Cream Biscuits

Good Morning!  I had a breakfast helper today– the “Mix it up” girl Lois (that is her only cooking vocabulary to date).  We made biscuits for breakfast– tender in the middle and a little crispy around the edges. They’re not the prettiest biscuits, but so delicious!  And then we sat down to eat them together with plenty of jam.

     

CREAM BISCUITS
2 cups flour
2 tab. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking power
1/3 cup cold butter (2/3 of a stick)
1 cup whipping cream

In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder.  Cut the butter into smallish pieces and then with a pastry blender or 2 forks, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.

Stir in the whipping cream until you have a stiff ball of dough.  Flatten the dough onto the counter and cutout circles with a large cookie cutter (or like my grandma with a drinking glass).

Set the cut biscuits (about 6 large biscuits) onto a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray and set them into a 400 degree oven for 15 to 17 minutes until they are nicely browned.  Serve hot with honey or jam!!  yummm!

P.S. They’d be perfect “shortcakes” to serve with strawberries and cream.

Lemon Blueberry Cream Cake

Hi all– Recently we had an Sunday afternoon shower for adorable Lisa, who’s getting married in May.  It was a room full of friends, with “aunts-ish” advice for the new bride and and chances to hear all the details for her story and of the wedding ahead…   And there was cake (of course).  Tart lemon, sweet berries and whip cream to tie it all together.  A dear day together.

LEMON BLUEBERRY CAKE
1 lemon
1 lemon cake mix
canola oil
3 eggs
water
2 cups blueberries (about 12 oz.)
1 small lemon instant pudding (3.9 oz. size)
1 cup milk
1 pint heavy whipping cream (16 oz.)
2 tsp. powdered sugar
2 tsp. instant vanilla pudding
garnish: lemon slice & mint

Grate the lemon peel off and set aside.  Then juice the lemon that is left and set that aside as well.

Mix up the lemon cake mix using the instructions on the box– my mix used 1/3 cup oil, 3 eggs and for the water.  I filled a one cup measuring up with the lemon juice and added water to make the 1 cup asked for.  Then fold in the grated lemon peel and the blueberries.

Pour the batter into a 9″x 13″ baking dish (or a large 10 to 11″ spring form pan) that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Put it into a 350 oven for 25 to 30 minutes until the cake is golden and firm to the touch.
Take it out of the oven let let the came cool completely.

Then whisk together the lemon pudding mix with just 1 cup of milk for a couple minutes and then spread it over the cake.

With an electric mixer (the whisk attachment works best!), beat together the whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla pudding mix (to stabilize the cream, help it hold up) until it is well set.  Spoon the cream over the lemon pudding layer and set the cake in the fridge for an hour or more to set up.

Garnish with little lemon slices and something green (mint) and cut big beautiful slices!  Enjoy!

Tiramisu Cupcakes

Hello there– I know, I know you shouldn’t start a new recipe with a disclaimer– But if you are a blogger (this means you, all my blog-buddies), you know the sometimes photos aren’t what you’d hoped.  But I loved these tender, creamy cupcakes!!- so I’m sending along the recipe and you’ll have to imagine how pretty (and delicious) they were! OK??

TIRAMISU CUPCAKES

cupcakes:
chocolate cake mix
3 eggs
1/2 cup oil
water
1 pack instant coffee crystals (about 1 tsp.)
1 tsp. coffee liqueur  (like Kahlua)

Topping:
1 pint whipped cream
2 tsp. instant vanilla pudding powder
tsp. powdered sugar
1 cup mascarpone cheese
unsweetened cocoa powder

Mix the cake mix according to the directions on the box.  (Mine used 3 eggs, 1/2 cup oil and 1 1/4 cup water).  Add in the instant coffee and coffee liqueur and beat for two minutes with an electric mixer.

Pour the batter into 24 paper cupcake liners in cupcake pans.  Pop them in a 350 degree oven and bake for 15 to 17 minutes, until they are firm to the touch.  Let them cool completely.

With an electric mixer, beat the whipped cream along with the pudding powder and powdered sugar  –until it is stiff and set.  With a spoon, fold in the mascarpone cheese.

Top each cooled cupcake with a large dollop of the cream & mascarpone mixture.  And then dust the cocoa over the cream through a small sieve.  Refrigerate the cupcakes if you are making them way ahead…  So delish!

 

Blackberry Shortcake

Hello all– Is is summer where you are??  School ended here yesterday.  The grand-girls and I had a water squirting adventure in the front yard this evening.  We’ve been eating dinner out back under the maple trees.  And there are mounds of berries at the market here.  We’ve made it to summer!

