Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Just Snickers

New to the line up of cheesecakes is this simple but tasty one. No peanut butter like the other Snickers one I have made. Just a lovely, lighter caramel-y cake with chopped Snickers Bars.
What's not to like about that?!
For a 10 inch size:
Turn oven to 300°. Place a small pan of water on the bottom oven rack.
Prepare Spring Form pan lining the bottom with Parchment Paper, trimming the excess around the outside and lightly spraying the pan sides and bottom with non stick spray. Set aside
 2½ cups crushed chocolate cookie crumbs
6 Tablespoons cold butter, cut into chunks
Place into food processor and process until completely incorporated. Press onto the bottom of prepared pan. Bake for 7-8 minutes. Allow to cool slightly.
For the cheesecake:
48 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
1½ cups brown sugar
6 large eggs
½ cup sour cream
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon all purpose flour
4-5 fun size Snickers candy bars,
cut into smallish pieces
In a mixer bowl ( I use a Bosch) beat the cream cheese and sugar until fluffy. In a separate bowl combine the next 4 ingredients and beat with a hand beater until smooth. Pour into mixer bowl and beat just until incorporated, scraping sides as necessary. Don't over beat! Fold in the candy bar pieces. Pour over the baked crust. Place the Spring form pan onto a baking sheet and pop it into the oven for an hour. Sides should look a little puffed and dry and the center jiggle slightly when shook. Turn heat to off and prop oven door open with a wooden spoon handle for another hour. Remove cheesecake from the oven, run a thin, sharp knife around the edge and allow to cool completely before refrigerating. Refrigerate overnight or until cheesecake is cold throughout before removing the sides of the pan and placing onto serving platter.
1 cup mini milk chocolate chips
Heavy Cream, scalded
and just enough to bring it (barely) to the top of the mini chips
1 Tablespoon Light Karo
Caramel extract, to taste
I wanted this ganache to stay on top and not run down over the sides. If you want it to run, adjust the cream amount. I must say, the caramel extract in this topping really made it special! As in I-could-eat-this-entire-thing-with-a-spoon kind of special! So Yum!! Spread over top and garnish as desired. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

For Betsy ☺

I reached into the bag of potatoes and was greeted by this gal! Ha
I thought of Betsy immediately!
It's been a while since she 'met someone' in her kitchen. :)

Yes, I adore them!!
After several weeks of absence they are back... and just as beautiful as ever! And the perky little sparrow is pretty cute too!

Newsboy - His Eye Is On Sparrow - YouTube

And a new favorite song to go with the photo.☺
And the moon!
That moon was really cool tonight! Just a 'fingernail' but with the whole moon visible as a shadow? With a planet? and a Star? for company?
Yes, very nifty!
Stay warm -
and be Blessed!


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Chocolate Almond Mocha Mousse Tart

Last week Nuts.com asked, "Would I like to create a recipe using almonds or almond flour to promote the health benefits of one of my favorite on-the-go snacks?"

Yes! How could I say no? I love almonds in a lot of things like desserts, salads, snacks, granolas, or just by themselves roasted or raw. They're just yummy. Turns out they are good for you too!

I wanted to keep the recipe simple so I decided to use a shortbread crust highlighting almond flour as the main ingredient and using a mousse to cut down on time in the kitchen. The combination of slightly salty, crumbly crust paired with the sweet mousse is perfect. I kept the mocha flavor very mild to accommodate my husbands taste buds. (he likes the smell of coffee but not the taste) so if you like a chocolate mousse without a mocha flavor this is a good one for you as well.

1-1/3 cups Almond Meal(flour)
1 cup all purpose flour
6 Tablespoons cane sugar
½ teaspoon salt
8 Tablespoons cold butter
Place all the dry ingredients into food processor. Pulse to mix. Cut butter into chunks and throw them in there with the dry. Mix well. Press into the bottom and up the sides of a large (10-12 inch) non-stick sprayed tart pan. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until it begins to brown. Remove and allow to cool completely.

1 cup mini milk chocolate chips
5 Tablespoons butter
4 egg yolks
¼ cup powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons coffee (Instant is fine)
1 cup heavy cream, whipped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
In a microwave safe bowl, melt chocolate chips and butter. Stir until smooth and set aside.
In a saucepan whisk egg yolks, sugar, and coffee. Cook and stir over low heat until it reaches approximately 160°. Stir in vanilla. Whisk in chocolate mixture. Set saucepan into cool water or ice and stir until mixture is cooled.
Beat heavy cream and fold into chocolate mixture and spread evenly onto cooled crust. Refrigerate before serving.
This is actually better if prepared a few days in advance so the flavors can merge.

I have a few other recipes to choose from that I particularly enjoy along with the tart recipe above, so I'm sharing them with you here.


Simple Salads with fruit and Almonds
and Red Wine Vinaigrette
So be sure to visit Nuts.com and check out all the health benefits of Almonds. I think you will find lots of great snack ideas and why it's a good thing when you have them in your cupboard.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Strawberry Lemonade

Who likes a great strawberry lemonade? (raises hand)

Who thinks boiling water and sugar for a simple syrup is a waste of time? (raises both hands)

I've been trying to use up the frozen berries in my freezers and found some crushed strawberries from a while ago and decided to make a kind of Copycat Speckled Lemonade like the kids always get at Red Robin.

It's super easy. Super yummy. And takes almost no time to make.

For 2 gallons of lemonade place 3 pints of thawed, crushed berries into a high speed blender (I used a Ninja) and blend until smooth.

Using the Country Time Lemonade mix, measure according to directions adding 2 extra scoops per gallon. Fill half full with water. Stir.

Divide the blended berries among the two gallon containers then fill completely with water. Stir and enjoy.

Be Blessed!

Friday, January 23, 2015

A Birthday, Two Birds, and Natures Beauty

Happy 16th Birthday to Anthony!  
Where, exactly, has the time been going?!
I must say that I am enjoying our teen boys immensely and love the stage of life we are in!
A few weeks ago I asked Anthony what kind of party he wanted and gave him a few days to think about it and offered 3 different scenarios. After thinking about it he said he doesn't want a party. I will admit I was rather deflated. I mean, what 16 year old doesn't want a party...all about them... but alas he was adamant. No party!
So this morning I tried a different tactic. I still couldn't quite let it go.
I'm a Mom, after all! I love to celebrate my kids! :)
Me: what are you doing at 2:30 at school today?
Him: Study Hall.
Me: How many kids are in there with you?
Him: There's actually quite a few at that time.
Sudden realization hits him.
Him: You're not thinking of bringing something are you?
Me: Oh it crossed my mind.
Him: No Mom, don't!
So because I generally do what I think I should, (okay, what I want to do) I showed up anyway with Donuts and chocolate milk.
He had his back turned when I walked in and when he saw me he turned a very deep shade of red and  put his head down on his desk. I could tell he was glad I had come and yet... the spotlight. Not really what he likes.
He did give me his sweet smile and help me serve the treat and thanked me for coming. Being in the spotlight is just not his thing! And that's okay, too.
4 maybe 5 years old.
I think he's debating whether he can sneak a cookie :)

~ 2015 ~

My  'glowing' Cardinal friend

Mockingbird pose
♥ this!

Nature in the Neighborhood

Sycamore beauty against a blue, winter sky

I was out walking and noticed this in the sky. Reminded me of a bird or maybe the American Eagle symbol?
And thanks for stopping in!