Birthdays Galore….

August is a crazy Birthday month for us.

Aug. 1 KP the mostest rad girl  ;)

Aug. 3 sister in law & one and only neighbor

Aug. 9 Jeff  (the bff’s husband) but it’s a whole week..or month or year birthday at this point!  (some people really like to milk their birthdays)

Aug. 10 my little Bear

Aug. 11 my Wild Nephew

Aug. 12 My bro

Aug. 14 my loving Sunshine

Aug. 15 awesome two-some in-law twins

Aug. 16 Cousin Chris

Aug. 23 Cousin Beau

Aug. 31 my late Grandma Rita.  I always think of her on her birthday!  I bet she’s celebrating big time!

So for my peeps: you pick what or where to eat the homemade cake of your choosing!

Bear:

Dinner: Thai Spice

Flourless Cake

 

Gateau au Chocolat Fondant/Flourless Cake

Gateau au Chocolat Fondant/Flourless Cake

Sunshine  AKA Big G:

Dinner: Ichiban (sushi and Japanese)

Black Tie Mousse Cake

(this isn’t my cake recipe….found it on Pinterest, turned out pretty decent…especially since decorating cakes ISN’T my thing….my thing is: EATING CAKE!)

Black Tie Mousse Cake

Black Tie Mousse Cake

delicious but a bit time consuming to make...it's all for my Sunshine!

delicious but a bit time consuming to make…it’s all for my Sunshine!

yum!  <3

yum! <3

So with all this in mind….I CAN’T wait for September….because it’s MY birthday month!!!  ;)

Peace and Have Some Cake on this Fantastic Friday!

Isabelle

Tomato Soup Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Tomato Soup Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

Tomato Soup Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

At first I thought: yuck…

Then I remembered my: Not your mama’s apple pie  which is made with green tomatoes.

So I figured if Nate, my husband’s buddy from the Firehouse says it is delicious then who am I to judge.

I made the cake….turns out Nate’s Mom knows how to make a great cake even if it is with canned tomato soup, which I have never been a fan of, case and point: Cream of Roasted Tomato Soup.

reminiscent of a spice cake, slightly similar in color to a carrot cake....but absolutely delicious and moist!

reminiscent of a spice cake, slightly similar in color to a carrot cake….absolutely delicious, flavorful and moist!

Ingredients:

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1-1/3 cups sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoon allspice

1 can condensed tomato soup

1/2 cup shortening

1/4 cup water

2 eggs

 How to:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour an 9 X 13 baking pan.  Set aside.

In a large bowl combine your flour, cinnamon, sugar, ground cloves, baking powder, baking soda, and allspice.

Add your tomato soup and shortening, beat until well blended.  Add your water and eggs.  Beat for 3 minutes.  Spread into your prepared pan.  Bake for 35-40 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Let stand 10 minutes.  Remove from pan and cool on rack.  Cool completely before frosting.

a gorgeous pinkish orangy hue...very pretty!

a gorgeous pinkish orangy hue…very pretty!

wow! the smell is absolutely amazing!

wow! the smell is absolutely amazing!

Cream Cheese Frosting:

Ingredients:

8-ounce cream cheese at room temperature

1 tablespoon milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 lbs confectioner sugar

How to:

Whip cream cheese until light and fluffy.  Add you milk and vanilla combine well.  Gradually add your sugar until well blended.

cream cheese frosting....simply magical!

cream cheese frosting….simply magical!

Do you guys have an unusual recipe you would like to share with me?  If interested please email me at: isamvor@comcast.net I would love to blog with all my readers all the fun, perhaps bizarre yet delicious recipes that you want to share with me/us.

you know it's a good cake when my mom tells me it's a perfectly delicious and she must have it for breakfast as well! ;)

you know it’s a good cake when my mom tells me it’s perfectly delicious and she must have it for breakfast as well! ;)

Printer Friendly:  Tomato Soup Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Peace and Let’s be unusual,

Isabelle

Sour Chocolate Cake

Sour Chocolate Cake

Sour Chocolate Cake

I found this recipe a while back in my Saveur magazine.  I guess I held on to it so I could find a good reason to make it.

