Posts Tagged ‘easy desserts’

Watermelon Mint Coconut Lime Popsicles What could top off a lovely summer evening of swimming under the stars? What about lazily counting shooting stars while eating delicious homemade popsicles? With the exotic flavors of watermelon, coconut, lime, and mint, these icy treats are as sophisticated as they are refreshing.

Waikiki Kickers
Nugget Markets, The Field Guide, Issue No. 16

4 cups watermelon (cubed)
1/2 cup coconut cream
1 teaspoon lime zest
Juice of one lime
1 teaspoon chopped mint

1. Combine all ingredients in blender and puree.

2. Pour mixture into popsicle molds and freeze overnight.

Serves 6


1. Because the watermelon I purchased wasn’t as sweet as it could be, I added 1 teaspoon of organic light agave nectar to the mixture before freezing.

2. Coconut cream is not the same thing as coconut milk. Coconut cream is thicker and richer than coconut milk.

3. The ingredients separated while the popsicles were freezing. I think the coconut fat rose to the top. The popsicles still tasted great and they looked like I had intentionally layered them.

4. This recipe made six popsicles, plus a full ice cube tray. I need to go out and purchase more popsicle molds!


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Round with bright flavors, citrus fruit bring the sun into our winter kitchens. Blood oranges, in particular, with their sweet hint of raspberry-like flavor and famous vermilion to ruby-colored flesh are true winter gems. Wanting to test a special, yet healthy Valentine’s Day dessert for my sweet-toothed husband, this recipe fulfilled all of my requirements: it was visually beautiful, full of flavor, and healthier than an average Valentine’s Day dessert. Although the marinated oranges were delicious all by themselves, the sweet-tart flavor of the blood oranges mixed with the vanilla and citrus liqueur Tuaca proved to be the perfect counterpoint to a scoop of creamy vanilla bean ice cream. This refreshing fruit compote can also be served with just a dollop of whipped cream or a wedge of ricotta cheesecake.

As an added bonus, blood oranges are high in antioxidants. Although they are widely grown in Italy and Spain, these beautiful citrus fruit are also grown in California and Texas. Look for them in your grocery stores from about December through March.

Marinated Blood Oranges
Recipe from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Mediterranean Cooking

3 pounds blood oranges
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup Tuaca or other orange liqueur

1. Using a sharp knife, cut a slice off both ends of each orange to reveal the flesh.
2. Place the orange upright on the cutting board and, using the knife, cut downward to remove all of the peel and white pith, following the contour of the fruit.
3. Holding the the fruit over a bowl to catch the juices, cut on either side of each segment to free it from the membrane, letting it fall into the bowl.
4. In a small bowl, stir together the lemon juice, sugar, and Tuaca. Pour the mixture over the orange segments and toss gently to combine. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours.
5. To serve, spoon the fruit and syrup into compote glasses.

Makes 4-6 servings.

Linnell’s Notes:
1. Be careful when cutting blood oranges, the red juice can stain.
2. The cookbook mentions that you can substitute Grand Marnier alone or add a few drops of vanilla extract to it in lieu of using Tuaca.


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What’s not to like about a cake that has all the delicious components of a bakery-fresh eclair, but is easier to make? The rich chocolate sauce, the fresh whipped cream, the creamy vanilla custard, and the light, cream puff pastry each, in their own right, are special, but combined they are divine! I made this scrumptious Eclair Cake for my son’s birthday and everyone loved it from top to bottom – as evidenced by some serious, post-devouring, fork licking!

Adapted from a recipe in the 50th Anniversary Best of our Favorite Recipes – Maui Association for Family and Community Education cookbook:

1 cup water
1 cube of butter
1 cup flour
4 eggs

1 (8 oz.) cream cheese, room temperature
2 small packages of vanilla instant pudding
2-1/2 cups fresh milk

1 (8 oz) container of whipped topping or freshly whipped cream
Chocolate sauce or syrup
Toasted sliced almonds, optional

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Put water and butter in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
3. Reduce heat and stir in flour all at once. Keep stirring until mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan.
4. Remove from heat and stir in one egg at a time, beating well after each one is added.
5. Spread evenly into a greased 9 x 13-inch pan.
6. Bake for 20-30 minutes until puffed up and golden. Cool.
7. While crust is cooling, prepare filling by mixing the cream cheese and the dry pudding mix together. Slowly add the milk. Batter will be thick and smooth.
8. Spread filling on cooled crust.
9. Spread whipped topping or whipped cream over filling.
10. Drizzle chocolate syrup on top.
11. Refrigerate to set and until ready to serve.

Serves about 15.

Linnell’s Notes:
1. The base layer or crust is made exactly like cream puff shells are made. The only difference is that the batter is spread out in a pan instead of being dropped by teaspoons onto a baking sheet.

2. For the whipped cream layer, I used 50 percent whipped topping and 50 percent fresh whipped cream. First I whipped the cream and then gently folded in the thawed whipped topping.

3. Instead of using a chocolate syrup, I used a hot fudge sundae sauce that was not overly thick or too heavy.

4. I lightly toasted almond slices in the oven and let them cool before sprinkling them over the cake top.

5. Another way to decorate the cake top would be to drizzle the chocolate sauce in rows over the whipped cream and then drag a knife or toothpick through the rows of sauce to create a marbleized appearance.


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