Blueberry Cheesecake Smoothie

August 7, 2014 in Breakfast, Dairy-Free, Desserts, Vegan Recipes

Cheesecake for Breakfast? With this creamy vegan blueberry smoothie, YES.

Blueberry Cheesecake Smoothie

Blueberry Cheesecake Smoothie

As Donna is an intrepid go-getter who’s always on the move, I’ve never gotten the honor of helping take care of my inspirational blog partner and mentor before. But I recently had the opportunity to help out just a little last month, when she was in need of a non-chewing diet for a thankfully short spell. In my ensuing exploration of the latest in smoothies, from green to protein and everything in between, I encountered this great collection by The Blender Girl.   I only had a few days to fill Donna’s freezer with smoothie-stock (frozen into ice cube trays then cubes stored in ziploc bags) and gazpacho, but I’ll happily come back for another round of TLC someday.

Of all the fantastic, ridiculously healthy recipes in Blender Girl’s book, my personal favorite was the luscious Raspberry Lemon Cheesecake. The innovation, used here and in several other smoothies, is using soaked raw cashews for the creamy texture. Brilliant! I’ve made it for myself at several times since getting back hope, and experimented with variations, my favorite of which is the blueberry version here (in no small part thanks to it being berry-picking-with-kiddos-season in Portland). As with any smoothie, add probiotics, flax, or any other supplements you like.  Read the rest of this entry →

No Cook Blueberry Lime Curd Tarts

July 29, 2014 in Desserts

Blueberries and Limes – together at last!

Blueberry Lime Tart

Have you tried Blueberries and limes together?

Lemons and blueberries are a famous culinary pair – but I decided to switch it up and use blueberries and limes together. No, the fact that I had no lemons on hand had nothing to do with this innovation. Okay, a little.

And of course this meant making a lime curd. Making curd of any kind sounds really intimidating – until you make it. Punk Domestics has a catalogue of curds that shows how truly wondrous curds are – check it out. I love making lemon curd in my blender - so subbing lime juice and zest was all I needed to do.

I love no-cook desserts in the summer – and this one is creamy, tart, sweet and luscious. SO yummy. I love leaving the blueberries raw and whole – they add such a nice pop of freshness. This recipe makes six little tarts – and takes only about 20 minutes of prep time – plus you need to factor in at least 4 hours of chill time.

– posted by Donna

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Cherry Bomb Tarts

June 26, 2014 in Desserts

Little Cherry Tarts to light up your picnic – so easy with phyllo!

Cherry Bomb Tarts

Like edible firecrackers, these little cherry tarts will light up your fourth of July!

A sweet treat based on a firecracker to light up your Fourth of July picnic. Whodda thunk it?

I saw these Smoked Cherry Bombs in this month’s Cooking Light magazine – but I skipped the smoking step – which just seemed too complicated. I also doubled the filling amounts, because c’mon – almond paste whipped with cream cheese! They are fun to serve on a platter – and this recipe achieves the perfect balance of flavor and texture – creamy and crispy all in one bite.

Next to Christmas, the Fourth of July is my favorite holiday of the year. I love the picnics, parades, fireworks – I love it all. And so, I am always on the hunt for recipes that are patriotic. Two from the past - Red White and Blueberry Cookie Tarts,   and American Flag Fruit Skewers.

Have fun on the Fourth!

– posted by Donna

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4 Ingredient Pina Colada Macaroons

June 23, 2014 in Dairy-Free, Desserts, Gluten Free, Snacks

A four-ingredient, easy, healthy dessert!

4 Ingredient Pina Colada Macaroons

4 Ingredient Pina Colada Macaroons

I see a lot of friends adjusting to new summer schedules with their kids – and along with that comes the neverending quest for healthy sweet treats. Plenty of frozen goodies to come, but if you don’t mind firing up the oven for 15 minutes, this 4 ingredient twist on a regular macaroon makes for a great little snack cookie.

3 dried pineapple rings (about 1/2 cup)great little treat.
2 egg whites
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut (unsweetened)

Preheat oven to 325. Cut pineapple rings into 3 pieces, then pulse in  a food processor until very finely chopped (will clump together a bit). Beat egg whites with a whisk until frothy, then whisk in the honey. Stir in coconut and pineapple and mix until well distributed.

Using a cookie dough scoop, pack mixture firmly into balls and place on parchment or silpat-lined cookie sheet. (Mixture will be crumbly when raw; just shape with fingers as needed.) Bake for 14-16 minutes, until starting to become golden brown. Let cool completely before eating.

. — posted by Anne

Easy DIY Ice Cream Sandwiches

June 7, 2014 in Desserts

Turn any ice cream into an ice cream sandwich in minutes.

Ice Cream Sandwiches

If you have time to scoop ice cream into a bowl, you have time to make these.

So it turns out ice cream sandwiches are really, really easy to make with one shortcut: graham crackers.

The chocolate graham crackers are perfect for this – and so many ice cream possibilities exist. You can literally put these together in five minutes and then stash them in the freezer while you are eating dinner - and shazaaam! – ice cream sandwiches with your very favorite ice cream.

