Monday, August 13, 2012

Moist and Delicious Carrot Cake

Ok, it's been forever since I've posted, again. Too much work to do, no time to bake :( But for my brother's birthday, his first one home since retiring from the Navy, I had to make something special. So I shut the computer off and focused on making something memorable for his birthday. He requested carrot cake of all things! I haven't made carrot cake in ages. This recipe calls for so many heavy ingredients I was a bit worried when it came out of the oven without rising that much. But when I added the icing, it made all the difference. Plus all you needed was a small slice since it was so filling! Everyone raved over how rich and moist it was. This cake would be perfect for any occasion. Enjoy!

Moist and Delicious Carrot Cake


2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 large eggs (I used 1 egg and 1/2 cup Egg Beaters)
2 cups sugar (I used 1 3/4 cup)
3/4 cup vegetable oil (Iused 1/4 cup oil and 1/2 cup applesauce)
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups grated carrot
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
1 (3 1/2-ounce) can flaked coconut
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts


Line 3 (9-inch) round cakepans with wax paper; lightly grease and flour wax paper. Set pans aside.

Stir together first 4 ingredients.

Beat eggs and next 4 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add flour mixture, beating at low speed until blended. Fold in carrot and next 3 ingredients. Pour batter into prepared cakepans. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.


1/2 cup butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese
4 cups confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Beat softened butter and cream cheese until well blended.
Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat until creamy.

Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Spread Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake

"Love is like a good cake; you never know when it's coming, but you'd better eat it when it does!” ― C. JoyBell C.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day!

And thank you to everyone who has protected our freedom.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Easy Strawberry Tartlets

When summer started with a bang with those 90 degree days, there was no way I wanted to turn the oven on. Or even think about spending more time in the kitchen than I had to. So when I wanted something sweet, I made these tartlets up (there might be a recipe somewhere, but I'd like to think I'm this creative!). I used those mini Keebler graham cracker shells from the store and filled them with fresh strawberry goodness. Then I topped it with whipped cream. Easy, quick and so good!

Easy Strawberry Tartlets

1 package of mini Keebler (or any brand) graham cracker pie crusts
3 cups sliced and hulled strawberries
1/2 cup sugar
3 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon corn starch
pinch salt

Whipped cream

Mix strawberries, sugar, lemon juice and corn startch in a pot on medium heat. Stir constantly until mixture boils. Remove from heat and stir until thickened. Let cool for 10 to 15 minutes.

Spoon strawberry mixture into individual shells. Chill through. Top with whipped cream and serve.

"One must ask children and birds how cherries and strawberries taste."
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Monday, May 7, 2012

Awesome Southern Buttermilk Biscuits

I am trying my best to get in another few posts before the new Blogger interface starts and I have to spend a few months trying to figure out how to post again. Can you tell I'm not so good with computers? ;)

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you know I am always looking for that perfect biscuit. I've tried many recipes, but I think this one comes the closest to what I have been looking for. It's got those flaky layers, soft inside and crunchy outside. It rises nice and high and tastes wonderful. And it's quick to make, perfect when you are busy getting together the rest of the meal. The recipe comes from A reader posted it with very detailed instructions that I found very useful so I'll reprint it as she wrote it. I think you'll love these.

Southern Buttermilk Biscuits

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the board ( if you can get White Lily flour, your biscuits will be even better)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder (use one without aluminum)
1 teaspoon kosher salt or 1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, very cold
1 cup buttermilk (approx) (I make my own from 1 cup milk with 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice)

Preheat your oven to 450°F.

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, or in the bowl of a food processor. (I used the food processor- it turned out great)
Cut the butter into chunks and cut into the flour until it resembles course meal.
If using a food processor, just pulse a few times until this consistency is achieved.
Add the buttermilk and mix JUST until combined.
If it appears on the dry side, add a bit more buttermilk. It should be very wet.
Turn the dough out onto a floured board.
Gently, gently PAT (do NOT roll with a rolling pin) the dough out until it's about 1/2" thick. Fold the dough about 5 times, gently press the dough down to a 1 inch thick.
Use a round cutter to cut into rounds.
You can gently knead the scraps together and make a few more, but they will not be anywhere near as good as the first ones.
Place the biscuits on a cookie sheet- if you like soft sides, put them touching each other.

