Fresh Fruit Dip

This simple, tangy fruit dip goes very well with berries, melons, citrus fruits, pineapple, you name it. (I'm on a bit of a strawberry kick, if you haven't noticed.)

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese (can use reduced fat), room temperature
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
zest and juice of one lime (also delicious with orange or lemon...just use a teaspoon or two of the juice)

With an electric mixer, mix all ingredients until smooth and creamy. Serve with fresh fruit.
Will store well in the refrigerator for a week or so.

Strawberry-Almond Cream Tart

This is a delicious, fresh summertime dessert. You can make the filling and topping up to 3 days ahead. Store in the refrigerator until you are ready to assemble the tart.

Recipe adapted from the Best of Cooking Light

36 honey graham crackers (9 sheets)
2 T sugar
2 T melted butter
4 tsp water
8 oz light cream cheese (Neufchatel), softened
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond
6 cups small fresh strawberries, divided
2/3 cup sugar
1 T cornstarch
1 T fresh lemon juice
2 T sliced almonds, toasted (350 for about 8 minutes)

Preheat oven to 350.
To prepare crust, place crackers in food processor and process until crumbly. Add two tablespoons sugar, butter and water. Pulse just until moist. Place mixture in 9-inch round removable bottom tart pan coated with cooking spray (springform pan would work as well). Press into bottom and up sides of pan. Bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool completely on a wire rack.

To prepare filling, combine cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and almond. Stir until smooth. Spread over bottom of cooled tart shell.

To prepare topping, process 2 cups strawberries until pureed. Combine puree, 2/3 cup sugar, and cornstarch in saucepan over medium heat. Stirring with a whisk, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook one minute. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally (you will only use half of the topping on this tart...use the rest as a topping for pound cake or ice cream).

To assemble tart, combine 4 cups strawberries with lemon juice, toss to coat. Arrange whole berries, cut side down, in a circular pattern over filling. Spoon 1/2 of glaze evenly over berries. Sprinkle almonds around edge. Cover and chill for 3 hours.

Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins

My girls couldn't be convinced that these muffins were healthy.

Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins

adapted from Cooking Light
  • 1 2/3 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk (an easy substitute: put 1 1/2 T lemon juice or vinegar in a 2 cup liquid measuring cup. Add enough skim milk to make 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind (I needed almost 2 lemons worth)
  • 2 large eggs or 3 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup low-fat plain yogurt or sour cream (optional: I often add a big spoonful to muffin recipes...makes them more moist)
  • 2 cups blueberries (if using frozen blueberries, toss them with 2 T flour to keep the batter from turning purple)
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar


1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. Place oats in a food processor; pulse 5 to 6 times or until oats resemble coarse meal. Place in a large bowl.

3. Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add flours, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt to oats; stir well. Make a well in center of mixture.

4. Combine buttermilk, oil, zest and eggs. Add to flour mixture; stir just until moist.

5. Toss berries with 2 tablespoons flour (you can omit the extra flour if your blueberries are fresh), and gently fold into batter. Spoon batter into 18 muffin cups coated with cooking spray; sprinkle 2 tablespoons granulated sugar evenly over batter. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center. Remove from pans immediately; place on a wire rack.

Bunny's Rocky Ledge Bars

A cookie party recipe in July?!?! That's almost as good as finding an unwrapped Christmas present in March!

Sister in law Bunny brought these yummy bars to the party back in April. They are chock full of tasty little morsels...milk chocolate, white chocolate, butterscotch, caramel, marshmallow. There's something for everyone.
They would be excellent to take to a family picnic.

Rocky Ledge Bars
(Martha Stewart recipe)

2 1/4 cup flour
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
1 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup mini marshmallows
1 cup semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used milk chocolate chips)
1 cup white chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used chips, again)
1 cup butterscotch chips (next time, I might substitute toffee bits...mmmm)
18 soft caramel cubes, coarsely chopped (maybe into quarters)

Preheat oven 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 9x13 pan. Line with parchment paper with an overhang and butter. (Cooking spray will work as well.)
Whisk flour, baking powder, salt in bowl. In another bowl, mix butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; mix until well combined. Mix in flour mixture until combined. Fold in half of each of the marshmallows, chocolates, butterscotch chips and caramels.
Spread batter into prepared pan. Scatter remaining marshmallows, chocolates, butterscotch, and caramels on top. Bake until top is golden brown and cake tester comes out clean about 35 minutes. Let cool on wire rack. Lift out of pan and transfer to refrigerator until set, at least 30 minutes. Remove parchment, cut, and enjoy!