Life App - July
Who said all dips have to be savory? This easy recipe will become a family favorite and a must bring to all your summer gatherings.
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/3 cup baking cocoa
1/4 cup 2% milk
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
M&M’s minis, optional
Animal crackers, pretzels and/or sliced apples
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in confectioners’ sugar, cocoa, milk, brown sugar and vanilla until smooth. If desired, sprinkle with M&M’s minis. Serve with dippers of your choice.
Peanut Butter Popcorn Bars
10 cups popped popcorn
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place popcorn in a large bowl; set aside. In a saucepan over medium heat, bring sugar and corn syrup to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
Stir in peanut butter and vanilla; mix well. Pour over popcorn and mix until well coated. Press into a buttered 13x9-in. pan. Cool slightly before cutting.
What happens if you take your families two favorite dinners and make it one epic awesome combination? One awesome family dinner!
1 pound lean ground beef
1 envelope taco seasoning mix
1 (10 ounce) can refrigerated pizza dough
1 (16 ounce) can refried beans
2-3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup sliced black olives
4 green onions, chopped
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brown ground beef in a skillet. Drain grease. Add taco seasoning to the ground beef according to package directions.
Unroll pizza dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Let dough sit at room temperature for 5 minutes. Press dough over the bottom and up along all 4 sides the of cookie sheet. Bake pizza dough for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly golden. Remove from oven.
Place refried beans into a microwavable-safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute. Stir well and then spread beans evenly over the top of the warm pizza crust. Top with the cooked ground beef mixture, sprinkle with cheese and then add the tomatoes, black olives and green onion.
Return to oven and bake another 5-7 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Serve immediately and top with your favorite taco toppings and enjoy!
This will become a family favorite. You’ll never want to stop eating this sweet and crunchy snack.
½ cup water
1 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 cups whole almonds
Combine the water, sugar, and cinnamon in a saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil; add the almonds. Cook and stir the mixture until the liquid evaporates and leaves a syrup-like coating on the almonds. Pour the almonds onto a baking sheet lined with waxed paper. Separate almonds using forks. Allow to cool about 15 minutes.
Making something to eat exactly how YOU want it is the best. Tonight let’s celebrate everyones individuality by having an ice cream sundae bar! Get multiple flavors of ice cream, a verities of toppings, sauces and of course whipped cream to make the most epic ice cream sundae. The skies the limit. Everyone gets to make it their way. As you enjoy your tasty frozen treat, go around the table and tell everyone how you made your sundae and why you love it so much.
Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberry, Sherbet, Cookies & Cream…
Toppings: sprinkles, crushed up cookies, candies, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, chopped nuts, and whipped cream.
Sauces: Hot fudge, caramel, marshmallow fluff, strawberry sauce, butterscotch sauce…
Fresh toppings: strawberries, cherries, pineapple, banana, coconut, blue berries, raspberries…
Give the adults the night off and serve THEM dinner! This easy and fun recipe can completely be made by older children and with only a little help from adults for younger kids.
1 tube crescent roll dough
4 mozzarella sticks, halved
1/2 c. pepperoni
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan
Marinara, for dunking
Preheat oven to 350°. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Separate crescent dough into triangles. Top each triangle with an even layer of pepperoni then place a halved mozzarella stick on the wider end of the triangle and roll it up. Transfer crescents to the prepared baking sheet.
Brush each crescent with olive oil then sprinkle with oregano and Parmesan. Bake until the crescents are golden and the cheese has melted, about 15 minutes.
Serve warm with marinara for dunking.
Waiting can be hard and having self control while smelling delicious food all day can almost be impossible. However, you can do it! We believe in you. This month pick a day to make a meal in the crock pot that takes all day to make. It will be hard waiting, you will defiantly want to sneak a bite, but at dinner time it will be worth it the wait.
1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 medium onion diced
1 bell pepper diced (optional)
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 cup finely chopped fresh spinach
1 1/2 cup milk
1 cup beef broth
1 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes or pasta sauce
3 cups dry uncooked macaroni
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese
In a medium skillet, cook ground beef and onion until beef is browned and onion is translucent. Add to a 4-6 quart slow cooker. Add in bell pepper, red pepper flakes, garlic, salt, Italian seasoning, spinach, milk, beef broth and tomato sauce and stir. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
10-15 minutes before serving, stir in pasta. Cover and let cook for 10-15 minutes, until desired tenderness is reached. Stir in cheese (covering for 2-3 minutes if necessary to melt the cheese) and serve.
