Classic Homemade Brownies The Kids Can Make

These classic homemade brownies are the perfect dessert to let the kids help make! They’ll love mixing, cracking eggs, and baking from scratch. 

One thing I absolutely love doing with the kids is watching them learn how to bake. And my 6-year-old just graduated from baking brownies from a mix to baking from scratch. Her suggestion! 

After talking about how easy it was to make homemade brownies with my husband, she asked me if I could help her make them. So we got all of the ingredients out and started baking. 

What I love about this recipe is its simplicity. 

The fudgy goodness is absolutely perfect and the brownies pair so well with a glass of cold milk. Sure you can dress them up or add in some fun flavors, but these can stand on their own.

You can also add some espresso to enhance the chocolate flavor. We just didn’t have some on hand right now so we went without.  [Read more…]

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pecan Fat Bombs

These Chocolate Peanut Butter Pecan Fat Bombs hit the spot when you’re craving something sweet and help increase your fat macros. Plus they’re super easy to make! 

chocolate-peanut-butter-pecan-fat-bombs-recipe

I’m hopping back on the LCHF way of eating and have successfully been on plan for the past week. That means I’ve been able to get through a mini vacation up to Palm Springs AND our annual Cookie Christmas celebration + brunch on New Year’s day with my family. Now that I’ve tackled this first week, I know I can keep it going.  As I continue this journey I’ll be sharing over on my other blog, Low Carb San Diego. I’ll include great recipe ideas, tips and tricks, as well as my personal journey. I hope you follow along! 

These Chocolate Peanut Butter Pecan Fat Bombs hit the spot and help me increase my fats (something I always have a problem with). It’s a great treat for the end of the night or for when I know I’m going somewhere with lots of sweet treats. Bringing a fat bomb and one of my favorite low carb bars helps me say no to temptation and press forward. 

chocolate-peanut-butter-pecan-fat-bombs-with-monkfruit-in-the-raw

Find the full recipe here

Science in the Kitchen: Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream In A Bag

We’re getting creative in the kitchen with this fun Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream in a Bag recipe brought to you thanks to our partnership with Hershey’s via MomTrends.  

Science in the Kitchen Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream In A Bag

This weekend the kids and I got a little creative in the kitchen. After finding that my husband ate the last of the ice cream, they were determined to make a fun sweet treat to enjoy while we watched movies together. So I suggested we make ice cream. Now their first reaction was one of disbelief. Not that they hadn’t made ice cream before, but because our ice cream maker has been in the garage since we’ve moved here and they knew that wasn’t going to happen. So when I suggested that we shake and make our own homemade ice cream in a bag like I used to with my grandma, their eyes lit up and they were 100% on board to try things out.

While we were going over what ingredients we needed – ice, ice cream salt, heavy whipping cream, vanilla, sugar – my son spotted the HERSHEY’S SIMPLY 5 Syrup and asked if we could turn our ice cream into chocolate chip ice cream like the kind we’ve made before with a ribbon of homemade ganache. Instead of nixing the idea right away, I asked him what he’d do to make chocolate chip ice cream from the syrup. His mind started going and the ideas started cranking out.

Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream In A Bag ingredients

He settled on an experiment he wanted to try out: If we squeezed a ribbon of HERSHEY’S SIMPLY 5 Syrup onto wax paper and froze it, would it become hard so we could break it up into our ice cream?

So I let him set everything up and try it out. After about 3 hours in the freezer, though, the syrup was very cold, but not solid. So he decided that we’d just drizzle the chocolate in the ice cream mix to make a chocolate ice cream. Even though his hypothesis was wrong, he still ended up with a pretty yummy outcome!

Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream In A Bag with Hershey's Simply 5

Each of the older two had their own bags of ice cream and both decided on stopping when it became the consistency of soft serve vs. waiting until it became a more formed ice cream (see the photo below). If you don’t like a little melted ice cream, feel free to shake until the ice cream turns harder.

Just a little squeeze of the HERSHEY’S SIMPLY 5 Syrup, brings back cherished childhood memories I created with my family so it was fun to do this with my kids. It’s an easy way to share a sweet and simple moment with my family. We also love enjoying a glass of milk with a little swirl of syrup inside!

Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream In A Bag and just right

Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream In A Bag

  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 drizzle of HERSHEY’S SIMPLY 5 Syrup
  • 6 tablespoons ice cream salt
  • 3 cups ice
  • 1 gallon size zippered plastic bag
  • 1 quart size zippered plastic bag

In the quart size zippered plastic bag, add heavy whipping cream, sugar, vanilla, and HERSHEY’S SIMPLY 5 Syrup. Seal tight making sure to get most of the air out.

