April Fool’s Pizza!

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My youngest was super excited for April Fool’s Day this year and wanted to do some “pranks” that wouldn’t hurt anyone’s feelings.  So we went with making foods that aren’t quite what they seem.  Dinner is chocolate cupcakes with frosting (meatloaf with mashed potatoes)! And dessert? Pizza! I helped her pipe the “cheese” but let her do all the other toppings.  She had so much fun and can’t wait to serve it up later!
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APRIL FOOL’S PIZZA

For the pizza crust:
1 cup unsalted butter

3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt

For topping:
raspberry jam (pizza sauce)
frosting (cheese)
Marshmallow fondant or fruit leather to cut out topping shapes
sprinkles, for herbs and parmesan cheese

Make the pizza crust:
Cream everything together with a wooden spoon or mixer just until creamy. Don’t overmix.  Will be pretty dry.
Press into a 10 inch springform pan.
Bake at 325 degrees for about 15 to 20 minutes.  Let cool.
Top with raspberry jam for pizza sauce, frosting for cheese, and other decorations.
April Fool’s Pizza!

Ingredients

    For the pizza crust:
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • For topping:
  • raspberry jam (pizza sauce)
  • frosting (cheese)
  • Marshmallow fondant or fruit leather to cut out topping shapes
  • sprinkles, for herbs and parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • Make the pizza crust:
  • Cream everything together with a wooden spoon or mixer just until creamy. Don’t overmix. Will be pretty dry.
  • Press into a 10 inch springform pan.
  • Bake at 325 degrees for about 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool.
  • Top with raspberry jam for pizza sauce, frosting for cheese, and other decorations.
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    Chimney Soot Treat Bars and Chimney Sweeps

    Chimney Soot Treat Bars and Chimney Sweeps

    We recently had a Mary Poppins themed party for our daughter who is OBSESSED with the Mary Poppins.
    My hubby even dressed up like a chimney sweep so I thought I better come up with some cute treats.  The kids loved them, plus they were so quick and easy!


    Chimney Soot Treat Bars and Chimney Sweeps

    CHIMNEY SOOT TREAT BARS

    3 T butter
    4 cups mini marshmallows, or 10 oz (about 40) large
    5 cups cocoa krispies
    1 cup chopped oreos (or another cup cocoa krispies)
    black food coloring, optional

    Melt butter in a large pot on low heat.  Add marshmallows, stir until combined and melted.
    Remove from heat, stir in cereal until well coated.  Spray a 9 inch square pan and use a sprayed spatula to spread mixture in pan.
    Cut into squares and insert a stick in each (optional).

     

    Chimney Soot Treat Bars and Chimney Sweeps

    CHIMNEY SWEEPS

    Black candy melts (or dark chocolate), melted
    Black sprinkles, optional
    Pretzel rods

    Line a tray with waxed paper.  Using a knife to spread, or fill a paper cone with melted candy melts or chocolate, make an asterisks type shape (don’t worry about being too perfect!)
    Sprinkle with sprinkles, if using.  make a few extra since some might break.
    Next, dip half of the pretzel rods into melts and set on wax paper to dry.  After both are set, put a little melted candy melt on top of the pretzel rod and place an asterisks on top.
    I had a container filled with cocoa krispies to serve them in so I place them in this so they could dry upright.  You could also use a container of dry rice or beans or whatever.
    I wrapped the container with paper with a chimney design on it for serving.

    Chimney Soot Treat Bars and Chimney Sweeps

    Chimney Soot Treat Bars and Chimney Sweeps

    Ingredients

      For the Chimney Soot Treat Bars:
    • 3 T butter
    • 4 cups mini marshmallows, or 10 oz (about 40) large
    • 5 cups cocoa krispies
    • 1 cup chopped oreos (or another cup cocoa krispies)
    • black food coloring, optional
    • For the Chimney Sweeps:
    • Black candy melts (or dark chocolate), melted
    • Black sprinkles, optional
    • Pretzel rods

