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Archive for the ‘Holiday Recipes’ Category

Easter Cookie cups platedIf you’re looking for a fun and simple dessert for Easter, think about serving Cookie Cups. The kids (and young at heart) will love them!

easter cookie cups cut to fit silicone

Start with sugar cookie dough (either homemade our from the store). Roll it out and cut into circles, then form the circles over an oven-proof container like custard cups to bake.

 

I used silicone cupcake pans to form my cups. Just press them around the outside and bake with the cups upside down.

I used silicone cupcake pans to form my cups. Just press them around the outside and bake with the cups upside down.

 

Bake in a 350 degree oven until lightly browned then cool. You can form a handle out of dough. Just roll a rope of dough and bend it in a handle shape and bake along with the cups.

Bake in a 350 degree oven until lightly browned then cool. You can form a handle out of dough. Just roll a rope of dough and bend it in a handle shape and bake along with the cups.

You can fill the cups with whatever your heart desires. I made ours like fruit pizza with a sweet cream cheese filling and fruit.

You can fill the cups with whatever your heart desires. I made ours like fruit pizza with a sweet cream cheese filling and fruit.

 

Put a thick ring of whipped cream around the top if you want to add a handle and stick it into the whipped cream to hold it upright.

Put a thick ring of whipped cream around the top if you want to add a handle and stick it into the whipped cream to hold it upright.

Ta-Da!

Ta-Da!

You can also make mini cookie cups. Just form them on the back of a mini cupcake or muffin tin.

You can also make mini cookie cups. Just form them on the back of a mini cupcake or muffin tin.

 

Cook until lightly browned then cool.

Cook until lightly browned then cool.

 

I colored coconut green to look like grass.

I colored coconut green to look like grass.

And filled the mini cookie cups.

And filled the mini cookie cups.

Then topped with jelly beans. This would be fun to mark each place setting or as a little take-away treat if you are the host for Easter dinner.

Then topped with jelly beans. This would be fun to mark each place setting or as a little take-away treat if you are the host for Easter dinner.

She Who Wishes You All a Very Happy Easter!

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st. pat's rice krispie

With St. Patrick’s Day just around the corner, I thought I’d share some links to a few fun recipes today. The one above is from classyclutter.net  Who can’t picture the Leprechaun singing “Frosted Lucky Charms, They’re Magically Delicious!”

st. pat pancakes

st pat quiche

 

st pat preztel

st. pat popcorn

st pat brownie

Yum!

She Who Is Craving Mint… and Chocolate

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With New Year’s Eve just days away, it’s time to start thinking about some show-stopping fabulous dessert to serve to your party guests (or take to a celebration).

This is the time to pull out the stops, go decadent, make it over the top.

Oh, you get the idea.

Here are a few of my favorites!

pumpkin trifle finished

Pumpkin Mousse Trifle 

This is a quick and easy dessert to make, but tastes like you spent hours working on it. Any trifle would work, doesn’t necessarily have to be pumpkin. Use pound cake, pudding of your choice, whipped cream and add some berries or sliced fruit. Chocolate pudding with raspberries is always a great choice.

A peek inside the cake. Just look at all that yummy chocolate and strawberry sweet goodness.

Chocolate Bombe with Strawberry Filling

Drop a bombe on your guests and watch the explosion of delight. A Chocolate Bombe, of course. You could substitute raspberry for the strawberry filling if you so choose.

Cool completely in the oven, slice and serve with freshly whipped cream and berries.

Chocolate Pavlova with whipped cream and berries is simple, elegant and absolutely delicious.

cream puff finished

Cream Puffs with Vanilla Filling and Chocolate Topping are sure to earn you a few words of praise. Or many.

Bubbly Dessert

This dessert is fancy, elegant, and so fun!

Bubbly Dessert

1 tbsp. unflavored gelatin

2 cups cold white grape juice, divided

2 tbsp. sugar

2 cups club soda or champagne

8 fresh strawberries or raspberries

In a small saucepan, sprinkled gelatin over 1 cup of the cold grape juice. Let stand for one minute. Heat over low heat stirring until gelatin is completely dissolved. Stir in sugar. Remove from heat, stir in remaining grape juice. Cool to room temperature.

Transfer gelatin mixture to a large bowl. Slowly stir in soda or champagne. Pour half of the mixture into eight champagne or parfait glasses. Add a berry to each glass (if using a strawberry, remove hulls first). Chill glasses and remaining gelatin mixture until almost set, about an hour.

Place the reserved gelatin mixture in a blender, cover and process until foamy. Pour into glasses. Chill for three hours or until set.

Makes 8 servings.

She Who Needs to Buy Some Celery and Carrots

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A while back I was off gallivanting with two of my cousins who have a myriad of food allergies. Even more than me!

I wanted to bring a fun dessert along, but was trying to find something they both could eat.

