28 Delicious Thanksgiving (and Thanksgiving Leftovers) Recipes for 2016

Thanksgiving 2016 2

It’s that time again; time for the annual Thanksgiving post. After almost 6 years of blogging, I have accumulated quite a few recipes that work in this category, so I have to cull some out so as to not end up with a post with 50 different additions. πŸ˜›

Let’s start with entrees. Because…turkey…ham. Yummy. πŸ˜€

This Orange Marmalade Brown Sugar Glazed Ham is my absolute favorite way to make a ham. The ham turns out so moist and tender with such a delicious sweet/salty flavor you’ll keep coming back for.Orange Marmalade Brown Sugar Ham-001This Sesame Soy Turkey Breast is fantastic if you’re a cook who’s willing to leave the traditional box a bit on Thanksgiving. This glaze can also be used on a whole turkey, a chicken, game hen, you name it.

Sesame Soy Turkey Breast

Sesame Soy Turkey Breast

I know that a lot of families like to serve a pasta dish as one of the main dishes so I’m including our favorite, this Cheesy Sausage And Meatball Pasta Bake. This makes a LOT, so it’s perfect for Thanksgiving, when a lot of people are there, with everyone getting as little bit of each dish.Cheesy Meatball And Sausage Pasta BakeLet’s move on to appetizers; those little bits you put out to keep everyone from storming the kitchen begging for food. πŸ˜›Β  One of my favorite easy dips (and when I say easy, I mean it) is my White Trash Dip. I know; such a classy name, lol. But it is great for appeasing the hungry mongrel hordes and quick to throw together, which is always a plus on Thanksgiving.
White Trash Dip
I have adored Boursin Cheese for years, but man, that stuff is expensive for the small amount you get. So I started making my own years ago. This is soooo good and always a hit. It’s creamy, great with veggies like celery sticks as well as crackers. If you have any left over, it also makes a great stuffing for chicken breasts.

Creamy Homemade Boursin Cheese Spread

Creamy Homemade Boursin Cheese Spread

Ahhhh, side dishes. What would Thanksgiving be without 50 side dishes to serve with the turkey and ham? One of my all time most popular posts here at From Cupcakes To Caviar is my Insanely Cheesy And Creamy Mac And Cheese. This makes a HUGE pan of mac and cheese, so it’s perfect for the holidays.Insanely Cheesy And Creamy Mac & CheeseYou can’t have turkey without mashed potatoes, right?
I was never a mashed potato fan until I made up these Ultimate Buttery Sour Cream And Onion Mashed Potatoes. I totally love these. They are creamy, buttery (boy, are they buttery) and with a subtle tang from the cream cheese.

Ultimate Buttery Sour Cream And Onion Mashed Potatoes

Ultimate Buttery Sour Cream And Onion Mashed Potatoes

If you want to go a little different, you can’t beat these Herb Roasted Potatoes And Root Vegetables. The potatoes and veggies get all crispy on the outside and all soft and tender inside. So, so good.

Herb Roasted Potatoes And Root Vegetables

Herb Roasted Potatoes And Root Vegetables

I was never a cold pasta salad sort of a person until I made up this Chilled Caprese Tortellini Salad a few years ago. It’s great during the holidays for people who may want something a little lighter (and with no meat in it, lol) but still full of flavor.Chilled Caprese Tortellini Salad
I have a major thing for Winter squashes. To me, they stand so far above the ubiquitous Summer squashes. I took one of my favorites here and stuffed it to come up with Squash Stuffed With Sausage, Pears And Cranberries. This is a fantastic addition to the holiday meal or a great light entree on it’s own.

Squash Stuffed With Sausage, Pears And Cranberries

Squash Stuffed With Sausage, Pears And Cranberries

You can’t have Thanksgiving dinner without cranberry sauce, right? While I admit to a secret love for the kind that slithers out of the can with a loud plop, I also love homemade cranberry sauce and make a large batch every year. My Spiced Spiked Cranberry Sauce is a perfect foil for all the rich dishes you’ll be serving. The brandy is completely optional so don’t let that turn you away from it. Spiced Spiked Cranberry Sauce

Now we come to the breads. I’m not normally a big one for breads, but hot and fresh on the holidays? I tend to go for them more at that time. And these Angel Biscuits have become a family favorite. Since they have baking powder in them as well as yeast, they are fairly foolproof, which is great for the less experienced cooks out there.

