Cold Pesto Salad

This Cold Pesto Salad is sure to please young and young at heart at all your summer gatherings!

I’m starting to have quite the abundance of fresh basil growing outside in my little garden!  Makes me so happy because I can put it to good use in delicious recipes!  I love adding it to my Greek salads, but now I especially love using it in the cold pesto salad!  Nothing beats a pasta salad with pesto on a hot summer day.  This recipes is also a crowd pleaser. I brought it to a birthday party and there was hardly any left!

pesto salad 2Cold Pesto Salad Ingredients 

  • 12 oz package of Farfalle (bowtie) pasta
  • 1/2 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, washed and halved
  • 1 Cup basil leaves
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/3 Cup fresh Parmesan, grated + extra as garnish
  • 1/3 Cup olive oil

pesto saladDirections

  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions, about 10-12 minutes on a rolling boil, stirring occasionally.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, place the fresh basil leaves, garlic, 1/3 cup of fresh Parmesan and olive oil in a food processor (or blender) and pulse until the pesto reaches your desired consistency.
  3. Remove the pasta from heat and drain. Rinse the pasta under cold water and let it cool a few minutes.
  4. Combine the cooked pasta, tomatoes and fresh pesto. Mix well.
  5. Place in the fridge 1-2 hours to cool then serve.
  6. Garnish with fresh grated Parmesan.

*Makes 4-5 servings.

Doesn’t it look delicious?  Try it out for your next BBQ or picnic!

This Cold Pesto Salad is sure to please young and young at heart at all your summer gatherings!

Cold Pesto Salad
Serves: 4-5
 
This Cold Pesto Salad is sure to please young and young at heart at all your summer gatherings!
Ingredients
  • 12 oz package of Farfalle (bowtie) pasta
  • ½ pint grape or cherry tomatoes, washed and halved
  • 1 C. basil leaves
  • 1 tbs. minced garlic
  • ⅓ C. fresh parmesan grated + extra as garnish
  • ⅓ C. olive oil
Instructions
  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions, about 10-12 minutes on a rolling boil, stirring occasionally.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, place the fresh basil leaves, garlic, ⅓ cup of fresh Parmesan and olive oil in a food processor (or blender) and pulse until the pesto reaches your desired consistency.
  3. Remove the pasta from heat and drain. Rinse the pasta under cold water and let it cool a few minutes.
  4. Combine the cooked pasta, tomatoes and fresh pesto. Mix well.
  5. Place in the fridge 1-2 hours to cool then serve.
  6. Garnish with fresh grated Parmesan.

 

Healthy No Bake Energy Bites

These Healthy No Bake Energy Bites come together really easily and are sure to satisfy your snack craving!

These Healthy No Bake Energy Bites come together really easily and are sure to satisfy your snack craving!

I have a friend that is expecting a new baby any day now, so I wanted to help her fill her freezer a little bit! :)  When I was in the hospital with my daughter, a friend brought by these delicious healthy no-bake energy bites. These were the perfect gift for a new mom!  I was so happy to not have to think about what to snack on when I was trying to get everything with a new baby sorted out.

These were so good I requested the recipe so I could enjoy them again. (And gift them to others.)

Healthy No Bake Energy Bites

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats (raw)
  • 2/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut, toasted and cooled (optional)
  • 1/2 cup ground golden flaxseed meal
  • 6 Tbsp chocolate chip minis

In Process 2DIRECTIONS

  1. In a medium-mixing bowl stir together peanut butter, honey and vanilla extract.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients and stir until evenly coated.
  3. Transfer mixture to refrigerator and chill until set.
  4. Remove from refrigerator and shape into 1-inch balls.
  5. Store in refrigerator in an airtight container. Enjoy!

I sure hope you enjoy these as much as we do!

Healthy No Bake Energy Bites
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats (raw)
  • ⅔ cup sweetened shredded coconut, toasted and cooled (optional)
  • ½ cup ground golden flaxseed meal
  • 6 Tbsp chocolate chip minis
Instructions
  1. In a medium-mixing bowl stir together peanut butter, honey and vanilla extract.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients and stir until evenly coated.
  3. Transfer mixture to refrigerator and chill until set.
  4. Remove from refrigerator and shape into 1-inch balls.
  5. Store in refrigerator in an airtight container. Enjoy!

 

Homemade Graham Crackers

These Homemade Graham Crackers are super simple and so much better than store bought. You can enjoy them by themselves for a snack or even make some homemade s’mores.

These Homemade Graham Crackers are super simple and so much better than store bought. You can enjoy them by themselves for a snack or even make some homemade s’mores.

