Raspberry Oreo Ice Cream

We love homemade ICE CREAM at our house, and we especially love coming up with NEW flavor combinations. This FRUITY and chocolatey cookie mixture is divine, especially with some HOT FUDGE drizzled over top!

Raspberry Oreo Ice Cream
2 cups whole milk
1 1/8 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla
3/4 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
15 to 20 Oreos, chopped

In a bowl, combine the milk and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the cream and vanilla then add mixture to ice cream maker. Use ice cream maker as directed. About 5 to 10 minutes before ice cream is done, slowly add the raspberries and cookies while ice cream maker is still running. When done the ice cream will be really soft, so we like to put it in a container in the freezer for a couple of hours before serving. Mmmmm!

TIP: You can any other fruit and cookie or chocolate combination. Strawberries would be yummy with the cookies or with chocolate chips. We've done fresh cherries with chocolate chunks, or chopped peaches would be really yummy with Golden Oreos. You can get really creative and add a teaspoon or two of other flavorings like coconut, almond, or mint if you just do cookies or chocolate and leave out the fruit!


Cranberry Almond Granola

My husband is trying to gain weight. LUCKY duck!!! However, he wants to do it the RIGHT way, so that means he's not eating cheeseburgers and donuts all the time—instead he needs something NUTRITIOUS and filling. Our regular homemade granola is delicious and he LOVES it, but this is a more HEALTHY version. It is absolutely delicious!

Cranberry Almond Granola (from eatingwell.com)
2/3 cup frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup canola or almond oil
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 cups rolled oats
1 cup wheat germ
1 cup whole almonds, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup dried cranberries (we used the cherry-flavored)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Coat two cookie sheets with sides with nonstick spray; set aside.

In a saucepan, whisk together the juice concentrate, syrup, oil, and brown sugar. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and then stir in the cinnamon and salt.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, wheat germ, almonds, and sunflower seeds. Stir in the liquid mixture and toss to coat. Spread the granola evenly on the two prepared pans. Bake for 15 minutes, stirring once or twice. Reverse pans in oven and continue baking until lightly browned and aromatic, stirring frequently, about 15 minutes more. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks; stir 1/2 cup cranberries into each pan and let cool completely.

TIP: We didn't have wheat germ so we just substituted another cup of oats. I'm sure that any other dried fruit would be fabulous in this mix as well!


Extra Easy Hot Fudge Sauce

I was in a RUSH a week or so ago and forgot to pick up some hot FUDGE at the grocery store that was desperately needed for an ICE CREAM party we were having at our house. I knew it was easy to make and I was out of TIME, so I adjusted a recipe I found online and it was easy and DELICIOUSLY rich. My 2-year-old and I finished it off with a spoon the week after the party!

Extra Easy Hot Fudge Sauce
1/4 cup butter
1 can sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Stir all ingredients together over medium heat until thoroughly combined and smooth. Serve warm over ice cream or eat it by the spoonful! Fits nicely in a mason jar.

TIP: I'm thinking you could cut down on the butter, maybe doing 3 tablespoons instead, to make it a little "lighter." :)


No-Bake Energy Bites

I made the mistake of making these SCRUMPTIOUS bites of goodness knowing that my husband couldn't have any. I'm fairly certain I ate all but 4 or 5 of these HEAVENLY GEMS because they were just that GOOD! I didn't really want to share but knew it was the RIGHT thing to do, so a few close friends had a bite or two. I can't wait to make them AGAIN . . .

No-Bake Energy Bites
1 1/2 cups oatmeal
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup honey
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and let chill for 30 minutes. Remove mixture from fridge and roll into 18 to 20 balls. Keep refrigerated.

TIP: I found this recipe on Pinterest (of course!), but changed it slightly from the original that appeared on Smashed Peas and Carrots. They called for 1 cup oats and 1/2 cup ground flaxseed. I didn't have the flax, so I substituted with more oats. I also didn't have quite enough mini chips, so I threw in a small handful of regular milk chocolate chips. YUMMMMM!


BBQ Chicken and Cilantro Lime Quinoa Salad

I've recently seen some RECIPES floating around for BBQ chicken and quinoa, and also some recipes for cilantro lime quinoa. I decided to COMBINE the two for my own special eating PLEASURE. It turned out pretty FABULOUS if I do say so myself!

BBQ Chicken and Cilantro Lime Quinoa Salad
8 to 10 chicken tenders
1/2 red onion, sliced
1/2 to 3/4 cup barbecue sauce
1 cup quinoa, uncooked
1 to 2 limes
1/2 cup chopped cilantro (plus more for garnish)
1 cup super sweet white corn
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
Shredded cheddar cheese, optional
1 avocado

Place the chicken, onion, and barbecue sauce in a crockpot on low heat and cook 6 hours or until done. Shred the chicken with two forks and then set aside.

Prepare the quinoa according to package directions; let cool slightly and then squeeze the lime(s) over top, add the cilantro, and then stir together. Scoop the quinoa onto a plate, top with the corn, black beans, barbecue chicken, cheese, avocado, and cilantro to garnish. Makes 4 servings.

TIP: I loved it with cheese, so don't be shy about adding any. White cheddar or even a smoky gouda or mozzarella would be tasty as well. I also think more lime squeezed over the top of the whole dish is a great addition. I could honestly eat this about every night of the week. I LOVED IT!


Overnight Oatmeal

I always like to try NEW things for breakfast, and when I saw this recipe on PINTEREST, I thought I'd give it a go. Once I mixed it together for the NIGHT, I started to wonder if it would actually be GOOD. Not only was it good, it was fabulous—not to mention pretty darn HEALTHY too! Hope you love it . . .

Overnight Oatmeal
1/2 cup oats
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon chia seeds

Add ins:
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons raspberry jam
1 small banana, mashed (I saved a bit and sliced it for the top)


2 tablespoons peanut or almond butter
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons maple syrup

In a mason jar or glass bowl, combine the oats, milk, yogurt, and chia seeds. Cover with a lid or plastic and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, stir in your choice of add ins and enjoy! It makes a pretty large bowl!

TIP: This is a great recipe to experiment with—you can add whatever you want and I'm almost positive it will be delish. Things like brown sugar, coconut (maybe toasted!), and mango, all sorts of berries and nuts, any sort of jam or preserve, or even things like cinnamon and pumpkin, and chocolate or cocoa. Just find your favorite combo!