Fresh Strawberry Yogurt Cake

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I made this cake for our family dinner last Sunday and just had to share. It is so moist and light. The only thing I think that would have made this cake better is a dollop of homemade whipped cream.

I used this recipe I found on Pinterest, Fresh Strawberry Yogurt Cake

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Sunday Prep Day

I like to be prepared as I can be for the week ahead. I would love to say I do this because I am an ultra organized person but in all honesty it is because I don’t function well in the morning. It takes about 3 cups of coffee to get me moving. Which means yes, I’m the mom in the carpool line with bedhead and wearing a coat that covers up my pajamas; much to my children’s dismay.

I start by making all of my kids and hubby’s lunches for the next day. This provides for a smoother morning just in case we accidently oversleep. It doesn’t however guarantee they wont forget to grab their lunches on the way out the door to work or school. This happens more often then I would like, but by lunch time I am fully caffeinated and appropriately dressed so that I can drive their forgotten lunches up to school.

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Next I steep enough tea for the week. This is mainly for my husband and I. This week I made orange mint green tea. Once you learn how simple it is to make some fresh energizing tea ahead of time you will feel more creative about making your own flavor combinations. Next week I’m going to try steeping my tea with cucumbers and strawberries. Keep the tea in the fridge and it stays fresh all week.

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Now to the baking. I try and offer a healthy breakfast option that my family can just grab and go. I bake three varieties of muffins and or breakfast cookies. This is what I tried this week; healthy zucchini muffins,  carrot cake oatmeal cookies and applesauce oat muffins. The applesauce oat muffins were hands down my family’s favorite. I always double each recipe and freeze the extras. I individually wrap each muffin and then put them in a freezer zip-lock bag.

Hopefully these ideas will help you out if your morning are anything like mine.

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Deep Dish Apple Pie

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My hubby is a lover of all things apple. Every year for his birthday I make an apple pie from scratch for him. It has been my quest throughout our marriage to take my pie making game up a level each year. This year after he tasted this pie he actually had a tear in his eye. Success!

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For the crust I found what I would consider one of the best pie crust recipes ever discovered. Click this link for the pie crust. I blended my pie crust ingredients in my Ninja blender on pulse. It was amazingly simple this way which is great for me since I HATE making pie dough. I then separated it into 2 equal parts and wrapped each one in plastic wrap. I let it rest for an hour. Then roll out one of the parts of dough and lay in a 2 inch deep pie dish.

Ingredient List:

10 apples of your choosing, red for a sweeter pie and green for a more tart pie

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 cup butter

Topping:

1 egg white combined with 3T of water

1/8 cup granulated sugar mixed with 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.

First peel, core and slice all of the apples. I use a potato peeler for all my apple. Next in a large bowl add all of the ingredients except the butter and toppings. Mix by hand until all of the apple slices are coated in the sugar and flour mixture. If your apples are extra juicy you may need to add more flour. Place the apple mixture in your prepared pie crust. Cut 1/4 cup of butter into small pieces and randomly place them on the apples.

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Then roll out the top crust. I don’t worry about the shape of the top crust as long as it is an even thickness and can cover the top of the pie. Once you lay the top crust over the apples I use kitchen scissors to trim the edges. After the top crust has been trimmed I pinch the bottom crust and the top crust together with my fingers.

Cut 4-6 slits on the top of the pie to let the steam escape while baking. Then take your egg wash and brush lightly all over the top off the pie. Sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar mixture over the top.

Place the pie on a baking sheet and put in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees for 60-90 minutes. Check every 30 minutes to make sure the edges of the crust aren’t getting too dark. If you notice the edges getting too dark remove the pie from the oven and cover the edges with aluminum foil then return to the oven.

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Just try and let all of this deliciousness cool before grabbing a fork and digging in.

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Zesty Lemon Pie

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This recipe is a spin-off of my previous recipe post Lemon Bars. I love to make it this way because when you add fresh fruit on top of this pie it looks like an upscale dessert that you spent hours on instead of minutes.

First gather all of your ingredients:

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1 extra large graham cracker crust – Feel free to make your own, I took the easy way out with a store bought crust.

2 1/4 cups sugar

6 eggs

1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

2 T. freshly grated lemon rind

1/2 +1/4 tsp. baking powder

1/3 cup all purpose flour

Powdered sugar

Fresh berries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. While the oven is pre-heating combine all ingredients except the powdered sugar and berries in a mixing bowl. Mix for about 1 minute at low speed until all ingredients are combined.

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Next place your graham cracker crust on a baking sheet. Then pour the lemon mixture into the pie shell. Place the baking sheet with the pie on it in the oven for an hour or until the pie no longer jiggles.

Once the pie is completely cooled sprinkle the top with powered sugar and top with the fresh berries. This is a great pie to bring to a summer BBQ.

