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Easy Valentine’s Day Dessert Recipe – Chocolate Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream Topping

 

Valentines Day

Are you planning on preparing a romantic dinner at home for your special someone? If so, and you are looking for an incredibly easy and totally delicious looking dessert, check out this recipe from Lite House for a Chocolate Strawberry Cheesecake “topping” for ice cream.

I bet this would be equally as delicious with French vanilla or chocolate ice cream. It would probably be very good “as is.”

Dessert

Chocolate Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream Topping 

Serves: 6-8

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: –

Finished in: 4 hours, 10 minutes

Surprise your sweetie this Valentine’s Day with Chocolate Strawberry Cheesecake Greek Yogurt Ice Cream topping! 

Ingredients: 

2.5 cups Strawberry flavored Greek Yogurt

2 cups of sliced strawberries

½ cup Creamy Cheesecake Opadipity by Litehouse Sweet Greek Yogurt Dip

½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Place a silicone baking mat on a baking sheet.
  2. Spread the strawberry Greek yogurt on the baking mat.
  3. Top with sliced strawberries.
  4. Drizzle the Creamy Cheesecake Opadipity Sweet Greek Yogurt dip over the strawberries.
  5. Melt the chocolate chips on a saucepan over medium-low heat until melted. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the strawberries.
  6. Freeze for at least four hours.
  7. Cut into pieces and put on ice cream for a delicious topping!

Dessert Recipe

Kimberly

*I was not compensated for this post. I posted this with permission for the enjoyment of my readers.

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Quick, Easy and YUMMY Queso Dip – Perfect for your next party

This post brought to you by RO*TEL & VELVEETA . The content and opinions expressed below are that of She Scribes.

Chips and Dip

The winners of the NFL Championship game are heading off to the Super Bowl in just a few weeks. That means one thing – Super Bowl Parties!

We’re still talking about if we are going to someone else’s party or have a party at home and invite people over. In any event food is a vital part to any Super Bowl party, whether you are bringing something to a friend’s house or hosting the affair at your place.

Some things are essential for any Super Bowl party – chips, dip, beverages (beer, soda) and finger foods (like wings, hot dogs and chicken nuggets).

I have a super quick, easy and oh-so-good Queso recipe you should try at a Super Bowl party or any party you plan on hosting or attending.

Queso Dip

This recipe requires just two ingredients that are easily found at your local grocery store – VELVEETA (16 ounces) and RO*TEL (one can).

Do you want to know how easy this Queso dip is to make? It’s so simple kids could help make this dip.

First you need to chop the VELVEETA into small cubes (it makes it easy for them to melt).

RO TEL and VELVEETA

Queso Dip RO TEL VELVEETA

Put the cut up VELVEETA and one can of RO*TEL in a microwave safe dish (I put a cover on it loosely in case anything splattered) and pop it in the oven for five minutes. I stopped the microwave half way through to mix it all up then I put it back in the microwave for the remainder of the time.

Once the time was up I carefully removed the dish from the microwave using pot holders. Then I took a spoon and mixed it all up.

Ta da! That’s it! That is all you need to do. In five minutes you have a warm, creamy and oh-so-good Queso dip you and your guests are going to love.

DIP

The RO*TEL does have a mild spicy kick to it, but it’s not bad at all. I don’t like things that are too spicy and this didn’t bother me one bit. In fact I couldn’t get enough of the Queso dip.

My entire family enjoyed this dip and they all requested that I made it again. Thankfully I have half of the block of VELVEETA left (I had a 32 ounce block and I only needed 16 ounces to make this recipe) and another can of RO*TEL.

What I love about this Queso dip (aside from how yummy it is) is that it’s served warm. Not too many dips are served warm. I think that adds to the over all appeal to this dip. Plus if you find that it’s starting to chill a bit you can always pop it in the microwave for a few seconds to heat it back up again. Although seeing as how quickly my family gobbled it all up I have a feeling you won’t need to keep it warm – it won’t last that long! LOL!

This dip is totally delicious and I plan on making it again for the Super Bowl party (if we visit someone else I’ll bring the ingredients with me to make at their place) and beyond.

Look for RO*TEL and VELEETA at a grocer’s store near you.

Don’t forget to check out Velveeta Facebook and Ro*Tel Facebook plus their main websites (RO-TEL.com and VELVEETA on the Kraft website) for more recipes. You can also visit Queso For All.

