Archive for August, 2010


Blueberry Buckle

August 31, 2010

Ah blueberries.  By now you know that I love them.  Love how much you can make with them.  Love picking them.  Love, love, love blueberries.

Sunday was our parish picnic.  We were asked to bring a dessert.  But what to bring?  A pie?  Brownies?  Cookies?  All great ideas, but everyone brings those to a potluck.  I wanted to bring something that could sit in the heat, and boy was it hot, and still be good. And different.  I’m all about the different.

I made this blueberry buckle.

This is an easy recipe, that packs a ton of flavor.

Blueberry Buckle


  • 2 C flour
  • 2 t baking powder
  • ½ t salt
  • ¾ C sugar
  • ¼ C butter
  • 1 egg
  • ½ C milk
  • 3 C blueberries (I used the fresh ones I had picked last month that were frozen-frozen berries are going to work better in the batter)


  • ½ C sugar
  • ½ C flour
  • ½ t cinnamon
  • ¼ C butter, softened

Preheat oven to 375. Grease a 13-by-9 baking dish.

Combine all topping ingredients in a small bowl, pressing with fork or pastry blender to combine.

In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt. In a large mixing bowl, cream sugar and butter —the result will be a bit clumpy. Add egg, mix to combine with electric beater. Alternately mix in flour mixture and milk in batches, beginning and ending with flour, scraping down side of bowl occasionally, and mixing until smooth.

With a spoon, gently fold in blueberries. The batter will be very dense, so go easy on the berries!  That’s why I used frozen!

Spread into greased dish. Crumble topping over surface of cake and bake 45-50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Once cool, cut into squares and serve!

I used the wrong size pan when I made this.  I used a 9×9 dish.  It was still heavenly.  It also calls for shortening in the batter instead of the butter, but I used butter.  I don’t think it made too much of a difference.

Here’s the orignal post by G-ma’s Bakery.  Love her site.  She has some great things there.


Puppy Chow

August 29, 2010


Meeshie asked me a few weeks ago if I would make her some Puppy Chow.

I’ll be honest, I’m not a big fan of it.  I think it’s the name.  I can’t get past it.

So when she asked about it a few weeks ago, I told that we didn’t have the ingredients.  Case closed, or so I thought.

Yesterday was Saturday and that’s the day I grocery shop.  Meeshie came with and the first thing she said to me is can I make the Puppy Chow?

I don’t know what the ingredients are.

I have the recipe right here.

And she did.  Right there, in the book she was carrying.

I need crispy rice cereal squares, peanut butter, semi-sweet chocolate chips and confectioners’ sugar.

All righty.  I can’t argue with that.

So Meeshie made this treat.  All by herself.  I just stood there in case I was needed for something.

I think it’s the best thing I’ve ever eaten.

If I can just get past the name.

Puppy Chow

  • 9 C Crispy Rice Cereal Squares
  • 1/2 C Peanut Butter
  • 1 C Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1 1/2 C Confectioners’ Sugar

In an extra large bowl with a lid, measure out the cereal.  Set aside.

In a saucepan, over low heat, melt the chocolate and peanut butter and mix until smooth.  Spoon chocolate mixture onto the cereal.  Stir until coated.  Add the powdered sugar to the bowl, cover with the lid and shake until well coated.

Note: Meeshie used the extra-large Tupperware container, but you can also use an extra-large Ziploc bag to coat the cereal.


Vanilla Nut Bars

August 26, 2010

I love pecan squares.  Especially Corner Bakery’s maple pecan squares.  If you’ve ever had  Corner Bakery’s maple pecan squares, you know how good they are.  The crust is buttery.  The pecans are the right amount of crunchy.

I came across this recipe and thought of those pecan squares.  The crust is dead on.  I actually like these bars better because of the mixture of the nuts.

Vanilla Nut Bars

  • Crust:
  • 2 1/2 sticks Butter, softened
  • 6 T sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 t vanilla
  • 2 1/4 C all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 t baking powder
  • Pinch of Fine sea salt
  • Filling:
  • 1 C  Butter
  • 1/2 C Honey
  • 1 1/2 C light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 t vanilla
  • 2 T Half and Half
  • 1 C Almonds, chopped
  • 1 C Pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 F. Make the crust by combining the softened butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Use the paddle attachment and mix for 3 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well. Sift the dry ingredients together and add to the butter/sugar mixture on low speed just until all the ingredients are completely incorporated. Using well floured hands (I actually used a rubber spatula and therefore did not flour my hands), press dough into ungreased 9×13 metal cake pan. Bake crust for 15 minutes. Cool. While the crust is cooling, make the filling.

