Oh my gosh - Summer is here early and I'll take it. I just need
a delicious glass of ice tea to cool off with. Do you have a
favorite ice tea recipe?
Okay - I found it! Here is the recipe for Red Velvet Love.
Red Velvet Layer:
1 2/3 c. flour
1 c. + 2 T. sugar
4 1/2 tsp. cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
2 small eggs
1/2 c. oil
2 T. milk, divided
3 tsp. vanilla
3 tsp. red food coloring
1 tsp. white vinegar
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/3 c. + 2 T. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt and baking
powder. In a separate bowl, mix eggs, oil, 1 tablespoon milk,
vanilla, food coloring and vinegar. Combine the dry and wet
ingredients, until completely combined. Remove 1/2 cup of the
batter and place it in a small bowl. Whisk in the remaining 1
tablespoons of milk. Pour the remaining batter into a greased 9x13
baking dish. Using a spatula, smooth out the batter to reach all
In a medium bowl, place cream cheese and sugar. Beat with an
electric mixer until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg and vanilla,
beating until combined and smooth. Pour the cream cheese mixture on
top of the red velvet layer and smooth mixture till it reaches all
the edges. Drop spoonfuls of the remaining red velvet batter (that
you mixed with milk) onto the top of the cheesecake layer. Drag the
tip of a knife through the red velvet and the cheesecake layers to
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or just until the center is set
and no longer jiggles. Let cool completely on a wire rack before
cutting. Use a medium sized heart cookie cutter to create the
perfect Valentine's Day treat!
Tips: These brownies were a bit of
work, but the result was so cute it made it all worth it! I put
parchment paper down in the baking dish which made it easier to
bring the brownies out and use the cookie cutter once it was
I can see these also being made for other holidays with different
food coloring. (True, that would technically not be red velvet but
the taste would be the same.) Green with a shamrock cookie cutter
for St. Patrick's day, pink with an Easter egg cookie cutter for
Easter, blue and red with a star cookie cutter for 4th of July, the
possibilities are endless.
If you do use the heart cookie cutter, you will obviously have
some scrap pieces leftover. If you can keep your kids or husband
from eating them right away, check out the recipe for the Red Velvet Cheesecake Milkshake!
This version is from Recipes for MOMs website.
I'm in red velvet love! Marbled Red Velvet Cream Cheese Brownie
love, that is.
Amazing baker mom Stephanie brought these beauties to practice
last night. I've begged her to share the recipe with us. Watch for
it - I'll get it out of her yet!
Okay, I Found it! Check out the Marbled Red Velvet
Cream Cheese Brownie recipe here.
I'm ready to start some serious Christmas baking, but need a new
recipe inspiration. Found it! I just saw this recipe posted on
Facebook by a local MOM reader. I can't wait to get started. I love
making bars in a pan because they share, travel and store so well.
I'll let you know how it goes…or how fast they go.
2 cups butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla
4 cups flour
1 14 oz bag caramels, unwrapped
(About 40 - 50 individually wrapped)
1/3 cup whipping cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp coarse sea salt
Preheat oven to 325. Line a 9 X 13 pan with parchment paper,
spray lightly with cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine butter
and sugars. Using a stand or hand mixer, beat until creamy. Add in
vanilla and beat until combined. Mix in flour until a soft dough
forms. Press half of the dough into the prepared 9 X 13 pan. Bake
for 15 minutes. Refrigerate remaining half of dough. Remove
from oven while you prepare the caramels.
Place the caramel in a microwave safe bowl. Add the cream and
vanilla, and microwave for 1 minute. Remove from the microwave and
stir until smooth. If caramels are not completely melted, microwave
at 20 second intervals, stirring after each interval, until smooth.
Pour the caramel filling over the cooked crust (Do your best to
pour it evenly over crust as it is very difficult to spread).
Sprinkle salt over the top.
Removing remaining dough
from fridge and crumble it evenly over the caramel. Return the pan
to the oven and bake until filling is bubbly and the topping is
firm and golden brown. About 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool completely
before cutting into squares.
Joe and Sue Blog! (Slightly Adapted from
Cookie and Cups)
Check out their sites for more amazing recipes.
Happy Holidays to you and your family!
