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

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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

 

 

Cheesy Chicken And Chorizo Enchiladas

 

Cheesy Chicken And Chorizo Enchiladas

Cheesy Chicken And Chorizo Enchiladas



Do you have those things that your family wishes you’d make more often, but for whatever reason, you just don’t make more than once in a blue moon? Yeah. Me, too. My family loves enchiladas, but for some odd reason, when I’m not actually in the process of making them, my mind tells me they are a chore to make. Mind you, they aren’t a quick 30 minute meal; not if you’re doing them correctly, but neither are they as tedious as my lazy, I’d much prefer to sit in my recliner, read and eat Cheetos mind tells me they are.

That said, don’t expect to start these at 4pm and expect to have dinner on the table by 6. Don’t ask me how I know this, please. Thank you. Seriously though, when I make enchiladas, I do two things- I make a large batch like this is and I make them over two days. Why? Because I’m lazy and this way we can eat delicious enchiladas for two days straight or I can freeze half of them. Easiest way to do this? Get your meats and veggies cooked the first day, then just cool, mix with the cheese and shove it into a bowl and chill it till the next day. Then the next day, all you have to do is make the sauce, then put all the separate components together and THEN you can have a quickly put together dinner. My lazy womans version of OAMD 😛

These are probably the best enchiladas I’ve ever made. The filling is mildly spicy, but not so much that wimps, I mean, the spice averse, in your life can’t handle them. They have a nice amount of cheese in the filling, but I was a good girl and didn’t do my usual overkill with the cheese, which is a bad habit I admit to having. Then on top, it’s smothered in a creamy, cheesy sauce. Say “yum” with me, class. And yes, there are a lot of ingredients, but nothing earth shattering or hard to work with.

You know the drill…

Remember, this will make two pans… I usually make one 13×9 and one 8 inch square pan with it, so feel free to halve it if it’s too much.

Cheesy Chicken And Chorizo Enchiladas

  • Filling-
  • 2 cans good quality chicken broth ( do NOT discard after cooking chicken)
  • 1 medium onion, cut in half
  • 1 heaping tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped jalapeno (leave the seeds if you want it spicier)
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 pound chorizo, casing removed if in links, then crumbled
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced jalapeno
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 4 ounce can chopped mild green chilies
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Spice Hunters Mexican Seasoning (you can get this straight from their site or you could sub the more readily available McCormick Southwestern Seasoning)
  • 8 ounces Queso Quesadilla cheese, shredded (a mild white melting Mexican cheese. You should be able to find it at any good grocery store)
  • Sauce-
  • 2 cups of the reserved cooking broth, strained
  • 5 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup half and half (you can use a less rich milk… but I’ll cry. Plus, the results may be watery)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Spice Hunter Mexican Seasoning (or the aforementioned McCormicks Southwestern seasoning)
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
  • salt to taste
  • 12 6 inch (or 8 inch) corn tortillas
  • 12 8 inch flour tortillas
  • 1 cup of your favorite cheese for the top of the pans. (I used Colby-Jack)
  • Green onions, salsa and a squeeze of lime for garnish
  1. Make your chicken first- combine the broth, onion halves, garlic and jalapeno in a medium pot with the chicken thighs. The broth should just about cover them if you push them down a little. Cover the pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Try not to let it boil, cause that toughens meat.  let cook for about an hour, until nice and tender, but not falling apart.
  2. Let the meat cool in the broth until cool enough to handle, then take it out and cut into bite sized chunks. Strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer and discard solids. I then put the broth into a couple of jars and just put it up until the next day when I finish, but if you’re doing it all in one day, just pour 2 cups of broth into a measuring cup and set aside for now.
  3. While the chicken cools, cook your veggies and chorizo. In a large pan, cook the crumbled chorizo until it is browned. Scoop the meat out and put it into a large bowl, leaving the drippings behind.
  4. Add the chopped onion, chopped green pepper, garlic and jalapeno to the chorizo drippings. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the veggies are soft and lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Dump into the bowl with the chorizo. Add in the cubed chicken. let cool for about 20 minutes, then add in the green chilies and the Queso Quesadilla cheese. Stir well; add in the Mexican seasoning. Stir to combine and give it a taste to see if you think it needs more Mexican seasoning or a touch of salt. Now, you can either cover this and continue the next day or get the sauce made. If making now, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  5. For the sauce, put the 5 tablespoons flour into a medium pot. Slowly add in the half and half, stirring the whole time to prevent lumps. After all the half and half is incorporated, pour in the strained broth and stir well. Over medium heat, stirring constantly, heat the mixture until it thickens up, about 5 to 10 minutes. Remove form the heat, then stir in the  Monterey jack cheese and the 1 1/2 teaspoons Mexican seasoning, stirring until the cheese is melted. taste for seasoning, adjust if needed (more Mexican seasoning, more salt) then put a lid on the pot (the condensation from the inner lid helps stop a skin from forming on a sauce) and set aside.
  6. Grease a 13×9 inch baking pan (I prefer glass) and an 8 inch square pan (not necessary if making a half batch). Wrap the tortillas in a damp paper towel and then warm them for 2 minutes in the microwave to make them more pliable.
  7. Take one corn tortilla and layer it on top of one flour tortilla. Scoop up (I just use my clean hands) a small handful of the meat/veggie mix and spread it down the middle of the layered tortillas. Roll the tortillas tightly and lay them, seam side down, in the prepared pan. Repeat until both pans are filled.
  8.  Pour the sauce over the enchiladas (you’ll obviously use more on the bigger pan, so don’t try to divide evenly) and then sprinkle the cheese over the top. Bake in a 350 degree oven until bubbly and lightly browned on top, about 25 minutes. Serve hot with green onions and salsa for garnish and a squeeze of lime juice over the tops.

