Desserts · Family · Family Favorites · Holidays

Chocolate Mousse by Megan

Megan is the dessert queen of our family.  She whipped up this decadent dessert and served it in an antique compote dish of my Mother’s.  It was rich, velvety and so wonderful.  Perfect for your Valentine’s Day dinner…or anytime you want to spoil your family and friends.

CHOCOLATE MOUSSE

6 ounces (170 g) semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
6 tablespoons (89 g) unsalted butter, cubed
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream
Sweetened whipped cream, chocolate shavings, and fresh strawberries for garnish, optional

  • In a small heatproof bow, combine the chocolate and butter. Set the bowl over a pot of barely simmering water. Stir constantly until chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove from heat but leave the pot of simmering water on the burner.
  • In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until well combined. Set the bowl over the pot of barely simmering water and whisk for about 5 minutes, until the mixture turns pale and becomes slightly stiff. Remove from heat.
  • Stir in the vanilla followed by the chocolate mixture. Stir for a few more minutes to allow the mixture to cool then set aside until it cools to room temperature.
  • In a large bowl, whip the cream to soft peaks. Whisk 1/4 of the whipped cream into the cooled chocolate mixture. Use a silicone spatula to gently fold in the remaining whipped cream until fully mixed in.
  • Divide the mousse among four 6-ounce ramekins and refrigerate until set, about 1 hours.
  • Garnish with whipped cream, chocolate shavings, raspberries, or strawberries if desired.

HOMEMADE WHIPPED CREAM

1 cup (240 ml) heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

  • In a medium bowl, whip cream with an electric mixer on medium-low speed just until soft peaks form.
  • Add vanilla extract and sugar. Continue to whip until the cream forms stiff peaks. Make sure not to over beat, the cream will become lumpy and butter-like.

Recipe from bakedbyanintrovert.com

Book Club · Desserts · New Favorite

Mango Shrikhand

Mango Shrikhand was a recipe made by my friend, Diane, for Book Club now over a year ago.  It was delicious and I wanted to try to make it at home.  I made it with Greek Yogurt and cut the cardamon in half.

For those who don’t love Greek Yogurt, I would recommend using Vanilla yogurt.  If you don’t like cardamom, try using cinnamon.  If you don’t like mango, try another fruit.  It’s a versatile recipe and healthy dessert.

MANGO SHRIKHAND

2 1/2 (8 ounce) container plain yogurt (I used Greek yogurt)
3/4 cup mango puree
5 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom (I used 1/8 teaspoon)
2 tablespoons crushed almonds

  • Line a colander with a clean piece of cheesecloth. Place colander over a tall vessel to collect the dripping water.
  • Pour yogurt onto the cheesecloth and gently twist the ends. Tie the ends into a knot above the yogurt.  Let drain and thicken in the refrigerator, 5 hours to overnight.
  • Whisk yogurt, mango puree, confectioners’ sugar, and cardamom in a bowl until well blended.
  • Refrigerate Shrikhand for 1 to 2 hours. Garnish with crushed almonds and serve chilled.

Recipe from allrecipes.com

Desserts · Family Favorites

Peach Raspberry Cobbler

Palisade (Colorado) peaches are divine and something our family looks forward to each year.  Due to an early freeze, we weren’t sure we could purchase peaches.  A local high school band had a fundraiser with peaches and we purchased 3 boxes of the most beautiful peaches.

Palisade Peaches

This recipe for cobbler combines my favorite two fruits, raspberry and peach. My mouth waters just thinking about it.  Fresh fruit is the best but I have also made from frozen peaches with great results.

What will I do with the rest of the peaches?   Oh, wonderful peach salsa!