Reason #1.  We were on vacation.

Reason #2.  It was HOT outside and I was in heaven.

Reason #3.  I sat by a pool all day with nothing to do but sit.

Extra reason: I made dinner for everyone as a thank you for having us spend Spring Break with them….which meant my horrible lovely brother and my BFF Janine’s terrible wonderful husband Dan could torture me all night.  AND I FED THOSE TWO BAD BOYS!

Saying things like: “it’s more of a door stopper than a cake!”  “knocking on the table…what’s that?  Isabelle’s cake”  “remember when we were kids eating peanut butter and soda crackers having a whistling contest?  This cake would work as well”  “moisture, where are you?”  “I know what it’s like to eat sand now”  and on and on….

;)  I do love them both immensely but they thrive on torturing me!

this is what was left after they teased me about the cake....!

this is what was left after they teased me about the cake….!

Ingredients:

For the cake:
½ cup milk
1½ tsp. white vinegar
¾ cup shortening, plus more for greasing
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
½ cup cocoa powder
8 tbsp. unsalted butter
3 eggs, lightly beaten

For the icing:
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 tbsp. cocoa powder
¼ cup milk
5 tbsp. unsalted butter

How to:

For the cake:

Mix milk and vinegar in bowl; let sit until slightly curdled, about 10 minutes.

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 9″x13″ baking dish with shortening. Set aside.

Whisk flour, sugar, cinnamon, and baking soda, in a bowl; make a well in the center.  Bring shortening, cocoa powder, butter, and 1/2 cup water to a boil in a 1-qt. saucepan.  Cook, whisking constantly, until smooth, 5-7 minutes; let cool slightly.  Whisk in milk mixture and eggs.  Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until a smooth batter form.  Pour batter into greased pan and smooth top.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 25-30 minutes; let cool.

the start

the start

baked

baked

For the icing:

Whisk confectioners’ sugar and cocoa powder in a bowl.  Simmer milk and butter in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium heat until butter is melted, 3-4 minutes.  Whisk in sugar mixture until smooth.  Pour icing over cake; let set completely, about 30 minutes.

and the icing on top :)

and the icing on top :)

Printer Friendly: Sour Chocolate Cake

 pretty good cake if you ask me...OK OK I will admit a dollop of vanilla ice cream would have been heavenly!

pretty good cake if you ask me…OK OK I will admit a dollop of vanilla ice cream would have been heavenly!

Peace and I have my reasons,

Isabelle

Butternut Squash Cake

Butternut Squash Cake

Butternut Squash Cake

Is it weird when someone sends you a recipe and says: “this is a different kind of cake, it uses butternut squash, which might sound weird but it’s delicious and butternut is my favorite”.  To which my first thought was: “nope not weird, in fact I have a butternut squash just sitting in my fridge, ready for action”.

Because my reality is that I buy butternut squash pretty much every week, just because…I really don’t know why but I buy it all the times even though I never put in on my planned menu…now THAT is weird!  I always think I can manage to incorporate it somehow in one of our meals.  Maybe I should check with my people if this is appropriate or not.

Here’s another delicious recipe from Danielle my uncle’s girlfriend.  She gave me her recipe for: Spanish Cookies/Bars

Note: I had to make a few adjustments along the way because sometimes life dictates how things will fly around here.  I will note my changes along the way ;)

look at that gorgeous cake!

look at that gorgeous cake!

Ingredients:

1/4 cup golden raisin ***I dislike raisins…sorry…I used dried cranberries

2/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup whole-wheat pastry flour ***I couldn’t find the pastry kind so I used regular whole-wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon all-spice

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

3/4 cup butternut squash puree (see below for instructions)

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup canola oil

1 egg

1 egg white

How to:

Preheat your oven to 350 degree F.  Grease or spray a loaf pan (9X5).  Set aside.

Put your raisins in a small microwave safe bowl and add water (I did 1/4 cup water).  Put in your microwave for about 30-40 seconds to soften your raisins.  Drain and set aside.

In a medium bowl combine your flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt, all-spice and ground cloves.  Set aside.