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Flourless Chocolate Cake

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This is such a decadent chocolate cake. I have been making this cake for over a decade. It is always a huge hit with gluten lovers and haters. Most people don’t even know that it is gluten free.

Ingredients:

5 eggs

1/2 cup sugar

1 T. cocoa powder

2 tsp. vanilla

1 1/4 cup chocolate chips

1 cup unsalted butter

The higher quality of chocolate and butter you use in this recipe the better the cake will taste. I prefer Ghirardelli semi- sweet chocolate and Challenge or Land O’ Lakes butter.

After you gather all of your ingredients pre-heat your oven to 325 degrees.

First lightly grease a 10 inch springform pan (cheesecake pan). Next cut parchment paper the size of your pan and then lay the parchment on the bottom. Spray the pan with grease again. Then wrap the bottom and sides of the pan with aluminum foil. This will prevent the batter from leaking out all over your oven while cooking. It only took one messy oven for me to learn this valuable lesson.

Now you are going to put the chocolate chips and butter into a microwave safe bowl. Melt for 30 second intervals, stirring in-between. Once completely melted and combined set aside. Then beat all of the remaining ingredients together for 1 1/2 minutes. Slowly drizzle in your melted chocolate while you continue to mix at medium speed.

Once you have everything mixed together pour into your springform pan. Place the pan on a baking sheet and put both in your pre-heated oven for 35-40 minutes or until set. Remove from the oven and let cool for 20 minutes.  Don’t freak out when you return to check on your cake. The cake will decrease in size by about half. Remove the foil and the ring around the pan. When the cake is completely cooled invert it on to a cake plate removing the remaining part of the springform pan and parchment paper. Lightly dust with cocoa powder and add a cluster of fresh raspberries to the top. Voila! Now you have a decadent gluten free dessert to please the masses.

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My Favorite Shortbread Cookies

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These cookies are to die for. Melt in your mouth and have you begging for more type of cookies. The cookies I made today are lightly sprinkled with colored sugar but these cookies are extremely sturdy and perfect for frosting.

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Here is the recipe:

1 1/2 pounds of unsalted butter, softened (the higher quality of butter the better the cookie, I use Challenge butter)

2 Cups powdered sugar

2 pounds and 4 ounces all purpose flour

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. vanilla or almond flavoring

In a mixer blend the butter and powdered sugar together. Add the salt and vanilla then gradually add in the flour. Mix only till combined. Do not over mix. Divide the dough in 2 equal parts and wrap in saran wrap. Let rest for about an hour.

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This dough is so wonderful to work with. I lightly flour my counter top and just use my hand to press the dough out to 1/4 of an inch thickness. Use your desired cookie cutters and then place on an ungreased baking sheet. For the above cookies I used and egg wash (1 egg white mixed with 2 T. of water). After I brushed the egg wash on the cookies I then sprinkled the tops of the cookies with colored sugar. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Once they have cooled for at least 2 minutes the cookies can be removed from the pan.

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Hope this recipe will become a family favorite.

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Maraschino Cherry Cookies

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This is a perfect quick and easy Valentine’s Day cookie. It took less then 10 minutes to whip up. What you will need:

Dough:

1 cup salted butter, softened

1/2 cup powdered sugar

2tsp. Maraschino cherry juice

2 cups All-purpose flour

pinch of salt

1/2tsp. almond extract

2-3 drops of red food coloring

12-15 Maraschino cherries without the stems

Frosting:

3/4 cup powdered sugar

2-3 T. Maraschino cherry juice

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First pre-heat your oven to 325 degrees and then line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. In a medium sized bowl using a hand mixer blend the butter, cherry juice and powdered sugar, or as my daughter likes to call it snow. After that is well combined, slowly add the flour and salt. Once the previous ingredients are all combined add in the food coloring and almond extract. I like to do this part by hand, mainly because it’s like playing with play-dough except it smells and tastes much better. Oh, to be a kid with endless hours to spare sculpting and kneading play-dough.

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I then form the pink dough into 1 inch balls and place them on my prepared baking sheet. Then with my thumb I press an indention in the middle of each one. After that I place a maraschino cherry in each one. I encourage you to save the stems for a friendly family competition of tying the cherry stems into knots. Winner gets a cookie! Then place the sheet pan of cookies into the pre-heated oven. I bake them for 17-20 minutes or till lightly browned on the bottom.

While the cookies are baking it’s time to make the frosting. This is super simple, just add your powdered sugar and cherry juice and stir till it becomes a medium consistency; in-between soupy and concrete. 🙂

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Once the cookies have baked and cooled for at least 10 minutes drizzle the tops of the cookies with the frosting. I found a fork works best for drizzling.

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Hope you enjoy this pink treat. Don’t forget to follow my blog and you can keep up with me on Pinterst and Instagram. Like my Facebook page Facebook