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Category Archives: Desserts

Birthday Desserts for Blueberry Lovers

Cake and ice cream are the traditional birthday dessert.  Except when it comes to my husband.  I’ve made blueberry pie for his birthday before since he is a huge blueberry lover.

This year he has requested an ice cream cake that contains blueberries, chocolate, and nuts.  So, I’ve been scanning through Pinterest looking for something to really wow him.  I’m a fan of the homemade meals, so here’s what I’ve come up with so far.

First up is a blueberry ice cream.  We’re missing the chocolate and cake with this one.  I’m putting it in the list though because finding blueberry ice cream in March is not easy.  I’m thinking I could make the blueberry ice cream and then layer it with homemade chocolate cake and frozen blueberries.  I’ve never really made ice cream before, so maybe I should keep looking.

Next up is a blueberry ice cream cake.  This one definitely has the ice cream covered.  It’s lacking in chocolate though, and cake for that matter.  I could improvise it to add both of the missing items.  I really like the look of this but I don’t think it’s going to fit the bill.  On to the next one.

Blueberry cupcake

It looks like we’re getting closer.  This is a chocolate cupcake filled with a blueberry cream.  Then it’s topped with chocolate ganache, although it looks a little thick for a ganache, and fresh blueberries.  I have an excellent homemade chocolate cake recipe, so the cupcake piece is covered.  It’s missing the ice cream part, so I’d need to improvise with the blueberry cream filling.  Potentially I could use vanilla ice cream and add blueberries to it.  We’ll see.

Hold on, I think we have a winner here!  A chocolate blueberry ice cream cake.  It has the main flavors he would like – blueberry, chocolate, and cake.  I can add nuts to this too.  Plus, it looks pretty easy to make.  Mainly it’s layering ice cream, blueberries, and crumbled chocolate cookies.  Instead of the cookies I will make a chocolate cake, cut it into cubes, and layer it.  Regardless, this looks perfect.

Well, it looks like I’ve got the blueberry dessert covered for my blueberry lover of a husband.  I can’t complain, they are a super fruit so it’s a healthy dessert.  That’s what I’m telling myself anyway.

Until next time!

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Posted by on March 19, 2014 in Desserts

 

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Pinterest Recipe Wins

I think we’ve all seen at least one or two of the blogs that feature Pinterest fails.  Indiscernible frosting jobs and exploding cake cups seem to be the norm.  Well, instead of talking about those areas I’d like to tell you about some of the Pinterest wins I’ve experienced.

I have tried quite a few recipes from Pinterest.  For the most part I’d say the majority turned out.  Now, that doesn’t mean I’d suggest all of them.  Some were just so-so, while some were awesome.  Below are the ones that I will definitely be making again.

Let’s start off with a drink win.  I made this Strawberry Sangria last Spring when we had both sets of parents over for a Sunday dinner.  Let me just say wow!  I couldn’t find the strawberry schnapps that was called for so I used watermelon schnapps instead.  I’d suggest this if you’re looking for something to jazz up your usual drink offerings.  Just be careful, it’s so good you’ll want more than just one glass.

Strawberry SangriaSource

This next recipe was a surprising win.  I made this Taco Pasta Bake for dinner one night not expecting too much.  I was wrong.  It had such a great flavor.  Even my husband, who can be a tough one to impress, commented on how good it was.  It was really easy to make too.  If you’re looking for something quick, easy, and delicious for dinner then you should try this.

This chicken recipe is probably one of the best recipes I’ve made.  Ever.  Kaytucky Chicken is a chicken breast, filled with a cream cheese, bacon, spring onion, and herb mixture.  Then it’s wrapped in puff pastry dough and baked in the oven.  If you’re looking for that recipe to impress, then look no further.  It takes a little time to get everything put together, but it’s well worth it.  My step-daughter is still asking when we can have this again.  That’s a sure sign of a winner!

One of my more recent recipe wins was Baked Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes.  I’ve made these twice and both times they were gone within a couple of hours.  I think some people are a bit hesitant to make donuts.  I’m here to say, “It’s time to make the donuts!”.  Donuts, especially the baked ones, are as easy as making muffins.  I have a mini donut baking pan so that’s what I use to make these.  Try them, you’ll love them!

Pumpkin Spice Donut HolesSource

Finally, we’ll wrap it up with a dessert that was a big win, Strawberry Lemonade Layer Cake.  It tastes exactly like you hope it tastes; it has the sweet tang of lemonade in the frosting combined with the strawberry cake and sliced strawberries on top, yum!  I made this over the summer.  It’s a perfect Spring/Summer dessert.  I highly recommend it.

Strawberry Lemonade Layer CakeSource

There you have it.  A selection of some Pinterest recipes that were wins.  I have others that I’ll share later, but these were some of the best ones to date.

What about you?  Have you tried a Pinterest recipe that was all you had hoped it would be?  Let’s hear about it!

