Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Pumpkin Roll

This is one of my absolute favorite desserts. I only make it around this time of year, and I look so forward to it. I made it today for our preschool Thanksgiving lunch, and used the last of the fresh pumpkin I had frozen after our trip to the pumpkin patch. I have never used canned pumpkin, but I'm sure it would be just as delicious. This version of the recipe is from Cooks.com. Seriously, try it--it's SOOOO good!

Pumpkin Jelly Rolls

3 eggs, beaten 5 minutes
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2/3 cup pumpkin, canned
1 cup chopped pecans

1 cup powdered sugar
8 ounces cream cheese
5 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Add remaining ingredients to beaten eggs. Pour into well greased cookie sheet. (You need to use a jelly roll-style pan, or a cookie sheet with edges.) Sprinkle with 1 cup chopped pecans. Bake 15-20 minutes (I bake it for 15) at 375 degrees. Turn out onto a clean tea towel. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Roll into a roll. Let cool.

Filling: Mix powdered sugar, cream cheese, butter, and vanilla.

When cake is completely cool, unroll cake and spread on filling. Remove towel, roll back into a roll. Keep refrigerated.

(If you make this the night before and wrap it in plastic wrap/foil, it is very easy to slice into sections the next morning because the filling has had a chance to set. )

Fluffy Apple Dip

I love this time of year--the beautiful leaves, the holidays, and all the delicious recipes. I posted this recipe last year around this time, but thought I would re-post it because I love it so much and have made it for a couple of events recently. I found this apple dip recipe last year in the September/October issue of "Simple and Delicious" magazine. This is my absolute favorite dip, and it gets a great response whenever I make it. And the best part--it's SO easy.

1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 tbsp peanut butter
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (*I never have this, so I always just use cinnamon, and I love how it turns out)
1 jar (7 oz) marshmallow creme
Assorted apple wedges

In a small mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, peanut butter and pie spice (or cinnamon) until blended; fold in marshmallow creme. Serve with apple wedges. Makes 2 cups.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

My friend Karey told me about her sister-in-law Lara's recipe blog, and I've been in love with it ever since. If you've never been to Recipe Shoebox, check it out! Lara updates regularly, and she includes a wide variety of family-friendly, healthy, and delicious recipes. One day recently I wanted to bake, but wanted something different than our usual chocolate chip. I'm not crazy about plain peanut butter cookies, but I found Lara's Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, and we all loved them. Thanks, Lara! Click here for Lara's post of this recipe.

1 cup butter
1/2 cup peanut butter (creamy or crunchy, depending on on personal preference)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 cups chocolate chips

Beat butter, peanut butter, sugars, and vanilla until creamy. Beat in egg. Gradually beat in dry ingredients. Stir in morsels. Drop dough by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 6-8 minutes.

(Bonny's note: This dough also refridgerates well if you want to bake small quanitites at a time.)

Sunday, July 26, 2009


We love having breakfast for dinner every once in a while. This is the pancake recipe I usually use; I found it on Cooks.com. Sometimes I'll substitute yogurt for some of the milk, and they always turn out nicely.

2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour (Last time I made these, I had to add almost twice this amount of flour to get the right consistency)
2 3/4 cups milk, *see note
1/4 cup vegetable oil (I use melted butter here, too)
2 tablespoons melted butter
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Beat egg with hand beater until fluffy; beat in remaining ingredients just until smooth. Grease a heated griddle.

Pour about 3 tablespoons batter from tip of large spoon or from pitcher onto hot griddle.

Cook pancakes until puffed and dry around edges (tiny bubbles will begin to form).

Turn and cook other sides until golden brown. Flipping once should be enough. The first pancake isn't always the best one.

Note: Buttermilk, yogurt, or sour cream may be substituted for some or all of the milk.

This may cause the batter to be too thick or too thin; adjust accordingly by adding milk to thin or flour to thicken. When you use a sour ingredient, cut the baking powder by 1/2 tablespoon and add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda. If you don't have buttermilk, you can add powdered buttermilk to the milk.

