Category Archives: desserts

Slow cooker hot fudge sundae cake

This dessert is a real winner. It is not only a chocolate lover’s dream…it is made in the slow cooker. Oh yes. You heard me. Slow. Cooker. Cake. When my editor for Red River Mom’s asked me for some slow cooker recipes for our September issue, I of course had several on hand, tried and true and no fail. But then I thought of this little nugget I had found on Pinterest (where all things magical come from…happy sigh) I was skeptical (really? Cake in a crock pot…yeah maybe.) and I decided I would give it a go. The blogger at Country Cook blog (www.thecountrycook.net) made it sound heavenly and she had found it in a Gooseberry Patch cookbook. That alone said so much! I am a Gooseberry Patch lover from way back and I always loved their cookbooks (and sidenote…I actually have a recipe in one of them…little Cajun Mama trivia for the day). The recipe uses pretty basic ingredients and is super simple. PI did not double the recipe the first time around and I really should have. We had a friend and her son over and it was gone in no time flat. Bluebell Homemade Vanilla on the side of this ooey gooey delight pushes it right over the edge into pure dessert nirvana.
I urge you, out of the goodness of my heart, to do what is right and try this dessert very soon. That’s my challenge to y’all. No ice water here, just hot fudge sundae cake ba-beee!!! So glad the als challenge is going well, but over here we prefer hot fudge over our cake to ice water over our heads. It’s the Cajun mama way!~AMB

Slow cooker Hot fudge sundae cake

*this recipe is meant for a smaller slow cooker (3 quart) so double it if using a larger crockpot. Doubling is recommended if you have more than 4 people who will be eating it and you want to avoid an angry mob.

Stuff you need~

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
6 tablespoons cocoa powder, divided
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
3/4 brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 cup hot water

What to do with the stuff~
**IMPORTANT–be sure to spray your slow cooker with some Baker’s Joy or cooking spray before adding the first ingredient. Trust Cajun Mama on this!

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and 2 tablespoons of the cocoa powder. Or instead of sifting, just use a fork to mix it together really well and mashing the ingredients up against the edge of the bowl until it’s all really fine. Stir in milk, oil and vanilla extract. Stir until combined. Fold in the chopped nuts at this point if you are using them.
Spread this mixture evenly all over the bottom of the sprayed slow cooker. Ok now, for the second layer, in a large bowl, mix together the brown sugar and cocoa powder. Next, stir in the hot water and mix until smooth. Finally, pour this mixture evenly over the first layer. Now DO NOT STIR!!! Do not stir the two layers. This will mess with the perfection that is this dessert. No stir–got it?!! This how the hot fudge sauce and cake layers form. Important scientific stuff.
Put the lid on and cook for about 2-2 1/2 hours on low. Use toothpick test if you are uncertain on the doneness.
Let this sit in the crockpot for 30-40 minutes after the cake is done, so the layers can settle.

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mash all those dry ingredients together

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cook and then let it sit. So tempting and hard to do…it’s worth it

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see what I mean? Worth it. A la mode honey. All the way!

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Berry picking and a dang good cobbler

So this past weekend a local blueberry farm, Hillcrest Blueberry Farm, ran a special on blackberries. A gallon for $10!! We have always wanted to take the kids to pick berries and every summer it is on our list but somehow we get busy and it just never happens. Until this past Saturday. What a wonderful time we all had picking berries! It didn’t take a full hour for us to fill two gallon buckets with those huge, juicy berries. They were the most perfect looking things I had personally ever seen. The kids were in awe over the size as they plucked one big one after another from the vine. Frankly, BD and I were pretty dang impressed too!
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Here is a link to their website if you want to check it out and maybe take a trip to a great local farm so your family can get the whole experience too. http://www.hillcrestblueberryfarm.com/. Plus they have some super yummy berries, syrups, jams, and a bunch of other too delicious to mention goodies. They also have some out of this world Tahitian Vanilla soft serve that is out of this world. I say this and I am not an ice cream lover and certainly not vanilla and this stuff was ah-mazing. Just saying!! The kids were stoked…berry picking AND soft serve. Yes please! My little one saw that they had blackberries and blueberries to add to the top of your soft serve and he was all “don’t mind if I do!” My baby is smart like that. It was a great experience for them, for us, for our whole family and I highly recommend it.

