The Oreo Ice Cream Shop Pie

It isn’t that often that my daughter makes desserts from mixes, however, every year since she was probably about 12, she’s made this easy dessert for our July 4th festivities (these days, she’s very much into baking everything from scratch). Oddly enough, she found this recipe in an ad in a Martha Stewart magazine, which surprises me considering that Martha is strictly a “make it from scratch” kind of gal.

Hot fudge dessert topping, 1 Oreo pie crust, 1 8oz, tub of Cool Whip, cold milk, and 2 pkg. (4 serving size each) Jello Oreo flavor instant pudding & pie filling

Hot fudge dessert topping, 1 Oreo pie crust, 1 8oz, tub of Cool Whip, cold milk, and 2 pkg. (4 serving size each) Jello Oreo flavor instant pudding & pie filling

Set aside 2 TBSP of the fudge topping

Set aside 2 TBSP of the fudge topping

Pour and evenly spread 1/2 Cup of the hot fudge dessert, covering the bottom of the crust (we've found that putting the hot fudge in the microwave for about 20 seconds, make it easier to pour and spread!)

Pour and evenly spread 1/2 Cup of the hot fudge dessert, covering the bottom of the crust (we’ve found that putting the hot fudge in the microwave for about 20 seconds, make it easier to pour and spread!)

Top and evenly spread half of the thawed whipped topping; freeze for 10 minutes

Top and evenly spread half of the thawed whipped topping; freeze for 10 minutes

Pour 1-1/4 C cold milk into a bowl, along with the 2 pkg of pudding mix

Pour 1-1/4 C cold milk into a bowl, along with the 2 pkg of pudding mix

Beat with a wire whisk 2 minutes or until well blended (Mixture will be thick).

Beat with a wire whisk 2 minutes or until well blended (Mixture will be thick).

Gently stir in remaining whipped topping

Gently stir in remaining whipped topping

Spoon mixture over whipped topping layer in crust

Spoon mixture over whipped topping layer in crust.

Freeze 4 hours until firm

Freeze 4 hours until firm

Remove pie from freezer 15 minutes before serving.  Let stand at room temperature to soften slightly.  Drizzle with remaining fudge topping (after you've nuked the topping for a few seconds)

Remove pie from freezer 15 minutes before serving. Let stand at room temperature to soften slightly. Drizzle with remaining fudge topping (after you’ve nuked the topping for a few seconds)

Doesn't this look yummy?  A cold glass of milk is usually needed afterwards!

Doesn’t this look yummy? A cold glass of milk is usually needed afterwards!

Oreon Ice Cream Shop Pie
Prep: 15 minutes + freezing
1/2 C Hot fudge dessert topping, divided
1 Oreo pie crust
1 tub (8oz) Cool Whip whipped topping, thawed and divided
1-1/4 Cups cold milk
2 pkg (4 serv. size each) Jello-Oreo flavor instant pudding & pie filling
REMOVE 2 Tbsp of the fudge topping; set aside. Spoon remaining fudge topping into crust; spread to evenly cover bottom of crust. Top with half of whipped topping; freeze 10 minutes.

POUR milk into large bowl. Add dry pudding mixes. eat with wire whisk 2 minutes or until well blended. (Mixture will be thick.) Gently stir in remaining whipped topping; spoon over whipped topping layer in crust.

FREEZE 4 hours or until firm. Remove pie from freezer 15 minutes before serving; let stand at room temperature to soften slightly. Drizzle with remaining fudge topping. Store leftover pie in freezer. Makes 10 servings (or fewer, depending on the size of pie slice that you want).


A Productive Day

It’s been 5 days since my Kevin’s surgery, and we’re still staying close to home.  He’s slowly starting to talk again, but he still has a lot of pain.   I think we’re starting to see why tonsillectomies were done on children years ago.  All they would remember is that they ate a lot of ice cream.  So far, Kevin hasn’t had any ice cream (that I’m aware of).  He would rather have macaroni and cheese or scrambled eggs, and sometimes, chocolate pudding.  He naps off and on during the day as well.  One really noticeable difference is that his snoring is nearly gone, and he’s noticed that he hasn’t really had any sinus congestion.  So hopefully, when he’s completely healed, he’ll be able to say that this ordeal was totally worth it.