Have you ever made this Queso dip before? If so, what did you think about it?

VELVEETA RO TEL

Kimberly

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It’s “streaming” cats and dogs!

 

Our Pets

Are you an animal lover? I sure am. I think our five cats, dog and Goldfish sort of hint to that fact. Plus I would LOVE to have my own working farm, or even an animal sanctuary if we had the money. Sadly, living in a condo is not the most ideal place for cows and chickens. LOL!

I know there are plenty of animals lovers. Most people I know have at least one pet. Even my boss has a cat and she’s allergic to cats. She deals with her allergies because she loves her funny little kitten.

I work with little children and one of the questions I always ask them is if they have any pets, and if so, what kind. I feel like it’s a great way to “break the ice.” Most kids I talk to are happy to talk about their pets. It’s a nice way to get a child comfortable talking with you.

Netflix has a new series that I think would be of great interest to many children and adults. It’s Puss, as in Puss in Boots from the Shrek movie franchise. Of course Puss in Books is a classic story  that dates back hundreds of years. I remember reading the story of Puss in Boots when I was a child, back in the Stone Age. Of course the current “Shrek version” is probably the most popular Puss in Boots characters. After all, how can you not fall in love with his sweet little face?

Puss in Boots sad eyes

The swashbuckling adventure-comedy series, The Adventures of Puss in Boots, comes to Netflix on January 16, 2015.  I haven’t had a chance to check it out yet (since it’s not available until tomorrow) but I plan on watching it. Puss cracks me up in all the Shrek movies and holiday specials.

If you are looking for other movies and shows the feature our furry – and not so furry – friends, here are a few additional suggestions from Netflix.

Little Kids

1. Pet Party
2. Clifford’s Puppy Days
3. Littlest Pet Shop
4. The Adventures of Milo and Otis (love this movie!)
5. Snow Buddies (all of the Buddies films are adorable)
6. Sabrina, The Animated Series

Big Kids

1. The Adventures of Puss in Boots
2. Annie
3. Step Dogs
4. Jumanji
5. Hachi: A Dog’s Tale (this is a sad movie)
6. Air Bud (all the Bud/Buddies movies are cute)
7. Monkey Trouble

Adults

1. Anchorman 2
2. Frasier
3. Family Guy
4. Friends
5. Red Dog
6. Wilfred

I have a few other suggestions that are not listed here of out pet themed movies. Pets are not ONLY dogs and cats.

Black Beauty (classic!)

Wiener Dog Nationals (funny, I reviewed it)

Poppy Cat (super cute children’s show)

Charlotte’s Web (classic!)

If you are planning on having a pet/animal themed family movie night, or you are looking for something fun to do inside to stay out of the freezing cold weather, check out this adorable craft idea.

Puss in Boots Bank

Guard your treasures from sticky paws or save up for your first pet with this DIY kitty bank. Click here to learn how to make your own.

I love that it’s supposed to be Puss in Boots. That is a cute idea. I also think that you can use this basic idea and make other creature “piggy banks” – maybe even an actual pig!

While you are enjoying a fun, family movie or series why not indulge in some yummy hot chocolate topped of with a marsh-meow.

cat marshmallows

Channel your inner milk connoisseur with this homemade hot chocolate recipe featuring cat-shaped marshmallows — the purr-fect winter treat! Click here to learn how to make your own.

You can use any shaped cookie cutter you might have too. You could even make a whole zoo!

Do you have pets? What kind of pets do you have? Feel free to tell me about them. I LOVE animals.

netflix-logo

Kimberly

*I am a member of the Netflix Steamteam. I received a free membership and other goodies in exchange for my participation. There is no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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McCormick® Flavor Forecast® for 2015 – How will you spice things up in the new year?

 

Spices

Every new year I always make it a goal of mine to learn how to cook different foods and try new recipes with my family. I tend to make the same meals over and over again. I know what my family likes (and doesn’t like) so I tend to stick with what I know works. The only problem is that we all get bored of the same things over and over again.

One thing I do try and do differently is to spice things up – literally. Often just adding a few spices, or swapping out one spice for another, can really change up a recipe.

To give you an example. I make homemade chicken soup. Normally I don’t season it. One night we were having soup and I ran out of saltine crackers. We ended up using roasted garlic crackers. We all liked the way the garlic added to the flavor of the soup. The next time I made soup I added garlic and some black pepper. It really enhanced the soup’s flavor. My whole family loved it.

