Pumpkin Cheesecake Layered Dessert

Recipe Courtesy of Joanna Saltz of delish.com

Ready or not we have pumpkin! Frightfully simple no bake pumpkin layered dessert served with a homemade caramel that you can set and forget. Surprise your guests with this unforgettable seasonal treat for a ghoulishly good time.


  • 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1 1/2 c. heavy cream
  • 2 c. milk
  • 3 small packages vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 c. pumpkin purée
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 10 graham cracker sheets
  • 1/4 c. Caramel
  • Pecans, for garnish


  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and ¼ cup sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Slowly add in 1 1/2 cups heavy cream and beat until stiff peaks form.
  2. In another medium bowl, beat milk, pudding mix, pumpkin, and pumpkin pie spice until well-mixed and thick. (Start with 1 1/2 cups milk and beat until it’s the consistency of a pudding—if it’s too thick, continue to add the rest of the milk.)
  3. Layering: Spread a thin layer of cream cheese mixture in a 9″-x-13″ baking dish. Top with a layer of graham crackers. Add half the pudding mixture and top with a layer of half the cream cheese mixture. Drizzle with caramel and repeat, ending with the cream cheese layer (hold the caramel until ready to serve).
  4. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
  5. Drizzle with caramel and garnish with pecans before serving.

How to Make Caramel from Sweetened Condensed Milk

Ingredient: 1 14-oz. can (396 g) sweetened, condensed milk

  1. Remove the label from the can. Make sure that it’s sealed.
  2. Place the can in a pot and cover it with 2 inches (5 centimeters) of water.
  3. Bring the water to a simmer over high heat.
  4. Reduce the heat for medium.
  5. Allow it to cook for 2 to 3 hours. Add more water as needed.
  6. Remove the can using tongs.
  7. Let it reach room temperature before opening it.


Deviled Egg Macaroni Salad

Recipe Courtesy of ButterYourBuscuit.com

September’s deviled egg macaroni salad is sure to be a hit at your Labor Day brunch or next beach barbecue. It’s a super easy recipe with just a few simple ingredients, packed with deviled eggs and combined with creamy pasta. Make ahead so you can chill out and enjoy your day!


  • 16 oz. salad macaroni or Ditalini pasta
  • 1½ cups Mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • 2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
  • 6 hard boiled eggs sliced
  • 2-3 ribs celery finely chopped
  • ½ cup black olives sliced
  • 4 oz jar pimientos drained
  • 3 tablespoons fresh dill chopped
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Garnish with green onions


  1. Prepare pasta according to the directions, drain and let cool completely
  2. Prepare hard boiled eggs, let cool and slice
  3. In a large mixing bowl combine all the ingredients except eggs and mix with pasta until blended. Gently fold in eggs. Garnish with green onions
  4. Chill until ready to serve

Summer Squash Casserole

Recipe Courtesy of www.pauladeen.com 

At its peak, fresh summer squash is coming out of our local gardens and displayed in abundance at the farmers market and on grocery shelves. Try this month’s healthy side dish wonderfully crafted with a Ritz cracker crust. You will find it to be the perfect complement to any meal or offering at your next family gathering.


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 6 medium yellow squash, thinly sliced
  • 1 large Vidalia onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 sleeve buttery crackers, crushed medium to fine


Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a 2-quart casserole dish.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the squash, onion, and butter until soft. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the Parmesan, cheddar and sour cream. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

Place in the prepared casserole dish and sprinkle the cracker crumbs evenly over the top. Bake for 20 minutes or until the top is golden and bubbly.

Strawberry Lemonade Cake

Recipe Courtesy of ASpicyPerspective.com

Enjoy the fresh appeal of this month’s ultra-moist southern strawberry cake, with its little extra punch of lemon. The fresh strawberries between the cake layers are a sweet surprise when you cut it open. Perfect for summer events, this cake can sit out covered at room temp for 3 days!


