So we went to Disneyland last month with the ENTIRE family (jealous? Just wait, you may not be). I’m talking my hubby, kids and me, plus my parents, four sisters plus two brother-in-laws, two nieces, and my nephew. Crazy, I know! We all rented a large home nearby the park, and it was fantastic. The rooms were all a different Disney theme, there was a huge Rapunzel mural on the wall, it was just darling. Plus, our own pool and hot tub!
We seriously were planning this vacation since last summer, we were that excited! So you would think it would’ve been the perfect vacation, right? Oh, no, ma’am! My family got the flu. For pretty much the entire vacation. We spent two days driving there, and enjoyed the beach one day. So far, so good. Then our first day at the park we make it to mid-afternoon when it hits. Superman starts throwing up….right as we’re getting off the Jungle Cruise ride. So we go back to the house, unsure what’s going on. That night, Batman starts in on it. Days 2-3, Batman and then Green Lantern take turns…..even if we tried the park because we think they’re recovered, someone would end up covered in yuckiness. Day 3-4, my turn, lucky me! Day 5 is Flash and Wonder Woman. Then two day drive home.
So not the best vacation ever, especially after getting excited for it almost a year ahead of time, but it definitely could have been worse. We got to see family, have SOME fun at the parks with the kids, the beach was good, and we took turns staying at the house with the sick ones and the others going to the park. My family was also extremely sweet and helpful, taking Wonder Woman with them often so we could handle the boys, and my mom even stayed with her at the house Friday morning so we could have a bit more time on our last day. I’m sure if/when we go again, I’ll be pointing out in remembrance “that’s where so-and-so threw up”. Awww, memories!
Mickey Mouse Oreo
Oreo cookies (double stuffed or original, doesn’t matter)
White chocolate chips
Red frosting (I did vanilla frosting with red food coloring)
Spread the frosting on the bottom half of each Oreo. Put two white chips for the pant buttons. Love it!
Notes: you can also use milk chocolate chips as ears at the top of the Oreo. I just happened to be out at the time.
Crockpot Apple Cake
1 cup Flour
1 cup Sugar
2 tsp. Baking powder
2 tsp. Ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. Salt
4-6 Medium apples, chopped
2 tsp. Vanilla
½ cup Walnuts, if desired
In bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Stir in apples, coating lightly.
In separate bowl, mix eggs and vanilla. Pour into apple mixture. Stir until just moistened.
Spoon into a lightly greased crockpot. Cover and bake on high about 3 hours.
Serve warm (although my hubby likes it cold, too) with whipped cream or ice cream on top. Feel free to add a sprinkle of cinnamon, if desired.
Notes: See, I told you it was super easy! Add more or less apple, depending on preference. We did six, and there was a happy balance of cake and apple pieces, but that’s just us.
Cherry Creme Brulee
2 ¼ cups Heavy Cream
1/3 cup Cherry Juice concentrate
6 Egg yolks
8 tbsp. Sugar
2-3 tbsp. Brown sugar & granulated sugar mixed (for crust)
Preheat oven to 300 F.
Stir the cream and cherry concentrate in a pot, bring to a simmer.
In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar for one minute.
Slowly pour the cream mixture into the egg mixture, while whisking.
Replace on the stove, on low heat, until slightly thickened. Mine took about 4 minutes.
Pour the mixture into oven safe ramekins. Place on a baking pan.
Place baking pan in oven. Add enough water to the pan that it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
Bake for 35 minutes.
Place the ramekins in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
For the crust, mix brown sugar with a little bit of granulated sugar. Spread thinly over top of custard.
Carefully burn with a lighter until slightly baked and brown.
Notes: Be very careful when removing the pan from the oven, as the water is very hot and it can burn your hands if spilled.
- 7 oz. Lady Finger Cookies
- 2 oz. Shaved chocolate
- 1 ½ cup Cherries
- 2/3 cup Sugar
- 2 cups Water
- 1 ½ cups Mascarpone
- 1 ½ cups Whipping cream
- ½ cup Sweetened condensed milk
- Sprinkle of Cinnamon
Put the cherries, sugar and water in a pot and boil for 8 minutes. Remove and let sit until it reaches room temperature.
Mix the mascarpone, cream and milk together until smooth.