It was the very same soup I’ve always made, I just added garlic and black pepper. It turned my good soup into a delicious soup and all I did was add some spices.

You can add spices into baking too.

I still have a lot to learn about spices. I have a cabinet full of spices but I don’t know which spices I should try to add to my meals. I tend to stick with what I know. I need to get outside of my comfort zone.

McCormick & Company, a global leader in flavor, especially when it comes to herbs and spices, recently released their 2015 Flavor Forecast®. This year they highlighted eight flavor trends that could possibly shape the future of flavor.

Flavor Forecast

This is a much anticipated report throughout the food industry. This year marks McCormick® Flavor Forecast® 15th year.

Reflecting the rapidly increasing demand for bolder, more intense flavor experiences, the McCormick Flavor Forecast 2015 pinpoints adventurous global tastes on the rise, like Japanese 7 Spice (Shichimi Togarashi), as well as an appreciation for the robust flavors developed in slow-simmered dishes from around the world. The report also showcases new ways to elevate pantry essentials to starring roles, like smoking spices and herbs or pairing sours with coarse salt.

“Many early trending flavors in past reports have become favorites of today. Take chipotle chile, for instance,” said McCormick Executive Chef, Kevan Vetter. “When we first identified this chile pepper as a flavor to watch in 2003, many people couldn’t pronounce it. Today, it’s a household name. Pumpkin pie spice, sea salt, coconut water and cocktail-inspired flavors have seen similar success, taking over restaurant menus and grocery store shelves. The flavor trends highlighted within our 15th annual Forecast promise to do the same.”

I guess in a way I follow the flavor trends too. I started to use sea salt instead of regular salt because it seems like everyone is doing it. I’ve also dabbled with coconut water. I guess without even knowing it I’ve been affected by the Flavor Forecast® too.

Identified by a global team of McCormick chefs and flavor experts, here are eight flavor trends that will offer a taste of 2015 and beyond:

1. Global Blends On the Move – Japanese 7 Spice (Shichimi Togarashi) offers a new kind of spicy heat, while Shawarma Spice Blend lends warm, spiced flavor to grilled meats and more.

2. Middle Eastern Mezze – These distinctive dips and spreads, packed with zesty herbs and seasonings, offer an approachable and delicious introduction to a vibrant global cuisine.

3. Sour + Salt – Combining coarse salt with surprising sours like pickled ginger, sour cherry, dried mango and lemon zest results in a lively finishing flavor that lends brightness and texture to dishes.

4. Smoked Spices – Smoking spices and herbs deepens their flavor and aroma, adding richness to meals and drinks.

5. Umami Veggies – For a fresh way to savor the tempting “fifth taste,” look no further than naturally umami-rich veggies like mushrooms, tomatoes, sweet potatoes and nori.

6. Liquid Revolution – Fresh purees and juices blend with bold spices and herbs to intensify sauces, pasta, dressings and more – providing a fun, delicious way to enjoy an extra serving of fruits and veggies.

7. Flavor Worth the Wait – Lift the lid to discover the rich flavors from recipes around the world that meld aromatic spices and comforting ingredients into mouthwatering slow-cooked meals.

8. Cookies Reimagined – Classic spiced cookie flavors take new form in decadent, imaginative desserts that redefine “milk and cookies.”

I am fascinated by Umami. It’s considered the “fifth taste” along with sweet, salty, sour and bitter.

A few years ago I attend an event in New York City, along with authors, journalists, “foodies”, blogger and others in the food industry to learn more about Umanmi. It was an interesting and delicious experience.

The event was held at the NY Academy of Science and the food was created by Chef Danny Boome from the Food Network.

This is some of the food we ate to help teach us about Umanmi.

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189137_10150153260383973_6363743_n

198579_10150153259208973_6354191_n

The event was a few years ago (March 2011). I don’t remember the meals but I do remember that each one was amazing.

Umanmi has something do do with glutamate – as in MSG. The event was held to dispel the myths about MSG and the benefits of using MSG to balance and enhance the taste of reduced-sodium or sodium-controlled foods. It was an interesting experience (and a delicious one too).

I am also interested in flavors to help enhance my slow cooked meals. I use my crock pot often and I would love to find herbs and spices to help boost the flavor in my “comfort meals” that I slow cook for my family.

