Eyeballs for Breakfast!

Need an easy peasy and fun breakfast idea for Halloween morning?  How about eyeballs?  Yes, I said eyeballs … a little creepy, but not too scary!  I’m not really sure if eyeballs alone are a well-balanced breakfast … maybe add a scrambled egg on the side ;)  This is my idea of a fun and easy breakfast or afternoon snack idea …

Breakfast Eyeballs - SweetSimpleStuff.com

OK, all kidding aside … eyeballs are bagels and cream cheese … perfect in the morning or anytime of day!  Son #3 took them to the office for morning coffee break … eyeballs are not just for kids!  I did make two versions … for those of you that don’t want to serve candy for breakfast …

Breakfast Eyes, bagels - SweetSimpleStuff.com

 

The fake spiders are my version of “special effects” and the only kind of spiders allowed in my kitchen ;)

This is how I made them …

Bagel eyeballs - SweetSimpleStuff.com

  1. Slice a bagel in half.  Hint:  If you want toast the bagels, let them cool before adding the cream cheese … it may melt.
  2. Spread with softened cream cheese.
  3. Put strawberry (or any red) jelly or jam (with pieces of fruit removed) into a disposable decorating bag, cut the tip off (creating a tiny opening) and pipe some squiggly “blood-shot” lines on the cream cheese.  Hints:  A Ziploc bag could be used.  A tube of red gel or frosting could be used in place of jelly.

Eyeballs 2 ways - SweetSimpleStuff.com

Option A – I found these great gummy eyeball candies (6 eyeballs in one box).  Hint:  I’ve also seen large bags of them in the Halloween candy section of stores.

Option B – I used sliced kiwi and blueberries.  Hint:  Use a dot of jelly or cream cheese under the blueberries … they tend to roll away!

Easy Eyeballs - SweetSimpleStuff.com

Both versions are easy to make and fun to eat!  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do … eyeballs always make me smile!  Here’s some from the past …

marshmallow eyeballs

Eyeball Marshmallow Pops

Bloody Eyeballs served on forks

Bloody Eyeballs

Nutter Butter Zombie Eyeballs

Nutter Butter Zombie Eyeballs

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!  I ♥ your comments!

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Red, White & Blue No Bake Cheesecake Cups

It’s summer … it’s hot outside … it’s hot inside too … we’re having cheesecake and I’m not turning my oven on today!  My family loves cheesecake … no bake cheesecake too!  So … today I made Red, White & Blue No Bake Cheesecake Cups … cute little paper cups … perfect for a 4th of July celebration at home or on the go!  Red strawberries, blueberries and white chocolate chips add color, texture and decorate the top.

Red White & Blue No Bake Cheesecake Cups

I used paper baking cups … perfect small portions and no dishes to wash or bring home if you take them to a picnic.  No bake cheesecake cups are cool and creamy with a layer of graham cracker crust … the fruit and white chocolate are like the icing on the cake!

No bake cheesecake with berries

Red, White & Blue No Bake Cheesecake Cups

Crust

  • 1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted

Filling

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened/room temperature
  • 1-1/2 cup milk (divided)
  • 3.4 ounce pack cheesecake flavored instant pudding
  • 2 cups thawed Cool Whip

Toppings

  • 1 cup strawberries, hulled and cut in half
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  1. Make crust – Combine graham cracker crumbs and sugar, stir in melted butter and set aside.
  2. Make filling – Place cream cheese in a medium size bowl and beat with an electric mixer or whisk.  Add 1/2 cup of milk and beat well.  Add remaining 1 cup of milk and pudding mix, beat well.  Fold Cool Whip into pudding mixture.
  3. Assemble Cheesecake cups – Divide cracker crust mixture between 12 cups.  Add filling and smooth to edges of cup.  Top with strawberries, blueberries and white chocolate chips.

Makes 12 servings   (filling recipe adapted from Kraft)

Red, white & blue cheesecake cup

I found the paper baking cups (for cupcakes) and all of the paper products at the 99¢ Only store.

No-bake Cheesecake for the 4th of July

 

Do you have plans for July 4th … a picnic at the beach, barbecue with friends … maybe fireworks?

 your comments!

