Tag Archives: Dessert

Creative Collections: Uses for Jars

I have a whole box of (clean) glass food jars hidden in my craft room, just waiting to be made into something brilliant (or to get recycled if I can’t figure something out!). I thought these were some great ideas for something we have around out house anyway. It makes most of these practically free… or at least half price!

Banana Bread in a Jar by Intimate Weddings

Frames by Decor Hacks

Moroccan Lanterns by Matsutake

Mason Jar Soap Dispenser by Our Lovely Bungalow

Food Jars into Spring Decor by The Latest Find

Candlestick Apothecary Jars by This Old Chair

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Brownie Bites

Last weekend I hosted a baby shower for my sister (new baby boy coming in November!!!). I’ll be posting the full menu and decorations later in the week, but here’s one of my favorites from the shower.

And experiment I did… Three times. My dear friends were my taste testers on three different occasions. Funny, I didn’t hear any of them complaining about being part of the process (neither did Logan!).

I got the basic idea from The Prepared Pantry but there was some trial and error involved. Because it wasn’t as easy as I would have thought!

How to Make Them:

1.  Make a box of gooey brownies. Regardless of what brand you use, I’ve found the key is to make cake like brownies in a 9×13 pan and cook them for the least amount of time listed. Another quick tip:  like your baking dish with wax paper. That way you can just lift out the brownies!

2.  Cut the edges off all four sides. You want only soft brownies to roll, so the edges are for the chef.

3.  Cut the brownies. I tried both 24 and 32. I preferred the size of the bites when I cut them in 32 pieces, but it’s up to you.

4.  Roll the brownies into balls. Keep you hands clean so the brownies don’t stick. Refrigerate these for a few hours. I tried using popsicle sticks for my first try, but didn’t like how they turned out. That’s why they’re “brownie bites” and not “brownie pops.” 

5.  Dip them in something yummy. Here’s where I had to do the most experimenting. My favorite was melting chocolate frosting and natural peanut butter together. After you dip them, refrigerate again.

I never got them to look exceptionally pretty (just exceptionally tasty). Maybe dusting them with powder sugar? More experimenting necessary!

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Creative Collections: Icy Drinks

With it being so hot, nothing sounds better than an iced drink. And I’ll admit, I make a fair number of trips to Starbucks to fill that need. But only because one of my students got me a gift card… so these drinks are perfect for when that runs out! Besides, who doesn’t love an inexpensive and/or healthy alternative to all of the great fruity smoothies and caffeinated goodness that we see in commercials all the time?

Skinny Vanilla Mocha Frappe by Peanut Butter and Peppers

Chai Tea Frappe by Fox in the Kitchen

DIY Light Frappuccino Recipe by LaaLoosh

Oatmeal Smoothie by Martha Stewart

Seasonal Fruit Smoothie by Runners World

Luscious Fruit Smoothie by Better Homes and Garden

Enjoy a refreshing way to beat the heat!

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12 Gifts of Christmas: Cookies

Today I thought I’d post recipes for some of my favorite Christmas cookies and cute ways to wrap them as gifts. I’m sure most people are all set with their cookie recipes, but in case you need some fillers, here’s what I did this year.

Chocolate Peppermint Wafers by Real Simple (love that there are so many variations on a sugar cookie recipe!)

Lemon Burst Cake Mix Cookies by Tidy Mom (3 ingredients, so easy!)

White Trash/Coated Chex Mix by Food.com (I’ve heard it called both)

Puppy Chow/Muddy Buddies by Cookies and Cups

*I also do a variation on Buckeyes and gingersnaps from Betty Crocker’s box mix.

I haven’t tried this yet, but doesn’t it look wonderful!
Nutella Fudge with Sea Salt by The Crunchy Mamacita

I love giving cookies as gifts. Here are some fun, easy, cheap ways to wrap them up. Easier than buying more holiday tins!

Treat Bag with Topper by DCWV Diary (I just used some wrapping paper)

Pringles Can Cookie Holder by A Thousand Words

Happy Eating!



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Honey Nut Cheerio Treats

Usually I buy the store brand of most foods–including cereal. And usually Logan is just fine with that (currently he’s working through a box of Target brand Frosted Mini Wheats). But apparently, Honey Nut Cheerios cannot be substituted. Which explains why there’s been a box and a half sitting in the cabinet for a few weeks.

So this morning, I decided to fix that. Because who says Rice Krispies is the only cereal we should mix with marshmallows?

