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. 😛

Let’s start with entrees. Because…turkey…ham. Yummy. 😀

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. 😛  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 😀 ) 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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Lemon Poppyseed Gooey Butter Bars

Lemon Poppy Seed Gooey Butter Bars

Lemon Poppy Seed Gooey Butter Bars

It was 80 some degrees out yesterday. I turned the oven on ANYWAY. I need to be committed. During the time that these bars baked, the temp in the house went up to approximately 426 degrees. No, really. Would I lie? Next week, it is supposed to get down to the high 70’s during the day and the low 60’s at night. I can’t EVEN begin to explain my excitement over possibly being able to open the windows and sleep at night with real air, not recycled. Think prepubescent girl going to see her favorite boy band type of excited. Then double it.

These bars made the melting of all my skin layers worth it though. I have a major love for shortbread crusts on cookies ANYWAY (for whatever odd reason, they make me think of Christmas. Don’t ask. I dunno.), and the crust on these bars is sooo buttery, so crispy/crumbly, just the way a good shortbread should be. Add on a gooey, creamy topping filled with the flavors of lemon and butter, with the crunch of poppyseeds and I was in Heaven. Warning though; you notice the slightly grayish cast my bars have? I think I let my poppyseed love go a bit too far. These still taste fantastic which is why I’m posting them anyway, rather than remake them to have a better color for a photo, but yeah… a bit gray. So, in the directions, I am cutting them down a tablespoon. Feel free to add back in another tablespoon if you don’t mind the color.

You know the drill…

Lemon Poppyseed Gooey Butter Bars

  • Crust-
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • Topping-
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon oil
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3 tablespoons poppy seeds
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8 inch square baking pan with foil, then butter the foil or spray with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the crust ingredients. Beat on low speed with a hand mixer until it holds together and resembles coarse crumbs. Dump this into the prepared pan and press all over the bottom of the pan.
  3. Bake crust at 350 for about 10 to 12 minutes, until it is a light golden brown.
  4. For the topping, in a small bowl, stir together the lemon juice, corn syrup, lemon zest, vanilla and lemon oil.
  5. In another small bowl, whisk together the flour and the poppy seeds.
  6. In a larger bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until well blended and creamy. Add in the egg and again beat until well combined.
  7. Add the flour mixture to the butter/sugar mix, alternating with the lemon juice/corn syrup mixture. Beat until well mixed after each addition.
  8. Spread the mixture over the crust, smoothing the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. The top will be a light brown and the center will still have a very VERY slight jiggle. It will all firm up as it cools. You don’t want to overbake these as you’ll lose the whole gooey texture. They’ll still taste great, but they will be much firmer.
  9. When done, let cool in the pan until completely cool, then sprinkle with powdered sugar and cut into small squares. You can store these at room temp if you know they will be gone within a day or two. Any longer than that, and I’d suggest the fridge for storage.

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Lemon Poppyseed Gooey Butter Bars

Lemon Poppyseed Gooey Butter Bars

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Simple Lemon Meringue Pie Parfaits

Lemon Meringue Pie Parfaits

Lemon Meringue Pie Parfaits

Pssst. Remember me? I’ve been gone for a bit, but I’m back. I more or less took the Summer off because let’s be honest, you and I… who the heck wants to turn the oven on and do something like bake a loaf of bread, or make cookies or cupcakes, or things like that, when it’s 90 degrees outside? With my being primarily a baking blog, it made more sense to just rehash some delicious old stuff on my facebook page and wait out the heat. BUT… I couldn’t wait anymore. I missed all of you!! But I still can’t bring myself to turn on the oven, because Summer won’t take the %$#$%$%@ hint and go away. It’s 87 degrees outside as I type and our ancient, senile AC is whimpering trying to keep the house cool.

So, since I just HAD to come back (did I mention that I missed all of you!?), I played around with a nice cool, refreshing type of dessert. It uses mascarpone cheese and lemon curd as well as cream; three of my favorite ingredients. Add in a touch each of vanilla extract and lemon oil along with some crushed meringue cookies and there you have it (I also used some raspberries in here just because I wanted some color, but we’ll call that optional, if only because my brother has accused me of not being able to make a recipe with less than 12 ingredients :-P. This is so easy you could have your kids make it for a treat. It’s cool and refreshing, but don’t just relegate this to the hot months. I plan on enjoying this one this Winter, too. I made this in small glasses glasses, but you could also do these in tiny “shooter” glasses.

