Friday, October 25, 2013

White Texas Sheet Cake

Have you visited the blog Mel's Kitchen Cafe?  If you haven't I highly suggest that you do.  Mel has a TON of delicious looking recipes, both savory and sweet.  I've yet to make a recipe of hers that wasn't a winner.  This White Texas Sheet Cake is her recipe as well and it's a keeper.  Because I trusted Mel's recipe I changed things up just the tiniest bit.  I like orange and almond together so I added some orange zest to brighten things up.  Turns out that wasn't a bad idea as we loved the cake.  There is one little change I'll make the next time I bake this and that's to cut back on the frosting.  I thought it overwhelmed the cake.  Shocking I know!  I'm also thinking I'd like to try adding a thin layer of raspberry (maybe strawberry?) jam between the cake and frosting.  Mel made a coconut one that she claims was equally delish so I'm thinking this recipe is pretty forgiving when it comes to changing up the flavor.  Give it try and let me know what you think!

Monday, October 14, 2013

No Yeast Cinnamon Rolls; Recipe Rewind

The first time I made this recipe was back in 2009.  At that time I was getting over my fear of working with yeast and rolling out dough.  Looking back I can see I've come a long way, with my photography (still a long way from where I want to be, but improved nonetheless) and especially in the kitchen.  I no longer pass over recipes for any other reason than I don't have the time to put into them.  And when time permits new ones are approached with a "can do" attitude.  It feels good.  

I've made the "normal" yeast cinnamon rolls, these no yeast ones, and a "biscuit" version.  This recipe really is a winner, especially if pressed for time. Cinnamon rolls in under an hour using a recipe that doesn't sacrifice taste or texture?  Yes, please!

Looking for the recipe?  Click here and while you're grabbing the recipe check out my photography progress. Better, right?  I hope you give these a try and if you do let me know what you think, good or bad!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Blackberry and Ricotta Parfaits

These may sound a little weird but they're actually quite good. I don't think ricotta cheese instantly comes to mind as a dessert ingredient for most people.  But it does for me.  I first feel in love with it way back as a cannoli loving teen.  I loved it so much I checked out an Italian dessert cookbook from the local library just to learn how to make the cannoli filling.

Unfortunately, I don't have a recipe for you. It's more of a "method" as these were born out of my children's complete love of sweetened ricotta cheese and the need to use up some blackberries that were on their last leg.  (See Monica we love other things besides bananas! :-)

Here's what I did.... I took ricotta cheese, drained it, and then whisked in some sugar.  I've also used honey and powdered sugar.  Depending what I'm layering with the cream I've also added lemon and orange zest, Fiori di Sicilia, vanilla, and almond extracts.  Use whatever works for you.  My children will eat the ricotta cream just sweetened with nothing else, but they love it best with berries.  In this case I had some blackberries that had seen better days.  I tossed most of the blackberries into a small pot and cooked them down with a little bit of sugar.  Once they had released their juices and the berries were sufficiently softened I took them off the stove and I stirred in the few berries I had reserved.  (I did this to add more texture.)  While the berries were cooking I crushed up some Maria cookies for a third layer.  Because I wanted the contradiction of hot and cold, I had the cream chilling in the freezer during the few minutes it took to cook the berries.  Layer up the cookies, cream, and berries and your done!  Easy and delicious!  

BTW, if you haven't ben able to tell I am having serious issues with formatting! ughhh