Marshmallow Cream Cheese Dip


She’s alive! 
 
You guys!  Life has been so crazy lately that I have hardly had a moment to catch my breath, let alone share a post with you.  If you follow me on Instagram, you already know that Lovebug started kindergarten a couple weeks ago.  And if you’ve been around for a while, you know that change and I don’t always ever get along.  But, we are settling into a groove and I’m excited to be able to focus back on blogging.  
 
I thought I’d ease in slowly with a super simple and delicious recipe with you and this Marshmallow Cream Cheese Fruit Dip recipe fit the bill perfectly!
 Marshmallow Cream Cheese Dip
I first had this Marshmallow Cream Cheese Fruit Dip at a girlfriends college graduation party many moons ago and I was surprised at how much I loved it.  See, I usually prefer fruit on its own because fresh fruit is so sweet and juicy that I don’t think it needs anything to make it better.   However, this dip seriously takes fruit to the next level.  
 
The secret ingredient is the fresh juice of an orange…  Not to be confused with “fresh” orange juice out of a bottle.  Trust me, you will want to give your arms a little workout and squeeze the juice out of a fresh orange.  It makes all the difference in this dip and gives it delightful fresh taste.  
 
The dip pairs perfectly with berries, stone fruits, apples, pears, pineapples and even some melons.  In fact, I love it with so many different fruits that I usually serve it with a fruit platter or salad so that I can have options.  It is so good!
 
I am still a fruit purist, but love pulling this fruit dip out for parties, potlucks or for a simple dessert.  It is always a hit with both kids and kids at heart!
 
Marshmallow Cream Cheese Fruit Dip
Serves 6
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Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  2. 7 oz marshmallow fluff
  3. Juice of 1 orange
  4. 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  5. Fresh fruit
Instructions
  1. Blend cream cheese and marshmallow fluff together in a large bowl using a hand mixer. Add the juice and powdered sugar and continue mixing until smooth. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Serve with fresh fruit.
The Lovebugs Blog http://www.thelovebugsblog.com/
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German Chocolate Cake
My Love absolutely loves German Chocolate Cake.  It is his very favorite cake and he asks for it at every opportunity, which creates a bit of a dilemma in our home…

See, German Chocolate Cake is not my favorite cake.  In fact, it might be my least favorite cake.  The  rich chocolate cake part, I love.  It’s just the frosting that I’m not much of a fan of.  And the frosting in my recipe is so sticky and gooey, full of coconut and pecans, that it oozes and seeps down into the nooks and crevices of the cake.  So, there is just no avoiding the frosting, which is great for someone who loves this cake.  But, not so great for someone like me who just wants to enjoy the cake part and skip the frosting.

My Love only requests it for special occasions (birthdays, Father’s Day, etc.) because (1) he feels that it is a burden for me to make it when I don’t like it (it’s not), (2) he doesn’t want to be the main consumer of this cake’s “awesomeness” (his word, not mine) and (3) he feels bad that I skip dessert when this cake is on the menu (a few skipped desserts never hurt anybody, right?).

Lucky for him, Father’s Day was last month, so he got to indulge in his favorite treat, which gave me the opportunity to share the recipe with you!  

Moral of the story: If you are a German Chocolate Cake loving family, this recipe is for you!  If not, then you should skip this recipe because there is no getting around the dark chocolate, coconut, pecan flavor combo. 
German Chocolate Cake 
 
See what I mean by sticky and gooey?  The frosting literally makes its way all over the cake, making sure each bite is full of chocolate cake, coconut, pecans and sweet sauce.  
 
 
Originally, I made this a mountainous four layer cake.  But, since we are a small family of four, we scaled it back a bit to prevent My Love from becoming diabetic from German Chocolate Cake consumption.  The cake is fantastic as shown (I’ve tested it with many family and friends since I can’t judge it myself), however, I highly recommend doubling the cake and frosting recipe to create a four layer cake, if you are serving a large crowd.  A four layer cake is always impressive but the flavors in this cake will make it an even bigger hit! 
 
