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S'mores Cheesecake Bites

April 22, 2014 12:20 pm · Posted by Lauren G

S'mores? Yes. Cheesecake? Yes. Combine the two? Obviously! I think cheesecake brownies are so so delicoius. That combination of cheesecake and chocolate is irresistable to me. I've also mentioned multiple times that s'mores are one of my favorite things in life. Seriously, I had a bonfire for my birthday just so I could eat s'mores. There was no question in my mind that s'mores cheesecake would be a good idea. I do have a springform pan, but things are always better in cupcake form :). You could also make this in a 8x8 pan to make cheesecake bars.

For the crust:

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

For the cheesecake:

  • 4 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup marshmallow cream
  • 2 tsp. cocoa powder
  • ¾ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs

For the topping:

18 marshmallows

To make the crust: 

  1. To make the crust, preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line 1 (12-cup) muffin pan with paper cupcake liners.
  2. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter in a small bowl.  Stir together with a fork until well combined.  
  3. Press the mixture in an even layer into the bottom of the muffin tin. Start by spreading one tablespoon in each cup and then do your best to divide the rest of the crumb mixture evenly.  
  4. Bake 10 minutes; transfer to a wire rack while you prepare the filling.  Reduce the oven temperature to 325˚ F.
<p>To make the filling:
  1. Place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water.  Heat until melted and smooth, stirring occasionally.  Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.  
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese, sour cream (or greek yogurt) and marshmallow cream.  Beat on medium-high speed until smooth and well combined, 1-2 minutes.  
  3. Blend in the cocoa powder, vanilla extract and eggs until incorporated.  Stir in the melted chocolate until well blended.  
  4. Pour the filling over the graham cracker crust and smooth the top with a spatula. Each cup will get about three tablespoons. Bake about 20 minutes, or until the center is just set (does not jiggle when shaken gently.)  Remove from the oven, and set oven to broil.
  5. Cut each marshmallow in half and top each cup with three marshmallow halves.  Return to the oven for 1 minute or just long enough so the marshmallows begin to brown. Keep an eye on them! Once it starts to happen, they'll burn fast. You could also use a kitchen torch.
  6. Transfer to a wire cooling rack. Once the cheesecake has cooled to room temperature, transfer to the refrigerator and chill 2-3 hours before serving.

(Inspired by Annie's Eats)

Filed under: Yum, dessert, recipe Tagged with: s'mores, cheesecake, marshmallows, chocolate

Carrot Pizza Crust

April 17, 2014 12:36 pm · Posted by Lauren G

If you thought cauliflower was weird, you're going to think I'm crazy today. But seriously, why the heck not? Carrots naturally have a lot of sugar, so I actually liked this crust over the cauliflower one because it had a hint of sweetness. (If you ever had any doubt about my sweet tooth, I even like sweet pizza!) This recipe is even easier to make because you don't have to cook the carrots before forming the crust. Just remember to squeeze out all the carrot juice you can! And maybe save it and drink it because carrot juice is stupid expensive when you buy it from Trader Joe's.

  • 3 medium carrots
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 egg


  • Preheat oven to 400. Line a pizza pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In a food processor, blend carrots until very finely chopped.
  • <li>
    Take the processed carrot and, using a cheesecloth or clean piece of material (like an old shirt or tea towel), strain as much water (carrot juice) out of the carrots as you can.
    4. Place the strained carrots into a bowl - you should have about 1 cup of carrot.
    5. Stir in garlic, cheese, and egg until well blended.
    <div class="separator">6. Using a spatula, spread out carrot mixture onto prepared cookie sheet to about an 8 inch circle.
    7. Bake at 400 for 10 - 12 minutes, until just starting to brown around the outside and top appears dry.
    8. Top as desired.

    <p>(Inspired by Jo and Sue)
    </li> </ol> </div>
    Filed under: Yum, recipe, Food Tagged with: pizza crust, gluten free, carrot, healthy, pizza

    Cauliflower Pizza Crust

    April 15, 2014 12:10 pm · Posted by Lauren G

    Pizza crust made out of vegetables? Yup! I know it sounds a little outrageous, but this is a really great option for those who are gluten free or just trying to cut carbs. Cauliflower is one of the most common veggies used, but it's possible to use other ones as well. (Hint: check back on Thursday for a different vegeteble pizza crust that I actually liked better than this caulflower one). I was a little skeptical when making this, but the cauliflower actually bakes to a crust-like consistency. Just remembver to squeeze out as much moisure as possible. I forgot to do that here so my second veggie crust turned out better.

    • Nonstick spray
    • 2 1/2 cups cauliflower, grated (about 1/2 a large head)
    • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
    • 1 1/4 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
    • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
    • Salt and pepper
    1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, and preheat oven to 425ºF.
    2. Grate the cauliflower using a box grater or use a food processor until you have two cups of cauliflower crumbles. Cook until soft. I cooked mine on the stove, but this can also be done in the microwave. Place in a large bowl and microwave for seven to eight minutes.
    3. Using a cheesecloth, squeeze out as much moisture from the cauliflower as you can.
    4. Mix in the egg, one cup mozzarella, parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper. Once combined, pat into a 10-inch round on the prepared pizza pan. Spray lightly with nonstick spray and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden.
    5. Top your crust with sauce and your favorite toppings and enjoy!

