Thursday, July 24, 2014

Honey Bun Cake and a little giveaway


Honey Bun Cake


Yes it's been over a month since I’ve been back to this little space on the Internet. I took a month off. Yes I did. I’m totally allowed.

I truly enjoyed the last 4 weeks when I was at home. Work, well work is another story. Did I mention that I work full time? Yes, yes I do. 31 years at the same company. I have never been busier during these past 31 years as I am right now. I'm working like a crazy woman. So tired at the end of the day that blogging was the last thing on my mind.

I didn’t do a whole lot of baking. I didn’t use my oven very much.

I did hang outside a lot. I worked in my garden. I caught 3 woodchucks that ate all of my cucumbers and zucchini. I was so mad. Still am. They have been relocated far, far away from my garden the litter buggers.

I spent quite a few nights by the fire. I took some photos. I grilled a lot, I lazed about, I read, I met a friend from Georgia, I had a 4th of July party, I got a pedicure, I wore flip flops all the time.

I enjoyed it all. Really I did.

I’m back now. I have some pretty pictures to share with you all as well as some delicious food.

Sorry I was away for so long, but I needed this time.

Did you miss me?? I missed you all.

So in addition to this Honey Bun Cake recipe I’m having a little giveaway. It’s just a small one. It involves pampering. Who doesn’t need more of that in their lives right? Scroll to the end to read more on the giveaway.

Now on to this cake. This cake is your perfect morning cake to go with a cup of coffee or a bug cuppa tea. It's moist and soft and covered in a sticky glaze that really is like eating a big sticky bun! My kids loved it!


Honey Bun Cake 1

Honey Bun Cake
recipe adapted from The Country Cook
Printable recipe
1 box yellow cake mix
3/4 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
8oz container sour cream

For filling:
1 cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon cinnamon

Glaze:
2 cups powdered sugar
4 Tablespoons milk
1 Tablespoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9×13 pan with nonstick spray and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.

In the bowl of a mixer, combine cake mix, oil, eggs , and sour cream. Beat on low speed for a few seconds, then on medium just until batter is fully combined and all large lumps are gone. (about a minute)

Pour half of batter into prepared pan. Spread evenly (batter will be thick). Sprinkle all of the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture evenly across the surface. Cover with remaining cake batter, spreading evenly (spreading can be a bit difficult because the batter is thick — if some of the topping shows through or ends up mixed in with the top layer, it’s totally fine). Bake cake for about 30-40 minutes, until center is set.

Make the glaze by whisking together the powdered sugar, milk , and vanilla in a medium bowl. Pour over  the warm cake and spread evenly. Glaze will set as it cools.


The Giveaway.

With warm weather comes sundresses, short shorts and tank tops, but after this winter your skin may need some extra TLC. Body Benefits by Body Images introduces two unique takes on a bath-time favorite to get you fresh and clean in the shower while smoothing and toning skin.

· Skin Smoothing Beauty Massager – a skin-tingling, dual-function sponge creates a rich lather while the massager polishes for softer, younger-looking skin




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Both of these skin-improving beauty massagers are now available at retailers nationwide for $3.99. For more information please visitbodybenefitsbath.com.

To win a set of these:
1 lucky winner will be chosen. Contest only open to folks in the USA.

Answer this question:

What's your favorite thing about summer?

If you don't have a blog, please leave me an email address to contact you (no email and I'll move on to the next name).

There are three ways to enter: (1) leave a comment on the blog (2) If you haven't already, go “like” The Cutting Edge of Ordinary on Facebook or (3) Already a fan? Just leave a comment here or on Facebook to let me know! Facebook comments will count as entries.

Giveaway ends on Wednesday, July 30th midnight eastern standard time.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Baked Blueberry Lemon French Toast



Hello foodie friends. I'm trying to drag myself away from the yard and garden long enough to make something delicious to share with you all.

Guess what? It's breakfast time again.

I know I've posted quite a few breakfast recipes over the past few months. I can't help it. I just love them! I especially love the make-ahead recipes cause I can leisurely throw them together on a Saturday night and sleep in a bit later on Sunday morning. Pop it in the oven and in less than an hour we have a delicious poppin' hot breakfast.

