Ally's Sweet and Savory Eats: 2019

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Peanut Butter Energy Balls

Sometimes just a little bite in the afternoon will sustain you till dinner.
These Peanut Butter Energy Balls are a big hit!

Peanut Butter Energy Balls...the perfect, quick afternoon bite to hold you off till dinner!  Just 4 ingredients: dates, oats, peanut butter & PB chips.  Great recipe for those craving sweet but trying to watch their waistline. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

How's March treating you?

I can say that these last two weeks have been pretty good here.  After a long, hell-ish winter full of record setting temps and LOTS of snow, I'm happy to announce that we can now see the grass in our yard.

Yesterday I read my book on the back deck in the sunshine.  Alas, I had a blanket covering me, but I was sitting outside nonetheless.  Me, along with much of the country has missed that Vitamin D so much.

Peanut Butter Energy Balls...the perfect, quick afternoon bite to hold you off till dinner!  Just 4 ingredients: dates, oats, peanut butter & PB chips.  Great recipe for those craving sweet but trying to watch their waistline. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

I also put on a swimsuit today.

I'll just leave that right there.

It's been Spring Break week so the kids have been home.

I'll also leave that right there.

So far we've been to the trampoline park, done a little shopping, had an 8 year old's birthday sleepover {why don't they ever go to bed?}, sent one child off with the grandparent's for a few days, swam at the local indoor pool, ridden bikes and broken up a few fights.

Here's to school starting back on Monday!

Peanut Butter Energy Balls...the perfect, quick afternoon bite to hold you off till dinner!  Just 4 ingredients: dates, oats, peanut butter & PB chips.  Great recipe for those craving sweet but trying to watch their waistline. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

With these warmer temps {and by warmer I mean 50's, but we'll take it} it has me thinking all things Spring.

Spring means warm and warm means less clothing and less clothing means WHOA, lets get back in shape a bit, shall we?

And getting in some sort of shape means having healthy snacks around when those cravings hit.  I'm not sure how other people are but the hours of 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. are the hardest for me. I love both salty and sweet but in the late afternoons I crave something sweet.

So, ladies and gents...enter in these Peanut Butter Energy Balls.

Peanut Butter Energy Balls...the perfect, quick afternoon bite to hold you off till dinner!  Just 4 ingredients: dates, oats, peanut butter & PB chips.  Great recipe for those craving sweet but trying to watch their waistline. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Let me tell you, after these had been chilling in the freezer for an hour both my girls were BEGGING to try one.  They watched me make them and let's just say they were intrigued.

Neither of them knew what a date was {Mom fail}, nor could they comprehend how just dates, oats and peanut butter could come together and even taste remotely good.  Frankly, I was somehow wondering the same thing.

They both got the first taste test and we all know kids are HONEST.  If they don't like something there will be no hiding their digust.  But, guess what? Their eyes lit up and they wanted another.

Peanut Butter Energy Balls...the perfect, quick afternoon bite to hold you off till dinner!  Just 4 ingredients: dates, oats, peanut butter & PB chips.  Great recipe for those craving sweet but trying to watch their waistline. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

At 115 calories, 4 grams of protein, 7 grams of fat and just 8 carbs they are the perfect snack!  And do yourself a favor, store these babies in the freezer.  They taste incredible cold, keep their shape and still have their soft texture.

This batch makes nine, basically one for each afternoon for a week and a couple to share in case you have little ones in your house too sneaking bites.

Skip out on the peanut butter chips if you want {it saves a few calories and sugar} or add them like I did for a bit of crunch in the bite.  Please share if you make these!  I'd love to give you a shout out.

