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Sweets For Your Sweetie!

Kelly McCombs - Saturday, February 11, 2017

(Photo: kevinandamanda.com)



Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and now is the time to start planning out the day! Most people will buy store-bought candy or pastries for their loved one. Why not kick it up a notch and earn some extra points by making something from scratch! Here is a list of some of our favorite sweets for your Sweetie!



Red Velvet Oreo Truffle Brownies


Ingredients:

1 box (18.25 oz) red velvet cake mix

1 cup butter, divided

2 eggs

1 package (about 36) whole Oreos

1 bag (11.5 oz) milk chocolate chips (about 1.5 cups)

1 bag (12 oz) mini chocolate chips (about 1.5 cups)

1 cup (1/2 pint) heavy whipping cream


Directions:

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13 baking dish with foil and coat with cooking spray. Beat together cake mix, 1/2 cup melted butter, and 2 eggs until fully combined and smooth. Press into the bottom of prepared pan and bake for 15-18 mins, until just set.
  2. 2. Crush whole Oreos in a sealed bag. Stir together with remaining 1/2 cup melted butter and mix well. Pour over baked red velvet brownies and gently press down in an even layer.
  3. 3. Place the milk chocolate chips in a medium-sized bowl. Bring the heavy cream to a low boil, then pour over chips. Let sit for 5 minutes, then whisk together until completely smooth and thick. Pour over Oreo layer. Top with mini chocolate chips. Refrigerate for 30-45 mins to allow chocolate ganache to set up. Cut into bars and serve.

Chocolate Lava Cake


Ingredients:

2 tablespoons butter

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

3/4 cup butter

3 eggs

3 egg yolks

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

Powdered sugar


Directions:

  1. 1. Using the 2 tablespoons butter, grease six 8- to 10-ounce ramekins, souffle dishes or custard cups. Place ramekins in a 15x10x1-inch baking pan; set aside.
  2. 2. In a heavy small saucepan, combine chocolate and the 3/4 cup butter. Cook and stir over low heat until chocolate melts. Remove pan from heat; set aside.
  3. 3. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs, egg yolks, granulated sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer on high speed for 8 to 10 minutes or until thick and lemon colored. Fold one-third of the chocolate mixture into egg mixture. Fold remaining chocolate mixture and flour into egg mixture. Spoon about 2/3 cup batter into each prepared ramekin, dividing evenly.
  4. 4. Bake in a 425 degree F oven about 12 minutes or until cake edges feel firm. Cool in ramekins on a wire rack for 2 to 3 minutes. Using a knife, loosen cake from sides of ramekins. Invert onto dessert plates. Sift with powdered sugar. Garnish with fresh raspberries and mint leaves if desired. Serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.


Peanut Butter Truffles


Ingredients:

3/4 cup whipping cream

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1 cup semisweet chocolate pieces

8 ounces chocolate-flavored candy coating


Directions:

  1. 1. In a heavy small saucepan, bring whipping cream just to boiling. Remove from heat. Add peanut butter, stirring until combined. Add chocolate pieces, stirring until melted and smooth. Transfer mixture to a 2-quart baking dish. Cover and chill about 1 hour or until firm.
  2. 2. Line a baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper. Use a spoon or a small cookie scoop to shape truffle mixture into 1-inch balls. Place on prepared baking sheet. Cover and freeze 30 minutes or until firm.
  3. 3. In a heavy small saucepan, melt candy coating over low heat, stirring constantly until smooth. Using a fork, quickly dip truffles, one at a time, into coating. Draw the fork across the rim of the saucepan to remove excess coating. Return truffles to baking sheet. Let stand 30 minutes or until coating is set.
  4. 4. Store truffles tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Let stand at room temperature about 30 minutes before serving.

