{how to} make nutty paddle pops!!

{how to} make nutty paddle pops!

So, yes. This.

We happened upon a small diner last week with a soda fountain counter, burgers, fries and malts. They even had an old PacMan game and a Juke Box. We threw health to the wind and licked our fingers, dipped fries in vats of ketchup and slurped pop. It was gooooooood. For dessert? Hand-dipped paddle pops.

I just had to make them on my own after that. It wasn’t an option.

{how to} make nutty paddle pops!

It’s crimincal how easy these are to whip together. So lets talk brass tax …

You’ll need:

Ice cream
Popsicle sticks
Chocolate chips
Coconut oil
Good Life Granola

{how to} make nutty paddle pops!

I also had a small pan, wax paper and a sharp knife ready to go.

{how to} make nutty paddle pops!

I started out by opening my half gallon of ice cream so the cardboard laid flat and I could get to the block of ice cream unhindered.

{how to} make nutty paddle pops!

With your knife, cut one inch slices out of your ice cream and transfer the slab to your prepared pan – once on the pan, cut the slab in half. So you’ll get two “paddles” out of one cut.

{how to} make nutty paddle pops!

{how to} make nutty paddle pops!

{how to} make nutty paddle pops!

Ready your popsicle sticks and insert them in the middle, bottom of your “paddles”.

{how to} make nutty paddle pops!

{how to} make nutty paddle pops!

My ice cream was a tad too soft so I did the best I could. You might want to stick your ice cream back in the freezer in-between steps just to ensure it’ll keep shape.

(At this point, once all sticks are in, place your Paddles in the freezer to harden up for 15 to 20 minutes depending on how soft it got.)

Now to make your Magic Shell! You need a small pan or microwavable bowl. 1 1/4 C semi sweet chocolate chips to 1/2 C coconut oil. Combine, heat til melted and let cool.

{how to} make nutty paddle pops!

{how to} make nutty paddle pops!

{how to} make nutty paddle pops!

After you’ve let your Magic Shell cool down (it won’t harden – keep at room temperature, do not store in fridge) and you’re Paddles are frozen hard – you can either fashion a way to dip them or just scoop the magic shell over your paddles.

{how to} make nutty paddle pops!

I didn’t wait long enough for my ice cream to re-freeze AND I didn’t let my magic shell cool all the way. I was very excited. So I had some melt-age. It’s ok. It’s still gonna work just fine.

Now for the topping! Nuts are fun and everything, I have nothing against them but putting Good Life Granola on my Paddle Pops took them to the next level. This is the best granola I’ve ever had (and no, I’m not being paid to say that. I’m not being paid at all for this post actually – just honestly the best ever).

{how to} make nutty paddle pops!

{how to} make nutty paddle pops!

Just sprinkle a bit over the magic chocolate shell and then stick your pan back in the freezer to harden up.

{how to} make nutty paddle pops!

Your pops will result in groans, it’s that good.

{how to} make nutty paddle pops!

{how to} make nutty paddle pops!

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#GrilledEssentials makes our dinner yummy #spon

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. All opinions are my own – here’s my full disclosure.

We had my dad and {step}mom over for dinner last night and recently my {step}mom was given a list of foods that she needs to stay away from. (Think wheat, sugar, etc).

Having been through numerous rounds on the restricted diet circuit I knew that dinner was going to need to be creative and I was excited to deliver just that.

On our menu we had:

# Sausage and quinoa stuffed squash
# Fruit salad
# Green salad with #GrilledEssential Lemon Pepper Chicken Breast from Hillshire Farm
# Garlic bread (for the wheat eaters)
# Cabbage
# Apple crisp for dessert

The green salad we had is one of our favorites with mandarin oranges and dried cherries but cooking chicken breasts usually means I won’t eat them. I’m weird like that, handling raw meat for consumption makes my stomach turn.

And I had heard about Hillshire Farm’s Grilled Essentials but couldn’t find them locally … until now. We went to Walmart to pick some up (near the lunch meat).

#GrilledEssentials by #HillshireFarm for #Cbias

They have a variety of seasonings but I knew I wanted the Lemon Pepper package for my salad.

#GrilledEssentials by #HillshireFarm for #Cbias

Quick jaunt to another aisle for oranges and then we were done! But my helper had other plans….

#GrilledEssentials by #HillshireFarm for #Cbias

Tangent: They make BACON SPAM?

