Category Archives: Desserts

Rhubarb Syrup

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Hola!

I hope everyone is having a fabulous summer! Mine is ok. Nothing fantastic. This is the first summer in about seventeen years that I work. Now that my kids are grown there was really no point to staying home for the summer and besides the extra money does come in handy! I do miss sleeping in though…you know how I love to sleep in. We do go out to eat and such but nothing too big this summer.  But before you know it I’ll be back on my school year schedule.

Who likes rhubarb? I do and so does my husband. It has a kind of sour-tangy taste to it so turning it into something sweet is the perfect use for it.  Years ago we had a rhubarb plant and I would make strawberry rhubarb pie. Then my plant died…which is weird because you pretty much just let it grow on its own…I think! Anyhow, we bought rhubarb plants when we went to the Flower and Garden Show and they are gorgeous! They have the big green leaves and the beautiful ruby red colored stalks. It is actually a vegetable but is usually thought to be a fruit because it’s mainly used in desserts.

Of course I had to go online and find out what else can be made with rhubarb. I found a super simple recipe for rhubarb syrup.

Isn’t the color beautiful?  I chose to make a drink (non-alcoholic) with the syrup and club soda. It’s so refreshing and pretty. Because of the color it would be such a pretty drink for bridal and baby showers.

Rhubarb Syrup

  • 4 cups chopped rhubarb
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water

Directions

Combine the rhubarb, sugar, and water in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook gently, stirring occasionally, until the fruit is soft and the liquid has thickened slightly, about 20 minutes.

Set a fine mesh strainer (or a coarse strainer lined with cheesecloth) over a large bowl. Pour the rhubarb through the strainer until most of the liquid is in the bowl. Press the solids a little with the back of a spoon to extract more syrup.

Carefully pour the syrup into a clean bottle . If pouring into a glass jar make sure it will hold hot liquids. I let it cool a bit before funneling into my jar.  Cover or cork the bottle and refrigerate. It should keep for quite some time in the fridge.

I did keep the solids from the strained liquid and used it as a jam on toast. It was so good and nothing goes to waste. There are so many ways to use the syrup…over ice cream, on pound cake and of course in alcoholic drinks. Enjoy!

Besos,

Flor

source thekitchn

 

 

Pumpkin Praline Cake

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Hey!

Happy First Day of Spring! Even though we’ve had a really mild winter I am so ready for spring and summer!

Haven’t posted in quite a while.

Since I last posted in December I have lost 20 pounds! I started Weight Watchers again on January 1st and it’s gone really well. I’ve allowed my self to “cheat” a bit…that’s bad but sometimes you just want to eat what everyone else is eating! I noticed that my feet started feeling so much better after I lost the first 10 pounds. So many positives to losing weight!

I am also slowly removing very toxic cleaning supplies in my home. As I finish a product I replace it with something that doesn’t have as many toxins. A friend of mine shared an awesome website with me that will give you their “grade” for products so that is what I have been using to find cleaning and even personal care products that are less harmful to myself and the environment.

I feel bad that I have not been posting as much as I have before. Even though my kids are grown up I still want to lead a balanced life. No matter what your age having a balanced life is so healthy. I need to keep work, family, other obligations and of course fun and adventure in check with each other.

Even though I am dong Weight Watchers I am still baking! Temptation is rough! I found a recipe for this delicious Pumpkin Praline Cake on Pinterest and had to try it. Being the big pumpkin lover I am I always have pumpkin puree in the freezer.

This cake was magnificent. It was super moist and the frosting was amazing! I had taken some to my parents when I made it and he enjoyed it. When he came to my house a few days later I offered my Dad dinner, coffee, etc which he declined but when I offered him cake he was like YES! He loved it! I think this will be on my to make all the time list.

