Peanut Butter Ice Cream Pie

2 cups crushed oreo cookies
4 tablespoons melted butter
1 8-ounce thawed container fat free cool whip
1 quart softened vanilla ice cream
1/2 cup melted peanut butter
1/2 cup Peanut Butter Cups
1/2 cup crushed Reese’s Pieces or Peanut Butter M&Ms
-Combine the oreos and melted butter and form a crust.  Press mixture evenly into a nonstick 8-inch pan.
-In a large bowl, combine the Cool Whip and ice cream evenly.  Fold in the Peanut Butter Cups and half of the Reese’s Pieces.  Layer half of the filling and then drizzle half of the melted peanut butter on top.  Layer the other half of the ice cream filling and drizzle with the remaining peanut butter.  Sprinkle the rest of the crushed Reese’s Pieces on top.
-Cover and freeze for 5-6 hours or until firm.
-Allow the pie to soften at room temperature for about 5 minutes before cutting and serving.

Nutella-filled Muffins

2/3 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup of milk
2 cups whole wheat flour + 1 cup all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup of sugar and 3 teaspoons cinnamon
3 tablespoons melted butter
-Preheat oven to 425F and line muffins tins.
-Cream butter and sugar together and then mix in egg, vanilla, and milk.
-Stir in flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.  Don’t overmix!
-Spoon in a tablespoon of muffin batter, add some nutella, and spoon in another tablespoon of batter.
-Bake at 425F for 5 minutes and then reduce oven to 350F and bake another 13-15 minutes until fork come out clean.
-Allow the muffins to cool for a few minutes and then top with melted butter and cinnamon and sugar mixture.
Makes 18 muffins.  They taste best when eaten warm!

Rainbow Green Smoothie

We finally joined the green side of things and invested in a good blender.  Wow!  It makes a huge difference.  I am amazed at the smooth consistency.  I discovered though that there are limits to what my blender can do.  Unfortunately, it can’t turn un-tasty healthy things into pure deliciousness.   Because everything the demonstrators make at Costco tastes delicious, I expected to be able to throw in whatever I wanted (it sure seems like they do that) and have it come out tasting like mint chocolate chip ice cream.  But I learned the hard way that a little bit of kale goes a long way. 
After some experimentation,  I came up with a smoothie that I really like and that is chalk full of good stuff.
1 cup of water
1 handful of kale
2 handfuls of spinach
1 handful of pineapple
1 mango
5-6 large frozen strawberries
1 frozen banana
3-5 carrots (depending on size)
1 nice chunk of squash 
1/2 an avacado
1 apple
1 orange
1 handful of almonds
1 TBSP each of hemp, sesame, chia, and flax seeds
-Add into the blender in the order listed and blend until smooth (mine has a pre-set smoothie setting)
-You can add a little ice if you want it colder and definitely add ice if your strawberries and banana aren’t frozen.

Easy Cookie Bars

These are quick, easy, gooey, and delicious!

2/3 cup Butter (softened)
2 cups Brown Sugar
3 Eggs
2 1/2 cups Bread Flour
2 tsps Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1 1/2 cup semi-sweet Chocolate Chips

Optional Topping:
Sweet and Condensed Milk
Chopped Walnuts
Shredded Coconut

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.  Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl.  Mix the eggs into the sugar and butter.  Mix the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl.  Combine the wet and dry ingredients.  Fold in the chocolate chips.  Grease a 11X7 pan with butter.  Press dough into the pan.  Bake for 25-30 min or until lightly browned.  Allow bars to cool and top with toppings.

Recipe Source:  I Heart Naptime


For last week’s family movie night, we decided to watch Ratatouille AND make ratatouille for dinner. It was my first time making it.  My verdict: it’s tasty and healthy.  You can’t beat that!


1 package ravioli or some kind of pasta (optional)  
Olive oil
2 diced onions
5 cloves minced garlic
1 diced yellow pepper
1 diced red pepper 
1 diced eggplant
1 diced zucchini 
1 can crushed tomatoes (I used the basil, oregano, and garlic flavored kind)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper


  1. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add in olive oil, then onions and garlic; cook until the onions are tender. Add in peppers, and cook until the peppers are tender. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Remove and keep warm.
  2. Heat another pan over high heat, add in more olive oil and saute the zucchini until tender. Remove from pan and add to the pan with the onions and peppers mixture.
  3. Return the pan to high heat, add in the remaining olive oil and saute the eggplant until browned and softened. Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer; add the onions, pepper, and zucchini mixture.  Mix everything together well and continue to simmer for 3 minutes.
  4. Serve over cooked ravioli/pasta (follow cooking instructions) and then top with parmesan cheese.

Recipe adapted from  

Sweet Potato and Turkey Chili

 This is chalk full of healthy veggies and protein.   It’s perfect for a cold day.  It was our favorite chili this winter.  The chili has a unique flavor and the sweet potatoes are the best part!  It makes a big batch and freezes well so it’s ideal for when you need to take a meal to someone else or are having guests over.

