Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Raspberry Lemon Cream Tart

I was in charge of making my mother in law a birthday cake. I know she doesn't really like typical cake, so I perused Pinterest and found this gem. It was outstanding. I really loved it. It feels like the perfect spring treat. It was also relatively easy to make. There isn't much to it. Win, win!

Raspberry Lemon Cream Tart

For the pastry: Flour, for the work surface
 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed in the refrigerator
1 large egg, beaten
2 teaspoons granulated sugar

For the filling:
 ½ cup heavy cream
 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
⅔ cup powdered sugar
zest of one small lemon
3 tablespoons lemon curd
2 half­pints of raspberries, or any other berry you choose
 Additional powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)

 1. Preheat oven to 375.
 2. Cut a piece of parchment paper the size of a standard baking sheet or use a silicone baking mat. Place the parchment paper or mat on a flat surface and very lightly dust it with flour. On the floured surface, roll out the puff pastry into a 9x11 inch rectangle.
3. Carefully lift the parchment paper/mat, with the pastry on it, onto a baking sheet.
4. Using the tip of a sharp knife, score a one­inch border around the pastry, being careful not to cut all the way through. This outer edge will puff up and hold in your filling and toppings once the tart is assembled. Brush the border with beaten egg and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake for 13­15 minutes, until golden brown and puffed.
5. Remove the puff pastry from the oven and rescore the border of the puff pastry, being careful not to cut all the way through. Gently press down on the center of the pastry to flatten it slightly. Allow the border to remain thick and puffed up. Cool to room temperature.
6. For the filling: Beat heavy cream until stiff peaks form, set aside.
 7. Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, lemon zest and lemon curd until smooth and combined. Fold the whipped cream into the lemon mixture until combined. Be careful not to overmix it ­ you want the filling to maintain a light texture.
8. For assembly: Pour the lemon filling into the pastry shell using a butter knife to smooth the top. Top the tart with raspberries and dust with powdered sugar. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Candy Cane Oreo Cheesecake

I made this cheesecake twice over the holidays. The first time, liquid dripped out of the bottom of my springform  pan onto the bottom of the oven while it was baking. It filled my oven (and house) with smoke before I discovered it. The cheesecake was ruined because it tasted like smoke. I was so bummed! The second time I made it, I put a cookie sheet on the oven rack below the cheesecake to catch the drips! That's an important step!
Not only does this cheesecake have a visual wow factor, it is incredibly tasty too!  Those candy cane kisses really work some magic!

Candy Cane Oreo Cheesecake

  • Oreo Cake Crust:
  • 30 Oreo cookies (that's the whole pack) (preferably candy cane flavor)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ cup of vegetable oil
  • Peppermint Cheesecake:
  • 3 - 8 oz packs of cream cheese, softened
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • ½ cup of white granulated sugar
  • 2 tbs plain yogurt
  • ⅔ cup of heavy cream
  • 2 tsp peppermint extract
  • Topping:
  • 1 bag of candy cane kisses:
  • About 27 set aside for garnish
  • Melt the rest
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 and grease a 9-inch springform pan.
  2. Oreo Cake Crust:
  3. Pulse the Oreo cookies in a blender or food processor until all just crumbles.
  4. Add the cookie crumbs and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Separately, whisk eggs and oil until combined. Add the egg mixture to the crumbs. Whisk together until all incorporated well and transfer into the springform pan.
  5. Cheesecake:
  6. Beat the cream cheese and sugar, in an electric mixer on medium speed, until light and fluffed (about 2-3 minutes).
  7. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition.
  8. Add the yogurt, heavy cream and peppermint. Mix until all smooth.
  9. Slowly and evenly, scoop the cheesecake batter over the Oreo crust. Try to scoop all over otherwise the center will be too heavy and cake batter will be too thin in the center. Some cake batter will go up higher on the sides, it's supposed to!
  10. Bake the cheesecake for about 40-45 minutes (firm but a still a little jiggly in the center). Turn off the oven and crack the oven door open. Let the cheesecake sit there (with the oven door half-open) for about 10 minutes. Take out the cheesecake and cool completely.
  11. Melt the remaining kisses in the microwave, on half the power, for 1 minute. Stir well. If necessary, microwave for another 20 seconds at half power. Pour into a pipping bag and cut off the very tip, leaving just a little hole for drizzling.
  12. Drizzle the melted kisses all over the cheesecake.
  13. Lay out the kisses over the edge of the cheesecake, in the circle.

Christmas Cornflake Wreaths

I made these fun Christmas Cornflake Wreaths to put on our neighbor goodie plates. My girls loved helping me make them. I love that they are simple, but cute and yummy.

