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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Gingersnaps

I love gingersnaps! They make your house smell like Christmas and they practically melt in your mouth as a great cookie should always do! I like my cookies soft in the inside and a little crunch when you bite into them. This recipe took me about 8 tries to figure out the perfect combination of ingredients, but I finally conquered the GINGERSNAP!

1 1/2 cups butter, softened

2 cups sugar

2 large eggs

1/2 cup dark molasses

4 cups AP flour

2 TBSP ground ginger

4 tsp baking soda

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp salt

1 package sugared ginger-chopped into small pieces. (I find it in the produce section and on the Asian food isle)

In your mixer bowl, beat the butter till creamy, add the sugar and mix well. Add the eggs and molasses until well blended.

In a separate mixing bowl, whisk all your dry ingredients together. Turn your mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Mix until well incorporated, add the chopped candied ginger and mix again.

Using a medium size cookie scoop, scoop the dough and roll into a ball and roll the ball in course or raw sugar and place on your cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper.

Bake at 325 for about 10 mins, just until the tops start to crackle a little. Remove from the oven to cool completely. Yummo! Trust me your house will smell amazing!

gingersnaps

 

Key Lime Pie Bars

I happen to adore lemons or any kind of lemonade, lemon curd, lemon bars, lemon cheesecake, lemon-anything! I happen to adore that tart taste that makes your mouth pucker a little. I also happen to LOVE Key Lime Pie. So I thought, why not combine the two? The best of citrus-bar-land! I’m pretty sure that isn’t an actual term, but I’m going with it! Key lime juice is yellow, so if you’d like to stick with a green theme for St. Patty’s Day, add a few drops of green food coloring to the filling mixture.

Crust:

1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs

2 TBSP sugar

¼ tsp salt

7 TBSP melted butter (salted)

Filling:

7 oz-softened cream cheese

14-oz can sweetened condensed milk

3 egg yolks

1 whole egg

2 TBSP lime zest

½ cup + 1 TBSP key lime juice

½ tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9×9 pan with foil and set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine the crumbs, sugar, salt and melted butter. Press evenly into the lined pan. Bake for 10 mins at 350. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese til smooth, add the condensed milk and then add one egg yolk at a time, mixing well after each. Add the remaining whole egg and key lime juice, zest, vanilla. Mix well. Pour over the hot crust, return to the oven and bake for another 20 mins (the top shouldn’t brown). Remove and chill in the fridge for 3-4 hours.

Note: This recipe can be gluten free, if you switch out the graham crackers for gluten free ones, just use 8 TBSP of melted butter.

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Leprechaun Bait

This a fun kiddo recipe!  Perfect for March and St. Patrick’s Day….this recipe makes a large amount, perfect for little bags to give away to classmates…it’s also gluten-free:)

6 cups Rice Chex
2 cups Lucky Charms
1 cup crushed GF pretzels
1  11.4 oz Spring plain M&M’s (pastel colored;) )
14 oz white chocolate chips
3/4 cup powdered sugar

Mix the first 4 ingredients in a large bowl.  In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chips, 45 seconds at 50% power. Stir and continue in the microwave…30-40 seconds each round until completely melted.
Pour the melted chocolate over the mix and dust the powdered sugar while stirring for an even coating.

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Gooey Butter Cookies

I adore hand-written recipes, seems as if it’s a lost art these days. I treasure my antique collection of recipe books, all hand-written. I love the little notes written on the sides about small tweaks to the recipe. I believe it shows a lot about the baker/cooks’ personality:)  This recipe hails from one of my sweet patients, she grew up in St. Louis and Gooey butter cookies and cake are favorites from that area. Her mother used to bake these all the time for her kids for a special treat. I’m so glad she shared this with me!

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