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Nellies Rice Pudding

24 Feb

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Nellie aunt Faith makes the best rice pudding.

I will only agree to go to a Coney Island for the rice pudding. Sorry, I don’t eat hotdogs. Now, I never said I didn’t like hotdogs….

I just choose not to burp a hotdog all day long. Gross.

Besides, does anyone even know what hotdogs are anyways?!?! We all have our own speculations and just the thought of that alone convinces me to order the Greek salad with extra beets. Yup, I’d rather have a vegetable that taste like dirt.

This rice pudding recipe first came from my Aunt Faith. (Nellies sister) Aunt Faith got this recipe from a local Coney Island restaurant, but my lovely mother (Nellie) will deny all facts the Aunt Faith had this recipe first! Sisters….. My point is, THIS RECIPE IS A TRUE AUTHENTIC CONEY ISLAND RECIPE!

Ok, let’s talk raisins. Love them, or hate them? I’m on the fence.

You will never see me grab and pound down that little red box, that has a solid block of raisins all stuck together. Why such a small box, anyways?

I’ll tell you why! It’s because this tiny box was designed for the of the pointer finger only.

You have to take your pointer finger to break the raisins apart, making everyone look like they’re a sloth scratching and digging for ants. You know….what I’m talking about!

Then there is always that annoying last raisin stuck in the corner that never comes loose on its own. Once again, you can only use your pointer.

My other reason for loving Coney Island rice pudding is the creammmmm….mmmm peel back the seal on those individual mini coffee creamers and then pour as many as you can until it almost over flows.

Then drop half of the empty containers on the floor, so the waitress doesn’t think you have dairy issues.

Un-refrigerated coffee creamer is a standard condiment for every Coney Island! Make room ketchup and mustard!

Long grain rice is most commonly used for rice puddling. I also like to use jasmine rice. It gives a slightly floral scent and taste.

Use vitamin D milk for best flavor and creaminess. 2% works good too.

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Once the rice is completely done and the milk is thicken by the starch of the rice; add one tempered beaten egg. Finish with vanilla and butter.

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I purposely left the spoon full so I could eat it!

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Cover with an obscene amount of cinnamon.

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Nellies Rice Pudding

1 quart (4 cups) Milk (whole vitamin D)
1 quart (4 cups) Water
2 cups granulated Sugar
1 1/2 cup Long Grain Rice
1 cup Raisins (optional)
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
2 teaspoon Vanilla
1 Egg
2 Tablespoons Butter
Cinnamon

In a large stock pot combine the milk, water, (raisins if using) sugar, rice and salt. Leave on medium heat stirring often for about 40-45 minutes or until the liquid has reduced down about 2 inches and the rice in done and has thickened the milk.

Turn heat to low. Beat the egg in a liquid measuring cup; add enough water to the egg to equal 1/2 cup of liquid. Add 1/4 cup of the rice mixture to the beaten egg, stirring instantly.

Add the tempered egg mixture to the rice stirring instantly. Turn heat back up to medium and bring just to a boil then remove from the heat.

Add the vanilla and butter. Pour into your dishes of choice. Sprinkle the top completely with ground cinnamon.

Serve warm with a splash of cream. So creamy and delicious!

*Recipe stolen from Nellie and revealed to the planet first on Tahnycooks!

Banana & Creme Cupcakes With Cookie Butter Frosting

21 Feb

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Not only is the title of these cupcakes a mouthful but, so will be your first bite! These are a must make!

First things first though. You might be asking me what is cookie butter or more commonly known as Biscoff. Oh, wait what’s that you say??

You all know what this stuff is?! WHAT!

I guess I’m showing up late to this party of cookie butter and Biscoff once again. I just thought it would be better late then never to jump on this “food posting band wagon” like the rest of the food bloggers out there.

If you’re anything like me though, you might need some ideas to get the ball rolling on how to use this yummy stuff.

To be quite honest, I didn’t even know what cookie butter was until I bought my first jar from Trader Joes. After my first tasting, I wasn’t quite sure what to do with it. You automatically compare it to peanut butter because of the color and it’s in the traditional peanut butter jar. It wasn’t until I started to do some searching from other food blogs that I realized I’m a little behind with this product.

Check out this recipe from another blogger, then this recipe and then one more.

