Blueberry Peach Yogurt/Granola Parfaits

Blueberry Peach Yogurt Granola Parfaits

Blueberry Peach Yogurt Granola Parfaits




Back in the day, when they first came out, I loved McDonalds Yogurt Parfaits. They were a quick fix when I wanted something light, relatively nutritious and still sweet. They were also cheap at a dollar for a good sized serving. Now though, the serving size has shrunk, the price has gone up and they just aren’t as good as they used to be anyway.

So I made my own.

A lot of blogging isn’t even recipes, it’s just helping your readers think outside the food box. This is one of those times. I am giving specifics here on amounts and fruits and the granola I used, etc etc, but unlike this recipe and when you buy these at a store for a bazillion dollars or at McDonalds and wonder if the 16 year old making it sneezed in it, this can be made to YOUR specifications, with the fruits and granola YOU like, the yogurt brand and flavor YOU favor. These just happen to be mine is all.

You know the drill… 🙂

(This makes enough fruit for quite a few parfaits. But that is deliberate. The fruit is wonderful on its own, just mixed with yogurt as is, over ice cream or frozen yogurt, etc. Feel free to halve the quantities if you don’t think you’d use it all within three days or so.)

Blueberry Peach Yogurt/Granola Parfaits

  • 2 cups vanilla or vanilla honey yogurt (my bottom layer was Oikos vanilla, top layer was vanilla honey from Greek Gods)
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries
  • 3 peaches, chopped into bite sized chunks
  • juice and zest of one large lime (about 2 tablespoons each juice and zest)
  • 3 tablespoons honey (and a little extra for drizzling over the top)
  • 1 cup of your favorite granola (I used Trader Joes Pumpkin granola)
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the peaches, blueberries, lime juice and zest and the honey. Stir well to combine. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes to get some juices going in the fruit and for the flavors to meld.
  2. Now comes the oh so hard part lol; in 4 purty glasses, layer the yogurt, fruit, granola and top with another dollop of yogurt. Drizzle with some extra honey.
  3. They can be served right away or let them sit in the fridge for a while if you prefer softer granola.
  4. Enjoy!! 🙂

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Chewy Salted Caramel Hazelnut Cheesecake Brownies

Chewy Salted Caramel Hazelnut Brownies

Chewy Salted Caramel Hazelnut Brownies




I’ve come to the realization that, during the Summer, I am NOT a prolific blogger. I bake like the dickens (what IS a dickens anyway and do they even bake?) during the fall, Winter and early Spring, but I live in Kentucky in a house with an A/C system that barely works when it’s hot out and I have asthma; not a good combination when trying to bake lol.

Weeks ago I said I was going to make some Nutella Brownies. Today the temp wasn’t bad so FINALLY I got around to it. Erhmmm, kind of. You see, I have the great honor of being mom to six kids, three of whom still live at home, with two of those being teenage walking stomachs boys. So what did I find when I went into the cabinet to grab the Nutella? An almost empty jar with incriminating spoon marks in it. Gee, wonder how THAT happened? So I went to the back up jar of Nutella wanna be imported from Italy that I got at Big Lots. And know what? That crap is Nasty with a capital nas! I wouldn’t feed that to my worst enemy. Welllll, I know of one woman I used to be friends with that I might feed it to as well as one ultra controlling ex boyfriend. 😀

So, being the inventive soul that I am (be nice and work with me here…) what did I do? I got out the jar of Jif Salted Caramel Hazelnut Spread that I keep on hand for emergencies. Those emergencies being when I am craving something sweet and delude myself into thinking that since this is made with nuts, it’s good for me. Point being, this is some yummy stuff! Not Nutella, I admit that, but it has a unique flavor of its own; sweet, salty, with an undertone of caramel to go with the hazelnuts.

Then when I was in the fridge getting eggs, I saw the cream cheese and I immediately thought of cheesecake brownies! So that’s what we have here- deep dark and chewy chocolate brownies swirled with a salted caramel hazelnut cheesecake, then topped with some salted caramel sauce. Can we spell decadence, class?? And OMG? Wait, that one is rather self explanatory. My bad. And maybe even “please don’t share these with anyone that you don’t want to have following you around the house whimpering like a puppy to get more from you”. Just sayin’. And you don’t really have to spell that last part. I understand.

You know the drill….

