Crazy for Crust Baking... With a Slice of Life 2017-06-25T10:00:49Z http://www.crazyforcrust.com/feed/atom/ WordPress Dorothy Kern http://www.crazyforcrust.com <![CDATA[No Bake Peanut Butter Icebox Cake]]> http://www.crazyforcrust.com/?p=22501 2017-06-22T19:45:06Z 2017-06-25T10:00:49Z No Bake Peanut Butter Icebox Cake – this easy lush dessert layers peanut butter sandwich cookies with peanut butter pudding! It’s the ULTIMATE peanut butter no bake dessert! Summer is already kicking my behind when it comes to work and, well, life. I love that Jordan is off school because I don’t have to make […]

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No Bake Peanut Butter Icebox Cake – this easy lush dessert layers peanut butter sandwich cookies with peanut butter pudding! It’s the ULTIMATE peanut butter no bake dessert!

No Bake Peanut Butter Icebox Cake - this easy lush dessert layers peanut butter sandwich cookies with peanut butter pudding! It's the ULTIMATE peanut butter no bake dessert!

Summer is already kicking my behind when it comes to work and, well, life. I love that Jordan is off school because I don’t have to make lunches or worry about homework but I am totally missing the schedule already. School got out two weeks ago and we were gone for half of that. Since we’ve been back she’s had a pool party, dance rehearsal, FOUR dance shows, a visit from the grandparents, and two play dates. She’s having the time of her life…and I’m exhausted.

I don’t know why summer always surprises me. I know it’s coming; I look forward to it. I plan a ton of trips and activities to keep her happy…and then I remember I also need to work. I’m so glad that I’m heading to Canada this week to visit Holly. We have zero plans, our kids like to hang out with each other, and we know we both have work to do, so I know I’ll get caught up. (And drink a lot of wine, lol.)

Luckily, I had the foresight to see summer coming even though I didn’t remember it’s full impact; I made this peanut butter lush recipe weeks ago and have been saving it for the perfect time. Now, when it’s been over 100°F for days and days, it’s the perfect time to share an easy no bake icebox cake, don’t you think?

Especially when it’s allllll peanut butter!

No Bake Peanut Butter Icebox Cake - this easy lush dessert layers peanut butter sandwich cookies with peanut butter pudding! It's the ULTIMATE peanut butter no bake dessert!

Icebox cakes, dream desserts, lush recipes, no bake dessert; no matter what you call it they’re all amazingly good and simple. They have three basic components:

  1. Crust
  2. Creamy filling
  3. Topping

Sometimes there are more than one layer, sometimes there are more than one creamy fillings, it all depends on the flavor you’re making. THIS Peanut Butter Icebox Cake is completely peanut butter, from the cookie layers to the pudding to the candy topping.

I call it an icebox cake because it’s more of the “layered” cookie cake that people associate with an icebox cake. Instead of graham crackers or Oreos, THIS icebox cake uses peanut butter sandwich cookies (i.e. Nutter Butters or the generic equivalent). It’s a peanut butter cookie sandwich with peanut butter filling. Because the lush needs to cut and slice like a “cake” I wanted to make sure the cookies would soften enough, so I dipped the cookies in milk before layering them in the pan. Once it’s layered with the creamy filling and soaks awhile, it slices just like a cake.

No Bake Peanut Butter Icebox Cake - this easy lush dessert layers peanut butter sandwich cookies with peanut butter pudding!

Then, on top of the cookies, I made an easy peanut butter pudding layer. It’s sweet and perfectly peanut buttery. Peanut Butter Lovers ONLY for this dessert!!

There are two layers of the pudding and then you have the creamy whipped topping and Reese’s Pieces on top. Chopped peanut butter cups would be amazing too! Just chill and then serve…this goes down SO easy. I’ve been known to take a fork to the pan. (Don’t do that unless you’re prepared to eat it all!)

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Dorothy Kern http://www.crazyforcrust.com <![CDATA[One Day Disneyland Touring Plan for Teens/Adults]]> http://www.crazyforcrust.com/?p=22633 2017-06-22T17:21:07Z 2017-06-23T10:00:14Z Are you going to Los Angeles and wondering how to do Disneyland in one day? Don’t worry, it can be done! You can get all of the best rides done – even in summer – just by following this One Day Disneyland Touring Plan. It’s the perfect touring plan for teens or adults with a […]

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Are you going to Los Angeles and wondering how to do Disneyland in one day? Don’t worry, it can be done! You can get all of the best rides done – even in summer – just by following this One Day Disneyland Touring Plan. It’s the perfect touring plan for teens or adults with a focus on the bigger rides like Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Space Mountain, and Indiana Jones. With this plan you can get all of the big rides done before noon on a busy summer day, then fill in the afternoon with some of the rides you loved as a kid, like It’s a Small World.

