Friday, June 24, 2016

Sweet Potato Toast: 3 Ways

This is a fun way to sneak some veggies into your family's diet! You can't even taste the sweet potato. These are good. I did add 1/2 tsp of vanilla and increased the cinnamon to 1/4 tsp. As a side note, sweet potato puree is easy to prepare in advance and freeze. Just broil a bunch of them and then puree in a food processor and package in 1/4 cup increments in a ziptop freezer bag. To thaw just place in a bowl of warm water for about 5 minutes.

Get the recipe here >> Sweet Potato Toast: 3 Ways @

The Best Brownies

I doubled the recipe and made a 9x13 pan of these brownies for a party, and everybody loved them! I also entered them in my local county fair and won first place. The problem with the frosting is that you need to halve the amount of powdered sugar and melt the butter. This makes a glaze that you can spread on top. It hardens into a beautiful, shiny frosting. I thought some of the info in the reviews was conflicting, so here's the scoop: 1. These are neither "cake" brownies nor "fudge" brownies; they fall somewhere in between. If you must have one or the other, then this recipe is not for you. 2. Yes, the frosting is sweet. If you like frosting, then add it, if not, leave it off. 3. Yes, these are homemade brownies and do not taste like boxed brownie mix. I can't understand why anyone would prefer a mix to homemade, but if that's your thing, then stick with the mix.

Get the recipe here >> The Best Brownies @

12 Unique Lemonade Recipes For Summer

12 Unique Lemonade Recipes For Summer

Now that summer is officially here, it’s time to beat the heat with a tall glass of fresh lemonade! But not just any lemonade – we decided to give this classic refreshment a sassy little makeover.

Below, check out not one, not two, but 12 deliciously creative recipes we think you’ll love. A dash of fruit puree here, a splash of sparkling water plus lime there, and voila – summertime perfection!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Italian Fresh Cream Lemon Cake

A hit with my family! Light, moist, and flavorful. As others suggested, used lemon cake and lemon pudding, also substituted 1/4 c of water for lemon juice, and also zest of one lemon-divided between cake batter and icing. Made a tiered 9" round cake, and layered with raspberry filling. Simple fruit filling recipe: use Polander seedless all-fruit spread, any flavor, microwave jar for approx. 30secs, and add in small box jello, in same flavor as fruit spread (I used all sugar free and fat free add-INS), whisk, cool completely (can even place in freezer for 10 mins), then spread on cake with desired layers. So quick and simple-intense fruit flavor, and perfect spreadable texture, without soaking into even this moist cake!

Get the recipe here >> Italian Fresh Cream Lemon Cake @

Sugar Milk Pie

I found this recipe in my late Mom’s recipe box.  It was cut out of a newspaper….very old and yellowed.  I wish it would have had a date, I bet it was from the depression (the one in 1929) or maybe even earlier.  It was so fragile I was almost afraid to pick it up.  Reading the ingredients, I was intrigued.  A pie with only 3 ingredients?  I had to try it!

It is similar to a custard pie, but not as heavy.  I usually put cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg in mine, though I have made it with coconut, which is delicious!  It really is versatile, you can even make a chocolate version by adding cocoa powder and chocolate chips sprinkled on top.  My husband’s favorite is orange, I just put a few drops of orange extract in the filling and zest some orange peel on top.


    2/3 cup sugar
    1/3 cup flour
    2 cups real cream
    Pie shell (homemade or store bought)


    Preheat oven to 350 degrees
    Combine sugar and flour in a mixing bowl
    Hand wisk in cream a bit at a time
    When thoroughly mixed, pour into pie shell
    Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until the filling is set

You can serve it hot, but I prefer to chill mine and serve it cold with some nice hot tea.  I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does!

Sugar Milk Pie

I found this recipe in my late Mom’s recipe box.  It was cut out of a newspaper….very old and yellowed.  I wish it would have had a date, I bet it was from the depression (the one in 1929) or maybe even earlier.  It was so fragile I was almost afraid to pick it up.  Reading the ingredients, I was intrigued.  A pie with only 3 ingredients?  I had to try it!

It is similar to a custard pie, but not as heavy.  I usually put cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg in mine, though I have made it with coconut, which is delicious!  It really is versatile, you can even make a chocolate version by adding cocoa powder and chocolate chips sprinkled on top.  My husband’s favorite is orange, I just put a few drops of orange extract in the filling and zest some orange peel on top.


    2/3 cup sugar
    1/3 cup flour
    2 cups real cream
    Pie shell (homemade or store bought)


    Preheat oven to 350 degrees
    Combine sugar and flour in a mixing bowl
    Hand wisk in cream a bit at a time
    When thoroughly mixed, pour into pie shell
    Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until the filling is set

You can serve it hot, but I prefer to chill mine and serve it cold with some nice hot tea.  I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Lemon Cream

Really good. I didn't have real lemons for juice, so I used the little yellow bottled kind, which doesn't really taste like fresh, so upon tasting at the end while it was cooling, I felt it needed something, so I added about 1/4tsp of real lemon extract, and stirred it in. That did the trick! So good! I used it as a filling in a chiffon cake, and I spread it on before it was completely cool, and I think a lot soaked into the cake, so I would let it cool completely before adding to the cake next time. Also, it made quite a lot, I used it in a 9x11 sheet cake, and used it for filling, and I had about 2 cups left.

Get the recipe here >> Lemon Cream @

The Best Sugar Cookies Ever!