Yield: 9

Peanut Butter Energy Balls

These little bursting bites of peanut butter are a great mid-afternoon snack for a pick-me-up without all the unhealthy ingredients!
prep time: 10 minscook time: total time: 10 mins

ingredients

  • 5 Medjool dates (pitted and cut into thirds)
  • 4 T old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup all-natural, creamy peanut butter
  • 1/8 cup peanut butter chips

instructions

  1. Using a cutting board, cut the dates in half and remove the pit. Then cut the slices into thirds and place all dates in the food processor.
  2. Pulse the dates until chopped and dates form into a ball.
  3. Add in the oats, again pulsing to combine until incorporated.
  4. Add in the peanut butter pulsing to combine into the date/oat mixture. If it looks too greasy add in another tablespoon of oats.
  5. Form the energy ball mixture into 9 balls.
  6. Push 4 peanut butter chips into each ball.
  7. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and freeze.
  8. Eat straight out of the freezer!
Calories
115.81
Fat (grams)
7.93
Sat. Fat (grams)
1.68
Carbs (grams)
8.98
Fiber (grams)
1.47
Net carbs
7.50
Sugar (grams)
4.31
Protein (grams)
3.95
Sodium (milligrams)
74.04
Cholesterol (grams)
0.02
Created using The Recipes Generator

Friday, March 15, 2019

Chicken Bacon and Ranch Pasta Salad

Spring is arriving soon, so that has me screaming SALADS!
This creamy ranch pasta salad is filled with grilled chicken, bacon and veggies.

Chicken Bacon and Ranch Pasta Salad...a creamy, homemade dressing is tossed with grilled chicken, bacon, pasta, veggies and cheese!  Such a great salad for entertaining, grilling out, a fun side dish or even the main meal! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Well, it's been a month.

I'm only going to chat about it for a hot second because frankly I want to forget it forever, but here it goes.

From the span of February 8 to March 10 we had five case of Influenza A {if you're counting, that would be our whole family}, two ear infections and one case of bronchitis {me}.  I will not sugar coat the misery.  It was awful.

As soon as one would semi-recover, another one would go down.  I've never spent so much time in my bedroom in bed.  The husband was a trooper, as though he did get sick, it was early in the process and didn't seem to last as long as the rest of us.  So he became the housekeeper, errand runner, activity scheduler and school picker-upper.

I'm fairly certain he wants to forget this season as well.

On the plus side, I got in a lot of good TV binging.

Chicken Bacon and Ranch Pasta Salad...a creamy, homemade dressing is tossed with grilled chicken, bacon, pasta, veggies and cheese!  Such a great salad for entertaining, grilling out, a fun side dish or even the main meal! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Needless to say my blog suffered a bit!  I wasn't eating much, therefore I was cooking VERY little.  We existed on a lot of sandwiches, cereal, scrambled eggs and well whatever looked good at the moment.

BUT....I have since recovered.  And my appetite is finally back.  So guess what I made yesterday? This delicious Chicken Bacon and Ranch Pasta Salad.

It's insanely good.  So creamy and tangy and full of flavor.  Plus, the best part is that it can be a side dish or a full meal.  Because, you see I added grilled chicken AND bacon.  When you add meat to anything it's a full dish, right?

Chicken Bacon and Ranch Pasta Salad...a creamy, homemade dressing is tossed with grilled chicken, bacon, pasta, veggies and cheese!  Such a great salad for entertaining, grilling out, a fun side dish or even the main meal! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

This time of year is the best time to break out these types of salads.  We are approaching warmer weather {finally}, we are grilling and barbecuing our dinners {finally} and all things are a bit more casual {picnics, eating on the deck, Spring activities}.

This pasta salad is best when served immediately.  I would recommend making it right before you eat and tossing it together right before eating.  The creaminess is on point then!  If you do need to refrigerate for awhile use some of the homemade ranch dressing you make {you'll have extra} and drizzle again before eating.

Pasta always soaks up whatever you put on it and no one wants a dry salad!

