September 13, 2018

Peach Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

A few years back we planted a peach tree and this was the first year we got peaches from it and we got a LOT of peaches.  I have already made three batches of this low-sugar Peach Jam, I've made peach milkshakes and I still have a bunch of peaches left.  So, I threw some in this amazing cake.
The great thing is, this is a shortcut recipe.  I love using cake mixes and "doctoring" them up to create delicious cakes.  You always get consistent results when using a cake mix.  I used fresh peaches in this cake, but you can also used frozen peaches, if you prefer.  If you want to use frozen peaches, check out this post for directions.    

When eaten without frosting there is no mistaking this is a peach cake.  You can totally taste the peach flavor.  Once you top it with the cream cheese frosting, the peach flavor is there, but doesn't stand out quite as much.  This is a super moist cake with a great texture and a recipe I will have to make each year with my fresh peaches. 
You might also like:

Peach Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
(Printable Recipe)

1 (15.25 oz.) box yellow cake mix
2 (3 oz.) pkgs. peach jell-o
4 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. canola or vegetable oil
2 c. fresh peaches, peeled and diced (around 4-5 peaches)

Cream Cheese Frosting
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner
1/2 c. (8 Tbl.) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, room temperature
pinch of salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1-2 Tbl. milk, only if needed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9x13-inch cake pan; set aside.  In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, powdered jell-o, eggs, vanilla and the oil.  Whisk together until combined.  Fold the diced peaches into the cake batter.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan.  Bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (or with just a few moist crumbs).  Cool completely and then top with cream cheese frosting.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:  In a medium mixing bowl, beat together butter and cream cheese until creamy.  Add the salt and vanilla and mix again.  Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until frosting is smooth and creamy.  If it's too thick, add a little milk until it reaches desired spreading consistency.  

Jenn's Notes:  This cake gets very dark when baking, but it doesn't taste burnt.  I also added 1 Tablespoon of Vanilla Bean Paste to my frosting, but that is totally optional.  

Base cake recipe adapted from: The Food Charlatan

September 1, 2018

Chocolate Confetti Chip Cookies

I found the funnest thing when shopping at Walmart the other day.  Confetti Chips!  They are so cute. . . speckled white chips that almost taste like cake batter.  Of course, I bought two bags and immediately made some cookies.  

I used my current favorite chocolate cookie recipe.  These cookies are soft and chewy with the perfect touch of chocolate.  
I love this recipe, not only does it always produce delicious cookies, but I always have the ingredients on hand.  Plus, this recipe makes a bunch of cookies, so there is always plenty to share. However, if you don't want that many cookies hanging out in your kitchen, then you can easily cut this recipe in half.  

Next time you are at the store, pick up a bag of this fun confetti baking chips and make yourself a batch of cookies.  
You might also like:

Chocolate Confetti Chip Cookies
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner
(Printable Recipe)

1 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
1 c. sugar
1 c. light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 (11 oz.) bag confetti baking chips (about 2 cups)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar and brown sugar for two minutes.  Scrape down the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and mix until light and fluffy.  Mix in the vanilla.  In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt and gradually mix into wet mixture.  Mix until just combined.  Stir in confetti chips.  Spray cookie sheets with cooking spray.  

Form dough into roughly 1 1/2- 2 inch balls (I like to use a 1 3/4 Tablespoon cookie scoop).   Place dough balls on cookie sheet, leaving 2-inches between each.  Bake for 8-9 minutes or until tops of cookies start to crack (mine are perfect at 9 minutes).  Remove from oven and transfer cookies to a wire cooling rack and cool completely.  Repeat with remaining cookie dough.  Makes around 40 cookies.  

Base cookie recipe adapted from: Jamie Cooks It Up

August 20, 2018

One Pot Chicken Parmesan Pasta with Artichokes and Spinach

School starts this week, which means quick and easy dinner recipes are much needed.  This recipe is not only quick to make, but it's also made all in one pot.  How easy is that?  You start by cooking the pasta in a mixture of water and milk, then you add the remaining ingredients and cook for a few minutes until the sauce turns thick and creamy.  

I added spinach and artichokes to mine, but I can think of so many other vegetables that would be great in this . . . like broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, corn, asparagus and so many more.  Just make sure if you use different vegetables you either cook them first or use thawed frozen veggies.  

