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Friday, July 30, 2010

Homemade Tomato Sauce.....LOVE this stuff!

I have a confession to make. A serious confession at that.  But, I feel like I can tell all of you that have been following my blog - you may just understand. :-) we is my confession....

I have just started making sauce from scratch only 2 years ago.  Before that I was totally intimidated by the thought of doing so.  It wasn't until my good friend Liza shared her favorite lasagna recipe with me that had "homemade sauce" in it that I realized I could actually accomplish such a feat.  I know it may sound silly to many of you but I felt like I had just completed one of my biggest success's in life by making a yummy homemade tomato sauce. So there, that was my confession....I feel so much better now that I have shared that with all of you!

Speaking of sharing here is my version of a homemade sauce that I have created since my BIG accomplishment 2 years ago.  Please feel free to give me any suggestions or tips as to how you make your sauce....I'm always open for new ideas.

Homemade Tomato Sauce


2 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 lb. ground beef (of course ground turkey would be fine too....or no meat at all if you wish)

1 medium onion, chopped

1 clove of garlic, crushed

1 green pepper, chopped

8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced

1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes

2 (6 oz) cans tomato sauce

1 (6.5 oz) can tomato paste

2 Tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp garlic salt

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp onion powder

1-2 tsp dried or fresh chopped parsley


1. Drizzle olive oil into a Dutch oven pan and then set on medium heat.  Add chopped green pepper and onions in a Dutch oven pan....

....cook until onions become translucent and peppers start to get soft....

         ....add in crushed garlic and cook for a couple of minutes (careful not to burn the garlic!). You can either add the sliced mushrooms at this point or saute them separately.

2. Put cooked veggies in a bowl and set aside.  In the same Dutch oven brown the ground beef....

Drain any extra fat.

3. Combine with the ground meet crushed tomatoes (juice and all), tomato sauce and full can of tomato paste along with the 2 tablespoons of sugar.....

.....and then return veggies to the pot....

and spices and salt and pepper...

4. Cook over medium-low heat for 5-7 minutes and then reduce heat to simmer for a good 30 minutes...longer if you can handle it so that all the flavors really combine and cook into one another.

5. Serve over favorite pasta along with some yummy bread.  I served mine with a good blogging friend's bread sticks - which I will be sharing with you VERY soon. ;-)

Happy Homemade Tomato Sauce!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Blueberry Pudding Cake

Blueberry picking season would not be the same if I didn't make my dear friend, Cindy's lovely Blueberry Pudding Cake recipe.  It's not only absolutely OUT -OF- THIS -WORLD yummy but it is quick and easy peasy (as Cindy would say!) to make.  LOVE it! I know you will too. :-)

Blueberry Pudding Cake
(recipe from the amazing Cindy L. at The Creative Closet)

Cake Ingredients:

2 cups blueberries (I tend to use closer to 3 cups) - fresh is best...frozen is fine too

3 Tbsp Crisco (NOT oil)

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup milk

1 cup flour

1 tsp baking powder

Topping Ingredients:

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp cornstarch

1 cup boiling water


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8x8 pan and then place blueberries in bottom of pan...

2. Combine Crisco, sugar, milk, flour and baking powder in a medium size bowl.....

.....mix by hand, fork or spoon.....

3. Spread batter over berries......

....and then make the "topping".

4. Combine 1st three ingredients of "topping" - sugar, salt and cornstarch.....

.....mix well and then sprinkle over the blueberries/batter in pan....

5. Now pour the cup of boiling water all over topping....

6. Bake for 50-60 minutes (this is the hardest part of making this delicious have to wait for it to bake!!!).  Bake until golden brown on top. When it comes out of the oven it is all puffed up and gorgeous and then it falls down a bit...unfortunately, I didn't get that special moment on camera to share with all of you - so you'll just have to make it for yourself to find out!

Served with a good vanilla ice cream is the bomb...

Ohhhhh HEAVEN!

And as Cindy suggests, don't be afraid to double this little gem of a recipe - just make it in a 9x13 pan instead of an 8x8.

This post has been linked to...

Happy Blueberry Pudding Cake Baking!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Blueberry Raspberry Coffee Cake

What do YOU do when you have a whole bunch of blueberries and raspberries?  Well, when I am in such a place I go right on over to the Tasty Kitchen blog and punch in "raspberries" and "blueberries" and see what kind of recipes pop up.  This lovely recipe that I will be sharing with you today was one of my choices to choose from....and boy oh boy am I happy with it!  I've probably made this recipe a good 3 times in the short time since I have discovered it- LOVE it!  Plus the cake feeds a crowd = extra bonus!

The Tasty Kitchen member named "Meeshiesmom" from Meeshiesmom's Blog is the creator of this coffee cake - thank you "Meeshiesmom" for this treasure of a cake!

Blueberry Raspberry Coffee Cake
(recipe from Meeshiesmom)

Cake Ingredients:

3 cups flour + 1 Tbsp for tossing into berries

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

1 1/2 cup sugar

1 cup sour cream (yogurt can be substituted easily)

1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

1 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen)

Topping Ingredients:

1 cup sugar

2/3 cup flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold - cut into cubes


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9x13 pan.

2. Combine 3 cups flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

3. Cream the butter in a large bowl until light, add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs one at a time.

4. Mix in dry ingredients into the creamed mixture...

 alternating with the sour cream...

....beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.

5. Combine the berries in a small bowl and gently toss with 1 tablespoon of flour....

....this helps the berries from falling to the bottom of the cake.

6. Pour half the batter into the prepared pan - you may need the help of a butter knife to spread the batter evenly.....

 ....then spoon berries over the top of the batter....

  Cover berries with remaining batter.  I dropped spoonfuls of batter on top of the berries and then gently joined the "dollops" of batter together with a butter knife.....


