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Fruit Kebabs

25 Apr

fruit kebabsThis is an appetizing way to serve fruit-one that will appeal to youngsters as well as to adults. I like to serve the kebabs along with spiced bran muffins for a healthy breakfast. They also make great snacks or dessert. You can make kebabs with any fruit that will stay on the wooden skewer! The picture shown is just a variety of ways to make them. Kids love to make them too, just make sure there is adult supervision.

Peach Crepes

25 Apr

This sophisticated dessert is light and refreshing. Making crepes is somewhat easy, as long as you allow yourself leeway for initial trial and error. Don’t be disappointed, like I was, if your first crepe or two aren’t perfect, the pan has to season just right and be at just the right heat. Although this recipe yields 8 crepes, you will have enough batter for 12 to 14. For a really elegant presentation, top each crepe with a few blueberries or garnish with a slice or orange.

peach crepe

For the crepes you will need:

1/2 C. all-purpose flour

1 large egg

3 Tablespoons Amaretto-flavored nondairy creamer

1/2 C. milk

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

vegetable oil cooking spray

For the filling you will need:

2 C. freshly squeezed orange juice

2 tablespoons orange liqueur

8 peaches, peeled and thinly sliced

1 teaspoon honey

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon orange zest

Let us start by putting on a french beret and saying oui, oui!! I just love cooking continental! I like to pretend I am in another country. Ok…..put the flour into a mixing bowl and make a well in the flour and add the egg. Whilst whisking, pour the nondairy creamer and the milk. Continue to whisk until the batter is smooth and free of lumps, then whisk in the nutmeg and vanilla. Cover the batter and set it aside for about 30 minutes. We are now ready to make the crepes.

Preheat an 8-inch nonstick crepe pan or a small, heavy nonstick frying pan for about 1 minute over a medium-high heat, Spray it twice with the vegetable oil spray, Spoon just enough batter into the pan to form a thin layer over the bottom, about 3 tablespoons, and tilt your pan to spread the batter evenly. Whew! Cook the crepes for about 1 to 2 minutes or just until the edge is firm and starts to separate from the bottom. Flip the crepe with a spatula and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more on the other side, until golden brown. Carefully remove the crepe and transfer onto waxed paper. Continue this process, stacking them between the waxed paper, until you have 8 nice crepes.

For the filling, combine the orange juice, liqueur, peaches, and honey in a medium frying pan. This needs to cook for about 10 minutes or until the liquid turns nice and thick, like syrup.

To assemble your beautiful, hard-worked for crepes, lay a crepe on an individual serving plate. Mound 1/3 cup of the peach slices on the bottom half of each and flip the top half over. Spoon a tablespoon of the peach syrup over each and dust with cinnamon and powdered sugar.

There you have it…….peach crepes! Don’t get discouraged if your first few crepes fall apart, mine did! Practice and determination show the fruit of your labor with this beautiful crepe.

 

Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries

25 Apr

stuffed strawberriesNo – bake desserts are the perfect summertime delights. No oven? No problem! Ah….the strawberry……a blissful reward from summer’s bounty! I like to make these little beauties for Memorial Day or 4th of July gatherings. Most people think it takes gourmet skills to prepare such delights, but you and I know that it only takes a little time and patience; and trial and error! Try to pick out berries that are somewhat uniform in size and are full.

You will need:

1 lb. Large Strawberries

8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened

4 Tablespoons Powdered Sugar

1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

Graham Cracker crumbs, for garnish

Okay…..lets get ready! We need to rinse the strawberries really well to remove any dirt or debris. Now, cut around the top carefully and clean out with a pairing knife. Strawberries are delicate, so be gentle! Next, in a medium mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract until very creamy. Put the cream cheese mixture in a pastry bag or in a ziplock bag with a corner snipped off and fill your strawberries. Once your strawberries are nicely filled, dip in graham cracker crumbs for effect. You may also drizzle chocolate on top of your creation too. If you are not serving immediately, put in refrigerator.

No one needs to know how easy they are to make……just accept the applause and say ” Thank you!”

Snicker Salad with Carmel Sauce

25 Apr

When the weather turns warm, the last thing you want to do is stay in the kitchen slaving over a hot oven! I have several “no bake” recipes that I will share today. The first is this wonderful Snicker Salad. My sister, Lisa, had told me about this salad. I had ever heard of it before coming to Iowa. Most folks up here call this a salad, I call it dessert. Either way….I Like It!!  It is light and sweet with a tasteful variety of textures. Let me know if you like it!!!

snicker saladI didn’t add a carmel drizzle to this after I made it, but it looks beautiful with it and tastes even better!

You will need:

6 Regular size Snicker’s candy bars

6 Apples – Red Delicious or Granny Smith

1 5 oz. Vanilla Instant Pudding ( Dry)

1/2 C. Milk

1 12oz. Container Cool Whip

1/2 C. Carmel Ice Cream topping, if desired

To start making this scrumptious salad, whisk your pudding along with the milk and Cool Whip until combined. Set aside…..just for a few minutes. Now, chop and de seed the apples. Also, cut the Snickers into bite size pieces. I have tried using the smaller individual wrapped ones and they are much harder to work with. Now its time to put this baby together! Mix your apples, Snickers into the pudding/Cool Whip mixture. Really get in there and mix it good!! At this point you may add a carmel drizzle, if you like. Chill at least 1 hour before serving.

