipe.
Roasted Chicken with Carrots – This is a perfect main dish for a smaller crowd. It’s still a whole bird, just smaller, but with bright flavors, crispy skin, and a side dish built right in!
Maple Dijon Roasted Carrots – Nothing says fall more than carrots roasted in a maple syrup glaze. These are tender, sweet and salty, and perfect to go alongside your Thanksgiving dinner.
Sweet and Sour Broccoli – The name says it all. A little sweet, a little sour, and a little spicy. Change up your steamed broccoli game!
Roasted Potatoes – Easy, “cheesy”, crispy potatoes are delicious with any meal, so why not make it easy on yourself and toss these in the oven alongside your turkey?
ABC Brussels Sprouts – A is for almond, B for balsamic, C for cranberries; this sweet and tart veggie side is sure to please the taste buds and the eye with it’s festive colors.
Pumpkin Pecan Muffins – For those with the not-so-big sweet tooth who want just a touch of dessert with their after-dinner coffee.
Apple Pie Parfaits – Adorable single serve parfaits are full of all the flavors of apple pie.
No Bake Cheesecake with Chocolate Crust – A classically plain “cheese”cake: sweet, mildly tart, with a nutty, chocolatey crust has endless topping possibilities! Guests can create their own with their favorite fruits or nuts.
Molasses Cookies – You have to have a cookie jar on the dessert table, and these are the cookies to fill it with! Full of warm, spiced flavors, and sweetened with molasses.
Pumpkin Spice Cake – All the flavors of fall in a gorgeous bundt cake, bathed in dark chocolate ganache and topped with candied pumpkin seeds. If this cake doesn’t say “fall”, I don’t know what does!
Two Layer Paleo Fudge – It’s time to pull out the holiday favorites, like fudge! This fudge has a layer of almond butter topped with chocolate; add a sprinkle of sea salt on top, and it’s fudgy perfection!
Hopefully this list can give you some ideas for a healthier, yet delicious Thanksgiving. I hope everyone has a blessed holiday, enjoy your family, enjoy the food…and enjoy your Pinch of Crazy!
Spaghetti is the ultimate easy dinner; delicious, loved by all, and you can easily sneak in some extra vegetables for the littles. Sometimes you just need to jazz it up, though, and what better way to do that than to top it with mozzarella, bake until bubbly, then drizzle with sweet and tangy balsamic glaze? I made this recipe by default (as per usual), but it was so delicious I decided to document. I’m telling you, it is like the Italian comfort food love child of spaghetti and lasagna: cheesy, saucy, delicious! I hope you give it a try – I’m willing to bet it will be a family favorite!
Add mushrooms, onion, and bay leaves – cooking until tender.
While cooking, boil salted water in a large pot – preparing to cook your spaghetti.
Add ground meat to vegetables, crumbling while it cooks.
Season with salt and spices, and continue to cook.
Drain excess fat if necessary, and remove bay leaves.
Once water is boiling, add your spaghetti noodles and cook according to package directions, using the minimum amount of time for cooking – the noodles will continue to cook in the oven.
While noodles cook, preheat your oven to 375 F.
Once noodles are cooked, drain and return to pot.
Add cooked meat and vegetables, pasta sauce, and fresh spinach to the noodles; stir to combine well.
Evenly spread spaghetti in a 9×13 pan, and top with mozzarella slices.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, until cheese is browning and sauce is bubbling.
While spaghetti is baking, make your balsamic glaze by combining honey and balsamic vinegar in a small pot, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let it simmer until thickened.
Serve spaghetti bake hot with a generous drizzle of balsamic glaze.
Store leftovers covered in the fridge for up to a week.
For more pasta recipes, try my Zoodles with Meat Sauce or my Baked Ziti with Sausage. I hope this quick yet fancier version of spaghetti can become a family favorite for you! Indulge in some cheesy, saucy pasta…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!