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soft serve on a hot day=perfection
So now we arrive to the portion of this blog post where I give up the goods. I tell y’all, my friends, peeps, partners in cooking crimes, what I made with some of these ginormous berries. Well, I have some other creative ideas that I plan to execute, but on that first day, I made cobbler. Blackberry cobbler. Big Daddy adores blackberry cobbler and has always been fine with I have served him those frozen Mrs. Smith’s cobblers from our grocery store’s freezer section. Yes I said that. Yes I did that. I have told y’all about me being the anti baker. Until recently, my baking projects read mostly like a Pinterest “nailed it!” Roster. I am getting better with each attempt though I realize it is a process. So yes I have fed my man a frozen cobbler that I oh so generously cooked in the oven first. I am a loving caring wife who does that stuff. But buoyed by our authentic berry picking extravaganza and my recent successes in the baking department, I said I am gonna give it a go! I am gonna bake a cobbler from scratch! No wait, I think I said “I am going to attempt to bake a cobbler from scratch!!!” And my oven groaned. Ha ha!!! So I googled blackberry cobbler recipes and what do you think pops up?! Yes that’s right! Pioneer Woman’s blackberry cobbler recipe! It was a sign from the cooking gods and I ran with it! Here is a link http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2007/08/the_great_cobbl/. This is a basic cobbler recipe and it is easy as…well…pie.~AMB

Blackberry Cobbler

Stuff you need~

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 1/4 cup sugar, divided
1 cup self rising flour
1 cup milk
2 cups blackberries, fresh or frozen

What to do with the stuff~

First off, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Next melt the butter in a microwaveable safe dish
In a large mixing bowl, add self rising flour and 1 cup of sugar. Whisk in the milk. Then stir in the melted butter. Oh my. It’s getting good now.
Ok…now you will butter your baking dish. I used a round shallow one and it worked well but use what you have. Don’t be afraid to butter it well. Really work that butter. Yeah that’s right. Ok now, pour in the milk flour mixture. Now, add in the blackberries. Now, you want to sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar all over the top. Pop that bad boy (really that sweet thing) into the oven. Bake for about 55-60 minutes until lightly browned on top and set in the middle.
Serve with a dollop of vanilla ice cream (Tahitian soft serve anyone? Anyone?) or some Cool Whip. It is good. It is divine. It is blackberry cobbler that you made yourself from scratch with berries that you picked! You are amazing!!! Take a bow. Just not in front of the oven or you might hit your head. ūüėČ

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fresh berries in the cobbler! Go you and me and all of us. Blackberry cobbler for all!

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all for one, one for all…berries!

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a few more pics from our very excellent berry picking adventure

Homemade taco/burrito seasoning, the perfect chocolate chip cookie, and low expectations

Today has been one of those days where I woke up tired and cranky. I talked to one of best friends and my cousin. Via text, but still, we connected, so you think that it would have been a great day. Especially considering that I try really hard to keep my expectations low. Or at least reasonable. Sometimes, it is so easy for me to get caught up in how things should be. The picture in my head of how things SHOULD go takes over every practical thought I have. Do you ever do that? Yeah well I do despite my best efforts to not do it! I have had this discussion before with y’all but I think it warrants revisiting. Because I think so many of us get caught up in what we think SHOULD be. Dr. Vicki Bowman, my beloved graduate school professor who was a wise gal beyond her years would call this “shoulding all over yourself.” And friends, it is easy to do. It can ruin the best of moments. That one word…should. Should is a lot like “fair” or the phrase “it’s not fair”. As a therapist I would be all over that phrase if a client said it. I would have to ask “what is fair?” Because let’s just face it. Life is not always fair. Somedays it seems it is not fair at all. As my friend Teresa says, the fair comes in October and they show pigs there. Oh so true. And yet, today, I got caught up in that evil word…should. Anyway, none of my plans for the day worked out. And ya know, I really don’t question that stuff. If it is part of God’s plan, I can roll with it. But sometimes it is the little stuff getting messed up that gets us. And that is where we find me today. My column for Red River Moms was due today. I got my stuff sent in to my editor and I wanted a new picture for my column. Most of the ones I have used have been fun spontaneous selfies of the kids and I. Like this one
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Cute enough but geez I have been doing this for a year, maybe it is time to get a real picture taken. No not professional, but a step up from selfie maybe? Yeah. So I get it in my head that we are going to get this done. BD was home for a little while and he was up for the task. I knew better than to get any high browed ideas about what kind of pictures I wanted. Just keep it simple, Aimee. Just get the kids in there and snap a few. No big deal. Oh yeah right. Once again, I shoulded all over myself. Dr. Vicki, God rest her soul, is somewhere shaking her head at me. I just know it. So I won’t go into any details, but needless to say, I set myself up for disappointment. I got all cocky and thought, we will do some staged pictures. We will have some fun with it. It will be so perfect. Wait. What? I have 4 kids and nothing is ever going to be perfect again. With so many people to factor in, perfection is even harder to attain then when I was childless. Curse me and my stupid high expectations. Cut to later, there was flour everywhere (don’t ask…I was making cookies and thought oh how fun…we will all bake cookies and he can capture that…yeah…), there were tears (mostly mine) and we had no useable pictures. Why? Because of the picture in my head of how things SHOULD have been. So we just said mission abort and everyone washed the flour off of themselves (again…don’t ask) and we were chilling. I was not dressed cute anymore. Makeup was gone. The kids were laying in our bed with me. I gave BD my phone and said “I have an idea. Go with it.” And low and behold…after all that, my original non complicated plan to get a picture worked just fine. Life lessons 1, Cajun mama 0. I will show y’all the pictures below. And I ended up getting those cookies baked and none of it is on camera. Just some delicious chocolate chip cookies. And expanding on the whole keeping it simple, not getting caught up in expectations, I made some nice simple burritos tonight. I had the ground meat defrosted but no seasoning. No problem. I found a recipe and made my own…original post is here…http://www.food.com/recipe/taco-seasoning-budget-friendly-seasoning-for-tacos-burritos-166030. Take that life lessons. I made cookies and my own taco/burrito seasoning and it just was. No expectations of what should be. It is what it is. It was what it was. We all survived. We got the pictures and had supper and dessert and maybe I took the long way home, but I did make it. I guess that is what counts. Now if only I can remember this lesson of letting go of what SHOULD be and letting it be what it will be, I will be a much happier mama all the time and world peace will be achieved. Well…I will settle for peace in our home. So, today, I have a recipe for the best chocolate chip cookies in the world (in my opinion) …link herehttp://m.allrecipes.com/recipe/10813/best-chocolate-chip-cookies and homemade taco/burrito seasoning. No matter what you start thinking life should be, having these two recipes in your arsenal will make what is so much easier to accept. Peace, love, and low expectations…AMB

