Monday, May 21, 2018

Baked Blueberry Cake Donuts

I have been dying to figure out a recipe that is a copycat for the divine blueberry donuts a couple of local shops make. This is as close as I've come thus far. These are truly divine! It is a perfect way to use up those dehydrated blueberries too!

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup vegetable oil or canola oil
2 large eggs
1/4 cup dehydrated blueberries chopped
1/2 tsp blueberry extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup canned coconut milk
1 Tbsp lemon juice

Glaze and topping
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 Tbsp milk, or as needed
1 1/2 Tbsp salted butter, melted
1/2 tsp blueberry extract
1/8 cup dried chopped blueberries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  

Whisk  flour, baking powder and salt 
Blend butter and sugar in a mixer. Add oil. 
Add eggs (one at a time), blueberry extract, and vanilla extract. 
Mix in 1/3 flour mixture, 1//2 coconut milk and lemon juice. Repeat the flour and coconut. Last, mix in the remaining 1/3 flour. 

Place batter in a large ziploc baggie. Grease donut pans (I use non-stick spray).

Cut a small corner from bag and do your best to fill donut pans 1/3-inch from the top. 

Bake in preheated oven until donuts are set, about 8 minutes. Let cool in pan for 3 minutes then place onto a wire rack to cool.

For the glaze, in a medium mixing bowl whisk together powdered sugar, milk, butter 1/8 cup dehydrated blueberries chopped, and blueberry extract until smooth.

Dip cooled donuts in glaze then let excess run off and dip glazed portion in additional chopped dehydrated blueberries. 

Return to wire rack to let glaze set. 

Instant Pot Chicken and Potatoes

Using the Saute feature on the Instant Pot, melt 4 Tbsp. butter in the cooking pot. Whisk in 4 Tbsp. flour until it is a golden color with an aroma. Slowly pour in 3 cups water and 1 Tbsp. chicken base stirring till thickened. Add and stir 3 lbs. chicken to coat it in the sauce. Add 3 cans whole new potatoes, drained and sliced. Place the lid on the Instant Pot and press the stew/meat button. Allow it to run the cycle and naturally release. Stir and Savor! If needed thicken with more flour. 

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Chocolate salted caramel cookies

2 C. butter
1&1/2 C. sugar
1&1/2 C. brown sugar
3 eggs
3 tsp. vanilla
5&1/2C. flour
1&1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 small box instant Godiva caramel chocolate pudding 
3 C. salted caramel chips

Cream butter and sugars. Add egg and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients. and pudding. Stir in chips.
Bake at 350* for 13 minutes.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Caramel Almonds

Crunchy Caramel Almonds

3 cups untoasted sliced almonds
1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 stick butter 
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 250 *. Place the nuts in a 9x13 pan and set aside. 

Combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir while the butter melts and sugar dissolves, and let the whole mixture come to a slow boil.

Boil the mixture for four minutes without stirring. Once the four minutes is up, remove the pan immediately from the heat.

Add the vanilla and baking soda to the brown sugar mixture in the pan, and stir it in quickly.

 Immediately pour the bubbling brown sugar mixture over the nuts in the pan, and stir until the nuts are thoroughly coated with the caramel.
 Place the pan in the preheated 250 oven, and bake the caramel nuts for 40 minutes, stirring after every 10 minutes to prevent burning. 
Remove the nuts from the oven. Scrape them onto a baking sheet covered with foil or a silicone baking liner. Separate the nuts with a fork so they're not clumped up. Allow them to cool completely at room temperature. 

Lovely over a caramel/hotfudge drizzled slice of cheesecake!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Delicious Hot Chocolate

This homemade hot chocolate is easy to make and aromatically heavenly! 

The sugar is adjustable as well as the amount of cocoa and cinnamon sticks you use depending on your tastes.
Perfect for a chilly Fall day!

Bring 10 cinnamon sticks in 9 cups water to a boil. Boil for 5 to 10 minutes and remove the sticks. Meanwhile, combine 2 cups granulated sugar with 1 and 1/2 Tbsp. dutch process cocoa. Add water to the sugar mixture to create a paste. 
After removing the sticks from the water, add the sugar paste and boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 2 12oz cans of evaporated milk.
Pour yourself a cup and savor the wonderful flavor!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Easy Instant Pot Risotto

Basic directions for Risotto in the Instant Pot with the recipe for mushroom Risotto below.
Mix it up and try different vegetables, greens or herbs.

