Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Key Lime Cookie Frozen Yogurt Sandwiches

This dessert recipe for Key Lime Cookie Frozen Yogurt Sandwiches is the perfect summer treat with the flavors of key lime pie.

Over the long weekend, I baked up a new cookie recipe and paired it with frozen yogurt for a sweet treat after dining outdoors. It took a few batches to get this cookie right but I think the recipe is going to become a summer favorite - Key Lime Cookies with the flavors of my favorite pie.

I love the sweet, tart flavor and creamy filling of key lime pie. For the past few years K and I have taken a weekend trip to southwest Florida to spend time with family. On these trips we always enjoy a key lime pie. During our visit earlier this year, we stopped by the South Naples Citrus Grove for oranges and other treats. I found a bottle of key lime juice and I have been waiting for months to find the right recipe to use it. Key lime pie isn't quite the same outside of Florida!

These Key Lime Cookies include lime flavor from key lime juice and lots of lime zest and pie flavor from crushed graham crackers. If you don't have access to key lime juice, the juice from regular limes will work just as well. I made frozen yogurt sandwiches with these cookies using delicious Kemps Yo² frozen yogurt, purchased at Jewel-Osco.

I picked up two flavors of frozen yogurt: Yo² Salty Caramel Cookie Crunch and Yo² Cold Brewed Coffee. Both flavors work well for my Key Lime Cookie Frozen Yogurt Sandwiches. You can find Yo² in the ice cream aisle at Jewel-Osco. Find a $1 off Jewel-Osco coupon for Kemps Yo² frozen yogurt here.

Yo² frozen yogurt is a "clean label" product, with no high fructose corn syrup, no artificial flavors, and no artificial growth hormones. Good thing both frozen yogurt flavors fit in the beverage holders on baby C's stroller ;)

Making these frozen yogurt sandwiches is easy. Wait for your Key Lime Cookies to cool and use approximately half of an ice cream scoop for each sandwich. It works best for the Yo² frozen yogurt to be slightly soft.

Here's a quick recipe video for these Key Lime Cookies!

Key Lime Cookie Frozen Yogurt Sandwiches
Yields: 22 cookies {11 sandwiches}

12 graham cracker sheets
1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup sugar

2 Tablespoons lime juice
Zest of two limes
1/3 cup melted coconut oil OR butter

2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

1 Tablespoon milk
1/4 teaspoon salt 

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
*Add graham cracker sheets to a food processor and mix until the sheets turn into crumbs. Add whole wheat flour, sugar, baking soda, lime zest and salt. Mix until combined.
*In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and add lime juice, melted coconut oil, vanilla extract, and milk. Mix until combined.
*Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula until combined. Stir in coconut flakes.
*Bake for 11 minutes.

Frozen Yogurt Sandwiches:
*Wait for the cookies to cool. Add 1/2 scoop of frozen yogurt between two cookies. Gently press the cookies together to create a sandwich. Eat or freeze immediately.

{Adapted from the Kitchn's recipe for Graham Cracker Cookies}

Don't forget to download a $1 off coupon to try Kemps Yo² frozen yogurt yourself!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Skinny Caramelized Onion and Dill Dip

This appetizer recipe for Skinny Caramelized Onion and Dill Dip is made healthier by using Greek yogurt and light sour cream.

The start of summer is so close I can almost taste it! There's no better time than a holiday weekend to post an appetizer recipe that can be shared with friends.

I originally made a version of this dip two years ago and brought it back out of the archives last weekend for a dinner gathering. I think this new "skinny" version is even better.

This dip is made healthier using Greek yogurt and light sour cream. Adding a caramelized yellow onion and dried dill weed is the best flavor combination. I paired this dip with crunchy snap peas and pita chips.

Have a wonderful long weekend!

Skinny Caramelized Onion and Dill Dip
Feeds a crowd.

1 cup light sour cream
1 cup Greek yogurt {I used 2%}
1 Tablespoon dried dill weed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Caramelized Onion:
1 medium yellow onion
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
9+ Tablespoons water

*Chop the onion into small pieces. Add 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil and 1 teaspoon butter to a saute pan on medium.
*Once the oil shimmers, add onions. Continuing cooking onions on medium and stir every few minutes. After 10 minutes, add 1/4 teaspoon salt to the pan and stir.
*Continue stirring onions occasionally for ~30 more minutes, adding 3 Tablespoons of water in 10 minute intervals.
*Remove onions from the heat and let cool for ~10 minutes. While the onions are cooling, stir together the sour cream, Greek yogurt, chopped dill, salt and pepper.
*Add the cooled onions and chill the dip until ready to serve.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Strawberry Protein Chia Pops

This simple dessert or snack recipe for Strawberry Protein Chia Pops is made from chia pudding and perfect for summer.

Sponsored Post: This post and giveaway is sponsored by Naked Nutrition. All opinions and text are my own. This post also contains affiliate links.

I feel like a broken record talking about the weather this week but it is HOT. The temperature rose to 89 degrees yesterday which equaled 79 degrees inside our house. I wasn't expecting to turn on the air conditioning in mid-May but here we are. In typical Midwest fashion, it's supposed to be back in the 50s by Friday. Until then, it's a good thing I have icy popsicles to snack on that happen to be healthy and made from chia pudding!

