Blueberry Raspberry Mascarpone Crumbcake

Blueberry Raspberry Mascarpone Crumb Cake

Blueberry Raspberry Mascarpone Crumb Cake


My gosh, can you believe it’s almost September!? Wasn’t it just yesterday you and I were whining that we wanted warmer weather and pool season and bikinis and…wait, I never would have whined about wanting bikinis. That must have been you.

Where was I? Oh yeah, September…you whining over bikinis. But yeah, what happened to Summer? It can’t really be almost Fall, can it? My last two school age kids started back to school on August 12th with one in his senior year and the other in Kindergarten. I know, I know, my kids are spaced rather strangely. Kindergarten and senior is nothing, though. I also have a 19 year old and three in their mid to late 20’s as well as 7 grandkids, three of whom are older than my kindergartener hehe.

Man, I can NOT stay on topic today, not that there was really a major topic going anyway. Do you do that? “Ooo, shiny thing!” your way through life? I get distracted easily. Crap, I just did it again. I give up

Berry season is almost over sobs cause I love berries and I had cartons of both blueberries and raspberries I wanted to use before they went bad, but I didn’t know what to make. So what do I fall back on when I’m unsure what to do? I go for the crumbs! C’mon, you know me. Give me streusel or give me death! Because…streusel. Crumbcakes call it crumbs, but we all know it’s streusel with a nickname.

I have a cookbook that I frequently take out from the library. This time around I think it’s about 17 weeks overdue. Sorry, library people! Honest, I’ll get it back there! I really need to buy my own copy she says, channeling Captain Obvious The book is The Best Quick Breads by Beth Hensperger. I love this book (obviously). I have about 900 tabs in it for recipes I want to make, which is of course, why I keep forgetting to return it. One of them was for a Blueberry Cheese Crumbcake. I didn’t change a ton in this, but the changes I DID make made this so much more yummy. Sorry, Beth. No offense.

I used mascarpone instead of plain old boring cream cheese, plus I doubled the vanilla in the cake batter and changed the plain milk to buttermilk, as well as adding both some almond extract and a touch of lemon oil. Plus, I added vanilla in the mascarpone filling and a bit of lemon zest. and a smidgen of vanilla in the crumbs too. I also used raspberries as well as blueberries and probably doubled the recipe amount. Ok, so maybe I did make a few changes lol. Imagine that. This cake take a 10 inch springform pan, which I know some don’t have, but it’s worth the investment. I got a 3 pack of pans, 8, 9, and 10 inch, at Wal-mart, for under 15 dollars. They come in handy for more than just cheesecakes.

This is fairly easy to toss together and smells fantastic when baking. Because…well…crumbs…and mascarpone. Need I say more?

You know the drill 🙂

Blueberry/Raspberry Mascarpone Crumb Cake

  • Mascarpone filling-
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temp
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • Crumb topping-
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoon unsalted butter, cold and sliced thin
  • Cake-
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon Boyajian Lemon Oil (or sub 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract)
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 1 pint raspberries
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a ten inch springform pan.
  2. Make your cheese filling and set it in the fridge while you make the rest- In a small bowl, beat together the filling ingredients until smooth and well combined.
  3. Make your crumbs- In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add in the butter and vanilla and cut it in with a pastry blender. What I like to do is use a pastry blender to cut it in, then when it’s fairly well combined, use my fingers to mix it more. The heat from your fingers will help make some of the crumbs a bit chunkier, which is a nice textural contrast in the topping.
  4. For the cake, in a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until creamy. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Then add in the extracts and beat well.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the flour mixture, alternating with the milk, to the butter mixture, beating until smooth and fluffy looking. Start and end with the flour, i.e., flour, milk, flour.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan, then top with half of the berries. Top with the mascarpone filling, then the rest of the berries, Finally, sprinkle the top with the crumb topping.
  7. Bake at 350 for 60 to 70 minutes or until the top is light brown, the filling is set and the cake has started to slightly pull away form the edge of the pan.
  8. Cool for at least 30 minutes in the pan before removing the side for serving. Store leftovers in the fridge. This can be reheated gently in a slow oven or in the microwave for about 5 to 10 seconds per slice.

