Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cheesecake Saturday, Mar 29 2014 

strawberry cheesecakeI love strawberries! Dipped in chocolate just takes them to a whole new decadent level. Sensual even! Now lets place thos on top of a creamy chocolate cheesecake infused with starwberry. What could be better after a wonderful meal? This is not a complicated recipe. but it is gourmet! Here is is……
Cheesecake:
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbs Strawberry Extract
1/2 cup baking cocoa

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 9-inch round baking pan with parchment paper. Let the edges extend over sides of pan and then spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray.

 

In large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy and smooth. Whisk eggs in a bowl; add to cream cheese mixture. Blend just until eggs are incorporated. Stir in sour cream and chocolate gradually.

 

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the top just starts to turn golden.

 

Let the cheesecake cool completely in its pan on a wire rack then cover and chill for 4 hours.

 

Garnish with Strawberries or Chocolate Covered Strawberries.

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Nutella Sea Salt Sandwich Cookies Friday, Mar 28 2014 

nutella sea salt

Ingredients

1 1/2 cup all-purpose unbleached flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

 

1 tsp baking soda

¼ tsp baking powder

¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

2 Tbsp Nutella

1 ½ cup sugar

1 egg

sea salt

Filling

13 oz jar Nutella

 

Heat oven to 375°F. Line baking sheets with Silpat or parchment paper.

Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and baking powder. Set aside. Cream together butter, Nutella and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in egg. Slowly add in flour mixture until evenly incorporated.

Roll dough into tablespoon-sized balls. Flatten balls with the bottom of a glass,(palm of hand works also they may adhere to a glass) about 2 ¼-inches in diameter. Sprinkle with sea salt. Bake 12 up on a sheet leaving 1-inch space between each cookie.

Bake for 8 minutes. Cool for 1 minute on baking sheet and carefully transfer to a cooling rack.

Assembly

Allow cookies to cool completely. Spread Nutella between two cookies to made sandwich.

Easter Bunny Cake Friday, Mar 28 2014 

223106_218274818185001_100000074547431_952812_7683539_nHow adorable is this bunny?!?! You can use your favorite cake recipe for this one. Carrot Cake works well. If you need a carrot cake recipe, I will be posting one soon! So here’s how to put this together. It does help to freeze the cake before you begin to assemble.

Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pans). Make, bake and cool cake as directed on box for two 8-inch or 9-inch round pans.

 

Reserve 1 layer for another use or to make a second bunny. Cut 1 layer in half as shown in diagram. Put halves together with frosting to make body. Place cake upright on cut edge on tray.

 

Cut out a notch about one-third of the way up one end of body to form head (small end) as shown in diagram. Attach half of cutout piece from tail with toothpicks. Frost with remaining frosting, rounding body on sides. Sprinkle with 1 cup coconut. Cut ears from construction paper; wrap ends that will be inserted into cake with plastic food wrap. Press into notch on top. Use jelly beans for eyes and nose.

 

Shake 1 cup coconut and 3 drops food color in tightly covered jar until evenly tinted. Surround bunny with tinted coconut. Add additional jelly beans if desired. Remove ears, plastic wrap and toothpicks before serving. Store loosely covered.

Oreo Cookies and Cream Friday, Mar 28 2014 

cookiesncreamA long time favorite around here is Oreo Cookies and Creme. It is super simple to make. Takes 3 ingredients!! Here they are

1 LARGE container of Cool Whip

2 boxes Jello Instant Chocolate Pudding

2/3 package of OREO cookies ( eat the other 1/3 while making, or use for garnish)

Make sure cool whip has thawed completley. Fold in instant pudding. Stir in crushed Oreos. Chill for at least several hours. Over night is best.

3 Ingredient Crock Pot Sweet Sour Meatballs! Saturday, Mar 22 2014 

mballssweetsourThis has to be the easiest recipe ever! Here’s what I used

1 BAG FARM RICH Meatballs

1 jar Heinz Chili Sauce

1 jar Smuckers grape jelly

Dump in the crock for 3 -4 hours on high or 6 hours on low. Serve with toothpicks!

sweetsourballs

Spring Lemon Cake Blue Raspberry Frosting Thursday, Mar 20 2014 

lemoncakelemoncake1In celebration of the first day of Spring tomorrow I whipped up this beauty!! It is a gorgeous Lemon Cake topped with Blue Raspberry Butter cream Frosting!! My daughter decided we should have a tea party with it 🙂 She is correct it is tea party worthy!!

Ingredients:
2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup milk

1/4 cup lemon juice
Preparation:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 2 9-inch cake pans.

In bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt with a wire whisk.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla,lemon and mix until completely combines. Slowly add flour alternately with milk. At end of addition batter should be smooth. Divide between 2 pans. Bake Cake Recipe for 20 to 25 minutes. Cool 5 minutes in pan, then invert onto a rack and cool completely before frosting.

