Cherry Poke Cake #SundaySupper

I told you Friday about our adventure at the Country Club of Detroit last Saturday.  Well, last Sunday Mom and I went to Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle for the first time for Dave Coulier’s seminar Failing your Way to Success.

It was a funny and interesting afternoon, and I got to ask Dave a question, along with many others.  And I like many others didn’t exactly get the answer for which I was hoping.  Dave said he wanted us all to succeed and that we could contact him via his website with more questions, but this is not the case.

So, I thought I would take this opportunity to write an open letter to Dave in hopes he might see it.

Hi Dave!

My mom and I thoroughly enjoyed your seminar Failing your Way to Success.  You are very funny and it was great to hear your stories and find insight into Hollywood.

I asked you a question about how to get my writing career off the ground.  I have been writing for just about ten years now.  I have five screenplays and five novels finished.  They aren’t all masterpieces, but some are good, really good even.  I just can’t find an agent, even though several have now said I am a good writer and should keep pursuing it.  I think that might even be more heartbreaking than hearing “you suck” as you mentioned you heard early in your career.

You said I should self-publish.  It’s something I’ve been told before and something I thought about and dismissed, but it is admittedly a thought I keep revisiting after hearing you suggest it.

Here’s the problem.  I have this little blog right here.  It’s not the best on the internet, but it’s good.  I put a lot of effort into the posts and photos and recipes.  I’m always thinking about what I can post and trying new ideas to try to build a bigger audience.

And for the most part, none of them work.  This blog has been around for five years and it hasn’t really grown at all for the last three.  So how do I get people to buy my book without fancy agents and a publishing house behind it when I can’t get them to read my blog for free?

How do I build an audience?  How to I break through this plateau and the anxiety and overwhelming disappointment that hitched a ride along with it?

You said you want us all to succeed, so I am asking if you will directly help me.  Maybe connect me with an agent.  Help me self-publish.  Give one of my scripts to a friend at Netflix.  Something.  Anything.  Maybe you could even read one of my scripts and work on it with me.

At the seminar, you told us to keep working and keep the faith and it will happen, but for a lot of us that hasn’t worked and we really wanted to hear something more.  With the exception of the karate comic, because if he doesn’t use that idea you gave him, he is a fool.

I’m a fan.  I grew up watching Full House, and it’s cool seeing someone from this area make it.  I hear a lot of people talk about how Mike Nichols mentored them, and I wonder where people like that are today.  Perhaps you could be my mentor, because the position is open and you are a qualified candidate.

Like just about everything else I do, I’m not sure I expect this to work, for you to even read it, but like just about everything else I do, somehow that little glimmer of hope in my heart remains.  If you read this, thank you for your time.  And if you help me in anyway, I really cannot express how incredibly grateful I will be forever and ever.

Cheers,

Laura Dembowski

Now for the rest of you here for foodie business instead of Hollywood business, I give you Cherry Poke Cake.  This is actually a paleo coconut flour cake that may just be my new go to recipe for cake.  It’s light, fluffy, moist, and flavorful.  With the syrup and frosting, it doesn’t stay paleo, but I’m sure you could swap maple syrup for the sugar in the syrup and make a coconut whipped cream.  Though this is a poke cake, it tastes a bit more like tres leches and with the whipped cream frosting, it is pretty much irresistible, plus gluten free.

Here’s to cake and summer and dreams coming true.

Cherry Poke Cake #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 9 servings

Ingredients

Cake
¾ cup coconut flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
9 large eggs
1/2 cup olive oil
½ cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
Syrup
4 cups sour cherries, pitted
½ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup milk (I used coconut – almond, use what you love)
Frosting
1 pint heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste

Instructions

  1. Make the cake. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Oil an 8 inch square pan.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut flour, baking soda, eggs, oil, syrup, and vanilla until well combined. Pour into prepared pan and bake about 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean or with a few crumbs. Cool for 15 minutes.
  3. Make the syrup. In a small saucepan, cook the cherries and sugar over medium heat. Bring to a boil and simmer, stirring frequently for 5 minutes. Cool before pouring into a blender and blending until completely smooth. This can be done a few days ahead of time.
  4. When the cake has cool 15 minutes, using the handle of a spoon, poke holes all over it, going all the way to the bottom. Combine about ¾ cup of the blended cherry syrup with the milk. Stir to combine and pour evenly over the cake. Cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to overnight. Extra syrup can be used in drinks or on top of ice cream – yum!
  5. When the cake has chilled, make the frosting. In a large bowl whip the cream until stiff peaks form. I did this by hand, but a hand or stand mixer will definitely work. Beat in the sugar and vanilla. Spread most of it over the cake in an even layer. Save extra for dipping cookies or making an ice cream sundae.
  6. Serve immediately. Cake may also be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Notes

Additional chilling time is necessary

Cake recipe adapted from Elena's Pantry

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Don’t forget to check out the other Sunday Supper dishes!  Thanks to Christie from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures for hosting!

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Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Baked Blueberry Pancake with Cherry Syrup #SundaySupper

I’m so into coffee lately. I crave it frequently and love to try different places to see which I like the best.

There is a place next to the salon where I get my hair done that I had been dying to try.  When I went for my appointment a few weeks I knew after I was going to stop for a coffee.  That was my plan.

Mom headed there for lunch while I was being all highlighted and brightened.  She loved the breakfast sandwich and iced latte with almond milk she had while sitting outside.

When I went after, I debated what to get.  A nice latte sounded kind of good, but I went with nitro cold brew, which I’ve had at a few different places.  It’s great because it’s so smooth and has no guilt since there are no add ins.

After only the first taste, I noted it was strong, but a lot of coffee is, and it grew on me as I drank it.  We stopped at a grocery store and then spent over an hour on the roads trying to navigate rush hour and get home.

During that time, I started to feel weird.  I became very emotional, crying about a variety of things that should not have warranted crying after I had felt so good leaving the salon, and I wanted out of that car in the worst way.

I could tell I was all hopped up on caffeine as I made and ate dinner, but that’s not entirely uncommon when I drink coffee.

The headache, stomachache, and blurred vision that followed are completely and totally uncommon.  This also freaked me out, which did not help the situation as I whimpered like a puppy on the couch.

I doubted sleep would come, but it had been over six hours since I had the coffee and I’ve read caffeine is supposed to be out of your system by then.  And I did fall asleep for a little over an hour, before I woke up for the next six hours, during which time I tossed and turned until I gave up and watched Orange is the New Black.

I fell back asleep after some deep breathing around 7 am until it was time to get up at 8.  But even then, my heart still raced and I felt like I could run a marathon without even being out of breath.

I called the coffee shop because this seemed more akin to oding than drinking an innocent cup of coffee.  The very nice people at the shop informed me that one of their cold brews is equal to five or six shots of espresso.  FIVE OR SIX SHOTS!

A drink like that should come with a warning.  I mean, when’s the last time anyone walked into a shop and was all “I’ll have a sextuple shot latte???”  Never, is the answer you’re looking for.

So I’m off cold brew for now, maybe forever, and I am always going to ask for approximate caffeine levels because that never, ever needs to happen again.

What I should have done that sleepless night was bake something like this Baked Blueberry Pancake with Cherry Syrup.  This is the perfect make ahead summer breakfast to feed a crowd.  It tastes so much like a blueberry pancake without all the flipping and standing over the stove and it has a crumb topping, so take that classic blueberry pancakes!

No pancakes are complete without syrup, so I amped up some classic maple syrup with fresh Bing and rainier cherries and vanilla.  Together this is a match made in heaven that can be served warm or room temperature.

Baked Blueberry Pancake with Cherry Syrup #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 12 servings

Ingredients

Pancake Bake
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs
2 ½ cups milk (I used almond coconut milk, use what you love)
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
¼ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 heaping cups blueberries
Topping
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons olive oil
Syrup
½ cup pure maple syrup
2 cups cherries (I used a mixture of Bing and rainier)
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Oil a 9 by 13 inch baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Add the eggs, milk, vanilla, oil, and lemon juice. Stir until just combined, a few lumps are okay. Add the blueberries and stir to combine. Pour in the prepared pan.
  3. Make the topping. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, cinnamon, and sugars. Add the oil and stir until clumps form. Sprinkle evenly over the batter. Bake for about 30 minutes, until golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Serve warm or cool completely in pan.
  4. Make the syrup. In a small saucepan, heat the syrup and cherries over medium heat. Bring to a boil and allow to boil, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes, until slightly thickened. Stir in the vanilla.
  5. Pancake may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen in pieces wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the microwave about 1 minute. Syrup may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week and reheated in the microwave for about 1 minute.