I wish I could give these cookies a 10! I absolutely love these and made over 12 dozen over the holidays. I had to make so many because they all disappeared faster than I could bake them. I would strictly follow the 8-minute baking rule with these as long as they're about the size of a tablespoon. These are addictive! The best recipe of its type on this site. I used an extra egg, as suggested by an earlier reviewer, and I used a scoop to ensure uniform size. Dropped the scoops into a small bowl of sugar, and rolled them around. Although the dough was soft, with the sugar adhering to it, you could easily pick up the balls and put on the baking sheet. A hint for quick (as in NO) baking clean-up: line your cookie sheets with foil, shiny side DOWN. No grease. Just place dough on the foil. Allow to cool about 10-15 minutes, or until close to room temperature, then use a spatula to transfer to a rack. They release easily. Ten minutes yield a barely colored cookie that is chewy and delicate. An additional 2 minutes makes for a golden color and a little more crunch. They look like the cookies you bake from the Pillsbury slice-and-bake rolls that you find in the dairy case at the grocery store, but with a far superior flavor. Nothing better than a cup of tea and a few of these! I just made a batch this afternoon, and only 8 are left. Everyone in this family absolutely loves them

Monday, June 20, 2016

Cloud-like Lemon Cupcakes

 Cloud-like Lemon Cupcakes

For the cake:

  •     4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1 tablespoon pieces
  •     1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  •     1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  •     Zest of 2 lemons
  •     1/3 cup canola oil
  •     3 large egg yolks
  •     2 large eggs
  •     1 3/4 cups cake flour
  •     1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  •     1/2 teaspoon salt
  •     1/3 cup buttermilk
  •     1/2 cup heavy cream

For the frosting:

  •     4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  •     4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  •     Juice and zest from 2 lemons
  •     Generous pinch of salt
  •     4 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar

Yields 24 cupcakes.

1. Line muffin tins with cupcake liners. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter to soften.  Beat on medium speed, until it is light in color, about 3 minutes.  Add the sugar and continue to beat until very light, scraping down the sides and across the bottom of the bowl at least once. Beat in the lemon juice and zest.  On medium speed, blend in the oil.

2. On the lowest speed, blend in the yolks, one at a time, mixing just to blend.  Blend in the whole eggs, one at a time, mixing just to blend.

In a separate medium bowl, thoroughly whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. On the lowest speed, blend over half of the flour mixture into the batter.  Continue on the lowest speed and blend in half of the buttermilk.  Continue adding the remainder of the flour until all is incorporated.  Blend in the remaining buttermilk.

3. In a separate mixing bowl, whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form.  Beat just a little beyond this soft-peak stage.  Stir about one-quarter of the whipped cream into the batter to lighten.  Then fold the rest of the whipped cream into the batter.

4. Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners using a small scoop or tablespoon.  Fill slightly more than one half full.  Gently tap the tins on the counter to release any air bubbles.  Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the middle of one of the center cupcakes comes out clean.  Switch the tins half way through to insure even baking.

5. Remove the cupcakes from the oven to a rack and cool in the tin for 10 minutes.  Remove from the tin and cool completely before frosting.

6. To make the frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, thoroughly mix together the butter and cream cheese. Add the lemon juice, zest, and salt and mix to combine. On low speed, add the confectioner’s sugar, one cup at a time until you reach the desired spreading consistency. To finish, frost the cooled cupcakes and serve.

This lovely spring cupcake recipe comes from the newly-launched blog, Sifting Focus. I have had the pleasure of getting to know the creative force behind Sifting Focus, Mary. A talented baker, Mary has thoughtfully advised me on numerous questions and concerns I have had. I have confided in her in everything from demoralizing kitchen failures to challenges with photography. We have exchanged notes on our favorite cookbooks and bakeries from around the country. I vividly remember sending Mary an email after I successfully baked dessert for a Christmas party of more than 30 people. Jubilant language and exclamation points filled the message. I was thrilled to be communicating with someone who could resonate with my excitement at accomplishing such a task. It is incredible how blogging has connected us, two people from completely different backgrounds, bonding over a mutual love of food and baking.

For six months after we first met, I eagerly awaited the debut of her blog. When it finally launched in February, I was blown away. Mary’s writing was eloquent and personable, her photographs were beautiful, and her recipes looked delectable. Every item appeared so delicious that I was left with the difficult choice of which to try first. After much deliberation, I decided upon these light lemon cupcakes. What makes these treats so airy is the freshly whipped cream that is folded into the batter before baking. The cake’s texture resembles that of a cloud, irresistibly soft and puffy. The dough contains a subtle tanginess from the lemon juice and zest, complemented perfectly by the decadent cream cheese frosting. After this experience, I cannot wait to try more recipes from Mary’s fabulous site.

Homemade Magic Shell

Try this homemade magic shell ice cream topping recipe, and be amazed at how simple and delicious (and customizable!) it is.

Using only two ingredients, you can make a marvelous crispy chocolate coating for your ice cream.   Stick with basic chocolate, or spice it up with any flavor combinations you can dream of.  It's so easy and addictive, you won't be able to resist making up several batches and sharing them with your friends.  In fact, the basic recipe I used is vegan!  (for all of your non-dairy frozen treats)

What makes this recipe a true winner in my book, is that it's almost fool-proof.  You don't have to hover over your stove, hoping your chocolate won't turn, or that it won't temper right, or anything.  Set it over low heat, and you can even walk away from it long enough to write up an Instructable!

