Cutie Cake

I am SO HAPPY with how this turned out!

I really wanted to make a clementine cake this year before they’re gone again, so I picked up a little crate then looked up a couple clementine cake recipes; what I found were flourless cakes involving springform pans, which I don’t own (oops). So I decided to take a different route and adapt an old Betty Crocker applesauce cake recipe to include clementines. It’s so good! The whole process makes your house smell amazing and the taste is incredible too!

Hi, I’m gushing.

Anyway. The prep for this involves cooking the clementines for a couple hours first so leave yourself ample cooking and cooling time.

Cutie Cake

Ingredients

  • 5 clementines
  • 1 cups Craisins
  • 2 1/2 cups + 1 Tbsp. AP flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • sprinkle of allspice
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp. powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Put the clementines in a pot and pour in enough cold water to cover; bring to a boil then cook at somewhere between a simmer and a boil for two hours; drain and cool, then halve the clementines and run them through a food processor (that’s right, the whole fruit) until you have a smooth puree
  2. Preheat oven to 350F and grease and flour a Bundt pan
  3. Toss Craisins with 1 Tbsp. flour and set aside
  4. In another bowl mix remaining flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice; stir well and set aside
  5. Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer till light and fluffy, then add in eggs one at a time, mixing after each till well incorporated. Now alternate adding in the flour mixture and the pureed clementines until batter is smooth, then stir in floured Craisins
  6. Spread batter evenly in Bundt pan (mixture will be a little thick) and bake at 350F until a toothpick comes out clean, about 45-50 minutes; cool on a rack then sprinkle with powdered sugar

I do hope y’all try this. Let me know what you think!

Simple crackers

The Yankee and I love to have snacky suppers every so often; just some crackers, some cheese, maybe some salami or dried fruit or nuts. Browsing through How to Cook Everything today I came across a recipe for crackers. Did y’all have any idea how fast it is to make crackers? I certainly did not. I gathered:

Simple crackers

Ingredients

  • 1 cup AP flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup whole milk

Instructions

  1. Combine the flour and salt, then cut in the butter like you’re making biscuits or pie dough (a few pulses in a food processor will do this nicely; I used a pastry blender this time), then add in milk
  2. Either pulse till combined in the food processor or stir in with a fork or dough whisk in a bowl
  3. Roll out 1/8 inch thick and cut out into shapes, or just score it with a knife if you want to simply break them apart later
  4. Bake at 400F on a lightly floured baking sheet or on a pizza stone for about ten minutes, then cool on a rack. Serve warm or save for later

With limitless shape options, these crackers also make a very fun kid snack.

Have fun!

Fresh limeade

Summer’s not quite over yet (as evidenced by the 90+ degree September we’re currently having in Nashville), so I thought I’d pass this one along while there’s still some heat in the air.

You can make this with lemon, lime, key lime or any combination thereof; today I had a bunch of limes so limeade it is.

Fresh limeade

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups lime juice (or lemon or key lime)
  • Additional 4 cups water

Instructions

  1. Heat the water and sugar together until the sugar is dissolved; you can do this in a saucepan on the stove or in a glass Pyrex in the microwave
  2. Let the sugar mixture cool and stir in juice and additional water
  3. Serve over ice, ideally on a veranda.

This may or may not be great with a splash of vodka. I haven’t heard either way. Ahem.

Craisin peach crumble bars

Ohhhhh my moly.

If I were the demanding type I’d demand that you make these immediately. I’m not, of course so I’ll just strongly suggest it.

The peaches are so good this year and I bought more than I’ll ever be able to eat, so I wanted to some up with something to do with them. This is based on the apple crisp recipe, but with more of the crumble part so that you end up with a crust. It is OH so good.

Craisin peach crumble bars

Ingredients

  • 2 medium-to-large peaches, chopped
  • 1/3 cup Craisins
  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and chop the peaches, then put them in a saucepan with the Craisins, cornstarch and sugar. Bring it all up to a nice bubble and let it cook till it thickens, then set aside
  2. Cream butter and sugar, then mix in remaining ingredients — it will look coarse like a crumble topping
  3. Take two cups of crumble mix and press into a greased 8×8 dish and bake till it’s lightly browned, around 10-12 minutes, then spread fruit mixture over crust. Sprinkle the rest of the crumb mixture over the top and bake till that’s lightly browned, about another 15-18 minutes or so

Fast and good! How can you beat that?

Mediterribbean punch

Some people come from money; I, on the other hand, come from funny (which is even better). My Uncle Steve named this drink. Don’t you love it?

The folks over at Pom Wonderful contacted me a while back and asked if they could send me some of their juice to try (for free, okay, FTC?). I was honestly a little hesitant because, um, I was pretty sure I was the last person who hadn’t tried pomegranate anything yet and I wasn’t sure what to expect. A lot of people love the stuff, however, so I gave it a shot.

For my first attempt I thought I’d try pomegranate molasses.

Fail, party of one. Not having a clue what I was doing following a specific recipe, I cooked the mixture too long and ended up with a giant Le Creuset-shaped lollipop. Oops.

Not wanting to wash that pan again repeat my mistake, I thought I’d try something different. And, if y’all haven’t noticed, it’s a million degrees outside so a cool cocktail sounded like the thing for my next pomegranate attempt.

Success! It is yummy and tart and sweet and limey (is that a word?) and I’m loving it.

Mediterribbean punch

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. simple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp. pomegranate juice
  • 1/4 cup rum
  • squeeze of lime

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients; serve over ice and enjoy!

This makes a sweet drink, so feel free to adjust the simple syrup as your little heart desires.

Lazy woman’s peach cobbler

This recipe comes from my great grandma, who maybe named it thusly? Or maybe that was always its name? Either way, it is, indeed, one of the easiest desserts you’ll ever make.

Lazy woman’s peach cobbler

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 cups fruit (cut up; don’t drain)

Instructions

  1. Combine sugar, flour, baking powder and salt; cut in butter like you’re making biscuits, or pulse in a food processor, then stir in milk till well combined
  2. Pour batter into a buttered cast iron skillet or baking dish and top with fruit and its juice
  3. Bake at 350F for 45 minutes; sprinkle sugar on top for the last few minutes of baking

Homemade sour mix

What it is:

  • Crazy easy to make with only two ingredients
  • Completely natural, chemical free

What it’s not:

  • Loaded with high fructose corn syrup
  • Neon (because, um, ew)

What’s not to like?

Homemade sour mix

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces simple syrup
  • 12 ounces key lime, lime or lemon juice or some combination thereof

Instructions

  1. Stir or shake to combine

See? Crazy easy. And you can customize it, of course, and make it a little more sweet or a little more sour — whatever floats your boat. Or your margarita shaker.