Happy National Ice Cream Day!  We can have a dairy-free frozen treat using Yonanas!

  

Today is National Ice Cream Day!  Not that we needed an excuse to have ice cream!!!  We keep several dairy-free frozen treats in the freezer at all times, but there’s something special about making your own!  Plus making ice cream was on Our Summer Bucket List!  In the spirit of such a fun holiday we would like to share with you our recent ice cream making adventure!

MiniThor loves making his very own ice cream!  We use our handy-dandy Yonanas Frozen Healthy Dessert Maker  (⬅️affiliate link) because we pick the ingredients and it creates delicious (and healthy) dessert without any dairy!  There are tons of recipes on the Yonanas website but we like to keep it simple.  We use..

  • One frozen banana, halved
  • One bag of pre-sliced frozen fruit
  • Yonanas dessert maker
  • Ice cream cones and toppings (optional)

  I love Dole Ready-Cut Fruit to use with our Yonanas!  I always keep a couple of bags in the freezer so that we can make ice cream on a whim.

We made our Strawberry Peach Banana treat based on the instructed included with the appliance.  

We pushed through one half of the frozen banana, then the frozen ready-cut fruit, and then the other half of he banana.  Stir, scoop, serve, smile!

  
We hope you have a sweet day!

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(Dairy-Free) Double Dark Chocolate Fudge Cookies

I’ve yet to meet a cookie I didn’t like.  I have a soft spot for sweet stuff!  ..and so does MiniThor.. who happens to be allergic to dairy.  Basically every bakery item you encounter is made with butter, thus creating a challenge in satisfying that sweet tooth!  Through many kitchen adventures MiniThor and I have discovered many glorious goodies that can be made sans dairy!  Cookies regularly roll out of our oven using this standard recipe…

  
You can use any box cake mix for this, making this recipe very versatile!  Many cake mixes DO NOT contain dairy!!!  Just check the label to be sure and you’re good to go.

For today’s cookie creation we used Duncan Hines Classic Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix. It worked wonderfully to create fluffy, chewy, chocolate cookies!  Finding chocolate chips that are allergy friendly is a bit tricky, luckily we discovered Enjoy Life Semi Sweet Chocolate Mini Chips!  There is only one store that carries them in our area, if these amazing choco chips are are to  find in your area you can find them on Amazon, here is our affiliate link… Enjoy Life Semi Sweet Chocolate Mini Chips – 10 oz – 2 

These cookies are easy, here’s the how-to…

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  
  • Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray or line it with parchment paper.  
  • Mix together everything except the chocolate chips until well combined.  
  • When you have a smooth batter, fold in your desired amount of chocolate chips.  
  • Spoon your batter out onto your prepared cookie sheet(s).  
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes.
  • Let cool.
  • EAT COOKIES!

 
I made 20 big cookies with this mix.  20 delicious dark chocolate cookies of awesomeness!

 
MiniThor approves!!! 

Try out your own variations and enjoy this simple sweet treat!
Keep making memories,

Kate

Cute Crustless Sammies

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Mini Thor was recently diagnosed with a diary allergy so we have made a few adjustments in the way we eat. We have lots of recipes to share and we are going to get the party started with this fun dairy free idea we just love..Cute Crustless Sammies! It’s a tasty and fuss-free kid favorite whether you have allergies to worry about or not. Kids love fun shaped foods!

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Here’s what you need…
– Whole Wheat Tortillas
– Peanut Butter (or your kiddos favorite nut-butter, like almond butter)
– Cute Cookie Cutters. We used a shark and a fish this time.

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The How-To:
These are quick and easy! Just use the cookie cutter to cut 2 of each shape you are using.

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Spread a thin layer of peanut butter (or other nut butter) on one tortilla and then add the other as the top and you’ve got the cutest little sandwich ever!

Pair with fruits and veggies and you have a tasty dairy-free meal for your little one!

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Mini Thor made quick work of these sammies!

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These sammies are simple to make and will surely bring smiles! Using a wheat tortilla means no crust and no crumbs, plus you’re sneaking in some whole grain, and that means happy kids and happy moms! We hope you try them and love them as much as we do!

