Easy Tuna Cakes – A Family Favorite

Tuna Cakes are a delicious way to do meat free during the week! They have a crispy outside and nice flaky middle filled with red onion, jalapeno and spices to make them so flavorful you won’t even miss the meat. 

These tuna cakes come together quickly and are enough to feed a family of 4 easily. You can have them made and on the table in under 20 minutes making them perfect for a quick and easy weeknight meal you won’t have to feel guilty about. 

Tuna Cakes on top of a bed of lettuce on white platter

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No Bake Chocolate Haystack Cookies

Chocolate Haystack Cookies are one of the easiest no-bake cookies you can make! They are perfect for lunchboxes and after school treats!

 I am so excited to share these cookies with you guys today! They are another part of my contribution to #Choctoberfest (remember to enter the massive giveaway here) and I just know you will love them as much as  I do. My Grandmother introduced me to these many years ago when I was just a little girl with a big chocolate craving after a long day of grade school (pfft if only we knew how much longer the days would get as we got older right?!). We created timeless memories in her kitchen together baking and whipping up goodies, and I was often allowed to lick the spoon when it was all said and done so I think it was a pretty sweet deal.

So, what are haystack cookies?

Simply put a Haystack Cookie is a no-bake cookie using chocolate and chow mein noodles along with other ingredients to create a one of a kind treat that both kids and adults will love! Their “haystack” shape once set is what gives them their unique name, and you can make them as big or small as you would like. We prefer to make them two bite cookies, but have made them as big as our hands in the past!

Chocolate-Haystack-Cookies-with-Peanut-Butter

what ingredients are in haystack cookies?

There are 3 main ingredients in Chocolate Haystack Cookies. As you can see above, they consist of chocolate and chow mein noodles and we added in some crunchy peanut butter to ours! This makes them Chocolate Haystack Cookies with Peanut Butter… everything is truly better with peanut butter!

Now the thing I love with this cookie is how creative you can get with it. You could stop with 3 ingredients and you would have a great cookie…OR you could add in some salted peanuts and sprinkles like we did and take your cookie over the top! You could even add in a nice chopped dried fruit mix with sunflower seeds or oats to add another flavor dimension. Play around with them and make them your own by starting with our base recipe! Just remember, if you are adding in more “toppings” you will need to increase your chocolate amount as well so there is enough to coat the goodness.

Chocolate Haystack Cookies with Peanut Butter

Chocolate Haystack Cookies are one of the easiest no-bake cookies you can make! They are perfect for lunchboxes and after school treats!

Course Dessert, Holiday Treats, Snack
Keyword Chocolate Haystack Cookies, No Bake Cookies
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Refrigerate 20 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 24 Cookies
Author Melissa

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1/2 cup Peanut Butter we used Crunchy
  • 3 cups Chow Mein Noodles
  • 1 cup Peanuts

Instructions

  1. Begin by lining 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper, or silicone baking mats and set aside.

  2. Melt chocolate chips using the double broiler over medium heat. You can use the microwave as well but be sure to do it in 15 second increments so you don't burn the chocolate. 

  3. Once chocolate is melted turn the heat off and stir in the peanut butter. Mix until well combined and creamy.

  4. Remove from the heat and stir in your peanuts and chow mein noodles. I like to give the noodles a little "force" to break some of them into smaller pieces.

    *you can add in any other mix-ins you like but remember to increase chocolate amount to ensure proper coverage*

  5. Use a spoon to scoop and drop your chocolate noodle mixture onto your prepared baking sheets. You can make them as big or as small as you like.

  6. Allow to set in the fridge for at least 20 minutes before devouring!

Recipe Notes

You can make these cookies FAR in advance, just ensure you place them in a sealed container in the fridge. We have had them up to 4 weeks and they still tasted as if they were just made! 

how do you make chocolate haystack cookies?

Are you ready for how easy this is!? Melt your chocolate, either using the microwave or a double broiler method. If using the double broiler method you will need a pot and a glass bowl. You want to ensure the bowl does not touch the bottom of the pot when placed over top, it should hover just above your water line. Fill pot about 2″ with water and simmer over medium heat, you do not want a rapid boil! As the bowl heats up it will gently melt your chocolate without burning or seizing. It is my favorite way to melt any kind of chocolate.