Pumpkin Praline Cake

Ingredients
For the cake
1 box of yellow cake mix
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup whole milk
¼ cup vegetable oil
4 whole large eggs
½ cup chopped pecans
½ tsp nutmeg
¾ tsp cinnamon
For the icing
2 cans of sweetened condensed milk
4 tbs unsalted butter
1 cup chopped pecans

Instructions
1. Preheat the oven to 350. Grease two 8” round cake pans with Crisco and then dust with flour or use non stick baking spray (what I prefer). (you could also make this in a rectangle cake pan).
2. Mix together in a medium bowl the cake mix, pumpkin puree, milk, oil, eggs, pecans, nutmeg and cinnamon until all is moistened, scrape the bowl occasionally to make sure that you have mixed all of the mix together. Pour evenly into each cake pan or pour entire contents into the larger rectangular cake pan.
3. Bake for 27 minutes – check and see if the middle of the cake is still loose – if it is, bake in 3 minute intervals until the middle is no longer jiggly and a cake tester or toothpick comes out cleanly. Remove from the oven and allow to rest until cooled.
4. On the stove top on medium heat, mix all of the ingredients for the icing together in a small sauce pan. Heat just until butter is melted.
5. Flip one of the baked cakes over onto a cake plate (upside down) and pour ¼ of the icing onto the cake. Set the other round cake on the top of the first cake (flipped upside down). (If using a rectangular pan – start with poking the holes). Using the handle of a round handled wooden spoon, poke holes into and through the cake and gently pour half of the icing over the top making sure that some of the icing goes down into the holes.
6.Allow the rest of the icing to completely cool and then gently pour it over the top of the rest of the cake.

This is a must bake cake. Serve it with coffee or milk.

If you have followed me for a while you know that my husband is an avid gardener. We’d never been to the Chicago Flower and Garden show so we figured we’d give it a try.

The flowers are so beautiful that they looked fake!

The inspiration for outdoor rooms was fantastic. I mean making furniture with concrete blocks is genius! Eddie is afraid I’m going to put him to work!

Who wouldn’t want a garden party with this decor? Makes me wish I had a huge house with a huge yard but Nah…too much work!

Happy Spring to you from me and my honey from the beautiful Windy City!

And don’t forget to make the delicious cake. Your family will thank you!

Besos,

Flor

 

Recipe Source  loaves and dishes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

French Almond Cake

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Hola!

Hows’s it going? Wherever you are I hope the weather is beautiful. We are almost to spring and I can’t wait for warm weather, and we haven’t even had bad weather.

We are chugging along in this  part of the world. Working, cooking, eating, crafting. It’s almost time for spring break and I am so looking forward to it. I don’t have any plans but I will be happy to not be on a schedule for a week.

I have finally started doing Zumba again and I am so happy. I do  need to look for new shoes. Maybe cross trainers. Any good suggestions? My foot is doing great since my surgery back n December. I am hoping to get surgery on my right foot this summer so that I can become totally pain-free or as pain-free as I can get! . It’s nice to be a little active. Once the weather is warmer I am also going to try to get back to walking.

I have  baked one of the most delicious cakes I have ever baked. Just hearing the word “French” lets me know that whatever it is it’s marvelous!

FrenchAlmondCake1

It’s sweet but not too sweet. The density is amazing-a bit dense but still light and fluffy.

FrenchAlmondCake

It’s also beautiful, simple and elegant.

It’s a must bake!

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup plain yogurt or Greek yogurt
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup almond flour  (almond meal)
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ¾ cup sunflower oil, grape seed or canola oil

For the glaze:

  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar plus more for sprinkling, if desired
  • ½ cups sliced almonds

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F.  Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with baking spray, rub inside surface of pan with a paper towel to cover evenly with the spray. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper and spray parchment paper lightly. Set aside.
  2. Place almonds in a small skillet and toast ever so lightly. Watch them closely and stir very often because they will burn quickly if not attended to! Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  3. Combine the orange juice, powdered sugar and extracts in a small bowl for the glaze. Stir with a whisk until smooth. Cover and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, sugar, and eggs, stirring until well blended.
  5. Add the all-purpose flour, almond flour, baking powder, salt and extracts, mixing to just combine.
  6. Add the oil and stir well. Don’t worry, at first it will seem to separate, but keep stirring till smooth. This might take 2-3 minutes.
  7. Pour the batter into prepared pan. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until the cake feels springy to the touch in the center and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cover loosely with foil if getting too brown near the end and cake is still not done. Be careful not to over bake. Cool cake on a wire rack for 10 minutes; then turn it out of the pan onto the rack.
  8. While cake is still warm, using a pastry brush, gently pat the glaze all over the cake. Just keep going over the cake till the glaze is gone. Some of it will drip off, but most of it will soak in. Sprinkle almonds over top of cake while glaze is wet and pat gently. Allow cake to cool completely. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired and enjoy!

I just loved this dessert and so did everyone else.  I think it’s going to become a family favorite that I will make over and over again.

Have a great weekend!

