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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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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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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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