"For I was hungry & you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty & you gave me something to drink..."

Matthew 25:35

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Red Velvet Birthday Cake

my husband's work needed a december b-day cake- so i decided on red velvet because i love making it!!!

1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 ounces red food coloring
2 tablespoons
cocoa (heaping)
1 cup
2 1/4 cups
cake flour
1 teaspoon
1 teaspoon
1 teaspoon
baking soda
1 teaspoon

Directions: Preheat oven to 350°

1. Cream shortening, sugar and eggs.
2. Make a paste of food coloring and cocoa.
3. Add to creamed mixture.
4. Add buttermilk alternating with flour and salt.
5. Add vanilla.
6. Add soda to vinegar, and blend into the batter.

7. Pour into 3 or 4 greased and floured 8" cake pans. (or 1 13x9x2 in pan)
8. Bake at 350° for 25-35 minutes.


I used my basic frosting recipe (1/2 cup crisco & 1/2 cup butter mixed with powdered sugar, milk & vanilla) to frost this instead of the tradtional cream cheese or whipped cream frosting. i needed it to be birthday cake worthy & i think a stiffer frosting is better.

God Bless!

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Lemon Jello-O Cake

this cake was seriously SO FREAKING GOOD!!! i needed something quick for the husband's birthday last night & this cake...well it took the cake! and i'm not usually a promoter of boxed cake mix, but it TOTALLY WORKS!!!

Lemon Jell-O Cake
1 pkg. yellow cake mix
3 oz. pkg. lemon jello
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup oil
4 eggs
2 cups confectioner sugar
juice of 2 lemons & zest of 1
Preheat over to 350. Oil & flour a 9x13in cake pan.
Combine cake mix, jello, water, oil and eggs- beat until blended. Pour the batter into the prepared pan & bake for 30-35 minutes. Do not over bake.
Prick hot cake ALL OVER with a fork & then pour glaze over cake while it's still hot- spread it out with a spatula & let the cake cool.
Cut & Serve- Enjoy!!!
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Pumpkin Pie & Chocolate Chip Cookies & Cream Tart

i made a couple pie/tarts for Thanksgiving:

LIBBY'S® Famous Pumpkin Pie
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 large eggs
1 can (15 oz.)
LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 can (12 fl. oz.)
NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk
1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell
Whipped cream (optional)

MIX sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.
POUR into pie shell.
BAKE in preheated 425° oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before serving.

Chocolate Chip Cookie and Cream Tart (from thenest.com)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2/3 cup (4 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon powdered sugar 1
teaspoon vanilla extract

Make the crust. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Butter a 10-inch springform pan.
Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until smoothly blended, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until blended, about 1 minute. The mixture may look slightly curdled. On low speed, add the flour mixture, mixing just until it is incorporated. Mix in the chocolate chips.

Use your fingers to spread the dough evenly over the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake just until the top begins to turn golden but the center is still soft, about 17 minutes. Loosen the edges of the cookie from the pan, and cool the crust in the pan on a wire rack.

Make the filling. In a medium saucepan, heat the cream and butter over low heat until the cream is hot and the butter melts. The mixture should form tiny bubbles and measure about 175° F. on a thermometer; do not let the mixture boil, or it may form a skin on top. (If this does happen, use a spoon to carefully lift off the skin and discard it.) Remove the pan from the heat, add the chocolate chips, and let them sit in the hot cream mixture for about 30 seconds to soften, then whisk until all of the chocolate is melted and the filling is smooth. Stir in the vanilla. Let the filling cool and thicken at room temperature for about 30 minutes, so it won’t run off the crust.
Leaving a 1-inch plain edge, spread the sauce over the crust. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes to firm the filling.

Use a small sharp knife to loosen the sides of the crust from the pan and then remove the sides of the pan. Use a sharp knife to loosen the crust from the bottom of the pan and then a wide metal spatula to slide the tart onto a platter.
Make the topping. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla until firm peaks form. Spread the whipped cream over the chocolate filling, mounding it slightly in the center.
Serve, or cover carefully and refrigerate for as long as overnight. Serve cold.

Enjoy & God Bless!
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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Chewy Ginger Snaps

i'm not huge on ginger snaps- they're simply too hard & spicy. however, i have a recipe that makes a lovely batch of mild & chewy snaps- and they're awesome!!

