Monthly Archives: July 2014

July 2014 Wrap-Up

A collection of recipes from July 2014.

July-14-wrap-upI’m not going to lie… I love July.

I love the hot mid-summer, when I can’t live without air conditioning, and I spend a lot of money on Sonic diet limeades, and I wear my flip-flops everywhere I go, and I can barely remember last winter.

I know some people love winter sports, and experiencing all the seasons, but besides wearing my super-cute winter coat, I have absolutely no reason to look forward to winter.  Driving in the snow is the worst, and I kind of hate winter sports.

This July has been particularly fun.  I’ve loved almost every recipe I’ve shared with you this month.  And I say almost, because, well… just go ahead and read the bread pudding post for the full explanation.

One of the highlights this month was inviting my sister to guest post.  She made some delicious and very interesting Cilantro Jalapeno Lemonade, and may periodically contribute more of her delicious recipes to this blog.  She’s talented in the kitchen, so I’m super excited to see what else she dreams up!

Another was participating in Cheesecake Day.  I really enjoyed eating the Blackberry Cheesecake Brownies I created, but even more than that, I enjoyed seeing all the delicious cheesecake recipes everyone else contributed!


bread-pudding-7 Bread Pudding

Possibly the worst dessert food I can imagine, but it’s my
husband’s favorite, so I did all this for him.

fruit-punch-popsicles-11  Tropical Punch Popsicles

Kool-Aid and fruit and very little else make for some great
(and easy!) popsicles to get you through summer!

whole-grain-coconut-waffles-11  Whole Grain Coconut Waffles

One of the few healthy recipes you’ll find on this site!  This
one uses whole wheat and almond coconut milk.

coke-jar-cakes-3 Chocolate Cherry Coke Cake in a Jar

Easiest jar cake EVER!  This recipe only requires pie filling,
cake mix, Coke, and a little whipped cream on top.

cookie-bark-4 Chocolate Chip Cookie Bark

There’s no leavening, so they’re flat and crispy, and great
for putting into other desserts and snacks.

cookie-bark-snack-mix-2  Chocolate Chip Cookie Muddy Buddies

Use that cookie bark to make a delicious snack mix.  You
can put it together in minutes, and devour it even faster!

macadamia-nut-cookies-3 White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies

My niece, who obviously has incredibly good taste in cookies,
requested this creation for her birthday.

4imageb Cilantro Lime Jalapeno Lemonade

The first contributed creation of my talented sister, Em.  Can
you tell she likes to take it to the next level?

macadamia-crusted-chocolate-cookies-8 Macadamia Crusted Chocolate Cookies

If you’re only going to love one nut for the rest of your life,
doesn’t it make sense to choose one as fabulous as this?

blackberry-cheesecake-brownies-6 Blackberry Cheesecake Brownies

It’s Cheesecake Day!  The addition of blackberries and
brownies makes this cheesecake particularly fantastic.


In other news, I put together this fun collection of Cherry Recipes for you, and shared it on My Cooking Spot this month.  That’s because it’s summer, and it’s cherry season, and there are tons of ways to use this delicious fruit.  I literally can’t decide which one to make first!

I also shared my favorite ever Kentucky Derby Pie on Cupcakes and Kale Chips this month.  If you’ve never visited Cupcakes and Kale Chips, I recommend checking it out.  Brianne makes some really delicious stuff that you are sure to love!

I KNOW it’s early, but I started a new Pinterest board for Christmas recipes, a place to go while you plan the last part of this year.  Keep checking back, since there will be new stuff pinned to this board every week.

Last but not least, let’s talk about August.  Want a sneak peek of what’s coming up?  There’s my daughter’s birthday cake, my nephew’s birthday cookies (he made an awesome choice too!), and a recap of the family brownie baking contest.  I’ll also be revisiting some old favorites, with new and improved photos.  Can’t wait to get started!

Blackberry Cheesecake Brownies

These blackberry marble cheesecake brownies are a delicious way to celebrate cheesecake day!

Blackberry Cheesecake Brownies from for National Cheesecake DayIt’s family reunion season.  My family only gets together every other year, since we are spread all over the country, and this is the week it’s happening.

One thing this family gets right is the food.  Last time, 2 years ago, we had a Rice Krispie Treat contest.  This started when I mentioned that Scotcheroos are the best thing ever, and my cousin vehemently disagreed, and a lengthy RKT trash-talk conversation ensued.  We decided to take the battle to the family reunion.

