Mini Fruit Pizzas

It has been a very exciting week for me.  I am thrilled to tell you about a new adventure!  I will be writing a weekly food column for a local newspaper!!  As of now the new column is set to launch the week after the 4th.  I hope that the readers enjoy what they read and the recipes I share.

Todays recipe is a dessert I have always loved and the idea of individual servings excited me.  I decorated these for the 4th, but you can top with the fruit of your choice.  Just like the recipe I posted earlier this week, I cheated.   I bought sugar cookie dough to bake up for these.  It was perfect and quick.

I’m wishing everyone a happy and safe 4th!  I hope you have time to relax and celebrate America with family and friends.

 

Mini Fruit Pizzas
 
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Ingredients
  • 1 roll refrigerated sugar cookie dough
  • 1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • ½ c. powdered sugar
  • 1½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp. lemon zest
  • pinch salt
  • Fruit of choice, washed, dried, and sliced is necessary
Instructions
  1. Bake cookies as directed on dough package. Remove from pan and cool completely.
  2. While the cookies are cooling prepare the cream cheese mixture by beating the cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth. Add powdered sugar and beat. Add vanilla extract, lemon zest and salt and mix until blended well.
  3. Spread about 1 tbsp. of the cream cheese mixture on top of each cooled cookie. Arrange fruit in top of each. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate up to 2 hours.
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Banana Split Ice Cream Sandwiches

How adorable are these?  I just love them…Banana Split Ice Cream Sandwiches.  When the kids were small I would try to find fun things to do, especially during summer break from school.  This would be a great recipe to involve the kids in making.  Also, I think these would be great at a cookout, just make them ahead and leave them in the freezer until ready to serve.  This particular combination includes a few of your basic banana split ingredients, but you could change this recipe up any way you want to. Chocolate sugar cookies instead of plain and strawberry sauce instead of chocolate would be a delicious combination!

I cheated and bought cookies at the grocery store.  They were perfect, however, use your favorite recipe or click here for a great sugar cookie recipe, if you prefer to bake your own.

I suggest serving these with a real fork, not plastic, and even though you are serving immediately, they may need to stand just a few minutes before you can cut into them easily with a fork.

 

Banana Split Ice Cream Sandwiches
 
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Ingredients
  • 12 soft sugar cookies
  • 2 c. vanilla ice cream, softened
  • ¾ c. mashed bananas (about 1½ medium bananas)
  • 6 tbsp. coarsely chopped Cocktail peanuts
  • 6 tbsp. whipped topping or whipped cream
  • 3 tablespoons chocolate syrup
  • 6 maraschino cherries, drained
Instructions
  1. Combine softened ice cream and mashed bananas in a bowl. Carefully spread about ⅓ cup ice cream mixture on flat side of one cookie. Top with another cookie, flat sides down, pressing lightly. Lightly roll the sides of each sandwich in chopped peanuts. Lay flat on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer until ready to serve.
  2. Just before serving, top each sandwich with 1 tbsp. whipped topping, 1½ tsp. chocolate syrup, a sprinkle of chopped peanuts and 1 cherry. Serve immediately.
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Marble Cream Cheese-and-Chocolate Muffins

Yes, I know, my blog is a bit confusing at times.  You never know what you’ll find here.  A scrumptious fat laden, high carb recipe, or something that is actually healthy.  The majority of our meals these days are low carb so I guess I don’t feel as guilty when I do get a craving and bake up something that isn’t.  In all honesty…baking up sugar filled, fat filled goodies is a very hard habit to break.  I love baking.  I can redo, and find, a lot of new recipes that are low-carb, and are great substitutions for  the higher carb ingredients that I was raised eating, like the paleo grits or the cauliflower rice.  However, when it comes to baking, there are no substitutions, that I have found, that produce a product as decadent as the cookies, cakes, and muffins I have baked for so many years.

