Banana Bread with Chocolate Sauce


Banana cake is an easy and quick dessert to make. I always save my old bananas in the freezer so that when my kids feel like baking, they can take them out and whip up a quick batch. The chocolate sauce makes this extra special though. I like to put pieces of sliced bananas on top of the sliced banana bread and then drizzle the chocolate sauce on top. I sprinkle the whole thing with chocolate shavings and its special enough for Shabbos too.

Banana Bread with Chocolate Sauce
Serves 10

3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) margarine
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
4 ripe bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup non-dairy creamer or soymilk, well shaken
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 cup chopped pecans
Chocolate Chip Sauce:
8 ounces chocolate chips
1 cup non-dairy creamer, pareve whipping cream or soymilk

For the banana bread: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans with cooking spray.

With an electric mixer, cream the margarine and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the bananas and vanilla. Sift the flour together with the baking soda and salt. In a separate small bowl, whisk non-dairy and vinegar. Add the flour, non-dairy creamer/vinegar mixture to the banana mixture, working in stages, and beginning and ending with the flour. Fold in the pecans.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pans and bake for 55 minutes. Cool slightly in the pan before turning the loaves out onto wire racks to cool completely.

For the chocolate chip sauce: Add the chocolate chips to a heat-proof bowl. Heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan until hot but not boiling. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir until chocolate is fully melted. Serve over slices of banana bread.

Juicing For Kids

With kids I always feel you need to add a little kitsch to make food and cooking more exciting. Make juicing fun for them too by titling the juices with fun names, or letting them come up with their own combinations. These have worked for me.

ABC Juice

This juice recipe is a classic and a definite must-have in your juicing arsenal. It only has three ingredients, and, you guessed it, each items stands for one of the first three letters of the alphabet. Make a game out this recipe by letting your kids switch up the order of ingredients to spell different words.
2 apples

1 beet

2 carrots

Shrek Juice
 or Slime Juice
Speaking of colorful juices, this one reminds us of the slime they used to dump on celebrities on the Nickelodeon channel. If the slime concept is too gross, I get that!, go with Shrek Juice
2 stalks celery

1 handful kale

2 apples

Hawaii Juice
1-2 cups loosely packed chopped kale, ribs removed (about 3-4 leaves)
1 mango
1 cup chopped fresh pineapple

Raspberry or Strawberry Lemonade

Makes 8-10 glasses

This is so refreshing in the summer! The fresh lemon juice give it so much more flavor than the prepared store-bought variety. Be sure to serve it in cute glasses with lots of ice and straws to make it look as good as it tastes.

4 cups fresh lemon juice
3 cups sugar
1 bag frozen raspberries or strawberries
Ice cubes, for serving

Squeeze the lemons and pour the juice into a pitcher.

In a pot, heated over low heat, stir together sugar with 3 cups water until sugar dissolves to make a syrup. Cool, than add sugar syrup to the lemon juice and top it up with 8 cups water. Taste to make sure it’s sweet enough for you, and then add the raspberries or strawberries. Mix the lemonade together and let chill in the fridge. (Keep in mind that the raspberries are tart, so be sure to sweeten enough!)

Fill mason jars with ice cubes and top them off with the lemonade.

Roasted Carrot “Fries” with Roadhouse Dipping Sauce


Serves 4

Also from Fresh From the Farm, available at, these oven-roasted carrots were surprisingly delicious and easy to make. We love dipping sauces and this one is creamy, zesty and flavorful.

1 pound carrots, peeled, and cut into pieces 2 -3 inches long
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt

Dipping Sauce:
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
½ teaspoon freshly grated ginger

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a mixing bowl, toss carrots with olive oil and ½ teaspoon salt. Spread in a single layer on sheet pan. Roast until carrot sticks are browned and tender, tossing once with a spatula, about 26 minutes. Sprinkle with a little more salt and ser warm with sauce.

For sauce: In a small bowl, combine all ingredients and stir. Let sit for several minutes to develop the flavors before serving.