Homemade Graham Crackers

I must admit, normally I buy crackers from the store, but trying my hand at making homemade graham crackers really intrigued me. Since they’re quite costly to buy, and I figured we might be going through a few boxes this summer making S’mores, I jumped right in to make them.

Homemade graham crackers are so simple and need very little effort. It’s easy to make a couple of batches in no time. You you will need is whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, brown sugar, honey, butter, cinnamon, and baking soda!

INGREDIENTS

1 cup softened Butter
3/4 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
3 tbsp Honey
1 1/2 cup Flour
1 1/2 cup Wheat Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Cinnamon

graham crackers1DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon and honey. Mix until blended.
  3. Gradually add in flour and wheat flour alternating between them until incorporated.
  4. Roll out dough between sheets of wax or parchment paper to about 1/8″ thickness.
  5. Cut/score into individual cracker sizes and use a skewer or toothpick to make holes in the crackers.
  6. Place in freezer for 30 minutes to harden.
  7. Line a cookie sheet with silicone or parchment paper.
  8. Separate cookies and place on prepared sheet.
  9. Bake until crackers begin to brown, about 10 minutes.

graham crackers2graham crackers3

How do you like to enjoy graham crackers?  Check out my simple recipe for oven S’Mores if you’re looking for a way to use your delicious homemade graham crackers!

Homemade Graham Crackers
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup softened Butter
  • ¾ cup Brown Sugar
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 3 tbsp Honey
  • 1½ cup all purpose Flour
  • 1½ cup Wheat Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon and honey. Mix until blended.
  3. Gradually add in flour and wheat flour alternating between them until incorporated.
  4. Roll out dough between sheets of wax or parchment paper to about ⅛" thickness.
  5. Cut/score into individual cracker sizes and use a skewer or toothpick to make holes in the crackers.
  6. Place in freezer for 30 minutes to harden.
  7. Line a cookie sheet with silicone or parchment paper.
  8. Separate cookies and place on prepared sheet.
  9. Bake until crackers begin to brown, about 10 minutes.

These Homemade Graham Crackers are super simple and so much better than store bought. You can enjoy them by themselves for a snack or even make some homemade s’mores.

Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches

These Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches are like the store bought version, only much better! Make this summer treat right at home and save some cash. 

These Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches are like the store bought version, only much better! Make this summer treat right at home and save some cash.

I thought for a nice after work treat, I’d try making homemade ice cream sandwiches because I know my husband would enjoy them. They’re his favourite summer treat. Plus, my daughter and I happen to love them as well 😉

Store bought ice cream sandwiches are pretty tasty, but these homemade ones are better!  They turned out really well. So well, I think I’ll be making quite a few batches this summer!

I’m sure you could use homemade ice cream too, but well, I’m not quite there yet. 😉

ice cream sandwiches 1
INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4 cup Flour
  • 1/4 cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup softened Butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 qt vanilla ice cream

ice cream sandwiches 2

ice cream sandwiches 3

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. Beat together butter, sugar, vanilla and egg until blended and creamy.
  4. Add dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix until combined.
  5. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Spread onto prepared pan.
  7. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until top is dry but still soft. Allow to cool.
  8. Carefully remove from pan.
  9. Use a knife and split sandwich cake in half.
  10. Take frozen ice cream and remove from carton.
  11. Using a knife that you ran under warm water, cut into 3/4″ slices.
  12. Arrange ice cream slices on top of half of sandwich cake to cover it completely.
  13. Place other half of sandwich cake on top of ice cream.
  14. Wrap in plastic or parchment and place in freezer for at least 2 hours.
  15. Once ice cream sandwiches are firm, remove and cut into 8 rectangles with a sharp knife.

ice cream sandwiches 4ice cream sandwiches 5

 

Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches
 
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup Flour
  • ¼ cup Cocoa Powder
  • ½ tsp Baking Soda
  • ½ cup Sugar
  • ½ cup softened Butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 qt vanilla ice cream
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. Beat together butter, sugar, vanilla and egg until blended and creamy.
  4. Add dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix until combined.
  5. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Spread onto prepared pan.
  7. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until top is dry but still soft. Allow to cool.
  8. Carefully remove from pan.
  9. Use a knife and split sandwich cake in half.
  10. Take frozen ice cream and remove from carton.
  11. Using a knife that you ran under warm water, cut into ¾" slices.
  12. Arrange ice cream slices on top of one half of sandwich cake to cover it completely.
  13. Place other half of sandwich cake on top of ice cream.
  14. Wrap in plastic or parchment and place in freezer for at least 2 hours.
  15. Once ice cream sandwiches are firm, remove and cut into 8 rectangles with a sharp knife.

homemade ice cream sandwiches 2

Homemade Flour Tortillas

Making your own Homemade Flour Tortillas at home is easy and really inexpensive. Perfect for making quesadillas or Tacos at home.

