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Drinks/ Healthy Eating/ RECIPES/ Sponsored

DIY Cold Brew Coffee with Healthy Salted Caramel Whipped Topping

Cold Brew Pitcher and Iced Coffee with a straw

*This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Shopko. The opinions and text are all mine.


DIY Cold Brew Coffee

Are you a cold brew coffee fan but don’t like paying coffee shop prices? Do you love coffee but wish it were less acidic and easier on your tummy? Do you love iced toddy lattes with dreamy creamy toppings but don’t like the added processed sugar?


Whipped cream topped cold brew coffee in a glass

I don’t know about you but I can say yes to all of those questions. I also found a great solution for ALL of them with the help of the Primula 51 Ounce Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker from Shopko, and an amazing whipped cream recipe to top your cold brew!

I’ve dabbled in making my own cold brew for a few years now, and but never found a process that was streamlined and easy enough to keep doing it on the regular.


Cold Brew Coffee French Press System

My old way of doing it was with a french press but honestly, it was messy and I had to put too much thought into the measurements and the ratio of coffee to water for it to become an easy habit.

If you want to know how to make it in the french press, you simply stir 1/4 cup of coarse coffee grounds into 1 cup of cold water. Let sit out on the counter overnight.  The next morning, add another cup of cold water. Then press the grounds and pour over ice. This makes 2 cups of coffee.


Cold Brew Coffee – Jar System

You could make this in a glass jar instead of a French press, but instead of pressing, strain through a coffee filter twice. Again, it is messy and a slow straining process–not my favorite–but if you are desperate for cold brew coffee and have a glass jar and coffee filters on hand, you can use this method.

Place 1/4 cup of coffee grounds in a jar with 1 cup of cold water. Let sit in the refrigerator on the counter overnight.  The next morning,  add another cup of cold water.  Then strain the grounds and pour over ice. This makes 2 cups of coffee.


cold brew coffee pitcher, towel and succulent


Primula Cold Brew Coffee Maker

What is my favorite way to make cold brew coffee? With the Primula Cold Brew Coffee Maker from Shopko. It takes all guesswork out of making cold brew coffee and streamlines the process, making it as simple as possible.

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No Bake Clean Eating Peanut Butter Chocolate Crispy Bars

No Bake Clean Eating Peanut Butter Chocolate Crispy Bars

These No Bake Clean Eating Peanut Butter Chocolate Crispy Bars are a play off one of the most popular recipe posts on New Nostalgia. That post is called Best Recipe I’ve Ever Messed Up has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times.

I’m feeling like a proud peacock because I took the base of that recipe and came up with another delicious recipe that you are going to LOVE! These bars are to die for!

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3 Healthy Smoothies That Taste Like Dessert


There is nothing like a thick, rich smoothie that is healthy but tastes like dessert. These 3 smoothies are my go-to smoothies when I want a sweet, creamy treat that is filling and nutritious. The Coffee Cashew Smoothie combines chocolate and coffee, the Velvet Elvis smoothie combines banana and peanut butter, and the Chocolate Covered Cashew Smoothie is well…self-explanatory & delicious! Enjoy!


 Coffee Cashew Smoothie

This coffee cashew smoothie is a creamy and decadant snack.  I love coffee and chocolate together, and the soaked cashews give this smoothie an amazing creamy texture.  It is  dessert-like, but so filling, and packs a great protein punch with 5 grams!


Coffee Cashew Smoothie

1/4 cup cashews (soaked for awhile in milk to soften if you don’t have a high-speed blender)
1/2 banana, peeled (frozen optional)
1 tablespoon cacao nibs
1/2 cup ice
1/4 cup cooled coffee
1 cup milk of your choice (I use almond)
1/2 tablespoon coconut sugar (optional, or sweetener of choice)
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. I added a bit of almond butter & cocoa nibs on top for pretty.

 {5 grams of protein}

The Velvet Elvis Smoothie

One of my favorite smoothies comes from a local place called NuVibe Juice and Java.  They have an delicious smoothie called The Velvet Elvis smoothie.  It is unique, filling, creamy & tastes like a decadent peanut butter banana smoothie treat. It has Grape Nuts cereal in it which makes it extra filling. I replicated the smoothie and it is just as delicious as Nu Vibe’s!


The Velvet Elvis Smoothie
{makes 2-15 oz smoothies}

1/4 cup peanut butter
1 banana
1/2 cup Post Grape Nuts Cereal
1 cup oats
1 1/2 cups almond milk (or milk of your choice)
2 Tbsp honey
1 cup ice

Add all ingredients to the blender.  Use a high speed blender for best results.  If you don’t have a high speed blender, let the oats and Grape Nuts Cereal sit in the milk for a few minutes to soften.  Blend until smooth.  Add more milk if needed.  Consistency is right when a vortex forms in the blender and contents move freely.

{10 grams protein}



Creamy Chocolate Covered Cashew Smoothie

This Creamy Chocolate Covered Cashew Smoothie tastes decadent and you would never guess how nutritious it is. It has protein from the cashew butter and nuts, fiber from oats and banana, potassium, and antioxidants from the cocoa and honey.