I found a cherry cobbler ice cream at the store and let it sit out on the counter for about 10 minutes to soften. Then I chopped up a few cherries and threw them in, too. Next, just layer chocolate graham crackers on a baking sheet so there are no gaps. Spread the ice cream about 2 inches thick, Press another layer of graham crackers on top, pressing to remove any air bubbles. Then, freeze for a while (I froze them about 20 minutes), until firm. Remove from freezer and cut into sandwich shapes.

Don’tcha love summer???

– posted by Donna

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Chocolate Hazelnut Berry Shortcakes

May 27, 2014 in Desserts

Strawberry Shortcake – with chocolate hazelnut upgrade.

Chocolate Hazelnut Shortcakes

Berry Shortcake – Chocolate Hazelnut Edition

Two classic warm-weather desserts are weaknesses for me – one is peach cobbler and the other is strawberry shortcake. I could literally eat half of a 9 by 13 of peach cobbler by myself – and a whole tray of strawberry shortcakes. And since chocolate and strawberries are a match made in heaven, why not chocolate shortcakes?

Many of the recipes I found for chocolate shortcakes involved melting chocolate in double boilers, etc., but using a spread skips this step and makes this recipe so much simpler.

And I have now found out that adding chocolate hazelnut spread takes shortcake to a whole new level of deliciousness.

These shortcakes are like chocolate biscuits – just crispy enough to soak up the berry juices. And rich chocolate is the perfect match for sweet fresh berries.

The perfect summer dessert!

 – posted by Donna

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Sunbutter Surprise Cookies for Chocolate Chip Cookie Day

May 15, 2014 in Desserts, Gluten Free, Vegan Recipes

  Delectable Grain Free, Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies – with a surprise inside. 

Sunbutter Surprise Chocolate Chip Cookies

To be filed under “Like You Need An Excuse: May 15th is Chocolate Chip Cookie Day. I thought I’d share my favorite heath-packed (AND delicious) chocolate chip cookies. Look at that lovely plate above. Just what you think of when “Chocolate Chip Cookies” comes to mind, yes?

And then, just below the surface, lurks THIS:

What? How did this get inside my chocolate chip cookie? And why is it still unsettlingly delicious?!

Do not adjust your monitor. Those cookies really are deep emerald green in the middle. With zero artificial dyes or any other such ingredients.

Here’s the history. Read the rest of this entry →

Home Made Almond Roca – Baking for Kate fundraiser

April 30, 2014 in Desserts, Oh My!

Buttery toffee goodness that doesn’t come from a can.

Home Made Almond Roca

Now you can make this candy from the Gods at home. Really.

Home made Almond Roca is a decadent treat – but one I knew I had to make when we were asked to participate in Baking for Kate – a food blogger bake sale for Kate, who is battling Stage IV breast cancer.

To raise money for Kate, food bloggers are joining together to hold a bake sale on May 24 & 25. I wanted to make something that you wouldn’t normally make yourself at home, but is a big splurge. And so, our hats are off to Carrie, the Frugal Foodie Mama, for organizing this compassionate bake sale.

This Almond Roca just melts in your mouth – and is rich and buttery and sweet. Fellow food bloggers – join us in baking for this worthy cause! Please go to Carrie’s Facebook page Baking for Kate and order some of this decadent deliciousness – we will happily ship you a ton of this. Don’t worry – if you run out, we’ll make more!

And Kate – we’re sending our love and best wishes your way!

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Lemon Curd Linzer Cookies for a Frozen Birthday Party

April 21, 2014 in Desserts, Holidays, Oh My!

A Frozen-Themed Birthday Party featuring gluten-free Lemon Curd Snowflake Cookies

Elsa & Candles on the Icy Mountain. Fabulous Frozen Cake courtesy of the very talented Amanda Hill.

For the First Time In Forever: My daughter Lily turned SIX last week, and like just about every elementary-age child, Frozen is the obsession du jour. Being me, I of course seized the opportunity for a theme party. And I will go ahead and state for the record that I deliberately avoided looking at Pinterest AT. ALL. for any of this. Don’t get me wrong, I love Pinterest for all kinds of things, but for parties, I enjoy the process of coming up with ideas 100% from my own brain, take it or leave it. Scroll down for the cookie recipe, but first, check out a few shots of the other offerings.  Read the rest of this entry →

No Cook Blender Lemon Curd Recipe

February 28, 2014 in Desserts

 No cooking required for this easy blender lemon curd.

Blender Lemon Curd Tarts

The easiest Lemon Curd ever. And yet so delicious.

This lemon curd is so seriously delicious that most of it never made it out of the blender and into the tiny tart pans. The Hubs and I just ate it with a spoon. Very large spoons.

My sister Sandy is an amazing cook and is the genius behind Everyday Southwest – and is a holder of an actual pastry certificate from an actual culinary school. She recently made a graham cracker crust that I just had to make. And I had a recipe for blender lemon curd tucked into my wallet, and it has also been calling my name recently.  Yes, the culinary stars aligned on this one.

For the filling, you just throw everything in the blender and then you blend it for what seems like an eternity (FIVE minutes) so that the heat from the blender gently cooks the curd. ( I used my trusty Blendtec blender, which I love, love, LOVE ) Then, you just chill until set. It’s that simple. I used Meyer lemons for this – but you could try regular lemons or even limes – and I think you would get the same delicious results.

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