For the Fresh Strawberry Lemonade Cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 3/4 cups cake flour (2 1/2 cups AP flour + 1/4 cup cornstarch)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon strawberry extract
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Zest of two lemons
  • 3-9 drops red food coloring (optional)
  • 40 small fresh ripe strawberries, trimmed

For the Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 5-7 cups powdered sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two9-inch cake pans with parchment paper circles then spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. For the Cake: In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, cream the sugar and butter on high until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Scrape the bowl with a spatula. Turn the mixer on low and add in the baking powder, salt, eggs, strawberry and vanilla extracts, and lemon zest. Scrape the bowl again and slowly beat in the flour and milk. Mix in food coloring if desired.
  3. Once smooth, pour the batter into the two cake pans. Bake for approximately 25 minutes, until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in the pans. Then flip the cakes out onto a cooling rack, remove the parchment paper, and cool completely.
  4. For the Frosting: In a clean mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Scrape the bowl and beat in the butter. (Do this separately to avoid clumps.) Turn the mixer on low and slowly add the lemon juice. One cup at a time, beat in the powdered sugar, until you reach your desired consistency. Scrape the bowl and beat again until very smooth.
  5. To Assemble: Place one cake layer on a cake stand. Spread frosting over the cake in a thin layer. Press the strawberries, trimmed side down, over the surface of the cake Then slather more frosting over the berries, filling the spaces in between. Set the top cake layer over the strawberries and press to level. Dollop frosting over the top and spread in out and down over the sides.
  6. For Hombre Frosting Effect: Leave 1/2+ cup frosting in the mixing bowl. Add 1-3 drop red food coloring into the frosting and beat until the color is consistent. Starting at the bottom, spread the frosting around the edges. Then move upward in sweeping motions. Spread a little pink over the top if desired.

Bakers Tip:

The easiest way to level and frost a cake is to take the time to freeze the cake layers first. Wrap each layer in plastic and freeze for at least 2 hours. Then stack, level, and frost the cake as directed. Set the cake out on the counter for another 2-3 hours to thaw and soften. This helps ward off broken cake layers, slanted cakes, and crumbs in the frosting. This cake can sit out at room temperature, covered, for up to 3 days.

Grilled Watermelon, Feta, and Basil Salad

Recipe Courtesy of RecipeRunner.com

Sweet juicy watermelon paired with salty feta, fresh basil, and tart lime juice is a refreshing and easy to make summer salad. Amazingly simple, this healthy summer treat is sure to please friends and family on warm evenings or casual events.


  • 1 whole mini/baby watermelon
  • 4 ounces feta cheese, cut into cubes
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, sliced thin
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Balsamic reduction for drizzling, I used the one in
    this recipe or you can buy pre-made at Trader Joe’s


  1. Cut the watermelon into 1 inch thick slabs and lightly brush them with olive oil.
  2. Place the slabs of watermelon cut side down onto a heated grill and grill for
    about 2-3 minutes per side or until marked and warm.
  3. Remove from the grill and cut off the rind, then cut into 1 inch cubes.
  4. Toss the grilled watermelon with the basil, salt, pepper, and lime juice.
  5. Gently fold in the cubed feta being careful not to break it up.
  6. Drizzle the salad with the balsamic reduction before serving.

Cucumber Dill Summer Salad

Recipe courtesy of FoodieCrush.com

Fresh local herbs and crisp cucumbers are now in abundance, and we want to share this perfect low-calorie side dish. Amazingly simple, this healthy summer salad is sure to please friends and family on warm evenings or casual events. Put a spin on it and add 8 ounces of fresh mozzarella, cut into chunks. You’ll be glad you did!


  • 1 pound mixed cucumbers like English cucumbers, cocktail cucumbers and garden cucumbers, sliced into ¼ inch rounds
  • ½ red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup fresh dill leaves, chopped
  • Optional: 8 oz. Mozzarella


Combine the sliced cucumbers in a colander set inside a medium size bowl and sprinkle with the salt and sugar. Place in the refrigerator for about an hour. Drain the cucumbers. Add the onion, vinegars, water and dill. Serve or refrigerate. The cucumbers will become more pickled as they sit.

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Recipe Courtesy of Author: Phil Clark

The origin of the flourless cake is Italy’s Isle of Capri and the Amalfi coast, but we discovered this amazing desert at an Intracoastal Corporate event courtesy of Phil Clark. This deep dark chocolate Torta Caprese will tempt the devout chocoholic with a gluten free pastry dense, decadent, delicious. Do yourself a favor. Make this one!





  • 4 ounces unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 8 ounces dark chocolate (70% cacao)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 Eggs at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Prepare a 9 inch cake pan – coat the pan with butter. Place a round of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan and butter the parchment paper.
  3. Over medium heat in a small sauce pan combine 1 cup of water and 3/4 cups sugar. Cook until sugar has melted.  Keep warm.
  4. Over low heat in a medium sauce pan, combine 1 stick butter and the chocolate. Melt slowly and blend with a whisk. Add the simple syrup and stir into the butter chocolate mixture until thoroughly blended.  Remove from heat.
  5. In a mixing bowl, combine eggs, vanilla and remaining sugar (1/4 cup). Whisk thoroughly until sugar has dissolved and eggs turn pale yellow.
  6. Gradually pour the chocolate mixture into the eggs. Using a rubber spatula, fold until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  7. For best results, bake in a water bath for approximately 45-50 minutes. Or, until the center of the cake has a slight “jiggle”.
  8. Allow the cake to cool in the water bath for 10 minutes. Remove from the bath and continue cooling to room temp.  Place in the freezer a few hours.  This makes it easier to remove the cake from the pan.

