Monday, October 31, 2011

Pumpkin Loaf

I love mornings! I always find I am most productive before noon, after that I turn into a pumpkin. The other morning my son woke me up earlier than usual. Like a typical baby, he woke the household, ate, and went back to bed. This left me wide eyed and twirling my thumbs at 7:30am. So I cleaned out the fridge...of all things to do this was top of my list. As I was throwing out last weeks leftovers I came across my leftover pumpkin puree from my pumpkin roll. Time to bake! I abandoned the fridge and headed to my bookshelf to find my pumpkin loaf recipe. I knew the recipe yielded two loafs which was perfect for the two sets of grandparents.

My son's room is just a short distanced from our kitchen so I didn't want to turn on the electric mixer just yet. He really isn't a light sleeper but when I start a project I really don't want to wake him. I got out my big mixing bowl, a whisk, and rolled up my sleeves. In went the dry ingredients, than the wet ingredients, and into the oven. Soon my whole home smelled like the delicious scent of pumpkin and I got back to the cleaning out the fridge.


Pumpkin Loaf
Adapted from: Best of Bridge Volume 1

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups pumpkin, canned
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups oil

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Make a well in center.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and stir just enough to mix
  • Pour batter into two greased loafed pans
  • Bake for 1 hour

Chocolate Cupcakes with Buttercream Vanilla Icing

This weekend we had a birthday celebration at my moms home for two October birthdays. After logging in too many hours of watching Cupcake Wars, Cupcake Girls, Cake Boss, and Cake Walk I ecstatically volunteered to make cupcakes for the birthday kids.

My first recipe choice was for peanut butter frosted cupcakes but I didn't have all the ingredients in the cupboard. My sisters kids don't like cream cheese icing (I am still shocked from the news) so I decided I better keep it simple.

I searched the web and recipe books for ideas for a new cupcake recipe, something really good I thought. The result...a chocolate cupcake. I had to laugh at myself because really what was I looking for? We all know when it comes to kids you can't go wrong if it involves a lot of icing and sprinkles. So I baked up chocolate cupcakes and topped them off with buttercream, chocolate sprinkles, and a piece of a peanut butter cup.

The kids loved the icing and the peanut butter cup, and the rest of us enjoyed eating their leftovers.

These cupcakes are delicious...cupcake girls move over!


Chocolate Cupcakes
Adapted from: Joy of Baking

  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • Preheat your oven to 375 and grease or line muffin tray with paper liners.
  • In a bowl stir together the boil water and cocoa powderuntil combined, let cool to room temperature
  • In another bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt
  • In your mixer, beat your eggs and sugar until they are light and fluffy, adding your eggs one at a time
  • Mix in your vanilla extract to your sugar/egg mixture
  • Add your flour mixture and mix
  • Add your cooled cocoa mixture and mix until smooth
  • Fill your muffin cups to two-thirds full and bake for 16-20 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack to cool

Quick Buttercream Icing
Adapted from: Gale Gand

  • 3 cups icing sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 teaspoon whipping cream

  • Mix together sugar and butter in stand mixer. I used a paddle attachment, it worked great
  • Mix on low speed until combined, than mix on medium for 3 minutes
  • Add in vanilla extract and cream and continue beating on medium speed
  • Add more cream for desired consistency
For decorating I did not have any icing bags or tips. I scooped the icing into a ziploc bag and sniped the end. It worked great!

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Pumpkin Roll

Fall is here, time for pumpkin treats. This year I made pumpkin cheesecake for Thanksgiving (I highly recommend it) and I am dying to make pumpkin cookies but I just haven't found the time. I recently made this roll for my sister and I's play date this week. It's delicious, a must for fall baking.

Pumpkin and cream cheese icing make a great pair in this roll. The cake part has just a hint of pumpkin taste combined with a little cinnamon and allspice and the cream cheese is a nice sweet treat.

I recommend serving this roll at any coffee, lunch, or play date.

Pumpkin Roll

Adapted from: Joy of Baking
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree (I used canned)


  • 8 ounces of cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup walnuts or pecans (l leave nuts out due to allergies)


  • Icing sugar

How to make

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
  • Grease a jelly roll pan (cookie sheet that is 15 in X 10 in) with butter or a non stick spray, line it with wax paper and than butter and flour the wax paper. Make sure you grease the wax paper right to the edges so the cakes edges will not stick.
  • Sift all your dry ingredients into a large bowl (flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, salt).
  • In a mixing bowl place your eggs and sugar, beat on high for 5 minutes. You want the egg and sugar mixture fluffy when you are finished.
  • Stir in gently pumpkin and vanilla into egg mixture, stir until combined
  • Gently fold the flour mixture into pumpkin mixture
  • Pour the batter into your prepared pan and spread evenly with a spatula
  • Bake for 13-15 minutes in your preheated oven
  • While the cake is baking dust a clean dish towel with icing sugar.
  • When the cake is done, immediately flip it over onto the dish towel
  • Gently remove the wax paper from the cake
  • Sprinkle with icing sugar
  • Roll the cake up in the dish towel starting from the shorter end
  • Place on cooling rack to cool
  • Beat the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until fluffy. Add the icing sugar and beat until combined. If you are adding nuts, fold in the nuts after mixing

To assemble
  • When the cake is cool, unroll the cake gently
  • Spread the filling all over the cake
  • Re roll and transfer to serving plate
  • Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight before serving, this just makes it easier to cut
  • Dust with icing sugar before serving
  • Enjoy :)

Not yet a fan of pumpkin roll...or pumpkins

Sunday, October 23, 2011


I had high hopes for my first post on my blog. My boyfriend, we will call him T, had been requesting lasagna all week so lasagna it was. I picked out a new deep dish meat lasagna recipe; it had homemade sauce and a ricotta, parmesan, and mozzarella cheese blend. The recipe I knew was a lot of work but the reward of a piping hot lasagna from the oven was totally worth the chore. However my dreams of trying the new recipe were soon crushed by my two hungry boys. I had to refer to my old stand by and T's favorite lasagna recipe.

This recipe for lasagna is so easy and quick (there is no boiling noodles). I was able to nurse a baby on the couch and direct T in the kitchen on how to put it together. No more frozen lasagnas for the family, this takes no effort to put together.

Adapted from: Me

You will need

  • 2 lbs extra lean beef
  • Garlic (as many cloves as you like)
  • 1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
  • 2 cups of 2% cottage cheese
  • 4 cups of your favorite pasta sauce (I like Hunts)
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Cheddar cheese
  • 8 Oven Ready Lasagna Noodles

  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  • Over medium-high heat, brown your beef and drain. Return your beef to the pan and add your garlic. You can also throw in some diced onion to for flavor at this time.
  • Add your sauce and the italian seasoning, let simmer while you shred your cheese.
  • We use cheddar and mozzerlla but you can really use any cheese you want. I also don't measure my cheese we just add as much as we like.
  • Dig in your cupboards for a 9x13 glass casserole dish
  • Scoop some of the meat sauce into the bottom of the pan, you want a thin layer covering the bottom
  • Than place four lasagna noodles over the meat sauce
  • Scoop meat sauce onto the noodles, spreading another thin layer over the noodles
  • Add the cottage cheese on top of the meat in the casserole dish and spread to cover
  • Layer noodles on top of cheese and meat mixture
  • Take the remaining meat sauce in the pan and spread over noodles.
  • Cover and smother with cheese
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 50 minutes or until cheese is brown and bubbling
We had a nice quiet son slept and the lasagna was so good we were both left speechless :)