In your mixer combine your pureed squash, sugar, honey and oil.  Mix well.  Add your egg and egg white.  Scraping the side of your bowl at least once and combining well.  Add your flour mixture slowly.

Using a spatula or wooden spoon fold your raisins into your mixture.  Pour mixture into your prepared pan and bake in your preheated oven for 45-50 minutes until lightly brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and let cool for 30 minutes more.

this batter smells amazing!  And the color is out of this world!

this batter smells amazing! And the color is out of this world!

time to cool things off

time to cool things off

a little more cooling and then we dig in

a little more cooling and then we dig in

Serve!

Squash Puree

Ingredients:

1 Butternut Squash

How to:

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.  Grease a baking sheet.  Set aside.

Cut squash in half and scoop out the loose flash and the seeds.  Place cut side face down on your prepared baking sheet.  Bake in your preheated oven for 50-60 minutes.  Cool completely before scrapping out the flesh with a fork.

Note: you could use frozen (thawed) or canned puree but it is definitely better to use fresh squash.

take one last good look at this little marvel!

take one last good look at this little marvel!

Printer Friendly: Butternut Squash Cake

Peace and Being Weird Is Cool These Days,

Isabelle

What to do with the leftovers butternut squash?  Here’s a couple of suggestions:

Sausage and Butternut Squash Ravioli

One of my absolute favorite sauce: brown butter...so simple yet so perfect

One of my absolute favorite sauce: brown butter…so simple yet so perfect

Roasted Butternut Squash Pasta

mouthwatering and gorgeous

mouthwatering and gorgeous!

Blueberry Swirl Bundt Cake

Blueberry Swirl Bundt Cake

Blueberry Swirl Bundt Cake

My sister-in-law (Mr. Man’s sister) gets me magazine subscriptions for my birthday.  Last year she included the Cook’s Illustrated subscription.  It is a wonderful publication.  Thing is, they really get down to the nitty gritty of why, how and why some more….something we all know is way too time consuming for a multi-tasker like myself.  I just have to get to whatever I need to do in about 1 shot and sometimes less!  Glad they do their homework, for them, for me….for all of us!

When I read their recipe for Blueberry Bundt Cake I was taken back on how simple and logical it was to make a blueberry puree (they called it a blueberry filling) for the cake as opposed to simply adding the blueberries to the cake mix.  Even distribution of the blueberry taste is pure genius!  Why didn’t I think of that?!  Well…..I remember….I didn’t think of that because I was probably rushing to make my cake in the past and didn’t stop to calculate how better it would be if the blueberries were evenly dispersed!

This is a beautiful cake, the taste is out of this world and it really elevates a simple blueberry Bundt cake to become an elegant dessert.

cake....such a marvelous creation!

cake….such a marvelous creation!

(Yes…I did change a few things….I had to make it mine!)

Ingredients:

For the Cake:

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

3/4 cup buttermilk

Zest of 1 lemon

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons vanilla

3 large eggs plus 1 large yolk

18 tablespoons (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 cups sugar

For the blueberry puree:

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

2 cups fresh or thawed frozen blueberries

Zest and juice of one lemon

How to:

For the puree:

In a small saucepan combine your sugar, cornstarch, blueberries, lemon zest and juice.  Using a wooden spoon combine everything well.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.  Let your mixture simmer for about 20 minutes.  Remove from the heat.  Using an immersion blender (or in your blender) puree your mixture.  I wanted some blueberry texture so I didn’t make it completely soft.  Let this cool to room temperature (very important to let it cool to room temperature to obtain the proper texture).  You will notice your puree will start to look and feel like jelly.  Set aside until ready to use.

thick delightful blueberry puree! YUM!

thick delightful blueberry puree! YUM!

For the cake:

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.  Grease and flour your Bundt cake pan.  Set aside.

In a large bowl whisk your flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl combine your buttermilk, vanilla, lemon zest and juice.  Set aside.

In a small bowl whisk your eggs.  Set aside.

In your mixer cream together your butter and sugar until pale and fluffy (about 3 minutes).  Add your eggs, combine well.  Reduce speed to low and add 1/3 of your flour mixture, followed by half of buttermilk mixture, mixing until just incorporated.  Repeat using 1/2 of remaining flour mixture followed by remaining buttermilk mixture.  Scrape down bowl, add remaining flour mixture, and mix at medium-low speed until batter is thoroughly combined.

