Tarragon Chicken Recipe

Tarragon Chicken Recipe

Tarragon Chicken Recipe

Tarragon Chicken Recipe

Tarragon Chicken Recipe

This is… heaven on a plate. Truly, if you eat it, you will probably die from a heart attack. But it is totally worth it. It’s creamy, buttery, delectable, tender, saucy, soft, and just the perfect combo of flavors- fresh and indescribably delicious!!! Definitely try this one out, even if you are a health nut! It is well worth the calories.

I have a fun ditty about this recipe that includes my parental units… so on the nights that my mom and dad are gone, my siblings and I often have some sort of quick meal planned. It happened one night that they had been gone for the past few nights, and… how do I put this? We had no clue what we were going to eat. With several all-devouring boys and hungry girls to feed, we wanted only the best. I jotted down the ingredients for the best recipe we knew, and my brother took me with him to the grocery store. We made a strategical strike and were out of the store quickly. As it happened, we got a call from my other brother saying that our parents were still home, and they couldn’t be allowed to see the groceries; they would know what we were up to. We figured that if we must, we could pull over, but as we drove down the final stretch of road towards our house a few minutes later, a familiar looking car passed. And it had two familiar looking people in it. Knowing we were out of the woods, we hurried home and got cracking. My siblings and I made ourselves a delicious meal and dubbed the evening “The Night of Rebellion.” There have only been a few of those since then. :) But all have included tarragon chicken. And we make references to it all the time.

Tarragon Chicken Recipe:

Rice, cooked accordingly for ~6 servings

6 lbs. chicken breasts, raw, cubed

2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 tsp. pepper

3 Tbsp + 3 tsp. olive oil

4 egg whites

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter

2 Tbsp. vinegar

4 cups (1 quart) whipping cream

2 Tbsp. dried tarragon leaves

salt and pepper to taste

3-4 diced tomatoes

additional cornstarch

Directions:

  1. Combine raw chicken, salt, pepper, cornstarch, olive oil and egg whites in a large bowl until the chicken is thoroughly coated.
  2. In a large pan, melt the butter. Pour the chicken into the pan and saute the chicken until golden.
  3. Once it is finished, add the vinegar, whipping cream, tarragon, salt, and pepper. Cook over medium heat until thickened to a saucy consistency. You may have to add more cornstarch. If you do so, add only a little at a time.
  4. Stir in the diced tomatoes (or use the tomatoes as a garnish, if you like.) Top the rice with some of the sauce, and serve!
  5. Enjoy this heavenly decadence.
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Saint Lucian Chocolate Tea Recipe

Sorry! I don’t have a picture for this recipe, but trust me… it’s amazing!

Chocolate Tea. I swoon at the very mention of it! I found out about this liquidized heaven when I was on a trip to Saint Lucia. I stayed at the La Haut Plantation with my mom and sister and every morning the plantation staff would have a breakfast buffet prepared… at the end of the buffet the beverages (which consisted of Chocolate Tea and all these amazingly tasty juices made from strange fruits or flowers) would be neatly assembled. I always tried some of the juices, but I had their Chocolate Tea religiously every morning as if my life depended on it. When they were late to get it out one morning, I just about died- no Chocolate Tea? WHAT?? I guess it’s a very popular drink in Saint Lucia, and I have no problem what-so-ever seeing why. :) Luckily, my Mom realized that the staff on the plantation sold the recipe, as well as locally dried and ground cocoa. I had to get my hands on both, of course!

As for the description, it creamy, spicy, and fluffy. Yes, that’s what it is. I know what you’re probably thinking right now, but that’s what the cornstarch in this recipe is for. It doesn’t make the drink thick or pudding-like in the least… it just makes it fluffy. I don’t know how to put it. No using skim milk for this recipe no matter what. It’ll ruin the texture and the flavor of the drink. Also, was I just not very knowledgeable, or is it very cool that bay leaves come from a cinnamon tree? And that nutmeg comes from the pit of a peach-like fruit? I don’t know these things.

Chocolate Tea Recipe:

1 cup cocoa powder

4 cups water

1 (14 oz.) can evaporated milk

1/3 cup 2% milk or cream

2 bay leaves

1 tsp. vanilla

2 tsp. cinnamon

a dash of nutmeg

2 Tbsp. cornstarch

Directions:

1. Over medium heat, boil the water, cinnamon, and bay leaves together for 15 minutes. Add the cocoa to the boiling water and boil for another 10 minutes. Add the evaporated milk and 2% milk and heat until hot but do not boil.  Using a whisk to stir it in, sprinkle the cornstarch into the cocoa mixture. Add the vanilla. Remove the bay leaves (or strain the mixture if you like).

