Butter Dipped Biscuits

I love how the internet is like an open cookbook, accessible, vivid, and somewhat interactive. I can do without some of the 92-picture steps (and here is the tablespoon coming out of the drawer, dipping into the baking powder, coming out, being washed…), but I do enjoy the look inside other kitchens, even down to the utensils. So there it is.

The other day I was surfing for recipes, and came across one that doesn’t exactly fit into my calorie budget without a lot of accomodations, but I couldn’t resist: Butter Dipped Biscuits.


Super simple, very basic ingredients that you probably have on hand, and they are deeee-licious.

I found most recipes for these to be about the same, but am linking to the above source since it is her delicious picture (I didn’t bother with a picture of mine).

Butter Dipped Biscuits (food.com)
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons granulated sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 3/4 cups buttermilk (or “soured milk”)

Preheat oven to 450F degrees. Spray an 8-inch square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. In a microwave-safe bowl (or you can use the baking dish that you’ll be baking these in), melt butter in the microwave.

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Pour in the buttermilk (add the last 1/2 cup slowly… you may not need it all). Stir until a loose dough forms. Batter will be a bit sticky.

Pour/press biscuit dough into baking dish (right on top of the melted butter). Take a sharp knife and cut the biscuit dough into 9 squares before baking.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes, rotating dish once during baking.

(If you don’t have buttermilk, “sour” your regular whole milk with vinegar. Use about 1T. per cup. Add vinegar to milk, stir, and let sit for about 5 minutes.)

They were very tasty, and very easy. I had a half of one with my diner, and savored every bite.

Easy Ricey Spaghetti And Meatballs (And Heart-Shaped Pizzas)

I’m trying to eliminate some of the things in my pantry and freezer. It’s working at about 50%, which is a start. Part of my aim is to cycle out what needs to be eaten (mainly in the freezer), and the other part is to save some money on groceries this month (pantry shopping). We had to replace tires on one of the cars, and have another unexpected expense with the van, so tightening the bootstrings even more is a must.

So I took an inventory of what I have in the freezer (up and down – one in the kitchen, one in the garage), and have tried to do what I can to rotate out some of the longer-standing items.

I can’t say I haven’t grocery shopped, but I have definitely shopped less, which is a win. I should say it is a “win” for the pocketbook, but a bit stressful on me trying to coordinate this fine dance. Some of my meals lately have been… less than spectacular. Some have been dandy, though, like the heart-shaped pizza I made yesterday.

We have a local pizza place that makes heart-shaped pizzas every Valentine’s Day. Initially we were going to order from there. So much easier (for me). The phone line was busy for half an hour. Once we got through, we learned the cost was $12 per pizza plus $2 per topping. Since the boys were off to wrestling, I figured I should be able to whip those up in the same time it would take to order out, and for less.

I made 2 pepperoni, and 2 of our favorite – sausage and banana pepper rings.

NOBODY complained. They rarely do when I make my own pizzas now at home. It’s very nice. We all like an ordered out pizza now and then, but it’s getting to where the ordered pizzas aren’t often as good as the ones made at home. These were no exception.

I had purchased two heart-shaped pans at Goodwill a while ago, thinking I might use them someday. They aren’t anything special. But lined with some olive oil and filled with dough, they were delicious.

That paired with some homemade brownies (I’ve yet to find a homeade version that is prepared over the boxed one):

And some strawberry milk (was NOT a hit, and I’m actually glad).

Today, though, a Friday, Frank’s working overtime (again). I’m tired. It’s been a long week and the last thing I wanted to do was to make another meal. I had eyed up the hot dogs earlier, figuring that could be a back-up plan, though I hate serving hot dogs. But it’s cheaper than $50 Chinese food.

But then I decided to make something I haven’t for a while. Rice Spaghetti. It is a one pot meal that is a breeze to throw together, and cooks up pretty fast.

Easy Rice Spaghetti & Meatballs

1 jar spaghetti sauce
1.5 cups brown rice
3 cups water
1 bag meatballs (I used Fit N’ Active Turkey meatballs from Aldi)

Put everything in a pot and stir.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 40 minutes or until rice is chewy tender, stirring occasionally. Don’t worry about removing the lid and stirring. All is good. After rice is done, vent lid and let sit for 5 minutes. Serve with olive oil and parmesan cheese. Serves 6.

