Lemon Mousse and Meringue Ice Cream Cones

Lemon mousse is so refreshing and always a great dessert! We made it extra special by serving it on ice cream cones and covering it with a delicious Italian meringue.

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Lemon mousse is light and creamy and can be whipped up in a few minutes. There are so many different recipes for lemon mousse out there, but one of our favorites is this one with only 2-ingredients. It is full of taste, simple, and requires zero cooking skills. We also love that you can make it a day in advance, saving on prep time.

Meringues are so delicious, but a lot of people think they are hard to make. We must admit that we thought so until we started making this Italian meringue recipe. There is no secret! Italian meringue is made with a hot sugar syrup that is mixed into whipped egg whites. The hot sugar syrup partially cooks the egg whites making them safe to eat and gives the meringue a firm texture and flavor.

For a beautiful display, we served the lemon mousse in ice cream cones. The waffle cones are a perfect addition to a dessert table. They not only are cute but give a nice crunch texture to the lemon mousse.

To make this easy lemon mousse, you only need two ingredients: condensed milk and lemon juice! Combine these two ingredients, and you will be amazed by the taste and the texture. As soon as the acid from the lemon juice hits the condensed milk, the mixture thickens. After both ingredients are well-combined, bring the lemon mousse to the fridge for 2-hours to set.

Lemon mousse is ready; now it’s time to prepare the Italian meringue. In a small saucepan, combine sugar and water. Heat over high heat and let it cook until the sugar syrup reaches a temperature of 240F (I use a thermometer to check the temperature). Meanwhile, using a mixer on medium speed, mix the egg whites until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. With the mixer running, carefully and slowly drizzle in the hot sugar syrup. Increase speed to high and whip until you get a stable glossy meringue. Allow it to cool completely before using it. You can cover it with clingfilm and leave it in the fridge for up to two days.

When it is time to serve, add the lemon mousse to the ice cream cones up to the top, cover it with the Italian meringue. We don’t recommend adding the lemon mousse to the waffle cones too early in advance. If you leave the lemon mousse too long in contact with the cone, the chances are that the cone will get soggy (I did that once, and it did not taste good).

For a toasty golden brown color, we toasted the meringue with a culinary torch. If you don’t have a torch, don’t worry! You can certainly skip this step!!

Lemon Mousse and Meringue Ice Cream Cones

Lemon mousse is so refreshing and always a great dessert! Wemade it extra special by serving it on ice cream cones and covering it with adelicious Italian meringue.
Course Dessert
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 oz.)
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (strained)
  • 4 ice cream cones
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 tbsp water

Instructions
 

  • 1. In a large bowl, mix the condensed milk and the lemon juice until well combined (about two minutes)
    2. Refrigerate, covered, for two hours or until completely chilled and thickened. It tastes even better if refrigerated overnight (don't forget to cover the mouse).
    3. Prepare the meringue: In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the sugar and water to a boil. Cook over high heat until the sugar syrup reaches a temperature of 240F degrees and remove from heat.
    4. Meanwhile, combine egg whites and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Set the mixer to medium speed and mix until soft peaks form. Increase the whipping speed to high and pour in the syrup in a thin stream while whipping. Whip for about 10 min until you get a stable glossy meringue. Let it cool completely. You can leave it on the fridge covered until it is time to serve.
    5. When it is time to serve, add to the ice cream cones the lemon mouse and cover with the Italian meringue.
    6. Optional: Brown the meringue with a blowtorch.
     

Skinny Margarita Bar

Skinny Margarita Bar

You READ this RIGHT… SKINNY Margarita, YAY!! It’s no secret that we love margaritas. Margaritas are refreshing, and a great summer drink. However, most margarita mixes have lots of corn syrup, liqueur, and sugar. In our opinion, the best margaritas are the ones that combine a good quality tequila with fruit juice, lime, and sparkling water. That’s it!!!

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Drink stations are fun and keep entertaining easy for both the hostess and the guests. They give your guests the freedom to select their drinks and get refills whenever they want. The idea of creating a Margarita bar is perfect for the summertime.

As you get started, the first step is to plan where you will set up your margarita station. We used a bar cart; however, any table, countertop, or buffet works. For the décor, you won’t need much! The fruits and juice are colorful and will already be the star of the station. Besides offering slices of fruits to garnish the drinks, we also created a small fruit arrangement to add an extra décor touch. A beautiful flower arrangement goes well in any place, so we could not avoid adding some flowers to our station. Check out how we styled this arrangement.