In the freezer size zippered plastic bag, add the ice and ice cream salt. Then add the ice cream mixture bag. Shake, shake, shake like crazy until your ice cream starts forming (about 3-5 minutes of shaking). I suggest putting on some dance music to make it more enjoyable!

Once your ice cream has formed, wipe off any excess salt from the bag and snip a corner of the bag with some scissors (if soft serve consistency) to pour into a cup or bowl. Or use a spoon to scoop out (if harder consistency). Drizzle with more HERSHEY’S SIMPLY 5 Syrup and enjoy!

Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream In A Bag with Hershey's Simply 5 syrup

HERSHEY’S SIMPLY 5 Syrup is a sweet and simple take on the HERSHEY’S classic, now made with five simple ingredients. You can find more recipes and fun things to do with HERSHEY’S by visiting them on Facebook or following along on Twitter.

Disclaimer: Compensation was provided by Hershey’s via MomTrends.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of Hershey’s or Momtrends.

No Cook Chocolate Avocado Pudding: A Healthier Alternative

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The a2 Milk Company™. All opinions are 100% mine.

No Cook Chocolate Avocado Pudding - a healthier alternative to the traditional recipe

Dessert is one of my family’s favorite parts of our meal. And most of the time when we all get together for a family meal, dessert is served. However I’ve noticed a few relatives who’ve declined dessert over the past few get togethers. After chatting with one of them about the reason, I found out that they’ve realized that they have an issue with lactose and since most of the desserts served have some sort of milk product, it’s easier to say no than deal with the consequences later. While they haven’t been formally diagnosed with lactose intolerance, by avoiding dairy they’ve reduced their tummy troubles. 

Because I hate seeing people feeling left out I figured I’d play around with one of my favorite pudding recipes and replace the dairy with a2 Milk®. Then I went a step further and figured out a way to make it thick and creamy without cooking it! Since I already use bananas and avocados in my smoothies to make them creamy and thick, I thought they’d be amazing together in this pudding recipe as well. And the best part? I mix everything together in the blender! Takes less than 5 minutes for everything to come together. 

No Cook Chocolate Avocado Pudding in blender

Haven’t heard of a2 Milk® before? It’s pretty awesome. Originally, all milk contained only the A2 protein. Over time a genetic mutation occurred in cows and a new type of protein developed called A1. This A1 protein causes digestive discomfort and is in all cows’ milk in-stores today, even organic milk.  a2 Milk® is the only fluid milk on the US market that is guaranteed A1 protein free.

How do they do it? 

The a2 Milk Company™ has partnered with U.S. family dairy farmers in upstate New York and the Midwest to expand the a2™ herd. Their cows naturally produce milk with only the A2 protein. And their farmers are certified in the humane treatment of animals, their cows are fed a vegetarian diet and never given hormones or rBST, and the milk is antibiotic free and contains no artificial ingredients or additives. Pretty cool huh? And it tastes no different than regular milk! My kids love it and haven’t caught on that it’s any different.

No Cook Chocolate Avocado Pudding ingredients

No Cook Chocolate Avocado Pudding

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup honey* (or other sweetener)
  • 1/2 cup a2 Milk®

Add all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Process until completely blended. Serve right away with some berries or chill in the fridge if you prefer cold pudding.

* If you’re making this for children under 1, use an alternative to honey like agave or maple syrup.

No Cook Chocolate Avocado Pudding with raspberries

The results are an amazingly creamy and chocolaty pudding that the kids (and adults) all gobble down! I call that a success.

What’s your go-to dessert when family come over?

Interested in more info about a2 Milk®? Check them out on Twitter and Facebook or find where you can purchase it by using their Product Locator! Or check out the great recipes they have on Pinterest. And right now you can take advantage of this a2 Milk® $1 Off Coupon.

Visit Sponsors Site

Chocolate Coffee Cupcakes

Chocolate Coffee Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Last month was a month for celebrations. Not only because of the holidays, but because my sweet girl turned 5 at the beginning of the month. In an effort to lessen what I had on my plate for her party I decided to have a friend make the cake. So instead of making her cake this year like I have in the past, I opted to make these amazingly delicious cupcakes. She chose the flavors and I delivered!

