Thursday, June 28, 2012

Strawberry Peach Honey Yogurt Pops

Before we get too far, have you entered my giveaway yet?! If not, be sure to head on over to my last post to'll only take a minute and you'll have a chance to win a super fun product from Enjoy Life Foods. ;)

K, now down to business.

I'm pretty much on a frozen dessert kick. I haven't baked in two whole weeks (who am I???). Part of that is because I've just been waaaay too busy and haven't had much time to spend in the kitchen. But the other part of that is that summer has arrived and it's been HOT in Boston! Summer + heat = frozen desserts. Clearly. :)

I saw these honey yogurt pops on Pinterest a few weeks ago and knew that at some point I wanted to give them a try. I didn't end up planning when I'd make them; it just happened somewhat serendipitously. I realized one day that I had all the ingredients to make them, along with a few minutes of "free" time, so I got to work on 'em! They really took no time at all (the freezing part is the longest portion of this recipe!).

The recipe is adapted from Joylicious. The original recipe is for honey yogurt berry pops, and it calls for a mixture of different berries. I had peaches and strawberries on hand, so that's what I used! Deeelicious and so refreshing!!


-2 cups Greek yogurt (as you can see, I used Cabot's vanilla bean low fat flavor)
-1/2 cup honey
-1 cup mixed berries or mixed fruit (I used peaches and strawberries)


Mix together the yogurt and honey in a large bowl. Fold in your choice of fruit. Transfer this mixture into a container with a spout so you can pour it into your molds (or, you can use a spoon to spoon it into the molds). Fill your popsicle molds almost to the top, and freeze 3 hours or overnight. Remove pops according to package directions before eating (often, this involves running the molds under warm water for a couple minutes). This recipe made 8 popsicles for me.

Enjoy and feel refreshed!!!

I loooved the flavor of these pops. It was wonderful! And the peaches and strawberry combination was perfect. Such a wonderful summer treat! And rather healthy in the grand scheme of things too. :)


Perfect for those warm summer days we've been having!

What are some of your favorite popsicle flavors, homemade or store bought??!

Hope everyone's having a great week! :) 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Enjoy Life Plentils Product Review and a Giveaway!!

Hey friends! It's been several days since I've posted. Sorry about that! Life's kept me pretty busy lately. But don't you worry; I've got a fun product review and a GIVEAWAY for you today! Woohoo!

Who doesn't love packages at their doorstep? And better yet, who doesn't love packages filled with FOOD at their doorstep?!

I am a very lucky gal because I was recently able to sample yet another great product from Enjoy Life Foods....their Plentils. These chips are made from lentils, not potatoes. How cool is that?!? Such a unique product!

I love the added health benefit that comes with these chips being made from lentils. You probably already know that lentils are pretty darn good for you! They're one of the best sources of plant-based protein (and have many other great nutritional qualities). And this particular product has 40% less fat than the leading potato chip. Aaaaand, each of the four different flavors only has a mere 130 calories per serving. Nice!

Upon opening this fun package, I decided to dig right into the Garlic and Parmesan flavor. YUM! I was so pleasantly surprised by both the taste and texture of these chips. Both are awesome! The chips are packed with flavor and nice n' crunchy too.

The next day I enjoyed some more Garlic and Parmesan chips along side my salad for lunch at work. They were the perfect accompaniment to my bowl of greens and veggies. 

The next flavor I decided to dig into was the Margherita Pizza. Another deeelicious flavor! Loved 'em.

As always, these Plentils are like other Enjoy Life products; they're free of the eight most common allergens (wheat, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, egg, soy, fish, and shellfish). You may remember this from my other Enjoy Life product reviews on the blog (Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mega Chunks, Double Chocolate Crunch GranolaNot Nuts! Seed & Fruit Mix, and Crunchy Cookies). I am continually impressed by how delicious Enjoy Life makes these allergen-free foods!!

Now, I also tried the Light Sea Salt flavor, but somehow I didn't take any pictures of this flavor! It actually ended up being my favorite flavor so I must have just eaten the chips too quickly to snap a photo. Oops! Actually, I have to say that I did not eat the entire bag of sea salt chips by myself (although I think I could have!). I brought that bag into work and shared it with several coworkers. And they all loved 'em too!!

And finally, the Dill & Sour Cream flavor was also fantastic. If you're a potato chip fan, you really need to give Plentils a try. You won't miss the potatoes; I promise!! Thank you so much to Enjoy Life for sharing yet another great product with me.

Now, onto the fun part...the GIVEAWAY! One lucky reader will be able to win two bags of Plentils. And the winner can choose which two flavors too! Fun, right?! Thought so!

To be eligible for this giveaway, simply leave a comment on this blog post and tell me which flavor you think you'd like best! Remember that you can choose from Dill & Sour Cream, Light Sea Salt, Garlic & Parmesan, and Margherita Pizza.

The giveaway will be open until Monday, July 2nd at 11:59 PM EST. I will choose one winner on July 3rd and will email the winner to notify you and let you choose your two winning flavors. U.S. mailing addresses only, please.

