Homemade Strawberry Sauce

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1 pint fresh strawberries

1/3 cup sugar

2 tsp vanilla

Wash, remove stems and ¼ the strawberries. Combine all 3 ingredients in a saucepan and cook over med heat, stirring often. Cook until sauce thickens, about 15 mins. Place ½ of the mixture in your blender (or use your immersion blender) and puree. No blender? Use a potato masher, works just fine:) Mix the puree in with the remaining ½ and refrigerate until serving.

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Dark Caramel Sauce

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Dark Caramel Sauce

½ cup butter

3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 tsp vanilla

Bring the sugar, butter and cream to a gentle boil and cook until thickened, about 7-8 mins. Remove from heat and add the vanilla. Cool and store in an airtight container. When serving, warm in the microwave for 30-40 seconds, til nice and pour-able:) So much better homemade than the store-bought stuff, and simple to make!

Brown Sugar Peach Crisp

July2018

Brown Sugar Peach Crisp

You know that first bite into a ripe and succulent yellow peach, where the peach juice runs down your chin? There is nothing like it! I’ve always thought of peaches as a luscious treat, whether they are baked or grilled or my preference: being picked from the tree and eaten fresh. Summer is peachy-yum time! This peach crisp is one of my favorites and a super easy dessert to make and pair with a pouring of heavy cream, a scoop of vanilla ice cream or cold whipping cream. In all honesty, I add all three!!

4-5 cups sliced fresh peaches

½ cup all-purpose flour

½ cup brown sugar (packed)

1 ½ tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp nutmeg

¼ tsp salt

1 cup of rolled oats

½ cup cold butter

Preheat oven to 350. Throw those sliced peaches into a greased 8×8 baking dish. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, oats and cut in the cold butter. Sprinkle over the peaches and press topping into peaches. Bake in the preheated oven until topping is lightly browned, about 45 mins.

Note #1-To make this recipe GF is easy, just switch out to GF flour, or Almond flour and there are GF rolled oats available in practically every market.

Note #2-Most people detest the peeling of peaches: here’s a trick, bring a large pot of water to boil, place the fresh peaches in and set your timer for 70 seconds, scoop them out and place in a large bowl of ice water, after a few seconds, pull them out, cut the peach in half and where the slice is, peal the skin right off!

White Chocolate Blondies

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Ahhh…summer is HERE! School is out (thank heavens) and the kiddos get to sleep in, something we adults don’t get to take advantage of unfortunately. But that’s okay, because we all have accepted that part of adulthood, more or less… Highlight is, they have to go back to school eventually and we don’t! So to celebrate, let’s all eat Blondie’s!

For those that aren’t familiar with Blondies…they’re like brownies, but blond. Not too complicated of an explanation. We all know the saying: “blondes have more fun” but I happen to be a brunette, so I tend to disagree with that saying, because I have plenty of fun!

White Chocolate Blondies

8 oz. white chocolate chips

½ cup butter, softened

1 TBSP vanilla extract

1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

1/8 tsp baking soda

2 eggs

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup sugar

1 ¼ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9×9 inch baking pan. Melt white chocolate chips and butter in a double boiler (which is a glass bowl that sits over a larger saucepan that has about 1 1/2 cups of simmering water) Whisk until smooth and set aside to cool.

In a mixing bowl, beat eggs on high speed until foamy, with the mixer still running at medium speed, slowly add the sugar and vanilla, and then drizzle the melted white chocolate mixture. Turn your mixer to slow speed, mix in the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda, til evenly mixed and then fold in the chocolate chips. Spread evenly into the prepared pan. Bake 25-27 minutes, until the middle comes out clean with a knife. Cool before cutting into bars. This recipe can also be baked more thin and crisp in a 9×13 pan with a shorter baking time of 15-17 mins and used for the “cookie” part of ice cream sandwiches, pair with chocolate ice cream in the center? YUM!

