Lemon Ginger Pound Cake (Janet’s Cold Remedy)

Lemon Ginger Pound Cake

Lemon Ginger Pound Cake


Ugh. It’s definitely sickness season. The time of year when everyone is cooped up in small areas together, merrily spreading their germs with their fellow man. Share and share alike, ehh? I’m one of those people who absolutely HATES taking pills. I don’t react well to them half the time and anyway, I tend to believe that, for the most part, nature has provided a lot of cures (or at least treatments) in the plants and trees around us. So if I can get away with it, I resort to more natural treatments for minor ailments like colds, sniffles, etc.

One of the things I love is using a good amount of grated ginger in black or herbal teas. It’s got enough of a kick to it scent wise to help clear up a stuffy nose and the heat of the tea is both soothing and somewhat medicinal. If you add in lemon and honey, it’s darn tasty too. So it occurred to me that it would be cool to use the same flavors in a pound cake. This won’t do anything to make your cold better, but it tastes good, hehe. Lemon pound cake tends to be in most bakers repertoire (this one is based on the one from Luscious Lemon Desserts, though I drastically changed the oven temp; her extremely low baking temp has you end up with a lemon flavored brick, and changed some other things too) so it didn’t take much to just extend the idea to include the ginger. I didn’t do the honey because it just felt like it would be getting too busy. But you could easily sub out honey for the sugar in the glaze and make a honey lemon glaze.

I loved the flavor of this. It could use a bit more ginger though, so I’m going to write the recipe as if it had the extra ginger in it. Don’t think, “omg, that sounds like a lot!” It’s going into a good amount of cake batter and when I made it, I used a full tablespoon and it just wasn’t “there” enough.

You know the drill… :-)

Lemon Ginger Pound Cake

  • 3 1/4 cups flour, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temp
  • 2Β  cups sugar, divided
  • 6 eggs, room temp
  • 3/4 cup milk combined with
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon lemon oil (You can sub lemon extract if you must, but trust me when I say that lemon oil is always your better bet- I use Boyajian )
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons squeezeable ginger paste (found in tubes in the produce section of the grocery store)
  • Lemon syrup-
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  1. Preheat the oven to 335 and liberally grease and flour a 10 cup bundt style pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sifted flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In another, larger bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating until just combined. Add in the lemon zest, ginger and flavorings and beat until combined.
  4. Starting with the flour mixture, alternately add it then the milk mixture to the batter (flour, milk, flour, milk, flour), beating well after each addition.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 335 for 65 to 80 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. The color should be a nice golden brown. If it starts to brown too much, just lightly cover the top with a sheet of foil.
  6. When done, let it cool in the pan on a rack for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, make the syrup for the top, which is easy peasy. Just combine the syrup ingredients in a small pot and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
  7. Carefully turn the cake out onto the rack (set the rack above a cookie sheet to catch drips) and brush the hot syrup over the still hot cake, letting it soak in each time before adding more. Let the cake cool to room temp and then enjoy!

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Lemon Ginger Pound Cake

Lemon Ginger Pound Cake

 

Old Fashioned Banana Bread & Hamilton Beach Freebies (maybe for YOU!?)

Old Fashioned Banana Bread

Old Fashioned Banana Bread

Yes, yes I am still alive. As Mark Twain is said to have remarked, “Rumors of my death have been highly exaggerated”. Mind you, even as ancient as I am, I wasn’t around back then, so I don’t know that he actually uttered those words. But if one goes by the claims of the internet, he, Abraham Lincoln, Samuel L Jackson and Morgan Freeman are the only people who ever said anything worth quoting, other than a few random quotes attributed to Thomas Jefferson or Patrick Henry.
But I digress. Imagine that. I am here to bring you food!! Plus a giveaway. You all know I have had the much envied position of being a Hamilton Beach Ambassador for a couple of years now. As one, I get the opportunity to review their products from time to time and then offer those same products to you, my faithful (and slightly offbeat and rather warped) readers.
Today, I am bringing you two of the most iconic small appliances from Hamilton Beach– their 6 Speed Hand Mixer and their pretty darn awesome Stand Mixer. Let me tell you my thoughts on both now- First, the 6 Speed Hand Mixer-