Ready? Set. Go!

Leave a comment and let me know which flavor of Plentils you think you'd like best!


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Dark Chocolate Chip Brownies

Remember last week when I shared that deeelicious recipe for homemade chocolate oreo ice cream? Well, this post is all about the perfect item to pair with that ice cream. Today I have for you a super easy recipe for dark chocolate chip brownies. If you don't agree that brownies and ice cream go together, well might want to switch to reading a different blog. ;)

Haha, just kidding!! Stay here. But honestly, who doesn't love brownies and ice cream together?!?

As I mentioned in my post about the ice cream recipe last week, I had plans to make the ice cream two weekends in a row. And that I did. I made the chocolate oreo ice cream for dessert when Mike and I celebrated his birthday (happy belated b'day, Mike! :)) and Father's Day together with his parents this past weekend. To go with the ice cream, I made these brownies. Talk about a classic pairing!

This brownie recipe is a slight variation on the "best brownies" that I've previously posted on the blog. If you've ever looked for an easy, yet delicious, from scratch brownie recipe, look no further. The basic recipe for these is great! It's my go-to brownie recipe when I need to make a batch in a flash. What I love about this recipe is that it's a one dish, no fuss recipe. You don't even need an electric mixer. There is honestly nothing not to love about this recipe!

The ingredients below are specific to this variation of dark chocolate chip brownies.


-1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
-1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
-3 large eggs
-1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
-1 cup granulated sugar
-1 tsp. vanilla extract
-1/4 tsp. baking soda
-1 and 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and grease a 13 x 9 baking pan. Melt the stick of butter and 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips in a heavy duty, medium-large saucepan (I used a 2-quart pan) over low heat. Stir until smooth.

Remove pan from heat, and let sit for a couple minutes. Add the eggs to the pan and stir. Next, stir in the flour, sugar, vanilla, and baking soda until smooth. Stir in the 1 and 1/2 cups of dark chocolate chips.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 18 - 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan before cutting into squares. Makes 24 - 30 brownies, depending on the size you cut them.

The inside of these brownies was moist and dense. Perfection, in my mind!

You know, you could easily make these brownies into "dark dark" chocolate chip brownies by substituting 1 cup of dark chocolate chips for the semi-sweet chips. I'm a huge fan of dark chocolate, so I may just have to do that next time!

And as I said, we enjoyed the brownies with some homemade chocolate oreo ice cream served over top.

What's not to love about this?!


(image source)

(image source)

Hope you're all staying cool in the heat this week! ;)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Strawberry Banana Oatmeal Smoothie

Tomorrow is the first day of summer! And the weather forecast says that the temps in Boston are definitely going to feel like summer... It's predicted to be 94 degrees! Phew. I guess Mr. Summer knows right when he's supposed to arrive. Or perhaps it's a Ms. Summer? :)

Either way, warm weather like we're experiencing this week calls for cool, refreshing drinks. And I don't know about you, but smoothies call out to me as soon as summer hits. When I get home from work, it's a healthy, delicious fruit smoothie that I'm craving. I whipped up this smoothie yesterday after work and it was perfect! I didn't really think too much about the ingredients I put in, but thankfully, the proportions worked out great so I wrote them down so I could share them with you. What I love about smoothies is that they're so easy to change up! In this smoothie, you could easily use juice instead of milk. Or, you could use a different flavored yogurt or other types of fruits. It's up to you!

But I do recommend that you try the combination I made of strawberry, banana, vanilla yogurt, vanilla soymilk, and oats. I added the oats to boost the fiber content, give me some more energy, and keep me more full. This was my fuel before I headed out for a run a couple hours later in the evening, and it was perfect!


-2/3 cup light vanilla soymilk (or milk of your choice)
-one 6-oz. container of vanilla yogurt
-4 strawberries, sliced
-1 small banana, sliced (or 1/2 of large banana)
-1/4 cup quick oats


Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. If desired, you could add crushed ice before blending. Mine was cold enough as is, but adding ice wouldn't hurt. Or, you could stick the smoothie in the fridge for a bit before drinking it to make it cooler, or just pop a few whole ice cubes right in there as you drink it!

I used my Cuisinart Smart Stick hand blender to make this, and it worked great. My regular blender is on the fritz, so when I make smoothies now, I try to keep the ingredients "softer" so that they work well with the hand blender. I love the Cuisinart one that I have! It's great for pureeing soups too.

(I forgot the oats in this picture!)

Mmmm, a beer from Ipswich would have been mighty tasty in this glass too... ;)

Stay cool this week, friends! And drink a smoothie or two, k? :)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

These little chocolate thumbprint cookies are just as cute as a button, aren't they?! They were quite easy to make and fun to eat too! I made these cookies last week for Fetch (Mike's frisbee team and the team I played on last year). Sadly, I'm not playing this year due to injuries. However, you can bet that I'll still be baking treats for the team like I did last year! I mean, they pretty much won't allow me to go to a game if I don't have treats in hand... ;)

This recipe is from the Martha Stewart Cookies cookbook.

