Archive for the tag “desserts&treats”

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset{{ chocolate chia seed pudding }}

Packed with protein, omega-3, antioxidants and calcium.

2 cups non-dairy milk ( I like almond or coconut milk )
1/3 cups chia seeds
¼ cup cacao powder
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ cup ( or less ) pure maple syrup ( can use 5-9 dates, pitted )
pinch sea salt


Place all ingredients in blender and blend on high 1-2 minutes until smooth.

Pour pudding into 4 4-oz. small ball/mason jars and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Serve with desired toppings, such as granola, toasted almonds or coconut whipped cream.

Since this recipe uses all natural ingredients, it will only last in the fridge for about 2-3 days. So enjoy it quickly!


birthday buddies


{{ birthday buddies }}

made these for my daughter’s birthday party and they were a huge hit!  hello, sugar!

i’m also a huge fan of almond flavoring so, if a recipe calls for a teaspoon of almond extract, i usually pour two.

recipe inspired by Chex™ Muddy Buddies … here’s our version:


5-6 cups Rice Chex™ cereal ( Rice Chex™ have little flavor, so makes them perfect for this recipe )
1/4 cup salted butter
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 cup ( 8-oz ) white chocolate candy melts OR pure white chocolate ( I used Ghirardelli White Melting Wafers; from 12-oz bag )
1 teaspoon pure almond extract ( i used more …  2 teaspoons)
3 tablespoons rainbow sprinkles
1 ½ cups powered sugar


Pour the cereal in a large bowl; set aside.

In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt the butter, cream and white chocolate. Stir constantly until mixture can be stirred smooth/melted.

Remove from heat. Stir in almond extract.

Pour mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated.

Stir in sprinkles. ( adding the sprinkles to the coated cereal now, before adding the powered sugar allows the sprinkles to “stick” better to the mix ).

Pour cereal mixture into a food-storage plastic bag or covered container.

Add powdered sugar. Seal bag; shake until well coated. Spread on waxed paper to cool, about 15 minutes.

Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, if it lasts that long!


*Sooo good.  I used coconut oil instead of butter and added ½ teaspoon sea salt and we. can’t. stop. eating. them!

Pumpkin Cake


{{ pumpkin cake }}

a fall favorite.
1 package yellow cake mix ( I like Duncan Hines )
¾ cup sugar
½ cup oil
1 – 15 oz. can pumpkin ( not pumpkin pie mix )
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
4 eggs
Preheat oven to 350°F.

Lightly grease and flour a 10″ bundt pan ( or muffin pan, or two loaf pans )

In a large bowl, mix together the cake mix, sugar, oil, pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and eggs.

Beat at high speed with electric mixer until well blended, about 4 minutes.  Pour into pan.

Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool in pan 25 minutes.  Invert onto serving plate.  Cool completely.

Oh, and if you want to get fancy, sprinkle on a little powdered sugar and pumpkin pie spice!
These are great as muffins too.  Just fill cupcake liners 3/4 full with cupcake batter and bake for 25-30 minutes until toothpick comes clean from center. Let cool completely.


Recipe courtesy of my friend, Liz Beavers.

blackberry cobbler

{{ blackberry cobbler }}

yesterday i took out a bag of frozen blackberries i had picked over the summer and made this cobbler.  thankfully, we have our own blackberry patch, so there’s always plenty of berries!

1 cup sugar {or 6 tablespoons agave nectar or maple syrup }
1 cup spelt flour { or whole wheat pastry flour }
2 teaspoons baking powder { i like Rumford – aluminum free }
1 cup milk substitute { i use rice milk }
½ cup applesauce or 1 stick { ½ cup } butter
1 quart { 4 cups } blackberries { fresh or frozen }


Preheat oven to 350-degrees.

In bowl combine the first three ingredients.  Add milk and mix well.

In a deep baking dish, add melted butter or applesauce.

Pour batter on top of applesauce or melted butter.

Rinse and pat dry the blackberries.  Sweeten blackberries to taste.  Pour over batter.


Bake at 350-degrees for about 35 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.

Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.  { or if you’re like me, serve it with coconut sorbet instead }

note:  if you use frozen berries, let the berries thaw to room temperature, and pat dry to remove all the excess moisture.


favorite smoothie recipes

{{ our favorite smoothie recipes }}

here are a few of our family’s favorite smoothie recipes …
quick.  healthy.  and great to grab and go on those busy mornings.