Combine the butter, honey, and brown sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Heat, stirring constantly until mixture boils; continue to boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the half and half, vanilla, and chopped nuts. Pour mixture over the crust and bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool until set. Cut and serve!

Note: I use half and half pretty much wherever milk/cream is listed.  We drink skim milk and skim milk doesn’t always work well in a recipe.  We buy a lot of half and half so it’s easy to substitute in recipes.   I also plan to drizzle some chocolate on them the next time I bake them!

The original recipe is right here.  Butter Yum’s website is really cool.  I love her pictures.


Caramel Apple Muffins

August 24, 2010


Meeshie started school yesterday.

That means the weather will be turning cooler soon. 

I love fall. 

I love summer too, but the fall is so beautiful and the weather is so energizing.

I decided that I wanted to make caramel apple muffins but couldn’t find a recipe that I liked.  So I came up with this one.

I used apple sauce instead of butter in this recipe to give it more of an apple flavor.  But you can substitute apple sauce for butter in a lot of recipes when you bake.  No one will know the difference.

Caramel Apple Muffins

  • 1 C Apple Sauce
  • 1/2 C Brown Sugar, packed
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 t Vanilla
  • 2 C Flour
  • 2 t Baking Powder
  • 1/2 t Baking Soda
  • 3/4 t Cinnamon
  • 1/2 t Salt
  • 2 C Granny Smith Apples, chopped and peeled (about 2 apples)
  • For the Caramel Sauce
  • 3/4 C Brown Sugar, packed
  • 1/2 C Butter
  • 1/4 C Corn Syrup
  • 1/2 t Vanilla
  • 3/4 C Pecans, chopped

For the caramel sauce:

In a medium sauce pan, combine the butter, brown sugar and corn syrup.  Stir constantly until it starts to simmer.  Let it simmer for about two minutes then take off the heat and add the vanilla and nuts.  Set aside.

For the muffins:

In a large mixing bowl, beat the apple sauce, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla.  In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.  Add to the apple sauce mixture and beat until just combined.  Fold in the apples.

Spray a muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray and insert muffin cups.  Spoon half of the batter (I used a gravy ladle) into the prepared muffin cup, then add some of the caramel sauce, and spoon the remaining batter into the muffin cup.  Set aside the remaining caramel sauce.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. 

Cool for about 10 minutes and then remove the muffins from the tin.  Spoon additional sauce on top of the muffins.  Let cool completely.

You may have additional sauce to use as you desire, on top of ice cream or as a dip for apples.

Makes 12 muffins.


Sour Cream Coffee Loaf with Maple Glaze and Bacon

August 22, 2010

I saw this during the week and couldn’t wait to make it.

The original recipe doesn’t call for bacon, but I thought of bacon as soon as I saw the maple.  My husband loves bacon.  Meeshie loves to call him the baconator. 

He’s asked me to make bacon maple donuts every time he sees them on the Food Network.  I haven’t made the donuts yet.  I’m not really planning on it either.  He has great will power when it comes to the sweets that I bake, but not when it comes to donuts.  He loves donuts.  That would not be a good thing for his sugar.  At all. 

Now this cake is one of the moistest ones I’ve ever made.  It actually reminds me more of a bread, probably because you bake it in a loaf pan.  Regardless, it’s pretty easy to assemble and not overly sweet.

Sour Cream Coffee Loaf with Maple Glaze and Bacon

  • ¾ cup Granulated Sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons Butter, Softened
  • 1 whole Egg
  • ¾ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1-½ cups Flour
  • ¾ teaspoon Baking Powder
  • ¾ teaspoon Baking Soda
  • ¼ teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 1/4 cups Sour Cream
  • ⅓ cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 3 pieces of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • _____
  • 1/2 cup Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1 cup Powdered Sugar
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×5″ loaf pan. Cream the sugar and butter together in a medium bowl, and then beat in the egg and vanilla.

    Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat into the butter mixture alternately with the sour cream just until combined.

    Whisk together the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Spread a third of the batter into the loaf pan and sprinkle with 1/3 of the cinnamon-sugar mixture and some bacon. Repeat the layers 2 more times, ending with the top layer but reserve the remaining bacon for after the loaf has been baked.

    Bake 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. While the cake is cooling in the pan, make the glaze. Stir the maple syrup into the powdered sugar gradually until the glaze is thick and smooth. (You can add additional maple syrup if the glaze is too thick.)

