It’s officially the middle of summer and I don’t know how it is in your neck of the woods, but here in Arizona it is HOT! It’s the kind of hot that makes you only want to eat light foods that won’t weigh you down and lucky for you I have the perfect dessert for just such a day: Lemon Fluff.
Lemon Fluff has been a favorite of mine since I was little. I remember my mom making it until I was around 5 or 6 and then not having it for years. It turns out around that time my mom helped make a dinner for our church and her part was to make 15 pans of Lemon Fluff. After that my mother didn’t want to make it again. When I was coming home from college one year my mother asked what I’d like for her to make while I was home and this dessert immediately came to mind. It has now become a staple for me every time that I go home (I took this picture when I was at home this summer. Don’t you just love my mom’s china?) and it’s one of my favorite things to have in the heat of the summer.
Lemon Fluff is just what is sounds like, light, airy and so good I could sit down and eat an entire 9×13 pan in one sitting with no problem at all.
It has a graham cracker crust on the bottom that is the perfect compliment to the mousse like lemon mixture on the top.
There are a couple of things to keep in mind when making this dessert. First is to get the evaporated milk into the refrigerator ahead of time so that it has time to chill. The second thing is to make sure that you don’t let the jello set. This is what I’ve messed up on the most. It still tastes good but ideally you don’t want chunks of jello in the whipped lemon mixture
This is perfect for serving at a small intimate affair and it’s great for a crowd. Just don’t be surprised when people ask for seconds, thirds ,and fourths, because it’s that good.
Place evaporated milk in the refrigerator to chill (I like to do this the night before). Crush graham crackers into crumbs. Mix crumbs, butter and 1/3 C sugar together and press evenly into a 9x13 pan and put into the refrigerator to chill. Dissolve jello, 3/4 C sugar, and lemon juice in boiling water. Chill jello until almost set (be careful not to let it set all the way!). Whip chilled milk with electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add the jello mixture and whip together. Pour over the crust and let chill a minimum of 2 hours.
Let’s start with the graham cracker pancakes. These showed such promise. They had graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar and cinnamon. I thought they would knock it out of the park. They didn’t. Now, don’t get me wrong, they were good, but regular pancakes are good too and the don’t take nearly the effort or the amount of ingredients. Everyone liked them and ate all of them, but on one went crazy for them. Do what you will with that information.
The cheesecake topping was really good. I thinned it out by putting in more cool whip than was originally called for. When I ate it on the pancakes I felt like it overtook the whole thing. I ended up spreading it on very thin and it was perfect. It was a delicious filling and would work well as a frosting. I’m keeping this recipe tucked away to use on a cake or cupcakes in the future. It would be perfect with pumpkin cupcakes, or pumpkin bread, or gingerbread…you get the idea.
I’ve saved the best for last…the glazed fruit. The original recipe called for using blueberries. I’ve been buying raspberries like crazy this year (yeah for low prices!!) and so I had raspberries on hand. I love that the fruit is not cooked for this glaze. You simply make a lemon syrup and then toss the berries in it. The syrup gives them a wonderful sweet tang that would pair well on any breakfast or dessert that berries would be appropriate for.
So there you have it. The pancakes may not have been all that I was hoping that they would be, but the cheesecake and berries (great surprise!) made up for it.
Cheesecake Graham Cracker Pancakes with Raspberries
Cheesecake Graham Cracker Pancakes with Raspberries
For the pancakes, in a large mixing bowl, combine flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, buttermilk, whole milk, melted butter and vanilla extract. Gently stir egg mixture into the dry ingredients do not over mix, lumps are okay. Over medium heat, pour batter onto a hot griddle. Cook until bubbles form, flip pancake and continue to cook until done. Serve with cheesecake topping and glazed raspberries.
To make the cheesecake topping, beat cream cheese on medium speed with a handmixer until soft and fluffy. Add brown sugar, powdered sugar, vanilla and cinnamon continue to beat at medium speed until well combined. On low speed, add Cool Whip just until combined.
To make the glazed raspberries stir powdered sugar, water and lemon juice in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat until mixture boils vigorously, 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in berries.
