Category Archives: Dessert

#WinePW Clear to See

Boozy Berry Pie


Happy Valentine’s Day!!!!  Today’s post is part of WinePW #9 – an awesome event that pairs delicious foods with fantastic wines that was started by David last June.  Since today is Valentine’s day I decided to go with something super sweet and sum what red.  Once upon a time I could drink red wines, and then I hit my early 20s and that ability went away.  So I started exploring white wines and with that the amazing world of Reislings.  From California to Australia to Germany to Maryland – these sweet whites are fantastic for pairing with spicy foods or for enhancing the sweetness of fresh fruit!  For this event I went with a local Reisling from Basignani winery which is just up the road from me in Sparks, MD.  I tend towards Reislings that are more on the fruity side than the floral side, and this one certainly falls in that arena!  With that, I knew I wanted to do a dessert featuring the berries that have started popping up at the local markets, thanks to greenhouses and high tunnels.   This pies features three awesome fruits who have the right amount of subtle tartness to go perfectly with my peach influenced wine.   Using the white wine also means no added sugar – and depending on the crust being used this dish can be gluten free and/or vegan.  I went with a press-in-pan graham cracker crust, skipping the cinnamon tho this time and using a honey graham cracker.

#WinePW Clear to See

Serves 6-8


  • Favorite Pie Crust (bottom only)
  • 2 tbsp Riesling
  • 3 cups mixed berries
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar


  1. Preheat oven to 375. Line a 9inch pie pan with your favorite crust (I used a press-in-pan graham cracker crust) and set aside.
  2. Heat the wine over low heat in a deep saute dish for a few minutes, then add the berries and continue cooking for 10 minutes - stirring frequently but being careful to not break too many of the berries. Turn heat to low and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Pour in to pie crust.
  3. Bake for 25 minutes, remove from oven and sit for 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Make sure to check out what everyone else came up with as part of this awesome challenge!  Looking forward to seeing all sorts of tasting wine pairings – and even more so looking forward to next month!!!

I’ve always been a fan of mixed berry pies, but generally the costs associated with three (or more!) types of berries have kept me from making them at home.  However, this past weekend I had a eureka moment and picked up a “berry fruit salad” container from the ready made department.  So instead of spending $10 or more, it was closer to $4 – much better!  The mixture I grabbed included strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries which made it the perfect combo for my boozy creation!

I Need Your Love

Mini Ginger Cheesecakes


Welcome to the last post of TripleSBites – oh what a week this has been!  From Brussel Sprouts to Caribbean Rice and Beans to VooDoo Fries, so many incredible recipes thanks to so many incredible products from our sponsors.   With that another HUGE thank you to the incredible sponsors from this event, it has been a pleasure working with all your amazing products.

For my final post I knew it needed to be something BIG and something sweet!  When it comes to dishes that say I love you to my valentine, there is only one sweet treat that can come close to Creme Brulee: Cheesecake!  In place of the standard wedding cake, we had a three tiered Dulce de Leche Cheesecake which is why I knew making my own version was the perfect way to end the challenge.  This cheesecake is a twist on the standard and not just in the size department with a bit of ginger to spice things up!

Mini Cheesecakes

Serves 8


  • 2 8oz containers of cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp ginger, shredded
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tbsp melted butter


  1. Cream together the sugar and cream cheese for 10 minutes, then add the eggs one at a time before adding the vanilla, ginger, and Greek yogurt.
  2. Continue creaming together for 5 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 325
  4. Mix together the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter then press in to the bottom of a cupcake tin or other small tin, then go half way up the sides. Spoon in the cheesecake mixture and fill to the top.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Turn oven off and allow cheesecake to cool in the oven for 10 minutes before removing. Place cheesecakes in fridge, uncovered, and allow to cool for at least 3hrs.
  6. Top with fresh fruit and enjoy!

The cute little containers came from Ikea, an awesome find in their “last chance” section!  The best part is that they can unfold for those who want to enjoy their treat outside of the wrapping.  I topped these mini-treats with fresh berries that I heated up a bit in order to create a bit of a sauce.  No need for sugar!

This has been such a fun week, I’m so beyond thankful that I was able to participate in this!  These recipes have been sexy, saucy, and spicy – and filled with love.  Thanks to everyone who has stopped by, and for anyone that hasn’t signed up for the giveaway go and do it NOW!!!!

Little Shop

Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies


Bonus Secret Recipe Club Post!!!!  I love it when timing works out and I’m able to adopt a blog, especially when they are from a different group and thus one that I would never be assigned.  Today’s bonus post comes from Group D of the Secret Recipe Club and the awesomely named Feed Me Seymour – which has resulted in Little Shop of Horrors being stuck in my head for the last week! Feed Me Seymour is the product of Kim, who is the product of a pastry chef – which is why I had to pick a baked good.   There are so many tasty looking pastries on Kim’s blog, including her Blueberry Scones, but in the end I couldn’t resist giving her Chocolate Fudge Thumbprint Cookies a whirl.   I wound up making three varieties: one as written, one with nutella frosting (I blame these), and one with raspberry jam.

