Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Ramping up for quick holiday treats - Mini No Bake Cheesecakes - Only Four Ingredients!

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It's that time of year again!  'Tis the season for treat days, goody days, parties, carry-ins and guests in general.  Sometimes I have lots of time to prepare snacks and treats but there are other times, that I don't have much time at all.  

It's nice this time of year to reassess the things you might make that are inexpensive, if you don't have a lot of money to spare, and a few things that are super quick, if you don't have much time. 

Yesterday, my daughter, Rebecca texted me and asked what she could make for her office carry-in meal the next day.  Her department had been assigned desserts.  I suggested a few things like Pumpkin Crunch Dessert, Sugar Cookie Bars (because they are delicious but cheap to make - and most generally you have everything on hand):

I also suggested making brownies, Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake with Easy Chocolate Frosting (again, a very frugal, pantry ingredient, dessert) (someone was already making brownies):

Someone was already making brownies so she thought that covered the chocolate stuff, and none of these other things were quite as quick as Rebecca was after.

I suggested something that she has had a few times at "girls' night". No Bake Mini Cheesecakes.  I also suggested a simplified version than she had previously made.  They turned out FANTASTIC so I told Rebecca to make sure she took a picture and I would put the recipe on my blog.

Here's how Rebecca made Quick Mini Cheesecakes AT HOME MY WAY:

No Bake Mini Cheesecakes
  • Small Box of cheesecake instant pudding mix
  • Small container of whipped topping, like Cool Whip
  • Fruit for topping (strawberries, washed and sliced)
  • Mini Fillo Tart shells like these (we found at Walmart) (I think one small whipped topping + one pudding mix filled 24 shells):


Stir pudding mix into thawed cool whip.  Stir Well.  Spoon or pipe into fillo shells.  Top with sliced strawberries.  

Options:  You could use other flavors of instant pudding mix, such as chocolate with rasperries, lemon with blueberries, coconut or banana.  

Note:  If making for serving the next day, just fill the shells with the pudding/whipped topping mixture but save adding the fruit until the day of serving.



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Monday, November 16, 2015

Red Velvet Cookies (made with coconut oil)

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We have a great little cookie bakery in the town where I work called "Hot Box Cookies".  The cookies are heavy, moist, and fantastic!  We only get Hot Box Cookies on super special occasions and one of the guys at work had a birthday complete with some Hot Box Cookies not too long ago.  One of my favorites is the Red Velvet White Chocolate Chip cookies that they have so I set out recently to come up with a recipe that I could make at home.

Wouldn't you know it, I had everything I needed except butter.  Typical in my kitchen!  I did have some coconut oil which I sometimes use as a replacement for the fat in my recipes and/or in my soap making.  I decided to just use coconut oil instead of butter in my cookie recipe.  It was amazing!  I liked them so much that I decided to only make this recipe with coconut oil.  The cookies turned out nice and fat, crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside.  So good!  I am definitely going to try subbing in coconut oil the next time I make other cookie recipes.

I haven't posted anything on my blog in so long but I did want to share this recipe, if for no reason other than so I can find it the next time I want to make this recipe.

These cookies have a great presentation.  The deep red color and white chips make such a pretty cookie!  Plus they are completely delicious.  They are not overly sweet.  We love them!  They would be perfect to sharing on your Christmas cookie platter or making for a loved one for Valentine's Day.

Here's how I made RED VELVET COOKIES, made with coconut oil AT HOME MY WAY:


  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (I just get LouAna brand at Walmart)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 teaspoons red food color liquid (optional but they won't be deep red without it)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour (unbleached is best)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips


Soften the coconut oil slightly - not all the way, just a little bit so it is easier to cream/work with (but okay if it softens completely).  Make sure it is cool before adding the egg if the coconut oil heats up and melts all the way.  (I used the microwave.)

Mix in the egg and stir well well to incorporate.  Add in the food coloring  (it is impossible to add food coloring after dry ingredients so make sure to add it now).

Add in the brown sugar, baking soda, vanilla, salt, stir well.

Add in the cocoa powder, stir.

Add in the flour and stir well until combined.  I had to knead mine in some.  It just depends on how soft your coconut oil is if you will have to knead or can stir in the flour.  Add the white chocolate chips and mix until evenly disbursed.

Refrigerate for approximately 30 minutes.  (If you must refrigerate longer or overnight, you just have to take the cookie dough out of the fridge to warm up some/come to room temp in order to be able to dip it out.)  

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Make balls the size of ping-pong balls and place on sprayed cookie sheet or use parchment paper.

Bake 10-12 minutes @ 350 degrees (fully preheated oven) or until done.  Don't overcook.


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Thursday, July 9, 2015

Remaking Leftovers into Something Wonderful "BBQ Chicken Pizza"!

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Last night was pizza night at our house.  We were actually craving take out pizza on Tuesday (our favorite is Casey's) but - trying to be diligent about saving money, I quickly made our favorite pizza dough before leaving for work (Wednesday morning) and stuck the bowl of dough in the fridge.  I use the 5-Minute-A-Day dough which I blogged about here.

Making pizza at our house involves dough, a can of plain tomato sauce spread over the dough and sprinkled with salt/pepper/garlic powder/oregano, and then topped with cheese and usually pepperoni.

Tuesday we had crockpot BBQ chicken for supper so I had one lone piece of BBQ chicken in my fridge.  I have often seen BBQ chicken pizzas on menus and on Pinterest but had never really checked out what was on it.  BBQ chicken on pizza sauce never sounded very good to me.  Well... to my surprise most people don't use PIZZA SAUCE on a pizza with BBQ chicken on it.  Duh!!!  The recipes I found just involved spreading the dough with your favorite BBQ sauce, topping with cheese, and then BBQ chicken.  I had to try it!

I'm here to tell ya... BBQ chicken pizza is delicious!  What a great way to use up leftover chicken, either from BBQ chicken, crockpot BBQ chicken, or even leftover rotisserie chicken.  It was a great, cheap way to put dinner on the table.  AND IT WAS DELICIOUS!  In fact, I brought the leftovers with me to work for lunch.  I loved it.

My husband??  He was a sceptic.  I'm not sure I convinced him because he's weird.  But he likes those frozen BBQ chicken hot pockets and BBQ Chicken Pizza is the same thing - just made flat for heaven's sake!  Trust me, it is delicious!

Here's how I made BBQ Chicken Pizza AT HOME MY WAY:

BBQ Chicken Pizza

  • Unbaked pizza crust of your choice.  Hey, you could even use a tortilla, canned biscuit, a mix, or my favorite - the 5-Minute a Day recipe for dough
  • BBQ sauce, your favorite kind (it doesn't take much)
  • Grated Cheese (I used mozzarela and sharp cheddar)
  • Chicken, chopped (leftover BBQ chicken, rotisserie chicken)

Spread your dough into a greased/sprayed pizza pan.  Drizzle on some BBQ sauce and spread evenly.  Layer on the grated cheese.  Top with the chopped chicken.

Bake at 350 until cheese is melted and crust is browning (15 minutes or so.



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