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mocha me





Updated: 2018-03-06T01:25:43.835-08:00

 



Cherry Muffins

2017-07-30T09:39:52.708-07:00

Hi everyone!  It's been quite a while but I'm still around and here's a great muffin recipe.  I had bought quite a bit if cherries recently and didn't know what to do with them besides just snack on them all day.  I came across this recipe in Good Housekeeping and I think they are great.  These are perfect for a snack and much better than any store bought or packaged muffin.  Home baked goods to me are always the best!!

2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup chopped fresh cherries

Preheat over to 400 degrees F.  Grease (or use paper muffin liners) twelve 2 1/2" x 1 1/4" muffin pan cups.
In a large bowl, with wire whisk, stir flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  In a medium bowl, with fork, beat milk, melted butter, egg and almond extract until blended.  Add liquid mixture to flour mixture; stir just until flour is moistened (batter will be lumpy).  Add cherries and stir just until incorporated.
Spoon batter into prepared muffin pan cups.  Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.  Immediately remove  muffins from pan and cool on wire rack.  Makes 12.



Confetti Cookies

2016-05-27T16:46:32.254-07:00

I don't know about you but I love a good cookie!  I enjoy cake too...no doubt about that but there is just something about cookies!  My favorite are Italian cookies that are found very easily up in the New York area.  I miss a good Italian bakery.  There are not many (if any) down here in Virginia.  Cookies are a true weakness of mine along with a Starbucks cafe mocha!

These cookies are definitely going on  my list to make again and again.  They are not only delicious but the easiest cookies I have ever made.  They can be made in a food processor without waiting for the butter or cream cheese to soften.  I had never made cookies this way before, let alone using cold butter!  But it works.  I found the original recipe here.  Deb from Smitten Kitchen can always be counted on for providing a good solid recipe.  I've had success with many of her recipes and this one is probably one of my favorites!  These would also be great to have at Christmas time to add to your cookie tray.  Just use red and green sprinkles!!!  If you enjoy a good cookie please give this recipe a try.  It's a winner!

Makes approximately 4 dozen 2 1/2 inch cookies

3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp fine sea salt or table salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1/4 cup (2 oz) cream cheese
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract (optional, I used this and would recommend using it)
1 cup rainbow sprinkles

Heat oven to 375 degrees F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Place flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt  in the work bowl of your food processor and pulse a few times to blend.  Add butter and cream cheese in large chunks, plus sugar and blend until mixture is powdery.  Add egg, vanilla and almond extracts and run machine until the dough balls together.  You'll probably need to scrape it down once or twice to get the mixture even.

Scoop balls of dough with a 1 1/2 tablespoon scoop and roll them briefly in the palms of your hands before dropping them in the bowl of rainbow sprinkles and gently rolling to coat them evenly.

Transfer balls of sprinkle coated dough to baking sheets at least two inches apart.  Use the bottom of a drinking glass to press down on the cookies until they are about 1/4 to 1/2 inch tall.  If you see any bare spots you can gently press some sprinkles on that area.  Bake for 9 to 10 minutes until they look underbaked but lightly golden underneath.  Let set on baking sheet on rack for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.

If you like a soft cookie stick with the 9 to 10 minute bake time.  I prefer a crunchier cookie and had some bake for about an extra 3 minutes.  That's just my preference.  They taste great either way!






Tofu Steaks

2016-05-02T15:50:22.803-07:00

It has been way too long since I have posted but I just haven't done a whole lot of cooking with new recipes.  Mainly old standbys.  Chocolate chip cookies, shoo fly pie that I haven't made in ages, etc.  Then there is this new recipe. Simple and delicious!  The best "steak" I have ever had.  Anyone can make this. No special culinary skills required!  I hope you will try it.  I had rice on the side but a baked potato sounds pretty good too with a salad. Maybe some chocolate cake for dessert?  (Forgive the picture - wish I had a better one.  Thought they came out well but realized after the steaks were eaten that the pics were blurry!)

