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!



Wednesday, February 25, 2015

blueberry banana doughnuts.





I got a doughnut pan for Christmas and I have been dying to use it. 2 months later, I finally got around to using it. 

We had a very ripe banana just begging to be baked and tons of frozen blueberries packed away in the freezer from this summer. Therefore, this was the perfect recipe to inaugurate this doughnut pan. (Did I use that word correctly? Hmph, probably not- oh well!)

If you go to the original doughnut recipe, I made several changes. I used different flour, sugar, and yogurt. I also made a delicious blueberry glaze which I highly reccommend. If you don't have enough blueberries or you prefer a more traditional glaze, you can't go wrong with vanilla glaze! Just go to whole and heavenly oven to find it. I hope you enjoy this health(ier) doughnut recipe as much as we did!

~

blueberry banana doughnuts {with blueberry glaze}


Ingredients
  • Doughnut recipe from whole and heavenly oven
  • 2 cups flour (I used all purpose)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (I used 1/4 cup stevia, 1/4 cup granulated sugar)
  • 3 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 medium ripe banana, mashed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup yogurt (I used strawberry greek yogurt)
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk (I used 1% milk+lemon juice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries 

  • Glaze recipe from blahnik baker
  • ½ cup blueberries
  • 1-1½ cups powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease a doughnut pan. Set aside.
  2. In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, mix mashed banana, eggs, yogurt, buttermilk, and vanilla until smooth. 
  3. Gently fold dry mixture into liquid mixture until just combined. Gently fold in blueberries.
  4. Fill greased doughnut pan 3/4 full of batter. Bake donuts at 350F 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool doughnuts in pan 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
  5. In a small bowl, mash blueberries (or stick them in a food processor). Add powdered sugar to blueberries until smooth. You want the glaze fairly thick so add powdered sugar as needed.
  6. Once doughnuts are cooled, transfer to wax paper (for easier clean-up). Dip them into the glaze or spoon glaze over doughnuts. 
  7. We left doughnuts out for 2 days then transfered them to freezer. Pop in the microwave as desired  and enjoy!


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

pretzel buckeyes.



Peanut butter + chocolate = pure bliss

^^
That right there is my favorite math equation. Ever. 

I have recently been enjoying peanut butter on a spoon and sprinkling chocolate chips on top. I read that on a food blog somewhere but can't remember which blog! Thank you to whoever shared that simple idea. I also love melting peanut butter and chocolate chips and dipping apple slices in it. And these. I love these.

They are simple and delicious- salty and sweet at the same time. A perfect bite sized treat. Grant who doesn't even like the pb+chocolate combination liked these- VICTORY!

I got this recipe from my sister's blog and I couldn't get enough- enjoy!!

~

pretzel buckeyes 

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar + extra (if needed)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • Pretzels
  • 12 ounce bag chocolate chips (semi sweet or milk chocolate)
Directions:
  1. Line a baking sheet with wax paper, baking mat, or parchment. Set aside. Beat together peanut butter and butter with an electric mixer until well combined. Scrape down sides of the bowl, add powdered sugar and brown sugar, and beat again until fully mixed.  You don't want the dough to stick to your fingers so add more powdered sugar as needed. 
  2. Roll peanut butter mixture into balls of about 1-2 teaspoons each and sandwich between two pretzels. Or alternately, you could spoon a dollop of the peanut butter mixture onto the pretzel and stack another pretzel on top. Place on prepared baking sheet and repeat until peanut butter mixture is gone. Place baking sheet in freezer for 30 minutes.
  3. When nearing the end of the 30 minute period, melt chocolate in a metal bowl set over a pot of simmering water or in the microwave, as directed on package. You want the chocolate as smooth as possible. Dip each pretzel sandwich halfway into the melted chocolate and return to baking sheet. Refrigerate or freeze until chocolate is set.
  4. The original recipes says these freeze well but we didn't need to do that ;)




Monday, February 23, 2015

cinnamon chip scones.


Have you ever had cinnamon chip scones before? For our anniversary, Grant and I stayed in a hotel and ate the restaurant there the next morning. They had the best cinnamon chip scones ever- I even ate 2! Being diabetic, I try to eat more protein at breakfast instead of the "bread-y"/high carb foods. That's why it was a huge deal I ate 2!

Within days of eating these scrumptious scones, I set out to find cinnamon chips and a killer scone recipe. I found it and I am sharing it with you- enjoy!!

~
cinnamon chip scones

Ingredients:

SCONES

  • 2 cups  all-purpose flour 
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (plus a little extra for brushing)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups Hershey's cinnamon chips

GLAZE

  • 1 cup  powdered sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons heavy cream (or black coffee or milk)
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F degrees. Place oven rack in middle-low position. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Dice the butter into small pieces
  3. Toss the butter into the flour mixture and combine it with a pastry cutter, clean hands, or two forks until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk the cream, egg, and vanilla together. Drizzle it over the flour mixture and toss the mixture together gently until everything appears moistened. Slowly and gently fold in the cinnamon chips. Do not overmix. Dough will be a little wet. 
  5. Work the dough into a ball with floured hands  and transfer to the prepared baking pan. Press into a neat disc or rectangle and cut into equal wedges with a very sharp knife. Using a pastry brush or a spoon, brush lightly with a little bit of cream. Separate the scones and line them on the baking sheet with a little space between each one.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden and cooked through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. 
  7. While the scones are cooling, make the glaze by whisking the powdered sugar, cream, and vanilla together until completely smooth. Drizzle over scones right before serving.
  8. The scones taste best immediately but are still extremely delicious warmed up for 10-20 seconds in the microwave!