Get the recipe here >> Homemade Magic Shell @

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Pan-fried Honey Bananas

Oh Boy, Do I have a sweet-tooth tonight!  I made brownies last night with cinnamon applesauce and coffee. They surprisingly turned out yummy!  But tonight, I need to use up some bananas.  You know why? Overly ripe bananas are way to sweet to eat, but really good in smoothies and I have 20 “just right” bananas. I’ll never get threw them before they are black.  So mark my words, Never shop at Costco when your hungry.  Now I have bananas coming out my @$$ and sweet tooth to boot. So what’s a girl to do?  Googled Banana recipes and start cookin’.  haha!  Here’s a combination of a couple of recipes.  We loved this. I hope you do too:)

There's only a couple quick steps to this recipe, and then you can eat it by itself, which is so sweet and yummy, OR you can use it as a topping on your whole wheat or gluten-free waffles, pancakes, yogurt, oatmeal, or vanilla fro-yo! I'm thinking of making this on top of some wheat french toast for a nice weekend brunch once I'm back in LA! 

Get the recipe here >> Pan-fried Honey Bananas @

Amish Sweet Bread

This is a foolproof recipe provided you just follow the steps, watch your measurements of flour, have good yeast, and keep the temp at least 65 degrees. For those who have had failures try weighing out your flour instead of measuring. NOTES FOR KITHEN AID MIXER USERS: Proof your yeast in the mixing bowl then add the oil/salt, the add the flour approx. 1 cup at a time with the dough hook on low speed. Once all the dry ingredients are in come up to medium speed for 5 minutes. Then take the dough out, fold it over on itself to redistribute the yeast, make a ball, and place it back in the same bowl after you drizzle a tablespoon of oil (veggie or olive) and turn the dough to coat evenly. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and then a kitchen towel. There are a number of tricks if you think your kitchen is too cool. Turn your over on for 20 seconds and then right off. Put the dough in to rise. I set mine about 4 feet from the woodstove and turn it once. However, get it over 115 degrees and you'll kill the yeast. Just kneading it in the KA will increase the temp of the dough. And by the way, I have cut the sugar down to 2 tablespoons and it is a classic farmhouse white bread. Hope this helps the few that are having trouble.

Get the recipe here >> Amish Sweet Bread @

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Italian Pastry Cream

I bake all the time - almost every day but I don't often make pastry cream. The only reason I made this recipe was because I had a lot of egg yolks leftover from a cake I had made. This recipe is very simple and rather quick to make. I followed all directions except that I added an extra splash of vanilla at the end. My pastry cream is in a bowl chilling in the refrigerator right now with plastic wrap on top. After I had cooked it, I left it in the pan for a bit so I would not be putting hot pudding directly into the cold fridge but it quickly started developing a skin. So make sure you get that plastic on there quickly. I think I might have to push it through a sieve before I use it. It's certainly not lumpy but I think it could probably be a bit smoother. The vanilla beans are a nice touch - flavor wise and visually. It's nice to see those little dark specks in the cream. I used whole milk and I think it might even be better if you were to use half n half. I can't imagine that 2%, 1% or especially nonfat would be very good. Maybe 2% but not less than that. The pastry cream really benefits from the fat that the milk adds and also the butter. Don't leave out the butter. I can eat this right off the spoon and it's certainly delicious but I don't think it's quite sweet enough to pass as pudding. As a filling it would be great. I'm not sure what I'm going to use it for yet. Maybe as a filling for a Boston cream pie?

Get the recipe here >> Italian Pastry Cream @

The Science Behind Temperatures - Baking Temperature Comparison

Have you ever wondered why most cakes are baked at 350ᵒ F?  And why do cookbooks and baking authorities make such a fuss about making sure your oven temperature is accurate?  What is it about that mystical number on the oven’s dial that makes it work so well for baking and what happens if, heaven forbid, your oven temperature is off?  Let’s take a quick look at the effect of oven temperature on the baking process and how you can take control of the outcome of your baked goods with a little thermal know-how.

During baking, a cake batter undergoes a complex process of chemical and physical reactions which transform it from goo into light, fluffy delightfulness.  Each of these actions takes place when the batter reaches a particular temperature and the rate at which they occur is dependent on how hot the oven is.  Here is a snapshot of the activities which convert batter into cake and the order in which they occur:
  •     Fats melt
  •     Gases expand and form
  •     Sugar dissolves
  •     Proteins coagulate
  •     Starches gelatinize
  •     Gasses evaporate
  •     Caramelization occurs


If a cake is baked at a relatively low temperature, these steps take place more slowly and evenly throughout the cake with less overlap in processes. The gentle rise in batter temperature allows the external crust of the cake to react in similar fashion to the inside of the cake. Conversely, batter placed in a high temperature oven will have a number of processes going on in rapid succession and in uneven distribution.  In this scenario, the cake crust will undergo all of the steps more quickly than the internal portions of the cake

I baked a number of cakes from 300ᵒ F to 400ᵒ F to provide a practical example of how oven temperature alterations can modify the end results.  A cake baked at 300ᵒ F is lighter and fluffier than a cake baked at 400ᵒ F.  The cake baked at 300ᵒ F also has a pale even outer crust which remains gummy due to the reduced degree of evaporation at the cake’s surface.  The 400ᵒ F cake has a dark, ledged outer crust with a more dried surface.  The evaporation of water on the surface of the cake enables caramelization processes to occur.  Caramelization can add flavor but if taken too far can lead to a burnt, acrid taste.  The other notable difference in the cakes with various temperatures was in the consistency of the crumb.  The cake baked at 300ᵒ F had a very soft, smooth crumb while the cake baked at 400 F had a slightly more rough-textured mouthfeel.  This is likely due to the speed under which the proteins coagulated.

Cakes baked through the spectrum of temperatures between 300ᵒ F and 400ᵒ F display gradual variants of these two extremes.  Baking at 350ᵒ F is sort of a happy medium between 300ᵒ F and 400ᵒ F and creates a cake that has the best of both worlds.  It has lightness, texture and caramelization induced flavor.

