Category Archives: Recipes

She {hearts} Crock Pot Creamy Ranch Chicken

I have really been looking for some new recipes for the Summer. Especially since it has been so hot, it is nice to use the crock pot instead of heating up the house even more by using the oven. I cooked this last week and we have already had it again. My husband Kenny really likes it and says it is even better the next day.

Crock Pot Creamy Ranch Chicken

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Crock Pot Creamy Ranch Chicken

    Ingredients:
  • 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 (10.75 oz) can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 (1 oz) envelope ranch dressing mix dry
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1/4 cup cooked and crumbled bacon (optional for sprinkling on top)
  • Egg Noodles
    Instructions:
  1. Spray slow cooker with cooking spray or line with a slow cooker liner.
  2. Place chicken breasts inside slow cooker.
  3. In a small bowl, combine cream of chicken soup, chicken broth and dry ranch dressing mix. Pour evenly over chicken breasts.
  4. Cover and cook on LOW for 3-4 hours or until done.
  5. Remove chicken and stir in milk and cream cheese until smooth and melted into sauce.
  6. Shred the chicken then put it back in to the slow cooker and make sure to cover with sauce.
  7. Serve over hot cooked egg noodles and pour on some extra sauce.
  8. If desired, crumble some cooked bacon over top.

She {hearts} Zipzicles

zipziclesLogoDSC_0147copyAs a kid, I remember enjoying icy freeze pops all summer long to beat the heat!  I know they are mostly high fructose corn syrup and artificial dyes, so I haven’t given any to my girls.  I was sad about them missing out on this childhood tradition until I found Zipzicles!

Zipzicles are clear skinny bags with zip tops that allow you to make and freeze your own popsicle freeze pops!  I can make all kinds of fun flavors for my girls and customize them based on their taste preferences and allergies.  You can simply wash and reuse the bags again when you’re finished!

There are tons of great recipes on the Zipzicles website, and I can’t wait to try a bunch of them!  For my first batch, I made what I called “Pineapple Orange Dreamzicles.”  (Recipe below.)

Pineapple Orange Dreamzicles
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 can of frozen pineapple orange juice concentrate (7 ounces)
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  1. In a blender, dump in water, juice concentrate, yogurt, and vanilla.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Pour into Zipzicle bags (fill just to fill line) and zip shut.
  4. Place in a mug and freeze until solid (about 6 hours).
  5. Enjoy!

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Our family loved the Pineapple Orange Dreamzicles!  The girls thought the concept was so cool (eating a popsicle from a bag!), and they loved getting to experience this classic summer treat.  My husband and I enjoyed them too!

The Zipzicle bags washed up perfectly and now they’re already for my next batch!

I can’t wait to try more popsicle recipes (or even just frozen juice) this summer.

{heart} It

Purchase a 12-pack of Zipzicles for just $2.99 here.

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she {hearts} yogurt cookies

Today I thought I would try yogurt cookies.  Have you heard of them?  I have seen the recipe floating around the web world for some time now so I took the plunge to try for myself.  I made some changes as always from several different ones to better suit our family’s taste buds. I went with blueberry cookie with lemon cream cheese frosting.

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YUMMO is right!

she {hearts} yogurt cookies
  • 1 cup honey granules (you can use 1 cup sugar if you dont have honey granules)
  • 1 1/2 cup Greek plain yogurt
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (I used freshly ground soft white wheat grain)
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup fruit (I used frozen blueberries, but could use fresh also)
  • 4oz softened cream cheese
  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar
  • juice and zest from one lemon
  1. Start by preheating oven to 375F.
  2. Mix yogurt and honey granules together then mix egg and vanilla in separate bowl, add to yogurt mixture.
  3. In another bowl mix flour, baking powder, and salt, then mix with yogurt mixture.
  4. Add blueberries and fold in gently.
  5. Drop onto pan by spoonful about 1 1/2 inches apart (they will spread). Bake for 10 minutes. Let rest on pan for 2-3 minutes then transfer to wire rack till completely cooled.
  6. While cooling, I began my cream cheese frosting.
  7. Mix cream cheese and confectioner's sugar, add lemon juice and zest. Mix for about 2-3 minutes will mixed and fluffy.
  8. Frost cookies once completely cooled! Enjoy!
  9. I think next time I'll try strawberries with almond cream cheese frosting! By the way, since these are made with yogurt, I would store in fridge and eat within a couple days.

 

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she {hearts} the best banana bread

I just love this banana bread! Martha does it again. The sour cream in this recipe seems to be what makes the banana bread so rich and yummy. Personally, I always add mini chocolate chips (bonus trick I learned from my mother in law: coat the chocolate chips in flour prior to adding them to the batter and they won’t sink to the bottom of the loaf, or whatever you are baking!). This banana bread is perfect for brunch or snacking (this fact has been verified by my kids on many occasions). Enjoy!

banana bread

banana bread

  • 1 stick butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mashed very ripe bananas (2-3 bananas)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts and/or chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan; set aside.
  2. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add eggs, and beat to incorporate.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Add dry mixture to the butter mixture, and mix until just combined.
  6. Add bananas, sour cream, and vanilla; mix to combine.
  7. Stir in nuts and/or chocolate chips, and pour batter into prepared pan.
  8. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Let rest in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool.