These delicious muffins are from one of my favorite cookbooks, A Passion for Baking by Marcy Goldman.  Someday, when my cookbooks are passed down to children or grandchildren they will know this book was loved by the many splashes and stains throughout the book.  These muffins are really moist and the cream cheese swirled into them is heavenly!  I was able to get 14 good size muffins from the batter.

 

Marble Cream Cheese-and-Chocolate Muffins
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • Cream Cheese Topping:
  • 8-oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 lg. egg
  • ¼ c. sugar
  • ¼ c. all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 c. coarsely chopped semisweet chocolate chips (do this in food processor or with knife)
  • Muffin Batter:
  • 1½ c. sugar
  • ¾ c. vegetable oil
  • 2 lg. eggs
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • pinch ground cinnamon
  • ¾ c. cocoa powder
  • 1 c. mild brewed coffee or cola
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. If you have extra batter, use another muffin pan.
  2. For Cream Cheese Topping, put all topping ingredients except chocolate chips in a food processor and process until smooth.
  3. For Muffin Batter, in a mixer bowl, blend sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract. Fold in flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cocoa. As you are blending, stir in coffee or cola. Blend until smooth (this will be a loose batter). Pour batter into prepared muffin cups, almost to the top. Top each portion with about 2 tbsp. cream cheese topping. Sprinkle with 1 tbsp. or so of chopped chocolate chips. Using a knife, gently swirl topping into batter.
  4. Bake until done and cream cheese topping seems set to the touch and edges of exposed muffin are firm to the touch, about 25 or 30 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes before removing from pan.
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Paleo Grits

My low-carb recipe for the week is these wonderful grits.  One of the hardest part of going low-carb for me, being a Southern girl, is no grits!  I love, love, love grits!!  These completely satisfied my craving and will become a staple in my diet now.  I found this recipe in Paleo Comfort Foods by Julie & Charles Mayfield.  Because I wasn’t sure how they would turn out I only made half of this recipe but will definitely made the full recipe the next time.  I’m looking forward to making these for the family to see how they like them.  Also, I’m thrilled to know that I can have shrimp and grits again!!

 

Paleo Grits
 
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Ingredients
  • 4 c. cauliflower, riced
  • 1 c. almond meal
  • 3 c. chicken broth
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • shredded Cheddar cheese, optional
Instructions
  1. To make riced cauliflower, rinse cauliflower and break away from the main stem into large chunks. Using a cheese grater or food processor grate the cauliflower to a coarse texture. I did this the night before and stored it in the refrigerator.
  2. To make almond meal, place half of almonds in a clean coffee bean grinder. Put the lid on the grinder and pulse several times until a medium-fine texture forms. Don't over grind or you will make almond butter. Store any extra in the refrigerator. (I keep this on hand)
  3. Mix cauliflower, almond meal, and chicken broth in a large sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  4. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low, simmering for 20-30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so, until the liquid is absorbed.
  5. Season with salt and pepper and shredded cheese.
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Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream

Last Friday Savannah and I went to Ann’s pool for the day.  The weather was perfect, relaxing on a float was awesome, and the company was great.  One of our many conversations was about homemade ice cream and we compared recipes.  By the time we left the pool I had a huge craving for  homemade ice cream. If you’ve ever had homemade ice cream then you know there is NO substitute for homemade ice cream. Beth had told me about a recipe that her sister-in-law makes that I remembered seeing on Pinterest.  I thought I’d use Father’s Day as an excuse to try it.  This ice cream was so easy, only three ingredients and you might just mistake it for a Wendy’s Frosty!

 

Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 1 (14-oz.) can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (8-oz.) container Cool Whip
  • ½ gallon chocolate milk
Instructions
  1. Mix Eagle Brand milk, Cool Whip, and half of the chocolate milk in a blender until mixed well. Pour into freezer container and add remaining chocolate milk. Follow ice cream freezer instructions and mix until firm.
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