Besos,

Flor

Source The Cafe Sucre Farine

 

Vanilla Rice Pudding

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Hey!

Who loves rice pudding?? I do! I do! I can eat it warm or cold. It’s so easy to make and easy to make in large quantities. It’s similar to Arroz con Leche but the consisitency is definitely thicker.

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I made this to share with my friends at work and everyone enjoyed it. I really enjoy feeding people. I am a total food pusher.

Vanilla Rice Pudding

Ingredients (makes about 2 cups)

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream, divided
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup sushi or Arborio rice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, divided
  •  pinch of salt

Directions

  1. Place the milk, 3/4 cup cream, sugar, rice, and vanilla extract in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, for 30 to 40 minutes, until thickened. 
  3. Test the rice to ensure it’s done. You want a firm bite, but no crunchy center. 
  4. Remove the pudding from the heat, and stir in the remaining 1/4 cup cream and the  remaining 1/2 vanilla along with a pinch of salt.
  5. Serve warm; or refrigerate, well covered, and serve chilled. Sprinkle with a touch of ground cinnamon, if desired.

I totally love the consistency of this pudding.

Besos,

Flor

Source King Arthur Flour

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Cake

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Hola!

Happy Monday!

Dessert is an important thong in my house. I have never been one to buy cookies, chips and other junk food to have at home. I think the most “junk food” food I usually have purchased since I had my kids is granola bars-and that is considered a breakfast food I guess.

I’ve always tried to make sweets at home for my kids. So when there isn’t something sweet to eat my kids definitely remind me.

This dessert I made for Easter is perfect for kids and adults alike. It’s sweet but not too sweet.

This was great for Easter this year. The freshness of the strawberries combined with the nice weather was perfect.

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips plus more for sprinkling the top of cake
  • 1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved

 

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 9×3-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Grease the side of the springform pan or square pan with butter or cooking spray.
  2. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together into a medium bowl.
  3. In a separate large bowl, combine butter, Greek yogurt, and 1 cup sugar and, using electric mixer, beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy – no more than 2 minutes.
  4. Reduce speed to medium, mix in the egg, beat until light and fluffy. Then mix in milk, vanilla.
  5. Keeping the mixer speed low, mix in the flour mixture, gradually, just until combined. Do not over mix.
  6. Fold in chocolate chips into the batter. Transfer batter to springform pan. Arrange strawberries on top of the cake, cut sides down and close together. Place chocolate chips in spaces in between.
  7. Bake cake for about 1 hour until the top is golden brown and the tester comes out clean. In the last 5-10 minutes of baking, you can take the cake out of the oven and sprinkle some more chocolate chips on top, pressing them lightly into the top of the cake (the top of the cake will already be baked and a bit crusty)  Return to the oven for 5-10 more minutes, to allow chocolate to melt a bit and look even nicer!

So you might not see chocolate chips on top of my cake.  I used chocolate chips in the cake part but white chocolate chips on top of the cake . It was sooo good.

Enjoy!

Besos,

Flor

Recipe from Julias Album

Salty Vanilla Pretzel Popcorn

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Hola!

Happy Monday! It’s a happy Monday for me because I am officially on Winter break! That means two weeks of sleeping late and being lazy! Well, that’s not really good because the less I do the lazier I get…need to avoid that!

My mom is pretty much recuperated from being sick so things are getting better for her and for me! I am able to kind of get back to a regular routine which include doing some cooking and baking.

This year I have obviously been a procrastinator but Julieta put me over the edge last Thursday! She wanted to go to the mall and I was busy making a treat to take to work for our Winter luncheon. After back and forth arguing she won and we went to the crazy, packed mall! UGH! But she was a happy camper at the end so I’m glad it all worked out for us. I  was able to finish making this delicious popcorn that I took to work on Friday. I received tons of compliments on it so I am sharing the recipe right now.

I was so exhuasted after the mall that I didn’t even get a chance to take a picture of the popcorn in its cute big  container.

I am making tons of this for Christmas Eve. It will also be our neighbor gifts.

Salty Vanilla Pretzel Popcorn (makes about 14 cups popcorn)

  • about 12 cups popped popcorn
  • about 2 cups pretzel twists
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 250 degrees F,  Grease a large (but shallow) roasting pan with butter or cooking spray, and add popcorn and pretzels to the pan.

