Sweet Treats

Recipe—Sweet Cherry Chip Dip

Does anyone else have a weakness for fruit and chocolate besides me? I love the combination. I will eat chocolate covered bananas, strawberries, mandarins, apples, cherries, you name it. I wont discriminate. Now add in cream cheese, mind blown!

This dip combines the sweet creaminess of a cheesecake with the flavor of cherries and the crunchiness of chocolate chips giving you the best dessert dip ever! I warn you though, if you are like me you will be eating this by the spoonful. (I can sometimes be a pig like that.) I like to serve this with chocolate graham crackers but you can serve it with anything you want. Nilla wafers, animal crackers, Oreos, etc. Go crazy with your dipping vessles! It is perfect to bring to a party and your friends will appreciate the unique dessert that is easy to serve and sure to be enjoyed by all!

Note: This will thicken up once refrigerated. I like to take it out about a half hour before I serve it so that it isn’t so firm that it breaks the crackers when dipping.

INGREDIENTS
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 c butter, softened
1/2 c maraschino cherry juice (the liquid from the jar of cherries)
2 1/2 c powdered sugar
1/2 c maraschino cherries, chopped
1 c mini chocolate chips, divided
Chocolate graham crackers or similar item for dipping

STEPS

  • In a large mixing bowl beat together the cream cheese and butter until well combined.
  • Add in the maraschino cherry juice and powdered sugar until well combined and smooth.
  • Fold in the chopped cherries and 3/4 cup of the mini chocolate chips.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with the remaining chocolate chips.
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Recipe adapted from Shugary Sweets.

If you like that, then maybe you will love this!

Funfetti Cake Batter Cookie DipFunfetti Cake Batter Cookie Dip

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Snacks

Recipe—S’More Snack Mix

S’more snack mix please! Last year I made a Valentine’s Day Snack Mix that was a total hit with my followers and also my little man’s little buddies at school. Well it’s that time of year again and I was trying to come up with something fun. All kids love Teddy Grahams so those were a given ingredient. What goes better with graham crackers than M&M’s and marshmallows? This was a no brainer! I had to make s’more snack mix. This is a perfect treat whether or not it’s Valentine’s Day. I’m thinking I will make a big batch for our next summer camping trip (with traditional M&M’s of course). You can just serve it in a large bowl (perfect for a party) ORRRRR you can make your own Valentine’s Day snack bags to pass out!

Last year I had a couple people contact me requesting that I share my valentine snack bag design so that they could print and make their own. This year I thought I would just go ahead and include it right here on my blog. That’s right! You can download a pdf of the cute cards I designed and print and make your own! How fun is that?!? A special homemade bag of snack mix for the kiddos to share with their friends! You’re welcome.

Click to Download PDF
Click to Download PDF

I hope you enjoy this fabulous mix as much as me and my munchkin do! I wish all of my followers a wonderful Valentine’s Day filled with lots of love and happiness.

xoxox
The Diva

Note: This recipe makes enough to fill 24–26 snack size Ziploc bags or 1 large bowl. IF you don’t want to print and trim these on your own just take the pdf file to Kinkos or Staples and they can do the work for you. 😉

INGREDIENTS
3 (8 oz) bags Honey Teddy Grahams
10 oz bag mini marshmallows
2 (12.6) oz bags Valentine’s M&M’s

STEPS

  • Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix.

STEPS TO CREATE THE VALENTINE’S DAY SNACK BAGS

  • Make snack mix as directed above.
  • Distribute mix into snack sized ziplock bags.
  • Click on the above picture of the Valentine’s Day tabs.
  • Save the pdf to your computer.
  • Print out however many pages you will need to a heavy card stock.
  • Cut out the valentines along the black trim marks.
  • Fill in the “To” and “From” portion of the valentine.
  • Fold each valentine in half.
  • Staple along the top of the ziploc bag.
  • Wellah!

 

If you like this recipe, perhaps you will LOVE this!

Snacks

Recipe—Valentine’s Day Snack Mix

If you are on Pinterest then you have probably seen one form or another of “Puppy Chow” snack mixes. (Basically a super sweet treat made from chocolate covered Chex cereal and tossed with other tasty goods.) These snack mixes are popping up everywhere! I saw one the other day for Valentine’s Day that looked super cute. I liked the idea of doing something like this for my son and all his little classmates at school but thought his teacher’s may not appreciate it if I get a classroom full of 2 and 3 year olds all hopped up on sugar. I decided to create this lower sugar version snack mix that is great for people of all ages. Have fun mixing any and all of your favorite bite size snacks!

Note: This recipe makes enough to fill 24–26 snack size Ziploc bags or 1 large bowl.

Here are my final goodie bags. I made some cute tags that I folded in half and stapled over the top.

INGREDIENTS
15.5 oz box Strawberry Frosted Mini Wheats
10 oz box Honey Teddy Grahams
2 c yogurt covered raisins
2 c raspberry yogurt covered pretzels
1 1/2 c dried cranberries
1.25 oz yo’ drops crunchable yogurt

STEPS

  • Combine all ingredients and one large bowl and use a large serving spoon or scoop to mix together gently.
  • Divide mix into snack size bags or serve in one large bowl.
  • Enjoy!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Sweet Treats

Recipe—Chocolate Truffle Pie

Valentine’s day is right around the corner and what says Valentine’s Day better than a big slice of sinfully rich chocolate truffle pie? I know a lot of people like to go out to eat on what is supposed to be the most romantic day of the year but I have always been more of a homebody on this Hallmark Holiday. I like setting the table with candles and our best linens and cooking my husband a nice romantic dinner at home. And like all romantic dinners even one at home needs a wickedly decadent dessert. That’s why I love this truffle pie, there is not one, but two rich chocolate layers finished off with a light whip cream topping. Perfect for the chocolate lover in your life!

