Tim Tam Pistachio Pudding Pops

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My Tim Tam Pistachio Pudding Pops are the perfect sweet treat to stay cool this summer and have some delicious chocolate cookie bits at the same time!

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It’s always so much fun to create some delicious summer recipes that help you stay cool but still hit all the happy ingredients any good dessert should have!

It’s no secret that I love adding something old and something new to my recipes for fun and unique flavors. It’s kind of like my playground. :)

Honestly I forget how much I love pistachio until I have it again! Really, how can you go wrong with Pistachio? It’s one of those flavors that people of all ages usually enjoy.

Hope you love these luscious pudding pops!

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Chocolate Chip Dip

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This creamy Chocolate Chip Dip is the perfect crowd pleasing dessert or snack and puts a smile on everyone’s face!

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Okay I admit it, I don’t do a lot of snacks or dips. Being that I’m not a big snacker I just don’t do them that often. But it has been brought to my attention that I should share some of “my good dips” with you guys. So funny. :)

But I do have quite a few dips and snacks that I make for family get-togethers and such. We all have our favorites, right?

This dip is sweet and creamy and fun to share with family and friends.

When you think Chocolate Chip Dip, think yummy and creamy with plenty of mini chocolate chips. This recipe is one of those simple dips you can whip up whenever you want to serve a crowd pleaser.

Hope you enjoy!

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We really like cinnamon pita chips with this chocolate chip dip. Apple slices are a close second, and graham cracker sticks are also very good.

Feel free to use whatever you like best!

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My son going in for a yummy scoopful. :)

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Reserve some of the miniature chocolate chips to sprinkle over the dip. Just a nice little finishing touch. :)

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Chocolate Chip Dip

Ingredients:                                                                                                               2015-07-17-6452

1 package (8 ounces) Neufchatel (reduced fat) cream cheese, softened (regular cream cheese also works fine)

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup powdered sugar

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

3/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

Cinnamon pita chips, apple slices, graham cracker sticks – use whatever your favorite is for dipping

Directions:

In a medium bowl beat cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugars and vanilla; beat until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips by hand. Serve with cinnamon pita chips, apple slices or graham crackers.

Makes 16 servings

Adapted from: Taste of Home

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Blueberry Almond Muffin Cake

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My Blueberry Almond Muffin Cake is great to serve with a cup of coffee or a tall glass of cold milk. Makes a wonderful breakfast…also makes a great light dessert!

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My kids absolutely love it when I make this Blueberry Almond Muffin Cake on a weekend morning! With a few simple ingredients this muffin cake is SO easy to throw together and it turns out great every time!

This is also a great recipe when you have friends visiting and you want something a little special for breakfast or coffee but don’t want to be in the kitchen forever.

Blueberry and almond are wonderful together! But if you can’t or don’t want to use almond extract in your muffin cake that’s fine. It will still turn out fantastic!

FYI – you can bake this at night if you want to and it will still be incredibly moist in the morning. A nice option to have when it’s so hot out.

My Blueberry Almond Muffin Cake is a great way to start the day!

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Around here we love blueberries, but really you could use any kind of fruit you want to.

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Cookies & Cream Cake Mix Brownie Bars

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My Cookies & Cream Cake Mix Brownie Bars are the perfect chocolate treat for any occasion! Cookies & cream and chocolate together are always a tasty combination! :)

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Like a lot of people my guys love brownies! So I frequently make brownies for them. Today I wanted to try something new. For years I’ve read that you can use a cake mix to make brownies. I have always been very curious how they would turn out. So today, I finally decided to give it a try.

In my humble opinion I prefer to call this version a brownie bar. Why? Because the texture on these brownie bars is both brownie-like and cake-like at the same time.

You know brownie recipes often state for a fudgy brownie add this and for a more cake-like brownie add that? These wonderful treats lie somewhere in the middle so I call them brownie bars.