#GrilledEssentials by #HillshireFarm for #Cbias

I’m officially disgusted.

After that we headed to the produce where my daughter decided we needed a few more things.

#GrilledEssentials by #HillshireFarm for #Cbias

Like 3 pounds of kiwi, for example.

#GrilledEssentials by #HillshireFarm for #Cbias

And my cart just kept growing …

#GrilledEssentials by #HillshireFarm for #Cbias

Seeing the day-old bread carts in the bakery and all of a sudden I was part of the problem. It’s so cheap!! I can’t help myself.

#GrilledEssentials by #HillshireFarm for #Cbias

#GrilledEssentials by #HillshireFarm for #Cbias

We finally make it to the check out counter but not before I’m accosted with yet another SOMETHING I must try. Nutella to go?

#GrilledEssentials by #HillshireFarm for #Cbias

And I always thought the checkout was a trap for my kids.

I finally made it out of the store with everything I needed and everything I had no idea I needed … went in for two items and came out with 31.

#GrilledEssentials by #HillshireFarm for #Cbias

#GrilledEssentials by #HillshireFarm for #Cbias

Surprisingly it still cost under $40 – and I left a happy girl.

You see those coconuts? Yeah, they had milk in them and I couldn’t wait to show my kids how to drink from them. It was delicious. And adorable. And so much fun.

#GrilledEssentials by #HillshireFarm for #Cbias

When my dad and {step}mom arrived I asked my {step}mom to help with the salad – she’s Peruvian and an expert cook. I love her cooking and watching her in the kitchen – she tore the Romaine because cutting it browns it faster (TIP!) so in order to save leftovers, she tears for freshness. I love picking this stuff up from her.

#GrilledEssentials by #HillshireFarm for #Cbias

Then we got out our #GrilledEssentials Hillshire Farm Lemon Pepper Chicken and sliced it up.

#GrilledEssentials by #HillshireFarm for #Cbias

#GrilledEssentials by #HillshireFarm for #Cbias

#GrilledEssentials by #HillshireFarm for #Cbias

Added our mandarin oranges, dried fruit and put it on the table.

#GrilledEssentials by #HillshireFarm for #Cbias

Along with our stuffed squash, fruit salad and everything else.

It was a great dinner.

#GrilledEssentials by #HillshireFarm for #Cbias

#GrilledEssentials by #HillshireFarm for #Cbias

I’ll definitely be adding the Grilled Essentials to my menu rotation. It’s so easy, I don’t have to mess with raw chicken, it tastes amazing and it’s fast. Considering I’d pay $8 for a salad at a restaurant I have no problem paying less than $4 for two pre-cooked and seasoned chicken breasts (which I’ll usually only use one at a time).

I could have used the chicken instead of sausage in our stuffed squash too – or made an easy grilled sandwich. I can dice it up in chunks for snack time or add it to my daughters school lunch with some dip … The ideas really are endless.

Your turn: How would you use it?

{How to} make Cinnamon Sugar Bread.

Printable Recipe

Cinnamon sugar bread. #Fall

Yum. I made this just for you.

You’ll need:

Cinnamon Sugar Bread

I’m still working on the lighting in the kitchen – it does not bode well for photographs. Artificial light and green floors – I battle the yellow 70’s glow in all food photos unless it’s 6pm and the door is wide open and things are just so and well … you get it. I’m working on it.

For this recipe you need Flour, Sugar, Oil, an Egg, Salt, Cinnamon/Sugar, Buttermilk (or milk and vinegar) and Baking Soda.

You start by mixing your Buttermilk with 1 tsp baking soda but if you’re like me and never have buttermilk in your house, you make some. Like this:

Cinnamon Sugar Bread

Measure some milk (right now I have Almond milk) just shy of your 1 cup marker. Top it off with Vinegar and let sit for a minute or two.

Cinnamon Sugar Bread

Cinnamon Sugar Bread

It curdles.

Cinnamon Sugar Bread

Yay!

Cinnamon Sugar Bread

Now, add your 1 tsp baking soda and let the mixture sit for 5 minutes.

Cinnamon Sugar Bread

Pour the milk mixture into your bowl and add the rest of your ingredients.

Cinnamon Sugar Bread

1/2 Cup oil.

Cinnamon Sugar Bread

One egg.

Cinnamon Sugar Bread

1 Cup sugar.

Cinnamon Sugar Bread

1/2 tsp salt.

