Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Two Delicious Dessert Recipes to Try!

Summer’s great weather and endless hours of freedom are the perfect opportunity to spend more time with friends and family trying out new food. You can bake all kinds of new things, and doing so is a fun way to spend your afternoons as you refine your recipes, from the classic cake pops to variations of your grandma’s famous brownies - or even an all-new recipe of yours. To add to your list of new foods to try, here we present two delicious summer baking recipes that will have all your friends and family asking for an extra serving.

Summer Cake With Cream & Fruits

This simple-to-make tasty recipe is beautiful and serves up to 12 people. Topped with a delicious layer of whipped cream and lots of colorful summer fruit, its looks will be hard for any of your guests to resist. The best part? This summer cake is very easy to make!

What you will need:

For the Cake
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (soft)
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/4 cups whole milk
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the Cream
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • A pinch of salt
For the Fruit
  • 2 nectarines or peaches, sliced
  • 1 apricot, sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped strawberries
  • 1/2 cup blackberries
Start by preheating the oven to 350°F. While you wait, prep your bakeware, greasing a pan thoroughly with baking spray (this will prevent the cake from sticking to the pan).

Using a hand or stand mixer, mix and beat the butter and sugar until you get a fluffy and light consistency; then add the eggs until you get a thicker and creamier mix. Next, gradually add in - while still mixing - the flour, salt, baking powder, milk and vanilla. Continue to beat the cake batter on low for 30 seconds, and later on medium-high for approximately 3 minutes. 

Once the batter is ready, pour it into the prepared pan and place it in the oven to bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the top springs back slightly when pressed. You can also check if it’s baked thoroughly by inserting a toothpick near the center; if it comes out clean, that means it’s ready.

Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool for at least an hour. Next, mix and beat the cream, sour cream, powdered sugar and salt together until soft peaks start to form. Spread this mix over the cooled cake, and top it with a layer of fruit (either sliced or chopped).

Place the cake in the refrigerator until serving. Leftovers are good to serve for up to five days. Enjoy!

Summer Pie (Blueberry)

Another simple-to-make yet elegant alternative in our delicious summer baking recipes, this pie will serve up to 10 people. Its intense blueberry flavor can mix easily with other foods; try serving a warm slice with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top for a change. 

What you will need:
- 2 prepared 9-inch pie crusts
- 6 cups fresh blueberries, washed and dried
- 3/4 to 1 cup sugar
- 3 to 4 tablespoons cornstarch
- zest from 1/2 lemon
- 2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
-1 large egg yolk whisked with 1 tablespoon warm water for the glaze

Start by chilling an 11” to 13” pie crust in the fridge, snug on a round aluminum pan, for at least 30 minutes.

Grab a small bowl and combine the blueberries, ¾ cup of sugar, 3 tablespoons of cornstarch, lemon zest and lemon juice. If the berries are too tart for your taste, add more sugar. If they’re too juicy, add more cornstarch. Stir the mix until the sugar dissolves into a viscous coating, and allow the berries soften on the counter for 15 minutes while you preheat the oven to 425°F. 

Remove the pie crust from the fridge and pour the berries into the baking pan. Roll a second pie crust to a diameter of 11” to 13” and gently lay it over the top of your pie, trimming the edges to make them look even. Next, tuck the edges under themselves. Cut a few vent holes in the top pie crust and brush all over the crust with a layer of egg yolk.

Make sure you use a baking sheet to catch any drips, and place the baking pan in the oven for 15 minutes. Then turn down the temperature to 350°F and continue baking for another 30 to 40 minutes, until the berry juices are bubbling and the top crust is golden brown. If you notice the edges of your pie baking faster than the middle area, cover them with tinfoil.

Remove the pie from the oven and let it cool at room temperature for at least 4 hours before cutting and serving. 


Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The Perfect Summertime Dessert Recipe: Mini Cheesecakes

There’s no question that the summertime brings much more than sunny days. With all that extra time on our hands, we can all agree that our sweet tooth can get just a little bit stronger during this season. Lucky for us, summer also brings us a variety of desserts that embody the bright, free energy that this season is all about. If you’re looking for the perfect dessert to celebrate summer vacation, this mini cheesecake recipe is it. It’s great for those famous summertime barbeques or even just those midnight munchies.

In order to achieve these mini delights, these are all the ingredients that you are going to need: 

Crust Ingredients:
  • 1 cup of crushed graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of melted butter

Cheesecake Ingredients:
  • 16 ounces of softened cream cheese
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 21 ounces of desired filling or topping

Baking Tools:

Now that you have everything you need, you can get to baking! 

The first thing you want to do is preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Then combine all the crust ingredients. Using a small bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter until everything is evenly mixed. 
Next, grab your handy mini cupcake pan and line it with mini baking cups of your choice. This is where you can add to the presentation of your mini desserts! Picking a liner that yells “summer” is the key to making this your own!

Using a spoon or the bottom of a small jar, press your crust mixture into the bottom of the cupcake liners. Depending on how thick you want your crust to be, you can make it anywhere from ½ inch thick to 1 ½ inches thick. Whatever thickness you choose, it’s important to make sure that the crust is pressed firmly at the bottom of the liner. No one loves a crust that’s falling apart!

Now that you’ve got the crust settled in, it’s time to get cheesy! Using a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, eggs, sugar and vanilla until your ingredients are evenly mixed, making sure to get rid of any clumps. Once you reach a nice, creamy texture, pour the mixture over the crusted cups. If you haven’t got the steadiest hands, using a ladle or ice cream scoop is a neat trick for making a clean pour. 