    Instructions

  • For the Chimney Soot treat bars:
  • Melt butter in a large pot on low heat. Add marshmallows, stir until combined and melted.
  • Remove from heat, stir in cereal until well coated. Spray a 9 inch square pan and use a sprayed spatula to spread mixture in pan.
  • Cut into squares and insert a stick in each (optional).
  • For the Chimney Sweeps:
  • Line a tray with waxed paper. Using a knife to spread, or fill a paper cone with melted candy melts or chocolate, make an asterisks type shape (don’t worry about being too perfect!)
  • Sprinkle with sprinkles, if using. make a few extra since some might break.
  • Next, dip half of the pretzel rods into melts and set on wax paper to dry. After both are set, put a little melted candy melt on top of the pretzel rod and place an asterisks on top.
  • I had a container filled with cocoa krispies to serve them in so I place them in this so they could dry upright. You could also use a container of dry rice or beans or whatever.
  • I wrapped the container with paper with a chimney design on it for serving.
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    Coconut Cream Berry Flummery

    DSC02970

    Berry Flummery is one of my all time favorite desserts.  I really did not think it could get any better.  But out of necessity I made a vegan dairy free version the other day when a dinner guest was coming who is allergic to dairy and also has celiac disease.  I made regular berry flummery for the rest of us and used the same berries for both versions, but made her cream layer using coconut milk.  (Well, the cream layer anyways).  Normally sour cream is added to the whipped cream mixture to give it some tang and I debated on adding a splash of vinegar to mirror that.  But then I tasted it.  I honestly think I like this version better than the regular if that’s even possible?!
    The coconut cream is so luxurious and creamy and the hint of coconut flavor goes so well with the oats and berries.   And while this is a gluten and dairy free dessert you would never guess you were giving something up in it.  This made one very large parfait glass, or it could make 2 or 3 smaller ones easily.

    COCONUT CREAM BERRY FLUMMERY (Vegan, Dairy, Gluten Free)

    1 can coconut milk (regular, not light)
    1/4 cup powdered sugar
    1 tsp vanilla
    1/4 cup McCann’s Quick Cooking Irish Oatmeal, or quick cooking oats
    Berries of choice (I used some fresh strawberries and some frozen marionberries)

    The night before using put the coconut milk in the refrigerator.
    Spread the oats in a baking sheet and toast in the oven at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until fragrant and toasted.  Set aside to cool.
    When ready to use, remove coconut milk from fridge and open can upside down.
    Pour off liquid, which should look like this:
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    Now scoop out the cream that remains:
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    Whip the cream using a hand mixer or whip until slightly fluffy.  Mix in the powdered sugar (add more or less to taste), vanilla, and the oats (reserve a tablespoon of oats to sprinkle on top if desired).
    Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.  Can be made a day or two ahead of time.
    Chop strawberries and mix with other berries of choice and sprinkle with a spoon of granulated sugar.  Put in the fridge to macerate.  I don’t like doing this step the day before.  A few hours ahead is usually all I do.
    Layer the coconut cream and berries in a tall parfait glass and finish with a sprinkle of oats.

    Coconut Cream Berry Flummery

    Ingredients

    • 1 can coconut milk (regular, not light)
    • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 1/4 cup McCann’s Quick Cooking Irish Oatmeal, or quick cooking oats
    • Berries of choice (I used some fresh strawberries and some frozen marionberries)

    Instructions

  • The night before using put the coconut milk in the refrigerator.
  • Spread the oats in a baking sheet and toast in the oven at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until fragrant and toasted. Set aside to cool.
  • When ready to use, remove coconut milk from fridge and open can upside down.
  • Pour off liquid. Now scoop out the cream that remains.
  • Whip the cream using a hand mixer or whip until slightly fluffy. Mix in the powdered sugar (add more or less to taste), vanilla, and the oats (reserve a tablespoon of oats to sprinkle on top if desired).
  • Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Can be made a day or two ahead of time.
  • Chop strawberries and mix with other berries of choice and sprinkle with a spoon of granulated sugar. Put in the fridge to macerate. I don’t like doing this step the day before. A few hours ahead is usually all I do.
  • Layer the coconut cream and berries in a tall parfait glass and finish with a sprinkle of oats.
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    Homemade Elephant Ears

    ele ears
    My girls love going to the Oregon Zoo more than any other place.  We go often, and it’s a great place for homeschooling since we can spend so much time learning about different animals, and also jobs at the Zoo.  Last time we were there I got the girls an elephant ear to share for a special treat.  A Zoo employee was cleaning off some tables by us and I thanked her for her work in keeping the Zoo so clean.  My 6 year old Lucy then bursts into “Thank you, for everything you do-OO!” (If you are a parent, then you probably recognize the Daniel Tiger song!)
    I think it made her day.   I think these little ladies are going to turn out all right.

