Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Lemon White Chocolate Chip Cake Bars with Creamy Lemon Cheesecake Topping

Can you believe that something with a title like that started out as a simple cake mix?

Today is Jeff's birthday, and he loves lemon-flavored desserts. I didn't feel like baking a whole cake, but naturally had to do something special for the occasion. I used the basic cake mix cookie recipe and changed it around a bit, and came up with these delicious cake bars with a rich, brownie-like texture, and a light lemon flavor. The topping is my favorite cool whip and cream cheese frosting, flavored with lemon extract.

Lemon White Chocolate Chip Cake Bars
1 box white or yellow cake mix
2 eggs
1/4 cup oil
3 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon extract
1 cup white chocolate chips
Creamy Lemon Cheesecake Topping

Combine cake mix, eggs, oil, lemon juice, and lemon extract. If using white cake mix, you can also add a few drops of yellow food coloring. Mix well. Stir in white chocolate chips. Press into a greased 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 for 14-16 minutes. Let cool, then cut into bars and top with cheesecake topping.

Creamy Lemon Cheesecake Topping
1 8-oz package cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar
1 8-oz carton frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 tsp. lemon extract

Beat cream cheese and sugar until creamy. Beat in whipped topping and lemon extract. Spoon on top of cake bars.

Seriously, this stuff is freakin' fantastic.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Taste&Create - Min's Pear Pie (but with apples)

Been a long time since I posted, I'll just jump right into this post and we'll forget about the fact that I haven't put anything up here since, um, September. Yeah.

This is a super yummy pie from The Bad Girl's Kitchen, my partner for November's Taste&Create. Taste&Create is a monthly blog event where you're paired up with another blogger, and you make a recipe form your partner's blog while they make one from yours. I chose to make Min's Pear Pie, because it looked tasty, and simple to make. And I love pie. I made it with apples instead of pears, because that's what we had on hand. I would love to try it with pears next time I make it, because there will definitely be a next time. :)

Pear (or apple) Pie

7-8 large pears (or apples), pared, cut into slices
3 TBL lemon juice
1/4-1/2 cup sugar
3 TBL flour
1 tsp. lemon zest

Mix all together and spoon into one 9 inch unbaked pie shell

Sprinkle with the following mixture:

[ 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp. each ginger & cinnamon
cut in 4 TBL butter until crumbly ]

Bake Pie in preheated 400 oven for about 45 minutes.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Black Forest Cobbler

I've been really into cobblers lately. After making that peach cobbler, I tried the same recipe but with a can of apple pie filling, and it turned out delicious. Then tonight, in the mood for another fruity cobbler dessert, I created this easy and tasty treat. I simply topped cherry pie filling with cake mix cookie batter. Sweet success!

Black Forest Cobbler
1 box devil's food cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1 can cherry pie filling

Heat oven to 350. In a bowl combine cake mix, eggs, and oil. Mix well.

Spread pie filling into greased 9x13 baking dish. Drop batter by spoonfuls over pie filling. Bake for 15-17 minutes.

This would be great with ice cream or whipped cream, but even by itself it's super delicious.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Quick Fruit Cobbler

This is a very quick and easy cobbler recipe, and can use any fruit you have on hand.

Quick Fruit Cobbler
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups fruit (fresh, frozen, or canned)

Combine all ingredients except fruit, mix just until blended. Pour into a greased 9x9 baking dish (I doubled the recipe and used a 9x13). Top with fruit. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. The dough will rise and become a crust on top of the fruit.

The consistency of the cobbler will vary depending on what fruit you use, and how much juice it has. I used drained canned peaches, and am eager to try a variety of other fruits with this easy and yummy recipe.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Watermelon Rind Pickles

Due to a somewhat extreme case of the lazies during planting season this year, our garden is pretty much nonexistent. But I still get the urge to preserve summer's bounty. So in the absence of homegrown produce, I got creative and used what we had. We bought a watermelon a couple days ago, and after we ate it I got the crazy urge to look up recipes for watermelon rind pickles. Here's the result.

Watermelon Rind Pickles
1 large watermelon
1/2 cup salt
2 1/2 quarts water, divided
2 1/4 cups cider vinegar
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. whole cloves

Cut pulp from watermelon rind, leaving a small amount of red pulp on rind. Reserve pulp for another use (if you haven't already eaten it). Remove hard green outer rind. Cut rind into 1-inch cubes, and place in a large bowl.

Stir together salt and 2 quarts water. Pour over rind. Cover and chill 8 hours. Drain; rinse well.

Combine rind with water to cover in a Dutch oven. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes or until tender. Drain.

Combine remaining 2 cups water, vinegar, and next 4 ingredients in Dutch oven or very large saucepan.

Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 20 to 25 minutes or until mixture becomes a thin syrup. Add rind, and simmer 5 to 6 minutes or until rind becomes translucent.

Pack hot rind mixture into hot jars, distributing spices evenly and filling to 1/2 inch from top. Remove air bubbles; wipe jar rims. Cover at once with metal lids, and screw on bands. Process in boiling water bath 20 minutes.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


This stuff is seriously addicting. The kids and I wanted a little snack the other day, so I came up with this very simple candy-like treat. Three ingredients, a little time in the microwave and then the fridge, and they're done. And sooooooo yummy! Crunchy, chocolatey, peanut buttery goodness.

2 cubes (2 oz. each) almond bark candy coating (I like using 1 cube vanilla and 1 cube chocolate)
3 tbsp. peanut butter
1 1/2 cups bran flakes (or other crunchy cereal)

Melt candy coating and peanut butter together in the microwave. With my microwave, 1 minute on high is usually just right. Stir in the cereal.