How to set a Skinny Margarita Bar:

  • When it comes to making the perfect margarita, a high-quality tequila offers the best flavor. The best tequila for margaritas includes reposado, blanco, and añejo tequila. Make sure to search for the ones that say 100% de agave. The brands labeled as “mixto” have been cut with an inferior natural cane spirit.
  • Serve an assortment of fresh fruit juice. Our favorite choices are lime, grapefruit, and watermelon. But don’t be afraid of being creative with the fruits. Pineapple, Strawberry, and raspberry are some other great choices.
  • Fresh fruit slices for garnishes. They will also serve as décor to the drink station.
  • Don’t forget the pepper! In our opinion, spicy margaritas are the best. Our favorite is serrano pepper, but if you can’t find it, jalapeno is also a great option.
  • Get plenty of ice!
  • Water is key! Sparkling water works the best.
  • Glasses or tumblers
  • Provide sweetener or agave in case guests prefer to sweeten their drinks.
  • Provide salt and sugar for coating the rims.

This is all you need at your margarita station. Your guests will love creating their own drinks and trying different flavors.  

Skinny Margarita Recipe

Serves 1 person

Ingredients

  • 1- ounce tequila
  • Lots of ice
  • 4 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Splash of sparkling water
  • 3 slices of serrano pepper
  • Optional: Salt to rim the glass

Instructions

  • Optional: Slice the center of a lime wedge and rub the wedge around the rim of your glass. Pour a layer of salt onto a small plate. Dip the glass into the salt.
  • Add ice to your glass, tequila, lime juice, slices of serrano pepper, and sparkling water.
  • Garnish with a lime slice

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Bite-size Strawberries and Dates Dessert

Bite-size Strawberries and Dates Dessert

Strawberries are one of our favorite fruits, and our kids too. We ALWAYS have them in our fridge. This bright, juicy, and sweet fruit is great for desserts; we will eat any treat with them! They are also a great source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. So why not pair with another great source of fiber, dates!! They are natural sugars making them perfect for desserts. We created this super easy, delicious, healthyish, and adorable no-bake bite-size treat perfect for the summertime. This one is truly super simple!!

The first step is to wash the strawberries and gently pat them dry with a paper towel. Next is to pit the strawberries. Using the tip of a knife or a strawberry huller (so worth it! so much easier to use a huller), remove the center. Set them aside.

Now, it’s time for the dates. If not pitted, remove their pits. Then, thinly slice them, or cut them into small pieces.
It’s time to assemble!! Fill the strawberries with the bits of dates, add a layer of whipping cream and top everything off with a slice of date and garnish with mint. Serve immediately.

If you want to make this dessert ahead of time, substitute the whipping cream for vanilla frosting or cream and leave it in the fridge until is time to serve.
For the strawberries to stand up, slice the bottom of the fruit to create a level base! Super easy and done in a snap!

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Summer Citrus Salad

Summer Citrus Salad

On warm days, salads are a natural choice! I’d rather be outside enjoying the weather in the summertime than in the kitchen cooking, and the summer salads are the perfect solution. They are not only simple to toss together, but there are also so many delicious options.

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I have made this citrus salad on a few occasions, and it appeals to everyone at the table. The different oranges paired with the creamy burrata cheese are packed with flavors and so fresh. It’s bursting with creamy and citrusy flavors.

The secret to this salad is to use as many varieties of oranges as you can find to make a colorful plate. The mix of colors is so appealing! The different types of citrus fruits will also bring a good mix of texture and sweet and bitter elements.  

Ingredients:

Citrus fruits: I mixed navel, blood oranges, and grapefruits, but you can use any firm orange or even mandarins and tangelos. 

Burrata cheese: is a pouch made of stretchy cheese much like mozzarella. It comes in different sizes. You can get the small ones and use a small burrata per person on a single serving salad plate. Or you can get a large one and place it right in the middle of the serving plate (like I did!). 

Fresh Mint: The fresh mint gives the perfect final touch. 

Instructions:

Cutting off the peel and white pith from each citrus wedge is essential. I personally prefer cutting the oranges in half and resting the orange on the cut surface before I slice away strips of peels and the white membrane.

Slice the oranges crosswise 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. It should not be too thick, either too thin; otherwise, they can break easily.

A drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper is all the seasoning this easy salad needs. Don’t forget to garnish with fresh mint leaves.  

