Sunshine State Citrus Cupcakes and a Gooseberry Patch GIVEAWAY!!

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Time for another giveaway for a great  Gooseberry Patch cookbook!

This giveaway is for ONE copy of the NEW Simple Shortcut Recipes generously donated by Gooseberry Patch.   This cookbook is perfect if you don’t have loads of time to spend in the kitchen.  The recipes are delicious, easy, and you probably have many of the ingredients in your pantry already.  Giveaway rules will follow after the recipe!

For the next 10 days, look for a recipe every day from this cookbook!

I chose to make these cupcakes because I LOVE citrus.  It’s one of my favorite ingredients to cook with.  Everything always tastes so fresh and citrus can be found all year long so I don’t have to wait for a certain time of year to use it.

One of the things I liked about this particular recipe, is that you can use it for a dessert, for breakfast, or for an afternoon snack with a cup of tea.  Plus I love Florida so anything that says Sunshine State is right up my alley!

Three of the four dogs got into them and enjoyed them as well!

Sunshine State Citrus Cupcakes
submitted by Bunny Palmertree of Carrollton, MS

VIEW PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE!

1 pkg yellow cake mix
2 small boxes Instant Lemon Pudding ~ I used sugar-free
3/4 cup oil
1 cup orange juice
4 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla

In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Beat for one minute on low and then 3 minutes on high.

Fill paper lined muffin tins about 1/2 full.

Bake at 350º for 25 minutes or until golden.

While cupcakes are still warm, pierce with a fork.

Spoon glaze evenly over the top of all the cupcakes, using up all the glaze. It’s easier if you put wax paper under the cooking rack to catch all the drips.

Glaze:
1/3 cup orange juice
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and boil and stir for 2 minutes. Use immediately.

Makes 2 dozen.

FOR THE GIVEAWAY ~ all you have to do is just reply on this post telling me you want to be entered.  Very easy!  The giveaway will run  until April 3.  I will pick a winner using random.org.  If you have any questions, just email me at a_recipe_a_day at yahoo dot com.

Happy Cooking!

Pi Day!

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Today is 3.14 which is pi so today is known as pi(e) day in the foodie/blogging world.

Those who follow A Recipe A Day on Facebook know that I have been craving banana cream pie so I thought it would be a perfect post for pi day ~ and it helped that I remembered to buy bananas.  A reader suggested a banana pudding pie and it stuck with me.

I was looking through a bunch of old cooking magazines last week and found one called Our Best-Ever Cakes and Pies by Southern Living.   While everything in it looks so good, I did find a banana pudding pie that used homemade pudding so I gave it a shot.  It wasn’t hard to put together but it did take some time.

As I suspected, one piece satisfied me and now I won’t want banana cream pie for another couple of years since I’m not really a fan of bananas.  Mr. Meat Eater, on the other hand, inhaled 2 pieces ~ he loved it!

Regular readers will know that I can’t cut a pie to save my soul so I will only show pictures of the whole pie before I make a mess of it, LOL!

Banana Pudding Pie

VIEW PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE!

1 (11 oz) box Nilla wafers
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 large bananas, sliced ~ I used 3
Vanilla Pudding ~ recipe follows
4 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350º. Put 30 Nillas aside.

In a food processor, process remaining Nilla wafers. Stir crushed wafers and melted butter together and firmly press on the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie plate.

Bake crust for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to rack and let cool.

Arrange half of the banana slices over the bottom of the crust.

Prepare the vanilla pudding and put 3/4 cup hot pudding over the bananas and top with 20 of the reserved Nillas. Put 3/4 of the leftover pudding over the top of the Nillas and top with remaining banana slices. Put the rest of the pudding (about 1 cup) over the banana slices.

Beat egg whites at high speed with an electric mixer at high speed until foamy. Add sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, beating until stiff peaks form and sugar is dissolved. Spread meringue over hot filling making sure to seal edges.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned.

Remove from oven and let cool on rack for 1 hour. Crush remaining Nillas and sprinkle over top of pie.

Chill for 4 hours before serving.

Makes 8 servings.

Vanilla Pudding

2 cups milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
2 large eggs
4 egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla

Whisk together first 5 ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, for 8-10 minutes or until mixture reaches thickness of chilled pudding. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Use in banana pie immediately.

Happy Cooking!

Mini Chocolate Cream Cheese Cupcakes

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While looking through my Adirondack cookbooks, I found one put out by a group from the hospital in the town I grew up in.  I even found a recipe my Mom submitted which I will be trying next week.

My daughter made a recipe like this once only in large cupcake form.  I really liked them and was happy to see and try this recipe.

One other thing, this is one of the few recipes I’ve made lately that made the exact amount the recipe said it would and used up all the batter.  I love it when that happens!

