Monthly Archives: August 2012

Favorite Fruity Treats

As long as it’s August, I can still say it’s summer.  When it becomes September, I have a harder time convincing myself.

In honor of the end of summer, I’m doing a round up of my favorite fruity treats from this year.  It brought me some great memories of all the wonderfully fruity stuff I created and ate this year!

Fruit desserts

{From Top to Bottom:}

Orange Sugar Cookies: Such a deliciously simple treat!

Frozen Cherry Lemonade: For those hundred-degree days.

Banana Pudding: The treat my kids still beg me for weekly.

Chocolate Blackberry:  Because blackberries and chocolate are my all time favorites!

Grapefruit Cookies: Unexpectedly wonderful!

Mango Salsa: Make a double batch… trust me on this one.

Blueberry Mini-Muffins: My version of a classic. (recipe below)

Lemon Mini-Meringues: A wonderful light snack.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Blueberry Mini Muffins
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A basic muffin with fresh blueberries
Recipe type: breakfast
Serves: 24
Ingredients
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 T baking powder
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • about 1 cup fresh blueberries
Instructions
  1. Combine egg, milk, and oil.
  2. Add salt, baking powder and sugar, and mix to combine.
  3. Add flour and mix until incorporated.
  4. Fold in fresh berries.
  5. Divide batter evenly between 24 mini muffin cups, and bake at 375 degrees for 11-15 minutes, until slightly browned.

 

Hot Fudge Sauce

This quick hot fudge topping recipe is easy to make, and tastes rich and creamy.  You will love how easy and quick this hot fudge topping recipe is!

Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce from JensFavoriteCookies.com  -  It's quick and easy to make, and has a rich, creamy chocolate flavor!Robb and I are both super lucky, in that we both have awesome in-laws.  For his birthday, my parents gave Robb the gift of taking him (well, both of us, actually) to dinner…

…at the seafood restaurant of his choice.

Did I mention that I am not a big fan of seafood?  Here’s the thing.  I love clam chowder, and crab is fabulous IF it is mixed with cream cheese and green onions and spread on a cracker.  But, to just eat a big piece of fish, plain?!  Not. Happening.

Robb loves seafood, and my parents know this, and they know we don’t eat seafood EVER very often, and they want him to have what he wants for his birthday.  Because they are awesome like that.

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Root Beer Cookies

unusual cookieIt’s the first week of school, and the first week of Health class for my 9th grader.  Having been through this class with his older brother last year, I knew a little about what to expect.  “Guess what this means?!” I taunted him.  “We get to talk about sex!”

Groan, groan.  “Ahh!  Do we have to?”  “Yes,” I replied confidently.  “You can’t get out of it.”

Robb and I are firm believers that parents of teens need to talk openly about sex.  Lots of my friends have told me they feel nervous or uncomfortable about talking to their kids about it, any part of it.  Robb and I are quite the opposite… we almost talk too much about it.  {We definitely talk too much about it, if you ask our kids!}  I try to tell my kids about the awkward conversations other kids are forced to have with uncomfortable parents, and convince them how lucky they are to have such open and honest parents as we are.

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Lime Thyme Mocktail

Lime and Thyme drinkMost of the time, I’m completely fine with my decision to be a non-drinker.  But, it does present it’s awkward moments.

Case in point, the time some new friends from out-of-town asked me for a restaurant recommendation.  They wanted someplace nice, where they could get a glass of wine with dinner, and I had to admit that I had no idea.  Because wine is not even on my things-worth-considering list when it comes to choosing a restaurant for me.

Awkward.

Or the time we went on a Catamaran excursion in St. Thomas and the ship’s captain excitedly brought us rum punch, and we replied, “Um, do you have any sodas?”

Awkward.

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Biscoff Granola Bars guest post

Biscoff barsIt’s the middle of the month, and I am already over budget on the groceries.  I can’t help myself.  Sometimes I see something fabulous like mini-bell peppers or blood orange Chobani greek yogurt, or heaven help me, Biscoff spread, and I just have to buy it.

Now school is starting, and I have to get to start packing sack lunches, and what is there to pack?  There’s no way the kids will be eating bell peppers, and Robb wants all the Chobani to himself, which means I now have to share my Biscoff spread.  I’m sort of jealous and selfish, and so this idea is not my favorite.