In addition I’d like to learn more about smoked flavors. I would love to add a smoked flavor to my poultry and fish, maybe even vegetables.

I’m looking forward to learning more about the McCormick® Flavor Forecast® for 2015.

If you would like more information visit FlavorForecast.com and Pinterest.com/McCormickspice for innovative recipes, images and more ways to explore this year’s top tastes.

I would like to encourage you to visit both pages. The Flavor Forecast page has some truly mouth watering recipe ideas, in addition to more information about the forecast flavors. Some of my favorites include Smoky-Sweet Pickles with Strawberries, Roasted Beet and White Bean Dip and Gingersnap Crème Brûlée.

CB

D

SP

I am definitely going to try the Smoky-Sweet Pickles with Strawberries recipe. I didn’t know that you can “smoke” spices on your stove top. I thought you had to buy special smoked blends.

To smoke spices: Spread 1 cup fine mesquite wood chips in cast-iron skillet. Heat on high heat about 10 minutes or until wood chips start to smoke. Reduce heat to low. Place small baking rack on top of wood chips. Spread seasonings in small shallow disposable aluminum pan or foil muffin baking cup. Place pan on rack. Cover skillet with lid. (In order to keep the smoke in, lid should cover skillet tightly. If necessary, place aluminum foil over skillet first then cover with lid.) Smoke 30 minutes. Turn heat off. Let stand 1 hour or until cooled.

Now that I know it’s possible to smoke spices at home I am going to give it a try. I just need to figure out where I can get the mesquite wood chips.

I can image how nice smoking spices would make your home smell too.

What do you think about the McCormick® Flavor Forecast® for 2015? Are you interested in learning more about these trends? What flavors do you think are trendy these days? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section and on social media using the hashtag #FlavorForecast. I’m looking forward to reading your comments and social comments.

McCormick Spices

Kimberly

*I have partnered with McCormick to bring you this information. Although compensated the opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Escape the cold with the Snapware® Winter Warm-Up Sweepstakes (giveaway ends 1/18/15)

 

Italian-Wedding-Soup-1

The weather outside might be “frightful” for many people across the country (referring, of course, to cold, winter weather). That means more time spent in doors to keep warm and out of the harsh elements.

This time of the year is a great time to prepare your family’s favorite comfort foods such as soups, stews and roasts. I’m actually making stew for my family tonight. It’s been cooking in the crock pot all day. I cannot wait to enjoy a bowlful (or two) tonight for dinner.

Soup is such a hearty, easy to make, fulling meal. Soups can also be prepared so that its low fat and high in fiber and vegetables.

If you haven’t made soup yet, now is a great time to try. If you need a recipe to get you started, why not try my version of Italian Wedding Soup (which goes great with the Strawberry Spinach Salad also featured in that post). It’s pictured above.

To help inspire you and your family to cook more healthy and delicious soups this winter, Chef Emeril Lagasse will be sharing some of his favorite soup recipes on www.Facebook.com/Snapware. In addition he’ll be sharing valuable tips and tricks for perfecting soup.

Once you prepared your soup you’ll need a way to store and transport it (in case you plan on sharing your soup with others). Prep, storage and transportation is a “snap” with the Snapware® Total Solution® collection, which combines an air-tight and leak-proof, four-latch plastic lid with either a plastic or Pyrex® oven-safe glass vessel. Not only are they great for soups, but they also work great with sauces, left overs and more.

Snapware

I currently have some left over Cheddar Potato Soup I made in one of our Snapware® Total Solution® pieces. My husband plans on taking it to work with him tomorrow for lunch. With the Snapware® Total Solution® pieces there is no worries about it leaking on it’s way to his job.

Starting today (January 7, 2015) consumers can visit the Snapware® brand Facebook page to enter the Snapware® Winter Warm-Up Sweepstakes daily for the chance to escape the cold with a trip for four to Orlando, including airfare, accommodations, dinner at Emeril’s Orlando restaurant, tickets to local attractions, a suite of Snapware® and more! That sounds like a great prize package. My family would enjoy something like this.

In addition, weekly winners will also receive a Snapware® prize pack to prep and store with ease.

If you would like to learn more about the Snapware® Winter Warm-Up,  to enter or to view the official sweepstakes rules, please visit the Snapware® Facebook page: www.Facebook.com/Snapware. The Sweepstakes ends on January 31, 2015.