Spoon half the batter into your prepared cake pan.  Smooth top.  Using the back of a spoon, create 1/2-inch deep channel in center of batter.  Spoon half of puree into channel.  Using a butter knife thoroughly swirl filling into batter.  Repeat swirling step with remaining batter and puree.  *there should be no large pockets of puree remaining.

the groove ;)

the groove ;)

here we go!

here we go!

it all makes sense...doesn't it?

it all makes sense…doesn’t it?

don't be afraid to swirl away!

don’t be afraid to swirl away!

and keep going and going....

and keep going and going….

looking all swirled up (does that even make sense?)

looking all swirled up (does that even make sense?)

Bake in your preheated oven for 60-70 minutes (mine took 65).  Let cake cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes, then invert cake directly onto wire rack.  Let cake cool for a few hours prior to serving.

fresh out of the oven!

fresh out of the oven!

Printer Friendly: Blueberry Swirl Bundt Cake

take a closer look inside! So gorgeous!

take a closer look inside! So gorgeous!

time to reward yourself for your hard work!

time to reward yourself for your hard work!

Peace and Genius,

Isabelle

Peanut Butter Cake

Peanut Butter Cake

Peanut Butter Cake

I love my husband.  I love that he is Captain of The Nice People Club… (a club I have NEVER been invited to…surprisingly!) but honestly I think he doesn’t know how to say no to people.  He went to a local Health/Holistic Fair for his magazine.  He met a lot of lovely people….and he bought me a small cookbook.

So anyway the cookbook (if you can call it) is filled with lovely homemade little recipes.  All of which benefits an animal shelter, so in his defense it all went to a good cause.  Problem is: I am a cookbook addict.  If I get a new one I HAVE to make something from the cookbook IMMEDIATELY….so on this lovely and rainy Sunday I decided that the Peanut Butter Cake with Peanut Butter Icing was my only choice.

1. I have all the ingredients

2. Peanut Butter is one of my fave

3. I didn’t have a dessert (which is also a problem when you are trying to be good and not eat too many sweets….)

4. My peeps like cake

and finally 5. I could make this cake with my eyes closed and holding a drink! (and I did!!!!!!)

a perfect choice if you ask me :)

a perfect choice if you ask me :)

Ingredients:

For the cake:

1 stick unsalted butter

1 cup water

1 cup peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)

2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup canola oil

1/2 cup milk (I use 2% organic milk)

For the icing:

1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature/softened

1 cup peanut butter

1/3 cup milk

3/4 cup brown sugar

How to:

For the cake:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease or spray a 9X13 baking pan.  Set aside.

In a medium size saucepan combine your butter, water and peanut butter.  Gently bring to a boil and let simmer for 2-3 minutes.  Let cool to room temperature.  (the mixture will thicken and somewhat separate as it cools but use a whisk and combine again)

try to contain your excitement while you look at this peanut butter mixture....riveting!

try to contain your excitement while you look at this peanut butter mixture….riveting!

In your mixer combine your flour, sugars, baking powder.  Add your vanilla, eggs, oil and milk.  Mix until just combined.  Scrape the sides of your bowl and add your cooled peanut butter mixture.  Combine well.  Pour into your prepared pan and bake in your preheated oven for 30 minutes.  Let cool to room temperature.

badabing....

badabing….

badaboom....cake done!

badaboom….cake done!

For the icing: 

In your mixer combine your butter, peanut butter, milk and brown sugar, whip until light and fluffy.  Spread over your cake.

I dusted mine with a little cocoa powder...fancy, right?

I dusted mine with a little cocoa powder…fancy, right?

