Dark Chocolate Peppermint Mousse

chocolate mint mousse 3

This is one of the easiest treats you will ever make.  You’ll especially appreciate the final step.  Allow me to explain…

Many a recipe (including this one) will instruct us to:

    1. Mix ingredients.
    2. Pour mixture into serving dishes.
    3. Chill for at least two hours.

Is it just me, or does it seem that in order to follow the directions diligently we should mix our ingredients, pour the mixture into serving dishes, then promptly “put our feet up and do nothing for at least two hours?”  It says to “chill” right?  If we read this literally, I do believe we are being told to do absolutely nothing.  Relax.  Take a breather.  Chill out already.  For two entire hours (or more – don’t forget the “or more”).

Is anyone else thinking about Amelia Bedelia right now?  (If you haven’t read those children’s books, you’re missing out.)

Now I’m not exactly sure what to think about recipe instructions that say, “chill until firm.”  Rarely do I notice more defined muscle tone when I’m chillin’ in my chair for two hours or more.  ”Chill until it jiggles in the middle” – well now, unfortunately that makes quite a bit more sense.

I’ll be the first to admit that taking time to rest doesn’t come easy for me.  I’d love to “chill” after mixing up a recipe – but who will take care of all those dirty dishes?  Amelia Bedelia, perhaps?  If only.

While I’m sure we could have a lovely discussion about taking time to rest, washing dishes, or encouraging healthy muscle tone – I will now turn the conversation back to this new recipe I’d like to share, letting you know that in fact, once you mix it up, it needs to be poured into serving dishes and chilled.

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Mousse

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Mousse

1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

Measure 3/4 cup cream into a sauce pan.  Heat until hot, but not boiling.  Remove from heat.  Add chocolate chips, stirring until melted.  Stir in peppermint extract and set mixture aside.

In the meantime, whip the remaining 3/4 cup cream in a bowl until firm peaks form.  Fold chocolate mixture gently into whipped cream.  Spoon mousse into 6-8 bowls or cups.  And finally, the instructions you’ve all been waiting for:  Chill for at least two hours before serving.

To be clear, this means that you need to put the mousse into the refrigerator for at least two hours until you are ready to serve it to your family or guests.  Before the pan and bowl get crusty, wash your dishes and wipe down the counter-tops.  Then hug your children, check the mail, return a phone call, switch out the laundry, get out meat for dinner, scrub the gunk off the floor, and re-hang the curtain that got pulled down.

After that, by all means, you should chill.

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Easy Veggie Dip (With Homemade Seasoned Salt)

It’s been exactly 21 hours and 4 minutes since I posted the Homemade Seasoned Salt recipe, so I’m assuming all of you have some mixed up and ready by now?  Perfect.  You’ll be needing it for this recipe.  You have cucumbers and carrots on hand, right?  Perfect.

Easy Veggie Dip 1

One of the recipe cards that we made to go with your Seasoned Salt gift package shares this Easy Veggie Dip idea.  Right after mixing up my first batch of seasoned salt, I made some Perfect Potato Wedges (a recipe also found on the free recipe card printable) and some of this Easy Veggie Dip.  It was so….well, easy.  The only way I can get my family (including the mother - that’s me) to eat cucumbers is if I supply dip.  Typically, I go for ranch.  But cucumbers with this Easy Veggie Dip is delicious.  Even my hubby, who doesn’t really dig cucumbers, was enjoying the combo.  Yay - another great way to eat veggies!

Easy Veggie Dip

1 Tablespoon dried minced onion
2 cups sour cream
2 Tablespoons real mayonnaise (I use Hain safflower mayo)
Seasoned Salt to taste

In a bowl, mix together minced onion, sour cream, and mayonnaise.  Add Seasoned Salt until mixture changes color (it should become a light peach color), tasting as you go for desired flavor.  Chill for at least one hour before serving.  Serve as a dip with assorted raw vegetables.

You’ll find our Seasoned Salt recipe here, along with this recipe (and 3 others) on cute printable recipe cards.  This makes a great gift!  This dip is great for holiday parties, or simply as a way to get your family to eat vegetables (like cucumbers!) any day of the week.  <—- I’m looking at you Coppinger Clan.

Can’t wait to hear how you like this Seasoned Salt and the recipes to go with it!

