Friday, March 30, 2012

Vanilla-Cherry Cake with Chocolate Ganache Tutorial

Nothing makes me happier than creating a new delicious dessert with just a boxed cake mix and a few other ingredients. This was no exception. I topped the cake with chocolate ganache because I was needing some chocolate but this would be awesome with a lemon glaze!

Vanilla-Cherry Cake with Chocolate Ganache


Boxed French Vanilla cake mix (make according to directions on box)
Can of Cherry Pie filling
1/2 cup Chocolate Chips
1/4 cup Heavy Cream

Step 1

Make the vanilla cake according to the directions on the box. Pour into greased Bundt Pan.

Step 2

Pour can of Cherry pie filling around the cake batter. Swirl it through with a knife.

Step 3

Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.

Step 4

Turn out carefully on a plate.

Step 5

Heat the cream and chocolate chips until melted and smooth. 

Step 6

Pour chocolate over the cake. Serve.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Loaded Coupon Binder Giveaway!!

This weeks giveaway is from Kim at Kimz Kouponz! She's donated a coupon binder with inserts to hold your coupons and I'm throwing in a bunch of coupons to get you started!

The D250 2 Inch round ring binder. Front pocket for extra storage. Handle and shoulder strap for carrying.

Enter below for your chance to win!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Kitchen Renovation Step 2

The second phase of our kitchen renovation was the kitchen sink. My dream sink. No, literally, the sink I've dreamed of since I was old enough to have an opinion of sinks. The Kohler white enameled cast iron apron sink- undermounted. 9 inches deep, single basin. Basically, it's a small bathtub. 

We installed it ourselves. Not. Easy. 

We started by removing the old sink and cutting the cabinets so we could slide it in. Normally, you would only have to drop it in, then install countertops over it, but our new countertops aren't being installed for another couple of weeks, so we needed to be able to slide it in between the existing countertops and the cabinets.

This is what my kitchen looked like for a few days. Notice the pile of dirty dishes on the stove? I was under the impression that the sink installation would only take one day, so the night before, I put off doing the dishes from dinner until the new sink was in. This might have been acceptable if our last meal hadn't been shrimp. Needless to say, I couldn't wait out for the new sink more than one day...I ended up washing these dishes in my clawfoot tub. 

The cabinets had to be reinforced to hold this 140 pound monster sink but it's finally in!

A temporary wood plank holds our new Delta faucet until the new countertops go in. And my new 1950's party dress came in the day we installed the sink so I had to model it. And I had to do a "foot pop." Cause that's how I roll.

I have to say, doing dishes in this gigantic sink is truly a joy. Something about it just makes me want to dirty them just so I can wash them.

Check out Step 1 and Step 3 of our kitchen renovation!

Lemon Icebox Pie Tutorial

I used to work at Cracker Barrel a long time ago. My favorite dessert that they served was the Lemon Icebox Pie. I managed to get the recipe but lost it. This recipe is as close to the original as I could find. 

Lemon Icebox Pie


8 graham crackers
6 Tbs butter, melted
1/3 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
6 Tbs lemon juice
1 (14 oz) can of sweetened condensed milk
8 oz cool whip
Vanilla Wafers

Step 1


In a food processor, process the graham crackers until fine crumbs, add the butter and sugar, and process until it comes together. Press the crumbs into a 9-inch pie pan. You can also use a store-bought graham cracker crust.

Step 2

In a stand-mixer, beat the egg yolks, lemon juice, and condensed milk for about 1 minute on medium speed. This is easily done with a hand whisk, too.  There is no cooking involved in the egg mixture, this is a traditional method of making icebox pies. If you would rather cook the mixture, you can whisk the yolks and lemon juice in a double boiler on simmer until temp reads 160 degrees. Let cool, then add the milk and continue from there.

Step 3

Pour the lemon mixture into the unbaked crust. Push the vanilla wafers half way in around the edge of the pie.

Step 4

Spread the Cool Whip over the top of the lemon and wafers. Place in freezer and let freeze completely before cutting.

Step 5

Eat the whole pie.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

$30 Pampered Chef Gift Certificate Giveaway!!

If you're a reader of mine, you probably already know that I love Pampered Chef products. They last forever and make cooking a breeze! My friend, Reesa has donated a $30 dollar gift certificate for Pampered Chef products! You can check out her website here: Reesa Boudreaux- Pampered Chef Consultant.

Enter below for your chance to win and good luck!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Shrimp and Leek Linguine

I made this for my husband on one of our at-home date nights. He loved it and there wasn't a bit left.

Shrimp and Leek Linguine


1 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined 
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Salt and black pepper 
1 pound cooked linguine 
4 leekstrimmed, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise and washed 
1/2 cup dry white wine 
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

Step 1

In a bowl, combine the shrimp, 2 Tbs olive oil, lemon peel, garlic, and crushed red pepper. Toss to coat.

Step 2

While the shrimp marinates, let the leeks soak in a bowl of water so the sand and dirt can sink. Gently removed them after 5-10 minutes, cut into chunks.

Step 3

In a pot or large pan, add 2 Tbs of olive oil and add the leeks. Cook until wilted, about 5-6 minutes over medium heat.

Step 4

Once the leeks are wilted, push them to the side of the pan, and add the shrimp and cook until no longer pink. Once cooked, add the white wine scraping any browned bits off the bottom of the pan.

Step 5

Toss the shrimp and leeks with the drained linguine, add the parsley and toss again. Serve.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Scentsy Gift Basket Giveaway!

I just attended my first Scentsy party and was very impressed with the quality of the products and the endless choices of scents. So I was very excited when Mrs. Dorean contacted me about donating a bunch of products to giveaway to my readers! Check out her website! Dorean Taylor: Independent Scentsy Consultant!

Enter below for your chance to win a large Scentsy bag ($8), Windsor Full Size Warmer ($30), 6-pack bars: Pixie, Autumn Stroll, Comfort & Joy, Sugar Cookie, Pumpkin Marshmallow, and Vanilla Cream ($25), Be Still Scent Circle ($3), and Simply Irresistible Solid Perfume ($18). This is a $90 value!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Tutorial

I've tried a lot of banana bread recipes and this one is by far the best. It's not super sweet and it's very few ingredients. No white sugar or oil needed. I threw in some chocolate chips for fun but you can omit them. You can also throw in some nuts if you wanted.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 1/3 cups mashed overripe bananas
1/3 cup chocolate chips

Step 1 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9x5 inch loaf pan. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Step 2

In your stand mixer or with a hand mixer, cream together butter and brown sugar. 

Step 3

While the butter and sugar are doing their thing, mash the bananas in a separate bowl. 

Step 4

Once the butter and sugar are creamed, add the eggs and banana, blend well.

Step 5

Pour the banana mixture into the bowl with the flour. Fold into the flour until just moistened. Don't over-mix.

Step 6

Add the chocolate chips, fold in gently.

Step 7

Pour into prepared loaf pan, spread out evenly.

Step 8

Bake for 60-65 minutes until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for 5-10 minutes then turn the loaf out. Serve warm.