S’MORE LOVE ~ (stovetop version on video) Happy Labor Day 2014

S’mores are the ideal campfire treat. But, why wait until you go camping?
Make your S’mores on the stove top.
This is an easy dessert to put together, with or without a campfire.

My niece, Jenni, had her bridal shower on June 28, 2014.
Her guests received S’mores as a bridal shower favor.
How adorable is this packaging?

Jenni's Bridal Shower Favors

Jenni received many beautiful gifts.

jenni's bridal shower 6 28 14

Loved the pillow she received with the words, Mr. & Mrs.

jenni's bridal shower 6 28 14~

Jenni (CENTER) and her bridal party enjoying time together at Jen’s bridal shower.

Jenni and bridal party

Photo credit: Jen’s friend

Jenni married the love of her life, Matt Tolliver, on Saturday, August 9, 2014.
Reception was at Cairnwood Estate in Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania.
Beautiful couple!

Jenni and Matt's Wedding 8-9-14 (1)

Jenni and Matt's Wedding 8-9-14 (2)

Jenni and Matt's Wedding 8-9-14 (3)

Jenni and Matt's Wedding 8-9-14 (4)

I raise my glass to Jenni and Matt…may LOVE always lead your way…Love, Aunt Carmen

Jenni and Matt's Wedding 8-9-14 (5)

Well, let’s open the S’more favor…will be using the stovetop method.

Jenni's Bridal Shower Favors

S'Mores Love (1)

The one thing I prefer on my S’more is melted chocolate, not squares of chocolate.
The chocolate bar was melted in the microwave, then spread on the graham crackers.

S'Mores Love (2)

Browning the marshmallow on the stovetop was quick. It burned easily. So, it’s best to always keep it in motion, namely, rotating the marshmallow. The fire was blown out as it consumed the marshmallow.

S'Mores Love (3)

When the browning was done, I placed the hot marshmallow onto the melted chocolate.

S'Mores Love (4)

The hot, gooey, marshmallow is topped with a chocolate covered graham cracker.

It’s a fun dessert to eat, a little messy, but fun…

Tidbit: National S’mores Day is on August 10th.

S'More Love (Jenni's Bridal Shower Favor)

Created a quick video to the song, Happy by Pharrell Williams

S’MORE LOVE ~ stovetop version
By Baking is my Zen

~ Carmen
Baking is my Zen
…sweet nibbles for the soul

Photography by Carmen Ortiz. ~All Rights Reserved.
Not to be used without permission.

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Cream Cheese Flan and The 2014 Blue Angels at Bethpage Airshow-Jones Beach, NY (Video)

Cream Cheese Flan by Baking is my Zen

If you like Flan and cream cheese…you’ll like this recipe. Heard of this combination from my brother. He had this dessert at a restaurant and loved it. Found a recipe on a website, Taste of Home, which I adapted.

cream cheese flan (cut)

The caramelized sugar is easy to make, however, it is important to stay focused on it and not have distractions. Working with hot, caramelized sugar needs your undivided attention.

This recipe is super simple. First, the caramelized sugar is prepared. Flan ingredients are added in a blender, strained, then poured in a pan of caramelized sugar. The flan filled pan is placed in a larger pan which is filled with hot water, also called a Bain-marie.

After cooling the flan overnight, it is loosened on the edges with a knife, and inverted onto a plate.

To serve, cut the

CREAM CHEESE FLAN

into slices. Pour caramel sauce over…then…indulge.

cream cheese flan (slice)

The cream cheese flavor is very subtle. So subtle, in fact, if I didn’t know this ingredient was in the flan, I wouldn’t single it out. It is somewhat overpowered by the flavor of the caramelized sugar. It is very creamy and velvety…so good!

~   ~   ~

CREAM CHEESE FLAN RECIPE

cream cheese flan

Source: Taste of Home
Adapted by Carmen Ortiz of Baking is my Zen

8-10 Servings
Prep: 25 min. + standing
Bake: 50-60 min. + chilling

INGREDIENTS:

CARAMEL TOPPING:
3/4 cup sugar

CREAM CHEESE FLAN:
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
5 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS:
1 PREHEAT OVEN to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2 PREPARE CARAMELIZED SUGAR:
In a heavy saucepan, cook and stir sugar over medium-low heat until melted and golden, about 15 minutes.
Quickly pour into an ungreased 2-qt. round baking or souffle dish, tilting to coat the bottom. It will harden.
Set aside. Meanwhile, make the cream cheese flan mixture.

3 MIX INGREDIENTS IN A BLENDER:
IN A BLENDER, add sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and vanilla. Mix.
Blend in eggs, one at a time, until thoroughly combined.
Add the lemon juice.
Add salt. Blend.

