Strawberry Banana Popsicle

I’d like to believe that summer’s not quite over even though we’ve had some cooler weather recently.  So, its still the perfect time to enjoy some popsicles!  My mind is already racing with other flavor combinations, but this time I went with strawberry & banana since it is a duo that’s always sure to please.


Strawberry Banana Popsicles

2 cups whole, frozen strawberries

1 medium banana, sliced into chunks

1/2 cup plain greek yogurt

1/2 cup vanilla almond milk {could also use coconut milk or skim milk}

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup honey {could use agave nectar or maple syrup}

Combine all ingredients in a blender.  Add more almond milk to reach a smooth consistency if needed – you want it more runny than a milkshake but still somewhat thick.  Pour into Popsicle molds and place in the freezer for at least 6 hours.


Other flavors I’m anxious to try:

Orange Creamsicle – orange juice, vanilla Greek yogurt, coconut milk, vanilla extract, and honey or agave nectar.

Fudgsicles – 2 frozen bananas, cocoa powder, milk, vanilla extract

Frappuccino – vanilla almond milk, coffee ice cubes, Hershey’s chocolate syrup, sugar or sweetener

Whole Fruit Pops – grapes, strawberries (sliced), kiwi (sliced), blueberries, raspberries placed in molds with white grape juice to fill

Pina colada – pineapple chunks, coconut milk, coconut flakes, plain yogurt, sweetener

I can’t wait to make these and other creations!  Let me know if you try them or if you have any other favorite flavors.

Game Day Grub

I hear there’s a big game tomorrow…a football game, maybe?  I’m not really sure.  Professional sports aren’t really on my radar.  But I’ve heard a few comments here and there about the super bowl so that must be it.  😉   Just don’t ask me who’s playing!

Anyway, I thought you might want some last minute snack ideas.  So, here’s a round-up of a few things that I think might go well with watching a football game.  I hope your team wins!

Main Dish:

Traditional Chili or White Chili Make sure you have cornbread or biscuits on the side and all the fixings to go on top – crackers, cheese, sour cream, fritos, scallions, etc…


Pizza Puffs

Enchilada Roll-ups

Pigs in a Blanket and Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Bites

Snacks and Dips:

Jalapenos would be the star of the game day for us.

Jalapeno Hummus

Jalapeno Popper Dip

Hot Pizza Dip {favorite!}

Oh, I almost forgot Salsa!  Can’t have a football game without the chips and salsa.

And while we are at it, we can’t forget the beer either.  Here’s a Beer Cheese Dip!

For the sweeter side of things, here’s a Cookie Dough Dip!


Keeping it simple, here are a few bar recipes that you can’t go wrong with:

Peanut Butter Fingers

Oreo Bars

Chewy Brownies

And last but not least, you gotta have drinks!

I recommend Rum Slushies!

Enjoy and have fun!

Zesty Snack Crackers

This is normally one of the goodies that I make with my mom and sister when we do our annual Christmas baking, but Tim has mentioned that it should be a regular snack to have around the house.  I couldn’t refuse, because I totally agree.  Why save it for just the holidays?!

It also makes a great topping for soup or chili.  Give it a try!

Zesty Snack Crackers

Source:  adapted from a hometown cookbook {I don’t want to mention names on the blog, but a shout out goes to a good friend”s mom!}

1 package {10 – 12 oz.} oyster crackers

1 package dry ranch dressing mix

1 tsp garlic powder or garlic salt

1 heaping tsp dill weed

1 tsp lemon pepper seasoning – optional, can use up to one Tbsp

1/2 cup vegetable oil {you can use up to one cup, but 1/2 cup works for me}

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.  Stir or shake at least 4-5 times over a one hour period.  Store in an air tight container.


Berry Granola Bars

Here’s a new granola bar recipe that I tried out.  Even though I doubled the original recipe, it still makes a smaller batch than any of my other granola bar recipes.  It is a nice and quick recipe though that yields a thick cookie-like bar.  I have listed the ingredients as I made it {doubled}, if you want to cut it in half, use an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan for baking and cut into 8 bars.

We ate them way too fast to warrant freezing them, but the recipe indicates that they freeze extremely well.

Berry Granola Bars

Source:  cooking for 2 magazine, Spring 2009.


4 Tbsp butter, soft

4 Tbsp brown sugar

2 eggs

4 tsp corn syrup

2 tsp molasses

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1-1/3 cup old-fashioned oats

6 Tbsp all-purpose flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1/3 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup chopped pecan

1/2 cup dried mixed berries {blueberries, strawberries, cherries, cranberries…any combo totaling 1/2 cup is fine}


Cream butter and brown sugar.  Beat in the eggs, corn syrup, molasses, and vanilla.

Combine the oats, flour, cinnamon, and baking soda; gradually add to the creamed mixture and mix well.  Stir in pecans and dried fruit,

Spread into a lightly greased 8″ or 9″ square pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until set and edges are browned.  Cool completely and then cut into bars.

RP: Granola Bars

I’m re-posting {RP} this recipe since it was buried in a post with 2 other recipes {both of which I still love}.  But, I just wanted to bring attention to this recipe again since I’m back on a kick of making homemade granola bars and this recipe is perfect for summer since you don’t have to use your oven.