Makes about 18 four-inch pancakes.

(Sometimes I sprinkle chocolate chips, pecans, or fruit into the batter.)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Fruit Salad in a Watermelon Bowl

Ryan made this fruit salad the other night, and I just thought the presentation was so pretty. What a great way to use the whole watermelon.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Margherita Tortilla Pizzas

Ryan gets a subscription to "Food and Wine" magazine, and yesterday I was flipping through the July 2009 issue and came across this recipe by chef Jacques Pepin. I thought it sounded delicious and simple enough for me to actually pull off. It was the first time I had ever used our pizza stones, and I loved the way these turned out. They were nice and light, so easy to make, and wonderfully fresh. Fresh mozzarella is one of my favorite things in the world to eat.

Margherita Tortilla Pizzas:

Four 10-inch flour tortillas
Extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
4 medium tomatoes (2 pounds)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound fresh mozzarella, preferably buffalo, shredded (4 cups)
1 cup finely shredded basil leaves

(Bonny's note: I did not use buffalo mozzarella--just fresh cow's milk mozzarella. I also didn't shred it, but rather cut slices off and placed those around the pizza.)

1. Set a pizza stone in the oven and preheat the oven to 500 degrees, allowing at least 45 minutes for the stone to heat.
2. Brush both sides of one tortilla with olive oil. Place the tortilla on a lightly floured surface and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Thinly slice 1 tomato; arrange on the tortilla. Season with salt and pepper and top with 1 cup of the mozzarella. Drizzle lightly with olive oil.
3. Slide the tortilla onto the hot pizza stone and bake for about 8 minutes, until the pizza is crisp on the bottom and the cheese is bubbling. Garnish with 1/4 cup of the shredded basil, cut the pizza into 8 wedges and serve. Repeat with the remaining tortillas, tomatoes, cheese, and basil.

Bonny's notes: I used two pizza stones so we could have two cooking at once. My stones were also plenty hot after only 30 minutes, and the pizzas were done after about 7 minutes. These are so nice and versatile--you could really make them with anything. We topped a couple of ours with some cooked chicken. Delicious!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Oatmeal Carmelitas

This is yet another fabulous recipe from Jadi's blog. These are so chewy and delicious, and they kept for several days. I made them on a Tuesday and the following Sunday they were still really good. The only thing I did differently here was that I didn't add nuts because Ryan doesn't like them. You will love these! Thanks again, Jadi!

For the Crust:

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups butter, softened (2 1/2 sticks)

For the Filling:

1 (12.5 oz) jar caramel ice cream topping
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 (6 oz) pkg semi-sweet chocolate chips (or a little more)
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13-inch pan. In a large bowl, blend all crust ingredients on low speed until crumbly. Press half of crumb mixture (about 3 cups) in bottom of greased pan. Reserve the remaining crumb mixture for the topping. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine caramel topping and 3 tbsp of flour. Remove partially baked crust from the oven; sprinkle with chocolate chips and nuts. Drizzle evenly with caramel mixture; sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture. Bake an additional 18-22 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely. Refrigerate 1-2 hours until filling is set. Cut into bars. Enjoy!

Friday, May 22, 2009

No Bake Cookies

I learned how to make these cookies at a church activity when I was a teenager, and I've been making them ever since. They are so easy to make and really yummy.

1 stick of butter
1/4 c. cocoa
1/2 c. milk
2 c. sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1/2 c. peanut butter
2 1/2 to 3 c. oats (depending on how dry you want the cookie. I prefer using 2 1/2 cups.)

Mix butter, cocoa, milk and sugar into a large pot, stirring frequently. Bring to a boil and boil for one minute without stirring. Take the mixture off of the heat and add the peanut butter, vanilla, and oats. Spoon out onto wax paper. The cookies take about 15-30 minutes to set. Enjoy!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Banana Cake

If you like warm banana bread, you'll love this moist, delicious cake. This is yet another great recipe I found on Jadi's recipe blog. I had some overripe bananas I needed to use and this was a scrumptious way to do it.