Author Notes:

Optional flavoring:

Option 1.  substitute 1/4 cup coffee liqueur for vanilla if you prefer.

Option 2.  substitute 1 teaspoon orange extract for vanilla



Spring Appetizer: Asparagus Gruyere Tart

Tested by Casey McGuire
Recipe Courtesy of Martha Stewart’s Blog

Looking for a simply fabulous spring appetizer to serve at your Easter brunch or Kentucky Derby Party? This month’s dish when made with plump, in-season asparagus, makes for a sophisticated, visually pleasing appetizer. Store-bought puff pastry is a great short cut, and Fontina cheese can substitute for Gruyere.


  • Flour, for work surface
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry
  • 5 1/2 ounces (2 cups) Gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 1 1/2 pounds medium or thick asparagus
  • Asparagus Green
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a floured surface, roll the puff pastry into a 16-by-10-inch rectangle. Trim uneven edges. Place pastry on a baking sheet. With a sharp knife, lightly score pastry dough 1 inch in from the edges to mark a rectangle. Using a fork, pierce dough inside the markings at 1/2-inch intervals. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes.
  2. Remove pastry shell from oven, and sprinkle with Gruyere. Trim the bottoms of the asparagus spears to fit crosswise inside the tart shell; arrange in a single layer over Gruyere, alternating ends and tips. Brush with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake until spears are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.



Award-Winning Tex-Mex Chili

Recipe Courtesy of Graphic Designer & Marketing Coordinator Casey McGuire

Here it is! This month’s recipe is the chili winner from the Intracoastal Lumina I February 2017 Cook-off. This heated dish is sure to impress family and friends during these last few days of winter. “It’s all about the toppings!” exclaimed winner Casey McGuire.  “My list helps to enhance and drive home this recipe’s Tex-Mex flavor.”


  • 2 lbs ground beef
    1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped
  • 2 cans of green chiles
  • 1 can fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 can fire-roasted corn
  • 2 cans black beans
  • 1 can chili/kidney beans (mild or medium)
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 2 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
  • Pinch sugar
  • Few dashes of hot sauce (or more to taste)
  • Few tablespoons chopped, fresh cilantro


  • Shredded cheddar
  • Sour cream
  • Tortilla chips
  • Lime wedges
  • Diced onion
  • Jalapeno slices
  • Cilantro


  1. Saute onion, jalapeno and garlic in olive oil with salt and pepper until soft and translucent, then add in ground beef and cook through.
  2. Add rest of ingredients, saving some cilantro for serving. Bring to a boil and then simmer for at least one hour.
  3. Serve with toppings!



Red Velvet Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting

Recipe Courtesy of Red Velvet Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting
The Recipe Critic / Tried & True
Tested, adapted and enjoyed by Intracoastal’s Marketing Department

Love is in the air! This month’s seriously perfect red velvet brownie recipe is sure to delight the people you love to impress. Perfectly moist and chewy with the bright red color and cream cheese frosting a perfect finishing touch with fresh coconut and pecans. Be sure to share this decadent delight with friends as a special Valentine’s Day dessert or at your next event.


  • 1 (4-oz.) bittersweet chocolate baking bar, chopped
  • ¾ cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 (1-oz.) bottle red liquid food coloring
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup coconut flakes
  • ½ chopped pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×9 or 7×11 inch pan with aluminum foil allowing 2 inches to hang over the sides. Lightly grease.
  2. In a microwave safe bowl melt the chocolate and butter stirring after 30 seconds each time being careful not to burn the chocolate. Whisk in the sugar and add the eggs one at a time until blended. Add the flour, red food coloring, baking powder, and vanilla. Stir until fully incorporated.
  3. Pour into the bottom of your prepared baking pan and bake for 40-44 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean with moist crumbs. Cool completely.
  4. To make the cream cheese frosting: Beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and continue to beat until creamy. Fold the coconut flakes and chopped pecans into the creamy frosting. Frost the cooled brownies.