Holiday Caramel Apple Trifle

t-4

Without one tiny, minuscule doubt, if you make this dish for dessert you will be the hit of the party. It’s so easy and so tasty, and will make you want dessert even after you’ve filled yourself up on an overwhelming amount of turkey, ham, rolls, potatoes, etc, etc. I would certainly recommend making this for any holiday occasion, because its fun to make, pretty, and can serve a lot of people.

I found a recipe on Pinterest (here) and improvised by making a yellow cake mix from Fresh Market and also bought the most delectable caramel sauce from Fresh Market as well, which I recommend everyone buy and eat it on pretty much anything and everything. It’s seriously life changing.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cups chopped peeled granny smith apples (about 5 medium)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (I also added chopped hazelnuts)
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon apple pie spice, divided
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 jar (12-1/4 ounces) caramel ice cream topping, divided
  • 1 carton (12 ounces) cool whip, thawed, divided
  • 1 box of yellow cake mix baked according to the recipe (or pound cake or angel food cake)
  • Additional apple pie spice to sprinkle on top!

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in the apples, walnuts and hazelnuts, brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice. Cook and stir for 8-10 minutes or until apples are tender.
  2. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in 1/2 cup caramel topping and 1/2 teaspoon of apple pie spice. Fold in 2 cups of the whipped topping.
  3. In a trifle bowl or glass serving bowl, layer a third of the cake cubes, cream cheese mixture and apple mixture. Repeat layers twice. Garnish with remaining whipped topping and drizzle with remaining caramel topping. Sprinkle with additional apple pie spice if desired. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
  4. Yield: 14 servings.

t-2

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Molasses Cream Cheese Filling & Cream Cheese Frosting

October is here and I decided that I needed to make something delicious/warm/pumpkin-y to help me forget my upcoming winter woes. I couldn’t find a pumpkin cupcake recipe that had a filling AND a frosting, so I combined a few different recipes and invented my own. & it was totally worth it. Though I would consider them more “Muffcakes” than cupcakes or muffins. Or “puffcakes” since they are pumpkin. YAY I LOVE PUMPKIN! (recipe below)

Cake:

  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 1 & 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 TBSP cinnamon
  • 1/2 t. ginger
  • 1/2 t. nutmeg
  • 1/4 t. ground cloves
  • 2 t. baking soda
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree (I used Libby’s Easy Pumpkin Pie Mix – it gives it some extra fall spicy-ness)

Filling:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened (if you can get a hold of pumpkin cream cheese, it’s even better!)
  • 2 TBSP molasses
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 t. vanilla
  • 1/2 t. cinnamon
  • pinch of salt

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 Tbsp. butter, at room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree (just use some of the leftovers from Libby’s)
  • add flour to thicken the frosting if needed
Instructions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line muffin pans with 24 muffin liners & set aside.
  3. In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients and stir until well combined. In a smaller bowl mix together the eggs, oil and pumpkin.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together until smooth.
  5. Fill the muffin liners 1/2 of the way with the pumpkin batter.
  6. With a mixer cream all of the filling ingredients together.
  7. Drop small spoonfuls of the filling (about a teaspoon) into the center of each filled muffin liner.
  8. Add a little more batter to each cupcake, enough to cover the cream cheese. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the edges of the cupcake begin to harden. (Don’t test in the middle since the middle will stay soft and gooey).
  9. While the cupcakes are baking, mix together the cream cheese, butter, pumpkin and vanilla in a medium bowl to make the frosting. Gradually add powdered sugar and cinnamon. Add flour to the frosting if you would like it thicker.
  10. Frost the cupcakes once cooled. Dash with cinnamon for added appeal 😀
  11. Enjoy!

By Myles Katherine ❤

Crema Catalana

Inspired by the Spain Box from Try the World, I made the Crema Catalana recipe from their online magazine with my own twist to it.

