Recipe of the Week – Blueberry Pound Cake with Vanilla Glaze

Raise your hand if you believe pound cake is a gift straight out of Heaven?

Raise your hand if you believe pound cake can brighten even the dreariest of days?

Raise your hand if you believe pound cake causes cellulite?

I would have to answer with a resounding “Yes!” to all of the above (unfortunately, I answer the last question from experience.)

In my early twenties, after a particularly difficult day at the office,I discovered a product at the grocery store which, over time, became a little bit of a guilty obsession. It was sold in this tidy little white box, its buttery aroma evident even through its packaging and well,it completed me. Okay, that might be a slight over-exaggeration but if this product unclogged toilets and killed bees I could possibly see myself marrying it.

The object of my adoration?

Entenmann’s Pound Cake. The dirty devil.

My unhealthy obsession with this dessert not only increased my grocery budget but also increased my waist size. Once my’fat’ jeans began evolving into ‘everyday’ jeans I knew that my love affair with this delectable dessert would have to end. I had to strike pound cake from every future grocery list and try to forget it ever existed.

And then I found this recipe. And the monkey on my back reared its ugly little monkey head. And I slapped the monkey upside the head and said, “Down boy. It uses cake mix! I’ll be fine.” I mean, how good could it possibly be? The recipe doesn’t even call for butter.

Oh, Lordy.

It’s good. Really good. Yes, it has the Trifecta ofsugar, oil and *ahem* cream cheese, but…it also has blueberries. Did you know they are considered a “Super Food?” So, I’m actually doing your heart a favor. Yep. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

So, go ahead and give this recipe a try. And, please do not neglect the Vanilla Glaze. Forgoing it’s sugary sweetness would be like reading an amazing book and stopping just short of the last chapter, or patronizing the Thunder from Down Under and leaving before the encore. It just wouldn’t make sense.

Enjoy!

Blueberry Pound Cake with Vanilla Glaze

  • 1 (18.25 oz) Butter Yellow or French Vanilla cake mix
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 pint blueberries, fresh or frozen (tossed in a little bit of flour to keep them from sinking)
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray 10 inch bundt pan liberally with Pam Baking Spray (or be all Betty Crocker and do the grease and flour bit.)
  2. In a large bowl, stir together cake mix and sugar. Form a well in the center of mixture and pour in eggs, oil and vanilla. Begin beating on low speed, adding in cream cheese. Scrape sides of bowl and continue beating at medium speed for 4 additional minutes. Fold in blueberries. Pour into bundt pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan before turning out onto plate.
  4. Pour glaze over cooled cake, recipe below.

Vanilla Glaze

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 1/2 Tbs. milk
  • 1/8 tsp of salt
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. butter
  1. Melt butter over medium-low heat and add the rest of the ingredients. Whisk until smooth and cook until reaches desired consistency.

Recipe of the Week – Pizza Puffs

Superbowl Sunday is upon us which means many people are gearing up and making their plans for the big day. There will be parties, there will be loyal fanatics, there will benachos and there will undoubtedly be…beer.

My family has always gathered together to watch the big game. The kids run around with totalunabandon while the women sit with magazines catching up on gossipand the men…oh, the men. Well, they tend toride a fine line between abeer weinie-induced coma and an astonishing attention to every microscopic game detail.

What I love about the Superbowl is the universally accepted belief that a main dish is unnecessary. This is one of the few times of the year where the appetizer plays front and center. No longer is it simply the prelude to a big reveal. The appetizer rules the day. And personally, I am a-okay with the change of roles because I am a bigbeliever in eating lots and lots of tiny little food.

Today’s recipe fits in fantastically well with the traditional Super Bowl Food Pyramid. Cheese? Check. Processed meat? Check. Refined carbs? Check!

So bake these little babies up and prepare yourself for total appetizer domination. (Okay, that’s a bit of an overstatement. But who doesn’t love some refrigerated biscuit dough?)