And then neither of us won.

But the contest was loads of fun, not to mention loads of calories.

This year, the family reunion bake-off is a brownie contest, and the trash-talking cousin and I are both determined to avenge our previous losses.

To that end, I’ve been auditioning brownie recipes right and left.  This one was actually the suggestion of one of my Facebook fans.  Thanks, by the way, dear Facebook fan who suggested this.  Because it was an excellent suggestion.  Really, really, really excellent.

Blackberry Cheesecake Brownies from for National Cheesecake Day

Don’t be surprised if you see more brownie recipes on here in the coming weeks.  Trust me, it’s not easy to find a winning brownie that can beat my talented cousins and aunts.

If you’re at all curious about this contest (because everyone is super interested in someone else’s family reunion photos, right?) I’m sure I’ll be posting the up-to-the-minute info on Instagram.  If I have a cell signal, that is.  We’re kind of out in the boonies this year.

My favorite thing about this brownie recipe, besides the blackberries of course, is that it is also a cheesecake recipe.  Which is totally appropriate, since today is National Cheesecake Day!

Blackberry Cheesecake Brownies from for National Cheesecake Day

Woot!  Woot!  Let’s hear it for cheesecake!

There’s a bunch of awesome bloggers making cheesecake for you today.  That’s the kind of friends we are.  Friends who make cheesecake, then post photos.  Then eat the cheesecake ourselves.  (Self-discipline is totally overrated.)

Scroll to the bottom for all the cheesecake recipes:


Want more?  Check out these blackberry recipes!

fruit salsaPear Blackberry
Chocolate Blackberry CookieChocolate
Blackberry Cookies


5.0 from 2 reviews
Blackberry Cheesecake Brownies
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 16
Brownie Layer:
  • ½ cup butter
  • 4 oz. semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
Cheesecake layer:
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • about 3 oz. fresh blackberries
  1. For brownie layer: Combine butter and chocolate in a bowl, and microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until chocolate and butter are both melted and combined.
  2. Add sugar and mix well. Add vanilla and eggs and mix well.
  3. Add flour and mix until combined. Spread most of the batter into a 9x9 pan, reserving a small amount of batter.
  4. For cheesecake layer, combine cream cheese and sugar in a small bowl. Add egg and mix well.
  5. Place the berries in a small dish, and use a fork to gently mash. Pour mashed berries into cream cheese mixture, and mix very gently. To give brownies a swirled look, DO NOT overmix!
  6. Add cream cheese mixture on top of brownie batter in the 9x9 pan. Place remaining brownie batter in pieces on top. Use a knife to swirl the top.
  7. Bake at 350F for 45-60 minutes, until edges are dry and slightly browned, and a knife inserted in the center of the cheesecake layer comes out clean.

More amazing cheesecake recipes!
Baked Cheesecakes:

No Bake Cheesecakes:

Cheesecake Beverages:

Cheesecake Cookies and Bars:

Cheesecake Desserts and Treats:

Frozen Cheesecakes and Treats:

Macadamia Crusted Chocolate Cookies

These easy chocolate cookies are rolled in macadamia nuts.  Macadamia lovers will love these easy chocolate cookies!

Macadamia Crusted Chocolate Cookies from My family is not into nuts.  Which means I had these babies all to myself.

Not really.  But I did have a couple.

My brother’s girlfriend’s daughter (does that sound complicated?  It doesn’t feel complicated.)  had a birthday, and I missed it.  That’s me.  Forgetting important events like someone’s birthday.

This girlfriend and her daughters are relatively new to the family, so their birthdays are not on my radar.  It’s a situation in need of a remedy, for sure.

I made a peace offering to Blue Skies with these cookies.  I asked her what her favorite flavors are, and she told me she doesn’t like nuts, except macadamia nuts.  If you were going to pick one nut to love, doesn’t it make sense to choose one that is as fantastic as macadamias?

Honestly, I think she was thinking of CindyLouWho’s recent White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies.

Macadamia Crusted Chocolate Cookies from

Except Blue Skies wanted chocolate.  Girl after my own heart.

And this is where the inspiration for chocolate cookies rolled in macadamia nuts came from.  Dare I pat myself on the back for this one?  I should probably just give the credit to Blue Skies.  It was her delicious flavor combo idea.

I enjoyed her anticipation of her own batch of cookies.  She called them “make-up” cookies, because I was making up for her missed birthday.

