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Summer Entertaining~ a couple of fresh favorites

I have a confession...
I am a little obsessed with fresh fruit.

My lunch most days? 
A protein shake with greens and handful of blueberries or a banana.

I think nearly anything can be made that much better with fresh fruit.
From yogurt sprinkled with fruit and granola
to spinach salad to a dessert.
Since several of you have requested a recipe for a favorite dessert that is
easy to prepare ahead of time, beautiful in presentation and delicious as well
I thought I would share 2 of my favorite recipes for fruit desserts.

Up first?
A little bit sweet and oh so delicious

Fruit Tart

Seriously, one of the simplest little treats that you can put together
in literally just about 20 minutes.
They are great for after school treats or for a last minute party food
and so I like to mix up a batch of the sugar cookie dough to have on hand
for those last minute occasions.

Here is the key to keeping them simple-
pre-made sugar cookie dough.

You can, of course, make your own sugar cookies from scratch
but you don't have to.
You can pick up a ready made dough- and they have a lot of gluten free
organic and other options to choose from now that are free of all the preservatives.

Here's what you need:

Sugar Cookie dough
cream cheese
vanilla extract
fresh berries

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Roll your sugar cookie dough out into a large tart size
or keep them smaller and bite sized like the size of a cookie- totally up to you.

Bake for about 8 minutes or until baked all the way through
Remove from oven and allow them to cool while you mix your cream cheese topping.

Cream cheese topping

Mix 1 cup of cream cheese with a dash of vanilla
and a sprinkling of sugar if you prefer.
I tend to leave the sugar out if using a sugar cookie dough
because it is already sweet enough
but you can definitely add it in and sweeten to taste if you would like.

Then simply top with your favorite berries
 and enjoy!

For something a little more elegant and involved~

Fresh Berry Cheesecake

Cheesecakes are one of those desserts that are easy to prepare ahead of time-
and by several days even because you can freeze if you would like to.

If making ahead and freezing, leave off the fresh topping until just before serving for best results.

For this cheesecake~ simple is key.
You don't have to get crazy with some fancy recipe that you aren't sure will turn out right-
 because part of what makes this cheesecake so delicious
 is the addition of the fresh berries and the flavor they bring.

I am in love with blueberries-
but you can use strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, kiwi, peaches, or a mixture-
 really, whichever is your favorite or what is in season at the time will be perfect.
 As well, for an added touch of sweetness -
 you can always drizzle a little honey or agave nectar on the top. 

Classic Cheesecake Recipe
 (Adapted from


Serves 10


1 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons margarine, melted


3 (8 ounce) packages Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
3⁄4 cup white sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla


1 1/2- 2 cups fresh blueberries


Preheat oven to 325F degrees.

Make your crust:
Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted margarine and mix until well blended and uniform. Press mixture onto the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan- and then
bake for 10 minutes.  Remove crust from oven and raise oven temperature to 450F degrees.

Make your filling:
To make your cheesecake filling, 
combine the softened cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl and mix with an electric mixer at medium speed until well blended.
Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Blend in vanilla then pour into crust.

Bake for 10 minutes at 450F, 
then reduce heat to 250F and for 25-30 minutes more, or until set.
Loosen cake from rim of pan by using a knife and running it around the edges. 
Cool your cheesecake before removing the rim and then 
chill in the refrigerator.

Add your fresh berries once the cheesecake is cool
 and enjoy!

Happy Wednesday everyone!

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  1. Dear Courtney, Perfect for light and easy summer fun. Have a wonderful weekend. xo Catherine

  2. Thank you for the recipe and the beautiful photos. Inspirational!

  3. I haven't made a cheesecake in years, I used to make them all the time. Love the idea of the cookies with the "icing" and fruit! I will do that!!!

  4. These both sound heavenly! Good for you with the smoothies. My daughter has one for breakfast everyday.

    Jane x

  5. The recipes look so yummy can not wait to try them. Thanks.
    Have a blessed day.

  6. The recipes are perfect for summer. I love fruit for dessert and especially strawberries and blueberries. Thank you for sharing.

  7. We make cookies like that with frosting or sweetened whipped cream. We call them Strawberry shortcake cookies. I have strawberries in the garden now, if the birds don't eat the all that is!!
    Your photos are always lovely and make my mouth water!

  8. This was a delicious post that left me craving dessert ... I think I gained 5 pounds just reading :0)! Thank you for sharing and inspiring me to try some new recipes!

  9. It is the reason I LOVE the farmers' market in Santa Barbara, California: the booths feature the most wonderful fruits & veggies - picked that morning!
    Michelle from