Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Lemon Ginger Molasses Cake

Ginger Lemon Cake

I'm in love with ginger and molasses and nutmeg and cinnamon. It's true. Those flavors just send me over the moon. There is just something so cozy and comforting to me about cakes and breads that include those ingredients.

I know gingerbread is a love it or hate it kind of flavor. I don't love it, I adore it. I miss it in the summer and springs months when it's just not as popular.

Once there is a chill in the air and the possibility of snow I'm all about making me some gingerbread or ginger cake for that matter.

I saw this on the Barefoot Contessa. I mean come on, Ina can do no wrong in my eyes and when she made this for her Thanksgiving special a few weeks back I knew I was going to make as soon as I saw in in the opening credits. The fact she added lemon to the gingerbread I already love.....heaven.

I know this is called a Lemon Ginger Molasses cake but it's gingerbread to me. Not too sweet, just enough zing, perfect with a big cup of coffee or tea.

I left out the crystallized ginger cause I didn't have any in the house and it came out just fine. I also just threw together some sweetened whipped cream to go on top. Making you own whipped cream is super easy. Start with some cold heavy whipping cream in a mixing bowl and just add a few tablespoons of confectioner's sugar until it's as sweet as you want it and then just whip it up until soft peaks form. So super easy!

Ginger Lemon Cake

This was the perfect little cake for a small dinner party I hosted.

Lemon Ginger Molasses Cake
Printable Recipe
Recipe from Ina Garten - original recipe from Sally Lee, the editor in chief of Ladies’ Home Journal.
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup unsulphured molasses
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest, plus extra for serving
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup whole milk
1/3 cup small-diced crystallized ginger, plus extra for serving * I did not use the crystallized ginger in my recipe
Whipped Cream, for serving

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8-inch-round baking pan, line with parchment paper, then grease and flour the pan.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula. Add the eggs, one at a time, the molasses and the 2 teaspoons lemon zest and mix until combined. (The batter may look curdled.)

Sift together the flour, ground ginger, baking soda and salt. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients, alternating with the milk, scraping down the sides. Mix until smooth. With a rubber spatula, fold in the 1/3 cup crystallized ginger.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick just comes out clean. Don’t overbake it! Cool in the pan for 30 minutes, turn out onto a baking rack, and cool completely. Spread the top with whipped cream and sprinkle with crystallized ginger and grated lemon zest.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Italian Ricotta Cookies

Ricotta cookies

Hello my lovelies! I am so very happy to tell you that I'm feeling so good for the first time in over 6 months that I just want to burst!

My taste buds have FINALLY returned! I was starting to get a bit depressed. Here I am, someone who loves to cook and bake and I can't taste a darn thing for over 6 months. It was brutal. About a month after my chemo ended the taste buds started to perk up again. 5 weeks in and they were 80% back, now I'm at about 95%, still having trouble with bread. Oh well, I can deal with that for awhile longer.

The one question that I got asked the most was:


I had a few answers to that one. Some of them might surprise you
1 - Sushi. You can't consume any kind of raw seafood when you are going through treatment, so of course, that's what I craved the most! I had Sushi last week and it was fabulous!!!

2 - A big giant salad loaded with everything I love. GREENS! I craved them and I couldn't eat them since my poor belly was so on the bum through my whole treatment.

3 - A salami grinder (that's Rhode Island talk for a sub sandwich) on crusty Italian bread. I'm not usually a lunch meat kinda girl, but I love salami and I dreamed about this kind of sandwich!

4 - Last - My Rustic Apple Tart with Maple Glaze. (recipe here) One of my absolute favorite desserts. I picked apples in September that I could not eat and could not bake with. Guess what I'm making two of this Thanksgiving? Oh yeah. I'm having myself a big ole piece or maybe two!

The very best news is that I'm back in my kitchen feeding the people I love. I have my energy back. My head is sprouting lots and lots of little hairs, my eyebrows and eyelashes are slowly growing in too. It's all coming together isn't it?

I had my surgery on November 16th and it went well. Next up is radiation but that will be a piece of cake compared to chemo!

I'm so glad to be doing the things I love, like sharing recipes with you guys. These Italian Ricotta Cookies are so good. Soft and delicious, they almost melt in your mouth. I just needed to make cookies. Something inside of me needed to roll deliciousness in my hands again.

Thank you all again for your continues support. I may not have millions of followers like the bigger bloggers, but I have you all and that's perfectly enough for me. I am so thankful for you all.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving! Appreciate the life
you have been given and enjoy!!!

Ricotta cookie 1s

Ricotta Cookies
recipe from Love Bakes Good Cakes
Printable Recipe
2 stick (½ pound) butter, softened
1¾ cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 container (15 oz.) ricotta cheese
2 tbsp. vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda

For the glaze:
4-5 tbsp. milk
1½ cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, ricotta cheese, and vanilla extract; mix until well combined. In a separate medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Add the flour mixture to the ricotta mixture; mix well. Roll or scoop the dough into teaspoon-sized balls. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet about 2-inches apart.

Bake 10 - 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

In a medium bowl, beat the milk, powdered sugar, and almond extract until smooth. Dip the tops of the cookies into the glaze and set upright back on the wire rack. Immediately top with sprinkles. Repeat for remaining cookies.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

I'm back!!! "Cream of ___" Substitue (SOS - Soup or Sauce Mix) Substitute Mix.

Soup Sauce Mix

Hello, hello, hello!!

I know it's been quite some time since I've been back on the blog. It's been a crazy 4 months but I'm happy to report that I had my last chemo treatment on October 15th and my tumor is GONE!! Non deductible even, so that is very good news!