I had mine with a glass of wine. Two of the boys ate theirs with leftover tortillas. I think they missed the point on it, but oh well.


It’s quite tasty.

Years ago, I’d whip up some rice, pour sauce over it, add some OO and cheese, and we’d dig in. It was decent eats on a budget. I’ve forgotten what a satisfying meal it can be. If you don’t have the meatballs, sub it for a veggie and add that on top. I was going to roast some broccoli, but I’m seriously THAT tired that it was too much work.


Two Ingredient Pancakes (Banana And Egg)

Supposedly this recipe is all over the internet, but I don’t recall seeing it until yesterday. I was immediately intrigued. Pancakes with only two ingrediants, eh? I guess it is Paleo, though I’m not too familiar with that, so I can’t claim it. It is a simple, no-frills breakfast, allowing for protein and fruit. I’m all in.

There are different ratios, but I went with the simple 1:1.

One banana.

One egg.

I was going to just make 1 batch, but instead I used the 3 black bananas I had and tripled it. I’m glad I did. It was genius  Maybe somewhere in the back of my mind I knew I would fail a batch, and need more to work with. In retrospect, pancakes (for me), generally start with one failed ‘cake, and the rest are beautiful, so this worked.

So I took my eggs and bananas and put them in my Ninja. I was going to just use my favorite little chopper, but the more I use my Ninja, the less I use my old faithful chopper. Kind of sad. I feel like I’m cheating on it.

Most people tend to mash theirs by hand – but I thought blending it to a liquid would be better. So I did. People also talked about adding baking powder and such to it – but I wanted to keep it simple. A true Two Ingredient Pancake.This was difficult for me, because I tend to like to experiment. But without starting with the simple base, you never know if your experiments worked. Beyond that, the verdicts for additions to this simple concoction weren’t too outstanding.

I do not like how precariously that is sitting on the edge of my counter. It didn’t fall, but just looking at it makes me think it will.

I heated my skillet to 350. I didn’t even bother with my beloved iron skillets because they aren’t the best behaved for me with pancakes, with their reputation for sticking. I didn’t want a bunch of added oils, either.

A few minutes later the edges looked like they were firming up. I tried to flip, and it gave me the whole accordian pancake look, like, I’m not ready. Soon there was a smell that one can only associate with food burning, and I had to flip it.

Batch #1, failed. Thankfully, Frank likes doughy pancakes.

Batch #2 I decided to turn the skillet down to 250. I read a tip about cooking a bit longer on lower heat, and that working better. I also used some non-stick spray. (I need to find and link to that blog, because she posted some very helpful tips… here it is: secrets to a perfect two-ingredient pancake.)

One worked great. Smelled great. The other, not so much. I think I was a bit jumpy on the gun. Out came my ipod timer.

Batch #3

Set the timer for 5 minutes to force my patience. That was the PERFECT amount of time, only I forgot the dang spray -gah- and had an issue… again. But they were cooked enough, and I saved them regardless. I ate one from #3, putting it on the bottom and topping it with the pretty one from #2. Spread a little peanut butter on them.


Verdict: Pretty good. If you don’t like bananas then skip it. If you’re not much for bananas and peanut butter (I’m not, even though I ate it happily) – try syrup, jelly – or nothing. Mine were way sweet enough from the over-ripe bananas. Syurp would have been too much for me. As I ate them, I wondered if sweet potatoes would work in this kind of recipe. Hmm.

They weren’t light and fluffy like a pancake. They were actually a bit gooey, which is how my husband likes them. Kind of crepe-y. I liked that they were warm, and something different, had no egg and no flour. I’d like to make a few and see if they will hold to nuke on mornings where I don’t feel like making anything, and want something warm.

I think I would try these again for something different. They’re less than 200 calories and a relatively quick breakfast fix. A little vanilla in them might be nice. Or not.

