Desserts – 4 ingredients or less!

Y’all have probably figured out by now that I love easy recipes. If it has just a few ingredients, especially if it’s a dessert…I’m going to give it a try. Here is a round up of quick and easy desserts, with just 4 ingredients or less!

I’m always amazed how something so simple can turn out so well! I shared these a while back over at Eat at Home, where I am a part-time contributing writer, and forgot to post here to let you all know. I’d love for you to head over at check them out!

If you are also a fan of the quick and easy, here are some other recipes that are low maintenance, yet tasty. Keeping a few items on hand will always allow you to whip something up at a moment’s notice. Your friends will think you are a master in the kitchen, but you will know you are the master of the shortcut!

 

Cake Mix Cookie Bars {4 ingredients}


Shortcut Lemon Brownies {3-ingredients}


3-Ingredient Cookies (no cake mix)


Chocolate Pudding Cake {4-ingredients}


Dump Cake {3-ingredients}


Skinny Apple Angel Food Cake {2-ingredients}


Bubble Up Apple Pie {4 ingredients}

Chocolate Kahlua Coffee Pound Cake

When I see a title that includes chocolate, Kahlua, coffee AND pound cake…it gets my attention. And it goes in the “must make” category. My mom also loves chocolate and coffee, so I made this on an occasion I was visiting so we could share in the rum/chocolate/coffee fabulousness together.

I’m considerate like that. And it might have been Mother’s Day. I’m pretty sure I was the favorite child until my sister went and had the most adorable baby you have ever seen…but this cake definitely puts me ahead of my brother. haha

Chocolate Kahlua Coffee Pound Cake

1 box Devil’s Food Cake Mix
1 small box instant chocolate pudding
4 eggs, room temp
3/4 cup brewed coffee, room temp (leftover coffee is fine. I usually re-use my morning’s K-cup)
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup Kahlua coffee liqueur
chocolate covered coffee beans, chopped (optional)

Glaze:
2 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 cup Kahlua*  – add in small increments until glaze reaches desired consistency. Mine ended up being a little too thin.

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a bundt pan or spray well with baking spray.
  • Whisk together the dry cake mix with the dry instant pudding mix.
  • Add the eggs, coffee, oil and Kahlua to the dry mix. Stir until combined, then beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  • Pour mix into prepared bundt pan. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until done. Cake should spring back when lightly pressed and toothpick should come out clean when inserted into middle of cake.
  • Let cake cool for 15 minutes in pan, then invert onto cooling rack to finish cooling.
  • Pour glaze over cooled cake, top with chocolate covered coffee beans if desired.
Recipe Source: Chocolate, Chocolate and More (the name alone can tell you why it’s one of my favorite blogs!)

I may be linking up at any of the following – (Monday) Nibbles By NicThe Tumbleweed ContessaThe Dedicated HouseSkip to my LouI Should Be MoMypping the FloorHuckleberry Love (Tuesday) Mandy’s Recipe BoxSowdering About in SeattleNaptime Creations, Memories By the MileVMG206Anyonita NibblesThe Cookie Puzzle (Wednesday) The Newlyweds PilgrimageFluster BusterGinger Snap CraftsNaptime is My TimeTessa the Domestic Diva (Thursday) Joyful HomemakingMiz Helen’s Country CottageLamberts Lately (Friday) Project InspireJust Us FourDiana RamblesThe Better Baker,Close to HomeWalking on SunshineVintage ChicDaily DishThe Diary of a Real Housewife,Play.Party.Pin

Gourmet Gift Baskets Review & GIVEAWAY! #sponsored

I received a complimentary gift basket to facilitate my review. An additional basket will be provided by the company to the winner of the giveaway. No other compensation was received. All opinions are that of Makin’ it Mo’Betta.

I just LOVE a gift basket. I like to give them, and I like to receive them. It’s just something about having several themed items in a basket that is fun. The only hard part, other than buying everything to go in it, is getting it all arranged in the basket so it looks nice and is secure. If you don’t have that kind of time, but are still looking for a thoughtful, good quality gift basket for a friend or loved one…I have the answer! GourmetGiftBaskets.com! Did I mention FOOD baskets are my most favorite? No surprise there I’m sure.

