Monday, January 30, 2012

Grilled Turkey and Havarti Sandwiches

I really hadn't planned on blogging this simple sandwich, but when a friend and follower of my blog asked for the "recipe" I figured I would jot it down!

This is one of my family's favorite sandwiches and a really easy dinner!

grilled turkey Havarti sandwiches

Grilled Turkey Havarti Sandwiches

oven roasted deli turkey
sourdough bread
Havarti cheese slices
avocado (optional)

This sandwich is virtually like making a grilled cheese.
Butter the outsides of the sourdough bread, spread pesto on the insides.  
Layer with turkey, tomatoes and cheese.
Avocado is good , too!!

Place on griddle to toast.  This would be awesome done on  
a grill, too!!  Or if you are one of those lucky peeps that has a panini get the idea!!

That's it, simple and scrumptious!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Fresh Orange Layer Cake

orange cake 

It was time for "Birthday with the Girls" again! There are four of us, and two out of four have a birthday in January.  So, Rhonda, "Miss December" and Me, "Miss June," decided to pitch in and make dinner for the ladies of the month, Betsy and Lori.

Rhonda had her house looking so nice, and her family left for the evening. 
Between the four of us, we have thirteen children!!
I love my kids to pieces, but silence can be golden!! 
(at least when it's accompanied by girlfriends, good food, good wine and good conversation!)

Betsy doesn't like chocolate (GASP!!) 
So, I started scouring recipes to find something for dessert that she would love!!

I came across this orange cake.

I found the recipe on
It was submitted by Ris Lacoste, and if I ever get the chance I just want to THANK HER!
This cake is really good!! Every element is perfectly flavored, the filling, the frosting and the cake.
I know the key to it's perfect flavor is the fresh orange juice.

It's a very time consuming cake to make; lots of steps.  
But don't let that change your mind, you would be missing out!

fresh squeezed oranges and orange zest make this a perfect citrus cake

prepare the filling first, so it can chill thoroughly

here the cake is with the filling. 

My youngest daughter, my sou chef, said it looked like a giant hamburger!!

my sou chef, Josie, melting the chocolate for the curls

topped with the chocolate curls

The original recipe called for topping with orange slices and mint leaves.  I think this would be GORGEOUS in the spring, but for the winter, I thought about making chocolate curls.  I love chocolate orange, and I figured, I would serve Betsy's without chocolate, easy peasey!!

One candle on top, and some fresh tulips (my favorite!!)

"Miss Januaries"  Lori and Betsy, the birthday girls

This little slice of cake is like a little slice of heaven!!

the filling is AMAZING

Fresh Orange Cake with orange filling 
and Orange Buttercream Frosting

2/3 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons flour
1 cup fresh orange juice (about 3 large oranges), pulp removed
2 large egg yolks
2 Tablespoons salted butter

Making the filling: Combine the sugar and the flour in a heavy saucepan. Whisk to mix, add the orange juice and egg yolks, whisk quickly to combine.  Put the saucepan over medium-high heat and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture boils. (about 3 minutes)  Cook another minute, stirring constantly, the mixture will thicken and become less cloudy. Be sure to let it boil for one minute so that the filling will thicken enough to support the top layer of the cake.  Remove from heat and stir in the butter. Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, laying the plastic wrap directly on the filling when covering the bowl. Chill thoroughly before using.


2 1/4 cup flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup salted butter
1/3 cup vegetable shortening
2 teaspoons grated orange zest (from about one large orange)
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup fresh orange juice (about 3 large oranges), pulp removed

Make the cake: Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.  Grease and flour two 8" round cake pans (you can use 9" round, the layers will just be thinner)  
In your mixer, cream together butter, shortening, and zest. Gradually stir in the sugar and eggs, creaming together, and scraping down the sides of the bowl.

Add the sifted dry ingredients alternately with the orange juice to the creamed mixture, beating well on low speed after each addition.  Pour equal amounts of batter into the two prepared cake pans. Tap the pans on the counter a couple of times to remove any air bubbles and to even out the batter.  Bake until a toothpick in the middle comes out clean, about 28 minutes.  Cook the layers in the pans for about 10 minutes and then loosen the layers from the pans and transfer to a rack to cool completely.