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





Cherry Browned Butter Crumb Cake

Cherry Browned Butter Crumb Cake

Cherry Browned Butter Crumb Cake

I haven’t made a foodie confession in a while, so I guess it’s time for a new one. Well, I did mention to a friend the other day that I like Spam, but since he is from Hawaii, where they very wisely love the canned meat, it didn’t really phase him as it would have many other food bloggers 😛

On to the confession. It’s no secret that I used to love Twinkies and Ho-Hos when they were owned by the original company. Now however, they are pretty bad. I’m still mourning and have been blocked from the Hostess site because of my insistence on periodic candlelight vigils lamenting the passing of the REAL Hostess products. One other thing I loved? Those horrid, dry, overly sweet crumb cakes. I can’t recall if they were Hostess or Dolly Madison. All I know is that every couple of months, I had to go to a convenience store and grab a pack. We won’t discuss how I also would buy a Little Debbie Brownies that was topped with fake M&Ms.

But, me being me, when Hostess became “Hostess Wanna Be” (and yes, I’m astute enough to realize they weren’t exactly gourmet in the first place), and they AND Dolly Madison products disappeared, I knew it was time to make my own goodies. I never really got around to the Twinkies and Ho-Hos, but I CAN make a killer crumb cake. Does it taste like theirs? No and this is a good thing lol. The one I make is better. The original recipe is from Food And Wine and while it was good, it was rather plain. I wanted to give it some flavor and I think I succeeded quite nicely.

You know the drill… 🙂

Cherry Browned Butter Crumb Cake

  • Crumb Topping-
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled and sliced thin
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Cake-
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temp
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups good quality cherry preserves
  1. Make your topping first- combine the flour, baking soda, sugar, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Use a pastry blender to cut the chilled butter into the flour mixture until it resembles small crumbs. Then get in there with your fingers and smoosh together the mix between your fingers to heat it up a bit and make larger pieces. Refrigerate while you make the cake batter
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 inch springform pan well with baking spray (the kind with both flour and oil in it) and put the pan on a baking sheet. This will protect the bottom of your oven from possible leakage. Put the butter into a medium pot and cook over medium heat until it has turned a golden brown color and has a nutty scent. Do NOT turn away form it as it begins to color as it can go from browned and delicious to burned and garbage very quickly. Pour into a bowl and set in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom.
  4. In another bowl (remember, always have someone nearby who has dish duty 😀 ), beat together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the vanilla extract, eggs and egg yolk and beat until well combined.
  5. Alternating the flour and the sour cream (start and end with the flour mixture) add them to the butter/egg mix. Beat just until combined after each addition.
  6. Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan. Spread to the edge of the pan. Cover with dollops of the cherry preserves and spread them to within a half an inch of the edge of the batter. Top with the other half of the batter and spread it carefully to the edges. Sprinkle the chilled crumbs over the top of the batter.
  7. Bake at 350 for 45 -60 minutes or until it is golden brown and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean, with a few moist crumbs, but no loose batter.
  8. Cool on a wire rack, still in the pan. When completely cool, open outside of pan carefully then gently slide a butter knife under the bottom of the cake to loosen it and carefully lift it off of the bottom of the pan and transfer to a plate.

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


I Like Taters Cause Taters Can Make You Mine…

I like taters, specially when eaten with lots of wine!! Ok, so my revamping of song lyrics leaves something to be desired. Like talent. But in my defense the song “I like Dreamin'” has been floating in my head all day long. I had to use it SOMEHOW!

Yes, I know taters can’t really make you mine either. But if I make them for my husband, they make HIM mine. Again. Or still. Or something.

Making these particular potatoes can quite possibly make anyone yours. Think crispy potatoes, gooey cheese, green onions, more gooey cheese. Wouldn’t YOU be someone’s sweetheart for that? I would. So maybe I would be someone’s sweetheart for a ten pack of Twinkies, a few Kindle E-Books and two liter of Coke but then, I’m cheap that way.

