Lemon Pie Pops

Do you love a cold glass of lemonade on a hot day? How about looking forward to a slice of cool lemon merengue pie, or even lemon ice box cake?

I feel like lemon anything is the quintessential summer flavor. Like an unofficial mascot or something.

And speaking of summer necessities… Heeelllooo, Popsicles.

.Lemon Pie Pops 2

So it was just good common sense to combine these things into one epic, refreshing treat.

lemon pie pops

Even better? They’re not Popsicles made from sugar water. They’re Popsicles made from Greek yogurt, so they’re relatively healthy AND a yummy way to cool off. And they’re a filling snack.

Lemon Pie Pops

Lemon Pie Pops 3

 2 cups nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt (regular yogurt may be substituted)
3 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp pure lemon extract
2-3 drops yellow food coloring
2-3 shortbread cookies, Nilla wafers, or golden Oreos, crushed

Directions

  1. Stir together the  yogurt, lemon juice, sugar, extract, and food coloring until evenly combined .
    2. Scoop equal amounts of lemon mixture into paper dixie cups or into popsicle molds.
    3. Sprinkle about 2 teaspoons of cookie crumbs on top of the yogurt mixture. Use a toothpick or popsicle stick to gently stir the crumbs into the mixture slightly. Pack down whatever crumbs are left on top.
    4. Insert sticks or colorful straws into the center of the mixture, sticking straight up. Freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight. Remove paper or remove popsicles from molds and enjoy!

Grilled Peaches with Vanilla Ice Cream

I’m just gonna go ahead and call this the week when I decided to share all the ice cream. Summer’s coming to an end, and will fade into Fall before we know it. And I have so, so many yummy frozen treats to share with ya’ll that I don’t even want to waste another second dragging it out. So you’ve been warned! Stay tuned the rest of this week and next for some totally tasty refreshing snacks and desserts coming your way.

Grilled Peaches 2

And there’s no better way to kick this bonanza off than with Grilled Peaches and Vanilla Ice Cream. Peach picking season is in full swing around these parts at all of our local orchards. And if you’re skeptical at the idea of grilled fruit, or even grilled fruit as dessert, let me stop you right there.

Grilled Peaches

Grilling these babies is quick and easy, and caramelizes the sugars in a way that can’t be described, just tasted. Add a pinch of brown sugar to the mix, and they make the perfect ‘bowls’ to hold a hearty scoop of your favorite vanilla ice cream.

Grilled Peaches 3

It’s like the ice cream and pie of 2015, minus the crust, and well … pie. But I’m sure you get my meaning. Just like the granny smith apples and flaky crust in my Mama’s apple pie, these two were meant to go together.

Grilled Peaches with Vanilla Ice Cream

2 ripe peaches
canola oil
brown sugar
vanilla ice cream

Directions

  1. Heat grill to medium high heat. Brush the peach halves with a touch of oil, sprinkle each half with a pinch of brown sugar, and place them on the grill for a few moments and then rotate 90 degrees and continue to cook for about 3-4 minutes, grill marks will be present and the peaches will feel softer.
    2. Remove from the grill with a pair of tongs and serve with a generous scoop of your favorite brand of vanilla ice cream in the center of each peach.

Mexican Street Fries with Salsa Ketchup

Today we’ve got another recipe with South of The Border flavors, but today’s isn’t quite as ‘authentic’ as our Papusas with Salsa Roja from last week.

 Mexican Street Fries & Salsa Ketchup 2

We love a good fry recipe. The crispier the better! And while I often use store bought frozen fries, I always keep a bag or two of a variety of potatoes on hand for those times when I’m craving a little something down-home and starchy, and I’ve got the time not only to make it from scratch, but also to do a little bit more.

These Mexican street fries fit the bill perfectly. Sliced thin, so they are extra crispy, and seasoned to fiesta-flavored perfection they’re the perfect embodiment of technique and flavor working hand in hand. Pair them with the salsa ketchup, for the perfect bit of heat and sweet.

One bite, and you might just find yourself saying, ‘ole’!