I won't candy coat anything and say it wasn't easy. These months were hard. My body was pushed to it's limit mentally and physically. I tried to remain positive through it all but I had my days when I cried in the car all the way home, or I screamed in frustration at the top of my lungs. I had blurred vision, numbness in my toes and fingers, I lost my hair, eyebrows and eyelashes, I lost over 25 pounds, my taste buds are gone (but hopefully slowly coming back!) I haven't eaten a piece of fruit or had a vegetable since June! I've have muscle and bone aches and my stomach is an absolute wreck, but I made it through. I always knew I would. It was the getting through that was the hard part.

Those 18 treatments seemed like a life time, but they weren't. It was just temporary and I kept telling myself that so here I am - FINISHED WITH CHEMO! It's such a great feeling. I have a lumpectomy in a few weeks and then a month of radiation ahead of me, but I can handle it. I'm looking forward to getting back in the kitchen, spending time with my friends and family and just having life return to normal.

I can't thank you all enough for your outpouring of love and concern. I received emails that left me in a puddle of tears. So many of you reached out to ask me how I was, or tell me how you missed me, or asked how I was doing. I missed you all too! I miss being in the kitchen. I miss feeding people. I can't wait to share some new recipes with you all.

I spent a lot of time on the couch reading magazines, looking on Pinterest and bookmarking recipes that I'd make when I felt better so I have an arsenal of recipes that I want to try and share with you all.

The first one is this "cream of" substitute. You know, the cream of mushroom, cream of celery, cream of chicken that we so often use in recipes cause it's quick and easy. Well I started to really think about all the foods that I put in my body. How the preservatives in these food affect my general health. I asked myself time and time again...."how did I get breast cancer?". I didn't have a family history. I started to think about what I ate and what could possibly be bad for me including the products that I put on my body as well as in it. So I'm starting off small and trying to substitute some of the convenience items that I use for a healthier options.

One of the first things that popped into my mind was these "cream of soups" that I admit, I used on occasion. I googled and found quite a few recipes out there, I tweaked them and came up with my own version. I can pronounce everything in the mix, and I know what I'm putting into my body.

This recipe makes the equivalent of 9 (10.5oz) cans of cream soup! It's economical! It's gluten free and fat free!

Want to make it cream of mushroom - add some chopped mushrooms for cream of mushroom soup, a little celery or celery salt for cream of celery, a little beef broth, you get the picture.

Soup Sauce Mix 1

SOS Mix (Soup or Sauce Mix)

2 cups powdered non-fat dry milk
1/4 cup instant chicken bouillon*
3/4 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoon dried onion flakes
2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning

Combine all the ingredients and store in a glass container or Mason jar. When you are ready to use combine 1/3 cup of the dry mix with 1 ¼ cups of liquid. This can be water, chicken broth, veggie broth, etc. Whisk until blended. Cook on stovetop in a small saucepan until thickened.

*10-12 bouillon cubes crushed makes about 1/4 cup, crushed. I put the cubes in a zip lock bag, banged the heck out of them and ran them over with a rolling pin.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Everyday Orzo - my go-to side dish and an update

Everyday Orzo 1
Hi everyone!

I've missed you. I've missed this little corner of my world.

I've missed being in the kitchen. I miss cooking for all my friends. I've missed baking and eating! Yes, I miss eating the foods I love most of all!

I wanted to give you all an update. I'm did my 6th round of chemo this week. Halfway there!! I have 12 total. After chemo is done I'll be having a lumpectomy and then radiation. I've got a long road ahead of me, but I'm going to make it through, and that's all that matters to me.

I've been doing pretty good with chemo. I'm extremely lethargic. I'm napping most days out of necessity. I just can't keep my eyes open. I'm having some stomach issues and I have lost all taste in food, which for a foodie like me is not so great, but again, I'm dealing with it. I'm eating a very bland and boring diet. When you can't taste your food, you lose all interest in it. I eat when my stomach growls or when I know I really should eat something. I've been losing about 2 -3 pounds a week and normally that would be a YAHOO moment, but right now....not so much. My nutritionist would like me to drink some Ensures so I'm getting the vitamins and nutrients I need, so Ensure it is. Yuck!

The hair.....for those of you who know me, I have a lot of hair. I have big, thick, curly blonde hair. Well, I should say HAD, I DID have big, thick, curly blonde hair. My hair started to thin after chemo #4. I was shedding like a husky on a hot summer day. I made the decision to cut it short. I was starting to look like I had a mullet, so I went with a short haircut. Over the last week or so it really started to come out, so I finally started wearing my head coverings. I thought I would be much more upset about it, but I'm really not. It's only hair. It will grow back. I'm going to LIVE and that is so much more important then the hair on my head. I just might rock the bald look.

I'm being treated at Women & Infants Breast Health Center in Providence. I have amazing chemo nurses and doctors. I cannot say enough good things the folks there. I have been pampered and loved on by all my amazing friends and family, I have my good friend Eva as my chemo buddy. She takes me to most of my chemos and we color in those wonderful intricate coloring books to pass the time. I'm reading books I have been meaning to read forever and I'm pinning recipes that I want to try once my taste buds are back. As I said before. Life is still amazing and wonderful and I'm so very happy to be here.

I want to thank all of you that reached out to me since my last posts. I was flooded with good wishes and lovely thoughts. It's one of the hardest things I've ever had to go through, but this time really has held some of the best moments too. People are kind, and sweet and filled with kindness. I thank each and every one of you who reached out to be.

Now I'm happy to say.....on to some food!