Hamilton Beach Hand Mixer

Hamilton Beach Hand Mixer

I love this bad boy. This is the type of mixer one reaches for when doing the typical cooking/baking that requires a mixer. it is sturdy, easy to use ( I love the hand grip. It fits comfortably in my hand) and this one comes with some cool attachments,Hamilton Beach Attachments including a milkshake mixer (think of it rather like an immersion blender). I also love the storage area underneath. it’s a nice, convenient and NEAT (I have a thing for anything that leads to less drawer clutter) way to keep the attachments nearby. This mixer works well for everyday thing and has a “burst” button that gives you some extra power when you need it. it’s pretty much the perfect everyday mixer.
Now on to the Hamilton Beach Stand Mixer

Hamilton Beach Stand Mixer

Hamilton Beach Stand Mixer

. This one is a bit more powerful than the hand mixer and has the convenience of the bowl and hands off usage. It doesn’t have the horsepower, so to speak, to do heavy doughs easily, so no, this isn’t one to try to make 4 loaves of whole wheat bread in. But for regular baking and mixing, this is a workhorse. It worked fine for me when I made chocolate chip cookie dough in it and we all know that that dough can be rather dense. The only thing I DIDN’T like though I know I may be in the minority with this, were the stability suction cups on the bottom to hold it still when mixing. They are a great idea, but if one tries to move the mixer from one spot to another, the way it sticks to the counter makes it pull up forcefully and can make the contents of the bowl go everywhere. Don’t ask me how I know this, please. Ahem. This one comes with a standard flat beater hook, a dough hook and a whisk attachment.Stand Mixer AttachmentsYou want to win these. Trust me. You do. Both together are close to a $150.00 value and with the attachments, are sooooo helpful in the kitchen! I made my famous (hey, it is… in my household! πŸ˜› ) Old fashioned Banana Bread using the hand mixer and it worked wonderfully. Oh, you want the recipe, you say? Well, ok, if I MUST *gives you an evil glare and gets on to the recipe* πŸ˜› <3

Old Fashioned Banana Bread

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup solid shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups of mashed bananas (this is about 5 to 6 medium bananas)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon banana flavoring
  • 1 teaspoon butter flavoring (optional, but it adds a nice flavor)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped toasted walnuts (toast in a single layer in a 350 oven until they are a light golden brown)
  1. Preheat your oven to 350. Grease a 10 inch loaf pan (if you don’t have a 10 inch pan, make this in a 9 inch, and pour about 2/3 of a cup of batter into a mini loaf pan, a couple of muffin cups or a ramekin and bake it in there or you’ll end up with overflow everywhere) and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda.
  3. In a large bowl, on low speed, cream together the shortening and the sugar until well combined. Add in the mashed bananas, vanilla, banana and butter flavorings and eggs. Beat well.
  4. Dump in the flour mixture and on the lowest speed, combine JUST until mixed. it’s fine if there are a few lumps or white streaks. I have said before and will say again, you do NOT want to over beat quick breads and/or muffins. You end up with tough rubbery final products doing that. Resist that urge.
  5. Fold in the toasted walnuts. Again; don’t over mix.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan/pans.Β  Bake at 350 for 55 to 75 minutes (yes, that’s a large gap. I’ve had it done by both both times. I have no idea why other than my oven is stupid πŸ˜› ) or until a wooden skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. If this starts to brown too much, just lay a piece of foil over the top as it bakes.
  7. Let it sit in the pan for ten minutes, then gently invert it over your hands and transfer it to a rack to finish cooling.

In the interest of full disclosure, Hamilton Beach provided me with both mixers for review and my personal use. But all opinions in here are 100% my own.

Now! On to the giveaway!!! Use the PromoSimple entry form below to enter to win both of those cool mixers!

Click here to view this promotion.

Easy Homemade Irish Cream Liqueur

Easy Homemade Irish Cream Liqueur


I’m not a big drinker when it comes to alcohol. A beer or a glass or two of wine every few weeks and the occasional vodka and lime-aid when I’m feeling nostalgic (my stepmother loved them back in the day), but straight hard liquor and I don’t get along. Except in my younger days, when we were all stupid about booze, I’ve never understood the drinking to get drunk idea. I mean really… who LIKES a pounding headache and hanging over the toilet for hours? Anyone? Bueller? Anyone?

