Peach Lemonade Coolers
2 medium sized, ripe peaches, peeled, halved and pitted
1/2 cup lemonade
1 ounce vodka of choice
Puree the peaches and lemonade in a blender until smooth.
Pour vodka over ice in a rocks glass. Top off with peach-lemonade puree.
Peach Lemonade Coolers
Sticky Toffee Pudding
Sticky Toffee Pudding(Serves 6-8)
8 oz. pitted dates, chopped
1¼ cups boiling water
½ cup softened buttered (3½ tbsp. for batter, use the rest to butter the pan
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 tbsp. black treacle or dark molasses
1 tbsp. Lyle’s Golden Syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups self-rising cake flour
1 tbsp. baking soda
For Toffee Sauce
½ cup superfine sugar
7 tbsp. butter
6 oz. English double cream
1. In a bowl, cover dates with boiling water. Set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 375. Place a roasting pan filled with about 1 inch of water into the oven.
3. Butter a 9”x9” pan. Dust with flour. In a bowl, with an electric mixer, beat 3½ tbsp. butter with sugar until combined. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then add treacle, Golden Syrup and vanilla. Mix until just combined. On low speed, add the flour.
4. In a food processor, puree the dates. Stir in the baking soda and stir the mixture into the batter. Pour into the prepared pan. Place in roasting pan and bake about 35 minutes until top is just firm. Remove from oven and cool slightly.
5. Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt sugar and butter until mixture turns a deep amber color. Watch closely so it does not burn. Slowly mix in the double cream. Be careful: It will bubble up at first. Once all the cream is added, cook mixture until it is thick enough to coat a spoon. Cut cake into squares and serve with sauce and vanilla ice cream.
Peanut Butter Dream Bars
2 cups uncooked quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup Land O Lakes® Butter, melted
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup crunchy or creamy peanut butter
1 cup candy-coated chocolate pieces
Heat oven to 375°F. Combine oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda and salt in large bowl; stir until well mixed. Stir in melted butter until moistened.
Reserve 1 1/2 cups crumb mixture; press remaining mixture into greased 13x9-inch baking pan. Bake 12 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine sweetened condensed milk and peanut butter in small bowl; stir until well mixed. Carefully spread over hot, partially baked crust within 1/4 inch from edge.
Combine reserved crumb mixture and candy-coated pieces in small bowl; sprinkle over sweetened condensed milk mixture, pressing down lightly. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely.
John Legend’s Macaroni and Cheese
When musician John Legend visited Martha, he shared his recipe for this favorite Southern comfort food, with generous helpings of both Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses; evaporated milk creates a creamy texture under the golden-brown surface.
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for baking dish
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
3 cups elbow macaroni
2 (12-ounce) cans evaporated milk
1/3 cup skim milk
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 (8-ounce) packages extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 (8-ounce) package Monterey Jack cheese, grated
Paprika, for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Generously butter a 13-by-9-inch glass baking dish; set aside. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add salt and macaroni. Cook until al dente according to package directions. Drain, and return to pot. Add butter, and toss until pasta is coated and butter has melted; set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together evaporated milk, skim milk, and eggs. Add seasoned salt, garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; set aside. In another medium bowl, combine cheeses; set aside.
Place 1/3 macaroni in an even layer in the bottom of prepared baking dish; cover evenly with 1/3 cheese. Repeat with remaining macaroni and cheese mixture. Pour milk mixture evenly over contents of baking dish. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake until top layer is lightly browned, 35 to 45 minutes. Let stand 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
I had a great Christmas, did you? My family has never been huge on gifts. I mean we give them, but we aren’t that family who has truck loads of presents under the tree. I learned that this all changes when the first grandchild is about to enter the world. Holy cow, I have more pink flowery onsies, knit beanies and hand stitched quilts then I know what to do with (thanks to grandma being an INSANE knitter/quilter). Want one? No seriously, I think we have like 4 million of all of the above. Along with all the great baby stuff, Christmas also consisted of some fun family time.
My brother got married the week before Christmas in Hawaii (where his wife is from). I wasn’t able to make it to the wedding for obvious reasons, like being almost 9 months pregnant. So I was excited to see them to fly into town and to meet his new wife. Preparing for Christmas and his arrival meant cleaning, cooking, baking, and resting. Christmas was at my house with 12 of us. I live in an apartment so there isn’t TONS of room. The logistics of where to seat everyone was interesting. And the logistics of how to maneuver myself around the people, Christmas tree, and dining chairs without constantly bumping my belly into things was also interesting. In the end, we got it all worked out and it was perfect!
