Lemon Custard Cake

Lemon Custard Cake

I seem to be on a sweet tooth tare these days. No Bake Nutella Cheesecake. Espresso Ice Cream, Sweet Corn Ice and Blackberry Ice Cream and the like. Which is probably why I’m having to get reacquainted with my treadmill. It’s amazing how much reading and catching up on my shows I can do via my Kindle while I’m logging the miles. I’m a multi tasker what can I say. It’s also where I can dream about all those desserts I want to whip up. I make myself feel a whole better about inhaling eating them when they’re in individual portions. Totally rational right.

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No Bake Nutella Cheesecake

No Bake Nutella Cheesecake

I love a good cheesecake as much as the next person. Let’s be honest though, sometimes I just don’t have time to bake one, wait for it to cool and then chill it down. That’s exhausting just to think about. Not that it’s not worth it, it is, but sometimes a girl needs a break. A no bake break that is. Can I get an amen? I’ve been feeling a little disappointed in myself that I haven’t shared a Nutella recipe with y’all since I don’t know when (I know, I know, for shame). I’m rectifying that today. Grab your forks friends, I think you’re going to love this one as much as we did.

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Sweet Corn and Blackberry Ice Cream

 

Sweet Corn Ice Cream

I know what you’re thinking CORN ICE CREAM. Has she lost her ever loving mind? No (well maybe summer is getting to me if we’re going to be completely honest). Sweet Corn Ice Cream it’s a real thing. Of course I didn’t know this was a thing myself until last year when I walked into the newly opened Jeni’s in Nashville TN. I saw it on the massive chalkboard amongst a sea of other delectable flavors and knew I needed to try it. I’m always up for trying somewhat off the wall flavor combinations. How are you ever go to know if you like something if not. Right? Right. 

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Espresso Ice Cream

 

Espresso Ice Cream

Coffee, it pretty much gets me through my day (well that and wine but we’re talking about coffee today).  You all know this. It isn’t a secret. I’m coo coo for coffee. That would make an awesome t-shirt wouldn’t it. I should look into that. Naturally when I found out that my birth month JULY was National Ice Cream Month you knew my first flavor to churn out would be a highly caffeinated perfect espresso roast ice cream. It’s pretty much the perfect way to enjoy coffee in the summer time. As much as I love ICED COFFEE this is better. Don’t hate.

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Spicy Chocolate Pudding

 

Spicy Chocolate Pudding

I hope you’re ready for one pretty awesome NO BAKE dessert. Yes I said no baking and or cooking for that matter. Well unless you count melting in the microwave but let’s not split hairs about that when we have such a glorious and decadent dessert to dwell on. A chocolate pudding concoction that will have you making noises when you eat it. Yep yep. It’s silky, sweet (thanks to a little maple syrup) and smooth and just when you think it couldn’t get any better you feel that slight tingle and tickle of heat. Pure bliss.

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Spicy Caramel Sauce

Spicy Caramel Sauce

I like sauces. It’s true. Savory, salty, sweet a little heat. Doesn’t matter to me just bring on the sauce. I also like simple and it doesn’t get much simpler than this 4 ingredient Spicy Caramel Sauce. It’s savory sweet and has a little heat. Covering almost all of my bases. It takes less than 15 minutes and I’m betting you’ll find all kinds to drizzle this deliciousness on. My go to is ice cream. Preferably vanilla bean because it goes with everything that I feel like bringing to the ice cream party. It’s also great drizzled over cream puffs. I mean who doesn’t like cream puffs. Don’t tell me if you don’t. That would crush me.

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Chilled Spicy Tomato Soup Shots

 

Chilled Spicy Tomato Soup Shots

I’m an all year round soup girl. I love it in all it’s glorious forms. Clear, Creamy, Chowdery (is that even a category well it is now) and most definitely Chilled. While it’s not your usual run of the mill hot soup don’t let the cold nature of these stop you from giving these a go. They’re super refreshing, and perfect for sipping all summer long. If you can work a blender you can make this recipe.