One thing I do love however, is sweet creamy drinks. Kahlua and cream? I’ll take one! Baileys Irish Cream, straight up? Yep. It’s a weird “I love this in the middle of Winter” thing for me. The problem is affording the bottle. So, years back, I looked for and found about 900000 recipes for it. While it’s not exactly like Baileys, it’s a nice substitute when you either can’t afford the real thing or want something fresher and giftable. This can be poured into small flasks or bottles to make great stocking stuffers for the adults on your list. I’ve worked on this for years and now have it the way i like it. Feel free to change up some of the basics to appeal to you; less alcohol, more if you like a stiff drink, less or more chocolate of coffee, etc, etc, etc.

You also can’t get much easier than this recipe. Technically, you use a blender to mix it all up. but if you don’t have a blender, you could conceivably do this using a whisk. Just make sure you gets the eggs fully incorporated by adding liquids slowly and mixing well. Not matter how it’s done though, this takes five minutes. Tops. And the reward for that time is a really delicious creamy drink!

You know the drill… :-)

Easy Homemade Irish Cream Liqueur

  • 1 cup middle of the line whiskey (preferably Irish Whiskey if you want to be authentic. I have also used brandy at times to change it up. You could even use run if you’re feeling froggy)
  • 1 14ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee powder
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate syrup (something like Hersheys; the kind you would use in milk)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon coconut flavoring
  1. Pour all ingredients into a blender.
  2. Cover and blend. See how easy that was?
  3. Keep stored, covered, in the refrigerator. Best served cold.

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Easy Homemade Irish Cream Liqueur 2

White Trash Dip (Recipe Re-Do)

White Trash Dip

White Trash Dip

Lovely name, ehh? But since when did I ever try to convince you that I was classy, prim and proper? You love me like I am, right? Low class, strange, and always doing my best (such as that may be) to give you a giggle.

The first time I made this dip was not long after I started the blog. Lately, I’ve been getting quite a few people coming to it and while that makes me happy, it has, yet again, one of those photos that makes me cringe, cry copious tears of embarrassment, and

want to gouge my eyeballs out so that I don’t have to see it again. Yes, it’s that bad. I love the post I made to go with it because it’s one of my funnier ones (has cuss words; you’re forewarned) but I know that the photo makes baby kitten throw themselves off cliffs. So, it was time to remake this one. Partly because I’ve changed it a little over the years and partly, well, that photo *cries more*

This is one of the worlds easiest dips to make. Why is it called white trash, you ask? Because it’s fairly cheap to make and uses canned chili πŸ˜€ and because this is so not something you’d serve at a classy party with champagne and caviar. This is more beer, chips and family and friends you love gathered together. Perfect for a game or for family movie night, for a Christmas buffet, what have you.

This is creamy, meaty, a little bit spicy (easy to adjust), cheesy, great for digging into when you have the munchies.

You know the drill…. :-)

White Trash Dip

  • 1 15 ounce can of your favorite chili
  • 2 8 ounce packages cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced jalapeno (omit if you use the typically spicy chorizo, unless you really like the bite) plus extra for garnish
  • 1 lb chorizo sausage, cooked and crumbled (you can also use bacon, which is how I originally posted it)
  • 4 green onions, plus extra for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 2 quart serving dish (I usedΒ  a souffle dish). Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, then scoop into the serving dish. Smooth top.
  2. Bake at 350 until browned on top and bubbly, about 15 to 20 minutes. Garnish with green onions and jalapeno. Serve hot.
White Trash Dip

White Trash Dip

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Nineteen Delicious Thanksgiving (and post Thanksgiving) Recipes

Thanksgiving Collage



 

Hewwo! I wanted to toss out some recipes from the blog that are perfect for Thanksgiving (or any other day, but we’ll concentrate on Thanksgiving for now πŸ˜› ) Enjoy, have an absolutely wonderful Thanksgiving day, don’t eat too much and enjoy the company of those you love! <3

Insanely Cheesy And Creamy Mac & Cheese Insanely Cheesy And Creamy Mac & Cheese

This is definitely my most popular mac & cheese recipe and with good reason. It serves a large crowd, so it’s perfect for this time of year and it tastes amazing! Insanely Cheesy And Creamy Mac & Cheese

Ultimate Buttery Sour Cream And Onion Mashed Potatoes
I just posted these yesterday, but I wanted to make sure they got into this compilation. These are the best mashed potatoes I’ve ever had or made and I’ve been making potatoes for longer than some of you have been alive! Ultimate Buttery Sour Cream And Onion Mashed Potatoes

Chilled Caprese Tortellini Salad
This Chilled Caprese Tortellini Salad is utterly delicious and so easy to put together. It gives you a side dish that doesn’t take a lot of work on a day when all you DO is work!

