Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!


Hope everyone has a safe candy filled day!


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Apple Pie Caramel Apples

Apple Pie? Caramel apple?  It’s the best of both worlds!  For me anyway. I get the apple pie taste but not the mushy fruit texture that all to often goes along with it plus  there’s homemade caramel.  See? Win-win! You with me?


I got the idea to turn my caramel apples into an apple pie version after visiting a local farmer’s market.  There was a vendor selling caramel apples and I got to sample her apple pie one.  It was really good and I was tempted to buy one but I knew I could make my own.  :)

I googled for a good caramel apple recipe but only found  adaptations of Kraft’s, which uses their caramel candies. Nope, ain’t happen.  It was those candies and jar caramel sauce that had me believing I didn’t like caramel and I wasn’t about to ruin perfectly good apples.  Eventually I found a few recipes but it wasn’t until I saw Jonna’s  caramel apple post that I made my decision.  I’m so glad I did.  It was very good and it makes plenty of caramel.


For the caramel apple recipe you’ll need to click here (or use one you’re happy with) and visit Jonna.  If you wanna know how to make ‘em into apple pie caramel apples here’s how I did it.  This is more a method than a recipe.  After prepping my apples I crushed up a package of Maria cookies  (Thanks Eliana!) and added apple pie spice (add to taste) to the crushed up cookies.  I set it aside until I was ready to dip my apples. After dipping my apples into the caramel I popped them into the fridge for  about 5 minutes or so to get the caramel to firmed a bit.  Once the caramel firm up some but was still soft I rolled the apples into the crushed cookies.  I gently  pressed the cookies into the caramel and set aside on silpat lined pan to pop into the fridge. That’s it!     A couple of things I want to share.  My caramel didn’t really want to stick to the apples so I didn’t really get a nice thick layer of it on them.  I missed the part in the recipe that said to chill the apples while I made the caramel.  They were at room temp.  I don’t know if that was the sole reason the caramel didn’t stick so well but I wanted to make sure you knew.  The recipe makes a lot of caramel.  Also, I didn’t have apple pie spice and made my own. 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Bananas Foster Bread, Better Late Than Never


Have you guys met Maranda from Jolts & Jollies?  A month or so ago she blogged about making apple butter and in her post she mentioned having more jars of it that she knew what to do with.  In my comment to her I might have begged mentioned that I would happily take a jar off her hands.  Lucky me;  she immediately emailed asking for my address and not too long after I received a package from her with TWO jars of homemade apple butter and a Cooking Light magazine loaded with banana bread recipes.   Now if you know me at all, you know I love me some bananas so, that was a welcomed surprise.  :)  I immediately called Maranda to thank her for the package and during the course of our conversation she mentioned wanting to make this bread.  I quickly flipped and found the recipe for myself and concurred that it did look and sound good. 


Jumping ahead a couple of weeks…during an exchange of texts Maranda said that she had made the bananas foster bread and that it was really good.  Not to be left banana breadless I quickly resolved to make the bread myself and we agreed to blog about it together this Friday (today!).  Sorry, I’m so late Maranda!


This isn’t your mama’s banana bread.  It has ground oatmeal,  allspice, and dark RUM in it. Definitely stuff not found in your everyday banana bread and to top it off it has a dark rum glaze that’s poured over it while still warm from the oven. 


I made several changes to the recipe but Maranda on the other hand stuck to it so hop over and see what she thought of her bananas foster bread.

Bananas Foster Bread,adapted from Cooking Light


  • 1 1/2  cups  mashed ripe banana
  • 1  cup  packed brown sugar, divided
  • 6  tablespoons  butter, melted and divided
  • 1/4  cup  cognac or dark rum, divided (I used Meyer’’s Dark Rum) 
  • 1/3  cup  plain fat-free yogurt (I used sour cream)
  • 2  large eggs
  • 6.75  ounces  all-purpose flour (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/4  cup  ground flaxseed (I used old fashion oatmeal that I ground in my mini food processor)
  • 3/4  teaspoon  baking soda
  • 1/2  teaspoon salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground cinnamon
  • 1/8  teaspoon  ground allspice
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/3  cup  powdered sugar
  • splash of heavy cream, optional


1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Combine banana, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 5 tablespoons butter, and 3 tablespoons cognac in a nonstick skillet. Cook over medium heat until mixture begins to bubble. Remove from heat; cool. Place banana mixture in a large bowl. Add yogurt, remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar, and eggs. Beat with a mixer at medium speed.

3. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through allspice) in a small bowl. Add flour mixture to banana mixture; beat just until blended. Pour batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan  (I baked mine in 3 mini loaf pans.) coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour (my minis took 28 minutes) or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven; cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Remove bread from pan; place on wire rack.

4. Combine remaining 1 tablespoon melted butter, remaining 1 tablespoon cognac, and powdered sugar; (I found my glaze too thick and added a splash of heavy cream to thin it out.) stir until well blended. Drizzle over the warm bread.


Truth…all the adults that tried the bread said it was very good but my three were not impressed.  More for me then!  :)

Click here for a printable recipe.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Sour Cream Pound Cake

I’ve got blogger’s block, which I think stems from my dislike of the photos of this pound cake but it’s a good solid recipe and it wouldn’t be right not to tell you about it.  Especially if you have a cup or so of sour cream needing to be used.  :) 

sour cream bundt3

This pound cake was very good, great even but The best?  I’m not sure.  It’s got a tight crumb typical for pound cake but it’s not dry or crumbly and tastes even better the next day.  It is also easy to whip up.  I did make one “major” instead of using vanilla I used KAF’s fiori di sicilia.  I’ve been wanting to try it for awhile and finally caved in and ordered some about a month ago.  I don’t think it will replace vanilla as my first love but it’s definitely an interesting flavor. 


