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Dessert, Nosh

Coffee Date Pudding Cake

February 12, 2015
Coffee Date Pudding Cake_1

Today is Adrian’s birthday! I’m not sure if he’d want me to share his age, but if you remember my recent birthday, add seven years to that. (Wink) It’s also Valentine’s Day this weekend, and although Adrian is on the “it’s not a real holiday” side of the fence, we’ll combine the two by observing his birthday as well. I adore the cheesy, lovey decorations. I can’t help myself.

He is a Reese’s lover, so I’m making him this chocolate peanut butter cake on Saturday, when we’ll have a couple friends over to watch the UFC fights, that he of course chose as his way to celebrate. I don’t mind one bit! Having some friends over will get that over the top, but OMG, delicious looking cake gone faster, so you know, we don’t eat the entire thing by Monday.

Coffee Date Pudding Cake_2

 I did still want him to have a treat for his actual birthday though. What’s a birthday without one? So, I made him this Coffee Date Pudding Cake for when we get home from dinner tonight. It’s grain and refined sugar free. It’s dense, sweet, and decadent. The coffee caramel sauce is dangerous. You can definitely just enjoy a spoonful on it’s own as dessert after the cake disappears from your kitchen.

Coffee Date Pudding Cake_3

What you need

  • 2/3 cup almond flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tapioca flour
  • 1/4 cup organic honey or agave
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup pitted dates, chopped
  • 1 cup hot, brewed, strong coffee
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • coffee caramel sauce
    • 1 can full fat coconut milk
    • 1/2 cup organic honey or maple syrup
    • pinch of salt
    • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1/4 strong brewed coffee

Make it

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a spingform baking pan with coconut oil.
  3. Bake sweet potato in the oven or microwave. Let cool and mash.
  4. In a bowl, cover chopped dates with hot brewed coffee and let sit 15 minutes, then add baking soda.
  5. Mix almond, tapioca flour, and baking powder in a bowl, set aside.
  6. In standing mixer, using the flat paddle, mix sweet potato, eggs, vanilla, and sweetener.
  7. Add in the coffee and dates mixture.
  8. Add flour mixture and continue to mix for 30 seconds or so. No need to overdo it.
  9. Spread batter into greased pan and bake for 45-50 minutes minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
  10. While the cake is cooking, make the coffee caramel sauce. I used this exact recipe, but added 1/4 cup of strong coffee as well.
  11. Once cake is complete, poke holes (I used the end of a wooden spoon) about an inch apart in the cake.
  12. Pour half of the coffee caramel sauce over the cake and let it soak for at least 20 minutes before serving.
  13. Top with additional coffee caramel sauce if desired. Enjoy!

Note: Cake keeps longer refrigerated. You can just warm with the coffee caramel sauce when ready to serve.

Coffee Date Pudding Cake_4

This recipe was inspired by Martha Stewart’s Sticky Toffee Pudding and Paleo Fondue’s Sweet Potato Blondies

What are your plans for Valentine’s Day this year?
Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert, Nosh

Darling Clementine Skillet Cake

December 18, 2014
Candied Clementines_2

A tradition I adore, but isn’t typically practiced in my area, is finding a clementine in the toe of your stocking on Christmas day. They are the cutest little gifts and fit perfectly in the palm of your hand. How sweet!

Darling Clementine Skillet Cake

Did you know clementines are the result of an accidental pollination between a tangerine and sweet orange, found by Father Clement Rodier in the gardens of his orphanage in Algeria?

Darling Clementine Skillet Cake

I was interested in how the Christmas clementine tradition began and was brought back to the story of Saint Nicholas, formerly Bishop Nicholas, of Turkey. There are many variations, but if you haven’t heard them, the story goes there was a man with three daughters, too poor for dowries to marry them off. Bishop Nicholas was known to be a generous giver. He visited the home at night and threw a bag of coins (sometimes pictured as gold balls) down the chimney, landing them in the stockings left to dry on the fireplace. These coins became represented by the clementines children find in their stockings today.

Darling Clementine Skillet Cake

This lovely tradition is one I plan to bring to my family when we have children. (Even if they won’t be as excited about it as I will be!)

Darling Clementine Skillet Cake

I have been buying clementines all season and wanted to find a use for them other than snacking on them whole. I’ve also been wanting to try out different creations in my new skillet, so without further ado, here is my Darling Clementine Skillet Cake. Oh, my darling, clementine!

Darling Clementine Skillet Cake

Candying the fruit is surprisingly easy and it comes out wonderful!

Darling Clementine Skillet Cake

What you need
  • Candied clementines
    • 2 clementines, washed, ends removed, and thinly sliced
    • 2 oz. Cointreau (or another orange-flavored liqueur)
    • 1/4 cup water
    • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3 clementines, peeled and pureed (about 1 cup)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
Make it

Candied Clementines:

  1. Combine Cointreau, water, and sugar in deep frying pan
  2. Over medium heat, stir mixture until the sugar is dissolved
  3. Add the clementines to the pan in a single layer
  4. Allow the clementines to cook until the syrup evaporates some and the clementines begin to crystallize, flipping them halfway through (this will take about 20 minutes start to finish)
  5. Remove clementines from pan and place on greased dish to cool


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a cast iron skillet*, melt the butter and remove from heat
  3. Sprinkle the brown sugar on top
  4. Arrange candied clementines over the brown sugar
  5. Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet in another
  6. Add the wet ingredients to the dry
  7. Blend well, either by hand or in a mixer
  8. Pour the batter over the clementines and brown sugar
  9. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
  10. Let cool for 10 minutes, then run a knife around edge if it needs to be loosened
  11. Cover your skillet with a large plate and flip

*I used a 12-inch skillet. If you are using a 10-inch, increase the baking time to about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Then, let sit for 20 minutes before flipping the cake over.

