Tag Archive | homemade

Puppies and Pineapple Upside- Down Cake

harley5weeks3

Isn’t that the absolute sweetest picture! That is my sweet little Harley. She is (in three more excruciatingly LONG weeks!) the newest member of my little family. My sweet friend in Kentucky (@southernpridebostonsterriers) is the breeder and her dogs are gorgeous. At just a little over 3 and a half pounds, my little girl is the smallest of the litter but from the pictures and videos I have been sent she is developing a sweet little personality and from what I am told and some of the pictures and videos I have seen she is going to be a snuggler. Anyway, I just wanted to share my happy news, and i just cant wait to get her home! Oh… and here are a few more cute pics:

Now I want to tell you about this cake. It is moist, a little on the dense side and sweet with a little tang to it. Are you ready?

pineappleupsidedownbundt

Pineapple Upside down Bundt cake! Yep, I said Bundt. It is so delicious! Now, I do not care for Maraschino Cherries, but if you do, you can totally add them in. I don’t so  I didn’t, LOL.

Anyhow, I had made the decision that I wanted to make this cake, so I did what I normally do and went to Pinterest to find a recipe. While there are lots of pinned recipes, which I discovered very quickly were pins and re-pins of the same 3 or 4 blog posts/ recipes, I couldn’t find a single recipe that didn’t start with a BOX CAKE MIX! Sacrilege! I only use box cake mix for one thing, and it ISN’T cake! But that is another recipe for another blog.

Because I couldn’t find what I wanted, I decided I would have to create my own. Since all of the recipes call for a yellow cake mix, I knew to get the flavor I needed I would need to use my go to Butter cake recipe for a base. I also knew I would need to change up a few things. I did get the idea for using a bundt pan  instead of a regular cake pan from a pin. I thought it was a stellar idea. I liked the neatness of the pineapple in the pan…the OCD in my brain was very happy ;).

As you can see in the picture with the slices in the pan I also added little chunks of pineapple where some of you might like to put the cherries. But do you see how neat and lined up they are? It’s so PRETTY!  In this recipe you are using a 20 oz. can of pineapple slices and cutting them in half. You are also using all the juice that is in that can, so you need to drain it into a measuring cup for later. I drained the juice into a measuring cup and dumped the slices in a stack into another bowl then used a large knife to slice them in half. Once you have placed them into the cake pan, there will probably be more juice in the bowl. Pour that into the measuring cup too. the total amount of liquid you will have in the cup is 1 and 1/4 cup. This will be a combination of juice and milk. I also add the extracts I use to this measuring cup as well, just to streamline the mixing process. Ready for the recipe? Here we go!

Pineapple Upside-Down Bundt Cake

1 cup (2 sticks) of butter, softened

1 1/2 cups of sugar

3 large eggs

1/4  cup REGULAR Mayonnaise (you can also use a 4th egg, I use mayo for the added moisture)

3 cups cake flour (you can also use All Purpose flour, but the cake will not be as tender)

1 tbsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp rum extract

3/4 to 1 cup pineapple juice (all the juice in the can)

1/4 to 1/2 cup of milk (remember the total liquid needs to be 1 1/4 cup total between the juice and milk)

20 oz can sliced pineapple

Maraschino cherries if desired

Preheat your oven to 350F. Prepare bundt pan by greasing and flouring making sure the pan is coated completely. Line the pan with the slices of pineapple (cut these in half). Also if you are using the cherries add them in between the slices. Set pan aside.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt, set aside. Cream butter till fluffy, if using mayo add in at this stage. Add sugar, cream together until fluffy. Remember to scrape down the sides of the bowl if you are using a stand mixer, to ensure even mixing. Add the eggs one at a time and mix in thoroughly. Add the milk  and extracts to the juice in the measuring cup and give a quick stir. Alternating dry and wet, add the flour mix and the juice mix to the bowl in 5 additions, making sure that the batter is mixed completely for the next addition. I use a rubber spatula to scrape down the bowl all the way to the bottom of the bowl to ensure complete mixing. Pour into the cake pan and smooth the top. Bake in 350F oven for 35-40 minutes or until tester come out with moist crumbs. Allow cake to cool in pan for 10 minutes before flipping cake onto a cooling rack and removing from pan. The cake will release from pan on its own if you allow the 10 minutes, Trust me! Serve warm or cool. You can also make a glaze of pineapple juice and powdered sugar for a more pineapple punch.

cakeslice

This cake is so good! It is tender and moist and you need to go make it right now! You will thank me!  Your taste buds will thank you! LOL. I had a lot of fun creating this cake. I hope you enjoy it too!