If you like"crusty" sides, put them about 1 inch apart- these will not rise as high as the biscuits put close together.
Bake for about 10-12 minutes- the biscuits will be a beautiful light golden brown on top and bottom.
Do not overbake.
Note: The key to real biscuits is not in the ingredients, but in the handling of the dough.
The dough must be handled as little as possible or you will have tough biscuits.
I have found that a food processor produces superior biscuits, because the ingredients stay colder and there's less chance of overmixing.
You also must pat the dough out with your hands, lightly.
Rolling with a rolling pin is a guaranteed way to overstimulate the gluten, resulting in a tougher biscuit.
Also, you can make these biscuits, cut them, put them on cookie sheets and freeze them for up to a month.
When you want fresh biscuits, simply place them frozen on the cookie sheet and bake at 450°F for about 20 minutes.

“I think the butter's slipped off your biscuit”- unknown

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Cowboy Cookies

I haven't been able to post lately because of Blogger's change over to the new format. I've been working for a few weeks just to figure it out. For some reason, it does not work with my system, even though my system is current and updated. I don't know if this post will look normal or not when I post. I hope so!

Cowboy cookies are some of my favorite kind. They are so versatile and because of that, you can make them any way you like, adding and taking out according to your preference. I love lots of different kinds of chips and often leave out the nuts because the kids don't like them. I also have tried adding less sugar just to see what happens. The cookie tastes great anyway and I get to eat less calories each cookie (which translates into more cookies for me :) ). This recipe is adapted from I hope you like these as much as I do.


1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup granulated sugar (or 3/4 cup)
1 cup packed light brown sugar (or 3/4 cup)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups quick cooking oats
2 cups semisweet chocolate chunks or chips
1 cup coarsely chopped peanuts or pecans (Optional)

Lightly grease a baking sheet or line with parchment or silicone mat. Heat oven to 350°. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and peanut butter with granulated and brown sugars until creamy. Beat in vanilla and eggs until smooth. Stir in the flour mixture, then stir in oats, chocolate chips, and peanuts or nuts. Drop cookie dough by teaspoonful onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Store cookies in a tightly covered container or food storage bag. Makes about 4 to 5 dozen cookies. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter to everyone!
Thank you Jesus for dying for us.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Old Fashioned Banana Cake

It feels good to sit down and actually post to my blog. It's been a long time. The past two months have been quite adventurous. I have been very busy with my new job which has picked up considerably since Christmas. I work on line as a mental health consultant so the work really has no boundaries. I can work 7 days a week, which I often do. But it is part time and shutting off the computer is always an option!

I also had a breast cancer scare, which thank God, turned out to be nothing. But as anyone who had been through it knows, the time between hearing the test results and knowing everything is ok can seem like a millenium. Right after I found out all was ok, I got sick with a cold virus that involved 4 weeks of constant coughing. After a round of anti biotics and much rest, I'm finally on the mend. Throw in stomach flu for the kids and the usual running around, and my poor blog was at the bottom of my to do list!

Well, if I've learned anything in the past few months it is to appreciate my health and the health of my family above all else. Until you lose it, you don't realize how precious it is.

Before all of this happened, I did have time to make a new recipe. I checked out Barefoot Contessa's cookbook "How Easy is That?" from the library and found this wonderful and easy recipe. Since I'm always looking for new ways to use up ripe bananas this really fit the bill. The cake was moist with a nice mixture of citrus and banana flavor and the cream cheese icing (yum!) adds a flavorful balance.

Old-Fashioned Banana Cake

3 very ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Grated zest of 1 orange
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (I used regular)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Cream cheese frosting (recipe follows)

Walnut halves, for decorating

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 x 2-inch round cake pan.