These bars are ideal to take along to all sorts of summertime activities like picnics, biking, hiking, boating, and whatever else you can think of…even just for breakfast on your way to work.

Peanut Butter Granola Bars

Source:  adapted from Stephanie Cooks


2 1/2 cups Fiber One cereal {the kind that looks like twigs} OR Rice Crispies

2 cups quick-cooking oats

1/4 cup chopped nuts {I have used almonds and walnuts}

1/3 cup wheat germ

2/3 cup packed brown sugar

2/3 cup honey

2/3 cup peanut butter

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/3 cup mini chocolate chips


Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with light cooking spray.

In a large bowl, stir together the cereal, oats, nuts, and wheat germ.  Set aside.

Combine the brown sugar and honey in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat just until boiling, then remove from heat and stir in peanut butter, salt, vanilla and cinnamon until smooth. Pour over the cereal and oat mixture, stirring quickly (as sugar mixture cools it hardens quickly). Immediately press mixture into the prepared pan using the back of a large spatula. Lightly press chocolate chips into top of bars. Refrigerate for about 1 hour, then cut into squares. Store in an airtight container.


They are really difficult to cut when they are cold, so let them set out for a little bit before cutting.

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

So goes the story of most banana recipes…I had 2 sad-looking bananas on the counter, so I decided to make this recipe.  🙂  The great thing about it is that it can be quickly mixed by hand, so you don’t need to dirty your mixer!  Yummy too!  I’ve substituted blueberries in place of the chocolate chips before too.

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

{source: adapted from Taste of Home Cupcakes & Muffins issue}

Makes 12 muffins


1-3/4 cups AP flour

1/4 cup sugar

2-1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup whole milk {or whatever milk you have; I’ve used skim and almond milk before}

1 egg

1/2 cup vegetable oil {or coconut oil}

1 cup mashed ripe banana {2 bananas}

1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips {or cinnamon chips or blueberries}


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease or spray a muffin pan.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt with a whisk.  In a separate bowl, combine the egg, milk, oil and mashed bananas with a fork.  Stir the wet into the dry ingredients just until moistened.  Fold in chocolate chips.

Fill the prepared muffin cups.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Cool for 5 minutes in pan before removing to wire rack to cool completely.

Cookie Dough Dip

Of all the food served at the recent baby shower I hosted, this dip was probably talked about the most.  I think everyone liked it and several people asked how to make it.  It is a nice sweet alternative to the typical savory dips/appetizers served at parties.  Its also totally addictive!

The only change I make is adding more powdered sugar than what is called for.  I like a thicker dip, so I would guess I added closer to 1 cup but I just eyeballed it.

Cookie Dough Dip


1/2 cup butter

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 {8 oz) package cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup confectioner’s/powdered sugar {I used maybe 1 cup?}

3/4 cup mini chocolate chips, plus more for garnish

1/2 cup chopped nuts – optional {I always omit}

Nilla wafers or graham crackers for dipping


Melt the butter with the brown sugar in a small saucepan.  Stir until the butter is melted and sugar dissolves.  Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.  Set aside to cool.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar until combined and fluffy.  Slowly add the cooled butter mixture and beat to combine.

Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts.  Place in serving bowl, cover and refrigerate. 

Add additional mini chocolate chips before serving for garnish if you choose.

Layered Fiesta Dip

This is a staple for so many parties that we host or attend.  It is a real crowd-pleaser and can be adapted a dozen different ways.  Some call it 7-layer dip or 8-layer dip or various other names.  But no matter how many layers go into it, the important thing is just to make however you like it.

Below I’ll list the possible layers, but go ahead and add/omit based on what you like and have on hand.  Layer everything in a shallow dish {preferably clear to see layers} starting with the refried beans.

Layered Fiesta Dip

1 can fat free refried beans {leave plain or stir in cumin and garlic powder or other spices to taste}

approximately 1 cup guacamole or 2-3 mashed avocados mixed with juice of 1/2 to 1 lime and a pinch of salt

8 oz sour cream mixed with one packet {1/4 cup} taco seasoning

shredded lettuce

1 cup shredded cheese

cooked and crumbled bacon

1 can black olives, sliced

3-4 green onions, sliced

1 or 2 medium tomatoes, chopped

Cover and refrigerate at least one hour to allow flavors to meld.  Serve with tortilla chips.


Roasted Chickpeas

I have really grown to love chick peas over the past few years – in hummus, tossed on a salad, etc.  I totally love the healthy little beans.  Years ago I never would have looked in their direction.  My how things change!  So, since I always have a can or two in the pantry, I thought I would go ahead and try roasting them for a snack.

I wasn’t sure if Tim would like them, so I cut the recipe in half {below is my halved version}, but I upped the amount of spices used because I love a good kick.

Overall, they were pretty good, but not something that I’ll bother to make frequently because they didn’t knock my socks off.

Roasted Chickpeas

{Source:  adapted from Milk and Honey}


  • 1  (16-oz.) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1  tablespoons olive oil
  • 1.5 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1  teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4  teaspoon cayenne  
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt


Preheat oven to 425°. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Transfer mixture to a lightly greased 17- x 12-inch jelly-roll pan {I used a smaller baking sheet since I halved the original recipe}. Bake 35- 45 minutes or until crispy and dry, stirring every 5-10 minutes. Let cool 20 minutes.