Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Submitted by Hannah

I am so thankful that one of my favorite things is so easy to make that I can duplicate it at home!! Ahhh, the basic crepe is a platform for culinary pleasure.  I used some of the freshest summer berries and sliced bananas topped with some cool whip or whipped cream to make my breakfast a little yummier.   My husband a self proclaimed "pancake hater" swore he wouldn't like crepes but with a bit of a coaxing he tried them and  loved them.  Now crepes are not a traditional pancake but much thinner.  Crepes can be savory but my preference is a sweeter version, here are a few of my favorite combinations: Nutella and bananas, peanut butter and jelly and berries and cream.  Give these a try and ENJOY!!  If you have a favorite crepe version please feel free to share.

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, melted

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and the eggs. Gradually add in the milk and water, stirring to combine. Add the salt and butter; beat until smooth. (I've also put these ingredients in a blender and mixed it that way by adding the wet ingredients first and then adding the dry.)
Heat a lightly oiled nonstick frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each crepe (This will depend on the pan size you are using so just experiment but the main thing is to coat the bottom completely with a thin layer of batter). Tilt the pan with a circular motion so that the batter coats the surface evenly.
Cook the crepe for about 2 minutes, until the bottom is light brown. Loosen with a spatula, turn and cook the other side. Continue to make until all batter is gone. You can stack the crepes right on top of each other to store. Top with your favorite things and eat up!

Source: allrecipes.com/basic-crepes

Friday, June 22, 2012

Mediterranean Dip

Submitted by Heather 

As soon as I saw this recipe, I knew I wanted to make it.  But I've got to be choosy about when I make certain things - cookies and cakes go pretty fast around my house, but try to make something "interesting" and my five kids turn up their noses and I'm left eating the whole thing.  That's not always a bad thing, but not necessarily good for the figure either.  I finally got my chance, though, and brought it to a church potluck.

I was actually pretty surprised by the great reviews it got.  I took a polite spoonful on my plate and ate it and thought, "yes, this IS good," but by the time I got back to try it out again it was gone.  That and the fact that many people asked for the recipe, made it seem like a "keeper" in my book, but I wanted to taste it again to be sure (all in the name of testing and quality control, of course).  So I made it for a luncheon for my friends and finally got to take more than a polite portion.  And yes, it was very good.  All those distinct flavors were amazing as they melded into one delicious bite.  This would be a great dip to bring to any gathering of adults.  Actually, if there are kids there they'll try to eat all the pita chips and leave you with none to scoop up the dip, so watch out.  Then again, this is good enough to eat with a spoon.  I did.


Yield: 1 12-inch round plate of dip

For the cilantro pesto:
1½ cups fresh cilantro
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/3 cup olive oil, divided
2 tbsp. pecans
2 tbsp. pine nuts*
¼ cup Parmesan cheese (freshly grated if you have it)

To assemble the dip:
Hummus (store-bought or homemade)
Cilantro pesto (above)
Cucumber, seeded (or unseeded English cucumber) and diced
Red onion, diced
Banana peppers, chopped
Sliced olives (black or Kalamata)
Crumbled feta cheese
Oven-dried tomatoes or sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil (I used sun-dried)

*If you don't have pine nuts, you can substitute all pecans with equally great results.  

To make the cilantro pesto, combine the cilantro, garlic, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, pecans, and pine nuts in the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse repeatedly until a coarse paste forms. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the processor running, add the remaining olive oil in a steady stream and process until smooth. Transfer the pesto to a bowl and stir in the Parmesan. (If storing for later use, drizzle with a thin film of olive oil, cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pesto, and store in an airtight container.)

To assemble the dip, spread a layer of hummus on a serving platter. Spread the cilantro pesto over the top of the hummus. Layer evenly with cucumber, red onion, banana peppers, olives, feta, and oven-dried tomatoes as desired. Garnish with an additional few tablespoons of minced fresh cilantro. Serve with pita chips.

