Archive for November, 2013

Blueberry Crunch

This dessert has been referred to as a dessert to put diabetics into a coma.  I use to follow the instructions exactly as written, but now I do not add as much sugar as the recipe suggests since both my parents and one of Brandon’s parents are diabetics.  Even though I post several recipes about desserts, I usually don’t eat desserts often unless we have them in the house.  I much prefer to make desserts and give them away.  Out of sight, out of mind. 🙂

When I think back to when I started cooking as a teenager, this dessert always come to mind.  I didn’t make it often, but anytime I tried to impress someone with a dessert I would find this recipe.  I found the dessert in an older cookbook from a local church and it was written by one of my cousins.  By the way, the best recipes can be found from church cookbooks.  Those people know how to cook!  I have carried this dish to church, family gatherings, and given as a gift.  One time while we were dating, I made it for Brandon’s birthday.  The only thing better than the Blueberry Crunch is a slice of blueberry cheesecake from Chick-fil-a.

I made the Blueberry Crunch as my last dessert for the Bible Conference.  Just like the other desserts I made for the conference, I didn’t get a taste of it.  But, the good news is everyone loved it because it was all gone.  I even made it in a throw-away pan so I wouldn’t have to worry about clean up or taking a dish home.  The best part of this dessert is the taste of the sugary-sweet cream mixture paired with the tart blueberries and the salty, crunchy crust.  You will also love how quick and simple this recipe is.  I know I do!  For the recipe:

  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • 2 sticks butter, melted
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 box confectioners sugar
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 can blueberry pie filling
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 8 0z. Cool Whip

Mix flour, melted butter, and chopped nuts.  Press in 9×13 pan. Brown at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until light brown.  Cool completely.

Mix sugar, cream cheese, vanilla, and butter.  Spread on cooled crust.  Put a layer of cool whip on top of the cream mixture.  Top with a layer of blueberry pie filling.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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How simple is that?! I love that you can make this ahead of time.  I am sure you can use real blueberries in replace for pie filling.  It would probably lessen the sugar levels of each bite.  Also, as I mentioned earlier in this post, I did not use the whole box of powdered sugar.  I probably used about half the bag of sugar.  So, now all you need to do is prepare it, cut it up, and enjoy the comments of how awesome you are for making it.

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Symphony Brownies

For all of you brownie lovers out there, this brownie recipe is the best I have ever tried and made. They are thick, extra chocolaty, and crunchy.  They are so delicious straight out of the oven and even a few days after baking them.

I also made this dessert for the Bible Conference a couple of weeks ago, as I mentioned earlier in this post.  Since I didn’t get a bite of the brownies and everyone seemed to enjoy it so much, I also made it yesterday for Thanksgiving.  However, I do not have a picture from yesterday. But, believe me, I ate several bites of those brownies and we still have a few left.

I am actually eating a square for breakfast as I am writing this to you. Yes, I can and will eat desserts for breakfast, especially cheesecake. I know you are curious how these brownies taste since they look so good, so let me try to describe. When you bite into the brownie, you get that strong chocolate flavor. That flavor is paired with the texture of the soft brownie shell and the hard bite of the chocolate bar (since my brownie is cold). Finally, the walnuts provide that nice crunch along with a nutty taste that helps break up that rich chocolate flavor. You should definitely eat a piece of this brownie when it comes straight out of the oven. You will fall in love the first moment that chocolate goodness touches your tongue.

This recipe came from a local church’s cookbook. Every time I eat a piece of these brownies, I always think about our trip to Birmingham because here was the first time I tried the brownies. When I was shown this recipe by my mother-in-law, I knew this cookbook would be used frequently. I have a big tab marker in my cookbook for this recipe. Now to show you the recipe:

  • 1 box brownie mix (13×9 pkg)
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 3 large Symphony candy bars (with toffee and almonds)
  • Line 13×9 inch pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. Make brownie mix according to package directions. Add walnuts to brownie batter. Pour half of mix on bottom of pan. Place 3 candy bars on top of mix. (You may have to break a few pieces off of the candy bars to get them to lay flat in the pan.) Pour rest of batter on top of candy bars and smooth out. Bake according to box instructions. Let cool completely before cutting.

    Symphony Brownies

    Symphony Brownies

    FYI – If you prepare this recipe exactly like the instructions above, your brownies will not look like my picture. That is because I made a few mistakes when purchasing my ingredients and preparing the batter. If you happen to get the brownie mix that is for an 8×8 (like I did), do not worry because 2 candy bars will fit exactly in the smaller pan. If you happen to forget to add walnuts to the batter (like I did), then just add them to the top of the batter after you pour it in the pan. This part will also be helpful if you are carrying this dessert where people may have nut allergies. Plus, I think the brownies look pretty with the walnuts on top.

    Angel Lush Cake

    This recipe is another quick and easy dessert. I cannot express enough how much I LOVE recipes that are simple to make and that can be thrown together in a hurry. My favorite part about this dessert is the pineapples. I would rather eat a dessert with fruit than one with chocolate.  It makes me feel like I’m eating healthy even though the fruit is being held up by all that sugar.

    The first time I discovered this recipe I was reading my mother’s Kraft Food and Family magazine. My eyes were caught by the small number of ingredients and the large glowing picture of the layered, creamy cake oozing with pineapples and crowned with strawberries.  It either looked like food from Heaven or something royal people would eat. I knew I had to make it and try it out. And, as usual, I decided to make it and carry it to a meal at church. Everybody seemed to love it because all that was left was the leftover cream mixture left on the plate.

