Category Archives: Themes

Apple Rosemary Roasted Turkey

If you are into kitchen gadgets you would love a turkey cannon! No more waking up before dawn to get the turkey prepped and roasted for your big holiday meal. I always remember my mom and dad getting very stressed out about getting the turkey in the oven on time. And then making sure they check on it again and again. And then Levi used to host a big Friendsgiving, he was quite fond of the turkey in a bag method. It was convenient that’s for sure.

But if you want your turkey to cook quickly, be super moist, and jam packed full of flavor then you have to try a turkey cannon! I make my own flavored broth to put in the metal tube and then when you put the turkey in the oven the tube helps cook the turkey from the inside out as well as infusing the flavor of your broth into the meat. Yum!

We did this for Thanksgiving last year and I have no idea why I never posted it. I was probably too busy chomping down on all that yummy turkey! We made it again this weekend so we could have some of our own turkey leftovers.

Ingredients:

Broth:

  • 3 Cups chicken broth
  • 2-3 slices of Granny Smith Apple
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • 1 Shallot, quartered
  • 1 Clove Garlic, minced
  • 2 sprigs  fresh Rosemary

Turkey:

  • 12 lb Turkey, completely thawed
  • 1 quarter of an Onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 3 Slices Granny Apple
  • 1 Shallot, quartered
  • 2 sprigs Fresh Rosemary
  • 1 handful fresh Italian Parsley
  • 4 Tbsp Butter, softened

First make the broth:

In a medium saucepan add all the ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Turkey Time:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Remove from the packaging, and make sure you remove all the gizzards and icky stuff. Pat the outside of the turkey dry. Stuff the inside of the turkey with the apples, onions, shallot, parsley and rosemary.

Place your turkey cannon in a deep roasting pan. Pour your broth into the cannon until it’s up to the first hole. Place the turkey on the cannon. Secure the legs with cooking twine, in a pinch you can reuse the plastic the legs come secured with.

Mince the garlic and mix in with 2 tbsp softened butter. Cut 1 slit in the skin above each breast. Use your hand to spread the butter and garlic mixture in between the skin and breast. Spread the rest of the butter over the top of the skin all over the bird.

Bake the bird until it’s internal temperature in 165 degrees. It will take about 90 minutes depending on the oven. I highly suggest getting a wireless meat thermometer, it will change your life. Otherwise, check your temp after the first 60 minutes and then about 15-20 minute intervals until you’ve reached the desired temp.

 

Remove turkey from oven, cover in aluminum foil and let it rest for 30 minutes before carving.

 

Please please please feel free to ask me any questions you may have. I also want to make a video of this process. But that will have to wait until after the big move.

Have a great Thanksgiving everyone!! I am so thankful for all of you who follow and support me in all my crazy cooking adventures….love you all!

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White Walker Cake

How ’bout that finale?!?! In case you haven’t noticed yet we are HUGE Game of Thrones fans! I am coming up on 10 recipes dedicated to this series. So far I have made cupcakes, cookies and this cake. Anything else you want me to try? Only one more season left for these fun experiments……how depressing is that?!?! I sure hope we don’t really have to wait until 2019 for the final season.

I must say….I was very satisfied by the way this season ended. Especially Sansa and Arya banding together and executing the character whom most people have wanted dead since the very beginning. That moment brought so much joy to my heart because I was seriously questioning whether or not they would end up killing each other. I felt like I had been losing the Arya that I have been rooting for for 6 years, and now I know that she is still the same fiercely loyal and determined girl I have grown to love. Sansa is finally taking control of her destiny and I love it! Maybe she will become the Queen of Winterfell if Jon Snow realizes that marrying his aunt is icky. Who knows…..isn’t that the whole point of this show,  some predictions come true but in the end…..you just never know.

