17 Best Cookie Bar Recipes for a Bite-Sized Treat

I love a good cookie. But you know what’s even better? When said cookie comes in the shape of a bar and takes half the time and effort—no scrambling to transfer hot cookies to a cooling rack, no messy portioning of subsequent batches, no devastating co…

I love a good cookie. But you know what's even better? When said cookie comes in the shape of a bar and takes half the time and effort—no scrambling to transfer hot cookies to a cooling rack, no messy portioning of subsequent batches, no devastating cookie Pangaea. It's a one-and-done, no-fuss crowd-pleaser; the low-maintenance, reliable alternative to its more demanding, self-involved, singular counterparts.

A team player at heart, the bar cookie doesn't allow for stragglers, or runts, or misfires. Ultimately, each bar is only as good as its batch. Moreover, bar cookies are fun to bite into—they're soft and gooey, and on occasion surprise us with a pleasing crunch or hidden layer. They're dense and easy to eat, as well as easy to share. Plus, everyone has a favorite: the middles, the two-edged corner, the one-edged side. So I urge you: On your next baking bender, consider the bar. Here are 17 recipes to get you started.

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Everything to Know About Hard Apple Cider, Fall’s Signature Drink

Now that the leaves are changing and we’re eating apple cider donuts every hour on the hour, it seems hard to remember a time when hard apple cider wasn’t also part of our autumn menu. While the craft beer craze and consumption of spiked seltzers and c…

Now that the leaves are changing and we’re eating apple cider donuts every hour on the hour, it seems hard to remember a time when hard apple cider wasn’t also part of our autumn menu. While the craft beer craze and consumption of spiked seltzers and canned cocktails are at an all-time high, so is hard cider. Cider is naturally gluten-free, so a lot of people are able to consume it, which is a big reason why it has become so popular. Five years ago, you could count on one hand the number of hard ciders available nationwide, and most of them were quite sweet. Now, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of cideries producing warm and spiced, fruity, funky hard ciders for consumption from the Finger Lakes of New York to the Pacific Northwest.

If you’ve never tried hard cider before, maybe you’re skeptical. Or maybe you’re excited, but just have no idea where to begin. It’s not nearly as saturated of a market as craft beer is, but there is still plenty to learn and lots of varieties to sip.

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Out of Nutmeg? You Probably Have One of These Subs on Hand

Nutmeg is the spice equivalent of a knitted sweater. Fragrant and warm, you’ll find it giving depth to pumpkin pies, apple spice cakes, cheesy gratins, eggnog, butternut squash soup, super-simple glazed ham…the kind of food you want to eat by a firepla…

Nutmeg is the spice equivalent of a knitted sweater. Fragrant and warm, you’ll find it giving depth to pumpkin pies, apple spice cakes, cheesy gratins, eggnog, butternut squash soup, super-simple glazed ham…the kind of food you want to eat by a fireplace. But don’t let its absence in your spice rack stop you from cooking recipes that call for it. Here are 9 stupendous substitutes.


Best Nutmeg Substitutes

Mace

Mace is the outer, webbed layer of a nutmeg seed, which is typically ground separately from nutmeg because of its more assertive, piquant taste. Think of it as nutmeg’s sassy twin. Since most nutmeg recipes always call for a small amount—it is a sharp spice, after all—you are fine substituting it with mace 1:1.

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7 Meal-Planning Tips for the Busy School Season

We’ve teamed up with Albertsons Companies to share our top grocery-shopping tips and tricks to get you through the busy school season—and beyond. Up first: smart ideas for simplifying breakfast, lunch, dinner, and everything in between with help from F…

We’ve teamed up with Albertsons Companies to share our top grocery-shopping tips and tricks to get you through the busy school season—and beyond. Up first: smart ideas for simplifying breakfast, lunch, dinner, and everything in between with help from FreshPass™, a handy grocery subscription program with perks like unlimited free delivery, a $5 monthly credit for annual subscribers, and a VIP customer service line you can reach any time. Want to give it a test run? Start your free 30-day trial right here.


The start of September always brings with it an element of excitement—and busy schedules. There’s the changing seasons, anticipation of the holidays to come, and for parents, it means that school is fully in swing. With the uncertainty of the last year and a half, this normally hectic time has an added layer of stress. The one thing that doesn’t have to be? Meal time.