Easy Veggie Dip with homemade Seasoned Salt

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Hot Chocolate Souffle ~ A Recipe That Just So Happens To Naturally Be Grain Free and Dairy Free

hot chocolate souffle 2

Elias, our 12 year old, is my cookbook buddy.  Just like me, he enjoys looking through new recipes, getting food ideas, looking at the food pictures.  He’s my right hand man when it comes to finding new recipe ideas to play with.

During our past few trips to the library, Elias and I have picked up different cookbooks to look through and get ideas from.  This Hot Chocolate Soufflé is one he found recently.  He liked the look of the dessert and figured we could adapt it with our healthier ingredients pretty easily.  Obviously, he cares so much about using healthier ingredients, just like all normal 12 year old boys.  Ha. Haha. Ha. Ha.  Well, at least he knows his mom cares, and he sort of understands why.  Really, all he was concerned about was that this recipe looked like a yummy chocolate dessert.  What else matters, right?

Here’s what’s fun about this Hot Chocolate Soufflé recipe:

  • It’s very easy to make
  • It only has 4 ingredients
  • It can be made for those who need to avoid gluten and/or dairy

Hot Chocolate Soufflé

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1/3 cup sucanat powdered sugar
5 eggs, separated
pinch of sea salt

Separate eggs – whites and yolks – into two separate bowls.  Stir sucanat powdered sugar into the egg yolks until smooth.  In a small saucepan, melt the chocolate, stirring constantly and removing from heat immediately after chocolate has melted.  Stir melted chocolate into egg yolks and sucanat mixture.  Beat egg whites and sea salt until stiff peaks form.  Fold chocolate mixture into the egg whites until barely mixed.  Pour mixture into a 8×8 inch baking pan.  Bake in a 400° oven for about 15 minutes or until done through and through.

Grain Free, Dairy Free Hot Chocolate Souffle

These would be great for your Make-Ahead Lunch Box.  Also, I looked into where you can purchase allergy free dark chocolate chips.  Here’s what I found:

Do you like looking through cookbooks and recipes?  (Hope so – this site is full of ‘em!)

This post contains affiliate links.

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Raspberry Lemon Cream Cups ~ Perfect For Your Make-Ahead Lunch Box

The Make-Ahead Lunch Box

Allow me to introduce you to my new love, the Raspberry Lemon Cream Cup ~ Five simple ingredients, easy to make, and perfect to make ahead of time to pull out for your lunch box or table.  Add this one to our High Five Recipes collection.  Put this on your list of side dishes to go with lunch.  Hope and pray it stays in the fridge long enough to actually serve for lunch.

Yeah, I’m just saying that it may not last that long.  My first batch disappeared about 10 minutes after I made it.  Time to triple the recipe, maybe Laura?  Yes, I think so.

Raspberry Lemon Cream Cups

1 cup raspberries
20 drops stevia or 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup sour cream
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream

In a bowl, smash raspberries with a fork.  Stir in sweetener of choice, lemon juice, and sour cream.  Set aside.  In another bowl, whip the heavy whipping cream until soft peaks form.  Fold raspberry mixture into the whipped cream.  Pour into individual serving containers and chill for at least 2 hours.  (Or for 10 minutes if you are my family and can’t wait 2 incredibly long hours.)  This recipe makes 4-6 servings.

I love this side dish idea for make-ahead lunches!  If you pack lunches for work or school, this can easily be prepared in bulk and packaged for a filling treat to go with the main dish.  Pucker up – this recipe is a tart one.  That’s what makes it so good.  :)

Raspberry Lemon Cream Cups

You know what else is good?  Subbing a different variety of fruit for the raspberries.  Since we liked the Raspberry Lemon Cream Cups so much (and ate them so quickly), the following day I blended up nectarines to stir into this treat.  I can’t decide which one I like more.

Nectarine Cream Cups

1 cup pureed nectarines
20 drops stevia or 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 cup sour cream
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream

Stir pureed nectarines, sweetener of choice, and sour cream together and set aside.  In another bowl, whip the heavy whipping cream until soft peaks form.  Fold nectarine mixture into the whipped cream.  Pour into individual serving containers and chill for at least 2 hours.  This recipe makes 4-6 servings.

nectarine cream cups

These fruit cream cups are healthy, filling, and a perfect side dish to go with other Make-Ahead Lunch Box recipes like Ham and Cheese Pasta Salad or Whole Wheat Pizza Swirls.

What other fruit should we try blending into in these cream cups?

