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.

Arhaus is one of my favorite places to shop for furniture.  I always stop in the store when I’m shopping at the mall and they have awesome dining furniture.  I have been on the hunt for a new kitchen table and this classic one caught my eye.

Arhaus Dining Table

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!

Sunday Supper Easy BBQ Recipes

Best Burgers and Sandwiches

Grill Master Mains

Mop Worthy Sauces

Searing Starters and Sides

Sizzling 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 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!

Sunday Supper Small Bites Recipes for Entertaining

SMALL STARTERS

PINT-SIZED PROTEIN

DEMI-DESSERTS

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!

Sunday Supper Mother’s Day Food Ideas

CHOCOLATE TREATS

ENTREES

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.

Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cookies #SundaySupper

Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cookies

I’m redesigning my room.  Or maybe just designing it for the first time.

It’s something I’ve thought about and been meaning to do and now I’ve finally taken the plunge.  Well, we have; it’s pretty much a team effort.

Dad is painting the room.  It’s purple-y pink and glorious.  It’s really impossible to love two paint colors more than I love these.

Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cookies

Now it’s time to order the furniture and wait for it to be delivered.  After searching in stores and online, I’ve finally settled on some goodies from Restoration Hardware.  And I only visited the store three times and the website oh about fifty.

It feels sooooo good to be doing something, making progress, creating change.  But it is a lot of work.  Like a lot.

Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cookies

Moving things around, measuring, mapping out, cleaning, generally hustling and organizing and trying to find things when they are all over the place and none of those places are their normal positions.

Really, I shouldn’t complain though, because I think painting is a lot harder than Dad remembered.  It’s slow and tiring.  And yet, he’s determined to paint more rooms, which is kind of super jump up and down exciting, even though I still want to move far, far away from here.  Oh yeah, #CaliforniaDreaming.

But I mean, what’s not to love about pink and purple paint and new furniture and soft bed linens and happiness and sunshine and butterflies?

Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cookies

Okay, maybe I got carried away there.  We’re talking about paint and furniture not agents and book deals.  But still, with some sunshine and warmer temperatures, happy dance may be my new permanent position.

Oh, and lots of Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cookies.  You don’t even have to feel that bad about eating these cookies.  They’re loaded with carrots, raisins, dried cherries, coconut, oatmeal, and coconut oil.  They are soft and moist with a subtle spice and taste even better than they smell.

Really, though, that needs to be the finishing touch for my room.  Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cookie Candles.  Someone needs to get on that ASAP!

Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cookies

Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cookies #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 15 cookies

Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
½ cup packed light brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 heaping cup shredded carrots
1 cup old fashioned oats
½ cup raisins
½ cup dried tart cherries
½ cup sweetened coconut flakes or chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
  2. In a large bowl, cream coconut oil with sugars until combined. I did this by hand, and it’s super easy – no need to pull out the mixer! Beat in the egg and vanilla.
  3. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon and stir to combine. Add the carrots, oats, raisins, cherries, and coconut and stir until well distributed.
  4. Take about golf ball sized portions of dough and place them on the baking sheet, spreading them out as much as possible. Bake for about 19 minutes, until mostly set. Serve warm or cool completely on the tray. Cookies may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days or in the freezer, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag, for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature about an hour or in the microwave about 1 minute.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

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Don’t forget to check out the other Sunday Supper recipes! Thanks to Anne from Simple and Savory for hosting!

BREAKFAST

CAKES, PIES, AND SWEETS

COOKIES AND BARS

Main Courses

Pastas

Seafood

Veggies and Sides

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.

Oatmeal Peppermint Smores Bars

Oatmeal Peppermint Smores Bars

Storytime!

I sometimes shout that when I or Mom or Dad have something to share.  It’s a fun exclamation to express my interest in sharing or hearing, which is almost always high.

I love talking and listening, connecting with people I love by sharing about our days and ourselves.  Plus, life is sometimes isolating and boring sitting at a computer and typing away all day, so storytime is something special.  Something to be savored.

Oatmeal Peppermint Smores Bars

But I can’t take credit for the exclamation.

In my freshman year of high school, we were all required to take health.  The teacher was a down to earth woman who tried to relate to us as equals more than treat us as inferiors.  She was a pretty decent teacher, but the school didn’t appreciate her and let her go after that year, as opposed to some of the other teachers, like the old lady who never moved from her desk and formed coherent sentences only some of the time.  But I digress.

Oatmeal Peppermint Smores Bars

Health wasn’t a super difficult, heavy class like many of the others.  It was a fun, interactive way for us to learn about ourselves and how to make life the best it could be.  So she wanted to make it fun as much of the time as possible.

She would tell the class stories, to which the girls, most of whom were very popular and didn’t much care for me, would exclaim “storytime!”

In the moment, I probably found it annoying and rolled my eyes, just waiting for the day to be over.  But all these years later, more than I care to think about, I like it.  It brings me joy, as it did them then.

Oatmeal Peppermint Smores Bars

Storytime is always a good thing.  So are any desserts with melty marshmallows.  Like these Oatmeal Peppermint Smores Bars.  These take smores to a whole new level with an oatmeal cookie base that is soft and chewy.  In the middle are tons of peppermint marshmallows that add a fun, subtle flavor, though vanilla will work just fine, and carob in my case, or dark chocolate, in your case, chips.

Serve these warm out of the oven or heat them in the microwave for a few seconds to enhance the smores experience.  Gather the family, have smores bars, and storytime.

Oatmeal Peppermint Smores Bars

Oatmeal Peppermint Smores Bars

Oatmeal Peppermint Smores Bars

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 9 large bars

Ingredients

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups quick cooking oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 heaping cups mini peppermint marshmallows
1 ½ cups carob or dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper, leaving overhang for easy removal later.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. I did this by hand but a hand or stand mixer will work as well. Beat in the eggs one at a time followed by the vanilla.
  3. Add the flour, oats, baking soda, and salt. Stir until a soft dough is formed. Press about half the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan. Top with the marshmallows and chips. Spread clumps of the remaining dough on top, covering as much of the filling as possible.
  4. Bake for about 30 minutes, until golden brown on top and bubbling. Cool in pan at least 30 minutes before serving. 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. Reheat or thaw in the microwave 30 – 60 seconds.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Spoon Fork Bacon

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