The recipe came from the Hamilton County TWIGS Volume IV cookbook.

Mini Chocolate Cream Cheese Cupcakes

VIEW PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE!

Filling:
1 egg
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/8 tsp salt
8 oz cream cheese, softened

Batter:
1 1/2 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup cold water
1/2 cup oil
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla

Filling: Beat egg, sugar, salt and cream together until well combined. Stir in mini chocolate chips. Set aside.

Batter: Mix flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa, and salt in a large bowl. Add cold water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Beat until well combined.

Grease mini muffin pans. Fill cups half full with the chocolate batter. Drop a teaspoon of the filling on top.

Bake at 350º for 15 to 18 minutes.

No frosting needed.

Makes 48 mini cupcakes

Happy Cooking!

Bourbon Pumpkin Tart and Some Commentary

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Before I get to the recipe, I am aggravated today by a fellow blogger who has seen fit to take others photos (not mine as far as I can tell), put HER watermark on them, and claim them as her own.  It’s people like her that give ALL bloggers a bad name ~ especially those who use lots of pictures.  I wrote a comment on her latest post where she calls what she is doing “recipe sharing” and since it won’t get approved, I’ll post it here, on my FB page and my personal FB page:

“Photos are the intellectual property of the photo taker. You have used other people’s photos from food.com and claimed them as your own ~ even so far as putting your watermark on them. You CANNOT do that. Every blogger knows this. A recipe cannot be copyrighted BUT any verbiage that is unique to the recipe CAN be. Again, every blogger knows this. Really, you might want to read up on copyrights in regards to photos and recipes. Screen shots have been taken and will be passed on to the proper people. I will be copying and pasting this to my blog and FB page since I doubt this will see the light of day on your blog.”

This annoys me to no end.  I have no problem sharing my pictures with anyone that asks.  They aren’t that great but I did take the time to make the recipe and photograph it.  I’m really beginning to wonder if this certain blogger is making any of these recipes or just passing them off as if she did.  I wouldn’t trust anything she puts on there.   I won’t give her any publicity by naming her but I’ll be happy to pass along her blog addy if you want to check to make sure she is not stealing anything that you have posted. Email me at a_recipe_a_day at yahoo dot com.

On to the recipe ~ I found this recipe on Pinterest ~ which if you haven’t been there, you should.  You will need an invite so just email me at the above address and I’ll send an invite (I’ll need your email address).  I am hopelessly addicted to it.  The original recipe came from The Pastry Queen and it was posted by Smells Like Home.

This is the best dessert I have made in YEARS!!  I did not use a tart crust but you could certainly use your favorite.  I used a Pillsbury ready made crust and just cut it up to fit my rectangle tart pan.  Next time, I would leave off the streusel.  It doesn’t add anything and really doesn’t look very appetizing.

Bourbon Pumpkin Tart

Filling:
1 (15 oz) can pure pumpkin
3 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cloves
1 tbsp flour
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup bourbon

Streusel:
3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chilled butter

Preheat oven to 350º. Line your tart pan with the dough. Place tart pan on a cookie sheet for ease in getting into and out of the oven.

Pour pumpkin into large bowl and whisk in the eggs, one at a time, until it is well mixed. Add sugars, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and flour and whisk for about 30 seconds. Whisk in the heavy cream and bourbon. The filling may seem a bit runny but it’s fine.

To make the streusel put all ingredients EXCEPT the butter into a food processor bowl. Cut up the butter into small cubes and add to the flour mixture in the bowl. Pulse until the mixture looks crumbly.

Pour the pumpkin mixture into the prepared tart crust. Spoon the topping evenly over the pumpkin mixture.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until the filling is set.

Let cool at least one hour before serving.

Serve warm or at room temperature. It also tastes good cold.  Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

Makes 6-8 servings.

VIEW PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE!

Happy Cooking!

An Old Fall Favorite ~ Pumpkin Roll

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I love pumpkin rolls ~ well, actually any kind of roll but pumpkin is my favorite.

This really isn’t hard to make it just takes a bit of time.  Make sure you put enough powdered sugar on the tea towel so that the cake won’t stick to it!  I’m always surprised that I can make these since I’m somewhat of a bull in a china shop in the kitchen at times, LOL!  It’s so delicious and looks great as a dessert for Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Pumpkin Roll

Cake:
1/4 cup powdered sugar (to sprinkle on towel ~ use more if needed)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup pure pumpkin ~ not pumpkin filling
1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
Filling:
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
6 tbsps butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
Powdered sugar (optional for decoration)

Cake:
Preheat oven to 375°. Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan; line with wax paper. Grease and flour paper. Sprinkle a thin, cotton kitchen towel with powdered sugar.

Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt in small bowl.

Beat eggs and sugar in large mixer bowl until thick. Beat in pumpkin. Stir in flour mixture. Spread evenly into prepared pan. Sprinkle with nuts, if using.

Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched. (If using a dark-colored pan, begin checking for doneness at 11 minutes.) Immediately loosen and carefully turn cake onto towel sprinkled with powdered sugar. Carefully peel off paper. Roll up cake and towel together, starting with narrow end. Cool on wire rack.

Filling:
Beat cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar, butter and vanilla in small mixer bowl until smooth. Carefully unroll cake. Spread cream cheese mixture over cake. Reroll cake. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving, if desired.

Cook’s Note:
Be sure to put enough powdered sugar on the towel when rolling up the cake so it will not stick.

Makes 8-10 servings

VIEW PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE!

Happy Cooking!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Fudge

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Wow ~ I am loving the comments so far on my giveaway.  Everything sounds so yummy!!  If you want to join in see this post ~ My Very FIRST Giveaway

In a word, this fudge is delicious!   I only had a taste since I’m trying not to eat any sweets and it was hard NOT to have more.  I think Mr. Meat Eater ate the rest of the pan.

This recipe is very easy and really not at all difficult like some fudge recipes can be.   I think it would wonderful with homemade chocolate chip cookies.  I used original Chips Ahoy cookies since I am basically lazy.  Don’t skimp on toasting the pecans ~ it really helps to make the recipe.

The fudge would make an excellent gift or treat at Christmas.  I found the recipe in Southern Living’s Cooking for Christmas.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Fudge

1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1 (12 ounce) package semisweet chocolate morsels
1 (11.5 ounce) package milk chocolate morsels
1/2 cup evaporated milk (one of those small cans is 1/2 cup)
1 1/2 tsps vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
12 chocolate chip cookies, chopped (about 1 3/4 cups)

To toast the pecans ~ spread on a small baking sheet, place in a preheated to 350º oven and let bake for 10 minutes or so. When you can start smelling them, they are done. Be careful NOT to burn. If they burn, toss and start over.

Line the bottom of an 8×8 baking pan with aluminum foil so the foil hangs over the edges. Lightly grease the foil.

Combine both packages of morsels and the evaporated milk in a large saucepan; cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly for 5 minutes or until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Rmove from heat and stir in the pecans, vanilla, and salt. Stir in the cookies. Spread in prepared pan.

Let stand for 4 hours or until the fudge is firm.

Lift fudge from the pan using the foil sides as handles. Remove foil and throw away and cut the fudge into squares.

Makes 2 1/4 lbs fudge

Happy Cooking!

Black Forest Cupcakes

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Before I go any further, Black Forest Cherry Cake is my all-time favorite cake.  In fact, we had one for our wedding cake.  That’s how much I love it.

A few weeks ago, I was reading The Disney Food Blog (one of my very favorite blogs) and came across this post ~ Black Forest Cupcake.  I could NOT stop thinking about it and since I won’t be going back to WDW for a few months, I sent my son (who lives in Orlando) to check it out.  He ate at the Contempo and said the cupcake was one of the best things he had ever eaten.

That was all it took to send me on a mission to recreate it.  As luck would have it, I did a google search and came up with a copycat recipe for regular sized cupcakes.  Being diabetic, I should NOT be eating these at all so I saved up some carbs so I could try it.  I wish I hadn’t.  They are VERY good.  I am looking forward to trying the real thing when I get back to the World.   And I ate more than one.

Black Forest Cherry Cupcakes

1 (18.25 ounce) package chocolate cake mix
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened (I used lite)
1 egg
2 tablespoons sugar
1 (19 ounce) can cherry pie filling (I used lite)
1 1/2 cups thawed Cool Whip  (I used sugar free)

Heat oven to 350º. Prepare cake batter as directed on package and set aside.

Mix cream cheese, egg and sugar until well blended.

Remove 3/4 cup of the cherry pie filling for garnish; set aside.

Spoon 2 tablespoons cake batter into each of 24 paper-lined medium muffin cups. Top each with 1 tablespoon each of the cream cheese mixture and the remaining cherry pie filling. Cover evenly with remaining cake batter.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool 5 minutes; remove from pan to wire racks. Cool completely.

Top with whipped topping and reserved cherry pie filling just before serving.  Keep in refrigerator.

Makes 24 cupcakes.

Happy Cooking!

Key Lime Pie with Gingersnap and Coconut Crust

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Key Lime Pie is Mr. Meat Eater’s favorite pie.  I do not like it at all.  So, being the nice wife that I am, I made him one for his first day back at work.  I did taste it and it’s very lime-y and the crust is a great contrast to the pie.  It’s super easy to make.

