chocolate-pumpkin layer pie, with phyllo crust

umpkin & chocolate-pumpkin layer pie, with phyllo crust - recipe via milisweets.comIt was time for me to switch things up a bit. I have my regular Thanksgiving pies that I make year after year. This time around, I made it my mission to come up with a new pie that I had never made before. My son asked that I make a chocolate pie for Thanksgiving. My daughter preferred I make a traditional pumpkin. I went for a combo, layered pie for both of my pumpkin and chocolate lovers.

As with all of my recipe posts, if I’m making something new, it has to be tested and perfected before I feel comfortable with sharing it. This challenge took three separate attempts to get the phyllo pie crust just right, and I also ended up tweaking the pumpkin pie recipe and switching out the original chocolate mousse with chocolate custard.  In the end, it’s always worth the effort to keep at it, until it’s right. I’m just so happy that it worked out so that I can share via this post!

pumpkin & chocolate-pumpkin layer pie, with phyllo crust - recipe via

This pie is made by baking the pumpkin pie portion first, then comes the chocolate custard layer, to set and refrigerate. Finally, it’s topped it with fresh whipped cream. The beauty and taste of the phyllo crust at the edge of the pie takes it over the top, making it super special and worthy of a Thanksgiving celebration.


The first step in making this pie, will be preparing the crust, with the use of phyllo dough. This was the toughest challenge of the pie. By the third try, it was just right.

pumpkin & chocolate-pumpkin layer pie, with phyllo crust - recipe via

The texture and taste of the crisp layers at the edges of the pie is outstanding. I tried different ways to bake the phyllo dough at the bottom of the pie, but it just didn’t come out to my standards. The trick is to have phyllo at the edges only, since it’s the only part that will cut through nicely. Besides, I need the flakey, buttery deliciousness at the bottom. It’s much easier to cook through, cut through and enjoy.

You can make a pie crust by hand. I have a great gluten-free pie crust recipe, that you can make the same way with all purpose flour, if you prefer. Otherwise, you can cheat and buy a basic roll-out pie crust (like I did for the purpose of posting this recipe today). I purchased phyllo sheets from the freezer section of the grocery store. They come in two rolled sheets per package. You will only need one sheet per pie.

On the day you decide to make the pie, place the box of phyllo dough sheets into the refrigerator to thaw. They should be just right to use, one to two hours later.

pumpkin & chocolate-pumpkin layer pie, with phyllo crust - recipe via

When you are set and ready to go, first cover the bottom of the pie pan with traditional pie crust, so that it just covers the bottom and sides.

Next, brush an egg wash (one egg white, whisked) onto the dough.

The next step is applying the phyllo dough. Unroll the sheet and cut lengthwise, into three strips. You’ll want the sheets placed to touch the base of the pie pan, and to come up about one inch up over the top edge of the pie pan.

pumpkin & chocolate-pumpkin layer pie, with phyllo crust - recipe via

Place the strips so that they overlap a bit. If you bunch the strips up in certain areas, it will make the baked result even more beautiful.

Last but not least, use your favorite cooking spray and liberally spray over all parts of the phyllo dough strips. Now it is ready for the pumpkin pie filling.

pumpkin & chocolate-pumpkin layer pie, with phyllo crust - recipe via


Mili’s Sweets Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Here’s what you’ll need:

2 extra large eggs

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 and 3/4 cups pumpkin puree

1 and 1/2 cups evaporated milk

pumpkin & chocolate-pumpkin layer pie, with phyllo crust - recipe via milisweets.comHere’s what you’ll do:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Pumpkin pie ingredients should be mixed by hand, using a whisk and a large bowl. Whisk the two eggs completely. Add the sugar and whisk until completely combined. Add the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and pure vanilla extract. Whisk until combined. Add the pumpkin puree and whisk. Pour in the evaporated milk, a little at a time, and whisk until completely combined.

I’m sure some of you noticed that there are no cloves in my recipe. Sorry. I just can’t do it for my own pie. I’ve made pumpkin pie too many times to count and I definitely prefer the spice mix I chose for this recipe, above all others I’ve tried in the past.

Pour the batter into the prepared pie crust.

Mili’s Tip for Baking Pies: I always put my pie pans onto a cookie sheet so that if anything falls while baking (crust or pie filling or burned sugar) it is captured. It keeps my oven clean and makes the process easier. With that in mind, you can place your pie pan into a cookie sheet, before placing it into the oven.

Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. When the 15 minutes are up, take the pie out of the oven, to completely cover the crust with aluminum foil. Lower the temperature of the oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 40 additional minutes, or until you test the middle and it comes up clean. Remove the aluminum foil once the pie has completely baked through, and it is removed from the oven.

pumpkin & chocolate-pumpkin layer pie, with phyllo crust - recipe via milisweets.comAllow the pie to cool at room temperature. You might decide that you are totally happy with this pumpkin pie as it is! I know I would be! If that is the case, you can leave it out at room temperature to serve, leave it out to apply the next layer or place it into the refrigerator, if your guests prefer cold pie. (Mine do.)

pumpkin & chocolate-pumpkin layer pie, with phyllo crust - recipe via

If you are ready for the next step, it is time to make chocolate custard.

pumpkin & chocolate-pumpkin layer pie, with phyllo crust - recipe via

Mili’s Sweets Chocolate Custard Recipe

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 cup heavy whipping cream

4 egg yolks (from extra large eggs)

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 heaping cup chocolate chips

pumpkin & chocolate-pumpkin layer pie, with phyllo crust - recipe via

Here’s what you’ll do:

Place the one cup of heavy whipping cream into a pan at medium heat. When you see the bubbles forming around the sides of the cream, remove from heat and set aside.

Next, by hand or in a standing mixer, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar for 3 minutes. After three minutes, whisk in 1/4 cup of the warm heavy cream that you set aside.

Pour this mixture into the pan with the remaining warm heavy cream. Place on medium heat and use a rubber spatula to constantly stir the mixture. After 4-5 minutes, you’ll see the first bubbles forming. At this moment, remove it from heat. Set it aside and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

pumpkin & chocolate-pumpkin layer pie, with phyllo crust - recipe via

Once the 5 minutes are up, add the chocolate chips and use the same spatula or whisk to mix, until the chocolate chips have completely melted and you are left with beautiful, chocolate custard. It will take a few minutes to achieve the final result.

If you are making the layered pie, place the custard into the center of the pumpkin pie and use a slotted spatula to evenly smooth out the custard to the top.

Place in the refrigerator and allow to set for at least one hour. This is what the pie looks like when it has set.

pumpkin & chocolate-pumpkin layer pie, with phyllo crust - recipe via


Once you are ready to serve, it’s time to make fresh whipped cream. In my first attempt, I placed the whipped cream on before cutting. After my second pie attempt, I decided I wanted to pipe it on, after it was cut and just before serving.

For a in-depth tutorial for making whipped cream from scratch, please see my whipped cream recipe post. If you are good to go, I’ll explain. It’s super easy, especially if you have a standing mixer.

Mili’s Sweets Whipped Cream Recipe

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 and 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Here’s what you’ll do:

In a standing mixer, with a whisk attachment, place all of the ingredients in the bowl. Use the whisk to stir the mixture and dissolve the sugar. Lock in the bowl and gradually increase the speed of the mixer until it reaches 1o, or full speed. You will have whipped cream in just over one minute.

Place the whipped cream in a piping bag and add the goodness to the plate. I like to serve it on top and on the side, just in case. . .

pumpkin & chocolate-pumpkin layer pie, with phyllo crust - recipe via

Want to see what I tried, before I reached this final result? If you think you’d rather make it with mousse, let me show you how it went:

pumpkin & chocolate-pumpkin layer pie, with phyllo crust - recipe via milisweets.comI love chocolate mousse but it doesn’t have the stiffness I want to pair with the pumpkin pie. If you want to make the pie with a chocolate mousse layer, instead of chocolate custard, please see my chocolate mousse recipe post.

For this version, I piped the whipped cream to the top. It is a nice way to go, and I liked using chocolate shavings.

The edge-crust of the phyllo dough is super easy to cut through (which actually surprised me). However, it was tough to cut into the base/bottom of the pie. The phyllo dough was edible but not cooked through, so the texture was off. The pie did taste great but it didn’t hold up and it was a shame to eat around the bottom and the pie. It was a decent first attempt.

pumpkin & chocolate-pumpkin layer pie, with phyllo crust - recipe via

In the end, I had to try again and then again. it was totally worth it. I love being satisfied with the result and practicing before “the big day” or any celebration.

