Cream Puffs

lime-coconut cream puffscream puffs

cream puff recipe

cream puffsI used a tablespoon to spoon the dough balls onto the baking sheet and it seemed to be the perfect size. With these ingredients the recipe said I would get 12 puffs but I ended up getting about 15. For the filling, I used cream cheese and lime pie filling mixed to taste. I didn’t want it too sweet so the cream cheese helped out but it’s definitely not necessary if you want it sweeter. After that, add a layer of shredded coconut, put the top of the puff back on, top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings to look super fancy and you’re done!

lime coconut cream puff

lime coconut cream puff

lime coconut cream puffsDepending on what kind of filling you put in these guys, they’re really a pretty healthy treat and who knew cream puffs were so easy? It probably took me about 15 minutes to make (not counting the cooking time) and they turned out so beautifully!

recipe via better homes and gardens magazine 2005 issue

 – <3 A.

Other VMMV Recipes: 

DSC_0255-001DSC_0057-001   DSC_1012

      Lemon Scones                Avocado/Cucumber Salad              Icebox Cake

Mint Shamrock Pound Cake

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With St. Patty’s day on Sunday, this week is one of the very few weeks of the year that dying your food green is an assumed and celebrated event so I took full advantage of the week to whip out my green food coloring and go to town. I’m kind of sick of the usual cupcake-celebration for these random holidays. Pound cakes are a nice, not-to-sweet variation of the usual too-much-cake-and-icing-I-feel-ill-dessert. Topped with fruit, cool whip, and some fresh mint and St. Patrick gets remembered in the perfect, light and tasty way.

mintshamrockingredients

I cheated and used a boxed mix for the pound cake. But under blueberries, cool whip, and mint garnish, really truly, can you even tell? If you’re being honest…you can’t. If you want, go ahead and make the cake from scratch but I’m just trying to sayyyy that I will be done faster and my guests will never know the difference from yours! I infused the milk needed for the pound cake mix with a very slight mint flavor by boiling 1/2 cup mint leaves in the milk. It’s a super subtle taste so I would definitely add the fresh, whole leaves for garnish if you want a minty flavor. Other than that, follow the directions on the box as usual, add 4 drops of green food coloring to the batter before baking, cut out a shamrock shape from a slice of the finished pound cake, add the toppings, garnish and done!

shamrock pound cake

st patricks day dessert

st patricks day dessert ideas

The morning I made this, when I got set to photograph, a little rainbow**see it??** made from a prism in my window landed just as I was snapping away and I couldn’t resist from posting it. It really was just too, too ironic. Happy St Patty’s, happy weekend, and happy wearing and eating anything green!

– <3 A. 

Other VMMV Recipes: 

 header    blackberry vanilla icebox cake   lemon cheesecake cocktail

Cucumber-avocado Salad     Blackberry-Vanilla Cake     Lemon Cheesecake Cocktail

Blackberry-vanilla icebox cake

blackberry vanilla icebox cakeThe whimsical and brilliant blog A Beautiful Mess did this recipe last summer. Since post-Valentines Day has brought some unseasonably warm weather, and my Valentines Day brought me this beautiful new, glass cake stand, I thought it would be a perfect time to try out Elsie and Emma’s icebox cake recipe with my own little twist. They used ladyfingers for their cookie crust but I took their suggestion and tried out Vanilla Wafers instead. For their layers, they used frozen blueberries and blueberry juice instead of the canned fruit in light syrup that I chose. My version saves you from buying an extra ingredient and I think the canned fruit keeps its flavor a bit better than frozen. I also exchanged their marshmallow-whip layer with cool whip…a bit healthier, a lighter taste, and MUCH easier to work with. Ok, so here you are:
iceboxingredients

If you’re not a blackberry fan, use any sort of fruit you like. I think peaches, raspberries, strawberries or even something exotic like kiwis would be delicious!
iceboxdirections

layers

This cake is absurdly simple and I love the spin on a usual ice cream pie. The icebox cake is loaded with flavor but doesn’t leave you feeling heavy and sickly sweet like lots of cakes. You have to work a bit quickly otherwise the ingredients begin to melt as you work. I mixed the ice cream and berries, and cool whip and juice, and then placed those bowls back into the freezer until I was ready to add those layers. Wait until the cake is completely frozen before you do the cool whip piping top also, otherwise it will just sink in and be an ooey-gooey mess.

