Recipes

No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Bars

Finger-licking good and healthy to boot.

That’s exactly the type of snack these little bars are.

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They are honey-sweetened and feature peanut butter, dark chocolate, and coconut.

Oh yeah, and oatmeal too.

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See? Healthy and good. And maybe a little bit addictive.

Perfect for a little snack to accompany your coffee or a sweet treat to put in a lunchbox.

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In addition to being healthy, this is a no-bake snack, so it’s easy to make a full pan of these without even turning on your oven.

I don’t make these THAT often, but when I do they’re usually gone by the second day.

Trust me, it’s good stuff.

Here’s the recipe if you’re interested in whipping some up for your family:

1 C peanut butter
1/2 C honey
1/2 C coconut oil
2 C rolled oats
1 C flaked coconut
1/2 C nuts or dried fruit
1 1/2 C dark chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla

Melt the first three ingredients in a heavy bottom saucepan. Add in the rest and stir until chocolate is melted. Press into a 9″x13″ pan and chill for a few hours. Cut into bars.

Recipes

Old Fashioned Vinegar Pie

Okay, by reading the title of this post you either think I’ve gone off the deep end or you are pursing your lips in potential disgust.

Don’t let the name of this pie fool you. Despite what it sounds like, it’s actually pretty tasty.

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Yes, it’s got a little tang to it, but not so much that anyone would guess it features vinegar as an ingredient.

Imagine a sweet but tangy custard-type of pie.

I was intrigued by vinegar pie when I ran across this charming article about it on Money Saving Mom.

Shortly after reading the article I made it, really liked it, and have since researched it a little more on my own.

Vinegar pie was made popular back in earlier American history when ladies didn’t have access to fruits and a huge variety of ingredients year round like we do today. This pie was very cheap to make and used a minimal of basic ingredients which they would have likely had on hand. The Little House books even mention Ma making vinegar pie for holidays and such.

Through my research, I found a variety of recipes for this, some that used much more vinegar than what this recipe calls for. I think I’ll stick with this one for now as I enjoyed it and am definitely adding it to my repertoire of dessert recipes.

Vinegar Pie

  • 2 Pre-baked Pie Shells
  • 1 Qt Water*
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 C sugar
  • 3 heaping TB flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 TB cold vinegar
  • 1 tsp maple syrup (or you can sub in maple extract)
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Bake pie shells and allow to cool. Bring water to boil in a saucepan. Mix eggs, flour, salt, and vinegar together with a whisk in a separate bowl. When water boils, add filling mixture in. Allow to continue boiling and whisk constantly while it thickens. Wait for it to become thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, then remove from heat. At this point, add in cinnamon and maple and stir to combine. Pour into pre-baked pie shells and refrigerate for at least a few hours before serving.

*You can use 3 Cups of water if preferred. This will shorten the preparation time a little bit.

*Another tip: The recipe I followed recommends using some type of sieve to pour the finished mixture through, just in case any pieces of curdled egg are in there. I didn’t have any in mine, but I did whisk the heck out of it when cooking the filling mixture.

Recipes

Cracker Toffee

Today I am sharing my recipe for cracker toffee.

Or maybe it should just be called “crack” toffee, because it’s highly addictive!

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A little bit salty, a lot of sweet, and just the right amount of crispy crunch.

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Yes ma’am (or sir), it’s good stuff.

I know this is extra early, but how great would this look bagged or in a cute container and given as a holiday gift?

Oh yeah, I know lots of folks I could give this to around Christmastime.

Or I could make some for my favorite people just because.

The recipe is ever so easy:

1 1/2 sticks butter

1/2 cup white sugar

1 sleeve saltine crackers

2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then spread out saltine crackers in rows that touch. Melt butter and sugar together, then spread all over the top of the crackers. Bake for about 10 minutes. Top with chocolate chips and put back in oven for another 2 minutes, 3 at the most. Use a spatula to spread the melted chocolate evenly all over. Allow to cool a little bit, then pop in the fridge or freezer to cool completely for awhile. Break in pieces, then place in storage container.

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Yum.

Recipes

Key Lime Pie

I have a small confession to make.

It really shouldn’t surprise you at all, but I’m just putting it out there.

I LOVE icebox pies. LOVE them. Actually, I love them so much that I purposely do NOT make them too often here in the summer, because I really have no self-control when they are in my fridge or freezer. It’s sad, really.