Directions for the topping....

1. Combine sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl.  

2. Add the cubed cold butter into the dry ingredients and combine with a pastry cutter or 2 knives.....

 until mixture is crumbly.....

3. Sprinkle topping over cake.....

4. Bake for an hour or until tester comes out clean and cake is golden brown.....

Serve warm or matter what your eyes are going to roll back into your head with yummy happiness!

Happy Blueberry Raspberry Coffee Cake Baking!

This post has been linked to...

A Southern Fairytale - Christmas in July Blog Party

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

It's a....Honey (of a) Cake!

Want a recipe for an ooey gooey yummy in the tummy cake that can be served morning, noon or night?  Well, here you go! You are going to love it!  The cake is a lovely light yellow cake that has a such of cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar running through the center of it and then topped off with a thin layer of glaze that just soaks right into the cake.  Delicious.

Honey Cake
(recipe discovered from the cookbook - Sweets - Boy, those Southerner's know how to bake!)

Cake Ingredients:

1 (18.5 oz) box yellow cake mix

3/4 cup vegetable oil

4 eggs

1 cup sour cream

1/4 cup *honey

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 Tbsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/8 tsp ground cloves

Vanilla Glaze Ingredients:

2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted

4 Tbsp milk, or more as needed

1 Tbsp vanilla extract

Cake Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Combine cake mix, vegetable oil, eggs and sour cream in a large mixing bowl....

....mix until majority of large lumps in the batter are gone. And then gently stir in the honey...

*I found that by using the 1/4 cup that I had previously measured out my veggie oil in was perfect for measuring out my 1/4 cup worth of honey - it just slid on out of the cup with no mess or extra help from a spatula.

2. Pour half of the batter into an un-greased (YES, I said un-greased) 9x13 glass cake pan and set aside....

3. In a medium bowl combine brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves and blend well.  Sprinkle onto the cake batter in pan....

 and then spoon or pour remaining batter on top of brown sugar/spice mixture....

4. Bake for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean and the cake is golden brown.  Cool cake on a wire rack.  Let the cake stand for 10 minutes while you make the Vanilla Glaze.

Vanilla Glaze Directions:

1. Sift confectioner's sugar....

 then combine with milk and vanilla extract in a large bowl.  Whisk the ingredients until smooth - glaze should be thin enough to drizzle from a spoon....if not thin enough add another tablespoon or two of milk to get the correct consistency.

2. Drizzle all over warm cake.  Make sure you get the edges too!

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Once you cut into the cake you will see the lovely yumminess of the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves mixture in between the soft layers of cake.....Heaven.  Pure, yummy Heaven.

Happy Honey Cake Baking!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Sensational Strawberry Recipes - Part 3....Strawberry Shortcake CAKE

Man this cake GOOD!  Once again the lovely, ever-so-creative Pioneer Woman has provided me with an amazing recipe.....Strawberry Shortcake Cake.  It's literally just like a tender but dense biscuit with strawberries and fluffy cream all over it except in a beautiful cake form.  A wonderful cake to make for a birthday and oh so easy to make!

Strawberry Shortcake Cake
(created by the fabulous Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman)

Cake Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups flour

3 Tbsp corn starch

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

9 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

3 whole large eggs

1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature (I used strawberry yogurt b/c I didn't have any sour cream on hand)

1 tsp vanilla extract

Icing Ingredients:

1 (8 oz.) package of cream cheese

2 sticks unsalted butter

4 cups powdered sugar, sifted

1 tsp vanilla extract

dash of salt

1 lb strawberries

6 Tbsp sugar


1. Make the cake....sift together flour, salt, baking soda and corn starch - set aside.

2. Cream together the 9 tablespoons of butter with the sugar until light and fluffy - at medium speed for about 2-3 minutes.  Add in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each egg.

3. Add in sour cream and vanilla extract to the butter/sugar/egg mixture - mix until combined.  Slowly add in the sifted dry ingredients just until combined - DO NOT OVER MIX.

4. Pour the cake into 2 greased 8" round cake pans.  Bake @ 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until cakes are lightly browned and begins to pull away from sides of pan.  Cool for a couple of minutes then remove from pans and cool completely.  Set cakes aside.

5. Clean, stem and slice in half the strawberries - place into a bowl and sprinkle with 3 tablespoons sugar.  Stir together and let sit for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, mash the strawberries....

and sprinkle with the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar.  Allow mashed strawberries and sugar to sit for another 30 minutes.  Now it's time to make the frosting and assemble the cake!

Frosting  and Cake Assembly Directions:

1. Combine cream cheese, 2 sticks of butter, sifted powdered sugar, vanilla extract and a dash of salt,  Beat all together until light and fluffy - a good 2-3 minutes. Set aside.

2. Now let's assemble the cake...take both layers of cake and carefully spread the mashed sugar strawberries over them - juices and all!

....and then place layers on top of one another.  To make it a bit easier for me to frost the whole cake I placed it in the freezer for about 10 minutes....

3. Let's frost the cake.  Start with the top...

 and then spread all over the sides.......

No worries if some of the strawberries come peeking through the just adds to the beauty of such a cake.  Decorate the top as you wish....of course I just continued on with strawberries and put a couple whole beautiful ones on top. 

This cake is pretty easy to transport but should be should be refrigerated until served.  I brought this cake to our favorite Chinese restaurant for my beloved God-Sister's BDay celebration.....

It went great with the fortune cookies, pineapple chunks and oranges and pina colada's too! :-)

Happy Birthday Ami!

Thank you so much for joining me in my series of Strawberry Recipes!  If you haven't had a chance to check out a couple of other strawberry recipes on my blog you might want to see the post on

Happy Strawberry Shortcake CAKE Baking!


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