I'm revisiting this dish. I originally posted it back in 2010. I felt like there might be lots of followers who didn't get a change to make this wonderful side so I had to remedy that, plus it gave me an excuse to make it again!

Most home cooks I know have a favorite side dish that they make over and over again.

This one is mine.

I fell in LOVE with this dish 5 years ago and I've been making it ever since.

I haven't eaten very much pasta over the past year and half, but this is the one dish that I'll make an exception for and indulge.

What makes it even better is.....it's so easy to make!

I tweaked it just a very little bit from the original recipe. The two things you must do to make this recipe turn out perfect are as follows:

1) DO NOT SUBSTITUTE THE CHEESE! The Gruyere makes this dish. If you want to use another cheese, choose another recipe. I'm so serious about this.

2) One you remove that pan from the burner, DO NOT LIFT THAT LID! Patience. It's only 25 minutes. You can do it!

Everyday Orzo2

Everyday Orzo
adapted from a recipe at the Junior League of Seattle.
4 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, chopped fine (I used a combination of onion & shallots)
3 medium cloves garlic, minced
2-1/2 cups chicken stock
1 pound orzo pasta, uncooked
3/4 cup Gruyere cheese, shredded (DO NOT SUBSTITUTE!)
2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion and cook until soft but not browned, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook 2 minutes more. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat chicken stock just until it begins to boil.

Add orzo to onion and garlic in skillet. Stir in hot chicken stock, bring to a boil, cover and remove from heat. Let stand, without removing cover, until all liquid is absorbed, about 25 minutes. DO NOT LIFT THAT LID! Stir in cheese until melted. (If your cheese doesn't melt right away, just heat up the orzo over low flame a bit to get it to melt quicker); add chives and season with salt and pepper. Orzo will have a creamy consistency. Serve hot.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Why I haven't been around much.....

Some of you may have noticed that I haven’t been around for a bit. Well, I had a bit of a health crisis. On May 5th I felt a lump in my left breast. I cannot begin to tell you what that moment felt like. I was standing in front of the bathroom mirror, feeling it over and over again. I have a lump in my breast. This is really happening. I was a little terrified; I’m not going to lie. I immediately told John. “it could be nothing” he said. “It could be something” I said.

So Thursday I went to my primary care doc. She did a breast exam and didn’t seem overly concerned about it. Yes it’s a lump, but it was soft and movable. Good signs she told me but I needed to go get a diagnostic mammogram immediately. So off I went on Thursday. I had the mammogram, was asked to take a seat while the radiologist looked at it and them. She came back about 5 minutes later and said that they would need a few more scans. After a few more scans I headed to the radiologist and had an ultrasound. She informed me that the doc would be in to look for herself. So I laid there for what seemed like an eternity looking up at the beach scene that was painted on one of the overhead tiles in the ceiling and I tried to stop myself from crying, but it didn’t work. A few minutes later the doctor came in and she told me that they found a mass and it wasn’t a cyst. I would have to come back for a biopsy to determine if it was indeed cancerous. My doctor called me as I was leaving the hospital. “How are you?” she asked. “Well, I’m kind of freaking out a bit” I told her. She’s a straight shooter my doc. I admire that quality in her. She told me “Look, I want you to know that the radiologist said that she is concerned that it is a cancerous lump”. I sat on the bench outside of the hospital shaking. I don’t even remember the ride home. The next morning I was back for my core biopsy. I was told I would get the results in 3 – 5 days and was sent home to ice the incision for the rest of the day.

3 – 5 days of waiting. Let me tell you. Those were 5 of the worst days of my life. Waiting and waiting for results. I wasn’t eating, I wasn’t sleeping. My mind never stopped. The “what-if’s” were never ending. The mental torture that I was putting myself through was unbearable. I cried and cried, uncontrollably at times. I tried to keep busy. John and I worked in the yard every night after work until it was dark. My main goal was to keep myself occupied because once I stopped and started to think about how my life could change with these results, I just lost it. I was never more nervous. I didn’t tell my parents. I didn’t want them to worry. Keeping all this a secret from my mom was so hard.

Sunday night I got the call from my doctor. The results had come in on Saturday. She didn’t expect them so soon. She told me it was breast cancer, but the good news was the tumor was smaller than they thought. I will probably need a lumpectomy and they will look at my lymph nodes and we will take it from there but she was very positive about it. One step at a time. She said “with your attitude I have no doubt that you will come out of this entire thing ok”. So that is where it stands right now. I don’t know if I’ll be blogging very much. Can’t say what I am going to do right now. I haven’t cooked in a week! The worst part of all this was the worrying and waiting. It was pure torture. Knowing WHAT I have to deal with is so much easier than not knowing. I can deal with this. I can beat this. I am very confident. I know that I have a tough road ahead, but I also know I can handle it.

Thank you to my amazing husband who always stands by my side. He has been my rock through all this. I wish every woman facing this kind of a crisis could have the same kind of support he has given me.

I would like to mention one last thing. To every woman out there who has put off their yearly appointment at the doctors, who has skipped their yearly mammogram, who thinks “it will never happen to me”, please, please, please I beg of you, get a checkup, do your monthly breast checks, have your yearly pap smears. It can happen to you and early detection can save your life.

My heart is still full of love, more so than ever now. I have an incredible family and loving friends who are always in my corner. Life is still beautiful, maybe even a little bit more so now than ever.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Baked Scrambled Eggs

Most of you know that I am a breakfast person. I'll give up lunch any day of the week if it means I can stuff myself silly for breakfast. Even though I don't particularly care for waffles or pancakes, I'm in love with just about every other breakfast food there is, so finding this recipe for Baked Scrambled Eggs made me so happy.

