Kettle Chip Bark

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Living in North Dakota, I learned about a lot of interesting foods. Lefse, a delicious Norwegian potato flatbread that is amazing brushed with melted butter and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. Lutefisk which is a dried and salted fish that gets gelatinous in texture. Can’t say I could ever be convinced to try that one. But best of all, the chocolate dipped potato chip.
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Why had I never thought of that before? I love chocolate dipped pretzels so you would think with my adoration of chips and all things sweet and salty, I would have gone there. But alas, the northerners beat me to it. It was the ruffle chip that I always saw dipped but I love salty, crunchy kettle chips so that’s the direction I chose.
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I’ve mentioned before how much I hate dipping things in chocolate. It’s messy, they never look as pretty and it takes forever. So I figured, why bother dipping when I can make it into a bark. The lazy man’s way to consume chocolate dipped chips.
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This bark is such a snap to make and can be done in 12 minutes with 10 of those being inactive. Melt chocolate, mix in chips, spread and top with more chips, freeze and done. If you keep a well stocked pantry, because all well stocked pantries should have chips duh, you could make this any time the sweet and salty craving strikes.
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Even my non-kettle chip loving husband loved this. Yes, sometimes I wonder why I married him too, #chipsforlife.
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Kettle Chip Bark

12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups crushed kettle chips, divided

1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring each time, until the chocolate chips are smooth and melted. Meanwhile take 1/2 cup kettle chips and crush until fine.

2. Mix finely crushed kettle chips into the melted chocolate. Pour onto prepared baking sheet and spread into a thin layer. Sprinkle with remaining cup of crushed kettle chips. Place in freezer for 10 minutes then break into pieces. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
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Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I just realized it’s been over a year since I shared a cookie recipe. Say what? Super weird seeing that we make cookies quite a bit. But I guess we have our favorites and don’t always branch out.
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Well, Noah and I were craving cookies recently so we decided to try out a new chocolate chip cookie recipe. I love a cookie with a little texture and chew so when I came across this recipe, I had a feeling it would be a winner. Especially since it’s been declared King Arthur Flour’s Recipe of 2015. That’s quite a claim so we felt it our civic duty to make sure.
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I haven’t tried any of their other recipes but I have to say these were pretty dang delicious. They are packed with melty chocolate chips, chewy oats and crunchy walnuts (not in the original recipe). Pretty much my dream come true when it comes to cookies.
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My only complaint is that they didn’t stay fresh for very long, probably 3 days max. But, if you’re like us and don’t eat your way through a batch in that amount of time, you could freeze half for when your sweet tooth hits.
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Do you like nuts in your cookies? I’ve found people either love them or hate them. I think they totally make a cookie but Joel of course doesn’t agree so I usually bake half without and the other half with so we can both be happy. The kids will take a cookie any way I give it to them so they are easy to please! If you don’t dig walnuts, just leave them out. I taste tested both options, for you guys of course, and they are great either way.
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Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
recipe from King Arthur Flour

1 cup (unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 large egg yolk, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt or 3/4 teaspoon regular table salt
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts, optional

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until combined. Add in the egg and egg yolk, one at a time. Mix in vanilla. In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients until dough comes together.

3. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts. Using a cookie scoop, place dough on cookie sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until lightly golden. Let cool for 2 minutes on cookie sheet then remove to a cooling rack.

 

Breyers Gelato Indulgences {Partnership with Unilever}

Every year in Vegas, I stop at a little shop in the Bellagio for some pistachio gelato. I love the creamy, silky texture and the richness just can’t be beat. Well, you know what happened this year? I totally spaced the dang gelato. Luckily, I’ve teamed up with Unilever again and had some Breyers Gelato Indulgences in my freezer waiting for me when I got home.
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Unilever has rolled out 16 new frozen treats this year and among them, 4 different gelato flavors. I picked up two of the new flavors, the Mint Chocolate and Strawberry Truffle varieties because I just couldn’t decide. Mint chocolate chip ice cream is my absolute favorite flavor so that was a total no-brainer for me. The mint was so refreshing and so delicious when paired with the rich chocolate.
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Noah voted for strawberry truffle and I’m so glad he did. It tasted so fresh, just like biting into an actual strawberry. The dark chocolate was intense but perfect with the sweet strawberry gelato. And they are indulgent for sure, one scoop was super satisfying. I can see a serious addiction in our future.
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I can’t wait to try the other new ice cream treats they released this year. I especially have my eye on Good Humor Thin Mints Bars and I know Joel will drool over the Klondike Cookie Dough Swirl. I mean, seriously, how could you go wrong?
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If you have kiddos, make sure to look for the new Disney Frozen Popsicles and Tootsie Pops Popsicles. They will be the perfect treat to cool down on hot summer days.

