Blackberry Cheesecake Bars

Blackberry Cheesecake Brownies 1

Blackberry Cheesecake Brownies



I am an avid reader of magazines that involve cooking. Be it straight out cooking mags like Bon Appetit, Saveur, Food Network and Food & Wine, or others like Family Circle and Womans Day, I am subscribed to them all. I search until I find them for wonderful prices like $5.99 a year (honest Injun… you can get some great deals on magazines if you look around; and not just the “womens” mags either!!) and then and only then will I get them. Then, when I’m done with them, which includes tearing out recipes I want to try, they go to the residents at the long term care facility my husband works at. The residents there never lack for magazines to look at, I’ll tell you that much!

Sadly though, even when I tear out recipes from the ones like Woman Day or Family Circle, I never have a whole lot of success with the recipes themselves. I’m not sure if it is a lack of proper testing at the test kitchens or what, but there ALWAYS seems to be an issue or two that needs fixed. I got this recipe from Womans Day and it was, unfortunately, no exception. I lost the paper version, so had to look it up online and found it on their site, but the recipe itself was so fraught with errors in direction and ingredients that I had to pick through it and work with it. I’m an experienced cook, so it turned out delicious, but I shudder to think what would have happened with a novice cook. The pan size was wrong, the sugar measurements were off, etc etc.

BUT!!! Like I said, I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck yesterday when it comes to cooking (yet another saying about which I ask, “wth does that even mean!?”), so I fixed the “boo-boos”. Once done, this is a delicious cheesecake bar. It uses up some of the last of the season fresh blackberries quite nicely. You have a VERY rich brownie base layered with a creamy cheesecake filling and finally that part is swirled with fresh blackberries. So your mouth gets a nice mix of “ooo, chocolate. No, creamy. No, berries!” to keep you guessing.

So, you know the drill. Get to cooking!

Blackberry Cheesecake Brownies

  • Brownie base-
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips, divided
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Cheesecake filling-
  • 2 8 oz packages of cream cheese, room temp
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 ounces blackberries, mashed (one small container)
  1. Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 inch square pan with foil, leaving enough to overhand the edges of the pan. You’ll use that as a handle later to lift the brownies out of the pan. Spray with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a small pot, over low heat, melt together the butter and 1 1/4 cups of the chocolate chips, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat when melted and set aside.
  3. Whisk together the 3/4 cup flour, the cocoa powder and the salt. In a large bowl, on low speed with a hand held mixer,  combine the sugars and the 3 eggs. beat JUST until combined. Stir in the flour mixture and the last 1/2 cup of semi sweet chips. Gently fold the chocolate/butter mixture into this. Set aside to make the cheesecake batter.
  4. Wash your beaters and in a large bowl, on low speed, combine the cream cheese, sour cream, 1/2 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons flour. beat just until smooth and creamy. Add in the 2 eggs and the vanilla extract; beat just until combined.
  5. Scoop about half the brownie batter (about 1 1/2 cups) of the brownie batter into the prepared pan and smooth. Top that with half of the cheesecake batter, then the last half of the brownie batter. Carefully pour the other half of the cheesecake batter on top and gently smooth it out.
  6. Put dollops of the smashed blackberries on top of the cheesecake batter and use a butter knife to swirl it through the batter, being careful not to reach down into the brownie part (though the world won’t end if you do)
  7. Bake at 350 degrees just until the top is set, about an hour. The edges will be set, but the center should still have the tiniest bit of a jiggle to it. It will finish setting up as it cools.
  8. Let cool in the pan for an hour, then refrigerate for at least two hours to overnight to finish firming up.
  9. Use the foil “handles” to lift the brownies out onto a cutting board and then use a large serrated knife to cut into bars, dipped in hot water and wiped dry in between each cut.

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

Blackberry Cheesecake Brownies

Blackberry Cheesecake Brownies

Cheesy Meatball And Sausage Pasta Bake

Cheesy Meatball And Sausage Pasta Bake

Cheesy Meatball And Sausage Pasta Bake



Sometimes, you just want easy. You either aren’t up to or don’t have time for pasta sauce made with organic home grown tomatoes and fresh basil. You don’t want to fuss with rolling tiny meatballs using beef that you raised yourself, slaughtered humanely (not even sure what that MEANS) and added freshly grated Parmesan to…from cheese that you made yourself.

You just want….easy. Quick. Tasty. Get me in the kitchen and out. Maybe even make enough at once that I can freeze some for another time when I’m feeling extremely lazy too busy to fuss with a huge multi course meal.