Hello My Pretty

Happy Halloween. I have no costume. But I have candy to hand out in my bowl, which I carry around the neighborhood with me.
Actually, wait a minute. The twins are 13. My days of walking the kids around the neighborhood might just be over. See, I am accustomed to following the boys around the neighborhood. Since I’m not at home to hand out candies to the kiddos, I’d carry my bowl of candy with me, partaking in a mobile trick-or-treat.

But, the days of that might be over.

The twins are planning on going with friends. Carlito, too.

Hmm. Lightbulb moment for me.

Ah well. So maybe I’ll stay home for a while and hand out candy. Or maybe I’ll pop over to my girlfriend’s house and hand out candy there. I’ve done that nearly every year now. That’s fun, too. Then we head over to a friends and have chili or pizza, the kids watch TV and go through their loot. It’s great fun. A tradition I don’t want to see end anytime soon.

Yesterday I made these MummyDogs:

Sorry, now that I’m married to my iPod Touch, many of my pictures are snapped with the not-so-great camera. Better than nothing. Those were incredibly easy to make. All you need is a tube of the Pillsbury breadsticks and 12 hot dogs. Open the breadsticks and cut each stick into thirds (length-wise). Wrap the hot dog from “head” to “toe” with each piece of dough, leaving a bit of room for the eyes. Place on a parchment lined sheet (or sprayed pan) and bake at 375 for about 15 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool for a few minutes and apply the mustard eyes. Go here for step-by-step directions. I blotted off my hotdogs to help the dough adhere better. If you let the dough rest about 10 minutes before handling, it will be more pliable.

The kids ate them. I don’t know that they were appreciated as much as they would have been 5 years ago, but whatever.

I also made some cookies that did NOT turn out as intended (for pictures of how they are supposed to look, visit the website linked in the recipe).

Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 sticks softened butter
3/4 Cup packed light brown sugar
1 Cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla
3 1/2 Cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
10 oz bag chocolate chips
1 bag Oreo Cookies, I used the double stuff

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a stand or electric mixer cream butter and sugars until well combined. Add in eggs and vanilla until well combined.
In a separate bowl mix the flour, salt and baking soda. Slowly add to wet ingredients along with chocolate chips until just combined. Using a cookie scoop take one scoop of cookie dough and place on top of an Oreo Cookie. Take another scoop of dough and place on bottom of Oreo Cookie. Seal edges together by pressing and cupping in hand until Oreo Cookie is enclosed with dough. Place onto a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet and bake cookies 9-13 minutes or until cookies are baked to your liking. Let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack. Serve with a tall glass of milk, enjoy!
Makes about 2 dozen VERY LARGE Cookies – {picky-palate.com}

The above I hand formed. Painstakingly. It was not a pretty process. The dough was like wet sand mixed with glue. They turned out the size of a small saucepan (see above), or pancake.

I decided to make the rest in cupcake form, using dough-cookie-dough and popping them in the oven.

They leaked butter. Have you seen a baked good leak butter? I knew I had seen this recipe all over the place and the cookies, though seemingly under baked, did not leak butter. I salvaged the tops, baking and re-baking my cookies. But I had to admit: I had done something wrong.

Re-examining the recipe, I can see what I did. I used 3 eggs and only used 3 cups of flour. If you do the same, yours will leak butter, too! Well, if you put them in the muffin tins. If you put them on a pan, they will be extremely hard to work with and will spread like gossip in a girl’s bathroom. I still plan on eating one later. I don’t care. The ones that flattened turned out fine. The cupcake ones that are extremely… chewy Frank will like.

Have a great Halloween!

Therapeutic Baking: Apple Spice Scones

The temperatures are falling. The leaves are falling. It is impossible for me not to be in the kitchen baking with apples, pumpkins, spices. Simmering soups, pasta sauces.

It’s  therapeutic for me.

I’m pretty well stocked in the freezers, both upstairs and down. Stocking the freezer, then using it up can be therapeutic for me, too.
I see dollar bills when I’m able to tuck something in the freezer for later.

