Wednesday, December 30, 2015

S’mores Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

Soft & chewy chocolate chip cookie cake, flavored with crushed graham crackers in the cookie dough, and layered with gooey marshmallow and sweet chocolate chips.

So this is my 2nd time making this amazing cookie!  I forgot to add the marshmallows at the right time but it was a beautiful mistake, lol. I baked it for 20 minutes, added another 1/4 cup choc chips and the marshmallows the last 5 minutes…then quickly broiling the top to a toasty brown. It turned out soooo very tasty and was perfect the next day as well!  Making it this time I accidentally discovered a trick I do with rice Krispy treats…..wet your hands and press out the marshmallow cream later. Works like a charm without the stickiness

Recipe >> S’mores Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake @

Skinny Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is a really good cookie. Would have given it 5 stars, but did need to increase the flour to 1 3/4 cup and baking soda to 1 teaspoon. If you use margarine or salted butter, DEcrease the salt to 1/4 tsp or just omit altogether. Salt that is suggested in cookie recipes are generally listed for bakers who use UNsalted butter. This made 36 good sized cookies. I chilled the dough for around 30 minutes, due to reading o thers having spreading problems. I made them a tad larger than a 'normal' sized cookie. I did an experiment and baked these (with above changes) at 350 for 12 minutes, they spread too much, became too brown around the edges and were only chewy in the dead center. Next batch I baked at 350 for 10 minutes, then 11, and finally to 12...because anything under 12 the center was still quite doughy but at 12 they spread quite a bit and were more thin and crispy than soft or chewy. At 325, 12 minutes cookies were too raw and any longer and the center would get overbaked. I then set the oven up to 335, yes 335, and baked for 12 minutes. PERFECTO. Results were: the cookie was softer, only very edges were crisp, center was soft and still slightly puffy. My suggestions would be to add about 1/2 cup more flour, and the full tsp of baking soda (you can not taste it and it does not produce a cake like cookie by any means), if you're kitchen is warm- chill the dough for 30 minutes to an hour and bake for the 12 minutes at 335. This is my new oatmeal cookie.

Recipe >> Skinny Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies @

Coffee & Baileys Layer Cake

A dark, moist and perfectly sweet cake that literally melts in your mouth. I’m not exaggerating. If you’re worried about overindulging, do as I do and bake a petite 6-inch cake. It’s the perfect size for a small gathering.

Recipe >> Coffee & Baileys Layer Cake @

Monday, December 28, 2015

Layered Chocolate Coconut Fudge {Paleo & Vegan}

This no bake layered Chocolate Coconut Fudge has all the creamy texture and decadent flavor you crave but is made with real-food ingredients.  It’s dairy free, grain free, Paleo, Vegan, and absolutely dreamy for any chocolate lover.

Recipe >> Layered Chocolate Coconut Fudge @

Blueberry Velvet Cake

This cake has a rich and indulgent flavour that is to be enjoyed on special occasions only!   For this cake I have not used a heavy dose of food colouring (though please do if you want a luridly gorgeous purple cake) I have just used puréed blueberries with an additional 3 tablespoons of blueberry syrup and a tablespoon of purple organic food dye.  Don't be scared though, it is fabulous when it is bright purple too!

Blueberry Velvet Cake

  •  1 ¼ cups butter
  • 2 cups caster sugar plus 2 tablespoons
  • 3 whole eggs plus 1 egg white
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract (or the seeds of 1 ½ vanilla beans)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¼ cups buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons of blueberry syrup
  • 1 ½  cups puréed blueberries, sieved (about 2 cups whole fresh or frozen blueberries)
  • 3 tablespoons pure cocoa powder
  • 3 ½ cups self raising flour
  • 1 tablespoon raspberry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Purple food colouring – colour to the colour you prefer, a tablespoon or so of natural colouring gives a deep indigo purple, by all means though go nuts.

Pre-heat oven to 175°C

Cream the butter and sugar with the vanilla until very pale white and very fluffy.
In a separate bowl or food processor/mixer add the salt and the additional 2 tablespoons of sugar to the eggs and whip until they are thick, pale and fluffy.
Add the eggs to the butter and sugar mix, then add the cocoa.
To make the blueberry purée take 1 ½ cups of whole, ripe blueberry (frozen is fine) and blitz with a blender until they are totally smooth.  Pass the purée through a fine sieve, ensuring there are no seeds in the purée.  Once smooth, add the buttermilk to the blueberries and mix well.
Add the purée to the cake mix with the additional syrup, then fold in the flour.  Once the flour is combined, add the food colouring ensuring it is mixed through evenly.

Lastly, in a small bowl add the baking powder to the vinegar and mix before adding to the cake mix and stirring well.
Allow the batter to stand for about 10 minutes, then divide evenly between two lined and greased 20cm high sided cake tins.
Bake for around 40 minutes, or until a skewer can be removed cleanly.
Place the cakes on a wire rack to cool completely before attempting to decorate – in fact this cake keeps incredibly well as it is so moist, so it can be refrigerated overnight in a sealed container before decorating the next day.

