Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

 

This is going to be one of my shorter, less wordy posts. I know…ME… not long winded. What can I say? We all have our days… or in my case, our brief moments. It’s been a long difficult day, I’m totally pooped and I have a headache. But I lurves you all enough that I wanted to get this recipe up before the end of the day anyway. See how good I am to you? πŸ˜›

You know the drill… πŸ™‚

Love you all!!!!! <3

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

  • 1 20 ounce can pineapple slices in juice, drained and (you will use about 8 of the slices), slices lain on a paper towel and patted dry
  • 6 Maraschino cherries, drained (optional)
  • 1 2/3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temp
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and get out a 10 inch cast iron pan (you can sub a ten inch cake pan, but a cast iron pan is more traditional).Β  In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
  2. In another small bowl, combine the sour cream or with the vanilla. Also set aside. πŸ˜€
  3. Melt 1/2 stick of the butter in the cast iron pan. Just toss the butter in the pan and shove it in the oven for a couple of minutes. When it is melted, sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the butter. Lay the pineapple slices around the outer edge of the pan. You should be able to fit 6. Use 2 more, broken in quarters, in the spaces in between each slice.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the remaining stick of butter and the sugar. Beat at medium speed with a hand mixer for about 2 minutes; until light and fluffy.
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  6. Transfer over to a wooden spoon or rubber spatula- alternately fold in the flour mixture and the sour cream mixture (flour, sour cream, flour, sour cream, flour), mixing well after each addition.
  7. Spoon the batter over the pineapple slices and smooth it out.
  8. Bake at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes, or until it is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  9. Immediately run a butter knife around the edges of the cake and then invert the pan onto a plate large enough to hold the cake. If any of the fruit sticks to the pan (if you are using a well seasoned pan, it shouldn’t, but…) just lift it out and place it on the cake.
  10. If you actually have any left over, cover well and store at room temp.

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Rich And Creamy Baked Lemon Custard

Rich & Creamy Baked Lemon Custard

Rich & Creamy Baked Lemon Custard

I thought I would give all of you a break today from the now constant inundation of pumpkin this, salted caramel apple that, maple whatever and bring you something rich and decadent, yet bright and refreshing and anything but heavy. Lemon goes with any season and custard still has a bit of a cold weather feel to it, so this works in all worlds. Plus, it’s so darn good!

I remember when my brother, sister and I were kids, we used to make homemade custard. or at least we thought we were making homemade custard. I’m not quite sure what it really was. Steve was the first to try, I believe. And to his youthful credit, it was….edible. If nothing else, it was sweet and as I’ve mentioned before, that was about all that mattered to us as kids. If it had sugar, we ate it. I shudder when I recall us eating *gags a bit* peanut butter sandwiches in which one of the bread slices was heavily coated with sugar when there was no jelly in the house.

But the custard…ahh yes, the custard. Overly eggy with strands of scrambled like eggs throughout, usually somewhat weepy and curdled from overcooking and with no real flavor but eggs and sugar. But we ate it.

To this day though, I absolutely love custard of any type. Vanilla flan style, chocolate, citrus like this one; you name it, if it has cream in it, I’ll eat it πŸ˜€

This one is incredibly easy and fairly quick as baked desserts go. You can also eat it while still warm if you want. I personally prefer custard chilled because I love the texture it gets when cold, but the choice is yours. This is rich, creamy and bright with the fresh taste of lemon; a perfect dessert when you want something easy and non chocolate.

You know the drill… πŸ™‚

Have I mentioned today how much I lurves all of you for coming to my little corner of the world? <3

Rich And Creamy Baked Lemon Custard

  • 2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 egg yolks (save those whites and make some meringue cookies or something!)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon zest
  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Very lightly butter 5 8 ounce ramekins and place them inside a deep baking pan. Start a pot or kettle of water to boiling
  2. Warm the cream in the microwave just until warm to the touch, not hot, about 1 minute.
  3. Using a mixer on medium speed (you can also just whisk this, but it takes longer), beat together the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, salt and vanilla until it is thick and pale colored, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Whisk or beat (low speed) the cream into the egg mixture, beating constantly. Add in the lemon juice and lemon zest and beat well.
  5. Divide the mixture between the prepared ramekins. Set the pan on the middle rack of the oven and carefully pour the boiling water into the pan holding the ramekins, making sure not to let it splash into the ramekins. Carefully push the pan in and bake the custard at 300 for about 30 minutes. You want it mostly set but the center third of them should still be a tiny bit jiggly looking. It will set more as it cools.
  6. Serve warm (just above room temp) or chill.