Thank you for being here! Happy Thanksgiving! xox, Mili

umpkin & chocolate-pumpkin layer pie, with phyllo crust - recipe via


Thanksgiving specials

Over the years, many of my family’s special recipes come back into play for Thanksgiving. Through handcrafted food, we create a home filled with love, care and tradition.

In about two weeks time, we’ll celebrate another Thanksgiving together. It is my family’s main event. It is the day when my husband and I roll up our sleeves to start cooking at 5am for a 1pm meal, with a ton of prep done in the days beforehand and all hands on deck from the kids. It doesn’t matter if we are feeding our family of six or our extended group of more than 30 in our home – our menu is typically made up of about 15 dishes, plus desserts and assorted appetizers. We love it and pace ourselves for one of the best days of the year.

As you begin your grocery-shopping plan and menu, let me share a few of my tried and true Thanksgiving menu items that you might claim as your own for this holiday and many more to come.

never bored of blueberry pie: recipes for cupcakes, muffins, tartlets, via

Let’s talk pie. It’s a mandatory part of our celebration. I always make no less than three. One has to be pumpkin, one has to be apple and the third has to be a berry pie.

Cherry Pie: gluten-free, with a flakey, butter crust. As you know, all of my recipes are completely free of peanuts and tree nuts. But more than likely, you will be attending Thanksgiving this year where at least one person has a food sensitivity or chooses not to eat gluten. Well, even if you don’t love the idea of cherry pie, (Could that be possible?) you’ll want to use this crust for other fillings.

cherry pie updated: gluten-free and all-butter crust. Recipe via

Another wonderful berry pie offering: Blueberry Pie.

never bored of blueberry pie: recipes for cupcakes, muffins, tartlets, via

The pie filling is the ultimate! If you aren’t sure about making a pie to bring or serve, let me suggest a very cool gift: just the pie filling. Make this incredible filling, as per my recipe, place the goodness in a sealed mason jar and offer it to the host/hostess as a thank you for the invite.

never bored of blueberry pie: recipes for cupcakes, muffins, tartlets, via

I’m a little obsessed with meringue. If I’m going to go there, I want to have a ton of it. It’s amazing on pumpkin pie. If lemon is your thing, try making a Lemon Meringue Pie. My recipe for fluffy vanilla meringue is on this same post.

lemon meringue pie, lemon curd and vanilla meringue - recipes via milissweets.comAnd then there’s pumpkin pie. It’s a must. I tried to take it to another level with a phyllo crust. For the recipe, please see my post, where I share how to make my Pumpkin Pie and Chocolate-Pumpkin Layer Pie with Phyllo Crust.

pumpkin & chocolate-pumpkin layer pie, with phyllo crust - recipe via

If you’d like to try other pumpkin treats to offer for dessert, try my recipes for Pumpkin Flan (another great offering for your gluten-free family and friends) or Pumpkin Spice Churros.

Next, My favorite Cranberry Sauce. It’s not about having a lot of it, but it’s a must-have menu item for our Thanksgiving. Over the years, this is our favorite way to prepare it, with orange juice and zest, and bites of Granny Smith Apples.

sweet side: favorite cranberry sauce by Mili

Now, it’s really up to you, but in our family, Buttermilk Biscuits are a must-have on our Thanksgiving table. They are the very last item to go into our oven. The “crowd” goes wild for them!

how to make the best buttermilk biscuits by Mili

If rolls are more your style, then I say go for Trinity Rolls. We save these for our Christmas meal, but they are good for any special occasion.

Trinity Rolls - recipe on

Last but not least, you will want to have some special spreads for either your biscuits or rolls. Check out my recipes for Beautiful Butter. Orange Butter is my personal favorite and one I try to offer my family throughout the year.

butter trio, recipes by Mili

I hope you enjoy a very blessed Thanksgiving!

Please contact me if you have questions about any of my recipes. If you do try them out, let me know how it turned out!

xox, Mili

old fashioned caramel for apples & jars


Making caramel the old fashioned way is a labor of love. Deciding to make it happen depends on how badly you want it. There are plenty of short cut recipes for sauces and dips that taste similar, but they can’t compare. Once making caramel this way, it’s really hard to turn back to store bought versions, that tend to be thin, runny and lack real flavor. I like the thick texture and richness of the real thing.

