Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Triple Lemon Mini Bundt Cakes

This past weekend was our Twelfth Wedding Anniversary.  We had a quiet dinner at home to celebrate.  With Scott facing Pituitary tumor surgery June 18th, he is laying low on the weekends.  He is so tired all of the time, due to his hormones being out of balance. His favorite cake is Lemon Cake with Lemon Frosting.  I  didn't want to bake a a big cake, so I made these cute little Lemon Mini Bundt Cakes with Lemon  Butter Cream Frosting. Mini cakes make the any occasion special.  There is also a Lemon Glaze underneath the frosting, for a triple lemon punch.  These little cakes have pucker power, perfect for lemon lovers everywhere. I love the Strawberries, so we had Strawberries on top of the cake.  Honestly, this was the best lemon cake that I have ever eaten.  Life is short, eat dessert first. 

Besides cake we had a beautiful Spinach Salad with fresh strawberries, (of course), Mandarin oranges, and dried cranberries with a Balsamic Vinaigrette.  For the main course we had Chicken Marsala on Linguine, which was wonderful with tender chicken, a flavorful Marsala sauce with browned mushrooms.Mmm.   The recipe will be posted later.

 We had a wonderful time cooking together in the kitchen and drinking a Pinot Noir, just the way that our blog started.  We toasted to us, and many more anniversaries. 

Triple Lemon Mini Bundt Cakes
 Adapted from Crazy about Cupcakes, by Krystina Castella

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 c lemon zest-about 3 lemons
4 large eggs, at room temperature
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk I used almond milk
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.   Grease and flour mini bundt pan.  My pan has 6 wells.  I also got 12 cupcakes with reserve batter, plus five more mini bundt cakes. Yield depends on the size of your mini bundt pan.
2. In a large bowl of stand mixer, combine sugar and lemon zest. .cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time to creamed mixture, beating 1 minute after each addition.
3. In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
    In another bow, combine milk, lemon juice and vanilla.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, alternating with the milk, ending with the flour mixture.  Mix until completely integrated.
5. Fill the bundt cake pans and cupcake liners three-quarters full. Bake bundt cakes about  2-25 minutes, and cupcakes 18-23 min. or until a toothpick comes out clean.
6. Remove mini bundt cakes from oven and cool on rack.  Carefully remove cakes from pan, using a butter knife if needed. Place on rack with wax or parchment paper underneath. Spoon glaze over warm cakes Frost when glaze is completely set

Lemon Glaze

1/4 C. fresh lemon juice
1/4 C sugar, or add to taste
1 Tbsp melted butter 

Bring ingredients to boil over med. heat.  Spoon over warm mini bundt cakes and cupcakes.  Frost cakes and cupcakes when completely cooled.

 Lemon Butter Cream Frosting
 2 sticks butter
4 C powdered sugar
1/4 C lemon juice

Cream butter in large mixing bowl of electric mixer with the paddle attachment.  Gradually add powdered sugar and lemon juice until desired consistency. 

I linked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck #69
 Stop by and say Hi to Brandie! 


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Lemony Shrimp with Fresh Asparagus and Basil, on Gluten Free Pasta

My hearts and prayers go out to the people of Oklahoma to all of those affected, and the First Responders, as well..  I can't even imagine what these people are going through now.

In our neck of the country, we have been waiting for Spring for a long time, and it is finally here. The fresh local asparagus is here, too. We are lucky that there is a farm market across the road from our sub-division. We will be waiting a long time for more fresh produce, because Spring planting is very late this year.  We love fresh asparagus cooked any way, but we especially like it with pasta, lemony shrimp, and  fresh basil in a tasty wine sauce.  I am really liking the GF pasta that I found at TJ's,  Trader Joe's.  Enjoying pasta dishes is much easier, now that I have found GF pasta.

This is the perfect meal for your busy end of school weeks, or just because you don't have a lot of time to spend  in the kitchen this time of year.  In the time that it takes to cook pasta almost, you can have this dinner on the table. The longest step in this recipe is peeling and cleaning the shrimp.   Enjoy! 

Here is an update on Scott and his pituitary gland surgeryHe is scheduled for surgery June 18th, which is a little less than four weeks away.  We are counting the days, so we can put all of his medical trials behind us, and move on.

Lemony Shrimp with Fresh Asparagus and Basil on Gluten Free Pasta


·      1/2 medium onion, diced
·      4 cloves of garlic, minced
·      1/4 c olive oil
·      1 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter or Smart Balance
·      1/3 c chicken broth
·      1/3 c white wine
·      1 tsp Herbes de Provence
·      1 lb of fresh asparagus cut in small pieces
·      Zest of 1 lemon
·      Juice of 1 lemon
·      3/4 lbs. 41-50count Raw shrimp, deveined, and cut in half
·      8 oz. Gluten Free pasta, cooked al  dente, and drained, or you favorite pasta.
·      4 large leaves of fresh Basil, chiffonade
·      1/2 c   grated, fresh Parmesan cheese, optional


  1. Saute onions and garlic in olive oil and butter, until onions are clear.
  2. Add chicken broth, white wine, chopped asparagus, and Herb de Provence, Add Lemon, juice and zest.  Cook until asparagus is tender, not mushy.
  3. Add chopped shrimp and saute over medium heat, until shrimp is pink and curled, about 2-3 min.  Do not overcook or shrimp will be rubbery.
  4. Serve over cooked pasta.
  5. Add  fresh grated Parmesan cheese, and chiffonade of fresh basil 
  6. I linked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck #68
     Stop by and say Hi to Brandie! 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Fight Back Brownies a.k.a. Hershey's Syrup Brownies, and the Relay for Life 2013