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Spiced Pumpkin Latte

Spiced Pumpkin Latte

Spiced Pumpkin Latte



Do you see the difference in the name there in comparison to a certain company that makes a pumpkin spice latte? That, my friend, is because this one has *GASPS* actual pumpkin in it, first and foremost. So the name reflects that. You have no idea how irked I was the first time I got the big name companies pumpkin spice latte and realized that there was no pumpkin in it. What a gyp!

So I, like 14,382 other bloggers, created my own version. Yeah, yeah, I know. This is ubiquitous online and I’m just one more hack posting it πŸ˜› But ya know what? There may actually be one or two people besides my husband and kids who don’t read a ton of food blogs and just read little old me cause I’m special or something. Work with me here. I’m having a low self esteem day. Tell me I’m special. Maybe buy me some roses, take me out to dinner and a movie and tell me I have purty eyes. So this is for the people who may not have seen this on those other 14,382 blogs.

When you’re done doing all that (I like dramas or documentaries and prefer Italian or Indian food, btw), make this latte. Well, make the latte syrup and THEN make a latte. The syrup will last weeks in the fridge. Pour it into a squeeze bottle or just put it in a covered container. And if you live in my household, keep it away from the 19 year old, who seems to think he needs 1/2 cup of this in one cup of coffee that is then covered with 3 cups of whipped cream.

You know the drill… get to cookin’. Or, erhmmm, simmering…and latteing.

Spiced Pumpkin Latte

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  1. In a medium pot, whisk together all the ingredients.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then immediately turn down to low. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Let cool.
  3. Now you can either strain this if the sight of the spices in your cup will bother you (I can be pretty anal, but I don’t strain it. The spices settle to the bottom and don’t cause any issues.) or just store this, covered, in the fridge without straining. Either way, refrigerate it..
  4. To make a latte, use 2 to 3 tablespoons of this per cup of coffee; less if you only want lightly sweetened, more if you’re working towards a restful diabetic coma. Add cream and top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Thank me… preferably with big bills or that dinner and a movie.
  5. You’ll notice mine is rather light colored. I was drinking it later in the day so cut the amount of coffee in half for this one. Expect a stronger coffee color in a typical cup.

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Spicy Tomato Chutney

Spicy Tomato Chutney

Spicy Tomato Chutney

 

We didn’t have a whole lot of luck with our tomato plants this year. It was such a wet, unseasonably cool Summer that they didn’t stand a chance. They would get decent sized and green, but few got enough sun to finish ripening. Out of about 12 plants, we got enough tomatoes for one session in the dehydrator, which we ended up eating like candyΒ  and enough for this batch of chutney. I can sincerely say that this chutney was worth the wait for ripe tomatoes.

I’ve been canning for about 17 years or so now. I tend to stick to jams, relishes and chutneys. One of these days I’ll branch out and do pressure canning. I have the canner, just not the motivation or expendable cash. I keep saying that if I come across some fantastic sale on meat, I’ll can some, but who ever finds a fantastic sale on meat nowadays? Most of us are instead practicing meatless dinners a time or two a week because it’s so darned expensive to buy meat of any kind.

Is it horrid of me that I am enjoying this chutney so much that I keep going over to the bowl of it that is in the photo and snagging bites? Hehe This has a wonderfully unique taste in comparison to other, fruitier chutneys I have made in the past. You have the sweet acidity of the tomatoes, the bite from the peppers and garlic, the tang of the vinegar…. all melded together into a textural delight. Darn, I’m just soooo poetic today πŸ˜›

This has a decent amount of ingredients, but nothing hard to find and it all just goes into the pot together and cooks down, so it’s a fairly low maintenance recipe. I say again, as I’ve said before about canning recipes, practice safe canning, please. Do NOT listen to those who tell you it’s ok to just ladle the food into a jar, put the lid on and go on as if that’s sufficient for sealing. It’s totally NOT good enough. Even if the can seems to seal, you don’t know that it’s vacuum sealed, nor that any possible bacteria were killed. Never take that chance with your own health or that of your family. It’s too easy to do it right. πŸ™‚ Here’s a link to show you how to properly can if you’re new to it. If you want to make this but don’t want to can it, you can also freeze portions of it. Just thaw when you’re ready to use some.