A few months back I went with some friends to Oregano’s here in Phoenix for the first time. I’ve been hearing about how good they are for years, but with all of their locations on the opposite side of town, I had never gotten to eat there. Now they have two locations near us. Yeah!! One of my friends, who has lots of experience eating there, suggested that we try the KickBUTT Garlic Bread with cheese. Good suggestion! It was buttery and garlicky and cheesy and perfect! I decided that I need to make a copycat version and I have to say that I’m pretty proud of how it turned out. I love having it for a change of pace with a pasta dinner and it is always impressive when we have guests over for dinner. I mean really, who isn’t going to love bread, butter and cheese?
This recipe uses Our Best Bites Garlic Bread Seasoning It is key to bringing in the right balance of flavor. I use it both in the butter and sprinkled on top because, as far as I’m concerned, you can’t use too much garlic bread seasoning. I don’t specify an amount because how much garlic I think is a personal preference.
After brushing the garlic butter over both halves (be generous!) add your cheese. I like a mix of mozzarella and cheddar. Colby Jack would also work well. If you want your cheese to be nicely melted and gooey, use cheese that you have to grate yourself. Pre-grated cheese has a coating on it to prevent it from sticking together. This also affects it in the melting process.
After it come out of the oven add a light sprinkling of the garlic bread seasoning and dried parsley. Cut and watch it get devoured! * this is very rich so don’t be surprised if most people only have 1-2 pieces.
Cut the French bread in half, horizontally. Mix the melted butter and garlic bread seasoning. Brush on French bread. Spread both cheeses on the bread. Cook under the broiler until melted and bubbly; about 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle garlic bread seasoning, garnish with parsley for added color and cut into pieces to serve.
I had a thought last week. It was a simple thought really. I thought that I should do a recipe this week for Cinco de Mayo next Tuesday. It’s big here in Arizona and I think that it might actually be against the law to not eat Mexican food on that day. Just kidding, but in all seriousness, I love holidays that I can center my food around.
I decided that instead of a salsa or dinner recipe, like enchiladas, I wanted to do something for breakfast. We are huge fans of churros around our house so I thought that a muffin that tasted like a churro would be perfect. After doing a brief search on Pinterest I found a recipe for Mexican Honey Puffs on Blackjack Bakehouse that looked like they would be exactly what I wanted. Better yet, the recipe was reposted on 4 other blogs! Normally I see this as a sign that the recipe is going to be good. So I got to the grocery store and picked up my club soda (the only ingredient I didn’t have on hand) and got to making my Honey Puffs. And they were….ok. The outside was great. It had a nice crisp shell that the cinnamon sugar clung to, but on the inside, I was not a fan of the texture and it tasted eggy. I haven’t made anything that tasted that eggy since I received my lifetime ban from making lemon bars from scratch when I was 12 years old. (After trying the recipe a half a dozen times, my mom forbid me from ever trying again; and I haven’t) So back to the puffs, I had a couple of ideas on how to make them not taste like a cinnamon covered egg biscuit, but after two more tries, I still was not impressed with the results.
Then inspiration hit me, and when I say inspiration I really do mean that I had said a prayer for help and it came. I remembered a simple muffin recipe that my friend Amy gave to me many moons ago. It is a plain muffin that you can add whatever fruit or spices that you want to it. I decided to combine the two recipes and miracle of miracles, I love the results. I’m so excited to be able to share with you a recipe that my family and I love and not just tell you about one that didn’t work out.
You read the temperature right. These babies bake at 475 degrees. You need the temperature that high to get the outside to the right crispness. The club soda is in the recipe because it also helps the outside get that light, crisp crust that we are looking for.
I wouldn’t make these as full size muffins. That would throw off the ratio of cinnamon sugar to muffin. You have been warned.
The original recipe had you dip the muffins into the cinnamon sugar right away and it stuck to the muffin marvelously. Unfortunately, with my new recipe, I did not have this result. The muffin had a little bit stick to it, but not a coating, like a churro would have. That’s when I decided to bring in the melted butter. My Paula Deen training has taught me that anything can be made better by adding a stick of butter or cup of mayo, or in this case melted butter. 🙂 By quickly covering the muffin in the butter, it then has a thick coat of cinnamon sugar when it comes out of the mixture. Perfection!
These muffins would be great for breakfast or for dessert, or as an office treat to share, but only if you want everyone talking about what an amazing baker you are!
Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Grease a 24 cup min muffin tray. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and 1/3 cup of sugar. Add oil, egg, and club soda water to the mixture and whisk just until combined (it's ok for there to be lumps). Fill muffin cups to 3/4 full. Bake for 15 minutes. Let muffins cool for 5 minutes after taking them out of the oven. Melt butter in a bowl the size of a cereal bowl. Combine second 1/3 cup of sugar with cinnamon in a paper bag or gallon sized Ziploc bag. After 5 minutes is over, dip each muffin quickly in butter and place in cinnamon sugar. After half or all of the muffin are in the cinnamon sugar, seal the bag and shake it so that all muffins are coated in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Place on a cooling rack to finish cooling. Serve with honey, if desired.
I am very excited to finally get this post up today! It has been in the works since before Valentine’s Day when my husband brought home a recipe from the newspaper for crepes and suggested I do a post on them.(I love how he’s always thinking of me 🙂 ) First I had to try out the recipe and it was perfect! I love these chocolate crepes.
Next, I needed to work out the fillings and that is what has slowed down this post. I now have three different crepe fillings that each are amazing in their own right. The wonderful thing about all three of the flavored whipped creams is that they all are simple to make. No using a double boiler or tempering eggs like is required in traditional mousse recipes.
The article also had a recipe for a hazelnut mousse that I was super excited to try. It called for hazelnut paste, which I had never used. I tracked some down and tried out the recipe and it was good, but the nutella mousse that I made for mini trifles I thought was just as good, a lot easier to make and cost less to make. So, after all of those points in the original recipe’s favor, I saw no point in using the new recipe. If you are a fan of hazelnut and chocolate, this is a guaranteed winner.
The final filling in our trifecta is coconut whipped cream. I really cannot say it enough. Ilovethis whipped cream! Coconut+ Chocolate=YUM! Here’s the details on how to create this sophisticated and impressive dessert that is always a hit.
The chocolate flavor in these crepes is very mild. They are light and tender and perfect for breakfast/brunch, a bridal shower, baby shower, or dinner party. You can have a fancy “Build your own Crepe” bar with different fillings and toppings. I used coconut whipped cream, strawberry whipped cream, and nutella mousse. (click on the links to find the recipes) I garnished the tops with toasted coconut, grated hazelnuts, and powdered sugar. Chocolate syrup is also great drizzled across the top.
When I first learned to make crepes I would put all of the ingredients in the blender, turn it on, and cook the crepes. Since then I learned a few things to make my crepes better. First, I have you strain the ingredients twice when making these crepes. Once to make sure and get the lumps out of the dry ingredients and once to make sure there are not lumps in the batter. I have you do the first one because cocoa can have a tendency to have lots of lumps and I want to lose as little cocoa as possible when we strain the batter the second time.
You will want to make sure that you give yourself enough time to let the batter rest for at least 1 hour. This will give the gluten time to relax and will result in a lighter, more airy crepe. If you plan on making them for breakfast, making the batter the night before and putting it in the refrigerator will make cooking them in the morning a breeze.
Cooking crepes on both sides is a personal decision. I grew up cooking crepes on only one side, my husband insists that they be cooked on both. I now cook ours’ on both sides because the second side only takes about 5 seconds to cook and it’s that important to him.
I’m including a video with a demonstration of “How to cook crepes;” If you’ve never done it before, don’t be intimidated. They really are fairly easy. Hopefully the video will help you feel comfortable enough to try.
Measure flour, sugar, cocoa, and salt into a strained and sift together into a bowl. Wisk in milk and egg. Pour ingredients through a strainer to remove any lumps. Stir in butter and vanilla. Let rest for 1 hour or refrigerate overnight. When ready to cook, heat a non-stick pan over medium heat until hot. Spray with cooking spray and pour 3 tablespoons of batter into the 11 or 1 o'clock position of the pan. Off heat, rotate the pan until the batter covers the pan. Cook until the edges curl and the batter has turned dark, about 40 seconds. Flip the crepe and cook another 5-10 seconds. Stack cooked crepes between sheets of parchment paper, if not being eaten immediately. Serve with strawberry, Nutella, or coconut cream. Garnish with powdered sugar, grated hazelnuts or powdered sugar. Drizzle chocolate syrup on top.
This pie is something that came to me in a blaze of glorious inspiration and I fantasized about and dreamed that it would be as good as I hoped. I love strawberry and lime together. In fact I frequently pay extra to get a Strawberry-Lime slushie at Sonic instead of a Lemon-Berry. Why it costs more to get lime instead of lemon, I don’t understand, but for me it’s worth it. I have a serious obsession with lime. Even if you don’t, there’s a good chance that you’ll love this pie too.
