Reeses Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake

My husband planned a last minute Memorial Day Weekend trip to Hershey Park in Pennsylvania. It was so much fun, but the kids are still on a sugar high from all the chocolate! Here’s a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake with a buttery graham cracker crust and pieces of peanut butter cups the bottom to commorate such a sweet trip!

Ingredients:

2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1-1/4 cups sugar, divided

6 Tbsp. butter, melted

3 pkg. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened

2 tsp. good quality vanilla

1 cup sour cream

4 eggs

4 packages of Reeses Peanut Butter Cups (1 package for decoration)

How to Make:

1/3 cup creamy peanut butter, microwaved for 10 seconds

Heat oven to 350ºF.

Line bottom of spring form pan with foil and place in pan with 3/4 inches of water to create a “water bath.” Mix crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar and butter; press onto bottom of pan. Bake 10 min.

Cut up 3/4 Reeses cups into small pieces and place on top of crust. Then, beat cream cheese, remaining sugar and vanilla with mixer until well blended. Add sour cream; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each just until blended. Pour over crust.

Bake 40 min. or until center is almost set; cool completely for 4 hours in the oven with the door half open. Refrigerate over night.

Enjoy!

French Macarons

French Macarons are my all time favorite dessert! They may take a couple times to perfect if this is your first time making them, but it is worth every second!

They can be filled with many different types of fillings, but I prefer raspberry filling (recipe below).

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INGREDIENTS
  • 3 Egg Whites (at room temperature)
  • ¼ cup Sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon Cream of Tartar
  • ⅛ teaspoon Salt
  • Food Coloring (pink or 1/2 drops red)
  • 2 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 cup Blanched Almond Flour
  • Filling Ingredients:
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 C powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 TBSP raspberry puree/compote

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line 2 large baking sheets with silicone baking mats.
  2. Put powdered sugar, almond flour, and salt in a food processor and pulse several times until all of the ingredients are fine and well combined. Pour in large bowl and set aside.
  3. Place the whisk attachment on mixer, and beat the eggs on medium speed until stiff and glossy, about 4-5 minutes.
  4. With the mixer running,  add the granulated sugar, slowly one tablespoon at a time until the sugar is combined, the peaks are stiff, and the whites are shiny, about 1 minute. Do not over whip!  Transfer the meringue to a large bowl.
  5. Using a silicone spatula, gently fold the dry mixture with the egg whites in 1 cup increments until the dry ingredients are just combined.
  6. Spoon half of batter into pastry bag fitted with 1/2-inch plain round tip. Pipe batter onto each prepared sheet in 12 walnut-size mounds, spaced about 3″ apart because cookies will spread slightly.
  7. Gently tap the pan on the counter to get any possible air bubbles out of the cookie batter.
  8. Bake cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until firm to touch in center, about 12-14 minutes.

Raspberry Filling:

  1. Using a mixer, cream butter until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the vanilla and raspberry jam. Beat until combined. Place in a piping bag with a small round tip.
  3. Assemble your cookies by matching cookies with similar size.  Pipe a small amount of raspberry filling into the center of one cookie, and sandwich with it’s other half.
  4. Continue with all cookies.

Enjoy!

Orange Infused Cake

This cake is the ultimate crowd pleaser! The fresh squeezed oranges make all the difference.  Whenever I bring it to a party or family event, I always have at least one person ask me for the recipe.

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Ingredients:
  • 1 1/4 cups sifted all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
  • 2 tsp good quality vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • zest of two large oranges finely minced
  • Juice of one orange
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
For the Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
  • 4 cups icing sugar powdered sugar
  • 4 tbsp cocoa
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup melted chocolate chips (cool for a few minutes)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2-4 tbsp milk or heavy cream
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and grease two 9 inch cake pans
  2. Sift together the all purpose flour, the cake flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and sugar. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the oil, shortening and vanilla at high speed with whisk attachment until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in the eggs one at a time.
  5. Fold in the orange zest and then the orange juice.
  6. Fold in the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk. (Begin and end with dry ingredients.)
  7. Bake at 325 degrees for about 35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
To make the Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
  1. Mix the butter, cocoa and icing sugar together.
  2. Add the melted chocolate chips, vanilla extract and a couple of tablespoons of the milk/heavy cream.
  3. Add only 2 tbsp milk at the beginning and add more only as needed to bring the frosting to a spreadable consistency. Beat together well until smooth, fluffy and creamy.
  4. Enjoy!

Lemon & Thyme Roasted Chicken

Ingredients:

1/2 stick plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves

3 tablespoons freshly sqeezed lemon juice

Kosher salt

Pepper

One 3 1/2- 4 pound whole chicken, pat dry

How to Make It

Preheat the oven to 400

Combine the 1/2 stick of butter with the thyme and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Season imthe inside chicken cavity with salt and pepper and place the lemon and a few sprigs of thyme inside. Spread lemon-thyme butter under the skin of the breasts and thighs, as well as on the outside skin.

Roast 1 hour. Thermometer inserted in the inner thigh should register 160 degrees.

Transfer the chicken to a carving board and let it rest for 10 minutes.

Enjoy!

Sofrito: The Perfect Seasoning for almost anything!

The majority of moms believe in serving their family healthy, wholesome and unprocessed foods. While the idea of “clean” eating may be easy to comprehend, things may become a little dicey when you are unsure of what to use to season your food. Unfortunately, many seasonings have added ingredients that are chemically processed.

I like to use my own seasoning, so I know exactly what I am eating. Sofrito is my favorite food base. It is a seasoning base that is used in Spanish cooking. The flavors are bold and powerful, without being spicy. If you aren’t a fan of the herb cilantro, you can use parsley instead. Both are great!

I make this recipe in bulk so I never run out! It is also a versatile recipe as it can be used in soups, sauces and with beans, meats, fish and vegetables.

Enjoy!

Sofrito Recipe

Sofrito Recipe

Ingredients:

4 peppers (green, red, yellow and orange are preferable, but red and green work as well)

2 bunches of cilantro (parsley can be substituted)

2 onions

3-4 heads of garlic

Directions:

Prep: 45 minutes Special Equipment: Food Processor

1. Rough chop all ingredients.

2. Using a food processor combine all ingredients. Process to the consistency of a salsa.

3. Once processed, divide up into mason jars or glass jars. Store extra portions in freezer.

Note: I process the ingredients in small portions. Once each portion is processed, I add it to a large bowl, mixing occasionally.

Local Frugalista’s Speak Up!


I’m super excited to share with all of you my feature article in Westchester Family magazine! I love sharing my money saving tips with other mom’s and families. 

I can’t stress enough how living on a budget does not have to impact your family and social life. All it takes is a little planning.

Check out my article and let me know what you think in the comments! 

Local Frugalista’s Speak Up!