This recipe makes a large pot of pasta and serves a lot of people.  It also tastes great leftover.  Be sure to add this easy cheesy pasta to your dinner rotation.  
You might also like:

One Pot Chicken Parmesan Pasta
adapted from: Betty Crocker
(Printable Recipe)

4 c. water
2 (12 oz.) cans evaporated milk
1 tsp. salt
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 Lb. uncooked pasta (I use Cellentani)
2 tsp. cornstarch
2 c. diced rotisserie chicken
1 (14 oz.) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 1/2 c. shredded Parmesan cheese
juice of 1 lemon
2 Tbl. unsalted butter
4 c. baby spinach (I like to roughly chop mine)
1/2 tsp. pepper
3/4 tsp. McCormick Roasted Garlic & Herb Seasoning (or similar seasoning)

In a large Dutch oven, heat water, 1 can of evaporated milk, salt, garlic and pasta over medium heat.  Simmer for 12-14 minutes, stirring frequently, until pasta is tender.  In a medium bowl, stir together remaining 1 can of evaporated milk with the cornstarch; stir in the chicken and artichoke hearts.  Add to mixture in the Dutch oven; return to a simmer, and continue to cook until sauce has thickened, about 2-3 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in half of the cheese and the lemon juice.  Then, stir in the remaining cheese (reserving a little for topping).  Last, stir in the butter, spinach, pepper and seasoning and stir until spinach has wilted and butter is melted.  Serve with reserved cheese.  Serves 7-8.  

August 12, 2018

Lemon Poppy Seed Zucchini Bread with Lemon Icing

I have been seeing lemon poppy seed zucchini bread recipes all over the place lately.  So, I figured I'd join in and post my own recipe for this delicious bread.  This bread is guaranteed to be a huge hit and the icing on the top is the perfect finishing touch. 

This is the 3rd loaf of lemon zucchini bread I have made in the past week.  The first loaf had the strangest flavor.  Then, I tried again and used buttermilk instead of sour cream and added in a little vanilla and that did the trick.  This bread is absolutely AMAZING. The 2nd loaf I made was gone within two days and then I just made the 3rd loaf today.  

This bread is so soft and moist with the perfect amount of lemon flavor.  This recipe will definitely help you use up some of that garden zucchini.  
You might also like:

Lemon Poppy Seed Zucchini Bread
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner
(Printable Recipe)

2 large eggs
2/3 c. sugar
1/2 c. canola or vegetable oil
1/2 c. buttermilk
1 c. grated zucchini (peeled or un-peeled)
grated zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon (or 2 Tbl.)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 Tbl. poppy seeds

Lemon Icing
1 c. powdered sugar
grated zest of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp. lemon extract, opt.
1-2 Tbl. milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9x5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper; set aside.  In a large bowl, whisk the eggs.  Add the sugar and whisk until thick and lemon colored.  Stir in the oil, then the buttermilk, lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla and grated zucchini.  Stir in the flour, salt, baking powder and poppy seeds just until evenly combined.  

Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake around 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove from oven and cool in pan for 10 minutes.  Then, remove from pan and cool completely. Top with icing and when icing has set, slice and serve.    

Lemon Icing:  In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar, lemon zest, lemon extract and 1 Tablespoon of milk.  Stir until smooth.  If icing is too thick, add a little more milk until it reaches desired consistency.  Pour over cooled loaf.  

August 1, 2018

Guacamole Deviled Eggs

Hello, August!  Today, I am sharing a really delicious and unique deviled egg recipe with you to help spread the word about National Family Meals Month, which is coming up in September.

This post is sponsored by Eggland's Best.  All opinions expressed herein are my own.  The information about Eggland's Best eggs and the below paragraph were provided by Eggland's Best.

Eggland's Best (EB) and the American Heart Association have teamed up to help educate families on the importance of spending time together and eating healthy and nutritious meals.  In honor of National Family Meals Month, EB and the American Heart Association's Healthy For Good movement are calling on families across America to take the Family Meals Pledge and commit to spending an additional "dozen" minutes around the table while enjoying nutritious meals together.  Research shows that family meals can greatly benefit the health and wellbeing of our children.

My family doesn't get to spend breakfast or lunch together often, but we always make sure to sit down and have dinner together.  It's such a good time to sit down, unwind, and talk about our day.  I think it's important to find the time each day to share a meal with your family.  