Angel Biscuits

Angel Biscuits

The rolls I have been making for years are these Oatmeal Yeast Rolls. They are so fluffy and soft; perfect hot spread with butter or later as a mini turkey sandwich (Yes, I know this is a bad photo. The post is an old one, when my photography skills were sub-par, to say the least. The rolls however, are amazingly good)

Oatmeal Rolls

Oatmeal Rolls

I love to make a few loaves of bread for Thanksgiving as well as rolls. They are so good with dinner and make fantastic sandwiches the next day. I particularly love to make my Loaded Baked Potato Bread, The flavors in it go wonderfully with a turkey sandwich!

Loaded Baked Potato Bread

Loaded Baked Potato Bread

Here in the south, a lot of people like to make cornbread to go with dinner, even on the holidays. My Sweet Cream And Honey Cornbread is a favorite. It’s fluffy, not at all dry like so many cornbreads can be, with just a touch of sweetness.

Sweet Cream And Honey Cornbread

Sweet Cream And Honey Cornbread

Then, of course, we have the part of dinner that everyone looks forward to; dessert! And man, you know I have some desserts to share with you! I have to start with the classics, of course, so here is my favorite- my Decadent Extra Creamy Pumpkin Pie. This one is posted with a really good cornmeal crust, but you can use your favorite crust. Just make sure it’s a deep dish one. Decadent Extra Creamy Pumpkin Pie In A Cornmeal Crust
That pumpkin pie tends to be my husbands favorite. Mine however will always be Pecan Pie. I love it slightly warmed with heavy cream poured over it. So bad for me, but so delicious!Deep Dish Pecan Pie

The last few years, my favorite pecan pie has had to vie with this Cranberry Apple Cake. I can’t say enough good things about this cake. It’s absolutely delicious and I can’t imagine the Thanksgiving meal without it now. It’s sweet, tangy, crispy, just a wonderful dessert that I look forward to all year.

Cranberry Apple Cake

Cranberry Apple Cake

If you want a classic (not to mention, heavenly chocolate goodness πŸ˜€ ) you’ll want to make this wonderful Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Icing This is a favorite with pretty much all age groups, and even those people who say Thanksgiving should be all about the pies. I’m not even normally a cake person and I love it!

Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Icing

Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Icing

If you want to do a different apple dessert, my Worlds Best Apple Spice Cake With Creamy Vanilla Butter Sauce would be a great choice. It’s easy to throw together the day before you need it and then just warm up the sauce when ready to cut and serve. Again, I’m not huge on cakes, which is why if you see me posting one, you know it MUST be good.

Worlds Best Apple Spice Cake With Creamy Vanilla Butter Sauce

Worlds Best Apple Spice Cake With Creamy Vanilla Butter Sauce

Or maybe you prefer a classic apple dessert? I find myself going for this Old Fashioned Apple Crisp all year round, but it’s a delicious choice on Thanksgiving!Old Fashioned Apple Crisp 2

I have a couple of desserts for you that are a bit more elegant, plus not as heavy. The first is one I love; my Elegant And Easy Lemon Almond Cake. This cake is light and filled with the flavor of almond and lemon; perfect for the family members who want a little something for dessert, but don’t want the heavier sweets.

Elegant & Easy Lemon Almond Cake

Elegant & Easy Lemon Almond Cake

The other one is one of my more recent creations- these Skillet Pears With Autumn Spiced Caramel Sauce. These are wonderful if you have a smaller gathering. The pears end up tender and juicy and the caramel sauce is fantastic.Skillet Pears With An Autumn Spiced Caramel Sauce 9

So, what to do with leftovers once Thanksgiving is over? When you tire of just making a plate of leftovers, I have some things you can do with some of them. If the title says chicken, obviously you can sub in that leftover turkey staring you in the face.

We love Mexican food in my house. Yes, I know that much of what we all call Mexican food has been totally Americanized, but it’s still delicious, so who cares? One of my family’s favorites are these Cheesy Chicken (Turkey) And Chorizo Enchiladas. They have the perfect mix of creamy, spicy and cheesy. I make them all year round, but they are a perfect way to use up leftovers.Cheesy Chicken And Chorizo Enchiladas 2

Everyone makes soup after Thanksgiving. But I have one here that doesn’t need to have you simmering stock for hours on end. I can eat a boatload of my Quick And Easy Turkey, Bacon And Cheese Chowder. This is comfort food at its best and it doesn’t have to cook for hours.Quick & Easy Turkey, Bacon & Cheese Chowder

Along the Mexican lines again, I almost always make a pan of White Chicken (Turkey) Enchiladas in the week after Thanksgiving. These are soooo darn good and everyone scarfs them down.

Creamy, Cheesy White Chicken Enchiladas

Creamy, Cheesy White Chicken Enchiladas

You may still have some turkey left even after those (I know I will; I always buy too much!) so my Cheaters Easy Chicken (Turkey) And Dumplings never fails me. It’s warming, comforting and filling and tastes great!

