Fruity Frozen Greek Yogurt Ice Cream Sandwiches

IMG_0993 This is an old family favorite. Perfect for anytime. What I like about this is you can make it with basically any fruit. You can even swirl in your favorite jam! I had a lovely basket of strawberries and bananas (a staple in my house) just waiting for me to do something fun with them! Continue reading

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Let’s Have Cheesecake!

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A simple cheesecake that will impress the most finicky of dessert connoisseurs!  This really easy dessert was quickly named one of the most delicious creations I’ve made to date.  (Does this mean my peeps are easy to please?)  Here goes:

This makes about seven ramekins.  My ramekins are 8oz cups.

Ingredients:

3–8oz bricks of cream cheese

3/4 cup of brown sugar

3 eggs

2 teaspoons of really good vanilla

You will also need a package of peanut butter cups.  Cut them up to desired sizes.

What to do:

I used my kitchen aid mixer…Beating the cream cheese until all bricks are softly blended.  Add brown sugar.  Mix well.  Add eggs one at a time mixing well in between.  Add your really good vanilla 😉

As for the bottom of your cheesecake…you can use crushed graham crackers (basic recipe is crushing a cup worth of graham crackers and mixing that with 3 tablespoons of melted butter).  You also can omit the bottom crust all together.

Put 2 tablespoons of the graham cracker mix at the bottom of a ramekin.  Fill cup with about a 1/4 cup of cheesecake mixture.  Add cut up peanut butter cups.  Fill cup with another 1/4 scoop of cheesecake mixture. If you have left over mixture, simply add a spoonful to each cup!

I like to put a pan of water at the bottom of the oven.  I believe the extra moist air keeps the cheesecake from cracking.  If you omit this step…whats a few cracks anyway? You will be covering it with whipped cream.  No one will know!

Bake at 325 degrees for about 25 minutes.  Let it cool.  Top with freshly whipped cream!

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Tips: Try crushing Oreo cookies or Nilla wafers or even Nutter Butter cookies for the bottom of cheesecake.  (Most any cookie will do!)

For the center try: Snickers, Heath Bar, Butterfingers, or feeling fruity?  Try a tablespoon or two of really good jam, chopped up mango, or peaches.

This truly was easy to make.  If you are needing a quick dessert idea that you can make ahead of time and surely will impress your friends/family; I hope you give this a try.  I’d love to hear what kind of combination/creation you came up with. Enjoy! Hugs, Koko❁

Please like, follow and share…your support means the world to me!

Lemon Zesty Blueberry Muffins

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This was a request from my husband.  All he wanted for his birthday was a bunch of lemon zesty blueberry muffins.  His biggest challenge was fighting the kids for them! (Actually it wasn’t too difficult.  Both kids had a full day of college classes and didn’t come home until the wee hours.  So dad got to have his birthday muffins all to himself! He saved them some 😉 )

This is a very easy and forgiving recipe.  I’ve also made this with orange zest. Very tasty.  The hardest part about this recipe is finding beautifully plump blueberries.

This Made 18

Muffin cups or grease muffin pans
2 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cup blue berries
2 large eggs
1 cup whole milk (I use raw unpasteurized)
6 tablespoons grape seed oil
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
The zest of one whole lemon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Mix together flour, baking powder, sea salt, then add brown sugar and blue berries.

In another bowl beat eggs, milk, oil, vanilla extract, and lemon rind.

Every recipe I’ve read says to make a well in the dry and pour the wet into it…well, I did the opposite and added the dry to the wet. I noticed no difference. Not saying the “well” thing isn’t a good idea, just that it made no difference in the outcome.

Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden on top. (All ovens are different. Please keep that in mind.)

I made these with a lemon cream cheese frosting.
8 oz of cream cheese.
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
zest of one whole lemon
5 heaping tablespoons of powdered sugar
whipped in kitchen aid until fluffy

This was enough to top all muffins nicely.

 

 

Chia Seed “Pudding”

Remember the …. Cha cha cha Chia!–The funky clay heads you plant seeds on its head and it grows “hair”?  Same seed, but really a food!