I've used it before for a few recipes, including one of my favorites, peanut butter swirl brownies and these really fun, yummy surprise cookies.

Martha Stewart strikes again. These thumbprints were another hit from the cookbook!

The cookie part was very shortbread like, but it wasn't too dry or crumbly (which is my fear with shortbread-like cookies). And the center chocolate filling part is simply made by melting butter and chocolate together. I see no problem with that! :)


-1 cup (2 sticks) plus 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
-1 cup confectioners' sugar
-1/4 tsp. salt
-2 tsp. vanilla extract
-2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
-6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (or use chocolate chips)

*Note: the original recipe calls for 2 tsp. of corn syrup to be added to the chocolate filling, but I didn't add it and I'm pretty sure the fact that I didn't add it didn't make a difference...


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together 1 cup of butter, confectioners' sugar, salt, and vanilla on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Beat in flour, beginning on low speed and increasing to medium until combined.

Form balls using 2 teaspoons of dough for each. Place balls 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake 10 minutes, remove from oven, and press thumb into cookies to make deep, wide indentations (be careful though; the cookies are hot!!). Rotate pan, and return to oven. Bake until light brown on the edges, another 7 to 9 minutes more. If the indentations begin to lose their definition while baking, you can remove the cookies from the oven and press them again. Once fully baked, transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Combine the chocolate and remaining 6 Tbsp. of butter, and melt, either using a double boiler method or in the microwave, being careful not to burn the chocolate. When everything is melted and smooth, allow the chocolate mixture to cool slightly until thickened. Using a small spoon, fill the thumbprints with the chocolate mixture, and set aside to firm up. Cookies can be stored in single layers in airtight containers at room temperature for 3 days. 

After filling the cookies with chocolate, I actually stored them in the fridge overnight. Oh, and I tried one of these very soon after they were made and then again the next day, after they'd been refrigerated overnight. I thought they were much better the next day!

Really, this plate should say "easier" than pie, not easy as pie. These cookies were totally easier to make than pie, in my opinion. ;)

In just a few of the cookies, I put an M&M for a touch of color!

So cute! Love these little guys.

Happy Friday to you all!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Homemade Chocolate Oreo Ice Cream

Chocolate and Oreos. By now you should know that I highly enjoy both of these ingredients (hellooooo, Oreo-stuffed chocolate stout cupcakes!). So when I recently saw this recipe for 4 Ingredient Chocolate Cookies 'n' Cream Ice Cream from Two Peas & Their Pod, I knew I had to make it. Chocolate Cookies 'n' Cream or Chocolate Oreo - whatever you call it, it's gooood. So good.

You may remember that last summer Mike bought me an ice cream maker for my birthday. Thus far though, I have only made two types of ice cream with it, so this summer my goal is to try out several other flavors! And I decided to start with this one first because it just looked so darn good and so simple. Four ingredients! Can't beat it. 

And another awesome aspect of this ice cream? It doesn't call for heavy cream or whole milk, like so many ice cream recipes do. Instead, it uses coconut milk! How cool is that? And certainly coconut milk still has some fat, but it definitely seems better for you than heavy cream...


-1 can (14 oz.) coconut milk
-1/3 cup granulated sugar
-2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
-10 Oreos, crushed (I used Double Stuf)


Combine the coconut milk, sugar, and cocoa powder in a blender, and blend for 20 seconds. Pour this mixture into the bowl of an ice cream maker, and churn according to manufacturer's instructions. During the last 5 minutes of churning, add the crushed Oreos.

Transfer the ice cream to a freezer safe plastic container, cover, and freeze until ready to eat.

And by the way, ice cream is really hard to photograph (not that my photos are ever really that great). If you want to see some photos of this recipe that actually look very appetizing, be sure to check out those on Two Peas & Their Pod's site.

Ingredients in the blender...

Blended and poured into the ice cream maker...

Time to add the Oreos!

Mmmm, churning and churning and becoming more delicious by the minute...

Into a plastic container it goes and then into the freezer!

What kind of ice cream scoop do you have? I have this one from Wilton, and I love it.

It is by far my favorite ice cream scoop I've ever had. It doesn't make pretty round scoops of ice cream though, but that's okay. The shape of the ice cream doesn't matter, obviously. Just the taste!

Remember how my family was in town this past weekend (and I made them crock pot steel cut oats)?? Well, we also enjoyed this delicious ice cream together. We all loved it! The coconut milk did add a hint of coconut flavor, so if you're not a huge coconut fan, you may or may not like this. I am not discouraging you from trying it though; I still think you should. ;) And while enjoying this ice cream, you definitely don't miss any heavy cream or fatty milk, I promise!

I already have plans to make this ice cream again this coming weekend. That's how good it is! And I'm pretty sure that if you make it too, you'd completely agree.

So, go make it. :)