Category: Desserts

Cranberry-Apple Sauce with Maple Syrup and Cinnamon

Cran-Apple Sauce with Maple Syrup and Cinnamon
Cranberry sauce is a must on my Thanksgiving table.  Cranberry-apple sauce with maple syrup and cinnamon is the recipe you will use going forward.  The apples along with the maple syrup naturally sweeten the sauce eliminating the need for added sugar…#winning..  

I LOVE cranberry sauce with turkey.  I could never really get into the kind that looked like a can in slices on a plate, but real cranberry sauce….LOVE IT!!  I remember it being my job to make it growing up at our Thanksgiving.   I grew up in central MN on a lake and every year (it seemed anyway) the lake was frozen enough for skating so we would spend the morning on the ice and then with bright, red cheeks and in my Thanksgiving outfit (long underwear) I would help Mom with the feast….my job, cranberries.  I would read the directions on the package and do things just as instructed and the sauce was great!  Such beautiful color and the perfect accompaniment to our turkey.  Very fond memories friends…my parents were transplants from Chicago, so our Thanksgiving was often just the 4 of us and it was magical.  This year,at my house there will be a few more than 4, 12 in fact, and I will be making the cranberry sauce yet again, with perhaps a hand from one of my kids.  We will be making cranberry-apple sauce with maple syrup and cinnamon and I am going to say it…YOU SHOULD TOO!!!!!  No sugar in this one, natural sweeteners from the maple syrup and the apples.  This sauce is great with turkey (yes, I tested it with, but I also tested it with vanilla ice cream and toasted pecans and guess what?!?  IT WAS AMAZING!!  AND, I plan to serve any leftovers with yogurt and granola (along with on Friday morning before the days festivities commence.  Dinner, dessert and breakfast all in one recipe…you are welcome.  ♥ (more…)

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins with Fresh Nutmeg

‘Tis the season for pumpkin…these muffins, more like a dessert, will be gone as soon as you pull them out of the oven…when they have perfect little melty bites of chocolate throughout each one..


Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Cinnamon Whipped Cream

Dark Chocolate, Cinnamon Zucchini Cake
“Do you like cooking or baking more,” I am often asked…I like COOKING a lot more, but when I bake I will try to make it count and this dark chocolate, cinnamon, zucchini cake is a prime example….THIS IS REALLY GOOD!!

A weird combination??  YES, it is, but do you have mass quantities of zucchini that you are trying to use or do you think this just might be that “healthy” dessert you are looking for?  It will use up some zucchini, 3 cups in fact, but I cannot in all honesty say it is “healthy” because of that fact.  What I do know is that it is a damn good chocolate cake so let’s get to the baking!! (more…)

Blueberry Streusel

Blueberry Streusel
Look at these!!!! Soft cookie crust, jammy blueberry filling and cinnamon streusel topping…, oh my!!

I was inspired to make these amazing blueberry streusel bars using a rhubarb struesel ( that has been handed down to me.  You know the one from that worn, tattered, church cookbook that everyone LOVES…this is that recipe, with a twist!  My mom has been making this one with the rhubarb since I can remember and it never fails that there is a pan of this on her counter at all times during the summer.  I now make it for my family and friends and it is a favorite here as well.   I just happened to have a lovely basket of fresh blueberries in my fridge and this is where my mind went.  I did also add some cinnamon and a pinch of salt to the streusel topping and let me tell you, I made 3 pans in the matter of a week and they were gone as fast as I made them.  Rest-assured this may be the ONLY recipe I will use Jello  in, but it is a must here to provide a “jammy” layer to the dessert.  Hope you like…I know your family and friends will.  Here’s how you can make them yourself…..

Blueberry Streusel Bars
Cream the butter and sugar together and then 1 egg and yolk of another, reserving the white for later in the recipe.
Blueberry Streusel Bars
Alternate adding the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients
Blueberry Streusel Bars
Wet ingredients are alternately added with the dry ingredients

Once the dough is made it is pressed into a 9×13 pan.  The reserved egg white is whipped and evenly spread on top of the dough to act as a “glue” for the blueberries which are added next followed by a sprinkling of the jello and cinnamon streusel topping.  The blueberry streusel bars are baked until they reach a golden, crisp and bubbly perfection….

Blueberry Streusel Bars
Baked until a golden, crisp, bubbly perfection is reached..

Allow a few minutes for these blueberry streusel bars to set up before cutting….serve as is, with a dollop of whipped cream or warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream…enjoy friends.  This would be perfect for any end of the summer get-togethers.

