Archive | July, 2011

Brownie cheesecake bites

23 Jul

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I had a craving for cheesecake. I remembered this delicious no bake cheesecake that I tried last year, it was amazing! I altered the recipe quite a bit to get it right. I didn’t want to make it in a graham cracker crust, so I put it on top of brownies. Perfection! Sweet, rich, and chocolatey.

Recipe:
16 oz. cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sour cream
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 oz. melted chocolate

In a food processor, puree your cream cheese until it’s smooth.
Add the sour cream, sugar, and vanilla.
Scrape down the sides and run the processor for another 30 seconds.
Add the melted chocolate and run the processor again until it’s smooth.

This no bake cheesecake is delicious. It can be poured into a graham cracker crust to set, or spread on top of brownies.

Why not just eat it out of the bowl?

Raspberry Limeade

20 Jul


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This drink was inspired by Red Robin’s Raspberry Limeade. I have a feeling theirs contains far more calories than should ever be consumed in a drink! For this version, I added less sugar. It’s tart and a little sweet, with vibrant colors. Perfect for these hot summer days.

Recipe:
24 oz. lemon-lime soda (2 cans)
Juice from two limes (about 2 oz.)
1/2 cup raspberries
2-3 tsp. sugar (or more, depending on how sweet you want it)

Squeeze the juice out of two limes. Mix the sugar in and stir until dissolved.
Roughly chop 1/2 cup of raspberries.
Mix all of the ingredients together and stir to combine.
Pour over ice, and garnish with lime slices.
Makes 3-4 servings.

Frozen Caramel Espresso Shots

14 Jul


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I saw the concept of making frozen espresso shots on Pinterest a couple of weeks ago. If you followed my other blog, you might remember that I was on a dairy-free diet because I was nursing my son, and he had a dairy allergy. I was so sad that I couldn’t have dairy when I saw this, it looked amazing!. I was thinking it would be months before I could put it back into my diet. But a couple weeks ago, I tested it with Charlie, and he’s been tolerating it! So I’ve been going a little coffee-crazy in the past week. It’s been about 4 months since I’ve had coffee. At first I tried it with soy milk, coconut milk, almond milk. But it was no good. It always had a funky taste, and it just wasn’t right. Now coming back to it, it tastes better than I ever remember! These frozen espresso shots are the best of all that is coffee. They’re rich, creamy, and packed with flavor. I may give up all other coffee drinks, and just have a handful of these every morning!


I wasn’t a huge fan of the original recipe I saw posted, so I made up my own. Here ya go!

Recipe:
4 oz. espresso (or very strong coffee)
1 oz. Caramel flavored creamer (I used International Delight Caramel Macchiato creamer)
1-2 tbsp caramel (I used ice cream topping)

Brew your espresso.
Mix in your caramel, and stir until dissolved.
Add in the creamer.
Pour into ice cube trays (or a silicone mold, it needs to be somewhat flexible).
Put your filled molds into the freezer, checking on them after about an hour – hour and a half. Once the espresso shots are completely iced over, stick tooth picks in them. Another way to get the tooth picks to stay in: Cover your ice cube tray with saran wrap and pull it tight. Making sure it’s snuggly in place, stick the tooth picks through the saran wrap and into the espresso shots. The saran wrap will hold them in place while they freeze.
Wait until they’re frozen through, at least 5 hours, preferably over night.


Note: Before inserting my toothpicks, I drizzled caramel over the espresso shots, with hopes of swirling it through. Instead, it sunk to the bottom (because they weren’t nearly as frozen as I thought). It ended up creating a nice gooey caramel coating on the bottom of each espresso shot. A much better outcome than I expected! If you want to do this, just squirt a drop of caramel into each mold before pouring in the espresso.


Makes 8-10 espresso shots (depending on size of the mold).
To unmold, gently twist your ice cube tray, and they should pop right out.
Store in an airtight bag in your freezer, or consume them before freezer burn can affect them. In my case, they’ll all be gone before they can get freezer burn!

Bread and Tomato Salad

13 Jul


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This is one of my summertime favorites. It’s fragrant and delicious, with flavors that just scream “summer”. And it’s such a simple recipe, with only a few ingredients.
This year my mom bought me a potted basil plant. Every couple weeks it gets enough fresh leaves on it that I can make a new dish.


I made this one for the first time this summer, and it’s better than I remember it! I’ve been using this recipe for a few years now, tweaking it here and there. I think I’ve finally gotten it to perfection.

Recipe:
A loaf of crusty bread (or 2 crusty baguettes)
5 vine ripe tomatoes
1 cup of basil leaves
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Garlic powder to taste
Salt to taste

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Slice your bread into 1 inch cubes, and lay them in a single layer on a baking sheet.
Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, and bake for 5-8 minutes. You want them to be crisp (so they don’t get soggy in the salad).
Sprinkle the bread cubes with garlic powder and let cool.
Slice your tomatoes into bite size pieces (usually I make them slightly smaller than the bread chunks).
Chiffonade your basil by stacking 3-4 leaves, rolling them into a log, and slicing them into strips.
In a large bowl, toss together your cooled bread chunks, tomato, and basil leaves. Salt to taste.
Add an extra drizzle of extra virgin olive oil while tossing (if preferred).
This recipe tastes best when left to sit in the fridge for a few hours. The flavors meld together perfectly.

Mocha Frappuccino

12 Jul


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You want to know the secret to the perfect frappuccino? A trick that will make it so smooth, rich and creamy? I discovered this trick sometime last year, when I started making my own coffee drinks. And my frappuccinos have never been the same.

Recipe:
6 milk cubes
2 oz. espresso
1 tbsp chocolate syrup
A shot of your favorite creamer
Whipped cream

Brew your espresso, and chill in the refrigerator. Throw your milk cubes, chilled espresso, chocolate syrup, and creamer into a blender, and blend until smooth. Serve with whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate syrup.

I like to freeze milk into ice cube trays and keep them in a ziplock in my freezer. It’s nice to have them on hand for frappuccinos! They break up in the blender so much better than ice, and make a smoother finished product.

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