Friday, June 29, 2012

Microwave Corn on the Cob & Weekend *Patriotic* Potluck #23

WELCOME TO WEEKEND POTLUCK
(A Patriotic Potluck!) 
AND 



It's easy and oh so deliciously moist! 

Click on the link above...

WOW! I spent a lot of time reviewing linkups from last week's party!
YA'LL ROCK!!!  Thanks so much for coming to our party and bringing your best dishes to share. 

If you are looking for some sweets for your Independence Day celebration, you have many to choose from at last week's party. As for this week, we would love to see what you are cooking for July 4th.

The recipe with the most clicks was ~

(Our Very Own Brandie!!=) 

Banana Pudding Poke Cake
Banana Pudding Poke Cake by The Country Cook

Recipes that caught our attention ~

Patriotic Mini Cheesecakes
Patriotic Mini Cheesecakes by Flavors by Four

S'mores Popcorn Munch
S'mores Popcorn Munch by Inside BruCrew Life

And, a personal favorite ~


Fudge Upside Down Cake by My Five Men


Remember...if you have been featured, grab the featured button below...









Weekend Potluck Featured








Your hosts ~

The Better Baker ~ Marsha 

Sunflower Supper Club ~ Kim & Julie

Life As a Lofthouse ~ Holly

4 Little Fergusons~ Tonya

The Country Cook~ Brandie

Meet Penny ~ Tabitha

Remember that when you link up, it shows on all SIX blogs. Plus…

We TWEET. We PIN. We LIKE.

Linky Guidelines:

If you wish to be a featured recipe or for us to promote your recipe either on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, you MUST follow these instructions.
  1. Please link up to your exact post and not the main page to your blog.
  2. LINK BACK HERE from your post so that others can find the fun. (Need help linking back? Read this or watch this great instructional video.) You can use the button below or a direct link within your post.
When you are kind enough to follow our guidelines, we work hard to get you as much exposure as possible so that your time here is well invested. We want this to be a fun and rewarding experience for everyone!







Weekend Potluck Linky

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Cool Peach Dessert {2 ingredients}

Are you ready to chill in these hot temps?  I have just what you've been looking for....


I love Margo's recipes at Joyful Homemaking.  When I saw this 
Cool Lemon Dessert recipe shared at Weekend Potluck, I couldn't get to the kitchen quick enough to begin making it. 

Bummer!  I had to let the Cool Whip (I used sugar free) thaw before I could begin...it was tough having to wait! 

WHO CAN ARGUE USING ONLY 2 INGREDIENTS!!????

Easy Peasy and lots of options....using the flavor of jello your family loves best. Lemon is great but I didn't have any so peach did the trick for us. 

A super duper way to make your own homemade 'ice cream' with only a few stirs...well, quite a few!

The kids can help too!


Margo also has a recipe that she uses this to 'frost' an angel food cake. YUMMERS!! 


COOL PEACH DESSERT 


1- 3 ounce box (4-serv. size) lemon jello (regular or sugar free)

1-16 ounce container of cool whip


Mix together very well - you want to stir it a lot so the jello dissolves -
then freeze. Scoop it out with an ice cream scoop and chill! 


Linked to Weekend Potluck
Foodie Friends Friday
Fit & Fabulous Friday
Mop it up Monday
Mix it up Monday
Thursday's Treasures
Ingredient Spotlight - Whipped Topping

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Cheesey Beef Dip {4 ingredients}

Doncha just love easy throw-together-fast recipes??

I sure do...and this is a super recipe I 'go to' when I want something quick and delicious. 

This one only takes 4 ingredients!  Gotta love that. 

I love a good cheese ball, but even more, I love being able to DIP a cracker or chip, and not have to mess with a knife to spread it.

This is a very tasty dish a young nursing friend, Lindsay, shared and I am excited to share it with you.

Great for a quick get together, a picnic or just for munchin. 


