Tag Archives: dessert

Lavender-Blueberry Cheesecake Bars

In my pantry today:
  • 1 box gluten-free white cake mix
  • 1 stick butter
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 4 eggs
  • 1.5 tsp. vanilla
  • 1.5 drops doTerra® lavender essential oil
  • 2/3 lb. powdered sugar
  • 1 c frozen blueberries
lavenderblueberrycheesecakeMix cake mix, butter and egg until crumbly rather than powdery. Pat down into a 9″x13″ pan, pushing sides slightly up. Have cream cheese and eggs at room temperature and mix cream cheese, eggs and vanilla until they are a smooth liquid — I used a food processor for this and I do not consider that in any way cheating.  Add powdered sugar to the food processor,  pulsing between every cup or so. Then — and here’s where I step blindly into the abyss — I added a drop and a half of lavender essential oil. In addition to smelling wonderful, this oil happens to be pure enough to be eaten. I lavenderblueberrycheesecakebarshave heard tale of lavender being a flavor as well as a scent. I wanted to try, and cheesecake can be a gentle delivery medium for a first taste of something long considered just a perfume plant. After it’s been pulsed in, take a deep breath and pour it all over the cake mix. In a small sauce pan, heat frozen blueberries until smashable and drizzle they and their liquids onto the cheesy topping. Swirl with abandon. Bake at 300° for 60 minutes or until a butter knife comes out the middle relatively clean. Cool very completely (everything has to settle in together) and cut into squares. I cannot in good legal conscience guarantee that you will be delighted, but, well, you’ll probably be delighted. 5 spoons!

Grape-elling With Sweet Reality

In my pantry today:

  • 2 c red grapes
  • 1 c blueberries
  • 1/4 c white sugar
  • 1/3 c white wine
  • 1 c water
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup oatmeal (any type but instant)

So those grapes that seemed so delicious and friendly because of that sale rack on which they so leisurely reclined? Yeah, over several days the entire bag has gone into just about every room in the house with the best of intentions and I cannot live this lie any longer. Time for a crumble.

Slice the grapes in half but not the blueberries. Put in a cold pan with corn starch mixed into water and white sugar (I have not opened this bag of sugar in nearly a year you guys), add wine and bring to a low boil on M. Reduce heat to ML and stir until thick. Mash together the last four ingredients above to make the topping and dollop on the grapes/blueberries; bake in a 350° oven for 25-30m and serve some hot then serve some cold — 4 spoons!


Carrorarine Pops!

In my pantry today:

  • 1 c kale
  • 2 nectarines
  • 1 navel orange (seeds removed)
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1/2 c plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp ground flax

Chop kale, remove stems and blanch for 10 seconds; drain. In the food processor, put all ingredients and blend until at your preferred consistency. Fill popsicle molds with the delicious nutrition and freeze ’til NOM. 4 spoons!

Indian(-inspired) Rice Pudding

  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1 c cooked rice
  • 1.5 c overcooked rice you’ve flattened into a mushpaste
  • 4 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 c white sugar
  • 3 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 3/4 c coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp crushed cashews

This rice pudding is inspired by Indian rice pudding, but I have no intentions of calling it such — I used what I had, and it turned out pretty tasty! Melt butter in the bottom of a medium sauce pot. Stir together: 2 c almond milk, sugar, cardamom and rice. Pour mixture into pot and bring to a boil on M. Let continue to on ML for about 20-30 m. Once it begins to thicken, add last cup of almond milk and continue stirring while it comes back to a boil on M. Reduce heat back to ML and let continue to boil for another 20-30m. Stir in coconut milk and let continue to cook on ML for 10-20m. Refrigerate pot contents and serve warm or when chilled. I prefer chilled, as that is how most area Indian restaurants serve theirs… but as this isn’t a proper, respectful derivation I cannot judge you. 4 spoons!

No-Bake Minced Berry Cheesecake (Or “Why My Tongue is Disabled”)

In my pantry today:

  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 6 oz non-dairy whipped topping
  • 3/4 c confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 tsp imitation butter extract
  • 1 prepared graham crust
  • 1 c minced strawberries
  • 1 c halved blueberries
  • 1/2 tsp white sugar

This one’s easy, especially with a food processor. I can’t justify constant sweets but what else can I do with all the healthy, color-rich berries in my fridge before they spoil? Specifically, these berries still had a few more days before skin-wrinkling, so the clock was ticking on doing anything that didn’t include throwing them into a smoothie. Soften cream cheese, then put it in the food processor with whipped cream, confectioner’s sugar and extract. Blend until smooth then pour into a pie shell you didn’t have to make (in some cases, not having to do the work makes things even more delicious). Gently massage a 1/2 tsp of white sugar into the berries you had meticulously sliced and top the pie. Let the whole shebang set in the freezer for as long as and as hard as you want your pie. Mmm. Pie.

Now, this is one of those big steps for me: I do not like berries. I don’t really much care for any fruit, truth be told. This is an obvious conflict of interest between my health and tastebuds, but by and large I imagine the taste regions on my tongue are a little skewed. My sensory reactions to things began to change around 2003, and for a long time the inside of my mouth (tongue included) was numb. What do these two things mean?

1. Sometimes a delicious meal set before me tastes entirely like dish soap. This won’t happen often, and it certainly wouldn’t deign to be a predictable occurrence.

2. So in the same vein of being able to set my hands in frying pans because I had no functioning pain receptors, once I downed an entire bottle of habanero syrup as a party trick. Because I am a vainglorious idiot. I didn’t feel it, but I did wake the next morning with acid burns that had removed part of the top layer of my tongue. Again, I couldn’t feel any of it; I just don’t really show off that particular muscle in public, which is a perfectly fine outcome by our culture.

What, you ask, do these things have to do with my ever-increasing distaste of fruit? I’m not a doctor (in case you weren’t certain) but I’m guessing the front and middle of my tongue is a little more out of the game than the “sour” receptors. Sour things curdle my face the way a shot of whiskey hurts a teenager’s disposition. I do not like them, condone them or want to see them in my home. And berries are sour as hell. Unless overly sugared or thrown in a smoothie, I want no part of most fruits. Don’t worry, dear readers — I love vegetables enough to cover the fruit thing. And there’s a box of powdered sugar ever at the ready in my cupboards.

And despite the whole “fruit” issue, this still earned 4 spoons.