Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Ice Cream Bars

It's sad.

I'm cheap.

I kind of feel sorry for my cherubs.

For example:  why buy a dip of ice cream from my favorite ice cream store when I can buy a container of ice cream and get way more servings for not that much more money?

Sooooo!  Why would I buy chocolate dipped ice cream bars when I can make our own chocolate dipped ice cream bars at home?

Is it the same?

Uhhhh . . . .kinda!

OK -- do you remember the Primo "fragrance?"  The slogan was, "if you like Giorgio, then you'll LOVE Primo!"

This is sort of the same situation!

Lately, my girl cherub has been interested in buying a "dilly bar" from Dairy Queen.

First question to ask:  How does she know about "dilly bars?"

Answer:  I have no idea!

Here's how the conversation went:
  • "Hey mom, can we go to DQ and get a dilly bar?
  • "Well honey, I think we have ice cream bars at home."
  • "But mom, it's not a dilly bar!"
  • "True . . .but it's already paid for!"
  • "Yeah, but it's not a dilly bar!"
  • "Well, what makes it a dilly bar?"
  • "It's dipped in chocolate!"
  • "OK!  I've got some homemade magic shell stuff --- I can make you a dilly bar!"
  • "Yeah, but it won't be the same!"
  • "Huh?  Tell me how!"
  • "It won't be round!"
  • "Oh well!  I guess you'll eat it anyways!"
  • "Yeah!"

We came home, I grabbed the ice cream bars from the freezer, along with the homemade magic shell that was tucked away in the refrigerator and I got busy!

I slowly heated the hardened magic shell in the microwave until it was pourable.

You remember, magic shell harden when it gets cold!
That's why it's perfect for this after-school snack project!

Once the magic shell was squeezable, I unwrapped the ice cream bar and placed in on a plate.

I outlined the ice cream bar and filled in with the magic shell and put it in the freezer.

I left it there for a just a jiff.

Well, probably like 3 minutes.

Then, I took it out, turned it over and did the same thing on the plain side.

I shoved it back into the freezer, just to firm up the magic shell.

I got it out and proudly,

I mean P.R.O.U.D.L.Y

handed it to my cherub!

She ate it and liked it!

 . . .Even though it wasn't round!

Guess what she did the next day when she got into the car after school?

"Hey mom!  Will you make me another ice cream bar for a snack today?


This afternoon, I worked ahead!  I made a few extra . . .

just to have for another afternoon!

Here's the link to your own homemade chocolate magic shell!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Rustic Italian Sandwiches

I don't even know what to call this sandwich from today!

But we all called it good!

Life at my house is just like life at your house right now!

I'm not sure why Spring is this way . . . .

but it is ridiculously busy and I'm not too sure that I can say that I enjoy it all!

This weekend, we ate out twice!


We just don't do that.

But today, driving home from church, I was tempted to just pick something up!

That would have made three times to have eaten out . . .

in ONE weekend!


On the drive home, with the cherubs, we discussed what to do for lunch.

I already had Italian sausage thawed out in the refrigerator.

That was our start!

Here's what we did!

We made Rustic Italian Sandwiches.

This is nothing new for some of you, I'm sure!

But it was new for us and we sure did like it!

We are thankful for the bit of leftovers!

Somebody is going to be very happy at lunch one day this week!

Rustic Italian Sandwiches

1 pound ground Italian Sausage
1 TBSP olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion, rough chopped
2 red peppers, sliced
4 ciabata rolls, or another hearty roll
basil** (gourmet garden brand)
spaghetti sauce, optional

In a large pan, heat about 1 TBSP of olive oil.

Add the garlic and saute until fragrant.

Add the chopped onion, stir to coat with a bit of the oil.  Cook about 3-5 minutes, just until it begins to become slightly tender.

Add the sliced peppers.  Again, stirring to coat with the bit of oil.  Cook another 5 minutes, or so, just until the peppers begin to become tender.

Add the ground Italian Sausage; breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon.  Continue to cook until no longer pink, stirring often to cook evenly and to break the meat into pieces.

While the meat is cooking, slice the bread.  Smear just a tab bit of butter on each side of the cut bread.  Place about 1 to 1 1/2 tsp. of mayonnaise on one side of each roll with a squeeze of basil.  Mix together on the bread.  Top with a bit of grated Parmesan cheese and broil the bread until lightly toasted.

** (This is for "cilantro" but the same company has basil also!  It's found in the product section of your grocery store!  It's amazing!)

If you want to use spaghetti sauce, heat this in the microwave until thoroughly hot.

Once the meat is completely cooked, you may want to remove some of the grease from the pan, as Italian Sausage can be very greasy.  (That is one of the reasons you only want to start with a smidge of olive oil, as not to have excess grease in your meal!)

Once the bread is toasted and the meat and veggie mixture is thoroughly cooked.  Place the bottom of the roll on a plate, top with meat and veggies.  If desired, spoon some spaghetti sauce over the meat and put the top bun in place.


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Breakfast Cookies

If you put "breakfast" in front of a recipe, more than likely I'm going to be willing to serve it to my cherubs!

When my oldest cherub was born, we had the best pediatrician in the world!

She was older, wiser, and calmer!

When my cherub was old enough to move beyond baby food, she would say things like this:
  • "pizza is a great breakfast food!"
  • "grilled cheese for breakfast is a great idea!"
  • "sandwiches are perfect breakfast plans for little people!"
Clearly, portion sizes were important, but her idea was balance:  carbs, proteins, fats, dairy . . . it's all there!

When I made these "Breakfast Cookies" today for the cherubs, I thought of her!

I think I would have made her proud today . . .and I know my cherubs would thank her!

In the morning, I plan to pair these breakfast cookies with yogurt and a banana for the cherubs and I think they'll love it!

These cookies are bulky and substantial.  The more add in's you put in, the more filling they will be!

Breakfast Cookies

1 cup of butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup of sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 cups of oats (I used old fashioned, but regular or quick will work perfect)
Choose 2 or more add ins!
1 cup raisins
1 cup mini chocolate chip
1 cup craisins
1 cup coconut
1 cup chopped nuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs and extracts and beat well. 

Add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and oats.  Mix until the ingredients are well incorporated.

Stir in the 2 or MORE add ins!  You'll need at least 2 of the add ins (or select one and double it) so that your batter is the right consistency. 

Drop by tablespoonful onto a cookie sheet.  Bake for 8-10 minutes.*

Allow to cool for 8-10 minutes on the pan before transferring to a cooling rack.

Allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

*I under-baked the breakfast cookies so that when I reheated them in the mornings, they wouldn't become too hard or dried out.  If you prefer a crisp cookie, then bake for 10-15 minutes, depending on preference.