I was searching out brunch recipes for Mother's Day. I looked into taking my Mom out for brunch, but when I saw the prices...forgetaboutit! $32 a person! No thank you. I can do brunch much more economically and I'm pretty sure, much more delicious.

So on the Mother's Day Brunch Menu will be my most favorite breakfast casserole of all time....my Blueberry Croissant Breakfast Bake. You can find the recipe here.

Blueberry Croissant Puff

Also on the menu is my Three Cheese Breakfast Bake. Recipe here. It's hearty and cheesy and full of everything we love about breakfast!

A co-worker had told me that she made Baked Scrambled Eggs for her Easter brunch and that everyone went crazy for them, so I thought I'd give the recipe a whirl.

3 Cheese Breakfast Bake 1

WOW! I tried it and I loved it! The eggs came out so soft and fluffy. Could you make scrambled eggs in a fraction of the time on the stove top? Sure, but I love the convenience of having the stove free to cook other things while the eggs are baking in the oven. If you have a large crowd to feed, or a bunch of hungry teenagers, this is a terrific recipe.

All the recipes I found were double this amount! I halved it for us. You can certainty double it if you like. If you like to throw in some cheese, or cooked veggies at the half way point, feel free to do so!

Baked Scrambled Eggs
12 eggs
1 ¼ cups milk
4 tablespoons butter
Pinch salt and pepper.

Heat oven to 350. Place the butter in the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Let the butter melt while you prepare the eggs. Whisk together the remaining ingredients. Remove pan from oven and add egg mixture. Bake for 10 minutes then remove and stir well. You want to break the eggs up. Place back in the oven for another 10 minutes, remove and stir again. My eggs were done at this point, but yours might take a few more minutes. I would check on them every 3 minutes or so at that point. You don’t want to over bake them. If you pull them out at the right time they will be nice and fluffy.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Cheesy Smoked Sausage and Veggie Bake

cheesy smoked sausage bake 3 2

First off let me say that my absence from the blog was due to some minor hand surgery that I had done. I couldn't cook or clean for over a week! It was torture! I also couldn't do dishes.....that was NOT torture! But I'm back and I've got a delicious recipe made with Hillshire Farms Smoked Sausage.

There are not many brands that I love enough to promote, but this brand is one the whole family loves. Hillshire Farms Smoked Sausage is a favorite in this household. I love it because it's quick and easy to prepare for dinner. I mean how many times can you have pasta or chicken for dinner?

My husband would eat it 5 times a week! I love all the different ways it can be used. It's not just for supper. Smoked Sausage for breakfast is also a great idea. If you need more inspiration, head on over to Hillshire Farms for more delicious recipes.

Hillshire Farm smoked sausage is crafted to be better. The experts have perfected the pre-seasoning of the smoked sausage over the last 75 years and let me tell you, it's a winner! Plus it's so much cleaner and easier to work with than chicken. I love me some chicken but there are nights when I'd much rather just slice or dice up some smoked sausage and be done with it!

Hillshire Farms asked me to create an original recipe from them so I came up with this Cheesy Smoked Sausage and Veggie Bake.

It's loaded with veggies (and some cheesy goodness too). So easy to throw together and pop in the oven. You can even make it the night before and just heat it up when you get home!

cheesy smoked sausage bake 2

Cheesy Smoked Sausage & Veggie Bake
recipe from Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion (or 1 large leek, light green and white parts only) finely chopped
8oz baby bella mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 pound Hillshire Farms Smoked Sausage, diced
1 - 16oz package frozen cauliflower, thawed
1- 16oz package frozen chopped broccoli, thawed

Cheese Sauce
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 ½ cups milk
1 ½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
½ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded.
Salt and pepper to taste
Paprika for sprinkling on top

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking pan. Set aside.

In a large skillet heat oil and add the chopped onion or leeks and sliced mushrooms. Cook for approximately 5 minutes or until the onions and mushrooms becomes softened. Add in the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add in the diced smoked sausage. Toss to combine. Transfer to a large bowl so it can cool for a bit while you make the cheese sauce.

To make the sauce
In a medium saucepan melt the butter. Once the butter has melted, whisk in the flour. Once the flour hits the melted butter it is going to clump so it is important to keep whisking so that you make a nice smooth paste or roux. Cook the paste for about a minute to eliminate the raw flour taste but don't let it start to brown. Add the milk in a little at a time and stir until slightly thickened. Remove from heat, add salt and pepper and stir until well blended. Pour over the smoked sausage and veggie mixture, folding in gently making sure the sauce covers all the mixture. Add in the cheddar cheese and place into baking dish. Sprinkle the top with the mozzarella cheese and top with paprika if you’d like. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown.

I'm required to disclose a relationship between our site and Hillshire. This could include Hillshire providing us w/content, product, access or other forms of payment.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Bust Your Buttons Butter Pound Cake

Berry season is almost here. I can't wait until I can pick fresh strawberries and blueberries again, until then I rely on the supermarket berries grown on the west coast. They will just have to do for now. I don't even bother buying them in the winter. Winter berries in Rhode Island taste like nothing. I rely on what I have in the freezer during the winter.

Since deep red juicy berries started showing up in the markets again, I bought my first few pounds. I knew I needed a great pound cake recipe to go with them. I relied on my Pinterest pages and found this one called Bust Your Buttons Butter Cake. I read through it and it sounded like the perfect cake to pair with berries. There is a lot of butter in this recipe, almost 3/4 of a pound. Butter makes cake better, so you know this is a good one.

It has really great almond flavor too and that name.....you will want to bust your buttons when you start eating this!

I served it with fresh whipped cream and strawberries. Perfect!