Macadamia Crusted Chocolate Cookies from Macadamia Crusted Chocolate Cookies from

Could you roll these cookies in another kind of nut?  I suppose you could.  I love all nuts, so the thought of cookies rolled in almonds or my beloved walnuts makes me pretty happy. But use macadamias if you can.

Because macadamias have a special place in the world.

Just like Blue Skies.

Macadamia Crusted Chocolate Cookies

Chocolate cookies rolled in crushed macadamia nuts.
Cook Time8 mins
Servings: 4 dozen
Author: Jen @ Jen's Favorite Cookies


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 cups flour
  • 4-5 ounces macadamia nuts, chopped


  • Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.
  • Add salt, soda, and cocoa, and mix well. Add flour and mix until combined.
  • Place chopped nuts in a small dish. Roll dough into balls and dip the tops in the chopped nuts. Place nut-side up on a baking sheet. Bake at 350F for 8-9 minutes.

Cilantro Lime Jalapeno Lemonade

This homemade lemonade is flavored with cilantro and lime.  Use jalapeno to give your homemade lemonade recipe a kick!

Cilantro Lime Jalapeno Lemonade from JensFavoriteCookies {guest post} - give your lemonade a kick of heat!I like to tell people how multi-talented I am.  That’s mostly to convince myself I’m more talented than my sister.

She’s smart and funny, a fantastic cook, and basically great at everything she does.

This week, I asked her to pitch in and contribute one of her fantastic recipe ideas to my blog.

Take it away, Em!


Jen: “You should be a food blogger.  No joke.”

Me: “I don’t join cults.”

Cilantro Lime Jalapeno Lemonade from JensFavoriteCookies {guest post} - give your lemonade a kick of heat!

My sister suffers from a unique sense of insanity where not only is she a stay-at-home-mom but she indulges in self-help books (which aren’t really self-help if you need the book to tell you what to do, right?), and is senseless enough to put the time required into producing a food blog.  Oh, did I mention it’s a BAKING blog??  If this were my blog, it would be about the transcendent culinary expedition of cooking through all the brands and flavors of ramen noodles.  Regardless of her obviously questionable mental state, I somehow let her talk me into contributing in the debauchery that is spending time and money to expand my existing collection of stretch marks.

It probably says something about my character that I’ll clean up my language, share recipes that don’t have alcohol (Ugh.  She’s making me wholesome.) and do someone else’s work just to see my words published in some form.  Silver lining though, I can start getting paid for writing blog entries right away by writing them while I’m at work!

Cilantro Lime Jalapeno Lemonade from JensFavoriteCookies {guest post} - give your lemonade a kick of heat!Cilantro Lime Jalapeno Lemonade from JensFavoriteCookies {guest post} - give your lemonade a kick of heat!

So anyway, here I am, sipping the Kool-Aid and blogging about food, wondering if it’s a symptom or a disease.

I start with a drink that is tried and true because it has all most of the elements I really enjoy: sweet, heat, and liquor.  Okay, I’m not complaining but normally when I drink lemonade, I replace the sugar with gin and the lemons with the rest of the gin.  Jen gave me lemons (and rules) so I’m making cilantro lime jalapeno lemonade.  If you want something refreshing but can’t handle the heat – replace the jalapenos with cucumbers (then move to Canada you pansy).

 Want more?  Check out these refreshing citrus drinks!

virgin-mojito-3Virgin Mojitos grapefruit soda thumbGrapefruit Soda frozen cherryFrozen Cherry Lemonade


Cilantro Lime Jalapeno Lemonade
A refreshing lemonade with a kick of heat.
Recipe type: Beverages
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ cup cilantro sprigs
  • 4 cups water
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • slices of lime
  • slices of jalapeno
  1. Combine sugar and cilantro in a mortar and grind leaves with pestle. (If you’re lazy, you can throw them in a blender together, but I like really crushing out the little bit of liquid from the cilantro leaves.)
  2. Combine cilantro mixture, water, and lemon juice in a pitcher, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Add slices of lime and jalapeno to taste (I like a lot of both in mine). Let stand for 30 minutes before serving.


White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

This macadamia nut cookies recipes is perfect for every day, and great for entertaining.  Make these white chocolate macadamia nut cookies oversized to impress!

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies from - they're oversized and fabulous!Our niece, CindyLouWho, had her 11th birthday recently.

She wrote a birthday list, which her father reports had several revisions.  It turns out the original list was a little extravagant.   Once she had the list perfected, she sent it to the entire family in a group text message.

