Sour Cream Fruit Dip

My cousin introduced me to this recipe at our last family get together.  I fell in love with it immediately!  It’s so easy, you’ve got to give it a try!

fruit dip

  • 16 oz. sour cream
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Mix it all up and there you have it!  Does it get any simpler?  I think not.  I could have eaten the entire thing without the fruit… though I highly recommend the fruit.  ;)

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Orangesicles!

Miss K has wanted to make popsicles all summer long.  The other day she got her chance!  She found a recipe on Pinterest that she wanted to try.  It was extremely simple and ever so tasty!  Mmm! 

orangesicle1

All you do is mix the following ingredients together, pour into your molds, freeze, and enjoy. 

  • 6 oz thawed orange juice concentrate
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Source:  A Night Owl Blog

Orangesicle

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Peach Cobbler {and Tillamook Ice Cream}

Did you know that July is National Ice Cream Month?  It makes sense.  July… it’s HOT! 

But I didn’t know there was a whole month devoted to the tasty, frozen treat.  I first learned when I reviewed this book.  After all, it was Ronald Reagan that declared July as National Ice Cream Month.  What a great man!  ;)

And now you know… if you didn’t already.

Did you also know that Tillamook makes just about the best ice cream out there?  It’s totally true!  {Yes, they sent me coupons for free ice cream but only asked for honesty.  The opinions made in this post are 100% mine.}  I was first introduced to Tillamook when they asked me to help them out with a Back to School Healthy Eating Campaign (see my post here).  They sent me a bunch of coupons for Tillamook products.  Of course I had seen them before in the store but always passed on them for the less expensive brands. 

All the products were great but once I got a taste of their ice cream…… OH BOY!  I had a hard time going back to the store brand (which always seems to be on sale).  So I was elated when they contacted me again to do a review of the ice cream.  Our absolute favorite is the Marionberry Pie Ice Cream.  WOW!  Chocolate Peanut Butter is a close second.  The kids and my father-in-law really like the Banana Split flavor.  That one just didn’t do it for me but to each his own. 

And then there’s the classic…. Vanilla.  Don’t get me wrong, I can appreciate that some folks prefer the old classic.  Miss K, C, and B are some of them.  But if I’m going to do plain ol’ plain… I prefer Vanilla Bean to regular Vanilla.

Tillamook 

But there’s got to be something to go with it.  So Sunday night we decided to pull out the dutch oven and make a cobbler. 

We were all in heaven!!  It’s just what we needed after a dinner of grilled cheese sandwiches because mom (that would be me) forgot to put the roast in before church.  Whoops! 

This is the simplest recipe you’ll ever find.  Our good friend Kevin taught us the butter thing.  Before that we had always used a can of Sprite.  Never again, my friends.

  • 1 yellow cake mix
  • 1 large and one medium can of peaches
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
  • Vanilla ice cream (Tillamook Vanilla Bean is best! ;) )

Heat briquettes ahead of time.  You’ll need 24 total.

Spray your dutch oven with nonstick cooking spray.  Pour peaches into oven.  We poured all the juice from the large can but drained the medium can. 

Sprinkle cake mix evenly over the peaches. 

Melt butter and pour slowly and evenly over cake mix trying to cover the entire thing.  (It can be tricky.)

Place lid on oven.  Cook outside with 10 briquettes underneath and 14 on top.  That’s about the equivalent of a 350* oven.  Cook for about 40 minutes. 

Serve with ice cream and enjoy! 

Cobbler 1

Cobbler 2

Cobbler 3

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The PERFECT Burger!

I don’t know about your neck of the woods but here in mine… IT HAS BEEN HOT! 

I’ve always said that I much prefer the cold to the heat.  I’m pretty much a bear in reverse.  Hibernation happens during the summer months for me.  Otherwise I turn into the Wicked Witch of the West. 

Seriously…

Don’t ask Anthony about the Lagoon incident.  It was reeeaaaally hot that day.  The end.

So anyway, the nights have been nice lately.  A little thunderstorm rolls in, cools things off a bit, don’t have to worry about watering the lawn or the pathetic garden.  And then it’s hot again. 