Click here for some great Holiday Cookie and Homemade Candy
recipes on the MOM Blog.
by Raeann Van Arsdall
Lights twinkle on the tree. Carols ring through the streets. But
to really be transported back to childhood holiday memories-close
your eyes and smell sweet, warm and spicy smells drifting from the
kitchen. Iced spice cake, pumpkin pie, gingerbread house or nutmeg
egg nog-holiday spices make many of our favorite recipes special,
but more importantly they are the smell of the holiday
This is a great gift idea. Use when you need a little Christmas
spirit to make the house smell good. Place in decorative jars and
use as gifts for parties, teachers and friends.
ups brown sugar
3 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp. ground orange peel
2 Tbsp. ground cloves
2 Tbsp. ground allspice
1 Tbsp. ground nutmeg
Mix all ingredients together with a whisk and store in an
airtight jar until needed. To use, add ½ cup of mixture and one cup
of water for every two cups of cider, juice or wine. Bring to a
boil and stir until dissolved, then reduce to a simmer. Serve
immediately or simmer until ready to serve. For a single serving
add three tablespoons of mixture to one cup of cider, juice or
My husband brought this recipe home from work after a potluck.
It's low calorie and tastes great when you're craving that pumpkin
spice fix and want to be nice. Feel free to add more cinnamon,
nutmeg or ginger to your liking. And if you feel naughty, add some
1 (15 ounce) can solid pack pumpkin
1 (18 1/4 ounce) package spice cake mix
1 cup optional goodies: chocolate chips, white chips, chopped
pecans, drizzled icing.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, stir together cake
mix and pumpkin until well blended. Drop by rounded
spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 18 to 20
minutes. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before
removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
I'm a huge cheesecake fan and this one combines spices and
richness for complete decadence. This might just be an excuse to
eat dessert first.
9 whole graham crackers
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup butter, melted
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
3 packages (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream
21/4 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp. ground allspice
½ tsp. salt
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 Tbsp. confectioners' sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
Crust: Finely chop graham crackers and walnuts
in a food processor. Add butter and cinnamon, process until
blended. Press onto the bottom and 2 inches up the sides of a
greased 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.
Filling: In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and
sugars until smooth. Add eggs, beat on low speed just until
combined. Stir in the sour cream, vanilla, cinnamon, allspice and
salt. Pour into crust. Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake at 350
degrees for 60 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on a
wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan
to loosen; cool one hour longer. Refrigerate overnight.
Topping: In a small bowl, beat cream until it
begins to thicken. Add confectioners' sugar, beat until soft peaks
form. Transfer to a pastry bag with a star tip. Pipe around edge of
cheesecake, sprinkle with cinnamon.
"During the holidays show your children a cinnamon stick, a
whole nutmeg or fresh ginger root. Grate it, smell the aroma and
let them add to recipes. Discover homemade applesauce with fresh
~ Deanne Fielding, breakfast chef at Cameo Heights
Click here to learn more about the getaway giveaway.
Allspice: (whole or ground) Darkbrown, pea-size
berries from the evergreen pimento tree. Pungent flavor resembles
cinnamon, clove, nutmeg. Uses: sausages, poached fish, breads,
cakes, cookies, stewed fruits, pies, puddings.
Cinnamon: (sticks or ground) Ceylon bark (buff
colored) or Cassia tree (dark reddish-brown). Aromatic, pungent.
Uses: cakes, cookies, hot drinks, pies, vegetables (carrots, winter
squash, sweet potatoes).
Clove: (whole or ground) Reddish-brown,
nail-shaped buds from the tropical evergreen clove tree. Aromatic,
pungent, sweet. Use with care, overpowering. Uses: baked
beans, fruit pies, ham, pickling, sauces, spice cakes, cookies.
Ginger: (fresh, dried, crystallized or ground)
Light brown, gnarled and bumpy root from ginger plant. Peppery,
slightly sweet. Pungent, spicy aroma. Uses: cakes, cookies,
Nutmeg: (whole or ground) Gray-brown, oval
seeds from the nutmeg tree. Nutty, warm, spicy, sweet. Uses:
beverages (egg nog), cakes, cookies, sauces, sweet potatoes,
Our lives are a series of acronyms! FB, ASAP, CYA, BTW ...
With texting, Facebook and other social media, acronyms are
second-nature to us now. Once you're used to a new one, it
becomes the norm, and we sometimes use it when we're speaking,
In some cases, these developed from mnemonic devices we
used to remember a phrase. Take Shape for Life was explaining
that they use acronyms as well in weeks 7 & 8 of their courses.
