Homemade Blueberry Pop-Tarts

Hi Friends!

I think next week will be Paying off Debt/Budgeting week – I’ve been working on a few posts but I keep adding more info, so maybe on Monday I’ll finally have one of those posts up. Believe me I love talking about budgeting, I just want to make sure I’m explaining everything in the best way. If you have any questions that you want covered, you can email me at couchpotatoathlete (at) gmail (dot) com or leave a question in the comment section below. 🙂

I ran 3 miles yesterday and it felt good – my knees are feeling good and the 30 minutes or so flew by pretty quickly. Maybe it was because I was going to go home and make homemade pop-tarts!

 I’ve been slacking with my March goals – one of them being “try 2 new recipes per week”. I just couldn’t decide on what to make! A few days ago I got an email from Jason while I was at work – it was about making homemade pop-tarts.

Let me explain. Jason loves pop-tarts. I’m sure at his office he has 2-3 boxes of pop-tarts. I love them too – but I don’t eat them anymore. They don’t fill me up and the ingredient list is ridiculous.

The website made it sound so simple: make a pie crust, divide it up and roll into squares, place filling on top, place another square of dough on top of that, bake and enjoy.

I used Martha’s recipe for pie crust (who better than the master?) and made ½ batch (enough for 1 pie crust) and I used whole wheat flour. The dough was a little tough to work with, but it ended up alright. For the filling, I used 1 cup frozen blueberries and 2 TBSP brown sugar – I microwaved that in a bowl for about 1-2 minutes stirring every now and then. You could also heat them on the stovetop. The funnest part was putting them together and crimping the edges together (to make them more authentic, dontcha think?). They are so cute!

 

I’m sure you could just call these mini blueberry pocket pies, but I’m sticking with calling them pop-tarts. I think if I had used all-purpose flour they would have turned out a little better – not so thick perhaps. Either way they tasted amazing. I wouldn’t put one in the toaster though – I’d end up with blueberry goo all over my poor toaster.

These tasted so good and seriously — Martha’s recipe for pie crust is so delicious. There is a ton of butter in there so obviously it tastes good 🙂

*What are your plans for the weekend?

*What is your favorite flavor of pop-tarts? And if you don’t like pop-tarts, what is your favorite pie flavor? and if you don’t like pie, what do you like?!?!

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Christmas Crack, Bark, Balls & More

Hi Friends 🙂

 It is almost Christmas (!!!) so I thought I’d throw together a quick recap of the holiday cookies/treats I have been making lately (and a few pumpkin recipes that are good any time of year).

Christmas Crack

(Katie made it too)

Peppermint Bark

Gingerbread Bagel’s Christmas Bark

Mama Pea’s Cookie Dough Balls

Chocolate Dipped Pretzels

Oreo Balls

(and check out Averie’s Oreo Balls too – hers are covered in chocolate!)

Sugar Cookie Thumbprints

Easy Peasy Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkin Banana Bread

Allie’s Vegan Pumpkin Blondies

Katie’s Pumpkin Pie Cookies

*Averie’s huge compilation post of holiday treats from other bloggers* Check it out!
 
Have a lovely, safe holiday (or if you are not celebrating, have a wonderful day!)

Sugar Cookie Jam Thumbprints

Hi Friends 🙂
The weekend is almost here! As you may recall, I got a Nook for my birthday, and last night I finally got a cover for it:

I love that my Nook is protected and I love the faux leather — plus it has all sorts of neat pockets inside. I’m plugging through the second to last Sookie Stackhouse novel — I’ll be happy when I’m done with that series!
Our cookie baking/exchange party got rescheduled to tomorrow, so I made one more batch of cookies to share with the group. This were so simple, but they almost seem like I put some effort into them 🙂
Sugar Cookie Jam Thumbprints
Here you have a choice: make your own sugar cookie dough, or use store-bought. I went with Pillsbury 🙂
And for the jam part of the cookie, I chose two flavors out of my Ikea jam stash:
I chose Cloudberry (no idea what that is!) and Blueberry.
Simply roll the dough into 1 inch balls (or smaller if you prefer), take a measuring spoon (or your thumb) and create a little “bowl” for your jam to sit in.
The Cloudberry cookies turned out really nice:
The blueberry ones exploded…I made the cookies too small and added waaaaaay too much jam. I’m sure they’ll still taste just as good 🙂

Averie posted a ton of dessert recipes yesterday, check them out!
What is your favorite, super quick, easy, crowd-pleasing dessert?