I had the opportunity to review this little BBQ Gift Basket, just in time for grilling season! The box itself came with a message from the president of the company, and the basket was packed very securely so it would not get damaged during shipping. Each gift basket comes with a card inside that you can add your personal message to the recipient. The basket, shown above left, is securely wrapped in plastic, so contents can not spill out or shift during shipping, and topped with a bow. It is a gift afterall!

The BBQ Basket comes with the above items. Here is a description of each per the website:
 
If they can’t get enough of the sweet, savory, tangy, smoky goodness that is all things barbeque, you’ve just found the perfect gift. This impressive gift basket is comprised of the best grilling products, like authentic fiery sauces and deliciously zesty rubs, supplying them with everything they need to make their favorite food better than ever. 


Ingredients: 
• Sriracha Teriyaki Sauce by Stonewall Kitchen – 11 oz. – A spicy dipping sauce made from sun-ripened chilis and garlic.
• Roasted & Salted Peanuts by J&R; Gourmet – 2 oz. – Better than any ballpark peanuts you’ve ever tasted, roasted and salted to perfection.
• Chichester Snack Mix by Merrimack Valley Snack Company – 2 oz. – A delightful snack mix comprised of crunchy pretzel nuggets, cheddar cheese crackers, and premium nuts.
• Spicy Peri Peri & Lemon Veggie Roaster by Urban Accents – 1 oz. – A spicy blend of chili pepper, lemon peel and garlic flavor.
• Touch O’Heat BBQ Sauce by Rufus Teague – 16 oz. – All natural and gluten free, this BBQ sauce is what barbeque is supposed to taste like. 
• Beef & Burger Rub by Urban Accents – 1.5 oz. – Use for grilling or roasting to bring out all the juicy flavors in whatever meat you choose.

I can go ahead and tell you, the Sriracha Teriyaki Sauce by Stonewall Kitchen….I’m in love!! It’s so good! I’ve used it as a marinade for pork, as well as a dipping sauce for my Baked Egg Rolls. My family also enjoyed the Touch O’Heat BBQ Sauce on grilled boneless pork ribs the other night. I can’t wait to try out the rubs as well.

Would you like to try the BBQ Gift Basket? Or give it to the BBQ’er in your life? It would make a great summer birthday gift, a couple’s wedding gift, a housewarming gift…the list goes on! Just complete the rafflecopter form below to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Low Carb Cheesecake (with optional Blueberry Topping)

For those of you following a low carb diet, or have ever tried following a low carb diet, you know how hard it can be to satisfy those cravings for something sweet. I have attempted to low carb it many times, each time failing miserably! My husband however, has been eating low carb for years now to help control his diabetes. This cheesecake is one of his favorite indulgences, minus the blueberry topping…he prefers his plain.

Low Carb Cheesecake

3 (8 ounce) packages Cream Cheese, softened (I usually use 2 ‘regular’ cream cheese and 1 reduced fat)
 
3 eggs, room temperature
 
3/4 cup Splenda (or artificial sweetener of choice. I’ve had good luck with xylitol, but haven’t used it for this yet.)
 
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  • Lightly spray pie plate with cooking spray.
  • Mix together cream cheese, Splenda, lemon juice and vanilla until well blended.
  • On low speed, add eggs, one at a time, mixing until just blended after each one.
  • Pour mixture into pie plate, bake 45 minutes or until center is almost set (but still slightly jiggly)
  • Cool, add fresh fruit or fruit topping if desired (see below for blueberry topping)
Recipe adapted from Kraft
Blueberry Topping
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1 Tablespoon desired sweetener (less if berries are very sweet)
1 Tablespoon water
Heat on medium high heat until berries are bursting and sauce begins to thicken. Reduce heat and let simmer to desired thickness, stirring occasionally. Cool slightly and add to top of cheesecake.
This is a crustless cheesecake, but you could always add a low carb almond crust.
Anyone out there low carbing it? How’s it going? What’s your favorite low sugar treat?