I absolutely love this cake, it’s easy, it’s great for a get-together or get well surprise (please make sure they are not allergic to peanuts!)  I think pretty much everyone has these ingredients on hand!  That’s a pretty darn good recipe in my mind when you don’t need to reinvent the wheel and make something tasty and pleasing to everyone!

moist and the perfect treat for everyone!

moist and the perfect treat for everyone!

note: I did change a few things for this recipe (of course….I can’t leave anything well enough alone)  In my defense you will notice that the cookbook claims to be sugar-free….well the cake was calling for 2 cups of sugar and the icing 1 1/2 cups….mmmm that’s a bit much….even for me!

mmmmm Sugar-free??? regardless LOTS of delicious recipes!

mmmmm Sugar-free??? regardless LOTS of delicious recipes!

Printer Friendly: Peanut Butter Cake

one more pic before I say goodbye...it's a pretty photogenic cake if you ask me!

one more pic before I say goodbye…it’s a pretty photogenic cake if you ask me!

Peace and Just say NO….if you can!

Isabelle

Amazing Carrot Cake

Amazing Carrot Cake (hidden as a birthday cake!)

Amazing Carrot Cake (masquerading as a birthday cake!)

A few weeks behind on posting.  What can I say?  Life has a way of knocking you on your behind, slapping you in the face and reminding you of what matters most.

In my case: my husband & my girls; our little family.  The end.

The family.  We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another’s desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together.  ~Erma Bombeck

I decided to make this carrot cake for my husband’s birthday….even though he told me not to.  He said: “if we want this carrot cake we really should just ask Chris to make it.”  Bottom line my friend Chris made this cake for us once when they came over to play cards and hang out.  Chris is an excellent baker.  Matt fell madly in love with the cake.  Important fact: my husband thinks I might not do the cake justice.  I should probably agree with him but it’s his birthday and I wanted to make something special for him.

In this house I am not the ultimate baker.  Baking takes time and patience,  two things I am usually short on.  But it was my husband’s BIRTHDAY…I mean come on, I have to bake him a cake!  He usually requests his favorite which is my strawberry cake but this year the carrot cake was in the number #1 position!  It happens!  I do have to agree this carrot cake is simply delicious, moist and totally flavorful!

Chris found this recipe in one of her Taste of Home Magazines.  I went on their website to link up the original but I will be darn; they have a plethora of carrot cake recipes but NOT the one Chris gave me….sorry…I tried!

The BEST carrot cake I have ever eaten in my life!

The BEST carrot cake I have ever eaten in my life!

Ingredients:

For the cake:

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons cinnamon

3 cup shredded carrots (I think mine was closer to 3 1/2 cups)

1 20-ounce can crushed pineapple well-drained

2 cup sugar

1 cup canola oil

4 eggs

1 cup toasted walnuts

For the frosting:

2 package cream cheese

1/2 cup butter

2 teaspoons vanilla

7 1/2 cups confectioner sugar

How to (cake):

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease 2 8-inch or 9-inch round baking pans.  Set aside.

In a large bowl combine your flour, baking soda and cinnamon.  Set aside.

In your mixer combine your shredded carrots, drained pineapple, sugar, oil, and eggs.  Mix well.  Add your dry ingredients slowly.  Fold in your walnuts.

Pour into your prepared pans and bake in your preheated oven for about 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool completely.  Put on your serving plate.  Time to ice your cake and make it look pretty.  (something I usually fail miserably at!)

Lovely batter

Lovely start

just so you know my house smells like heaven!

just so you know my house smells like heaven!

take a closer look

take a closer look

How to (frosting):

Beat your cream cheese, butter and vanilla until blended.  Gradually add your confectioner sugar until smooth.  Spread generously between the 2 layers and all over this delicious cake.
Note: if you decide to make a sheet cake instead of a round layered cake you should make 1/2 the frosting.

Let's say I did a fair job on the decorating... :)

Let’s say I did a fair job on the decorating… :)

Printer Friendly: Amazing Carrot Cake

so moist and flavorful, simply amazing!

so moist and flavorful, simply amazing!

Peace and I love Birthdays especially my husband’s :)

Isabelle

Note: I am still on break from Facebook so if you have a chance to share on your wall or page I would greatly appreciate it…. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT.

Coffee and Mascarpone Icebox Cake

Coffee

Coffee and Mascarpone Icebox Cake

I have had this recipe in my “to-do” pile since 2004…I wish I was kidding.  I have no clue why I haven’t made it yet since I am a huge fan of Mascarpone….creamy, delicious and cheesy…how can you go wrong?!!

