Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Pistachio Swirl Cake with Fluffy Frosting

CAKE Ingredients:
1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
1 (3.4 ounce) package instant pistachio
pudding mix
1 cup water
2 packages instant jello pudding mix (I used pistachio, but chocolate would work too)
2 Cups 2% Milk
1 tub of Cool Whip
Ready in 1 hour
Servings 14
3/4 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
3/4 cup chocolate syrup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan.
  In a large bowl, mix together the cake mix, water, oil and eggs. mix well. Pour half of the batter into a separate bowl. 

Next, Mix the chocolate syrup into half the batter, and the box of pistachio pudding mix into the other half of the batter. Pour the pistachio flavored batter into the prepared pan. Pour the chocolate batter over the top of the batter in the pan. Insert a butter knife and swirl slightly.

Bake in the preheated oven for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool. Remove cake from pan and prepare frosting: Beat 2 cups of milk into two packages of jello pudding mix with a mixer until smooth and thick 3-5 min. Fold in entire container of cool whip. Top cake and refrigerate. ENJOY!!!


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Blueberry-Lemon Crumble cake

For the streusel:

1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/3cups all-purpose flour

For the cake:

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature (3/4 stick)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1Tbs.fresh lemon juice
2/3 cup sour cream
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pint fresh blueberries (rinsed and dried)
Confectioners' sugar for sprinkling


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9-inch round baking pan or springform pan.

First to make Streusel...

Combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl. Stir in the melted butter and then the flour. Mix well and set aside.
For the cake:

Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed for 4 to 5 minutes, until light. Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla, lemon zest, and sour cream. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined. Toss 1/2 blueberries with 1 TBS flour and fold these blueberriesi into batter.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and spread it out. Add remaining blueberries to the top of the cake batter in an even layer. With your fingers, crumble the topping evenly over the batter. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. (mine took closer to 60-70 min to get the center to cook completely) . Cool completely and serve sprinkled with confectioners' sugar.
(this recipe was adapted from a food network recipe from the Barefoot Contessa at home)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Strawberry Lemon Sangria

1/2 Cup (4ounces) limoncello
1 cup fresh raspberries
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
1/2 cup fresh blackberries or blueberries
1 medium lemon, thinly sliced
1 can (12 ounces) frozen pink lemonade concentrate, thawed

1 (750 milliliter) bottle Prosecco or dry sparkling wine chilled
1/2 bottle sweet Moscato wine chilled

In large pitcher combine washed fruit, lemonade concentrate and limoncello. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours to 24 hours to blend flavors.

Just before serving add Prosecco and Moscato wine.

Serve in glasses over ice.


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Birthday New York Cheesecake with Raspberry topping

 Just out of the oven without topping. I like to serve topping on the side, so the cheesecake doesn't get mushy. Also as you can tell I am not really obsessed with not cracking my cheesecake, because it pretty much tastes the same either way!
This is one of my favorite cheesecakes to make. It has a nice lemon flavor that goes well with any berry topping. Also, It always bakes perfectly if you just follow the directions! A side note about springform pans: My favorite is from pampered chef, and is what is pictured here. It has metal sides, but a  tempered glass bottom, so when you cut the cake it doesn't scratch. It is very reasonably priced and my favorite cheesecake-making accessory!

For the crust:

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (10 crackers)
1 tablespoon sugar
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:

2 1/2 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature (5- 8oz squares)
1 1/2 cups sugar
5 whole extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
3/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons) and Juice of 1 lemon
2 Tbs. Cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the topping:

1 cup red jelly (not jam), such as currant, raspberry, or strawberry
3 half-pints fresh raspberries


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

To make the crust, combine the graham crackers, sugar, and melted butter until moistened. Pour into a 9-inch springform pan. With your hands, press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan and about 1-inch up the sides. Bake for 8 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

Raise the oven temperature to 450 degrees F.