She {hearts} strawberry pudding

graceOne of my favorite things about this time of the year are strawberries! Yesterday, I received the photo to the left in an email that read, “Couldn’t resist.” Grace was heading to school with her Daddy yesterday and I guess they decided to stop for a little picking time before she’d start her school day. I just couldn’t be mad, but I was a little jealous! One of my favorite things to fix with strawberries is a “Strawberry Pudding”.

It’s basically a recipe for Banana Pudding that has been tweaked to include these yummy red berries instead of bananas.

 

 

Strawberry Pudding

Ingredients:

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  • 1 eagle brand milk
  • 1 ½ cup water
  • 1 box French vanilla pudding
  • 16 oz cool whip
  • 2 quarts strawberries (or 4 bananas)
  • 2 pkgs Chessman cookies

Directions:

  1. Blend together eagle brand milk and 1 & ½ cups water.
  2. Add pudding and beat medium speed until well blended.
  3. Put in the refrigerator for 10 minutes or until congealed.
  4. Remove from frig and add cool whip and stir with spoon do not use mixer.
  5. Layer cookies, pudding, and fruit and repeat layers.
  6. Garnish top with cookies or fruit!

I love to put mine in a clear trifle bowl to make it look extra nice, but if you’re having a party and want everyone to have their own individual desserts try making mini pudding cups and using a brandy snifter glass.

For more strawberry recipes, try:
Did you see Tara’s She {hearts} strawberry pie recipe?
Balsamic Strawberries over Shortbread
Croissant French Toast with Strawberry Syrup
Strawberry Napoleons
Chilled Strawberry Soup

she {hearts} dairy free chewy chocolate chip cookies


When my oldest daughter was about four months old, she started showing symptoms of a dairy sensitivity. Since I was nursing, I had to remove dairy from my diet completely. Her symptoms improved (and eventually she was cleared to try dairy and shows no symptoms now), but I was most impressed by how great I felt. No bloating, no sharp stomach pains, and I lost my baby weight (and then some!) so quickly when not eating dairy.

Since then (my daughter is 4 now), I’ve tried to avoid dairy for the most part. I don’t go crazy trying to keep it out of my diet, but I do know that I feel so much better when I don’t have it. I have really enjoyed discovering and trying alternatives to dairy, whether it be products or recipes.

A good friend recently made these dairy free chewy chocolate chip cookies using this recipe from Cheeky Kitchen. Now, if only I’d found this recipe 4 years ago when I first entered the world of dairy avoidance. These cookies are heavenly! The following recipe varies slightly from the original, but has been tweaked a tiny bit by me to make more cookies with the most perfect crispy edges and chewy texture. You can use regular chocolate chips if you aren’t going extreme with the dairy avoidance, or you can use non-dairy chocolate chips. My favorite are the Enjoy Life brand.

Oh, and when washing your hands after rolling the dough into balls, the brown sugar makes for an excellent hand scrub. A mini spa treatment and whipping up ridiculously delicious chocolate chip cookies sans dairy? Now I call that a successful afternoon.

Dairy Free Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 10 ounces dairy free mini chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer or stand mixer to beat together coconut oil, eggs, and brown sugar until very well blended.
  3. Add remaining ingredients, mixing together one by one until all are incorporated.
  4. Measure dough by the tablespoon and roll into balls. Space a dozen dough balls per large cookie sheet and press each ball to flatten a bit.
  5. Bake for 7-8 minutes. The edges of the cookies should be slightly browned.
  6. Cool on cookie sheet for 3-4 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and let the cookies finish cooling. Makes about 3 dozen cookies. Enjoy!

she {hearts} cuban cold bean salad

One of the most refreshing (and protein rich!) summer salads I make is this Cuban Cold Bean Salad. It’s easy! The hardest part comes in chopping all the veggies, but just turn up your radio and jam out while you do.

Cuban Bean Salad

 

 

Cuban Cold Bean Salad

3 cans of beans rinsed and drained (we always use black beans, then we vary on the others–dark and/or light kidney beans, red beans, chickpeas) The salad pictured  has black, dark kidney and red beans)

1 or 2 Peppers (green, yellow, red)

1 or 2 hot peppers (chile, jalapeno, banana)

2 avocados

1 good sized purple onion

Half a bunch of cilantro, leaves picked off

3-4 Roma tomatoes

1 can corn, drained (I ran out of corn so this batch is without)

Juice of one lime (or a few tablespoons lime juice)

Juice of one orange (or a few tablespoons orange juice)

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon to a teaspoon cayenne (depending on how hot you like it!)

Salt and pepper to taste

Chop everything, add juices and seasonings, mix and enjoy!!