Notes

Recipe adapted from The Kitchn

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Don’t forget to check out the other Sunday Supper dishes!

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Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Strawberry Banana Shortcake Layer Cake

Strawberry Banana Shortcake Layer Cake

When I’m planning a summer party there are lots of things to consider, but food is typically what I think about first, more specifically dessert.  It’s like in my DNA.  I want the best dessert to impress and please my audience and fit in with the season.

But there are lots of other things to think about too.  Music to keep the guests upbeat.  Right now, I’m loving Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, and Ed Sheeran, but it’s fun to incorporate all genres, just make sure nothing is too slow or it seems to slow the party down with it.

Strawberry Banana Shortcake Layer Cake

A signature cocktail is always a hit too.  While it’s necessary to have beer, wine, soft drinks, and water on hand, it’s better to choose one or two signature cocktails (even better if they can be prepped ahead) instead of having a fully stocked bar.  This saves money too.

Of course, everyone needs a place to sit and hang out.  Summer parties are my favorite because everyone can hang out outside as long as the weather is nice.  It’s always good to have a contingency plan, but when the mess can stay outside, the party is that much more fun for me.  And living in Michigan, I am taking every moment I can to enjoy the outdoors while the nice weather is here.

Strawberry Banana Shortcake Layer Cake

My deck with all the flowers in bloom is my favorite place to party, whether it’s just me, a few close friends, or a big shindig.  I have loved our mosaic table since we first got it, and in case of rain, our indoor dining tables are ready and waiting.

 

Whatever table you happen to have, new or old, indoor or outdoor, this Strawberry Banana Shortcake Layer Cake will make it even better.  It is so perfect for a party because all your guests will ooh and ahh at its beauty and it serves a serious crowd.

Strawberry Banana Shortcake Layer Cake

I took strawberry shortcake to the next level by making a sturdy yet moist cake loaded with bananas.  Layering it with vanilla bean whipped cream and fresh, ripe sliced strawberries gives all these contrasting textures and flavors.  I even made it with gluten free flour.

What is so surprising about this cake, is how light and almost refreshing it is, making it perfect for summer nights.  Be sure to sweeten your summer parties with this cake!

Strawberry Banana Shortcake Layer Cake

Strawberry Banana Shortcake Layer Cake

Strawberry Banana Shortcake Layer Cake

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yield: 10-12 servings

Ingredients

5 ripe, mashed bananas
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs
¾ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3 ½ cups all-purpose or gluten free flour blend
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2/3 cup milk (I used almond-coconut blend, use what you love)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1 pint heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1 pound strawberries

Instructions

  1. Make the cake. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Oil two 8 or 9 inch baking pans and line the bottom with parchment.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together mashed bananas, sugars, eggs, oil, and vanilla until well combined.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and cinnamon. Combine the milk and orange juice in the measuring cup. Alternately add the flour mixture and milk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour and stirring between each addition. Once everything is added, stir just until combined and evenly divided among the two prepared pans.
  4. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Cool cakes completely in pans.
  5. Once the cakes are cool and you are ready to assemble, whip the cream until stiff peaks form, but be sure not to make butter 🙂 I did this by hand, but a hand or stand mixer works perfectly. Add the vanilla bean paste and confectioners’ sugar and beat just until combined.
  6. Place one cake on a cake stand or serving plate. Spread a little less than half of the cream on the cake and top with sliced strawberries. Place the other cake on top and top with the remaining whipped cream and pretty, whole strawberries.
  7. Serve immediately or store cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days, though it may weep or wilt a little.

Notes

Additional chilling time is necessary

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Flourless Fudge Brownies #SundaySupper

Flourless Fudge Brownies

It’s the unofficial start of summer and it feels every bit of it with warm temperatures, flowers in bloom, the air conditioner running, and bugs.  Lots and lots of bugs.

The first nice day every year, they emerge.  I’m bug-phobic and run and squeal whenever I see one outside and inside it’s even worse.

