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February 25, 2010

Sharing the most delectable recipes I find with fellow foodies on a tight budget. Enjoy!

Yuletide Pumpkin Log

December 23, 2010

This is a favorite Holiday cake roll in my family! Gets requested every year. Enjoy! 🙂

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3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp ginger

1 tsp nutmeg

3 eggs

1 cup sugar

2/3 cup cooked pumpkin, canned

1 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Powdered sugar

Cream Cheese Filling:

1 cup powdered sugar

1 tbsp margarine

1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese

1 tsp vanilla


Cake Roll:

1.  Preheat oven to 375ºF.

2.  In a medium bowl, beat 3 eggs at high speed for 1-2 minutes.

3.   Gradually work in 1 cup of sugar.

4.  Stir in pumpkin, vanilla, and lemon juice.  Mix well.

5.  Sift dry ingredients together and add to the bowl.

6.  Spray a large cookie sheet (with 1″ sides) with nonstick spray. Place waxed paper on the sprayed pan with the edges overlapping.

7.  Spray the waxed paper lightly with nonstick spray.

8.  Spoon the batter onto the cookie sheet and spread evenly (very important!).

9.  Sprinkle with chopped nuts and  place in the center rack in the oven for 10-15 minutes.  (Do not let cake get too done)

10. Lay a clean dish towel (no terry cloth) on a flat surface and sprinkle generously with powdered sugar, spreading evenly.

11. When cake is done, turn cake onto the dusted towel and remove waxed paper gently.

12. Gather the ends of the dish towel on the right and begin to roll the cake gently with the towel while the cake is still hot.

13. Place the roll on a flat surface in the refrigerator and allow it to cool completely.

14. When cake is completely cool, unroll gently and spread filling evenly.

15.  Re-roll without the towel and refrigerate.  Before serving, dust with powdered sugar.  Garnish with holly or mint leaves and berries.

16. To serve, cut into slices.  Cake resembles pinwheels.  Makes one log that serves 8.

Cream Cheese Filling:

1.  Cream together in a medium bowl powdered sugar, margarine, cream cheese and vanilla.

2.  Beat for 3 minutes or until smooth.

3.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Holiday Peanut Butter Pixies

November 15, 2010

The best version of the classic peanut butter cookie!  Perfect for holiday tables 🙂

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½ cup butter
½ cup crunchy peanut butter
½ cup sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
1 egg
½ tsp vanilla
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
¾ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup crushed roasted peanuts, salted (if desired)
powdered sugar
baking powder

1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
2. In a large bowl, mix cream together butter, peanut butter, sugars, egg and vanilla until well mixed.
3. Add flour, soda, salt and nuts. Mix well by hand.
4. Shape into 1” inch balls and place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
5. Dip fork into baking powder and press down once very lightly in the center of a dough ball. Dip fork into baking powder again and hold the fork at a right angle and press down again, making a criss cross shape. Repeat with all dough balls.
6. Bake in oven for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. (if you prefer a chewy cookie, bake closer to 12 minutes, and for a crispy cookie, closer to 15 minutes)
7. Remove from oven and cool on a rack.
8. When cookies are completely cool, place on cookie plate.
9. Dust with sifted powdered sugar until snowy. Garnish plate with mint sprigs and raspberries.
Makes about 2 dozen.

Perfectly Puffy Pineapple and Strawberry Filling

March 9, 2010

Always a big hit with family and friends 🙂 Definitely one of my favorites!

(As seen in the Spring Strawberry Cake post)

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1 can crushed pineapple in juice

1/2 tub whipped cream

1 pkg vanilla pudding mix

1/2 cup sliced fresh strawberries

2 Tbsp cream cheese, softened


1. In a large bowl, empty the contents of the can of pineapple complete with juice.

2. Mix in cream cheese, stirring well.

3. Stir in Vanilla pudding mix, until well mixed.

4. With a rubber spatula, gently fold in 1/2 tub of whipped cream, mixing well and slowly, taking care not to overstir and flatten the mixture.  The objective is to keep it light and fluffy.

5. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.

6. When ready to fill or serve, gently stir in sliced strawberries until just mixed. (Over-stirring will make strawberries come apart and turn your filling pink)

7. Delicately spoon mixture onto cake or ice cream with rubber spatula.  Serve as desired.

Makes about 3 cups of filling.

Spring Strawberry Cake with Pineapple Filling

March 6, 2010

A tantalizing, fresh cake that will make your sweet tooth (and your family) very happy! 🙂 Voila!

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2 boxes yellow cake mix (prepared according to directions)

2   6-oz. pkg strawberry gelatin mix


1 can crushed pineapple in juice

1 tub whipped cream

1 pkg vanilla pudding mix

1/2 cup sliced fresh strawberries

2 Tbsp cream cheese, softened


1 8-oz pkg cream cheese, softened

3 cups powdered sugar

1/4 cup butter


1/2 cup sliced strawberries

1/2 cup slivered almonds, if desired as a garnish


1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Spray two 9″ cake pans or one 10″ springform pan with nonstick spray.

