Salted Maple Snack Mix with Sprouts Farmers Market

Special shout out to Sprouts Farmers Market for sponsoring this post and helping keep this site/me moving/shaking/twisting.

It’s that time of year again, where all your favorite foods suddenly turn into the shape of a foot or a finger all for the sake of halloween. Well today we’re going to dip our non meatloaf toes in the water and celebrate with this salted maple snack mix (perfect for halloween parties) complete with dark chocolate covered almond and raisin spiders.

The mix itself is actually pretty straight forward and perfect for any party. It’s sweet with caramel notes from the maple syrup and salty with a nice pinch of kosher salt. There’s the usual snack mix suspects: pretzels, cereal, nuts, and a little twist with the oyster crackers; plain and dry before hand making them a perfect palette for the buttery maple bath they get to take in the oven.

Sprouts is actually the perfect partner for this because of how you can customize and purchase so many mix in options from their bulk dept. and grab the rest from the great selection of all natural and organic products they have lining the aisles.

And these spiders? All from the bulk dept. We’re building them with chocolate covered almonds, chocolate covered raisins, and dark chocolate to top any snack mix (or dessert or party tray) for your next party.

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Fruit Crisp Smoothie with Sprouts Farmers Market

Today’s post is brought to you by Sprouts Farmers Market, and the letter s, for strawberries and smoothies. Summer might be over, which means r.i.p. good fresh strawberries but we have nothing to fear because for every instance where we need them that’s not fresh, Sprouts delivers on flavorful frozen organic strawberries.

And today we’re going to take said strawberries and run with a fruity smoothie that’s reminiscent of my favorite summer dessert: fruit crisp

It’s very filling with the addition of oats, dairy free with Sprouts organic almond milk, and has an extra boost of crunch with pistachios and cashews. It’s a perfect way to send off summer and officially welcome fall while also getting that filling breakfast in less than 5 minutes.

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Arugula Pistachio Pesto Crostini with Cello Cheese

This blog post has been sponsored by Cello Cheese

Summer is starting to feel like it’s winding down, so lately I’ve been doing everything to hold on to all the summer produce I can: Eating tomato toast every morning, grabbing all the peaches at the farmers market, taking handfuls of berries every time I open the fridge, etc. So when Cello reached out to me about trying their Copper Kettle cheese and sharing it with you I figured it was a perfect way to use up all the produce from summer. In the words of Wilson Phillips: Hold on for one more day.

The cheese itself is so elevated, it’s perfect for snacking with the crackers and fruit; it has a nutty flavor with a caramel finish.Cello’s Copper Kettle Cheese is cooked in copper vats, and then aged for 16 months to develop complex flavors unlike any other cheese you have tried! To take it to the next level, I whipped up an arugula pesto to make a delicious summer crostini bite.

The pesto’s perfect because you get the bite from the arugula evened out with pistachios, and then the nuttiness is amplified even more with the nutty flavors from the Copper Kettle cheese. The fruit just finishes up the balancing act.

All of this works really well for something you can make ahead of summer parties, too. The pesto and toasted bread can be prepared ahead of time so all you have to do is slice the fruit and serve.

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Corn, Zucchini, & Hatch Chile Sausage Queso Fundido with Sprouts Farmers Market

Well, we’re officially in the thick of hatch chile season, everyones favorite chunk of the year where the chile has potential to show up in everything.

And nobody does a better job of including it in as much as possible as Sprouts Farmers Market, they’ve not only got the mild and hot options for the pepper in the produce dept. but they’ve incorporated it into fresh pork and chicken sausage at their butcher shop and have slipped it into all kinds of grocery products, from potato chips to guacamole. They’ve got it all covered.

So when they reached out to ask if I could incorporate some hatch chile into my own creation I obviously said yes, duh, it’s easy to add some hatch to a dish to give it that extra punch of flavor and I love Sprouts for their great selection of meats and produce.

This dish couldn’t be easier too, you just brown some sausage, cook some shredded zucchini, hatch chile, and fresh corn and then bake it all with a bunch of cheese and serve it with all the chips. It’s also perfect for parties because you can prep it the day before and pop it in the oven when everyone arrives.

Special shout out to Sprouts Farmers Market for sponsoring this post and helping keep this site/me moving/shaking/twisting.

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Pear, Ginger & Mandarin Muffins

Spring has awoken, spring is upon us. These muffins are part of the welcome basket.
I love that sort of end of winter beginning of spring situation (even though it’s very short lived in socal, we just went from rain to heat blasts), we still have some good winter citrus to pair with what are generally spring flavors and the combos are some of my favorites.

Today I’m pairing (took everything in me to avoid the pun) with USA Pears to bring you these spring forward muffins. Their site is actually one of my favorites for fruit specific details because they go over all the varieties and the best way to use them, this page in particular is awesome because it’s easy to read and recognize the pears, making it that much easier to figure out which pear you might want to use for your next fruit crisp or pie.

The cool thing about pears, even though they’re generally thought of as fall fruits, is they’re actually readily available year round. Since the usual suspect of spice pairing is something warm like cinnamon or nutmeg I shifted the spice/flavors onto fresh ginger and citrus zest to give us a lighter profile that wouldn’t overpower the flavor of the pear too much.

I went through quite a few trials with the muffin, only because my initial idea was to cube up the pear and put in the batter to have some juicy chunks but it turns out they’re a little too juicy, chunks would work better in something like a cake that has ample time to bake up. So I went the alternative puree route and ended up with something that’s barely sweet and fragrant with the clementine and ginger. They’re perfect for a light breakfast or afternoon snack, especially with a cup of (iced year round if you’re me) coffee.

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