Category Archives: recipes

Simple Limeade Popsicles

Over the long holiday weekend we stopped for lunch at Zoe’s Kitchen. While we were there I grabbed a gallon of their homemade limeade to take home.

My kids love Zoe’s Kitchen limeade. I thought I would make a super easy treat with the kids for our Fourth of July cookout. We made limeade popsicles. It’s so easy!

Screen Shot 2016-07-06 at 1.25.10 PM


  • Zoe’s Kitchen Limeade


  • Pour Zoe’s Kitchen Limeade into popsicle molds.
  • Place molds in freezer for about 6 hours
  • To remove from molds run under hot water for 10 seconds and gently pull apart.

With temperatures here in North Carolina easily reaching into the mid 90’s (not to mention the humidity and heat index) it’s nice to cool down with a frozen treat.

Photo Jul 02, 6 41 53 PM

The boys absolutely love their limeade popsicles. They’re so easy to make I foresee us making them many times over the course of the summer.


The featured product was provided to me free of charge for review purposes. The opinions expressed in this post are my own and not influenced by the company.

Simple Super Bowl Snacks: Blue Cheese, Bacon and Fig Sweet Potato Chips #NaturallyFresh

The big game is right around the corner. Great snacks are the most important part (to me) of any Super Bowl party. This year I’m planning on serving an alternative to the regular chips and dip option, delicious Blue Cheese, Bacon and Fig topped Sweet Potato Chips drizzled with Naturally Fresh Lite Bleu Cheese dressing.


The best thing about this recipe is how simple it is to make. The only cooking required is bacon and I just made a little extra for breakfast and saved it. If you want you could make your own sweet potato chips but I’m 41 weeks pregnant and not really interested in doing any more cooking than is necessary.

Blue Cheese, Bacon and Fig topped Sweet Potato Chips

  • 1 Bag Sweet Potato Chips
  • 6-8 dried Calimyrna Figs (roughly chopped)
  • 3-4 pieces of cooked bacon (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup Crumbled Blue Cheese bits
  • 1/4 cup Naturally Fresh Lite Bleu Cheese Dressing


  1. Pour chips out of bag into a bowl or onto a plate.
  2. Mix together figs, bacon and blue cheese.
  3. Top chips with fig, bacon and cheese mixture.
  4. Pour Naturally Fresh Lite Bleu Cheese dressing over all ingredients.

See what I mean, simple. And delicious!


Naturally Fresh offers a line of high-quality, homemade-tasting salad dressings and dips with no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. Their Lite Bleu Cheese dressing is made with nonfat buttermilk and aged bleu cheese chunks. Naturally Fresh products can be purchased at Kroger and Publix stores in the refrigerated section.

One lucky reader will win five (5) coupons for free 12 oz. bottles of Naturally Fresh dressing. Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. Ends 2/11/15.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends on February 11, 2015. The winner will be chosen using and announced on this post. Entrants must be 18 or older. Winner to be chosen at random. Winner will be notified by email and has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. See giveaway rules for more information.

Disclosure: This post is part of the blogger program by Naturally Fresh® and The Motherhood, who compensated me for my time and the development of this recipe. Opinions, experiences and photos shared here are my own, and I hope you enjoy them.

Food Lion Frugal Cookoff in Raleigh, NC #Giveaway

The other week I had the honor of participating in the Food Lion Frugal Cookoff.

Food Lion Frugal Cook-off Raleigh, NC

The Food Lion Frugal Cookoff is a casual cooking contest where local bloggers compete to make the most creative, delicious and frugal meal. Each team is given a specific protein and a limited budget with which to shop from a selection of Food Lion items. The teams are timed and given 10 minutes to prepare the meal plan and 45 minutes to execute and present their dish.

frugal cook off

food lion cook off

I was originally paired with a local blogger whom I’d never met but was excited to meet and cook with however, one of her children became ill at the last minute and she was unable to attend. Therefore, they paired me with a local Food Lion store manager that enjoys cooking.

The protein our team was assigned was tilapia. I immediately knew I wanted to do something tex-mex/cuban however I was limited in my ingredient selection so I had to get a little creative. (I mean I didn’t have any cumin or limes… what was I to do?)

I decided to make Blackened Tilapia topped with a lemony creama, Cilantro Rice and Black Beans. The best part is that the total meal cost was only $11.08.