But, hold up! It’s not peanut butter! It will never be peanut butter!
I’m using the voice Julia Robert uses in My Best Friends Wedding when she was explaining to Kimmy, “You’re NEVER…GONNA…BE…JELL-O!” Gosh, I still can’t stand “Kimmy” till this day!

I’m starting a movement right now, MAKE A “MY BEST FRIENDS WEDDING 2” we all know that it would be a box office hit! I love this movie, I’ve watch it a hundred million times. Each time I watch it I always think that Jules will finally whisper the words Michael needs to hear as they were going under the bridge. I’ve actually caught myself whispering shouting to the tv telling Jules, “SAY IT, SAAAAAAY IIIITTTTTT! TELLLLLL HIMMMM!”

Then I cry. Because she never does. Maybe the next time I watch it she will. Denial…..I know.

Back to the cupcake. Sorry, I get emotionally attached to that movie. THEY BELONG TOGETHER!

Ok, ok, ok, cupcake. Yah, make this cupcake it’s good. Sorry I’m upset.

But, this cupcake makes me happy again! Start with the wet ingredients and then gently fold in the dry ingredients. Fold; don’t over mix!

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Fill the cupcake liners about half full.

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Bake until the cake tester (toothpick) comes out clean. Don’t over bake!

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Let the cupcakes cool to room temp. Now, this is where I cut some corners. I used canned vanilla pudding for my filling. a.k.a, creme. Max filled them for me.

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Then here comes the glorious frosting! I started by browning my butter first. The brown butter complimented the cookie butter so well!

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I added 1/4 cup of cookie butter into the frosting.

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Topped with a Biscoff cookie and these are complete. Now, shovel it in your face!

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Banana & Creme Cupcakes With Cookie Butter Frosting

Cake Batter:

1-1/2 c. sugar
1 c. sour cream
1/2 c. butter, softened
2 eggs
1-3/4 (3 or 4) ripe bananas, mashed
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt

Filling:

1 15oz can Vanilla pudding (I used Thank You brand)

Brown Butter Frosting:

1/2 c. butter
4 c. powdered sugar
1/4 cup cookie butter or Biscoff
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tbsp. milk

Heat oven to 375F. Line your cupcake pan with cute cupcake liners. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together sugar, sour cream, butter, and eggs until creamy. Blend in bananas and vanilla extract.

In a separate bowl sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Gently mix with the wet ingredients. Don’t over mix. Just until the dry is moistened.

Bake for 12-15 minutes. Or until a toothpick come out clean.

Let cupcakes cool to room temp and then fill with the pudding. Top with frosting.

Frosting:

Heat butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until boiling. Let the butter turn a delicate brown and remove from heat immediately!

In a large mixing bowl with the whisk attachment add; powdered sugar, cookie butter, vanilla, cinnamon, cooled brown butter, milk and salt. Whip until smooth and it is the desired consistency of frosting you would like. Spread or pipe onto the filled cupcakes.

Try these….”don’t let this moment pass you by..” (Another quote from My Best Friends Wedding) sorry that’s cheesy. :/

Recipe adapted from: The Girl Who Ate Everything

*Side note: I’m working on getting printable recipes for you! Be patient with me, I’m not very tech savvy!

Roasted Vegetables

19 Feb

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February 19th, 2012 one year ago today was the day my life changed. I explain the events that took place in detail in my “Chapter Writings” listed under my categories. If you would like to read about what took place I suggest you start with Chpt 1 of course, then proceed through 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and then my results.

I cannot believe it has been 1 whole year since all this has happened! Goodness, when you’re in such turmoil in your life you think it is never going to end! But, here I am today with a much different perspective on life, family, working out, doctors, and yes, even God. I’ve always believed in Gods’ peace, love and healing but, to experience His faithfulness in all these things, sure does puts my perspective of God on a whole different level, and I couldn’t be more thankful!

So, it’s been a year. For those of you that know my story, I will give you an update on my back and blood clots.

My back isn’t even an issue for me anymore! I have not experience any pain, numbness or sciatic nerve pain since surgery. Sometimes, there will be a little achy-ness in my lower back, but nothing to cause me any concern. I’m able to teach spin classes and run again.

