July 01, 2014

Fruit and Veggie Quick Bread ~ #TwelveLoaves

The theme for #TwelveLoaves this month is Summer Fun!  I don't know about you but I am definitely ready for some summer fun and can't wait for the long weekend - although honestly my idea of fun may involve catching up on sleep.

June 20, 2014

Cherry Kuchen

Time for another Cake Slice Baker's cake.  Once again it was free choice between 4 different cakes, and I chose a Cherry Kuchen. I can't wait to see what my fellow bakers chose as their cake.

June 19, 2014

Passion-Orange-Guava Bundt Cake ~ #BundtBakers

I was so excited when I found out that the theme for BundtBakers this month was Tropical - this theme is made for where I live! There is such an abundance of fantastic fruit here, and although I quickly made my choice I think that I may have to make a few more bundts based on this idea.

June 17, 2014

Red, White & Blue Oatmeal Cookies ~ #CreativeCookie Exchange

It is #Creative Cookie Exchange time again and this month's theme is Red, White, and Blue.  A couple of different ideas went through my mind until I came to what I thought was a great idea. However, we all know about those best laid plans, don't we......

June 03, 2014

Dried Cherry and Mahlab Scones ~ #Twelve Loaves

The theme for #Twelve Loaves is Cherries!  There is just something magical about the first cherry of the season.  We are not there yet so I decided to use dried cherries.  My adventure with yeast breads has been great, but time really got away from me this month, so I decided to make scones.

June 01, 2014

Review for Spices & Seasons

For the first time on my blog there is no recipe today with this post - shocking I know - but there is something fun and rewarding if you keep reading.  Over the past few weeks I have been participating in a blog-off sponsored by Hippocrene Books celebrating the new cookbook Spices & Seasons ~ Simple, Sustainable Indian Flavors, and today I am reviewing the book.

May 26, 2014

Vanilla Bean Pound Cake

It is hard to believe that a month has gone by and it is time for another recipe from Lick the Bowl Good by fellow Food Blogger Monica Holland.  This month's recipe choice is a Vanilla Bean Pound Cake, and I've been looking forward to this one.

May 25, 2014

Fresh Ginger Apple Chai Cake

Last week I made an amazing Classic Green Mint Chutney from Spices & Seasons, and this week I wanted to try something sweet from the book.  A couple of recipes caught my eye, but there was one I just could not resist - a Fresh Ginger Apple Chai Cake.

May 20, 2014

Manhattan Cheesecake

For this month, and until the end of baking through Great Cakes by Carole Walter we are doing things a little differently in the Cake Slice Bakers.  Instead of voting and and everyone baking the same cake we are choosing between a few different cakes, and each member can bake the one that appeals to them the most.  This is quite exciting, and has never been done before in this group.  I am really looking forward to seeing which cake each person made.

Orange Blossom Honey Madeleines #CreativeCookieExchange

April showers bring May Flowers, and that leads me to the theme for this months #CreativeCookieExchange - May Flowers.  I think that this theme really allows us to be creative with our cookies, whether it be with the addition of edible flowers, a floral extract, or even the shape of the cookie.

May 18, 2014

Classic Green Mint Chutney

I know that some of you may be a little surprised to see something here today that is not sweet.  Most posts on my blog seem to revolve around baked goods, but the truth is that I also need to eat.  Recently I was invited by Hippocrene Books to a blog cook-off for the release of Spices & Seasons: Simple, Sustainable Indian Flavors by Rinku Bhattacharya, and given my love for Indian food I immediately accepted.

May 15, 2014

French Toast Bundt Cake with Maple-Bacon Glaze - #BundtBakers

I cannot tell you how excited I was when I found out the theme - this month, the #BundtBakers are baking up breakfast! There are just so many different directions you can take - sweet, savory, a combination of the two which is kind of what I went for.

May 06, 2014

Rustic French Onion Focaccia #TwelveLoaves

The theme for Twelve Loaves this month is onions, which gave me the perfect opportunity to try my hand at focaccia.  I have loved this bread ever since I started my first job in an Italian neighborhood after graduating.  My treat for lunch every few weeks was this amazing bread that was sliced in half, stuffed with wonderful cheeses and meats, and then placed in a panini grill.  One bite and I was in heaven.