So you cheat a little. You buy some good quality jarred sauce for your pasta and doctor it up. You buy meatballs from the frozen aisle at the grocery store. You add in some spices, some delicious Italian sausage, toss it all with your favorite pasta and voila… dinner for tonight and if you make the whole recipe of what I’m about to share, dinner for 2 to 3 more nights in the future, all nicely frozen. Just wrap tightly in foil, label and freeze. Then the next time you don’t feel like cooking because you instead want to veg out in front of netflix and an orgy of Criminal Minds… I mean, next time life gets busy and you are teaching little Suzy to play the Cello while also supervising little Tommy’s soon to be award winning science fair experiment, you’ll have dinner ready to thaw and toss in the oven.

You’re welcome.

You know the drill…..

Keep in mind that this makes a lot deliberately. if you want just enough for one meal with maybe leftovers for lunch, cut it in half.

Cheesy Meatball And Sausage Pasta Bake

  • 2 lbs of your favorite tube type pasta (I used Rigatoni), cooked according to package directions, drained and set aside
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped green pepper
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 2 lb bag frozen Italian style meatballs, thawed
  • 1 lb Italian sausage links, cooked, then coarsely chopped or sliced thin
  • 2 24 ounce jars of pasta sauce (just use your favorite flavor)
  • 1 15 ounce jar Alfredo sauce
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 1/4 pounds Mozzarella cheese, grated (please don’t use the pre-grated stuff. it doesn’t melt as well)
  • Parmesan cheese for grating on top
  • If making full batch, foil pans and foil for long term freezer storage
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and spray a 13×9 dish (I personally prefer glass because it doesn’t leave any ‘off” tastes in food) with cooking spray.
  2. Pour the olive oil in a LARGE pot. Add in the chopped onion, green pepper and minced garlic. Saute over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the veggies are limp and tender, but not browned. Dump the meatballs and Italian sausage in and stir for just a minute or two.
  3. Pour in the pasta sauce, the Alfredo sauce and the red wine. Sprinkle with the Italian seasoning and give it all a good stir. Let come to a simmer, stirring occasionally.  Now, here’s why I had you use a LARGE pot.
  4. Dump in the cooked pasta. Use a large wooden spoon to stir it all up and get the pasta all coated with sauce.
  5. Sprinkle about 3/4 of the Mozzarella cheese into the pasta, about half of that amount at a time. Stir to combine and then after it is well mixed, add the next part.
  6. Scoop or pour about 1/4 of the mixture into the prepared 13×9 baking dish. Divide the rest between two to three greased square foil pans.
  7. Sprinkle the one you’re using now with the remainder of the grated Mozzarella cheese as well as some grated Parmesan and bake in a 350 degree oven until browned and bubbly, about 35 to 40 minutes.
  8. Wrap the foil pans tightly in a double layer of foil, label the contents and freeze. To reheat them, just set the pan in the fridge early on the morning you want to make it, then about an hour before you’re ready to eat, place in a preheated 350 degree oven. Bake for about 35 minutes, still wrapped. Unwrap the dish, sprinkle with Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses and continue baking until browned and bubbly.

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

Cheesy Meatball And Sausage Pasta Bake

Cheesy Meatball And Sausage Pasta Bake

Chocolate Covered Raspberry Milkshake & A Hamilton Beach Giveaway

Chocolate Covered Raspberry Milkshake

Chocolate Covered Raspberry Milkshake



Hey everybody! It’s time for a creamy Summer recipe and a Hamilton Beach giveaway. I still so love being one of their ambassadors. Their products are wonderful and this one is no exception.  Before I give you the recipe and details on the giveaway, let me tell you why you want this blender. 😀

BlenderRaise your hand if you’ve ever had a blender that came with a cheap, “look at this funny and it’ll break” plastic jar! *Raises my hand and waggles it around wildly*. Not with this bad boy. This jar is SOLID. It’s a nice thick, heavy glass jar with a good heft to it. If you can manage to break this jar, you should probably not be trusted with kitchen appliances or sharp objects, hehe.

Also, have you ever been making something in the blender and it gets stuck down by the bottom? Then you have to turn it off and shove a spoon or butter knife down by the blades and try to unclog it. That won’t happen here for two reason. The first is that this has a 700 watt motor and it makes the liquids move! The “wave action” continually forces the mixture down towards the blades so it doesn’t get clogged. This recipe used some thick ice cream and not a whole lot of liquid, but the blender had no problems breaking it down. The second is that if things DO get stuck, they give you what they call a “stir spoon”, a thick plastic spoon that works wonders for stirring things up down by the bottom of the blender.

Another plus to the Hamilton Beach Wave Action Blender is the pour spout. This one seals up when the blender is in use and gently pulls open when you’re ready to pour and you don’t end up with a puddle on the counter as you have with some blenders that are hard to pour from due to an overly large pouring area.