 

 

 

 

Let them eat cake!

blueberrycake

Doesn’t everyone love cake? Everyone has at least one that they like. Even Dear Husbands Brother, who doesn’t like sweets, Loves Angel food cake. Anyway, THIS cake….. this cake is sunshine and summer and refreshing! It is Lemony and sweet, with bright pops of blueberry combined with the creamy smoothness of a lemon cream cheese frosting. I didn’t use the full 2 cups that the recipe called for because I didn’t have enough, but I definitely will next time. The blueberries soften and burst open in the cake as it is baking, but don’t completely  blend into the cake.

The recipe I used is from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. However I used all cake flour. I just like the tenderness that cake flour lends to a cake.It retains its moisture really well.  I did mist the blueberries in water and toss them in all purpose flour before folding them into the cake batter. And, yes, you want to fold them in. If you use a mixer or a beater, it will break the blueberries up and leak into the rest of the cake. Also they are more likely to sink in the cake because you will mix the flour right off the blueberries. As for my cake…. I dint have enough blueberries. I will definitely be using more next time.

blueberry slice

My blueberries did sink some, but for the most part held their place. You can SEE the moisture in this cake. It is simply delicious. It is so light tasting and fragrant yet the cake itself is a little on the heavy side from the moisture. It pairs beautifully with an African coffee like Sumatra,Ethiopia or Veranda Blend from Starbucks*. It goes equally well with a lemonade or an Earl Grey tea. Personally I go with coffee, but that’s just me.

Unlike most of my cooking exploits, which usually start with a search on Pinterest, this recipe was shared with me via Facebook by a sweet friend. She is a fan of my baking, lol, and wanted me to bake this cake for her birthday. The problem lies in that we live about 10 hours from one another. I told her I would make it for her next visit, but I just couldn’t resist trying out the recipe. I figured it would make a good dessert for the dinner I was planning. Dear Husband had requested a bacon wrapped SOMETHING and i wanted to make a Shells and Cheese recipe I had seen on Pioneer Woman‘s blog.

shells and cheese

I left out the bacon and peas this time, but I plan to use them next time….Maybe with a pork roast entree or something. This dinner however we were having a bacon wrapped chicken breast that I coated with a brown sugar and garlic mixture.

chicken

I, of course, forgot to take a picture of the chicken after it was baked, but here it is before I slid it into the oven. Let me tell you, though, that while these were baking…. oh my GOODNESS! My house smelled so good! You could smell the crisping bacon and the garlic and the sweetness of the brown sugar….It makes my mouth water…And let me tell you, it tasted even better than it smelled!

I served the chicken up with steamed broccoli and the creamy Shells and cheese pictured above. It was a hit all around. Simply delicious.

To make the chicken, I sliced a chicken breast in half length-wise. I laid a sheet of plastic wrap on the counter, laid the 4 pieces of chicken flat and covered with another sheet of plastic wrap. Then I pounded the chicken to about a quarter of an inch thick. Doing this does 2 things. It tenderizes the meat and it also makes it easier roll up later. I then spread the brown sugar-garlic mixture (recipe will follow) all over  one side of each piece of chicken. I then put approximately 1/4 cup of shredded cheese on top of the mixture on each piece of chicken. Then, very carefully, roll the chicken up around the cheese and then rub more of the mixture on the outside of the chicken. I then laid 2 slices of regular bacon side by side and wrapped the rolled chicken in the bacon. The bacon holds the chicken together so there is no need for toothpicks or skewers to hold things together. Do this to all the chicken and places them on a prepared pan. As you can see in the above picture I use a rack on top of a tinfoil covered cookie sheet. Just spray the rack down with cooking spray and you wont have issues with sticking. Slide the pan into the oven set at 400 degrees for approximately 30 minutes. You want the bacon to get crispy, the sugar to melt and caramelize the garlic and the bacon. SO GOOD! If you try it let me know how it goes! You can use pretty much any cheese or mixture of cheeses you like as long as it is sharp and melts well. Here is the mixture I used. It is perfect for 2 Chicken breasts split in half, so if you are making more, this is easily doubled or tripled.

Brown sugar and Garlic spread

2/3 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup minced or crushed garlic

3 tbsp of melted butter

1 tsp of onion powder

1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper (or more, depending on how spicy you want it, I just wanted a little heat with the sweetness of the sugar)

salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Put all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix together well, add the garlic and butter and mix well.

