May 20

On those really hot days that you don’t want to do much of anything, it is always nice to have a few frozen strawberries and bananas around to throw in a blender and make a really nice cool treat out of, this Strawberry banana ice  is a favorite round here!

Recipe originally found at the Primal Home   and adapted here

Strawberry banana Ice

1 banana sliced and placed in freezer on tray to freeze

½ cup of strawberries, washed and cut in quarters and placed in freezer

tablespoon coconut milk [optional]

 

Once fruit it frozen, place in blender or food processor together  with coconut milk  if using and blend until smooth*, place in a bowls and serve immediately.  Absolutely love this on a hot afternoon, such a great pick me up and best part is that  it is all natural too!

*As an extra special treat, when I am having some chocolate cravings, I sometimes add in a tablespoon of cocoa as well while blending.

 

http;//www/coocooforcooking.com/strawberrybananaice

May 1
icon1 Jennifer | icon2 Desserts | icon4 05 1st, 2013| icon3No Comments »

My youngest son just turned seven. In first grade, it’s still a big deal to bring in treats on your birthday. So I offered to make all the usual kid-faves: chocolate chip cookies, Rice Krispy treats, brownies, etc. (On principle, I refuse to make cupcakes anymore. It’s too disheartening to see all those kids lick off the frosting and throw out the cake.) He turned down everything I suggested because he had other ideas.

Someone in his brother’s class had recently brought in a specialty from our local bakery: donuts on a stick. These treats were apparently the talk of the lunch room that day, and Lou wanted to be the first first grader to bring them in. So I called the bakery and ordered a couple dozen decorated in boy colors.

I have to admit, they’re cute and kind of novel. And although I think $1 apiece is a little pricey for their small size, I guess it’s a small price to pay for avoiding the hassle of making the donuts myself (I don’t do well with hot oil), and they made him awfully happy.

Of course, the presents didn’t hurt, either.

Oct 28

Halloween is favourite holiday around our house- as soon as one is done our daughter is thinking up a costume for the next year – this year she is going to go as the wicked queen from Once upon a time.  Can’t wait to see her all dressed up!
Along with dressing up she loves all the wonderful Halloween treats that go along with it.  One of My best go to places for great desserts any time of the year is Kraft Canada [well for pretty much anything] their website is filled with so many great tips and information.
The Kraft Canada website even has a page specifically dedicated to Halloween, it is full of amazing recipes, party ideas, decorations  and tips for a great Halloween party! They also have some great stencils that we can use on our pumpkin.

Halloween pumpkin stencils
After  they go out trick or treating, the kids will be coming back for some Halloween treats at our house. I took   a quick look at the site and I found some great snacks for them to have when they come back with loaded bags.  This is a Mummy cookie balls recipe I found that looks great and will be a hit with the kids. It is also one that I can easily make gluten free, so my daughter can enjoy along with her friends.

There are also some great games available  on the site that they can play! I think this will be a fun one:
Mummy Wrap:
Divide kids into teams of 3 (1 mummy, 1 wrapper, 1 un-wrapper). Each team gets 1 extra-large roll of toilet paper. This is a timed event, so instruct the kids that on your signal, one team member must wrap the “mummy” in toilet paper. When the roll is complete (and the mummy is mostly covered) the 2nd team member unwraps the mummy (no tearing the toilet paper, it has to be unrolled). The first team to finish, wins. This is a great activity, especially when you play it to fast-paced Halloween music.

Whatever it is that the kids have or play afterwards, make sure that they are safe when they are going out; have some reflective tape on their clothing [I get the glow in the dark neon bracelets and necklaces for them to wear  that way they also have  bit of a light source] and make sure there is a group of them going out together [teens don't like you going with them] as well as making sure that they are carrying a cell phone to call if they need picking up or feel threatened in any way.

Have a safe and Happy Halloween!  :)

 

Oct 25

It always interests me how much Halloween candy and what type is consumed the most, take a look at this:

Halloween Candy infographic

Aug 8
icon1 Jennifer | icon2 Barbeque, Desserts, Potluck, Recipes, Salad | icon4 08 8th, 2011| icon3No Comments »

I don’t know why she makes it for Christmas, but my aunt makes Jello/Pretzel Salad every year.  And every year, I make up my mind to add it to my summer potluck rotation.  And every year, I follow the directions to the letter, and every year I fail.  Luckily, Cool Whip hides a multitude of sins.  Here’s my step by step near disaster, complete with pictures!