Disneyland in a Day! This Disneyland one day touring plan is perfect for teens and adults. It hits all the big rides and offers tips for how to get them all done before noon, even in summer!

A few things to know BEFORE you go:

Planning Extras

Up to 60 days prior to your visit, you’re able to make reservations for dining and “extras” on the day of your visit. This is important to do for 1-day touring. If you decide to just do rides and eat from casual restaurants, you can skip this. But if you want to watch the parade, eat at a fancier restaurant, or do character dining, it’s important to plan it out.

For a one day touring plan, it’s not optimal to do a character breakfast. Breakfast would make you miss out on the morning touring that is essential to getting it all done in one day. If character dining is a must, schedule one that is held outside the park. For breakfast, do it the morning after your touring. Each of the Disneyland Resort hotels offer a character breakfast. If that’s a must-do, schedule it outside of your touring day. For dinner, Goofy’s Kitchen is quite good (and you can get cocktails). Either plan to do it the night before you are in the park or plan it as a late afternoon break from touring before the evening festivities of parade and fireworks.

If you plan to stay in the park open to close, you’re going to need some down time. It’s good to make a reservation for a sit-down restaurant (where there is A/C) to give yourself a good break. Carnation, Blue Bayou, Cafe Orleans, and several others offer reservations and the food is good (and healthier than that corn dog or slice of pizza). You can also make reservations at many of the restaurants in Downtown Disney. Just remember: one end of the park to Downtown is quite a walking distance.

Lastly, think about the parade. At press time, the park is showing the Main Street Electrical Parade. Because of the popularity, you’re able to reserve a dining package, either for a sit-down meal at The Blue Bayou or for a to-go meal (that you can eat sitting down) at Aladdin’s Oasis. Depending on the timing of your meal (lunch vs dinner) you get a reserved area for seating for the parade. The reserved area is roped off by It’s a Small World and you don’t have to go as early to get a spot (by 8:00 is recommended for the 8:45 parade, which is better than when people start camping out at 5:00 or earlier). Plus, you have to eat!

Download the Disneyland App

The Disneyland App is perfect for managing your dining reservations (or making new ones as the day goes on), but it’s most valuable for wait times. This can let you know where to head next, what to avoid, and when to get fast passes.

Day of Touring Tips

Get There EARLY.

I’ve been to Disneyland on one-day trips now several times and what I’ve noticed is that the park fills up as the day goes on. It makes sense to go early, but it seems many people just don’t do it. If you only have one day in Disneyland, it is absolutely essential that you get to the park at least 30 minutes before the gates open and get in line, especially if you are visiting in summer. Doing all your favorite rides before the lines get long (and it gets hot) requires you to lose a little sleep! If the park opens at 8am, plan to be parked and in the line at the turnstiles no later than 7:30am.

The turnstiles open before the park does. At this point a lot of people meander down main street, get buttons, use the restroom, shop, get coffee. Don’t do any of that: go straight to the ropes, work your way as close to the front as you can and wait for the rope drop. You can eat and shop later; when you’re tired and it’s super crowded and hot. Don’t waste the morning doing those things!

As of writing, Disneyland offers Magic Mornings on Saturday, Tuesday, and Thursday. Magic Morning entry is granted for anyone who is staying at a Disneyland Resort or who purchases a 3-day park pass or longer. If you’re only going 1 day and not staying at a Disney hotel, avoid those days for touring. (Also, it goes without saying to avoid weekends in general.)

I recommend Wednesday for a 1-day visit, followed by Monday or Friday in order of my preference.

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Dorothy Kern http://www.crazyforcrust.com <![CDATA[No Churn Chocolate Caramel Ice Cream]]> http://www.crazyforcrust.com/?p=22443 2017-06-22T13:37:13Z 2017-06-22T10:00:37Z EASY No Churn CHOCOLATE CARAMEL Ice Cream – this easy ice cream recipe is super chocolatey and filled with gooey caramel! It’s the best summer indulgence. Trust me: I don’t like chocolate ice cream but I LOVED this flavor! Plus, you don’t need an ice cream machine to make this recipe! PIN IT NOW to […]

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EASY No Churn CHOCOLATE CARAMEL Ice Cream – this easy ice cream recipe is super chocolatey and filled with gooey caramel! It’s the best summer indulgence. Trust me: I don’t like chocolate ice cream but I LOVED this flavor! Plus, you don’t need an ice cream machine to make this recipe!