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Cheesy Chicken And Chorizo Enchiladas

Cheesy Chicken And Chorizo Enchiladas

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Bars (Recipe Redo)

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Bars

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Bars



I am constantly amazed at how bad my photography skills were a few years ago. I’m no prize now, but at least I don’t cringe (most of the time) when I see my pictures. And I am constantly amazed that I make some things and then do the whole blogger thing of not making the it again because if I do that, I can’t use it in the blog. Totally silly of those of us who blog because in doing that, as we miss out on eating the most delicious things more than once. I haven’t made these bars since the first time I did in 2011. I have no idea why I have never made them again because, dang, these are awesome! It all comes down to, I think, what I said about how when you’re a blogger, you tend to not make the same things twice because if you do, it’s no longer blog fodder :-p

I made these a bit differently than the first time. I added more flavor to the crust, a bit to the filling and I used less chocolate chips on top, because, my God, what was I thinking last time with the amount of chips on there?! It’s a chocolate filling, for pete’s sake. it doesn’t needed a covering of chocolate thick enough to put a herd of elephants into a diabetic coma. So I cut it down. Now only one or two elephants are in danger of that coma.

These are fantastic pot luck or church supper fare; rich enough to be decadent yet not time consuming in the least. But once you try a bite, suddenly, you’ll forget to take the plate with you where ever you need to go. Instead, you’ll be that person hiding in the closet from your kids so that you can eat these in peace. Wait. I’m not the only one who does that, am I?

The crust for these are wonderfully crumbly to the bite, but not when you cut it. Then you have a layer of tangy sweetened berries, covered with a creamy chocolate filling, then crumbs on top. What’s not to love? Berries, chocolate, creamy and crumbs. 😀

You know the drill…

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Bars

  • CRUST-
  • 1 cup softened butter (2 sticks)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup slivered toasted almonds
  • FILLING-
  • 1 lb container fresh strawberries, capped and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup strawberry preserves
  • 1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly grease a 13×9 inch pan. Line with foil and grease the foil or spray with cooking spray.
  3. In a large bowl, combine flour, butter and powdered sugar. Sprinkle with the extracts. Use a pastry blender to cut the butter into the flour and sugar until you have pea sized crumbs. Fold in the slivered almonds
  4. Pat 2 cups of the crumb mixture into the bottom of the greased pan. Set the rest aside.
  5. Bake the crust for ten minutes or until a very light golden brown around the edges.
  6. Meanwhile, gently fold your sliced strawberries together with the preserves.
  7. In a small bowl, mix one cup of chocolate chips with the sweetened condensed milk and extracts and microwave on high in 30 seconds increments, stirring after each one, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
  8. Carefully spread the strawberry mixture on top of the hot crust. Then pour the chocolate/milk mix on top of the berries and spread. Sprinkle that with the reserved crumbs and the rest of the chocolate chips.
  9. Bake at 350 for about 30 to 35 minutes or until the center is set.
  10. Let cool, preferably in the fridge for a couple of hours. Use the foil to lift the bars out of the pan to a large cutting board. Use a knife dipped in hot water then wiped dry to cut the bars into serving sized pieces.