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17 Outdoor Entertaining Essentials To Keep You Warm and Cozy

As a long-time Alaska resident, I’m used to busting out the chunky blankets shortly after Labor Day. The summers are magical but short, and we usually see our first snowfall by early October. But that doesn’t mean that I or my statesmen are ready to re…

As a long-time Alaska resident, I’m used to busting out the chunky blankets shortly after Labor Day. The summers are magical but short, and we usually see our first snowfall by early October. But that doesn’t mean that I or my statesmen are ready to retreat inside—especially during a pandemic that’s prevented us from socializing indoors. That’s why I’ve made it my personal mission to find ways to entertain outdoors well into the fall and winter.

Whether it’s a gathering in a garden or backyard, on a porch or patio, or maybe even in the driveway, the key is to make the space warm, cozy, and inviting for guests. Here are all the essentials you’ll need if you’re planning to entertain outdoors when the temps drop—even if you’re not living in Alaska.

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Every Good Holiday Party Needs Latkes

I am known for throwing overly ambitious dinner parties. Sometimes they work out really well—usually when my guests are smart and bring lots of beer and a hefty salad. Sometimes they do not, and I’m pretty sure everyone ends up going throug…

I am known for throwing overly ambitious dinner parties. Sometimes they work out really well—usually when my guests are smart and bring lots of beer and a hefty salad. Sometimes they do not, and I’m pretty sure everyone ends up going through McDonald’s drive-thru when they leave my house.

My problem is that my imagination often outpaces my organization skills, which, I'll be honest, were never really that strong to begin with. 

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White Lady Cocktail

A White Lady cocktail is a classic sour, gin cocktail that is made with gin, cointreau, fresh lemon juice and an egg white. It’s a shaken drink that’s easy to make and perfect for sipping any time of the year! This classic cocktail is smoot…

A White Lady cocktail is a classic sour, gin cocktail that is made with gin, cointreau, fresh lemon juice and an egg white. It’s a shaken drink that’s easy to make and perfect for sipping any time of the year! This classic cocktail is smooth and has a refreshing citrus flavor. The egg white gives it […]

The post White Lady Cocktail appeared first on Sugar and Charm.

One Pot Veggie Pasta

This one pot veggie pasta is an easy, satisfying, and quick dinner. Use whatever vegetables you have on hand and make it your own!

The post One Pot Veggie Pasta appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Here’s a quick little one pot pasta I’ve been making lately with my leftover veggies. You can literally add in whatever you have on hand and it creates a tasty one pot meal with tons of color, flavor, and texture. It may not be revolutionary, but I think sometimes it helps to see what quick meals other people are making and this One Pot Veggie Pasta is my latest go-to quick fix. :)

Overhead view of one pot veggie pasta in a bowl

Use Your Leftovers

As far as one pot pasta goes, this recipe isn’t that revolutionary, but I love it for one main reason—it’s perfect for using up leftovers. Got two carrots left? Or maybe a half of a bell pepper. A handful of mushrooms? How about that partial bag of broccoli florets hiding the back of your freezer? They can all go in this super quick one pot pasta! The more colors and textures the merrier.

Use Your Favorite Sauce

Convenience is the name of the game with this quick weeknight pasta dish, so I used a jar of pasta sauce instead of making my own this time around. You can literally use any red pasta sauce, as long as it’s one you know you like. …Actually, I bet you could also turn this into a really tasty alfredo! *jots down notes for testing next week*

How Are the Leftovers?

As with any leftover pasta dish, the rotini does get a little softer as it is stored in the refrigerator. Personally, that has never bothered me or stopped me from eating leftover pasta, but if you’re sensitive to textures, you might not enjoy the leftovers of this pasta.

Success with One Pot Pasta Recipes

Learning how to cook a one pot pasta can take a little practice. It’s all about observing and adjusting. The goal is to have the pasta simmer in a small amount of liquid so that by the time the pasta is tender, there is only a small amount of saucy liquid left in the bottom of the pot. You need to simmer with the lid on (to hold in the steam) and stir occasionally. Every time you stir, check the pasta texture and the amount of liquid left in the pot. If the pasta is almost tender and there is still a lot of liquid, let it simmer without a lid. If the liquid is almost gone but the pasta is not tender, add a splash more water. Here are some more tips for cooking one pot pastas:

  • Use a pot with a thick bottom. Thin-bottomed pots will create hot and cold spots that tend to cook the pasta unevenly.
  • Use a burner close in size to the bottom of the pot. If the burner is too small the outer edges will not simmer and the pasta will cook unevenly.
  • Make sure the broth is simmering the whole time. If it stops simmering, the pasta will stop cooking and will become mushy.
One Pot Veggie Pasta in the pot half scooped
One pot veggie pasta in a bowl with a fork