To decorate:
Trim down each cake to remove any uneven surfaces, then cut each cake in two.

Fill with two layers of whipped cream and one central layer of White Chocolate Cheesecake Icing.

For the icing:
There is some debate about the "correct" icing for a Red Velvet cake, but here I have been a bit less traditional.  In my view, make whichever icing is going to make you smile the most and please as many of your family as possible.  For the record, the cake pictured is iced with old fashioned butter icing with a layer of White Chocolate Cheesecake Icing in the central layer of the cake with additional blueberry syrup and a few whole blueberries added to the icing.

Butter icing is pretty much what it sounds like - equal parts butter and icing sugar with a scraped vanilla bean for flavour, whipped until very pale, light and just the right spreading and piping consistency.  Any other flavour can be added too, citrus, cinnamon etc.  Basic proportions are about 150grams butter to 2 or 3 cups icing sugar a tablespoon of milk, liqueur, citrus juice or warm water to assist in bringing it to the right consistency.

White Chocolate Cheesecake Icing
  • 300 grams cream cheese (low-fat is fine)
  • ½ cup white chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla or raspberry liqueur (optional)

In a heat proof bowl, warm the butter and white chocolate to melting point.
In a separate bowl or in a food processor/mixer, add the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and liqueur and begin beating.
Once the butter and white chocolate has melted, pour over the cream cheese mix and whip on high speed until entirely lump free.

If desired, this icing can be tinted any colour you like, I used Royal Mauve for the rosettes!
Once completely smooth, chill to firm up the mix before spreading on your cake with a palette knife.  For smooth results do a 'crumb coat' or rough under coat then chill the cake, before adding a second layer of  icing as the top coat for decorating.

To make you own blueberry syrup, cook down 400 grams of fresh or frozen blueberries with ½ cup maple syrup, 2 teaspoons of lemon juice and a generous grating of nutmeg until it is thick and gluggy.  (It's also great on pancakes!)

Irish chocolate cake with Baileys buttercream frosting

The cake is superb! So easy to make. It rises up nice and light, yet stays very moist and the flavor is rich and delicious! Perfect texture. I baked it in a 9" springform so it took about 10 more minutes to bake to perfection. 

The whipped cream frosting was very good, not too sweet and held up well to applying it to the cake. Next time I will double the Bailey's in the frosting too - you could taste it, but I wanted more. It took several slices to decide :)

Recipe >> Irish chocolate cake with Baileys buttercream frosting @

Sunday, December 27, 2015

White Chocolate Blueberry Truffles

I just finished making a double batch of these truffles to take to my cousin’s house tonight. Of course, I had to set aside a few for myself. These are by far the best truffles I have ever made. The combination of white chocolate and the flavorful dried berries is wonderful. I used a 65% chocolate that I found at Trader Joe’s (and I also got the blueberries there for much less than I would have paid at our local grocery store). Even though I doubled the recipe, I only used a little over 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. The salt definitely added something. I cannot wait to try other flavors, but the blueberry is unique and very tasty.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Cookie Dough Chocolate Cake

What happens when a cake and a chocolate chip cookie mate? A Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cake that's jaw-droppingly delicious - a layer of cookie dough is nestled between layers of sweet vanilla cake and creamy vanilla icing. Not done yet...we still have a top layer of chocolate chip bites to finish off this cookie-cake-masterpiece!

Recipe >> Cookie Dough Chocolate Cake @

Chocolate Pretzel Pecan Shortbread Bars

Chocolate Pretzel Pecan Shortbread Bars

  •     2 cups flour
  •     ⅓ cup brown sugar
  •     ½ cup pecans, chopped
  •     1 stick butter, cold
  •     1 cup sugar
  •     1 cup white Karo syrup
  •     ½ cup butter, melted
  •     4 eggs, slightly beaten
  •     2 cup chopped pecans
  •     1 cup mini chocolate chips
  •     1 cup pretzels chopped

Read More >> Chocolate Pretzel Pecan Shortbread Bars @

Miss Cindy's Burger Bowls

Here's an amazing recipe if you are watching your carbs...turn ground beef patties into edible bowls for a bun-less burger! You can fill them with your favorite things, here I took peppers, shallots, sausage and bacon. It's kind of a different twist to an ordinary hamburger!

Recipe >> Miss Cindy's Burger Bowls @

The Best German Chocolate Brownies

Made these yesterday for my dad as he LOVES german chocolate cake and he said they beat any cake he has ever had! I love the versatile brownie base-SO much better than boxed (he could immediately tell it was homemade) and super versatile! the flavor of these is wonderful but the brownie turned out pretty dry. I think next time I will underbake them before I add the topping, so when I put them back in to broil they won't overcook and dry out. I'm pretty sure thats what happened because it took much longer than 5 minutes on broil for my topping to cook right. Still the flavor was amazing, and I ate them with vanilla ice cream to counter-act the dryness of the brownie!"

