Category Archives: Recipes

Tuesday Treats–Chocolate Turtle Cookies

I stumbled across this yummy-looking recipe for chocolate turtle cookies and had to try it. They were pretty easy to make and my cookies turned out a little messier, but they tasted delicious and the boys gobbled them up. I did go out to get the chocolate extract and it was so worth it!


Chocolate Turtle Cookies


Yield: About 42 cookies
Prep Time: 30 min  Cook Time: 8 min

1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened
1 cup granulated white sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla or chocolate extract (see *tips)
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped and melted (I use a glass dish in the microwave)
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
20 caramel squares, unwrapped
1/4 cup half and half cream
pecan halves

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpat mats (or spray with nonstick spray).

2. Use an electric mixer and a large bowl to combine the butter and sugar. Beat in the egg and extract, then chocolate. Add the flour and mix until combined. Shape into 1-inch balls. Place the dough balls on a cookie sheet 2-inches apart, and make a thumbprint in each ball.

3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until cooked through and not super soft. When you take them out of the oven, use a small spoon to press down slightly into the thumbprinted areas again- just to make sure each cookie has a nice impression. Cool.

4. Melt caramels in a double boiler. Stir in the half and half until well-combined and smooth. Spoon a little bit of the caramel mixture into each cookie imprint. Top with a pecan half.

*These cookies will be more chocolatey with chocolate extract, which can be found in specialty markets like Whole Foods.


Check out for more incredible treats.




For the Love of Cranberries and Margaritas



candied cranberries for sadie

Yesterday, our Thanksgiving dinner was simple. I made turkey and amazing mash potatoes (lots of butter and no milk). I had to make the green bean casserole for myself as my crew prefers their green beans without any crunchy onion bits. The dressing I mixed up from Trader Joe’s. All in all the meal was delish. But, for me it’s all about the leftovers.

Now the fun starts. What am I going to make with the leftover cranberry sauce?

There’s just a bit of cranberry sauce left. I had cooked the cranberries on the stove top with raw sugar and fresh orange juice. I love when they heat up and POP! as they cook.  Then I added some pomegranates. The deep crimson color was mouthwatering.


As tradition allowed, I had a can of cranberries in the wait on the counter…just in case my fresh ones didn’t turn out. But this morning the can is still sitting on the counter. My fresh sauce turned out great. It was tangy sour with some sweet. There’s a little left and this is my goal. I’m going to mix up a batch of cranberry, pomegranate margarita’s with the leftovers.

cranberry margarita

My drink doesn’t look quite as photogenic, but this version of a cranberry and pomegranate margarita tastes great.

Here’s my simple drink recipe which is more like an adult-beverage smoothie:

Step 1: Take leftover fresh cranberry and pomegranate sauce and place in blender

Step 2: Pour Jose Cuervo Margarita Classic Lime (ready to go with tequila) into the blender.

Step 3: Hit liquefy!

All portions are based on your leftover cranberries, pomegranates or taste for liquor. I added a bit of water and poured over ice. Yum!




Pear Caramel Charlotte


caramel pear tartlett for thanksgiving

Pear Caramel Charlotte

Charlotte au Poire is a poire (or pear) mousse cake with a biscuit base. The name of this cake comes from its elegant look–like a lady’s hat.

Sadie’s version is a bit of work but so elegant:

Vanilla Cake Layers

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup  granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (240 ml) milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Grease 2 7-inch cake pans and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Gradually add in the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix in the milk, stirring until batter is uniform and smooth.

Divide batter evenly between prepared pans and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before removing the cake and transferring the cake to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Pear Mousse

1 cup fresh, chopped ripe pears
1 large egg white
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
In a blender or food processor, process pears until smooth.
In a large bowl, beat the egg white until foamy. Gradually add the sugar and salt and continue beating for 5/7 minutes, or until soft peaks form. Add the pears and continue beating until stiff peaks form, about 3-5 minutes. Refrigerate the mousse until ready to assemble cake.

Whipped Cream Icing

1 cup (240 ml) heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large bowl, whip together all ingredients until stiff peaks form. Chill the whipped cream until ready to assemble.

To Assemble:

Fresh pear slices
25-30+ ladyfingers

On a serving plate, place the bottom layer of the cake. Place the pear slices over the surface. Spoon on the chilled pear mousse and place the cake in the freezer for 15-20 minutes (or longer) to stiffen the filling.
Place on the top layer of cake. Using an offset spatula, frost the cake on all sides with the whipped cream icing. Press the ladyfingers along the outside of the cake, spacing them evenly. Dot the top of the surface with the remaining fresh pears (or glazed) and drizzle with caramel sauce.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Special thanks to for a guide on to how to layout the Charlotte, portions of the recipe and the pear pic.

The beautiful pic of the Pear Caramel Charlotte is thanks to Mirabelles Cafe.


pear and caramel sauce