Milkshake (Bonus Recipe)

Each quarter there is one extra weekend that I have to plan for.  Last year I posted about a dairy free pantry (here) & other recipes that were not in the categories I had chosen.  This year I’m going to share two beverages & two soups.  Up first is a non-dairy milkshake – so easy to do & so many options to add in.  This is for one serving; for more than one, just duplicate by how many servings you are wanting.


1 cup non-dairy ice cream (I used vanilla, but there are so many choices)

1/4 cup non-dairy milk (I used coconut since my ice cream was coconut milk based)


Put in blender & blend until smooth.

For a thicker shake, use less milk.


I recommend using whichever milk the ice cream is based.



chocolate chip – Add in 1-2 tablespoons of Enjoy Life mini chips

mint chip – add in 1-2 tablespoons Enjoy Life mini chips & 1/4 tsp peppermint extract

orange creamsicle – use vanilla ice cream & replace milk with orange juice

strawberry – slice 2-3 fresh strawberries & place in bowl with 1 tsp sugar; mash lightly & stir; allow to sit 5-6 minutes until juices form; mash a bit & stir again; using vanilla ice cream, pour in strawberries & blend, adding milk only if needed to thin out

chocolate – using Hershey’s* chocolate syrup – 1-3 teaspoons

coffee – brew coffee & cool; substitute milk with coffee

mocha – prepare coffee shake as above & add in 1-2 teaspoons Hershey’s* chocolate syrup



*Hershey’s syrup is dairy free; I don’t know about any other brands – just check before purchasing



What flavors would you try?  Comment & let me know.

National Day of Cocoa – Dec. 11

National Day of Cocoa.  So many options are available with cocoa – cakes, cookies, candy, mole, etc.  I’ve decided to keep it simple & short.  Prep/cooking is about 5-7 minutes & cooling is about 30.  I’m sharing one of my brothers’ favorite cookie recipe – Chocolate Peanut Butter No-Bake Cookies.  This is not really a cookie but a soft fudge candy.



2 cups sugar

1/2 c non-dairy milk

1 stick Earth Balance or 8 tablespoons of your non-dairy “butter” of choice

1/4 cup cocoa

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

1 cup creamy peanut butter (some recipes call for crunchy – it would be a personal preference)

1 tablespoon pure vanilla flavoring

large pinch of kosher salt



Cover baking sheet with wax or parchment paper.

Combine the sugar, milk & “butter” in a saucepan & bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.  Once boiling (a full rolling boil), boil for 1 minute.

Remove from heat & add remaining ingredients; mix well to combine.

Drop by tablespoons full (or small cookie scoop) onto prepared pans until cool & hard – about 30 minutes.

Store in tightly sealed container for up to 3 days.



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Cooking & Cooling:

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If you run out of cookie sheets – put parchment on the counter, like above.

Note:  If precipitation in the air (humidity, rain, snow, etc) I recommend allowing to boil 1 minute longer or your cookies will potentially be super soft.





What is your favorite cookie?  Comment & let me know.

Heirloom: Persimmon Cookies, Persimmon Cake

These are my favorite cookies at Thanksgiving each year.  I could eat an entire batch myself.  These recipes have been handed down 3 generations now; from my grandmother, to my mother & now to myself.  My mother adds a thin glaze to her cookies.



1/2 cup shortening

1 cup sugar

2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon cloves

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg

splash (@ 1/2 teaspoon) lemon juice

1 cup persimmon pulp

1 cup nuts, optional

1 cup raisins, optional


Preheat oven to 375°F.  Cream shortening & sugar together; set aside.  Sift flour, spices, baking soda & salt together & set aside.  Beat egg; pulp & lemon juice to egg & mix well.  To the creamed mixture, alternate the egg mixture & the flour mixture until combined.  Add nuts and/or raisins at this time.  Scoop onto greased baking sheet and bake 15 minutes.  If making bars; spread into jelly roll pan to edges & bake.




1/2 cup shortening

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon each:




1 teaspoon cinnamon

splash (@ 1/2 teaspoon) lemon juice

1 1/4 cup persimmon pulp

1 cup nuts, optional

1 cup raisins, optional

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Cream shortening & sugar together; set aside.  Sift flour, spices, baking soda & salt together & set aside.  Beat egg; pulp & lemon juice to egg & mix well.  To the creamed mixture, alternate the egg mixture & the flour mixture until combined.  Add nuts and/or raisins at this time.  Pour into greased baking pan and bake 20-25 minutes or until done in center.



Mom’s glaze

2 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon milk


combine until thin enough to pour; pour over bars.  If making for the cookies, make a little thicker so it can be spread.





Have you ever had persimmon cookies?  Comment & let me know.




Comparison – Ice Cream

I was going to start this post with “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream” & “I’ve never been an ice cream person…” but I realized that I have two other ice cream posts (here and here) and I started both of those posts with the preceding phrases.  At least I’m consistent in my thoughts…  🙂

With this post I am comparing some of the non-dairy ice cream brands that I have tried.

So Delicious

This brand is one of my favorites.  I much prefer the coconut or almond milk over the cashew milk ice creams, but that is only due to the cashew milk ice creams are much softer – more like soft serve than the coconut or almond milk based ice creams.  My favorite flavors are Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Mint Chip, Cookies & Cream & anything with caramel and/or coffee!  They also offer ice cream sandwiches and ice cream bars – all of the above makes it into my shopping cart regularly!  The ice cream sandwiches don’t last very long – I love them & usually eat them first.


