If there is one drink that is my kryptonite, it's the slushie. It's the perfect drink for a hot summer's day. I'm unapologetic about my support for this tasty icy invention.
This homemade strawberry limeade slushie is similar to what you'd get at your local Sonic. It's sweet, tangy, drinkable, but you can also eat it with a spoon. That is by definition, the perfect slushie to me. This drink is super refreshing and full of flavor. It comes together very quickly and with very few ingredients. Skip the drive-thru and give this recipe a try instead.
Cheesecakes are easy, but at the same time, they take just a bit of work. I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but it's not. Stay with me for a bit here. So, cheesecakes aren't complicated. They involve ingredients we typically have on hand. Graham cracker crumbs, cream cheese, eggs, sugar, heavy cream, etc. Cream the ingredients in a pan and bake them off. However, they are also a bit of work. Some people bake their cheesecakes in a water bath. I'm not saying a water bath is difficult to set-up, but anyone who's done it will attest to its awkward set-up. On top of that, it's not like you can just dive-in once it's baked. You have to wait for the next day for the cheesecake to set-up before doing that. That's probably the hardest part of it all. Well, sometimes you're just not feeling it. Sometimes you want to cut the ingredients, time, and effort in half. This recipe for no-bake mini cheesecakes will fill your cheesecake sweet tooth and it's so easy and quick to put together. No baking, no crust, no water bath, just easy mixing.
I'm just going to say it for everybody. "Casserole" doesn't sound appetizing. The word just has a bad connotation attached to it in the food world. You can blame things like Tuna casserole and other crazy concussions for that. However, I'm here to break that stigma. There are plenty of delicious casserole dishes out there. Lasanaga, baked ziti, and baked macaroni and cheese are great examples of amazing "casserole" dishes. Well, let me introduce one more to add to that list...French Toast Casserole. Yes, you read that right. French Toast Casserole. I love this dish so much! There's no need to soak the bread overnight. There's no need to stand over an oven and slave away flipping the bread at precisely the right moment. Nope, this dish allows you to put everything in one casserole dish, bake it off and you can enjoy the fruits of your labor. This version of french toast casserole is called "berries and cream french toast casserole." For good reason too. We have berries and cream cheese in the casserole. Then, we top it off with more berries and some whipped cream. Once you take a bite of your warm french toast, you'll think you died and went to heaven. It will take you to another dimension. I'm tellin' you.
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! Ice cream is an American favorite and with good reason. Creamy, cool and flavorful, what's not to like? Well, summertime is here and it's the perfect time to munch on some ice cream. I can't think of a better type of ice cream to eat than some homemade, eggless strawberry ice cream. Yes, it's homemade. That's a plus. The recipe has no eggs. That's a bonus. And it's strawberry ice cream...which yeah....is kind of amazing. So, kick back, relax and cool down with this great recipe. Oh yeah, did I mention none of those pesky ice crystals? There are two keys to this recipe's success. First, we toss the strawberries in sugar and let the large amounts of liquid in the berries drain. We don't want that water in our ice cream. Secondly, we use milk powder. It's key to absorbing the excess liquid and contributing to a creamy texture. Enough talk, let's get started.
Start by tossing the strawberries in sugar and letting them sit at room temperature covered with plastic wrap for 6-8 hours.
Drain the excess liquid through a colander and place in a bowl.
Pour in the milk, sugar, vanilla, milk powder, salt.
Use a blender or immersion blender to blend the mixture together. You don't want any lumps of powder or berries. It should be a smooth, uniform mixture. Pour in the heavy cream and stir until combined.
Pour the mixture into your ice cream machine until about ½-3/4 full and churn 15-20 minutes or until soft serve consistency.
You can enjoy at this point, but I suggest freezing it from anywhere to a few hours up to overnight. If you choose to freeze, leave out for 5-10 minutes before serving.
See how I do it:
- 1 lb fresh or frozen strawberries
- 1 ¼ cups granulated or cane sugar
- 1 ½ cups whole milk
- ¾ cup skim milk powder
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Toss the strawberries in ½ cup of the sugar in a bowl and allow to sit out at room temperature covered with plastic wrap for 6-8 hours.
Drain the strawberries in a colander in the sink.
Combine the strawberries, milk, milk powder, vanilla extract, ¾ cup sugar in a bowl and use a blender or immersion blender to puree until smooth. No lumps should remain.
Pour in the heavy cream and stir until uniform in color.
Transfer this ice cream base into the ice cream maker and churn about 15-20 minutes, according to manufacturer's instructions. Make sure you only fill it about ½ way full or ¾ way full when you pour the base in. You'll have two batches of base.
Transfer the finished ice cream to a storage container. Serve immediately or harden in your freezer for 8 hours or up to overnight.
Temper ice cream for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish how you please and enjoy!
You'll have extra ice cream base. It makes about two batches worth. Don't over churn and leave some space in the ice cream maker so "overrun" can occur.
