S'mores Pie

Sunday, August 9, 2015

S'more are a summer time camping or backyard treat that never go out of style. I mean how can you go wrong with toasted-gooey marshmallow, milk chocolate and buttery graham crackers!?

This s'mores pie has all the great elements of a traditional s'more, but without the sticky mess and need for a camp fire!

S'mores Pie
{yield: 8 servings}

1 ½ cups milk chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream
1 egg
¼ Kosher salt
1 8 inch pre-made graham cracker crust
30 large marshmallows

Start by pre-heating your over to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, add the milk chocolate chips and set aside. Heat the heavy cream in a small sauce pan over medium heat until scalded, then pour over the chocolate chips and allow to sit for a couple minutes.

With a spatula or whisk, combine the milk chocolate chips and heavy cream to create a smooth and silky ganache and before adding the egg it needs to be tempered. Take a couple tablespoons of the ganache and mix into the egg.  Once tempered, add the egg and ¼ teaspoon of salt to the ganache and mix until smooth.

Pour the chocolate into the pre-made graham cracker pie shell and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the edges are set and the center is slightly jiggly.

Remove pie from the oven and top with marshmallows; lightly press each marshmallow into the chocolate base making sure to keep them close together.

Place pie back into the oven, about 6 inches away from the broiler. Now this part is very important!!!! Do not walk away or close the over door...you will not be happy with the end result. Keep a very close eye on the marshmallows and remove once they are golden brown and puffed.

Allow the pie to cool slightly and set before serving. If you are not going to serve this pie right away and it has cooled completely, place each slice in the microwave for about 10-15 seconds to allow the marshmallows to soften. 

Recipe from Cooking.com

Summer Citrus Butter Cookies

Monday, July 13, 2015

Refreshing, fluffy and melt-in-your-mouth are just a few words that come to mind when describing these summer citrus butter cookies. Fresh zest and juice from lemons and limes along with butter...lots of butter make for one amazingly light summer treat!

Summer Citrus Butter Cookies
{yield: 20 cookies}

Cookie dough:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, separated
2 cups all-purpose flour
Splash of vanilla extract
Zest from ½ a lemon and ½ a lime
Juice from ½ a lemon and ½ a lime

1-½ cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp. milk
Zest from ½ a lemon and ½ a lime
Juice from ½ a lemon and ½ a lime

Before you get started, preheat the over to 350 degrees. Then in a standing mixer bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the egg yolk and splash of vanilla extract and beat until combined.

Carefully add the flour, zest and juice from half a lemon and half of a lime, mixing until just combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and using a cookie scoop, scoop and roll dough into balls and place on a non-greased cookie sheet.

Bake cookies for 13 minutes and then remove from the oven.  Allow the cookies to cool for 3 to 4 minutes on the baking sheet before removing and placing on a wire rack to finish cooling.

Once the cookies are completely cool, its time to making the icing. In a small bowl, combine powered sugar, milk, and the zest and juice of half a lemon and half a lime. Using a rubber spatula, mix together until the consistency is thick enough to make a nice drizzle (you may have to add more powered sugar or milk to get the desired consistency).

Zigzag the icing over the cookies one direction and then the other direction to ensure that most of the cookies is covered. I love how the icing drizzle looks with the little specks of lemon and lime zest - just screams summer! Allow the icing to set up for a couple of hours before serving or packing away.

The burst of fresh citrus in every bite make these cookies the perfect treat to enjoy at a summer picnic or by the pool soaking up some rays!

Adapted from The Pioneer Women.

Friday Favorites | No. 23

Friday, July 10, 2015

Woo hoo, it's Friday all! After such a fun holiday weekend, it was a little challenging to get back into the swing of things. But overall it was a great week, so lets take a look back at some of my favorite moments.

I spent the holiday weekend at my dad's ranch and always have such a fun time when I am up there visiting. Fourth of July was spent in town watching the annual parade and enjoying a hot dog in the park afterwards. The town is iconic "small town America" and is such a fun place to celebrate America's birthday day!

Froyo Wednesday's are something I look forward to every week! It is just a nice time to catch up with friends and enjoy the beautiful Southern California summer weather.

I was able to get back in the kitchen and bake after a few weeks away because I was traveling for work and vacation. Blueberries are my favorite summer fruit (if you couldn't tell by all the blueberry recipes on the blog recently) the mini blueberry crostata I whipped up was perfection!