I found the original recipe for these potatoes HERE . I knew that, being me, I would change the recipe somewhat but honestly I didn’t do a whole lot. I added a teaspoon of jarred diced jalapenos, some extra cheese (you know me. I ALWAYS use extra cheese) and some green onion in lieu of the regular onion.

You need to try these. Trust me. Just cause I eat Twinkies and drink wine spritzers made with flat Sprite and cheap wine doesn’t mean I don’t know good potatoes when I inhale them. Admittedly, the above sentence isn’t the best way to endorse myself but oh well… Continue reading

Sometimes You Just Have To Give In

Sopapilla Cheesecake

I have a thing about not trying anything that is trendy, too talked about or gets the rating of “to die for”. I’ve mentioned before as a matter of fact how much I loathe that phrase. No matter how much of a foodie I am, there are no foods I would die for. Nope, not even Twinkies, Cheetos, a medium rare ribeye or a tall glass of Coke. I also tend to have a snobby streak when it comes to trying some recipes. Yep; me, the woman who happily uses cake mixes and cream of crap soups. For some reason when I bake, I want to know that I baked it, not that I used fifty six convenience products. Well, other than that cake mix thing. Don’t stop now! Click here!

Do you Ever Have Days When…

Maple & Sausage Corn Bread

…You probably shouldn’t be allowed near anything? Yeah, me too. Today is certainly one of those days.

I have a three year old who has absolutely no interest in being toilet trained and since I’ve done this five times before with no problem, I can only wonder what I’m doing wrong this time. And I’m getting bored washing peed in (or worse) “big boy pants” lol.

I made some scones for all of you that SHOULD have been awesome. We’ll just call them “Omelet Scones” because they had all the ingredients for an omelet tucked into a scone. Continue reading

Entering The Strata-osphere

Yeah, I know. I really need to work on my titles. But that was the best I could come up with for today.

With that title as a hint, I bet you can’t guess what the recipe is! Can ya, can ya can ya!!? It’sssssssss


Ok, so unless you’ve never read my blog before, you’re not falling for that one.

I made a strata. Gee, the title kind of ruined the anticipation of what I made didn’t it? Maybe I should start having really misleading titles and to see what I made, you have to click on a link or something.

Nah. Way too much work and we all know I try to avoid that if possible.

If you’ve read my blog for a while, you know about my love/hate relationship with bread pudding and the like. I absolutely LOVE it when I find or create a good one like my Pineapple Upside Down Bread Pudding or the
French Onion Bread Pudding I posted. But by the same token, I HATE them when they are dry, not creamy, boring and dull like the old time ones that were a bunch of stale white bread and a handful of raisins mixed with milk. Can we say “ick”?

Stratas are, in my mind, simply another version of bread pudding thus if it is good, I’m in love. And the one I created tonight was good. I had had a recipe picked out in a cookbook for one I wanted to try but for the life of me, I couldn’t find the recipe. Out of my 500000 cookbooks, I have no idea whatsoever what cookbook it was in. But I was determined to make a strata so I improvised. And it worked. Quite well actually. It is creamy with lots of meat and cheese and would make a perfect dish for an easy meal or to serve on a buffet or Christmas morning breakfast. It has a bit of spice but not overly so if you are one of those strange spice averse people you can still eat it. 😛

This feeds a lot of people… or two teen boys and my husband.

Cheesy Cajun Bacon And Andouille Strata

  • 5 hoagie buns, cubed (you could use Italian bread I’m sure but I had hoagie buns I needed to use thus this says hoagie buns 😛 )
  • 12 eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups milk
  • 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 14 to 16 ounce package smoked Andouille style sausage, sliced (I used Johnsonville brand)
  • 1 pound bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled
  • 5 green onions, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt (I used “Janes Crazy Mixed Up Salt” cause I love that stuff)
  • 1 teaspoon salt free Cajun seasoning (only use if it’s salt free or between the seasoning salt and the meats, the end result will be over salted)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 2 quart (preferably glass) baking dish.
  2. In a  frying pan, saute your sausage and green peppers until the sausage is lightly browned and the peppers are tender.
  3.  Set the sausage aside to cool.
  4. In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Add the milk and beat until blended.
  5. Mix in the rest of the ingredients.
  6. Let sit for about ten minutes to give the bread time to soak up the liquid.
  7. Pour into the prepared baking dish and drizzle with the melted butter
  8. Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes or until set in the middle (check with a butter knife or skewer. It shouldn’t come out with any loose dripping mixture on it.) and nicely browned.
  9. Let rest for about 5 minutes before cutting.