 
German Chocolate Cake
Serves 8
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
2 hr
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
2 hr
Cake
  1. 2 cups sugar
  2. 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  3. 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  4. 2 teaspoons baking soda
  5. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  6. 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  7. 2 eggs
  8. 1 cup buttermilk
  9. 1 cups coffee, cooled slightly
  10. 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  11. 2 teaspoons vanilla
Coconut Pecan Frosting
  1. 1 cup sugar
  2. 1 cup evaporated milk
  3. 3 large egg yolks, slightly beaten
  4. 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 pieces
  5. pinch salt
  6. 1 cup lightly toasted pecans, finely chopped
  7. 3/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  8. 3/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
  9. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  10. Decorations: pecans and flaked coconut
Chocolate Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9-inch cake pans, line the bottom with parchment paper cake circle and grease the top of the paper. Set prepared pans aside.
  2. Over a sheet of parchment paper, sift together the sugar, flour, unsweetened cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Using clean hands, mix the dry ingredients together until distributed evenly. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or using a hand mixer and large bowl, mix together eggs, buttermilk, coffee, vegetable oil and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix to combine. Note - the batter will be thin.
  4. Divide the batter as evenly as you can between the two prepared pans. Bake for 30-35 minute, until cake tester or toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for about 10 minutes before moving them to a wire rack. Cool completely.
Coconut Pecan Frosting
  1. Combine sugar, milk, egg yolks, butter and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until mixture begins to boil and thinking. Remove from heat and stir in chopped pecans, coconut and vanilla. Let cool for at least thirty minutes until cool and spreadable.
To Assemble
  1. Place one layer of cake, top side down, on your serving plate and cover with half the coconut pecan frosting, spreading the frosting to the edge of the cake but not spilling it over. Place the second layer of cake, top side down, onto the first layer and cover with the remaining coconut pecan frosting, spreading the frosting to about 1/4" of the edge. To decorate, place 5-6 pecan halves in a circle in the center of the cake. Place about a teaspoon of flaked coconut in the center of the pecan halves.
  2. Serve immediately or keep refrigerated until shortly before serving.
The Lovebugs Blog http://www.thelovebugsblog.com/
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Deconstructed Peach Crisp A La Mode
It’s peach season, which means we spent a morning picking sweet juicy peaches and indulging in delicious peach pancakes at the annual Peach Festival at Schnepf Farm!  We’ve gone to the festival every year since we moved to Arizona and I look forward to it every spring.   
 
There are so many things I love about this festival – boxes of organic peaches, giant peach pancake breakfasts and a sampling tent full of peachy goodness!   But my very favorite part is eating fresh peaches picked straight from the trees!  Both of my girls inherited their mama’s peach loving gene (probably a result of all the peaches I ingested throughout my pregnancies!)  and it makes me so happy to see their hands and faces covered in sweet sticky peach juice as they devour peach after peach in the orchard.  In fact, I almost like watching them enjoy the peaches more than I like to eat the peaches myself.  Almost.
 
The festival has gotten bigger and busier every year we have attended, so we’ve learned to arrive right when the festival starts, grab “fast pass” tickets for the pancake breakfast, then head out to the orchard to pick peaches until it’s time to head back for breakfast.  We try to pick enough peaches to last us all year, but usually go through them all in a week or two and end up going back to pick more to freeze for later use.  
 
We love to eat the peaches fresh, freeze slices for later (see how here!), make peach popsicles and/or peach puree and prepare all kinds of delicious treats with them, like this, this and this.   This year, we attended the festival on Mother’s Day, which in my opinion was the perfect way to kick off the day!  Since we had the fresh peaches, I wanted to make a peachy dessert but didn’t want to spend a ton of time in the kitchen (or deal with the mess that my sweet thoughtful family might leave behind if they prepare a peachy dessert for me!).  So, I came up with a a way to get the delicious flavors of peach crisp a la mode, without all the work!  The best part is that you can satisfy your sweet tooth in about 10 minutes!   I started with a couple scoops of vanilla ice cream and poured warm peaches in a delicious thick sauce on top, then added some granola for a little crunch.
 
If you love peach crisp a la mode but don’t want to spend a ton of time making it, this Deconstructed Peach Crisp a La Mode recipe is for you!  
 
 
Deconstructed Peach Crisp A La Mode
Serves 4
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 8 sweet ripe peaches, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
  2. 1/4 cup sugar
  3. 1/4 cup brown sugar
  4. 4 teaspoons corn starch
  5. 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  6. 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  7. 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  8. Ice cream
  9. 1/2 cup granola clusters - I use KIND Healthy Grains Cinnamon Oat Clusters
Instructions
  1. In a medium pot, combine the peaches, sugar, brown sugar, corn starch, cinnamon, nutmeg, and lemon juice. Cook the mixture over medium low heat, stirring the ingredients until they are combined and peaches are coated. Cook for about 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until peaches are softened and sauce has thickened. Turn off the heat and allow the peaches to cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
  2. Scoop ice cream into bowls, then top with the warm peaches. Add 2 tablespoons of granola clusters over each serving.
The Lovebugs Blog http://www.thelovebugsblog.com/

Enjoy!