Easy Mini Cherry Pies


Ingredients:

1 box Pillsbury™ Refrigerated Pie Crust, softened as directed on box

1 can (21 oz) cherry pie filling

1 egg

1 tablespoon water


Directions:

  1. 1. Heat oven to 400°F. Unroll pie crusts; use rolling pin to slightly roll dough out.
  2. 2. Use 3-inch diameter round cutter to cut 12 circles from dough. Use small heart-shaped cutter to cut 12 hearts from remaining dough, rerolling scraps as needed.
  3. 3. Press circles into 12 ungreased regular-size muffin cups; fill with pie filling. Top each with heart-shaped cutout.
  4. 4. In small bowl, beat egg and water. Brush over crust on each.
  5. 5. Bake about 20 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.


Cookie Dough Trifle


Ingredients:

Cookie Dough

1 1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened

1 1/2 c. brown sugar

1 tbsp. vanilla extract

3 1/4 c. crushed graham crackers

1/3 c. milk

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/3 c. mini chocolate chips


Whipped Cream Layer

2 pkg. Cool Whip, thawed

1 c. mini chocolate chips

8 chocolate chip cookies


Chocolate Pudding Layer

2 (3.4 oz.) boxes instant chocolate pudding mix

4 c. cold milk


Directions:

  1. 1. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat butter, brown sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Mix in graham crackers, salt, and milk. Fold in chocolate chips. Crumble and pour 1/3 of the mixture into the bottom of a trifle dish.
  2. 2. Make the whipped cream layer: Mix chocolate chips and Cool Whip. Pour 1/3 of the mixture on top of the cookie dough in the trifle dish. Top whipped cream layer with a layer of chocolate chip cookies.
  3. 3. Make chocolate pudding layer: Combine pudding mixes and milk, whisking until granules have dissolved. Let pudding has set, 5 minutes, then pour 1/3 of the mixture on top of the cookies, smoothing to create an even layer.
  4. 4. Repeat layers until you've reached the top of the dish.
  5. 5. Cover the entire trifle with remaining whipped cream. Refrigerate at least 2 hours, to soften the cookie layers. Top with chocolate chips and crumbled cookie pieces before serving.

Our Favorite Romantic Getaways

Kelly McCombs - Friday, January 20, 2017

                                                            (Photo from www.thesagamore.com)


With Valentine’s Day just a few weeks away, now is the time to plan that romantic getaway! Whether you want to stay close to home or travel a few hours out of town, we have put together a list of some of our favorites!



First up is The Inn at Five Points in Saratoga Springs, NY. Owned by James and Eilis Petrosino, the Inn is a beautifully restored Victorian Bed and Breakfast nestled right in the heart of Saratoga. Centrally located and within walking distance to all that Saratoga has to offer, this would be a very special place to visit with your loved one for a romantic overnight, yet one that is still close to home. The Petrosino's serve a delicious breakfast every morning, in true Bed and Breakfast fashion, with everything being locally grown and sourced. If you would like a true taste of all that Saratoga has to offer, this is the place to do it!



For something a bit farther out of town, head south to The Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, NY. Architecturally impressive, this castle-like resort is situated right on the banks of Lake Mohonk. Surrounded by beautiful views of the mountains and forest, The Mohonk Mountain house offers a few different packages for your romantic getaway. Whether you want a relaxing spa package for two or a luxurious “Special Occasion” package, they have something to fit everyone’s needs. There are a plethora of activities here even in the winter, from ice skating to snow tubing, so you will never be bored!



Heading back up north, The Sagamore in Bolton Landing on Lake George is one of those hotels that many people know and rave about. Another stunning resort, The Sagamore has been inviting guests to stay with them since 1883. They are offering a lovely Valentine’s Weekend Getaway package which includes breakfast and dinner for two, along with complimentary champagne and chocolates. They also have a beautiful spa which should be high on the list of priorities if you choose to stay with them. There isn’t anything more romantic than relaxing time spent together!



One of my favorite places to go on Valentine’s Day is a little farther than the others, but very much worth it. Niagara Falls during the winter months is one of the most beautiful places. Even if you have been there before in the warmer months, seeing it in winter adds a whole new dimension. The mist from the falls coats everything in a layer of ice, making for some really beautiful ice sculptures. Make sure you dress warmly! Even though this may not be one of the coziest romantic getaways, you will surely make some wonderful memories with your loved one!



