Lemon Lavender Pound Cake

Image Credit: http://www.thespruceeats.com

Spring is in full bloom here in the South! With such good weather, there is no better way to enjoy it than a refreshing pound cake. Lemon Lavender Pound Cake to be exact! Sweet, light, fluffy and refreshing this pound cake is perfect for afternoon tea times or a light dessert after dinner. With only a few ingredients this recipe is sure to be a hit! I’m so thankful I found this recipe printed off and tucked in one of my grandma’s magazines. Good food and good memories. Happy and Blessed Thursday everyone!

Lemon Lavender Pound Cake

Ingredients:

1 cup. Unsalted Butter

2 cups. Granulated Sugar

5 Large Eggs

3 cups. Cake Flour

1/2 tsp. Baking Soda

1/2 tsp. Salt

8 oz. Sour Cream (light)

1 1/2 tsp. Lavender Flowers

2 Lemons (Zested with 1 tsp being Finely Zested)

Glaze:

1 lemon (Juiced. Roughly 2 1/2 tbsp)

2 tsp. Dried Lavender Flowers

2 tbsp. Hot Water

1 cup. Confectioners Sugar

Instructions:

Gather the ingredients and Preheat oven to 325 F.

Grease and flour a 12-cup Bundt Pan.

Cream butter with granulated sugar until light. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add about 1/3 of the flour mixture to the creamed mixture, along with half of the sour cream. Beat until well blended.

Repeat with another 1/3 of the flour mixture and the remaining sour cream, scraping the sides of the bowl a few times. Beat in the remaining flour mixture until smooth and well blended.

Fold In the 1 1/2 tablespoons of dried lavender flowers and the juice and zest of 2 lemons. Spoon into the prepared baking pan.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Instructions for Glaze:

Gather the ingredients.

Heat lemon juice (juice of 1 lemon) and 2 teaspoons lavender flowers in the microwave or on the stovetop. (Note: Heat just until hot to bring out the lavender flavor a bit.)

Strain out flowers; set juice aside and discard the flowers.

In a bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar, hot lemon juice, and enough hot water to make a good drizzling consistency.

Drizzle over the cooled (can be slightly warm) cake.

Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Credit: http://www.thespruceeats.com

Original Recipe Link: https://www.thespruceeats.com/lemon-lavender-pound-cake-3059865

Easy Cheesy Beef & Rice Casserole

Image Credit: CookingfromtheHeart

My life has taken quite the detour as I planned to post this recipe much earlier than I have. A few days ago I found out that my grandfather was being moved to hospice, so I dropped everything I was doing and flew from Kansas to Alabama to be with my family, which is why I am just now able to post as I have some downtime.

This recipe has been one of my favorites I have created and I know others will equally enjoy it as much as my family has. Wishing you each a most wonderful Wednesday! Stay blessed!

Easy Cheesy Beef & Rice Casserole

Ingredients:

1lb. Ground Beef

1 1/4 c. Jasmine Rice

2.5 c. Beef Broth

(1) 10.5oz can. Cream of Mushroom Soup

(1) 14.5oz can. Green Beans (Drained)

3 Tbsp. Butter

1 cup. Mild Cheddar Cheese

Other:

1 can. Cooking Spray (I use Canola oil)

(1) 9 x 13 Baking Dish

Directions:

  1. Heat a large skillet using medium-high heat and season/brown meat thoroughly. Use a spatula to break meat into small pieces while cooking. Once meat is cooked thoroughly drain, cover and set aside.

2. In a medium pot add rice, beef broth and butter. Cook until rice is softened using medium-high heat.

3. Once rice is cooked, add and fold in the ground beef, cream of mushroom, green beans and 1/2 cup of the cheese.

4. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray, and then add the mixture from the pot to the dish. Sprinkle the left over 1/2 cup cheese on top.

5. Cover dish with aluminum foil and cook at 400° for 20 minutes.

6. Allow dish to cool before serving. I personally wait 10-15 minutes.

7. Enjoy!

Crockpot BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

Yesterday, I was sent this gem of a recipe from a close friend. She knows I love crockpot/slow cooker based recipes. For those needing something quick to make this recipe is equally for you! Having looked over the recipe, I did make some slight adjustments which you will find below. A link to the original recipe, like normal, can be found at the bottom of the page. Wishing you each a beautiful Wednesday!

