Graham Cracker Chicken Nuggets

Graham Cracker Chicken Nuggets, also known as “get my weirdo son to eat chicken mission.”
Graham Cracker Chicken 3 I’m reporting that the mission was a success. Any of you that know me well know this a complete feat. Noah has never liked meat of any sort except for deli meat. No chicken, burgers, pork, nothing. He does like seafood so there’s that at least. But I don’t think I’ve ever met a kid that doesn’t like chicken nuggets. I didn’t think they existed. I love chicken so much that I could eat it every day and give up all other meats. Although I would miss a good burger. And bacon. Actually, let’s not think about that. Last week I had a package of chicken and no ideas what to make with it and dinner was quickly approaching. I was scanning the pantry for ideas and thought I would just do simple chicken nuggets with breadcrumbs, but then I remember I used them all for this deliciousness. Womp womp. I figured I could find something else to coat it with instead, like cornflakes. The only cereal we had was raisin bran and fruity cherrios, no thanks. Then I saw the graham crackers that always grace our pantry. Noah would live on graham crackers spread with peanut butter if I let him. I figured this was my best chance to get him to eat the dang chicken for once. Graham Cracker Chicken 2
He saw it and immediately said yuck but the rule in our house is you have to try it. So he did and he said “hey these are actually pretty good, nom nom nom.” And then proceeded to eat 3. That’s a total success in my book and had us all dancing and cheering at the table (because crazy encouragement doesn’t hurt).

The graham crackers lend a definite sweetness to the chicken but it’s not overpowering. The outside gets crispy like a traditional chicken nuggets and they stay moist. They were perfection dipped in honey mustard. An added bonus is they take less than 30 minutes from start to finish. Winner winner chicken dinner. See what I did there?
Graham Cracker Chicken 4
Graham Cracker Chicken Nuggets

2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into chunks
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup flour
salt and pepper
2 eggs
1/4 cup olive oil

1.Heat a skillet over medium heat. Set up a breading station (I use pie plates for this). Place flour in one dish and season with salt and pepper. Whisk eggs in another dish. Place graham cracker crumbs in the last dish, season with salt and pepper.

2. Coat chicken in flour, then dip in egg then roll in graham cracker crumbs. Place on a plate until all chicken in coated.

3. Put olive oil in pan and cook chicken in a single layer. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until golden. Flip and cook another 2-3 minutes until golden and cooked through. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce, honey mustard or BBQ are especially delish.

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S’mores Ice Cream

S'mores Ice Cream

S’mores and ice cream are basically the two best foods summer has to offer so I decided to combine them into a rich and outrageous dessert. Let me warn you, there’s some major chocolate overload in this ice cream. You all know I’m not a huge fan of chocolate so I will admit this wasn’t my favorite ice cream ever but I loved the flavor combinations. Plus, it’s so rich that just one small scoop is enough. S'mores Ice Cream
Like I mentioned on Monday, I love an ice cream with lots of stuff and some texture. Plain ‘ole vanilla or chocolate just isn’t my thing. The marshmallows add a creamy, chewy texture and the graham crackers bring some crunch. They also help break up the richness of the chocolate.
S'mores Ice Cream

If you are a chocolate lover, as Noah likes to call himself, or big s’mores fan you have to try this ice cream for your next gathering. I guarantee it will be a big hit.
S’mores Ice Cream

1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp. vanilla ice cream
3 graham crackers, coarsely crushed (about 1 cup)
3/4 cup mini marshmallows

1. Place the sugar, eggs and cocoa in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.

2. Bring the milk to a boil in a medium saucepan. With the food processor running, slowly pour the milk into the chocolate mixture through the feed tube. Process until well blended. Pour the mixture back into the pan and place over low heat. Stir mixture constantly until it is thickened and coats the back of a spoon. Be careful not to let it boil or the eggs will scramble. Place a fine mesh sieve over a clean bowl. Pour custard through the sieve. Allow to cool slightly then stir in the cream and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate until cold, or overnight.

3. Stir the chilled custard then freeze according to manufactures directions on your ice cream machine. In the last 3 minutes, add the graham cracker crumbs and marshmallows. Eat immediately or place in a freezer safe container and freeze.

*Ice cream base recipe from The Ultimate Ice Cream Book.

Sunday Inspiration {S’mores Edition}

Smores 3
I have to admit I don’t love marshmallows. The only time I’m down with them is when they are brown, bubbly and melty between chocolate and graham crackers. Aka the s’more. With summer around the corner, s’mores are going to be all over the place. But why stop at a simple, traditional s’more when you could make them into pies, cookies and desserts galore. Am I right?

S’mores Macaroons. You so fancy.

Fun and portable Mini S’mores Hand Pies.

Making anything sweet and salty is always a good choice.

S’mores Buttercream Frosting, whaaaat?

S’mores for breakfast? Yes and yes.

S’mores Cookie Dough Dip. You all know how I feel about dip.

Make ’em boozy

Add fruit, it makes them healthy.

I’m seriously dying over this pie.

Toasted S’mores Milkshake. Enough said.

Ooey Gooey s’mores combined with oatmeal cookies. Winning combination.

