Sunday, January 31, 2010

Dark Chocolate Pecan Cake

I have had this recipe for years. It is one of my husband's favorite when he is craving chocolate (which is usually more often than me). I didn't have the unsweetened chocolate bars this time so I had to substitute with the unsweetened chocolate powder and it came out wonderful, maybe even richer. This is a great, chewy, cake that goes perfect with a big cup of milk.
The cake:

  • 2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped coarse (you can also use semisweet chocolate chips)
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped coarse (I didn't have the bar so I used 3TBL of unsweetened cocoa powder with 1 TBL veggie oil)
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon or dark rum
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans (about 6 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup egg whites (from 7 to 8 large eggs)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • confectioners' sugar for dusting

To make:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9- by 2-inch round springform pan and line bottom with a round of parchment paper or foil.
In the microwave melt chocolates and butter, stirring until smooth. Then stir in bourbon or rum (you can use rum extract).
In a food processor pulse pecans with 3/4 cup sugar until finely ground. Transfer mixture to a bowl and stir in flour.
In another bowl with an electric mixer beat whites with salt at medium speed until white, opaque, and beginning to hold their shape. Gradually add remaining 3/4 cup sugar, beating at high speed until whites hold soft (not stiff), slightly glossy peaks. Stir in pecan mixture with a spatula until well blended and fold in chocolate mixture until no streaks remain (batter will deflate).
Pour batter into pan and smooth top. Bake cake in middle of oven 50 minutes, or until a tester inserted into center comes out clean. Run a thin knife around edge of cake to loosen and invert cake onto a rack to cool completely.
Remove parchment or foil and transfer cake to a platter. Cake may be wrapped in plastic wrap and chilled 1 week or frozen 1 month. Bring cake to room temperature before serving.
Just before serving, dust cake with confectioners' sugar.
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Blackberry Corn Muffins

I will admit that I usually make corn muffins from the Jiffy box. I know it is a cop-out but they are so easy, so tasty and so inexpensive. I was at the grocery store and they had cornmeal on sale. Now I don't look all that often for cornmeal so perhaps it is always on sale but I thought, for the sake of this blog, why not try to make the real thing. They turned out delicious. I was actually surprised, and I still have a ton of cornmeal left so in the long run I think it might just be cheaper to go with the real thing, plus they make the cornmeal with whole grains now (which Jiffy does not). I had some blackberries at home and thought I would try more of a breakfast style corn muffin instead of a dinner one. Try any berry, I think they would all work. I am not sure about frozen but I know the fresh are great. You would never know by looking at the outside that there was a great little surprise inside.


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar.
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 cup milk (whole preferred)
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup fresh blackberries


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.
  2. Sift flour, cornmeal, white sugar, brown sugar, salt and baking powder together into a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine the milk, butter and egg. Stir the wet ingredients into the flour mixture just
  3. until moistened. Gently fold in the fresh blackberries. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes, then remove.
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Saturday, January 30, 2010

ROTW- Orange Crunch Cake

I thought with oranges (all citrus) being in season right now that I would try something a little different. I have never had an orange cake before and this one seemed especially yummy. I will tell you that is cake did not disappoint. It was fantastic! Light, but full of flavor, the orange zest in the batter came alive in your mouth, there is not the slightest taste of bitterness . The "crunch" was so good you could just sprinkle it over ice cream or add it to yogurt. This is a perfectly sweetened, wonderful cake that you will be proud to take to any gathering. But, in order to make this a little lower in calories I did make some adjustments to the recipe but I did not take out anything you will miss all changes in bold). What a great recipe this week.

You will find this weeks "Recipe of the Week" link at right, just click on it and it will take you to the full recipe for printing


  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened (I just short of melted only 1/3 a cup)
  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix (I used white cake mix)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs (I used 3 egg whites only)
  • 2 tablespoons grated orange zest
  • 1 (16 ounce) can prepared vanilla frosting (I only used 8 ounces)
  • 1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed (I used 12 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 (11 ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 9 inch pans. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, walnuts and butter. Divide mixture evenly between the prepared pans. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the cake mix, water, orange juice and oil until blended. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the orange zest. Pour the mixture evenly over the crunch layer in the pans.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack and cool completely before frosting. Frost (crunch side up) between layers, on top and sides. Arrange orange sections on top, then refrigerate.
  4. To make the frosting: In a medium bowl, beat the vanilla frosting until light and fluffy, then mix in the whipped topping. Stir in the orange and lemon zest. Use frosting on completely cooled cake layers.
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Friday, January 29, 2010

Buttery Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Oh my!!! This is one of those recipes that when you make it, part of you is super excited to have found a new incredibly delicious recipe and the other part of you is thinking... you've just doomed yourself to having to try and keep yourself from eating multiple pieces of this delicious cake throughout your day. That being said, I'm so glad I found and tried this. It is soooo good and my husband loves it too. I made it for him to have for breakfast, but it is just as good served as a dessert.