CC 4

The original recipe is below:

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 egg yolks
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2½ Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 cups plus 2 Tbsp. milk
  • Grated zest of ½ orange (or in my case honey!)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 Tbsp. P. Listo jam
  • 4 Tbsp. sugar

DIRECTIONS

1. In a small bowl using a hand held mixer, beat together the egg yolks and sugar until pale and creamy, about 5 minutes. In a separate, larger bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons milk until the cornstarch dissolves.

2. In a saucepan, combine the remaining 2 cups milk, orange zest, and salt. Heat over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until small bubbles form along the edge of the saucepan. Once the bubbles appear, lower the heat to keep warm.

3. Add the egg and sugar mixture to the cornstarch mixture and whisk until homogenous. Slowly pour in the warm milk, whisking constantly, until smooth and homogenous, then pour back into the saucepan. Heat the mixture over low heat, stirring constantly with a spoon, until it thickens, 10 to 12 minutes. Do not allow to boil.

4. Pour the mixture into 4 ramekins, then cover and chill in the refrigerator until firm, at least 3 hours.

6. Remove the ramekins from the fridge and spoon 1 tablespoon of the jam onto each custard. Sprinkle with the sugar, then broil until the tops are caramelized, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

Note that instead of using orange zest, I added about a tablespoon of an organic lavender honey that I have newly acquired and which is absolutely delectable.

I had never cooked with ramekins before, so I bought mine from Crate & Barrel (only $2.95 per dish!)  on the way home from work one day and am so excited to have them as a new addition to my kitchen!

I’m disappointed because I didn’t have a torch to really get the sugar bubbled and crispy, instead I broiled mine in the oven for a few minutes. They were still sweet and delicious though!

CC 3

CC 2

Enjoy ❤

Refreshing Chia Seed Pudding with Honey and Raspberries

unnamedCP 1

By Natalie Anne ❤

Chia seeds are high in fiber, protein, calcium, antioxidants, and so much more. They are amazingly delicious and are the spotlight of my new favorite breakfast/dessert. When soaked in almond milk (or any type of milk/liquid) for just 30 minutes Chia seeds expand to create a natural pudding consistency to which you can add honey, brown sugar, and fruit (like pomegranate seeds, strawberries, raspberries etc.). Lately, I’ve been getting the Chai Chia Pot with Pomegranate Seeds from Pret a Manger once a week for a delightful breakfast, until I decided to buy the ingredients and make my own homemade batch of Chia seed pudding this past weekend.

I adapted it from a recipe I found on Pinterest

I tripled the original recipe to make sure I had plenty of leftovers for the next several days and I also added fruit, brown sugar and honey:

Ingredients for the pudding (4 servings):

  1. 3/4 cup of almond milk (I used vanilla flavored almond milk)
  2. 1 can of coconut milk
  3. 6 tablespoons of chia seeds

Additional Flavors and Sweetening:

  1. Try the World’s Elderflower Saft Syrup from Sweden
  2. Trader Joe’s Turkish Honey
  3. Light Brown Sugar
  4. Strawberries
  5. Raspberries

CP 4

Directions:

  1. I have a large Mason Jar Cocktail Mixer from Williams-Sonoma that I combined the almond milk, coconut milk, and Chia seeds into. I also added a tablespoon of honey and a tablespoon of the Elderflower Syrup into the jar before putting the lid on it and shaking it for a minute.
  2. Let the mixture sit in the fridge for thirty minutes (or longer)
  3. When the mixture has become solid (similar to a tapioca consistency) mix about 1/2-1 tablespoon of brown sugar into each serving and top with whatever fruits you desire. The brown sugar is highly recommended though and really transforms the flavoring!
  4. Enjoy!

 

CP 2

CP 3

 

Banana Pudding Pie with Caramel Drizzle

BP 4

Happy Monday! The warm June weather and humidity have started to settle in, and I have had the biggest craving for banana pudding. I looked up various Pinterest recipes and found one that I wanted to try! I varied it slightly to cut back on all the Cool Whip and decided to add a homemade caramel sauce to the recipe as well. If you’re craving the sweet comfort of a homemade banana pudding recipe, look no further!

