The BEST Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches

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The Best Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches start with the best ever perfectly chewy cookies. Over the years, I’ve made ice cream sandwiches using many different cookies.

In the end, I simply love the way the flavor in these oatmeal peanut butter cookies adds to the overall awesomeness of this frozen treat.

Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches

I’m happy to tell you that I’ve found the cookie recipe that works perfectly every single time. This cookie recipe is adapted from my grandmother’s recipe for Monster Cookies and I suspect that it may have been YOUR grandmother’s recipe as well.

When I discovered that the Monster Cookie recipe in my best friend’s cookbook from her mom was almost the exact same recipe that my grandmother used, it became even more fun every time I made those cookies.

I love that we all have so much sentimental attachment to our family recipes.

In the past, I’ve made Monster Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches using the original recipe, but I found that with a few tweaks, it was even better.

By adapting that recipe to make it a little bit chewier and less crunchy, it freezes and softens beautifully when it is layered with ice cream.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies for Ice Cream Sandwiches

Ice Cream Sandwiches

I love making ice cream sandwiches with homemade ice cream. This recipe for Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream is hands down the easiest and best one you’ll ever make.

For these sandwiches, I churned a batch of ice cream while I started making the cookies. Then I stashed the ice cream in the freezer while the cookies were baking and cooling. The ice cream was

105: The power of labels and identity with Caitlin Boyle (Healthy Tipping Point)

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*Throws confetti into the air*

I’m SO SO pumped for this week’s episode and so thrilled to welcome a good friend to the show: Caitlin Boyle, whom many of you may know from the very popular blog Healthy Tipping Point. 

Caitlin is one of the OG healthy living bloggers, and I’m so thankful that the blog world introduced me to her. Her blog was one of the first things I checked each day for many years, and I always loved that she shared glimpses into her life, recipes, questions of the day, and even covered controversial topics. She stopped blogging regularly back in 2015, and after a 7 year hiatus, she wrote a couple of new posts and the internet rejoiced. She’s one of the smartest people I know, and I’m thankful to have her as a blog friend and real-life friend.

I asked her if she would join me on the podcast, and was so excited when she said yes.

We spent a lot of the episode chatting about a topic that’s so prevalent today: identity and labels.

We talk about:

– the power of labels

– the pros and cons of having an “identity”

– the fact that it’s OK to change your mind with new information

– how we can better understand those who don’t agree with us

– what it felt like to close the book on her blog and drop the “blogger” identity

– what she’s been up to since she blogging days

– Operation Beautiful and what it would look like today

and so.much.more.

Here’s a little bit more about Caitlin if you’re not familiar with her:

Caitlin Boyle is the author of the Healthy Tipping Point, which covered healthy living topics from 2008-2014. She’s been on a 7 year hiatus from blogging but returns to the blog to share some life updates and musings. She’s a mom of two and the founder of Operation Beautiful.

Some of my all-time favorite posts that she’s created:

The mommy wars

That one time she was on the Today Show for Operation Beautiful

Will we or won’t we? Raising vegetarian children

How to eat clean and healthy on a budget

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Hi friends! Hope you’re having a lovely morning so far! In today’s post, I wanted to chat a bit about how to eat clean and healthy on a budget and my tips for saving money on food!

I shared a post here on what it means to eat clean, and how this phrase is common (and this post is really titled like this for search purposes) but it isn’t my favorite phrase. No food is “dirty” and I’m a huge believer that you should eat the things you enjoy that work in your budget and lifestyle. Eating clean emphasizes eating nutritious and minimally-processed foods (though many processed foods are actually healthy!), eating fresh fruits and veggies, unprocessed veggies, smart carbs, and whole grains.

Eating in this way can seem expensive, especially when you’re buying organic options, but it’s absolutely possible to eat clean and healthy foods without breaking the bank when you know how to shop smart and plan ahead.

How To Eat Clean And Healthy On A Budget

Avoid trendy health foods

Trendy healthy foods are usually = $$$. You don’t have to include trendy superfoods (like spirulina, chlorella, goji berries, hemp seeds, chia seeds, and micro greens in your diet to have a nutritious and fufilling style of eating. While ya’ll know I LOVE a trendy superfood now and again, the beauty truly is in the basics. Fruits, veggies, protein, starches from the earth, and healthy fats. When all our fails, check out the perimeter of the grocery store (this is where the fruits, veggies, meat, and eggs are typically found) and the freezer section for healthy staples.

Bring nutrient-dense snacks

If you know you’re going to be out and about, a great way to save money is to bring your own snacks instead of buying something while you’re out. Some of my favorite grab and go snacks: jerky and an apple, trail mix, yogurt (if you like dairy), a hard-boiled egg, tuna packs and veggie packs from Thrive Market. I’ll also often bring a salad, a breakfast cookie, or a wrap with me when I’m out of the house working.