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White Chocolate Cheesecake Bars with Biscoff Cookie Crust {I’m Guest Posting!}
On Friday, I guest posted at Becky’s wonderful blog, Your Modern Family, to share this yummy White Chocolate Cheesecake Bar with Biscoff Cookie Crust recipe.  In addition to tasty recipes, Becky has fantastic posts on parenting like Alternatives to Goody Bags at Parties (I couldn’t agree more and do the same thing!) and How to Teach Your Kids to do Chores Without Whining.  There is so much great information on her site and I’m thrilled to be sharing my recipe there!
 
As if white chocolate cheesecake bars don’t sound good enough, I thought, why not kick it up ten notches by adding a biscoff cookie crust?  Doesn’t that sound just divine?  Trust me, it is!  
 
Head on over to Your Modern Family to say hi and get the recipe!
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Strawberry, Banana, Nutella & Chocolate Crepe Cake


Lovebug recently came up on a half birthday so, of course, we had to celebrate!  I had seen this image of a half birthday cake on Pinterest a couple years ago and have been sitting on an idea for a crepe cake for a while now.  So, I figured this was the perfect opportunity to do both.
 
Lovebug happened to take a nap on this particular day.  So,  I pulled together the crepe cake while she napped. She was so surprised when I brought this cake out for her afternoon snack!  It was perfect!  
 
The instructions below are for a full cake, but I just cut the crepes in half and layered the cake the same way.  I decided to layer two crepes without fruit between them on the bottom and the top of the cake because I wanted to create a sturdy base and top to hold everything together.  I filled my cake with strawberries, banana, nutella and chocolate, but you could really fill it with anything you like.  Plus, although I used 9 layers, you could really do as many layers as you like.
 
This cake is versatile, colorful, delicious and super easy to make.  Plus, it can be served for breakfast, a snack or after dinner dessert.  It is really unique and is sure to be a show stopper any time you serve it.
 
 
Crepe Cake 2
 
Strawberry, Banana, Nutella and Chocolate Crepe Cake
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Ingredients
  1. 9 Crepes - I shared this recipe last week but you could also use store bought
  2. 1 cup Nutella
  3. 1 cup chocolate sauce
  4. 1 pint fresh strawberries, slice
  5. 5-6 bananas, sliced
Instructions
  1. Lay one crepe down on your serving dish and spread 3-4 tablespoons of nutella over top, stopping about 1/4 inch from the edge of the crepe.
  2. Lay a second crepe down and spread 3-4 tablespoons of chocolate sauce over top, again stopping about 1/4 inch from the edge of the crepe.
  3. Arrange a layer of bananas on top of the chocolate sauce, lining them up next to one another starting around the outer edge then moving inward, without overlapping.
  4. Lay a third crepe down and spread 3-4 tablespoons of nutella over top, stopping about 1/4 inch from the edge of the crepe.
  5. Arrange a layer of strawberries on top of the nutella, lining them up next to one another starting around the outer edge then moving inward, without overlapping.
  6. Continue layering: 1 crepe, chocolate sauce, bananas, 1 crepe, nutella, strawberries, repeat, until you have two crepes left.
  7. Top the last layer of strawberries with a crepe and spread 3-4 tablespoons of chocolate sauce over top.
  8. Lay the last crepe on top and decorate with nutella, chocolate, bananas and/or strawberries.
  9. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour before serving.
Notes
  1. The strawberries and bananas need to be sliced to the same thickness to keep the crepe layers straight.
  2. You'll want the crepes to be as close to the same size as possible for the best results.
  3. It's best to assemble this cake on your serving dish. The layers may slide and/or the fruit could fall out if you transfer it.
  4. If you have trouble spreading the chocolate sauce and/or nutella on the crepes when they are laying over the fruit, you can spread the chocolate sauce and/or nutella on the crepe on a cutting board then place them over the fruit.
The Lovebugs Blog http://www.thelovebugsblog.com/
Here’s a view of the half cake.
Side view


Enjoy!
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