Berry Cheesecake Trifle

Berry Cheesecake Trifle - My Pretty Brown BlogI couldn’t wait to sit outside on the patio and listen to Blues music while indulging in good eats, but the rain had another plan for the long weekend. We decided not to “BBQ” for the 4th this year, so we picked up takeout from our local barbecue spot, Uncle Sam’s. This was obviously the plan for most on this rainy 4th of July. As my HB, Mom, and I were finishing our southern spread, the rain finally stopped. We were happy that daylight was kind to us and so ready to go outside to relax on the back patio—and enjoy dessert!

I wanted to try something new and fun for summer! This Berry Cheesecake Trifle is absolutely divine! It’s low-calorie, but you would never know it because it is just that AH-mazing! It’s a beautiful blend of fresh strawberries, blueberries, angel food cake, and creamy blissfulness! It’s perfect for those watching their sugar intake or for those just wanting a lower-calorie alternative to a family favorite.

Berry Cheesecake Trifle - My Pretty Brown Blog

Trifles have been around my family for years. You can also enjoy them all year long. They are super easy to make and you know I had to figure out a way to make it guilt-free! It’s nice knowing that you can still enjoy the foods you love simply by making swaps. I love trifles because you can freestyle it to your liking! There really isn’t a wrong way to make a trifle. I used cheesecake pudding because: 1) it’s one of my favorites and 2) I was in the mood for something cheesecake’ish. You can absolutely use whatever flavor you like. I could have used pound cake instead of angel food cake (sinfully good), but I wanted to keep it light. Trust me, it is delicious either way!

Berry Cheesecake Trifle - My Pretty Brown Blog

Berry Cheesecake Trifle - My Pretty Brown Blog  

Berry Cheesecake Trifle


  • 12 oz of angel food cake (I used sugar-free), cut into 1-inch pieces or smaller
  • 2 pints of strawberries, sliced
  • 2 pints of blueberries
  • Creamy Filling
  • 4 (1 oz) packages of cheesecake sugar-free instant pudding mix
  • 8 oz of fat-free or light cream cheese, softened
  • 8 oz of frozen light whipped topping, thawed
  • 3 cups of almond milk (or regular milk)
  • 1/2 cup of cold water


  1. Add pudding mix, milk, and water in a bowl and whisk for about 1 minute. Next, add in softened cream cheese and whipped topping and blend until smooth (I used a hand mixer).
  2. Add half of cake pieces to the bottom of the trifle dish. Then add sliced strawberries, spreading evenly.
  3. Next, top strawberries with half of cream mixture, then sprinkle with blueberries to cover the mixture.
  4. Add a layer of the remaining cake pieces, then top cake pieces with sliced strawberries.
  5. Add a final layer of cream on top of the strawberries spreading evenly.
  6. Finish by adding adding additional berries in a fun pattern of choice.
  7. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
  8. Serve and enjoy!

 NOTE: You can substitute sugar-free and light options for regular. White chocolate pudding mix is another great alternative for your cream filling. Again, you can use whatever flavor you like. I used an 8-1/2 inches tall by 8 inches wide trifle dish. You can find one here.


Eat. Live. Dine. Love.

There’s nothing like enjoying yourself, eating good food, and surrounding yourself around amazing people. This past weekend, that’s exactly what I did. After training for a half marathon and dealing with this bipolar weather, I was finally feeling up to some fun! I had been craving a burger for weeks. Ever since I was a little girl, a good hamburger always appeased my taste buds. My Hubby and I decided to go to one of our favorite spots, Mugshots Grill & Bar. If you’ve never been there, you should place it on your priority list–I promise you won’t regret it! Their buns are out of this world and their beer-battered and sweet potato fries are exquisite. Even if there’s not a Mugshots in your area, it’s worth planning a trip to the South just to dine there.

mugg1 Davis’ Dill Pickle Chips are…AMAZ-ING!


 SGT. Pepper Jack (Burger) – topped with pepper jack cheese, an onion ring, and all the fixings + Beer-Battered Fries with a side of “COMEBACK” sauce! My Hubby decided to stick with his favorite – Anthony’s Peanut Butter Burger – Extra Creamy + Bacon. (not pictured)

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”  -Virginia Woolf

NEXT STOP…The Movies!


Let me just say, The Best Man Holiday  was absolutely incredible! How do you top The Best Man? I remember being a Sophomore in college when it came out. I still listen to the original soundtrack like it was just released. Here it is 15 years later and the friends are back together again. I felt every emotion, you would have thought we were friends in real life! I cried and laughed and cried some more–nothing was left undone. You will pick up exactly where you left off and even if you’ve never seen part one, you won’t miss a beat. I’m not going to spoil it, but there’s a lot of girl talk and “Eye Candy” for the ladies and some real “Man Moments” between the Fellas all men can relate to. A true transparent journey with beautiful friends that will leave you wanting more. I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next in the lives of these Fab Friends! *crossing fingers* Outstanding movie…support it!


