No Bake Energy Date Bars

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Have you ever tried to make bars at home? It’s a cinch! All you need is a good food processor and some delectable ingredients.
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It all starts with these wonderful Medjool Dates. I have such a soft spot in my heart for this big ol’ red box ever since my trip to Yuma last year. Honestly, those were some of the most giving and loving people I have ever met. I constantly reminisce about those days!

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To my surprise, I received a special delivery on my doorstep for our Yuma trip anniversary (I told you they were awesome)! The dates were freshly picked and wonderfully juicy. I’ve been eating a date a day ever since.

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Dates are key when it comes to making bars because of their nutritional benefits, taste, and texture. They’re sweet without adding any sugar and turn into a paste that can hold all of your ingredients together.
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Just make sure to take out all of the pits before you eat them!
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This is my food processor, by the way. It’s a little small, which is why I mix in the remaining ingredients by hand, but it’s perfect for now because of my apartment living.
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It make not look very pretty, but I promise it tastes delicious.
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This recipe is also easy to adjust to your tastes or whatever ingredients that you have on hand. You can replace pecans with walnuts or cashews, add in some peanut butter, or sub in different dried fruits. It’s up to you to create your dream bar!

No Bake Energy Date Bars

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups pitted medjool dates
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1/2 cup trail mix (any kind will do. make sure to use one that you like! mine had cranberries, pepitas, and sunflower seeds)
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt

Directions

  1. Pulse the dates and pecans in a food processor until combined.
  2. Move the mixture to a mixing bowl and stir in the remaining ingredients by hand.
  3. Spread the mixture in between two pieces of wax or parchment paper until they're 1/2 inch thick. Cut into rectangles and enjoy! Keep the remaining bars in the refrigerator until ready to eat.
http://lovintheoven.com/2014/10/bake-energy-date-bars.html

Triple Chocolate Chunk Cookies #sundaefundae

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So there I was, just baking away in my kitchen one day. I had one cookie become extremely crispy since it was the last cookie of the batter. You know what I’m talking about… the one that has all of the extra creamed butter that didn’t quite mix in with the rest of the batter. It wasn’t pretty enough to give away with the rest of the cookies, so I decided to crumble it and put it on top of my sundae. Ohhhhh yeah. Best decision ever.

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These are what the cookies look like when they’re not burned. Soft, chewy, and truly lovely.

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But when they’re crumbled on a sundae? That’s perfection.

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Smucker’s® has a couple of new ice cream toppings to help you with your #sundaefundae. There’s Simple Delight™ Toppings in Salted Caramel, Chocolate Coconut, Dark Chocolate and Hot Fudge, Magic Shell® Chocolate Pretzel and Rainbow Sherbet, and Microwavable Hot Dark Chocolate Topping.

I used the Magic Shell Chocolate Pretzel and watched the topping harden in front on my eyes as I slowly poured it on top of my mint chocolate cookie crunch ice cream.

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All of these toppings are great for an ice cream social this summer. There are plenty of flavors to choose from so everyone can take their pick. I also added a bit of whipped cream on top because no sundae is complete without whipped cream.

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Some other great sundae toppings include crushed peanuts, sprinkles, M&M’s, cut candy bars, chocolate chips, and even fresh fruit!

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You could even use these cookies and cut them into fourths for dipping into your sundae and hot fudge.

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Now’s your chance to win a Smucker’s gift basket including the items pictured above (minus my sundae).

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You’ll get:

  • Scallop Edge Hanging Chalkboard
  • West Elm Outdoor Metal Serving Tray
  • Branded Tote Bag
  • All seven NEW Smucker’s toppings flavors including:
  • o   Smucker’s®  Simple Delight Salted Caramel Topping
  • o   Smucker’s® Simple Delight Chocolate Coconut Flavored Topping
  • o   Smucker’s® Simple Delight Dark Chocolate Topping
  • o   Smucker’s® Simple Delight Hot Fudge Topping
  • o   Smucker’s® Magic Shell® Chocolate Pretzel Flavored Topping
  • o   Smucker’s® Magic Shell® Rainbow Sherbet Flavored Topping
  • o   Smucker’s® Microwavable Hot Dark Chocolate Topping

Enter the giveaway here!:

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Recipe slightly adapted from Devour Blog.