Flourless Fudge Brownies

We’re used to spiders.  Every spring or summer, there is one day when we kill ants in the house (lots of ant, double digit numbers of ants), we put cloves around the doors and windows (it works), and then they leave and stay away (knock on wood).  Flies are common.  Too common, swooping and zooming and scaring the life out of me.

Stinging insects are far less common (again, knock on wood), but the other day, it happened.  You guys, it happened.

Flourless Fudge Brownies

Mom had just gotten off the elliptical and I was in the den innocently buying Katy Perry tickets (so excited!), when Mom said, is that a bee?  She didn’t really mean bee and it wasn’t a bee, but all those stinging insects, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets, are one in the same in our house.

Sure enough it was a “bee.”  I did what any reasonable person would do.  I shut the door to the den and let Mom deal with it, shouting ideas at her at how to dispose of the insect.

We … well she … ended up using a light bulb changing tool to smash it on the window until it was dead.  And we all lived happily ever after … except the bee.  Him, not so much.

Flourless Fudge Brownies

Other than having a bee free house, Flourless Fudge Brownies are a must.  You’re thinking these don’t taste anything at all like regular brownies since they use almond meal instead of all-purpose flour.

But you are so wrong.  These might be the best brownies I’ve ever had, period.  They have that crackly top crust with a gooey, fudgy, supremely rich interior, and they don’t taste a think like coconut.  These are the ultimate brownies and because they are so easy to make and gluten free, you really need to make them asap.

Flourless Fudge Brownies

Flourless Fudge Brownies #SundaySupper

Yield: 9 brownies

Ingredients

1 cup dark chocolate or carob chips
½ cup coconut oil
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
½ cup carob or cocoa powder
½ cup almond meal
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 inch square pan with coconut oil.
  2. In a medium, microwave safe bowl, place the chip and coconut oil. Microwave on high in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until fully melted. Stir in the sugar and allow to cool for a couple minutes.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, making sure to fully incorporate each. Stir in the carob or cocoa powder, almond meal, and vanilla until a uniform batter comes together. Pour into the prepared pan.
  4. Bake 35-40 minutes until the top is crackly and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Allow to cool completely in the pan before cutting and serving. Brownies may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or individually frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the microwave 30 second – 1 minute.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Well Floured

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Don’t forget to check out the other Sunday Supper dishes!  Thanks to Christie from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures for hosting!

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Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Lemon Bars with Poppy Seed Shortbread #SundaySupper

Lemon Bars with Poppy Seed Crust #SundaySupper

On Grey’s Anatomy this week (which was an amazing episode) Meredith, in her signature voice over, said no one waits for their world to explode, their life to change.  But that’s never been true for me.

Since I can remember, I have been waiting for my world to explode, in ways both good and bad.

Lemon Bars with Poppy Seed Crust

The good isn’t so hard to deal with.  Waiting for an agent.  A publisher.  A friend.  For someone to see my work and love it.  Waiting for that moment of bliss when my parents and I will jump up and down crying tears of joy.

I mean it’s no fun waiting for those things, but they aren’t haunting and give me hope for the future.

The bad explosions, they’re not so fun.  Maybe it’s because I’m so creative, but I’ve always been a what if, worst case scenario kind of girl.

Lemon Bars with Poppy Seed Crustq

When Mom leaves the house, I sometimes worry she will get in an accident.  When Mom and Dad are gone together, it’s even worse.  I worry I don’t appreciate Dad enough.  I’m just waiting for one or both of them to be gone.

There are the times when my stomach hurts and I worry it’s an appendicitis.  A runny nose might be spinal fluid (Grey’s is to thank for that one too).

Lemon Bars with Poppy Seed Crust

The house might burn down.  We might crash the car.  I might fall down the stairs.  My world might explode.  And even though I think about it all the time, I’m not prepared for it.  None of us can be.  We can take precautions and be careful, but explosions happen without warning.

So we hug and make plans and have fun and talk and cook and bake and make the most of what we have and pretend we aren’t waiting for explosions.

Lemon Bars with Poppy Seed Crust

Lemon Bars with Poppy Seed Crust are the perfect summer dessert that can transport us to another world, a happy world, because everyone is happy when they are baking.  These are pretty easy to make and so full of bright, lemon flavor.

