Homemade Magic Shell Recipe

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If I had to choose only one dessert to eat for the rest of my life there is no doubt what it would be….ice cream…homemade ice cream to be specific.  Growing up we made homemade ice cream every now and then but when I married my husband I quickly learned how very much his family Loves  their homemade ice cream!  Homemade ice cream is by far the dessert of choice in his family, especially now that we have all discovered this counter top ice cream maker.  You will find at least one frozen bowl in the freezer of each of  his family members.  Tonight I discovered that not only can you make homemade ice cream without all the chemicals and junk but you can make homemade chocolate magic shell without all the chemical and junk….and it’s super easy!   (Can you hear the angels singing?)

I found this recipe over at The Coconut Mama.  As soon as I saw the title of this blog I knew I was in the right place.. you know this girls loves her coconut oil!  So here it is easy, peasy!

Homemade Magic Shell

1/2 cup coconut oil ( I prefer Tropical Traditions)

1/2 cup  cocoa powder (I get mine here)

1/4 cup raw honey (or maple syrup)

1 T. vanilla

1 pinch sea salt ( I used REAL Salt)

Mix coconut oil, honey and cocoa powder over low heat until melted. (It looks a little grainy in the picture below but it is not at all.)

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Add vanilla and salt and stir.

Serve over ice cream or your desert of choice.

Left overs can be refrigerated and then rewarmed to serve.

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This stuff is Amazing Good!  I am already thinking it may show up along side my homemade caramel sauce in a few ice cream sundae gift baskets.


Cooking with Goat Milk – Healthy Chocolate Pudding

Project Cooking with Goat Milk continues with……Healthy Chocolate Pudding.

My family loves chocolate pudding but let’s face it as easy as it is to make, boxed instant pudding is full of crap.  Sorry, but it is. I found this recipe from Food Renegade and decided to give it a try…. with goat milk of course.

Homemade Healthy (ish) Chocolate Pudding


  • 1/3 c. honey
  • 4 tbsp. arrowroot powder (I used cornstarch)
  • 2 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 2 c. milk  ( I used Goat milk)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. butter


In a glass measuring cup, mix cocoa, cornstarch and milk until smooth. In a saucepan combine the honey and milk mixture and stir over medium heat.

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Cook until thickened stirring constantly.

Once thickened, remove from heat, stir in vanilla and butter until smooth.

Pour into serving dishes and place in refrigerator to cool.

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The good: This recipe has a nice smooth chocolaty texture that the family loved… and it didn’t taste like goat.

The not so good: The pudding didn’t thicken up as well as I would have liked.

Project Cooking with Goat Milk Score 2 (we love goat milk)-1(not so much)


Since posting this recipe I have made several other recipes using goat milk.  As much as I would Love to tell you that they were wonderful and that I cant wait to convert my family over to drinking goat milk… that really isn’t the case. Unfortunately none of us fell in love with goat milk….at best, its okay.  For now we are just going to be drinking cows milk purchased from the store.  We have been looking for a local farmer that we can source raw milk from via herd share. (This is the only option for legally acquiring raw milk in Ohio) The other option of course is to purchase a family dairy cow, and as lovely as that sounds…..Im just not convinced Im ready to go that route.


Cooking with Goat Milk – Homemade Yogurt

My second endeavor in cooking with goat milk was making homemade yogurt. It was actually amazingly simple. I normally eat plain Greek yogurt with honey or fruit.  The kids prefer a thinner yogurt with fruit.  They also love smoothies made with yogurt. Most of the recipes note that the yogurt will be a thinner yogurt than what you would typically find in a store unless you thicken it with gelatin or powdered milk, but this one didn’t use  either and ended up being plenty thick.

The recipe that I used was from Money Saving Mom.

Homemade Yogurt


½ gallon whole milk (I used goat milk)

½ c. plain unflavored yogurt (to be used as the starter)


Pour ½ gallon of milk in Crockpot and cook on low 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Turn Crockpot off and leave set for 3 hours.

Mix ½ cup yogurt starter in a bowl with some of your warm milk until smooth.  Add back into Crockpot and stir well.  Wrap Crockpot in a beach towel to help regulate how quickly the yogurt cools down.  (Yes, this part is important.) Leave yogurt develop for 8-12 hours or overnight.


My yogurt turned out luscious, thick and creamy. I poured half of the yogurt into a colander lined with cheesecloth to let in drain a little more and it came out beautifully.


Unfortunately, there was only one problem; it still tastes like goat milk….not good.  This recipe is so simple I can’t image why I have never made my own yogurt before.  I am looking forward to trying this recipe again with cow’s milk because I am certain that it will be fantastic!

Score for project Cooking with Goats Milk  1 (we love goat milk)-1(not so much)

Homemade Grape-Nut Cereal Recipe

While the Handyman and I were away for a few days, the children stayed with my mom, where they discovered her homemade Grape-Nuts.  All three fell in love with it and insisted they must eat a bowl for breakfast every morning. Since it has been such a hit at our house, I thought I’d share the recipe with you.