Water Bath Canning

This chutney is wonderful with any Indian or Thai dish, as well as with any fattier cut of meat. The acidity of the chutney helps to cut the richness of the meat. It’s also great just off a spoon, but I am also a wee bit offbeat πŸ˜€

Spicy Tomato Chutney

  • 5 lbs tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped (I like to leave them in fairly decent sized chop. They add a nice look to the finished product.)
  • 2 large onions, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher or pickling salt (non iodized)
  • juice and zest of one small lime
  • juice and zest of one small orange
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes or crushed dried chiles (use more or less as desired, depending on how spicy or not you prefer it)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger (same chop idea here as for the garlic. Chutney should have texture, not be smooth.)
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  1. Put all ingredients into a large, deep pot and stir well to combine.
  2. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Once it gets to a boil, turn your heat down to a barely medium setting (I do this at 4 on an electric stove) and let it simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
  3. Cook until it has reduced to about half of it’s original amount and has become thick and rich looking, about 2 hours. If it starts to stick to the bottom of the pot at all, lower your heat a tad and make sure you’re stirring enough. Keep in mind that it will continue to thick a LITTLE bit even after you can it so don’t get it too thick during cooking. You want a product that is about the consistency of a loose preserve.
  4. Can as per the above directions (I got 4 1/2 pints out of this), leaving 1/4 inch headspace and boil in a water bath for ten minutes. When done, remove to a towel and leave undisturbed until cool. Check your seal and if any jars didn’t seal, store them in the fridge. The sealed jars can be stored in a cool, dark place for quite a long time.

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Snickerdoodle Magic Cake

Snickerdoodle Magic Cake

Snickerdoodle Magic Cake

 


I think we all know by now that I tend to be late on trends. I am ornery, I am contrary, I am too darn independent for my own good and every time a food gets trendy, I mentally fold my arms over my chest, stick my nose up in the air, give a silent “hmmpphhh” and walk off until it’s no longer trendy. Which of course is a case of biting off my nose to spite my face (on THAT note, you know how most sayings got their starts in something that actually happened at one time? Well, I want to know who the heck bit off their own nose to spite their face and how the heck they even did that! What? That’s the way my mind works. I never claimed it was pretty in my head!) because then, by the time I come off my high horse and try something, everyone else is already bored with it.

But I think I may have gotten this one in under the wire. I am still seeing incarnations of “Magic Cake” all over the place. You can see different flavors everywhere you look. Except for one flavor. Snickerdoodle. I looked and looked to make sure and no one else had a Snickerdoodle Magic Cake. Woo to the Hoo for being first at something!

What is a Magic Cake, you ask? In theory,Β  the thin batter bakes up into 3 distinct layers. I say in theory because I tried twice and mine didn’t separate. Mind you, I used cream in this instead of milk thus the liquid that is fattier could have had something to do with that. But you know what? That’s ok. This is good as it is and I wouldn’t change it just to get layers. Layers, schmayers. Pahhh! Who needs ’em?! I ended up with a nice thick custardy layer that has a smidgen of a cakey layer on top, all of this flavored with the cinnamon sugar taste that makes you think of Snickerdoodles.

You know the drill…. πŸ™‚

Snickerdoodle Magic Cake

  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 3/4 teaspoon cream of tarter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 2 cups heavy cream, lightly warmed
  • 3/4 cup flour, whisked together with 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar mixed with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon for dusting the top of the cake
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line an 8×8 baking pan with foil and lightly grease the foil.
  2. In a small bowl, at high speed, beat the egg whites with 1/4 cup of the sugar and the cream of tarter until stiff peaks form, about five minutes. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, at high speed, beat together the egg yolks and the remaining sugar until pale yellow and creamy looking.
  4. Mix in the flour mixture. Now, use a whisk to slowly whisk in the warm cream (trust me; don’t use an electric beater. The mixture is soupy and will splatter EVERYWHERE.), then mix in the butter and finally, fold in the egg whites.
  5. Pour this into the prepared pan and bake at 325 degrees until the top is a nice light golden brown and the top is firm but still jiggles some when shaken, about 30 to 45 minutes.
  6. Let cool in the pan until completely cooled (I refrigerated mine because I have a thing for chilled custards), then carefully use the foil to lift the whole thing out onto a board to cut into serving sized pieces. Dust with the powdered sugar/cinnamon mixture. Serve.