April 22, 2014

Feast Day Cookies ~ #CreativeCookieExchange

Cinco de Mayo is only a couple of weeks away so I am already looking for something special to make - well besides my li hing mui frozen margaritas. It was perfect timing that the theme for this months #CreativeCookieExchange is Cookies for Cinco de Mayo.

April 20, 2014

Coconut Layer Cake ~ The Cake Slice Bakers April 2014

It is hard to believe that we are at the half-way mark of baking through Great Cakes by Carole Walter. This month the Cake Slice Bakers are making a Coconut Layer Cake, which seems very fitting for Spring.

April 17, 2014

Bursting-With-Berries Lemon Curd Bundt Cake ~ #BundtBakers

I still haven't found a way to make this year slow down, so if you have any tricks please let me know. Here we are in the middle of April and Easter is almost here, so it is very fitting that our theme for #BundtBakers this month is Easter!

April 15, 2014

Pina Colada Mini Cheesecakes

I always look forward to the middle of the month because it means that I get to share another recipe from Lick the Bowl Good, the wonderful cookbook by fellow blogger Monica Holland.  This month we are sharing Pina Colada Mini Cheesecakes - and they are soooooo good.

April 01, 2014

Orange Pull-Apart Bread ~ #TwelveLoaves

The aroma of oranges always makes me think of sunny mornings, and having breakfast outside. There is just something so refreshing about the smell of an orange.  So it was such a pleasant surprise to find out that the challenge for Twelve Loaves this month would be Oranges.

March 20, 2014

Espresso Cake with Hot Kahlua Syrup

It is the 20th of the month so it is time for The Cake Slice Bakers to reveal our latest cake as we bake our way through Great Cakes by Carole Walter.  Once again the votes were cast and tallied, and the winning cake was the Espresso Cake with Hot Kahlua Syrup. Doesn't just reading the title of the cake sound amazing?

Honey and Beer Spice Bundt Cake ~ #BundtBakers

It is time for some bundt baking with the #BundtBakers. The theme this month is Spice - and considering that it is still so cold in some parts of the country, I think adding a little spice to our lives is a good thing to warm us up a little.

March 18, 2014

Vanilla Rooibos Tea Cookies ~ #CreativeCookieExchange

Spring must be right around the corner, right? Most people I know are ready for days to start getting warmer and the flowers to start blooming. Spring here usually means rain, which is always very welcome, as it makes the islands beautiful and green.  On these rainy days I love to sit down with a cup of coffee and some biscuits and watch the rainbows appear.

March 15, 2014

Irish Cream Cake

St. Patrick's Day is almost here, and I love Bailey's Irish Cream so it was perfect timing that I got to try another recipe from Lick the Bowl Good - a cookbook from a fellow blogger, Monica Holland. Monica makes this cake every year at this time, and it seems like a great tradition to follow.

March 14, 2014

Bailey's Sugar Cream Pie - Happy Pi(e) Day

The best way to celebrate Pi Day - π = 3.14 - is with pie! This is definitely true for me since I am not exactly a math genius, but I can bake. I also love eating pie, so for me it is a win-win situation, although I doubt a piece of pie on my plate will last longer than 3.14 minutes.

March 04, 2014

Balsamic Strawberry Cinnamon Rolls #TwelveLoaves

March is here but there doesn't seem to be too many signs of Spring as yet.  Hopefully the theme for this months #TwelveLoaves will chase away those winter-time blues, and bring some sunshine into your life.  The theme this month is Strawberries!

"I really don't think I need buns of steel. I'd be happy with buns of cinnamon" ~ Ellen DeGeneres

February 20, 2014

Lemon Velvet Squares - The Cake Slice Bakers February 2014

The Cake Slice Bakers are working their way through Carole Walters Great Cakes, and the winner of this month's vote was the Lemon Velvet Squares. So far I have enjoyed all of the cakes I have baked from this book, and I was hoping this recipe was going to be a success too because I love lemon desserts.

Dark Chocolate Five Spice Bundt Cake - #BundtBakers

It is time for a little bundt baking.  This month the theme for #BundtBakers is Chocolate and as soon as I heard this I immediately thought of this little Himalayan restaurant we enjoy.  My favorite dessert there is a dark chocolate five spice ice cream, which I have been meaning to make for my blog.  I decided that I would translate that ice cream into a cake.