You know the drill… get to cookin’!

Simple Lemon Meringue Pie Parfaits

  • 8 ounce container of mascarpone cheese, room temp
  • 2/3 cup good quality lemon curd (I used Trader Joes brand; it’s the closest to homemade I’ve found)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped to firm peaks
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon oil or lemon extract
  • 1 container vanilla meringue cookies (I can’t say ounces, because they vary. Plan on using about 20 cookies)
  • 1/2 cup fresh raspberries (optional)
  1. In a small bowl, fold together the mascarpone, lemon curd and extracts until no streaks of white remain
  2. Carefully fold in the whipped cream; again until no streaks of white remain.
  3. Cover bowl and chill for about an hour.
  4. In small glasses, layer the lemon mixture, then a layer of coarsely crushed meringue cookies, then about 3 raspberries if you’re using them. Repeat the layers until you reach the top of the glass (small glasses will be about 2 layers).
  5. Chill until ready to serve. Garnish with a layer of crushed meringue cookie and a raspberry or two.  Also, if you want the cookie to be a crisp layer, serve immediately after assembling, because they will soften up as these chill.

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Lemon Meringue Pie Parfaits

Lemon Meringue Pie Parfaits

 

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Red, White & Blue Grilled Chicken Salad With Lemon Poppyseed Dressing

Red, White & Blue Grilled Chicken Salad With Lemon Poppyseed Dressing

Red, White & Blue Grilled Chicken Salad With Lemon Poppyseed Dressing

For many years now (we won’t discuss how many, thank you very much), I have loved watching the Summer Games when they air every 4 years. When I was young, I would sit and watch the swimmers and the gymnasts with my mom, telling her that someday I totally WOULD be doing that. While it made for great family time with my mom (something I have continued with my kids), it didn’t quite turn out how I had hoped. When it came to being a gymnast, I was too tall by the time I was ten. There are no 5’8” gymnasts. As for swimming, I can honestly say that if they ever create a category called “Floating In The Pool While Dozing And Getting Sunburned”, I’m the gal who will win the gold. Until then, not so much.

The athletes at both the Summer and Winter Games amaze me. The total dedication to their sport, the passion to succeed. I can be that passionate over a pint of ice cream, but to work as hard as they do to be the best? Again; they amaze me and have my undying admiration, especially these tiny little girl gymnasts who are so strong, so creative and so wonderful at what they do. I could never be one of the judges. I’d want to give everyone gold, then feed them all cookies and milk and tuck them in for a good nights sleep.

The thing is, we all live our lives the best we can, and while this may not be as exciting as competing in the games in Rio this year, it can be so medal worthy regardless. Admittedly, some days, you’re lucky to get a bronze, but life is about so much more than the gold, don’t you agree? For me, it’s finding my favorite flavor of ice cream on sale, it’s getting to the satisfying ending of a book I’ve loved and knowing that everyone lived more or less happily ever after, it’s time spent with family, enjoying the Summer games together and listening to my youngest son tell me that someday he will be a gymnast (he is already too tall. I’ll let him figure it out for himself) or a swimmer (we just got him out of the safety vest. Let’s NOT scare the momma), it’s listening to the wind rustle through the trees as I lie in the pool dozing, it’s creating a recipe that I know my family loves. Those are MY moments of gold and I’m honored to have been able to share them with you. What are yours?

Red, White & Blue Grilled Chicken Salad With Lemon Poppyseed Dressing 5

Meijer asked me to create a recipe for their More Than A Medal campaign. I knew I wanted to create a recipe that I thought any athlete of the games in Rio or aspiring athlete would love and also could eat with no guilt. I have to admit, this salad fits both criteria. It’s completely delicious. The chicken is moist and tender with a crispy outside and a tiny bite from the pepper. Mix that with the juicy berries and peaches, the crunchy greens and the creamy lemon poppyseed dressing and you have a definite gold medal winner here. All with no guilt. This is a perfect Summer entree for two that is easily doubled or more to feed extra hungry mouths. I hope you all love it as much as we did!!