Orange Marmalade Brown Sugar Ham-001

We all totally love this Orange Marmalade Brown Sugar Ham Unless I’m in the mood to experiment, this is the only way I make ham anymore. It is great hot, room temp and makes excellent leftovers for sandwiches on a hearty thick sliced bread.

Brown Butter Blueberry Maple Cornbread

Brown Butter Blueberry Maple Cornbread

Speaking of bread :-P, this Brown Butter Blueberry Maple Cornbread may not be the type you’d make a sandwich with, but it’s oh so nice to have around!

Loaded Baked Potato Bread

Loaded Baked Potato Bread

On the other hand, one of my favorites for the holidays is my Loaded Baked Potato Bread. You can make this a couple days ahead of time and it’s such a moist, sturdy bread, that all you’ll need to do is give it a gentle reheating and it will be wonderful with dinner and make great leftover turkey or ham sandwiches later.

Oatmeal Rolls

I know this is a horrid photo; it’s from one of my oldest posts, but these Oatmeal Rolls are amazing! These are my family’s favorite rolls, ones that I turn to anytime I want rolls instead of loaf bread. You can’t tell the oats are in there, but they add so much flavor and moistness. I always recommend these for beginning yeast bakers.

Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Icing

Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Icing

I have yet to meet a person who doesn’t love this Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Icing . It’s always a hit and a nice change from all the pumpkin and pecan everything this time of year.

Old Fashioned Apple Crisp

Old Fashioned Apple Crisp

Or, if you’re like me, you love the flavor of fruit pies, but you hate that pesky making the crust part? Well, forget crust… use streusel! πŸ˜› My Old Fashioned Apple Crisp is beyond easy and one of my favorite desserts. I’ve made it multiple times in the last few weeks.

Blueberry Grand Marnier Brown Butter Pound Cake

Blueberry Grand Marnier Brown Butter Pound Cake

Or if you want something even more old fashioned and homey, Wednesday night after all the other prep is done, throw this in the oven while you watch some TV and relax. Pound cakes always go over well and this Blueberry Grand Marnier Brown Butter Pound Cake is one of the best you’ll find!

Quick & Easy Turkey, Bacon & Cheese Chowder 2

You and I both know you’re going to have leftover turkey, right? So what better way to use it up than in this Quick And Easy Turkey Bacon And Cheese Chowder ? This is fairly quick, really easy and so darn creamy and delicious, you’ll want to swim in it.

Worlds Best Apple Spice Cake With Creamy Vanilla Butter Sauce

Worlds Best Apple Spice Cake With Creamy Vanilla Butter Sauce

If you’re looking for another apple type dessert, you can’t beat my Worlds Best Apple Spice Cake With Vanilla Butter Sauce. Yes, I said worlds best. Would I lie to you?

Cranberry Apple Cake

Cranberry Apple Cake

I made this Cranberry Apple Cake for the first time last year and it immediately became a family favorite! I can NOT say enough good things about this cake. Please make it or I’ll cry!

Creamy, Cheesy White Chicken Enchiladas

Creamy, Cheesy White Chicken Enchiladas

Here is another recipe for that leftover turkey. I know, the recipe says Creamy, Cheesy White Chicken Enchiladas, but I think you would have figured out for yourself that turkey can be substituted for the chicken, right? :-p

Spiced Pumpkin Latte

Spiced Pumpkin Latte

And of course you need something to drink, correct? This Spiced Pumpkin Latte is a nice warming drink with the perfect flavors of the season. You could also…ahem… make this a bit more adult with a shot of something in it. Just sayin’.

Decadent Extra Creamy Pumpkin Pie In A Cornmeal Crust

Decadent Extra Creamy Pumpkin Pie In A Cornmeal Crust

It’s Thanksgiving- you have to have pumpkin pie. It’s the law in all 57 states and 9,433 countries. So, if you’re going to have pumpkin pie, make sure it’s the best. This one- Decadent Extra Creamy Pumpkin Pie In A Cornmeal Crust definitely qualifies.

