Sweet and Salty Trail Mix

Sweet and Salty Trail Mix 2
Here I am again, with another sweet and salty snack. I have a thing for them if you haven’t noticed. My kids caught a nasty virus this past week which meant lots of snuggling and not a lot of cooking. When cooking isn’t happening, unhealthy eating usually is. Ain’t nobody got time to cook a healthy meal or even wash and cut up fruit when a baby needs to be held 24/7. So when said baby was napping, I quickly threw together this trail mix to have something easy and somewhat healthy I could cram into my mouth while snuggling.
Sweet and Salty Trail Mix 5
And you better believe once she was feeling better, she was sitting alongside me cramming it in her mouth too. She once again was whining and attempting to steal the trail mix the whole time I took pictures.
Sweet and Salty Trail Mix 7
It was in this moment where I wondered again why I didn’t wait until they were sleeping to take pictures. Then I remembered it would most likely be gone by then, #snackaddiction. I have no idea where they got that from…
Sweet and Salty Trail Mix 8
I love the touch of saltiness that the pretzels add. And honey roasted almonds, come on. Not only is this an easy snack to throw together but it’s super portable and way more affordable than the store-bought varieties. Plus, you can customize it to fit your tastes. I predict this will be the snack of the summer around here.
Sweet and Salty Trail Mix 6
Sweet and Salty Trail Mix

1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts
1/2 cup honey roasted almonds
2 cups pretzels
2 cups vanilla chex, or cereal of choice
1 cup raisins
1 cup banana chips
3/4 cup mini M&Ms

Mix all ingredients together and keep in an airtight container.
Sweet and Salty Trail Mix 3

Maple and Brown Sugar Bacon and Egg Biscuits

Maple and Brown Sugar Bacon and Egg Biscuits 5
It seems like people either love or hate breakfast. I, unfortunately, fall in the second category. I just don’t feel like eating right when I wake up and if I don’t, the kids wake up, chaos ensues and there is no longer time because they like to eat the second their eyes open. Plus, I don’t love most breakfast foods, especially sweets. I mean, I wouldn’t ever turn down a doughnut, we’re not talking crazy here, but I don’t love sugary sweet in the morning.
Maple and Brown Sugar Bacon and Egg Biscuits 2
So when I do eat breakfast, if I’m not sucking down a smoothie, I usually reach for something more on the savory side. Like this biscuit of deliciousness. I would eat it everyday if I could but a) I want to see my kids get married someday and b) ain’t nobody got time for that.
Maple and Brown Sugar Bacon and Egg Biscuits 1
They aren’t too complicated, especially if you use frozen biscuits like I did, but the bacon takes a bit of time (that I just don’t have most mornings with my children). If you have the bacon made up already then they are pretty quick and simple.
Maple and Brown Sugar Bacon and Egg Biscuits 4
I know I’m gushing about this bacon, but it just brings this biscuit sandwich to a new level. Plus, the runny yolk. It all combines to elevate the ordinary bacon and egg biscuit to something a little bit fancy.
Maple and Brown Sugar Bacon and Egg Biscuits 6
And just FYI, this bacon isn’t just for breakfast. It converts from breakfast sandwich delight to dinner star on a burger, just saying.

Maple Brown Sugar Bacon and Egg Biscuits
serves 4

4 biscuits (I used these, but if you want homemade try these)
4 eggs
4-8 slices Maple Brown Sugar Bacon*

1. Prepare biscuits. While they are baking, heat a skillet to medium heat. Lightly butter the pan and cook the eggs to your preference. We like ours over easy (and the runny yolks keeps them from getting too dry).

2. Slice the biscuits in half and place an egg and slice of bacon on the bottom half. Top with the other biscuit half and enjoy.

*I only used 1 slice of bacon on mine but if you want them extra meaty, use two.

Maple Brown Sugar Bacon

Maple Brown Sugar Bacon 5
Are you ready for your life to be changed? I know that’s a pretty big statement but it involves bacon so it’s pretty believable. I didn’t think bacon could get any better but when you add a sweet element to salty bacon? Yep. It does. I seem to be on some kind of sweet and salty kick lately. Who am I kidding? Sweet and salty for life.
Maple Brown Sugar Bacon 3
When I gave up meat for Lent, bacon was by far what I missed most. I even cooked it a few times for my family and it was almost impossible to not eat it. I had a piece in my hand at one point and it was almost to my lips before I even realized what I was doing. It’s second nature to eat a piece while it’s cooking. Am I right?

This bacon is first brushed with a mixture of brown sugar and maple syrup before it’s baked in the oven to crispy perfection.
Maple Brown Sugar Bacon 1
I’ve never baked bacon before this but had heard good things. It doesn’t make a huge mess, all gets done at the same time and is cooked evenly. I’m definitely sold on the process.
Maple Brown Sugar Bacon 2
And if you think this bacon is amazing, just wait until you see what I did with it. But that will be revealed on Wednesday. I’m such a tease.
Maple Brown Sugar Bacon 4
Maple Brown Sugar Bacon

1 lb. bacon
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. maple syrup

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and place a rack on top.

2. Place bacon on the rack in a single layer. In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar and maple syrup. Brush the mixture evenly over the bacon. Bake for 20-22 minutes, until crispy and caramelized.