That said, I can honestly say these brownie bars are very good! With the Oreo cookies and the glaze happening with these sweet delights a super fudgy brownie would’ve just been too much. They are perfect the way they are! :)

These cake mix brownies bars are pretty easy to make and they are surprisingly good!

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Then came time to present these to my food critics (a.k.a. my fellas) and let me tell you they are a tough crowd! Don’t think they go easy on me because they’re my boys and husband, quite the opposite!

They were too busy shoving the brownie bars down their throats to come up with anything negative, which tells me I did my job! My oldest son takes brownies very seriously and if anything is off, he will let me know! No, I’m not kidding!!!

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The Oreo cookies that go in the brownie bars are chopped/crushed just like you would expect. The Oreo cookies that are sprinkled on top are coarsely chopped. I love that! The coarsely chopped cookies on top add some nice texture to the bars.

I used Heads or Tails Double Stuf Oreo Cookies because my kids LOVE them! Feel free to substitute any cream-filled sandwich cookie you like.    2015-06-23-6135

I actually cut these bars into 12 pieces, the other bars just aren’t included in the photograph.  2015-06-23-6141

Don’t forget the glaze on these brownie bars. It really adds a yummy touch, plus it helps the chopped cookies stay in place better.

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Cookies & Cream Cake Mix Brownie Bars

Ingredients:                                                          2015-06-23-6160

1 Regular size Devil’s Food cake mix

1/3 cup sunflower oil, canola oil, or vegetable oil

1/3 cup milk

1 large egg

8 Heads or Tails Double Stuf Oreo cookies chopped/crushed, or any cream-filled sandwich cookie you prefer

1 cup powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1-2 tablespoons milk

4 Heads or Tails Double Stuf Oreo cookies, coarsely chopped, or any cream-filled sandwich cookie you prefer

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 9 baking pan with cooking spray, or line with parchment paper. Set aside.

2. In a mixing bowl mix cake mix, oil, milk and egg with a heavy spoon until combined. Stir in chopped/crushed Oreo cookies.

3. Spread mixture into baking pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted. Cool completely.

4. Whisk together powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla until desired consistency is reached. Drizzle glaze over brownie bars. Sprinkle with the coarsely chopped cookies. Allow to set completely and cut into bars.

Makes 12 servings

Do you want another recipe using Oreo Cookies?

How about trying my Heads or Tails Blondies?

Heads or Tails Oreo Blondies_170906

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Spicy Ranch Chicken Tortellini Salad

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My Spicy Ranch Chicken Tortellini Salad is a great salad when it’s warm outside! It’s easy to make and pretty much perfect for Summer!

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This salad is great when you want to have something easy for lunch or dinner, and you don’t want to heat up the kitchen! Okay, that’s pretty much every meal for me during the Summer. :)

During the Summer we love having a cold salad in the fridge, that’s completely ready to go. If you’re in the mood for something more with your meal, cut up some fresh fruit and you are set! Then all you need is dessert of course!

When I put this salad together I knew I wanted a spicy ranch dressing, but feel free to go as bold or as mild as you want. I have tried it both ways, and both are very good.

There are just days you want a little more kick, so go for it!

My Spicy Ranch Chicken Tortellini Salad is definitely worth checking out!

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Here’s a line up of your basic ingredients. You may choose to sprinkle your salad with a little chopped parsley, or cilantro.

I used parsley on my salad only because my guys absolutely will not eat cilantro. They have that gene that causes it to taste soapy to them, or so they say!

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The tricolor refrigerated tortellini is always so much fun. Your tortellini doesn’t have to be tricolored. But I would definitely use refrigerated pasta, cooked the way you like it.