  • 1 cup butter (no substitutes)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 egg yolk(I just used a whole egg)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  • 1/4 cup sugar(I used brown sugar)
  • 1/2 cup flour (I used a little more than this, to help make it a little more crumbly)
  • 1/4 cup butter (semi-soft)


Set oven to 350 degrees (oven rack set to second-lowest position). Grease a 13 x 9-inch (or an 11 x 7-inch, baking time will need to be increased slightly). Cream butter with sugar (about 3-4 minutes), add in eggs and sour cream; beat well (about another 3 minutes). In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt.Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture; beat well until combined (batter will be thick). Spread more than half of the batter in the prepared baking pan.In another bowl, cream together all filling ingredients, then carefully spread over the cake batter. Spoon the remaining cake batter over the top of the cheese mixture (it doesn't have to cover the cake batter completely, I just dot tablespoonfuls over the batter). For the topping (I most always double the ingredients) mix all ingredients, and sprinkle over cake. Bake for about 50-55 minutes or until middle feels set and not jiggly.

Recipe courtesy of kittencal from the recipe zaar website. 

*I did not double the topping ingredients and I thought it was a good amount as is. I made the 11X7 size.


I must say that the coffee cake in the coffee cup was my daughter's idea. I thought it was a cute idea.:) 


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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Cranberry Chicken

I saw a recipe somewhere in a magazine(now I can't remember where)but it combined cranberry sauce, onion soup mix, along with some other ingredients and put it on chicken. I thought that sounded like it might be really good so I tried to come up with a recipe that included those 2 main ingredients. What I came up with was really good. My husband really liked it also. I will definitely be making this again. I also love that it works great as a slow cooker recipe.


1 1b chicken(I used boneless skinless thighs, but bone-in chicken would be great)
1 can whole cranberry sauce
1/2 cup orange marmalade
1 packet dry onion soup mix(like Lipton's)
1/8 cup brown sugar(maybe a little more if you really like it sweet)
1 T apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 T cornstarch

Put chicken in a slow cooker(I put mine in frozen). Mix remaining ingredients and pour over the chicken. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Time will vary depending on slow cooker and type of chicken used. Boneless chicken cooks much faster.
Serve with white rice(optional)

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Empire State Muffins

For this week's ROTW(recipe of the week) on our facebook page, I picked a recipe from Taste of Home. It was for Empire State Muffins. They sounded like the perfect breakfast muffin. They are loaded with things that are good for you. Recipes like this are pretty much the only way I can get  my son to eat a vegetable(frustrating). They turned out great! I only made a couple little changes.

  If you ever want to try our ROTWs you can get to it by clicking on the link on the right side of the blog. We  love hearing feedback and seeing photos of your finished product!Kimberly and I take turns picking a new recipe every Friday(untried by either of us). We try it and give you our review also.The ones we really like make it over here to the blog. They can't all be winners, right...? 


  • 2 cups shredded tart apples
  • 1-1/3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup chopped fresh or frozen cranberries(I used craisins)
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour(I used 1 cup whole wheat flour and 1&1/2 cups white)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil(If you want to lighten up the recipe use 1/4 cup oil and 1/4 cup applesauce)









  • In a large bowl, combine apples and sugar. Gently fold in cranberries, carrots and nuts. Combine dry ingredients; add to bowl. Mix well to moisten dry ingredients. Combine eggs and oil; stir into apple mixture.
  • Fill 18 greased muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes. Cool 5 minutes before removing from tins. Yield: 18 muffins.

Recipe courtesy of Taste of Home Pin It

Monday, January 25, 2010

Apricot Coffee Cake

I like making my  kids some sort of baked breakfast item when possible. Usually I'll make muffins, or a quick bread, but I also like to make coffee cakes from time to time. I wanted to find a coffee cake that was somewhat light and also included some fruit in it. I found this recipe for an apricot coffee cake on It was an easy recipe to make and my kids love it. Like most coffee cakes with fruit on top, the fruit will start to moisten the streusel, but you should be able to crisp it up again by putting a piece in the toaster over for a couple of minutes. I cut this recipe in half and baked it in a 9'' round pan.