There you have it!  Altering the temperature in which you bake has a significant effect on the outcome of your cake.  By knowing the accuracy of your oven, you can better predict the final result of your cake.  If you’ve ever baked a recipe and wondered what went wrong, give your oven temperature a second look.  Most ovens are calibrated inaccurately, leaving you unaware that you’re baking at a temperature above or below what your recipe specifies.  It is helpful to purchase an oven thermometer to test the temperature and then adjust as needed.

Plus you can exert some control on the height and texture of your cake simply by adjusting the heat dial on your oven up or down a bit.

Happy baking!

Mini Chocolate Peanut Butter Pies

I used this recipe, actually, as a starting point. Here are the changes I made: first, I made only one pie instead of two, so I halved the ingredients (except for the pudding); second, I used a regular pie crust instead of a graham cracker crust; third, I only used 1 1/2 cups of milk with the pudding to make it set a little firmer; and finally, I made a peanut butter crumb topping from 1 T peanut butter mixed with powdered sugar. I then sprinkled the topping over the whipped topping on top - it made it look really classy! My husband loves chocolate an peanut butter but isn't into graham crusts, and this was quite a hit! And it was so fast, I know this will be used again in the very near future.

Get the recipe here >> Mini Chocolate Peanut Butter Pies @

Friday, June 17, 2016

15 Lower-Carb Whole Food Swaps

If you’re looking for ways to cut down on carbs without switching to pricey (and processed) low-carb alternatives, try some of these nutrient-rich whole food suggestions.

Snickerdoodle Apple Cobbler

This was great but I have a few suggestions that I hope will make it better. First, the appels could be cut a bit smaller. Next put about a 1/2 cup of brown suger in a bowl and add to that a teaspoon of cinnamon, about 3 or 4 tablespoons of a amaretto, and a teaspoon of vanilla. Mix them well together, then add the apples to this. Cover them well and let them stay in that a couple of hours before cooking. This is well worth the time, delicious. Next, when you have your butter melted add the suger and cinnamon to the pan and let the mixture melt together a bit. Becomes a smoother blend. Next, where I live Mountain Dew is not available so I used an orange soda and the result was also yummy. I will provide a photo next time I make this as mine looks very different from this one. I hope everyone enjoys these changes.

Get the recipe here >> Snickerdoodle Apple Cobbler @

Magnolia Bakery's Famous Banana Pudding

This is the same recipe that my mother has made for years, and it is often said that it was this pudding that helped her snag her husband. I have noticed a few problems people have been having with the recipe, and as usual it is not problems really with the recipe, but with the person/and or technique used while making it. (Don't mean to sound harsh.) First off, we always use skim milk in the recipe, and have never had a any problems. Secondly, NEVER use banana pudding to make this. Though I'm sure it would taste ok, it just isn't like the old fashioned stuff, and if you use the banana flavored pudding you always will have that fake banana flavoring floating around in it...YUCK. Third, one 5 oz. package is plenty to make this pudding thick. Just make sure to use ice cold milk when mixing it. Fourth, when creaming the cream cheese. It must be at room temperature before you can cream it or add the other ingredients to it, otherwise, you will get a lumpy mess. It is very important to cream it well with the sweetened condensed milk, because the air incorperated into this adds body and thickness to the overall dish. Finally, the dish that the recipe says to display the pudding in is merely a suggestion. This isn't a baked recipe, so it won't matter at all what type of dish you use. I prefer a large decorative glass bowl, and that way it can add a little more style to the whole dinner just by looking at it..

Get the recipe here >> Magnolia Bakery's Famous Banana Pudding @

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Old Fashioned Butter Cake

I've baked this cake at least a dozen times & always get rave reviews. The cake is very moist with great flavor. It tastes even better the next day! I use Baker's Joy spray to prep Bundt (non-stick or regular) & NEVER have problems with cake breaking up when inverted. I usually cool the cake 40-45 min. at most. Sometimes butter/shortening & flour combo used to prep pans can be a problem when the cake cools completely. This "paste" is almost like a glue when it completely cools. For round cake pans, you can heat pan bottom for 5-10 seconds on stove eye (electic or gas) & it will release when the butter or shortening melts slightly. This is difficult for Bundt pans. I'm huge fan of Baker's Joy spray-it always works! Also, the chopstick idea is awesome. After the cake has cooled for 5 min, I poke 30-35 holes in the cake all the way to the bottom of the Bundt pan with the smaller, tapered end of the chopstick. Then I spoon or pour on the butter sauce (I make 1 1/2 times the sauce recipe). Adding 1/2 to 1 tsp cinnamon is a great variation. Also, I recommend creaming the butter & sugar for 5 min then creaming another 5 min after adding eggs/vanilla. Then I alternate dry ingredients with buttermilk. The cake rises like a charm (you can use a 12 cup Bundt pan). What a cake!!!

Get the recipe here >> Old Fashioned Butter Cake @ food for a hungry soul

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Best Key Lime Pie

This recipe was my second choice, but should have been my first!! I made two pies for Easter from a different recipe that called for eggs, and we hated them! They were dense and heavy, more like a custard than anything, with a bitter lime taste. Then I went in search of a lighter recipe, one without the eggs. This was the recipe I was looking for!! Light, creamy, not too tart or too sweet! PERFECT! I didn't stick with the key limes, (I found the key lime juice to be terribly acidic when I used it in the first recipe) instead I used about 8 Mexican limes that I found in my grocery produce section. They're a little smaller than the traditional Perisian limes, but a bit bigger than the Key Limes. They worked wonderfully! I ended up with 2 cups of juice and used it all for two pies. I used 4 cans of condensed milk, and baked for closer to 13 minutes in shortbread crusts. Topped with homemade whipped cream and YUMMO!