The list included such ideas as a soft blanket, a gift card to the local frozen yogurt shop, and goldfish.  That last idea came with this very important parenthetical clarification:  “crackers, NOT A REAL FISH!”  Believe me when I tell you I was seriously tempted to get her a real fish, just to mess with her.

That’s the kind of aunt I am.

I told her I would love to make her a batch of cookies for her birthday, in any flavor she could dream up.  A couple days later, she sent me a text message with her choice… White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies.  This girl has good taste in cookies.

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies from - they're oversized and fabulous!

CindyLouWho used to spend at least one weekend a month at our house.  We loved it.  She fit right in with our family.  And, since the Hippie Chick has long been lamenting that we never deigned to give her a sister, this cousin time gave her a brief and periodic approximation of what life with a sister might be like.

I love that they enjoy each other’s company so much.  They had some great times together, playing video games, jumping on the trampoline, drawing pictures on the white board, and even sometimes baking cookies.

I guess you know how I feel about cookies!

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies from - they're oversized and fabulous!White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies from - they're oversized and fabulous!

Costco sells these oversized White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies, (everything Costco sells is oversized) and since that’s what I guess CindyLouWho was thinking of when she requested these, I made my cookies extra large too.

If you don’t want yours so large, just adjust the baking time down.  Watch for them to get slightly brown all over, especially the edges.

And then enjoy a cookie or two while you make  your own extravagant birthday list!


Want more?  Check out these white chocolate recipes!

White-chocolate-5White Chocolate
sconesCoconut White
Chocolate Scones
strawberry krispies thumbStrawberry White
Chocolate Krispies


White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
Cook time
Total time
A basic drop cookie with white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts.
Recipe type: Cookies
Serves: 24
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2¾ cup flour
  • ½ cup macadamia nuts
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  1. Cream butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.
  2. Add salt, soda, and flour and mix until combined.
  3. Fold in nuts and white chips. Wrap dough tightly in plastic and chill for about 1 hour.
  4. Form dough into about 24 extra large cookies. *(see note) Place on baking sheet, leaving plenty of space for cookies to spread.
  5. Bake at 350F for 12-14 minutes, until lightly brown on top. Let sit on baking sheet for 1-2 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.
To create the cookie size, I used my size 60 cookie scoop, and rolled two scoops together into one large cookies.


Chocolate Chip Cookie Muddy Buddies

This muddy buddies recipe uses chocolate chip cookies!  Popcorn and pretzels also make this muddy buddies recipe a fun one.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Muddy Buddies from - popcorn, pretzels, and cookie bark make this fun version of the classic snack!True story:  just this spring, we purchased air conditioning and a brand spanking new furnace.  Isn’t is exciting being an adult, and spending thousands of dollars on a furnace?!

Then, it quit working.  And did it quit working on a day when it’s 80 degrees and overcast?  Of course not.  It’s quits working on Friday evening, just before a whole weekend of 100 degree, full blazing sun weather.

Don’t worry… a faulty valve was to blame, and our awesome contractor had it fixed in no time, (and by “no time” of course, I mean that the poor guy spent a couple hours in full sun, mid-afternoon on the south side of my house when it was 100 degrees) so we’re cool now, but it was a rough weekend.

On top of that, when I went out for popsicles and frozen hot chocolate, the brand spankin’ new radiator in my car sprang a leak and left a lake of antifreeze in the drive up window at the sandwich shop.  It took me more than an hour to nurse my poor overheating car about 3 miles home.

Maybe you saw me feeling grateful for the nearby condo complex which decided to water their lawn in the middle of the day?  It was the only way we managed to stay cool after an hour of full sun and running the heater.  I seriously felt like I was doomed to a life of sweating.  (So this is hell, eh?)

Chocolate Chip Cookie Muddy Buddies from - popcorn, pretzels, and cookie bark make this fun version of the classic snack!

I can tell you one thing, I was not not NOT going to use the oven.  Or the stove.  I was even apprehensive about using the air popper to make popcorn.

So, we ate muddy buddies.  Hooray!

This particular version, in addition to the expected Chex cereal, also has popcorn and pretzels, and chocolate chip cookie bark.  If you’re not familiar with the cookie bark, I highly recommend you check that out here.  You can also use crunchy packaged cookies, but cookie bark is ever so much tastier.

