Category Archives: Kids Love It

Liquid “Cookies” and a New Caramel & Coconut Milk Shake Recipe

Written by Chris -

Coffee Mate Girl Scouts Flavors

Have you had a chance to try Coffee-mate’s newest creamers, flavored like Girl Scouts® cookies? Thin Mints are the top selling Girl Scouts® cookies followed closely by Samoas/Caramel deLites, so it makes sense that Coffee-mate selected these cookies as their two new flavors.

When I first tasted the Girl Scouts® flavors, I was immediately taken back to my childhood. I was actually a Brownie when I was in grade school, which is a division of Girl Scouts of the USA. So, not only did I sell the cookies, I ate my fair share!

I loved to freeze Girl Scouts® cookies as a child, and it wasn’t necessarily to preserve them. I just liked to eat them when they were really cold. I admittedly did this with Ding Dongs® (remember those?) and candy bars, too. So, thinking of these cookies in a chilled, liquid form caught my attention. And if you are wondering, yes, I still do freeze my Girl Scouts® cookies.

I decided to share my frozen fetish with our test kitchen, but in the form of a milk shake. Not just any milk shake. A milk shake made with refrigerated coconut milk (the lower fat/calories kind), light vanilla ice cream and Caramel & Coconut flavored creamer. I even got all fancy and drizzled dulce de leche caramel down the inside of the glasses (this is just a serving suggestion, but I couldn’t help myself). Wow, was this ever good! Now that the creamer is widely available, I can share the recipe with you!

Caramel & Coconut Milk Shakes Recipe

Coconut & Caramel Milk Shakes

Ingredients for 2 servings:

Directions:

PLACE ice cream, milk and Coffee-mate in blender; cover. Blend until smooth.

SWIRL caramel syrup around inside of 2 glasses. Divide milk shake between glasses. Garnish milk shakes with coconut and chocolate, if desired. Got a crowd? Recipe can easily be doubled.

Thin Mint Chocolate-Drizzled Pretzels Recipe

A milk shake made with Thin Mints-flavored creamer, light chocolate ice cream and lowfat milk would be absolutely divine! Or, how about trying these Thin Mint Chocolate-Drizzled Pretzels? I couldn’t just share one recipe with you!

Also, if you are attending the BlogHer conference in Chicago this week, be sure to drop by our Coffee-mate Coffee Bar. We will be sampling our Nestlé Coffee-Mate Girl Scouts® Liquid Coffee Creamers!

Cheers!

Chris

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Caramel Coconut Cookie Ice Cream Pie Recipe Chocolate Pretzel Coconut Layer Bars Recipe
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A Toast to Moms Everywhere – French Toast that is

Written by Nick -

Mother’s Day is the day of the year that you go out of your way to show your appreciation to your mom. In my household that meant a day of pampering, a day of chores, and a day where Mom could finally relax and Dad and the kids would take care of everything.

Obviously, you should let your mom know how important she is every day, but Mother’s day is the day of year that you need to go above and beyond. It’s not enough to say you care, but you need a CARD to say you care, you need FLOWERS and you need to make BREAKFAST. (Highlighting for all the kids and dads out there… don’t forget the CARD, FLOWERS, and BREAKFAST).

So growing up, Mother’s Day always started with us kids and my dad cooking brunch. Often times, we’d serve French Toast, my dad’s specialty and one of my mom’s favorite. French toast is a decadent breakfast and the perfect way to show your mom your sweet side. I’m grown up now and my mom is on the other side of the country, but I wish I could make her some French toast this Sunday. Hopefully my dad can handle the duties and pamper her. And hopefully, this year, the flowers show up on time.

You can find an entire French Toast recipe collection on meals.com.

Here are some of my favorites and some I can’t wait to try.

Stuffed French Toast With Fresh Berry Topping Recipe

Stuffed French Toast with Fresh Berry Topping

This Stuffed French Toast With Fresh Berry Topping recipe takes your favorite strawberry preserves mixed with creamy ricotta cheese to make a delectable filling. For this recipe, I would need to substitute another berry preserve, my mom is allergic to Strawberries (I know it’s horribly sad) but I’m sure it would work with whatever berry preserve your mother prefers.

Cinnamon Breakfast Toast with Orange-Rum Syrup Recipe

Cinnamon Breakfast Toast with Orange-Rum Syrup

This Cinnamon Breakfast Toast will become a family favorite! It is a great choice for brunch too! Oranges and rum are produced in Venezuela, so it makes sense that this version of French toast is served with scrumptious syrup flavored with these local gems. Cinnamon also infuses both the egg mixture and syrup. Serve with fresh orange slices for a special touch. To save some time, the syrup can be made ahead and warmed.