    I got the chance to make thia again a couple of weeks ago for the Bible Conference at our church.  Our church has a Bible Conference every year in November.  The link will show you the details from this year’s conference. I know at least one night we had about 500 people in attendance. Brandon and I were blessed that we were both able to take off of work and help out.  For me, that included helping out in the kitchen and preparing and bringing food for the meals.  Brandon helped in the kitchen with breakfast, worked in the sound booth, and even stayed in the nursery for a couple of hours one day.  Since we were so busy, it was important that I prepared food that was quick and simple.  This recipe only took about 15 minutes to prepare. Since I carried the cake for dinner, I let it sit in the refrigerator and took a nap until it was time to go back to church.

    I know this recipe was a hit with the crowd that night because I didn’t even get to eat a piece.  And, since you didn’t get a piece either, let me describe to you the delicious flavors of this cake.  Angel food is already a moist and slightly sweet cake, but when you add pudding on top of it, the cake absorbs that cream and it all just melts in your mouth.  The pineapples deepen that creamy mixture taste with an extra sweetness flavor and an addition of a soft crunchy texture.  The strawberries give a burst of juicy zing on your tongue.  If your strawberries are not as sweet, add a little sugar after slicing them and let them sit for a couple of minutes. I would love to try this out next time and swap the strawberries for blueberries. Check out Kraft Recipes for the instructions.

    The only thing I did different with this recipe was add the strawberries to the bottom.  As I was preparing this, the cake started sliding to one side.  When I tried to fix it, part of the cake tore.  To salvage it, I added extra pudding at the bottom to make it appear even, but it was still noticeable. So I used the strawberries slices and placed them on the bottom to hide the mess.  It still looks like it’s leaning in the picture.  Honestly, when you cut the cake, it will fall to pieces anyway because the cake is so soft.  I will also admit that it is not the best partner to ride along in the backseat of a car because I had to fix it when I entered the kitchen at the church.  Make sure the cake holder is standing up right and drive slowly if you are carrying it anywhere.

    With the right lighting, this cake will always look like it’s glowing.  I can hear the angels singing over this cake.  Maybe Heaven will offer a cake just like this along with my preacher’s extra large banana pudding and Krispy Kreme donuts descriptions.

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    Wendy’s Chocolate Frosty Pies

    What I am about to share with you is my favorite go-to and quick-to-fix dessert to carry anywhere. I usually carry this dessert to potluck at church or family holiday meals.The highlights of this recipe is you can make it ahead and there are only 3 ingredients. How awesome is that!

    The first time I remember hearing about these pies was at my parents’ church. I know it was during the summer, but I cannot remember the reason we were eating at the church. While my mom and I were at the sweets table, a lady from the church started telling us about a dessert that she could not keep in stock at her house. I was intrigued when she explained how quickly and easily she threw it together. So, I made a mental note of the recipe and quickly found my first opportunity to make it at a family dinner. I have made it several times since then and I have never took home leftovers nor worried about empty, dirty dishes to clean.

    Now, the recipe:

  • 1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream
  • 2 pkg. chocolate pudding and pie filling
  • 2 graham cracker crusts
  • Soften ice cream enough to stir. Add pudding mix and stir until combined. Divide mixture between the 2 pie crusts. Then freeze until ready to serve.

    See how easy that was! Did you catch the part where it makes TWO pies? Serve one now and save the other for later. Or be a little generous and share one pie and hide the other one for yourself in the very bottom of your freezer. You will be surprised how quickly this dish will disappear, especially if you just mention it’s name. And, you will definitely not be disappointed at its taste. It has all the creamy, icy, and chocolate sensation that the Wendy’s Frosty has to offer with the added crunch of the graham crackers. You will want to grab a straw and slurp it up.

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    Shrimp Fried Rice

    Brandon and I love eating Chinese food. I honestly did not like Chinese food until I met him. The first time I can remember really enjoying the food was when we spent a weekend in Birmingham with his family. I am not certain of the name of the restaurant, but it is the best we have ever eaten. Anytime we eat at a Chinese restaurant we compare it to the food from Birmingham.

    We have a local restaurant that is almost as good as the food in Birmingham. We usually order from there when we have a sore throat. Hot and Sour soup will cure any sickness I do believe. Another reason that we order the local Chinese is because you can get a large quantity for a small price. However, our local restaurant is not always open and, when it is, it can be flooded with orders. So, to satisfy our Chinese craving, I found a recipe on Pinterest for fried rice that is in close comparison to the real thing. The best thing about this recipe is you can make it in about 20 minutes and it only uses a few ingredients, which you probably have on hand. All you need is Minute brown rice, vegetable oil, 2 eggs, chicken broth, soy sauce, frozen peas and carrots, and any meat you would like to add. For the recipe, click here.

    The only thing I did different was I added shrimp instead of chicken. The best part of that is we could put as much shrimp as we wanted because most places only give a few pieces and it seems that we have to fight over how many pieces we get. So, of course, I added a good bit. I also served this dish with Pagoda Express White Meat Chicken Egg Rolls.

    I believe Birmingham and our local restaurant have better flavor than this dish, but it will cure any blues for Chinese. You will definitely get that salty flavor from the soy sauce. I added about 2 tbsp extra for taste.

    This dish will definitely feed a small crowd. In our case, it was way too much food for 2 people. Make sure to add water or butter when reheating these leftovers so that the rice isn’t dried out. Now, if only I can learn to make Hot and Sour soup.

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