Bust Your Buttons Butter Cake
original recipe from Just a Pinch
3 cups cake flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon real almond extract
4 eggs, room temperature

1/3 cup butter (about 5 ¼ tablespoons)
3/4 cups granulated sugar (white sugar, not powdered)
3 tablespoons water
1 ½ Tablespoons vanilla extract

In a stand mixer bowl combine the cake flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda and mix to combine. Add the buttermilk, butter, vanilla and almond extract and eggs. Mix just until ingredients are combined. Do not overmix.


Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour to 1 1/4 hours or until cake tester comes out clean. Do not over bake! Ovens vary so start testing yours around the 50 minute mark.

Combine all the ingredients, except vanilla, in a sauce pan. Bring to a slow boil over medium heat. Stir in vanilla, set aside to slightly cool. Pierce the cake with the tines of a fork or a bamboo skewer while it’s still in the pan. Pour half the glaze slowly over the cake.

Cool in the pan for 15 min. then flip out onto a cake plate. Pour the remaining sauce over the cake. I found that the glaze gets gooey at the bottom so after it set completely; I moved the whole cake to another plate. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Swiss Roll Cake with Oreo Cream Cheese Filling

What is wrong with me? Why would I make this cake when I'm watching my sugar?

It was a cruel, cruel thing I did to myself. I mean come on! Look at this cake. Really. It's two boxes of Swiss rolls cut into 144 slices, yes I did the math, pressed into a spring form pan and filled with a cream cheese/whipped cream/Oreo filling. Oh. My. Lord.

My youngest with the very active sweet tooth saw this and it was all over. "Mom you have to make this" is what I heard over and over again until I made it.

I'm not, or never really was into the whole Little Debbie thing, but I did love the Swiss Rolls. I liked to peel off the chocolate and then eat the cakey center. That was just my thing.

This was super easy to throw together and look at it, it looks pretty damn impressive.

Oh how I wanted to have a slice but I resisted. I have some willpower huh?

You will lose some of the chocolate as you cut the Swiss Roll into pieces. Just gather them up and throw them back into the pan. It fills in all the little spaces.

Swiss Roll Cake with Oreo Cream Cheese Filling
Adapted from a recipe at Confessions of a Cookbook Queen
24 Swiss Roll cakes (2 small boxes), unwrapped and cut into 6 slices each
8 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream, cold
16 Oreos, crushed

Line a 9 inch spring form pan with plastic wrap. Set aside.

Place a metal mixing bowl and your mixer whisk attachment in the freezer or fridge.

In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar with your hand mixer, on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Set aside.

Remove chilled bowl and whisk attachment from freezer or fridge. Pour heavy cream in bowl and beat with the chilled whisk attachment with the mixer on high speed , until a stiff whipped cream forms. Working with 1/3 of the whipped cream at a time, gently fold into the cream cheese mixture until smooth and blended. Once all the whipped cream has been added and the filling is smooth, fold in cookie pieces until combined.

I cut each Swiss roll into 6 pieces. Line bottom and sides of spring form pan with Swiss Roll slices. Gather up any loose chocolate and put it back into the pan. Spoon filling into the pan and spread evenly. Top with remaining Swiss Roll slices to cover. Remember, your bottom will become your top so if there are some spaces left on the top it’s ok. Cover pan with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. To serve, turn pan out onto a cake plate and remove pan and wrap.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Sour Cream & Onion Deviled Eggs

We love deviled eggs. When I saw we, I mean my husband and I. My boys, not so much. I find it hard to fathom since they are one of my most favorite appetizers.

For over 10 years I've stuck to my old try and true recipe and my Deviled Egg Spread (what better way to use up all those boiled Easter eggs right?)

I saw a recipe for Sour Cream and Onion Dip Deviled Eggs on A Spicy Perspective and thought I'd give it a whirl with a few additions of my own thrown in.

So I bring you Sour Cream and Onion Deviled Eggs. My version.

Creamy, oniony and satisfyingly delicious!

There's a new deviled egg in town!

Sour Cream & Onion Deviled Eggs
adapted from a recipe at A Spicy Perspective.
12 extra-large hard boiled eggs
4 large shallots, finely chopped (or 1 small onion)
1/2 cup thick sour cream
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard.
2 green onions, white and light green parts only, finely chopped
salt & pepper to taste.

Drain the sour cream  in a sieve over a bowl using a coffee filter or a piece of paper towel. Let drain for about an hour. You should see some liquid drain out.

Peel the hard boiled eggs, cut them in half and place the yolks in a food processor.
Place a skillet over medium heat. Drizzle in some olive oil and add the chopped shallots. Saute for 3-5 minutes until soft and golden. Set aside.

Drain (or strain) the sour cream so it is as thick as possible. Place it in the food processor along with the sautéed onions. Puree until totally smooth. Remove mixture to a bowl and stir in the vinegar mustard and chopped green onions. Salt and pepper to taste. You might want to add more vinegar at this point. I like my deviled eggs a little tangy. If you do too, add in a splash more.

Fill the centers of each egg white and garnish with a little more of the chopped green onion. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bundt Cake

Chocolate Bundt with Peanut Butter

My youngest is a peanut butter fiend.

I buy the big jars at my local BJ's Wholesale club and I'm telling you, that child goes through a jar every few weeks!

I'm not the biggest peanut butter fan but I make treats with peanut butter in them because I know he likes it so much.

I decided to make him a cake over the weekend. I'll admit, I was busy experimenting with a few new recipes so I looked for a cake that started with a cake mix. I have no shame in using a cake mix. They can be a working Mom's best friend at times.