  • Streusel:
  • 1/2  cup  slivered almonds
  • 2/3  cup  all-purpose flour
  • 2/3  cup  light brown sugar
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground ginger
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground cinnamon
  • 4  tablespoons  unsalted butter, melted

  • Cake:
  • 3  (15 oz.) cans apricot halves in juice, drained
  • 2  cups  all-purpose flour
  • 1  teaspoon  baking powder
  • 1  teaspoon  baking soda
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1  stick (1/4 lb.) unsalted
  • butter, softened
  • 1  cup  sugar
  • 3  large eggs
  • 2  teaspoons  vanilla extract
  • 1  cup  sour cream


Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9-by-13- inch baking pan; set aside.
Make streusel: Toast almonds until golden, 6 to 8 minutes, stirring halfway through. Let cool. Combine almonds with remaining streusel ingredients; mix until crumbly.
Make cake: Pat apricots dry and set aside. In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In another bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time. Mix in vanilla. Beat in half of flour mixture, mix in sour cream and stir in remaining flour mixture, scraping bowl.
Spread batter in pan. Top with a single layer of apricots. Sprinkle with streusel. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool on a rack.

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

One Strong Mixer

I really wish there was a way to lock my mixer so that I wouldn't accidentally turn it on! Here's what happened when I hit the switch, which caused the beater to catch my wire fruit basket in its blade, then proceed to throw fruit across the kitchen...Now I'm left with this mangled attachment. Maybe I should just be thankful that I didn't get an apple to the head.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Taco Soup

Sometimes I enjoy the prep work that goes along with making dinner...chopping potatoes, slicing carrots, sauteing onions.but then there are other nights, (well really most nights) when I just want to toss everything into a pot and be done. This recipe I have for taco soup is just that. Aside from browning your meat, all you have to do is dump everything into a slow cooker and let it cook. It's super easy to make and everyone in my family really likes it.

1 lb ground beef(you can also use shredded chicken)
1 11ozcan diced tomatoes with chiles(like Rotel),undrained
1 16oz can pinto beans
1 16oz can kidney beans
1 28oz can diced tomatoes
1 4oz can chiles
1 packet taco seasoning mix
1 packet ranch dressing seasoning mix


Brown and drain ground beef. Put it into a slow cooker along with the rest of the ingredients. Do not drain cans. Cook on low for about 5 hours. You can also cook this soup on the stove. I simmered mine for about a 1/2 hour.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

Who doesn't love the smell of chocolate chip cookies baking, or the taste of them right out of the oven? I can usually pass them by if they've been in a cookie jar for a couple of days, but can quickly devour them if they are sitting on the cooling racks. I always use the recipe right off of the back of the chocolate chip bag, but I have made a couple of small changes to it over the years. I have noticed that there are other factors aside from the recipe that will affect the finished product, such as the flour that you use. I have added my tips below.


2 1/2 cups all purpose flour (this is more flour than the original recipe calls for. I think it helps achieve a better looking cookie.)(Also, I think bleached flour provides a better texture. This of course is not necessary though. I have also noticed that some brands of flour work better than others. I have no idea why. I have had my best luck with Pillsbury flour)

1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cups brown sugar, packed
3/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 cup butter, softened(I prefer salted)
2 teaspoons vanilla(twice as much as original recipe)

12oz package of semi-sweet chocolate chips

Mix together flour, salt and baking soda and set aside. Mix sugars, eggs, butter and vanilla just until blended. Don't over mix. Add half of the flour mixture, mix. Stir in the rest of the flour mixture. Stir in semi-sweet chocolate chips. Place tablespoonful size amount onto a ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 375 for 8-11 minutes.

Tip: Take cookies out right when edges are golden. The tops may still look not quite done, but they will continue  set as they cool.

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Lemony-Glazed Orange Bread

I made this bread a few times last summer, it is a Weight Watcher favorite of mine (with a few changes for a little more kick) because I love sweets but I need them to be lighter. This bread is made with fresh oranges and fresh lemons and is perfect for this time of year in California when the citrus is heavy on the trees. Fairly low in calories (183c) and fat (1g) this loaf is sweet, moist, and has that yummy tartness you would expect from citrus. Enjoy.

