Category Archives: cooking

Back To Nature Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Thank you, Moms Meet, for sponsoring this post, Back To Nature Chocolate Chunk Cookies. I was selected for this opportunity by Moms Meet; the content and opinions expressed here are all my own. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links.

Back to Nature

Being pregnant can be a struggle when it comes to looking for a sweet treat without all of the yucky ingredients. Thankfully, with non-GMO ingredients and organic options, Back to Nature is serving up sweetness even I don’t have to feel guilty about eating this pregnancy. Did somebody say chocolate chunk cookie? Yes, please.

I am not normally a sweet tooth person; however, this pregnancy has been all about the donuts, the cookies… the more carbs, the better. But honestly, I am really trying hard to keep my ingredients to a good level of “wholesome” and still make sure that what I am putting into my body is healthy for the baby.

I know, I know. You’re thinking that cookies aren’t healthy — they may not be, but Back to Nature’s Chocolate Chunk Cookies are made free from any genetically modified ingredients, which means no GMOs. There is also no high fructose corn syrup, and the biggest win is that their whole ingredient list is pronounceable! Containing things like whole wheat flour and semi-sweet chocolate chunks, I feel like I am in good hands when snacking on these pleasures. Knowing that there are not ingredients like soybean oil and hydrogenated oils makes it an even better choice over well-known, not-so-healthy brands that use to be at the top of my grocery list.

Back to Nature

What I Liked

We actually broke into our first box after the weekend of the stomach flu a few weeks ago. Dusty craves carbs when he was sick and I was on my first full day of eating real meals again. We needed a treat to get our spirits back in order, and this was on the top of my list. My first thoughts where “natural cookie? hmmm..” but they did not disappoint my sweet tooth. It was a good chocolate chip cookie with good ingredients.

What I Didn’t Like

I am going to have to pause and say that even though the taste was great, I am not a hard, crunchy cookie gal. I enjoy a snap here and there, but those soft middles are my savory desire. The texture of the cookie overall was great, and Dusty, who enjoys harder cookies, really loved them. However, this was my only minor issue.

Final Opinion

At around $4, depending on the store and where you are located, Back to Nature’s Chocolate Chunk Cookies are a great item to add to your grocery list. Back to Nature actually makes a whole line of great products in addition to cookies. I personally loved the crackers we were able to have as well, and I have been eyeing up their nuts and trail mix too. They were easy to find out our local grocery store, Fresh Thyme, and can be found at almost all major retailers, including Kroger, Ahold Delhaize stores, Publix, Whole Foods Market, and Sprouts Farmers Market. To find a store near you, visit: backtonaturefoods.com/where-to-buy.

Staying Lactose Free with New Barn Organic Unsweetened Almondmilk

Thank you, Moms Meet, for sponsoring this post, Staying Lactose Free with New Barn Organic Unsweetened Almondmilk. I was selected for this opportunity by Moms Meet; the content and opinions expressed here are all my own. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links.

New Barn Milk

Pregnancy comes with a lot of weird things. Aches and pains that change day-by-day. Kicks and flutters, food aversion to food cravings, and really that is just the start. I don’t talk about it a lot but somewhere in my early to mid-20s, this milk loving girl became lactose intolerant and it rocked my world. Somewhere down the line and into my first pregnancy with our angel baby, Ellie, I suddenly could have dairy once again.

It really is the weird thing. With each pregnancy, not only do my milk cravings spike but also, I am more tolerable to milk-based products. Of course, I indulge a bit in ice cream here and there, but one thing I am too afraid to attempt to regular ol’ milk again.

Just recently, I learned about a new milk alternative in the marketplace, New Barn Organic Unsweetened Almondmilk and was able to try some with my family. I am always on the hunt for a non-dairy solution, and just like my pregnancies in the past, I had been craving not only a great lactose-free option, but also one that was healthy for me and the baby. You know it must be good for you when it is Whole30 Approved!

New Barn Organic Unsweetened Almondmilk is gluten-free, soy-free, and produced in a peanut-free facility. It’s simple ingredients was exactly what I was looking for in choosing a wholesome milk alternative for this pregnancy and I couldn’t be happier. New Barn actually carries a few different products besides the Unsweetened Almondmilk like Original, Vanilla, Unsweetened Vanilla, Barista Almondmilk and even frozen dessert!

