Category Archives: Dessert

Mini Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Cups.

Since the Super Bowl, when I brought you a savory bite and a cheesecake dip I have been combining the two dishes…no, not buffalo chicken cheesecake, but rather cheesecake dip in the cups! It is amazing and could not be simpler!!

Mini Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Cups.  Makes 24 cups.


1 recipe Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Dip

8 large egg roll wrappers


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut egg roll wrappers into quarters and fill mini cupcake pans with them. Fill each wrapper with 1-2 teaspoons of cheesecake dip. Bake 12-15 minutes. Serve warm or chilled. Can be garnished with a piece of mint or fresh berry.


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Filed under Dessert, Vegetarian

Guest Recipe: Homemade Nutella.

Growing up, my very dear friend Katy and I spent many an afternoon baking with our Easy Bake Oven or creating and cooking concoctions in the microwave (which you can a little about here…sorry about the boxed brownies, they are no more in my house, scratch only now!). Later in life as I was getting really interested in cooking and other gardening and homesteading practices, Katy was out experiencing the world, earning multiple degrees (I got but one) and conducting any number of shenanigans.

But it seems this has all changed. You see, Katy got married this past summer. And since this event (and even a bit leading up to it) I have received many more food oriented text messages and blog comments from my dear friend. It seems she is getting the itch, and she has told me her hubs surely doesn’t have it, though he does like to eat her good food! So you see, it came as no surprise when I received a text the other day, simply stating “Made homemade nutella!” I told her I would love to put it on the blog and to send me the recipe…so she says, “a lotta nuts some cocoa and smidge of sugar.” Bahahaha! She cracks me up, so I ask where she got the recipe and as it turns out, she made it up! Totally awesome. So I got some more details and wanted to share the recipe with you all on her behalf today.

Homemade Nutella. Recipe written by Katy, photos provided via iPhone by Katy.


1-2 C of hazelnuts

2 t pure cocoa powder (more for flavor if needed)



Crack hazelnuts open if needed. Process in a food processor until they are consistency of peanut butter. Add cocoa and blend. Taste and add sugar to sweeten to your liking.



Filed under Condiments and Seasonings, Dairy Free, Dessert, Dip, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Almond Pancakes & Raspberry Sauce.

I have been making a lot of almond milk lately. It all started because I had to stop drinking coffee. My acid reflux was completely out of control and the totally awesome Northwest coffee that I was filling my body with every day was causing it. I went through five months of suffering before I was finally ready to test it out and see if coffee was the culprit. My acid reflux, I mean debilitating, burning pain, was gone within days. Sad day for this girl. I don’t really consume caffeine in other forms, outside of a Red Bull or two on the weekends, so I have effectively cut out all caffeine at this point. What does this have to do with almond milk you ask?

So, to substitute that warm deliciousness that is a cup of coffee in the AM, I started drinking herbal tea. Herbal tea is great and all, but it is not your creamy cup of joe, sort of lacks that exciting punch, if you know what I mean. So needless to say, the cup was lacking something, I am not saying caffeine, just something *looks the other way*. So it must be the milk. And, though I add milk to my coffee, cow milk has always grossed me out. Yes I cook with it, but the drinking of it…meh. So I was seeking an alternative creamy goodness to add to my tea, to help my brain think it was coffee. I checked all of the alternative milks at that the store and they all had ingredient lists as long as my arm, which seemed odd and grossed me out to milk even more. But with luck I had recently started following Savory Simple, and she had just posted an almond milk recipe not a month earlier! AND, I had heard almonds reduce acid reflux, double score.

So, I have been making a lot of almond milk lately. This leads to having a lot of almond meal on hand. I cannot bring myself to throw it away (what a waste of those perfectly beautiful nuts). So I began dehydrating it into meal and storing it in the refrigerator (that is where you keep almond flour, so I just did the same, though I think it would be fine in the pantry). In any case, I needed to do something with it because I now have way too much and this is the recipe I came up with, inspired by one of my lovely FB readers who was having pancakes for dinner.

Almond Pancakes. Serves two.


1 1/4 C almond meal or flour

1/2 C all purpose flour

1 t baking powder

2 T natural cane sugar

1/2 kosher salt

2 eggs

3/4 C milk (I used cow, 1%)

1/2 t vanilla


Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Add wet ingredients and mix with a fork, making sure to fully incorporate the eggs. Allow to sit for 5 minutes before cooking, if batter is thicker than you like, add 1/4 more milk.