To make the filling, cream the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Reduce the speed of the mixer to medium and add the eggs and egg yolks, 2 at a time, mixing well. Scrape down the bowl and beater, as necessary. With the mixer on low, add the sour cream, lemon zest, and vanilla. Mix thoroughly and pour into the cooled crust.

Bake for 15 minutes. Turn the oven temperature down to 225 degrees F and bake for another 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn the oven off and open the door wide. The cake will not be completely set in the center. Allow the cake to sit in the oven with the door open for 30 minutes. Take the cake out of the oven and allow it to sit at room temperature for another 2 to 3 hours, until completely cooled. Wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Remove the cake from the springform pan by carefully running a hot knife around the outside of the cake. Leave the cake on the bottom of the springform pan for serving.

To make the topping, melt the jelly in a small pan over low heat. In a bowl, toss the raspberries and the warm jelly gently until well mixed. Arrange the berries on top of the cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Note: Measure your springform pan. The bottom of mine measures 9 inches, but it says 9 1/2. I put the springform pan on a sheet pan before putting it in the oven to catch any leaks.
This recipe is adapted from a food network/barefoot Contessa recipe.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Chocolate covered Pretzal sticks or Suckers for an Event

Serena's baby shower


Ingredients: -Pretzel Mold of Your choice (Can be found at Michaels) Washed in soapy water and dried.
You could also use a sucker mold, and make sure to buy the correct size stick it states on the package
                 -Plymouth Pantry Almond Bark (Vanilla and/or Milk Chocolate)
                 -Pretzel Sticks (1 bag has about 20-33 sticks depending on broken ones)
                 -2 Wilton Candy bottles
                 -Favor Bags
                 (Food coloring if you are using it)

Depending on how many you want to make for the event will determine how much Almond Bark (White chocolate or Candy Melts) you will need. I prefer Plymouth Pantry Almond bark because it tastes the best coating pretzels, and it is what I always have in the pantry. The only drawback I found was that it doesn't quite mix with food coloring all the way. It still looks okay, but the look is not as smooth as say frosting. The second time I made the pretzel sticks I used the vanilla almond bar and milk chocolate almond bark to make a two tone mold instead.

To Mold Pretzels:
Break apart Almond bark and melt in microwave. Start at 1min. Mix. 30sec. Mix. 10sec. intervals, Mixing in between until you Almond bark is melted and smooth.
At this point you can separate out some and add food coloring for details, or melt your milk chocolate almond bark in the same fashion.
Fill two Wilton Candy bottles, on with vanilla almond bark, and the other with your colored almond bark (or milk chocolate).
First use colored bottle to squirt gently into detail area of each mold going 1 candy tray at a time.
Once all the detail area is filled, tap mold gently on the counter. Add vanilla almond bark on top, not quite to the top of the mold. Place pretzel rod in mold cavity and turn to evenly coat with almond bark. Tap mold gently one more time to remove air bubbles and add a little more almond bark on top if needed to seal in pretzel. Refrigerate until set. This usually takes about 10-15 min until candy is firm and mold appears frosty.. I have about 3 molds going at once so I can refrigerate while I am making and I just keep rotating which are in the fridge. Turn mold over on flat surface and gently twist to release pretzels.

If you are doing a large quantity, I found that it helps to keep a pan of hot water nearby to set in the bottle of chocolate you are not currently using to keep it from hardening.

Place finished product into favor bags and tie together with Ribbon. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

PMS cookies!

 Start with a batch and a half of Nestle toll house cookie dough: (these are the corrected measurements for a batch and a half):

  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 &1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 & 1/2 cup (3sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 & 1/8 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 & 1/8 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1  1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3large eggs
  •   3/4 Cup Hershey's unsweetened cocoa powder

 PREHEAT oven to 350° F.

COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture then cocoa powder. Stir in morsels: 3/4 of the bag of semi-sweet chips. 1/2 a bag of white choc chips, and 1/2 a bag of milk chocolate chips. (or I have also used
chopped up almond bark to substitute the milk and white). Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets. . then bake 8 to 10 min on 350. Make sure not to over-bake, this is very important.