2 cups AP flour
2 1/2 tsp grated orange zest
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 tsp orange extract
1/3 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp lemon zest
2 TBL lemon juice
1/4 tsp lemon extract (if you don't have and don't want to purchase then leave it out)

Preheat oven to 350〫Spray a loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and dust with flour, tap out any extra.
To make the batter, whisk together the flour, orange zest, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl and set aside. Whisk together the granulated sugar, orange juice, orange extract, oil, eggs, and vanilla in medium bowl. Add the orange juice mixture to the flour mixture, stirring until well combined. Pour into the pan. Bake until toothpick comes out clean, 40-45 minutes (check a little early as this cake will dry out if overcooked). Let cook on a rack for about 10 minutes then remove from pan and cook completely on rack.
To make the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar, lemon zest, juice and extract until smooth. Spread the glaze evenly over the top of the loaf. Let sit for about 10 minutes to let the glaze set.
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Friday, January 15, 2010

ROTW- Spicy Black Bean Empanadas

This was our ROTW for last week, I think you can still click on the link at right and it will take you there, if not then here is the link for our Spicy Black Bean Empanadas This was a great recipe, the filling was delicious, so much so that I bought big portobello mushroom caps to stuff with this recipe's filling later next week. The black beans and the cheese melded perfectly with the cumin and cilantro, I wanted to make these again immediately after we finished our last bite.

* 2 (17.3 ounce) packages Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry Sheets (I used the new precut disk ones)
* 1 egg
* 1 tablespoon water
* 1/2 pound ground pork or turkey ( I used 3/4 lb ground pork, 1/2 lb was not enough stuffing)
* 1 small red pepper, diced
* 4 medium green onions, chopped
* 2 clove garlic, minced
* 1/2 cup tomato sauce (I used 1 1/2 TBL of Tomato paste and 1/4 cup water, I like the flavor better)
* 1 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1 teaspoon chili powder
* 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper ( I used hot sauce, a dash of Franks or even the Asian chili sauce)
* 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (I used light mexican blend to save some calories and I love that blend)
* 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
* 1 cup sour cream
* 1 cup guacamole

1. Thaw the pastry sheets at room temperature for 40 minutes or until they're easy to handle. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or spray with vegetable cooking spray. Stir the egg and water with a fork in a small bowl.
2. Cook the pork in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until the pork is well browned, stirring frequently to break up meat. Add the diced red pepper, green onions and garlic. Cook until tender. Stir the tomato sauce, cumin, chili powder and crushed red pepper into the skillet. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 8 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the cheese, 1 cup of the beans and cilantro. Let cool.
3. Unfold 1 pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Roll to a 16x12-inch rectangle. Cut into 10 (2 1/2-inch) rounds. Top half of each round with 1 teaspoon cheese mixture. Brush edges of pastry with water. Fold over and press the edges with a fork to seal. Place the empanadas on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining pastry and cheese mixture. Brush with the egg mixture.
4. Bake for 18 minutes or until golden.

Serve with sour cream, guacamole and remaining beans.
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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Bourbon Chicken

Let me start by saying that my husband told me last night that this was the best chinese food I have ever made. Wow! I always like hearing stuff like that. I had made this particular recipe before, but I tweeked it a little bit this time. It's a wonderful combination of sweet and spicy.'s easy to make!

1-2 lbs of chicken breast, cut up into 1in chunks
1-2 tablespoons oil
1 garlic clove, pressed or minced

Sauce ingredients:
1/4 teas. ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/3 cup apple juice
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons ketchup
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon hot chili sauce(more or less depending on how spicy you want it. A little goes a long way. Can be found in Asian food section of your store)
2 tablespoons of cornstarch(again you can use less if you like a thinner sauce, or even none at all for a really thin sauce)

Mix sauce ingredients and set aside. Heat up oil in a wok or large pan. Cook chicken until it is no longer pink in the middle. Add sauce. Bring to a boil. Cook on medium heat until sauce thickens. This will only take a few minutes.
Serve with white rice(optional)

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Golden Yam Brownies

In my mind there is something a little wrong with a brownie that is not, well... brown. Chocolate brownies are the norm in our house and when I pulled these out of the oven, lets just say, their reception was not one of cheers. But one bite (if you can talk them into it) and we were in for a very pleasant surprise. These are delicious, extremely moist and you would never know there was yam in them. My family loved them. Give them a try, your family will be surprised, and it is always nice to sneak in a veggie wherever you can.
Yam Brownie Recipe
1 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups peeled and finely shredded yam

1 cup powdered sugar
2 TBL butter
2 TBL milk

Preheat the oven to 350〫Grease a 9"x13" baking dish

In large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar until smooth and creamy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then mix in vanilla.

Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Mix into batter until just incorporated. Fold in shredded yam. Spread the batter evenly in the greased baking dish

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool about 10 minutes in pan.