    Remove the cake from the pan and let cool on a rack. Drizzle with the glaze while still warm, and sprinkle with the remaining bacon.

    Here is the original recipe.  Check out Sugarcrafter’s site.   

    Note: in addition to the bacon, I added more sour cream and more syrup.  You don’t have to add the extra sour cream, but that little extra isn’t going to hurt anything.  Trust me.  Plus the glaze seemed way too thick until I added more syrup.


    Community Night

    August 21, 2010

    Meeshie preformed during the local high school’s community night last night. 

    The high school introduced all the school sports clubs along with the band.

    There was a pom pom dance clinic. 

    At the end of the clinic they girls performed on the football field before a scrimmage game.

    She could not have been  more excited.  And the girls on the squad could not have been sweeter.

    We’ll be signing her up for the clinic again next year and she is seriously thinking about joining the pom squad when she gets to high school.

    I do need to point out that as an only, she has much more ambition and fearlessness that I ever did at her age.  She wanted to do the clinic and I signed her up.  No big deal, except none of her friends were doing it. 

    She’s like that.  She has no problem just jumping into something that she wants to do without any worry about what others will think. 

    I love that about her.


    Oatmeal Toffee Bars

    August 19, 2010

    Monday is Meeshie’s first day of school.  That means packing lunches and snacks.

    I found the perfect recipe for just that.  It’s chewy and sweet, which she loves.  It has oatmeal, so it has to be healthy (right?), which I love. 

    Plus I love toffee bars.  They are just so yummy.

    It’s a bar so it’s simple.  Oh and it freezes well.

    So all in all it’s a winner.

    Oatmeal Toffee Bars

  • 1 cup Butter, Softened
  • 1 cup Light Brown Sugar, Packed
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1-½ cup All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • ½ teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • 1-⅓ cup Heath Bits O’ Brickle Toffee Bits (or Health English Milk Chocolate Toffee Bits), Divided
  • 3 cups Quick-cooking Or Regular Rolled Oats
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 13×9 baking pan.

    Beat butter and brown sugar in large bowl until well blended. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well.  Stir together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Gradually add to the butter mixture, beating until blended. Set aside 1/4 cup toffee bits. Stir remaining toffee bits and oats into the batter (batter will be stiff). Spread batter into prepared pan; sprinkle reserved 1/4 cup toffee bits over the surface.   Bake for 20-25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars or squares. Makes about 36 bars.

    Note: I actually baked it for 20 minutes because I like my bakery chewy.   I also used milk chocolate toffee bits.

    Here’s the original.


    Stuffed Jalapenos

    August 17, 2010

    We had company a few weeks ago.  My girlfriend and her family came over and we threw stuff on the grill. 

    I made these stuffed jalapeno.  For some reason I thought it would be a good idea if I stuck them on the grill.  On some foil that had slits in it.

    You can image what happened right? 


    Crazy fire. 

    What was I thinking crazy fire.  Crazy burning aluminum foil removed from the grill fire.  That foil smoldered for a good five minutes.  My husband had to stamp the fire out with his foot.  It was quite a site.

    The stuffed jalapeno were very crispy, to say the least, but we ate them anyway. 

    Sorry folks no pictures of those puppies.

    I’ve been making a variation of this recipe for years.  One of the ladies in my office told me how she makes hers and she inspired me to get the recipe down to this one.  Thanks Nichole!

    Stuffed Jalapenos

    • 12-15 large jalapenos
    • 12-15 Bacon, cut in half
    • 8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
    • 3 Green Onion, sliced
    • 1/2 C Parmesan, grated
    • 1/2 t Granulated Garlic

    Slice the green onion.  Cream the cream cheese.   Add the onion, cheese and garlic to the cream cheese.  Mix well. 

    Clean the jalapenos and in slice half length wise.  Clean out the inside of the jalapenos.  If you like them hot, leave in some seeds.  Stuff the jalapenos with the cream cheese mixture.  Wrap the half a piece of bacon around the stuffed jalapeno.  Pierce through with a toothpick.  Place on a rack on top of a cookie sheet.

    Cook in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until the cream cheese mixture is brown and the bacon is crispy.

    Note: I didn’t have enough parmesan grated when I made it this time, so I did use 1/4 C shredded mozzarella and 1/4 C parmesan.  I also used the thick cut bacon which I don’t recommend if you like your bacon super crispy for this dish.  It doesn’t ruin the flavor, but if you’re looking for that crisp snap of bacon use the regular cut.