On the other hand, turning a fabulous ingredient like Biscoff spread into something new and delicious and homemade like Biscoff Granola Bars is kind of fun.  Plus, I’m sure the kids will love finding these cute bars in their lunches.

I’ll probably eat mine for breakfast.

Biscoff Granola

Have you met Connie yet?  She has this wonderful blog called Measured By The Heart, where she blogs about all kinds of things from home decor, to cute hair tips, to DIY projects, to recipes.  And, lucky me, I get to guest post on her blog this week!  Aaiiieee!!

Let me bribe you with a few more adjectives before I send you to the recipe.

No Bake.  Very quick.  Super easy.  Chocolate Chips. And, need I say this? BISCOFF. SPREAD.

Get the picture?  To make these fun and crazy simple granola bars for your self school kids, head over to Measured By The Heart today!  You won’t regret it.

If you enjoy this recipe, you might also enjoy:

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars from Jen’s Favorite Cookies

Nutella Granola Bars from After Dinner Dance

Biscoff No Bake Cookies from Shugary Sweets

This post linked up at: Tidy Mom; Shabby Nest; Joy in my Kitchen; My Simple Home Life; While He Was Napping; Chic On a Shoestring; My Romantic Home; At the Picket Fence;

Paradise Punch Pie

ice cream pieIf you want to make an omelet, you have to break some eggs.  Or, as Robb says, if you’re not messing up once in a while, you’re not really trying.  I prefer this one:  There are obstacles to overcome on the pathway to genius.

I just made that one up.

The thing is, I prefer to think of myself as a genius.  Whether I actually merit that description is… umm… up for debate.

So when I basically faceplanted in my first attempt at a peach jar cake with peach buttercream, I was devastated.  Devastated because I was planning to serve this oh-so-cute and fantastically delicious dessert to my friends, who were going to be suitably impressed and lavish me with compliments.  Devastated because it was going to make a gorgeous blog post.  Devastated because I was about to go viral on Pinterest.

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Fluffernutter Cookies

peanut butter marshmallowI remember one year when I was a kid, my parents took advantage of a deal at a local pizza joint.  I don’t remember the deal exactly, but I do remember that it involved a pitcher of root beer.  The upshot is, we had pizza and root beer about once a month that year.

I also had two teenage brothers with the appetites of ravenous wolves, and thus the following family-pizza-dinner rule was born: You may only have 2 slices of pizza on your plate at any given time.

My brothers took this rule right to the edge.  They would immediately grab the three largest slices they could see, and put two on their plates, and one in their hands.  Then they would continue grabbing slices directly from the box until they were full enough to finish off those last two large slices on their plates.

My mom rolled her eyes a lot, but what could she do?  She made the rule.

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Lemon Mini-Meringues

lemon treatI’ve never been to Peru, or Namibia, or Egypt, but I cannot imagine they are drier than Wyoming, no matter what Our Amazing Planet says.

Technically speaking, Wyoming is no drier than my home state of Utah, (they both have average humidity levels around 55%) but you would never know that, listening to Robb complain that it is “SO humid in Utah!”

Whatever.

It is not humid in Utah, and I can prove it.  My house is cooled not with the coveted central air conditioning, but with the much less expensive swamp cooler.  I fully expect that many of you will not have a clue what a swamp cooler is, so let me explain.

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Six Great Lunchbox Cookies

I’m SO ready for school to start.  And I’m SO not ready for school to start.  The homework struggles… the carpooling… the getting up early to cook a hot breakfast.  Ugh.  Maybe I’ll go back to bed, while I can.

In the meantime, I’m leaving you with some of my favorite school lunch cookies.  These are all cookies which pack easily (they don’t have frosting, and they’re not too cakey, so they shouldn’t make too big a mess) and taste fantastic.

school lunch cookies

1: Lemon Crinkles, which has become both a family, and a JFC classic.

2: Biscoff Oatmeal, because you can’t go wrong with Biscoff spread.

3: Chocolate Marshmallow, which looks innocent, but has a marshmallow surprise inside.

4: Toffee Almond, which is perfect for dunking in milk.

5: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip, my favorite cookie from my childhood.

6: Triple Chocolate Chunk, for your chocoholics.

Enjoy your school year!!