    After a long rough week I thought I would make some homemade elephant ears for a super special treat.  I am now dubbed the “best mommy ever”.  I’ll take it. 😉
    These were actually really quick and easy to make and I think they’d be very fun for a carnival themed birthday party… or a Monday… or a Wednesday. 🙂
    We don’t like alot of fried foods, but these weren’t greasy at all and such a fun treat to make at home.
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    HOMEMADE ELEPHANT EARS
    Makes 16 (6 to 10 inch ears)

    For dough:
    1 1/2 cups milk (I used fat free with great results)
    1 tsp kosher salt
    2 T sugar
    1/3 cup plus 1 T shortening
    2 T active dry yeast
    4 cups flour
    oil, for frying

    For coating:
    3 T ground cinnamon
    6 T sugar

    Heat milk, salt, 2 T sugar, and shortening in a small pot over medium heat until shortening melts.
    Remove from heat and cool to lukewarm, about 110 degrees.
    Sprinkle in yeast and let sit for a few more minutes.
    Place flour in a large bowl and add yeast mixture to it.
    Stir until dough comes together, then knead just until smooth.
    Cover, let rise for 30 minutes.
    In a large shallow bowl, combine coating ingredients.  Set aside.

    Heat a couple inches of oil to 375 degrees.
    While oil is heating, cut dough in half, then each half into 8 pieces (you could make larger or small depending on preference).  You should have a total of 16 pieces.  Cover with plastic wrap.
    Roll out dough into 6 to 10 inch circles (don’t worry about being perfect- make them thicker or thiner depending on preference) using a rolling pin on an unfloured surface.  Stack and keep covered with plastic wrap as you go.
    When oil is hot, fry one at a time for 1-2 minutes per side.
    Remove from oil and place on a paper towel lined tray.  Either dip each side of ear in coating or sprinkle on while still warm, making sure to coat well.
    Repeat until finished.

    Recipe slightly adapted from All Recipes

    Homemade Elephant Ears

    Yield: 16

    Ingredients

      For dough:
    • 1 1/2 cups milk (I used fat free with great results)
    • 1 tsp kosher salt
    • 2 T sugar
    • 1/3 cup plus 1 T shortening
    • 2 T active dry yeast
    • 4 cups flour
    • oil, for frying
    • For coating:
    • 3 T ground cinnamon
    • 6 T sugar

    Instructions

  • Heat milk, salt, 2 T sugar, and shortening in a small pot over medium heat until shortening melts.
  • Remove from heat and cool to lukewarm, about 110 degrees.
  • Sprinkle in yeast and let sit for a few more minutes.
  • Place flour in a large bowl and add yeast mixture to it.
  • Stir until dough comes together, then knead just until smooth.
  • Cover, let rise for 30 minutes.
  • In a large shallow bowl, combine coating ingredients. Set aside.
  • Heat a couple inches of oil to 375 degrees.
  • While oil is heating, cut dough in half, then each half into 8 pieces (you could make larger or small depending on preference). You should have a total of 16 pieces. Cover with plastic wrap.
  • Roll out dough into 6 to 10 inch circles (don't worry about being perfect- make them thicker or thiner depending on preference) using a rolling pin on an unfloured surface. Stack and keep covered with plastic wrap as you go.
  • When oil is hot, fry one at a time for 1-2 minutes per side.
  • Remove from oil and place on a paper towel lined tray. Either dip each side of ear in coating or sprinkle on while still warm, making sure to coat well.
  • Repeat until finished.
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    Lime Mousse

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    I heart citrus.  Especially lime.  My friend made this for her daughter’s wedding reception and served it in tiny tasting cups with little tasting spoons.  It was super cute, and tasted even better.  Luckily she shared her recipe. 🙂
    I had some lime juice powder in my pantry so I decided to throw some in, and I liked the extra “limey” boost it gave, but it is definitely still delicious without it.   I made them parfait style for a get together, but next time I’m trying it in a springform pan for a holiday or family dinner.  I bet it would even be good frozen.

