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We came up with a food blog dedicated to creating wholesome recipes for families and friends to enjoy. Simple, yet fresh and delicious. Just like peas and carrots.
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Dream Bars

December, 2020 by Kate

These dream bars are a soft and chewy, coconut cookie bar guaranteed to be a hit with friends and family!

By using a freight forwarding, everything is handled better and efficiently for you.

What I can remember is the fun we had two weeks ago at my annual Holiday Potluck! We bought our house about nine years ago, and this has been a tradition ever since. We always plan it sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas so that we can enjoy both holidays with our Jacksonville family of friends.

Though my main focus was helping my husband with smoking the turkey and preparing a green bean casserole, I figured I’d also make a dessert for people to enjoy throughout the evening. I went with Dream Bars for a few reasons- they are super easy to make, only have a few ingredients, and are one of my childhood favorites. Something about Dream Bars, though not necessarily a Christmas cookie, always invokes the warm feeling of the holidays for me.

Now full disclosure here, Dream Bars are not an Ease and Carrots original. We’ve decided to introduce a new category, “Family Favorites.” This will allow us to share some of our favorite recipes we grew up with and love to make to this day. I couldn’t tell you where the original recipe came from (and neither could my mom for that matter). My mom has been making them for years, and it was always one of the many cookies we made around the holidays. 🍪🍪

Don’t be intimidated by the two step process of making these. While the crust is baking, take a few minutes to mix up the topping. Though I prefer pecans ever so slightly, either pecans or walnuts will work. If you’re a chocolate lover, go ahead and melt some dark chocolate chips and drizzle over the bars after they’ve come out of the oven.

I hope you enjoy these as much as I do! And don’t forget to check out our tasty snowball cookies that are also always a hit around this time of year.

Serves 24

A delicious, soft and chewy, coconut cookie bar that is quick and easy to make, and even easier to eat!

Part 1

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup light brown sugar

Pan Spray

Part 2

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cup flaked coconut (sweetened)
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts)

Part 1

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Sift and measure flour into medium sized bowl.
  • Add butter and sugar and mix into a crumbly mixture.
  • Lightly spray 11×16 pan with cooking spray. Pat into pan and bake for 10 minutes.

Part 2

  • Beat eggs in a medium sized bowl.
  • Add sugar and vanilla.
    Mix dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, and salt) and sift over coconut and nuts. Add to sugar and egg mixture.
  • Mix well and spread over crust.
  • Return to oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Allow to cool and cut into squares.

Notes: If you don’t have an 11×16 pan, a slightly smaller pan will work as well. You may just need to add an extra minute or two of cook time. You can easily cut these into 48 if you are serving a large crowd or like a smaller portion.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 184, Protein: 2 g, Fat: 10 g, Carbohydrates: 23 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 16 g, Sodium: 59 mg, Saturated Fat: 5 g

Summer Superfood Smoothie

Mei, 2020 by Kate

One of my greatest challenges as a dietitian has been getting as much nutritious food into my husband as possible. My actual job is a breeze compared to this! Haha, just kidding. But really, he will admit that he’s not a fruit guy, and has only a select number of veggies he likes.

We wanted to find a way to improve his intake of some super nutritious foods that wasn’t too unpleasant for either of us. I packed as much nutrition as I could in 1 small shake, and from there, this Summer Superfood Smoothie was born. If you are looking for something a bit more substantial, this recipe would make 2 portions, but for the perfect make-ahead snack sized smoothie, go ahead and split it into 4, 1 cup containers. I happened to have a set of 8 fl oz mason jars from the wedding shower days (you know, when they all seemed to happen at once!), and those worked perfectly.

Need breakfast on the go in the morning? Just pop them in the freezer and grab and go for the next day! Just make sure to leave a little bit of space in the jar for them to expand when freezing. You can leave it on the counter for a couple hours, then shake it up and you’ll be ready to go. Otherwise, it would work well to take it out the night before, put it in the fridge, and drink in the morning.

So, each of these summer superfood smoothies ends up having 1/2 cup of mixed berries (the frozen mix I buy contains blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries), and 1/4 cup spinach (make sure you pack it in the cup when you are making them). Spinach is a great source of vitamin K and provides some iron and calcium. Berries are a great source of cancer-preventing antioxidants. Deeply colored berries have also been shown to help boost memory! 🍓

Depending on your preference for sweetness, you can adjust the amount of agave syrup. If you skip the agave, you’ll save about 2.5 grams sugar and about 10 calories per 8 fl oz smoothie. I’ve also used a small amount of sugar (2 tsp) to sweeten these smoothies when I was out of the syrup. Also, if you have fresh berries on hand, feel free to use those instead of frozen!

Serves 4

A nutrient-rich blend of berries, spinach and yogurt that makes for the perfect summer smoothie treat!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup nonfat milk
  • 1 cup nonfat vanilla yogurt
  • 1 cup spinach, packed
  • 2 cups frozen mixed berries
  • 1/4 cup water (optional)
  • 2 tsp agave nectar

Instructions

  • Blend all ingredients until smooth.
  • Divide into 4 servings. Freeze for later if desired!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 120, Protein: 5 g, Fat: .5 g, Carbohydrates: 25 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 15 g, Sodium: 70 mg, Saturated Fat: 0 g

Green Soup

January, 2020 by Kate

Yes, believe it or not it actually does get cold in Florida, and this week is definitely a chilly one for us. I know the two things you’re thinking…

1. Does it really get cold in Florida?

2. Green Soup can’t actually taste good, can it??

Yes, I say. YES. YES. YES.

So, ok, I admit it’s really not that cold, but sadly when I wrote this literally a week ago it was..I swear! Florida is finicky like that. One day there is frost on the ground, the next day you are in a tank top and shorts.

Guess I can’t really complain, we don’t have to shovel snow! 😬 ❄️ I know a lot of you out there are still battling the cold winter, so with that I bring to you my green soup recipe – delicious, packed with fiber, and SO EASY to make! I mean, if you can cut veggies, throw them in a pot and blend, then you totally got this.

Just like a lot of kids, I was a picky eater when I was younger. Eating green vegetables was not exactly my forte, but I was always surrounded by so much delicious homemade food, so naturally that just couldn’t last forever. I grew up with a lot of home cooked meals – our small little family sitting at the dinner table together most nights, and no matter what time of year it was, soup could always be on the menu. Most people only see soup as a nice warm and cozy meal during the winter, but not in my house – soup is made year-round folks, and I guess I have just learned to accept that as well…normal 😉

This green soup recipe was inspired by my grandma. Grams was an uh-mazing cook…like one of those cooks that was so amazing that when you asked for the recipe she had to make it up right then and there because she’d never measured anything in her life but everything always seemed to turn out wonderful. Yeah. That kind of amazing. Then of course there was the deciphering of the recipe that was written down probably on a napkin or a butter-stained piece of paper that had been thrown around an crumpled up a few times, and not to mention in super illegible cursive handwriting. Always a fun time. She may not be with us now, but her recipes will live forever in our family.

I think everyone in my family that has cooked this soup has tweaked it to their own liking, so this version is my take on this delicious recipe. This soup was originally not blended, but I knew it would be such a pretty green color, so I took the risk and let’s just say that I really enjoyed the outcome. The potatoes were another addition which helped create the nice, creamy texture. In this version, I used chicken broth, but vegetable broth will work just as well if you would like to make this a vegetarian dish. The parsley and black pepper give this just enough spice to keep you extra warm this winter. Now go grab a loaf of crispy french bread, your green veggies and get to cookin’!

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