February 18, 2014

White Chocolate & Cranberry Crispy Treats

This month's theme for the #CreativeCookieExchange is Berries & Chocolate. Is there a better pairing than sweet, juicy berries and rich, luscious chocolate? I don't think so.  Since I had already made a few milk and dark chocolate sweets this month I decided to use white chocolate.  I also wanted to make a bar cookie this month, just for something different.  After looking through my collection of cookie magazines for something suitable to the theme, I choose a recipe from a Better Homes & Gardens magazines - White Chocolate & Cranberry Crispy Treats.

February 15, 2014

Chocolate Cherry Brownie Kisses

You may remember last month I started baking through Lick the Bowl Good, the fantastic new cookbook by food blogger Monica Holland.  Last month we baked a Banana Pecan Breakfast Cake, which was amazing.  This month the group is baking Chocolate Cherry Brownie Kisses, which seems very appropriate for the chocolate-loving month of February.

February 08, 2014

Better Than Ultimate Brownies - #ElleAPalooza

I am writing this post in memory of someone that I did not know and many people would find that strange.  However, the food blogging community is like one huge family, and when we lose a member we all mourn, and grieve for a life lost way too soon.

News spread very quickly via the internet, and the shock and pain was palpable, as we found out that Elle (Lee Ann), of Elle's New England Kitchen, had passed away suddenly on Tuesday, January 28th at the age of 45, leaving behind so many heartbroken family and friends, including her husband, Billy and their four children.

February 04, 2014

Love Me, Love Me Knots - #TwelveLoaves

It is February and love is in the air, cupid decorations are in the store, and Chocolate is the theme for this months #TwelveLoaves. There were so many options I considered for this theme but I decided to stick with a yeast bread, and found this recipe for Chocolate Love Knots at the Fleischmann site Breadworld.com.

January 26, 2014

Lamingtons - Australia Day 2014

Happy Australia Day!  You can take the girl out of Australia, but you can't take the Australian out of the girl, so of course I wanted to celebrate. One of the most iconic Australian cakes is the lamington and that is what I wanted to make.

January 20, 2014

Iced VoVos ~ #CreativeCookieExchange

I wasn't quite ready for Valentine's Day decorations in the stores the day after Christmas, however I'm definitely ready now which is perfect timing for the #CreativeCookieExchange.  The theme this month is Put On Your Red and Pink for Valentine’s Day!  I guess I took it literally since my cookie has both red and pink.

Limoncello Pound Cake ~ The Cake Slice Bakers January 2014

It is Cake Slice Bakers time - our first for 2014! The votes were cast, tallied up, and the winner was Old-Fashioned Pound Cake.  You just know you can never go wrong with a classic like this, and we had the choice of plain, spirited, nutty, or chocolate chip.  Of course I choose the boozy one :). As you know we are baking from Great Cakes by Carole Walter. So far we have baked some Streusel Squares, an Applesauce Spice Cake, and this Old-Fashioned Pound Cake - and each one has been a winner.  It is an expansive book filled with great recipes and Ms. Walter's expert knowledge, and I'm looking forward to each month's baking challenge.

January 16, 2014

Mocha Hazelnut Marble Bundt - #BundtBakers

This is a kind of good news/bad news kind of post.  First the bad news - unfortunately the Bundtamonth group is no longer together due to the time constraints on the administrators.  We had a great time as a group, and I wanted to send my thanks to Lora and Anuradha for all of the hard work they did for the us.  Now the good news - many of us did not want to let go of our love for bundts, so a new group has been formed called #BundtBakers.

Our first theme together as a group, since we are all nuts for bundts is Nuts!  This is the perfect theme since I think a lot of people would still have leftover nuts - pecans, almonds, walnuts, pistachios - from the holiday season, and are just looking for ways to use them up. So, why not make a bundt or two? The members in this group are sure to inspire you in some way to get baking.

January 15, 2014

Banana Pecan Breakfast Cake + Giveaway!