Next, you can finally put these bad boys in the oven! We recommend tapping the tray a couple of times to get rid of any pesky air bubbles. Set a timer for about 15-17 minutes or until the middles are set. This is definitely not a dessert that you want to overbake! 

Now for the best part: Once the mini cheesecakes are filled, you can add any toppings that you want! Whether it be strawberry jam, cherry fillings, chocolate filling or even just some edible roses, these not only add a bit of flavor but can also add to the overall aesthetic of the dessert. 
Instruction Overview:

      1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  1. Line cupcake tin with cupcake liners of your choice.
  2. Combine all the crust ingredients in a small bowl until evenly mixed.
  3. Press crust mixture firmly into the bottom of the cupcake liners.
  4. Beat together cheesecake ingredients in a large bowl until creamy and even.
  5. Use ladle to pour mixture over crusted cups.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-17 minutes or until middle is completely set.
  7. Add toppings/garnishes for extra flavor and color.
The best part about these cute treats are that they’re super easy to make and even more delicious to eat! With a recipe as simple as this, you have the freedom to add your own little flair to them. Take advantage of summer vacation and take a whack at this awesome recipe!

Monday, July 2, 2018

3 Fun Party Themes To Try

When it comes to throwing the ultimate party, there’s no question that modern party-goers can be a pretty tough crowd to please. Nowadays, it seems like throwing just an ordinary party with plenty of food, drinks and games simply doesn’t cut it. With so many holidays and events to celebrate, throwing themed parties is all the rage to prevent the possibility of having another boring party. We know: Even with so many themes to choose from, it can still be hard to be original and creative. If you’re looking for a fun, easy way to spice up your next party, here are some themes that are sure to keep it going all night long:


Although it may seem like a theme that is best for kids, the truth is that circus/carnival themes can be perfect for guests of all ages. Depending on how you go about organizing games, events and decorations, the carnival theme can make any party that much more exciting. Since there are so many different aspects of circus/carnival culture, you have plenty of room to make it your own while still having a clear direction. 
When deciding what kind of decorations you should go for, it’s important to take into consideration who your guests are going to be. If it’s a younger crowd, you can throw in things like ticket booths, balloons, tents, and lots and lots of animals. However, if you’re looking at pleasing an older crowd, you can use red and white curtains, striped backgrounds and anything that resembles the experience of an actual circus show. 

Food & Snacks
  • Popcorn baskets
  • Mini hamburgers
  • Curly fries in cones
  • Cotton candy
  • Fruit cups/parfaits
  • Lollipops
  • Candy apples
  • Apple bobbing
  • Ring toss
  • Balloon darts
  • Can toss
  • Photo booths with props/cut-outs
  • Rubber duck pond
  • Face painting

Paint Party

No matter how old you are, everyone loves to paint. Painting is a great theme because it can be turned into an elegant get-together with wine or it can be a wild party with fingerpainting. Whatever age group your guests are, painting is a unique way to not only get them talking to one another but also to get them to relax after a hard day’s work. For kids, it’s a great way to get their creative juices flowing while also giving them the freedom to express themselves in a new and unique way. 

If you’re looking to go for the classy wine-tasting paint party, decorations can include anything from fancy dishware and intricate tablecloths to paint in mason jars or even easels set up in rows. If you’re going for a kid’s paint party theme, you can set up with squirt bottles of paint, colorful aprons, painted balloons and much more. The best part about decorating for this theme is that you get to be creative because, well, that’s all part of the look!

Food & Snacks
  • Cookies painted as paint trays
  • Paint brush cake pops
  • Paint tray fruit plates
  • Colorful mini sandwiches
  • Splatter paint cupcakes
  • Fruit kabobs on paintbrushes
  • Pretzel sticks with icing

  • Painting with a twist (wine & paint)
  • Finger painting
  • Pottery painting
  • Apron decorating
  • Balloon paint darts
  • Paint fights with condiment bottles of paint

Murder Mystery 

While this is a classic, it doesn’t take away from the fact that murder mystery parties have become all the rage. Whether you want to do a murder mystery or just a Sherlock Holmes mystery to solve any crime, this interactive theme is sure to keep your guests constantly on their toes. Not only is it a great group game, but it also brings out a little competition in your guests. You’ll be able to have a great time setting up this mystery game because you can have the power to be as creative as you want with the case. 

With such a fun theme to decorate for, there’s no limit to the things you can do to give your party the ultimate crime-solving vibe. For this particular theme, you probably want to stick to more ominous colors, such as black, red or gray. You can even stick with an all black and white theme to mimic those classic crime-solving shows that were aired without color. For a theme like this, we would recommend decorations and favors such as caution tape, masquerade masks, eerie candles, mugshot photo booths and really anything that screams mystery!

Food & Drinks
  • Blood red punch
  • Question mark cookies
  • Smoky cocktails
  • Any small finger foods
  • Eyeglass cupcakes
  • Envelope rice krispies
  • Bloody cake

Games & Activities:
The best part about this theme is that the activity is part of the theme. When setting up for this murder mystery, it’s up to you how hard you want to make the game. You can make it so they need to figure out the person, place and method, or you can just do a simple “who done it?” The important part about setting up for this game is to make sure to have plenty of clues and fake clues to make it a bit of a challenge. You want to make sure there is one clear answer but one that isn’t too obvious. Extreme detail is key!