German Chocolate No-Churn Ice Cream

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Being single and living alone (at least when the kids are with Dad) had created some “single person behaviors” in me. The least embarrassing one I am willing to admit? I only eat ice cream straight from the carton when I am alone. Call me crazy, but I swear that it tastes better that way. And while I’m at it, I might also eat it for dinner. What?? I’m an adult, I can do what I want!

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german choc ice cream (1 of 1)

 This ice cream is nothing short of amazing. No churn chocolate ice cream, brownie pieces- box mix is just fine here!- and coconut pecan frosting. I am not a cake person, so to me this combo blows german chocolate cake right out of the water!

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I am obsessed with no churn ice cream. I love the ease and not having to cook anything. Just two steps and done!

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German Chocolate No-Churn Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • 1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • Frosting
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into 4 pieces
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut, toasted
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups chopped brownie pieces

Instructions

In a large bowl combine your condensed milk and your vanilla extract.

Whip your heavy cream and cocoa powder in a large bowl until stiff peaks are formed, about 5 minutes on high.

Fold your whipped cream into your sweetened condensed milk.

For the frosting: In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cream, egg yolk, butter, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly as the butter melts. Once boiling, cook another 3-5 minutes or until the mixture thickens.

Remove from the heat and stir in pecans, coconut, and vanilla. Cool to room temperature. If making ahead of time, refrigerate in an airtight container then microwave in 5-10 second intervals or until spreadable.

Pour half of your ice cream mixture into a freezer safe container. Layer in half the brownie pieces and swirl in half the frosting. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Freeze 4 hours.

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Coconut, Chocolate and Almond Popsicle

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How is summer treating you so far? Is it hot enough for you yet? If you are looking for a way to cool down, I have the recipe for you! But not just one recipe- a whole weeks worth. That’s right, its Popsicle Week! I am so excited to be participating in Popsicle Week 2016. I first heard about it last year, and knew I needed to participate!

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This recipe comes together in your blender, and is creamy, crunchy and smothered in chocolate. My kinda popsicle!

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Coconut milk, a little cream, sweetened condensed milk and Greek yogurt blended with coconut creates the perfect creamy pop with just the right amount of coconut flavor. Insanely easy homemade “magic shell” comes together in an instant, and almonds with extra coconut creates a texture lovers dream.

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Coconut, Chocolate and Almond Popsicle

Ingredients

  • 1 (13.5 oz can) full fat coconut milk
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut flakes
  • 1 (14 oz can) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup Greek yogurt (plain or vanilla)
  • Magic Shell
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds

Instructions

Combine the coconut milk, shredded coconut, condensed milk, heavy cream and Greek yogurt in a blender and blend until all the ingredients are mixed. Pour the mixture evenly into each Popsicle mold. Freeze the Popsicle for 2 hours or until they are semi firm and insert wooden sticks in the center (unless using the sticks provided with your mold). Continue to freeze for at least an additional 4 hours (overnight is best).

To remove from mold, run the base of the mold under warm water.

To make magic shell, melt the coconut oil and chocolate chips in a microwave safe container. Dip Popsicle in chocolate, and immediately in coconut and almonds.

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COCONUTPIC

Easy Bavarian Donuts

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School’s out for the summer! I know the kids are rejoicing, but how are my fellow parents feeling about it? I know most stay at home parents dread this time of year. I work, but I dread it for the increased daycare bill!.

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Am I the only parent who feels a little sad and nostalgic on the last day of school? Like, we are one year closer to when my sweet, tiny baby girl leaves me and goes out into the real world?? Maybe that’s just me…..

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These donuts make a perfect treat for a weekend morning, but without all of the fuss of yeast dough. Just a few ingredients and you have a fun treat, perfect for celebrating or just because DONUTS!

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Easy Bavarian Donuts

Ingredients

  • 1 can buttermilk biscuits (8 count)
  • 1 small package vanilla instant pudding
  • 1.5 cups milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (optional)
  • Chocolate Glaze
  • 1½ cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 4 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp milk (start with 2, increase if not smooth enough)
  • 2 tsp vanilla

Instructions

Mix pudding mix, milk and vanilla bean paste according to pudding package instructions. Chill. Can be made in advance.

Pour canola oil into 10-inch-wide saucepan or Dutch oven until at least 2 1/2 inches deep. Heat oil over medium heat until deep-fry temperature reads 375°F. Line large plate with paper towel; set aside.

Separate dough into 8 biscuits. Place 4 biscuits in hot oil; fry 2 minutes 30 seconds. Using spatula, flip biscuits over; fry 2 minutes 30 seconds longer. Transfer doughnuts to paper towel-lined plate to absorb any oil.

Using handle of wooden spoon, poke a hole in side of each doughnut. Fill decorating bag fit with small hole tip with pudding mixture. Squeeze enough pudding into each doughnut to fill hole.

For chocolate glaze, sift together the sugar and cocoa powder in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, slowly add in the milk and vanilla and beat on low speed until glaze is smooth and pourable.

Gently dip one side of the donuts into the glaze and place on parchment paper to set up. Donuts are best when enjoyed fresh.