Shhh… You Don’t See The Word Pumpkin In This Post

Please tell me that, like me, you don’t feel that pumpkin recipes should only be posted in the 2 weeks preceding Halloween and only up until Thanksgiving and then they should be put away until the next year? Because if you don’t feel the same, there is a good chance that I will cry uncontrollably and will have no choice but to rethink our relationship.

I DO use pumpkin more when Autumn first arrives but then I seem to get into the pumpkin groove and don’t stop using it until…well, I just don’t stop using it. It’s a year round thing for me. I kinda like pumpkin.

So I figured that my Pumpkin Butterscotch Scones and my
Pumpkin Cranberry Bread needed company here in the blog.

Now normally when I make pumpkin bread, I make the pumpkin cranberry one. It is my favorite quick bread; very moist and flavorful. But for the longest time, I have had a printed out recipe for pumpkin bread that was just plain pumpkin bread. Literally had this for years and have never tried it. So I figured it was time. This comes from and while I don’t think it will take the place in my heart stomach filled by many slices of pumpkin cranberry bread, it was very good for a simple quick bread. It was moist and had good flavor albeit a milder one than I usually make. When I make it again, and I will, I will use more spices in it (I already doubled it so that’s saying something). I changed it a bit from the original but not much. So here you go. If you like pumpkin bread and like making things that twist up old standbys a little, try this one. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. I made this in 9 inch loaf pans but I think 8 would be better because the loaves were a little thin for my preferences. But when you make this, if you use 8 inch pans, you will probably have to cover it with foil near the end to prevent over browning since the cook time will be longer.

Secret Ingredient Pumpkin Bread

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 (4 serving size) package of instant gingerbread pudding mix (this is seasonal from Jello. I found it at Super Wal Mart. Also, the original called for butterscotch)
  • 1 (4 serving size) package of instant cheesecake flavored pudding mix (the original called for lemon but somehow lemon & pumpkin didn’t sound right to me)
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree (I used canned)
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour (or just use cooking spray) 2 8 or 9 inch loaf pans.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (including the pudding mixes) .
  3. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs well (BAD EGGS BAD EGGS! Erhmmm… sorry.)
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients to the eggs and mix well.
  5. Pour the egg mixture into the flour and stir until just combined.
  6. Pour batter into greased pans.
  7. Bake at 350 for about 70 minutes (longer if using 8 inch pans) or until wooden skewer inserted in middle comes out clean or with crumbs on it, no loose batter. Cover with foil if it starts to brown too much.
  8. Let cool in pan for about 5 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

You Put Da lime In Da Coconut And Shake It All Up

Hello everybody! Are we all in our places with bright shining faces? Wearing your pearls, makeup and high heels while listening to Mozart as you get ready to make something delicious?

If you are, you are quite possibly on the wrong blog page. Because here, I am in sweats and a t-shirt with no make up on (I’m honestly not sure if I even own any anymore) listening to The Backstreet Boys (Hey! Don’t judge. You can’t tell me you never listen to bubble gum music. Ok, so maybe I’m the only one listening to BSB’s. Still; don’t judge. I’ll cry. And make you eat liver. Or cows tongue.) Erhmmm, sir, does your wife know that you have on her pearls and high heels? I REALLY think you’re on the wrong blog page (*brain bleaches self*)

But I HAVE been cooking something delicious. Can you smell that? That lovely smell of the tropics coming at you from my kitchen? Well, sniff harder darn it! Because it’s there. yeah; there. Oh yeahhhhh… right thereeeee.

Sorry; got distracted for a moment.

Moving on. Wanna know where that smell is coming from? I made muffins! Lovely lime and coconut flavored muffins.

