Easy Creamy Nutty Butterscotch Tart

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Happy New Year!  I trust that you enjoyed the holidays and maybe made a few New Year’s resolutions.  I am trying my best to abide by the use it or lose it philosophy while cleaning, sorting, organizing and digging deep into … Continue reading

Very Berry Shortcake with Lemon Secret Sauce

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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 … Continue reading

Strawberries & Cream Fool

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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 … Continue reading

Decorate a Dessert … no experience necessary!

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Do you ever take a dessert to a potluck, family gathering or maybe a Halloween Party in a pan?  I do! Do you ever want to make that dessert look a little prettier than just a typical pan of brownies?  I do! Are you … Continue reading

Pop Tart Ice Cream Sandwiches and our family debate!

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Several weeks ago, I read a short article in the Los Angeles Times that Pop Tart Ice Cream Sandwiches are being test marketed at a Newport Beach Carl’s Jr. (Hardee’s).  I wondered … are the Pop Tarts toasted … are they frosted … … Continue reading

Grilled Cheese…No… It’s Dessert

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Today is grilled cheese day … yeah! I love grilled cheese sandwiches …sometimes I add sliced tomatoes. Today I made a fake “grilled cheese” for you … Grilled pound cake for the bread, strawberries instead of tomatoes and cream cheese … Continue reading

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

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It is September … already! Halloween merchandise is popping up in stores … Christmas too! I know it happens every year at this time … but I’m still amazed how quickly time passes! Summer just can’t be over … I … Continue reading

Easy pudding with berries

My sister-in-law, Georgia, has been here on vacation and is on her way home to Tennessee.  We usually get to see her only once a year and had a good-bye dinner the other night … I was asked to bring dessert.   I needed to use whatever I had at home and because there was no time for a grocery store trip.  Seven people would be at the dinner … four of which are diabetic and I know that they rely on sugar-free instant pudding as a safe dessert.  There were strawberries in the fridge that “needed” to be used.  So, I came up with this combo and it was sooo simple and fast!

This is what I used … strawberries, sugar-free (or regular) instant pudding mix, milk, cream cheese and vanilla bean paste …

In a mixing bowl, beat softened cream cheese and vanilla bean paste  …

Add milk  … and pudding mix


Beat until smooth …

Scoop into dessert dishes …

Top with berries …

Garnish with whipped cream, if desired …

Easy pudding with berries

4 ounces softened cream cheese

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (vanilla extract may be substituted)

3 cups milk

1 box (6 serving size) instant vanilla pudding mix (regular or sugar-free)

2 – 2 1/2 cups sliced strawberries (other berries may be substituted)

Whipped cream for garnish

In a medium mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and vanilla until smooth.  Add milk and pudding mix … beat until smooth.  Scoop into dessert dishes.   Top with berries and chill until ready to serve.  Top with whipped cream if desired.

Serves 8

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Topless S’mores Bars

Do s’mores need graham crackers on the top and bottom?  I have been wanting to make a s’mores creation for some time … but I really wanted to see the golden marshmallow … the result is what you see … topless s’more bars.

Thank goodness for family … they are always willing to be members of  the “test kitchen” a.k.a. guinea pigs.   Normally I think of s’mores with warm marshmallows and melty chocolate … but the consensus was “refrigerate them to chill the chocolate” …  I agree.  I liked using the StackerMallows … they made perfect cutting lines for servings!

You will need StackerMallows, milk chocolate chips, graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter …

Mix the graham cracker crumbs and sugar …

Melt the butter … mix it well with the graham cracker crumbs and sugar …

Press the crumb mixture into a 9″ x 13″ pan …


Sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the crust …

Lay the StackerMallows on the chocolate chips … don’t let the marshmallows touch the side of the pan … 30 marshmallows fit just right …

Pop them in the oven … s’mores need toasted marshmallows …

Topless S’mores Bars

2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/2 cup sugar

3/4 cup butter (1-1/2 sticks)

2 cups milk chocolate chips

30 StackerMallows (about 1/2 of a bag)

Mix graham cracker crumbs and sugar.  Melt butter and stir into crumb mixture.  Spread mixture and press into bottom of 9″ x 13″ pan.  Sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over crust.  Lay StackerMallows in a single layer over chocolate chips.  Bake at 400° for about 12 minutes or until marshmallows are golden.  Cool or chill and serve.    30 servings

Creamy Lemon Ice

In celebration of the first day of summer I made my first batch of lemon ice … cold, sweet, creamy and fat-free!  I have had this recipe for many years … it calls for half-and-half … wonderfully creamy half-and-half … not exactly Weight Watcher friendly.  Have you ever tried fat-free half-and-half?   I have used it in other recipes … even corn chowder … it works well and tastes good.  So … for the first time I used it to make lemon ice.  The results … wonderful … at least in my opinion.  Of course the real stuff is excellent … but my waistline needs all the help it can get.

The real inspiration for making this is … it is summer … it has been hot in southern California … we finished picking all the lemons off the tree … I had fat-free half-and-half in the fridge … and actually had ripe berries on the vine!

This is what you will need … lemons, sugar and fat-free (or regular) half-and-half … a zesting tool and a reamer are helpful …


Stir together the half-and-half and sugar until the sugar dissolves …

Zest your lemon … then juice it … I used 1 medium  and 1 small lemon (I have Meyer lemons which are very juicy) …

Stir in the lemon juice and zest …


Pour into a shallow 9″ x 13″ pan … cover tightly … pop in the freezer … try to wait patiently for 4 hours …  cut in squares or scoop …


Creamy Lemon Ice

2 cups (1 pint) half-and-half or fat-free half-and-half

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest

1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Berries (optional)

Stir together the half-and-half and sugar until the sugar dissolves.  Stir in lemon juice and zest.  Pour into a shallow 9″ x 13″ pan.  Cover tightly.  Freeze at least 4 hours.  Cut in squares or scoop.  Serve with berries if desired.

Visit Gooseberry Patch for more Sweet Treats!