PEACH RASPBERRY COBBLER

8 medium sized peaches (about 2 lb. or 4 cups), ripe peeled and sliced
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups raspberries, rinsed and drained
1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a shallow 1.5 to 2 quart baking dish.
  • Mix together peaches, 1/2 cup sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch, and cinnamon. Pour into prepared baking dish.  Sprinkle raspberries over the peaches.
  • In a food processor or a bowl, mix together flour, 3/4 c. sugar, butter and nutmeg until it has the texture of coarse oatmeal.  Crumble over the fruit.
  • Bake until bubbling in the center and golden brown on top, about 45 -60 minutes.
  • Cool for at least 10 minutes.  Best served warm with vanilla ice cream.
Family · Family Favorites · Holidays · Home

Thanksgiving Family Favorites

And these are a few of my favorite things!  Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends.

CRANBERRY RELISH

CRANBERRY BREAD

Cranberry Bread

PUMPKIN PIE

The Best Ever Pumpkin Pie

PUMPKIN BREAD

PUMPKIN BARS

QUINOA WITH ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH, PINE NUTS, FETA

ROASTED BRUSSEL SPROUTS, CINNAMON SQUASH, PECANS & DRIED CHERRIES

TURKEY AND DRESSING

TURKEY VEGETABLE SOUP

Cookies and Bars · Family · My Roots · New Favorite · New Traditions

Cherry Bars

Cherry desserts are one of my favorites and I had to try this Cherry Bars recipe from my late Aunt Joyce’s recipe box.  While I don’t recall ever having these, they are wonderful. The combination of almond and cherry…yum!

Leafing through old, handwritten recipe cards is such a treasure…a lost tradition in today’s world.

CHERRY BARS

1 cup butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 eggs, beat after addition of each egg
3 cups flour
1/8 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. almond extract
1 can cherry pie filling

  • Preheat over to 350 degrees. Grease 10×15″ pan.
  • Cream together butter and sugar.  Add eggs one at a time and beat after each addition.
  • Sift together flour, salt and baking powder.
  • Slowly add flour mixture to batter.  Then add vanilla and almond extract.
  • Spread 1/2 of batter into pan.  Spool filling on top and spread to cover. Drop the remaining batter by spoonfuls over the top.
  • Bake for about 40 minutes.  Watch it to just golden brown.
  • Drizzle with glaze of 1 cup powdered sugar, 4 or more tsp. milk, a few drops of almond extract.  Add milk until the drizzle consistency is reached.
Desserts · Gluten Free · Holidays · New Traditions

Patriotic Brownie Fruit Dessert…Gluten Free or Not

Krusteaz’s Double Chocolate Gluten-Free Brownie mix is an absolute favorite of mine, first discovered at Costco many moons ago.  It’s delicious and even lovers of gluten will love them.

This mix was the perfect base for a patriot, 4th of July dessert with fresh berries and a cream cheese base.  This recipe can easily be cut in half and baked in a round or square pan.

The dessert is best served the day it is made but leftovers brownies can be good for 1-2 days.

PATRIOTIC BROWNIE FRUIT DESSERT

2 packages Double Chocolate Krusteaz gluten-free brownie mix (I bought a large box at Costco) and ingredients stated on the box (water, vegetable oil, egg)
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
2 cups fresh blueberries
2 cups fresh red raspberries
1 cup apple jelly

  • Make brownies according to package directions and bake in greased jelly roll or sheet pan as directed. Let cool completely.
  • Beat together softened cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth.
  • Spread mixture over cooled, baked brownies.
  • Top with berries.
  • Still jelly until smooth and brush over berries
  • Refrigerate dessert until ready to serve.
Desserts · New Favorite · New Traditions · Vegan · Vegetarian

Cherry Granita

Sour Pie Cherries are one of my favorite summer finds.  In the late summer, the Farmer’s Market has frozen tubs of cherries and I hoard them until Christmas when I make Cherry Kolaches. I froze the extra cherry juice to make  Cherry Granita. What a delightful, refreshing treat from extra juice.

