6 Simple Summer Desserts

I am always on the hunt for simple and quick desserts to make for an impromptu get together with friends or just to whip up for my own family.  My family loves dessert so we are well-versed in dessert making but sometimes you just need an easy recipe.  So, from chocolate and ice cream to fruit, we have your dessert bases covered with 6 simple dessert recipes sure to please the taste buds.  What are your favorite desserts to make?

6 Simple Dessert Recipes


strawberries, whipped cream and biscuit strawberry shortcake recipe

Simple Strawberry Shortcake Recipe

I was intimidated for years at the thought of making shortcake but this recipe is so easy and is my husband’s favorite dessert.  If he gets to pick dessert and strawberries are in season, he always chooses this!  It’s light, sweet and delicious!

ice cream pie recipe Pinterest pin image

Simple Ice Cream Pie Recipe

If you are looking for an alternate way to serve an ice cream sundae, you need to try this ice cream pie.  It’s so simple but can be sliced and served right on to a plate for guests.  You can mix and match any ice cream flavor for endless ice cream pie options!

Simple Smoothie Recipe

Although, smoothies are not usually considered a dessert.  They are a great healthy sweet treat.  They are easy to make ahead and all you need to do is blend them right up and you have a delicious sweet treat that’s healthy too!


rhubarb crisp with pecan crumble in a white dish on a wood table

Simple Pecan Rhubarb Crisp Recipe

Crisps are such an easy but delicious dessert and served a la mode, you have a fan favorite on your hands.  This recipe calls for pecans for a nutty twist on a classic.


oreo crumbs topped whipped cream pie Pinterest pin

Simple Oreo Pie Recipe

I haven’t met a person that doesn’t love Oreos.  They are so delicious and this pie is a great variation of a french silk pie with a chocolate pudding base with the addition of Oreos!  Not only will the kids love it but the adults will too!

Magic Bar Recipe

And a bonus…because this is just too good not to share.  The name says it all – magic bars. It’s like magic in your mouth and these bars are so easy and so good, they won’t have time to melt before they are gone.


What are your favorite simple desserts to whip up for guests or your family?  You can never go wrong with brownies too!  A dessert is a food group around here so we are always looking for more simple recipes to add to the rotation!


Until next time keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life!

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Linking up with Andrea and Becky – check out their blogs for more fun!


Simple 6 Layer Magic Bar Recipe

I am always looking for delicious and simple desserts to make for guests or take to a potluck.  It gets bonus points around here if it’s chocolate and you can eat it without any utensils.  My mom used to make these delicious, layered bars as a kid.  They may originate in the midwest potluck circuit.  She called them “hello dolly” bars but they are also called 7 layer bars or magic bars.

I am going to share my mom’s recipe with you today, the one I still use.  It’s so easy and simple, I am making these for the 4th of July at the lake!  I am not sure what the 7th layer would include, my recipe is just 6 ingredients.  This is a perfect recipe for a little chef to help you with!

Simple 6 Layer Magic Bars Recipe



1 stick of butter (melted)

1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk

1 package sweetened coconut flakes (7 oz)

1 package butterscotch chips (11 oz)

1 package semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (2/3 box)



spatula with graham cracker crumbs in pan making magic bars

Start by preheating oven to 350 degrees.  Then, grease a 9×13 pan and melt the stick of butter in the microwave.  Measure out 1 1/4 cup graham crackers and mix the butter with the crumbs.  Firmly pat the crumb mixture into the pan to create a crust.


It’s time to layer the other ingredients on top of the crust. First, layer on the sweetened coconut flakes and then the mixture of semi-sweet chocolate chips and butterscotch chips.  Finally, evenly pour the sweetened condensed milk over the entire bar pan.


magic bars in pan ready to bake


Once, you have finished layering on all the ingredients place the pan in a 350-degree oven uncovered for 30 minutes.  The top should be slightly browned.  Let cool before eating, then cut up and serve as a bar-style dessert at your next gathering.  These simple 6 ingredient magic bars are so good and deliciously rich, you will know why they are magic!