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7-Minute Strawberry Ice Cream ~ Dairy Free Option

Healthy food always takes a long time to make, right?  Not at my house.  Healthy food always tastes like “health food,” right?  Oh, for real.  Healthy food always costs a lot of money, right?  Not if I can help it. 

Most of the guests I feed at my house don’t even suspect that I’m serving them healthy food.  In fact, I fed this simple Strawberry Ice Cream to someone last week, and all he knew was that I was handing him a dish full of homemade ice cream.  All he knew was that it tasted delicious, he loved it, and he asked for seconds.  He was impressed that I had “taken the time” to actually make homemade ice cream.  He had no idea it was made in 7 little minutes.  He had no idea the dessert didn’t have any added sugar (I used stevia).  He had no idea the health benefits of what he was eating.  He just thought he was eating really good ice cream.  Boom.  Score one for healthy food that doesn’t appear to be health food.

Yes, from start to finish, this ice cream just takes about seven minutes to make.  No ice cream freezer necessary – all you need is a strong blender or food processor.  By the way – those seven minutes it takes to make this treat?  Well, it’s not like it takes 7 minutes of work on my part.  I just put the ingredients into the food processor and walk away.  God bless the person who invented food processors so that I can check email while I’m making ice cream.

7-Minute Strawberry Ice Cream

4 cups (give or take) frozen strawberries
1 can (13.5 ounces) chilled coconut milk or 1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
10 drops liquid stevia or 1 Tablespoon real maple syrup or 1 Tablespoon honey

Blend all ingredients together in a food processor or blender until smooth and creamy.  Serve right away.  Makes 4-8 servings.

7-Minute Dairy Free Strawberry Ice Cream

Have you tried the Cool Pineapple Cream Dessert recipe yet?  This is pretty much the same recipe, except for the obvious switch from pineapple to strawberries.  I found that when using pineapple, I didn’t need to add anything else to sweeten the treat.  Strawberries are a little more tart, so adding a tiny bit of stevia made this perfect.

Next I plan to make this treat using frozen peaches.  Then maybe frozen blueberries.  Then frozen raspberries.

Health food?  You can keep your rice cakes.  I’m having ice cream.

What’s your favorite “healthy food” to serve that doesn’t appear to be health food?

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Cool Pineapple Cream Dessert – Dairy Free, No Sugar Added – 100% Delicious

pineapple dessert 3

I found this recipe and decided to make it on Sunday night for our small group.  A couple of my friends who were coming can’t eat dairy, so I figured it would be perfect.  I had it whipped together and served into cups by the time friends began arriving.  And then, it just sat there, looking ever so inviting and refreshing.

Seeing as this is sort of like ice cream, and seeing as the cups of Cool Pineapple Cream Dessert were just sitting there on the counter while my friends and I waited for the burgers to come off the grill so we could eat, and seeing as my stomach was growling as loud as a mack truck - I interrupted our visiting and said something like, “Forget it.  I’m not waiting for a burger.  I’m going to try one of these.  You guys want one?”

And so it was that three of us gals stood in the kitchen, eating our desserts before dinner even began.  Hey, the kids were all outside running around.  Nobody even knew.  Except that I just ratted us out to all of you.  But you’ll never tell, right?

Cool Pineapple Cream Dessert.  It’s a dessert, it’s a snack, it’s breakfast, it’s lunch, it’s a cool treat in the evening while you’re sitting outside on the porch.  This recipe can be whatever you want or need it to be.  Why?  Because it’s sweet enough to be a dessert, but it’s healthy enough to be a part of your meal.  With only three, whole food ingredients, and no added sugar – this recipe is perfect.

My friends and I decided it tasted a bit like pineapple sherbet from the store.  If you want this to taste a little sweeter, simply add a few drops of real maple syrup.  I thought it was great without any added sugar.  In fact, after I was a good girl and ate my dinner, I went ahead and ate two more cups of this goodness, guilt free.  I just couldn’t help myself.

Cool Pineapple Cream Dessert

4 cups (give or take) frozen pineapple chunks
1 can (13.5 ounces) chilled coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Blend all ingredients together in a food processor or blender until smooth and creamy.  Serve right away.  Makes 6-10 servings.