S’mores Ice Cream Cake

17 Apr

smores cake

This wonderfully delicious ice cream cake is another one of my favorites! Through many trials and errors this recipe is, by far, worth the effort.  Everyone has had s’mores ’round a campfire, right? I have many pleasant memories of family times spent by a campfire. Whether it was camping with my parents and sisters as a kid or spending a quiet evening with my husband by our garden fire pit, memories come flooding back. Let me know what your favorite campfire moments are! Maybe this ice cream cake will conjure up old memories of good times spent around a campfire or will put you in the mood to make some new memories. Either way, this ice cream cake is sure to please!

You will need:

10 graham crackers

2 Tbsp. butter, at room temperature

4 oz. bittersweet chocolate

1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk

1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

2 cups heavy whipping cream

1 cup mini marshmallows

1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Firstly, go over and preheat Mister Oven to 350 degrees. Nice & toasty! Next, line the bottom (only) of an 8 inch springform pan with parchment paper. Parchment paper has become my new best friend!! Now, in a food processor, pulse 8 graham crackers, until finely ground. If you don’t have a food processor, the old-fashioned way of using a plastic bag and rolling-pin to crush the crackers will suffice. Add the butter now until well mixed. Press the graham cracker mixture into the bottom of your prepared pan. Bake until golden brown, about 8 – 10 minutes. Let cool completely, about 25 minutes.

Now, you are ready to make the sinful chocolate layer! Start by melting the chocolate (not the chips) in the microwave, let cool slightly. Use your electric mixer to beat the chocolate along with, half the sweetened condensed milk and 1/4 tsp. of vanilla in a large bowl until completely combined. Add 1 cup of the heavy cream and beat until you have thick, stiff peaks form. Fold in the marshmallows. Now we are ready to spoon the mixture on top of the cooled crust. Spread it evenly. Are you getting excited yet?! Clean the bowl. We are going to use the same bowl to make our ice cream for the top. Using an electric mixer, beat the heck out of the remaining condensed milk, vanilla and heavy cream until thick, stiff peaks form (again!). Usually, 3 – 5 minutes. Fold in 1/2  cup of the mini chocolate chips. Spread this on top of the chocolate layer. Almost done!! Next, break the remaining 2 graham crackers into tiny pieces. Sprinkle them along with the rest of the mini chocolate chips over the top. Cover it well and freeze until firm, at least 8 hours.

When you are ready to serve, unmold your creation and transfer to a pretty platter. Let it sit for 5 minutes before slicing. Viola…….one scrumptious, s’mores ice cream cake!! Enjoy…….

Strawberry Ice Cream Cheesecake

13 Apr

straw. ice cream ch cake This recipe calls for a bit more preparation than my other simple recipe for ice cream. The ingredients are about the same, but the process is a bit more intricate. I have made this with both a food processor and a blender, and the food processor is much better. You can still make it even if you don’t have a food processor, it just takes patience!

You will need:

1 14 oz. can Sweetened Condensed Milk

1/2 C. Cream Cheese, at room temperature

1 1/2 Teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract

2 C. Heavy Cream

1 lb. Strawberries

2 Teaspoons Sugar

Line an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2- in. loaf pan with 2 pieces of parchment paper, leaving a 3-in. overhang on all 4 sides. Using an electric mixer, beat the condensed milk, cream cheese and vanilla in a large bowl until combined. Add the heavy cream and beat until thick, stiff peaks form, 3 to 5 minutes. Meanwhile, using a food processor or blender, puree half of the strawberries. Spoon half of the vanilla cream mixture into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly. Tap the pan to get rid of any air bubbles. Fold 1/3 of the strawberry puree into the remaining cream mixture until combined. Spoon remaining strawberry puree over the pink cream mixture and fold in, leaving streaks of the puree to create swirled cream. Spoon over the vanilla cream in pan. Gently tap the pan to distribute the mixture and get rid of any air bubbles ( spreading will destroy the swirls). Cover and freeze for at least 8 hours and will keep for 2 weeks.

Thirty minutes before serving, cut the remaining strawberries into pieces and toss with the sugar. Let sit, tossing occasionally, for 25 minutes.

When ready to serve, invert the cake onto a platter and remove the pan and parchment paper. Spoon the berries (and any juices) over the top.

 

No – Fuss Ice Cream

13 Apr

van ice creamHere is the scoop: This three ingredient icy treat can be whipped up in only 10 minutes ( and you don’t need a fancy machine). Then you can toss in fruit, chocolate or any other ingredient for a truly crowd-pleasing dessert.

You will need:

2 C. Heavy Cream

1 14 oz. can Sweetened Condensed Milk

1 1/2 Teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract

Using an electric mixer, beat the heavy cream, condensed milk and vanilla in a large bowl until thick, stiff peaks form, 3 to 5 minutes.

Transfer mixture into a loaf pan or other freezer-safe container, cover and freeze until firm, at least 8 hours. Will last up to 2 weeks!