Tag Archives: mini chocolate chips

(Oatmeal) “Snackers”


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These are a great snack, a great answer to the “I’m huunnngry.” (Which we all hear or say at any moment of any day!!) I keep mine in the fridge, but they are good at room temp too.

Feel free to add things like coconut, craisins, nuts, sunflower seeds, etc. Things you think about when you think of granola bars, those ingredients would work best.  If you add to many “mix-ins” and your Snackers don’t stay together, just add a bit more peanut butter and bit more honey.

Pulse means pulse. Not puree. I had my son help me the first time and I said ~” hit this button a few times, like “”Bump Bump Bump.”” I thought that was clear :/ Well. He went “Buuummmmp Bummmmmmp Bummmmmmmmmmmmp.” So ours was so very well mixed! But still good.  Always an adventure with kids!

This is the version we like best! 🙂 What is YOUR or YOUR families favorite version?

Oatmeal “Snackers”

2 c. old fashioned oatmeal
1 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. honey
1/2 c. raisins (or craisins)
1/2 c. mini chocolate chips
1/4 c. ground flax seed

Pulse the oatmeal, peanut butter, honey and raisins ~ just till combined.  Add the chocolate chips and flax seed and pulse to combine. Chill. When cold, roll into balls AND ENJOY!!!

Recipe adapted from Food Network.


Candy Cane Snowballs


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I totally meant to share this cookie with you all last December, time does FLY doesn’t it??!!

* I usually prefer to chill my dough for a day or so, then bake later. This dough gets kinda hard, so if you DO chill it 1st (I still did) just note that it will be a bit harder to scoop.

Candy Cane Snowballs 
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 1/4 c. butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. peppermint extract
1 egg
3 c. flour
1 TB. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. crushed candy cane
1/2 c. mini chocolate chips

Beat together the powdered sugar and butter till light and fluffy. Add the extracts and egg and beat till well combined.

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt and slowly add this into the butter mix.  Beat about 1 minute.

Add in the crushed candy canes and mini chocolate chips by hand. Scoop into balls, I used my cookie scoop. Bake @ 350° for 11-13 minutes.  Take off pan as soon as possible, the melting candy canes get sticky and hard rather quickly on the pan. Cool on wire rack.

Yields about 40 cookies.

Recipe adapted from a recipe clipped from the Times Newspaper.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake


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There is something about cheesecake that is special and fun. Am I right? You really cannot (or should not, I should say) make it just to make it…. (though it does stay in the fridge well, so a slice a day wouldn’t hurt you 😉 !!!) BUT when company is coming over, now THAT is the perfect time for cheesecake.

Thanks to Amy’s Aliments for the cheesecake base and peanut butter crumble yumminess, I then  wanted to add a  bit MORE chocolate to it….just cause.  Maybe this could be on YOUR menu for your next company extravaganza!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake 
1 1/2 c. Oreo crumbs, crushed fine (I sometimes go for 2 c.)
1/3 stick of butter,melted
Peanut Butter Crumble: 
1/2 c. peanut butter
2/3 c. powdered sugar
1/3 c. brown sugar
1 c. mini chocolate chips
2 (8 oz.) pkgs. of softened cream cheese
1 c. sugar
2 TB. lemon juice
1 TB. vanilla
2 eggs
Chocolate Glaze:
1/2 c.  heavy whipping cream
4 oz. chocolate (either dark chocolate or semi-sweet)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Peanut Butter Drizzle: 
about 3 TB. peanut butter

For the crust: toss together the butter and the Oreo crumbs. Sprinkle in a greased 9″ springform pan.  Just smooth nice and flat. DO NOT press down or your crust WILL be hard to cut. Bake @325* for 8 minutes.

For the peanut butter crumbles: mix together the peanut butter, powdered sugar and brown sugar,  set aside 3 TB’s of the mixture. Put the rest of the crumbles  in the baked crust and spread out evenly, again ~ do not press down.  Top with the mini chocolate chips. Set aside.

For the filling: beat together the cream cheese and the sugar till mixed well. Add the lemon juice, vanilla and eggs. Beat well, till nice and smooth. Pour over the peanut butter crumbles and chocolate chips. Sprinkle with the reserved crumbles. Bake @ 350* for about 45 minutes. Cool on the counter 1 hour. Then cool in the fridge for 12 hours. Run a knife around the edges to loosen any stuck on goodies. Then pop the sides open and remove.

Drizzle with chocolate glaze (warm the heavy whipping cream and add the chocolate chips and vanilla, stir till smooth. Let this set up for just a  bit….it will thicken upon standing) and drizzle with the peanut butter (melted a bit for easy drizzling). Chill for another 4-12 hours. Enjoy….oh enjoy.

