Monday, August 18, 2014

Ice Cream Pretzel Cake

Ice Cream Pretzel Cake
from Taste of Home
serves 16

1 1/4 Cup Crushed Pretzels
6 Tablespoons Cold Butter, Cubed
3/4 Cup Fudge Ice Cream Topping, Warmed
1 Cup Chocolate Covered Peanuts, Crushed
1/2 Gallon Vanilla Ice Cream, Softened
1/4 Cup Caramel Ice Cream Topping

In a small bowl, cut in butter into crushed pretzels.  Press into the bottom of a greased 9-inch springform pan.  Spread over fudge topping.  Freeze for 30 minutes.  In a large bowl, combine ice cream and peanuts.  Spread over pretzel crust.  Drizzle caramel on top.  Freeze at least 8 hours or overnight.

One time my mom made a homemade ice cream cake and for some reason it was a huge fail.  I can't remember if it was because the caramel was frozen solid or there was something wrong with the brownie crust.  So I was a little nervous making this cake.  But let me tell you, it was a definite win!  I may have even stirred in a little extra fudge and caramel into the ice cream for extra delicious-ness (it was worth it!).

Monday, August 11, 2014

Balsamic Quinoa Salad

Balsamic Quinoa Salad
from Four Seasons Kitchen
serves 6 as a side dish

1 Cup Quinoa, Raw
1 Cucumber, Chopped
2 Bell Peppers, Chopped
1 Can Corn, Drained
1 Small Container Feta Cheese
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1/3 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
2 Cloves Garlic, Chopped
1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1 Big Squeeze Honey
Salt and Pepper, To Taste

Prepare quinoa according to package directions.  Let cool.  In a large bowl add quinoa, cucumber, peppers, corn, and feta.  Set aside.  In a small bowl mix together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, mustard, honey and salt and pepper.  Pour dressing over salad and mix well.  Cover and refrigerate a few hours before serving.

This salad is my new favorite side dish.  I make it almost every week!  It's perfect with a hamburger or a hot dog on the patio on a hot summer evening.  

Monday, August 4, 2014

Peach Week/ Peach Salsa

I always get excited every late July/ early August.  Summer is at it's peak, Shark Week is on the Discovery Channel and the Elberta Peaches are in season!  Usually I buy a case and eat 4 a day, diced with a little sugar and a dash of heavy cream.  Except for this year we got adventurous - peach canning at my aunt's lake cabin with my mom, cousin, and aunt!  (And two baby boys watching)

Jars are prepped and ready to go.

Peaches going in for a blanch to remove the skins.

A lot of pots of hot water is required for canning!


We also made a Peach Raspberry pie with raspberries picked right outside the cabin!

Peach Raspberry Pie

Another new venture- a shrimp boil!  So much fun.  Boil everything all together than dump in on the patio table and pour over some hot melted butter!

Here's the link for the recipe for the shrimp boil. 

Then we made a traditional Peach Pie

For the finale of peach week I made a peach salsa.

Peach Salsa
serves about 6 as an appetizer

1 Cup Peaches, Chopped (About 2 Peaches)
1 Cup Tomato, Chopped
1/2 Cup Red Onion, Finely Chopped
1 Jalapeno, Minced
1 Tablespoon Lime Juice
2 Teaspoons Sugar

Mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight container in the fridge.  

Thursday, July 17, 2014

DIY Instant Oatmeal

DIY Instant Oatmeal
makes about 12 servings

5 Cups Quick Oats (A Little More than a Small Canister)
1 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Cup - 1 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Non-Dairy Coffee Creamer

Add 3 1/2 Cups oatmeal to a large bowl.  Blend the remaining 1 1/2 cups in a blender or food processor until "dusty".  Add the blended oatmeal and the remaining ingredients to the large bowl.  Mix well.  Store in 1/2 cup portions in snack size zip lock bags.

I am a huge oatmeal fan and my husband is too.  He usually grabs a bag of instant for his breakfast at work.  So when I found this recipe for DIY oatmeal, I knew I had to give it a try!  The oatmeal is blended for a thinker end product, but if you like your oatmeal on the runny side or don't want to dirty a blender, you could easily skip that step.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Bean Salad for a Couple

Bean Salad for a Couple
makes 4 servings

1 Can Kidney Beans
1 Green Bell Pepper, Chopped
2 Tablespoons Sugar
2 Tablespoons Cider Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil

Combine beans and pepper in a small bowl, set aside.  Mix together sugar, vinegar, oil, and salt and pepper to taste.  Pour dressing over beans.  Serve right away or refrigerate overnight for even better flavor.

You may remember bean salad for a crowd from a while back.  Well, this is the scaled down version!  This is a great little side dish that is perfect with some grilled brats and a glass of lemonade.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Honey Lime Fruit Salad

Honey Lime Fruit Salad
makes about 8 servings

8 Cups Mixed Fruit (Berries, Grapes, Cantaloupe, Peaches, Kiwi, Etc.)
1/4 Cup Honey
2-3 Tablespoons Lime Juice

Cut up fruit into bite sized pieces and put in a large bowl.  In a small bowl, mix together honey and lime juice.  Combine fruit and dressing.

This beautiful, easy fruit salad is so refreshing for summer.  It is perfect as a side dish for a summer BBQ or just for breakfast in the morning.  I've made it with strawberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, and raspberries which is delicious, but I'm really looking forward to August when peaches are in season!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins
makes about 15 muffins

2 1/4 Cups AP Flour
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
2/3 Cup Brown Sugar
6 Tablespoons Butter, Melted
1 Cup Milk
2 Eggs
1/2 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
3/4 Cup Milk Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt, and brown sugar.  Set aside.  In a medium mixing bowl, mix together melted butter, milk, eggs (mix butter and milk together first, so the hot melted butter won't scramble the eggs), and peanut butter until smooth.  Pour milk mixture into flour mixture all at once and beat together until just combined.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Spoon batter into a greased muffin tin and bake for 17-20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center.  Enjoy with a tall glass of milk.

My peanut butter loving husband didn't even mind the chocolate chips in these muffins.  I say "chocolate chips in muffins is ALWAYS a good idea!".  Especially with peanut butter.  Chocolate and peanut butter.  It's like a Reecee's Cup!  Reecee's for breakfast!  Side note: peanut butter, one word or two?