Little Shop

Serves: Makes 4 dozen cookies


  • Cookies:
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • Frosting:
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup light cream


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. In the bowl of a mixer, combine butter and sugar and beat until fluffy.
  2. Blend in eggs one at a time then slowly mix in the cocoa powder.
  3. Add in flour, salt and baking powder and mix until completely incorporated.
  4. Roll dough into 1 ½ inch balls. Place them on the cookie sheet and flatten them slightly.
  5. Bake for ten minutes. Remove from the oven and gently press with the back of a spoon (or thumb!) to form an indent before removing to cooling rack.
  6. To make frosting, stir melted butter into cocoa. Add powdered sugar and mix well.
  7. Add in vanilla then cream and stir well until it is spreadable.
  8. Use a spoon spread icing onto the indent of each cookie, repeat for another other topping desired.

My gaming group LOVED these cookies!  It was insane to watch them disappear, I couldn’t fill the plate fast enough!!  While I preferred the raspberry version, the chocolate ganache and nutella ones were the first to disappear – tho not sure which one went first.   I’m sort of glad Kim’s original partner bailed, as this cookies were insanely good and by far the easiest thumbprint cookies I’ve ever tried!   Another win for the SRC and as a bonus I’m sending this over to /52weeksofcooking for their “two way” challenge tho technically I made these cookies three ways.

By the way this is only one of three posts today, so make sure to check out the others as well!

If You Got

Chocolate Chip Banana Cakechoco_banana_cake

Welcome to Group A’s first posting session for 2015!  I’m so excited to be participating in the Secret Recipe Club for another year – and can’t wait to see how many awesome things I’ll get to make this year.  My first assigned blog of the year is Claire K Creations which is run by the fantastic Claire C.  Her bog is packed with all sorts of goodies running from the savory to sweet and healthy to decadent.  I decided to pick something in the middle, going with her Chocolate Banana Cake, figuring that the addition of bananas made it a “healthier” dessert option – I mean that’s how this all works, right???  I love that the recipe is inspired by one from a book and while I haven’t read that Jane Green novel, I have enjoyed a few of her works.   I did screw up a bit with the recipe as I totally missed that the chocolate was to be melted, and I totally had already folded in my chocolate chips by that point.  However it still turned out fantastic!

If You Got

Serves 8-10


  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp cocoa
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed


  1. Preheat to 325 and lightly grease a 9 inch tart or spingform pan.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar for 10 minutes or until fluffy, continue to beat the mixture while slowly adding the eggs.
  3. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and sift in the dry ingredients, folding them in to the batter.
  4. Stir in the mashed banana until the batter is even and then fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Bake the cake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the middle of the cake.
  6. Let it rest in the pan for 5 minutes before flipping it onto a cooling rack.
  7. Serve the cake warm topped with powdered sugar.

Oh, did I mention Claire is also an Aussie?  Another awesome part of her blog was finding out about all the local treats which my little sister will be exploring in just a few months when she heads south for her 6 month (or 18month) adventure in the Land of Oz.

Quick heads up – this is only 1 of 3 blog posts that I have going up today, so be sure to check all of them out!

On Without End

S’mores Cookies


Welcome to a special edition of the Secret Recipe Club featuring Cookies!  All of today’s posts are centered on that class dessert – so if you check out every post you will have over 40 new recipes.  I was so excited to sign up for this challenge, and went to check out my assigned blog as soon as I got the email.  I have been checking out Amy’s Cooking Adventure for a bit of time now, so seeing her name in the email resulted in a rather embarrassing squeal of delight as I knew her blog was stuffed with delicious treats.  There are so many insanely good options on Amy’s blog, and picking one recipe was not an easy task.  Seven cookie recipes made my short list, and looking at back at my full list I must have been on a seasonal kick as almost every one of them features a common seasonal “ingredient”.  Ranging from two chocolate peppermint cookies, to pumpkin latte (!!!) to two s’mores variations – which is what I went with in the end.  Reading her post about the outdoor fire place made me very thankful for our fire pit, and it’s because of our fire pit that we still had many of the ingredients required for this post.   I did have to make a few changes to her recipe as I couldn’t find kosher mini-marshmallows which I know have to exist somewhere outside of the internet.  So I filled a cup with hot water and used my kitchen shears to trim the full size ones in to quarters – dipping the shears in the hot water as needed.

On Without End

Serves: Yields 32 cookies


  • 2 cups mini-marshmallows
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbles (6 sheets)
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose floor
  • 1 cup crushed Hershey Bars (or milk chocolate chip)


  1. Heat oven to broil and place a single layer of mini-marshmallows on a cookie sheet and broil for 2 minutes or until the tops of golden. Set aside
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together for 10 minutes, then add in the vanilla extract, salt, and egg - mix well.
  3. IN a small bowl mix together the graham crack crumbs, flour, and baking soda. Quickly mix in to the wet ingredients and mix until just blended. Cover and place in the fridge for an hour.
  4. After an hour, preheat oven to 375 and stir the chocolate chips in to the dough.
  5. Form a walnut sized ball of dough, and then press a mini-marshmallow in to the middle - wrapping dough around the marshmallow before placing on a cookie sheet lines with parchment.
  6. Bake for 9 minutes, then allow cookies to cool on sheet for 2 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

So with this post SRC is finished for 2014!  I’ll be back in January posting an “orphan” blog with Group D and starting in February I’ll be posting with my regular group A.  This has been another fantastic year filled with tons of incredible recipes, and I’m thrilled that it ended on such a sweet note.