Ben & Jerry’s

Yes, B&J’s now offers a line of dairy free ice cream – if you’ve been keeping up with my Facebook page (here) or Instagram (here), you’ve most likely seen my posts on these.  So far, I’ve only had the pleasure of trying two flavors – Chunky Monkey (I’m bananas for this one…) & Coffee Caramel Fudge.  I only had one problem with this brand….I ran out too soon, especially the Coffee Caramel Fudge!  These were so delicious.  Keep watch on Facebook & Instagram to see what other flavors I try next!



With this brand comes a warning – not all their flavors are dairy free.  Actually most are not – just the sorbettos – the only flavor I’ve tried is Roman Raspberry (Oh, my YUM!), other flavors they have that I want to try are Mango & Blood Orange.


Almond Dream

This was the first dairy-free ice cream I found & tried…it kept me feeling “normal” during the first few months of my transition to dairy-free.  I usually had the vanilla or cappuccino swirl.  They have other flavors – mint chip, salted caramel (I’m drooling), butter pecan, vanilla fudge swirl, praline crunch & strawberry.  There are probably more, but these are the ones I want to find!  This brand also has ice cream sandwiches too, but I’ve not tried them yet.


So many brands & so many flavors to try, so little time!


Do you have a favorite ice cream brand or flavor?  Comment & let me know.

National Day of Blueberry Muffins – July 11

This month’s National Day of is blueberry muffins – my favorite (only) way to have blueberries.


4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2-1/4 cups white sugar

1-1/2 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons baking powder

1 cup vegetable oil

3 egg

1 cup milk

3 cups fresh blueberries



1-1/2 cups white sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup butter, cubed

1 tablespoon and 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.

Combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Toss the blueberries with about 1/2 cup of flour; fold into batter. Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.

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To Make Crumb Topping: Mix together sugar, flour, butter, and cinnamon. Mix with fork, and sprinkle over muffins before baking.

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Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done (Mine took 45 minutes in total to cook through).

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Sometimes…things just don’t do what you want them to do…oops.


After I returned the rest to the oven & cooked for a bit longer, they turned out fine…my parents & brothers loved them.



Recipe from Allrecipes.

How do you like your blueberries?  Comment & let me know.


Heirloom: Lemon Bars

This recipe is one of my grandmother’s; she loved to make them and they are yummy.  These would make a wonderful & refreshing dessert for an Independence Day/4th of July celebration or any celebration.


The picture below is the recipe from the little cookbook of her recipes “Grandma’s Grains”; the picture within the picture is the original handwritten recipes.


Lemon Bars

2 cups flour

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 cup butter equivalent (1/2 c butter Crisco + 1/2 cup Earth Balance)

4 eggs, beaten

2 cups sugar

4 tablespoons flour

8 tablespoons lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat to 350*F.  Combine first three ingredients (flour, powdered sugar and “butter”); press into a 9″ x 13″ baking pan & bake for 20 minutes.

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While baking, combine remaining ingredients; pour over hot crust & bake another 20 minutes.  Allow to cool & sprinkle with powdered sugar.

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For Lemon Bars for a crowd, use the following measurements & proceed as above using a jelly roll pan (cookie sheet with edges).

3 cups flour

3/4 cup powdered sugar

1 1/2 cups “butter” (3/4 cup Crisco + 3/4 cup Earth Balance)

6 eggs

3 cups sugar

6 tablespoons flour

12 tablespoons lemon juice

2/3 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder



I added 5 drops of lemon essential oil mixed in the eggs when beating & after I combined the rest of the ingredients to the eggs, then I added 5 drops more.  This made the bars outstanding!  Make sure the oils are Certified Therapeutic Grade Oils ~~ find oils here.


National Day Of Strawberry Shortcake – June 14



Did you know that June 14th is Flag Day?  What does that even mean? It is the commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States, which happened on that day in 1777 by resolution of the Second Continental Congress (Wiki).

It’s also National Day of Strawberry Shortcake.  In a word ~ YUM.  Do you know when the first recipe for strawberry shortcake showed up in a cookbook?  Find out here (Wiki).   This could be an easy recipe – go to the store & purchase the sponge cake type shortcake, strawberries & eat.  I’m taking a “from-scratch” shortcake recipe for this National Day of recipe.  I hope you enjoy it.


1 quart strawberries, sliced

1 cup white sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons white sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup butter flavored Crisco

1 1/2 cups cashew milk (or choice of non-dairy milk)

2 tablespoons Earth Balance or Melt, softened

1 cup So Delicious Coco-Whip Whipped Topping


Mix strawberries and 1 cup sugar in a bowl and allow to stand while you complete remaining steps. Stir occasionally to help juice form.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8-inch round baking pan.

Combine flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl; cut in shortening with a knife or pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir milk into crumb mixture until just blended; pour into prepared baking pan.

Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes; cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing shortcake.

Split shortcake into two layers; spread bottom layer with 2 tablespoons softened EB/Melt and top with strawberries and juice. Place top layer over strawberries. Serve with whipped cream.

(Recipe Source)


(My picture processing isn’t working, so I’ll add photos at a later date.).