Pin this!


Do you have a favorite bar-type dessert that you love to serve?  Bar-type desserts are a great alternative to cookie and actually, take less time and often are simpler which makes them winners in my book!  What are you baking these days?

Here are a few of my other favorite simple dessert recipes –

Simple Strawberry Shortcake

Simple Rhubarb Pecan Crisp

Simple Ice Cream Pie

Simple Oreo Pie

Until next time keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life!

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Simple Rhubarb Pecan Crisp Recipe

Growing up at the lake, we inherited a huge rhubarb plant when we bought our family cabin.  Every summer passers-by would knock on our door and ask if they could harvest some stalks for their own rhubarb crisp desserts.  My mom was not a fan of rhubarb so she always was happy to share with the strangers.

It wasn’t until my friend made a rhubarb crisp that I realized just how delicious rhubarb was!  Now, any time my mother-in-law or friends have extra, I happily take it and cut it up.  If I don’t have time to bake, I simply store it cut up in the freezer with the date and the measured amount written on the bag!

A friend brought over several stalks of rhubarb the other night so I decided to make a twist on the traditional rhubarb crisp and added pecans!  We are big fans of pecans around here and had some extras leftover in our pantry.  This recipe is the perfect size for 4-6 people and it always tastes best right out of the oven with a dollop of ice cream on top!  Do you love rhubarb desserts as much as we do?


rhubarb crisp with pecan crumble in a white dish on a wood table

Rhubarb Pecan Crisp Instructions

What you need –

rhubarb crisp dessert dry ingredients - oats, flour, cinnamon, salt and sugarRhubarb Crisp Filling

4 cups chopped rhubarb (1/4 inch pieces)

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix all ingredients together and place in a greased 8×8 square pan or small round cooking dish.


two girls making rhubarb crisp and putting pecan crumble on top

Pecan Crumble Topping

1/2 cup melted butter

1/2 cup quick oats

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

Mix together the crumble topping.  Work with your hands until it is a fine crumble.  Then, top the rhubarb crisp with the crumble topping.

uncooked rhubarb crisp in a white dish on a table

Cooking Instructions

Pre-heat oven at 350 degrees.  Cook the crisp uncovered for 30-35 minutes.  The topping will turn light-brown and the filling will bubble on the sides.  Let cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Serving Instructions

Serve warm and you can top with whipped cream of a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  Serves 4-6 people.

rhubarb pecan crisp recipe


Now, I am off to make another batch.  This recipe makes the perfect amount for a post-family dinner dessert.  If you want to make it for a crowd, I suggest doubling or tripling the recipe.  Cut up and freeze your rhubarb and whip this up any time you want a delicious summer treat!  What have you been whipping up lately? I love all the fresh dessert options this time of year.  I also just made this simple strawberry shortcake, it’s another family favorite around here!!!  Now, my stomach is growling!


Until next time keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life!

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Linking up with  Lindsay – check out their blogs for more fun!

Easy Baked Mexican Dip


The Super Bowl is this weekend and it’s always a scramble to figure out what to make because let’s be honest I am all about the halftime show, the commercials, and the food.  I plan on making this easy baked Mexican dip recipe because it’s always a fan favorite and great served with guacamole, salsa, and chips!


Ingredients –

1 8 oz Bag of Taco Blend Cheese
1 small bottle of mild taco sauce (Taco Bell is the only brand I can find that has the smaller bottle)
1 can diced green chiles
1 can Traditional refried beans
1 lb. ground beef (I use ground turkey)

Directions –

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees and then brown your ground meat and chop until finely ground.  After its cooked, I like to rinse it to get out the excess grease and then add the taco seasoning packet and add water according to the package specifications.  Then cook through.
While your meat is cooking, you can add the refried beans to the bottom of a greased 9×13 pan.  Spread the refried beans into a thin bottom layer.
Add your seasoned ground meat on top of the refried bean layer and then sprinkle the green chiles over top of the ground beef to make a 3rd layer.  Then, pour the entire bag of shredded cheese on top to make an even 4th layer.
Finally, evenly pour the taco sauce over the top.  The oven should be pre-heated and its ready to cook.  Since everything is cooked through, you really are just warming it all up.  You will cook the dish at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. You know when it’s done if it’s bubbling on the sides.