Blood Clots, I haven’t been on blood thinners since late November. This issue has cause some mild mental damage for me! Grrrrrr! My father in law asked me the other day if I eat non-stop salads now? Nope! I sure don’t! I’m not anywhere near how picky or strict about my eating like when I was on Coumadin, but I sure don’t eat lots of greens yet. I’m still hesitant on the thought of eating lettuces’ and spinach salads with vitamin K. I’ll get over it, eventually!

I have no problem eating all other veggies besides, spinach! Especially roasted vegetables! I love vegetables roasted, all kinds of veggies, like; beets, brussels sprouts, winter squash, fennel and root vegetables. I always try to convince people that if they roast a veggie that they thought they didn’t like, they would be pleasantly surprised by the different dimensions of flavor that hated veggie takes. Seriously, try roasting brussel sprouts, outstanding!

Actually when I was finally off of my blood thinners and I had the freedom to eat “green” again, I chose roasted brussel sprouts! I remember telling this to my pastor and he was floored! His faced grimaced saying to me, “really? brussels sprouts!?” Yup, and they were delish!

This is my first bite after Coumadin!

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Even through blood thinners, roasted veggies are something I never stopped enjoying. Ironically there is probably the same amount of vitamin K in the olive oil, as if I was eating a salad! Oh well, I’m over that now!

Cut your veggies. I used eggplant in this batch. Roasted eggplant is so good! Beckyf, stop curling up your nose!

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Don’t cut your veggies too thin or small; they will get too soft and mushy. Drizzle with olive oil and season; toss together and make sure every cut is coated.

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Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

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Serve as a side dish, filling in wraps, on top of a salad or if you’re like me, eat as your main meal!

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Roasted Vegetables

2 medium zucchini’s chopped
2 medium summer squash chopped
1 small eggplant chopped
1 large pepper preferably red, yellow or orange (green can taste bitter when roasted)
1 medium sweet onion
3 crushed garlic cloves
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Italian seasonings
Salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Clean all vegetables. Cut into medium sized chunks, place on a jelly roll pan. Coat with olive oil, crushed garlic, seasoning, salt and pepper. Toss all veggies together until everything is coated with the oil.

Roast for 15-20 minutes. Tossing once between baking time. Vegetables are done when their edges are looking slightly charred and toasted. Don’t over roast, or your veggies will get mushy. (I have done this many times, don’t throw out, the veggies are still yummy!)

Sprinkle with a grated parmesan cheese and chow down!

Recipe first seen and created on Tahnycooks.

Hasselback Potatoes

15 Feb

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A couple weeks ago I had a cooking demo for a Ladies Day Event and the one item that got the most attention was….The Potato. The flipping Poe-Tah-Toe!

Ok, these aren’t your plain Jane potato. This is a HASSELBACK! I just shouted that at you. For some reason every time I say hasselback to myself I’m shouting it in my head!

HASSELBACK! HASSELBACK! Gosh, I have a headache.

I love way too much sour cream on my baked potato, along with it drenched in A1 sauce. Yes, I just said A1 sauce. I picked that one up from Nellie. It’s good, you should try it. Really, try it. (Hey Beckyf, I’m using my bossy voice)

Ok, I’m going to reveal a disgusting food combo; I eat my cottage cheese with BBQ sauce on it! I know, it’s strange! But, I can’t “quit” this combo. I’ve even got my older son eating his cottage cheese this way now! And I think my sister Becky eats it this way too!

Try it! Tell me some of your “closet food” combos! I won’t judge you, I will probably say, “eww” like you just did to me!

Alright, onto this delicious potato. I really do like making this starchy side-dish. It’s a different way to prepare the potato then always whipping them up into mashed, scalloped, or just a plain baked potato.

Hey, now don’t get me wrong, I love the potato prepared in all these ways listed, I’m just saying this is a fun, interesting, delicious and different method that impresses company and family.

The only thing you need to know is the technique. And that technique is learning how NOT to cut all the way through the potato. Your goal is to create a bunch of fanned slices that will bake into crispy individual slices that are fun to pull-apart, like a buttery chip to dip in sour cream, ketchup or even A1 sauce. 🙂

Grab a cutting board and start.

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After you have the slices completed to the end of the potato, you can run it under water flexing the slices to remove some of the starch that can prevent the slices to fan open.