*I was provided these products free of charge but all opinions are my own.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Balls

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How was your Easter? We spent Easter this year in Kansas City with my in-laws. We had a wonderful day that started with Easter service at my sister-in-laws church, followed by an Easter egg hunt, cooking and lots of indulging. I ate way too much ham and candy. Do I regret it? Not a bit.
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Noah was beyond excited about his felt pasta and played with it all day. When we were waiting in line at Walgreens today, he was telling the lady behind us all about it and proceeded to tell her “I’ve wanted fake pasta all my life and now my wish came true.” That kid is too much.
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If you are having a little sugar withdraw after all the candy this weekend, I have a snack for you. It will feel like you’re indulging but you’re actually doing something healthy for your body. These energy balls get their sweetness from a ripe banana and taste very similar to a no-bake cookie just without all the sugar and butter.
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Plus, they come together in a snap using ingredients you most likely have in your kitchen right now. I love having healthy snacks on hand for when a craving strikes. Otherwise, I tend to make bad choices. And because the ripened banana is so sweet, these really do seem like a treat. I made them small because I personally would rather have a few small treats versus one bigger one. It tricks my inner fat kid into thinking I’m getting more than I really am. Whatever keeps her happy and trapped inside, right?
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Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Balls
recipe adapted from The Lemon Bowl

2 ripe banana, mashed
2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
1/4 cup natural peanut butter
2 Tbsp. flax seed meal
2 Tbsp. chia seeds
1 Tbsp. honey
1/4 tsp. sea salt
2 cup old fashioned oats

1. Mix all ingredients, except oats, together until thoroughly combined. Stir in oats.

2. Using a cookie scoop, portion out energy balls onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. I used a mini scoop to get about 75 energy balls. If you use a regular cookie scoop you will get 25. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Keep refrigerated for up to 3 days.

 

Easter Dessert Round Up

I don’t know about you all but when I think of Easter dessert, I always think of fruit and citrus. Those flavors just scream Spring to me. So today I’m bringing you some of my favorite desserts that would be perfect to finish off your Easter feast.

One of my all-time favorite desserts is Lemon Hush and it always, always graces the Easter table.  I mean, a shortbread crust, layers of sweetened cream cheese, lemon pudding and Cool Whip. There isn’t anything wrong with that.
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Keeping with the lemon theme, these Lemon Bars would be another refreshing choice. Lemon Cheesecake Pie is another creamy, dreamy dessert that has the perfect pucker.
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A perfect make ahead dessert would be Strawberry Lemon Sorbet. It’s bright, zingy and very light. Can’t ask for much more after gorging yourself on ham and potatoes.
Strawberry Lemon Sorbet
Everybody loves a theme-y dessert, am I right? Easter Sugar Cookies are so tasty and fun to make. Definitely my favorite cookie hands down.
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Brownie Nests are another easy option that would be fun to make with the kiddos. You could even use a brownie mix to make it even easier. Aren’t they cute?
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I made these Almond Joy Eggs a few years back and Joel’s co-workers still talk about them. I have to admit, I haven’t made them in quite awhile because I really despise dipping in chocolate. I just don’t have the patience for it and if I haven’t mentioned, I have a little problem with perfection so it usually doesn’t end well. But they are just so stinking adorable that they are worth it for Easter.
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Speaking of delicious things in the shape of eggs, there is always these Peanut Butter Eggs. Reese’s Eggs are pretty much the best candy ever and something I look forward to as soon as Valentine’s Day is over and the stores switch over to Easter candy.
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I know this isn’t dessert but this citrusy, Spring Sangria would be another perfect way to end your meal this Sunday. Or start it. I don’t judge.
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I hope you guys enjoyed this round up of dessert deliciousness. Would you be interested in one featuring side dishes?

National Peanut Butter Lovers Day {Celebrate with Unilever Ice Cream}

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Did you know today is National Peanut Butter Lovers Day? That is definitely something worth celebrating! My favorite way to indulge in peanut butter is with chocolate of course. I know I have expressed my deep love of the combination a many a time around here. I mean, there’s peanut butter bars (one of my all time favorite desserts), peanut butter eggs, cookie dough bites, Elvis ice cream, need I go on? I really have an undeniable love. So when I was contacted to try Unilever’s peanut butter ice cream products I knew I couldn’t say no. I’m calling it research. I can’t let those products sit on the shelf and not let my loyal readers know how they are, it’s for the good of the people. That’s how I justify the calories at least.