What were some of your favorite moments from this week?

Mini Blueberry Crostata

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Summer desserts should be all about simplicity in my book and there is nothing simpler than making a summer fruit crostata.

A crostata is an Italian free-form tart that can be either sweet or savory. It is the perfect dessert to make if you are in the mood for pie, but don't want to go through the hassle of making a whole one! With the abundance of fresh summer fruit in the grocery stores, I decided it was time to make a crostata, but a mini version. So by using a ready-made pie crust and fresh summer berries, I created a beautifully rustic and simple dessert for two.

Mini Blueberry Crostata
{yield: 2-4 servings}

1 ready-made pie crust, cut down to an 8 ½ inch circle
6 oz. fresh blueberries
3 tsp. granulated sugar
3 tsp. flour 
zest from half a lemon
juice from half a lemon

Start by preheating your over to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Unroll the ready-made pie crust and cut a circle that measures 8 ½ inches and place on the parchment sheet. Then in medium bowl, add the fresh blueberries, sugar, flour, lemon zest and juice and mix together.

Spoon the berries on top of the dough leaving roughly a 2 inch edge. Then fold and crimp the edge up and around the berries. Use a pastry brush and lightly brush the outside with water and sprinkle with sugar.

Place the crostata in the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow the baking sheet to cool on a wire rack. Serve just as or top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Easy Fourth of July Desserts

Friday, July 3, 2015

Hi all! Wow, it sure has been awhile since I have been able to blog, but with a massive cold, traveling for work and some vacation, time just slipped away and here we are in July already.

Since I have been away the past couple of week (which I sincerely apologize for!) I just pulled together some of my favorite dessert recipes that would be a perfect ending to any Fourth of July BBQ or party!

Hot summer days call for chilled desserts and my Lemon Margarita Pie packs a punch and is oh-so refreshing.

If you are trying to keep dessert super simple, just grab a few cartons of vanilla ice cream and make my Homemade Blueberry Syrup. Pour the syrup over scoops of ice cream and boom! dessert is served.

Dessert on the go? Try my Individual Banana Caramel Cream Pies served in small mason jars. They allow your guest to grab and go watch the fireworks!

Give my Lemon-Blueberry Crumb Bars a try if you are inviting a large crowd over. This dessert is great because you can control how big or small you want the size of the bars to be!

What are some of your favorite desserts to share with your guest when entertaining on the Fourth of July?  Have a happy and safe day tomorrow!

Friday Favorites | No. 22

Friday, June 5, 2015

Happy Friday and National Donut Day! That combo makes for a pretty good Friday if I do say so myself :)

I can't believe that we are in June already, but when you are having fun time does seem to fly by! It was a fun week, so why don't we take a look back at my top five favorite moments:

Saturday was spent at the pool relaxing and enjoying the sunshine.

I missed the food in California so much when I was living in Miami, especially Mexican cuisine and Santa Maria tri tip...I got to enjoy both on Saturday during our bbq at the pool ::yummy::

I have been pouring my homemade blueberry syrup on EVERYTHING this past week.

Hiking with friends has become one of my favorite things to do! California has so much beauty.

National Donut Day...enough said.

How has your week been? Did you enjoy a donut today?

Homemade Blueberry Syrup

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

When fresh blueberries are in the grocery store, its hard for me to turn them down. I may have been a little crazy this past week and purchased a huge carton. Now, I could have froze some of the berries and used them for my smoothy or oatmeal in the mornings, but guess what?! Ice cream was also on sale (and somehow ended up in my shopping basket)...which gave me the perfect excuse to use the extra berries to make homemade blueberry syrup!

Homemade Blueberry Syrup

{yield: 1 cup}

1½ cup fresh blueberries
1 cup cold water
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
½ tsp. vanilla extract

In a medium sauce pan, combine the fresh blueberries, water, sugar and fresh squeezed lemon juice. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat and let simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in the vanilla extract and serve right away or allow it to cool to room temperate before covering and refrigerating.

Now remember this is a syrup, so it will be on the thinner side, but I find it to be the perfect topping for ice cream, yogurt, oatmeal, pancakes, pound cake...I think you get the idea. It is pretty much great on anything!

Overnight Oatmeal

Monday, June 1, 2015

Mornings before work can be hectic. I feel like I am always in race to get out of my apartment and on the road for work before 8:15 a.m. However, I sometimes hit the snooze button a few too many times and stumble out of my apartment at 8:30 a.m. (most likely without coffee and breakfast).