We hope you are able to take a little time away from your everyday life to be able to enjoy one of this beautiful places with your loved one. Even if it isn't for Valentine's Day, they all are wonderful places to visit any day of the year!


Favorite Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Kelly McCombs - Saturday, November 19, 2016
                                                                                   Photo by Justin Bernhaut

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, we have compiled a list of some of our favorite side dishes and desserts for you. The turkey should always be the star of the show, of course, but having some delicious sides to pair with it make the meal perfect!


First up is a delicious Corn Pudding that is so rich, it is the perfect comfort food. This recipe is also super easy because you will be using packaged cornbread mix. The perfect mix of corn on the cob and corn bread, this is one recipe that is sure to be a crowd pleaser.


Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream

1 package (8-1/2 ounces) corn bread/muffin mix

1/2 cup 2% milk

1 can (15-1/4 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained

1 can (14-3/4 ounces) cream-style corn


Directions:

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 325°. 
  2. 2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. 
  3. 3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
  4. 4. Beat in sour cream. Gradually add muffin mix alternately with milk. 
  5. 5. Fold in corn.
  6. 6. Pour into a greased 3-qt. baking dish. 
  7. 7. Bake, uncovered, 45-50 minutes or until set and lightly browned.


What’s Thanksgiving without cranberry sauce? This recipe puts a spin on the traditional canned version by adding orange marmalade and cilantro. This is very easy to make ahead and will keep for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. If you do plan on making this ahead of time, don’t add the cilantro. You can add it in just before you serve.


Ingredients:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1 cup orange juice

16 ounces cranberries (fresh or frozen)

1/2 to 3/4 cup orange marmalade

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro (optional)


Directions:

  1. 1. In a saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter.
  2. 2. Add the ginger and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
  3. 3. Add the sugar, orange juice, and cranberries.
  4. 4. Cook until the cranberries burst and the sauce thickens, about 15 minutes.
  5. 5. Stir in the marmalade to taste (depending on desired sweetness).
  6. 6. Turn off heat. Stir in the pepper and cilantro just before serving.
  7. 7. Serve warm or at room temperature.


One of my favorite potato sides to make for Thanksgiving is this Skillet Scalloped Potatoes with Chive Butter. Super cheesy and easy to make, someone in my family has made this for the last few Thanksgiving meals, and it is always the first thing we run out of.


Ingredients:

2 tbsp. unsalted butter

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 onion, diced

2 tsp. fresh thyme

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 c. heavy cream

1/2 c. chicken stock

1/4 c. chopped chives, plus more for garnish

1 c. shredded fontina cheese

3 to 4 Yukon gold potatoes, sliced thinly on mandolin


Directions:

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 
  2. 2. In a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter and add garlic, onion, and thyme. Cook until mixture is softened, 3 to 5 minutes. 
  3. 3. Add 1 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, heavy cream, and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Turn off heat and mix in chives and half of fontina.
  4. 4. Add potatoes to skillet and arrange in any pattern, keeping slices vertical to ensure even cooking. 
  5. 5. Bake 40 minutes. Sprinkle remaining fontina all over and bake until cheese is melty and crust is golden brown, 10 minutes more.
  6. 6. Garnish with chives and serve immediately.


One of the most recognizable side dishes that can be found on most tables is a Green Bean Casserole. Usually made with canned ingredients, this recipe is made with only fresh ingredients. Talk about a delicious comfort food!