“Times change. Friendship doesn’t.” – The Best Man Holiday

Creamy Jalapeno Queso Shrimp Dip - My Pretty Brown Blog

Creamy Jalapeño Queso Shrimp Dip

Creamy Jalapeno Queso Shrimp Dip - My Pretty Brown Blog

Let me just say…this shrimp dip is Hot, Hot, Hot! Not just because it’s spicy, but it’s on my top 10 list of favorite dips. I really thought this dip would last us a few days-but to my surprise, it was GONE that night! Yes, completely wiped out. It was so good, I had to make it again–per my HB’s request. Imagine that! Don’t worry, I was happy to oblige as I exercised portion control. I will definitely be adding this dip to my holiday-special occasion-party “what to bring” list. I think I’ll make this dip for one of our family gatherings coming up. After you taste it, you’ll want to do the same and you can’t beat a taste this good, with less than half the fat of most dips. It’s absolute AMAZEment filled with creamy deliciousness!


Creamy Jalapeño Queso Shrimp Dip

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20-25 minutes

Yields: 8 servings (approximately 144 calories per serving)



  • 1 lb cooked shrimp (if frozen, defrost), peeled, deveined, tail-off, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbsp of organic ghee (or butter)
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 2 fresh jalapeños, chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of minced garlic
  • 8 ounces of reduced fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup of light sour cream
  • 2 heaping tbsps of light or fat free mayo
  • 1 cup of natural queso blanco shredded cheese
  • 1/2 cup of shredded fat free cheddar cheese
  • onion and garlic powder, salt, white or black pepper–for seasoning
  • blackened seasoning for extra spice

Creamy Jalapeño Queso Shrimp Dip - My Pretty Brown BlogDirections:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Defrost cooked shrimp or cook shrimp until they are pink. Next, coarsely chop the shrimp, pat dry, and set aside. Melt ghee (or butter) over medium heat in pan.
  3. Add jalapeños, minced garlic, onion, and bell pepper to pan. Season your sautéed vegetables to taste. If you like it spicy like I do, shake and bake with that blackened seasoning! Don’t be scared.
  4. Saute vegetables until slightly tender. Set aside.
  5. In a mixing bowl, combine cheeses, sour cream, mayo, and cream cheese.
  6. Next, strain juices from shrimp and vegetable mixture by using a colander. You won’t miss them because you will be adding them into the cheese mixture.
  7. Stir shrimp/vegetables into the cheese mixture. Taste mixture and add seasoning if needed.
  8. Pour mixture into baking dish and bake for 20- 25 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.

Serve with tortilla chips–and ENJOY!

Art’s Notes:

I used frozen, cooked shrimp and they worked great. A 12 oz bag of shrimp (minimum) will also work. If you don’t like spicy you may want to leave out the fresh jalapeños and double the bell peppers. Perhaps, add red bell peppers for added sweetness. If you can’t find Velveeta’s Queso Blanco Shreds, use 1 cup of reduced fat mozzarella shredded cheese in its place.

  Creamy Jalapeño Queso Shrimp Dip - My Pretty Brown Blog


Hello Summer!


It is the second day of July and Summer is here! But can you believe how fast this year has flown by? I mean seriously, we’re about to start firing up the grill to celebrate the 4th of July! Next thing you know, the holiday season will be here. There are lots of fun things to do during the summer. I hope to get my feet wet and feel sand between my toes. I have some exciting things planned and a few fun projects in the works. I’m just looking forward to basking in all of the glorious rays of summer!

Do you have any fun summer plans?

Fit Fab and Lean Father's Day Virtual | My Pretty Brown Blog

Loved Just The Way You Are: A Father’s Day Run

Me and my Daddy Wee | Fit Fab and Lean Father's Day Virtual | My Pretty Brown Blog

Daddy and itty-bitty Artie Cakes!

Happy Father’s Day to an amazing man, father, my Daddy…my Pops! It’s no secret that this time of year is VERY hard for me. My Dad passed away over 9 years ago, but not a day goes by that I don’t miss him. He is so special to my heart. My Mom’s best friend who was very charming, brilliant, handsome, stern with a soft spot for Daddy’s little girl aka Scooby (yes, that’s me!). He always knew how to get me with that smile and showing off those dimples! A true fighter he was. Hard-working, loving, and beautiful being who told me to always believe in myself and push towards my dreams. I’m grateful that God chose me to be his daughter!



