Archive for December, 2012

I am going a little off-subject here, but most people love doughnuts, especially Krispy Kremes.  I LIKE doughnuts, but they are not the first thing I want when I crave a sweet except maybe the raspberry filled ones.  Those are my favorite! Then a local restaurant served a white chocolate raspberry cake (not from scratch, but still pretty good) and I wanted to try my hand at making one.

This recipe is not completely from scratch either since it takes advantage of a white cake mix for the cake, but the taste was awesome!  It also turned out to be really pretty with the white cake, white frosting and the bright red raspberry jam filling.  Yum!

The cake recipe is from Kraft.com and the frosting is from Diana’s Desserts.


For the cake:

1 pkg.  (6 squares) BAKER’S White Chocolate, chopped

1/2 cup  butter or margarine

1 pkg.  (2-layer size) white cake mix

1 cup  milk

3 eggs

1 tsp.  vanilla

1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam

For the frosting:

4 1/2 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
1 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick/3 oz./85g) unsalted butter, softened
Pinch of salt


Preheat oven to 350°F.  Prepare 2 (9-inch) round pans; set aside. Microwave chocolate and butter in medium microwaveable bowl on HIGH 2 min. or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted; cool slightly.


Combine cake mix, milk, eggs, vanilla and chocolate mixture in large bowl with mixer until well blended. Pour into prepared pans.


Bake 25 to 28 min. or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans 10 min.; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool cakes completely.


For the frosting:

Melt the white chocolate in a double boiler. Stir until smooth. Let cool to room temperature.

Sift the confectioners’ sugar into a medium bowl. Stir in the milk and vanilla. Add the butter and salt and beat until smooth. Stir in the cooled white chocolate. Refrigerate until firm enough to frost the cake, about 30 minutes.

I then split the cake layers in half so I would have more filling to enjoy.  Place 1/2 of a layer on to the cake plate and spread half of the raspberry jam and a dollop of frosting.  Do this in between each split layer.


Spread the remaining frosting over the entire cake.  Chill for about an hour and enjoy!



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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from our home to yours! 


May the amazing Lord above and our wonderful savior Jesus Christ light your path and may you feel the abundance of His blessings all year long!

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Have you ever read a recipe and think that there is no way it could be good?  This is definitely one of those.  I first tried this dish years ago when a co-worker brought it to a Christmas dinner and was hooked.  There are several different variations of this on the internet, but not this exact recipe so I don’t know where it originated before my co-worker had it.  If you like pineapple, give this a shot and I think you will be pleasantly surprised.  I could eat the whole pan!


3/4 cup granulated sugar

3 tbsp. all purpose flour

20 oz. pineapple chunks, drained & reserve 3 tbsp. juice

10 oz. crushed pineapple, drained

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (Shred it yourself.  None of the pre-shredded non-melting cheese.)

1 cup Ritz cracker crumbs

1/2 stick butter


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8 inch baking dish with non-stick spray.  Combine the sugar, flour, and reserved juice in a medium saucepan.  Cook over low heat until the sugar melts.


Add the drained pineapple and cheese; stir to combine.  Pour this into the prepared baking dish.  Melt the butter and stir in the cracker crumbs.  Sprinkle the butter/crumb mixture on top of the pineapple.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly.





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Hello, again!  It’s Friday so it is time for another Book Beginnings post.  Please join me and other bloggers at Rose City Reader for this fun and informative link party.  I am always amazed at the various genres of book that we all read and enjoy!

Today, my first lines come from Karen White’s book, “The Color of Light”:

“Jillian Parrish stood barefoot in her backyard, her toes curled into the cool grass, and wrapped her hands around the neck of her telescope.”

I think that this is a very descriptive opening line and it makes you feel like Jillian is seriously searching for something and she is.  This was an enjoyable book that is a fairly easy read.

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When I first found the blog, Plain Chicken, on Pinterest, I was hooked!  Their site is full of easy and delicious recipes and all of them that I have tried have turned out great.  I started making their Bubble Up Pizza months ago, and it has become one of our favorites.

Now they have a Bubble Up Enchilada that is just as good, if not better than the original pizza recipe.  This is quick and easy and, oh, so tasty!  It makes a wonderful week night supper, but would also be perfect to take to a potluck meal.

This is the first time ever that I have used enchilada sauce and now I am wondering why.  I loved the flavor and may use it in place of taco sauce with other recipes.

Bubble Up Enchilada Bake

1 lb. lean ground beef

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped bell pepper

1 packet taco seasoning

8 oz. tomato sauce

10oz. can enchilada sauce

12oz. can refrigerated biscuits

2 cups Mexican cheese blend


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cook the beef with the onion and bell pepper until the meat is cooked through.  Drain any excess grease.  Add the taco seasoning, enchilada sauce, tomato sauce and 1 cup of cheese.  Stir.




Tear the biscuits into fourths and put into a large bowl.  Pour the meat mixture over the biscuit pieces and toss to combine.  Pour this into a greased 13×9” casserole dish.



