Lemon Bundt Cake with Citrus Glaze


I happen to think that certain flavors belong to certain seasons.  For example, I think cinnamon belongs to Autumn.  And I think that lemon belongs to Summer.  Although I'm really starting to crave my Cinnamon Coffee Cake, Mother Nature says its still Lemon season.  And, who am I to argue with her? 

I found this recipe in a cookbook that I picked up at the Missouri State Fair.  It is the 2008 Official Cookbook of 2006-2007 Award Winning Recipes.  I found this recipe on page 127 (it's called Luscious Lemon Orange Bundt Cake in the cookbook).  It turned out great -- the lemon cake was very subtle, so it wasn't overpowering at all.  And the glaze was sweet, but definitely didn't make it too sweet.  I did modify the recipe slightly from what is printed in the cookbook.

Here's what I used:
1 Cup Butter, softened
1/4 Cup Shortening
2 Cups Sugar
5 Eggs
3 Cups Flour
1/2 Tsp. Salt
1/2 Tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp. Baking Powder
1 Cup Buttermilk
1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 Tsp. Lemon Extract
1Orange Rind, grated
1 Lemon Rind, grated
2 Tbsp. Fresh Orange Juice
2 Tbsp. Fresh Lemon Juice
1 Cup Powdered Sugar

Here's what I did:

1.  Preheated the Oven to 325 degrees. 

2.  Greased and floured a bundt pan.

3.  Mixed together the butter, shortening, and sugar until creamy.

4.  Added the eggs to the butter mixture, 1 at a time, making sure each egg was completely integrated into the mixture before adding another.

5.  In a separate bowl, combined the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.

6.  Alternately added the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the wet ingredients (Step 4), completely integrating the dry ingredients or buttermilk before adding more. 

7.  Stirred in the vanilla and lemon extracts.

8.  Poured into bundt pan and baked for about 50 minutes.  Remove the cake from the oven when a stick inserted comes out clean.

9.  Put the cake (still in the pan) onto a cooling rack.

10.  While the cake was cooling, I combined the grated orange rind, grated lemon rind, fresh orange juice, fresh lemon juice, and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl.  Set aside.

11.  After the cake had cooled for 15 minutes, removed from pan.

12.  Punched holes in the top and sides of the cake.

13.  Drizzled the glaze over the cake while it was still warm.



Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo with Mozarella Stuffed Meatballs


I went to lunch at Applebees with a couple of friends not too long ago.  Amber suggested I try their Provolone-Stuffed Meatballs with Fettuccine.  I did and they were pretty good.  So, I decided to make my own version of them.  This is what I came up with.  It turned out pretty good.  I'll experiment next time with different cheeses, I think.  Making the meatballs is a little time consuming, but the rest of the meal is quick and easy to make.  I used this recipe to make the meatballs, but I toned it down some so it was a little less spicy.

Here's what I used for the Meatballs:
½ Cup Green Onion, finely chopped
¼ Cup Italian Style Bread Crumbs
3 Heaping Tablespoons of Shredded Parmesan Cheese
1 Pound Ground Beef
1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
2 Tablespoons Crushed Red Pepper (for a less spicy meatball use 1 Tablespoon – or less – Crushed Red Pepper)
8 oz Mozzarella Cheese
Here's What I did to make the Meatballs:

1.  Preheated the oven to 350 degrees. 
2.  Cut the Mozzarella Cheese into small cubes.  Set those aside in a bowl.
3.  Mixed together the Green Onion, Bread Crumbs, Parmesan Cheese, Garlic Powder, and Crushed Red Pepper. 
4.  Crumbled the Ground Beef on top of the mixture of dry ingredients.  Then, using my hands, I mixed the ground beef with the dry ingredients. 
5.  I picked up one piece of mozzarella and formed a meatball, approximately 1 inch in diameter, around the piece of cheese.  Repeat until either all of the cheese or all of the meat mixture has been used.  I ended up running out of the meat mixture before cheese. 
     Hint:  Try to form the meatballs around the cheese as tightly as possible. 
     Any gaps will allow some of the cheese to melt out while the meatballs
     are baking.
6.  Placed the meatballs in a glass baking dish with about 1 inch in between each meatball.  
7.  Baked for about 25 minutes.  Remove them from the oven when the outsides are brown and the insides of the meatballs are cooked fully.  Some of your cheese will likely melt and run out of the meatball while they are baking.  Don't be concerned -- I still had plenty of cheese inside the meatballs.
While the meatballs were baking, I made the pasta. 
Here's what I used for the Pasta:
16 oz Fettuccine Noodles
2 Jars Alfredo Sauce
1/2 Jar of Roasted Red Peppers
Here's what I did to make the Pasta:
1.  Boiled water and cooked the Fettuccine Noodles as directed on the package. 
2.  While the noodles were cooking, I sliced up half of the jar of Roasted Red Peppers (use only the peppers, not the juice).
3.  Put the Alfredo Sauce on the stove in a sauce pan to heat. 
4.  Added the cut up roasted red peppers to the alfredo sauce.  Heated til warm.
To serve, I spooned some fettuccine noodles into a bowl and topped that with the roasted red pepper sauce.  Then I placed a few meatballs on top of the pasta.  I also served this with garlic bread.  It was delicious!


