Homemade Frozen Fudge Pops

Homemade Frozen Fudge Pops

Who doesn’t love a frozen fudge pop?

Many of my childhood summer memories include sprinklers, bike rides, hide-and-go-seek,  ice cream trucks and Fudgsicles galore!

Mmmm…. Fudgsicles….

My neighbors have been following the 100 Days of Real Food guidelines for over year now. They make their own sandwich bread, mozzarella cheese, granola, and….

Frozen fudge pops.

When I saw their kids happily licking away at the chocolaty goodness frozen on a stick, I had to know where they found a recipe to mimic that childhood favorite. No surprises! It was the 100 Days of Real Food recipe for Homemade Fudge Pops.

Lisa’s recipe from 100 Days of Real Food is ridiculously easy, uses no granulated sugar, and tastes a lot like the real deal. It takes less than 5 minutes to whip the liquid together, pour it into ice pop molds and toss them in the freezer.

When I made my batch, I halved her recipe since I only have one small tray of ice pop molds, and I substituted sour cream for the plain yogurt because it’s what I had in my fridge today. I figured the sour cream would give the needed tartness that the plain yogurt adds.

I’d love to try coffee flavored Greek yogurt as the add-in next time….

Homemade Frozen Fudge Pops

We’ve made these homemade frozen fudge pops twice now, and my kids are fans. And as any parent knows, they’re the best (and most honest) judges of all!

Homemade Frozen Fudge Pops
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Homemade frozen fudge pops taste just like the real "Fudgsicle" deal!
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • ½ cup sour cream
Instructions
  1. Whisk the syrup, cocoa powder and vanilla together in a medium mixing bowl until it's smooth and glossy, without any lumps.
  2. Pour the milk and the sour cream into the syrup mixture, and whisk until it's combined.
  3. Pour the fudge pop liquid into your popsicle molds, leaving ¼" of space at the top. Freeze the fudge pops for at least 6 hours, or overnight. Makes 6 small fudge pops.
  4. TIP: Pass the frozen fudge pop under warm water for a second or two to make it easier to pull apart before eating.

 

10 Make Ahead Casserole Recipes

Who doesn’t love a warm, gooey casserole? Especially the kind that can be made ahead and either tossed in the fridge till dinner the next day, or frozen for weeks (or months)!

To me, casseroles are one of the best comfort foods out there, and make-ahead casserole recipes are the best. THE BEST!

10 Make-Ahead Casserole Recipes

My sister-in-law is 8-1/2 months pregnant and I blame her for having casseroles on my brain. She asked me if I’d help her prep a few freezer meals to tuck away until after the baby’s born, which is very smart! (For the record, I was not that smart. For either child.)

Those of you who’ve had babies must remember what it’s like those first 6-8 weeks after the baby’s born. Every single day is comprised of eating, sleeping, diapering and changing baby clothes. I mean, you barely have enough time to grab a shower, let alone pull together a home cooked dinner – right?

Having make-ahead casseroles frozen and at the ready is a terrific way to get dinner on the table without also losing your mind (which may happen anyway, but at least you won’t be able to blame the food!).

10 Make-Ahead Casserole Recipes

NOTE: Each of these casseroles can be covered tightly with aluminum foil and frozen just before the baking step.

  1. Simple Mexican Ground Beef Casserole
  2. Baked Ziti
  3. Baked Creamy Chicken Spaghetti (I’d leave the onion topping off until you’re ready to bake)
  4. Spinach, Mushroom & Italian Sausage Lasagna
  5. Simple Oyster Casserole
  6. Creamy Baked Chicken Pasta
  7. Walnut French Toast Bread Pudding Casserole
  8. Vegetarian Lasagna Rolls
  9. Spinach, Bacon & Cheese Egg Casserole
  10. Chicken Noodle Casserole

(Yes, there are some breakfast options too – enjoy!)

12 Easy Recipes for Mother’s Day

12 Easy Recipes for Mother's Day

 

In case you haven’t been paying attention, tomorrow is MOTHER’S DAY.

On May 11th, 2014, mothers across the country will be wishing for a day where they can…relax. That’s right, more than anything (even, jewelry!), most moms want Mother’s Day to be 24-hours (heck, we’d settle for just a couple…right?) of peace and quiet. No decision-making. No breaking up annoying sibling fights. No expectations. No cleaning. And, most of all: NO COOKING.

Don’t believe me? Check out my friend Amanda’s post on DudeMom.com – real quotes from honest moms (including moi) about what we really want for Mother’s Day. Love her!

So, back to the “no cooking” thing.

It’s Saturday. Likely most of the reservations have been filled at all the best restaurants in town. Or, maybe your budget can’t afford a dinner out. OR, maybe you don’t want to schlep the whole family out for an exhausting a nice dinner out on Sunday with work and school the next morning. What do you do?

Look no further! Whether you need a simple breakfast, lunch, dessert or dinner idea for Mom, I’ve got you covered! And, I promise you’ll get brownie points for all your effort – nothing says, “I love you!” like a home-cooked meal. Right?

