Earthquake Cake

mudslide-cakeEarthquake cake is

  • Chocolate Cake
  • Coconut
  • Pecans
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Cream Cheese
  • Butter

Is it just me or does that sound like it has to be a winning combination?  I found this recipe on The First Year and I think that I tried pinning it at least a half a dozen times (I always get that little “oops! looks like you’ve already pinned this!”) I finally got around to making it and here’s what I thought.

AnneOpinion

This was good.  It really was, but it wasn’t “I’m dying to have this again and need to think of an excuse to make it today” good.  I think that if I were to make it again that I would use a regular chocolate cake mix and not a German chocolate cake mix.  I wanted more chocolate flavor in the cake.

The chocolate chips add a rich chocolate taste and the crunch from the pecans add a nice texture to this rich dessert.  The melted butter and cream cheese is good but I can’t decide if it’s worth the calories.

Raspberries or strawberries were a delicious addition, when serving, that complimented the flavors in the cake well.

This would be a great dessert to take to a potluck.  It would go over well in a crowd and it looks like something that you just want to dive into.

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Earthquake Cake
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Earthquake Cake
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a 9 x 13 inch pan with non-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle the coconut, chocolate chips, and pecans on the bottom of the pan. Mix the German chocolate cake mix with the oil, eggs, and water using a spatula or hand mixer on low. Pour the cake mix on top of the coconut/chocolate chip/pecan layer. In a saucepan, melt the butter and cream cheese. Using a spatula or hand mixer on low, beat in 1 pound of powdered sugar until it's smooth to the butter/cream cheese. Spread this mixture on top of the uncooked chocolate cake in the pan, and swirl into the cake mix using a knife. Bake for 35-45 minutes. It is done when it doesn't wobble in the pan if you shake it. The toothpick test shouldn't work because the cake should be more gooey in nature. Enjoy! Store any left over cake in the fridge.
Recipe Notes

AnneOpinion from The First Year

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Cheesecake Graham Cracker Pancakes with Raspberries

grahamcracker-pancakes In case you’ve missed a general pattern around here, I love anything with graham crackers. S’more Cookies, Peanut Butter Smuggies, and Kitchen Sink Pies are just a few examples. When I found this recipe on bitememore.com for Graham Cracker Pancakes with Cheesecake and Glazed Blueberries, I said “Sign me up!” These are a must try. Unfortunately I ended up with some mixed feeling about them.

AnneOpinion

grahamcracker-pancakes2Let’s start with the graham cracker pancakes. These showed such promise. They had graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar and cinnamon. I thought they would knock it out of the park. They didn’t. Now, don’t get me wrong, they were good, but regular pancakes are good too and the don’t take nearly the effort or the amount of ingredients. Everyone liked them and ate all of them, but on one went crazy for them. Do what you will with that information.

The cheesecake topping was really good. I thinned it out by putting in more cool whip than was originally called for. When I ate it on the pancakes I felt like it overtook the whole thing. I ended up spreading it on very thin and it was perfect. It was a delicious filling and would work well as a frosting. I’m keeping this recipe tucked away to use on a cake or cupcakes in the future. It would be perfect with pumpkin cupcakes, or pumpkin bread, or gingerbread…you get the idea.

I’ve saved the best for last…the glazed fruit. The original recipe called for using blueberries.  I’ve been buying raspberries like crazy this year (yeah for low prices!!) and so I had raspberries on hand. I love that the fruit is not cooked for this glaze. You simply make a lemon syrup and then toss the berries in it. The syrup gives them a wonderful sweet tang that would pair well on any breakfast or dessert that berries would be appropriate for.

So there you have it. The pancakes may not have been all that I was hoping that they would be, but the cheesecake and berries (great surprise!) made up for it.

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Cheesecake Graham Cracker Pancakes with Raspberries
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Cheesecake Graham Cracker Pancakes with Raspberries
Print Recipe
Ingredients
Graham Cracker Pancakes
Cheesecake Topping
Raspberries
Servings:
Instructions
  1. For the pancakes, in a large mixing bowl, combine flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, buttermilk, whole milk, melted butter and vanilla extract. Gently stir egg mixture into the dry ingredients do not over mix, lumps are okay. Over medium heat, pour batter onto a hot griddle. Cook until bubbles form, flip pancake and continue to cook until done. Serve with cheesecake topping and glazed raspberries. To make the cheesecake topping, beat cream cheese on medium speed with a handmixer until soft and fluffy. Add brown sugar, powdered sugar, vanilla and cinnamon continue to beat at medium speed until well combined. On low speed, add Cool Whip just until combined. To make the glazed raspberries stir powdered sugar, water and lemon juice in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat until mixture boils vigorously, 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in berries.
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Southern Banana Pudding

southern-banana-puddingAngels.  They come into our lives at critical times. Times when we may be feeling emotionally or physically overwhelmed and they remind us that we are not alone.  That there are those in this world, and above this world, that available to support us, if we will only let them.  Two such angels came to me after the birth of my second son.