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Bake for 45-50 minutes basting every 10-15 minutes throughout.

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Once the potato skin is nice and crispy, and the center is soft & buttery they’re done! Serve with sour cream or French onion dip and eat like chips! Yum-o!

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Hasselback Potatoes

4-6 medium potatoes (I used Idaho )
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
4 Tablespoons melted butter
3 Tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Sour cream to garnish

Clean potatoes. Place a potato between two wooden spoon handles. Cut slits almost all the way in, the wooden spoons will help prevent the cut from going all the way through. Rinse in cold water. Dry each potato before applying the olive oil and seasonings.

Place the potatoes in a 9×13 baking dish. Drizzle olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Flex the cuts to get the seasonings and oil in between. Bake for 5-8 minutes then start basting with the garlic butter. (Add other herbs, if you prefer)

Bake at 425°F for 45-50 minutes, basting every 10 minutes with the melted butter. MAKE SURE YOU GET BETWEEN EACH CUT!

Serve with sour cream. Enjoy!

*Recipe first seen and created on Tahnycooks

Chocolate Pot de Crème

14 Feb

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Sometimes I feel so humbled by the untainted love God has for me. Gosh, I mess up so often, and yet He loves me with a love that is so perfect and never ending. His love covers me like the morning dew, so soft, clean, pure and refreshing….

My husband is the biggest blessing God has blessed me with. Which in turn makes me fall in love with my Savior all that much more. When The Lord was creating Kent, He had me in mind.

“I am my lover’s and my lover is mine…” Song of Solomon 6:3 NIV

Things I Love about Kent:

1.) he loves The Lord

2.) his ability to tell me, “it’s ok” and I believe him

3.) he is the best daddy ever

4.) he has the ability to make me whisper, “I love you Kent” when he’s not even around.

5.) he loves my food (but he is getting a little too comfortable in his critiquing, he has picked that up from my father)

6.) he ignores my stress during stressful catering jobs and still helps me (BeckyF & Samantha, you both have witnessed this many times)

7.) his dry humor

Things I would like to change about Kent, but love him anyways are:

1.) he hates nuts (so annoying)

2.) he gives me a 5 minute delay before he does anything I ask

3.) he wrestles too hard until he makes someone cry. (Yes, even his own children)

4.) he NEVER puts the milk or orange juice away

5.) he don’t cook. ANYTHING EVER, he would rather starve. (I don’t get it either)

I figured I should stop there and make sure the “I love” column was longer! I will say, the latter column; I typed through it like lightning! 😉

Kent and I have been married for 10 years. Yes, as with all marriages there have been a lot of up’s and down’s, but keeping God in the center of our marriage and giving Him the broken pieces to mend and place back together, has only made our marriage stronger. We have been blessed, because of perseverance.

Hold steadfast in whatever difficult situation you might have, you will be blessed! My prayer is that Kent and I won’t have too many difficult situations, but that we will never grow numb to the importance of our marriage staying strong in the foundation of God always being 1st in everything.

“But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15 NIV

Oh besides, Kent and I have said, “we will never get divorced because we are too cheap and it’s too much paper work!” 😉

Kent loves chocolate. I’m convinced he loves chocolate because I don’t make it that often. Find out why HERE.

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Remove the cream from the heat as soon as it starts to get small simmering bubbles around the saucepans’ edges.

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Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate. Mix well, add the egg yolk mixture.

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Pour the chocolate custard into the ramekins.

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Using the bain marie (ban mah-REE) is the term for a hot water bath. This method creates an even and gentle way of baking for the custard. These turned out perfect!

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This custard is soooo nice and thick, it reminds me of fudge. Kent loved it….oxox.

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Chocolate Pot de Creme

2 cups whipping cream
6oz. dark or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 tsp. vanilla extract
6 large egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar

Position rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325°F. Arrange six 3/4-cup ramekins in a roasting or 9×13-inch pan.

Place the chopped chocolate in a medium sized bowl; set aside.

In a medium saucepan, heat the cream over medium heat until it’s steaming; remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Let sit for a few minutes, then whisk until smooth.

Whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla. When the chocolate mixture has cooled a bit, whisk in the egg yolk mixture. Divide the custard between the cups, and pour warm water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the cups.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the custards are set. Cool, then refrigerate until well chilled.

