Elegant Foods & Desserts



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Elegant Foods & Desserts


By: Paula Deen


2 cups granulated sugar 

5 large beaten eggs 

2 cups milk , 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract , 3 cups cubed Italian bread, allow to stale overnight in a bowl ,1 cup packed light brown sugar, 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened ,1 cup chopped pecans

For the sauce:

1 cup granulated sugar 

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted, 1 egg, beaten, 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, 1/4 cup brandy


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan.

Mix together granulated sugar, eggs, and milk in a bowl; add vanilla. Pour over cubed bread and let sit for 10 minutes.

In another bowl, mix and crumble together brown sugar, butter, and pecans.

Pour bread mixture into prepared pan. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture over the top and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until set. Remove from oven.

For the sauce:

Mix together the granulated sugar, butter, egg, and vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir together until the sugar is melted. Add the brandy, stirring well. Pour over bread pudding. Serve warm or cold.

Coconut & Raspberry Cheesecake 


4 – 8-ounce packages cream cheese at room temperature

1 3/4 cups sugar

1/4 tsp Sea Salt

1/4 cup cornstarch, 1 tablespoon Vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon Coconut extract, 3 large eggs, 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream, 1/2 cup sour cream


Preheat the oven to 335 F and grease or butter an 8-inch cake pan. Place a round of parchment paper on the bottom. Spray the pan and the parchment. If you are wanting acrust, now is the time to make it. Place one 8-ounce package of the cream cheese, 1/2 cup of the sugar, and the cornstarch in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on low speed until creamy, about 3 minutes, then beat in the remaining 3 packages of cream cheese.

Increase the mixer speed to high and beat in the remaining 1 1/4 cups of the sugar, then beat in the vanilla, coconut extract, and salt. Blend in the eggs one at a time, beating only until completely blended. Be careful not to overmix the batter. Slowly mix in the cream and sour cream until just combined.Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Place the pan in a large shallow pan containing hot water that comes about halfway up the sides of the pan. Bake the cheesecake until the top is lightly browned, about 1 hour and 25 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned and center is set. Allow to cool in the oven with the door propped open.Cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate until it’s completely cold, at least 4 hours or overnight.

Press the toasted coconut into the sides of the cheesecake. Spread raspberry gelee to within 1/2 inch of the edge of the cheesecake. Place fresh raspberries in a circular pattern around the top.

Raspberry gelee – 1 cup fresh raspberries, 3/4 cup sugar. Reduce in small pot over medium heat until thickened. Allow to cool.

Toasted Coconut – 2 cups coconut flake. Spread onto baking sheet and toast in 325 oven until lightly browned, stirring every 5 minutes.

Lemon Chicken


2 tbsp. lemon zest 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, 

2 cloves garlic, crushed, 

2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves1 tsp. fresh rosemary leaves, finely minced 1tsp. salt1 tsp. black pepper 2-4 lbs. of bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs or drumsticks 2-3 tbsp. melted butter. Thinly sliced lemons, for garnished.

Directions: Combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper in a large zipper-lock plastic bag. Seal the bag and shake well to blend. Place the chicken pieces in the bag with the marinade, pressing out excess air and sealing once more. Refrigerate and let marinate for 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 425F. Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and transfer to a baking dish, skin-side up, reserving the leftover marinade. Brush the top of each piece of chicken with melted butter.
Bake for 50-55 minutes, until the skins are crispy and well-browned. Halfway through baking, pour the remaining marinade over the chicken pieces in the baking dish. Once fully baked, cover loosely with foil and let rest 10 minutes before serving. Transfer to a serving platter, garnish with lemon slices and serve.


Pumpkin Cheesecake Trifle

1 (18.25 ounce) package spice cake mix

1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding

1 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup vegetable oil

3 eggs

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

2 cups cold milk

2 (3.4 ounce) packages cheesecake flavor instant pudding and pie filling

2 cups whipped topping, 1 cup chopped toasted pecans, 1 cup English toffee bits

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish.

Combine the cake mix, vanilla pudding mix, pumpkin, water, oil, eggs, and pie spice in a large mixing bowl; pour into the prepared dish.