Making your own Homemade Flour Tortillas at home is easy and really inexpensive. Perfect for making quesadillas or Tacos at home.

We go through quite a few tortillas in our home. Between quesadillas, burritos, tacos, cream cheese & meat rollups and even pizzas, it feels like I’m always buying a pack of tortilla shells. That can really add up when a package costs over $3!

I knew it was possible to make your own flour tortillas so I thought I’d try. Let me tell you, they are so easy to make and delicious! (Especially when you eat them when they’re still fresh and warm.)

Making homemade tortillas at home is really inexpensive and you most likely have everything in your pantry already. Flour, oil, baking powder and some salt. It will take a bit of time to cook your tortillas but it is still easy.

INGREDIENTS
3 cups Flour
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
1 cup Warm Water

Making your own Homemade Flour Tortillas at home is easy and really inexpensive. Perfect for making quesadillas or Tacos at home.DIRECTIONS

Step 1:
Using a stand mixer, whisk dry ingredients until combined.
Add water and oil and mix, scraping down the sides as needed until ball forms.
Mix for two more minutes until dough is smooth.

Step 2:
Turn out onto floured work surface and divide into 16 pieces and roll each into a ball.
Allow to rest for 10 minutes.
Preheat skillet over medium heat.

Step 3:
Roll out each ball into a 6″ circle.

Step 4:
Cook each tortilla on first side for about a minute, until brown spots form, then flip and cook other side for about 20 seconds.
Stack cooked tortillas and wrap in a clean towel to cool.
If not being used immediately, store in a zip lock bag.

Making your own Homemade Flour Tortillas at home is easy and really inexpensive. Perfect for making quesadillas or Tacos at home.

These homemade tortillas were so easy and so much better than store bought. I’ll be making these on a regular basis over here. They’re perfect for snacks and for meals. What do you use tortillas for in your house?

Homemade Flour Tortillas
 
Ingredients
  • 3 cups Flour
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • ½ cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 cup Warm Water
Instructions
  1. Using a stand mixer, whisk dry ingredients until combined.
  2. Add water and oil and mix, scraping down the sides as needed until ball forms.
  3. Mix for two more minutes until dough is smooth.
  4. Turn out onto floured work surface and divide into 16 pieces and roll each into a ball.
  5. Allow to rest for 10 minutes.
  6. Preheat frying pan over medium heat.
  7. Roll out each ball into a 6" circle.
  8. Cook each tortilla on first side for about a minute, until brown spots form, then flip and cook other side for about 20 seconds.
  9. Stack cooked tortillas and wrap in a clean towel to cool.
  10. If not being used immediately, store in a zip lock bag.

 

Copycat Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino

Copycat Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino

Copycat Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino- Here's how you can recreate a Starbucks favorite at home for a fraction of the cost!

Normally when I hit up Starbucks I order an Americano with vanilla or a plain black tea.  But every once in a while, especially when it’s hot, I get my mind stuck on ordering a Mocha Frappuccino. (Especially when they offer them for $2 or $3!) Chocolate and coffee. Those two things combined are hard to beat! Also, the whipping cream is a big seller to me 😉

Anyways, I thought that the Mocha Frappuccino would be a great thing to try to recreate at home so I could enjoy one once in while through the summer. I also happen to love to saving money on “luxuries”.

Here’s how you can create a Copycat Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino at home:

Copycat Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino
Serves: 3
 
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup Espresso Coffee
  • ¼ cup Sugar
  • 1 cup Milk
  • ½ cup Dark Chocolate Syrup
  • pinch Xantham Gum
  • 4 cups Ice
  • Whipped Cream for topping
  • Chocolate Syrup to drizzle over whipped cream
Instructions
  1. Make coffee according to directions.
  2. While still hot, pour coffee into blender
  3. Add sugar and mix until dissolved.
  4. Add milk, chocolate syrup and xantham gum and mix another minute.
  5. Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes to cool.
  6. Add ice to blender and blend on high until smooth.
  7. Pour into glasses.
  8. Top each glass with whipped cream.

 Copycat Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino- Here's how you can recreate a Starbucks favorite at home for a fraction of the cost!

Three Ingredient Strawberry Banana Ice Cream (Dairy Free)

With just 3 ingredients you can make this super delicious non-dairy Strawberry Banana Ice Cream in a flash! 