Easy Peasy Pumpkiny Muffiny

Hi Friends 🙂
Well, it only took me an hour and a half to get to work on Monday (usually it takes me 25-30 minutes…) It seems the amount of snow + budget cuts (?) equals terrible driving conditons, roads not paved well and tons of cars (and semi trucks!) in the ditch and blocking complete roads. Hopefully within a day or two things will be better!
Yesterday I was reading Shanna’s blog – and I saw the super easy fudge recipe she used — and it made me think of an old favorite: cake mix + can of pumpkin + chocolate chips = easy muffins.
I have been a baking fiend lately, and yesterday was no exception.
Easy Peasy Pumpkiny Muffiny
1 box cake mix (spice cake, yellow cake or devils food cake would work well)
1 15oz. can pumpkin
1/2 bag chocolate chips (or maybe pecans?)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (or whatever the box mix specifies). Combine the cake mix with the pumpkin — keep stirring, it WILL eventually combine 🙂 Throw in chocolate chips and fold together. Drop by spoonfuls into prepared muffin tins (or muffin liners) – batter will be pretty thick. Bake for 17-20 minutes (or whatever the box mix specifies).
Out of the oven:
As you can see, they don’t “rise” much — but they are pretty dense little muffins.
*
I want to say thank you to Katie for sending me this adorable prize (I won her blogiversary giveaway):
Can you tell what it is? (not the chocolate bar…) It is a CUPCAKE HAT!!!
Katie I absolutely love it — and I have worn it every.single.day since I got it!
Question: What is your favorite muffin? Banana nut is my favorite, and Averie’s recipe is really really good 🙂

Chocolate Dipped Holiday Pretzels

Hi Friends 🙂
Here are a few more snow pictures from over the weekend:
Look at all the snow on our roof!!!
On Saturday Jason decided to go see how deep the snow was: (over his knees!!!)
On Sunday we were basically snowed in again, but I (foolishly) drove to Walgreens to pick up our Christmas photos — and got stuck on the way 😦 Thankfully a few people stopped to help push my car — that was so nice of them! I was planning on going to a Cookie Baking party, but that got postponed until next weekend…so I decided to do more holiday baking on my own.
Chocolate Dipped Holiday Pretzels
Here is what you need: pretzel rods, chocolate chips and candy. I used white chocolate chips, M&Ms, peanuts and candy canes.
The “recipe” is so simple: crush M&M’s, peanuts and candy canes (or whatever candy or nuts you are using). Melt chocolate in the microwave, roll pretzels in the chocolate and dip in the candy (or sprinkle the candy on, either would work) and set on parchment paper to dry. After a few minutes I moved them all into the freezer to chill for an hour or so.
Do you like my cute Mason jars? I bought them to use as candleholders, but they seemed like a good idea to hold my pretzels for a while 🙂
Jason was my taste tester and he liked the pretzels very much! The salty/sweet taste was apparently very good! You can check out the Christmas Crack I made on Saturday if you want another salty/sweet treat idea.
Are you in the holiday spirit yet? Are you finished with your holiday shopping?
Have a great day!
-Holly

Christmas Crack

Hi Friends 🙂
We were SNOWED IN all day yesterday:

Here is our basement window:

Some areas of the Twin Cities got 12-20 inches – can you believe that?!?! I am so glad that this happened on a Saturday and that we had no plans. (I was supposed to go to a Cookie Exchange Party, but that got switched to today, so it worked out fine).
While Jason did homework, I caught up on laundry, vacuumed, and BAKED:
Mama Pea’s Christmas Cookie Dough Balls (I used butter instead of Earth Balance)
These made the house smell soooooo good! I can’t wait to share them this afternoon.
I also made Christmas Crack. My sister-in-law sent me the recipe, and I had heard of it before, so I’m not sure who should get credit for this recipe – either way it is not mine!
Christmas Crack
1 sleeve saltine crackers
2 sticks of butter
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ cup crushed pecans (I didn’t include this, I just used sprinkles on the top instead)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a 9×13 pan with the saltines (note: line the pan with parchment paper first. I wish I had done this!). Boil butter and brown sugar for 2-3 minutes. Spoon quickly and gently over the crackers. Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips on top. Let it sit for 5 minutes and then spread the melty chocolate chips around. Sprinkle with pecans (or just sprinkles!) Cool in fridge (or freezer) until solid. Cut or break into pieces. Enjoy!

After baking for 5 minutes:

Cut into chunks:

I loved the salty/sweet taste of this – not a healthy treat by any means. It tasted like toffee with a chocolate layer on top.  I will be giving these away today as well 🙂
What is the weather like near you?
Do you like salty/sweet treats or do you prefer one over the other?

Holiday Balls & Bark

Hi Friends!

Loooooooong time, no blog, huh? Sorry for the disappearing act — I have been enjoying my “time off” — getting more rest, being more productive at work and at home and just not worrying about the blog. I was putting too much pressure on myself to blog every day — and with my all-or-nothing mentality, when I took a day off I decided to take a few WEEKS off.

Thank you for all of your kind emails and comments about where I am 🙂 For sure during the month of December I will blog when I can, but it will definitely be on a random schedule!

Last night for dinner I made a Pillsbury recipe: Chicken with Orange-Pecan Rice.

It turned out pretty good — I didn’t follow the recipe exactly, using less orange juice and subbing walnuts for pecans (we were out of pecans!). The chicken cooked nicely in the wild rice “bed”.

And for the rest of the evening, I spent my time in the kitchen. I have a Cookie Exchange party to go to on Saturday, so I got a head start on my baking:

Oreo Balls

Paula Deen’s Peppermint Bark (I think this is her only recipe without butter!)

Gingerbread Bagel’s Christmas Candy Bark

I still need to cut up the bark — I wanted it to solidify in the fridge, so I’ll wait until later today.

Today is my birthday 🙂 I am 27! I have no idea what our plans are, but hopefully I’ll have a nice post for tomorrow or Saturday 🙂

Have a great day!

Holly