The ONLY issue I have with the Hamilton Beach Wave Action Blender is the lid. It fits so well that it can be difficult for hands like mine, that are arthritic, to pull off. Even if I opened the pour spout to let air in, it was still a struggle to get the lid off. BUT… that said, for those of you with no joint pain, that shouldn’t be a problem.

Now, on to what I know you want; the recipe for a creamy, delicious Chocolate Covered Raspberry Shake and a chance to win one of these fantastic blenders.

Chocolate Covered Raspberry Milkshake

  • 2 cups chocolate ice cream
  • 1/2 cup good quality chocolate milk (GOOD stuff here, not some cheap watery store brand)
  • 2 dry pints fresh raspberries
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
  • chocolate syrup and whipped cream for garnish
  1. Dump your raspberries in a large bowl and smash them down to pulp. The easiest way I’ve found is simply to take a flat bottomed glass and smush them. No getting out a food processor and it takes just seconds.
  2. Then, push them through a fine mesh strainer (I use the same flat bottomed glass to push them through) into a large measuring cup. You should end up with about 3/4 of a cup of puree. It’s ok if it’s a bit less or more.
  3. Dissolve the coffee granules in the chocolate milk. Pour the milk into the blender, then add the ice cream and 1/2 cup of the berry puree. If you want a thinner shake or just want to make it go farther, add a bit more chocolate milk. Just make sure to add some more raspberry puree also, so you don’t overpower the raspberry flavor with the chocolate.
  4. Use the milkshake setting on the Hamilton Beach Wave Action Blender to blend it all up until it’s smooth and creamy.
  5. Get two 8 to 12 ounce glasses out. Tilt the glasses sideways and drizzle the chocolate syrup in a circle over the inside of the glass. It will drizzle down and make a pretty design on the inside of the glass. Divide the shake mixture between the two glasses and top with whipped cream, some of the extra raspberry puree and some chocolate syrup. Enjoy!!

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

Hamilton Beach provided me with a Hamilton Beach Wave Action Blender for review  and will send one to one winner of my giveaway, 18 years or older, in the United States. I received no other compensation for this and all opinions are my own.

Bacon Wrapped Faux Chicken Cordon Bleu

Bacon Wrapped Faux Chicken Cordon Bleu

Bacon Wrapped Faux Chicken Cordon Bleu



One of the things I loved when I lived in Germany many moons ago was the food. Lots of pastries and beer everywhere; what’s not to love, right? But they had excellent “real” food also. There was one restaurant my ex husband and I used to go to that served an amazing cordon bleu. This sucker was so thin and tender and filled up the entire plate with cheesy, hammy goodness. But know what? I’m rarely that ambitious 😛 I’ve made the real thing before as well as it’s cousin, Chicken Kiev and maybe at some point I will actually post those delicious recipes.

But the other night, I was tired and just wanted something a bit quicker, but still tasty. So I took the boneless skinless chicken thighs I had, schmeared them (gosh, I love the word schmeared. It’s so fun to say! Lol) with horseradish mustard (use your favorite flavor of mustard), shoved ham and cheese inside, folded them in half, then wrapped them in bacon. Then I sprinkled them with some Parmesan and baked them up. There you go. You don’t even need a recipe. 😛 I pretty much just gave it to you. Yes, it’s that easy.

But, since I love you all (not you…go away), I will make it an official recipe. Then, I feel all professional and all that rot and you all have something to print out besides my rambling. Cool with you? Alrighty then. Lets get to it.

When I made this, I used a full 9 chicken thighs because I live with pigs… I mean males. But I’ll cut this down to six for the recipe. Thing is, this is so easy, it’s simple to make it with however many you have on hand. Just increase or decrease the amounts of cheese, bacon and ham to go with the thighs.

You know the drill… get to cooking! Well, go…shoo!

And yes, I know the last thing I did was bacon wrapped, but c’mon…bacon!

Bacon Wrapped Faux Chicken Cordon Bleu

  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, excess fat trimmed off
  • 1/4 cup horseradish mustard
  • 6 slices good quality deli ham (please don’t use cheap crap.I’ll cry.)
  • 6 slices Swiss, Provolone or Mozzarella Cheese (just use your favorite. I thought about using Muenster which is a favorite, but mine had molded *sobs)
  • 12 ounces good quality bacon
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (or at least decent store grated)
  • Toothpicks to hold meat closed
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a large baking dish with non stick foil.
  2. Take a chicken thigh and lay it open and flat. Drizzle the desired amount of mustard on top of the thigh. Take a slice of deli ham and lay a slice of cheese on it, then fold it in half.
  3. Lay the ham and cheese on top of the chicken thigh. Fold the chicken thigh in half and wrap it in bacon so the open side of the meat is sealed off with bacon. Secure with toothpicks if needed.  Set in the prepared pan.
  4. Repeat with each chicken thigh.
  5. Bake at 375 until the bacon is browned and the chicken thigh is fully cooked, about 35 to 40 minutes. You can run the dish under the broiler for a minute if the bacon doesn’t get crispy enough. Thighs are a bit more forgiving than breasts when it comes to overcooking.
  6. Let sit in the pan for about five minutes so they aren’t so oozy that you have no cheese left inside the chicken when you cut it. Serve.
  7. These are also really good later, when cold, sliced thin and arranged on an onion bun with some mayo!