This pie is a graham cracker crust with a lime custard-like layer on the bottom, a strawberry gelation layer on the top and is served with a coconut whipped cream that is so over the top good I can hardly stand it. (I’m not kidding, it took all the willpower I had to not get a spoon and just eat all of the coconut whipped cream that was left.)
I have tried the pie with both key lime and lime juice. I liked them both; my husband thought the key lime was a little bit too sharp. If you don’t have a lime obsession like me, you should probably stick with regular lime juice. My favorite brand of lemon and lime juice is Italia Garden. (I’ve included a picture; completely my opinion, not sponsored!) It has the freshest taste of any that I’ve tried. I also have tried adding a drop of green food coloring to the lime so it was green and not yellow. I personally decided I like the natural look better; I thought it looked like a Christmas pie with the green and red.
Make sure and use a nine inch pie plate. As it is, you will have extra of the strawberry mixture. I couldn’t figure out how to reduce it so just have a bowl or glass handy to put the extra in and you can serve it with whipped cream, keep it hidden for yourself to eat later. 🙂
The first time I made this pie I gave my kids the option of coconut or regular whipped cream. All of my kids chose regular. The next time I covered the whole pie with the coconut whipped cream and they all loved it. Boy 1 commented that it was way better with the coconut. Go figure, Mom knows what she’s talking about. If you’ve never used an emulsion, they are used in place of extracts by professional bakers and contain no alcohol. This enables the flavor stay more intense and true when exposed to high heat. I used to have to go to a cake decorating store to find them but they are becoming more popular and most Wal Marts and Hobby Lobbys are now carrying a selection of them.
The lime, strawberry and coconut come together to make this pie a tropical dream. So if you can’t be in paradise, just eat this pie, close your eyes and you’re almost there.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the graham crackers in a blender or food processer and grind down to crumbs the texture of sand. Pour into 9 inch pie plate and add 1/4 cup sugar. Mix together; add melted butter and combine until evenly incorporated. Press the mixture onto the sides and bottom of the pie plate. Set aside. In a mixing bowl place the egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk and lime juice. Whisk together and pour into pie plate. Cook in oven for 12-14 minutes. Take out and allow to cool. After lime layer has cooled, combine water, corn starch and sugar in a pot. Turn on heat to medium high and stir until boiling and the mixture is clear. Add jello and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Turn off oven and allow mixture to cool for 20-30 minutes. Cut strawberries and place them on top of the lime layer. Pour cooled strawberry mixture over the pie until pie is full (there will be extra). Pour extra strawberry mixture into a small bowl and put in the refrigerator; this is extra that you can use however you would like. Put pie in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours.
Just before serving pour whipped cream into a mixing bowl. Whip until soft peaks form. Add the sugar, coconut, and vanilla and whip until hard peaks form. Whipped cream can be served on individual pieces, spread over the top of the entire pie, or scooped into a piping bag with a large star tip and piped onto the top of the pie. Enjoy your taste of the tropics!!
I love everything in miniature. Slinkys, cupcakes, and babies to name a few. Sliders have always had a place in my heart for that reason. The little round buns, the cute little hamburger patties. What’s not to love?
There’s only been one time that I remember not being impressed by sliders. For a number of years date night, for my husband and myself, consisted of one of us putting kids to bed and the other going and picking up take out and a movie. On one such night I had ordered the sliders from Chili’s, which always looked adorable in their commercials. When I got home I was dismayed to find that I had gotten a full size hamburger, cut into quarters, with a toothpick in each quarter. Oh, and I got to pay a couple of dollars more than a regular hamburger for the privilege of having them do that. Just for the record Chili’s, I was not impressed.
The original recipe looked delicious but I couldn’t figure out what made it a Cuban. It seemed like it was just a ham and cheese sandwich with pickles and Dijon mustard. Really good, but nothing special. Since I’d never had one, I did some research and found that a traditional Cuban has ham, salami, pork (prepared with a special blend of spices), Swiss cheese, pickles and Dijon.
I immediately knew I could add the salami. The pork presented the harder part. The point of making this is that it’s something easy to assemble and takes little prep work. I didn’t feel like making a pork that had to cook for 24 hrs qualified. 😉 I decided that the simplest thing to do would be to forgo the pork and add the spices to the melted butter and mustard mixture that you pour over the top of the sliders. I found a recipe on The Fork ran away with the Spoon that was for “sazon complete,” a Cuban seasoning mix. I referred to this as a guideline for what to use and what ratio to keep things in. The results were pretty darn good, if I do say so myself.
