Thursday, July 28, 2016

Disneyland’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Sandwich

We were just in Disneyland a few months ago eating these delicious chocolate peanut butter sandwiches!  No bread involved here!  It’s a graham cracker coated in chocolate, a peanut butter filling on top, then the whole cracker dipped in milk chocolate.  When you sink your teeth into that first bite it is absolutely amazing!  And another great thing about this dessert – it’s NO BAKE!

This delicious copycat Disneyland favorite is sure to brighten your day! It's amazing from the very first bite!

Disneyland’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Sandwich

Serves: 12

  •     6 graham cracker sheets, broken in half
  •     3 cups milk chocolate chips, divided
  •     2 teaspoons shortening, divided
  •     1 cup creamy peanut butter
  •     ½ cup powdered sugar
  •     ½ teaspoon vanilla
  •     1½ teaspoons milk

  1.     Line a cookie sheet with wax paper or parchment paper.
  2.     Melt 1½ cups of the chocolate chips and 1 teaspoon of shortening in a microwave safe bowl or big glass measuring cup. Stirring at every 20 second intervals until fully melted and smooth.
  3.     Then dip each graham cracker half into the chocolate, tapping or gently scraping off the excess chocolate. But you want the graham cracker to be totally covered.
  4.     Set each chocolate covered graham cracker on the cookie sheet and place in the fridge or freezer to set up quickly.
  5.     While the chocolate covered graham crackers are setting up, make the peanut butter filling by mixing the peanut butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and milk. Mix until smooth and creamy.(sometimes it just easier at the end to mix with your hands) Roll into 12 equal dough balls and chill in the freezer for about 15 minutes.
  6.     Pull out the chilled chocolate covered graham crackers and peanut butter balls. Gently flatten the peanut butter balls to the size of the graham cracker and place it on the chocolate graham. Gently spread it to the edges so it's evenly distributed.
  7.     Melt the other 1½ cups of chocolate chips with 1 teaspoon of shortening. Stirring until smooth. Gently spoon chocolate over the peanut butter layer and spread around with a spoon covering the top and sides. Put back in the fridge or freezer to set up (about 15 - 20 minutes). Then pull out and drizzle left over chocolate over the top of each graham cracker.
  8.     Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week.
  9.     We like them to set at room temp for about 20 minutes before eating.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Fail-Proof Pizza Dough

I've made this dough four times now trying all the different suggestions and variations. The best result though was to make it as per the recipe! There is quite a big difference in the final result depending on how you add the yeast. You'll get a thin & crispy result if you add the yeast to the warm water first and a thicker bready base if the water is added to all the dry ingredients at the same time. 

I made a huge deep dish pizza using all the dough in a 9x13 baking dish; piled high with cheese and toppings..the crust was thick, soft and moist just the way I love it!! 

I used olive oil and also added lots of dried herbs to the dry mix. This recipe also makes a really good garlic bread if you top it with olive oil, crushed garlic and parmesan cheese. I doesn't seem necessary to let the dough rise first, I didn't really notice any difference. Maybe our yeast is a bit different in NZ!

Get the recipe here >> Fail-Proof Pizza Dough @


Pumpkin Pecan Cobbler

You will love this dish for several reasons, the first being that you likely have everything you need to prepare it already sitting on your pantry shelves. NO extra trip out to the store means you can think it and bake it within an hour’s time! The results are huge, so do get started soon.

The spices in the cobbler whisper October’s name: cinnamon, nutmeg, and ground cloves. You know how good this will be just thinking about that combo, right? Finding yourself smack in the middle of Fall usually means one thing in the kitchen, and that is pumpkin! There’s enough pumpkin purée in the dish to provide that special autumnal flavor and the spices are a nod themselves to our cooler temperatures.

I was a little leery of the recipe’s instructions for pouring hot water over the topping before baking but was totally delighted with the results. As the water incorporates into the batter while baking, a rich creamy caramel sauce results, perfect for spooning over each serving.  That saucy caramel is one of the best things about the dish.

The second reason I love this recipe (and many thanks to friend Micki Welsh for finding it and knowing that I would enjoy it!) is that it is a snap to make. You will need three bowls for the dry, wet, and topping ingredients but there is no need even for your hand mixer. Simply combine wet with dry ingredients then sprinkle over the topping; add the hot water, and into the oven it goes.