Tofu Steak

1 block of firm or extra firm tofu, drained well
1/4 onion
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup flour
2 Tbs soy sauce (I use low sodium)
1 Tbs sugar
1 tsp mirin
cooking oil
salt & pepper to taste

Drain tofu for approximately 1/2 hour.  I wrap tofu in paper towels and place on plate with cutting board on top of it and large round dish on top of that.  Weird but it works.  Change paper towels several times.
While draining tofu, mince garlic.  Chop up onion and place in round dish.  Add 2 Tbs soy sauce, one Tbs sugar and 1 tsp mirin.  Stir well.
When "steaks" are drained, pat dry and dredge in flour.
On medium high setting, add oil to cast iron skillet and saute garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add a little more oil and cook tofu steaks for about 5 minutes on one each side until browned.  Add soy sauce mixture and cook about 2 minutes on each side until sauce cooks down and coats steaks well.

Enjoy!

This recipe was found on Facebook and the full recipe can be found on YouTube at TabiEats.





Carol's Cookies from The Walking Dead

2016-02-23T12:59:44.099-08:00

If you're a fan of The Walking Dead you may remember several episodes back that Carol made a batch of cookies.  Thank goodness - because what that means to me is that at least in the event of a zombie apocalypse there are still cookies!  Yes, good ole cookies that you can make with ingredients that are in your cupboard and not in your fridge.  This recipe has no dairy in it so the bonus is that it is also vegan!  Are they good?  Yes, they are delicious!  Carol made these cookies from what she had on hand but I'm sure you can add whatever you think would make them even better - chocolate chips, nuts or some additional spices.  It's a good basic cookie that I will most definitely go to again and again and add something new each time.  You can find this recipe at amc.com.  Enjoy!

Makes approximately 1 dozen cookies

1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 large chocolate bar - I used dark chocolate
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup shortening
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl combine shortening, applesauce, white and brown sugar and mix until all ingredients are blended together well.
Add baking powder, baking soda, flour, salt and vanilla.
Mix until doughy and flour is completely absorbed.
Let dough stand 3 to 5 minutes.
Melt chocolate (I melted in microwave for about 20 seconds and mixed until thoroughly smooth.)
Add chocolate to dough and incorporate into mixture.
Place golf ball size dollops of dough (I used ice cream spoon) and place on ungreased cookie sheet and space about 2 inches apart.
Bake for 11-13 minutes and let cool on cookie sheet.




Fool Proof Sugar Cookies

2016-02-15T14:19:25.719-08:00

These cookies were made for Valentines Day.  I had tried another recipe before settling on this one.  The first recipe was such a disaster that the cookies and the cookbook BOTH went into the garbage.  I wasn't taking any chances of trying anything from that cookbook again.  How do some of these books get published??  You really have to wonder.
After trying that new recipe I decided to go back to my favorite cookbook - The Doubleday Cookbook.  This cookbook was originally published in 1975.  Over 40 years ago.  Doesn't matter...it's still my favorite and the one that I have gotten the most successful recipes from.  It's like my baking bible!  Never had a bad recipe come out of this book!

These are called Sand Tarts but they are very much like a good basic sugar cookie and a wonderful dough to work with.  I think you will like them if you try them.

2/3 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 3/4 cups sifted flour

Cream butter, sugar and salt until light and fluffy; beat in egg, then vanilla.  Mix in flour and salt
, one third at a time, beating just to blend.  Wrap dough and chill 1 hour.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Roll a small amount of dough at a time to 1/8" thick and cut with a 2" round (or whatever shape desired) cookie cutter.  Arrange 1" apart on greased baking sheets, brush with egg white and sprinkle with sugar or sprinkles.  Bake 8 - 10 minute until pale golden.  Cool on wire racks.



Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins - Vegan

2015-12-29T15:26:45.150-08:00

Hope everyone has had a nice Christmas.  The weather here has been wacky!  Christmas Day was in the 70's and we even had the air conditioning on....I'm not complaining at all.  This beats snow any day of the year!
I've been trying more vegan recipes lately.  This one comes from the cookbook by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, The Joy of Vegan Baking.  So far both recipes I've tried have been a success so that is a good sign that these recipes work!  These muffins are flavorful and moist....so enjoy!

2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsps baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
4 ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup nondairy semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup walnuts, optional (I did not use)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly grease muffin tins or use muffin liners.
In a medium size bowl, mix the flour, baking soda and salt together.
In a large bowl, beat sugar and oil together, then add the mashed bananas.  Stir in the water and vanilla and mix thoroughly.  Add the flour mixture, along with the chocolate chips and stir to mix.
Fill each muffin tin halfway with the batter.  Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.



