Author Archive | Courtney

Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake Trifle

lemon cheesecake trifle recipe

The first day of spring has passed! I am so excited for this year’s warm weather. We have a lot of work to do on our new yard. I think this spring and summer will mostly consist of yanking out the old and planning for the new projects that we’ll probably do next year. It’s odd to have such a permanent feeling and planning things years in advance. I kind of love it! So, speaking of warmer weather – who’s ready for a fresh, bright dessert? Me! I thought of this Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake Trifle in bed one morning and sent myself an email with all the ingredients I’d need from the grocery store, which weren’t many! I am absolutely in love with this.

Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake Trifle Recipe

*Makes 2
1 cup lemon pudding – prepared per box directions and chilled
1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons powdered sugar
8 oz. cream cheese – softened
6 oz. sweetened condensed milk
1 Tablespoon butter
3 graham crackers
Mint leaves for garnish

First, you’ll want to make your pudding. This can be done a whole day ahead of time and then you can just assemble the dessert when you’re ready!

When you’re ready to put this together, you’ll want to make your whipped cream. You can use the tub stuff for this, I have before and it was delicious! But this time I went ahead and made it homemade. Pour your heavy cream into a chilled mixing bowl and then whip on high speed for about 2 minutes until it just starts to thicken. Add your sugar and vanilla an whip for another minute or so until it forms a nice thick cream.

whipped cream

Once you have your whipped cream made, add your softened cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk to a bowl and mix with a hand mixer on low until it’s mixed and all smooth and shiny.

cheesecake filling

Gently fold in 1 cup of your homemade whipped cream, leaving some to top your trifle with later. Once everything is mixed, set aside.

cream cheese filling

For the last component, melt 1 tablespoon of butter on medium heat. While it’s melting, add 3 graham crackers to your food processor and blend until you have coarse crumbs. Add the crumbs to the melted butter and toast for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. They will turn a golden brown and smell delicious.

toasted graham crackers

Time to build! I start with a layer of graham cracker crumbs.

crumb layer

Next, I add a layer of the cream cheese mixture and top it with raspberries.

raspberry layer

Top that with some lemon pudding.

lemon pudding layer

Oh, and check out my new Personalized Irish Coffee Mugs from Gifts for You Now! These are my latest addition to my cocktail glass collection, but I decided to use them for a little Spring treat this time instead. I also have the monogrammed wine glasses and have been putting them in the dishwasher and they hold up perfectly! I know these will be a favorite for a long time. I am loving personalized glasses lately (if you couldn’t tell!) They are such a fun addition to my collection.

Okay, back to the trifle! I top everything with a dollop of whipped cream and a raspberry.

lemon cheeescake trifle layers

Now it’s time to DIG IN!

lemon cheesecake trifle

Tip: I put the pudding, cream cheese filling, and whipped cream in little sandwich baggies with a corner cut off so I could pipe them in and keep a clean glass. You could also use piping bags if you’re fancy ;)


Creamy Feta Mac and Cheese

feta mac and cheese

We took a cruise at the end of February thinking we could come back to maybe a warm March. Boy was I wrong! Oh well, at least I ate like an absolute queen on this cruise. We had a beef tenderloin one night that was to die for and then on the last night of the cruise we had a lasagna that was SO rich and SO decadent I could barely eat half of it. I wish I could have brought it home with me!

It was a much needed weekend away with great friends and great weather and as much as I wish I was still in the sun with a cocktail in my hand, I am happy to be home and to have some snuggles from my pups. I’ve been binge eating vegetables (I know, who am I?) since I got back, but I have to tell you lately I am in the mood for pasta. I made this feta cheese sauce to pour over some grilled chicken last week and couldn’t stop thinking about how good it would be with some pasta. I made this feta mac and cheese with some ingredients I had in my pantry and I have to say it may end up being one of my new favorites! The feta cheese sauce is also great on meat and you can store it in the fridge and reheat it with a little extra milk or broth to get the creamy consistency even on day two.

Feta Mac and Cheese Recipe

8 oz. cavatappi pasta (half a box)
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons flour
1-1/2 cup whole milk
6 oz. feta cheese
Zest from one lemon
Juice from half a lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
2 pinches of salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Kalamata olives (about 10)
Sun dried tomatoes (about 5)
Fresh basil leaves (about 3-4 big leaves)

Boil your pasta according to the directions on the box. Drain.

White your pasta is boiling you can get your olives cut in half, your tomatoes cut into small pieces, your basil chopped and your lemon zested!

feta cheese sauce ingredients

In the same pan once you drain your pasta into a colander, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and whisk in 2 tablespoons of flour. Cook until bubbly, but not brown. About 1 minute.


Pour in your whole milk and stir on medium heat until the mixture thickens into a sauce consistency. About 5 minutes.

white sauce milk

white sauce

Stir in your feta and melt until creamy. There will still be some lumps of feta and you want that! The chunks of cheese are delicious in the finished pasta. Once the sauce is creamy, add your lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

feta cheese sauce

feta mac and cheese sauce

Add your pasta back into the pan with the sauce and stir to combine. Mix in your sun dried tomatoes, olives and the chopped basil. Serve while it’s nice and hot.

feta mac and cheese ingredients

feta cheese pasta

feta mac and cheese

Tell me what you’ve been cooking to get you through these last few weeks of cold winter!


Valentine’s Day White Berry Sangria

white berry sangria

It’s a few days early but, we’re all ready for Valentine’s Day over here! As much as Ben likes to drink whiskey and beer, he’s secretly a fan of my little girly cocktails. Specifically sangria. He loves fruity drinks and whenever I make sangria, I can always expect him to have a few glasses. I made this today as a little treat for our relaxing weekend after getting our living room and dining room floors laid. We’ve been busy on weekends and weeknights for the past few weeks and this weekend we agreed to do absolutely nothing. For a pre-Valentine’s Day drink, I made this White Berry Sangria. I used frozen fruit because it was easy and cheap and cooled off my Pinot Grigio real quick! You can truly use any fruits you like but my favorite combo is as follows.

White Berry Sangria Recipe

8 oz. white wine (I chose a Pinto Grigio)
4 oz. triple sec
2 oz. Kinky liqueur
2 oz. ginger ale
Frozen mixed-berry fruit (strawberry, blackberry, raspberry is my favorite)

Fill your glass with ice. Pour the ingredients over ice and stir. Garnish with fruit. Let fruit steep for a few minutes and serve. The longer you let the fruit steep the fruitier (and pinker) the drink gets!

white berry sangria recipe

valentines day sangria

Do you have a favorite Valentine’s Day cocktail? Please share with me in the comments!

Etched wine glasses are from one of my favorite personalized gift websites, Gifts For You Now.