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Family-friendly recipes from a frugal gal that likes to eat

Archive for the category “Dessert”

Cinnamon Churro Chex Mix

A big thing happened this week. I. Turned. Thirty. I know many women freak the bleep out when they turn 30, but I’m totally cool with it. I love my life, and turning 30 for me was just an excuse to have a great big party with everyone I love.

My day started out with gifts from my sweet husband. He bought me a massage pillow because I was drooling over them a few weeks earlier.

I love how this picture makes the pillow look like a robot!

He also treated me to a few of my favorite things.

This was the most chocolaty cake I have ever seen, and it was fabulous! My husband knows me so well. Which brings me to the next treat he bought me.

Who doesn’t love Reese’s, right? But don’t be fooled, this ain’t no ordinary pack.

That’s a ONE POUND pack of chocolate peanut butter goodness. Ahhh I can’t wait to get home and take a giant bite out of one of those cups!

After the gifts, we started to prepare for my party. We had some friends over to eat, drink and watch the Vikings game.

We had a great spread, including Dr. Pepper pulled pork, spicy jalapeno slaw, meatballs, taco dip, jalapeno popper dip, limoncello cupcakes, red velvet cake cheese ball and more, but my most favorite recipe from the whole day was the Cinnamon Churro Chex Mix.

I die! I inhaled about 50 cups of this stuff. The recipe is a breeze, and it’s a fun and different party food. It’s easier to make than puppy chow and a million times more delicious. This coming from the girl with the one pound Reese’s on her kitchen table!

Cinnamon Churro Chex Mix
from Just Another Day in Paradise


9 cups rice Chex cereal
3 cups cinnamon chips
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon


  1. Pour Chex into a bowl and set aside
  2. Combine sugars and cinnamon in a small bowl. Divide sugar mixture into two gallon-size freezer bags. (You can estimate here.) Set aside.
  3. Pour cinnamon chips into a microwaveable bowl, heat for 1 minute and stir. Heat for 30 seconds and stir. If your chips are not melted at this point, continue heating and stirring in 30 second intervals until the chips are completely melted.
  4. Pour melted chips over cereal and toss until well coated.
  5. Scoop half of the cereal into each freezer bag and zip up. Shake each bag until the cereal is well coated.
  6. Pour the mix into a bowl and enjoy!

Cherry Breeze No-Bake Dessert

I’m back! And I have a super easy no-bake dessert for you lovely folks. Since most of my readers are my family members (Hi, Mom!), y’all already know this recipe, as it has been a family favorite for years. This dessert has shown up at every family holiday celebration since I was a little girl. Made famous by my mom’s Aunt Aida, this dessert is definitely the most requested treat in her arsenal. Aunt Aida and her daughters are known for their rich, interesting and always delicious desserts, so I always assumed Cherry Breeze was an Aida original, but guess what? Go ahead and Google Cherry Breeze. Seriously, go ahead, I’ll wait.

The first result you see is Aunt Aida’s exact recipe! Not such a family secret after all. Oh well, no worries, this is still the best!

I made this Cherry Breeze today for Scott’s dad’s birthday dinner. I introduced Cherry Breeze to my other family, and it has quickly become a family favorite on their side as well! And why shouldn’t it? It’s basically a quick and easy version of cheesecake without the springform pan and hours of work.

Start by beating an eight ounce block of softened cream cheese until light and fluffy. Be sure you take the time to soften your cream cheese, or you WILL have lumps.


Next, add in the sweetened condensed milk and beat until well combined. The filling will be really sweet and sticky.

Add in the lemon juice and vanilla, and mix until well combined. Mix on a low speed at first so you don’t splash juice all over the place. Once the filling is ready, it should look like this. Creamy, smooth, no lumps. If you are using a KitchenAid, make sure you scrape the cream cheese that’s stuck to the bottom.

Pour the filling into the graham cracker crust and chill in the fridge for at least two hours.

Finally, pour the cherry pie filling on top and refrigerate for our hour. This step isn’t necessary, but I prefer the cherries to be cold.

Cherry Breeze
From Aunt Aida


1 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
1 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 9 inch graham cracker pie crust
1 can cherry pie filling


  1. Beat cream cheese until light and fluffy.
  2. Pour in sweetened condensed milk and beat until combined.
  3. Add lemon juice and vanilla, blend until ingredients are smooth.
  4. Pour the filling into the graham cracker crust and chill in the fridge for at least two hours.
  5. Pour the cherry pie filling on top, using almost the entire can. Chill for one hour.