Cheaters Easy, Creamy Chicken & Dumplings

Cheaters Easy, Creamy Chicken & Dumplings

If you have leftover cranberry sauce (and you know you will), make a loaf of my Pumpkin Cranberry Bread. It’s an easy way to use up some of those leftovers and it makes a yummy breakfast or light snack.Easy Pumpkin Cranberry Breadthanksgiving

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Sesame Soy Turkey Breast

Sesame Soy Turkey Breast

Sesame Soy Turkey Breast

Ok, who stole 2016? Yes, yes, I know, I’ve done a lot of whining lately about being glad the hot Summer is past and that the cooler weather and my favorite season, Fall, is here. And I stand by those whiny moments.Β  It’s just that today, I was suddenly cognizant of the fact that it’s almost November. Freaking NOVEMBER! Wth? I mean, I knew it was this late in the year, logically. I’m that person who starts looking at Thanksgiving and Christmas pins on Pinterest in August, because it’s fun to mentally prepare my menu. it just didn’t really hit me until it occurred to me that I could probably go ahead and post this so that it was up in time for people to use on Thanksgiving. This year has gone abnormally quickly.

I made this turkey breast a couple of weeks ago and we absolutely loved it. The recipe is lightly adapted from one I found in Food & Wine magazine last year.Β  I’m similar to what I guess most of you are and make my turkey the same way every time because, tradition. But this was a nice twist that I may even be willing to make on Thanksgiving and definitely will use other times of the year because we eat turkey more than just one day a year here, since we love it. My differences from the original are that they used a whole turkey, I used the breast, they melted and then re-chilled the butter mix and spread it under the skin and I left it melted and used it as a baste to make it easier, plus different cooking temps and minor diffs in seasoning.

Sesame Soy Turkey Breast 2

The skin on this gets nice and crispy and if you’re feeling ambitious, you could butterfly the breast and have it 1) cook even faster and 2) have all the skin get crispy rather than have the inevitable bottom skin staying kind of soggy. The flavor here is fantastic; a perfect mix of salty, a subtle sweetness, the richness of sesame oil and butter and a bit of bite from the seasonings. I served this with brown rice, but this would go just as well with noodles or Thanksgiving potatoes.

You know the drill…Β  πŸ™‚

Sesame Soy Turkey Breast

  • 5 to 7 lb turkey breast, rinsed, innards removed, and turkey patted dry
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 -1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup toasted sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger (please make sure it’s fresh. It loses quality if it has been stored in the cabinet for too long)
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (use more or less of this according to your heat tolerance)
  • 1 can (14 ounces) good quality chicken broth
  • Sesame seeds and sliced green onions for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 400 and line a 13×9 inch baking pan with foil. If you butterfly the breast, you’ll need to use a larger pan plus adjust cooking time.
  2. Make sure your turkey is dry, add to pan and sprinkle it with the salt and pepper.
  3. Melt the butter, then add in the next 7 ingredients (everything but the broth). Stir well to combine and dissolve the sugar and spices.
  4. Using a pastry brush, baste the whole breast with the butter mixture.
  5. Roast at 400 for fifteen minutes, then turn heat down to 375 and add the chicken broth to the bottom of the pan. Baste with more of the butter mixture and continue doing that every fifteen minutes.
  6. Roast turkey until it is golden brown and crispy and has an internal temperature of 165f, about one and a half to two hours, depending on size and whether or not you butterflied it. Be sure you’re not touching the bone when testing. Leave in the pan, very lightly covered with foil, for at least fifteen minutes to allow the turkey to continue to rise in temp and to prevent losing all the juiciness by cutting into it too soon.
  7. You can either serve the breast with the drippings, as we did, or use them to make a gravy. If you have leftover basting sauce, you can use it as a delicious dipping sauce for the turkey. Just make sure to bring it to a boil and let boil for one minute to prevent any cross contamination.
  8. Slice thin and garnish with sesame seeds and green onions.

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Sesame Soy Turkey Breast 3

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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)
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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.

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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…. πŸ™‚

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

  • 2 8 ounce packages 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 to 3 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 πŸ™‚ 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

Streusel Topped Cinnamon Rolls With A Creamy Vanilla Drizzle

Streusel Topped Cinnamon Rolls With A Creamy Vanilla Drizzle

Streusel Topped Cinnamon Rolls With A Creamy Vanilla Drizzle



You ladies and gentleman know I love you to pieces (preferably small, easy to vacuum pieces. Just sayin’. I hate messes.), but no long post today. It’s one of those rare days where my silly factor is taking a nap. Now if I could just get my body to follow suit. πŸ™‚

I wanted to play around with the ubiquitous cinnamon roll. Why? Because I can and because have you ever known me to make ANYTHING the “normal” way? So I added streusel. …………….