Deep Dish Pecan Pie

I’ve often wondered what makes certain things holiday traditions, but pecan pie is seriously up there on the list of things you have to have. Did I mention that whole “it’s the law” thing yet? While this isn’t the one I have made for many years, this Deep Dish Pecan Pie is awesome. It makes enough for one heck of a big crowd and isn’t quite as sweet and rich as the typical pecan pie. If you search through here, you can find the pecan pie I usually make. I just couldn’t bring myself to post it because it has to be in the record books as one of the worst photos ever taken of something that is actually utterly delicious πŸ˜›

Two last recipes for the leftovers for you.
Cheesy Chicken Fajita Quesadillas

I adore these Cheesy Chicken Fajita Quesadillas . I came up with them earlier this year when I wanted something crispy yet gooey. Turkey would work just fine in here.

And then there is….

Cheesy Chicken And Chorizo Enchiladas

Cheesy Chicken And Chorizo Enchiladas

these Cheesy Chicken And Chorizo Enchiladas. These are great if you want a bit more spice than the other ones I posted. Soooooo good!

So there you have it. 2015’s Thanksgiving picks. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and know that I totally adore all of you! Well, not YOU, cause you deleted and blocked me on facebook recently for no reason other than you are friends with a woman I can’t stand and you are a follower. πŸ˜› But everyone else? Have a great Thanksgiving! (Sorry; I couldn’t resist that last bit, lol)
Screen-Shot-2013-10-26-at-10.30.36-AM

Ultimate Buttery Sour Cream And Onion Mashed Potatoes

Ultimate Buttery Sour Cream And Onion Mashed Potatoes

Ultimate Buttery Sour Cream And Onion Mashed Potatoes



Confession time again. As they say confession is good for the soul, my soul should be doing great by now, ehh? So here goes.

I don’t normally care for mashed potatoes. I know they are one of the American iconic dishes, they use potatoes and Lord knows I love potatoes and they are a traditional side dish to so many meals, especially Thanksgiving. But they just aren’t usually a favorite. I think it’s a textural sensory issue more than anything.

But with these potatoes, I may have to make an exception. While I’m sure I’m not the first person to ever think of it, a month or so ago, it popped into my head that as much as I love sour cream and onion potato chips, why not try it in mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving? So I did a smaller test batch to try it out and I am so very definitely making them this way for Thanksgiving dinner, sensory issues be darned.

These mashed potatoes are creamy and buttery with just enough sour cream and onion flavor to make it interesting. If you want a stronger flavor profile, add a couple of ounces more cream cheese. These are rather like a loaded baked potatoes, but creamy. Oh, so good. They are quick to pull together and as with any mashed potatoes, if you want to make these for the holiday dinner, just make them the day before, cover tightly with foil, refrigerate, then heat them in the oven or even a slow cooker the next day. This can be easily doubled, tripled, quadrupled, quintupled, sextupletted… ok, I’ll stop now. Sorry.

These are NOT diet food, so don’t go read the recipe and faint, please. πŸ˜€

You know the drill… get to cookin!

Mrs. Cupcake, who is going to go eat some more potatoes.

Ultimate Buttery Sour Cream And Onion Mashed Potatoes

  • 2 1/2 pounds russet or Yukon gold potatoes (about 6 to 7 medium potatoes)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp, divided
  • 4 ounces (half a container) whipped sour cream and onion cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • one green onion, thinly sliced
  1. Wash, peel and cube the potatoes. Place in a pot; cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then turn down to medium and let cook until a fork easily pierces through a larger chunk. Remove from heat, drain into a colander and set aside for a minute.
  2. In the same pot, combine half of the butter (1/4 cup), cream cheese, milk, salt (use the smaller amount first. You can always add more salt, but you can’t take it back out) and pepper. Place over the still warm burner and let sit just long enough to take the chill off of the milk, about 2 minutes or so.
  3. Dump the potatoes into the pot and mash well. Then use a beater to whip them into a state of frenzied creaminess. See how easy that was?
  4. Spoon into your serving dish; dot with the remaining butter (if you don’t use it all, that’s fine), sprinkle with the sliced green onion and ground black pepper. Enjoy!!
  5. If you want to make them ahead of time, just spoon them into an oven safe serving dish, cover and refrigerate. Set them out the next morning, a couple of hours before dinner, then about 30 minutes before dinner, heat them (covered if you don’t want them to brown, uncovered if you do) in a 350 oven until hot all the way through.