I used Mothers Oatmeal Cookies as a crust instead of a graham cracker crust. Everything else I kept the same. Really took a matter of minutes, longest part was breaking up the cookies in the blender. I also used Rose's Key Lime juice. EDITED: I liked the combination of the oatmeal cookie crust with the pie filling, I just found the pie a little sweet. I think if I make a key lime pie again, I'll look for one that's creamier and less sweet. Everyone freaked over this pie! I will use this recipe forever!


 I have doubled the recipe for this and used a homemade graham crust or a pretzel crust and it's always turned out fantastic. This dessert is always a homerun, I've never had leftovers when I make this pie for a gathering or potluck.

Get the recipe here >> Best Key Lime Pie @

You’ve Totally Been Making Banana Bread The Wrong Way Your Entire Life

This is what winning looks like:

Upside-Down Banana Bread

Here’s a video that shows you how it’s made:


Servings: 6-8

  • 4-5 ripe bananas
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup oil
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2-3 bananas, sliced
  • Vanilla ice cream


Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C.

In a large bowl, mash the ripe bananas.

Add the eggs, oil, sugar, and cinnamon, mixing until evenly incorporated.

Add the flour and mix until the batter has no large pockets of flour. Set aside.

In a pot over low heat, melt the butter, then mix in the brown sugar until dissolved.

Bring up the heat to medium, cooking until the mixture starts bubbling.

Remove the caramel from heat and pour into a greased 9×9 baking pan.

Lay the banana slices evenly on top of the caramel.

Spread the banana bread batter on top.

Bake 40-50 minutes.

Cool until the bottom is barely warm and use a knife to loosen the edges from the pan.

Place a plate upside-down on top of the pan, then invert the pan, flipping the banana bread onto the plate.

Slice, then serve with vanilla ice cream.

Peanut Butter Cookie Brownies

Fantastic Brownies! This is quite a refreshing change from the usual chocolate brownies, and it was very enjoyable! It was easily made in about a hour for me, and even though I am not too fond of peanut butter, I couldn't stop eating these!

HELPFUL TIPS WHEN BAKING TO PREVENT HARD EDGES: I cover the pan with foil and with a knife... I cut out a big square in the middle so just 2" all around the edges is covered w/foil, so the edges are AS chewy as the middle. I double this recipe and it takes about 35-45 min to bake. I just wait for it to spring back as indicated and be a nice golden color (check the very center b/c that's where it will be gooey if not done). I add eyeball amount of chocolate chips on top before baking which I think is goodness. Or you can melt a chocolate glaze/frosting on top after it's done which also tastes delicious. I freeze the leftovers but definitely make double the amount using the suggestion of doubling all ingred. but adding 1/3C MORE pb, 2T LESS butter, and 1/3C LESS flour (so 1C + 2/3C). Excellent each time!

Get the recipe here >> Peanut Butter Cookie Brownies @

Bobby Flay Throw-Down Cookies

Okay, Ya'll here's the REAL deal. I've made all of the TOP choc chip cookie recies on our wonderful site here and I'm here to tell you --THIS IS IT! I held off making this one because I thought the pudding would be gross but you can't even taste it. All it does it make and keep them soft (like putting a preservative in). I would make the following changes: Add 2 teasp. of baking powder, 1/2 teasp. salt and 2 TABLESPOONS (yes, you heard right) of VANILLA. This gives them what they were missing as noted in serveral reviews. My second favorite are the BEST BIG ones but they are really rich and my family prefers this recipe instead.

This recipe is the best I have found. They are very simple to make although they take a little time they are well worth it! The things I have found helpful with this recipe is it is best to chill the dough when you arent using it. I use a mellon baller to get the cookies at a good uniform size, 1 to 2 scoops depending on the size of the mellon baller, roll them up and plop them down. Also, as every oven is different, my cookies come out perfect at 9 minutes, dont let the soft look fool you they seem to continue to cook a bit after you take them out. And as a common cookie rule, keep the pan at a room temperature so your cookies dont come out flat with all the butter that is in this recipe, if you can't rotate between pans, run them under cool water to bring the temp down, they really make them look a lot better than if you dont. Many people have been asking how to add the pudding, it goes in completely dry, just the mix, nothing more, it really helps the taste yet tastes nothing like pudding. One last thing I would suggest, if the cookies are coming out like 'cake' they have not been prepared correctly, these cookies come out perfectly for me every time, not once were they anything but what they should be, follow the directions close and you'll do fine! I hope I could help, these are really worth the time!

You won't believe how delicious these turn out!! Happy Baking!

Get the recipe here >> Bobby Flay Throw-Down Cookies @

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Soft and Light Japanese Cheesecake

A light and fluffy cheesecake made with whipped eggs and very little cream cheese."

This was my first time baking a cheesecake. I like this recipe because it doesn't use as much cream cheese, which makes this a light cheesecake. I halved the recipe to make a small cheesecake and added a tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice.

It turned out wonderfully! Just like the japanese cheesecakes from asian bakeries. Light like a spongecake (as i think it should be), yet still delicious and easy to make.

Get the recipe here >> Soft and Light as Air Japanese Cheesecake @

World’s Greatest Peanut Butter Cookies

I made these today in order to use up the peanut butter in my pantry. Here are my experiences:

I only changed the recipe slightly by using only 1C of sugar and I included small dark chocolate chips. I also used parchment paper instead of cooking spray.
The “dough” was way too creamy, even after refrigerating, and I couldn’t roll it into anything; so I used a spoon and dropped the balls of dough onto the cookie sheet.