How to serve it –

Take it out and allow to set for a few minutes.  Then you can dish it on to a plate and serve with taco chips or you can spoon into tortillas with lettuce and toppings if you wish.

Perfect for a weeknight meal or appetizer!

This easy baked Mexican dip recipe makes a great casserole for a quick weeknight dinner or a great dip to take with you to a party with your friends.  It can be made ahead and stored in the fridge until you are ready to make it and it makes great leftovers.  You all know we live on leftovers for lunches during the week so I often make this early in the week.  Don’t forget the guacamole, sour cream, jalapenos and salsa for fun sides!
Until next time, keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life.
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Simple and Delicious Apple Nachos

It’s fall y’all and that means all things apple!  A few years ago, we went to our favorite local orchard and tried out some apple nachos for the first time.  We fell in love and have been recreating them every fall since.  They are just so good and so easy.  Those two reasons alone should make you want to try them.
You know my kids love to help in the kitchen and this is another easy recipe, they can help get ready for a dessert, an after school snack or a fun treat to take with us to a potluck.  You could even do an apple nachos bar the next time you have friends over.  The great thing is, each person can make it themselves to their liking! 

You will need:


Optional Toppings:

  • Chocolate chips (mini are the best)
  • Peanut butter (best if melted in the microwave for about 30 seconds)
  • Peanut butter chips
  • Butterscotch chips
  • Coconut flakes
  • Chopped nuts
  • Marshmallow topping
  • Candy Corn
  • Heath crumbles
  • The options are endless
Have your kids help by preparing all the toppings in bowls and placing the apples on the serving platter while you cut.  We prefer to cut our apple slices nice and thin to fully enjoy the toppings.  Then allow your guests or your kids to get creative with their apple nachos.  I promise you, it’s finger licking fall goodness!

Have you ever tried apple nachos before?

You might have the necessary ingredients in your pantry right now.  If not, the next time you grocery shop, you can quickly grab your desired toppings and apples and you will be ready to go for your next dessert, gathering or potluck!

What’s your favorite way to eat apples in the fall?

More Fall Inspiration 

Until next time, keep on keeping on with a joyful, faith-filled life.  #tribekoko
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Simple Black Bean and Corn Salsa Recipe

This time of year, there’s always a party you have to go and you need to bring a dish to share! If you are like me, you want it to be simple to make but full of flavor.  This black bean and corn salsa is an easy, fan-favorite recipe.

The recipe came from my friend Emilie.  She is the queen of dips and appetizers.  It is so easy that the kids can help make it and great for anything where you need to take a dish to share.



Can of diced tomatoes with green chilis
Can of black beans
Can of whole kernel sweet corn
Lime Juice to taste (we used 1/4 cup) – alt. 2 squeezed limes
Bunch of cilantro
2 ripe avocados, diced

Prep time 

Under 15 minutes

Utensils Needed –


Recipe Directions –

Open the cans of black beans and corn, rinse and drain.  Place in a mixing bowl.
Open can of tomatoes (do not drain), dump into the mixing bowl with beans and corn.
Add lime juice (either 2 fresh squeezed limes) or about 1/4 cup lime juice or to your taste.
Next, add fresh cut cilantro, about 1/3 cup loosely packed.  Dry will work as well.
Mix in the diced up avocado and stir gently until mixed well.  Let sit in the fridge or on the counter to allow the flavors to meld together for best taste.  Best served within a few hours of making.