The shortbread crust is taken to another level with poppy seeds.  But really, it’s that gooey lemon topping that makes us fall in love with lemon bars.  How can you not want to dive right in to that goodness?

Lemon Bars with Poppy Seed Crust

Lemon Bars with Poppy Seed Crust #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 16 bars

Ingredients

Crust
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
Zest of 2 lemons
Filling
Zest of 1 lemon
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ cup all-purpose flour

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and 8-inch square pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream butter, sugar, flour, salt, poppy seeds, and lemon zest. This is easily done by hand but a hand or stand mixer will work too. The dough should come together and be soft and pliable. Press it evenly in the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 17-20 minutes until light golden brown.
  3. While it bakes, make the filling. In a medium bowl, whisk together lemon zest and juice, sugar, eggs, and flour. Be sure it is fully combined and pour it over the hot crust. Bake for about 30 minutes until a golden brown crust has formed on top but it is not fully set.
  4. Cool completely in pan before cutting into bars and serving. Lemon bars may be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days or frozen, wrapped individually in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag, for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator about an hour.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Costco Connection

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Don’t forget to check out the other Sunday Supper dishes! Thanks to Christie from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures for hosting!

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Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

 

Hot Fudge Ice Cream Cake #SundaySupper

Hot Fudge Ice Cream Cake

I love hearing Mom’s stories.  Even though we spend much of our days talking, lately she has shared some stories I hadn’t heard before.

It’s so interesting to hear her perspective on life and what has happened to her.  Even though I might have sometimes thought her life was a bit mundane, I have been proven wrong over and over again.

Hot Fudge Ice Cream Cake

Big Boy is one of the popular chain restaurants in our area.  I loved it there as a kid.  We’d go on the weekend and enjoy the salad bar and broccoli soup.  I mentioned, after seeing a commercial, that I’d never had their fresh strawberry pie.  I asked Mom if she had.

She said yes, but what she really liked was their hot fudge cake.  Since I had never heard of this dessert, I asked for more information.  She went on to explain that it was dark chocolate cake with ice cream in the middle, hot fudge, whipped cream, and a cherry on top.

Hot Fudge Ice Cream Cake

As many times as I had been to Big Boy, how had I not only not had but not even heard of these fabulous desserts???

Mom and her friend would go out to lunch and split a sandwich or have soup and salad and then split dessert.  That was their routine and apparently it involved a lot of hot fudge cake.

I was instantly inspired to recreate that cake to celebrate Mother’s Day and all of Mom’s stories, and well everything about Mom because she’s the best.  And also I really wanted to try this cake and homemade has to be better than the one in the restaurant.

Hot Fudge Ice Cream Cake

Enter Hot Fudge Ice Cream Cake.  I made this with carob (though no one will ever know), but you should feel free to make it with chocolate – you know the drill.

Whatever you do, just make this!  The cake itself is crazy moist and rich and fluffy.  Mom couldn’t stop raving about it.  I mean, it has to be trimmed to make the ice cream cake, right???  Then premium vanilla bean ice cream goes in the middle – nothing but the best for Mom.

Since the cake is so insanely soft and fluffy and moist, it absorbed some of the ice cream, but who cares?  After cutting into pieces, it is served with hot fudge sauce and a cherry on top.  I skipped the whipped cream – it doesn’t need it – but it you want some, go for it!

Hot Fudge Ice Cream Cake

The cold cake and ice cream against the hot fudge, the rich cake and fudge paired up with the sweet ice cream, the burst of color and flavor from the cherry.  I totally get why Mom loved this cake.  And I’m so glad this time we got to split a piece.  Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother's Day!