Set your instant pot for the saute setting. Add the butter and olive oil to the pot and use a wooden spoon or a silicone spatula to spread it across the surface of the pot. When the butter is heated, add the onion or shallot and stir to coat.

Saute, stirring occasionally until it softens and turns translucent. This should take about 4 to 5 minutes. Pour in the white wine, vermouth or substitute and stir to combine. Cook for a few minutes.

Add the rice to the pot and stir to coat the grains of rice completely. Saute for a few minutes, the rice will eventually become translucent around the edges, with a small white dot remaining. This means it's ready for the stock. Before you add the stock, add any tough vegetables if you're using them (ie. squash, asparagus etc.) and saute them for a minute or two, stirring occasionally. If you are using leafy vegetables, they should not be added until the last minute. 

Close the lid and set your pot on the porridge setting adjusting the timer for 10 minutes. Do a quick release and check to make sure most of the liquid is absorbed. Sprinkle in the cheese, season to taste with salt and pepper, and add up to another tablespoon of butter if desired. I added my pan sauteed mushrooms at this point (I don't like soggy mushrooms so I simply sauteed them in a separate pan adding them at the last minute thus achieving the perfect doneness for my tastes). Give it a stir to combine everything. If you're using fresh herbs or chopped greens, add them now, stirring to combine and wilt. 

1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1 qt. mushroom stock, vegetable stock or chicken stock
1/2 cup white wine, vermouth or substitute
1 medium shallot or ½ small onion, chopped (about ½ cup)
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
4 tablespoon unsalted butter (½ stick)
1 tablespoon  olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon  chopped Italian parsley
Kosher salt, to taste

Monday, October 2, 2017

Delicious apple/carrot cake!

Oh my goodness! HEAVENLY!! DIVINE!!!
A must have for Fall apple abundance!
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg

1-3/4 cups sugar
1 cup canola oil
3 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups chopped peeled tart apples
1 cup shredded carrots

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, cubed
2 tablespoons 2% milk
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted if desired

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 10-in. fluted tube pan. In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth; beat in egg.
For cake, in a large bowl, beat sugar, oil and eggs until well blended. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda; gradually beat into sugar mixture. Stir in apples, carrots and pecans.
Transfer half of the batter to prepared pan; layer with cream cheese mixture, then remaining batter. Bake 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in cake portion comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
For icing, in a large saucepan, combine brown sugar, butter and milk; bring to a boil. Cook and stir 1 minute. Remove from heat; whisk in confectioners' sugar and vanilla until smooth. Drizzle over cake. Sprinkle with pecans.
Saving my homemade tartar sauce recipe here and will update as I try new things, but it was amazing and became more delicious each day!

1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 scallion, including green top chopped
1 1⁄2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped dilled gherkins
1 tablespoon chopped capers
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp. tarragon (didn't try)
Fresh dill instead of parsley didn't try

Lemon Zucchini Bread

A Superb way to use up zucchini!

1½ c. all purpose flour
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
¾ c. sugar
1 c. finely shredded, unpeeled zucchini
¼ c. cooking oil
1 egg
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. finely shredded lemon peel

½ c. powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon zest


In a medium mixing bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
In a separate mixing bowl combine sugar, zucchini, cooking oil, egg, lemon juice, and lemon peel. Stir to combine.
Add dry ingredients to zucchini mixture; stir just until combined.
Spoon batter into greased bread pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes or until golden brown and set.
Cool in pan on a wire rack 15 min, then remove from pan and cool completely.
Once cool, combine ingredients for glaze and drizzle over bread.

Heavenly Halibut

The BEST halibut recipe I have ever tried! MOIST and DREAMY!

3-4 T melted butter
2 lbs halibut
1/2 c. mayonnaise
1/2 c. sour cream
2 tbsp. flour
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 small onion, minced
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 c. grated cheddar

Rinse halibut and pat dry.
Place melted butter in bottom of 9 x 13 baking dish. Add fish.
Mix mayonnaise, sour cream and flour together till smooth.
Stir in lemon juice, onion and cayenne.
Spoon the mixture over the halibut.
Bake, uncovered, at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, or until fish flaky.
Sprinkle cheese and chives over all and bake for 2 additional minutes or until cheese is melted.
Serve immediately. 

Amazing Crock Pot Potatoes!

Delicious and oh so cheesy perfect potatoes!