MiliTo avoid running out, I typically make big batches and put the goodness into sealed glass jars. I’m going to share the recipe that was passed down to me for making caramel apples or to store in glass jars for later.


Once you take the time to make the caramel, all of the hard work is behind you. Warming it up into a sauce once stored in a jar, takes only 30 seconds in the microwave!  Caramel is candy. It requires both work and precision for the right results. It’s amazing.

I’m giving the recipe and showing what it takes to get the candy to “Soft Ball,” or 240 degrees. This is the temperature and texture I use for canning and for setting onto caramel apples. One of the beautiful thing about this sweet concoction is, once it has reached the stage/temperature you wish and has been set and cooled, you can bring it back to a pot and cook it for not much longer, to achieve “Hard Ball” or “Soft Crack,” to be used as wrapped candies or to set other flavors to it. (I’ll share tricks for candy caramel in a future post.)

All right, let’s get to work!


Caramel Recipe for Canning and Caramel Apples

Here’s what you’ll need:

2 cups light corn syrup

4 cups granulated sugar

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 and 1/2 cups whole milk

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 cup butter (2 sticks) salted butter, cut into pats

1 teaspoon vanilla (Reserve for after caramel has reached “Soft Ball” stage.)

Tools: one large pot (the taller, the better), long wooden spoon, clip-on candy thermometer


Before you get started, plan ahead with the understanding that you will have to tend to stirring the pot for approximately 3 hours! You might need a good helper or two to take over from time to time. Otherwise, you are guaranteed to have soar feet and possibly soar shoulders/arms if you aren’t used to constantly stirring in the kitchen. As I mentioned above, you have to really want caramel to make it! xox

Here’s a little math so that you can plan ahead, based on what you are hoping to use the caramel for. I tend to make at least two batches at a time, but what I’m sharing with you is a single batch. It will make about 64 oz of caramel, that can be placed in the size of glass jars that you see fit or can be used to dip apples as soon as it has reached the “Soft Ball” stage. When giving a gift, I pour it into pretty 4oz. glass jars. When keeping it in jars for my pantry, I tend to use 8 oz jars and there’s nothing fancy about them. It takes between 1.5oz. – 2 oz. of caramel to cover one standard sized apple for caramel apples so you should be able to dip about 32, if that’s what you are going for.

Here’s what you’ll do:

Combine all of the ingredients, except for the pure vanilla extract, into a large pot and place at medium heat. Clip on the candy thermometer. Cook and stir constantly until candy thermometer reaches 240 degrees, or “Soft Ball” stage. Seems simple and it is simple. It’s just that some good things come to those who wait and this project requires a lot of time and patience.

MiliHere’s what to expect:

Making caramel this way takes planning ahead and some serious time-dedication. It can actually be a really fun tradition and around this time of year, it’s a family-activity. Be prepared for a lot of stirring.

When the butter melts and all of the ingredients are starting to heat, the thermometer will read 200 almost right away. The mixture will be a creamy white color. You’ll notice a warming of color when the mixture reaches 220. However, it will stay at 220 for what seems like an eternity! All the while, you need to stir with the wooden spoon. It can overheat and come over the top of your pot if it is not large enough, so make sure that there is ample room in the pot when you first pour in your ingredients. You don’t want a messy or dangerous accident. You can’t leave the caramel cooking by itself, so make sure you have a caramel-buddy to hang out with, in case you need to leave the room.

When the caramel finally starts to reach above 220 degrees, you’re in the home-stretch. It will take about 30 minutes more to reach “Soft Ball.” You are going to think to yourself two hours into it, ‘It must be ready . . . it looks like caramel!’ But trust me, the thermometer is your friend and without it, this job is almost impossible. If you shut it off too soon, you won’t have the result you were hoping for.

You will feel thrilled and accomplished when you see it has reached 240 degrees. Remove from the heat right away. Allow it to stop bubbling and to cool for a few minutes. Add the teaspoon of pure vanilla extract. Use the wooden spoon to combine.



If you are placing the caramel into glass jars, do so when the caramel is hot. Line up the cans and use a ladle to pour in the caramel. Cover tightly with a metal lid. Within moments, the heat will create a seal that you can hear. It will only work if you are using new lids that are not punctured and are meant to fit perfectly with the jar. You can use either a mason-jar type lid or other metal lid. You will know it’s sealed because you can hear it close and there is no air to pop the lid. You will only hear the lid after the seal has been broken or it has been opened.