But I really didn’t mean for this post to be about the weather.  Let’s talk burgers!

Anthony has perfected the art of burger grilling.  He is the burger master!  The king!  It all started when we kept seeing pins on Pinterest with these delectable burgers.  We’d look at the recipe and think… hmmm, we should try that someday. 

And then one day we did.  There was no looking back from there. 

So, although I couldn’t even begin to tell you which one was ‘the one’ that we actually went for (they were all so similar), I can tell you that Anthony has got this down to a science.  No true measurements or anything just one of those “to taste” recipes, really.  And of course his secret ingredient… BACON! 

And so, for your viewing (and tasting) pleasure, I present to you…. THE PERFECT BURGER!!

Perfect Burger

And some Sun Chips but really, you could switch that out for whatever… totally optional. ;)

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Ground Beef (he likes to use 85/15)
  • Mozzarella and/or Pepper Jack cheese, shredded
  • Seasoning salt
  • BBQ Sauce (Anthony swears it has to be Jack Daniels Original No. 7)
  • Bacon, cooked 3/4 of the way and chopped
  • Bacon Grease

Make sure the grill isn’t too hot.  These need to cook fairly slow so that the inside is done at the same time as the outside.  You don’t want these babies to burn!  Nothing worse than having the outside charcoaled and the inside still red. 

Cook bacon about 3/4 of the way.  Not to the point of crispy.  Chop into small pieces.  OH and save the GREASE!  Anthony swears by this!

For every pound of ground beef you’ll add approximately 1/4 to 1/2 lb. bacon, 4-8 oz. cheese (whichever kind you prefer), 1 or 2 Tablespoons Seasoning Salt, and 1/2 to 3/4 of a bottle of BBQ sauce.  Then get your hands in there and just mix it all up!  It’s a messy process. 

Form into patties.  One pound makes exactly 7 burgers for us.  This is just the right amount for my family.  The burgers are thick!  Form a deep well in the middle, this is important! 

Once burgers are on the grill pour bacon grease into the well. 

Burgers and Grease

Flip when that side is done (after a few minutes) and continue cooking on the other side.  Obviously, right?  (You never know… there are people that sue McDonald’s for having hot coffee… don’t most people prefer it that way?  Just sayin’.)

These burgers are so tender they literally fall apart in your mouth!  I think it’s the slow cooking that does it.  OH MAN!  They are GOOOOOD! 

Seriously, go make them.  Enjoy!

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

There’s a war going on in my house.  And it’s all because Anthony’s taste buds are dying? dead? deranged? insane? disturbed?

I don’t know, all I know is they’re just not right!  Pumpkin is one of the best flavors in the world when paired with sugar… and chocolate chips (unless it’s pie, because… EW!).  But seriously, it causes me much anguish that he doesn’t love pumpkin the way I do. 

Maybe I should have screened him better before entering into this lifelong commitment… I kid, of course ;)

Every time I make a pumpkin dish (besides pie because he already likes the pie) I force it down his throat and I just know that this will be it!!  This will be the time that he says, “WOW!  That is great!  I love it, give me more.” 

No such luck.  He always politely eats (if you can call his unacceptance as ‘polite’… psh!) and then says something like, “I just don’t love that flavor combo.”

Who is this man? 

Ugh! 

Anyway, I found a recipe that I LOVE!  (Original recipe found HERE) I modified it slightly because the original recipe made a gigantic batch and I like my pumpkin treats to be full of spicy flavor.  And I lowered the temp of the oven as well.

These are TO DIE FOR, moist and delicious!  I promise you’ll love them (unless you’re my husband, then you’re just a weirdy! ;) )

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Mix together the following:

  • 1 c. softened butter
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar

Add:

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla

In a separate bowl, combine:

  • 2 1/4 c. flour
  • 1 1/2 – 1 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 – 3/4 tsp. cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. allspice
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

Add to butter/sugar/egg mixture and mix…

Add:

  • 15 oz. pumpkin puree

Once all is combined well, stir in:

  • 1 1/2 c. chocolate chips

Bake at 325* for about 20-25 minutes.  This made 24 muffins. 

