Violets

violets

The kids and I were back in the woods yesterday and noticed that we have violets growing  out by the apple tree. I love violets, they remind me of my childhood.

 Where I grew up, there is a wooded area across from our house. One spring when I was a child, I was walking through a very thick and overgrown area of those woods and remember coming to a very large log. Crawling over it was quite the ordeal but once I had, I hopped down from the trunk of that fallen tree and noticed some violets growing on the ground around my feet. I carefully stepped over them so as not to crush them and then looked up…and froze.

For almost as far as I could see, there was a purple carpet of violets blanketing the floor of the woods. I was so in awe of the beauty spread out before me, I think I just stood there and stared at it for a couple of minutes.  To this day whenever I see a violet, I think about that spring day in the woods…

Today, I thought I’d share a recipe that I associate with my childhood. I clipped it out of a magazine many, many years ago. The news clipping is worn and tattered from age, but still I hold on to it and won’t part with it. Do you hold on to treasured recipe clippings too? Does the sight of a recipe clipping have just as many fond memories as eating the delicious result of that recipe?

This is a recipe for Butterscotch bars. It’s a goodie! I don’t think I have ever made these without at least one person asking for the recipe!

Happy Spring!

Butterscotch Bars

Into a heavy saucepan put:

      1 - 12 oz. package of butterscotch chips

      3/4 cup butter

Melt over low heat and stir together. When the chips have melted, take the pan off the heat and add:

      2 cups of graham cracker crumbs

Mix well and then press about half of the mixture into a greased 13×9 inch baking dish. Into a mixing bowl place:

      8 oz. softened cream cheese

      1 – 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk

and beat until creamy. Then add:

      1 egg

      1 teas vanilla

Mix until light and fluffy. Pour over the crumb mixture and sprinkle with the remainder of the crumbs. Place into a 350 degree oven and bake for about 25 -30 minutes. Do not overbake. Cool at room temperature, then place in the refrigerator to completely cool down.  Refrigerate any leftovers.

Aahhhh, spring…

spring flowers

Aaahhhh, spring…

Isn’t it wonderful to be able to be outdoors and not have to wear all that heavy winter clothing? I love that feeling in the springtime when I can finally shed my heavy winter coat and just wear a light jacket outside. To me it feels like a new start, a feeling of lightness and new birth.

spring flowers

The kids and I went down to visit Grandma and Grandpa last week in Nebraska during my daughter’s spring break. Although it’s still a little brown and barren up here in Minnesota, Spring has definitely arrived down in Nebraska.  I was able to go out and snap a few pictures while I was there.

spring flowers

It never ceases to amaze me how much beauty can be stored up in something so small. Take the blue and white flowers pictured above. They are actually only about an inch across and are so small, they are easily stepped on without even being noticed while walking in the yard.

spring flowers

I thought I’d share a recipe with you that contains a special memory for me every year around this time. Years ago, there was an Easter where  my mom and I were both having company, and even though I talk to my mom pretty regularly on the phone, that year we’d call each almost everyday and ponder what we were going to make for our guests for Easter.

We both were trying to decide what we wanted to serve for dessert.  I was making several desserts for that Sunday, as we were going to be a large crowd that day with close to 60 people. I was serving a variety of sweets and wanted at least one of them to be very light and not very filling. I was having trouble deciding upon something and was coming up empty handed. Then Mom called and told me she had found a recipe for a whipped cheesecake. It sounded so good, we both decided to go with it!

We kept the phone calls going between each other that day while making that dessert! It’s not a hard recipe but for some reason we just kept in touch throughout that day as we each made the dessert…

“Have you made the crust yet, Mom?”  

 ”How long did it take for your gelatin to thicken? I almost let mine get too thick…” 

“What serving dish did you decide upon?”  

“Are you garnishing yours with fresh fruit?”

Even though we weren’t together that Easter Sunday, that particular Easter still has special memories for me because of this delicious dessert and all the phone calls between Mom and I talking about it…

Happy Easter to all of you! :)

spring daffodil flowers

 Summer Breeze Cheesecake

 In this recipe, you will be whipping evaporated milk into a thick froth. The milk, beaters and bowl must be very cold in order to do this. After the milk has been whipped, it will want to fall so please fold it immediately into the gelatin mixture for the best results.