Summer Citrus Salad

Ingredients

  • 4  navel oranges
  • 2 blood oranges
  • 2  grapefruits
  • 1  large burrata 
  •  extra virgin olive oil
  •  handful of mint leaves, torn
  •  sea salt
  • black pepper

Instructions

  • With a small, sharp knife, cut the oranges in half and rest the orange on the cut surface. Slice away strips of peels and the white membrane to expose the flesh all around the oranges. 
  • Slice the oranges crosswise 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick.
  • Place the ball of burrata in the center of a serving plate and arrange the segments of orange around.
  • Drizzle generously with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, scatter over the torn mint leaves and serve.

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Spicy Cape Gooseberry Margarita

Spicy Cape Gooseberry Margarita

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of ADM. All opinions are 100% mine.

When it’s summer, is there anything better than a refreshing drink full of flavor?? We don’t think so. In fact, we love exploring new cocktail recipes and making them with fresh ingredients filled with fascinating flavors. 

Margaritas are a classic. This sweet, sour, and salty drink is one of the most popular in the world. It is easy to replicate, and there are hundreds of versions for every taste. This summer, we added cape gooseberries and serrano peppers for a special twist to this classic. 

Some of you might be wondering what cape gooseberries are and what they taste like? Cape gooseberries, also called goldenberries, are a bright golden yellow fruit. They have a unique flavor: sweet, tart, tangy and tropical, and are loaded with nutrients. You’ll instantly notice both sweet and sour flavors when the berry bursts in your mouth. 

You can enjoy cape gooseberries in a variety of ways:

•          You can eat them like you eat grapes and cherry tomatoes, for snacks.

•          Swap the cherry tomatoes with cape gooseberries and use them in sauces and salads.  

•          Add them to a cheeseboard

•          They are also great in desserts and make for a tasty gooseberry curd cheesecake.

•          They also work well in cocktails.

Serrano peppers are versatile chiles that are not too spicy and not too mild. Their perfect balance of heat makes them delicious in a wide range of dishes and drinks. 

Cape gooseberries and serrano peppers are on ADM’s list as two of the top 5 ingredients that should be on everyone’s radar this Summer. ADM is a leader in the development of ingredients and flavors for foods and beverages.  ADM believes that ingredients do not have to be used in certain ways. Instead, being creative with different flavor and ingredients combinations unlocks limitless opportunities to experiment with different trends. We could not agree more!! Experimenting with new ingredients and flavors is fun, and you will most likely create something unique and personal. We decided to incorporate both the cape gooseberries and serrano peppers in our favorite summer drink.

Where to buy cape gooseberries and serrano peppers?

The major grocery stores carry both cape gooseberries and serrano peppers. They are in the produce section and can be found year-round. The gooseberries can also be labeled as goldenberries. 

Now that you know more about the two secret ingredients that we will add to our margarita let’s jump to the recipe. 

To make the best margarita mix, you need to have on hand two main ingredients:

•          Tequila: Silver or reposado is considered to be the best tequila for margaritas, but any type of tequila will work.

•          Freshly squeezed lime juice: Fresh flavors are always the best, so we recommend juicing your own limes right before you make your cocktails.

These two ingredients are the base of any margarita. The following ingredients are the add-ons that will give your drink that special twist.

•          Fruit: nearly every fruit pairs well with tequila. As we like to be creative with different flavors, we incorporated the cape gooseberries into this famous drink. 

•          Something sweet: If you would like to sweeten your margarita, we recommend adding agave syrup, simple syrup, or any other sweetener of your choice. 

•          Spice it up: The serrano pepper has a nice flavor and mild heat. Its heat pairs so well with the fresh lime juice and the cape gooseberry. Just make sure not to add too many seeds, as that is where the heat hides. You should also keep in mind that the longer the pepper sits in the drink, the spicier it will get.

•          Club Soda: A splash of Club Soda will add a little fizz to the drink.

•          Last, but not least…ICE! 

That is all you need to have your spicy, tart, slightly sweet, and refreshing spicy cape gooseberry margarita!!! The full recipe is below.

Ingredients:

•          6 Cape Gooseberries

•          2 oz Tequila

•          1 tbsp Freshly Squeezed lime juice

•          1/2 Serrano Pepper

•          Splash of Club Soda 

•          Agave – optional 

 Instructions

1.         Add the gooseberries to a cocktail shaker along with the lime juice. 

2.         Muddle the gooseberries with a muddler, add tequila and shake vigorously.

3.         Pour into a cocktail glass, fill with ice, add a splash of club soda and add the serrano pepper.

Brie Cheese and Fig Salad

Brie Cheese and Fig Salad

How adorable is this mini brie cheese!? We both love all sorts of cheese, but brie is probably one that is always on our cheeseboard. We prefer to add a topping to it, as they can be slightly plain in taste. Brie cheese is so versatile and pairs really well with either sweet, salty or both additions. The sky is the limit when creating anything with this soft and creamy cheese.  