18 Tablespoons of Salted butter, room temperature
6 cups powdered sugar
dash of salt
1 1/2 teaspoons of grated lemon zest
6 Tablespoons of fresh orange juice

To make the frosting: Cream the butter in the mixer. Add the sugar and salt and combine thoroughly. Add the orange juice and zest and mix until light and creamy. Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl down.  Refrigerate if not using right away.
(if you refrigerate, be prepared to place frosting back under the mixer to fluff it back up when you are ready)


When all of the cake components are cool, put one layer on a cake stand or plate, spread the filling over the cake to make a 1/2 layer. (you will have some extra)  Place top layer on and refrigerate the cake for another hour or so, to firm the filling back up.
Using an icing spatula, spread a very thin layer of frosting, called a "crumb coat," over the whole cake. Place the cake back in the fridge for another 10 minutes or so.  Frost the cake, adding decorative strokes to complete.

You can top with chocolate curls, or with fresh oranges, or just eat it plain, it's so yummy!!

This would make a great Easter dessert!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

White Chocolate Peppermint Kiss Martini

Not really sure why I never blogged this recipe?

It wasn't until today when I was asked for it by a fellow foodie, that I remembered that I hadn't!

So thanks for that.... because this is one worth enjoying!!

whipped cream on that?

We started a tradition in December of 2010, of a holiday get together at our house with a few of the couple that we run around with.

It's now referred to as "Holiday Frolic."
It's Fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, FUN!

By mid-December, we are all ready for a BREAK, aren't we??

ain't that the truth?

So, everyone brought an appetizer to share, and the martinis were shaken!

"shake it honey!"

White Chocolate Peppermint Kiss Martini

Decorate the inside of a martini glass with a swirl of chocolate syrup.
In an ice-filled martini shaker add:
1 shot of Vanilla Vodka
1 shot of Bailey's 
1 shot of Godiva White Chocolate Liquor
1/2 shot of  Peppermint Schnapps
a splash of cream

Shake well and strain into glass.

Top with whipped cream, and add a candy cane for stirring.

Cheers to the holidays and to Girlfriends!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Heart Shaped Spiced Peach Pocket Pies

Happy National Pie Day!!

heart shaped spiced peach pie pockets

I found these ADORABLE pocket pie presses made by Nordic Ware a week or so ago and 
of course I fell in love.

I (heart) Pie

I mean, c'mon, I LOVE anything heart and of course, PIE!
So this morning I decided in honor of National Pie Day I would bake up something cute for dessert tonight.
What makes a Monday better than dessert, right?

Here was the problem at hand... WHAT kind of pie to make?
The recipe that Nordic gave was for raspberry pie.  Now I would love that, but my oldest daughter hates ANYTHING with seeds. Raspberries were out.

I decided on a spiced peach pie filling.  I used a can of peach pie filling, cut the peaches into smaller bites,  and jazzed it up with 1/4 teaspoon of ginger and a pinch of cloves.

just a pinch will do ya!

I *almost* always make my own pie crust.  But today I cheated and bought the Pillsbury roll out kind.
They worked just great!

filling the pie press

When they are pressed you simply lay them on a parchment covered baking sheet, brush them with beaten egg and dust them sugar.  I used cinnamon sugar to amplify the "spice" flavor!

ready to go in the oven!

When I was little my Grandma always made my favorite pie as a child, Chocolate Meringue, when I would visit her. She made the most amazing pie crust!! 
After she had the pie ready to go in the oven, there was always "left over" pie crust.  She would roll it out for me and dust it with cinnamon and sugar.  I would stand by the oven wand watch it bake!!
I don't know what I was more excited about, that cinnamon pie crust, or the actual pie itself!

I decided to do the same today with what I had left over.
I cut them out in heart shapes with my medium sized scalloped heart cookie cutter and brushed them with egg and dusted them with cinnamon and sugar.

hearts dusted and ready for the oven

The pies bake quickly, only about 15 minutes at 400 degrees.
They smelled HEAVENLY!!

warm from the oven

The hearts only baked about 9 minutes.

I love how they got all puffy!

I sampled a couple ( I made extra! ) with my coffee while they were warm!!

Serving them with Blue Bunny Cinnamon ice cream.
There is plenty of filling left over, so I think topping the ice cream with that is an outstanding idea!!

mmmmm yummy.