Darling Clementine Skillet Cake
What’s your favorite holiday tale? Do you have any traditions you’ve always admired?
Breakfast, Dessert, Nosh

Cranberry Spice Sopapilla Cheesecake

November 25, 2014
Cranberry Spice Sopapilla Cheesecake_ Feature

Sopapillas…Puffed, fried, sweet, triangles of desire. Pretty hard to resist. BUT did you know when you cross them with cheesecake, you’re left with a scrumptious sopapilla cheesecake baby? That’s a union to be proud of.

I have made sopapilla cheesecake quite a few times, along with its pumpkin spice better half, and it’s always eaten up in a hurry! It’s so easy to make and sometimes you just need a quick crowd-pleaser, right? I love cooking and baking from scratch, but I really love no-brainer creations too! For this recipe the seamless dough sheets really make a difference in kitchen time.

Cranberry Spice Sopapilla Cheesecake


What you need

  • Homemade cranberry spice sauce*
    • 1 cup of fresh cranberries
    • 1/3 cup orange juice
    • 2 Tbs. sugar
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • 1/8 tsp ginger
    • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 8 oz cans of Pillsbury Crescent Recipe Creations Seamless Dough Sheets (or 2 cans of crescent rolls and just pinch the seams)
  • Filling
    • 16 oz. cream cheese, softened
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 Tbs. cinnamon
    • 1/8 tsp. ginger
    • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
    • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • Topping
    • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
    • 1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar (based on your preference)
    • 1 Tbs. cinnamon


Make it

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the ingredients for the cranberry spice sauce and bring to a boil. Let simmer for about ten minutes, until thickened. Let cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  3. In a large mixing bowl, blend softened cream cheese, sugar, and spices
  4. Fold in cooled cranberry spice sauce
  5. Lay one sheet of the seamless dough in the bottom of an ungreased 9×13 baking dish
  6. Spread filling over dough
  7. Lay the second sheet of seamless dough over the filling
  8. In a saucepan or microwave, melt the stick of butter
  9. Pour over top of the cheesecake
  10. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar blend evenly over the butter
  11. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the center sets (if it is not completely set, it will set after you let it cool and even more once chilled.)
  12. Cool and chill before cutting

Cranberry Spice Sopapilla Cheesecake

 Gooey cranberry goodness. If you chill them, they firm up nicely too.

Cranberry Spice Sopapilla Cheesecake

 Buttery, cinnamon sugar crust.


*You can also used the canned cranberry sauce if you prefer, but may lack a bit of the tartness that the fresh cranberries provide.

This recipe was inspired by Pillsbury’s Sopapilla Cheescake Bars


What are some ways you cut kitchen time with your favorite effortless concoctions?

Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert, Nosh

Cranberry French Toast Stick Pudding

October 8, 2014
Cranberry French Toast Stick Pudding

We have a ton of leftovers from the brunch…  I forced quite a few doggy bags of bagels, croissants, and muffins on our guests as they left, and we still have way more than Adrian and I can eat (especially with the wedding coming up, I don’t have time to gorge on carbs!)

I froze most of the croissants (I’ll be doing something with them soon!), rolls, and bagels, and then looked through the rest of the stock. We still had a big batch of already-baked french toast sticks left and something needed to be done with them! What I like about this leftover recipe is that it’s totally customizable.
We had granola and dried fruit left from the yogurt toppings, so I decided to throw that in. Then the glaze helps to get rid of the bulk tubs of cream cheese I bought from BJ’s. You get the idea. I bet eggnog would be a great add in for a richer pudding for the holidays too!

Here’s what you need:

  • Glaze
    • 4 ounces cream cheese (about a half of a cup), room temperature
    • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
    • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
    • 3-4 Tbsp. milk
  • 16 oz thawed French toast sticks (If you try using frozen, let me know how it goes!) – since mine were left over, it was just under the the 16 oz, but if you’re making your pudding fresh, that’s a standard box size
  • ¼ cup granola of choice
  • ¼ cup dried orange-cranberries (I used Trader Joe’s)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Make it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 F
  2. Cut your sticks in thirds (or break ’em up however)
  3. Top the toast pieces with the dried cranberries and granola
  4. Mix eggs, milk, 3 T brown sugar, and vanilla extract in a bowl, then add the liquid mixture to the pan
  5. Now, press the french toast down to soak up liquid
  6. Sprinkle with the other tablespoon of brown sugar
  7. Bake for 20 minutes, remove from oven, then cover with tinfoil – cook for 20 more minutes or until firm
  8. While it’s baking, make your cream cheese glaze.
    1. Beat cream cheese until very creamy.
    2. Beat in powdered sugar.
    3. Stir in vanilla.
    4. Add 3 tablespoons milk.
    5. Totally combine. (Add more milk to get desired consistency)
  9. After letting the pudding cool a bit, top with your cream cheese glaze and serve!

Note: I can be super impatient and I didn’t let the cream cheese get to room temp (plus our prehistoric microwave called it quits at our brunch!!) so it’s a tad lumpy. Just make sure you do or soften it in the microwave at ten seconds intervals or so.


Cranberry French Toast Stick Pudding