Fill your home with the smell of chocolate this month with this recipe for Crock Pot Candy. This would be a great thing to make a double batch of, one to eat yourself and another batch to give away during your 12 Days of Compassion!
2 lbs white almond bark (might be labeled as white candy coating) , broken or chopped into smaller squares
12 oz bag semisweet chocolate chips
4 oz bar German sweet chocolate, broken or chopped into smaller squares
32 oz dry roasted or cocktail peanuts
holiday sprinkles (optional)
If desired, spray slow cooker insert lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Add chopped almond bark, chocolate chips and German chocolate.
Place a clean, dry kitchen towel over the top of the slow cooker, then place lid on top of that. Cook on HIGH for 1 hour. Reduce heat to LOW, and cook 1 more hour (or until fully melted), stirring every 15-20 minutes.
Remove lid and towel (be careful not to let any condensation drip into melted chocolate), and add peanuts, stirring well to combine.
Line several baking sheets with wax paper. Drop candy mixture by spoonfuls onto wax paper (or use small cookie scoop). If using sprinkles, sprinkle onto clusters before they harden.
Refrigerate (if possible) 30 minutes to 1 hour, until set. If unable to refrigerate, let stand on counter at room temperature until set. Store in a cool place in an airtight container.
Work together to make this simple no cook snack! Make sure everyone is gathered in the kitchen and assign different jobs to each family member. You’ll be surprised how much you can accomplish when you work together. Plus you get to enjoy a healthy yummy snack.
Apple Snacks Sandwiches (Makes 3 snack sandwiches)
1 tablespoon rolled oats
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons unsweetened peanut butter
3/4 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon raisins or crasins
1 medium apple
Combine the oats and cinnamon in a dry skillet over medium heat and toast, stirring occasionally, until the oats are golden. Cool before using. Mix together the peanut butter and honey.
Core and slice the apple into 6 rounds. (If you don’t have an apple corer, you can slice the apple first and then cut out the centers with a small cookie cutter or knife.)
Spread 1 tablespoon of peanut butter on 3 of the apple slices and sprinkle with raisins and oats. Top with the remaining apple slices to form sandwiches.
Clean out the fridge Pasta!
You probably have all you need; Any style of pasta, a protein (can be left over), veggies and seasonings. That’s all you’ll need. Enjoy making dinner together with what you already have.
Get a pot of water heated up, once at a boil pour pasta in and add salt. While the pasta boils to package instructions, heat up a large skillet add olive oil, butter or vegetable oil. Then add chopped vegetables and cook until tender, add in your protein of choice cut into bite size pieces. Once pasta is cooked, before straining pasta water reserve two cups of pasta water. Drain pasta. Toss pasta in skillet with veggies and protein. Pour half of the reserved pasta water over pasta and add seasonings. Depending on how you like your pasta add more water to make it more saucy or less if you want it more dry.
Sit down as a family and enjoy a meal made from food you already had, you may be surprised by your delectable creation. Talk about how you can do this more in your lives. Think of more ways you can take what you already have and enjoy it.
This easy snack can be made completely from start to finish by kids, no parent help needed. Everyone will think they are having dessert, but they will be enjoying a healthy snack.
Freeze dried fruit of choice
nuts/chocolate chips/granola (optional)
Line a flat pan with sides with parchment paper and spread evenly with yogurt, make sure it’s not too thin so that it breaks easily. I would say about 3/8 of an inch thick is good.
Sprinkle with your mix-in (fruit, nuts, etc)
Freeze for a few hours until completely frozen. Ours took about 4 hours for an 8″ square pan, but of course it will depend on the size of your pan. Remove from frozen yogurt from the pan and peel off the parchment paper. Break into pieces. Keep frozen when you’re not eating it.
Let’s be wise with the things we have and make a yummy treat with ingredients we already have in the pantry! This easy recipe can be made quickly from stuff you already have, so you can get to the best part… the eating of course.
Three Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies (can be easily doubled)
1 cup of peanut butter
1 cup white sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Combine the peanut butter, white sugar and egg. Mix until smooth.
Drop spoonfuls of dough onto the prepared baking sheet. Using a fork make a criss cross pattern on each cookie.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 6 to 8 minutes. Do not over-bake! These cookies are best when they are still soft and just barely brown on the bottoms.