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Absolutely love the different textures in this salad! Can’t complain about the touch of bacon either. :)

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Spicy Ranch Chicken Tortellini Salad

Ingredients:                                                                 2015-07-06-6235 Spicy Ranch Chicken Tortellini Salad

1 package (9 ounces) refrigerated tricolor cheese tortellini, uncooked

1 cup frozen peas

1 cup rotisserie chicken or roasted chicken, chopped

1 celery rib, chopped

1-2 green onions, finely chopped

2 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled

1/2 cup cubed or shredded Marble Jack cheese, optional

1/2 cup spicy ranch dressing (or 1/4 cup ranch and 1/4 cup of your favorite salsa)

Parsley or Cilantro, to sprinkle on top, if desired

Directions:

Cook refrigerated tortellini according to package directions. Add peas during the last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain and rinse in cold water. Transfer to a large bowl. You will need the room to stir once everything is added.

Add the peas, celery, green onions, chicken and bacon. Stir in cheese if using. Pour dressing over mixture and toss to coat. Refrigerate until serving. Sprinkle with cilantro or parsley before serving.

Makes 6-8 Servings 

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Strawberry-Rhubarb Cookie Cups

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My Strawberry-Rhubarb Cookie Cups are a wonderful bite-sized version of strawberry-rhubarb pie meets sugar cookie!

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Depending on where you live, you may or may not be surrounded by rhubarb right now. Not everyone has rhubarb and not everyone wants rhubarb, I get it.

However, please keep reading because you can use this technique with any of your favorite homemade jams, jellies, or store bought pie filling!

For these wonderful little cookie cups I used wonderful homemade strawberry-rhubarb jam! No I didn’t make the jam, I bought it at our local farmers market, and it was fabulous!

You know those really, really good jams and jellies your grandma used to make? Or maybe even makes now. That’s exactly how good this stuff was! :)

Start with quality ingredients and you will have great food every time! Remember, good quality does NOT mean expensive. I’m big on fresh and local when it can be done.

In this case start with a good jam or pie filling and your cookie cups will turn out great!

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Before you do anything else make sure you spray your mini muffin pans with cooking spray.

First you bake the cookie cups. When they come out of the oven and are still warm, press them down a bit with a round object. Usually I just use the round part of a sprinkles container. It’s the perfect size!

Then add your Strawberry-Rhubarb jam, or pie filling and bake for a few more minutes.

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Drizzle as much icing on the cookie cups as you like. Clearly I didn’t hold back because I know exactly how my guys like things. I suppose you could call my approach rustic, sure we’ll go with rustic. :)

Or if you prefer, you can be as exact and precise as you want to with the icing.

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There are definitely some wonderful fruit chunks in these cookie cups because I started with a quality strawberry-rhubarb jam. Or if you prefer, pie filling would work just fine.

These Strawberry-Rhubarb Cookie Cups are such a nice warm weather treat! They are absolutely scrumptious!

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Strawberry-Rhubarb Cookie Cups

Ingredients:                          2015-07-02-6285

1 cup butter, softened (preferably unsalted)

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cream of tartar (optional)

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or sea salt (add only if using unsalted butter

OR

1 (16.5 oz.) roll refrigerated sugar cookie dough

1 regular size jar Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam

OR

1 (21 oz.) can your favorite pie filling

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

2-3 tablespoons milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:  

1. Using a stand mixer or electric mixer beat butter until creamy. Add powdered sugar, egg, vanilla and almond extract, mix well. Blend in flour, baking soda and cream of tartar. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for about two hours.

2. Remove dough from refrigerator; preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray two mini muffins pans generously with cooking spray, or line with mini cupcake lines. Weigh out 16,5 ounces of cookie dough, this will be the part you use. Set aside the rest of the cookie dough for another time. Or you can use a 16 ounce package of refrigerated cookie dough.

3. With a small cookie scoop, scoop a ball of dough into each mini muffin cup. You want 24 equal sized pieces. Bake for 13-15 minutes.

4. Remove from oven. Use a round object like the bottom of a sprinkles container, or a shot glass to make an impression in each cup. Fill each cup with about 1 tablespoon of jam/pie filling. If the filling seems to be going everywhere simply use a little less.