Recipe >> The Best German Chocolate Brownies @

Apple Pie Cinnamon Rolls

Today was one of those days and I decided to whip these up for breakfast. I wasn’t able to get my rectangle of dough to 16×23 (perhaps because I don’t have a rolling pin and had woken up super early so I was impatient) and I’m not great with a knife so I ended up with 8 enormous rolls. I cooked them for an extra 10 mins or so and was amazingly pleased with how they turned out – no high altitude alterations needed! They were a huge hit with my boyfriend & friends and didn’t last long!

Recipe >> Apple Pie Cinnamon Rolls @

Peanut Butter Fudge Brownie Trifle

This recipe is amazing! I’ve made it twice now(both times I made with a regular block of cream cheese and whipped first before adding the peanut butter and used regular cool whip) Everyone kept coming back for more, and my sister has requested I make this for her birthday instead of birthday cake :)

Recipe >> Peanut Butter Fudge Brownie Trifle @

Useful Baking Guides

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Tres Leches Cake

I made this cake yesterday and it turned out very well. I did make a few changes to lesson the calorie and fat content and it still tasted authentic. First I would tell you to read the directions carefully. The cake has 3 parts ; batter,filling and topping. The first 6 ingredients make the batter. Be sure to put only one cup of sugar in the batter not 2. The next 3 ingredients make the 3 milk mixture for the filling hence the name three milk cake. I chose not to use whole milk but used 1% and used only 1 cup along with the other 2 milks. I made the cake in a 9x13 pan not a round pan as seen in the picture. The cake was a little flat but that is ok because as you add the 3 milk mixture it expands . After the cake was done I pierced the cake many times with a fork , all over the cake. You want to make a lot of holes for the milk to saturate the cake. After you pour the milk on , you want to cover with foil and refrigerate for several hours. I chose to use cool whip as the topping instead of the whipping cream-sugar mixture. That cut down on a lot of the calories and was very good. After I covered the saturated cake with cool whip I covered with foil again and refrigerated for another several hours. You want it to be very cold when you serve it. I know this has been long but wanted to share my changes and suggestions on making this cake. Good luck!

Recipe >> Tres Leches Cake @

9 Staple Salad Dressings You Should Know How to Make

While we put all of that effort into the main dish, sometimes all we’re missing in the end is a little bit of flavor. Eating real food opens a world of opportunity in the kitchen, but it also slims down our grocery store options. This is especially true of bottled dressings, dips, and sauces. While perusing the labels of the condiment aisles, you’ve likely come to the sad realization that most bottles contain soy, corn, and sugar. Don’t let it get you down though. All it takes to break out of a kitchen rut or that inevitable food option is a tasty drizzle of something that tastes familiar. Whether you’re looking for that perfect dairy-free tzatziki or ranch for wing night, these 8 simple, delicious, and nutritious paleo dressings to take your meals to the next level.

Read More >> 9 Staple Salad Dressings You Should Know How to Make @

One Hour Dinner Rolls

My family loved these rolls! They turned out perfect! I started out with 3.5 cups of flour, and after stirring in the liquids, I added another 1/4 cup of flour to knead the dough by hand. I find that when I use my mixer to knead, I always have to add more flour – you get a better feel for the dough when you use your hands. Anyways, I only kneaded it for a few minutes. I’ve used this recipe to make bread several times and it turns out great like the rolls do.. This is my ‘go to’ recipe for rolls, bread and cinnamon rolls now. Love it!

Recipe >> One Hour Dinner Rolls @

Kentucky Derby Pie

This is such a throwback to childhood! It was VERY good and we got a little crazy and threw in 1 1/2 cups of high end dark chocolate chips. I think it would have been just fine with the 3/4 cup. We also didn't have any bourbon and didn't want to use the vodka in it so we used two tablespoons of coffee. Great, great recipe! I also used Best-Ever Pie Crust from this site. Nice. And we got 12 slices out of this pie because it was very rich. Great with ice cream or whipped cream. FYI, I think it needs a deep dish crust!! It might be good to specify since I got a regular frozen one and had to throw a pan in the oven underneath because it’s dripping the filling everywhere…

I’m sure it’ll still be delicious though…

Recipe >> Kentucky Derby Pie @

Amish Country Casserole

My family loves this recipe. The first time I made it, I did not change a thing. I now use cream of mushroom soup in place of the cream of chicken. I also add a can of corn to the layers. My family also likes cheddar cheese over American. The tomato soup along with the brown sugar and chopped onion does amazing things to the ground beef. I never would have thought. Overall, the dish was a little dry so maybe more of the chicken soup next time? This was a huge hit with my husband. I also agreed it was worth a repeat here. I scaled this down to half and used a loaf pan and it came out great. I'm sure glad we tried this You can play with this recipe and never come out wrong. Totally enjoyed!!!