This salad takes minutes to prepare; it’s SO easy, delicious and with a beautiful presentation. Start by seasoning the arugula; in a bowl, whisk some good quality olive oil, champagne vinegar, salt and pepper. Toss the dressing with the arugula.

In a salad plate, layer some of the arugula on the bottom. Next, cut the mini brie cheese in the middle; we used Supreme Brie Bites, which you can easily find at your local grocery store. On the bottom half, spread a layer of your favorite fig jam and top it off with the other half. If desired, add a little more of the jam on top! Place the brie cheese on top of the arugula, add fresh cut figs, shaved almonds and top it all off with balsamic glaze.

Feel free to switch up some of the ingredients in this salad; instead of almonds, try pistachio or walnuts. Change the greens to suit your taste; mixed greens will go really well here. Omit the fresh figs if you don’t like it; it tastes so yummy without them too. 

It doesn’t get easier than that!! It’s a great appetizer idea for your next lunch or dinner party. Your guests will love this!!

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Taco Dinner Board

Taco Dinner Board

Tacos are always a good idea!! Don’t you think?

I have been loving serving our family dinners on a large serving board. Placing a food board in the center of the dinner table and letting everyone snack as they please is fun and reduces the number of serving dishes you have to clean. A few dinners I have served in a board are Pulled Pork Sandwich, Spring Rolls, Grilled chicken and cob salad, and of course… Tacos!

Tacos are not only easy to prepare, but it is also a crowd-pleaser. Most of the taco toppings (if not all) you can buy at grocery stores. But if you prefer preparing your own, it is even better, and there is really no secret.

I personally prefer preparing my pico de gallo, or also called “salsa fresca”. All you have to do is dice up tomatoes, onion, jalapeno and cilantro. Place them in a bowl and squeeze in the lime juice and add salt and pepper. Combine well all the ingredients and let them rest for at least 1 hour. You can even prepare one day in advance, and it will taste even better!

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As for the protein, I usually go more traditional with ground beef, chicken or carnitas.  But you can also add fish, shrimp, or just beans. I use the grocery store spice packets to season the beef, and then I throw it in a very hot skillet and let it cook until it is browned. I like it a bit saucier, so I add a tablespoon of beef stock.  That’s it!

Sometimes I add soft tortillas, and sometimes the hard shells. You can pick one or add both to your board. There is no right or wrong! Just make sure to add the tortillas and/or taco shells as the last item to the board. I keep them in the oven and bring them to the table when I am ready to serve.

I have listed below some of my favorite Taco Toppings:

–         Guacamole

–         Pico de Gallo or salsa

–         Lettuce

–         Grilled peppers

–         Black Beans

–         Cheese

–         Sour cream

–         Hot sauce

–         Jalapenos

–         Fresh cilantro

And follow these easy tips to create your board:

–         Choose a large food board.

–         In small bowls, add your favorite toppings: cheese, guacamole, black beans….

–         I like to serve hot items, like grilled peppers and tprotein in cast-iron dishes. They come from the stove directly to the board, and it will keep it warmer for a long time.

–         Add the tortillas and/or taco shells as the last item.

–         Add jalapeno and cilantro to finalize!

Once your board is assembled, you and your family are ready to dig in!

Pico de Gallo

Ingredients

  • 3 medium tomatoes (diced)
  • 1/2 medium onion (diced)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper seeded (diced)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro chopped
  • 1/2 lime (lime juice) 
  • Salt and Pepper

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl, combine the diced tomatoes, onion, jalapeno and the chopped cilantro.
    All the lime juice and season to taste. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1-hour.

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No Bake Tiramisu Trifle

No Bake Tiramisu Trifle

We love trifles, especially individuals ones.  They are so easy to make,  brighten up any dessert table and look so impressive. When I came across this recipe from ciaoflorentina.com, the picture looked so beautiful that I had to try it. It turned out to be SO delicious too! Barbara and I had to share this one since we love yummy recipes with a beautiful presentation. We call them winners! This no-bake tiramisu trifle is definitely one of them.