Spread mixture onto a foil-lined plate. Chill in fridge until hardened, then break into chunks to serve. Store uneaten candy in the fridge. That is, if there's any left to store...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Easy, Amazing Cream Cheese Pie

Sorry, no pictures of this one. I can't find my camera...

But this is an incredibly delicious cheesecake/pie. I've actually used this filling recipe as frosting for cake, and it's incredible. I would often eat spoonfuls of the stuff straight out of the bowl, it's that good. So when I saw in a cookbook that it could go in a pie crust, I was super thrilled.

Cream Cheese Pie
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
8 oz. cool whip
9-inch graham cracker crust

Beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Slowly beat in cool whip. Spread into crust. Chill for at least 3 hours. Serve alone or topped with fruit. We ate it with cherry pie filling, yum.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Happy Pi(e) Day! Brownie Pie

Sorry it's been so long since I posted - a whole month, wow! But this is definitely a good recipe to come back with.

Today was Pi Day (3/14 = 3.14 = π). However, since I'm not a mathematician, pi is boring. But pie is cool. So we celebrate Pi Day by making pie! And what a pie this is.

Brownie Pie
1 box brownie mix
1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell

Prepare brownie mix according to package directions. Pour brownie batter into unbaked pie shell. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes. Do not overbake. Cool completely, and serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

Such simple ingredients, such easy instructions, yet such an incredible dessert! Brownie in a pie crust, does chocoholic life get any better?

The kids are mesmerized by this pie's scintillating essence.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Our Valentine's Dinner

I love putting together simple yet delicious meals for holidays. Sometimes I like giving them names too, I'm weird like that. This one is called "No such thing as too much shrimp."

Shrimp Appetizer

I posted this recipe last year. But I make it every year for Valentine's Day, so I'm posting it again this year. I love this stuff, it's so delicious!

8 oz. cream cheese
Cocktail sauce
1 can tiny shrimp, drained
Buttery snack crackers (Ritz, Town House, etc)

Place cream cheese on serving platter. Pour about 2/3 cup cocktail sauce on top, and top with shrimp. Serve with crackers.

Garlic Ginger Shrimp

I got this recipe from Angie, The American Homemaker. I attended her cooking class at the Pleasant Grove Macey's last week, and really enjoyed this recipe. I figured it would be perfect for Valentine's Day. It's a little pricier than my usual meals, but not by much. Besides, it was a special occasion.

1 1/2 tsp. ginger
4 cloves garlic (2 tsp. bottled)
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
3 tsp. parsley
2 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. salt (this wasn't in the original recipe, but it needed it)
3 tsp. cornstarch
2 tbsp. cold water
1 lb. raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 package angel hair pasta (I used spaghetti)

Start water boiling for pasta.

In a large skillet, saute ginger and garlic in butter and oil for about one minute. Stir in broth, 1 1/2 tsp. parsley, and basil.

Combine cornstarch and water until smooth. Add to skillet. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir for two minutes or until thickened. Reduce heat; add rinsed shrimp. Simmer for two to three minutes or until the shrimp turn pink.

Meanwhile, cook pasta. Add sauce to cooked and drained pasta. Sprinkle with remaining parsley.


Of course, we also had a simple salad, to round out the meal. Five-lettuce mix with chopped oranges and a honey mustard dressing. Colorful and yummy.

Chocolate Almond Pudding Cake

This was a fantastic ending to a delicious meal. It's a slightly healthified version, with less sugar and oil. It was rich and indulgent, but not overly so. Perfect with vanilla ice cream.

1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp. canola oil
2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. almond extract
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
1 3/4 cups water
Vanilla ice cream, if desired

Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 8-inch square (2-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. In medium bowl, mix flour, granulated sugar, almonds, 1/4 cup cocoa, the baking powder and salt. Stir in milk, oil, vanilla and almond extract until blended. Spread batter in pan.

In 1-quart saucepan, mix brown sugar and 1/4 cup cocoa with wire whisk. Stir in water; heat just to boiling, stirring occasionally. Pour over batter.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until center is set. Cool 30 minutes before serving (Haha, yeah right. We at it right away).

To serve, spoon warm cake into individual dessert bowls; spoon pudding from baking dish over cake. Serve with ice cream.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Butter Rolls

This title is a bit deceptive. These are much richer and sweeter and more delicious than the name implies. I got this recipe from Southern Plate (I love that website!), and like every recipe of Christy's that I try, it turned out fantastic. I admit that it's not the prettiest thing, but yum....

Butter Rolls
2 cups self-rising flour (add 1 tsp. salt and 1 tbsp. baking powder)
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup milk (we have a dry climate so I had to use 3/4 cup)
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter or margarine
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

Milk Sauce
2 cups milk
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Cut shortening into flour really well with a fork. Stir in milk. On a floured surface, dump out dough and press together with your hands to form a ball. Roll out into a rectangle (about 7×10 in size). Spread softened butter over dough and then sprinkle 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon over top. Roll it up like a jelly roll and press it together lightly. Cut into nine slices about one inch thick each. Place into a lightly greased 8×8 baking dish.

In medium sauce pot, combine all milk sauce ingredients. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture begins to bubble lightly. Pour over rolls in pan. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes, or until rolls are lightly browned on top.

Allow to sit for a few minutes once it is done for the rolls to soak up more sauce. After you put each roll on a plate, spoon more sauce over it.

Holy cow, these turned out so incredible. Though Zaylee took it upon herself after eating to remind me that "too much sugar is not good for you." Yeah, these are definitely not an every day meal. :-)