Source: slightly adapted from Annies-eats.com

Monday, June 18, 2012

Peanut Butter Cup Trifle Dessert

"Not fair!  You never make anything good for us!" quote from my boys.  What ever!  I made this for our Church Young Women's meeting last night BUT I also made one for home.  Very tasty.  The bowl was actually cleaned out.  When, not if, I make this again, I will probably not include the peanut butter.  Although it was gobbled up, I think I could save a bit and just enjoy it with the pudding and cool whip as is. 

submitted by Lisa
Source The Sisters Cafe

Peanut Butter Cup Trifle Dessert
Submitted by Erin ~ The Sisters Cafe
9×13 pan of brownies, cut into 1 inch pieces
5.1 oz box instant vanilla pudding mix
3 cups milk
½ cup creamy peanut butter
2 tsp vanilla
8 oz container thawed whipped topping (Cool Whip), divided
20 peanut butter cups, crumbled (buy in a 10-pack. Not the bite-sized)
6-8 peanut butter cups to garnish.

Combine pudding and milk. Beat for 2 minutes. Add peanut butter and vanilla, beat until smooth. Gently fold in 2 cups cool whip.

Layer in trifle dish ½ the brownies, ½ the crumbled peanut butter cups, ½ the pudding mixture.

Repeat. Top with cool whip and peanut butter cups. (Or shaved chocolate curls, as I did.) Chill until serving.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Cheesy Red Pepper Dip

Submitted by Heather

I don't know why I do this to myself, but whenever I'm on a diet I find myself looking and drooling at recipes that would be terrible for me to eat considering the diet's food restrictions.  Which are, namely, nothing cheesy or dippy or yummy.  Soon I find myself trying to find reasons to make some of those delicious foods and bring them to others.  It's as if by watching someone ELSE eat them, I'm deriving some sort of pleasure myself.  Yeah, I'm pretty mixed up.  

So this dip was made for one of those occasions.  I couldn't help myself this time, though.  I had to try it, if only in the name of "testing recipes".  It was a deadly good bite.  I didn't get a chance to take a picture while the dip was still warm and bubbly, but trust me, the pictures don't do it justice.  It was really delicious and at any other time in my life I could have sat down and finished off the bowl.  Take this to your next book club or girls' night and they'll love you!


7 oz jar roasted red peppers (about 1C diced) 
4 C grated pepper jack cheese (3/4 lb)
8 oz cream cheese (I use low-fat)
3/4 C mayonnaise
2 T minced onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 T Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 350. Remove peppers from jar and blot excess water with paper towels. You want to make sure they are dry so they don’t add moisture to the dip. Then dice them up.

In a bowl, soften the cream cheese in the microwave so it will be easier to stir. Add in mayo, onion, garlic, and dijon. Stir to combine and then add in grated cheese and the diced peppers. Place in an 8×8-ish dish (pie plate works). At this point you can pop it in the fridge if you’re going to cook it later and you can even make it a couple of days ahead of time. Place in the oven and cook for 30-45 minutes. Baking time depends on the dish. It will start to bubble and brown on the outside edge, and you want it to be bubbly all the way through to the center. It will be nice and golden brown on top, especially around the edges. Mine usually takes 40-45 min.

Serve immediately. Keep it warm in the oven, and if you need to reheat it, reheat it in the oven (microwaves do strange things to it).  Serve with any of the following: tortilla chips, pita chips, crackers (choose a plain flavored one), veggies or warm baguette slices.

Recipe Source: Our Best Bites cookbook

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Fruit Mousse

Submitted by Heather

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Submitted by Heather

Who doesn't love a warm and soft piece of cinnamon bread slathered with butter?  I know my kids would like one every morning and never get tired of it. Unfortunately my waistline and my lack of willpower won't allow me to have this bread in the house that often, but it's a wonderful treat to have for a special breakfast (or late night snack...).

It was recently my friend's birthday and instead of a cake she wanted cinnamon bread. I was happy to oblige since I had been meaning to try out a cinnamon bread recipe.  I couldn't find the one I had been meaning to make, but I found this one instead and it was really a great find.