Bake in the preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature on a wire rack. Cut the cake into 1-inch cubes. Whisk together the milk and cheesecake pudding mix. Allow to set, about 2 minutes. Fold the whipped topping into the pudding mixture. Layer 1/3 of the cake cubes into the bottom of a large bowl; top with 1/3 of the cream mixture and sprinkle with 1/3 of the pecans and toffee bit. Repeat layering until all ingredients are uses. Refrigerate 1 hour before serving. 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes

Recipe by Our Best Bites


1 Duncan Hines yellow or white cake mix

1 cup sour cream (full-fat or light, but not fat-free)

3 eggs, 1/4 cup canola oil, 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter

1 teaspoon vanilla, 24 unwrapped mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

Chocolate Frosting: 1/4 cup melted butter (real butter, not margarine), 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/2 pound powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons evaporated milk, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Peanut Butter Frosting:

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter, 1/4 cup real butter, softened, 2 cups powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla

2-3 tablespoons (or more) of milk (you can use some of the leftover evaporated milk; it’s awesome in this frosting)

Preheat oven to 350. Line 2 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake liners and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine all the cupcake ingredients except for the peanut butter cups with an electric mixer on medium-low speed for 30 seconds, scraping the bowl frequently. Turn the speed to high and beat for another 3 minutes.

Fill each muffin cup about 1/2 full with batter. Top with an unwrapped Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup , then fill the muffin cups with the remaining batter. Make sure the Peanut Butter Cups are covered and the cups are about 3/4 full. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until the tops are golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. While the cupcakes are cooling, prepare the frostings. For both frostings, just combine all the ingredients for each one and whip until light and fluffy, adding additional milk as needed. Frost the cupcakes with the swirled frosting.


Ingredients: Marinate the chicken while you prepare the rest of the ingredients:

1 pound chicken breast (about 2 breasts), cubed

3 scallions, whites only, thinly sliced on an angle

2 cloves garlic, minced

1-inch piece peeled fresh ginger, minced

1 tablespoon soy sauce, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 1/4 teaspoons salt, 1 tablespoon dry sherry

1 tablespoon dark sesame oil, About 1/3 cup water, 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

5 to 6 cups broccoli, trimmed sliced stalks and medium florets (keep the 2 cuts separate)

3/4 to 1 teaspoon red chili flakes, optional, 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce Garnish: toasted sesame seeds, optional Serving suggestion: Jasmine rice


In a medium bowl, toss the chicken with the scallion whites, about half the garlic and ginger, the soy sauce, sugar, 1 teaspoon of the cornstarch, 1 teaspoon of the salt, the sherry, and the sesame oil. Marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes. Mix the remaining cornstarch with 1/3 cup water. Heat a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and heat. Add the broccoli stems, and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add the florets and the remaining garlic, ginger, 2 tablespoons of water, and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Stir-fry until the broccoli is bright green but still crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Get the skillet good and hot again, and then heat 2 more tablespoons oil. Add the chicken and chili flakes if using. Stir-fry until the chicken loses its raw color and gets a little brown, about 3 minutes. Add the hoisin sauce, return the broccoli to the pan and toss to heat through. Stir in the reserved cornstarch mixture and bring to a boil to thicken. Add more water if need to thin the sauce, if necessary. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if you like. Mound the stir-fry on a serving platter or divide among 4 plates and garnish with sesame seeds; serve with rice.

Lemon Poppy Seed Pancakes

By: picky cook, Makes about 12 large pancakes


2 cups unbleached ap (all-purpose) flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/3 cup sugar pinch of salt, 1/3 cup poppy seeds, zest of 4 lemons, 2 cups buttermilk, 2 large eggs, lightly beaten, 2 tablespoons butter, melted butter, (to serve also).


To make the pancakes combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt in a large bowl. In another bowl the buttermilk, eggs, butter, lemon zest and poppy seeds. Add the wet to the dry. Stir all the ingredients until they are just combined. Don't worry if the batter is a bit lumpy, you don't want to over mix.