Ingredients:

Nonstick cooking spray, for greasing

5 cups sliced green beans

4 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 cup panko breadcrumbs

1 cup grated Parmesan

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons canola oil

1 1/2 cups diced onions

2 cups sliced baby Bella mushrooms

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream

1/2 teaspoon House Seasoning, recipe follows

1/2 teaspoon salt

HOUSE SEASONING:

1 cup kosher salt

1/4 cup garlic powder

1/4 cup black pepper


Directions:

  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 1 1/2-quart baking dish with nonstick spray.
  2. 2. Boil the green beans in the chicken broth for 20 minutes, and then drain, reserving 1 1/2 cups of the chicken broth.
  3. 3. Mix together the breadcrumbs, Parmesan and 2 teaspoons of the oil in a small bowl. Set aside.
  4. 4. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onions until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes, and then add the mushrooms and continue to cook for 3 to 4 minutes longer. Remove from the heat.
  5. 5. Pour the reserved 1 1/2 cups chicken broth back into the pot the green beans boiled in and bring to a boil. Add the green beans to the skillet with the mushrooms and onions.
  6. 6. While that is coming to a boil, combine the cornstarch and 1/4 cup water in a small bowl to make a slurry. Slowly pour the slurry into the boiling broth, whisking constantly as it thickens, about 2 minutes.
  7. 7.  Pour the thickened mixture over the green beans and add the sour cream, House Seasoning and salt. Stir well.
  8. 8. Pour into the baking dish and sprinkle with the panko and cheese mixture. Bake until the casserole is hot, about 10 minutes, and then broil until the breadcrumb topping is slightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes.
  9. 9. Mix together the salt, garlic powder and pepper.

Switching to the dessert side of things, everyone is used to the traditional Pumpkin Pie or Apple Pie at their Thanksgiving table. Why not showcase some of the different fruits available during the Fall? This Brown Butter Pear and Cranberry Cobbler is one of my personal favorites to bring to my family’s table on holidays!

Ingredients:

6 tbsp. plus 3 tbsp. butter, cut up

2 lb. ripe Bartlett or Anjou pears, peeled, cored and chopped

1 1/2 c. fresh or frozen (thawed) cranberries

3/4 c. plus 1/4 c. sugar

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 c. all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/8 tsp. salt

1/2 c. heavy cream

1/4 c. cornstarch

Directions:

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. 2. In 12" skillet, melt 6 tablespoons butter on medium. Cook 5 to 7 minutes or until golden brown and fragrant, swirling frequently.
  3. 3. Stir in pears, cranberries, 3/4 cup sugar, cinnamon. Cook 5 minutes or until pears begin to soften, stirring frequently. Cool.
  4. 4. Meanwhile, in food processor bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Pulse in remaining 3 tablespoons butter until fine crumbs form; transfer to medium bowl. 
  5. 5. Stir in heavy cream until dough just comes together, kneading once or twice.
    1. 6. In large bowl, toss pear mixture with cornstarch; transfer to 9" pie plate or 2-quart baking dish. With hands, scoop dough onto pie in small mounds. Bake, on foil-lined baking sheet, 40 to 50 minutes or until top is golden brown and pears are tender. Serve warm or at room temperature.



From our family to yours, we wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving, spending time with loved ones and making memories!


Favorite Fall Desserts

Kelly McCombs - Saturday, October 08, 2016
                                                                     (Photo credit: carpeseason.com)

Fall is my very favorite season for many reasons, one of them being all of the delicious desserts I like to bake for my friends and family. The weather isn’t too hot, so it’s a perfect time to turn on that oven and get to work in the kitchen! I have put together a list of some of my all-time favorite desserts that I like to whip together during the Autumn season.


My absolute favorite snack to have during the Fall is Apple Cider Donuts. I always buy a dozen or so every time I go apple or pumpkin picking. They would be eaten so fast that I thought, why not make them myself? This recipe is the best one that I have tried so far because they taste like they are right from the cider mill at the local farm. Don’t forget to let the donut dough rise for at least an hour. This ensures that your donuts will be fluffy and delicious!


My next favorite recipe are for these Apple Oatmeal Cookies. Super simple to make, these cookies put a delicious twist on the traditional oatmeal cookie by simply adding in some chopped apples. The base recipe for the oatmeal cookie is one of the most delicious, so adding apples to the mix makes them perfect for fall. Thick, soft and chewy…it doesn’t get much better than that on a crisp, Fall day!