I used baby Swiss cheese because I don’t like the strong flavor of Swiss. I also decided to make my Hawaiian rolls because I had some pineapple juice on hand and needed to use it. The rolls were perfect with it, but you can buy them just as easy. The store bought ones are about half the size so adjust the recipe accordingly if you use them.
Everyone in my family loved them! They were also great the next day in lunches and as after school snacks. They can be eaten cold or reheated in the microwave for about 30 seconds. They also would make a great party or buffet food.
So, make some of these, crank up the Will Smith, and “Let’s go to Miami!” (did I just really date myself)
These cute little sliders are bursting the flavors of Miami. Perfect for a crowd, but can easily be scaled down.
These cute little sliders are bursting the flavors of Miami. Perfect for a crowd, but can easily be scaled down.
Preheat oven to Cut rolls in half, horizontally, and place in 2 9x13 pans. Cut ham slices in half. Fold each slice in half and place one on each roll. Cut slices of cheese in half and place one half on each roll. Place one slice of salami and one pickle in the center of each roll. Replace top on each roll. Whisk together remaining ingredients. Slowly pour over sliders, making sure to cover each with the mixture. Cover with foil and cook in the oven for 15 minutes. Uncover the pans and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
This recipe was made using homemade King's Hawaiian Rolls. If using store bought, they will all fit in one 9x13 pan and some adjusting of ingredients may be needed.
I wish that I had a great story to tell you about my memories of Hawaii and how amazing and relaxing it is there and how having King’s Hawaiian Rolls makes me feel for a moment like I’m back there, but alas, I have no memories of Hawaii. Never been there. My husband’s grandmother lives there so I’ve had many yummy things from Hawaii that she has sent us over the years (thanks Grandma Shinners!) and I even have a couple of Hawaiian recipes that my friend Becky has shared with me (Aloha Becky!) so I am left to my imagination as I eat these things and dream of Hawaii. King’s Hawaiian Rolls are right in there with them. These soft, sweet and squishy rolls have such a unique flavor and are so good with any meal that I serve.
I have been seeing recipes for King’s Hawaiian Rolls all of Pinterest recently and given that they are not the cheapest rolls to buy in the store, I decided to given them a try and see if they really were as good as the ones you can buy. To make my recipe I looked at Cheerios and Lattes’ recipe, La Petite Brioche’s recipe, and Kitchen Meets Girl’s Recipe. All of them were really similar. There was slight variations between the three. I combined parts from each to make my rolls. I made 15 rolls and 1 loaf of bread. Here’s what I thought.
These rolls are really good. They have their own flavor that you won’t find anywhere else. They were very soft.
I wouldn’t make a loaf of bread again with it. The bread was way to crumbly for my taste.
The family loved them. They were inhaled very quickly.
I don’t know if I would say that they are “just like the store bought ones,” but they are pretty close.
I wished that I had had a little bit of pineapple juice left to brush on them as soon as they came out of the oven. If you add moisture to the top of your bread or rolls you want to do it as soon as they come out of the oven. This helps the top to be more moist. If you miss and forget, don’t do it later. You’ll just make the bread soggy.
This is a fairly forgiving roll recipe, so if you are new to bread /roll making, this is a good one to start with.
If you are wondering how to get the beautiful round shape, check out this video from Mel at Mel’s Kitchen Cafe.
Let me know how your roll making adventure’s go!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl combine pineapple juice, sugar, ginger, vanilla, melted butter, and eggs. Whisk until eggs are thoroughly combined.
Place 4 cups of flour in a stand mixer bowl with kneading hook. Stir in the egg mixture until well-combined. Sprinkle in the yeast and mix. Add the remaining 2 1/2-3 cups of flour and mix in. If dough is sticking to the sides of the bowl, add more flour. Dough should be slightly tacky, but not wet. Knead the dough for 5 minutes until it forms a smooth ball. Place dough in a greased bowl and set aside to rise until doubled in size (about 1 1/2 hours).
Punch down and shape into 24 rolls or place dough 2 greased 9x13 pans.
Cover with a light towel and let rise in a warm place for one hour.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Brush tops with pineapple juice or melted butter, and serve warm.