Heat your skillet, pan, or griddle to medium-hot and brush it with a bit of butter. Test for the right temperature. If a drop of water dropped onto the pan starts to dance, you are in the ballpark. Pour about 1/3 of a cup of batter into the skillet. Wait until the pancake bottom is deep golden in color, then flip with a spatula and cook the other side until golden and cooked through. Repeat with the remaining batter.

Thai Lime Pepper Chicken Stir-Fry


1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon fish sauce

2 tablespoons oyster sauce, 1 tablespoon water

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3½ oz (100g) rice stick noodles, 3 tablespoons peanut or canola oil

12 oz (360g) uncooked skinless chicken breast fillets—cut into bite size pieces

1 red pepper—deseeded and cut into strips

5 button mushrooms—quartered, 12 snow peas—ends trimmed, and left whole

1 clove garlic—minced, 1 teaspoon finely chopped lime zest

1 scallion (spring onion)—thinly sliced on diagonal, 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice


MIX together the soy sauce, fish sauce, oyster sauce, water and pepper in a small bowl until combined. PLACE the rice stick noodles in a large bowl, cover with boiling water and soak for 8 minutes, then rinse under cold water, drain, and set aside. HEAT a wok or large skillet over a high heat then add 1 tablespoon of the oil. STIR-FRY the chicken for 3 minutes then remove from the wok and set aside on a plate. ADD the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the hot wok and stir-fry the pepper for 3 minutes. ADD the mushrooms and snow peas and cook for 2 minutes. ADD the garlic and lime zest and cook a minute. ADD the cooked chicken, noodles and sauce mixture, and stir-fry for 1 minute to heat through and combine thoroughly. STIR through the scallion, basil and lime juice and serve.

Macadamia Nut and White Chocolate Chip Cookies


1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup shortening or vegetable oil

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, 1, 12 ounce package (2 cups) white baking pieces, 1, 3 1/2 ounce jar macadamia nuts, chopped


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl beat butter and shortening with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking soda, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour, the chocolate pieces, and nuts.

2. Drop dough by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 8 to 9 minutes or just until edges are light brown. Cool on cookie sheets for 2 minutes. Transfer to wire racks; cool.

Roasted Turkey Breast

From: FoodieCrush


1 bone-in turkey breast half, about 2

1/2 pounds, with skin on

1-2 tablespoons butter, ½ lemon, ½ head of garlic, crushed with paper on

1 cup white wine 4-6 sprigs of fresh thyme

kosher salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 

Rinse and pat dry the turkey breast. With your fingers, carefully separate skin from the turkey meat and spread half of the butter under the skin.

Spread the rest of the butter on top of the skin. Place turkey breast in a roasting pan and season with kosher salt and pepper. 

Pour wine over breast, then squeeze juice from the lemon over the breast and then add to pan with the garlic. Top the breast with thyme sprigs.

Roast turkey until an instant-read

thermometer inserted into the center of the breast reaches 140 degrees, or for about 30-35 minutes. Remove from pan and cover and rest for at least 15 minutes and then slice turkey as needed. 

Reserve pan drippings for gravy if desired.

Blackened Chicken and Cilantro Lime Quinoa

From: Sarcastic Cooking


2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts

½ Teaspoon of Paprika, ¼ Teaspoon of Salt, ¼ Teaspoon of Pepper, ¼ Teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper, ¼ Teaspoon of Onion Powder, ¼ Teaspoon of Cumin, 1 Teaspoon of Olive Oil

2 Cups of Low Sodium Chicken Stock, 1 Cup of Quinoa, Juice and Zest from One Lime

A Dash of Salt and Pepper, 2 Tablespoons of Cilantro, chopped


Combine all the dry seasonings in a small bowl. Mix them together and then season both sides of each chicken breast.

Add the teaspoon of olive oil to a large pan or skillet. Heat the olive oil for a minute over medium/high heat. Add the chicken breasts to the pan. Cook for seven minutes on each side with the lid on.

Add the chicken stock and quinoa to a medium sauce pan. Bring to a simmer over medium/low heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for ten to fifteen minutes with the lid on, until all the stock has been absorbed.

After the chicken breasts have cooked all the way through, remove them from the pan and let them rest for seven minutes before slicing them.

