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Greek Yogurt Fruit Dip

Summer time, to me, means enjoying light, but tasty treats. Like fresh fruit.

And what could make fresh fruit even better?

Fruit dip!!!
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Not just any fruit dip, though. This stuff is easy, tangy, and so pretty, it’s company worthy.

First, mix together 1/2 a cup of Greek yogurt and 1 (8 oz) tub of Lite Cool Whip. 

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Then, add in a couple tablespoons of orange juice, zest from an orange, and honey to taste*

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*I used about 2 tablespoons of honey. 

That’s it! 5 simple ingredients combined together, and you’re done. 

Well, except, for adding a little leftover orange zest on top for garnish, but that step is completely optional. 

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Greek Yogurt Fruit Dip

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Greek Yogurt
  • 1 (8 oz) tub of Lite Cool Whip
  • 2 Tablespoons Orange Juice
  • Zest from 1 orange, reserve a bit for garnish
  • Honey, to taste

Instructions

  1. In a medium sized bowl, combine together the Greek yogurt and whipped topping.
  2. Add the orange juice, zest, and honey, and combine.
  3. Garnish with orange zest (optional).
  4. Serve with various fruits, such as: Pineapple, Apple, Strawberries, Melon, Kiwi, Grapes, etc.
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Peppermint Oreo Truffles.

Is there anything better than chocolate and mint?

Well, maybe chocolate and strawberries. And chocolate and peanut butter. Or even chocolate and chocolate.

But chocolate and mint is right up there close to the top on my list!

Which is why I love these. Then again, I just plain love truffle recipes in general.

They’re delicious. They’re easy. There’s no baking. People always want to know how you did that. You can use almost any kind of cookie, which means endless combinations and flavors. And did I mention, they’re delicious.

Peppermint

Now, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. . . .

My grandmother snuck a few of the Oreos pre-truffle making. So, I halved the recipe below.

Which is why in the pictures, there’s not that many truffles. And why they’re joined by some obviously vanilla looking ones.

Lesson learned: Don’t leave your Oreos on the kitchen counter.

Start off, as you do with any cookie-based truffle, by blending together the cookies until they turn into crumbs.

Mix with softened cream cheese.IMG_6211

Roll into 1 to 1 1/2 inch balls.

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Place in the freezer for fifteen or twenty minutes.

Melt the two chocolates together. I used equal amounts of two different bags of chocolate (dark chocolate morsels and dark chocolate and mint morsels) so that the mint flavor wasn’t overwhelming.

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Dip the truffles ball in the melted chocolate and sprinkle each one with crushed peppermint or chopped peppermint crunch baking chips. Since I already had it, I used Andes Peppermint Crunch baking chips, which are white chocolate chocolate chips with little bits of peppermint candy mixed in. 

Let the chocolate coating harden and enjoy!

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Peppermint Oreo Truffles.

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg Oreo cookies
  • 1/2 pkg of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 bag of dark chocolate morsels
  • 1/2 bag of dark chocolate and mint morsels (I used Toll House Winter morsels)
  • Optional Topping:
  • Crushed peppermint candy or chopped peppermint crunch morsels (I used Andes Peppermint Crunch baking chips)

Instructions

  1. Blend the Oreo cookies until they're finely ground.
  2. Mix in the cream cheese until completely combined.
  3. Roll into 1 to 1 1/2 inch balls. Place on a parchment or wax paper lined cookie sheet, and then in the freezer for fifteen to twenty minutes.
  4. Melt the chocolate morsels together according to the directions on the package. Once thoroughly melted, stir together until there is not green showing.
  5. Dip the truffle balls in the melted chocolate until completely coated.
  6. Optional:
  7. Top each truffle with crushed peppermint candy or chopped peppermint crunch morsels.
  8. Let the chocolate harden and enjoy!
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DIY Grain Free Sweet Potato Carrot Dog Treats ~ 4 ingredients!

Poor farm poodle, Bryony. November was such a rough month for her.

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Let me set the stage for you. 

In November:

  1. I sold the the couch and the poodle perch (i.e. the chair that the poodles claimed as their own). 
  2. I ordered a new sectional, but it wasn’t delivered until over a month later. Which meant a month with only one chair to sit in for two people. And the dogs.
  3. Bryony developed a pretty nasty ear infection that wouldn’t clear up.
  4. Which led to three vet visits.
  5. She had a laser pointed at her ears. And they were drained with a needle. 
  6. She was diagnosed with severe food allergies. 
  7. Her food, treats, chewies, etc were taken away.
  8. And a special food (i.e. expensive) from the vet replaced all of that for a little while. 
  9. She hated the new temporary food. 
  10. And last but not least, I raided the toy basket and threw away all of their old, chewed up, no-longer squeaking toys. Believe me, they have plenty of new toys waiting under the Christmas tree. 

But things are starting to look up. Bryony likes the new permanent grain free food. She hasn’t had anymore ear problems. Plus, she’s starting to enjoy car rides again, instead of thinking each one is going to end in a visit to that most dreaded place: The Vet. 

The one difficult thing: She doesn’t like the treats. I’ve bought bag after bag of grain free treats, and none of them have piqued her interest so far. 

So, I decided to make my own. Good news, she loves them! In fact, she was sitting patiently waiting in the kitchen when I took the second batch out. 

Even Sophie got in on the patiently waiting action. 

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Even the weims like them. And they are, shockingly, not treat fans. In fact, they’ve been known to spit treats out. But not these.

