Monday, May 31, 2010

Never Forget………………

The best Memorial Day cartoon by TigerHawkBlog.

Cox and Forkum,

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Lemon Lime Goodness


Lemme get this out of the way.  If you’re opposed to using cakes mixes you should probably stop reading and click the red “x” in the top right hand corner, because this recipe uses a cake mix and boxed pudding but that’s okay because in the end it was all kinds of lemony lime good!  If you’re okay with shortcuts that take you straight to yum than by all means please continue on….


I saw this  lemon lime cake at my buddy Monica’s.  She was contacted by Duncan Hines to review one of their recipes.  Lucky for us she chose this beauty.


Instead of making one big bundt like Monica I decided to cut my baking time down. I made one 6 cup bundt, 2 mini bundts, and 2 mini loaves.  Sounds like a lot of cake, right?  Well, they were ALL gone by the next night. Guess we like them. :) I did make one major change to the recipe and that was to leave out the first glazing of the cake.  It’s not a glaze in the traditional sense as you’re supposed to poke holes in the warm cake and pour the "glaze” over the cake allowing the cake to suck in the glaze and cool.  Monica mentioned to me that she thought it almost made the cake too moist and suggested foregoing that glaze.  I followed her suggestion and still ended up with a moist cake though I did lose the sugary crust the glaze makes.  


Lemon Lime Cake adapted from Lick the Bowl Good      (For the complete printable recipe click here)


Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 10-inch Bundt or tube pan.

For cake, combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, oil, 3/4 cup water and 1/4 cup lime juice in large bowl. Beat at low speed with electric mixer until moistened. Beat at medium speed 2 minutes.

Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool in pan 25 minutes. Remove cake from pan onto cooling rack.  Allow cake to come to room temperature before adding glaze.

 Lime Glaze by Monica

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • zest of 1 lime
  • juice of 1 lime

In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar and zest. Squeeze lime juice into bowl a little at a time. Stir until there are no lumps and continue to add more lime juice until the glaze is thin enough to drizzle. Pour over cooled cake and allow to set.


A little Baseball;  the Twins made their high school’s summer baseball team! Woohoo! Now I just have to figure out how to get them to all their games when I’m supposed to be working.  :)

Friday, May 28, 2010

Miss Karolyn’s Cake

hazelcake 2

If you read my last post, you’ll probably recognize the name Miss Karolyn.  She took all the photos in my last post and the ones here and here

hazelnut cake3

Karolyn is my children’s sitter and has been taking care of them after school and during the summer’s for the past five years.  We are very fortunate to have her as the children’s caretaker and also as a family friend. What I didn’t mention is that Karolyn is our resident chocolate lover.  Being that we’re not fond of chocolate she’s stuck eating bread pudding and bars.  :)  This past Tuesday was her birthday and for her birthday I made her this glorious chocolate hazelnut cake I found on Bake or Break.

cake slice

The cake turned out splendidly considering I only made one slight boo-boo……I forgot to fold in the 4 ounces of bittersweet chocolate!  Luckily it already had 14 ounces of nutella so it was still chocolate-y.  While Karolyn loved the cake, I tasted a slice and thought it would have benefited from the chocolate that I forgot to add in. It was chocolate-y but not that rich, decadent over the top chocolate taste you expect to get with a cake that has no flour in it other than 1/2 cup of ground hazelnuts. 

cake slice2

Click here for a printable recipe and my notes on toasting, peeling, and grinding hazelnuts.

Friday, May 21, 2010

If You Know Me…


you know that I love bread pudding, which means you won’t be surprised to learn that I turned my brioche into an amazing bread pudding. 


Pretty much since the moment I chose brioche as March’s baking challenge I knew I’d be turning that baby into bread pudding.  Banana brioche bread pudding to be exact and it turned out even better than I had hoped.  The recipe I used comes from The Craft of Baking, which I purchased on Megan’s recommendation.  (Thanks, Megan! So far so good!)  I adapted the recipe quite a bit  and to really push this breading pudding over the edge I  topped it with Emeril’s whiskey sauce, which I also adapted. 


Banana Brioche Bread Pudding, adapted from The Craft of Baking’s Berry Brioche Bread Pudding
  1. Unsalted butter, for greasing the dish (I used Pam)
  2. 2 TB turbinado sugar
  3. 1 cup heavy cream
  4. 1 cup whole milk (I used 2%)
  5. 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  6. 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  7. 2 large eggs
  8. 2 large egg yolks
  9. 3/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  10. 2 bananas, cut into 1/4 in slices (I just mushed mine with a fork leaving them a little chunky)
  11. 6 cups of brioche, cut into 1 1/2-inch dice