What you need:

CRUST
2 c. crushed pretzels
2 tbs. sugar
3/4 c. melted butter

Okay, so far, so good.  Mix these three together, and transfer into a 9×13″ glass pan.  Bake at 400 for 10 minutes, and allow to cool completely.

Nice and crust-y!  Next:

FILLING
8 oz. softened cream cheese
9 oz. thawed Cool Whip
1 c. sugar

Blend these three and spread over cooled pretzel crust.

Now, see the pretzels standing all around the edges?  Don’t do this.  I’m telling you, don’t do this.  My recipe told me to, and I think this decorative touch is the source of my constant woes with this dish.  Instead, make sure you spread the cream cheese mixture all the way to the edges so you get a good seal around the layer.  And then let me know if yours turns out better than mine.

JELLO
6 oz. strawberry Jello (this is the big box, and trust me when I tell you, two small boxes do NOT equal 6 oz.–that was a return trip to the grocery store for me)
2 c. hot water
2 c. cold water
20 oz. frozen strawberries

Prepare jello according to package directions, and add strawberries.

Look at that!  They float!

Pour jello over cream cheese mixture and refrigerate overnight.

Okay, here’s where it gets tricky for me.  Every time I add the jello, it seeps under the entire thing and starts bubbling like it’s alive.  The cream cheese mixture sort of fragments and floats, which makes the whole thing look like what comes out of my 8 year old after he ingests too much cottage cheese and fruit punch significantly less appetizing.

Cool Whip to the rescue!  What they don’t know won’t hurt them, right?  (Side note:  I love Cool Whip beyond all reason.  I use it so much, I should purchase stock.)

It may not be pretty, but the Lunch Bunch crew loved it, kids and adults alike!

P.S.–Neither Cool Whip, nor Jello, nor Kraft Foods compensated me in any way for this post.  But if they’d like to, I’m willing to talk;)

 

 

 

 

 

Jul 14
icon1 Jennifer | icon2 Desserts, Fruit, Recipes | icon4 07 14th, 2011| icon32 Comments »

Since we never refrigerated our blueberry yield, some of them were getting kind of mushy. So we turned to the handy little recipe book provided by Eenigenburg’s Blueberries, and decided to make some dessert! It’s too hot here to use the oven, so we chose a no-bake option.

BLUEBERRY CREAM CHEESE PIE

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
12/ c. heavy whipping cream, whipped
1/4 c. cornstarch
3 c. blueberries
2/3 c. sugar
1/2 c. confectioners’ sugar
1/2 c. water
1/4 c. lemon juice
1 9in. pastry shell, baked

In small bowl, beat cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Fold in whipped cream. Spread into pastry shell. In large saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, water and lemon juice until smooth; stir in blueberries. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir for two minutes or until thickened. Cool. Spread over cream cheese layer. Refrigerate until serving.

Sorry no photo. Someone ate it before I got the chance!

Jun 14
icon1 Jennifer | icon2 Beverages, Desserts, Product Reviews | icon4 06 14th, 2011| icon32 Comments »

. . . are watermelon, cherry & blue raspberry.

One of the kids got a snow cone machine for a birthday a couple of years ago. We were all happy and excited, and then it was put up on a deep shelf in the mudroom, and no one gave it a second thought. It’s lived there since then, sad and unused.

Until today, that is! With their oldest brother off at summer camp, the little ones have been clamoring to do “special” things. While I was digging out lawn chairs a few days ago, I spotted the lonely ice shaver and pulled it out tonight after dinner for a treat. We have the Back to Basics Dual Ice Shaver.

It works pretty well, but after playing with it a while I figured out a couple of things. First of all, we have an automatic ice maker, so the cubes are those half moon shapes, curved on one side and flat on the other. Since they don’t fit in the shaver nicely, they sometimes jam out of reach of the blades. So I started using the “crushed” option on the ice dispenser. Ours doesn’t crush nicely, just smaller than the cubes, but that helped the ice to settle in more compactly and keep contact with the blades. I also found, when I went back to make seconds, that the ice that had been sitting in there and allowed to melt slightly shaved more quickly and nicely as well.

Now the syrup I had purchased at Target, but I can’t seem to find it through them online, although it’s widely available through other sources like Amazon and walmart.com. We used Back to Basics sugar free flavors. While they don’t show as vividly as the stuff you get at carnivals, they do have a nice flavor and only one calorie per serving, which is why I didn’t mind everyone having seconds. It’s not even particularly hot today, so I’m looking forward to using the ice shaver all summer long. It will be a good way to get fluids into kids who don’t want to stop playing to rehydrate.