Strawberry Spinach Smoothie


Juicing seems to be so popular with juice bars popping up in grocery stores, in small towns, on food trucks, and even at street fairs. The newest trend is green vegetable juicing and admittedly I was weary of trying it. I am not a huge fan of the typical “Green Smoothie”, there is just too much raw spinach and kale for me, but I do like the spinach when mixed with strawberries, bananas, watermelon, cantalope or other sweet fruit. I sometimes add a bit of agave nectar to sweeten it up which is against all the juicing rules but oh well. Try this one, below. It’s pretty and tasty and my kids make it on their own and it certainly has lots of vitamins and minerals in it.

Here is the perfect recipe for a Strawberry Spring Time Smoothie

1 cup of fresh strawberries
½ cup of ice
½ cup of spinach
½ cup of baby carrots
¾ cup of water
1- 3 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon agave nectar or honey, optional

Blend and serve. Delicious. Fresh.

Sugar Cookie Fruit Pizza


Serves 8 – 10

How pretty and delicious does this look? This one tastes as good as it looks and it is easily done with the kids. If you prefer, buy the cookie dough in the freezer section of the market and bake it according to the package instructions. Let the kids be creative and messy. It all still tastes great. Make sure you dry the fruit well before placing it on top of the frosting. It will keep longer if the fruit has no moisture in it.

Nonstick cooking spray
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted margarine or butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 (8-ounce) package Tofutti cream cheese or dairy cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
Pinch salt

1 cup blueberries
1 cup sliced kiwi
1 cup sliced nectarines
1 cup raspberries
1 cup strawberries, sliced
Or any fruit of your choice

For the crust: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 10 to 12-inch tart pan or pizza pan with nonstick cooking spray. 

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugars using a handheld mixer until smooth. Add in the egg and vanilla and mix until incorporated. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture into the creamed butter and mix until blended. Remove the dough from the bowl and press into the prepared pan. (You may need to dust your hands with some flour to prevent the dough from sticking to them. It is wet dough when it comes together.) 

Bake until the edges just start to brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. 

For the frosting: In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, lemon zest and a pinch of salt until smooth. Spread evenly on the cooled crust. 

To assemble: Arrange the fresh fruit in the desired pattern on top of the pizza, slice and serve. 
If you want to glaze the fruit to give it more shine (totally not necessary), melt 1/4 cup jelly of your choice and gently brush it on the fruit.

Peanut Butter Cup Brownies


Makes 18 cupcakes size brownies

1 box brownie mix (I use the fudgy kind), made without nuts

1/3 cup smooth peanut butter
1-1/2 ounces soft tofutti cream cheese or dairy cream cheese
1 large egg
1/4 cup sugar

Prepare the brownie batter according to package instructions and set aside.

Line 18 to 20 cups of a standard muffin tin with bake cups. Combine peanut butter, cream cheese, egg and sugar in a medium-size bowl and beat them with an electric mixer until evenly blended. The texture should be like whipped peanut butter. If it’s not stiff enough, add a little extra peanut butter.

Fill each muffin cup about halfway with brownie batter. Spoon about 2 teaspoons of peanut butter filling into the center, pushing it down slightly into the batter. Cover the filling with another spoonful of batter, making sure that the cups are no more than about two thirds to three quarters full.

Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, just until set and cracked on top. Then transfer the pans to a wire rack and cool for 30 minutes. The center will sink a bit. Remove from pan and serve.

Nectarine Creamsicles


Makes 9

Super creamy and delicious. Such a refreshing treat and the kids can make them with you.

1-1/2 pounds soft-ripe yellow nectarines or peeled peaches
1/2 cup plus 2 tsp. sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/3 cup pareve whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pit fruit, cut into chunks, and put in a large saucepan with 1/2 cup sugar and the lemon juice. Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until pulp mashes easily with a spoon, 5 to 8 minutes.

Transfer fruit with a slotted spoon to a food processor. Whirl until only tiny pieces of skin remain. Return to liquid in pan, Chill in a bowl of ice water until very cold, stirring occasionally.