Frozen Berry Cobbler

2015-12-08T15:08:57.573-08:00

It's rare that I make a cobbler but when I saw this on Pinterest I knew that I would be making this one. It's so easy and delicious.  It's definitely a winner.  Frozen berries and a cake mix.  Can it get any simpler?  And the recipe works.  I made some cookies the other night that were also real simple (too simple in fact) and they were a total disaster.  I found the recipe in a cake magazine and the recipe was posted by the editor.  Total failure, which my gut told me it would be.  Nothing could save those babies...but this baby works!!!  Please give this a try!  And don't leave out the sugar coating.  It is sooo good!

2 - 12 oz bags of frozen mixed berries
1 white cake mix
1 can of 7 Up or Sprite (must be clear soda - you may use diet if you like)

Place frozen fruit in 9 x 13 in baking dish.  Add the dry cake mix over the top.  Pour soda slowly over the cake mix. Do not stir the cake mix and the soda.  This will give you a crust.   If you stir the two you will have a cake like topping.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 35 - 40 minutes.

For the sugar coating:

2 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 - 3 teaspoons milk (unsweetened

almond or soy are fine also)
1/2 tsp vanilla

Slowly combine milk and powdered sugar to desired consistency.  Add 1/2 tsp vanilla.  Spread over warm cobbler and let set.  Can be eaten while still slightly warm or cool.





Spiced Apple Cake

2015-12-02T15:32:38.236-08:00

I made this cake a few weeks ago and plan on making it again soon.  It is super simple and delicious.  My mom had given me this little cookbook a few Christmas's ago and every cake that I've made out of it has been a success!  I've been under the weather lately but am finally feeling better.  Thank goodness Thanksgiving was not a bust.  Could have felt better but at least I was on some antibiotics by then and enjoyed a mini vacation on Chincoteague Island.  Hope you all had a nice holiday and if you try this cake you enjoy it!  This recipe comes courtesy of the book "Mmmm...Baking."

1 cup unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing (I use baking spray)
Generous  1 cup light brown sugar
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
Scant 1 1/2 cups self rising flour*
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup golden raisins (I omitted these)
3 small apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
2 Tbsp honey, warmed


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and line a 9-inch round springform cake pan.
Place the butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat together until light and fluffy.  Gradually beat in the eggs.  Sift the flour, cinnamon and nutmeg into the batter and fold in gently using a large spoon.  Fold in the golden raisins (if using).
Spoon half the batter into the prepared pan and level the surface with a spatula.  Scatter over half the sliced apples.  Spoon over the remaining cake batter and gently level the surface again.  Arrange the remaining apple slices over the top.
Bake in the preheated oven for 1 - 1 1/4 hours, until risen, golden brown and firm to the touch.  Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack.  Brush the top with the warmed honey and let cool completely.

*If you do not have self rising flour you can make your own.  1 cup self rising flour = 1 cup flour + 1 1/2 tsp baking powder + 1/2 tsp salt.







Ethiopian Cabbage and Potatoes

2015-11-22T10:58:07.359-08:00

Lately I have been eating a wide variety of foods - Thai, Indonesian, Middle Eastern, Indian.  All this has made me realize how bland American food really is.  While for some people a roast and potatoes just hits the spot, it doesn't do it for me.  For one, I don't eat meat.  Secondly, I just happen to love all the flavorful spices incorporated in these other foods.  So delicious!  I had recently cooked some cabbage up and had a hard time having it taste really good without the usual ham hock or chicken stock.  When I googled vegan cabbage dishes this one came up.  No problem with flavors - plenty of it!  The only thing I would do is cut the potatoes a bit smaller next time and keep larger pieces of cabbage.  Mine were shred so small they disappeared!  This dish can be a main meal with some crusty bread on the side or this can be a side dish.  Either way, enjoy!  (I deviated from the original recipe after reading some of the comments and what I am posting is my version.)

1/4 cup olive oil
4 carrots, sliced thin
1 onion, sliced thin
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 head cabbage, shredded
5 potatoes, peeled and cup up into 1 inch cubes

Heat the olive oil in large skillet over medium heat.  Cook the carrots and onions in the hot oil for about 5 minutes.  Stir in salt, pepper, cumin, turmeric and cabbage and cook about another 15 minutes.  Add potatoes, cover and reduce heat to medium low and cook for about 25 - 30  minutes, stirring occasionally,
 until potatoes are soft.  (Mine took 30 minutes.)



