Caramel Cake

DSC_0022-2An oldie with a mild caramel flavor. This 50’s Betty Crocker recipe has been revised just a bit. The natural flavor is wonderful. While not a special occasion cake exactly it’s great for a weekend dinner. The icing is creamy and the secret here is to beat until it reaches the correct consistency. This pretty much requires an electric mixer for best results.

When you’re not into chocolate and want something with a little flavor beyond a yellow cake this is the recipe for you.

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Pumpkin Pound Cake

DSC_0015It’s a birthday cake for a special friend! He’s so into “The Surprise Cake.” And Tomato Soup Cake is what he usually gets. This year I’ve been changing up everyone’s birthday cake. My bad! I came across this pound cake recipe, Land O’Lakes, and it just sounded so amazing. Land O’Lakes dairies are pretty prevalent around here, Tulare County. And my special friend’s mother only used Land O’Lakes Butter. Seemed like good reasons to give myself a pass and move forward. It was perfect! He loved the texture and the spicy pumpkin pie taste. And believe it or not it gets more moist with time. Did I say it has lots of butter! Give this Land O’Lakes Pumpkin Pound Cake Recipe a try. My only revision suggestion: Fold in 2/3 cup each raisins and chopped walnuts at the end of mixing. Happy Birthday Friend!

Try my spicy cake recipes:

Apple Spice

Apple

Spice Cake

Pumpkin

Banana Spice

Banana

Chai Cake

Chai

Mix Makeover


No Cook Lemon Cheesecake Pie

No Cook Lemon Cheesecake PieSweetened condensed milk leftover from ice cream making was an incentive to creating this pie. Can’t let food go to waste! Have you ever given thought to what’s in sweetened condensed milk. It’s really not that scary. In fact, you can make it yourself right on your stove top. Only two ingredients. How about vegan condensed milk? It’s easy. Check out these great recipes, here.  Yep, this whole pie can become vegan in a second. There are no eggs! Use vegan whipping cream, here. And well, the cream cheese can be eliminated … making the pie more chiffon-like. Vegan cream cheese? Yep, bet you can find a recipe for this too.

About the pie crust, make it graham cracker, chocolate, cookie, or meringue shells. All work!

This is a recipe with very few ingredients. Let’s get started.

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Old Fashioned Vanilla Ice Cream

Old Fashioned Vanilla Ice Cream

This delicious recipe has churned vanilla ice cream taste with only 3 ingredients and a pinch of salt. Several weeks ago I was in an ice cream-sorbet-sherbet mood. Try the blackberry sorbet … it was fabulous! Anyway, I found the cooked ice cream recipes I tried had little resemblance in taste or texture to the churned ice cream I enjoyed as a kid. The vanilla bean and raspberry ice creams were pricey and left me wanting more in taste. The good flavor of the vanilla bean with the $10 bean ingredient gave my mouth an unexpected feeling I sometimes get with Cool Whip. I moved on to raspberry. I had forgotten my near miss with raspberry ice cream in the past and cooked up the recipe again. The recipe just needs more flavor, a blackberry or two.

Craving the ice cream my parents used to put together, I pulled out the recipe. The first thing I noticed … 6 eggs? Hmm, my mother didn’t precook any ingredients. What would happen if I left out the eggs? It always seemed too sweet. What if I left out the sugar? Mother always made a big batch … It was such a production with a special trip to the ice house. Yep, for the ice. In the day we had a freezer only large enough for an ice tray or two. Dad cranked the old rusty freezer without much help. Our backyard in the summer was always filled with neighbors usually playing ping pong or badminton, or just chatting about the heat Seconds were unlikely and within minutes all was gone. So good! Fast forward a bit … we were given an old deep freezer and ice was no longer much trouble. Mother would fill empty milk cartons with water and freeze for ice cream making. Dad bought an electric churning freezer. The fuss was over. The recipe remained the same. Neighbors were miles away now. Lots of left-overs. Mother would freeze the left-overs in individual serving containers. The problem with freezing after churning … the homemade texture is lost. The ice cream became flavored ice … hard to spoon out and lacking in taste & texture. This recipe makes just a little over a quart for this reason. Left-overs are just not recommended.

A Cuisinart ice cream maker works very well for this recipe. It will hold the ice cream for some time if left on the countertop without much of a texture change. Putting the Cuisinart bowl in the freezer with the freshly churned ice cream will change the texture. Not recommended.

Enjoy this simple recipe. It’s a keeper!

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Filippo’s Tiramisu

Filippo's Tiramisu

 

Today’s my Daughter-In-Law Ann’s birthday. Happy Birthday Ann! Her husband’s (Ian) birthday is later this month and since this is a virtual birthday cake (They live states away.) I’m hoping they’ll share. Filippo is a friend of theirs. They met him while in the University of Illinois graduate school; or was it the graduate students Catholic group? Filippo and his bride have since moved away but Ann & Ian, both great cooks, have filed this recipe among their most favorites. Thank you for sharing. And thank you Filippo!

This is the second of two tiramisu recipes I’ve posted. Both recipes are from Italy. Here’s the first. They’re amazing yet different. Today I seem to gravitate to this recipe a bit more. I’m not sure if it’s the Bailey’s Chocolate Cherry or the creamy coffee taste. I have to admit I was a little too generous with the coffee & milk and didn’t refrigerate long enough before sampling … Not giving the ladyfingers enough time to absorb the liquids.

PS After a few hours in the refrig the dessert had the prefect texture. And it just got better the next day.

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Blackberry Sorbet

DSC_0007It was a big deal and even a bigger job … making ice cream with a crank style maker when I was a kid. Mom would put together the specifically purchased ingredients while Dad drove off to the ice house for a burlap bag of chunked ice. And hopefully one of them remembered the rock salt. Dad was the only one with the strength to turn the ol’ rusty crank and even he had a time. It seemed like hours but I’m sure more like 30 minutes of constant churning before Dad would declare it was done. I miss those days but I can make ice cream so much easier. I use a Cuisinart.

It wasn’t until almost noon that we decided we might enjoy a Blackberry Sorbet for dessert. The bowl insert needed freezer time before use. Popped it into the freezer … no ice or salt with this. We’d be ready to rock-n-roll in 6 hours, the time it takes the liquid inside the bowl to freeze solid. Just put together the berry mixture … 4 easy ingredients.

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Tartlets

Lemon Curd & Raspberries with Chantilly Cream

Blueberry with Chantilly Cream

Tartlets for July 4th 2017Love this dessert. Absolutely perfect for the Fourth! The rich crust is amazingly simple with only three ingredients. The flavorful Lemon Curd is refreshingly tart. And the Chantilly Cream is just what’s needed to tame a bit of the tartness. The blueberries with just a hint of nutmeg are juicy delicious. Red-White-Blue … Happy Fourth of July!

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Triple Layer Cookie Bar

Shortbread Brownie Chocolate Chip Bar

triple layer cookie barMotivated by the Brookster. Didn’t even know about The Brookster or Baked until my recent trip to Tribeca. The cookie was amazing. Thought about recreating it, two of my favorite cookies baked together. Weeks went by and I hadn’t made any cookies at all … unusual since I love homemade cookies right from the oven. I began feeling cookie deprived, craving my favorites. Why not bake my three favorites together. Know it will work! And here it is, a three layer cookie bar!

Take a tour of Baked while I put together the Triple Layer Cookie Bar recipe.

Brookster

Brookster

 

 

 

 

 

 

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