You Need:
3/4 cup butter- softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup molasses
2 cups flour
1 egg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup crystallized ginger- minced (make it a "heavy" 1/2 cup- ie: full)
Combine butter, sugar, molasses & egg- beat well.
Sift together dry ingredients & add to wet mixture- mix well.
Add the minced ginger- mix well. Chill the mix for 1 hour+
Preheat oven to 375°
Using a small ice cream scoop- form 1- inch balls and roll in granulated sugar (i use a mix of white & raw sugar) Place on a greased cookie sheet (or use Reynold's Heavy Duty Non-Stick Foil- it works like a dream!) 2 inches apart.
Bake 8-10 min (8 for chewy. 10 for less chewy. i do 8.)
Makes about 3 dozen.
Enjoy & God Bless
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Monday, November 17, 2008

birthday cake

i had to make a birthday cake for all of the Nov. birthdays at my husband's work:

White Cake
1 cup milk, room temperature
6 egg whites
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter (6 oz), softened

Preheat oven to 350
Grease 1 13x9x2 in cake pan with vegetable shortening, line the bottom with parchment paper, grease the parchment paper and flour the pan.
Combine milk, eggs whites and extracts in a small bowl with a fork. Set aside.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in an electric mixer and mix at slow speed with a paddle attachment. Add butter. Continue beating at slow speed until mixture looks like wet sand (If you’re doing this by hand, sift the dry ingredients together and rub in butter).
Add all but 1/2 cup of milk mixture and beat at medium speed for 1 1/2 minutes. Add remaining milk mixture and beat for an additional 30 seconds, scraping the sides of the bowl if necessary. Do not overmix.
Pour batter into prepared pan and gently shake to smooth batter. Bake 30-35 minutes, until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cake cool in the pans for 15 minutes then invert onto racks to cool completely before frosting.

Chocloate Frosting:
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups confectioner’s sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup milk

To make the frosting:
1. Cream the butter and vanilla together with an electric mixer on low to medium speed.
2. In a separate bowl, combine the confectioner’s sugar and cocoa powder.
3. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture until fully integrated. Slowly add the milk to the frosting until you have reached the desired consistency. Beat with an electric mixer for 1 minute or until creamy.

i doubled the cake & frosting recipe to make a 2 layer sheet cake. yum!!
Enjoy & God Bless
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flat & chewy chocolate chip cookies

You Need:

2 c. all-purpose flour
1 ¼ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
8 oz butter, softened
1 ½ c. packed light brown sugar
¼ cup sugar
2 eggs
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
2 c. chopped high quality milk chocolate (or chips)
2 c. chopped toasted walnuts (optional- I skipped them)


1. Preheat the oven to 325-degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt.
2. In a mixer fitted with a paddle, cream the butter and sugars until fluffy, 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla. Add the flour mixture all at once and blend until a dough forms. Fold in the chocolate and walnuts. Chill the dough.
3. Using a small ice-cream scoop place about 1 tblsp on the baking sheet and flatten to 1/2 -inch-thick disks spaced 2 inches apart. Chill the dough between batches.
4. Bake until the edges are golden brown, 14 to 16 minutes. Let cool slightly on the baking sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack. Makes 30 to 35 cookies.

Enjoy & God Bless
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Stromboli Appetizer Bites

You Need:

2 packages Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
1/2 lb deli sliced salami
1/2 lb deli slices mozzerella
1/2 lb deli sliced sharp cheddar (Hoffman's)
1/2 lb deli sliced ham (Krakus is best)
7 eggs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 jars (12 oz) roasted red peppers (drained)
1. Heat oven to 350 & coat a 13x9x2 in panch with cooking spray. Unroll 1 package of crescent rolls and use dough to line the bottom of the dish. Pinch sams together or use the new no seams dough!)
2. Cover rolls with half of salami, cheese & ham (layering as you go: meat, cheese, meat, cheese- etc) Lightly beat together 6 of the eggs & the Parmesan; pour half evenly over the top. Top with half of the roasted red peppers. Repeat layering with the rest of the meat & cheese, egg mixture & peppers. Top with the remaining package of crescent rolls. Push against the sides.
3. Lightly beat the remaining egg & brush over the top. Cover dish with foil; bake for 30 minutes. Uncover & bake for an addtl 30- 40 min.
Cool for at least 1 hour; cut into about 32 aquares & serve. Can be served warm, cold or at room temp.
Enjoy & God Bless
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Tri Colored Stuffed Peppers

You Need:
1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper (or orange)
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground turkey
2 slices white bread cut into cubes
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes with basil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 egg
1 small onion, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped sage leaves, plus 6 to 8 whole leaves, for frying (i used dried, minced leaves)
A few dashes Worcestershire sauce
A few dashes hot sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon oil
Vegetable oil, for frying


Preheat oven to 400°
Remove core and seeds from peppers. Slice into 1 inch rings and place on nonstick baking sheet. You should get about 3 rings per pepper.
In a large bowl mix together beef, turkey, bread, 1/2 cup of the tomatoes, garlic, egg, onion, chopped sage, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and season with salt and pepper.