I used up the second to last bag of my summer blueberries of 2013 for this recipe. I can't wait for blueberry picking 2014! I'm loading up baby!

Please try this scrumptious recipe. Using the King Hawaiian Rolls gives it just a touch of extra sweetness. It's perfect for a lazy Sunday morning breakfast.




Baked Blueberry Lemon French Toast 
recipe from Damn Delicious
Printed recipe
1 (12-count) package King's Hawiian Sweet Dinner Rolls, cubed
1 cup blueberries
2 cups milk
4 large eggs
1/4 cup maple syrup
Zest of 1 lemon
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

For the Crumb Topping
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

Lightly coat a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick spray. Place a layer of bread cubes evenly into the baking dish. Top with blueberries in an even layer, repeating 2 more times and ending with a layer of bread. (I didn't do this. I just put the bread down and threw all the blueberries on top)

In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, maple syrup, lemon zest, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour mixture evenly over the bread cubes. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

To make the crumb topping, combine flour, sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Add cold butter and toss to coat, using your fingers to work the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the bread cubes. Place into oven and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve immediately, sprinkled with confectioners' sugar, if desired.

Friday, June 13, 2014

4 Ingredient Moist and Delicious Chocolate Cake



My oldest son turned nineteen last week. Nineteen! I can hardly believe it. We stopped the big birthday parties at age 18, so we were planning on taking him out to dinner and then having cake at home later. I drove 30 minutes to visit a dairy farm to buy him a fruit tart (which was amazing by the way) and then realized that my youngest son wouldn’t go ten feet near a fruit tart. I know it wasn’t his birthday, but I wanted him to have something sweet to eat too so I went looking for an easy chocolate cake recipe on Pinterest.

There were lots and lots of recipes to choose from. I chose this one from Eat, Live, Run.

4 ingredient cake that is moist and delicious. 4 ingredients. No eggs, no oil. It’s crazy right?

I was skeptical about this recipe. I read the reviews. Those that made it really liked it, so I decided to give it a try.

Let me just preface this to say I made this cake 2 times in 24 hours! It was that good. It was that easy. You literally can throw this cake together in like 2 minutes.

My son had 4 friends unexpectedly show up at the house when we were about to have cake. Now that little fruit tart wasn’t going to cut it so I was glad I had this cake. All the guys loved it. Most of them had 2 pieces. You know you’ve got a good recipe on your hands when big teenage guys devour it.

Yes it uses a boxed cake mix and instant pudding. I’m ok with that. I make cakes from scratch all the time, so using a boxed mix is allowed. Heck , when you are in a hurry it’s welcome! Speaking of hurried…..so I said I made this cake 2 times in 24 hours. My youngest informed me that he needed to bring in something for a class party the next day! Yikes. Good thing I had everything on hand to make it again. He took it to school and came back with an empty cake carrier and told me “you should have made 2 cakes, everyone loved it”.

There is no oil, there is no eggs! Just 4 ingredients!

This recipe is a keeper!



4 Ingredient Most & Delicious Chocolate Cake
Printable recipe
recipe from Eat, Run, Live.
1 box – chocolate cake mix (18.25 ounces)
1 small package (3.4 ounces) instant chocolate pudding
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (I don’t measure, just sprinkle until the top is full!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 pan.

In a large bowl combine the pudding mix and the milk Whisk for 1 minute, just until it thickens up a bit. Add the cake mix (just the dry mix–don’t add anything else) and stir well to combine. This batter will be very thick! I used use an off-set spatula to spread it out evenly. Scatter chocolate chips on top.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until edges pull away from sides. Cool, cut, eat!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Vegetable Quiche




I know Mother's Day was ages ago but I'm just now getting around to posting about it. When I'm home I'm usually outside weeding or watering or taking care of something in the yard. I love the extra daylight hours. I always feel like I'm getting gypped out of time when I come home from work during the fall and winter. Spring and summer make me feel like I'm gaining that time back. Makes me happy.

I made a lovely brunch for my Mom for Mother’s Day. I hadn’t done a brunch before. Usually I'd make dinner or just recently over the past few years we went out, but I was feeling the breakfast vibe and wanted to test out a few recipes so brunch it was!