Settling on a scrumptious-sounding meringue recipe I found on foodnetwork.com, I emailed the ingredient list to the girls and got a green-flag that they both could eat it.

Although the dessert did not transport well (could have been the way some one haphazardly tossed it in the car) it tasted really, really good. So good, I made it for my book club friends the other night, to their rave reviews.

This isn’t hard to make, just takes a little time, but will leave your guests impressed! I promise!

And for those of you who like tidbits of odd information, Pavlova is named after the Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova. The dessert is believed to have been created in honor of the dancer either during or after one of her tours to Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s.

Ingredients

Start by whipping egg whites until stiff peaks form.

Add sugar, a little at a time and mix until the egg whites look like smooth satin.

Add cocoa powder and vinegar, followed by the chopped chocolate.

Fold in gently with a spatula until well blended.

Spoon onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 300 for about an hour.

The pavlova is done when the top looks dry and crisp, but the inside is still squishy.

Cool completely in the oven, slice and serve with freshly whipped cream and berries.

Chocolate Pavlova

6 large egg whites

2 cups superfine sugar

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted

1 teaspoon balsamic or red wine vinegar

2 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment. Trace a 9-inch round circle (use a cake pan) on the parchment then flip over so the pencil mark doesn’t touch the meringue.

Beat the egg whites with a mixer until satiny peaks form. Beat  in the sugar, a spoonful at a time, until the meringue is stiff and shiny.  Sprinkle the cocoa, vinegar and chopped chocolate over the egg whites. Gently fold everything with a rubber spatula until the cocoa is thoroughly mixed in.

Mound the meringue onto the parchment within the circle, smoothing the sides and the top with a spatula. Try to get it as even as possible. Place baking sheet in the oven then turn the temp down to 300 degrees and bake for an hour or so. When the pavlova is done, the top should look crisp and dry but the inside should give a little (be a little squishy) if you poke it.

Turn off the oven, crack the door  and let the chocolate meringue disk cool completely in the oven. When you’re ready to serve, invert onto a platter and peel off the parchment. I loaded ours up with whipped cream and fresh raspberries.

That was an excellent choice and our tastebuds rejoiced.

She Who Loves Chocolate and Raspberries

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My sweet Aunt Louise used to make this pumpkin roll. I thought it was divine then and still do. She was one of those special people who just exuded loving kindness. She always looked for the good in others, was generous and giving and gracious.

She shared this recipe with me, taking the time to type it out on a 3×5 index card. That recipe card is now covered in splatters and caked on sugar, but every year when I pull it out of my recipe box, it makes me smile and remember a wonderful lady.

Although she passed away from cancer several years ago, Aunt Louise’s gentle spirit is still greatly missed.

This yummy dessert isn’t hard to make, but like a lot of marvelous things, it does take a little time!

Ingredients

 

Mix dry ingredients and set aside.

 

You will beat the eggs senseless and then some before adding pumpkin and other wet ingredients.

 

Once you’ve got it mixed, pour into a jelly roll pan and bake. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t get overcooked.

 

Liberally sprinkle powdered sugar over a tea towel.

 

Roll pumpkin roll into towel and let cool completely.

 

When cool, spread on cream cheese filling and reroll.

 

Refrigerate wrapped in plastic wrap until ready to serve, then slice.

 

When cool, spread on cream cheese filling and reroll.

Enjoy!

Louise’s Pumpkin Cake Roll

Cake:

3 eggs

1 cup sugar

2/3 cup canned pumpkin

1 tsp. lemon juice

3/4 cup flour

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. ginger

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1 tsp. baking powder

1 cup finely chopped walnuts

Filling:

1 cup powdered sugar

1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup margarine or butter

1 tsp. vanilla

1/4 cup candied cherries

In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs with a mixer on high for five minutes. Gradually beat in the 1 cup of sugar. Stir in pumpkin and lemon juice. In a small bowl, stir together flour and other dry ingredients. Fold into pumpkin mixture. Spread batter in a greased and floured 15x10x1 jelly roll pan. Sprinkle with nuts. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Immediately invert cake onto a flour-sack towel sprinkled with powdered sugar. Roll cake and towel up together. Cool completely. Unroll cake. In a mixing bowl beat 1 cup powdered sugar, cream cheese, butter and vanilla with mixer on medium speed until smooth. Spread over cake. Reroll cake, cover and chill in refrigerator until ready to serve. Cut into 1-inch slices and garnish with cherries. Makes 10-12 servings.

* Note: You can substitute pecans for walnuts or make without nuts. You can also garnish with a dollop of whipped cream, glazed nuts or a sprinkle of cinnamon.

She Who Wishes You a Very Happy Christmas Eve!

 

 

 

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On special occasions or the rare days when Captain Cavedweller and I can enjoy a leisurely breakfast, I like to make crepes. Our favorite filling is fresh fruit with whipped  cream. Captain Cavedweller loves bananas while I tend to favor berries.