Apple Cider Donut Cake

2015-11-15T15:47:44.084-08:00

If you enjoy apple cider donuts, I think you will like this cake.  It has the taste of an apple cider donut with a bit of a different texture since it is a cake and not deep fried!  However, it's really good.  I like trying new apple recipes this time of year when apples are abundant and very reasonable.  Especially when you get them buy the bushel and have a ton to cook up!  I've definitely been on the hunt for some new apple recipes.  I tried some new pie recipes and they were a complete disaster. I don't really know what went wrong but they were both trash bound as soon as I had my first taste.  No need to worry though with this cake.  Delicious!!!!  Hope you give this a try.  The original recipe can be found here.

2 large Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored and chopped
1 1/2 cups apple cider
1/2 cup milk, room temperature
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Sugar Topping
6 Tbs granulated sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour large Bundt pan.  I used Pam spray with flour.
In a medium saucepan bring apples and cider to a boil and let simmer for 10-12 minutes until apples have softened.  Let cool for a few minutes and then pour into food processor or blender and pulse until pureed.  Pour out one cup into bowl and add milk.  Set aside for later.
In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer cream butter, sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time until well incorporated.  Add oil and mix well.
Add flour mixture and apple/milk mixture alternately in three additions, scraping bowl as needed. Add vanilla and mix in only to just combine.
Add batter to prepared pan and bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean.  Mine took about 50 minutes.
Cool cake in pan on rack for about 10 minutes. Combine sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in small bowl.
 Transfer cake to cooling rack and while still warm (but not hot) sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture.   Use fingers if needed to coat sides of cake with sugar mixture.



Apple Cake from Tate's Bake Shop Cookbook

2015-10-21T15:35:17.984-07:00

Several years ago during the Christmas season Tate's Bake Shop (on Long Island) sent their cookbook to many food bloggers, I being one of them.  The recipes are very straightforward which is what I love.  Nothing tricky. No exotic ingredients to be used only one time, etc.  Just wonderful and tasty sweets and treats!  This recipe comes from that book and I highly recommend it!  I had been up at Graves Mountain in Syria, Virginia this past weekend and we brought back a bushel of apples.  Needless to say, I will be doing plenty of baking in the next few weeks using apples.  This recipe caught my eye since it uses 8 cups of apple slices. Whew!  That's a lot of apples in a cake.

I hope you give this recipe a try.  It is very moist and extremely delicious!

Recipe from Tate's Bake Shop Cookbook

2 1/4 cups sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/4 tsp salt
3 large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
8 cups apples, sliced into 1/4 inch thick slices (Granny Smith are good for this) peeled and cored
1 1/2 cups walnuts (I used pecans)
3 cups all purpose flour

Preheat over to 300 degrees F.
Grease a 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking dish.  Glass is best, but metal will be fine.
In a large bowl, mix the sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.  Mix in the eggs, oil and vanilla until the mixture is smooth.
Add the apples and walnuts, and stir till they are well coated.
Stir the flour in the mixture.  (It will see difficult in the beginning, but it will mix in.)
Bake the cake for 1 hour and 45 minutes.  (Yes, this is the correct time.)  Cool it completely in the baking dish.  This cake keeps very well and is actually better the next day.




Banana Bread (vegan)

2015-10-02T15:02:22.062-07:00

You just cannot ever have enough banana bread recipes.  And this is the perfect recipe for me to blog about since I haven't blogged since early summer.  Just haven't felt like it. No other reason but that!  Fall does inspire me to start baking again. I do love to bake. Apple pies and chocolate cakes and cookies.....Here now is a really good banana bread. Blog worthy!
Recipe from dairyfreecooking.about.com

2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cups white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 t. baking soda
3/4 t. salt
3/4 t. cinnamon
1/2 cup plain soy milk or almond milk
1 t. apple cider vinegar
2 cups mashed banana, from about 4 very ripe large bananas
1/4 cup canola oil
2 T. maple syrup
1 t. vanilla extract
walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly oil a 9"x5" loaf pan and set aside.

In a medium sized mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugars, baking soda, salt and cinnamon

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the soy milk and cider vinegar and let stand for a few minutes.  Add the mashed banana, canola oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract, whisking until well combined.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing until just combined (do not overmix).

Fold in the walnuts if using and pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.  Bake for about 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Allow bread to cool for about 10 minutes and removed from pan. At this point I wrap the bread tightly in plastic wrap and let it cool completely.  I usually wait until the next day to eat and enjoy it.  The plastic wrap really keeps in the moisture and flavor.