It’s Time to Serve it!

Serve with tortilla chips, as a topping to your favorite Mexican dishes, or as a side salad for your next BBQ.  Don’t expect leftovers, it’s that good!


You Might Like These Simple Recipes Too –

Ice Cream Pie

No Bake Oreo Pie

5 Ingredient Strawberry Shortcake

Until next time, keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life.
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Simple Strawberry Shortcake Recipe

strawberries, whipped cream and biscuit strawberry shortcake recipe
Strawberry shortcake just screams summer to me!  It’s light, refreshing and a delicious treat to enjoy outside.  It’s my husband’s favorite dessert and for years I didn’t make it because I thought the shortcake was going to be daunting to make.
I seriously kick myself for all the years I missed making this super easy dessert.  This is a crowd favorite for your next block party or BBQ.  The best news is your little sous chefs can easily help you whip this treat up, it doesn’t take long and requires only 5 ingredients. Do I have your interest yet?

Strawberry Shortcake Ingredients 

2 1/3 Cup Bisquick mix
2/3 Cup Milk
1 tub whipped topping
1 clamshell of strawberries
2 T Sugar (If you desire)
**This recipe serves 6-8 people

Strawberry Shortcake Instructions

Prepare the biscuits ahead of time to allow time to cool a bit.  Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Then, mix together the Bisquick mix and 2/3 cup milk to make the biscuit dough.  Spoon dough onto an un-greased cookie sheet, making between 6-8 biscuits.   Cook for 8-10 minutes until golden brown on top.  Pull out and allow to cool.
Next, rinse and chop your strawberries into bite-size pieces and place in a mixing bowl.  Sprinkle with 2 T. sugar and then use a fork to stir and gently press on the strawberries to release some juices and let sit.
When you are ready,  slice the biscuits with a serrated knife and then place 1/2 the biscuit in the bottom of your bowl.  Then, spoon some of the sugared strawberries on top.
Then layer the whipped topping on top.  Place the other half of the biscuit on top and layer with another spoonful of the syrupy strawberries and whipped topping.  It’s best to serve this dessert immediately so it doesn’t get soggy.  Trust me, there won’t be leftovers!



Do you love strawberry shortcake?  What’s your family’s favorite summer dessert?  I hope you and your sous chef enjoy making this delicious dessert for your family and friends soon.  It’s a fan favorite and is so easy to make!
Here are a few more favorite simple recipes to try –
Ice Cream Pie
Magic Bars
Oreo Pie
Corn Bean Salsa

Until next time keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life!

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Simple 6 Ingredient Oreo Pie


oreo crumbs topped whipped cream pie Pinterest pin
My kids love to cook, especially my oldest daughter!  Today, I am sharing a delicious and simple oreo pie recipe she and I recently whipped up.
We were invited to our friend’s house for dinner and were asked to bring dessert.   Their daughter has a severe peanut allergy so we knew whatever we made needed to be peanut-free so we could all enjoy it.  Everyone LOVES Oreo’s and they happen to be peanut-free, so we made a simple 6 ingredient Oreo pie dessert.


  1. Oreo Crust
  2. Package of Oreos
  3. Chocolate Jell-O Pudding
  4. Milk to mix with pudding per box directions
  5. Cool Whip (thawed per package directions)


STEP 1:  Make the Jell-O instant pudding per box directions for pie**  and place in the fridge for 5 minutes to thicken up.

STEP 2:  Take 2/3 of Oreos out of the container and place in a resealable bag.  Then use a tenderizer to smash the Oreos.  Try not to hit your own finger – ouch, that happened ;).


STEP 3:    Scoop the whipped topping out of the container and into a large mixing bowl.  Then pour most of the crushed Oreos to the whipped topping.  Make sure to reserve a little bit for the top garnish.  Then stir the Oreos and whipped topping together.


