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Friday, May 29, 2015

Sparkling Blackberry Lemonade

The recipe I am sharing with you today is so good.  It takes a little prep work and it helps to make it the day before so everything can be cold.  I think you can take a couple of short cuts by using a premade lemonade such as Simply Lemonade.  Then you don't have to squeeze the lemons or make the sugar water.
The color is great.  Add a sprig of mint or a slice of lemon to this drink.
 Start with several lemons, and some fresh or frozen blackberries.
 Start by making the simple syrup.  1 cup sugar.
 1 cup water in a saucepan.
 Heat on low just until the sugar is dissolved.
 Then squeeze the lemons.  This took a while.  That is why I think a really good lemonade would be a good replacement.
 Then puree the blackberries.  Now one of the things that people do not like about blackberries is the seeds. So we are going to get rid of the seeds.
 I really need a bigger strainer.  Strain all the juice out of the puree.  I couldn't get over all the seeds.
 Put all of these in the fridge to chill until the next day.  Now we are ready to construct the lemonade.
 In a clear pitcher (because you really need to enjoy the color) Put 1 cup lemon juice in the bottom.
 Add 2 cups blackberry puree
 1 cup simple syrup
 Then I put all the juices I had made up.  Stir well.
Then pour about 1/3 or so of the glass with the black berry mixture.  Then fill the rest of the glass with sparkling water. That is how you get the bubbles.  It is so good.  The lemon is not too tart.

Sparkling Blackberry Lemonade Recipe

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 cups blackberries
2 liter sparkling water
Have all ingredients chilled.


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Mini Cherry Cheesecakes

I made these little treats for our Memorial Day cookout.  They were perfect.  It made a lot and they are the perfect size.  That lets you try all the desserts. 
I know it's not football season but this platter is the perfect size to fit in the fridge and holds a lot.  Of course football season is just 99 days away.  I think the red and white of these cheesecakes would be perfect for gameday too. 
Okay I started with the mini vanilla wafers and I will share more of that in a little bit.  These were quick and easy to whip up.  You can use any flavor of pie filling you like.
Start with 2- 8 oz cream cheese blocks that are at room temperature.
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs (which I forgot to include in the picture)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
Now I have to share with you how I tried to have a short cut.  I was using the mini muffin pan so I thought the mini vanilla wafers would fit perfect in the bottom and I wouldn't have to chop up the wafers.  Well, they were too small, so I called my husband that was at the store and asked him to bring home the regular sized wafers.  They were too big.  So I ended up have to chop up the wafers.  Put about half the bag in the food processor.
Melt 3 Tablespoons butter
Pour the melted butter into the processor and pulse.
Then put some of the mixture in the bottom of the muffin cups.
I got to use one of my new kitchen gadgets to smoosh down the graham crackers.  Smoosh is a technical term you know.
They are all tapped down.
Add the cream cheese mixture to the pans.  Place the pans in a preheated 350 oven.  Bake for about 15 minutes.
Let them cool for a few minutes before removing from the pan.  I chose to put them in the fridge overnight and add the cherries the next morning before serving.
Add a cherry and some of the sauce to the top of each cheesecake and they are ready to eat.

Mini Cherry Cheesecakes Recipe

2  8oz pkg of cream cheese
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 box vanilla wafers
3 Tablespoons butter

Bake 15 minutes in a preheated 350 oven.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Cake

Remember when I told you that it was strawberry season?  Well here is another of those great strawberry recipes for you.  This is a simple light cake that blends the flavors of strawberries and chocolate.  They make a perfect combination.
A nice single layer of cake with a light dusting of powdered sugar.
We won't use all those strawberries but don't they look good.
Start with 3 Tablespoons softened butter.
3 Tablespoons Greek yogurt
1 cup sugar
1 egg.  Mix well.
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
Spray a spring form pan well.
Pour the batter in the pan.  Sprinkle the chocolate chips on the top.  Some will sink to the bottom.
Place sliced strawberries around the top.  Place in a preheated 350 oven.  Bake for 1 hour.  In the last 5-10 minutes if you want to you can sprinkle some more chocolate chips on top if they have sunk to the bottom.
Let sit in the pan to cool for about 30 minutes before removing the sides of the pan.
When cool lightly sprinkle the top with powdered sugar.
It is a light and refreshing dessert for the summer. Store in the fridge.
You could put a dollop of whipped cream on top if you like.

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Cake Recipe

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons butter softened
3 Tablespoons Greek yogurt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoons vanilla
1/3 cup chocolate chips
sliced strawberries

Preheat oven to 350.  Bake for 1 hour.  Let cool.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Friday Roadtrip

I am doing something new today.  I am sharing with you one of my new favorite places to go for lunch.  Think back with me to last summer.  Al.com had a contest to find the best hamburger in the state.  We had a couple of places listed in our neck of the woods.  But one place that was one of the top 5 burgers in the state is less than an hour away from us.  I have taken a few people on this little road trip and they all agreed it was a great burger.  But burgers are not all they do.  They make a great banana pudding with chopped up moonpies instead of vanilla wafers.
 Yes the place is Pikeville Market.  It is very easy to find.  From Huntsville take 72 East to Scottsboro. Continue through Scottsboro to Veteran's Blvd.  Take that exit and turn left.  Follow that road out to the country.  It is probably 8-10 miles.  It is real pretty country so enjoy your drive.  The road Y's and the store looks like it sits in the middle of the Y.  You are there.
 Order your banana pudding when you order your hamburger because when they run out you are out of luck.
 Small cheeseburger basket.  These hamburgers are made fresh by hand every day.
I wish I had one today for lunch.

Gather up your friends and drive out for a great burger.  They are open Tuesday through Saturday.  Get there early because it does get crowded.

I hope you like this new addition that I will bring you every now and then this summer.