He loved the super moist cake and the peanut buttery filling (and I'm sure the gooey chocolate topping didn't hurt either).

When you need something quick....this will fit the bill.

Chocolate Bundt with Peanut Butter 1

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bundt Cake
1 box (about 18 oz) yellow,  white or butter cake mix
1 cup water
1/3 cup oil
4 eggs
½ cup creamy peanut butter
1 small package (4 servings) instant chocolate pudding mix

Preheat oven to 350F. In a large mixing bowl, use a mixer to beat together the cake mix, water, oil and eggs. Remove one cup of batter to a small bowl. Beat peanut butter into reserved one cup of batter. Add the chocolate pudding mix to the large bowl of batter. Beat until well combined.

Grease and flour a 10-12 cup bundt pan (or use non-stick baking spray with flour). Spoon about 1/3 of the chocolate batter into the prepared bundt pan. Spoon peanut butter batter over the chocolate layer, keeping batter away from the edges of the pan. Spoon remaining chocolate batter over the peanut butter layer. Bake at 350F for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Invert onto serving plate and cool completely. Once cool, top with ganache.

Chocolate Ganache Frosting
4 oz chocolate chips
1/2  cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

Place the chips in a mixing bowl. In a saucepan, heat cream until it comes to a boil. Pour cream over chocolate in mixing bowl and stir until chocolate is melted and glossy. Stir in vanilla. Pour over cooled cake. You can pop it in the fridge to let the ganache harden up a bit.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Healthier Chocolate Banana Cake

Healthier Choc Banana Bread

I'm always looking for healthy breakfast choices. I watch my sugar and carbs and breakfast can get a little boring for me. After months and months of eating wasa crips, Weight Watchers cereal, fruit, hard boiled eggs, etc., I was feeling the need for a treat in the morning. I found this recipe ages ago and clipped it out of a magazine. I can't even tell you what magazine or who the author was, so if this is your recipe, please let me know!

It's not "healthy, healthy" hence the title of "healthier", but if you use dark chocolate chips and leave out the mini chips on top, it's not too bad at all. I used Truvia Brown Sugar blend so that kept the sugars down.

This makes a small 8x8 cake. I can tell you it tastes just as good as an "unhealthy" cake cause my boys both ate most of it on me. I had a piece for breakfast on Sunday morning and was anticipating another slice for Monday morning, but when I woke up my cake pan was empty. That's life with two teenage boys in the house! Nothing is safe!

It's a delicious little cake.

Healthier Choc Banana Bread 2

Healthier Chocolate Banana Cake
recipe from Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary
3 medium bananas
¾ cup brown sugar (or 1⁄4 cup + 1⁄8 cup of Truvia Brown Sugar Blend)
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
Dash salt
1 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)
Mini chips for sprinkling on top

Preheat the oven to 350. Coat an 8 inch pan with cooking spray. Place the bananas in a bowl and whip them with an electric mixer for approximately 1 minute. Stir in the brown sugar and beat to combine. Add in the applesauce, vanilla and egg. Hand stir to combine. In a separate bowl mix the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Add to the banana mixture. Stir to combine. Add in chocolate chips if you are using them and gently fold to combine. Pour into prepared dish. Top with mini chips if desired. Bake 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Winner - Golden Girl Granola

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Congratulations to Amy Leach!

Winner of the granola giveaway. Thanks to all of you who participated on the blog and on Facebook!

I have another giveaway coming up soon!

Monday, March 2, 2015

No Bake Chewy Peanut Butter Granola Bars & a Giveaway!

No bake granola bars 2

So I was contact by this small batch granola company in Carlisle, MA called Golden Girl Granola about a month ago. They sent me some of their delicious granola to try. I'm very picky when it comes my granola, so I was not anticipating to LOVE this granola, but I have to say...I LOVE IT! I make my own granola, but I don't make often enough that I have a constant supply of it, so this granola has now become my new favorite!

Golden Girl uses the finest ingredients and hand-stirs each small batch to create a lightly crunchy, wholegrain treat. Their customers say it is the best granola they have ever had and I have to agree!

It is an excellent as a cereal, a topping, or a snack right out of the bag. It’s head-over-heels delicious! Truly Tropical is my favorite. It is loaded with mangoes, coconut and lots and lots of cashews! They sure don't skip on ingredients!


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Those are just two of the terrific flavors that you can choose from. Here they all are:

Forest Maple
Creative Cranberry
Chocolate Decadence
The Original
Home Sweet Honey
Truly Tropical
Pumpkin Harvest

I wanted to develop a recipe using this fabulous product so I tinkered around in the kitchen and came up with this No Bake Chewy Peanut Butter Bar. It's nothing like those cardboard granola bars you buy in the store. You're going to love this! See below for the recipe.

The nice folks at Golden Girl would like one lucky winner to try their granola, so we will be giving away 2 bags of granola! What do you have to do to enter??

Go the their site by clicking "here" and tell me what 2 granola's you would choose.

Want another chance to win?? LIKE Golden Girl Granola on Facebook (click here). Let me know you did in the comments and you'll be entered in the contest twice!

Contest ends Friday, March 6th, midnight EST.

Golden Girl Granola is available in many stores in Massachusetts but you can also purchase it online here!

Please give me your email address so I may contact you if you win.

Entries on my Facebook Page will also count!

No bake granola bars

No Bake Chewy Peanut Butter Bars
recipe from Lisa@ The Cutting Edge of Ordinary
2 Cups Golden Girl Granola
1 Cup Rice Crispy Cereal
¾ Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
½ Cup Agave or Honey
¼ Cup Brown Sugar
½ tsp Vanilla Extract

Line an 8x8 baking dish with aluminum foil or parchment paper and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine Granola and the cereal.