Let me just tell you I am in love with this quiche recipe. I followed basic foolproof quiche instructions from The Kitchn and then tweaked it to my likings.

It was everything a quiche should be. The ratio of veggies to custard egg mixture was perfect. I doubles the recipe and made two. We loved it so much I'm thinking that I might make Sunday's quiche day. Cook one up and use it for breakfasts through the week.

The beauty of this recipe is that you can use whatever veggies (or meat) that you like. I used leeks, mushroom and julienned zucchini. I have a nifty julienne tool so my zucchini was like thin string of  spaghetti. It cooked really quickly too! I topped it off with some grape tomato slices and a few sprigs of fresh thyme just so it looked pretty too. It was Mother's Day after all.

Just make sure to cook your veggies before they go into the quiche. You don't want watery mushroom or spinach to ruin it.

I used a combination of mozzarella and cheddar in my quiche too cause it's what I had on hand but a nice Gruyere or Swiss would do nicely too.



Vegetable Quiche
Printable recipe
1- 9 inch pie crust
2 cups filling ingredients (whatever you like, i.e,  bacon, mushrooms, onions, spinach, etc)
1-2 cups (3 oz - 6 oz) grated cheese, like Gruyere, Swiss, or Cheddar
3 large eggs
¾ cup milk
½ cup half and half or heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt
dash pepper
teaspoon Italian seasonings
½ teaspoon fresh thyme

9-inch cake or pie pan - straight-sided is traditional, but a pan with sloped sides works fine.

Blind-Bake the Crust: Line a 9-inch pie plate with parchment and spray the sides with non-stick spray. Roll out the pie crust and fit it into the tin. Heat the oven to 375°F. Line the pie crust with parchment and fill with pie weights or beans. Make sure the weights are snug against the sides of the pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes or just until lightly brown. Remove the weights and parchment. Let cool.

While the crust is baking, prepare your quiche filling. Make sure all ingredients are cooked through and are fairly dry. (i.e., make sure spinach has wilted and that cooked mushrooms have released all their moisture.)

Sprinkle half the cheese over the bottom of the pie crust and top with the fillings. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over top.

Whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, salt, pepper Italian seasonings and thyme until frothy. Pour the custard into the pie crust.

Bake the quiche at 350°F for 30 to 40 minutes, until the edges are set but the quiche still jiggles just a little in the center. Cool for at least 20 minutes. Quiche can be served cold, room temperature, or warmed. If serving warm, heat in a 300°F oven until just warm to the touch.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Grandma Virginia’s Light Lemon Cake



Who doesn't love a recipe that has the word Grandma in the title? You know it's going to be good.

This recipe was made by a real Grandma. Mindi at Home Grown Beets got this recipe from her hubby's Grandma one 4th of July and Mindi has been making it ever since and I can see why.

There was a time when you could not get me to eat anything with lemon in it. I was a lemon hater. I don't know what happened. I guess my tastes have changes cause now I'm a freakin lemon lover.

I saw this on Pinterest. I see everything on Pinterest, I just don't get around to making 98% of what I pin! This lemon cake was calling my name.

Yes, it uses a boxed lemon cake. Get over it. Boxed cake mixes happen (and instant pudding too!). This cake is super light and delicious. It's not overly lemony or artificial tasting. The texture is almost like a sponge cake and that topping is so light and fluffy, I could have eaten it with a spoon!

This is the perfect refreshing summer dessert! I'm already planning on serving it for my 4th of July party.




Grandma Virginia's Light Lemon Cake
recipe from Home Grown Beets
Printable Recipe
For the Cake
1 box (18.25oz) Lemon Cake Mix
1 box (3.4oz) Instant Lemon Pudding Mix
1 ¾ Cups Water
3 Egg Whites

For the Topping:
3/4 Cup Milk
1/2 tsp. Lemon Extract (optional, I omitted)
1 box (3.4oz) Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix
1 Carton (8 oz.) Frozen Whipped Topping

Combine the lemon cake mix, the pudding mix, water and egg whites. Beat on low speed for 1 minute. Pour into a greased 9 x 13 x 2 in. baking pan. Bake at 350 for 23-28 minutes or until cake test done. Cool.