Strawberries – A recipe round-up

Are you seeing bright red, delicious strawberries everywhere right now? Maybe you want to grab some and make one of these recipes for Father’s Day! Or for tomorrow…because why wait?!

Strawberry Spectacular – this has sweetened condensed milk AND cream cheese…so you know it’s gonna be good!
Strawberry Zucchini Marmalade – this doesn’t actually have fresh strawberries in it, but maybe you have zucchini piling up…you will be surprised at how yummy this is!
I’ve got a few others on my “to make” list as well, like this Strawberry Upside Down Cake, Farmhouse Strawberry Pie, and Strawberry Pretzel Salad – which is definitely my kind of salad.
What’s your favorite strawberry recipe?

Paddle Boarding & Very Strawberry Shortcake {#SweetSwaps #IC #ad}

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for the SPLENDA® Brand. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation. All opinions and reviews are my own.

I, for one, am SO glad the summer season is upon us!! School is out, the heat index is rising, and it’s time to break out the pool floats, dust off the lounge chairs, and rinse out the coolers. Oh…and bathing suits. It’s time to break out the bathing suits…and for many of us (and by “us” I mean “me”), that can be majorly a little traumatic. BUT, the great thing about warm weather is that it is much easier to MOVE MORE! The blue sky, warm sun, and birds chirping just beckons us to get outside…maybe it’s working in the garden, walking around the block, yard work, etc. For my friends and family, it’s swimming, kayaking, boating, and now, paddle boarding!

 This was my first time on a paddle board, and I was surprised by how easy it was! I was expecting it to be much harder to stay balanced. Of course, I kept a slow and steady pace, but it was fun! And obviously, after spending the day with friends swimming, kayaking and paddle boarding…you work up an appetite. And nothing is more important to a backyard barbecue than dessert. Am I right, or am I right?!
Thankfully, it’s also strawberry season!! We have several farmer’s markets nearby that offer freshly picked strawberries, or you can go pick the strawberries right out of the field yourself.  Even my local grocery store (yes, that’s singular) has had some pretty good looking berries this year.

Since we had all spent the day in bathing suits (mine covered up by swim shorts and a tank), and getting some exercise in, the last thing we needed was a heavy, sugar laden dessert that would weigh us down…literally! I was happy to find a yummy SWEET SWAPS™ recipe that fits nicely into our lifestyle. 

You can save loads of calories by swapping out full sugar for SPLENDA®Sweetener Products. Being that my husband is diabetic, it is also nice to be able to make special treats that he can enjoy without all the sugar as well. *Fun Fact* Swapping one cup of sugar with one cup of SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated can save more than 600 calories.  
 
Very Strawberry Shortcake
 
Strawberry Filling
  • 3 cups sliced fresh strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
Shortcakes
  • 2 1/2 cups reduced-fat biscuit mix
  • 1/3 cup SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated
  • 1 cup plain fat-free yogurt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup fat-free frozen whipped topping, thawed (I used homemade whipped cream)
  • 12 sprigs mint sprigs (optional) (I omitted)
DIRECTIONS
Strawberry Filling:
  1. Stir together strawberries, 2 tablespoons SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated, and balsamic vinegar; let stand 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Shortcake:
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Combine biscuit mix and 1/3 cup SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated, in a large bowl.
  3. Stir together yogurt and vanilla; add to dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened.
  4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead 3 or 4 times. Pat dough to a ½-inch thickness. Cut with a 2 1/4-inch round cutter, reusing dough scraps, if necessary. Place shortcakes on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake 12 to 15 minutes. Serve warm with sliced strawberries and whipped topping. Garnish with mint springs, if desired.

Reprinted with permission from SWEET SWAPS™. Check out SPLENDA® on Pinterest for more great swaps and recipes.

What’s your favorite way to “move more” in the summer? Have you ever tried paddle boarding?

3-Ingredient Chocolate Chip Cookies {no cake mix!}

What if I said you can make delicious chocolate chip cookies with only 3 ingredients, and it does not contain cake mix? Yep, I’m for real. I’m the Queen of quick and easy recipes. Five ingredients or less, I’m in…3 ingredients? Even better.

