Baked Pears with brown sugar and cinnamon

Just a really quick post today.  I made some baked pears for dessert tonight; a super simple recipe. I used canned pears so they didn’t need much oven time, just enough to heat through and melt the butter and brown sugar.

  • 1 can pear halves
  • 2 Tbs brown sugar
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon

Butter a small baking dish; use plenty of butter the extra will melt into the sauce.  Drain pears and spread in single layer.  Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon.  Bake at 375 degrees for 15 – 20 minutes.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

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Homemade Cranberry Sauce

I always thought cranberries must be terrible …. that was until I had something other that the gelatinous stuff that comes in a can.  You know, the stuff that gets sliced on the lines left by the can indentations and served with a fork.   Now I love cranberries. Homemade cranberries are so easy to do.  It takes about 10 minutes of cooking time and can be made with any of your favorite fruits to compliment its flavor.

  • 1 bag fresh cranberries
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1 – 2 Tbs fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • zest of one lemon and one orange
  • 1/2 cup diced apple
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate

Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes. Cranberries will pop and everything will begin to meld together.  Chill until ready to serve.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Chocolate Cranberry Chunky Bar Cookies

Not your typical bar cookie. I took a twist on a chocolate cookie recipe and created this tasty bar cookie.  As I’ve mentioned in the past I try to scale down my desserts to make smaller batches so I used a pie pan for my recipe today.  Cranberries, macadamia nuts and white chips really complimented the chocolate nicely.

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3 Tbs cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup macadamia nuts
  • 2 Tbs dried cranberries (I used craisins)
  • 1/4 cup white chips

Cream together sugars and butter; mix in egg and vanilla.  In separate bowl mix flour, cocoa, and baking soda.  Slowly add to creamed mixture.  Stir in nuts, cranberries, and chips.  Press into greased pie pan or baking dish.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 – 18 minutes or until chips have started to brown and edges start to crack slightly (like a cookie!)

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Cranberry ~ Macadamia Nut ~ White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Charles called me at work tonight; luckily I answered the phone because after my “thank you for calling….blah blah blah…” the response is “holy *explicative* that’s a good cookie” He went on to say that he might actually have a new favorite.  Oatmeal cookies have always been his favorite but these came out amazing.  Not too sweet and the cranberries are the perfect complement to macadamia nuts and white chocolate chips.

Cranberry Macadamia White Chip Cookies

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup macadamia nuts
  • 1/2 cup white chips
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Mix together butter and sugars.  Add egg and vanilla mixing well.  Stir in flour and baking soda.  Add nuts, chips, and cranberries. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 – 15 minutes. Makes 2 to 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Banana Coffee Cake

I had a couple of very ripe bananas on my counter and couldn’t decide what to do with them.  I saw a coffee cake recipe and just had to give this a try.  I made a few changes and reduced the size of the recipe and came up with this amazing recipe.  So moist like a crumb cake and the banana flavor was fantastic.  I had a bite a couple of hours out of the oven and enjoyed it for breakfast as well!  This recipe is definitely a keeper.

Banana Coffee Cake

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 4 o.z. cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 medium bananas
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 Tbs brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Cream together butter, cream cheese, and sugar.

Slice bananas and stir in mashing up a bit.

Add vanilla and egg and stir together. Combine flour, baking soda, and baking powder; stir into banana mixture.  In separate bowl combine brown sugar, pecans, and cinnamon.  Stir half of this into banana mixture.

In greased 9 inch pie pan pour batter, top with remaining pecan mixture.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 – 30 minutes or until browned and toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Homemade Ice Cream

I wanted to buy some ice cream the other day but then I started reading the labels; there are so many unpronounceable items in those containers even the ones that claim to be natural. I went home without any ice cream. For some reason today I picked up a container of ice cream salt and realized I should just make my own.  I remembered there was an ice cream maker in the basement that probably had been setting there for I would guess at least 20 years and likely was never used.  Well, turned out it was a yogurt maker so it must have been from the 90’s! Says it makes great ice cream too so I am ready to go.

Homemade Ice Cream

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • seeds from 2 inch piece of vanilla bean or 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cream

Combine egg yolks, sugar, and salt.

In double boiler add egg mixture to 2 cups milk.  Begin heating over medium heat.

Heat until it begins to thicken stirring frequently.  It took about 20 minutes to reach desired thickness; mixture will lightly coat a spoon when ready. Chill until ready to continue.

Meanwhile get the ice cream machine ready. This one worked relatively simply; no need for crushed ice just regular ice cubes and salt ~ follow directions for your maker before proceeding.