STEP 4:  Your pudding should have thickened so you can pull out of the fridge and scoop into your Oreo crust.
STEP 5:  Scoop the Oreo/Whipped topping layer on top of the pudding layer.

STEP 6:  Sprinkle the reserved crushed Oreos on top of the pie for a garnish.


STEP 7:  Place in the fridge until ready to eat!  The pie doesn’t cut in neat slices so it will be more of a mousse-type pie, just an FYI!  


All that’s left to do is enjoy the fruit of your labor with some friends.  You can add gummy worms or other garnishes to make it your own pie.  Do your kids like to cook?  What have you been whipping up in the kitchen lately?

You might also like these simple recipes —
Strawberry Shortcake
Pecan Rhubarb Crisp
Magic Bars
Ice Cream Pie
Until next time keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life!
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10 Simple Kid Lunch Ideas

Sometimes, I am convinced my kids despise eating.  That’s all there is to it.  I really wish I had that problem, I love to eat.  I guess  I wouldn’t say they hate eating but they are creatures of habit.  They don’t mind eating the same thing over and over and over and over again, unlike me.  I am going to share 10 basic kid lunch ideas that are on repeat around here.

As moms, we feel the need to serve a great variety because we like variety and we feel the pressure too!  I have come to find if I stick to these 10 basic kids lunch ideas and rotate, everyone is happy.  When you look at the list, you will say oh I make that…I think when we lay it out, we actually do serve more variety than at first thought.  So I am here to tell you — good job!   My son’s school lunch calendar only has 15 main dish items so if they can do it, why can’t we?

crescent roll pizza with text 10 kid lunch ideas

10 Simple Kids Lunch Ideas

1 – Leftovers

Never underestimate the power of a good meal rewarmed.  I know not all meals are a hit but plan your dinner meals to include extras for leftovers.  Leftovers my kids especially love leftovers are pizza and taco/Mexican dishes.  I try to include both of these into our menu every week for this purpose.

2 – Peanut Butter & Hummus

Peanut Butter Toast (left) and Leftover Mexican food (right)
Peanut butter on anything.  Peanut butter sandwiches, peanut butter toast, peanut butter crackers, peanut butter with celery.  You can even warm up a dollop in the microwave and drizzle over cut up bananas.  Cutting up the bread in various shapes and sizes make the meal new again.  One day you can do squares, the next triangles and then strips (as seen above).  Hummus is great with pita chips, crackers or dipping carrots into!

3 – Eggs

No matter which way you crack it #punintended, eggs are a fast and easy protein to make for lunch.  You can add some sausage, bacon, ham or cheese as well.  My kids like to cut a hole in the middle of a piece of bread and make eggs in the hole.  They also like sunny side up eggs with cheese on top.  You can make egg burritos in soft shells!

4 – Quesadillas

There is no limit to the creativity with quesadillas.  You can make simple cheese ones.  Try breakfast quesadillas filled with egg, cheese, and meat.  You can add some cheese and pepperoni and serve with marinara sauce for an Italian twist.    You can even do peanut butter and banana quesadillas.

5 –Macaroni and Cheese

No matter what type of diet you follow, there is a box of macaroni and cheese that probably fits it.  It’s normally a kid favorite and easily made and stored for leftovers the next day.
My tip with macaroni and cheese leftover is rather than just microwaving it, place the leftovers in a saucepan with a little bit of milk and stir as you rewarm.  It turns back into what looks like original macaroni and cheese.  My kids will not eat macaroni and cheese rewarmed in the microwave but I have found a way to trick them ;).

6 – Waffles and Pancakes

You can either make up some homemade pancakes and freeze them or buy pre-made frozen to microwave or toast!  My kids sometimes like to dip so we will mix it up with the way we cut it — strips, triangles, or bite size!