Heart Shaped Spiced Peach Pie Pockets

1 can peach pie filling, cut peaches into small pieces
1/4 teaspoon ginger
a pinch of ground cloves
2 Pillsbury roll out pie crusts
cinnamon sugar mixture
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Combine pie filling with ginger and cloves and set aside.
Each pie crust will initially make 2 pockets.  Cut pockets out as directed on pie press package.
With a pastry brush brush egg around edges of hearts.
Fill with 2 Tablespoons of filling.
Press together, remove and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
Brush tops of pies with egg, and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
Bake pies approximately 15 minutes.

I made five pockets out of the 2 crusts, after rolling the leftover crust back out. I could have gotten six,  but tonight I only need five.

I used the remaining to cut my heart shaped pie crusts out, and brushed them with egg and dusted them with cinnamon sugar mixture.
Bake the cinnamon pie pieces only about 9 minutes.

this was seriously, so. darn. good.

Happy Monday, and Happy National Pie Day, friends!!

Thanks for visiting, I just love having company over.

Come back soon!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cheesecake

Last month (yes I am a slacker....) 
we celebrated my friend, Rhonda's birthday.
We affectionately call her "Wanda!"

Usually, "the girls" have birthday lunch.  This year Lori suggested that for Rhonda's birthday we all contribute to a meal and celebrate at her house.  

It was SO NICE!!

Instead of a meal, we actually did an assortment of appetizers, and I made the cake.

I found a recipe on Pinterest posted by Sweet Anna's, for
 White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cheesecake.

Lori had just decorated her tree in her basement, and had a nice fire going.  She set the table for the four of us to enjoy our night.

She even sent a text earlier that night telling us to dress comfy.

I brought some bruchetta and bread with some goat cheese.  

bruchetta is one of my most favorite things to nosh!

We relaxed, caught up on each other's lives, listened to Christmas music and ate all kind of yummy food!

Then it was time for the cake!

"Wanda" with her cake and martini, wearing the super cute hat Betsy sewed for her

this cake has all of my favorite things!

White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cheesecake
recipe from Sweet Anna's

1 - 10 oz package of frozen raspberries
2 T sugar
2 t cornstarch
1/2 c water
25 oreos, crushed
1/4 c melted butter
2 c chopped white chocolate (best quality you can find)
1/2 c half and half
3- 8 oz packages of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 t vanilla
1/4 t salt
2 regular sized Hershey bars milk or dark, chopped
1/2 c heavy cream
1 c chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate

Raspberry Sauce:
 Stir together the raspberries, sugar, cornstarch and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, then boil for 5 minutes.  Pour through a fine mesh strainer to catch the seeds. Store sauce in the refrigerator until you make the cheesecake.

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir the crushed oreos and melted butter together and press into the bottom of a spring form pan.  Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the crust is set.  Remove and cool.  Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees.

In a medium saucepan, heat the half and half until it is almost simmering. Remove from heat and stir in the white chocolate pieces until smooth and melted.  Set aside.

In a big bowl, beat together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, make sure to blend completely after each one.  Beat in the vanilla, salt and melted white chocolate  mixture.

Wrap your spring form pan containing the crust tightly in foil. Place the foil wrapped pan in a roasting pan, and put a pot of water to boil on the stove for the water bath you will be making.

Pour half of the filling over the crust, sprinkle with the chopped Hershey bars. Drizzle about 5 Tablespoons of raspberry sauce over the filling and chocolate and swirl with the tip of a knife. Pour the rest of the filling on top, drizzle with another 5 Tablespoons of sauce, and swirl again with the knife.

Pour boiling water into the roasting pan to surround the spring form pan.  Fill until the water reaches about halfway up the pan. Bake the cheesecake at 325 degrees for 60-70 minutes, until the center is almost set.
 (it will still jiggle of you shake the pan)

Remove the roasting pan from the oven, letting the cheesecake sit in the hot water for another 30 minutes.  Remove the spring form pan from the water onto a cooling rack to cool to room temperature.  Place in the refrigerator for 3+ hours to cool completely.