Cook in a skillet heated to medium, greased with butter or other oil. When edges are cooked and bubbles have formed, flip and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute more (using a spatula to check for doneness).

Raspberry Sauce.


1 C frozen or fresh raspberries (I used frozen from the garden)

1/2 C water

2 T natural cane sugar

1 T arrowroot powder

Combine raspberries, water and sugar in a small pot. Warm over high heat until mixture reaches a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add arrowroot powder slowly to dissolve all of it, mixing the entire time. Remove from heat and serve.


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Filed under Bread, Breakfast, Dessert, Nuts/Seeds, Vegetarian

Grandma’s Snickerdoodle Cookies.

Growing up I used to make cookies with grandma, and as we got older with my little sister and my grandma. Grandma had a wonderful collection of cookie recipes, but there are three in particular that I remember making, peanut butter, sour cream, and these snickerdoodles.

We would go over to grandma’s house and she would outfit us in the cutest little aprons, pull the doughs out of the refrigerator, and off we would go. Cutting fantastic shapes out of sour cream dough, flattening peanut butter cookies with forks, and smashing snickerdoodle balls with juice glasses. It is such a wonderful memory that I will cherish for the rest of my life and just recently my sister passed this joy onto her daughter and reminded me that I needed to make this as well.

Grandma’s Snickerdoodle Cookies. Makes 48.


1 C soft shortening, like Crisco (not something I generally use, unless making tamales, but this is after all grandma’s recipe, and it does make a difference)

1 1/2 C sugar

2 eggs

2 3/4 C flour

2 t cream of tarter

1 t baking soda

1/2 t salt (I used kosher, but I am sure grandma used iodized)

4 T sugar

1 t cinnamon


Combine flour, cream of tarter, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl and set aside. Cream together shortening, sugar, and eggs with a stand or hand mixer. Then slowly mix in flour. Cover and refrigerate dough for 30 minutes or more.

Preheat oven to 400.

Combine sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside.  Roll dough into balls the size of walnuts (this was the word my grandmother used!). Roll each ball in sugar and cinnamon mixtures. Flatten on un-greased cookie sheet (we always used a juice glass to do this).

Bake for 8 minutes or until set (it will take longer depending on how big your walnuts are). Allow to cool a moment on the pan as they will be very soft when you first remove them from the oven.

Note: Be sure to cover the dough and put it back in the refrigerator between pans unless you roll them all and sugar them ahead.


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Filed under Dessert, Holiday, Vegetarian

Peanut Butter Spent Grain Chocolate Chip Cookies.

I know I just told you the other day that I only have one cookie recipe and that got me thinking, why? I should have more and I have a lot of spent grain on hand. The more beer we brew, the more spent grain I have. I have composted a decent share of it as we just don’t have space to store it, but I am also learning how to cook with it. I found these cookies over at Omnoicon and made just a few changes to it. I think it turned out great and these little morsels are just healthy enough to make you overlook the chocolate! They are almost like little breakfast cookies. I can already see variations of this in my future.

Peanut Butter Spent Grain Chocolate Chip Cookies. Makes 20-24 cookies.


1/3 C natural peanut butter

2 T unsalted butter, melted

1 C cane sugar

1/3 C milk (I used 1%)

1 T vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups wet spent grains (I used a mix of crystal 80, chocolate and carafa)

1 1/2 C whole wheat flour

1/2 C all purpose flour

1 t baking powder

1 t kosher salt

1/2 C chocolate chips

1/2 C chopped toasted walnuts


Preheat oven to 425.

Combine flours, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.

In a separate bowl cream together peanut butter, butter, milk, and vanilla. Add spent grains and mix to combine completely. Slowly add flour and mix to combine. Using a spatula add chocolate chips and walnuts.

Place spoonfuls on a silpat liked baking sheet, press down to slightly flatten. The cookies don’t really spread so you if you want them flatter, you have to do it before you bake them. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until golden brown (remember there are no eggs in this so you do not have to cook until completely set). Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes so they do not fall apart when you try to move them. Complete the cooling process on a wire cooling rack.


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Filed under Beer, Dessert, Spent Grain, Vegetarian

Ginger Chew Cookies.