Red, White & Blue Grilled Chicken Salad With Lemon Poppyseed Dressing

  • Lemon poppyseed dressing-
  • 1 6 ounce container Chobani non fat plain yogurt
  • 1/2 mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup good quality honey
  • 2 tablespoons Minute Maid lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (optional, but recommended)
  • 1/2 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Chicken-
  • 1 large Meijer True Goodness Boneless, Skinless chicken breast (about 8 to 10 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt free onion/herb seasoning blend
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • salt to taste (be careful with this if your lemon pepper is salted)
  • 1/2 to one full bag salad greens of choice
  • Fruit Mixture-
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup fresh blackberries
  • 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1 small ripe white peach, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
  • 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar or 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  1.  Make your dressing- In a small bowl, combine all the dressing ingredients. Whisk well to combine. Taste for seasoning. When ready, pour into a covered container (a mason jar works wonderfully) and store in the refrigerator for at least an hour to combine the flavors.
  2. About half an hour before you start the chicken, you need to get the berries ready. These couldn’t be easier. In a small bowl, combine the white balsamic vinegar and the sugar and honey and give it a quick whisk. Spoon the berries and peach chunks in with the vinegar mixture and toss gently to coat the fruit. Set it in the fridge until you make the salad, making sure to give it a good stir just before you add it to the salad.
  3. When ready to grill, preheat your grill to medium high if using an electric or propane grill. This can also be done easily inside using a grill pan. Pat the chicken breast dry. Coat with the vegetable oil on both sides. Sprinkle half the seasonings on one side of the breast and press it gently into the surface of the meat. Repeat on the other side.
  4. When the grill and the chicken are ready, place the chicken in the pan (or on the grill) and cook on one side until golden brown. Flip carefully to the other side using tongs and continue to cook, turning as needed, until the internal temp of the chicken breast is 165°f. Remove the chicken to a plate and let rest for about 5 minutes.
  5. While it rests, divide your salad greens between two plates. Slice your chicken breast on the bias and place half on each plate. Give your fruit a stir and divide it between the two plates. Whisk the lemon poppyseed dressing one last time and drizzle it over the greens, chicken and fruit. Serve.

Red, White & Blue Grilled Chicken Salad With Lemon Poppyseed Dressing 1

Disclosure- I was compensated by Meijer for this post. All contents within are original and developed by myself.

 

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Mile High Lemon Milano No Bake Cheesecake

Mile High Lemon Milano No Bake Cheesecake

Mile High Lemon Milano No Bake Cheesecake


No more rain!!!! I have now 8 children and 72 cats lost in the grass that we can’t cut because it’s too wet! And I don’t HAVE that many kids or cats here at any other time. The grass is starting to look like something out of a Stephen King novel. At night, I see eerie glowing eyes out there and I’m pretty sure I heard a satanic voice calling to me. Of course, I hear that same voice telling me to eat entire pints of ice cream, so that may have been my imagination. Plus, it’s Summer vacation now and my seven year old is home and it’s difficult to tell him to go out and play if 1) I’m afraid of him joining the eerie crowd, and 2) what can he do outside other than get wet and covered in ticks. The ticks are LOVING this weather. We can’t cut down their hiding places and every time the boys go out, we have to do a tick check when they come back in.

On topic, I have long had a steamy love affair with Milano cookies. Don’t leave me in the same state room with the chocolate orange ones them or I’ll finish them off before Cookie Monster can say “back away from the cookies!” I saw a recipe for cookies and cream cheesecake. It was the typical Oreo cookie type, which is of course wonderful, but I wanted something more Summery, more refreshing and bright. What better for that then lemon, right? So I grabbed some Lemon Milanos (gosh, I love those things!) and using that recipe as my inspiration, came up with this one. I used a store bought graham cracker crust because lazy is my hobby, but feel free to make a homemade one. This cheesecake is simple as can be, slightly tart and refreshing and has a mild crunch from the cookie pieces in it and on top. It’s nice and creamy but not overwhelmingly rich and man, does it fill a pie crust! On a side note,  I would imagine you could use any flavor of Milanos you want in this; just omit the lemon zest if it doesn’t go with the flavors.

You know the drill…. 😛

Mile High Lemon Milano No Bake Cheesecake

  • 1 9 inch graham cracker or cookie crust
  • 2 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 2 8 oz packages cream cheese, room temp
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon zest
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (cut this down to 1 1/2 if you’re using a different flavor of Milanos)
  • 2 1/2 cups coarsely crushed Lemon Milano cookies, plus more for garnish (buy two bags. You’ll have some left over. Hoard those for yourself 🙂 )
  1. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add in the sugar, vanilla extract, lemon juice and lemon zest.
  2. In another bowl (preferably with the bowl sitting in the kitchen sink, unless you like being splattered to death with cream), on low speed with a hand mixer, beat the cream until slightly thickened, then turn the speed up to high and continue beating until firm peaks form.
  3. Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture, then gently fold in the cookie
  4. Spoon the cheesecake mixture into the pie crust and smooth the top. yes, it is very tall and yes, that’s a lot of filling. 😀
  5. Cover the pie lightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or up to over night.
  6. When ready to serve, garnish with more crumbled cookies. Cut this into small slices. It IS a tall pie, so you’re getting a lot in a small slice. You should be able to get 12 servings out of this easily.