Honey Vanilla Crème Stuffed French Toast Recipe

Sweet Crème Stuffed French Toast

Sweet Crème Stuffed French Toast is an elegant twist on the classic recipe. This is a great recipe to make use of day old French bread you may have on hand. The orange marmalade and Sweet Crème Coffee-mate compliment each other perfectly.

Ovaltine French Toast Recipe

Ovaltine French Toast

Ovaltine adds a rich chocolate flavor to this classic recipe. Top it with maple syrup and fresh berries for a truly decadent morning treat.

Golden Sunrise French Toast Recipe

Golden Sunrise French Toast

Golden Sunrise French Toast will be a treat your family will love! The golden crisp goodness of this hearty morning favorite is made with thick-sliced French bread infused with a hint of vanilla and topped with fresh seasonal fruit – then drizzled with maple syrup for the perfect start to a special morning.

What’s your Mother’s day treat? Are you the pamperer or the pampered?

Tip: If your the pampered, feel free to forward this to the pamperers as a friendly reminder. You can use such strategic subject lines as:

  • The coy – “Don’t these recipes look delicious”
  • The sneaky – “Which of these is your favorite, I’m thinking of making something this weekend”
  • The obvious – “Don’t forget about MOTHER’S DAY – love mom” 

Caramel Coconut Cookie Ice Cream Pie & a Slew of Summer Pie Recipes

Written by Liz -

Caramel Coconut Cookie Ice Cream Pie recipe

When summer rolls around, there is one dessert I really crave — ice cream. I love to make ice cream in all it forms: ice milk, frozen yogurt, sorbet, granita, etc. And when I need a dessert to please a group, ice cream pie is one of the easiest ways to turn this iconic summer treat into a dessert for all.

This ice cream pie recipe features a homemade crust and homemade whipped topping, sandwiching one of Dreyer’s & Edy’s new summer Slow Churned  flavors: Caramel Coconut Cookie Ice Cream. And homemade pie crust is actually pretty easy. To make the crust, just blend together graham crackers, coconut flakes, coconut oil and butter (see full recipe below).

And just think of the twists you can make on this pie crust recipe! Here are some ideas:

  • Instead of chocolate graham crackers, use honey or cinnamon graham crackers or any of your favorite crunchy cookies (ginger snaps, thin mints, milanos, etc.)
  • Instead of coconut flakes, use powdered caramel creamer or coffee mix, finely chopped ginger or any citrus zest.

And in the topping, I can think of many fun ingredients:

  • Add softened cream cheese to give it a frosting taste
  • Add a dash of any kind of flavored schnapps, maple syrup or almond flavoring
  • Use chocolate sauce or fresh fruit instead of caramel.

The possibilities are limitless when you think of all the ice cream flavors available! And don’t forget you can make just about any ice cream flavor you want. I’m looking forward to these additional summer flavors from Dreyer’s/Edy’s:

  • 3 Stripes You’re Out (Grand only) – vanilla ice cream with mixed berry and strawberry swirls
  • Sunny Salted Caramel Pretzel (Grand and Slow Churned) – vanilla ice cream with a salted caramel swirl and pretzel pieces
  • German Chocolate Cake Spectacular (Grand and Slow Churned) – chocolate ice cream with a caramel coconut swirl and brownie pieces
  • Take the Cake (Slow Churned only) – yellow cake-flavored light ice cream with a frosting swirl and multi-colored sprinkles

I don’t know about you, but I can think of a different ice cream pie I can make each week of summer! It’s definitely going to be a good one at my house.

Caramel Coconut Cookie Ice Cream Pie

Ingredients for 8 servings:

CRUST

  • 9 large chocolate graham cracker rectangles, broken into rough pieces
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

FILLING

  • 1 container (1.5 quarts) DREYER’S or EDY’S SLOW CHURNED Limited Edition Caramel Coconut Cookie Light Ice Cream, softened

TOPPING

  • 1 cup heavy cream, chilled
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup toasted coconut
  • 1/2 cup caramel ice cream topping

Directions:

PREHEAT oven to 325° F.

FOR CRUST:

Caramel Coconut Cookie Ice Cream Pie recipe

PLACE graham crackers, coconut and sugar in food processor or blender; cover. Honey grahams are shown above.

Caramel Coconut Cookie Ice Cream Pie recipe

Process for 30 seconds or until mixture resembles fine crumbs.

Place crumbs in medium bowl; stir in melted coconut oil and butter. Stir until crumbs are moistened. Press crumbs evenly onto bottom and up side of 9-inch glass pie plate.

BAKE for 20 to 22 minutes or until crust is set. Cool crust completely on a wire rack.

FOR FILLING:

Caramel Coconut Cookie Ice Cream Pie recipe

SPREAD softened ice cream into pie crust. Cover; freeze for 6 hours or until ice cream is completely firm, as shown above.