Recipe adapted from Amy’s Aliments.

Snow Ice Cream


Snow Ice Cream???

I have been WAITING for snow!!! (Rather impatiently I might add….) Not only because I just like snow and seeing it  and hearing it (that wonderfully beautiful “silence” of snow) and shoveling it and playing in it…..BUT also because this little ol’ recipe has been burning a whole in my recipe files for. way. to. long. (Summer…is when I found it well flipping through old magazines, NO WONDER it looked so nummyyy I was probably hot!!!! PRETTY sure I went right in the house and came out with a freezie for all.)

So, today was the day!! We got just enough snow to be able to make this! I sent the kids out with STRICT snow collecting rules ~ you know, avoid dirt, dead grass, yellow snow ~ and they did not let me down!

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Now, you will not really be eating the snow, just using it as a little freezer or ice cream machine.

After lunch we begin, oh the dessert we will soon be enjoying!!!!

My son says, “can I see the recipe??”



More on THAT later.

OK. Snow Ice Cream??? WHAT was I thinking?!

Well, because I don’t think, apparently, I just assumed that it would work. It had to. Right?  I got us ALL pumped up! Oh, the anticipation of fresh “churned” ice cream ~ our mouths were watering, we WERE ready for the work of shaking. No doubt. We were ready.


It failed. It feel like the biggest dud of a firework you could even imagine. We opened the bag (after 10 minutes) to find soup. We (well, a few of us brave ones) tasted it. Wrong. All wrong. So, because my ignorance is at an utter high, I say, “come on guys, 5. more. minutes.” We muscle through, and still have soup. I say, “alright, freezer for 30 minutes, then we will have ice cream.” Timer goes on, kids go play. Thirty minutes later ~ it. is. still. soup.

I am ready to walk away from ALL cooking and baking. Dramatic? Maybe. No.

I began to slice my strawberries for coffee cake. OK, so my dramatics didn’t last TOO long, I was back in the saddle baking just mere minutes later……

It comes to me…….SALT!!!!! Argyle socks!!! THE SALT!!

“Guys HURRY!!!!”

“I forgot the salt!!!! Sorry. Let’s go again.”

My oldest says, “I wondered were the salt was……” AND HE COULDN’T HAVE VOICED HIS QUESTION EARLIER.  He said “sorry mom” *oh, so sweet, like it was HIS fault, not HIS fault his mom is a dip* I said “sorry I messed it up.”

Back at the shake shake shaking, though at this point they OBVIOUSLY do not believe me (nor do I blame them for that) so I am cheering myself on well they wrestle.

Mere moments later we have it!!!! ICE CREAM. No joke.

Apparently the secret is the salt. (I hear you, saying “ah….yeah.”) I learned another good lesson to pass on to you. Ice + salt = something comparable to dry ice. PLEASE don’t stick your hand in the bag to test it, your fingers will nearly freeze off. It hurts….burns…..I know. Learn from me AGAIN, please!!

We made a batch with snow and heavy whipping cream. We also made a batch with crushed ice and 1/2 & 1/2. The general agreement was the heavy whipping cream was more “ice creamish” and the 1/2 & 1/2 was a bit more of a “slushy ice cream” ~ both good.  (Pictured is the 1/2 & 1/2 batch.)

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*This is a fun “craft” to do with your kids……it takes some time and smooshing and swooshing, but play “pass the bag” and EVERYONE gets a turn!!

*When it is all “ice creamed”, then add in what you want too! (Candy, sprinkles, crushed cookies, brownie bites, hot fudge, nuts and on and on!)  Being that this was my first time making it, we kept it simple with mini-chocolate chips.

* I used a vanilla bean in place of the vanilla in one of the batches, I happened to have a few left over from making Vanilla Extract.

* I used table salt, it was fine, but the recipe called for kosher salt with the bigger granules.

Ready for “Snow Ice Cream”?? Give it a go, if you want, and let me know what you think!!! Just PLEASE remember the salt!!!

Happy “snow” day!   (Oh, by the way, IF you live where there is no snow, just use crushed ice cubes in place of the snow.)

Snow Ice Cream 

1 c. heavy whipping cream (or 1/2 & 1/2)
3 TB. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 c. salt (table salt is fine)
snow (or crushed ice)
pint size Ziplock bag
gallon size Ziplock bag
2 TB. mini chocolate chips

Mix cream, sugar and vanilla and pour into pint size bag, seal (well).

