Every Thursday night I get to be a part of 30 to 50 you adults and leaders, where we share dinner, hang out and talk about life. It’s literally the best night of my week. Each week we pick a theme for the food, Mexican, Salad Bar, etc. Last night we had to bring food that starts with the same letter as your first or last name.

Even though it was my idea, I had no idea what to bring. Kiwi’s? Garden Salad? Kale Chips? Green Beans? I spent a couple days wishing my Kathy started with a C, chicken is just so easy…

Then yesterday morning it dawned on me – GORP! Good Old Raisin’s & Peanuts. A Girl Scout favorite.

I found a fun recipe on AllRecipes.com and revised it a little.



6 c Rice Chex cereal
3 c pretzel sticks
1 c raw almonds
1 c dry roasted peanuts
1 c craisins
1 c dark chocolate M&M’s
12 oz white chocolate

In a LARGE bowl, mix cereal through the M&M’s.

In a microwave safe bowl; melt the white chocolate – 1 min at a time, until smooth.

Pour the white chocolate over the cereal mix 1/3 cup at a time and mix until all pieces are coated.

Turn out onto a large piece of parchment or wax paper until cooled.

Put the whole mix back in a giant, brightly colored bowl and enjoy!

Oven Roasted Tomato Salsa

My momma is a mild salsa kind of person.  She likes just enough heat to add a little kick, but not one to set your mouth on fire.  So when she decided to take a bite out of a jalapeno pepper, my dad and I watched expectantly, guessing at what was to come.  (I was in Jr.High at the time.)

A big intake of breath, a tinsy bite off the end and then the yelling and dancing commenced.  Daddy and I giggled, then laughed and then tired to help.  To this day, it’s one of those family jokes that can get us laughing to the point of tears.

This recipe is from Super Salsas.

One substitution made – noted below.

salsa 2 Collage

Oven-Roasted Tomato Salsa

12 Roma or plum tomatoes
1 small onion, chopped
6 clvoes peeled garlic
5 serrano chiles, whole – I used jalapeno’s
2 to 3 chipotle chiles, canned
Salt & Pepper to taste
Lime juice to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place tomatoes in a roasting pan, grouped together, and add onion, garlic and chiles.  Cook for 45 minutes, or until tomato skins are blistered.

Let cool and remove stems from chiles, along with the seeds if you’d like a milder salsa.

In a food processor, place ingredients from the roasting pan and chipotles; process until well blended, but not pureed.

Add salt, pepper and lime juice to taste.

salsa 5

cartoon-strawberry-9Woo! This is some spicy salsa!  And I took out ALL  the seeds from the chiles.  In the future?  Add 1 or 2 chipotle chiles, not 3.  Spiciness aside, this is good stuff.  You will keep eating it even though your mouth is on fire and your upper lip is sweating.

Peanut Butter Hummus

Hummus may be my favorite food ever.  Creamy & Smooth, able to take on a variety of tastes, and needs to be eaten with veggies or pita.

This recipe is from Nigella Kitchen.

No substitutions were made.

peanut butter hummus

Peanut Butter Hummus

2 – 15oz cans chickpeas
1 garlic clove, peeled
3 to 5 tblsp regular olive oil
1/3 c creamy peanut butter
3 tblsp lemon juice (or more as needed)
2 tsp kosher salt or 1 tsp table salt (or to taste)
2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 to 1/3 c plain greek yogurt
2 tblsp peanuts, finely chopped, to serve (optional)
1 tsp smoked paprika, to serve (optional)

Drain and rinse the chickpeas.  Put the garlic, chickpeas, 3 tblsp oil, peanut butter, lemon juice, salt and cumin into a food processor and blitz to a knobbly puree.

Add 1/4 c of the yogurt and process again; if the hummus is still very thick, add another 1 to 2 tblsp of yogurt and the same of the oil.  (This will often depend on the chickpeas, as different sorts make the hummus thicker or not.)

Taste for seasoning, adding more lemon juice and salt if you feel it needs it.

On serving, mix the chopped peanuts with the paprika and sprinkle on top if you wish, and put an array of bits and pieces to eat with or dip in, as you see fit.

cartoon-strawberry-9This is a nice alternative to a tahini based hummus, the peanut butter adds a different depth of flavor.  Mine was a little too thick, I should have added a bit more lemon juice and oil.  But there’s always next time. 🙂

Honey-Glazed Almonds

Husband and I are both big fans of the almond.  He loves an almond covered in dark chocolate.  I love almonds covered in yogurt.  So I thought this would be a great alternative for both of us in the “covered almonds” department.

This recipe is from Cooking Light, November 2011.

One change, noted below.

Honey-Glazed Almonds

1 1/2 c raw, unblanced almonds
1 tblsp sugar
1 1/2 tblsp honey
1/2 tsp ground chipotle chile powder – I used cayenne pepper.
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place the almonds in a medium nonstick skillet; cook over medium heat for 6 minutes or until lightly toasted.

Combine the remaining ingredients in a 2-cup glass measure.  Microwave at HIGH for 30 seconds.

Add honey mixture to pan, and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Arrange almond mixture on prepared baking sheet in a single layer; let stand 10 minutes.  Break apart any clusters.


We both really liked these.  The spice adds a little kick of an aftertaste.  This would be a great recipe to triple and give out as a homemade Christmas present.