This might even be my favorite new treat…I should probably tell you that after I finished my slice, I unashamedly dropped my face to the plate and gave it a good lick…no need to be wasteful, right? Even though I’m still perfectly happy in my winter scarves, it’s been nice to feel the recent sunshine and this blackberry-vanilla icebox cake is the perfect homage to Spring, just peaking on the horizon. Enjoy!

blackberry vanilla icebox cake recipe

icebox cake recipe with handmade cards

blackberry cake recipe

easy dessert icebox cake recipe

– <3 A. 

Posts Like This: 

engraved truffles    mini pie recipe    lemon cheesecake cocktail

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A Christmas Miette

I love when friends suggest blog-ideas, it makes me feel like I’m writing for the people I love instead of just writing for myself. It was one of these dear friends who suggested I use the term “miette.” It’s a french word meaning “crumb” and since recipes are a little piece (crumb) of this blog, I thought how perfect it was!

So, here’s a Christmas crumb for this week’s recipe: Persimmon drop cookies with dark chocolate chunks…yum, yum!

Persimmon Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Persimmon cookies are a rather dark-horse in the holiday recipe list. I’ve discovered that many people have never heard or even tasted them, and I’m always shocked because they’re so delicious and a nice change from the usual flavors of Christmas.

Persimmon Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Persimmon chocolate chunk cookie recipe

1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup persimmon puree
2 and 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp. each ground cinnamon and nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1 cup sugar
1 cup chocolate (or raisins) 
1 cup chopped nuts

A note on Puree:

Really the only thing unusual about this recipe is the persimmon puree, otherwise, it’s just like a chocolate-chip cookie. If you’ve never had a persimmon, and are getting a little worried at this point about including a strange fruit into your Christmas-treat-list, don’t be! The flavor, once baked, is extremely mild and oh-so-delicious. There are two common kinds of Persimmons floating about that you might have heard of: the Fuyu and the Hachiya. The ones you need for this recipe are Hachiyas:

Persimmon cookie recipe

If you wrinkled your nose at that picture, sorry! To bake these fruits into yummy little miettes though, you have to wait until they are super soft and ripe. Once they are, just cut out the little top-notch and spoon out the inside of the fruit. I needed about three fairly small persimmons to get a cup:

persimmon cookies

If the persimmon is ripe, the skin pretty much slides right off, but I always put the puree into a glass measuring cup to make sure no little pieces slide off into my cookies. Stir the baking soda into the puree and let it stand for about 5 minutes until it thickens.

  • Combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt (I usually add a bit more spice if you like an extra cinnamon/nutmeg flavor but you don’t have to).
  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar; beat in egg, then stir in the persimmons.
  • Add flour mixture to the large bowl until it forms a soft dough, then stir in the nuts and chocolate (or raisins). I used crushed, dark chocolate pieces from a larger bar but you could, of course, just use chocolate chips.

Persimmon cookies

persimmon cookies

  • Place on an ungreased, baking sheet and bake in a preheated, 350° oven for about  12-15 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned and centers spring back. (makes about four dozen)

persimmon cookies

And that’s it! These cookies are the perfect mix of spice, fruit, and of course chocolate, that just screams– Christmas!

holiday dessert recipes

holiday dessert recipe

holiday dessert recipes

I’ll admit, while taking these pictures I couldn’t resist eating far, far too many of them, and even crumbs, once compiled, are quite the meal! Hope you enjoy, I’ll warn you though, they’re irresistible!

