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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Family Recipe: Sour Cream Coffee Cake

 Last week we were invited to brunch at a friends house that was to take place yesterday. I had no idea what to make...I had already done my grocery shopping so it would have to be with whatever I already had in the house. I had my heart set on apple zucchini muffins that I had scene posted on FB but the website would not open for me...so sad. Then the idea came to me..."make mom's sour cream coffee cake"! I hadn't made it in years and it just seemed "right"!

My mom used to make this regularly and it was always a favorite. My mom passed away almost 11 years ago and I love making recipes that remind me of her, ones that she made or ones that I know she would love. Not a day goes by that I don't think of her. She was an amazing lady. 

There is nothing like making a recipe that has been in the family, no matter how long it has been. I'm pretty sure this recipe originated from one of those paperback recipe books that you used to find at the checkout line in the grocery store. My mom used to love buying those little books and had accumulated quite a collection. So even though this recipe wasn't an original, it was filled with memories. It's best when eaten while still warm but anytime is a good time for coffee cake, don't you agree.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake


3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/8tsp. salt
1 c. sour cream or plain greek yogurt
1 1/4 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1 c. chopped walnuts
2 tsp. cinnamon
3 Tbs. butter, melted


1. Heat oven to 350. Grease and lightly flour a 10-inch tube pan.

2. In large bow, cream sugar and butter; add vanilla and eggs. Mix well.

3. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. 

4. Add flour mixture and sour cream alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. 

5. In a small bowl combine remaining ingredients. Mix well.

6. Spread half of the batter in to prepared pan; sprinkle with half of brown sugar mixture. Repeat with remaining batter and brown sugar mixture. 

7. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. 

8. Cool upright in pan 15 minutes. Invert onto a large plate or cookie sheet; then invert again onto serving plate, streusel side up. 

With Joy UNquenchable,

Monday, August 25, 2014

Secret Recipe Club: Cookie Dough Fudge

I usually know if I ask my youngest daughter what I should make from my Secret Recipe Club choices she will choose something sweet. This month was no exception. I had four choices that I pinned on my "secret" Secret Recipe Board on Pinterest and she chose the sweet one. So, that was the one we made. 

This month I was assigned Karen's Kitchen Stories. Karen is a Southern California gal who loves her time in the kitchen. She's also a busy lady who works by day, teaches part time college classes, is married with two grown children and two grandsons. She's like me, in that we both tend to make messes in the kitchen. Phew, I'm not the only one. Check out her About Me page for more insight in to her life and blog. 

(love my helper)
The recipe we chose this month was her Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fudge.  My girl (youngest) loves fudge and she loves cookie dough. So it just seemed fitting that she chose that recipe. I am not a HUGE fudge fan, so I think I maybe ate half a piece, but she ate a few as did my oldest daughter. My hubby and oldest took some to work and everyone liked it, so I suppose you could say it was a hit!

The recipe was easy and didn't take us too long. I have really enjoyed being a part of The Secret Recipe Club. I always look forward to that email telling me who my "secret" blog is, and then I LOVE searching their recipe files for something awesome to make. My other favorite part? On reveal day, I LOVE going through the thumbnails and trying to spot "my" recipe that someone made. 
This fudge was yummy, and actually did taste like cookie dough. We were good girls and didn't sample too much of the "eggless" cookie dough before mixing it in to the fudge. 


Cookie Dough
1/3 c. unsalted, room temperature butter
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. packed, light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. Cream
1/2 c. flour

1/3 c. packed, light brown sugar
1/3 c. unsalted butter
pinch of salt
1/3 c. cream
5 c. powdered sugar (yep, you read right)
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c. mini chocolate chips


1. Line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper, wax paper, or foil.

2. Make cookie dough by beating the butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer until fluffy. Add vanilla, salt and cream. Mix in the flour until combined. 

3. In a saucepan, put brown sugar, butter, salt and cream. Cook on low until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved. 

4. Remove from heat and stir in powdered sugar in one cup increments. 

5. Add vanilla

6. Mix cookie dough mixture in to fudge mixture and stir until combined and cooled to room temp. (I used my stand mixer for this and kind of left it marbled a little bit).

7. Stir in chocolate chips and pour in to pan. 

8. Chill for a few hours. Cut in to amount of pieces desired. 
Enjoy! Keep leftovers in the fridge. 

With Joy UNquenchable,

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Recipe: Chunky Monkey Ice Cream Bites

Looking for a new sweet treat to make? Maybe to wind down the summer. I may have found it, and chances are you have everything in your kitchen.

