April 4, 2016

Enjoy the last of weeks of summer with this delicious vanilla soft serve recipe that uses real vanilla bean!

Mr. Softee-Style Vanilla Bean Soft Serve

Ingredients & Special Equipment

3 1/2 cups half and half, divided

3 tablespoons cornstarch

2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin

1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon Scotch whiskey

Ice cream machine


Pour about 1/4 cup half and half in one small bowl and 2 tablespoons in another. Use a fork to whisk cornstarch into the first bowl until no lumps remain, and sprinkle gelatin in second bowl. Add remaining half and half to a saucepan along with vanilla bean, sugar, and salt. Bring to a bowl, then turn off heat, cover, and let steep for one hour.

Remove vanilla bean (reserving for another use) and whisk in cornstarch slurry. Heat dairy on medium heat, whisking frequently, until a custard forms and a swiped finger leaves a clean line. Turn off heat, taste for seasoning, then stir in Scotch and gelatin mixture. Whisk until gelatin fully dissolves. Transfer to an airtight container to chill, four hours to overnight. The custard will set into a wobbly gel

Churn in an ice cream maker until ice cream has the texture of soft serve and is not at all runny. Eat immediately, or chill in freezer in an airtight container. To regain soft serve texture, let ice cream thaw to the verge of melting after freezing.

Make it Your Own

Get creative and add your favorite fruits to your homemade vanilla ice cream!

Active time: 30 minutes

Total time: 2 hours (plus an overnight chill)

Recipe by: Max Falkowitz

More info about Fruits Trees: http://www.plantogram.com


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April 4, 2016

snicker cheesecake




Crust: 24 chocolate sandwich cookies (such as Oreos)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Filling: 3 8-oz. packages cream cheese, at room temperature 

 3/4 cup sugar

3 large eggs, at room temperature 

 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon cornstarch

3 regular-size Snickers bars, cut into 1/4-inch slices

1/4 cup caramel sauce, optional
1/4 cup chopped roasted and salted peanuts, optional


  1. 1. Make crust: Preheat oven to 350ºF. Mist a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Wrap bottom and sides with 2 large foil pieces. Pulse cookies in a food processor until crushed. Pulse in butter. Press into an even layer in pan. Bake until firm, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool.
  2. 2. Make filling: Place a roasting pan filled with 1 inch hot water on oven's center rack. Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar; beat for 1 minute. Beat in eggs. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl. Beat in vanilla, lemon juice and cornstarch.
  3. 3. Sprinkle Snickers over crust. Pour batter into pan; place in water bath. Bake until cake is set around edges but still jiggles in center, about 55 minutes.
  4. 4. Remove cake from roasting pan; remove foil. Place cake on a rack to cool. Cover and chill until firm, 4 hours or up to 1 day. When ready to serve, drizzle top with caramel sauce and top with chopped peanuts, if desired



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April 4, 2016

School is just around the corner!  We have a fun craft you can do with your kids after school, so you can still spend time together while encouraging their creativity!

Fruit Prints



Apples, oranges, lemons, kiwis

Poster paints

Paper plate


Felt-tip pen (any color, or matching fruit)

White drawing paper or card paper


Cut a piece of fruit in half.Pour a little poster paint onto a paper plate. Spread it evenly over the bottom of the plate with a paintbrush.
Press the cut side of the fruit into the paint.
Lift the fruit from the plate.
Press the painted fruit onto the white drawing paper. Be careful not to move the fruit as you print.
Count to 10.
Carefully lift the fruit to see the print.
Practice making as many as you want.
To create a greeting card, make one print in a corner of a piece of stock card. Then decorate another side with a felt-tip pen.
Idea from: Right@Home
More info about Fruits Trees: http://www.plantogram.com
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April 4, 2016

Looking for an easy, healthy dish? Checkout this delicious sweet potato recipe!


4 sweet potatoes

1/2 cup light coconut milk

1/4 toasted unsweetened coconut flakes

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

1 cup pomegranate seeds

Kosher salt

Lime wedges


Heat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange sweet potatoes, pricked with a fork, on rimmed baking sheet and roast until tender, about 45 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Slice tops and mash sweet potatoes with a fork. Divide coconut milk, coconut flakes, cilantro, and pomegranate seeds among sweet potatoes. Season with salt. Garnish with additional sprigs of cilantro and serve with lime wedges.

Serves: 4

Active time: Approximately 5-10 minutes

Total time: 50-55 minutes

Idea from: Whole Living

More info about Fruit Trees: http://www.plantogram.com


April 4, 2016

Enjoy a luscious creamy smoothie full of healthy fats and potassium.  For an extra kick, add chia seeds for an omega-3 boost.

Avocado Smoothie

Ingredients & Special Equipment

2/3 cup avocado

Lemon juice



1 cup ripe mango

1 cup ice

Soaked chia seeds (optional)



Blend avocado with lemon juice, honey, ginger, mango and ice.

Optional: Stir in soaked chia seeds

Serves: 1

Total time: Approximately 5-10 minutes

Idea from: Martha Stewart

More info about Fruit Trees: http://www.plantogram.com


April 4, 2016

With school starting up, it's great to have easy, healthy after school snacks for your kids.  Try this recipe for a fun way to serve your kids fruits and yogurt.  You can also substitute yogurt for ice cream to make the snacks a delicious dessert!

Tortilla Cups with Yogurt and Fresh Fruit

Ingredients & Special Equipment

6 flour tortillas (6-inch)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 1/2 cups plain yogurt

3 tablespoons light-brown sugar

1 1/2 cups fruit, such as berries or sliced nectarines, peaches, or plums

1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

6 jumbo muffin cups


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly brush both sides of tortillas with melted butter and sprinkle both sides with granulated sugar. Lay tortillas over 6 jumbo muffin cups (tortillas will overlap). Bake until tortillas are soft and pliable, 3 minutes. Remove from oven and, with the bottom of a glass, gently press each tortilla into a muffin cup so it folds up and forms a cup shape. Bake until tortillas are crisp and golden at edges, about 12 minutes. Immediately remove tortillas from cups and let cool completely on a wire rack, 15 minutes.

Note: Use a juice glass or ladle to form the tortilla cups. You can make them a day ahead: Let cool completely and store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together yogurt and 2 tablespoons brown sugar. In another small bowl, toss together fruit, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, and lemon juice. To serve, divide yogurt mixture among cooled tortilla cups and top with fruit.

Serves: 6

Total time: 25 minutes

Idea from: Martha Stewart

More info about Fruit Trees: http://www.plantogram.com


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April 4, 2016

This fruit rocket ship doubles as a craft and then a snack!

 fruit rocket ship, edible kids crafts, fruit for kids, healthy eating, fun food ideas


Fresh fruit


Sharp knife


Before you get started you can get your kids to design their rocket ships. You'll be doing most of the cutting, so this is a great way to get them involved. They'll need to have a point at one end, and a base at the other end. Get them to use colored pencils that match the fruits you have available.

Start by cutting and peeling the fruit. You'll need one piece of fruit in a triangular shape for the tip, and another in a trapezoid with the bottom wider than the top. The other bits of fruit can be rectangular or square.

Try not to make your fruit too thick or too thin. You don't want it too heavy for the skewer, but you don't want it to break off either.

Starting with the base, push the skewer through the different bits of fruit. Kids will be able to do this part, but an adult will be needed for any harder fruits like pineapple so that you don't have any accidents.

Finish up with the tip, and then the rocket ship is ready for flying and eating.

 fruit rocket ship, edible kids crafts, fruit for kids, healthy eating, fun food ideas


Total time: 20 minutes

Idea from: Natasha Stewart

More info about Fruit Trees: http://www.plantogram.com


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April 4, 2016

Clean your window blinds

You can make the job of cleaning mini-blinds or venetians considerably less torturous by giving them “the white glove treatment.” Just put on a white cotton glove and moisten the fingers in a solution made of equal parts white vinegar and hot tap water. Then slide your fingers across both sides of each slat and prepare to be amazed. Use a container of clean water to periodically wash off the glove

Read more: http://www.rd.com/home/150-household-uses-for-vinegar/2/

Information from Reader's Digest

April 4, 2016




Cake! Who doesn't love cake? This soft texture watermelon cake will send you off the edge when you're craving for a snake in the afternoon, evening, or late night. How many bites will you take?....



  • 1 package white cake mix (regular size)
  • 1 package (3 ounces) watermelon gelatin
  • 1-1/4 cups water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2-1/2 cups prepared vanilla or cream cheese frosting, divided
  • Red and green gel food coloring
  • Chocolate chips


  1. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, gelatin, water, eggs and oil; beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium for 2 minutes.
  2. Pour into two greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  3. Set aside 2 tablespoons frosting for decorating. Place 1-1/4 cups frosting in a bowl; tint red. Tint remaining frosting green.
  4. Place one cake layer on a serving plate; spread with 1/2 cup red frosting to within 1/4 in. of edges. Top with second cake. Frost top with remaining red frosting to within 3/4 in. of edges. Frost sides and top edge of cake with green frosting.
  5. Cut a 1/4-in. hole in the corner of pastry or plastic bag. Fill the bag with reserved white frosting. Pipe around top edge of cake where green and pink frostings meet. For seeds, insert chocolate chips upside down into cake top. Yield: 12 servings


Find out more at http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/watermelon-cake







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April 4, 2016

Oxalis Indoor House Plants

 Oxalis are vivid purple shade plants with triangular shaped and clover leaves that gives the indoors energy. They are a wonderful for decorating indoors and generates a combination of attractions. Bright light and soil that is moist helps improve the life of this plant. These plants grows better inside than outside. They are also usually found in gift shops, grocery stores, and garden centers during the month of March for good luck, since they are in the form of four leaf clovers. Want to give your home a sensational, cozy, comfortable felling?

Helpful information by Betty Earl

For more information visit: http://www.csmonitor.com/The-Culture/Gardening/diggin

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