Snapware Giveaway

Snapware® would like to give a lucky reader a Snapware® Total Solution™ 10-PC Set. Thank you Snapware®. 

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on January 18, 2015 at 11:59 PM (EST). The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via e-mail and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen in their place.

To enter please comment on this post and tell me what is your favorite type of soup is and/or do you enjoy making your own soups?

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the initial entry requirement or the additional entries wont’ qualify (I do check). Extra entries are optional.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kimberly

*I received the same prize package in exchange for my participation. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Cathy Mitchell’s Quick & Easy Dump Cakes

 

Dump-Cakes-Cover

Have you ever heard of a “Dump Cake” before? Until recently I have never heard of that term before.

A Dump Cake is a cake (or dessert) that you make by simply dumping ingredients in a pan and popping it in the oven. There is no measuring or weighing involved and barely any mixing.

That’s my kind of baking!

I’m not much of a great baker (I’m a good cook). Baking has never been a strong point of mine. I also don’t have the time to spend hours in the kitchen baking.

I was recently sent a copy of the book Cathy Mitchell’s Quick & Easy Dump Cakes.

There are a lot of delicious sounding recipes in the book. Unfortunately most of them don’t have pictures along with the recipes. I am a very visual person. I tend to make recipes (baking or cooking) where I can see what the final result should look like. I don’t like to “guess” what something is supposed to look like. I would rather see the end result so I can make sure my end result looks similar.

I have plenty of cookbooks that don’t have photos with the recipes so I am used to it.

There are a lot of recipes in this book – over 25o of them.

I haven’t had the opportunity to try any of the recipes yet, but I do have several that are “dog earred” so I can try them out after the holidays.

Here are two sample recipes from the book (shared with permission).

Mixed Berry

Mixed Berry Cake

2 packages (12 ounces) frozen mixed berries, thawed and drained

1 can (12ounces) Lemon-lime soda

1 package (about 15 ounces) white cake mix

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ cup cinnamon chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray 13X9-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Spread mixed berries in prepared pan. Top with cake mix, spreading evenly. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Slowly pour soda over top, covering cake mix as much as possible. Sprinkle with cinnamon chips.
  3. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean. Cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

Makes 12 to 16 servings

Pumpkin Pecan Dump Cake

Pumpkin Pecan Cake-

  • 1 can solid-pack pumpkin
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 package yellow mix
  • ¾ cup butter, cut into thin slices
  • ½ cup pecan halves
  1.  Preheat oven to 350. Spray 13X9-inch baking pan with non-stick spray.
  2. Combine pumpkin, evaporated milk, brown sugar, eggs, pumpkin pie spice and salt in medium bowl; stir until well blended. Pour into prepared pan, top with cake mix, spread evenly. Top with butter in single layer, covering cake mix as much as possible. Sprinkle with pecans.
  3. Bake about 1 hour or until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.

Makes 12-16 servings

As you can see, there IS mixing and measuring involved. In fact I was rather shocked by that. I assumed the entire book was Dump Cake recipes. I went page by page and only found a few true Dump Cake recipes. Most recipes are regular recipes where you need to mix and measure.

The recipes in the book do sound delicious, and most of the ones I have dog earred are regular recipes (I do have two true Dump Cake recipes I want to try, especially the skillet S’mores. That looks good, quick and easy.

Even though I have watched a few videos staring Cathy Mitchell, the lady behind the Quick & Easy Dump Cake Cookbook. The dump recipes she made she didn’t mix the ingredients. Honestly I think I would mix them – at least a little bit. I would be worried that unmixed cake mix will come out dry and crumbly. I would want to make 100% certain that the dry ingredients were wet. I think I’ll mix the cake mix and water/soda (yes, soda!) in a bowl THEN pour it on top of the other ingredients just to be on the safe side.

I’m a bit disappointed that the entire book was not Dump Cake recipes as the cover would lead you to believe, but the recipes inside do sound delicious and seem pretty quick and easy to make.

If you would like to learn more about Cathy Mitchell’s Quick & Easy Dump Cakes visit www.BuyDumpCakes.com.

Have you ever made a Dump Cake before? If so, what kind of cake did you make and how did it turn out?

Have you tried any of Cathy Mitchell’s recipes? How did it turnout?

Feel free to share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers. :-)

Dump Cake Screen Shot

Kimberly

*I received a free copy in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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