While he’s been recovering, I’ve been staying close to home for the most part.  I did take Heather to a department/grocery store a couple of days ago, and today, I made a trip to the pharmacy for a refill on pain meds.   In the evening, we’ve been catching Heather up on several of the movies that Kevin and I saw when we were about her age.  So far, she’s seen “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” (I told her to not get any ideas from that movie, lol).   I had forgotten just how much swearing was in there.  It’s not like the kids have never heard swearing, but it does make a parent squirm in their seat when it’s in a movie we’re promoting.  At one point, someone in the movie used a swear word to insult another guy, and Kylin said, “That means that he doesn’t like him”.  Ummm, yeah, that pretty much is true.   Yesterday, we introduced her to “Dumb & Dumber” to which she said, “That’s pretty messed up!”   Tonight, she’s watching “Big” with Tom Hanks.   We also watched “The Hobbit” which she had received for her birthday.   She’s also started getting into “The Office” whenever her dad isn’t watching “House” during his recovery.

So on today’s agenda, was to chop up some ingredients for future meals.  IMG_4615We had a few days during this past week, where we actually had cloudy skies and rain (and thunderstorms in some areas).  That kind of weather tends to put me in the mood to make soups or casseroles or stews.   However, if I mention soup or stew in August, Kylin will start worrying.  He doesn’t like soup or stew and I sort of set the time for when it’s appropriate.  So if I make any of those dishes outside of the appropriate season, it throws him off and he may get upset, or I may get a lecture on how I shouldn’t deviate from the appropriate seasonal menu (then he gets the reminder that he needs to be flexible, and that’s another half hour discussion).  Anyway, I worked at the cutting board while Kevin was napping and the kids were relaxing in their rooms, allowing me the movie of my choice, which was “Steel Magnolias”.   By the end of the movie, I had most of the ingredients prepped for at least 4 meals.  So it was a productive afternoon, and I did my best to hold back the tears through the onions and the movie.

Now I can’t wait for that cooler weather, so I can make some of these dishes!IMG_4616

Happy Monday!


Make Your Own Pizza Night

Usually, on a Friday night, we have pizza. Usually, it’s a homemade pizza, and usually, I make all of it.
However, tonight, I decided to change things up a bit to include the rest of the family in the “adding the toppings segment.  I’m hoping that this will prompt some interest in learning how to cook.

I prepped the toppings (and if I had thought about this earlier, I could have had the kids help with this too.   Well………next time they can!)















I’ve been craving a Margherita pizza for the past week.  So I have Roma tomatoes and fresh Basil






For the husband who loves BBQ chicken pizza









The kids decked their pizzas out first.  My daughter likes a little extra on hers, such as the tomatoes and olives.  My son chose only sauce and cheese, which is interesting that he’s ok with having cheese on his pizza, but he won’t eat it alone or drink milk.  But cheese on a pizza is ok.


IMG_3958Kevin decided to make his pizza 3/4 BBQ chicken and 1/4 using regular sauce, green peppers, red onions and sausage.






I may need to make extra dough for the next time so he can have two personal pizzas the way he likes.

Elizabeth 🙂

I Took A “Baking” Day

After a few busy weeks(family from out of town visiting, and resting from an ankle sprain), I decided to have a “Baking” day.  Some folks take a “Personal Day” or a “Mental Health Day”, mine was devoted to baking a few things to have on hand for the freezer.

My son had reminded me that we were out of baked oatmeal for “Oatmeal” day. (We have “oatmeal” day because my son isn’t fond of oatmeal, even though it’s good for him. So if I give it a specific day during the week, he can prepare himself for it ahead of time. Having it scheduled greatly lowers the risk of a meltdown or a half hour question and answer period of “Mom, why did you decide that we were going to have oatmeal today?” It’s just as much for my sanity as it is for his, I’m sure).

So yesterday, I was going to make some baked pumpkin/chocolate chip oatmeal (see recipe here However, I was out of pumpkin, and I really didn’t feel like going out. So I made pancakes and waffles, and filled them with chocolate chips. IMG_3896
I still need to make the baked oatmeal.
But I have until Wednesday 🙂


Slow-Cooker Mexican Lasagna (From Mrs. Mama Hen)

I found this recipe at  If you have a moment, check out her blog.  Conni is a military wife and mother of 3 whose husband is in the Army. They are currently stationed in Alaska.  She posts several recipes as well as articles about military life and living in Alaska (I love to see her pics of the Aurora Borealis!).

I came across this recipe a few months ago and thought it looked like something that Kevin would enjoy (he really likes Mexican-type food).    I’ve made this a few times and every time that I do, I rarely have leftovers.   Tonight, he even said that this was becoming a favorite meal.