Monday I received another vegetable offering from Gramma Marge (yes, there was more eggplant); I baked part of it (the eggplant – more on that in another post), then chopped and froze the green peppers, adding to my freezer abundance. I still need small staples here and there, like milk or eggs, but I feel like I should be able to “shop the freezer” a bit over the next few days.
I refuse to go shopping this week.

Monday was baked eggplant.
Tuesday, spaghetti leftover from the eggplant, while using up 3 chicken breasts from the freezer. Yesterday I baked.
Wednesday is still in contemplation mode.

Back to baking. I found this recipe for Delightful Apple Spiced Scones with Spiced Glaze. I had all of the ingredients on hand, save the second apple and the buttermilk. But I still had some homemade applesauce dying to get used up and a great desire to bake something that smelled like fall.

I replaced the buttermilk with soured milk (milk with lemon juice – or vinegar added to), and used only one apple (skin on). Somewhere along the line I did something wrong, though. I got to the step where you combine everything and “stir until just moist” – that’s where things looked weird. My kneading was more like playing with something the consistency of oatmeal. What really kept coming to mind was the diaper contents of a baby transitioning to solids. But anyway.

I plopped the mess on my prepared pan, unable to score the scones, but not declaring disaster… yet.

The oven worked its magic on my ploppy mess, filling the house with aromas of fall – just what I wanted the boys to come home from school to.

Looked salvageable. It was very moist. I cut it into 18 pieces, and dredged them through the delicious glaze.
It was very moist, not making for an easy task.
The twins dug in immediately.

Sal thought they were good, Franny said good – but less (or no) apple next time.
I set a piece out for myself, warmed some coffee, and sat down to savor a bite.

The flavor was good, the texture… well, I was hoping for something a bit drier and less cake-like.
Since my photos don’t quite match (in the kneading stage), I’m figuring something went wrong in my process.

Today is my day off. Wednesdays are nice that way.
I’ll be doing loads of laundry, dusting, and cleaning. Visiting the doctor (hatehatehate, but a day off is a good day to do it), making dinner – still have to figure that one out, and keeping myself busy so that I’m not tempted to shop. It isn’t that I’m a shopoholic or anything. We’re working on paying our bills down, and I want as much money as possible going to that. With a full freezer, I figure I can lean on that more and keep out of the grocery store.

We shall see.

Homemade Microwave Popcorn (In A Brown Bag)

I was going to follow-up with my hair saga. But I got distracted by a craving for popcorn.

It started at work. I was tempted by the stale bags of emergency popcorn in my drawer, but I was able to stave it. Then it came back again with a vengeance, this time for movie theatre popcorn. I fantasised a bit, figuring that technically, I could  run in the closest movie theatre around and get a tub of unbuttered popcorn to bring home.  I have done it before. I mean, why pay for movie tickets when all you really want is the popcorn? Let’s be real here.

Reality set in somewhere and I forgot about the craving… until I got home. Sometimes the best choice doesn’t happen, and at that point you have to go to the alternate better choice.


Overwhelming craving for movie theatre popcorn. Best choice: ignore craving, munch a veggie, or make air-popped corn and eat that. The BEST choice didn’t sit so well with me. I was either going to sink or come to a middle ground. I chose the middle ground: homemade popcorn with butter and salt. It wasn’t the BEST, but it wasn’t the WORST. I met things half-way.

Which leads me to the whole reason for this post, which is to share the semi-newfound love of microwaved popcorn in a brown bag. As I snapped my pictures, I couldn’t for the life of me remember where this idea came from, but I certainly didn’t pull it out of my own imagination. On a whim I checked my history and found it: squawkfox. I think that’s it. There might be other sources, but that’s what popped up for me. Get it? Popped up?

At any rate, I generally make popcorn on the stove in my iron pot with some oil. But, that’s not something I want really the kids to do by themselves right now. They are more likely to reach for a bag of microwavable corn than to grab my iron pot, oil, hot pad  anyway. I rarely eat the microwaved kind, though, so when I buy it, it is only for the kid’s sake. With two kids that LOVE popcorn (with hot sauce). I was happy to find the brown bag method. This is cheaper, and renders just as good results. I would say better because you can make it and add what you like.