Anyway, my resolve was broken a couple weeks ago when the man and I ventured out for a little anniversary dinner. On top of a great meal, we decided to split a dessert. It was an incredible Key Lime Pie made on the premises. Well, that whetted my appetite for a good icebox type of pie, so I went a-searching for a good Key Lime Pie recipe. I came across a few on allrecipes.com, and sort of came up with my own little version, based on what I saw there.

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It’s an easy one for sure, and it turned out pretty darn tasty. Luckily my kids and man were into it too, so there wasn’t much left to tempt me.

Here’s the recipe I used:

1 9″ prepared graham cracker crust

2 cans sweetened condensed milk

1/2 C sour cream

3/4 C lime juice

1 TB lime zest

Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix all ingredients well, then pour into crust. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool completely, then place in freezer for a couple of hours. Serve with whipped cream, and if you want it to look all fancy-like, add a slice of lime as a garnish.

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Recipes

Lemon Ice Cream

Today I am sharing a repeat post from this time last year. It is a really good recipe and since we have been in ice cream mode here lately, I thought I’d share it again!

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I’m so excited to share this recipe with you all today.

In the summertime I am an ice cream  junkie and this one totally gave me my fix for the day.

That is, until the day after that, when I remembered how darn good it was and wanted to make more.

This is a sweet, rich, tasty ice cream that’s a snap to make.

Oh, and you don’t need a fancy ice cream maker to whip it up either. Sweet!

I got the recipe from Taste of Home magazine, which called for it to be made into popsicles. I tried that and they didn’t freeze hard enough in my popsicle molds, so I just scooped it out and put it in bowls.

Works for me! We savored every bite of this dessert until it was all gone.

These are all the ingredients you need to make some for yourself:

1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk

1 cup whole milk

1/2 cup lemon juice

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 tsp grated lemon peel

Place all ingredients into a bowl and whisk until sugar is dissolved. Spoon into smaller bowls and freeze for 6-8 hours. Enjoy!

Hope you’re having a sweet summer,

Rachel

Recipes

Fruit Pizza

Today I am belatedly sharing what my boys made me for a Mother’s Day treat.

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A pretty fruit pizza! It was quite delicious and was gone in a flash. (Don’t worry, I did share some with my family.)

Though this was for Mother’s Day, I can imagine this would be a great thing to bring to a summer picnic or other event.

The crust is like a soft sugar cookie, the “sauce” is a cream cheese icing, and the toppings are a variety of fruit.

This would be really beautiful topped with colorful summer berries, and you can arrange them however you like.

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Though my pizza wasn’t quite round, these boys did a pretty impressive job with the fruit. My hubs did help a little with the dough mixing, but the older ones at least are well on their way to cooking more things independently. We are determined to teach them to know their way around a kitchen! (You’re Welcome in advance to their future spouses!)

Here’s the recipe for the dough portion:

1/2 C butter

3/4 C sugar

1 egg

1 1/4 C flour

1 tsp cream of tartar

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

Press the dough into an ungreased  pizza pan and bake at 350 F for 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool for a bit before icing.

…and for the icing/sauce part:

Mix together 8 oz of softened cream cheese, 1/2 C sugar, and 2 tsp vanilla. Spread over cooled crust.

After this cut up fruit and arrange on top. Chill a bit before serving!

Recipes

Buttercream Icing

Happy Birthday to me, turning a whopping 35 years old!!

In celebration, I am sharing a recipe for buttercream icing that I use often this time of year. All of my kids and myself have spring birthdays, so I use this one for decorating cupcakes or birthday cakes. I found it in an old Wilton cake decorating booklet and it is always a hit!

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I would recommend actually decorating with it when it’s a little bit chilled. This is from a batch of cupcakes I just did for my daughter’s class (Her birthday is the day after mine).

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These blue frosted ones are from my son Andrew’s 10th birthday party, which was this past weekend.

I may be getting a little birthday-ed out.

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The recipe is fairly simple. Not the healthiest, but extremely tasty!

Buttercream Icing

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup shortening

1 tsp vanilla

1/8 tsp salt

1 lb. (@4 cups) confectioner’s sugar

3 TB milk

Cream butter and shortening together. Add in vanilla and salt. Follow with confectioner’s sugar, adding in 1 cup at a time. Finally, add milk and beat until fluffy. Add food coloring if desired. Store in refrigerator when  not in use. Makes 3 cups of icing.

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