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Brown Butter Pumpkin Cupcakes & Maple Honey Frosting

Brown Butter Pumpkin Cupcakes & Maple Honey Frosting

Brown Butter Pumpkin Cupcakes & Maple Honey Frosting



I waited as long as I could. But it was time…. time for a pumpkin recipe. πŸ˜€ it occurred to me as I was contemplating what to make that for a blog named From Cupcakes To Caviar, I don’t have many cupcake recipes on here. Yes, yes, before someone brings it up, I am well aware that I don’t have any caviar recipes on here. Guess what? I never will. πŸ˜› I just liked the way the name sounded when I created the blog and it was simply meant to denote that the blog will have everything from the simple to the fancy in it. Buttttt, as I was saying, I realized when mulling over pumpkiny goodness ideas that I don’t have many cupcakes on here. !!!! That had to be rectified immediately. So pumpkin cupcakes it was. But I didn’t want to do plain cupcakes; oh no, not me! So I decided on using brown butter in them. When I went to see if that had been done before, I found a bazillion variations lol. So rather than beat a dead pumpkin, I used the recipe from one of my favorite blogs, Two Peas And Their Pod because I knew if it came from there, it would be good. The only thing I did differently was in the matter of spice. I like pumpkin desserts that are heavy on the warm Autumnal spices and their recipe was a bit light for my tastes, so I used quite a bit a little bit more. I also used more vanilla and dark brown sugar rather than light because we enjoy the more caramelly flavor it lends.

These are some delicious cupcakes. The cupcakes part is just dense enough without being heavy and with the additional spices and extra vanilla I added, it tastes like Fall. When I was trying to decide what to do for frosting, I wanted to vary a bit there too. I didn’t want cinnamon or cream cheese or caramel or any of the other “normal” flavors. We all know by now that I don’t do normal well in any aspect of my life. So I chose a combo of maple and honey; both flavors I love but both flavors that can be a bit one dimensional on their own. I knew it would need a bit of tang though, what with 3 sources of sweetness, so I added some sour cream. You could probably sub a thick Greek yogurt if you wanted to. The frosting is quite lovely if I do say so myself. Sweet, but not cloying with a touch of tang from the sour cream and a nice maple and honey flavor.

This all comes together fairly quickly; the long list is mainly spices, so don’t cringe…Β  you know the drill πŸ™‚

Brown Butter Pumpkin Cupcakes & Maple Honey Frosting

  • Β 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 2/3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • Maple Honey Frosting-
  • 4 to 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup real maple syrup (preferably grade B as it has a stronger flavor)
  • 1/4 teaspoon maple flavoring
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 15 muffin cups with paper or foil liners.
  2. Melt your butter in a medium sauce pot over medium low heat. Stir occasionally as it cooks until it turns a lovely medium brown color and has a nutty aroma. Immediately take it off the heat and pour it into a medium sized bowl to cool.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk to combine the flour, baking powder, salt and spices. Add the pumpkin puree, sugar, vanilla and eggs to the cooled brown butter. Whisk to combine. Dump the flour mixture into the butter one and stir just until it’s combined. Don’t overbeat.
  4. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups, filling them about 3/4 full. bake at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center of one comes out clean.
  5. Remove the cupcakes from the pan to a rack to cool completely. While they cool, prepare your frosting- In a large bowl, on high speed, beat your butter for about 2 to 3 minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally, until it is light and fluffy looking.
  6. Add in 4 cups of the powdered sugar and with the mixer OFF (unless you want to have a face full of powdered sugar), stir it around a bit to mix in the sugar a bit. Turn the mixer on low and beat until well combined. Snatch a bite of the butter/sugar mix out of the bowl and enjoy, because it’s one of Gods gifts to us hehe
  7. Add in the rest of the icing ingredients, except the last bit of powdered sugar. Beat at high speed for about 5 minutes. Yes, you read that right. When you first add the ingredients and beat it, it will look soupy. Keep beating and it will come together and thicken. If it isn’t thick enough for piping after five minutes, add the last 1/2 cup of sugar and beat on high speed for about another minute or two. Refrigerate the frosting for 30 minutes.
  8. When ready to frost, stir the frosting a little to loosen it and pipe or spread the frosting on each cupcake. If you have any extra, it can be refrigerated, covered. It’s strangely appealing on bagels and would also be great all melty on top of a waffle or pancakes.

