Archive for the ‘Dessert’ Category

Summer is finally here! These few short weeks are filled with beach trips, playground exploring, poolside adventures, and plenty of get-togethers with family and friends. Now the infamous question, “What can I bring???” This recipe will have you saying, “I’ll bring a dessert.”

You can’t go into any grocery store without seeing the strawberries front in center. (At least near me it is like that.) You could also one-up me and pick your own fresh strawberries. (Just the thought of it…..YUM). This easy recipe is great and it does include fresh strawberries, so that may be a serving of fruit too :o) I guess it depends on how strict you are and how much you want to eat it.

Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Icing

1 (3oz.) package of strawberry gelatin

½ cup cold water

1 (18.25 oz.) white cake mix

4 eggs

1 cup vegetable oil

3 Tablespoons flour

10 ounces of strawberries

6 Tablespoons of butter

2 cups of confectioners sugar

 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

Dissolve gelatin in big bowl with cold water.  Stir in cake mix, eggs, vegetable oil, flour and half of the pureed strawberries.  Beat for 5 minutes and divide into two 9 inch cake pans.  Bake for 35 minutes.

 

Frosting:

Cream butter, confectioners sugar and remaining pureed strawberries.  Add more sugar until desired consistency.

 

I also made chocolate covered strawberries for presentation. This cake was a real show stopper :o)

I would never steal someone’s recipe and not give credit to the person who gave me the recipe.  Awhile ago my cousin gave me this recipe and I AM HOOKED. This banana bread is so easy to make and is a perfect recipe for the kid’s to help with. Basically you put everything in the bowl/mixer, mix it up and bake it.

2/3 cups of sugar

1/3 cup of softened butter

2 eggs

1 cup mashed bananas

1-1/3 cup flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt1 cup finely diced walnuts (optional)

*Kim also suggested using Craisins

 

1. Add all ingredients to mixing bowl

2. Mix until smooth

3. Pour batter into a greased 9X5 inch pan

4. Cook at 350 degrees for 40-55 minutes

5. Cool then enjoy!

 

Smoothies are a great way to pack a ton of nutrients into your little ones diet. (Yours too!!!) All you need is a blender! These tasty drinks are excellent for the whole family. A great breakfast on the go option on your way to whatever game, meeting or event you may have! Typically I have the ingredients to pull something together. You can use yogurt, Greek yogurt, milk, soy milk, ice cream,  juice (the list goes on!) and just add fruit (or peanut butter).

One of my personal favorites is to take frozen raspberries and blueberries and add orange juice. It is a perfect eye opener!

My kids love this coconut smoothie (which I have used as a dessert after dinner as well!)

1/2 cup coconut milk

1-1/4 cups pineapple juice

1/2 cup pineapple chunks

2 scoops ice cream

Blend it all together :o)

Frozen fruit works so well for smoothies! I try to keep some on hand at all times. Just ensure that the thickness of your smoothie is still able to be sucked up a straw! I hope you find these easy and healthy smoothie recipes a great addition to your meal/snack planning! Please feel free to share your own smoothie recipes on our Facebook page as well @MamaFeedMe.

I found this recipe over 10 years ago and have been making these cookies ever since. I was always searching for fun things to do with the kids I was babysitting and these cookies were a relatively healthy option that allowed the kids to help me make them. They can be used as a “breakfast cookie” and are great to keep in the freezer for when you need them.

My daughters enjoy making them, and the recipe calls for ingredients that I typically have on hand. These cookies are the perfect solution to over ripe bananas. When I make them, I tend to make double batches to keep in the freezer. They are also really good, so I have to remind myself often that they aren’t for just me.

Banana Oatmeal Cookies

3/4 cup shortening

1 cup brown sugar

1 egg, beaten

1-1/2 cups flour (white or whole wheat)

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 cup mashed banana

1-3/4 cups uncooked oatmeal

*You can also add nuts, raisins, sunflower seeds, wheat germ, grated orange peel or chocolate chips

Combine shortening, sugar and egg; mix well. Mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg in separate bowl. Blend two mixtures together. Add mashed banana and oatmeal. Mix well. Drop teaspoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet.

Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Enjoy!

Nothing like a blustery cold or even snowy day to inspire a need for something warm, and comforting, and choclate-y. Even here in Florida it is particularly brutal when I am forced to wear jeans instead of shorts in December.  😀 (I still have enough Yankee in me to feel the need for hot cocoa by a warm fire under a blanket every once in a while.) Unfortunately a number of the hot chocolate recipes or the pre-made mixes are either very bad for you (ingredients you cant recognize on the label) or just taste TERRIBLE! Milk and chocolate syrup is a good starting place for your recipes, but that works best with cold milk. My particular favorite for hot chocolate mixes is the Nestle mix, but I refuse to leave the house today, so this is what I came up with, with a little help from the can of baking cocoa. It is possible to make a thick, creamy, and pleasantly sweet hot chocolate, in the comfort of your own home, and it’s great for kids, family and gift giving right around the holiday season!

Homemade Hot Chocolate
(Single Serving)

You Will Need:

1 tbsp Hershey’s cocoa powder
2 tbsp of white sugar, or Splenda
2 tbsp of hot water
1 cup milk, preferably 2% for creaminess but skim is ok
1 tsp vanilla extract

Get a large mug and mix your sugar, vanilla, cocoa powder and hot water together in the bottom of the mug until it resembles a slurry. Try to make it as smooth as possible, use a fork to make this easier. Heat your milk in the microwave until it is warm but not scalded. Burnt milk is TERRIBLE. Add the milk to your cocoa mixture in the mug and stir until throughly mixed. Top with a quick squirt of fat free Reddi Whip , some mini marshmallows, or a candy cane for a minty twist on the original recipe.