Cool Pineapple Cream Dessert

Can other milk options work in this recipe?  I don’t see why not.  Regular cow milk should work just fine (1 1/2 cups), and I’m guessing almond or rice milk would work – although I don’t have much experience with either of those.  Coconut milk gives this extra great nutrients, plus a mixture of pineapple and coconut will help you make believe you are vacationing in Hawaii.  Especially if you are eating dessert before dinner, right?  Ah the beauty of being a grown up.  :)

Ever snuck dessert before dinner when the kids weren’t around to catch you?

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Chocolate Whipped Cream on Strawberries

Chocolate Whipped Cream on Strawberries 2

My men ban me from doing any work on Mother’s Day.  They take over the kitchen, putting together all the meals in a way that is both hilarious and beautiful to me.  Sometimes, I shout instructions from the living room.  Other times I offer some quiet advice to help avoid culinary disaster.  But they always do a nice job working together, and I’ve found it’s best if I simply walk away and let them do things their way.

Therefore, I needed a Mother’s Day dessert that was easy to make.  I needed a Mother’s Day dessert that could be made ahead of time.  I needed a Mother’s Day dessert that was low in sugar.  And I needed chocolate.  Obviously.

There’s nothing like inventing a recipe in my head, then writing it down and handing it to my boys to experiment with.  Why give them a tried and true recipe when something else sounds better…inside my head.  Right?  Bless my boys.  They are so used to how I roll in the kitchen, they didn’t even blink when I said, “For dessert, we’re going to try something new.”  I’m sure they expected nothing less.

Chocolate Whipped Cream on Strawberries

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 rounded Tablespoon cocoa powder
Liquid stevia to taste (we used about 10 drops)
Sliced strawberries

In a bowl, whip the cream until soft peaks form.  Add cocoa and stevia, and whip again for a few seconds until ingredients are mixed well.  Serve on top of sliced strawberries.

Chocolate Whipped Cream On Strawberries

Everyone loved this dessert!  The boys especially loved that I said, “Have as much as you want.”  When do I ever say that about dessert?  Never.  But with this, since it is sweetened with stevia, I felt no need to limit how much they ate.  This will be a great breakfast, snack, or dessert that we’ll surely be making over and over.

Now it’s your turn.  Make this Chocolate Whipped Cream and sit back and enjoy it guilt free.  Oh sweet happiness in a bowl.

What dessert did you request for Mother’s Day?

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Quick and Easy Crepes (and 8-Piece Pyrex Bowl Set With Lids Only $13.49!!)

Welcome to a typical crepe conversation with my children:

Boy: What’s for breakfast?
Mom: Crepes.
Boy:  Is that it?
Mom:  Isn’t that enough?
Boy:  I’m gonna still be hungry.
Mom:  What’s new?
Boy:  Can’t we have something else too?  I just don’t get full on grapes.

Every time.  You’d think I’d recognize the difficulty by now in hearing the difference between the words grape and crepe, but they rhyme and confuse the children.  Then they confuse the mother.  And then the entire conversation is confusing.

Crepes.  They are very different than grapes.  They are easy, filling, and very tasty.  My recipe has three simple, whole food ingredients.  Crepes make a great breakfast, lunch, snack, or light dinner.  We love crepes!  (And grapes.  But as I said before, we’re talking about crepes, not grapes.  Okedokee.)

Quick and Easy Crepes

Quick and Easy Crepes

6 eggs
3 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream
100% fruit jelly

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and cream until well combined.  Pour about 1/4 cup of mixture into a well greased, hot skillet.  I find that medium/high heat works best.  Cook the crepe until it begins to bubble and thicken, then flip it to cook the reverse side until lightly browned.  Remove from heat.  Spread a little jelly on one flat side of the crepe, roll it up, and serve.  Repeat process until all crepes have been cooked.  Makes about 10 small crepes.

I usually double or triple this recipe to fill my family.  Yes, sometimes we actually go through 18 eggs in one sitting.  And sometimes we also eat grapes.  But not usually at the same time as crepes.  Although I should totally do that sometime – just to throw everyone off.  Hmmm….

What’s your favorite kind of crepe filling?

——————————————

Look what I just found this morning!  This super useful 8-piece Pyrex Bowl Set With Lids is only $13.49.  That’s an amazing price and I’m snatching it up.  I posted about it last time it was on sale but it got bought out before I got mine.  No guarantees on how long this price will last so grab it now!  This set is super useful for prepping and storing tossed salads, cole slaw, potato salad, fresh fruits and veggies – so many great ways to use these.  Click our Amazon Deals page to purchase.

pyrex bowls 2

 

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Honey Glazed Carrots – Only 4 Ingredients

High Five Recipes 2

If it looks like candy, smells like candy, and tastes like candy – it must be candy, right?  Yes.  Unless it’s a carrot.  Then it’s a vegetable.  A really, really delicious vegetable.