Make the ganache:
 In a saucepan, bring the heavy cream just to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate until smooth.  Pour the ganache over the top of the cooled cheesecake, smoothing with a spoon and allowing some of the ganache to drip over the sides of the cheesecake.  Return to fridge to chill another 3 hours, or until ganache is shiny and set.

This cheesecake was very time consuming, but it was so worth it!! A BIG THANK YOU to Sweet Anna's for sharing her perfected recipe! This will always be one of my most favorites from now on!!

Lori, Me, Betsy and the Birthday Girl, Rhonda

Monday, January 16, 2012

Lasagna Soup

lasagna soup

My friend Candi, over at The Devilish Dish is an amazing cook!!

Anytime she posts a recipe I know I will like it.
(so far she hasn't posted anything with liver or brussel sprouts....)

When she posted this one back in the Fall, I knew I would have to try it.

My family LOVES Pasta and we LOVE soup, so it was a win-win situation!

Candi and I have been friends for a long time.  Almost 15 years. She and I have so much in common, I swear God knew we needed to be friends and put her in that Scrapbooking class I was teaching back in 1997!

One thing that we have in common, we are both a little bit of a rebel.
It's okay. We were raised on Hair Band 80's music --- so it goes with the territory right?

we love our hair band concerts!! (and on those days...Aqua Net!!)

Well, being the rebel I am, I didn't EXACTLY follow her recipe.
That and the fact that I had already been to the store 3 days in a row and managed to STILL not have everything that I needed.

So, I add-libbed.
And because she's my friend, and I know that's JUST how she cooks... tweaking and making it her own, I know that she will understand.

For her recipe click here:

Lasagna Soup

2 lbs ground beef
1 medium onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 14.5 oz cans of petite diced tomatoes (with juice)
1 - 16 oz jar of spaghetti sauce (I like to use Marinara)
4 tsp chicken bouillon (or 4 cubes)
4 tsp beef bouillon
6 cups of water
2 tsp of Italian spice
1/2 thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 box lasagna noodles, broken into pieces
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
ricotta (optional)
 shredded mozzarella cheese

In a soup pot over medium heat brown your ground beef with onion and garlic.  Salt and Pepper to taste.
Drain grease.  To the ground beef mixture add the tomatoes, spaghetti sauce, bouillon, water and spices and seasonings. Bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 25 minutes.
Stir in broken lasagna noodles and cook until they are tender, about 10-15 minutes.
Remove bay leaf.  Add Parmesan cheese to soup about 5 minutes before serving and stir in.
Ladle into bowls and top with ricotta and mozzarella cheese.

My notes: We are not fans of ricotta cheese at my house.  When I make regular lasagna, I use cottage cheese.  So I added this to the ingredients, but we didn't use it.  It tasted AMAZING with just the shredded cheese. I actually bought shredded Italian blend cheese.
When you make lasagna, there are always a couple of broken noodles in the box it seems. I always have a couple of extra, too. When I do, I throw them in a Ziploc bag and keep adding to them, then I'm ready for a quick batch of lasagna soup!  That's one other thing about this soup, it's one of those that most likely the ingredients are in your pantry right now!  Like most soups, this recipe works well in the crock pot, After browning your meat, dump it all in the crock pot and let it cook on low all day. Add Parmesan cheese about 10 minutes before your serve.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Chili

buffalo chicken chili

Raise your hand if you LOVE buffalo chicken wings!!

Yesterday I went to the store to do some grocery shopping.  It was a beautiful day, the sun was especially warm and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. 
 This is quite uncommon to have a 62 degree day in Nebraska in mid-January.
But after listening to the weatherman I knew it wouldn't last.

There's a saying here in Nebraska,
 "If you don't like the weather in Nebraska, wait five minutes and it will change!" 

I bought all of the fixings for chili, knowing it was coming, and it DID.
And if the weatherman wasn't right (which he seldom is) my twins are studying clouds in science, and they told me the ones up there are bringing a storm!

The winds are blowing like mad, and I have hunkered down at home in my PJ's for a 
day of laundry and cleaning.  (BOO!)

Last night, I found a recipe for Buffalo Chicken Chili on A Forkful of Comfort's linky party.

I showed it to my oldest son and is statement was "oh, yum."

I decided to forego the usual chili and make this one.