    LIME MOUSSE
    2 cups gingersnap crumbs
    2 T sugar
    5 T melted butter

    1 envelope (.25 oz) unflavored gelatin
    2/3 cup lime juice
    2 1/2 cups whipping cream, divided
    9 oz white chocolate, chopped (or about 1 1/4 cups white chocolate chips)
    3 (8 oz) pkgs cream cheese, softened
    1 cup sugar
    2 T grated lime zest, plus more for serving
    2 tsp lime juice powder, optional
    green food coloring, optional

    Mix the cookie crumbs, 2 T sugar, and butter together in a bowl. Mix well.
    Set aside.
    Sprinkle the gelatin over the lime juice and set aside.
    Bring 1/2 cup of the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan.  Remove from the heat and add white chocolate.  Stir until melted.
    Add the gelatin to the chocolate mixture and mix until well combined.  Set aside to cool.
    Beat the remaining 2 cups heavy cream to stiff peaks in a large bowl, set aside.
    Beat the cream cheese with 1 cup sugar until well blended (add lime juice powder and food coloring now if using as well).   Add white chocolate mixture and lime zest and mix well.  Fold in the whipped cream.
    Layer lime mousse with cookie crumbs in individual cups, or press crumbs into a 10 inch spring form pan and fill with mousse.
    Cover and refrigerate overnight.  Keeps well for several days.
    When ready to serve, top with some extra lime zest.

    Recipe Source: My friend Janine G.

    Lime Mousse

    Ingredients

      For the crumbs:
    • 2 cups gingersnap crumbs
    • 2 T sugar
    • 5 T melted butter
    • For the mousse:
    • 1 envelope (.25 oz) unflavored gelatin
    • 2/3 cup lime juice
    • 2 1/2 cups whipping cream, divided
    • 9 oz white chocolate, chopped (or about 1 1/4 cups white chocolate chips)
    • 3 (8 oz) pkgs cream cheese, softened
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 2 T grated lime zest, plus more for serving
    • 2 tsp lime juice powder, optional
    • green food coloring, optional

    Instructions

  • Mix the cookie crumbs, 2 T sugar, and butter together in a bowl. Mix well.
  • Set aside.
  • Sprinkle the gelatin over the lime juice and set aside.
  • Bring 1/2 cup of the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat and add white chocolate. Stir until melted.
  • Add the gelatin to the chocolate mixture and mix until well combined. Set aside to cool.
  • Beat the remaining 2 cups heavy cream to stiff peaks in a large bowl, set aside.
  • Beat the cream cheese with 1 cup sugar until well blended (add lime juice powder and food coloring now if using as well). Add white chocolate mixture and lime zest and mix well. Fold in the whipped cream.
  • Layer lime mousse with cookie crumbs in individual cups, or press crumbs into a 10 inch spring form pan and fill with mousse.
  • Cover and refrigerate overnight. Keeps well for several days.
  • When ready to serve, top with some extra lime zest.
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    Rainbow Jello

    rainbow jello

    My daughters picked this for their choice to make for our Irish Dinner Party.
    I made a mini version up as well, and loved how it looked.  When you serve the big one, it does start to look like a mess pretty quickly, so the mini versions are a good choice if you’re worried about that too.  If you have time, allow a little extra chilling time between every couple layers to prevent colors bleeding through.

    rainbow jello2

     

    RAINBOW JELLO
    3 oz jello in 6 colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple)
    Large container cool-whip (or greek yogurt)

    Mix purple jello with 3/4 cup boiling water, stir to dissolve.
    In a 4 cup measure add ice to 1/2 cup cold water to make 1 1/4 cups.
    Whisk into hot jello, then remove any ice left after a couple minutes of stirring.
    Reserve 2/3 cup jello, then pour the remaining in a trifle bowl or other container.
    Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, preferably an hour.
    Whisk 1/3 cup cool whip (or greek yogurt) into the reserved 2/3 cup jello, then gently spoon or pour over chilled jello.
    Place back in the fridge for 1 hour.
    Repeat for the blue, green, yellow, orange, and red layers.
    Dollop with cool whip before serving.

    For mini versions, assemble in half pint canning jars or other small containers.

    Rainbow Jello

    Ingredients

    • 3 oz jello in 6 colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple)
    • Large container cool-whip (or greek yogurt)

    Instructions

  • Mix purple jello with 3/4 cup boiling water, stir to dissolve.
  • In a 4 cup measure add ice to 1/2 cup cold water to make 1 1/4 cups.
  • Whisk into hot jello, then remove any ice left after a couple minutes of stirring.
  • Reserve 2/3 cup jello, then pour the remaining in a trifle bowl or other container.
  • Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, preferably an hour.
  • Whisk 1/3 cup cool whip (or greek yogurt) into the reserved 2/3 cup jello, then gently spoon or pour over chilled jello.
  • Place back in the fridge for 1 hour.
  • Repeat for the blue, green, yellow, orange, and red layers.
  • Dollop with cool whip before serving.
  • For mini versions, assemble in half pint canning jars or other small containers.
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    Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Caramel Apple Sauce