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Sweet Cream And Honey Cornbread

Sweet Cream And Honey Cornbread

Sweet Cream And Honey Cornbread

I generally don’t like sweet corn breads, so when I do make them, it makes the dinner time conversation rather interesting.

Russell (using a really bad Mark Lowry Voice -) “Sugar in the cornbread is cake! When you take a bite of cornbread, it’s supposed to suck 90% of the moisture out of your body!”

Jordan- “If this is cake, can I have whipped cream on it?”

Joshie- “Oooo… cake! Can I have ice cream with it?!”

Yeah… my family is strange. They are also unused to cornbread with sugar. You see, I’m a Yankee by birth and a Southerner by long time geography (well, part genetically too, if that can be genetic πŸ˜› ) and that whole birth thing being the case, one would assume I use a ton of sugar in cornbread. Nahhhh. I’m fine with a touch, if any. I am also enough Southerner at this point that when I see people put sugar on a bowl of grits, I am hard pressed to not walk up to them, say “bless your heart, honey. You’re not supposed to do that”, then hog tie them and drag them behind a mule drawn carriage until they learn the error of their ways. So far, I’ve resisted. But I make no long term promises.

All of that said, I liked this cornbread. Would I want sweet cornbread every time? No. But I was pulled in by the words cream, honey and butter in the recipe.Β  I mean, everyone loves those words… and by everyone, I mean I me.Β  There are very few things that can’t be made better with copious amounts of cream and butter. Except maybe liver. There is no hope for liver. And eggplant.

This IS a pretty sweet cornbread. It’s also buttery, rich, tender and moist and quite tasty served with a half cup pat of butter on it. This comes from one of my favorite cornbread cookbooks, The Cornbread Gospels. This book is cornbread lovers nirvana. It’s 358 pages of different corn breads and also ways to use said cornbread, plus a few go-alongs. This particular recipe isn’t one you’d serve with something like chili. In my humble opinion, chili needs an unsweetened cornbread. But this was wonderful with the roast chicken we had for dinner and will be wonderful later my favorite way, which is gently heated, put in a bowl with a ton of butter and some maple syrup. YUMMY!

You know the drill… πŸ™‚

Sweet Cream And Honey Cornbread

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1/4 cup honey, warmed for easier mixing
  • 2 eggs
  1. Butter either a medium (9 or 10 inch) cast iron skillet or a 9 inch square pan and preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt.
  3. In another bowl, combine the cream, milk, sugar, honey and butter. Whisk well. You will probably still have some butter pieces; that’s fine.
  4. Beat the eggs into the cream mixture. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients and mix just until combined.
  5. Pour into the prepared pan, drizzle with some extra honey if desired and bake at 400 degrees until it is golden brown and slightly pulled away from the edges of the pan, about 25 minutes.
  6. Serve warm… or room temp… or reheated with butter and maple syrup. πŸ™‚

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Cookies And Cream Brownies

Cookies And Cream Brownies 2


My youngest son started Kindergarten this year. It’s strange being the mother of a five year old at my age of fifty. I see most of the other parents and they are the approximate age of my own older kids. Talk about weird. One expects the parents of your childs peers to be YOUR peers, but here I am, happily looking like granny (ok, in my own defense, I’m fifty but guessed at early 40’s. Thank you, Loreal and fat padding in chubby cheeks :-D.) and the other parents have nose piercings and tattoos with modern sentiments that leave me saying “huh?”, waiting in the pick up line with their e-cigs hanging out the window, listening to rap on their radios, drinking an energy drink while they browse the net on their smartphones. And me? I’m the one wearing a baggy t shirt and stretch pants, listening to Contemporary Christian while I read Saveur magazine and drink a decaf latte and look at basic texts form my husband on my 25 dollar wal-mart phone. Yeah, I fit in well. Russ and I thought about sneaking into the school for the Grandparents day lunch. Then I looked at pics of some from another local school and realized that half of the grandparents are younger than us also. Welcome to the South, huh?