Label the container and be sure to add the expiration date. You can give the caramel a one month shelf life if they have set and sealed properly. Once they are opened, or the seal is broken, the jars must be refrigerated. To be safe, you can give as a gift, and write “keep refrigerated.” Add the expiration date as one month after the made-date. If always refrigerated, it should last up to six weeks, but that is assuming that it doesn’t disappear after the first taste.



If you are making caramel apples, you’ll want to have your apples ready to go as soon as the caramel stops boiling and has reached the 240 degrees. I recruited some little hands to help clean and dry Granny Smith apples. To be safe, we made the skewering a team-effort. These were the only jobs my 7 year old son wanted to do, or could do without getting hurt.

I use prepared, 5.5″ wooden skewers but you can use any wooden dowel, as long as they are cut to size and there there is one end with a sharper side. The easiest way to create the point is with an electric pencil sharpener. As long as the sharper side is not totally blunt, it will work. It’s not a good idea to make it too sharp, so be careful.

If you are using the entire batch of caramel for dipping caramel apples, you’ll be able to make about 32, depending on the size of each apple and how much you want to dip them. I like to go toward the top and if I’m not completely dipping the apple, I always make sure the center, where it was skewered, is covered with caramel. Doing so keeps the apple sealed and fresh and the extra little collection of caramel at the top is an extra special treat. Caramel apples are swooped up and enjoyed right away with this caramel, but I like to be sure that they they are enjoyed within two days of making them. You can go up to 4-5 days, if wrapped and kept at room temperature. Of course, they would last longer in the refrigerator.

MiliHere’s what to do if you are making caramel apples with canned caramel:

Use a spatula to remove the caramel from the glass jars, and place into a pot, with a candy thermometer attached. Place at medium heat. It will only take 10 minutes for the caramel to return to reaching the “Soft Ball” stage of 240 degrees. (As promised, all the hard work from making caramel the old fashioned way is behind you!)

Dip the apples right away. If you want to remove some of the access caramel, use a metal spatula or butter knife to take it from the bottom and then place onto a matt of some sort. A waxy or parchment-type of bottom would be best if serving open or wrapping in cellophane. Although the doilies were very pretty, the ones I used didn’t have a waxy finish, so the caramel had a hard time separating from the paper. If you aren’t packing them to share and want to eat them right away, you can allow them to cool onto aluminum foil before serving or placing directly onto a plate.

MiliI loved giving my little nephew his first caramel apple! He loved it too!

Real caramel can take any dessert over the top, and to another level of awesomeness. It’s a staple in my pantry, as I use it for a bunch of different treats: cupcakes, frostings, cakes, breads, fillings and to drizzle onto vanilla ice cream. If you’ve made my banana caramel cake before, this is the caramel you should use for drizzling. To create a sauce from the caramel that has been canned, simply place it in the microwave for 30 seconds first and then an additional 10 seconds at time. A 4 oz will become a sauce in 30 seconds.

If you are bold enough to make caramel with the notes and recipe I posted, please let me know how it goes! Thanks for being here!

Take care and big hugs,



banana-caramel cake » Mili's Sweets - November 6, 2014 - 7:20 am

[…] make and jar my own caramel. If you’d like the recipe, please see my post for old fashioned caramel for apples and jars. It’s a time consuming and tedious process and I’m completely crazy for doing it. If […]

a happy halloween

happy halloween, dessert table via www.milissweets.comAt my home, we love celebrating Halloween in a fun and happy way: with kids, candy corn, popcorn balls and caramel apples. There is never anything scary going on, except for maybe a possible sugar overload. When we throw a party, sugar is welcome. Besides, to tell you the truth, Halloween candy from trick-or-treating is collected but not really eaten.

A few years ago, I threw a little Halloween party for my kids, my niece and my friend’s daughter. It was a blast and super easy to put together.

happy halloween, dessert table via

Each child each received a small trick-or-treat bucket for the “big day” that would be later on in the week. I bought cute sodas and some candies to go along with my theme colors of orange, green and black. I made caramel apples and some assorted treats for the kids and parents to enjoy.