Recipe >> Amish Country Casserole @

The Best Lemon Curd

I read a lot of reviews with concerns about 'scrambled eggs' which is common when eggs are cooked too quickly. I always temper the eggs. Here's how to do it: Combine the juice and zest in a double boiler and heat until hot, not boiling. If you don't have a double boiler, a metal bowl atop a saucepan filled with water works just fine, just make sure it's stable. Have the eggs in a separate bowl, and mix in the sugar just before adding the juice. When the juice is hot, SLOWLY pour some over the eggs and sugar while whisking. This may take two people, but a towel under the egg bowl will help it from moving around. You don't have to pour all the juice, just enough to make the egg mixture the same temperature as the juice. Pour the egg mixture back into the juice over a strainer. This will get rid of any eggs that may have curdled. Then cook over medium-low heat until thick enough to hold the marks from the whisk. Finally remove the curd from the heat and add the butter a little at a time, stirring to help it melt. I hope this helps anyone concerned about curdling eggs!

Recipe >> The Best Lemon Curd @

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Rosemary Garlic Butter Steaks


Serves 4

  • 4 rump steaks (1 to 1.5-inches thick), room tº
  • 2 or 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 Tbs fresh rosemary leaves
  • 3 Tbs butter
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • A splash of white or red wine

  1. Mince garlic and rosemary. Add 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste) and mince it a little longer. You can also do this with a mortar and pestle. Rub the paste over both sides of each steak.
  2. Heat a skillet over medium/high heat and melt butter. Add oil to prevent it from burning too much. Add steaks, season them with pepper and cook 1 or 2 minutes on each side. Turn it over, cook it 2 or 3 more minutes and add the wine (you can add extra garlic and rosemary now too to the skillet). It will steam furiously. Cook the steak 2 or 3 additional minutes for medium rare, remove steaks and let rest for 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the wine until reduced and a kind of sauce if formed. Slice the steaks and serve them with the sauce.


I used rump steak, my favorite cut. Lean but flavorful.
It just needs a few tips and there’s no way you can have a bad steak. Here are mine:

1. Always have the meat at room temperature. That way it’ll be more tender. If it’s frozen, defrost it overnight in the fridge. The less change in temperature while defrosting, the better.
2. Add salt right before it goes into the skillet. If you want to infuse some garlic and rosemary, rub them on the steaks, leave them at room tº for twenty minutes, and salt them at the last moment.
3. A steak should be two or three fingers (1.5 to 2 inches) thick if you want it medium rare with a good crust.
5. Make sure the skillet or steak iron griddle is preheated.
4. Sear the steak on both sides over high heat, but finish it over medium/low, unless you like it very rare inside, almost raw. It will become flushed, as we say here, which means the outside is too dark before the inside gets a chance to cook properly. That is, unless you like overcooked, thin steaks.
5. Always let it rest for 5 minutes after you remove it from the heat source. The juices go to the outer part of the meat piece while cooking, and resting redistributes them.
6. Never pierce or cut a steak to check for doneness. To test them, lightly press them down with a fork or kitchen tongs. The more it gives, or the flabbier it feels, the more rare it's still is. When it's very cooked, the meat will hardly yield when you press it.
Did you know that the area below your thumb (yes, in your hand!) is quite accurate when testing steaks?
Now, lightly join the tips of your thumb and index finger (you will form a circle) and press that area below the thumb; that is rare steak. If you join the middle finger and thumb it get's a little tighter; that's medium rare. The ring finger is cooked and the pinky is very cooked. 

    Peanut Butter Cheesecake Cookie Bars

    I am making these the 2nd time within a week. They Are fantastic. You can taste the peanut butter, cream cheese & chocolate chips; the flavors all blend together to make these extremely yummy bars. The 2nd go round I substituted finely chopped pecans for the oatmeal. Fabulous! I now have a new family & friends favorite, everyone keeps asking for more…. 

    two notes: use cooking spray and maybe a little flour on the bottom of the pan. Also, cream the cream cheese and sugar together before adding the egg and vanilla. Otherwise very tasty!

    Recipe >> Peanut Butter Cheesecake Cookie Bars @

    Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake Dip

    A hit at a teenager birthday party. I preferred it with 1/2 the butter, but I'm not a butter fanatic either. Instead everyone at the party loved it as is, so 5 stars is is! It's a fool proof way to serve a cheesecake flavour without needing to bake. It is also nice to serve with different types of cookies (also accommodating gluten free, nut free and other special diets). I topped some of them with toasted almonds, some with strawberry preserves and some as is. The top favourites for "scoops" were graham crackers and Pavesini!

    Recipe >> Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake Dip @

    Tuesday, December 22, 2015

    Chocolate PB “Ice Cream”

    Guilt-free “ice cream” is what you’ve been missing all your life. If you haven’t tried this recipe, you’re going to love it. It’s super simple and can be made to your liking.