Homemade Grape-Nut Cereal


2 c. old fashioned oats

2 c. whole wheat flour

2 c. white flour

2 c. cornmeal

1 c. brown sugar or Sucanat

2 c. buttermilk

1 c. molasses

2 tsp. baking soda

Mix dry ingredients in large bowl.  Mix buttermilk and molasses, then combine with dry ingredients.

ImagePress into a greased baking pan.  I use a large 11 X 15 lasagna pan.


Bake at 300* for 1 hour.  Remove from oven. (This is when you break off a chunk of hot steamy goodness and enjoy it with a cold glass of milk!  This is also a good time to have something else ready to pop in the oven and cook.  It takes a lot of energy to heat an oven up, so why not make good use of our resources and get some other baking done while we wait for our cereal to cool.)

Cool for one hour.  Break “cake” into chunks.  Depending how fine you want your cereal you can crumble by hand or chop in the food processor.  Spread cereal out on a large baking sheet (or two).  Bake at 300*, stirring every 10 minutes until crunchy.  (I bake mine about 30 minutes; they will get crunchier as they dry.)  Spread cereal out to cool.  I usually bake late at night so I just throw a thin towel over them and leave them dry over night.  If you like your cereal finer yet, you can put in back through the food processor.


This cereal is good in a bowl with milk (as my children will tell you) or sprinkled on homemade yogurt.  We have also found that if you process it very fine in your food processor you can substitute it in recipes that call for graham cracker crumbs such as for the crust of a cheesecake.


Cooking with Goat Milk – Homemade Ricotta Cheese Recipe

I have been anxious to get my hands on some goat milk to help me decide if we want to try milking our  3 Nubian does when they kid this fall.  At this point I’m leaning toward foregoing milking and letting the does raise their kids on their own, or doing a once per day milking. However, I should say that I don’t have a great deal of experience with goat milk. A few months ago I bought some goat cheese from out local food co-op.  It did not go over well with the family.  Then I got a jar of fresh goat milk from our neighbor….much better. This week I was lucky enough to be the recipient of 4 gallons of goat milk, so this weekend I have had lots fun making different recipes for the family to try.  I have made a few different kinds of cheese, yogurt, healthy pudding and a healthy hot chocolate recipe. I figure if all else fails, I have a little Nubian bottle baby who will be more than happy to make quick work of any extra milk.

The first thing I made was…


Homemade Ricotta Cheese


  2 quarts whole milk ( I used goat milk)

  1 cup heavy cream

  1/2 teaspoon salt (I used cheese salt from Hoegger Supply Co.)

  4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


Bring milk, cream, and salt to a rolling boil in a 6-quart heavy pot over low to medium heat, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching.


Add lemon juice, reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring constantly, until the mixture curdles. This should happen fairly quickly.

Pour the mixture into a colander lined with a high quality, fine weave cheese cloth. (This is different than cheese cloth you find the local discount store, mine comes from Hoegger Supply Company) Let the curds drain 1 hour.

ImageRemove cheese from colander, you can mix in additional salt or herbs if desired.  Cover and store ricotta cheese in refrigerator for up to a week. I understand it can also be frozen although I haven’t tried it.

Whey (the liquid that drains out of the curds) can be used in a variety of ways. I will be feeding it to our pigs.

This recipe should yield about 2 cups of ricotta cheese.  I am planning to use it to make lasagna this week.

I like this ricotta cheese recipe because it is easy to follow, doesn’t require any special equipment and of course turns out delicious!


**Linking to Nomday Monday

Homemade Strawberry Yogurt Fruit Leather

One of the biggest challenges I have with keeping my family on a “real” food diet is snack time. We eat a ton of fresh fruit and vegetables as well as cheese for snack time but sometimes we all really want something sweet. I came across a recipe for strawberry yogurt fruit leather at Honey Sweetened and was inspired to drag out the dehydrator and make some healthy snacks. I altered the recipe a little bit but used the same general idea.

Healthy Homemade Strawbery Yogurt Fruit Leather

2 – 12 oz bags of frozen strawberries

2 cups plain yogurt

1/4 cup honey

Thaw strawberries and drain excess liquid.

Add strawberries, yogurt and honey to food processor or blender.


Pulse until smooth.


Pour mixture on to dehydrator sheets or plastic wrap covered trays.

I poured mine in strips about 3 inches wide making them a little thicker along the edges since the outside edge will dry quicker.


Dry at 95 degrees. Mine took about 18 hours to dry.


Once they were done I rolled the fruit leather in plastic wrap.

The kids LOVED these and I love that they are good for them.

