I cannot think of a more boring meal than plain, old oatmeal. Called mush, porridge, hot cereal, none of those names spark the least bit of excitement. However, if you mention the word “parfait,” my ears perk up. If you add something about cheesecake or nuts or fruit, I am all over it. Combine all of those terms and I am ready to bang on the table with a spoon and yell, “Gimme, gimme, gimme!” Continue reading
It’s right about now that I usually start craving stone fruits and tastes of summer. While it will be months before I can sink my teeth into a fresh Georgia peach, I can trick my mind by using frozen or canned peaches in baked goods. By the time you are done baking fresh peaches, they are pretty much as soft as their “stored” cousins. Continue reading
The first year I lived in Florida, I was shocked at seeing fresh strawberries in February. Now, a few years later, I am totally spoiled and look forward to enjoying them while the rest of the country is blanketed in snow. There is a world famous Florida Strawberry festival held at the end of February/beginning of March. I really appreciate the amazing growing season in our state. Eating Fresh From Florida produce is an added bonus to being close to the beach and having mild winters.
My whole family adores strawberries. If I want to use them for a recipe, I practically have to hire an armed guard to protect them from being eaten. I usually end up going to the farmers market and buying a couple of flats to make freezer jam and to put some away for baking throughout the rest of the year. For these first fruits of the year, though, I made a Fresh Strawberry Poke Cake. It was adapted from a pineapple cake that my mother-in-law used to make and the gelatin poke cakes that my own grandmother made when I was little.
I skipped the gelatin and opted to pour sweetened pureed strawberries over the entire cake. Then, I made a mixture of cream cheese, pudding, strawberries and whipped cream for the topping. Oh my! It was like strawberry shortcake on steroids! The cake was gone in a flash. Lucky for me, the strawberry season has just started, so I can make it again and again.
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Fresh Strawberry Poke Cake
1 lb fresh whole strawberries
2 cups pureed strawberries, sweetened with 2-3 Tbsp sugar
1 yellow cake mix
1/2 cup oil
1 cup water
1 8oz brick cream cheese
1/2 cup milk
1 3.4 oz box instant vanilla pudding
1 8 oz container frozen whipped topping, thawed
Make yellow cake, following directions on package, using the eggs, oil and water.
When the cake is done, let it cool to room temperature.
Poke holes all over the top of the cake with the handle of a wooden spoon.
Pour sweetened pureed strawberries all over the cake, using a spatula or the back of a spoon to make sure the berries get into all of the little holes.
In a blender, combine the cream cheese, milk, pudding mix and all but 8 of the whole strawberries.
Blend until smooth.
Fold cream cheese mixture into the whipped topping.
Spread all over the cake.
Slice the remaining strawberries in half and place them cut side down all over the top of the cake.
Refrigerate at least one hour before serving to let the topping set and the strawberries soak into the cake.
What is your favorite way to eat strawberries? Do you freeze them, too? Do you make jam?
With the weather plummeting everywhere this winter, I thought it appropriate to post a warm and hearty breakfast. This baked oatmeal is just such a breakfast. It will “stick to your ribs” and get you through the freeze outside.
Do you diet alone? If you have a significant other, does he/she join you in your quest for healthy eating? Do you feed your children super healthy foods? My personal experience has been that I am usually alone in my weight loss strategies. So today, I have a Honey Granola Yogurt Parfait for One just for all of you sole dieters. Continue reading
On a recent trip to my local Target, I was excited to find that KIND is now making gluten free granola. There are quite a few varieties. I chose to try the Maple Quinoa Clusters. And while they are great straight from the bag or in a bowl with milk, I was so pleased to find a reasonably prices gluten free treat that I had to make some other things with it, too. Continue reading
This is the last cookie recipe of the year. Spritz have long been favorites, though I remember my mom swearing under her breath as she used her old fashioned copper and silver cookie press, trying to get pink and green wreaths and Christmas trees to come out onto the pan in a recognizable fashion. Continue reading
This is the most amazing recipe. I say that not because there is something special about the ingredients or the taste, no, I say it because it is so huge. In fact, I have halved the original recipe. Perhaps these were called Monster Cookies because it’s a monster, humongous batch. As it is, be prepared to have cookies cooling on every surface of your kitchen if you make these. Continue reading
It’s Improv Challenge time once again. This month, the theme is Lime and White Chocolate. With Christmas just a week away, I am betting a lot of the recipes are going to be sweet treats and I cannot wait to see them! Continue reading
Welcome to Day #5 of Christmas Week, a multi-blogger event co-hosted by Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic and Jen from Juanita’s Cocina! Each day we will be celebrating the holidays with a different set of Christmas-themed treats, as well as a fabulous Christmas giveaway. We hope you enjoy this fabulous event. Tune in each day starting today, Monday, December 9th and ending Saturday, December 14th.