Naked Nutrition reached out to me recently about trying their protein powder and hosting a giveaway. Naked's protein powder includes pure ingredients and no artificial sweeteners or colors. Naked sent me a 5 pound {!!} container of their Naked Whey Grass-Fed Whey Protein Powder to give away to one lucky winner - scroll to the end of this post to enter.

I also tried one of the Naked Nutrition sample packs - mine included strawberry, chocolate and vanilla flavored powders.

I used strawberry protein powder for this recipe for Strawberry Protein Chia Pops. This is a two step process - first you need to make a large batch of chia pudding and let it chill for at least 4 hours. Second, you need to freeze the pudding in popsicle molds for at least 8 hours. I chilled my pudding during the workday and froze my popsicles overnight.

These popsicles turned out perfect with a nice strawberry flavor! I used a combination of light coconut milk and almond milk, but any milk product will work.

I'm looking forward to trying more popsicle ideas this summer.

Strawberry Protein Chia Pops
Yields: 6 popicles

1 scoop Naked Strawberry Protein Powder
10-12 strawberries
1 can light coconut milk
1/2 cup almond milk
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
10 Tablespoons chia seeds

*Add protein powder, strawberries, coconut milk, almond milk, and maple syrup to a food processor. Process until the ingredients are combined {I used the pulse function for 1 minute}.
*Add 12 Tablespoons chia seeds to the pureed mixture and whisk until combined.
*Chill in a covered container for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
*Add pudding mixture to pudding pops. Freeze for at least 8 hours.
*Follow package instructions to remove pops from the popsicle mold {I ran each frozen popsicle under hot water for ~20 seconds to remove the plastic mold}.

Giveaway Time!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, May 14, 2017

A Letter to My Son on My First Mother's Day

A letter to my son on my first Mother's Day:

Last year on Mother's Day I was 9 weeks pregnant and only a few days past our first ultrasound. We waited for you for a long time and I held my breath as the weeks passed, hoping everything was going well and we would have a baby in our arms in time for Christmas. You joined us earlier than expected the week before Thanksgiving and everything about you was perfect.

A few days ago when I picked you up from the end of your second week of child care, your teacher handed me a homemade clay ornament with your tiny hand print pressed into a misshapen circle. A little note was attached about how your hand will never be this small again - your baby teacher commented that yours was the smallest in the nursery room {you are the youngest after all}. I'm not usually someone who gets emotional about crafts, but I cried a few tears on my walk home.

I'm overwhelmed by how much I love you - it hits me like a ton of bricks at random moments: hearing you laugh for the time for my off-key rendition of "My Girl"; feeling you snuggle up when it's time for a nap and you want to be rocked to sleep; watching you learn to turn the pages on your baby books; staring in wonder at where your very long eyelashes came from while you sleep.

Here are my hopes for you little one on my first Mother's Day:

I hope you grow up to be humble and kind to everyone around you.

I hope you inherit your daddy's sense of humor, friendliness, and cooking skills.  

I hope you learn to love the earth and respect the environment.

I hope you turn into a 'foodie baby' when the time is right.

I hope you learn to keep a 2 foot radius from the cat - she tolerates you now, but she might change her mind when you can grab tufts of her white fur.

I hope you appreciate wide open fields as much as living in an urban area.

I hope you realize how much your family loves you.

I hope your first word is Mama :)

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Chipotle Egg Salad

This easy recipe for Chipotle Egg Salad is a great meal prep idea and perfect for a healthy lunch during the work week.

Warm spring days make me think of creamy, chilled egg salad sandwiches. I forget how easy it is to hard boil a few eggs for a quick lunch.

I went back to work earlier this month after over five months of maternity leave with my little love Baby C. The transition is going well but I'm still working on being more organized, especially with meals and snacks. I work from my home office often, however I like to have food ready to go for lunch to maximize my day.

I spiced up the plain version of egg salad for this lunch recipe with smoky, slightly sweet adobo sauce and a chopped chipotle pepper. I have a few chipotle recipes on this blog, including Chipotle Corn Souffle and Spicy Chipotle Chicken Dip.

Chipotle flavors work very well for egg salad! Add a second pepper for a spicier flavor.

Chipotle Egg Salad
Yields: 2 servings

6 hardboiled eggs
1 chipotle pepper
2 teaspoons adobo sauce
2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
Dash of paprika

Optional: 1 Tablespoon pickle relish

*Hard boil your eggs. My preferred method is to put eggs in a pan and cover them with cool water, with approximately 1 inch of water higher than the eggs. Bring water to a boil, uncovered. As soon as the pot is boiling, turn off the heat and cover the pan. Wait 12 minutes for large eggs {add a few minutes if your eggs are extra-large}. After 12 minutes, run the eggs under cool water in the sink for ~30 seconds. Put the eggs in a bowl with ice and water. Let the eggs cool. Once the eggs are cool, remove the shells. Refrigerate until you're ready to use the eggs.
*Add a chopped chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, mayo, black pepper, salt and paprika to a bowl. Mash with a fork.
*Serve on toasted bread or on a bed of greens.