Tara Manderino


Authors in Bloom Blog Hop

Posted by tjmanderino on April 6, 2014 at 8:10 PM

My deep, dark, gardening secret?

If I get around to planting it, I depend on God to take care of it.

For a number of years, my husband would take the boys out shopping and come home with a live plant for me for Mother’s Day, either a hanging basket or a rose bush. It’s not that I mind taking care of things, but I sometimes forget. If it doesn’t come and ask me for water or food, I won’t remember until days later. I’ve had quite a few plants named Lazarus!


So although I may forget plants, I always remember things in the oven (almost always, but that’s another story!). My recipe for Cream Puff Dessert follows. This light dessert is perfect for spring and summer entertaining.


To celebrate spring, I’m offering a free download of my Biscotti Favorites cookbook to one random winner. And because I’m so excited about my new cover, I’m choosing a second random winner for a free download of Soul Guardian.


Be sure to leave your name and email address in the comments to be entered in the drawing for my prizes, as well as the blog hop grand prize, an e-reader and gift card. You must leave your email address in order to be notified if you are the winner. To be eligible for the grand prize you must visit each author on the hop. Complete rules and links can be found on the Authors in Bloom blog hop page  http://diannevenetta.com/events/authors-in-bloom-blog-hop/


Please follow me on Twitter @TManderino. I can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/taramanderino" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">https://www.facebook.com/taramanderino

Cream Puff Dessert



1 cup water

1 cup flour, sifted

4 eggs

½ cup butter

¼ tsp salt

(OR – you can substitute 1 package of frozen puff pastry)


2 (3.4 oz. each) packages instant French Vanilla pudding

2 – ½  cups milk

1 (8 oz.) pkg,. Cream cheese

1 (8 oz.) carton whipped topping



(If not using puff pastry follow this for the “shell”)

Heat water and shortening in sauce pan until boiling.

Pour flour and salt into hot mixture.

Beat thoroughly. Stir and cook over low heat until mixture forms a stiff ball.

Remove from heat, add unbeaten eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each egg is added (by hand).

Spread on  11 x 15 inch cookie sheet, greased.

Bake at 400 degrees F  20 – 30 minutes until lightly browned.

(If using puff pastry, follow package directions. Place on 11 x 15 inch cookie sheet)


For filling:

Mix together instant pudding, milk and cream cheese. (Best to cream the cheese and 1/2  cup of milk first, add the pudding, and then gradually add the remaining milk. Spread over cream puff shell.


Top with 8 oz. Whipped topping.

Drizzle with chocolate syrup if desired.


Refrigerate until set.





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Reply Catherine Chant
6:53 AM on April 7, 2014 
My method of gardening is similar. Things I plant need to be "hardy" because I don't have time to baby them. :-) I will give extra care to vegetables because the season is short and they tend to be on the fragile side, especially when starting out, but ornamental plants? Aside from fertilizer and the occasional trim, they're on their own. This is why I plant acorns.
Reply Michelle Abbott
7:12 AM on April 7, 2014 
My method of gardening is similar to yours. I remember to keep vases of flowers topped up with water, but that's about my limit. I'd love a beautiful garden, along with a handsome gardener to take care of it :-)
Reply Elizabeth Allen
10:40 AM on April 7, 2014 
That recipe looks super yummy!
Reply Joseph Hawkshaw
11:44 AM on April 7, 2014 
This sounds awesome i will have to make this today i an Italian and love all of my Deserets i make [email protected]
Reply Angela Searles
12:37 PM on April 7, 2014 
I love flowers, but I've resorted to planters on my steps! That seems to keep me from killing them :) [email protected]
Reply Karen H
3:14 PM on April 7, 2014 
You and I are alike with plants. Either I don't have proper lighting or I forget to water them. Now I have a south facing apartment with lots of winders...maybe I'll give the plants a chance! Or maybe not...I'd probably still forget to water them.

I like you on Facebook: Karen Haas
I follow you on Twitter: @KarenH320

kareninnc at gmail dot com
Reply Savannah Miller
4:05 PM on April 7, 2014 
I'm okay with taking care of my plants. I do a lot of veggies, so I'm always excited to go out and check if I have any food growing up them yet otherwise I would most likely forget too :). I wanted to work in my garden today, but of course its raining....
[email protected]
Reply Froggy
8:28 PM on April 7, 2014 
Thanks for the chance to win!
[email protected]
Reply Geena Wixom
9:11 PM on April 7, 2014 
I just gotta say, I LOVE cream puffs!! Thx so much for the recipe & the chance to win on hop! :)
Geena Wixom
[email protected]
Reply Leslie Rodriguez
4:20 AM on April 8, 2014 
When I am "gardening" I like to run my fingernails over a bar of soap so I will not get dirt under them. [email protected]
Reply Elise-Maria Barton
3:05 PM on April 8, 2014 
I love participating in these blog hops~ I always come away with a longer TBR as well as new bloggers added to my Bloglovin? feed :)

ilookfamous at yahoo dot com
Reply bn100
11:30 PM on April 8, 2014 
Tasty recipe
bn100candg at hotmail dot com
Reply Judy Cox
11:55 PM on April 8, 2014 
Thanks for the Cream Puff recipe. I love that dessert. Thanks for the participation in this Hop!!

Reply Joye
12:26 PM on April 9, 2014 
I don't have a green thumb either so I have xeriscape here in the desert. Low maintenance for me.
The recipe sounds great.
Reply Samantha Lane
8:44 PM on April 9, 2014 
The extent of my gardening is keeping a poinsettia plant alive thru the holiday season. I'm right with you, if it doesn't come to me asking for food or water, I forget about it.
Reply Aubrey Wynne
11:51 PM on April 9, 2014 
Stopping in to see what the other hoppers are posting. Kind of glad you didn't have a picture of the Cream Puff Dessert. I have a mega sweet tooth. I may try this for work next week, thanks.
Reply Brandi
11:29 PM on April 10, 2014 
I love Cream Puffs! Thanks for sharing your recipe with us!! And thank you for having this giveaway! =)

Hope you have a great day!!

BLeigh1130 at yahoo dot com
Reply Lisa Lickel
12:31 PM on April 11, 2014 
Biscotti! Yummy...thanks for being part of the hop. lisalickl-at-yahoo.com
Reply Nancy Arny Pi-Sunyer
8:33 PM on April 12, 2014 
Hi there. Liked the reicpe for your mug cake even better than the one for puff pastry on our blog hop.
Thanks for participating. Never sure if the email must go in the message as well as the blank, so here it is. [email protected]
Reply Nancy Arny Pi-Sunyer
8:35 PM on April 12, 2014 
Gardening can be a challenge. I remember. Just don't always have time.

Thanks for participating.

[email protected]