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How to make them:
Mix together all of the ingredients.

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You may need more or less eggs depending on the dryness of your ingredients. My puree was left over from juicing carrots for a new soap (see here), and it was very dry. I used 4 eggs in all.

Roll or pat out the dough until it’s a 1/2 inch or less in thickness. This makes quite a lot of dough, so I patted mine flat in about four batches. 

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Cut into shapes and bake in a preheated oven for about 40 to 55 minutes. 

They’ll still be quite soft and chewy (so perfect for older dogs), but if you’d like them to be harder and more brittle, try leaving them in a little longer or even turning the oven off after they’re through baking and leaving them in overnight to dry. 

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Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 

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This recipe makes about 30 candy cane shaped treats. 

Grain Free Sweet Potato Carrot Dog Treats

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Coconut Flour
  • 1 1/2 cups Sweet Potato, baked, peeled, and mashed
  • 1/4 cup carrot puree
  • 2 - 4 eggs*
  • *Please note the amount of eggs depends on how dry your other ingredients are (especially the carrot puree). Mine was quiet dry, so I used 4 eggs in all. Use only as many eggs as you need to bind your ingredients together and allow you to be able to roll or pat out the dough.

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combing together the ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  3. Place a couple of pieces of parchment paper on a table or counter to keep the dough from making a mess. Roll or pat out the dough until it's about 1/2 inch or less in thickness.
  4. Using a cookie cutter, cut out the cookies. Place on the cookie sheet and bake for about 40 to 55 minutes.
  5. The treats will still be a little soft. If you'd like a harder treat, try baking it a little longer or even turning the oven off after baking and leaving the treats in overnight to dry out.
  6. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
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Cranberry White Chocolate Orange Cookies.

The best cookie I’ve ever had in my entire life was a Cranberry White Chocolate Orange cookie. 

Now, I’m not sure whether the cookie was actually that delicious, or if was just because of circumstances. Let me set the scene for you and explain those circumstances:

A surprisingly sunny October afternoon in London. Trafalgar Square to be exact. 

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After a morning that started off with the hotel’s version of a complimentary full breakfast (i.e. toast and nothing else) and included, among other things, a visit to Hyde Park, Kensington Palace, gotten lost in Hyde Park, been propositioned in Hyde Park (yep, that happened), and then made our way to Trafalagar Square, we were starving. The kind of starving where (as my mother would say) your stomach says “Thank you” every time your swallow.  

Cranberry White Chocolate Orange Cookies.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 stick butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate morsels
  • 3/4 cup fresh cranberries

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until completely combined.
  3. Add the egg, vanilla extract, and orange zest and mix together.
  4. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  5. Add to the sugar mixture, and mix until just barely combined (being careful not to over mix).
  6. Fold in the white chocolate morsels and cranberries.
  7. Drop by the spoonful on to the cookie sheet.
  8. Bake for about 10 - 15 minutes or until light golden brown.
  9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a couple of minutes before moving each cookie to a wire rack to finish cooling.
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Pumpkin Butterscotch Trifle

Every fall, I make this easy (but delicious) Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle with layers of. . . . you guessed it: pumpkin and gingerbread. 

But sometimes you need a change. And sometimes, you can’t find any gingerbread mix at the store, so you’re forced to change.

Change is good, though. Without it, I wouldn’t have discovered that butterscotch and pumpkin are even better than the original. 

Pumpkin Butterscotch Trifle

I used a pumpkin spice muffin mix baked in rectangular dish instead of a muffin pan. Other than that, I followed the directions on the back of box to bake it. 

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Once baked, allow it to cool and then cut into bite sized cubes. 

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Whip the heavy cream and sugar until firm peaks form. Set aside.

Make the butterscotch pudding according to the directions on the back of the box. Allow the pudding to cool and set it up. Then, add in cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla. I also mixed in a half cup of pumpkin puree, but feel free to omit it. I only added in the extra pumpkin because I had it on hand for making Pumpkin Gingersnap Truffles

Fold in about a half cup of whipped cream. 

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Place a layer of the pumpkin spice cubes in the bottom of a trifle dish or a clear bowl. Top with about half of the butterscotch mixture, spreading it evenly. On top of that, spread about half of the remaining whipped cream. 

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Repeat once more, ending with a layer of whipped cream on top. Sprinkle crushed gingersnaps on top. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving to allow the flavors to meld together. 

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Pumpkin Butterscotch Trifle

Ingredients

  • Pumpkin Muffin Layer:
  • Pumpkin Spice Muffin Mix, baked according to directions
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 packages butterscotch instant pudding mix
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 5 Tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • Gingersnap Cookies, crumbled (optional)

Instructions

  1. Prepare and bake the pumpkin spice muffin mix according to directions on the box, with the only difference being to bake it in a square or rectangular pan. Once it's done, remove from the oven and allow to cool. Then, cut into cubes.
  2. In a medium bowl, whip heavy cream and sugar until firm peaks form. Set aside.
  3. Prepare butterscotch pudding according to the directions on the box. Once it has set up and cooled, mix in vanilla extract, ground cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and pumpkin. Fold in a 1/2 cup of whipped cream.
  4. In a trifle dish or clear bowl, place a layer of the pumpkin spice cubes. Top with about half of the butterscotch mixture, spreading it evenly. Then, about half of the whipped cream spread out evenly. Repeat once, ending with a layer of whipped cream on top. Garnish with crumbled gingersnap cookies.
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