Why is it that I don’t see surprise on even one face? Here I thought that my usage of streusel would come as a shock!

I also added a bit more richness (cause cinnamon rolls just AREN’T rich enough typically, right?) by adding a layer of butter into the dough. It’s nothing to be fearful of doing; it’s not quite as if you’re making croissant dough or any other type of touchy dough. This is simply one layer of butter, two folds of the dough and rolling and voila; JUST enough to add a touch more layer to the rolls, similar to, but not as layered as those flaky layer biscuits from a can that every single human alive loves to peel into as many layers as possible.

This is an easy yeast dough; not temperamental at all. Since it is butter and egg rich, it takes a while to rise so don’t stress it when it hasn’t risen in 45 minutes or so as many doughs do.

The finished rolls are rich and tender, but surprisingly not too sweet. If you like a sweeter roll, either add more cinnamon sugar as the filling or maybe sprinkle some on top of the rolls before putting on the streusel. Personally though, I think they are fine as is. You have the soft fluffy roll, the sweet cinnamon sugar filling, all topped with crunchy streusel and then finished with a creamy glaze.

You know the drill…

Streusel Topped Cinnamon Rolls With A Creamy Vanilla Drizzle

  • Cinnamon Roll Dough-
  • 2 packets dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (about 110 to 115 degrees. No hotter or you’ll kill your yeast.)
  • 1 cup milk, warmed to 115 degrees (it’s ok if it is a COUPLE of degrees more or less, but again, no more that that)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt (please don’t omit. I have people write me and ask why I put salt in baked goods. Beyond boosting flavor, it also tends to act as a stabilizer to the yeast)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 3 eggs, room temp
  • 5 to 5 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cool, but not refrigerator cold; let sit out for about 30 minutes (no, this isn’t a typo. This is for the added layer. Feel free to omit it if you just want regular cinnamon rolls.)
  • Filling-
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • Streusel-
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/8 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and sliced thin
  • Glaze
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, room temp
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 to 3 tablespoons milk (will vary depending on how thin you want your glaze)
  1. Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water. Let sit for about five minutes. The yeast will begin to foam and get bubbly. In the bowl of a stand mixer (you can do this all by hand or with a strong hand mixer, but both will take more arm strength. I love my stand mixer, lol), combine the milk, sugar, salt, room temp butter and the eggs. Use the paddle hook to blend well.
  2. Put the dough hook on now. Stir in the dissolved yeast and 2 1/2 cups of the flour. Beat until it is a ragged looking mass. Add in the flour, one cup at a time, and let the machine knead each cup in before adding another. Continue letting the mixer knead it until it is a smooth, silky cohesive dough that still has a very slight tackiness to it. It took me 5 1/4 cups but it may take you a bit more or less.
  3. Lightly oil a large bowl. Dump the dough into the bowl. Turn it to coat both sides with the oil, then cover with a clean cloth and set in a warm place to rise. I usually turn my oven on for about 45 seconds, then turn it right back off and place the bowl on a cookie sheet in there. Let the dough rise until it is roughly doubled in size. This will take anywhere from an hour to two hours.
  4. While the dough rises, make the butter layer. Cut the butter into three equal pieces. Lay them on a sheet of wax paper, then cover with another sheet. Use a rolling pin to gently beat them down into a flatter piece. You may have to scoosh them back together a couple of times. Once they are mushed somewhat (I know; such technical terms I’m using today), use the rolling pin to roll them into a flat layer of butter. Take this and place it flat in the freezer while the dough rises.
  5. Now go ahead and make your filling and streusel. For the filling, simply combine the sugar and cinnamon. Voila; filling.
  6. For the streusel, combine all the dry ingredients. Use a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the flour.sugar mixture. When it has large clumps, put down the pastry cutter and get your clean hands in there. It’s the best way to make a streusel. Just rub your fingers together in the mix, picking up, rubbing, rinse, repeat, until you have a nice crumbly streusel with some large pieces and some small. Set it in the fridge for now.
  7. When the dough is ready, lightly flour a large board or clean counter. Punch down the risen dough. Dump it out onto the floured board and knead it a handful of times, just to smooth it out. Roll the dough out into a 18 by 12 rectangle (this does NOT have to be exact.). Get the butter out of the freezer and peel off one sheet of the waxed paper. Place it butter side down onto the dough. Peel off the other sheet. Now fold the dough into thirds, as if you were folding a letter to fit into an envelope.
  8. Let the dough rest for five minutes. Now, reroll it (it’s going to be harder to roll now. You just added frozen butter into it, lowering the dough temp considerably) into an 18 by 12 rectangle again. Fold it into thirds one more time. Let it rest five minutes. Now roll it into a 26 by 12 rectangle.
  9. Brush the melted butter evenly over the dough. Sprinkle the sugar/cinnamon mix evenly over the top of the butter.
  10. Going from one of the long sides, slowly and carefully roll the dough into a log. Try to keep it as tight as possible so that you don’t end up with cinnamon rolls with big gaping holes through them.
  11. Cut the ragged end of of each end of the roll.
  12. Use a sharp knife ( or thread, which is how I do it) to cut the remainder of the logΒ  into 19 pieces. I know; strange amount, but that’s how it ended up πŸ˜›
  13. Butter a 13×9 inch pan and a 9 inch round cake pan. Place 12 of the rolls, about an inch apart in rows of three, in the 13×9 inch pan. Place the other 7 around the edges of the cake pan, not touching. Sprinkle evenly with the streusel, patting it down gently to help it adhere. Places the pans in a warm place (not the oven this time) to rise. Let rise until they are roughly double in size, about 45 minutes to an hour.
  14. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  15. When the rolls have risen. Place them on a middle rack in the 350 degree oven. Bake until they are puffy and golden brown and the streusel is also browned, about 25 to 35 minutes. Remove form the oven and let cool in the pans, set on a rack.
  16. When they are totally cool, make your glaze. Simply whisk together all the glaze ingredients until creamy. Drizzle over the tops of the cooled rolls.