PIN IT NOW to save for later!

EASY No Churn CHOCOLATE CARAMEL Ice Cream - this easy ice cream recipe is super chocolatey and filled with gooey caramel! It's the best summer indulgence.

Greetings my friends! I just got home from a week family trip in Los Angeles. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen me eating my way through Disneyland, Santa Monica, and Solvang. It was a really fun trip but man, I’ve gotten spoiled over the last couple of years because a go-go-go trip to LA did NOT feel like a vacation to me at all. I’m more tired and burned out now than before we left! From now on, it’s Hawaii or some beach somewhere. Disney is a weekend excursion, lol.

Santa Monica was a nice and foggy 75°F. We drove home yesterday into the worst heat wave Sacramento has had in years: It’s been 109 for days with no end in sight. And? Our upstairs thermostat was broken so we had no air upstairs, which means we were dreaming of our own beds and some space after a week of togetherness…and we all had to sleep in my office on the first floor.

Luckily, the A/C company was able to help me re-program the thermostat to get it to work this morning. Today I’m catching up on work, staying indoors with the A/C blowing directly on me, and eating ice cream until I explode.

EASY No Churn CHOCOLATE CARAMEL Ice Cream - this easy ice cream recipe is super chocolatey and filled with gooey caramel! It's the best summer indulgence.

Ice cream is one of my favorite summer pastimes. I actually consider it an activity: swim, sunbathe, eat ice cream, repeat. I love making homemade ice cream because it’s so easy and creamy and perfect, plus you can make so many flavors super easily.

By now you’re thinking, but ice cream is hard to make. You need an ice cream maker or salt and time and blah blah blah. But wait – you’re mistaken. All you need is a bowl, a spoon, a few ingredients, and a freezer. I never use an ice cream machine; no churn ice cream is the way I roll.

No churn ice cream, at it’s base, has just 2 main ingredients: sweetened condensed milk and heavy whipping cream that’s beaten to stiff peaks. In a pinch you can even use cool whip (and make it fat free if you use fat-free whipped topping). From those two ingredients, the sky is the limit on how to flavor your no churn ice cream. You can add pudding to make it banana, or extract to make it mint. Normally, I don’t like chocolate ice cream (I know, I’m weird) but I love making no churn chocolate ice cream. I don’t know why it tastes so much better than regular chocolate, but it totally does.

No Churn Easy Chocolate Caramel Ice Cream with International Delight

The other thing you can flavor no churn ice cream with? COFFEE CREAMER! That’s right, my friends. You can turn your favorite flavor coffee creamer into ice cream. Genius right?

For this No Churn Chocolate Caramel Ice Cream I added some melted chocolate to the sweetened condensed milk and then I also added some International Delight Hershey’s Chocolate Caramel Coffee Creamer. The combination of the two give such a rich yet light chocolate flavor. Even non-chocolate ice cream lovers will LOVE this ice cream.

Once I mixed together the main ingredients, I swirled it with caramel and hot fudge because, to me, more of those things are better. Don’t you agree? Then simply freeze it until it’s hard and poof, you have ice cream without a machine! (Although it’s good if you can’t wait for it to freeze…I’ve eaten it soft like a mousse and it’s so good.)

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Dorothy Kern http://www.crazyforcrust.com <![CDATA[Strawberry Lime Party Punch]]> http://www.crazyforcrust.com/?p=22519 2017-06-08T14:13:31Z 2017-06-20T10:00:40Z Strawberry Lime Party Punch – this easy cocktail recipe has just 3 ingredients: strawberry vodka, lemon lime soda, and seltzer. It’s the perfect refreshing party punch cocktail! I have been doing this blogging thing for almost 7 years now. SEVEN, can you believe it? I started when Jordan was in Kindergarten and now she’s an […]

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Strawberry Lime Party Punch – this easy cocktail recipe has just 3 ingredients: strawberry vodka, lemon lime soda, and seltzer. It’s the perfect refreshing party punch cocktail!

Strawberry Lime Party Punch - this easy cocktail recipe has just 3 ingredients: strawberry vodka, lemon lime soda, and seltzer. The perfect refreshing party punch cocktail!

