Easter with The Stylist Effect

I met Amy(The Stylist Effect) years ago in Connecticut. We were both attending Central Connecticut and clicked right away. We were both a little crazy back then and Italian. So right there that meant we’d be spending a lot of time together. On the weekends we would either head back to her parent’s house for some homemade fettuccine alfredo or stick around school. If we stayed at school for the weekend we always made a trip to this amazing Italian bakery in Hartford called Mozzicato Bakery. We would go for one thing and one thing only… Their bakery style pizza was off the charts! We would get as many slices as they had available and eat them cold out of the box all weekend. We were two Italian girls missing mom’s cooking, so a girl has got to eat! Right?

All these years later we decided to collaborate on an Easter blog. So, when I was thinking of what recipe I should share I thought about our love for our Italian family and our love for food!

This is a recipe based off of my Grandma’s Ricotta Pie. Ricotta Pie is also known as Italian Cheesecake and is traditionally served on Easter. I didn’t change much from my Grandma’s original recipe except that I baked it in a pie crust, removed the lemon juice and added chocolate chips. 

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Grandma's Ricotta Pie

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of ricotta
  • ½  cup of sugar
  • 2 cups of heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 3 eggs separated(yolk in one bowl and whites in another)
  • ½  cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips plus a handful more to sprinkle on towards the end
  • 1 store bought pie crust
  • Confectioners sugar to sprinkle on top in the end.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Place the ricotta In a large bowl. Beat until it is creamy.
  3. Add the sugar and flour to the ricotta. Beat thoroughly.
  4. Beat the egg yolks until lemon colored. It will take a little while, but they will get lighter in color. Be patient. Fold them into the ricotta.
  5. Pour the heavy cream into a medium bowl and beat until stiff peaks form. You will basically be making whipped cream at this point.
  6. Fold the heavy cream into the ricotta.
  7. Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold into the ricotta.
  8. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  9. Place your pie crust into a pie dish.
  10. Pour the ricotta filling into the dish. Don’t overfill. You may have some filling leftover.
  11. Bake for one hour.
  12. Top with the handful of chocolate chips.
  13. Turn the oven off and leave in for one more hour.
  14. When it is done it should be firm. Not jiggly.
  15. Let cool and refrigerate. Sprinkle with lots of confectioners sugar. Serve cold.

Enjoy and Hoppy Easter 🐰

A perfect Easter meal for me would start with an appetizer of Stuffed Mushrooms and an Italian Salad. The main course would be Lasagna Rolls. Of course ending with Grandma’s Ricotta Pie. Figuring out what to cook is the easy part, but what to wear I need help with. That’s where Amy comes in. She makes every outfit look effortless and classy. You can find Amy on Instagram @amy_guzzi_. She chose the perfect Easter outfit for a beautiful Spring day… 

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To read more about Amy and her love for fashion click here

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Strawberry Apple Pie🍓🍏🥧

This is such a light, delicious pie. It is so easy and you can make it year round. Strawberry season in Florida is from November to April. It would be great to pick some fresh strawberries and use them for the pie. 😋 It reminds me of spring because it’s so light and refreshing. This would be a perfect desert for Easter or Mother’s Day. I got the recipe from my sister, who got the recipe from her friend. I believe she got it from Taste of Home. So now I’m passing it on to all of you. It tastes amazing paired with cinnamon whipped cream. It’s a must.

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Strawberry Apple Pie

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups of thinly sliced peeled tart apples(I used Granny Smith this time which I think are more sweet than tart, but it tasted yummy)
  • 1 1/4 cups of sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of all purpose flour
  • Pillsbury pie crust(you will need one for bottom and one for top)
  • Cinnamon sugar for sprinkling on top

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to bake 450.
  2. In a large bowl combine the apples and strawberries.
  3. Drizzle with lemon juice.
  4. Combine sugar and flour. Sprinkle over fruit and toss lightly.
  5. Line a 9 inch pie plate with bottom pastry. Trim it even with the edge of the plate.
  6. Add the filling.
  7. Roll out remaining pastry to fit top of pie. Place over filling.
  8. Trim, seal, and flute edges.
  9. Cut slits in the top.
  10. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the pastry. I put a generous amount.
  11. Cover the edges loosely with foil or even better a pie crust shield.
  12. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350; remove foil and bake an additional 35-40 minutes. It is done when the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly.
  13. Cool and top with cinnamon whipped cream!