I knew that Joe would approve of my dish so I felt confident in my menu selection. However, I was pretty overwhelmed by the commercial kitchen at the hosting restaurant, Driftwood Southern Kitchen. Thankfully the owner/chef was there to guide us through the kitchen as we cooked so no one was injured or burned down the building. It was also a little challenging navigating the busy kitchen with my 30 week pregnant belly but I didn’t knock anything or anyone over! Hooray.


cook off prep

food lion cook off raleigh

I let my partner take care of prepping and cooking the tilapia since he claimed to cook fish on a regular basis. I think he did an awesome job because the tilapia was delicious. I took over cooking the rice and beans.

Unfortunately, we didn’t win the competition but it was a lot of fun and I would be proud to serve this dish to my family. The other competitors dishes were all amazing and I was seriously intimidated by some of their culinary skills. The Food Lion Frugal Cook-Off was a blast even though I felt totally unequipped to participate in such a event but I think I held my own pretty well.

Here are our recipes!

Blackened Tilapia with lemony crema sauce with black beans and cilantro rice

Blackened Tilapia


  • 2 Tilapia filets
  • vegetable oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • cayenne pepper


Season both sides of the tilapia with salt, pepper and cayenne (to taste). Heat vegetable oil in a sauce pan. Cook tilapia on one side and flip once the fish releases from the pan. (fish will stick unless it’s cooked and ready to be turned) Cook the 2nd side until cooked.

Lemony Creama Sauce


  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon (I’d also suggest adding juice from 1/2 lime)
  • Salt to taste
  • Cilantro to garnish


Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Cilantro Rice


  • Long Grain White Rice
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon (use lime if available)
  • salt to taste


Cook rice according to directions on package. Add chopped cilantro and juice from lemon (or lime). Salt to taste.

Black Beans


  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • salt and pepper


Heat oil in sauce pan over medium heat. Saute onion and green peppers in oil until tender. Add black beans and cook until heated through. Season with salt and pepper.

Food Lion Frugal Cook-Off 2014

Food Lion Gift Card

One lucky reader will win a $100 Food Lion Gift Card. Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. Ends 12/3/14.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends on December 3, 2014. The winner will be chosen using and announced on this post. Entrants must be 18 or older. Winner to be chosen at random. Winner will be notified by email and has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. See giveaway rules for more information.

The featured products, information, and giveaway have been provided by Food Lion.

Homemade Dark Chocolate Brownies

I love brownies. Aside from ice cream they are probably one of my favorite dessert items. For some reason I always thought that making homemade brownies was difficult. I just always bought a box mix and would occasionally throw in some extra goodies like chocolate chips, marshmallows, nuts, etc… Then I learned how amazing homemade brownies taste and decided to give it a try. After a bit of research I found the perfect fudgy dark chocolate brownies.

I prefer my brownies to have a crispy top layer and a slightly gooey and soft center. (That’s why I love adding extra chocolate chips!)

dark chocolate brownies


  • 3/4 cup dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2/3 cup butter, melted & divided (1/3 cup + 1/3 cup)
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 cups chocolate chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. Grease a 9×13″ baking dish.
  3. In a large bowl mix together the cocoa and baking soda.
  4. Stir in 1/3 cup of the melted butter until smooth.
  5. Next, Stir in the boiling water until the mixture is thick.
  6. Then stir in the sugar and eggs and the remaining 1/3 cup melted butter.
  7. Then, stir in the vanilla and salt until just smooth.
  8. Add in the flour and chocolate chips and stir until combined.
  9. Spread the batter into the baking dish and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the edges start to pull away from the pan. (I prefer slightly under-baked brownies)


homemade brownies

After-school Snack: Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

My boys love raisins, they eat them almost everyday. They are the perfect on-the-go, healthy snack. I often pack raisins in Jude’s school lunch.

raisins in lunch

Occasionally I will make a fun after-school treat, Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.

chewy oatmeal raisin cookies


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup raisins


In a large bowl cream butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla

In a separate bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.

Stir flour mixture into butter mixture.

Stir in oats and raisins.

Chill the dough for at least 1 hour, up to overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 deg.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silpat and portion dough into heaping tablespoon size balls.

Bake for 13-15 minutes.

oatmeal raisin cookies The great thing about using raisins in this recipe is I don’t have to use a ton of sugar because the raisins are so naturally sweet. I love using California Raisins because they are all-natural and dried-by-the-sun. Did you know California Raisins contain zero fat, no cholesterol and NO ADDED SUGAR? So raisins make for a healthy on-the-go snack that kids love to eat because they are so sweet and moms love to buy because they are affordable.