Now I will tell you that when it comes to recipe following, I am a bit of a rebel. 
I can NEVER just "follow" a recipe without tweaking it someway to make it my own.

Her recipe sounded delicious, but if I made it that way I would have to go to the store...again.

I'm in my PJ's, remember?  And I plan to stay in them until I have to go get my twins at school at 3 PM.
(they are getting to the age where I can drop them off in them, 
but they comment when I pick them up in them! ;)

So, I did some tweaking.  Also, my hubby and I are on the WEIGHT-LOSS TRAIN and if I don't want to eat chicken and fish and lettuce daily, I need to TRY to make these soups healthy!

And, people, I LOVE me some soup!

If you click on the link for A Forkful of Comfort up there, it will take you directly to her post, and you can see what changes I have made. Make it however you like, but I say MAKE IT!

I have only taken a nibble of it, as it slow cooks in my crock pot, but I wish you knew just how amazing my house smells right now.

Buffalo Chicken Chili
adapted from A Forkful of Comfort

One Medium Onion, diced
4 Stalks of Celery, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
5 chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
1 Tablespoon of Chili Powder
1 Tablespoon of Cumin
2 Tablespoons of flour
1/2 cup of hot wing sauce ( I use Frank's )
2 - 14.5 ounce cans of diced tomatoes with juice
1 - 15 ounce can of black beans
1 - 15 ounce can of dark red kidney beans
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups of chicken broth (we like more broth!)
mozzarella cheese, ranch or blue cheese dressing

In a stockpot over medium heat saute your chicken until it's no longer pink. 

I have to tell you that I never decide what's for dinner in advance!! I took my chicken out of the freezer and threw it in the pot frozen, basically defrosted/cooked it at the same time! The original recipe said to cook it in 3 Tablespoons of butter, I omitted that step. 
If your chicken isn't frozen like mine was, you will need it.

Add the onion, celery and garlic, season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until tender.

(at this point I put it in the crock pot)

Sprinkle with Chili Powder, Cumin and Flour, stirring to coat.  Add hot wing sauce, tomatoes, chicken broth and beans.  Stir to combine.  Bring to a boil. 
Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes more, stirring occasionally.

I left mine on low for about 5 hours in the crock pot.

Top with your cheese of choice and ranch or blue cheese dressing.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

banana cake with cream cheese frosting

We were invited over to my Aunt and Uncles for dinner on Monday night, and I was so excited!!

It may not seem like a BIG deal to you, but you see rarely do every one's schedules align.  
Sometimes I think it would be easier to herd cats.

My God-Father, Clyde and my Aunt Carol are two VERY special people to me, and to my whole family.

We try to get together a few times a year alternating houses for dinner.

With 4 kids, them and us,  trying to get wrestling schedules, work schedules, and just life in general to all land on a day that is free for everyone is sometime tough.

Thank goodness they are flexible!!


Monday night dinners were a tradition in my Dad's family growing up.  My Grandparents had anyone who wanted to come to dinner on Monday night over, and afterward everyone just sort of stuck around, sometimes playing penny poker.

So when it landed on a Monday it felt like tradition was back.

I told my Aunt Carol that it feels as though we DESCEND upon their quiet and neat house.  I mean when they come over the TWO of them VISIT...


They made one of my most favorite meals that night.  Her homemade beef pot pie.  She makes the most amazing pie crust...I want to learn.

Teach me Yoda.

I was in charge of dessert. I didn't want to bring something same 'ol same 'ol. 

I found this recipe for banana cake on pinterest, and it looked really good!

I knew my diet would be out the window on the pot pie..and hey, it had fruit in it, right?

It's got to be better than chocolate right...well not BETTER...but less calories!
You know what I mean.  

I know not much is "better" than chocolate.

look at that yummy frosting!

Banana Cake
adapted from Bake or Break

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2Tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 egg white
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 ripe bananas
1/4 c milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray an 8x8 pan with flour baking spray.
Whisk dry ingredients together and set aside.
With an electric mixer, beat butter, oil and sugar.  Beat eggs and egg white in one at a time. Add vanilla and mix well.

In another bowl mash bananas and add milk, stir until combined.

Gradually add dry mix into sugar mixture mixing well.  Add banana mixture, combine well.
Placing batter and smoothing into pan, bake for 40-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.


