Friday, July 31, 2015

Pineapple Mango Milkshake

 So, I couldn't let #nationalicecreammonth go by without sharing a cool, delicious and refreshing treat with you guys.

I am beyond excited about this milkshake.  Five ingredients and a couple of minutes is all you need for this pineapple mango milkshake.

I am a huge fan of milkshakes, especially during these warmer months.  There's truly nothing better than slurping up all that sweet, creamy goodness on a hot summer day.

While I typically go for milkshakes that include cookies, chocolate and/or peanut butter, lately I've had a hankering for more fruity flavors.  Like one of my favorite childhood treats; orange creamsicle.  There's something truly magical about the combination of tangy orange and creamy vanilla ice cream.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Protein Shake

 So, we all know I have a slight obsession with cookie dough.  I mean it's to the point that when I whip up a batch of dough I literally debate on whether or not to even bother turning on the oven.  My conscience typically gets the better of me and I end up firing up the oven to actually bake some cookies, but it's not a decision that's made halfheartedly!

Then there are times where I don't even want to wait on the butter to warm up to room temperature.  Or, then the ultimate problem arises from time to time where the craving for cookie dough the morning.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Peanut Butter Brownie Milkshake

"My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard...."

You know that song was going through your head when you read the word "milkshake".  I honestly can't think of a milkshake without those lyrics running through my head.

Anywho, now that's out of my system let me tell you about this milkshake.  This takes one of my favorite flavor duos and brings them together in one cool, creamy dessert.  What could possibly be better than sweet and salty peanut butter combined with fudgy, chocolaty brownies?

Monday, July 27, 2015

Mixed Berry Mojito

I don't know about you, but I'm absolutely loving this mojito Monday series.  And what's not to love? Is there any better way to start off your week than with a delicious and refreshing cocktail?

Mojitos are seriously the perfect cocktail.  The perfect amount of tartness, not too sweet and perfectly refreshing.

This week I made you a mojito loaded with fresh berries, mint, lime,, sugar and rum.  It's truly summer in a glass.

DB: Yafawi Sfeeha

The July Daring Bakers' challenge was brought to us by Manal from Manal’s Bites.  She introduced us to an authentic Palestinian dish from Jaffa that is served as a main meal along with a bowl of soup or a salad.  The "Yafawi Sfeeha" or also known as "Milwayeh" which means twisted, is crispy yet tender and full of flavor.

Yafawi Sfeeha


For the dough-
3 Cups flour
1 Tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp powdered milk (can be substituted with warm milk, however less water will be needed)
1 Cup warm water, for kneading
Melted ghee (or olive oil) to stretch the dough

For the cheese filling-
3-4 Cups nabulsi cheese, crumbled (Feta is a great alternative if you can't find nabulsi)
1/2 Cup Italian parsley, minced
1 Egg, beaten
Black pepper


Combine the flour, salt, sugar, powdered milk and vegetable oil and whisk to combine.  Add the warm water, a little at a time until the mixture becomes tender and slightly sticky.  Knead the dough for about 8 minutes using a stand mixer or 12 minutes by hand.

For the dough in small, golf-ball sized balls.  Place on a well oiled baking sheet and pour more oil over the dough.  Cover and allow to rest at room temperature for a few hours or overnight.  Meanwhile, make your filling.

After the filling is made, use some of the ghee and brush the bottom of a round pan.  Take one piece of dough, using your hands, gently start spreading and pulling the dough to make it as thin and even as possible.  Once the dough is stretched, fold the side furthest from you to the middle of the dough, then fold the opposite side to the middle.

Spread the filling along the seam in the center of the dough.  Starting with the side closest to you, roll tightly making sure no filling escapes.  Take one end of the dough and start rolling to create a spiral.

Place the Sfeeha on a prepared baking sheet and continue the process with the remaining dough and filling.

Preheat oven to 400.  Place the Sfeeha in the preheated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, till golden brown.  Serve hot or at room temperature with soup or a salad.

For the filling-

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, mix until combine.

Recipe source: Manal's grandmother

Sunday, July 26, 2015


This summer we have really been giving our grill and smoker a workout.  In the summers past, our grill has definitely gotten more attention that the smoker.  But this year that has all changed; we've really been utilizing our smoker.

I mean, we've even created a monster with our little man.  He's obsessed with smoked chicken, and even challenged his aunt to a wing eating contest.  And, he almost won.  I actually think he had her beat, but she wasn't going to let a 5 year old out eat her; so she ate 2 more once he was done.  But, he impressed us all with the amount he ate!

I say all that to say we've really been playing around with many different recipes, marinades and rubs this summer.  I'm always intrigued by the various spice blends and rubs that are lining those spice isles and jumping off the pages of my spice magazines.  It's mind-blowing, almost to the point of being overwhelming with just how many options there are.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Blueberry Moscow Mule

So, lately it seems like all the other cocktails I have shaken up and been oh-so-eager to share with you all have taken a backseat since I started mojito Mondays.  I love my mojitos and I'm loving the series this summer, but I have another cocktail that has been screaming at me lately and I just can't wait any longer to share it with you all.

