Category Archives: Desserts Not Otherwise Categorized

Very Cherry Crumble Bars: A Delicious Way to Use Up Frozen (or Fresh) Fruit!

So incredibly delicious! Seriously. Make these!

This week’s recipe is for Very Cherry Crumble Bars! I tend to have an over-stocked freezer (I don’t have a deep freeze, just an over-the-fridge- freezer) as I’m always stuffing in pre-made meals to pull out for later. At any given time, I can usually pull out Carrot Ginger Stew, Easy Enchiladas, homemade bread, ingredients for smoothies, and various fruits and veggies that I’ve bought and frozen. As I want to stock the freezer in anticipation of baby’s arrival, I decided to use up some of my single ingredients. Today, that ingredient was local cherries, that I had pitted and frozen!

With school lunches approaching for a lot of people, these bars can easily be baked, individually wrapped, and kept for the week’s lunches. I personally try to pack them for my work lunches, but…they tend not to stay around too long. Unless I freeze them in layers, and that kind of defeats the purpose of clearing out my freezer.

I came up with the recipe after mashing together and then modifying a few different recipes. I liked the easy crust from one recipe, but changed a few ingredients, and the streusel from another recipe (again changing a few ingredients), and then just made up my own filling, based on what I know about fruit pie fillings. See? It really is easy to play around in the kitchen. If you’re a bit hesitant about switching up ingredients, you can start out with simple substitutions. If you sign up for my newsletter, you’ll also get a free copy of my e-book, This for That: Easy Kitchen Swaps and Hacks. You can find the sign-up on the right-hand side of the blog.

But back to these delish bars! Let’s get to making some!

VERY CHERRY CRUMBLE BARS

With a shortbread crust, a very cherry filling, and a streusel topping, what's not to love? 

Servings 24 bars

Ingredients

  • 1/3 c. butter, softened
  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 c. flour
  • 3 c. frozen cherries, defrosted and drained
  • 1 tbsp. flour
  • 1 tsp. corn starch
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. almond flavouring
  • 1/4 tsp. almond flavouring
  • 3/4 c. flour
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 1/3 c. butter, softened

Instructions

  1. Line a lasagna-sized tray with tin foil (for easy removal of bars).

  2. Mix the crust ingredients (the first four ingredients) together with a mixer until a fine crumb (almost sandy) appears. 

  3. Press the crumb mixture into the lined tray.

  4. Mix the fruit filling (the next 5 ingredients) together, and pour over the unbaked base.

  5. Mix the streusel topping (the last four ingredients) together, until a semi-lumpy crumb is formed.

  6. Sprinkle streusel topping over the fruit filling. 

  7. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 45 minutes, until the topping is golden. 

  8. Remove from oven and let cool in pan for 30 minutes (this helps the base and filling become a bit firmer).  

  9. Once cool, either cut in pan, or lift out of pan using the tin foil edges and cut on a wooden cutting board.

  10. Serve and...enjoy!

 

This recipe makes a big batch (a lasagna-sized tray full) so it’s great for a family, a potluck, or just to Netflix with your bestie. If you do freeze some, make sure you freeze them with wax papers between the layers of bars, and make sure the container is well-wrapped to protect against freezer burn.

Oh, and one more hint about substitutions. You can definitely switch out the cherries for other fresh or frozen fruit. If the fruit is super-juicy, keep the flour and corn starch amounts the same, but if it’s a sturdy fruit such as apple or plum, just remove the corn starch (I add it to thicken up any juices that the fruit releases). Also, use an extract that works with the fruit. For example, I would use vanilla extract with apples, but almond extract with apricots. You do you, boo! And then comment on this post to let us know how it turned out!

Next Post: Maybe my Potluck-Friendly Potato Salad. Or perhaps a pasta salad. Or perhaps something else entirely! We’ll see what baby is craving next week. ūüôā

Linking Up at Meal Plan Monday, Happiness is Homemade, and the Clever Chicks Blog Hop!

Creamy Vanilla Pineapple Float: A Yummy Way to Beat the Heat!

Super easy and super creamy!

This summer I have been all about the cold drinks. It’s been steamy hot where I live, and I tend to wilt in the humid heat. If I step outside and my sunglasses fog up in seconds, that’s too humid for me! I like a nice dry heat. So, in order to beat the heat or at least exist with it, I tend to walk around carrying lots of bottles of cold ice water, eat a yummy green smoothie for dinner to cool down, and if I’m still overheated in the evening, this week’s recipe for a Creamy Vanilla Pineapple Float sure hits the spot!