Pumpkin Choc Chip Muffins

{Don’t forget to enter to win a 1-year subscription to BYOU magazine.  Click here}

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Chicken Fajitas

The other day I realized that I hadn’t made chicken fajitas for way too long.  They are seriously amazing and my whole family LOVES them!  It’s now on our regular rotation for dinner… again.  (Forgive the picture.  I didn’t stage it.  Just took a pic last minute :) )

Chicken Fajitas 

  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1/3 c. lemon juice (or juice of 1 fresh lemon)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • salt to taste (about 1/2 tsp.)
  • 2 tsp. chili powder (or more if you prefer, we keep it right at 2)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 c. cooked, shredded chicken
  • 1 red pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 green pepper, cut into strips
  • tortillas

Mix olive oil, lemon juice, onion, salt, chili powder, oregano, and thyme in a large frying pan.  Cook over medium heat until onion is tender but still has a bit of a crunch.  Add garlic.  Add chicken and cover to cook for about 10-15 minutes. 

Add peppers and toss until they are still crisp but tender.  You don’t want them to be mushy.

Serve on warmed tortillas with your choice of garnishments:  cheese, sour cream, guacamole, salsa

Recipe source:  The Diet Rebel’s Cookbook

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Peanut Butter Bars

This is how awesome I am at decorating and getting things up on my walls….

Christmas 2011 we got a Family Home Evening board from my aunt.  We’ve always wanted one, finally get one, and it sat.  It sat until just last month.  For over a year it sat and collected dust. 

Our intentions were good.  We loved the gift and planned to hang it right away.  The problem is, Anthony and I are 90%-ers.  It’s a sad story, really.  Every project we start gets done 90%.  The last 10% of the project gets left out completely.  And after all, actually owning the FHE board and planning to hang it up is 90% of the battle, right? 

But we did it!!  Be proud!  Sure, it’s a year late BUT it’s hanging up and getting used.  The kids love knowing who’s in charge of each part of FHE and I love not feeling like I have to plan the whole thing.  Being a 90%-er is hard work! 

Last week it was H’s turn to make the treat.  That’s the job that all the kids want each week because I don’t let anyone help except that one person.  Normally they have to take turns pouring ingredients in. 

Taking turns… ICK!  Nobody likes to do that.  At least not around these here parts.

But I digress.

H chose a recipe that we had never tried before from one of my cookbooks.  I’ve had peanut butter bars before but these were super yummy!  Better than any I’ve ever tried before.  I hope you enjoy them as much as we did.  It makes a HUGE batch… a large cookie sheet full.  Anthony couldn’t keep his hands off of them!

Peanut Butter Bars 1

BARS:

  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 c. butter
  • 1 1/2 c. peanut butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 c. flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 3 c. quick oats

Preheat oven to 325*.  In large mixing bowl cream first 4 ingredients.  Add the eggs and vanilla.  Mix well.  Combine dry ingredients in separate bowl and add to wet mixture.  Mix well and press into the bottom of a large cookie sheet.  Bake at 325* for 10 minutes then raise temperature to 375* and bake for another 10-15 minutes. 

FROSTING:

  • 3 T. cocoa
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 3 – 3 1/2 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 6 T. milk

Melt butter with coca in a saucepan.  Remove from heat.  Add sugar, vanilla and milk.  Stir with whisk until smooth.  Poor over COOLED bars and spread.  Refrigerate to harden frosting. 

Recipe Source:  Worldwide Ward Cookbook:  Mom’s Best Recipes

 

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Cheater Chili

Beans intimidate me.  Not because they cause gas, though that should scare me enough to keep them out of our meals considering a certain somebody that I live with.  I won’t mention names.  I’ll just say it’s one of my husbands ;) .

But seriously, I have never soaked a bean in my life.  I prefer canned.  My mom tells me it’s not a big deal but for a Brooke like me, it is.  Soaking beans makes me nervous.  What if I mess up?  It’s part of the perfectionist in me.  Something I am working on in 2013.  Because I know that if I mess up it’s not the end of the world but somehow I can’t bring myself to try something that I think I will be horrible at.  Negative self-talk.  That’s all it is.  Bad!

