Vanilla Pound Cake with Cinnamon-Vanilla Cream Glaze

I know it’s taboo to post sugar the first week of the new year, with everyone on the diet train and all, but since it’s the SECOND week in January…I think we all deserve a treat for making it this far. Am I right, or am I right?! First, I have to admit that I’m am so not a vanilla person. I will choose chocolate every time. Or maybe lemon. But never vanilla. However, my daughter had a friend over recently and it was the little girl’s birthday. Me, being the awesome mom that I am (so says I), offered to bake a cake. The girl requested vanilla. I was like “huh?” She said she didn’t like chocolate. So I made her leave. Just kidding…but seriously?

Vanilla Cake with Glaze

Well, I may just be a vanilla convert. I never knew the quality of the vanilla would make such a difference. I mean, you usually only add a teaspoon or so to baked goods, so what’s the big deal right?

Nielsen Massey Mexican Vanilla

It makes a difference. Trust me! I was sent some Nielson-Massey Mexican Vanilla to sample and used it in this cake…it was so good! Granted, the predominant flavor of this cake, is in fact, vanilla. So it would make sense that a good quality extract would up the yumminess factor.

vanilla pound cake without glaze

The cake itself is lighter than a traditional pound cake, but still nicely dense. It has a good flavor and would be excellent with a chocolate ganache, lemon glaze, or pretty much anything you want to top it with. It’s even good plain!

Vanilla Pound Cake Pin

I decided I would go all-out vanilla, and added vanilla cream glaze, with a little cinnamon.

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Recipe Source: Cooking Light

So what are you…a chocolate or vanilla person? Or lemon, or strawberry….we can still be friends.

I was provided a sample of the Nielsen Massey vanilla mentioned in the post but was not compensated nor obligated to right about them. All thoughts expressed are my own. 

This Vanilla Pound Cake was featured at the Moonlight & Mason Jars Party, Miz Helen’s Country Cottage, and chosen as a host favorite at Daily Dish Magazine!

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage  Daily Dish Magazine

I may be linking up at any of the following – (Monday) Little Miss DexterousThe Tumbleweed ContessaI Should Be Mopping the FloorHuckleberry Love (Tuesday) Pocket Change GourmetNaptime  Creations, Memories By the MileVMG206The Cookie Puzzle (Wednesday) Sew Crafty AngelThe Newlyweds PilgrimageFluster BusterGinger Snap Crafts (Thursday) Joyful HomemakingMiz Helen’s Country CottageLamberts Lately (Friday) Project InspireJust Us FourDiana RamblesThe Better Baker,Close to HomeWalking on SunshineVintage ChicDaily DishThe Diary of a Real Housewife (Sunday) My Husband Has Too Many Hobbies

Loaded Cauliflower Casserole

For those of you watching your carb intake, cauliflower can be used as a decent substitute for potatoes in some dishes. I say ‘decent’ because I don’t really like cauliflower but have been successful (and sometimes not so successful) in using it in the place of potatoes for a low carb side dish and my favorite way to eat it….as pizza crust!

Loaded Cauliflower Casserole

For Thanksgiving, I knew my low-carbing, diabetic husband would have a lack of options for sides, since he would not be eating the awesome stuffing, or the potatoes. (I think we had rice too!) So I made this cauliflower casserole and included lots of cheese-y goodness, and bacon. Because we know bacon makes everything mo’betta.

Cauliflower Casserole

Did it taste like a loaded baked potato? No. It tasted like cooked cauliflower with cheese and bacon. However, it wasn’t bad for us non-cauliflower people and it was down right tasty to those who like it (aka my mom. The only one out of the 10 of us.) But, it gave my husband a low carb option, so my job was done.

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Thanksgiving plate

This. This is how you do Thanksgiving. And this (in conjunction with cookies, fudge and egg nog) is why I need to be at the gym right now.