Basically, the recipe calls for ground beef (I used Morning Star “crumbles” since we are meatless),  black beans (I’ve tried other beans and for this recipe, I think that the black are best), taco seasoning, onion, diced tomatoes with chiles, and salt (I used sea salt because I didn’t have the regular iodized salt that we know and love), and both Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese (the recipe called for Pepper jack, either will work fine).





Dice the onion (and if you have goggles, wear them so that you won’t cry in front of your family……prompting them to ask what’s wrong……and you can tell them that “Mommy ran out of chocolate!”).






In a skillet, cook your meat and onion (and as it cooks, the need to cry will lessen)







Add the diced tomatoes & chiles







Add your black beans, rinsed & drained







Add your taco seasoning and salt, and mix ingredients thoroughly






Bring out your slow cooker, or in my case, my grandma’s circa 1970’s Rival Crock Pot that works as well as it did when it was brand new!






For layering, start with a 1/2 Cup of the meat mixture on the bottom of your cooker.







Lay a tortilla on top







Add another 1/2 Cup of the meat mixture






Top with some of the shredded cheese


repeat the layers until you have the last of the meat & cheese on the top.

Cover, and ……………….




Set your crock pot (ahem, “slow cooker”) to low.


Then, leave your kitchen (because you have a kid who has been assigned to do the dishes, and fully capable of doing so), grab a soda, relax on the couch, and watch an episode of “Gilmore Girls” or a chick flick, while your dinner is cooking!



Slow-Cooker Mexican Lasagna (by Conni Smith, aka “Mrs. Mama Hen”)

1 lb Ground Beef

1 Onion, diced

1 Tablespoon Taco Seasoning

1 14 oz can Black Beans, drained and rinsed

1 14 oz can Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes with Green Chiles

1/2 teaspoon of Salt

6-8 flour tortillas

1 1/2 Cup grated Cheddar Cheese

1 1/2 Cup grated Pepper Jack or Monterey Jack cheese

Sour Cream for topping.

In a skillet, cook ground beef and onion until fully cooked.  Remove from heat.

Stir in taco seasoning, tomatoes & Green Chiles, black beans and salt.

Spread about 1/2 Cup of the meat mixture into the bottom of your slow-cooker.

Tom with tortilla (tear the tortilla if you need to make it fit.)

Tom with another 1/3-1/2 Cup meat mixture and cheese

Repeat.  Alternated the layers with the two different cheeses.  The final layer should have a little of both kinds.

Place the lid on your slow cooker and cook on low for 3-4 hours.

Cut into wedges, and serve with sour cream or any other topping you wish.

Supper’s on!



Baked Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal

I made this earlier today and posted a picture of it on Instagram/Facebook/Twitter, and I’ve already had a request for the recipe.   So I thought that I had better post it before the kids have eaten this batch.

I found this recipe at (which can also be found on The Pioneer Woman’s website).  This particular recipe was submitted by Lindsay on that site (giving credit where it is due, so no one will sue………there, I rhymed).  I was looking for different ways to prepare oatmeal that my kids would enjoy.  Since my son (who is extremely particular about food), likes pumpkin pie (and he usually doesn’t like ANY pie), I tried this recipe and he actually likes it, as does my daughter (she likes nearly everything I make anyway).

Ok, seriously, here’s the recipe:


1-1/2 cup Quick Cooking Oats

1/4 cup of Brown sugar

1/2 cup of milk or Almond milk

1 Tablespoon of butter

1 whole egg

1teaspoon of Baking Powder

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon Vanilla

1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon

1 dash of Pumpkin Pie spice

1/2 Cup  100% Pumpkin, Canned

1/4 Cup Chocolate Chips

2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar

Optional Garnish: Sprinkling of Cinnamon (I think this option should be a must)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease an 8×8 baking dish with cooking spray.

In a large bowl combine the oats and the next 10 ingredients (everything through and including the pumpkin).  Stir until evenly mixed.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Pour into the greased dish, top with 2 Tablespoons of brown sugar and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the center is fully cooked.


I generally make this recipe with the purpose of storing in the freezer for future breakfasts.   Today, I doubled the recipe and baked it in a 9×13 dish and then cut the oatmeal into 8 squares, packing it into containers of two.   It freezes and defrosts without any problem.


Mac & Cheese Freeze!

(Originally posted on August, 24, 2011)

A few weeks ago, I was in the mood to start making meals to freeze and then heat up when the weather starts getting nippier.  I had already made and froze a batch of soup, so this time, I thought that I would make some macaroni & cheese.