– <3 A. 

Handmade Dolls

The first raindrops fell since I don’t know when yesterday. Needless to say I could have counted them on one hand, but I am going to be optimistic and count that as the official advent of colder days, necessary sweaters, and excuses for keeping my slippers on longer than usual.

November is proving to be quite the party at my house. With two birthdays in as many weeks and more birthdays and Thanksgiving on the horizon, I am reminded why I love this time of year: so many excuses to decorate, dress up, light candles, make gifts, and plan get-togethers it’s absolutely terrific.

Here’s a picture-review of the recent festivities to see you into the weekend as well as inspiration for a little project in case you have a rainy afternoon this weekend that needs filling:

The party was terrific. I made pumpkin spice latte cupcakes that turned out more like muffins but were no less delicious.Email me if you want the recipe. I could argue that these should be a new pantry-staple, at least for the month of November, but I think I should probably restrain myself.

Handmade dolls

Lately I’ve been seeing the cutest pictures of little, handmade creatures all over Pinterest and the blogs I visit. I wanted to figure out how I could do it myself– even if it didn’t turn out quite as well, I think creating them is so much more fun than just buying one. So, here’s my attempt:

This project does require a bit of planning if you want to create your own image for some custom fabric. Otherwise, you could just buy fabric with an image you like and cut it out.

This was my inspiration:

Nokona loves attention so he was a very willing muse. After I drew a funny cartoon of my little-buddy, I headed over to spoonflower. Spoonflower.com is my new favorite toy. Upload an image into their fabric shop, edit it however you like, and they will send you your cartoon in fabric form:

This was my first attempt using spoonflower so all I ordered was a tiny little test-swatch to see what it would really look like. It was awfully cute when I saw it though so I decided to turn the pretty much unusable piece of fabric into a doll:

I cut out two of the image repeats…

…and then sewed them together like you would if you were making a pillow with the right-sides together:

Don’t forget to leave one side un-sewn, you’ll need an opening to turn the fabric right side out again and then stuff it full of pillow-stuffing. Once its stuffed, just sew up the remaining open side and you’re done!

If you have a little-someone in your family, I think this would be such a cute just-because gift. If not, its a fun creative exercise that pretty much anyone can do.

Have a happy weekend everyone! Hope there will be a lazy afternoon to fill with a little creativity, or, at least a little pumpkin-spice.

– <3 A.  

Sweet Memories

Before I bid adieu to October completely, and since I promised a view of my procrastination pumpkin-carving-product, here’s a last peek at some of my favorite things of October. Also, a quick homemade treat if you’re feeling domestic without feeling like you have the time to satisfy your kitchen cravings:

pumpkin carving ideas

Since this month was largely spent wishing for rain and getting sunshine instead, I celebrated the last day of the unusually warm month with a summer-treat: ice cream sandwiches. They were super easy to make and turned out stupendous.

Home-baked items are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Even when I make boxed cakes and brownies for a last-minute party gift, the three-ingredient, not quite from scratch, goodies are met with rave revues. With life going at a constant light-speed, it’s no wonder people wonder when you have time to turn on the oven.

You don’t have to be a June Cleaver to pull this off though.

ice cream sandwich recips

Chocolate chip cookies, made a little flatter and bigger when you plop them on the cookie sheet, and a scoop of slightly melted ice cream squooshed in between two cookies. Done. Delicious, yes?

homemade ice cream sandwich

I wrapped each of them in a little wax paper and tucked them into their own individual Ziploc bag just to ensure the ice cream didn’t make a mess, or the sandwiches end up tasting like freezer after a night in the dark dungeon of frozen-ness.

October was sublime. I still haven’t gotten my fill of Pumpkin-Spice yet, but there’s always November for that and hopefully, then, I’ll be wrapped three-layers deep in sweater goodness.

Hope your October left you with some sweet memories.

– <3 A.