I wanted to show the crust in the picture since everyone knows what a Key lime pie looks like.

The recipe came from a cookbook called More Recipes Worth Sharing.

Key Lime Pie with Gingersnap Crust

Crust:
1 1/2 cup gingersnap cookies, crushed (about 18 cookies)
3/4 cup sweetened, flaked coconut
4 tbsps butter, melted

Filling:
1 (15 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup Key lime juice (I used Nellie and Joe’s)
grated rind of 1 lime
4 egg yolks

For the crust: In a food processor, pulse the cookies until fine crumbs; add coconut and pulse; add melted butter and pulse. Press into a pie pan. Bake at 350º for 8-10 minutes. Cool before filling.

For the filling: Mix all the ingredients and fill cooled pie shell. Bake at 350º for 7-10 minutes.

Makes 8 servings

Happy Cooking!

Strawberry Cake

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I made this cake for my daughter’s birthday at her request.  Actually, she asked for a strawberry cake so I was unsure whether she meant a cake with strawberries or a strawberry flavored cake.  I went with the cake with strawberries.  I hunted around for a recipe and found this recipe posted by BecR on Food.com .  It is fabulous.

It’s an easy cake to make and it looks like you were working all day.  I made the cake layers from a box but you can make homemade or buy the layers in a bakery.

In the second not-very-good picture, I just wanted you to be able to see where exactly to put the strawberries. I should never be allowed to cut cakes or pies, LOL!

Strawberry Cake

2 pints fresh strawberries, sliced
3 tbsps sugar
2 (9 inch) white cake layers, already baked
6 ozs cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted
3/4 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Make or purchase the white cake layers and allow to completely cool if baking.

Mix the strawberries with the sugar in a medium bowl and set aside at room temp for about 30 or so minutes. Put aside a few strawberries for garnish if you so desire.

Using a mixer on medium, whip the cream cheese and powdered sugar and vanilla until creamy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the cream until it starts to thicken, then increase to high and beat until soft peaks form. Do not over mix.

To assemble the cake: Place one layer on serving plated and layer half of the sweetened strawberries over the top and press gently. Spread about 1/3 of the frosting CAREFULLY over the strawberries to within about 1/2 inch of the sides.

Place the second layer on top and press down gently. Do the same with the strawberries. Frost the sides and top of the cake.

Decorate the cake as desired.

Store in the fridge.

Makes 8 servings

Happy Cooking!

Blueberry Lemon Tart

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This is such a delicious dessert and I made it as low sugar as I possibly could so I could have a piece.  I don’t think I would use the full sugar next time ~ it’s perfect without.

Instead of the vanilla cookie crust, I made a graham cracker crust using the box directions and I did use the amount of sugar called for on the box ~ but I used 3 very scant tablespoons.  It was probably more like 1 1/2 to 2 tbsps.  The rest of my changes you’ll see on the ingredient list.

The recipe came from Food.com and was posted by TasteTaster.  I seem to be cooking from Food.com alot lately.

Blueberry Lemon Tart

Crust:
35 vanilla wafer cookies, crushed (1 1/2 cups)
1 egg white, beaten
1 tablespoon butter, melted

Filling:
1 1/4 cups low-fat milk
4 ounces instant lemon pudding mix ~ I used sugar-free
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel ~ I used grated peel from a whole lemon
1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed ~ I used sugar-free

Topping:
2 tablespoons sugar ~ I used 1 tbsp of Splenda blend
1 teaspoon cornstarch ~ I used a heaping tsp
3 tablespoons water
1 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen ~ I used frozen wild blueberries
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Crust:
Heat oven to 400º. Lightly spray tart pan with removable bottom, 9×1 inch, with cooking spray.

Mix crushed cookies, egg white and butter until crumbly. Press onto bottom and up the side of pan. Bake 8-10 minutes or until light golden brown; cool.

I made a graham cracker crust and followed the directions on the box for a pie crust.  To make a good crust, I take a measuring cup and press it against the corner of the pan like so:

Filling:
Beat milk, pudding mix and lemon peel in medium bowl with electric mixer on low speed about 2 minutes or until smooth.

Chill 5 minutes.

Fold in the whipped topping and spread the filling over the crust.

Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours until chilled.

Topping:
Mix sugar, cornstarch and water in 1-quart saucepan the stir in 1/2 cup of the blueberries.

Heat to boiling then reduce heat to medium-low and cook about 5 minutes or until slightly thickened.

Stir in lemon juice and remove from heat. Cool 10 minutes.

Stir in remaining 1 cup blueberries and cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour until chilled.

Spread over prepared tart.

Keep tart in the refrigerator.

Makes 8 servings

Happy Cooking!