Sara McConnell

Author Archives: Sara McConnell

Peach and Raspberry Mason Jar Pies

Have you ever had a pie out of a jar? If not, you have to try these Peach and Raspberry Mason Jar Pies. If you look into my pantry, you will see that everything is in some sort of glass jar. As I have moved more towards glass and not plastic in my home, plastic containers were some of the first things to go. So…I went out and bought all new glass containers, including a ton of mason jars. Mason jars are great for storage and in my opinion it looks more organized. I use mason jars for a lot of things, hence this recipe!

This is a standard fruit pie recipe, but it is just placed in a mason jar. For this recipe, I used 6 oz wide mouth mason jars. The only place I was able to find these jars was at Cost Plus World Market. I am surprised that Ball does not sell this size, at least not in my area. I’m sure you can find these online though.

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Caraway Puffs

Is it just me? Or are you always looking for new dinner roll recipes. I am not sure how dinner rolls originated, but they now have become a stable at many dinner tables Whether you are entertaining for the holidays or just having a family dinner, these Caraway Puffs can add a little special something to your dinner.

Caraway puffs get their name from using caraway seeds. Caraway seeds have a unique aroma and are often used in rye breads. In this recipe, I used black caraway seeds, which are aromatic with a peppery bite. You can use whatever caraways seeds you have on hand, but I prefer the black ones. What else makes these rolls different? The sour cream! The sour cream makes these rolls soft with a slight tang. These rolls also contain sugar. The recipe states to use 1/3 cup of sugar, but I have also made these with 1/4 cup of sugar. If you would like to decrease your sugar intake, the puffs come out good either way.

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Apple Crumble Brownies

A few weeks ago, I went to a dessert place with my friend On the menu, they had a apple cobbler topped with a chocolate sauce. Now, I am not a very big fan of combining apple and chocolate flavors. I feel the two items should remain separate. I want my chocolate in things like cake and brownies and my apple in things like pie and cobbler. I never really thought about combining the two. But now you are starting to see more apples covered in chocolate and apples and chocolate mixed together in recipes. Needless to say, I tasted the apple cobbler in chocolate sauce and WOW it was very good. The two flavors welded together very nicely. So, I thought…I am going to try an apple and chocolate recipe at home and I came up with Apple Crumble Brownies.

Who doesn’t love a nice apple crumble? And who doesn’t love a chocolaty brownie? I cannot resist both. Combining the two really create a delectable and tasty treat in your mouth. When you bite into the apple crumble brownie, you get a nice sweet apple flavor with chocolate in every single bite. It is absolute heaven! This brownie tastes better warm in my opinion and even better with vanilla ice cream.

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Carrot and Spinach Rice

Did you ever not know what side dish to make? Or have gotten tired of eating the same side dish with your main entree? I know I have. I am good at finding what protein that I want to eat, but then I think…what am I going to eat with it? Should I just have a vegetable? Or a vegetable and starch?

When I have these dilemmas, I usually just settle for rice. Rice is my go to side dish. It’s quick and easy and I probably have some type of leftover rice in the fridge. This is how the recipe for Carrot and Spinach Rice came into play…leftover rice and vegetables that I needed to get rid of.

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Goat Cheese and Sweet Potato Frittata

This frittata is all about the goat cheese. Goat cheese is made from goat milk and is creamy and salty. There are many different types of goat cheese, but I used goat cheese crumbles in this recipe. I was not always a goat cheese lover. Even though I love cheese (I can eat a whole bar in one sitting if you let me), goat cheese was foreign to me. But now goat cheese is becoming more and more popular as more people are turning away from cow’s milk. Goat milk cheese is a great alternative to cow’s milk cheese as it contains less lactose and is easier to digest. Goat milk cheese also contains more calcium than cow’s milk and is a good source of protein. So as you can see, this frittata is extra healthy.

Do you see the creamy goat cheese throughout the frittata?

And adding sweet potatoes and spinach adds more nutritional value. You can substitute regular potatoes if you prefer.

Make sure you savor every bite of the creamy and light deliciousness. From the goat cheese to the sweet potatoes to the spinach to the eggs…

Yum! EAT and Enjoy!

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Mini Tie-Dyed Sugar Cookies

I love mini desserts. For me in keeps me in check, so I do not go over board. I am also not a big fan of sugar. I like to eat sweets, but in moderation. Mini desserts are great to indulge my sweet tooth with small servings, hence the mini cookies.

These mini cookies use a prepackaged sugar cookie mix. This is great if you do not have the ingredients to make cookies or you do not want to go through the hassle. Add a couple of ingredients to the sugar mix and your good to go. If you prefer to use your own sugar cookie recipe, you can do that also. Just follow the directions after the dough is mixed. You can also change the color depending on your purpose.

I used a 1 3/4-inch cookie cutter to make these mini cookies. These cookies are soft with just the right crumble. You will not be disappointed.

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Hash Brown Carrot Cakes

I eat a lot of potatoes. I like all types: sweet, red, purple, russet, creamers, gold. You name the potato, I probably have some in my pantry. But potatoes can be heavy and sometimes I want something a little lighter. As I was watching, Dr. Oz a few weeks ago, Chef Mario Batali was on there making these delicious carrot cakes. He called them Carrot Frittelle. I modified this recipe based on what I prefer in my hash browns and they came out great. You can use fresh grated carrots or you can buy prepackaged grated carrots to save some time. I used the prepackaged carrots.

If you take a quick look, you would think these were regular hash browns. However, they are low carb with the use of carrots instead of potatoes. They are crispy, yet soft in the middle.

I top these cakes with goat cheese….and YUM…the creamy goat cheese adds a nice brightness to the cakes.

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Homemade Golden Crescents

It smells like the holidays in my kitchen, it smells like yeast rolls! Whenever I smell these rolls baking it, always reminds of the holidays. Why? Because this is my mother’s homemade rolls recipe. She has been making these rolls for as long as I can remember for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Everyone in my family LOVES these rolls. And you will too!

These rolls are light, buttery, and tender. What’s great about these rolls is that they are no knead. Once you mix the flour mixture, you are done to let the dough rise. Once risen, you divide the dough in half and roll out each half into a circle. Then you cut into 16 pieces to make the crescents. This is also the part where you add melted butter on top of the dough before you cut them into triangles. You can save some calories on this step by adding less butter. Or you can add more ;).

Once rolled, you can use whatever greased pan you like. I used a half-sized baking sheet. Once they rise, they are good to go in the oven.

Simply delicious!

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Roasted Garlic Parsnips

A couple of weeks ago, I was at the farmer’s market and I stumbled upon these huge parsnips. Parsnips are root vegetables that are closely related to carrots and have a spiced flavor in comparison to a carrot’s sweet flavor. Parsnips are typically used in soups, stews, and as roasted vegetables. I have used parsnips in stews, but I have never roasted them before. I thought Roasted Garlic Parsnips would be a quick and easy last minute side dish

First, you would need to clean and peel the parsnips and cut them into equal sizes. I cut them similar to steak fries, but you can cut them however you like. Next, coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and spread the parsnips on the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive and salt and pepper to your taste, and then place in preheated oven.

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The Heartiest French Meals to get you Through Winter

Winter is here with us. Therefore, this is the time to consume as much carbohydrate as possible for the cold months that are coming.  France is certainly the nation for it. However, a warning- your waistline may grow bigger. Where you think about France, you should not think about the rich hearty dishes. Here, the cuisine is refined completely. However, the French are known for having a wide array of amazing meals for winter, with a number of the dishes borrowed from Switzerland.

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