When a veggie tastes like candy, costs less than candy, and looks as appealing as candy - you have no more excuses to pull out about why you’re not eating vegetables.  I’m not sure if you knew this or not, but carrots are also much more nutritious than candy.  Yes, it’s true.  That’s why you should choose veggies over candy most of the time.

This leads me to share about one of my new favorite ways to serve veggies.  Honey Glazed Carrots take only a few minutes to make – so you can’t use the excuse that “it takes too long to make healthy food.”  You don’t have to know a lot about cooking in order to make these, so no excuses there.  What else is there?  Actually, why are we even still talking about this?  Just eat the veggies, for goodness sake.  Here, I’ll make it easy for you:

Honey Glazed Carrots

Honey Glazed Carrots

5-6 medium carrots
2 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon honey
sea salt to taste

Peel carrots and cut them into “coins.”  Steam them for about five minutes or until they are tender.  Remove them from the pan.  Melt butter and honey together in the pan until it is runny and well combined.  Add the steamed carrots to the butter/honey mixture, tossing to coat.  Sprinkle with salt.  Serve right away.

This recipe tastes a lot like the honey glazed carrots you get at Cracker Barrel, although this recipe is better in my opinion as it’s not quite as sweet.  I mean, if I want something super sweet, I’ll skip the veggies and eat candy.  Which of course, I will only do rarely and that just leads us back to our original conversation.  Again, why are we still talking about this?  Just eat the veggies already.

Honey Glazed Carrots - better than candy in every way possible.  Won’t rot your teeth, won’t turn your lips blue, won’t give you a sugar high or crash, won’t freak out your insides.

Serve these carrots with Grilled Barbecue Chicken and a salad, and you’ve got a great tasting, super easy, very nutritious meal.

So now you tell me, what’s your favorite kind of candy?  Answer: Honey Glazed Carrots.  Now we’re talking.

 Find More High Five Recipes here.

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Quick and Easy Shortbread Recipe

High Five Recipes 2

Three ingredients.  A super quick snack.  Amazing deliciousness.  Supplies you always have on hand…

Wait, you do have butter on hand, right?  Okay.  I mean, we can still be friends even if you have run out of butter, but don’t let it happen again.  This has nothing to do with me and my butter obsession.  I’m just looking out for you, that’s all.  I have your best interests in mind.  Opening the fridge or freezer to find that there is no more butter waiting – well, it is reason to panic.  It’ll send a woman into a crazed frenzy, causing her to frantically toss a whole frozen chicken and eight packages of hamburger meat off a freezer shelf, hoping in vain to locate a forgotten pound of butter buried in the back under some frost.

It could be that I got going on that paragraph and couldn’t find a logical time to stop.  Just save yourself (or me, apparently) the emotional trauma of running out of butter by always keeping a nice supply on hand.

So butter.  You’ll need it for this recipe.  You’ll also need flour and sugar.  Plus a bowl, a spoon, and a pan.  That’s it.   Could it be any easier?

Quick and Easy Shortbread

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (I use freshly ground hard white wheat for this)
1/4 cup sucanat (or brown sugar if you prefer)
3/4 cup melted butter

Blend all ingredients well.  Press mixture into a 9×9 inch baking pan.  Bake in a 350° oven for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.  Cook and cut into 12 squares.

Quick and Easy Shortbread

As you can see, this is a no-brainer recipe.  I discovered it as I’ve been working on a brand new healthy snacks eBook.   This shortbread can be stirred up and put into the oven within just a few minutes.  We love it because it is just lightly sweetened, and deliciously buttery.  It is awesome with a cup of coffee or tea in the afternoon.

It is worthwhile to note that this is not a snack you’ll want to hand your kids while they are running into the living room you’ve just vacuumed.  This shortbread is a bit crumbly and needs to be eaten while holding ones head directly over a plate while sitting at a table.  Trust me.  I know these things.

And one more thing.  Go check your butter supply.  We’ll all sleep better tonight knowing you’re well stocked.

‘Fess up.  How much butter do you have right now? 

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