Monday, June 25, 2012

Makeover Monday: Very Cherry No-Bake Cheesecake

Yesterday I mentioned how hot it has been.  Today I learned that there is no relief in sight.  We are looking at record high temperatures all week.  You know it's going to be a scorching week when the coolest day is 101 degrees.  Yikes!  For those of you in the same hot boat, you know that now is just not the season for baking.  But if you have a serious sweet tooth like me, dessert is still in order.  And if you are going to be rocking a bikini this summer, you know that light desserts are a must!

With all this in mind, I recently came up with an awesome no-bake cheesecake.  This is super easy to make, doesn't require an oven or even stovetop, and is low in fat and sugar.  Oh, and it's delicious and perfectly refreshing on a hot, hot, hot summer day!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Reese's Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats

I can't speak for everyone else, but in my part of the world it has been HOT! And now that I have a real job again, I have been BUSY! I hope no one is suffering too badly from The Foodie RD withdrawal syndrome. In the spirit of being hot and busy, my new motto is fast and cool. Anything I can whip up without firing up my oven is finding its way onto the top of my menu. And I'm happy to report that I've got some good stuff up my sleeves!

Batting first in my line-up of summer recipes is Reece's Rice Krispie Treats. Few desserts are as easy to make as Rice Krispie Treats. And while I enjoy a plain Rice Krispie Treat every now and then, they're not the most exciting thing in the world. When a sweet treat needs a snazzy but simple makeover, I can't think of anything much better to add than chocolate and peanut butter. In my experience, you absolutely can't go wrong adding chocolate and peanut butter to just about anything. And I found our that Rice Krispies are definitely no exception! I don't care how hot it is, or how busy you are. Please, please, please take the few extra minutes to trick out your next batch of Rice Krispies with Reece's and chocolate chips. You must!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Makeover Monday: Strawberry Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast

I guess I'm on a breakfast makeover kick.  I would appologize, but I'm not sorry.  Keep in mind that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  After several weeks in a row of weekend travel, my husband and I finally had a weekend were we didn't go anywhere!  I intended to take full advantage of it by making an awesome weekend breakfast.  And as usual, I didn't want my yummy breakfast to start my day in a huge calorie hole. 

I bought a loaf of French bread a while ago and only used about half of it.  I wouldn't dare waste good bread so I have been saving it in my refrigerator for the right time to use it.  Even though I have never posted any French toast recipes before, I do make it on occassion.  It's just that I always use my whole wheat sandwich bread and I don't really follow any kind of recipe.  I just kind of throw it together.  I love how easy my typical French toast is to make, but I never really thought it was worth sharing. 

When I told my husband not to eat the French bread in the fridge because I was going to use it for French toast, he thought it sounded like a terrible idea.  I had to explain to him that French bread is actually perfect for making French toast.  He didn't believe me.  At that point my mission was clear.  I had to transform my lowly old loaf of French bread into a gourmet breakfast that would convince my husband that I actually know what I'm talking about.  And not to toot my own horn, but I succeeded!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

Every now and then I make a dessert so delicious that I dream about it, long for it, and just want to eat it every day. And I almost regret that I ever made it for fear that it will be the death of my self control. These chocolate sandwich cookies are one of those things. These are chocolate cookies made out of cake mix that are used to make a sandwich with some cream cheese frosting. And they are amazing!

They are similar in concept to an Oreo cookie, but about 1,000 times more delicious. They are what Oreos wish they tasted like. My mama spoiled me with too many yummy homemade cookies for me to ever really enjoy store-bought cookies so I have never been a huge fan of Oreos. But these homemade chocolate sandwich cookies (mostly homemade anyway!) are right up my alley.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Makeover Monday: Mulberry Pancakes

Last week I shared my recipe for sugar-free mulberry syrup.  I made it several weeks ago, but hadn't been able to actually enjoy it on a hot stack of pancakes because my husband and I have been traveling every weekend.  Although we traveled this weekend for an out of town wedding, we were at least able to spend some time at home Saturday morning.  Finally!  And Saturday mornings mean Saturday morning breakfast. 

I was super excited to try out my mulberry syrup and wanted the perfect pancake accompaniment.  In case you haven't checked out the syrup recipe yet (shame on you if you haven't!) in the process you simmer the mulberries in water until they are soft and then mash them.  When I have made this syrup in the past I threw the resulting mulberry pulp away.  I hated doing that.  It seemed like such a waste of one of my favorite summer treats.  This time I saved the pulp.  I knew I could use it somehow.   And then I realized that the perfect pancakes for my mulberry syrup would be mulberry pancakes.  Turns out mulberry pancakes + mulberry syrup = summer breakfast bliss.  That's math I would go to summer school for!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Makeover Monday: Light Mulberry Syrup

There is something magical about summertime when you are a kid.  The wonders of summer are too numerous to mention.  The most obvious wonder of summer was, of course, not being in school.  I also loved swimming, catching fireflies, and picking mulberries.  As a farmer's daughter, I spent a lot of time in the great outdoors and had full access to all the mulberries I could eat.  And when they got good and ripe, we would go out with old blankets, shake the limbs to shake the berries loose, and come home with a good harvest of mulberries.  And then my mom would make mulberry syrup.  And all was good in the world.

I made my first batch of mulberry syrup myself two summers ago.  I didn't use the same recipe my mom did, but found one online.  It was actually easier than I thought it would be, and just as delicious as I remembered it being.  The only problem was the ungodly amount of sugar I had to add to those innocent little berries.  So this year I set out to make another batch, but without all the darn sugar.  And when I set out to make something sweet, you better believe I get it done!