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! 

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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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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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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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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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Resurrection Rolls (an Easter Tradition)

Last year I discovered Resurrection Rolls per the tip from a friend.  We had made Easter Cookies (which are also a great way to teach about the resurrection of Jesus Christ) but had never heard of Resurrection Rolls.  Guess what… they are even better than the cookies!  And quicker, too.

Before making the rolls you can read John 19 in the Bible to remind everyone what Jesus went through as he was crucified.  However, because most of my kids are still pretty young and unable to sit through a long chapter like that, I just tell them about it and what each ingredient represents. 

You’ll need the following:

  • Crescent rolls in a tube (such as Pillsbury) – tomb
  • large marshmallows (1 per crescent roll) – Christ himself, purity
  • cinnamon/sugar mixture – Spices used to prep his body for burial
  • melted butter – embalming oils

Resurrection Rolls 016

Preheat the oven to 350*.  If you have strange phobias like myself, have one of your children open the tube of crescent rolls.  Yes, I’m scared of them….. balloons, too.  Let’s not talk about it. 

C's birthday jpeg0001

Moving on, take marshmallows one at a time and roll them in the melted butter.  Once coated, roll them in cinnamon/sugar mixture and place on large end of a crescent roll.  Roll it up and pinch all sides closed tightly.  There should be no holes or gaps if possible.

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Place on cookie sheet sprayed with non-stick spray and bake for 12-15 minutes. – The three days.

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While it’s baking, read John 20:1-18 

When they are cool enough to eat (but still warm because they’re best that way) open one up and show the kids that Jesus (the marshmallow) is no longer there!  He is risen! 

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C's birthday jpeg0006

And now eat because they’re delicious!

 

And on a side note… these pics did not turn out quite the way I had them envisioned in my mind.  I’m going to get this photography thing down if it KILLS me!  ;)   I’ve decided that FOOD-tography is even tougher than people photography. 

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Homemade Peanut Butter Oreos

So there I was watching The Biggest Loser (so sad that Chism went home… Go Emily!); a show that should have motivated my palate to eat something healthy.  You know, something like carrot sticks, egg whites, or maybe Cheerios (because apparently they are a sponsor). 

This week each contestant had to go home for 18 days and lose 5% of their body weight in order to claim immunity when they came back to the ranch and weighed in.  They all had their struggles but for the most part they did pretty well.  And even I was doing well until Cassandra decided to make these scrumptious looking peanut butter cookies with Hershey Kisses in the middle.  For the record, she only had one!  Go Cassandra!  Self control is tough to master. 

Well, after that, I felt any ounce of self control I had left drain from me and all I could think about was a chocolate and peanut butter combo in any form.  I just needed chocolate and I needed peanut butter.  So the next day I was on a quest to scratch that chocolate/peanut butter itch that I had. 

I decided to concoct my own version of Peanut Butter Oreos.  They are WAY better than the ones you buy.  My family loved them and Anthony has asked me to make them for the people at work on Monday.  Hopefully they like them as much as we do!

I’ve made homemade Oreos before and they are great but I decided to try a different recipe for the cookie part and I think I liked it better! 

peanut butter 5

Homemade Peanut Butter Oreos

1 chocolate cake mix (I like Devil’s Food, Dark Chocolate or Chocolate Fudge)

1 stick of butter, melted (1/2 cup)

2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350*.  Mix all ingredients with a wooden spoon or stand mixer.  This makes a thick dough.  Roll into small 1 inch balls and place on lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for 8 or 9 minutes.  Do not overbake!  If you make bigger cookies, you may need up to 10 minutes. 

Recipe Source:  One Good Thing

Peanut Butter Filling:

1 c. powdered sugar

1 c. creamy peanut butter

5 T. butter, softened

1 tsp. vanilla

1/4 tsp. salt (omit if using salted butter)

1/3 c. whole milk

Mix all ingredients except milk together well.  Add milk and mix until creamy. 

Recipe slightly adapted from:  Ina Garten

Once cookies have cooled, spread frosting on the bottom of half the cookies and top with the other half of the cookies.

These are really good!  Betcha can’t eat just one ;)

peanut butter 4

 

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Pumpkin Pudding Cake

Has pumpkin season come and gone already?  Am I too late to post a pumpkin recipe?  I sure hope not because you absolutely, positively want to try this recipe!  I promise, it is insanely yummy. 

I first tried this at my family Christmas party this past December.  My cousin had brought it and I was in LOVE at first bite!  Seriously, it is ridiculous.  I’ve had pumpkin pies, pumpkin rolls, pumpkin bars, pumpkin cake, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin bread, and even pumpkin cinnamon rolls… all of which I LOVE.  Pumpkin is my friend.  But never had I ever heard of a Pumpkin Pudding Cake.  And guess what, I think it’s my favorite pumpkin treat of all time!   

It took a couple months but I finally… finally!… got the recipe from her.  I practically begged her for it.  Thank you, Kara!

She got this recipe from a friend of hers and boy oh boy am I glad they are friends!  ;)

Now, let’s make some deliciousness!

pumpkin pudding cake

Pumpkin Pudding Cake

Preheat oven to 350*

Crust:

  • 1 yellow cake mix (reserve 1 cup)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

Mix together the cake mix (minus 1 cup which you should set aside for the topping), egg and butter.  Pat into the bottom of a greased 9×13 pan.