Do try this one when cooler weather rolls around. If you are a pumpkin person (and I know many), you will be delighted by this cobbler. You will also find that a scoop of rich country-style vanilla ice cream is the only accompaniment you’ll want. Add friends and family and it’s Pumpkin Heaven, y’all!

Get the Recipe here >> Pumpkin Pecan Cobbler @



Crispy Coconut Chicken Strips

Wow.... I didn't have high hopes for this as most oven baked chicken fingers are just "so so", but these were fantastic! They had great flavor and the breading was nice and crispy.

The sauce seemed like something my family wouldn't eat so I made my own: remaining 1/2 cup coconut milk (light), 1/4 cup water, juice from 1 lime, 2 tsp. soy sauce, 3 TBSP sugar and 3 TBSP corn starch. Whisk in a pot before putting on heat, bring to a boil and keep warm until served. My PICKY PICKY kids devoured this!

Get the recipe here >> Crispy Coconut Chicken Strips @

White Chocolate Blueberry Lasagna

This dessert is absolutely amazing! I just made it and it's in the refrigerator for tomorrow! The only thing I would change is when you combine the pudding in a bowl do ONE pack at a time and split the 3 and 1/4 cups of milk between each pudding pack. 

If you mix both packs plus all the milk at once the pudding becomes VERY clumpy and it's extremely hard to get rid of it all. I made the first pack then poured it over the dish then mixed the next pack and did the same thing, SO MUCH EASIER!! Also make sure you let your cool whip sit out and soften a tad bit so it's easy to spread! Everyone has to try this dessert at least once!! :-)

Get the recipe here >> White Chocolate Blueberry Lasagna @

How to Make Mirror Glaze (Shiny) Cakes

How to Make Mirror Glaze (Shiny) Cakes

  • 20 g Gelatin Powder, 
  • 120 g Water, 
  • 300 g Glucose, 
  • 300 g Sugar, 
  • 150 g Water, 
  • 200 g Sweetened Cond Milk, 
  • 300 g Chocolate (White, Milk, Dark or a combination), 
  • Food Coloring


1) Bloom the gelatin in the water;
2) Boil the glucose, sugar & water;
3) Remove from heat and add the gelatin;
4) Add the cond milk;
5) Pour over chocolate and buerre mix to remove air bubbles;
Use at 35C/95F.

Brown Sugar and Garlic Chicken

I found this recipe on Pinterest and loved it but modified it slightly to increase the garlic.  Here it is:

Brown Sugar and Garlic Chicken
  • 10 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 8 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Saute the garlic in the olive until golden, add the brown sugar until it is a slight paste over medium heat.  Remove from heat and spread over chicken breasts placed in a greased glass pan.  Season with salt and pepper. Cook at 500 degrees for 30 minutes.

I sprinkled some extra brown sugar on the top of the chicken but you don’t have to do that extra step.  It was wonderful with some asparagus.  Enjoy!

30 Delicious Tin Foil Dinners

When my Dad was little, he loved playing sports, going camping and doing “outdoor” stuff with his brother. I think he would have laughed right out loud if he knew he was going to have 6 girls later on in life. He taught us many things like how to kick a ball and how to swing a bat left handed. He also taught us how to cook tin foil dinners over the fire. This was one of my most favorite things to do with my family. My little family has continued that tradition. We love going camping or to a fire pit just to cook food over the fire. We are planning to go soon and I am excited to try some of these delicious Tin Foil Dinners.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Pecan Cheesecake Squares

Pecan Cheesecake Squares


    For the shortbread layer
  •     1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  •     3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  •     1/2 cup butter, softened
  •     1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
    For the cheesecake layer
  •     2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  •     1/2 cup sugar
  •     1/2 cup milk
  •     2 teaspoons vanilla extract


For the pecan pie layer
  •     3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  •     1/2 cup light corn syrup
  •     1/3 cup butter, melted and cooled slightly
  •     3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  •     1/4 teaspoon salt
  •     1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •     1 1/2 cups pecans


  1.     Preheat oven to 350.
  2.     For the shortbread layer: In a medium bowl, combine flour and 3/4 cup brown sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in 1/2 cup pecans. Press mixture evenly into bottom of a greased 9x13" baking pan. Bake for 10 minutes; remove from oven, and cool slightly, about 10 minutes.
  3.     For the cheesecake layer: Place the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer outfitted with a paddle attachment, and beat at medium speed until smooth. Beat in sugar. Add milk and 2 teaspoons vanilla, and beat until combined. Pour the cream cheese mixture over the cooled shortbread layer. Bake for 15 minutes; remove from oven and cool slightly, about 10 minutes.
  4.     For the pecan pie layer: In a medium bowl, combine the remaining 3/4 cup brown sugar, corn syrup, and melted butter. Gently stir in the eggs, salt, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Stir in 1 1/2 cups pecans. Pour pecan mixture over cooled cheesecake layer. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until center is set and pecan pie layer is a rich brown color.

