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9 Delicious No-Bake Summer Desserts

Lez be honest…summer is the worst sometimes.  Here in Chicago, we’ve been pushing temperatures north of 90 degrees F even AFTER THE FREAKING SUN GOES DOWN.  Sure, with an amazing air conditioning system, summer can be a breeze for us Midwesterners…but for those of us getting by on one tiny air conditioner that doesn’t cool any room in the house except the room it’s in, well, summer sucks.

 cat hot summer fan warm GIF

Because my kitchen is in the back of my apartment, it hardly ever gets cool air from the air conditioner, so cooking in the summer is usually a ton of salads and dinners spent in air conditioned restaurants…and when it comes to dessert, the oven RARELY goes on in the summer.

Thankfully, there are a ton of delicious no-bake summer desserts that can quench your sweet-tooth without heating up your kitchen.  Cool, refreshing, and often infused with alcohol and fruit, these no-bake summer desserts are a great way to cool off without heating up your house.

no-bake-desserts-for-summer

9 Delicious No-Bake Summer Desserts

No-Bake Mini Cheesecakes
lovefromtheoven.com

no-bake-cheesecake-bites

No-Bake Pistachio Coconut Pie
togetherasfamily.com

no-bake-coconut-pistachio-pie

No-Bake Strawberry Jell-O Lasagna
omgchocolatedesserts.com

no-bake-strawberry-jello-lasanga

No-Bake Lemon Blueberry Parfaits
bakingamoment.com

no-bake-lemon-blueberry-parfaits

No-Bake Cookie Dough Dip
homemadehooplah.com

no-bake-cookie-dough-dip

No-Bake Pineapple Dream Dessert
meatloafandmelodrama.com

no-bake-pineapple-dream-dessert

No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Dessert
cakescottage.com

no-bake-chocolate-peanut-butter-dessert

No-Bake Rum Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries
thebewitchinkitchen.com

no-bake-rum-stuffed-strawberries

No-Bake Strawberry Daiquiri Cheesecake
insidebrucrewlife.com

no-bake-strawberry-daquiri-pie

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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Princess Buttercup Cupcakes with “Anybody want a Peanut?” Butter Filling

I know I’ve said it before, but The Princess Bride is easily one of my all-time favorite movies.  It’s my go-to when I’m sick…but I’d really watch it anytime, anywhere.  Wanna come over for a movie night?  Chances are that’ll be my suggestion…and don’t worry, I won’t quote the movie to you, I promise!

 the princess bride liar lying alt facts GIF

OK, I might quote a few things…

The Princess Bride is celebrating its 30th anniversary this September and, to celebrate, I thought we’d have some fun this week and honor The Princess Bride with all kinds of fun recipes, crafts, and activities!

 trap the princess bride christopher guest its a trap count rugen GIF

NO!!  IT’S FOR REAL!!

To get started, I wanted to make a treat that played to the romance and the whimsy of The Princess Bride, while still following the theme because, you know, I’m all about themes…so for today, I have a Princess Buttercup Cupcake with “Anybody want a Peanut?” Butter Filling!

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And if you get all the references, well,

Image result for westley gif, the princess bride

Topped with a royal icing buttercup flower and filled with tasty peanut butter frosting, these chocolate cupcakes are a dream come true…even dreamer than Westley’s eyes or Inigo Montoya’s sexy AF sword-fighting skills.

 the princess bride GIF

A great way to kick off a Princess Bride viewing party, these tasty cupcakes are INCONCEIVABLE-ly good!