I used the back  of a regular spoon to spread the mixture on the chicken. It worked well and controls the amount you are putting on at a time. Let me know if you try it! I am happy to answer and question you have or respond to any comments! Happy cooking!

*I am not in any way paid to promote Starbucks. I did work for them several times, which is why I know more about their coffees.

 

 

It has been a VERY long time….

It has been nearly two years since the last time I posted. There have been a LOT of changes in my life. First things first, I still love to cook and bake like a crazy person and am currently putting together recipes and and doing a lot of thinking about a business plan for opening a bakery.

As for the changes, they are HUGE. I’m mean, life changing huge. First change, shortly after the last post I made, the hubs told me he wanted a divorce….yeah, super fun! Four kids and he wants a divorce. Ok, well….

Fast forward about 2 years. The 3 bears live with their father and goldilocks lives with me. That’s not the way it should be! Is probably what most people are thinking. It’s not ideal, but it is the only way that things would work for everyone involved. The boys wanted to love with their father, and honestly, even with the amount of child support I COULD have gotten, I would still have not been able to survive. Numbers is something that I am good at. Iran and re-ran numbers trying to get it so I didn’t have to separate my children, but it just wasn’t going to be enough. I wanted to make sure ALL of my babies were taken care of the way they should. 

Now, I am currently engaged to a wonderful man, I have a great new job, and am working towards completing some goals that could take my life in a wonderful direction. I will be able to do more for my babies and be successful too. Goldilocks is 3 now! She is talking up a storm, has an adorable personality and is simply beautiful. My oldest bear just turned 11! I feel like they are all growing up so fast, but I am thankful that they are all healthy and happy. That is my life goal, to make sure they stay healthy and happy and grow up the right way. I want to give them the life they deserve (doesn’t every parent?) and I am doing my best to do that. 

I will be adding more cooking and baking blogs soon, so stay tuned……..

It Finally Came!!!

It has been an exciting week (for me) here. I received my much desired Cornflower Blue KitchenAid stand mixer!! It was an early birthday gift from my Nana. She knew I wanted one, as we discussed it at my brother’s birthday earlier in the month. I had mentioned that they had been on sale the week before, so we checked to see if it still was (is wasn’t 😦 ); so she told me to keep an eye out for the next time it was on sale anywhere and she would give me a check for it then. I was soooo excited!! I have wanted this exact one since…I don’t know when, but I wanted it! With all the cooking and baking I do for the family, it was only going to make my life easier.

Well, over the last few weeks I had been religiously checking for this coveted item to be on sale. On Father’s Day I struck Gold! I found it on sale, with Free shipping! WooHooo!  We were going to lunch that day at Nana’s, so I could tell her about it then.

While we were preparing lunch for the Dad’s we started talking about cooking, which led to baking, which led to Nana asking if I had found my mixer on sale yet. I told her I had…and the rest is history, as they say. So, without further ado, here she is 🙂

I was waiting for the UPS truck like a child waits for Christmas morning! After ordering, it took less than four days to get to me.  I highly recommend EverythingKitchens.Com…They are expedient, and you don’t pay tax on your orders (unless you live in Missouri) and free shipping on most items…you really can’t beat that. Plus, there are often coupon codes available for $ off a certain amount (google it 🙂 )

Anyway, I had to try it out, and my Mom bought me a Simply Sweet magazine chock full of cupcake recipes. After some deliberation between my mom, sister and I,(and my mom had some really ripe bananas that needed to be used) we decided that I would make these:

The perfect combo of two delicious desserts!

Banana Pudding Cupcakes! (Recipe here) The perfect combination of two of my very favorite things! I have loved Banana pudding all of my life, and I am not talking the artificially flavored banana pudding, I am talking about the fresh ripe banana slices layered with Nilla wafers, vanilla pudding and whipped cream. Creamy goodness in a bowl. When I saw this recipe, I knew it had to be made. Everyone in my family loves banana pudding, so I knew they would go fast 🙂

While the recipe calls for the Store-bought Nilla wafers, I opted to find a recipe for them and make them fresh. This is why I LOVE Pinterest. It makes it so easy to find a recipe for something, and has fast become my go-to for ideas 🙂 I quickly found the recipe and whipped up the cookies and then set about making the cupcakes. FYI, after making them, I decided that making the filling first (after the cookies) would have been the best way to go about making all of the various pieces of this cake. It has to cool completely before using.