Enjoy!

If you like this recipe you will love:

Annie’s Crumb Cake

“Crowd Pleasing” Rice Pudding

Apple Cake🍎

Irish Soda Bread

Every year when St. Patrick’s Day comes around my husband (he’s mostly Irish, 83% to be exact based on his 23 & Me results) says we better celebrate. We are not big drinkers, so cheers to one beer🍻. And green is not my color, so you won’t see me wearing a green shirt. I did make corned beef and cabbage a couple of times and no one really enjoyed it but me! A couple of years ago I mentioned that my mom used to buy Irish Soda Bread every year from the bakery when St. Patrick’s Day came around. That was how we celebrated; of course with food. My husband casually mentioned how his mom and Grandma make it every year. And it’s a recipe of his Great Grandma’s in Ireland! 🙀So we got to baking. And we sat and ate a loaf of bread. Be prepared! Make this your carb day for sure!

This is best hot out of the oven with salted butter. You can heat it in the oven or toaster the next day for breakfast with a cup of coffee☕️.

Enjoy! And Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

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Irish Soda Bread

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of flour
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of buttermilk
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter(1/2 cup), softened
  • 3/4 cup of raisins
  • 1 more egg to brush on the top before you bake

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to bake 375(use convection if you have it)
  2. In a large bowl mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. Add the buttermilk, sour cream, 1 egg, and butter.
  4. Mix well until combined.
  5. Add the raisins(use more if you like it sweeter)and mix them in.
  6. Place all the ingredients in a greased loaf pan.
  7. Make an X on the top with a knife.
  8. Beat the remaining egg with a drop of water.
  9. Brush it on the top.
  10. The original recipe says to bake for one hour. This will vary depending on the size of the pan you cook it in and your oven. It should be brown on the top when it is done. Check it after 40 minutes to see how it looks.

If you like this recipe, you will love…

“Crowd Pleasing” Rice Pudding

Annie’s Crumb Cake

 

 

 

Cheesecake Bites

Happy Valentine’s Day!

This is the perfect dessert to make for that special someone in your life. They will appreciate it and your love will shine through. I got this recipe from my mom’s recipe book. She used to make these when she entertained. I loved them as a kid and I love them now. This is one of those simple recipes that looks like you spent hours preparing.

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Click here to shop some of my favorite items.

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Believe it or not, the only kitchen essentials you will need to get started with this recipe are:

A simple hand mixer And A mini muffin pan

 Mini Muffin Pan

Cheesecake Bites

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • Mini cupcake liners
  • 2 (8 oz. packages of cream cheese), leave out to soften
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 tsp. of vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • Nabisco MINI Nilla Wafers
  • Optional Toppings: mini chocolate chips, blueberries, strawberries, etc…

I whipped up a batch of homemade whipped cream, without the cinnamon, vanilla and sugar. Just plain whipped cream. I added a dollop to the top of each cheesecake bite. My favorite topping is a can of cherry pie filling. I scooped out one cherry and placed it on top of the whipped cream. It presents beautifully for Valentines’s Day. 

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Fill the mini cupcake pan with the cupcake liners.
  3. Put one MINI Nilla Wafer in the bottom of each cupcake liner.
  4. Add the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla extract and eggs to a large mixing bowl.
  5. Mix until all the ingredients are fully combined.
  6. Carefully top each wafer with a spoonful of cream cheese mixture.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes.
  8. Allow to cool completely.
  9. Top with your favorite toppings!

Enjoy!

My favorite dinner to serve on Valentine’s Day is Ravioli with Crushed Tomato Sauce.

 

 

 

Let’s Get a Poppin’

So for Christmas we secretly converted our office into a movie room/game room. The boys love it! Our house is small and as they grow it will give them some space to hang out with their friends other than in their rooms. We don’t have a couch yet, but we do have some cool chairs and a bar cart. I filled the bar cart with some fun snacks, but wanted to keep it healthy. The last thing I want is them hiding out in their “MAN” cave, playing video games for 3 hours and eating handfuls of movie candy!