One of the things that drives me nuts waiting in the pick up line (beyond the rap music) is how, even now, when school has been going for a month here, the people helping students in and out of the car act like we are total idiots. Yes, we know by now to keep driving and not slow down the line. You standing there, waving your hand frantically in the air as if you’re warding off a horde of hungry wasps, is simply annoying me to the point where I want to stop dead, pretend my car died and see how fast your hands really CAN move. Yes, yes, I am ornery. Why do you ask? But seriously, we know the routine. Why, oh why, must they act as if we are six? Mind you, some of the parents look that way to my aging eyes, but I’m assuming they really aren’t. πŸ˜›

Make these brownies.Β  Oreos, fudgy brownie,Β  chocolate, did I mention Oreos? And chocolate?

These are typical brownies as far as cooking goes. They go together quickly and really, homemade isn’t much more difficult than boxed and while I’ll admit to liking boxed every once in a while for the chewy factor, fudgy and homemade trumps that every time.

You know the drill…. πŸ™‚

Have I told you lately how much I adore you? No? Consider yourself adored.

Cookies And Cream Brownies

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs, room temp
  • 1 2/3 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 20 coarsely chopped Oreo cookies of your choice, plus 3 more for the top of the brownies (I used the Mint Oreos; use your favorite)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13×9 baking pan with foil and grease the foil.
  2. In a large saucepot, combine the butter and the chocolate. melt over medium heat, stirring frequently, until smooth.
  3. Beat in the sugar, salt and vanilla, then set aside off the heat to cool for five minutes
  4. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Stir in the flour and cocoa, stirring just until combined.
  6. Fold in the crushed Oreo’s (not the three for the top) and then pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing down the top. Sprinkle the reserved three crushed oreo’s over the top of the batter, pressing them down lightly.
  7. Bake at 350 for about 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out with moist, but not liquidy crumbs on it. Let cool in the pan on a rack, then use the foil as a handle to pull the whole slab out of the pan for slicing.

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Coconut Lime Pound Cake

Coconut Lime Pound Cake

Coconut Lime Pound Cake

I was thisclose to getting my Autumn on and deluging you with Pumpkin, Apple and Maple recipes because…well, pumpkin. Pumpkin, apple and maple…oh my, pumpkin and apple and maple, oh my. You know you just said that sing song “Wizard Of Oz” style. Admit it.

But then, one night, while I was NOT sitting and watching Rocky II for the third time in as many weeks (I’m not a Stallone fan normally, but dayum, he was hot in that movie πŸ˜€ ) and looking through one of the 9000 cooking magazines I have, I saw this recipe. There was no way I could pass it up and definitely no way I could wait until the politically correct blogger time of early Summer or Spring to make this. I absolutely love the combo of coconut and lime and tend to use it often. I also love pound cake with a passion usually saved for Cheetos and Ho-Hos before they changed the recipe.

This is totally worth putting off Fall baking for a few days. Worth it enough that I wish I had gotten it out of the house and sent it to work with my husband because it’s evil as it stares it me and taunts me to eat just one more slice. The lime and coconut flavors blend so beautifully with neither overpowering the other. This has the quintessential pound cake crumb; moist, dense and tender with the bottom (what was the top in the pan) being crispy and crunchy like a good pound cake should be. I didn’t make any drastic changes from the cookbook/magazine recipe. I used lime juice in the glaze instead of just milk and I added zest in the cake batter because all it used originally was the juice and that was NOT acceptable. Must…have…zest. Also, I used a fair amount more vanilla extract. It also called for coconut in the cake and I don’t care for that, so buh-bye it went. Otherwise, still pretty much like the book.

You know the drill… πŸ™‚

Coconut Lime Pound Cake

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1/2 cup solid shortening, room temp
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 5 eggs, room temp
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut flavoring
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cream of coconut (not coconut milk; cream of coconut can be found with the cocktail mixers)
  • 1/3 cup lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • zest from one lime (about 2 tablespoons)
  • Lime Glaze-
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon coconut flavoring
  • toasted coconut for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 10 cup Bundt pan with cooking spray made for baking (Bakers Joy or Wiltons) or grease and lightly flour the pan.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar and extracts until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and lime zest. In a measuring cup, combine the cream of coconut, lime juice and water.
  4. Alternately add the flour mixture, then the coconut mixture to the butter mixture, starting and ending with the flour (flour, coconut, flour, coconut, flour), beating just until combined after each addition.
  5. Pour into the prepared pan; smooth the top.
  6. Bake at 325 for 65 to 75 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool in pan on a rack for ten minutes, then slide a knife around the edge of the cake and carefully turn out onto the rack to cool completely.
  7. When cool,Β  glaze the cake. To make the cake, simply combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and drizzle over the cake. Garnish with toasted coconut.