Press meatloaf mixture evenly into pepper rings.

In a skillet over medium-high heat, add oil. Saute meatloaf rings on both sides until golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. Add remaining tomatoes to skillet and bake until cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes.

(optional- i couldn't find sage leaves- booo)
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat 1-inch vegetable oil until a deep-fry thermometer reaches 325 degrees F. Drop sage leaves into oil and fry until golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Garnish meatloaf rings with fried sage leaves.

We had this with Mashed Potatoes. i like to make my potatoes with hot cream, un-salted butter & white pepper. i also RICE my potatoes into the hot cream mixture- it makes them so silky smooth it's amazing!!!

Enjoy & God Bless!
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world's best lasagna

You Need:
1lb sweet Italian sausage
1lb pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup minced onion (i used onion powder)
4-6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
2 (6.5 ounce) cans canned tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
1-2 tablespoons white sugar
1 1/2 tsp dried basil leaves
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
9-12 lasagna noodles
16 ounces ricotta cheese
1 egg
1 1/2 lbs mozzarella cheese, sliced
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. In a Dutch oven, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned.

Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley.
Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. (i simmer for 4-6 hours)

2. Soak noodles in a dish of hot tap water while putting together the rest of the dish. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

3. Preheat oven to 375° (190 degrees C)

4. To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Arrange 6 (or 3, 3 & 3) noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.

5. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Enjoy & God Bless.
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Sunday, November 2, 2008

vanilla cupcakes with buttercream frosting

Magnolia Bakery Vanilla Cupcakes:
1 1/2 c. self-rising flour
1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 c. sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 c. yogurt or sour cream
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350° Line two 12-cup muffin tins with muffin cups. In a small bowl, combine the flours. Set aside. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the sour cream/yogurt and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended.
Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about three-quarters full.
Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
Cool the cupcakes in the tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

Wilton's Buttercream Frosting:
1/2 cup Crisco
1/2 cup butter- softened
1 tsp clear vanilla (regular is fine as well)
4 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 tblsp milk or cream

In large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer.
Add vanilla.
Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed.
Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often.
When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry.
Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.

p.s. i usually only use Crisco in my frosting recipe because i like it much stiffer for decorating purposes- but i tried this recipe & it worked for a softer frosting. i think my Crisco was old, though, because i could totally taste it (gross)- so i threw in about a tsp of Mint Extract to cover it up- then i colored it (orange) using drop food coloring. i piped it onto the cupcakes using a star tip & then i cut up 2 Mint 3 Musketeer bars & placed a piece on top of each cupcake.

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Potato & Cheese Casserole w/Panko Chicken

for the chicken- You Need:
any amount (it's up to you) chicken breast- cut into strips & marinated overnight (any marinade can be used. i made one using olive oil, vermouth, water, garlic, salt, red pepper, basil- etc etc)
1 egg (more for larger amounts of chicken)
1 cup Panko Bread Crumbs (" ")

set the oven to 400°- line a broiler pan with foil & spray with cooking spray.
set up a "serving line" of sorts, for your chicken. dip the chicken in the egg & then roll in the bread crumbs & set it onto the pan. continue until all the chicken is finished.
cook the chicken for about 15-20 min (depending on thickness) and then pop it under the broiler for about 3 min (watch it!!!) until brown.

for the potato casserole- You Need:
2-3 large red/yellow potatoes
3/4-1ish cup whipping or heavy cream
1 1/2-2 cups shredded mozzerella
1 container fresh mozzerella balls (optional)
to taste: basil, salt, smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder

1. cut the potatoes into chunks & boil until just tender- drain
2. in a baking dish- spray the dish with non-stick spray & pour about 1/2 cup cream into the bottom. sprinkle about 1/2 cup of cheese & half of the seasonings you plan to use, on top of the cream.
3. spread the potatoes into the dish & cover with the remaining cheese, spices & cream. then, following the direction on the box, pour in the cornstarch to your desired thickness (i used about a tablespoon or so of CS)
4. bake uncovered for about 30 min in a 400° oven until cheese is bubbly.

