Friday, December 9, 2016

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

If you didn't catch this post the other day.  Here it is again for your convenience.

Doesn't this look interesting?  I think it sure does so I'm  making it for the upcoming holiday.  Looks easy enough.

Well here it is.  First the recipe didn't say frozen strawberries so fortunately after I re-checked it another recipe said to use frozen strawberries.  I had some in my freezer so lucky for me so make sure you have 3 cups of frozen plain berries. **I usually buy strawberries and freeze some for later use.

It also didn't say to let the jello and strawberries set slightly so thankfully I realized that two thin of a mixture might not be a good thing.  I did allow to set in refrigerator to slightly set and used a ladle to slowly add the slightly set jello and strawberries.

  •  2 cups crushed pretzels. (I used pretzel rods because I had them and processed them in food processor until the texture I desired)but IMO pretzel sticks or small pretzels will work.  Just don't over crush.  You don't want to make it too fine.
  •  ¾ cup butter, melted
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar
  • Mix all and press into a 13x9 inch pan
  • Bake 375 degrees for 8 minutes and Cool completely.

Add frozen berries

  •  Topping:
  • 12 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 12 oz. cool whip, thawed to room temperature(I only had 8 oz. container)
  • 1 (6 oz) box Strawberry Jello
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 3 cups strawberries, sliced frozen strawberries
  1. Combine melted butter and sugar. Stir in the crushed pretzels. Press evenly on the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Bake at 375 degrees F for 8 minutes. Let cool completely.
  3. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, and cool whip. Beat until smooth. Spread over pretzel crust. Make sure to get the cream mixture tight against the edges of the pan to prevent the jello mixture from seeping through.
  6. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Remove from stove and add jello. Stir until Jello is dissolved. Add sliced frozen strawberries and allow to set slightly in refrigerator.
  8.  Pour over cream layer and put in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
  10. ***I actually ladled strawberries over top of cream cheese mixture to assure not to disturb cream cheese mixture.

recipe adapted from Favorite Family Recipes Enjoy!


Thursday, December 8, 2016

Brownie Cheesecake!!!

I haven't had much of a chance to go over many recipes that I have collected over the years.  Today I started to browse through the many sheets of magazine papers that I have collected.  This is one I am definitely going to make for our Christmas or even Christmas Eve dinner.  Any leftovers will easily store in your refrigerator.

This recipe was cut out from People Magazine 2005.  It looked delicious then (I have the picture) and after reading it again I am definitely making it this year.

Everyone in my family loves cheesecake and the grandchildren love their brownies so if you have chocolate lovers this mix might work for you too!

Brownie Cheesecake

1 pkg (13 x9  inch size pan) brownie mix
4 pkg. (8 oz each) Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup Sour Cream
3 eggs
2 squares Semi Sweet Baking Chocolate, melted, cooled slightly

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 13x9 inch pan with foil extending over sides of pan. Spray with cooking spray.  Prepare brownie batter as directed on package, pour into prepared pan.  Bake15 minutes or until top of brownie is shiny and center is almost set.

Meanwhile beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended.  Add sour cream;mix well.  Add eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended. Pour over partially baked brownie batter in pan.(Filling will come almost to top of pan).

Bake 40 minutes or until center is almost set.  Run knife or metal spatula around rim of pan to loosen cake..  Cool.  Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. (I always refrigerate cheesecake over night.)  Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.  Lift cheesecake from pan using foil handles.  Drizzle with chocolate, let stand until chocolate is firm.  Cut into 16 pieces to serve. Store leftover cheesecake in refrigerator.

Happy Baking from my kitchen to yours,


12/23/12 original

Cannoli Cake my way!

Growing up in Northeastern Pa and being used to the way mom and grandma baked and cooked there are just some things I can not change. One being cannoli filling.  We never ever made cannoli's with ricotta filling.  NEVER!  So today I saw a recipe for a cannoli cake using ricotta and figured it was high time I tried making one with Custard!

Here is my recipe.  I know if you try it you will LIKE IT!


1- box white cake mix(make according to directions)
Bake in 13 x 9 inch pan according to directions.

After cake has cooled.  Poke holes into cake several inches apart. (I used a straw to make the holes)

Pour custard over cake and place in refrigerator over night.

