Sweet Baked Life

my sweet journey through life…


Crunchy Roasted Chickpeas {garbanzo beans}

These Crunchy Roasted Chickpeas are a perfectly healthy snack to pop in your mouth while you’re on the go!

Crunchy Roasted Chickpeas - easy and healthy! | Sweet Baked Life

Not only are these Crunchy Roasted Chickpeas super simple to make, they’re also high in protein and fiber.

And if you are anything like me, I always seem to be looking for tasty, healthful snacks that I can bring to work with me, store in my desk drawer and pull out when I need something mid-day to nosh on.

You see, I don’t really like to frequent the vending machine at work. Even though it haunts me when I forget to bring something from home.  So, if you are in need of avoiding the tall, lit-up box that holds all kinds of snacks, and will eat up your dollars if you stare at it too long, then sway back over to your kitchen to make this quick snack that will satisfy your daily hunger pains!

Crunchy Roasted Chickpeas - a quick and healthy snack! | Sweet Baked Life

And when you walk by that monster machine, you can stare back knowing that it will not tempt you, as your delightful Crunchy Roasted Chickpeas are waiting for you in your desk drawer!

These are so simple. You only need 3 ingredients; chickpeas (garbanzo beans), olive oil and salt. And, you may even have these ingredients in your pantry right now. So pull them out and let’s get going!

Crunchy Roasted Chickpeas - get healthy on the go! | Sweet Baked Life

Crunchy Roasted Chickpeas {Garbanzo beans}

1 (15 oz) can Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)
Olive oil
Salt to taste

Heat your oven to 400 degrees.

Drain chickpeas in a strainer and rinse with cold water. Pour them onto paper-towel lined rimmed baking sheet. Place a paper towel on the top of the peas, and pat dry. Remove paper towels and skins. Drizzle peas with olive oil and mix together using your hands. Spread out the peas, making sure they are in one layer on the baking sheet.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the beans are golden brown and crispy. Remove from oven and sprinkle with salt. Store in an air tight container.

Crunchy Roasted Chickpeas - easy and delicious! | Sweet Baked Life

Put a stop to spending your money at the dreaded vending machine, and take a step towards the healthy side; make these yummy Crunchy Roasted Chickpeas today!




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Bacon Cheddar Ranch Dip

With football comes food! So get ready to score a touchdown with this winning Bacon Cheddar Ranch Dip.

Bacon Cheddar Ranch Dip

So the question is…are you ready for the big game this weekend?

Sofa and pillows fluffed, TV dusted and tuned, friends and family invited, libation and munchies ready? Good!

But if you’re still in need a savory appetizer that will satisfy even your biggest fan, this Bacon Cheddar Ranch Dip is the way to gain some extra points!

Bacon Cheddar Ranch Dip

Now, I do love football, but since my long-time favorite team (the San Francisco 49ers) are not in the super bowl this year, I think I will focus on the commercials and the half-time performance this Sunday.

OK, if you must know, I would rather have the Patriots win, only because being a 49er faithful I want the Seahawks gone! And I mean the long gone, bye-bye, fly far away, don’t come back next year kind of gone! Do you see where I am going?

Yeah, so let’s get back on track to the real reason we are here – great food!

This creamy goodness starts with smooth sour cream, mixed with sharp cheddar cheese, crunchy bacon bits, tangy ranch seasoning and fresh green onions. It does not get much easier than that!

And let me tell you, it’s addicting! Even my hubby loves this (you remember him, they guy that does not really like the stuff I blog about)!

Bacon Cheddar Ranch Dip

Bacon Cheddar Ranch Dip

16 oz. sour cream
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup crumbled bacon (about 4 slices cooked bacon)
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 (1 oz.) package Hidden Valley Ranch dip mix

In a medium bowl, add all ingredients and mix until well combined. Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for about 1 hour. Remove and serve with your favorite bread, crackers or veggies.

Bacon Cheddar Ranch Dip

So, get ready to whip up a batch of this lip-smacking Bacon Cheddar Ranch Dip and let the commercials, I mean the game, begin!



Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

Yee ha! Ride on over to delight your taste buds with this incredible Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing. If you are tired of that old bottled stuff, now is the time to saunter over to the Sweet Range and rustle up this all-time favorite salad dressing!

Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

Yes. I’ve been on a salad craze lately. And making my own salad dressing has gone hand in hand with that. I really am so tired of salad dressings that leave you craving for something better. So in my attempt to do something about it…I have been making my own.

With that being said, you know if I am making it, it’s got to be easy and tasty…and this Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing defiantly is! And no surprise here — I have been a “ranch girl” since I was first introduced to the stuff many moons ago, it really is my favorite dressing. What about you?

