Tag Archives: fruit

New Years Chocolate Dipped Fruit

Have to admit that I am a little “cookied out” after Christmas.  For New Years, I thought I try a guilt free dessert that would be fun and festive.  Dark Chocolate Dipped Fruit – chocolate covered blackberry pops, fresh mandarin oranges dipped in chocolate and chocolate berry cups.  They will transport easy to a party using Sweet Stackers!

New Years Chocolate Dipped Fruit on a Stick  Guilt Free New Years Dessert Chocolate Dipped Fruit

Using a double boiler, add half a bag of chocolate chips and one teaspoon of shortening (to make the chocolate smooth and silky).  Stir until melted. Place blackberries on a pop stick and dip into the melted chocolate.  Add festive sprinkles immediately and stand to let cool.  Dip the mandarin oranges and place on a sheet of parchment or wax paper, then top with sprinkles.  For the berry cups, I added a teaspoon of chocolate into mini paper cupcake liners and place three raspberries and blueberries on top.  The berries will set into the chocolate.

Refrigerate.  Sweet Stackers will divide your chocolate confections without them smudging, sticking or melting together.

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Sweet Stackers Guilt Free New Years Dessert

Ready to transport to a New Years Eve Party!  Once you arrive to the party, the chocolate covered fruit pops will display pretty in a few champagne flutes.

Sweet Stackers Chocolate Dipped Berries New Years Party

Wishing you all a Happy and Healthy New Years from my PartyKitchen!


Kolacky – Stack and freeze them!

Yesterday, I went to Czech-Moravian picnic.  There was Czech food, traditional folk dancing and yummy homemade desserts!  This reminded me of a post that I wrote before last Christmas about Kolacky (i.e. Kolache, kolace, kolach, koláče).  Kolacky are a Czech cookie filled with fruit, poppyseed or cheese.  Many other eastern European countries also make them or something similar.  Check out my post to view the recipe…my recipe produces a moist kolacky dough because it uses a handful of ingredients including cream cheese.  The best part of kolacky is that they can be filled with any flavor of fruit filling.  I think my favorite is when they are filled with apricot.


Raspberry and Apricot Kolacky

My family and I usually bake kolacky for the holidays.  Kolacky are the perfect dessert after a large feast because they are bite sized.  You can always squeeze at least one in!  Since there are so many foods to prepare for a holiday dinner, we bake kolacky a couple of weeks in advance and freeze them.   They freeze perfect!  But, they can’t be stacked in the same container because of the jelly or fruit filling.  I had an idea to design trays that fit in air-tight plastic food storage containers….and that is how SweetStackers came about!  Using the Stackable Food Storage System, you can layer a whole batch of kolacky or any cookies, bars or pastries in two or three layers, in one typical 3″ container without them sticking together.  This makes is possible to place only one container in your refrigerator, freezer or pantry.

Do you make any cookies or bakery that are hard to store in an air-tight container?  Please share and link to your recipes!!

Strawberry Oatmeal Bars

Love this recipe!  So easy, so yummy…and perfect for a play date.  I am pretty sure the kids liked it and I know the Mommies sure did!  Thank you Pioneer Woman for a great recipe.

This recipe intrigued me because the filling can changed to any fruity jam or preserves.  So depending on your mood or whatever jar of jam you have in your pantry, you most likely have all of the ingredients on hand.  Though…it sounds like the strawberry is the best if you need a comfort food.  They were hard to only eat one….perfectly sweet!

Using SweetStackers trays

Using SweetStackers trays

Strawberry Oatmeal Bars

  • 1 3/4 sticks salted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 – 10 to 12-ounce jar strawberry preserves

Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan.

Add the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder and salt to a large mixing bowl.  Cut in the butter (using your hands, combine the butter into the dry ingredients) until it makes course crumbs.  Spread half of the mixture into the greased pan, pushing it evenly and tightly into the corners.  Add a layer of the jam over the oatmeal crumble, carefully spreading it with a knife.  Then layer the remaining oatmeal crumble over the top of the jam.

Bake for 30 – 40 minutes until the top is golden brown.

Now for the hard part.  Cool completely before cutting into squares.