My favorite part was how excited the children were about the little custom cupcakes I made, to go along with their costume character.

happy halloween, dessert table via

Our little Snow White had a red apple, Cleopatra had a pretty bracelet, Darth Vader had a lightsaber and Dorothy had ruby red slippers. The kids were so darling and to see their little faces light up was a moment I love to look back on and remember.

happy halloween, dessert table via

I wanted a clean and simple look and the glass apothecary jars and white or black plating did the trick. The black ribbon was a simple detail to make the little things seem more special.

happy halloween, candycorn popcorn balls, dessert table via

My husband and kids love candy corn, so I always make a point to have some in the house around fall. I couldn’t resist adding them into the desserts. One of their favorite treats at the dessert table were the candy corn popcorn balls.

If you’d like to make popcorn balls, please see my post with the recipe for caramel popcorn, and simply add candy corn into the mix. They stick together and are easy to pull apart, so the little tower held up nicely.

happy halloween, caramel apples, dessert table via

For the caramel apple centerpiece, I made a pedestal by using scrapbook paper and covering styrofoam circles, with the use of a hot glue gun. This was actually really easy to do and I wanted to highlight the apples and create hight at the center of the table.

In my next post, I’ll share my recipe for making caramel the old fashioned way, so that you can enjoy making caramel apples too!

happy halloween, dessert table via www.milissweets.comHope you have a fun, safe and sweet Halloween!


one minute smoothie: orange-berry bliss

one-minute smoothie: orange-berry bliss, recipe via milissweets.comOrange Berry Bliss is my go-to smoothie. It only takes a minute to make. It tastes amazing and is an awesome pick-me-up at breakfast or at snack time.

Years ago, there was a smoothie shop that made “orange berry blitz.” It was my favorite smoothie. Then they took it off their menu! I knew I could figure out how to make my own version. I’ve decided I love my version more. My whole family loves it. It might be even be a better nutrition-choice than the shop-version, since there is no added sugar or dairy, (which tend to hurt my stomach). Another ‘best-part’ is, it passes the straw-stand up test: you know a smoothie has a good consistency and has the right thickness, when a straw holds up in the cup.

one-minute smoothie: orange-berry bliss, recipe via

You won’t need many ingredients to make this smoothie, but you will need a blender. Let’s do this!

one-minute smoothie: orange-berry bliss, recipe via

Mili’s Sweets Orange Berry Bliss Smoothie Recipe

Here’s what you’ll need:

a blender

4 cups frozen berries (I use a mix of blueberries, raspberries and blackberries.)

1 and 1/2 cups orange juice (Of course, fresh-squeezed is awesome, but I typically have store-bought in my fridge.)

1 cup filtered water (See my note below for an option with the water, making it a “Vitamin-Blast” smoothie.)

one-minute smoothie: orange-berry bliss, recipe via

Here’s what you’ll do:

In a blender, add the 4 cups berries. Add the orange juice and water.

Put the top on the blender. Select “on” and “high” and blend for about 5 seconds. Turn off the machine.

one-minute smoothie: orange-berry bliss, recipe via

Take the top off and with a spoon, move some of the crushed fruit to the side, allowing the majority of the liquid to move to the bottom of the blender.

You’re almost there.

Put the top back on, select the high setting, and watch for the smoothie-vortex.

one-minute smoothie: orange-berry bliss, recipe via milissweets.comIt will take just under a minute for the smoothie-vortex (hole in the center) to form. Once you see it, your smoothie blending is complete. Stop the machine when you see it. The vortex will end with air coming upward, making a “plop” sound at the top.

Pour and enjoy!

Option during cold-season: “VITAMIN BLAST” your smoothie!

It’s cold season and I like to pump up the family with a little extra vitamin C. If you’d like to do this too, simply add one or two Vitamin C “fizzy drink supplements” into the water. I buy Emergen-C brand in the Super Orange flavor. You can’t taste it in the smoothie and you can’t go wrong with 1,ooo mg per packet! Anything your body can’t use or doesn’t absorb, gets flushed out so there’s no such thing as having too much.

one-minute smoothie: orange-berry bliss, recipe via

My kids are old enough to use glasses instead of plastic cups, so I took down some cute cups that they think are special. Straws are a must too.

I love the way little ones hold onto the stems of glasses. It’s fun to watch the details that come naturally to kids, without us boring grown ups telling them the proper way. The proper way can take all the fun out of it! Besides, we’re at home! We’ll save the proper way for restaurants and visits. For today, the kid-way is the proper way.