Pour mixture into a 9- by 13-in. pan, cover, and freeze until it’s firm but still shows a fingerprint when pressed, about 2 1/2 hours.

Beat cream, remaining 2 tsp. sugar, and the vanilla with a mixer in a medium bowl until thick. Stir frozen mixture to soften slightly, then fold in cream with a few strokes to leave big white streaks. Spoon mixture into 8 or 9 popsicle molds (1/3-cup size) and push a popsicle stick into each.

Freeze creamsicles, covered, until firm, at least 6 1/2 hours. To remove, dip molds in a bowl of warm water about 10 seconds, then gently squeeze pops to loosen.

Snack Pack Granola Bars with Dried Fruit


Makes 12 to 16 bars

My kids are on there way on school overnights and trips to Washington and then off to camp. I like to make these and send them for the bus rides or for a pick me up snack while they are traveling. They have great taste, are homemade and have no preservatives so they are better than store-bought versions. Feel free to substitute chocolate chips or other nuts for the dried fruit if you prefer.

2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, margarine or canola oil
2/3 cup honey
1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 by 12-inch baking dish and line it with parchment paper.

Toss the oatmeal, almonds, and coconut together on a sheet pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the wheat germ.

Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.

Place the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute, then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture. Add the dates, apricots, and cranberries and stir well.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Wet your fingers and lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares. Serve at room temperature.

Hot Dog Tortilla Wraps


Makes 8

Now, I am not a big hotdog lover nor do I think giving them regularly to your kids is a healthy choice. But sometimes, you got to let loose and let them enjoy a good hotdog. This recipe was created by Rachael Ray (I gave it a tweak to make it kosher), it adds a great zing to the old fashioned classic. Plus it gets a healthy dose of beans into their diet.

8 good-quality hot dogs
1 can (16 oz.) vegetarian (lard-free) refried beans
1 cup roasted red pepper, sliced (optional)
16 flour tortillas (8-inch), heated to soften slightly
1-1/2 cups homemade or store-bought salsa
Yellow mustard, or honey mustard
Cooking spray

Preheat an outdoor grill, indoor griddle or grill pan to medium-high heat. Parboil the hot dogs for a few minutes to heat through. In a medium saucepan, heat the beans over medium heat (or cover and heat in the microwave on high for 3 minutes), adding a little water to thin slightly.

Top each of 4 tortillas with a thin layer of salsa, a swirl of mustard, and a few slices of roasted pepper, then cover each with another tortilla. Spread the top tortilla with some beans and set a dog at one end. Wrap and roll up the tortilla stack around the dog; repeat with the remaining ingredients. Spray the tortilla wraps with cooking spray and grill for a few minutes to brown and crisp the tortillas.

Carrot Muffins, a Healthier Version

Makes 12

Sunset magazine calls these the miracle carrot muffin because they have very little fat and are extra moist and not as dense as most low fat carrot muffins. The is trick is heating the carrots and raisins in water, which softens them nicely before they are added to the flour mixture.
1-1/3 cups sugar
1/4 cup butter
1-1/4 cups shredded carrots
1 cup raisins
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 ounces cream cheese
1 tablespoon orange zest

Preheat oven to 375°. Put sugar, butter, carrots, raisins, salt, spices, and 1 1/3 cups water in a medium saucepan. Heat over high heat, stirring occasionally, just until mixture comes to a boil.
Whisk flours, baking powder, and baking soda together in a medium bowl. Pour in warm carrot mixture. Stir to combine, but do not overmix.
Spoon mixture into greased muffin cups.
Bake until browned and a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Let cool on a rack.
Blend cream cheese with zest and serve with muffins.

Cinnamon Bun Bites

Serves 8-10

This is from an old Martha Stewart Magazine but it is a fun favorite to make with kids. It does require parental involvement but they will be so proud to be a part of making something so good and so adorable.