Ingredients:

  • 1 9 pinch pie crust, prepped, baked and cooled (I was lame and just used a store bought graham cracker crust)
  • 2 cup chopped vanilla wafers
  • 2 bananas
  • 1/2 8oz tub Cool Whip
  • 1½ cups of milk
  • 1 5.1oz box instant vanilla pudding
  • juice from one lemon
  • Homemade caramel sauce for drizzling (recipe below)
  • Optional: chopped walnuts for topping

Directions for the Banana Pudding Pie:

  1. Cut the bananas into thin slices and then toss with the lemon juice. The lemon juice will prevent them from turning brown as fast as they normally would.
  2. Whisk together the milk and pudding mix. Mix in the cool whip. Mix in 1 cup of the crushed vanilla wafers and finally the bananas.
  3. Scrape into the cooled crust. Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes or until set.
  4. Top with any additional or leftover Cool Whip as you please. I just spread some around the edging of the pie. Sprinkle with the remaining vanilla wafers and then drizzle with the caramel sauce and if so desired, walnuts.

Directions for Homemade Caramel Sauce (taken from my Caramel Toffee Cheesecake Recipe)

  • 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream

In a medium sauce pan, combine the sugar and syrup. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally with a rubber spatula. Once it is caramel colored, add the butter and stir until the butter is melted. Add the cream and stir until it’s all combined. Bring it back to the heat if you get clumps and stir it until they’re dissolved. Store in the refrigerator if not using right away. Makes about 3/4 cup.

BP 2

Strawberry Cheesecake French Toast

FT 8

In case it’s not completely obvious, strawberries are my absolute favorite fruit. And I happen to also love eating sweet, dessert-like brunch food! This recipe was actually adapted from a foodie Facebook video that a family member of mine had shared. My mother showed it to me and we knew we had to make it the next morning…with our own adjustments of course! It ended up being the perfect meal to start off our Memorial Day Weekend before going hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Ingredients:

10 Slices of Brioche Bread (to make five French Toast “Sandwiches”)

3/4 Cup of Chopped Strawberries (or any fruit you prefer!)

4 Large Eggs

3/4 Cup of Milk

1/2 Tsp of Cinnamon

Filling:

1 Package of softened Cream Cheese

1/3 Cup of White Sugar

1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

(Optional) 1 Egg

Sugar Coating:

1/4 Cup of Brown Sugar

3 Tablespoons of White Sugar

1 1/2 Teaspoons of Cinnamon

  1. Heat a large skillet or pan on medium heat.
  2. To make the French Toast Egg mixture, beat the 4 eggs together, then add the milk and cinnamon and stir until fully blended. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla extract until fully blended. I recommend using an electric beater for this part. Set aside.
  4. Mix the brown sugar, white sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside
  5. Add butter to the heated pan and dip one side of every piece of French Toast in the egg/milk mixture and place the dipped sides down onto the pan. Let cook for 2-3 minutes until the sides facing down start browning slightly, then take them off the pan and set on a plate.
  6. After removed from heat onto the plate, spread a coat of the cream cheese mixture onto the cooked sides of every bread slice.
  7. Next, layer 5 of the 10 slices with strawberries then use the other 5 slices as tops to the open face sandwiches. You will essentially have 5 French Toast sandwiches.
  8. Butter the pan again.
  9. Carefully submerge each entire sandwich one at a time into the egg mixture then, coat by dipping them into the sugar mixture before placing immediately onto the hot pan.
  10. Cook for 3-4 minutes depending on how well-done you like your French Toast then flip the sandwiches to the other side and do the same until they are cooked to your liking.
  11. Remove the sandwiches from the heat and top with powdered sugar or syrup or other fruits!

FT 5

Sweet Lingonberry Crepes with Cream Filling

Crepes are one of my all-time favorite indulgences. Ever since I had my first one in fourth grade made by my favorite teacher in French class, I’ve been hooked. The great thing about them is that they can be oh-so sweet and bursting with Nutella, sugar, and fruits, or they can be excessively savory with creamy French cheeses and sliced meats. When Try the World surprised us with their most recent subscription box featuring Sweden that offers mouth-watering goodies like Elderflower Saft Syrup and Lingonberry Preserves, I knew instantly what I wanted to make. If you’re interested in learning more about Try the World, here is the link to our introductory blog post or check out their website and use our discount code “bonvoyage” for 15% off!