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

Bacon Wrapped Faux Chicken Cordon Bleu

 

Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin Stuffed With Bacon Jam & Provolone Cheese

Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin Stuffed With Bacon Jam & Provolone Cheese

Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin Stuffed With Bacon Jam & Provolone Cheese



I have decided that what the world needs is more bacon. Bacon would prevent wars, save marriages, clear up acne, cause massive weight loss, stop global warming, prevent tornadoes, and make everyone too darn happy to fuss over the little things.

So I have done my part here to encourage world peace. How, you ask? Did you even look at the photo and title, for Heavens sake!? Look at all that bacon! It’s pork, wrapped in pork, then stuffed with more pork! What else can one woman do to stop wars…and tornadoes?!! I’m a doctor, not a soldier, Jim!!! Sorry; Star Trek moment there.

This takes a bit more time than my usual cookies or brownies, but there is nothing here that you can’t manage. You just need a sharp knife for cutting the pork and laying it out flat. And bacon. Lots of bacon.  Did I mention bacon?

I roasted this in the oven, but if you’re a grill guru, I would imagine it could be done that way, too. Either way though, this is delicious! A juicy pork loin, cut to lay flat, rolled around a delicious bacon jam* and provolone cheese, then smothered in a stone ground mustard and honey topping and wrapped in even more bacon. What more do you need in this life? Except maybe a good beer to have with it?

You know the drill…..

Mrs. Cupcake, who needs more bacon.

                   Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin Stuffed With Bacon Jam & Provolone Cheese

  • Bacon Jam- (You can make this days ahead of time if you prefer)
  • 1 1/4 pounds good quality thick cut bacon (make extra- you know well you’ll eat some)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of either maple sugar or real maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Pork-
  • 5 lb pork loin (approximately; the world won’t collapse if it’s somewhat bigger or smaller; just change your cooking time and the amount of the filling ingredients you use, accordingly)
  • 1/2 cup stone ground mustard
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon (or to taste) McCormicks Smoked Sea Salt
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups bacon jam
  • 8 slices provolone cheese
  • 1 pound bacon, cooked long enough to soften it and render out some of the fat
  1. Make the bacon jam-In a large shallow pan, fry the bacon until crisp and brown but not overly crunchy, Remove from the pan, crumble it up (don’t eat too much!) and set aside on a plate.
  2. Drain off all but about 2 tablespoons of the fat. Add the onions and garlic to the fat left in the pan and saute over medium heat until limp and tender, about 5 minutes. Add the rest of the jam ingredients along with the bacon and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture has cooked down and thickened somewhat, about ten minutes. Hold back the 1 to 11/2 cups and put the rest in a covered container in the fridge. It will keep for about 2 weeks.
  3. First thing to do after the jam is made is to slice the pork loin open. I will do my best to describe the method. It’s easy as can be, but I stink at describing stuff like this, lol.  Get a large cutting board and a sharp knife. About 1 inch up on the long side of the loin, cut almost all the way through, stopping short of the other side. Open the loin and do the same thing again. That cut should open the loin up, but if not, do it one more time. You should end up with a flat rectangular piece of meat. If it bulges and is too thick in any spots, carefully slice those parts off to make the meat an even thickness.
  4. Spread the open loin with the bacon jam. Then top that with the provolone cheese. Carefully roll up the loin and use kitchen twine to tie it up so it won’t open up while cooking. Place in a large foil lined baking pan.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the stone ground mustard, honey and cayenne pepper. Spread this over the top of the loin. Sprinkle with the smoked sea salt.
  6. Take the slightly cooked bacon and wrap it around the loin from end to end, folding pieces under if needed to secure them.
  7. Preheat the oven to 375. Roast the pork loin until it reaches an internal temp of 145 degrees, about an hour for a five pound loin. Since it’s sliced thinner and rolled, it doesn’t take as long to roast as a typical loin would, so check the internal temp often. Cover the pork with foil if at any point the bacon is getting too brown.
  8. When done, let it rest in the pan for at least ten minutes and up to half an hour before slicing.
Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin Stuffed With Bacon Jam & Provolone Cheese

Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin Stuffed With Bacon Jam & Provolone Cheese

 

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Sweet & Tangy Strawberry-Vanilla-Banana Jam

Sweet & Tangy Strawberry-Vanilla-Banana Jam



I remember when I first started canning about 15 years ago. I thought I owned the world. To be able to create jams, jellies and preserves in flavors no store would ever have; to feel so danged “Earth Mother-ish”. It was empowering in its own weird way. The first thing I ever made was orange marmalade. It was, yet again with me, a case of not even realizing I had picked something that experienced cooks/canners don’t like to do and that the inexperienced canners balk at. I have a habit of that. Same thing happened the first time I made croissants not long after I started baking with yeast. I found out later that many experienced home bakers don’t like to attempt croissants because they can be touchy. I’ve always been like, “This sounds good… I want to make it” and I give it a try. Usually things go well. I suppose ignorance really is bliss, ehh? This particular jam is a favorite in my family. My son Jordan has to be stopped from just eating it out of the jar as dessert and my husband, who is diabetic, loves it even though it’s so NOT good for him. If you like the classic mix of strawberry banana, you will love this jam. And contrary to what you may think, home canning isn’t difficult at all. If you can mix, stir, ladle into jars and then boil sealed cans, you’ve got this. I will say what I say every time I post a canning recipe, however. Steer clear of recipes/web sites/blogs that tell you it is just fine and dandy to do things like seal your jars by turning them upside down or just putting a lid on and letting the inner heat seal them, etc. These methods are NOT safe. You’ll run into people who will say, “Oh, my gramma/great gramma/gramma 35 generations ago did it this way and everyone was just fine.” They’re wrong, plain and simple. We have no way of knowing how many illnesses, “Oh, she has a stomach virus” or even deaths back in the day were from food poisoning. Seal your cans the correct way and you’ll have tasty food that is safe. Here’s a wonderful site to check out if you’re new to canning- Fresh Preserving . It will guide you along in easy terms and make you see how simple this really is! You know the drill…. git to cooking. Erhmmm, canning. This makes about 8 half pint jars.

Sweet & Tangy Strawberry-Vanilla-Banana Jam

  • 4 3/3 cups prepared fruit (about 2 1/2 containers strawberries and 3 to 4 medium bananas)
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice (bottles is fine)
  • 1 box pectin (the powdered kind, not the liquid)
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter to help prevent excessive foaming
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 6 3/4 cups sugar (yes, this is the correct amount; jams take a fair amount of sugar to set properly and are NOT diet food 😛 )
  1. Prepare your jars as directed in the above link and set your lids in a bowl of bowling water to sterilize them.
  2. Stem your strawberries. Crush them and measure out exactly 3 1/4 cups of the mashed berries (if there is any left over, which is doubtful, just find another use for them). Mash the bananas and add exactly 1 1/2 cups of them in a large pot along with the mashed strawberries. Stir in the lemon juice and the vanilla.
  3. Stir the powdered pectin into the pot with the fruit. Make sure you have your sugar measured and at hand.
  4. Add the butter and bring the fruit/pectin mixture to a full rolling boil (a boil that can’t be stirred away), stirring constantly.
  5. Pour in the sugar all at once. Still stirring constantly, bring the mixture back to a full rolling boil Once it gets there, boil for a full minute. Immediately remove form the heat and skim off any foam that has collected on top. Let the pot sit for five minutes, stirring about once every minute to help make sure the fruit doesn’t settle, but stays suspended throughout the mixture.
  6. Ladle into the prepared jars; wipe the jar rims and threads with a clean hot, wet cloth. Cover with the lids and process in boiling water for ten minutes. Remove form the water and let cool, set on a clean towel. You’ll hear a satisfying “ping!” as each jar seals.
  7. Label and store in a dark, cool place.

Sweet & Tangy Strawberry-Vanilla-Banana Jam 2   Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

Old Fashioned Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Old Fashioned Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies 1



Who else is ready for Autumn? No takers yet? Ok, who else is ready for a day or two of DRY weather with Autumn like temps? WooT! I knew THAT would get some raised hands. Has this been the wettest Summer ever or what? Unless one lives in the Pacific NW or Hawaii, of course, in which, carry on; ignore the rest of us whiners.

I let my son Joshie go out and play the other day. We had to call in the National Guard to find him in the 75 foot tall grass. We haven’t been able to mow in almost two months. Mosquitoes and snakes have set up resort hotels and spas in there. The blinking neon lights saying, “Eat At Joes” are keeping me awake nights.

Fine, enough with the bad one liners. I’m in a mood; what can I say?