Easy Peasy Blueberry Pie (No Rolling Pin Needed!)

2015-06-27T07:20:21.448-07:00

This is also known as "Lazy Days of Summer Pie!"  Really, this is the easiest berry pie you will ever make.  I found this recipe here and have been giving it all kinds of names because it is just so simple to make.  With this pie in particular you need to remember that the pie will only be as good as the berries you put in it.  With other pies you can add lots of sugar but this one relies on the berries themselves.  No thickening agents, nothing.  I did add a sprinkling of brown sugar on the berries but it was no more than maybe a rounded teaspoon.  I wanted to make the recipe as it was written the first time.  The bonus with this pie is that there is no rolling involved.  It doesn't taste exactly like a pie but close enough if not better.  Also, don't think when you slice it that it will be a clean slice. No, some of your berries will have burst and they land where they want.  It's just too good a pie not to make, especially if you don't want your oven on long and want something with little prep time.  I used blueberries but the original recipe calls for any berries.  I encourage you to try this is if you love pie.  It will not disappoint...promise!!!! BTW - your crust will not be as dark as mine....I made one of my very usual mistakes and turned  my oven up too high.  Why do I always seem to make at least one mistake when I try a new recipe?????

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/8  cup white sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
3/8 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries (I used 18 oz carton)
teaspoon brown sugar sprinkled on berries

To Make Crust:  Blend flour and butter and mix well. (I cut up butter in tiny cubes and used food processor.)  Add baking powder, sugar, vanilla and egg.  (I added sugar and baking powder and pulsed until well incorporated.  Then I added vanilla to egg and poured slowly into processor and mixed until well combined.  About 30 seconds, pulsing on and off several times and then letting it run for about 10 seconds).
At this point let the dough rest for 25 minutes.

Using a 9" glass pie pan, put mixture into center.  Break off about 1/3 of mixture and set aside for topping. Press evenly along bottom and up sides. Poke holes with fork along bottom and sides.  Let dough rest again for 25 minutes.   Add blueberries and top with brown sugar.  Break remaining dough into small, flat discs and lay on top of berries.

Bake in 400 degree F oven for 25 minutes and let rest on wire rack to cool. Or add ice cream on top of warm slice of pie!!

Enjoy!








Country Pound Cake

2015-05-06T13:10:09.179-07:00

I think it must have been about a month or so since I last made a pound cake and that is too long without making another one....quickly!  I guess you could call me a pound cake addict!  They are just so good and simple to make and I love trying new recipes for them all the time.  I found this recipe here. I made a few changes.  I did not use wax paper to line the pan.  No problem getting the cake out.  I used a baking spray with flour.  I also set out all  my cold ingredients for about an hour so they were all at room temperature.  You can also remove the cake from pan after 10 minutes which is also different from the original recipe.  I used my wonderful Kitchen Aid stand mixer for this.  Oh that comes in so handy when you have to beat the butter and sugar for 10 minutes!
What I really love about this recipe is that you bake the cake in what's called a cold over.  Don't preheat!  When baking a pound cake this way you don't get a hard crust.  You get a soft moist one. Sooo good!  I think you will love this recipe if you are a pound cake fan like I am!

3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
2 2/3 cups sugar
5 eggs
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon extract

Do not preheat oven.  Grease a 10 in tube or Bundt pan. (I used baking spray with flour).
Sift together all dry ingredients together in large bowl.  Set aside.
In a large bowl or stand mixer beat together butter, shortening and sugar for 10 minutes.
Add eggs one at a time making sure they are well incorporated after each addition.
Alternately beat in flour mixture and milk, mixing well.
Add vanilla and lemon extract.

Pour batter into prepared pan.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean.  Let cool on rack for 10 minutes before removing and let cool completely.




Moist Pineapple Banana Bread

2015-04-24T12:32:06.878-07:00

I'm back this time around with a great banana bread.  I keep taking mini vacations from blogging but not mini vacations from baking.  I found this on pinterest and the original recipe can be found here.  It's a good one and if you are a banana bread nut like I am you should give it a try.  The pineapple adds a nice flavor.  I left out the coconut since I didn't have any but will definitely use it next time.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup  mashed banana (I used 2 medium ones)
1/3 cup drained, crushed pineapple
1/2 shredded coconut
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar til light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time.  Beat until well combined.  Stir in banana, pineapple and coconut.  Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl and add to wet ingredients.  Stir until just combined.  Grease an 8 x 4 in pan.  Bake in preheated 350 degree F oven for 65 - 70 minutes.  Placed on wire rack for 10 minutes and remove from pan.  




