Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Berry Jello Pops...

Frozen treats are what summer is all about!

I especially love making Popsicles for my girls. It doesn't matter how old a person is, I am telling you...  they will still enjoy frozen treats.

I use to have plastic Popsicle molds, but they cracked after only a few uses. Now I use the 3 oz. paper cups. I've found them to be the perfect serving size. They also look adorable!

Making your own Popsicles allows you to get creative with the ingredients... and I'm all about creativity in the kitchen.

It's the perfect opportunity for you to get in the kitchen with the kids this summer and execute an easy recipe!

What do ya know!?!

I've got the best pops for you to try...

Berry Jello Pops

  • 1 Cup Frozen Mixed Berries
  • 6 oz. Berry Yogurt (Any Mixed Berry or Berry of Your Choice)
  • 1- 1oz. Box of Sugar Free Fat Free Instant Vanilla Jello Pudding
  • 2 Cups Fat Free Milk
  • 10- 3 oz. Paper Dixie Cups
  • 10 Wooden Popsicle Sticks
Blend the frozen berries, yogurt, jello pudding mix, and milk in a blender until smooth. Quickly divide the blended mixture between the Dixie cups. 

Place in the freezer for 20 minutes, then insert the wooden sticks in the center. Allow to chill 2-3 hours or until frozen. 

Tear off the Dixie cup when ready to serve.


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Tortellini Salad...



It's almost here.

I love that we will have a break from school. I love that we get to go on vacation. I also love that summer means BBQ's, fun cold desserts, and fresh salads.

Who wants to have the oven going for each and every dinner during summer!?!

Not me, that's for sure!

I love fresh salads for dinner... they are easy and light. If we are out and about in the warm weather all day, I usually don't want to come home and stress over an elaborate dinner.

If you feel the same as me, this is the recipe for you...

Tortellini Salad

  • 1 9oz. Package of Cheese Tortellini
  • Fresh Spring Salad or Spinach Salad Mix
  • 12 Cherry Tomatoes, Sliced Lengthwise
  • Good Quality Balsamic Vinegar
  • Good Quality Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • Pinch of Fine Sea Salt
  • Pinch of Coarsely Ground Black Pepper
  • Parmesan Cheese, Grated
Boil water and prepare the tortellini according to the package directions.

Drain the tortellini well. Place in a medium bowl with a few large handfuls of the salad and the tomatoes. Carefully splash the balsamic vinegar and oil over tortellini, salad, and tomatoes. Add the salt and pepper. Gently toss to coat, and adjust the flavors to taste. 

Divide between two bowls or plates. Grate fresh Parmesan on top, to taste. Serve with a baguette or garlic bread. 

This recipe can easily be doubled, even tripled, for a large family dinner or get-together! 


Friday, May 9, 2014

Lemon Basil Shortbread Cookies...


Want a classic shortbread recipe with a twist?

Well, I've got one for you.

Shortbread cookies are one of my favorite cookies to make. They taste delicious as is, but even better when you add lemon and basil.

It fancies them up... and that's a fact.

Want something fancy to serve for Mother's Day?

If so... you guessed it... this is the recipe for you.

They are a wonderful accompaniment with tea.

Lemon Basil Shortbread + tea = a wonderful Mother's Day treat!

Happy Mother's Day to all of you fantastic mommas out there! I wish you a day of love, happiness, and most of all rest and relaxation!

Lemon Basil Shortbread Cookies
Adapted from Simple Shortbread Cookies

  • 1 Cup Unsalted Butter (2 Sticks), Softened
  • 1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons Fresh Basil, Finely Diced
  • Zest and Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Cups Flour, Plus Some for Rolling Cookies Out
Begin by creaming the butter and the sugar. Add the basil, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla. Mix until just incorporated. Add the flour in half cup intervals, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl. Do not over mix the dough.

Separate the dough in half and place on plastic wrap. Seal and shape into disks. Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, up to 1 hour to chill. 

In the meantime, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees (F) and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

After the dough has been allowed to chill. Dust a bit of flour on a clean surface and on a rolling pin. Working with one chilled dough disk at a time, begin rolling out the dough to the desired thickness. Cut with cookie cutter(s) of your choice. Re-roll the scraps until all the cookies are cut. 

Place in the oven for 8-12 minutes, or until set. Allow to cool a few minutes on the sheet, then transfer the cookies to a cooling rack until completely cooled. 

The baking time will depend on the cookie thickness and the size of cutters used. I used a heart cookie cutter, about 2-inches across. Each disk made about 36 cookies, so about 72 cookies total. Enjoy with tea.

You can make one half of the dough into cookies and use the other half for a tart or pie crust. 


Friday, April 25, 2014

Green Smoothie...


I am in love with smoothies. Love them, love them, love them.

I've been wanting to incorporate more healthy smoothies into my daily nutrition. It's a great way for me to get in my fruits, green vegetables, and healthy fats!

I find that they fill me up until my next meal.


Did you just see those clouds part and the sun shine through?

I am a snacker. To the extreme... especially in the late evening/early night.

Smoothies for dessert? Why yes, please!

This is a simple green smoothie, with a mild green vegetable: spinach. I like using spinach because once it's blended in with all the other ingredients, you barely notice it.

So, if you're looking for a great, sweet, and filling smoothie, give this one a try...

 Green Smoothie

  • 1 Tablespoon Organic Non-Hydrogenated Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil
  • 1-1/2 Cups Fresh Spinach, Roughly Torn (To blend easily)
  • 1/2 Cup Frozen Pineapple 
  • 1 Banana 
  • 1 Cup Pure Coconut Water
Using a good blender, add the ingredients in the order listed. Blend until all the ingredients are smooth, carefully pushing the ingredients down with a spoon, if needed. Makes 1 (1-1/2 cup) serving.


Friday, April 18, 2014

Ham Spinach Rolls with Gouda Cheese...


I love brunches.

Yes, I do end up stuffing myself silly... there is usually just so much to choose from!

You have an array of savory and sweet dishes served... the best combination, if you ask me.

I love serving at least one brunch dish that includes ham as an ingredient. Ham... you really can do so much with it!

For this dish, I wanted to combine ham and spinach... and it doesn't hurt to throw a little Gouda cheese in there, either...

This would be a fabulous Easter brunch item... it's easy... and takes hardly anytime to prepare and bake. Who wants to be slaving away during meal time!?! 

Not this lady!

Ham Spinach Rolls with Gouda Cheese
  • 12 Flaky Crescent Rolls, Unbaked
  • 1 Cup Cooked Ham, Diced
  • 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 6 oz. Fresh Spinach
  • Pinch of Sea or Kosher Salt
  • Pinch of Black Pepper
  • 1 Cup Shredded Gouda Cheese
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees (F).

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

In a large saute pan, heat the oil on medium/low heat. Add the spinach, salt, and pepper. Saute the spinach until just wilted. 

Transfer the spinach to a paper towel lined plate, to drain any excess oil.

On a clean surface, gently stretch the triangular crescent rolls a bit, to allow more surface area. Divide the spinach, cooked ham, and Gouda between the crescent rolls. Fold the crescent rolls by over lapping all three sides and pinching to close, securing the ingredients inside.

Place the closed rolls onto the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the rolls are cooked and browned on top. Makes 12 rolls.


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