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Lemony White Chocolate Blueberry Streusel Muffins

Lemony Blueberry Streusel Muffins

Lemony Blueberry Streusel Muffins

We just got back from church a while ago and I figured I needed to get this written since at this point the muffins are long gone and the photos sitting on my desktop were constantly calling to me saying, “edit me! Edit me!”

Am I the only one who sits in church and while 99% of the mind is listening, the other 1% is totally off on a tangent? Mind you, in my defense, my tangents are pretty much always related to something church-ish (yes, that is now a word because I said so). Today, the gentleman in front of us was singing along and he had a sweet, if somewhat off key voice. The thought popped into my head that when we get to Heaven and our voices are raised praising God, I imagine it will be rather like in church. There won’t be a bunch of people with perfect voices sitting in perfect rows with perfect manners. It will be a mass of voices; the off key, the sweet soprano, the deep bass, the whispering alto and the childish murmurs of the young. I imagine we won’t be sitting on hard benches with politely folded hands; we’ll be shouting and waving our hands in praise as we listen to The Lord speak or shout in awe at the voices of an angelic choir. We’ll be on our feet or on our knees, but we sure won’t be silent. We certainly won’t be boring and worried about Sunday Manners.

I look forward to that in a way I never did when I was going to the quiet Lutheran church I went to as a child. The church we attend now took some getting used to for a lady who was used to quiet services, printed hymns sung in polite unison and above all else, manners, always manners. While I will probably (at least not in this life) never be a person who stands and waves my hands, who sings at the top of my lungs or shouts out “Praise God!”, I take a quiet joy in watching the tiny older lady who sits a few pews in front of us do so. I get choked up when I see the one man who always has his hands raised and a smile on his face that speaks of a elated communion with God. I find it hard to sing without tears as I hear all of these voices raised together in worshipful community and I see the worship leaders looking as though they feel that on that stage, in that moment, is where they want to be above all else. It’s not the songs I grew up with and I admit to being thrilled when we all sang “It Is Well With My Soul” a couple of weeks ago, but nonetheless, I think I have found my place, my home for this lifetime, the people I will watch grow and change over time. I look forward to that too.

Moving onto muffins, if you like the blueberry lemon citrus combo, this should be right up your alley.  Plus, they have streusel! What else does one need in life, right? I need to come up with a recipe for streusel topped streusel to satisfy my streusel addiction. In the meantime, I need to make more of these muffins. They are loaded with fresh blueberries, sweet white chocolate and lemon zest, then topped with buttery, crunchy streusel. These are perfect for breakfast, an afternoon snack or even dessert.

You know the drill…. 🙂

Lemony White Chocolate Blueberry Streusel Muffins

  • Streusel-
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and sliced thin
  • Muffins-
  • 1 cup buttermilk mixed with 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup good quality white chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease 15 muffins cups or line with foil or paper liners.
  2. Make your streusel- In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender until you have pieces that are about pea sized. Set aside
  3. In a small bowl, combine the buttermilk mixture and the oats. Let sit for about ten minutes to soften the oats.
  4. In another small bowl (you have someone to wash the dishes, right?), whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  5. In a large bowl (last bowl, I promise), stir together the melted butter, brown sugar and lemon zest. Dump the oats mixture into that and stir well.  Pour all of the flour mixture in at once and stir JUST until combined.
  6. Gently fold in the blueberries and white chocolate chips.
  7. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared muffin cups, filling each cup to near the top. Top each with a heaping tablespoon or so of streusel and gently press down (you’ll have streusel left over. Just put it in a tightly covered container or ziploc bag and freeze it for another time) Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the muffins are golden brown on top and a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Gently remove from the muffin cups and let cool on a rack.