{{ morning cocoa-banana shake }}

my girls’ love this smoothie – we call it the morning shake at our house.   it’s simple.  it’s quick.  and it’s sooo good!

1 cup of vanilla almond milk { or you could use soy, rice or coconut milk }
1 heaping teaspoon good quality cocoa powder { i like Rapunzel’s }
1 banana, frozen  { best if chopped before freezing }
1 tablespoon maple syrup or agave nectar { optional }

Blend { i use a Vita-Mix } until smooth.  Enjoy.

if you don’t have “frozen” bananas, you can still make this shake — just add in about 1 cup of ice and expect to have more of a smoothie consistency, rather than a frozen shake. 

{{ fruit smoothie }} 

1 cup milk of your choice { my favorites:  almond, coconut, rice or soy }
1 ripe banana { frozen is best }
1 handful of fresh or frozen fruit { we like to use a few blackberries, blueberries, raspberries & strawberries ~ your choice }
1 tablespoon brewer’s yeast { provides B vitamins }
1 tablespoon ground flax seed* { for Omega’s 3’s ~ *you can put whole seed in coffee grinder }
1 handful of fresh spinach { optional, but i love it }
1 scoop protein powder of your choice { optional }
ice cubes { optional, but makes it thicker and colder }

Blend  { i use a Vita-Mix } until smooth.  Enjoy.

{{ chocolate almond energy grab and go smoothie }}

1 cup milk { i use almond – other options:  coconut, rice or soy milk }
1 ripe banana { frozen is best }
1 tablespoon good quality cocoa powder { i use raw cacao powder }
1 tablespoon nut butter { i use almond butter ­}
1 tablespoon brewer’s yeast { provides B vitamins }
1 tablespoon ground flax seed { for Omega’s 3’s }
1 handful of ice cubes { optional }

Blend { i use a Vita-Mix }. Pour. Grab and Go.

{{ chocolate mocha date smoothie }}

1 cup milk { i use vanilla almond – other options:  coconut, rice or soy milk }
¼ cup of strongly brewed coffee, chilled { or herbal coffee substitute }
½ cup ice cubes
1 ripe banana { frozen is best }
4-5 dates, pitted and chopped { i like Medjool dates best }
1 tablespoon cocoa powder { i used raw cacao powder }
1 tablespoon brewer’s yeast { provides B vitamins }
1 tablespoon ground flax seed { for Omega’s 3’s }

Blend { i use a Vita-Mix }. Pour. Grab and Go.

favorite coconut milk { non-dairy } ice cream treats

{{ chocolate coconut milk { non-dairy}  ice cream }}

Oh. My. Goodness!  this is sooo good!  we LOVE this ice cream right out of the ice cream maker.  yUm!

1 {13.66-ounce} can coconut milk { NOT lite }
2 tablespoons of cocoa powder { use a high-quality one because you’ll really be able to taste it }
6 tablespoons amber agave syrup { or maple syrup or raw honey }
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
a dash of sea salt


Whisk cocoa powder in a small amount of coconut milk, until smooth.

Then add the rest of the ingredients and whisk until well combined.

Pour mixture into your ice cream maker and freeze according to your machines instructions.

Serve and enjoy!

*garnish with unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted almonds or grain-sweetened chocolate chips if desired.


{{ coconut sorbet }}

Here’s *another* family favorite!   This recipe gets 5 — stars!

1 {13.66-ounce } can coconut milk { NOT lite }
5-6 tablespoons honey, maple, agave nectar or rice syrup { we like maple for this recipe }
¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract, or ¼ vanilla bean, scraped
pinch sea salt


In a bowl, combine all ingredients.

Pour mixture into your ice cream maker and freeze according to your machines instructions.  Serve and enjoy!

blackberry coconut milk {non-dairy} ice cream

{{ blackberry coconut milk { non-dairy } ice cream }}

Another family favorite.  It’s berry—licious!   Thankfully, we have our own blackberry patch, so there’s always freshly frozen blackberries around when we’re ready.


2 ½ cups fresh blackberries
2 cups blackberry juice { strained from about 4 cups whole blackberries } – see note*
1 {13.66-ounce} can coconut milk { NOT lite } — we like Thai’s Kitchen
1/4 cup agave nectar


Place all ingredients in a Vita-Mix { or food processor } and blend until smooth.

Pour mixture into your ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Serve and enjoy!

*note —
to make blackberry juice:   I mash blackberries with a potato masher { about 4 cups of blackberries } and then push them through a strainer to remove all the seeds.