Enjoy! God Bless.
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Jamaican Jerk Chicken

You Need:
1 1/4(ish)lb chicken breast halves (about 4 or so)
1 tblsp Jamaican Jerk Seasoning (i use McCormick)
1 tsp Thyme Leaves
1 tsp Onion Powder
1 tblsp Orange Juice

1. Mix Caribbean Jerk Seasoning, thyme, onion powder, allspice and orange juice in small bowl to make a spice paste.
2. Rub spice paste on both sides of chicken.
3. Broil on high or grill over medium heat 5 to 7 minutes per side or until chicken is cooked through.
we had this with Cous Cous & dinner rolls- awesome!
God Bless!
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Saturday, October 25, 2008

saturday afternoon nachos

1/2 bag organic tortillas (trader joe's)
about 3-4 spoonfuls of tomatoe-less salsa (trader joe's)
about 1 cup(ish) shredded mozzerella
garlic powder, basil, smoked paprika & sea salt

set oven to 350. line a cookie sheet with foil & spray with non-stick cooking spray (not alot)
spead the chips in a single layer- sprinle the cheese on top- drop spoonfuls of the salsa over the cheese, sprinkle on the seasonings (to taste)
pop it into the oven for about 7-8 min. set the oven to broil & broil the nachos (on the top rack) for about 2-3 min (watch it to make sure it doesn't burn)

pull out the nachos & serve with sour cream. yum!

Enjoy & God Bless!
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quick maple glazed salmon

yes, more fish this week! i LOVE salmon, it's probably my favorite fish. brandon, on the other hand, hates it. so i had salmon & he had soup (he was sick anyway, so it worked)

now usually when i make maple glazed salmon, i let the fish marinate overnight- but since i didn't have time for that, i did the quick salmon glaze this time. (if you want to marinate: 2 parts maple syrup to 1 part soy sauce- marinate overnight & uses seasonings before cooking )

you need:
1 salmon filet (it can be un-skinned if you're not marinating it)
maple syrup (real or fake- i used fake because i'm not big on the real stuff)
soy sauce
sea salt
cracked black pepper
red pepper flakes

set the over to 400. line a broiling pan with foil & spray with non-stick cooking spray. place the salmon (skin side down) onto the foil. rub about 1 1/2 tblsp of maple syrup onto the fish. then sprinkle about 1 1/2 tsp soy sauce on top and rub it in. add a shake or two of the red pepper flakes, black pepper & the sea salt on top and pop it into the oven for about 15-20 min (depending on thickness- until done) then set your over to broil & broil the fish (on the top rack) for about 3-5 min.
pull the fish out & drizzle some addtl maple syrup over the top.

Serve with rice or noodles & a veggie (i ate it by itself- but that's because i was lazy) Enjoy!

oh yes, the husband had soup: chicken broth, egg noodles, hamburg, corn- seasonings. just a quick, simple hearty soup!
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crusted haddock

the only fish my husband really likes is haddock, because it's such a light fish that once it's coated with seasonings- it no longer tastes like fish. so this week we had haddock.

i simply brushed a 1lb filet with olive oil & crusted it with one of McCormick's Crusting Blends (found in any local grocery store) i baked it @ 400 for about 15 min & then broiled it for another 3-5. it came out perfectly. paired with white rice & corn (hello starch) i felt like we had a pretty healthy dinner.

obviously, he approved. God Bless.
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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Double Pumpkin Chip Muffin & Spice Muffins with Maple Cinnamon Frosting

so i made a multitude of muffins today- Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins & Spice Muffins with Maple Cinnamon Frosting. i actually "messed up" on the spice muffin & forgot what would seem to be a key ingredient- the SUGAR!!! however- there is also 1 cup of Brown Sugar in the recipe as well- and as it turns out, leaving out the white sugar TOTALLY WORKS because the maple frosting gives this "muffin" plenty of sweetness! so all in all, if you're going to make the spice muffins with the frosting, then leave out the 1 cup of white sugar. if you want to eliminate the frosting, then add the 1 cup of white sugar. genius! (i also left out the ginger but i don't think you'd know wither way)

Spice Muffins with Maple Cinnamon Frosting:

2 1/4 C. flour
1/4 C. cornstarch
1 C. granulated sugar (optional- use it if you're not going with the frosting- omit if vice versa)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ginger (i omited)
1/2 tsp. cloves
1 C. butter, softened
1 C. brown sugar, packed
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 C. buttermilk
3 eggs
1 Tbs. maple syrup
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 C. butter , softened
1/3 C. milk
3 C. powdered sugar

Directions: Preheat oven to 350. Line 2 muffins pans with liners. In a large mixing bowl, combine the first 10 ingredients. In a separate bowl, cream butter and brown sugar. Add vanilla and buttermilk; mix well. Then add eggs and mix well. Fill prepared muffin pans (only 3/4 full). Bake 20 minutes or until done. Cool.