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Creamy Spinach Tomato Tortellini

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While it may be silly, one of my most favorite parts of summer is fresh basil. Yes, I am well aware that fresh basil is available year round. Yet I can only seem to keep mine alive in the summer, and in my small down sometimes the fresh stuff is hard to find in stores. So to me, fresh basil= summer. I made this pasta the day after I bought my summer basil plant. I couldn’t help myself!

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This dish was so easy but full of yummy Italian flavors. Its meat free, so perfect for meatless Monday, but I wouldn’t be mad at some Italian sausage or chicken being added to it. My kids enjoyed it too, and I felt quite proud of myself for being able to sneak some spinach into them 😉

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Creamy Spinach Tomato Tortellini

Ingredients

  • 1 (20 oz) pkg three cheese tortellini (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 cup milk (I used skim, anything works fine)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes (undrained)
  • 1 1/2 cups (packed) chopped fresh spinach
  • 3 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh oregano (or 1/2 tsp dry)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 Tbsp finely shredded parmesan, plus more for serving
  • Red pepper flakes, for serving (optional)

Instructions

Cook tortellini according to directions listed on package.

Meanwhile, in a large and deep skillet or saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic and saute 30 seconds, then add flour and onion powder and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. While whisking, slowly pour in milk and cream, then whisk until smooth. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture begins to simmer, then add tomatoes, spinach, basil and oregano. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook several minutes longer until sauce has thickened and spinach has wilted. Add parmesan cheese and stir until melted. Remove from heat.

Toss prepared and drained tortellini into sauce mixture (note that as the pasta rests, the sauce will seem thicker and it will sort of soak into the noodles. So, if you won't be serving it for 10 minutes or so you can stir in some pasta water, milk or cream to thin it out if desired). Serve warm sprinkled with additional parmesan cheese if desired and optional red pepper flakes.

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Recipe adapted from: Cooking Classy

Funfetti Cake Batter Milk Shake

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I am wanting to know how my fellow parents feel about kids and “activities.” M is only 6 and just finishing Kindergarten, but I am starting to feel the pressure to get her more involved in activities. The problem lies in the fact that I don’t want to be involved in activities. Sports bore me, and the idea of attending multiple practices a week makes me cringe. No, I am not one of those parents who finds it adorable to watch a bunch of kids roll around on a T-Ball field while their coach tries to heard them like a bunch of cats. Sorry soccer moms, but I would really rather not.

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We will stick with 4-H, thank you very much! M decided she wanted to take a candy making class- I knew she was my daughter!

Call me a lazy mom, but sometimes I love an easy dessert just as much as I love not standing out in the pouring rain watching a soccer match on my Saturday morning.

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3 ingredients, and the addition of sprinkles around the rim of the glass if you like, and you have a delicious, no effort dessert everyone will love!

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Funfetti Cake Batter Milk Shake

Ingredients

  • 2 cups vanilla ice cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vanilla or funfetti dry cake mix
  • Sprinkles (optional)

Instructions

Combine all ingredients in a blender except sprinkles. Blend until smooth. Fold in sprinkles if desired. Pour into cups and serve immediately, garnished with more sprinkles if desired.

Note: I used light corn syrup to stick sprinkles to rim of cup - just a very thin layer. I poured the sprinkles in a bowl and rolled the corn syrup coated rim in sprinkles.

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White Chicken Enchiladas

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Raise your hand if you love to eat, and love to cook, but some nights you just don’t want to be in the kitchen. Just me? No? I do love to cook, that much is clear, but there are some nights after work that the last thing I want to do is be in the kitchen. Yet I want a yummy, hot meal on the table. Picky much?

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enchilada (1 of 1)

These enchiladas are perfect for nights like those, Use a rotisserie chicken if you are too lazy to cook the chicken, and I just layer the filling and tortillas in the pan rather than rolling them. I actually used leftover turkey this time and they were equally delicious.

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I have been making these for years and have frozen them many times. Its a great casserole to take to new parents or someone ill, and can easily be doubled.

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White Chicken Enchiladas

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cooked and shredded chicken or turkey
  • 4 oz can diced green chiles
  • 1 10.5 oz can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup sour cream (low fat or regular)
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 10 flour tortillas
  • 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • Sliced olives for garnish

Instructions

Grease a 9x13 casserole dish. Mix sour cream, can of soup, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper in a bowl. Whisk to combine well. Add the shredded chicken. Slice tortillas into 3 strips.

Spread a thin layer of soup mixture onto bottom of greased casserole dish.

Layer half of the tortillas over that, followed by half of the soup mixture. Sprinkle half of the cheddar cheese. Repeat layers, top with shredded cheese and olives.

Cover tightly with foil.

Bake at 350F for 40 min, or just until cheese is melted, Remove foil and cook an additional 5 minutes until cheese is slightly golden and bubbly.

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Chocolate Toffee Trifle

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Every year I try to set myself a goal of something new to try in the kitchen, like working with yeast breads. It was something that I used to be really afraid of, but over the last few years I have really been enjoying experimenting, and even have a few recipes on the blog.

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I have decided that the next thing I want to learn is to make pretty layer cakes. I have never been good at frosting cakes, but I want to conquer a 3 layer beauty!