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

Ultimate Buttery Sour Cream And Onion Mashed Potatoes

Ultimate Buttery Sour Cream And Onion Mashed Potatoes

 

Elegant & Easy Lemon Almond Cake

Elegant & Easy Lemon Almond Cake

Elegant & Easy Lemon Almond Cake



Twas the week before Thanksgiving and all over the internet, were recipes for pumpkin and pecan and chocolate and all sorts of heavy desserts….

Yes, I’m well aware that that didn’t rhyme at all and didn’t even have a decent rhythm to it, but by the time I typed out “Twas the week before Thanksgiving”, my brain had died out. I tend to take thinking minute by minute, obviously.

Seriously though, I figured I would give all of you a recipe for something a little lighter, something citrusy and not bogged down with 5000 calories. Mind you, if you’re anything like me, it just means one MORE dessert to eat during the holidays, not one DIFFERENT dessert. There is no way I can turn down my pecan pie or pumpkin pie or berry pie. So, I join the throngs of Americans who spend the later hours of Thanksgiving sleeping under a table somewhere, fork in hand, whipped cream smears on my chin and a happy smile on my face.

This cake is so easy to throw together and it really is such a nice change from the heavier things this time of year. The cake itself is moist, with a mild taste of both almond and lemon, along with the gentle crunch of sliced almonds on top. I got the original recipe from the cookbook “Luscious Lemon Desserts”. I changed it in that it didn’t have the almonds on it, I used lemon oil rather than lemon extract, which I don’t care for as it adds a bitter flavor to foods in my opinion, I added more vanilla as well as almond extract in the cake andddddd added a couple tablespoons of actual lemon juice to give it a very mild tartness. All in all, this was delicious and something I can see making year round.

You know the drill…. :-)

Elegant & Easy Lemon Almond Cake

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon lemon oil (if you absolutely have to sub lemon extract, use 1 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup almond paste, room temp
  • 1/4 cup (half stick) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup thin sliced almonds
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a greased 8 inch cake pan with parchment paper, then grease and flour the paper (or use a flour/oil combination baking spray). Sprinkle the sliced almonds evenly over the bottom of the pan.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. In another small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the milk, lemon juice, lemon oil, and extracts
  4. In a large bowl, beat together the room temp almond paste and the butter. If it doesn’t beat well at first, do what I did- get a potato masher and mush the dickens out of it. It worked great. πŸ˜€ Beat in the sugar until fluffy.
  5. Once the sugar, butter and almond paste are nicely blended, beat in the eggs, one at a time, until well blended.
  6. Alternate adding in the flour mix and the milk mixture, starting and ending with the flour (flour, milk, flour, milk, flour), beating just until well mixed each time.
  7. Spoon the batter carefully over the almonds in the pan, then spread it evenly.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown and a wooden skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan, on a rack for fifteen minutes, then carefully turn it out onto a plate to finish cooling.
  9. When cool, sprinkle the top generously with powdered sugar and cut into wedges to serve.

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Elegant & Easy Lemon Almond Cake

Elegant & Easy Lemon Almond Cake

 

Creamy Homemade Boursin Cheese Spread

Creamy Homemade Boursin Cheese Spread

Creamy Homemade Boursin Cheese Spread



I am a Thanksgiving appetizer junkie.Β  By the time I finish cooking the actual meal, I am so filled up on appetizers that I have no interest in dinner. Of course, the taste testing I just HAVE to do *innocent smile* as I cook doesn’t help either. Mind you, none of this stops me from loading up a full plate just in case. I then eat three bites, cover the plate and become a total turkey pig a few hours later.

But nothing matches appetizers for me. I love small bites, love being able to pick and choose from nibbles of fun finger foods. One thing I particularly love is cheese. Combine that with what all of you know is one of my downfalls, something creamy, and I become a total glutton. Many years ago, I saw a recipe somewhere or another for Boursin cheese and just had to give it a try. The rest is history. Now I make it each Thanksgiving and Christmas. The original recipe has changed much over the years and I don’t even make it as per the recipe anymore.