Blueberry Streusel Bars
Allow a few minutes for the bars to set up before cutting into them…(this may be harder than it seems)
Blueberry Streusel Bars
Your family and friends will love you even more….



½ cup butter, room temperature

½ cup sugar

2 eggs, 1 separated

2 cups flour

½ tsp salt

½ tsp baking powder

2 T milk

1 tsp vanilla

4 cups fresh blueberries

3 oz strawberry jello


1 cup sugar

1 ½ cups flour

½ cup butter, cold and cut into pieces

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp kosher salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream the butter and sugar until completely combined.  Add 1 egg and yolk of another, reserve white for later in the recipe.  Add dry ingredients alternately with milk and vanilla.  Press dough into a buttered 9×13 pan.  Beat egg white and brush dough with it.  Scatter blueberries evenly over dough and sprinkle with jello.  To make the topping, combine sugar, flour and butter in a bowl.  With a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt until the mixture looks like coarse meal.  Sprinkle evenly over blueberries.  Bake 45-55 minutes until topping is golden brown.  Allow a few minutes to rest and cut into bars.  Enjoy!!

Mixed Berry Maple Syrup

Mixed Berry Maple Syrup
Fresh Strawberries, fresh blueberries and locally produced maple syrup….the perfect accompaniment to pancakes over the fire..

Mixed berry maple syrup is the PERFECT accompaniment to serve with your favorite pancakes over the campfire or in your kitchen.  Blueberry syrup is something that is requested in our house regularly by my kids, but I thought I would take it up another notch with this time with strawberries and blueberries. (more…)

Rhubarb Streusel

This is the one, you know from that worn, tattered, church cookbook that everyone LOVES…this is that recipe.  My mom has been making this since I can remember and it never fails that there is a pan of this on her counter at all times during the summer.  I now make it for my family and friends and it is a favorite here as well.  Rest-assured this may be the ONLY recipe I will use Jello  in, but it is a must here to provide a “jammy” layer to the dessert.  Rhubarb is a sure sign Spring is here to stay despite a MN, May 1st snowfall.   Grab some from a neighbor or from your local market, you won’t be sorry!! (more…)

Le Bete Noire

DECADENT…that is all.

THIS is the chocolate cake you want to make when you really want to impress.  I recently made this one for my mom for her 70th birthday and it is truly divine.  I can’t take credit for this one, but I learned of it from a wonderful establishment here in Minneapolis, the Wilde Roast Café.  It is quite easy to make and can be made a day or 2 ahead of time.  Cheers!! (more…)

Blood Orange, Almond and Poppyseed Cake

                                      THE CENTERPIECE

This is a beautiful, delicious centerpiece for your Easter, Mother’s Day or other celebratory brunch.  Make this cake the day before service so it is ready when you are.  If you have not tried blood oranges, this is your chance.  They are beautiful inside and out and when in season, oh, so sweet.  No worries if they are unavailable your favorite orange would produce great results as well.  Make sure to grease the Bundt pan generously and the cake will come out with no problems. This will be a gorgeous presentation!  I used Easter eggs as a garnish for our Easter brunch, but garnish with fresh flowers and/or fresh mint at any other time of the year.  Enjoy your celebration! (more…)

Strawberry, Maple Ice Cream Topping

Spring is here and strawberries will be coming, make this simple topping for the perfect spring-time sundae!!

Two of my kids, Katie and Thomas just were part of The Little Mermaid and I could not be prouder.  We had company in town to watch the show and I thought this would be the perfect treat afterwards.  I love to use maple syrup as a sweetener whenever I can and it worked great here.  This is minimal fresh ingredients, quick and something that can be made ahead of time.  Top your sundae with your favorite toasted nut.  Enjoy!! (more…)

Homemade Ricotta


Homemade ricotta could not be easier and is a real treat!


As part of our Spring Break celebration we had some friends over for dinner last night and I decided to pull out some of the maple bluebarb jam I made last Spring in anticipation of this year’s season.  I will get into canning later on the blog….this jam happens to be a favorite here.  My parents live in central MN and my dad has tapped maple trees for as long as I have been alive and what a treat his maple syrup has been for all those whom he shares it with.  I decided last Spring to use it as a sweetener along with some rhubarb from my garden and some local blueberries, the result was amazing!  Served with homemade ricotta, toasted baguettes and a refreshing cocktail, it was a big hit.   Homemade ricotta is so easy to make and is delicious served this way with whatever jam you have in your pantry.  Enjoy!! (more…)