Memorial Day

Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bites

Happy New Year!  It’s been a long minute since my last blog.  With our vacation, the holidays, and a toddler I can barely sit still for longer than 5 minutes these days.  I love a new year… don’t you?!  It’s a fresh start.  A clean slate.  A time to reflect.  A time to be thankful you made it through another year!  And for me and my hubs, we set new goals.  We did keep some of our goals from last year, but this year we added a few more.  I’m hopeful that even though the first 3 weeks of this year have been a bit poopy, stressful, and not heading in the direction we had hoped for…I’m trying really hard to be positive and believe that our steps will be guided and God will lead us down the right path. Continue reading

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Quinoa, Spinach, and Beet Salad

Who doesn’t just LOVE a summertime salad?!  Over the last few months, I’ve become a lover of all things BEETS.   All it took was one salad out at one of our favorite restaurants and I was hooked!  As much as I love beets, quinoa has become another ‘carb’ I’ve started eating on a regular basis.  My husband and I decided that we are going to try to cut out meat a few times a week…mainly as a test to see how our bodies feel.  Continue reading

Fourth of July Potato Salad

Every cooking show I’ve been watching this week has been making the most incredible looking BBQ, potato salads, and PIES!!!  Just looking at these foods makes my mouth water!!!  Growing up in the South, you’re either raised with the most delicious BBQ restaurants around…OR…somebody in your family knows how to throw down on a grill or smoker and make some of the BEST BBQ you’ve ever put in your mouth.  Continue reading

Blueberry Lemon Cake

Disclaimer:  This is NOT Paleo 😦  I’m thinking I need to try to come up with a healthier version of this sometime soon! I was asked to bring a dessert to our Fourth of July BBQ… So this is what I made.

I am by no means the greatest baker in the world at all, but I do love to bake… whether it’s a cake, homemade brownies, or pies, I love making them!  I will admit… if I make a cake, nine times out of ten, my cake is going to be totally lop-sided.  I don’t know why I can’t make a straight cake?!  I have made some of the ugliest cakes, but they tasted amazing!  With all that said, this cake was probably one of the best ones I’ve made in a long time AND it wasn’t too lop-sided!!  I was super happy with how it looked and tasted!!  This is another recipe I found on Pinterest that didn’t fail me.  It’s so moist and delicious!

Ingredients for the cake:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 and 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • zest + juice of 3 lemons
  • 1 and 1/2 blueberries  (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour

Ingredients for Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 – 8 oz packages of full fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • 7 cups powdered sugar
  • 3-4 tbsp heavy cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray 3 9×2 inch cake pans with non-stick spray.  Set aside.  In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together.  Set aside.
  2. Using a hand-held or standing mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high until creamy; about 1 minute.  Add the sugars and beat on medium-high speed until creamed, about 2-3 minutes.  Be sure to scrape down the sides as needed.  Add eggs one at a time, beating on medium speed.  Add vanilla and continue beating until everything is well combined, about 2 full minutes.  Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl; set aside.
  3. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the sugar and butter mixture, alternating with the buttermilk on low speed until well incorporated.  Then add the zest and lemon juice beating on medium speed.  Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl one more time making sure everything is well mixed.
  4. Toss the blueberries in 1 tbsp of flour and fold into the batter.  Don’t over mix.
  5. Spoon the batter evenly into 3 prepared cake pans.  I like to use a measuring cup to make sure all pans are even. Bake the three pans for about 24-26 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before frosting.

raw cake in pans     cooked cake

For the frosting:

* Using a hand-held or standing mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter together on medium speed until there are no lumps, 2-3 minutes.  Add the powdered sugar a little bit at a time on low speed and add the vanilla.  Add heavy cream a little bit at a time until it becomes the consistency you like.  Add more heavy cream if needed.

Assemble and frost the cake: 

* Using a serrated knife, trim off the tops of the cake to create a flat surface.  Place 1 layer on a cake stand (or plate).  Cover the top with frosting.  Add second layer of cake, more frosting, then the third layer.  Top with frosting and spread it around the sides of the cake.  Garnish with blueberries or lemon slices.  I used a strawberry to make it red, white, and blue for Fourth of July.  Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes before cutting or else the cake might fall apart as you cut it.

iced cake     iced cake2

* Make 1 day in advance if you’d like.  Keep refrigerated for up to 3 days.

finished cake2

This isn’t decorated properly for a picture, but I wanted to show a picture of what the cake looked like on the inside.

Hope you enjoy!  🙂