Sour Cream Pound Cake, a Paula Deen recipe


  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla, I used fiori di sicilia


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Add the sour cream and mix until incorporated. Sift the baking soda and flour together. Add to the creamed mixture alternating with eggs, beating each egg 1 at a time. Add the vanilla and pour the mixture into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Eat Your Cake and Have Your Veggies Too

zuchini-spice-cake For those of you that haven’t tried zucchini in cake form, now is the time.  Or is zucchini season over?  I’m not sure but if you can get your hands on some I highly recommend giving this zucchini spice cake recipe a try.  Top it with cinnamon cream cheese frosting and you’ve got a winner.


I know I’ve already mentioned but if you haven’t been to Lori’s blog yet you really need to.  Lori is super genuine and has wonderful recipes especially if you’d like to broaden your taste and skill level.

Zucchini Spice Cake w/ Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting, adapted from Lori’s Lip Smacking Goodness

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup olive oil (not extra-virgin), I used vegetable oil
1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups coarsely grated zucchini

Preheat oven to 350F.  Spray a 9 inch square baking pan with cooking spray.
In a small bowl whisk together dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.
In a larger bowl combine oil, brown sugar, vanilla and eggs. Mix in dry ingredients just until incorporated.  Fold in zucchini.  Pour into 9" square and bake for about 55 to an hour*. Cool to room temp, then frost.

*I cooked mine for 44 minutes and in all honesty I should have taken it out 2 or 3 minutes earlier.  You know your oven adjust the time accordingly.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 cup butter, room temp
4 ounces cream cheese, room temp
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, I used 1 generous tsp

Beat butter and cream cheese together.  Add confectioners sugar, cinnamon and vanilla and beat until combined.  You can adjust the amount of confectioners sugar to get the thickness of frosting you desire.

For a printable recipe, click here!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Cinnamon Sugar Apple Donut Muffins

Now that’s a mouthful.  A delicious mouthful. 


The recipe is actually called caramel apple donut muffins but I left out the caramel.  I know, I know. I love caramel but they were so good without the caramel I was afraid to mess with the good I already had. :)


I found the recipe on a blog called Willow Bird Baking.  Julie made an assortment of donut muffins.  She had powdered sugar donut muffins, chocolate dipped with sprinkles ones, jelly filled, and the caramel apple.  They all look great but I had to go with cinnamon and caramel.  My kids loved these and gobbled up in no time.  The only thing I would do differently next time is to add more apple.  My apple was a bit small so I’d use a nice big one or two small ones.  Happy Apple Baking!  :)

Cinnamon Sugar Apple Donut Muffins, adapted from Willow Bird Baking 

Batter Ingredients:

3/4 cup sugar

1 large egg

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 tsp baking power

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup milk (low fat is fine)

1 tsp vanilla extract 

4 tablespoons melted butter, for dipping

1/2 cup sugar mixed with 1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 apple, peeled and diced (I used a Granny Smith)

Prepare two mini-muffin pans by spraying with cooking spray.* Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.   Beat sugar and egg together in a large bowl until fluffy. In a smaller bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients and stir until combined. Add vegetable oil, milk, vanilla extract and mix.   Stir in apples.

Pour batter into prepared muffin tins, filling each about 3/4 full. Bake for 13-15 minutes until tester comes out clean.  Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for a few minutes before removing onto a cooling rack (if muffins are extremely delicate and difficult to remove, you may need to bake them a minute longer.) While the muffins are cooling melt the butter in the microwave and mix the cinnamon and sugar in a separate bowl. When the muffins are cool enough to handle, dunk the tops into the melted butter and then into the cinnamon-sugar mixture.

cinna-apple3*I made 24 mini donut muffins and 6 regular sized ones.  You can make 36 minis or 18 regular size ones.  For the printable recipe I used click here.

Monday, October 4, 2010

And The Randomly Chosen Winner Is …….


Avril, commenter number 6.  Congrats Avril on winning the Yoplait Splitz giveaway! 

Avril, I’ll be shooting you an email tomorrow to get all your info.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Yoplait Splitz, A Review & Giveaway


Yoplait and MyBlogSpark  recently gave me the opportunity to review Yoplait’s Splitz.  They also very generously offered me the opportunity to give you a chance to win the same prize pack.  My package contained a cooler bag, a roll-up picnic blanket, and a coupon for a free four pack of Yoplait’s Splitz.


The main yogurt eater in my house is Babygirl so she was my official taste tester.   She loved it.  So much so, she’s been eating one every morning since I purchased the first pack!  I’m okay with that because each serving is only 90 calories, has no high fructose corn syrup, no artificial flavors, or sweeteners.  Plus, it’s a good source of calcium and vitamin D.  (If you’d like to read more nutritional info on the Splitz, click here.) Win-win and I don’t have to battle with her over what to eat for breakfast.  The only other thing  she said was that she wished the portions were a little bigger.  :)


For a chance to win  this ------------------> Click over to Yoplait and tell me what flavor Splitz you think you’d like to try!  Don’t forget to leave a way for me to contact you!

A random winner will be selected on Sunday, October 3rd and the winner will be announced on Monday, October 4th!  Good luck!


Thank you to Yoplait and MyBlogSpark for providing me with a prize pack and the opportunity to give one away to you.  And so we’re absolutely clear the opinions written here are my 11 year old daughter’s and she did not get anything for giving them!