2. Pour it into a mug. Add sugar to taste (it will be bitter without the sugar) and serve.

 3. This will redefine your definition of tea (or hot cocoa… either way)! :)

Yum Yum Cake Recipe

Yum Yum Cake Recipe

Yum Yum Cake Recipe

Yum Yum Cake Recipe

Yum Yum Cake Recipe

Yum Yum Cake Recipe

Yum Yum Cake Recipe

First off is the explanation of the vague name… my Mom re-named this cake many years ago when she had her arms full with toddlers. I remember looking through a cookbook and I saw the recipe. “Hey!” I thought. “This recipe looks the same as Yum Yum Cake.” Come to find out, I had discovered the cake’s original title. My eyes just about fell out of my head when I realized what it was really  called. WHAT???  I still much prefer to call it Yum Yum Cake and I’m sure that I always will. :)

Anyway… let me just say that this is not an unusual birthday cake request in my household. :) As soon as you look at the ingredients, you’ll know why too. Maybe it’s because this cake is decadent, gooey, crunchy, fluffy, and it hits you hard (all at the same time!).  Oh, and did I mention that it’s probably the easiest thing that you’ll ever make (yes, I’m ordering you to make it!)? There’s not a single thing that you have to measure because it’s all prepackaged. :)

I entered this recipe in the county fair this year. I’ve never done anything in the fair, really… so this year is a first. I wasn’t completely sure what to do, so I just kind of had to go with the flow. But I was feeling pretty confident that this cake would do well. I was happy when I found out that it got second place. :) My mom and I stayed for the auction and I had to laugh at her very uneconomical decision to buy the cake back. Apparently she wanted to hoard the glorious-ness of the cake for our family and she didn’t have the patience to wait for me to make a new one when we got home. :) You have to believe me when I say that I gave her a good tease about that!

Yum Yum Cake Recipe( from the Devil’s Food Cookbook):

1 box German Chocolate cake mix

1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk

1 (17 oz.) jar Mrs. Richardson’s Butterscotch Caramel Sauce

1 (8 oz.) container Cool Whip

1 (8 oz.) bag of Heath candy bits

Directions:

1. Prepare the German chocolate cake as directed on the box (bake in a 13×9 inch pan, not two round pans). After it has finished baking and cooled for a little while, use the end of a wooden spoon to poke many holes all over the cake (don’t be shy. No one will ever see the holes but you!) and pour the caramel sauce and sweetened condensed milk over the cake.

2. When you’re sure that the cake is COMPLETELY cooled, frost it with the Cool Whip. Sprinkle as much or as little of the Heath bits on top of the cake as you wish.

3. “We have a volunteer to serve the cake. Let  the yums begin… and may the calories be ever in your favor.”

– Katy’s adapted quote from The Hunger Games

Rhubarb Pie Recipe

Rhubarb Pie Recipe

Rhubarb Pie Recipe

Rhubarb Pie Recipe

Rhubarb Pie Recipe

Rhubarb Pie Recipe

Rhubarb Pie Recipe

Rhubarb Pie Recipe

Rhubarb Pie Recipe

SUMMER!!! RHUBARB!!! BALING HAY!!! For me, rhubarb pie and baling are directly linked. You can’t have one and not have the other! If you haven’t gathered, I’m a farm girl. Baling hay is probably one of the hottest summer chores ever invented and everyone is always starving by the time they finish. Most of the time I stay back at the house, make rhubarb pie, and watch my little brother while my Dad, brothers, and some hired help do the actual baling. Occasionally I drive the tractor, but it’s not as easy as it sounds to steer a tractor, a baler, and a wagon all at once. I have to look back often to make sure that everything is on course and it makes me wish that I had eyes in the back of my head. Anyway, our tradition is this: after baling, everyone flocks to our pond and dunks in. Then we eat pizza and rhubarb pie and ice cream. :)

Sometimes the people who come to help bale seem puzzled about rhubarb pie. Rhubarb pie? Isn’t rhubarb a vegetable? The answer is yes. Rhubarb is a vegetable but it tastes very much like fruit. It is tart and sour, but that is why the pie has so much more zing than other pie recipes. It is my one of my family’s favorite pies and it always disappears quickly. In fact, this morning one of my brothers wandered into my bedroom and told me something that I simply had to share! “Hey Katy… I had a nightmare last night. I dreamed that our dog ate the last slice of rhubarb pie.” I had a good laugh over that!  That might just go to show you how much my family loves rhubarb pie. The filling is sweet and tangy, and the crust is always promisingly buttery, flaky, and crisp. There is always the perfect amount of goo but it’s never too messy to present well! If you have any doubts about this recipe (simply because of the fact that rhubarb is a vegetable) then I dare you to make it. IT IS SO GOOD!!! (If you have never seen nor heard of rhubarb, I’ve attached a picture of it at the bottom of the post.)