I’ve been wanting to try a poke cake for awhile, they are quite the trend. I can tell why! The moist cake and light fluffy frosting make for an amazing combination! Most recipes call for Cool Whip Topping, but I am not all about that noise. Whipped cream frosting is definitely the way to go! The next question was….what flavor should a blue cake actually be? Blueberry is the natural answer, but that would turn out more purple than blue. Since it is the end of summer I wanted to go for a final tropical hurrah before heading into the holiday baking season. I went with a cream of coconut and lime drizzle. Perfect flavor and  easy to get a nice shade of blue. I generally prefer gel color, but you would probably be better off with a liquid dye for the coconut. Still use gel for the coconut flakes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Box Betty Crocker White Cake Mix (and ingredients to prepare-eggs and oil)
  • 15 oz Cream of Coconut- usually found in the drink aisle
  • 3 Limes- Juiced
  • 8 oz Coconut Flakes
  • Food Dye- black and light blue
  • 4 oz Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1/3 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Cup Whipping Cream
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Prepare the cake according to box instructions.

In a small bowl combine the cream of coconut and a few drops of blue food dye until you get your desired hue. Use a fork to poke holes evenly across the top of the warm cake. Evenly and slowly pour the cream of coconut across the top of the cake. Place in the fridge for at least an hour.

In a stand mixer using the whisk attachment whip the whipping cream for 5 minutes until soft peaks form. In a medium bowl use a hand mixer to beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla. With the mixer on low add the cream cheese to the whipped cream 1/4th at a time,scraping down the bowl each time.  Mix for 1-2 minutes until it’s fully incorporated and thick stiff peaks form.

Take your cake out of the fridge and use a spatula to spread the frosting over the top. In a small bowl dye 1/3 of the coconut flakes black, and then dye 1/3 of the flakes blue. Layer the coconut over the frosting.

Store in a covered dish in the fridge.

Adapted from The Country Cooks Coconut Cream Poke Cake

Cookies of Fire and Ice

 

Who is ready for the Game of Thrones Finale on Sunday? I have been reading all the online theories and basically any article or post that I come across. Has there ever been a show that generated this much talk? I’ve never thought so much about a show or book before. I wish that I could pick up on all the subtle references and inferences that drives the conversation forward. I am just in awe of people who can pick up on these hidden gems and generate predictions. Amazing.

So for last year I made Cupcakes of Fire and Ice….click here for the recipe. And they have been really popular so far, but I’ve always felt back that they are just white chocolate flavored. I wanted to make a party desert that doesn’t just look cool it also tastes super amazing! So I decided to recreate my Lemon and White Chocolate cookie for the “Ice” and I came up with a whole new combination for the “Fire”. Red Velvet Raspberry with Chocolate Chips, these turned out so soft and chewy! I split the batch in half and dyed one half red and the other an orange-red and swirled them together to get a cool fire effect!

Check out the Dragon’s Breath Pulled Pork for the perfect GoT party dinner!


You can decorate these cookies with your favorite sprinkles for some extra shine! I hope your viewing parties are amazing and that you enjoy the finale!

Ingredients for Lemon Ice Cookies:

  • 1/4 cup White Sugar
  • 3/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 cup Butter, softened
  • 1 package Whipped Meyer Lemon Instant Pudding Mix
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 tsp Lemon Emulsion
  • 2 Eggs
  • Freshly squeezed juice of one Meyer Lemon
  • Finely grated rind of one Meyer Lemon
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 1/2 cups Flour
  • 1 Cup White Chocolate Chips
  • Light Blue Food Dye- I prefer gel dye
  • Sprinkles (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a stand mixer mix the sugars and butter until it forms a grainy paste. Add the pudding, vanilla and lemon extracts, and eggs. Mix well. Add the fresh lemon juice and mix well, scraping down the sides of the bowl.

Add the baking soda, salt and flour. Mix until you have a thick cookie dough. Add blue food coloring till you reach your desired shade. Use a big spoon to mix in the white chocolate chips and lemon rind.

Use a cookie scoop or a small spoon to measure out cookie dough into 1 inch balls on a cookie sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes until the cookies are slightly browned on the bottom.  Add sprinkles. Cool on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Store in an air tight container.