Filling:

  • 2 c. canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 12 oz. can evaporated milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Combine all ingredients and mix with electric hand mixer.  Pour over crust.

Topping:

  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. (1 stick) chilled butter, cut into smaller chunks
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 c. reserved cake mix

Blend all ingredients with pastry blender or fork.  Blend until crumbly.  Sprinkle evenly over top of filling.

Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour… THEN, turn oven OFF after one hour and leave cake in for 10 minutes longer. 

Serve warm or cold (I actually prefer cold) with whipped cream or ice cream. 

If you are a pumpkin fan, you will love this! 

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BabyCakes Cake Pop Maker

Maybe you remember that the last time I made cake pops it worked like a charm… kind of. 

They were a lot more work than I had anticipated and vowed that I would definitely try them again (in a year or two ;) ).

But then my mom bought us a cake pop maker by BabyCakes

babycakes 1

babycakes 2

She bought it at the beginning of December and it took until now for me to try it.  Can you blame me?  I was nervous!  Plus, the whole idea of a cake pop holding together is the fact that it has frosting as the ‘glue’.  That’s how it works.  These were going to be pure cake… how in the world were they going to hold together and stay on the stick?  There was just no way!

Needless to say, I was skeptical.

And so it sat and sat forever and ever (two months counts as forever and ever, right?) until I finally mustered up enough courage to give it a go.

I used a recipe from the owner’s manual for chocolate cake pops.  The recipe called for a bit of freshly brewed coffee.  We don’t drink coffee at our house so what do you do when you have no coffee to freshly brew?  You brew up hot chocolate of course!  Worked like a charm!

I followed the directions to a T regarding how early to plug in the unit, how much batter to put in each section and how long to let them cook. 

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And I learned a thing or two about how quickly I needed to fill each section… umm, yeah.

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That’s what happens when you put a whole tablespoon in (as directed… it fills it to the top) and go too slowly filling the rest.  I recommend filling it just slightly lower than the top and then move quickly!  I also recommend spraying with non-stick spray between each batch.

But even that slight mishap didn’t ruin the cake pops.  The thin layer between them chipped away easily.  No worries.

To remove them from the unit, I used the handy dandy fork tool that came in the box.  Honestly I thought that would be a silly way to do it because it would break them.  Surprisingly, it worked wonders and I don’t know how I would have done it without that wonder of a fork-ish thing.  What would you call that thing?  I just don’t know.

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Look how cute they are! 

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Perfect little balls of happiness.  Yes, they made me happy.

Once they were cooled they went into the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.  Then I left and my mom took over the process with her little helpers also known as my kids. 

After pulling the pops out of the fridge, she stuck them on the sticks.

She melted the chocolate in the microwave, added a few teaspoons of shortening to thin it a bit (you can also use coconut oil) and stirred until it was a good consistency for coating and then rolled the pops in it to coat. 

How cute are they? And they tasted good too.  Like, REALLY good!  It’s a good thing I have so many kids to help me out with eating naughty treats because I could have a major issue!

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babycakes 8

Do I recommend this product?  Heck yes!  Will I use it again… SOON?  Heck yes!  Do I think you need one?  Heck yes! 

**I was NOT compensated in any way, shape or form for this review.  The BabyCakes ‘people’ don’t even know I exist and have no idea I am doing a blog post about their product.  It’s just a product that I tried and really loved and thought you might love it as well.  All opinions herein are my own and were not influenced in any way.  The link to the cake pop maker on Amazon is an affiliate link.  Should you choose to purchase from that link, I will earn an itty bitty percentage that would be much appreciated!  Thanks so much.**

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Coconut Almond Brownies

As I was perusing my overflowing bookshelf of cookbooks the other day, my Pampered Chef Celebrate! book jumped out at me and I decided to take peek inside.  This particular recipe sounded so good that I just had to give it a try.  It was Monday and that means we have to have dessert.  Family Home Evening just isn’t complete without it.

I had all the ingredients on hand which made it even more appealing.  We all loved it!  We will definitely be making this one again.

brownie 1

Coconut Almond Brownies

  • 1 pkg brownie mix (13×9 size) plus ingredients to make cake-like brownies (usually you just add an extra egg)
  • 10 oz. sweetened flaked coconut (I had a 14 oz. pkg so I just used most, but not all of it)
  • 2 c. (12 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips or chocolate chunks
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 350*. 

Prepare brownies according to mix directions for cake-like brownies.  Spread into 13×9 pan and bake for 18-22 minutes or until brownie is set but not completely done. 

Sprinkle coconut on top of brownie and layer chocolate chips on top of that.  Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over coconut and chocolate.  Sprinkle almonds on top to taste.  You could omit the almonds but I recommend keeping them!

Bake 20-23 minutes or until coconut is browned around edges.  Let cool before cutting.

We decided that we might try butterscotch chips next time or maybe caramel sauce instead of the sweetened condensed milk.  These were delicious as is we just want to experiment!

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