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see simple can be beautiful

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me and my joy, my circus, my reason for living and losing my mind

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my favorite picture from today

Homemade taco/burrito seasoning</strong

makes enough for several batches

2 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 1/2 tablespoons paprika
1 1/2-2 tablespoons cumin
2 teaspoons oregano
1 1/2 tablespoons minced onion flakes or 1 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder (feel free to omit this)
Kosher salt (I added about 1 teaspoon but add more or less to your taste)

Mix all these spices together in a bowl. 7 teaspoons equals once of those store bought taco seasoning packets. So 7 teaspoons to one pound ground beef. Stir it into browned and drained ground meat and then add 3/4 cup water per pound of ground beef. Simmer over low heat until the liquid has evaporated. It is really perfect y’all!
Store the rest in an air tight storage container. This is how I did mine…

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airtight glad ware thank you so much!

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Mixing all of those spices together made me feel like a scientist

Perfect chocolate chip cookies (says me)

makes about 3 dozen cookies

Stuff you need
1 cup of butter, softened (that’s 2 sticks of the real stuff y’all)
1 cup of sugar (the white stuff)
1 cup of packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons HOT water
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups of flour
2 cups chocolate chips

What to do with the stuff~

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, mix hot water and baking soda together and set aside.
In a standing mixer, add softened butter, sugar and brown sugar. Cream together until well combined and smooth. Stir in vanilla. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add baking soda water mixture and salt. Beat until combined. Now, add flour one cup at a time. Next, add chocolate chips. Beat until combined.
Line a large baking sheet or cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat (they are awesome and totally worth the purchase. Amazon has great prices on them.)
Using a medium cookie scoop, place a scoops of cookie dough about 2 inches apart on baking sheet. Bake at 350 for about 12 minutes or until slightly golden on top. I bake mine in batches of 12 because that is how many my baking sheet fits. Let cool if your family will allow it and then set them out with some glasses of ice cold milk. Sure to make the stinkiest of days better!

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consistently delicious cookies every time! Enjoy!

Easy strawberry shortcake trifle and keeping it simple

Ok so the other day Big Daddy goes to see one of his customers and he had some strawberries. Correction a bunch of berries. Beautiful, ripe, red Louisiana berries. The kind that represent exactly what a strawberry should be. And make you feel a little sad for those poser berries (that I buy because my kids love strawberries in their lunch boxes) that are in the stores when berries are out of season. And BD being the sweetie that he is, brought home a flat of those babies to me.