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Magic seeds! Not really, but still amazing! 😉

Chia seeds; This endurance enhancing super-food is one of my top faves. Energy and stamina booster, I so crave and need. These amazing seeds are pumped up with fiber. One ounce gives you 11 grams, as well as 4 grams of protein! Also rich in omega 3 fatty acid, not to mention manganese, phosphorus, and calcium.

You can use Chia seeds as an “egg” replacer in a lot of your baked goods…Hear that vegans?! 😀 Use a 1 to 6 ratio of seed to water. Making a “gel” with it. This replaces one large egg! Very cool right?!

All you do is grind chia seeds in a coffee grinder/spice grinder.  Then measure out 1 tablespoon of chia seeds to 3 tablespoons water. Let stand until it forms a gel like consistency! The magic takes about  5 minutes.  Wah lah! 

When liquid is added to chia seeds, they swell up to 12 times it’s weight! It’s great for helping to feel full longer, to keep you hydrated, which is why they are so popular with athletes. I wish I knew about these in my long distance running days.  A gel like substance actually forms around the seed!  It’s like the seeds own protective bubble. This gel substance is full of nutrients.

Chia is an herb. Salvia hispanica-or-Chia; native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala. This super food was cultivated by the Aztec in pre-Columbian times. And some historians say that the Chia plant was just as important as the maize crops were in that time period.

You can add these awesome seeds to puddings, on top of hot oatmeal, cold oatmeal, in dressings, in your smoothies, tossed in yogurt, add them to sauces for a thickener, in lemonade; the possibilities are endless. Use them in place of poppy seeds too! You can also use them in place of flaxseed meal in baked goods. I like them best in my drinks, smoothies, oatmeal, and my favorite: a refrigerated no cook “pudding” that I eat for breakfast, lunch, or snack, and sometimes dinner!

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Refrigerated overnight “pudding”. Healthy, energy packed goodness!

Chia pudding can be made a million ways! Really! Made as a dessert or healthy snack.  Even when I say dessert; I still make it healthy-good-for-you-amazing!  The basic recipe is below.  The possibilites in what you put in it really are endless.  Bananas, chopped apples, berries, any fruit really can be added.  Any nuts such as chopped walnuts, toasted almonds, sunflower seeds, roasted pecans…are you getting it? 😀  Even the liquid you use can vary; almond milk, coconut milk, moo milk, water even!  Can you sweeten it? Yep, try honey, agave, maple syrup, cane sugar, brown sugar….whew!  Oh and you can spice it up too; cinnamon, Himalayan sea salt, nutmeg…see how this can go on and on and on? 😉

Okay here’s what I put in my pudding that I had for breakfast today:

Chia Pudding

1 cup of coconut milk

2 tablespoons of Chia seeds (I buy NOW foods and Nutiva brands as well as a few others. Nutiva Organic Chia Seeds, 12-Ounce Bag is what I use right now.  I am partial to anything ORGANIC! You can buy these at most health food stores.)

2 tablespoon of Organic Goji Berries

1 tablespoon of Organic Coconut Flakes

Stir and put in refrigerator overnight.  I mix mine in a glass dish that has it’s own lid.  Pop the lid on, put it in the refrigerator…next day take lid off, give it a stir, and enjoy!  If you want to eat this for lunch, snack, dinner, you can make this about 3 hours before you want to eat it.  Overnight is just easy for me.  I will make a few variations at night and the next day or two I will have them ready.  I wouldn’t make more than I can eat up in 2 day period.  This doesn’t take long to set up; really you are waiting until it gets cold and the chia seeds soak up all the liquid goodness.

Just keep in mind 1 cup of liquid to 2 tablespoons of Chia seeds.  If you want it thicker or thinner; just adjust the liquid.  Try this amount and go from there. 😀

FYI: I try and buy everything organic when I can.  If you see a recipe/ingredient/anything consumable-edible that I write about; if I’ve left out the “organic”, just know I try my utmost best to buy organic.  Because I didn’t write it doesn’t mean it’s not.  So what I am saying is, try and eat organic as much as you can.  😀

Hope you’ve this post and if you make this amazing pudding and or your variation on it; PLEASE let me know. I’d love to hear what you’ve come up with!

In Awesome Health, Koko

Thumbprint cookie…Koko’s variation ;)

I was inspired last night to bake this cookie from seeing an awesome bloggers post on, “Coffee and cake, an afternoon break”.