Mix together the powdered sugar, butter and milk and spread onto brownies while they are still warm. The brownies will absorb some of the topping. Serve warm.
by starflower
courtesy of

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Well I know the holidays are over and "pumpkin season" has passed, but my pantry still has a nice supply of canned pumpkin, so I decided to make some pumpkin muffins for my kids. While looking for a pumpkin muffin recipe, I found these delicious little muffins topped with a cream cheese and streusel topping. I love cream cheese.... The recipe isn't difficult, but it is a recipe with quite a few steps and uses about 100 bowls. It's worth it though. They are delicious!

Cream Cheese topping:                                                                                                           
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons brown sugar

Streusel topping:

4 1/2 tablespoons flour
5 tablespoons white sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons chopped pecans (toasted these briefly first on a cookie sheet in the oven at 350 degrees, for about 10 minutes. Just)

Muffin ingredients:

2 1/2 cups flour (I used 1&1/2 cups white, 1 cup whole wheat)
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice(original recipe calls for 2 teas. cinnamon, no  pumpkin pie spice)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 1/3 cups canned pumpkin
1/3 cup vegetable oil(original recipe calls for olive oil)
2 teaspoons vanilla


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour 18 muffin cups.  


Beat cream cheese until soft. Add egg, vanilla and brown sugar. Beat until smooth. Set aside.


Mix flour, sugar, cinnamon and pecans.Add butter and cut it in with a fork until crumbly. Set aside.


In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Make a well in the center of flour mixture and gradually incorporate eggs, pumpkin, olive oil and vanilla.(I used my mixer for this)Beat together until smooth.

Fill cups with pumpkin mixture until they're about 1/2 full. Carefully add one tbsp of the cream cheese mixture right in the middle of the batter. If you're using paper cups, try to keep cream cheese from touching the paper. Sprinkle on the streusel topping.  Bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.




Recipe courtesy of

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Spicy Lime and Cilantro Mahi Mahi

My favorite salad dressing can only be found at Nordstrom's Cafe where they make it fresh from scratch each day. Using the flavor combinations in this dressing I created this simple marinade that can also be used for the sour cream topping. What can be easier than making a marinade once that is carried through the entire dish?
The zest and juice from two limes
1 TBL rice vinegar
1-2 cloves of garlic minced
1-2 tsp of adobo sauce (you can buy just the sauce now or use the chipotles in adobo sauce)
1 TBL honey
1/2 tsp salt (kosher if you have it on hand)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup sour cream
lime wedges
2 3 oz pc of Mahi Mahi, thawed if frozen (Any white fish can be used in place of Mahi Mahi, it is your choice)
2 TBL Olive Oil

In a medium bowl combine first 7 ingredients mixing well.
In another, smaller bowl, add sour cream and 2 TBL of marinade, mix (cover and refrigerate)
Add the remaining marinade and fish to a zipper top bag, remove as much air as possible, seal and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
To a medium skillet over medium heat, warm olive oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. When skillet is hot, remove fish from marinade with tongs and add to the skillet. Cook about 4 minutes of each side, turning once. Fish should be white and flakey, do not over cook. Remove cooked fish to a plate.
Remove sour cream topping from the fridge and place a dollop on each piece of fish. Garnish with a lime wedge.

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Saturday, January 9, 2010

Chocolate Toffee Cake

If you get the TOH magazine then you will have seen this cake. It won 3rd prize in their cake competition and it looked so good that I just had to make it for my family. I didn't change anything and Penny gets full credit for this wonderful cake. It would be perfect with coffee or a big glass of milk. I wanted to help pass on this beautiful, flavorful and easy to make cake.

Chocolate Toffee Cake
courtesy of Penny McNeill// Kitchener, ON
1 pk milk chocolate English toffee bits
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I used large 60% cocoa)
2 TBL brown sugar

Combine in a bowl and set aside

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups AP flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 cups buttermilk

Caramel Icing
1/4 cup butter, cubed
2tsp AP flour
1 5oz can evaporated milk
1 cup packed brown sugar

In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well with each addition (mixture will appear curdled) Beat in vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda; add to the creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition.

Pour a third of the batter into the greased and floured 10" fluted tube pan. Sprinkle with a third of the toffee mixture you set aside at the beginning. Repeat layers twice.
Bake at 350〫for 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean
Cool for 10 minutes then remove from pan and transfer to a wire rack until completely cooled.

For Icing:
Melt butter in a small saucepan. Stir in flour until smooth; gradually add evaporated milk and brown sugar. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 4-5 minutes or until thickened. Cool and drizzle over cake.

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