This post linked up at Tidy Mom; Joy In My Kitchen;

Vanilla Coconut Granola

granola recipeEvery year we take this ridiculous camping trip.

Well, it must not be that ridiculous, because we love it enough to do it every year.  It’s mostly ridiculous because it takes us more than 9 hours to drive there (one way!), a drive that normally involves car sickness, and once we get there, we tent camp, often in the cold and snow, in a campground that has the worst smelly no-flush outhouse toilets and no sinks or kitchen facilities.  AND we only stay two nights.

Some families have their reunions at Disneyland.  Or a big cabin on the beach.  But this family camps in the Big Horns.

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Lime Cream Cheese Wontons

cream cheese wontonsIn the twelve years we have lived in our home, we have had some strange experiences with pesky animals.  The worst, for me, are the mice.  Because I’m a mouseophobe.  Or rodentophobe.  Wait, I’m not afraid of hamsters or squirrels.  Let’s stick with mouseophobe.  And ratophobe.

I. HATE. Mice.  I can’t word that strongly enough.

So one day, a couple years ago, when Robb was conveniently out of town, I heard this weird scratching noise in the basement hallway.  After dark.  I stood in the hall to check it out and the noise disappeared.  I walked away, and it started again.  I came back and it stopped.  It was like a horror film.

Exactly like a horror film.

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Scotcheroos and the Rice Krispies Treat Death Match

This post has been updated!!  See the new post HERE.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Crispy TreatHave you ever wondered how a person might find themselves embroiled in a serious Rice Krispies Treat Death Match?  Well, let me tell you.

A few months ago, an innocent remark by me about my favorite Rice Krispies treats, namely the Scotcheroos, was met by some serious resistance by my cousin, who lives several states away.  The conversation went something like this:

Me: Scotcheroos are the best.  They’re like eating heaven.
Maren: Blech.  You’re wrong.  Butterscotch is the worst.
Me: What’s wrong with you?  Butterscotch is pretty good, but I’m really talking about peanut butter RK treats, and there is NOTHING wrong with PB.
Maren: PB is great, but butterscotch is not.  I can out rice krispies treat you any day of the week.
Me:  Oh yeah?
Maren:  Yeah.  Let’s do this thing.  You. Me. Family reunion.
Me:  You’re on.  Winner gets bragging rights.
Maren: Winner gets ETERNAL FAME AND GLORY.

Last weekend, the much anticipated contest finally took place.

Scotcheroos

The cousins all got in on the action, and there were several entries.  Each participant was allowed to enter no more than two different recipes.  Judges were the uncles, namely my dad, his three brothers and one brother-in-law.  Except that judge number five was like the French judge during the ice skating… he basically pressured everyone to vote for him.

Oh, and he named his krispie treats after himself.  (“The Rope” because our family name is Roper.)

I know you’re dying to know who won, so let me just cut to the chase.

First place: Allison, with Cinnamon Roll Krispies (basic RKT’s with cinnamon frosting)
Second place: Grandma, with Jammie Krispies (RKT’s sandwiched with jam and cream cheese)
Third place: Bryce, with “The Rope” (made with Fruity Pebbles, chocolate mint marshmallows, and peanut butter.  Yeah, you heard me right)
Honorable Mention: Me, with Scotcheroos

So I didn’t win.  But neither did Maren.  I guess Allison gets all the fame and glory.  THIS TIME.

Peanut Butter Rice Krispies Treats

There is another possible way to judge this thing, which is to note which pan empties first.  If we judge this way, the winner is:

The Rope.  I just don’t get it.  I mean, it would seriously never occur to me to mix Fruity Pebbles with chocolate mint marshmallows, or with peanut butter, let alone both of them.  It really was a bizarre combination, but honestly?  They were kind of good.  Just don’t tell Bryce I said that.

The pan with the Scotcheroos was the second to disappear, so I guess I had a decent showing there.  Maren’s mistake was combining bacon with dessert.  Her Baconstein Krispies are, I suspect, an acquired taste.  Or maybe I just say that because I’m sort of racist against bacon-flavored desserts.  Everyone agreed that her S’mores Krispies were pretty darn delicious though.  Well, everyone but her 3 year old, who ate the marshmallow tops off of several pieces, and left the actual krispie treats sitting on the ground in a cute little row.

My Thin Mint Krispies had a decent showing, but not good enough to win any prizes.