2. In a large bowl, prepare yellow cake batter according to directions on the box.  Slowly beat in the strawberry gelatin powder until the mixture is a deep pink.

3. Pour into baking pans and bake 30-40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  When baked, run a wet knife around the edges to unstick from pan.  Let cool before unmolding.

4. Prepare filling by emptying the can of crushed pineapple with the juice into a bowl.  Mix in 2 Tbsp of cream cheese.  Then the vanilla pudding mix.  When it is well-mixed, with a rubber spatula gently fold in half a tub of whipped cream, taking care to keep the mixture light and fluffy.  Refrigerate.

5. Prepare frosting by creaming together the brick of cream cheese and the butter.  When well-mixed, add powdered sugar to thicken, little by little, according to taste (about 3 cups), but you can always use more or less depending on what you like.  Refrigerate.

6.  When the cake is cooled, set bottom layer on cake platter (If you used a springform pan, cut cake in half to make two layers using either a serrated knife and toothpicks, or thread.  See Cheeky Tips for instructions.)

7.  Separate half of the filling mixture and add 1/2 cup sliced strawberries, mixing very gently, until just barely mixed. (Don’t overmix or strawberries will start coming apart).

8. Spoon this entire half of the mixture onto the bottom cake layer, spreading gently and evenly, then add the top cake layer.

9. Frost the cake completely with the cream cheese frosting prepared earlier.

10. Over the top of the frosted cake, spread remaining pineapple mixture evenly.  Then spread sliced strawberries over the top of this mixture as a layer.  Garnish with almond slivers around the bottom cake layer, if desired.

Makes 12-16 servings.  Enjoy! 🙂

Amanda’s Heavenly Shepherd’s Pie

February 26, 2010

This down-home cooking recipe is one of my favorites.  Give blandness a kick in the pants! 😉

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1 cup chopped celery

1 container mushrooms, fresh, sliced

1/2 cup + 1/4 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup + 1/2 cup chopped scallions

1/2 tsp + 1/2 tsp salt

1 egg, slightly beaten

1 tsp + 1 tsp crushed black pepper

1 Tbsp garlic salt

1 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp dry parsley flakes

1 can (10.75 oz)  condensed cream of mushroom soup (prepare according to label, substituting  milk instead of water)

2 Tbsp butter

1 can peas, drained (or green beans if you prefer)

1 lb. cheddar cheese, grated

2 lbs. ground beef (ground turkey works, too)

1/2 clove of garlic, mashed

8 cups mashed potatoes, prepared


1.  Preheat oven to 400ºF.
2.  In a large bowl, add the mashed potatoes, chopped onion, 1/2 cup chopped scallions, and the egg.  Mix well.  Flavor the mixture with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. black pepper.
3.  In a large non-stick pan, brown beef with 1/4 cup onions, mashed garlic clove, and a little water (if necessary).

4.  In a microwave safe dish, place the peas and a bit of water.  Cover with plastic wrap and steam in the microwave on high for 4 minutes.  Once the peas are hot, remove them from the microwave and drain.  Set them aside.

5.  In another microwave safe dish, heat mushroom soup and milk according to directions on label.  Mix well and set aside.

6.  Add celery, mushrooms, peas, 1 Tbsp parsley flakes, remaining salt and pepper, and soup mixture to the beef in the pan.  Mix well, but gingerly, taking care not to mash the peas.

7.  Grease (or spray with nonstick spray) a large casserole dish.  Spoon half of the mashed potato mixture to the bottom of the pan and spread.

8.  Top with meat mixture, spreading it evenly.  Sprinkle with half of the grated cheese, then top with the remaining potatoes.

9.  Dot potatoes with butter, then sprinkle the remaining cheese over them.  Garnish with the remaining parsley and scallions.

10.  Bake 20-25 minutes until brown.  Let cool a few minutes before serving.

Serves 6-8.

Well, Hello There, Blogosphere!

February 25, 2010

I love eating. No, really, I do!  And cooking. And reading about cooking. And baking. And reading about baking. And frosting cakes. And watching TV shows about frosting cakes. And collecting cookbooks.  And trying new restaurants. Oh, and throwing parties! So what is an avid foodie like me to do?

I start whisking madly in my kitchen,  hair in feverish–but cute–disarray, then buckle down and write my own food blog!

I hope to feature recipes from my own collection and those that others share with me. I am committed to bringing you only the best of the best!  If I haven’t tried it and dropped over dead from delight (and not poisoning, that’s important!) then I will not sully my brand new blogosphere reputation by posting it here!

Only the best for my new friends!  Calories be darned!