CHERRY GRANITA

3 cups sour cherry juice
1 lemon, juice of
1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • Put the cherry juice in the saucepan over a medium heat, along with the sugar.
  • Cook until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat.  Cool.
  • Pour the cherry mixture into a shallow container and freeze, stirring about once every hour, bringing ice crystals from the edge into the center.
  • It will take about 5 hours to freeze completely.
  • To serve:  Remove from freezer 5-10 minutes before serving.
Desserts · New Favorite

Bailey’s Poptails…adult dessert on a stick

I was cruising the net for frozen yogurt pops and ran across this yummy recipe for Baileys Poptails.  I have a bottle of Baileys in my pantry begging to be used so this was a great solution for a hot summer after dinner treat. I eliminated the coffee from the recipe because I don’t need caffeine at night and just doubled the Baileys to 4 ounces.

Daughter, Megan, suggested that melted chocolate in the milk and cream (and then cooling) would also be a great variation to try next time.

BAILEYS POPTAILS

1/2 cup Heavy Cream
1 1/2 cups 2% Milk
3 tablespoons Instant Coffee (I chose not to add coffee)
2 tablespoons Whole Cane Sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure Vanilla Extract
pinch of Sea Salt
2 ounces Baileys Irish Cream (I doubled the Bailey’s Irish Cream to replace the coffee)

  • Bring all ingredients (excluding Baileys) to a simmer in a saucepan. Stir, and remove from heat when well combined. Transfer to a container & place in the fridge for about 1 hour or until cool.
  • Remove from fridge & mix in the Baileys Irish Cream. Pour poptail mixture into pop molds. Add the stick.
  • Freeze overnight.

Recipe adapted from Family Fresh Cooking

Family · Family Favorites · Home · My Roots

Oatmeal Cake just like Mom used to make

Oatmeal cake with broiled topping is truly a walk down memory lane. My Mother didn’t make this cake often, but when she did, it was a treat.

This time I decided to bake the cake in two 9×9″ pans and freeze one for later…or so I thought. While the cakes and topping were cooling and while I was trying to settle grandson, Evan, into his afternoon nap, the dogs decided to sample one of the cakes. I was so unhappy, I didn’t take the time to snap one of those naughty dog photos!

Luckily one cake remained and it was delicious! The cake is moist and the crunch topping is so yummy.  Top with a dallop of whipped cream.

Thanks, Mom for a great recipe.  And to the dogs…I’ll choose to say nothing.

OATMEAL CAKE

1 cup quick oatmeal
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 1/2 cups flour plus 2 tablespoons flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup shortening
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease 9×13″ (or two 9×9″) cake pans.
  • Mix together oatmeal and boiling water. Let stand 20 minutes and cool.
  • Mix flour, brown sugar, white sugar, shortening, eggs, salt, cinnamon and soda. Add cooled oatmeal.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes. Prepare topping while the cake is baking.

TOPPING:
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup brown sugar
6 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts
1 cup coconut

  • Bring all ingredients to a boil. Spread topping over cake while cake and topping are hot.

  • Put cake and topping under broiler and let topping brown.

Serve warm with whipped cream.

Family · Family Favorites

Banana Bread with Banana Jam…double the flavor!

Banana Bread is an old time favorite that my Mother and the women before her made for their families. I like it plain, with a little butter, but always shared with family and friends.

This time I decided to try it with the Banana Jam we drooled over in Nicaragua and I wasn’t disappointed.  This combination is great for breakfast, coffee, or dessert. Just say BANANA!

BANANA BREAD

2 cups sifted all purpose flour (or gluten-free flour)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup mashed bananas
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
1 teaspoon flour

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Sift together 2 cups flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg.
  • Cream together shortening and sugar.
  • Blend in eggs and vanilla; mix well.
  • Add dry ingredients alternately with bananas, mixing just until blended.
  • Combine pecans and 1 tsp. flour; stir into batter. Pour into greased 9″ tube pan.
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes or until bread tests done. Cool in pan on rack 10 minutes. Remove from pan; cool on rack.

Yield: 1 loaf