I have had this recipe written in my recipe journal since the early 1990s, waiting to be made. I am shocked that I waited so long to make it because this stuff is seriously amazing. I have been doling it out to my friends by the spoonful. It’s been like, “Oh, you have come by to visit me? Open your mouth, taste this.” No one has been disappointed. Continue reading
Welcome to Day #3 of Christmas Week, a multi-blogger event co-hosted by Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic and Jen from Juanita’s Cocina! Each day we will be celebrating the holidays with a different set of Christmas-themed treats, as well as a fabulous Christmas giveaway. We hope you enjoy this fabulous event. Tune in each day starting today, Monday, December 9th and ending Saturday, December 14th.
I am back with more candy, because December seems to require it. Although this stuff is as wonderful as it gets, no one seems to make homemade candy any other time of year. If grocery stores put sugar, extracts and other baking supplies on sale in June, maybe the story would be different, but our waistlines can heave a sigh of relief. December is the only homemade sweet month. ..for now. Continue reading
Welcome to Christmas Week, a multi-blogger event co-hosted by Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic and Jen from Juanita’s Cocina! Each day we will be celebrating the holidays with a different set of Christmas-themed treats, as well as a fabulous Christmas giveaway. We hope you enjoy this fabulous event. Tune in each day starting today, Monday, December 9th and ending Saturday, December 14th. Continue reading
Every year I make up treats for neighbors and friends. What I make changes a little every year, but the fun is in the planning and delivery of the plates. My kids get involved, arguing over who gets to take which plate to which family. We take an evening early in the month of December and instead of sitting in front of the television, we give. It may be wishful thinking on my part, but I like to think that that evening of sharing sweets with friends sets the tone for the month.
This year, I did my ingredient shopping at Dollar General, which has lower prices than most of my local stores. They have a full line up of ingredients for all of my holiday baking needs. I find that their Clover Valley brand is just as good as most name brands. They had a great big section all set up specifially for making treats.
I was able to get plates, candies, sugars, chocolate chips, nuts, crackers, and many other ingredients for less than $25. I came home and fired up my stove and microwave. I made homemade caramels, peanut brittle, fudge, chocolate covered Ritz sandwiches and English toffee and then filled 16 plates.
English Toffee has been a family favorite since I was a little girl when my mom started making it. It is really simple to make. I am not very good at making dipped candies, but because this recipe is broken into randomly sized pieces on purpose, there isn't a lot of stress over whether it looks right or not.
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp corn syrup
12 oz chocolate chips
Melt butter in a medium sized saucepan. Add sugar, water adn corn syrup to the pan. Cook over low heat to 290 degrees F, about 20 minutes. Line a rimmed cookie sheet with foil. Pour hot mixture over foil. Sprinkle with chocoalte chips. Wait a few minutes and then spread the chocolate evenly over the toffee. When cool, break into bite sized pieces.
The Dollar General Holiday holiday section can serve all of your needs. Not only are there foods and supplies for favorite holiday recipes, but there are decorations, lights, present wrapping supplies, stocking stuffers, and great ideas for presents from toys to electronics.
There is still time to shop for the discerning foodie before the holidays are over! Right in the middle of Hanukkah and a few weeks to go before Christmas, this new cookbook, Cooking Inspired
is filled with recipes taken from the pages of kosherscoop.com, one of the biggest kosher websites on the internet. Continue reading