I was contacted recently by the lovely Miranda who was representing the company that makes Melt Buttery Spread and offered some samples of their product and the chance to make something yummy and review Meltâ„¢   (buahahahahaaaaa… the power. The poooooooowwwwwwwerrrrrr!. Sorry. I’m fine now.).

I of course said yes after looking at their site because the product sounded delicious. Melt is an organic alternative to butter  made with Virgin Coconut Oil, Flaxseed Oil, Palm Fruit Oil and a few other goodies. Talk about healthy! Flaxseed oil is so good for you and coconut oil is something very representative of the “good fats”. So Melt Buttery Spread is great if you’re trying to watch your weight or cut your cholesterol. Before cooking with it, I tried it on a slice of crusty French bread and it’s pretty darn good. You can definitely taste the coconut oil and anyone who has been following my blog knows I love me some coconut oil.


Here are a couple of links from them to go check out. and

I wanted to make something sweet (go figure huh?) and I wanted something that used the Melt Buttery Spread  in a melted state because a lot of times butter subs don’t work well when baking. So I decided on muffins. Many muffins use either melted butter or vegetable oil so I knew I could sub Melt easily.

One muffin I’ve been making for years is a Lime Coconut one I adapted heavily from one that is on  These are moist and delicious and smell as fantastic as they taste. I use coconut milk in them (am I the only one who has to force myself to not just stick a straw in the coconut milk can, slurp away and then lick the insides of the can clean?? You’re judging me again aren’t you? Sigh.) which gives them suchhhh a good taste.

The Melt went wonderfully in these due to it’s own ingredients. Like I said, you can taste the coconut oil in the Melt so making something tropical is a natural fit. So give these muffins a try. They’re a quickly made treat. May not be fancy but oh my do they taste great! They’re perfect for breakfast or a light dessert. Then go to the Melt site and check them out. Good stuff!

Tropical Lime Coconut Muffins

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup Melt Buttery Spread, melted
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest (I didn’t realize I was out of limes so I subbed  1/4 teaspoon lime oil; worked fine.)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coconut extract
  • 1 teaspoon rum extract (optional but adds nice flavor)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 12 cup muffin tin or line with paper liners.
  2. In a a large bowl, combine your dry ingredients, including the lime zest.
  3. In another bowl, combine your wet ingredients.
  4. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ones. Mix with a fork until JUST combined. Never over beat muffins or you end up with a tough tunnel filled mess.
  5. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full.  Bake at 375 degrees until tops are nicely browned and firm to the touch.
  6. Let cool in pan for a minute then turn onto wire rack to finish cooling.

Sweet(s Potatoes) For The Sweet??

Ok, time to start putting up recipes suitable for the upcoming Thanksgiving (in the states) and Christmas season. Seems to me that if we bloggers wait till like a week or 2 before the holidays hit to start posting the fun stuff, you readers (and other bloggers) won’t have time to use any of them because if you’re anything like me, you start perusing cookbooks, web sites and blogs for good holiday recipes in like… ohhhhhhh… July. 😛

I absolutely adore holiday cooking! I mean, I love it! My hips? Not so much. But oh well. I’ll do what I do with other things. I’ll make it, enjoy watching others eat the things I cook and only have a little bit myself. But seriously, I have mentioned before that I love this time of year. Not just because I enjoy cooler weather, which I do, or love the coziness of shorter days and longer nights, which I also do, but because I love the foods. Especially the ones traditionally served from Thanksgiving to New Years Day. Cookies (omg, I make a TON every year. It’s a tradition I started when my 3 oldest were young because I didn’t have the money to buy them gifts but I had food and it has never stopped… mainly because my kids would kill me if I tried to stop.), candies (FUDGE!!), desserts of other kinds (I could happily live on my recipe for Pecan Pie – that is, until I went into a coma from too much sugar and died), Turkey, ham, stuffing (do you call it stuffing or dressing?) and various biscuits, scones, muffins and quick breads.

Lord, I think I just gained five pounds from just writing that paragraph above. Plus, my keyboard is covered in drool, darn it.

Moving on… (hehehe…. I wonder now how many times I’ve used that phrase since I started the blog?), where was I? Oh yeah, quick breads. I have always thought that they were called quick breads not because of the ease of prep, though they ARE easy, but because of how quickly they get eaten 😛 . I swear, if I want any when I make them, especially this one, I have to hide a slice… or twelve.