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Ham & Swiss Scones (And Keeper Of The Memories)

Ham & Swiss Scones

Ham & Swiss Scones

 


Every once in a while, I’ve brought up my family outside of my husband and kids. Sadly, as one ages, one finds that family circle getting smaller. In my life, since my sister Sandra and both our parents have passed away, there is only myself and my brother left. We also have two half sisters, whom I love dearly, but they didn’t grow up with us so don’t have the same set of memories or same history, unfortunately.

Steve and I have always been fairly close. We’ve had our ups and downs, times our relationship was splintered (Lilo And Stitch quote- “This is my family. I found it all on my own. It’s little and broken, but still good. Yeah, still good“. I love that movie.), but all in all, we’ve stayed close.

Since childhood, I’ve had a faulty memory. It seems to be due to an accident in youth. Add in the stroke from a few years back and a lot of my past is missing. Well, Steve and I have a habit of spending a fair amount of time on the weekends texting each other and many of his texts start out with, “Do you remember…”. Unfortunately, a lot of the time, I don’t. Steve has become, in my eyes, the Keeper Of The Memories. He is the one who reminds me of things we did as kids, the people we knew and the things we did, many of them crazy and probably dangerous and illegal, keeps me up to date on which relative has died, which was one that was nasty in the past, etc etc. He’s the one that helps me recall certain movies we watched 73 times as kids, which songs were important to us, usually for silly reasons and keeps the memories of our parents and sister fresh.Β  I’m the one that still rags him about using my Barbie Make Up Doll Head as Franken-Barbie for his garage haunted house one year and reminds him of the time we stood in the kitchen for an hour, him 18, me 13, while I tutored him in the fine art of talking to girls. Steve and I are the only people we each have who remember each others pasts. We remember the bad hair cuts (I still have the picture of you in 7th grade when your hair was shoulder length), the teen years when we both were rather hard to get along with, the fights with our parents. We know about the times of eating ketchup sandwiches cause there wasn’t anything else to eat even though our mother worked her butt off, the trips to Alabama, the nights up watching Creature Feature, the night mom kicked her then b/f out of the house for kissing another woman and “do you doubt my veracity?”. We remember “doodles” and “ewww, you “blew it” “. Siblings have their own language, their own inside jokes and memories. They make us laugh, they make us nostalgic and sometimes, they make us sad. But there is a bond there that can’t be shaken. It’s different than the one you have with parents, because for a lot of your growing up years, parents are the enemy. Siblings are the ones who can beat the crap out of you, but no one else better try it. They are the ones who are sad with you when your parents age and die. They are a tie to your own past and a part of your forever. You don’t see the age, you don’t see them as the grown ups they are. They always stay the kid you played with, argued with and made memories with.

What does any of this have to do with Ham & Swiss Scones? Not a thing. But make the scones anyway. They are completely delicious. πŸ™‚

Ham & Swiss Scones

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried dill weed
  • 1 tablespoon dried minced onions
  • 10 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, sliced thin
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 12 ounces (about 1 1/2 cups) diced ham
  • 12 ounces Swiss cheese, cubed into about 1/2 dice
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and line a greased baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, dill weed and dried onion.
  3. Using a pastry blender, cut in the cold butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  4. Break the egg into the heavy cream and whisk to combine. Pour all at once into the flour/butter mixture. Stir well with a fork until the mixture comes together into a ball. Add in the cheese and ham and use your hands to (as quickly as possible) mix them into the dough.
  5. Dump it out onto a lightly floured board or counter and knead a few times just to incorporate the ham and cheese.
  6. Pat down into a 3/4 inch thick circle and cut into 12 wedges. They don’t have to be perfect. Mine are usually misshapen and ugly and I have come to prefer that; there is something homey and rustic about them that way.
  7. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes or until they are golden brown. See all the cheese that oozed out and clung to the sides of the scones? Don’t be upset… that crispy browned cheese is one of the best things about these!
  8. Let cool for at least 30 seconds before eating them. πŸ˜€

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