Pizza Puffs

  • 1 (7.5 oz) package of refrigerated biscuit dough
  • italian seasoning
  • 1-2 cups of shredded mozzarella
  • 1 cup chopped pepperoni slices
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • parmesan cheese
  • garlic powder
  • 1 cup pizza sauce, warmed
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Flatten out a biscuit, creatinga deep well in the center. Add a generous pinch of mozzarella and pepperoni, sprinkling with italian seasoning. Pinch the dough back together and place seam-side down on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining biscuits.
  3. Brush melted butter over tops of prepared biscuits. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and garlic powder.
  4. Bake for10 to 12 minutes, until lightly golden brown.
  5. Serve with warmed pizza sauce on the side.

Yes, they are refrigerated biscuits. Yes, it’s an extremely easy recipe. Yes, itsports the name “puff”.

Adopt the simple. Be proud. It’s a pizza puff.

Happy Wednesday,

Mindy

Recipe of the Week – Cordon Bleu Bites

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Over the last couple of days I have beenin the process of designing a more personalized blog via my tech support/hubby (you know, the birthday boy?)and have been attempting to reorganize my Recipes page. I feel I must add for the purpose of full disclosure,it feels like a giant oxymoron that I am not only writing recipesbut supplying them to other people. I’m the “I’ll bring bread” girl. I’m the “Let mepop on by the grocery store and pick up some deli coleslaw” girl. But, when push comes to shove, I can cook. So,I wanted to compile the recipes I do, on occasion, cook upand store them in one general spot. It is located (here) and I have been trying to keep it updated with my weekly dishes. Feel free to stop on by. (Bear in mind it’s a work in progress.)

Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming…the Recipe of the Week.

Upon closer inspection ofthe Recipes section on my blog I noticed I am sorely lacking in the appetizer department. Which I find odd because I am all about appetizers. Which is most unfortunate. You see, appetizers aren’t typically known for their nutritional value. Unless you’re talking about the veggie tray.Those are great for you, chocked full of vitamins and stuff. Every major diet program suggests that if you happen to be at a party with an appetizer table you should hover around the broccoli and carrots. If you fill up on veggies you will be less likely to overindulge on the less than healthy fare. Yeah, right. I’m pretty sure if youhave the willpower tohang at the veggie tray duringa party you canhandle yourself around theCheetos at lunchtime. But I digress.I actually happen to love vegetables, especially when pared with hot artichoke dip and melted cheese fondue.I’m also helpless around Cheetos. You could sayI fall into the category of those with limited willpower.

I dug through my recipes and found one of my staples. This is a quick and easy appetizer that can be made at the drop of a hat with ingredients youmay already have in your fridge. Cream cheese, mayo, cheese and nitrate-filled deli meat? Check.

Cordon Bleu Bites

  • 1 cupchopped deli ham
  • 2 cups shredded swiss cheese
  • 2 green onions, finely minced
  • minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 8oz. package of cream cheese, softened
  • baguette bread, sliced
  1. Mix together mayo, garlicand cream cheese until smooth.
  2. Add ham, swiss cheese and onions to cream cheese mixture until mixed well.
  3. Top baguette bread slices with dip and place under broiler until hot and bubbly.

Enjoy.

Mindy

Recipe of the Week – Potato Bacon Cheese Soup

Have you ever noticed that an Arctic chill brings with it an undeniable craving for soup? I’m not sure how this phenomenon occurs but a person needssoup in the winter like they needa spandex bikini in the summer. It’s just natural. (What? Am I the only one?)

I made this week’s recipe out of necessity. I was rummaging through the pantry one late afternoon day, completely uninspired and strongly contemplating throwing in the towel bymaking pancakes for dinner. I suddenly noticeda lonely little bag ofRusset potatoes sitting all by itself on the bottom shelf. Crap. See, I do this. I buy themondo bag of taters when it’s on sale. You know. You get like 432 pounds for .99 cents? I make all kinds of plans on how I am going to use up that bag. I start throwing out potatoedishes…potato salad, mashed potatoes, steak ‘n potatoes, baked potatoes, potato latkes,ah, the possibilities.