My first son had arrived late and I had needed to be inducted to have him.  I had been born 11 days late, (not that that means anything) but in my mind these two things meant that I would not be having babies early. Imagine my surprise when Baby #2 decided to demand his arrival 2 weeks early!  I was not ready for this and neither was my husband.  My mother was not in town (she quickly moved her flight to come in 4 days later).  She was my planned babysitter for while I was in the hospital and she was to be my help when I arrived home.  Oh, the best laid plans…

My husband took the next two days off from work, while I was in the hospital, but his schedule wouldn’t permit more than that.  So, I awoke that first morning home in full dread of the day ahead.  I had just given birth to a 10 lb 4 oz baby 3 days before and now I was on my own until 6:00 at night with said baby and a crazy active 23 month old.  It was all I could do to survive the day.  I’ll spare you my whining’s of the day’s happenings and just end with the wonderful angels that came to my house with a hot dinner for my family.  What a blessing!  It’s such a small thing, but it meant so much!  I was loved and others knew and empathized with what I was going through.  I was not alone!

The dessert that they brought was Southern Banana Pudding.  It was so good!  I savored every bite and managed to make it last for 3 days. I loved the soft cookies with the creamy pudding and the touch of sour that each of the lemon coated bananas had.  As far as I was concerned, it was heaven in a bowl.  I got the recipe and now every time I have Southern Banana Pudding I think of those angels and the light that they brought me.

I recently found this recipe on Chef Maria Kitchen and decided to try it because it was so similar to the one I already loved and I wanted to see if the differences improved it.  I actually like it better and this is now my go to recipe for Southern Banana Pudding.

AnneOpinion

I like to run my banana slices through lemon juice immediately after I slice them.  This makes sure that the slices don’t brown and I like the little bit of acidy that it adds to the dish.  To do this just quickly dip the slices in a small bowl of lemon juice and then place them in another or bowl to store until you need them.

This recipe is just like the one that I got from those angels 13 years ago, expect for one ingredient.  The cream cheese was a new addition for me to this recipe.  I liked how it help tone down the taste of the sweetened condensed milk and brought a real balance to the flavors.

When you make this pudding make sure and give it a least four hours to sit in the refrigerator before serving it.  This will give the cookies time to soften.

This is a perfect dessert for a summer BBQ or a potluck dinner.  It’s light and refreshing and friends, big and small, love bananas and vanilla wafers!

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Southern Banana Pudding
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Southern Banana Pudding
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Place lemon juice in a small bowl. Slice bananas and quickly run them through the lemon juice. Set aside. Line the bottom of a large glass bowl or a 9x13 pan with 1 bag of cookies and half of the bananas on top. In a medium mixing bowl combine the milk and pudding and mix according to the directions on the box. In another bowl combine the cream cheese and condensed milk with an electric mixer and mix until smooth. Fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture. Add the cream cheese mixture to the pudding mixture and fold with a spatula until thoroughly combined. Pour half of the mixture over the cookies and bananas and repeat each of the layers (reserving cookies for the top if you want to decorate the top of the pudding.) Cover and refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours before serving.
Recipe Notes

AnneOpinion adapted from Chef Maria Kitchen

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Pain Perdu in the Round

pain-perduWhat is Pain Perdu you might ask?  It’s a French way to say French toast and if there is one thing that I’ve learned in life it’s that everything sounds fancier (and more romantic) in French. (feathers and glitter also help with being fancy, but since this is a post about food, I don’t think that they can apply here.)

With Valentine’s Day coming up I wanted to share a breakfast that would be perfect for just the two of you, or could be a fun holiday breakfast for the family.  I found French Toast Roll ups on cincyshopper.com and on galonamission.com.  Both recipes were fairly similar and I got good ideas from both on how to make these.  Here’s what you need to know to make your Valentine’s breakfast just a little bit fancier.

AnneOpinion

You really need to use white bread that my college roommate referred to as “mushmallow bread.”  You know what I’m talking about, soft, squishy white bread that has almost no redeeming nutritional value.  You want a bread that can be rolled flatter than a pancake and “mushmallow” does that best.

I liked the jam as a filling like on cincyshopper.  I used raspberry which created a nice tart contrast to the cinnamon sugar on the outside.  You could use any flavor of jam you wanted though, or just fill it with cream cheese and then dip in syrup.  Anyway you try it, it will be a win.

I found girlonamission’s tip to put a little bit of cream cheese on the seam end very helpful in keeping the rollups together.

When dipping the pain perdu in the egg mixture you want to do this quickly.  Don’t let it sit in the mixture and absorb a lot of it.  It can start to fall apart if left in too long.

These are a delish way to start the day.  I know I have mushmallow bread on my grocery list for next week.  You should add it to yours too.

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Pain Perdu in the Round
Print Recipe
These delightful French Toast rolls are filled with cream cheese and fruit. They are the perfect breakfast when on the go, or would be right at home in a gourmet brunch.
Servings Prep Time
4-6 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
5-10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4-6 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
5-10 minutes
Pain Perdu in the Round
Print Recipe
These delightful French Toast rolls are filled with cream cheese and fruit. They are the perfect breakfast when on the go, or would be right at home in a gourmet brunch.
Servings Prep Time
4-6 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
5-10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4-6 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
5-10 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Place 4 pieces of bread in a stack and trim your crusts. Place the four pieces side by side in a line and roll flat with a rolling pin. At one end of your bread place cream cheese and jam(just a small strip). Place a small amount of cream cheese on the opposite side (this will help it stick together)and roll up. Repeat until all of the bread is rolled. In a shallow dish, like a pie or loaf pan, whisk the egg and milk together with a fork. In another similar pan, combine the sugar and cinnamon. Heat a pan over low-medium heat, melt butter and spread across the pan. Dip the bread roll in your egg mixture. Place in pan with the seam down. Cook until golden brown and flip to brown other side. Remove the rolls one at a time from pan and roll to coat in cinnamon sugar mixture.
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