In a microwave safe bowl combine peanut butter, agave or honey, vanilla and the brown sugar. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until melted and smooth. Using a spatula gently combine the peanut butter mixture with the dry ingredients. Press into the 8x8 baking dish and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour. Remove from baking dish and cut into bars.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Lemon Bundt Cake

Lemon Bundt Cake

I just can't stay away from the lemon. Maybe it's because it's so frigidly cold out and maybe it's because there are 4 foot snow drifts in my yard, and maybe it's because it has snowed so many times this month that I have completely lost track of just how many FEET, yes I said feet, not inches of snow that we have had, that I found myself needing to make something light and yellow and lemony to remind me that spring is only a month away.

You know it's pretty bad here in Rhode Island when we hear we are getting another 6 inches of snow and we all say "oh, only 6 inches". It's been that kind of a winter. My husband had to use a roof rake to get all the snow off the roof! It's a winter wonderland alright!

Enough about the snow....on to cake. This cake is everything you want a lemon cake to be. It's moist and full of lemon flavor. It just feels bright. It just makes me smile and if you have a lemon lover in your life, you most certainly need to make this for them.

I love a good Bundt cake recipe. This is one of them. Definitely going to be on my cake rotation from now on.

Lemon Bundt Cake 1

Lemon Bundt Cake
slightly adapted from a recipe at Sprinkle Some Sugar
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 1/4 cups whole milk
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed

Lemon Glaze
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3-5 tablespoons lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a Bundt pan very well making sure to really get into all crevices then lightly flour pan. Set aside.

Lightly whisk flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and set aside. In the bowl of your stand mixer (if you're using one) fitted with the paddle attachment, beat eggs on low until they are thickened and very pale yellow in color. Turn mixer on low and slowly add sugar to running mixer and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla, lemon juice and lemon zest. Slowly pour in dry ingredients on low speed until combined.

In a small saucepan, heat milk until very hot and butter is just melted. Do not boil and whisk the mixture to help the butter along. Pour into batter and mix until smooth. Batter will be very thin. Pour into prepared baking pan and bake for 27-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Once done, remove cake from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes in pan. Allow cake to cool a bit on a cooling rack. While the cake is cooling prepare the glaze.

For the glaze,
Whisk powdered sugar and lemon juice together, using more or less lemon juice as needed to get desired consistency. (I like to keep mine slightly thick so it won’t thin out too much when I serve it over warm cake.)Once cake is cooled down slightly, drizzle glaze over warm cake. Alternately, you can drizzle the glaze over each individual piece being served. Cake will stay soft and moist for 3 days stored in an airtight container.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Cauliflower Hash

Out of all the breakfast foods in the whole wide world I love corned beef hash the most. Well done hash with lots of crispy bits makes me happy. I'm not a French Toast or waffle person, but I love me some hash.

In my quest to keep it low carb I decided to make my own version of hash with cauliflower. I had seen a few recipes here and there but decided that I'm a good enough cook (at least I think so) to pull it off without using someone else's recipe.

I kept it simple....onion, cauliflower and some spices and then I topped it with a runny egg. To say is was breakfast nirvana for me is an understatement. I LOVED this. I think I might have loved it as much as I love my crispy corned beef hash. Why didn't I do this sooner? I made enough for two meals. Sometimes it's nice to get two meals out of breakfast food. No one else in the house likes cauliflower so that was a score for Mama!

Let me say that you can customize this recipe to your likings. I happen to love onion so I used a lot, if you don't like it you can leave it out completely.

Cauliflower Hash
recipe from Lisa@ The Cutting Edge of Ordinary

1 large head cauliflower, chopped into small pieces.
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
olive oil

Add 2 -3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet. Add in the chopped onion and let it cook just until it turns translucent. Add in the minced garlic and let it cook for about a minute. Add in the chopped cauliflower and mix everything up a bit. Cover the skillet and let it cook until the cauliflower is tender, but not mushy. I let mine sit undisturbed for 5 minutes at a time so I could get all those brown delicious bits from the bottom. If it starts to stick, just add in a little more olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika. I served this with a runny egg on top. Yum!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Lemon Puffs

Lemon Puffs

Hello again from snowy Rhode Island. After having 2 feet dumped upon us last week, we are in the middle of another storm that is dumping another foot on us today. I think we are going to run out of places to put it! Good thing I'm a snow lover!

Lemon again, I know. I can't help it. I am lemon addicted and what is really funny about it is, I never liked lemon before. Up until a few years ago and I would turn my nose up at anything lemon or lemon flavored. Crazy right? Now I'm churning out lemon treats like there's no tomorrow!

I also have a fantastic lemon Bundt cake coming up. Oh man is it good, but for now I'm bringing you this little puffy delights.

I used Stevia when I made these so they were sugar free for me....sans the tablespoon of real sugar on top, but they were still delicious!

It only take a few minutes to throw these babies together too!

Lemon Puffs. 1jpg

Lemon Puffs
Printable Recipe
Adapted from a recipe at Allrecipes.com
2 – 8 ounce packages of refrigerated crescent roll dough (such as Pillsbury® Recipe Creations®), divided
2 lemons, zested and juice, divided
2 – 8 ounce packages cream cheese softened
½ cup sugar
2 table spoons butter, melted.
1 tablespoon sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.