The other day on my facebook page, I mentioned that I was making a pork roast with a ton of bacon. Well, I did. Then I promptly forgot to take pictures of it, so you’re not getting that recipe right now. I will however, convince my family that having bacon wrapped pork roast twice in a week is a GOOD thing and will post it soon.

So I made you some cookies.

PonUAndUZiUIUMadeUYouUAUCookie_adMy husbands favorite type of cookie is oatmeal raisin. I was in a benevolent mood the other day, so I indulged him. I’m cool that way. Or something. I could give you some song and dance about how awesome my own special recipe for oatmeal cookies is, but I’d be lying. This one is from my Cooks Illustrated cookbook. They have chewy and buttery down pat, so now I do too. I did however, add cinnamon which they said it was better without (I disagree) and upped the amount of nutmeg a touch. I also used dark brown sugar instead of light, because I prefer the more molasses like flavor of dark. But feel free to use light brown. Andddddd… I added vanilla extract, which for some strange reason, they don’t use.

These are delicious. Big, thick, chewy, studded with sweet raisins (and chocolate chips in half the batch) and make for one tasty dessert. Or, if you’re my oldest son, who is visiting right now with two of his kids, it makes for a wonderful breakfast…mid morning snack…later in the morning snack…lunch…after lunch snack…

You know the drill….

Mrs. Cupcake… who needs to hide a cookie before they are all gone.

Note- this makes LARGE cookies. I made a double batch so that I could have a ton since there are 7 males in my house right now, plus so that I could add chocolate chips to half the batch along with the raisins. So feel free to double this one.

Old Fashioned Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp (use good quality butter since in a cookie like this, butter is a prominent flavor)
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups old fashioned oats (NOT instant!)
  • 1 1/2 cups raisins (feel free to sub chocolate chips {or just add chocolate chips with the raisins} or toasted chopped walnuts or dried cranberries)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cookie sheets with parchment or silicon liners. You can also spray with cooking spray, but they may stick a bit.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.
  3. In another large bowl, at low speed with a hand mixer, cream together the butter and two different sugars until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Add in the eggs, one at a time, and beat until well incorporated. Beat in the vanilla extract.
  4. Pour the flour mixture into the butter mixture and use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to get it well mixed. Stir in the oats and raisins.
  5. Scoop up a good two tablespoons of the dough for each cookie and shape into a ball. Place about two inches apart on the lined cookie sheets and bake for about 22 minutes; just until the edges are nicely browned. but the tops are still fairly light. This is what keeps them chewy. If you prefer crispier cookies, give them a few more minutes of baking time. If you do two sheets at a time, rotate the racks about halfway through cooking.
  6. Let cool for about a minute on the sheets, then transfer over to racks to finish cooling. They are, however, delicious, warm. You can even take cold ones and microwave them for a few seconds to get them warm again. So good with a cup of coffee or tea! Also, don’t tell your kids this, but these make a wonderful on the run breakfast.

Old Fashioned Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies 3

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Triple Berry & Nectarine Crisp With Buttery Streusel & Lime Cream Topping

Triple Berry & Nectarine Crisp With Buttery Streusel & Lime Cream Topping

Triple Berry & Nectarine Crisp With Buttery Streusel & Lime Cream Topping



I can see some of you (yes, even you, my dear brother) scratching your heads and saying, “Who is this blogger? I don’t remember this blog at all. Ohhhh, wait, this is that crazy woman who hasn’t blogged in weeks, isn’t it? NOW I remember”. I also then envision you running into the night, screaming in terror. Please tell me I’m wrong on that last part? But… yes, I was gone for a couple of weeks. Reasons don’t matter; it’s just time now for you to rejoice, throw confetti and be glad I’m back. Or something like that.

Did I ever mention that my husband does NOT like peaches or nectarines? He doesn’t care for stone fruits in general, actually. Why I stay with this man with these fatal flaws he has is beyond me. he also doesn’t like sushi, mushrooms, the skin on fried chicken or any sort of fat on meat. Pray for me.

But I like nectarines, so he has to deal with it; that or just not eat any of this deliciousness. I had a bag of nectarines that I needed to use in some way other than my normal sliced in a bowl with a little bit of sugar and cream. Plus, I had berries in the fridge that were getting long in the tooth. Not that that takes very long with berries, mind you. I wish there was a fool proof way to keep them fresh for longer than three days or so.

So I decided I wanted a crisp. I think my love for streusel is well known at this point considering I have about 9,452 recipes in here that use streusel. Fine, not quite that many. But I do love streusel. Add in some of my favorite fruits and I’m in heaven. With this one though, I went a bit further. The other night, I was having my usual bowl of berries and cream, but on a whim, I mixed some homemade lime curd into the cream. It was wonderful, so I decided to make it for this crisp. It adds a nice creamy yet tart finish to this. All in all, this was quite good (if I do say so myself). Buttery crispy streusel, sweet juicy fruit, all topped with a creamy topping. What else do you need? Other than ten million dollars. I can’t help you there.