5. Return to the oven and bake an additional 3-5 minutes. Cool completely on wire racks then remove from pans.

6. Whisk together the icing – powdered sugar, milk and vanilla. Drizzle with mixture as desired. Allow icing to dry before serving. Store in refrigerator.

Makes 24 servings

Here’s another great recipe for you using rhubarb and strawberry!

Try my Rhubarb-Strawberry Coffee Cake!

Rhubarb Coffee Cake

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

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This Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie is happiness on a plate! Full of some favorite flavors, this doubly delicious pie is sure to put a smile on everyone’s face!

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Peanut butter and chocolate lovers I have something special for you today! This pie is the perfect warm weather dessert to share with family and friends!

Peanut butter and chocolate or chocolate and peanut butter, is one of the best flavor combinations ever! We all know it and the great majority of us love it!

Everyone should have a go to recipe for a Peanut Butter Pie. In think must of us would agree that recipe should include chocolate in some way, shape or form. You can always use more or less chocolate depending upon the day.

So when it’s hot out and you want a really good peanut butter and chocolate dessert – this is the dessert to make!

Please enjoy my Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie!

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Chocolate Chip Fourth of July Cookies

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Try my Chocolate Chip Fourth of July Cookies for your family and friends this Fourth of July. Everyone LOVES this jazzed up American classic!

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When I think of 4th of July food, or Independence Day picnics, I  think of classic American favorites done well! Are you guys with me so far?

For example, it’s never just a burger on the 4th of July, it’s a burger with all the fixings!

No one goes to the store to pick up just any old watermelon. We all want a big juicy sweet watermelon to enjoy! Preferably ice cold, right?

The same is true of dessert on The Fourth of July. Dessert needs to be a really good – any old dessert will not due on the 4th of July!

For the upcoming holiday I have taken a classic American cookie and jazzed it up just for The Fourth of July! :)

My Chocolate Chip Fourth of July Cookies are a real crowd pleaser!

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As a general rule of thumb, I like to dip about 2/3 of the cookies in milk chocolate, semisweet chocolate or dark chocolate and about 1/3 of the cookies in white chocolate.

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Cinnamon-Sugar Muffins

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Start your day of right with my Cinnamon-Sugar Muffins and a bowl of your favorite fresh fruit! These muffins also make a terrific snack anytime anytime of day!

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There are days where I love to start out the morning with a delicious muffin and a bowl of fresh fruit! Yes it’s true, it really makes my day!

If you enjoy like fresh muffins and you like cinnamon you are going to LOVE these muffins!

There are a lot of ways to describe these muffins – cinnamon sugar muffins, cinnamon crumble muffins, cinnamon streusel muffins, maybe even Snickerdoodle muffins.

Call them whatever you want, just call them the next muffin you’re going to bake. You’ll be glad you did. :)

For those of you that love the flavor of cinnamon, and most people do – this one’s for you!

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These Cinnamon-Sugar Muffins have a warm buttery flavor with plenty of cinnamon-sugar in every bite.

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Peanut Butter Cup Rice Krispie Treats

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My Peanut Butter Cup Rice Krispie Treats are the perfect party dessert for any sweet occasion! This incredibly delicious rice krispie treat is definitely a crowd pleaser!

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Oh my gosh you guys! These Peanut Butter Cup Rice Krispie Treats are going to knock your socks off!

Don’t get me wrong rice krispie treats are always tasty. However, every time I make rice krispie treats it’s time to play! To me rice krispie treats are like a blank canvas, the possibilities are endless!

The end of school was really getting to be a grind, so I decided to put a smile on everyone’s face and make these Peanut Butter Cup Rice Krispie Treats. School just ended around here. :)

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So let’s discuss – marshmallow, butter, krispie cereal, peanut butter, chopped candy, chocolate and of course sprinkles! All I can say is – count me in! You don’t have to ask me twice.

As for the boys, they couldn’t eat these treats fast enough, and thenthey had to divvy up the leftovers to share with their friends! So funny!