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See what I mean? Just so beautiful and juicy and perfect. Yum. So my dilemma was…what do I do with these berries? I mean, sure we could just nibble on them but that’s a bunch of berries. Now, as I have said before, I get some notions sometimes to go above and beyond and pull out all the stops when I am cooking. And in life in general. But when I do, I tend to set myself up for disappointment because I pour my heart and soul into something and the effort does not equal the reward. Know what I mean? There are things in life that are worth the hard work. Growing my babies and giving birth, raising them right, my marriage, my relationship with God. But really, day to day, I do not have the where with all to put forth 100% effort into any meal I make. Come on, I am too practical for that. So I think of recipes along those lines most of the time. What is the fastest, easiest route to use up these berries in a delicious and quick to put together dessert. Then the kiddos and BD decide they want to take the boat out. Yeah, that lit a fire under me to get the berries put away. Mama needs some time on the water, cruising along the Red River. So I made the executive decision to remove the hulls and slice the berries up. Poured some sugar all over those babies (cue the Def Leppard–my band du jour) and a little Grand Marnier that I had on hand. I would cover them and let them sit in the fridge during our boat outing. Tomorrow I would turn those sugar drenched, liquored up berries into a strawberry shortcake. I had some Sara Lee pound cake and some cool whip…yes that would all work just fine. Sure I could have put forth that extra effort and made a homemade poundcake like the one I posted a recipe for a while back…the link is here
Southern Living Pound cake and the perfectionist super woman who lives in my head | cajunmamacookin’s Blog
https://cajunmamacookinblog.com/2014/04/17/southern-living-pound-cake-and-the-perfectionist-wonder-woman-who-lives-in-my-head/. Yes that would certainly have been noble of me. Definitely industrious. Dignified even. Luckily, I don’t aspire to be those things. I am just me. And just so Martha Stewart. All due respect to Martha, but I don’t have any assistants to help me and I wanted to get my butt on that boat. So store bought pound cake it is. I could have made my own whipped cream. I mean, I know how. But would the extra effort made that big a difference? I had a boss (who is still a friend…hey Terry!) whose mantra was KISS…keep it simple silly. At that time I was not married yet and had no kids…I could not imagine why simple was so necessary. Oh but I see it all so clearly now. So, I did. I am sure I am not impressing y’all with my supreme practicality, but if you are a busy mom or busy grandma or busy in general individual with so many other things to do but you still want something tasty for dessert…maybe you appreciate this just a little!! So for you I have this super simple, stupid easy strawberry shortcake trifle. I hope you pull it together and get out there and live your life. Life waits for no one and no berry! Oh and sidenote…or maybe most importantly of all…this was awesome dessert and it was hard to believe it was such a cinch to pull together!!~AMB

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Get those berries soaking in that sugar mama and let’s get on the boat!! Fun is waiting!!

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totally worth keeping it simple.

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posing on the sandbar…cutie

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seriously who cares about showboating in the kitchen? We are making memories mama!

Super easy strawberry shortcake trifle
serves 10-12

Stuff you need~

6 cups (or more) of ripe luscious strawberries, hulls removed and then sliced up
2 cups of sugar
3 teaspoons of Grand Marnier (optional)
2 small Sara Lee pound cakes (freezer section of the grocery store), cut into slices and then cubes
2 -8 ounce containers of Cool Whip

What to do with the stuff~

Remove the hulls from the berries. Slice up the berries and add them to a nice size bowl. Stir in the sugar and give it a good toss. Resist the urge to eat the berries. They are scrumptious. Drizzle in that Grand Marnier now if you are using it. Stir the berries gently.

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just like that. So good. Mama likey

Now slice your poundcake and then cut into chunks.

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In a trifle bowl or a punch bowl (or really y’all any bowl that you have that is big and not super wide but pretty deep) , make a layer of one pound cake chunked up.

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just like that. Yep.

Now, layer half of those insanely delicious berries over the layer of pound cake chunks.

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yessss

Now smooth one of the containers of Cool Whip over the berries.

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resist the impulse to eat it now. It’s not ready

Now repeat the whole process one more time. Pound cake layer, berry layer, Cool Whip layer. Oh yes. It’s good.

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oh sweet layers of perfection

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totally worth some shortcuts in the kitchen

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what a view for a Friday night

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shortcut perfection

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love this one

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sunset on the Red River. Perfect.

