Easy Thanksgiving Dessert- Orange Creamsicle Pie


I'm the queen of easy peasy when it comes to cooking and baking.  I love homemade (read semi-homemade) but I don't have the time or the energy for a super hard recipe.  I love this recipe because it only takes minutes to whip together; you could even make it the same day you need to serve it.  Just allow about 4 hours to set in the freezer.

I was looking for a dessert recipe for our Thanksgiving meal but I wanted it to have a slight twist from the traditional.  Since citrus is in season and I'm looking for any way to sneak in some extra vitamin C I wanted to create a recipe with mandarins.  I always get my citrus from Bee Sweet Citrus because they have year-round availabilty for oranges, mandarins and lemons.  They have speciality citrus varieties during the California domestic season.  Right now us locals can look forward to Meyer Lemons, Cara Cara Navels (hello gorgeous!), Blood Oranges, Star Ruby Grapefruit and Pummelos.  Another reason I love supporting Bee Sweet Citrus is because they are a family owned and operated grower, packer and shopper of citrus.  

Enjoy your sweet and delicious dessert and wishing everyone a blessed Thanksgiving!

Ingredients:
  1. 2 blocks of cream cheese (16 oz each)
  2. 1 C. plus 2 Tbsp. of granulated sugar
  3. 1 C. of mandarin oranges, peeled
  4. 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  5. 1 C. Cool Whip
  6. Graham Cracker Crust (ready made)
Instructions:

Add cream cheese, sugar, oranges and vanilla to a stand mixer and mix on low until all the ingredients are combined and smooth.  Gently fold in the Cool Whip.  Pour mixture into crust and freeze for at least 4 hours.  Top with a dollop of Cool Whip and a mandarin/orange.







The Lord is Within Her; She Will Not Fall


Emily's First Holy Communion was scheduled for right after the world shut down so of course it was postponed.  Unfortunately, it was moved to the hottest day of the year and didn't look normal at all.  Looking back the day makes me a little sad because it's one of the most important days in a child's life and it was stripped of all the sacred beauty.  But overall, I am grateful for Emily to receive this sacrament.

Since we were still in quarantine we did a very small party to celebrate the occasion.  Despite the intimate gathering I still wanted to make the day special for Emily.  The decor I used was simple: a chalkboard with bible verse, ballon arch, cake and flowers.

Halloween Fun & Traditions 2020

Halloween is such a fun time of year and this year it was so nice to get out and keep our traditions alive!  Anyone who knows me knows I live for traditions.  Is it even Halloween if you don't take a trip the pumpkin patch, carve pumpkins and go trick or treating?!?!  Those are our favorite activities during the season.











I can't get enough of these baby blues!!!!!




This is one of my favorite photos ever!  He has a special bond with his Mom Mom and I just love how much he loves her.









This year our sibling costumes were a Race Car Driver and his Pit Crew!  It turned out so cute.






We celebrated the holiday with the Serpa's and Trick-or-Treated in their neighborhood.







Halloween Crafts & Treats



I'm a lover of all holidays and I'm always talking about how much I live for traditions.  To this day I remember traditions from my childhood and I just love creating new ones with my kids.  I hope they carry some of them on with their families.  One of our greatest traditions is making treats and enjoying them during a movie night.  Especially this time of year we love camping out in front of the tv and enjoying food and family.

A "charcuterie" board always make food that much more fun so I've been having fun creating different Halloween boards.  My first Halloween Treat Board consisted of mandarin pumpkins, candy corn & pumpkins, Halloween Oreo's, Moose Track Ice Cream, and Spooky Spider Popcorn.

Making the popcorn couldn't be any easier.  You can pop popcorn or you can do what I did and just buy Skinny Pop and then melt orange chocolate and drizzle on top.  I added Halloween sprinkles and set in the fridge for an hour.  In the meantime I made the spider plate for the popcorn which consists of cutting black pipe cleaners to the desired length and hot glueing to the bottom of a black paper plate.  Then 3/4 of the way down the pipe cleaner you bend at a 45 degree angle.  Lastly, hot glue googly eyes to the top of the plate. 

To make the mandarin pumpkins you peel a mandarin and then slice a very small piece of celery and insert in the top.  Plain ice cream isn't nearly as fun as ice cream with sprinkles so sprinkles were added to the top.  I put it all together on a board and let the fun begin!

Growing up TWO Fast!


I can't believe our baby boy is already 2!!! Time is such a thief and what they say is so true about the days being long but the years so short.  Since Jack Jack is growing up so fast and since he's a total boy that loves cars I decided to do a Race Car Party-Growing Up TWO Fast!

Halloween Snacks, Treats and Crafts



To kickoff the season I give the kids Boo Baskets filled with books, Halloween tees and pajamas, and some festive toys.  I also made a Halloween trail mix to enjoy for snacks throughout the season.  The trail mix couldn't be easier to make; you just take all the ingredients and toss together.  I used pretzels, popcorn, candy corn, Rice Chex and Bugles.

I love to celebrate a holiday all "season" long with fun snacks, treats, crafts and meals.  Here are some of my favorite Halloween ideas:


A treat board just makes everything more fun!  I love creating fun treat boards for every occasion.  I sometimes make a few during each season.  They are great to take to parties but I'll even do them for a fun treat for the kids just at home.  I usually stick with certain colors or theme specific food.  In the Halloween Treat Board above I made a paper plate spider by hot glueing pipe cleaners to the back of a small dessert plate and adding googly eyes to the rim of the plate.  It was the perfect display for the sweet popcorn.  To make festive popcorn you use regular popcorn, drizzle colored melting chocolate on top and add holiday sprinkles.

I also made mandarin "pumpkins" just by peeling the mandarins and then sticking a tiny slice of apple in the top.  Ice cream with sprinkles, jack-o-lantern cookies and candy corn completed this board.

Boo Brunch-Halloween Party


I celebrate every holiday with a brunch or breakfast.  Sometimes it's to kickoff the season and other times it's on the actual holiday.  I think every time I create a new holiday celebration I think it is my favorite one.  But this one is really high up there; takes the cake!!!!  

Most of our holiday celebrations are breakfast but this one was a brunch because I wanted to do more lunch food.  The menu included mummy quesadillas, spider donuts, ghosts chips, monster teeth and ice cream sandwiches, and ghost milk.  

Orange Creamsicle Pop Recipe



If you know me you know I love to create and keep things fun but I also only tackle the simple projects and recipes.  My life is way too chaotic to take on long and tedious stuff.  We have making popsicles on our Summer Bucket List every Summer and I was looking for a new flavor.  We've been loving fresh citrus from Bee Sweet Citrus and so I decided I wanted to make something incorporating our favorite mandarins.

This is a simple five ingredient recipe that takes little to no time.  You will need 2 mandarins, 1/2 cup of orange juice, 3 tablespoons sugar, 1 cup whipping cream and 1 tsp. vanilla.


Start by peeling mandarins and placing in a food processor or blender.  Add OJ and sugar; process for 20 seconds.






Then add vanilla and whipping cream and process for 60 seconds.  If the mixture is still runny process a little longer.



Pour into popsicle molds and place in freezer.  After a few hours add popsicle sticks and freeze overnight.  Remove from freezer and run under warm water for a few seconds and pull popsicles out of mold.  Place in plastic bag and freeze.



My favorite popsicle mold:


Serve and enjoy!  Long live Summer!