2 sticks butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
4-6 smashed bananas
1 cup milk
3 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Cream butter, eggs, and sugar until fluffy. Stir in bananas and milk. Combine dry ingredients and stir into the creamed mixture. Pour into a greased and floured 9x13 pan and bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes.


1 stick butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup hot milk
3 1/4 cups powdered sugar

Melt butter in sauce pan and add brown sugar. Bring to a boil for 1 minute over medium heat. Cool 15 minutes and add milk. Whip until smooth. Then add powdered sugar. Let cool before serving.

Jadi pointed out (and I agree with her) that the frosting is rich so you only need a thin layer. I stored mine in the fridge afterwards since there is milk in the frosting. This was really yummy--I highly recommend it!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Hawaiian Haystacks

This dinner is so easy to make and is a big hit at our house. It's definitely one we keep as a staple.

Rice (I used 2 cups uncooked and it was perfect for the 4 of us)
Chicken, shredded (I used about 3 breasts)
Chicken gravy (I used a mix and made about 3 cups worth)
Shredded cheese
Canned pineapple or pineapple bits
Canned mandarin oranges
Crunchy chow mein or rice noodles (I like the rice noodles better because they're smaller and I love the texture)
Green onions, chopped (I didn't use these this time but Ryan said he would have loved these on top)

Cook the rice. Put the chicken in a pan of shallow water, cover, and boil until cooked. Put the cooked chicken on a plate and break apart (or shred) using two forks. Salt and pepper chicken to taste. Make the gravy. Serve everything buffet style so people can pick and choose what toppings to add to their haystacks.

My parents used to serve this with broccoli as a topping as well. I love this dish because you can be so creative and use whatever toppings you like. Yum!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Cookie Tips

I have been doing a couple of things differently with my cookies lately, and they've been turning out consistently better. So here are some tips for chocolate chip:

Soften your butter at room temperature rather than melting it in the microwave. If you need to pop it in the microwave for 10-15 seconds just to get it a little softer it seems to work fine, but going from frozen to melted in a minute (something I was doing) does not give you the best results. (With cookie bars this doesn't seem to matter as much. You can microwave your butter and the bars are fine.)

Add almost three cups of flour. Not quite 3, as I think that's too much, but closer to 3 c than 2 1/2. At 2 1/2 your cookies will probably not have enough and be too flat.

To spruce up your chocolate chip recipe, add M&M's, mini M&M's, or peanut butter chips to your regular semisweet chips.

Dough refrigerates well. I've been making a batch of dough, only baking one tray, and then doing another tray each day for the next several days. That way we have fresh, warm cookies whenever we want them instead of a huge batch sitting around getting stale on the counter. You can let the dough thaw on the counter for 15-30 minutes and it should be good to go. I roll my dough into balls with my hands to get a nice round cookie.

Pull the cookies out of the oven just before they look done to you, and let them finish baking for a few minutes on the cookie sheet.

Anyway, those are just some thoughts. It's a process, perfecting cookies, and a yummy one at that!

Click here for my chocolate chip cookie recipe. Happy baking!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Ice Cream Sandwich Suggestion

I have always made chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches with a vanilla-based ice cream. Maybe vanilla, maybe chocolate chip cookie dough, or cookies n' cream...something like that. But the other day all I had was mint chocolate chip so we used that, and they were SO GOOD! I like to look at another recipe blog called Stephanie's Kitchen, and she does a lot with chocolate and mint. I am usually not a fan of mint, but I loved these little ice cream sandwiches (and so did Grayson). These are to die for when the cookies are still warm and gooey right out of the oven.

Apple Sour Cream Cake

After baking:

Before baking:

I made this recently with a recipe from Cooks.com. The recipe says to spread the batter into 2 round cake pans, but I wanted to use a 9x13. I put all the batter in and it did not come even close to filling the whole thing. So I ended up tripling the recipe to fill a 9x13. I'll post the tripled recipe here.

