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Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cake

August 23, 2016

My husband just started a new job this week, and I decided to celebrate with this over-the-top-delicious ice cream cake. Congratulations, Ry!





I don’t know about you, but where I grew up Dairy Queen ice cream cake was the cake to have at every celebration. In fact, it seems that each birthday party I attended from kindergarten through middle school was accompanied by the classic “cool treat.” (Except for me; I was the odd ball who loved Angel food cake, which my mom would make special for me each year – thanks mom <3)

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I can certainly understand the appeal; the cake consists of a crunchy, fudge-y cookie center, which is sandwiched by rich chocolate and vanilla ice cream, and then topped with a sweet whipped icing. In sum, it’s an ice cream lover’s dream. (See video above)

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With food allergies on the rise, however (myself included), fewer and fewer people can indulge in a slice of this dairy heaven…until now, that is. Combine gluten free cookies and lactose free ice cream, and you’re on your way to ice cream cake bliss for everyone. In fact, if you swap the ice cream for a soy alternative, dairy-free and vegans can indulge, too. Ice cream cake for all!

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Was ice cream cake popular where you grew up? What’s your favorite celebration dessert? Let me know or link up below!

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Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cake

Serves: 8-10

Time: 20 minutes + 3-4 hours chill time

Ingredients:

  • 1 qt. chocolate ice cream, softened (I use Breyers Lactose Free)
  • 1.5 qt. vanilla ice cream, softened (I use Breyers Lactose Free)
  • 18 cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies (I use Glutino gluten free)
  • 3/4 cup hot fudge (here is a delicious dairy free alternative)
  • 3 cups whipped topping (I use light cool whip, which is dairy free. Homemade whipped cream recipe below)
  • Sprinkles (optional)

Directions:

  1. Line a 10-inch spring form pan with parchment paper.
  2. Place chocolate ice cream into pan. Smooth and even out.
  3. Crumble sandwich cookies. (See video above)
  4. Evenly sprinkle cookie crumbles over chocolate ice cream.
  5. Smooth hot fudge over the cookies. Freeze one hour.
  6. Add softened vanilla ice cream over the top of the hot fudge. Smooth and even out.
  7. Freeze an additional two-three hours or until ice cream is firm.
  8. Remove cake from spring form pan.
  9. Frost cake with whipped cream (cool whip or real whipped cream – recipe follows)
  10. Decorate as desired with sprinkles.
  11. Return to freezer until whipped cream hardens and you’re ready to serve.
  12. Remove from freezer for a few minutes before serving. Use a hot knife for the cleanest cut. Enjoy!

Whipped Cream:

Yield: Frosting for one cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint heavy cream, well chilled
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Directions:

  1. Chill both bowl and beater.
  2. Add cream and beat until frothy.
  3. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla gradually while beating.
  4. Whip until you reach a light frosting-like texture.
  5. Use immediately.

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Gluten Free Banana Muffins

August 19, 2016

You know it has been hot when the weatherman claims “a touch of fall is in the air” when discussing a forecast in the low 80s.

 

While the 80 degree temperatures may not have me convinced about the onset of fall, however, the promise of school starting in less than a week makes it a bit more real.  Daily routines fall back into place, and the morning rush out the door begins once again.



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To help ease this early scramble each morning, I often rely upon such simple grab-and-go breakfasts as overnight oats, smoothies, and these tasty banana muffins.

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Made from simple pantry ingredients, these gluten free banana muffins are perfectly sweet and full of banana flavor.  They are filled with fiber and protein from the oats and yogurt and make an easy grab-and-go breakfast as you head out the door. Pair them with a hard boiled egg for some added protein and you have a delicious breakfast to keep you going strong throughout the morning. (They’re great for an afternoon snack, too!)



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Paula’s Notes: The riper the bananas the better. Ripe = sweet.
These muffins freeze wonderfully. Just take a few out of the freezer the night before and you’re ready to go in the morning.

What’s your favorite grab-and-go breakfast? Let me know below!

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Gluten Free Banana Muffins

Yield: 12 Muffins

Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tbls. butter, room temperature
  • 1/3-1/2 cup packed brown sugar (this will vary depending on how sweet you like your muffins and how ripe your bananas are. If your bananas don’t have a lot of brown spots, you will want to increase to 1/2 cup.)
  • 2 1/4 cup oats (gluten free, if necessary)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a high-powered blender. (I use my ninja.)
  3. Blend ingredients until completely smooth (see video above).
  4. Line a muffin tin with liners or coat well with cooking spray. (I like these liners, which don’t stick to the muffins.)
  5. Distribute batter evenly amongst the 12 muffin cups.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes, or until golden brown and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. Enjoy!

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Grilled Chicken and Grape Skewers

August 17, 2016

Grapes were on sale the other day and – naturally- I went overboard and bought entirely too many. I couldn’t help it, they’re so sweet and refreshing. Unfortunately, despite my best efforts to use up the bounty, it seemed I was fighting a losing battle.