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DSCF2005

Chilled Caprese Tortellini Salad

Chilled Caprese Tortellini Salad



Every year I plant a bunch of herbs. I have a few perennials set aside in a certain area of our land, but the annuals I just do in containers. One that I always plant is basil. Is there anything like the scent of fresh basil??? it is one of those smells that just makes me think “summer”. Problem is, me being, well, me, I inevitably plant more than we can use. I love basil, but I get busy and forget to actually USE it. I’ll grab a handful for spaghetti sauce, I’ll snip a few leaves to use with a sliced up tomato and some olive oil. Then that will be it. I’ll talk a good game about using the 496 plants for a few hundred batches of pesto, but I never get to it. Then, Autumn comes, the first frost comes and I am left kicking myself because my basil died. I’m sad and then next Spring the cycle starts all over again.

So this year I only bought TWO basil plants. That’s it; two. And what does that mean? That suddenly, I find myself wanting basil all the time to the point where my poor plants can’t keep up the supply. Nature can’t win with me. But I’m afraid to buy another plant or two. Because what will happen is that craving will die and so will my basil plants.

But…!! This salad is a great way to use about 1/2 of a cup (which is a fair amount of leaves) of the lovely green stuff. Every year, one of the things I do is make a Caprese pasta. I usually make a hot dinner of it though, with spaghetti or a similar pasta and the cheese all melted in it. While that is absolutely wonderful, I wanted to try my hand at a chilled salad this time. I am totally pleased with what I came up with. This is about as easy as it gets. I used a good quality bottled Italian dressing in this. You are, of course, free to make your own dressing, but I was going for easy and tasty, not involved. With this salad, the most involved part is chopping the basil and the tomatoes. Hard work, ehh? Make sure you let this chill for a bit; at least a couple of hours. You want those flavors to blend and then blend some more. Then, just garnish it with some fresh basil for decoration and a sprinkling of pepper for flavor, check for needed salt one last time and chow down.

Chilled Caprese Pasta Salad

  • 1 16 to 19 ounce package frozen tortellini, cooked according to package direction, then drained and rinsed in cold water
  • 8 ounces ciliegine mozzarella ( those are the small balls, usually found in tubs packed in water)
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped green onion (I know this isn’t a typical ingredient for caprese, but it adds a nice flavor)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (same as what I said for the green onion)
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup good Italian dressing
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan (this is one of those times when the cheaper powdery stuff is acceptable, even preferred, because it coats and clings better than freshly grated)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Pour the tortellini on a layer of paper towels and gently pat dry. Place them in a large bowl.
  2. Add the mozzarella,  the tomatoes, green onion, lemon zest and basil to the bowl with the tortellini. Gently toss together.
  3. Pour in the Italian dressing and toss to coat.
  4.  Sprinkle the Parmesan on and again, toss to coat. Give it a taste, then add some salt and pepper. I’m not giving a specific amount here because tastes vary. You may be not a huge salt person, but others are, so I salt for your taste and then others can add more if they want it. Seems the best way to season something like a pasta salad.
  5. Pour the salad into a serving bowl. Cover and chill for at least two hours. Garnish with some basil and freshly ground pepper and serve.

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission. Chilled Caprese Tortellini Salad 2

Blueberry Grand Marnier Brown Butter Pound Cake

Blueberry Grand Marnier Brown Butter Pound Cake

Blueberry Grand Marnier Brown Butter Pound Cake

 

When I was ten, my mom and brother and sister and myself went to Alabama to visit my grandparents (Mommer and Popper) for a few days. I absolutely loved being there. It was way out in the country, a small wood frame house with no central air, no central heat (no heat at all actually), built I have no idea when. It had one small bathroom, two small bedrooms and an ancient kitchen with an old iron porcelain coated sink. I remember sleeping in the tiny hallway between the kitchen and one of the bedrooms on a blanket with my mom when I wasn’t staying over with my cousin Lori. The house was surrounded by woods and the blueberry bushes that Popper had planted. On the same patch of land was the trailer my Aunt Irene and my cousin Lori, who was my age, lived in, so going to visit was sheer heaven for me. Country, family and someone to play with. Part of my heart still lies in Alabama and the south, which is why I’m probably quite content living out the rest of my life here in Kentucky even though I was born and raised in Chicago.

