Monthly Archives: July 2012

Chocolate 7 Layer Bars

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I’ve  featured these 7 Layer Bars on my blog before, but just in case you didn’t see them I’m posting them again.

These aren’t the ordinary 7 Layer Bars.  They’re close, but just different enough to make a huge difference.

If you’re trying to impress a large crowd, but don’t have much time on your hands, this is the dessert for you.  I can’t believe how good these are considering how extremely easy they are to make.

What’s your “go-to” quick dessert recipe?

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Chocolate 7 Layer Bars


  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup Chocolate Animal Crackers, crushed to a fine crumble (like graham  cracker crumbs)
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup nuts, chopped


  1. Preheat oven at 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix animal cookie crumbs and melted butter until it becomes dough like.
  3. Press the “dough” into the bottom of a 9×13 in dish.
  4. Layer the coconut and chips in order given in ingredients list.
  5. Pour sweetened condensed milk over all.
  6. Top with nuts.
  7. Do not mix together.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes.

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Cake Batter Flavored Energy Bars

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I’m sure you’ve all heard of Chocolate Covered Katie, but if you haven’t, you need to look at her blog.

I love making desserts, but when I go on trips and stuff, I like to bring healthy snacks so I always go to her website when I’m looking for one.

The last recipe I made turned out really well.  I made her Cake Batter Energy bars and they were delish.  The only change I made to the recipe was adding a “frosting” made with cake batter flavored protein powder mixed with melted coconut oil.

I highly recommend these!

To see the recipe, click here: Chocolate Covered Katie.

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Peanut Butter Butterfinger Frosted Brownies

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Okay, I cheated.

I know I’ve said a million times that I hate using box mixes, but I didn’t say I don’t use box mixes.

A couple of weeks ago, one of my friends made brownies and everyone ate theirs with peanut butter.  Why wouldn’t they?  Peanut butter and chocolate are the ultimate culinary couple.

That’s when I thought, “dduuuhhh, I have to make brownies with peanut butter frosting.”  The Butterfinger’s were just a given.  Why wouldn’t I add them?

So, there’s that.  And then, I fed them to everyone I know and they were devoured isntantly.

These are a definite crowd pleaser.  There’s only a certain few recipes that I’ll make more than once, and this is one.

What’s your favorite way to spice up boxed brownie mixes?


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Peanut Butter Butterfinger Frosted Brownies


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 2 regular sized Butterfinger’s
  • 9×13 inch pan of brownies (I used Betty Crocker)


  1. In a large bowl, beat butter and peanut butter until light and fluffy.
  2. Slowly beat in 1/2 of the confectioner’s sugar.
  3. Mix in 1/4 cup of the cream.
  4. Beat in the remaining powdered sugar.
  5. Slowly fold in crushed up Butterfinger’s.
  6. Frost cooled brownies.

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Cottage Cheese Blueberry Muffins

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Cottage cheese?!  I know, sounds disgusting, but don’t knock it ’til you try it.

I was wary, too. However, when I looked in the fridge and we had an almost-full container of cottage cheese, I had to use it.

I just can’t waste food.  Did you know that American’s waste almost 40% of food produced for consumption?? And that was in 2011.

That’s just sad.  I use slimy spinach in my green monsters, black bananas in banana bread, and almost moldy bread for bread pudding.

Here are some more tricks for using “bad food”:

  • Freeze sour milk. I know that sounds sick, but you can use sour milk for baking. (Hello, buttermilk.)
  • Save vegetable scraps for stock. 
  • Save fruit scraps for a nice smelling house. Just boil them in water and your house will smell great in minutes.
  • Put oil and vinegar in an almost empty Mayo container to make salad dressing.
  • Make “Overnight Oats in a Peanut Butter Jar” with almost empty peanut butter jars.
  • Keep bacon grease for cooking.  
  • If you don’t like the heels of bread, throw them in the food processor and use them as bread crumbs.
We waste so much because we can. Plain and simple.  Put yourself in someone’s shoes who doesn’t have the luxuries we do, and maybe you’ll think twice before you throw something out.
What do you do with “bad foods”?


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Cottage Cheese Blueberry Muffins


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened or coconut oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup creamed cottage cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a food processor, cream the cottage cheese until smooth.
  3. In a mixer cream butter, sugar and cottage cheese until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Mix in vanilla.
  4. In separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Blend flour mixture with butter mixture just until blended.
  5. Add milk and only stir just to blend — do not over mix.
  6. Carefully fold in blueberries. Batter mixture will be thick.
  7. Grease and flour a muffin tin (or use muffin tin holders).
  8. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the tops are slightly browned and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

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Ground Turkey Meatballs

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I’ve mentioned this before, but when I’m not eating dessert, I do my best to eat healthy foods.

Ground turkey is one of my favorite “replacements.”  You really can’t tell that big of a difference between turkey and hamburger meat, or at least I think you can’t.

I’ve never made meatballs before, so for my first time, I thought these turned out pretty well.  I just couldn’t tell when they were finished, so good luck with that. I finally decided they were done when they started getting crispy, but I’m sure there’s a more scientific way to tell.

What’s your favorite “healthy” meal?


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Ground Turkey Meatballs
From: All Recipes


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 (20 ounce) package ground turkey
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/3 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with the olive oil, and place it in the oven while preheating.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the ground turkey, egg, and bread crumbs using your hands. Using an ice cream scoop if possible, form the meat into golf ball sized meatballs. Place about 1 inch apart in the hot baking dish. Press down to flatten the bottom just slightly.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, then turn them over, and continue baking for about 5 more minutes, or until somewhat crispy on the outside. Serve with pasta and sauce or however you’d like.  I stored mine in pasta sauce and really liked the flavor afterward.