    •     Chop and freeze at least 2 bananas. They will need to be frozen for this to work. Whenever my bananas start turning brown I just cut them up and throw them in the freezer so that I always have some ready to make this.
    •     Once frozen, place 2 chopped bananas into your food processor (or a powerful blender or Yonana!), and blend until smooth. You may have to blend and open your processor a few times to stir. Feel free to add a little water or almond milk to help the bananas blend faster, but as they melt a little they will eventually blend without adding anything.
    •     Add 2 TBSPs of peanut butter and 1 TBSP of cocoa powder, and mix well.
    •     Serve and eat immediately.

    •     The recipe options for this are endless! You can eat the bananas alone or add other ingredients to change the flavor. Consider things like almond butter, strawberries, peaches, blueberries, chocolate chips, Oreos— ok, this is turning not-so healthy anymore. :)
    •     This recipe is best eaten immediately. If you try freezing it for later it kind of loses it’s texture and starts to form ice crystals.
    •     Double, triple, or quadruple the recipe depending on how many people you’re serving.

    Banana Bread Breakfast Cookies

    These are great. I did also make a few substitutions and additions because I had stuff to use up but I will definitely be making these again! And so healthy! Lots of fiber! Look at these crazy healthy ingredients! I used flax meal instead of wheat germ and substituted pecans for walnuts. Also added chia seed and coconut. Yummy!

    Recipe >> Banana Bread Breakfast Cookies @

    Monday, December 21, 2015

    Disneyland’s Peanut Butter Cookies

    A copycat of one of my favorite cookies of all time: Disneyland's Bakery-Style Peanut Butter Cookies!

    Disneyland’s Peanut Butter Cookies

    •     1 cup butter, softened
    •     1 cup creamy peanut butter
    •     1 cup sugar
    •     1 cup packed brown sugar
    •     1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    •     3 eggs
    •     4 cups all-purpose flour
    •     2 teaspoons baking soda
    •     ¼ teaspoon salt
    •     1 cup peanut butter chips
    •     ¼ cup granulated sugar


    1.     Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
    2.     In a large bowl, cream the butter, peanut butter, sugar, and brown sugar together. Add vanilla and mix. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each one.
    3.     In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking soda and salt together. Add to mixture in mixing bowl and stir until completely combined. Fold in peanut butter chips.
    4.     Roll dough into 1½" balls. Place ¼ cup sugar into a small bowl and roll each ball of dough in the sugar until completely covered. Place the dough balls on a baking sheet with a non-stick baking mat. Using a flat-bottomed drinking glass (or whatever flat-bottomed object you have around the house), gently press each dough ball down (I left mine pretty thick - these cookies will stay whatever thickness you press them down to).
    5.     Bake the cookies 7-9 minutes. Remove cookies and allow them to cool on their cookie sheet for about 5 minutes, then move to a wire rack to finish cooling. These cookies are very soft - you don't want them to overbake or turn brown at all. They will continue to set-up as they cool.

    Sunday, December 20, 2015

    Mini Baileys Chocolate Cheesecakes

    These Mini Baileys Chocolate Cheesecakes are easy to make and the small mini size makes them great for sharing and the perfect size. With the irish cream liqueur they are also a great treat for St. Patrick’s Day. 

    I used this recipe to enter dessert contest at work. Not only did I shock people by entering, but I won hands down!! Now I’m trying a variation, which I’m not all that confident will work. Instead of bailey’s this time around, I’m using Peppermint Schnapps (no creme de menthe, and the liquor store is closed!). My plan is to top it with the chocolate ganche and decorate with small and crushed candy canes for a christmas party.

    Friday, December 18, 2015

    Strawberry Cheesecake Salad

    I made this for a church picnic and for a Friday night family night fruit salad. Along with our Ravioli Lasagna. It was a HUGE hit. it was so simple and fast to make. even my special needs son was able to get a thrill in helping me make this. Everyone at church was asking for this recipe. It allowed for me to keep with the fresh fruits we needed for nutrition but also a fun part at the the same time. Great and amazing compromise favorite. This will definitely be a make again favorite in my house and a recipe I will pass on to my daughter in her homemade cookbook binder we are making her for her soon graduation.

    Recipe >> Strawberry Cheesecake Salad @

    Summer Berry Cheesecake Salad

    This simple Summer Berry Cheesecake Salad recipe comes together with just 5 ingredients. Rich and creamy cheesecake filling is folded into your favorite berries to create the most amazing fruit salad ever!  Your family will go nuts over it.

    If you haven’t noticed by now, I am a sucker for quick and easy side dishes. Some of you will say that this makes a better dessert, but if you have a crazy sweet tooth like mine, it is an amazing side dish. :) We all enjoyed this fruit salad very much. I didn't add much sugar, just a couple tablespoons over the strawberries after I'd cut them, then I folded in the blueberries and bananas. At the last, I sprinkled in FRESH lemon juice. I think adding a full half cup of sugar would do a disservice to the natural sweetness of the fruit. This salad is a HUGE hit at any potluck and makes a lot if you need to feed a crowd. I promise that you won’t have any leftovers! It was so easy and I couldn’t help licking the spoon. 😀 Excited to share it with everyone.