Fill the gallon size bag halfway full with clean snow and add the salt. Put the smaller bag inside the larger one and squeeze out all the air, seal (well).

Knead bags till cream mixture solidifies, this will take about 5-10 minutes.

Open bigger bag and CAREFULLY remove smaller bag. Rinse outside of smaller bag with cold water before opening. Squeeze ice cream into bowl and add chocolate chips (or whatever your topping of choice is or isn’t) and SERVE!!!


Recipe from a Women’s Day magazine and also from Arlo Kallemeyn from the Shopper.

This recipe linked to Six Sister’s Stuff.


Peppermint Bark


Check it out! Favorite Family Foods is on Pinterest!!!

Aldi Specials, starting Dec. 18.

(Just a few things out of the ad.)
  • 10 lb. bag of Russet Potatoes is $1.29.
  • 3 lb. bag of Onions is 79¢.
  • 16 oz. bag of Brussels Sprouts is $1.79.
  • 4 lb. bag of Oranges is $1.99.
  • 3 lb. bag of Clementines is $2.99.
  • IF you are not in the baking mood, Aldi has you covered. I saw a number of pies/cakes/sweets throughout the ad.
  • We usually enjoy quite a few snacky type items throughout the Christmas week. Aldi has a nice selection of cheeses, cheese balls, snack mixes and appetizer items. Be sure to check it out!
  • A 16 oz. Shrimp Ring is $5.99 (a smaller ring is $4.99), don’t forget the Cocktail sauce! ($1.29)
  • Sparkling Cider and Juices are  fun treats to have, for kids AND adults alike. Grab a 25.4 oz. bottle for $2.29-$2.49.
  • A 33.9 oz. container of Classic Roast Coffee is $5.49.
  • Need creamer for your coffee? How about Peppermint Mocha? A 16 oz. container is $1.49.
  • Top with a dollop of Whipped Topping, an 8 oz. container is 89¢.
  • OR…..a side of Ice Cream???  A 48 oz. container is $2.69.
  • Do you like Hot Chocolate better than coffee? (yes….) Grab some milk and a box of Nestle Nesquick for $3.99 (a 21.8 oz. container).
  • Butter ($1.99), Cream Cheese (99¢) and Crescent Rolls (99¢) are ALL STILL at a great price!!! Grab them well you STILL can!
  • Turkey is $1.19 per lb. Ham ranges from 99¢ – $1.49 per lb.  DOES YOUR FAMILY ENJOY HAM OR TURKEY FOR CHRISTMAS DINNER??! or both??  (Ham….hands down winner in this house!)

The following is a recipe made from ALL Aldi (Winter Seasonal) items. (AT one point Aldi was carrying mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, my Aldi sold out WAY to quickly. Regular size chocolate chips work fine for this recipe.)

Peppermint Bark

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For some reason I have an over-abundance of candy canes. (Someone just keeps buying them each week, because she this person thinks “Do I have candy canes at home? Oh, let’s grab a box….just. in. case.”)

So. That means. I needed to use some up. Chocolate + Mint = Deliciousness.

Peppermint Bark is easy.  You really CANNOT mess it up…….unless ~

  1. You burn the chocolate. It happens. It is OK. Just learn from your mistakes. Chocolate IS sensitive. VERY sensitive. I have had happily melting chocolate turn ugly in seconds.  I HIGHLY recommend a double-boiler. Microwaves mess things up at times (though IF you take your time and stir every 30 seconds ~ 1 min. you should be OK.)
  2. Your chocolate seizes up. OK. So, I do not always think (not my better quality…..). I wanted to make Peppermint Bark with flecks of mini-chocolate chips. I THOUGHT (at this point my “thinker” was working) IF I add the chocolate chips now, when the almond bark is hot, it will melt the little chocolate chips. I wanted WHITE chocolate with brown flecks and peppermint pieces.   SO, I cooled to luke warm. Checking, till just the right level of luke-warmness was reached. THEN I headed to my freezer…….yep freezer (FYI: this was the point the “thinker” stopped thinking.) I added just the right amount of frozen chocolate chips……”marvelous” was going through my head ~ remember to roll the “r”…… I had my pan all ready to pour that lovely melty Peppermint Bark onto and somewhere between the point of stirring and dumping my. lovely. concoction. become. nearly. rock. hard. I tried my best to spread it, but really, spreading a rock is impossible. Never one to give up too quickly, I popped it in my oven @ 160° and set the timer for 10 minutes and walked away. Phew. It got all shining and wonderfully smooth again. I took my offset spatula and spread it. So very glad that I had not ruined it. Though now, I ended up with swirled Peppermint Bark. I am OK with that. So don’t add frozen chocolate chips to melted Almond  Bark. (Just a gentle reminder, I KNOW we all know better……)