1/2 cup warm water
1 tablespoon active dry yeast (from two 1/4-ounce envelopes)
4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more if needed
4 large eggs
1-1/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 stick unsalted butter or margarine, softened, plus 1/2 stick, melted, and more for dish
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
Vanilla Glaze

2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon milk, or non-dairy creamer (orange juice works so great too)

Pour water into the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle yeast evenly over water, and let stand until foamy, 5 to 7 minutes. Whisk until smooth, then whisk in 1/2 cup flour to form a loose paste. Let rise in a warm place until yeast mixture has risen and fallen, about 30 minutes.
Add eggs, 1/4 cup sugar, salt, and remaining flour to yeast mixture. Knead dough, using dough hook attachment on mixer, until smooth, 4 to 5 minutes.
Add 1 stick butter or margarine, and knead until dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes (add a little more flour if the dough is too sticky). Turn out dough onto an unfloured work surface, and knead by hand until very smooth, about 3 minutes. Transfer dough to another bowl, and let rise in a warm place, covered with a damp cloth or plastic wrap, until doubled, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Punch down dough; press out air bubbles.
Lightly grease a 9-inch pie plate or 9-inch square glass baking dish. Place melted butter/margarine in a bowl. Stir together remaining 1 cup sugar and the cinnamon in another bowl.
Roll dough into 1-inch balls (you should have about 45). Working with 1 at a time, dip balls into melted butter, then roll in cinnamon sugar and place in pie plate. Stack balls to form a dome. Sprinkle with any remaining cinnamon sugar, and drizzle with any leftover butter. Cover with plastic wrap, and let balls rise by half, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Unwrap balls, and place pie plate on a baking sheet. Bake until golden and firm, and a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, 50 to 55 minutes. Let bites cool in dish 15 minutes, then drizzle with glaze.

Mix the confectioners’ sugar, butter, and vanilla together.
Adding half the milk (or orange juice) to start with, stir in to make a thick glaze, adding just a drop at a time more until you get a nice thick glaze.
Spread or pour immediately over cooled cinnamon rolls, pastries, pound cakes, or Danish.
Glaze will form a crust and harden as it cools, but you can spread over warmed cakes and serve that way as well.

Israeli Salad

Serves 4

My kids make this even when I am not around. They add olives, feta cheese, mint leaves, or sometimes smoked turkey. They prefer it without onions but it’s a bit more traditional with them. The key is to chop the vegetables all the same size and keep them in little bite size squares. Also, use fresh lemon juice.

3 tomatoes, chopped in small bite size pieces (try to remove some of the seeds)
5 Persian cucumbers, chopped in small bite size pieces
1 red pepper, chopped in small bite size pieces
¼ cup chopped red onion
(add mint leaves, chopped parsley, feta cheese, olives or any other ingredient of your liking)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2/3 cup canola oil

In a medium bowl, toss tomatoes, cucumbers, red pepper and onions.
For the dressing, whisk lemon juice, red wine vinegar, and oil together. Add salt and pour over dressing. Eat immediately.

Peanut and Chocolate Chex Mix Bars

24 Bars

My kids found this recipe on the Chex box of cereal. I happen to like the Chex snack mix recipes, especially the ones with nuts and Chex cereal. This one is a crunchy dessert bar that is easy to make.

4 cups Chocolate Chex® cereal
½ cup salted peanuts
½ cup light corn syrup
¼ cup sugar
½ cup creamy peanut butter
¼ cup candy-coated chocolate candies, like M&M’s or Reese’s Pieces

1. Butter bottom and sides of 9-inch square pan, or spray with cooking spray. In large bowl, mix cereal and peanuts.
2. In 1-quart saucepan, heat corn syrup and sugar over medium heat, stirring constantly, just to boiling. Remove from heat; stir in peanut butter until smooth.
3. Pour over cereal mixture in bowl, stirring until evenly coated. Stir in candies. Press firmly in pan. Cool 1 hour. Cut into 6 rows by 4 rows. Store loosely covered.

Breakfast Cookies

Makes 28

Sometimes, only sometimes, breakfast is on the run. I feel a little better throwing two of these in my kid’s knapsacks or my husband’s briefcase. Filled with oat bran, almonds, and grape nuts cereal they are packed with fiber and some protein. Yes they have sugar and margarine too, thus I call them cookies not granola or health bars but they taste good and get a few wholesome ingredients thrown in.