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Princess Buttercup Cupcakes with “Anybody want a Peanut?” Butter Filling

Ingredients:

  • Meringue Powder
  • 4 cups Confectioners’ Sugar
  • Color Right Performance Color System, or Yellow Food Coloring
  • Chocolate Cake Mix
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract (optional)
  • Peanut Butter Frosting
  • Whipped White Vanilla Frosting

Tools:

  • Disposable Decorating Bag
  • Petal Decorating Tip 104
  • Coupler (optional)
  • No. 7 Flower Nail
  • Wax Paper Squares
  • Cake Board or Cookie Sheet
  • Muffin Pan
  • Standard Baking Cups
  • Star Decorating Tip 1M

Instructions:

Since your buttercup flowers will have to set up in the freezer, make these one day in advance.  Using the meringue powder, make royal icing.  I followed the instructions on wilton.com for Royal Icing, combining 3 tablespoons meringue powder, confectioners’ sugar, and 4 tablespoons warm water.  Mix for at least 7 to 10 minutes, until your icing is thick and white, like this:

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To color my icing, I used the Color Right Performance Color System, combining 10 drops YELLOW and 2 drops ORANGE.  You can also create your own yellow icing using food coloring or whatever you have available.

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Remember that royal icing also dries quickly, so keep your bowl of icing covered with a wet paper towel when not using.

Prepare decorating bag with coupler and tip 104.  Technically, a coupler is not NEEDED for this, but I like using one, as it offers more support for my tip.  Using the flower nail and the wax paper squares, begin piping flowers.  I just made 6 to 7 petals of varying sizes.  Transfer flowers on wax paper to cake board or cookie sheet.  Don’t forget to make extras in case any flowers break!  Freeze flowers for at least 8 to 10 hours.

Bake your cupcakes following the package instructions.  To give your cakes a bakery taste, you can add a little teaspoon of GOOD vanilla extract to the batter, but it’s not essential.  Bake your cupcakes in cupcake liners.

Once your cupcakes have cooled completely, use the large side of tip 1M to remove the center from each cupcake:

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Consume the centers as you finish!  😉  This is a very important step, you guys…you must test your baking…for science.

Prepare decorating bag with peanut butter frosting, trying not to eat it right out of the container as you go.  I didn’t use a tip for this, just cut a small hole in the tip of the bag, but you can easily use a round tip of any size if you want.  Fill in the centers with the peanut butter frosting:

peanut-butter-cupcakes5

To pipe the frosting on top, I just used the tip 1M since I had it out, but you could use whatever large tip you’d like.  Pipe a swirl on each cupcake, then top with a flower.

And there you have it!  Princess Buttercup Cupcakes with (Anybody want a Peanut?)Butter Filling!

peanut-butter-cupcakes6

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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Mini Shells with Italian Sausage, Asparagus, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Looking for an easy weeknight meal that the whole family will love?  Try this Mini Shells with Italian Sausage, Asparagus, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes dish.  Filled with flavor, this pasta dish uses basil pesto instead of marinara sauce and packs a little punch depending on how spicy your Italian sausage is!

sausage-pasta-and-asparagus

If you don’t like asparagus, you can easily sub it for peas or spinach…and the sausage can easily be replaced by chicken, if desired.  Though this dish is baked entirely on the stove, you could top it with some more grated cheese and pop it under the broiler for a tasty pasta casserole that is sure to make the house smell amazing.

Mini Shells with Italian Sausage, Asparagus, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Ingredients:

  • 1 box Mini Shells
  • ½ lb. Hot Italian Sausage
  • 5-7 Asparagus Stalks, chopped
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 8-10 Sun-Dried Tomatoes, chopped
  • Classico Basil Pesto (8 oz. jar)
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated (plus more for garnish)
  • ½ cup Provolone cheese, grated

 

Instructions:

  1. Prepare pasta following box instructions.  Once pasta is cooked, drain it and set the pasta aside.  Return the pot to the stove.
  2. In the pot, brown the sausage, using a wooden spoon to chop it up into small pieces.  Once sausage is cooked, add asparagus stalks and garlic.  Heat until garlic is fragrant, about a minute or so.
  3. Add sun-dried tomatoes and entire container of basil pesto.  Mix until pesto is hot, about another minute.  Add the pasta back into the pot.
  4. Add cheeses, reserving some Parmesan cheese for garnishing.  Remove pot from heat.  Mix everything together.  Serve immediately, topping with reserved cheese.