    Recipe >> Summer Berry Cheesecake Salad  @

    Chunky Monkey Popsicles

    If you are a fan of bananas, chocolate and peanut butter, you are gonna love these Chunky Monkey Popsicles! One of my kids favorite snacks is a banana smothered in peanut butter with chocolate chips and chopped peanuts sprinkled on top, which was the inspiration for these tasty popsicles. Even the name of these ice pops holds a special place in my heart because I used to call my daughter a little chunky monkey when she was a baby!

    Recipe >> Chunky Monkey Popsicles @

    Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Skillet

    Fantastic Recipe! Made a single batch to try it out exactly as it was printed. Some Key Tricks I Used: **Make dough, and pop into refrigerator for about an hour--it makes cookies easier to scoop. **I used the smallest cookie scoop I had (approx 2 tsp) and levelled off the bottom (so I had exact size balls (With flattened ends!) **I scooped the first batch into the mini muffin tin...and while that batch baked, I scooped the rest of the dough onto a plate--that way I could quickly refill the pan once cooled (I have asked Santa for an extra pan for Christmas--It would be good to make more than 12 at a time!!!) **Freeze PB Cups, unwrap, then pop back into freezer--until cookies are out of oven. **Allow middles to "sink" a bit before adding the pb cup(should happen when removed from the oven after 8 minutes) the "sink" will prevent the sides of the cookie from cracking. **ABSOLUTELY refrigerate the pan before removing cookies for cooling rack... BUT **Decorate with sprinkles BEFORE refrigerating pan--place decor quickly, as the chocolate will start to melt. Shifting placement of the decorations will be tricky! **Once cooled...HIDE from husband, kids, neighbours...they disappear faster than you can make 'em! Great recipe!

    Recipe >> Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Skillet @

    Peanut Butter Pie

    I’ve made this Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie often and just as often get asked for the recipe!   We’ve adapted the recipe only slightly from the original publication.   While originally served with a soft filling, we actually prefer this slightly frozen with a firmer, almost ice cream-like consistency, but either way you eat it, it’s a memorable dessert.

    Recipe >> Peanut Butter Pie @

    Homemade Nacho Cheese Sauce

    This is such a great recipe if you are making nachos for a crowd. For the past few years I made this a staple at my football parties. I make a batch, and then make it a part of my 'nachos' bar. I have chips, chopped veggies (onions, tomato, olives, jalapeno peppers, bell peppers, etc.), cooked ground beef and turkey with taco seasoning, guacamole, sour cream and salsa. The guests can each make their own custom batch of nachos to meet their preferences and creativity. I keep it warm in a crock pot so it stays liquidey.

    Recipe >> Homemade Nacho Cheese Sauce @

    Thursday, December 17, 2015

    No-Bake Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownie Bombs

    I bake my brownie bites in the wilton silicone brownie pan. I pressed a scoop of the cough into the same pan so I ended up with a cube stack–very elegant! Also very delicious and not very hard! I know the way I did it didn’t save on the oven but I didn’t like the idea of smushing a brownie around dough–I was thinking sticky mess (albeit a delicious one!) so I liked this sandwich way better.

    Recipe >> No-Bake Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownie Bombs @

    Cinnamon Sugar Blueberry Banana Bread

    Fluffy and moist! I can’t eat dairy, so I tried this with some canned coconut milk instead of the yogurt. It turned out great! It didn’t dome in the middle, but it’s still good and fluffy. I usually prefer a denser banana bread with more bananas, but that’s just because lighter breads were usually dry. Not this one! It’s a good recipe when I only have a couple bananas on hand.

    Recipe >> Cinnamon Sugar Blueberry Banana Bread @

    Easy Banana Cake

    The easiest banana cake to make, just right for using up those very ripe bananas in the fruit bowl! Really quick to mix and little washing up. Having read some previous comments I increased the oven temperature to Gas Mark 4 and gave it 50 minutes. It still needed a further 10 minutes before the skewer came out clean. I also added a good handful of chocolate chips and a sprinkle of demerara sugar on the top. The cake was very light and tasted good. I'll do it again.

    Recipe >> Easy banana Cake @

    How to Make the Perfect Boiled Egg Every Time

    Looking for single-serving protein bites? No need to rely on pre-packaged bars or protein-powder energy balls. Nature already has what you need: eggs. And thank you, chickens of the world, for giving us this versatile superfood. Not only do they bind together delicious baked goods and create all kinds of breakfast dishes (Omelets! Fritattas! Stratas, oh my!), but they can also be whipped into meringues or creamy condiments.

    But why make things so complicated when the simple, humble boiled egg is already a thing of beauty? Hard-boiled, it’s the perfect protein on-the-go snack. Soft-boiled, it can convert an English muffin into a decadent morning meal with the runny yolk acting as a built-in "special sauce."