In a 2 quart saucepan, combine brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, and salt  Whisk over medium heat until it begins to boil.  Allow to boil over medium heat (without stirring!!) for about 5 minutes.   The mixture will be deep gold and bubbling.

Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the baking soda.  The mixture will foam and froth.  Keep stirring.  Stir in the vanilla extract.

Quickly pour warm syrup over popcorn and pretzel mixture.  Use to large spoons to toss the mixture, coating all of the popcorn and pretzels in caramel.  Work as quickly as you can.

Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove and toss.  Return to the oven to bake for another 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and toss.  Allow to cool before handling and packaging.

This really is outstanding popcorn. It’s easy to make and has regular every day ingredients in it. YUM!

Have a great day!

Besos,

Flor

Recipe Source Joy the Baker

 

Citrus Cranberry Layer Cake

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Hola!

It’s been a while! I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I was kept pretty busy. Last Wednesday was dessert day. I had Wednesday off so I baked all the sweets that day.

On Thursday I made the most delicious turkey along with side dishes of course. The turkey was amazing and my husband laughed because I took pictures…duh…what else do I do?

I hate sticking my hand in the turkey but I have to…I seasoned the turkey with sazon, stuffed it with peas and corn and put butter under the skin…

Then I wrapped that baby in bacon…

Who doesn’t love a bacon wrapped turkey?

It looked beautiful and tasted even better!

Golden and tasty! There was a lot of eating going on.

Dessert was delicious as well. This Citrus Cranberry Cake was my favorite. Not only is it pretty but it’s delicious!

I have to admit that I was afraid to make this dessert. Knowing that there would be three layers is what scared me! but I pulled it off!

Citrus Cranberry Layer Cake

Ingredients

Citrus Cake
    • 3/4 cup  room temperature butter
    • 1 3/4 cups  sugar
    • 3 eggs
    • 1 tsp lemon extract
    • 2 1/2 cups  all purpose flour
    • 2 1/2 tsp  baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 3/4 cup  milk
    • 1/2 cup orange juice (freshly squeezed)
Cranberry sauce
    • 12 oz fresh cranberries
    • 1 cup  sugar
    • 1/3 cup orange juice
Icing
    • 1/2 cup powder sugar
    • 2 tsp water
    • few drops of lemon juice
Decorations
  • mandarin slices (I used cuties)
  • powder sugar

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 375F.
  2. Grease the bottom and the sides of a 15 x 10  inch jelly roll pan and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl add the butter and the sugar and cream until light and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl and one by one, add the 3 eggs followed by the lemon extract.
  4. Add the baking powder and salt and slowly fold in the flour alternately with the milk and orange juice.
  5. Spoon the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for about 23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  6. While the cake is baking, make the cranberry sauce.
  7. In a medium saucepan add the cranberries, sugar and orange juice. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until all the cranberries have popped and the sauce is thickened.
  8. Leave to cool completely.
  9. When the citrus cake is done, take it out of the oven and leave to cool 10 minutes in the pan. Sprinkle powder sugar on top of the cake, cover with a cutting board and turn. This way you’ll be able to remove the cake from the pan without breaking it into pieces or sticking to the cutting board.
  10. Remove the parchment paper, rip the edges and slice the cake in 3 slices (about 4 3/4 inch each slice) Wait until the cake and the cranberry sauce are completely cooled
  11. Place the first slice on the serving plate. Spoon half on the cranberry sauce on top of the cake and spread it all over. Top with a second slice of cake and spread the remaining cranberry sauce.
  12. Place the 3rd slice of cake on top and let sit for 10-15 minutes. You can refrigerate at this point, if you prefer.
  13. Now it’s time to make the icing.
  14. In a small bowl mix the powder sugar with the water and the lemon juice. You want the icing to be still pour-able but not too runny.
  15. Pour it over the cake, wait few minutes until it sets and decorate with the mandarin slices.
  16. Optional you can sprinkle some powder sugar.

Enjoy! This is a good dessert for Christmas as well!

The other days were for resting and visiting my parents. We put up our Christmas decorations and saw the movie Interstellar on Friday…I was the only one that wasn’t a fan of that movie. Saturday was spent at home hanging out. Yesterday was also a quiet day at home and for visiting my parents and here it is Monday already. Those days off just flew by! One last note or favor…my mom is still sick. She hasn’t gotten much better and we need prayers for her. Think you can help me out with that? I’d appreciate it!

Have a great day!

Besos,

Flor

Recipe source Roxana’s Home Baking