Icy Cold Milkshake Treats

I’ve been sharing quite a bit about coffee treats lately. Iced Coffee, Homemade Chocolate Frappe, Chocolate Whipped Cream for Coffeeyum. This is great for everyone except for those who don’t like coffee, right? Yes, well. This post should take care of that.

My family definitely fits into the “don’t like coffee” category of people. In fact, they really don’t understand why I’ve suddenly started loving the stuff. Okay by me. It’s the one and only food/drink in this house I get all to myself. Ha! It’s mine. All mine!! (she says, lovingly.)

So for all the “don’t like coffee” people out there, including my family, who thinks my Homemade Chocolate Frappe looks really good but tastes really bad – here’s what I’ve come up with as a delicious alternative. Icy Cold Milkshake Treats.  Instead of starting out with coffee ice cubes, simply start out with regular ice cubes. Instead of adding cold coffee and milk, simply add cream and milk. Instead of adding chocolate…oh wait. We’re still adding chocolate. Unless you want straight up vanilla. That works too.

Icy Cold Milkshake Treats
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Milkshake
Serves: 3 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 cups ice cubes
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Liquid stevia to taste (I use about 10 drops NuNaturals brand)
  • 3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (omit if you prefer a vanilla milkshake)
Instructions
  1. Blend ingredients together until slushy-like. Serve right away.

You’ll love how easy this is, how “real food” this is, and how it’s a treat completely void of sugar. It doesn’t get any better. (Unless you add coffee, but we’ve been through this already.)

 

Icy Cold Milkshake Treats

Most of the ingredients in the list are in “give or take” proportions. You’ll figure this out if you actually try to measure 2 cups of ice cubes. Rectangle shaped ice cubes don’t cooperate very well in a round measuring cup.

In addition, you may want your shake to be creamier, smoother, sweeter, chocolatier, or with coffee. Oh wait. This one doesn’t have coffee in it. Well anyway, feel free to add more or less of any of the above listed ingredients to make this shake just what you want it to be.

As for me, I’m going to stick with the Homemade Chocolate Frappe. And I’m going to drink the entire blender of coffee goodness all by myself because no one else in my house likes it so I don’t have to share, so ha! (she says, with kindness.)

What do you think? Which will you like better? And which will your family members like better?

Easy Cream Cheese Fruit Dip

This Cream Cheese Fruit Dip is our very favorite dip to eat with fruit!

strawberry_dip_2

I’ve probably already written this sentence a time or three, but here it is again:  Cream cheese makes everything better!

Or was I talking about butter when I said that? Actually, maybe it was cream? Well, the same is true for cream cheese, butter, and cream. (Although I will draw the line at adding any of the above to my lettuce salad.)

This recipe includes both cream and cream cheese. And homemade vanilla. (Or store bought vanilla, but homemade is so YUM.)  And then there is just a bit of maple syrup to make it sweet. Last but not least – you’ll add a shot of lemon or lime juice. Here are the specifics:

Easy Fruit DipYum

Easy Cream Cheese Fruit Dip
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • ½ cup cream (heavy whipping cream)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 Tablespoons real maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon or lime juice (fresh or bottled)
Instructions
  1. Whip the cream until it forms stiff peaks.
  2. In a separate bowl, cream together the cream cheese, maple syrup, vanilla, and lemon or lime juice.
  3. Fold cream cheese mixture into the whipped cream.
  4. Chill until ready to serve, or serve right away.

Tastes great with strawberries, grapes, and apples. Makes about two cups of dip.

Cream Cheese Fruit Dip
Have to eat dairy free? This wasn’t a winner of a post for you then, was it?! I’ll try to make it up to you next time. :)  Everyone else – multiple choice question:

Everything is better with:
a) butter
b) cream cheese
c) cream
d) all of the above

I’d love to hear your opinion on this one!

Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup

Learning to make Cream of Mushroom Soup will be a fantastic tool to have in your real food kitchen tool belt!

Just in case you lose count while reading the following sentence, I used the word “cream” or “creamy” six times, because apparently I like these words and like to overuse them. And also because once I realized I was doing it, I exaggerated on purpose:

When I shared my Creamy Chicken and Rice Casserole recipe, I told you that I don’t usually make cream soups to replace the canned cream soups called for in many creamy recipes, but instead substitute straight cream to make the dish creamy.

(Someone give me a synonym for “creamy” to enhance my future sentence writing creativity.)

However, I have a great recipe for an easy one dish meat and potato meal that I hadn’t made for years because I wasn’t sure how to make it without the cream of mushroom soup. For this, straight cream just wouldn’t cut it. I need to make the soup.

Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup

Therefore, for all one of my recipes that need cream of mushroom soup, here is how I make it:

Homemade Cream of Mushroom SoupYum

Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • ½ cup sliced mushrooms
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup organic corn starch or arrowroot powder
  • 4 cups milk, divided
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Begin by sauteing mushrooms and butter until mushrooms are tender.
  2. In the meantime, shake the cornstarch or arrowroot powder in a jar with 1½ cups of milk.
  3. Use a whisk to mix the milk mixture into the sauteed mushrooms, stirring constantly at medium heat.
  4. Slowly add remaining milk, salt and pepper.
  5. Stir with a whisk until smooth and thick.

You probably could have figured out how to do this step without a picture, but when have I ever missed a chance to take a great photo of a jar?

Ooh, Ahh

This recipe will make around three cans worth of cream soup. I haven’t done it before, but I would imagine you could substitute celery for the mushrooms to make cream of celery soup instead. If you have extra soup that you don’t need, this can be frozen.

This recipe tastes great in my One Dish Meat and Potato Casserole!

What recipes do you make that require cream of mushroom soup?

Healthy Crock Pot Recipe: Italian Cream Cheese Chicken

You’re about to learn about my amazing Italian Cream Cheese Chicken recipe – one of my family’s favorite meals!

If you didn’t know it already, after reading this recipe it will be very clear to you that I am not afraid to cook with, serve my family, or eat high fat foods.  Welcome to a recipe that includes butter, cream and cream cheese. Oh yes, that’s why it tastes so good.

If you are afraid of fats, I’d love to assure you of how healthy it is to eat these whole, natural foods. There’s a big difference in the fat you consume at McGreasies and fat which is whole and natural. Our bodies, skin and hair need healthy fats in order to thrive. Here is a post I wrote a while ago regarding butter and cream – and if you’d like to read through my entire series of Getting Real with Food posts, you can do that here.

Ah, and I have to laugh at myself because while this recipe calls for butter, cream and cream cheese – it also calls for boneless, skinless chicken breasts, which always makes me think of low-fat cooking. I’m not afraid of the fat in the skin of a chicken, nor am I afraid of cooking a chicken with bones – but I don’t really prefer pieces of bone or skin in my pasta dishes. Therefore, I find that boneless, skinless chicken works best in this recipe. ;)

Italian Cream Cheese ChickenYum

Healthy Crock Pot Recipe: Italian Cream Cheese Chicken
 
Author:
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 Tablespoons dry Italian Dressing Mix
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1½ cups cream
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
Instructions
  1. Place chicken, dressing mix and butter in a crock pot. (I used my homemade Italian Dressing Mix to make this dish.)
  2. Cook for 6 hours on low or 4 hours on high.
  3. Shred chicken with a knife and fork. Add cream and cream cheese to the chicken and stir.
  4. Cook for ½ hour longer on low.
  5. Serve with whole grain noodles or brown rice.

Italian Cream Cheese ChickenWhat are the fats you include in your healthy diet?

Creamy Chicken and Rice Casserole (with no cream soups!)

I am a canned Cream of Fill in the Blank Soup rebel. I have avoided canned cream soups since we began Our Healthy Eating Journey. Why? Because their ingredient lists scare me. (As in, I literally scream out loud, from deep in the back of my throat, when I pick up a can and read it at the store. Not really. But I wonder what my boys would do if I did? Maybe I’ll do that sometime. Not really.)

The ingredients in a can of Campbell’s Cream of Celery Soup, according to the Campbell’s Food Service Website are (and do try not to scream when you read this):

Water, Celery, Vegetable Oil (Corn, Cottonseed, Canola, and/or Soybean), Wheat Flour, Modified Food Starch, Contains less than 2% of: Salt, Soy Protein Concentrate, Monosodium Glutamate, Cream Powder (Cream [Milk], Soy Lecithin), Yeast Extract, Flavoring, Beta Carotene for Color.

Well, at least the first two ingredients are water and celery. ;)

There are all kinds of recipes which share how to make homemade cream soups. I’ve tried some of them, and I’m thankful that the recipes are available. For some reason though, I just haven’t had a loving enough relationship with cream soup to try to keep the homemade varieties on hand.

The question is then, how do you make a casserole without a cream soup? Ah, very simple:  I use cream.

Cream of what? No, just cream. Cream. The stuff that rises to the top of your raw milk. Or the thick, white liquid you can buy in the dairy department of the store, usually labeled Heavy Whipping Cream. If you use cream, along with a few spices that enhance your casserole, your dish will be tasty, easy and surprise, surprise:  creamy.

