Lemon Velvet Trifle

Mis Amores! How I have missed thee!

If you’ve been following along on Instagram, you’ve probably gathered that we’ve spent the last several weeks globetrotting. In a span of 4.5 weeks, we visited Madina and Mecca (Alhumdullilah! Praise be to God!), Dubai, and Karachi. Our trip was a whirlwind, and we are blessed to have had the opportunity to partake in it.

We’re home now, and this trip has made me realize that there is no place like it. Although we truly enjoyed ourselves, I really missed home. I missed our friends, our community, our routine, and I missed this little space of mine.

Now that I’m back, I have a fun lineup of recipes to share. I’ve gotten so much inspiration from our trip, and I can’t wait to build upon it! I’m going to get the ball rolling with some fun spring inspired lemony goodness- Lemon Velvet Trifles, recipe courtesy of my genius friend Sarah of Flour and Spice! These trifles are like little cups (ha! Can you believe I came up with that one on my own? 😉 ) of sunshine. They come together super quick and make for a gorgeous presentation. You can use whatever cookies you want for the layers (I used Biscoff because that’s what I had on hand; Sarah recommended gingersnaps), and I’m sure adding a layer of fresh fruit would only intensify its deliciousness.

Go ahead and give these bad boys a shot. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed 🙂

 

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Lemon Velvet Trifle

Yield: Varies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • Few drops yellow food color, optional
  • Crushed cookies or biscuits, as needed

Directions:

In the bowl of a mixer, beat whipping cream on medium high speed until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

In the bowl of a mixer, beat condensed milk on medium high speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add lemon juice and food color (if using) and mix until thoroughly combined. Gently fold in whipped cream.

Layer crushed cookies and lemon mixture as desired in serving dish.

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Whipped Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

FRIENDS!

I’ve missed you! ::Gives big virtual hug::

I apologize for the impromptu hiatus. Things had been a bit busy, but they seem to have calmed down now.

So a few days after I shared my Poached Egg technique, I took off with the kids to California. We spent a week together with my mom and brother, and then were joined by my husband and brother in-law. The following week was filled with preparations for Eid, me fracturing my collar bone, and my brother’s engagement ceremony (!!!!!).

I had originally planned to prepare a dessert table for the occasion, but after the whole grown-ass-mom-breaking-her-bone situation, I reached out to my brother and sister in-law’s friends, and we all contributed a bit and were able to pull off a joint dessert table! It was so exciting to see what everyone made, and it made the whole occasion even more meaningful.

This is what everyone contributed- Nutella Brownies, Jalaibee, Cupcakes, Baklava Fingers, Russian Tea Cakes, Banana Pudding, Lemon Bars, and Chocolate Chip Cookies.  Thank you all!  Everything was so delicious, and most of all so thoughtful!

This is what everyone contributed- Nutella Brownies, Jalaibee, Cupcakes, Baklava Fingers, Russian Tea Cakes, Banana Pudding, Lemon Bars, and Chocolate Chip Cookies. Thank you all! Everything was so delicious, and most of all so thoughtful!

On the other side of the table, my sister in-law had the idea of putting together a Milk & Cookies Bar.  It was so adorable! The whole table came together wonderfully :)

On the other side of the table, my sister in-law had the idea of putting together a Milk & Cookies Bar. It was so adorable! The whole table came together wonderfully 🙂

My “submission” for the dessert table was a batch of vanilla cupcakes with vanilla frosting. The frosting was actually a joint effort on my husband and my part (can you imagine how that went? LOL!). Although we have more of an affinity towards whipped cream frosting, we went with buttercream because it would hold up at room temperature. After searching and searching for a buttercream frosting that not only holds its shape well, but also isn’t thick and cloyingly sweet (which is our main complaint about it), I stumbled upon this recipe from Annie’s Eats. The secret is in the addition of heavy cream! You see, adding the cream gives an otherwise heavy buttercream some lightness. It whips up and forms the most smooth and airy frosting, which pipes great and tastes wonderful!

 

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Whipped Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Yield: Enough To Frost 2 Dozen Cupcakes

Or a 2-Layer Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla

Directions:

Place butter in a large bowl, and using a whisk attachment, whip on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the powdered sugar and whip on low speed until completely incorporated. Add salt and whip on medium-high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add heavy whipping cream and vanilla and whip on low speed until incorporated. Increase speed to high and whip until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, remembering to scrape the sides of the bowl along the way.

Use as needed.

Refrigerate leftovers.

Note: Frosting can be made and frozen in advance. To use, simply leave on the counter and bring to room temperature. The frosting may need to be whipped lightly to bring back to original consistency.

