Tag Archives: dessert

The Perfect Christmas Cookie – Oats, Cranberries & White Chocolate (Oh My!)

IMG_0745Makes: 48 cookies

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups quick cooking oats
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups dried cranberries
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips


  1. Beat butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla for 5 minutes. In a separate bowl, combine oats, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  2. Gradually add dry ingredients to butter mixture.
  3. Mix in white chocolate chips and cranberries.
  4. Drop by spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets and bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

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Lemonade Ice Cream Pie – Perfect for Mother’s Day

Makes 8 servings Active Prep Time: 10 mins  Freeze Time: 4 hours

“With any ice cream dish, you’ll want to make this way ahead.  The ice cream needs a little time to defrost and soften and a lot of time to harden back up.  I found that the Breyers creamy ice cream doesn’t need any thaw time.”

2 cups vanilla ice cream – softened

1/2 cup cold water

1/2 cup presweetened lemonade mix

1 8-ounce container container cool whip topping

1 graham cracker pie crust

6 drops yellow food coloring (optional)

1)  In a small cup, combine water and lemonade until powder is completely dissolved.  Mix well into vanilla ice cream using an electric mixer.

2)  Fold in whipped topping and food coloring by hand.

3)  Spread into pie crust evenly.

4)  Freeze for at least 4 hours.  Allow to set out for 15 minutes before serving.

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Family Night

Those of you who get my newsletters or emails have often heard me mention Family Night.  What is Family Night?  You can pretty easily guess by the name of it, that it’s a designated night just to hang out as a family.  For us, it’s always Friday night.  It’s a little harder in the summer because we are traveling a lot or outside late.  But, now it’s fall and time to put Family Night back in motion. 

At the Billesbach Pad, Family Night is always spent at home – free and clear of distractions.  We spend lots of time all week together away from home, so it’s a real treat to stay in and hang out.  The kids are in charge of family night, so they get to choose the dessert and the activity.  I have several recipes that I consider to be “Fun” food, such as Nachos, Quesadillas, Sliders.  It’s usually finger food.  I just have it in my head that finger foods are “fun.”  There’s always a dessert.  The kids get to choose the dessert, but if I’m not really in the mood to bake or go all out, I can easily persuade them into Sundaes, Shakes, or Root Beer Floats.  The best part is the activity.  It can be anything from a board game, to a craft project, to a science experience (that’s what Kate calls an experiment.) 

If once a week is unreasonable at your house, aim for once a month.  The first Friday, Saturday, or Sunday of the month.  It doesn’t even have to be at night.  Make 1 Sunday at month, Family Day.  The idea is to set in stone a time that you will make spending time as a family your highest priority.

My favorite memory is watching my husband (who is truly the best sport ever) play Pretty, Pretty, Princess.  I know the kids will always remember that and many other fun times we’ve had on Family Night.  And isn’t that what it’s really all about.

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Stressed spelled backwards is Desserts

Stressed spelled backwards is Desserts.  Coincidence?  Of course, but words to live by nevertheless.  Nothing tops off a meal or brightens a day like dessert.  Pick one night a week, like Friday night and make dinner a true celebration.  It can be something as simple as jello or as involved as home-made apple pie.  You really can’t go wrong.  You don’t have to be a baker or even enjoy baking to make a simple, yet tasty dessert.  Smiles across the board are sure to make it worth your time.

In our health conscience culture, desserts often get a bad rap.  If you are concerned about sugar, cut sugar in other ways.  Did you know that many cereals contain more sugar than candy, cookies, or cake.  Dessert doesn’t have to be loaded in sugar.  One of our family favorites is Fruit Pizza (see below.)  The nutritional value more than makes up for the sugar.  Add a little fun to your dinner and your life.

You can also use dessert as an excuse to hang out longer and visit at the dinner table.  I know I’m not above bribery.

Fruit Pizza

Makes 8 servings
Active Prep Time: 20 minutes  Bake Time: 15 minutes  Refrigerate Time: 1 hour

    1 tube sugar cookies dough – softened                          
    1 8-ounce package cream cheese                                 
    1 13-ounce jar marshmallow creme                               
    2 cups fresh fruit                                             

1)  On a large cookie sheet, flatten out 1 tube of softened sugar cookie dough into about a 12″ circle or big cookie.  Bake according to package.  Let cool.

2)  In a small bowl, combine cream cheese and marshmallow cream.

3)  Spread mixture on baked sugar cookie & add 2 cups of fresh fruit.  I like to use strawberries, mandarin oranges, kiwi & grape halves.

4)  Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

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