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Lemon Berry Butter Cookies

Happy Tuesday!  It’s almost summer and I’m back … with another way to use my new favorite lemon secret sauce!  I’m kind of hung up on berries and lemon right now, but I promise that I’ll be moving on to Nutter Butter cookies, chocolate, cupcakes or some other sweet thing ;)  I’m sure that these Lemon Berry Butter Cookies will put a smile on your face!  The lemon flavor provides a little tang … crystal sugar give the cookies a great crunch and the berries are juicy bites of springtime!

Lemon Berry Butter Cookies

Baking or dessert making has not been happening too much around here lately.  Do you find that you have too many projects and never enough time?  We have unfinished projects up the wazoo!   I’ve been sewing, doing a little gardening, organizing, cleaning and painting.  Our painter (me) finally showed up … as the hubby would say.  I do the painting, because I’m picky … not perfect … just picky about the way the hubby (or anyone else) paints ;)  My biggest problem is that I put off doing the painting … I’d rather bake, do laundry or shop … anything other than paint!

berry lemon sugar cookie

 

Maybe I should stop painting and start exercising, because I ate waaaay too many of these cookies!  Actually, I ran out of paint and need to buy more … have to do two more doors and our bedroom will finally be done!

Lemon Berry Butter Cookies

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or extract)
  • 2-3/4 cups flour
  • Crystal sugar for rolling
  • 1 to 2 cups of berries (I used blueberries and raspberries)
  • Lemon Secret Sauce (click here for recipe)
  1. Make lemon sauce and place in the refrigerator.  (You will probably not use all of it.)
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line baking sheets with parchment.
  3. In a large bowl, use a mixer to cream butter and sugar.
  4. Add egg and vanilla, beat well.
  5. Add about half of the flour and beat well, add remaining flour and beat well.
  6. Roll dough into 1″ balls, roll dough in crystal sugar and place on prepared baking sheets about 2″ apart.
  7. Bake 11 -13 minutes.  The bottom of the cookies will be light golden brown.  Remove cookies from oven, let sit on baking sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely .   Makes 36 – 40 cookies.
  8. Frost cookies with lemon sauce, top with a few berries and serve.

Note:  Refrigerate any remaining frosted cookies, beware that they may become slightly soft (but still yummy).  The cookies are best when served immediately.  Son#3 is not a fan of lemon … he loved the cookies before they were frosted!

lemon berry sugar butter cookie

In the past, I’ve shared that we always have some D.I.Y. project going on.  One of the recent ones was a nightstand with storage for me.  We found this small three drawer dresser at a local Salvation Army Thrift Store that was $40 and came with a desk.  We bought it, didn’t need the desk … so we donated it back to the store.   I may be the painter in the family, but the hubby is the wood and furniture refinisher!  He sanded it, stained it black, rubbed it with steel wool to allow some of the original color to show thru and added new hardware.  I now have a new bed side table, recycled a perfectly good piece of furniture and helped out a great charity :)

nightstand bedside

 

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Very Berry Shortcake with Lemon Secret Sauce

It’s berry season!  Berry shortcake is my idea of a perfect Memorial Day, or any day,  dessert … shortcake biscuits warm from the oven, topped with cool (and a little tangy) lemon sauce and fresh berries.  I just discovered the “lemon secret sauce” by accident … a happy accident.  This resulted in a new version of an old favorite … Very Berry Shortcake with Lemon Secret Sauce!

very berry shortcake with lemon secret sauce

Do you ever have an idea that doesn’t turn out the way that you thought it would, but does result in something wonderful?  Well, that’s my lemon secret sauce … it’s not really a secret … I just like the name ;)

strawberry shortcake lemon sauce

I made the sauce for another recipe … thought that it would become much stiffer as it sat in the refrigerator … it didn’t and now I’m thankful for that!  You know what they say … when life gives you creamy lemon sauce … make berry shortcake … or something like that ;)

Very Berry Lemon Shortcake - SweetSimpleStuff.com

The shortcake biscuits were made using this Bisquick recipe, feel free to use your favorite recipe or store-bought shortcake.  I chose to slice the strawberries and sprinkle them with a few tablespoons of sugar, because that’s what my family likes.  Usually the berries are naturally sweet and sugar is optional … it’s up to you.