We liked this cake. It had a coffee-cake taste and feel, with a dense cake and a cinnamon-sugar top. You can't really taste the sour cream, but it makes the top stay nice and moist. I shared some with friends and they dunked the cake in hot chocolate.

3 c flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 sticks butter (12 tbsp)
3-4 apples, peeled and cored
3 eggs
1 1/2 c sugar
3 tsp vanilla
6 tbsp milk
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 c sugar, for sprinkling

Allow butter to sit at room temp for about 15 minutes, or until it softens slightly but retains its shape and is not oily or soft. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wipe a 9x13 pan with melted butter or oil; dust lightly and evenly with flour and tap our the excess.

Peel and core two apples. Slice into thin, round slices.

In a large bowl, stir together baking powder and flour. Crumble the butter into the flour (using your hands) and stir until a lumpy mixture is obtained.

In a separate bowl beat the egg, gradually adding the 1 1/2 cups sugar. Add the vanilla and milk and stir in.

Mix together the contents of both bowls and stir until thick.

Transfer batter to pan. Place apple slices on top of batter. Using a spatula, cover entire cake with a thin layer of sour cream and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.

Bake at 400 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes or until cake tests done. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes.

Dust with confectioners' sugar if desired. Serve with milk or ice cream. (My note: This is yummy warm out of the oven or warmed up in the microwave the next day!)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Strawberry Dip

I got this idea from some friends and made this for a church event. It was not only delicious but really easy. All I did was mix equal parts strawberry yogurt and Cool Whip. Serve with fresh fruit and enjoy!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches

Grayson and I made chocolate chip cookies today, so we made ice cream sandwiches with them (I love serving these as a dessert). I think these are best when the cookies are still warm, and I used chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. Yum.


I made chili for the first time tonight. It was really easy to make and turned out delicious. I cooked it in a pot, but Ryan also makes this in a crock pot sometimes.

1 to 2 lbs. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
2 cans (14.5 ounces each) tomato sauce
2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes
1 large can light red kidney beans
Chili powder to taste
Brown ground beef in a large pot. Add chopped onion and stir periodically for a few minutes. Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, kidney beans. Add chili powder. I used 3 kinds--chili powder, green chili powder, and chipotle chili powder, but normally we just add plain chili powder. I simmered this on medium low for about an hour and a half, stirring periodically. Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream, and biscuits.

Zucchini Muffins

My friend Jody gave me this recipe. They are so easy to make and so good.

3 eggs, beaten
2 ¼ c sugar
1 c oil
3 t vanilla
2 c peeled, grated raw zucchini
3 c flour
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
½ t baking powder
3 t cinnamon

Mix first 4 ingredients well and add remaining ingredients. Bake in greased muffin pans at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until lightly brown.

I only got 3 zucchini, and grated it was about 1 1/4 cups. They still turned out delicious, but next time I'll probably get 5 or 6. I also mixed about a tablespoon of butter with about 1/4 cube of cream cheese, some powdered sugar, and a splash of vanilla to make a cream cheese frosting. These muffins are absolutely delicious without the frosting, and with it as well. With the frosting it tasted a lot like a pumpkin roll, which is one of my favorite desserts ever.

Baked Chicken and Couscous

I made this for dinner a few nights ago. It was so easy and I thought the plate looked really pretty on the table. I just used Shake n' Bake to coat chicken breast and pork chops, then baked them for 20 or so minutes. I then cooked couscous and steamed vegetables, and that was it. Delish.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Cinnamon Rolls

So here's my take on cinnamon rolls: lots of work, lots of time, lots of mess, but SO good. They're awesome as an occasional treat. I found this recipe on Cooks.com and have used it several times. The rolls are nice and soft, and my favorite part is that you pour melted butter and sugar in the bottom of the pan before you put the rolls in so the finished product has a yummy crust on it.