This cheese is so darn good! If you love creamy spreads, you’ll love it. It goes great on crackers, veggies, and one way I love to use it to stuff chicken or pork chops with it. I’m a total peasant myself; this cheese spread and some Ritz crackers and I’m in heaven. Add in a glass of wine and yeah, baby, I’m good! πŸ˜€

This goes together so quickly you’ll think you missed a step. The most time consuming part; all of three minutes or so, is finely chopping the green onions and the garlic. Such a workout. :-p Then just put it into a pretty serving bowl, set out crackers and others dippers and watch your family and guests go crazy for it. You’re welcome. πŸ˜€

You know the drill….. <3

Β Creamy Homemade Boursin Cheese Spread

  • 1 8 ounce package cream cheese, room temp
  • 1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1/4 cup good quality Parmesan Cheese (not the grated stuff you sprinkle on spaghetti)
  • 3 tablespoons finely minced green onion (about 1.5 green onions should do it)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dill weed
  • 1 teaspoon Fine Herbes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (do NOT use more without taste testing. This is a simple mixture and easy to over salt)
  1. Β In a medium bowl, combine the butter and cream cheese. Beat well on medium speed until creamy and fluffy. Scrape bowl once, and beat for another minute or so.
  2. Add in all the rest of the ingredients. Beat well to combine. Give it a small taste test for salt and seasoning. Keep in mind the saltiness of any dippers you may use before adding more salt to the cheese.
  3. Spoon into a serving bowl; smooth top. Serve immediately or refrigerate until about half an hour before serving time.

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Creamy Homemade Boursin Cheese Spread

Creamy Homemade Boursin Cheese Spread

 

Maple Butter Pecan Pie

Maple Butter Pecan Pie

Maple Butter Pecan Pie



I’m totally ready to get started with Thanksgiving and Christmas recipes. Hopefully, you’re totally ready to get those recipes, cause it’s probably the vast majority of what I’ll be posting for a while. πŸ˜€

I sometimes think to myself that I wouldn’t be as enamored of the holiday season if it fell in Summer. I mean… “let’s go grill out some chicken for Thanksgiving dinner” or “how about we make some nice cold ice cream to serve on Christmas”?? Those just don’t have the same ring to them, even though I’m well aware that it’s only on this half of the world that is deep into Autumn and Winter when Thanksgiving and Christmas hit. But I’m one of those people who gets sad if it isn’t bitter cold on both days. I want cozy, homey, preferably snowy. Plus, cooking a large meal in the oven and making the house a sauna when it’s not cold out kinda sucks.

I already have two pecan pies up here on the blog. But one can never have too many pecan pies, am I right? I rather like pecan pie, obviously. My husband isn’t fond of it. Yet I let him stay around anyway. Go figure.

I wanted to change up this years pecan recipe for the blog. So when I saw this in an old cooking magazine I have, I had to give it a try. I absolutely love real maple anything and I knew from the ingredients in this that it would be good. It came with it’s own pie crust recipe, but I forgot to get some photos of it, so I’ll post that separately next time I use it. Meanwhile, just use your own favorite 9 inch pie crust; even a store bought one is fine if you swing that way.

This was a delicious pie. Nice glazed looking pecans on top (the recipe called for pecan halves, but I prefer chopped. You do you.), a filling that wasn’t overly goopy nor overly sweet, but has a subtle maple edge to it. It IS pecan pie however; don’t go into this not expecting very sweet :-) I love to serve my own piece of pie simply; just the pie, gently warmed, with a small puddle of heavy cream poured over it. Serve this with strong tea or coffee or a glass of milk for the kiddos.

You know the drill… <3

Maple Butter Pecan Pie

  • 9 inch pie crust
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups toasted pecan halves (I used more like just 1 cup because I prefer a higher ratio of filling to pecans)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten (have them standing by in a large measuring cup)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 400. Line a 9 inch pie pan with the pie crust; crimp as desired. Gently cover the crust with foil, making sure to press it snugly onto the sides. Dump about a cup or so of either dry beans or uncooked rice onto the foil (you can let these cool afterward and save them in a ziploc bag to use the same way again); spread evenly. Bake the crust for about 15 minutes; until it is set, but not browned at all. Remove from oven, take the foil off and turn the oven down to 325 degrees.
  2. In a medium pot, combine the brown sugar, maple syrup, corn syrup and salt. Cooking, stirring frequently, just until warmed and the sugar has melted.
  3. Slowly drizzle some of the warmed sugar mixture into the eggs, whisking constantly. You want to temper the yolks, but not scramble them by adding hot liquid to it too quickly. Do it nice and slow. When you have about half the sugar mix incorporated into the eggs, whisk the eggs into the pot containing the rest of the sugar mix. Stir in the butter and vanilla extract.
  4. Sprinkle the pecans over the bottom of the crust. Carefully pour the sugar/egg mixture on top of the pecans.
  5. Bake the pie at 325 for 35 to 45 minutes, until the filling is puffed (it will settle back down as it cools) and just off center looks set. It’s ok if there is still some jiggle right in the middle. That will firm as it cools.