2 cups old-fashioned oats
1-¼ cups whole wheat or white whole-wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup Grape Nuts cereal
½ cup wheat germ
½ cup oat bran
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup unsalted margarine or butter, room temperature or 1 cup canola oil
2 eggs
1 cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped pitted dates or other dried fruit

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix oats, both flours, grape nuts, wheat germ, oat bran and baking soda in a large bowl to blend.

Using an electric mixer, beat margarine until creamy. Add eggs, both sugars and vanilla, and beat until smooth. Add cereal/flour mixture, and stir just until blended. Mix in almonds, raisins, and dates or dried fruit.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat mats. Using ¼ cup measuring cup, scoop dough onto prepared pan, spacing about 2 inches apart. Press cookies to about ½ inch thick rounds.

Bake for about 15 minutes or until tops are golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes on sheets before transferring to cooling rack.

Breakfast Burritos

Makes 2 burritos

Here is a simple and easy breakfast alternative. If your kids will eat them, add black beans for more protein and a little cumin spice.

2 eggs
1 tablespoon water
1 medium potato, chopped into bite-size pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped onion (optional)
2 – 8″ flour tortillas
1 ounce grated mozzarella cheese
chunky salsa (optional)

Whisk together eggs and water in a small mixing bowl, set aside.
In a medium sauté pan heat oil over medium heat. Add potato and cook until it is tender about 5 minutes.
Remove cooked potato from pan, then immediately pour the egg mixture into the same pan and turn heat to medium-low.
Using a spatula, push and turn the egg until it changes color and looks set.
Divide the eggs and potato onto the tortillas, and sprinkle with cheese and salsa.
Fold the bottom of the tortilla up and the sides over.

Doughnut Pops


Move over cake pops, here comes doughnut pops!
So easy and so much fun.

12 mini doughnuts or regular doughnuts
Chocolate for dipping or melting chocolate
12 lollypop sticks (these work better than popsicle sticks)
Sprinkles or other decorative toppings

Take any size doughnuts, but I prefer the mini size. Freeze for 20 minutes. Melt chocolate or melting chocolate in color over low flame, stirring until melted and smooth. Dip and place in the refrigerator until cooled and hardened slightly. Serve and enjoy.

Homemade Ginger Ale

Serves 4

This drink is a little natural flavored for some kids but my kids loved the idea of making their own soda.

½ cup honey
½ cup sliced peeled ginger
½ cup water
4 cups seltzer
fresh mint

In a small saucepan, bring honey, ginger and water to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes, until flavors blend. Remove from heat and cool.

Strain syrup into a large pitcher. Add seltzer, fresh mint, and ice. Stir and serve.

Super Easy Cake Mix Cookies

Makes about 2 ½ dozen

I stumbled upon this recipe when trying to use up my pantry and refrigerator ingredients after the storm. I forgot how rich the cream cheese makes the cookies and how much the kids love to make them. Use any filling ingredients, like chocolate chips, white chips, butterscotch or mint chips or substitute and add dried fruit and nuts. This works both pareve and dairy.

1 box cake mix, any flavor
8 ounces pareve or dairy cream cheese, room temperature
4 tablespoons margarine, room temperature
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups chocolate chips, or other chips or nuts or dried fruit

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a mixer beat cream cheese and Add egg and vanilla; mix until well blended.
Stir in cake mix a little at a time until it’s all blended and then add any chips, candy or nuts, as you like
Spoon large tablespoons full of dough onto cookie sheer and bake for 10 minutes, until edges are brown.

Colorful Cookies

This is a pretty basic cookie recipe but it’s a lot of fun because of the colorful candies added to it. To make the cookies pareve, use the chocolate lentils (not the mint version). These are also cute for a shalom zachor or Kiddush. You can choose the appropriate colors and just use them for the cookies. Adorable!!

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup shortening
2 eggs
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2-1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/2 cups chocolate lentils

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place silpat mats or parchment paper atop two cookie sheets.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together sugars and shortening until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. On low speed, add flour and baking soda. Stir in lentils.