All you need is 1/3 cup of popcorn, a brown bag (lunchbag) and a microwave.

Look mom! I took pictures this time!

1/3 cup of popcorn goes in bag:

Does that make you feel claustrophobic? It does me.

Bag goes in microwave. You can put it upright or sideways with the top folded a couple times. I like it upright (yeah, my microwave could use a cleaning I see):

I have a “popcorn” setting on my microwave (picture of that didn’t turn out so well). I set it to the 3.5 setting and it was perfect when setting the bag upright, and don’t fold it over. If I lay the bag on its side folded over on the top I have to set it to a shorter setting and push +30 to add more time. Every microwave probably has its happy spot for popped corn, and you’ll have to find yours.

Out comes this:


Do you use popcorn salt?

Generally I don’t. I just take my salt grinder and grind some salt into my mortar and pestle, then go at it a bit to make a finer salt. Buying it in a little shaker is convenient. To each their own.

Butter. Yum, yum and yum.

I really, really love popcorn.

No human being should have this many pictures of their popcorn.

But that’s how much I love thee.

Noodles & Company Wisconsin Mac & Cheese (copycat recipe)

This has become one of my favorite recipes: Noodles & Company Wisconsin Mac & Cheese (copycat recipe)

I have to admit, when I’d take my kids to Noodles and the order this dish, my throat tightens just a little. Isn’t there anything else you want? I mean, I make home made mac & cheese on a regular rotation and they love it. Can’t they try something I don’t make? And then I tried it. I liked it. Especially with a dousing of Sriracha Hot Sauce. I can see why it is a winner, and I’m from Wisconsin.

Pool of cheesy roux + noodles + a topping of shredded cheese?  You get to stir it up and watch the cheese melt right in front of you. What kid (or adult) wouldn’t want that?

Basically you are taking the cheese roux and instead of mixing that with the pasta and baking it, you plate it up all separate. Why wouldn’t it be good? I’ve been known to sneak some roux and noodle before baking and chomp it down. The stuff is good.

Here we go. Source: Food.com

Noodles & Co. Wisconsin Mac and Cheese
8 servings

2 lbs macaroni noodles (cooked al dente)
4 T butter
4 T flour
4 cups whole milk
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
4 cups monterey jack cheese, shredded
2 cups colby-monterey jack cheese, finely shredded

Cook the macaroni according to the directions to al dente; do not overcook!
Heat butter in sauce pan over medium heat; melt.
Add the flour; whisk to make a roux.
Continue to whisk until the mixture boils, bubbles and turns slightly brown.
Whisk in salt, pepper, and paprika.
Slowly whisk in the milk and continue to whisk and cook until it starts to thicken up. It will not get pudding thick, and will still be a thin sauce. This is how you want it.
Remove from heat and add the 4c. of monterey jack.

To serve: Pour about 1/2 – 3/4 cup of the cheese sauce into the bottom of a bowl. Add about 1 cup of cooked noodles over the sauce. Top with a small handful of colby-monterey (about 1/4 cup). Stir and enjoy!

NOTE: 1c shredded cheese is approx. 4oz.

I can feed my entire family a very healthy portion of this (and have leftovers) for less than it would cost to feed two people the same meal at Noodles & Co. — score!  You can make the noodles ahead and whip up the roux in less than 15 minutes. Just warm your noodles before plating. It heats up well, too.

Buffalo Chicken Tacos

I have to share this recipe because it was super delicious and wonderfully easy. This recipe is a definite keeper!

I’d like to interject that I really hate how Google now handles picture uploading and sharing. They’ve turned it all over to Google+ instead of Picasaweb; I am disappointed, inconvenienced. How dare they change up their free services on me?

Back to the recipe: Buffalo Chicken Tacos.

I’ve admitted before that me and measurements just don’t go well together. So I’ll tell you how my ratios rounded out. This recipe was so painfully easy, yet rendered mighty tasty results. Shred, dump, heat, enjoy. Voila. I’m sure you could get more detailed using avocados, lettuce, onions, cilantro – whatever your heart desires. But the bare-bones of this type of recipe are good just by themselves. It is appetizer-like in quality and taste, but can easily work as a stand alone dinner.