Ingredients for Red Velvet Raspberry Cookies:

  • 1/4 cup White Sugar
  • 3/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 cup Butter, softened
  • 1 package Red Velvet Instant Pudding Mix
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/8 tsp Raspberry Emulsion (optional)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 1/2 cups Flour
  • 1 Cup Chocolate Chips
  • 6 oz Fresh Raspberries
  • Orange and Red Food Dye- I prefer gel dye
  • Sprinkles (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a stand mixer mix the sugars and butter until it forms a grainy paste. Add the pudding, vanilla and raspberry extracts, and eggs. Mix well scraping down the sides of the bowl.

Add the baking soda, salt and flour. Mix until you have a thick cookie dough. In a small bowl crush the raspberries into a pulp. Use a big spoon to mix in the chocolate chips and raspberries. Separate the dough into two bowls. Add red dye to one and orange to the other until you’ve reached the desired shade.

Use a cookie scoop or a small spoon to measure out 1/2 red and 1/2 orange cookie dough into 1 inch balls on a cookie sheet. Bake for 15-18 minutes until the cookies are no longer shiny on top under the oven light. Add sprinkles. Cool on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Store in an air tight container.

 

Dragon’s Breath Pulled Pork

Who watched the first episode of Game of Thrones Season 7 last night? I was enthralled from start to finish. I mean that first scene almost had me in tears. You go, Arya Stark! I especially loved the scene of Daenerys Targaryen finally coming home to Dragonstone. The silent joy and resolve of that moment was one of the most moving parts of this entire series.

I just can’t wait to see what happens for the rest of this season! Will Jon Snow and Daenerys meet? Will he find out the truth about his past? Will little Arya get her chance at revenge on Cersei, or will Jamie beat her to it? Will we see more of Ed Sheeran? (seriously, what was that all about?) All these burning questions and only 6 more episodes!

I like to make a special dinner for GoT night. This week it was one of our old favorites re-imagined. Pulled pork with an extra spicy bite and just a hint of sweetness seems more than fitting. Definitely give this one a shot the next time you sit down with friends or family to another thrilling episode!

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 lbs Pork Loin Roast
  • Pork Rub- I created my own with 1/2 cup brown sugar and  1 Tbsp each: garlic salt, paprika, red pepper flakes and black pepper.
  • 1-2 liter of Dr. Pepper
  • 3 Serrano peppers- the smaller the pepper the more heat you get
  • 2 Jalepenos, plus more if you want some for a raw topping
  • 1 Green Pepper
  • 1-2 Cup of Jack Daniels Spicy BBQ sauce.

These ingredients will give you a nice little mild to medium spicy bite. If you really want to kick it up a notch you can get 2 of the following: cayenne pepper, tobasco pepper or habanero peppers.

Rub the pork rub onto your roast and let it sit for 5 minutes. In your slow cooker add the roast fat side down. Slice the peppers at least in half and add to the slow cooker. Pour in the Dr. Pepper in so that the roast is at least 3/4 submerged. Pour 1/2 Cup of BBQ sauce onto the roast.

Cook for 6-8 hours on low.

Once your meat is tender carefully move the roast into a large bowl. The meat should easily pull apart with a fork. Shred the roast and add 1/2 cup BBQ sauce.

Toast your buns and add your favorite toppings such as Colby Jack Cheese, Jalapenos, Onions, or Cole Slaw. Don’t forget to top it with even more BBQ sauce to your taste!

Check out an awesome dessert with the Cookies of Fire and Ice here!

Freedom Fire Blondies

Where does everyone like to go to watch the fireworks? We will either watch them from the lawn in front of Convergys or we’ll go to the stadium. This year I work till 9 and meeting my parents at the stadium. Hopefully it all works out!

I’m not sure where this started but watching the fireworks has always meant a great deal to me. I love the patriotic music and when those fireworks get popping I just get really emotional. I thinks fireworks are really romantic, and unfortunately it’s always been a terrible day for me relationship wise. But I am so happy to be able to spend it with my friends and family now!