Mexican Street Fries with Salsa Ketchup

Mexican Street Fries & Salsa Ketchup

2 medium russet potatoes, roughly 1 lb
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp chipotle chili pepper, or sub a dash of cayenne

Salsa Ketchup

3 tbsp ketchup
3 tbsp salsa
hot sauce, to taste (optional)

mayonnaise (optional)

Directions

1.Cut the potatoes into thin fries, no wider than 1/4 inch.
2. Add all of the ingredients except the cut fries to a large bowl and stir together until evenly incorporated. Add the fries and gently toss until they’re evenly coated.
3. Spread  the seasoned potatoes out evenly over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake them at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. Toss and stir the fries, making sure to keep them in a single layer, and return them to the oven to bake for an additional 10 minutes. If you like crispier fries, then place them under the broiler at this point, just until they’re sufficiently golden and crispy.
4. To make the ketchup, stir the ketchup and salsa together in a small bowl. Taste it, you can leave it as is or add more salsa for more of that ‘salsa’ flavor, or add more ketchup for more of a ‘ketchup’ taste. Add in the hot sauce, to taste. You can also add mayonnaise for a creamy version, a salsa ketchup fry sauce of sorts.

recipe adapted from Carlsbad Cravings

Healthy Peanut Butter Cookie Overnight Oats

Ive made no secret of the fact that I’m not a morning person. Like, at all. And nobody else around here is either. If we’re lucky, were rushing out of the house headed to who knows where for the day, hopefully with enough time leftover to grab a hot cup of coffee. And if I ( or any of my progeny ) are lucky there might be some grab and go yogurts I remembered to buy on my last grocery store run, or there’s a freezer breakfast sandwich, or a breakfast burrito that we can take to heat and eat later.

 Healthy Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Overnight Oats 2

And here’s where I tell you all about the beauty of overnight oats.

There is no cooking required! None. Nada. Simply stir together your ingredients the night before, store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container, go to bed, and wake up with not only a tasty treat waiting for you, but one that’s healthy too. Does it get any better than that?

Healthy Peanut Butter Cookie Overnight Oats

It does actually. Overnight oats are so easy to throw together even a child can do it. And the sons do 🙂

And they’re a great change of pace from hastily grabbed yogurts or cold bowls of cereal.

Healthy Peanut Butter Cookie Overnight Oats

3/4 cup Skim or 1 % milk
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tbsp creamy peanut butter
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbs sugar
1 cup Old fashioned steel-cut oats
1/4 cup Protein powder

Directions

1. Mix all the ingredients together until evenly combined.
2. Divide between 2 small bowls, mugs, or mason jars. Cover and refrigerate overnight (or for at least an hour (or more) so the oats soften and absorb the liquid).
3. Enjoy cold, or microwave for 30-60 seconds to enjoy warm. Top each prepared bowl with a sprinkle of chocolate chips and/or a small scoop of peanut butter (totally optional).

Grilled Chipotle Pork Tenderloin with Cherry Salsa

Do you love a little something spicy with your meat? Maybe throw in a dash of something sweet to boot? The already flavorful pork tenderloin is marinaded in a (gently) spicy chipotle sauce, grilled until it’s gorgeous, and then topped with a very basic, sweet cherry ‘salsa’. The flavor combination is perfect.

 Grilled Chipotle Pork Tenderloin with a Fresh Cherry Salsa

They blend seamlessly.

image

She’s a beaut, ain’t she?

Grilled Chipotle Pork Tenderloin with Cherry Salsa

Grilled Chipotle Pork Tenderloin with a Fresh Cherry Salsa 2

1-2 lb pork tenderloin

Marinade

juice of one lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4cup honey
2-3 chipotle peppers, coarsely chopped
3 tsp adobo sauce, from the can of chipotle peppers
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt

Fresh Cherry Salsa
1 cup sweet, dark cherries, pitted and sliced into quarters
2 tbsp fresh cilantro leaves
2 tsp lemon juice

Directions

1. Combine marinade ingredients. Pour half of marinade into a resealable bag with pork tenderloin; cover and store the other half of the marinade in the refrigerator until you’re ready to grill the pork. Marinate the pork for at least an hour.
2. Pre-heat your grill to medium-high. Discard the used marinade and cook the pork over indirect heat, towards the edge of the grill, for roughly 15-20 minutes per side, or until cooked to an internal temperature of 145°F.
3. Place cooked pork tenderloin on a sheet of aluminum foil, bringing the edges up around it to form a ‘basket’. Pour the remaining marinade over the pork, and seal the aluminum foil, allowing everything to rest for about 10 minutes.