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    I don’t like bread pudding.  Or so I thought
    I’ve always thought of bread pudding as a southern food, which we never ate in our home, and I didn’t experience much of until I traveled with my job.
    There are lots of things in the South that I loved… but bread pudding just wasn’t one of them.  And then… I made this one.  I tweaked and simplified it from Bobby Flay and I don’t know how different it ended up tasting, and I don’t care.  We absolutely loved it and when I served it at my Christmas Tea Party last year it was the biggest hit of everything.
    All components can be made ahead of time, making it a perfect holiday dessert in my book.  Well… plus it’s delicious, delicious, delicious.. so that helps too. 🙂

    PUMPKIN BREAD PUDDING WITH CARAMEL APPLE SAUCE
    2 cups heavy cream
    1 cup milk
    1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped (reserve scraped bean for another use)
    6 egg yolks
    1/2 cup sugar
    1 cup pumpkin puree, canned or homemade
    Pumpkin bread, prepared according to recipe below
    Caramel Apple sauce, recipe below
    Whipped Cream

    Whisk the cream, milk, and vanilla bean seeds in a small pot over medium heat.  Bring to a simmer.
    Whisk the yolks, sugar, and pumpkin together in a large bowl.  Add the hot cream mixture slowly, whisking to combine.   Strain into another bowl.
    Cut the pumpkin bread in 1 to 1/2 inch cubes and spread out in a 9 by 13 inch pyrex.  Pour the custard over the bread, pushing to submerge the bread fully.
    Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes before placing the pyrex pan in a larger roasting pan and adding hot water halfway up the sides of the pyrex.
    Bake uncovered for 1 hour at 325 degrees.

    Remove from water bath and let cool slightly before serving.  Serve scoops topped with caramel apple sauce and whipped cream.
    MAKE AHEAD: You can make this a couple days ahead of time, and rewarm in the oven just until warm.   Best eaten warm.

    PUMPKIN BREAD
    4 T unsalted butter
    1 3/4 cup flour
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp ground cinnamon
    1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
    1/2 tsp ground cloves
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    1/4 cup vegetable oil
    scant 1 cup (8 oz) pumpkin puree, canned or homemade
    2 eggs
    2/3 cup water

    Whisk the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves together in a bowl.
    Cream the butter, sugar, and oil with a hand mixer (or stand mixer with paddle attachment  on high until  light and fluffy, about 1 minute.
    Add the pumpkin puree, mix until well combined.  Add eggs one at a time then add the flour mixture and water, mixing just until combined.
    Butter a 9 inch loaf pan and spread batter in pan.
    Bake at 350 for 60 to 75 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely.
    Cut cooled bread into 1/2 inch cubes and spread out on a large baking sheet.
    Bake at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes, flipping once.  Cool and set aside.

    CARAMEL APPLE SAUCE
    1 cup cream
    1/2 cup apple juice
    1 star anise
    4 whole cloves
    2 cinnamon sticks
    1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    1/2 cup water
    1 T apple cider vinegar

    Combine the cream, apple juice, star anise, cloves, cinnamon sticks, and nutmeg in a small pot and bring to a simmer over medium high heat.
    Remove from the heat and leave to steep for at least 20 minutes.
    Strain into a clean pot and put on warm while you make the caramel in another pot:
    Combine the sugar, water, and vinegar in a medium pot over high and cook without stirring until it is a deep amber color, about 8 minutes.  Slowly whisk in the warm cream, whisking constantly until smooth.
    Make up to 2 days ahead of time, rewarming  on low when needed.

    Recipes adapted from Bobby Flay

    Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Caramel Apple Sauce

    Ingredients

    • 2 cups heavy cream
    • 1 cup milk
    • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped (reserve scraped bean for another use)
    • 6 egg yolks
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1 cup pumpkin puree, canned or homemade
    • Pumpkin bread, prepared according to recipe below
    • Caramel Apple sauce, recipe below
    • Whipped Cream
    • PUMPKIN BREAD
    • 4 T unsalted butter
    • 1 3/4 cup flour
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
    • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
    • 1 1/2 cups sugar
    • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
    • scant 1 cup (8 oz) pumpkin puree, canned or homemade
    • 2 eggs
    • 2/3 cup water
    • CARAMEL APPLE SAUCE
    • 1 cup cream
    • 1/2 cup apple juice
    • 1 star anise
    • 4 whole cloves
    • 2 cinnamon sticks
    • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
    • 1 1/2 cups sugar
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 1 T apple cider vinegar