If you’re looking for a chocolatey cupcake that’s equally balanced with sweetness then this is for you. The chocolate flavor is enhanced by the coffee (and my favorite coffee syrup) and the cream cheese frosting adds a bit of sweetness. Don’t like overly sweet desserts? Skip the frosting!
Chocolate Coffee Cupcakes - amazingly delicious chocolate cupcakes

Chocolate Coffee Cupcakes

Makes 12 cupcakes

For the Cupcakes:

  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • ⅓ cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • ½ cup hot coffee
  • ½ cup Dave’s Mocha coffee syrup
  • ¾ cup bread flour
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Frosting:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 8 ounce package cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a standard-size muffin pan with liners. Place the chopped chocolate and cocoa powder in a medium bowl. Pour the hot coffee over the mixture and whisk until smooth. Refrigerate mixture for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl; set aside.

Whisk the oil, eggs, vinegar and vanilla extract into the cooled chocolate mixture until smooth. Add the flour mixture and whisk until smooth.

Divide the batter evenly between the muffin pan cups. Bake until the cupcakes are set and just firm to the touch, 18 minutes. Cool the cupcakes in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove the cupcakes from the pan and place on the wire rack to cool completely, about 1 hour.

Make the Frosting: In a stand mixer, whip the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla until smooth, about 30 seconds, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the sifted sugar 1/4-1/2 cup at a time until incorporated. Frost the cupcakes as desired. The frosted cupcakes can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

What are your favorite cupcake flavors?

Sweet Treats: Easy Chocolate Covered Caramel Candies

Chocolate Covered Caramel Candies - perfect for gifts

Giving handmade gifts over the holidays is a simple and inexpensive way to share a little something with those you love without breaking the bank. I love finding new things to bake or make to add to the tin of goodies we prepare every year. And candies pair very well with our normal mixture of cookies and baked goods.

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, these simple and easy chocolate covered caramel candies would be the perfect treat to make as a gift or as a sweet treat. I made them over the Christmas break and loved how quickly they came together. Add a sprinkle of kosher salt on the top for a sweet and salty mix that any friend would love to receive.

Chocolate Covered Caramel Candies

Chocolate Covered Caramel Candies

  • 12 ounces of sweetened milk chocolate chips
  • 24 caramel squares
  • Parchment Paper
  • Candy Sticks or toothpicks
  • Chocolate Melting Pot (optional)

Prepare your chocolate in a melting pot, or if you don’t have a melting pot you can use the microwave or a double boiler over the stove.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and keep it near.

Prepare the caramel squares with candy sticks down the middle. Alternately, you can use toothpicks. Dip caramel squares into the melted chocolate, cover each square completely with chocolate.

Place chocolate dipped caramels on parchment paper to dry, pulling candy sticks out as you go.

As each caramel hardens, peel it away from parchment paper.

Enjoy immediately or keep in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

How would you dress up these easy chocolate covered caramel candies?

2-Ingredient Nutella Banana Ice Cream

2 ingredient Nutella Banana Ice Cream

While I’m watching what I eat in an effort to get down to my ideal weight (no number just yet, just more comfortable in my body then where I am now) I do enjoy a little indulgence every once in a while. Since we didn’t have any ice cream on hand for a late night snack, I decided to turn to the frozen bananas I had in my freezer for smoothies and turn them into something a little more decadent… 2-Ingredient Nutella Banana Ice Cream.

I love how easy banana ice cream is. Normally just one ingredient if you want something sweet and creamy but by adding just one more ingredient, something simple is taken to the next level. I’m always amazed at how two ingredient recipes can be so amazing!

Nutella Banana Ice Cream

Nutella Banana Ice Cream

What you’ll need:
3 bananas, sliced and frozen
1/2 C. Nutella
What you do: 
Place the frozen banana slices into the food processor and pulse.
Nutella Banana Ice Cream - banana in food processor
Add in the 1/2 a cup of Nutella and pulse until the bananas and Nutella are combined.
Nutella Banana Ice Cream - nutella in banana
Pour the ice cream mixture into a freezer safe dish, cover and freeze for an hour prior to serving.
*Makes 2-3 servings

Nutella Banana Ice Cream - 2 simple ingredients

Looking for more 2-ingredient desserts?Try this 2-ingredient chocolate hazelnut cake!

2 Ingredient Chocolate Cake slice

How do you keep dessert simple?

Summer Activities, Staycations and a Chocolate Peanut Butter Yogurt Pops Recipe

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Yogurt Pop - delicious summer recipe

The school year has come to an end and we are ready for summer! Warm weather, lazy days at the beach, and finding creative ways to cool off in our gorgeous city.

Living in a major tourist destination means that we’re lucky enough to staycation a few times through the year. And summertime is the perfect time to book a staycation and relax poolside at a local hotel or visit a local amusement park.