Salted Caramel Hazelnut Cheesecake Brownies

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temp
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup Jif Salted Caramel Hazelnut Spread
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (not a typo; you need some for the swirl and the brownie batter)
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup baking cocoa
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • salted caramel sauce for drizzling n top (I used Trader Joes brand)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a greased 13×9 inch pan with parchment paper and lightly grease the paper.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the softened cream cheese until it is smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add in the hazelnut spread, 2 tablespoons sugar and vanilla extract. Beat well to combine. Set aside while you make the brownie batter.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the melted butter and the 2 1/4 cups sugar. Beat well for 3 to 4 minutes. Add in the eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract. Beat well.
  4. Add in the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to mix the batter just until it is combined.
  5. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth down.
  6. Drop spoonfuls of the cheesecake batter on top of the brownie batter and swirl it into the brownie batter using a butter knife.
  7. Bake at 350 for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick or skewer inserted in the middle comes out mostly clean with no liquid batter on it, though a few moist crumbs are fine.
  8. Let cool in the pan on a rack for about an hour.
  9. Use the parchment paper to carefully lift the brownies out of the pan. Let them cool completely on the rack. Wrap loosely and refrigerate for about 2 hours or overnight. Take them out about an hour before you’re ready to serve them so that they will be easier to cut. Cut into squares of whatever size makes you happy; no 1/2 inch tidbits mentioned in THIS blog 😛
  10. Drizzle each square (chunk, half pan…whatever, I don’t judge) with some salted caramel sauce. Serve these with ice cold milk or some hot coffee. Thank me later.

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Chewy Coconut Blondies

Chewy Coconut Blondies

Chewy Coconut Blondies




A few months back I started a bottle of homemade vanilla extract. All the “recipes” one can find say to let it age for about 6 weeks. Well, mine has aged about 4 months now. I’ve always been an overachiever :-p I opened it today and took a whiff. It was, without a doubt, one of the most amazing scented things I had ever smelled. Better than chocolate, better than baking lasagna, better even than my husband after he has been doing he man work in the yard. It immediately started to perfume the whole kitchen and I’m pretty sure if it hadn’t been simply 80 proof vanilla vodka infused with a ton of vanilla beans (I used vanilla vodka just to up the ante and used far more than the amount of beans usually suggested), I would have upended it into my mouth. It is sheer vanilla heaven.

So since I had this wonderful extract, I needed to find the perfect way to use it. My mind went through shortbread to cheesecake to a vanilla shake. Then I thought of snickerdoodle cookies, sugar cookies and so on and so forth. I wanted something that would highlight that floral vanilla flavor without being overwhelmed by other ingredients or overwhelming them since this is one intense vanilla

The other day, Food52 posted a recipe for Blondies. Now I love a good Blondie anyway…. that subtle flavor, the melty chips, the chewy edges; whats not to like? They are even one of the rare cases where I am fine using nuts.

But, being me, I had to change it some. Not much mind you, but some. I added toasted coconut, extra chocolate chips & extra vanilla, as well as a small amount of coconut extract plus used dark brown sugar instead of light to give it a deeper flavor.These turned out wonderfully. They have slightly crispy, slightly chewy edges, tat wonderful coconut/chocolate flavor that I personally love, the crisp topping of chopped pecans. Just all around delicious enough that it is going to take some major willpower for me to not over indulge in these. Willpower or possibly the National Guard standing over the plate with an M-16 pointed in my direction.

You know the drill…

Chewy Coconut Blondies

  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter that has been melted and then cooled to room temp
  • 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons good quality vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 2 cups sweetened shredded coconut, toasted at 350 until light golden brown (stir often)
  • 2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13×9 inch baking pan with foil and then grease or spray the foil.
  2. Toast your pecans at 350 for ten minutes or until they are a nice toasty brown. transfer to a plate to cool quicker.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk to blend.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine the melted butter and the brown sugar. Whisk well to combine. Add in the eggs, vanilla extract and coconut extract
  5. Fold in the toasted coconut, chocolate chips and pecans. I actually sprinkled the pecans on top because I like the way it looks that way, but either way works.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 22 to 25 minutes. The top should be somewhat shiny and crinkled looking. Cool on a rack in the pan until they are room temp. Lift the brownies out to a cutting board using the foil as handles and cut into small squares. Or big ones. That’s cool too.

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