strawberry cake with honey buttercream frosting and strawberry filling

I made this for Noah’s birthday and it was just delicious.  If you have a strawberry cake recipe that you like  you can use that but I just used a box version.  Make sure to make two rounds so you can layer 🙂

Honey Buttercream Frosting  adapted** from CupCakeProject

1 1/2 sticks room temperature butter

3/4 cup sour cream

1/4 cup honey

16 oz powdered sugar

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter on high speed until light and fluffy.

Mix in powdered sugar a little at a time until fully incorporated.

Add in honey and sour cream until combined.

** the original recipe was only enough for 12 small cupcakes.  Obviously for a cake I needed to increase the amounts.  However I found that the honey was so strong at 1/4 cup that I didn’t add any more.  I would say that this is one of those recipes where you can really tailor it to your tastes.  Maybe you’d like less powdered sugar and more honey, feel free to play around with the recipe… I slowly added the ingredients in increments until the frosting tasted the way I liked 🙂

Strawberry Cake Filling  from AllRecipes.com

1 cup water

3 tablespoons cornstarch

2 1/2 cups frozen strawberries, thawed and cut into bite size pieces

3/4 cup white sugar

Whisk water and cornstarch together in a large saucepan.

Stir strawberries and sugar into the water.

Cook mixture over medium heat until thick, at least 10 minutes.

Allow to cool completely before use.

Now for putting it all together!

Spread the strawberry filling on the bottom cake.

Spread the strawberry filling on the bottom cake.

grab the frosting.... doesn't it look heavenly?!

grab the frosting…. doesn’t it look heavenly?!

gently add the top layer of cake and start frosting away!  don't mind the messy job, frosting has never been my strong point.

gently add the top layer of cake and start frosting away! don’t mind the messy job, frosting has never been my strong point.

fresh strawberries on top would really look beautiful!

fresh strawberries on top would really look beautiful!

Behold!  An insanely delicious strawberry cake with honey buttercream frosting! Perfect for all those sweet summer strawberries.  Oh, and an added bonus is you’ll be left with some strawberry filling.  Warm it up a bit, spoon some over some vanilla ice cream and you now have an extra special treat!  Nom nom nom.

Chia Seed, Banana and Sweet Potato Muffins

Necessity is the mother of invention.

This pretty much sums up my cooking.  The kids gobbled up the pumpkin chia seed muffins that I made last week (and only posted about this morning) and since I’m trying to cut down on our processed food consumption I figured I should make another batch.  One problem though, I used the last of my pumpkin puree stockpile with the last batch.  What to do, what to do?  Lucky for me, and for you, I just bought a truckload of sweet potatoes.  Why you ask?  No real reason.  I’m just on a sweet potato kick lately.   And that’s great considering that they’re pretty darn good for you!  I know I’m not the first person to think of using these two (pumpkin and sweet potato) purees interchangeably, but it is the first time that I’ve done it, so I was pretty excited to see that lo and behold, it worked!

I made two batches today. With the first one I followed the original recipe exactly, aside from the pumpkin to sweet potato switch.  With the second batch I made a few changes.  This is the recipe from the second batch.

First, you’ll need some pureed sweet potatoes.  For my sweet potato puree I took 3 medium to large sweet potatoes, cleaned them up and placed them on a baking sheet in the oven at 425F.  After they were nice and soft, about an hour, I took them out and let them cool down a bit.  Once they were cool enough to handle I peeled their skins off (so easy!) and stuck them in my food processor.  This gave me about 2 1/2 cups of puree.

Also, if you don’t have oat flour or you’re like me and you simply don’t want to pay for oat flour, you can make your own.  Just pour rolled oats into your food processor, blender works fine too, and after about a minute you’ve got oat flour!  Woohoo!

Chia Seed, Banana and Sweet Potato Muffins

makes 18 muffins, 4p+ /each for weight watchers.

adapted from citronlimette’s pumpkin chia seed muffins

1 cup oat flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tbsp. baking powder

1 cup brown sugar

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

2 tbsp. chia seeds

1 cup pureed sweet potato

2 bananas, mashed

1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1.  Spray muffin pans with non-stick spray.  Preheat oven to 350.

2.  Combine all dry ingredients together in large bowl.  Mix well.

3.  Combine all wet ingredients in medium bowl.  Slowly add wet ingredients to bowl with dry ingredients.

4.  Fill up your muffin tins and bake for 18-21 minutes.  Enjoy!

These muffins were a hit with my boys.  In fact I had to hide the last 4 (that’s right, 4 out of 18!) in the freezer!

see the chunks of banana? mmmm…

cbsm2

take a big bite!

take a big bite!