The only little problem I realize with this…you need to plan ahead.  Bottom line if at 3pm (like me) you decide you want this lovely treat for your dessert the same evening, well rethink your game plan…..or maybe learn to read recipes (no, I still don’t).  You need to let it set for 8hrs…story of my life.  No problem, I made another dessert that same day so everyone got a treat for dessert.  Which means that we have now have PLENTY of sweets in our home to last us all week.

Inspired by: Gourmet Magazine August 2004

2004….seriously…I mean where the heck have I been that having a recipe since 2004 seems like last week.  Dang it.

maybe not the most photogenic cake but perfect nonetheless

maybe not the most photogenic cake but perfect nonetheless

I had to change a few things and I couldn’t find good espresso powder.  But the cake is lovely regardless.  The Mascarpone really makes this cake delicious….and I mean 5 ingredients…you can’t ask for an easier recipe in your bag of tricks ;)

Ingredients:

3 cups chilled heavy cream

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar

1 8-ounce container Mascarpone cheese at room temperature

1 (9-oz) box chocolate wafers such as Nabisco Famous

1 tablespoon instant coffee powder

How to:

Beat 2 cups cream with 6 tablespoons sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until it just holds soft peaks, 2 to 4 minutes. Reduce speed to low, then add mascarpone and mix until combined.

Spread 1 1/4 cups mascarpone mixture evenly in bottom of springform pan and cover with 14 wafers, slightly overlapping if necessary. Spread with another 1 1/4 cups mascarpone mixture, followed by 14 more wafers arranged in the same manner. Spread remaining mascarpone mixture on top. Smooth top with a metal offset spatula, then cover pan with foil and freeze until firm, about 1 hour. Transfer from freezer to refrigerator and chill, covered, until a sharp knife inserted into center cuts through softened wafers easily, about 8 hours.

layering

layering

Pulse remaining chocolate wafers in a food processor until finely ground.

Beat remaining cup cream with coffee powder and remaining 3 tablespoons sugar using electric mixer at medium speed until it just holds stiff peaks, about 3 minutes.

Remove foil and side of pan and frost cake all over with espresso cream. Sprinkle edge of top lightly with wafer crumbs. Serve cold.

Delicious and a nice change for dessert

Delicious and a nice change for dessert

Printer Friendly: Coffee and Mascarpone Icebox Cake

lovely, light and creamy icebox cake

lovely, light and creamy icebox cake

Peace and Don’t wait 9 years to make a recipe,

Isabelle

Chewy Molasses Squares

Chewy Molasses Squares

Chewy Molasses Squares

In an effort to be on top of things and not wait until the last minute to do everything in my life, I thought I should read/re-read my everyday Food Issue #80.  This issue will be for my March installment of “let’s not have these little magnificent magazines sit on my bookshelf being unused”….so far I have only missed December…I was probably in a food or alcohol relaxed state (just being honest here) so that doesn’t count.  Now my February was kind of a bore to me….a delicious bore but a bore none the less.  This next issue however is fabuuuuulous and since I am “the craziest visual person who can’t stop thinking about a food if it looks good”….I had to make this lovely recipe from this issue.  The picture alone in the magazine sent me into some sort of a girlie giggling fit. (not a pretty sight let me assure you)

No this is not the monthly installment…this is a little bonus for you guys!  Also technically it was sent in by a reader and NOT a creation of Mrs Stewart or her staff therefore I am in the clear!

Can one really be in trouble for giving too many delicious recipes and/or not following her own rules of sharing from a monthly magazine???

enough talking let's get to the recipe

enough talking let’s get to the recipe

Ingredients:

Nonstick cooking spray

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 cup unsulfured molasses (unsulfured molasses has a purer sugar-cane taste than sulfured)

4 large egg whites

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

How to:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly coat an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray.  In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.  In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and granulated sugar on medium-high until pale and fluffy, 4 minutes.  With mixer on medium, add molasses and egg whites and beat until combined.  With mixer on low, add flour mixture and beat until combined.