Baking: I used less time (8mins) because the cookies are flat and cooked really fast. However, the second batch was a bit more fluffy and I am wondering if it’s not better to leave the dough in the fridge for 30 to 40 mins instead of 20. I also recommend quickly setting the cookies that come out of the oven on a wire rack with parchment paper for cooling.

The cookies turned out too flat… Maybe using baking powder instead of baking soda? Or maybe use a bit more flour (like 3/4 C).
These cookies are more chewy and may be better for making ice cream sandwiches rather than just eating them plain. The flavor is pretty good but I think it would be even better with either chunky peanut butter or crushed unsalted peanuts to add a little crunch.

Get the recipe here >> World’s Greatest Peanut Butter Cookies @

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

How to Make Mirror Glaze (Shiny) Cakes

How to Make Mirror Glaze (Shiny) Cakes

  • 20 g Gelatin Powder, 
  • 120 g Water, 
  • 300 g Glucose, 
  • 300 g Sugar, 
  • 150 g Water, 
  • 200 g Sweetened Cond Milk, 
  • 300 g Chocolate (White, Milk, Dark or a combination), 
  • Food Coloring


1) Bloom the gelatin in the water;
2) Boil the glucose, sugar & water;
3) Remove from heat and add the gelatin;
4) Add the cond milk;
5) Pour over chocolate and buerre mix to remove air bubbles;
Use at 35C/95F.

5-ingredient white queso

For anyone who may be looking to lighten this recipe up just a bit, or for anyone following the current Weight Watchers program, a few substitutions will bring a 1/2cup serving down to 4 SmartPoints!

– Instead of sour cream, use 1c Oikos Triple Zero Greek non-fat yogurt
– Instead of regular cream cheese, use reduced fat cream cheese
– Instead of regular milk, use skim milk

That’s it! This recipe is a keeper, for sure!

Get the recipe here >> 5-ingredient white queso @

Strawberries and Cream Bars

Fancy and delectable. My picky group of friends just loved it. It's refreshing and delicious. I baked the cookie crust for 15 minutes exactly, cooled it then covered with foil and let it sit at room temperature the night before. The next day finished it a few hours before the get together. Was able to cut it with no problem. The longer the cream and strawberries sit at room temp. the easier to cut. Had no problem. I would add a touch more cornstarch because it was a tad runny, but still fabulous.People raved about it. This is a definite keeper.

Some minor changes made: I added fresh blackberries to the topping since they were in season, used Neufchatel cheese instead of cream cheese, and added just a pinch more cornstarch to thicken up the glaze. Next time I plan to use a cookie sheet instead of the 13x9 pan. The dessert is pretty rich, and a thinner cookie bottom would help lighten it up.

Tip: Do NOT over bake your cookie!! If you bake your cookie just right and not too long, then it WON'T get hard when you refrigerate it. I baked my cookie until it was lightly golden and I had NO problem refrigerating it. It was still soft and delicious. Also, make sure to allow enough time for your dessert to refrigerate because it doesn't taste good when the strawberries haven't absorbed the flavor from the strawberry puree.

Get the recipe here >> Strawberries and Cream Bars @

Crème Brûlée

Stop everything right now and get your shit together and make these incredible homemade and delicious crème brûlées.

Here’s what you will need:

  •     4 cups heavy cream
  •     2 tsp vanilla extract
  •     6 egg yolks
  •     1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup in mixture and 1/2 cup for crust


1. Heat heavy cream and vanilla extract in a sauce pan until hot, but not boiling.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks and 1/2 cup of sugar until well mixed. Pour in the hot cream gradually, mixing continually.

3. Place six (7 to 8-ounce) ramekins into a large roasting pan. Pour hot water into the pan to come roughly halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

4. Pour the egg mixture into the ramekins and bake at 325˚F / 165˚C for 45 - 50 minutes. The crème brûlée should be set, but still a little jiggly in the middle. Remove the ramekins from the roasting pan, allow to cool to room temperature, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours and up to three days.

5. Remove the crème brûlée from the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before browning the sugar on top. Spread a tablespoon of sugar on top of each crème brûlée. Using a torch, melt the sugar to for a crispy top. If you don’t have a torch, you can broil the crème brûlée to melt the sugar. Keep an eye on it, to make sure you don’t over cook it. Allow the crème brûlée to sit for at least five minutes before serving.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Chocolate PB “Ice Cream”

I used the ingredients for this recipe but I used the method described in French Chocolate Ice Cream to put it together. That recipe has similar ingredients but cooks the eggs until the mixture is thick, whereas this recipe just adds the warm chocolate and milk mixture to the eggs without further cooking. The ice cream turned out great. It had a nicely balanced chocolate and peanut butter flavor.

Very easy and very but not overwhelmingly so. It was decadent enough for me but still family-friendly enough for the kids; I hardened the leftovers in the freezer for cones. The peanut butter blends into the ice cream well; next time, for a switch, I might blend the peanut butter in near the end to make it chunkier. Perfect for a hot summer afternoon!

Get the recipe here >> Chocolate PB “Ice Cream” @

The WORST Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ok, I just finished making these cookies.

First off, I was super excited to find a recipe that has so many awesome reviews. Reviews mean everything to me when I try out new recipes. Second, I was also really skeptical and scared, mostly because I live in Colorado and the high altitude almost always messes with my cookie recipes.

These cookies are freaking perfect.