One recipe that is always highly requested at my parent’s house whenever I go over, is these Pumpkin Cheesecake Snickerdoodles. I have always really enjoyed normal snickerdoodles, so when I came across this recipe, I knew I had to try it. I brought them over to my family for Sunday night football one weekend, and they flew off the plate faster than I thought possible! The cream cheese center in these cookies is a delicious surprise and so yummy and creamy. Make sure you make extra of these because they are so delicious, they won’t last long!


Chocolate Apple Pops are fun and easy to make, and are perfect if you have children that want to help out in the kitchen. Dunking apple slices into warm chocolate and then dressing them up with all kinds of candies and crumbled cookies. You can really add anything you want to them. You can even use white chocolate or dark chocolate instead of the traditional milk chocolate. These are also fun to bring to parties because they are easily portable and easy for people to carry around and eat without the need for a plate. Such a simple recipe to have tons of fun with!


There are times when I can’t make the decision between wanting some kind of pumpkin cake or pumpkin pie. This recipe for Pumpkin Pie Cake solves that problem for me easily! This recipe takes a bit longer to put together than the others so far, but trust me, it is so worth it! The reason I love this one so much is because while I typically love pumpkin pie, sometimes I am not a fan of the pie crust. By putting the same pumpkin pie mixture on top of a yellow cake mixture, it is the perfect combination, in my opinion. This is a must-try recipe if you are looking to switch up the traditional pumpkin pie recipe this season!


I hope you have enjoyed learning about some of my favorite Fall dessert recipes! One of the reasons I love these so much is because I love getting together with my family and making all of these delicious things for them. There is no better feeling that seeing your loved ones happy and enjoying the food that you made for them! Happy Fall everyone!


Late Summer Recipes

Kelly McCombs - Saturday, September 03, 2016
                                                                                   (Snixykitchen.com)

September is one of my favorite months because it’s finally not too hot to turn the oven on, but yet it is still warm enough to go out for a sweet ice cream treat! In honor of summer coming to a close, we have compiled a list of some late summer recipes for you to enjoy!


First up is a Roasted Beet and Citrus Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette. This salad is the perfect combination of savory and sweet with the earthy beets and fresh, sweet and sour grapefruit and oranges. This might even be a perfect salad to convince someone who doesn’t like beets to give them a try. Each mouthful is deliciously refreshing and full of different tastes and textures, sure to please any palate.


I know in my personal garden at home, I have an abundance of tomatoes of all kinds. Cherry tomatoes, beefsteak tomatoes…you name it, I have it. That is one of the best things about late summer and the reason you should absolutely make this Parmesan Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes. This recipe is super easy and quick, and would be delicious as a side at dinner or served up with some eggs for breakfast! If you don’t have your own garden, head on over to your local farmer’s market and pick up some wonderful heirloom tomatoes to enjoy this recipe!


One of my favorite dishes to make in the late summer that utilizes almost everything I grow in my garden is the End of Summer Ratatouille. This is one of the easiest dishes you will ever make because you just chop everything up, add some spices and throw it in to one dish. I will even make this with leftover vegetables that I have so that they don’t go to waste. The End of Summer Ratatouille is perfect as a side paired with chicken, served mixed in with pasta, or even on a salad. It is one of my favorite go-to dishes for September!


Have you ever bought a bunch of bananas with the good intentions of grabbing one on your way to work for an addition to a healthy breakfast, but then you forget? Happens to me all the time! What I do with my overripe bananas is make something not so healthy: Bananas Foster! What’s better than buttery, caramelized bananas served with some vanilla ice cream? Not much, in my opinion! There is booze in this recipe and you can get fancy by lighting it on fire in the pan to flambé, but be careful! We wouldn’t want anyone to lose their eyebrows! Serve this lovely dessert up as a late night treat to satisfy that sweet tooth.


Our final recipe is a perfect one for September, where fall is just around the corner and you feel like having something cozy and delicious. Hasselback Sweet Potatoes are one of my favorite “feel good” additions to any meal. Many of us are used to eating sweet potatoes caramelized up at Thanksgiving, but this recipe takes it up a notch with the addiction of apples, cranberries, and pecans. One tip for you when you make this recipe: sweet potatoes are usually pretty hard to cut, so make sure you have a sharp knife to avoid any injuries!