With just 3 ingredients you can make this super delicious non-dairy Strawberry Banana Ice Cream in a flash!

Strawberry Banana Ice Cream

It’s no secret that I love ice cream. Like, really love ice cream.  It’s my almost nightly treat. :) My daughter also loves ice cream and my husband will eat it if I offer to grab him a bowl.  The unfortunate thing about ice cream is the fact that most brands you can purchase are not very healthful.  That’s why this three ingredient strawberry banana ice cream is a hit with me. Can you believe you only need strawberries, bananas and a bit of sugar to make this?  You don’t even need an ice cream maker!

Here’s how to make delicious dairy-free Strawberry Banana ice cream:

Strawberry Banana Ice Cream
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb Strawberries
  • 4 small Bananas
  • 2 tbsp Sugar
Instructions
  1. Peel bananas and freeze in freezer.
  2. Hull strawberries and freeze in freezer.
  3. Place frozen ingredients and sugar in food processor and pulse until it reaches ice cream texture.
  4. Enjoy!

So what do you think, are you going to give this a try?

With just 3 ingredients you can make this super delicious non-dairy Strawberry Banana Ice Cream in a flash!

Blackberry Honey Butter

Imagine with me for a moment. Picture yourself pulling a fresh loaf of bread out of the oven. Or a batch of muffins.  Or perhaps you’ve just made a stack of pancakes or some French toast. Now imagine spreading some delicious whipped blackberry honey butter over top.  Drooling yet?  This butter is to die for!  It will really impress the guests, I might add 😉

Blackberry Honey Butter

Here’s how to make delicious Blackberry Honey Butter that everyone will go crazy for:

Blackberry Honey Butter
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup softened Butter
  • ¼ cup Honey
  • ¼ cup Blackberries
Instructions
  1. Whip butter and honey until fluffy.
  2. Add blackberries and mix just until berries break up and are distributed throughout the butter.
  3. Either scoop the butter mix into a jar and seal or form into a log and refrigerate.

Blackberry Honey Butter 2

In case blackberries aren’t your thing, this recipe is so versatile you could use strawberries (chopped small), raspberries, blueberries or whatever strikes your fancy.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I think it’s time for a snack! :)

Tropical Pineapple Peach Slushie

These Tropical Slushies with pineapple and peaches will have you totally refreshed and in the summer mood in no time!

Spring is here!  We’ve been trying to get into the warm weather mood over here by creating delicious pineapple peach slushies!  We’re big smoothie fans so a slushie adds a bit of “specialness” to the same old!

You’ll want to look no further than this if you’re looking for a refreshing cold drink. These Tropical Slushies with pineapple and peaches will have you totally refreshed and in the summer mood in no time. They’re super simple and use just three ingredients to create a perfect blend.

Tropical Pineapple Peach Slushie

Tropical Pineapple Peach Slushie
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ cup diced Peaches, frozen
  • 1½ cup diced Pineapple, frozen
  • 1 cup Pineapple Juice
  • Maraschino Cherries for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. Put pineapple, peaches and pineapple juice in the blender and run until smooth.
  2. Pour into glasses and garnish with cherries.

Let me know what you think!  I’ve got a couple more healthy treats coming up in the next little bit that you may want to look out for. :)

These Tropical Slushies with pineapple and peaches will have you totally refreshed and in the summer mood in no time!

Valentine Gum Drops

Valentine Gum Drops

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching!  That means it’s time to show some love and appreciation to our valentines.  Sweet treats are a great way to show some appreciation, but I happen to think homemade treats are extra special! Today I want to show you how fun and easy these gum drops are to make. Get the kids involved with cutting out the shapes too. This set of heart shaped cookie cutters has a variety of sizes to choose from, but any small shaped cookie cutter will work!

Valentine Gum Drops

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened Applesauce
  • 2 1/4 cups Sugar
  • 2 boxes (3 oz) Strawberry Jello
  • 2 envelopes Unflavored Gelatin {like Knox}

gum drop collage

Directions

  1. Spray 9×13 baking pan with non-stick spray.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan on the stove.
  3. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.
  4. Boil for one minute.
  5. Pour into prepared pan and refrigerate until set.
  6. Dust a cutting board with sugar.
  7. Use a spatula to loosen sides and turn out onto cutting board.
  8. Dust the top of the Jello with sugar.
  9. Use heart shaped cookie cutter to cut out gum drops.
  10. Roll edges in extra sugar and set onto wax paper for 1 hour to dry out slightly.
  11. Store in an airtight container.

Homemade Valentine gum drops your Valentine is sure to love!