Sour Cream Steusel Coffee Cake

2015-03-05T11:03:16.998-08:00

Well I think I am just about completely snowed out.  Really, we've had enough of this stuff already.  I just keep thinking spring, spring and spring!  Hopefully today's snow is the last of the season. The only good thing to come out of it is that I have been able to catch up on watching Sisters Wives and Mob Wives.  I am looking forward to warm weather and vow to never, ever complain that it is too hot outside. No way!  The only one that seems to enjoy it in this house is the dog and that's because he's still basically a puppy and it is something new.  He'll catch on.....

This is a really simple but delicious coffee cake. I think when I make this again I will add a layer of apples to it.  It's a basic keeper recipe that you can play with.  It's pretty foolproof so enjoy if you decide to make this. I found the original recipe here.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

TOPPING

1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tsps cinnamon
1/2 chopped pecans (I omitted these)

In a large bowl cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs, sour cream and vanilla.  Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture and beat until combined.  Pour half the batter in a 13 x 9 in baking pan.

In a small bowl combine topping ingredients;  sprinkle half of topping ingredients over batter.  Add remaining batter and topping.  Bake at 325 degrees F for 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack.





Creamy Lemon One Pot Pasta

2015-02-21T13:34:52.493-08:00

This is a take off on another one pot pasta dish that I made a while back.  I found this over here and knew I just had to try it.  I love anything with lemon - not just cakes. Pasta and lemon just go soooo hand in hand! The bonus with this dish is there is minimal cleanup because you cook it all in one pot!  These types of dishes are also very interchangeable....I used half in half instead of heavy cream which the original recipe called for. I used extra wine (hey, that never hurt anyone) and water since I used a few ounces more pasta.   Get the idea....this is not like baking, which I do love.  Baking does not forgive.  You make a mistake...and the cake falls flat!!  Haha!!! True....

We are having some major snow here the past week and I, for one am sick of it.  As I was walking my dog in the awful weather I just thought to myself - 3 months from now will be the end of May!  We'll be way into spring and warm weather. That is the thought I am holding onto.  In the meantime I have been baking away and enjoying every moment in the kitchen!  It's the best place this time of year!

Recipe for Creamy Lemon One Pot Pasta

12 oz. dried pasta
2 cups thinly sliced onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
pinch of red pepper flakes
2 sprigs of fresh basil
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 1/2 cups of water (or more if using more pasta)
1 12 oz. can evaporated milk
1/2 cup white wine (or more according to taste)
1 Tablespoon lemon zest
1/2 cup heavy cream (half and half will also work)
1/2 cup (or more) of Parmesan cheese
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

In large pasta pot combine all ingredients except last 3.  Bring to a boil on medium high heat and using large fork or tongs rearrange pasta quite often.  Cook about 10 minutes or more until desired consistency and until most of liquid has been absorbed but not all.  I used 16 oz of fettuccine and cooked this approximately 15 minutes.  I do not like al dente pasta...I prefer it softer.

Remove from heat and add your heavy cream (or half and half), parmesan cheese and lemon juice.  Combine thoroughly and enjoy!


 




Cranberry Banana Muffins (vegan)

2015-01-03T16:30:54.515-08:00

Happy New Year everyone!  Hope you all had a wonderful holiday.  I spent part of the holidays with family in Virginia and part of it on Long Island.  I also spent 9 hours on I-95 driving to NY and plan on flying next time.  Haven't flown in decades (seriously) but it's now or never to get over this fear.  Traffic will definitely help you conquer a fear of flying!!!

I had a bag of cranberries that I just had to do something with so when I spotted this recipe I knew I would give it a try.   It's also vegan, so that is just perfect for me!!!  These are really delicious and very moist.  The cranberries lend just enough tartness to the muffin. Perfect - really...they are THAT good.  Here is where I found the recipe.