#recipe ~ “I Love You” Valentines Day Sugar Cookies

{{ “i love you” sugar cookies }}

this is a family recipe handed down by my mom.  every valentine’s day we make these and my girls have so much fun decorating them.  such a good tradition.  we love sharing them with family and friends.  enjoy!

[ cookie dough ]

1 cup shortening { Crisco – plain }
1 ½ cups sugar
3 eggs { eggs should be at room temperature }
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pure almond extract

4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, combine shortening and sugar; beat until light and fluffy – about 2 minutes.  Add eggs, vanilla and almond extracts; beat well.  Set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine sifted flour, baking soda and salt.  Gradually stir this mixture into the shortening/egg mixture until well blended.

Cover and refrigerate dough about 3 to 4 hours until well chilled.

Preheat oven to 350-degrees.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out half of  dough at a time, to 1/8-inch thickness.  Cut into desired shapes and transfer to baking sheet.

Bake on a Silpat { non-stick baking mat } on cookie sheet, for about 8 to 10 minutes.  Do not allow to brown.  Transfer to wire rack to cool.

[ the frosting ~ the best part ]

1 lb. box powdered sugar
¼ cup whole milk
½ teaspoon almond extract

In a large bowl, combine sugar, milk and almond extract.  Mixing on low speed until desired consistency.

Decorate.  Allow icing to harden for several hours.  Store in an airtight container.


making memories { and baking cookies } with my dear friend Val.

recipe ~ lemon loaf bread

{{ lemon loaf bread  }}

This recipe is a favorite at our house, but I only make it on special occasions. 

I made 2 loaves this past weekend.  One loaf because I wanted to share a little something with my girlfriend’s { who were celebrating birthday’s }, and the other loaf for my husband ~ it’s his favorite. 

It’s very lemony, very tasty and very easy to make.  Makes 1 loaf.  Enjoy!

[ LOAF  ]

½ cup { 1 stick } unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs { room temperature }
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, sifted
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
grated lemon zest  { outer yellow skin — about 1 tablespoon }
½ cup milk

[ Lemon Glaze ]

Juice of one lemon
1/8 to1/4 cup sugar, depending on the amount of lemon juice


Preheat over to 350—degrees.

Grease the bottom and sides of a loaf pan { 9 x 5 x 3-inch }

In a large bowl, cream the butter.   Then, add sugar and eggs, beat well.

In another bowl, sift flour, salt and baking powder together.  Add to creamed mixture alternately with milk.  Stir in lemon rind.

Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake in 350-degree oven for about 40 minutes.

To prepare lemon glaze:  while the bread is baking, combine lemon juice and sugar in a small saucepan, stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved.

As soon as you take bread out of the oven, place it on a wire rack.  Poke holes in the top of the bread with a toothpick, then pour the glaze over top of hot bread.

Let bread stand in pan on a wire rack until completely cooled, about 30 minutes.

Carefully turn out on wire rack, right side up.

Recipe ~ My Favorite Oatmeal Muffins

{{ light oatmeal muffins }}

Here’s another recipe from one of my favorite { heathlier } cookbooks { “from the kitchen of Two Sisters” }.  So good & my family loves them. 


3 cup rice or almond milk { best if room temperature }
2 eggs { best if room temperature } OR ½ cup flaxseed mixture*
2/3 cup raw honey
1/4 cup unsalted butter — melted

2 cup rolled oats { old fashioned }
2 cup whole wheat pastry or spelt flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt


In a large bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, honey and melted butter.  Then, stir in oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt just until combined.

Pour the batter into muffin pans lined with paper cups or greased muffins tins.

Bake at 400-degrees for about 20 minutes.

Allow muffins to cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes before removing.

So good with a little honey, or your favorite jam.  These muffins freeze well.

You can also freeze the batter, then thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bake them in the morning!  Enjoy!

Makes 1 ½ dozen muffins

*How to make Flaxseed Mixture

This mixture works as an excellent substitute for eggs.  Not only does it bind ingredients together, but muffins rise beautifully when the flaxseed mixture is used.

½ cup flaxseed
2 cups water

Grind flaxseed in blender on high speed for about 1 minute or until the mixture resembles a thick eggy consistency.

Add water and continue to blend for 2 minutes.

Using this mixture:

¼ cup of flaxseed mixture = 1 egg
½ cup of flaxseed mixture = 2 eggs   { use this for oatmeal muffin recipe }

This mixture can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

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