The Best Chocolate Cookies Ever.


 So, I made these for my book club.  I cook for them a lot.  :-)  I can take no credit for these because I followed this recipe exactly, but these were way too good to not share.  I picked this recipe because I had buttermilk that needed to be used and I wasn't really interested in making biscuits.  These turned out to be a fabulous find!  They were crispy, yet chewy.  They stayed soft for days, literally.  And, the best part, the chocolate chips stayed melty (even days later) so that when you bit into them you got that fabulous taste of just baked cookies.  And they're chocolate on chocolate.  Beat that. 

Seriously, I think I'm going to have to make more of these tonight.  That. Good

Source: Baking Bites

Here's what I used:
2 Cups Flour
1/2 Tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp. Salt
1/2 Cup Butter
3/4 Cup Cocoa Powder
2 Cups Sugar
1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
2/3 Cup Buttermilk
2+ Cups Chocolate Chips

Here's what I did:
1.  Preheated the oven to 350 degrees.  Lined a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

2.  Whisked together the flour, baking soda and salt.  Set that bowl aside.

3.  In a small bowl, I melted the butter.

4.  In a large bowl, I combined the melted butter and the cocoa powder.  Do this while the butter is still warm.

5.  Whisked together the butter and the cocoa powder until the mixture was smooth.

6.  Whisked the sugar, vanilla, and buttermilk into the cocoa powder mixture.

7.  Stirred the dry ingredients into the wet ones.  I did this slowly, pouring a fraction of the dry ingredients into the wet ones and stirring until completely combined and then pouring in more.

8.  Stirred the chocolate chips into the cookie dough.  ** This is the only place I deviated from the recipe.  The recipe calls for 2 cups of chocolate chips.  I happened to be craving chocolate the day I made these, so I threw in an extra handful or two.  Because, clearly, chocolate chocolate chip cookies would not have enough chocolate in them if made as directed.**

9. Spooned the cookie dough onto the parchment paper lined cookie sheets.  Be sure to leave plenty of room between the cookies as they do spread out quite a bit while cooking.

10.  Baked for 11 minutes.  Remove them from the oven when they are set along the edges.  Don't cook them for too long or you'll end up with dry cookies.

11.  Let them stand on the cookie sheet for a few minutes before moving them to a wire cooling rack to cool.

I think I'm going to try these with chocolate chips and peanut butter chips -- I'll let you know how it goes.



Mini Pankcake Muffins


I LOVE miniature anything.  So, naturally, these caught my eye.  I gave them a shot and they were worth it - they really did taste like pancakes!  I served them with maple syrup for dipping.  Delicious!

Slightly adapted from: Bakerella

Here's what I used:

1 Cup Flour
1 Tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp. Baking Soda
1/4 Tsp. Salt
2 Tbsp. Sugar
2/3 Cup Buttermilk
1 Egg
2 Tbsp. Maple Syrup
2 Tbsp. Butter, melted
1 Cup Chocolate Chips

Here's what I did:

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Sprayed a mini muffin pan with cooking spray.

2.  Combine Flour, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Salt and Sugar in bowl with a whisk.  Set that bowl to the side.

3.  In another bowl combine Buttermilk, Egg, Maple Syrup, and Melted Butter until combined.

4.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and combine.

5.  Stir in the chocolate chips.

6.  Fill muffin tins 2/3 full.

     Hint:  I used a tablespoon to scoop the batter from the bowl to the muffin 
     tins.  It ended up being just about the right about of batter and helped to
     minimize the mess.

7.  Bake for about 8-9 minutes.  Remove from the oven when they are golden brown and spring back when touched.

Let them cool for a minute or two before removing them from the pan.  Serve with regular pancake toppings.  You can add whatever filling you want.  I think blueberries would taste great.



Banana Bread Muffins


This one of my family's recipes.  It is meant to make Banana Bread, but I always make muffins with the dough because they're quicker to make and because they're easier to grab and go if you're planning on making this for breakfast.  I have a bad habit of buying more bananas than I can eat before they start to get bad.  So, I often find browning bananas on my countertop.  I stick those browning bananas in the freezer, and when I want to make these muffins I just pull a few out -- they are perfect for this recipe.  If you are pulling bananas out of the freezer for this recipe, be aware that they thaw rather quickly.

Here's what I used:

1 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Butter, softened
1 Cup (about 3 medium) Bananas, mashed 
2 Eggs
2 Cups Flour
1 Tsp Baking Soda
1/3 Tsp Salt

Here's what I did:

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line a Muffin Tin with liners.

2.  Cream the Butter and Sugar together.

3.  Add the Eggs to the butter/sugar mixture.

4.  Mix the bananas into the butter/sugar mixture.

5.  In a separate bowl, stir the dry ingredients together.

6.  Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet ones.

7.  Fill each muffin cup about 2/3 of the way full.

8.  Bake the muffins for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

You can add nuts to your muffins if you'd like.  I do not like nuts, so I omit them from everything.  Simply add 1/2 Cup of Nuts to the dough between step 6 and 7. 