May 31
icon1 Jennifer | icon2 Desserts, Salad | icon4 05 31st, 2011| icon3No Comments »

It’s a tactic I learned from my aunt when I was a kid and she fooled me with it: re-naming foods to get kids to eat them. I wouldn’t touch tomato soup with a ten-foot pole, but I just loooved her “Cream of Red.” My brother would run ten miles in the opposite direction of anything with tuna, but when Aunt Ronni crumbled some Jays over it and called it “Potato Chip Casserole,” he couldn’t get enough.

With my own kids, broccoli soup has become “Cream of Green” (thanks Aunt R.), and sloppy joes are “Dog Food on a Hamburger Bun” (from my oldest son’s long-ago Clifford obsession). So should it have surprised me when the kids re-named my favorite summer fruit salad “Patrick Mousse” because of its lovely pink Patrick Star hue? I didn’t even blink. And we receive many requests for contributions of Patrick Mousse to summer potlucks. It’s super easy and super yummy:

CHERRY SUMMER WHIP, aka PATRICK MOUSSE

1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 can pineapple chunks
2 cans cherry pie filling (we’ve also used blueberry and raspberry)
1 lg. tub Lite Cool Whip

Combine all ingredients and refrigerate until serving. Can’t get much easier than that, huh?

Is this what Patrick would look like if he lost a battle with my Magic Bullet? You decide!

Feb 11
icon1 Jennifer | icon2 Cookies, Desserts, EZ Baking, Recipes | icon4 02 11th, 2011| icon31 Comment »

Does this ever happen to you? One day, you feel like there’s nothing in the house to eat, even though your pantry is so crammed with “stuff” that it wants to explode when you open the door? Well, we had been completely out of snacks for school lunches for some time, and I made a stock-up run to a certain warehouse club. When I realized I had no room to put anything away, I started a pantry audit and reorganization. I found that I had FOUR unopened cans of Canada’s Pure Jam (two cherry/two raspberry), which didn’t even take into account the open one in the fridge!

So when we were deciding what to make for Valentine’s Day, it was a no-brainer that jam would be involved. Here’s what we came up with:

Peanut Butter & Jelly Cookies

1 c. butter, softened
3/4 c. sugar
1 egg yolk, beaten slightly
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. crunchy peanut butter
2-1/2 cups all purpose flour
4 tbsp. jam or jelly, flavor of your choice
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 375, and line your cookie sheets with baking parchment or waxed paper.  Mix sugar and butter, then beat in egg yolk, vanilla extract and peanut butter.  Sift together flour and salt into the mixture and stir until combined thoroughly.  This makes some dense dough, so a husband or partner with large hands and strong arms is highly recommended!  Scoop out tablespoons of dough and hand-form into balls, spacing them well on the cookie sheets.  Dampen the handle of a wooden spoon to make hollows in the middle of each cookie, and fill with your jam or jelly.  Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown; cool on cookie sheets for 5-10 minutes and then on a rack.  This makes about 25 cookies, so we doubled the recipe. 

They might not be pretty, but they sure are good!

Jan 31
icon1 Jennifer | icon2 Beverages, Cookbooks, Desserts, Recipes | icon4 01 31st, 2011| icon3No Comments »

With the very real threat of nearly two feet of snow being dumped on my community over the next two days, I’m settling in for the duration.  The kids will likely be home from school, and they can play in the snow all they want.  We have a huge yard, and I have a great view from the kitchen patio door.  I will happily make hot cocoa for them, but I’m planning something a bit more interesting for myself!  This could be a lengthy hibernation, so I’ve armed myself with two books of warm deliciousness by renowned chef and cookbook author Rick Rodgers: Tea And Cookies: Enjoy The Perfect Cup Of Tea–With Dozens Of Delectable Recipes For Teatime Treats and Coffee And Cake: Enjoy The Perfect Cup Of Coffee–With Dozens Of Delectable Recipes For Cafe Treats.

Tea And Cookies features 13 teas and 9 cookie recipes, while Coffee And Cake offers up 11 coffees and 10 cakes, so we’ll have no shortage of combinations to try while riding out the storm.  And when the snow stops flying, I can look ahead with Rodgers’ Spring Gatherings: Casual Food To Enjoy With Family And Friends!

« Previous Entries