This is a beautiful bread.  Not just visually, though it was lovely with it's dark crust and the swirl of cinnamon, but the fluffy and chewy texture was so pleasing. It had plenty of cinnamon flavor on its own, but my kids ended up loving it toasted with butter and cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top.  

If you're one of those people who are afraid of cooking with yeast (I used to be!), please try this recipe.  Just make sure your yeast isn't expired and that you use warm but not hot milk.  You're going to love this bread!


  • 1 cup Milk
  • 6 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2-½ teaspoons Active Dry Yeast
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • ⅓ cups Sugar
  • 3-½ cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • ⅓ cups Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Cinnamon
  • Egg And Milk, Mixed Together, For Brushing
  • Softened Butter, For Smearing And Greasing

Preparation Instructions

Melt butter with milk. Heat until very warm, but don’t boil. Allow to cool until still warm to the touch, but not hot. Sprinkle yeast over the top, stir gently, and allow to sit for 10 minutes.  Combine flour and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix sugar and eggs with the paddle attachment until combined. Pour in milk/butter/yeast mixture and stir to combine. Add half the flour and beat on medium speed until combined. Add the other half and beat until combined.

Switch to the dough hook attachment and beat/knead dough on medium speed for ten minutes. If dough is overly sticky, add 1/4 cup flour and beat again for 5 minutes.

Heat a metal or glass mixing bowl so it’s warm. Drizzle in a little canola oil, then toss the dough in the oil to coat. Cover bowl in plastic wrap and set it in a warm place for at least 2 hours.

Turn dough out onto the work surface. Roll into a neat rectangle no wider than the loaf pan you’re going to use, and about 18 to 24 inches long. Smear with 2 tablespoons melted butter. Mix sugar and cinnamon together, then sprinkle evenly over the butter-smeared dough. 
Starting at the far end, roll dough toward you, keeping it tight and contained. Pinch seam to seal.  Smear loaf pan with softened butter. Place dough, seam down, in the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix a little egg with milk, and smear over the top. Bake for 40 minutes on a middle/lower rack in the oven.
Remove from the pan and allow bread to cool. Slice and serve, or make cinnamon toast or French toast with it.

Source: The Pioneer Woman

**I think I let my loaves rise a little too long, since they rose over the sides of the pan, but they still turned out wonderfully.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Peanut Butter Frosting

I used this frosting this weekend inside of a chocolate cake for my 14 year old's birthday party (chocolate peanut pave). It was a hit.  I did use crunchy instead of creamy because I wanted some texture and it was delicious.  

Source.  www.allrecipes.com 


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons milk, or as needed
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar


  1. Place the butter and peanut butter into a medium bowl, and beat with an electric mixer. Gradually mix in the sugar, and when it starts to get thick, incorporate milk one tablespoon at a time until all of the sugar is mixed in and the frosting is thick and spreadable. Beat for at least 3 minutes for it to get good and fluffy.

Chocolate Peanut Pave (cake)

