Category: dessert


I look back on growing up and there are so many wonderful memories and traditions that my parents created for us at Christmas time.  Some involve things we did, other involve things we ate.  One of my favorite Christmas traditions was the Peppermint Ice Cream Pie with an Oreo Crust that my mom used to make each year.  My mom is an ice cream aficionado and each year when the Peppermint Ice Cream was released, she would stock up.  This pie was one of the things she would make and it is still, to this day, one of my favorite Christmas desserts.  And SO SO EASY.

1/2 half gallon Peppermint Ice Cream (softened)
1 package Oreo’s
1 1/2 sticks of butter

One pie dish
Meat tenderizer (hammer)
sandwich bag
freezer bag

How to Make:
1. Put the entire package of Oreo’s into a large freezer bag
2. Seal and hammer the entire bag until the oreos are crumbs
3. Melt the 1 1/2 sticks of butter on the stove
4. Put the melted butter and Oreo crumbs in a mixing bowl and combine
5. Spray the pie dish with non-stick cooking spray and then place the butter and Oreo mixture into the dish
6. Using the sandwich bag, use your hand to push down the Oreo’s evenly until you have created a pie crust
7. Scoop the entire 1/2 gallon of ice cream on top of the crust and spread out evenly
8. Place plastic wrap over the top and freeze overnight
9. Remove from the freezer 10 minutes prior to serving






Blueberry 2

When it comes to dessert, I am a complete chocolate snob.  If there is not chocolate involved, it rarely catches my attention.  I can be swayed by an amazing Butter Cake every now and then (if you haven’t tried the ones at Mastro’s or Hanna’s, you are missing out) and of course I will never turn down a cupcake from Susie Cakes or a donut from Sidecar, but 99% of the time, it is chocolate or nothing.  It just seems to be a necessary component of a dessert.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, berries are at the very bottom of my dessert list.  First and foremost, berry bowls are NOT dessert.  I understand that it is a healthy option for something sweet following a meal but they are certainly NOT dessert.  You will never find me ordering a berry bowl.  Or a berry dessert for that matter.  I am just not a fan.  And then suddenly the tables turned.

Last night I was trying to come up with a yummy dessert to celebrate Labor Day and everything chocolate seemed too heavy.  Blame it on the 100 degree heat but I was just not feeling it.  I saw this Blackberry Cobbler recipe and for reasons I still cannot explain, it sounded perfect.  Perhaps I was tempted by the extremely small list of ingredients or the ice cream, that with this heat, sounded so good.  I am just not sure.  I do know that I went completely outside my norm and I am so happy I did.  Not only did I I LOVE this dessert but with how easy it was to make, I now had a new go-to recipes for dinner parties.  Berries AND no chocolate.  Who knew!

Blueberry 3

Blueberry 1


As much as I now love cooking, I will still take baking over cooking any day.  It is where my love for the kitchen began.  My sweet tooth is overpowering and I am always on the look out for new desserts and treats to make.  They are just more fun to make.

A few weeks ago I received Beach House Baking by Lei Shishak.  Shishak is an established pastry chef who was THE pastry chef at Stonehill Tavern at the St. Regis Monarch Beach located right here in Dana Point for a number of years.  She has been featured in numerous publications and has now taken her delectable treats to the masses with an incredible cookbook that is any sugar lovers dream.  The cookbook is filled with recipes for muffins, candy, cocktails, cupcakes and many, many more treats.  I couldn’t figure out what to try first as everything looked way too good until I came to the Reese’s Pieces Chocolate Drops.  There are a few things that will trump all other recipes when it comes to dessert and they will always include the combination of chocolate and peanut butter.  It has and will always be my kryptonite.  There was no need to look any further.  This was what I was going to bake.

Just as I suspected, these drops were rich, chocolatey, and the bite of Reese’s pieces throughout put them over the edge.  I could have polished off the entire plate.  SO GOOD.


1 (12oz) package semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/4 c. unsalted butter

1 (14 oz) can condensed milk

1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 c. all purpose flour

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 c. Reese’s pieces candies (I may have used a little more….doesn’t hurt)



1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line two cookie sheets with aluminum foil or parchment paper.