No Bake Chocolate Haystack Cookies

Chocolate Haystack Cookies are one of the easiest no-bake cookies you can make! They are perfect for lunchboxes and after school treats! #nobakehaystackcookies #nobakecookies #peanutbutterhaystackcookies #cookies

Once your chocolate is smooth you simply add in your peanut butter and stir to combine and then add in your noodles and whatever other ingredients you choose to incorporate into your Chocolate Haystack Cookies! EASY RIGHT?!

Chocolate Haystack Cookies with Peanut Butter

 

more treats like chocolate haystack cookies


Be sure to check out the other Popular Chocolate Recipes from #CHOCTOBERFEST below!


Cheesy Tuna Noodle Casserole

This Cheesy Tuna Noodle Casserole is one of our go-to meals for during the week…especially when we don’t have anything thawed and ready to go! It is a super quick, 30 minute meal (including your prep) and is loaded with flavor to satisfy your deepest comfort food cravings. Just take a look at the cheesy goodness this Tuna Casserole offers:

Cheesy Tuna Noodle Casserole

 

The secret to our Tuna Noodle Casserole is the sauce you make to mix with the noodles before putting it into the oven. It is where all the flavor lies, and really makes the difference between a delicious casserole and a dry one. Every single noodle gets coated in the sauce, and because we like to use rigatoni, the sauce gets inside the tubes so every bite is bursting with flavor!

Sauce for Tuna Casserole

 

This is the perfect comfort dish for the cooler Fall days ahead, and it pairs perfectly with a simple salad or steamed veggies. Want to know what else is awesome about it?! You can prepare up to the step where you would put it in the oven and FREEZE it for later! Yep, I am all about meals I can grab and cook while I do the million other things that need tending in my house during the week. If you are one of those people who preps your meals ahead of time, take this recipe and double it. Pop one in the oven tonight and freeze one for a night when you just want to hit “bake” on your oven, you will thank me later.

Cheesy Tuna Noodle Casserole - A quick and easy weeknight meal, bursting with flavor. Classic flavors everyone in the family will love. #TunaCasserole #CheesyTunaNoodleCasserole #TunaRecipes

Cheesy Tuna Noodle Casserole – A quick and easy weeknight meal, bursting with flavor. Classic flavors everyone in the family will love. #TunaCasserole #CheesyTunaNoodleCasserole #TunaRecipes

Cheesy Tuna Noodle Casserole

This Cheesy Tuna Noodle Casserole is one of our go-to meals for during the week. It is a super quick 30 minute meal that is loaded with flavor!

Course Dinner
Cuisine American, Comfort Food
Keyword Tuna Noodle Casserole
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Author Melissa ~ The Olive Blogger

Ingredients

  • 2 cans Flaked White Tuna
  • 1 medium Onion diced
  • 3 cloves Garlic minced
  • 1 cup Frozen Peas
  • 2 cups Chicken or Vegetable Broth
  • 1.5 cups Grated Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/4 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 package Rigatoni Pasta or any type you prefer
  • 1/4 cup Italian Breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup Cold Water
  • 1 tbsp Corn Starch
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add in your pasta and cook until al dente (see package for timing) Reserve 1 cup of pasta water in case you need to thin out your sauce. Continue steps below while pasta cooks.
  3. In a medium sauce pan heat olive oil over high heat and saute onions until translucent (about 5 minutes) add in minced garlic and cook until fragrant. Add both cans of tuna and cook on medium heat for 2 minutes.
  4. Pour broth into tuna mixture and add frozen peas. Continue to cook at a low simmer until pasta is finished. Strain pasta and transfer to a 9"x 13" casserole dish.
  5. In a small bowl mix together cold water with cornstarch and add to your tuna mixture, allow to simmer for 1 minute and remove from heat.
  6. Stir in the grated parmesan cheese and then pour half of the mixture over your pasta. Stir to mix and then top the pasta with remaining sauce. Sprinkle top with breadcrumbs, fresh pepper and grated cheddar cheese.
  7. Cook in preheated oven for 10 minutes, until the top is brown and cheese is melted.