New Barn Milk

New Barn Milk

Creamer has been something on my list that I know is full of bad ingredients for my daily health. Thankfully, New Barn Organic also allowed us to try some of their barista line as well. It really creates an exceptional non-dairy experience. Professional baristas helped New Barn develop a formulation that produces luscious micro-foam, rich texture, and a beautiful mouthfeel that provides a delicate almond flavor. It’s a perfect touch of sweetness to my morning coffee after a long night with a toddler and a pregnant belly.

We are loving our New Barn products around the Bahorich home these days. I wonder if it has anything to do with New Barn’s Almondmilk having 3 times the almond content of other brands? That’s truly amazing! Dusty and I have been enjoying the almond milk with our holiday sugary treats these past few weeks and love the taste! You’d think something being unsweetened would taste kind of plain but this almond milk has a pleasant taste on its own.

New Barn Organic Unsweetened Almondmilk is available in thousands of stores across the country including Whole Foods, Lucky’s, and many more. Visit their website and use their store locator to find them near you. (Average retail price is $4.99-$5.99)

Learn more and connect with New Barn online, Facebook, Instagram, and beyond!

What sorts of recipes do you use almond milk in? Share them in the comments below and I would love to try them out!

Shop Small :: Sara Hynes Designs

Thank you, Sara Hynes Designs, for sponsoring this post, part of Bahorich Abode’s Shop Small Holiday series. I was selected for this opportunity by Sara Hynes Designs; the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Sara Hynes Designs

I am a gal that loves her RC Cola. We had RC Cola served in old school glass bottles at my wedding and nothing makes me happier than a cold can of soda. However when the seasons start to turn more gray and cooler air creeps in, I start thinking of warmer liquids. I grew up on warm sweet tea and hot apple cider during the fall mornings. It brings me such a warm feeling inside when I heat up a nice glass of tea or cider for a cool, crisp fall morning.

So I knew the moment I saw Sara Hynes Designs Hot Apple Cider glass mug, it was perfect for me. Honestly, Sara Hynes Designs Etsy shop is full of great gifts or things to grab for yourself. From mugs to tumblers, shirts and more, her store is full of adorable designs for your holiday shopping list. Personally, I am eyeing up her “Autumn Leaves and Pumpkins Please” tee as well. It’s so adorable.

I could not personally wait to get this mug in the mail. The day that it arrived, I quickly heated up some apple cider and headed to our front porch. The autumn leaves were nearing peak colors and it was a great afternoon of working in the outdoor while staying warm with my drink nearby. The glass mug is so sturdy and solid, assuring me that it will last for fall seasons to come. It does require hand washing due to the vinyl script; however, mugs are so simple to quickly hand wash after use and stick right back into the cabinet.

I cannot say enough about this adorable mug. She is a fellow oiler as well, which makes her extra special in my book. Head over to her shop now to help support this amazing and adorable shop this Christmas season. Also, use the code “BLOG15” to receive 15% off your entire order now through December 25th to her shop!

Sara Hynes Designs

Sara Hynes Designs

Here is a little bit more about Sara, the owner of Sara Hynes Designs:

How did you get your shop started?
I started my shop when I was in college as a graphic design student. I was making prints and little designs on the side. I then started making marketing materials for Essential Oils Independent distributors and then branched into products. I’ve been doing mugs for about a year and a half and apparel for a few months now!

What is the hardest part of owning a shop?
Wanting to do everything but only having the time to do somethings haha. My mind is always flooding with ideas.

What is one thing unique about you?
I make everything myself! Each mug/shirt is printed by me in my home studio. I’m always expanding my capabilities and learning new things to continue to add variety and exciting new products to the shop!

What is the best part of owning a shop?
People who go out of their way to tell you how much they love your products or leave a rave review. I do this on the side of my full time job so it’s 100% for fun so it makes me smile when people enjoy my work.

How did you get your shop name?
Easy! It’s my name hahaha my current last name happens to rhyme with designs so I thought it sounded catchy and was unique to me since no one else has my name. I am currently engaged and will be taking my finance’s name but I will be keeping my business name the same.

What is one way that you keep organized?
Lists on lists on lists! I have lists in my phone of inspiration and projects that need to get done and then before I sit down to get a good chunk of work done I either review my previous list or make a fresh new one to stay on track!

How do you balance family life and work life?
It’s always a work in progress specially with me having a full time job and doing this on the side but you make it work. When I am just doing design work or anything on my computer i’ll usually sit upstairs with my fiancé and get stuff done while we watch a show together. When I have studio time I’ll try and plan it out when he’s out golfing or doing yard work so we are both busy at the same time.