1 tablespoon olive oil 
1 diced large onion 
4 cloves minced garlic 
1 diced green bell pepper 
1 minced jalapeño
20 ounces ground turkey breast
2 teaspoons cumin
2  teaspoons kosher salt
½  teaspoon pepper
1  teaspoon oregano
1  teaspoon chili powder
2  teaspoons paprika
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes
1 28 ounce can tomatoes (not drained)
3 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinced
32 ounces beef broth (one box/carton)
1 28 ounce can pumpkin puree (make sure you’re not using pumpkin pie filling 
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat.  Add olive oil and saute onion, garlic, bell pepper, and jalapeno for 5-10 minutes, until veggies are tender and fragrant.   Add turkey and cook until no longer pink.  Sprinkle in cumin, salt, pepper, oregano, chili powder and smoked paprika.   Add turkey mixture to slow cooker.

Add sweet potatoes, tomatoes, beans, broth, pumpkin and stir.  

Then add the cinnamon, and cocoa powder to slow cooker and mix it all together well.  Place lid on pot and cook for  4-6 hours on high, or 8-10 on low.   The chili is done when the sweet potatoes are soft.

When done, turn off heat and let chili sit with lid off for 10-15 minutes to thicken.  

Recipe adapted from Our Best Bites

Easy 7-layer Bean Dip

This is my go-to recipe when I need to bring a side dish to a gathering and don’t have a lot of time.  This dip is little different than traditional 7-layer dip but I always get requests for the recipe and compliments when I bring it.
The Seven Layers:
1 Can of Refried Beans
1 1/2 Cups Plain Yogurt
1 Packet of Taco Seasoning
1 Bunch of Cilantro
1 Bunch Green Onions
3-4 Roma Tomatoes
Cheddar Cheese
1-Spread the can of refried beans on the bottom of the serving dish.
2-Mix the packet of taco seasoning with the yogurt and spread on top of the beans.
3- Chop up the cilantro, tomatoes, and green onions and layer on top of the yogurt.
4-Sprinkle the grated cheddar cheese on top of the veggies.
5-Serve with tortilla chips.
The dip is really easy but also very tasty!

Fire Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

1-1 1/2 pounds fresh tomatillos 
Handful serrano chiles or your choice of chiles
1 onion chopped
3 garlic gloves
1 chicken bouillon cube
Water as needed
Take the husks off the tomatillos and wash them.
Roast them in a frying pan until they are soft and start to brown and split open.

Roast the chiles until they are browned.

Add both to the blender along with the chopped onion, minced garlic, 1 chicken bouillon cube, and some water.  Start with 1/2 cup of water and add more as needed.

Puree in the blender until it reaches your desired consistency.
Serve with chips or on burritos and enjoy! 
Source: My brother’s girlfriend and some experimentation.

Maple, Cinnamon, and Orange Creme Brulee

I had leftover heavy cream so it was the perfect excuse to experiment and try my hand at creme brulee.  Making creme brulee was easier than I thought.  This recipe uses pure maple syrup instead of refined sugar as the sweetener. 
2 Cups Heavy Cream
1 Egg plus
3 Egg Yolks
7 Tablespoons Pure Maple Syrup
1 Cinnamon Stick
Zest of 1 Orange
1-2 Tablespoons of Orange Juice
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Sprinkle of Sugar for the Topping
4 (7 ounce) brulee ramekins
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.
In a saucepan combine the heavy cream, 3 T maple syrup, cinnamon stick, orange zest, orange juice.  Whisk the ingredients together and bring to a boil in the saucepan.  After the cream has come to a boil, remove from the heat and let it cool.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the egg and egg yolks, remaining maple syrup, and vanilla extract.  Slowly whisk the cream into the egg mixture until the two are well-combined.

Set the ramekins in a glass baking dish.  Add hot water so it goes half way up the ramekins.  This will prevent the eggs from cooking too fast.  Fill the ramekins with mixture.  Cook for 40-50 minutes making sure the custard is set and slightly jiggly but not liquid.  Let the creme brulee cool for an hour before serving.

The last step is to sprinkle sugar on the top of each custard.  You can either burn the sugar with a blow torch or broil it in the oven.

Serve and Enjoy!

Source: Cinnamon & Orange Recipe and Maple Syrup Recipe

Lasagna Cupcakes

I can never seem to get lasagna noodles to cook correctly.  These lasagna cupcakes are made with wonton wrappers instead of traditional lasagna noodles.  They are a great alternative and work well for individual servings and kid portions.  This recipe is quick and easy, but I think it tastes better than traditional lasagna.
Olive oil
One onion and a few cloves of garlic 
1-1.5 pounds of ground turkey or beef
26-ounce jar of your favorite pasta sauce
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Shredded parmesan cheese
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
Cut up the onion and garlic cloves and cook in olive oil until translucent.
Add the ground turkey and cook until no longer pink.  
Add a jar of your favorite pasta sauce.

While the meat is cooking, grease the cupcakes pans with olive oil and press the wonton wrappers into the bottom on the pan.  You can use square or circle wonton wrappers.
Add a layer of the meat and sauce.

Then add a layer of the cheeses.  I simply sprinkle a little of each.
You could also add ricotta to the cheese mix.  If you do this, mix the three cheeses in a bowl and spoon the mixture in for the cheese layer.
Add another layer of the meat sauce and a layer of the cheese. 
Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until sauce and cheese are bubbly.
Makes 24-30 cupcakes.  
Let them cool for at least five minutes before removing them for the pan or they will not hold their shape.
Any part of the wonton wrapper that is not covered by the lasagna mix will be crunchy so make sure they are completely covered or pushed into the mix.
You can substitute the meat for veggies sautéd in olive oil and pasta sauce.

Source:  Adapted from a recipe on