EC 10

Crepe Recipe (adapted from here)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk flour and eggs (texture of dough will be a bit tough and sticky). Slowly add milk and water stirring until smooth. Add salt, butter, sugar, and extract and continue beating until smooth.
  2. Heat and oil pan to medium high temperature. Pour about ¼ cup of batter into pan and tilt the pan to swirl in a circular motion so that the batter coats the surface evenly in a circle that covers the whole frying pan.
  3. Cook crepe for about 1 to 2 minutes until the bottom is light brown. Loosen with a spatula, and turn crepe over and cook its other side for about 1 minute.
  4. Remove from the crepe from heat and onto a plate and spread cream filling (see below) in the middle and roll crepe and top with Lingonberry Preserves or other sweet jams, fruit, chocolate, powdered sugar or even whipped cream! This recipe makes a of crepes (around 20) so repeat, repeat, repeat, and eat, eat, eat!

EC 6

EC 4

EC 1

Cream Cheese Filling with Elderflower Saft (adapted from here)

  1. 1 (8 ounce) package Cream Cheese
  2. 1/3 cup Sugar
  3. 2 tablespoons of Elderflower Saft
  4. 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  5. 1 teaspoon of lemon juice (optional)

Combine all ingredients into a mixing bowl.  Using a hand mixer blend together until light and creamy.  Transfer to a bowl until ready to use.

EC 9

EC 5

EC 2

Since the recipe made so many crepes, I actually added dark chocolate chips and Try the World’s Holiday Box Italian Hazelnut Spread after flipping the crepe over the first time on the heat. I put the toppings on the crepe while it was still in the pan and then folded it four ways to create the traditional triangular shape!

EC 3

Bon Appetit! ❤

White Chocolate, Strawberry, and Cream Cheese Cookies

I’ve been looking for a new cookie recipe to celebrate the arrival of this beautiful Spring weather we are having in Virginia and also for an excuse to indulge in strawberries and chocolate. I found this perfect recipe on Pinterest and knew I had to make them ASAP.

As luck would have it, the Annual Foxfield Spring Horse Races are this weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, and my friends and I are joining in on the festivities for our fifth year in a row. We decided to do a potluck tailgate, and I signed up for desserts and cannot wait to contribute these tasty cookies!

I decided to double the batch from the original recipe (which made at least 50 cookies!). i also used 2 teaspoons of cream of tartar mixed with one teaspoon of baking soda to replace the baking powder ( I only used 1 teaspoon of this mixture in the dough) since the Giant near my apartment was all out of baking powder- womp. I do have to say the dough was a bit gooey and difficult to work with at first, but setting them in the fridge for a few minutes before baking definitely helped. The consistency of the cookies ended up being soft and chewy…exactly how I love wanted them!

Ingredients (for a 24-count batch):

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup unsalted butter-softened

4 oz cream cheese-softened

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoons vanilla extract

3/4 cup chopped fresh strawberries

2 tablespoon lemon juice

1-2 tablespoon flour

5 oz white chocolate, chopped (I used Nestle white chocolate chips)

SC 3

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and line pans with parchment paper.
  2. Pour fresh lemon juice over chopped strawberries, drain them after a few minutes.
  3. Whisk together 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, salt and baking powder and set aside.
  4. Beat butter with sugar and cream cheese until it’s light and fluffy.
  5. Add egg and vanilla and mix well.
  6. Gradually add flour mixture and mix until it’s well combined.
  7. Stir in chopped white chocolate.
  8. Sprinkle strawberries with 1-2 tablespoon flour, toss them until all strawberries are coated with thin layer of flour and then stir them really gently in the batter.
  9. Drop heaping tablespoon of batter onto pan leaving an inch space between.
  10. Set the cookies in the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes before baking.
  11. Bake for 13-15 minutes( until the edges become golden brown).
  12. Indulge!

