Father’s Day Pancakes

Whoa it’s Father’s Day weekend!

How is it almost through June? Yesterday was New Year’s Eve was it not??

Anyway, my Padre is across the Seas living in Germany and while my sister got to go visit for a few weeks, Adulthood beckoned and I had to hang back and work and pay them bills. Sad face. So while they’re both playing, I wanted to share a little bit about my Dad. (you can read more here and here as well)

One of our many trips together

One of our many trips together. Perfectly explains our relationship

My Dad is Awesome with a capitol A. I just wanted to get that out there before we started. Now I know you probably think you’re Dad is cool and all, and he probably is, but there’s just nothing like a Daddy-Daughter relationship. Growing up my Dad walked on water and was as tall as the trees. He was as strong as a Giant and as funny as a video of someone falling down (you know those make you laugh too).

It may also help that I’m as gullible as a three year old at Christmas time, but I thought my Dad hung the Moon. (still do) Out of all my brother’s (that’d be three of them) my Dad and I had the most in common so we were special pals. We’d go camping together, fishing, hiking, played sports together, worked on my game, and just all around had fun.

Ignore the blurriness, it's one of my favorites from an  old flip phone #sorrynotsorry

Ignore the blurriness, it’s one of my favorites from an old flip phone #sorrynotsorry

One special thing you should know about my Dad is that his culinary skills are at their finest in the woods. He magically transforms into a gourmet chef once we cross into our campsite. Most kids simply roast a hotdog over the fire, or bring sandwiches from home. Not my Dad. Nope. We eat stew, we eat berry cobbler and apple crisp. We eat fancy noodle dishes and complete “home”-cooked meals. Granted we started with the hot dogs and sandwiches, but over the many many years he’s become an expert at eating like a King in the wilderness.

One thing that always remained a tradition though, was breakfast pancakes in the morning. He’d even start making them for us at home sometimes too. If there was ever an award for best pancake flipper, it’d go to that guy.

What better way to say thanks than to make my Dad some special Father’s Day pancakes then? Of course I’d haveta ship them across the World and I highly doubt they’d be all that delectable once he received them, so you’ll just have to help me out and make them for your Dad instead.

Father's Day Protein Pancake

It’s such a creative and adorable idea I don’t know how I have never though of it before!! You can find the recipe here! Can I admit that I tried to make these anyway? They’re just too cute not to!

premier protein

Premier Protein also sent me a chocolate protein shake and some wicked delicious protein bars as well. Let me tell you. These bars? Manna in my mouth. I ate the cookie and cream and chocolate peanut butter ones before i had a chance to take any photos. Read why here. They are the perfect snack bar on the go or after an intense workout to help you recover.

So now I want you to tell me your Father’s Day plans. It better involve at least calling that Dad of yours and telling him you love him!

Oh yea, Love you Dad!

This is a sponsored post. Al products were received for free in exchange for my honest review, however all opinions are my own. 

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No-Churn Mint Oreo Ice Cream

Welcome to June Friends!

I’m not sure when the first official day of summer is, but June = Summer and I don’t care what the astrologists or whoever decides these things say.

With the start of summer, comes infinite ice cream. Because everyone knows ice cream calories don’t count in the summer, duh.

no-churn Mint Oreo Ice Cream

Mint Oreo is actually my absolute favorite ice cream on the planet. However, I have a confession for y’all. I don’t like Oreos, *collective gasp* I know, you wouldn’t know it based on this recipe for Mint Oreo Donuts, or this one for Oreo Pudding Cookies. Clearly I have a problem…

But to prove I’m not part of the Taliban, let me explain. I won’t eat an Oreo, but I will put it in all my desserts and lick up every last crumb.You can crush Oreos up and put them into any dessert and I will eat them. Oreo crumbs are like crack. I think I actually read somewhere that Oreos contain actual crack. I could be wrong….

No-Churn Mint Oreo Ice Cream Mint Oreo no-churn Ice Cream

My sister finally let me off the leash and let me make something OTHER than my Smore’s Ice Cream, so what else would I  make, but my very favorite! I actually bought Birthday Cake Oreos, thinkin the sprinkles would be really cute in the ice cream but in the end you couldn’t even see them, whomp, whomp…

I also Packed, them full of Oreos. Like almost an entire package of Oreos. I maybe let out like 6 for photo purposes….I told you, crack….

mint oreo no-churn ice cream

No-Churn Mint Oreo Ice Cream

  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 package Oreos
  • 2 drops peppermint extract
  • 6 drops green food coloring

Crush as many Oreos as you want. I suggest possibly scraping off the icing and only using the crack crumbs, but to each their own. Beat your heavy cream until it forms stiff peaks. It takes about 10-15 minutes I think. I’ve never really timed it, just stare off into space and daydream as I do it. Welcome to my life.