Keep making memories,
-Kate

Cranberry Almond {No Bake!} Granola Bars!

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So I was cruising through Pinterest the other day and I kept seeing different recipes for chewy granola bars. I thought “hey awesome I can make granola bars with pronounceable ingredients!” It’s amazing (and I don’t mean in a good way) what nonsensical things are in prepackaged food! Ok ok, getting off my soapbox now. Back to the granola bars… I pulled the best parts of a few different recipes and did some ingredient swapping and I ended up with yummy yummy in my tummy easy to make granola bars! So I give you.. Cranberry Almond {no bake} Granola Bars!

What you need…
The Basics:
1/4 cup almond butter
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup butter (4tbsp)
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 1/4 cup quick cook oats (get Gluten-Free Oats, like Bob’s Mill, if you are on a GF diet)
The Fix’ins to Mix in:
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup shredded or flake coconut
1/4 broken up pretzel sticks + a few more to press on top of the bars (we used Glutino pretzel sticks, which are super tasty and Gluten-Free!

Add the sugar, butter, almond butter, and honey to a medium pan and heat over medium heat.

Tip: for measuring things like almond butter and honey, this Pampered Chef measuring cup is my hero!
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Bring the sugar mixture to a low boil and continue to boil for 2-3 minutes, then remove from heat.

Add your oats and stir to coat. Once it’s all evenly coated let it cool for five minutes.

Now it’s time to add in your fix’ins!
Doesn’t that look like a tasty pot of heavenly goodness!!!
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Mini Thor helped me mix in the goodness
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Line a casserole dish with parchment paper and then spread your granola in the dish. Top with some extra pretzel pieces and use the bottom of a cup or bowl to press everything down really well.
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Let that goodness chill in the fridge for 2 hours and then you can cut them. You end up with about 12-14 bars depending on what size you want them to be.

What emerges are delicious, nutritious sweet, salty, chewy (insert more adjectives as needed haha) granola bars!!!

I took half the batch to Granmomma and received this text two days later…
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The great thing about this recipe is the flexibility. Use “The Basics” and you can add what ever “Fix’ins” you and your family would like. You can even substitute the almond butter with peanut butter if that’s what you have handy. These bars can be made a number of ways….although I must say they are pretty darn tasty my way 😉. I hope you whip up a tasty batch of your own to be enjoyed by the little super heroes in your life.

-Kate

Wreck-it-Ralph “Drive-in Movie” Night

Summer is coming to an end. Boooo! With my fall semester starting I wanted to get some fun in with little man before the busy-ness starts. I took a few days off from work and we hung out and played! We played outside, made stuff, had lunch with Granmomma downtown, visited our favorite coffee shop for some bubble tea, went shopping, and I just soaked up the memories! I love spending time with my little sidekick!
One of the fun things we did was make an empty box into a car for a drive-in movie in the living room! Mini Thor got to pick out the movie and I planned a supper to go along with it. He was so excited all day as we assembled and decorated the car!
Markers and a cardboard box can be extensively entertaining to a small child haha! I just set him loose decorating it however he pleased.

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I cut a paper plate to look like a steering wheel and let him decorate it. If you attach it with a prong then the steering wheel will be able to turn! Mini Thor loved turning the steering wheel and “driving” his car!

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We added another cardboard piece as a roof and black paper plates as wheels! The Mini Thor Mobile was complete with windows and all!

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Mini Thor selected the movie “Wreck-it Ralph” for our Drive-in Movie Night! If you haven’t seen it yet, we highly recommend it!

Of course we had to have some fun snacks and supper to go along with the movie!

For our appetizer we had “Sour-bil Grapes” (these are like the monster snacks from our Monsters Inc movie night)

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These are so simple, just washed grapes + jello mix! He mixed them up all by himself and then enjoyed them in his car!

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For our meal I got creative and Mini Thor was so excited when I told him what I was making! Here’s a look at the menu…

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I got my inspiration by checking out a list of what video games were in the film ,and there were a lot! Mini Thor had requested Dino Nuggets so I was thankful the the game “Primal Rage” was in the movie. So the Dino nuggets became Sauron nuggets! The Mac&cheese and the fruit salad dishes are both PAC-Man references, as you probably guessed! Mini Thor now request that I make Mac&cheese like that every time haha!