This recipe is also easily made healthy, by substituting Splenda for the sugar, and skim or fat free milk for the 2%, but please remember that the fat in the milk helps to make it creamier. Substituting the Splenda doesn’t have very much effect on the taste, at least it wasn’t noticeable in recipe trials for this post! 🙂 The key to making it the right consistency is blending your dry ingredients with the hot water before adding the milk. The slurry allows the flavors to blend and then be distributed evenly through the milk when you add it.

This recipe can easily be multiplied by three, four or even twelve if you want to make it a gift giving treat. Simply add enough of the dry ingredients together in a bowl, mix thoroughly until they are combined, then package in Ziploc baggies, small Tupperware containers, or even babyfood jars! Decorate the packaging however you like, print out your recipe on index cards to mention the vanilla and milk and mixing methods, and add a sweet note on the opposite side or a picture of your family to go along with it. These make the perfect house party gifts, or favors for those who attend your Christmas extravaganza! It also makes a cheap, easily packaged and simple Christmas gift for kids in your children’s class, for their teachers, or just for you!

Now I know that my posts usually focus on nutrition and attempting to cut out the amount of sugar that your family consumes, but that does not mean that you can’t MAKE treats and give them away to other families. Lots of Moms have tried and failed at making candy, with a majority of them giving up, tossing the “ruined” sugar in the trash and selling their candy thermometer for a serious loss at the next neighborhood yard sale. But with a little practice, some creative techniques, and pretty basic equipment, you can have colorful and tasty sweets that even Russel Stover would be proud of, just in time for holiday gift bags and party favors!

The Basics:

You’re going to need a few things for your candy making adventure, most of which is probably already stored away in your cabinets. Now you may not need all of these items, depending on the types of candy you plan to make, but lets go over the list, just in case.

  • Candy Thermometer (critical for good candy, there is no substitute for this item, borrow one or buy one)
  • Candy Molds
  • Dipping Tools
  • Pastry Bag with Tips
  • Candy Colors or Candy Dye (Food Coloring is an Okay Substitute but Doesn’t Work Right in All Recipes)
  • An  Offset Spatula
  • Good Quality Sugar
  • Good Quality Chocolate
  • Corn Syrup
  • A Food Processor
  • Flavor Extracts, (Almond, Mint, Vanilla etc)
  • Wax Paper, Plastic Wrap
  • Sprinkles and Other Decorations
  • Toothpicks
  • Lollipop Stems or Popsicle Sticks
  • Non-stick Cooking Spray
  • Double Boiler
  • A Timer, and Patience

Ingredients:

Nothing affects your candy more than what you use to make it with. If you use low grade (read: cheap) ingredients, you’re going to get cheap candy. But you don’t have to spend a million dollars on the finest handmade Swiss chocolate, or grow and process your own sugar to get good quality stuff. If you have friends in the confectionary industry ask them what they use, or if they can help you find something to use, or search the Net. There are literally thousands of forums and websites about what to use when making everything from fudge to lollipops, so don’t be afraid to ask questions and learn.

When it comes to chocolate a good starting point for beginners is some of the widely available Ghirardelli chocolates that are sold in both craft stores and kitchen supply stores around the country. If you can find a real chocolatier, like a Kilwins shop, close by, ask what they would recommend, and by all means look, touch, smell and taste the chocolate before you buy it. It’s important that your chocolate have a smooth glossy finish, a dark even color, and a strong chocolate smell and taste. If the chocolate breaks easily in your fingers, pass on it, it’s probably either old or low grade.  Remember that not all chocolate is sweet, there are many varieties of flavors that can enhance or detract from your finished product.

Sugar is pretty basic, but there are a surprising amount of differences in types, quality levels, and flavors of sugar, much more than whether its white sugar, powdered sugar or brown sugar. Look for a good quality, name brand sugar to start with, since the majority of hard candies are made with a boiled sugar syrup, or another name brand type of confectioners sugar is you are making fudge or other candies.

The rest of your ingredients don’t have to be as high brow as your main ingredients, no one’s going to really care if your sprinkles are the expensive kind or the store brand, but make sure that the equipment that you have is in good condition. Make sure that your candy thermometer is accurate, or at the very least, calibrate the thing so that if the reasing is wrong, you know its wrong and can compensate for it. Temperature is very important when it comes to taste, texture, and even the look of your candies, and a bad or broken thermometer is going to turn your candy experiments into failures before you get halfway to the fun part of decorating.

Safety First

Please remember that what you are doing, basically heating sugar, is inherently very dangerous. Molten sugar and chocolate burn quickly and can cause a large number of injuries be it from a spill, a spray, a splatter, or a slip. Since most of my projects are kid friendly, I am not going to say keep the kids out of the kitchen for this one, but I am going to recommend an age limit of at least ten years old for the cooking process. Let your little ones go to town in decorating and wrapping and “prettifying” your candies, you can even make an assembly line for dipping your chocolates in sprinkles and a variety of other items, but keep them away from the stove while you are working with the hot stuff. Use aprons and protective gear, even goggles are a good idea. Make sure that your hot pads are the wearable kind, instead of the little square ones, I had a friend who had a bubble of hot sugar/water explode and hit her hand while moving the pot from one burner to another, and she still has the scar. Have fun and be creative, but most of all be safe.

Tomorrow I’ll go over some recipe basics and cooking techniques, as well as links to temperature charts and other such information for the perfect snacks and goodies!

Happy Cooking!