Creamy Chocolate Covered Cashew Smoothie

{makes 2 – 15 oz smoothies}

1/4 cup cashew butter (or almond butter or peanut butter)
1 banana
1 tbsp cocoa
1/2 cup cashews
1 cup oats
1 1/2  cup milk (your choice – I love almond or cashew)
2 Tbsp honey
1 cup ice

Optional: cocoa nibs

Add all ingredients to the blender.  Use a high-speed blender for best results.  If you don’t have a high-speed blender, let the oats and cashews sit in the milk for a few minutes to soften.  Blend until smooth.  Add more milk  if needed.  Consistency is right when a vortex forms in the blender and contents move freely.

Adding nuts or nut butters in smoothies are a great way to add protein naturally, without resorting to protein powders, and will fill you up!

Have you used nuts in smoothies? What is you favorite way to make dessert healthy?


Brown Sugar Cinnamon Baked Peaches

pan of baked peaches

It is not often that a recipe makes my eyes roll, but they ROLLED when I tasted these baked peaches. They got wide with first bite and rolled while “mmmmm” escaped from my lips while chewing. I was in disbelief that peaches could taste this good with so little effort!

I felt like I was eating a peach pie minus the crust, which I didn’t miss at all, and I am a big-time crust person!  If you want to feel like you are eating the most delicious peach pie without all the work of rolling dough and slicing fruit, then this recipe is for you.


Do you love my new little baking dish? Our dear friends from Chicago gifted it to me. It was chosen from his workplace and lovingly presented when they arrived in town for their awesome summer visit.

If you follow me on Instagram, you got a glimpse of the amazing time we had. Our kids have grown up together and friendship has blossomed despite the long-distance.

They are a gift to our family and it was so sweet that they arrived bearing this sweet gift for me! I love it. It came with the best serving spatula, which is the perfect size that I have been wanting!

You can find them both, baker and spatula as a kit, here.

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No Bake Chocolate Cookie Dough Bites

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August is a great month to use a recipe that does not require heating up the oven, although these No Bake Chocolate Cookie Dough Bites are great to eat any time of the year!

Speaking of August, we are a week and a half away from my 3 girls heading back to school.  I will have 2 girls in high school, a freshman and a sophomore, and one in middle school.

As you might have noticed, the summer got the best of me and I have been pretty MIA when it comes to blogging.  There are many reasons why, of which I will share with you in upcoming posts, but it sure felt strange to step away from the computer and just focus on getting through a very challenging and busy summer. I have had this blog since 2007 and have never taken time off of writing regularly in it. I feel that things are starting to get back to normal, not just myself emotionally, but also with a fall schedule coming.  I do best with a schedule!

One thing that happened this summer was that we got a complete kitchen makeover! I was out of a kitchen for about a month, and we had to get pretty creative with meals around here.  Now that the kitchen is finished (I will show you in a post coming soon!) my youngest has been very eager to get in there and make something! She is my little baker and is constantly surprising me with fun recipes that she finds on Pinterest. Yesterday I was back- to- school shopping with my Colsie girl, and came home to cocoa powder scattered on my new countertops, a sign that my little one had been busy whipping something up and enjoying the new kitchen.

She proudly presented these No Bake Cookie Dough Bites, and let me tell you, they are GOOD! They hit the spot when it comes to a chocolate craving, as the chocolate is pretty intense.  They are almost like a dark chocolate, but still sweet enough for my two older daughters to enjoy who usually don’t care for dark chocolate. They are rich and fudgey and oh so good!


No Bake Chocolate Cookie Dough Bites

{inspired by this recipe}

¾ c all-purpose flour

6 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1/8 tsp salt

1 tbsp butter or margarine, melted and cooled

¼ c unsweetened applesauce

½ tsp vanilla extract

½ c light brown sugar

Whisk together the flour, cocoa, and salt in a small bowl.  In a medium bowl, stir together the butter, applesauce, and vanilla until thoroughly combined.  Mix in the brown sugar, smearing any clumps along the side of the bowl.  Add in the dry flour mixture, stirring just until incorporated.

If the dough is too sticky to shape, refrigerate for 20-40 minutes (or freeze for about 10 minutes).

Line a baking sheet or large plate with wax paper.  Roll the cookie dough into 32 little balls, using between 1-11/2 teaspoons of dough 9in each ball.  Place on the wax paper until ready to serve.

Keep the cookie dough bites in the refrigerator.  Their flavors meld over time, and they actually taste best after sitting in the fridge.


2 Ingredient Butterfinger Cookie Bars


My husbands favorite candy bar is Butterfinger.  He loves them! He makes grunting noises when he eats them–no joke.

My youngest wanted to make him a fun, homemade gift for his birthday, and was determined to find a recipe that utilized her Daddy’s favorite candy bar.  She has become quite the baker this last year, and it is one of her favorite ways to show love to others.  It is a bonus that she gets to lick the spoon and bowl and serve herself a sweet piece of whatever she makes for others.  I have yet to convince her to make a vegetable dish.  She is all about desserts!