And of course when you are sitting on a lawn or in a stadium for hours you need to bring treats! Chips or pretzels for the salty crew……but what to bring for the sweet teeth? Blondies of course! And I had to make them holiday appropriate……all you need is a little food dye!

These Blondies are a great treat with white chocolate chips and pecans for a little crunch. These are incredibly easy to make and a quick treat to whip up and delight your  friends and family this holiday!

Ingredients:

  • 2 Sticks Butter, softened
  • 2 Cups Brown Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 1 1/2 Cup White Chocolate Chips
  • 1/2 Cup Pecans, finely chopped
  • Red and Blue food dye
  • Your favorite patriotic sprinkles

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl beat together the butter and brown sugar until you have a grainy paste. Add the egg, vanilla, salt and baking powder. Mix well. Beat in the flour until you have a thick batter. Gently stir in the white chocolate and pecans.

Split the batter evenly into 3 different bowls. In one bowl slowly add blue dye until you get your desired color. Repeat with the red dye in a separate bowl.

Spray an 8×11 pan with cooking spray. Using a cookie scoop. scoop the batter into the pan in alternating colors. Run a knife under hot water for about a minute and then drag it through the batter to create a swirl. (Careful not to over do it otherwise your colors will start to bleed.)

Bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Remove from oven and add sprinkles. Let it cool for at least an hour before serving.

Key Lime Cupcakes


Look at me being on top of things! I’m getting some St. Patty’s Day recipes up on the blog so you can make an Irish feast for your friends and family! Last year I made some Lucky Leprechaun Treats Click here for the recipe! Those are pretty fun, especially if you have kids and love Lucky Charms! Yum!


Here’s what I learned making these cupcakes:

Key limes are adorable.

Key limes are a super duper pain in the ass to work with.

Do not try to juice them in a juicer. Because that rind is super bitter.

Likewise, maybe zesting them was a big mistake (also a major pain in the ass)

So I have adjusted the recipe below based on what I think will help make them better than what I ended up doing. If you have any other adjustments or suggestions please let me know!!


Also, if you know how to make a confetti cake, let me know!! I tried putting green non-pariels in the batter and they just disintegrated and that is how I ended up with green cupcakes. Totally appropriate for the holiday, but not the effect I was hoping for.

The order that you want to make things in is curd filling first, you can make this a day or two ahead if you want. Then cupcakes and then frosting.

Makes 24 cupcakes.

Key Lime Curd:

  • 10 Key Limes, juiced
  • 1 Regular Lime, zested
  • 1/3 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • 3 Tbsp Butter, cubed
  • 1 tsp Cornstarch

Cupcakes:

  • 1 Box White Cake Mix
  • 1 Package White Chocolate
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 4 Eggs
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Cup Sour Cream
  • Add some confetti wizardry or green food coloring if desired

Frosting:

  • 1 Cup Salted Butter, room temperature
  • 6 oz White Chocolate, melted
  • 4 Key Limes, Juiced
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 2 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • Green food coloring and sprinkles if desired

To make the curd:

  • In a small dish stir together the sugar and lime zest. Let it macerate for about 5 minutes, this will help release some of those fragrant oils from the zest. In a small saucepan add the sugar, zest, butter, juice and yolks. Over medium heat cook for 12-15 minutes gently stirring constantly. The butter will melt and the  sauce will start to thicken. Stir in the cornstarch. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Push the curd through a mesh sieve.Transfer to a glass jar. Cover with plastic wrap so that it touches the top of the curd. Let it come to room temperature. Chill in the fridge while you make the cupcakes.

To make the cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350.

In a stand mixer combine the cake mix and pudding mix. Add the milk and oil. Mix well. Add the eggs and vanilla, mix well, scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the lime juice and sour cream, mix until just combined. Add in your sprinkles or food coloring. Use a cookie scoop to fill your cupcake liners 3/4 full. Bake for 20-22 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Once the cupcakes have fully cooled use a filling tip and pipe in the lime curd to the center of each cupcake. If you don’t have a filling tip you can cut out a hole in the middle of the cupcake and spoon in the curd.