Cinnamon Sugar Bread

Two Cups flour.

Cinnamon Sugar Bread

Mix.

Cinnamon Sugar Bread

Prepare your loaf pan (or muffin tins). I had parchment paper so I used it, otherwise I just oil it.

Pour half the batter in your loaf pan and sprinkle a generous amount of your Cinnamon Sugar on top (1/2 C Sugar to 1 TSP cinnamon ratio). Use a clean knife to swirl around, top with other half of batter, sprinkle a bit more and swirl one last time.

Cinnamon Sugar Bread

Cinnamon Sugar Bread

Cinnamon Sugar Bread

Cinnamon Sugar Bread

Cinnamon Sugar Bread

Bake at 350 for 55 minutes to an hour.

Cinnamon Sugar Bread

Try not to eat it all at once. šŸ˜‰

Cinnamon Sugar Bread

Enjoy!

Printable Recipe.

{How to} make tuna melts

How to:Make Tuna Melts

Tuna melts are comfort food for me. They’re also easy and a quick dinner so, you know, bonus.

The weather is finally screaming Fall and the leaves are turning. It’s soup weather, chai, and a steaming cup of cocoa kind of season … my favorite. This weekend we’re finally carving pumpkins, roasting seeds and making Halloween cookies. We’ll probably make these again, too.

You’ll need:

How to:Make Tuna Melts

Whatever you have on hand – but the essentials are Tuna, cheese, mayo/mustard, onion and english muffins. Tomatoes, green onions, green peppers and spices to taste. The pasta is there for a reason … we’re killing 2 birds with one stone today.

I always make enough of the “filling” (not unlike tuna salad) for extra’s – sandwiches or salads etc. For this recipe I made enough for the Tuna Melts and a pasta salad as a bonus for lunches.

So start by boiling your water, adding the pasta and cooking to the boxes specifications.

How to:Make Tuna Melts

While that’s going chop your onion, green pepper and drain 2 cans of tuna – add it all to a bowl and mix to integrate.

How to:Make Tuna Melts

Add your mayo and mustard, salt and pepper to the mix. Measurements? Um. More mayo than mustard … šŸ˜‰ About 1/2 C mayo – 1/8 C mustard. You can always add more.

How to:Make Tuna Melts

How to:Make Tuna Melts

Ready your english muffins for toppings by lining a 9X13 cookie sheet with halves open faced.

How to:Make Tuna Melts

And top them!

How to:Make Tuna Melts

Now add cheese to the tops, a slice of tamotoe on a few of them … mmmmm.

How to:Make Tuna Melts

How to:Make Tuna Melts

How to:Make Tuna Melts

Put them in the oven either at 350 for 10-12 minutes or on Low Broil for 5. Just until the cheese bubbles.

With your extra Tuna filling and your cooked pasta – you can make a tasty salad to use for lunches or a side dish another night.

Add them together:

How to:Make Tuna Melts

How to:Make Tuna Melts

I like to jack it up a bit and add a few more things to the salad – red wine vinegar if I have it, a little more mayo or canned green chilies … then stick in the fridge to marinate overnight.

How to:Make Tuna Melts

Your tuna melts are ready …

How to:Make Tuna Melts

Enjoy!

mini {how to} baking tip!

Ever run out of parchment paper or wax paper and had cookies coming out of the oven that needed to cool?

Really? Never?

Ok, well – WHEN YOU DO I have a tip for you.

Baking Tip!

You can place the newspaper right on the counter or over your cooling rack.

Baking Tip!Baking Tip!Baking Tip!

Then place your right-out-of-the-oven cookies on top to cool.

Baking Tip!Baking Tip!

Here’s the secret – the newspaper soaks up grease from the cookies. The cookies are still moist and delicious but no more shiny fingers (or faces) when you grab one for a treat.

Baking Tip!

When you’re done cooling all your cookies (can re-use for each and every pan per batch of cookies) you just recycle the newspaper. Easy!

Baking Tip!

I learned this tip from my mom when I was about my daughters age (6) and have been doing this since. We still buy wax paper and what not but this is one of those things that I saw over and over and over again that stuck.

Do you have any fun kitchen tips or tricks that you picked up from watching your mom/dad/grandma/someone constantly in the kitchen?

I can’t wait to hear someday what my kids remember most about the hours I spend above a mixer šŸ˜‰