Strawberry Oatmeal Bars

Strawberry Oatmeal Bars

using SweetStackers

using SweetStackers

Peach French Toast Casserole

I was on the hunt for a healthy French toast casserole recipe since we were having guests spend the night.  A breakfast casserole is great because it can be prepared ahead of time and I could actually enjoy my time with them in the morning.  This recipe stood out right away because it was covered with fresh fruit and needed to be refrigerated overnight.  A perfect summer breakfast recipe…or really any time of year!

Peach Berry French Toast Casserole

Peach French Toast Casserole

  • 1 large whole-wheat baguette (about 8 ounces)
  • 8 whole eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 cups sliced peaches, fresh or frozen (I also added some strawberries and blueberries)
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced about 1 1/2 tablespoons
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Cut entire baguette into half inch slice and place at the bottom of a greased 9×13 casserole dish.  Whisk 8 eggs, milk and vanilla into a medium-sized bowl.  Pour the egg mixture over the bread.  Toss fruit with lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of brown sugar.  Layer the fruit over the bread and egg mixture.  Sprinkle the remaining two tablespoons of brown sugar over the top and sprinkle cinnamon.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes.

Top with maple syrup or yogurt.

Peach French Toast Bake

Kolacky – Czech Cookies

The holidays are among us and let the baking begin!

According to Wikipedia:  “Kolache (also spelled kolace, kolach, or kolacky, from the Czech and Slovak plural koláče, sg. koláč) is a type of pastry that holds a dollop of fruit rimmed by a puffy pillow of supple dough.”

Kolacky are my favorite baked treat because the filling comes in so many fruit flavors, poppy seed and even cheese.  My Mom makes them for any holiday and I am carrying on the tradition.   They are really the perfect dessert after a huge dinner because they are tiny like a cookie.  I made these for a Christmas event at my church and I will be making another batch for Christmas.


Raspberry and Apricot Kolacky

This recipe can be made ahead of time and they freeze well, but because of the jelled filling they can not be stacked on top of each other.  That lead me to design a new product called Sweet Stackers – Stackable Food Storage System.  Sweet Stackers are stackable trays that fit inside a typical 3″ deep container.  They will separate your food items in two or three layers depending on the size of your food.  Perfect for Kolacky or any food that you can not stack!

Kolacky Recipe

1 1/2 C sifted all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 C butter, softened

1 – 8 ounce cream cheese, softened

1 tablespoon milk

1 tablespoon sugar

1 egg yolk, beaten

various pie and pastry fillings (I used Solo brand, apricot and raspberry pie and pastry filling for this batch)

Sift the flour and baking powder together.  With an electric mixer, cream butter, cream cheese, milk and sugar.  Add the egg yolk, then gradually add the flour mixture.  Once the dough comes together, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for several hours in the refrigerator.  I usually chill the dough overnight.

Preheat oven to 400°.  Divide the dough in half and leave the remaining half in the refrigerator until you are ready to work with it.  (note: work with this dough quickly and keep any dough that you are not using chilled).  Flour your rolling pin and work surface extremely good and keep it well floured once you are working the dough.  Roll the dough until about 1/8″ – 1/4″ thick.  Cut round pieces with a floured 2″ round cookie cutter or edge of a juice glass.

kolaches dough

Dough is chilled, rolled and ready to cut

Place on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Make a depression with your thumb gently in the center of each piece and place a dollop of filling into the center.  Bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned.

kolaches cut and filled

Kolacky are ready to bake!

Hope you enjoy them!

Fruity Baked Oatmeal – Muffinsize

My oldest baby girl jumped on a school bus this morning for her first day of Kindergarten.  Getting ready this morning was actually very exciting, calm and organized because of all of the hype and planning that comes with the first day of school.  But I know that in a few weeks, it will be tough getting out of the door on time.  I came back home from the bus stop to a message from the Snack Girl Blog about a healthy, comforting and satisfying breakfast idea…baked oatmeal.  Sounds delicious and this would make a quick breakfast if made ahead of time.  I thought I would try her recipe with a twist of my own – baking it in a muffin tin.  I have been pretty big on my muffin pan lately because they create the perfect size meal for kids (and adults alike).