1 1/2 cups white sugar, divided
1 cup water
2 cups fresh cranberries
3 ripe bananas
1/4 cup vegetable oil (you can also use melted coconut oil)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 360 degrees F.
Pour 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water into a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Add the cranberries and simmer until they start to pop - about 5-7 minutes.  Remove pan from stove top and drain the liquid and set cranberries aside.
In a medium bowl combine bananas, oil and brown sugar and 1/2 cup remaining white sugar.  Beat together with a mixer.
In a separate, larger bowl, combine both flours, baking soda and salt.
Pour the banana mixture

into the dry ingredients and beat with a mixer until smooth.  Do not overmix.  A minute or a little less will be enough.  Gently fold in the cranberries.
(image) Put cupcake liners in muffin pan and fill each liner 2/3 with batter.  Bake for approximately 25 minutes.  Mine were done in about 23 minutes.  Use toothpick to check when they are done.



Cranberry Christmas Cake

2014-12-19T10:14:54.395-08:00

This is an absolutely awesome cake.  I'm attracted to recipes that are simple. Not too many crazy ingredients or dozens of steps either. This cake is all of that and more.  I was going to post another recipe before this one but I figured with the holidays coming up this would be better suited for now.  It is perfect for breakfast or dessert.  If you are going to try one new recipe this season, let it be this one.  It will not disappoint!  Here is where I originally found the recipe, via Pinterest!

3 eggs
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
12 oz of fresh cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  With a mixer, beat eggs with sugar until slightly thickened and light in color, about 5 to 7 minutes.  The mixture should almost double in size.  The eggs work as your leavening in this recipe, so do not skip this step.  This mixture should form a ribbon when you lift the beaters out of the bowl. Add the butter and vanilla and beat for 2 more minutes.  Stir in the flour until just combined.  Add the cranberries and stir to mix throughout.

Spread batter into buttered 9 x 13 pan.  Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until very lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Let cool completely before cutting into small slices.

The original recipe does not call for a drizzle or light glaze but I think it would be perfect for this cake and may try that the next time I make it.



Sour Cream Pound Cake - Made Festive!

2014-12-07T08:40:49.124-08:00

I made this pound cake last week to bring to a Christmas party. I love to make pound cakes because I've found that when people find out a homemade pound cake is on a dessert table they go right for it.  This one was easy and delicious.  My only dilemma was that it look soooo plain. Nothing special looking at all. Just Plain Jane!  So I quickly filled the center with cranberries and made a simple glaze using powder sugar, almond milk and a tiny splash of lemon juice.  Perfect!  Keep this in mind when you need to bring a holiday dessert to a party this year. These cakes go a long way!!!  Recipe is from Tates Bake Shop Cookbook.

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cake flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3 cups sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla
6 large eggs
1 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray a 10-inch Bundt pan with a nonstick spray.
In a small bowl, sift the flours, salt and baking powder together.  Set it aside.
Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer till it's light and fluffy.
Add the vanilla and mix it in.
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing and scraping down the bowl after each addition.  Add the sour cream and mix it in.
Add the dry ingredients.  Mix all till they are combined.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan.
Bake it for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.



Blueberry Orange Streusel Cake

2014-11-13T12:48:14.163-08:00

I came across this recipe after just purchasing a bunch a big, juicy blueberries from Trader Joe's.  I didn't want a recipe that would use all of them up at one time since I wanted to also enjoy snacking on them and I love to have them in cereal too!  This recipe fit the bill since it only used 1 cup...and it's a good cake too.  Don't leave out the orange rind either...it really boosts up the flavor!

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
finely grated rind of 1/2 orange
1/2 cup ground almonds (I omitted this)
1 generous cup of blueberries

Topping

1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
2 Tbsp sugar
finely grated rind of 1/2 orange

Preheat over to 325 degree F.  Grease a 9 in springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

For the topping, put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix with a fork to make a crumbly mixture.

Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl and add the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract.   Beat well until the mixture is smooth, then add the orange rind, ground almonds (if using), and half the blueberries.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, smooth level with a spatula and sprinkle with the remaining blueberries.  Spread the crumble topping evenly over the top, covering completely.

Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes, or until risen, firm and golden brown.  Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove the sides of the pan and finish cooling on a wire rack.

Enjoy!!!





Key Lime Cake

2014-11-04T16:02:28.963-08:00

It feels good to post on my blog again...it's been way too long since I posted a recipe.  I've missed trying new recipes.  For whatever reason, I just hadn't felt like trying  new recipes.  I mainly cooked and baked familiar recipes.  Old recipes....boring recipes!