What you’ll need:
*3 Tbsp butter
*1 bag big marshmallows or 4  cups mini marshmallows
*6 cups cereal of your choice (I obviously used Honey Nut Cheerios)

 The recipe goes exactly like if  you were making Rice Krispies treats.

1. Melt the butter in a large non-stick pan.

2. Mix in the marshmallows and stir like crazy until melted.

3. Mix in the cereal.

4. Spread into a 9×13″ pan using waxed paper or a greased spatula. I also lined by pan with foil to make clean up a little easier.

Optional:  Let cool and cut into 2″ squares. Or just eat them right then out of the pan!

My mistake this morning:  I decided to do 1 1/2 batches at once. Not smart. You have to work so fast to get the cereal mixed in and the whole thing spread into the pan. I wasn’t nearly fast enough… maybe because I kept sampling though…


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Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

Over the summer I was sitting through an incredibly boring workshop and met Cali from Home Awaits. She has a great blog full of pictures of homes to dream about… which is exactly what she’s doing! While clicking through, I found her recipe for Peanut Butter Cup Brownies. Can you really ask for anything better? I made a few changes to her recipe, and they were fabulous!

What you’ll need:
*1 box of your favorite brownie mix
*1/2 cup chocolate chips
*3/4 cup creamy peanut butter

1.  Preheat oven to 350. Spray or line 40 mini-muffin cups or 20 muffin cups (I used the regular size because I don’t have minis. Besides, then you don’t have to eat 4 to get your brownie fix).

2.  Prepare the box mix as directed. Spoon into muffin cups. Cook until a toothpick comes out slightly wet when stuck in the center. For the minis it’s 13-15 minutes and for the full size it’s 20-22 minutes.

3.  After the brownies begin to cool, the centers will fall. If they don’t, take a spoon and scoop out a little of the brownie to make a hole for the peanut butter mixture (I might have eaten all of the centers I scooped out).

4.  Put the peanut butter and chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Heat for 25 seconds and stir. Continue heating in 25 second increments until smooth. Spoon into the centers of your brownies. Top with chocolate chips. Let cool in the pan.

Yum. Chocolately-Peanut Buttery Goodness.

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Ice Cream Cake

Logan’s birthday is next week, and we just celebrated with our families. My friend Natalie made an apple pie ice cream cake last year, and it was fabulous! Another friend, Annie, also sent me an ice cream dessert recipe that was like Dairy Queen’s Peanut Buster Parfait. So, I combined both recipes to make an Oreo Ice Cream Cake with hot fudge sauce and peanuts. Yum!

You can really use any ice cream and toppings you want, but the steps will still be the same.

What you’ll need:
48 oz chocolate ice cream
48 oz death by chocolate ice cream
1 jar hot fudge sauce (keep some aside)
1 package Oreo cookies (broken up and keep some aside)
2 cups peanuts
1 big tub Cool Whip (thawed)

Line a 9×13 pan with plastic wrap or foil. You’re going to be building the cake from the top down and then turn it out onto a tray. Make sure you have plenty of room in the freezer to put your pan. Keep in mind that when you turn the cake out onto a tray, it’s going to need even more clearance with the Cool Whip. Lesson learned…

Soften the chocolate ice cream (I stuck it in the refrigerator for about an hour). Spread it into the pan. Refreeze.

Cover with the hot fudge, Oreos, and peanuts. Freeze. (Your hot fudge topping won’t get super smooth and easy to pour–no matter how long you microwave it. And don’t try to microwave the whole jar for very long or it will gurgle up the sides and leave a lovely, sticky mess for you. Another lesson learned…)

Soften the death by chocolate ice cream and spread it into the pan. Refreeze.

To release from the pan:  Partially submerge the pan in warm water for just a few moments to loosen it up. Put the tray on the top of the pan and flip the whole thing over. If it still sticks, wipe it with a warm washcloth.

You can see the top layer melted a little. I probably should have put the whole thing back in the freezer before putting the Cool Whip on, but it turned out fine.

Cover the top and sides with the Cool Whip and “drizzle” the rest of the hot fudge  and Oreos along the top (see previous note about the hot fudge–it’s more like “drop” the rest of it in various patterns). Refreeze.

Before you’re ready to serve, leave the cake out for a few minutes. That way you’ll actually be able to cut into it! Keep a cup of warm water handy to rinse your knife.

Enjoy! Just as good as Dairy Queen 🙂 

And thanks to Natalie and Annie for their recipes!


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