Saturday, October 24, 2015

Simply Homemade Mini Cheesecakes

Simply Homemade: The Best Mini Cheesecakes
If you are looking for an easy and decadent dessert recipe, this is it! These mini cheesecakes are a family favorite at our house. I make them for birthdays, graduations, engagement parties and family dinners. I make them gluten free but you only have to change the vanilla wafers to make them non gluten free. I can't tell the difference but the ingredients are probably less inexpensive if you don't make them gluten free if that's an option for you. These little bites are always the first thing to disappear from the table. They have a slight hint of almond flavor in each bite and let's face it, they look pretty!

1 box vanilla wafers (I used gluten-free)
1/4 c butter, melted
1/4 c sugar
1 package cream cheese, 8 ounces, softened
1/3 c sugar
1 egg
1 tsp almond extract
Toppings - cherry pie filling or fresh fruit, blueberries or raspberries are a great choice, caramel or chocolate syrup

  1. Place vanilla wafers into a food processor. (or crush them in a large baggie).
  2. Melt butter then add to the wafers.
  3. Add 1/4 c sugar and pulse in the food processor until the wafers are crumbled and the butter and sugar are mixed in with the crumbs.
  4. In a medium bowl, use a mixer on low speed to beat the cream cheese, 1/3 c sugar, egg and almond extract until the batter is a smooth texture. * Helpful hint: it is easier to have the cream cheese and egg at room temperature so it be smooth and not lumpy.
  5. Preheat oven to 350F.
  6. Use a mini-muffin pan with paper liners to bake your cheesecakes. 
  7. Assemble the cheesecakes by adding a heaping teaspoon (or more if you'd like) of the vanilla wafer crumbs in each tin. Press down so the mixture is not crumbly in the tin. 
  8. Use a small dough scoop to add the cream cheese mixture on top of the crumbs.
  9. Bake at 350F for 16-18 minutes or until the tops look set.
  10. Cool about 15 minutes on a cooling rack then remove the cheesecakes from the pan and finish cooling on the cooling rack.
  11. Refrigerate the cheesecakes.
  12. Add the toppings prior to serving or serve them plain. For parties, I add the toppings after the cheesecakes are cool.
  13. Store these in the refrigerator in an air tight container until about 30 minutes prior to serving.
Makes 24 delicious mini cheesecakes. You may have some crumb mixture left, I save mine in the freezer for the next batch. You can double the recipe to make 48 mini cheesecakes.
Enjoy and be blessed!

Love and peace,
~ Simply Tammi

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Saturday, September 26, 2015

Simply Homemade Our Favorite Basil Pesto

Simply Homemade: The Best Basil Pesto

One of our favorite fresh garden herbs is basil. My sister and I were both making basil pesto around the same time so we decided it would be a great little recipe to share. Fresh basil is great in salads, sandwiches, beverages, soups and pasta dishes. One of our favorite things about making your pesto ahead of time is that you can freeze it so when you are in the middle of winter, you can still bring some summer freshness from the garden into your meal.

4 cups fresh basil leaves
4 garlic cloves
1/2 c sunflower seeds
1/2 c shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 c olive oil
2 T lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. I freeze mine in ice cube trays but Angie had a great idea and uses small muffin tins. After they are frozen, remove from trays and keep in a freezer baggie until you need them. Use one square of frozen pesto for a pasta recipe that serves 4.

Enjoy and be blessed!
Love and peace,
~ Simply Tammi and Angie

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Friday, July 31, 2015

Simply Homemade Trail Mix

Simply Homemade Trail Mix
Trail mix is a great snack for traveling, camping, school, lunch boxes and a simple treat for home! I like to buy my ingredients separately in bulk, it is cheaper than cans or packages. The best part is you can use any ingredients you love! This is our favorite combination.

2 c peanuts
1 c cashews
1 c pecans
1 c almonds
1 c raisins
1 c sunflower seeds
1 c chocolate candies

Mix with your fingers in a large bowl and store in a large, covered container. If traveling or using for lunches, I use small baggies for each serving, the snack size baggies work great. You can add dried fruit, more nuts, coconut, pretzels or any of your favorite snack items. I like this combination of sweet and salty and I use gluten free ingredients. Enjoy and be blessed!

Love and peace,
~ Simply Tammi

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