Monday, November 19, 2007


Chocolate will make your feet small!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Cinderella Cake

I went to a 40th wedding anniversary last weekend and it turned out to be a mini family reunion. We had such a good time visiting with our firends and family. On our first night there, we went to dinner at a relatives house. Sandra brought a pumpkin spice cake that was so good and moist. I had to have the recipe, so here it is. This would be a great addition to any Thanksgiving menu.

Cinderella Cake by Sandra A.

  • 2 c. sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 c. vegetable oil
  • 2 c. flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1-15 oz. can pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Beat sugar and eggs til well blended and light in color. Add oil, continuing to beat. Combine dry ingredients to egg mixture. Add pumpkin, mix well. Pour into greased 9" bundt pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes. Let stand in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto baking rack or platter and allow to cool completely. Frost with Coachman's Icing.


Coachman's Icing

  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 box powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 c. nuts, chopped (optional)

In a medium bowl, blend softened cream cheese and butter til smooth and creamy. Add vanilla. Then add powdered sugar until desired consistency is achieved. Frost and top with chopped walnuts or pecans (optional) before icing sets.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Thanksgiving Tradition

This is something my MIL has made for many years. She always doubles the recipe and we enjoy them throughout the year not just at the holidays. It has become one of my favorites and it's the one thing I request every year. I've also made it with black cherry-cranberry sauce (so good) but adding orange zest would be great too.

Pink Cranberry Freeze

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1- 16 oz. can whole berry cranberry sauce
  • 1- 9 oz. can crushed pineapple
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1- 16 oz. container Cool Whip, (softened til creamy)
  • 1- 16 oz. carton sour cream
  • Jellied cranberry sauce (optional garnish)

In a large bowl, blend cream cheese and sugar til creamy. Add mayonnaise (do not use salad dressing) and sour cream, mix well. Then add cranberry sauce, pineapple, pecans. Fold in cool whip until well blended. Do not over mix.

Pour in Pyrex dish and freeze til completely solid.

NOTE: My MIL freezes individual portions in muffins tins and keeps them wrapped in wax paper in airtight containers. This works well and you don't have to cut through a solid block of cranberry goodness. Just let frozen tins sit out at room temperature for about 5-10 minutes then release the cranberry freeze with a butter knife. (Silicone muffin pans would work even better!) Refreeze immediately. They will keep beautifully for several months. These are great served throughout the year and especially during the holidays. Garnish with a dollop of jellied cranberry sauce (optional).

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Cream Cheese Capped Carrot Cupcakes

I love carrot cake! My wedding cake was carrot cake- that's how much I love it. I thought I would post this recipe since it's the one featured with my title above. It's usually always smothered in swirly cream cheese frosting too and that makes it even better. But since it has carrots in it, it's healthy right ? And the frosting ? It's dairy so it's good for you too. Is it still healthy when you eat 3/4 of them all by yourself ? Not that I would do that :)

Carrot Cupcakes

  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1/3 c. vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp. fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 c. plus 2 tbsp. flour
  • 1/4 c. shredded coconut
  • 1 1/2 c. shredded carrots
  • 1/2 c. chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, combine sugar, oil, orange juice, vanilla and eggs. Stir in baking powder, soda, cinnamon and salt. Add the flour and mix. Stir in shredded carrots, coconut and nuts (optional).

Spray a muffin tin with nonstick spray or line with muffin liners. Distribute the batter evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, approximately 25 minutes.

Let cupcakes cool then frost generously with cream cheese frosting creating wondrous swirly mounds of creamy goodness.


Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3/4 c. powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, whisk cream cheese, sugar and vanilla together til creamy and smooth. Use immediately or store in refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Favorite Recipes For Our Friends

This recipe comes from my favorite cookbook that my grandmother gave to me several years ago titled Favorite Recipes For Our Friends. It was published in 1975 by The First National Bank in the town where I grew up. My grandmother taught me how to cook and encouraged me to get in the kitchen and make things. My favorite recipe from this book is Chocolate Nut Zucchini Bundt Cake because it's such a simple chocolate cake and it has veggies in it, so it's healthy right? Here it is with a few adaptations. It is so moist and delicious, I think I'm going to go have another piece :)

Chocolate Nut Zucchini Bundt Cake
2/3 c. cocoa
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 c. vegetable oil
3 c. flour
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
4 large eggs
3 c. sugar (plus more for coating pan)
3 c. grated zucchini (4 med. zucchini)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. chopped nuts (optional)
  • In a small mixing bowl combine cocoa and melted butter (mixture will be stiff and dry). Add vegetable oil to cocoa (it will resemble motor oil- don't be alarmed) and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl beat eggs and slowly add sugar, until thick and light in color. Add cocoa mixture to eggs until well combined, then gradually add flour being careful not to over mix. Once mixture is well incorporated add grated zucchini, vanilla and nuts (if desired). I prefer it without nuts.

  • Spray bundt pan evenly with non stick spray, then sprinkle with granulated sugar to form a sugar crust. Pour batter into pan about 3/4 full. A small amount of batter will be leftover. I usually pour the extra batter into a small pyrex dish, bake it and eat it while the bundt is still in the oven. Place pan in a preheated 350 degree oven for 65-70 minutes until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Note: the cake baked in a pyrex dish will cook much quicker than the bundt.
  • Allow to cool completely before removing from the pan. Loosen your belt, because you'll be eating more than one slice.

By the way, I used Hershey's Special Dark cocoa. I was afraid it would be too chocolatey (like there is such a thing) but it actually turned out better. Give it a try!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Why I'm Here

I decided to blog about baking and cooking because I really enjoy it, baking especially. I have another blog, but it's much more serious than this one so I thought this would be a good place to "let loose". I make simple recipes that don't necessarily look the greatest, but taste the best. Don't get me wrong, I don't make ugly food, but it's nothing you would see in an over priced shi-shi restaurant. I like warm your heart, make you feel better, comfort food. Food that reminds me of my childhood and my grandma's kitchen. I also like photography, so I take pictures of all my creations. I don't create my own recipes (because they are usually failures), but I like to try new things. If you have any favorites, let me know. And don't forget, if you stop by leave a comment. I like to know who my readers are :) Enjoy. ~Monica
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