I was fortunate to have some in my pantry.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Muddy Buddies from - popcorn, pretzels, and cookie bark make this fun version of the classic snack!Chocolate Chip Cookie Muddy Buddies from - popcorn, pretzels, and cookie bark make this fun version of the classic snack!

I actually had to take a cold shower to cool down after that little disaster of a trip to the store.

Between the cool water and the chocolatey treats, my mood recovered much more quickly than my car did!


Want more? Check out these fun snacks!

caramel-corn-snack-mix-3Caramel Corn
Snack Mix
dk-choc-muddy-buddy-5Dark Chocolate
Coconut Muddy Buddies
peanut butter pretzelPeanut Butter
Pretzel Bites


Chocolate Chip Cookie Muddy Buddies
Prep time
Total time
Cereal, popcorn and pretzels coated with chocolate and peanut butter, and tossed with crunchy chocolate chip cookie pieces.
Recipe type: Snacks
  • 3 cups Chex rice or corn cereal
  • 4 cups popped popcorn
  • 2 cups broken pretzels
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1-2 cups chopped cookie bark or crunchy packaged chocolate chip cookies
  1. In a large bowl, combine Chex, popcorn, and pretzels.
  2. Place chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter in a small bowl. Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring between each, until melted and smooth. Add vanilla and stir.
  3. Pour chocolate mixture over Chex mixture, stirring until well coated.
  4. Add powdered sugar and toss to coat.
  5. Add chopped cookie bark or cookies.
Find a recipe for cookie bark here:


Chocolate Chip Cookie Bark

A fun take on cookies!  Chocolate chip recipes are great, but this cookie bark is really fun!

Chocolate Chip Cookie bark from JensFavoriteCookies - great to mix into snacks or ice cream, also fun plain!What was I thinking?  That summer would be less busy than the school year?!

Yeah, I honestly thought that with less homework and less school activities, the summer would be this lovely quiet thing, full of time with friends, and activities around town, and backyard s’mores.  I even made a mental list of fun free activities we could do together.

The reality is something different.  My kids have filled their days with new extracurriculars, and jobs, and obscene amounts of sleep, and I find myself spending my days fighting with them to do their chores pick up their own stuff.  And all of this is nothing compared to the chauffering.

The Fruitarian is taking summer drivers ed, which means every day for 4 weeks he spends at least 2 hours at the school.  Before his bicycle was working, I was getting up early to drive him there by 7, then pick him up at 9, take him back for a range drive at 11, pick him up at 1, then he has swimming at 4, pick him up at 5:30, karate at 6:30, then I stomp and scream and jump up and down, and demand someone else bring him home at 9.

Needless to say, we have done zero of our fun free activities.  But, as I’d rather have busy kids than idle kids, I’m trying not to complain.

Chocolate Chip Cookie bark from JensFavoriteCookies - great to mix into snacks or ice cream, also fun plain!

My summer baking plans have been thwarted, too.  My romantic ideas about fancy cookies and fresh fruit ice creams and homemade popsicles are going nowhere fast.  (Although, thankfully, summer has only begun, so I can still hold out hope.)

I like the idea of this cookie bark for two reasons.  First, since there’s no eggs and no leavening agent, they are flat and crispy, making them easy to transport to whatever crazy activity might come up.  I can even stash them in the back of the pantry to make them last more than one afternoon.  And, I can put them in a baggie and throw them in the car, and it doesn’t matter if they break into pieces because they are supposed to do that!  

The second reason is that these can be made into a second recipe.  It’s like a two-fer… make it once, eat it twice!  And when summer schedules get this crazy, everyone needs a two-fer.

Chocolate Chip Cookie bark from JensFavoriteCookies - great to mix into snacks or ice cream, also fun plain!

If I’m really lucky, maybe I’ll even be able to turn this into three recipes.  Imagine the glorious time saving possibilities!!

As soon as the other recipe(s) are made, I’ll link to them here —>  COMING SOON  <—  but in the meantime, know that cookie bark is an awesome snack to eat all by its fabulous self.


Want more?  Check out these chocolate chip recipes!

CCC-collage-1100 Chocolate
Chip Cookies
choc-chip-dip-3Chocolate Chip
Cookie Dough Dip


Chocolate Chip Cookie Bark
Cook time
Total time
Crunchy bark that is similar to a chocolate chip cookie.
Recipe type: Cookies
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips
  1. Cream butter and sugar. And water and vanilla and mix well.
  2. Add salt and flour and mix well. Fold in chocolate chips.
  3. Press dough into a jelly roll pan or other baking sheet. (Mine used about ¾ of the jelly roll pan.)
  4. Bake at 350F for 35-30 minutes, until top is brown throughout.
  5. Let cool completely, then use a large knife to cut into triangles.