One Pot Veggie Pasta

This one pot veggie pasta is an easy, satisfying, and quick dinner. Use whatever vegetables you have on hand and make it your own!
Total Cost $7.99 recipe / $2.00 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 461kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 1 yellow onion $0.28
  • 2 carrots $0.16
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
  • 8 oz. mushrooms $1.49
  • 1 zucchini $0.90
  • 1 red bell pepper $1.50
  • 1/2 lb. rotini (not cooked) $0.50
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano $0.05
  • 2 cups vegetable broth $0.26
  • 24 oz. pasta sauce $1.49
  • 4 oz. mozzarella, shredded (optional) $0.83

Instructions

  • Mince the garlic, dice the onion, and slice the carrots. Add the garlic, onion, and carrots to a large pot with the olive oil. Sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent.
  • While the vegetables are sautéing, slice the mushrooms. Once sliced, add them to the pot with the other vegetables and continue sautéing.
  • While the rest of the vegetables are sautéing, dice the zucchini and bell pepper.
  • Once the bell pepper and zucchini are diced, add them to the pot along with the rotini, basil, oregano, and vegetable broth. Stir to combine. It's okay if the broth doesn't fully submerge the pasta.
  • Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to medium-high, and allow the broth to come up to a boil.
  • Once the broth reaches a full boil, give the pasta a quick stir, replace the lid, then turn the heat down to medium-low. Let the pasta simmer over medium-low, stirring occasionally and always replacing the lid, for about 10 minutes, or until the pasta is tender.
  • Once the pasta is tender, add the pasta sauce to the pot and stir to combine. Top with the shredded cheese then place the lid back on the pot. Let the pasta heat for a few minutes, or just until the cheese is melted. Serve hot!

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 461kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 15g | Sodium: 1573mg | Fiber: 8g
Close up of one pot veggie pasta being lifted on a spoon

How to Make One Pot Veggie Pasta – Step by Step Photos

Onion carrot and garlic in the pot

Mince two cloves of garlic, dice one yellow onion, and slice 2 carrots. Add the garlic, onion, and carrots to a large pot with 2 Tbsp olive oil. Sauté over medium for about five minutes, or until the onions are soft.

Sliced mushrooms added to the pot

While the garlic, onion, and carrots are sautéing, slice 8oz. mushrooms (or you can buy pre-sliced). Add the sliced mushrooms to the pot and continue to sauté while you chop the rest of the vegetables. Chop one zucchini and one red bell pepper.

pasta, vegetables, and broth added to the pot

Add the chopped zucchini and bell pepper to the pot along with 8oz. rotini (not cooked), ½ tsp basil, ½ tsp oregano, and 2 cups vegetable broth.

Stirred but uncooked pasta and vegetables in the pot

Stir everything together. Don’t worry about the pasta not being fully submerged in the broth. I promise it still works. Place a lid on the pot and turn the heat up to medium-high. Bring the broth to a boil. When it reaches a full boil, give everything a quick stir, put the lid back on top, and turn the heat down to medium-low.

Cooked pasta and vegetables in the pot

Let the pasta and vegetables simmer, stirring occasionally and always replacing the lid, until the pasta is tender and there is very little liquid left on the bottom of the pot.

Pasta sauce being poured into the pot

Add a 24 oz. jar of your favorite pasta sauce and stir to combine.

Shredded cheese being added on top

Top the pasta with 4 oz. shredded mozzarella. Place the lid back on the pot and let the pasta sit for about 2 minutes, or just until the cheese is melted.

Finished one pot veggie pasta garnished with parsley

And then it’s done! I garnished with a little chopped parsley to make it pretty, but it’s totally unnecessary for flavor.

Close up side view of a bowl of veggie pasta with cheese

Enjoy!

Love One Pot Pastas? Try These Other Flavors:

The post One Pot Veggie Pasta appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Huevos Rancheros

Huevos rancheros (or rancher’s eggs) are a typical breakfast served at Mexican farms, featuring corn tortillas topped with fried eggs and salsa. Huevos Rancheros These Huevos are the most perfect meatless, vegetarian meal for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The egg yolks mingle with tomatoes and cheese over a crispy corn tortillas, what can be better! […]

The post Huevos Rancheros appeared first on Skinnytaste.

Huevos rancheros (or rancher’s eggs) are a typical breakfast served at Mexican farms, featuring corn tortillas topped with fried eggs and salsa.

Huevos Rancheros
Huevos Rancheros

These Huevos are the most perfect meatless, vegetarian meal for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The egg yolks mingle with tomatoes and cheese over a crispy corn tortillas, what can be better! But eggs are not just great for breakfast, I also love eating them for lunch or dinner too! This dish is naturally gluten-free too.

(more…)

The post Huevos Rancheros appeared first on Skinnytaste.