We hope you enjoy making these delicious recipes during the final few weeks of summer!


Our Favorite Seattle Eateries

Kelly McCombs - Friday, August 26, 2016

                                                          (Photo Credit: Jennifer Richard, thestranger.com)

Seattle is known for is incredibly diverse and unique restaurant scene. Whether you are in the mood for deliciously fresh seafood, an incredible Cuban cured meat sandwich, or some of the best bakery treats around, Seattle is the place to be. Let’s continue our adventure and go over some of our favorites!


Topping the list today is one of the most unique and extravagant dining options. Altura, located on Broadway East in Seattle, strives to make your dining experience one that you will remember. No two nights at Altura will be the same, as the chef prepares a different menu every day. Each meal is between five and seven courses with “small bites” in between. While this restaurant is on the pricey side at $137 per person, the delicious food and atmosphere is certainly worth it. Sitting at the bar while watching the chef cook is one of the best seats in all of Seattle!


Next up is one of my personal favorite restaurants, Lark, on East Seneca St. Lark is popularly known as one of the premier artisan-focused restaurants in all of Seattle. They only use locally grown, organic ingredients, and only those that are currently in season. In the mood for something a little less fancy, but in keeping with the Lark philosophy of fresh, organic and in season? The owners also own a beautiful bar named Bitter/Raw and a delicious sandwich and coffee counter called Slab. Each of these locations comes highly recommended. You are sure to have a delicious meal and a wonderful experience here!


If I am in Seattle and feeling like a nice, juicy burger, my go-to stop is Red Mill Burgers! There are two locations of this delicious eatery available to you, and both of them will have a line out the door if you hit the timing right. Red Mill Burgers offers a large variety of flame-grilled burgers with every topping imaginable. They even offer vegetarian options and a few different chicken sandwich options. Family owned and operated, Red Mill is a friendly and vibrant burger joint. They were even named on the list of the Top 20 Burgers You Must Eat Before You Die on the Oprah Show and in GQ magazine! Sounds like eating here is a necessity!


Heading in a completely different direction, one of the most raved about bakeries in all of Seattle is Bakery Nouveau. Chef William Leaman has won numerous prestigious awards and been feature in so many dining publications that there are too many to count. Bakery Nouveau offers two locations, one in West Seattle and one on Capitol Hill, with the decadent smells traveling outside the bakery for blocks. Each location offers a large variety of breads, chocolates and other delicious sweets such as French macarons, cookies and even sweet and savory breakfast pastries. If you have a sweet tooth, this is a must-see place for you!


Looking for something a little different? While Dough Zone Dumpling House is a small chain of restaurants, they serve some of the best Chinese comfort food in all of Washington State. Offering a large variety of dumplings and noodle dishes, this unique eatery will have you craving more locations so that you can go anytime!


This is only a small selection of our favorite restaurants in Seattle. There are literally hundreds of wonderful places to eat anywhere you go. The thing about Seattle is there is a beautiful mix of cultures and flavors all over the city. If you ever get the chance to visit, we hope that you find our lists useful on your travels!


Delicious No-Bake Desserts

Kelly McCombs - Saturday, August 06, 2016

                                                                 Photo Credit: timelapserecipes.com



It has been hot, hot, hot here in NY for the last few weeks! The last thing anyone wants to do is turn on an oven to bake a dessert, so we are bringing you some easy no-bake options for your next summer get together!


First up is a treat that most people will recognize, the Chocolate Mousse Pie. This is one of the easiest pies around to make, and using a store bought graham cracker or cookie crust makes it even easier. You can also use store-bought whipped cream instead of whipping your own, if you’re short on time. This is one of those simple, yet delicious pies that we have at all of our family gatherings. It is a summertime staple!