7 – Crescent Roll Recipes

I keep a sleeve of these in my fridge at all times.  They make a great base to whatever you want to add inside.  From hot dogs to string cheese, breakfast sausage or pepperoni.  Bonus — your kids will love helping roll them up.
A tip I have found to work really well is to let your littles help make their food.  There is just something to doing it themselves that suddenly makes it more appealing.  Crescent rolls are a great way for littles to roll whatever they want right up and then cook!
Let your kids help you make their lunch, they are more likely to eat it.

8 – Meat & Crackers

Sometimes I get stuck in the thought that there has to be a main dish and sides.  Kids love eating crackers, cubes of cheese and cubed up meat.   Just grab a variety of crackers, meats your kids like and a variety of cheese.
You can make a weeks worth of meals just with those 3 items.  Who doesn’t love a meat and cheese tray? It’s like your very own homemade Lunchable.  I do love the bought ones too especially when they are on sale for a $1 ;).

9 – Sandwiches

My kids don’t love sandwiches which is just wrong.  We do grilled cheese dipped in ranch dressing of course (because that’s a food group ;).  You can add some meat to that as well for a little-added variety.  I make mine with bacon and avocado if I am feeling fancy!

10 – Freezer Staples

Don’t forget about all those things you can stock up in the freezer section.  Everything in moderation, right?  My kids love pizza rolls, taquitos, chicken nuggets, mini corn dogs, and mozzarella sticks.  I generally buy one of those items and serve them once a week and then when they are gone, I choose something different!  Right now there are mini corn dogs in my freezer!

Sometimes, you just need to go through the drive-thru or text a friend to meet at Chick Fil-a!  One friend used to always go out on Friday for lunch with her kids.  Remember variety isn’t as important to them as it is to us.   If all else fails, having some fun items to make eating more appealing never hurts.  Here are a few ideas to add to your wish list!


1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 //

We have these plates and I pull them out when we are going through a particularly rough phase with eating or I know dinner might not be a favorite ;).  My kids also love to eat with different utensils so those cute animal toothpicks or the lego chopsticks.  We have the construction silverware and they are in high demand along with these spoon/fork combos.


Mealtime with littles can be downright crazy but hopefully, these kids lunch ideas will help you to get on the right track to smoother meal times so everyone enjoys eating.  Kids included!

What kids lunch ideas do you have?


 **This post contains affiliate links and graphics from Amazon.


Simple Ice Cream Pie

Who loves ice cream?  We do!  This simple and easy ice cream pie dessert is sure to please!  Take it to your next party or sever it to your families.  This is a crowd pleaser and so simple, you know I love simple!  The great thing about this ice cream pie is you can make it a million different ways based on the ice cream flavor and toppings you choose.  For this example, I made a mint ice cream pie because it’s a fan favorite over.  Think shamrock shake meets pie, delicious.

Ice Cream Pie Ingredients

48 oz container mint chocolate chip ice cream
(Any flavor you choose will work)
8 oz container whipped topping
Pre-made Oreo crust
Green food coloring (optional)
Topping of choice (we chose crushed Andes’ mints)

Ice Cream Pie Directions

We placed the ice cream in the fridge to thaw for about an hour and then scooped it into the Oreo crust.  Solon pretended to eat that huge hunk….hence the BIG smile ;).
Smooth the softened ice cream into the pie crust.
After the ice cream layer was complete, Solon mixed up the 4 drops of food coloring in with the whipped topping.  You can add more food coloring for a deeper color!
After we mixed the whipped cream and food coloring, we scooped the whipped cream onto the ice cream, and smoothed to cover.
The last step was to add the garnish.  They chose Andes’ mints and they crumbled the mints on to the pie.  We placed it back in the freezer to harden, then wrapped it in tin foil so it would be ready to take with us to our friends for dinner.
You can add any flavor of ice cream and double up on ice cream flavors.  Just let the first layer of ice cream set and come back with an additional layer.  You can also add in syrups, like caramel sauce or hot fudge.  Ice cream pies are simple and always a fan favorite.
simple ice cream pie recipe card
Have you ever made one?  What flavor would you make?


Until next time keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life!

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