Archives for posts with tag: treats

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During the holidays is the best time to bake up as many treats as you can muster. Why? Because there is never a shortage of people to give them to!! Ever year I wish and wish that the days leading up to Christmas would magically become my days off so that I could spend them at home listening to Christmas music and dancing away in my kitchen. But alas, these activities must be saved for the weekends. And since there isn’t much time on the weekends, it’s important to find items that are quick and easy to make for parties or even just to enjoy while wrapping gifts.

As I had said in a previous post, mini cheesecakes should become the new trend in decadent desserts. Cupcakes have been in the spotlight for a while, and not being a cupcake person myself ( I think that cheesecakes are soooo much better), it’s time for something new!! Not only that, cheesecakes can be made to be just as pretty as their cakey cousin. For this recipe, I was in a hurry to make something for a band Christmas party. Most of the people attending had already tried my other miniature cheesecakes, and so I was immediately volunteered to make the desserts. I made mini peppermint cheesecakes and mini cookies and cream cheesecakes, both with Oreo crusts and topped with chocolate ganache. I made the cheesecakes the night before, so they would have enough time to cool, and made the chocolate ganache a few hours before the party. They turned out amazing, and I can’t wait to make more of them and see what other flavor combinations I can come up with.

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I can’t believe I am still posting stuff from last weekend! Is it better to space them out? Because I feel like it is, but maybe you guys would rather see it all at once – Let me know!

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Anywho, these bars were created because I had run out of muffin cups while making my Caramel Apple Pie Mini Cheesecakes. I had made about 12 minis and still had filling left over, and I am not one to waste. So I needed to find something that didn’t require muffin cups, and would only need a small amount of filling since I didn’t have enough to do a whole cheesecake. I decided on these delectable cheesecake bars. I found the recipe on Food Network‘s website, and I picked it apart to use only the parts that I needed (divided in half) – the crust and the amazing streusel topping.

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After making my Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes I knew that I had to make more mini cheesecakes with other fall flavors. And it’s no surprise that I immediately settled on apple. These little delights are filled with homemade applesauce and topped with sliced apples and homemade caramel sauce. And WOW are they good! Not only that, I used the same gluten free crust as used in my pumpkin recipe by using oats for the crust instead of crackers or any type of flour mixture. Now my only problem is to figure out what flavor I want to do next! Any suggestions?

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Whenever I had seen people “make” caramel, it usually meant melting down this little caramel square candies – you know the ones that get wedged into your teeth for days? But since, I didn’t have any of those candies, and I didn’t want to run to the store, I did my usual internet scavenger hunt. I found a simple recipe from www.inspiredtaste.net. It’s a great post on caramel because it goes through step by step with photos, which is great because I don’t own a candy thermometer (and again not in the mood to go to the store). So I was able to make this caramel based on time limits and visuals. I was so excited because it ended up being so much easier than I thought it would be and only required 4 ingredients – sugar, water, vanilla and heavy whipping cream – 5 ingredients if you include patience. Also, I only did half of the recipe from their post since I was only using this sauce as a drizzle for some other treats I made on Sunday, but I will post the full version anyway. I also left out the sea salt, but I imagine I will want to try making this again with the sea salt added. Here we go…

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This weekend was so amazing! I spent all of Friday night baking with my mom, and all of Sunday day baking and eating, and Saturday I had an outdoor show with my band (Once An Empire). The outdoor shows are so fun! I just love playing under the sun and being able to enjoy the beautiful weather. The amphitheater in the park looked pretty cool too. 20131012_105001

Anyways, Friday night my mom showed me how to make Sugar Free Applesauce, and I made some amazing Maple Glazed Pumpkin muffins. I brought them as breakfast for our show as well, and those things went fast! They go great with coffee and tea, and are perfect for breakfast because they’re not too sweet but still have that hint of maple flavor.

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Weekends are my favorite – well, I think most people would say that, at least those of us that work during the week. My favorite part about the weekends is breakfast or brunch. Waking up early and drinking my coffee or tea while making something delicious just makes my entire day. And although, I am not a morning person, I would like to think I would be if I had the time every morning to concoct a tasty jump start before hitting the road.

Back before I started this culinary journey, I would make pancakes from the bag – you know the Krusteaz or Bisquick bag of white dust. During that time, I was never a big fan of pancakes. The consistency was always weird, and the taste was bland unless it was flooded in butter and syrup – ick. But, in recent weekends, I’ve started making my own pancakes from scratch. I started simple at first with just regular old pancakes, and the first time I made them I was blown away. There are so many other ingredients besides powder and water to make these delicious, so it’s no wonder the bagged version tastes so boring! I will no longer be using the prepackaged pancake mix. Pancakes from scratch are so easy to make and use ingredients I generally have in my kitchen, so there’s really no excuse to go back.

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Happy 4th Everyone!! This post was inspired by the Life Tastes Like Food blog post on chocolate covered strawberries. Today we are attending a family BBQ for my boyfriend’s family, and each of us were asked to bring something – either a side or a dessert. My original idea was a fruit salad, but after little to no deliberation I decided I wanted a dessert instead. So I went with chocolate covered strawberries. This post was featured on WordPress’ home page and I was immediately sold to the idea. They were surprisingly easy (I think the fruit salad may have been more time consuming) and the result looks absolutely superb. Not only do they look delicious, but it looks like I spent a ton of time on them!! Thank you Life Tastes Like Food for making me look GOOD! haha.

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