Chocolate Cherry Coke Cake in a Jar – Share a Coke

This jar cake recipe is fun to make with kids!  Share a Coke with this cake in a jar recipe.  #collectivebias

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

Chocolate Cherry Cake in a Jar from -  easy to make individual servings with Coke!  #ShareItForward #shop #cbiasDo you remember that old ad for Coca-Cola?  The one about sharing a Coke and a smile?  {I totally just aged myself there.  That ad is from 1980.  Pretend you didn’t notice.}  That ad has stuck with me all these years, and Robb too.

Sometimes we just need a ten minute break from life.  Kind of like a smoke break, but without the smoking.  Usually one of us invites the other by saying, “Want to go have a Coke and a smile?”

Then we run to the gas station or the grocery store, grab some Cokes, and just talk.  Or, if we have Coke in the fridge, we sit in the yard or walk around the neighborhood.

This year, Coke has a new idea about sharing a Coke and a smile.  Have you seen it?  They are labeling 20-oz. bottles of Coke, Diet Coke, and Coke Zero with names, and calling it #ShareItForward.  Which, frankly, gives me all kinds of ideas.

Chocolate Cherry Cake in a Jar from -  easy to make individual servings with Coke!  #ShareItForward #shop #cbias

The one I want to share with you today is these little jar cakes.  They make the perfect little individual servings!

Since each cake only requires 2 tablespoons of Coke,  you and your friend can have a little Coke in your cake, and sip the rest while they bake.

If you can’t find a bottle with your name on it, there are some more generic bottles that say “Share with Friend” or “Share with Family.”  Since I was sharing both the Coke and the cakes with my family, I chose the family one.  Weirdly, they didn’t have any bottles that said “Fruitarian” on them.  The poor Fruitarian had to drink the generic Coke bottle!

You can also share a coke with a virtual bottle to share online.  The name choices are much wider here.

Coke #ShareItForward #shop #cbias Chocolate Cherry Cake in a Jar from -  easy to make individual servings with Coke!  #ShareItForward #shop #cbias

I decided to share Coke with my family.  We each put two tablespoons of Coke {yes, Diet Coke and Coke Zero also work fine!} in our jar cakes, and when they were done baking, we had a quiet little moment at the picnic table in the shade.

It’s been so crazy around here lately, that little Coke and a smile moment was exactly what we needed.

Coke  #ShareItForward #shop #cbiasChocolate Cherry Cake in a Jar from -  easy to make individual servings with Coke!  #ShareItForward #shop #cbias

Coke and Walmart held big events a few days ago to introduce these fun personalized bottles.  The event is over now, but the bottles are still available at Walmart and some other retailers.  Look for them through the summer.

Then share your Coke with a friend, and just try not to sing the Coke and a Smile song from that old ad!


Want more?  Check out these fun cakes!

rainbow-cake-in-jar-3Rainbow Cake
in a Jar
Sheet Cake and Cherry ToppingChocolate Sheet Cake
with Cherries
german-chocolate-skillet-cake-6German Chocolate
Skillet Cake


3.0 from 1 reviews
Chocolate Cherry Coke Cake in a Jar
Cook time
Total time
Easy chocolate cakes made with Coca-Cola.
Recipe type: Cake
Serves: 8
  • 1 can cherry pie filling
  • 1 box chocolate cake mix
  • 1 can Coca-Cola (12 oz.)
  • frozen whipped topping
  1. Place ¼ cup cherry pie filling in each of 8 half-pint canning jars.
  2. Place ⅓ cup dry chocolate cake mix in each jar, on top of the pie filling.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons Coke to each jar. Use a knife to gently mix coke into cake mix.
  4. Place cans in a 9x13 baking dish with about ¼-inch of water in the bottom. Bake at 350F for 35-40 minutes.
  5. Top each cake with frozen whipped topping.


Whole-Grain Coconut Waffles

Healthy whole wheat waffles are easy and tasty!  Use almond milk to make this healthy waffles recipe.

Whole Wheat Coconut Waffles from - use almond milk to make these waffles healthy and delicious!While this is primarily a dessert blog, I occasionally like to share some breakfast ideas with you.

