Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake

Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake (adapted from epicurious)
I thought the cake was even better the next day!!
For cake
  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened, plus additional for greasing bundt pan
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour plus additional for dusting pan
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin (from a 15-ounce can; not pie filling)
  • 3/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs

For icing
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons well-shaken buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
Make cake:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Butter bundt pan generously, then dust with flour, knocking out excess.
Whisk together flour (2 1/4 cups), baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, and salt in a bowl. Whisk together pumpkin, 3/4 cup buttermilk, and vanilla in another bowl.
Beat butter (1 1/2 sticks) and granulated sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes, then add eggs and beat 1 minute. Reduce speed to low and add flour and pumpkin mixtures alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture and mixing until batter is just smooth.
Spoon batter into pan, smoothing top, then bake until a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes (may need longer, mine took 55 minutes). Cool cake in pan on a rack 15 minutes, then invert rack over cake and reinvert cake onto rack. Cool 10 minutes more.
Make icing:
While cake is cooling, whisk together buttermilk and confectioners sugar until smooth. Drizzle icing over warm cake, then cool cake completely. Icing will harden slightly.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ghiradelli Lava Cakes

I made these for book club and I think everyone loved them! I like them because it isn't uncooked cake batter in the center, but rather chocolate ganache!

Note: it said to use a double boiler, I just used a saucepan on low and it worked fine. With that much fat in with the chocolate, I don't think you can ruin it! I doubled the recipe also


  • Centers:
  • 2 ounces Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate baking bar, broken or chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Cakes:
  • 4 ounces Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate baking bar, broken or chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 large whole eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup cake flour
  • Raspberries for garnish
  • Whipped cream for garnish


  1. To make the centers, in the top of a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl over barely simmering water, melt the 2 ounces of chocolate with the cream. Whisk gently to blend.
  2. Refrigerate for about 2 hours, or until firm. With your hands, form into six balls; refrigerate until needed.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray six 4-ounce ramekins or custard cups with cooking spray.
  4. To make the cakes, in the top of a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl over barely simmering water, melt the 4 ounces of chocolate and the butter, stirring occasionally until smooth.
  5. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, whisk the whole eggs, egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla on high speed for about 5 minutes, or until thick and light. Fold the melted chocolate mixture and flour into the egg mixture just until combined. Spoon the cake batter into the ramekins. Place a chocolate ball in the middle of each ramekin.
  6. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the cake is firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and let sit for about 5 minutes. Run a small, sharp knife around the inside of each ramekin, place an upside-down plate on top, invert, and remove the ramekin. Garnish with raspberries and a dollop of whipped cream.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Sprinkle's Strawberry Cupcakes

This recipe for delicious strawberry cupcakes is from Candace Nelson of Sprinkles Cupcakes.
The Martha Stewart Show, February Winter 2008
  • Yield Makes 1 dozen


  • 2/3 cup whole fresh or frozen strawberries, thawed
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 large egg whites, room temperature
  • Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners; set aside.

    2. Place strawberries in a small food processor; process until pureed. You should have about 1/3 cup of puree, add a few more strawberries if necessary or save any extra puree for frosting; set aside.

    3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a small bowl, mix together milk, vanilla, and strawberry puree; set aside.

    4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until well combined and fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and slowly add egg and egg whites until just blended.

    5. With the mixer on low, slowly add half the flour mixture; mix until just blended. Add the milk mixture; mix until just blended. Slowly add remaining flour mixture, scraping down sides of the bowl with a spatula, as necessary, until just blended.

    6. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Transfer muffin tin to oven and bake until tops are just dry to the touch, 22 to 25 minutes. Transfer muffin tin to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool completely in tin before icing.

    (for mini cupcakes bake 10 minutes)
Strawberry Frosting
I don't measure too much. Start with 1 stick softened butter. Add powdered sugar (quite a bit), vanilla, strawberry puree and a touch of milk. I just start mixing until it is how I want it.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Chocolate Ice Cream Cake

This is the cake I brought to Amanda's dinner. I thought I had already posted this recipe, but I was wrong...sorry for keeping this delight all to myself! Hope you enjoy it!! (The reason the amounts on this recipe are a little strange is because I have halved it. I made the full recipe once and there was waaaaay too much cake with little ice cream. This version I'm posting is the way I make it now).

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/3 cups flour
1/2 + 1/16 cups cocoa powder
1 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup (a little scant) vegetable oil
1/2 Tablespoon vanilla
3/4 cup very hot water
Ice cream, slightly softened
1/2 cup cream
4 oz. semisweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350. Grease 13x27 sheet pan and line the bottom and sides with parchment paper.

Sift together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk briefly. In separate bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Add wet to dry ingredients and mix at low speed for 5 minutes. Gradually add the hot water, mixing at low speed just until combined. The batter will be quite thin. Pour into pan. Bake 25-30 minutes.