Rhubarb Pie Recipe:

(From Betty Crocker)

For Crust:

2/3 cup butter

2 cups flour

1 tsp. salt

4-5 Tbsp water

For the Filling:

4 cups chopped rhubarb

1 2/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup flour

1/2 tsp. orange peel

2 tbsp. butter

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and set out an ungreased 9 inch pie plate.

2. For the crust: I sometimes cheat on this part and you can too if you want. What I do, is I just throw the ingredients in my electric mixer and pulse it, so as not to lose the flakiness of the crust (add the water 1 tbsp. at a time between pulses). If you don’t want to cheat, keep on reading this step. Cut butter into flour and salt until particles are the size of small peas. Sprinkle in water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and pastry almost cleans the sides of the bowl.

 3. Gather dough into a ball and cut it in half.  Roll out one of the halves of dough on a lightly floured surface until the pastry is about two inches larger than inverted pie plate. Fold the pastry into quarters; ease into plate and unfold. Then press it firmly against the bottom and side.

4.  For the filling: Mix the flour, sugar, orange peel, and rhubarb together in a large bowl until rhubarb is thoroughly coated. Dump the filling into the pie plate, making sure that it is evenly spread, and dot the butter on top.

5. Roll out the other half of the dough on a lightly floured surface until the pastry is about two inches larger than pie plate. Fold the pastry into quarters; ease it onto the filling and carefully unfold it. Cut off any excess dough, leaving about an inch of dough hanging off of the pie plate’s edge. Fold the dough under and flute.

6. Cover the fluted edge with aluminum foil so that it will not burn and place the pie plate on a cookie sheet. Cut slits in the  crust top and sprinkle the crust generously with sugar. (DO NOT SKIP OR SKIMP ON THE SUGAR! It bakes on very well and makes the crust 100% even more delicious!)

7. Bake the pie for 35 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 10-15 more minutes. When you take it out, it should be a rich golden brown (as pictured above) and thick syrupy goo should be bubbling out of the slits.

8. Enjoy warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a happy heart!

Rhubarb

Rhubarb

Peanut Butter Pie Recipe

Peanut Butter Pie Recipe

Peanut Butter Pie Recipe

Peanut Butter Pie Recipe

Peanut Butter Pie Recipe

Peanut Butter Pie Recipe

Peanut Butter Pie Recipe

I have been looking for a good peanut butter pie recipe for ever. No matter what recipe I found or looked at, none of the pies seemed quite right… even this one (adapted from LoveThatFood.com) had to be tweeked a little by some random teenager called Katy. :) Anyway, other than some fixed proportions, I didn’t have to change much. I just thought that… hm… perhaps it would be best if the crust covered the bottom and the sides of the pie plate instead of sparsely coating the bottom.

For me, this recipe hits two birds with one stone. Cream cheese and peanut butter! Could it get much better??? I’ve been craving peanut butter lately and ever since my uncle mentioned peanut butter pie to me I knew that I had to get my hands on a recipe! I have found that I’ve been getting better at finding good recipes online whereas when I first started, I came across many bum recipes. The key is not to focus on the presentation of the dessert… look for goo. Look for messy. And make sure you like the taste of the ingredients. :)

This pie was a hit. My family devoured all but one tiny slice of pie which no one could manage to squeeze in. My sister, after one bite, said “Put this pie on the favorites list.” So, I guess I should respect by elders and obey… what a bummer (NOT!!!!!!!!!). Anyway, the peanut butter pie was very soft, creamy, flavorful, and the oreos added a great crunch to contrast the fluffy, pudding-y filling.

Peanut Butter Pie Recipe:

For the Crust:

2 1/4 cups double stuf oreo cookies crumbs (about 20 cookies)

7 tbsp. white sugar

7 tbsp. butter, melted

For the Filling:

1 cup creamy peanut butter

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese

1 cup sugar

1 tbsp. butter

1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup heavy whipping cream

For the Topping (optional):

1/4 (12 oz.) bags milk chocolate chips (melted), grated chocolate, or oreo cookie crumbs

Directions:

1. For the Crust: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and set out one pie plate. In a small mixing bowl, mix the crushed oreos, butter, and sugar together until well combined. Press the mixture into the pie plate and bake it for ten minutes. Remove the pie from the oven and, if the crust has sunken to the bottom of the plate, use a spoon to re-press the crust (while it’s hot) to the pan. Allow it to cool completely.

2. For the Filling: In a large mixing bowl, mix all of the filling ingredients (except the whipping cream) together by hand until smooth. In a separate bowl fitted to an electric mixer, whip the whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture until well combined. Pour the filling into the cooled pie plate and place the pie in the freezer (no worries, the pie does not get hard in the slightest… it gets chilled but remains soft. That’s how mine was even after I left mine in the freezer for several hours!).