Thumbprint cookies are elegant, delicious and so easy to make. The perfect accompaniment at your next brunch or tea party. Thumbprint cookies are typically shortbread cookies that are filled with fruit jam. My version is a little nonconventional as I use a sugar cookie dough base. I'll eventually share a thumbprint cookie recipe with a shortbread base, but this is just as delicious a recipe. This is too easy and too delicious to not try.
You'll need sugar, butter and sour cream.
You'll also need vanilla extract, an egg and a lemon.
Lastly, you'll need some flour, salt and baking powder.
Combine the butter, sugar and sour cream in a mixer and mix until light and fluffy about 5 minutes. Scrape.
Add in the egg and vanilla. Mix until combined. Scrape.
Add in the dry ingredients and pulse until just combined. Finish folding in the rest of the flour. Mixture will still appear crumbly, but big chunks of flour shouldn't be visible.
Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or more.
Use a mini ice cream scoop to scoop out two scoops of dough and form a ball. Make an indentation with your thumb, deep enough to hold the jam. Place on a pre-greased baking sheet.
Fill with your favorite jam and bake off for 10-12 minutes. Leave the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about five minutes. Cool completely before glazing.
Make your glaze and drizzle on top of the cookies.
See how I do it:
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon sour cream
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- ½ tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- zest from one small or medium sized lemon
- juice from one small or medium sized lemon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1-3 tablespoons milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- zest and juice from half a medium sized lemon
Combine the sugar, butter and sour cream in a mixer and mix until light and fluffy, about five minutes.
Add in the egg and vanilla extract and mix until combined.
Add in lemon zest and juice until combined.
Dump in the dry ingredients and pulse until just combined. Fold in the rest until flour isn't visible. Don't overmix! Mixture will still appear crumbly.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour or more, until you're ready to bake it off.
Once out of the fridge, use a mini ice cream scoop. Scoop out one or two scoops worth of dough. Roll between your palms to form a ball and use your thumb to form an indentation in the middle. Place the cookie balls about 2" apart. Spoon in your favorite strawberry jam in the middle. Continue doing this until all cookies are filled with jam.
Bake off at 350°F for about 10-12 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the sheet for about five minutes and continue to cool completely on a wire rack.
Combine your powdered sugar, vanilla, zest, juice and milk until a glaze that is the correct consistency is accomplished. You want the glaze not too thin, and not too thick like frosting. You should be able to drizzle it.
Once the cookies are cool, drizzle the glaze over the top. Let the glaze dry, then enjoy!
Use your favorite homemade or jarred strawberry jam. You can use any flavor jam if you want to switch it up. Add as much milk as you need for a good glaze consistency, a tablespoon at a time. Good, soft cookies should not be over mixed or over baked. This is a sugar cookie base instead of a shortbread base.
This strawberry sauce is so versatile. You can use it to top ice cream, cheesecakes, cakes, and pretty much anything else you want. Though it's not strawberry season at the moment, Spring and Summer is just around the corner, so we may as well get ready for it the right way. The sauce is delicious, but not overpowering like some may be. I'll personally be using this sauce to make a tasty trifle. Watch out for that next week!
Start by placing some whole strawberries to the side. You'll cut off the tops and slice these, but you won't put them into your sauce until after it's cooked. Cut off the tops and slice in half the rest of the berries. Place in a saucepan with the sugar.
Cook on a medium to medium-low heat for about 15 minutes or until thicker. Stir occasionally. A wooden spoon is best for this recipe.
Once it's done cooking, it should look something like this.
Take off the heat and pour into a separate bowl. Add in the lemon zest and vanilla and mix.
Blend with your immersion blender until desired thickness is reached. If you want it thinner, add in some water or lemon juice when in the cooking process. It will obviously be tarter if you go the lemon juice route. You can also strain it after you blend it and just add the liquid to some sliced berries and mix.
Enjoy with some ice cream, cheesecake or in a trifle, like I'll be doing. Keep covered, refrigerated for up to a week.
See how I do it:
Cut the tops of the strawberries and slice them in half. Leave two whole berries to the side and slice them as well. Place in a saucepan along with the sugar. Cook on a medium to medium-low heat for about 15 minutes until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat and pour into a seperate bowl. Add in the lemon zest and vanilla and mix. Use a immersion blender to blend to the consistency you'd like. Enjoy! Refrigerate covered for up to a week.
Cut the tops of the strawberries and slice them in half. Leave two whole berries to the side and slice them as well. Place in a saucepan along with the sugar.
Cook on a medium to medium-low heat for about 15 minutes until the sauce thickens.
Remove from the heat and pour into a seperate bowl.
Add in the lemon zest and vanilla and mix.
Use a immersion blender to blend to the consistency you'd like.
Refrigerate covered for up to a week.
