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Desserts

A Favorite Tradition To Gift

Giving the gift of Godiva each and every year
Filed Under > Desserts

Growing up there were few things as symbolic of a holiday or special occasion than a gold GODIVA box.  Out of everything, and anything, it was probably my mother’s favorite gift to give and get.  

We’d open the box together, carefully choosing our favorite flavor, savoring each and every piece, never able to pick an actual favorite.

And to this day, that golden box still holds that same excitement and love for our family.  As I’ve grown I’ve extended the love of GODIVA well past that of our family.  Yes, mom still always gets her gold box, but GODIVA has easily become my gift of choice for all of those people I want to make feel extra special during the holiday season.  Co-workers, neighbors, and my personal favorite all of my UPS, FedEx, and USPS delivery men and women.

As you know I own a small retail shop, and I would be absolutely lost without the delivery men and women in my life.  So each year, my small metal sleigh sits by our door with plenty of my favorite holiday GODIVA boxes stacked up and ready to gift to all of those amazing individuals. This simple, and delicious gesture is so appreciated and each year it’s fun to see what the GODIVA Holiday Collection will entail.

This year GODIVA’S Holiday Desserts Collection gift box is like no other.  Truly, capturing the flavors of the season inspired by all of the most decadent holiday desserts such as Dark Chocolate Pecan, Dark Pear Vanilla, Chocolate Ganache, and Milk Chocolate Almond Cookie.

I of course had to sneak a few pieces for myself while preparing Santa’s Sleigh and I’ve got to say, this might be the best holiday box I’ve tasted in years.  Not to mention the most gorgeous. That’s one of the other brilliant things about GODIVA, the boxes are beyond gorgeous so you don’t need to worry about wrapping. And this year GODIVA even came out with Peppermint Bark and the most adorable Hot Cocoa Toppers. Seriously, just when I think it couldn’t get better than the classic gold box, it does.  

Hope you’ll be making someone’s season this year with the gift of GODIVA.  I know I will! Truly, MKR

Strawberry Cheesecake Two Ways

Shhhhhhhh.....it's NOT homemade. It's the easiest, most perfect cheesecake mix you'll ever try!
Filed Under > Desserts

To be completely honest I’ve never made a cheesecake at home.  I’ve baked a lot of things; cakes, pies, cookies, creme brulee even, but not cheesecake.  It always seemed so intimidating. So when I was introduced to The Cheesecake Factory At Home’s premium Cheesecake Mixes I was completely game. A bit skeptical, but game nonetheless.

Why skeptical you ask? Because The Cheesecake Factory At Home promised their premium Cheesecake Mixes to be two things I never associated with homemade cheesecake; easy and that the cheesecake itself will “come out perfect every time.” Not to mention taste like The Cheesecake Factory’s cheesecake which as we all know is the cheesecake of cheesecakes! It didn’t seem possible. So with just a bit of skepticism in mind, I set out to see if both the above were true.  Spoiler alert, they were.

First the easy part. The directions were easy to follow, and the steps were few. Aside from the mix itself I only needed four additional ingredients: butter, cream cheese, milk, eggs and fresh strawberries (if you like) because you can never have too many strawberries.

Now the perfect part. This my friends is where I was like, “no way.” No way will my cheesecake come out perfect the first time. Sure, after you’ve mastered the tricks of cheesecake I could see it coming out perfect, but not the first time.

Well, I’m thrilled to say I made two cheesecakes from two mixes, at the same time, and both came out perfect in BOTH look and taste.  And the craziest part is I didn’t even use a springform baking pan, just a standard cake tin. I was shocked, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t do a happy dance and sigh a huge sigh of relief when the cake hit the cake stand.

Lastly, in my title, I mentioned Cheesecake two ways. Because I love entertaining I decided to not only make the strawberry cheesecake the classic way, but I also put a new spin on the mix creating what I’m calling Strawberry Cheesecake Pudding.

Being just the right bite, these little cuties are perfect for any party or holiday dessert table. To recreate them yourself all you have to do is make The Cheesecake Factory At Home premium Cheesecake Mixes as directed. After the cheesecake has completely cooled and set you put the whole cheesecake into a large mixing bowl and mix it all up (by hand not with an electric mixer) until the crust turns into little bits that runs through the entire mixture, almost like a banana pudding.  

After you’ve got it all mixed well (you don’t want it too creamy, just combined well enough), add the mixture to a piping bag and pipe the combination into these little individual dessert glasses and top with the strawberry topping. It’s that easy, and sure to be a crowd pleaser.

So that’s it my friends.  An easy cheesecake mix, that really does come out perfect every time, and just in time for the holiday season. And while I’m partial to strawberry it does come in a few other flavors which you can check out here. Happy baking friends! Truly, MKR

P.S. I won’t judge if when you try this out for yourself that you don’t actually tell anyone that this gorgeous cheesecake came from a mix rather than being “homemade.” wink, wink. 

 


 

**This post is sponsored by The Cheesecake Factory At Home, a brand I love and adore. All opinions and images are 100% my own**

DIY S’mores Tray

With temps finally dropping, now is the perfect time to build a fire & build some s'mores
Filed Under > Desserts

Last weekend we hosted some of our closest friends and their little ones from out of town.  When planning out our evening and trying to figure out something that was both and adult and kid friendly I had the idea of creating a DIY s’mores station. I mean I already had a ton of candy for Halloween, and who doesn’t love a S’more?! And while S’mores have been billed a summer treat, I feel there’s no better time to enjoy a S’more than by the fire on a chilly fall evening. 

Building your own DIY S’Mores tray is extremely simple, and a great way to get the kids involved. Using a large galvanized tin tray that has been my go-to for BBQ’s and patio drinks for years now and just happens to be on sale, I added three different kinds of graham crackers; chocolate, regular, and cinnamon. And then kept it classic with jumbo marshmallows, Hershey Bars, and Reeses Peanut Butter Cups. 

You can go “gourmet” with your S’Mores tray and add all sorts of different high-end chocolates, but I argue against it. I’ve tried fancy S’Mores at numerous places, but nothing beats the melt and classic taste of a Hershey Bar. To finish the tray off simply add plates or napkins, and get your roasting sticks ready.  I had the hubs grab sticks from the neighborhood for roasting, but if you’re looking for a more permanent solution I love these marshmallow roasting sticks

After the tray was built all that was left to do was cozy up the space with plenty of blankets and pillows and build a fire. We have an extremely small backyard, but that doesn’t prevent us from utilizing every square inch of the space we do have. Which of course includes a fire pit.  We used to have a larger fire pit, but found that took up too much of the coveted small space. So this year I opted for a smaller and very inexpensive version. After one full season of use, I’m extremely happy with the results. It’s easy to move and store out of the way when we’re not using it but gets the job done when we’re ready to cozy up with an evening fire.

So next time you have friends over for dinner, or want to get the kids outside, throw a few logs on the fire and build this super simple S’mores tray for the perfect way to end any evening. Truly, MKR

 


 

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