My kids and I have made these a few times now, and each time I am surprised by how tasty they are. And how EASY!
All you need are graham crackers, sweetened condensed milk, and chocolate chips. Seriously!
They have a nice hearty texture (similar to oatmeal cookies), and I love the graham cracker and condensed milk flavor combo. I could seriously polish off that plate right now.

3-Ingredient Cookies

16 whole graham crackers (approx 3 1/4 cups coarse crumbs)
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups chocolate chips
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  • Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats (this is needed to prevent sticking)
  • Crush the graham crackers into coarse crumbs (a food processor makes easy work of this. I do not recommend using store-bough graham cracker crumbs or pulsing the graham crackers super fine, unless you cut back on the amount of crumbs used.)
  • In a large bowl, stir together graham cracker crumbs, sweetened condensed milk and chocolate chips. Batter will be pretty thick.
  • Scoop tablespoon sized cookie balls onto prepared baking sheets. Bake 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown around edges.
  • Allow to cool before removing from pan.
You may also be interested in my 2-Ingredient Apple Angel Food Cake or this 4-Ingredient Chocolate Dump Cake!

Non-Scale Victories {#TheWinningMoment #WeightWatchersIceCream #ad}

This post brought to you by Weight Watchers® Ice Cream. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Makin’ it Mo’Betta.

I don’t know about y’all, but I get sick and tired of obsessing over everything I eat, everything my children eat, and constantly feeling like I am depriving myself. I have often had the mentality “I can’t eat that”…because it has too much fat or too many carbs, it has this in it or that…It can be exhausting! That’s one of the things I really like about the WW program, is that it takes a lot of the stress out of eating. The apps make tracking food easy, and counting points was much less stressful to me than counting calories. Now, it’s been a couple of years since I followed the program, but I still keep the basic principles in mind…I know if I eat pizza, I need to balance that with healthier options the rest of the day. Just knowing I CAN eat pizza or whatever you may consider your “forbidden” food, makes eating much more enjoyable. It’s all about moderation! It also helps a TON, that Weight Watchers® has many products available that are comforting and delicious, but still help maintain your goals. These non-scale victories make everything better!
Weight Watchers Ice Cream are satisfying, delicious, and if you are interested in the Points Plus values, they are listed right on the package. Less stress + yummy treats = A Winning Moment! Not to mention they come in a variety of flavors and are available in bars, cones, and sandwiches. They have flavors other than those pictures as well, like Dark Chocolate Raspberry! I’ve tried them all (you know, for research purposes *coughcough*) and I have to say that the Dark Chocolate Dulce de Leche was a favorite! Another great thing, they are sold in several convenient locations such as Walmart, Target, Kroger, Publix, Safeway, Stop & Shop, Shoprite, and Supervalue.

My kids were more than happy to dive into the treats, and being able to keep up with my children and enjoy life with them is definitely a winning moment as well. There are certainly more things in life to validate me, my life and my sense of self-worth other than a number on the scale.

It’s little changes that I am continuing to make each day that help me feel happy, healthy and content. Don’t get me wrong, I still want the number on the scale to go down…but I’m not obsessing over it. As a matter of fact, my daughter sneakily took the above picture of me, and I didn’t immediately delete it! Usually, I’m my own worst critic, and loathe seeing pictures of myself. Not only did I not delete it, I decided to post it here. Why? Because I can see progress. Those are my winning moments. 

And this…this is another non-scale victory and winning moment! Whenever I go over my step goal for the day (usually around 10,000), I feel a sense of accomplishment. It means I got my butt moving. It means I’m doing something for ME, but I’m also (hopefully) setting a good example for my children. When my kids see me exercising, preparing meals for the family, making healthier swaps with ingredients and food choices, and teaching them that foods are not to be considered the enemy or forbidden, but enjoyed and incorporated into a balanced life, I hope it sticks with them as they grow and make their own choices.

What do you consider some of your winning moments?