Dip the lady finger cookies in the syrup for a few seconds each side. Make one layer of cookies in a 9×9 square dish.
Pour half of the mascarpone cream over the cookies, then the chocolate shavings. Remove the cherries from the syrup and layer over the chocolate.
Place the remaining cookies on the next layer, topping with the remaining cream mixture. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon over the top.
Notes: Cover any leftovers and store in the fridge.
One of my neighbors is expecting, and has been put on bed rest. With my twins, I ended up on bed rest for 12 weeks, so I completely understand what she’s going through! She has a little toddler, also, which makes it even more difficult to deal with trying to relax, yet still be ‘mommy’. We decided it’d be fun to take this creamy, chocolaty dessert over to her and her family. It’s really easy, and satisfies that chocolate sweet craving perfectly!
Chocolate Cream Torte
37 Vanilla wafer cookies (exactness isn’t necessary, this is just what I used)
4 squares Semi-sweet chocolate
2 pkg. (3.9 oz. each) Chocolate instant pudding
2 cups Milk, plus 2 tbsp.
8 oz. Whipped topping, thawed
8 oz. Cream cheese, softened
¼ cup Sugar
¾ cup Raspberries (if desired)
Take a 9-inch round pan and line it with plastic wrap. Using 16 of the wafer cookies, make a line on the outside edge of the pan.
Melt 3 of the chocolate squares.
Beat pudding mixes with 2 cups milk about 2 minutes. Add the melted chocolate and mix well. Stir in 1 cup of the whipped topping and pour into prepared pan.
Beat the cream cheese, sugar and 2 tbsp. milk with mixer until well blended. Stir in 1 cup of the whipped topping. Spread mixture over the pudding layer.
Top with the remaining wafer cookies.
Refrigerate for about 3 hours.
Shave the last chocolate square into curls with a potato peeler.
Invert torte onto a plate, and then remove the pan and plastic wrap. Top with remaining cool whip, raspberries (if desired) and chocolate curls.
- 1 cup Margarine, softened
- ¾ cup Granulated sugar
- ¾ cup Brown sugar, firmly packed
- 2 Eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 ¼ cups All-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. Baking powder
- 1 12-ounce package Vanilla milk chips
- 1 12-ounce package Chocolate milk chips
- 2 cups Dried tart cherries
- 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 9×13 baking pan, set aside.
- Combine margarine, sugar and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl. Beat on medium until well blended. Add eggs and vanilla to sugar mixture. Mix in.
- In separate bowl, combine flour and baking powder, then slowly add to mixture. Stir in milk chips, cherries and nuts.
- Spread evenly into pan. Bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly brown. Let cool before cutting.
Notes: I used a fork to mix instead of an electric mixer, and it worked great, plus easier to clean. We serve this warm with vanilla ice cream over it; a nice little fruit and chocolate addition!
Some of you may know this recipe as ‘Empty Tomb Rolls’, but we’ve just always called them sweet crescent rolls because we don’t just enjoy them around Easter. Whatever the reason, though, they’re a huge hit with the whole crowd!
1 package Crescent Rolls
8 regular sized Marshmallows
1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. On a sprayed baking sheet, lay out the crescent rolls. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar on each. Place one marshmallow on the wide end of each roll.
3. Roll up the triangles so they mostly surround the marshmallow. The better covered the marshmallow is, the less will get messy over the baking sheet. Sprinkle a little cinnamon and sugar over the top.
4. Bake for 8-15 minutes, depending on your type of rolls, until golden brown.
5. Serve and enjoy, along with wet wipes or paper towels!
Okay, so I know this site is made for busy women, and that the majority of my recipes are quickly prepared. However, there are occasions when I find a recipe that just sounds so delicious and unique, that it just might be WORTH the extra time it would take. This was one of those times. Flipping through my recipes, magazines, books and trying to find something amazing to bake for the weekend, I came across the most drool-worthy photo of a chocolate cake. It was settled, I was going to bake this, regardless of the almost 2 hours of prep work (this actually takes about 20 hours total, if you count that it must be refrigerated overnight, but only 2 active hours).
To my absolute delight, I found it to be completely worth the time and effort! My family agreed, of course…except those who don’t like chocolate COUGH (hubby) COUGH! So, if you don’t have the time, definitely pass on this recipe; I do recommend it if you have some time and want to create something exceptional!