Combine all the topping ingredients in a mixing bowl. Beat on low for 2 minutes. Fold in whipped topping. Spread over cake. Keep refrigerated.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Mandarin Chicken Salad



I know I've been a bit laxed with posting lately, but it's spring and my yard is alive and I have lots of stuff to do! There is a garden to be planted and flowers to tend to and a yard that is finally sprung to life after a long hard winter. I have to admit, I haven't been in the kitchen a whole lot. I usually drag myself in and have to spend 20 minutes cleaning the dirt out from under my nails before I can even begin to think about dinner.

We've had more than a few salads lately. Quick and easy dinners are what's happening at the moment. This salad is my new favorite.

I could eat it by the boatload, I swear. I'm a little obsessed with it right now.

Sometimes I add the chicken in, sometimes I don't. I think this would work well with cooked shrimp too. Yeah. Now I'm going to have to try that.

I love the tang of the mandarin orange and the crunch of the noodles.

I substituted broccoli slaw from the original coleslaw mix that was in the original recipe. We just like it a lot more, but if coleslaw is your thing, go right ahead and use it.



Mandarin Chicken Salad
Adapted from Betty Crocker Cookbook
Printable recipe

2 tablespoons butter
1 package (3 oz) chicken-flavored ramen
2 tablespoons of sesame seeds
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 Tablespoon of sesame oil (or vegetable oil if you don’t have sesame)
2 cups cooked chicken, diced
1/4 cup dry-roasted peanuts
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1 bag (14-16 oz) broccoli slaw
1 can (14 oz) mandarin orange segments, drained

Melt butter in 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Stir in ramen noodle seasoning packet. Break up the noodles into bite-sized pieces and add them into the butter mixture. Cook for 2 minutes stirring a few times. Add in the sesame seeds. Cook until noodles are golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside.

For the dressing
Combine the sugar, vinegar and oil. Whisk until combined.

In a large bowl, combine the broccoli mix, mandarin oranges, green onions, peanuts and chicken.
When you are ready to serve the salad, add the dressing and the noodles to the salad mixture and toss.

Friday, May 9, 2014

ScentSational Spring Giveaway!




Sorry I've been away so long. Spring has sprung and we've been out working in the yard and getting some projects done. No time to blog until now!

I'm kicking off spring with this wonderful giveaway from ScentSationals!

I’m a candle lovin’ fool. If you walked into my house you’d swear I owned stock in Yankee Candle. I love the jarred candles. I even have a primitive cupboard in my living room that is filled with nothing but candles and candle accessories. That’s how obsessed I am.

Now I found something new and I want to share it with you all.

ScentSationals Wickless Candles. You can read more about them here. I love this product!

I love that there are dozens and dozens of warmers to choose from. I mean there is a style for every person you’d want to buy for. I scrolled through and wanted like....oh 15 of them!

I love that some of them use an Edison bulb to melt the wax. That Edison bulb is so cool looking!

Another thing I love about them is, you’re not just getting a wax melter, you’re getting a light for your room. My nautical warmer casts a soft, warm light across half of my living room!

I can’t gush enough over the fantastic way it makes my house smell. Once that wax melts, the whole room is bathed in a beautiful scent. I’ve had lots of tart warmers over the course of my life and none have smelled so good for so long. Plus, you don’t have to worry about leaving a candle burning.

Here’s mine. I choose the nautical warmer because I liked how you could see the bulb really well.



I love them so much that I asked the nice folks at ScentSationals if I could get one to host a giveaway and they said “yes”. So I’m giving away this beauty and some tarts to go with it!



I might have to pick this one up for myself! It's got that shabby chic look that I love.

Wouldn't you love to have that in your home? Well here's how to enter:

1 lucky winner will be chosen. Contest only open to folks in the USA.

Answer this question:

What's your favorite scent?

If you don't have a blog, please leave me an email address to contact you (no email and I'll move on to the next name).

There are three ways to enter: (1) leave a comment on the blog (2) If you haven't already, go “like” The Cutting Edge of Ordinary on Facebook or (3) Already a fan? Just leave a comment here or on Facebook to let me know! Facebook comments will count as entries.

Giveaway ends on midnight Wednesday, May 14th eastern standard time.

One lucky winner will receive this warmer plus a variety of tarts!