If you haven’t tried a good over-the-top rice krispie treat before, you have got to try these!

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Don’t worry about having egg shaped candy! I used candy eggs I had in the freezer only because I got them for next to nothing after Easter. Regular peanut butter cups or fun size candy bars will work just fine!

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Of course these treats needed a milk chocolate topping and confetti sprinkles on top! Don’t all treats?

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Why confetti sprinkles? Because they’re fun and happy! Of course, feel free to use whatever sprinkles make you happy. :)

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Peanut Butter Cup Rice Krispie Treats

Ingredients:                                                    2015-05-15-5871

4 cups mini marshmallows

3 tablespoons butter

6 cups Rice Krispie cereal, or any brand of puffed rice cereal

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

15 Easter shaped peanut butter eggs chopped , or 18-24 regular peanut butter cups, or fun size candy bars

(Reese’s peanut butter eggs, Snickers eggs, and Snickers peanut butter eggs were used)

2 cups milk chocolate chips or your favorite good quality milk chocolate

1 tablespoon butter flavored shortening or regular shortening

Confetti sprinkles, or any kind you prefer

Directions:

1. Spray a 9×13-inch pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

2. In a large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter.

3. Add the cereal to the mixture and stir until well coated. Press half of the cereal mixture into sprayed 9×13-inch pan. Place the chopped candy on top of the cereal mixture. It will seem like a lot of candy, but it ends up being the perfect amount. Press the remaining cereal mixture over the of the candy. Allow to cool completely.

4. In a microwave safe bowl, microwave the chocolate chips and shortening. Microwave for 30 seconds at a time. Stir after each 30 second interval. Continue heating 30 seconds at a time until chocolate is melted and smooth. Spread chocolate evenly over the rice krispie treats. Garnish with confetti sprinkles, or any sprinkles you prefer. Once chocolate is set completely, cut and serve.

Makes 16-20 Servings

 Try my No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Bites, if you’re looking for another chocolate and peanut butter snack!

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The Best 5 Ingredient Salsa Sloppy Joes

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So excited to share one of my favorites with you today – The Best 5 Ingredient Salsa Sloppy Joes!

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We have various types of sloppy joes on a pretty regular basis at our house. This recipe for The Best 5 Ingredient Salsa Sloppy Joes is a family favorite around here and I’m delighted to share it with you today.

Your kids, okay your family, will be thrilled when you make this simple and delicious sloppy joe recipe. There’s a lot of flavor going on with these sloppy joes which is always a good thing.

There’s no end to the fun tweaks you can make to this recipe, depending on the mood you’re in that day! Different days we like different things, right? So have fun changing it up whenever you feel like it!

Let me share on little tip with you right now…the longer the salsa sloppy joes simmer the better they get. :)

Please enjoy my friends!

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So you can see some of the yummy veggie pieces from the salsa and the chopped jalapeño in this recipe. Delicious!

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Raspberry Lemon Trifle

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My Raspberry Lemon Trifle is packed with lemon and raspberry goodness that is perfect for your next get-together! Pretty enough to make a center piece…if you want :)

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I love to make this Raspberry Lemon Trifle when fresh berries start to become available again! It looks so pretty in a trifle bowl just waiting to be dished up!

Serving this raspberry lemon treat in a trifle bowl is my first choice , but if you don’t have one a glass 13-in. x 9-in. dish will work just fine.

In my book a well done trifle is a work of art! So how do you make a well done trifle? So glad you asked. :)

Here’s the secret to a well done trifle – it works every time! Start with flavors that pair wonderfully together. Next you need to bring in a couple of different textures for maximum eating pleasure. Then there must be some kind of a wonderful creamy mixture that is welcoming and just sort of brings everything together.

Last but not least, the final touch should be a little something special that is finely chopped and sprinkled on top. So there you have it, how to make the perfect trifle!

Raspberry Lemon Trifle…enjoy!

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Just look at those fresh raspberries! So fresh and so delicious, not to mention so pretty!

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