Crockpot BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

Ingredients:

4-6. Chicken Breasts

1 (12oz) Bottle BBQ Sauce

3/4 cup. Italian Dressing

1/4 cup. Brown Sugar

2 tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce

1 tsp. Paprika

1tsp. Garlic Powder

1tsp. Onion Powder

2 tbsp. Honey

Sandwich Buns

Coleslaw (prepackaged)

Directions from the Original Recipe:

  1. Place everything into your slow cooker (except for the sandwich buns and coleslaw) and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or until the chicken shreds very easily.

2. Shred the chicken and mix around in the sauce. Allow it to absorb the sauce for an additional 15+ minutes.

3. Serve on toasted buns with coleslaw.

Posted Recipe Credit: https://cookingfromtheheart911388010.wordpress.com

Original Recipe Credit: https://www.instrupix.com/the-best-crockpot-bbq-chicken-sandwiches/

Lemon Sugar Cookies

Cookies seem to be my go to for today. With so many varieties to choose from, it’s hard to decide which to make! For this post, I will be sharing with you another vintage recipe that I have personally tried and just like the Spicy Applesauce Cookies these are equally soft and delicious! Growing up my grandma loved to make homemade lemon bars, but I could never stomach the taste of lemon until she made Lemon Sugar Cookies and I was hooked! Do note that the recipe, similar to the last, makes a decent batch of cookies. If you are needing to fill up cookie tins, these are the way to go! Hope you Enjoy!

Recipe Credit: http://www.recipecurio.com

Original Recipe Credit: ” The WORKBASKET” Magazine, 1978.

Sweetness for the Soul

The last week seems to have flown by, as I am still facing issues with my job. Hopefully, those issues will be resolved with a lawyer, but as we all know that can take time. On the plus side of things, my local grocery store has been getting ready for the upcoming holidays! With sweet treats on the mind, I decided it was high time to make an old favorite. Cinnamon Sugar Pecans. My grandma (Memaw, as I called her) would have been proud.

Growing up, my grandparents had a rather large pecan tree in their front yard. When Fall would approach, we would go and pick bags of pecans filling them to the brim. It’s one of the happiest memories of my grandmother, as she would then take those pecans and turn them into fresh baked pies, candy them and more. Being so young, her cooking was like magic. She could could slap ingredients together and Boom a masterpiece was created. That’s the thing about grandma’s though. They always have that special touch when it comes to anything food related.

Now that I have my rambling out of the way, let’s move on to the good stuff!

Easy Cinnamon and Sugar Candied Pecans

Ingredients

6 tbsps. Butter

2 Large Egg Whites

1/4 tsp. Salt

3/4 cup (5.5 ounces) Granulated Sugar

1 1/4 tsps. Ground Cinnamon

4 cups (16 ounces) Whole Raw Pecans

Directions

Step One: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Step Two: Melt the butter and spread on a rimmed half sheet pan (11X17-inches). You can also cut the cold butter into cubes, place on the sheet pan, and pop in the oven while preheating to melt the butter; just watch closely so it doesn’t burn.

Step Three: In a large bowl, add the egg whites and salt and whisk until foamy but still liquidy, 30 seconds or so. Add the sugar and cinnamon and mix until well blended and the cinnamon is completely mixed in.

Step Four: Add the pecans and gently mix until the nuts are well coated, making sure to get underneath to the bottom of the bowl as you mix. 

Step Five: Spread the pecan mixture in an even layer over the melted butter in the pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and using a flat metal spatula or similar tool, quickly stir the pecans and spread them back into an even layer. Bake for another 10 minutes, stir again, and spread into an even layer.

Step Six: Bake for a final 5-10 minutes (watching closely!) until the pecans are sizzling and lightly golden. Remove the pan from the oven, give the pecans another good stir, scraping them up from the bottom of the pan. Spread them into an even layer and let them rest on the pan for 1-2 hours WITHOUT STIRRING AGAIN until completely cooled and the sugar coating has set. The pecans keep for up to a week well-covered in a cool, dry place (not the fridge).