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2014 in Desserts, Meals

 

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Lazy Weekend Treats

It’s getting close to the weekend and we are plan-free for this one.  That means I can spend some time in the kitchen trying out some new recipes along with some tried and true favorites.  I’m thinking of a full meal menu plus some sweet treats to tide us over.  My best bet is a nice Saturday dinner, so that’s what I’ll plan for.

First up on my to-make list is a Butternut Squash Soup recipe from Ina Garten.  It’s in her Back to Basics cookbook.  I’ve made it numerous times, it’s super simple, and always a winner.  The most time consuming part for me is peeling the squash.  I am not a fan of curry so I omit it, but I don’t feel like the soup is lacking in flavor without it.  My plan with the soup is to let it be a starter for our Saturday dinner and the leftovers can be had for lunch on Sunday.

Next up, I am going to make a Chocolate Crescent Roll.  I’ve seen different versions of this all over Pinterest.  I’m going to use the canned crescent roll dough and dark chocolate bars for mine.  I may even add some peanut butter to a couple, just because.  Quick and easy!

Homemade chocolate crescent rollsSource

I also plan on making a dessert, or two. There are so many options to pick from and I’m on the fence about a few.  Do I want cake or cookies?  New recipe or tried and true recipe?  I’ve been trying a lot of new ones lately which I think is good.  I have quite a few cookies and bars that are still untested in my Fine Cooking Cookies magazine as well as some sweet treats in my Barefoot Contessa cookbooks.

Foolproof - Ina Garten

I have yet to make her Outrageous Brownie recipe, which is the one that she sold in the Barefoot Contessa store.  I am a huge fan of brownies, so I’m thinking this one is at the top of the list.  I should probably make those Friday night as the recipe makes a lot.

I’ll leave my last choice as a TBD.  I like to leave a little leeway in my baking plans for the weekend.  I never know when the mood will strike to make donuts or something, like it did last weekend.  They were excellent by the way.  Pumpkin donut holes rolled in a cinnamon sugar mix are easy and delicious.  Don’t miss out if you have a chance to make them.

Alright, what are your baking plans for this weekend?  Is anyone trying something new or even just looking forward to some baking time?  Let’s hear it.

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2014 in Desserts, Meals

 

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A Sweet Valentine’s Day

It’s February 14th and that means it’s time for some sweet treats!  Actually it’s always time for sweet treats, but today we’ll focus on the pink ones.  I have a few ideas for a little special treat for tonight.  Let’s jump right in.

First up the Cherry Chocolate Chip Cheeseball.  I made this one last weekend so I know it’s a winner.  It’s super easy too.  I do want to call out that mine did not set up like the picture.  I mixed it as directed and let it set overnight in the fridge, but it was still very soft the next day.  I ended up sprinkling the mini chocolate chips on the top of the mix rather than trying to shape it into a ball.

Regardless it is delicious.  I served it with graham crackers, but I think vanilla wafers or chocolate graham crackers would also be good choices.  It’s sweetly addictive; consider yourself warned.

Next up are Cherry Krispie Treats with Dark Chocolate.  These look so good.  They’re a traditional Krispie treat with cherry gelatin added for flavor and color.  Plus, they have a dark chocolate coating.  I am a fan of the improvised Krispie treat so I think this would be another quick and easy sweet treat to have as a go-to item.

As a third option let’s consider Strawberry Chocolate Chip cupcakes.  I wish I had a picture to share with you, so maybe these are what I’ll make so I can have a photo.  Regardless, these would be pretty simple to make.  I’ve had the cake variation for my birthday many times.  You’ll need a strawberry cake mix (boxed or homemade, it’s up to you), mini chocolate chips, and chocolate frosting.  I suggest going with my homemade chocolate frosting that I shared here.  You can make it as thick as you want based on how much cocoa you add.

The big thing to remember here is to go with the mini chocolate chips.  They won’t sink to the bottom of your cupcake as easily as the regular size chips.  The regular size seems to sink regardless of whether you add a little flour to them first.

So, hopefully after this you’re feeling inspired to whip up a little sweet treat today.  Regardless if it’s just for you or you’re sharing with others, a sweet treat is always needed.

 
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Posted by on February 14, 2014 in Desserts, Holidays

 

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Globs

Chocolate Peanut Butter Globs

It’s cold and snowy out and it’s been this way for a while.  So to treat myself and the family I decided to make something very decadent.  Chocolate Peanut Butter Globs.  The recipe is from the Barefoot Contessa, Foolproof cookbook.

One word: WOW!  The batter itself is very light and bakes like a chocolate souffle cookie.  The add-ins are plentiful and make it rich.  Very rich!  I can only say that if you haven’t made these yet then you should makes plans to do so.  Soon!

Alright, now that I’ve let you know just how great these are let’s talk a bit about making them.  There’s only a couple of steps to making these including melting chocolate in a double-boiler and pre-mixing a couple of sets of ingredients.