Visit California Raisins on Facebook to sign up to receive a California Raisin prize pack!
Limited supply; while quantities last.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Peach Ice Cream

homemade peach ice cream

Summer means two things in the Lieb house peaches and ice cream. And the combination of the two equals the ultimate summer treat, peach ice cream.

Joe and I received an ice cream maker as a wedding gift from Joe’s parents along with his mother’s ice cream recipe. It’s more of a custard recipe but you can adapt it to make almost any flavor of ice cream. I’ve made plain vanilla, chocolate chip, cherry vanilla and many more.

Here is my favorite peach ice cream recipe… I hope you enjoy.

Peach Ice Cream


  • 1 Quart Whole Milk
  • 1 Quart Half & Half
  • 5 Eggs
  • 2 Cups Sugar
  • 2 Tbs Flour
  • 1/2 Pint Whipping Cream
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla
  • 3-4 Peaches
  1. Combine milk and half & half in a double broiler and scald
  2. Beat together eggs, sugar, and flour.
  3. Add a bit of the milk mixture to the egg mixture to temper the eggs.
  4. Add the egg mixture to the milk mixture
  5. Cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally
  6. Pour into a large bowl, cover with wax paper and cool.
  7. When ready to freeze add the whipping cream and vanilla to the mixture
  8. Pour into your ice cream maker and follow the ice cream maker’s directions. So far you’re just making vanilla ice cream, the peaches come soon.
  9. While your ice cream is churning fill a pot with water and bring to a boil. Add the peaches making sure they are completely covered in water and blanch them for 40 seconds. Using a slotted spoon remove the peaches and immediately place them in an ice bath and let them cool for about 1 minute. Remove from water, pat dry and remove the skin from the peaches.
  10. Cut peaches into small bite size pieces.
  11. When the ice cream maker is nearing the end of churning (it will sound like it’s struggling to churn) add the peaches and let churn for a few minutes.
  12. Remove ice cream from maker and eat immediately or store in an air tight container and place in freezer to harden.

I prefer chunks of peaches in my ice cream which is why I add them at the end, if I were to add them at the beginning the ice cream would be more peach flavored with no noticeable chunks.

peach ice cream

Strawberry Oatmeal Bars

Jude starts school in a week which means busy mornings. This year I’m hoping to be better prepared for school morning breakfasts by creating some make-ahead breakfast items like these Strawberry Oatmeal Bars.


Strawberry Oatmeal Bars


  • 1.75 sticks cold butter cut into pieces
  • 1.5 Cups Flour
  • 1.5 Cups Oats
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 10 oz. strawberry preserves


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Butter the bottom of a 9 X 13 baking dish
  3. In a large bowl mix together flour, oats, brown sugar baking powder and salt.
  4. Add butter to oat mixture and cut in with a pastry cutter or fork until small crumbles are formed throughout.
  5. Pour half of the oat mixture along the bottom of the pan and spread evenly.
  6. Then spread evenly the preserves over top  of the oat mixture.
  7. Top with the remaining oat mixture spreading evenly across the top covering the preserves.
  8. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes
  9. Allow to fully cool before cutting into bars.

I think these make for the perfect on-the-go breakfast. If you bake them the night before and store them in an air tight container you will have breakfast waiting for you when you wake up.

strawberry-oatmeal bars

Southern Banana Pudding

There’s something amazing about homemade banana pudding that screams summer. One of my first cravings with this pregnancy has been banana pudding. I’ve been craving it for weeks and finally on the 4th of July I decided to make some.

Now it’s not 100% homemade because I didn’t make the pudding from scratch but I also didn’t use banana flavored pudding, which happens to be one of my banana pudding pet peeves.

southern banana pudding

Somehow my boys had never tried banana pudding but I assumed that their general love for all things banana would insure this to be a big hit, and I wasn’t wrong. Simon in particular LOVED the banana pudding.

Southern Banana Pudding Recipe

  • 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 1/2 cup ice cold water
  • 1 (3.4 oz.) box vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2-3 sliced bananas
  • 1 (12 oz.) box Nilla Wafers


  1. In a large bowl, beat together the sweetened condensed milk and cold water until well combined.
  2. Add the pudding mix to the milk mixture and beat well. Refrigerate for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, mix together cream and vanilla and beat until stiff peaks form.
  4. Gently fold whipped cream into the pudding mixture until well blended.
  5. Line the bottom of a large glass bowl with a single layer of Nilla Wafers and bananas. Then pour over part of the pudding mixture, add more Nilla Wafers and bananas. Pour the remaining pudding mixture in the bowl and top with more Nilla Wafers and banana.
  6. Cover and Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.


banana pudding