Hot Fudge Ice Cream Cake #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Yield: 16 servings

Ingredients

Cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
¾ cup carob or cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup milk (I used almond-coconut, use what you love)
½ cup olive oil
1 cup strong black coffee, hot
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Assembly
1 pint vanilla bean ice cream, softened
Hot fudge sauce, homemade or store bought
Maraschino cherries

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Oil a 9 by 13 inch pan and line it with parchment leaving overhang for easy removal later.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, carob or cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir in eggs, milk, oil, coffee, and vanilla until a glossy batter forms. Pour it into the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Cool completely in the pan.
  3. Once the cake is cool, line an 8 inch square pan with plastic wrap. Remove the cake from the pan and cut it in half across the long sides of the cake. Place half in the bottom of the pan. You will need to trim excess cake (snack time!). Spread the ice cream over the top, followed by the other half of cake. Cover with plastic and press down slightly. Place in the freezer for at least two hours and up to overnight.
  4. When ready to serve, cut the cake into pieces using a large serrated knife. Top with hot fudge, a cherry, and serve. Cake may be stored in the freezer without the hot fudge for up to 1 month.

Notes

Additional chilling time is necessary.

Cake recipe adapted from Blahnik Baker

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Don’t forget to check out the other Sunday Supper dishes!  Thanks to Amy from My World Simplified for hosting!

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SIDES AND SALADS

SWEETS

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

 

Healthy Egg Muffins

Healthy Egg Muffins

Seasonal allergies are a problem in our house.

Not for me … yet.  Like vertigo, I know it’s only a matter of time.

In fact allergies weren’t a problem for Mom and Dad until the past few years.  Suddenly it was like pollen was attacking them.  The sneezing, sniffling, and nose blowing are both annoying and hilarious.

Healthy Egg Muffins

Healthy Egg Muffins

There are itchy, watery eyes, scratchy throats, and more unusual things you wouldn’t normally associate with allergies, like a fluttering sensation in your chest that might make you think you are having a mild heart attack.  Nope, just allergies.

Sneezing presents its own risks.  They come with little warning when Mom is in the middle of cooking, cleaning, eating, driving.  And if she doesn’t brace herself, bad things happen.

Healthy Egg Muffins

The other day, in fact, Mom sneezed three times and threw out her back.  A few innocent little sneezes and Mom was in debilitating pain for about a week.  We cancelled plans to attend a charity event (but the weather was gross, so it was fine) and Dad hit up Books on the Lake with me (more on that next week).

Of course, it doesn’t help that Mom is like many other moms out there and couldn’t sit still most of the time.  Rest assured, I did everything I could to help, but Mom still tackled many tasks.

Luckily, her back is healed thanks to a little forced rest, time, and lots of turmeric (it works, people!) but she is waiting, bracing herself with each sneeze, hoping it doesn’t happen again.

Healthy Egg Muffins

Healthy Egg Muffins are sure to keep her feeling good.  They are easy to make, full of nutrition, gluten free, and the perfect on the go breakfast.  They are super adaptable to whatever ingredients you have on hand.  Because Dad loves these, I made them with Egg Beaters since he tries to avoid too much cholesterol.  I also added lots of broccoli and cauliflower and ham and cheese.

Mushrooms, spinach, onion, and kale would be great in these and you can of course use regular eggs.  Bacon can swap in for the ham, and any kind of cheese will be fabulous.  What’s even better is that these freeze perfectly.  Let them thaw in the refrigerator overnight to just grab in the morning or warm them briefly in the microwave.

Healthy Egg Muffins

Healthy Egg Muffins

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 12 muffins

Ingredients

2 cups Egg Beaters
1 cup broccoli florets, broken into small pieces
1 cup cauliflower florets, broken into small pieces
¾ cup Colby jack cheese, torn into pieces or shredded
¾ cup ham, torn into small pieces
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground turmeric

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the Egg Beaters, broccoli, cauliflower, cheese, ham, pepper, salt, and turmeric until well combined.
  3. Divide the mixture evenly among the muffin cups. Bake 15-20 minutes, until golden brown on top and springy when touched. Serve immediately or cool completely in pan. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days or in the freezer, individually wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight or in the microwave about 1 minute.
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Baklava Granola Bars

Baklava Granola Bars

Over the past year or so I have gotten really into coffee.  Years ago as a tween, I loved it.  But the drinks I loved were probably less coffee and more milk, sugar, and syrupy flavorings.  Should I have been drinking them as a ten or twelve year old?  Maybe not, but I liked them and they made me happy, so who was I really hurting?

I stopped drinking coffee in high school and didn’t pick it back up until a couple years ago when I did some work for an iced coffee brand and fell in love.  Now the coffee concoctions I drink are more coffee and less all the bad stuff.

