Thursday, April 8, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me!

Oh cake, how do I love thee, let me count the ways...
I love this cake not because it's beautiful or fancy or so decadent that you'll feel like you just died from an overdose of chocolate (no, there isn't any chocolate in it and yes, I still love it!)

No, I love this cake because it's honest and simple.
It's made in a 13x9 pan (nothing impressive there). The base is a yellow cake mix from a box (try to control yourselves). The topping is whipped cream, not fancy ganache or marvelous butter cream. What is special about it then? There are flavors of vanilla, pineapple and coconut. The texture is light, airy and moist. I wanted this to be my birthday cake because it reminds me of summer and after a long, cold winter it was a welcome taste of the tropics. Like that old commercial, "When I bite into a York Peppermint Patty I get the sensation of..." Well, when I taste this cake I literally could close my eyes and picture the clear aqua-green water of the Caribbean, the white sandy shore lined with palm trees and a hammock just waiting for me.

Is it wrong that food evokes such feelings in me?

So long winter!

Here's the recipe from the queen of southern cooking, Paula Deen!
P.S. If the name bothers you than call it whatever you want, I do.
My husband calls it "Highly Overrated Cake", hilarious!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Healthy, Happy Snacking!

So, does this look like it could be even remotely healthy? No you say? How about if you knew it was made with whole wheat flour, applesauce, only 3/4 cup of sugar and NO butter? OK, you're thinking, maybe it's healthy but how does it taste? Well, I put it to the ultimate test, I set it down in front of my kids. They gobbled it down and wanted more, even without the glaze on top! If that doesn't convince you that healthy and delicious can go hand in hand then you'll just have to try it out yourself! The best thing about this bread? When made without the options and cut into 16 servings it's only 2 WW points per serving! Seriously! So what are you waiting for? Ditch the high calorie muffins and breads and give this a try, your waistline will thank you!

Healthy Banana Bread

4-5 Ripe Bananas (mashed)
3/4 cup applesauce
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup white all purpose flour (you can use all whole wheat flour if you'd like, tastes just as good)
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp cinnamon

Options (which obviously raise the calorie content but just by a little)
chocolate chips
chopped walnuts
cinnamon glaze (recipe below)

Heat your oven to 350 and prepare a bundt pan (spay with non-stick spray)

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Mix bananas with applesauce and set aside. Beat sugar and eggs on medium-high with a mixer until creamy then add in banana-applesauce mixture and combine. Turn off mixer and fold in the dry ingredients just until blended. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 35-40 min. Bread will be done when top springs back. Cool in pan on wire rack for 5 min then remove from pan and cool completely.

Cinnamon Glaze (amounts are approximated since I really didn't measure them when I made it)

1 cup of confectioners sugar
2 Tbsp milk (or more for desired consistancy)
1/2 tsp of cinnamon

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sweet Side

I know this isn't technically "baking" but this coleslaw is so sweet it belongs on a blog called "Sweet Rewards". Now, I am not a big fan of coleslaw in general. Every once in a while, when there is bar-B-Q around, I will have a little bit but I can say with certainty that I never crave the taste of it. Besides the taste, there are the calories, it's pretty high on the list of no-no's for dieters. HOWEVER...this tasty recipe from (photo provided by has changed all of that for me. First of all, it's sweet and secondly it's lower in calories comparatively. It's so simple, bring it to your next family get-together and even the complacent coleslaw customer will compliment your culinary capabilities!

1.5 cups of pre-shredded cabbage and carrots (found in your produce section by the bagged salads)
1/4 cup of pineapple tidbits
1/4 cup of honey roasted peanuts (chopped)
2 tbsp of low-fat vanilla yogurt
2 tbsp of light mayonnaise

mix yogurt and mayo together in a bowl, add the rest of the ingredients and mix until well coated. Keep refrigerated.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Making Whoopie


I thought it was an appropriate cookie for Valentine's Day.
You know, cuz it's red ;)

Another recipe from the fabulous Bakerella!
The Red Velvet Sandwich Cookie, sweet and easy.
There's just one question...

...what do I do with the left over cream cheese frosting?
I'll figure it out :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Sharing is Good...

...and I just think this blog needs to be shared with the world. I was checking out some of the blogs that were nominated for the "Bloggies" awards to see what was so special about them. Some of them were absolutely beautiful. The photos were professional grade and the writing was superb. It put mine to shame and I came to the conclusion that I will probably never have an award winning blog when compared to those. Seriously, it's like it is their full-time job to put these things together and the time and effort it takes to make something worth reading on a regular basis is more than I have available right now. So, while I was investigating the nominees I came upon a blog called "Cake Wrecks". I sat there and scrolled through the utter disasters that people called cakes and laughed so hard I cried. I mean, tears were rolling down my eyes and I thought, "This is a blog worth following!" Check it out, maybe you'll be glad you did. I must warn you, however, that sometimes things can get a little gross, like this post on foot cakes.....but still very funny :)

Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Classic, The Pound Cake

Had an itch to try something new this week, pound cake.
I wasn't sure why they called it "pound cake" so I did a little (very little) research and here it is,

your "fun fact" of the day:

It seems that the original recipe from the early 1700's used a pound of every ingredient
(butter, sugar, eggs and flour)
and not because you gain pounds for eating it.

Hope you feel as enlightened as I do :)

They turned out nicely and the recipe I used actually made 5 mini loaves so I gave some away to some friends. I noticed something though, the mini loaves get eaten faster.

Dense and moist with a buttery almond flavor, it's easy to see why they went so fast. The recipe was actually one from Better Homes and Gardens magazine for Vanilla Sparkling Wine Pound Cake but I substituted milk for wine because I didn't have any. I also like to take a recipe down to it's bare-bones to sort of test it so I was OK with leaving the wine out this time. The basic recipe was delicious and I'm interested to know what difference the wine will make.

Until next post, happy baking!

Monday, January 25, 2010

All Hail The Birthday Girl, The Maker of Wishes, The Opener of Presents...

And here is the Birthday Girl, I bet you couldn't tell that from the picture.
This is from her 3rd birthday. It's funny, every past picture you look at of your kids you say,

"They were so little back then!"

You can't help yourself, it just comes out!

So let me get to the point of this post...drum roll please!
Here is the princess crown birthday cake I made for her last year,

and when I say "I", of course I mean "my husband and I".
I saw it in the Family Fun Magazine and knew I had to do it for her. What I didn't know was the amount of work that it was going to take. They make it sound so easy, "just do this and that, use this and that...blah, blah, blah", and I admit, the concept is "easy", reality is a little different.

It's a simple, two layer cake from a box (don't judge me, I wanted to keep it as simple as possible) frosted with canned frosting, that was the easy part. Then you take a roll of sugar cookie dough and using a template from their website you cut out the pieces of the crown. Here is where I spent hours trying to get the perfect cookies. They spread and I had to re-cut the hearts out of the middle AGAIN and trim the sides so they would be straight. Some of them weren't hard enough to stand up, some ended up crumbling, I was getting frustrated. But eventually, after the help of my wonderful husband, I had enough cookies to finish the cake and I could calm down. It turned out cute but boy, was it a pain! At least we have some good pictures of it and more importantly, my daughter LOVED it.

And one more picture, I just had to throw it in, my husband Jason and my son.
Thanks honey, couldn't have done it without you!