Once mixture has cooled add cream and vanilla.

Add to ice cream chamber of maker and begin churning as directed.

It took about 25 minutes for my first batch of ice cream to be ready.

This particular maker turned itself off when ready; simply follow directions for yours.

Freeze for at least an hour before serving.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Peanut Butter Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies

It was time for another great cookie experiment.  I liked the flavor of these but they are perhaps a little moist; it is hot and a bit humid today so it may just be the weather.  One thing I do like is to use butter in my cookies since I have it on hand; I’ve found over the years though that shortening makes for a little more stable cookie so feel free to substitute if you prefer.  I also debated on the egg ~ 1 or 2; maybe a second egg would have added more stability too.  In any case the cookies are delicious so give them a try if you like!

Peanut Butter Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips ~ I used semi-sweet
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter chips
  • 1/2 cup toffee bits

Cream together butter, peanut butter, and sugars.

Add vanilla and egg.  Stir in flour and baking soda. Mix in chips and toffee bits.

Drop by spoonfuls onto baking sheet.  I ended up with about 2 1/2 dozen. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.

Allow to cool on baking sheet for a minute or two before transferring to cooling rack.  You will want to use non-stick pans if possible as the toffee bits get a little sticky.   I transferred some of the cookies right away and as you can see by the photo below they started to sink into the cooling rack so try to allow a minute or so for them to cool before moving but don’t leave too long or the toffee will stick.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

 

Strawberries and Cream with Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar

Just a quick post today.  A couple of weeks ago we sampled some wonderful balsamic vinegar.  I picked out a couple to bring home and one was a Dark  Chocolate Balsamic; sounded so strange but tasted oh so wonderful.  The vinegar was so thick; almost as if it was a simple reduction already.  The flavor made my mouth long for strawberries and today I finally had the chance to put the two together.  It was delicious.

Strawberries and Cream with Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar

  • 1 pound fresh strawberries
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • 1 Tbs dark chocolate balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1/4 – 1/3  cup sugar

Wash, trim, and slice strawberries.  Add sugar and balsamic vinegar and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving

In mixer combine cream and sugar.  Beat together over medium high to high-speed until medium stiff peak form about 2 – 3 minutes.  Serve whipped cream with strawberries and drizzle extra sauce over top.  If you prefer this would be wonderful on ice cream too!

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Homemade Peach Cobbler

I decided it was time for another dessert recipe.  I couldn’t think of anything easier than this cobbler recipe.  It’s an adaptation of my Aunt Barb’s recipe from the family cookbook.  I remember making this when we were kids so who know who is the original creator; of course I can never leave well enough alone so this is yet another cobbler recipe for the family archives.

You will want to drain your peaches if using frozen or canned; I did not and it came out a bit saucy. I think it will still be good; besides if I find it’s too saucy I will just serve it with some ice cream and drizzle the extra sauce over the top.

Homemade Peach Cobbler

  • 1 pint peaches ~ or favorite fruit; can be canned, frozen, or fresh ~ for today’s recipe I used frozen sweetened peaches
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water

Pour peaches into 1 – 1 1/2 quart casserole or small baking dish.

Combine flour, 1/4 cup sugar and baking powder in small bowl.  Add cream and stir together.

Batter will be thick a bit softer than a biscuit dough but not sticky; pat out into piece large enough to cover peaches.  I was able to pick up the dough and pat between my hands or use a piece of waxed paper to spread or roll out batter before placing on top.

Mix together remaining sugar and water.

Pour over top and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Blackberry Lime Cheesecake

I did put part of my blackberry sauce to work today; the cheesecake came out perfectly.  I cheated a bit and used pre-made mini graham cracker crusts, but delicious none the less!  I made 6 little cheesecakes and still have plenty of blackberry sauce to spare.  If you don’t want to make the sauce the cheesecake recipe could be adapted for pie filling, jam, or freezer preserves.

Blackberry Lime Cheesecake

  • 6 little pre-made graham cracker crusts
  • 1 package cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp fresh lime zest
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 egg
  • blackberry sauce, jam, or pie filling

Combine cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, lime zest, and lime juice.  Once combined mix in egg.  Place about 1 teaspoon blackberry sauce in the bottom of each prepared crust.

Divide cheesecake batter among each and add an addition 1/2 tsp sauce to the top of each.  Using toothpick swirl jam in random pattern.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until just set; cool on wire rack.

Refrigerate for at least and hour before serving.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly