Thursday, March 19, 2015

strawberry cake with strawberry cream cheese glaze.


Here's a homemade cake recipe for you that truly has a strawberry punch. 


Since I have been hoarding strawberries from the grocery store recently, I have found myself craving strawberry baked goods. I didn't just want to make a white cake with strawberries mixed in- I wanted a pretty pink cake that was packed with strawberry flavor. And this recipe was exactly what I was hoping for. The cake is soft, very strawberry-y, and pink! And the strawberry cream cheese glaze tops it off perfectly.

I hope you try it and enjoy it as much as we did!

~

strawberry cake with strawberry cream cheese glaze

cake ingredients:

1 cup butter, softened

2 cups sugar (I used half granulated, half stevia)
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups cake flour (see notes for substitute)
2 tablespoons instant strawberry-flavored gelatin (uncooked- just the powder)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk (see notes for substitute)
2/3 cup diced fresh strawberries

glaze ingredients:

1 cup powdered sugar
1-2 cups sliced strawberries
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 tbsp butter, softened
4 tbsp cream cheese, softened

instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Liberally grease a 13- x 9-inch baking dish with shortening.  Line with parchment paper, if desired. Lightly grease parchment. 
  2. Beat butter and sugar for 4 to 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, until well blended. Beat in the lemon juice and vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, strawberry-flavored gelatin, baking soda, and salt; Add the flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low until ingredients are just barely combined. Stir in the strawberries. Spread batter in prepared pan.
  4. Bake at 350° for 30 to 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. After 30 minutes, cover the cake with foil so the top doesn't brown too much. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack 30-60 minutes. 
  5. To make the glaze, I used a food processor. Beat butter and cream cheese until combined. Beat in vanilla and powdered sugar. Start by mixing in about 1 cup sliced strawberries to butter/cream cheese/powdered sugar/vanilla mixture. Keep adding strawberries until you like the consistency. Pour over cooled cake. 
  6. Because of the cream cheese glaze, we stored ours in fridge.
notes:

An easy cake flour substitute is just flour + cornstarch. For each cup, measure 1 cup of flour. Remove 2 tbsp flour and replace it with 2 tbsp of cornstarch. 

An easy buttermilk subsitute is milk + vinegar or lemon juice. For each cup of buttermilk, add 1 tbsp of vinegar or lemon juice to a measuring cup and fill milk to the 1 cup line. 


Friday, March 13, 2015

strawberry applesauce {no sugar added}.


Strawberries have been on sale for the past 2 weeks at the grocery store so I have been stocking up. Besides eating large amounts of them plain, I have been on the prowl for yummy strawberry recipes. I was super excited to find this recipe. 


This was my first time making applesauce. I always figured it would take too long so I never bothered. This was delicious and easy and I can't wait to make more again with different variations. You literally cut up fruit, add water and cinnamon, and boil/simmer until you can mash it with a potato masher. Stick it in a blender until you get the consistency you like. That's all!


~
strawberry applesauce.
recipe adapted from lemon tree dwelling

ingredients:


8 cups peeled, chopped apples

4 cups fresh or frozen strawberries, sliced
½ cup water (or 1 cup for thinner consistency)
1 tsp. cinnamon

directions:
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer until fruit is soft and you are able to mash it with a potato masher. This will take between 10-20 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
  4. Transfer applesauce to a blender and blend until smooth.

notes:

Original recipe calls for ½ cup sugar. I ommitted and applesauce was plenty sweet.

I cut recipe in half and it worked great.


Friday, March 6, 2015

3 ingredient frozen banana bites.


Did you know frozen bananas taste just like ice cream? They get that same creamy texture with all the sweetness included. It's an amazing thing.


Chocolate chips+peanut butter+bananas are all you need to make these healthier, sweet tooth-satisfying bites that taste like ice cream. Genius, right?