Transfer batter to dish and smooth top.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes.  Let cool completely in dish on a wire rack.  Invert cake onto a cutting board and cut into 1 1/2-inch squares.  To serve, toss in confectioners’ sugar to coat.

lovely color! Ready to bake

lovely color! Ready to bake

time to let it cool!

time to let it cool!

Note: when I first saw the picture of these lovely little squares it almost looked like a chewy caramel (but with molasses) but in fact it is more like a moist dense cake bite dipped in powdered sugar….bottom line still amazingly delicious treat!

cute little cake bites...careful if you wear a dark shirt...powdered sugar everywhere ;)

cute little cake bites…careful if you wear a dark shirt…powdered sugar everywhere ;)

Printer Friendly: Chewy Molasses Squares

Peace and I make the rules,

Isabelle

Go check out my recipes and more on this lovely linky party:

Orange-Walnut Olive Oil Cake with Sweet Yogurt

Orange-Walnut Olive Oil Cake with

Orange-Walnut Olive Oil Cake with Sweet Yogurt

My husband and I have been researching food…not in the sense of new food to eat, cook or bake with but more what food does to your body.  For example, some food has natural anti-inflammatory benefits: Tumeric is one.  We are forever intrigued with using natural resources to cure any ailment our family might have.  I hate taking medications, it is against everything I believe.  I don’t like the side effects or the possibility of more damage without an actual cure.  We have been looking for books at our local library, there are plenty out there to keep us busy during the ugly winter months!

As you know, I love making everything from scratch.  Yes, I am the annoying mom who makes the granola bars, the bread, I love to make dinner every night…blah blah blah…I know this is not for everyone, but it’s for me.  That’s the way I grew up.  I never had take-out until I was in college and my roommate Helen informed me of a world I had been missing….my mom was also the crazy lady who even made her own egg rolls, fried rice and sweet and sticky spareribs .  I am not saying you should make everything from scratch, I am simply suggesting that we need to worry more about what we put in our bodies before we head to the doctor for some medicine to feel better.  Yes, I am getting off my soap box…simply because I have a great recipe to share with you ;)

During this little research I found a lovely recipe.  I thought it would be a nice treat for the family since we have been eating lots of good “green healthy” food lately and very little sweets.  Turns out this recipe is amazing.  I decided I should share it with you as well.

I love this cake, and I think it happens to be quite photogenic!

I love this cake, and I think it happens to be quite photogenic!

From: Power Foods  from the editors of Living Well Magazine.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for pan

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan

1 cup walnuts

1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest, plus more for garnish

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1 cup packed light-brown sugar

3/4 cup fresh orange juice

Confectioners’ sugar, for garnish

1 cup low-fat Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

How to:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Brush cake pan with oil, line bottom with parchment; oil and flour parchment and pan.  Place walnuts in food processor and pulse until finely ground (be careful not to overprocess); set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together orange zest, flour, baking powder, salt, and ground walnuts.  Make a well in the center of flour mixture and stir in eggs, brown sugar, orange juice, and oil until just moistened; do not overmix.

nothing pleases me more than not using my mixer...going old school!

nothing pleases me more than not using my mixer…going old school!

gently mixing, gorgeous amber color!

gently mixing, I love the gorgeous amber color!

mix no more....you have arrived!

mix no more….you have arrived!

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes.  Let cool in pan 10 minutes; transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

ready, set, bake

ready, set, bake

my house smells like heaven! Look at this perfect little cake!

my house smells like heaven! Look at this perfect little cake!

I had to give you a side view...absolutely stunning!

I had to give you a side view…absolutely stunning!

In a small bowl, stir together yogurt and confectioners’ sugar.  Before serving, dust cake with confectioners’ sugar.  Serve with sweet yogurt garnished with orange zest, if desired.

Time to treat yourself!

Time to treat yourself!

Note: This dessert is all about happiness.  Not just the taste but because it’s loaded with vitamins B12 (from the yogurt) and C (orange juice), folate (OJ, again), and omega-3 fatty acids (walnuts).  Nutrients shown to boost your mood.  :)

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Peace and Happiness Always,

Isabelle