While Summer doesn’t officially start for a few more days, the summer temps (and humidity) have already invaded central VA. Now that the kids are out of school, they’re ready to spend every waking minute outside in the sun playing, wrestling, fishing, climbing trees, and all the other outdoor activities a boy can think up. On top of making sure they stay hydrated, sometimes they just need a little something extra to take the edge off and help cool down. A quick, easy, sweet, and COLD treat is always a summer-time hit. I love this easy ice cream because it’s so simple they can actually take pride in making their own. The mess is contained and easy to dispose of when they’re done. Science experiment, anyone? This activity is so easy to incorporate, as a little extra sensory play and learning, in your daily routine without the kids actually realizing they’re being ‘schooled’. Everybody wins! This is, without a doubt, one of the kids (and, secretly, mine too) favorite ways to beat the Summer heat.
5 Minute Ice Cream In A Bag
- 1/2 cup whole milk, half and half, or cream
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 6 tbsp sea salt
- 2 cups of ice
- sandwich sized ziplock bag
- quart sized ziplock bag
- In the sandwich sized ziplocking bag, add milk, sugar, and vanilla. Seal bag tightly.
- In the quart sized bag, add the ice and salt.
- Place the smaller bag inside the larger bag and seal tightly.
- Shake the bag as hard as you can, without popping it open, for 5 minutes or until it reaches the consistency of ice cream.
- Remove the smaller bag and give it a quick rinse to remove any pieces of salt. Make sure you rinse the opening as well.
- Open the ice cream and eat it straight out of the bag with a spoon.
I love cheesecake, and the fruitier it is, the better. When I saw a recipe guaranteeing all that rich flavor, but with the ease of a cookie, I knew it was something I had to try. I had originally spotted this recipe on Pinterest; however, it took me almost a year to get around to actually making them. When I smelled them baking, I had a moment where I actually began to drool. Just a tiny bit. When I took that first bite, I could have, quite literally, kicked myself for waiting so long to give these a try. Since then, over the past year, I’ve been taking them to events and get-together’s (they’re unbelievably easy and taste spectacular), and so many friends have asked for this recipe that I just couldn’t wait another minute to share!
Blueberry Cheesecake And White Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 2 boxes of Jiffy blueberry muffin mix
- 4 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 stick of butter, softened
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup white chocolate chips, optional
- Beat together cream cheese, butter, and brown sugar until smooth. Add in eggs, one at a time, beating until fully incorporated.
- Combine the butter mixture with the muffin mix, mixing until evenly combined.
- If using the white chocolate chips, using a spatula, fold them in now.
- Chill dough in the fridge for at least 2 hours (this prevents the batter from spreading out too much during baking).
- Form into tbsp sized balls and spread about two inches apart on a lightly greased cookies sheet.
- Bake at 325 degrees for 13-15 minutes.
- Let the cookies cool for a minute or two on the cookie sheet then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
With my food guzzlers, I’m always on the lookout for a quick addition to my menu that can help top off their tanks. I love a good dessert that I don’t feel terrible about giving my family that helps keep them full until morning. This gem is one of my go-to favorites. It’s like a special edition chocolate muffin, with a hint of apples. They love a nice, warm slice of my chocolate ‘bread’ before bed with a cold glass of milk. It makes them feel all warm and fuzzy. I may, or may not, have also been talked into making this for them for a special breakfast as it contains both eggs and applesauce. Even better, this from scratch dessert, or breakfast, or snack, is easy and takes hardly any time to whip up. Did I mention it’s versatility? So find yourself a reason to give it a try, you won’t be disappointed in the results.
Triple Chocolate Quick Bread
- 1 & 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
- 1/2 cups butter, softened
- 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 & 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 & 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 tbsp butter
- 3 tbsp half and half
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- In a pot on the stove top over low heat, melt 1 cup of chocolate chips; set aside to cool.
- In a stand mixer, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs and cooled chocolate, mix until evenly combined.
- Add applesauce and vanilla; set aside.
- In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt until evenly combined.
- Add flour mix to the batter and mix until evenly combined.
- Lightly mix in the remaining chocolate chips just until incorporated into batter.
- Divide batter evenly between two* greased loaf pans.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
- Cool for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack.
- In a small pot over low heat, melt chocolate chips and butter, stirring until evenly combined.
- Stir in half and half.
- Remove from heat and stir in confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and salt.
- Drizzle over warm loaves, or pipe onto loaves using a ziplock bag.
- Let the chocolate cool and serve.
* If you’d prefer to make one full sized loaf, simply add all the batter to one full size loaf pan. Baking time will take a little over an hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Typically the chocolate piping is spread between two loaves so there’s not nearly as much piled on, but the ‘breakfast’ bread I was coerced into making I left glaze free. I didn’t want too much chocolate on my mom-conscience before sending them off for school. All that chocolate on their dessert though was a real treat.
I don’t know about other kids, but mine love peanut butter, and by love I mean a ‘love’ bordering on obsession. If allowed, they would quite happily eat it as part of every meal. I’m beginning to think Peanut Butter is it’s own food group in my boys’ pyramid. Somewhere I had seen that January 24th is National Peanut Butter Day. Once aware, I knew I couldn’t let this particular ‘holiday’ go unannounced or without ceremony in my household. I figured it was the perfect excuse to whip up some buckeye brownies and I knew these little nuggets of deliciousness were the perfect way to pay homage to peanut butter and all it’s tasty glory. Boy was I right, one tray of these, around 2 -3 dozen, didn’t even make it through the night before they’d all been gobbled up.
- 1 box brownie mix
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup + 6 tbsp butter, softened and divided
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 6 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Prepare brownie mix, and bake in a greased 9×13 pan, according to package directions.
- Let brownies cool completely.
- Mix powdered sugar, butter, and peanut butter until evenly combined.
- Spread evenly over cooled brownies.
- Chill brownies for 1 hour.
- In a saucepan, over low heat, melt chocolate and remaining butter stirring until evenly combined.
- Spread the chocolate mixture over the brownies and let cool.
- Cut brownies into squares and serve.