She got busy searching Pinterest for a Butterfinger candy bar recipe.  I was happy when she found this recipe for Butterfinger Cookie Bars–happy that it was simple, only used 2 ingredients, and wouldn’t mess the kitchen up too much. This would not be a recipe that we would work at making healthy–not when a candy bar is the main character!  Instead, we embraced the junk food as a way to celebrate the most special man in both of our lives.

As you can see from that smile, he loved them!


Butterfinger Cookie Bars–Recipe Inspiration from Pip & Ebby

Servings: 20

Ready in: 40 minutes

16.5-oz. package refrigerated sugar cookie dough, at room temp

6 Butterfinger bars, 5 whole and 1 coarsely chopped

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat an 8×8-inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

2. Press half of the cookie dough into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Top with 5 whole Butterfinger bars. Top that with the remaining cookie dough mixture. Bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, or until dough is cooked through (test with a toothpick).

3.Remove from oven and top with remaining chopped Butterfinger bar. Let cool and cut into small squares.


Enjoy…then go eat a serving of vegetables!

RECIPES/ Sponsored/ Sweets

Salted Caramel Reese’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Dribble & Drizzle Mix

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of REESE’S® Brand for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

College basketball is a pretty big deal around our house.  It is a great excuse to hang out, get loud and eat sweets, like this amazing Salted Caramel Reese’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Dribble & Drizzel Mix.  How’s THAT for a name?
For most of our home games, my Todd is gifted with tickets to the game from his Dad.  Todd has been going to home games most of his life.  He now takes our oldest daughter, Teagan, who has also become quite the college basketball fan.  For many of the games they meet up with Grandpa and uncles and cousins to eat out before the game, then go to the game as a family.
For away games that are shown on TV, I can always count on having our basement come alive with sports fans– my husband being the biggest one.  He is one of the quietest, most introverted people you will ever meet, but when a college basketball game comes on, boy…he is LOUD!  I am usually upstairs chuckling to myself whenever I hear him hooting’ and hollering.  I love hearing my quiet man come alive.
I  also love using our home for game viewing, as it gives me an excuse to get in the kitchen and make something sweet.  Todd’s all-time favorite flavors are chocolate and peanut butter, so most of the desserts I make when I am stepping away from more healthful desserts, have that perfect combination of chocolate and peanut butter.
My all time favorite flavors are salted caramel and chocolate, so this Salted Caramel Reese’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Dribble & Drizzle hit the spot for both Todd and I. It is sinfully delicious.  It will be my go-to snack mix, as it is a real crowd pleaser, easy to make, and makes a lot.
It was so very good that I am entering it in the REESE’S® Baking Bracket Challenge and I am asking YOU to vote for me!  I was asked to compete with 32 other amazing Game Day Recipes. These recipes were put together with Mom’s in mind, to help create some chocolate peanut butter family fun on game day!
If you vote for me, your name will be entered in a daily $100 Walmart gift card drawing.  Winner of the REESE’S® Baking Bracket Challenge receives $2,500!  That my friends, would go a long way in helping us pay off a few medical bills, so please vote for me!!
On to this awesome recipe.  All of the ingredients can be found at Walmart.
Salted Caramel Reese’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Dribble & Drizzle Mix
8 cups chocolate Chex cereal
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
6 tablespoons butter or margarine
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup Reese’s Pieces Candy
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup caramel bits (found by the chocolate chips in the baking aisle–or chop up regular caramels)
1-3 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 cup milk chocolate baking chips
1/2 cup white chocolate baking chips
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1. Into large microwavable bowl, measure cereal; set aside.  Line cookie sheet with waxed paper or foil.
2. In a 2-cup microwavable measuring cup, microwave brown sugar, butter and corn syrup uncovered on high 1-2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute, until melted and smooth.  Stir in baking soda until dissolved. Pour caramel mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated.  Microwave on High 3 minutes, stirring every minute.  Spread on cookie sheet.  Cool 10 minutes.  Break into bite-sized pieces.
3. Make sure Chex mixture is cool to the touch (so candy doesn’t melt.) Evenly sprinkle mini peanut butter cup candy and miniature marshmallows over Chex mixture.
4. In a small microwavable bowl, microwave caramel baking bits and cream uncovered on high about 1 minute or until chips can be stirred smooth. Use a spoon or fork to drizzle over snack.
5. Microwave the milk chocolate baking chips next, starting with 20-seconds and stirring, then at 20 second intervals until the mixture is completely smooth (microwave temps vary, so watch the chocolate and stir frequently until it’s of drizzling consistency.)  Drizzle over the snack mixture.  Then microwave the white baking chips in 20-second intervals, stirring until smooth.  Add heavy cream if needed for drizzle consistency. Drizzle that over the snack mixture. Quickly sprinkle coarse salt over all while candy drizzles are still wet.
6. Refrigerate until set.  Break apart and store in tightly covered container.
Again, don’t forget to vote for my recipe by visiting the REESE’S® Baking Bracket Challenge!

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