How do you feel about combined birthday celebrations? My birthday and my moms are only a day apart and over the years, we've had a lot of shared birthday festivities. As a child, I got so accustomed to celebrating our birthdays together that when I got married and moved away, it felt strange NOT to celebrate my birthday along with hers.
My birthday is the day before my moms, and looking back, I can't help but wonder how many years she had candles stuck into my day old, half eaten cake for her birthday. As a child, all caught up in the afterglow of my birthday festivities, I honestly don't remember her birthday cakes except for the years that both of our names were on one cake. With the exception of the few years that I went rogue and requested donuts or pie instead of cake, I'm fairly certain of the fact that my mom never had a birthday cake that was entirely her own for the 18 years that we lived together.
My mom and I live 750 miles apart now and we hardly ever get to celebrate our birthdays together. We have separate birthday cakes now and honestly - it's a little weird. Still to this day, I cut my cake on my birthday and on the next day, I eat another slice in honor of her birthday as well.
German Chocolate Cake
Coconut Pecan Filling
6 egg yolks
12 oz can evaporated milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter, cubed
3 cups sweetened shredded coconut
1 1/2 cups chopped toasted pecans
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup sour cream, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 oz German chocolate, melted
4 large eggs, separated
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1/4 cup water, room temperature
1 1/2 cups butter
1 1/4 cups shortening
9 3/4 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
6-7 tbsp milk
I'm not sure how traditional German Chocolate Cake lovers will feel about chocolate fudge frosting on a German Chocolate cake and if I'm being completely honest - I was a bit skeptical as well. After one bite though, I was convinced that I'd never make another German Chocolate Cake without it again. Turns out - fudge frosting is the perfect compliment to the the creamy coconut pecan filling and moist cake. I have to give credit to America's Test Kitchen for the inspiration for this scrumptious creation. Once again - you've pushed the limits of my cake baking and I couldn't be happier.
Wedding bells are ringing loud and clear over here. Three bridal showers in three weeks is enough to put anybody in the mood to celebrate love. I've also become adept at ordering from Bed, Bath and Beyond and a master at wrapping awkward gifts like spatulas and colanders.
I loved celebrating these new marriages and I've got to say that the hostesses of these festive affairs, really out did themselves in the refreshment department. They created some of the most over top fabulous and delicious displays of nibbles for the bride and her guests. I'm talking about beef and chicken sliders, mini meatballs, turkey wraps, pimento cheese sandwiches, baskets of mini quiche and trays overflowing with fruit. It was all I could do to stop myself from filling TWO plates. 😂
Now let me tell you about the exquisite displays of dessert at these bridal showers. Chocolate covered strawberries, bundtinis, strawberry shortcakes, chocolate mousse, petit fours, cupcakes and beautiful jars filled with chocolate kisses, gum balls and candy. These Willy Wonka worthy dessert bars were absolutely irresistible. I'm pretty sure that I tried one of everything. 🎂
There's no way that I could replicate bridal shower provisions on a weekly basis but after three straight weeks of showers, my body now craves Saturday afternoon sugar. 🤣 I feel like I need to fill the refreshment gap of my shower-less Saturday afternoons. But what could possibly satisfy my sugar cravings? Triple Chocolate Sticky Buns should do the trick. I can't think of anything more decadent than a TRIPLE CHOCOLATE STICKY BUN.
Triple Chocolate Sticky Buns
2/3 cup whole milk
1/4 cup flour
2/3 cup whole milk
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
3 1/4 cups flour
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
6 Tablespoons butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
6 Tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup dark corn syrup
2 Tablespoons water
1 Tablespoon cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
4 Tablespoons butter
1 cup mini chocolate chips
Beginning with long edge, loosely roll up into a log. Pinch seam to seal.
Invert buns onto a platter.
You know that I'm all about breakfast recipes that I can make ahead of time. These sticky buns are the perfect make ahead recipe. Take the unbaked sticky buns out of the frig, let them rise on the counter for an hour, bake and serve. Easy peasy.
I'm calling all girls to the grill today. I can't even begin to count how many times I've heard grilling referred to as "a man's job." I'm here to tell you that grilling is not just for the boys anymore. I'm a girl who can grill with the best of 'em and I love it. I have a Big Green Egg and I'm not afraid to use it. 😆
My blog today is designed to empower women to become Girls Who Grill. There are great resources and websites available to educate women about buying grills, grill safety, grilling recipes and basic grilling techniques. There's really no excuse to be afraid of the grill anymore, girls. It's time for us to embrace the art of outdoor cooking.
Whether you're passionate about smoked meat or giddy over grilled vegetables, there are grill recipes for everything. If you can eat it - it can be grilled. Meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, desserts - you can grill them all. Grilled pineapple drizzled with honey is one of my absolute favorites.
This Smoked Brisket is a great place to start if you're new to grilling. It's simple and straightforward and the homemade sauce is RIDICULOUS. It can be spiced up for those of you who like things hot and toned down for those of you who like things on the sweeter side.