Fresh strawberry cake with cream cheese icing and people can change

I am usually such a chocoholic when it comes desserts that I never saw it coming when I came across a recipe for this strawberry cake on Christy Jordan’s Southern Plate Facebook page at http://www.southernplate.com/2010/04/fresh-strawberry-cake-with-cream-cheese-icing.html and was compelled to make it right away. I felt a call, an urging to make it. Yes. That’s right. Making this heavenly strawberry cake is a calling. More like a product of divine intervention. It is dreamy. It is moist. It fulfills all of my dessert needs and yet…there is no chocolate. I am in love. Who says people can’t change? This recipe has a made from scratch taste and look yet it calls for a boxed cake mix. There are fresh strawberries in the cake and in the icing and man…it is something else. I will warn you…the smell of it making in the oven will cause your family to ask “what is that delicious smell?” And say “something smells so good” every 5 minutes. If you are looking for a new dessert to bring along to a party or just to bake for your family because you love them…or you know…they cannot talk while shoving this awesome cake in their mouths (not that I do that! He he) this is the one to try!!!!! Plus strawberries are in season now and they are not so expensive. Get on it!!! ~AMB

Fresh strawberry cake with cream cheese icing

Stuff you need~

for the cake:
1 box white cake mix
3 eggs
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
1-3 ounce package of strawberry gelatin
1 cup crushed strawberries and juice (1 regular container of fresh strawberries will do)*

for the icing

1-8 ounce block cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter (I used half a stick of the real stuff), softened
3 cups powdered sugar
Whatever is left of the crushed strawberries

*cut the green part off the berries and then slice them up. Add to a gallon size storage bag. Close the bag well once all strawberries are in. I did as Christy Jordan suggested and used a canned good to crush the berries. Just gently roll the can across the closed ziplock bag. It works like a charm.
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crushed strawberries . Easy peasy.

What to do with the stuff~

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 8 inch round cake pans or 1 9 x 13 pan with Baker’s Magic or coat with oil and then flour them.
In a mixing bowl, add cake mix, eggs, milk, oil and gelatin. Using standing mixer or hand mixer, mix until all ingredients are combined. About 2 minutes. Next add in crushed strawberries. Mix again until the berries are incorporated well into batter.
Pour into prepared baking pan (s) and cooking until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. I did the 9 x 13 and it took about 35-40 minutes.
Allow cake to cool completely before icing.

While cake it baking, go on and get your icing ready. I just washed out my standing mixer bowl and used it again. In a medium size bowl, combine the softened cream cheese and butter and powdered sugar. Mix until smooth. Resist the urge to eat with a spoon. If you desire, add in the rest of the crushed berries you did not use. I like the way it looks and the taste is out of this world. CJ suggests it is prettier without the berries, but I disagree. Each to his own, so do your thing. You can’t lose either way!!
Once cake is cooled, ice that baby and cry your happy tears that you made a cake that is so luscious and pretty. Yay you!!!!

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look at that pretty cake mix!

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the icing. Will be my undoing. S.O.S.

Southern Living Pound cake and the perfectionist super woman who lives in my head

Watermarked Photo (104)

It used to take A’s on tests in grad school or a wonderful session for me to feel accomplished…now, when my pound cake slides out the pan and looks pretty…I feel like I climbed a mountain! ¬†Yay!

Extra extra read all about it: ¬†CAJUN MAMA CAN BAKE! ¬†Like a true Southern woman. ¬†I made my very first pound cake. ¬†Now, I know for many of you this is not a big deal. ¬†But for me, it is a true accomplishment. ¬†Usually me baking equals an epic fail. ¬†It usually does not come out nearly as lovely as what I envision in my head. ¬†In my head lives a perfectionist wonder woman who should be able do everything. ¬†Able to wake up rested after 3 hours of sleep and look refreshed and bright eyed. ¬†Able to get it all done plus some and not get tired. ¬†Able to whip up delicious desserts with nary a failure and make it all effortless. ¬†Newsflash…that chick does not exist. ¬†She is an accumulation of my unrealistic expectations in myself and society’s version of what a mom should be. ¬†Guess what? ¬†After a good night’s sleep, I am still tired and look mediocre. ¬†I get some of it done and before leaving my house to go get in carpool line, every day without fail I say to myself “dang I need more hours in the day”. ¬†And when I bake, well, usually it looks like a science experiment went wrong in my kitchen. ¬†But I splurged a while back and bought a really nice bundt pan, hoping that this would solve all my baking problems and baking fails would become baking wins, wars would end, the government would get it together and we could all live in perfect harmony. ¬†Not quite. ¬†But this bundt pan did produce a splendidly browned bundt cake that did not stick! ¬†Hallelujah! Perfectionist super woman got ahold of my debit card and went on Williams Sonoma online and bought this bundt pan. ¬†Thinking of all the wonderful bundt cakes and pound cakes she was going to make (though in this case she was right). She does that sometimes. ¬†Gets all these high falutin ideas about what’s gonna happen in Cajun Mama’s kitchen and buys stuff to make it happen. ¬†I have to tell her to back it down sometimes because she gets out of hand. ¬†I tell Big Daddy it is all her fault, but he reminds me that I do not have split personalities (at least he is pretty sure) and that me and her are the same people and therefore, in reality I am to blame. ¬†humph. ¬†Who lives in reality? ¬†Not me. ¬†Duh. ¬†Lol! ¬†So, cut to a while later, and Sunday evening I was feeling particularly domestic and I said out loud to whomever was listening (no one) “I am gonna bake a sour cream pound cake!!”. ¬†So, I drug out some of my cookbooks (that perfectionist wonder woman bought most of those too) and set out to looking for a recipe. ¬†I figured I had never made one so I would have to start somewhere. ¬†And so I did. ¬†I found a good one (I mean…Southern Living is always a good bet). ¬†The wonderful part about cooking all the time and gaining experience as a non trained chef is that most of the time, I have almost all of the ingredients to bake whatever I fancy at the moment and whatever recipe we find that we want me to cook. ¬†No, not we as in me and my other personality. ¬†We, as in my family, the kids, Big Daddy…whatever we want me to cook. ¬†Because guess what…if it is cooked, it is cooked by me. ¬†Ya dig? ¬†Ok. ¬†So anyway, after some careful research (i.e. reading through cookbooks…tough job), and looking through the pantry and fridge, I was set on go. ¬†Pound cake #1 would commence on Monday. ¬†Well. ¬†It was SCRUMPTIOUS!!!!! ¬†Total win. ¬†Between the wonderful bundt pan and a can of Baker’s Joy (Target brand of course. ¬†I stay at home ya’ll…no money in that. ¬†Store brands rule!!!) it turned out like a dream. ¬†Color me shocked. ¬†But that perfectionist Super Woman just sat there with her arms crossed, looking all smug. ¬†She gets on my nerves.