To make frosting:

In a medium mixing bowl beat the butter with an electric hand mixer until smooth. Add 1/2 cup powdered sugar and the lime juice. Melt the chocolate 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between each segment. Once the chocolate is fully melted let it sit for a minute or two until it’s just warm to the touch. Slowly beat in the melted chocolate. Add the salt and the rest of the powdered sugar. Beat for 3-.5 minutes until your frosting is light and fluffy.

To add the green swirl add green food dye to the side creases in your piping bag. Use a spatula to fill the bag with frosting. I used a Wilton 1 M tip to pipe the rosettes.

Chocolate Amaretto Cheesecake


I just have to start out with this statement. I don’t think that I have ever made such a beautiful cheesecake in my life. And I’ve made some pretty good cheesecakes! Guys…I am just so proud! I don’t even know what possessed me to make an amaretto cheesecake. I didn’t even have amaretto just laying around. I was trying to think about good Valentines Day dessert to share, and of course it had to be cheesecake. That is my favorite dessert! Since chocolate is the official treat of Valentine’s Day of course it had to be a chocolate cheesecake. Amaretto seems like a pretty decadent addition to chocolate. So why not?!?!

I really did have to get away from the red velvet extravaganza that happened last year. I mean I did about 5 different types of red velvet recipes. Probably because that is Levi’s favorite flavor. But he was a really big fan of this one as well!


I’m sure you can try baking this without the water bath, but from my understanding you will get the absolute best textures if you use the water. It’s really not that hard. All you need is a roasting pan.

This cheesecake is super creamy and the flavors are very subtle and delicate. The mousse on top is very light and adds just a little extra amaretto into your life. The crust has just a right amount of crumble to it. Overall I think it’s not too rich like some New York Style Cheesecakes, it’s just the perfect way to finish your special dinner with your special someone!

Click here to see more Valentine’s Day inspired recipes!

I hope you all love this cheesecake as much as we do!

Ingredients:

  • 12 Chocolate Graham Crackers, crushed
  • 5 Tbsp Butter, softened
  • 32 oz Cream Cheese, room temperature
  • 1 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1/3 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Cups Ghiradelli Milk Chocolate Chips
  • 1/2 Cup Butter
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 Cup Amaretto
  • 4 Eggs and 2 Egg Yolks, room temperature

Topping:

  • 1/4 Cup Amaretto
  •  3/4 Cup Whipping Cream
  • 4 Tbsp Powdered Sugar
  • 4 oz Cream Cheese
  • Optional- 1/2 cup sliced Almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together the crushed graham crackers and the 5 Tbsp butter. Press into the bottom and up the sides of a 9 inch springform pan. Place in the oven for 5 minutes, remove and chill in the refrigerator while preparing the filling.

In a double boiler, or a medium bowl over a saucepan melt the 1/2 cup butter. Add the chocolate chips and stir continuously until all the chocolate has just barely melted. Remove from heat immediately. Set aside.

In a large bowl use a hand mixer to beat the cream cheese until it is smooth. Add sugar and sour cream, beat well. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the cooled chocolate sauce, vanilla and Amaretto. Mix well. Add the eggs one at a time, beat on low until eggs are just incorporated.

Pour the batter over the prepared crust. Wrap tinfoil around the outside of the springform pan. Place in a large roasting pan. Pour boiling water in until it’s halfway up the side of the cake pan. Bake the cheesecake for 60 minutes. Reduce heat to 300, bake an additional 20 minutes. Turn the oven off and let the cheesecake rest for 60 minutes. Move cheesecake to the refrigerator overnight.

To prepare the topping:

In a medium bowl beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer until it’s light and fluffy. In a large bowl beat the whipping cream, powdered sugar and amaretto for about 5-7 minutes until the cream can hold it’s own shape.

Using a spatula take 1/4 of the whipping cream and fold it into the cream cheese. Repeat with the remaining whipping cream until you have a smooth mousse. Transfer the mousse into a piping bag and pipe the mousse over the top of the cheesecake. Smooth with a frosting spatula. Add almonds. Place back in the fridge for 15 minutes.