Let cool in pan. Chill, covered, until ready to build the cake. Cut the cake in two equal halves. Place one piece on a serving platter and spread the ice cream on it all the way to the edges. Place second layer on top. Press down gently. Return to freezer while you make the topping.

In a small saucepan heat the cream to a boil. Pour over chocolate and whisk to make a smooth ganache. Remove the cake from the freezer and quickly spread over the cake.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Tri Tip Chili

My friend Alexia Hankins is an amazing cook - she catered our mother/son and father/daughter dances at school and was generous enough to send me home with some leftover tri tip. After discussing some options for leftovers, she casually listed a group of ingredients off the top of her head and said it would make a great chili...and it is one of the best chilis I have ever made! Use your last bits of leftover tri tip that are all broken up and un-slice-able, they are perfect for this soup.

Tri Tip Chili

1 red onion, diced, I used about 1/2 an onion
1 each red and green bell pepper, diced
2-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
2 cans black beans, drained
3 ears corn on cob, cut off corn
1 can tomato sauce
1 packet chili seasoning (or salt, pepper, cumin, whatever sounds good!)
tri-tip bits (I used about 1/2 lb worth, or approx 3-4 slices?)

Saute onion in a little oil, add peppers and finally garlic. When soft, add cilantro, then corn, then black beans, tomato sauce, and seasoning. Simmer for at least an hour, carefully stir in tri tip at the end.

I garnished with avacado slices and served it with my grandmother's cornbread recipe.

Mucho Queso Chip Dip

(I'll post a photo next time I make this, which will be soon!)

I found a version of this dip on the internet, and brought it to an activity last night, having never made it - but I could tell by the ingredient list that it had to be good! The whole pan vanished in minutes along with a Costco size bag of chips, so I think you all agreed with me! I promised several of you the recipe, so here it is:

Mucho Queso Chip Dip

1 lb ground beef
1 c diced onion
1 16oz jar salsa
2 16oz cans refried beans
2 14oz cans chopped green chiles
1 2oz can sliced black olives, drained
1 8oz pkgs cream cheese, sliced
2 c shredded cheddar cheese (I used cheddar jack)
(Jim Lindsay suggested the addition of garlic and cumin, which I think would be fabulous!)

Cook onions and ground beef til onions are soft and beef is browned and crumbled up. Remove from heat and add salsa, beans, chiles, and olives. Transfer to a 9 x 13 dish. Layer with cream cheese slices. Top with shredded cheese.

Bake at 400 for 15ish minutes (til cheese melts and it is kinda bubbly).

Serve warm with tortilla chips!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Betty Crocker's Potatoe Salad

I love potato salad, but when I buy it, it's always either too pickley or vinegary. The potatoes are always undercooked and too chunky. Here is the recipe I use, which is out of my good old Betty Crocker cook book from 25 years ago!

First I'll share the basic recipe then tell you the way I do it.


2 pounds potatoes (about 6 medium)
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. vinegar
1 Tbsp. prepared mustard
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 medium stalks celery, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
4 hard-cooked eggs, chopped

Prepare and boil potatoes for about 35 minutes. Cool slightly. Mix mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Mix in celery and onion and set aside. In large mixing bowl, cube the potatoes and eggs. Toss together. Pour the dressing on and stir. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours. 10 servings (about 3/4 cup each); 260 calories per serving.

I pretty much stick to this recipe with a few variations.

The first thing I do differently is to boil the potatoes longer than directed. I boil them until they start to fall apart on the outside. I also double the eggs. Doing these two things is what makes the salad so much creamier. Note: Because the potatoes are more crumbly, it's ideal to cool them in the refrigerator overnight so they don't fall apart when cutting up.

I cut the celery and onion into pretty small pieces.

I always make a double batch. Here I have catered to my whiny children and added the celery and onion to only half of the salad. They don't care for the crunch. This double batch was made to travel, as my mother-in-law always asks me to bring it to family BBQ's. Make it pretty by putting whole slices of egg on top and sprinkling with paprika.

With warmer weather coming, it's the perfect time to try this salad. It travels well and is even better the second day!

Sunday, March 20, 2011


TamiLyn’s family’s recipe
Main Ingredients:
16 cups popped popcorn
( two full batches in the hot air popper)
1 cup nuts (½ pecans, ½ almonds)

Syrup Ingredients:
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 cup butter
½ cup corn syrup
½ tsp  cream of tarter

Add after boiling:
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp baking soda

1) Place popped corn in clean sink.

2) Melt butter on low – will double in size when baking soda is added, so use a large pot.  Mix in sugar, corn syrup and cream of tarter. Bring to a “soft ball” on candy thermometer – 235 degrees?

3) Remove from heat and add vanilla and baking soda.

4) Pour syrup over popcorn and nuts and mix until thoroughly blended.

5) Pour out onto parchment paper and let cool.

6) Enjoy!

it is fun to color for various occasions!  think orange, pink, red, red white and blue!