Cinnamon Puffs


This recipe was supposed to be made for my book club meeting.  Of course I have try everything I make before I take it anywhere to share.  Just in case, you know?  What if something looks great, but tastes terrible? 

Well, I had one bite of one of these Cinnamon Puffs, and I was hooked.  Seriously, I decided these were too good to share (sorry book clubbers!).  I kept all of them for myself.  And I ate them all by myself.  Don't judge.  Try this recipe and you'll see.  I limited myself to one puff per day so I could stretch out the amazing oooey gooeyness for as long as possible. 

The marshmallow melts inside the puff and leaves a lovely little syrupy delight, making the puffs nice and moist.  The croissant is flaky and buttery.  And, who doesn't love cinnamon and sugar?  On everything?  That's not just me, right?  I could probably rave about these for hours and hours, but I imagine you all want me to get down to business.  So here you are:

Slightly adapted from:  The Girl Who Ate Everything

Here's what I used:

1 (8 ounce) Package refrigerated Crescent Rolls, Butter flavored

1/4 Cup Sugar

1 1/2 Tablespoon ground Cinnamon

8 large Marshmallows (not campfire sized, though)

1/4 Cup Butter, melted

Here's what I did:

1. Preheated the oven to 375 degrees and sprayed a muffin tin with cooking spray.

2.  I opened the can of crescent rolls and separated the rolls into triangles (just pull them apart - they should be perforated).

3. I combined the cinnamon and sugar in a cereal bowl and set it aside.

4.  I melted the butter in another cereal bowl.

5.  I submerged each marshmallow in the butter and then rolled it around in the cinnamon and sugar mixture. 

6.  After coating each marshmallow in cinnamon and sugar, I placed it in the center of a crescent roll triangle.

7.  I pulled the crescent roll dough triangles up around each marshmallow, sealing the edges of the roll around the marshmallow to keep the marshmallow in.  I call this a crescent roll package.

8.  I dipped the top 1/2 of each crescent roll package in the melted butter and then rolled each package around in the cinnamon and sugar.

9.  I placed each package in a separate muffin cup in my muffin pan, with the cinnamon and sugar side up.

10.  I baked these for about 13 minutes. 

These are great eaten warm, but don't eat them too quickly after you remove them from your oven because you'll burn your mouth.  And face.  Don't ask how I know that. 

After they had cooled completely, I'd warm each one in the microwave for about 15 seconds before eating them.  These go great with a small glass of milk.



Cheesy Bread


This is another recipe that I tried for the my bookclub.  It turned out pretty good.  I got the recipe from The Girl Who Ate EverythingShe calls it Bloomin' Onion Bread and says it's supposed to taste like a Bloomin' Onion from Outback Steakhouse.  While I love The Girl Who Ate Everything, I have to disagree with her on this one.  This bread was good, but, it did not taste like a Bloomin' Onion to me.  You cut this bread almost all the way through before baking it, so each person can tear away as much or as little as they like.  It is perfect for an appetizer or snack when you're entertaining.  Although I was disappointed that it didn't taste quite like a Bloomin' Onion, it still tasted really good.  And, it's ridiculously easy to make.  So, give it a shot!

Slightly adapted from: The Girl Who Ate Everything

Here's what I used:
1 unsliced loaf of Sourdough Bread
16 Ounces Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 Cup Butter
3/4 Cup finely diced Green Onion
2 Teaspoons Poppy Seeds

Here's what I did:
1.  Preheated the oven to 350 degrees and lined a cookie sheet with aluminum foil.

2.  I cut loaf of bread length wise several times and width wise several times, making a bunch of little pieces of bread.  See the picture above.  Be sure not to cut all the way through the bread, but cut as close to all the way through as possible.

3.  I sliced the cheese into very small pieces (small enough to put between each cut of bread).

4.  I put the bread on the cookie sheet. 

5.  I inserted my tiny cheese pieces in between the cuts of bread.

6.  I melted the butter.  Then I stirred in the green onions and poppy seeds.

7.  I drizzled the butter mixture over the bread.

8.  I wrapped the bread in the foil.

9.  I baked the bread for about 15 minutes.  Then I unwrapped it and baked it for about 10 more minutes.  Make sure your cheese is all melted before you pull your loaf out of the oven.



I baked cookies in my car.

Seriously.  How awesome is that!?! 

There are no recipes with this post.  But baking cookies (even store bought) in my car is blog-worthy.

Today's high temperature here was 110 degrees.  That doesn't include heat index.  If I have to endure those ridiculous temperatures, I might as well get something good out of it.  I heard a story on NPR about people baking cookies in their car, so, of course, I had to try it.  I bought store bought break-apart cookie dough.  I put them on a cookie sheet on my dashboard around 8:15 a.m.  This is what they looked like:

I came back at lunch time and they weren't quite done.  I came back again at 3:00 p.m. and they were good to go.  They were still a little big gooey at 3:00, but that's how I like them.  So, I called 'em good.

Here's what they looked like when I got done:

My coworkers and I ate them and they tasted just as good as "normal" cookies.