I have been doing this blogging thing for almost 7 years now. SEVEN, can you believe it? I started when Jordan was in Kindergarten and now she’s an elementary school graduate. But guess what? Some of the people I know STILL don’t think I work. They think that, because I’m home all day, I don’t have responsibilities and/or can do anything at the drop of a hat. That, because they work outside the home, or have multiple kids, or blah blah blah their life is so much harder.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I fully admit how cushy my job is. I get to work at home, I get to still be a stay-at-home mom (although the challenges of being a WAHM and SAHM are another story), and rarely do I have to put on makeup or do my hair when I get dressed for work. I love my job, it pays my bills, and I often don’t think of it as work because it’s fun. BUT…

I do have a job. PERIOD.

I don’t get up and shower and go to an office, no. But I do set my alarm and get up at 6am so I can work for a half hour before the morning crazy starts. I do that all year round, even in summer, even on school vacations. Sure, I take a break to go to the gym in the morning, but at that point I’ve already been working for two hours.

I may take 20 minutes off to go grab Jordan from school, but I work right up to making dinner. Then I work after dinner. And that 2 hour break I took for a party/volunteer at school/dentist appointment/field trip? I’m making up that time in the evenings or early morning…or on the weekend. Peeps, don’t get me started on weekends. Or vacations, for that matter.

This month I have two super fun vacations planned: a family trip to LA and a mother-daughter trip to Canada to see one of my best friends. But I can guarantee you, while I’m waiting in line for the Matterhorn or watching my daughter and her BFF experience the Main Street Electrical Parade for the first time, I’ll be on my phone, sharing on Facebook. When I’m sitting on Holly’s deck in Canada drinking a glass of wine talking about our lives, I’ll have my laptop on my lap editing a video.

My point is, I never stop working. EVER. That’s how it is when you own a business. I don’t judge anyone for their jobs, how hard they work, or what they do. Sometimes I wish I’d get the same in return.

Anyway…wow. It seemed like I needed to get something off my chest there. Whew, it was a long time coming. Thanks for listening, because I needed to say it. And if you have a friend doing the same thing to you, maybe you just forward them this post and say “Hey, that looks like an AMAZING cocktail, let’s make it!” and hope they read it.

Because it is, an amazing cocktail that is. Strawberry Lime Party Punch – just 3 ingredients in a fruit soaked wonderfulness. This is my new favorite everyday drink!

Strawberry Lime Party Punch - this easy cocktail recipe has just 3 ingredients: strawberry vodka, lemon lime soda, and seltzer. The perfect refreshing party punch cocktail!

When I was in South Carolina (obviously just on a fun vacation and not working, hahahahaha) I bought a bottle of Strawberry Vodka to try and I fell in LOVE. There are tons of flavored vodkas out there but this one? My hands down favorite! It’s sweet but not overly so, with a nice flavor of strawberry. We mixed it with lime La Croix and that became my go-to drink for the trip and even after I got home.

You can make this as a single drink (sort of a vodka press, with vodka + seltzer + a dash of soda for sweetness) but I decided to turn it into a fabulous party punch cocktail I’m making for every summer party this year. I mixed my strawberry vodka with Lime La Croix (my new addiction) and some diet lemon-lime soda for sweetness. Add some strawberries and limes and let it soak, like sangria!

This easy cocktail recipe has just 3 ingredients: strawberry vodka, lemon lime soda, and seltzer.

I know it’s sometimes hard to find the Strawberry Vodka. They don’t always have it at the regular grocery store, but if you have a liquor store or wine store, they should have it. If not, just use regular vodka. The berries will soak in and flavor it regardless.

As for the La Croix, you can use any flavor you like. I just love using lime because lime and strawberry go so well together. And you can use regular or diet lemon-lime soda, and as much or as little of it as you want. Adjust for your tastes!

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Dorothy Kern http://www.crazyforcrust.com <![CDATA[Pineapple Upside Down Dump Cake]]> http://www.crazyforcrust.com/?p=22454 2017-06-21T20:04:54Z 2017-06-18T10:00:55Z Pineapple Upside Down Dump Cake – This EASY pineapple upside down cake recipe has only 4 ingredients!! Simply dump the recipes into the pan and bake. The easiest cake recipe EVER and it feeds a crowd! PIN IT NOW to save for later! So…let’s talk about The Real Housewives of Atlanta for a minute. Oh […]

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Pineapple Upside Down Dump Cake – This EASY pineapple upside down cake recipe has only 4 ingredients!! Simply dump the recipes into the pan and bake. The easiest cake recipe EVER and it feeds a crowd!