 The Relay for Life for the American Cancer Society is June 21-22nd. Once again, I am Team Captain for my Team, Life's a Beach.  Last year I learned that two friends of mine were both diagnosed with malignant Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, the same type of cancer that I was diagnosed with 17 yrs. ago. Two friends in one day diagnosed with the same type of cancer, unbelievable.
This year, the Relay is in honor of my husband, Scott, who has been diagnosed with a Pituitary tumor. The tumor is slow growing, and the Dr. thinks that the tumor is probably benign, but they won’t know for sure, until his Neurosurgery June 18th. We have been going through all of the angst and uncertainty with the diagnosis of a tumor, besides trying to navigate the medical network. This is why I Relay, to do my part, to help raise money to find a cure for cancer. I have already lost friends and family to this terrible disease and my list is ever growing with the people fighting the fight of their life. 

I'm sure that you know a friend or family member that had been affected by cancer. A Relay for Life is is a life changing event to Celebrate the life you have,  Remember those that have lost their fight, and Fight Back to beat cancer.

Please, support me in my efforts by clicking on the badge above to visit my personal web page and make a donation. Every dollar raised brings us one step closer to a cure and to a world where the people we love never have to hear the words, “You have cancer.”  Thank you so much for your support. Together, we ARE saving lives and creating a world with more birthdays!

Relay for Life 2012
My team will be selling these Fight Back Brownies to raise additional monies for the American Cancer Society. These brownies are so good, and only have five ingredients, flour, sugar, eggs, butter, and chocolate syrup. The frosting is so good and tastes like melted ice cream. You can put it on the brownies right out of the oven, so you make bake, and frost the beauties in 25 min.  Quick and Easy, and yummy!  They also taste great with the powdered sugar.

Fight Back (Hershey's Syrup) Brownies  Preheat oven to 400 Degrees F

1 stick 1/2 c , unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup sugar
16 oz chocolate syrup
4 eggs
1 1/4 c flour
1 tsp vanilla

Grease a 15x10x1 pan.  Cream butter and sugar, until light and fluffy.  Beat in chocolate syrup, eggs, and vanilla, mix well. Add flour.  Mix well.  Pour batter, which will be thin, in prepared pan. Bake 17-20 min.
Remove from oven.
As the cake is baking, prepare the frosting, which you can put on the cake right out of the oven.  The frosting tastes like melted  ice cream.  Are you with me?

Chocolate Frosting

1/4 cup cocoa
5 Tbsp butter
5 tbsp milk
21/2 -3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Put powdered sugar in a large mixing bowl.  In a small sauce pan combine. butter cocoa, and milk Heat until mixtures comes to just a boil, stirring constantly. Be careful not to let it scorch. Pour mixture over powdered sugar and beat until smooth with an electric mixer. Spread warm frosting over warm brownies and you have heaven.  These brownies are so moist, and keep well, if they aren't eaten first.  They are very addictive and     They freeze well.

I linked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck #68
 Stop by and say Hi to Brandie!  She chose these brownies as her personal favorite!!!!


Monday, May 6, 2013

Mexican Fudge Brownies with Cinnamon Butter Cream Frosting

I made these Brownies for our Cinco de Mayo dinner yesterday. First, we had Mango Margaritas, Guacamole, then we had Chicken Enchiladas with Ancho Chile Sauce, and finished of our meal with Mexican Brownies. In case you don't know, Mexican brownies are your go to brownies with Cinnamon and a little Cayenne Pepper for a little heat.  Of course I love cinnamon, but the Cayenne pepper was a great addition with just a little heat. Ole!  If you like really spicy food, you can add even a little more Cayenne pepper. I topped off the yummy brownies with Cinnamon Butter Cream Frosting.  One bite of these amazing brownies was like a party in your mouth with all of the fudgy chocolate along the spicy Cinnamon and Cayenne Pepper. Of course  if you don't like spicy food, omit the Cayenne Pepper, and you will still have a great tasting brownie with the chocolate and cinnamon. These brownies are our new comfort food. Enjoy!

We  have needed a lot of comfort food lately, because we are still waiting on a call back from the Neurosurgeon for an appointment. Besides comfort food, we needed a little cheering up. because limbo is not a fun place to be. I got these flowers at my fav market, Trader Joe's for $3.99 on Friday, and they are still gorgeous.  I've had roses that cost much more that didn't look this good.

Mexican Fudge Brownies with Cinnamon Butter Cream Frosting Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens


1/2 c butter

2 squares, (2 oz) unsweetened chocolate

1 c. sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp .vanilla

3/4 c. AP Flour

1 tsp. Cinnamon

1/8 tsp Cayenne pepper

Fudge Brownies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Line a 8x8x2 pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper, edges overlapping. Melt butter and chocolate.  Remove from heat and stir in sugar.  Add eggs, and vanilla.  Beat lightly until just combined.  Stir in flour, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper, and mix well. Spread batter in pan.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 20- 25 minutes.  Do not over bake. Cool on rack. Remove brownie from pan, and place on rack.

Cinnamon Butter Cream Frosting

1/2c. butter

2 c powdered sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

2-3 Tbsp. milk I used Almond Milk

Cream butter till light and fluffy with mixer.  Combine cinnamon and powdered sugar until well mixed.  Gradually beat in powdered sugar.  Add in milk, until desired consistency.

I linked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck #66
 Stop by and say Hi to Brandie! 


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