Fresh Cherry Salsa:
1. Combine all of the ingredients and serve over the pork.

recipe adapted from Sweet Peas & Saffron

Homemade Electrolyte Sports Drinks

It’s summer and the kids are soaking in every minute of it. There’s been fishing. Plenty of time spent at the pool. And of course bike riding, and any other outdoor activity you can possibly think of. Like running. So much running. And it’s great. Except then they come in soaking wet, clothes stuck to their bodies, dripping salty puddles everywhere and smelling like stinky little puppies. And while a good dunk in the tub solves most of this, it doesn’t help replace all that their losing in sweat alone. It doesn’t do much to re-hydrate them. Even if they do manage to swallow some bath water. Shoot, even the copious amounts of actual water their gulping down isn’t enough. And I’m not trying to keep them cooped up in the house, or have any kids keeling over from dehydration. So a good electrolyte drink is key to keeping the summer fun coming around here.

I’d seen this idea before, but have always been disappointed in my previous attempts at a good for you, and good tasting, homemade electrolyte cocktail. I’m glad I decided to give it yet another go after seeing Heather of Mommypotamus‘ recipe ideas. These drinks are perfect for hydration by replacing vital minerals and electrolytes they’ve lost. They’re also contain easily absorbed simple carbs that help boost energy, too. All of the ingredients contain key components that help during and after their exercise and recovery periods.

 Homemade Electrolyte Sports Drinks

Orange Twist Sports Drink

3-4 cups water (depending on the concentration you prefer)
3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (about 2-3 oranges)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp raw honey or maple syrup, or more to taste
a few drops of Concentrace minerals drops (optional)

Homemade Electrolyte Sports Drinks 3

Herbal Cooler

4 cups herbal tea (citrus flavored teas work well, and we also like using berry flavored ones)
2 -4 tbsp raw honey or maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
a few drops of Concentrace minerals drops (optional)

Homemade Electrolyte Sports Drinks 2

Lemon Sports Drink

4 cups filtered water
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup raw honey, or more to taste
a few drops of Concentrace minerals drops (optional)

Directions

1. Mix all ingredients together and STORE in the fridge. Usually we make enough to consume at one time, but using honey (which is naturally antimicrobial) and keeping it cold in the fridge it has kept for up to a week..

Brazilian Strawberry Soup with Mint and a Coconut Cream Drizzle

Chilled Strawberry Soup is a perfect treat for any hot day. Matter of fact, it’s pretty dang spectacular. Just think of it as ‘slurpin up some Summer’. It’s smooth and creamy, and a perfect end to any meal, but also a totally excusable snack. We like ours rich and creamy so I opt for the full fat coconut, but if you’re looking for a lighter option, or counting calories, then you can use light coconut milk or even omit it altogether. You can add some extra yogurt to get the creamy effect, or more oj for a soupier effect, adjusting the sugar accordingly. Just taste as you go.

Brazilian Strawberry Soup

For us, as written, its perfectly sweetened, and however you end up tweaking it, it’s loaded with flavor from the strawberries. It’s cool and creamy, with just the right bit of texture from the puréed berries. The sons love theirs topped with a heavy-handed dollop of whipped cream, but for the hubs and I? It’s several fresh mint leaves and a drizzle of some cocnut cream. It’s so simple, yet so scrumptious. It’ll have you scraping every last drop out of your bowl and still licking the spoon.

and it doesn’t get any easier. Throw everything together, blend it all up, and voila! It takes 5minutes. Tops.

Brazilian Strawberry Soup

A rich, creamy dessert soup that tastes just like Summer in a spoonful.
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt we've made this with plain Greek yogurt as well, but then added extra vanilla and sugar to taste
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 -4 tbsp sugar
  • 1/3 -1/2 cup coconut cream from can of full fat coconut milk chilled overnight so the cream and water separate)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Garnish
  • mint leaves
  • orange zest
  • whipped cream or whipped coconut cream
Instructions
  1. Add all the soup ingredients to a food processor, or a blender. Blend everything together until the soup is smooth. We stop there, but if you want to avoid any seediness, you can go the extra step of straining the mixture through cheesecloth.
  2. Serve as is, or chill for an hour or two. Garnish with a drizzle of coconut cream, or coconut whipped cream (whip the chilled coconut until soft peaks form), or a dollop of whipped cream, followed by a sprinkle of orange zest (optional), and a few fresh mint leaves.

recipe adapted from Carlsbad Cravings

 

Southwestern Pepper Jack Salad with Creamy Avocado Salsa Dressing

Do you ever find yourself perusing Pinterest, or Facebook, or even sitting in a lobby flipping through a copy of Taste of Home only to see yet another salad ‘meal’ recipe and just keep flipping (or scrolling) because you just know either you’ll be the only one who likes it or it’s got a 50/50 shot at best? I can’t tell you how many times this has been me. If it’s been you too, then this is the salad recipe for you. This salad and dressing are packing the protein and the dressing is so yummy they’re not even gonna guess it’s got a good for em base.