Chicken Bacon and Ranch Pasta Salad...a creamy, homemade dressing is tossed with grilled chicken, bacon, pasta, veggies and cheese!  Such a great salad for entertaining, grilling out, a fun side dish or even the main meal! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

I'd love to hear if you try this pasta salad! It is all of my favorite flavors wrapped up in one bowl. Share the love on social media by tagging me {@sweetsavoryeats} and I'll be sure to share the love with my followers.

Now go grab a fork and dig in.

Yield: 16

Chicken Bacon & Ranch Pasta Salad

All your favorite flavors in pasta salad! This creamy, zesty ranch salad can be a side or the main meal. Grilled chicken and bacon really amp it up!
prep time: 10 minscook time: 20 minstotal time: 30 mins

ingredients

  • 1 boneless skinless chicken breast, pounded flat
  • 2 T barbecue rub or seasoning
  • 2 T canola oil
  • 3 strips bacon
  • 1 lb farfalle pasta
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1 dry ranch seasoning packet
  • 1 T Mrs. Dash original seasoning
  • 2 t. salt
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup chopped grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas

instructions

  1. Heat a skillet to medium heat. Add in the canola oil.  Rub the chicken breast with the barbecue seasoning and place in the pan.  Cook 6-7 minutes a side or until the chicken is firm and the juices run clear.  Remove from the pan and set aside. When cool dice into bite sized pieces.
  2. While the chicken is cooking combine the buttermilk, mayo and ranch seasoning packet in a bowl and set in the fridge.
  3. In the same hot skillet dice the bacon and cook until crisp. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
  4. In a large pot heat water to a boil.  Add in the pasta and cook until al dente, according to the package directions.  Drain and place back in the pot.
  5. To the cooked pasta add in the cream cheese, homemade ranch dressing, diced bacon and chicken, chopped tomatoes, peas, Parmesan cheese, Mrs. Dash's seasoning and salt. Toss to combine.
  6. Serve immediately. If needing to store in the fridge for a bit, keep the extra ranch in the fridge and drizzle/toss with a bit again before serving.
calories
227.19
fat (grams)
16.41
sat. fat (grams)
3.90
carbs (grams)
12.61
net carbs
11.58
protein (grams)
7.23
sugar (grams)
2.34
Created using The Recipes Generator

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

23 Sheet Pan Meals

Families are busy and we need dinner in a snap!
These 23 hand-picked sheet pan dinners are easy and family friendly.

23 Sheet Pan Meals...from chicken to beef to seafood...even breakfast! These family friendly meal options are easy and delicious. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

I'm not sure why it took us so many years to figure out that assembling a full meal on a sheet pan was the bee's knees....but it did!

You have all been asking for easy-fully-assembled meals for a long, long time.  You are busy! I'm busy! Which is why these sheet pan dinners are even a bit fun.  Assemble all the parts {meat/protein, veggie, starch} and watch it cook together all at once.

When searching the interwebs for some of my favorites I wanted to make sure I had a wide variety of meals.  A few chicken, some beef, some seafood even a couple breakfast for dinner options.  Nothing says BORING like a repeat of the same meal on a weekly basis.


The most fun meal from this list? Sheet Pan Banana Blueberry Pancake.

I'm sure you'll find your favorites.  Be sure to pick one from the list to add to your weekly meal plan. Picking just one a week will last you 23 weeks!  Don't say this girl didn't ever help you out.

Oh, and P.S. ----- > this is the jelly roll pan I use for all my sheet pan meals.  If you need one I highly recommend this one.

23 Sheet Pan Meals...from chicken to beef to seafood...even breakfast! These family friendly meal options are easy and delicious. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)





23 Sheet Pan Meals...from chicken to beef to seafood...even breakfast! These family friendly meal options are easy and delicious. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)





23 Sheet Pan Meals...from chicken to beef to seafood...even breakfast! These family friendly meal options are easy and delicious. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)





23 Sheet Pan Meals...from chicken to beef to seafood...even breakfast! These family friendly meal options are easy and delicious. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)





23 Sheet Pan Meals...from chicken to beef to seafood...even breakfast! These family friendly meal options are easy and delicious. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)





23 Sheet Pan Meals...from chicken to beef to seafood...even breakfast! These family friendly meal options are easy and delicious. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)




23 Sheet Pan Meals...from chicken to beef to seafood...even breakfast! These family friendly meal options are easy and delicious. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)
Which one is your favorite?