Press 1 can crescent roll dough into the bottom of the prepared baking dish, stretching to the edges. Mix the zest of 1 1/2 lemons and juice from 2 lemons together in a bowl. Beat cream cheese and the sugar into the lemon zest mixture using an electric mixer until smooth and creamy; spread over crescent roll dough layer. Unroll the second can of crescent roll dough and place over cream cheese mixture, gently stretching dough to the edges. Brush melted butter over crescent roll dough layer and sprinkle with the 1 tablespoon of sugar.
Bake in the preheated oven until top is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Allow to cool for 20 minutes. Lift dessert from baking dish using foil; transfer to a cutting board. Cut into squares Refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour. Store any leftovers in fridge.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Seasoned Ranch Pretzels.

Seasoned pretzels

I had to post a Super Bowl worthy recipe seeing that the big game is only a few days away.

I'm from Rhode Island so I don't think I even have to tell you I'm rooting for the Pat's to win this one. Even if we weren't absolutely pumped for the big game, we still watch and I still make "football food".

Munchies are a must and these Seasoned Ranch Pretzels will certainly we served.

We love the Snyder flavored pretzels but I thought I they would be just as easy to make, so I made some. My boys are all about ranch everything, so I based the recipe around the ranch. Feel free to throw in whatever spice makes you happy, you can even add in some heat if you'd like.

Seasoned Ranch Pretzels
Printable recipe
1 bag hard pretzels (Snyder’s is what I used. They range from 12 – 16 oz.)
3/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 packet dry ranch seasoning
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon lemon pepper
3 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons dill weed

Preheat oven to 200. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper
Break the pretzels into pieces. Combine the oil and whatever spices you are using bowl, or you can just add the spices to the measuring cup that you placed the oil in like I did. Pour over the pretzels in the bag. Shake until all the pieces are well coated.
Spread the pretzels onto the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 50 minutes, turning every 15 minutes or so. Allow to cool completely. Keep in a covered container.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie

There are a few foods that my husband loves above all others.

Fried Chicken
Fried Chicken Gizzards (yup, I said gizzards)
Chicken Pot Pie

I think Chicken Pot Pie is right up there with Mac & Cheese when it comes to comfort foods.

It's downright homey. It's frigid here in New England.  We are barely making it into the teens, so Chicken Pot Pie(s) are on the menu.

This is a recipe I've been using for ages. Just like most of my soup recipes, I kind of made it up along the way. Feel free to tweak it anyway you like.

This recipe makes enough for 2 pies for one BIG pie made in an 9x13.

Chicken Pot Pie 2

Chicken Pot Pie - makes 2 pies or one 9x13!
recipe from Lisa@ The Cutting Edge of Ordinary
Printable recipe

4 pie crusts (Either 4 store bought- 2 tops and 2 bottoms or make your own)
3 pounds chicken breast, cooked and chopped (I used 3 extra large breasts* see note)
1/2 an onion, finely chopped (you can also use shallots like I did)
2/3 cup butter
2/3 cup flour
3 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup milk
3 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
salt & pepper
1 egg, beaten

Add onions and the butter to a heavy bottomed pot and sauté about 3 minutes, just until they get a bit tender. Add in the flour and cook for a minute more just until the flour turns golden. Slowly add in chicken broth, whisking the whole time. Add in the milk whisk to combing. Continue cooking on medium heat, uncovered until sauce thickens. Stir this frequently so it doesn't stick to the bottom and burn.

When sauce has thickened, add chicken and mixed vegetables, and stir to combine. Salt and pepper to taste.

Now you can make this pie two ways. You can make 2 traditional pies in a pie plate, or you can use a 9x13 and made one big pie. No matter which one you choose to make, put in your bottom crust then fill it with the filling and top it with another crust. Press the top and bottom pie crust together to seal them. I just fold mine over a bit. I like the rustic look. Cut slits in the top to let the steam escape. Brush the beaten egg over top of pot pie. I highly suggest you bake your pies on a baking sheet covered in foil or parchment in case there is any spillage. Bake in a 375* for 30 minutes. The crust should be golden at this point. Take the pie(s) out of the oven and cover with foil so they don't get burned. Return to oven for another 20-30 minutes (or until hot and bubbly). Let the pie sit for 15-20 minutes before cutting.

* To cook the chicken breasts I placed them on a parchment lined baking sheet. I drizzled some olive oil over then and added some Italian seasonings and baked for about 40 minutes, or until the juices run clear. Once cool enough to touch I diced them up for the pies!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Homemade Hot Chocolate! Yes you can!

Hot Chocolate

My youngest son is a hot chocolate fanatic. As soon as there is a nip in the air he's looking for a mug of the stuff. For years I bought the mix in the little bag and he was just fine with is, but as he got older he started looking for something different. We tried some of the upscale hot chocolate, with the upscale price tags and I decided they way he drank the stuff I'd be spending a good chunk of change every week to keep him supplied.

That wasn't going to happen.

So I went looking for recipes. I found a bunch. I experimented. I took a little from each one and BAM.....delicious, easy to make hot chocolate. Better than any gourmet hot chocolate on the market.

We have made 6 batches of the stuff since October. I keep a big jar of it in the pantry with a 1/3 cup measuring cup right in the jar. All they boys do is take a scoop and add it to a cup of hot milk.

I made up a few extra batches, jarred them up and got them all pretty for the UPS driver, the mail lady and the paper boy as little thank you's for them at Christmas. Who doesn't want a mug of delicious, creamy hot chocolate?

Hot Chocolate2

Hot Chocolate
recipe from Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary
Printable Recipe
3 cups nonfat dry milk
2 cups confectioner's sugar
1 1/2 cups cocoa powder
12 ounce bag white chocolate chips

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix. Working in two batches, pulse the ingredients in a food processor until the chips are finely ground. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

For a cup: Stir 1/3 cup unto 1 cup of hot milk.