1 Tablespoon paprika
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
2 Tablespoons kosher salt
2 Tablespoons pepper
4.5 - 5 pound brisket
1 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire
1 teaspoon mild hot sauce
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Cook brisket until temperature of brisket registers 185 - 200. (7.5-10 hours)
Slice brisket across the grain and serve with pan juices and sauce.
Serve as a sandwich.
It looks like this is going to be a perfect weekend for grilling. So if you live in the South, and you can tolerate the pine pollen 😷 - fire up your grills. And if be sure and tag me in your photos or send me a comment if you make my brisket recipe. I'd love to see your results.
There are so many people on reduced sugar diets today, either out of necessity or choice, and luckily there are more options available now than ever before. Whether you're a fan of sugar substitutes, like Splenda or stevia or you prefer more natural sweeteners, like fruit and maple syrup, you've got great choices for making sugar free and reduced sugar baked goods.
When I'm baking for my own family, I like to use bananas, applesauce and dates as sweetener in my baked goods whenever possible. If I need to sweeten something even more, I opt for a less processed sweetener like honey, molasses, maple syrup or agave nectar. As a last resort, I use stevia or brown sugar to make my baked goods sweet. And then there are times when I use a combination of all my favorite sweeteners. My homemade Fig Newtons for example, have a blend of dates, apple juice, applesauce and brown sugar all to create the perfect blend of fruity sweetness.
Because I have a baking business, I probably use more sugar in a week than most people use in a year so I'm certainly not opposed to baking with sugar. I've actually considered buying sugar in 50 pound bags because I go through it so quickly. 😂
I crave sugar and it takes a whole lot of will power to NOT eat all of the desserts that are baked in my kitchen everyday. Even though I COULD consume every leftover brownie and imperfect cupcake or cookie that I make, believe it or not, I TRY and show some restraint when it comes to sugar consumption.
I substitute fruit or more natural sweeteners for white sugar whenever possible. These Blueberry Banana Muffins have a natural sweetness from the banana and some added stevia to boost the sweetness. I think you will agree that these muffins are pretty SWEET. 😆
Blueberry Banana Muffins
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 mashed bananas
3/4 cup stevia sweetener or sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup blueberries
2 Tablespoons stevia sweetener or sugar
2 Tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 Tablespoon butter
Bake 14 minutes at 350 for mini muffins.
I've had really great luck substituting stevia for sugar in my recipes. I use Truvia in a one to one substitution for the sugar in my recipes and it doesn't affect the texture or quality of the end result. Just in case you want to give it a try - brownies sweetened with stevia are amazing.
I am over-the-moon excited about the upcoming wedding of my son and his soul mate. There are still some wedding plans to be made and details to be ironed out but that all pales in comparison to the joy that I feel that these kindred spirits will be united in marriage in just a few short months. We're having a wedding!!!
Despite my extensive and exhaustive mother-of-the-groom dress search that has consumed most of my free time over the last 6 months, the wedding didn't really seem real until I attended their first bridal shower a couple of weekends ago. To say that it was momentous would be an understatement.
The day of the shower was a day that I will not soon forget. So many of the people that have had an influence on the life of my first born were in attendance. The people that impacted his life when he was a young, rambunctious child and those that knew him as an enthusiastic teenager gathered together to bless this precious couple. I feel so lucky that the people that I consider my dearest friends, love my children so well.
Two of my very sweet friends hosted the shower just down the street from me so my house became the staging area for the out-of-town shower guests who arrived prior to the afternoon shower. We nibbled on breakfast snacks and caught up with friends while we eagerly awaited the big event. I was under strict instructions NOT to overfeed anyone before the shower because the hosts wanted hungry guests that would eat up all of the delicious food that they had prepared. 😂
I've declared my love for make ahead breakfast treats before but on days when I have breakfast guests, they are absolutely imperative. I made these Baked Oatmeal Cups a couple of days before the day of the shower and I put them in my freezer so there was minimal preparation time on the day of the big celebration. These granola cups freeze beautifully and they are perfect to serve to guests because they can be customized. I served my Baked Oatmeal Cups alongside bowls of fruit, chocolate chips, coconut, fresh berries and almonds. Healthier than a waffle bar but it was just as much fun to see what kind of creations people make out of their baked granola cup.
Baked Oatmeal Cups
3 cups old fashioned oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup applesauce
1 1/2 cups milk
2 large eggs
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
Cover pan with plastic wrap and let sit overnight in the refrigerator. Bake 25-30 minutes at 350.
Let cool in the pan 5 minutes before removing.
Top with your favorite toppings. (fruit, chocolate chips, coconut, syrup)
I don't quite know how to thank my dear friends for hosting such a beautiful shower and everyone who took the time to come and celebrate with us. Just know that you are all loved and I deeply appreciate the influence that each and every one of you has had on the lives of this couple.
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