    But here’s the issue: It’s super easy to miscalculate the cooking time on boiled eggs. (If only those shells came with a preview window!). And it’s almost tragic to break into an egg hoping the yolk will be appropriately runny, only to find it entirely solid—or vice versa. Never fear, we have the ultimate guide to perfectly boiling your eggs every time, every way.

    The Technique

    Step one: Place the eggs in a pot with cold water. Make sure there’s an inch of water above the eggs and don’t crowd too many in the pot. (Tip: Add vinegar to the water so eggshells are easier to peel post-boil.)

    Step two: Place the pot on the stovetop over high heat.

    Step three: When the water starts lightly boiling around the eggs, cover the pot and move it to a burner that’s off or onto a potholder on the countertop.

    Step four:
    On your mark... Get set... Hit the timer! See below for eggs perfectly boiled to your liking.

    The Timing

    Three minutes: Whites are soft and slightly gloopy. Yolks are completely liquid.

    Four minutes: Whites are set but soft and floppy. Yolks are still runny but a little more solid.

    Six minutes: Whites are soft but firm. Yolks are smooth and pudding-like.

    10 minutes: Whites and yolks are totally firm, but yolks are still creamy.

    15 minutes: A completely solid, hard-boiled egg.

    Post-boil, dunk these suckers in an ice-water bath for a minute. Tap ‘em on the counter to gently crack and peel them open. Voilà! Your perfect egg!

    A Question of Freshness
    Now, eggs are only delicious if they’re fresh. (There’s a reason rotten eggs are the stuff of playground taunts.) If you’re not sure whether your eggs are ready for eating or past their prime, dunk them in a glass bowl filled with water and compare them to this handy visual.

    On the bottom of the bowl: 100-percent fresh and at peak flavor.

    One corner lifted: A week or so old. Entirely edible!

    Standing on a point: A couple weeks old. Eat stat.

    Floating at the top: Super old! Do not eat!

    Chocolate Chip Brownie Tarts

    This is my second time making these. The first time I filled them to the top with the brownie batter and that was too high. The taste, however, was wonderful! So I tried again and this time I filled just under 3/4 of the way with the brownie batter. If you're looking for something a little different for your cookie trays, you should try these! Of all the cookies I've made this year, and I've made quite a few, these by far are the favorites of everyone in my family. SO yummy! :)

    Recipe >> Chocolate Chip Brownie Tarts @

    Making perfect deviled eggs

    To make perfect, incredibly easy to peel hard-boiled eggs, bring a pot of water to a rapid boil. (I have to cover the pot to get my water to boil hard.) Add a dash of salt then gently lower the eggs into the boiling water with a slotted spoon.

    Replace the lid and boil hard for 14 minutes. Drain and place immediately in cold water. Ice water is even better.

    Lightly crack each egg all over then gently roll it between your hands. The eggs will practically leap out of the shells on their own, leaving the most perfect hard-boiled eggs you’ve ever seen.

    Hard-boiled eggs worth writing home about.

    Rinse in cold water to make sure you didn’t leave even the tiniest bit of shell on the eggs then allow the eggs to cool thoroughly before slicing. You want to be sure they are chilled all the way to the center. Pop them in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour. Eggs slice much more cleanly when they’re cold. Once chilled, slice eggs lengthwise with a smooth-bladed knife.

    Squeeze gently to pop out the yolks and you’re ready to make deviled eggs!

    Classic deviled egg recipes include the mashed hard-boiled yolks, mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, and a dash of salt and pepper. Deviled eggs are most frequently sprinkled with paprika for taste, color, and just because it looks pretty. Parsley, chives, and other herbs also make a great garnish.

    The classic recipe can be varied easily to suit your tastes or a special occasion. You can replace the mayo with any flavor creamy-style salad dressing, sour cream, or even horseradish. You can add different herbs, or include shredded cheeses or meats, particularly seafood (crabmeat or minced shrimp). Finely diced veggies also make a fun variation on the standard deviled egg. If you like spicy, use finely diced hot peppers with a bit of chili powder and garnish with a sliced olive or cilantro. The possibilities are endless.

    The prettiest deviled eggs are made with the filling piped into the egg white halves, but you can also spoon it in.

    How to make Perfect Deviled Eggs:

    • 6 hard-boiled eggs, sliced lengthwise with yolks separated
    • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
    • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
    • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • garnish

    Read More >> Making perfect deviled eggs  @

    Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies

    I loved the taste of them, however even though my butter was super super soft (it was already nice and soft but then i had to leave for a couple of hours so didnt make them until i got back), i found the dough to be kind dry, but it still came together okay. the trouble came when i tried to slice them. even though they were well chilled-to the point that they were rock solid-and i was using a very sharp knife, when i tried to slice them, they just fell apart as soon as i hit a chocolate chip, and the dough was so cold that i had a hard time even smooshing them back together so i just did it as best as i could and hoped they melted together. i think next time i try these (and there will be a next time!), im going to skip the chocolate chips. if i decide to try the chocolate chips in it again, ill get the nestle mini chips. maybe it was the chocolate chips i was using-i sent my husband to the store for them and he brought home the ghirardelli milk chocolate chips which taste divine but are wider and flatter than nestle chips-maybe they were just too big and thats why the dough crumbled around them.

