Saturday, January 17, 2015

Coconut Yogurt Cream Pie


I love greek yogurt!  I recently bought Chobani coconut yogurt thinking it was vanilla and wow what a happy mistake, I love coconut and this yogurt is really delicious.  I have been eating this Chobani coconut greek yogurt almost every morning with fresh blueberries.  

I was really excited to make this pie and incorporate this yummy coconut yogurt.  This recipe is super easy and quick and delicious.  It's a really light and airy pie and you can definitely make it low fat by swapping out the reduced fat version of 4 ingredients which is what I did.


Ingredients:

2 containers Chobani coconut greek yogurt
1-8oz block of light cream cheese, softened
1 tub of light cool whip whipped topping, thawed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup of flaked sweetened coconut, toasted
1 reduced fat graham cracker pie crust


Preparation:

Toast coconut on a cookie sheet in a 350 F. degree oven until golden brown about  10 minutes.  Check often to make sure it doesn't burn.  Remove from oven and let cool.

In a large bowl using a hand mixer beat together cream cheese and coconut yogurt.  Add sugar and beat until full incorporated and smooth.   Using a rubber spatula fold in the entire tub of cool whip to the yogurt mixture until it is light and fluffy.  Poor coconut yogurt cream mixture into prepared pie crust.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes up to overnight.  Right before serving sprinkle toasted coconut all over the top of the pie.  Slice, serve and ENJOY!!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Mini Date and Walnut Cakes


These are the easiest little yummy desserts.  There are only 4 ingredients and you just mix everything together and bake in a mini muffin pan, you just can't screw these up.  The outcome are these little crispy, chewy, nutty, "cakes" Be careful, these are really delicious and before you know it you've eaten 12 all by yourself.  Save some for the rest of your family :)


Ingredients:

3 eggs beaten
1/2 cup dark brown sugar packed
1 cup chopped dates (you can buy dates already chopped in a box at the grocery store, so easy!
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix all ingredients together and spoon into a well greased mini muffin pan.  Fill each almost to the top of the pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until cakes are golden brown.

**Do not line the tins with paper liners before baking.  It's best to heavily grease the mini muffin tins and bake directly in the greased tins.  Then pop out the cakes and put each one into a liner and top with half a candied cherry.

Makes 24 mini cakes


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Marshmallow Snowmen Stirrers


How cute are these little guys?  My kids are obsessed with hot chocolate lately so I thought it would be fun to dress up their mugs as an activity one day after school.   These cute marshmallow stirrers are so easy to make and the kids can definitely help.  They would also be cute to have pre-made for a holiday party as a stirrer or just a yummy little winter treat.

Ingredients:

Wooden skewers
Large marshmallows
Rolo chocolate candy for hat (or any small round chocolate candy. i.e; junior mints etc.)
Orange fruit slices (or any orange gummy candy that can be cut to look like a carrot)
White icing/frosting (very small amount for glue to adhere the nose)
Black writing gel

Preparation:

First put 1 marshmallow onto the skewer, next add half a marshmallow for the head.  If you squeeze the marshmallow a little you can get it to be slightly smaller than body.  Last add the Rolo for the hat.   Cut your orange candy slices into small triangles for the nose.  You can adhere the nose with a tiny bit of white icing.   Use the black writing gel to make eye and 3 buttons down the body.   I found my gel was coming out too fast and making huge blobs so I put a blob of writing gel on a paper plate and then using the pointy side of another skewer I dipped it in the black gel and then used that to add my eyes and buttons.


If when all is said and done and you don't feel like making these from scratch you could always buy these adorable peep snowmen at a the grocery store which are really cute too!  Please let us know if you try these.  We would LOVE to see pics of your little snowmen on our Facebook page ;)  Just click the link below.
















Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Chocolate Pecan Pie


Baking has always been an amazing distraction for me. When I am stressed out or overwhelmed by a task, I stop what I'm doing and head straight to the kitchen to immerse myself in baking. It is a relaxing activity that instantly releases all my stress and worry. So when I sat down this morning to write 5 long and boring papers for my graduate school portfolio, I knew it wasn't going to be long before I was in the kitchen baking. I lasted about 2 hours LOL. Since Thanksgiving had just ended, I still had my mom's pecan pumpkin pie on my mind (and all the ingredients still in the kitchen). I decided on a chocolate pecan pie. I have always wanted to make one and thought that this was the perfect time to test out a recipe. This recipe is fantastic! Absolutely delish! and very easy to make 


Ingredients:

1 prepared frozen pie crust
1 cup dark corn syrup
¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. kosher salt
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup of melted semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 ¼ cups roughly chopped pecans, plus ½ cup halves

Preparation:

Heat oven to 350°  Whisk corn syrup, sugars, butter, vanilla, salt, chocolate and eggs in a bowl; fold in chopped pecans. Distribute filling evenly over dough; arrange pecan halves decoratively around the inside edge of the pie crust. Bake until crust is golden brown and filling is set, about 1 hour. Let cool completely before serving.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Thanksgiving101 - Cranberry Strawberry Compote

You can't have Thanksgiving without cranberry sauce.  This is my version.  I use strawberries to help sweeten it up a little more and add extra texture.  This year I decided to add a little lemon juice and cinnamon and it really came out delicious.

Ingredients:

1 bag fresh cranberries
1 quart strawberries, diced
1 cup sugar
1 cup  water
Lemon juice from 1/2 a lemon
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preparation:

Place cranberries, water and sugar in a medium saucepan and cook on med/hi until cranberries start to burst.  Stir cranberry mixture and add in diced strawberries.  Let cook on med - med/hi heat stirring occasionally until fruit is cooked down but still a little chunky about 10 minutes. Add lemon juice and cinnamon and cook for an additional minute or two.   Remove from stove and transfer hot mixture into a heat proof bowl and chill in refrigerator until cold, about 1-2 hrs or overnight.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Vanilla Wafer Nut Brittle


I needed a dessert to make on very short notice and I didn't have time to go to the store.  I pulled together half a bag of this and half a bag of that and made this really delicious cookie brittle.  It was a HUGE hit and now I will definitely be making again.  I think the best part is that you really don't need all the exact ingredients.   All you need is butter and brown sugar to make the brittle and everything else you can really wing.  Just add any cookie you like and a combo of nuts and chocolate and you will have a very popular treat.


Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter (2 sticks)
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 box Vanilla Wafer cookies
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup chocolate chips (any variety)
1/4-1/2 cup toffee bits (you can buy packaged in the grocery store or break up a toffee bar like a Heath candy bar into small pieces)

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

On a lined cookie sheet lay out Vanilla Wafer cookies in a single layer.  Sprinkle almonds and pecans  over top of cookies and set pan aside.

Meanwhile in a small saucepan melt together butter and brown sugar.   Bring mixture to a boil and continue boiling over medium heat for about 2 minutes.

Carefully pour boiling sugar mixture over the top of the cookies and nuts to cover completely.  Place in hot oven and bake for about 20 minutes until pan is hot and bubbling.

Remove from oven and pour chocolate chips over the top and spread into a smooth layer with an off set spatula or the back of a spoon.  Then sprinkle the top of the melted chocolate with toffee bits.  Let brittle cool completely until hardened.  You can put the cookie sheet with the warm brittle in the freezer to speed up the process.  Break into bite size pieces and try to eat just one!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Cinnamon Swirl Loaf

Susan brought this to our last family brunch.  It was a huge hit especially with the guys.   If you like cinnamon you will LOVE this easy quick bread.  


Ingredients:

2 cups All Purpose / Plain flour 
1 1/2 cups regular sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 egg
1/4 cup canola oil
1 Tbsp cinnamon powder
The Glaze:
1/4 cup powdered / icing sugar
2 tsp milk

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 °F (180 °C). Grease a 9-in loaf pan.  Combine the flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, salt, buttermilk, egg, vanilla and oil; stir just until moistened.  In a small bowl, combine cinnamon and remaining sugar. Pour half of the batter into bread pan; sprinkle with half of the cinnamon-sugar. Spread with remaining batter and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon-sugar.  Using a skewer or knife, cut through the batter to swirl a few times. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan before removing to wire rack. Cool completely.  For the glaze, combine icing / powdered sugar and enough milk to reach desired consistency; drizzle over loaf.  Allow to cool.