 Southwestern Pepper Jack Salad With A Cool Avocado Dressing

Let the little bit of spice give ’em a kick in the pants. After all hasn’t Mom always told you to eat your greens? They’re good for you. Geez! Sorry. Seriously, sorry. Sometimes the mom in me just comes waltzing right on out and into my conversations. There’s really no stopping it. But back to topic. Healthy AND tasty.

Southwestern Pepper Jack Salad with Cool Creamy Avocado Dressing

This is a salad for the people. The people who love salad. The people who suffer through salad. And especially the people who take one look at a salad and stick there nose up in the air because a salad can’t possibly be a satisfying meal.

Give it a try, and tell me if it doesn’t leave em asking for more 🙂 Top it with tortilla strips or a few crushed tortilla chips for that crunchy piese de résistance. And then try to hide the smirk while you politely refrain from telling them ‘I told you so’. Nope, scratch that. You can totally smirk.

Southwestern Pepper Jack Salad with Creamy Avocado Salsa Dressing

Southwestern Pepper Jack Salad with Cool Avocado Dressing

For the Southwest Salad

1 head romaine lettuce, roughly chopped
1 cup of drained can corn or thawed frozen corn
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 cup diced roma tomatoes
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup grated pepper jack cheese, or more to taste
crispy tortilla strips or tortilla chips

For the Creamy Avocado Salsa Dressing

1 small avocado, peeled and sliced
1 small jalapeno, seeded, de-veined and roughly chopped, optional
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/4 cup loosely packed cilantro
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 cup mild or medium salsa
1/4 cup milk
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp sugar
juice from 1 lime
1/4 tsp salt
1/4- 1/2 tsp cumin
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
tiniest of dashes of cayenne pepper, optional

Directions

1. Add all of the Creamy Avocado Salad Dressing ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth, scraping the sides down as needed. If using it, add in the cayenne pepper before adding additional salt and pepper to taste. If your dressing is too thick, then add in a little extra milk and stir until you’re reached the desired consistency. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to use.
2. Add salad ingredients to a large bowl, except for the tortilla strips/chips,  and toss to combine.
3. Toss the salad with the desired amount of dressing or drizzle dressing over individual servings, especially if you’re not planning to polish off the entire salad in one meal.
4. Garnish the salad, or servings, with tortilla strips, or tortilla chips and freshly cracked salt and pepper.

Are your hungry, hungry omnivores still looking for more protein and/or a denser dish? Serve it topped with grilled chicken strips and they’ll love it.

recipe adapted from Carlsbad Cravings

Homemade Fruit Rollups, with 3 Ingredients or LESS

Who doesn’t remember eating fruit by the foot as a kid?? They were a snack time favorite. Along with all the wacky, wonky little things you could do with them. You couldn’t tell us not to play with our food. Well, at least not our fruit by the foot. Fast forward twenty years, and now I’m in total Mom mode trying to foist heaping helpings of real fruit on my kids on the daily. But guess what? Now my kids want fruit roll ups for snack. I mean I get it, it’s a lot harder to ‘play’ with mom-approved fruit, other than the infamous banana- turned imaginary gun. Fruit roll ups are fun, sure, but they’re not everyday snack food. They’re just not. Or are they? Look out y’all, it’s a snack time stick up!! Hands up in the air and eyes open for this revolutionary idea. HOMEMADE fruit roll ups! Using as little as ONE ingredient. FRUIT! Fruit that You, Mom, will have a blast saying yes too. It only took me 20 years  to find my way onto this train. Better late than never, right? 🙂

I still can’t believe I never knew how easy these were to make! Now, I just can’t stop. The flavor combinations are endless. You can add in a bit of sugar for flavoring, a bit of lemon juice for color retention or keep it simple with just plain, old fruit.

 Homemade Fruit Roll Ups

We went with two of our favorite flavor combos for these, peach mango and an antioxidant mixed berry blend that included cherries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and pomegranate arils. The hubs liked them so much, he’s even begun putting in requests. Specifically for apple. And the sons involved in sports? We’ve got banana roll ups waiting on them that are fun and full of potassium!

Homemade Fruit Roll Ups 3

Baking these is a teensy bit of a guessing game. They should be done dehydrating in 3-4 hours, but you’ll want to keep an eye on them regardless. They’re done when they no longer feel sticky, just a bit tacky. I had to feel it a few different times, at a few different stages, but by feel it’s pretty easy to judge. Also, watch out for over baking! Otherwise you’ll have a crispy fruit ‘chip’ on your hands.