Tips and tricks for your Cheesy Tuna noodle Casserole

  • If you don’t have Italian Breadcrumbs you can make them yourself! Using regular bread crumbs, add in a pinch of dried basil, oregano and parsley, as well as a handful of finely grated Parmesan cheese.
  • We like to use Flaked White Tuna but you can use your favorite tuna
  • No frozen peas? That’s ok! You can substitute with fresh ones, or use edamame (shelled) or chopped fresh/frozen greens (kale, swiss chard etc)
  • Want it a little spicy? Add in a tbsp of chili pepper flakes, or top with your favorite hot sauce!


If you are looking for more delicious Comfort Foods like this tuna noodle casserole, check these out:

  1. Twenty Minute Beef Stroganoff 
  2. Classic Comfort Foods – BHG
  3. Lemon Chicken Picatta 
  4. Easy Italian Stuffed Peppers


Italian Stuffed Peppers Recipe

Stuffed Peppers are a delicious and easy way to make a healthy weeknight meal that everyone will love! They use a few key ingredients to create a savory dish, and can be customized with whatever you have on hand.

Sausage-and-Peppers

The recipe I am sharing today is for our Italian Stuffed Peppers which combines mild Italian sausage  and other classic flavors like Oregano, Basil and Parmesan Cheese to create a mouth-watering pepper you will want to eat time and time again! We use rice in these stuffed peppers but we have also done them with quinoa and couscous to change it up a bit. Either way, it is the perfect comfort food to whip up with the cooler days ahead.

Italian Stuffed Peppers Recipe

Stuffed Peppers are a healthy and delicious weeknight meal that everyone will love! They use a few key ingredients to create a savory dish, and can be customized with whatever you have on hand.
Course Appetizer, Dinner
Cuisine Italian, Italian-American
Keyword Stuffed Peppers
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 5 Large Peppers
Author Melissa ~ The Olive Blogger

Ingredients

  • 5 medium Bell Peppers assorted colors
  • 1/2 large Onion diced
  • 3 links Italian Sausage casing removed (can use mild or hot)
  • 1 c White or Basmati Rice
  • 1 c Strained Tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp each dried Parsley and Basil if you have fresh that is good too!
  • 1/4 c shredded Parmesan Cheese +more for topping
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive Oil

Instructions

Prepping your Peppers

  1. Wash peppers and, using a sharp knife, cut off the tops (about 1/2")
  2. Remove the seeds and membrane of the pepper using a small paring knife, being careful not to puncture the pepper itself (if you do that is OK your rice will prevent too much stuffing from seeping out)
  3. Dice up your pepper tops (not including the stems)!

Cook the Rice and Filling

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. Cook rice according to package and set aside
  3. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil a medium pan and add in diced peppers and onions and saute for 2 mins
  4. Add in Sausage and spices and cook until browned (about 5 mins)
  5. Add your strained tomatoes and simmer for 3 mins, stir in parmesan, salt and pepper and remove from heat

Assembling your Stuffed Peppers

  1. Place empty peppers in a shallow dish, try to keep them close together so they don't fall over in the oven
  2. Start by stuffing them with rice until they are about 3/4 full
  3. Fill the remaining portion of your pepper with your sausage mixture
  4. Top with grated parmesan

Recipe Notes

If you like your peppers a little softer you can steam them for 3 minutes in the microwave first before assembling. Simply place them top down on a plate and cover loosely with plastic wrap, cook for 3 mins and then go on to stuffing!!

 

How easy is that?! I always seem to have some of the stuffing left over too, it is great for adding to pasta sauce later in the week (if you can make it last that long). Though often I find myself eating spoonfuls while I wait for my peppers to come out of the oven! I mean just look at how tasty it is…

Italian Stuffed Peppers

Italian Stuffed Peppers – an easy and delicious weeknight meal the whole family will love!
#ItalianStuffedPeppers #PepperRecipes #StuffedPeppers

Stuffed Peppers Italian Style

Liked This? You’ll LOVe these easy dinner ideas too!

Beef StroganoffLemon Chicken Piccata

Farfalle with Broccoli and Sausage

 

 

 

Easy Mothers Day Brunch Round-Up

With only a week to go until we celebrate all the moms out there I thought it would be a perfect time to round-up some of my favourite dishes, drinks and sweets from fellow bloggers to make it the best Mothers Day Brunch yet! There is something for every mom on the list, and some of them can even be assembled the night before which leaves more time for morning snuggles! Get your shopping list ready and be prepared to receive extra kisses from mom!