This recipe is modified from one that my mother used to make when I was a child. And as a ice-cream based dessert float goes, it’s pretty healthy! Pineapple juice and powdered milk form most of the base of the float, so you’re getting lots of vitamins and calcium, and then it’s topped with a scoop of ice cream, the least healthiest but super delicious part.

I asked my mother where she got the original recipe from, and she actually doesn’t remember, but thinks it may have been from a magazine ad or so. I’m part of the generation that had an analog childhood but digital adolescence, so while I remember not having the internet of recipes at my fingertips, it still takes me a few seconds to grasp how different it must have been not to have instant access to recipes for everything available at all times. I wonder how my bebe-to-be’s life will be different from mine. Change is the only constant in life, I guess!

Speaking of change, you could easily change up this recipe. You could definitely make the ice cream yourself, if you wanted to cut out all preservatives and such. I have several no churn ice cream recipes on this blog, such as this one and this one. Just make the basic ice cream base (whipped cream and evaporated milk, plus an extract) and away you go! Or why not switch up the juices and extract and come up with your own creamy vanilla fruit juice float?

If you want to make this exact (and delicious!) one however, here’s the recipe!

 

5 from 1 vote
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Creamy Vanilla Pineapple Float

This creamy float is healthier than you'd expect, and sure hits the spot in the summertime!

Servings 1 serving

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/4 c. milk powder
  • 3 drops vanilla extract (about 1/16 tsp.)
  • 1 squeeze fresh lemon juice
  • 1 scoop vanilla bean ice cream

Instructions

  1. Blend the first four ingredients together, until milk powder is completely dissolved. 

  2. Pour into a chilled glass, over ice, and top with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. 

  3. Sip and enjoy! 

 

I’ve been drinking this float quite often over the past few weeks. I keep telling myself that if I don’t serve it with a TON of ice cream, it’s really quite nutritious! And even ice cream contains calcium, so…bottoms up!

Next Post: Possibly Easy Cherry Crumble Bars, or my Fan Favourite Potato Salad recipe. Mmm…want to eat them both right now!¬†

Linking Up at Meal Plan Monday, Happiness is Homemade, as well as the Clever Chicks Blog Hop!

Five MORE Last Minute Gifts from the Kitchen (Plus White Chocolate Macadamia Cookie-Mix-in-a-Jar)

Gifts from the kitchen…may include cookies-in-a-jar mix!

Hello, dear readers! The holidays are upon us and I’m still in the thick of holiday preparations, lots of which involve gifts from my kitchen. I’ve made Chocolate Walnut Fudge and White Chocolate Candy Cane Bark, but there are still lots of easy¬†(and delicious!) gifts that can be whipped up by you and by me. I’ve previously written about last minute gifts that you can give from your kitchen (and even from your microwave),¬†but here are five more!

FIVE MORE LAST MINUTES GIFTS FROM THE KITCHEN

  • Marshmallow Snowman Pops – In case you missed it, I made these tasty snowman pops out of marshmallows, white chocolate, and a few trimmings. You can too!
  • Easy Pickled Vegetables – Want to give something that’s not pure sugar? What about these easy pickled vegetables? Bonus, they’ll also use up whatever veggies you have in your fridge or pantry!
  • Chocolate-Covered Honeycomb Candy – Like the candy bar, but homemade so no preservatives! Also makes a nice large batch so that you can make several gifts at once! Or eat some yourself. Either or.
  • Wine BonBons – Because sometimes you just want to sit and eat bonbons by the light of the Christmas tree.
  • Christmas Peppermint Patties – These delicious treats are easy, tasty, and can be made using whatever cookie cutters you have on hand. Great for party platters, after dinner treats, or just to package up in cellophane and gift to lucky recipients!

Do you have any gifts that you still need to get? If yes, I strongly suggest making some of the above delicious things! Who doesn’t love a food gift, made with love, and fresh from the kitchen?