For our movie night activity we made Sugar Rush race cars! We used graham crackers, marshmallow cream, peanut butter, marshmallows, candies, and sprinkles to build a pretty sweet car!

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Mini Thor got to wreck-it when we were done (of course) an he ate the marshmallow wheels haha!

For dessert we had “Tapper’s” Root Beer Floats!

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We had so much fun planning this night together! We hope you take this inspiration and have a movie night of your own!

Keep making memories,
-Kate

Pitas to Personal Pizzas!

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We all have those nights when we need supper to be something quick an easy. Top that with a side of picky kids and you have a recipe for difficulty. Never Fear, this momma has a solution. Simple, easy, and everyone gets to have it their way…Pita Personal Pizzas!
With just three ingredients + toppings these pizzas are so simple a toddler could make them.
You just need pita bread, pizza sauce, cheese, and your fav pizza toppings. We kept it simple with plain ol’ pepperoni.

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Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and start creating.

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Bake for 10 minutes and ta-da everyone has their own customized pizza!

Mini Thor approves!

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He loves making his own pizza. We usually have a picnic in the living room floor when we have these. He loves having picnics. 🙂

These pizzas are a great way for the whole family to make dinner together!

Added bonus, these are low cal pizzas! You can eat your whole pita pizza for under 300 calories if you leave off the pepperonis and add some veggies instead. With pepperonis you’re still only at about 350 calories!

Enjoy 🙂
-Kate

Monsterrific Jellotastic Movie Night

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Mini Thor loooooves the Disney Pixar Movie “Monsters, Inc.” With the new Monster University movie coming out this month there is Monsters stuff all over Walmart. He spotted a Jell-O juggler mold with the faces of a few characters right next to “berry scary” flavored jell-o, so of course we just couldn’t pass it up! There were a couple other jell-o uses that I’d been wanting to try as well, so I thought we’d just make a night of it. A Monsterrific Jellotastic Movie Night!

First we made Jello-Jigglers so they could sit for three hours in the fridge and be ready for dessert after supper.
This is the end result…

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They turned out awesome and Mini Thor loved them!

Next I fixed “Monster Snacks” for us to eat while we watch the movie. I made Jello Grapes and they were a hit! (There are many many posts out there with this idea so I’m not sure who actually came up with this genius snack.)
Here’s the how to..

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Mini Thor and Aunt PeyPey both loved them! They were gobbled up quickly and I had to make a second batch!

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(You may want to use a lighter colored jello if you are worried about messy fingers)

Next we made some “Jel-doh,” homemade play-do using jello mix! I’m kind of weird (which you may have guessed already) and I just can’t stand the smell that store bought play-doh leaves on your hands, yuck! so when I found a recipes for making this scented dough I just had to try it! If you have a little one who may be tempted to taste play-doh this dough might be a good trial before using other modeling clays with them.  If they eat this it won’t do any harm, although I can’t imagine it tasting very well. 

Here’s the how-to…

In a small saucepan combine the following:

– 1 cup flour
– 1/2 cup salt
– 1 Tbsp cooking oil
– 2 tsp cream of tartar
– 1 cup water
– 1 (3oz) package of Jello

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Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the dough becomes the consistency of mash potatoes.

Remove from pot and cool on a lightly flour surface.

When it has cooled enough, kneed the dough thoroughly.

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(Store in an air tight container when not in use.)

We put our Jel-do to use as soon as it was cool! We made it into MONSTERS!

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We used googly eyes (I love googly eyes!!!), pipe cleaners, and pompoms to make silly monsters!

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Mini Thor was occupied by this for like half and hour, which is a very long time for a two year old!

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I loved making jel-doh monsters with my little monster! We made many monster friends!

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We ended up watching Monsters, Inc. a couple times and we had lots of monster fun!!!
-Kate

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Fried Chicken…nuggets!

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Since its summer break my (very picky) teenage little sister has spent the night with me a few nights recently. Finding something to cook for supper that both her and Mini Thor will eat is a serious task! They are both picky little monsters, I tell you what! For two nights in a row they requested my homemade chicken nuggets. I must be doing something right then, eh? It must be my secret ingredient (well it wont be secret now, oops) that sets these tasty nuggets apart from the rest! So what is this secret ingredient you say? Pickle Juice! Yes, I’m serious, 2 tablespoons of pickle juice for a jar of sweet pickles!