2 pkg. active dry yeast
1 c. warm water (105-115 degrees)
2/3 c. plus 1 tsp. granulated sugar, divided
1 c. warmed milk
2/3 c. butter
2 tsp. salt
2 eggs, slightly beaten
7-8 c. all-purpose flour, or more if needed

1 c. melted butter, divided (2 sticks)
1 3/4 c. granulated sugar, divided
3 tbsp. ground cinnamon

Creamy Glaze:
2/3 c. melted butter (1 stick plus 2 tbsp)
4 c. powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
4-8 tbsp. hot water

In a small bowl mix together warm water, yeast and 1 tsp. sugar and set aside. In a large bowl, mix milk, remaining 2/3 c. sugar, melted butter, salt and eggs; stir well and add yeast mixture. Add half the flour and beat until smooth. Stir in enough of the remaining flour until dough is slightly stiff (dough will be sticky). (Bonny's note: I only used 7 c. flour.)

Turn out onto a well-floured board; knead 5-10 minutes . (Bonny's note: I kneaded for about 7 minutes.) Place in well-buttered glass or plastic bowl, cover and let rise in warm place free from drafts, until doubled in bulk, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. (Bonny's note: These rolls get really big, so I only let them rise for 1 hour.)

When doubled, punch down dough and let rest 5 minutes. Roll out on floured surface into a 15x20 inch rectangle.

To prepare filling: Spread dough with 1/2 cup melted butter. Mix together 1 1/2 c. sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over buttered dough.

Roll up jellyroll-fashion and pinch edge together to seal. Cut unto 12 to 15 slices. Coat bottom of a 13x9-inch pan and an 8-inch square pan with remaining 1/2 c. melted butter, then sprinkle with remaining 1/4 c. sugar. Place cinnamon roll slices close together in pans. Let rise in warm place until dough is doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until rolls are nicely browned. Cool rolls slightly.

To prepare glaze: Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix melted butter, powdered sugar and vanilla; add hot water 1 tbsp. at a time until glaze reaches desired spreading consistency. (Bonny's note: I used 5 tbsp. water.) Spread over slightly cooled rolls.

The author of this recipe calls them "Cinnabunns Cinnamon Rolls" and says, "Just like the ones in the mall!" I personally don't think they taste like "Cinnabon's" rolls, but like them just as much, if not more. The recipe also says you can add 1 1/2 c. chopped walnuts and/or 1 1/2 c. raisins to the filling if desired, but I have never done that.

I like to serve these right out of the oven, but they are just as delicious the next day if warmed in the microwave for 20 seconds.

So like I said, lots of work, but great finished product in the end. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Blueberry Banana Parfait

These were so easy to make and turned out so well. I thought they looked great, and I loved the juicy fresh pineapple, the creamy pudding, and the burst of blueberry flavor. Yum! I came up with this as I was wandering around the grocery store today.

1 package (5.1 oz) vanilla instant pudding mix
3 cups cold milk
Fresh or frozen blueberries (thawed)
1 banana, sliced
Cool Whip
Fresh pineapple (optional)

Prepare pudding as directed on box (whisk 3 cups cold milk with pudding mix for 2 minutes, let sit for 5 minutes). In a clear glass, layer pudding, several banana slices, and a generous spoonful or two of blueberries (I used frozen berries that I thawed in the fridge for several hours). Layer more pudding on top, then another layer of bananas and blueberries. Top with Cool Whip and garnish with a pineapple wedge.

Grilled Chicken Salad on Toasted Pita

First let me just say, man, I need a better camera. My pictures are not great, I know.

Tonight's dinner was supposed to be Avocado Chicken Pita from a "Simple and Delicious" magazine. But me being the novice cook that I am, I picked out a very underripe avocado that I couldn't use for the guacamole spread. So I improvised a little bit and this was what I came up with.

1 to 2 chicken breasts
4 whole wheat pitas
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning
Chopped lettuce and tomatoes
Grated cheese of your choice (I used a Mexican blend)
1 lemon
Hot sauce of your choice
Sour cream
Ranch dressing (optional)

Cook chicken, seasoning with salt pepper and Cajun. I cooked mine in a grill pan on the stove. Brush olive oil on one side of the pitas and put them on an ungreased cookie sheet in a 350 oven for 10-15 minutes or until toasted. Once pitas are done layer them with lettuce, tomato, and the cooked chicken (either sliced into strips or cubed). Squeeze a few drops of fresh lemon juice and hot sauce on, sprinkle with cheese, top with sour cream and/or ranch dressing.