4 STRAIN LIQUID MIXTURE:
Strain the egg/milk mixture into a bowl using a strainer.
Pour mixture back into blender.

5 ADD CREAM CHEESE:
Add the softened cream cheese to egg/milk mixture. Blend. (Straining again is optional)

6 ASSEMBLE:
Pour milk mixture over hardened, caramelized sugar.

7 PREP PAN FOR BAKING:
Place a large baking pan with high sides in oven.
Place the flan filled dish in the larger baking pan.
Pour boiling water into larger pan to a depth of 1 inch.

8 BAKE AT 350° for 50-60 minutes or until center is just set (mixture will jiggle).
(My flan baked for 1 hour, 15 minutes)

9 COOLING FLAN:
Remove flan filled dish from the larger pan to a wire rack; cool for 1 hour.
Refrigerate overnight.

10 UNMOLD:
To unmold, run a knife around edges and invert onto a large rimmed serving platter.

11 SERVE:
Cut into wedges or spoon onto dessert plates; spoon sauce over each serving.

CREAM CHEESE FLAN RECIPE PHOTO TUTORIAL
By Carmen Ortiz of Baking is my Zen

Source: Taste of Home

cream cheese flan (1)

PREHEAT OVEN to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

PREPARE CARAMELIZED SUGAR:
In a heavy saucepan, cook and stir sugar over medium-low heat until melted and golden, about 15 minutes.

cream cheese flan (2)

Quickly pour into an ungreased 2-qt. round baking or souffle dish, tilting to coat the bottom. It will harden. Set aside.

cream cheese flan (3) cream cheese flan (4) cream cheese flan (5)

Meanwhile, make the cream cheese flan mixture.

MIX INGREDIENTS IN A BLENDER:
IN A BLENDER, add sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and vanilla. Mix.

cream cheese flan (6) cream cheese flan (7) cream cheese flan (8) cream cheese flan (9)

Blend in eggs, one at a time, until thoroughly combined.

cream cheese flan (10)

Add the lemon juice.

cream cheese flan (11)

Add salt. Blend.

cream cheese flan (12)

STRAIN LIQUID MIXTURE:
Strain the egg/milk mixture into a bowl using a strainer.

cream cheese flan (13) cream cheese flan (14)

Pour mixture back into blender.

cream cheese flan (15)

ADD CREAM CHEESE:
Add the softened cream cheese to egg/milk mixture. Blend. (Straining again is optional)

cream cheese flan (16)

ASSEMBLE:
Pour milk mixture over hardened, caramelized sugar.

cream cheese flan (17)

PREP PAN FOR BAKING:
Place a large baking pan with high sides in oven.
Place the flan filled dish in the larger baking pan.

cream cheese flan (18)

Pour boiling water into larger pan to a depth of 1 inch.

cream cheese flan (19)

BAKE AT 350° for 50-60 minutes or until center is just set (mixture will jiggle slightly).
(My flan baked for 1 hour, 15 minutes)

COOLING FLAN:
Remove flan filled dish from the larger pan to a wire rack; cool for 1 hour.
Refrigerate overnight.

unmolding cream cheese flan (1)

UNMOLD:
To unmold, run a knife around edges

unmolding cream cheese flan (2)

unmolding cream cheese flan (3)

and invert onto a large rimmed serving platter.

unmolding cream cheese flan (4) unmolding cream cheese flan (5) unmolding cream cheese flan (6)

SERVE: Cut into wedges or spoon onto dessert plates; spoon sauce over each serving.

unmolding cream cheese flan (7) unmolding cream cheese flan (8)

Since I love to watch air shows, it was a delight to see the

world renowned naval aviators, the

Blue Angels

2014 Blue Angels Bethpage Airshow at Jones Beach NY

perform over Jones Beach during this year’s Memorial Day Weekend. The 2014 Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach State Park in Wantagh, NY (Long Island) dates were 5/24 and 5/25. I saw the air show on Sunday, 5/25/14.
.
Met Liza and Tess at the Bethpage Air Show. We had THE BEST TIME. After the show, Liza and Tess asked me to stay and have dinner on the beach with them (complete with REAL knives, forks and plates)….the weather was great….airshow was great…company was great….food was great…can’t ask for more! A day to remember for sure. We decided to meet up next year at the same spot. Next year, I’ll bring baked goodies. ;)

You can see Liza and Tess in the video. Here they wave at me while I take a photo of them as the Blue Angels fly by.

Liza and Tess at 2014 Blue Angels Bethpage Airshow  Jones Beach NY

Here’s a music video I created of the

U S NAVY BLUE ANGELS at 2014 BETHPAGE AIR SHOW JONES BEACH, NY

Enjoy!

Photos of the 2014 Blue Angels Bethpage Airshow in Jones Beach

can  be seen on flickr HERE.

Peace in Baking,

Carmen

Baking is my Zen
…sweet nibbles for the soul

Cream Cheese Flan

Photography by Carmen Ortiz. ~All Rights Reserved.
Not to be used without permission.

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