I love sweet potato casserole. Yes, I even love the kind covered in 14,000 mini marshmallows; the one responsible for the 33 million cavities gotten by children during the holidays. I could eat it until it is coming out of my ears.  So when I saw a recipe years ago on for Sweet Potato bread, I had to try it. And it was good. Really really good. But it needed something. If only because I am genetically incapable of leaving a recipe alone. So I played with it. A lot. Until it really no longer resembles the original recipe. I”M SORRY! I’M A HORRIBLE PERSON WHO CHANGES RECIPES!! I NEED REHAB!!!

Ahem. Moving on. This has become a sweet potato casserole pineapple bread. I always put pineapples in my sweet potato casserole and decided to try it in the bread. it worked quite well. It adds a nice subtle tartness that goes oh so well with the dense sweetness of the bread. So give this a try. It is fairly quickly made (though a bit more involved than your normal quick bread) and it’s delicious. Sweet, moist, a fairly dense bread yet still light, with a nice crispy crust.

Sweet Potato Casserole Bread With Pineapple

  • 29 ounce can sweet potatoes, well drained
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup well drained crushed pineapple
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon (optional. Sorry bout that Ann. Don’t know how I forgot it in the ingredients at first.)
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour 2 loaf pans.
  2. In a medium heavy bottomed saucepan, combine the sweet potatoes, brown sugar, heavy cream and butter. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until the butter is melted. Use a potato masher to mash the sweet potatoes well, then continue cooking over low heat until the mixture is thickened and the cream has evaporated, about ten minutes. Set aside and let cool.
  3. As that cools, in a large bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, oil, pineapple and extracts. Beat well. When cooled, add in the sweet potato mixture and beat well.
  4. In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and spices.
  5. Combine this with the wet ingredients. Mix JUST until combined. never over mix quick bread or muffin batters. You’ll end up with tough tunnely (yes that too is now a word cause I said so) bread.
  6. Bake at 325 until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean; about 70 to 80 minutes.
  7. Let cool in pan on wire rack for five minutes then turn out onto the rack to finish cooling.
  8. Enjoy!!

Is It Tomorrow Yet? Also, Savory Gooey Onion, Cheese & Sausage Bread Pudding

Have you ever had one of those days you just wish hadn’t happened? Not a wish to start it over, but a wish that it just disappeared and never repeated itself.

Yeah. me too. Today was such a day.

I’m sure some of you have read me talking about (writing about?) my kids. I have six children, five boys and one girl, ranging in age from 25 on down to 3. I also have 5 grandchildren. As I’ve said before, I started having kids at age six… honest. 😀

One of my kids more frequently mentioned, if not here, on my FB page, is my son Jordan. Jordan is sixteen but is always going to be my baby. He is the sweetest boy you could ever know. But he is also Autistic, mildly intellectually challenged, has a severe case of ADHD, some OCD, and other things falling into the emotional/mental disabilities spectrum. He has the emotional and intellectual abilities of about an 8 year old. He is sweet, funny, loving & enjoys helping people. He loves to work with tools though that can end up with broken gadgets and bikes and what have you lol. He loves to “invent” things cooking but rarely does anything of it turn out to be edible. Heck, we all know what THAT’S like though huh? 😀 He loves our cats and adores his siblings. He worries about me and wants to take care of me forever.

He also can get overwhelmed when stressed out, discouraged, angry or pushed too hard. He doesn’t like rules and will rebel if he thinks that one is unfair. He wishes he could do everything but frequently tells me that he feels like he can’t do anything right, is stupid and doesn’t fit in anywhere. Those are the days that I feel my heart crack into little pieces. When he is upset and something (usually chaos or being pushed too hard) triggers him, he can also become violent and aggressive. Not in the bullying sort of way. When he is aware of himself and his surrounding, he wouldn’t hurt a flea and has been known to carry flies outside so that they wouldn’t die. But when he gets upset, he is no longer cognizant of how he is acting. he is pure adrenaline. Today was one of those bad days. He has been doing poorly in school, in part, in my opinion, because they are expecting too much academically from him. He is a sophomore who should have extreme modifications in his work but doesn’t. So when he feels like a failure, he doesn’t try and acts up to get out of working.