Baklava Granola Bars

But here’s the thing.  Coffee makes me kind of crazy.

I love it.  Seriously love it.  I had nitro cold brew last week and it was pretty much life changing.  So smooth and almost creamy without any milk or cream or sugar.  It was a revelation.

Baklava Granola Bars

And at first, I felt nothing, just enjoying my cold coffee on a beautiful day.  And then as time wore on, the energy and jitters began.  It was like I couldn’t stop moving and would never need sleep again.

This has been happening to me, and it makes me try to walk the fine line between loving and enjoying coffee and making sure I don’t bounce off the walls or lie awake all night long.

Baklava Granola Bars

I did sleep that night and felt refreshed the next day, so my addiction to coffee will continue, and I suppose I should be glad I get a fun boost of energy so I can make great recipes like these Baklava Granola Bars.

These are gluten free breakfast or snack time treats are super easy to make, no bake, and full of that awesome baklava flavor we all love.  I used a honey and nut mixture, but if you don’t have something like that, just use a mix of nuts and a bunch of honey and you will be good to go!  I think these go perfectly with a cup of coffee!

Baklava Granola Bars

Baklava Granola Bars

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 2 minutes

Total Time: 12 minutes

Yield: 12 bars

Ingredients

2 ½ cups quick cooking oats (gluten free if necessary)
1 ½ cups Honey Nut Cheerios
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ cup creamy peanut butter
¾ cups honey and nut mixture or ¼ cup honey and ½ cup chopped nuts
¼ cup plain honey
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Line an 8 inch square pan with parchment paper leaving overhang for easy removal later.
  2. Place peanut butter and honey and nut mixture, as well as additional honey in a large microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute. Stir and microwave for an additional minute until bubbling. Stir in vanilla and cinnamon.
  3. Add the oats and Cheerios and stir until a uniform mixture is formed. Pour into the prepared pan and press firmly into the pan. Cool completely (you can stick the pan in the refrigerator to expedite this process. Cut into bars and serve.
  4. Bars may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag, for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature about an hour.

Notes

Additional cooling time is necessary

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Flourless Chocolate Torte #SundaySupper

Flourless Chocolate Torte

Though we live in a rather built up and populated area, we are lucky enough to have a lot of wildlife around.

I mean does it get any better than having Target and Costco practically within walking distance, a major highway just a couple miles away, and birds and bunnies and deer and more frolicking in the yard?  I think not.

The majesty of wildlife is really something.

Flourless Chocolate Torte

We’ve had a raccoon visit us right at the kitchen window, which Mom still finds horrifying and I still love.  Raccoons also had a habit of getting into the hummingbird feeders, which is rather strange to me.

There have been deer, from a mom and her baby to majestic visitors, grazing at the bird feeder.

Ducks.  Lots of ducks, sometimes twenty at a time.  The best is when the trail of babies come from half a neighborhood away, waddling through the street like they own the place.  I never get tired of watching them.


More squirrels and those oh-so-adorable but oh-so-destructive red squirrels than we know what to do with and enough chipmunks to keep us entertained at all times.

Birds and hummingbirds fly and sing and eat and fight with each other.

Flourless Chocolate Torte

There have been groundhogs (with babies!) and opossums and wild turkeys, hawks and butterflies and dragonflies.

Recently the bunnies have come back out, just in time for Easter!

This Flourless Chocolate Torte is also just in time for your Easter dinner.  I used carob, you’ll use chocolate, but either way it is out of this world, crazy delicious.  It has almost this pecan pie without the nuts thing going for it with all the butter, eggs, sugar, and bourbon.   Small slice is rich enough to satisfy, making this impressive, yet deceptively easy to make dessert perfect for a crowd.

Flourless Chocolate Torte

The top is crackly and crunchy and the interior is silky smooth and just a little gooey.  Plus, it’s naturally gluten free.  Whether you are gluten free or not, you need this cake in your life!

Happy Easter!