3. For the Topping (optional): Melt the chocolate chips and use a fork to drizzle the melted chocolate over the pie; return the pie to the freezer until it is served. OR sprinkle the grated chocolate over the pie before returning it to the freezer. OR sprinkle the oreo crumbs over the pie before returning it to the freezer.

4. For the Eating: This part is fairly self-explanatory, I think… :)

Blueberry Crumble Pie Recipe

Blueberry Crumble Pie Recipe

Blueberry Crumble Pie Recipe

Blueberry Crumble Pie Recipe

Blueberry Crumble Pie Recipe

Blueberry Crumble Pie Recipe

Blueberry Crumble Pie Recipe

This recipe was another one of my tests. The first time I made it I used a different filling and it turned out super runny. Of course, everyone was saying “Katy this is so good! It’s not a good pie if it isn’t gooey!” I had a hard time trying to explain to them that there is a fine line between gooey and runny. I just didn’t think that I should have to serve pie in a bowl… :) And, as usual, I have my summer-time pie fever. Something about making pies is just so fun to me… they are, by far, my favorite baked goods to make.

This recipe is based off of a family favorite (apple crumble pie. See my post on it!) from the Devil’s Food Cookbook, but I switched out the apple pie filling for a blueberry pie filling by Betty Crocker. The pie got rave reviews and the best thing is that, for all you people out there who hate rolling out pie crusts, this crust recipe is a piece of cake or, more literally, easy as pie. Anyway, the crust has almost a creamy flavor (hence the cream cheese I guess…) and is matched well by the crumb topping. The filling complements both, of course, and knowing that it’s a blueberry filling, I don’t suppose that much could go wrong with it. :) The lemon frosting is a nice touch of zing (but not at all overpowering) and is the perfect finishing touch to the decadence.

Blueberry Crumble Pie Recipe:

For the Crust:

1 cup flour

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

4 0z. (1/2 package) cream cheese

For Filling:

4 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

1/2 cup white sugar

1/3 cup flour

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tbsp. lemon juice

1 tbsp. butter

 For Crumb Topping:

1/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 cup flour

1/2 cup (1 stick)  butter

For Glaze:

1/2 cup powder

2-3  tsp. lemon juice

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and grease a 9 inch pie plate.

2. For crust: In a medium bowl, cut the butter into the flour with a knife . Using your hands or a pastry cutter, mix the butter-flour mixture to a coarse mixture. Add the cream cheese and continue mixing with your hands until a soft dough forms. Press the dough into the prepared pie plate.

3. For the Filling: Combine all of the filling ingredients except for the lemon juice and butter. Pour the filling into the pie plate and dot the butter on top before sprinkling the lemon juice over the filling.

5. For the Crumb Topping: Mix all of the ingredients except for the butter together in a small bowl. Cut the butter in and use a pastry cutter to make a crumbly mixture. Spread all of the crumble mixture over the pie and make sure that you cover all of the pie’s edges. You should not be able to see any filling.

6. Place the pie plate on a cookie sheet and bake for ten minutes. Then reduce the oven’s heat to 325 degrees and bake for 50-60 more minutes or until the crumble topping starts to turn a light golden brown. Allow the pie to cool.

7. Mix the powdered sugar and the lemon juice. Start off adding less lemon juice than suggested. Keep adding juice until the frosting is thin enough to drizzle. Be careful not to make it too thin, however, or the frosting will just soak in and the pie will not look as pretty.

8. Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream… on a plate, not in a bowl. :)

Mississippi Mud Cake Recipe

Mississippi Mud Cake Recipe

Mississippi Mud Cake Recipe

Mississippi Mud Cake Recipe

Mississippi Mud Cake Recipe

Mississippi Mud Cake Recipe

Mississippi Mud Cake Recipe

This recipe is my dad’s classic birthday request- he loves it and so does everyone else! It is very easy to whip up and what I love about making it is that you don’t have to wait for the cake to cool before adding the frosting. It always seems like I have to wait forever before frosting each cake and so this one was a nice breather. :) Some nice, consolidated baking. Anyway, the cake is absolutely to die for. It is soft and gooey and… hits you like a brick. It is a very dense cake, but it is totally worth every bite!

And what is it with me and coconut? Ever since I finished my recent coconut obsession, the stuff seems to be gravitating into the recipes that I’ve been making. Oh well… such a pity (not). While I am reminded of coconut, I will suggest you to use Angel Flake Coconut for all or at least most recipes calling for coconut. Never ever use Kroger brand! It is too dry and not very flavorful. I often laugh at how Kroger claims “Kroger quality guaranteed!” because they never specify what quality they guarantee… high quality or low quality? :)

Mississippi Mud Cake Recipe:

For the Cake:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted

2 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups flour

4 eggs

1/3 cup cocoa

1 cup coconut

1/2 cup pecans

For the Filling:

1 (7 oz.) jar marshmallow creme

For the Frosting:

6 tbsp. butter

1 square (1 oz.) unsweetened chocolate

1/4 cup milk

3 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 13×9 inch pan.