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Spicy Grilled Tuna Steaks with Garden Salsa

Spicy Grilled Tuna Steaks
I hope you things HOT, besides the weather which here in North Cackalacky is already sweltering. Not that I should be surprised after 6 years of being here. What does surprise me is the bill. I’m thinking I should start a savings fund for said air conditioning bill. Sigh. We however are talking hot as in hot and spicy food. This week we’re partnering with TABASCO to bring you not one but FIVE hot and spicy recipes. An entire week of recipes dedicated to that little iconic bottle. You know the one. It’s pretty unmistakeably. That bottle has been gracing my family’s fridge for longer than I can remember. I’m betting it’s in most of yours too.

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Honeysuckle Simple Syrup

Honeysuckle Simple Syrup

Work is getting harder and harder to focus on now that it’s SUNNY outside. Is anyone else having that problem? I believe I have a serious case of spring fever. By the time noon rolls around all I want to do is jump in my beetle, drop the top and go joy riding.  Back roads, cow pastures (“If I’m gonna hit a traffic jam, well it better be a tractor man”)  blue skies, hair in the wind equals happiness. Thank goodness I get good gas mileage because this is my most every afternoon lately. I also now am sporting quite the farmer’s tan. Be jealous. It’s hawt. LOL.

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Balsamic Roasted Strawberry Rhubarb Sorbet

Balsamic Roasted Strawberry Rhubarb Sorbet

One bite of this balsamic roasted strawberry and rhubarb sorbet and I think you’ll agree that your spring and summer just got a whole lot zesty and zippier. If you’ve never tried roasted strawberries I’m going to have to insist that you do (in the non pushiest way possible of course). If you have then you know how absolutely intoxicating the berries are when they’ve been hit with that low and slow heat.  I find that to be true of most things that go through the roasting process. In short, roasting rocks and you should and simply must try it.

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Coffee Caramel Creme Brulee

Coffee Caramel Creme Brulee
Creme Brulee is one of my half dozen go to desserts (and my second favorite all time dessert next to Tiramisu). There’s a reason it’s on my short go to list. Besides being spoon licking good, It’s EASY. Yes it may sound all fancy schmancy (despite it’s literal translation of burnt cream) but it doesn’t require any special equipment. You of course CAN use a blow torch which is fun and all but you honestly don’t have to have one. You can use your broiler in a pinch.

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Coffee Granitas

Coffee Granita www.bellalimento.com

I think spring made a guest appearance and then summer blazed in and sent her two stepping. Blazing as in it’s already been in the 90′s in my neck of the Southern woods.  Which means, if there isn’t rain coming down, my rag top is down, shades are on and my crazy convertible hair (how do “those” girls keep perfect convertible hair anyway?) is flying all over the place. When I get home I’m always looking for something COLD to enjoy. Like a granita. A caffeinated coffee granita tops that list. What’a granita you ask? It’s pretty much an adult version of a sno-cone.  They’re super easy to make and that gives you an excuse (as if we need one) to enjoy coffee without the heat.

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Pavlova with Lemon Curd and Berry Compote

Pavlova with Lemon Curd and Berry Compote www.bellalimento.com

If you’re looking for a summer stunner to complete your meal (or just because you’re craving dessert) this is it. It’s a show stopper and best of all it doesn’t take too much effort to pull together. A Pavlova is simply a fancy name for a meringue based dessert. We’re not going to get into who came up with the dessert because well I don’t want to open that can of worms. Let’s just say thank you that it does exist and we can make and enjoy it. Okay.

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Homemade Lemon Curd

Homemade Lemon Curd www.bellalimento.com

Pucker up! I hope you like lemons as much as I do. I’m a lemon head. Always have been. In fact, I was THAT kid that loved to eat lemons. I think my Dad probably thought it would be funny to watch a toddler try and eat a lemon slice and then was surprised when I didn’t spit it out and continued to eat it like it was candy (and yes lemon heads are high on movie candy list). If it has lemon in it I’m hoping on board the tart train. Period.