I have my mac & cheese (actually I multiplied the recipe by 4, and if I do that again, I’ll need to use a larger cooking pot).

And I have my quart sized freezer bags………….

Measure out the amount that you think you’ll need (I have a teenage son, who is never full, so I pack about 2.5-3 Cups per bag).

This part is a tad messy.  If you need to spoon it into the bag, I won’t disown you!  Please remember to wipe off the edge of the “zipper” before closing the bag.

Don’t forget to label & date it (even though by looking at it, you obviously know what it is, and because of that, it will probably  be on the dinner table within a week).

Lay them flat in the freezer until they’re nice and solid….

Once frozen, they stack or “stand” nicely in the freezer.  I guess you could say that this meal stands on it’s own!  Haha!

It turned out to be rather handy for me to have done this when I did, because while I was recovering from surgery, the kids were craving some mac & cheese and all I had to do was get a couple of packets out of the freezer to defrost, transfer to a baking dish and heat.

Happy Freezing!



(Originally posted on my old blog, June 14, 2011)

I have had a very strong desire to try out The Pioneer Woman’s cinnamon roll recipe.   Today, since I was going to be home all day, I thought I’d give them a try.  Now, one thing that I’ve noticed about her recipes, is that there tends to be enough to feed a family twice our size.   Some of the recipes, I have made using the measurements of ingredients that she recommends.  I serve one half and then freeze the other half for a future meal.  In the case of the cinnamon rolls, I just “halved” the recipe.  So instead of making nearly 50 rolls, I had about 23.  Still a bit much for a family of 4, however, tonight, my husband is having some of his friends over, and I’m counting on them to have a few.

Who could say “no” to these?

Basic Rice & Veggie Stir Fry

(Originally posted on my old blog, May 17, 2010)

A few years ago, my husband and I went to one of those Japanese restaurants, where everyone sits around a griddle and watches the waiter cook up a delicious stir fry.  I watched how and what they cooked and after eating the delicious food, decided that I wanted to try this at home, because I wanted this dish more often!  Kevin was more than willing to let me try to copy it and be the quality tester!

I realize this picture is sideways, however, we could just say that it’s meant to keep the reader on their toes.   Are you willing to agree to that theory?
Anyway, the two ingredients missing from this photo is the onion and the soy sauce, but they will make an appearance later.

Before I start any chopping, I start cooking the rice.  We bought this rice cooker a few years ago, and I think that it’s the most used appliance (other than my stove) in the kitchen.   I use Jasmine rice, as it cooks really clean (in that there is absolutely no residue on the lid of the cooker when all is said and done).  Once the rice is cooked, put it in an airtight container and let it chill in the refridgerator.

While the rice cooks, I move to the cutting board and start chopping the onion (I chop it first to get the crying over with).  I generally use a medium white or yellow onion, and dice the whole thing.

Next on the chopping block is the zucchini!  A medium one seems to be enough for this recipe.  I cut it in to quarters and then slice away!

First, I sauté the fresh mushrooms, and then set them aside…..

Then, add a little more oil to the pan and sauté the onions and zucchini!

At this point, you can fry your diced chicken, or beef or pork or tofu.  For this recipe, I usually use the Morningstar Farms “chick’n” strips.

In a larger pan (because you will need one, trust me), pour in about 2 or 3 tablespoons of oil

Add your chilled rice…..

Break it up, stir it around………….

Add your sautéed meat & veggies………..  Keep stirring so nothing sticks to the pan (or at least so that most of it won’t stick)

Now if anything starts sticking to the pan, this stuff here, this soy sauce, will loosen things up a bit and will make your stir fry more manageable (and it’s very tasty too).  The amount of sauce depends on your taste, so as the cook, you get to taste test alot.  If you have a “quality assurance” tester, such as a spouse……..even better!

Ta-dah!  Now it’s time to tell your kids to put the cat down, go wash their hands, and tell the one designated to get drinks that he’s on in 5!  Dinner is served!


Planning from the Pantry

 (Originally posted on my old blog, January 31, 2011)

We’re less than two weeks away from moving day.   So I don’t really want to transfer everything from the pantry to the new pantry.  So, I’m attempting to plan my meals for the next two weeks, based on what I have on hand.

Here’s what I have to worth with……

And here’s what I started with………

I rarely buy this, however I did a few weeks ago, so, why not break it out and treat the kids to some instant pudding!  They didn’t seem to mind.