So Monday night when friends came in for dinner, this is what we had for desert.  Sweet tender little cakes, just a bit crispy around the edges — with cream and ripe black berries.  What’s more summery than that?!

BLACK BERRY SHORTCAKE

Shortcake:
1  1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
2/3 cup buttermilk*
1 tsp. vanilla

Toppings:
12 oz. blackberries (2 small cartons)
2 tab. sugar
1 point heavy whipping cream
2 tsp. powdered sugar
2 tsp. instant vanilla pudding mix**

In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, 1/3 cu sugar, baking powder and salt.  With a pastry blender (or 2 forks), cut in the butter until it resembles pea size lumps.  Then stir in the buttermilk and vanilla.

Drop mounds of dough onto a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray (makes about 8 medium shortcakes).  Bake them in a 400 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes until they’re nicely browned and crispy around the edges.

While they are baking, wash the berries and mix them with the 2 tab. of sugar.

With an electric mixer, beat the whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla pudding mix.  Set it into the fridge to firm up until your ready to serve the shortcake.

Set each shortcake on a pretty place and top with berries & cream.

*If you don’t have buttermilk on hand (like me), pour a tablespoon of cider vinegar in with whole milk  to make 2/3 cup.  Let it sit a couple minutes to thicken.
**The instant pudding stabilizes the cream, so it will stay firm when you serve it.

 

Chicken with Sun Dried Tomato Sauce

Hello hello–  All I can say is—-the Sauce!!  I poured the extra over my tortellini and sopped up every last drop.  This dish is easy enough for everyday, beautiful enough to share with a table full of friends.

CHICKEN WITH SUN DRIED TOMATO SAUCE|
4 to 6 chicken thighs
2 tab. olive oil
sale & freshly ground pepper
3 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp. fresh thyme*
1 tsp. dried basil*
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped to bits
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup cream or half & half
1/2 cup grated parmesan romano
garnish: thyme sprigs, a sprinkling of parmesan

Heat the olive oil in a skillet and then drop in the chicken thighs.  Salt and pepper them liberally while they cook 5 to 7 minutes on each side (until they are cooked through).  Remove them to a plate and cover to keep warm

In the same skillet add the garlic, thyme, basil and dried tomatoes.  Stir for a minute to blend the flavors.  Then mix in the broth and cream. Let the sauce simmer on low for 3 to 5 minutes until the sauce thickens.  Stir in the parmesan romano.  Return the chicken to the pan with the sauce and simmer on low for 10 minutes.

Remove he chicken from the pan and thicken the sauce with 2 tab. cornstarch whisked together with 1/4 cup water.  Bring to a simmer until thick, just a couple minutes.

Pour the sauce over the chicken.  Garnish with a bit of parmesan and sprigs of thyme.

We ate this luscious chicken with tortellini and a hearty salad.  Perfect.

*I just used thyme because it is growing in the side yard, basil, marjoram, mined rosemary, any fresh Italian-ish herb would be fine.
**Of if you have Italian seasoning, oregano…

Strawberry Cream Cake

Hi there– It’s birthday season in our family.  Three birthdays together at the start of May and three more at the end.  So I’ve got birthday cakes on my mind.  This will probably show up at a birthday party or two!!

The biggest bash is for my father-in-law Stu.  He’s turning 90!  –and is so beloved by everyone who knows him.  You’ve never met a kinder more gracious man.  Family is coming from far and wide to celebrate with our “Grandpa Stu”.

Hope you have some happy family birthdays on your horizon.  And that they include cake, lots of cake.

STRAWBERRY CREAM CAKE

Cake:
1 cup strawberries, cut to small bits
1 strawberry  cake mix
1/3 cup canola oil
1 cup water
3 eggs

Topping:
2 cups strawberries, cut to small bits
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3 oz. package vanilla instant pudding mix
1 big pretty strawberry for garnish

To make the cake, cut the strawberries fine.  If they are still damp from cleaning, pat them dry.

Make the strawberry cake according to the directions on the box. (mine used 1/3 cup oil, 1 cup water & 3 eggs).  Pour it into a 9″ x 13″ baking dish (or a 10″ springform pan) that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

Bake the cake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes until it is lightly browned and comes out firm to the touch.  Let the cake cool completely before adding the topping!

To make the topping, cut the strawberries to small bits.  Set them aside.  Whip together the whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla pudding mix with an electric mixer until it is stiff (the whisk attachment works best for this).