Out of 23, I'm sure there are at least 5 you want to try.  Share this post with your friends who are just as busy as you are - they will thank you!

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Cast Iron Skillet Biscuits with Honey Butter

Don't mind me while I'm off in the corner downing one of these biscuits.
Serve them warm with honey butter and your day is made.

Cast Iron Skillet Biscuits with Honey Butter....this easy drop biscuit has crispy edges yet is tender and flaky in the middle. Serve with honey butter warm and straight out of the oven! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

I went to the library today for really no reason at all other than to just get out of the house.  Cabin fever is a REAL thing and it's been holding me captive since early February.

You see, we've had the flu roaming around our house since February 8th. It is now February 21st. I'll let you do that math.  Take a moment to let it sink in.

It started with one kid, then traveled to the husband and is currently holding another kid hostage.  It's the flu that brings an almost week long fever, chills, cough and just all the winter nastiness you can imagine.

It's a fun place around here.

Cast Iron Skillet Biscuits with Honey Butter....this easy drop biscuit has crispy edges yet is tender and flaky in the middle. Serve with honey butter warm and straight out of the oven! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

So basically my life has been revolved around sleeping on the couch {and bedroom floors}, runs to the dollar store for more medicine, taking food and drink orders, multiple loads of laundry, cooking up double batches of soups {our favorite chicken noodle + chili} and trying not to become a head case from a lack of fresh air.

Did I mention it WON'T STOP SNOWING?

Ten snow days and counting!

Cast Iron Skillet Biscuits with Honey Butter....this easy drop biscuit has crispy edges yet is tender and flaky in the middle. Serve with honey butter warm and straight out of the oven! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

It's been freezing outside but I've still been opening up our windows at various times to let these germs escape.  

I have a spa date scheduled with a friend in a few weeks and I'm not lying when I say I dream of that every night before I go to sleep.  That and these biscuits.  

Oh, how heavenly they are!  What's funny is that I've made these on and off for YEARS, but up until a couple weeks back it never dawned on me to share them with you.

Cast Iron Skillet Biscuits with Honey Butter....this easy drop biscuit has crispy edges yet is tender and flaky in the middle. Serve with honey butter warm and straight out of the oven! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

I recently learned how to make gravy for biscuits and gravy {thank you Joanna Gaines} and I used these biscuits.  We had our favorite Amish Breakfast Casserole this week for brinner and I whipped up a batch of these to serve on the side.  I've also been known to make a batch, then split them apart and make into breakfast sandwiches on the weekend.

Because what is better than a fried, drippy egg, a slice of bacon and some sharp cheddar all on a flaky biscuit?

Nothing.

There is nothing better.

Cast Iron Skillet Biscuits with Honey Butter....this easy drop biscuit has crispy edges yet is tender and flaky in the middle. Serve with honey butter warm and straight out of the oven! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

The reason I love these so much is the EASE of the recipe.  They are a drop discuit.  For all of you that have no idea what that means...it means it's easy!  There is no kneading of the dough, rolling it out, nor any cutting out the perfect biscuit circles.

None of that nonsense.

Instead once the dough comes together you just plop a big scoop into the skillet all rustic style and move on.  After they are done baking they pull apart with ease!

Cast Iron Skillet Biscuits with Honey Butter....this easy drop biscuit has crispy edges yet is tender and flaky in the middle. Serve with honey butter warm and straight out of the oven! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Now, I've never been one to tell you what to do, but YOU NEED TO TOP THESE WITH MY HONEY BUTTER.

Sorry, this time I am giving an order.