I still want to try the avocado pita, but thought these were really yummy and I'm sure I'll make these again!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Chicken Tenders and Potato Wedges

I know I named this blog "Bonny's Bakery", but I've started cooking more than I used to, so I'll just put all my favorite recipes here. Dinner tonight was a HUGE hit. Everyone loved it--so much so that when I was trying to pack leftovers for Ryan's lunch tomorrow, the kids ate them all before I even made it to the fridge. I found the recipe for the chicken on Cooks.com, and the potatoes were inspired by my friend Jonathan's recipe blog. I cooked baby carrots to go along with the chicken and potatoes. Grayson asked me to please make this chicken again tomorrow. :)

Chicken Tenders (as found on Cooks.com)

1 lb. chicken tenderloins cut into 1" pieces (I used 3 chicken breasts, and cut them into strips and smaller pieces for nuggets)
1 stick butter, melted
Ritz crackers, crushed (I used a blender to make a fine powder)
Garlic powder
Fresh chopped parsley (1/2 bunch) (I didn't use the parsley)

Mix Ritz, parsley, garlic powder and pepper in a large bowl; set aside. Toss chicken tenders in melted butter until well coated. Remove from butter and toss in crumb mixture. When completely coated place on cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes until golden. I put ranch dressing and ketchup out as dipping sauces.

Potato Wedges

Olive oil
Salt, pepper, garlic powder, Cajun seasoning

Wash potatoes of choice (I used Butter Golds), leave skins on, and cut into wedges. Pour enough olive oil into a bowl to coat potatoes. Put potatoes in bowl and stir until coated. Line a cookie sheet with foil and scoop potatoes onto the foil in a single layer. Lightly sprinkle seasonings over potatoes. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until golden brown. I turned mine over halfway through cooking to get both sides crispy.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Blueberry Banana Smoothies

This post is to show I eat something other than dessert :) I really enjoy fruit smoothies. Grayson used to have them every day but I think he got sick of them, and now Thatcher will drink them almost every day. I vary the fruit I use--usually I would use frozen strawberries but this time we went to Sam's Club I got a bag of frozen blueberries instead so I'm using those. I have also purchased the frozen mixed fruit bags in the past, but didn't think honeydew and cantaloupe worked well in these. Peach and pineapple were yummy though.

4-6 oz orange juice (I try to squeeze fresh juice whenever possible)
1-2 bananas (depending on how thick and banana-y you like it)
1 cup frozen blueberries (use more if desired), thawed in microwave for about 45 seconds
several heaping spoonfuls of plain, whole fat yogurt (I usually use homemade)

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. This will make 1 1/2 to 2 cups of smoothie.

I didn't always add yogurt--that is a fairly recent addition. My mom has done reading about the benefits of probiotics, and the whole milk fat is good for all of us (especially my kids, who don't drink straight whole milk). My mom got us a yogurt maker and she has one as well. She uses goat's milk because it's easier to digest, but my most recent batch was cow's milk. It adds a creaminess to the smoothies that's really nice. I opt for plain because it doesn't have any added sugars. So between the fresh orange juice, all the fruit, and the healthy yogurt, we really feel good about our breakfast when we make these!

For Thatcher

For me

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Mini Ritz Cookies

I got this YUMMY recipe from Jadi's blog. She used Ritz crackers, spread peanut butter between them, and dipped them in chocolate. I made a minor change by using peanut butter Ritz Bits (the little ones), and dipping them in chocolate. This is soooo easy and the result is awesome. I'm sure the full size ones are great and can't wait to make those, but I also really like the mini version. They're a great bite-sized treat. It goes without saying that the kids loved them, too.