I’d like to say that’s because you can’t have dessert for breakfast, but who am I kidding?  What are chocolate muffins and coffee cake, if not dessert that you eat for breakfast?

And yes, I’m aware that this particular breakfast is pictured slathered in syrup and toasted coconut, but beyond that, these babies are actually healthy.  They are healthy in the sense that they are extra-wheaty and dairy-free.

I was a little worried that the gaggle of teens at my house would turn their noses up at these “healthy” waffles.  I warned them that they were whole-grain.  They literally answered by saying, “We don’t care.  We want the waffles.”

Fine with me.  Dive in.  Just save me one.

Whole Wheat Coconut Waffles from - use almond milk to make these waffles healthy and delicious!

At my house, the teens come in the extra-skinny variety.  My doctor always tells me they are underweight, and not to restrict their diets at all.  Trust me, doc, there are no food restrictions in this house.

Since I am overly fond of dessert foods, I sometimes worry that their diet is a little heavy on the carbs, and light on the nutrients.  I figure it can’t hurt them to eat whole grains once in a while.  It also gave me an excuse to try the new Silk Almond Coconut blend.

Whole Wheat Coconut Waffles from - use almond milk to make these waffles healthy and delicious!Whole Wheat Coconut Waffles from - use almond milk to make these waffles healthy and delicious!Whole Wheat Coconut Waffles from - use almond milk to make these waffles healthy and delicious!

Have you seen this stuff?  I asked my good friend about it, since she had to cut dairy out of her diet a while back.  Dairy AND gluten.  She almost can’t eat anything.

She told me she uses Silk Almond Milk all the time, and that she really likes the Silk Almond Coconut Blend.  It doesn’t have as strong a coconut flavor as coconut milk does, and it’s a nice change from using almond milk every day.  She bakes with it, cooks with it, even pours it on her cereal.

I think you should try the Silk Almond Coconut Blend for yourself, and to make it a little easier, I am including a coupon!  CLICK HERE to get the coupon details.

I’m sure you’ll have trouble keeping your kiddos away from these waffles long enough to get your own helping, but they’re worth the trouble!


Want more?  Try these breakfast favorites!

banana-choc-chunk-muffins-2014-6Banana Chocolate
Chunk Muffins
cake pop muffinsGlazed
Muffin Bites


Whole-Grain Coconut Waffles
Cook time
Total time
Whole grain waffles made with almond milk and coconut.
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 5
  • 1½ cups whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup wheat germ
  • ½ cup shredded coconut
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups Silk Almond Coconut Blend
  • 1 egg
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoon coconut extract
  1. Combine flour, wheat germ, coconut, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine Almond Coconut milk, egg, oil, and extract.
  3. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Mix until combined, mixture can be slightly lumpy.
  4. Pour into waffle iron, and cook for 5-8 minutes.
  5. Top with syrup and toasted coconut.


This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.

Tropical Punch Fruit Juice Popsicles

These easy fruit juice popsicles are quick to make with Kool-Aid from Walmart.  If you’re looking for popsicles recipes, look here for easy fruit popsicles! #collectivebias

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser.

Tropical Punch Popsicles from - use real fruit, juice, and punch for a fruity tropical flavor!We’ve officially made it to that part of the summer… the blazing hot part.  The forecast is full of triple digit temperatures, and there’s no end in sight.

The kids were thrilled when I suggested we meet some friends and spend the afternoon at the pool.  We had a wonderful wet afternoon, right up until we went home and discovered how seriously sunburned we were.  I haven’t been in this much misery in ages.

It was fortunate for all of us that I had some of these popsicles in the freezer.  We were only too happy to use them to help us cool down!

I love making homemade popsicles.  Not only can you have a lot more control over what goes in them, you can also get much more creative with flavor combinations.  That’s my favorite part!

Since I recently snagged one of those 96-oz bottles of Kool-Aid from Walmart, I figured it would be the perfect foundation for these fruity pops.  I had to act fast, because even the big bottle of Kool-Aid doesn’t last long here!

Tropical Punch Popsicles from - use real fruit, juice, and punch for a fruity tropical flavor!

These 96-oz bottles of ready-to-drink Kool-Aid are brand new, and super convenient, if you ask me.

You know what it means for me?  No more empty packages of dry mix laying all over my counter.  No more kids screaming questions through the house about how much sugar to use.  No more kids standing with the fridge door open, hoping some new beverage options will magically appear in front of them.

It’s a win-win, really.