So, if you have been looking for a good sour cream pound cake and are feeling fancy, this is a good place to start. ¬†My sweet friend Lottie sent me her grandmother’s recipe for pound cake, so I think that will be pound cake #2. ¬†Yes, I am the self appointed pound cake tester. ¬†Also, I am bringing samples to some of my kids’ teachers and other staff members at the kids’ school so that I can get some feedback. ¬†And I won’t injure myself eating an entire pound cake. ¬†Yes, if you are employed at my kiddos’ school, you might be a pound cake guinea pig. ¬†I have not heard any complaints yet! ¬†So here goes friends. ¬†Be Southern…bake a pound cake!!! ~AMB

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A few of the cookbooks I own.  I may or may not have a cookbook addiction.  

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Food blogger research.  Tough job but someone has to do it.

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Shocking that a wonderful sour cream pound cake recipe ended up here?  Nah.

Southern Living Sour Cream Pound Cake (from Southern Living: 40 Years of Our Best Recipes  cookbook)

Makes 10-12 servings

Stuff You Need~

1 1/2 cups of butter, softened (this is 3 sticks of the real stuff)

3 cups sugar

6 large eggs

3 cups all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 (8 ounce) container sour cream

1 teaspoon lemon extract

1/4 teaspoon almond extract (am I the only one who loves the smell of this stuff?)

What to do with the stuff~

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare your 12 cup tube pan by spraying with Baker’s Joy or grease and flour your tube pan.

Add softened butter to the bowl of your standing mixer or a mixing bowl.  Using your standing mixer or electric mixer, beat butter at medium speed until creamy.  Gradually add sugar (I did a half cup at a time), beating after each addition at medium speed until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, 1 at at time, beating just until the yolk disappears.

In a separate bowl, mix together flour, salt and baking soda.  Add this to the butter mixture a little at a time, alternating with the sour cream, starting with flour mixture and ending with flour mixture. Beat batter at low speed until just blended after each addition.  Now stir in the lemon and almond extracts.  Pour into your prepared tube pan.  Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes, depending on your oven.  Or until a toothpick inserted in the center of cake comes out clean.  Mine took exactly 1 hour 20 minutes.  Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes.  Turn out onto wire rack and allow pound cake to cool completely.  Enjoy and share with those you love.  Or those you wish to impress with your amazing baking skills.  Just saying.

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Butter and sugar beat together until light and fluffy. I had to restrain myself from grabbing a spoon.  #sugaraddict #letssellitinajar 

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Chilling on the wire rack. 

