Brownie Bottom Cheesecake Bars

I feel like mash-up foods have been really popular lately (i.e. macaroni and cheeseburgers or how about grilled cheese hamburgers?) If you can’t choose between two things just smash them together and eat both.  It’s a perfect solution for the indecisive.

In this case we’ve got a brownie covered with cheesecake.  Who says you should have to choose between the two when you can have both?  Enjoy!

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Coconut Cherry Bars

Early summer means a lot of different things to different people.  For children it means the end of the school year, for college students it means graduation, for just about everyone it means the return of the smell of sunscreen and outdoor barbecues.  In California though early summer means the return of the short-lived cherry season.  We take it for granted that we have fresh produce available all year round, but it always seems to me that cherries come and go within a few weeks and if you blink you might miss it.

Luckily, I didn’t miss it this year and have been enjoying cherries for the last couple of weeks.  Although, even now, I’m seeing fewer of them in stores/markets.  This recipe calls for maraschino cherries (which tend to carry a very polarized stigma among the people I’ve talked to) but obviously you should use fresh cherries if you have them available.  A member of my church very generously donated a bunch of fresh picked pie cherries to me -which is what I used.

So bust out the lawn chairs, sunglasses, and lemonade and enjoy these tasty coconut cherry bars.  

White Chocolate Fudge with Cranberries and Pistachios

People are sometime divided about the “legitimacy” of white chocolate.  Some people love it, some hate it and say it’s not “real chocolate.”  I don’t know how you define chocolate.  I mean white chocolate still has cocoa in it, so I guess it’s chocolate.  It’s a philosophical debate that I’m sure someone (not me) would be interested in having sometime.

I say, “real chocolate” or not, white chocolate should be appreciated on it own, not compared to other types of chocolate.

Here’s a nice holiday recipe for white chocolate fudge.  (Can you make fudge without “real chocolate”…again, don’t care).  Enjoy!

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Bread Pudding

So the other day I was at a different store than the one I normally go to.  I needed bread, so I bought a loaf that looked approximately like the kind I would normally buy.  I make a lot of sandwiches, but don’t really use bread for much else.

So, I got home, opened the bread bag, and took out two pieces of bread that were approximately 3/4 of the size of a normal piece of bread.  I quickly realized that this bread was not big enough to make regular sandwiches-maybe those mini hors d’oeuvres sandwiches you’d get at a fancy party or something…or a sandwich for a toddler.

I hate throwing out food, so I began looking for recipe that incorporated bread pieces (I figured I could feed it to the ducks if nothing else).  I found a lot of recipes for stuffing, bread crumbs, croutons, etc…but the only baking recipe I could find was bread pudding.

Whenever I think of bread pudding I always think about the scene from “A Christmas Carol” where Scrooge and the ghost of Christmas Present are watching the Cratchit family have their Christmas dinner.

Oh, a wonderful pudding! Bob Cratchit said, and calmly too, that he regarded it as the greatest success achieved by Mrs Cratchit since their marriage. […]Everybody had something to say about it, but nobody said or thought it
was at all a small pudding for a large family. It would have been flat heresy to do so.

Bread pudding turned out to be really easy to make and it was a big hit when I served it at church.

So God bless us every one!  Here’s the recipe.

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