I’ve had this recipe for crepes since I was in the seventh grade. Our teacher decided to give us all some culture and let each of us a select a country to study up on and do a presentation complete with props. While I got stuck with India (when you are next to the last to get to choose, there aren’t a lot of countries left!), one of the girls choose France. Her mother brought in a hot plate and helped her make crepes for the class. They were delightfully wonderful and so different from anything I’d eaten. When she passed out copies of the recipe, I immediately went home and  begged my mom to let me make them. She did and I’ve been making them sense. Although my dad always called these flat pancakes, Captain Cavedweller does enjoy them!

These are light and delicious – just right for a morning brunch before a big holiday meal!

 

Ingredients

 

Mix the ingredients until it is smooth and there are no visible lumps.

 

Cook in a hot pan, lightly oiled. It just takes a minute or so for each side.

 

You want each side to be a nice golden brown.

 

Fill with berries and whipped cream.

 

Cook in a hot pan, lightly oiled. It just takes a minute or so for each side.

Enjoy!

Crepes

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon  sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 eggs

2 cups milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons butter, melted

Combine dry ingredients and set aside. Beat eggs until broken down. Add milk and vanilla extract and beat well. Beat in flour mixture until mixed then add in melted butter.

Lightly oil a hot griddle, frying pan or (if you have one) a crepe pan. Pour about two tablespoons of batter in the pan and thin it out by swirling the pan around. Tip and rotate until the batter is as thin as possible. Cook until each side is a light, golden brown.

Fill with fruit and whipped cream and roll. Top with a dusting of powdered sugar and enjoy!

Serves about 12.

She Who Loves Crepes!

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I’ve been dying to make cake balls for a couple months. Don’t ask me why. It’s just one of those weird things that  infiltrate my brain at 3 a.m. and won’t let me rest.

I decided to make a batch for a holiday party and I will state the following about the process:

1. It was easy

2. It was tasty

3. It was messy

4. It took a little bit of time

Overall, a very fun project and one that would be great if you had an afternoon to spend with your kiddos, dipping the balls.

For the sake of easy handling, I decided to put the balls on sticks and now, I guess, I should really call them cake pops.

Ingredients

Once the cake is baked and cooled, you are ready to start the process. I forgot to include a can of frosting in the ingredient list!

Dump the entire cake into a large bowl and break apart.

Add in half a can of frosting and mix together until ball starts to form. It will feel moist and sticky.

Form cake balls. I made mine fairly big because I wanted to have fewer to dip. I'm a lazy slug that way. I'm also incapable of making perfectly round balls, so pardon my somewhat oddball shaped creation.

 

Cover a styrofoam block with foil.

 

Melt the candy coating then dip in ends of lollipop sticks.

 

Harpoon cake balls with sticks and let rest until candy has hardened.

 

Cover cake balls with candy coating. I used a spoon to drizzle over the balls. Gently tap stick on edge of bowl to get off excess coating.

 

While candy coating is still warm, decorate balls with your choice of sprinkles, crushed peppermint, chocolate shavings or whatever tickles your fancy. Poke sticks into foam and let set until coating has hardened.

 

Serve and enjoy!

 

Holiday Cake Balls

1 cake mix (baked according to package directions)

1 can frosting

1 package candy coating (I used Almond Bark)

Sprinkles or other decoration

Lollipop sticks

Bake the cake according to package directions. Cool completely.

In a large bowl, break up entire cake then mix in 1/2 of the can of frosting. I used chocolate just because I need chocolate like most people need air, but you could choose any flavor cake and frosting.

You may have to get your hands into the project to get it thoroughly mixed and you most definitely will get hands-on- involvement when you form the balls. The size is totally dependent on how big you want to make them. I’d stick in the ballpark of between one to two inches diameter.

Once the ball are formed, melt the candy coating. I did just a few bricks at a time so the whole bowl of coating wouldn’t get hard before I was done. You can just pop it into the microwave in 30-second intervals until it is melted. Do not reheat it as it gets gunky and icky quickly. Use it up then melt the next round.

When  the candy coating is ready, dip in the ends of the sticks then stab them into the balls. Let them sit until the coating is nice and firm. This is very important. If you don’t do this, your sticks may fall out and that would be tragic.

Once the balls are ready for dipping, use a spoon to swirl coating over the balls. Tap the edge of the stick lightly on the bowl to get off excess coating. Cover the ball in sprinkles, crushed candy canes, whatever sounds good and looks tasty. Then poke a hole with the stick into the foam black and let rest until the coating is good and firm.

Repeat until all balls are coated. You can put these in the freezer, wrap in individual cellophane bags or share them for devouring as soon as you are finished.

Enjoy!

She Who Liked These Way Too Much

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