If you want to be super professional when slicing the cheesecake, run a long thin knife under hot water for a minute and wipe dry with a paper towel between each cut. This is definitely my new go to for picturesque cheesecake slices!

Sautéed Rosemary Potato Gnocchi


So if you don’t really know what gnocchi is they are bite sized pasta bites that are made with potato. Usually they are just served boiled, but I like to sauté them a little bit. This adds a little more texture and crispy bite, rather than eating like a soggy mashed potato.

I just love potatoes. You can mash em, fry em, bake em, boil em put em in a sauce or make em into a cake! They are so versatile and it’s a blank canvas that you can tie into almost any dish. Yum!!

This is a good alternative for mashed potato or baked potato. Sure to impress all your family and friends. We are actually taking pumpkin and ricotta gnocchi to my parents house this year! Click here for that recipe. I’ll probably swap out the pumpkin for sweet potato.

One thing that will make these extra special is adding your favorite herb to the oil when you sauté them and it will really help pull your whole dinner together.

There are a couple different ways to prep the potato, I would recommend baking or steaming for a really fluffy gnocchi. You can also boil them, but you may need to add more flour because they will be super sticky. 

I also know that there is some specific technique for shaping gnocchi, but I’ve never seen it on a cooking show so I’m going to pretend like it doesn’t exist 😉

Ingredients:

  • 2 potatoes, baked or steamed or boiled, skins removed
  • 1 1/2 Cup Flour
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 3 Tbsp Grapeseed Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Rosemary or your dried herb of choice

You can either use a large bowl or just a clean work surface. Add the flour, salt and garlic. Using a potato ricer or grater add the potato to the flour. Add the egg. Use your floured hands to work all the ingredients together until you can form a ball of dough that holds it shape.

Cut your dough ball into 4 pieces. Flour your work surface. Roll out each piece of dough into a 12 inch rope. Use a small sharp knife to cut the rope into 1/2 inch pieces. Sprinkle with flour and lightly press a fork on top of each piece to slightly flatten and make the indents on one side.

In a large pot fill 3/4 with water, add 2 Tbsp salt and 1 Tbsp vegetable oil. Bring to a boil. Drop in the gnocchi and they will sink to the bottom. Once they rise to the top you will know they are done. Usually just takes 2-3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a lightly oiled cooking sheet.

In a large skillet add 3 Tbsp Grapeseed oil and 1 Tbsp Rosemary or your herb of choice. Sauté the gnocchi about 10 at a time until they are lightly browned on each side.

Serve up with your favorite gravy, pasta sauce or dipping sauce.

White Chocolate Cranberry Cheesecake


I don’t know if anyone loves cheesecake like we do! I mean real creamy and crumbly and flavorful cheesecakes. One of my favorite things is that they are so versatile! I don’t know of any flavor profile you can’t put into a cheesecake. Of course my first holiday bake had to be a cheesecake. I think this year we are going to try another eggnog cheesecake and a candy cane cheesecake. Yum! I can’t wait 🙂

There are a few things to remember when making cheesecakes. First, do not put too much butter in your crust. The filling will hold it together. Next, scraping down the sides of your bowl while mixing the batter is key to getting a creamy smooth consistency. Last, do not rush the cooling process. Yes it takes a long time but you will not regret the results.

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 2 Cups Nilla wafers, crushed into fine crumbs
  • 2 Tbsp butter, softened

Cheesecake:

  • 16 oz Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 Cup White Sugar
  • 16 oz Sour Cream
  • 12 oz Bakers White Chocolate, melted
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla
  • Juice of half a Meyer Lemon

Cranberry Filling:

  • 2 Cups Fresh Cranberries
  • 1/3 Cup Water
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • Juice of half a Meyer Lemon

White Chocolate Ganache:

  • 1/2 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1 Cup White Chocolate Chips
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Sugared Cranberries:

  • 2 1/2 Cups Fresh Cranberries
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1 1/2 Cup Sugar, divided

Preheat oven to 350.