Well, one day during the visit, Popper told me, my cousin Lori and a couple other cousins who were visiting that we could go pick some blueberries. We grabbed bowls and went out to the two large bushes right next to the house, which were about 5 feet tall each; nicely established bushes. About half an hour later, we went back into the house to show Popper our blueberry haul. We had totally stripped the bushes bare and had about 2 gallons of blueberries. While I’m sure that inside of him he was thinking, “oh, Etta (Mommer) is going to kill me for letting them doing this”, outside all he did was laugh, tell us that we had a lot of blueberries and had us take them in to my aunt. I have no earthly idea what they used all those blueberries for.

Silly story maybe, but the memory popped into my head the other day when I made this cake. It doesn’t take 2 gallons of blueberries though, I promise; just one pint. It did however, take me a couple of tries to get right. The first one totally stuck to the pan and while it tasted fine, it wasn’t quite right even if it hadn’t stuck. The second one however, was completely delicious. My husband, who is type 2 diabetic and knows better, had three slices in one day. I used my raspberry amaretto pound cake recipe, but changed it up for this, plus increased the butter a bit to account for the water evaporation from browning the butter. This is a delicious cake. It has a tight, moist crumb and an amazing flavor. Don’t look at the amounts of flavorings and think it sounds like they would all be competing with each other. They don’t at all. They complement each other and mixed with the fresh berries, brown butter cake and the orange syrup finish, add up to an outstanding cake, if I do say so myself.

You know the drill…

Mrs. Cupcake, who needs to go get some cake before my husband finishes it all

Blueberry Grand Marnier Brown Butter Pound Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Grand Marnier
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange oil (or orange extract, but please, go buy the oil. it lasts forever and is much better
  • 1 teaspoon Fiori Di Sicilia flavoring (optional; available through the King Arthur site. Another one I recommend splurging on. It is a fantastic addition to many baked goods)
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • Orange syrup-
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest
  1. Place the butter in a medium pot and cook over medium high heat, swirling the butter frequently, until it is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Do NOT leave the stove. Butter can burn before you know it. Pour immediately into a bowl and put in the fridge for 45 minutes or so, just long enough to chill it and take it form a pure liquid state to a mushy solid.
  2. Preheat your oven to 325 and grease and flour a 12 cup Bundt pan and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the soft brown butter and cream cheese. Beat at medium speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl once if needed.
  4. Gradually add the sugar, beating at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the Grand Marnier and the extracts, beating well afterward. Gradually add the flour to the mixture at low speed. Beat just until blended.
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating just until blended after each one. GENTLY fold in the blueberries. Spoon batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. When you have it in the pan, firmly bang the pan on a counter top to help remove any air bubbles.
  6. Bake at 325 for 65 to 95 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  7. When the cake is almost done, make the syrup- in a small pot, combine the syrup ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Use a fine mesh strainer to strain out the orange zest and discard it, then set the syrup aside until the cake is finished.
  8. Let the cake cool for 20 minutes, then use a plastic spatula ( or a fast food plastic knife if you have one) to loosen the cake from the edges of the pan. Place a large plate over the top of the pan, then carefully invert the pan. Tap firmly on the bottom of the pan to loosen the cake. It should fall out onto the plate. Let it finish cooling on the plate.
  9. Carefully transfer the cake over to a rack that has been set inside of a large rimmed baking sheet (to catch drips). Reheat your syrup until it is hot to the touch, then spoon the hot syrup over the cake. Make sure to let it soak in each time before adding more. You may not use all the syrup; it’s up to you. If you don’t though, don’t throw it out. It’s wonderful in tea.
  10. That’s it! Enjoy!

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Blueberry Grand Marnier Brown Butter Pound Cake 2