This post contains affiliate links; if you purchase using the links, it is of no extra cost to you, just a small commission for me. Thank you for supporting A Pinch of Crazy!
Ding! The toaster sends two pieces of toast bouncing up, ready to be slathered with butter and jelly – a welcome sound to your grumbling tummy. Mornings are usually fairly frantic for people (myself included); trying to get yourself plus a child or two (or three or four) ready to get out the door on time for school/work/morning activities, and breakfast is usually a sad afterthought. It may be quick and easy to grab a yogurt or some toast, but your hunger will return with a vengeance for a nice mid-morning slump, and leave you scourging the office for snacks. I have a great solution for both the harried mornings and the pre-lunch slump: Breakfast Bites!
With just a little before hand prep, you can have a quick, healthy breakfast on hand to grab and go out the door. This is such a versatile recipe – you can use your favorite breakfast meat(s) and vegetables, cheese or no cheese – whatever you have on hand. They reheat great, and are delicious served with Spicy Garlic Salsa or hot sauce. I sent two (with salsa) plus some fruit for my husband’s breakfast, and Zemirah and I each ate one with a small glass of Berries and Greens Smoothie, and we were full until lunch! Do yourself (and your office’s snack supply) a favor, and make a batch or two of these Breakfast Bites!
Do you have a staple, go-to, easy dish you frequently fix for your family? Vegetable fried rice is one of ours! It’s a quick, simple, and delicious way to eat plenty of veggies while taking a break from meat. Plus it’s healthier than any take-out you can get! We typically try to eat 1-2 vegetarian/plant based meals per week because it’s good for the tummy and the budget! You can eat it as a side dish – it would go great paired with my Sweet and Sour Broccoli – or solo for a light, vegetarian dinner. If you want to take a break from eating too much meat, but find yourself scratching your head for ideas, I hope you try out this delicious and veggie-heavy dish!
Okay so I admit, I don’t know if “jigglers” is a word, but that’s what my mom always called the Jell-o squares she made us, and it’s just fun to say! We are still hanging out in the triple digits here in Texas, and I basically wish I could live in the refrigerator next to these refreshingly cool jigglers. These tasty little gelatin squares are made from fresh fruit, water, honey, and unflavored gelatin. That’s it! They are cool, fresh, and healthy! You get plenty of hydration from the fruit juice, antioxidants from the berries, and collagen from the gelatin. Not to mention, your kids will love them, and you can offer dessert without dripping sweat into a bowl of brownie batter. I hope these yummy fruit treats hit the spot for your family and keep you nice and cool!
1. In a blender or food processor, combine fruit, water, and honey.
2. Blend until smooth.
3. Strain juice through a nut milk bag
4. Follow the directions for your gelatin on how much juice to boil, but for the Knox brand (linked above), I boiled 3 cups of juice and sprinkled the gelatin over 1 cup of cold juice.
5. Pour boiling water over soft gelatin, and stir until all gelatin is dissolved.
6. Pour gelatin into a 9×9 pan or these cute silicone molds
7. Refrigerate for 2+ hours, until firm.
8. Slice (or use cookie cutters for fun!) into individual jigglers!
9. Keep leftovers refrigerated.
We had our first triple digit days this week in good ol’ Dallas, Texas, and I have to tell you…it wasn’t that bad I thought my face was going to melt off! Now you know I’ve had a long standing affair with chocolate (sorry, honey 😉 ), but when it feels like the oven might actually make my eyelashes meld into my eyelids, I am not about to bake – no matter how delicious a chocolate chip cookie might be. Thankfully I’ve discovered a lot of delicious, dairy free, no bake desserts where I can literally have my cake and eat it, too. One of those delicious desserts is, of course, “nice cream” – a creamy, sweet creation made with frozen bananas. This “milk”shake is a version of nice cream: a thick, creamy dark chocolate shake sweetened with honey and maple syrup, and thinned with coconut water for an extra burst of hydration + electrolytes. If you are melting in this heat wave, a big pitcher of Dairy Free Chocolate Milkshakes is just what you need to hydrate, cool you off, and satisfy your sweet tooth!