 

BErries n Cream French Toast Casserole: garden in the kitchen

This gorgeous casserole uses fresh berries and cream cheese and is the perfect way to show mom just how sweet you think she is!

breakfast-bake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

POTATO, BACON AND EGG SHEET PAN BREAKFAST: DELICIOUS ON A DIME

This hearty breakfast is easy to make and even easier to clean up! It combines crispy potatoes, cheesy eggs and smoky bacon and uses only one pan!

Potato-Bacon-and-Egg-Sheet-Pan-Breakfast

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 INGREDIENT ORANGE JULIUS COCKTAIL: STRENGTH AND SUNSHINE 

This simple to make frozen cocktail is a nice change from the classic mimosa we all think to serve mom for her special day.

4-Ingredient-Orange-Julius-Martini

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

eggs benedict with artichoke and roasted red pepper hollindase: food meanderings 

A gourmet take on the classic, this is a grown-up eggs benny with some incredible flavours, don’t fooled though it is still super easy to pull together!

Eggs-Benedict-with-Red-Pepper-Artichoke-Hollandaise-and-Proscuitto-Recipe-1

 
 STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE LEMON CURD PARFAIT: THE RISING SPOON 

This fresh and tangy parfait uses simple ingredients and is super easy to make, and just look at how pretty it is!

strawberry-shortcake-lemon-curd-parfait-recipe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CRACKER BARREL HASHBROWN CASSEROLE: CINCY SHOPPER 

This is one of the dishes you can make ahead of time and pop in the oven on Sunday morning, it is full of cheesy goodness and will impress everyone in the family not just mom!

Copycat-Cracker-Barrel-Hashbrown-Casserole-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

sparkling unicorn drink: the olive blogger

This drink is so yummy you will want to make a 2nd! A simple 3 ingredient cocktail (you can make it a mocktail if you wish!) that is a beautiful as it is tasty.

Sparkling-Unicorn-Drink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 huevos rancheros breakfast casserole: taste and see

This casserole has it all! It is loaded with Mexican flavours and full of fiber, a perfect start to your Mothers Day Brunch!

Huevos-Rancheros-Breakfast-Casserole

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

raspberry cheesecake swirl bread: savings dollars and sense

This sweet treat uses a sugar cookie dough base to create an easy make ahead “bread” you can serve with a nice cuppa tea.

raspberry-cheesecake-swirl-bread

 

 

 

 

 

 

ULTIMATE CAESAR COCKTAIL: GIRL HEART FOOD 

A 5 minute cocktail that is loaded with flavour! It is a vodka based drink that is finished off with yummy snack like foods, allowing you to get creative with what you use to top it.

Ultimate-Caesar-Cocktail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

peach stuffed french toast: the olive blogger

If you haven’t tried our french toast yet now is the perfect time! It is perfectly sweet with a simple peach syrup and fresh peaches stuffed inside of a thick piece of your favourite bread.

French Toast on a colorful flowered plate with fresh peaches and walnuts

 

 

 

 

 

 

So are you ready to get cooking for your Mothers Day Brunch!? Be sure to tag us @theoliveblogger and #OliveYum on Instagram so we can see how you spoiled mom!

Easy Mothers Day Brunch Recipes - This round-up features everything you need to make sure mom has a special day! #MothersDay #BrunchRecipes #EasyBrunchIdeas

Easy Mothers Day Brunch Recipes – This round-up features everything you need to make sure mom has a special day! #MothersDay #BrunchRecipes #EasyBrunchIdeas

Looking for more? Check out the links below for some more ideas for your brunch. 

Cheesy Bacon Potato Fritatta – Amanda’s Cookin

Cinnamon French Toast Breakfast Bake – Family Food and Travel 

Blueberry Lemon Scones – Kudos Kitchen by Renee

Sausage and Cheese Grits Quiche – Coastal Kelder 

Strawberry Nutella Turnovers – Aileen Cooks 

Savory Breakfast Bread Pudding – The Kitchen is my Playground