Beat your heavy cream until it forms stiff peaks. It takes about 10-15 minutes I think. I’ve never really timed it, just stare off into space and daydream as I do it. Welcome to my life.

No-Churn Mint Oreo Ice Cream

Next combine milk, peppermint extract and food coloring in a separate bowl. Finally, dump everything together in the stiff peaks bowl. Combine well then pour into your final dish. I prefer to use my Mom’s old “vintage” bread pans, because they’re just so darn cute.

Cover with plastic wrap and freeze overnight (or at least for a few hours if you’re impatient)

Done, Voila!

Anyone got any ice cream combos they’d like me to try? Or better yet, who’s gonna try to make their own?!?

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Bacon & Cucumber Macaroni Salad

Hey Party People!

I’ll have a Graduation Weekend recap for y’all in a hot minute. Well maybe, who knows. My sister is spending a few days with me before we turn around and head to her graduation in Knoxville so I may or may not get around to it. I’m sure you’re crying on the inside. It’s ok, we’ll get through this together….

Anyway, today I’ve got a fun summer pasta salad recipe for you. I made this for the graduation cook-out I went to this past Saturday. It was a hit! I even actually liked it and I don’t normally like pasta salads. Whatever dressing is used usually doesn’t sit well with my taste-buds.

This one did though. Like a lot, a lot.

Bacon & Cucumber Macaroni Salad

Let me back up though. I scoured the Internets (aka Pinterest) for a good recipe, but to no avail. Nothing just popped out at me. Alas, I was assigned a pasta salad and you won’t ever find me showin up empty-handed anywhere, so not to be deterred, I kinda just combined a bunch of stuff and called it a day.

I’m pretty happy with how it turned out too. I always say I can’t make recipes up (not that this was all that original) but somehow they keep turning out. Now if only I could get those darn photos to look uber staged and 5-star worthy….

Bacon & Cucumber Macaroni Salad

I also have to admit I’m not a huge fan of bacon. GASP. I know…..Blasphemous and Un-American….While you’re picking your jaw up off the ground, let me explain myself. If someone offers me bacon, 9/10 I’ll say no thanks. Unless it’s a life or death situation in which case 10/10 I’ll take the bacon. See? Not as bad as you thought.

I understand though that everyone else and their Momma goes Gaga over bacon, so I indulge them. I make bacon…….

Bacon & Cucumber Macaroni Salad

Bacon & Cucumber Macaroni Salad

  • 2 cups pasta (cooked, drained, rinsed, and cooled)
  • 12 strips bacon (cooked, cooled, and cut)
  • 1 package frozen peas (steamed and cooled)
  • 1 small or 1/2 large cucumber (chopped)
  • 3 stalks green onion (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp spicy mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste

Combine all solid ingredients in a bowl. Obviously you’re gonna wanna cook and cool the bacon, cook the pasta, chop the onion/cucumber etc, but I figured we’re all big girls here and could infer that part.

Next mix all wet ingredients in a smaller bowl, combining them well. Finally pour the dressing over the mixed solids and stir all together. I actually only used about 3/4 of the dressing to a lighter taste. Go with your gut on this. (Gut = taste buds, just don’t eat it all)

Done, bueno.

Seriously, you should add this to your summer bucket list, it’s that good.

Anyone else have  great pasta salad recipe I can try?

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Blue Diamond Almond Coconut Smoothies

This post is sponsored by Almond Breeze Almondmilk. I received this product for free, however all opinions and statements are my own.

Oh look who decided to show up this Monday! If you said me, than you are 100% correct. If you didn’t say me it’s ok, I can’t really blame you with my track record….

I do have something uber fun for you today though! Through being a part of the Blue Diamond Almonds Tastemakers Community, I was sent a box of their Unsweetened Almond Breeze Almond coconut Milk to test out.

Now first of all, I use their regular almond milk every morning in my chai tea and it even made an appearance in the Chai Spiced Sugar Cookies I made over the Holidays, so almond milk is no stranger to my fridge. I had never before tried the Coconut variations though. I’m the first to admit I’m not a huge fan of coconut. This stuff was the bomb though.

(title)

I branched out from my usual chai tea mixture and made a wonderfully delicious smoothie with it!

Now before you get all excited, for those who are vehemently against anything coconut flavored, I want to assure you that the coconut taste is very mild. I didn’t even notice it in the smoothie, although I do in my tea.