    (Inspired by Fitsugar)


    Oven Fried Chicken

    April 8, 2014 12:25 pm · Posted by Lauren G

    Fried chicken is the last dish of my southern meal. Of course, I'm eating "healthy," which means no fried foods. (More like occasional fried foods). The skin on the chicken crisped up nicely and the chicken was so juicy. In my opinion, this was better than fried chicken!

    I was too hungry to take more pictures!

    • 1/2 cup nonfat buttermilk
    • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (I didn't have any so I used regular yellow mustard...oops)
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
    • 2 1/2-3 pounds whole chicken legs, trimmed and cut into thighs and drumsticks. Or you can downsize and only make 3 drum sticks and 1 breast)
    • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
    • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt
    • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
    • Olive oil cooking spray
    1. Whisk buttermilk, mustard, garlic and hot sauce in a shallow glass dish until well blended. Add chicken and turn to coat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or for up to 8 hours.
    2. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Set a wire rack on the baking sheet and coat it with cooking spray.
    3. Whisk flour, paprika, thyme, baking powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl. I also threw in some cornmeal because I had some from the cornbread).
    4. Place the flour mixture in a paper bag or large sealable plastic bag. Shaking off excess marinade, place one or two pieces of chicken at a time in the bag and shake to coat. Shake off excess flour and place the chicken on the prepared rack. (Discard any leftover flour mixture and marinade.)
    5. Spray the chicken pieces with cooking spray.
    6. Bake the chicken until golden brown and no longer pink in the center, 40 to 50 minutes.

    (Inspired by Eating Well)

    Filed under: Yum, recipe Tagged with: oven fried, baked chicken, fried chicken, Chicken

    Fancy Kraft Mac and Cheese

    April 1, 2014 12:11 pm · Posted by Lauren G

    Got the "blue box" blues? Mac and cheese is always a classic, but sometimes you get tired of what comes in the box. I like to keep a couple boxes on hand because sometimes I just have a craving, but how can we make it a little more grown up? Well first of all, add some booze. Second of all, add more cheese and lots of it. 

    • 1 (14 ounce) package Kraft macaroni and cheese (dinner, blue box)
    • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
    • 1/2 cup sour cream or greek yogurt
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper or 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    • 6 butter flavored crackers, crushed (like Ritz)
    • 1 tablespoon butter or 1 tablespoon margarine, melted
    1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
    2. Prepare Mac n Cheese dinner as directed on package. Instead of using milk, try white wine.
    3. Stir in 1/2 cup of the Cheddar cheese, the sour cream and pepper.
    4. Spoon into greased 1-1/2 quart baking dish; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup Cheddar cheese. Maybe throw on some extra for good measure ;)
    5. Combine the melted butter and cracker crumbs and sprinkle over the top.
    6. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

    Filed under: Yum, recipe Tagged with: blue box, mac and cheese, kraft, dinner

    Mock Marie Callendar's Cornbread

    March 25, 2014 12:04 pm · Posted by Lauren G

    I love sweet cornbread! Maybe it's because I'm from the south, but I think it's just so yummy. In my opinion Marie Callendar's has some of the best corbread around. I know you can buy a box mix, but everything is so much better when it's made from scratch, right? They're easy enough and taste just like the stuff you'll get from the restaurant. It was all part of a southern meal I made, so stay tuned for some mac and cheese and oven fried chicken.

    Why the heck are my liners folding up like that?

    • 3 eggs
    • 1 1/2 cups milk
    • 2 tablespoons butter or 2 margarine, melted
    • 3 cups Bisquick
    • 1/2 cup cornmeal
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
    1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
    2. Whisk together all dry ingredients.
    3. Combine remaining ingredients and add dry ingredients gradually until mixed well.
    4. Pour into a lined muffin tin or greased 9x13 pan.
    5. Bake 25 minutes for muffins or 35 minutes for a 9x13 pan or until a toothpick comes out clean.

    (Inspired by Food.com)

    Filed under: Yum, recipe Tagged with: marie callendar's, cornbread, Side Dish, appetizer

    Cookie Dough Greek Yogurt

    March 18, 2014 12:16 pm · Posted by Lauren G

    Uhhh what? Greek yogurt that tastes just like cookie dough?! I wish! It's not exactly decadent, but it definitely satisfies my sweet tooth. I added a few extra chocolate chips. Shhh...don't tell anyone.

    1 tbsp peanut butter, 
    1 tbsp sugar, (or any sweetener. I like to use honey) 
    1 tbsp chocolate chips
    1/4 tsp vanilla 
    <span>1 cup Greek yogurt

    </span>Combine all ingredients and enjoy :)
    Add berries for an extra sweet and healthy treat.