Stir in the strawberries and then pile it all onto the cooled cake.  You can serve it right away, but it’s better to set the cake in the fridge for an hour or more to let the topping completely set.  Enjoy!!

Apple Cream Cake

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Hello all– When the calendar flips over the autumn, my heart turns to apple cake.   I grew up on my mom’s cake– chock full of apples and walnuts.  (It’s the best Mom!!)**–   So when I saw this new apple cake version– layers of stacked apple slices in a custardy creamy filling, I couldn’t wait to try it.  It’s mildly sweet and delicate– and with a scoop on whipped cream on the side and an ample mug of tea, it’s just right for a fall day.

APPLE CREAM CAKE
3 large apples
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream*
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup flour
1  1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
powdered sugar to dust the top

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Core and peel the apples and cut them into thin slices with a mandolin or a good knife.  Set aside.

With an electric mixer (whisk attachment works best), beat the eggs and sugar on high speed for two minutes until it thickens a bit.  Turn the speed down to medium and beat in the whipping cream, vanilla, flour, baking powder and salt.  Fold in the apples with a spoon until they are all coated with the batter.

Spoon the apple mixture into a 8″ or 9″ springform pan (or cake pan) and put it into the oven at 325 degrees for 60 to 70 minutes, until it’s nicely browned on top and cooked through when you test it by sticking in a small knife to see if it comes out clean.

Let the cake cool completely to remove it from the pan.  Dust with powdered sugar through a sieve and serve with a nice little pile of whipped cream.   Luscious!

*I bought the pint size carton of whipping cream– used 3/4 cup for the recipe.  And the rest I beat with and mixture adding 1 tsp. powdered sugar and 2 tsp. vanilla instant pudding mix to sweeten and set it up well.
**Hi Mom!!  (I know my dear Mom always checks in here!  xox)img_1704

Mixed Berry Tart

 

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Hello there– We had lunch with the family Sunday– And a couple special guests.  Jodi had a sweet friend and her 9 year old daughter visiting from China.  I was a little nervous–not so proficient at woking up Chinese food!  But Jodi assured me that he friend was well traveled and could eat my unfamiliar American cooking– so it was tri-tip on the grill and all the fixings.  And for desert summer berries nestled into a creamy filling over  crispy crust.

We had a wonderful visit–so good to get to know Jodi’s world a little bit better.  And the grand-girls and their visiting buddy had a fine time inaugurating the new craft closet– there were paper and feathers and wiggly eyes strewn across the room and some pretty fanciful creations immerged.  Fun day all around.  And here’s dessert:

MIXED BERRY TART

Crust:
1 cup flour
3 tab. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 egg yolk
2 tab. cold water

Filling:
8 oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 pint heavy whipping cream
2 tsp. instant vanilla pudding mix*

Berries:
3 cups mixed summer berries**
1/4 cup raspberry jelly

To make the crust, mix together the flour, 3 tab. sugar and salt.  Cut the butter into smallish chunks. Then with a pastry blender (0r 2 forks) cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.  In a cup, whisk together the egg yolk and 2 tab. water.  Pour it into the flour & butter crumbs and keep cutting in until it is all blended.

Press the dough (it will be crumbly!) into a 9″ tart (or pie) pan and put it into a 350 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes until it comes out nicely browned. Set is aside to cool.

To make the filling, beat the cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer until it is well blended.  Set aside.

In a different bowl, beat the whipping cream and vanilla pudding mix with an electric mixture (whisk attachment works fastest!) until it is stiff.

Then fold together the whipped cream and the cream cheese mixture until they are blended.  And scoop the filling into the cooled crust.

Mix the berries with the raspberry jelly and spoon them over the cream.  I used strawberries, cut I cut them in halves.   That’s it– cut the tart into neat slices and pass them around!

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*The pudding mix stabilizes the whipped cream so it keeps it’s shape.
**I used strawberries and blueberries– but blackberries, raspberries  or even peaches & plums, would be pretty!!

Strawberry Ice Cream Shortcake

 

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Hi all– Had the grand-girls down a couple weekends ago and if you ask them what they want for dessert, it’s sure to be something Pink!  So this fit the requirement. They thought it was just fine.   And besides how can you not like a dessert than is layered with crispy biscuits, ice cream, berries and whipping cream??

STRAWBERRY ICE CREAM SHORTCAKE

Basic Shortcake:
1  1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup buttermilk*
1 tsp. vanilla

And on top:
Strawberries
a sprinkle of sugar
strawberry ice cream
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla instant pudding mix**

Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Cut in the butter with a pastry blender (or in a food processor).  Then stir in the buttermilk and vanilla.