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Herb Cubes

Herb Cubes www.bellalimento.com

I’m kinda into herbs. ‘Tis true. I am quite fond of almost all of them. Fresh herbs bring so much to both dishes and drinks (basil lemonade – swoon). I grow as many varieties as I can during the spring and summer and soon enough I’ll have them coming out of my ears. I will have too much to keep up with even as much as I cook. But I’m okay with that. Some I dry for later and some I preserve in olive oil (herb cubes) for those cold months when they’re not readily available or cost an arm and a leg at the market for 2 sprigs. Gasp.

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Oven Roasted Preserved Tomatoes

Oven Roasted Preserved Tomatoes www.bellalimento.com

I’m almost hesitant to say this but I believe winter is on it’s way out. I hope I didn’t just jinx it. It’s been a long, COLD unwanted one, and I for one am rejoicing in the prospect of spring and even longing for the dog days of summer, flip flops, top down on my convertible and for my GARDEN. Yes, my glorious garden. We have both raised beds and a large deck container garden and plant as much as we possibly can. I just can’t get enough. There’s something about fresh food you’ve grown yourself. It doesn’t get much better than picking a rip juicy tomato, sprinkling it with salt and popping it into your mouth. Or when they’re coming out of your ears (and they will) to oven roast them and preserve them in olive oil for later. Sweet sweet goodness.

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Homemade Coffee Caramel Sauce

Coffee Caramel Sauce www.bellalimento.com

(whispering) Hi my name is Paula and I am a coffee snob. There I said it. I feel so much better. What can I say. It’s true. Everyone knows how much I love coffee. I should clarify, GOOD coffee. I start MOST of my days with a cappuccino or espresso. I need my caffeine. Yes NEED. It’s necessary for the safety of all those around me. I will (with tears) not indulge in my daily dose if the coffee available to me isn’t up to par. Most of the time when I travel, sadly I go without. Although, I will say last week on my way to Houston I was THRILLED when I found a Lavazza kiosk in the Atlanta airport. I almost knocked 3 people over crossing over the freeway walkway to get to it. Nothing shall stand in the way of good coffee right?

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Caprese Quiche

Caprese Quiche www.bellalimento.com

One of my favorite flavor combinations in the world is tomatoes, fresh basil and mozzarella cheese. It works. Caprese salad is probably the most recognizable way to enjoy these ingredients but they multi task like nobody’s business. Try them on pizza, in pasta, on toast and yes even in quiche. Quiche is also a workhorse of a dish. What does that mean? It’s good served hot or cold and it’s great for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. You can’t say that about too many dishes now can you.

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Ricottta Cheesecake

Italian Cheesecake www.bellalimento.com

Go ahead and get a pencil and paper ready to jot down this ingredient list because you are going to want to make this. I’ve made no less than a dozen of these cheesecakes since December. It probably has a lot to do with why I’m on the treadmill everyday but we’re not going to talk about that. Next to Tiramisu, cheesecake reigns supreme on my dessert list. I just can’t turn a slice down and I’ve tried. While I like all kinds of cheesecake, ricotta cheesecake wins the gold every single time in the cheesecake Olympics. Yes I’m having Olympic withdrawals and I also now believe I can snowboard. If you knew how insanely clumsy I am you’d laugh at the thought.

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Homemade Baking Mix

Homemade Baking Mix www.bellalimento.com

Looking for a baking mix that you can use to make pancakes, waffles, muffins, biscuits and more with? One that doesn’t come in a box with a lot of ingredients that you can’t pronounce let alone know what they mean without the expert help of google (but don’t google medical conditions it will scare the bleep bleep bleep out of you just trust me, apparently I have many incurable diseases – gasp)? We have a homemade version that dare I say tastes better than any boxed version (in my opinion of course). After lots of testing and tweaking over the years we have a homemade version that we can’t be without. It takes literally 5 minutes tops to mix up and then you simply store it in the refrigerator so it’s ready to go when you are. Time saving, delicious and budget friendly. What more can you ask for? Well besides having someone make it for you.

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