My junior year in college, my roommate and I thought it’d be fun to have a tea party. We made cute little sandwiches, where we cut them in small triangle wedges and trimmed the crust, had different fruit bars, and of course, a variety of teas. Our friends came over and we ate, laughed, and played games. One friend brought over this delicious lemon dessert, and when the get-together was over, I asked her for the recipe. Many years later, I pulled out the recipe and tried to make it. At the time I got the recipe, I really wished I had asked her exactly how she made it, because the recipe said mix such-and-such together and bake, then add this on top, etc. It never said what pan to put it in, or what temperature to have the oven (although it did say how long to bake it), or even how exactly to mix something–which is very important to any baker. I had to improvise much, and unfortunately, the dessert flopped miserable. Fast forward eight years, and I found the recipe, tucked away amongst other long-forgotten ones. I thought I’d give it another chance. However, this time, I went the internet to see if I could find something similar, and piece together the two.
It’s a good thing I gave the recipe another chance. Talk about one of the best chilled desserts I have ever tasted! There are four distinct layers, and it might seem like a lot of work, but really, it takes about 15 minutes (minus the cooling of the crust) to make. And it is one of the lightest tasting desserts too, so you can have lots of it. (Which is really a good thing, I think.) Continue reading
Today is my husband’s birthday. And it’s not just any birthday, it’s his 30th birthday. And just like any milestone birthday, this one is complete with pomp and circumstance, as well as a dose of anxiety, deep contemplation, and a little bit of sadness. Eric’s new goal, now that he’s in his 30s, is to run a 100-mile race. You know, ’cause that’s something not every person can do. Apparently that isn’t hard enough though, so to make it more challenging, it has to be run in 24 hours. (He’s been researching this for hours, and I cannot tell you how excited he was to find a race like this in our area.) I told him that it’s a great goal and all, but maybe he should just run the marathon again and beat his last year’s time.
To help Eric ring in the 30s, we had a party last Saturday night, full of good friends and great food. I made some lemon poppy-seed cupcakes with raspberry preserve filling, banana pudding, orange-cream cheese dip, and slushie punch. Along with some chips and salsa–you know, to balance out all the sweet stuff.
I was first introduced to banana pudding when my sister, who now lives in North Carolina, made some on a visit home. I couldn’t believe what I was missing! Continue reading
I love cream cheese. No really. I love cream cheese. And as my high school students would tell me, I’m sure I’d marry it if I could. (Yup, not just elementary students use that silly phrase.) I have yet to find a dessert with cream cheese in it that I haven’t liked. To me, it comes in a close second to butter.
You can see my love for cream cheese here, here, here, and here. I made this dessert for my little sister’s 29th birthday a few weeks back. (We’re both Christmas babies, hence our names, Noelle and Holly.)
I call this dessert a surprise, because from the onset, it doesn’t look like much, but when you take a bite, you get 5 layers of absolute heaven. There’s no other way to describe it.
One of my biggest pet peeves is food going to waste–specifically when I have to open a can of something and the recipe doesn’t require that I use all of it. (Like 1 cup of chicken broth when the can clearly has 2 cups, or 1 T of tomato paste when there is at least 8 T in the smallest can.) So the remainder of the contents sit in my fridge, where I promptly forget about it, only to discover a few weeks later a science experiment growing inside the can.
Now, this recipe requires that you use only 1 cup of canned pumpkin, but with the rest of it I make either pumpkin milkshakes or pumpkin waffles. That way, my leftover pumpkin doesn’t go to waste. For Thanksgiving this year, I wanted to try a different take on the pumpkin pie and when I found this recipe in a stack of old magazines, I thought it was perfect. It has caramel, pecans, and a cool pumpkin-y mousse layer. With each bite you can taste the complexity of all three layers working together. It’s a party for your tongue. (Okay, that analogy was a little lame, but it’s true. You’ll love it!) Continue reading