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°.  Butter an 8 inch square baking dish and coat the dish with the 1 TB of turbinado sugar.
  2. In a large bowl place the diced brioche.
  3. In a heat proof bowl, whisk together the whole eggs, yokes, and salt.  (I added the vanilla here.)
  4. Combine the cream, milk, granulated sugar, and vanilla in a large saucepan.  Heat over medium, stirring to dissolve the sugar, just to a bare simmer.  Remove the pan from the heat and pour one third of the cream mixture into the egg mixture. Whisk to combine well.  Return egg mixture to the remaining cream mixture and whisk to combine.  Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve placed over the bowl of brioche. Gently stir to coat all of the brioche with the custard.  Fold in banana slices.  (I stirred vigorously as I wanted some of the bread to breakdown.)
  5. (The recipe doesn’t say but let your bread soak for a bit to absorb all the yummy custard.  I check it after about 30 minutes to see how much custard the bread has sucked up.  You don’t need to do this step but I don’t like chunks of dried tasteless bread in my pudding.)
  6. Pour bread/banana/custard mixture into your prepared baking dish.  Sprinkle with the remaining 1TB of turbinado sugar and cover with aluminum foil.  Bake, rotating the dish (I didn’t do this) and removing the foil halfway through, until the top is crisp and toasted and the custard is set, about 45 minutes.  Serve warm from the oven. 


Whiskey Sauce, adapted from Emeril’s Whiskey Sauce

1 cups heavy cream

1/4 cup whole milk

1/4 cup granulated white sugar

1 TB cornstarch

1/4 cup bourbon or other whiskey

Pinch salt

1 tablespoons unsalted butter

In a 1-quart saucepan set over medium heat, combine the cream, milk, and sugar. Place the cornstarch and 1/4 cup of the bourbon in a small mixing bowl and whisk to blend and make a slurry. Pour the slurry into the cream mixture and bring to a boil. Once the sauce begins to boil, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat, add the salt, and stir in the butter. Serve warm.  (I think the bourbon/whisky could have been reduced but that’s just me.  I don’t drink and thought it was a little strong.  Rum would probably also work.)

***The lovely photos you see in this post were taken by my children’s sitter, the wonderful Miss Karolyn.  Thanks, Karolyn!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Burn, Baby, Burn

And burn it did! My meringue that is…


April’s recipe challenge was Emeril’s lemon meringue pie and was chosen by Michelle.  Normally we try to blog about our results by the first of the following month but someone, I don’t know who, held things up.  (Sorry, Ladies! :)) So, we’re a little late.


Except for my kitchen torch not working and burning my meringue a bit broiling it in the oven, I think this recipe was a success. All three of my children devoured their mini tarts, which is an excellent sign that they loved them.  I think I even caught Devon about to lick his plate!  :) I know he thought about it and wanted to. 


I made two changes to the recipe.  I used the Michelle’s pie crust recipe, which is actually Julia’s by way of Dorie.  And instead of making a 9 inch pie I made four, 4 inch mini tarts.   I’m most proud of my crust as it was the biggest challenge for me.  I’ve only made pie/tart crust once before and looking back I don’t think I did a very good job.  (Thanks, Debby for your encouraging post on pie crust!)  This crust was light and flaky, perfect! 

If you make 4 mini tarts you’re going to have a lot of the filling left over.   I’m not sure what’s in store for mine but I have an idea!  I didn’t have any meringue left because I piled it on and lost some of it out of the top of my piping bag, which I might have over filled.  Okay now you know the drill!  Hop over to see how Monica and Michelle fared with their pies! 


Pie Dough, for a printable recipe

(from Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan)

~yields enough dough for two double-crust pies** (You can find the halved recipe here.)

5 1/4 c. pastry flour or all-purpose flour

1 Tbsp. kosher salt

1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1 3/4 c. solid vegetable shortening (11 ounces), chilled

1 c. ice cold water

Fix mixer with paddle attachment (or use a pastry blender).  Put flour and salt in bowl and mix.  Add butter and mix on low until it is cut into dry ingredients and the mixture looks coarse and crumbly.  Add shortening in small bits and continue to mix on low.  When the mixture holds together when a small bit is pressed between your fingers, add the water and mix only until it is incorporated.  Turn the dough out onto a work surface and fold it over on itself two or three times, just to finish the mixing and to gather it together.

Divide the dough into four equal balls and flatten into thick discs.  Wrap dough discs in plastic and refrigerate for 2 hours or as long as 5 days.  When dough is thoroughly firm and chilled, roll for pie crusts.

**For baking instructions follow the recipe you’re using this crust in. 


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Monday, May 3, 2010

Where have I been? What have I been up to?



A dessert table for my brother’s wedding reception! I made everything except the flan. I made 11 different desserts for the table and a small wedding-ish cake for my brother and his bride. That’s TWELVE desserts baked in less than a week’s time! What about the rest of the time I’ve been MIA? Recipe research. For the past 7 weeks I’ve been trying out different recipes to see what ones would work. I even made cookies, twice and two different kinds! Macaroons and monogrammed sugar cookies.

I’m happy to say the reception was this past Saturday and was a yummy success! Things here are getting back to normal. My kitchen is anyway. Sunday I cleaned it, put everything up and even organized my pantries and cabinets. Now I’m going to take the next few days to catch my breathe and try to get over my temporary dislike of sugar and flour. :) I just wanted to let you know what’s kept me away from my blog and yours for so long. I hope to be back posting and commenting more regularly.

Many thanks to the following….Michelle, Monica, Julia, Shelly, Jonna, Jamie and my parents ! Thanks for your help. I really appreciate it!