Archive for the ‘summertime’ Category

A family favorite, and one I should probably make more often!  It makes about 10 servings, and I only say that because it took us 2 days to finish, and there were 5 of us eating.  See?  That Math degree is still paying off!  Go Loggers!


20 Oreo cookies (regular or mint), crushed in a food processer

2 Tbsp butter, melted

Mint chocolate chip ice cream, softened slightly

1 jar of hot fudge (not chocolate sauce, you need the thick, ooey-gooey, rich fudge!)

Cool Whip



Combine crushed Oreos and melted butter.  Transfer to pie pan and press firmly down and on the sides to form a good crust.  Place in freezer to harden.

When the crust is firm, add ice cream, smooshing evenly around the pie pan.  Return to freezer until back to it’s frozen state.

Once ice cream is frozen, add hot fudge (yes, the entire jar!).  I put mine in the microwave to help the pouring and spreading process.  It wasn’t hot, just a little runnier.  Add as much or as little Cool Whip as you’re in the mood for.

Top with crushed oreos.

Keep in the freezer until you’re ready to enjoy!



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I needed something different for our nightly grilled chicken.  (I say that only half-kidding, we do grilled chicken.  A lot.).  So I went to my good friend, Giada, and found what looked like could be an pretty good option.  I wasn’t into cooking the glaze down for 20 minutes and then keeping it bubbling… if you know me at all, you know I start cooking dinner at 5:00 and it’s on the table by 5:30.  So this was a “mix and heat and glaze” type chicken for us.  Maybe next time I’ll plan ahead.  Ya, right.


  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 garlic clove, minsed
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper


Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan and whisk until the mixture is smooth.  Simmer over medium heat until reduced by 1/3, about 15 to 20 minutes.

What Giada says:

Place a grill pan over medium heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Lightly coat with some of the BBQ sauce using a pastry brush. Place the meat on the grill. Place the remaining BBQ sauce, still in the small saucepan, over low heat or on the edge of a gas or charcoal grill and allow to gently simmer while the meat cooks.

Cook the chicken about 8 minutes per side. Cook the steaks starting at about 4 minutes per side until ameat thermometer reads the desired temperature, 120 degrees F for medium rare, 135 degrees F for medium (about 6 minutes per side), 155 degrees F for well done (about 9 minutes per side). Continually brush the meat with BBQ sauce every few minutes. Remove the meat from the grill and let rest for at least 5 minutes. Serve with the heated BBQ sauce alongside.

Alternately, the chicken can be baked in the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the chicken skin side up in a baking dish and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the baking dish from the oven and spoon the BBQ sauce all over the top of the chicken. Return the baking dish to the oven and bake for another 15 minutes.

What Shanelle did:  put boneless chicken on grill, brushed with glaze.  Cooked a few minutes, turned over, glazed again.  Finished cooking.  Served to family.  The end.


Original recipe here from Giada De Laurentis on Food Network.

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fruit pizza

Happy Valentine’s Day!

sugar cookie base + sweetened cream cheese + strawberries = perfection!


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When you buy what we, as Americans, know as “jell-o” over here in the UK, you get what they call “jelly.”  It’s not powdered, it looks like it’s already made and ready to eat…

The first time we had “jelly” I didn’t know I was supposed to melt it, add water, and re-refrigerate it.  So I cut it into slices and handed the kids each a piece.  They didn’t complain, so how was I to know any better?

A couple days later I learned that you prepare it by putting it in a “jug” (glass measuring cup), adding water, and microwaving it until melted.  Stir it up, then add the rest of the water.  Seems pretty simple, right?  Lesson learned. 😉

Anyway.  To make the strawberry fizz jelly (jell-o)… prepare the jelly-jello as you would, melting either the above gel blocks, or dissolving the powder.  At this point, add a can of carbonated lemonade (that’s how we roll back here).  Gently stir, pour into a bowl, and refrigerate until set.

My kids claim it tastes like lotion, but they all ate it without any prodding!  I found the fizziness to be a bit odd, but nothing I couldn’t get used to!


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When we first moved to Bristol, we were staying in a hotel across the street from a Starbucks – so you know where we went for breakfast in the morning!  The kids wanted some juice, and I think by accident Scott grabbed them this water.  It’s basically water, fresh-squeezed juice, and a little sugar.  The kids loved it!  So we decided once we got into our house, we’d make our own…

Squeeze 1 large lemon and 2 small limes into a pitcher.  Fill with water, stir.  Add a few spoonfuls of sugar to sweeten to your liking.  Slice some lime and lemon circles to make it pretty, and serve over ice.  Delicious!

variation:  use sparkling water to make it fancy!

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Now if I can only make this without my kids knowing I’m adding sorbet, because I can’t really leave it out, right?!


  • 1 cup chopped ripe strawberries (5 large strawberries)
  • 1 cup chopped seeded watermelon
  • 1 cup chopped fresh peach
  • 1 cup raspberry sorbet
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice


Place the strawberries, watermelon, peach, sorbet, and orange juice in a blender and puree until smooth and creamy. Add more orange juice if you’d like it a little less thick. Serve immediately in tall glasses with straws.


from Ina Garten’s kitchen


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This is just too cute to not do at least a couple times this summer!  My kids LOVE fruit salad, and doing a bowl of melon balls is a fun presentation that really gets them excited!


Reprinted with permission from Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade magazine and Hoffman Media, LLC.
For more information, go to www.semihomemademag.com

Cut favorite melons in half (removing any/all seeds).  Using a melon baller, scoop out the fruit into balls.  Arrange in a clear bowl for a fun presentation!

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