March 31, 2012

Nanny's Pound Cake

I love pound cake. I really do. Especially when it has some vanilla ice cream and strawberries on top.

Fortunately for me (and now all of you), my Nanny makes the most delicious pound cake.

I don't know how this recipe varies from pound cake recipes y'all have. It might be exactly the same. It might be completely different. She may have gotten the recipe out of a Southern Living cookbook. It may be a recipe that has been passed down from generation to genereration. I really don't know. All I know is that it tastes good. It's light and fluffy and tasty and fattening and great. So here's the recipe.


Pound Cake

Pound Cake

2 sticks of margarine
1/2 c shortening
3 c granulated sugar
5 eggs
3 c flour
1 c milk
1/2 tsp vanilla 
1/2 tsp almost extract

Start creaming margarine and shortening. Add sugar and turn mixer to medium speed. Add eggs one at a time. Turn down mixer slightly. Add flour 1 cup at a time, alternating with milk. Add extracts. Cook in COLD over at 300 degrees for 2 hours. Cover immediately after removing from pan to preserve moisture. 

March 27, 2012

The BEST Chocolate Chip Cookie

In my last post, I talked about a delicious dinner my family was about to have. I intended on posting shortly after that with a picture of my meal. However, it's 10 days later and I still haven't posted. Where did the time go?

Anyway, here it is! The yummy fish dinner consumed outside on the deck on a lovely spring night.

Onto the dessert for the day. Now, my title is the BEST Chocolate Chip Cookie ever. I find this to be true...with one exception. That exception is the Yellow Cake Mix Cookie. BUT, if we're just talking chocolate chip cookies from scratch (using cake mix doesn't count), this one wins. Why, you ask? Because it has a secret ingredient. Cream cheese.

Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies

5-6 oz cream cheese (softened)
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulate sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups plus 3 tbsp all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the over to 325 degrees.
Cream together the butter, cream cheese, and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla.
Sift together the dry ingredients and add them to the butter mixture. Beat until well combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
Place a scoop of dough on the prepared cookie sheet and flatten slightly with your hand.
Bake 12-14 minutes or until edges are looking slightly brown.
Cool 5 minutes on cookie sheet before moving to wire rack to cool completely.

March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patty's Day!

What a beautiful St. Patrick's Day today has been!

It was 81 degrees today. In March! That thrills me to no end. I am so so so so happy to have basically skipped winter this year. I have absolutely no desire to see cold temperatures anytime after Christmas. I do like it to be cold around the holidays, but after that, the weather is free to be beautiful anytime it wants.

That being said, we're grilling out tonight in this gorgeous weather. Salmon, potatoes, asparagus, fruit, and hush stomach is already growling.

Anyway, my dad works at Lowes, and to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, they had a cupcake war. It wasn't anything like the TV cupcake wars. I didn't actually have to go somewhere to compete in a given time frame against competitors. Instead, I made my cupcakes at home and took them into Lowes.

I decided to make Green Velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. I'll let ya in on a secret...they're actually just Red Velvet cupcakes, but instead of red food coloring, I put green. Amazing, right?

I also tried to make shamrocks out of fondant to put on top, but that didn't turn out as well as I had pictured it. I didn't actually have a shamrock cutter, so I just cut them with a knife...and they look kinda funny. Oh well, better luck next time.

Here they are!

March 15, 2012

Hydrangea Cake

Well, vacation is officially over. To sum it up, I. Love. The. Beach.

I still have a few days of Spring Break to enjoy, but the beach trip I took with my mom has sadly come to an end.

On the bright side of things, that means there are SIX WEEKS of classes left. SIX! In the grand scheme of an entire school year, six weeks is practically nothing.

Sorry about the semi-hiatus I've taken from the blog. Between taking tests, writing papers, getting ready for spring break, and actually going on spring break, I haven't had a whole lot of free time. I am!

The cake I have for you today my first attempt at a hydrangea cake. It's no where near perfect, and I know there is great room for improvement, but I thought I'd share it with you anyway. It's a great way to celebrate the beautiful spring (or more like summer) weather we've been having!

I got the idea from a picture I saw online, and it is really just the cutest idea for a cake. I'll definitely be working on my hydrangea petal making skills. Too bad I can't take classes on that in school. I find that 400 times more interesting than Natural Resource Conservation (otherwise known as my tree hugger class). Wouldn't you?

On a different note, I want to use this blog as a way to send out a special prayer request. One of my very best friends' boyfriend, who also happens to be my friend and one of my favorite people, was just diagnosed with a brain tumor. Right now, he needs PRAYERS. Please, please, please pray fervently for his healing and for strength for him and his loved ones.

"Rejoice always, PRAY CONTINUALLY, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 
1 Thessalonians 5:17

March 1, 2012

Carrot Cake Cheesecake

I feel like I've been consumed by school all. day. And it's still not over. Actually, it won't be over until next Thursday.

That is so sad to think about.

I think professors get together and make a pact to give us as much school work as possible right before spring break. Midterms, tests, papers, etc. College overload!

BUT, I will be rewarded with a lovely trip to the beach next Friday. The countdown is on...8 days!

Anyway, I did all that complaining to say this-- I needed a short break from school work, so I thought I'd update the trusty blog.

I have a great recipe for all you carrot cake lovers. I also have a great recipe for all you cheesecake lovers. Oh,'s the same recipe!

Before I get to that, I thought I'd share a verse that's been on my heart this week.

"Be JOYFUL in hope, PATIENT in affliction, FAITHFUL in prayer." 
Romans 12:12

Carrot Cake Cheesecake 

Carrot Cake Cheesecake 


For the cheesecake:
16 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
¾ cup sugar
2 ½ tsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. flour
3 eggs

For the carrot cake:
¾ cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 ½ tsp. vanilla
1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 ½ tsp. cinnamon
8 oz. pureed carrot baby food 
8 ½ oz. pineapple tidbits, drained
½ cup sweetened coconut
1 cup toasted pecans, divided

For the cream cheese frosting:
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1-2 tbsp. milk, as needed
1 tsp. vanilla

For the cheesecake:
Beat cream cheese, vanilla, and sugar until smooth. Beat in flour and eggs (one at a time). Mix thoroughly. Set aside.

For the carrot cake:
Mix together dry ingredients- flour, baking soda, and cinnamon. Set aside. In another bowl, combine oil and sugar. Mix in eggs until blended. Add carrot baby food and vanilla, stirring until well combined. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Mix in pineapple, coconut, and ½ cup pecans.

To assemble:
In a 9 or 91/2 inch springform pan, spread 1 ½ cups carrot cake batter over bottom. Drop dollops of cream cheese mixture over carrot cake batter. Top with more dollops of carrot cake batter, do not swirl. Repeat if necessary to use up batters. You will need to finish with a layer of cream cheese mixture spread over the top (about a cup of the mixture). Again, do not marble.

Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 50 - 60 minutes until edges of cheesecake are slightly puffy and the center (about an inch-and-a-half in) slightly jiggles. Cheesecake will finish setting up as it cools. Cool to room temperature and then refrigerate. When cheesecake has chilled completely, finish with frosting.

For the frosting:
Beat softened cream cheese and butter until well combined & smooth. Lower beater speed and add confectioner’s sugar, adding milk a tablespoon at a time until spreadable. Mix in vanilla.

Spread cream cheese frosting over chilled cheesecake and top with toasted pecans.