2. For the Cake: In a large bowl, hand stir the butter, sugar, and flour together. Add the eggs and mix until you are sure that they are well incorporated. Add the chocolate, coconut, and pecans and mix thoroughly. Pour the cake batter (it will be thick) into the prepared 13×9 inch pan. and bake it for 40 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean.

3. For the Filling: Immediately spread the marshmallow creme over the hot cake. I found that it is best to spoon it on in globs, wait for it to melt a bit, and then spread it… otherwise the creme starts ripping up the cake. Set the cake aside to let it cool a little while you make the frosting.

4. For the Frosting: In a medium sauce pan, heat the butter, chocolate, and milk over medium heat until the chocolate and butter have both melted. Add the powdered sugar and then the vanilla (the frosting should be running at first but sets up to be fudgy). Immediately and carefully spread the runny frosting over the marshmallow creme and allow it to cool to room temperature.

5. Serve the cake with ice cream if you really want, but it’s a pretty stand-alone cake in my opinion. Enjoy!

Coconut Custard Cake Recipe

Coconut Custard Cake Recipe

Coconut Custard Cake Recipe

Coconut Custard Cake Recipe

Coconut Custard Cake Recipe

Hm… what should I say about this recipe (from the Gooey Desserts cookbook)? Maybe it’s just one of my new favorite cake recipes ever!!! It is SUPER moist  because of the custard filling and it is also SUPER soft and  gooey, a total comfort food.  I would only recommend making this cake, however, if you have an accurate thermometer and some time on your hands. If you don’t have an accurate thermometer, GO GET ONE NOW. It is that good! The frosting is very fluffy and is hugely complemented by the toasted coconut, an absolute must! The cake is very soft and the custard filling makes it wonderfully gooey. Not to mention that coconut is just a great flavor in my opinion.  It used to be that I couldn’t stand coconut. Even just a month ago, I only liked coconut. I think when that really changed for me was when I went on a trip to Saint Lucia. I had fresh coconut there and I think that made me go coconut crazy. I find it hilarious to go to my recipe index page because then I can see all of my latest ingredient obsessions… strawberries, cream cheese… now coconut. :)

I finished making this cake at ten o’clock one night and my brother clambered out of bed to see it. What was his name for it?  Popcorn-Salad Cake! I loved that. Well then, I guess I’ll get on to the Popcorn-Salad Cake Recipe… I’m sure you’re dying to know what the ingredients are!

Coconut Custard Cake Recipe:

For the Cake:

2 2/3 cups flour

1 3/4 cups white sugar

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

4 egg yolks (save the egg whites)

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 cup coconut milk (see the note at the end of the post)

1/2 cup shredded coconut

4 egg whites

For the Coconut Drizzle:

1 cup coconut milk

1 tsp. white

For the Coconut Custard Filling:

1 1/4 cups milk

1 1/4 cups coconut milk

5 eggs yolks (save 3 egg whites for the fluffy frosting)

1/2 cup sugar

3 tbsp. cornstarch

1 tsp. vanilla

1 1/3 cups shredded coconut

For the Fluffy Frosting:

1/2 cup water

1 cup light corn syrup

1 1/2 cups white sugar

3 eggs whites

Directions:

1. For the Cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 round 9 inch cake pans. Line the bottoms of the pans with waxpaper and grease again (waxpaper is very essential. Greasing alone does not work, trust me!!!!) At the end of the post, I can show you what happens to a cake when you don’t use waxpaper. I think you’ll get a kick out of it.

2. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the yolks one at a time and beat until well incorporated. Add vanilla and altetnately add thecoconut milk and the flour. Foild in coconut.  Using an electirc mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff… then gently fold them into the batter.

3. Pour the batter into the preparexd cake pans. Bake for about 25 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean. Wait for the cakes to coll for a few minutes before running a knife around the edges of the pans and flipping the cakes onto  wire racks to cool them completely. When cooled, cut each cake horizontally.

4. For the Custard: In a medium saucepan, heat the two milks. In a seperate bowl, beat the yolks, cornstarch, and sugar together until smooth. Whisk half of the hot milk intu the yolks, then pour  the mixture back into the remaining milk in the pot and slowly bring the yolk/milk mixture to a boil. Boil, whisking constantly, for one minute. The custard will thicken quickly. Immediately remove the custard from the heat and add the  coconut and the vanilla. Pour the custard into a bowl and place it in the freezer to cool for 30 minutes, stirring every ten minutes.