WEIGHT WATCHERS on foods and beverages is the registered trademark of WW Foods, LLC. WEIGHT WATCHERS for services and PointsPlus are the registered trademarks of Weight Watchers International, Inc. Trademarks are used under license by Wells Enterprises, Inc. ©2015 Weight Watchers International, Inc. All rights reserved.
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National Donut Day! Recipes & Freebies

Not only is it Friday, which is awesome in itself, it’s also National Donut Day! If you follow me on Facebook (and you should! I share lots of stuff that doesn’t make it to the blog.) you already know this. Because some holidays are more exciting than others. ABC News released a list of all the places to score FREE donuts today…free donuts are definitely news worthy.

For the rest of us, who are trying to avoid fried dough like the plague, I have some healthier versions that can be baked up at home. Yes, I said baked. Yes, I know a baked donut is basically a muffin, but hey, we’re doin’ all we can here to fit into a dag blasted bathing suit. Yes, I said dag blasted. Because apparently I’m 80. 

So, here we go:
Baked Meyer Lemon Donuts (can be made with regular lemons or even oranges, or a combo of both!)


What’s your favorite donut? 

Congrats! It’s a….watermelon? {Watermelon Baby Carriage} #babyshower ideas

Last summer, I helped throw my sister a baby shower. It was so much fun, and I did a post sharing the punch recipe and the party favors. My plan was to share a bunch of other things…and per usual, life got in the way. Well, better late than never right?!

One of my favorite things was this watermelon baby carriage. I was so proud of myself for actually pulling it off! Granted, there are much more intricate ones online, but I love my creepy grapefruit baby and it’s simple watermelon carriage. It looks cute on the food table, and it can be used for a boy or girl, and with pretty much any theme!
This was our food table, with a side table to the far right (not pictured) with meatballs, and we had some candy that matched our color scheme (pink/green/white) sitting around throughout.
Since we had the shower in the summer, watermelon was in season, as well as most of the other fruits used, which was a money saver. You can use any combination of fruits you like or have available.

Watermelon Baby Carriage

  • 1 watermelon (any size, and make it easy on yourself and get a seedless one!)
  • 1 grapefruit, size will depend on the size of the watermelon. It’s going to become the baby’s head, so think about how much space you want it to take up. Note: You can also use an orange, if you need something smaller than a grapefruit
  • 1 pink or blue pacifier
  • grapes/blueberries or other small fruit to make “eyes” and “nose”
  • toothpicks
  • assorted fruit to fill “carriage”, again the amounts will depend on the size of the watermelon.
To prepare-
  1. Place watermelon on a flat surface (on top of newspaper or towels to catch the juice). If needed, cut a small slice of rind off the bottom to help it sit flat.
  2. Use a marker (or visualize) a line down the middle of the watermelon horizontally. Vertically, you will draw a line that is not quite centered…at about 1/3 or a little more of the watermelon.  Using a sharp knife, cut from the top vertical line, down to the center horizontal line. This is easier than it sounds…just take a look at a pic and cut accordingly. (I didn’t measure anything, and I just freehanded my lines. No perfectionism here! If your lines aren’t perfectly straight, it’s okay. If needed, you can go back and neaten/trim them up.)
  3. After you have cut out the top quarter of the watermelon, scoop out all the fruit. I used a melon baller, so my pieces looked nice and were ready to add back into the watermelon.
  4. Add some of the watermelon and assorted fruit to the bottom and back of the watermelon. Add whole grapefruit in center. Place fruit around grapefruit until “carriage” is full.
  5. Use 2 pieces of fruit to make eyes – I used a grape, cut in half. Place toothpick into grapefruit, where you want the eyes to go…leave enough of the toothpick sticking out to secure the eyes in place. Do the same for the nose…I used a blueberry for this. Make a small slit in the grapefruit for the mouth. Insert pacifier.
Congrats! You have a watermelon baby. This is just a basic one, if you have creativity and artistic ability, you can get as fancy as you want. I’ve seen some with scalloped edges, a handle for the carriage, wheels, etc.
This post was featured at:
Miz Helen’s Country Cottage