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! 


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



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.


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


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


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.

C's birthday jpeg0003

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

C's birthday jpeg0004

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! 

C's birthday jpeg0005

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. 


Homemade Caramel for Caramel Apples

I know, I know… I just barely did a post about how I was going to get all healthy again and stuff.  But seriously, ‘tis the season for caramel apples!  And the kids wanted to make them for Family Home Evening.  I caved.

Usually I do the whole Kraft caramel thing and unwrap every little piece.  Actually, I make the kids do that part while I do other important things like… supervise.  It’s a dirty job but somebody’s gotta do it ;)

But this year, I found a recipe for caramel that I really wanted to try.  It claimed to be the best for caramel apples (at least that’s what the pin said on Pinterest) so we gave a whirl. 

It was DELICIOUS!!  The recipe comes from The Tasty Kitchen.


caramel apples

Caramel Apples

Up to 12 apples, washed and dried (any variety you choose)

1/4 c. butter (do not use margarine)

1 c. white corn syrup

1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk

2 c. sugar

1 tsp. vanilla


Insert sticks into the apples where the stem is. 

Butter a cookie sheet to set apples on once they are coated in caramel.

Combine all ingredients (except vanilla and apples) in a saucepan.  Heat over medium/low heat.  Stir constantly!!!!!  (I recommend a whisk)

Keep cooking and stirring until the mixture reaches 235-240 degrees (soft ball stage).  This step could take a while.

Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.  Let cool for a few minutes.

Twirl apples in caramel gently tilting pan so it pools on one side allowing the entire apple to be covered.  Place apples on buttered cookie sheet.  You can also dip them in other toppings after they’ve cooled just a pinch, if desired.  M&M’s, graham cracker crumbs, chopped nuts, sprinkles, etc.

If you have any extra caramel left in the pan you can either add a little half and half to it to make it like a warm dip for apple wedges or butter a plate or small pan, pour it in and wait ‘til cool to cut it into pieces.

Enjoy!  I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to go back to the Kraft caramels again. 





Maple Rice Pudding

When it comes to rice pudding, I believe there are two types of people… the lovers and the haters

I happen to be a lover.  LOVE! 

I’ve decided that people who like tapioca pudding, generally like rice pudding as well.  Those that do not enjoy the texture of tapioca also don’t appreciate the texture that rice offers in a pudding. 

Silly texture eaters!  

I believe my love of rice pudding began when I was employed at ZCMI in the corporate office.  Sadly, they are no longer in business but I remember going down to the cafeteria every day and buying a tall dessert glass of rice pudding. 

It was DIVINE!  The blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, rice, creamy yumminess… whatever was in it.  I just know it was insanely delicious.  When I could no longer enjoy the heavenly blend {because it’s kind of hard to be employed by a company that no longer exists ;) }, I was forced to embark on a quest to find a recipe that was as divine as the rice pudding I had fallen in love with. 

My quest started out pretty bland.  I was disappointed with the flavor {or runniness} of every stinkin’ recipe I tried.  But every time I ran across a new recipe that sounded great, I just had to try it.  Some were baked and some were made on the stovetop but none of them lived up to delicious flavor I so desired.  That is until I went to a homeschooling conference one year.  There was a vendor selling cookbooks and I bought one.  The recipes seemed simple and I knew they were within my realm of kitchen skills. 

As I devoured the contents of this book, What’s For Dinner?, I came across a recipe for rice pudding.

It didn’t look like anything special.  Pretty similar to others that I had tried before but I figured I might as well give it a shot. 

OH MY GOODNESS!  This was it!  The one I had searched high and low for.  It was thick, creamy, cinnamon-y, nutmeg-y {pretend they’re words} and everything else I needed it to be.  SUCCESS!

And now, it’s my go to recipe when I have leftover rice from dinner.  My kids LOVE it when I have leftover rice.  It makes a great dessert!  Plus, it’s pretty quick.  NO baking involved, only stovetop. 

I’ve made this recipe several times but the past few times I’ve made it, I’ve tweaked it ever so slightly to make it ‘cleaner’ since my family is on a quest to eat better.  We’re not perfect but we’re a heck of a lot better than we were last year at this time. 

So, I’m going to share with you the ‘cleaned up’ version and then tell you the ingredient you can use instead to make it ‘dirty’.  However, my kids are really liking the maple {clean} version better than the original. 

You’ll want to use REAL maple syrup here.  Not the sugary kinds or the sugar-free kind.  You want the 100% pure maple syrup!  Yes, it’s expensive but soooo much better for you than refined sugar or man-made sugars.  No, it’s still not great for you, just better.


Combine the syrup, salt, flour, and cornstarch.  Whisk together.


Slowly add the milks… yes, plural.  Evaporated and regular.


Bring to a boil over medium heat stirring constantly.

Boil for one full minute.

Beat the yolk of an egg in a small bowl.


Add a small amount of the boiling mixture to the egg and quickly beat it to keep the egg from scrambling.  This is called ‘tempering the egg’ but you probably already knew that.  I couldn’t take pics of myself doing this part… sorry!