BUT

Popcorn is a perfect snack to fill my family up when they are looking to snack…

Do you still buy microwave popcorn thinking, how bad can it be? My mom is my personal Dr. Oz. She calls my sisters and I immediately after she watches DR. Oz to tell us to throw out everything in our pantry! And I usually listen. It’s crazy what some of our food has in it. So, I haven’t bought microwave popcorn in years! My mom said I can’t, so I don’t. She saw this video a couple of years back, so I don’t blame her…

Well, I recently purchased this Family-Size Popcorn Maker. Popcorn, without the scary chemicals, is a healthy whole grain food that is low in calories and high in fiber! So, let’s get a poppin’!

The Family-Size Microwave Popcorn Maker gives you the convenience of a bag of microwaveable popcorn without the extra cost and chemicals. You’ll have a healthy snack in minutes.

  • Makes about 12 cups of popcorn.
  • Includes bowl, lid, and cup.
  • 9¾” diameter.
  • Cup has a ¼-cup capacity.
  • Pop with or without oil or butter.
  • Silicone.
  • Collapses for compact storage.
  • Dishwasher-safe.
  • One-year guarantee.

Of course once I purchased the new Microwave Popcorn Maker, we had to try out some recipes!

I started out with a simple Buttered Popcorn🍿and then tried my favorite, Kettle Corn…

Both were a hit and have no chemicals! 👏🏼👏🏼

Buttered Popcorn

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: EASY
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 caps of kernels
  • 4 tablespoons of salted butter
  • Sea Salt for seasoning

Directions

  1. Add kernels to popcorn maker.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of salted butter.
  3. Place cover on the popcorn maker.
  4. Add 2 more tablespoon to the vented cap on top.
  5. Keep the cap open and place the popcorn maker off-center in the microwave, but make sure it doesn’t touch the walls.
  6. Microwave for about 4-5 minutes. This time will vary depending on your microwave.
  7. Add sea salt to your liking! Mix and enjoy!

***Pay attention to the popping. Stop the microwave when there are 1-2 seconds between pops***

Kettle Corn

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: EASY
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup popcorn kernels

Directions

  1. Add kernels to popcorn maker.
  2. Add salt, sugar, and coconut oil.
  3. Mix together so kernels are coated evenly.
  4. Place cover on the popcorn maker.
  5. Keep the cap open and place the popcorn maker off-center in the microwave, but make sure it doesn’t touch the walls.
  6. Microwave for about 4-5 minutes. This time will vary depending on your microwave.
  7. Add more salt if you’d like. Mix and enjoy!

***Pay attention to the popping. Stop the microwave when there are 1-2 seconds between pops***

***My posts contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.***

Click here to shop some of my favorite items.

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The smaller size Microwave Popcorn Maker is just as great, but will only make about 5 cups of popcorn.

If you enjoyed this blog, you’ll also enjoy these…

Kid-Friendly Breakfast Options

Super Pretzel PB&J

 

 

 

Kid-Friendly Breakfast Options

 

 

 

I feel the most important meal for kids is breakfast. They get rushed off in the morning and are expected to have energy and patience all day while they learn. That certainly can’t be done with a big bowl of sugary cereal or a cinnamon bun in the morning. Way back before I had kids, I was a teacher. I saw the difference between the kids that had a nutritious breakfast and the kids that did not. I taught kindergarten and I used to get in trouble because I let them rest their heads on their desks in the afternoon. Most of them fell asleep. Poor babies needed a nap. Guess that’s why I’m not a teacher anymore. Lol.

But there are so many options for breakfast. It just might take a little time to make ahead each week.

I made a list of some of my favorite kid friendly breakfast items that will give your kids the energy they need to keep their brains on point all day. Most of these can be used for  lunch or snack as well!

