Fabulous Friday: Applesauce Cake

I was asked to make this cake for a friend’s birthday party. Her mom always made it for her and it was her absolute favorite cake ever. I must admit, it is REALLY, REALLY good! It has amazing flavor and is super moist.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 c flour
  • 2 c sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • dash of ginger
  • 1/2 c butter, softened
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1 1/2 c applesauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Frosting Recipe (see below)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly grease a 9×13 pan and set aside.
  3. In an electric mixer, mix all ingredients EXCEPT the eggs. Beat for 2 minutes.
  4. Add in eggs and beat for another 2 minutes.
  5. Pour batter in pan and bake in oven for 35-40 minutes (it only took 35 minutes in my oven).
  6. Let cool before frosting.

Frosting Recipe

Mix together:

  • 1/2 c butter, softened
  • 2 TBS cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 c powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • add milk, until you’ve reached your desired consistency

 

Happy Pi Day! Plus Snickers Pie

For all of you pie-loving nerds out there, this holiday is just for us ūüôā
Today’s date is 3.14 << see?! pi and of course the only way to celebrate pi is by eating PIE. (Any excuse to eat pie, right?)

Well here is one of my favorite pie recipes for you. It’s a little time consuming but well worth the effort!

Snickers Pie (AKA Tin Roof Chocolate Pie)

Tin Roof Chocolate PieIngredients

  • 1¬†prebaked¬†9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell (or you can split everything into 2 regular pie shells)

CHOCOLATE LAYER

  • 2¬†cups¬†(12-oz. pkg.) Semi-sweet chocolate chips,¬†divided
  • 1¬†tablespoon butter

CARAMEL LAYER

  • 20¬†vanilla caramels
  • 1 1/3¬†cups heavy whipping cream,¬†divided
  • 1 1/2¬†cups lightly salted peanuts, coarsely chopped

MARSHMALLOW LAYER

  • 1/2¬†cup milk
  • 15¬†large marshmallows
  • 1/4¬†teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Topping (recipe below)

Directions

FOR CHOCOLATE LAYER:
HEAT
 1/3 cup morsels and butter in small saucepan over low heat stirring frequently, until morsels are melted. Spread melted chocolate on bottom and up sides of prebaked pie shell. Refrigerate for 15 minutes or until set.FOR CARAMEL LAYER:
HEAT
 caramels and 1/3 cup whipping cream in small saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently, until caramels are melted and mixture is smooth. Stir in nuts. Spoon over chocolate layer; cover. Refrigerate.

FOR MARSHMALLOW LAYER:
HEAT
 1 1/3 cups morsels, milk and marshmallows in medium saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until chocolate and marshmallows are melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla extract. Cool completely.

BEAT remaining whipping cream until soft peaks form; fold into cooled marshmallow mixture. Carefully spoon over caramel layer (pie will be full). Refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.

FOR TOPPING:
HEAT
 3 caramels, 2 tablespoons whipping cream and 1 tablespoon butter in small saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently, until smooth; cool slightly. Top each serving with topping, whipped cream and remaining morsels.

This amazing recipe and photo comes from Very Best Baking

Fabulous Friday: Peanut Butter and Honey Granola Bars

I just made these granola bars for my family and they were a huge hit!

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 c Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 c chunky peanut butter
  • 1/4 c honey
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup coconut
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts (your choice!)
  • 1/3 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.¬†Grease a 7×11 pan.
  2. In a bowl, beat the egg then stir in the brown sugar.
  3. Add in peanut butter, honey.
  4. Add melted butter, oats, coconut, nuts and stir well to combine.
  5. Add in chocolate chips.
  6. Bake for about 20 minutes.
  7. Let cool for an hour if you can keep from eating them before that! 

Fabulous Friday: Quick and Easy French Bread

I’ve been trying to be super tight with our budget this month and not take any money from our “other” fund for food. So when we ran out of bread, I made the comment to my husband that I needed to make some. ¬†He volunteered to do it. He had never made bread before so I wasn’t sure if he was just being nice and trying to take the load off of me or if he was secertly remembering how my bread almost NEVER turns out good and then end up like bricks.¬†Remember¬†this post? Ya. ¬†Anywho, he set to work making bread and BAM in 1 hour my husband put to shame any attempt I’d ever made to make bread. His bread was BEAUTIFUL! DELICIOUS! ABSOLUTELY PERFECT! I could have kicked him. ūüėČ

Just a few days later, the Relief Society in my ward put on a very timely class: food storage and bread making. We got to make the dough there and then bring it home to bake. I was skeptical that it would turn out but guess what! It did!!! It was light and fluffy and scrumptious. My dear sweet husband even praised it up one side and down the other. Eating a warm slice with butter and honey in between each praise.¬†How’s that for boosting the confidence of a non-bread maker? He was so convincing, that ¬†I made another loaf with my almost 3 year old today and it turned out great too! Two great breads in one week? Woot! Maybe I’m getting better at this… Or maybe the recipe is just that simple. ¬†ūüôā

Homemade french bread in 1 hour!