Triple Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup chopped milk chocolate
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cream together the butter, white sugar and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs, vanilla, almond, and salt.
  3. Stir in the baking soda and flour until just combined. Fold in white chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, and milk chocolate (and nuts, if using) until evenly distributed.
  4. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased pans.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges are golden brown.
http://lovintheoven.com/2014/08/triple-chocolate-chunk-cookies.html

Smuckers is also doing their own giveaway using the hashtag #SundaeFundae (click link for official rules). By using that hashtag while showing your sundae creations, you are entering for a chance to win $5,000 toward a summer vacation!

This is a sponsored post, but the opinions expressed are my own.

Panasonic #MicrowaveOnly Challenge and Giveaway

I am taking part of Panasonic’s #MicrowaveOnly challenge. What exactly does that entail? Well, for one day, I have to create all of my meals in the microwave! It’s actually a lot easier than I thought it would be.

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For this challenge, I’m using Panasonic’s Full-Size 1.6 cu. ft. Genius Prestige Countertop / Built-in Microwave Oven with Inverter Technology, aka Model #NN-SE782S.

Since living in an apartment, I’ve always been a little frugal with my microwave. I figured that since my living situation was only temporary, I shouldn’t buy a “good’ microwave because I’ll end up moving and selling it anyways.

I was thrilled when Panasonic sent me a microwave to use for this challenge. Heck, this microwave is even better than “good,” it’s awesome. With a cooking power of 1250 watts, you can heat up things in no time! My little microwave before this took forever just to heat up water for some tea. With this, well, you’ll see…

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For breakfast, I made Creamy Oats with Apple, Cherry, and Walnuts. I adjusted the recipe from Panasonic by using almond milk rather than apple juice for that extra creaminess.

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The result was a hearty and fulfilling breakfast that kept me full all morning.

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Creamy Oats with Cherry and Walnuts

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Quick-cooking oats
  • 2 tbsp Dried Cherries
  • 1 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon, ground
  • pinch of Salt
  • 1/4 cup Greek Vanilla Yogurt
  • 1 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Walnuts, chopped

Directions

  1. Combine the oats, dried cherries, almond milk, cinnamon, and salt in a microwave safe bowl.
  2. Cook on P10 for 2-3 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds until thickened.
  3. Top with yogurt and sprinkle with brown sugar and walnuts.
http://lovintheoven.com/2014/04/panasonic-microwaveonly-challenge.html

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Since the oatmeal kept me pretty full, I wasn’t starving when lunch came by. I decided to stay on the healthy track and eat a sweet potato.

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Thanks to Panasonic’s inverter technology, my sweet potato cooked evenly and kept it’s texture and taste. The inside of the potato was just as warm as the outside, so there were no cold spots anywhere!

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Microwavable Sweet Potato

Ingredients

  • 1 sweet potato
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. Rinse and scrub the sweet potato.
  2. Pierce the potato all over with a fork. Wrap the potato in a damp paper towel.
  3. Microwave for 4 minutes. Turn it over and microwave for another 4 minutes.
  4. Be careful removing from the microwave when it's done-- it'll be hot! Unwrap the potato and cut it in half. Dollop with the greek yogurt and sprinkle the cinnamon on top. Serve warm!
http://lovintheoven.com/2014/04/panasonic-microwaveonly-challenge.html

For dinner, I admit that I heated up some leftovers along with a bag of microwavable popcorn. #guilty You really have to keep an eye out on your popcorn when using different microwaves– with this Panasonic, I only had to do it for a minute and twenty seconds rather than almost two minutes!

For other recipes and cooking tips, check out Panasonic’s website here.

Now for the good stuff! I’m giving away…

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That’s right.. I’m giving away a full size Panasonic microwave along with a product pack (as pictured above)!! All you have to do is tweet a picture of your own #microwaveonly meal with a short description to @HomePanasonic and @kimberlywyn to win! You must also follow @HomePanasonic in order to be qualified.

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This is a sponsored post, but the opinions expressed are my own.