The filling will firm up a bit, but it will still be a looser, messy-ish pie. Don’t worry about the appearance, it will still be tart, creamy, sweet and delicious!

Banana Soft Serve

If you know me, you know I love sweets. The second dinner is over, no matter how full I am, I have to go in search of something sweet. I mentioned in my last post that a graham cracker with a little schmear of Cookie Butter usually hits the spot, but tonight I wanted to try something different. On Monday night, I noticed that our bananas had gotten too ripe to eat, so instead of throwing them out like I normally would, I decided to chop them up and freeze them to make banana soft serve.

As an avid food/healthy living blog reader, I have been hearing about banana soft serve forever, but I never remember to make it. This dessert is easy and obviously super healthy since it ONLY requires bananas! Well, and a high-powered food processor or blender. All you do is blend/food process the bananas until they are smooth and look like soft serve. That’s it! It’s kind of a miracle that this actually works.

We made two different kinds; peanut butter banana and berry banana.  

Banana Soft Serve
(makes 2 big servings)


3 very ripe bananas, chopped into pieces and frozen solid

For the peanut butter banana:
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbs creamy peanut butter

For the berry banana:
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbs honey
1/4 cup frozen blueberries
1/4 cup frozen strawberries


  1. Place frozen bananas in a powerful food processor and blend/puree until very smooth. You will have to stop and scrape down the sides quite a bit at first. Stream in vanilla extract and blend. You can stop here if you want because it’s ready to go!
  2. If you’re making the peanut butter banana version, scoop in the peanut butter and blend until well combined.
  3. For the berry banana version, toss in the blueberries and strawberries, begin blending. Stream in the honey. Blend until very smooth.

And there you go! Very simple to do, but you need to be patient because it takes the bananas a while to get going at first. I topped my portion with chocolate chips and butterscotch chips. So very delicious and a great stand-in for ice cream. Truly!

Sopapilla Cheesecake

Ooooh this dessert is so darn delicious! It takes like 2 seconds to make, but it tastes like real bakery-style cheesecake. AKA this is the perfect dessert! In case you’re wondering, a sopapilla is a fried pastry or quick bread, but in this case, it’s crescent rolls. 🙂

Sopapilla Cheesecake
From My Yellow Umbrella (found on Pinterest)


1 can crescent rolls
1 (8oz) package cream cheese (softened)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 cup butter (melted)
Cinnamon & sugar


  1. Unroll and spread 1/2 the can of crescent rolls on bottom of an ungreased pan (I used 8×8).
  2. Combine softened cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla.
  3. Spread mixture over crescent rolls.
  4. Spread remaining crescent rolls over mixture.
  5. Brush melted butter over the top and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.

You could easily mix in chocolate chips or serve with berries. Any way you eat this, it’s delicious!

Monster Cookie Cupcakes

Oh BOY do I have a dessert recipe for you! These cupcakes take three of my favorite things and combine them into one rich, decadent treat! The bottom layer is a monster cookie, the middle is a vanilla chocolate chip cupcake and the top is peanut butter buttercream!


Oh. My. Gaga. These are so insanely delicious!  Word of warning, do NOT keep the extras lying around your house. These have three sticks of butter in them, people!

Check out Livin’ the Dream in Beantown USA for the recipe! The only change I would make is to cut the buttercream recipe in half because I had soooo much leftover. Otherwise, they are perfection!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls

These are my FAVORITE chocolate chip cookies! Dough balls were all the rage in the blog world a few months ago, but this was the only recipe I tried. Why mess with perfection, right?!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls
from The Chic Life


1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 stick butter, softened/room-temp
1 tbsp sugar
1 egg (or flaxseed-egg)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix sugars and butter till creamy. Add egg and vanilla and mix until combined.
  4. Mix wet into the dry. The dough will appear dry and crumbly, but that’s ok.  
  5. Gently fold chocolate chips into the dough, without overmixing.
  6. Refrigerate dough for at least 20 minutes before using a small ice cream scoop to scoop out dough into small mounds. Roll each mound into a ball and spread evenly on a baking sheet.
  7. Bake balls for 10-14 minutes, depending on how set you want your centers. If you use egg, you can use a meat thermometer to ensure the centers of the balls are at least 160 degrees F, which many web sites say is the safe temp to eat eggs.
  8. Let your dough balls rest on the baking sheet to cool at least 5-10 minutes.
  9. Try not to eat all of them!!!

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