So, I don’t make chili often.  In fact, I’ve only ever tried one other recipe (another cheater version) before this one.  And it was pretty good but after trying this one I’ll never turn back!  We all loved it!

Make it, you’ll like it…

Chili

  • 2 large cans (28 oz.) chili beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes
  • 1 – 15 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 28 oz. tomato juice
  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped (I used green)
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 2 T. chili powder (I used heaping Tablespoons)
  • 1 T. red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Saute the onion and bell pepper in a little olive or vegetable oil until fragrant.  Add the ground beef and brown.  In a large pot combine all ingredients together and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for about an hour, uncovered.  Garnish with sour cream and cheese if desired. 

 

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Oreo Layer Dessert

Oh Oreos…

What more is there to say?  Who doesn’t love a good ol’ fashioned Oreo?  Man!  I could really go for some Oreos right now.  Too bad we don’t have any :(

I was supposed to bring a dessert for the ward campout a couple weeks ago and in light of the Pinterest Challenge I was doing (Yes, I did it.  Maybe not every day but I did what I could and made a few yummy things) I looked up a recipe from my dessert board. 

I’m pretty sure it was a smash hit considering that it was the first dessert gone and trust me, there were MANY! 

And it was so easy, too!!  Didn’t even have to turn on the oven!  {Quality of pics is poor… I only had my cell phone handy}

Oreo Layer Dessert

1 pkg of regular Oreos, crushed (divided)

1/2 c. of butter

1 lg box of instant chocolate pudding

2-8 oz Whipped topping (Cool Whip)

8 oz. of cream cheese, softened

1 c. powdered sugar

Crush a whole package of cookies in a ziploc bag with a rolling pin.  Reserve 1/2 cup.  Pour crushed cookies into a bowl, melt butter and pour over crumbs. Stir and press crumbs into 13×9 pan. Make chocolate pudding according to package directions.  Refrigerate until set up.  Blend softened cream cheese with powdered sugar and fold in 1-8 oz tub of whipped topping.  Spread evenly over crushed Oreo layer in pan, then spread pudding evenly over cream cheese layer.  Finally, top evenly with second tub of whipped topping.  Sprinkle reserved crushed cookies over the top.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Recipe Source:  House 344

Oreo Layer Dessert 1

Oreo Layer Dessert 2

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Pinterest Challenge: Day 5–Cranberry Chicken Crescents

Yes, I’m a couple days behind.  Forgive me!

Well, a couple of days ago my kids and I were at home wondering what the heck we were going to eat for dinner.  It was one of those days that we had practically nothing in the house, a trip to the grocery store was MORE than overdue, and Mom (that’s me) refused to take all the kids to the store so…. we had to do some serious scrounging to figure out what we were going to eat. 

Never mind the fact that we had already done the scrimping and scrounging for lunch.  It was time to do it again.

The only thing we knew we could have for sure was corn on the cob.  We have some awesome friends/neighbors who left to go out of town for 12 days and they were worried about the produce in the fridge going bad.  And we were the lucky recipients of their food!  Woohoo! 

So, the search was on for the main course.  So glad there is Pinterest in my time of need!  First I searched my own boards but for every recipe I found that might work I was always missing a few key ingredients.  I finally resorted to the Search Bar (it still counts for my Pinterest challenge, right?).  I had crescent rolls in my fridge and a couple of cans of chicken.  I searched for ‘Chicken Crescents’ and a whole bunch of things came up. 

Then I saw one for Cranberry Chicken Crescents.  PERFECT!!  I had a can of cranberry sauce downstairs in our storage room. 

Babblin' Brooke  Cranberry Chicken Crescents

This was probably the simplest of simple recipes.  First preheat your oven to the temperature noted on your 2 cans of refrigerated crescent rolls (if you’re afraid of opening the tube {like I am} your kids will be happy to do it for you ;) ).  Mix together 2 cans of chicken (drained) and a can of cranberry sauce (whole or jellied).  Put a large spoonful into each crescent, roll, and bake for amount of time noted on package. 

TADA!  Now you’ve got what makes for a GREAT… lunch.  Except that we had it for dinner and everyone loved them!  I was surprised.  Even Anthony (who claims to hate cranberries) loved it! 

 

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