And what better way to celebrate National Peanut Butter Lovers Day then with ice cream! I don’t care if it’s cold outside, it’s always ice cream time.

I was provided the opportunity to try Breyers Blast! Reese’s Chocolate, Klondike Reese’s and Magnum Double Peanut Butter. Well, I was a fan of the Klondike Reese’s Bars before I was contacted so they have been gladly consumed many times around here. I love the bits of Reese’s cups throughout the ice cream and of course, the chocolate coating. I went to Klondike’s website and they suggested making a shake with one. What kind of food blogger would I be if I didn’t try that out? I did, just for you. And it was good. Do it, do it now.
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I definitely enjoyed the Magnum Double Peanut Butter Bars the most. I’ve never tried any of the Magnum Ice Creams Bars before so I can’t compare them but I’m pretty sure the chocolate coating was made by sweet, sweet angels.  It’s so rich and tastes like pure, real chocolate unlike lots of coatings out there that taste weird and waxy. I love the peanut butter layer between the chocolate. It adds an extra creamy richness that just puts these over the top. I see the almond, dark and gold varieties in my future. The Double Peanut Butter variety are only available at select retailers, such as Target, but will be released nationwide in April. Like we needed another reason to go to Target? Just add these to the list, or don’t…because you know you don’t just buy what’s on your list when at Target anyway. I did that once and I was super disappointed in myself as I walked out of the store. Felt like a serious failure at life.
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Last, and least for me, was the Breyers Blast! Reese’s Chocolate. This ice cream wasn’t bad by any means, but it was chocolate. Those that have been following me for awhile know that I like my chocolate in small doses. Chocolate chip cookies? Yes. Chocolate cookies? No. Chocolate cake or ice cream are not my thing. It’s just too rich for me. I have to say though, I liked the big chunks of Reese’s throughout the ice cream. I just would have enjoyed it more in vanilla. When we go out for ice cream at places that blend toppings into your custard, I always choose peanut butter cups in vanilla ice cream. ALWAYS. I ordered a limited time flavor once and immediately regretted it. Some may say I’m a creature of habit but I like to think I know what I like.
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So if you need a little peanut butter pick me up to celebrate National Peanut Butter Lovers Day, make sure to go check out one (or all) of these delicious ice cream treats. Or come on over to my house so I don’t eat ALL THE ICE CREAM.

*I was compensated for these products but all opinions are completely my own.

Klondike Reese’s Shake
recipe from Klondike
serves 1

1 Klondike Reese’s Bar
1/4 cup milk
Handful of ice

Dump all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth and creamy.

Peppermint Brownies

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Mint and chocolate is one of my all time favorite combinations and is a classic for the holiday season. Combine it with fudgy brownies and it’s pure perfection.

Although I do love peppermint, I enjoy it in small doses. Like peppermint patties…one bite is enough to fulfill my sweet tooth. So when I saw this recipe I decided to double the brownie base but keep the peppermint frosting at the original amounts to cut the richness a bit. I also kept the chocolate layer on the lighter side since most of us aren’t huge chocolate lovers but I know that isn’t normal so I would recommend doubling it if you want more chocolate-y goodness.
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It’s the perfect ratio of peppermint and chocolate and just a small square will satisfy any sweet tooth. I hope that you all are enjoying the holiday season with all your loved ones!

Peppermint Brownies

1 family size dark chocolate brownie mix (prepared according to box directions)

for the peppermint frosting:
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
8 Tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
2 Tablespoons whole milk
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

for the chocolate layer:
4 oz. chocolate chips
2 Tbsp. butter
1/4-1/2 cup Andes peppermint crunch pieces, or crushed candy canes

1. Prepare brownies according to box directions. Cool completely.

2. Meanwhile, cream butter and confectioners’ sugar together. Add milk and extracts and whip until thick and fluffy. Spread over cooled brownies and refrigerate for at least an hour.

3. Melt chocolate and butter together in the microwave in 30 second increments. Drizzle over peppermint frosting and spread. Sprinkle with peppermint crunch pieces or candy canes.

*frosting recipe from The Galley Gourmet