And then, I proceeded to forget all about the durned potatoes until one fateful moment. On a particularly important late night mission, after opening the pantry door with the stealth of a Navy Seal so as not to wake the family, I gasped as I looked down andnoticed my sweet little potatoes had grown funky beanstalks poking out from the holes in the bag (which I’m certain are placed there for this very reason) and are attempting to thwartmy midnight Cheez It run. (Okay, so it wasn’t a life-threatening mission butI think I was sodium deficient…dangerous.)

Out of fear for my life (and my future snacking opportunities) I’m forced to come up with some potato masterpiece before the spuds take over the house. Enter: Potato and Bacon Cheese Soup.

Here it is, a delectable cream soup (because aren’t all cream soups delectable?) with some star players from the pig and cow family, respectively. Enjoy.

Potato andBaconCheese Soup

  • 3 cups diced, peeled potatos (Yukon gold or Russet)
  • 1/3 cup diced celery
  • 1/3 cup finely diced onion
  • 5 slices cooked, crumbled bacon
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 4 tbs. butter
  • 4 tbs. flour
  • 2 cups milk
  1. In large pot, combine potatoes, celery, onion, crumbled bacon, chicken broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and cook until vegetables are tender, approximately 10-15 minutes.
  2. In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour and stir, cooking, for about 1 minute. Slowly, whisk in milk, avoiding lumps. Continue stirring over medium-low heat until milk has thickened, about 4 to5 minutes.
  3. Add the milk mixture into the pot and cook soup until heated throughout.
  4. Serve immediately with biscuits, french bread or rolls.
  5. Okay, you don’t have to serve it with bread, in case you’re all “aren’t the potatoes enough starch?” But there ain’t nothing better than dipping your bread in this soup. It’s slap yo’ mama good. Unless of course she slaps you back.

Recipe of the Week – Sweet Coconut Cake

Have I mentioned lately that I have developed an unhealthy relationship with sugar? That what used to be an occasional treat has now become a bigpart of my own personal Food Pyramid? Did I also mention that I’ve been craving dessert like a fish craves water, or a dog craves popcorn (wait, is it just mine)? That I have been purposely not buying eggs or flour so thatI am unable to bake anything? Okay, that’ s a lie. I got carried away. But, now that I think about it, that’s not such a bad idea. (Mental note.)

I have made this week’s recipe ona few separate occasions and every single time I have had to pry my increasingly bloated fingers off of it. I could literally make myself sick ingesting potentially toxic levels of coconut. Ifloving thatflaky sweet-meatis wrong I do not want to be right.

So, without further ado, I present to you…this week’s recipe!

Sweet Coconut Cake

Cake

  • 1 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsps coconut extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbs. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup flaked coconut

Frosting

  • 4 Tbs. butter
  • 2 cups flaked coconut
  • 2 tsps. milk
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 8 oz. package cream cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and floura 10-inch bundt pan.
  2. In a large bowl, cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy.Add eggs, one at a time, beat until smooth. Add coconut extract and mix well.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. Add 1/2 of the flour mixture, alternating with 1/2of thebuttermilk, to the butter/sugar mixture and mix well after each step. Mix until all ingredients are combined. Fold in flaked coconut. Pour into prepared bundt pan.
  5. Bake for 1 hour, or until toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean. DO NOT OVERBAKE.
  6. To make frosting: Melt2Tbs.butter in a skillet and add coconut, stirring over low heat until browned. Spoon coconut onto paper towel to drain and cool.Cream the remaining 2 Tbs. butter with the cream cheese. Add the milk and confectioner’s sugar, alternately, beating well. Add the vanilla and stir in 3/4s of the toasted coconut.
  7. Once thecake has cooled, spread frosting. Press the remaining toasted coconut over the top.
  8. Eat.
  9. Eat another piece.
  10. Run on treadmill.

Granted, this cake has what appears to be a butt-load of steps. However, it is actually a very easy cake that leaves the impression it was baked by a pro. Or, at least by someone with a lot of time on their hands. Oh, and steps 8, 9 and 10 are optional…but highly recommended.

Enjoy, Mindy