SC 5

Avocado & Bacon Eggs Benedict on Polenta with Lime Hollandaise

Oh… my gosh. I don’t think I’ve ever made a more delicious breakfast. All of my favorite things combined into one recipe. My sister and I are both obsessed with Eggs Benedict in any form so I decided to create my own version with bacon and avocado, while using some ingredients from my latest Portugal Try the World box. I was getting ready to leave town the following day so I was trying to use up some of the food in my house. I didn’t have lemon, so I used lime for the hollandaise sauce. What a good decision, because the lime complimented the flavors of the dish so perfectly. I’m 100% sure I’ll be making this one again. SO GOOD.

Avocado & Bacon Eggs Benedict on Polenta with Lime Hollandaise
(recipe serves 2 )

Ingredients for Eggs Benedict:
4 slices of polenta (1/2 inch thick – I used sun-dried tomato polenta)
4 eggs (poached)
4 slices of tomato
4 slices of bacon
1/2 avocado, sliced

Ingredients from Try the World’s Portugal Box:
(these items are optional, but make ALL the difference)
Sea Salt & Lemon
Caramelized Onions with Port Wine
Piri Piri Hot Sauce

  1. Cook the bacon to your liking and set aside.
  2. If desired, grill the polenta and sliced tomato in the leftover bacon grease on medium high until slightly crispy, flipping once.
  3. Poach 4 eggs. I have a special poached egg dish that makes it super easy so I’d recommend getting one of those, or follow this recipe.
  4. Make the hollandaise sauce, using the recipe below.
  5. Stack your eggs bennie with polenta on the bottom, followed by your grilled tomato, poached egg, bacon slices and avocado.
  6. Top with hollandaise sauce, caramelized onions, a sprinkle of sea salt & lemon, and a few dashes of Piri Piri hot sauce.
  7. Voila! Easy.

Ingredients for Lime Hollandaise Sauce:
(adapted from here)
2 egg yolks
1/4 lime, juiced
1 pinch of salt
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1/4 cup salted butter

  1. Beat egg yolks, lime juice, salt, and cayenne pepper together in a microwave-safe bowl until smooth. Slowly stream melted butter into the egg yolk mixture while whisking to incorporate.
  2. Heat in microwave for 15 to 20 seconds; whisk.
  3. Drizzle on top of the eggs benedict.
  4. ENJOY!

avocado polenta bennie-8

❤ Myles Katherine

 

Funfetti Mug Cake for One

FMC 2

By Natalie Anne ❤

I’ve tried to make a few Mug Cakes before, mainly just Chocolate Chip Cookie-esque ones, but they never seem to turn out how I want them to. However, last night I was craving something sweet to eat while watching the new season of Bates Motel and realized I had about half a bag of Funfetti Cake Mix sitting in my cabinet. So I thought I would try another mug cake, hoping that this one wouldn’t fail me. Spoiler Alert: I finally found a mug cake I like, and this is it!

Ingredients (Adapted from here):

  1. 8 Tablespoons of Pillsbury’s Funfetti Cake Mix
  2. 1 Beaten Egg
  3. 1 Tablespoon of Vegetable Oil (I used Canola Oil)
  4. 3 Tablespoons of Water
  5. 1-2 Tablespoons of Funfetti Icing

FMC 3

Whip up the Cake Mix, Egg, Oil, and Water into a good ole Coffee Mug and stick it in the microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds (I like my cakes/cookies really moist so I only cooked it for 1 minute and 15 seconds!).

FMC 4

When it’s done, if you want to make it extra tasty, plop a dollop or two of the Funfetti icing on top of the baby cake. Or if you’re feeling really ambitious, while everything is still hot, mix the icing fully in with the mug cake and you’ve got a warm, gooey Funfetti mug of wonderful deliciousness!

FMC 1

There ya go, in less than five minutes you’ve got a warm mug of Funfetti in your hand and a new trick up your sleeve!