Very Berry Shortcake with Lemon Secret Sauce

  • 1 cup lemon curd (10.5 ounce jar or homemade)
  • 8 ounce package of Neuchâtel cheese (softened)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 4 cups mixed berries (sweeten with sugar if desired)
  • 6 shortcake biscuits
  1. Make lemon sauce – Place lemon curd, cheese, 1/2 cup sugar in a medium-sized mixing bowl  and mix well.  Taste and add more sugar if desired.   Cover bowl and chill until ready for use.
  2. Wash, drain and slice berries.  Sweeten with sugar if desired.  Refrigerate.
  3. Make shortcake biscuits.
  4. To serve – Split biscuits, spoon some lemon sauce on bottom half of biscuit, add some berries, add top of biscuit, top with more lemon sauce and berries.  Makes 6 servings.

Note:  This recipe makes plenty of lemon sauce and you will probably have some leftover.  Keep sauce covered and stored in the refrigerator.  I’m finding more ways to use the “lemon secret sauce” and will share them with you soon ;) 

Triple Berry Lemon Shortcake - SweetSimpleStuff.com

I apologize for my absence in the blogging world.  My brain has been in pause mode … I’m thankful that it’s working again ;)  Personally, I’ve had some technical issues receiving emails (don’t know if I did something wrong) and have heard that some followers have had the same problems.   Hopefully, everyone that signed up to receive emails, is actually getting them.  Facebook followers – you may or may not see what I’m sharing (Facebook has changed some things), remember to “like, share or comment” or you may not see future posts.

Just a note – I used my favorite lemon curd from Trader Joe’s …

lemon curd

and chose to use Neuchâtel cheese (light/low-fat cream cheese) because it is softer than regular cream cheese, but I’m sure that regular would work too!

Do you like the flavor combo of lemon and berries?

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Strawberries & Cream Fool

Hello!  How are you?  I am home from my “spring break” and life is back to normal!  While we were away … a few items in the fridge reached their expiration date … shhh, don’t tell Son #3 … he gets a little worried if the date has passed.  I confess … a pint of heavy cream was about two days past it’s date, but it was fine (I tested it) … could not let it go to waste … dessert was waiting … Strawberries and Cream Fool!

Strawberries & Cream Fool

My nice sister-in-law went to the strawberry farm and brought these to me ….

basket of strawberries

She actually gave me six baskets of berries … two mysteriously disappeared before their photo shoot ;)  These strawberries are not only beautiful, they tasted wonderful … oh, how I love spring and summer fruit!

Creamy and cold desserts containing fruit, especially berries, are some of our favorites!  I’m sure you will like this one too!  Oh, I almost forgot to tell you … I threw in some light (1/3 less fat, neufchatel) cream cheese, just to add a little extra creaminess!

Strawberries & Cream Fool

  • 2 cups (1 pint) heavy cream
  • 3/4 cups sugar (divided)
  • 8 ounces light 1/3 less fat (neufchatel) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or extract)
  • 3 cups sliced/chopped fresh strawberries
  • A few whole strawberries for garnish if desired
  1. Place a medium-sized bowl and mixer beaters in the fridge for 15 minutes.  Remove from fridge, add heavy cream and 1/4 cup sugar, beat until thickened and stiff peaks form.
  2. In a large bowl, use a mixer to beat cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar and vanilla until well soft and creamy.  Add strawberries and mix for a few minutes, this will help some strawberry juice combine with the cream cheese and create a pretty pink color.
  3. Reserve one cup of prepared whipped cream for garnish.  Fold remaining whipped cream into cream cheese/strawberry mixture.  Put mixture into individual serving dishes if desired.
  4. Place in the fridge for 2-4 hours.  Garnish with remaining whipped cream and whole strawberries.  Hint:  Fan cut the strawberries … if you want to be all fancy dancy!

Strawberry Cream Cheese Fool

I have another confession … look at the spoon in the top photo … the “B” on it was meant for me, Brenda … it “accidentally” fell into my hubby’s pocket at the Biltmore Hotel back in 1973!  Please don’t tell the kids that their parents may have a criminal past ;)

Do you go berry pickin’?  I ♥ your comments!

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You may enjoy this “skinny” strawberry dessert too …

skinny strawberry dessert

 

 

 

 

Easy King Cake with Candy Beads

Good morning!  I made a treat for you today … an easy peasy King Cake decorated with beads … not just any beads, but candy beads!  My cake itself is really just cinnamon rolls, so it’s great for breakfast, coffee break or dessert … don’t wait for Mardi Gras time to enjoy it!  I didn’t know much about King Cakes, but found some of the history here, if you are interested.