    Instructions

  • Whisk the cream, milk, and vanilla bean seeds in a small pot over medium heat. Bring to a simmer.
  • Whisk the yolks, sugar, and pumpkin together in a large bowl. Add the hot cream mixture slowly, whisking to combine. Strain into another bowl.
  • Cut the pumpkin bread in 1 to 1/2 inch cubes and spread out in a 9 by 13 inch pyrex. Pour the custard over the bread, pushing to submerge the bread fully.
  • Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes before placing the pyrex pan in a larger roasting pan and adding hot water halfway up the sides of the pyrex.
  • Bake uncovered for 1 hour at 325 degrees.
  • Remove from water bath and let cool slightly before serving. Serve scoops topped with caramel apple sauce and whipped cream.
  • MAKE AHEAD: You can make this a couple days ahead of time, and rewarm in the oven just until warm. Best eaten warm.
  • PUMPKIN BREAD
  • Whisk the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves together in a bowl.
  • Cream the butter, sugar, and oil with a hand mixer (or stand mixer with paddle attachment on high until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.
  • Add the pumpkin puree, mix until well combined. Add eggs one at a time then add the flour mixture and water, mixing just until combined.
  • Butter a 9 inch loaf pan and spread batter in pan.
  • Bake at 350 for 60 to 75 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely.
  • Cut cooled bread into 1/2 inch cubes and spread out on a large baking sheet.
  • Bake at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes, flipping once. Cool and set aside.
  • CARAMEL APPLE SAUCE
  • Combine the cream, apple juice, star anise, cloves, cinnamon sticks, and nutmeg in a small pot and bring to a simmer over medium high heat.
  • Remove from the heat and leave to steep for at least 20 minutes.
  • Strain into a clean pot and put on warm while you make the caramel in another pot:
  • Combine the sugar, water, and vinegar in a medium pot over high and cook without stirring until it is a deep amber color, about 8 minutes. Slowly whisk in the warm cream, whisking constantly until smooth.
  • Make up to 2 days ahead of time, rewarming on low when needed.
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    Yummy Oreo Dessert


    This dessert goes against all my rules.  Like you can’t combine mixes and packaged foods and get something good.   I needed a last minute dessert to whip up quickly when we were having friends over for a BBQ.  I had spent most my day making and smoking sausage and smoking chicken, and had totally forgotten to make a dessert.
    Thumbing through my recipes I saw this oldie and remembered how good it was when I was a kid and thought the kids would like it too.  In our family it was called “Ute’s Yummy Oreo Dessert” since it came from my Mom’s friend Ute.  It’s the perfect summer dessert since you don’t have to turn the oven on and it’s served cold.  Maybe I’m just nostalgic about this one, but it still seems pretty darn good to me, and everyone else loved it as well.
    My Lucy had a lot of fun helping me make it, and I think at 5 years old she could almost make this one by herself it’s so easy!

    YUMMY OREO DESSERT
    1 pkg oreo cookies
    1/2 cup butter, melted
    2 small or 1 large vanilla instant pudding (mixed up according to package directions)
    8 oz box cream cheese
    1 medium cool whip

    Set aside 12 of the oreos, then finely chop the rest.
    Mix with the butter and spread in a 9 by13 inch baking pan (or divide between individual containers)
    Mix the prepared pudding and the cream cheese together until smooth, then add the cool whip, mixing until smooth again.
    Spread over the top of the oreo crust, then chop the remaining 12 oreos (or however many are left at this point) 😉 and sprinkle on top.
    Chill in the refrigerator for at least a couple of hours, up to overnight.