 

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Luscious Lemon Loaf

I woke up yesterday morning with cooking on my mind. ¬†My kiddos are on spring break, 2 of them are with their grandparents in Arkansas, one is up his daddy’s behind, and the other (my mama’s girl) has been chilling with mama. ¬†So, frankly, I felt a little adrift. Regardless of how many kids you have, it seems like when one or two are away, things just aren’t the same. ¬†I definitely felt their absence, though it has been nice hanging with my sweet girl and having some one on one time with her. ¬† ¬†Anyway, I decided that I was going to cook up some stuff and this lemon loaf was one of the recipes on Pinterest that had caught my eye. ¬†But I must say, it was originally called “white chocolate lemon bread” and frankly, it looked so yummy but the name threw me off. ¬†Yes, I will admit I am not a white chocolate fan. ¬†Mama likes her dark chocolate, that is all I am saying. ¬†Always have. ¬†And white chocolate? ¬†Gag. ¬†No really, gag. ¬†But I took a risk. ¬†I love, love, love the lemon loaf at Starbucks. ¬†I don’t love, however, paying over 2 bucks a pop for a slice. ¬†I mean, really? ¬†I truly love lemon and this looked so easy, I figured what did I have to lose anyway? ¬†Nothing. ¬†So I went for it. ¬†I am so very glad I did. ¬†There is nothing white chocolate to it and this loaf tastes so close to Starbucks’ lemon loaf that it is uncanny. ¬†Taking the risk (though with this the risk was small) was well worth it. ¬†Don’t you love when things work out that way? ¬†I renamed it luscious lemon loaf because even though there is white chocolate pudding mix, you cannot taste it. ¬†This is just pure lemon delight. ¬†And the glaze that you pour over it is simply fantabulous. ¬†This recipe truly could not be easier and makes two loaves. ¬†So, theoretically you can keep one and give one away. ¬†Good luck with that. ¬†This stuff is so good, you might consider hiding both loaves under your shirt and running like the wind. ¬†And keeping it all for yourself. ¬†If your family does not beat you to the punch. ¬†It is that good. ¬†You can see the original recipe here http://liluna.com/white-chocolate-lemon-bread. ¬†I made it just like the recipe suggested this time, but next time I will replace the oil with applesauce and the sour cream with Greek yogurt. ¬†I do the applesauce thing in most of my muffin recipes and it works great. ¬†We get a little fruit boost and I can enjoy a slice or um…two…with less guilt.

Luscious Lemon 

Stuff you need~

1 box of lemon cake mix (I used Duncan Hines)

2 small boxes instant white chocolate pudding mix

4 eggs

1/8 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 2 Tablespoons)

1/4 cup of oil

1 cup sour cream

zest of one lemon

For the glaze:  Mix 1  1/2 cups powdered sugar, juice and zest from one lemon.  Add more lemon juice if it was too thick. I used a big lemon and had plenty.

What to do with the stuff~

Mix cake mix, pudding mix, oil and eggs in a bowl with a beater (or your standing mixer) until well combined.  Now, add sour cream, lemon juice and lemon zest.  Use a spoon to mix at this point.  Pour batter into 2 greased loaf pans.  I used a regular size loaf pan and then a pan with 4 little mini loaves.  They were the cutest little things!!

Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes. ¬†If you go the mini loaf route, bake for about 15 minutes. ¬†Let them cool completely. ¬†I removed mine from the loaf pans at this point and set them on a baking sheet or plate. ¬†Now, poke holes in the loaves and drizzle the glaze all over them. ¬†Get ready to curse me and thank me all at once. ¬†You will want to do both. ¬†It’s ok. ¬†I still love ya. ¬†Image

Big ole zested lemon 

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awww…look at those little darlings…so tiny and cute. ¬†I could just eat em up. ¬†he he¬†

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Sweet tart lemony glaze…so pretty

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Homemade dinky doozies

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All you need to make this yummy copycat recipe.

My oldest son LOVES cookies. Chocolate chip cookies. He loves cookie cakes. Specifically cookie cakes from Great American Cookie Company. He loves anything from there actually. So, we were pondering the other day how to make dinky doozies (he calls them double doozies…I am not sure why I think it is dinky doozies…were they called this back in the 80’s?) Anyhow, today I figured I would see if I could create these wonders at home. Cookie dough? Check. Vanilla icing? Check. What’s that you say? Did I make this stuff homemade ? Negative ghostwriter. Not when the good folks at Duncan Hines and Pillsbury do it so well! I wanted to see if I could whip these up and I think I did pretty good. No. They are not exact replicas, but they are very good. And I didn’t break the bank to make them. In fact, I did not even have to go to the store. I had the stuff at home.
This could not be more simple. So just get the stuff and make up a batch of dinky doozies/double doozies and get ready for the sugar rush.