 

 

pumpkin chia seed muffins

I love Pinterest.  Love love love it!  Thanks to pinterest I found these gems.  They’re easy to put together and even easier to eat.  If you’re looking for a great snack option these are great… they’re surprisingly filling but not heavy and they are great for school snacks or to grab on the way out the door.

Pumpkin Chia Seed Muffins – from CitronLimette

makes 18 muffins (at least it did when I made them) and 4p+ for weight watchers

  • 2¾ cups whole wheat pastry flour** see below
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tbs. Chia seed
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • ¾ cup low-fat plain Greek Yogurt
  • ⅓ cup fat-free milk
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs

1.  Preheat oven to 375F.

2.  Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 6 ingredients (flour through chia seeds) in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Make a well in center of mixture.

3.  Combine pumpkin and next 5 ingredients (pumpkin through eggs); add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Spoon the batter into 18 muffin cups coated with cooking spray.

4.  Bake at 375F for 25 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center. Remove muffins from pans immediately; cool on a wire rack.

*notes I didn’t have ww pastry flour so I used all-purpose flour instead.  Also, I don’t trust my oven so I set it to 350F and only cooked for 18 minutes and the muffins were perfect.

dry ingredients

dry ingredients

wet ingredients

wet ingredients

deliciousness

deliciousness

chicken and potato ranch bake

Anyone who has been over to our house for dinner knows that I like to experiment when I cook.  Sometimes my creations, as Joe likes to call them, are a hit and other times they flop. I’d say 50% of the time the reason for the flop is that I am a tad heavy handed with spices, specifically chili powder. What can I say? I like my food to have some kick! The other 50% is usually poor planning. Fly by the seat of my pants cooking is my style and sadly it just doesn’t always work out.  My latest creation however, was a hit!  At least for me 🙂  And no, I didn’t use too much chili powder!  A jalapeno and his seedy friends were Joe’s issues this time 😀

I’m going to share my latest creation even though there are some improvements that need to be made. The good thing about this recipe is that it lends itself so well to customizing.  So if half a jalapeno with the seeds is going to be too much for you, it’s easy enough to leave out the seeds, or even skip the jalapeno all together.  Who knows, maybe you can use this to come up with something even better!

I’m calling it my Chicken, Potato and Ranch Bake!

inspired by Oven-Roasted Sausages, Potatoes and Peppers from lilasapron – this recipe is a big hit at our house… we had it the other night!

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

5 small red potatoes

1 small red onion

1/2 large jalapeno

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 packet of Hidden Valley Ranch Salad Dressing and Seasoning Mix

2-3 tsp. of Bacon Salt

salt and pepper to taste

1.  Pre-heat oven to 400 and coat your oven dish with non-stick spray.  Cut potatoes into bite size chunks.  Slice up onions. Finely chop jalapeno (want some heat?  add the seeds to the mix, otherwise leave them out) Cut chicken breasts into 2 inch chunks.

2.  Combine potatoes, onions, jalapeno and chicken in your oven dish.  drizzle olive oil over the mixture and then add the seasonings.  Mix well so the seasoning gets on everything.

3.  Cook uncovered for approx. 30 minutes.  I usually end up going for 40 minutes just so the potatoes are done. 

4.  Enjoy!

**Know what this was missing?  Cauliflower!  I had intended to put it in the first time but forgot.  It worked nicely as a side, but I think it would have been delicious in the mix.

If you’re doing weight watchers, the p+ value is 7.  Serves 6.

Chicken and Potato Ranch Bake

looking good!

ready to eat!

ready to eat!

c is for cookie…

In the mood for oatmeal cookies? Not in the mood for using 1 1/2 sticks of butter in the cookies? Let me present to you my let’s-just-pretend-this-is-healthier-for-you-version of oatmeal cookies!

 let’s-just-pretend-this-is-healthier-for-you version of Better Homes and Gardens’ oatmeal cookies

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups rolled oats

1. Preheat oven to 375. Mix butter and mashed banana with electric mixer until smooth. Add the sugars, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves. Mix until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. 1/2 cup at a time, add flour until mixed well. Stir in oats.

2. Drop dough onto cookie sheat and bake for 8 minutes. Let cool on wire rack. Makes approx 40 cookies.

So, the only difference between my recipe and bh&g’s is I cut out a whole stick of butter (1/2 cup) and subsituted a mashed banana for it. Not too much of a difference, but if you are doing weight watchers, it changed the points from 3 to 2 per serving. That would be 1 cookie per serving. I’m not telling you how many servings I had today 🙂 But I feel like slightly less of a monster since they had fruit in them. That’s how it works right? So long as there’s fruit in there somewhere it’s healthy, right?!

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