Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Pancake, a lovely invention.

I don't know who came up with this concept but they get an "at-a-boy" in my book. That person must have liked cake as much as me and decided they needed to be able to eat it first thing in the morning without looking like a complete glutton so they made a socially acceptable "cake" to serve at breakfast. The basic pancake is simple (I use Bisquick's Heart Smart recipe) but the variations are as limitless as your imagination. The pancakes in the picture above are lemon-blueberry but you can do anything you want to these babies. And the nice thing about them is that a 4 inch pancake is only one point on Weight Watcher's (very low for those of you who don't follow)! When I crave a baked good but don't want to spend a lot of calories on it I'll warm one of these up in the microwave and enjoy it with a cup of coffee. Most of the time it does the trick and keeps me on track with my diet (unlike that sinful banana bread I posted below!).

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Bananas at their best

Fall is just around the corner and the mere thought of it gets my baking juices flowing! I love the thought of (hopefully) cooler weather moving in soon, the heat and humidity of Florida are really getting to me lately. Baking is my favorite thing to do when there is a bite in the air. There is something about coming into a warm cozy house that smells sweet with baked goods, it just seems like things are as they should be.

My freezer is always stocked up with overripe bananas and every time my husband opens the door one or two of them inevitably fall out and I'll hear, "Are you saving these for a reason?" Well, here is the reason, absolutely delicious banana bread! With some help from my little assistant, I baked this simply scrumptious quick bread with ingredients I had in my pantry already.

My daughter is a great little helper and enjoys baking and cooking with me. I love that I can create memories with her like this. I still remember helping my grandma in the kitchen when I was little, making her rustic rice pudding (I'm still trying to figure out her recipe for that one.)

The recipe for this bread, however, is simple and you won't have to figure it out on your own. I found it at . I really wanted to test the recipe so I made it exactly as shown and it was delicious. So moist and sweet, I had to try a couple of pieces before I wrapped it up and put it away.....then took it out again and had some more. The addition of nuts, chocolate chips or blueberries would be a nice compliment. Try it out.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

You put your chocolate in my peanut butter!

Remember the old commercial for one of our favorite candies? There is only one way to improve on the awesome taste of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.....use them when making a peanut butter cheesecake!

We were having some friends over for dinner this week and thought I'd make something special for dessert so I invested the time and money into baking up a fabulous cheesecake. After eating some spectacular BBQ my husband made for us (he is quite the grill master!) we sat down to some coffee and dessert. Our guests loved the cheesecake and I have to say, it was pretty good.....but pretty good isn't good enough for me. There were a couple of things I wasn't impressed with. The first one was my fault. I didn't have time to let it set completely in the refrigerator so the consistency wasn't right. I have to admit, I was ready to chuck the recipe but when I dug into it the next day it was perfect.....lesson learned. But there were other things that I thought might help the dessert reach a level it had never known before.

Following the recipe to a tee, the cheesecake looked good but.....

Adding a finishing touch......little bit better, but still, how could I make this great?

The more I thought about it I came to the conclusion that it definitely needed more than the 1 cup of candy (what the recipe called for). I don't know about you, but I want a piece of candy in EVERY bite! Then, being the chocolate lover that I am, I imagined a layer of chocolate ganache over the top instead of the sour cream and peanut butter layer that is actually on it. Some might like the bite the sour cream gives, it cuts the richness of the cheesecake a little bit so I get why it's on there, but for me and my kids it was a bit too sour.

This is me sneaking up on it from behind, that peice is history!

Let me know if any of you try out this recipe with the changes I've suggested!

Recipe for Peanut Butter Cheesecake

2 cups cream-filled peanut butter sandwich cookie crumbs

1/4 cup butter, melted

mix the two together and pat into a 10" springform pan that has been lightly greased. Pat crumbs on bottom and 1" up the sides. Bake at 350 for 8 minutes.


5 (8 ounce) packages of cream cheese, softened

1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter

3 large eggs

1 cup chopped peanut butter cup candies

2 teaspoons vanilla

Beat cream cheese at medium speed until fluffy; gradually add brown sugar, beating well. Add peanut butter, beating well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating afer each addition. Stir in chopped candy and vanilla. Pour into prepared pan. Bake at 350 for 40 to 45 minutes or until barely set.

(note: barely set for a cheesecake means when you jiggle the pan the cake jiggles too but is not liquid)

Sour Cream topping:

1 (16 ounce) carton sour cream

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

1/4 cup sugar (white)

Combine cour cream, peanut butter and sugar, stirring until sugar dissolves. Spread sour cream mixture over warm cheesecake. Bake at 500 for 5 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack. Cover and chill 8 hours. Remove sides of pan before serving.

Recipe courtesy of Barnie's Coffee and Tea Company's "The Coffee and Tea Lover's Cookbook"

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


I love looking at food blogs. I can spend hours it seems looking through the enormous world of cupcakes, cakes, famous chefs and so on. The pictures of these masterful creations is like a magnet that draws me in and inspires me to try new recipes. This all seems like a complete waste of my time since I have a house, two kids and a husband to take care of so I thought about it, how can I justify my obsession with food? I've got it! I'll start blogging about food! Not just what I make in my own kitchen but I have friends who love to whip up beautiful things also, maybe I'll throw some of their stuff in the blog too? It'll be fun!

So here it is, the beginning of my blog. Hang in there readers, I'm a rookie when it comes to writing for entertainment purposes so I will do my best to make this a fun and informative site. I have been cooking and baking for some time now and my friends and family seem to enjoy the food I feed them so I'm hoping to share some great recipes that I have found with you so you too can please those palettes!

New post and pictures to be coming soon!