Tag Archives: desserts

My Favorite July 4 Recipes {Tested and Proven}

One more day and then it’s July 4 and that means getting with friends for eats and drinks.  Today I wanted to share some of my favorite recipes that I’ve made and have proven to be hits.  Whatever you decide to put on the grill,  these extras will be perfect with your meat, chicken or fish of choice.

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Pasta Salad and the Perfect Salad

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Fruit salad with a yummy fruit dip

Pistachio Salad close up

Pistachio salad

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Roasted cherry tomatoes and fresh herbs

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Smore Pops

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Apple crisp from my 1962 Betty Crocker childrens cookbook

I don’t know about you, but I’m getting hungry!  What are you making for this fantastic day?  Have a happy and safe July 4 celebration.

-renee

Memorial Day Sweets

For those working today I hope getting up wasn’t too hard.   I took an extra day of vacation for some “me” time and to get some things done that I never seem to do.  Like making some doctors appointments, planning summer vacation, haircut and color, etc.

We hosted a BBQ for our neighborhood clan over the weekend.  It turned out great.  Everyone brought something; scrumptious appetizers and salads.  We furnished hamburgers, rib-eyes, drinks and dessert.  We even were called the hostess with the mostess as we were able to provide each person (8) a golf umbrella to use.  It rained some after dinner when we were sitting around the fire.  It was just like camping!

The sweet part is what I wanted to share with you today.  Simple, but tasty.

Smore Pops Titled

It is the time of year to make smores.  I realized too late in the day our skewers were missing.  I searched high and low but I couldn’t find them so I did the next best thing.  I had made a birthday bouquet with marshmallows for my nieces husband before so thought I would use the same concept.  It took five minutes and all you need is a bag of chocolate chips, a bag of marshmallows, graham crackers and lollipop sticks purchased at Michaels.  I had some on hand.

Stick the skewer in the marshmallow.  Dip into the melted chocolate, then into some crumbled graham cracker.  I measured a piece of craft foam and shoved into a red pot I head on hand ahead of time so I had somewhere to place the pops.  Then I just added some tissue paper for some pops of color.

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Smore Pops

I also made some cupcakes from a box mix (I think Pilsbury Strawberry) and grabbed some marshmallow whipped frosting which I put in a baggie and used a decorating tip to give the cupcake some swirl.  I already had the red, white and blue liners and the little flags for decoration.  I keep all the baking kind of stuff like this in a basket in the pantry.  It’s amazing how much I have collected from shopping the dollar aisles at places like  Michaels and Target.  The cupcakes were simple and they were delicious.

Cupcake 1

cupcake 2

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Did you make any special patriotic decorated sweets for Memorial Day?  Have a good Tuesday.  Do you watch The Voice?  Who do you think is going home tonight?

-renee

Chocolate Mousse

How was everyone’s Christmas?  Ours was pretty low key.  We celebrated with my family on the 22nd so it was just the 3 of us for Christmas day.  Christmas Eve day our flatscreen TV in the family room called it quits.  Perfect timing, right?  Maybe it was.  We still have the small TV in the loft, but ended up taking naps, listening to Christmas music and playing rummy.  Lot’s of rummy and I am the standing winner in our house.  We also had a delicious dinner with our favorite, prime rib.  We’ve been scouting around for good prices and will get a new TV soon, but installation may take longer, as we will need to hire an installer to help mount it on the wall.  I’m guessing with Christmas just over the wait time may be a bit longer but we’ll see.

It was nice to have the entire family this year and know that no one had to leave for an expected visit to Grandparents, in-laws, etc.  This year, 2012, both my nieces got married and my nephew bought a house that he and his steady girlfriend are living in.  I was in charge of the dessert so I made Chocolate Mousse.  This recipe was given to me by a friend at work whose brother was a chef at this Seattle restaurant.  I’m not mentioning the business because I don’t want top get anyone in trouble.  But I will tell you this mousse is light and creamy and oh so good.  You must try it.  Prep time is about 30 minutes.  The longest pat of it is whipping the cream.  The picture does not do it justice, AT ALL!  I doubled the recipe for our 14 and there was very little left.

Chocolate Mousse

Ingredients

· 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened

· 1/2 cup cocoa powder (I used Ghiradelli sweet ground chocolate and cocoa)

· 1 cup powdered sugar

· 1-1/2 tsp. vanilla

· 1-1/2 cups heavy cream

Preparation:

1. In large bowl, combine cream cheese and cocoa. Beat well until smooth and fluffy.

2. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth.

3. In medium bowl, beat heavy cream until stiff peaks form; fold into chocolate cream cheese mixture.

4. Chill before serving.

5. Enjoy!

Hope you enjoy and have a great 2012 day.  There are only a few left!