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Ingredients:

  • 6oz lady fingers
  • 1/2lb blueberries
  • 1lb blackberries
  • 1lb mascarpone cheese
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 5tbsp sugar
  • 3/4cup heavy cream
  • 4tbsp honey
  • 2 lemons
  • 2tsp vanilla extract
  • 2tbsp water
  • mint leaves to garnish

No Bake Tiramisu Trifle

Course Dessert
Author Florentina

Ingredients

  • 6 oz lady fingers
  • 1/2 lb blueberries
  • 1 lb blackberries
  • 1 lb mascarpone cheese
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 5 tbsp sugar
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 2 lemons juices
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp water
  • Mint to Garnish

Instructions

  • In a saucepan add the blackberries and blueberries together with the lemon juice, vanilla extract, honey and water. . Bring it to a simmer on low flame, cover with a lid and simmer together for a few minutes until the blueberries have popped. Allow to cool. Once cooled off strain the berry sauce separating the liquid from the solids.
  • Meanwhile using a mixer with the whisk attachment whip together the heavy cream with 1tbsp of the sugar. Transfer to the refrigerator and keep cold until ready to use.
  • In a different bowl cream together the egg yolks with 4tbsp of the sugar using the mixer with the whisk attachment. Start adding the mascarpone cheese a little bit at a time until incorporated.
  • Using a spatula add the chilled whipped cream to the bowl with the mascarpone and gently fold them together. Divide in two bowls.
  • Add the solid berries from the sauce to one of the bowls with the mascarpone and gently fold together. Set aside.
  • Dip the ladyfingers in the berry sauce and layer them in the bottom of the serving glasses or trifle dish. Add a layer of the berry mascarpone mixture followed by a layer of the plain mascarpone mixture. Repeat the layer until you run out of ingridients
  • Refrigerate for a couple of hours or until set.
  • Serve chilled garnished with some fresh blackberries, blueberries and fresh mint.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Chocolate covered strawberries are extremely easy to make but are so elegant, beautiful, impressive looking and romantic. We love them! I mean, who doesn’t love them!? They are beautiful on their own, add elegance to a dessert table, or the final touch on top of a cake or cheesecake.

Ingredients

  • Strawberries
  • White, Dark or Semi-Sweet Chocolate Melting Wafers or Baking Chocolate Chips
  • Coconut Oil

The most important aspect of this treat is to select high-quality chocolate. Very important! We usually use Ghirardelli Melting Wafers or Ghirardelli Baking Chips, but any high chocolate works.

  • Wash and dry the strawberries. Make sure to dry them well; they must be completely dry. The water will prevent the chocolate from sticking to the strawberry. 
  • Line a sheet pan with parchment or waxed paper. 
  • Using a heatproof bowl, microwave the chocolate wafers and a little bit of the coconut oil, stirring every 15 seconds, until they are melted and smooth. Coconut oil is not essential, but it helps hardens the chocolate faster and makes it a little thicker. 
  • Holding the strawberry by the stem, dip it into the chocolate, turning it to coat. Lift and let excess chocolate fall off.  
  • Lay the strawberries on the parchment paper.
  • Wait 30 minutes for the chocolate to set, or place the strawberries into the refrigerator for 15 minutes to speed the process.
  • Enjoy them the same day, that’s when they are best. However, you can keep them in the refrigerator for 1 or 2 days.


Marbled Decoration

For a marbled effect, melt the dark and white chocolate as described above. Using a small spoon, drizzle some of the dark chocolate onto the white one. Do not stir! Dip the strawberries into the chocolate mixture, twist and turn when lifting up to create the marbled effect. Watch the video below for the full tutorial.

Cheese Fondue

Cheese Fondue

Is there anything better than staying home on a cold night enjoying cheese fondue and a glass of wine!? Sounds like heaven to us! So why not add one to your cheese platter!? We don’t know about you, but for us, we can’t get enough of cheese. 

Serving cheese fondue feels super special, like being in the Swiss Alps (lol), really simple to prepare and so cozy for a winter night. Although growing up in Brazil, we always enjoyed going to a fondue restaurant. I guess you can have it in any weather (lol)!!! 

There are many ways to make cheese fondue; however, use a Fondue mix for a quicker and easier way. Just make sure to make it on the stove and then transfer it to the fondue pot. Serve with crusty bread, crunch vegetables like broccoli or cauliflowers, fruits like apples and pears, cherry tomatoes and potatoes. Make sure you have enough skewers for everyone, the last thing you want is people sharing them.