Just imagine pulling off a biscuit that is still warm, splitting it open and slathering on my homemade honey butter.  It's better than most things I can think of.  I like to add a dash of cinnamon in my honey butter, but I know some of you hate the stuff {you've told me} so feel free to leave it out.

Either way make these part of your meal, as the side dish or just bake them off, grab some pot holders and the honey butter and head to your bedroom by yourself.

Be sure to tag me on social media when you've made them! You can find me on all the kid's favorite hot spots @sweetsavoryeats.

Yield: 12-14

Cast Iron Skillet Biscuits with Honey Butter

This easy, drop-dough biscuit, allows for crispy edges from your cast iron skillet, yet allows for a tender, flaky middle. Slather on the honey butter and you'll die and go to heaven.
prep time: 15 minscook time: 23 minstotal time: 38 mins

ingredients

Biscuit Dough
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted cold butter, cubed
  • 3 T vinegar
  • 1 1/4 cup 2% or whole milk
Honey Butter
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 T honey
  • 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 1/4 t cinnamon (optional)

instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Generously grease your cast iron skillet (I used this 12-inch skillet) with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. 
  3. Cube the cold butter and put it in the dry ingrediens.  Using a pastry blender or fork cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles course crumbs.
  4. In a separate smaller bowl combine the vinegar and milk.  Allow to sit for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the milk mixture into the butter/flour mixture and mix just enough to combine.
  6. Drop by 1/2 cup portions into the greased skillet.
  7. Bake for 20-23 minutes or until just golden brown.
  8. While the biscuits are baking make the honey butter by combining the softened butter, honey, vanilla and cinnamon (optional).
  9. Serve the biscuits warm topped with the honey butter.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Skillet Blueberry Cobbler for Two

This Skillet Blueberry Cobbler for Two is perfect for date night.
Serve it warm and bubbly with vanilla ice cream for best results!

This post is sponsored by Wayfair as well as product received within the post, 
but all opinons are my own.

Skillet Blueberry Cobbler for Two...a great dessert for lovebirds! Or for just a few friends to share. Juicy blueberries are hidden under a decadent cobbler topping.  Serve warm with vanilla ice cream! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

This winter has been BRUTAL here in the Midwest.  And yes, I know come July I'll be complaining that it is too hot, but right now in this moment...I'm over winter.

Just an hour ago we received the dreaded phone call {for parents} that school is once again canceled tomorrow {kids are rejoicing}.  Just another winter storm hovering over us laughing it's head off.  We've had 8 snow days I believe {whose counting?} and the kids are officially finishing school well into the first week of June.

The only thing that brought light to this dreary day was this cobbler.

Actually, it's brightened my week!

Skillet Blueberry Cobbler for Two...a great dessert for lovebirds! Or for just a few friends to share. Juicy blueberries are hidden under a decadent cobbler topping.  Serve warm with vanilla ice cream! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

If you remember back in December, Wayfair partnered on the last day my 12 Days of Holiday Giveaways and gave away one of many gift cards to a lucky reader.

Well......they're back!

Wayfair is top notch and not only do they want to make some lucky reader very happy again, but they also allowed me to showcase a stellar product from their website to feature in this recipe.  Behold, the Le Creuset 3.75 qt braiser.

In a beautiful orange color to boot.

Skillet Blueberry Cobbler for Two...a great dessert for lovebirds! Or for just a few friends to share. Juicy blueberries are hidden under a decadent cobbler topping.  Serve warm with vanilla ice cream! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

But let's get back to this cobbler.

Everything about this dish screams warm and comforting.  I mean, I barely gave it time to cool before I was scooping vanilla ice cream, dishing out a generous scoop and crawling under my blanket to catch up on an episode of Good Girls on Netflix.

It is the perfect hearty dessert for these cold winter months.

Oh, and wait...there is a VERY romantic holiday coming up in two days.  And because I'm never one to exaggarate {please}, nor am never one to overindulge {double please} I created this dessert for lovebirds in mind.