Do you have any plans to do this full time ever?
Nope! I am a graphic designer in the corporate world as well and I very much enjoy working on a team, going into an office, and working on a wide range of projects. I would love to work corporate design job part time and do freelance the other part some day but I don’t see that happening anytime soon 🙂

Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf

Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf

If you stay around the Bahorich home long enough, you’ll quickly find out that my husband is a bacon lover. He would eat bacon with every meal if I did not hate cooking it so much. Bacon honestly can be enjoyed at any meal, and so from my husband’s annual birthday dinner, I wanted to make a special twist on his favorite dish: meatloaf.

I found a great recipe on Pinterest from the Self Proclaimed Foodie and adapted it a bit to what I did or didn’t have in my pantry. Meatloaf only happens about once a year around here so the other day, I rolled up my sleeves and made a meal special for my prince. It did take a bit of time (and with a toddler attempting to dig through the trash, that didn’t help); however, I think it turned out very yummy. As my husband would state, meatloaf plus bacon is amazing – it is one of the best comfort foods, after all.

I paired it with my famous and favorite sweet potatoes and added some asparagus and cucumbers on the side. It was a great and colorful meal to end the celebratory day! I would highly recommend checking out the Self Proclaimed Foodie blog. There are so many good recipes over there!

Bacon Wrapped MeatloafBacon Wrapped MeatloafBacon Wrapped Meatloaf

Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf
Author: 
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Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf is the best comfort food you can make for dinner.
Ingredients
  • 1 medium sized onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup crumbled wheat crackers
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 bacon slices
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
  • ½ cup fried onion pieces
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven or grill to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil for easy clean up.
  2. Melt butter in saute pan over medium heat. Cook onions until fragrant and slightly brown while stirring occasionally, about 3-5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add garlic, cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. In large bowl, combine ground beef, egg, cracker crumbs, milk, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, basil, parsley, black pepper, and cooked onions and garlic mix. Use hands to mix well, but try not to over work the meat. Divide into six equal sized portions and shape into disks.
  4. Wrap bacon slices around edge of disks. Diameter of meatloaf should be so that the bacon ends just meet or slightly overlap.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine ketchup with mustard and brown sugar. Divide equally and spread over the tops of the mini meatloaves. Sprinkle tops with crispy fried onions.
  6. Bake in preheated oven or grill until bacon is just golden, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 6

 

Summer Slow Down with Flavor Your Life

Thank you, Moms Meet, for sponsoring this post, Summer Slow Down with Flavor Your Life. I was selected for this opportunity by Moms Meet; the content and opinions expressed here are all my own. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links.

Summer Slow Down

We take every opportunity in the summer that we get to invite people into our home. We love hosting and cooking is the easiest way to gather a large group around our table. In preparation for Ollie’s 1st birthday party, we have also been spending our time tending to the yard, prepping the space for loads of people.

Something we use almost every day as we cook is olive oil. It’s great for so many things including baking, grilling, and making salad dressing. What I am learning though is there are so many different types of oils! Some are actually better for cooking, and some are better for dipping and dressings. Who knew?

As we savor our summer and slow down a bit to spend more time with our friends and family, I have been researching a lot on the different styles of oils for the recipes I have been whipping up. I recently discovered Flavor Your Life.

Flavor Your Life is funded by the European Union, Unaprol, and the Italian Ministry of Agriculture. They are dedicated to providing the latest in education for home and professional chefs alike on European Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the purest and freshest form of olive oil on the market and is 0.8% free of acidity. European olive oil provides the largest variety of flavors on the market due to climate, soil and time of harvest, making European olive oil the best kind to keep in your home for every occasion and recipe.

The most interesting thing that I have learned is that the greatest impact on taste is the type of olive tree (cultivar), region (which affects climate and soil) and time of harvest. European Extra Virgin Olive Olive, coming obviously from Europe, offers a vast array of flavor profiles, so keep a variety of oils in your pantry for different occasions. The olives harvested early in the season, typically late August, are under-ripe and produce oils that are greener, more bitter and pungent. The olives harvested at the end of the season, usually late November into December, are over-ripe and tend to taste mild and buttery.

There are also four major types of oil. Spanish oil is typically golden yellow with a fruity, nutty flavor. Italian olive oil is often dark green and has an herbal aroma and a grassy flavor. Greek olive oil packs a strong flavor and aroma and tends to be green, and french oil is typically pale in color and has a mild flavor. I also learned that for the best storage, olive oil should be kept someplace dark and cool (around 57° F, if possible), not on a counter or near a stove, and never in the refrigerator. We keep ours in the pantry but I’m starting to wonder if our pantry is ever that cool. You are suppose to keep the lid screwed on tight, and use your oil within 6 months of opening, and within 18 months of purchasing, which is no problem for us. Olive oil doesn’t last over a month in our home!

