Turtles in the Snow Cheesecake Bars

{In our house, my 16 year old son is our dessert connoisseur. That is why I collaborated with him on a new recipe to enter in an online contest. Our favorite recipe was eliminated because it took longer than 30 minutes to prepare. I decided to share it with you all because I am sure you won’t mind waiting for this one to chill. It is definitely worth the wait!}

Turtles in the Snow Cheesecake Bars

Crust:
1 stick butter, melted
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons sugar

Filling:
2 8 ounce packages cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream

Topping:
3/4 cup milk chocolate chips
3/4 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup coconut flakes
3/4 cup caramel sauce (you can make your own by melting caramels with a dash of milk and a sliver of butter)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix ingredients for crust and press into a 9 x 13 inch pan.
Bake for 6-8 minutes.

In a large bowl, mix cream cheese and sugar until fluffy. Beat in flour, eggs, vanilla, and sour cream. Pour over crust. Top with chocolate chips, pecans, and coconut, pressing down slightly. Bake 25 minutes. Turn off oven and allow cheesecake to cool in oven with door slightly ajar for 45 minutes. Refrigerate 2 hours. Drizzle caramel sauce over cheesecake bars before serving.

Homemade Almond Joys

A few weeks ago my son and I were looking for a healthy snack to make when I remembered reading on someones blog how to make a healthy almond joy bar. It wasn’t long before we were enjoying our treat. It wasn’t long after that we were making trips to the bathroom. (Warning: Too much coconut oil in one sitting is not good).

I still had some coconut left over from that incident, so I decided to be brave and try again…this time I came up with my own recipe! My son wasn’t so sure about my abilities, but thankfully I proved him wrong. The homemade almond joys I made were not only totally yummy, they were actually pretty healthy {bonus}. Here is how I did it…

Ingredients:
1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 Tablespoon Raw Honey
1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
1 Cup Shredded Coconut
1/4 Cup Almonds
1/2 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips

Heat coconut oil and butter until just melted. Mix in honey, maple syrup, and coconut. Stir until well mixed. Form a rectangle with the coconut mixture on a plate.

Add almonds to the top of the rectangle. Refrigerate until firm.

Meanwhile, melt chocolate. I place mine in a pyrex measuring cup and place in a pan of boiling water. Make sure none of the water gets into the chocolate or it will cause it to become hard and brittle.

At this point, I should have cut the coconut rectangle into slices, then poured chocolate onto each individual piece. Instead, I just poured the chocolate onto the top of the entire rectangle. I put it back into the refrigerator (not quite long enough though, I just couldn’t wait to try them!).

My son gave this one a 2 thumbs up!

Curried Chicken and Rice Salad

Several years ago I had the privilege of having a friend that had the gift of hospitality.  She always knew when someone was in need and was quick to serve in so many ways.  She always had a meal ready for those who were sick or had new babies.  I have several great recipes from her simply because she cared enough to bring meals during times of trial.

This is one she shared.

Thank you Suzanne…for the recipes and the memories!

Butter Cookies

When my older children were younger, we would often make “sugar” cookies for the different holidays. We had all sorts of cookie cutters. The kids loved rolling out the dough, cutting out their cookie, and then of course loading it down with a ton of icing and colored sprinkles.

Then I went through my healthy eating phase (ok, not so much a phase as a new way of life) and out went all the cute cookie cutters. I couldn’t let my kids eat “sugar” cookies, especially with all that icing and decorations. So for the last few years my poor younger children haven’t experienced the joys of rolling out cookies and decorating them…

until this week!

Join me over at The Marathon Mom where I am sharing a delicious Butter Cookie Recipe!