Gluten Free Chicken and Rice soup with mushrooms

Today I wanted  to share with you one of the recipes I made last week at the beginning of my adventure in sugar free living

Gluten Free Chicken and Rice soup with mushrooms

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  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 Crockpot roasted chicken or  2 cups chopped chicken
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 package mushrooms
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tsp salt

Begin cooking brown rice with 2 cups of chicken stock.  (Brown rice can take 40-50 minutes to cook)

If using a Crockpot roasted chicken, remove chicken from Crockpot, debone chicken and strain chicken broth.  (You can return the chicken bones to the Crockpot to make a batch a chicken stock)

Clean and slice mushrooms.  Saute mushrooms in a large skillet with butter and minced garlic.  Add 2 cups of chicken stock, onion, celery, carrots and peas.  Cook on medium until cooked through.  

Transfer contents of skillet to a large pot.  Add additional 2 cups chicken stock, chicken, salt, pepper, seasoning and cooked brown rice.  Cook until heated through.

Hot Pepper Jelly

This year we had a bumper crop of peppers. In addition to stringing over 100 hot peppers, we sliced and froze 10 gallons of bell peppers, made pepper relish and hot pepper jelly.  This this the first time I have made pepper jelly, the recipe that I used was from the University of California.  It was very quick and easy to make.

Pepper Jelly

4 or 5 Hot peppers cored and chopped

4 medium Bell peppers cored and chopped

1 cup white vinegar (5%)

5 cups white sugar

1 pouch liquid pectin

*Put half the peppers and half of the vinegar into a blender; cover and process until peppers are liquified.  Repeat with remaining peppers and vinegar.

*Combine the pepper and vinegar mixture with the sugar in  a large saucepan and boil slowly for 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

*Add liquid pectin and boil hard for 1 minute.

*Skim foam from the top of the jelly.  Pour Jelly into canning jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space.

*Process 1/2 pint or pint  jars in hot water bath canner as follows:

0-1000 ft  – 5 mins

1001-6000 ft – 10 mins

above 6000 ft – 15 mins

Yield – 5 half pint jars

We really liked this recipe.  The jelly is very flavorful but not too. It is really good served over a soft cheese, like cream cheese, with crackers.  If I get ambitious, I might even get really crazy and try making homemade cream cheese.

An Award Winning Recipe – Cranberry Crumb Muffins

This week we went a little over the top baking for our county fair.  We baked 6 different muffin recipes and 10 different cookie recipes. We certainly spent some time in the kitchen but we ended up with quite a few ribbons and enough back in premiums to cover the cost of ingredients and our week-long fair passes, not to mention a freezer full of treats.  While the Best of Show Cookie Award remains elusive, I thought I’d share one of our muffin recipes that took 1st prize.

Cranberry Crumb Muffins

Crumb Topping:

1/2 c. chopped walnuts

1 c. flour

4 T. white sugar

4 T. brown sugar

1/2 t. baking powder

pinch of salt

5 T. butter, melted


2 c. flour

1/2 c. +2 T. white sugar

2 t. baking powder

1/2 t. baking soda

pinch of salt

1 c. plain low-fat yogurt

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/2 c. unsalted butter, melted and cooled

 1 1/2 c. fresh or frozen cranberries

Heat the oven to 425 degrees. (I like to use the extra-large papers in a standard size tin to keep all the steusel on top) . To make the crumb topping, spread the walnut in a pie plate and toast them in the oven until lightly browned. About 5 minutes. While they cool, mix the flour, both sugars, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Stir in butter and walnuts, then pinch the mixture into clumps.

For the muffin batter whisk together the flour, 1/2 cup of sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.  In a large bowl, mix together yogurt, egg, and butter, then stir in flour mixture. Toss cranberries with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Fold the fruit into the batter.

Spoon the batter into the muffin papers. Sprinkle on the crumb topping and gently press into batter. Bake until golden or until a toothpick comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let the muffins cool about  minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool a little longer. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 1 dozen.

Fruit and Nut Snack Mix

This is a favorite snack mix in our house.  I love the bite the cranberries give it, although any dried fruit will work.  This is a great recipe to let the little hands help with.  Luckily it goes together as quickly as it disappears.


1 (16.5 oz.) box bite size shredded wheat

4 cups nuts (peanuts are really good)

 4 cups Craisins or other dried berries

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 cup butter

4 teaspoons ground ginger

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a saucepan, melt butter completely.  Add brown sugar stirring unti mixture coming just to a boil.  Remove from heat, add ginger and mix well. Add cereal and toss.  Pour onto a greased 15 X 10 X 1 baking sheet.  Bake for 15 mins. Remove pan from oven and add nuts. Stir and return to oven.  Continue baking for 10 minutes.  Cool completely.  Add fruit and toss.

Makes 18, 1/3 cup servings.

Prep time – 5 minutes,  Total Time – 30 minutes

This posted linked to Raising Homemakers