CHEESEY BEEF DIP 

2 - 8 oz packages of cream cheese, softened

1 - 16 oz sour cream (2 cups)

3 - 4 green onions, sliced 

1  jar dry canned beef (chopped into small pieces)

(or use 2 - 3 ozs. bags of deli beef)


Mix together in large bowl and serve with your favorite crackers.

That's it!  ENJOY!! 

Linked to Whatcha Whipped Up Wednesday
Weekend Potluck
  Scrumptious Sunday

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Invisible Banana French Toast

This is a fun dish because you get the banana flavor without seeing the banana. 

It's also kid-friendly because kids will love helping you prepare this special recipe.  Just throw everything into the blender, dip the bread, fry it up, serve with syrup or peanut butter and you'll make the little 'monkeys' very happy. *-* 

It's a dish I made for my kids when they were small (so long ago!) and it's one of the recipes under the 'breakfast' category in my cookbook. 
I've added 2 Tb. milk since then. 

If you have several hungry mouths to feed, you can easily double, or even triple, this simple recipe. 


INVISIBLE BANANA FRENCH TOAST
2 eggs
1 banana, sliced
2 Tb. milk
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
6 - 7 slices bread
1 Tb. margarine or oil
(frying in coconut oil is great!) 

Place eggs, banana slices, milk and cinnamon in blender.  Whir until smooth; pour into bowl. Heat margarine; dip bread into batter and fry until brown.  

Serve with warm maple syrup or peanut butter. 


Monday, June 25, 2012

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread {with secret ingredient}

After seeing this yummy recipe featured at Foodbuzz...from 
The Hungry Artist...I knew I was going to have to make it.

Oh were we ever happy we did! 

It was so moist and chocolate-y....AND full of nutrients too! 

The recipe calls for only 2 Tb. oil...I love that it uses applesauce and a banana for moisture too.  Not to mention the zucchini AND the 'secret' ingredient. 

A great start on your daily required amounts of fruits & vegetables, all rolled up in a moist chocolate bread!

WHO WOULD HAVE GUESSED IT!?

I'll let you read the ingredient list to figure out the 'secret ingredient'. 
{PSST - don't tell...it's spinach}

Your family will never know they're eating a healthier option. I really do have a 'thing' for disguising foods they 'think' they don't like! 

This lovely bread would be a great after school snack or enjoy it for breakfast!

Please don't let the length of the ingredient list intimdate you.  This goes together pretty easily, and the end result is so worth your time. 


DOUBLE CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI BREAD 
{with secret ingredient} 

Non-stick cooking spray
1-1/2 c. flour 
(I used white whole wheat) 
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 c. unsweetened baking cocoa
1 c. frozen spinach, or 1/2 c. cooked spinach
2 Tb. canola oil 
1 c. shredded zucchini (about 2 sm. or 1/2 medium sized)
1 ripe banana, mashed
1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
2/3 c. granulated sugar
(I used 1/3 c. xylitol...1/3 c. sugar)
2 eggs, beaten
(I used 1 egg + 2 egg whites)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided 
(My homemade sugar free chocolate chips recipe found here)

Preheat oven to 325. Line a loaf pan with parchment and spray with non-stick spray.  Set aside. 

In medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, slat and cinnamon until evenly mixed.

Microwave frozen spinach for about 1 minute on high.  Squeeze out extra water and drain.  Process in a food processor with oil until finely pureed.  Transfer to a large mixing bowl.

Into spinach mixture, add zucchini, banana, applesauce, sugar, eggs and vanilla.  Mix well. Then add dry ingredients and mix until blended well. Stir in 1/2 c. chocolate chips. 

Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and dot the top with remaining 1/4 c. chocolate chips.

Bake for 55-60 minutes. Don't overbake.  It will still test a little 'gooey' when it's done baking. 

Let cool in pan on a rack for about 30 minutes. Cut around edges with a knife and carefully lift out onto cooling rack (don't invert or chocolate chips will be smashed). 

Let cool, (if you can wait!) cut and serve. 