One thing I love about staycations is that we’re not far from home. And that means having fun and getting a little creative while out and about. That includes figuring out fun snacks to make when we’re away from home so we don’t have to spend to much extra on snacks and meals.

OshKosk Play at Knott's Berry Farm

OshKosk Summer Play at Knott's

Oshkosh Daily Playtime

Most hotels we stay at when we’re on our staycations have a fridge and freezer. So we like to bring yogurts for breakfast, pb&j for lunch, and some fun treats for desserts.

When it gets really hot, a good frozen treat is perfect for cooling down. Especially one that includes all of the ingredients I already have in the mini-fridge.

OshKosh playtime on the slide

We love creating creme pops at home, so why not re-create a simpler version on the road? And if you don’t have bowls all you need to do is grab your yogurt cup, mix in some chocolate spread and peanut butter, and freeze. Then eat up like ice cream instead of a pop!

These 3-ingredient chocolate peanut butter yogurt pops are the perfect way to enjoy our time in the sun but stay cool while participating in our favorite summer activities.

Oshkosh Summer Fun at SeaWorld

Chocolate Peanut Butter Yogurt Pops Recipe

Print

Chocolate Peanut Butter Yogurt Pops

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 5 minutes
Servings 4 pops

Ingredients

  • 1 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate spread
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together all three ingredients and combine well.
  2. Pour into small cups and stick a paper straw or craft/popsicle stick into the center of the pops.
  3. Place in freezer and freeze for at least 4 hours up to overnight.
  4. Pop out of the cups and enjoy!

OshKosk Knott's Summer Play

OshKosh Daily Play

If you’re looking for great outfits for the kids to show off on your next staycation, check out this coupon for OshKosh. Need to find a store near you? Try the OshKosh store locator.

SUM15-Mom-Blog-CouponV2

 How are you cooling down this summer?

For other fun ways to spend your summer when you return from your staycation, check out these fun Summer Activities for Kids or try making these Mandarin Orange Creme Pops with the kids.

Summer Activities For Kids

Mandarin Orange Cream Pops aerial

Copy Cat Cosmic Brownies

Copy Cat Cosmic Brownies

I don’t know what it is about having a baby that makes me crave sweets but one of my biggest hurdles while nursing is saying no to too many sweets. However I still allow myself some decadent indulgence from time to time. As long as I make it from scratch.

Sure it sounds like more work, but I promise you, making these brownies from scratch is so worth it! Get ready to enjoy a small square of these brownies and be satisfied for the whole week.

Copy Cat Cosmic Brownies - delicious and decadent

3 from 1 vote
Print

Copy Cat Cosmic Brownies

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ Sticks Butter softened
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • ¾ Cup Heavy Cream
  • 2 teas. Vanilla Extract
  • ¾ Cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1 Cup Flour
  • 8 oz . Semisweet Chocolate
  • ¼ - ½ Cup Mini M&Ms

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚.
  2. In a mixing bowl cream together the Butter, Sugar and Brown sugar.
  3. Add in the Eggs, ¼ Cup Heavy cream and Vanilla, stir until combined.
  4. Add in the Cocoa powder and stir until combined.
  5. Add the flour 1/3 at a time stirring between each addition.
  6. Put the batter in an 8x8 or 9x9 inch pan lined with lightly greased parchment paper and bake at 350˚
  7. until a tooth pick comes out clean, 45-55 minutes. Remove and let cool.
  8. In a microwaveable bowl combine the Chocolate and ½ Cup Heavy cream. Microwave on high for 30
  9. second intervals stirring after each until the Chocolate is melted and smooth. Pour over the brownie in
  10. the pan and smooth to the edges.
  11. Sprinkle with M&Ms and refrigerate until set.
  12. Remove from the pan and cut into desired sizes.
  13. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

What’s your favorite add-in to a brownie recipe?

2 Ingredient Chocolate Cake with Spiced Honey Roasted Hazelnuts

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2 Ingredient Chocolate Cake with Hazelnuts

There were some flavor combos that were just meant to be together. And most of my favorite combos always revolve around chocolate. So weird, right? So when I heard I could make a 2 ingredient chocolate cake I was kind of skeptical. But totally on board!

So I picked up some Nocciolata (you can purchase it here on Amazon) that was sent over to me for review and decided to jump in and try this 2 ingredient chocolate cake. All you need is Nocciolata hazelnut spread with cocoa and milk and eggs!

The outcome was delicious. I waited for this cake to completely cool, topped it with some delicious spiced honey roasted hazelnuts and a drizzle of Golden Blossom Honey. It definitely hit the spot. [Read more…]



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