I think I have most of the gifts I need¬†ready to give to people, but I have one more gift to make and that’s for A Very Special Person, my own DH. Want to know what I’m going to make him? Well, he doesn’t like actual chocolate (I know, egads!) but he does like white chocolate and macadamia nuts, so I thought I’d make him a container of white chocolate macadamia nut cookie mix! That way he doesn’t have to eat them now during this season of delicious, delicious holiday excess, but can keep them to make a month or so down the road when a cookie emergency arises. (What, you don’t have cookie emergencies? No midnight cravings? Ok, so maybe just me.)

WHITE CHOCOLATE MACADAMIA COOKIES — IN A JAR

(Adapted from My Baking Addiction)

  • Layer 1 – 3/4 c. all-purpose flour + 1/2 tsp. baking soda¬†
  • Layer 2 – 1/2 c. large flake rolled oats + 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Layer 3 – 1/2 c. brown sugar (not packed down)
  • Layer 4 – 1/2 c. white sugar + 1 tsp. vanilla
  • Layer 5 – 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • Layer 6 – 1/2 chopped macadamia nuts
  • Layer 7 – 1/2 c. white chocolate chunks
  • Layer 8 – 1/2 c. fine-milled oats

Mix the vanilla extract with the white sugar. Using a funnel, drop the ingredients in the layers as mentioned above. Write out the following instructions, and attach to the jar, so the recipient knows how to make up these yummy cookies!

When you’re ready to make the cookies, beat 1/2 c. softened butter with an egg. Stir in the entire jar of cookie mix. Bake in a 350 degree oven on a greased baking sheet¬†for 8 minutes if you like softer cookies and 10 minutes if you like crunchier cookies. And, enjoy!¬†

This recipe is easily customizable! Replace white chocolate with dark chocolate; switch out the¬†macadamia nuts¬†for walnuts; add in raisins or other dried fruit; and so on and so forth. Make it your own! By the way, if you don’t have fine-milled oats, just regular ones will do, or you can¬†briefly (v. briefly) blend the large-flake ones in a blender. If you make this recipe, let me know in the comments¬†if you subbed out any ingredients!¬†

¬†Next Post: Probably the Cappuccino Cupcakes I mentioned previously. Mmm…cappuccino goodness! Just the thing to keep my awake to wrap all of my presents!

Linking Up at Full Plate Thursday!

5 Last-Minute Holiday Gifts You Can Make in Your Microwave! (WITH RECIPES!)

Last minute gifts from your kitchen? I’ve got you, boo!

Ok, so the holiday season is here and if you’re anything like me, there are still plenty of people¬†for whom I need to get gifts. But I don’t have a lot of time, and don’t want to spend hours in the malls, spending, spending, spending. What to do? Give gifts from your kitchen! After all, who doesn’t love food?

Here are 5 Last Minute Holiday Gifs that YOU can make in the microwave! (just click on the title to be brought to the recipe post)

  1. Personalized Candy Bars¬†– Who wouldn’t love a candy bar made out of their favourite chocolate, and stuffed full of all of the yummy candy that they love? Wrap it nicely, tuck it in a stocking, and be ready for oohs and ahhhs and mmmms!
  2. Chocolate Non-Pareils – So embarrassingly easy, but I’ll give you the recipe below.
  3. Healthier Peanut butter Cups РGot a relative or friend who is a bit more health conscious? Made these for them. They can eat them and feel virtuous, and totally show them off on Instagram!
  4. Choc-Dipped Potato Chips – Got a relative or friend who is a bit of a foodie? Or a couch potato? These hand-dipped chocolate-dipped potato chips will hit the spot. But, fair warning, you can’t eat just one! These are so easy, that you don’t even need a recipe. Just melt¬†1 c.¬†chocolate chips in the microwave in a bowl, along with a tablespoon of veg oil. Stir til mixed, then dip individual chips in the mixture, and refrigerate dipped chips¬†on parchment-covered cookie trays until set. Bam, done!
  5. Candy Cane Bark¬†– This is a staple at my annual holiday party, and also a staple of the cookie tins that I give to friends each year. Easy, delicious, and a great way to use up last year’s candy canes!

Have I inspired you to made some gifts? I encourage to jump in and try them! They’re really, truly easy to make, they all taste FAN-TAS-TIC and just think how impressed everyone will be when you tell them that you made it yourself!

Oh, and here’s the recipe for 1-Minute Easy-Peasy Non-Pareils

Platter of pareils! Technically, these are non-pareils: little discs of chocolate covered in teeny tiny candy balls. Yummy!