Linked to Melt in your mouth Monday
          Fit & Fabulous Friday
Weekend Potluck
Gooseberry Patch Roundup - Garden
  Ingredient Spotlight - Chocolate Chips



Friday, June 22, 2012

Nutella Banana Oatmeal Smoothie & Weekend Potluck #23

WELCOME TO WEEKEND POTLUCK!
AND

I wanted to finish out my "Drink-A-Thon" week with a very popular and yummy smoothie post from the past....

Nutella Banana Oatmeal Smoothie

Click on the link above for the recipe. Try it...you'll love it! 

ONTO WEEKEND POTLUCK!  


I have been PINNING so many WP recipes and can't tell you how pleased I am that you're linking up such awesome dishes here!  YUMMERS! Thanks so much for joining us! We set another record last week - 
KEEP 'EM COMIN!!

Now, let's take a a quick peek back at last week.......

The recipe with the most clicks was ~

Hersheys Syrup Brownies     Fight Back Brownies by Baking and Cooking, A Tale of Two Loves

Recipes that caught our attention ~

Bohemian Queso DipBohemian "Queso" Dip by Newlyweds Blog
Summertime Tortellini Pasta SaladSummertime Tortellini Pasta Salad by Diary of a Recipe Addict

And, a personal favorite ~

Lara Bar Balls 
Raw Vegan 3-ingredient Lara Bar Balls

Don't forget - if you were featured, please grab the featured button below - 



  • The Better Baker ~ Marsha


  • Sunflower Supper Club ~ Kim & Julie


  • Life As a Lofthouse ~ Holly


  • 4 Little Fergusons~ Tonya


  • The Country Cook~ Brandie

  • Remember that when you link up, it shows on all SIX blogs. Plus…

    We TWEET. We PIN. We LIKE.

    Linky Guidelines:


    If you wish to be a featured recipe or for us to promote your recipe either on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, you MUST follow these instructions.
    1. Please link up to your exact post and not the main page to your blog.
    2. LINK BACK HERE from your post so that others can find the fun. (Need help linking back? Read this or watch this great instructional video.) You can use the button below or a direct link within your post.
    When you are kind enough to follow our guidelines, we work hard to get you as much exposure as possible so that your time here is well invested. We want this to be a fun and rewarding experience for everyone!




    Thursday, June 21, 2012

    Strawberry Cheesecake Smoothie





    June is strawberry season here in Ohio..


    GLORY! GLORY! GLORY! 

    I did a flip flop (well, my heart did anyway!) when I came across this recipe at Cupcakes & Kale Chips, after she linked it up to Weekend Potluck. Hurrah!  Brianne opened her post by apologizing for taking 'the easy way out' in an improv cooking challenge. 


    PU-LEEEZE!!! =) I told her NO need for apologies.  I knew I would go wild over this simple recipe, though I did adapt it a little bit. She was surprised at all the attention the recipe brought her blog too!! Good for her!


    Even when it isn't strawberry season, you can make this luscious treat any time because you use frozen strawberries!


    This is an amazingly delicious smoothie that I enjoyed for my dinner meal (we'd been to a graduation open house and I wasn't very hungry). 

    It's pretty healthy too with 'skinny' options..I love that about any recipe!




    Cream cheese is my #1 favorite ingredient - added to this combo of terrific flavors and I'll all over it. 


    Many options to how you might like to fix this for yourself, but no matter what, I can tell you you're gonna be SO glad you tried this simple recipe. 


    I do love QUICK & EASY! 


    I always keep sliced bananas in the freezer too so I can add it to any smoothie and make it cold.  MMMM! 



    STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE SMOOTHIE 
    (Adapted from Cupcakes & Kale Chips)

    1/2 c. frozen strawberries
    (original recipe calls for 1 full cup, but I couldn't suck it through a straw...if that's your preference, then add more berries)

    half of a frozen banana, preferably sliced

    1 ozs. (about 2 Tb. cream cheese) - I used light
    (or 2 Tb. cottage cheese)

    1/2 c. vanilla Greek yogurt, or plain
    (I used Weight Watchers vanilla as it needed to be used up)

    3/4 c. 1% milk 

    1 tsp. vanilla, or more

    stevia, splenda or sugar to taste

    Optional: Strawberries or crushed graham cracker, for garnish

    Combine all ingredients except garnish, in blender.  Puree until smooth. 