Rethink Your Idea of "Snack Food"

Thick & Chewy Better Than The Boxed Brownies

This is my favorite brownie recipe on the site. (I’ve made all of the top rated ones several times). It makes some wonderful, chewy brownies with a very powerful chocolaty flavor that I find most recipes lack. It doesn’t always turn out though. 

The brownie will be very thin no matter what size pan you’re using. Try putting wax paper on the bottom so that the brownie can be lifted out to cool and be cut. In order to avoid a crumbly mixture, stir the coca and sugar together, then add the melted butter and eggs and vanilla, and then the flour and salt. Make sure that you melt the butter. If the mixture still seems too crumbly, it’s possible that your eggs were too small, (I use extra large size eggs) consider adding another egg. The mixture will be very thick. 

I still have problems with the brownie not settling all the way and the middle square has to be discarded. But I still prefer this recipe underdone to overdone. When they come out of the oven at the prescribed time, do not test the center for doneness, or try to cut them immediately. They will not seem done, but they will settle. (I like to put them in the fridge to settle.) If you cook them to long they will be very dry.

Get the recipe here >> Thick & Chewy Better Than The Boxed Brownies @


Homemade Garlic Naan Bread

Absolutely better than the Naan served in my favorite local Indian restaurant. A couple of comments to clarify the recipe instructions, however: "Proofing" the yeast means that you must add about 1 Tblsp. of sugar to the warm water and yeast, then allow to double in volume prior to adding any further ingredients (I might not have known that had I not stumbled upon proofing instructions on the package).

Also, I found that it took a considerable amount of time for this dough to rise, so keep that in mind when you are planning for this to accompany a meal. High heat was way too extreme a cooking temperature. I burned the first few and ended up keeping the heat on medium-low. This recipe had a wonderful flavor, and you could truly eat them alone with nothing more than a little butter. Tasty!

Get the recipe here >> Homemade Garlic Naan Bread @


Healthy Oat Cookies

That’s right! Just oats and a few ripe bananas are all that’s required for the healthiest cookies on the planet.

Healthy Oat Cookies


  •     Mash 2 ripe bananas in a bowl, and then mix in 1 cup of quick oats and a handful of raisins. Don’t add too many raisins or the cookies will fall apart.
  •     Place about 16 small scoops on a greased or foiled lined baking sheet, and bake at 350 for about 15 minutes (keep an eye on them as every oven varies)

  •     Add cinnamon, salt, walnuts, chocolate chips, coconut flakes, flax seed, nutmeg, honey, vanilla or any other mix-ins of your choice. Just be sure that you don’t mix in too much or the cookies won’t stick together.
  •     Because the size of bananas can vary, you may need to add in extra oats if your batter seems too runny.
  •     These are great for breakfast or after-school snacks! Kids love them.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Strawberry Cookies With White Chocolate Chunks

Five stars when using 8 ounces of cream cheese instead of the 3 ounces noted in the recipe. Because I did not have a cookie press and wanted to do something a little different (other than simply making drop cookies), I chilled the dough for about 1 hour and then rolled the dough into small balls, pressed a Hershey's kiss in the middle, and sprinkled the cookies with colored sugar. They turned out great.

This recipe works so well for press cookies. I tried two or three other recipes with horrible results and now I always use this one.  I will definitely be making this again. I believe another reviewer said she added some Jello mix to her batter with great success. I think I will try doing that next time--maybe use strawberry Jello for Valentine's day when I have to make cookies for my daughter to bring to preschool.

Get the recipe here >>  Strawberry Cookies With White Chocolate Chunks @

Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

I made these three times now! I've learned that if you simmer all stuffing ingredients w/uncooked quinoa for 20 minutes it combines flavors so much better plus there's no need to precook quinoa (also omit broth!), stuff RAW peppers, and bake for an hour, they turn out better. 