I have a tendency to underbake these, and after taking them out of the oven let them sit on the cookie sheet for awhile to set. (if you alternate two cookie sheets you can let one set up while another is baking in the oven). This will ensure your cookies have a chewy, brownie-like consistency.

Don't forget to ENJOY!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day!

To all you lads and lasses trying to find that perfect gift for your sweetie, look no further! A nice warm home-baked loaf of banana bread is the way to go! Well, normally I would say something chocolate like my chocolate cake with raspberry mascarpone filling, but that recipe will have to come later. Today's recipe is for my very special banana bread, with an optional topping:

Famous Banana bread:
Ingredients :

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
3 1/2 bananas, very VERY ripe, mashed (i use my potato masher)
2 tablespoons sour cream (can also use creme fraiche)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup walnuts or pecans, toasted and chopped
(I usually use Pecans, which don't necessarily have to be toasted. These can be added into the batter or Tossed with a few TBS. of brown sugar and a few shakes of cinnamon to make a wonderful topping)

Set oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour the sides of a loaf pan.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Beat sugar and eggs with a whisk until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes (or with kitchen-aid/mixer for 5-8 min). Drizzle in oil. Add mashed bananas, sour cream, and vanilla. Fold in dry ingredients and nuts (if mixing in). Pour into a lined loaf pan (if making topping add now) and bake for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Total Time: 
1hr 20 min
20 min

1 loaf

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Pineapple Magic Cake?

 Fluffy cloud cake batter:
The Cake:
This is my first Pinterest Recipe, and I would also like to note that I have never attempted to make angel food cake from box or scratch before...
With very non-specific recipe directions from Pinterest and what seemed like oddly specific box directions on the cake mix, I set out on my magic cake journey.

1 Box Angel food cake mix
1 20oz can of Crushed pineapple in its own juice
Mix (this was pretty magical and looked like a bowl of clouds)
Bake @350 for 30 min in 9X13 (Here is where it probably would have been better to just follow the box directions) #1: DO NOT GREASE THE PAN
                #2: Use an angel-food cake pan so that when it's done baking you can turn it upside down so that your cake will not fall. (mine fell in the middle)

Taste test: Tasted like pineapple-angel food cake. Not really magical, but it was a sweet treat that is low in fat. (I guess this is a weight watchers recipe and even has a cool-whip/pudding frosting if you look for it online)
All in all not a bad first test for something from Pinterest.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Cherry pie Cake

Not the greatest Picture but, hey, you gotta start somewhere! Chocolate Covered Cherry Cake. It's moist, delicious, and easy to double for a large party or group. I have made this for Wine parties (paired with a nice chocolate cherry wine), baby showers, birthday parties, and more. It is always a big hit! This pic. is two 9X13 cakes together to make one SuperCAKE!

Original recipe can be found on food network's website: The one that follows is with my additions and alterations.

Preheat oven: 350 degrees.
1 box Devil's food cake mix with pudding
1 can 21oz, cherry pie filling
2 large eggs
1 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla

Chocolate glaze/Topping:
1 package chocolate chips, semisweet or darkchocolate
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 Tbs. Butter

1 can 30oz cherry pie filling

Oil/butter and flour a 9X13 inch pan and set aside. Mix Cake mix, 21oz cherry pie filling, eggs, almond, and vanilla extract in mixing bowl. Blend on low speed for 1min, scrape down bowl, then beat on medium speed for an additional 2 min. Batter will be thick. Pour into pan and smooth out. Bake for 30 to 35 min or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Cool cake for at least 20 to 30 min. 

For glaze: in small saucepan or double boiler over low heat. Warm cream and chocolate until melted. Remove from heat and add butter. Stir until incorporated. Pour over cake. Spread to corners. Let cool/set for 10 to 20 mins. Top with 30oz can of cherry pie filling and serve.

Prep: 7min
Cook: 35 min
20 servings

Can be stored at room temp for 5 days, and in refrigerator for a week.

and most of all, ENJOY!!!