FOR TOPPING:

Caramel Coconut Cookie Ice Cream Pie recipe

PLACE cream and sugar in chilled medium mixing bowl. Beat just until stiff peaks form. Evenly spread whipped cream over ice cream. Sprinkle with toasted coconut; drizzle with caramel topping (above shows chocolate sauce). Cut into slices; serve immediately.

Links:

Related recipes:

Frozen Vanilla Peanut Butter Pie recipe Caramel Macchiato Ice Cream Pie recipe
Frozen Vanilla Peanut Butter Pie Caramel Macchiato Ice Cream Pie

Frosting Tips and a New Cupcake Collection

Written by Chris -

Cupcakes

Beautifully frosted, or simple and elegant, cupcakes are an important part of life’s special moments – not just birthdays, but also graduations, bridal and baby showers, excellent report cards, or just because. Cupcakes make ordinary days feel extraordinary.

We have a new Cupcake Collection on Meals.com I’d like to share with you. We’ve selected several of our favorite recipes which include the classics plus delectable new flavors like lemonade, malted chocolate and even bacon!

Since a cupcake really isn’t “dressed” until it’s frosted, I thought I’d highlight some of our tried and true test kitchen frosting recipes. I’ve also included a handful of prepared frosting tips, too. I’ve found that most kids prefer the stuff in the container over a 5-star homemade frosting. There’s nothing wrong with that. My kids, now ten years old, get a kick out of customizing prepared frosting as well as creating simple cupcake recipes. You can check out their recipes here.

Let’s start out with a tip for piping frosting. I’ll admit, I cut corners (literally) more times than not. I don’t have time to clean a pastry bag so I use a gallon size heavy-duty zip top bag.

Frosting Tips Piping

All you need to do is put the piping tip you want to use in the corner of the bag, then snip the corner off and push the tip a quarter of the way through.

Frosting Tips Piping 2

Place the bag with tip in a glass to keep it stable. Then spoon about 1 cup of frosting into the bag.

Frosting Tips Piping 3

To pipe, hold the tip in place with one hand and gently twist the top of the bag with the other to push the frosting through. Continue to refill the bag as needed.

Here are a few ways to jazz up prepared frosting…

Butterfinger Cupcakes

Pipe frosting onto cupcakes, and then sprinkle with chopped candy bars. Butterfinger is my favorite! Quick tip: Be sure to sprinkle the candy right after you pipe the frosting so it will stick, otherwise it will bounce off. Also, if you really like peanut butter, try stirring in a little creamy peanut butter into your prepared white frosting.

Dalmatian Cupcakes Recipe

How cute are these Dalmatian Cupcakes! Simply sprinkle a small handful of mini chocolate morsels over the frosting – an instant hit!

Here’s a clever way to make a glaze out of prepared frosting: Spoon 1 container of frosting into a microwave-safe container and microwave on HIGH (100% power) for 30 seconds. Then stir until smooth and spread over cooled cupcakes. You can also add hot coffee to prepared frosting to thin it down to make glaze.

Of course, you can also stir in caramel syrup, Nestlé Nesquik chocolate syrup, a little orange juice or grated citrus peel into prepared frosting. Frosting add-ins are truly endless!

Here are some of our favorite homemade frosting recipes…

Pumpkin Carrot Cupcakes with Orange-Cream Cheese Frosting

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting – absolutely perfect on Pumpkin Carrot Cupcakes!

Red Velvet Cupcakes Recipe

Cream Cheese Frosting – the perfect match for Red Velvet Cupcakes!

Chocolate Lovers Frosting Recipe

This Chocolate Lover’s Frosting is delectable to spread on cakes, cupcakes, brownies, sugar cookies and more. It’s ready in just 5 minutes, too.

Dark Chocolate Ganache Brownie Cakes Recipe

Now if you want to make a big impression with very little effort, I’d suggest this Dark Chocolate Ganache. Simply stunning!

Do you have frosting tips to share? How about shortcuts? Please tell me I’m not the only one to take short cuts.

Happy weekend to you,

Chris

A New Take on Homemade Granola: Quinoa Granola with Raisinets

Written by Chris

Quinoa Granola with Raisinets

March 24th is National Chocolate Covered Raisinets Day. Did you know that? What better way to celebrate than with a brand NEW Nestlé Raisinets recipe!

Raisinets are best known as a movie theater treat, but they also make a great addition to granola (and cookies!). When I make homemade granola, snack or trail mix, I like a little chocolate and dried fruit, so Dark Chocolate Raisinets make the perfect addition!

Let’s talk quinoa. Quinoa has been around long enough that you probably already know how good it is for you. You also likely know it’s a great addition to salads, sides and mains. But have you tried it in granola?

Maria of Two Peas and Their Pod created a recipe for Crunchy Quinoa Granola that looked fantastic! I have her to thank for the initial inspiration. Thanks, Maria! Brandi of BranAppetit developed a Stove Top Spiced Raisinets Granola for Nestlé that I fell head over heels for. She used cardamom, ginger, cinnamon and maple syrup and something about that combination tantalized my taste buds!