Strawberry Shortcake

One of the things I love so much about living here in California, is the year-round supply of fresh strawberries! This recipe is a little twist on the standard shortcake recipe and my friends and family are big fans of this, leftovers do not exist. It’s perfect for pot-lucks or family dinners. Serves about 8, unless you’re related to me, then about 4:) Best part? Super easy and quick to make.

Shortcake:

1/4 cup sour cream

1-1/4 cups cold milk, divided

4 Tbsp. sugar

2-1/4 cups all-purpose baking mix (Bisquick)

Filling:

1 pkg. 3.4 oz. vanilla instant pudding

1 container of whipped topping, thawed

Topping:

4 cups sliced fresh strawberries

1/3 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 425°F. Whisk sour cream, 1/2 cup milk and 3 Tbsp. sugar in large bowl until blended. Add baking mix; stir just until moistened. Lumpy is okay! Spread onto the base of 9-inch round cake pan sprayed with cooking spray. Bake 12 to 15 min. or until golden brown. Cool 10 min, remove to a wire rack. Cool completely.

Whisk pudding mix and remaining milk in medium bowl for about 2 min. Whip in the whipped topping. In a separate bowl, toss strawberries with the 1/3 cup sugar. (Before assembly, drain a little of the strawberry juice out to prevent sogginess) Cut cake horizontally in half; place 1 layer on your serving dish, Spread ½ of the whipped topping/vanilla mix, the place ½ of the strawberry mixture. Repeat the layers again! Enjoy your berrylicious!

Note: for those Gluten-free, they do make a gluten-free baking mix, Bisquick brand is pretty darn awesome. Same with the pudding mix, Jell-O brand is gluten-free. Enjoy!

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Berry Tartlets

tartlets

Okay this is possibly the easiest dessert known to man! Here are your ingredients:

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Plus whatever berries you prefer (I slice up the strawberries) , my kids are big fans of blueberries, so I usually omit those. This is easily made into a 9-inch cracker crust also.

Spread the softened mascarpone in the base of your tartlet shells. About 1 TBSP per shell. In a large bowl mix your prepared berries with the glaze, stir gently. Scoop into your shells….Like I said, the easiest dessert ever!!! Top with whipped cream is desired. Yummo!

Creamy Lemonade Pie

This pie is one of my all-time favorites, it’s creamy and tart and frankly, I’d probably eat a shoe if it was served on a buttery graham cracker crust! Now, I do admit that I’ve been on quite the citrus kick lately. But with Springtime here, lemon anything just feels right! You can serve this with whipped cream, but it’s fantastic just on it’s own. Happy Spring!

Crust:

2 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs

1/3 cup sugar

2/3 cup butter, melted

Or you can use 1 ready-made 9-inch graham cracker crust, however, when you make it from scratch, there’s more butter involved, which personally makes me happy!

Filling:

1 5-oz can evaporated milk

1 3.4-oz box of instant lemon pudding mix, (the small box)

2 8-oz packages of cream cheese, softened

¾ cup frozen lemonade concentrate

Preheat oven to 350 if making your own crust.

In a medium mixing bowl, combined all crust ingredients and whisk together until well combined. Press graham cracker crust into a greased 9” deep dish pie dish and make sure to go up the sides. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and let it cool.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the evaporated milk and the pudding mix and whisk/beat for 2 minutes (the mixture will be thick).

In a separate mixing bowl, beat the softened cream cheese until smooth and fluffy. Slowly mix in the lemonade concentrate. After it’s well combined, mix in the pudding mixture. Pour the filling into the cooled graham cracker crust. Cover and place in the fridge for 3-4 hours to set. Don’t forget to lick the spatula though:)

Now for those who are gluten-free, they do sell gluten-free graham crackers to use for the crust. As far as the pudding mix goes, I’ve found that the mix made by Kraft (jell-o brand) is gluten-free, non-brand names may not be the same, so check the ingredients first.

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