PIN IT NOW to save for later!

Pineapple Upside Down Dump Cake - This EASY pineapple upside down cake recipe has only 4 ingredients!! Simply dump the recipes into the pan and bake. The easiest cake recipe EVER and it feeds a crowd!

So…let’s talk about The Real Housewives of Atlanta for a minute. Oh my heck, y’all. Do you watch that show? I am an absolute Housewives NUT. I watch every episode, every season, every complimentary episode of Watch What Happens Live…but for some reason I never watched Atlanta. I started season 1 but I don’t think the personalities grabbed me at first, so I gave up too soon. (In my defense, this was before I knew it would be good just because it had the Housewives name.)

Anyway, now that you’ve forgiven me my sins, I subscribed to Hulu pretty much because I could watch the entire series from start to finish. I’m up to the end of season 7. Apollo just went to jail, Phaedra filed for divorce, and NeNe is fed up. I am loving EVERY SECOND. Like, it’s all I can do right now to write this and not escape to my bubble of RHOA.

Now, I’m not up to date on season 9, but you have to be living under a rock to not know the drama that’s going to occur between Kandi and Phaedra. I’m a Bravo-addict so of course I know what’s coming. Season 7 is where their friendship starts to fracture and I just want to shake Kandi and be like, GIRL. GO CALL HER. Make an effort! She’s hurting! She’s gonna do you wrong if you don’t get your act together!

It’s drama at it’s best, and it keeps my mind off the crap going on in real life. (Anyone who ever said they don’t live in a “Real Housewives” situation has never lived in a suburb, let me tell you.)

All this watching Atlanta has me thinking about the south and southern food…and that brings me to our newest DUMP CAKE recipe for today: Pineapple Upside Down Dump Cake!

Pineapple Upside Down Dump Cake

Last month, when I made my Cherry Berry Dump Cake, I got so many comments about all the different flavors people make. Peach, cherry, lemon, chocolate…I want to try every single one. The one that was brought up most was pineapple with cherry pie filling. I thought to myself, of course that’s popular: it’s a Pineapple Upside Down Cake!

So…I decided to give that recipe a home right here on the blog: a pineapple upside down DUMP cake…where you just dump it all in. Easy as pie…or cake, that is.

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Dorothy Kern http://www.crazyforcrust.com <![CDATA[Pizza Tortellini Salad]]> http://www.crazyforcrust.com/?p=22494 2017-06-21T20:05:22Z 2017-06-15T10:00:13Z Pizza Tortellini Salad – this easy pasta salad recipe is full of pizza flavor with cheese tortellini, pepperoni, bell peppers, olives, tomatoes and a homemade balsamic dressing! It’s perfect for a summer potluck! PIN IT NOW to save for later! I loooooove pasta salad. I never liked it when I was younger because I didn’t […]

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Pizza Tortellini Salad – this easy pasta salad recipe is full of pizza flavor with cheese tortellini, pepperoni, bell peppers, olives, tomatoes and a homemade balsamic dressing! It’s perfect for a summer potluck!

PIN IT NOW to save for later!

Pizza Tortellini Salad - this easy pasta salad recipe is full of pizza flavor with cheese tortellini, pepperoni, bell peppers, olives, tomatoes and a homemade balsamic dressing! It's perfect for a summer potluck!

I loooooove pasta salad. I never liked it when I was younger because I didn’t like dressing (are you surprised?) but as an adult? I can eat an entire batch all by myself. And if it’s tortellini? Even better.

Growing up, we’d eat ravioli or tortellini at least once a week. Once I got married I continued the tradition, until Mel stopped eating carbs and I had a kid who hates pasta. (I know, sometimes I question my life choices too.) Now I save both ravioli and tortellini to indulge in when Mel is out of town for work. Then I make way too much and pretend I’m a single 20-something who doesn’t have to worry about carbs.

(Oh, how I miss those days!)

Pasta salads are all the rage these days. I’ve seen tons of variations all over Facebook and Pinterest: taco, Greek, Italian…and so many more. I decided I just HAD to share this PIZZA Tortellini Salad because I’ve been making it for years and everyone always raves about it. Plus, it’s pasta with pepperoni…what could be better than that?

Easy Pizza Tortellini Salad

Funny story, my parents have a funny name for tortellini. Can you guess what it is? I actually can’t tell you what it is, except it starts with “little” and involves a word that someone would yell at my if I type. Why do they call it that? Really I have no idea.