12 Easy Recipes for Mother’s Day

  1. Orecchiette Pasta with Parmesan and Pistachios
  2. My Take on Martha Stewart’s Recipe for French Toast
  3. Snickerdoodles
  4. Rich & Chewy Cocoa Brownies
  5. Farfalle with Garlic Parmesan Cream Sauce & Pan Seared Chicken Sausage
  6. Simple Grilled Chili Shrimp Soft Tacos
  7. Easy Blueberry Pancakes
  8. Spinach, Bacon & Cheese Egg Casserole (make this ahead tonight!)
  9. Barbecue Pork Meatballs
  10. Turkey Meatloaf
  11. Summer Couscous Salad
  12. Seared Salt & Pepper Shrimp over Thin Spaghetti with a Mushroom & Garlic Cream Sauce

Good luck!

 

Easy Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

I started making all of my own pizza dough last year after watching my sister and soon-to-be brother-in-law make theirs the past few years during our family vacations at Smith Mountain Lake.

Lemme tell ya, homemade pizza dough is crazy simple to make. EASY-PEASY. (Even though I know lots of people think otherwise.)

While my usual recipe calls for all-purpose flour, this month I’m following the #HH30Days Real Food Challenge, so I made an easy homemade whole wheat pizza dough (with only 5 ingredients!) instead.

whole wheat flour

After mixing the yeast with warm water (140°F to be precise, but I prefer to just use my wrist – not hot, but very warm), I just let it sit for about 10 minutes until the mixture starts to look kind of foamy.

whole wheat pizza dough yeast

Then, I let my KitchenAid + dough hook do all the kneading work for the next 10 minutes. This is followed by 30 minutes of rising (mixing bowl is covered with a towel and set in a warm oven that I’ve let preheat to 170°F and then turned off), one punch-down, re-kneading by hand for a minute, and then more rising for about 15 minutes.

whole wheat dough rising

I always roll our pizza dough out to a thin crust, and this works especially well with whole wheat pizza dough which can get too chewy if it’s really thick. (My personal opinion, anyway.)

whole wheat pizza dough rounds

When it’s about 1/8″ thick, and baked in a super hot oven, this whole wheat pizza dough turns into a deliciously crispy chewy crust that keeps me fuller longer than its traditional all-purpose counterpart and can also withstand lots of fabulous toppings.

whole wheat dough rolled

This recipe makes 8 personal-sized pizzas, so I’ll use 4 immediately, and then freeze the remaining 4 for the next time we’re having pizza. The frozen dough thaws out nicely overnight in the fridge, but I’ve also thawed them in the microwave when I’ve been in a pinch!

Easy Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

Here’s the finished pizza, baked at 500°F for 4 minutes and smothered with fresh mozzarella. I’ve also topped mine with local organic crimini mushrooms and organic scallions from our last Hometown Harvest small fixed bag – YUM!

And, there you have it: easy homemade whole wheat pizza dough (with only 5 ingredients)!

Easy Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Easy homemade whole wheat pizza dough recipe made with only 5 ingredients!
Author:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 1-1/3 cups very warm water (about 140°F)
  • 3-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 170°F. As soon as it's done preheating, turn it off.
  2. Combine the yeast and water in the bowl of a KitchenAid (or similar) mixer fitted with a dough hook. Let it sit for about 10 minutes or until you notice it starts to look foamy.
  3. After mixing the flour and salt together in a separate mixing bowl, add it to the water and yeast, turn the mixer on low for 30 seconds, and then increase the speed to medium-low for another minute longer. When the ingredients have come together, increase the speed to medium and drizzle in ¼ cup of olive oil. Let the mixer continue kneading the dough for 10 minutes; the dough should look smooth.
  4. Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and shape it into a ball. Coat the dough ball with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, place it back in the mixing bowl and cover the top of the bowl with a towel. Set the covered mixing bowl in the warm oven for 30 minutes. Remove the dough (it should have almost doubled in size), use your fist to punch it down, knead it by hand for a minute, reform the dough ball and then set it back in the warm oven (covered) for another 15-20 minutes.
  5. Cut the dough into 8 equal sized pieces for individual pizzas (if you're going to freeze some, just place them in a freezer-safe zip top bag and throw them in the freezer at this point). Roll each pizza to ⅛" thick, top with sauce, cheese and other toppings, and then place it atop a pizza stone that's been preheated to 500°F. NOTE: I leave the pizza stone in the oven and use a pizza peel coated with cornmeal to slide my prepped pizza dough onto the stone.
  6. Cook the pizza for 4 minutes, or until the cheese is melty and the edges are golden. Let the pizza cool for a minute before slicing and devouring!

Disclosure: Hometown Harvest is a blog sponsor, which means I’m compensated for spreading the word about what they do, my experiences and the deliveries I get. Interested in signing up? Click here and make sure to tell them I sent you! All opinions are my own, and I only work with brands whose missions I support!

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