Homemade Fruit Rollups, with 3 Ingredients or LESS

Homemade Fruit Roll Ups 2

 2 cups of fruit (fresh or frozen, but thawed if frozen)
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2-3 tbsp sugar or honey, optional

Directions

1. Place the prepared fruit (i.e. bananas, peeled and sliced, strawberries, washed and hulled, etc) in a blender or food processor and puree until the fruit mixture is smooth without an chunks remaining. Transfer the puree to a saucepan and stir in the lemon juice and sugar. Cook the fruit puree over medium to medium high heat for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking or burning, until the mixture has thickened and the excess moisture cooked out. You’re looking for a jammy consistency.
2. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees, or as low as your oven will go, making sure it’s less than 200 degrees at the highest. Our oven goes from the ‘warm’ setting to 200, and we found setting it in between those two worked out perfectly.
3. Spread the puree/jam into a rectangle shape on a baking pan lined with a silpat or with a sheet of parchment paper. Use a spatula to gently help ‘spread’ the fruit puree as evenly as possible, until the rectangle-ish shape is about 1/8 inch thick. Also, as it cooks/dehydrates bear in mind that it will get even thinner, so just try to make sure that none of the jam is so thin that you can see through it as you spread. If using lighter fruits, like peach and mango ours was still see through in a few spots so we tried more to eye ball the thickness and tried to stick close to the 1/8″ mark.
4. Cook in the oven for 3-4 hours, until the fruit mixture no longer feels sticky, but just a bit tacky. Remove from the oven and let it cool completely. Gently remove the cooked, and now completely cooled, sheet of fruit by peeling it away from the silpat or paper and transfer it to a wax paper lined cutting board. Use a sharp, metal pizza cutter to cut it into long strips. Roll them up into the fruit roll ups, and enjoy!

recipe adapted from 15 Spatulas

Healthy Frozen Yogurt Bark

I’m always on the look out for a good snack recipe that both the kids and I can enjoy. I also always love it if I can mess with their little brains and change their preconceived ideas about things. Wondering what I mean? A couple months ago if I’d told them that there’d be a healthy frozen yogurt snack they’d love. They’d have laughed at me. Laughed, I tell ya!! Did it help that I sweetened the yogurt pot a bit? Probably, but what bowl of yogurt doesn’t beg to have some fresh strawberries, coconut, and or a few chocolate chips stirred in? It seemed like a no brainer here.

Healthy Frozen Yogurt Bark 2

When you need that little pick me up, but don’t want to over-indulge this is the perfect go-to treat. It’s super simple, and guilt free. That and you can claim you’re giving your kids ice cream, with them none the wiser, without all the additional sugar. Do your eaters prefer different add ins? Not a problem. Get creative. Get fancy. Get it in their little bellies. And yours 🙂 Nuts are a great option, or other fruits. We’ve even added a couple handfuls of their favorite cereals for a fun, fast, and refreshing breakfast. Don’t you just love a recipe with so many possibilities?

Healthy Frozen Yogurt Bark

Healthy Frozen Yogurt Bark

Yogurt Bark:
1 3/4 – 2 cups Greek yogurt, plain or flavor of your choosing
2-3 tbsp honey
1 tbsp blueberries
1 tbsp raisins

Toppings:
5-6 fresh strawberries, washed & chopped
1 tbsp semi sweet chocolate chips
1-2 tsp shredded coconut

Directions

1. Mix the yogurt and honey together until well combined. Add the cranberries or blueberries and raisins, stir again to evenly incorporate everything.
2. Line a baking sheet with foil and pour the yogurt mixture on top. Spread the mixture out evenly, to your desired thickness or thinness of the bark.
3. Sprinkle the strawberries, chocolate chips and the coconut on top of the yogurt and place the whole pan levelly in the freezer for about an hour or until the bark is completely frozen.
4. Remove the sheet pan from the freezer and use a sharp knife to break the bark into pieces. The bark can be stored in the freezer in zip-locking bags.

*Just a heads up, that when you first take the bark out of the freezer, you’ll notice a few ice chips on it. That’s why I recommend you wait a bit before enjoying, whether it’s as soon as it’s frozen or when removing a piece or peices from your stock. If you don’t wait a bit, you might find at first bite that the bark’s too cold and might think it a failed recipe. Let it melt just a bit, no more than 20 minutes or so, until the chill has subsided, but before it’s turned into a mess, and it’s delicious.

recipe adapted from My Fussy Eater