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Jell-O Cookies {Just Helen}

15 Aug

image from Just Helen (click for source)

(Review by Denise)

This pin was so cute I couldn’t help but check it out. Turns out: cute and simple! Just Helen  has a smart thing going with these colorful cookies. Check out her recipe here.

I would have loved to make all four flavors like she did–or at least two different flavors–but this desert heat is just too much for extended baking.  (I got lucky today because it was overcast and slightly cooler!) I used a pack of strawberry Jell-O we had on hand. I did not add any food coloring as the dough, but had I wanted a brighter pink I certainly could have. I used bright pink sprinkles on one tray, and red sprinkles on another. Both look good, but the pink blends in more. (My photo from my phone is below.)

Verdict? Great! They turned out perfectly–not crispy and not doughy. The strawberry flavor is noticeable; I wasn’t sure if it would be. (One more reason to try the other Jell-O flavors!) My girls, of course, would gobble any pretty pink dessert, but I had my doubts when it came to my 5th grade son. I thought the lack of chocolate chips alone would be a disappointment. He loves them! These would be great for a colorful birthday party or if your child’s school allows home-baked treats, don’t you think?

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Brownie in a Mug

17 Jul


(Review by Denise)

There are so many “in a mug” desserts on Pinterest! This is the first one I tried. I am disappointed to report no real blog link exists for the recipe. As you can see, it is one of those pins with the information ready to go. When I clicked for the link, http://blog.gopromos.com was the site. I have my doubts that “Go Marketing Ideas” is the responsible party for this recipe. (If you happen to know the original source, please comment!)

We topped ours with ice cream and whipped cream, because we’re awesome like that. My sister-in-law is a higher-up tier of awesome because she requested that I put some M & M’s in the brownie batter before cooking it.

Verdict? Win. I especially love that there are no eggs in it, so you can under cook it if you like mushy desserts like I do. This would be great for college students, too!

Moist Chocolate Cake {Foodess}

25 Jun

I’m proud to introduce today’s reviewer, my friend Steffi! Not only is she one of “those people” who often concoct their own fancy recipes (you know: “those people” we like to befriend), she is your go-to source if you’re on the hunt for gluten free eats. Check out her recipe blog, Steffi’s Kitchen! (Fun fact: Steffi speaks German. I know…totally demotes my bragging rights for speaking Spanglish.)

(Review by Steffi)

For Father’s Day I needed something that would make my husband’s taste buds dance. My man is a chocolate lover whose sweet tooth is rarely satiated. I’m gluten intolerant and don’t really have much of a sweet tooth, so I bake only for holidays and birthdays. When I found this recipe on Pinterest from Foodess I instantly thought it would be right up Rhett’s alley.

The cake is extremely easy to make. As Jennifer mentions – it is very quick. From the time I pulled ingredients from the pantry to the time I put the cakes in the oven to bake only 12 minutes went by.  The batter smells fantastic and it looks beautiful. The one thing I wasn’t too certain of is the coffee. Rhett is not a coffee drinker and doesn’t really care for the taste at all.

The cakes baked in exactly the amount of time the recipe listed. This shocked me. I find that baking times are always off when I bake. Sure enough, cake tester was inserted at 35 minutes and came out clean and clear!

I did two 9” rounds. I iced with buttercream and filled with choc mousse. Rhett said it was indeed the moistest cake he’d ever had. There is literally no trace of coffee flavor in the cake at all. I highly recommend this recipe for cake and/or chocolate lovers.

Creamy Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie {Chiquita Bananas}

5 Apr

(Review by Denise)

This should be called a milkshake. It is almost as good as getting a peanut butter shake at Lenny’s. In fact, it is better! This drink is guilt-free. (Peanut butter brings me no guilt.) With 18 grams of protein per serving (depending on your yogurt), I call it lunch. In fact, I’m drinking one right now for lunch. The slight tang from the yogurt is perfect, not overpowering. I use natural peanut butter with no sugar. I imagine it would taste different if you used Jiffy or something. Check out the recipe from Chiquita Bananas right here.

Amie’s Triple Coconut Cake {Salad in a Jar}

1 Apr

Click image for source: Salad in a Jar.

(Review by Denise)

I’m going to keep this short…. This cake is so good.  I’m not even one of those crazy-for-coconut people yet it might just be my new favorite.

I love her close-up photograph of the cream of coconut can, because my store sold it in a squeeze bottle instead and I was able to easily see how many ounces to use. My store also only sells regular, shredded coconut. In the end the taste is the same–only the look is different. No loss.

But back to my first point: this cake is so good. Do yourself a favor and check out Salad in a Jar‘s recipe right here.

Salted Caramel Butter Bars {Eat at Allie’s}

28 Mar

(Review by Marci)

I am not much of a dessert person. I would rather snack on some potato chips than a cookie. If I do crave something sweet it has to involve chocolate or caramel. Enter: Salted Caramel Butter Bars from Eat at Allie’s. There is no word to describe these bars, so I am forced to make one up: Scrumtrulescent! (Thanks to Will Ferrell and his hilarious portrayal of James Lipton from “Inside the Actors Studio” on SNL for creating that fabulous word!) Apparently this recipe has made the rounds on several food blogs but originally came from a cook book called Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey. You can link back through the different blogs and see the variations, but I think they are all basically the same. Here is the recipe I followed from Eat at Allie’s.

There is a whole pound of butter in these bad boys. (1 lb. = 4 sticks.) I never claimed to pick the healthiest recipes! As it turned out, however, this was great news for my brother-in-law who had gone the whole week without butter and was suffering a mild case of the butter DT’s. Being impatient (me and my sister) and needing a butter fix (my brother-in-law) as we were, we could not wait for the bars to cool completely before cutting as suggested in the recipe. Instead we just scooped some out with a spoon and threw some ice cream on top for good measure. It was like a buttery, caramel-y, buttery pizookie. No one finished theirs. It was just too rich and buttery (but still excellent in small portions!) I covered the rest with saran wrap and walked away, disappointed. The next morning I cut them into squares and tried one. I think there may have been fireworks. The overwhelming butter taste was gone and I was just left with a thick, crumbly crust. The salt really brings out the flavor in the caramel without being sickly sweet. I guess there is something to be said for following directions. I dare YOU to try to resist spooning it out hot from the oven! Overall, I thought these bars were excellent.

Pots de Creme {Pioneer Woman}

27 Mar

(Review by Denise)

My man and I have a Monday night routine going: put the kids to bed early,  then eat a yummy dinner and/or dessert for two on the couch while watching our show. (Previously Walking Dead, now we’re back to Mad Men.) Recently I made The Pioneer Woman‘s Pots de Creme for us to savor during our living room date. (If you’re unsure if you’re pronouncing “pots de creme” correctly, Ree gives a lovely tutorial. We wouldn’t want to sound goofy, like pronouncing “jalapeno” with the “j” from “jam.” Just don’t do it.) Check out the recipe (and pronunciation) here.

I’m not gonna’ lie: they were fun to make. I love how she made mistakes on her own recipe and then later told us what went wrong and why. (Room temperature eggs to the rescue!) See how it starts out looking like this…

…but then just a bit of coffee makes it transform in color and consistency?

I knew I was saving those jelly jars for something. (According to Pinterest, you’re supposed to save all jars. You never know what emergency craft may call for a mason or jelly jar.)

Verdict? Pass. Yum! You’ll especially like them if you like dark chocolate.  But be warned: these babies are rich. As in…Richie Rich. I don’t know how Ree served her’s up in those giant martini glasses. Of course, that Walking Dead living room date would’ve been even more romantic if we had to share….