    Recipe >> Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies @

    15 Minutes Churro Sticks

    15 Minutes Churro Sticks – easy, crispy sticks made with puff pastry, rolled in melted butter and coated with cinnamon-sugar mixture, served with warm chocolate dipping sauce .

    Double the cinnamon & sugar before starting.
    Wrap a cutting board with foil and put in the freezer before unrolling the dough and working with it.
    Brush a little melted butter on the side of the 2nd set of rectangles that will be put down on the 1st set before putting them together, topping sticks better!
    Use Butter Flake crescent rolls instead of regular.

    Recipe >> 15 Minutes Churro Sticks @

    Chocolate Peanut Butter No-Bake Dessert

    There is nothing quite like a creamy, no-bake layered dessert. Especially when those layers are chocolate and peanut butter.

    Chocolate Peanut Butter No-Bake Dessert


    •     20 Oreo cookies, divided
    •     2 tablespoons butter, softened
    •     1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
    •     1/2 cup peanut butter
    •     1-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, divided
    •     1 carton (16 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
    •     15-20 miniature peanut butter cups, chopped
    •     1 cup cold milk
    •     1 package instant chocolate pudding

    •     Crush 16 cookies; toss with the butter. Press into an ungreased 9-inch square dish; set aside. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, peanut butter and 1 cup confectioners’ sugar until smooth.
    •     Fold in half of the whipped topping. Spread over crust.
    •     Sprinkle with chopped peanut butter cups. In another large bowl, beat the milk, pudding mix and remaining confectioners’ sugar on low speed for 2 minutes Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set.
    •     Fold in remaining whipped topping. Spread over peanut butter cups. Crush remaining cookies; sprinkle over the top.
    •     Cover and chill for at least 3 hours.

    Peanut Butter Oatmeal Sandwich Cookies

    These are fantastic, I've made them several times already! Today my brother needed some cookies for a potluck at work (he just started a new job) and he requested these. I doubled the recipe and did half with the peanut butter filling and half with a chocolate swiss meringue buttercream. Both varieties were fantastic!

    Recipe >> Peanut Butter Oatmeal Sandwich Cookies @

    Tuesday, December 15, 2015

    50 Pasta Salad Recipes You Need to Bring to Your Summer Potlucks

    50 Pasta Salad Recipes You Need to Bring to Your Summer Potlucks

    You'll love these flavorful twists on the classic, summer picnic dish


    Read More >> 50 Pasta Salad Recipes You Need to Bring to Your Summer Potlucks @

    Reese’s Peanut Butter Cheesecake

    I made this for my husband for Valentine’s day and it is phenomenal! Honestly the best cheesecake I’ve ever made and very easy to do. He loves peanut butter cups but isn’t a huge chocolate fan (weirdo! ha!) so this was a little over the top for him. When I make it again I’ll probably just drizzle chocolate on top (though I thought it was great!) and he requested a graham cracker crust. I’m not sure how that will be but I’d recommend going with plain chocolate wafers (or take the middle out of the oreo) because the crust is super sweet. So great!

    Recipe >> Reese’s Peanut Butter Cheesecake @

    Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Bars

    These have become an absolute staple in my house! Also, it is my total standard recipe for 'gotta-bring-something-sweet' to 'fill-in-the-blank'. SO easy, SO fast and terrific for satisfying those cravings. I chill the peanut butter base for 15 or 20 minutes before topping with the chocolate so the warm chocolate doesn't melt into the peanut butter too much, making spots of too thick chocolate and leaving other areas spread too thin!

    Recipe >> Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Bars @

    No Bake Chocolate Mousse Tart

    This is the creamiest, the dreamiest low carb dessert ever. Sugar-free chocolate mousse in a grain-free chocolate cookie crust. It’s no bake and so easy to make! 

    Made it today….it’s been sitting in the fridge since 9 a.m and the mousse hasn’t set properly….not runny anymore, but still very wobbly….problem might be I only had extra large eggs at home (we only buy those ones) and I most probably must have cut down on the almond milk…

    Recipe >> No Bake Chocolate Mousse Tart @

    Strawberry Cheesecake Dream Bars

    Strawberry Cheesecake Dream Bars – a graham cracker crust, fresh strawberries, a creamy strawberry cheese layer, strawberry creme pudding, topped with whipped topping. These are the perfect dessert to make when strawberries are in season!

    Recipe >> Strawberry Cheesecake Dream Bars @

    The Best German Chocolate Brownies

    Made these yesterday for my dad as he LOVES german chocolate cake and he said they beat any cake he has ever had! I love the versatile brownie base-SO much better than boxed (he could immediately tell it was homemade) and super versatile! These brownies look amazing! I love how the frosting only takes ten minutes to make..

    Recipe >> The Best German Chocolate Brownies @