~

Ingredients:

1/4 ish cup chocolate chips (per banana)
Peanut butter
Banana(s)

Directions:
  1. Slice bananas and lay half of them flat on a parchment/wax/silicone covered baking sheet.
  2. Spread about 1 tsp peanut butter on each banana slice (as shown in first photo below).
  3. Top each peanut butter covered slice with the remaining plain banana slices (as shown in second photo below).
  4. Freeze for at least 30 minutes. This will make the next step easier.
  5. When banana bites are frozen, melt chocolate chips as directed on bag label. I used semi sweet but have also used vanilla almond bark with yummy results.
  6. Dip each banana bite halfway in chocolate. Return to baking sheet. Alternatively, you could spoon chocolate over each bite instead of dipping. This may require more chocolate.
  7. Return baking sheet to freezer and freeze until set. I left mine in an hour or two. When set, serve immediately or place banana bites in container and return to freezer. 









Monday, March 2, 2015

bacon guacamole grilled cheese.




I love how versatile grilled cheese is. I know that's a strange statement but think about it... You can use different kinds of bread- white, wheat, sourdough, and even cauliflower!
You can use a variety of cheeses along with so many different add-ins and it pretty much always turns out delicious.

Gant and I found our new favorite go-to grilled cheese.  It is loaded with bacon, gaucamole, and plenty of cheese- all between delightful, buttery bread. It takes a bit more time to make 
than a normal grilled cheese but worth every ounce of effort. Give it a shot and let me know what you think!

~

bacon guacamole grilled cheese.

Ingredients (per sandwich)

2 slices bread (I used flax & fiber)
2-3 slices bacon 
2-3 Tbsp Guacamole
1-2 Tbsp Butter, softened
2-3 slices of your favorite cheese

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare baking sheet with foil. 
  2. On top of foil, weave your bacon like this: http://diyready.com/how-to-make-a-bacon-weave-sandwich/. They used 3 slices, I only used 2 slices. Go with your heart's desire though ;)
  3. Cook bacon in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until however done you like it.
  4. Make your guacamole. I used 2 avocados and a seasoning packet. You won't need all the guacamole. With the extras, make more sandwiches tomorrow or eat it with chips or veggies. Refrigerate guac until ready to use.
  5. Butter one side of each piece of bread.
  6. Turn burner onto medium heat and place a nonstick skillet on it. 
  7. Assemble sandwiches. Put bread, butter side down, onto skillet. Top with your favorite cheese. Grant likes pepper jack and havarti and I like colby jack and havarti. 
  8. Top with bacon and close sandwich by putting the last piece of bread butter side up. Do not put gauc on yet. 
  9. Cook sandwich for a few minutes on each side, until it is grilled to your desired perfection. 
  10. Remove sandwich from skillet. Open sandwich, bacon side up. Carefully layer guacamole on inside of the sandwich. 
  11. Cut sandwich as desired & devour!




 







Friday, February 27, 2015

white chocolate snickerdoodle pudding cookies.



I have been eyeing these cookies on Pinterest for some time now and finally got around to baking them. They had me at pudding cookies. I've never made pudding cookies that disappointed. They are always thick, chewy, soft, and delicious. 

I also had some leftover cinnamon chips which I felt were the perfect addition to the white chocolate chips. If you don't have cinnamon chips or can't find them, just add an extra cup of white chocolate chips. You can't go wrong either way. Get baking, friends!








white chocolate snickerdoodle pudding cookies

Ingredients:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3.4 oz package white chocolate instant pudding mix (mine was 3.56 oz)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup Hershey's cinnamon chips

Instructions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats
2.  In a large bowl mix together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and white chocolate pudding mix. Set aside.
3.  In mixer, cream together butter, sugar and brown sugar.  Add eggs and vanilla. Mix together.  Add dry ingredients to butter mixture.  Mix together just until combined and lastly add the white chocolate chips and cinnamon chips. Fold them in gently.
4.  Scoop cookie dough with medium cookie scoop. Place two inches apart on baking sheet.
5.  Bake for about 8-10 minutes or until slightly golden.  Let cool and enjoy!