    (You could add flax or chia seeds for a healthier boost.) 

    There ya go!!  Suck it down...but not too fast, or you'll get a brain freeze. 

    Linked to 



    Breakfast Ideas Monday
    Melt in Your Mouth Monday
    Foodie Friends Friday
    Scrumptious Sunday
    Mop it up Monday
    Gooseberry Patch Roundup - Smoothies

    Wednesday, June 20, 2012

    Naturally Sweetened Lemonade

    I'm sure you've heard the saying...

    WHEN LIFE HANDS YOU LEMONS, MAKE LEMONADE!

    When that happens, I'm here with a terrific recipe to make some tasty satisfying lemonade!

    I have become SOO fond of Brenda at Sugar-Free Mom. She's impacting my life in a positive, and healthier way.

    Having a hubby who is diabetic, I've learned to use healthy options in my baking.

    Brenda is leading me in a more natural way to healthy foods and I am excited about this journey toward good health.

    I tried this naturally sweetened lemonade the day after I saw it posted at Brenda's website. I have made it several times since and just served it to company recently.  They loved it also!

    After all - enjoying lemonade is a refreshing way to cool down when the temps warm up.

    And all this fresh lemon juice is good for you!

    Hubby wanted to go out the day after I first made it and get more lemons!

    Give it a 'twist' and a try....
    Besides water, all you need are 2 ingredients!


    And it's an extra special treat for those of us who are counting calories or counting WW points...

    GET THIS!!  A glass of this awesome drink is only 9 calories and
    0 (Yes, ZERO!) WW points!
     9 CALORIES PER SERVING!!! 0 POINTS!!!

    (Brenda also has a simple recipe for Naturally Sweetened Strawberry Lemonade - click here

    Don’t waste anything because once the lemons are squeezed (I saved some of the zest to put in the freezer too)  you can throw the rinds in your garbage disposal and have a clean-smelling kitchen.

    WA-LA!

    NATURALLY SWEETENED LEMONADE

    6 fresh lemons, juiced

    1 sliced lemon to add to glasses when serving, optional 
    (original recipe says to add to pitcher, but we found it made the lemonade bitter) 

    1 teaspoon liquid Stevia, lemon drop
    (I used vanilla stevia)
    (If you prefer using sugar, dissolve in hot water before adding)

    2 quarts of water

    1 cup ice cubes

    Slice lemons in half, squeeze out juice into a bowl, remove seeds. Add juice to a large pitcher.

    Add 2 quarts of water to a pitcher.

    Stir in 1 teaspoon of stevia. Taste to decide if you want more or not.

    Refrigerate until ready to serve; serve over ice and enjoy!!!

    Linked to Gooseberry Patch Roundup - What you made this week
    Whatcha Whipped up Wednesday
    Weekend Potluck
    Fit & Fabulous Friday
    Foodie Friends Friday

    Tuesday, June 19, 2012

    'Homemade' Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino Light & Summertime Orange Slushie

    Are you excited yet?  I nearly jumped out of my chair through the screen when I saw this recipe along with an inviting photo for homemade starbucks LIGHT! 

    And Caramel even???

    It just doesn't get any better than that! Atleast not for me. 

    Nancy at Skinny Kitchen is always 'dragging' me into her kitchen with her heavenly dishes - she adds Weight Watchers Points too!! Oh how I love her!! (I've got a long way to go to get to the 'skinny' part of her kitchen, but she's a big help on my journey). 

    I was tickled to try this when my daughter came for a visit...she's an even bigger coffee lover than I am.  She gave it 5 stars!

    Keep this recipe handy to keep yourself cool and charged this summer. 

    All I can say is MMMMM-MMMORE please!