Meal planning

This is my favorite way to save money on food because we minimize waste and know exactly what we’re going to eat each week. If you meal plan, it also helps you stick to your budget for the week since you’re not buying food on the fly. My exact formula for meal planning and meal prep is here! I break down how I plan each night and organize our weeks.

Prepare meals with ingredients that you have

When I make our meal plan for each week, I also try to take into account foods we already have on hand and would like to use. I get almost all of our meat from Butcher Box, so I’ll think of the meat and seafood we have here when choosing recipes for healthy meals.

Create a grocery list

Throughout the week, I have a list I’ll add to as I realize we’re out of certain items. This way I don’t spend extra money buying something that we already have on hand. (We also know to double up on certain items, like almond milk, peanut butter, and maple syrup, when we run

Is escapism good for your mental health?

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We look at the pros and cons of taking a mental vacation when things get tough

Is escapism good for your mental health?

Escapism can come in many forms. Perhaps you find it when engrossed in a good movie or maybe when endlessly scrolling funny videos on TikTok. It’s that feeling you get when you lift yourself out of the here and now to somewhere else – somewhere that feels better for your mind.

Over the last few years, I would hazard a guess that more of us are indulging in escapism. Real life can be… a lot. Whether it’s the pandemic, social justice issues or worldwide tragedies, it’s understandable that some of us feel the need to check out mentally from time to time.

I’ve always thought of escapism as a purely good thing; something we need now and then. But is there a point where escapism could be detrimental to our mental health?

Let’s look at some of the pros and cons.


Benefits of escapism:

It can help reduce stress

This is perhaps one of the most common reasons we turn to escapism. Getting lost in a favourite book, daydreaming while listening to a song or playing a video game can all help us switch off, release tension and reduce stress. When things get too much, a little escapism gives you the equivalent of a mental vacation, but it’s important to remember this is only treating the symptoms of stress. To truly reduce stress, we need to identify the root cause.

It can inspire us

Creative pursuits can be a wonderful ticket to escapism. Doodling imaginary scenes, making music, watching films/TV that makes us think, writing stories… it can all inspire us to think more broadly and spark a fire within us. These forms of escapism can be considered productive and often leave us feeling pretty good.

It can keep us motivated

Sometimes we need to step back to recognise where we’re going. Escapism can help us do that. Try daydreaming about a day in your ‘ideal’ life, from breakfast to bedtime, and ask yourself how it’s different from your current life. What small steps could you take to bridge that gap? Holidays can also be considered a form of escapism and these can offer the break in routine we all need to stay motivated when we get home.


Cons of escapism:

It can be a form of procrastination

Have you ever used escapism when you know you should be doing something else? Perhaps you’re binge-watching a series to avoid family commitments or scrolling on social media instead of working on a deadline. Procrastination often comes up when we’re feeling fearful of a task (maybe we doubt our abilities or feel anxious about it) and escapism can help to facilitate this.

It can lead to avoidance

Taking it one step further, sometimes we can use escapism as a way to avoid difficult emotions. I know I use social media scrolling as a numbing tool when I have an anxiety flare-up, for example. Maybe you shut yourself inside with video games when you’re feeling low.

“Escapism is the opposite of mindfulness – that is living in the moment, of living mindfully. It may be that for you, facing reality is simply too terrifying. This is at the root of your anxiety, the fear of ‘doing the living’, becoming frighten

Cheesy Pulled Pork Enchiladas

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Tender pulled pork is simmered with Mexican spices for these Pulled Pork Enchiladas. The pork is layered with tortillas and plenty of shredded pepper jack cheese to make this cheesy, saucy, slightly spicy recipe.

Whether you eat it with a fork or dig in with chips, this is going to be a dinner-time hit.

Pulled Pork Enchiladas in pan

Pulled Pork Enchiladas

Slow Cooked Mexican Pork has been at the top of my favorites list for a while now and I’ve made it at least six times in the past few months.

Every time I made it, I kept thinking that the pork would be great in enchiladas, but we were enjoying it so much on its own, I never managed to try them until now.

 

Pulled Pork Enchilada Casserole

My middle son had been asking for “red” enchiladas ages and these Pulled Pork Enchiladas were made with red chile sauce especially for him.

The whole family loved them and there was barely a serving left in the pan. Over the past few years, I’ve since made them with red or green chile sauce whenever possible.

Layered pork enchiladas

This recipe makes a terrific make-ahead freezer meal. If you are planning to freeze the enchiladas before cooking, layer everything into the pan and cover with foil or a lid and freeze.

A day or two before you plan to serve this, take it out of the freezer and place the pan in the refrigerator. Once thawed, bake as noted above.

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