A few weeks ago a video showed up on my FB page from Yum Sugar for Chunky Monkey Ice Cream Bites. I, of course, "shared" it so that I could refer back to it. Of course, when I went to find it, it was nowhere to be found so I set out on a google search...phew! Found it. The video is nice as a visual aid (I am very visual....I always appreciate pictures and videos that go along with recipes). They turned out super yummy and not too difficult though a bit time consuming. These are perfect for a hot day treat..for me, popping just one in my mouth satisfied my sweet tooth. 

As summer is winding down and leaves are falling from the trees it's nice to pull out something that helps us hold on to the final days ( I know, I know..we technically still have a month left of summer, but a month goes by so fast). 


3 bananas, sliced into 1" pieces and frozen slightly
chopped chocolate
1 tsp. vanilla
chocolate chips or chocolate for melting
chopped walnuts
pinch of salt


1. Place frozen bananas, a pinch of salt and vanilla into a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. 
2. Place mixture into a bowl and stir in chopped chocolate. Place in freezer for a couple hours or until set.
3. Using a melon baller or mini-scoop, scoop out balls of "ice cream" and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place in freezer and let set overnight.
4. Melt chocolate. Once you remove balls from freezer, work quickly to dip in chocolate, then place back on parchment paper, sprinkle with walnuts. Place back in freezer until ready to serve. Enjoy!

With Joy UNquenchable,

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Recipe Inspiration: Penne Pasta Bake

 I'm always looking for new recipes to try, and when I find one that's simple and easy on the pocketbook that's even better. When I first started blogging in 2008, I somehow came across the blog, Reluctant Entertainer, authored by Sandy. I have followed her ever since and have seen her blog grow into a huge success...I find myself always wanting to hide in her suitcase as she travels all over the states and the world. I had the honor of meeting her several years ago when she was in Portland for her daughter's soccer game.

A few days ago she shared a recipe for a "Caprese" Pasta Bake , as she called it, that looked so amazing, I just had to try it myself. I did and I wasn't disappointed. With only a few simple ingredients, this didn't take long to throw together which is great for our busy lives right now. The combination of fresh tomatoes and warm pasta with gooey cheese was perfect.


1 box Penne Pasta (I used Fred Meyer's brand Simple Truth Organic..1.59 a box)...I couldn't find the brand she used where I was shopping
2 Jars Tomato and Basil pasta sauce (or whatever you decide)...I recommend 2 jars because mine got too dry at some point
Sliced Heirloom Tomatoes
Fresh Mozzarella Cheese, sliced (I scored at Grocery Outlet)
Fresh basil 
Optional: rotisserie chicken or in my case I used Sun-dried Tomato and provolone Chicken Sausage. 


1. Cook Pasta according to direction, but make sure it's Al Dente (just undercooked)

2. Drain and add pasta sauce and meat if you are using it and heat through. I cooked my chicken sausages according to package instructions,  and sliced before adding to the pasta. I actually layered mine on top of the pasta.

3.  Spread pasta in a 9 x 13 pan. Top with sliced tomatoes, mozzarella cheese slices and sprinkle with basil.

5. Place under broiler for 5-7 minutes until cheese is melted and slightly browned. 

It is best if served immediately while the cheese is nice and gooey. 

I accompanied this with a loaf of my Artisan Bread. Such a yummy, quick, comforting meal!  It is perfect for company. 

With Joy UNquenchable,

Monday, July 28, 2014

Summer Days....Driftin' Away...

I cannot believe it is almost August, that summer is on it's way out...the days are already getting shorter and I feel as though we haven't done anything "summer-ish"! School supplies have filled the shelves. We've enjoyed some beautiful weather and some wet, rainy days here in the PNW. One thing we have enjoyed is watermelon...yummy, sweet, juicy watermelon! 
We've enjoyed it sliced, cubed, blended, juiced and frozen. I have some sitting in the freezer now, ready to make a sorbet. YUM! Watermelon just screams SUMMER!!

Here's a refreshing drink that is kicked up just a notch with the beautiful flavor of basil. 
In a blender (I use a Vitamix), simply add fresh strawberries with cubed fresh watermelon (just eyeball amounts), add fresh basil leaves and blend well. I would start with 2 leaves and add additional leaves until you reach the flavor you like. Serve on the rocks. You could also add some lemon to this or freeze your fruit and make it more of a smoothie. You DO NOT need to add additional liquid as the watermelon has plenty on its own. 

Want an all natural popsicle? Simply cut your watermelon into easy to handle wedges, cut a slit in the rind and insert a popsicle stick. Freeze on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper then serve immediately or wrap in plastic wrap and store in freezer. 
I love refreshing flavors of summer. I have yet to try grilling watermelon...not quite sure that sounds very appetizing, but I may be surprised. 

As summer winds down I plan to take advantage of some more summer recipes and hopefully we'll get out and do some fun, summery activities.

With Joy UNquenchable,


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