I was sent Zucchi Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Italy to try. I love that there is a QR code on each bottle that allows you to learn more about their oil and where it comes from! As I am learning more and more about what I am cooking with, this is a special extra touch to help fuel my curiosity! Here’s a great summer salad that I am loving that I paired with the extra virgin olive oil; it is delicious.

Summer Slow Down

Summer Simple Salad
Prep time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 5 mini cucumbers, sliced into ¼'' coins
  • 2 cups mini sweet peppers, chopped and halved
  • 3 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons diced green onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Instructions
  1. Add cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and mini peppers to a bowl.
  2. Drizzle olive oil on top.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Toss everything to coat.
  5. Garnish with diced green onion and fresh parsley.

 

Cranberry Gorgonzola Cheese Ball

Cranberry Gorgonzola Cheese Ball

Last Christmas, I made the last minute decision to start making cheese balls. I have not always been a fan of cheese balls; however, it seems that my taste buds are ever-changing as I get older.

I love gorgonzola cheese and knew that I could find something that fit more my tastes and still kept the traditional holiday cheese ball intact. I paired it with herb crackers as well as pretzels. I absolutely loved it and so did the rest of the group!

 

Cranberry Gorgonzola Cheese Ball
 
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup (about 3 ounces) gorgonzola cheese
  • 1¾ cup dried cranberries
  • 1½ cups
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, beat together cream cheese, cheese, and dried cranberries until smooth. Dampen hands to prevent sticking and form cream cheese mixture into approximately 24 tablespoon-sized balls or one large cheese ball. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours or until firm.
  2. In the meantime, chop the nuts into fine, crunchy bites. I would suggest taking a meat tenderizer to a Ziplock bag until they are small in size.
  3. Roll chilled cheese ball(s) in chopped nuts, pressing nuts so that they adhere. Keep cheese balls refrigerated until ready to serve.
  4. Serve with crackers or pretzels.

 

Pumpkin Oatmeal Lactation Cookies

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies are absolutely part of my fall favorites for this year! They melt in your mouth and are chock full of chocolate chips or butterscotch chips and warm spices! Blending with oatmeal, brewer’s yeast, and flax seed adds a special incentive to them as they help with my milk productive for baby Ollie!

It’s literally all I can do to walk past the pumpkin anything in the grocery store this time of the year. I never use to know that I actually liked pumpkin anything. I was the anti-pumpkin gal in a PSL world for sure… and then it all changed last year. There is something about pumpkin that has been ingrained in us to need it this time of year. I blame Starbucks, but honestly, who knows. Maybe it is mother nature telling us to eat what is in season.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Lactation Cookies

Anyways, I decided this past few weeks to make my own version of those dang things that I can’t seem to walk past, pumpkin cookies. I found a simple recipe online and then played with the ingredients a bit to accommodate what I had in my pantry and added things like brewer’s yeast, oatmeal, and flax seed. By adding these three things, I immediately made them “my” cookies, saving myself from making delicious cookies and then getting eaten by the rest of the family. Warning though… my husband hasn’t seemed to care too much that they are “my” lactation cookies. He’s been eating almost half of each batch!

Pumpkin Oatmeal Lactation Cookies

In all honesty, I have not perfected these cookies 100%. They taste wonderful, but useless kept cold in the refrigerator, they don’t stay together. I have tried sugar instead of brown sugar, more baking powder, more baking soda, more oats, and a few more variations… and nothing works. Feel free to mix it up a bit; however, these things are just too dang good not to share regardless if I have all of the details figured out!

Pumpkin Oatmeal Lactation Cookies
Prep time: 
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Serves: 36
 
Ingredients
  • 1 c. light brown sugar
  • ¾ c. butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1½ c. pumpkin pie filling
  • 2 tbsp. brewer's yeast
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • 2 c. quick oats
  • ½ c. flour
  • ½ c. flaxseed meal
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1½ c. semi sweet chocolate chips, butterscotch chips (I usually do half and half)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In large mixer bowl cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs and beat. Add pumpkin, brewer's yeast and vanilla and mix.
  3. Add cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, oats, flour, flaxseed meal, baking power, baking soda, and salt to blender and blend. Be careful not to over mix.
  4. Add chocolate/butterscotch chips and mix to incorporate.
  5. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Drop cookies a little larger than 1 inch sizes. Bake for 12-14 minutes.
  6. Remove immediately from baking sheet and cool.
  7. Once cooled, cookies need to be kept in the refrigerator for storage.