Top with mini semi sweet chocolate chips and colored (I used red and green food coloring)cashews and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Note:  I didn't have any mini chocolate chips so I felt regular ones would be too large so they are eliminated in my finished product.  Enjoy~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Suggestion:  I doubled the custard recipe. When I made the first batch I added a little more milk to it after it came out of the microwave to make it thinner(pourable) so it would easily go thru the poked holes.

  The second custard I made the original way so it would be thicker.  The key is lots of custard to top this cake for the down home custard taste.


1/4 cup corn starch
1/3 cup sugar
2 cups whole milk
2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
2 T butter
1 tsp. vanilla

First layer(thinner custard)

***I used a straw for holes but suggest you might use something a little larger to allow custard to seep through.

 In a medium glass bowl, combine corn starch and sugar.  Using a wire whisk gradually stir milk.  Place in microwave on high power for 5 to 7 minutes stirring in 2 minute intervals until it is thick and bubbly.  Remove from microwave and beat half of the hot mixture into the eggs.  Place back in microwave and allow to cook for an additional 45 seconds.  Remove from microwave and using whisk stir in butter and vanilla.
Thickened Custard

Second layer
Topped with colored chopped cashews or pine nuts and sprinkled with powdered sugar!!! YUMMY!!!!!!!!


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Boston Cream Cake!

One of our family favorite desserts has been Boston Cream Cake.  This is my guilty pleasure...

  I thought I'd try my easy version of the recipe and I'm very happy to tell you that it was really good and it didn't take much more than using a box mix, cook and serve pudding and my chocolate icing to almost duplicate (sorry Mom) the recipe. 

 Nothing tastes as good as a scratch cake but with summer almost over and kids back to school I think this may be a nice cake to make for everyone. Lots of us foodies have children and grandchildren who love dessert so I thought I would try to simplify a family favorite without making baking too time consuming.

  The grandchildren were visiting today.  Last evening I did 3/4 of the prep, refrigerated the filled cake and iced it this a.m.  This a  cake that must be refrigerated!  Enjoy!

This would be a nice dessert to share with some friends when entertaining!

Cover when filled and store overnight if possible .  Or refrigerate several hours before topping the cake with the chocolate icing.

Cover and refrigerate( I placed a few toothpicks around the cake and then covered with plastic wrap).

 I took the shortcut and made this easy version of Boston Cream Cake.  It turned out very very good.  I do have the recipe using homemade custard.  Just email or comment and I'll send it to you.  


 1 box Duncan Hines Yellow cake mix.  (bake according to directions)
** Note: I used a bunt pan and when the cake was baked and completely cooled, using a serrated large knife,  I cut the cake in half.  I think it is easier than using two 9" cake pans.

2 pkgs. vanilla (cook and serve vanilla pudding)  Make according to directions on box.  Note: Use whole or 2% milk because I made this with 1% milk and the pudding was thin.


1/4 cup cocoa
1 tsp. vanilla 
2 cups or more confectionery sugar
approx. 1/4 cup milk (judge the amount of milk how thick you want your icing)

Sift confectionery sugar, add cocoa and mix together.  Add milk and  vanilla.  Mix well by hand until all is blended and smooth.  Note:  Be careful when adding milk. Do so very slowly so as not to add too much milk.

From my kitchen to yours,

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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

2016 Christmas Menu ! Wedding Soup

I'm doing early prep each week so I'll be able to enjoy Christmas with the gang! Today it is the prep for wedding soup. 

Note: either make homemade chicken broth/soup or use organic or Swanson. I'd definitely use either in a pinch. Add some dried parsley and a grated carrot to soup for color. Enjoy!

Mini Meatball recipe.
1 lb. ground beef
Italian seasoned bread crumbs
Grated Italian cheese
Salt and pepper
acne de Pepe or rice approx. 8 oz. cooked or you can cook in broth but watch amount...they will thicken.

I'm sorry no specific amount in additions. Use your own judgement. Cheese and breadcrumbs about 1/2 cup or less. Salt is usually 1 tsp. Per lb. of meat. Pepper pinch or two!!😚
Work all ingredients with hands, occasionally wetting hands under cold water. When mixed pinch small pieces and either drop right in soup or bake meatballs 350 degrees for about 5 to 7 minutes. Cool completely and freeze until ready to use. It's easy!!!!

Happy Cooking from my kitchen to yours,