Here’s what you’ll need..
– 1lb chicken breast cut into nugget sized pieces
– 2 quart size zippy bags
– 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (I use White Lilly since it is one of the few flour brands that doesn’t have barley in it (which Mini Thor is allergic to))
– 1 tsp each salt and pepper
– two dashes each garlic power and chipotle chili powder
– 1 1/2 cups milk
– 1 egg
– 2 tbsp sweet pickle juice
– and a couple dashes of pepper for the milk/egg mixture
– Oil for frying

In one zippy bag combine the egg, milk, pickle juice, and a couple dashes of pepper. Mix it mix it and Shake shake shake it up and then add the chicken. Let that sit for now.

Mix the flour and seasonings in the other zippy bag.

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Heat oil in a skillet to medium heat. I use my handy dandy cast iron skillet!

Add a couple pieces of chicken to the flour bag and…shake it like a Polaroid pict-cha! (Sorry could resist that!).

Use a fork (or whatever utensil you prefer, I suppose) to get the pieces of chicken out of the flour and drop them into the heated oil.

Fry until browned and chicken is fully cooked.

Repeat until you’ve cooked all your nuggets.

Ta-da yummy yummy chicken nuggets!

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I didn’t get many pictures because they all got gobbled up so quickly!

Serve them with some veggies and you’ve got a southern style meal hun!

-Kate

Strawberry Lemonade Pie

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Everyone in my family has a dish they bring to family events that everyone loves. But me…nope…still looking for “my dish.” Every time we get together for a holiday I bring something new. Finally this Easter…Success!!! I made strawberry lemonade pie and it was a hit, not a crumb left!

I had seen a pink lemonade pie recipe on Pinterest and traced it back to the Eagle Brand Milk website. But you know me, I can’t just leave a recipe as it is. I have to change something, add something, Kate-ize it! I would say that has a ring to it, but it honestly doesn’t haha.

So here’s the how-to for my successful strawberry lemonade pie…

What you need..
– 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
– 1 (14oz) can of sweetened condensed milk
– 1/2 a tub of cool-whip, thawed
– 1 (6oz) can of frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
– 5+ drops red food coloring, optional
– 1 1/2 cup chopped strawberries, divided.
– 2 pack of prepared graham cracker crusts

Except for the strawberries, mix the ingredients with a mixer until completely blended.

Stir in 1 cup of chopped strawberries

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Spread the filing into both the prepared crusts (sneak a taste, this is an awesome filing. Tangy, sweet, and smooth!). Top each with 1/4 cup of strawberries.

Pop it in the fridge and let it set up for four hours before serving.

Top with whip cream if you wanna or just dig right in.

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I took one pie to my family’s Easter gathering and I plaaaaaaned on taking the other to work but it mysteriously disappeared…into my tummy!

I have a feeling I’ll be making this pie a lot this summer!

-Kate

Simple Homemade Biscuits

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I accidentally bought self rising flour the other day, yeah I know, silly me! It turned out to be a happy mistake though, I made yummy homemade biscuits this morning! I used White Lily Flour to make these simple biscuits…

What you need…
– 2 cups self-rising flour
– 1/3 cup butter
– 2/3 cup buttermilk
– dash of salt

How to…

Preheat your oven to 500 degrees.

Dump flour and salt into a medium sized bowl and cut in butter until the crumbs are pea-sized.

Add buttermilk. If you are thinking “Who has buttermilk these days?!” I had it left over from making Black Bean and Squash Tortilla Bake on Monday.

It’s not going to be like your standard dough, but more like globs.

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Grab some globs and mush them together and form into biscuit shape. (If you’re a perfectionist you can roll them out on a floured surface and cut with a biscuit cutter…but ain’t nobody got time for that!)

Place on a greased cookie sheet

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Bake for 8 minutes at 500 degrees.

Brush with butter and return to the oven for 1 minute.

Then they are done and ready to be enjoyed!

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