**Want to spice the sweetness up a notch? Try sprinkling on a little Cayenne pepper!**

Recipe Credit: http://www.melskitchencafe.com

Original Recipe Link: https://www.melskitchencafe.com/easy-cinnamon-and-sugar-candied-pecans/

Yummy Pumpkin Blondies

Just this week, my overnight shift finally ended and I can happily say that I am back on dayshift. With this new and welcomed change, I am able to start posting more frequently and I am very excited. Equally, it has come to my attention that Samhain; Halloween to some, is just around the corner! For me personally, this means cooking different soups, breads and a delicious recipe for Pumpkin Blondies to sweeten the soul! Instead of candy, this fun and healthy recipe is sure to be a hit!

Pumpkin Blondies

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups. All-Purpose Flour

1 tbsp. Pumpkin Spice

1 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda

1 tsp. Kosher Salt

1 cup. Unsalted Butter

1 3/4 cups. Sugar

1 Large Egg

1 1/2 cups. Pumpkin Puree

2 tbsps. Vanilla

1 1/2 cups. Chocolate chips (I used Dark Chocolate Chips)

Directions

Step One: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a piece of parchment paper and place in a 9×13″ baking dish. Set aside.

Step Two: In a large bowl, sift together the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt.

Step Three: In a separate bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy. Next mix in the egg, pumpkin puree and vanilla. Slowly add in the flour mixture and mix until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips and then pour into the prepared baking dish.

Step Four: Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes clean. Allow to cool for 20 minutes in pan and then remove from pan. Cut into bars and enjoy!

Recipe Credit: https://www.iheartnaptime.net

Original Recipe Link: https://www.iheartnaptime.net/pumpkin-blondies/

Apple Cider Doughnut Cake

Autumn is approaching fast and with the weather cooling down, the time for Apple Cider Doughnut Cake arises! Did I mention hot chocolate with the little marshmallows? Baking is one of my favorite cooking methods when it comes to the Fall season, and I know you will love this recipe as much as I do! Though the hype around Fall is normally anything pumpkin spice flavored, I decided to switch things up a bit. Mentioned below will be (2) different ways of cooking this scrumptious cake, so check them out and see which cooking method fits you best!

Apple Cider Doughnut Cake

Ingredients

Yellow cake mix

3/4 cup. Apple Cider

1 tbsp. Brown Sugar

½ cup. Apple Sauce

1 tsp. Vanilla

¼ cup. Cinnamon

¼ cup. Sugar

1 cup. Powdered Sugar

¼ cup. Melted Butter

Directions

Step One: Prepare box cake mix as instructed in a large bowl.

Step Two: Add ½ cup apple cider, brown sugar, apple sauce, and vanilla and whisk until well blended.

Step Three: Pour mix into a well greased 7” Bundt pan.

Cooking Methods

Instant Pot: Add 1 ½ cups of water to the instant pot. Cover Bundt pan with foil and lower into the instant pot using a sling. Seal, and set on manual high pressure for 45 minutes. Allow natural release for 15 minutes. Remove from the instant pot and let cool.

Oven: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place Bundt pan on center rack and bake for 45 minutes. Test with a toothpick by sticking into the middle of the cake, if it comes out clean it is ready. Remove from heat and allow to cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes.

Apple Cider Glaze

Step One: While the cake is cooking, prepare apple cider glaze. Add powdered sugar and remaining apple cider to a small bowl and whisk to desired consistency.

Step Two: In a separate bowl. Mix cinnamon with sugar.

Step Three: Once the cake has cooled, brush the entire surface with melted butter. Rub cinnamon sugar mixture until evenly coated.

Step Four: Serve warm with apple cider glaze dip and enjoy!

Recipe Credit: http://www.princesspinkygirl.com

Original Recipe Link: https://princesspinkygirl.com/apple-cider-doughnut-cake/

Parmesan Spinach Mushroom Pasta Skillet

Lately I have been on a quest for simple and healthy meals. With mushrooms being a new favorite of mine, I decided to try out a recipe a close friend recommended to me. This recipe was exactly what I needed in terms of texture, flavor and simplicity. Having a 5 minute only prep time, this recipe is perfect for those busy nights! Can I say I have a new favorite? For my plant-based followers, check out the note I have posted below the recipe! Happy and healthy cooking everybody!