Mix bananas, granulated sugar and brown sugar in bowl with an electric mixer on low speed until combined. Add oil, eggs, sour cream. vanilla and orange zest. Mix until smooth.

Stir together flour, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl. With mixer on low, add dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Stir in chopped walnuts. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 15 minutes, turn out onto cooling rack and cool completely.

Spread frosting thickly on top of cake and decorate with walnut halves. Slice and serve.

Makes 8 servings.

Cream Cheese Frosting

6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar.

Mix cream cheese, butter and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment on low speed until just combined. Don't whip. Add sugar and mix until smooth.

“On a traffic light green means go and yellow means yield, but on a banana it's just the opposite. Green means hold on, yellow means go ahead, and red means where the hell did you get that banana at...”

-Mitch Hedberg

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Old Fashioned Coconut Cream Pie

I've always been a little hesitant to try making cream pies because I'm afraid to burn them. I have a great recipe for a chocolate cream pie, but it's all cold ingredients so there is no boiling involved. So when my husband requested his favorite coconut cream pie for his birthday, my first thought was I wonder which restaurants sell coconut cream pies? But since I couldn't find one that didn't charge an arm and a leg, I decided to jump in with both feet and make one. I couldn't have been more surprised at how easy this recipe was. I even used the microwave as one reviewer suggested and it worked like a charm. And to top it off, the pie was delicious. Coconut cream pie was never a favorite of mine but after tasting this pie, I've changed my mind!

Old Fashioned Coconut Cream Pie

1 1/2cups half-and-half

1 1/2 cups coconut milk
2 eggs
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup corn starch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup flaked coconut, toasted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (you can substitute coconut extract)
1 (9 inch) pie shell, baked
1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed

In a medium saucepan, combine half-and-half, eggs, sugar, corn starch and salt. Bring to a boil over low heat, stirring constantly (or put into microwave for 7 minutes stirring as needed) . Remove from heat (or microwave), and stir in 3/4 cup of the coconut and the vanilla extract. Pour into pie shell and chill 2 to 4 hours, or until firm.

Top with whipped topping, and with remaining 1/4 cup of coconut.

Note: To toast coconut, spread it in an ungreased pan and bake in a 350 degree F (175 degrees C) oven for 5 to 7 minutes, or until golden brown, stirring occasionally.

Adapted from All

"What? Ridden on a horse?

You're using coconuts!

You've got two empty halves of coconuts and you're banging them together!

-Monty Python

Friday, January 13, 2012

White Chocolate Peppermint Fudge

Every year at Christmas I try a new recipe just because I like the variety and to keep things interesting for the kids. If I don't do this, I would make the same recipes every year. My only criteria for the new recipe is that it is easy. I'm in way over my head during the holidays and making some new recipe with 20 steps isn't for me. This year, this recipe fit the bill. It was fun to make and it was delicious. Very few ingredients and it tasted like I worked all day. Now that it's after Christmas, I'm still thinking about this fudge. I'll be making it again very soon. Those left over candy canes will get used up too!

White Chocolate Peppermint Fudge

3 bags white chocolate chips
3 containers, 16 ounce Vanilla Frosting
1-½ teaspoon Peppermint Extract
12 drops Red Food Coloring
6 Candy Canes, Crushed

Line a jelly roll pan with wax paper or parchment paper. Leave some to hang over the sides to use as a handle. Set aside.

Melt white chocolate chips in a double boiler or in the microwave, stirring often. If you use the microwave, heat for 30 seconds at a time and stir. While the melted chocolate is still warm, quickly stir in the frosting before chocolate starts to set up. Add peppermint extract and mix well.

Evenly spread the mixture into the prepared pan, then drop food coloring over the top of the fudge. Swirl it with a knife to create a marbled effect. Add crushed candy canes and press lightly to adhere them.

Cool for 1 hour in the fridge.

Remove from the pan using the wax paper or parchment paper. Cut into squares.

"Every man dies. Not every man really lives."
-William Wallace