Archive for the ‘Desserts’ Category

It’s Strawberry Time!

May 16, 2007



If you’ve had a chance to visit any of the outdoor markets lately, you’ve seen them. Piles of bright red berries, gleaming in the sunlight, just waiting to be taken home and devoured! There are a variety of strawberries here in Sicily, from the impossibly tiny fragoline to the gigantic fragolone, and every size in between. Although strawberries are a wonderfully healthy, low-calorie treat when eaten plain, I look forward to strawberry season for another reason: Strawberry Shortcake! Read the rest of this entry »

Naughty Ice Cream Sandwiches

February 2, 2007


For an extra special Valentines Day treat, create these decadent and elegant ice cream sandwiches for the one you love. Combining Kahlua-flavored dark chocolate chunk brownies and ice cream spiked with Bailey’s, these aren’t your children’s ice cream sandwiches! Read the rest of this entry »

Orange Mini Cheesecakes with Grand Marnier Cream

December 30, 2006


When I bought my mini cheesecake pan, I really wasn’t sure whether I would use it. There are so many pieces of baking equipment stuffed into the back of my kitchen cabinets that never see the light of day, much less feel the heat of my oven. But I have used this pan over and over, much to the delight of my friends and neighbors. I receive so many compliments on the tiny cheesecakes that I almost feel guilty because they are so quick and easy to make! Read the rest of this entry »

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 23, 2006


I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving! Sorry about the lack of recipes lately but I’m still in the states enjoying time with my family. I’ll be back in my own kitchen by the beginning of December so keep checking back!

If you still have a can of pumpkin left in your pantry, try making this yummy Pumpkin Roll! It’s basically a pumpkin sponge cake rolled up with sweetened cream cheese. The one in the photo was made by my friend Ruby and has some chopped pecans mixed in with the filling, which is an optional but recommended addition! There are tons of pumpkin roll recipes out there but Ruby recommends the basic Libby’s recipe found here.

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What Makes These Dark Chocolate Muffins Special? Beets Me.

October 28, 2006


Double Dark Chocolate Beet Muffins. Yes, you read that right. Beet. Sound good? Probably not. But you can’t say they don’t look good! And so far, nobody has been disappointed with the taste either. What prompted me to create such a bizarre flavor combination in this muffin? Well it’s kind of a long story…

To tell you the truth, I’ve never liked beets. I was forced to eat them as a kid, I thought they tasted like dirt, end of story. Fast forward 25 years and I decided it was time to give the strange-looking red root another chance. My aunt and uncle recently took me to the local farmer’s market and one of the many things we bought were beets.


My aunt boiled the beets, cut them in chunks, doused them with a healthy amount of vinegar, salt, and pepper and one of my least favorite vegetables was transformed into my favorite new Read the rest of this entry »

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes

October 2, 2006


As predicted in my last post, I have another pumpkin recipe for you. This is the second mini cheesecake recipe on this site and each time I use my mini cheesecake pan, I love it even more. It’s easy to use, easy to clean and I’ve had perfect results each time. The best part about baking mini cheesecakes rather than a full-size cake is that you don’t have to worry about slicing it! I have to be the world’s worst dessert slicer! It doesn’t matter whether it’s pie, cake or cheesecake, the slices always turn out horrible! Now I’m starting to understand the recent popularity of cupcakes…they look so cute and perfect with no slicing involved 🙂

As I was looking around for a pumpkin cheesecake recipe, I saw that one of them was topped with cinnamon whipped cream. I ended up making up my own cheesecake recipe rather than using any of the ones I found, but the idea for cinnamon whipped cream stuck in my head. I always whip my own cream but I had never thought of adding Read the rest of this entry »

A Sweet Goodbye to Summer

September 22, 2006


I purchased my ice cream maker late in the summer and therefore the second frozen concoction to emerge from it is a dense, creamy ice cream that manages to straddle the seasons–cooling me off during the still-too-warm days of late summer but welcoming fall with the warm flavors cinnamon and vanilla.

How it is I’ve been on this earth for 31 years without ever tasting a cinnamon-flavored ice cream is a complete mystery to me. Because even though I have tasted so many wonderful gelatos in Italy, (each time exclaiming, “THIS is my new favorite flavor!”), I can now say that this cinnamon vanilla ice cream is the best I’ve ever tasted.

I used the recipe found on and the main change I made was to use a vanilla bean to replace the vanilla extract in the recipe. Read the rest of this entry »

End of Summer Peach Sorbet

September 6, 2006


Well it’s a little late in the summer but I finally got an ice cream maker! It’s one of those things that I’ve always thought would be nice to have but with my lack of storage space in the kitchen and history of purchasing kitchen appliances that never get used, I couldn’t really justify getting one. But lately I’ve gotten into reading so many yummy food blogs and I’ve seen lots of tempting photos and recipes for homemeade ice cream. It was Mae’s Blueberry Ice Cream that finally pushed me over the edge and I broke down and ordered the ice cream maker.

Since I still have some frozen peaches left in the freezer, the first thing I decided to make was some peach sorbet. I didn’t have a recipe but I adapted the mango sorbet recipe from the Cuisinart recipe booklet that came with the machine. It turned out really well! This recipe works for a 1 1/2 quart ice cream maker.

Peach Sorbet

4 C. fresh or frozen sliced peaches
2/3 C. sugar
1/2 C. corn syrup
1 T. fresh lemon juice

  1. Defrost peaches if using frozen.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until thick and smooth.
  3. Freeze peach mixture in ice cream maker according to manufacturer instructions.
  4. Sorbet should be thickened in about 25 minutes; Scoop sorbet into a freezer-safe container and freeze for a few hours.
  5. Buon Appetito!

On another note, if you’ve been here before, you might have noticed a few changes on my site today. Ok, so maybe a lot of changes. Let me know what you think!

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Zucchini and Chocolate?

August 16, 2006


A friend gave us these muffins a while back and I took the photo before we polished them off because I knew I wanted to share the recipe. She gave me the cookbook last week and now I’ve finally managed to get the recipe typed up for Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread.

The combination of chocolate and zucchini might seem a little unusual but it actually works really well. The cinnamon really seems to bring it all together. This recipe is from Cooking Light so unlike a lot of the recipes I’ve been posting lately, they can be enjoyed with a little less guilt!

The recipe below uses a loaf pan but it worked well with a mini muffin pan too. Just make sure that you really cut the baking time if you decide to do muffins. Read the rest of this entry »

More Ways with Blueberries

August 15, 2006



I guess I went a little crazy the last time I bought frozen berries because when I looked in the freezer yesterday, I still had half a bag of blueberries. And this is after making the Blueberry Pancakes and the Blueberry Breakfast Bars! Not only that, I have 2 bags of frozen raspberries! I guess I’d better start looking for some good raspberry recipes.

Since the bag of blueberries was already open I decided I’d better find a way to use those up first. My other freezer discovery yesterday was some pie pastry that I had cut into small circles a while back for some apple pocket pies. So, I had 5 little pastry circles, some blueberries, and some granny smith apples that I found in the fridge. I decided to put them all together and see what happened. Read the rest of this entry »