Sorry guys for missing last week. There has been a lot going on. Between work, finals, having to do a dessert table for my aunt's graduation party and catching a cold over that time. To say it's been crazy lately is a huge understatement. I'm still recovering from the illness, so I decided to give you something very easy to make.
Jams, although they seem easy to make, can be more complicated then they need to be. Some people think you need canning jars, pectin and thermometers. All that is not necessary. People are just over complicating it for no reason. This recipe will yield a delicious jam that thickens beautifully in no time. Oh yeah, and it tastes so good! No pectin is needed. No thermometer and no canning jars. Lastly, you can also substitute the strawberries for any other berry, as well.
Start by cutting of the green tops of the strawberries and cutting the berries in half and then in half again, into chunks.
Wash the chunks when finished and set aside.
Wash and peel and core a Granny Smith apple and cut it in half. When peeling, it doesn't have to be perfect.
Begin grating half the apple. You can use a box grater or a microplane, though, a microplane will take you longer.
Set aside some sugar. I use some vanilla sugar that I make by leaving an old vanilla bean in the sugar jar over time. Regular boring sugar works as well.
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the strawberries, sugar and grated apple. Stir occasionally.
Heat this mixture for about 10-15 minutes and until it thickens significantly. Stir throughout this process.
Take off the heat and stir in the lemon juice.
Pour the mixture in a small canning jar or a ramekin or bowl. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least four hours or up to overnight. It will thicken and improve in flavor as it sits.
This jam will last up to two weeks in a wrapped container in the fridge.
See how I do it:
- 8 oz fresh or frozen strawberries, hulled, washed and diced in chunks
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar or homemade vanilla sugar
- half a granny smith apple, peeled and grated
- ½ tablespoon lemon juice
Combine ½ pound fresh (or frozen, thawed) hulled, quartered strawberries and the ⅓ cup sugar in a saucepan.
Stir and heat over medium heat, use the rubber spatula to break up the strawberries.
Stir in ½ peeled, coarsely grated large Granny Smith apple. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring and breaking up strawberries, until sugar dissolves.
Simmer until jam is thickened, 10-15 minutes. Stir in ½ tablespoon fresh lemon juice.
Transfer to a bowl or jar; let cool. Cover and chill until set, about 2 hours or overnight. Keep chilled; serve within 2 weeks.
You can really use any berry here. Jam will last wrapped in container in fridge for up to two weeks.
If you know me, you know that I appreciate all things Italian. The culture, the country, the language and of course the food. The Italians are well-known for taking simple ingredients and making them shine. Simplicity is the key in Italian food and I really appreciate that. They somehow carry that mentality to desserts as well, which is hard to imagine. While many want to overcomplicate desserts, the Italians say "no way!" They want simple ingredients to shine. They want smaller portions and lighter desserts. Semifreddo is a great example of that. Semifreddo literally translates to "semi-frozen." That's what semifreddo is. It's a half-frozen mousse. Much lighter than ice cream, but with the same creaminess. It's very easy to make and very versatile. You can flavor a semifreddo pretty much anyway you'd like. You can also serve it anyway you'd like. Me, I decided to not overcomplicate it. I made a vanilla semifreddo and served it with strawberry sauce and a few fresh strawberries. The next day, I made a fresh strawberry compote. I served it slightly warm and oh my gosh was it delicious. The cold and warm contrast in desserts always works best. What I'm saying is, flavor and serve as you please! Learn the technique and have some fun with it.
It was just another day. I was online browsing recipes as I usually do and I made a discovery that would forever change my life. I saw a picture of a lovely white meringue, topped with fruit and cream. It looked absolutely delicious. I thought, hey, why not? Let's give it a try. Little did I know, just how freaking good this dish is. Pavlova is a dish that originated in New Zealand. It's a meringue that is topped with cream and fruit, traditionally. I've never had anything like it. The outer shell gives a little bit of a crispy texture. The inside has a marshmallow texture. It is the lightest dessert ever. Topped with the fresh whipped cream and strawberries to add some sweetness. It has all the elements you want in a dessert and all the elements really contrast well with each other. Strawberries go great with it, but really any berries will work. If you haven't had Pavlova, it will change your life. Seriously. You'll thank me later.
Who doesn't love cheesecake? It's perfect anytime and it's so versatile. Flavors vary from Oreo to pumpkin to red velvet. New flavors seem to be created on a daily basis. But if you're not as adventurous, you can always come back home to the traditional. You can't go wrong with the traditional cheesecake. A graham cracker crust, the creamy middle and the topping of strawberry puree. It's so delicious and goes really well anytime, but especially in the spring or summer. This recipe is the one we used in class. The first time I tasted it, I felt like I was on cloud nine. The crust is slightly spiced, the middle is super creamy and light and of course the tartness and sweetness from the strawberries really goes well with the subtle cream cheese tang. If you've never made cheesecake, try this recipe and I guarantee you'll never doubt your cheesecake skills again.