These cupcakes are delicious! They are everything I was hoping they would be. They smell divine while baking. The cake is something like banana bread but sweeter and more tender. With the addition of the banana curd filling and whipped cream topping and the cookie…OMG….I was in Heaven! Definitely a delightful twist on a classic dessert, and I think would be a hit at the next Summer barbecue 🙂 A word of warning….These are addicting…Friends will be asking for the recipe, asking for you to make more, even offering to buy the things needed to make more, just so they can shove their faces full again and again. Yeah…they are that good. Hint: these need to be refrigerated, and they are super this way as well as freshly made.

For more finger-licking deliciousness…Stay Tuned….

Banana pudding Cupcakes

For the Banana Cake:

1 1/2 cups mashed bananas

2 tsps. lemon juice

1 cup butter, softened

2 cups sugar

3 large eggs

3 cups all-purpose soft-wheat (or regular) flour

1 1/2 tsps. baking soda ( I used half baking soda/baking powder)

1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

2 tsps. vanilla

cupcake liners

vegetable cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Combine mashed bananas and lemon juice in a small bowl and set aside.

2. Beat butter and sugar at medium speed until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until blended after each addition.

3. Combine flour, baking soda/powder and salt. Add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla and banana mixture.

4. Place paper liners in 2 (when I made them I ended up with 36 cakes, so if you have 3 pans you might want to prepare for that many if you have three pans) 12 cup muffin pans, and coat with cooking spray ( i didn’t do this….sorta forgot 😉 ); spoon (or scoop) batter into cups, filling 2/3 full.

5. Bake at 350F for 12-15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes; remove from pans and let cool completely.

For the Banana curd:

Makes 2 cups

4 large ripe bananas, peeled

4 tbsp. butter

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

4 large eggs

1. Mash bananas in a large bowl with  a fork until creamy

2. Combine mashed bananas and the remaining ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens and coats a spoon. (Do not boil.) Cool completely.

Note: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.

For the Whipped cream topping:

1 1/2 cups whipping cream, chilled

2 tsps. vanilla

1/4 cup powdered sugar

(To top all of the cupcakes I ended up with I increased all the ingredients by one half, I had a smidge left over)

1. Beat whipping cream at high speed until soft peaks form. Add vanilla and powdered sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.

2. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.

Homemade Nilla wafers recipe found here

Putting it all together:

1. Prepare the Banana Cake as directed.

2. Insert the end of a wooden spoon or dowel into the center of each cooled cupcake to create a hole. Fill a zip-top freezer bag with Fresh Banana Curd. Use scissors and snip off about a 1/4 of an inch off one corner of the bag. Insert bag into hole in cupcake. Squeeze gently until curd comes out of the top of the cupcake. Repeat with remaining cupcakes.

3. Frost each cupcake with approx. 2 tbsp of the Fresh Whipped Cream, using a piping bag (or another zip-top with the corner cut off) and a round piping tip (or none at all) pipe a swirl of cream onto each cupcake. Top each with a vanilla wafer and slice of banana (if desired) just before serving.

 Recipes adapted from Simply Sweet magazine.  Enjoy!!

Wow…..

It has been a while since I posted! I can’t believe I have been such a slacker. To my followers, I apologize! Dieting does not make for fun cooking (at least not for me :() However, I have made some really delicious cupcakes that I wanted to share with you. I am sure that most of you know something about Pinterest. Well, I love that site! I think I may have mentioned this before, but I really do! And not just for food ideas either (although it is a foodies’ paradise!) There is all kinds of loveliness on there 🙂 There are so many things I want to do now; there just isn’t enough time in the day or money in the bank to do them 😦 Anyway, Pinterest is where I found the idea for these cupcakes, and while the original recipe didn’t work well for me at all, after a few tweaks to the ingredients, I had these adorable, delightful cupcakes.

These cupcakes are sweet for sure, but the flavor profile is exquisite! Rich and decadent cupcake with a light, fluffy frosting and to top it off a fresh-baked itty bitty chocolate chip cookie 🙂 These were fun to make and even more fun to eat, lol.

I had found this cupcake a few weeks ago, but didn’t have any (real) reason to make them until this past week. A good friend of mine likes to have all of us Mommies come over for lunch to talk and to let the kids (all together I think there were 14 kids o_O) run around and play together. Well, when this happens we all contribute a little something. I, of course, said I would do dessert, which everyone was absolutely fine with XD. I guess I am starting to get a reputation, hehehe…

Well, after I said that, I had about 2 days to decide what I was going to make and in the mean time I had promised to make cookies for Goldilocks and the three Bears. I knew I had everything to make chocolate chip cookies and I also knew that I wanted to experiment with this classic cookie recipe to get exactly the kind I like. Just FYI, I like them crispy on the outside, soft on the inside and perfectly full of flavor.

