July 4th Trail Mix Cookies

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As the Fourth of July was quickly approaching, my daughter and I were frantically trying to think of a creative, “red, white and blue” dessert to make for our family cook-out. We thought of many ideas, including ice creams, cupcakes, and even pies, but my daughter was determined to think of something tasty yet also on the healthier side. We came upon an old recipe for Trail Mix Cookies I had previously made in my last published cookbook 200 Best Smoothie Bowl Recipes, and suggests using dried blueberries and dried cranberries to make a festive red, white, and blue cookie! With a small drizzle of white chocolate, these cookies are the perfect dessert at any Fourth of July meal.

July 4th Trail Mix Cookies

Prep: 25 minutes

Cook: 8-9 minutes

Yield: about 30 cookies

Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsalted butter softened

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup honey

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/4 cup old fashioned oats

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 cup dried blueberries

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup mixed nuts chopped

1/4 cup white chocolate chips (optional)

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheight.

Using a hand or stand mixer, beat butter, brown sugar and honey until smooth. Add egg and vanilla and beat until combined. In a separate bowl, combine oats, flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until fully incorporated. Stir in dried blueberries, dried cranberries and mixed nuts.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop the dough into balls (about the size of two tablespoons) and place about two inches apart on the baking sheets. Using your thumb, lightly press into each of the cookies to give them a flatter shape. Place the baking sheets into the oven for about 8-9 minutes or until the bottoms have browned.

Optional white chocolate drizzle:

As the cookies cool on a wire rack, place the white chocolate chips in the microwave for about 1 minute, stirring periodically to prevent burning. Place the melted white chocolate in a plastic bag, and cut the tip to make a piping bag. Drizzle the white chocolate over the top of the cookies for an optional festive touch!

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Oreo Ice Cream

Oreo ice cream

I received an ice cream maker for one of my wedding presents, and the kids and I are obsessed with it! My husband’s mom makes homemade ice cream for every holiday, so I had to step up my non ice cream making abilities  and learn the craft. This Oreo Ice Cream recipe is one of my first creations. This recipe is so easy with only 10 minutes of preparation time, and it can be made several days in advance. Substitute your favorite chocolate chip cookie or candy bars for the Oreos if you wish. Happy Memorial Day!

8 Super Cute July Fourth 2014 Party Ideas

July 4th Cupcakes

Where is summer going? Summer has been great so far but SO busy! July Fourth is next week so how about 8 Super Cute July Fourth Party Ideas! I love all of these starting with my Fourth of July Cupcakes. For more fabulous ideas check out my July 4th Inspiration on Pinterest. What are your plans for the holiday?  (I need to make some.)

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Water Straw Flags DIY from Oh Happy Day

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Red White and Blue Mason Jars from It All Started with Paint

Joy Jars

Joy Jars by Woman’s Day 

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Fourth of July Fun and Games Station by Uncommon Designs

Red, White, and Blue Fruit Salad

Red, White, and Blue Fruit Salad by Spicy Southern Kitchen

Party Favor: July Fourth Sparklers

Party Favor: 4th of July Sparklers by Better Homes and Gardens

7-layer-ice-cream-cake

7 Layer Ice Cream Cake by Martha Stewart

Lightened Up Potato Salad: Memorial Day Recipe

My kid’s great grandmother, Dedee, made the best potato salad we have ever had. This recipe for Lightened Up Potato Salad is the closest version to hers which is perfect for summertime, picnics, and Memorial Day weekend. This recipe is slightly lighter than hers, since it uses nonfat greek yogurt, reduced-fat mayonnaise, fresh dill, celery and red onion. I know you will love it as much as we do!

 

July 4th Cupcakes other Fourth of July Creations

Where is the summer going? I can’t believe Fourth of July is next week. I have seen some of the most amazing creations this year via the internet. Here are a few of my FAVS. First, I’ll take you back in time for a look at my  Fourth of July Buttermilk Pancakes

Patriotic Floral Star Cookies by Sweet Sugarbelle

Great DIY from Room to Inspire

Crispy Star Pops from Taste of Home

Patriotic Pinwheels from Tomkat Studio

Red, White and Blue Sangria via Recipe Girl

Firecracker Ice Pops via Martha Stewart

Star-Spangled Sundaes

Summer Cool Down: 10 Fantastic Popsicle Recipes

It’s hot here, and I mean HOT! I have been looking for some new popsicle recipes to beat the heat so here’s a few to wet your whistle. These would also be perfect for Fourth of July, coming very soon. Where is the summer going? Let’s start with my Two Ingredient Raspberry Popsicles (above).

Watermelon Margarita Popsicles via The Comfort of Cooking

Strawberry Lime Yogurt Popsicles via Elephantine blog

Cucumber Honeydew Margarita Popsicles via Endless Simmer

Cappuccino Popsicles and Granita from Drizzle and Dip

Blueberry Vanilla Popsicles from The Slow Roasted Italian

Frozen Fruit and Yogurt Pops via The Decorated Cookie

Chocolate, Peanut Butter & Almond-Covered Banana Popsicles via Got Chocolate

Breakfast Smoothie Pops via Family Spice

Chocolate and Salted Caramel Pudding Popsicles via Endless Simmer

Easter or Passover Main Dish Idea: Mahi Mahi and Vegetable Kabobs

I grill all year long, but my family especially loves it when the weather turns nice. We tend to eat outside on the deck, and it’s great for the kids to be riding bikes and playing basketball while I’m cooking the food on the grill. This is the epitome of family time. These Mahi Mahi and Vegetable Kabobs are the perfect recipe to try if you’re wanting to get your kids to like fish and vegetables. It’s colorful, fresh and full of clean flavors. Mahi Mahi is mild, a low calorie, low-fat source of protein, and it also has B-complex vitamins, selenium and omega-3 fatty acids. Serve these kabobs with grilled asparagus or squash and zucchini this Easter or Passover dinner for something different and unexpected. It’s a healthy low carbohydrate main dish.

3 Ingredient Simple Peach Sorbet

My kids are infatuated with sorbet and ice cream, especially in the summertime. Since we had some awesome Chilton County peaches from Durbin Farms, I put them to great use in this 3 ingredient recipe for Simple Peach Sorbet from the Southern Living Classic Dessert Cookbook. It’s too easy and tastes fabulous. You can even make this year round using 1 (16-ounce) package of frozen sliced peaches.

Kids Cook it Up: Sausage-Vegetable Pizza

My kids are already out of school for the summer, and they are so excited. They love having friends over, of course, and I like to ask them if they want to help out in the kitchen. My kids (and their friends) love being in the kitchen. It’s the center of our home. Most of their friends know that I’m a Recipe Developer and Cookbook Author and that I’m always taking pictures in the kitchen. We made these Sausage-Vegetable Pizzas the other day, and they had a blast. Making pizzas is a fun kid’s activity. I love to set up an array of toppings, and I let them create their own. Try this for an awesome summer activity.


Girls Night Out: Tomato and Avocado with Boursin Appetizer

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My friend, Kiel, just recently moved to Jacksonville, Florida, and she sent me some recipes from her “Girls Night Out” dinner. She and 10 of her friends get together every Tuesday night and alternate at their different houses trying new, fun and creative recipes. One night, they made Panini sandwiches and homemade tomato soup. Recently, they had an abundance of healthy, fresh salads. She sent me some of the recipes from her latest dinner. This Tomato-Avocado Appetizer with Boursin is such a breeze and tastes delish! It is so perfect for a crowd, especially during the summertime (such as this weekend for July 4th) celebrations. Thanks Kiel and your wonderful friends for sharing your recipes with me.

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