Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Still Here!

I'm still here!  Cooking has been pretty simple--lots of items on the grill, ice cream for dessert, and very little way in trying new recipes.

I am ready for August, though, and I will have a few new things to share soon.  Cross my heart.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Furry Friends

Our days this summer have been filled with the adventures of Gloria.  We are having such fun with her.

We are also spoiling her like crazy, and even cooking for her.  I learned with our last dog how easy it was to bake sweet potato chips for easy dog treats, so we've got a regular rotation of making those.  And now we've made these super easy and fast Pumpkin Oat No-Bake Dog Treats.

The hardest part about this recipe is taking the time to roll each of the little individual treats.  (I used the smallest scoop from Pampered Chef, but if you've got a smallish dog, use something even smaller.  It makes a generous-sized treat.)  I let them refrigerate most of the day, and then finally shared one with the pooch.  She liked it, but did "play" with it a bit before actually eating.  I'm guessing she's a unused to refrigerated food.

I'm definitely keeping these treats in our regular rotation of doggie "baking".  I like the simple, on-hand ingredients, and the fast prep.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

A New Monster in Town

We love Monster cookies, and all things monster cookie related.  So, of course, when I saw these Reese's Monster Cookies I couldn't not make them.

It turned out to be a very good decision.  These cookies are everything that's right about regular monster cookies, with the added joy of the miniature peanut butter cups.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Cookie Dough + Ice Cream = Guy Dessert Hit

It was Deacon Meeting night at our house again this week, so that means dessert!

Expecting the night to be a typically warm July evening, I decided that this Cookie Dough Ice Cream Cake would be perfect.  I had not planned on the fact that it would not be a typical July evening, but instead a cool 60some degrees, where the guys sat around the firepit eating this frozen dessert.

The guys loved this dessert.  I don't know whether it was the dessert, the hot fudge on top, or just the idea of a cookie dough in plenty that they enjoyed, but there were positive comments all around.  This dessert was very quick and simple.  A great throw-together if you have unexpected guests.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

If the Kids Won't Eat

Getting little ones to eat is something I hear parents complain about on a pretty regular basis.  Our little definitely has her favorites, but she knows not to play the picky game.  Because she has a great attitude, though, I always love when her willingness to try new foods pays off in a new dish she loves.  And eats. And eats.  And eats.

The odds of her liking this Olive Garden Parmesan Shrimp were very much in my favor from the outset.  She loves shrimp, pasta, and Olive Garden.  There are a few different steps to making this dish, which means multiple pans and baking dishes, which, of course, I'm not a fan of.  I managed to get around the two 8x8 dishes by just adding the pasta back to the original one.

Other modifications I made included using a pound of medium sized shrimp, using half and half instead of cream, and cutting the butter on top of the pasta in half.  It was still scrumptious and plenty rich.  One of the commenters on the recipe, suggested adding garlic salt.  We sprinkled a little on at the table, and it was just the right touch.

I've never actually ordered this dish at Olive Garden so I don't have any standard for comparison, but it was very good, and before I knew it, the plates beside me were empty.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Good Things Come When You Clean Out the Pantry

Summer is the time when I get caught up around home.  Today's project was cleaning out the pantry, whereupon I discovered some instant oatmeal packets.  Somewhere along the line, my little decided she was over oatmeal.  Which left me with several unopened packets sitting around, taking up space.

And then I remembered that you can make fruit crumble with oatmeal packets.  Perfect!  I also managed to use up some frozen blueberries and strawberries hanging around in the freezer.  Double perfect!

Since I was using frozen fruit instead of fresh, I added a couple of tablespoons of cornstarch to help thicken the juices.  And then, because I had to move a bag of chia seeds to get to my cornstarch, I had another idea--could I add the chia seeds to the crumble to produce a tapioca-like effect?  Google to the rescue!  It would seem you can use chia seeds for exactly that.  Another win.

The crisp was so good.  Not overly runny, and the flavoring from the oatmeal packet added a delightful something extra.  Totally buying more oatmeal so that I can do this again.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Ice Cream Magic

I love a simple gathering of friends, especially when I'm able to control myself and keep the food simple as well.

This Mexican "Fried" Ice Cream Dessert is the perfect answer to your next summer party.  Easy, simple, and perfectly delicious to everyone in your crowd.

Let your ice cream sit on the counter to thaw while you fry up the corn flakes.  By the time you get back from getting the Cool Whip at the grocery store because you forgot to buy that ingredient, your ice cream should be perfectly ready to mix up.  Also, it turns out you can totally forget the honey, and this dessert will still be fantastic.

It is amazing how much this truly tastes like fried ice cream.  It's such a basic combination of simple ingredients, and yet it totally recreates the fabulous flavor of your favorite Mexican restaurant.