Why not? We ultimately remember the definition and the
premise rather than the actual terminology (which in this case is a
Ultimately, Take Shape 4 Life teaches their students the methods
behind each of these acronyms to help them live a healthier life
rather than cycling up and down based on the current diet trends.
With Thanksgiving just around the corner followed by
Christmas and New Year's celebrations, learning the basics might be
the right timing!
Check out this asparagus salad recipe from the site!
Want to Take Shape 4 Life for the holidays & the
new year? Comment below with your FAVORITE holiday recipe
(healthy or not) ...
You'll be entered to win a Habits of Health book &
workbook (value $45)! (No purchase necessary to win.
Drawing to take place at Habits of Health class on Tuesday,
January 8 at 7 pm.)
Dieting ... it never REALLY works - right? But I've
tried all of the trends! My friend Chris laughs that she
starts a new diet every Monday because by Wednesday, she's fallen
out of the routine.
They say it takes 21 repetitions to learn something new or start
a new habit. With family, work, friends, volunteering and
everything else that hits my plate, I find it easy to excuse the
poor choice for dinner or skipping an evening at the gym.
I learned a long time ago that for me, it's all or nothing.
No sweets in the house, the nights at the gym on my calendar
and specifically planned meals that don't include sugar, yeast, or
wheat and VERY low fat (food allergies and a hereditary high
cholesterol fuel some of those choices).
Jane on the other hand doesn't believe my regimen is
realistic for most people, and I'd agree. I tend to see
things in black & white, so a black & white routine works.
But Jane made me think about what works for others, so I
asked MOM Mag advertiser Angela Dryden with Take Shape for Life
She referred me to their website (found some great recipes by the way - I LOVE theNorthern Italian Shrimp & Broccoli with no
cheese), and she told me about a 12-week class they have coming
The class starts on September 13 at 7 pm and runs through
December 6. The workshop is free with the pucrhase of The
Habits of Health book and workbook. Contact Angela
Dryden via phone or e-mail to secure your spot!
And tell me ... how do you stay healthy? What are your
strategies? We love to hear what works for you ... because it
works for other readers, too!
My kids are busy baking and decorating Christmas cookies
together. This is the first time that they've done it and I'm so
proud of them. They are 12 and 9 years. Together we'll make goody
plates for friends and family. Tonight we'll deliver them and visit
some wonderful people.
Happy Holidays to you and your family!
Click here for some great Holiday Cookie and Homemade Candy
I was on the black hole of time called pinterist and
found this amazing recipe for fun holiday pretzel treats. Adorable
and delicious - with three simple ingredients. Kisses, round
pretzels and m&m's. I'm so excited to try it with the kids.
She calls them pretzel snacks. Her
friends call them Reindeer Noses. Check out the step-by-step
instructions and photos at the House on the Hilltop blog.
I love learning new ideas and recipes
that are not only delicious, but fun to do with the kids. Just when
you think you know everything, someone surprises you! Please share
some of your favorite treats with us too. Add your items with a
link in the comments section below and we'll be sure to share them
with our readers.
Celebrate Independence Day with this cool and colorful ice cream
float. They are delicious and colorful. Red for courage, white for
purity and blue for justice.
Jones Brand Cream Soda (clear)
Blue liquid food coloring
Vanilla ice cream
Can of whipped cream
4th of July sprinkles
Pour several bottles or cans of cream soda into a large pitcher.
Add several drops of blue food coloring and stir until food
coloring is mixed in well. Set aside. Next, fill chilled glasses or
clear plastic cups with scoops of vanilla ice cream. Pour the
colored soda over the ice cream to the brim until ice cream is
floating. Spray whipped cream to cover top. Garnish with a
marachino cherry and sprinkles. Add a red straw and spoon. Click here to watch a video of how to make this
We chose the Jones brand cream soda because it's clear. This helps
you get the right blue when the food coloring is added. Not all
cream sodas are clear, so check for brands that are for best color
results. If you aren't a fan of cream soda, you can use 7-UP or
For the adventurous, try flavored soda as well, such as Romano's creamy strawberry Italian soda. Check
out more awesome Romano's recipes for your big bash.
Click here - More fun 4th of July ideas from
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