Flourless Chocolate Torte #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 60 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: 12 servings

Ingredients

18 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
9 ounces carob or dark chocolate chips
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
7 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons bourbon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 9 inch cake pan, line it with parchment and butter the parchment.
  2. In a large bowl, place the butter and carob or chocolate chips. Melt in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until the butter and chips are completely melted. Stir until well combined.
  3. Stir in the sugar and allow to cool for a couple minutes.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, making sure to stir in each egg completely before adding another. Stir in the vanilla and bourbon and mix until a glossy, uniform mix is formed.
  5. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 30-60 minutes. I know that’s a wide range – the original recipe called for 30 minutes, but mine took about 60. I don’t know if that is just because of the carob, so start checking at 30 minutes, but be prepared to cook it for 60.
  6. The cake is done with the top is crackly but the cake is still rather jiggly, particularly in the center. Serve warm or cool completely in the pan. Cake may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to three months. Thaw at room temperature about 1 hour.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Well Plated

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Don’t forget to check out the other Sunday Supper dishes!  Thanks to Cindy from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings for hosting!

Make Ahead Sunday Supper Brunch Recipes

Breakfast Pastries

Eggs

Sides and Veggies

Sweets

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Lemon Poppy Seed Quick Bread #SundaySupper

Lemon Poppy Seed Quick Bread

I’m very scent oriented. By that I mean I like things that smell good.  Who doesn’t?  Well Dad since he’s having an issue and can’t currently smell much of anything, but other than that we all love closing our eyes, taking a deep breath, and being greeted by something magnificent.

Flowers.  Rain.  Freshly cut grass.  Shampoo and conditioner.

Lemon Poppy Seed Quick Bread

And don’t even get me started on food smells.  They are life.  sometimes a smell is almost as good as eating the real thing.  In the case of coffee, it’s usually better.  Though the Whole30 has taught me that coffee is wonderful, yes, even black.

Smells can alert us to danger, relax us, enhance memories and remind us of old ones.  It’s rather amazing how powerful something so seemingly simple really is.

Lemon Poppy Seed Quick Bread

Lemons and citrus in general are some of my all-time favorite smells.  Yes, they are food and remind us of all good citrusy foods we love, but they are also a little sweet and fresh and clean and calming.  There is actually scientific proof that lemons are calming and can help remedy a headache.

I am not ashamed to admit, I have now and then cut a lemon open just to smell it all day long.

When zesting lemons for this Lemon Poppy Seed Quick Bread, I could see the oils bursting into the air and inhaling the scent was wonderful.  Though citrus is really a winter thing, the brightness totally reminds me of spring and hope and life.

Lemon Poppy Seed Quick Bread

The smell when this bread was baking wasn’t too shabby either.  Of course, neither is the taste.  In fact, this is one of my favorite things I have made in a long time.  Maybe it’s because it was one of my first real tastes of dessert since the Whole30, but I have a feeling it’s also because it’s awesome.

What’s not to love about a dense, cakey loaf studded with tons of poppy seeds and fragrant with lemon juice and zest.  I don’t typically like the crusty tops of treats like this, but there was something about these corners, all caramelized and crunchy that is beyond addictive.

Finished with a sticky glaze, this bread needs to be the next thing you bake.  Don’t forget to take some time to smell the lemons while you do!

Lemon Poppy Seed Quick Bread

Lemon Poppy Seed Quick Bread

Lemon Poppy Seed Quick Bread #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients

Bread
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 large egg
¾ cup milk (I used almond, use what you love)
½ cup olive oil
Zest of 2 lemons
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
Glaze
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Make the bread. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Oil and flour a loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together sugar, egg, milk, oil, lemon juice and zest, and poppy seeds. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt until mostly combined – a few lumps are okay.
  3. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 55-65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Allow bread to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before loosening it around the edges and inverting it onto a serving plate.
  4. While the bread cools, make the glaze. In a medium microwave safe bowl, stir together sugar and lemon juice. Microwave on high in 15 second increments, stirring in between until the sugar is dissolved. Spoon evenly over cake and allow to sit for at least an hour so the glaze can soak in.
  5. Bread may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the microwave for about 1 minute.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

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Don’t forget to check out the other Sunday Supper dishes!  Thanks to Lisa Grant of Jersey Girl Cooks for hosting!

Sunday Supper Citrus Recipes That Will Make You Smile

Breakfast

Main Dishes

Desserts

Beverages

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

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