Mixed Add-Ins for Peanut Butter Globs

The ingredient list itself isn’t too bad either.  The only thing I needed was peanut butter chips as I don’t typically use them.

It all comes together pretty quickly and before you know it you’re putting globs of this delicious looking batter onto your cookie sheets.

Dough for Chocolate Peanut Butter Globs

They go in for 15 minutes exactly and cool on the cookie sheet.  I tried one when it was still pretty warm and it was amazing.  It was all melty chocolate and soft brownie flavor.

Needless to say I’m glad this recipe only makes just under two dozen or so cookies.  I can only overdo it so much.  The rest of the family agrees that these are a keeper.  They’re easy to make and the taste is chocolate deliciousness.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Glob

I would use this recipe as the dessert after a lighter meal.  The richness of the cookie would pair well with a baked chicken dinner with a couple of vegetable based side dishes.  Remember this recipe the next time you want something rich and decadent!

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2014 in Desserts

 

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Soft Vanilla Sandwich Cookies

This weekend I was asked by my DH to “bake up a cookie”.  This request was seconded by my stepson.  I agreed as long as I was able to choose the cookie.  I didn’t get an resistance with that statement so I was off and running.

For those of you that are new here you will find I refer to my Fine Cooking – Cookies magazine quite often.  It has yet to let me down and so that is where I went in search of a new cookie recipe to try.

I was open to anything, as long as it didn’t contain chocolate chips.  They’re not a favorite of the DH.  As I was scanning the pages I came across this one.

Fine Cooking source

Fine Cooking source

I have been trying new recipes lately as I find I’ve been stuck in a bit of rut.  I don’t typically make sandwich style cookies so I figured this was a good place to start.  I also liked that the ingredient list was minimal as I did not want this to be too time intensive.

The batter was a cinch and I had the cookies in the oven within 10 minutes.  Here’s where I ran into a bit of a problem.  I used the two cookie sheets as directed and rotated them halfway through the baking time.

The first rotation showed me that one sheet had cookies that had spread and were already brown on the edges.  The other sheet had not spread at all.  Back in they went with me hoping that the puffy ones evened out and the others didn’t burn.

I pulled them out at the 10 minute mark which was the minimum required bake time.  Unfortunately their bottoms were almost all overdone.  Not to the point of being burnt but definitely crispy.

I let them cool and then moved them to the cookie racks.  Then I started creating the sandwich part by adding raspberry preserves to one half and apricot preserves to the other.  While they didn’t look like the picture the flavor was excellent!

Even though they didn’t turn out exactly as I had expected I will make them again.  The next time I make these I plan on reducing the temperature and cooking them one sheet at a time on the middle rack.  I’m hoping this helps as the flavor makes them worthwhile.  I would suggest trying them but watch out for potential over baking.

Until next time!

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2014 in Desserts

 

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New Recipes For A Winter Birthday Dinner

We recently had my parent’s over to celebrate my Mom’s birthday.  She had only requested fish, but beyond that I was free to create the menu as I chose.  I knew right away that my main course would be salmon.

For Christmas my husband had given me the newest Barefoot Contessa cookbook, Foolproof.  In it she has a recipe called “hot smoked salmon” which I had tried recently.  It is delicious!  I knew it would be a hit.

Foolproof - Ina Garten

The salmon recipe is just the right balance between sweet and hot.  It calls for both white and brown sugar along with lemon zest and a healthy amount of fresh ground black pepper.  We have a cedar grilling plank, so the salmon was baked on that in the oven.  So good!

To round out the menu I had a traditional vegetable salad with chopped spinach, tomatoes, and cucumbers and rice pilaf with sauteed mushrooms made from scratch.  I used a basic Rice Pilaf recipe, then sauteed an 8 oz. package of fresh, sliced baby Bella mushrooms and incorporated it into the Pilaf.  I didn’t go overboard with my side dishes for the dinner because I wanted everyone to have room for this…

Stacey’s Recipes Cooking Tips

I had pinned this Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte recipe a while ago.  I knew I didn’t want to go with traditional cake and ice cream.  Then, as I was going through my recipe boards I saw this pin and knew it was the right choice.  Plus, my mom is a huge peanut butter and chocolate fan.  Let’s be real though, who isn’t?

I ended up making this dessert the day of the dinner, which means I was putting it in the freezer to set.  Luckily that worked out.  It was close though.  I was putting on the ganache topping only minutes before my parents arrived.  In the freezer it went again and it was perfectly set by the time we finished dinner.

This was one of my more favorite recent menus.   I would make any of these recipes again as they were all fairly easy and turned out wonderfully.  Let’s recap on the final menu.

Winter Birthday Dinner Menu

Dinner: Hot Smoked Salmon, Rice Pilaf With Sauteed Mushrooms, Garden Salad

Dessert: Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte

 
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Posted by on February 1, 2014 in Desserts, Meals

 

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