Fit Fab and Lean Father's Day Virtual | My Pretty Brown Blog

Fit Fab and Lean Father's Day Virtual | My Pretty Brown Blog

Over the past few weeks I’ve dedicated all of my runs to my Dad! I’m so thankful to Fit, Fab, and Lean for providing a Father’s Day Virtual 5K ~ Half Marathon (including a Finishers Medal) for us to commemorate this special day. I completed 26.9 miles over the past two weeks. Running is truly a great outlet for me. Seeing all of the commercials, cards, movies, and events surrounding Father’s Day can be a bit overwhelming. Instead of me being down or sad, I decided to RUN!  I’m so proud to have had the opportunity to run in my Dad’s honor and memory — Mr. J.E. Patterson. I hope he’s smiling down!

Fit Fab and Lean Father's Day Virtual | My Pretty Brown Blog

Just a little collage I made!

My Dad was a HUGE Barry White Fan…so I’d be remiss if I didn’t celebrate him with one of his favorite songs!

Happy Father’s Day to every Father out there in the world! May this day honoring you and every day be a special one — you all deserve it!  To anyone who is Fatherless or Father is in heaven, I pray that you are surrounded by love, peace, and sweet memories. They truly keep you going!

“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give any person: He believed in me.”

~Jim Valvano

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Feeling “Quichey” for Christmas!


Christmas morning I decided to make a breakfast Quiche for the very first time! There use to be this stuff called “Pour-a-Quiche”, but I haven’t been able to find it anywhere so I made it myself. Of course I had to share the recipe!

Sausage Quiche


  • 1 (9 inch) pie shell
  • 1/2 lb ground sausage
  • 1 cup of grated/shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 small grated onion
  • 1.5 Tbsps of flour
  • 1 large can Pet milk (approximately 1 cup) 
  • 2 eggs
  • Parsley


Brown sausage; drain. Place in pie shell. Sprinkle grated cheese, flour and onion on top. Beat eggs and milk, then pour on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until set.

It was absolutely delish!!!

20121226-114752.jpg I also brought out one of my favorite breakfast items Georgia Boy Smoked Sausages, which are made near Albany, Georgia (where my Mom’s family resides). This is TRULY a treat, because I don’t eat them often. I was so excited when I found out they were sold in AL! My husband also prepared his famous corn grits. Mmmm!

20121226-114757.jpgI decided to make Slutty Brownies: Turtle Edition on Christmas Eve! They were pretty good — Toffee-ish! I also made a pecan pie, which is my holiday FAVORITE!


I rocked my $0.99 lounge/casual dress I found at the thrift store! It was festive and Christmasy (made that up) so I had to wear it! Sorry I don’t have a full pic…I was on the couch all day! lol

Oh and I even rocked a Santa hat! Check it out!!!


I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! I’m going to enjoy the rest of my vacation, read a few books, crochet some scarves, and relax!

Happy Holidays!


A Gift That Gives Back!


Christmas is less than a week away and it’s Christmas shoppers crunch time! I started a little bit early this year, but I still have few things to get on my list. I found the coolest gifts that also allowed me to give back to charity. The organization “Whatever It Takes” raises funds for key global development causes, including poverty alleviation, the protection of children, and environmental conservation. They have teamed up with celebrities in fashion, film, sports, television, music, etc. with artwork designed by Serena Williams, Penelope Cruz, George Clooney, Pink, and Kanye West just to name a few. A variety of fun pieces have been created and all for a great cause.

The jewelry “artwork” is all designed by the celebrities and every item that is purchased is donated to a celebrity’s charity of choice.


I fell in love with these two! The artwork on the watch (L) was designed by Serena Williams and the charm/link bracelet (R) artwork by Penelope Cruz . The bracelet says, “Give Love A Chance”.

You can find them at your local Macy’s (and other stores) and visit their website here to learn more about the organization.


Another great gift idea which I think is perfect, especially for kids, is Toms Shoes! I purchased my sweet, nephews a pair of their very first Toms! I can’t wait to see them on their little feet. For every pair of shoes you buy, they give a new pair of shoes to a child in need — “One For One”.

Why shoes?

    In many developing countries, children must walk barefoot for miles to school, clean water and medical help.

    Hundreds of millions of children are at risk of injury, infection and soil-transmitted diseases that most don’t have access to prevent or treat.

    Children who are healthy are more likely to be successful students, and access to education is a critical determinant of long-term success.

    Healthy, educated children have a better chance of improving the future of their entire community.

Visit Toms Shoes here and find out about their other great programs that help give back!

Happy Shopping & Merry Christmas!!!