Drop the sticky batter by big spoonfuls onto a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. (makes about 8)  Set them at least 4″ apart because they will spread as they bake.  Pop them into a 400 degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes until they are prettily browned and cooked through.

While they are cooking, whip the cream with an electric mixer, throwing in the powdered sugar and pudding mix.  Set aside.

Let them cool a bit and then slice the shortcakes horizontally.  Mix the cut strawberries with the sugar.  Fill the shortcakes  with the strawberries and ice cream and top with a generous dollop of whipped cream.  Viola!

*If you don’t have buttermilk on hand (like me), then just put a tablespoon of cider vinegar in the cup and add milk to make to cups.  Let it sit several minutes until it thickens like buttermilk.
**The pudding mix thickens the cream just slightly and acts as a stabilizer so it won’t wilt.  Makes it work to whip the cream ahead of time and just store it in the fridge til after dinner…

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Blueberry Frozen Yogurt & Cream Cake

 

IMG_1443Hi friends–  When the kids were little and Larry and I were thinking about going out to get ice cream cone we had a little code — “What do think about going out for some frozen dairy dessert?”  –so we could talk it over without kid’s opinions on an ice cream outing added into the conversation.

And this summer dish is a perfect plate of “frozen dairy dessert”– without the ice cream.

The minute I saw this creamy frozen cake in an old magazine, I knew I just had to put one together as soon as it felt like summer around here.  So last week when my young moms group came for dinner, I had it tucked away in the freezer.  Oh, the sweet berries, the coolness on a warm night, the tart yogurt underneath and the cream. I do love cream.  And the lovely thing is that it’s rather large, so we’ve been nibbling on slices all week since.

BLUEBERRY FROZEN YOGURT & CREAM CAKE

Crust:
2 cups vanilla cookie crumbs*
1 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted

Frozen Cake:
2 1/2 cups blueberries (plus a bit more for garnish)
1 cup sugar
16 oz. cream cheese (2 packages), room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar, divided in 2 parts
2 cups unflavored or vanilla yogurt (16 oz.)
2 cups heavy whipping cream

Crust:
In a large bowl combine the cookie crumbs, walnuts, and brown sugar.  Stir in the butter until it’s all well coated.

IMG_1472Turn the mixture into a 10″ springform pan (any 10″ pan) that has been sprayed with cooking spray  Set it into the freezer.

Frozen Cake:
With a food processor or stick blender, puree the 2 1/2 cup blueberries and the sugar.  Set it aside.

In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together the cream cheese for about 3 minutes until it’s creamy.  Then beat in 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar and yogurt.  Add the blueberry & sugar mixture and fold it in as well.

In yet another bowl, beat the whipping cream with 1/4 cup of powdered sugar until stiff peaks form.

Then fold the whipped cream into the blueberry mixture.

Spoon it all into the prepared curst and pop it bake into the freezer for at least 4 hours.

When you’re ready to serve it, take it out of the freezer for about 10 minutes to thaw just a bit.  Garnish with safe leaves** and more berries.

Warning:  I had to cut this with a butcher knife because it was still pretty frozen– that’s OK, it was super delicious and lasted nicely on the plates.

*For the cookie crumbs, I just bought a 69 cent package of Maria cookies and went after them with a rolling pin!
**I used leaves from the berry vines in the yard.  Mint leaves a bright a pretty too.  Just make sure they aren’t a poisonous variety if you’re extracting  them from your yard, like I tend to do.

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Blueberry Cream Cake

DSC01233Hi all– Been wanting to make this blueberry cake for a while, but thought, “just wait until summer, when the market is spilling over with those fresh blueberries”.  But finally, I could wait no longer, so I nabbed a package of frozen berries and it came out just fine– creamy and fruity, not too too sweet.  It was luscious.

BLUEBERRY CREAM CAKE

Cake:
1 white cake mix
3 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup water
1  1/2 cup blueberries*

Cream on top:
1 pint heavy whipping cream (2 cups)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3 oz. package instant vanilla pudding
1 cup blueberries

Make the cake according to the directions on the package.  My box used 3 eggs, 1/2 cup oil and 1 cup water.  Beat with a mixer for 2 minutes.

Then fold in the blueberries.  Spoon the batter into a 9″ x 13″ pan — or a large 10″ springform pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

Bake the cake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.

Let the cake cool completely.

Beat the whipping cream and sugar with a mixer until stiff peaks form.  Then stir in the pudding mix.  And finally carefully fold in the blueberries.