Strawberry Milkshakes

Our rental community has a garden in which plots are given out on a first-come-first-serve basis, and I was quick to snatch one up this past Spring. We planted cherry tomatoes and green onions in our little box, and so far both plants have been thriving (along with thriving weeds and two mystery plants). Thanks to the crazy Midwestern weather, when one day it is hot and humid and the next it’s thundering and raining, our baby plants have grown monstrous and our box looks like a miniature version of the Amazon.

Speaking of summer and its bountiful produce, I’m loving all of the ripe and sweet berries being sold at the grocery stores! My son loves strawberries, so almost every grocery trip results in a carton being brought home. He mostly noshes on them just the way they are, but sometimes I like to incorporate them into our diets in other ways.

Enter these totally indulgent strawberry milkshakes via our homeboy Emeril.

What sets these shakes apart from others is that this recipe calls for allowing the berries to macerate before blitzing. This small but crucial difference is what takes it over the top. Emeril, I’ve got to give it to you buddy, you really know what you’re doing. BAM!

 

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Strawberry Milkshakes

Yield: 2 Servings

Ingredients:

  • ½ pound strawberries, hulled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups vanilla ice cream
  • ½ cup milk

Directions:

In a medium bowl, combine strawberries, sugar, and vanilla. Set aside and allow berries to macerate for at least 30 minutes.

In the jar of a blender, combine berries, ice cream, and milk and blitz until smooth. Serve immediately.

Sundried Tomato Dip

Since becoming the owner/manager/parent of two Littles, I’ve come to realize that I am a big snacker. Like, huge. It might or might not have to do with the fact that I no longer have the time to sit down and enjoy a meal. Forget meals, even bathroom breaks are a luxury of the past. And showers? Pssh, ain’t nobody got time for that! (After rereading this, I realize that I must sound really disgusting, but this girl is just trying to keep things real 😉 )

Anyway, back to the topic at hand- snacks! I love having some kind of snack at the table when I have friends over, and dip is one of those things that everyone loves. Whether it be adults or children, everyone enjoys scooping their favorite veggie or chip into a bowl of their favorite dip.

Today’s recipe, a Sundried Tomato Dip, is a welcome departure from the usual salsa and sour cream and onion dip. It’s creamy, flavorful, and versatile enough that it could be delicious as a condiment in burgers, wraps, and sandwiches. In fact, I think I’ll be throwing together some chicken sandwiches with whatever leftover dip I have 🙂

(In some fun news, I’ve joined the talented team of ladies at Macaron And On, and this post comes from me as one of their food contributors.  For those who are coming over from Macaron And On, welcome! I hope to get to know you better and see you around more often 🙂 )

 

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Sundried Tomato Dip

Yield: Approximately 2 Cups

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup sundried tomatoes (approximately 8 tomatoes; either oil-packed or dry-packed may be used. If using oil-packed, blot dry. If using dry-packed, rehydrate by submerging in boiling water for one hour; blot dry and use as directed.)
  • 2 teaspoons Louisiana-style hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced

Directions:

Combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, tomatoes, hot sauce, salt, and black pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse on high speed until completely smooth, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl in between pulses. Fold in green onions.

Serve with choice of accompaniments. Dip may be made up to three days in advance and must be stored in the refrigerator.

Cookies ‘n Cream Rice Krispie Treats

Asiya posted this Cookies and Cream Rice Krispies recipe a while back, and I had filed it away in my mental “must-make” file. I first made the recipe, adapting it to use regular marshmallows, several months ago to mind-blowing results. Since then, I’ve made it a number of times, each time better than the last. This is a wonderful recipe to whip up in a jiffy, and it’s also one that kids enjoy helping out with 🙂

 

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Cookies ‘n Cream Rice Krispie Treats

Yield: 1 Large Tray

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 20 chocolate sandwich cookies (12 coarsely chopped for filling, 8 coarsely chopped or ground for topping)
  • 6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
  • 1 (200-250 gram) package marshmallows
  • ½ to 1 cup (according to preference) white chocolate chips

Directions:

Depending on how thick or thin you prefer your rice krispie treats, set aside a greased 9”x13” or 8”x11” baking dish.

In a large bowl, combine cookies for filling and cereal.

In a large nonstick vessel, melt the butter over medium low heat. Add marshmallows and melt completely. Slowly add the melted marshmallows to the cereal and mix completely. Transfer to greased baking dish and spread out the mixture evenly. Lightly press down.

In a double broiler, melt the white chocolate chips. Spread melted chocolate over the rice krispies evenly. Lightly press the remaining chocolate sandwich cookies over the melted chocolate. Refrigerate for a few minutes, to harden the chocolate.

Cut into squares and serve.

Can be kept at room temperature.