Everyone loves a good breakfast cake, I mean really, who doesn't like cake for breakfast?  The recipe for todays cake, Banana Pecan Breakfast Cake, can be found in Lick the Bowl Good, a new cookbook by blogger extraordinaire Monica Holland, who also has a blog by the same name. I have followed Monica's blog for quite a while, so I was excited to hear that she was writing a cookbook. Lick the Bowl Good is just as amazing as her blog. I love that the recipes are accompanied by photos - gorgeous ones too. The recipes are familiar, and very do-able, but have a little twist that makes you want to keep working your way through the book to the next yummy recipe.

I made the Banana Pecan Breakfast Cake a couple of days ago and it just disappeared off the plate in record time. I've had other banana cakes before, but there is something special about this recipe.  Family members were giving each other accusing looks as they tried to figure out who had more pieces than someone else, and how they were going to split that last piece into six even pieces. Calming everyone down I explained and could buy more bananas and make another one, although the next time I will definitely make two so I get more than one piece before it is gone.

A group of us were so excited about getting the book, that a Facebook Group, Baking Through Lick the Bowl Good, was formed and we will baking one recipe on the 15th of each month. Some people will post via their blogs, some will post on Facebook, and everyone is invited to come and check it out. Of course I will be baking other recipes from the book too.  It got to the point that I stopped putting sticky notes in the book because there was one on every page, and I recommend that you visit Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Jessica's Biscuit/ecookbooks or your neighborhood bookstore and pick up a copy as soon as possible.

And now to the giveaway.  A few weeks ago I was very lucky and won a copy of Lick the Bowl Good from the author herself, along with some other goodies.  Since I had already purchased the book in preparation to start baking from it, I found myself with an extra brand-new copy.  It seemed like the perfect idea to pay it forward and have a giveaway for the book.  Since we are all still catching our breath from the busy holiday season I am going to make this giveaway super simple to enter - just visit Monica's blog Lick the Bowl Good and leave me a comment telling me what recipe you would like to make from it and I will enter you in the draw.

The Fine Print

  • Leave me a comment as per the instruction above.
  • Deadline for entry is January 22, 2014 at 6:00PM HST.
  • Sorry, this giveaway is open only to US addresses.
  • Please leave a valid email address where I can contact you if you choose to publish anonymously.
  • One winner will be chosen at random using Random.org. I will send the winner an email, and they will have 48 hours to respond, if I do not hear by then another winner will be selected.
  • The winner will receive a copy of Lick the Bowl Good by Monica Holland
  • The prize for this giveaway to one of my readers is being provided by me. I was not compensated personally for this post.

Good luck everyone!

We have a winner!  Congratulations to Holly who is the winner of Lick the Bowl Good.  I hope you enjoy the book and it will be in the mail tomorrow.

For another amazing idea for this cake please visit my friend Kim at Ninja Baker  - her Banana Pecan Breakfast Cupcakes would certainly make me eager for breakfast in the morning!

Banana Pecan Breakfast Cake
(Printer Friendly Recipe)

Cake ~
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mashed ripe banana
  • ¼ buttermilk
Pecan Topping ~
  • ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
  • ⅓ cup chopped pecans
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Cake ~
  1. Preheat oven to 350℉
  2. Grease an 8x8-inch baking pan with nonstick spray and set aside
  3. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and whisk to combine.
  4. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy.
  5. Add the eggs, vanilla, and mashed banana and blend till incorporated.
  6. Add half of the flour mixture to the banana mixture and mix until just combined. Stir in all of the buttermilk and mix until just incorporated, then add the remaining flour and mix once again until no traces of flour remain.
  7. Scrape the batter into the prepared baking dish and smooth the top.
Topping ~
  1. Combine the sugar, pecans, and cinnamon in a small bowl.  Stir together, then evenly sprinkle the mixture over the cake batter.
  2. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  3. Cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  4. Store at room temperature.

Recipe from Lick the Bowl Good by Monica Holland/Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.

January 01, 2014

Crumpets ∼ #TwelveLoaves January 2014

Welcome to 2014! Can someone please slow this year down a bit since it seemed like 2013 went by in the blink of an eye. I have decided to make 2014 the year that I will become a confident bread baker - including all kinds of bread. I have been very fortunate in being able to join the #TwelveLoaves baking group. If anyone can help me achieve this goal it is this group of amazing bakers. It is going to be challenging for me, but I am so excited to get started. I hope that anyone else who wants to achieve this goal will follow along as I attempt each months theme - it will be fun and we can learn together.