Monday, August 29, 2011

Fruit Pizza

So, everyone loves pizza, right?? Well how about pizza for dessert?  Here’s an oldie but goodie that I’m sure your family will love!   Perfect for any party get-together!  The sugar cookie crust is perfect!!   This can be as versatile as you’d like by switching out the fruit, jelly and cream cheese topping!

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 roll (16.5 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated sugar cookies
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup of sugar
½ teaspoon of vanilla
2 kiwifruit, peeled, halved lengthwise and sliced
1 cup halved or quartered fresh strawberries
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
½ cup apple jelly

Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Spray 12-inch pizza pan with cooking spray. In pan, break up cookie dough; press dough evenly in bottom of pan to form crust. Bake 16 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
In small bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Spread mixture over cooled crust. Arrange fruit over cream cheese. Stir jelly until smooth; spoon or brush over fruit. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour. To serve, cut into wedges or squares. Cover and refrigerate any remaining pizza.
Recipe courtesy of Pillsbury

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Mini Cannoli's Cream Pastry Cups

HOLY CANNOLI!!    I love cannoli’s... and when I find a really good one, my heart jumps with excitement!!  This recipe makes me remember the trip that Mark and I took to Boston a few years ago... had THE BEST cappuccino and cannoli in their Little Italy, I wanted to order a whole box of them and take them home...Lord knows they wouldn’t have lasted all the way back to Vegas!! J 
This is a great and EASY recipe for bite sized cannoli’s – very impressive too!  Trust me, they won’t last long at any party!

Here’s what you’ll need:
For the Filling:

1 container (15 oz) whole-milk ricotta cheese – if you can find this at an Italian Deli/Store... its 100 time’s better!!

½ cup of powdered sugar

2 tablespoons of granulated sugar

½ of teaspoon vanilla – I use PURE vanilla

For the Cups:

1 box of refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box (for a healthy alternative, use phyllo dough)

3 tablespoons of turbinado sugar (raw sugar)

1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

For the Garnish:

¼ cup of miniature semisweet chocolate chips (I use Ghirardelli)

Additional powdered sugar

  • In large bowl, beat all filling ingredients with electric mixer on medium speed until creamy. Place filling in 1-gallon resealable food-storage plastic bag; refrigerate while making cups.
  • Heat oven to 425°F. On lightly floured work surface, unroll pie crusts. Sprinkle each crust with turbinado sugar and cinnamon. Lightly roll rolling pin over sugar and cinnamon to press into pastry. With 2 1/2- to 3-inch round cutter, cut out pastry rounds. Lightly press each pastry round into ungreased mini muffin cup.
  • Bake about 10 minutes or until pastry cups are golden brown. Cool completely in pans, about 15 minutes. Remove from muffin cups to cooling racks.
  • Just before serving, remove filling from refrigerator. Cut 1 bottom corner off bag; pipe scant tablespoon filling into cooled pastry cups. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and powdered sugar. Serve immediately.  (if taking to a party, fill when you get there to prevent them from getting soggy)
  • Store any remaining pastry cups at room temperature and filling in refrigerator.
Recipe courtesy of
 (Here's the picture of me in Boston, enjoying the Cannoli's experience)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Cookie Doughlicious

Here’s a super easy dessert that your kids can help with…and if you’re not too savvy in the kitchen, you’ll feel like you are after making this!  Just enough cookie dough and chocolate to make your tummy smile and your family or friends think you are “genius” for coming up with this recipe!!

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 roll (16.5 oz) refrigerated chocolate chip cookies
1 container (1/2 gallon) cookie dough ice cream
2 cups of Cookie Crisp cereal
2/3 cup hot fudge topping


Heat oven to 350°F.

Line 13x9-inch pan with heavy-duty foil, extending foil over sides of pan. In pan, break up cookie dough. With floured fingers, press dough evenly in bottom of pan to form crust.

Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, remove ice cream from freezer; place in refrigerator to soften.
Spread softened ice cream evenly over cooled crust. Top evenly with cereal; press lightly into ice cream.
Place hot fudge topping in small re-sealable food-storage plastic bag; partially seal bag. Cut small hole in bottom corner of bag. Squeeze bag to drizzle topping over dessert. Freeze at least 1 hour or until firm before serving.
Use foil to lift dessert from pan. Cut into squares.
Recipe courtesy of

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Apple Caramel Cheesecake - oh my~

Apples, Caramel AND Cheesecake all in one?  I am SO there!!  And you will be also!  This is one of my favorite cheesecake recipes, mainly because it’s low in fat; well kind of…no one will miss the reduced calories… Perfect for any occasion! 
Here’s what you’ll need:
1 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 8 cookie sheets)
1 tablespoon egg white
1 tablespoon water
Cooking spray
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup light sour cream
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 (8-ounce) blocks 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1 (8-ounce) block fat-free cream cheese, softened
4 large eggs
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons half-and-half
1 3/4 cups thinly sliced peeled Granny Smith apple (about 8 ounces)
Dash of nutmeg

Preheat oven to 400°.
To prepare crust, combine the first 3 ingredients in a bowl; toss with a fork until moist. Press mixture lightly into bottom of a 9-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 6 minutes. Remove from oven; cool on a wire rack. Wrap outside of pan with a double layer of foil. Reduce oven temperature to 325°.
To prepare cheesecake, place 1 3/4 cups sugar and next 7 ingredients (through fat-free cream cheese) in food processor; process until smooth. Add eggs, 1 at a time; process until blended. Pour cheese mixture into prepared pan. Place springform pan in a large roasting pan; add hot water to larger pan to a depth of 1 inch.
Bake at 325° for 1 hour or until cheesecake center barely moves when pan is touched. Remove from oven; let stand in water bath 10 minutes. Run a knife around outside edge of cheesecake. Remove pan from water bath; cool on a wire rack to room temperature. Cover and chill at least 8 hours.
To prepare topping, combine 1/3 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons water, and lemon juice in a small, heavy saucepan; cook over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves, stirring frequently. Cook 4 minutes or until golden (do not stir). Remove from heat. Add butter to pan; gently stir until butter melts. Stir in half-and-half. Cool slightly.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add apple to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Stir in sugar mixture and nutmeg. Serve topping with cheesecake.
Recipe adapted from Maureen Callahan, Cooking Light  9/08,

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding

I am reminded of the song written by The Fresh Beat Band when I think of this recipe “Na, na, na, na, na, na – let’s go BANANA'S”… (be thankful you aren’t seeing me sing and dance to this tune with Maddie! J)
Serioulsy, this has got to be the BEST Banana Pudding I’ve ever had… and of course, it’s a recipe from Paula Deen!!  Simply fabulous… will not last at any party!!
Here’s what you’ll need:
  • 2 bags Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies
  • 6 to 8 bananas, sliced
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 1 (5-ounce) box of instant French Vanilla pudding
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (14-ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (12-ounce) container of frozen whipped topping thawed
Line the bottom of a 13x9x2 inch dish with 1 bag of cookies and layer bananas top.
In a bowl, combine the milk and pudding mix and blend well using a handheld electric mixer.
Using another bowl, combine the cream cheese and condensed milk together and mix until smooth.
Fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture.
Add the cream cheese mixture to the pudding mixture and stir until well blended.
Pour the mixture over the cookies and bananas and cover with the remaining cookies.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Recipe Courtesy of Paula Deen

Monday, August 1, 2011

Coffee Cake Muffins Crusted with Cinnamon and Sugar

This has got to be the closest version to a cinnamon sugar donut…except in a muffin form!  Now, I tend to think that it has fewer calories than a donut, but then again, it depends on how many you eat! J  
*WARNING: They taste like a donut. Be prepared for euphoria to the tenth degree!
Here’s what you’ll need:
  • 1¾ cup of flour
  • 1½ teaspoon of baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon of nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
  • ⅓ cup of oil
  • ¾ cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup of milk
For the Cinnamon Sugar Topping:
  • 1/4 cup of butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon of cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350º. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
In a separate bowl, combine oil, sugar, egg and milk.
Add dry ingredients and stir only to combine.
Coat your muffin pan well with nonstick cooking spray and divide the batter evenly among the cups.
Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
Run a knife around the sides of the muffin and shake them out of the pan while still hot. 

***Now, here comes the magic!
Melt the butter in a bowl.
Combine the white sugar with the cinnamon in another bowl.
Dip muffins in butter, then into the sugar/cinnamon mix. Let cool.  
Serve WARM, with coffee (add a yummy creamer)….mmmm!!
Yields: 12 muffins/ 6 large muffins (oh yea)
Recipe from: Tasty Kitchen