Almond Breeze Coconut Almond Smoothie

With the weather warming, or rather trying to warm up, I drink a heck of a lot more smoothies. However I get bored with the same old orange and banana concoction that’s my normal go-to, so this was perfect.

I also made mine a bit thicker by adding in less liquid and more solids but feel free to play around with the ingredient amounts to best suite you.

Almond Breeze Almond Coconut Milk

I wouldn’t say it makes a great “meal” but I’m the type of girl who eats a few meals between my “meals” if ya know what i mean. As in around 10:30 and 3 I need something to tide me over until the real meal and I stick this smoothie in there. Make sense?

But on, let’s get to the actual recipe, I know why you came around today.

Almond Breeze Almond Coconut Smoothie

  • 1 cup Almond Breeze Unsweetened Almond Coconut Milk
  • 1/2  avocado
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt (any flavor you want!)
  • dash vanilla

Blend together and finish off with one smooth criminal!

 Any questions?

Are you a fan of Almond Milk? Ever tried the coconut blend?

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Linkin up with the Meatless Monday Crew

Green Monster Breakfast Smoothie

Happy Monday Party People!

You’d be the only party people in the room right now because I spent my entire weekend in the library studying for my graduate exams this week, whomp whomp. But with two snow days beforehand, you best believe I completed two more hats, an ear warmer, and a scarf so I got my “partying” out of the way before the weekend lol

Anyway, today’s recipe comes to you in honor of my Boston bound Spring Break next week!!! You know I just couldn’t stay away so it’s 7 days in the city that’s still buried under snow. I really planned my “Spring’ break really well this year lol

Green Monster Smoothie4

Anyway, with all this cold weather that just won’t stop, I’ve been terrible at getting my greens in. Carbs? No problem. Homemade warm and delicious sugary treats? duh, I made donuts remember….

So yea, I needed an easy and doable way to get my greens in until Mother Nature decides to bring real life back to us. Now there’s no shortage of green smoothie recipes out there, just go on Pinterest and you could scroll through that page for the next 1,000 years and still find more.

So what makes mine different?

Green Monster Smoothie3

Cauliflower!

Actually I have no idea if that’s never been done before, ain’t no one got time to fact check 1,000 years worth of recipes! So I apologize if you’re the creator of spinach-cauliflower cubes.

[Tweet “I don’t always invent recipes, but when I do they involve chocolate #smoothie”]

I kid you not though, there’s a full serving of cauliflower in these puppies. On food prep day I blend one cup water with a batch of fresh spinach (not the bagged kind) with half a head of grated cauliflower. Once it’s blended into its green earthy glory, I pour it all into ice cube trays and freeze them overnight. Then you can either leave them in the trays or pop them out into a bowl like I do.

Green Monster Smoothie2

I also chop and freeze separately my bananas for extra bulky blended goodness the next morning. Finally I add in one cup water, a full navel orange, a dash of vanilla and peppermint extract, and blend well. Last I toss in a few (my few and your few are allowed to be different) and pulse 3-5 times until there’s tiny chunks on chocolate throughout.

I actually blend everything together the day of that I’ll be drinking it. Plus since the banana and spinach-cauliflower cubes are frozen there’s really no need for ice cubes to give it that frosty texture! Easy peasy no-lemon’s involved squeezy!

Green Monster Smoothie1

Green Monster Breakfast Smoothie

  • 3-4 spinach-cauliflower cubes
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 navel orange
  • 1 cup water
  • dash vanilla
  • 1-2 drops peppermint extract
  • flax or chia seeds (optional)
  • handful chocolate chips (NOT optional, kidding)

Blend well and enjoy! It’s really that simple.

Have you ever tried making your spinach cubes beforehand? What’s your favorite smoothie recipe to get in those greens?

Sig

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Linkin up with Meatless Monday

Snickerdoodle Muffins

Hello Blonderside-ers!

That didn’t really sound as cool as I thought it might…I’ll work on the greeting…

Anyway today I’ve got a wonderful muffin-y recipe for y’all. Whenever I start feelin homesick, al I haveta do to feel better is make one of my Mother’s recipes and I instantly feel better (if not laden down with un-needed calories….sale vi)

One of my absolute favorite recipes of hers is Brown Sugar Muffins. On a spectacularly cold winter day during my snow week, I wanted said muffins really bad. However, I’m also extremely lazy and hate making multiple trips to the store and had already been this week and was left without eggs. Sad face….

Snickerdoodle Muffins

Not having eggs isn’t an especially weird occasion for me seeing as how I only buy them when I know I’m making something that needs them….which is rare….unless it’s a sudden onset of homesickeness…like the other day….

So like so many terrible stories begin, I decided to make up my own version of Brown Sugar Muffins…..

Snickerdoodle Muffins

Now this might be an easy enough thing for most people, I however, am not one of those people…..I need a recipe. And then I need a recipe for my recipe. Catch my drift? An adventurous baker I am not…or I guess now I can claim that title because these muffins turned out awesome!

Light, fluffy, snickerdoodle-y! Perfect!!

Again, this type of accomplishment is rare for me. Except quinoa salad or chili recipes, but it’s kinda hard to mess something like that up so they don’t really count. Although if anyone will, it’d be me.

This is a pretty full-proof recipe though and comes together really easily as long as you don’t over-bake them. If you’re a fan of snickerdoodle cookies, than this is the muffin for you!

Snickerdoodle Muffins

Snickerdoodle Muffins

  • 1.5 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • dash salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (or oil of your choice though continue at your own risk)
  • 1/2 cup water (again can use milk if have it)

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. Mix all dry ingredients together and then add wet ingredients. Combine, put in muffin tin, bake for 15-20 minutes.

[Tweet “Love snickerdoodle cookies? Here’s a perfect muffin recipe for you #recipe #comfortfoods”]

If there’s an easier muffin recipe please let me know. I’m all about efficiency in the kitchen. The quicker I get to eat my foodie masterpieces the better. #GetInMyBelly

Anyone else try going off-recipe and it worked out?

Also don’t forget the Secret Blogger Club is Wednesday!

Sig

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Linkin up with Meatless Mondays

Chocolate Frosted Baked Donuts

Welcome to Monday Friends!

If you follow me on Instagram, or just have two working eyes and live anywhere but Florida, you saw the beautiful stir-crazy weekend that was. I had the entire week off from Snowpocalyse2015 rearing its head here in Kentucky so plenty of time to do….well lots of nothing.

Because of this ridiculous amount of time, I decided to Treat Myself (see what I did there?) to a new kitchen gadget. Well and ALL the yarn. Seriously I made three scarves, two ear warmers, and a hat…..

The kitchen gadget though was what made me extremely happy. A donut pan! I love donuts but rarely eat them and decided I needed to remedy this tragedy.

chocolate frosted baked donuts

And since I had an entire weekend stretching out before me, why not make two different kinds amiright? I’m only showing you the first one today, you’ll haveta wait for the second recipe. I’ll give you a hint though, it involves Oreos…..

To be honest though, chocolate frosted donuts have always been my favorite. Except for a short span when I cheated with maple donuts…..But I always return to my faithful chocolate frosted love.

Chocolate Frosted Baked Donuts

These were beyond easy to make and while they don’t taste as good as fried (duh…) they still satisfy your donut craving in the middle of a snowstorm. I wanted to put sprinkles on because I’m cute like that, but I couldn’t find any at Kroger when I was there. Get on my level Kroger!

You could easily make a glaze or strawberry, maple, peanut butter, etc frosting to tweak them however you’d like. I followed the recipe here for the chocolate ganache frosting. I don’t really know how different ganache is from plain ole frosting, but it sounds fancier so I made a ganache. If you’d rather keep it easy you can always just warm up store-bought frosting to dip them in.

Chocolate Frosted Baked Donuts

Chocolate Frosted Baked Donuts

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt (i used honey flavored)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk (I used almond)
  • 2 Tbsp butter, metled and cooled
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla

Chocolate Ganache aka frosting

  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp light corn syrup
  • 2 tsp water

Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients from egg down, in a bowl with a whisk. Next add all dry ingredients and mix together. The dough will be pretty thick so I used a spatula to fold it all together at the end.

To put in neatly into the donut pan, I spooned all the dough into a large ziplock bag, cut off a tip and then piped it into the pan. My dough yielded about 9 donuts. Finally bake for 10 minutes.

While you’re baking the donuts, put all frosting ingredients in a microwave safe bowl and zap in 15-20 second intervals. I only went about 30 seconds then just stirred it until all melted together. I didn’t want to burn the chocolate. Burned chocolate is no fun. Once the donuts have cooled for a minute or two, dip them into the frosting and set aside. Cover with sprinkles at this point if you want to.

[Tweet “Chocolate Frosted Baked Donuts to satisfy that beautiful sweet tooth #donuts #americarunsondonuts”]

Also don’t forget to link up with me Wednesday for the Secret Blogger Club! No rules, just bring your pretty face to the party!

Now tell me, who wants a donut?!

Sig

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Linkin up with Meatless Monday, Weekending, & MIMM