Spoon the cream and berries over the cake– If you’re not serving it right away, set it into the fridge til you’re ready…

*It’s winter here, so I used frozen berries, so three notes– Don’t defrost them before you drop them in the batter or they will turn the cake blue-ish!
And the cake will take 10 of 15 minutes longer to cook with the frozen berries tucked inside.
The berries I got were rather large– If I had trundled clear over to Trader Joe’s for their small organic frozen berries, they wouldn’t have sunk to the bottom of the cake!

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Cranberry Cream Cake

IMG_2813Hi friends– It’s that time of year when I can’t go to the market without dropping a bag of cranberries in my cart.  I think it’s because I know, soon, they won’t be around so I have to grab them while I can.  They always go into my absolute favorite orange cranberry bread first.  But there’s a whole lot of delicious ways you can use these little guys, including this yummy cake!

I have to say that his cake is just begging for a party– or a good Thanksgiving dinner!!  It’s bright and creamy, sweet with a little tartness in the cranberries.  Pretty and Pink!

CRANBERRY CREAM CAKE

Cake:
1/2 cup cranberries
3 tab. sugar
1 white cake mix
3 eggs
oil
water

Cream layer:
1/2 cup sugar
1 tab. cornstarch
1  1/2 cup fresh cranberries
1/2 cup water
1 pint heavy cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3 oz. box of instant vanilla pudding mix

IMG_2825For the cake layer,  mince the 1/2 cup cranberries to little bits– this is the hardest part! They keep rolling off the cutting board!  Then mix them in a small bowl with the 3 tab. of white sugar and set them aside.

Make the cake mix according to the instructions on the box.  Beat the batter for 2 minutes with an electric mixer and then fold in the cut up cranberries into the batter and spoon it into a 9″ x 13″ baking pan or two round 9″ cake pan* that have been sprayed with cooking spray.

While the cake is cooking, make the cranberry “sauce.”  In a stovetop pan, mix together the 1/2 cup sugar and cornstarch, until the cornstarch is all blended in.  Then drop in the 1 1/2 cup cranberries and 1/2 cup water.  Simmer them over medium heat, stirring as you go until it’s bubbly and the cranberry skins all pop.  Takes about 4 or 5 minutes.

Set that aside to cool.  (I usually spoon it into a heat proof bowl and stick it in the fridge to cook quickly).

When the cake and the cranberry sauce are cooled– Use an electric mixer the whip the cream and the 1/2 cup powdered sugar.  When it’s very stiff, stir in the box of pudding mix.  Then swirl the cranberry sauce into the cream, folding it in gently to leave streaks.

Top the cake with the cranberry laced cream and pop it into the fridge until you’re ready to serve it up.

*I use spring form pans because they are deeper to hold all that cream as you spread it on and you can removed the cake from the pan more easily to serve it…

Cranberry Cream Tart with Chocolate Crust

IMG_5812Hi friends– Well, I hate to grumble about a photo on my post– but here I go…  This looks like a lumpy mess, but you’ll just have to take it from me, it was delectable!  The crunchy chocolate crust crumbles into your mouth, swathed in sweet creamy filling and enhanced by the sweet/sour cranberries.  I took it to school to share with the teachers and it was a hit!  I hope you give it a try (in spite of the pictures!)

CRANBERRY CREAM TART WITH CHOCOLATE CRUST

Crust:
2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs
1/3 cup sugar
6 tab. melted butter

Smash the chocolate cookies to fine crumbs by putting them in a gallon zip loc bag and attacking them with a rolling pin– or give them a spin in a food processor.  Mis the Crumbs sugar and melted butter and pat it all into a 9″ pie dish or tart pan.  Bake the crust at 375  for 10 minutes.  Let it cook completely before you add the filling.

IMG_5797Filling:
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 pint (16 oz.) whipping cream
1 tsp. instant vanilla pudding*

With an electric mixer beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla together.  In a separate bowl, beat the cream and the pudding mix together until stiff peaks form.  then gently fold the cream cheese mixture with the whipped cream and turn it into the cooled crust.

Cranberry Topping:1
1 cup sugar
2 tab. cornstarch
3 cup3 fresh cranberries (about 1 bag)
1 1/3 cup water

Mix together the sugar and cornstarch in a sauce pan until it’s all blended and there are no cornstarch lumps.  Stir in the cranberries and water.  Cook on medium high heat, stirring all the while until it simmers and the cranberries “pop” (!) and the sauce thickens.  (It’s kind of exciting in a cooking sort of way).  It takes about 3 or 4 minutes.