Today, something happened that made him lose control. From what I have been told, he sat in the wrong chair in class and rather than say the obvious “oh well, what does it matter? and let him sit there (it was a chair for petes sake!), it was turned into a control issue by the teacher and others were brought in to “help”. It ended with him being restrained (way bad move with an autistic child who doesn’t like being touched other than to be hugged), his biting and spitting on a teacher (again; think young child and temper tantrum) and him being suspended. Now, I agree with the suspension. He can’t be allowed to do that and there have to be consequences. But it didn’t end there. The school is pressing charges of assault against my 16 year old Autistic, mildly retarded, IQ of around 75 boy.

I want someone to explain to me what they think will happen to an extremely vulnerable mentally challenged boy in jail or juvenile detention. He isn’t the type to be able to fend off someone who wanted to hurt him or do other things to him. He would cry, he would beg for me to help him though I wouldn’t be there, he would fight as well as he could but ultimately he would lose. The problems he has also have led to poorer than usual muscle tone and strength. But they want him in jail. They want to take him and put him with men or boys who have REALLY committed assault, have raped, have committed armed robbery, have done drugs, abused parents or siblings and God knows what else.

I want this day to disappear. I want to hug my children and hide them in a cave so no one can ever harm them. I want him to be whole.

There is no subtle way to lead into a recipe today so I won’t try. I’ll just post it.

As Scarlett O Hara said, “After all, tomorrow IS another day”. Dear God, I hope so.

Savory, Onion, Swiss & Sausage Bread Pudding

  1. 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
  2. 1 tablespoons vegetable oil
  3. 9 cups thinly sliced onions (about 4 to 5 onions depending on size)
  4. 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  5. 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
  6. 1/3 cup dry red or white wine (I prefer to use a Cabernet  in this)
  7. 1 loaf (about 12 ounces) French or Italian bread, cubed (I use the garlic/Parmesan loaf that many stores carry in their bakery section.)
  8. 4 cups shredded Swiss cheese
  9. 1 cup grated fresh (not the dry nasty kind) Parmesan cheese
  10. 1 10 ounce package Tyson Italian Sausage Crumbles (or just use regular Italian sausage that you have cooked and crumbled)
  11. 4 eggs
  12. 2 cups heavy cream or a mix of cream and half & half
  13. 1 cup whole milk (you could try this with low fat milk and even use that instead of the cream too, but this isn’t supposed to be a diet dish lol)
  14. 1 teaspoon salt
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Melt 5 tablespoons butter with the oil in a large pan. Add in the sliced onions and the shallots. Cover and cook over low heat until the onions are tender and limp.
  • Uncover, turn heat to medium and cook the onions until golden brown and nicely caramelized. About five minutes before they look done, add in the garlic. Stir well and continue cooking.
  • When browned and cooked, pour in the wine. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the liquid is gone.
  • Butter a 13×9 inch baking dish, preferably a glass one.
  • In a large bowl, combine the bread, sausage and the onions.
  • Melt the last 5 tablespoons of butter and pour it over the bread mixture.
  • Add the cheeses.
  • In a small bowl, mix the cream, milk, salt and eggs.
  • Pour the egg mixture over the bread and mix well. Stir this well for about 2 to 3 minutes to make sure all the bread has a chance to start soaking up the cream mixture
  • Pour mixture into the prepared pan and bake at 350 until it is golden brown and cooked through, about 50 to 60 minutes. To check doneness, poke a butter knife into the middle. If it comes out wet or dripping, it’s not done. It should be the consistency of a cooked cheesecake. Firm and yet still creamy.
  • Let cool for about ten minute before you cut this.
  • This is an awesome side dish for a company dinner or a great light meal with a salad for the family. It’s also great for a weekend breakfast. It’s gooey, crispy at the edges because of all the butter used in it and cheesy and oniony and oh my, it’s SO good. One of my favorite side dishes in fact.