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Lemony Blueberry Streusel Muffins

Lemony Blueberry Streusel Muffins

 

Lemon Ginger Pound Cake (Janet’s Cold Remedy)

Lemon Ginger Pound Cake

Lemon Ginger Pound Cake


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

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

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

You know the drill… 🙂

Lemon Ginger Pound Cake

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

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Lemon Ginger Pound Cake

Lemon Ginger Pound Cake

 

Elegant & Easy Lemon Almond Cake

Elegant & Easy Lemon Almond Cake

Elegant & Easy Lemon Almond Cake



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

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

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

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

You know the drill…. 🙂

Elegant & Easy Lemon Almond Cake

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon lemon oil (if you absolutely have to sub lemon extract, use 1 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup almond paste, room temp
  • 1/4 cup (half stick) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup thin sliced almonds
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a greased 8 inch cake pan with parchment paper, then grease and flour the paper (or use a flour/oil combination baking spray). Sprinkle the sliced almonds evenly over the bottom of the pan.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. In another small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the milk, lemon juice, lemon oil, and extracts
  4. In a large bowl, beat together the room temp almond paste and the butter. If it doesn’t beat well at first, do what I did- get a potato masher and mush the dickens out of it. It worked great. 😀 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

 

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Better Than Starbucks Lemon Cake

Yum

Better Than Starbucks Lemon Cake

Better Than Starbucks Lemon Cake

This is going to be a short post because I want to get this up before the three or four people who read me, all of whom probably found me while bored at work, leave for the day and never realize I made them a delicious cake. I know, I know, you’ll miss my rambling, but I promise to ramble even more than usual when I come back.

I USED to love Starbucks lemon pound cake. So did my husband. Then they changed how they made it. I have no earthly idea what the Starbucks people thought they were doing when they changed up their recipes and added others. Their pumpkin bread is still good, but in my humble *looks humble* opinion, that’s about it. I tried their new salted caramel bar, all happy because salted caramel and was completely disappointed. And my husband, the man who happily ingests cans of overly processed, heavily salted orange stuff marketed as cheese dip, thinks the lemon cake is kind of yucky now too *she says as tactfully as she can*

So I made my own. I used an old lemon cake recipe I hand copied from food.com a billion years ago when it was recipezaar dot com and played with it. Dare I say it turned out better than the new Starbucks? I DID however accidentally overcook mine a tad so the edges (my favorite part) were a bit dry, but farther in, not at all and the flavor was delicious. This has the sweet lemon taste in the actual cake that the old Starbucks cake had and the tangy glaze. I upped the ante a little bit by doing the old trick of soaking the cake with some lemon syrup. I know; not technically like Starbucks, but that’s why I have the word better in the title 😛

You know the drill….

Love you guys! <3

Better Than Starbucks Lemon Cake

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs, room temp
  • 1/4 cup lemon zest
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 5 lemons worth, depending on size)
  • 3/4 cup milk, room temp
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons lemon oil (I like Boyajian brand) (you can sub lemon extract, but lemon oil is so much better in flavor with none of the chemically taste the extract can have)
  • Syrup-
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Glaze
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8 inch loaf pans.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the butter and two cups sugar. Beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy and the sugar has had time to dissolve, about 4 minutes.
  3. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk to combine the flour, lemon zest, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  5. In a measuring cup, combine the milk, lemon juice, vanilla extract and lemon oil.
  6. Add the flour and the milk mixture alternately to the butter, starting and ending with the flour (flour, milk, flour, milk, flour), beating just until combined after each addition.
  7. Pour into the prepared pans; bake at 350 until a wooden skewer comes out clean, about 45 to 55 minutes. Cover lightly with foil near the end if it seems to be getting too brown.
  8. When done, let cool in pans for ten minutes, then turn out onto a rack that has been set over a large cookie sheet (to catch drips).
  9. While the cake cools, make the syrup- combine the lemon juice and sugar in a small pot. Cook over medium heat, stirring a few times, just until the sugar dissolves. Spoon the syrup evenly over the still warm cakes, letting each spoonful soak in before using more. You should be able to get it all soaked in, but if not, the rest is great in tea.
  10. Let the cakes finish cooling completely before glazing.
  11. To make the glaze, simply combine the glaze ingredients in a bowl; start with just the lemon juice as liquid and add water as you need to to get a pourable but not too thin glaze (mine was a bit thin… don’t follow my example 😛 )
  12. Let the glaze sit to harden a bit after you’ve used about half, then follow up with the rest. Then…. eat. Laugh at the Starbucks people.

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Better Than Starbucks Lemon Cake