Aside from my beloved mojito, the mule is right up there on my list of faves.  It's an effortless cocktail the comes together in about a minute, is refreshing and served in a copper mug.  I mean, honestly, how could you not love a cocktail that's simple, refreshing and served in an ice cold, copper mug?

Monday, July 20, 2015

Pina Coco Mojito

Picture yourself on the beach, toes buried in the sand, the sun beaming down and the waves rolling in and crashing on the shore.  Now, doesn't that sound amazing?  Could it get any better?

Well, believe it or not, it actually can.  By adding a cold drink in your hand.

When I think of the beach, I instantly think of pina coladas.  The combination of rich, creamy coconut and tart, sweet pineapples all mixed together in the frozen, slushy drink.  It screams summer and it screams "beach drink"!
I honestly didn't think I could enjoy a pina colada any more than I already do, but I've proven myself wrong.  I combined two of my favorite cocktails and you know what?  My mind was seriously blown with just how stinkin' good this drink was.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Watermelon Mojitos

Growing up there were several events that happened that let me know summer was truly here.  Softball season cranked up, our pool opened up which meant countless hours splashing around, hearing burgers sizzle on the grill and watermelon.

When my mom walked in the door with that first watermelon of the season I could barely contain my excitement.  It was almost a celebratory occasion with the first cut of that big ol' melon.  We'd slice big peaces, head outside with a roll of paper towels and a shaker of salt and chow down.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Blackberry Limeade Floats

I think it's safe to say that we've reached the appropriate temps to refer to the weather as scorching.  Mid-July is when mother nature really decides to open the infernos and show us what she's truly capable of.  While she's not fanning those flames as much as she has in years passed, we are teetering on some of the warmest temps we've seen this year.  And well, it's just downright hot.

We're beating the heat by consuming ice water by the buckets, cranking up the sprinklers, and turning the water park into our second home.  Sometimes all of that just doesn't cut it.  An ice cold, sweet treat isn't only desired, it's necessary.

Some of the fondest memories of my childhood were spent sitting on the wooden benches on the square in my hometown, holding a big ol' waffle cone full of mint chocolate chip ice cream.  The sunshine beaming down on me and streams of minty green ice cream running down my arms.  But it was all in the name of staying cool and savoring every last drop of my beloved ice cream.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Pool Punch Granita

You can tell when summer has officially hit because those lines at the snow cone stands are a mile long no matter what time you pass them.  People flock to those stand for cups of the piled high shaved ice coated with their favorite flavored syrups.  And honestly, what's better that flavored ice on a hot summer day?

Not much!

Unless you can have that cool frozen treat right in the comfort of your own home.  As long as you have a freezer, pan and 2 forks that's all you need.  No thousand dollar shaved ice machine or any other special equipment.  We're talking basics!

This isn't your typical snow cone.  This, my friends is a granita.
A little backstory about the meager granita, just in case you haven't heard of it before now.  It's a frozen treat that originates from Sicily.  Typically, it's a combination of water, sugar and whatever you want to flavor it with.  Fruit, sweet tea and mint, some of your favorite beverages.  The options are truly endless.  After you've established your flavor profile, mix it together, pour it in a shallow dish and pop it in the freezer.  Every so often, remove the mixture from the freezer, gently scrape with a fork and returned to the freezer.  In the end you're rewarded with an Italian style frozen icee.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Frozen Coconut Limeade

I don't know about other places, but I do know it's hot here in The Natural State.

It's mid-July, so yes it's mid summer and it's supposed to be hot.  But here in Arkansas it's not just a regular heat, it's unbearably hot days that are only getting hotter.  We haven't hit actual 100 degree temps, yet, but that heat index has sure felt like 100-110.  Stepping outside, out of the comforts of your cool, air conditioned house can easily be described as stepping into a hot, humid sauna that takes your breath away.  Yes, it's lovely.

So, to survive the sweltering heat cold beverages are a must.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Homemade Orange Italian Cream Soda

It's undeniable, both kids and adults alike thoroughly enjoy sipping on fun beverages.  Especially when sitting poolside.  Although it seems like the kiddos get left out of the fun a lot of the time because most of those fun drinks with the little umbrellas contain some giggle juice.  And they honestly don't understand why in the world they can't have a sip of that fun, colorful drink with the mini umbrella and cherries.

And, I honestly don't blame them.  Why can't they get one of those drinks that's packed with all their favorites; fruit, cherries, whipped cream and a fun, paper umbrella?

Well, they can.  Cream sodas are a favorite of all; it doesn't matter if you're 5 or 95, everyone likes that creamy, fizzy beverage.  And it's a plus if it's flavored.

What's not a plus?  Well, paying that hefty price that restaurants and soda fountains have attached to the beloved favorite.  So, instead of dropping a wad of cash for a bit of relaxation and nostalgia make your own at home.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Peach Mojitos

We are in in the middle of the summer and things are in full swing.  We just shot off fireworks and celebrated our independence.  Vacations are taking place, pools are filled with kids splashing around, the lakes are hot and heavy with boats, skis, and various water activities and of course, those grills are being fired-up non-stop.

I know everyone has their favorite recipes, their go-to's they love to enjoy during the summer.  But one thing I think all people are looking for more of during those summer months are beverages.  Both adults and kids alike look forward to those ice-cold, brightly colored drinks that are synonymous with summer time.

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