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Maple Butter Pecan Pie

Maple Butter Pecan Pie

Cranberry White Chocolate Amaretto Oatmeal Cookies

Cranberry White Chocolate Amaretto Oatmeal Cookies

Cranberry White Chocolate Amaretto Oatmeal Cookies



I have a confession to make. *Takes a deep breath and sobs* No Amaretto was harmed in the making of this post. I lied!!! It’s just almond extract!!! *Throws myself at the mercy of the courts…. and cookie eaters. But, in my defense, how would Cranberry, White Chocolate and Almond Extract have sounded as a title? It needed excitement, pizzazz, oomph! Amaretto is exciting! Fine, maybe not so much, but you get my drift. So, when you make these cookies, just don’t tell anyone that the almond flavor is from almond extract and not amaretto. It will be our little secret. You, me and the 3 other people who actually read my blog. :-p

Now on to my whining weather report. WHAT HAPPENED TO AUTUMN!!!!??? It disappeared!! It’s the first week in November and I had to turn the A/C on last night because it was too hot in here to sleep comfortably. Who turned off the cold?! It is NOT, I repeat, NOT supposed to be 80 degrees during the day in November; not even in Kentucky. And other states that allow that nonsense need to stop it right now.

Because I said so.

On that note (as I watch two of my three readers back away slowly), let’s move on to the cookies.

I loved these. And they got the kid approved thumbs up too, which is always nice. One would think that any kid would give a thumbs up to cookies, but nope, not mine. With me having been baking all of their lives (heck, most of MY life) and running a food blog, they are more particular and have higher standards than the “normal” children. There is nothing more humorous than getting a verbose critique from a seven year old- “These are good momma, but they could be chewier/sweeter/crunchier”… whatever the specific food should be.

These have a nice nutty flavor from the toasted almonds. I deliberately toasted these a little browner than I usually do because I wanted a nuttier flavor. It worked wonderfully. So when you toast the almonds, get them to a nice medium brown color. Just make sure to give them a stir in the pan once to make sure they brown evenly. The cranberries added a nice tartness to the cookies and the white chocolate a creamy sweetness. Since these have oats and cranberries in them, feel free to eat them for breakfast. They’re good for you *coughcough*! Honest Injun! Even with the tablespoon of almond extract in these, the almond flavor is still fairly mild, so go ahead and add a teaspoon more if you want an extra punch of flavor.

You know the drill… :-)

Cranberry White Chocolate Amaretto Oatmeal Cookies

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Β 2 eggs + 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon (add an extra teaspoon if you want more almond flavor) almond extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups oats (if you REALLY want to punch up the flavor, toast your oats for about 6 minutes or so at 350. Just make sure to stir once and also to let them cool COMPLETELY before adding them to the dough.)
  • 1 12 ounce package white chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
  • 1 cup sliced almonds, toasted at 350 until medium brown
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease two cookie sheets.
  2. In a large bowl, at medium speed using a hand mixer cream together the butter, the brown sugar and the sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Scrape the bowl down and add the eggs and egg yolk. Stir in the vanilla extract and the almond extract. Beat just until blended.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to the butter mixture. Stir in (use a nice heavy wooden spoon) the oats, cranberries, white chocolate and toasted almonds. Make sure to dig down there to the bottom of the bowl and stir so that you don’t have parts of the dough with no add ins in it.
  5. Make rounded tablespoons of the dough and place about 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Bake at 350 for 12 to 14 minutes; 12 if you want slightly chewier, 14 if you want crispier.Β  If, by chance, the dough is too soft to work with, cover the dough and throw it in the fridge for maybe 30 minutes, then proceed.
  6. Let cool on the pan for 2 to 3 minutes to give them a chance to firm up, then transfer to a rack to finish cooling.
  7. FYI- this dough freezes well. I made just part of the batch and have the rest frozen to use closer to Christmas.
Cranberry White Chocolate Amaretto Oatmeal Cookies

Cranberry White Chocolate Amaretto Oatmeal Cookies

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