Bake for 25 minutes then sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top.  Bake for another 10 minutes and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.


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C is a big burger fan, but sometimes I get tired of plain old burgers and try to come up with some new ideas.  I have had a few failures, but some successes, too.  When I posted about my steakburger recipe here, I came up with the idea of a taco burger.  Now I know this probably isn’t a new concept, but this is my original recipe and it turned out pretty good.

Taco Burgers

1/2 lb. lean ground beef

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 tbsp. taco seasoning

2 buns

2 slices provolone cheese

taco sauce to taste


Combine the beef, oil and seasoning and make 2 patties from this mixture.


Grill over medium high heat for 8-10 minutes for medium well to well done.  Toast the bun.  Add the cheese and continue toasting until cheese just starts to melt.  Add the burger patty and top with taco sauce.



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Please join me at Rose City Reader for Book Beginnings.  Grab a book, jot down the first line or two and give us your impression.  I really enjoy finding new authors and books this way because everyone has such different tastes!

The book I have today is “Pieces of The Heart” by Karen White.  I recently read Ms. White’s book “On Folly Beach” and loved it so I went looking for more of her work.  Luckily, my local library had several of Ms. White’s books so I picked this one.  Here are the first couple of sentences:

“Caroline sat and watched the small rock drop from her hand and into the dark, still water of Lake Ophelia, breaking the surface with a small plop.  The ripples eddied out in tiny circles, gradually spreading into great gaping spheres of silent water, reaching out toward the depths of the lake until she couldn’t see them anymore.”

I have to say that the author can definitely set the scene.  I can just see the small waves in the water of the lake and almost feel the lake breeze, too.  So far this is a good book, maybe not quite as good as “On Folly Beach”, but still enjoyable.

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I want to apologize for my lacking of blogging lately.  Thankfully I had several recipes and book beginnings posts already scheduled or this would have been one quiet speck on the internet.  Cue crickets chirping here.  My life was turned upside down on October 22nd when my father was involved in a very serious car accident.

He had to be flown to a Level 1 trauma hospital two hours away and was there for five weeks. His lungs were so damaged that he had to be on a ventilator for three weeks.  He had a skull fracture, nine broken ribs, broken sternum, five cracked vertebrae, broken left femur, broken left ulna, and a broken right wrist. The doctors kept him sedated for four weeks to let all of the injuries heal as much as possible.  I have never experienced anything like this in my life.  I had dealt with my mom’s illness and death, but I had never watched someone heal from trauma and injuries like this.  It is a very slow process.

I also know that none of us could have gotten through this without God and Jesus on our side.  I lost track of the number of times that I went to Him begging for help and healing and He came through every single time.  I am so glad that my family and I are Christians and have that healing power to call on in times of need.  If you don’t know Christ and have God in your heart, seek Him now!  He can bring such peace and comfort to you in times of stress and heartache.

Since I am an only child and my mom is deceased, I am the next of kin.  In those five weeks, I came home three days and spent one night in my own bed.  Please don’t pity me…I did it because I wanted to, but I am so glad that we are closer to home.  Dad is now in a rehab facility about an hour away from us and he will be there for several more weeks. 

Because of this, there has been absolutely NO cooking going on here.  My nanny cooked us a small Thanksgiving dinner and it was the first home-cooking we had since the accident.  It was so good!  I so missed being able to cook for the holiday and I probably won’t be doing too much for Christmas either.

C & I are back at work and going to see Dad every evening that we can.  Thankfully, Dad’s girlfriend, E, lives in the same town as the rehab center so she can go by every day.  That sure takes a load off of me.  Hopefully, he will be home in a couple of months and be completely independent.  They just have to wait for all of the broken bones to heal before they can do the intense physical therapy he will need. 

So please bear with me and come back often.  I promise to get back on the bandwagon as soon as I am able.  I so miss the cooking,photography. and writing. 

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While browsing Pinterest one day, I found this Jello salad recipe and thought it looked pretty tasty.  I checked out the originating site, Six Sisters’ Stuff, and realized these ladies know what they are doing. 

I made Orange Fluff Salad to go with a chocolate chip Bundt cake and the combination was so very good.  It was almost too good, because every time I went through the kitchen, I had to stop and take a bite.  Needless to say, I ended up sharing this with family and friends so I wouldn’t eat it all!

Orange Fluff Salad

1 large package Cook and Serve vanilla pudding

1 large pack orange gelatin (I couldn’t find a large box so I used 2 small.)

2 cups water

1 16oz. container frozen whipped topping

1/2 bag mini-marshmallows

1 can pineapple tidbits, drained (any size)

1 can mandarin oranges, drained (any size)



In a medium sauce over medium heat, combine the pudding, gelatin and water.  Cook and stir until it boils.  Remove from the heat and pour into a large mixing bowl.


Refrigerate until the mixture has thickened (about an hour).  Beat until creamy and add the remaining ingredients.  Chill for about an hour before serving.



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