Streusel Topped Cinnamon Rolls With A Creamy Vanilla Drizzle.jpg 1

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Easy Pumpkin Cranberry Bread (Recipe Redo)

Easy Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

Easy Pumpkin Cranberry Bread



Both times I posted this, I debated for weeks, WEEKS I say, as to whether it should be called pumpkin cranberry bread or cranberry pumpkin bread. I walked the floors, I lost weight from not being able to eat, I didn’t sleep for days at a time! Why, you ask!? (Pretend you asked) All for YOU! Yes, YOU, dear and faithful reader! All two of you. For this show of love, I believe I should have multiple boxes of Godiva truffles sent to me, along with large cars, house and land deeds and cold, hard cash.

I am redoing this recipe for two reasons- 1) because the original photo I took sucked donkey toes. I mean, we’re talking really really bad. Then, there is 2) which is that as good as the bread was back then, it could still be better. Now however? It’s awesome. It can’t be better. It is pumpkin cranberry (cranberry pumpkin?) nirvana. You eat this and angels weep, but only because they don’t have any. It has the perfect blend of squashy pumpkin flavor and tart sweet cranberry flavor, all mixed up in a perfectly moist bread redolent of warm Autumn spices and a touch of orange for zing.
This is a very easy bread to make. No chopping of this ingredient, dicing of this one. It uses canned pumpkin and canned cranberry sauce. Both of which also add incredible moistness as well as flavor to this.

You know the drill… git to cooking.

Easy Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange zest
  • 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1 (16 ounce) can whole berry cranberry sauce (use a good quality brand; I have found over the years that the cheap store brand ones use more sugar then fruit and it shows in the taste. I prefer Ocean Spray )
  • 1 (16 ounce) can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling; just pureed pumpkin)
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg yolk
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter or use cooking spray on one 8 inch and one 9 inch loaf pan. You can use both 9 inch pans if that is all you have, but you will have much flatter loaves and you’ll need to adjust your cooking time. Over the years, I have found this to be the best combination.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Whisk well. Set aside for now.
  3. In another bowl, combine the vanilla extract, orange zest and juice, cranberry sauce, pumpkin puree, oil and egg yolk. Mix well until it is relative smooth. You’ll have lumps from the cranberries of course.
  4. Dump the wet ingredients into the dry ones all at once. Use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to combine them together JUST until mixed. You don’t want a bunch of flour of the bottom of the bowl, but don’t over mix it. That causes tough bread.
  5. Divide between the two prepared pans. Smooth the tops and bake at 350 until a wooden skewer inserted in the middle comes out with just a few moist crumbs, no loose batter, about 45 to 60 minutes. The 8 inch pan will probably finish before the 9 inch.
  6. Let cool in the pan on a rack for ten minutes, then carefully invert it into your protected hand and then re-invert it onto the rack. Let cool for about an hour before attempting to cut.

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Easy Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

Easy Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

 

 

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