These cookies, I am happy to say, fit the bill. I mean, they were just perfect! At least for me 🙂 Anyway, while I was making them I was still pondering what I was going to make for our playdate. It hit me that I had the above cupcake pinned on one of my Pinterest boards and I immediately knew that I was going to make that.

Like with every recipe I try, I follow it to the letter. I had read through the comments and saw that there were several people who had issues with the cupcakes “falling”, “exploding” and just not coming out in general. Obviously there are people out there that don’t follow recipes well, or just don’t like to (my father is one of those). So I went ahead and attempted the recipe as written. I don’t know how to fix things unless I can see what is truly wrong.

I mixed everything together, scooped it into some really cute cupcake wrappers and popped them in the oven. Everything was looking (and smelling) all right, except the cupcakes seemed to be a little flat on top. I thought, that’s ok, I can work with that, they are getting frosted after all. Well, they weren’t quite done when I checked them the first time, and when they were “done” they had sort of spread over the top of the cupcake pan, sort-of pancake style…not so pretty… but they hadn’t “fallen” in the middle like others had complained of. At least, they hadn’t YET. I left them to cool a few minutes before I dumped them out of the pan. When I came back into the kitchen, I no longer had cupcakes. I had these ugly, hard, bowl looking things that, get this, didn’t even taste very good! I was SOOOO disappointed!

But, I also knew I could fix them. I knew I had just enough of everything I needed for one more try, besides, I had already made the frosting and the mini chocolate chip cookies…. So, I changed (and added) a few ingredients to fix the problems I had with the original recipe, scooped it into (more) cute wrappers, popped them into the oven, crossed my fingers and prayed! If these didn’t come out, I was going to have to come up with something else entirely and it was already 10pm.

18 minutes later, I had some beautifully rounded, delicious smelling white chocolate cupcakes. That DIDN’T fall. I was dancing around the house, I was so happy they came out…Silly, I know, but I think I was a little delirious.

Once they cooled I frosted them, topped them with mini chocolate chips and mini cookies and Voila! Dessert made for a Queen 🙂 They were definetly a hit, My hubby scarfed down two of them and told me they were incredible. Before you think he was just saying it to please me, He is always honest and tells me if he doesn’t like something or if it isn’t good, or as good as it could be. He knows I want him to tell me so I can fix it; makes sense, right?

Anyway, I posted a couple of recipes that I have mentioned in previous posts and there will be more over the next few weeks (as long as I don’t get completely distracted again, lol) So….Stay Tuned…..

Malted Chocolate Chip Cookies

 Please read Bakers notes at the bottom

Malted Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup (1 stick) Butter

1/2 cup Shortening

1-1/4 cups Brown Sugar

3/4 to 1 cup Malted Milk powder

2 tbsp Chocolate Syrup

1 tbsp Vanilla extract

1 Egg

2 cups All-purpose Flour

1/2 tsp Baking Soda

1/2 tsp Baking Powder

1/2 tsp Salt

1-1/2 cups Semisweet Chocolate Chunks

1 cup Milk Chocolate chips

1. In a large bowl beat butter, shortening, brown sugar, malted milk powder, chocolate syrup and vanilla until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add egg, fully incorporate.

2. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Gradually add to the creamed mixture mixing well after each addition. Stir in chocolate chunks and chips.

3. Scoop by rounded tablespoons and place about 2 inches apart on ungreased (or parchment lined) baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on pans for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks to coll completely.

Bakers Notes:

I like to use a half and half mix of butter and shortening because it makes a cookie that is nice and crisp on the outside, but soft and chewy on the inside. This is also why I use half soda, half powder.  For this cookie you can use all shortening/ soda, but not the other way around as the cookie wont come out right. Also, I like the taste of malt a lot, as does everyone in my family. If you choose to, you can drop the malt to as little as 1/2 cup, but I found that you could hardly taste the malt in the cookie. That really just depends on your taste 🙂 You can also make these cookies larger as was called for in the original recipe : 2 inch balls/scoops, 3 inches apart, 12-14 minutes. I like them smaller, they last longer and are a better size for the kids. Enjoy!!!

Adapted from TasteofHome