My regular “go to” recipe for ccc also calls for melted butter, and while the taste is incredible, I’ve always had trouble getting them to not flatten out, even when I chill the dough. These ones were perfect though. I followed this recipe exactly and the dough was definitely not runny. In fact when I added in the flour mixture I thought it was going to be too dry at first. It ended up being just the right consistency. I chilled it for about an hour, maybe an hour and a half, because I was eating my lunch at the time. I didn’t make them quite so big, about a Tblsp or a little more each, and I only baked them for 8 minutes which was the perfect amount of time in my oven, and let them cool on the cookie sheet. I also baked them at 325 because my oven can sometimes get too hot I think. But yes, they turned out exactly how I wanted, light and puffy, and didn’t fall flat after I pulled them out (like most of the recipes I try do).

I will definitely recommend this recipe to my family and friends now!

Get the recipe here >> The WORST Chocolate Chip Cookies @

Banana Cheesecake Rollups

It definitely tastes like dessert.  Warm, crispy and sweet – but you can serve this for breakfast!  It is perfect for those on the go mornings.  Just wrap in foil to keep warm and send it with your kids! You can also put some cute and fun toothpicks! Because bananas have healthy carbs, it is a great food to feed your kids for breakfast before school mornings so they will have plenty of energy at school. Kids brains need glucose to help them focus and learn at school, and we love that bananas help provide that for them!

We love making this recipe with our kids, because it is a perfect way to get them into the kitchen with a recipe that is simple and doesn’t have very many steps. And for your older kids, this is a good one for them to practice ‘griddle skills’.  Sometimes it is hard for kids to flip pancakes, or eggs in a griddle. Since these stay together nicely, it is a good food to practice your flipping skills.

Get the recipe here >> Banana Cheesecake Rollups @

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Reese’s Bottom Cheesecake!

Made these last night! They were delicious, but I mixed mine with a mixer for too long, as they were very fluffy and had a “whipped” consistency as opposed to your creamier looking filling. So just a warning to everyone: it’ll be runny at first but it’ll thicken up, just make sure not to over-mix the milk and filling!

Get the recipe here >> Reese’s Bottom Cheesecake! @

Healthy and SUPER easy 3 Ingredient Cookies

Healthy and SUPER easy 3 ingredient recipes! The perfect guilt-free snacks and treats!  - If you’re craving cookies but you’re on a diet, then you’re going to want to be in on this little secret. It’s totally possible to make cookies, in the oven or even in the microwave with just 2 or 3 ingredients. All you need are some ripe or overripe bananas, some rolled oats and raisins (or craisins, walnuts, or whatever else you’d like). There’s absolutely no sugar added, but these treats are sweet and satisfying just like any other cookie. You’ll be amazed at how well this Food Bites recipe works:

Get the recipe here >> Healthy and SUPER easy 3 Ingredient Cookies @

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Crispy Balls

There are a couple of "secrets" to making the perfect gooey Rice Krispie Treats: (1) the stovetop is THE way to go (the pan washes out easy w/hot soapy water) (2) you HAVE to melt the butter sloooowly and make sure it doesn't turn brown at all. (3) mix in the marshmallows and melt them just as slowly. If the butter gets brown, the treats will be dry. We double our recipe and it still fits fine into a 13x9 pan (grease the pan w/butter). To make them truly gooey use the following measurements: 11.5 cups Rice Krispies, 1 whole stick of butter, (1) 16oz bag of mini marshmallows. (I always use Jet Puff brand). I've become the neighborhood "treat" maker because the neighbors say theirs never turn out like mine.

Get the recipe here >> Crispy Balls @

Friday, June 3, 2016

10 Blow Your Mind Dipping Sauce Recipes That You Need To Try

A great dipping sauce can make or break your favorite recipe, or just take it to a whole new level. It’s also fun to use your favorite condiments and everyday ingredients you already have at home to make your own dipping sauce recipes right in your kitchen.

Did you know that you can even create restaurant-worthy dips, dressings, and dipping sauces of all kinds with just a handful of ingredients?

Give these 10 mind-blowing dipping sauces a try this week, and make your dishes go from delicious to dream-worthy in just a few minutes!

1. Copycat Outback Bloomin’ Onion Sauce

Domestic Superhero

Let’s face it—the classic Outback Bloomin’ Onion Sauce is a favorite among many people and is hard to beat when it comes to dipping sauce recipes. That’s why this copycat recipe by Domestic Superhero is a great one to try when you need an at-home fix!

2. Comeback Sauce

She Wears Many Hats

The name for this fabulous dipping sauce speaks for itself! You’ll want to come back to whoever serves you this sauce and keep it on hand on a regular basis. Feel free to sub in vegan substitutions if needed, and try it on everything from fries to veggies, served over grains or salads, or just serve it with your favorite chips

3. Cilantro Jalapeño Sauce

Damn Delicious

If you love Mexican dishes, this Cilantro Jalapeño Sauce is for you. Not only is it full of flavor, but it’s also packed with nutrition due to the fresh ingredients it contains too!

4. Beauty-Boosting Tahini Turmeric Dressing (or Dip!)

The Soulful Spoon

Tahini is one of my favorite ingredients for making creamy sauces, dips and dressings without heavier nuts, dairy ingredients, or oil. It’s also perfect for combining sweet and savory ingredients. Boosting Tahini Turmeric Dressing (or Dip!) makes a great option for salads, chopped veggies, proteins of choice, grains, or even roasted sweet potato fries. The bonus point of this recipe? It’s packed with skin-boosting ingredients!

5. Creamy Avocado Dip

Gal on a Mission

Avocado is the healthy ingredient of the decade it seems and when it comes to dipping sauce recipes, the creamy, fatty fruit makes a decadent option for your dips and sauces of all kinds. Give this Creamy Avocado Dip a try as a fun (and delicious way) to experiment with the healthy ingredient everyone is talking about!