    (Inspired by MyFridgeFood)


    Traditional Tres Leches Cake

    March 11, 2014 12:04 pm · Posted by Lauren G

    I'm from Houston and one of the things I miss most about home is the food, especially TexMex! Beef fajitas from Pappasitos are one of my favorite things in the world. Ok, maybe not the whole world, but you get where I'm going here. And, if I wasn't too full from stuffing my face with fajitas and guacamole, I liked to finish off my meal with a spongy, moist, delectable piece of tres leches cake. It's called that for the three milks that the cake is soaked with, regular milk, sweetened condensed milk, and evaporated milk. This was my first time making a tres leches cake and there are so many different recipes with slight variations that I had a hard time deciding which one to use! This recipe involves separating the egg whites and yolks and has a few more steps than some others, but I think the extra effort was worth it. The cake was so light and fluffy and soaked up that liquids like a sponge cake (get it? SPONGE cake? Ha!). I was disappointed because I think I overcooked it a bit, so just make sure to keep an eye on your cake!

    That's 9 egg whites!

    Note how white the yolks have become! 

    You're going to get a pretty good arm workout from all the mixing.

    Oops...a little too toasty. Keep an eye on yours!

    Top with berries and enjoy!

    For the cake

    • 9 eggs, separated
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    • 2 cups all purpose flour

    For the sauce

    • 1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
    • 1 12oz can evaporated milk
    • 1 cup milk
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

    For the topping

    • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
    • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

    1. Preheat oven to 360 degrees. (I know...weird) Butter a 9 x 13 inch pan, lining the bottom with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit the pan. I skipped this step because I served the cake in the pann.
    2. Pour the egg whites into the bowl of your mixer and beat on medium-high speed for 4 to 5 minutes, or until they hold soft peaks. Slowly stir in the sugar and continue beating until they hold hard or more stiff peaks. Turn off the mixer and with a spatula, move the egg white mixture onto a large mixing bowl.
    3. Rinse the bowl of the mixer and its whisk. Now pour the egg yolks into the bowl of the mixer and beat on medium-high speed for about 5 to 6 minutes, or until the egg yolks become creamy, puffy and their color has toned down to an almost cream color. Stir in the vanilla and continue beating for another minute.
    4. Combine egg yolk and egg white mixtures with a spatula. Do so gently trying not to lose much volume from the mixture. When fully combined, fold in the flour, scraping the bowl with the spatula so that all the flour is well mixed.
    5. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and place into the oven for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. It can be a bit moist, but not wet. The top of the cake should be tanned and feel fluffy if you touch it. Remove it from the oven and let it cool.
    6. Once it cools down, turn it onto a platter. Remove the parchment paper and cover the top with an upside down platter and invert again. The platter should be large enough to hold the cake and the vanilla sauce you are about to prepare. Using a fork, or two, poke wholes all over the cake so that it will better absorb the vanilla sauce.
    7. In a mixing bowl, combine the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, milk, and vanilla extract. Pour the vanilla sauce over the cake.
    8. In the bowl of your mixer, whip up the heavy cream with the confectioners’ sugar on medium-high speed until the mixture holds up stiff peaks, about 1 to 2 minutes. Spread the whipped cream all over the already wet cake. 

    (Inspired by Pati's Mexican Table)

    Filed under: Yum, dessert, recipe Tagged with: tres leches, Yum, whipped cream, dessert, mexican, cake, recipe

    Sarah's Craft Corner

    March 7, 2014 9:28 am · Posted by Lauren G

    I am so excited to introduce my dear friend, Sarah, as a new writer to the blog! She loves crafting as much as I love baking, so I wanted to include all of her fun projects. Here she's making a coffee table!

    Tagged with: sarah's craft corner

    Cream Cheese Pancakes

    March 4, 2014 12:44 pm · Posted by Lauren G

    Ya you heard me...a cream cheese pancake. They're made with onlly four ingredients and are gluten free (if you're into that kind of thing). I actually might be into that kind of thing. More on that later. Anyway, I love how thin these are, but I had some trouble flipping them. My first attempt crumpled up, and my second split in half, so I cooked my third and fourth a little bit longer hoping it'd stay together better. I was right. I was able to flip it without a problem. The taste was the same, but they weren't as pretty as the golden brown first two attempts.


    Oops again.

    That's better. Maybe next time I'll try cooking them at a lower temperature.

    • 2 oz cream cheese
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 packet stevia (or any) sweetener
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    1. Put all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Let rest for 2 minutes so the bubbles can settle.
    2. Pour 1/4 of the batter (a little less than 1/4 cup) into a pan greased with butter or coconut oil at medium high heat.
    3. Cook for 1-2 minutes until golden, flip and cook 1 minute on the other side. Repeat with the rest of the batter. 

    Yields 4 pancakes

    Inspired by (I Breathe...I'm Hungry...)

    Filed under: Yum, recipe Tagged with: gluten free, Pancake, cream cheese, breakfast, brunch

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