I may be linking up at any of the following – (Monday) The Tumbleweed ContessaI Should Be Mopping the FloorHuckleberry Love (Tuesday) Naptime  Creations, Memories By the MileVMG206The Cookie Puzzle (Wednesday) Sew Crafty AngelThe Newlyweds PilgrimageFluster BusterGinger Snap Crafts (Thursday) Joyful HomemakingMiz Helen’s Country CottageLamberts Lately (Friday) Project InspireJust Us FourDiana RamblesThe Better Baker,Close to HomeWalking on SunshineVintage ChicDaily DishThe Diary of a Real Housewife

Creamy Hoisin Egg Roll Dipping Sauce

This post was sponsored by MINH® Mini Chicken Egg Rolls and I was compensated to write it. Regardless, what I have written reflects my own opinion and experience. I hope you find it useful.

The holidays are in full swing, and with that brings social gatherings. And obviously you can’t have a get together without lots of good eats…otherwise it’s just a meeting. (Ok, so I’m sort of paraphrasing Julia Child, but she definitely had a point.) I love party food (aka appetizers, appies, finger foods, or hors d’oeuvres <– hardest word ever to spell)

Egg rolls w sauce collage_Fotor

Sometimes we have hors d’oeuvre night where we just have a bunch of party food for dinner. My kids love that (for obvious reasons.) It’s mainly for “special occasions”. Anyway, as much as I love making everything from scratch, like homemade egg rolls, I often just don’t. have. time. So, I was thrilled to find these MINH® Mini Chicken Egg Rolls at Sam’s Club.

Minh at Sams

They are affordable, you get a bunch in a box, and most important – they are delish!

egg rolls labeled photo

They are the perfect size to serve at a party too. They bake in the oven in under 15 minutes, and come with a tasty sweet chili sauce.

party egg rolls

I’ve sprinkled this platter with dried cilantro and red pepper flakes (green & red!) but it could be easily omitted, or just added to the sauces. You could also use basil I think, but I would not recommend oregano (personal opinion).

Egg Rolls

Along with the sweet chili sauce, I wanted a white sauce (I almost made it green with the addition of green dragon sauce, but I wasn’t sure if it would look appetizing.) This is a mild, creamy, slightly sweet sauce that pairs well with the egg rolls and perfect for those who have a low heat tolerance (everyone in my house except me!), but you can easily spice it up by increasing the chili paste or adding red pepper flakes.

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In addition to mini egg rolls, my other “go-to” party foods are sausage balls (these are a must at Christmas and New Year’s!), Creamy Sausage Dip, Chips with restaurant style salsa, chips and dip, cheese and crackers, and at Christmas, there will be fudge on the dessert table, along with these…022

Pretzel Treats…my kids LOVE these. Obviously, we don’t usually have fancy parties. We have family, kid-friendly parties! What’s your favorite party food?

Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Cookie Bars & GIVEAWAY!

I was provided with a Krusteaz Holiday gift pack to facilitate this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

My Christmas baking list is quite long (shortbread, gingerbread, fudge, sausage balls, and so much more!) & I have been in a cookie baking frenzy. Well, I was. Until my 7 year old had a terrible asthma flare up that has been going on for weeks now. Several doctor visits, multiple medications, and let’s not forget – NO SCHOOL. I have three kids, and one of them is not in school with only a couple more weeks till Christmas! Do you see where I’m going with this?

Cookie gifts

BUT, there is one thing I do not need to panic over, and that’s the holiday treats. With the help of Krusteaz Cookie Mixes, we can have all the fun Christmas cookies, without all the time & effort on my part. Not to mention, I don’t have to stress over gift giving. I have a few options to share that will help you if you are short on time this holiday season as well. And seriously, is there ever enough time?!

Oatmeal Scotchie Food gift

Food gifts do not always have to be prepared ahead of time. Many people have lots of goodies on hand during the holidays, so packaging up mixes that can be easily prepared later is a fun gift. You can mix up a homemade cookie mix, or you can save yourself some time and package up a Krusteaz mix. Just place in a mason jar (because everything looks cute in a mason jar) add a bow and some instructions on how to bake! I added red, green & chocolate chips to the above jar of mix. You could also layer the chips in the jar with the mix. (Provided you don’t start layering, then knock the jar over so that they get mixed up. Not that I would know about that. *ahem*)

You can also add some Hot Chocolate Mix, because we all know hot chocolate goes great with cookies!

Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Bars

On the other hand, baking up treats to take to a friend, neighbor, teacher, etc. is always fun too. Save yourself some time with shortcuts, like using Krusteaz Shortbread Mix to make these yummy Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Cookie Bars!

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shortbread bars

The pan size will determine the thickness of the crust. I used an 8 x 11. You could also add nuts. I added just a few to one end, since my son is allergic.

Christmas Food Gifts

Package your treats in a food safe container, lined with festive tissue paper and a cute tag! My tags & tissue paper came from Zazzle.com, and the little tree clips and plastic container came from Target.

Krusteaz & I would like to help decrease your holiday stress level as well! We have a huge cookie prize pack to giveaway! It includes:

Krusteaz

  • Two boxes of the following mixes: Shortbread, Gingerbread, Snickerdoodle, Butter Vanilla Sugar and Oatmeal Scotchie
  • Some fun holiday baking items like an apron, tote bag, cookie cutters, frosting decorating pen and a mason jar (for gifting and storage!)
  • Holiday cookie recipe ideas for inspiration

Please enter via the rafflecopter form. This giveaway ends soon so that we can (hopefully!) get the winner their cookie prize pack before Christmas (No guarantee on that.) Open to US residents, 18 years or older.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

I may be linking up at any of the following – (Monday) The Tumbleweed Contessa, The Dedicated House, Skip to my LouI Should Be Mopping the FloorHuckleberry Love (Tuesday) Naptime  Creations, Memories By the MileVMG206The Cookie Puzzle (Wednesday) The Newlyweds PilgrimageFluster BusterGinger Snap CraftsNaptime is My TimeTessa the Domestic Diva (Thursday) Joyful HomemakingMiz Helen’s Country CottageLamberts Lately (Friday) Project InspireJust Us FourDiana RamblesThe Better Baker,Close to HomeWalking on SunshineVintage ChicDaily DishThe Diary of a Real Housewife

Cinnamon Roll Waffles

This isn’t so much a recipe as an idea. I’ve seen it around Pinterest, along with everything else people are putting in the waffle maker. It does kind of make me want to waffle everything. If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I made these Cinnamon Roll Waffles for my kids on Halloween morning. Because they weren’t going to have enough sugar that day. Hashtag: WTH was I thinking?! Of course, they loved them.

Cinnamon Roll Waffles Pin

I’m assuming you could make these with homemade cinnamon rolls, but y’all know that’s not how I roll. Roll…get it? Cinnamon roll? Hahaha, I crack myself up. And I’m pretty sure it’s not the first time I’ve made that joke on here. #Lame. {Moving on…} I will bust out with Quick & Easy Cinnamon Rolls on occasion, but for these, I used canned cinnamon rolls by Pillsbury. The ‘syrup’ is just a little of the icing that comes with them. Then we added sprinkles. Because it was Halloween and sprinkles are fun. (Even though I think they taste nasty. Kids like ’em however.)

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Enjoy!

 

I may be linking up at any of the following – (Monday) The Tumbleweed ContessaThe Dedicated HouseSkip to my LouI Should Be Mopping the FloorHuckleberry Love (Tuesday) Naptime  Creations, Memories By the MileVMG206The Cookie Puzzle (Wednesday) The Newlyweds PilgrimageFluster BusterGinger Snap CraftsNaptime is My TimeTessa the Domestic Diva (Thursday) Joyful HomemakingMiz Helen’s Country CottageLamberts Lately (Friday) Project InspireJust Us FourDiana RamblesThe Better Baker,Close to HomeWalking on SunshineVintage ChicDaily DishThe Diary of a Real Housewife

Wine Jelly

This wine jelly is perfect for the holidays. Or any day in my opinion. It can be served at brunch with croissants, etc. or it can be served over cream cheese with crackers for a nice appetizer.

wine jelly

It’s relatively easy to make and you can use red or white wine. Another plus is that you can use cheap wine, no need to use anything expensive. So, cheap and easy. The way I like it. *ahem* I’m talking about recipes of course.

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Recipe Source: Allrecipes

This makes a nice gift for the holidays, and I loved the flavor. I look forward to making it again, experimenting with different wines.