But now thanks to this simple and tasty recipe for overnight oatmeal, I am never without breakfast before work. All you need are a few simple ingredients to make this heart healthy, tasty and fast breakfast!

Overnight Oatmeal

{yield: 1 serving}

⅓ cup rolled oats
⅓ cup almond milk (any type of milk will work)
⅓ cup vanilla Greek yogurt
1 tsp. chia seeds
¼ cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
drizzle of agave syrup, honey or brown sugar

Start with a pint size mason jar or any cup with a sealable lid/top. Then add ⅓ cup of rolled oats (not instant!), ⅓ cup of almond milk, ⅓ cup of vanilla Greek yogurt and top off with a teaspoon of chia seeds.

Mix all the ingredients together, cover with a lid and place in the refrigerator for 6 to 8 hours or overnight. The next morning remove jar from the fridge, top with blueberries and drizzle with agave syrup, honey or a spoon of brown sugar for sweetness. 

Overnight oats are meant to be eaten cold, but can be microwaved if you prefer them hot! Now if you are not a fan of blueberries, feel free to change it and add bananas or apples to your the oatmeal "base." The beauty is that this recipe gives you the freedom to jazz up your oats with whatever you are in the mood for that day!

Friday Favorites | No. 21

Friday, May 29, 2015

I can't believe it is Fri-YAY again! I am a major fan of the 4-day work week and think that it should become a thing...don't you all agree? Here is a quick look at my top five favorite moments from this past week:

The drive up to my Dad's house is a little over 3 hours and packed full with beautiful California scenery.

Rocky was a tad camera shy during feeding time one night, but one of the sweetest horses at the ranch!

These lemon-blueberry crumb bars!

I love having fresh flowers in my place and found these beautiful soft pink peonies at Trader Joe's.

On Friday's I have been treating myself to Starbucks and today was no different!

So there you have it folks; short and sweet! What were some of your favorite highlights from this week?

Lemon-Blueberry Crumb Bars

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Alright, I think I have a problem.

And that problem is that I am obsessed with the combination of lemon and blueberry! I guess you could say that this obsession it is equivalent to my obsession with pumpkin in the fall. Is anyone with me on this? Lemon just pairs so well with blueberry and just brightens up any dessert.

I spent last weekend up at my Dad's horse ranch in central California; it was great to get away from the "city life" and head out to the country for some nice down time. Since my Dad lives a few hours away from me, he doesn't get a chance to taste a lot of the recipes I make on the blog. So I decided to change that and bake him something while I was up at the ranch!

We decided to make a batch of lemon-blueberry crumb bars as we are are both fans of this great flavor combination. So while my Dad was out feeding all the horses, I went into the kitchen and got started on the bars. After they came out of the oven and cooled, it was time for tasting. Dad gave them two thumbs up and I would agree! The sweetness from the blueberries melds so well with the creamy filling and make this dessert so amazingly light and refreshing.

Lemon-Blueberry Crumb Bars

{yields: 20 servings}

½ cup unsalted butter, melted
1 box yellow cake mix
2 eggs, divided
2-8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened
½ cup granulated sugar
zest and juice from 1 lemon
2 cups fresh blueberries

First preheat our oven to 350 degrees. Then line a 13"x9" pan with tin foil making sure some of it extends over the sides. Place the ½ cup of unsalted butter into a microwave safe bowl and heat for 1 minute or until melted.

Then in a mixing bowl, add the box of yellow cake mix (you could also use a lemon cake mix here as well!), along with 1 egg and the melted butter. Mix until combined.

Take ⅔ of the dough and gently press it into the bottom of the pan. Save the remaining dough for the top.

In a separate mixing bowl, add the softened cream cheese and ½ cup of granulated sugar and beat until smooth and fluffy.  Add in the remaining egg along with the zest and juice from one large lemon and mix until combined.

Carefully pour cream cheese mixture over the dough and sprinkle on top 2 cups of fresh and ripe blueberries.

Then with the remaining ⅓ of dough, pinch off small pieces and place over the top of berries. Place pan in the oven on the center rack and bake for to 55 minutes to an hour or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center.

Cool bars completely before removing from pan and cutting. Bars need to be refrigerated until ready to serve.

These bars are so light and refreshing and would be the perfect end to a summer BBQ! What are some of your favorite desserts to eat in the summer?

Slightly adapted from Kraft Recipes
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