1 pound inch sized diced potatoes
1/2-lb bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 1-oz package ranch dressing seasoning packet
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons water
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup reserved
1/2 cup chives, chopped, to serve
sour cream, to serve
In a small bowl, mix oil, water and seasoning packet. Pour mixture over potatoes in a large bowl. Toss to coat all the potatoes in the mixture.
Into a lightly greased 6-quart slow cooker, add in 1/3 of the potatoes. Sprinkle 1/3 of the bacon and 1/3 of the cheddar cheese. Repeat 2 more times. Cover and cook on high 3-4 hours or until potatoes are cooked through.
Sprinkle with remaining cheddar cheese and cover again, allowing cheese to melt. Serve with sour cream and freshly chopped chives.

Copycat Gnocchi soup

This is a scrumptious soup to usher in a gorgeous Autumn day! This soup pairs perfectly with some garlic bread sticks. 
This is close to what Olive Garden may serve on their soup menu.

Gnocchi Soup
1T olive oil
4T butter
1 c onion
1/2 c celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
Put into a large soup pot and cook until celery and onion are desired doneness. Add:
1/4 c flour (whisk in)
1 qt half and half or cream
Simmer until thick.
Add 14 oz chicken broth (whisk)
1 c cooked chicken
1/2 t thyme
1/2 t parsley
1/4 t nutmeg
1 t salt
1 c shredded carrots
1 pkg (500mg) potato gnocchi
Stir above ingredients
Add 1 c chopped fresh spinach or kale - stir again
Cook and stir a few more minutes until carrots are cooked.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Banana Bars

Banana Bars

1  2/3 cups sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened 
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups mashed banana
2/3 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour  10 1/2 by 15 inch pan. 

Beat sugar and butter in a large bowl. Add in eggs and vanilla.

 Add flour, baking soda and salt to butter mixture.

Beat in mashed bananas and buttermilk at low-speed. 

Bake for 20 to 30 minutes until when gently pressed in the center it springs back.
Cool on a wire rack.

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 & 1/2 sticks  butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Cream the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla on medium until combined.  Add sugar and mix until smooth.

Salted Caramel Apple Bars

Salted Caramel Apple Bars

 2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 sticks butter
1 cup water
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups peeled and chopped Granny Smith apples

Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a 10-by-15-inch cookie sheet.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon.
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the butter and water heating until butter melts. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add in the flour mixture. Add buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla. Stir in the apples.
Pour batter into prepared pan, spreading evenly. Bake for 17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack for about 25 minutes.

1 stick butter
1/4 cup milk
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup salted caramel sauce (recipe at bottom of page)

Meanwhile, combine the butter and milk in a large heat-proof bowl. Microwave until the butter is melted. Gradually stir in the powdered sugar until combined. Stir in the vanilla and caramel until combined. Pour evenly over mostly cooled cake. Let set for about 15 minutes.

Caramel Sauce
1 cup granulated sugar
5 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 teaspoon Fleur de Sel (optional)

In a medium dry saucepan, cook the sugar over medium heat until the sugar melts. Turn off heat and whisk in the butter until melted. Whisking constantly, gradually add the cream. Whisk until the mixture is smooth. You will have leftovers of this caramel sauce and it will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks. It is delicious with apples dipped in it or over ice cream!

Coconut Sheet Cake

This mildly flavored coconut cake and frosting are heavenly. In fact, I suggest you have a get together of some sort just so you can make it! I recently took this to a family function and it was a BIG hit; even the little kids loved it! 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour an 18 by 13-inch cookie sheet.

3/4 c. butter, softened
1 1/2 c. sugar
4 eggs
1 c. canned coconut milk at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp coconut extract 
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 c. flour
1/4 c. cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda

Whip butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. In another mixing bowl whisk together coconut milk, sour cream, coconut and vanilla extracts until blended. In yet another bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter/egg mixture and mix on low speed just until combined, then add in 1/2 of the coconut milk mixture and mix just until combined, repeat with flour and coconut milk mixtures once more  ending by mixing in last 1/3 of the flour mixture mixing just until combined. Pour batter into prepared cookie sheet and spread into an even layer. Bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 23 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack.

1/2 c. butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened
3/4 tsp coconut extract
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Cream butter until smooth. Add in cream cheese and mix until smooth. Mix in coconut extract and powdered sugar and whip until light and fluffy, about 1 - 2 minutes. Spread evenly over cooled cake then top with shredded coconut and raspberries if desired. Cut into squares.