Mix Nilla wafer crumbs and butter and press into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan. Bake for 5 minutes, then remove and place in the fridge while mixing the filling.

To make the filling: In a small saucepan add the cranberries, water, sugar and lemon juice. Over medium heat stirring frequently bring to a simmer. The cranberries will start to break down. Turn the heat up just a little bit and the mixture will start to thicken, this takes about 5-10 minutes.  When you can stir the mixture and it has the texture of jelly remove from heat.

In a stand mixer beat the cream cheese until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix in sugar. Once you have a grainy paste add the sour cream and beat until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, slowly add the melted chocolate. Add the vanilla, lemon juice and eggs. Mix until combined.

Remove the crust from the fridge. Pour about half the batter onto the crust, add a few spoonfuls of filling and lightly swirl them together. Repeat with the rest of the batter and filling.

Bake for 1 hour. The top should be lightly browned, and when you jiggle the pan the cheesecake should barely move. Once your cheesecake is done, turn off the oven, leave the cheesecake in there for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and place in the fridge for 4-6 hours until completely cooled.

To make the ganache warm up the cream and vanilla in a small sauce pan until it gently simmers, put the chips in a heat safe mixing bowl and pour the hot cream in. Mix continuously until you have a smooth sauce. Bring to room temperature.

To make the sugared cranberries in a small saucepan heat up the water and 1 cup sugar mixing until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and add the cranberries. Stir for 3-5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon move the cranberries to a cookie sheet and let them dry for 5-10 minutes until they are sticky to touch but not wet. Roll in 1/2 cup sugar until completely coated.

On your slightly cooled cheesecake pour the ganache and top with the sugared cranberries, and finish cooling.

And then savor every last bite!!

 

Minty Monster Krispie Treats


Who doesn’t love a dessert with a cute monster face? This might be my favorite creepy treat I’ve made this year! Rice Krispie treats are such a classic treat for kids and adults alike! There are so many fun twists and I couldn’t help but come up with one of my own…..mint chocolate treats dipped in chocolate. They are scary good…..and would be a big hit at any Halloween party.

I just love Halloween so much. Ever since I was little I have enjoyed making my own costume or even putting it together, in fact there is only one year that I actually purchased a full on costume to be a pirate wench. This year Levi and I are going as Sheldon and Amy from Big Bang Theory. Should’ve been an easy one to put together right? Wrong!! Who knew that knee length skirts and striped cardigans would be so hard to find?!? After 4 hours of hopping from store to store I only had a button up and tights. I was about to just settle for some stuff in my closet that was close but not quite right, but I had this feeling that I should give Ross one more chance….and BOOM there it was the rest of my costume. YAY!! Let the Halloween shenanigans begin!

And let there be treats!

Ingredients:

  • 4 1/2 Tbsp Butter
  • 16 oz bag of Marshmellows
  • 3 Cups Rice Krispie cereal
  • 3 Cups Cocoa Pebbles cereal
  • 1 cup Mini Chocolate chips
  • 1 cup Andes Mint Pieces

Decorations:

  • 2 Bags Green Candy Melts
  • Candy eyes
  • Mini Reese’s peanut butter cups
  • Black icing in a tube
  • Pink spray mist

In a large pot melt the butter over medium heat. Add the marshmallow and stir till completely melted. Remove from heat. Add the cereal and stir until well combined. Mix in chocolate chips and Andes pieces.

Spray a 13 x 9 with cooking spray and press the mixture into the pan. If you want thinner ones you can also use a deep cookie sheet.

Place in the fridge and cool for 15 minutes then cut into desired size squares.

Melt candy melts in a small crockpot, pan on the stove or bowl in the microwave. Quickly dip the treats in the chocolate and lay on a sheet of wax paper sprayed with cooking spray. I used an icing spatula to make the top side as smooth as I could. Add the eyes and the Reese’s while the chocolate is still warm.

Spray on some rosy checks and pipe on a goofy grin with the icing and you are to go!

Have a Happy, Spooky and Safe Halloween everyone!