Pour egg slowly into the boiling mixture and whisk very quickly.  {Whisk at the same time that you are pouring if possible}

Bring to a boil, then remove from heat.

Whisk in the vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Followed by the rice. {Leftover rice is PERFECT for this… even straight from the fridge.}



Serve warm or cold.  I like mine warm.



Maple Rice Pudding

3/4 c. 100% pure maple syrup {you can replace the maple with 2/3 c. regular sugar if you prefer to make traditional rice pudding}

1/4 tsp. salt

2 T. flour {whole wheat or all-purpose may be used}

2 T. cornstarch

1 can evaporated milk

1 1/3 c. milk {I’ve used skim, 1%, 2%, and whole… whatever you have on hand}

1 egg yolk

1 tsp. vanilla {does anyone really measure vanilla?}

1 tsp. cinnamon

3/4 tsp. nutmeg

3 c. cooked rice {leftover is fabulous!  And brown rice works too.}


Combine the syrup, salt, flour, and cornstarch. Whisk together.

Slowly add the milks. Bring to a boil over medium heat stirring constantly.

Boil for one full minute.

Beat the yolk of an egg in a small bowl.

Temper the egg by adding a small amount of the boiling mixture to the egg and quickly beating it to keep the egg from scrambling. Pour egg slowly into the boiling mixture and whisk very quickly. {Whisk at the same time that you are pouring if possible}

Bring to a boil, then remove from heat.

Stir in the vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Followed by the rice.

Serve warm or cold.



Just a side note:  I wasn’t too terribly off on my prediction.  I was the closest… does that count?



Hot Fudge!

First of all, I must apologize for this photo’s blur!  My kitchen has terrible lighting and it was dark outside so the one window that might have helped during the day was useless.  Oh, and the fact that my camera pretty much stinks.  Someday I’ll own a nice one.

But I couldn’t pass on letting you know about this delicious recipe!  Homemade hot fudge is every bit as good as the kind you buy in a jar {except that it’s WAY better}.  I’m pretty sure you’ll love it.  You’ll never go back.

You’ll need:

6 T. butter

2 c. powdered sugar

1/2 c. cocoa

1 c. evaporated milk

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Boil until thick, stirring constantly.

**Note:  You can use regular sugar in a pinch but it will take quite a bit longer to thicken.  I recommend the powdered sugar.**



Snicker Apple Salad

Some of you know exactly what I’m talking about when I say ‘Snicker Apple Salad’.  Others of you may be looking at the title thinking, that sounds disgusting!  Or you may be thinking that it sounds pretty good. 

Let me just say, it is better than good.  If you’ve never tried this before, you’ll definitely want to!  The combination of the chocolate, carmel, peanuts and apples is heavenly! 

You’ll need only a few ingredients. 

  • 4 Apples (I like Fuji)
  • 2 or 3 Snickers bars (regular size)
  • 8 oz. Cool Whip

Easy enough, right? 

You just need to cut the apples into small chunks, cut the Snickers bars into small chunks (place in freezer for about 15 minutes before hand to make cutting easier) and mix it all up with the Cool Whip. 

Trust me, you’ll LOVE this!  Sure, it’s a little bit naughty but everyone needs a treat now and then.




Mountain Man Fudge

I’m not really sure where we got this recipe.  I just remember that K brought it home once from somewhere.  Possibly a Primary Activity?

It just so happens to be in my brand spankin’ new binder-of-just-about-every-recipe-I-have.  Not really a new binder, just one I threw together of all the miscellaneous recipes I had from here, there and everywhere.  The ones I printed off the internet, got from friends, or who knows where else.  THAT binder.  Do you have one of those?

Anyway, I don’t know that pioneers really made fudge but it sounds like something they may have done had they had things such as Ziploc bags and such.  Wouldn’t you agree?  So, to honor our pioneer heritage during the week of Pioneer Day, we made Mountain Man Fudge.  I kind of think of it as Lazy Man’s Fudge.  No cooking required and you get to eat it almost as quickly as you made it.

Here’s what you’ll need for each Freezer Ziploc bag (or other brand of your choice – freezer kind are best since they are less likely to bust open ;)):

2 T. cocoa powder

3/4 c. powdered sugar

1 oz. cream cheese

1 T. butter

dash of vanilla

Here’s what that might look like… Kind of ugly, eh?

Why are only three of my children present in the picture, you ask?  Well, I’ll tell you.  K had this crazy notion that going water skiing with her dad and some of his buddies would be more fun than making fudge.  Pssshhh!  I tell ya, kids are nuts sometimes.  {She actually had a great time :) }  And C was in bed.  That’s right!  In bed at 7:00.  No, that is NOT typical.  He had been a STINK!  More on that later….

On to more important matters such as mashing bags.

Mash your bag until everything inside is well incorporated.  {I even ‘let’ B mash a bag… yeah, he wasn’t so interested}

Cut the tip off…

And enjoy!  Or just let the kids enjoy.  It’s extremely sweet but the kids sure love it!



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