Tiramisu (no coffee needed)

This is my favorite tiramisu.

The reason is pretty simple. 

I HATE coffee.

That being said, I do like to put coffee in chocolate recipes and oddly enough, 
my maple icing for cinnamon rolls. I hate it in anything where you can actually taste the coffee.

Love the idea of tiramisu though. I mean, with the layers of dunked cookies, delicious cream cheese and whipped cream. Then it sits and everything falls in love and the cookies soften up. Whats not to love? (Except the coffee of course.) 

So...I needed something that would give it that deep mocha flavor without having to use coffee and I thought, Kahlua. I like Kahlua and it worked perfectly.

It was so creamy, rich and delicious! Coffee drinkers won't even miss the coffee.


1 8oz cream cheese, room temp.
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups heavy cream, divided use
2 tsp vanilla
6 oz package of ladyfingers
Cocoa for dusting

Dipping Syrup
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup Kahlua
3 tsp chocolate syrup

For the syrup: 
Combine sugar and water in a sauce pan. Bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat and let cool. Stir in Kahlua and chocolate syrup. Set aside.

Beat cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and 1/2 cup of the heavy cream at medium speed until creamy.

In another bowl, beat remaining 2 cups of cream until soft peaks form. Fold into the cheese mixture.

Starting with 1/4 of the cookies, dip both sides of each cookie into the syrup and place in the bottom of a trifle bowl. Top with 1/4 of the cheese mixture and a dusting of cocoa powder. Repeat 3 times.

Let chill at least 3 hours before serving.


Dark Chocolate Brownies

These Dark Chocolate Brownies are one of my family's favorite.

The recipe makes an 8 x 8 pan, so it's perfect when you don't want a lot of dessert hanging around.

Using dark chocolate cocoa takes down the sweetness and makes for a delicious decadent treat.

You can just tell how moist these are. You can't see it because this is a center piece, but 
these bake up with that perfect crust around the outside edges.

And then, add some vanilla bean ice cream to start melting down over it.....Oh My! 

So good!

Linked with Weekend Potluck and Foodie Friday.

Dark Chocolate Brownies 

1/2 cup of butter, melted
1 cup of sugar
2 lg eggs
1/2 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 cup Special Dark 100% cacao (I use Hersheys)
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Heat oven to 350*

Lightly spray an 8 x 8 baking dish and line with parchment paper.

Whisk together cocoa, flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Melt butter in a medium size bowl. Stir in sugar along with eggs (I like to use a fork and break mine up/sightly beat in a small bowl) and vanilla. 

Add flour mixture and stir until just combined. Don't over mix.

Bake for 20 - 22 minutes.

Chicken Stir-Fry

Making a stir-fry is a quick and easy way to get a delicious
warm meal when you don't have a lot of time.

The hardest thing about it is the prep work, and it doesn't take a lot of skill
to cut up some vegetables and throw a sauce together.

I also like the fact that you can use whatever vegetables you want.

I normally would have added broccoli to my mix, but didn't have any so used kale
instead (so good). Then for a little bit of crunch, I added some chopped peanuts on top.

It turned out wonderful and the family loved it.

Linked with Weekend Potluck & Foodie Friday.

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Chicken Stir-Fry
2 medium servings

1 4-6 oz chicken breast, boneless & skinless, cut into bite sized pieces
1 1/2 tsp low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 tsp cornstarch
Small pinch of salt

1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, 1 if large
1 carrot, sliced on the diagonal
1/4 cup water chestnuts, chopped
1 cup kale, chopped
1-2 green onion, chopped
1 tbsp peanuts, chopped
Pinch of red pepper flakes, optional

2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp dry sherry
2 tbsp water
Fresh cracked black pepper

1 package of ramen noodles without the sauce packet.

Stir together the 1 1/2 tsp soy sauce, vegetable oil, cornstarch, salt/pepper. Cut chicken into
bite size pieces and add to soy mixture. Set aside.

Chop vegetables and mix together ingredients for the sauce.

Bring a small pot of water to boil. Add ramen noodles and cook until tender. Follow time on package. About a minute before they are done, add the chopped kale. Drain.

 Heat a wok or skillet over high heat. Add 1 tbsp of oil. Cook onion and red pepper flakes (if using) 1 minute.

Add chicken and garlic and cook 1 - 2 minutes or until chicken turns white.

Add carrots and chestnuts. Cook 1 minute.

Add noodle/kale mixture along with sauce and green onions (save a few onions for garnish). Toss until combined and noodles are heated through.

Serve with garnish of green onions and peanuts.