This cake is funky looking.  It didn't look funky on Anna's blog.  In fact, it looked very pretty. But I am not much of a cake decorator and I have thought of taking a Wilton's Cake Decorating class but I just keep thinking I would rather just practice myself.  It's just a matter of time to decide to do just that!  Anyhow, the cake looks funky but tastes delicious. Love, love, love lime.....When I saw how green it looked I was tempted to make an orange colored frosting.  Would have been great for Halloween!  It's a super easy recipe since it starts with a cake mix, and you know you can't go wrong from there.

Enjoy!

1 box Lemon Cake Mix (16.5 oz Duncan Hines)
3 oz package of lime Jell-O
2/3 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup orange juice
4 large eggs

Flavor Enhancing Glaze
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice or bottled Key Lime juice
4 - 6 Tbsp powdered sugar

Frosting
8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
1 cup of powdered sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
14 - 16 oz non dairy whipped topping (I used about 8 oz and used 1/4 cup butter

Preheat over to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour 3 8 inch round cake pans.  I used 2 9 inch pans.
Mix the cake mix, Jell-O, oil, orange juice and eggs in a large bowl and beat well with an electric mixer for about 2 minutes.  Pour into pans and bake for approximately 20 -23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.  Let cool for about 10 minutes in the pans, then remove from pans.   Mix together the lime juice and powdered sugar and spoon over the cake.  Let cakes cool completely.
To make frosting, mix together cream cheese and butter and beat until blended.  Add sugar and beat until smooth.  Fold in the whipped topping.  Spread over top of the cake and stack on top of one another and spread over top and sides completely.



A Favorite of Mine!

2014-11-03T04:09:48.684-08:00

I miss my blog....I miss posting more frequently.  I've been baking and cooking things I've already posted so there really is not much to post. Sooooo.....here is a favorite of mine....Snow Balls!!!!  Or as this picture says - Glo Balls!  Really, they are too much!  These are my junk food weakness!  What is your junk food weakness?



Happy Halloween!

2014-10-31T14:02:21.613-07:00

I'm wishing everyone a fun and safe Halloween!  Hopefully I will get my butt in gear and start posting some recipes. I've hit a dry spell but at the moment there is a cake baking in the oven - a good sign!

Enjoy all the candy everyone!



Old Fashioned Pound Cake

2014-08-18T14:58:38.928-07:00

If you have been following my blog for any length of time you will have noticed that not only do I love banana bread but I love pound cake. Love trying different pound cake recipes and I have quite a few on this blog.  I came across this one in my old faithful cookbook....."The Doubleday Cookbook."  This was published back in 1975 and was the first cookbook I owned and it is still  my favorite.  These recipes have  never let me down.  Some may be dated but they are always good.  If any of you collect old cookbooks you may want to add this one to your collection.  They can be found in old bookstores, antique shops and used ones can also be found on Ebay.  The original comes in a set of 2 but back in the early 90's they were condensed into one.

This is definitely an old fashioned pound cake and made differently than any I've made before.  It's a little extra work since you have to whip up the egg whites separately but worth it.  That is what attracted me to this recipe.  I like ones that are different...that have a twist in them.  If you make this I would suggest you expect this to be a bit drier than your usual pound cake.  It also uses cake flour so you will have a very dense, tight crumb.  I loved it.  My husband likes cakes that are moist so he thought this would be great with ice cream on it or for strawberry shortcakes....I love it just as it is with a big cup of coffee. Oh how perfect!

Do not substitute any of these ingredients.

2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup sugar
5 eggs, separated
1 tsp vanilla or orange extract or 1 Tbs finely grated lemon rind

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray bottom and sides of 9 x 5 x 3 inch pan.  Sift flour, salt and nutmeg together and set aside.  Cream butter until light, then add sugar slowly, creaming until fluffy.  Beat
egg yolks until thick and light, add to butter mixture, a little at a time, beating well after each addition.  Blend flour in gradually, then mix in vanilla and beat JUST until smooth.  Beat egg whites until soft peaks form  and fold gently into batter.  Spoon into pan and bake 65 - 70 minutes until cake pulls slightly from sides of pan.  Cool upright in pan on a wire cake rack 30 minutes. (I cooled mine for 10 minutes only and it turned out fine.)  Cool thoroughly before slicing.  (I wrapped mine up in plastic wrap, then with foil while still warm and sliced this the following day. It was great that way.)