Before making this, please read over the entire instructions FIRST, so you’re familiar with the process, as it’s a bit complicated. Don’t be intimidated, though; if I can make this, so can you!
Chocolate Monster Cake
6 tbsp. Plus 3 tbsp. Plus 1 1/3 cups Ovaltine chocolate malt mix
1 ½ oz. White chocolate, chopped
4 oz. Plus 2 oz. Bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 tsp. Mild-flavored molasses
½ cup Heavy whipping cream
½ cup plus 3 tbsp. Light corn syrup
¼ cup plus 2 ¼ cup plus 3 tbsp. Sugar
1 1/3 cup plus ½ cup All-purpose flour
¾ cup Unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. Baking powder
¾ cup plus 6 tbsp. Unsalted butter, room temperature
3 Large eggs
¾ cup Buttermilk
1/3 cup Vegetable oil
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
½ cup Whole milk
2 cups Mini marshmallows
¾ cup Nonfat dry milk powder
2 tbsp. Cornstarch
Preheat oven to 275 F.
Line baking sheet with parchment.
In a bowl, mix all milk powder, ½ cup flour, 3 tbsp. Sugar, allCornstarch, and ¾ tsp. Salt until well combined.
Add butter and stir with a fork until clusters form.
Spread mixture evenly on sheet.
Bake until crumbs are dry and crumbly, but still pale (about 10 minutes).
Cool completely on sheet.
Chocolate Malt Crumbs:
In bowl, mix milk crumbs and 6 tbsp. Ovaltine.
Put white chocolate in small microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted, stirring occasionally.
Drizzle chocolate over crumb mixture and toss to coat.
Put 1 1/3 cups ovaltine, 4 oz. Bittersweet chocolate bits, all molasses, and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Set aside.
Mix all heavy cream, ½ cup corn syrup and ¼ cup sugar in saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves.
Pour cream mixture over chocolate mixture in a bowl.
Let stand for 1 minute, then stir until smooth and glossy, about 2 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Coat three 8-inch cake pans with nonstick spray. Line with round parchment, then coat parchment with nonstick spray.
Place 2 oz. chocolate in small microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted, stirring every 15 seconds. Set aside.
Sift 1 3/4 cups flour, 3/4 cup cocoapowder, 2 tsp. baking powder, and 1 tsp.salt in medium bowl.
In large stand mixer, combine 3/4 cup butter, 2 1/4 sugar and 3 tbsp. corn syrup. Beat on medium-high speed until fluffy and pale (about 2 minutes). Scrape sides of bowl.
Add eggs. Beat until mixture is fluffy (about 2 minutes). Scrape sides of bowl.
Add melted chocolate. Beat until well-blended (about 1 minute).
Add 3/4 cup buttermilk, 1/3 cup oil and 1 tsp. vanilla. Beat until pale brown, about 2 minutes.
Add flour mixture. Beat on low just until blended (about 1 minutes).
Divide batter among pans, smoothing the tops.
Bake until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (about 20 minutes). Cool completely in pans on racks.
Stir milk and 3 tbsp. Ovaltine in small bowl.
Invert 1 cake form pan onto flat plate and peel off parchment. Place top-side down in 8-inch springform pan.
Brush cake with 2 ½ tbsp. Ovaltine-milk mixture, letting it soak in.
Drizzle 1/3 cup malt-fudge sauce over cake, spreading evenly over the top.
Sprinkle ½ cup chocolate malt crumbs over sauce.
Drizzle 1/3 cup malt-fudge sauce over crumbs.
Scatter 1 cup mini marshmallows over sauce.
Use a kitchen torch to toast marshmallows.
Repeat with second cake layer (ovaltine milk mixture, sauce, crumbs, sauce, marshmallows).
Remove third cake and place top side down on marhsmallows on second layer.
Brush with remaining ovaltine milk mixture.
Cover cake with plastic wrap and chill overnight. Cover and chill fudge sauce in microwave-safe bowl.
Next day, run knife around sides of pan to release cake and remove pan sides.
Place cake (still on springform pan bottom) on plate.
Rewarm sauce until pourable, and pour over cake, letting it drip down the sides.