This is my only cookie recipe, I mean sure I make chocolate chip cookies, from the back-of-the-bag recipe, but this is the only cookie recipe that I have otherwise. I am going to delve into my grandmother’s recipes someday, all the cookies I used to make with her all of the time. I think that formed my person, who I am today. But until that happens, this is my only recipe, and I love it. Everyone loves it…well at least if you like ginger. It is essentially a ginger snap that is undercooked to make it chewy. I warn you now, these are addicting, like, you are going to eat 10 or 15 in one sitting, addictive.

Ginger Chew Cookies. Makes 24 cookies.


2 C all-purpose flour

1 T ground ginger (heaping, really heaping)

1 t baking soda

1/2 t kosher salt

3/4 C cane sugar (plus extra for rolling the balls)

7 T unsalted butter, softened

1/2 C packed brown sugar (I use light)

1 t vanilla

1 T agave nectar

1 egg

Cooking spray or oil


Combine flour, ginger, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Cream 3/4 cup sugar, butter, and brown sugar together with a hand or stand mixer using medium speed. Add vanilla and egg, mixing to fully combine ingredients. Using a low speed on the mixer, add flour a little at a time until combined. Scrape dough into a ball, if it is crumbly you can use your hands to form it. Cover and freeze dough for one hour.

Preheat oven to 350.

Put 1/4 cup sugar in a small bowl. Remove dough from freezer and lightly coat hands with cooking spray or oil shape dough into one inch balls. Roll balls in sugar and place two inches apart on a slipat lined cookie sheet.

Bake for 8-12 minutes, until just set, cooked but still soft in the middle. Remove cookies from pan and cool on a wire rack. Store in an air tight container.


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Filed under Dessert, Holiday, Vegetarian

Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Pie Mousse.

Happy Halloween everyone!

I always get so excited about being able to take a dish to someone’s house for a party. I put a ridiculous amount of pressure on myself to make “the best” thing…ever. Ha! Silly I know, but it is how my brain works. It is what happens when my OC-“D” kicks in and mixes with my love of food (BTW, I put the D in quotes because I am not diagnosed, jut obsessive compulsive, no proof that it is a disorder:) Really).

Back to the point, the hubs and I were invited over to our friend’s house for a little Halloween gathering, to give out candy and have a general good time. They said they wanted to do pizza and fun fall desserts. I got quite excited with visions of fall fruit cobbler and tarts and then about 4 or 5 days later I found out one of the hosts was going to do a diet restriction for 30 days to try to combat seasonal allergies. No grains and no dairy…makes for interesting desserts if you ask me. After thinking about it for a day or two, my chili mousse popped into my head and I asked her if eggs and really dark chocolate were acceptable…yes! Awesome, I thought, but what about the “fall” flare that I needed to add. That is when this one came to me. What if I put pumpkin pie spice into the mousse to give it that really “fall-like” feel? Not a bad idea after all. And the serving vessels are Über-cute too, little 4 oz jars. Let’s hope these go over well tonight!

Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Pie Mousse.


12 oz really dark chocolate (I used 88%), finely chopped

4 eggs, room temperature

2 t vanilla extract

1-2 t agave or other liquid sweetener

1/8 t kosher salt

pumpkin pie spice (use the entire recipe below)

1/2 C pureed pumpkin

8 oz really hot coffee

Combine all ingredients, except the hot coffee, in a blender. Blend until well combined. Slowly add the hot coffee while blending. Blend for about a minute after you add all of the coffee, or until the mixture is smooth and the chocolate is completely melted. Taste for sweetness and add a little more sweetener if you need too. Scoop out into individual serving dishes.

Pumpkin Pie Spice


3/4 t ground cinnamon

1/2 t ground nutmeg

1/4 t ground ginger

1/4 t ground cloves

Combine thoroughly.



Filed under Dairy Free, Dessert, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Holiday, Seasons

Dark Chocolate Chili Mousse.

I got this recipe from a coworker, whose wife got it from Celiac Chicks, who adapted it from The Pioneer Woman. I cannot find The Pioneer Woman’s recipe, so I cannot give the link to the original, but I know she wrote it. In any case, this came up over dinner when we got talking about dishes we have totally failed at. One of my total and utter failures was chocolate mousse last Christmas Eve. I made a wonderful, multi-course dinner for the hubs and I and everything went swimmingly until it came to dessert. I tried to make mousse. How hard can it be, right? Well it was for me! The mousse failed. It was so inedible we had to throw it away.