Homemade french bread in 1 hour!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quick and Easy French Bread

  • 1 TBS yeast
  • 1 TBS sugar
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 cup warm water (yes an additional cup)
  • 1 TBS butter
  • 1 1/2 tsb salt
  • 3 cups flour (plus a little extra for kneading)
  1. In a large bowl, mix the yeast, sugar and 1/2 cup warm water. Let it stand for about 5-10 minutes until it gets all bubbly.
  2. Add in 1 cup water, butter, and salt. Mix everything together.
  3. Add 3 cups of flour and once you’ve stirred it all in, started kneading it with your hand. Add a little more flour as needed.
  4. Once it’s not ridiculously sticky any more and you can at least handle it, flour a cookie sheet and stick the dough on it.¬†Knead the dough for about 5 minutes adding in flour if you need it.
  5. Press the dough into a rectangle, then roll it up from the long side.
  6. Score the dough with a sharp knife.
  7. Turn on oven to 400 degrees and let the dough rise while the oven is heating.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes.

See! I told you it was easy! Enjoy!

 

Fabulous Friday: Coconut Quinoa Granola

Last week I had about an hour to kill before my 2-year old’s bedtime. So I decided we’d try to make a new granola recipe. I had already started the process only to realize I was out of brown sugar. Shoot. Well thank goodness for google and I found a recipe on how to make your own brown sugar. With only that minor setback, the granola creation was a success!¬†This granola turned out to be the perfect snack, breakfast, yogurt topper, and more. Even though it made ¬†almost 10 cups, we had it devoured in less than a week. It is just so good!

Coconut Quinoa Granola

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coconut Quinoa Granola

  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 6 cups oats
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1 cup wheat germ
  • 1/2 cup quinoa (optional)
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
  • 1 cup craisins or raisins
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray 2 baking sheets with cooking spray and set aside.
  3. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, combine oil, honey, salt, brown sugar, and cinnamon.  Stir occasionally.
  4. While that is heating, in a large bowl mix together the oats, coconut, quinoa, and nuts.
  5. When the sugar is dissolved and it is almost to a boil, pour the hot mixture into the large bowl and stir until oats are completely coated.
  6. Spread the granola out on the 2 pans.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes make sure to stir every 10 minutes and rotate the pans between your oven racks as well.

 

 

Fabulous Friday: POGO Pass!

This is a post for you people that live in Arizona!

Have you guys heard of the POGO Pass??? 

Without going on and on, basically when you buy a year Pogo Pass are buying a pass that gets you access to multiple places for a certain number of times!! 

While normally I lineup meals for you, here’s a great lineup of really fun family outings and dates for you!¬†Typically this card is $99 which is still a fantastic deal BUT not very affordable to buy everyone in your family a $100 card (each person 3+ will need their own pass). Because you are a reader, you can get this amazing card for only $39.98 per card when you use the promo code LINEUP at checkout. There are 15 venues now & over $1500 in value so that is a huge savings.

Here is a list of venues that are included with the pass with the number of visits included:

  • Sunsplash-1
  • Sea Life Aquarium-2
  • Brunswick Bowling – 2 games a week for the entire year!
  • Rattlers Games-3
  • Diamondbacks Games-2
  • Tempe Paintball-12
  • Stratum Laser Tag-2
  • Jumpstreet-2
  • AZ Museum of Natural History-2 (My son LOVES the “dinosaur museum”)
  • Phoenix Zoo-2
  • National Comedy Theatre-6¬†(seriously this place is my husband and my favorite place to go on a date)
  • Enchanted Island-4
  • ASU Sports-multiple
  • Phoenix Rock Gym-2

SO! If interested, go to www.pogopass.com and buy your discounted card today! To get your card at 60% off use this code at checkout: LINEUP

Get a POGO pass for only $39.98 with our special promo code: LINEUP

Get a POGO pass for only $39.98 with our special promo code: LINEUP

Fabulous Friday: Best Marinara Sauce

This marinara sauce recipe is one of my mom’s signature recipes (the other is her caramel recipe but I can’t share that one ūüėČ ). It is SO good.

Ingredients

  • 3 – 14.5 oz cans of tomatoes (For even better results, use a quart of home-grown bottled tomatoes.)¬†
  • 1 – 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 6 TBS olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 4 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder

Directions

  1. Put all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour into a large pot on the stove and bring to a boil on high. Watch it closely though because it comes to a boil very quickly! My mom’s words, “It starts spitting!”
  3. Once it comes to a boil, turn it down to low or medium low and bring it down to a simmer.
  4. Simmer for 30 minutes.  

**This is a great sauce to have on hand for pizza, spaghetti, etc. Whatever you don’t use right away, put it in small containers ¬†(we do 2 cup increments) and freeze it! It stores great in the freezer.

** Pair with this whole wheat herbed pizza dough and some cheese for an incredible pizza!