I don’t know about you, but cannolis are one of my all-time favorite desserts. This simple No-Bake Cannoli Cheesecake, is a perfect, easy option that hits the spot! The combination of cannoli and cheesecake make this deliciously decadent, without taking a lot of time! You will fool everyone into thinking that you spent hours perfecting this recipe, when it really only took you about 15 minutes!


This tangy Tropical Sherbet is very easy to prep ahead of time for those last-minute meet-ups. Just freeze chunks of mango and pineapple, pop them in the blender with some lemon yogurt and you will come out with a delicious sherbet that is the consistency of soft serve ice cream. Don’t freeze the sherbet overnight though. It will turn from smooth to icy!


One of the most refreshing recipes and one perfect for this time of year is the Limoncello Freeze. This is a delicious lemony version of a creamsicle and it is super easy to make. All of the ingredients can be store-bought, so no need to waste time by prepping them yourself. I can picture sitting out on the back deck in the sun with one of these. The perfect summer refreshment!


If you are in the mood for something more “cake-like”, then you need to try this Banana Split Cake. The combination of the ripe bananas and the vanilla pudding make this creamy dessert to die for. I have made this for a few different family gatherings and it is always the one dessert that everyone requests me to bring. It is certainly a huge hit!


I’m sure that one of these delicious recipes will hit the spot, and they won’t leave you a sweaty mess in the process! 

Lemon-Lime Spring Inspired Recipes

Kelly McCombs - Wednesday, May 11, 2016


We have finally welcomed Spring and some pretty fantastic weather here at Saratoga Spring Water! Why not get outside to enjoy the weather and have a picnic or outdoor luncheon? These recipes are perfectly suited for such an occasion and are inspired by our refreshing Lemon Lime Essence!



Lemon Yogurt Cake

Sometimes, it’s hard to find the perfect lemon cake. They can be too sweet or too tart, but this one hits the nail right on the head! Adding yogurt into this recipe makes the finished cake moist and very flavorful, with a wonderful tang that pairs perfectly with the lemon.


Slow Cooker Cilantro-Lime Chicken

Slow Cooker meals are always super easy to make and travel with, so they are perfect to bring along to a family barbeque or casual luncheon. Serve this meal up on lettuce for a healthier option, or on a bed of rice for something a little heartier!


Black Bean Lentil Salad with Cumin-Lime Dressing

A super light and healthy option, this salad is gluten free and vegetarian. Adding the hearty black beans means it can be eaten as an entrée or even a side dish. Topping it all off with the cumin-lime dressing brings all of the wonderful flavors together for a refreshing salad, perfect for a sunny Spring day!


Lemon Mint Iced Tea

Iced tea is a quintessential drink of Spring and Summer, but why not add a little excitement to the traditional! Adding rum spices it up a bit and takes the plain iced tea that everyone knows to the next level!


Saratoga Essence comes in three flavors: Orange Tangerine, Lemon Lime and Wild Berry. To learn more about this zero calorie, sparkling spring water or to purchase online, click here

Wild Berry Essence-Inspired Recipes

Saratoga Water - Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Being both tart and sweet, wild berries have a way of fitting into any meal of the day. Their small size and significant flavor allow them to be versatile on the plate—whether they act as the main ingredient, a hint of flavor or a garnish to compliment a dark chocolate cake. If you’re in need of refreshing recipe ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner or drinks, at least one of these recipes inspired by our Wild Berry Essence Sparkling Spring Water is sure to help you out!

Berry & Rosemary Juniper Gin Fizz: We think we’ve met Wild Berry Essence’s match, as far as cocktails go. Not rich, but refreshing, and not artificially sweet and sour, but authentically herbaceous and honeyed. Try it out! You’ll be ditching the artificial syrup real quick.

Balsamic Grilled Cherry, Blueberry, Goat Cheese, and Candied Hazelnut Salad: This salad has a delicious wild twist with the cherries pitted, tossed in a balsamic dressing, and grilled until juicy and charred. Sprinkle the balsamic grilled cherries with the blueberries, goat cheese and candied (hazel)nuts on a bed of mixed greens and there you have it—a berry-wild salad.