    STARBUCKS CARAMEL FRAPPUCCINO LIGHT 
    2/3 c. double-strength coffee, chilled  
    (see tip below)
    2/3 c. 1% lowfat milk
    (I used a little more cause I love CREAMY!)
    (see substitution tip below)
    2 Tb. caramel ice cream topping
    (I used Torani sugar-free caramel flavoring syrup, to taste)
    4 pkg. Splenda, Stevia, Equal or your favorite sugar substitute
    2 tsp. sugar (or splenda or stevia)
    1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
    2-1/2 c. ice


    Topping:


    Light whipped cream or light vanilla flavored whipped cream
    1-1/2 tsp. caramel topping


    Combine chilled coffee, milk, caramel topping, Splenda, sugar, vanilla and ice in a blender.  Blend on high until ice is crushed and drink is smooth. 


    Pour into 2 glasses.  Top each glass with 2 Tb. whipped cream and drizzle about 3/4 tsp. caramel topping over each. 


    Serve at once with a straw.


    Makes 2 - 12 ozs. each


    To make double-strength coffee: Brew using 2 Tb. of ground coffee per each cup of coffee.  (You might wanna make extra so you can make more the next time) 


    Substitution Tip:
    To cut calories and fat further, use nonfat milk instead of 1%, and all sugar substitute, and no sugar. 


    These Skinny Facts still include the topping per serving: 
    109 calories, 1 gr. fat, 3 gr. protein, 22 gr. carbs, 133 mg sodium, 0 gr. fiber, 1 gr. sugar


    WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS PLUS: 4 
    (made with nonfat milk, no sugar, only splenda and includes toppings


    WEIGHT WATCHERS (Old points): 3 


    Here's a little 'bonus' in this post.  My dear friend Lark shared this Summertime Orange Slushie recipe at her blog last week.
    Sounds marvy - you can always substitute the sugar with your preferred sweetener. Note that her recipe does make 4 - 12 ozs.
    servings, so if you just want one or two, cut it down. 


    Looks sooo tasty and refreshing! Don't you agree? Using orange juice concentrate, you can whip it up in just a few minutes. 





    Our Delightful Home

    Monday, June 18, 2012

    Guest Post from Potholes & Pantyhose: No Calorie Sweet Green Tea

    WELCOME TO DRINK-A-THON WEEK AT THE BETTER BAKER!


     I'm serving up several cooling, refreshing beverages every day this week....and I'm thrilled to have a guest blogger for our first day. 


    When I first made this tasty drink for my hubby and I, we drank the first pitcher-full the first day, and I had to make more the next...and the next.


    And it's something special I made for him for Father's Day too - we both love it. 


    It's green tea - and it's not only delicious, it's healthy for you too.
    And stevia-sweetened!  I love love love that too!


    I'm so happy to have Rebekah share this wonderfully easy drink - along with some great tutorial photos as well. 


    Take it away Rebekah...






    Hello, Better Baker readers! I am so honored that Marsha asked me to be a guest here today!

    My name is Rebekah, and I'm from Potholes and Pantyhose where I share and photograph detailed tutorials of my DIY Projects, Recipes, Photography Tips and Remodeling Endeavors. Marsha loved my recipe for No Calorie Sweet Green Tea she asked if I'd be willing to share the whole process on her site for her dear readers.

    So, here I am with my No Calorie Sweet Green Tea.

    During the summer, there's nothing better than a cold glass of sweet tea. I enjoy the beverage but wanted a low calorie option that was also healthy for you. There are numerous antioxidants, along with Vitamins C and E found in Green Tea. (*See a report by Harvard Health Publications at the end of this post on the benefits of drinking green tea.)

    This simple No Calorie Sweet Green Tea is good for you, easy to make and tastes wonderful.


    Here's all that is needed to make your very own No Calorie Sweet Green Tea:
    Tea Kettle
    Glass Tea Jar
    10 Green Tea Bags (I use 5 Caffeinated and 5 Decaffeinated Tea Bags)
    6 + 4 Cups of Water
    1/2 tsp Liquid Stevia


    Using a clothespin, use the tab at the end of the string to corral your tea bags.



    Clip the tea bags to the side of your glass tea jar. Boil 6 cups of water in your tea kettle.