Mound handful of marshmallows in center of cake, and toast with kitchen torch.
Sprinkle remaining crumbs over cake.
Let stand at room temperature 3 hours before serving.
Notes: Use a springform pan; I don’t know how it would work otherwise! I honestly didn’t own one before this, now I’m SOOO glad I have a few! Milk crumbs may be stored up to one week in an airtight container. Malt-fudge sauce may be stored, covered and chilled, for up to one week (rewarm until pourable before using). In the stand mixer, it’s best to use a paddle attachment. The final product will rise well above the edge of the springform pan. This cake is VERY rich, so have a glass of milk handy, or serve with vanilla ice cream!
My hubby loves sour things, such as lime. His mother even more so! When she was up visiting, I found some lemon and lime juice in the fridge and decided to try one of her favorite things to get at The Cheesecake Factory: Key Lime Cheesecake. I’d never even made cheesecake before, so I was a bit nervous, but it turned out nicely creamy and smooth.
1 prepared Crust (I used a premade graham cracker)
32 oz. Cream cheese
1 ¼ cup Sugar
1 Tbsp. Cornstarch
1 Tbsp. Lime zest
1/3 cup Lime juice
1/3 cup Lemon juice
Preheat oven to 300 F.
In an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, sugar, lime peel and cornstarch until fluffy and smooth.
Beat in the eggs, on at a time, until smooth.
Add the lime juice and lemon juice, mixing by hand just until smooth.
Pour into prepared crust
Bake for about 60 minutes, or until set. Let the cheesecake stand in turned-off oven about 30 minutes, with the door open a few inches. Remove from oven and refrigerate overnight.
Notes: Try it with a drizzle of chocolate or caramel sauce, or some whipped topping.
It’s no secret that I’m a chocolate lover. If I could realistically make a new chocolate treat every day without gaining a ton of weight and losing a ton of money, I would in heart beat! Since that’s not the case, I try to get a variety, and make them so delicious that it’s worth waiting a few days between. I’ve wanted to try a soufflé type dessert for a while, but have heard so many stories of how easily ruined they are, that I’ve kept putting it off. I finally decided to give it a shot, and was SOOO glad I did! These were really easy, and the creamy, smooth texture of the rich chocolate was amazing; one of my new favorites!
Creamy Chocolate Treat
1 ½ sticks Butter, cut up
1 cup Semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup Sugar
6 large Eggs, separated
2 tbsp. All purpose flour
Melt the butter, chocolate and sugar in a medium saucepan, over low heat. Allow to cool.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease ten 6-ounce ramekins, then dust with flour (use a sifter). Place the ramekins in a cake pan.
In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks on high speed about 3 minutes, or until thick.
In another small bowl, beat the egg whites on high speed about 5 minutes, or until stiff.
Whisk the yolks into the chocolate mixture; then fold in the egg whites and flour.
Spoon the batter into the ramekins. Once on the oven rack, pour boiling water into the cake pan until it comes about half-way up the ramekins.
Bake about 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted by the edges of the ramekin comes out clean.
Notes: Make sure there’s enough room between the water and the top of the pan that you won’t spill it on your hands as you remove it from the oven, as it will be extremely hot. These are delicious warm or cold, although I prefer them warm. Add whipped topping, or even tapioca pudding for an even more satisfying flavor!
Chocolate Chip Smores
10 chocolate chip cookies
5 squares semi-sweet chocolate bar, chopped
4 tsp coconut flakes
50 miniature marshmallows
1. Place 5 cookies, flat-sides up, on microwaveable plate; top with remaining ingredients.
2. Microwave on HIGH 30 seconds or until chocolate is almost melted. Put remaining cookies on top, pressing down lightly to secure. Microwave an additional 30 seconds or until cookies are warmed and chocolate and marshmallows are melted.
3. Serve warm and gooey, or cover and refrigerate about 10 minutes or until filling is set.
Notes: Hersheys bar may be used, but since it’s thinner use the entire bar. This is based on large homemade cookies, so if you use Chips Ahoy keep in mind they are much smaller and will need fewer ingredients. I’ve found that it’s easiest if you put the coconut flakes on first, then chocolate, then marshmallows. They just seem to balance and stay on better that way; or maybe it’s just me.