5. For the Coconut Drizzle: Mix the milk and the sugar. Using a brush, brush it onto the  layers before putting the fully cooled custard filling on.

6. For the Fluffy Frosting: Here’s where a thermometer comes in handy… bring the water, corn syrup, and sugar to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until until the mixture is clear (230- 234 degrees). Remove the mixture from the heat. Meanwhile, beat the egg whites until stiff.

Stiff Egg Whites

Stiff Egg Whites

With the whisk attatchment on an electric mixer, beat the egg whites again as you add the hot mixture. Continue beating the mixture for 5 minutes.

7. Follow the directions on your bag of shredded coconut on how to toast the coconut. Toast as much coconut as desired, enough to top the cake’s frosting (better to toast more than not enough).

8. To assemble: Spread the custard over each cake layer and  frost with the fluffy frosting. Sprinkle the toasted coconut generously over the cake.

9. My brother is the king of the song that I have linked here. He sometimes goes around the house, belting out the refrain in an absolutely perfect voice and making it exeptionally dramatic: http://youtu.be/VLz5fSWq_jY

The Refrain’s Lyrics:

Someone left the cake out in the rain!

And I don’t think I can take it…

’cause it took so long to bake it!

And I’ll never have that recipe AGAIN!

Note:

1. If you don’t have any coconut milk on hand, it takes literally 30 seconds to make! All you have to do is blend 1 cup of milk and 1/2 cup coconut together in a blender for 30 seconds. Next, strain it, and you now have one cup of coconut milk!!! Simple as that. :)

2. This is what a cake looks like if you forget to put waxpaper on the bottom of the pan. That’s right. Yep. Lesson learned? Good!

Oops! Forgot the waxpaper for the chocolate cake!!!

Oops! Forgot the waxpaper for the chocolate cake!!!

Cream Cheese Filled Pumpkin Muffins Recipe

Cream Cheese Filled Muffins Recipe

Cream Cheese Filled Muffins Recipe

Cream Cheese Filled Muffins Recipe

Cream Cheese Filled Muffins Recipe

The history of this recipe: one day, I had the brilliant idea that there should be a muffin with a crumbly top and a cream cheese filling. So I went online, searched for a recipe, and hit raw gold. This recipe (by sweet escape) was, hands down, the best muffin discovery I’ve ever made. These muffins are not only moist, soft, and downright heavenly, but the cream cheese oozed out of them when they were warm and the crumb topping did not make a mess when you tried to eat it as most foods with crumb toppings do. No, it baked on and stayed on. :)

Cream Cheese Filled Pumpkin Muffins:

(Makes about 18 muffins)

For the Muffins:

3 cups all-purpose flour

4 eggs

2 cups white sugar

2 cups pumpkin puree

1¼ cups vegetable oil

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

1 tsp. ground cloves

1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

For the Filling:

8 oz. (1 pkg.) slightly warm cream cheese

1 cup powdered sugar

For the Crumb Topping:

1 cup white sugar

1/2 cup + 2 tbsp. flour

1 tbsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter, cubed

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin tin with paper cups or grease lightly.

2. For the muffins,
combine all of the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Hand stir the ingredients until well mixed. Then add the rest of the muffin ingredients. Mix well. Set aside.

3. For the filling, combine the cream cheese and powdered sugar in a bowl and
mix well by hand until smooth and thoroughly mixed. Set aside.

4.  For the topping, combine the sugar, flour, and cinnamon
in a small bowl. Add the cubed butter. Next use a pastry cutter or two knives (I much prefer the pastry cutter) to mix the butter/flour mixture until the mixture resemblesx coarse crumbs. Set aside.

5. Time for the assembly! Cover the bottom of each muffin cup with just enough batter to cover the bottom. Spread some batter up the sides. Drop a sizable glop of cream cheese filling in the center of the muffin cup. Then fill the muffin cup up to the brim with batter and top with the crumb topping (don’t be shy, pile it on- it bakes down). Repeat this step for each muffin.

6. Bake for 18-23 minutes… you should be able to gently tap the muffins with a knife without making an indent. Remove them from the pan immediately.

7. Serve them warm or hot (even room temperature, but then the cream cheese doesn’t ooze as much:) and go to heaven.

Cinnamon Pull-apart Bread Recipe

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread Recipe

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread Recipe

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread Recipe

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread Recipe

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread

I saw this bread on a blog (Pennies on a Platter. Excellent blog in my opinion. I did make some modifications to the original recipe, however) and I knew. Oooooh did I know! The instant that I laid eyes on this recipe, I knew that I had to make it and I knew that it would be the perfect picture of my favorite bread in the universe. I was so excited, and I still am! My sister was making fun of me because I could not stop talking about how excited I was to make this bread. And, of course, it met and flew beyond all expectations. It was sweet, soft, buttery, sticky, gooey, authentic, easy, and AMAZING! Don’t be intimidated by the lengthy instructions for this one. It is a lot simpler than you would think, so… MAKE IT. NOW. I ORDER YOU. :)