 

Kettle Chip Bark

Kettle Chip Bark 6
Living in North Dakota, I learned about a lot of interesting foods. Lefse, a delicious Norwegian potato flatbread that is amazing brushed with melted butter and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. Lutefisk which is a dried and salted fish that gets gelatinous in texture. Can’t say I could ever be convinced to try that one. But best of all, the chocolate dipped potato chip.
Kettle Chip Bark 8
Why had I never thought of that before? I love chocolate dipped pretzels so you would think with my adoration of chips and all things sweet and salty, I would have gone there. But alas, the northerners beat me to it. It was the ruffle chip that I always saw dipped but I love salty, crunchy kettle chips so that’s the direction I chose.
Kettle Chip Bark 3
I’ve mentioned before how much I hate dipping things in chocolate. It’s messy, they never look as pretty and it takes forever. So I figured, why bother dipping when I can make it into a bark. The lazy man’s way to consume chocolate dipped chips.
Kettle Chip Bark 2
This bark is such a snap to make and can be done in 12 minutes with 10 of those being inactive. Melt chocolate, mix in chips, spread and top with more chips, freeze and done. If you keep a well stocked pantry, because all well stocked pantries should have chips duh, you could make this any time the sweet and salty craving strikes.
Kettle Chip Bark 1
Even my non-kettle chip loving husband loved this. Yes, sometimes I wonder why I married him too, #chipsforlife.
Kettle Chip Bark 5
Kettle Chip Bark

12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups crushed kettle chips, divided

1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring each time, until the chocolate chips are smooth and melted. Meanwhile take 1/2 cup kettle chips and crush until fine.

2. Mix finely crushed kettle chips into the melted chocolate. Pour onto prepared baking sheet and spread into a thin layer. Sprinkle with remaining cup of crushed kettle chips. Place in freezer for 10 minutes then break into pieces. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Kettle Chip Bark 7

Frito Bars

Frito Bars
I have been overwhelmed lately to say the least with the state that our house is in and just life in general. The kitchen is unpacked for the most part…the pantry is still a mess. So, I still haven’t really cooked all that much but I’m looking forward to getting into a new rhythm in my new kitchen.
Frito Bars
I actually made these bars a few months ago for a Husker get together and I can’t believe that I never shared them with you until now. I love the sweet and salty combination so these are pretty perfect for me. Joel is a huge Special K Bar fan (also known as scotcheroos) and these are very similar but with a saltier, crunchier bite. I don’t care for butterscotch so I like these better because they are all peanut butter plus they have peanuts which is always a good addition in my book.
Frito Bars
Frito Bars
recipe from Jennifer Cooks

10 1/2 ounces Fritos corn chips, lightly crushed
1 cup white sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup dry roasted peanuts
1 ½ cups milk chocolate chips

1. Grease a 9×13 baking pan and set aside.

2. In a saucepan, bring the sugar and corn syrup to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and stir in the peanut butter until smooth.  Stir in corn chips and peanuts and gently stir until coated.

3. Pour corn chip mixture into greased baking pan and spread evenly.

4. Place chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 1 minute; stir and then microwave for 30 seconds more, if necessary to melt.

5. Drizzle melted chocolate over Frito Bars and allow to cool completely.  Once cooled, cut into squares and serve.

Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites

Pretzel Bites
These have football season written all over them! Not only are they a perfectly portable, bite-size snack but they have all the necessary elements for game day: sweet, salty, smooth and crunchy. Yum!
Pretzel Bites
I’ve said time and time again that the combination of peanut butter and chocolate is pretty much a match made in heaven for me. I also love chocolate covered pretzels so I knew when I saw these that they would be an instant favorite….and they totally were! They take a bit of time to make with the rolling freezing time and dipping but they are absolutely worth it for your next gathering! I dipped half in white chocolate and half in semi-sweet and both versions were great.
Pretzel Bites
Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites
recipe from Two Tiny Kitchens

1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 Tbsp. softened butter
3/4 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
Pretzels
1 bag  semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 package white almond bark (optional)

1. Combine peanut butter and softened butter in a large bowl with a fork or whisk, or in a stand mixer.  Add the sugars and mix to combine.  At this point if the filling will roll easily into balls without sticking to your hands you’re ready to go.  If not, add a little more of each sugar until you reach a consistency that is easy to roll.

2. Use a teaspoon measure to scoop the filling.  Roll each portion into a small ball, then sandwich them between two whole pretzels.  When all the balls are rolled and successfully sandwiched, stick the whole tray in the freezer for about half an hour.

3. Pour the chocolate chips into a microwave safe bowl and heat at 30-second intervals, stirring occasionally until completely melted.  Chop the white almond bark and place in a seperate bowl then melt in 30-second intervals. Remove half of the pretzel sandwiches from the freezer and quickly dip half-way into the melted chocolate. Return to the tray and repeat with remaining sandwiches, dipping them into the white almond bark.  When all are dipped, return the tray to the freezer to set up completely.  Store the sandwiches in the refrigerator until serving time.
Pretzel Bites

Peanut Mallow Bars

Peanut Malllow Bars

I made these ooey, goeey, sticky bars for a picnic this summer to rave reviews. I personally am neither a caramel or marshmallow fan so I made these hoping I wouldn’t like them and therefore, easily avoid them. Unfortunately, these bars may have converted me instead. They are that good.

I adore the combination of sweet and salty and these are the perfect little treat to satisfy the craving. Let me warn you that the base of the bar was a bit crumbly and kind of fell apart when picked up but they tasted so yummy that it didn’t matter. Not only is there a great mixture of flavors but also of textures that just puts these over the top.

Peanut Mallow Bars
recipe from Taste of Home Brownies and Bars

1 cup chopped salted peanuts
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup quick-cooking oats
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup cold butter

Topping:
1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow crème
2/3 cup caramel ice cream topping
1-3/4 cups salted peanuts

1. In a large bowl, combine the peanuts, flour, oars, sugar, salt and baking soda; stir in the egg. Cut in butter until crumbly. Press into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.

2. Spoon marshmallow crème over hot crust; carefully spread evenly. Drizzle with the caramel topping; sprinkle with peanuts. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Yield: 3 dozen.