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes. Remove to wire rack to cool.

Milk Pops

Everyone wants a frozen treat in the summer. Ice pops often satisfy that urge but sometimes we want something with a little more body, with a little more…apologies to those who are lactose intolerant or allergic…milk.

Here are some rich milk pops that your kids will love.

Rich and Satisfying Lemon Pops
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup whole milk
½ cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar
3 – 4 graham crackers broken into very small pieces (optional)

Whisk together condensed milk, whole milk, lemon juice and sugar until smooth. Gently fold in graham cracker pieces, if using. Pour into 8 ice pop molds or into paper cups. Top molds with holders or insert wooden popsicle sticks into cups. Freeze for 8 hours.

Banana Milk Pops

This is a pretty healthy option.
3 bananas, mashed
1 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Purée all ingredients in a blender or with a hand-immersion blender. Pour into 8 ice pop molds or paper cups. Partially freeze. Top molds with holders or insert wooden popsicle sticks into cups. Return to freezer until solid – 6 to 8 hours.

Chocolate Fudge Pops
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons corn starch
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2-1/2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon butter or margarine

In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir together sugar, cornstarch, cocoa and milk. Bring to a boil; immediately reduce heat and simmer, stirring constantly, until thick, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla and butter or margarine. Refrigerate until cool, about 20 minutes. Pour into 8 ice pop molds or paper cups. Top molds with holders or insert wooden popsicle sticks into cups. Freeze until firm, about 8 hours.

Garlic Knots


Makes 16

My kids love these at the pizza store and learned how easy they are to make at camp.  Although I didn’t see that exact recipe, I tried a few at home with the kids to see what was easy and delicious.  Here’s a great recipe to try. They are super delicious hot out of the oven.  They won’t stay last until dinner.

3 to 4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons margarine or butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
1 package store bought pizza dough (about 1 pound) or homemade pizza or challah
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat oven to 375°F. In small microwavable bowl, microwave garlic, margarine and oil on High 30 seconds or until butter is melted. Stir in basil and parsley; set aside.

Separate dough into 16 pieces.  Roll each piece into a log about 4 inch longs and 1 inch wide.  Tie into a “knot-like” ball. Place in ungreased 9-inch round cake pan.

Let stand to rise for 35 minutes.

Spoon margarine-herb mixture evenly over top of each knot. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake 13 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

No-Bake Summer Cheesecake

photo: saraleefoodservice

Since no meals contain meat, you can make a dairy dessert with your kids. This no-bake cheesecake is perfect since it doesn’t heat up the kitchen (a big plus these days!), doesn’t require any dangerous kitchen tools – and best of all, tastes great!

1 store-bought graham cracker pie crust (I told you it was easy!)
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese (I find it easier to use whipped cream cheese)
½ cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 (8-ounce) container frozen whipped topping (like Cool Whip), thawed
Garnish: fresh fruit of your choice

In a large mixing bowl, beat together cream cheese, sugar, sour cream and vanilla. Fold in the whipped topping and mix well. Pour into crust.

Refrigerate for 5 hours. Garnish with fresh fruit, if desired, and serve.

Variation: Kids can also garnish with chocolate syrup, chocolate candies or any other treats they prefer!

Kids Camp Guacamole

All of our kids call home from camp with food requests. GKC kids call home with some interesting ones. Real lettuce, meaning romaine and arrugula, fruit and most recently, AVOCADOS. Now, I am sure they are enjoying some great candy from canteen too, but my daughter asked me to send avocados, onion powder, and lemons. She has become the bunk guacamole maker and the bunk has decided that it makes any camp food taste better. She texted me her recipe.

1 avocado
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Juice of 1/2 lemon
½ teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon salsa, optional

In a paper of plastic bowl, mash the avocado. Mix in the salt, lemon juice, onion powder, and salsa.

Add it to any camp food to make it taste better. Great with crackers, knishes, tasteless hamburgers, or just on plain bread.