 

The day before or several hours before you begin to make this dessert, place:

      1 – 12 oz. can evaporated milk

into the refrigerator, along with a mixing bowl ( if your mixing bowl will allow it, placing it into the freezer is best). Then set out on the counter to soften:

      8 oz. pkg cream cheese

Into a small mixing bowl place:

      1 – 3 oz. box lemon flavored gelatin

and add:

      1 cup boiling water

Stir this until the gelatin has dissolved then place into the refrigerator to thicken. Meanwhile, put into a mixing bowl:

      1/4 cup melted butter

      1/4 cup sugar

      1/3 lb. ( or 1 pack) finely crushed graham crackers

Mix well and pat into a 9×13 inch pan or serving dish. Then place into another mixing bowl:

       the softened cream cheese

      4 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

      1 teas vanilla

      1 cup sugar

Beat this until light and creamy. Put a few ice cubes into a medium-sized mixing bowl along with some cold water. Set this aside. Then, check your gelatin…when it has reached a consistency of thick syrup, whip it well and then fold it into the cream cheese mixture. Clean off your beaters and then stick them into the ice water to quickly cool them down ( this will only take about 20 seconds or so). Dry them off.

Then take the milk and bowl out of the refrigerator. Pour the milk into the cold bowl and beat this until it is thick and frothy. Fold this into the gelatin/cream cheese mixture. Pour this mixture over the graham cracker crust and place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or until it is set. Garnish with fresh fruit and a dolip of whipped cream, if desired.

This dessert is very light and airy and will make a beautiful addition to any brunch or special occasion!

 

Mini Lime Cheesecakes

lime cheesecake, cheesecakes, fresh fruit, fruit topped cheesecakes

I must have snow on my mind because I’m starting my blog again talking about snow! Does it seem like it has been a long winter? Wow, here in Minnesota we have broken records for snowfall this year. I love to watch it snow… I can hardly take my eyes off of it when it begins to fall. But now, here in Minnesota with snowfall breaking all records with 70 plus inches, I think I’ve seen enough of the beautiful serene white stuff! :)  

It’s funny because this year my husband has timed all the snowfalls just right so that he has had to shovel only once. Once in 70 inches!  Business trips, seminars and work have been there to help him escape all that shoveling! But that’s okay, if you had the chance to read one of my blogs around Christmas, I told how I gift-wrapped my scale and threw it under the Christmas tree for a gift to myself as a reminder of all the cookies consumed during the holidays ( as if my pants will let me forget, ha!) So all the driveway shoveling has been a blessing! 

With so much snow on my mind, it’s fun to think about things that are green! Since we won’t be seeing any green grass around here for a couple of months, I’ll set my mind on one of my other favorite green things – lime green cheesecake!

fresh fruit topped mini cheesecakes, mini cheesecakes, lime cheesecake

These little mini cheesecakes are so pretty for Spring, especially for Easter! Topped with different colors of fruit, it makes a beautiful presentation as well as a yummy one for just about any occasion!

They freeze beautifully too… Let them cool down, put them in an air tight container and then place them in the freezer. If you are taking the cupcake liners off before serving them,  place the cooled cupcakes in the refrigerator and then after they are cold,  peel off the  liners – doing it this way will make it much easier.

lime cheesecake, mini cheesecakes, lime, cheesecake

Mini Lime Cheesecakes

You will need:

      1 – 18.25 oz package of white or yellow cake mix

Measure out 1/2 cup of the dry mix and set aside. Place the rest of the cake mix into a large mixing bowl and then add:

      1 egg

      6 T very soft butter

Mix until crumbly. Place approximately 32 paper cupcake liners into cupcake pans and then spoon about 1 Tablespoon of the crumb mixture into each liner and lightly press down. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Then, place into a large mixing bowl:

      3 – 8 oz. packages of softened cream cheese

      1 can sweetened condensed milk

Beat this until creamy and then add:

      1/3 cup fresh lime juice

      1  1/2 T lime zest

      1 teas vanilla

      1/2 c of the dry cake mix

Beat until creamy and then add, one at a time and beating well after each one:

      3 eggs

Then if you wish, add:

      a couple drops of green food coloring

Mix well. Fill each cupcake liner with about 1 level ice cream scoop of the batter…being careful not to over fill them. Bake for about 25 minutes or until set. Do not overbake.  Let cool at room temperature then put in an airtight container and place  in the refrigerator to cool completely. Top with fresh fruit, mint sprigs and/or whipped cream. Enjoy!  

Gee, just heard our forecast for next week…Better get my shovel ready, we are in for another “big one”!