This ended up serving 7 of us (about 2-3 tacos each).

1 rotisserie chicken (meat removed and shredded)
1 12-oz. bottle Frank’s Red Hot sauce (dump over chicken)
1 bunch of celery (about 8 stalks – chopped)
1 20-count package of flour tortillas (warmed)
about 1 cup of shredded cheese (I used some leftover colby/jack and shredded it by hand on top)
blue cheese dressing (or ranch, as some of my boys preferred)

I pulled the chicken off the bone (saving bone and skin to make broth), put it in my small crockpot. Dumped the jar of sauce in; set the crockpot on “warm” until the kids got home from the pool. In the meantime I washed and chopped up the celery. (When I was ready) I warmed tortillas for about 15 seconds each in on each side and remove; add toppings (chicken, celery, cheese, dressing). It was so easy. Did I say that already? I didn’t bother with the sea salt or oiling the griddle like the original recipe called for. I was down for simplicity and the Red Hot and blue cheese are pretty salty on their own. I don’t usually oil my griddle when I heat tacos. I started to and then stopped. I used my iron skillet on med-high for a few seconds on each side, stack on a plate, cover and keep warm until I use them. It’s habit.

While waiting for the boys to get home, I threw a couple tortillas on to warm, cracked a beer and had my dinner in a quiet house while I watched the end of the Brewer’s game.

They are rich, hearty, little buggers. You don’t need a lot of any of the toppings for it to make a statement. Dante’s girlfriend said it was too spicy. The rest of the boys ate their two quickly (some adding additional heat to their taco) and then swarmed like vultures, hoping to get another one. I was able to sock two away for Frank when he gets home from is overtime.

Homemade Mocha Fudge Pops Recipe

I’ve taken a million pictures and have a ton of recipes to share, but little time to whip these posts up. As I’ve gone through the past few weeks of events and trying new things around the house, I’ll snap a picture or scratch a note down for things I want to blog about; the pile is high. As I surf around and look at blog after blog of picture plump tutorials, recipes, daily activities… I can’t help but wonder how everyone finds the time. Not only the time but – does the food go to waste sometimes during these blogazine post tutorials (’cause every “blog post” is now a “tutorial” yanno – yes, please show me how you scoop sugar from a container, would you, I need to know)?  I’m probably over-thinking it, but whatever.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE the internet and its vast amount of free knowledge and entertainment. But, the more I surf, the more I notice assimilation. In the striving to be different than, there is a lot more of becoming the same as. Words, photos, catch phrases… it is interesting. I’m not saying I’m immune, either. It seeps in your veins like an acquired accent (give me 10 minutes in a room with a Southerner and I come out with a drawl). It’s kind of like a hairstyle. People see, people like, people get the same haircut. I guess with a million restaurants, you can still eat your cheeseburger wherever you want, depending where you like on how they make it.

I know I’m bit of an old soul (or old crow), but–and maybe I’ve said this before–things ’round the internet ain’t the same, friend!

Back to those popsicles. One thing about this whole “everyone’s alike” thing is that I don’t have to feel so badly about not taking gorgeous magazine-ready photos while I’m running around like a headless chicken in my kitchen. I get to present with this:

(taken from Franny’s cellphone: L-Chocolate Mocha, R-Avocado Coconut)

Want sexy popsicle? Google images will do ya. My contribution is half-eaten pop and a shaky hand.

My mom made frozen treats all the time. Blendings of kool-aid, yogurts, and sometimes she’d just straight up freeze a banana on a stick and call it a day. I can’t say that I ever really liked any of the frozen popsicles she made (sorry mom). Part of that might have been that they were all sugar-free, or that they were always just a frozen version of a liquid, never tailored to the process. Over the years I’ve gone on popsicle-making binges, the molds always collecting dust and going to the trash bin after  a while. A few weeks ago I was shopping at Marshalls and came across some fun looking molds and it sparked a desire to make them again.

