Archive for the ‘so sweet’ Category


Thursday, July 25th, 2013


While I am a modern-day housewife, I have not added canning to my resume. [That is taking it to a higher level.]   However, I do love to make freezer jam.  It is so sweet and fresh!  We went on Sunday to our Farmer’s Market and bought fresh-from-the-farm raspberries.  I was able to make six- 8oz containers of Raspberry Freezer Jam in under an hour and that included 30 minutes of set time.  It takes just 3 ingredients, a bowl, a potato masher, and plastic freezer jars.  Really any one can do it and *most kids are eager to help.

Where is June | Raspberry Freezer Jam

Where is June | Raspberry Freezer Jam

Where is June | Raspberry Freezer Jam

Raspberry Freezer Jam

  • 1/2 flat of Raspberries [or 6 small baskets]
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 6 Tbs. Ball RealFruit Instant Pectin

1.  Crush berries one layer at a time with potato masher.

2.  Add sugar and pectin and stir for 3 minutes.

3.  Spoon jam into 6 freezer jars and let stand for 30 minutes

Enjoy now.  Refrigerate for up to 3 weeks or freeze for up to 1 year.

Where is June | Raspberry Freezer Jam

Use small-4oz glass mason jars to give this jam as gifts.  Be sure to remind the recipients that it must be stored in the refrigerator.   There is nothing better than giving away the sweetness of summer!

*Disclaimer:  While most kids would be eager to participate in making jam, the child pictured in this post was not.  Pictures are 100% staged.  He had absolutely no interest in participating.

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Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

It is a birthday week around here!  My husband and oldest son share a birthday [yes, the exact same day!], so we spread the celebrations out.  Big W request a simply yellow cake with vanilla frosting for his party with his friends.  I vowed, after making a chocolate cake from scratch, never to do it again!  Why go through all that trouble when there is a perfectly good mix in a box? Instead, I would spend extra time on homemade frosting and the decorating.

I realized quickly into the decorating process that replicating this cake was going to be harder than I thought.  A LOT, harder in fact!  Knowing that nine and ten year old boys weren’t even going to notice a perfectly designed cake, I made a quick adjustment and just frosted it simply.

sprinkle cake

While it wasn’t the most beautiful creation, the frosting itself was divine!  I kid you not!  If you are making a cake or cupcakes in the near future, you must give it a try.  This recipe from Magnolia Bakery is worth the splurge in calories.  It is easy to make with four simple ingredients.  It will not disappoint!


Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 6 to 8 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine butter, 4 cups sugar, milk, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy, 3 to 5 minutes. Gradually add remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating for about 2 minutes after each addition, until icing reaches desired consistency; you may not need to add all the sugar. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.


Monday, June 10th, 2013

a new spin on s'mores

Back yard fire pits and campfires call out for roasted marshmallows and s’mores.  The one thing I have never liked about the classic s’more [graham cracker, Hershey bar square, and marshmallow] is that the chocolate doesn’t melt fully and it makes it difficult to eat.  This weekend we tried out a new spin on the s’more.  Instead of the traditional graham cracker, we used Keebler’s Fudge Stripe Cookies.  There is already a layer of chocolate, so all you need is the roasted marshmallow.  The chocolate layer melts quickly, which makes it extra gooey.  To say they were a huge hit would be an understatement.  They were devoured by kids and adults alike.  So, it got me thinking.  Any cookie with a layer of chocolate would make a delicious alternative s’more.

keebler s'more

[keebler’s fudge stripe cookie s’more]

milano s'more

[milano slices sweet toffee cookie s’more]

The Milano cookie has sweet toffee pieces in with the chocolate!  They also have a Milano cookie with salty pretzel pieces.  Oh my, the possibilities are endless.

Any other ideas for a spin on the classic s’more?   I’d love to here them!

Happy Roasting.


Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

monkey bread

Monkey bread could be the best food on earth.  No joke.  What could be better than ooey gooey cinnamon bread straight out of the oven?  That’s right, nothing!

Since I could eat the whole bundt pan on my own, I have deemed it a “special occasion” only food.  Mother’s Day is right around the corner and this would be perfect if you are hosting brunch for a crowd or cuddling in bed with your kids. You do the prep work the night before and simply enjoy the goodness in the morning.  {You could even hand the recipe to your husband and have him make it with the kids!}


20-30 Frozen Rhodes Classic Dinner Rolls {Found in the frozen section of the supermarket.}
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butterscotch pudding mix (dry)
2 Tbls. Cinnamon
1/2 cup butter (1stick) melted

1. Grease bundt pan and add frozen rolls.  Mix dry ingredients and sprinkle over rolls. Pour melted butter over the top.

2. Cover with a damp cloth and turn out the lights!

3. The rolls will rise over night.

4.  Bake 350 for 25-30 min.  Let cool for 5 minutes, then turn the bread onto a large serving plate.

The pieces will easily pull apart.

pancake muffins

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

Pancake muffins are all the rage on Pinterest.  I decided to give them a try.  To say they were a huge hit in my house would be an understatement. Big W couldn’t stop raving about them…or eating them.  You could make these tomorrow morning if you have pancake mix and syrup.

Simply mix any pancake mix per usual.  Add 1/4 cup maple syrup.  [I didn’t have “real” maple syrup, so I used Golden Griddle.]  Add toppings if you choose.  I added chocolate chips, but bananas or blueberries would be delicious too.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. 