Cream Cheese Frosting:
4 ounces of cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 - 3 Tablespoons chopped walnuts (optional)
caramel ice cream topping (optional)

Cream together cream cheese and vanilla, add sugar and continue to cream together.
Spread frosting onto cooled cake.
I topped mine with some drizzled caramel ice cream topping and about 2 Tablespoons of chopped walnuts.

This cake was REALLY good!!  It really is more of the consistency of banana bread. Very dense.
But utterly scrumptious!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Chocolate Chip Raspberry Muffins

I started doing bake along challenges with Danielle over at Hugs and Kisses XOXO around Thanksgiving.  
It was awesome, because everything she chose got me a little closer to having my cookie trays full for the holidays, and I was able to try some new things and then SHARE them with ALL of you!

My husband and I have decided to take off some of this holiday weight, and when they bake along came through I thought "should I subject myself to this yumminess?"  

But, alas,  I did!!

chocolate chip raspberry muffins

I have to admit, I only had about a 1/4 of one. 
 I can't share something with you that I haven't tasted can I??

They are yummy!!

My kids enjoyed them immensely, they are tired of salad and chicken (even after one week!!)


Chocolate Chip Raspberry Muffins

1 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
8 oz cream cheese
1 stick butter
1 c sugar
2 eggs
1/4 c milk
1 bag dark chocolate chips
raspberry jelly

Line muffin cups. Preheat oven to 350. beat butter, cream cheese and sugar. add eggs. Add dry ingredients and milk. Stir in chips and divide into muffin cups. Top each with a dollop of jam and swirl in with a toothpick. Bake approx 30 minutes (for XL muffin cups and 20 for standard one) Can top with powdered sugar when cool.

My Notes:
I shared the recipe as the bake along stated it.  I made according to the blog, and let me tell you, my kids wouldn't keep their mitts out of the BATTER!
 It is delicious!!

ready for the oven

I filled them full in hopes they would "cap" like my regular muffin recipe that I use.  
This recipe made one dozen muffins.

Here is where I ran into problems, so when you try them (and you should!)  
Make SURE that the jam is really down inside of the muffin batter.  
I suggest putting some batter in the cup, then jam then batter then swirl.
The problem that I had was, as you know, jam will bubble when it gets hot, and it did. 
It didn't make a big 'ol mess in my oven,
 but it did adhere the little beauties to my muffin pan pretty darn good!!

I was afraid they would taste scorched, and they didn't thank heaven!!

I removed the liners and they were yummy.

Instead of the powdered sugar dusting that Danielle suggested, I drizzled mine with a little vanilla glaze!

I love, love, love raspberries, and I think next time I will use frozen ones, an"poke" them into the muffin so I can get them WHOLE! 

All in all this was a great "diet slip" of a recipe! 

Thank you for visiting!!


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Chocolate Bliss Cake with Raspberry Sauce and Devonshire Cream

chocolate bliss cake with raspberry sauce and devonshire cream

The past two years I have hosted a Valentine Brunch at my house for my girlfriends.  
In 2011 We had a Pajama was a blast!

I cannot BELIEVE that I neglected to post the featured recipe!?!

I went to find it today...and it wasn't there!?!

This cake is hands down a chocolate lovers DREAM!

chocolate bliss cake

So, in time for you to consider this one for your Valentine celebration this year I present you with

Chocolate Bliss Cake with Raspberry Sauce and Devonshire Cream!

Chocolate Bliss Cake 
(recipe from Breakstone Sour Cream Company, found on

1 (18.25 ounce) package chocolate cake mix
1 cup Reduced Fat Sour Cream
1 pkg. (4 serving size) JELL-O Chocolate Instant Pudding
4 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup water
3 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping
1 (8 ounce) package BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate
1 1/2 cups raspberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

Lightly grease 12-cup fluted tube pan or 10-inch tube pan. Beat all ingredients except whipped topping, chocolate and raspberries in large bowl with electric mixer on low speed just until moistened. 
Beat on medium speed 2 minutes scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake 50 minutes to 1 hour or until wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. 
Cool in pan 10 minutes. 
Loosen cake from side of pan with knife or metal spatula and gently remove cake. 
Cool cake completely on wire rack. Place on serving plate.