And with the hot temperatures staying on track for the weekend — the forecast is for 106 degrees around these parts for today and that means when I get home from work it will be about 110 degrees in my backyard. Yep, I’ll be jumping in the pool and not feel like cooking anything. That’s where this cool salad dressing will make you want to take the plunge!

Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

So all you cowgirl and cowboy fans of the fresh taste of Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing watch out, this creamy goodness will knock your boots off! I mean really, can anything be better than something so delicious and homemade?

You start with tangy buttermilk, good quality mayonnaise, tangy sour cream then squeeze in some freshly sweet lemon juice and toss in some freshly chopped parsley and chives, give it a good shake, add your salt and pepper.

And there you have it — a jar of smooth and tangy dressing. Use it over your favorite salad or thicken a bit (with more mayonnaise) and use as a dip for just about anything! And in my book you can make this awesome Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing year-round. Defiantly a people pleaser — especially around the old homestead where my family loves the stuff.

Whether you decide to drench your lettuce with this distinctive creamy goodness, or prefer to dip your crisp chips or veggies into it, or even use it to give your pizza crust fresh, new life, this  delightfully cool dressing will become one of your go-to dressings! Especially in the hot summer months when all you can think of is cool, refreshing food.

Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup Best Foods Mayonnaise (or other good quality)
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon freshly chopped Italian parsley
1 tablespoon freshly chopped chives
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, finely chopped (optional, I did not use this)
Kosher salt and ground pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a large mason jar with a lid. Shake vigorously. Season with salt and pepper to your liking. Pour over your favorite salad. If you want it thicker to use for a dip, add more mayonnaise.

Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

So what are you waiting for? Mossy on over to experience this lip-smacking Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing; you’ll be glad you did!



{recipe adapted from Huffington Post /Huffington Taste}



Jalapeno Pepper Jelly

There’s nothing better to nosh on over the weekend with your family and friends than something that is both sweet and hot! This jalapeno Pepper Jelly will make your heart melt, not to mention get your pulse racing a bit too! Oh, and did I mention HOT? Yes, but it’s got just the right amount of heat to make you coming back for more! So slice up a fresh sourdough baguette, generously spread with smooth cream cheese and smother the top with this delectable jelly! You won’t be disappointed! It’s snacking gone to a whole other level! Top rate in my book!

Jalapeno-Pepper Jelly

You see, a couple of weeks ago while wandering through the office, my ears perked up when I heard these three words: Jalapeno Pepper Jelly! What? Who said that? I turned to find a gal describing the most incredible sounding pepper jelly that she makes using freshly picked jalapeno peppers right out of her garden! Not only that, she cans this great hot and sweet concoction for her family to enjoy year-round.  What a lucky bunch! I immediately told her that I LOVED pepper jelly!

Jalapeno-Pepper Jelly-1

Low and behold, the next day I received an email from her stating she had something for me! I hurried to her desk, and there it was — a beautiful jar of precious homemade Jalapeno Pepper Jelly! How sweet was that! I told her that I could not wait to try this yummy stuff. She warned me, “It’s HOT.” Not a problem — sweet and hot, can’t get much better than that!  She even brought me a copy of the recipe so I could share it with all of you!

Jalapeno-Pepper Jelly-2

Jalapeno Pepper Jelly
(recipe from Linda)

2 cups hot peppers (such as jalapeno), cut in half with seeds removed
1-1/2 cups white vinegar
6-1/2 cups granulated sugar
6 oz. liquid Pectin (such as Certo, which can be found at Smart & Final)
6 – 8 oz. (1/2 pint) jars (sterilized and warm)

For the jelly: combine the peppers and vinegar in a large blender and pulse on high-speed until smooth. Pour mixture into a large pot and add the sugar then place on medium heat on your stove. Stir until sugar dissolves and bring to a boil for 3 minutes. Stir in pectin and return to full boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and skim off the foam.

For the canning process: Simply put, you will divide the mixture among the jars, put lids and rings on, and place in a hot water bath for about 15-20 minutes. However, please refer to your basic canning instructions that were included with your jars or pectin for the exact details on sterilizing, filling and boiling the jars.  Remove jars from water and let cool completely, about 2 hours. This jelly will keep for about 2 years on your shelf unopened. Once opened, store in refrigerator.

Jalapeno-Pepper Jelly-3

Let me tell you, after one taste of this amazing Jalapeno Pepper Jelly I could not stop eating it — neither could my husband! Now, I’m not a canning type of person, but maybe one day I will make this sweetly HOT jelly myself!  Or maybe I’ll just bring the empty jar back to Linda and ask for a refill!