Here is how I now make my Creamy Chicken and Rice Casserole with real, whole food ingredients:

Creamy Chicken and Rice CasseroleYum

4 cups chicken broth (I avoid canned broth or bouillon because they are also loaded with MSG.)
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 medium onion, diced
2 cups brown rice
2-3 cups cooked chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 teaspoon (or more) garlic powder
Sea salt, to taste
1 1/2 cups cream (heavy whipping cream, or fresh cream which has risen to the top of whole, raw milk)

In a large pot, bring chicken broth, carrots and onion to a boil at high heat. Add rice, stir, and place the lid on the pot. Reduce heat to low and cook the rice and vegetables in the broth for 45 minutes. (To avoid sticky rice, don’t stir the rice while it’s trying to cook – just walk away and ignore it for the entire 45 minutes. You can do it.)

When the rice is done, stir in cooked chicken, garlic powder and cream. Shake in liberal amounts of sea salt for best flavor. (I use Redmonds Real Sea Salt, which is unbleached and full of natural minerals.)  Cook ingredients for about five more minutes to heat the chicken and cream. Serve directly from pot, or pour into a 9×13 inch baking dish. This meal can be prepared ahead of time, refrigerated and reheated in the oven at serving time. Cover and heat in a 350° oven for 20-30 minutes or until hot through and through. Serves eight.

(You can also freeze this meal. To reheat, simply put the frozen, covered casserole into the oven, turn the oven onto 350° and cook for about 1 1/2 hours or until it is heated thoroughly.)

Creamy Chicken and Rice

Creamy Chicken and Rice Casserole (with no cream soups!)
 
Author:
Serves: 8-10 servings
Ingredients
  • 4 cups chicken broth (I avoid canned broth or bouillon because they are also loaded with MSG. Here's my easy homemade chicken broth recipe, which includes frighteningly ugly pictures of a chicken carcass. Again, try not to scream.)
  • 4 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 2-3 cups cooked chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
  • ½ teaspoon (or more) garlic powder
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • 1½ cups cream (heavy whipping cream, or fresh cream which has risen to the top of whole, raw milk)
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, bring chicken broth, carrots and onion to a boil at high heat.
  2. Add rice, stir, and place the lid on the pot.
  3. Reduce heat to low and cook the rice and vegetables in the broth for 45 minutes.
  4. When the rice is done, stir in cooked chicken, garlic powder and cream.
  5. Shake in liberal amounts of sea salt for best flavor.
  6. Cook ingredients for about five more minutes to heat the chicken and cream.
  7. Serve directly from pot, or pour into a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  8. Cover and heat in a 350° oven for 20-30 minutes or until hot through and through.

Cooking your rice in the chicken broth gives this dish a wonderful, naturally delicious flavor. And in case I didn’t mention it before, the cream makes this dish…creamy.

Where have you landed on the Cream of Fill in the Blank issue? Have you given them up yet? Have you ever screamed out loud when reading the ingredient list on a can of soup at the store? Do you make your own cream soups? Or do you use another substitution? (Sour cream works well too, in some recipes!)

High Five Recipes: Cream Scalloped Potatoes

High Five Recipes 2

Had I not tasted these potatoes myself (when my friend’s mom made them) and realized that I had just bitten into a bite of comfort food heaven, I would not have believed that these three little ingredients all by themselves could actually create such a wonderful side dish.

All of the other scalloped potatoes I’ve ever made have required quite a bit of work:  prepare potatoes…make a white sauce…layer the potatoes with the sauce…cook covered for a specific amount of time…then uncovered for another specific amount of time.

But this potato recipe?  Scrub and slice potatoes. Sprinkle with salt. Pour cream over potatoes. Bake. Stir every once in a while. Eat. Try to be nice and share. No really Laura…please pass the potatoes.

creamscallopedpotatoessm

Cream Scalloped Potatoes

4-5 medium potatoes
1 1/2 cups cream
sea salt to taste

Scrub potatoes and cut into very thin slices. Spread into a casserole dish. Sprinkle with salt. Pour cream over potatoes.

Bake uncovered at 300° for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, pulling dish out and stirring occasionally. Serve when potatoes are tender and cream has thickened.

The starch from the potatoes naturally thickens the cream into it’s own white sauce! SO simple!

Now, you’re welcome to throw in some onion or even sliced carrots into this dish if you want more flavor. I personally love it with just a generous amount of salt.

This potato dish is inexpensive, healthy and takes very little time to prepare. And it tastes like comfort food heaven. What more could we ask for?