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So where is my first attempt? Ummmm…. I haven’t tried yet. I swear I will though! It just feels hard to justify making a layer cake on a random weekend, they feel like they are intended for special occasions.

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Until I find the time to practice a pretty cake, I will rely on this killer trifle to bring when I need a dessert to impress. Layers of chocolate cake, hot fudge, chocolate pudding, chocolate whipped cream and toffee pieces make for the most delicious dessert that is meant to be messy. no precise layers and crumb coats needed here!

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Chocolate Toffee Trifle

Ingredients

  • 1 chocolate fudge cake mix, prepared according to package directions
  • 1 3.4 oz box cook & serve chocolate pudding, prepared according to package directions and cooled
  • 11.75 oz jar hot fudge sauce
  • 8 oz bag Heath bits
  • Chocolate Whipped Cream
  • 1/2 pint whipped cream
  • 3 T cocoa powder
  • 4 T powdered sugar
  • 1 t vanilla extract

Instructions

To make the chocolate whipped cream, pour the cream into a stand mixer (can also use a hand mixer and a large bowl) and beat on high for one minute. Stop mixer and add the cocoa powder, sugar and vanilla. Turn mixer on high and beat until stiff peaks form.

To assemble trifle: layer the chocolate cake, hot fudge sauce (heated until a drizzling consistency) whipped cream, pudding and heath bits in a trifle dish or large bowl. Continue to layer until all ingredients have been used.

Can be served immediately or refrigerated.

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Tropical White Chocolate Blondies

 

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As much as I love blogging and I love reading the blog posts of others, I can’t help but get a little frustrated when I think I have a brilliant idea for a new recipe, only to open my inbox and see that someone else has beat me to it. That happened to me not once, but twice this week! I guess I should just feel confident that it is a good idea if someone else posted an extremely similar idea??

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Someone else posting a similar recipe didn’t stop me from sharing this recipe with you because these blondies are so stinking good! And not only are they delicious, they really couldn’t be any easier and they keep for days. A win-win!

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Tropical blondies (1 of 1)

I love the texture of all the add-ins in these blondies. Crunch from macadamia nuts, chew from the candied pineapple and coconut. Delicious!

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Tropical White Chocolate BLondies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (or rum extract)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted macadamia nuts
  • 1/2 cup chopped candied (dried) pineapple
  • 1/2 cup toasted coconut
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with cooking spray; set aside.

In a large, microwave-safe bowl melt the butter. Wait momentarily before adding the egg so you don't scramble it. Add the egg, brown sugar, vanilla, and whisk until smooth.

Add the flour and stir until just combined, don't over-mix. Stir in the nuts, pineapple, coconut and white chocolate chips. Turn batter out into prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.

Bake for about 22 to 26 minutes, or until done. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean, or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter. Allow blondies to cool in pan for at least 1 hour before slicing and serving. Blondies will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

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Recipe adapted from Averie Cooks

Parmesan Oven Fries

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Now that I am nearing the big 3-0, and am also a mom of two (feeling old here folks!) I try to watch what I eat more than I did in my early 20’s. As much as I love fried foods, they are something I try to avoid more often than not.

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I have found that most recipes can be made equally crispy and delicious in the oven without the added calories and fat. My Pretzel Chicken Bites with Honey Mustard, Shredded Beef Taquitos and Homemade Chicken Fingers are perfect examples.

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These oven fries turn out so crispy and flavorful, I didn’t miss the fact that they were fried one bit! The secret is to soak them first to get rid of the excess starch and then dry well, and cook at high heat. The seasoning listed can easily be adapted to taste, this is just the combo that I most often use. I hope you enjoy, paired with one of the recipes above, or even one of my sandwich recipes and you will have one delicious meal!

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Crispy Oven Baked Fries

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons seasoned salt
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • Fries:
  • 3 medium russet potatoes (russet are the best choice for perfect crispy fries)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan (optional)

Instructions

Combine seasoning ingredients in a small bowl; set aside.

Wash and peel the potatoes. Cut off the ends. With a very sharp knife, cut the potatoes into thin slices about 1/4 inch wide.

Add the fries to a large bowl and cover with cold water. Allow them to soak for at least 30 minutes but they can soak for as long as overnight. (Place in the fridge if soaking more than an hour).

After the fries have soaked, drain, rinse, and lay the fries on a paper towel lined cooling rack to dry while you preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Blot the tops with additional paper towels to absorb any excess moisture.

Line a baking pan with parchment paper or foil and spray with non-stick spray. Make sure the previously used bowl is dry and add the potatoes to it, add 1-2 tablespoons of oil and 1/2 – 1 Tablespoon of the seasoning mixture based on how much salt you prefer. Toss around to mix.

Evenly line the baking pan with the fries in a single layer. Don’t overlap or they fries won’t cook properly. Bake for about 30 minutes, flipping with a spatula once or twice after 15 minutes of cooking. Increase heat to 425 degrees and continue baking until the edges look a little burnt!

Sprinkle the fries with the other half of the seasoning mix and Parmesan cheese (optional). Serve immediately.

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Adapted from Layers Of Happiness