 

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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Filed under pasta recipes

Summer Pasta Salad

Looking for a light and refreshing summer pasta salad that isn’t dripping in fat and mayo?  Well, look no further!

summer-pasta-salad

This tasty and bright Summer Pasta Salad is bursting with color and features tasty veggies and other ingredients that will keep you fueled all day.

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The great thing about this pasta salad is that you can really add whatever you’d like – but remember – we eat with our eyes!  EAT THE RAINBOW, PEOPLE!

Summer Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 box bowtie pasta
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • Small yellow tomatoes
  • 10 strips bacon, cooked and chopped into small pieces
  • 1 head broccoli, florets cut off
  • ½ red onion, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 container small mozzarella cheese pearls
  • 2 small cans black olives, sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • Good quality olive oil

Instructions:

Prepare pasta following the package directions.  While the pasta cooks, prepare the rest of your ingredients.

pasta-salad-3

Once the pasta is cooked, drain it completely and run it under cold water to stop the cooking and cool off your pasta so your cheese doesn’t melt.  Pour the cooled pasta into a large bowl.

Then just add all your ingredients and mix it together!  Salt and pepper to taste and drizzle with good olive oil.

Like most pasta salad, this gets better as it sits in the fridge and the flavors marinate.

Feel free to mix up the ingredients to whatever you fancy…but try to get a good selection of color to make your salad all the more appetizing!

pasta-salad-2

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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Filed under pasta recipes

10 Cake Pops You’ll Actually WANT to Make

Let’s be honest, no one really LIKES cake pops, right?  I mean, sure…if they’re there, you’ll eat them…but does anyone really CRAVE a cake pop?

Yeah…I didn’t think so.  But that’s all about to change!

cake-pop-recipes

From cake pops with bacon to cake pops made out of those tasty Little Debbie cream pies, these 10 cake pop recipes are treats you’ll actually WANT to make!

Pinterest Top 10:
10 Cake Pops You’ll Actually WANT to Make

Salted Caramel Cake Pops
salted caramel

Maple Bacon Cake Pops
maple bacon

Geode Cake Pops
geode

Lemon Raspberry Cake Pops
lemon raspberry

Toasted S’more Truffle Pops
smore truffle

Oatmeal Crème Pie Cake Pops
oatmeal pie

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake Pops
chocolate peanut butter

Easy Cinnamon Roll Cake Pops
cinnamon roll

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites
cookie bites

Sweet Chocolate Cherry Bombs
cherry bombs

Want more cute cake pop ideas?  Check out my Pinterest board, Cute Cake Pop Ideas!

 

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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Filed under dessert recipes

One Pot Chicken n’ Potatoes with Maple Mustard Sauce

Can I just take a moment and share my love of one-pot meals?  Less dishes, less prep…just chop, drop and plop it in the oven and, in about an hour, you have a delicious meal ready to go.

Usually my one-pot meal consists of throwing everything in my fridge in the slow cooker and hoping for some type of chili or soup to magically create itself, but the other week it was just too hot to have the slow cooker going all day…so I had to resort to the roasting pan.

roasted-chicken-and-potatoes

I had some chicken thighs that were pushing their “good-by” date, so I grabbed some potatoes and tried to whip up a honey-mustard sauce…but I was out of honey.

So, maple syrup it was!  The sauce for this chicken turned out to be a little sweet, but I still really liked it!  You can use whatever mustard combination you’d like…I literally grabbed all the mustards in my fridge and said, “to hell with it!”.

This is a really good recipe for dark chicken on the bone, as the rich flavors of the dark meat pair really well with the bright flavors of the sauce…but if you’re not a dark meat fan, I’m sure this would be equally as tasty with white meat, too!