Original yummy recipe from wonderfuljoyahead.com. I very much like this recipe. I collected a few others, but wanted to make this particular one. I also had one for Mocha pops, which Franny preferred to try, but it called for heavy cream and some other high-calorie additions that I didn’t want to dive into. So I compromised with this:


This made 3 pops plus 2 3-oz. mini cups for me. I like having the mini cups (Solo or Dixie) and some sticks for the extra batter. They are the perfect size if you’re just wanting a taste.

2 1/2 T (approx 25 grams) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/3 C. sugar
1 T. cornstarch
1 1/2 T. unsweetend cocoa powder
1 1/4 C. whole milk
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 T. instant coffee (I did not measure this, but am guessing)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 T. unsalted butter

Add coffee to milk and stir to mix. Don’t worry if it doesn’t completely mix in. Over very low heat, melt the chocolate chips in a medium saucepan, stirring constantly. Stir in the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and cocoa powder. Add milk in 1/2 cup increments, stirring constantly. Turn heat up to medium once all the milk is added. Cook about 5-10 minutes, until the mixture coats the spoon well and turns to a thin pudding consistency.

Remove the pan from the heat, add the vanilla, and butter. Stir to combine. Let cool for a bit, and then pour into your molds. Wait until it’s fully frozen, at least 3 hours.

These were yummy. You could taste the fudge and the coffee.

Onto the AVOCADO COCONUT POPS. These are my favorite. I may have screwed the recipe up a bit or stumbled upon brilliance (I think I forgot to boil the sugar/water – at least on the first batch). I honestly do not know how I can jumble up a popsicle recipe? Maybe this is two recipes in one. Regardless, these bad boys are t-t-tasty. Original recipe here. Please don’t compare it with what I’ve done because clearly I went wildly amiss.



  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup sugar (the 2nd batch I made with 1/2 cup sugar… see note below)
  • 1 avocado (pitted and peeled)
  • Pinch of salt
  • the juice of 1 lime (or about 2T. lime juice)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
Mix all ingrediants using a blender (I used an immersion blender). Be sure to mix well. Pour into molds. Freeze and enjoy (5 hours later). I took the suggestion of the fudge pop recipe and replaced the vanilla with mint in this avocado recipe in the second batch. YUM.
Notes: You can use small cups, easily. Just pour in, top with a piece of foil or plastic wrap and put the stick through that (the foil or wrap holds the stick in place). I found that poking a small hole prior to putting the wrap on made the stick insertion easier. Keep in mind if you use foil and are making more than one flavor, you’ll want to mark the flavor on the stick (the part that is sticking out) so you know what you’re getting into before you unwrap it. A lot of recipes will tell you to freeze the pops for x amount of hours, then insert the stick, but I just don’t have the attention span to babysit my popsicles. So I wrap and insert.
I didn’t notice a huge difference with lowering the sugar in the avocado pops. That’s kind of a flavor choice thing. Sal wanted (literally) avocado popsicles. “These are sweet!” He said, disgusted. This is the kid who now freezes straight up milk for his popsicles.
Yeah. Freezing liquids (gatorade, 7-up and cherry juice) has now become an obsession around the house. I can think of worse.

Must Try This Recipe

I have to make this. Must.

Maple Bacon Biscuits

{via Pintrest, photo and recipe from Our Family Food Adventures}

My family is pretty good about trying new things and eating whatever it is I make and I am fortunate to be able to experiment with new recipes, since it is something I truly find joy in. I think they enjoy my experiments, too, which makes it all the better. I do, however, have an over abundance of recipes – something that I’m trying to sift through. I have two binders full, plus a box, plus oodles of books. Nobody needs that many recipes. As I sort through what I’ve collected, I’ve found some old standards, some that I’d like to try, and some that I can toss. It is a substantial task, though, and one that won’t be finished anytime soon (especially since it is a work in progress, ever growing).

The more I surf the internet, though, the more I find versions of something I’ve already clipped. I guess there’s only so many ways to make macaroni and cheese (a recipe that I have at least a dozen versions of). It is inspiring to see new twists on old, updates on standards. My favorite recipes are ones that someone has graciously shared that has been passed down from another generation, or from a friend. Those are true treasures.