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A food blog to enliven your family meals

Dark Chocolate Orange Creamsicles

Posted by on Jul 31, 2014 in All, Desserts, Sponsored | 0 comments

These Dark Chocolate Orange Creamsicles are more nutritious than you expect, thanks to Silk® Protein+Fiber Almondmilk.

Dark Chocolate Orange CreamsiclesTo say that my son, Grady, is not the most adventurous eater is an understatement. I often chuckle in amazement at the foods that Lisa’s son, Charlie (also 8), will eat, let alone request:

Grilled Salmon?
Roasted Broccoli?
Asparagus?

Is this kid 8 or 28?

I can only hope that Grady will have developed a more adventurous palate by the time he’s 28. In the meantime, I definitely have my work cut out for me when I want to introduce new foods to my family. Rather than try to get them to sample something foreign completely outright, I incorporate it into a food they already enjoy, which is why these Dark Chocolate Orange Creamsicles were such a huge hit.

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No Bake Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Bars

Posted by on Jul 30, 2014 in All, Desserts | 38 comments

Keep the heat out of the kitchen with these No Bake Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Bars!

No Bake Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Bars

Sometimes the best desserts are the easiest ones.

You know the ones I’m talking about, right? Short ingredient lists and one-bowl wonders that don’t even need to go in the oven but still look and taste like they are complex and time consuming to put together? That, my friends, is my summer love language when it comes to desserts.

These No Bake Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Bars hit all of these important criteria. It’s got the chocolate cookie crust that my kids go crazy for, is topped with layers of whipped cheesecake and has chocolate cookies wedged in between it all. Each bite is full of smooth cheesecake flavor with a cookie crunch, all without having to turn the oven on. I’ll happily crank up my oven to bake a cheesecake in winter, but summer is for easy, oven-free cooking whenever possible.

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Classic Chocolate Cake

Posted by on Jul 26, 2014 in All, Desserts, Sponsored | 0 comments

Classic Chocolate Cake….just the way Mom used to make it.

Classic Chocolate Cake

What’s your earliest memory in the kitchen?

For me, it is – hands down – this Classic Chocolate Cake. My mom always made this when I was growing up, and to this day, it is one of the only cakes that I crave. And I’m not even a cake person (Gaaaaah, I know!). But this Chocolate Cake? I will never, ever turn it down.

In fact, it’s become THE Chocolate Cake that my family requests for birthdays (or really any time). Every once in a while, I’ll try and shake things up with a different frosting or a new flavor. Let’s just say that change is not always well-received with my family. They just want the recipe that they know and love. Tradition trumps variety, and I kinda love that because many of my childhood memories stem from time in the kitchen with my mom. Life’s good in the kitchen. It’s what brings many families together. That and cake. At least in my family.

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Gooey Baked S’mores Bars

Posted by on Jul 19, 2014 in All, Baked Goods, Desserts | 4 comments

Enjoying s’mores year-round just got a little bit easier with these Gooey Baked S’mores Bars

Gooey Baked S'mores Bars

Anyone else enjoying a wet and cool summer? 

Actually “enjoying” is not the right word. Enduring, perhaps? 

I would have thought that after our *freakishly* cold winter, we would have earned a reprieve from crazy, unseasonal weather. 

Guess not. 

There is widespread flooding throughout Minnesota, which puts a major damper on some of our favorite summer activities: 

Boating and tubing?  Off limits on many lakes because of no-wake zones. 
Hitting the greens? Stretches of local golf courses have been underwater since June. 
Dropping a line in the water? Our nearby fishing dock is closed because the path that leads to it is flooded. Grrrr. 

But the closure that has had the most impact on our lives is a little closer to home: our fire pit. It’s pretty tough to roast s’mores when your fire pit is filled with standing water. So I did what any self-respecting s’mores lover does when faced with such dire circumstances; I baked them. Grab your napkins as these Gooey Baked S’mores Bars are totally worth the stick factor. 

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Fudgy Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches

Posted by on Jul 12, 2014 in All, Desserts | 17 comments

Nothing says summer like a fudgy brownie ice cream sandwich…especially one that is super simple to make!

Fudgy Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches

I have a long, standing battle with making ice cream sandwiches. I love to eat them, but photographing them is a different story. We attempted to take pictures of ice cream sandwiches three different times last year, and all of our efforts ended up a gooey, sticky mess. Not fun, and – oh-so-frustrating. But it didn’t stop me. This summer I was bound and determined to get it right and finally had success with these Fudgy Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches. I mean, really, brownies and ice cream? Hello, heaven! 

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Bourbon Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream

Posted by on Jul 5, 2014 in All, Desserts | 5 comments

Homemade ice cream gets boozy in this Bourbon Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream recipe. 

Bourbon Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream My family doesn’t have a ton of food-related traditions when it comes to holidays, but homemade ice cream on the Fourth of July is one of them. We can thank my mom for that tasty addition to our family tree (and probably our belt sizes, too!). 

My grandpa (my mom’s dad) used to work at a dairy. During the summer, he scored extra bottles of milk and cream that my mom and her siblings used to hand crank into ice creamy goodness. My mom wanted to carry on the ice cream making tradition with me and my brothers, so my dad upgraded her ice cream making equipment to an electric model (yay!) that used a very temperamental ratio of ice to rock salt to get the cream to freeze correctly. I can still remember my mom complaining about that leaky and obnoxiously loud machine, but none of that mattered to me as a kid. Some of my best memories from the Fourth of July are sticking my spoon into the container after it finished churning for that first bite of soft serve ice cream.

Fast forward to today, and both Pat and the kids request homemade ice cream as part of our Independence Day festivities. I am happy to oblige, of course, and love experimenting with new flavors. If I was a betting type, I’d wager that Pat will demand my most recent creation, homemade Bourbon Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream, for every holiday in the foreseeable future. (And if he doesn’t, I will.)

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