Toasted Coconut Marshmallows

Toasted Coconut Marshmallows

Toasted Coconut Marshmallows

Yum! Yum! Yum! That’s about all I have to say about these Toasted Coconut Marshmallows. Well…almost all I have to say about them. I purchased a new stand mixer a while back and was searching for the perfect first stand mixer recipe. After all, you have to break a good piece of equipment in properly, right? I was also searching for a finger food dessert for a party I was attending. After some thought and a serious sugar craving, I knew Toasted Coconut Marshmallows would be a hit at the party. I was right! These little babies were flying off the platter and received raving reviews!

With the season turning to candies and desserts for all those parties and family gatherings you will be attending, you will want to make up a batch of these delicious marshmallows. They are sweet, pillowy and irresistable. They also can be stored for a few weeks in an airtight container – so make some now!

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Blood Orange Ricotta Fritters

Blood Orange Ricotta Fritters

It is a rare day when I find blood oranges at any of my supermarkets. So imagine my excitement when I spotted some across the produce section. I literally clapped my hands, smiled, and honestly almost hopped with joy. It takes so little to make me happy these days. Regardless of my weird produce enthusiasm, I now had something new to play with…blood oranges.

After some research and internal conflict as to whether I go sweet or savory, I decided to at least start with sweet. Doughnuts sounded great but it was time for something a little different. I’ve had lemon ricotta fritters before, but never blood orange. Time to try something new! These little fritters were delicious. The blood orange is quite subtle but contributes enough flavor to make the fritters slightly sweet and perfect for a Sunday breakfast on the back porch. Try your Blood Orange Ricotta Fritters this weekend!

P.S. If you are like me, not all of your fritters will be picture worthy. Here are my alien fritters…Have fun!

The Not so Pretty Blood Orange Ricotta Fritters

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Meyer Lemon Bars

Meyer Lemon Bars

There simply is nothing like a lemon bar. You have the tart lemon surrounded by that mildly sweet flavor that is truly addictive. The sprinkling of powdered sugar makes them so attractive too. Do you want to try an even sweeter version of the much craved lemon bar…go with Meyer Lemon Bars.

Now is the time of year when you can find meyer lemons at specialty food stores and farmer’s markets. When you find them, grab them immediately! Grab extra too! They are well worth it just to have the experience of the perfect lemon bar. These Meyer Lemon Bars have an addictive shortbread crust, an almost but not quite cakey texture, and that oh so sweet and slightly tart lemon filling. If you are unable to find meyer lemons (sigh), you can use this recipe for the standard lemon bars. They will just be more tart and will miss that unique orange flavor that is the hallmark of the meyer lemon. Either way, you are going to love it!

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Simple Yet Elegant: Moscato Poached Pears with Vanilla Whipped Cream

Moscato Poached Pears with Vanilla Whipped Cream

I decided to do a little shopping during my lunch yesterday…MISTAKE! I had scheduled 45 minutes for this trip, which turned into about an hour and a half. And that’s without the actual lunch! Unless you have to do it, shopping should not be part of your plans right now. The traffic, the lines, the frantic search for that one last gift…it is all driving people a little crazy.

Given all this craziness, I think a simple dessert that screams pure elegance is just what is needed for our family meals this weekend. This dessert has everything one could wish for ~ the freshness of pears, the wintry spiciness of cinnamon, the delicate flavors of Moscato wine, and the sweet creaminess of vanilla whipped cream. After a heavy meal, Moscato Poached Pears with Vanilla Whipped Cream is simply perfect.

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Pumpkin Week! Day Five – Pumpkin Orange Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Orange Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Today is the final day of Pumpkin Week! And today I highlight my favorite recipe of all – Pumpkin Orange Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting. I have to tell you, these cupcakes are quite delicious. They are mild in pumpkin flavor with some great orange background. They are moist and addictive! But then you add the cream cheese frosting and they become heavenly.

I made one batch in the regular sized muffin tin. When I frosted these cupcakes, I pushed the frosting tip down into the middle of the cupcake and stuffed the cupcake with the frosting. One word…WOW! Then I made the rest in a mini-muffin tin.The mini-cupcakes were so easy to scarf down…just walk through the kitchen and grab a mini. When a cupcake is that small, it has no calories…right?

Pumpkin Orange Cupcake stuffed with Cream Cheese Frosting

I hope you enjoyed Pumpkin Week! My goal was to create recipes that rose above the familiar pumpkin pie (nothing wrong with a pumpkin pie…I just wanted more out of a pumpkin). I found pumpkin was perfect for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and then of course dessert. I hope you enjoy every pumpkin recipe we explored this week. I would love to hear how you use pumpkin! What unique pumpkin recipes would you recommend?

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Pumpkin Week! Day Two – Pumpkin Whoopee Pies with Maple Cream Filling

Pumpkin Whoopee Pies with Maple Cream Filling

It is day two of my pumpkin exploration! My one and only objective is…No Pumpkin Pie! Today’s dessert not only gives me a new way to use pumpkin, but it also gives me an excuse to eat a creamy filling. It could be whipped cream, mousse, or in this case a Maple Cream Filling, but if it’s creamy I am all over it. My brain tells me to run the other way in an effort to protect my naturally curvy (such a nice way to say it!) hips while my heart and taste buds beat down my brain in a fight club style epic event. My brain rarely wins.

These Pumpkin Whoopee Pies with Maple Cream Filling have all of the aspects of a delicious dessert without any fuss. There is a cake-like cookie, the pumpkin taste that is so seasonal and comforting, and then the creamy, maple filling. Enjoy!

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Pumpkin Week! Day one – Pumpkin Seed Brittle

Pumpkin Seed Brittle

Every fall, I work myself into a cookng frenzy. Something about the cooler weather, the colors of the leaf turning (Note I said leaf. That is not a mistake. Here in Florida there are not turning leaves.), and honestly, the millions of commercials with so many delicious looking dishes make me want to cook up a storm. This year I decided I needed to get to know the pumpkin. I have always resisted the pumpkin. Every November dinner I attend has a pumpkin pie, which is delicious but not all that exciting. My goal was to cook up a variety of pumpkin dishes without ever thinking about the pumpkin pie. So, I give you Pumpkin Week! This week will be devoted to everything pumpkin….sans the pumpkin pie.

I kick off this week with a recipe that is so simple but will make your family and friends think you slaved away in your kitchen. Pumpkin Seed Brittle is a wonderfully sweet way of using a part of the pumpkin that so regularly gets discarded. This nutty brittle has that sweet and salty flavor that works perfectly as a snack to have around the house, or as a unique gift to wrap and give to your friends and coworkers. Next time you have a few minutes to spare (that’s about all it takes to make), try your hand at some Pumpkin Seed Brittle!

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