Add the warm quinoa to a large bowl. Toss in the lime zest, lime juice, salt and pepper, and chopped cilantro. Mix to combine.

Serve the sliced chicken breast on top of the quinoa. 

If you find the blackened seasoning too spicy, you can add a quick and easy avocado cream sauce to cool it down. Just place the flesh from an avocado along with two tablespoons of Greek yogurt in a food processor and puree until smooth.

Hummus and Avocado Toasts with Roasted Tomatoes

Makes 6 – 8 party bites


 6-8 slices of bread [gluten-free, whole wheat, etc.]

1/2 cup hummus [store bought or homemade]

1 avocado – halved, pitted and peeled

4 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise, cores and seeds removed

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

salt + pepper to taste


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Arrange the tomatoes on your baking sheet, cut sides up, in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.

Roast for 25-30 minutes, until the tomatoes are beginning to caramelize.

While the tomatoes roast, toast your bread. Using a cookie cutter or circular object, cut out 1-2 circles per toast, depending on how big the piece of bread is.

Spread ½-1 tablespoon of hummus on each circular toast.

In a bowl or plate, mash avocado with a fork, leaving large chunks.

Layer the mashed avocado over hummus, season with salt + pepper, and then top with a roasted [or fresh] tomato.

Serve immediately. Optional: top with goat cheese or feta or serve on the side.

Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Braid


2 cans Pillsbury Original Crescent Rolls

2 cups chicken chunks, cooked

2 cups cheddar cheese

2 cups broccoli, frozen, steamed and chopped

½ cup light mayonnaise

1 egg yolk

fresh rosemary


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

On a parchment paper lined cookie sheet, spread both cans of crescents length wise to form a long rectangle.

Press each of the seams to form a single layer of dough.

In a large bowl, combine chicken, cheese, broccoli and mayonnaise

Spread mixture over the center of the croissant dough evenly to create a log.

Using a sharp knife, cut horizontal strips 1 inch apart down each side of the crescent dough.

Fold the dough strips over the top of the chicken mixture, alternating left and right to create a braid.

Brush the top of the braid with a beaten egg yolk and sprinkle fresh rosemary on top.

Bake for 28 – 30 minutes until golden brown.

Black Forest Cake


1 dark chocolate cake mix (or your own from scratch)

1/4 c. kirsch (cherry brandy)

1 can cherry pie filling

16 oz. heavy whipping cream

1/2 c. confectioners' sugar

Maraschino cherries, drained, optional, for garnish

milk chocolate curls or shavings, for garnish


Drain cherry pie filling in a colander to remove most of the thickened juices.

Make cake, following package directions. Bake cake, as directed, in two 9-inch layer cake pans.

When cool, sprinkle kirsch over both cake layers.

Chill electric beaters and large mixing bowl; beat cream until it thickens slightly, gradually add confectioners' sugar and beat until thick enough to hold its shape.

Using a vegetable peeler, shave chocolate; refrigerate until ready to serve.

Assemble cake; place one layer on serving plate and spread its top with 1/2-inch thick layer of whipped cream and strew the cherries over the cream leaving about 1/2 inch margin around border of cake with no cherries.

Set other layer on top of cherries and spread top and sides of cake with remaining cream, shape whipped cream into decorative swirls on top.

With fingers, gently press chocolate curls into cream on sides of cake.

Garnish top with drained maraschino cherries, if desired, or with a few remaining chocolate curls.


From: What Katie Ate


1oz/30ml Grey goose/Absolut/Belvedere vodka

1 cup frozen raspberries

Juice 1 lime

15ml sugar syrup (see below)

2 tablespoons fresh pomegranate juice.

Extra raspberries for garnish

Lime or lemon zest to garnish


**To make the sugar syrup:**

Add 1 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar into a saucepan and bring to the boil, stir often then reduce heat and simmer until all the sugar has dissolved into the water – approx. 10 – 12 minutes. Allow to cool thoroughly. Note this will make enough for a few cocktails.


Place vodka, frozen raspberries, lime juice, sugar syrup and pomegranate juice into a chilled cocktail shaker along with a handful roughly crushed ice.

To serve pour strained cocktail into a glass and garnish with a few extra raspberries and some lime or lemon zest.