Parmesan Spinach Mushroom Pasta Skillet

Ingredients

Directions

Step One: To make the parmesan spinach mushroom pasta skillet: Cook the pasta in salted water until al dente, according to the package instructions.

Step Two: Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet. Add the mushrooms and sauté for about 3 minutes until lightly browned.

Step Three: Add the chopped garlic and cook for about 30 seconds longer. Then deglaze with a bit of vegetable broth. Reduce the heat and cook for about 1-2 minutes longer. Remove mushrooms to a plate and set aside.

Step Four: In the same skillet, add the spinach and cook for 2 minutes until wilted. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Step Five: Once the pasta is ready, pour off the cooking water. Push spinach on the side in the skillet and add mushroom back, then put drained pasta in the pan and toss to combine. Add parmesan and Italian seasoning and give a quick stir. Serve the parmesan spinach mushroom pasta with red chili pepper flakes and more parmesan, if you like. Enjoy!

NOTE: To make this meal plant-based friendly, simply switch out the Parmesan cheese for vegan Parmesan cheese. I recommend the Parma! brand. Happy cooking!

Recipe Credit: http://www.eatwell101.com

Original Recipe Link: https://www.eatwell101.com/parmesan-spinach-mushroom-pasta-skillet-recipe

French Toast the Right Way

Breakfast has always been the most important meal of the day. When you start off your day with good food, you set your day in a positive manner. One of my favorite early morning meals to make is french toast and with the switch still in progress, I needed to find a new dairy-free recipe to save the day. That’s when I came across http://www.noracooks.com. Her recipe was exactly what I was looking for and is super quick to make! Check out the recipe below!

Vegan French Toast

Ingredients:

1 cup. Unsweetened Almond Milk

1/4 cup. Cornstarch

1 tsp. Ground Flaxseeds

1/2 tsp. Baking Powder

1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon

2 tsps. Pure Maple Syrup

1 tsp. Vanilla

6-8 Slices thick sliced quality French bread

2-3 tbsp. Vegan Butter

For Serving: Maple Syrup, Powdered sugar and/or Fresh Fruit

Directions:

1. Using a shallow bowl wide enough to hold a piece of bread, whisk together the almond milk, cornstarch, flaxseeds, baking powder, cinnamon, maple syrup and vanilla.

2. Add a little bit of vegan butter to a pan over medium-high heat and melt. Whisk the batter again right before dipping bread, as the cornstarch will settle to the bottom of the bowl.

3. Dip each side of the bread in the batter and allow to soak for about 10 seconds, then add the bread to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown in color. Add more vegan butter to the pan as needed in between pieces of bread.

4. Serve with maple syrup, powdered sugar and/or fresh fruit, if desired. Enjoy!

Recipe Credit: http://www.noracooks.com

Original Recipe Link: http://www.noracooks.com/vegan-French-toast/

Creamy Vegan Mushroom Risotto

With my new diet in progress, I realized I needed a good risotto recipe. Growing up, my grandmother made risotto frequently and it has always remained one of my favorite meals. Having searched through various social media platforms, specifically for cooking, I found a recipe that really, ” hit the jackpot” per say. This recipe is super simple and packed with all of the right flavors expected in a delicious risotto. For my non-plant-based followers, I have you covered as well! Check out the link listed at the bottom of the page for a risotto I know you will love! Wishing you all a very tasty dinner!

Creamy Mushroom Risotto (Vegan + GF)

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan. Add the shallot and garlic and cook on a medium-low heat until softened.

2. Add the mushrooms and cook for a further minute.

3. Stir in the risotto rice and immediately pour in the stock and vinegar (if using). Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for approximately 30 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is cooked. Add more hot water, if necessary.

4. Once cooked, stir in the nutritional yeast (if using), stir in a handful of chopped fresh parsley and season with salt and pepper.

5. Serve and Enjoy!

Recipe Credit: http://www.wallflowerkitchen.com

Original Recipe Link: https://wallflowerkitchen.com/creamy-mushroom-risotto-vegan-gf/

Non-Plant-Based Recipe Link: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/17323/mushroom-risotto/