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread: 

For the Bread:

3 cups flour

1/4 cup white sugar

2 1/4 teaspoons (1 pkg.) yeast

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 Tablespoons butter

1/3 cup milk

1/4 cup water

2 large eggs, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla

For the filling:

1 1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

Directions:

1. Melt milk and butter together in a microwave or over medium heat on the stove until the butter is completely melted. Add the eggs, vanilla, and water and beat together with a fork until well mixed. Heat the ingredients (if you are using the microwave, heat the mixture in 15 second intervals, stirring between each interval) and allow it to cool to 110 degrees while you do the next step.

2. Take the mixing bowl that you would like to use and run hot water over it for about thirty seconds or until the bowl is warm. In the mixing bowl, use an electric mixer with the dough hook attachment  to stir the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt together. Pour the milk/egg mixture into the flour mixture and mix until thoroughly combined (you may have to stop the mixer and stir it yourself sometimes). Add more flour, as needed, until the dough cleans the sides of the bowl (the bottom will might continue to stick to the bowl).

3. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees. Dump the dough into a large greased bowl. Cover the bowl with a towel and let rise in the oven  until it is doubled in size, about 1 hour. Do not allow the dough to cool. Punch the dough down and roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface until it is about 20×12 inches. Cover the dough with a towel while you do the next step.

4. Grease a 9x5x3 inch bread pan. For the filling, melt the butter. Add the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Do not spread it onto the dough yet.

5. Cut the dough lengthwise into six equal sliced strips. Spread some of the filling on one of the strips and top it with another. Spread more on the new strip and top it again with another strip. Repeat this process until you have put filling on all of the strips . Then cut it width-wise, so that it appears to be six equal squares of dough. :)

Dough- Sliced

Dough- Sliced

Spreading on the Filling

Spreading on the Filling

Ready for the Pan

Ready for the Pan

6. Stack the dough slices into the bread pan. Cover the dough with a towel and let it rise in the oven (preheated to 170 degrees) for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven.

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread (before allowed to rise)

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread (before allowed to rise)

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread (after allowed to rise and before baking)

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread (after allowed to rise and before baking)

7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the bread on center rack and bake it for 23-27 minutes or until the top is very golden brown. Remove from the oven. Wasting no time while the bread is hot, run a knife around the edges (I found that part to be crucial) and invert the bread onto a platter. :)

8. Serve warm or hot, and do not serve it with a knife. Instead, peel your serving off of the loaf and enjoy the decadence!

Strawberry Cake Recipe

Strawberry Cake Recipe

Strawberry Cake Recipe

This recipe is a classic! It’s a household favorite, not to mention that I made it into a barbie cake this time. It was quite a debacle making it just right, but I’ll get to that in a moment. This cake recipe makes a nice moist, fluffy cake that has an equally scrumptious frosting! It was perfect for the barbie cake too, because the cake’s inside is pink, although you obviously can’t tell in the picture.

Me? Oh… me… I decided to take 4 1/2 hours decorating this cake, and that was with four hands. My sister came over the day before her birthday, spent the night, and the next morning started making the cake with me. I baked it and layered it, and once that was done the decorating shenanigans began. First we had to move the cake onto a cake stand with several spatulas and any available hands. We inserted a barbie, but she was too tall. So we got a second, shorter one. She didn’t fit either, and she was the shortest barbie doll we had! So we cut a hole in a cardboard box (wrapped with wrapping paper and stuffed with plastic bags) and put a layer of tin foil on the top. With many more spatulas and hands, we moved the cake from the cake stand to the prepared cake-platform. We inserted the shorter barbie in again, Ariel, but she started sinking into the cake and through the hole in the box. We had hoped that the bags inside the box would stop her from sinking too much, but they didn’t. We had to position her hands so that she was literally holding herself up. From there, my sister and I decorated for 4 1/2 hours. When we were done, we were very proud of ourselves and determined that it had been a “Cake Boss”  adventure. The cake, we joked, went on the path to the sun and back. Oh, and remember- you’re never too old for a barbie doll or a barbie cake!

Strawberry Cake Recipe:

For Cake:

1 box white cake mix

1 small (3 oz.) package strawberry jello

1/2 cup oil

1/2 cup cold water

3 eggs

1 (24 oz.) package  frozen strawberries, thawed and not drained

For Frosting:

1 lb. (4 cups) powdered sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

strawberry juice

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven the to 350 degrees and grease one 13×9 inch pan or two 8 inch round baking pans.

2. Drain the strawberries and save the juice. Mix the drained strawberries, cake mix, strawberry jello,  water, and oil together in a large bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add egg one at a time, beating for one minute after each egg is added.

3. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan(s) and bake for about 27-33 minutes or until inserted knife comes out clean. The top might be dark brown rather than the expected color of pink. Be sure that the cake is cool before you frost it.

4. Mix the powdered sugar, butter, and strawberry juice together on medium speed until smooth and frost the cake. This frosting is pink and not to be used as a decorating frosting. The frosting pictured above is a butter cream frosting recipe that I used.

5. Serve it and love it!

Note:

If you would like the recipe for the butter cream decorating frosting that I used, it will be on a separate post. I highly recommend it. I have been trying for a very long time to get my hands on the perfect butter cream recipe and this one is it.

Apple Dumplings Recipe

Apple Dumplings Recipe

Apple Dumplings Recipe

I’ve never had Apple Dumplings before, so I made it my goal to make them at some point this fall. I was always curious about them.  I found myself pleasantly surprised by an onslaught of flavor. The Apple Dumplings ( by allrecipe.com) are warm, gooey, cozy, autumn-goodness lumps of gold that brought down the house! (This is the type of food that is served in heaven… or to get you to heaven at any rate.) I make no joke when I say this: “I think that these Apple Dumplings were one of the best desserts that I have ever tasted in my entire life!!!” I had no idea what I was in for. Apple pie is a vegetable in comparison. I cannot impress upon you how amazing this Apple Dumplings Recipe is!!! But to go on, I just have to tell you who my baking inspiration is- Snow White. If you have ever seen Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, you know that Snow White is an excellent baker. My life long goal was to be able to make an Apple Pie (or Apple Dumplings) just like Snow White did… while singing about her prince who would someday come for her and the birds fluted the pie crust with their little feet. Don’t forget that “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” It worked for Snow White.

Apple Dumplings Recipe:

(Makes six dumplings)

For Pastry (by Betty Crocker)

2/3 cup butter

2 cups flour

1 tsp. salt

4-5 Tbsp. cold water

For Apples:

6 small Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored

1/2 cup butter divided

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

For sauce:

3 cups water

2 cups white sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease a 13×9 inch pan.

2. On a lightly floured surface, roll pastry into a large rectangle about 24×16 inches. Then cut it into six pieces.

3. Place a cored, peeled apple on each square. Divide butter into eight pieces and put one piece into each apple’s opening. Keep the left-over butter for the sauce. Divide the brown sugar among the apples. (you can stuff the sugar in the core with the butter and/or around the apple… it doesn’t matter) Sprinkle them with the cinnamon and the nutmeg.

4. Bring one corner up to the top of the apple. Bring the opposite corner up as well and press together. Seal with two remaining corners. Slightly pinch dough at the sides to seal completely. Repeat with the remaining apples. Place them in the 13×9 inch pan.

4. In a saucepan, combine the water, sugar, reserved butter, and vanilla. Over medium heat, bring the ingredients to a boil. Boil them for five minutes. Carefully pour the sauce over the dumplings. Bake for about 50-60 minutes.

5. Serve the delicious goodness with a scoop of ice-cream or homemade whipped cream. This Apple Dumplings Recipe is SOOO scrumptious! Apple Dumplings equal great comfort food. If you want to taste heaven… this is it.

Sugar Plum Pudding Recipe

Sugar Plum Pudding Recipe

Sugar Plum Pudding Recipe

I just have to tell you that you have to make this recipe! Sugar Plum Pudding is one of my favorite seasonal treats. It is so cozy, warm, gooey and full of spices. (In case you couldn’t tell, I love spices!!! Whenever I invent my own cookies recipes, I end up putting at least cinnamon in.) Don’t let the prunes scare you off… my ten-year-old brother loves this Sugar Plum Pudding recipe. Besides, I find that sometimes the tastiest desserts don’t tend to be the most attractive looking. I promise that this easy recipe will not disappoint!

Sugar Plum Pudding Recipe:

For the Cake:

2 cups flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup buttermilk

3 eggs

3/4 cup oil

2 1/2 tsp.baking powder

1 1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. allspice

1 tsp. nutmeg

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 cup ground prunes

For the Glaze:

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)

1 tsp. vanilla

1 Tbsp. corn syrup

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Mix all of the batter ingredients together. Pour batter into a greased 13×9 inch pan for 40-45 minutes or until knife comes out clean.

2. Now the fun part- cake demolition! You can use wooden spoon handle for this part, or you can also use a fork. Poke the cake thoroughly so that the glaze will soak into it. But remember… no need to completely demolish the poor thing! It should look somewhat like this in it’s mangled state (okay, you can call me a hypocrite):

4. Bring glaze ingredients just to a boil. Pour hot glaze over the cake.

5. Serve it warm with whipped cream. (Homemade whipped cream is especially good.)