Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Love

In one more day I will be leaving for Europe! I know I am so excited. My mom and best friend Ang and I will be going to Paris, Marseille & Barcelona. My brother and sister in law live in France and we will get to see them as well. I am so excited to try all the Foods, experience the Culture, visit the awe-inspiring sights and just BE on Vacation in the most Awesome places ever! I will definitely be blogging about the trip and all the foods I get to experience, I may even get some tips from the Chefs! France is however where Julia got her start.

The only sad part of my trip is that I will be missing Easter with my family.

My sister in law Heather brought this by today, how freaking cute is that. She grew her own grass in these plastic baskets, then made them cute with fabric. How cool is that. Plus it has Trader Joes Peanut Butter Eggs -which are the Best things ever! Thanks Hezz

My mom had a dinner last night in place of our family Easter dinner. I had been wanting to make a couple of things so I told her I would bring the veggies and dessert.

A couple of weeks past for our Relief Society Enrichment night they served this amazing veggie casserole- it was to die for. My sister and I had like 3 helpings.
So here it is ( this will be a perfect dish for the summer gardens) It is filled with squash and carrots and has Amazing flavor. Everyone loved it, even the kids.
(onions not pictured)


4 medium zucchini, sliced 1/2"thick 3 cups or 1 box Pepperidge Farm

5 large carrots, pared and sliced Classic Cut Seasoned Croutons

1 1/2 cups chopped onion (2 med.) (small croutons)

1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken soup 1/2 cup sour cream

1 cube margarine

Preheat oven to 375°F. Steam or boil zucchini and carrots just until tender. In a

large saucepan, sauté onion in 4 Tbsp of margarine until the onions are tender. Stir

in 1 1/2 cups croutons, soup and sour cream. Gently stir in zucchini and carrots.

Lightly butter a 9 x 13-inch pan or casserole dish. Put mixture into pan. Melt

remaining margarine in a small saucepan. Add remaining croutons. Toss gently

and sprinkle over the casserole mixture. Bake for about 15 minutes or until mixture

is bubbly around the edges and the croutons are toasted. Makes 10 servings

This beauty I found on Mels Kitchen cafe, as soon as I saw it I was looking for an opportunity to make it.

Now it has 3 sticks of butter and like 3 cups of brown sugar, so the chances of it Not being good are Zero! We all loved it and I will definitely be making it again.

( I used gala apples since I already had a ton and it tasted great so use what you got)

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars with Streusel Topping- Mels Kitchen Cafe
Printable Version
Printable Version with Picture

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

Cream Cheese Layer:
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Streusel Topping:
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

1 cup caramel sauce (homemade recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small bowl, stir together chopped apples, two tablespoons sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine all the streusel topping ingredients and mix until crumbly. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or two forks until mixture is crumbly but combined. Press evenly into a 9X13-inch baking pan lined with aluminum foil. Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

While the crust is baking, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese with 1/2 cup sugar until smooth. Then add eggs, one at a time and then the vanilla. Mix well. Pour over the warm crust.

Spoon the apple mixture evenly over the cheesecake layer. Sprinkle the streusel topping over the apples. Bake for 30 minutes until the filling is set.

Cool the bars to room temperature. Drizzle with the caramel topping (or plate individual slices and drizzle with topping one by one).

Caramel Sauce:
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
½ cups half-and-half or cream
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon vanilla

Mix butter, brown sugar, half-and-half or cream, and salt in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook while whisking gently for 5 to 7 minutes, until thickened slightly. Add the vanilla and cook another minute to thicken further. Turn off the heat and pour the sauce into a jar. Refrigerate until cold. If the caramel sauce has cooled in the fridge long enough to harden, warm slightly before drizzling on bars.

Recipe Source: Bars adapted from my brother, Nate (I think he originally found them on the Food Network), caramel sauce from Pioneer Woman


  1. Oh my gosh, that caramel sauce is a dream. Those bars must have been oh so good. I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog and I'd like to invite you to stop by and link your bars up.

  2. Have so much fun. Some day I will make it to Europe. I love all of your recipes.


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