Frozen Pumpkin Dessert

Monday, September 30, 2013

One of the best things I have bought recently for the kitchen is a set of plain 6 oz ramekins. I often make desserts in them, adapting recipes for cheesecake or berry crisp or puddings to fit the ramekins, so each one of us has our own personal dessert. It satisfies our after-supper sweet tooth, and keeps us from going crazy...forced portion control! The measurements here fit perfectly into five 6 oz ramekins, just right for us.

I included the original recipe, too, because it tastes so delicious. The original calls for a crust, too. It would be great for a bigger family gathering, like the holidays. :)

Individual Frozen Pumpkin Dessert

1 pint vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt, softened
1 c. canned pumpkin
1/4 c. sugar (next time I may just leave this out)
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. ginger
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
1/2 c. chopped pecans (do not leave out! This MAKES the dessert!)

In large bowl, combine pumpkin, sugar, salt, spices and nuts. Fold ice cream into pumpkin mixture. Divide among 5 ramekins or dessert dishes. Freeze until firm. Remove desserts from freezer 15-20 mins before serving.

Original Recipe (Found in this book)

Frozen Pumpkin Dessert

1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream, softened
2 c. canned pumpkin
1 t. salt
1 t. ginger
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
1 c. chopped pecans

2 c. graham cracker crumbs
1/2 c. butter, melted
1/4 c. sugar

Prepare graham cracker crust by mixing crust ingredients. Pat into 9x13 pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.
In large bowl, combine pumpkin, sugar, salt, spices and nuts. Fold ice cream into pumpkin mixture. Pour pumpkin mixture into pan. Seal with foil and freeze until firm. Remove from freezer 15-20 minutes before serving.

Hummus Melts

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

When the kids are eating English Muffin pizzas, I grab a handful of spinach out of the freezer and make a couple of these for me. The hummus, spinach and mozarella flavors go together perfectly! I found the method on NeverHomeMaker. I never use measurements, because that would just complicate a really simple lunch (or snack).

english muffin
hummus (right now this recipe is my standby)
spinach (fresh or frozen)
garlic powder (fresh garlic if you aren't lazy)
mozzaralla cheese

Cut English muffin in half, and toast the halves in the toaster, or in the oven. Saute the spinach and garlic either in the microwave for 20-30 or in a skillet. Spread hummus on your english muffin halves, top with spinach and mozarella, and broil until bubbly. YUM!

Super Easy, Super Moist Chocolate Cupcakes

Monday, September 2, 2013

Shown here with pink frosting and a mulberry from our tree!

I have to admit, these are not the richest, most decadently flavored chocolate cupcakes I've ever had, but they are good. Good enough I ate two and wanted more, so there you go. Plus, a little frosting will dress it up just fine if needed. The reason I know I'll turn to this recipe time and again is not because they are the absolute fanciest, but for these really awesome reasons: 1. The kids love them, 2. The ingredients are very simple, 3. The recipe makes exactly 12 cupcakes, and 4. The cupcakes hold up extremely well with barely a crumb.

When the mood strikes us suddenly for a quick batch of cupcakes, this is where we will turn!

Note: I'm a former coffee addict, but gave it up recently. Since I don't have brewed coffee on hand now, I keep a box of instant coffee on hand. I like the ones that come in individual packets--perfect for recipes like this one.

Easy, moist (vegan) chocolate cupcakes
Via Simply Recipes
Makes 10 cupcakes (or 12 fairly small ones) - if you want to make a cake, double the recipe and cook in two 8-inch round cake pans for 35-40 minutes
1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup organic cane sugar (I use vanilla sugar – it adds an extra yum factor)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup of medium strength brewed coffee 
1 teaspoon white vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 tablespoons (1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons) olive oil
Unbleached cupcake liners (I prefer to use unbleached paper liners as I suspect some of the bleach must get transferred to the wet batter as it heats up.)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners (you can also grease the tin instead but the liners are definitely easier and will prevent anything from sticking.)
2. Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl until there are no visible clumps. If you've got particularly clumpy cocoa or sugar, you can always sift the dry ingredients into the bowl, too.
3. In a small to medium-sized bowl, mix together the coffee (or water plus coffee granules), vinegar, vanilla extract, and olive oil.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just to combine (mixture will be rather lumpy.) 
5. Ladle the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about two-thirds of the way full. Put in the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
6. Remove from oven and cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove from the pan and let cool completely on a rack. Once cool, frost with the frosting of your choice and serve.

Best Ever Banana Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

I make this cake pretty much once per year, on my mom's birthday. It's kind of become a tradition the past few years. She is a big fan of banana cake, and for years we both searched for something that could compare to her Aunt Myra's famous recipe (which she wouldn't share with anyone). After a lot of trials, I was proud to find the recipe for the best banana cake we'd ever eaten. The method is what seems to set this one apart...long baking at a low temperature and then placing the whole cake in the freezer for awhile. If you are a fan of banana cake, you simply must try this!

Original Recipe Here

Best Ever Banana Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting


    • 1 1/2 cups bananas, mashed, ripe
    • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
    • 3 cups flour
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 3/4 cup butter, softened
    • 2 1/8 cups sugar
    • 3 large eggs
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla
    • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk


        • 1/2 cup butter, softened
        • 1 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
        • 1 teaspoon vanilla
        • 3 1/2 cups icing sugar


        • chopped walnuts


      1. Preheat oven to 275°.
      2. Grease and flour a 9 x 13 pan.
      3. In a small bowl, mix mashed banana with the lemon juice; set aside.
      4. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
      5. In a large bowl, cream 3/4 cup butter and 2 1/8 cups sugar until light and fluffy.
      6. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then stir in 2 tsp vanilla.
      7. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk.
      8. Stir in banana mixture.
      9. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for one hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
      10. Remove from oven and place directly into the freezer for 45 minutes. This will make the cake very moist.
      11. For the frosting, cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth.
      12. Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla.
      13. Add icing sugar and beat on low speed until combined, then on high speed until frosting is smooth.
      14. Spread on cooled cake.
      15. Sprinkle chopped walnuts over top of the frosting, if desired.

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