    The Best Yellow Cake Ever

    August 15, 2010

    I made this cake for Meeshie’s birthday.  Remember the piano cake?

    This is the best yellow cake that I’ve ever had.  I’ve been through a number of yellow cake recipes throughout the years.  Some have left a funky taste in your mouth.  Some have been like sawdust.  If you’ve ever made scratch yellow cake, you know exactly what I mean.  It’s always frustrated me that Betty Crocker made a better yellow cake than me. 

    Until this recipe.

    It’s moist.  Oh yeah super moist without cheating.  Have you ever made a yellow cake and then poked holes in it to “add” moisture?  That’s just wrong in my book and you don’t have to do that here.

    It’s tasty.  The flavor is so good.  No funky after taste in your mouth.  No funky coating on your tongue.

    This is the best yellow cake ever.

    Yellow Cake

    • 2 1/4 C All-Purpose Flour
    • 1 1/2 C Sugar
    • 3 1/2 t Baking Powder
    • 1 t  Salt
    • 1 1/4 C Milk
    • Vegetable Oil
    • 1/2 C Butter, softened
    • 1 T Vanilla
    • 3 Large Eggs

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

    In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Mix well.

    Measure the milk in a 2 cup measuring cup then add enough vegetable oil to bring the liquid up to 1 1/3 C.

    Beat the butter and vanilla and add the milk mixture.  Add the butter/milk mixture to the dry ingredients and beat for 2 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed

    Add the eggs, one at a time and continue to beat for an additional 2 minutes.  Pour batter into prepared pan.  Note: I used Baker’s Joy, but you could use Pam or butter/flour the pan.  Of course if you use flour, just use a pinch or two of the flour you have already measured out.

    Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

    This recipe will also fill 3 9 x 1 1/2 inch round pans.

    Here is the filling recipe that I used.  Trust me when I say that as good as the filling is, and it totally rocks, the cake stands great alone.  

    If you love strawberries, you will love this recipe for the mouse filling.  It can actually be eaten alone it’s that good.  I do love a good mouse.

    Strawberry Mouse Filling

    • 2 C strawberries
    • 2 T fresh lemon juice, divided
    • 8 oz white chocolate, finely chopped and melted
    • 1 1/4 t unflavored gelatin powder
    • 2 C heavy cream
    • 2 T powdered sugar

    Put all the strawberries with 1 T of lemon juice in a blender and mix until pureed.  Put 1/4 C cool water into a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over the water.  Let stand for 5 minutes.  Stir 1/4 C cream and 2 T powdered sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer.  Add the gelatin mixture and stir until the gelatin dissolves.  Pour this mixture into the bowl of melted chocolate and stir until smooth.  Whisk in 3/4 C of the strawberry puree.  Reserve the remaining 1/4 C of puree.  Using an electric mixer, whip the remaining 1 3/4 C cream, beat until medium peaks form.  Whisk 1/3 of the cream into the chocolate mixture.  Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the remaining whipped cream into the mixture.  Refrigerate for 1 hour.  Stir the remaining 1 T of lemon juice into the reserved berries.  Fold the berries into the mouse and chill for 4-6 hours.


    Clotted Cream Updated

    August 15, 2010

    I’ve been tweeking this clotted cream recipe to make it sweeter.  To make it more like I remember having it with my friend Angel.

    I’ve added 1 T of powdered sugar and 1/2 t of vanilla.  It makes it even more heavenly but does loosen it up a bit.

    Here’s the orginal recipe.

    Clotted Cream

    • NOT ultra-pasteurized whipping cream

    The first key to making the clotted cream is finding whipping cream that is not ultra-pasteurized whipping cream.  Having whipping cream that is not pasteurized at all is ideal, but I’m not close enough to a dairy for that.  I used 2 pints.  The second key is the slow bake in the oven. 

    Pour the cream in a pot that is oven safe and that has a lid.  Make sure that the cream covers about 3 inches from the bottom of the pot.  Cover the pot and stick in a 180 degree oven.  Cook the cream for 8-12 hours.  Mine took 11 hours.  To find out if it is done, check for a yellowish skin above the cream.  This is the clotted cream.  Once the skin separates out, place the pot on the counter to cool down.  Then place it in the fridge for 8 hours more.  Remove from the fridge and remove the clotted cream from the top of the pot.  Add 1 T of powdered sugar and 1/2 t of vanilla to the cream, if desired.   This will give the clotted cream an even sweeter taste.  You can use the remaining cream for baking.

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