Garnish with berries and/or sweetened whipped cream. Enjoy!

Recipe first seen and created on Tahnycooks.

Coeur La Creme

11 Feb

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Bonjour! I’m feeling a little “French” today. With all this romance floating around with Valentines Day coming this week I thought I would make a French dessert.

I didn’t have time to make any pastry or custard like almost all French desserts require, so I went with this easy and delicious spread. The contrast of this white sweet vanilla cream spread looks stunning with bright red berries. You can also serve this with vanilla wafers, brownie chunks, all fruits, pound cake and just by the spoonfuls!”inks.l,xiliodfijtjgigjgjg gedomnbvijijokokkkk,kkkkkklp Continue reading

Chocolate Raspberry Cake Squares With Ganache

7 Feb

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Today is confession day. I don’t eat chocolate. I’d rather eat THIS, THIS AND THIS!

There, I said it. Don’t be a hater, or stop following me. I have been keeping this secret from those of you that only know me through my blog. Sorry….!

Pick up your jaw, and put your eyeballs back in their sockets.

I’m tired of my friend Becky “F” making me feel like I’m a phony! She’s mean. But, seriously one of my BFF’s.

Ok, so here’s why I don’t eat chocolate or drink coffee, tea and soda pop.

1.) I’ve decided to be caffeine free since 6th grade.

So yes, for those of you that are doing the math IT’S BEEN A LONG TIME! (I’m 35, if that helps some of you)

Over the years I have developed quite a phobia of chocolate. I don’t even eat things that are even drizzled, touching, frosted, coated or scooped out with the same spoon as chocolate. I’m totally overboard with this, I know. But, as with anything I don’t even think about this. It’s just been my way of life for almost 23 years.

I do eat white chocolate without cocoa butter. White chocolate isn’t even really chocolate, it’s just a delicious creamy candy. And as far as soda pop, COME ON THAT STUFF IS AWFUL FOR YOU!

However, I do love the smell of a rich chocolate dessert baking. And who doesn’t love the smell of coffee?! Sometimes I’m tempted, but I never surrender.

Ok, now that I have made my confession and I feel this freedom, I want to share with you my requested birthday cake when I did eat chocolate.

I would beg Nellie to make me this cake all the time. I’d eat this cake until I was sick. And by golly if I were to ever eat chocolate again this is what I would eat first and then second!

Nellie would make this cake in a bit of a different style. But all the ingredients are the same.

Make and bake your cake. This is a very runny batter.

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While the cake is baking; make filling. The raspberries were beautiful. Gently fold the berries into the sweetened whipped cream.

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Make sure the cake is completely cooled before assembling.

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This is a perfect Valentines Day Dessert. For you, not me.

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My Valentine loves chocolate. He took all these to work!

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Chocolate Raspberry Cake Squares With Ganache

Cake Ingredients

2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
2 eggs
1 cup milk

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 13x9x2-inch baking pan.

Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared dish.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven. Cool completely.

Cut into 18-20 squares. Then split each square into two. Fill with the filling. Smooth the sides. And dip all sides into the ganache then cover the top. Or, leave the sides exposed and just spoon the ganache over the top. Garnish with a raspberry.

Whipped Cream Filling

3 cups Heavy Whipping Cream
3/4 Powdered Sugar (add more if the raspberries aren’t very sweet or if you just like it sweeter!)
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 teaspoon Almond Extract
2-2 1/2 cups Fresh Raspberries

Add the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, and extracts to a COLD mixing bowl. Whip on medium high speed until it can hold a solid peak. But, don’t over whip!

Fold in the whole raspberries. Don’t crush or purée; keep whole.

Chocolate Ganache

12oz of Semisweet Chocolate, chopped
1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat heavy cream just to a simmer. Pour over chopped chocolate, add sugar. Let sit for 3 minutes. Stir until smooth. Add vanilla.

*Chocolate cake adapted from, Hershey’s. Thank you!

*Chocolate Raspberry Cake Squares first seen and created on Tahnycooks.

*Side note: Using a heart shaped cookie cutter would be super cute. I thought about it, but I didn’t want to have any cake scraps around since, I don’t eat chocolate! The square shape prevented scraps!

*Side note: Nellie brought me over this cake. No chocolate!

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