So here’s the thing.  Next time you inevitably find yourself in a Rice Krispies Treat Death Match, competing for Eternal Fame And Glory, you’re going to want to enter the Scotcheroos.  And pray the judges aren’t biased.

Scotcheroos
 
Cook time
Total time
 
A peanut butter rice krispies treat with chocolate-butterscotch frosting.
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 20
Ingredients
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 7 cups Rice Krispies cereal
  • 6 oz. chocolate chips
  • 6 oz. butterscotch chips
Instructions
  1. Combine peanut butter, sugar, and corn syrup over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is well combined and loose.
  2. Place cereal in a large mixing bowl. Pour hot peanut butter mixture over cereal, and stir to coat.
  3. Press into a 9x13 pan.
  4. Place chocolate and butterscotch chips in a microwave safe bowl, and melt in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring between each, until completely melted.
  5. Pour melted chips over cereal mixture, spreading to frost evenly.
  6. Cool completely before serving. (I like to let them chill in the refrigerator.)

If you enjoy this recipe, you might also enjoy:

Peanut Butter Bars from Jen’s Favorite Cookies

Reese’s Puffs Crispy Treats from Your Cup of Cake

Chubby Hubby Bars from Cookies and Cups

 

 

Mango Salsa

This delicious Mango Salsa recipe includes one of my favorite ingredients: avocado.

mango salsa recipeAugust?!  Seriously?

At this house we are trying desperately to hold on to those last few weeks of summer as long as we can.  How do we do that, you might ask?  Mostly with family reunions, and afternoons with friends, and late night movies.  But also… with fruit.

Most fruits are summery, and eating them feels summery or beachy.

I really wish I could avoid getting ready for the school year, but I’ve learned from past experience that procrastination in this area brings nothing but sadness.  Sadness and empty store shelves.  This year, I made myself a check list.

Mango Salsa recipes

  • Register kids for classes… check.
  • Pay for school registration… next week.
  • Purchase school clothes… check.
  • Purchase school shoes… next week.
  • Stock up on paper, pencils, binders, and other supplies… check.
  • Help kids organize backpacks and binders… next week.

The list goes on, but it’s pretty much all like that.  I’ve done some of it, and I’m putting off the parts that are, well… off-putting.  Like paying for SIZE TWELVE shoes that probably will not last 9 months.

Calgon, take me away!

recipe mango salsa

I’m counting on this summer salsa to transport me back to a time when I didn’t have to think about school, and scheduling, and chores.  There was just sun and afternoon naps.

I absolutely love this combination of mango and avocado.  The jalapeno gives it a little bite, and the lime juice sweetens everything just a touch.  It’s the perfect summer snack!

4.0 from 1 reviews
Mango Salsa
 
A recipe for salsa made from mango and avocado.
Serves: 2 cups
Ingredients
  • 2 mangoes
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 slices red onion
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 handful cilantro
  • 1 lime
  • salt
Instructions
  1. Dice mangoes, avocados, jalapeno, and onion.
  2. Finely chop cilantro leaves and discard stems.
  3. Combine everything in a bowl. Squeeze lime juice over salsa. Add salt to taste.
Notes
The amounts are not exact here. You can adjust them however you like. That's the beauty of a salsa!

 If you enjoy this recipe, you might also enjoy:

Chunky Guacamole from Jen’s Favorite Cookies

Pineapple Avocado Salsa from Life’s Ambrosia

Grilled Corn Salsa from Spoon Fork Bacon

This post linked up at: Gooseberry Patch;

Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

perfect chocolate chip cookie recipeThe thing about being married to a picky eater is that I find I get annoyed about it a lot.  You would figure that at some point I would just give up and deal with it, but not me.  I just keep getting annoyed.

Robb is super sweet about the whole thing, and he is trying hard to improve, so I have a hard time getting mad at him.  In fact, I find myself bragging to people about how he’s grown.  “He’ll eat broccoli now,” I tell them, and they reply with impressed oohs and aahs.

Another area of personal dietary growth for my husband is nuts.  He was previously opposed to all but peanuts, (obviously, since peanuts aren’t even nuts) and then he discovered cashews.  They’re heavenly, there’s no doubt about it.  He has since successfully ventured into the wonderful world of almonds, and I am currently working on introducing him to my all-time favorite nut:  the walnut.

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