Thanks for the idea http://lillysuesbitesandbrews.com/ Check out her site when you get a chance.  Her pictures make you hungry!

My variation on this classic thumbprint cookie:

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla bourbon

1/2 cup coconut flour

2 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts

any jam of your choosing

Mix butter, coconut oil, sugar; until creamy.  Add eggs, vanilla.  Add coconut flour, flour, salt. Lastly the walnuts.

I formed the cookie balls using a tablespoon.  To make the thumbprint I used the back of the tablespoon.  I put about a 1/4 teaspoon of jam in the center.

Bake at 375 for 12 minutes. I let the cookies rest for 2 minutes before taking them off the baking sheet and let them cool the rest of the way on wire rack.  Enjoy!

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Chopped walnuts. Try out different nuts.

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All mixed up. 😉

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Used a measuring tablespoon and heaped it up. Makes it round automatically.

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That’s the tablespoon I used to form the balls and to “thumbprint” it.

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Jam time! I used a jam blend of pomegranate, blueberry and raspberry.

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Right out of the oven. Timed it for 2 minutes before removing off the baking pan and onto wire rack.

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Can’t wait to taste!

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Plating…photo-op! Smile 😀

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Can you say delicious?! This was a hit. Must make again.

Everyone loved this cookie.  The next day they were even better, if that’s possible!

Pumpkin Pie – Sans The Crust, With Coconut Whipped Cream….oooh la la!

Pumpkin Pie – Sans The Crust, With Coconut Whipped Cream….oooh la la!

I couldn't help sprinkle homemade granola on top! Delicious!

I couldn’t help sprinkle homemade granola on top! Delicious!

pumpkin pie-before it went in oven.

pumpkin pie-before it went in oven.

This is my ultimate favorite way to have pie. I really enjoy pumpkin pie without the crust. (Though I do admit I love the bottom crust of a pie) Just make your favorite pumpkin pie recipe, instead of pouring it into a crust, you pour equal amounts into ramekins. I’ve looked for ramekins for a long time and finally found these. They are the perfect size for any “pie”, custard, cheesecake. Yes, I’ve made all those in these ramekins. I will post on them in the future; keep an eye out! The lemon ricotta cheesecake is super delicious and easy to make. As for the coconut whipped cream…story behind that is my daughter never feels good after eating whipped cream, so to have her not go without…we make whipped cream from coconut cream. Where I come from, coconut is used a lot. So it wasn’t unusual for us to make whipped cream from it. I have come across many who have no idea what coconut whipped cream is. I assure you it is delicious and easy to make and great for those who suffer from dairy allergies or just are vegans.

Putting the can in the refrigerator will solidify the cream and it will be nicely separated cream on top milky water on the bottom.

Putting the can in the refrigerator will solidify the cream and it will be nicely separated cream on top milky water on the bottom.

Coconut cream!  (before fluffing)

Coconut cream! (before fluffing)

Coconut whipped cream
1 can of coconut cream
1/4 of powdered sugar
1 tsp of vanilla extract

refrigerate can of coconut cream for 2 hours. Scoop out the cream. (there will be thin milky liquid in can. I drink this plain or make a smoothie with it.)
Start whipping cream (I use a kitchenaid). Add vanilla extract. Add powdered sugar. whip until peaks form.

Tips: make sure you buy full fat coconut cream. I really like the Trader joes brand. Also Thai coconut is great too. Just make sure it isn’t “light”, got to have the fat-fat kind!
Must refriderate. Depending on how cold your refriderator is 1-2 hours.
Putting mixing bowl in freezer can help.
It’s the fat that helps the coconut whip up, so make sure you are not using “light” or low fat or anything other than; heavy, full fat, extra thick, etc. (Did I stress that enough?)
Can switch out sugars for different kinds; honey, truvia, etc, you will just need to adjust for sweetness.
Add cocoa for a chocolaty flavor. This one is sooooo good.
Can try different extracts. Almond is great!
Can add more powdered sugar. Depends on the consistantcy you like.
Don’t over whip or it may turn to liquid from basically heating it through the whipping action.

In my pumpkin recipe, I only put 1/3 cup of sugar in the entire recipe.  Eating it for breakfast, snack, lunch; doesn’t seem so bad!  😉