P1030684 Easy King Cake with Candy Beads

My Mardi Gras Candy Buffet was put together and there were some purple Sixlets leftover and just waiting to be used … perfect for decorating the King Cake!

When I say that this was easy peasy … I really mean it!  I used Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls, a Bundt pan, light cream cheese, colored sugar, Sixlets and a tiny plastic baby.  It went together quick, was easy to decorate and consumed without a complaint!

Sorry about the photos, it was one of those days that went from dark and cloudy to sunny and back to cloudy, ugh!  I used two tubes of premade refrigerated cinnamon rolls …

P1030679 ed

Squished (that’s a technical term, lol!) the rolls into oval shapes and fit them in the pan …

P1030680 ed

When it was finished baking, I inserted the plastic baby …

P1030681 ed

Then it was easy to flip out on a plate, wait to cool and decorate … easy peasy!

P1030686 ed

Everyone at my house enjoys the cinnamon rolls, but liked them even more when they were baked in the bundt pan and sliced … I have no explanation!

P1030688 easy king cake

Easy King Cake

  • 2 tubes of Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls (8 count – 12.4 ounces each tube)
  • 2 ounces light cream cheese, softened
  • Colored sugar (purple, green and yellow – about 2 tablespoons each color)
  • 1/2 cup Sixlets for bead decoration
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Spray a 12 cup bundt pan with cooking spray.
  2. Open cinnamon rolls and set icing aside.  Separate rolls and squish rolls into an oval shape and lay in prepared bundt, forming a single layer.  (I made an inner and outer circle)  Bake 20-30 minutes, until golden brown.
  3. Insert plastic baby (I wrapped mine in a little parchment paper first).  Immediately invert onto serving plate, let cool completely.
  4. In a small bowl combine softened cream cheese and icing that came with the rolls.  Spread icing over cooled cake, sprinkle with colored sugar and decorate with candy “beads”.  Slice and enjoy!   (recipe adapted from SouthernBite)

P1030690 Easy King Cake Baby

I got the baby!  Guess I’ll be making another cake ;)

I always look forward to your comments!

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Ooey Gooey Lemon Butter Cake

Happy New Year my friends!  Let’s get the new year off to a sweet start … with a lemon dessert … a Ooey Gooey Lemon Butter Cake or as my sister-in-law calls it … Lemon Chess Cake.  I recently discovered that the same cake goes by different names … doesn’t matter which name you call it … the cake is yummy!

One of the benefits of winter is that my Meyer Lemon tree is filled with fruit!  A few days ago, I asked my hubby what he wanted for dessert … he actually suggested lemon cake.  That was a shocking answer coming from the mouth of The Peanut Butter Man!

ooey gooey lemon butter cake

I had never made a Ooey Gooey Lemon Cake … this was the perfect time to give it a try and I’m so happy that I did!

ooey gooey lemon butter chess cake

Meyer lemons tend to be on the sweet side, which gives this cake a nice lemon flavor … not tart or overpowering.  The crust is a little different from the traditional ooey gooey or chess cake.  I added a package of pudding, which made the crust extra sticky and chewy … we liked it … bet you do too!

I used one Meyer lemon for this recipe … they’re very juicy.  If you use a different type of lemon, you may need two lemons to get enough juice.

Ooey Gooey Lemon Butter Cake

For the crust …

  • 1 box (16.5 oz.) Duncan Hines Butter Golden Cake Mix
  • 1 box (3.4 oz.) Instant Lemon Pudding
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted (1 stick)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

For the filling …

  • 8 ounces cream cheese (I used Neufchâtel -1/3 less fat)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted (1 stick)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • zest from 1 lemon (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 3-3/4 cups confectioner’s/powdered sugar (plus extra for garnish)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Prepare crust – In a large mixing bowl, use a wooden spoon or electric mixer to combine all crust ingredients.  Pat the mixture into a 13″ x 9″ baking pan.
  3. Prepare filling – In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat cream cheese until fluffy.  Add the eggs, butter, juice, zest and beat well.  Add the sugar, one cup at a time until all sugar is mixed in.  Spread filling evenly over the crust.
  4. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until lightly browned.  The center of the filling should jiggle when the pan is moved.  Cool completely and sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Cut into squares and serve.

Hint – After I mixed the crust and put it in the pan, I used the same mixing bowl for the filling … why dirty another bowl?

lemon chess cake

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