Baked Oatmeal Recipe

(12 muffin size helpings)

2 cups old fashion oats

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp allspice

1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 C chopped fresh fruit or berries (I used 1 C plums and 1 C frozen fresh blueberries for this recipe)

1 cup milk

1 cup plain yogurt

2 eggs

1/4 cup brown sugar (maple syrup, honey, sugar could be substituted)

Spray a 12 count muffin pan with non stick spray and preheat the oven to 350°.  Mix all of the ingredients together and divide evenly filling up to the brim of each muffin cup.  Bake covered with foil for 20 minutes and uncovered to brown for 10 minutes.

I am going to refrigerate the oatmeal in an air tight container.  Then zap them in the microwave to warm them up and serve them with a little milk poured over.  A yummy homemade breakfast made in a snap!

So what do you think we will be having for breakfast tomorrow?

Pancakes made from scratch

Healthier Pancakes

Here’s one of those easy recipes that you can make from scratch in a pinch….no need to buy ready-made pancake mix!  It is easy, quick and has whole wheat flour and cornmeal which are both whole grains.  This recipe is great by itself, but to change it up (as we do every weekend) and add extra nutrients, I add different fruit…bananas, blueberries, strawberries, peaches and even canned pumpkin.   Depending on the fruit, you can mash it or chop it into small chunks.  For an extra special treat, add a small amount of chocolate chips to each pancake…we drop about 5 chips on top after the batter is poured on the griddle.  The kids are super happy about that!

1 C all-purpose flour

1/2 C whole wheat flour

1/4 C cornmeal

1 TB baking powder

1 1/2 C milk

2 large eggs

2 TB brown sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 C to 3/4 C fruit – optional

Here’s a tip – I measure out 3/4 C canned 100% pure pumpkin for this recipe.  With the remaining pumpkin, I measure the rest in 3/4 C increments and place in small freezer bags laying flat in the freezer.  Next time you make pancakes, a bag of pumpkin will thaw quickly in water as you are preparing the other ingredients.

Freezer Cukes! Cucumbers! Pickles?

This recipe has many different names they can be known as freezer cukes, cucumbers or pickles, refrigerator cukes or cucumber salad.

Last summer I had an abundance of cucumbers from my veggie garden.  This recipe is so easy and so refreshing.  Just mix all of the ingredients together and refrigerate overnight.  They are ready to be served or frozen.  I placed small batches of cukes in canning jars and some in freezer bags, making sure that I left enough head space for expansion.

Thaw and eat them all winter long as a nice way to remember summer’s bounty.

This salad is great as a side salad, to bring to a picnic or I like them on top of a sandwich.

Freezer Cucumbers

7 cups cukes, sliced thin

1 cup sliced onion

1 cup green pepper diced

2 tsp salt

1 tsp celery seed

2 cups sugar

1 cup cold vinegar

Peach Kuchen

Kuchen – a German word for cake.


This is one of my favorite desserts since I was a kid.  Mom would whip this up in her kitchen using whatever fruit we had on hand.  This recipe is so versatile because you can use just about any type of fruit!  During the summer, peaches and plums are delicious.  In the fall, apples or pears.  During the winter, even canned fruit works great!

I am determined to go blueberry pickin in Michigan next month and I will be taking this recipe with me!!

Kuchen/Cake mixture:

1 1/4 C flour

1/4 C sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 C butter

2 egg yolks

2 TB milk

fruit (I used 4 large peaches, sliced)


1/2 C sugar

2 TB flour

1/8 tsp. nutmeg

2 TB butter

Sift flour with sugar, salt and baking powder.

Cut in butter until it crumbs.  There are different techniques to cutting in butter, but I do it the old fashioned way using my fingers to break up cold butter into pea sized pieces as the flour mixture coats the butter.

kuchen cut in butter

Combine egg yolks and milk and add to the flour mixture.  Once blended, spread and press into bottom of pan a 9×9″ square pan or 9″ round baking dish.  Arrange fruit and cover with streusel crumbs.

cake streusel

Bake 375° for 45 minutes or less.

Kuchen Cake a la mode

Kuchen is scrumptious served warm….even with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top!

Ha!  I need a bigger piece!