Peppermint Bark 
16 oz. Vanilla Almond Bark
6-8 crushed Candy Canes
3/4 – 1 c. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Melt the almond bark in a double boiler, keeping on eye on it and stirring often till it is shiny and smooth and melted. Take off heat. Let cool a bit, then add the crushed candy canes. Set aside to cool till so very lightly warm (aka ~ luke-warm). Add your chocolate chips (being SURE they are at room temp). Mix, don’t over mix cause the chocolate chips will start to melt. Spread onto a wax paper lined jelly roll pan and spread to the thickness you want. Chill to set. Break into pieces and enjoy!!

Beer Brats & Grasshopper Dessert


Yep, it is Wednesday! Time for Aldi sales! Sales are from Sept. 19-Sept. 25.

    (I had about 5 recipes to share this week….that is TOO many, so I had to choose  only 2……THAT was hard….SUCH good veggie sales this week!!)
*Broccoli is $0.99 for a 1 lb. package. I will be getting some to make this Broccoli Salad!!
* A head of cabbage is $0.69, I have 2 salads that I enjoy to make for my family, why pick??? I might just make Cabbage Crunchy Apple Slaw and Chinese Salad, will you???
*Red Potatoes are really good and for $0.79 for a 5-lb. bag ~ they are FANTASTIC!!! Now to choose between…..BLT Red Potatoes or Ranch Potatoes??
* Cauliflower is $0.99 each. I will grab one and get you a recipe ANOTHER day!! 🙂
* One of our favorite snacks is the Savoritz Wheat crackers. Plain OR dipped in BLT Dip or Pepper Jelly ~ have you tried either of these yet???
* I know that it is not “grilling” season per say, BUT Aldi has brats on sale, so that means I get to share a  “brat” recipe with you!!! (I have not tried these particular brats from Aldi….sorry, cannot give a true “critique” of those ~ had anyone tried them?? Are they good??? Prices range from $2.69 – $2.99 for 8oz.-16 oz. pkgs.
* Chocolate Creme Sandwich Cookies (aka Oreos….) are on special for $1.89. They have chocolate or mint, lets enjoy a taste of the Holidays with Grasshopper Dessert!!! (Or file this for your holiday parties….not me, I will be making it ASAP!!! (again….)

As always, I would love to hear if you tried anything, liked or disliked anything ~ maybe I shared a recipe that you already know and love!! I would love to hear about it all!! Lets have a gab session….oh.. Hey, don’t forget IF you have a recipe your family LOVES and want to share it with me, so I can make it and share it with EVERYONE, share it here @  favoritefamilyfoods@hotmail.com  !!!

Now for the recipes……

I really wanted to make this for my husband, he had been requesting brats and I wanted to make them “special” ~ it WAS easy, and delish…..and I don’t like beer, but the flavor was nice. I had eaten “beer brats” before, but have never made them. I will FOR SURE do it again, it was nice to have them simmered and ready to go when we were ready to throw them on the grill. Just keep in mind that the red pepper flakes pack a wallop of heat ~ so go for less if you are not into that sorta thing!!! Enjoy this truely summer treat.

Beer Brats
2 cans of beer
1 onion, chopped
5 brats (good quality ones IF you can get your hands on them)
3/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
Bring the beer and onion to a boil, I used my large deepish skillet for this. Add the rest of the ingredients and lower the heat to medium and cook about 10-12 minutes. Take the brats out and grill, just keep on eye on them and turn them when they need to be and talk to my husband more about the about of time and doneness and when to take them off I am not even going to pretend to tell you how long they took to cook and he is not here right now to remind me….breath…..moving on. Simmer the onions till liquid is cooked down a bit and onions are wonderfully tender. Serve the brats on buns with the onions and mustard. ENJOY!

Recipe adapted from a recipe shared with me from a friend via Facebook.

Ready for DESSERT!????!!!

Anyone enjoy mint chocolate chip ice cream??? Mint Meltaways?? Grasshopper cookies? Mint Oreos?? York Peppermint patties??? Maybe you are in? Maybe you are not. I just know that mint/chocolate is wonderful combination that I have loved for as long as I can remember. I was hot, I was hungry, I wanted something cold for dessert (I know…..making this “Christmas lookin’ ” dessert in the summer, I must be CRAZY!….. I was going to wait till  the holidays ~ to share this with you ~ but it is not MY fault that Aldi has mint Oreos NOW……NOR will you find me complaining, just all the more I can make this dessert!!  We fought over the leftovers the 1st time I made it, so since then ~ yep, I double it to a 9″ x 13″ pan. 🙂 Nice and versatile.