And there you have it.  Pancakes for a family on the run.  [Or for boys that don’t get out of bed on time and have to eat in the car on the way to school.  Just saying.]

fondue fun

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

We totally splurged on Easter dessert.  I guess we felt like we hadn’t got our quota of chocolate eggs, so we had chocolate fondue after dinner.  Using this recipe, the chocolate was ready in a matter of minutes.  We kept it warm in a circa 1970 fondue pot [complete with Sterno cooking fuel] that my mother-in-law brought over. 

Long forks in hand…..we dove in!   Our dipping choices were pound cake, bananas, marshmallows, mini Reese’s peanut butter cups, and strawberries. 

There were even a few left over chocolate chip cookies that found their way into the chocolate.

Our family brainstormed a few ideas for next time:

  • pineapple
  • mini snickers
  • rice crispy treats
  • grapes
  • pretzel sticks
  • cookie dough balls[made without eggs]

While fondue is not a dessert you do would do every day, for special occasions it doesn’t get much better. 

 This fondue pot is so retro fabulous!  I absolutely love it.  Guess what?  [Lucky, lucky me.  I got to keep it.] 

sweet pecans

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

Candied pecans are by far my most favorite holiday treat to make and eat all year long.  My sister-in-law shared this recipe with me years ago.  [And I mean years ago. Back when you had to print the recipe instead of “pinning” it.]  I whipped up a batch on Sunday to add to a cheese plate.  It took me about 15 minutes.

These pecans are extremely versatile.  Use them to top a salad, give them as a hostess gift, or simply have them on hand to snack on.  I am telling you-they are irresistible!

Candied Pecans

  • 1 pound chopped pecans [Find them in the baking aisle.  It’s the cheapest way to buy pecans.]
  • 1 cup white sugar 
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon  
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spread nuts in a single layer over a baking sheet. Roast for approximately 4-5 minutes, or until the nuts start to turn brown and the smell of roasting nuts fills the kitchen.

Stir together sugar, cinnamon, salt, and milk in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat for 8 minutes, or until the mixture reaches the soft ball stage of 236 degrees F (113 degrees C). [You will need an inexpensive candy thermometer.] Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla immediately.

Add pecans to sugar syrup, and stir to coat well. Spoon nuts onto waxed paper, and immediately separate nuts with a fork. Cool, and store in airtight containers.  Mason jars work great! 

[Adapted from this recipe.]

banana oatmeal chocolate chunk muffins

Monday, February 4th, 2013

If you are trying to make every calorie count, but need a little sweet in your life…I have just the muffin for you!  Wholesome goodness and easy to make.

{oats, banana & flax make this muffin hearty}
{quality chocolate chunks add just enough sweet}
{perfect for the on-the-go breakfast or mid-afternoon treat}
2 cups almond meal/flour (Bob’s Red Mill is the easiest to find.)
1 cup oats
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup almond milk
 2 eggs
1 TBSP. baking powder
1 tsp. pure vanilla
1 TBSP ground flax seed
2 TBSP light agave nectar
1/2 cup {or maybe a bit more} semisweet baking chunks.  (I used Scharffen Berger.)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Mix all ingredients together.  [Yes, it is that easy!].  Spray muffin tin with non-stick spray.  Fill each muffin cup 3/4 full.  Bake 20-25 minutes, until muffins begin to brown around the edges.  Let cool and remove from tin.  
Recipe adapted from:
**I used gluten free oats, so my muffins were gluten and dairy free. 

grilled pb & banana sandwich

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

I present an alternative afternoon snack or brunch idea.  Grilled peanut butter and banana sandwich.

You have the ingredients on hand.  They are all staples.

white bread, peanut butter, banana, butter and cinnamon sugar

I started with this recipe, but made a few changes to my sandwich [I added butter and cinnamon sugar].

  1. Spread peanut butter on one slice of bread and place sliced pieces of banana on top. [I cut the banana in 1/2 and sliced it the long way.]
  2. Place other slice of bread on top.  Butter top of piece of bread and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.  
  3. Heat skillet over med. high heat and place buttered side down.  Butter other side of sandwich and sprinkle on more of that cinnamon goodness!  Grill until golden brown.

It far surpassed my expectations.  The addition of butter and cinnamon sugar created a crispy, sweet outer shell on the bread.  The insides were warm and gooey.  It is certainly more sweet than savory.  Kids of all ages will devour it!  And the variations are endless. 

[this. is. good.]
PS.  You could use a natural peanut butter.  I use Jif.  I am choosy like that. 

pumpkin cake cookies

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

I am always on the look out for quick and simple desserts.  Recipes that are semi-homemade, like these pumpkin cake cookies, are my absolute favorite.   I have linked the recipe, but you don’t really need it.  It is 3 simple ingredients.  Dump, mix, and bake! 

1 box yellow cake mix
12 oz  Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin [ a little less than one can]
1 Tbs. of All spice or Pumpkin Pie spice

Dump cake mix into bowl, mix in pumpkin and spice, drop spoonfuls of mixture onto baking sheet and bake @ 350 degrees for 10 minutes [or until toothpick comes out clean]. 

PS.  When I made these, I doubted the recipe and thought I must be missing a step or key ingredient.  Trust the simplicity.  That is what makes it perfect. 

Where is June?


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