This post was featured at: VMG206

Feature 300x300

I may be linking up at any of the following – (Monday) The Tumbleweed ContessaThe Dedicated HouseSkip to my LouI Should Be Mopping the FloorHuckleberry Love (Tuesday) Naptime  Creations, Memories By the MileVMG206The Cookie Puzzle (Wednesday) The Newlyweds PilgrimageFluster BusterGinger Snap CraftsNaptime is My TimeTessa the Domestic Diva (Thursday) Joyful HomemakingMiz Helen’s Country CottageLamberts Lately (Friday) Project InspireJust Us FourDiana RamblesThe Better Baker,Close to HomeWalking on SunshineVintage ChicDaily DishThe Diary of a Real Housewife

Pecan Pie Bread Pudding

This Pecan Pie Bread Pudding could also be titled Best.Thing.Ever. I know that’s a strong statement to make, but geez…it was pretty darn tasty. If I do say so myself. And I do. Because I have a blog and that’s sort of my job…to let y’all know when something should be put on your “to make” list ASAP. This would make an excellent breakfast/brunch dish for the holidays too. Just sayin’. Since it’s already NOVEMBER! (Don’t ask me how that happened already!)

pecan pie bread pudding - before

I’m calling this breakfast, but slap some vanilla ice cream on that bad boy and it could become dessert. I think I ate it for every meal until I gave the last two pieces to my parents so they could experience it’s awesomeness. And the fact that I couldn’t button my jeans. Calorie friendly it is not.

Pecan Pie Bread Pudding - after

It’s like pecan pie and French toast casserole got together and had a baby. A sweet, delicious, nutty baby.

Pecan Pie Bread Pudding

This is what dreams are made of right here.

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Recipe Source: Something Swanky

Once done, you can use the parchment paper to lift the casserole out for easy cutting. Enjoy!

This recipe is featured at Miz Helen’s Country Cottage & Diana Rambles!

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage   PIN MEme

I may be linking up at any of the following – (Monday) Nibbles By NicThe Tumbleweed ContessaThe Dedicated HouseSkip to my LouI Should Be MoMypping the FloorHuckleberry Love (Tuesday) Mandy’s Recipe BoxSowdering About in SeattleNaptime Creations, Memories By the MileVMG206Anyonita NibblesThe Cookie Puzzle (Wednesday) The Newlyweds PilgrimageFluster BusterGinger Snap CraftsNaptime is My TimeTessa the Domestic Diva (Thursday) Joyful HomemakingMiz Helen’s Country CottageLamberts Lately (Friday) Project InspireJust Us FourDiana RamblesThe Better Baker,Close to HomeWalking on SunshineVintage ChicDaily DishThe Diary of a Real Housewife,Play.Party.Pin

Candy Bouquet {Dollar Tree DIY}

Since I’ve been MIA from the blog, I wanted to give you all a special gift. Like a bouquet of flowers maybe? Flowers are nice….but a candy bouquet is even better!
This is something I very quickly and easily put together from supplies found at my local Dollar Tree store. It would make a great “little something extra” for that special teacher (end-of-the-year is near!), graduations, birthdays or let the kids put one together for Father’s Day (June 21st!)
This one has a ‘base’ made of my oldest daughter’s favorite candy…Swedish Fish, but any “movie theater” box of candies will work. Then I added various candy, suckers, fun straws, and a balloon in the center. On the balloon, I put her name, using stick-on letters and her jersey # since this was for a sports thing (8th grade recognition night for Volleyball). The Skittles and gum packets were taped to lollipop sticks.
To make…you need 4 boxes of candy, the same size. Then you need one foam block, usually found with floral supplies, like this one…
Photo from Dollar Tree
It doesn’t really matter what size, as long as the boxes of candy fit around it. You can also trim the blocks down if too tall.
  • Place the boxes of candy around the foam block, using duct tape, packaging tape, or glue to keep the boxes stable and adhered to block. Next, add your candy. If using suckers/lollipops, stick them evenly into and around the foam block, like you would flowers! Then, fill in spaces with other candy (attached to lollipop/cake pop sticks) or use straws or anything else you would like. Get creative! Now you have your own bouquet to share…
At least she was supposed to share…

Fun Graduation Treats

Whether you are celebrating high school, college, or Kindergarten graduations soon, these fun graduation treats will make any age graduate feel extra special. We will be celebrating 1st, 6th and 8th grade graduations so I will have an excuse to make them as well! (As an added bonus, they are no-bake treats!)