I prepped for days trying to budget my energy accordingly so I wouldn’t overwork myself. We had spaghetti and meatballs for dinner, also a bunch of other random things that my family brought over to contribute. But dessert was what I was REALLY excited about!!!!!
I decided on a red velvet trifle because the red and white seemed so festive and fun. And I know my family goes ga-ga over red velvet cake too. My dilemma was deciding how far in advance I could make the trifle. If I made it the day before, would it get soggy? That was my main concern. So I decided to make it Christmas morning. I made the cake the day before, but made the ganache and frosting the morning of, and assembled the trifle once the ganache cooled. PERFECTION! For the future, I know I can make this up to 2 days in advance because Monday night we polished off the last of the trifle and it was still DANG good! Oh, and trifles are a total show stopper. When I pulled the trifle out of the fridge my family immediately started talking about a trifle I made YEARS ago for Easter…Apparently I make memorable trifles.
My family was THOROUGHLY impressed with the presentation. I mean who wouldn’t be, look at those bright oozing layers…
Red Velvet Cake
Recipe adapted from Pinch my Salt
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder (unsweetened)
2 oz. red food coloring
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 9-inch round cake pans or three 8-inch round cake pans.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl; set aside. In a small bowl, mix food coloring and cocoa powder to form a thin paste without lumps; set aside.
In a large bowl, using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then beat in vanilla and the red cocoa paste, scraping down the bowl with a spatula as you go. Add one third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beat well, then beat in half of the buttermilk. Beat in another third of flour mixture, then second half of buttermilk. End with the last third of the flour mixture, beat until well combined, making sure to scrape down the bowl with a spatula.
In a small bowl, mix vinegar and baking soda. Yes, it will fizz! Add it to the cake batter and stir well to combine. Divide batter evenly between the cake pans and place them in a preheated 350 degree oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Finish cooling on a wire rack. All the cakes to cool completely before assembling the trifle.
1/2 cup half and half
1 cups dark chocolate, chopped
Warm the half and half in a saucepan over medium heat. Allow it to almost boil, but don’t let it boil. As soon as is it really hot, remove it form the heat and stir in the chocolate. Stir until melted and allow it to cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Once it has cooled (at room temperature), it is ready to be used in the trifle.
Mascarpone Whipped Frosting
Recipe inspired from Recipe Girl. Who wouldn’t be inspired by her amazing trifle pictures, gorgeous!
8 ounce mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
2 cups heavy whipping cream
*If you don’t have mascarpone, sub all cream cheese, so a total of 12 ounces.
In a large bowl with a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat cream cheese, mascarpone and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium and slowly pour in whipping cream. Continue whipping until mixture resembles soft whipped cream. This took about 10 minutes.
Arrange a single layer of red velvet cake chunks on the bottom of the trifle dish. Spoon about 1/3 of the ganache on top of the cake cubes, then spoon about 1/3 of the mascarpone frosting onto the ganache. Sprinkle the frosting with mini chocolate chips. Repeat layers until you run out of room in your dish (which took 3 layers for me).
I garnished with some crumbled red velvet cake and a little sprinkling of mini chocolate chips. It was super pretty and even more tasty!
Easy Strawberry Napoleon Recipe
Easy Strawberry Napoleon Recipe:
(Recipe from All Things Delicious)
1 sheet (half of a 17 oz. pkg) frozen puff pastry*
1 (3.4 oz) pkg. instant vanilla pudding mix
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup whipped topping
2 cup stemmed and sliced strawberries
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted (optional)
Powdered sugar, for garnish
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Thaw folded pastry sheet for 20 minutes. Open sheet and cut along folds to make three equal strips; halve each strip to make six rectangles. Space apart on baking sheet. Bake in center of oven about 15 minutes until well browned and baked through. Remove to rack to cool.
Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk pudding mix, milk, and extract for 2 minutes; fold in whipped topping and blend thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate.
Carefully split each piece of pastry in half horizontally. Cover bottom halves with almonds, then pudding mixture and sliced strawberries, dividing equally. Cover with pastry tops. Dust with powdered sugar.
*You could double the pudding mixture and use both sheets of puff pastry for more Napoleons. I ended up using all of my puff pastry to be able to have additional layers for each Napoleon.
This recipe makes 3 servings.
This Venison Chili recipe was given to me by my sister-in-law, Helen, who is a wonderful cook. She always has delicious recipes that she prepares and this is one of them. You will need ground venison, onion, tomato paste. Rotel diced tomatoes & green chilies and spices. I have found that Rotel tomatoes & green chilies taste good in just about anything, except desserts! This is easy to make and freezes well. Serve with cornbread, cracker or fresh baked homemade bread. Top with chopped onion and cheddar cheese if desire.