You know the drill…

Triple Berry & Nectarine Crisp With Buttery Streusel & Lime Cream Topping

  • Streusel-
  • 3/4 cup oats, not instant
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and sliced thin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Fruit filling-
  • 2 pounds (about 7 to 9, depending on size) ripe nectarines (could sub peaches), peeled and chopped
  • 6 ounces (one small container) fresh raspberries
  • 6 ounces (one small container) fresh blackberries
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • Lime Cream Topping-
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 store bought or homemade lime (or lemon) curd
  1. Make your topping and refrigerate it. In a small bowl, combine the cream and curd. Use a whisk and beat until soft peaks form. Cover and chill until ready to use.
  2. Preheat oven to 400; butter 6 8 ounce ramekins or a 13×9 inch baking dish (preferably glass, as metal dishes tend to discolor fruits) In a large bowl, combine all the filling ingredients. Stir well, then set aside.
  3. For the streusel, in a medium bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt. Stir well to break up any large lumps in the sugar.
  4. Using a pastry blender or your fingers (I usually start with the pastry blender, then go to my fingers to finish it up), cut in the cold butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs
  5. Divide the fruit mixture evenly among the buttered ramekins. Top with the streusel. If, by chance, you don’t use all the streusel, it freezes wonderfully.
  6. Bake at 400 until golden brown and bubbly, about 20 minutes. Serve at desired temp, topped with the lime cream.
Triple Berry & Nectarine Crisp With Buttery Streusel & Lime Cream Topping

Triple Berry & Nectarine Crisp With Buttery Streusel & Lime Cream Topping

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Lemon Scented Doughnuts With A Lemon Filling & A Lemon Vanilla Sugar Topping

Lemon Scented Doughnuts With Lemon Filling & A Lemon Vanilla Sugar Topping

Lemon Scented Doughnuts With Lemon Filling & A Lemon Vanilla Sugar Topping



After I made these, I was talking with a dear friend about deep frying, doughnuts and the lack of good doughnuts even in her neck of the woods; New York City. Now, of all places in the states, wouldn’t you expect the most well known city around to have good doughnuts? But according to her, nope, not really. Add in that she has a strange fear of deep frying and homemade doughnuts simply aren’t happening for her. Mind you, these are the first ones I’VE made since I made these delicious ones. But I still don’t have a deep frying phobia. I fry chicken…wait, I don’t deep fry that… I fry potatoes… wait, I tend to roast them… ok, so maybe I don’t deep fry but once a year or so myself.

These were totally worth the trouble though. The doughnut itself is only mildly sweet. The draw with it is the crispy outside and that tender, fluffy inside. It also has a light lemon flavor. But then, ahhh, but then, you have a filling of creamy lemon curd and after that, they are coated in a crunchy, divinely scented lemon vanilla sugar. You want these.

Obviously, these take a bit more time and effort than some of the things I post, like cookie bars or quick breads. But I have faith in you. You’ve got this.

Also, you will probably have some lemon sugar left. Do NOT toss it. You can use it in tea, baking, even as a sugar scrub if you add a bit of olive or coconut oil.