-renee

The {Apple} Crisp Is Back!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends and wore your most comfortable pair of pants!  My son stayed in Florida and celebrated with friends.  He was here the first part of November to be an usher at my nieces wedding and he’ll be here at Christmas for a long stay.  We went to my brother and sis-in-laws and we brought the apple crisp.  This is a recipe from a children’s Betty Crocker Cookbook my mom gave me when I was a child myself and it’s the only recipe I’ve ever used.

I first posted about apple crisp a couple of years ago and I posted without pictures so I’ve included this time.  If your looking for low calories then don’t try this!

Apple Crisp Close Up 1

In a 9 X 13 baking dish, core, peel and slice 8 cups of apples.

Sprinkle with a mixture of 1/4 cup water, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Using a pastry blender , mix together until crumbly 1 cup sugar, 3/4 cup sifted flour, and 1/3 cup of butter.  Spread crumb mixture evenly over the apples. Tip: a knife and fork to cut and mix works well too.

Bake for 40 minutes at 350.  Serve warm with vanilla ice cream, cool whip or whip cream.

My changes – I doubles the cinnamon mixture and the crumb mixture because that’s how my hubby likes it.  I do similar doubling on my Overnight French Toast.

I never make 1 pan, always 2.  Everyone seems to like it.  I hope you do to.

In the Bowl 1

 -renee

Blueberry Banana Bread

Big shout out to Natalie @ Designer Bags and Dirty Diapers because the recipe I’m sharing today is one she featured on her blog several months ago.  And speaking of blogs, be sure to check out the pics of Natalie’s little guy. ADORABLE!  I miss those days.

According to Natalie, this Blueberry Banana Bread recipe is low calorie and we all like that.  She says “each loaf makes 16 servings and each serving (a slice) only has 2 grams of fat and 183 calories”. 

The cast of characters separated by dry and liquid ingredients.

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One addendum however.  I did not have any buttermilk.  If you run into this problem, just stir 1 tablespoon of vinegar into 1 cup of milk and wait 5 minutes.  Just toss out what you don’t need. 103

The instructions are pretty simple; mix the dry ingredients together, mix the liquid ingredients together, mix everything together, add the blueberries.  Bake, add a glaze when partially cool.  I totally agree with Natalie and added a lot more blueberries than the recipe called for. 

I also have found that my oven bakes banana bread better in a bundt pan than a loaf pan.  It just seems to cook more evenly.  If you have problems, consider trying this.

Without further blah, blah, blah, here’s the bread.  Doesn’t it look yummy?  It’s fruit smackin good.  In fact, I want to use this recipe to make blueberry muffins.

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Here’s some pics of the bread all sliced up and served on the Glass Dessert Stand I made for my sis-in-law.

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Here’s the recipe…

Blueberry Banana Bread

2 ½ cups flour

1 cup sugar

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

1 ½ cups mashed bananas

¼ cup buttermilk

2 Tbsp canola oil

2 large egg whites

1 large egg

1 tsp grated lemon zest

1 cup blueberries

Glaze

½ cup powdered sugar

2 tsp lemon juice

½ tsp grated lemon zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl combine the bananas and *buttermilk, lemon juice, canola oil, eggs and egg white, and lemon zest. Stir flour into the liquid mixture. Stir in *blueberries.

Pour batter into *9x5x3 inch loaf pan that has been coated with baking spray. Bake one hour. Cool 15 minutes, turn onto rack and add glaze.

*Changes I made

I did not have buttermilk and made my own. Mix 1 Tbsp vinegar with 1 cup milk and let sit for 5 minutes. Throw away what you don’t need

I used 2 cups of blueberries and it wasn’t too much. In fact, I think this recipe would make great blueberry muffins!

I always bake my banana bread in a Bundt pan. It just seems to cook better

Hope you enjoy and happy Saturday and happy 3 day weekend!

latte-1 Lattenene

Glass Dessert Stand

I love/enjoy/have passion towards finding the right present for a family member or friend.  Many times that means I make something.  There have been many varieties of deserts stands, cake stands, plate tiers in blog land, including myself.  Not long ago I created a stand from old plates to house my jewelry, see here.

I recently made another one, this time 3 tiers of glass plates.  It was a present for my sis-in-law.  I originally started with 3 different looking plates and 3 short vases, first using metal/glass glue to adhere a vase to each plate.

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Then I tried (key word tried) to glue two of the plates together.  I tried 2 times and even let the plates sit for over 24 hours.  There were too many gaps created by grooves in the bottom of the plate and they would adhere to each other.

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I ended up using three of the same plate, the plainer bottom one in this picture above.  Once all 3 were properly attached I added some clear sealant where the vases glued to the plates, top and bottom.

I think it turned out pretty good; my sis-in-law liked it.  See for yourself…

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The banana-blueberry bread was really tasty too.  I’ll share that recipe later this week.

latte-1 Lattenene

I’m linking to the following blogs this week:

Monday

   MotivatedMondayatBeColorful

Tuesday 

Wednesday                                                                         

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