My coworker immediately thought of this dish as I told the story and shared it with me. I decided to put a chili spin on it

Dark Chocolate Chili Mousse.


12 oz dark chocolate with chili, well chopped

4 eggs, room temperature

2 t vanilla extract

2 t agave or cane sugar (unless you use milk chocolate, then skip this ingredient)

1/8 t kosher salt

8 oz hot coffee

Combine all ingredients, except the hot coffee, in a blender. Blend until well combined. Slowly add the hot coffee while blending. Blend for about a minute after you add all of the coffee, or until the mixture is smooth and the chocolate is melted. Taste for sweetness and add a little more sweetener if you need too. Scoop out into individual serving dishes.


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Filed under Dessert

Strawberries and Buttermilk Shortcakes.

For our second unplanned Labor Day weekend BBQ, I was inspired by the Oregon transitional strawberries that I saw at the market on Friday. A true sign of an ending season, something called “transitional”. So sad, I had not even made strawberry shortcake this year. Ever since the Skis took over harvesting our strawberries for us {wink, wink} I have stopped using them in dishes. But I could not resist, I had to buy some.

I made the strawberries just as my mom always did when we were growing up. It is so simple and pure. She did not however have a shortcake recipe so I had to go find on of those.  I decided to alter my breakfast biscuits by adding sugar and vanilla.

Macerated Strawberries.


2 lbs fresh strawberries, as sweet as you can find

1/4-1 C evaporated cane sugar

Slice strawberries into a large bowl (you will end up with about 8 cups of berries). Sprinkle with 1/4-1/2 C of sugar, depending on how sweet they are. Remember, you can always add more sugar. Mix and allow the berries to sit for 10-15 minutes. Check their sweetness and repeat using 1/4 C of sugar if needed. My “transitional” berries required just over 1/2 C of sugar, so if you have super sweet peak season berries, I would be surprised if you needed more than 1/4 C.

Buttermilk Shortcakes.


2 C flour

1/2 C evaporated cane sugar

1 T baking powder

1/4 t kosher salt

5 1/2 T unsalted butter

3/4 C buttermilk, + 1 T if dough is dry

1 t pure vanilla extract

1 t evaporated cane sugar, reserved for topping

Cut butter into small chunks and place in the freezer. Pre-measure buttermilk and also place this in the freezer. Preheat oven to 450.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in the bin of a food processor, pulse to mix. Add butter and pulse until the mixture has a sandy texture (about 5-10 seconds). This can be done by hand if you don’t have a processor. Add buttermilk and vanilla extract and process just until the dough comes together (about 5 seconds).

Drop 1/4 cup at time (use a measuring cup if you need too) onto a silpat lined baking sheet. Sprinkle tops with reserved sugar. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden. Cool completely on a wire rack before serving.

Serve shortcakes topped with strawberries and whipped cream!


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Filed under Bread, Dessert, Fruit, Midwest Inspired, Mom's Recipes, Vegetarian

Cream Cheese Blackberry Muffins.

While I was digging around in the freezer a while back to make these huckleberry muffins, I located a bag of frozen blackberries. Our house butts up to an alley (more of a green space, there are no cars, just grass and trees) with a very large amount of blackberries in it. Every year I help myself! Looks like I lost one little bag to the back of the freezer this year. The hubs wanted to make some blackberry BBQ sauce, but I did not have enough berries to make it, so you will have to wait until later this summer for that one and instead enjoy some cream cheese blackberry muffins right now.

Cream Cheese Blackberry Muffins. Makes 18 regular sized muffins.


1/2 C unsalted butter, room temperature

1 C turbinado sugar

8 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese, room temperature

1 t vanilla

2 eggs

2 C AP flour

2 t baking powder

1/4 t kosher salt

3/4 C milk (I used 1%)

2 1/2 C frozen blackberries

1 T turbinado sugar


Preheat oven to 375. Prepare muffin tins with paper cups. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl. Cream butter, sugar, cream cheese and vanilla together in a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer. Add eggs and mix to combine. Add one half of the dry ingredients and one half of the milk, scraping the edges of the bowl with a spatula as needed. Mix to combine and repeat with remaining flour and milk, using a spatula. Gently fold in berries with spatula. Fill muffin cups 2/3 of the way full and sprinkle with just a little sugar. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown on top.


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Filed under Bread, Breakfast, Dessert, Fruit