Homemade Dinky Doozies

Makes about 6 dinky doozies

Stuff you need~

1 roll of chocolate chip cookie cough (I used Pillsbury)
1 container of vanilla buttercream icing

What to do with the stuff~

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line your cookie sheet with a silicone baking mat (these things are awesome and I highly suggest getting one or two if you bake). Using a medium cookie scoop (or spoon), fill a scoop with dough and place each scoop about 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. One regular sized roll of dough got me about 12 cookies. (Considering I may have had a bite or two….er…I mean Toby the dog did it). Bake for about 10-12 minutes. Really, use your judgement and how soft your family likes their cookies. We are soft cookie people here. But not too soft as you want the icing to have a substantial base.
Now, once cookies are done, set then aside to cool. You want them Cool because you want the icing to stay the right consistency rather than melt. Make sense? Ok. Once they are cool, turn the cookies over so that the flat side is facing up. Now, just spread some icing over the flat side of the cookie. Like you are making a sandwich and spreading icing on it. Lol. Like so…

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Now, take another cookie and put the flat side up against the other side of the icing. So icing should only be touching the flat sides. It is icing sandwiched between two cookies. Yeah, that’s right. Pure evil. Cue evil laughter. Muahahahahahah!

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No words. Other than get a glass of milk and go!

Cherry Danish Cookies aka Little Bites of Heaven

These are little bites of heaven I tell ya’ll.  When I saw this recipe come across my Pinterest feed the other day, I knew I would have to give them a try, even though I am baking impaired and have difficulty with any kind of dessert that requires me to make dough and then roll it out.  I love Six Sister’s Stuff recipes and have had lots of success with them.  If you don’t follow their blog, you should.  They are sisters who share a blog and stay connected through blogging recipes.   Having 3 sisters myself, I can definitely relate.  We all love to cook and when I make a recipe that one of them gave me in the past, or we enjoyed together, I feel a connection with them no matter where they are or how long it has been since I have seen them.  It is funny how a special recipe can do that.  How words written on a page can transcend space and time and bring you right back to a special time?  I love that about recipes.  So I really love Six Sisters’ Stuff and enjoy their recipes.  This is one that they posted and they were dead on about how these taste exactly like a cherry Danish, but in bite sized form.  They are so delicious and not hard at all to put together.  You need to make the dough ahead of time as it is best to let it chill in the fridge for a few hours at least.  It makes it much easier to work with.  After that though, there is not much to it.  And for me, the non Martha Stewart, to say this…you should know I mean that.  I am easily intimidated by dough and this is totally doable.  My two princesses and I were left to our own devices this weekend (heaven forbid) while the boys went hunting.  Somehow, we muddled through.  We made up a batch of these tasty treats and we enjoyed the results.  We did manage to save some for the boys though.  We are sweet like that.  But not nearly as sweet as these little gems.  So, if you love Danish, you definitely want to give these a try.  I think you will be happy with the results!!! ~AMB

Cherry Danish Cookies (adapted from Six Sisters’ Stuff http://www.sixsisterstuff.com

Stuff you Need:

Cookies:

1 cup butter, softened

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

1 Tablespoon milk

1 Tablespoon sugar

1 egg yolk

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 can cherry pie filling

For Glaze:

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

2 Tablespoons milk

What to Do with the Stuff:

For the Cookies:

In a large bowl or bowl of your standing mixer, cream together butter, cream cheese, milk and sugar.  Beat in egg yolk.  In a medium size bowl, combine flour and baking powder.  Gradually add flour mixture into the butter cream cheese mixture, beating after each addition to make a stiff dough.  Cover with saran wrap and allow the dough to chill  in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.  As I said, the dough is easier to work with when it is chilled.

Once dough has chilled, preheat oven to 400 degrees.  On a pasty mat, roll out dough to about 1/4 ” thickness.  Using a 2 ” round cutter, cut out the rounds of dough.  Make an indention in the center of each circle, and add about 1 tsp. of cherry pie filling (I am trying blueberry as well next time…mix it up a bit) to the center.  Place each one on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for about 10-12 minutes.  Cool completely before drizzling with glaze.

For Glaze:

Whisk together the powdered sugar and milk.  If it is too thin, add a little more powdered sugar.  If it is too thick, add a little milk.  You get the idea.  Now, in the original recipe, they say some nonsense about adding the glaze to a sandwich bag and snipping a little corner off to drizzle the glaze over the cookies.  Ummm…Cajun Mama ain’t got time for that.  Or maybe I am too lazy.  Either way, I got some glaze on my little whisk and then kind of tapped it on the edge of the bowl and then kind of waved my whisk over the cookies like it was a magic wand and the glaze was fairy dust.  I was the powerful Princess Glaze and those cookies were my royal subjects.  Ha ha!!!  Spending all weekend with just my girls has obviously given me a princess complex.  What’s a Mama to do?  Anyway, this method worked just fine for me.  Feel free to do your thing!!  As long as that glaze gets on those little bites of heaven, your work here is done.

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Heaven on Earth I tell you!!!  Little bites of Cherry Danish heaven.