I made this cake for my son's 14th birthday party.  I wanted something a little bit different.  I have one very important tip.  The "frosting" that you make in the recipe is not really kid friendly in flavor.  I ended up using a small portion of it to cover the whole cake but used a "Fluffy Peanut butter frosting" for the layers and it was a hit!  I don't think it would have been otherwise.
source: www.delish.com 
  • 1 1/2 cup(s) unsalted dry-roasted peanuts
  • 1/2 cup(s) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup(s) unsweetened cocoa, plus more for dusting cake
  • 1/4 cup(s) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) salt, plus pinch
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup(s) packed dark brown sugar
  • 12 ounce(s) semisweet chocolate (50 percent to 60 percent cacao), finely chopped
  • 1 cup(s) heavy or whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon(s) butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup(s) creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoon(s) creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 18- by 12-inch jelly-roll pan. Line with parchment paper, with overhang on 2 sides; grease parchment.
  2. In food processor, pulse peanuts and 1/4 cup granulated sugar until finely chopped. Remove 1/2 cup peanuts; set aside. Continue pulsing remaining peanuts until finely ground. Add cocoa, flour, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; pulse until just blended.
  3. In large bowl, with mixer on medium-high speed, beat eggs, brown sugar, and remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar until mixture is tripled in volume and very thick and pale, and batter forms soft peaks when beaters are lifted. Gently fold in cocoa mixture, being careful not to deflate eggs.
  4. Gently spread batter in even layer in prepared pan. Bake 17 to 19 minutes or until center springs back when lightly pressed. Using parchment overhang, quickly and carefully slide cake off pan and onto wire rack to cool completely.
  5. While cake cools, place chocolate in heatproof medium bowl. In 2-quart saucepan, heat cream on medium until bubbles form around edge. Pour over chocolate. Let stand 1 minute, then stir until smooth. Transfer 1 tablespoon mixture to small resealable plastic bag.
  6. In large bowl, with mixer on medium speed, beat butter, 1/2 cup peanut butter, and pinch salt until smooth and creamy. With mixer running, gradually add melted-chocolate mixture and then vanilla. Beat until blended. Refrigerate mixture 5 minutes or until consistency of frosting
  7. Lightly dust top of cake with cocoa. Invert cake onto large cutting board lined with waxed paper; discard parchment. Cut cake to form four 4-inch-wide rectangles. Place 1 rectangle on serving platter. Spread one-quarter frosting evenly over cake, sprinkle with one-third reserved chopped peanuts, and top with another rectangle; repeat twice. Spread remaining frosting all over cake.
  8. Place remaining tablespoons peanut butter in small resealable plastic bag. Microwave on high 10 seconds or until runny. Snip small hole in corner and pipe decorative pattern over cake. Snip small hole in corner of bag with reserved chocolate mixture. Decorate with chocolate. Let stand at least 1 hour and up to 2 hours, or refrigerate up to 2 days. Bring cake to room temperature before serving.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Giant Chocolate Cake

I have made this cake a couple of times, once with the ganache and this time I just used the cake portion.  It is really a delicous cake.  I am very please with the consistency and the texture/flavor of it.  This time I poured 1/2 a jar of warmed up caramel over the cake (punctured with holes when out of the oven first) then topped with cool whip and crushed up butterfinger candy bars.  It was my husbands birthday cake request.  Delish!
Posted by Lisa
  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
**(I did not make the ganache this time.  I topped with caramel ice cream topping, cool whip, and butterfinger candy bars chopped up)**  (to use the caramel, take a fork and repeatedly puncture the top of the cake when it is still warm and pour the warmed up caramel over the cake and let it soak in)

  • 5 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) chilled butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • Edible flowers* (for decoration)
    For cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 12-inch round cake pan with 2-inch-high sides with nonstick spray. (I only had a 10 inch spring for pan, had to cook for about 40 to 45 minutes but turned out great...truthfully I think the larger pan size would produce a very thin cake.  The picture shows the thickness of the 10 inch cake.  I did not cut the cake into 2 layers.)Line bottom of pan with parchment paper round. Spray parchment paper with nonstick spray. Dust pan with flour, tapping out any excess. Sift 2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into medium bowl. Sift cocoa into another medium bowl. Pour 1 cup boiling water over cocoa; whisk to blend. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and eggs in large bowl until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add butter to egg mixture and beat until blended. Beat in cocoa mixture. Add buttermilk and vanilla; beat to blend. Add dry ingredients and beat on low just to blend. Transfer batter to prepared pan; smooth top.
Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 38 minutes. Cool cake completely in pan on rack. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature.
Place chopped chocolate, butter, and vanilla in medium bowl. Bring cream and sugar to boil in medium saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar. Carefully pour hot cream mixture into bowl with chocolate. Let stand 1 minute. Whisk until melted and smooth. Chill ganache until thickened and spreadable, about 1 hour.
Carefully invert cake onto large cake plate. Gently remove parchment paper. Spread ganache over top and sides of cake and allow ganache to set, about 1 hour. DO AHEAD: Cake can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome and refrigerate. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before decorating.
Decorate cake with edible flowers. Cut into wedges and serve.