6. Copycat Chick-Fil-A Sauce

House of Yumm

If you’ve ever had the famous Chick-Fil-A sauce, you know how good it really is and how addictive it can be. So when your cravings for the fast food chain come calling, whip up this copycat recipe by House of Yumm!

7. Sweet ‘n’ Spicy Miso Dressing

The Soulful Spoon

Sweet ‘n’ Spicy Miso Dressing is a creation based on the unique flavors that miso brings to sauce recipes. Miso is a great savory ingredient and even contains live probiotics for gut health that makes it perfect for dipping sauce recipes. This recipe is sweet, spicy, and has a wonderful umami flavor that goes great with chopped veggies, fries, salads, chips, proteins of choice, and even rice or quinoa!

8. Carolina Mustard Barbecue Sauce

Self-Proclaimed Foodie

As a Carolina girl myself, I must say that you haven’t had barbecue sauce until you’ve had it Carolina-style! Here in the south, we like to add a kick of mustard to our sauce and some versions also contain ketchup and mustard. Carolina Mustard Barbecue Sauce can be served over your favorite protein source or even used as a salad dressing—it’s that good!

9. Cabernet Cranberry and Blueberry Sauce

Averie Cooks

Sweet recipes make a nice option for dessert sauces, and infusing berries with wine is a great way to achieve a truly unique sauce without needing a ton of sugar to make it special. Dollop this Cabernet Cranberry and Blueberry Sauce over a vanilla or chocolate cake, scones, or serve it over whole grain pancakes as a decadent breakfast-for-dinner option!

10. Awesome Sauce

Life Currents

Awesome Sauce features all vegan ingredients and makes a great dip for just about anything savory you can think of. It’s also the perfect way to end this round-up of mind-blowing dipping sauce recipes and is a pretty fun recipe to share with friends too!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

8 Staple Smoothies You Should Know How to Make

It doesn’t get more healthy that a green smoothie, now does it? Green smoothies sound (and, honestly, look) like they wouldn’t taste the greatest, but if you do them right, they are sweet, balanced, and have no flavor of the greens!

I thought I’d pull together a comprehensive how-to on making eight staple smoothies. I consider these smoothies “classic” because they are great flavor and health combos that please everyone! These are the kinds of smoothies that I think everyone should know how to make, and chances are, you’ll find a favorite combo among these recipes.

There really is no wrong way to make a smoothie, but I think these recipes are a great jumping off point if the blender intimidates you. I’ve included the full recipe for all eight smoothies below.

Here are 8 smoothie recipes that you should know about. Please visit the link below to get access…

Peanut Butter Oat Squares

This quick, no-bake treat is just too good to pass up! My kids love them, and I certainly don’t feel guilty eating a few squares myself. Yeah, they have some sugar but they’re also full of fiber and protein– certainly better than the store-bought squares!


  1.         Line a 9×9 pan with non-stick foil, or regular foil as long as you use a non-stick spray.
  2.         Melt the honey and peanut butter together until it’s smooth enough to mix with the oats. I do this in the microwave for approximately 1-2 minutes because it’s faster, but you can also melt it on the stove top if you’d prefer.
  3.         Combine the mixture with the oats (start off with 2 cups and slowly add the rest as you may need less depending on your peanut butter and honey brand), and then mix well.
  4.         Pour it into your prepared pan, and then store it in the refrigerator for a few hours until it’s set enough to cut into squares. You can store them in the refrigerator to keep them firm, or leave them out if you like them soft and sticky.


  •     Unfortunately, this recipe doesn’t work with natural peanut butter, so don’t try it. I’d much prefer natural peanut butter, but it doesn’t really melt or hold things together.
  •     Try substituting the oats for Cheerios or other similar cereals.
  •     Feel free to mix in other things like peanuts, flax seed, or mini chocolate chips. If you do decide to add chocolate chips, sprinkle them on the top after it cools for 5 minutes instead of mixing them in because they will melt.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Cookie Dough Dip

Although this dessert dip does not taste like cookie dough that much (mostly because the cream cheese taste is very prevalent), it is still delicious and addicting! I added 2 extra tablespoons of brown sugar and an extra teaspoon of vanilla. I also added Heath toffee chips (for more texture) as I have seen in similar recipes. Oh, and I let this sit over night. At first, I served the dip with chocolate graham crackers, which were good, but then my husband had the fantastic idea to dip small pretzels in it. The salty/sweet combo was perfect! Next time, I may even add some crushed pretzels to the dip rather than the Heath chips. The salt of the pretzels really complimented the sugar in the dip! I will definitely make this dip again!

Get the recipe here >> Cookie Dough Dip @

Butter Pecan Cookies

I just finished making a double batch of these wonderful cookies. I don't understand what other reviewers mean when they say this recipe doesn't make many cookies. I doubled everything and got 10 dozen cookies! Even half of that is 5 dozen! Here are the changes I made: I put a teaspoon of vanilla and about a cup of finely chopped pecans in the (doubled) batter, and after rolling into a one inch ball, dipped each one half way in a bowl containing Sugar In The Raw. It's light brown, has larger crystals then regular sugar, and very sparkly. Then I flattened each cookie with the bottom of a glass and put a nice whole pecan in the middle. They are absolutely delicious and they look wonderful! These are now on my list to make every year! ..... *Update: My last batch is in the oven so I have time for a quick update. This year I got 16 DOZEN when I doubled everything! I think it's because of 2 things: refrigerate the dough over night and use a melon baller to scoop out the portions. BTW, mine took 10 minutes per batch.

Get the recipe here >> Butter Pecan Cookies @