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The other day I found myself packing up fresh berries to take to a friend’s house for game night. As I looked at the containers of fruit, I kept thinking “this needs something.” Which queued memories of the many, many, southern church pot lucks I went to growing up. I remembered this delicious, tangy dip that my mom frequently had to remind me to share or to leave some for other people, but I couldn’t remember how to make it. Fortunately, we live in a world of Pinterest, and while I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted, I did find something close, and with a tweak here and a reconfiguration there, I think I’ve gotten it exactly right. It seemed to be a hit with everyone who tried it, and the cats attacked the almost empty bowl when I gave it and the mixing spoon to Andy to “finish off.” I am thinking it would also be pretty wonderful layered into a tart shell with some of that fresh fruit layered on top…..a recipe for a later day.
- 8oz of cream cheese (I used the 1/3 fat from Philadelphia)
- 3/4 cup Vanilla Greek Yogurt
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp Almond Extract
- In a mixing bowl, beat together cream cheese and vanilla yogurt until uniform in texture.
- Next, beat in powdered sugar and almond extract until completely incorporated.
- Chill covered until ready to serve.
Super simple, but now I know the secret and you guys do too. People seemed to really like this with strawberries, but I think it also works well with tarter fruits like granny smith apples. I’d be interested to try to veganize the recipe, since I’ve had both vegan yogurt and cream cheese and I think the flavors/consistency are close enough to work. With so many friends with different dietary restrictions, it’s nice to have something you can put together quickly and reliably.
Breakfast/Brunch is always a lot of fun for me. I think it comes partially from when I was much younger and my mom and I would clean and make a big breakfast every Saturday morning. The week was always super busy, and we were mostly a cereal/toaster pastry family, especially in high school when my classes started at 7:15. Sunday was church day, so Saturday was the big day. The breakfast tradition carried over into college where my roommate and I threw quite a few brunches, not to mention brinners. We kicked ass at brinner.
This casserole was the result of me going to a brunch pot luck and not being able to find exactly what I wanted on Pinterest. So I combined the bits and pieces that I liked best. A brioche base here; a modified streusel topping there. It was almost blueberry, but I asked one of my friends her opinion on fruit options and she said anything but blueberry. So that put the kibosh on that. Apple cinnamon was my other contender so here we are.
1 1/4 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 lb brioche bread
1/2 cup regular sugar
1/4 dark brown sugar packed
1/2 tbsp vanilla paste
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/8 tspn salt
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/3 dark brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- Cut brioche breads into cubes and dice the green apples. Layer into the bottom of a 13×9 casserole dish.
- In a large mixing bowl whisk together eggs, milk, cream, both sugars, cinnamon, vanilla and salt.
- Pour mixture over the bread and apples and cover. Set in the fridge for at least four hours, preferably overnight, so the bread can soak up the egg mixture.
- Bake casserole in the 350 degree oven for 45-55 minutes.
- While the casserole bakes, whisk together the dry streusel ingredients. Melt the butter then stir into the dry ingredients until crumbs form.
- 10 minutes before the casserole is done baking, pull from the oven, sprinkle on streusel topping and put back into the oven for the remaining 10 minutes.
* This recipe works even better if the bread is slightly stale. I unwrapped the loaf and left it in the toaster oven (turned off) overnight. I’ve also cheated and popped the cubed bread into a 200 degree oven for 45 minutes, turning over about half way through, to dry the bread out.
As you all know, I make a lot of cake. Normally, baking is a nice stress reducing activity, but occasionally it is more of a last minute necessity. When that’s the case, it’s always nice to have a few time saving tricks up your sleeve. This frosting is one of them. I wish I could take credit for coming up with this amazing recipe, but I found it online somewhere, but here is the thing. I can’t remember when or where. I wrote it down on a sticky note and now… you know. Trust me, I would give credit where credit is do if I could. That aside, this is absolutely something you should tuck away for that last minute baking emergency.
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave, checking every 30 seconds, until smooth. Allow to cool slightly.
- Combine chocolate, sour cream and vanilla in a mixing bowl and beat until light and fluffy.
- Frost away!
- If your kitchen is warm, your frosting could start melting. Store your completed cake in the fridge or in a cooler spot away from the stove. Allow to return to room temp before serving.
Eas,y right? And it’s also delicious. I know I am selling this as a time saving option, but it really is good enough that it could be your go frosting if you wanted. The only issue I have with it is the temperature sensitivity. I live in Florida; it stays pretty warm around here most of the time.
Usually when I write recipes, I start with an idea and carefully map out what I need, what what steps to take, make a grocery store run, and then give it a go. However, sometimes I write recipes because I am having a craving and, since I lack the ingredients I need, I have to make do with what I have lying around. This was the case when I came up with the Vegan Snickerdoodle Mug Cake. It was pouring, I wanted something sweet and not chocolate (strange, right?), and I wanted something easy to make. So of course, mug cake came to mind. I hit Pinterest, found a recipe, and then realized I was missing half the ingredients; furthermore, I knew whipping up anything with cinnamon and not having some for the husband would be mean. So I took a deep breath, worked some substitution magic, and ta-da. Mug Cake.
- 3/4 cup flour
- 4 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 4 tbsp oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Optional: Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream for garnishing.
- In a bowl (I used a large glass measuring cup), whisk together sugar, cinnamon, almond milk and vanilla extract.
- When combined, stir in flour and baking powder.
- Split the mixture between two standard size mugs.
- Microwave on high for 1 1/2 – 2 minutes or until the desired texture.
- Let cool for a minute then garnish (if you’d like) and enjoy!
- This is only the second mug cake recipe I’ve ever attempted, and like the first, I feel like the texture you end up with is more “quickbread” and less “cake”. Still delicious though, and you can whip it up from start to finish in less than 10 minutes.
- This wasn’t intended to be an “original recipe,” but after checking out the contents of my fridge and pantry and realizing I was cooking for two and not one, I figured why not. The vegan part is also a result of what we had vs. didn’t have 🙂
- I strongly suggest including the ice cream or whipped cream if you can. While this was perfectly fine on its own, Andy and I both agreed it would benefit from a little something extra.
With three kick-ass recipes under my belt, I am finding myself more and more adventurous when it come to the recipes in Sweet & Vicious. In the interest of dipping my toe a teeny bit further into the pool, I decided to try my hand at Maniac Fire Bread, which, with its combination of rich chocolate and spicy serrano chile, sounded like it would be awful or amazing. Oh, and of course, you can’t forget the accompanying Raspberry Smoked Sea Salt Butter.
- This recipe is surprisingly easy; the only difficulty I had was the handling of the chile. You see, something about the oils in any chile pepper irritates my hands and causes them to swell. Unusual, but something to take in to consideration every time a recipe requires that particular addition. Fortunately, Andy was gallant enough to taking on the task of mincing so my temperamental skin was spared.
- Flavor-wise, I was worried that the chile would be too much for what is a fairly simple bread, but it wasn’t an issue. The richness and the sweetness of all that chocolate and cocoa powder kept the spice from being anything more than the occasional sensation of heat on the back of your pallet. That was a pleasant departure from the cloying sweetness of some of the classic quick bread recipes.
- I’ve already had two people ask me for a copy of this recipe. I find that truly impressive. Not only did they like it, they liked enough to want to make it for themselves even before knowing whether the recipe is complex or not. High praise indeed.