Chicken with Cherry-Wine Pan Sauce: This effortless recipe from Iowa Girl Eats is perfect for when you don’t have a lot of time to spare, but still want to impress. It only takes 20 minutes to lightly season, sear and smother a few chicken breasts in a dreamy wine-soaked cherry sauce… but if you can spare a few more minutes, the dish pairs deliciously with roasted broccoli or brussels sprouts.

Berry Metabolism-Boosting Smoothie: This Wild Berry Essence-inspired smoothie is perfect for a breakfast on the go, midday snack or pre-workout boost. Not only is it full of healthy fats, protein and antioxidants, but the “secret ingredient” is known for increasing energy and and metabolism!

Easy Quadruple Berry Cobbler: Crispy, chewy, sweet and tart all at the same time…this classic dessert is a wild berry-fan favorite because the six simple ingredients are already in your kitchen and it’s, well, full of an assortment of delicious wild berries.

Saratoga Essence comes in three flavors: Orange Tangerine, Lemon Lime and Wild Berry. To learn more about this zero calorie, sparkling spring water or to purchase online, click here

Clean Eating Recipes Perfect for Springtime

Saratoga Water - Tuesday, March 22, 2016


How clean is your spring this year? “Spring Cleaning” doesn’t only have to mean that we sort through our closet and toss out unwanted items—it could also mean that we clean up our pantry, our fridge and our diet.

The recipes below are so colorful, rich in nutrients and delicious that they will inspire you to stick with your spring clean eating habits year-round. And what’s more, with the sun starting to shine a bit more, the recipes below include those seasonal ingredients that can be found right now at your local farmer’s market or grocery store.

Breakfast:
Lemon Poppy Seed Steel Cut Oats: This recipe tastes like a scrumptious lemon poppy seed muffin, minus all those unwanted carbs. The heart-healthy fats, protein and fiber from the cashew butter and steel cut oats make this the perfect recipe for the most important meal of the day!

Instead of the usual sweetener of a spoonful (or two) of sugar, whip up the recipe’s rich, all-natural date paste made from blending pitted Medjool dates and water. The paste is both mixed in with the oats and used for the syrup. With the addition of lemon zest and poppy seeds, you’ll have created the most tasty lemon-poppy seed oatmeal.

Lunch:
Citrus, Fennel, and Avocado Salad: If this recipe doesn’t shout eating seasonal, we don’t know what does. Not only is it bursting with color and flavor, but also the citrus-veggie-herb combination is full of Vitamin C, antioxidants and enriching nutrients that benefit your hair, skin, heart, and so much more.
 
Grilled Veggie Pasta Salad: A simple yet fulfilling dish—you can’t go wrong with a veggie medley mixed with whole grain rotini or penne pasta. And—in our opinion — since the recipe requires grilling vegetables, you might as well stick a few chicken breasts on the grill while you’re at it to add a little protein.  
 
Dinner:
Pistachio-Crusted Salmon with Spring Onions: A little crunch, a tart kick and some pizazz is how we like to describe this dish. We love how baking the spring onions both mellows and sweetens them, complimenting the tart, crispy salmon. Keep in mind; a little orange zest (and juice) goes a long way.
 
Spring Panzanella with Asparagus: Food & Wine’s presentation of Spring Panzanella with Asparagus looks much more complicated than it is. There are really only four steps — (slightly) hard-boil eggs, slice and bake bread, cook asparagus and toss all of the ingredients together — for a fresh dish made with some of most simple, seasonal ingredients.
 
Dessert:
Chocolate Oatmeal & Chia Pudding Parfait: Blogger Moeko Munaretto made this creation of hers for breakfast, but we thought we would finish off this recipe post with something sweet for dessert. As divine as it looks, this pudding parfait actually has plenty of health benefits to offer, such as omega-3 fatty acids from the chia seeds, manganese, phosphorus, copper, selenium and many more minerals from the oats, and Vitamin C and antioxidants from the berries. Eating clean never tasted so good!

Bon Appétit!



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Saratoga Spring Water Co.  11 Geyser Road Saratoga Springs NY 12866