To make the recipe quicker, I like to just chop up all of the bell peppers and saute rather than stuffing them and baking.

Next time I think we will increase the salsa in the recipe and add more jalapenos and red pepper flakes.

They are now in my top 10! :) I *love* the cumin taste in these (I bumped it up to a tbsp and omitted the oregano)...delish!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Pan Fried Cinnamon Bananas

So easy yet so fantastic! I used rum extract as I didn't have any rum on hand. I only added a tbsp of extract because I didn't want a fake rum taste to it. I made one other little change and that was to use pecans instead as I am not a big walnut fan.


I made this twice and the only suggestion I have is that if you're going to go to the trouble of making this sauce, buy good quality ice cream. The first time I made it, I used just regular, inexpensive ice cream and it was great. The second time I made it, I used premium ice cream and it was out of this world.

Get the recipe here >> Pan Fried Cinnamon Bananas @

Orange Creamsicle “Swig” Sugar Cookies

I have quite a bit to say about these...they are excellent, my husband and I couldn't stop eating them, both the dough and the cooked cookies. They are tender, just the right amount of sweet flavor, and are buttery, even though I didn't use real butter, but instead used margarine, like the recipe called for. Don't soften the margarine before you make them (the recipe DOES NOT say to, but a lot of cookie recipes do, so I just wanted to note that).

Also, to cut down on the stickiness of the dough, I recommend chilling the dough a bit, but not too long (just until it is no longer extremely sticky). I made one batch before I chilled it, and more after and the batch before the chilling spread out more and were a little flatter and maintained their chewy centers better. I would not recommend cooking them for 15 minutes; they will be WAY over done. I cooked mine for 9-10 min and did not allow them to brown at all. Then I left them on the cookie sheet before taking them off to finish cooking a little more. I recommend these highly and will make them again! I especially liked that they did not need to be rolled...who has time for that?

Get the recipe here >> Orange Creamsicle “Swig” Sugar Cookies @

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Peanut Butter Snails

Healthy snacks can be fun snacks too! Find out how to make these super cute Peanut Butter Snails for a snack that will make even the toughest critic smile.

Peanut Butter Snails


  •     2 Medium celery sticks
  •     1/2 cup Peter Pan creamy peanut butter
  •     3 apple rings cut in half
  •     4 pretzel sticks broken into thirds
  •     12 mini semisweet chocolate morsels


Step 1
Cut each celery rib into thirds. Fill centers with half of the peanut butter. Spoon remaining peanut butter into small resealable food storage bag; snip one corner off to make small hole.

Step 2
Pipe two lines of peanut butter on one side of each apple piece, following shape of apple. Insert apple pieces into peanut butter in celery pieces.

Step 3
Place 2 mini morsels next to each other at one end of each piece of celery to resemble eyes. Place a pretzel piece over each eye to resemble antennas.


Have the kids help by placing the eyes and antennas on each snack.

Friday, July 8, 2016

See the amazing effects of frozen lemons

Frozen lemons do more wonders than you expected! Their properties are changed and they are 1000 times more effective than chemotherapy.
New research reveals that they prevent breast cancer and more and more people claim that these fruits must be eaten entirely not only for their taste but for their healing properties.

According to studies, lemon peel contains 5 to 10 times more vitamins than the juice itself. Peels help you to remove toxins from the body.

Lemon reduces cancer cells present in the body.
It was shown that lemon has an increased efficiency and reduces cancer cells present in the body. Doctors estimate that this method is 10,000 times more effective than traditional chemotherapy. The effect is more intense when you add baking soda.
All you have to do is to buy lemons and wash them well then put them in the freezer. Once you freeze them, grate or chop them finely. After the mixture is defrosted add it in your diet. It suitable to sprinkle over salads, ice cream, soups, cereals, noodles and spaghetti sauces.

Lemons are beneficial for cysts treatments, tumors and internal parasites. It also regulates blood pressure, helps to cure depression, combat stress and nervous disorders.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Peanut Butter Cheesecake

Simple and delicious! I did use a heart mold to make these for Valentine's day, but if I were to roll these into balls and dip them, I would def either refrigerate or even freeze them until they are firm enough to dip b/c as is, the mixture is VERY soft, so I think they would be be hard to dip unless they were firmed up first. I did some with white chocolate and some with milk chocolate, and both are a hit! I would make these again, for sure!

Get the recipe here >> Peanut Butter Cheesecake @