In this recipe, cooked quinoa (cooked in just water or equal parts water and apple juice), oats, nuts, seeds and spices are coated with a little coconut oil and maple syrup and then baked until golden. Raisinets and toasted coconut are added to the mixture once cool. Oh wow is this good!

Here’s the recipe…

Quinoa Granola with Raisinets

Ingredients for 24 (¼ cup) servings:

  • Parchment paper
  • 2 cups cooked ivory or red quinoa (cooked in water)
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped almonds
  • 1/2 cup raw pepitas
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seed kernels
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 package (11 ounces) NESTLÉ RAISINETS Dark Chocolate-Covered Raisins
  • 1 cup shredded coconut, toasted

Directions:

PREHEAT oven to 375° F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

COMBINE quinoa, oats, almonds, pepitas, sunflower seed kernels, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and salt in large bowl. Add coconut oil and maple syrup; stir to coat. Spread onto prepared baking sheet.

Quinoa Granola with Raisinets Recipe

BAKE for 35 to 40 minutes, stirring halfway through baking time, until golden and toasted. Once it has cooled completely, stir in the Raisinets and coconut. Store the granola in airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Quinoa Granola with Raisinets Recipe

Here’s a little tip. Add a few tablespoons of this granola to nonfat Greek yogurt, and then drizzle with a little maple syrup. Perfect snack!

More Raisinets Snacks:

Nutty Raisinets Trail Mix Recipe Raisinets Cereal Snacking Mix Recipe
Nutty Raisinets Trail Mix Raisinets Cereal Snacking Mix

Tips for Perfect Fries: Rosemary Oven Fries

Written by Chris -

Rosemary Oven Fries Recipe

Boy, do I have a treat for you! Who likes fries? Who loves fries? I know you can’t see me, but I am waving my hand profusely. I have such a crush on fries! I’m somewhat of a carbohydrate addict. But, I do actually avoid them on occasion – I need to look after my girlish figure, after all. Seriously, I eat fries all the time. But let me clarify, my fries are always baked. No exceptions. They are so much better for you this way!

Here are some tips for the most delicious baked fries – as in creamy on the inside, crispy on the outside, pure deliciousness:

  • Cut the potatoes into evenly sized wedges or sticks so that all of the fries will cook at the same rate.
  • After cutting the potatoes, soak them in hot water for about 10 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Soaking them helps the potatoes release their starches.
  • Coat them with oil and season as desired (I have a seasoning tip below).
  • Then bake, covered with foil, for the first 5 minutes. Remove the cover, and continue baking until golden. This produces fries with a soft, creamy interior and a crisp outer crust.

This last technique came from my favorite culinary publication, Cooks Illustrated. I’ve always soaked my potatoes to remove the starch (this helps make them crispy), but covering them for the first 5 minutes of baking is a new technique for me. I never thought to steam them first. But doing so produces the best texture!

I love adding fresh rosemary to my fries. Certainly not necessary, but do me a favor, try it. I think you might just love it. I also like to add chicken bouillon as a seasoning to my fries. It has onion powder, garlic powder, turmeric and other spices. If you are vegetarian, sea salt does the trick, too. But if you aren’t, give bouillon a try. It’s a great all-around seasoning.

Here’s my go to recipe:

Rosemary Oven Fries

Ingredients for 6 servings:

  • 3 large russet potatoes (about 2 pounds total or 10 ounces each), scrubbed, each potato cut lengthwise into 10 to 12 evenly sized wedges (or cut into ½-inch-thick sticks)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 teaspoon MAGGI Instant Chicken Flavor Bouillon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 475° F.

Rosemary Oven Fries Recipe

Place potatoes in a large bowl; cover with hot water. Soak for 10 minutes (this will help remove the starch). Drain the potatoes. Spread the potatoes onto a kitchen towel; pat to dry.

Rosemary Oven Fries Recipe

Place potatoes in a large bowl; toss with oil, rosemary, bouillon and pepper.

Rosemary Oven Fries Recipe

Arrange potatoes in a single layer on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Cover tightly with foil. Bake for 5 minutes.

 Rosemary Oven Fries Recipe

Remove foil; bake for an additional 15 to20 minutes or until the potatoes are golden brown. Scrape the potatoes loose from the baking sheet with a metal spatula; flip over.

Rosemary Oven Fries Recipe

Bake for an additional 8 to 10 minutes or until evenly browned. Taste and add sea salt, if desired. I like the added crunch, so I usually add a little sea salt. Serve immediately.

Do you have any special techniques for making the absolute best oven fries? Any special seasonings? Please share!

By the way, Todd & Diane from White on Rice Couple, photographed the hero shot at the top. They do such beautiful work!

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