1 package Ritz Bits peanut butter crackers
Milk chocolate chips
White chocolate chips
A little bit of vegetable oil

Melt about 1/2 an 8 oz bag of milk chocolate chips, 1/4 of an 8 oz bag of white chocolate chips, and about 1 tsp of vegetable oil in the microwave. Stir until smooth. Dip peanut butter crackers in chocolate until covered. Use a fork to remove them from the chocolate. Put wax paper on a cookie sheet and place the chocolate covered crackers on the wax paper. Place cookie sheet in the fridge for 10 to 20 minutes so chocolate can harden. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Easy Ice Cream Cake

I got this recipe from an old coworker of mine named Teri. It is really easy and yummy--a great summer dessert--and much less expensive than buying an ice cream cake. I think it tastes just as good as a store-bought one (if not better!).

1 package Oreo cookies
1 stick butter
1 container of cookies n' cream ice cream, softened
1 container of Cool Whip

Break Oreos into small pieces (you could probably use a food processor but I just put the cookies in a large mixing bowl and used the bottom of a glass cup to break them. I think bigger chunks work better than a powder). Take out some (1/2 to 1 cup depending on how much you want on top) for sprinkling on the cake when finished. Melt butter and mix with remaining crushed Oreos. Press into a 9 x13 pan. Put in freezer for a few minutes to set. Remove from freezer and spread softened ice cream over crust. Spread Cool Whip over ice cream. Sprinkle the Oreos you set aside over top of cake. Store in freezer until ready to serve.

I have made half-and-half cakes before--put cookies n' cream on half and another type of ice cream on the other. You could also use another type of cookie (like a peanut butter cookie) with whatever ice cream you wanted.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


After a rich, decadent dinner of sole (fish) stuffed with crab and scallops, loaded baked potatoes, and fresh, juicy tomato wedges, I decided to try this recipe. I got it from a "Better Homes and Gardens" cookbook I got for my wedding. This was my first time trying this recipe and I thought it turned out nicely. It calls for less butter and 1/3 the chocolate of my cookie bars, but is still very rich, buttery, and chocolaty. Grayson took one bite and said, "This is DELICIOUS!" I loved melting the brown sugar and butter in the pan together--it looked so pretty. :)

2 cups packed brown sugar
2/3 c butter
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 c semisweet chocolate chips
1 c chopped nuts

Grease a 9x13 baking pan; set aside. In a medium saucepan heat brown sugar and butter over medium heat until butter melts and the mixture is smooth, stirring constantly. Cool slightly. Stir in eggs 1 at a time; stir in vanilla. Stir in flour, baking powder, and baking soda.

Spread batter in prepared baking pan. Sprinkle with chocolate pieces and nuts. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean (avoid chocolate pieces). Cool slightly on a wire rack. Cut into bars while warm.

I didn't add nuts to mine, but think they would add a nice crunch. This would be delicious, of course, with milk or vanilla ice cream.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

German Chocolate Brownies

This isn't even really a recipe--just a combination of two yummy things to make an even yummier one. I bake a 9 x 13 pan of my favorite brownie mix (anything with Hershey's chocolate chunks in it) and top it with coconut pecan frosting (any brand). Serve it with milk, ice cream, or just on its own. Scrumptious.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Muffuletta Sandwiches

This is the sandwich Ryan made for New Year's Eve. He based his on a Bobby Flay recipe (from an episode of "Throwdown" we saw), and I know he improvised a little from what it calls for--for example he used provolone cheese and used a greek olive salad that he blended up instead of making his own olive mix. Click here for the Bobby Flay recipe on Food Network's website.

Lemon Fruit Dip

I found this in a "Simple and Delicious" magazine and thought it sounded yummy. Ryan made the dip and put together this beautiful fruit tray for New Year's Day. The dip was really good--light, cool, and creamy. It got great reviews from those who tried it--I highly recommend it!

1 c cold milk
1 package (3.4) oz instant lemon pudding mix
1 c (8 oz) sour cream
Assorted fresh fruit

In a small bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set. Whisk in sour cream. Chill until serving. Serve with fruit. Makes 1-2/3 cups.