But, to this day, all I think of when I buy tortellini is that I’m buying a bunch of little ——–.

ANYWAY, I digress. When I buy tortellini I also think about THIS pasta salad with all my favorite things in it:

  • BLACK OLIVES! Sorry for shouting but I love them so much. I never get to eat them either because no one I know likes them. On pizza? BEST EVER!
  • Green peppers – a must on pizza
  • Pepperoni – ditto
  • Parmesan cheese – what pasta salad doesn’t have cheese? Not one I’m eating!
  • Balsamic dressing….oh how I love thee…

Let’s talk about dressing for a minute. You can totally buy your own from the store. No need to make it from scratch but if you do? Use MY balsamic recipe. I make it all the time because it’s so good. I has shallot and garlic and herbs and….mustard.

Duh duh duuuuuuuuuuuuh. (Evil sounds)

I hate mustard, yes I know. To me, mustard is the absolute devil. I will not touch it. Making my husband a sandwich makes me sick. BUT…in this dressing it’s actually good. There’s so much balsamic and other flavors you don’t even taste the mustard (and I know, because in 99% of dressing recipes I can sure taste it if it’s there). I love adding it because it helps the recipe emulsify (as in, blend together).

You don’t need a fancy whisk or anything to make the dressing either: go buy yourself a mason jar. Then add the ingredients and shake shake shake!

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Dorothy Kern http://www.crazyforcrust.com <![CDATA[Fireworks Bundt Cake]]> http://www.crazyforcrust.com/?p=22459 2017-06-13T15:16:11Z 2017-06-13T01:00:49Z Fireworks Bundt Cake – this easy bundt cake recipe starts with a cake mix. Doctor it up to make a soft and delicious bundt cake that is accidentally dairy free thanks to my partnership with Almond Breeze Almondmilk. Then tie dye it for the 4th of July! I am a huge sucker for red, white, […]

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Fireworks Bundt Cake – this easy bundt cake recipe starts with a cake mix. Doctor it up to make a soft and delicious bundt cake that is accidentally dairy free thanks to my partnership with Almond Breeze Almondmilk. Then tie dye it for the 4th of July!

Fireworks Bundt Cake - this easy bundt cake recipe starts with a cake mix. Doctor it up to make a soft and delicious bundt cake that is accidentally dairy free. Tie dye it for the 4th of July!

I am a huge sucker for red, white, and blue food. I think that 4th of July is my favorite holiday just because of the color combination! If it was up to me I’d make Fireworks Cookies and use patriotic sprinkles all year long.

One of the things I absolutely love to make (and EAT!) but hardly ever do? Bundt Cake. Also known as pound cake, this is probably my favorite kind of cake. Sure, layer cakes are nice and all but a perfect bundt cake? Now that’s magic to me. I think it’s because I’m not a huge frosting fan (gasp, I know right?!) and bundt cakes are 90% cake and only 10% frosting.

I’m all about that cake, that cake, no frosting! (Name that tune!)

Fireworks Bundt Cake - this easy bundt cake recipe starts with a cake mix. Doctor it up to make a soft and delicious bundt cake that is accidentally dairy free. Tie dye it for the 4th of July!

I have pound cake recipes on this blog from scratch, but one of my favorite ways to make a bundt is by doctoring a cake mix. I am firmly on #TEAMCAKEMIX (someone make me a shirt!) so when I decided to make a FIREWORKS Bundt Cake perfect for the Fourth of July, I immediately reached for my favorite box.

It’s been on my bucket list to make a swirled colorful cake like this for years. I always think, nah, they’re so overdone! But you know what? Who cares. It’s new to me, so it might just be new to you too!

Plus, it’s pretty and PERFECT for Independence Day, my favorite holiday. And, I doctored up the mix just enough that no one will know it’s a mix, pinky swear. Plus, it’s accidentally dairy-free!

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Dorothy Kern http://www.crazyforcrust.com <![CDATA[Fireworks Blondies]]> http://www.crazyforcrust.com/?p=22424 2017-06-02T22:19:20Z 2017-06-11T10:00:38Z Fireworks Blondies – this EASY blondie recipe is the BEST EVER COOKIE BAR! It’s so soft and perfect with any additions, but especially with 4th of July M&Ms and sprinkles! I feel like I’m in a major recipe rut. I can’t decide what to make! I keep thinking about fun recipes I want to share […]

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Fireworks Blondies – this EASY blondie recipe is the BEST EVER COOKIE BAR! It’s so soft and perfect with any additions, but especially with 4th of July M&Ms and sprinkles!