Lemon Scented Doughnuts With A Lemon Filling & A Lemon Vanilla Sugar Topping

  • Doughnuts-
  • 2 tablespoons water, about 115 degrees
  • 1 package (not a full strip) dry yeast
  • 3 1/2 to 3 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup milk, warmed to between 112 to 117 degrees
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 3 egg yolks, room temp
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon oil
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract (it doesn’t make it taste almondy; just is a complement to the lemon)
  • vegetable oil or some other neutral oil
  • Filling-
  • One batch of lemon curd (you may not use it all. You won’t mind that.) Your best bet is to make this a day ahead of time, so it has time to chill and finish thickening up
  • Topping-
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • zest from two large lemons (about 3 to 4 tablespoons)
  • beans scraped from 3 vanilla beans (if you have no vanilla bean, you can either omit this or carefully sprinkle about 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract over the batch of sugar, making sure to mix well)
  1. Make your dough first. Pour the yeast into a small bowl. Pour the two tablespoons warm water over it, stirring to combine. Let it sit until it is starting to bubble and foam, about five minutes. In a small In the bowl of a stand mixer (as I have said before, you can always do any yeast dough I post by hand with a heavy spoon or with a good hand mixer), combine the yeast mixture, 3 cups of the flour, butter, warm milk, egg yolks, sugar and flavorings. Use the dough hook on low speed to combine, scraping the bowl as needed, until you have a soft sticky dough, then turn the mixer up to 2. Add in more flour, a quarter cup at a time, until you have a tacky, only slightly sticky dough that has come together in a ball around the hook.
  2. Dump the dough into a oiled bowl, turning so both sides are oiled. Cover and let rise in the bowl until about doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes to an hour.
  3. While the dough rises, make the sugar topping. In a medium bowl, simply combine the sugar, lemon zest and vanilla bean seeds (or extract). Stir well and let sit. When you use it, the mixture will have hardened some due to the moisture in the lemon zest. Just use your hands to stir it around.
  4. When the dough has risen, punch it down and then dump it out onto a lightly floured board or counter.  Roll it out into a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick. Cut out circles of desired size (I used a 2 inch diameter cutter) and lay them on a lightly floured cookie sheet. Let rise until slightly puffy, about 30 minutes.
  5. While they rise, pour about 2.5 inches of oil into a heavy duty pot (I used my dutch oven). Heat slowly to 350 degrees.  When the oil is ready, carefully drop two to four doughnut rounds (don’t crowd the pot; use good judgment based on the size of pot you used) into the oil. Let cook until golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Watch your oil temp and adjust as needed. Too low and you have greasy doughnuts. Too high and the outside browns before the inside cooks.
  6. As they finish, transfer them to a rack set over a cookie sheet to cool.
  7. When cool, carefully roll each doughnut in the lemon sugar until coated then scoop some lemon curd into a pastry bag fitted with a simple hole style tip.  Push the tip into the middle of each doughnut and squeeze some lemon curd into the middle. Serve with extra lemon curd for dipping if you so desire… and believe me, you’ll desire.
  8. If you want them to be more thoroughly coated with the sugar mixture, roll them in the sugar while still slightly warm, and don’t fill with the lemon curd until they are cool. Then, when cool, roll them one more time in the sugar and fill with the lemon curd.
Lemon Scented Doughnuts With Lemon Filling & A Lemon Vanilla Sugar Topping

Lemon Scented Doughnuts With Lemon Filling & A Lemon Vanilla Sugar Topping

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

I simply could NOT resist adding this one in here, too, hehehe

I simply could NOT resist adding this one in here, too, hehehe

Easy Amish Sugar Cake (Recipe Re-do)

 

Easy Amish Sugar Cake

Easy Amish Sugar Cake



I’ve always wondered what makes some recipes winners and others total flops. I’ll post something that tastes wonderful and even has a decent photo and it will get two shares on facebook and not a lot of notice.  Then, another time, I’ll post something that, while good (not like I’m going to post crap), is fairly simple and nothing exciting, just homey food. And suddenly it will get 90 bazillion shares on facebook and a ton of people will come here to the blog to see it. Have I ever mentioned that all of you confuse me sometimes? 😛

This recipe falls under the second category. It is simple, tasty, homey and as easy as can be. But is certainly isn’t exciting or some earth shaking cuisine and I have come to realize that many of you prefer the recipes like this one.  This is by far my most pinned recipe on Pinterest and always get a lot of shares on facebook when I repost it there. All this with sub par photos, lol. I originally made this one for the blog in early 2012. Like I said, it is tasty and simple. You get a slightly crispy top and edges and a tender inside. part of the topping sinks to the bottom and you can a wonderfully buttery, yet crisp and sweet bottom crust, too. It’s a wonderful breakfast cake as well as a great treat for the family and an after school snack. it takes ten minutes tops to get this into the oven and about 3 minutes for your family to have it devoured 😀 It also is one of those simple cakes that most of you will already have all the ingredients for. So what are you waiting for? Go… make your house smell amazing and make the kids and spouse love you even more than they already do. Cause you’re just that good!

You know the drill…. git to cookin’

Mrs. Cupcake…. who is going to have another slice of this cake

Easy Amish Sugar Cake

 

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup melted butter (more like 1/4 cup if you’re doing this in one larger pan)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons cinnamon (you’re sprinkling it on, so use the amount that makes YOU happy)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease two 9 inch cake pans. You can also, as I did this time, use a 10 inch cast iron pan. You may end up using a bit less melted butter for drizzling at the end though, plus plan on a longer baking time by about 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the flour, white sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and baking powder.
  3. Dump in the egg, milk, vanilla extract and 3 tablespoons melted butter.
  4. Stir just until well combined and smooth. Don’t overbeat.
  5. Pour into the prepared cake pan or pans. Sprinkle with desired amount of brown sugar, then the cinnamon. Drizzle the remaining melted butter over the tops of the cakes.
  6. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until the top is firm and crackly looking and the cake is a nice golden brown color.
  7. This is best served warm but it’s still good cold and reheats nicely.

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

Easy Amish Sugar Cake

Easy Amish Sugar Cake