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No Bake Cake Batter Oatmeal Fudge Blondies

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This heat is gettin’ crazy.  It’s been over 100 degrees for the past 2 weeks!

They tell you to stay out of the kitchen if you can’t take the heat, but I prefer to just turn the heat off in the kitchen.

Katie ain’t bakin’ no mo’.  Ever since the sun started blazing, I started testing recipes for “no bake blondies.”  I searched and searched and searched but could not find a single recipe that wasn’t a healthy date/fig/etc. mixture, so I thought I’d make my own.

It’s hard work, let me tell you.  I still haven’t found the perfect recipe, but these are my favorite so far.

If you’re sick of the heat like me, but still want to make some tasty treats, these are the ones for you.

What have you been making since it’s been so hot?  Have you still been baking or does it kill you to turn the oven on?



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No Bake Cake Batter Oatmeal Fudge Blondies


  • 2 cups cake mix of choice (I used Funfetti, duh.)
  • 6 blocks of vanilla almond bark
  • 1 1/2 cups oats
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted


  1. Melt butter in a medium sized microwave safe bowl with white chocolate, about 1-2 minutes.
  2. Mix in cake mix and oats.
  3. Press mixture into a 9×13 inch baking dish.
  4. Chill until hardened.
  5. Cut and eat. Yum.

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Turkey Burger and 3 Bean Casserole

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I hope you guys had an awesome 4th of July!

I didn’t post a recipe because the cookies I made turned out so ugly.  They were the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever made, though, so I’m going to remake them without food coloring and post the recipe soon.  I was just trying to be patriotic.


We’ll just chalk that one up to a failed attempt.  The more I made, the more the colors ran together, the uglier they got.

What did you guys do for the 4th? I just hung out at the pool all day, ate some yummmmy steak for dinner, played volleyball, ate a lot, etc.  Not too much… pretty relaxing.

Anyway, so I made this casserole and while I was gathering the ingredients I realized I had Cowboy Baked Beans before (back in the day when I didn’t know how to take good pictures… don’t judge), which are basically the same thing.  But this has meat, so you can’t go wrong there.  This is my very favorite quick and easy dinner recipe.  If you like baked beans, this won’t disappoint you.

What’s your go-to dinner recipe?


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Turkey Burger and 3 Bean Casserole
Adapted from:

  • 2 lbs ground turkey
  • 2 cups onions, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons mustard
  • 4 teaspoons vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, dry,flaked
  • 2 (16 ounce) cans lima beans, with liquid
  • 2 (16 ounce) cans kidney beans, with liquid
  • 2 (16 ounce) cans pork and beans, with liquid


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Brown turkey and onions, and drain off excess fat (if there is any).
  3. Combine ketchup, brown sugar, mustard and garlic flakes; add to meat mixture and mix well.
  4. Place in a buttered 6 quart baking container, and bake 1 hour.

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Creamy Brown Butter Yogurt Apple Pie

creamy brown butter yogurt apple pie

So much happened this weekend.

Thursday, I attended a #BlogKC/#KCBloggerMeetup event at Sak’s Off 5th Avenue.  I didn’t know what to expect and when I walked in, I was a little overwhelmed.  I was given a $25 gift card and a name tag at the front and then we all got to do some major shopping for 2 hours.  In between the exhausting shopping (such a tough job) snacks were provided – brownies, savory tarts, cream puffs, and sangria – and more gift cards were given out.  I walked out with a new shirt and some fellow blogger friends.  Pretty successful if you ask me.

tri-colored shirt from saks off 5th avenue

Friday, I had dinner with Kellen and a few friends at P.F. Changs.  We were gettin’ our noodles in to prepare for the Color Run the next morning.

I’m sure you can guess that Saturday I ran the color run with some friends.  Ohhh my gosh they aren’t kidding when they say it’s the “happiest 5k on earth.”  It was so fun!  Every kilometer, volunteers squirt you with paint.  It’s like chalk and they put it in ketchup/mustard containers and you can get as colorful or not colorful as you want.  There were 30,000 people who signed up for this color run… isn’t that CRAZY?  It was a really awesome experience and the race went by so quickly.  Easily the most fun 5k I’ve ever run.

paint all over my face from color run

paint splattered friends jumping in air after color run

Afterward, I spent the day hanging out with my some of favorite people.  Perfect weekend.

Nothing can top off a good weekend like a HUGE slice of pie.  So if you had a good weekend, make this pie and finish yours off well, too.  If you didn’t have a good weekend, then you should still try this pie… it’ll make it better.

Have you heard of the color run?  I had never heard of it until about 6 months ago.

steps for making apple pie

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creamy apple pie in pie plate

Creamy Brown Butter Yogurt Apple Pie
Adapted from:



  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ cup plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 5 cups apples (5-7 medium)
  • 1 unbaked pie shell


  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup firm butter


  1. Heat oven to 400°F. In 1-quart saucepan, cook 1/4 cup butter over medium heat, stirring constantly, until melted and lightly browned. Cool completely, about 15 minutes.
  2. In a mixer, beat 1/2 cup granulated sugar and the egg until light and fluffy. Beat in 2 tablespoons flour, vanilla, and cinnamon. Beat in cooled butter and yogurt. Gently stir in apples. Pour into crust-lined pan.
  3. In medium bowl, stir together all streusel ingredients except butter. With pastry blender or fork, cut in 1/4 cup butter until mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over apples. Place pie on cookie sheet in oven.
  4. Bake 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F and cover edge of crust with strips of foil to prevent excessive browning. Bake 40 to 50 minutes longer or until apples are tender and crust is golden brown. Let cool and eat!


huge slice of apple pie on pink plate and plaid towel