Christmas Cornflake Wreaths

1/2 cup butter
5 heaping cups miniature marshmallows
1 tsp green food coloring
6 cups corn flakes
Handful of red cinnamon candies

Measure corn flakes into a large bowl.
Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Once melted, add the marshmallows and stir continuously until completely melted. Stir in food coloring.
Pour melted marshmallows into the large bowl with the corn flakes. Stir until well coated.
Lay out a piece of parchment paper on your kitchen counter. Dollop spoonfuls of the cornflake mixture onto the parchment paper. Grease your hands with butter or cooking spray. Use your fingers to shape each spoonful into an individual wreath. Top each wreath with cinnamon candies.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Chicken Parmesan Casserole

This is a perfect dinner recipe for my family. It's simple, quick, and oh so delicious. Plus the leftovers taste great the next day. Two thumbs up from all of us. I doubled it for my large family.


Chicken Parm Casserole

4 cups of shredded, cooked chicken
1 jar (28 ounces) of marinara sauce
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1-2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup panko or whole wheat bread crumbs
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
fresh, chopped herbs (parsley, basil, oregano, etc)
salt and pepper


1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2) Grease an 8x8 casserole dish with cooking spray.

3) Layer the chicken in the bottom. Dump in the marinara sauce and mix with the chicken. Next, top with cheeses until all the chicken is covered.

4) In a small bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, olive oil, fresh herbs and a dash of salt and pepper together.

5) Sprinkle the seasoned breadcrumbs on top.

6) Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until golden on top and bubbling on the sides.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Grasshopper Bark

I made these for neighbor treat plates for Christmas and they were easy and so yummy. My kids were begging me to make more when I used them all up. We made more and devoured them promptly.

Grasshopper Bark
Recipe from: Brown Eyed Baker

16 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
1 teaspoon mint extract (NOT peppermint)
Green food coloring
16 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 box (4.67-ounces) Andes Crème de Menthe Thins, unwrapped and coarsely chopped

1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

2. Melt the white chocolate over a double boiler (or in 30-second intervals in the microwave on 50% power, stirring after each). Once the chocolate is melted, remove from the heat and let sit for a few minutes to cool slightly, stirring occasionally. Add the mint extract, if using, and stir to combine. Add a few drops of green food coloring and stir until desired color is reached.

3. Spread the white chocolate mixture onto the prepared pan in an even layer (depending on the size of the pan and how thick you’d like your bark, you may not need the entire surface of the pan). Refrigerate for 15 minutes, until just about set.

4. Meanwhile, melt the semisweet chocolate over a double boiler (or in 30-second intervals in the microwave on 50% power, stirring after each). Once the chocolate is melted, remove from the heat and let sit for a few minutes to cool slightly, stirring occasionally. Pour over the white chocolate layer and spread evenly over top. Sprinkle with the chopped Andes mints and press down lightly to push the mints into the top chocolate layer. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, until completely set.

5. Cut the bark or break into uneven pieces. Store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator. When stored in the refrigerator, it will keep for at least 2 weeks.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Vanilla Dreamboat Dessert

This layer dessert is light and heavenly. My whole family loved it, and I have to admit that I kinda, sorta, maybe licked the pan clean.

*Found on High Heels and Grills via Pinterest

Vanilla Dreamboat Dessert

1 pkg regular golden Oreos, finely crushed
6 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 pkg. {8 oz.} cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. cold milk
1 tub {12 oz.} Cool Whip, divided
2 pkgs. {3.4 oz.} instant vanilla pudding
3 & 1/4 cups whole milk, cold
1 bag white chocolate chips


In a large bowl, combine Oreos and butter and mix until crumbs are fully coated.
Press the crumbs into an ungreased 9x13 inch baking dish.
Place the pan in the refrigerator while you work on the additional layers.
In a medium bowl, mix the cream cheese until light and fluffy.
Add 2 Tbsp. milk and sugar and mix well.
Fold in 1 & 1/4 cups Cool Whip.
Spread this mixture over the crust.
In another bowl, {sorry about all the dirty dishes!} combine the vanilla pudding with 3 & 1/4 cups milk and whisk until pudding starts to thicken.
Spread the pudding mixture over the previous cream cheese layer.
Let the dessert rest for about 5 minutes so the pudding can firm up further.
Spread the remaining Cool Whip over the top.
Sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the top.
Place in the freezer for 1 hour or refrigerator for 4 hours before serving.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes

This is one of my favorite things to make in a crock pot. It's so simple, but my whole family loves mashed potatoes, and it can turn an ordinary weeknight meal into something pretty special.

Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes

2 pounds red potatoes, cut into 2 inch pieces, peeled or unpeeled, your choice
½ cup sour cream 
1/4 cup butter
¼ cup milk
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Spray the inside of a slow cooker with cooking spray. Add chopped potatoes. Cover and cook 2 hours on high or 4 hours on low.
Add sour cream, butter, milk, garlic, salt, and pepper to potatoes. Use a hand mixer to blend together all ingredients. Give them a taste and add more salt if desired. Serve plain, or with any favorite toppings such as gravy, or cheese and bacon!