A kid’s dream right here.

A new campfire spin on s’mores.

So there you have it, enough s’mores recipes to last you all summer.

Lime Yogurt Pie with Strawberries for Pi Day

Lime Yogurt Pie 9
This pie is totally doing double duty. Not only is it perfect for Pi Day tomorrow but it would be the perfect green dessert for St. Patrick’s Day too. Two holidays taken care of with a sweet, yet light treat. Super important now that we’re gearing up for spring and summer.
Lime Yogurt Pie 8
I started to tell you all the story of how this pie came about on Wednesday. My main {little} man is always thinking up recipes we should make and this is the newest edition straight out of the mind of Noah. He named it Yogurt Scrunchful Pie. He makes up words on the daily and explained to me that scrunchful means it has to have some crunchy stuff in it. Alrighty then.
Lime Yogurt Pie 7
I was planning on making this completely no-bake but the dude thought we should bake the crust so that it would be crunchy (don’t forget the scrunchful). Well, with the smooth filling it would be nice to have a bit more texture so we went with it. Seriously, does he understand that about the palate already or was he just born with it? Either way, he’s pretty awesome in my book. I almost used his name for the title of this post but worried you guys might think I went off the deep end.
Lime Yogurt Pie 3
I thought about some yummy flavor combinations before we set off to the grocery store for our ingredients but they were all shot down for lime. Oh, the opinions of four year olds. He doesn’t get much control over meals (what do you mean we can’t eat pizza every night of the week?) so we went with his choice this time. And I did manage to talk him into some macerated strawberries on top “to make it fancy.”
Lime Yogurt Pie 4
The filling consists of yogurt and Cool Whip, that’s it. We went with Greek yogurt and lite Cool Whip to keep it low on calories and sugar but still super refreshing and satisfying. The filling has such a light consistency, even after frozen. I foresee many of these pies in our future. Especially since it’s so easy and can be made ahead of time.
Lime Yogurt Pie 5
I have literally thought of dozen of flavor combinations that we have to try this summer. Coconut yogurt with unsweetened coconut mixed into the crust. Vanilla yogurt and a few dollops of peanut butter with a chocolate cookie crust. Lemon yogurt with strawberries folded in. Mixed berries. I could go on and on.
Lime Yogurt Pie 6
And don’t worry, I didn’t leave anyone out of this collaboration. I had my other little assistant at my feet during the photo shoot. And although she has a bad case of the flu, she was still pretty irritated that she didn’t get all.the.pie.right.now. That girl will let you know what’s up.
Lime Yogurt Pie 1
Lime Yogurt Pie

For the crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 Tbsp. sugar
6 Tbsp. butter, melted

For the filling:
2 (5.3 oz.) containers lime Greek yogurt
1 (8 oz). lite Cool Whip

For the strawberries:
2 cups strawberries, washed and sliced
Zest of 1 lime
1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar

1. For the crust: mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter together. Press into a pie plate along the bottom and up the sides. Bake at 325 degrees F for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack to cool completely.

2. Gently fold yogurt into the Cool Whip. Spread evenly into the cooled crust. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

3. Remove pie from freezer 10-15 minutes before serving. Meanwhile, mix strawberries, lime zest and sugar in a small bowl and leave at room temperature to macerate. When ready to serve, cut pie into wedges and top with strawberries.

 

Lemon Cheesecake Pie {Almost No-Bake}

Lemon Cheesecake Pie 2
Ok, so I have to apologize for being so MIA lately around here. I don’t really have a big excuse for it, just a lot of little things. Joel was in NYC last week, Hannah is teething and will only allow me to hold her (every waking minute) and Noah is in the nonstop questions stage. So I’m pretty sure my brain has melted which really makes it impossible to blog. Dramatic much? Seriously though, it’s just been a bit hectic but I promise I’ll be better!
Lemon Cheesecake Pie 4
I made this cheesecake pie about a month ago when some friends were visiting from Seattle. I had been craving cheesecake but wanted to make it a bit summery and bright. I also didn’t want to crank on the oven since it was incredibly hot and humid. And out of these things I came up with the almost no-bake lemon cheesecake pie.

The crust is a combination of graham cracker crumbs, almonds and coconut for a bit of a tropical feel. It’s lightly baked, cooled then topped with a no-bake cheesecake layer. And the grand finale is a thin layer of homemade lemon curd spread on top. It’s a nice combination of rich, creamy, light and zippy.
Lemon Cheesecake Pie 1
This pie would be a great end to your 4th of July celebration.

Lemon Cheesecake Pie

Crust:
1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup sweetened coconut
1 stick butter, melted

Cheesecake Layer:
recipe from Martha Stewart

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup lemon curd

1. For the crust: pulse the almonds in a food processor until you get coarse crumbs. Add coconut, graham cracker crumbs and butter and pulse until it just comes together. Press into a 9-inch springform pan and bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees F.

2. Meanwhile, for the cheesecake layer: beat the cream cheese until smooth. Beat in the condensed milk, 1/4 cup at a time. Beat in lemon juice and vanilla. Pour into cooled pie crust and cover with plastic wrap. Let chill in refrigerator for 3 hours.