Let’s make cookies that remind us to have confidence! You’ll need a big bag of M&M’s for this cookie recipe. Each color of M&M’s will represent a key component to confidence, as you are making cookies together as a family talk about what each color represents and how we can live that in our lives. Then enjoy devouring these delicious cookies!
Blue: self-esteem, Red: strength, Yellow: joy, Green: kindness, Orange: positivity and Brown: giving.
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
½ cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups unbleached or all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
10.8 ounces (1 bag) M&M’S mini milk chocolate candies, reserve 1/4 cup
Preheat an oven to 360 degrees F. I found this temperature to be perfect for my gourmet cookies.
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, sugars, and salt. Mix on low speed for about a minute, then on medium speed for another minute. Add the eggs & vanilla extract. Mix on low until the eggs are blended in, then at medium speed for a minute and then on high speed for an additional minute. The mixture should be a pale yellow color and very fluffy. Add the first cup of flour, along with the baking powder and baking soda. Then add the remainder of the flour a cup at a time. Mix in the M&M’S® mini milk chocolate candies on low speed, reserving 1/4 cup for the tops. Using a 2-ounce cookie scooper, place dough on an un-greased baking sheets about 2” apart. Place a few M&M’S mini milk chocolate candies on the tops where needed.
Bake in a preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until the tops start to crackle and the cookies are light golden brown.
Cool on baking sheets for 10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.
Kids love being in the kitchen and of course taste testing all the food. Now it’s time for them to be in charge and confidently serve YOU a meal. This easy recipe doesn’t even involve turning on the stove. If your kiddos can make a sandwich, they can make this fun spin on one!
Make some honestly yummy popcorn for your movie night in!
6 cups of Popcorn, popped
3 cups checks cereal
1-1/2 cups small twist pretzels
1/2 cup butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups Peanut M&M’s
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with heavy duty foil and spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray.
Pour popped popcorn out onto foil lined baking sheet. Pick out any kernels. Add Crispix and pretzels and spread out evenly with popcorn.
Melt butter in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and then allow to boil for two minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and use a spoon to drizzle the mixture over the popcorn mixture in an even stream. Toss the popcorn mixture lightly to distribute and then spread it back out in an even layer.
Bake for 10 minutes. Use a spatula to stir the mixture and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from oven and stir once more. Spread the mixture back out in an even layer and allow to cool for 10 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Break apart and allow to cool completely. Add peanut M&M’s and toss to combine.
Store in an airtight container or zippered plastic storage bags.
Waiting is hard, you’ll be great at waiting after stirring this candy. This is a great family activity; make sure everyone gets a turn stirring!
4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup milk
2 cups chopped nuts
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
In a heavy saucepan or skillet, heat about one fourth of the sugar until melted and light brown (caramelized).
In another saucepan, combine remaining sugar and milk; cook over medium-low heat, stirring until dissolved. Slowly add caramelized sugar, stirring constantly. Continue cooking until mixture reaches the soft ball stage; it will form a ball when dropped in cold water (234° to 236°F). Remove from heat; add nuts, butter and salt; beat until creamy.
Pour into well-greased 9x9x2-inch pan; cool before cutting into 1-inch squares, or as desired. Makes 81 (1-inch) squares.
Is there someone you need to make peace with or someone you’d just like to have a piece of pie with? This easy no bake pie is the perfect remedy for any situation.
No Bake Oreo Pie
1 chocolate cookie crust (store bought is easiest)
1 8 ounce package cream cheese (softened)
¼ cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 8 ounce container of whipped topping
12 Oreos (crush 10 into pieces, keep 2 aside to break up into larger pieces for garnish)
1. Beat cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla with a hand mixer in a large bowl.
2. Add the ten crushed Oreo’s to mixing bowl and mix in with the mixer until combined. This will break up some of the chunks into smaller pieces. Fold in the Cool Whip.
3. Spread filling into prepared pie crust. Chill at least 2 hours before serving.
4. Before serving, use the remaining 2 Oreos to top with more whipped topping and the crushed Oreos.
5. Enjoy a piece of pie with someone you care about.
Enjoy this simple and easy snack that is still kind to your body.
Chocolate Raspberry Snack
1 box of fresh raspberries
¼ cup semi sweet/dark chocolate chips
¼ cup walnuts pieces
Place one chocolate chip or walnut piece into the inside of a raspberry, repeat. So easy the kids can completely handle making this snack!
Using a simple cookie base recipe, create your own family cookie! Making a plan of what your family likes most, pick add ins like: candies, oatmeal, raisins, dried cranberries, crushed left over candy canes, pretzel pieces, potato chips or even something crazy like candied BACON! You can even break into teams and come up with different cookies and taste test to pick your favorite combination.