You might think you can't find the time to do this, but you have to make time. 
Now, onto these delicious deviled eggs.  I'm not a huge fan of regular deviled eggs, but these guacamole ones are really really tasty.  I am a HUGE guacamole lover, but it's not the healthiest when you are devouring it with chips.  So, adding guacamole to egg white shells is a much healthier idea. 

I used none other than Eggland's Best eggs for this recipe.  

Eggland's Best (EB) is the #1 branded egg in the U.S. and is an excellent source of vitamins D, B12, E, B5 and riboflavin.  EB eggs have six times more vitamin D, more than double the Omega-3s, 10 times more vitamin E and 25% less saturated fat than ordinary eggs.  Independent testing has also confirmed that Eggland's Best eggs stay fresh longer than ordinary eggs.  
This recipe comes from the American Heart Association.  By discarding all but two of the eggs yolks and using avocados in their place is a great way to lower saturated fat in this crowd-pleasing appetizer.  

Plus, adding sour cream to guacamole is a genius idea.  I love sour cream and the flavor really adds something to these eggs.  I am going to do that from now on.  

These deviled eggs are creamy and so so good.  You have got to try them.

Now, remember to make time to spend an additional "dozen" minutes around the table with your family. 

Guacamole Deviled Eggs
From: American Heart Association
(Printable Recipe)

9 large Eggland's Best eggs
1 medium avocado, halved and pitted
2 Tbl. fat-free sour cream
1 1/2 tsp. fresh lime juice
1/3 c. seeded and finely chopped Roma tomatoes (1-2 tomatoes)
1/4 c. finely chopped scallions
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1-2 tsp. finely chopped jalapeno
chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish, opt.

Make the hard boiled eggs: Fill a large pot with cold water, add all the eggs, and bring mixture to a boil over high heat.  As soon as the water begins to boil, cover with a lid, remove pot from the heat, and let eggs sit for 10 minutes.  Drain water and transfer eggs to a bowl of cold water to cool.

When the eggs are cool enough to handle, remove the shells.  Slice each egg in half lengthwise.  Remove the yolks, adding just two whole eggs yolks into a medium bowl and discarding the remaining seven egg yolks.  Place the egg white halves onto a platter.

Slice the avocado in half and remove the pit.  Use a spoon to scoop the avocado's flesh into the bowl with the egg yolks.  Use a fork to mash the avocado and egg yolks together.  Stir in the sour cream and lime juice.

Add the finely chopped tomatoes and scallions.  Add the salt, pepper and finely chopped jalapeƱo.  Stir together to combine.

Spoon the guacamole into each egg white half, dividing the mixture between all 18.  Garnish with a sprinkle of chopped cilantro, if desired.  Serve.

July 27, 2018

Chewy Butterscotch Zucchini Blondies

Zucchini season is finally here!  Hopefully you guys are zucchini fans, because I am planning to try out a bunch of new recipes.  First up, we have these seriously amazing blondies.  I have made this recipe twice in the past week.  This recipe doesn't require a mixer and it only dirties one pan.  Who knew you could add zucchini to a blondie and still have a rich and chewy cookie bar.  These are going to become a regular at my house.
Even though these have a bunch of brown sugar in them, they aren't overly sweet.  They have really really good flavor.  I added butterscotch chips to these, but you could add a different type of chip, if you prefer.  

Since the mixture is warm when you stir in all the ingredients a lot of the butterscotch chips will melt into the batter and make it extra yummy.  Just like with brownies, the extra chewy edges are my favorite.  I love these plain and they taste great for several days, but I also love them cut up extra small and served with ice cream.  Yum!!
These were a huge hit.  Even my niece and nephew loved these and they had no clue there was zucchini in there :)

You might also like:

Chewy Butterscotch Zucchini Blondies
(Printable Recipe)

11 Tbl. unsalted butter
2 c. light brown sugar, packed
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 large egg
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. finely grated zucchini
1 c. butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together.  Remove from heat and cool for a few minutes.  Stir in the vanilla extract.  Quickly stir in the egg (remember the mixture is warm and you don't want the egg to scramble).  Stir in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Mixture will be thick and slightly dry at this point.  Stir in the zucchini and 3/4 cup of the butterscotch chips until evenly incorporated.

Spread into a 9x13-inch baking pan that has been lined with parchment paper and sprayed with cooking spray.  Top with remaining 1/4 cup of butterscotch chips.  Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean.  Cool and cut into 24 squares.  

adapted from: Creations by Kara