Microwave whipped topping and chocolate in microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1-1/2 to 2 minutes or until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is well blended, stirring after each min. 
Drizzle over cake. 
 Spoon raspberries into center of cake. 
Store leftover cake in refrigerator.

Raspberry Sauce
(recipe found on

1 pint fresh raspberries
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup cold water

Combine the raspberries, sugar, and orange juice in a saucepan. Whisk the cornstarch into the cold water until smooth. Add the mixture to the saucepan and bring to a boil.
Simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until the desired consistency is reached. The sauce will thicken further as it cools.
Puree the sauce in a blender or with a handheld immersion blender and strain it through a fine sieve. Serve warm or cold. The sauce will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

You heard me speak of the tea parties that my friend Andi had years ago in a recent post I had for 
Almond Raspberry Thumbprints Cookies.   While attending one of her teas, I was lucky enough to try this "Devonshire Cream." I honestly don't remember what she served it with, maybe fruit? But it popped into my head when I settled on the Bliss Cake.  I thought the sour cream in both would compliment each other.   Turns out, it did!!

I hope that some of my English foodie friends can chime in on this for me, but I believe this to be more of a "mock" version of Devonshire Cream.  It's kind of a short cut way to get a similar flavor.

Andi's Devonshire Cream

8 ounces heavy whipping cream
1 cup of sour cream
3-6 Tablespoons of Powdered Sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Whip whipping cream, sugar and vanilla.  When thick, fold in the sour cream.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Italian Style Prime Rib Roast - My In-Laws do it BEST!

Italian Style Prime Rib Roast

No... your eyes aren't playing tricks on you... that is 24, yes, 24 pounds of PRIME RIB right there.

My In-Laws have always done Prime Rib for Christmas dinner.

I will honestly tell you that until I had this magnificent dinner, I had never had Prime Rib in my life.

After having it, I would try to order it in a restaurant, and it was such a HUGE disappointment!

They do it best I will tell you.

I'm not sure why I should be surprised, though.  
In the department of Mother and Father In-Law, I just plain hit the jack pot.

They are such a fantastic family, and I thank God for them every night I lay my head on my pillow.

Denny, my Father-in-law, loves to read my blog, and gets a huge kick out of me taking pictures 
of food when he visits.  
"Don't 'cha wanna take a picture of that one, Kala?"  

This year, I decided to document the making of the Prime Rib.  With the help of my hubby.

If you want to make a Prime Rib that will wow the masses.... here is what it takes!

4-5 pound rump roast or prime rib

or if you're at our house... 24 pounds....

Denny cuts off a few steaks so they will fit in the pan!

steaks go in the freezer to be enjoyed later

Brian helps his parents do the herb and spice rub after the meat is seared to perfection

goof!! Think he's excited?!?!

I kept teasing him about his apron.  I told him he looked like an elf! 
Every time he put it on I looked at him and said "Herbie doesn't like to make toys!"

we take it out when it reaches 140 degrees so those who like it rare get their way!


Denny trims the fat off of the roast, and begins slicing.  He sets an electric frying pan with au jus to the side to cook it a little more for those who don't like it too pink!

Denny gets everyone's cut done to their liking.  He looks proud here, doesn't he?


my plate: prime rib, home grown sweet corn, potato casserole and broccoli rice and cheese casserole

(please don't count the calories!!)

It was hard not to dig in...but I took a picture!! It was MAGNIFICENT!!

I highly recommend you try this next time you make a prime rib!! It's DIVINE!

Italian Style Roast

4-5 pound rump or prime rib roast

Herb and Spice Mix

1 T. Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 t. each: dried parsley flakes, basil, pepper, Italian seasoning
1 t. salt
Generous sprinkling of garlic powder and onion salt

Au Jus Mix
1 beef bouillon cube dissolved in 1 cup of water

Put meat in and ungreased pan on a rack, fat side up and bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes to sear the meat.

Remove from oven and rub with Worcestershire Sauce, mix herbs and spices together, sprinkle over meat, rub in.

Continue to roast at 250 degrees for a total time of 15 minutes per pound.
This will make the roast Medium Rare.

Add bouillon to drippings to make Au Jus.
For extra, just use McCormick au jus packets, according to package instructions.