3. After cheesecake has chilled, gently spread the lemon curd on top. Recover with plastic wrap and refrigerator until ready to serve.
Lemon Cheesecake Pie 3

Pumpkin Spice Gooey Smore’s Cake Bars

Pumpkin Spice Gooey Smore's Cake Bars
That’s quite a name, huh? I have been on a huge pumpkin kick lately, it is September after all (even though it still doesn’t feel like it). I have so many delicious recipes to share with you guys it’s been hard to keep it to just one a week.
Pumpkin Spice Gooey Smore's Cake Bars
I didn’t plan on making these bars but when I spied the pumpkin spice marshmallows at the store, they somehow jumped into my cart so I had to figure out something yummy to make with them. I was experiencing a major lack of creativity and for a few days could only think of rice krispie treats. But I wanted to share something more decadent. I was thinking and thinking, then smore’s popped into my head. Pumpkin and chocolate totally go together so I knew it would be a good combination.
Pumpkin Spice Gooey Smore's Cake Bars
I went searching through my saved dessert recipes and came across this one. I knew it was something I could alter into a delicious, spicy, fall treat. The original recipe called for yellow cake mix and white chocolate chips but to combine well with the pumpkin marshmallows, I decided to go with a spice cake mix and half dark, half white chocolate. If you prefer one kind of chocolate over the other, go with just that but I couldn’t decide which would be more delicious so I went with both!
Pumpkin Spice Gooey Smore's Cake Bars
Pumpkin Spice Gooey Smore’s Cake Bars
recipe adapted from Picky Palate

1 box spice cake mix
1 large egg
1 stick butter, softened
4 1/2 full graham crackers
5 ounces white chocolate chips
5 ounces dark chocolate chips
2 cups pumpkin spice marshmallows
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8×8 inch baking pan with tin foil that’s been generously sprayed with cooking spray. Make sure foil goes all the way up and over the edges.

2. Place cake mix, egg, and butter into a large mixing bowl. Mix with hands until a nice dough forms. similar to a cookie dough. Press half of the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan. Layer with graham crackers, white and dark chocolate chips then marshmallows. Top with remaining half of dough pressing evenly. Drizzle sweetened condensed milk over top.

3. Bake for 28-33 minutes, until cooked through and golden brown on top. Remove from oven. Let cool for 5 minutes then take a knife and run along edges to loosen marshmallow (this will make your life easier when pulling foil out of pan to remove bars.  Let cool completely then remove bars from pan with foil edges. Cut into squares and enjoy room temperature or chilled.
Pumpkin Spice Gooey Smore's Cake Bars

Sweet Potato Pie Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting

Sweet Potato Pie Cupcakes
So do you all follow How Sweet It Is? If you don’t, you must follow the link know because she is amazing and quite hilarious. The recipes she dreams up are spectacular and this is one of them!

I only recently became a fan of sweet potatoes and now I’ve kind of become obsessed. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately since I certainly don’t need 12 of these in my house), Joel hasn’t jumped on my sweet potato band wagon yet so I’ve had these bookmarked for awhile waiting for the perfect opportunity to make them for someone else. When we were invited to a friends house recently to watch the Husker game I knew the time had come. And brought my cupcake holder home empty!
Sweet Potato Pie Cupcakes
The cupcakes themselves were warm and spicy with a nice crunchy texture from the graham cracker crust. The marshmallow frosting was really, really sweet. I’m not a big fan of frosting in the first place so it was a bit much for me but the frosting lovers reported that it was yummy. The caramel drizzle of course adds more sugary goodness. The pecans added another layer of crunchy texture which I really enjoyed (but they are optional so do as you please).
Sweet Potato Pie Cupcakes
These cupcakes would be a perfect update to the regular ‘ole sweet potato pie that usually graces the Thanksgiving buffet.

Sweet Potato Pie Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting
recipe from How Sweet It Is
makes 12 cupcakes

Graham crust:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 teaspoon sugar

Cupcakes:
1 1/3 cups loosely packed brown sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
6 ounces cooked, mashed sweet potato
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake tin with liners. In a small bowl, mix melted butter, sugar and graham cracker crumbs until moist, then press about 1/2-1 tablespoon of crumbs into the bottom of each liner.

2. In a large bowl, whisk egg and sugar together until combined and no lumps remain. Add in vanilla extract and butter, then whisk in sweet potato. Add in flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg, then add in milk and stir until combined and smooth. Drop about 1/4 cup of batter on top of each graham cracker crust. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until cupcakes are set and spring back at the touch. Let cool completely before frosting.

Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting

1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups marshmallow fluff
3 cups of powdered sugar
1-2 tsp. milk, if needed

Beat butter in the bowl of electric mixer until creamy. Add in fluff and beat for 2-3 minutes, then add in vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed, add in powdered sugar 1 cup at a time until fully incorporated. Once all the sugar has been added, beat on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes. If mixture if too runny, add a bit more sugar. If it’s too thick, add a bit of milk one teaspoon at a time. Frost cupcakes and drizzle with caramel sauce and chopped pecans.