Tropical Punch Popsicles from - use real fruit, juice, and punch for a fruity tropical flavor!Tropical Punch Popsicles from - use real fruit, juice, and punch for a fruity tropical flavor!

To make these pops, I mixed Tropical Punch Kool-Aid with orange-pineapple frozen juice concentrate, ginger ale, and some fruit.

I will warn you that take several hours to really solidify, at least 6, but you’ll probably be happier letting them freeze overnight.

Tropical Punch Popsicles from - use real fruit, juice, and punch for a fruity tropical flavor!Kool-Aid-Walmart-3


Thanks to Kool-Aid and their new #KoolOff campaign, along with Walmart, I can let you know that these new 96-oz bottles are worth a try.

I can also tell you that if you happen to live near Columbia, South Carolina, you could meet Jim Dillard, pro fisherman, at one of the locations listed below!  He will be at these Walmart stores with games, prizes, t-shirts, and activities.  (Scroll to bottom for list of dates and locations.)


Want more?  Here are some more ways to cool off this summer!

raspberry-sorbet-3Raspberry Sorbet pb-snickers-pops-7Ice Cream Pops grapefruit soda thumbGrapefruit Soda


5.0 from 2 reviews
Tropical Punch Popsicles
Prep time
Total time
Delicious fruit punch popsicles with the flavors of orange and pineapple.
Recipe type: Frozen Desserts
Serves: 15
  • 1 cup Tropical Punch Kool-Aid
  • 1 cup ginger ale
  • ½ of a 12-oz can frozen orange-pineapple juice concentrate
  • 1 can (8-oz) crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 can (11-oz) mandarin oranges, drained
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Pour into popsicle molds.
  2. Freeze for 6-7 hours or overnight.


Meet Jim Dillard here:

Friday August 8th 5-7pm:
360 Harbison Blvd Columbia, SC WM Supercenter

Saturday August 9th  3-5pm:
1326 Bush River Rd Columbia, SC WM Supercenter

Saturday August 9th 6-8pm:
2401 Augusta Rd West Columbia, SC WM Supercenter

Bread Pudding

Healthy bread pudding recipe.  You’ll love this chunky, textural bread pudding recipe!

Bread Pudding from - a basic dessert comfort food.So Robb requested Bread Pudding for Fathers Day.  I’m pretty sure he did this to test my love for him, because Bread Pudding is one of the few desserts I have vowed to never ever make.

Why?  Because everything about bread pudding is wrong.

First of all, soggy bread is disgusting.  Like, really really disgusting.  As is warm milk.  The only thing worse than cold milk is warm milk.  Gag.  

Second, adding sugar to warm milk and soggy bread does not make it a dessert food.  The end.

This is why I’m also against Rice Pudding.  But I’ll probably make that for him someday too.

Bread Pudding from - a basic dessert comfort food.

Robb and his mom put together a hasty bread pudding that day, but since all the bread available was fresh and soft, it didn’t really turn out as good as normal.  I decided to swallow my pride and make him one of his favorite comforting desserts.

I bought a loaf of french bread and a bunch of raisins.  He’s a big fan of raisins in desserts, which is just one more point we differ on.  I literally cannot think of a single time when I thought, I wish this had raisins in it.

I cut the bread into chunky cubes, and let it sit out and get stale overnight.

Bread Pudding from - a basic dessert comfort food.Bread Pudding from - a basic dessert comfort food.

I added in a bunch of raisins, poured the custard over the top, and let it bake.

The result was a dessert that made both Robb and our son The Fruitarian very happy.  They like to eat it warm with a little half & half poured over the top.

I like to not eat it at all, and make fun of them a lot for eating such a terrible dessert.  That’s how I roll.


Want more?  Check out these comforting dessert favorites!

Cherry Trifle
brown sugar recipeBrown Sugar Cake
& Caramel Dip

5.0 from 1 reviews
Bread Pudding
Cook time
Total time
Dry bread with raisins and custard makes this comforting dessert.
Recipe type: Desserts
Serves: 12
  • 1 loaf french bread
  • 3 oz. (a heaping ½ cup) raisins
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  1. Cut bread into chunks and leave it out to dry several hours, or overnight.
  2. Place dry cubes in a 9x13 pan and sprinkle raisins over the top.
  3. In a bowl, mix together remaining ingredients, being sure they are well combined. Pour mixture over the bread, and let soak about 10-15 minutes.
  4. Bake at 325F for 60-75 minutes, until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
  5. Serve warm with half & half.