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To solve this “problem,” (I use the word “problem” lightly here…) I turned to some of my favorite food sites for recipe inspiration. You know what? There aren’t that many grape recipes — especially not for a main entrée. You search for strawberry recipes and the list goes on for hundreds of pages. Grapes? Not so much.




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Luckily, Ellie Krieger came through with some great ideas, which resulted in this recipe: grilled grape and chicken skewers. The grill creates a delicious caramelization of the grapes and provides the perfect balance of sweet and savory when paired with the chicken. Yum! Serve the skewers alongside this garden rice pilaf, and you’ve got a simple, healthy, yet flavor packed meal. Enjoy!




Do you have any favorite grape recipes? I’d love to know them! Let me know or link up below.

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Chicken and Grape Skewers

Yield: 4 servings

Time: Prep and cook time: 20 minutes; Marinade time: 20 minutes-6 hours.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbls. olive oil
  • 1 tbls. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon zest
  • 2 cloves miced garlic
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 8 (10-inch) skewers (if using wooden skewers, soak in water for at least 20 minutes)
  • 1 1/2 cups grapes
  • Cooking spray

Directions:

  1. In a large ziplock bag, mix together oil, lemon juice, zest, garlic, cumin, coriander, and salt.
  2. Add the chicken to bag, squeeze out excess air, and seal the top. Mix the marinade around the chicken.
  3. Marinade chicken in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes or up to 6 hours.
  4. When ready to begin cooking, preheat grill to medium high heat.
  5. Thread chicken cubes onto the skewers, alternating with grapes.
  6. Prepare grill with cooking spray, and grill chicken until cooked through, about 3-4 minutes per side.
  7. Enjoy with your favorite side.

Recipe from Ellie Krieger’s So Easy Cookbook.

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M&M Cookies

August 13, 2016

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but school starts in two weeks. Where did the summer go? How is this even possible?

 


 


To help ease this unwelcome shift back to the daily grind, I’ll be sharing some tasty lunch box recipes over the next few weeks. Today I present one of my favorite desserts: the M&M cookie.

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Simple pantry ingredients, one mixing bowl, and 25 minutes is all you need to make warm, chewy, and perfectly sweet M&M cookies. If you like to prep ahead simply double the batch; they freeze beautifully and you can pull them out as needed. Enjoy!

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What’s your favorite lunch box dessert? Let me know below!

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M&M Cookies

Yields: 15 LARGE or 30 regular sized cookies

Time: 25 Minutes

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, blend together sugar, eggs, butter, and vanilla until smooth.
  2. Add flour, salt, and baking soda to butter mixture. Blend well.
  3. Mix in 1/2 cup M&M’s to dough.
  4. Drop dough by ice cream scoop for large cookies or heaping tablespoon for normal sized cookies onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
  5. Push 3-4 M&M’s on top of each dough ball with remaining candies.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 9 to 11 minutes for small cookies, 14-15 minutes for large cookies.

Recipe from Allrecipes.

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Oatmeal Raisin Granola

August 6, 2016

My family and I are going on vacation to Acadia National Park in the coming weeks. I can’t wait! The weather is supposed to be beautiful: sunny days and temperatures in the mid 70s. It’s a wonderful break from the 90+ days we’ve been having. Plus, Acadia is known for having awesome hiking trails and beautiful views at the top of each summit. What could be better than that?

 


Naturally, as I plan for the trip my mind first goes to food. If we are going to spend a lot of time outside and on the trails, we need good fuel start to the day. This is where my oatmeal raisin granola comes in.  I was inspired to create this recipe by Brianne over at Cupcakes & Kale Chips. You should definitely check out her site, it’s filled with all things delicious.

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A blend of oats, Chia seeds, ground flax seeds, and raisins, this granola is a powerhouse of super foods lightly sweetened with a touch of maple syrup and warm cinnamon. Yum. Sprinkle it on Greek yogurt, enjoy it with milk, or simply grab it by the handful. It is perfect for breakfast or an afternoon snack any way you eat it.

What’s your favorite way to eat granola? Do you have a favorite recipe? Let me know or link up below!

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Oatmeal Raisin Granola

Yields: 4 1/2 cups

Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats (gluten free, if needed)
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seeds
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 2 tbls. vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup raisins

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl mix together oats, flax seeds, chia seeds, and cinnamon.
  3. In a separate large bowl, whisk together oil, syrup, egg white, brown sugar, salt, and vanilla until smooth.
  4. Mix dry ingredients with wet until fully incorporated.
  5. Spread oat mixture in a thin layer on prepared cookie sheet.
  6. Bake 40-45 minutes (or until lightly brown) at 300 degrees.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
  8. Mix in raisins, being careful not to break up all of the clusters.
  9. Enjoy!




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