  1. Eggs: When I eat an egg or two I am full for hours. It gives me energy and prevents me from snacking like I usually do.
    • Hard Boiled Eggs: I usually hard boil 6 at a time. These can be eaten with just salt and pepper. That’s usually my mid morning snack while I’m rushing around. My son loves deviled eggs. Take the yolk out and mix with a little mayo, salt and pepper. Put the mixture back in the middle of the egg and sprinkle with paprika! Hard boiled eggs can also be used in salads or to make a quick and simple egg salad.
    • Egg Muffins: My son Dominick has two for breakfast and sometimes two before bed. He’s growing and always hungry!
  2. Muffins: The muffins we buy at the store have some scary ingredients.
    • Whole Wheat Banana Muffins: These are filled with great ingredients and taste delicious! I have to hide them from my husband because he will eat the whole batch! My son Matthew has one as a snack in school and two for dessert.
    • Pumpkin Muffins: It does not have to be Halloween to enjoy pumpkin muffins! If bananas aren’t your thing, all you need is a can or two of pumpkin…
  3. Bring on the smoothies! I am a big fan of smoothies. I love that you can customize them with what you like. They can also be prepared in freezer bags and placed in the freezer. All you have to do is dump it in the blender and add your choice of water, milk or juice!
    • Triple Berry Smoothie: This is my go to smoothie that everyone in my family enjoys. I love that there is a big bunch of spinach in it!
    • I also make a very simple kid friendly smoothie some mornings that both of my boys love. No spinach, but a great big serving of fruit!
      • 1 cup of frozen strawberries
      • 1 frozen banana
      • 1 cup of watermelon
      • 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of orange juice
    • Smoothie Bowl: If sometimes your kids need a little bit more crunch to their breakfast, you can make a smoothie bowl. We enjoy it with peanut butter and granola with some sliced bananas on top. Simple and delicious.

 


  • Ok, so this one simple tool will assist you with all these healthy foods.  Egg Slicer Plus!

You can slice more than just hard-boiled eggs! With one simple motion, you can slice through foods like ripe strawberries, kiwi, bananas, firm mushrooms, and more. The wire frame is removable for easy cleaning.

  • And if you are in the market for a muffin pan, look no further!

Make a dozen beautifully browned, evenly baked muffins and cupcakes.  Made of dark aluminized steel, this pan will give you even heat distribution and perfect results every time. The extended edges make sure you always have a good grip.

  • This Ninja Blender will make your life a lot easier when you start on your smoothie adventure!

  • 72 oz. Total crushing pitcher pulverizes ice to snow in seconds for creamy frozen drinks and smoothies.
  • 8-Cup food processor bowl provides perfect, even chopping and makes up to 2 lbs. Of dough in 30 seconds.
  • Two 16 oz. Nutri Ninja cups with to-go lids are perfect for creating personalized, nutrient-rich drinks to take on the go.
  • Dishwasher-safe and BPA-free parts..Includes one 1500-watt base, A food processor bowl, 72 oz. Total crushing pitcher, two 16 oz. Nutri Ninja cups with to-go lids, and a 30-Recipe inspiration guide.
  • For best results, try the Nutri Ninja cup or X-Large pitcher for frozen drinks

 

***My posts contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.***

Click here to shop your favorite Pampered Chef Products.

 

 

 

 

 

Aunt June’s Cream Cheese Cookies

My Aunt June has been making these cream cheese cookies for years. She is a pro. They are so delicious and the perfect size that you can just keep popping them in your mouth! I guess that’s really not a good thing, but it really is! You can triple the recipe and store them in the freezer.

Warning: They taste even better right out of the freezer and that can be a dangerous thing!

I know there are so many cookie recipes out there around the holidays, but these are the ones I’d choose to make over and over again.

Happy Baking!

 

***My posts contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.***

Click here to shop your favorite Pampered Chef Products.

When my mom and I made these we had a few obstacles, but with the right baking tools that could have been avoided. I would recommend the following before you begin on your baking journey…

Stand Mixer OR Hand Mixer

Cookie Sheets

Cookie Press

Aunt June's Cream Cheese Cookies

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of salted butter, softened
  • 3 oz. of Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp. of vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1/2 tsp. of salt
  • 1/4 tsp. of ground cinnamon
  • Optional toppings: Mini chocolate chips, sprinkles, preserves

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix the softened butter and cream cheese together.
  3. Add the egg yolk and vanilla. Mix until combined.
  4. Add the flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon. Mix until combined. (If you feel the batter is too hard, add a little more cream cheese. If you feel the batter is too loose, add a little flour)
  5. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Fill your cookie press with the cookie dough and press out your favorite shapes.
  7. Top with the topping you prefer.
  8. Bake for 12 minutes. (This is the tricky part, since everyone’s ovens are different. Keep your eye on them. They should not brown. The second they start to brown on the edges you can take them out.)
  9. Cool, if you can wait and enjoy!


If you enjoyed this recipe, you won’t want to miss these…

Pretzel Bark

“Crowd Pleasing” Rice Pudding