I have to admit something – I used to despise broccoli. I would eat it if I had to, but I wouldn’t pick broccoli as my vegetable of choice. In the last few years I’ve discovered the crispy, delicious magic that is roasted veggies, and that changed the [veggie] game! First with brussels sprouts (you can read that post here), then with carrots. I already liked carrots, but discovered how much sweeter they were when roasted (the carrots in this recipe are amazing!), so I decided I’d try roasting more veggies. Since broccoli is a readily available and versatile veggie, I decided to try roasting it. The results were, of course, delicious, but even great things need a little variation sometimes. Enter the Sweet and Sour Broccoli – crispy roasted broccoli tossed in a sticky sweet, tangy, and slightly spicy sauce. The result is a vegetable party in your mouth. This broccoli recipe is a perfect side dish, but it can also be served over rice for a vegetarian meal. However you eat it, I hope you enjoy!
1. Preheat oven to 425 F
2. Lay broccoli flat on a parchment or silicone mat lined baking sheet.
3. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
4. Roast for 40-50 minutes (until desired crispiness), stirring halfway through.
5. While the broccoli is roasting, prepare your sauce by combining remaining ingredients in a large bowl.
6. While the broccoli is still warm, toss in the sweet and sour sauce.
7. Serve warm, topped with more crushed red pepper and coconut aminos.
8. Store leftovers covered, in fridge.
For more roasted vegetables, check out the recipes linked in the first paragraph, as well as ABC Brussels Sprouts, Roasted Potatoes, and Kale Chips Two Ways. I promise that your kiddos will eat their veggies more willingly if they’re crispy and crunchy! Grown-ups might, too. 😉 Just like your mom used to tell you – eat your veggies…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!
This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase using the links, it is of no extra cost to you, just a small commission for me. Thank you for supporting A Pinch of Crazy!
This is my first post in two weeks, and I apologize, but I needed to take a break from the work that I could these last few weeks. A surprise pregnancy followed by a heart shattering miscarriage left me reeling with grief and unable to do much more than the bare minimum. I will probably write more about my miscarriage experience someday, but for now I will just write a recipe for a classic comfort snack. Popcorn!
I don’t know about you, but when I am going through a hard time, food is the ultimate love language – people bringing meals (or coffee!), buying food, or making snacks is the kindest gesture of solace – it helps me know I’m not alone in my sadness, and I have people truly thinking of me. After discovering the perfect cheesy popcorn ratio, my sweet husband would often make us a big batch of this popcorn and then we would cuddle up on the couch to watch a movie, and during these past few weeks, it was a welcome comfort. So now I will gift you with this Cheesy Popcorn recipe, and you can use it to comfort yourself in sad times or just to spice up your Friday night movie nights!
This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase using the links, it is of no extra cost to you; it is a small commission for me, which allows me to keep recipe testing. Thank you for supporting A Pinch of Crazy!
Have you ever met a couple who had a perfect marriage? I have. They are both rich, and their sweetness and bitterness compliment each other in a decadent way. Peanut butter and chocolate. PB&chocolate4eva ❤
I'll stop with the corny mom jokes…even though it's true. Peanut butter and chocolate go together so deliciously perfect, and everyone knows it! And do you know what's better than a fudgy dark chocolate brownie? A fudgy dark chocolate brownie marbled with streaks of peanut butter and honey. *drool emoji* Add in that these brownies are also gluten free, dairy free, and refined sugar free and you've got a jaw-dropping healthier dessert! Even my picky nephew devoured one of these Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies and was an adorable chocolate-y mess. These brownies are delicious on their own, or topped with a scoop of nice cream for a spectacular sundae! Whip up a batch for all your summer celebrations!