Fireworks Blondies - this EASY blondie recipe is the BEST EVER COOKIE BAR! It's so soft and perfect with any additions, but especially with 4th of July M&Ms and sprinkles!

I feel like I’m in a major recipe rut. I can’t decide what to make! I keep thinking about fun recipes I want to share and then going back and forth on whether or not to make them, what flavor to make them, or when to post. No bake desserts, dinner recipes, cookies, bars, cake…what should I make?

It’s times like these that I do two things:

  1. I go stare at my pantry in the hopes I can use up some of the food I’ve hoarded. (Because no one needs 23 boxes of instant pudding mix. No one, not even a food blogger.)
  2. I go back to an old standby and make it new and fresh again.

Can you guess which one I did to make these Fireworks Blondies? That’s right, the good old standby route. Take a recipe I love and make it new again. Enter: Fireworks recipes and Blondie recipes and marry them!

Fireworks Blondies Recipe

This blondie recipe is my FAVORITE cookie bar recipe – ever. I’ve made them with Milky Way candy bars, I’ve turned them into cinnamon rolls. I’ve made them with peanut butter and stuffed them to make them gooey bars. I’ve made them s’mores and red velvet.

Basically, this blondie recipe is the most perfect and best blondie recipe out there on the internet. Yeah, I’m going there. I’m proclaiming something “THE BEST ON THE INTERNET”.

Why, you ask? Well, I think that 2 cups of brown sugar goes a long way in saying WHY these are the best. Plus, butter. And any mix-in you like…like 4th of July M&Ms and sprinkles. Heck, these blondies even lasted weeks in a care package and made there way all the way to Iraq to brighten a soldiers day.

Hero blondies, if you ask me. Which is why turning them into FIREWORKS BLONDIES for the 4th of July seemed a natural choice. I tend to like turning recipes into fireworks with red, white, and blue M&Ms and sprinkles. I’ve done it with pudding cookies and sugar cookie cake…and now cookie bars!

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Dorothy Kern http://www.crazyforcrust.com <![CDATA[Cheesecake Apple Salad]]> http://www.crazyforcrust.com/?p=22435 2017-06-08T23:16:39Z 2017-06-08T10:00:01Z Cheesecake Apple Salad – this easy no bake dessert salad recipe combines apple salad and cheesecake fluff! Apples are mixed with marshmallows, nuts, and a no-bake cheesecake for the perfect party side dish. PIN IT NOW to save for later! Do you ever have those feelings that, in the moment, time is taking F-O-R-E-V-E-R but […]

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Cheesecake Apple Salad – this easy no bake dessert salad recipe combines apple salad and cheesecake fluff! Apples are mixed with marshmallows, nuts, and a no-bake cheesecake for the perfect party side dish.

PIN IT NOW to save for later!

Cheesecake Apple Salad - this easy no bake dessert salad recipe combines apple salad and cheesecake fluff! Apples are mixed with marshmallows, nuts, and a no-bake cheesecake for the perfect party side dish.

Do you ever have those feelings that, in the moment, time is taking F-O-R-E-V-E-R but then, looking back, it speeds by? I’m totally feeling that way today because it’s Jordan’s last day of 6th grade. This year just flew by, as does every year now, but when she was a baby it felt like every day lasted a year. When she was a toddler I couldn’t imagine her going to Kindergarten. Then, on Kindergarten graduation day I couldn’t imagine her in 4th grade with the “big kids”. And now she’s finished with 6th grade and moving on to Middle School. When I look back and realize how fast time went, I think about how in 6 very short years she’ll be graduating from high school.

I am so glad this year is over, but I’m sad too. I’m not sad to say goodbye to her elementary school (I was ready to leave 2 years ago because the principal is…not great) but I am sad that we are leaving the safety of the younger grades. Somehow I am pretty sure that the next 6 years are going to be harder than the first 6. Pretty soon I’ll be wishing she wouldn’t sleep through the night instead of wishing she’d get home so I can go to bed.

I’m trying to put the emotions of the day behind me, so instead of focusing on that I’m going to think about what’s next right now: SUMMER! Swim parties, fun in the sun, vacations, and barbecues. I can’t wait for every single one.