One Pot Chicken n’ Potatoes with Maple Mustard Sauce

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Ingredients:

  • 4 bone-in chicken thighs (I used thighs with the skin still on for added flavor, but skinless also works)
  • 1 lb. small red potatoes, cut into small chunks
  • Dried parsley
  • Paprika
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil
  • 2/3 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 2 tablespoons brown mustard
  • ½ cup maple syrup

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Season chicken to taste (I used a little salt and pepper on each side).  Transfer to glass casserole dish or skillet.  Set aside.*
  2. Season potatoes with parsley, paprika, salt, pepper and olive oil.  Toss to coat.  Pour into casserole dish with chicken.
    In small bowl, combine Dijon mustard, yellow mustard, brown mustard and maple syrup.  Whisk until combined.  Pour mustard mix over chicken and potatoes.  Toss to coat (I got in there with my hands and just mixed everything together).
  3. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until chicken registers done on the meat thermometer.

*If you’re using skin-on chicken thighs and want to sear the skin side before adding to the casserole dish, I highly recommend doing that.  I didn’t do that for this dish, but I’ve done it for other one-pot dishes and it’s so delicious!

 

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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Filed under chicken recipes

11 Healthy(ish) Vending Machine Snacks

The 10 am hunger slump…the 3 pm hunger slump…the daily stress that just makes you want chocolate ERR DA TIME…the fact that food is 100% more interesting than anything you’re doing at work…that hopeful thought you have every time you pass the break room…

 party food celebrities reactions jennifer lawrence GIF

Sometimes you just have to feed the craving.

If you work in a corporate job, chances are there’s a vending machine in your break room…probably filled with candy bars and packaged baked goods, these snacks have most likely been sitting in there since before you were hired, just waiting for a despite hungry worker to come buy an old granola bar when no one was looking…just to have a little munchy.

And, if you’re one of the really lucky ones, you might have a vending machine that has a nice assortment of options…filled with chips, granola bars, and a few sweets here and there for those emergency moments.

And for those of us who are trying to be healthier, the vending machine can be a pitfall of despair, offering little to no options to actually help the hunger slump.  However, if an emergency hits, there are better options than others hidden in that vending machine.  So, if you are in dire need of a snack or something to get you through the day, here are 11 Healthy(ish) Vending Machine Snacks that won’t drag you down and make you feel like a slug.

snacks1

11 Healthy(ish) Vending Machine Snacks

Overall nuts, granola, trail mix or anything high in fiber and protein will help tame the hunger beast.  Look out for meal replacement bars that are packed with sugar or fatty snacks masked as healthy options. 

  • Snyder’s of Hanover Mini Pretzels (110 calories)
  • Quaker Chewy Low-Fat Granola Bar, Chocolate Chunk (110 calories)
  • Sun Chips Original (140 calories)
  • Planters Honey Roasted Peanuts (160 calories)
  • Planters Sunflower Kernels (160 calories)
  • Nature Valley Granola Bar, Oats & Honey (180 calories)
  • Fig Newtons (190 calories)
  • Baked! Lays Original (210 calories)
  • Traditional Chex Mix (220 calories)
  • Triscuits (240 calories, but packed with fiber)
  • Peanut M&M’s (250 calories)

…And a Few You Should Avoid

All those muffins, pastries, and candy bars may look tempting, but they’re just gonna drag you down even more.  Plus, most of them carry tons of trans fat, sugar, and empty calories that are just no good!  If you must indulge…because really, sometimes you must, share these with a friend!

  • Austin Cheese Crackers with Cheddar Cheese (210 calories, also high in fat)
  • Doritos (250 calories)
  • Skittles (250 calories, also high in fat)
  • Twix (280 calories, lots of fat and saturated fats)
  • Lay’s Potato Chips (280 calories, packed with BHT)
  • Snickers Bar (280 calories)
  • Pop-Tarts Frosted Strawberry Pastries (420 calories)
  • Drake’s Apple Fruit Pie (440 calories)
  • Entenmann’s Jumbo Iced Honey Bun (660 calories, a serving is half a bun!)

 

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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Filed under snack recipes