2-1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
7-1/2 to 8 cups (30 to 32 oz.) all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
This yummy bread is the gift that keeps on giving. You’ll keep on coming back for more! You can make this delicious pull apart bread for a friend, but you may want to make two so you can keep one for yourself.
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
4 cans refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
10 tablespoons butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
Heat oven to 350°F. Grease or spray 12-cup fluted tube pan.
Mix granulated sugar and cinnamon in 1-gallon bag. Separate dough into biscuits; cut each in quarters (a pizza wheel works really well for this). Shake biscuit quarters in bag to coat; place in pan. Sprinkle any extra sugar mixture over biscuits. In 1-quart saucepan, bring butter and brown sugar to boiling over medium-high heat; boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Pour over biscuit quarters.
Bake 30 to 45 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes. Turn upside down; pull apart to serve.
Enjoy celebrating fall with these yummy leaf cookies.
1 cup sugar
½ cup butter softened
½ cup shortening
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups of all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
yellow, red, green food colorful
Heat oven to 400ºF. Stir together sugar, butter and shortening in large bowl. Stir in vanilla and eggs. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt.
Divide dough into 3 equal parts. Stir 8 drops yellow food color into 1 part dough to make yellow dough. Stir 8 drops yellow and 3 drops red food color into another part dough to make orange dough. Stir 10 drops red, 8 drops green and 3 drops yellow food color into remaining dough to make brown dough.
Drop small portions of each of the 3 colors of dough close together in random pattern onto lightly floured cloth-covered surface. Roll doughs together into marbled pattern to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut with 2 1/2- to 3-inch leaf-shaped cookie cutter. Place about 2 inches apart on un-greased cookie sheet.
Bake 6 to 7 minutes or until no indentation remains when touched in center. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
(photo above isn’t representative of cookie recipe)
Let’s have some fun and get creative with what we already have in our kitchen, instead of going out for dinner or shopping for a specific recipe. As a family choose to make dinner from ingredients you already have in the refrigerator and pantry. You’ll be amazed at what you can make! If you’re stumped there are lots of websites that you can plug in what you have and they will give you recipe ideas:
Invite several friends over for dinner, the more the merrier! Ask them to each bring over something to add to your Friendship Soup. You will start out with a pot of chicken stock/vegetable stock and have everyone else bring other ingredients. Bring stock to a boil and cook until all veggies are tender and meats are cooked through. Gather around the table pass some bread around and enjoy the melting pot that is your friends.
Ideas for ingredients for friends to bring:
We are all different and that’s beautiful. We need to respect everyone’s differences and value them. Bake cookies and then allow everyone to create their own master pieces by decorating the cookies. Use frosting, sprinkles, colored gels, candies and anything else edible that inspires you. After decorating go around and talk about what you like about everyone’s creations. Remember that we are all works of art and we need to treat everyone with respect because they are valuable too. Then enjoy eating your delicious works of art!
Soft Sugar Cookie Recipe
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Place the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat on medium-high speed until very pale and fluffy (about 3 to 5 minutes). Add the egg, and beat on medium-high speed until incorporated. Stir in the egg yolk and vanilla extract until combined. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula, then add the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt. Stir together until incorporated.
Use a 1.5-tablespoon cookie scoop to drop balls of cookie dough on the prepared baking sheets, allowing two inches in between for spreading. Flatten the balls slightly with the palm of your hand. Bake the cookies (one sheet at a time) in the center rack of the oven for 8 to 12 minutes, or until the edges are set and just barely beginning to turn golden. (Take care not to over-bake, or the cookies will not be as soft.) Cool on the baking sheet and transfer to an airtight container for storage.
Discover how unique each of your family members are by building your own nachos. Head to the store and get everything you need for nachos. Set up all your nacho toppings and let each family member create their own unique nacho bowl. Compare bowls, who’s are similar and who’s are different. Talk about how each person’s bowl reflects that family member’s personality.
Taco meat, Shredded rotisserie chicken, Nacho cheese, Shredded cheese, Green chilies, Green onions, Chopped onions, Cilantro, Sliced olives, Tomatoes, Bell peppers, Jalapeños, Salsa (sweet, mild, hot), black beans, Shredded lettuce, Sour Cream. Different types of chips: blue corn, corn, Fritos, Ruffles, Doritos