My goal over the next few weeks is to share some stupidly easy recipes for you; ones that are perfect for potlucks and parties. This Cheesecake Apple Salad is one of the BEST ones you can make. Everyone loves it – kids and adults. And it’s a salad that I will go to town on for sure!

Apple Cheesecake Fluff Salad - an easy no bake cheesecake mixed with apples, walnuts, and marshmallows.

Before blogging I’d never heard of an Apple Salad or a Fluff Salad. I am pretty sure those two dessert salad recipes started back in the 70s when our moms cooked in microwaves from canned food and we lived on cake mix, pudding mix, and whipped topping.

Side note: why wasn’t I a mom in the 70s? I’d have been perfect at that.

My first introduction to creamy fruit salads was the Snickers Apple Salad you’ve seen all over pinterest. I’ve made my own version of that using Butterfingers, in case you’re craving peanut butter. When I was brainstorming ideas for an easy BBQ side dish, this kept popping into my head: a no-bake cheesecake salad. I’ve seen ones made with tropical fruit and berries or bananas or cherries, but I’m not really a fan of any of that kind of fruit. I’m an apple girl, through and through, so I decided to make a cheesecake salad with apples. Then I added walnuts for crunch and marshmallows because, well, why not? Plus, FLUFF salads seem to be all the rage right now and anytime I can add marshmallows to something I’m down for that.

Cheesecake Apple Salad Fluff

The no-bake cheesecake portion of this recipe is made with my favorite cream cheese: Challenge Cream Cheese. I’ve been working with Challenge Dairy for over a year now and it’s a natural fit for me; I grew up on Challenge Butter. It’s the only brand of butter I use, and the cream cheese is my favorite. It’s smooth and silky and almost spreadable straight out of the refrigerator.

I just added a bit of sugar to sweeten the cream cheese, and then mixed it with some whipped topping. Add in your fruit and nuts and marshmallows and you have the perfect side dish that doubles as dessert.

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Dorothy Kern http://www.crazyforcrust.com <![CDATA[Easy Strawberry Cobbler]]> http://www.crazyforcrust.com/?p=22429 2017-06-05T18:24:14Z 2017-06-06T10:00:33Z Easy Strawberry Cobbler – this easy cobbler recipe uses fresh berries and is topped with an easy batter that can be made lower in sugar thanks to SPLENDA® Naturals. It’s June which means two things: IT’S OFFICIALLY STRAWBERRY SEASON and… It’s officially COOKOUT season! I’m not much of an outdoors person but I love hosting barbecues. […]

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Easy Strawberry Cobbler – this easy cobbler recipe uses fresh berries and is topped with an easy batter that can be made lower in sugar thanks to SPLENDA® Naturals.

Easy Strawberry Cobbler - this easy cobbler recipe uses fresh berries and is topped with an easy batter that can be made lower in sugar!

It’s June which means two things:

  1. IT’S OFFICIALLY STRAWBERRY SEASON and…
  2. It’s officially COOKOUT season!

I’m not much of an outdoors person but I love hosting barbecues. We have a large backyard and pool, so it’s perfect for entertaining. Jordan has friends over to swim almost daily and we host cookouts and swim parties at least a few times a month all summer long. I consider it my job during these events to get the food on the table, because that’s how I roll (also: I hate swimming and being outdoors, remember?)

One of the things I always make for every single gathering is a cobbler, dump cake, or crisp. They’re so easy to make any everyone loves them! You can start with fresh or frozen berries and they’re usually whipped up in just a few minutes.

I decided, for my first barbecue last weekend, to whip up something with strawberries. Living in California, we are spoiled when it comes to berries because we get them all year, but I love them in summer most of all because they taste SO good (and they’re cheaper). I assume that, if you don’t live in the sunshine state, you’re probably just seeing affordable and delicious berries show up in your supermarket. This cobbler recipe is a great way to use them, but you can use frozen berries too.

Instead of a traditional biscuit-like or crispy topping, I decided to try a more old fashioned cobbler. The batter is almost like a pancake batter in texture and when you pour it over the fruit it bakes up like a soft and sweet cake on top of the berries. The final product reminded me a lot of my Crazy Crust Pie, but I liked this one even better!

Easy Strawberry Cobbler - a simple cobbler recipe that combines fresh fruit with a delicious batter on top!

In summer so many of my friends are watching what they eat, and when my family comes over I have to be conscious of the sugar I add into recipes. Whenever I can easily make a recipe lower in added sugar, I like to try it. This is the perfect recipe to do that with because in summer berries are so sweet by themselves.

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