STEP 1: GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST
2 c graham cracker crumbs
1/3 c white sugar
1/2 c butter, melted

  • Mix all ingredients together.
  • Press the graham cracker mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a pie dish using the backside of a large spoon or rubber spatula.
  • Place in freezer.

STEP 2: TRUFFLE FILLING 
2/3 c heavy cream
6 oz bittersweet chocolate chips

  • In a small saucepan bring the cream to a simmer. (Be sure it does not boil over.)
  • Place the chocolate chips in a small mixing bowl and pour the hot cream over the top of them.
  • Let stand for 1 minute and then using a fork gently whisk until smooth.
  • Pour the truffle filling into the piecrust and gently spread it out evenly.
  • Place in the freezer for 20 minutes.

STEP 3: WHIPPED CHOCOLATE FILLING 
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 c heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla

  • In a small saucepan bring a 1/2 cup of the cream to a simmer. (Be sure it does not boil over.)
  • Place the chocolate chips in a small mixing bowl and pour the hot cream over the top of them.
  • Let stand for 1 minute and then using a fork gently whisk until smooth.
  • Let cool to room temperature.
  • In a medium mixing bowl beat the remaining cup of cream on medium-high speed until thick and fluffy.
  • Add the melted chocolate mixture and the vanilla and continue beating until thickened.
  • Spread the whipped chocolate filling over the truffle layer.
  • Place in refrigerator.

STEP 4: WHIPPED CREAM TOPPING
1 c heavy cream
1/4 c powdered sugar
chocolate bar (for garnish)

  • Beat the cream and powdered sugar on medium high speed until thick enough that stiff peaks form.
  • Spread the whipped cream over the top of the pie.
  • Using a grater or vegetable peeler make shavings off the chocolate bar.
  • Garnish finished pie with chocolate shavings.
  • Chill for 5–6 hours or overnight before serving.

Recipe adapted from Deen Bros.

Dinners, Sauces

Recipe—Beef Wellington with a Red Wine Mushroom Gravy

Still trying to rack your brain about what you will be cooking up your sweetie for Valentine’s Day? If you’re looking for a meal sure to impress, search no further. Beef wellington is very elegant and full of flavor. This has become my favorite dinner for special occasions. It is certainly a little more time consuming to make, but it is relatively easy and well worth it. I was skeptical of the liver pate at first, but paired with mushrooms and fresh herbs, the flavor is rich and fabulous. If you have never had a “foodgasm,” this will certainly cause you to have your first.  My husband and I were moaning through the entire dinner when I made it for the first time.

Note: This dish can be made with individual beef filets if you are unable to find a small tenderloin roast. You can prepare the pastry wrapped meat a day ahead of time for an effortless meal.

BEEF INGREDIENTS
2–3 lb beef tenderloin roast
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper
1/4 c butter
4 tbsp brandy
1/2 cup fresh mushrooms, finely chopped
1 (4 ounce) can liver pate
2 green onions, chopped
3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

RED WINE MUSHROOM GRAVY INGREDIENTS
1/4 c yellow onion, minced
6 large mushrooms, sliced
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 c red wine
1 (10 1/2 oz) can beef broth
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

PASTRY INGREDIENTS
1 package Pepperidge Farm puff pastry sheets at room temperature
1 egg, beaten

BEEF STEPS

  • Rub roast with garlic and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Melt butter in large skillet.
  • Sear the roast in skillet over medium-high heat for 4–5 minutes on each side.
  • Pour brandy over the roast and be sure to evenly coat it. (Flame brandy if you are comfortable with doing so.)
  • Remove roast from pan and set aside uncovered.
  • In the same skillet, sauté chopped mushrooms for 4­–5 minutes and set aside. Allow mushrooms to cool for a few minutes.
  • Mix pate with cooled mushrooms, green onions, and parsley.

RED WINE MUSHROOM GRAVY STEPS

  • Over medium heat, sauté yellow onion and sliced mushrooms using the same skillet.
  • Stir in flour and gradually add wine, broth, and bay leaf.
  • Stir until sauce bubbles and is thickened.
  • Season with salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce.

PASTRY STEPS

  • Roll out pastry sheet and spread your pate mixture evenly leaving a one-inch border around the edge.
  • Place the cooked roast at one end of the pastry sheet and roll away from you.
  • Fold in the ends of the pastry being sure that the entire roast is covered.
  • Place seam side down on a cookie sheet or in a Pyrex dish.
  • Using the second sheet of puff pastry, finish off your wrapped roast with decorative elements if you’d like. I recommend using a festive cookie cutter. This extra step yields impressive results. Dough can be attached using beaten egg.
  • Brush pastry with the beaten egg.
  • Bake at 425º for 20–25 minutes, or until pastry is browned.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Transfer to cutting board and allow to rest for 3–4 minutes.
  • Slice roast and serve.