Frosting

1/2 cup softened butter

3 cups powdered sugar

1 1/2 tsp rasp extract

blue food coloring

2 tbs heavy cream

Whip butter on medium for 1 – 2 mins , turn down to stir and slowly and sugar, once blended add cream and raspberry extract turn up  to medium for 2 mins, Frost cake

 

Easy Cappuchino Truffles Tuesday, Mar 18 2014 

trufflesThese little truffles are super easy to make, and eat!! They will go fast 🙂

Double Mocha Cappuccino Truffles ½ cup unsalted butter, softened ½ cup white sugar 1 ½ cups flour 1 cup chocolate cake mix 1 teaspoon vanilla 1/8 teaspoon salt 3-4 Tablespoons milk, 3- 4 tbs (to taste) instant double mocha cappuccino ….

Truffle Coating: 16 ounces (8 squares) almond bark (or white candy melts)

Mix all ingredients, make into 1 in balls,chill for 15, melt coating, dip let set ,enjoy

Garlic and Herb Pork Roast Sunday, Mar 16 2014 

porkYummm juicy, tender, flavorful pork! That’s what you will get with this one. Make sure you leave the fat on upside for the juice to return back into the meat!!

1 (4-pound) boneless pork loin, with fat left on

1 tablespoon salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried thyme or 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves

1 teaspoon dried basil or 2 teaspoons fresh basil leaves

1 teaspoon dried rosemary or 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary

Preheat oven to 475 degrees F.Place the pork loin on a rack in a roasting pan. Combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl. With your fingers, massage the mixture onto the pork loin, covering all of the meat and fat.Roast the pork for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 425 degrees F and roast for an additional hour. Test for doneness using an instant-read thermometer. When the internal temperature reaches 155 degrees F, remove the roast from the oven. Allow it to sit for about 20 minutes before carving. It will continue to cook while it rests.

Pistachio Nut Salad Friday, Mar 14 2014 

pistachioAhhh it is the weekend to be IRISH !!! Green beer, The Chicago River is flowing green today, and the corned beef will soon be in the crock pots all over!!! I am Irish, born on St Paddys day and named Partricia. You would think as a foodie , I ‘d be all over this one! Nope sorry, I just can’t bring myself to dye EVERYTHING green to eat! I will have some corned beef though 😉 So my green contribution to the Holiday is a simple Pistachio Nut Salad. Light fluffy creamy goodness!! Enjoy!!

1 carton (16 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed

1 package (3.4 ounces) instant pistachio pudding mix

6 to 7 drops green food coloring, optional

3 cups miniature marshmallows

1 can (20 ounces) crushed pineapple, undrained

In a large bowl, combine whipped topping, pudding mix and food coloring if desired. Fold in the marshmallows and pineapple. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Giant Swiss Cake Roll Thursday, Mar 13 2014 

Giant Swiss Cake RollThought I’d share another of hubbys fav cake,,,, taken to the next level of course! It can be a lot of work to put this together, but worth it!

Chocolate  Cake Recipe
Ingredients
yields 1   1/2 sheet cake

1/4 cup dutch processed cocoa powder
1/3 cup cake flour
1/4 t. salt
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. instant coffee
4 eggs, yolks and whites in separate bowls
1/2 cup sugar

1) Generously Line a half-sheet pan first with cooking spray or vegetable shortening then with parchment paper across the bottom of the pan.

2) Pre-heat the oven to 425 degree.

3) Sift together the dry ingredients (cocoa, flour, salt, baking powder, and coffee) and place in a small bowl to the side.

4) In a mixer with the whisk attachment whip the egg whites until they are at soft peaks.

5) In a small mixing bowl mix the egg yolks and sugar together until they become pale yellow. Add the dry ingredients to the egg yolk mixture. The batter will be stiff – don’t worry it should be.

6) Mix in half the egg white mixture until completely incorporated and the batter becomes easier to work with. Finally fold in the last half of the egg whites. Don’t over-stir the second half.

7) Pour onto the greased and parchment paper lined pan. Use a spatula to gently spread the batter evenly Bake for 6-8 minutes or until the cake is spongey to the touch.

8) Remove cake from the oven and allow it to cool in the pan for a few minutes. Tip the cake over, remove the cake, pull off the parchment paper, and roll up into a tea towel to cool. This gives the cake form memory and will keep it from cracking after you have filled it with icing and roll it up. Allow the cake to cool for 20 minutes.

9) After the cake has cooled spread the Creme Filling (recipe below) evenly across the entire cake. Roll the cake up (remove the towel!!)

10) Place the cake on a wire cooling rack set on top of the half sheet pan. Pour the chocolate ganache glaze over the top of the cake and allow to cool. repeat a second time

Slice the cake to serve

Creme Filling Recipe

Ingredients
yields 1 batch
1 stick butter, softened
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1 small (8oz) jar marshmallow creme
1 t. vanilla
1/4 t. salt
1 cup powdered sugar

Directions
1) Whip together the butter, shortening, creme, vanilla, and salt. Slowly add the sugar.

Chocolate Ganache Glaze Recipe
Ingredients
yields 1 batch
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 oz (about 2/3 cup) dark or milk chocolate roughly chopped (or chocolate chips)

Directions
1) Heat the cream over medium heat until it begins to simmer. Quickly remove from heat and pour in the chocolate. Stir with a whisk until all chocolate has melted. Pour over cake

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