To make frosting: Combine ingredients and mix well. Frost cooled muffins.

Double Pumpkin Chip Muffins:


2 eggs

1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree

1 C sugar

1/2 C canola oil

1 1/2 C AP flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp sea salt (or regular)

1 C semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions: Preheat the oven to 400. In a large batter bowl, beat the eggs and mix in the pumpkin, sugar and oil. Meanwhile, in a smaller bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and soda, cinnamon and salt. Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just until combined, then fold in the chocolate chips. Scoop into a prepared muffin pan and bake for 17-20 minutes, until tops are starting to brown and spring back when pressed, or an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Makes 12-15 muffins

Enjoy & God Bless

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Apple Spice Cake

so our IT guy's birthday is today and i wanted to use up the Marscarpone Frosting from the pumpkin cupcake post, so i decided to make a spice cake of sorts. i looked around & came across martha stewart's Apple Spice Cake recipe by Dorothy Mae Brown. after a little tweaking & such- it came out perfectly!

You Need:
1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp apple pie spice (i added this)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar (i used 1 cup white & 1 cup Turbinado sugar)
3 large eggs
3 to 4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (3 cups- i used 2 GS & 1 Cortland)
1 cup chopped assorted nuts, such as pecans and walnuts (i didn't use these-ick)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Nonstick cooking spray with flour (or oil & flour your pan(s)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 12-cup Bundt pan with cooking spray; set aside. (i used 2-9 in pans that i oiled & floured)
Working over a large sheet of parchment paper, sift together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt; gather sifted ingredients into center of sheet; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine vegetable oil, sugar, and eggs; mix on high speed until lemon yellow.
Fold reserved parchment in half lengthwise; with mixer on medium speed, gradually shake in dry ingredients until just incorporated.
Add apples and, if desired, nuts, to batter; mix to combine. Add vanilla, mixing until incorporated.
Pour batter into prepared pan, and bake until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 75 to 90 minutes. (with 2-9 in pans you will only need to bake between 30-45 min)

Remove from oven, and cool slightly on a wire rack.
Invert cake onto rack; turn cake right-side up to cool completely on rack & then frost. (i place my cakes in the freezer for about 30 min- 1 hour. i makes them easier to frost)

I used up the leftover Marscarpone Frosting from the Pumpkin Cupcakes recipe- i also had to make another 1/2 batch for the top of the cake:

then after letting my cakes chill- i leveled to top of one of the cakes & spread about 1 cup of the frosting over that- after placing the other top on i scooped the rest of the frosting into a pastry bag & went to work:

i was please with the results. after i was done i sprinkled the top with Applie Pie Spice & popped it into the fridge. i'll probably take it out about 15 min. before we eat it today!

Enjoy & God Bless!

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Spiced Pumpkin Mascarpone Cupcakes:

i found this awesome recipe on Tartelette's food blog- these cupcakes are soooo good!

Spiced Pumpkin Mascarpone Cupcakes:
Makes 24
3/4 cup butter softened (1 1/2 sticks)

1 3/4 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin
1 cup milk
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place baking cups in muffin pan.
Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine pumpkin, vanilla extract and milk in a separate bowl. Mix flour, spices, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Add to butter/sugar mixture alternately with pumpkin/milk batter, mixing thoroughly after each addition.

Divide evenly among the cupcake liners and bake 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.

Mascarpone Cheese Frosting:
16 oz mascarpone cheese (1 pound), at room temperature
1 stick butter, at room temperature
4-5 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

With an electric mixer, beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed until creamy. Add 4 cups of the powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat until combined. Add more sugar, little by little until you get to the consistency and sweetness you like. If the frosting gets too stiff, add some milk, one teaspoon at a time.

honestly- this made way too much frosting- i had quite a bit left over- so i'll use it at some point this week. all in all though- these were amazing! i sprinkled the tops with Pumpkin Pie Spice and it was the perfect touch! enjoy- God Bless!
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