* I used this Hot Fudge Sauce. (Cooled NOT actually hot.) Though I am sure that a hot fudge sauce from the store will be fine, you do NOT want to use chocolate syrup though, it will most definitely change the whole consistency of this thing I am sure!

* Mint oil can be found in the cake baking section of stores like Wal-Mart or Joanne’s. It has a VERY strong flavor without using much, so proceed with caution and just start with a drop, taste, add a drop, taste, go from there. IF you go over board your nose will begin to feel like you have a peppermint stuck in there…sorry. I would imagine you could also use mint extract, though I have not tried it that way. Start with 1/2 tsp. or so, that would be my guess.

Grasshopper Dessert 
15 Mint Oreos, crushed
1 1/2 TB. melted butter
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 c. powdered sugar
1/2 c. HOT FUDGE sauce (from the store or maybe this one?)
8 oz. Cool Whip, thawed and divided to 2 – 4 oz. sections
mint oil
green food coloring, opt.
1-2 mint candy canes, crushed (or crushed Starlight mints)
3 TB. (or so) of mini chocolate chips
Combine the crushed Oreos and the butter, press this mixture into the bottom of a 9″ square pan. Set aside. Beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar, add the hot fudge (not hot though :)) and beat just till combined. Fold in 4 oz. of the Cool Whip. Pour into crust. Set aside. Fold a drop of mint oil in the remaining 4 oz. of Cool Whip, stir ~ give  it a taste and see if you need to add another drop you two. You want a nice mint flavor, nothing TOO overpowering. Add a drop or two of green food coloring. Stir, spread over chocolate layer. Top with crushed candy canes and mini chocolate chips. Freeze. ENJOY!!!

Cherry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream


School is starting soon, which in SOME ways means summer is over. We still may get the heat and we still may want to grill and need to eat ice cream to cool off ~  BUT ~ the “carefree late nights sleeping in mornings” of summer are coming to an end. I guess it is time to officially close my “ice cream series” ~ though I am pretty sure I have some more to share! MAYBE we shall continue the frozen concoction fun next summer?!?!?!???? Don’t be shocked though if you see an ice cream recipe in December….just sayin’.

That being said, how about another “series” one that can stretch through fall and winter? Any ideas? I was thinking “school lunch ideas” (recipes for  sandwichish things to eat or fruit/veggie ideas or sweet treats or snacks) or a “soup series” (to begin OF COURSE when the weather is more soup conducive!) OH! Or how about “breakfast foods”?  Let me know your thoughts AND opinions and I will take a pole and pick the most popular!

My FOR.EV.ER favorite ice cream in mint chocolate chip. Though cookie dough is a close second and (more recently) cherry chocolate chip ice cream has given mint chocolate chip a run for its money! I was really excited to see this recipe, I made it the first time and it was not quite right ~ probably because I do not have an ice cream machine ~ I tried it again, my way, and was VERY happy with the results.

* You NEED to use  cherry juice concentrate. It is found in the produce section of the grocery store. It IS expensive but just know that one bottle will get you A LOT of batches. I actually divide the juice into 1/4 c.’s and freeze it ~ that way it will go bad.
* It is a good idea to have your sweetened condensed milk be cold before you fold it into the whipped whipping cream, I usually throw the whole can in the fridge the morning I plan on making it.

Cherry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream   

2 c. heavy whipping cream
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 c. milk
1/4 c.  cherry juice concentrate
2 tsp. almond extract
pinch of salt
1/2 c. of chopped maraschino cherries
1/2 c. mini chocolate chips
Beat the heavy whipping cream till stiff peaks form. Fold in the sweetened condensed milk, milk, cherry juice, almond extract and salt. Stir gently till combined. Put in freezer and stir every 1/2 hour till the mixture is nearly frozen (about 2 hours). Stir in the chopped cherries and mini chocolate chips. Put in freezer again and stir every 1/2 hour (about 1 hour). Transfer to a freezer safe container with a lid. IF you make early in the day at night you will have soft serve ice cream, the next day it will be harder and you MAY need to take it out about 10 minutes before you are ready to dish it. ENJOY!

Recipe idea from Allrecipes.

(AS a side note. If you can, PLEASE take advantage of any zucchini you can get your hands on! Shred it and freeze it for later baking! It is really  nice to have a couple of bags on hand. I hope to share some zucchini recipes with you over the course of fall/winter.)