    After the water in the tea kettle whistles, pour the boiling water into the glass tea jar. Aim for the tea bags as you pour.

    Steep for 5 minutes.


    After 5 minutes, pull the tea bags from the liquid but still inside of the tea jar. Slowly squeeze out any remaining water from the tea bags using a wooden spoon.


    Add the 1/2 tsp Liquid Stevia.


    Add 4 Cups of cold water to the tea jar.


    Stir the tea a few times to mix the stevia in.


    Let the tea cool in the fridge for several hours. Once it's cool, pour yourself a glass and enjoy!

    Stop by Potholes and Pantyhose for other recipe, craft, and remodeling ideas. I am so looking forward to meeting you all. And, thanks again, Marsha for letting me be a guest here today. It's been wonderfully sweet!

    Love-Rebekah

    [*Tea's health benefits are largely due to its high content of flavonoids — plant-derived compounds that are antioxidants. Green tea is the best food source of a group called catechins. In test tubes, catechins are more powerful than vitamins C and E in halting oxidative damage to cells and appear to have other disease-fighting properties. Studies have found an association between consuming green tea and a reduced risk for several cancers, including, skin, breast, lung, colon, esophageal, and bladder.

    Additional benefits for regular consumers of green and black teas include a reduced risk for heart disease. The antioxidants in green, black, and oolong teas can help block the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol, increase HDL (good) cholesterol and improve artery function. A Chinese study published recently in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed a 46%-65% reduction in hypertension risk in regular consumers of oolong or green tea, compared to non-consumers of tea.






    Thanks Rebekah for sharing with my awesome readers who are ready to cool down in this warm weather. 


    DRINK UP YA'LL!!!


    Linked to Melt in your mouth Monday




    Friday, June 15, 2012

    Kansas Cucumber Salad & Weekend Potluck #22

    WELCOME TO WEEKEND POTLUCK!! 



    AND 




    WHEN I SHARE A PREVIOUS POST WORTH SHARING AGAIN!! 



    Tis the season for fresh veggies...
    and this is a favorite dish to make with cucumbers.

      I also love serving it on top of fresh chopped tomatoes. The dressing goes great with that combination.

    I've been making this recipe for many years. I found it in a Taste of Home magazine.  


    KANSAS CUCUMBER SALAD

    1 c. mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
    1/4 c. sugar (can use Splenda)
    1/4 c. vinegar
    1/2 tsp. dill weed, optional
    1/2 tsp. salt, optional
    4 medium cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced (4 - 5 cups)
    3 green onions, sliced

    In a bowl, combine mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, dill and salt.  Add cukes and onions; toss. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. 

    Yield: 6 - 8 servings

    For variety - use half mayonnaise and half sour cream.



    Onto the Potluck Party...we sure do love your recipes!



    Now, let's take a quick peek back at last week...

    The recipe with the most clicks was ~

    Moink Balls
    Moink Balls by Sunflower Supper Club

    Recipes that caught our attention ~

    Old Fashioned Steak Fingers
    Old Fashioned Steak Fingers by Miz Helen's Kitchen
    Snickers Cheesecake Pie
    Snickers Cheesecake Pie by A Kitchen Addiction
    And, a personal favorite ~

    Icebox Lemon Angel Food Cake by Joyful Homemaking


    If you were featured, don't forget to grab the featured button below...




    Your hosts ~

    Remember that when you link up, it shows on all SIX blogs. Plus…

    We TWEET. We PIN. We LIKE.

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    Use Coupon Code WEEKEND to save $1.00 through Sunday ONLY.
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    Linky Guidelines:


    If you wish to be a featured recipe or for us to promote your recipe either on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, you MUST follow these instructions.
    1. Please link up to your exact post and not the main page to your blog.
    2. LINK BACK HERE from your post so that others can find the fun. (Need help linking back? Read this or watch this great instructional video.) You can use the button below or a direct link within your post.
    When you are kind enough to follow our guidelines, we work hard to get you as much exposure as possible so that your time here is well invested. We want this to be a fun and rewarding experience for everyone!



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