 

Skinny Buffalo Chicken

Skinny Buffalo Chicken

Our baby’s due date is nearing, which means it’s time to start thinking about good crock pot meals to prep! Every year, I try more and more crock pot options to pop in the pot in the morning and let it sit for the day. My skinny buffalo chicken has been super helpful over the past few months for community meals, gatherings, and something to fix on Mondays and snack on the rest of the week.

Skinny Buffalo Chicken

While most people think of Buffalo Chicken in a chicken wing form, my favorite way to eat it is when it’s shredded! It is so simple because there’s no frying required! It’s healthier, it’s inexpensive, it’s easy to make, and it tastes absolutely amazing. We also switch up the ways we eat it. On a bun, on spinach, in a lettuce wrap… the options are endless.

Our skinny buffalo chicken has been a huge hit among friends and my husband asks for it week after week. I cannot wait to prep this dish ahead of time and start making my freezer meals for the baby!

Skinny Buffalo Chicken

Skinny Buffalo Chicken
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Ingredients
  • 3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 12 oz bottle Frank's Buffalo Sauce (make sure you DO NOT get "Hot Buffalo". It's far too hot for the amount of sauce we're using.)
  • 1 package Hidden Valley Dry Ranch Mix
  • ½ stick of butter (We use grass fed butter or less butter for a more skinny option.)
Instructions
  1. Put the chicken and the buffalo sauce in the crock pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  2. Remove the chicken from the crock pot and shred it, returning the chicken back to the crock pot.
  3. Add the ranch mix and the butter, and stir until the butter is melted and ingredients are well-mixed.
  4. Serve with rolls, on top of spinach (as shown), or in lettuce wraps. Add toppings of your choice

 

One Pan Chicken Fajita Wraps

One Pan Chicken Fajita Wraps

We eat fajitas a lot in our house. In every fashion imaginable, we love our chicken, beef, and seafood Mexican variations. This is one of my favorite go-to recipes as of lately and it literally feeds us for many lunches and nights afterwards as well!

I typically use more chicken than the recipe calls for (our house is protein heavy so I use about 3 lbs.), but this will give you just enough for a family evening’s dinner. We love to use our one pan fajita dinner on romaine lettuce or spinach; however, normal tortilla wraps will work just as good.

One Pan Chicken Fajita WrapsOne Pan Chicken Fajita Wraps

One Pan Chicken Fajita Wraps
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 large bell pepper, seeded and sliced (I use half a green and half a red)
  • 1 package of romaine lettuce
  • Toppings such as cheese, sour cream, avocado, and guacamole - if desired
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place chicken strips in a greased 13×9 baking dish.
  3. In a small bowl combine the oil, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, dried oregano, and salt.
  4. Drizzle the spice mixture over the chicken and stir to coat.
  5. Next add the tomatoes, peppers, and onions to the dish and stir to combine.
  6. Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Serve on lettuce wraps or shredded lettuce with desired toppings.

 

Easy Banana Pudding

Easy Banana Pudding

One thing that I have just been craving lately is those foods that remind me of summer. Home grown tomatoes. Watermelon. Iced sweet tea on a hot day…

Maybe I have been craving more vitamin D, warm weather, and overall good ol’ sunshine! Midwest winters can kind of be tricky. Last week we had snow on the ground on Monday and it hit 78 degrees by Friday. For me, it’s an emotional roller coaster and I just anxiously await for summer each and every day.

I did manage to whip up one of my favorite summer treats this past week to help with the summer cravings :: banana pudding! And it was delish!

Easy Banana Pudding

I had sort of forgotten how easy banana pudding is and how much it reminds me of my childhood and summertime. Enjoy!

Easy Banana Pudding

Easy Banana Pudding
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Ingredients
  • 3 cups cold milk
  • 2 pkg. vanilla instant pudding
  • 30 vanilla wafers
  • 3 bananas, sliced
  • 1 tub (8 oz.) frozen whipped topping, thawed
Instructions
  1. Pour milk into large bowl. Add dry pudding mixes. Beat with wire whisk 2 min. or until well blended. Let stand 5 min.
  2. Arrange half of the wafers on bottom of serving bowl or platter; top with layers of half each of the banana slices and pudding. Repeat all layers. Cover with whipped topping.
  3. Refrigerate for 3 hours. Store leftover dessert in refrigerator.