The perfect dish for two!

Skillet Blueberry Cobbler for Two...a great dessert for lovebirds! Or for just a few friends to share. Juicy blueberries are hidden under a decadent cobbler topping.  Serve warm with vanilla ice cream! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Small enough you're not sneaking bites all week as you pass through the kitchen, yet big enough to feed a small group or the two spoons digging in on Valentine's Day night at home while watching a movie.

The perfect size.

Any cast iron skillet will work in this recipe, even a glass 8x8 baking dish or better yet a pie plate.  They all work the same.  But, I will say the beauty of this Le Creuset braiser on my kitchen countertop is any cooks dream.

The craftsmanship and quality are #1 and you'll soon find yourself dreaming up all kinds of recipes to make in it.  Next on my list: chicken pot pie, apple crisp and homemade biscuits.

Skillet Blueberry Cobbler for Two...a great dessert for lovebirds! Or for just a few friends to share. Juicy blueberries are hidden under a decadent cobbler topping.  Serve warm with vanilla ice cream! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

I used frozen organic blueberries in this cobbler {we buy bagfuls at each grocery trip}, but fresh work just fine too.  The tartness of the berries fades away after you mix it with a bit of flour, sugar and cornstarch for thickening.

Oh boy, and then the cobbler topping.  It's my favorite part.  Hands down.  Oats, cinnamon, flour, butter, what is wrong with that?

Nothing.  Nothing is wrong with that.

When baked together they become one and it gets all bubby and soft and well, incredible. I'll admit I've always been a bit hesitant to order a slice of any kind of blueberry dessert at a restaurant.  You just never know if it will be too runny or too tart or too whatever.

You will never have to worry about those questions with this one.  It's perfect!

Skillet Blueberry Cobbler for Two...a great dessert for lovebirds! Or for just a few friends to share. Juicy blueberries are hidden under a decadent cobbler topping.  Serve warm with vanilla ice cream! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

And here's the good news.  The great news!  Wayfair wants to give one lucky reader a $50 gift card to buy anything they want from Wayfair!

Perhaps money towards a Le Creuset 3.75 Qt Braiser?

Or maybe a new set of bed sheets, or a new fixtures for your bathroom or even a dog bed for your furry friend.  There is literally EVERYTHING to choose from and trust me when I say you'll find yourself down a long rabbit trail when browsing.

Prepare for a few hours.

So here are the details. 1) Make my Skillet Blueberry Cobbler for Two and then 2) Enter this giveaway.  One random winner will be chosen on Friday, February 15.  Enter via the Rafflecopter Giveaway icon below.  Good luck!

A big thanks to Wayfair for sponsoring this post and for providing product towards this recipe.

Yield: 2-4

Skillet Blueberry Cobbler for Two

Date nights in or a simple dessert for a small crowd, this Skillet Blueberry Cobbler is the perfect sweet dish for small gatherings. Sweet blueberry filling topped with a crunchy oat & butter topping, it's hard to resist!
prep time: 10 minscook time: 40 minstotal time: 50 mins

ingredients

Berry Mixture
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 T cornstarch
  • 1/4 t salt
Cobbler Topping
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 3/4 stick unsalted, cold butter

instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Spray an 8x8 skillet (I used this Le Creuset cast iron skillet, but any dish will work) with cooking spray.
  3. In a bowl toss together the blueberries, sugar, flour, cornstarch and salt.  Pour into the bottom of the greased skillet and press into an even layer.
  4. In that same bowl combine the flour, oats, sugar, salt and cinnamon. Cube the butter and using a pastry blender or fork, mix/blend until it resembles coarse crumbs.
  5. Spread the cobbler topping onto the blueberries, pressing down slightly.
  6. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown with the edges bubbling.
  7. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.
Created using The Recipes Generator
a Rafflecopter giveaway