    Yummy Oreo Dessert

    Ingredients

    • 1 pkg oreo cookies
    • 1/2 cup butter, melted
    • 2 small or 1 large vanilla instant pudding (mixed up according to package directions)
    • 8 oz box cream cheese
    • 1 medium cool whip

    Instructions

  • Set aside 12 of the oreos, then finely chop the rest.
  • Mix with the butter and spread in a 9 by13 inch baking pan (or divide between individual containers)
  • Mix the prepared pudding and the cream cheese together until smooth, then add the cool whip, mixing until smooth again.
  • Spread over the top of the oreo crust, then chop the remaining 12 oreos (or however many are left at this point) ;) and sprinkle on top.
  • Chill in the refrigerator for at least a couple of hours, up to overnight.
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    http://mystainedapron.com/yummy-oreo-dessert/

    French Lemon Cream Tart


    I love curds.  With scones, in cakes, anywhere.  I’ve made it with limes, lemons, cranberries, strawberries, and rapsberries.  But this puts all lemon curds to shame.  It is like lemon curd whipped to pure satiny, buttery, lemony heights like unlike ever before.
    You just won’t understand until you try it.  I have a big love for all things citrus… especially things with lemon zest, one of my favorite ingredients.  (And I have a stash of bald lemons in my fridge at any given time to prove it!)
    While this is a very rich and buttery dessert, it is also very light and citrusy (is citrusy a word?)  so it works well for spring and summer.
    You can pair it with some fresh berries if you really want to make a presentation as well.

    FRENCH LEMON CREAM TART

    For the Lemon Cream:
    1 cup sugar
    grated zest of 3 lemons
    4 large eggs
    3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
    10 1/2 oz (2 sticks plus 5 T) unsalted butter, at room temperature

    Put a pot of water on and get it simmering, and set a heatproof bowl on top, making sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl.
    With the bowl off the heat, put the sugar and lemon zest in and rub with your fingers until fragrant and sugar becomes moist.
    Whisk in the eggs and lemon juice.
    Set bowl back on top of water and start whisking as soon as it is warm.
    Leaving a thermometer in the mixture and whisking constantly, heat to 180 degrees.  This should take about 10 minutes.  It will start out light and foamy, and then become thicker.

    At 180 degrees, remove from the heat and strain into a blender.  Discard the strained zest.  Let cream cool to 140 degrees (stirring occasionally), which should take about 10 minutes.
    With blender on high, add the butter in tablespoon sized pieces, about 5 at a time. After all the butter is added, blend for another 3 minutes.
    (If your machine needs it, give it a break every minute).

    The cream should be light in color and very silky, buttery, and velvety.
    Pour into a container and press a pleace of plastic wrap against the surface of the cream and chill at least 4 hours or longer.
    Keeps in the fridge for 4 days, or you can freeze for up to 2 months, just thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

    For Sweet Tart Dough:
    1 1/2 cups flour
    1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
    1/4 tsp salt
    9 T unsalted butter, very cold or frozen
    1 large egg yolk

    Combine the flour, confectioner’s sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor.
    Cut butter in small pieces and scatter on top.  Pulse until butter is size of peas or so.
    Add the egg yolk, and pulse for 10 seconds at a time until dough starts to pull together.  Knead dough by hand sparingly to bring together.
    Butter a 9 inch tart pan and press dough evenly over the bottom and up sides of pan, being careful not to press too hard.  Freeze for at least 30 minutes or more before baking.
    Bake for 30-38 minutes at 375 degrees, then cool to room temperature.
    VARIATION: Press dough into individual tart pans or mini muffin tins for individual tarts.  Bake for less time, depends on size of tin as to how long.  Usually start checking around 15 minutes.

    Recipe Source: Baking from my home to yours, by Dorie Greenspan

    Pink Stuff

    I know what you’re thinking.  Anything with the word “stuff” in the title can’t be good. : )
    But I have a 4 year old that would dissagree. 
    When our friends brought this dish with them when they came for dinner my Lucy went nuts for it, so I thought I’d better get the recipe!  We’ll be using it for a “pink party” and also it was great for using up a bunch of fresh cherries and raspberries from our garden.  Katie says she just throws in whatever they have on hand.  I like those kind of recipes. : )
    PINK STUFF
    1 small package Jello (I used Raspberry)
    1 large container Cool Whip (1 lb)
    1 small container cottage cheese (16 oz)
    Desired add-ins (I used 2 c each cherries and raspberries, and 3 c mini marshmallows)
    Mix dry Jello with cool whip and cottage cheese in a large bowl.
    Add in any add-ins you want.  Serve immediately or refrigerate until serving.
    ADD-INS:
    Cherries, pitted and halved
    Fresh berries, like strawberries, raspberries, etc
    Canned pineapple, drained
    Canned mandarin oranges, drained
    Bananas, sliced
    Grapes, halved
    Mini marshmallows, regular or fruit flavored
    Recipe adapted from dear friend Katie
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