1-MINUTE EASY-PEASY NON-PAREILS

  • 1/2 c. multi-coloured non-pareils (those teeny tiny multi-coloured little candy balls you often find on cakes or cookies)
  • 1/4 c. chocolate wafers (white chocolate, dark choc, milk choc — you do you!)

Take the chocolate wafers and place them on a piece of parchment paper in a small microwave safe glass tray, about an inch apart. Zap for¬†60 secs, or until the chocolate is slightly soft and melty, but not runny. Remove from microwave and pour the non-pareils over them. They’ll run everywhere, but that’s ok as they’re in a container; you just want to make sure that¬†they stick to the softened wafers. Stick the tray into the fridge until the chocolate is set. Then pop the candy-ball covered chocolates off the parchment paper, and…you’re done! Seriously, they’re that easy. You can pour the leftover little candy balls¬†back into their original container, and use them again for the next batch. ¬†

Isn’t it fun making gifts from your kitchen? I’ve made a whole bunch so far this season, and packed some up in cellophane and fabric bags for gifting. If you make some, let me know in the comments how you package your gifts!

Next Post: Cappuccino Cupcakes! I thought I had previously posted a recipe for them, but can’t seem to find it on the blog, so…either you’re getting the same recipe twice, or it’s a new recipe! Eh, either way, it’s delicious!

Linking Up at Meal Plan Monday! And at Full Plate Thursday! And again at Full Plate Thursday!

Marshmallow Snowman Pops: An Easy Holiday Giftable

Easy, pretty, and waiting to be eaten!

The holidays are approaching, and I LOVE making and giving gifts from my kitchen! I’ve been working on a whole bunch of giftables, and will be posting lists (with recipes) of all those delicious things soon, so that you can also get your kitchen gifting on! This week’s recipe is one of those giftables: Marshmallow Snowman Pops!

Marshmallow Snowman Pops are a simple last-minute gift that you can pull together to hand out to children, or to tie on to a holiday gift. I made several of these last week and gave them to the children who were at a holiday party I was attended. They ate them right away, which flattered me no end!

Want to make some too? Let’s!

MARSHMALLOW SNOWMAN POPS

For each pop, you will need:

  • 3 regular-size marshmallows
  • 1 orange coloured¬†candy-covered sunflower seed (or similar-sized orange candy)
  • 3 silver dragees
  • 1/4 of white chocolate candy wafers
  • 1 cake pop stick (or similar)
  • food colouring markers
  • 1 small candy cane

Take two marshmallows and stick them on the cake pop stick, pushing down, until about 1 cm of stick shows above the top of the top marshmallow. Then stick the third marshmallow on top and remove it (that’s right, take it back off again. We just want to make sure that there’s a hole in it.)

Take the white chocolate wafers and melt them in a bowl in the microwave. Dip the stick (with the two marshmallows on it) in the melted chocolate, turning to coat, until the marshmallows are all covered in chocolate. Then dip the top of the stick in the melted chocolate, and stick the third marshmallow on top. (The chocolate functions as a sort of glue to keep the top marshmallow on.) FYI, it’s easier to cover the marshmallows in chocolate when you’re melting the wafers for several marshmallows. Take another cake pop stick (or chopstick, which is what I used), and push it through the centre marshmallow where you want the snowman’s arms to be, then remove it.

Place the marshmallow and chocolate stick on a plate and stick it in the fridge until the chocolate is mostly set. Take the candy cane, and snap off the curved part, so that you’re only left with a straight stick of candy cane. Push this straight stick through the hole that you previously made for the arms. Place the silver dragees on the centre marshmallow where you want the buttons to be. Place snowman in fridge until chocolate is completely set.

Using another cake pop stick, pop a hole in the top marshmallow, where you want the nose to be. Stick the orange candy-covered sunflower seed (or other orange candy resembling a carrot) in the hole. Using your food colouring markers, draw on eyes and a mouth.

And voila! An adorable and easy gift! I wrapped mine up in cellophane bags and used curling ribbon to tie them shut. Gift them to others and wait for the oohs and aaahs!

Next Post: I know I promised last time to give you a recipe for Super-Easy Strawberry Cranberry Jam, but that’ll have to wait a bit, because the next post is Five Easy Holiday Gifts that You Can Make in the Kitchen!

Linking Up at Meal Plan Monday and Happiness is Homemade!