2. Melt chocolate chops and butter in a medium saucepan over low heat.

3. Remove from heat and transfer chocolate mixture to a mixer fitting with a paddle attachment.  Add the condensed milk and vanilla extract.  Mix on low speed until incorporated.

4. Mix in the flour, baking powder and salt on low speed for 30 seconds.  Remove bowl from the mixer.  Gently fold in the candy with a rubber spatula and mix just until combined.

5. Scoop the dough onto the prepared trays and bake for 12 to 13 minutes, rotating once half way.  Let cool on the sheet pans for at least 10 minutes before serving.





And now here is your sweet treat.  We are giving away THREE Beach House Baking to three lucky JIH readers.  You now have a chance to not only makes these incredible drops but can also try all of Lei Shishak’s yummy recipes.  The giveaway opens today and will close July 8th.  The three winners will be emailed that they won and this is for US Residents only.  Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


When it comes to conducting food posts, I will happily admit that I am a beginner.  Sure I love to be in the kitchen but my knowledge is EXTREMELY limited when it comes to different recipes and kitchen tips and I rely on the ability of others who REALLY cook to help me.  Melissa at Serving Seconds is one of those people.  

Melissa and I have known each other since college when she rushed my sorority and we perhaps partook in a cocktail or two over the years.  She now lives in San Francisco and is a corporate woman by day and a food blogger by night.  Let me tell you, this girl can really cook.  When my mind is blank on what to make, I head over to her blog to gain some inspiration.  Saturday was one of those days.  I needed a dessert for a dinner party and wanted something creative and new.  Of course, Melissa had Chocolate Covered Bacon waiting for me.

 They, of course, were a hit (just ask the hubby…he almost made himself sick he just couldn’t stop eating them).  Once again, Melissa delivered the goods.  

Melissa doesn’t post just recipes but provides kitchen tips, great food links from around the web, cookbook recommendations, the best food in San Francisco and so much more.  She is also a new student to the San Francisco Cooking School so I can only image the delicious recipes that are going to start showing up.  I guess what I am saying is, your crazy to not stop by Serving Seconds and make a visit.  Believe me, your stomach will thank you.  

Yesterday the kids and I got into the spirit of the 4th and decided to make some rice krispy treats with a red, white and blue spin.  We followed the basic recipe for rice krispy treats but added some red and blue M&M’s and candy sticks to make them less sticky to eat.  They are an incredible easy dessert to make for the 4th and who doesn’t love a good rice krispy treat?

3 Tablespoons butter
6 cups Rice Krispies
40 regular marshmallows
Red and blue M&M’s (pulled from a regular bag)
Star cookie cutter
Candy sticks

How To Make:
1. Melt the butter in a large sauce pan on low heat.
2. Add the marshmallows and mix continuously until they are all melted.
3. In a large mixing bowl, mix the cereal and marshmallows together until all the cereal is covered
4. Mix in the M&M’s
5. Flatten mixture on a rimmed baking sheet that has been lined with butter or nonstick cooking spray
6. Let cool until completely cooled
7. Cut out star shapes with the cookie cutter
8. Place the candy stick into the star and enjoy!

If you are interested in some more 4th of July fun, I am over at My Thirty Spot today sharing a little wardrobe inspiration for the holiday!  Come visit here.

My kids love sweets.  Surprise surprise right?  Ice Cream, cookies, cupcakes, candy.  They love it all.  This is to be expected with a mother who also has a slight addiction to all things chocolate.  I seem to always be walking the tightrope of not indulging them with sweets but also not being too crazy about it that one day I find candy bars hidden under the mattress.  

To help with the balance I am constantly looking for recipes that offer the sweet flavor my kids love but are not filled with SO much sugar and fat.  I came across a recipe for this lighter Chocolate Milkshake, and thought I would try it out.  
It was a hit with two out of three of the kids (Middle Man is SO picky that this was no surprise at all) and I enjoyed it myself.  With coconut milk, agave, bananas, peanut butter and cocoa powder, it created  a blended drink that provided some nutrition AND tasted like a dark chocolate milkshake.  Is it an In and Out shake?  No.  But it did curb that craving for something sweet and was a refreshing drink on a hot day.  With summer right around the corner this will be a running staple in the house when the ice cream cones feel like they are on overload.

One of my favorite childhood treats were Lemon Bars that my mom would make for dessert every now and then.  For the chocolate lover that I am, it is very rare that I would veer off course, but these always seemed to hit the spot. 

Yesterday was incredibly dreary here in Orange County, which just really didn’t seem fair to me. Two days ago we were at the pool and here it was sprinkling again!  To add a little sunshine to our day I decided to make these classic Lemon Bars.  These were just like I remembered as a kid and provided the perfect bite of summer I was looking for.  Now if the sun could actually return I would greatly appreciate it.

First and foremost, my thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by the explosions in Boston yesterday.  It is heartbreaking that these events happen here and around the world.  

Through our crazy schedules around here, I completely overlooked that on April 6th, Juggling in Heels hit the two year mark.  I cannot believe.  I was never really sure what I was getting into when I started this blog and could have never imagined all that has come from it.  The relationships, opportunities and fun have far surpassed any expectations I could have had.  I was just hoping my friends would read it!  

To all of you who have supported and read Juggling in Heels over the past two years, thank you so much.  I cannot express into words how thankful I am that you give me a moment of your time each day to babble about whatever is going on in this head of mine.  Your support means the world to me.  Hopefully you are not sick of me yet because there is a lot more where this has all come from!

To celebrate these past two years I pulled together these Rhubarb Mimosas for a little cheers with the hubby.  The flavor was completely unexpected and a tasty way to celebrate.  

Cheers to year 3!

Last night I hosted an “Easter Basket Stuffing” party (more on that later!) and thought that after all the kids hard work, they deserved a treat.  I did not have a ton of time to whip something up from scratch so I sort of cheated and put together some Pumpkin Spice and Chocolate Chip Cakes using some cake mix, pumpkin and chocolate chips, all that I had sitting in the pantry.  In 20 minutes they were done and ready to enjoy…which I enjoyed right out of the oven because hey, if I am going to slave over cakes for kids, I am going to have one too…justified by the fact that I ran today….so pretty much played for the tie.  But back to the cakes.  I had an Easter egg baking pan (grabbed from Michael’s if you are interested) on hand which I used to get a tad bit festive but as you can see from above, the design did not come out as clear as I would have liked.  And believe me, no frosting is necessary.  These are sweet enough on their own (which is really saving calories right??).

1 box Spice Cake Mix
1 can pumpkin
2 cups chocolate chips (totally guessing here…add as many as you would like)

To Make:
1. Follow the instructions on the cake box
2. Add the entire can of pumpkin and stir
3. Stir in the chocolate chips
4. Add to cake pan, cupcake pan, any sort of pan you would like!
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes (if you are following my mini-cake recipe)

Is this recipe really called “No Name Candy”?  No.  However, I have no idea what it is called since I am not the one who found the recipe.  Therefore, until I figure out where this recipe came from,  I am going to simply keep it as is.  So, the candy has no name.  BUT, on the plus side, this is a recipe that your children can make!

I give full credit to my friend’s daughter for introducing these delicious treats to me.  We were having a potluck after swim team and she had made these to share.  Not only was it a genius idea on the part of my friend to have her child make her contribution but they were a huge hit and everyone could not stop popping them into their mouth.  Her daughter was kind enough to quickly share the recipe and I immediately made my own this past weekend.  It is really just a few simple steps and a great way to get your children to participate in the kitchen.

1 bag square waffle pretzels
1 bag Rolo candies
1 bag Hershey kisses
1 bag m&m’s

1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees. 
2. Lay the waffle pretzels out on a baking sheet.  Fit as many as you can.
3. Unwrap the Rolos and Kisses and place one piece of candy on each cracker. 
4. Place baking sheet in the oven for 5 minutes.
5. When removing from the oven, immediately place an m&m on top and push down so the candy begins to cover the pretzel.
6. Place baking sheet in the refrigerator for 5 minutes

Your Done!  It really is the perfect bite size dessert and balances the sweet and salty perfectly.  I preferred the Rolo-topped one but that is simply because everything is even better with caramel.