Oreo Cake with Oreo Whipped Cream Frosting

I guess it’s Cake Week on the blog! I have almost always made my kids’ birthday cakes. My mom always made mine (and my siblings’…I would always choose chocolate cake with chocolate icing and my brother would want strawberry cake with chocolate icing and I would get mad. I hated strawberry cake! #itsallaboutme) Now that my girls are getting older, they like to go on Pinterest and find cakes that generally go beyond the “chocolate or vanilla – or strawberry“. I’m sure one day soon their requests will exceed my skill level, but for now, it’s pretty fun!
My oldest chose this Oreo Cake for her birthday this year. Somehow, I have a 14 year old. I’m not sure how this happened. Why does time speed up once you have children? (Unless they have a stomach virus in the middle of the night. Time slows WAY down then.)
The cake has Oreo cookies in the cake itself, Oreos in the icing, and then I added some mini Oreos on top. Both layers had Oreos baked right in, and I loved the flavor and crunch of the baked Oreos.
The only negative is that the whole Oreos made the cake a little difficult to slice. Next time I may use mini Oreos instead.
Oreo Cake with Oreo Whipped Cream Frosting
1 box chocolate cake mix (without pudding in the mix)
1 box (4 serving size) instant chocolate pudding mix (I used Hershey’s)
1 cup sour cream (can also use plain yogurt)
1/2 cup canola oil
3 eggs, room temp
1/2 cup coffee (room temp or slightly warm, not hot – leftover coffee is fine; can sub with water)
1 package Oreo Cookies, divided
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, and coffee. 
  • Add in eggs, one at a time, stirring until just combined. Scrape down sides.
  • Beat mixture on medium speed for 2 minutes. 
  • Spray two cake pans with cooking spray, and line bottom of each pan with desired number of Oreo cookies. I used 11 whole cookies in each pan, but could have squeezed in a couple more!
  • Pour cake batter over cookies in prepared pans.
  • Bake for suggested time on back of cake mix box, or until top is springy to the touch and a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean. 
  • Allow cake to cool in pan for 10-15 minutes, then invert onto cooling rack to cool completely before icing.
Oreo Whipped Cream Frosting
 
1 quart Heavy Whipping Cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
12 Oreo Cookies (crushed with a rolling pin or pulsed in food processor until crushed in large crumbs. Do not over process.)
small “grab bag” mini Oreos (optional)
  • Place mixing bowl and mixer attachment in freezer for 10-15 minutes to chill.  
  • After chilling, add cream to bowl and mix on medium speed until it starts to thicken.
  • Add vanilla and sugar, and beat until mixture is to desired thickness and forms stiff peaks.
  • Fold in cookies. Keep refrigerated until ready to frost cake.
To Assemble:
Place one layer of cake on a plate. I would recommend Oreo side down on bottom layer, and up for top layer. Having the cookies in the middle made it a little more difficult to slice. Frost entire cake and keep chilled until ready to serve. If desired, add mini Oreo cookies on top for decoration.

This cake was inspired by Bird on a CakeSally’s Baking Addiction,  Makin’ it Mo’Betta

This Oreo Cake with Whipped Cream Frosting was featured at:

DIY Vintage Chic

I may be linking up at any of the following – (Monday) The Tumbleweed ContessaThe Dedicated HouseSkip to my LouI Should Be MoMypping the FloorHuckleberry Love (Tuesday) Mandy’s Recipe BoxSowdering About in SeattleNaptime Creations, Memories By the MileVMG206Anyonita NibblesThe Cookie Puzzle (Wednesday) The Newlyweds PilgrimageFluster BusterGinger Snap CraftsNaptime is My TimeTessa the Domestic Diva (Thursday) Joyful HomemakingMiz Helen’s Country CottageLamberts Lately (Friday) Project InspireJust Us FourDiana RamblesThe Better Baker,Close to HomeWalking on SunshineVintage ChicDaily DishThe Diary of a Real Housewife,Play.Party.Pin