Acorn Squash Spice Cake

acorn squash I bought this acorn squash at the SOTJ farmer’s market and had no idea what to do it…I had never used one before. When I cut it open it looked like a pumpkin so I decided to use the roasted flesh like pumpkin puree and bake a loaf cake! acorn squash After the squash was baked it was easy to mash! My squash produced two cups of puree. I used one cup for the cake and put the rest in the freezer to use in another cake or maybe as a yummy addition to risotto! baked acorn squash The cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger and cloves smell amazing when they come together in the batter. cake batter

It was dark by the time we sliced up the cake last night and unfortunately this is the only pic I have. I can’t take pics today because I covered it with foil last night so it looks quite smooshed! My sons friend Stu said it reminded him of zucchini bread…probably because it’s the only other cake he can think of that has “vegetables” in it. It came out super moist and really doesn’t need icing. I was just craving cream cheese and had to add it ūüôā

Acorn Squash spice cake

Acorn Squash Spice Cake

  • 1 small/medium acorn squash
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 brown sugar
  • 1/4 organic canola oil
  • 1/4 plain yogurt (I used Whole Foods organic brand)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 ¬Ĺ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground clove
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¬Ĺ tsp baking powder
  • ¬ľ tsp salt

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds and stringy¬†insides. Put the squash cut side down on a high sided baking tray and fill the tray with ¬Ĺ an inch of water. Roast for about an 1 hour, or until the squash is very tender. Remove from the oven and let the squash cool.¬† Scoop out the flesh with a spoon and mash with a fork until smooth. Set aside 1 cup of the puree for the bread (my squash produced about 2 cup).
  • Set oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
  • In a medium size bowl, blend together 1 cup of the squash puree, sugar, oil, yogurt, vanilla and eggs.
  • In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, spices, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.¬† Slowly add flour mixture to the wet ingredients and stir until no longer lumpy. ¬†At this point you can stir in about 1/2 cup chopped walnuts if you want to (I didn’t have any).
  • ¬†Spray a loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray and pour batter in. Bake for 45-50 minutes until set (test with a toothpick).
  • Once the cake was cooled I added a cream cheese glaze. Set out 3 ounces of cream cheese until it comes to room temp. Stir in 3 tablespoons powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 1 tablespoon milk and a few dashes of cinnamon.
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My Tuesday and cooking for a friend

Yesterday I woke up around 8am, made a protein smoothie for breakfast and went off for a chiropractic exam. I have been seeing Dr. Luke at River City Chiropractic since last October for compressed discs in my lower spine. I went for an adjustment and a new back scan… he does these every couple months to see how you’re progressing.

After my scan and adjustment I went off to Kroger to get ingredients I needed to make a meal for my friend Dana that just had twin girls last week! Congrats to Dana and Dale!!

When I returned from the store I worked out (1 hour on elliptical), showered and then started cooking.

I made a double batch of Dottie’s Pasta Salad. Some for Dana and some for us. The red and yellow tomatoes are all from my roof garden!

Dottie's Pasta Salad

I also made a double batch of BBQ chicken. The sauce is A-Maz-iNg! It’s from The Poineer Woman’s blog. I bought packages of bone-in breasts and legs and just started the breasts about 20 minutes before I started the legs (cooking them on two separate sheet trays). I left out the¬†Chipotle Sauce because Dana doesn’t like spicy foods, used shallots instead of onion because it’s what I had but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. The sauce is tangy and sweet and the directions of cooking the chicken first, broiling it THEN adding the sauce really helps for the sauce to stick to the chicken and become thick.¬†

the Poineer Woman's bbq sauce

Here’s the care package for Dana: pasta salad, chicken, extra bbq sauce and a Banana Bread Cake. I was supposed to eat dinner with them but the chicken looked so good I couldn’t wait and had a leg before I left the house.

pasta salad, bbq chicken and banana cake

After returning from Dana’s I rested for a while with my laptop, then Travis and I went out to open mic night at Poe’s Pub for a couple hours. I never did get to taste the banana bread cake and I only used half of the icing that I made for the recipe…it might be time to make our own cake today!

Baked Chicken Taquitos

Baked Chicken Taquitos

Here’s a peek inside my kitchen to see what we ate on Friday night. Travis was working/playing in the garage, Devin was out of school for the week and I began my spring break (otherwise known as my-last-spring-break-ever-because-I-graduate-in-December!). Time for fun to eat Mexican-get-the-party-started-food!

When I¬†originally found this recipe I loved the result so much that I shared it with my sister Zan. She has made them multiple times and so have I but this is the first time I’ve taken pics.

We also made fresh salsa in my new Vitamix!

Homemade salsa

These are so fun to eat and amazingly delicious that I need to remember to make them as a party food sometime. I think you could slice them in half on the diagonal and they would be even more bite size and party friendly.

Baked Chicken Taquitos

Baked Chicken Taquitos

  • 3 ounces organic cream cheese, at room temp
  • 1/4 cup salsa verde
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
  • 2 cups cooked and shredded chicken (I used part of a rotisserie)
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 12-16 (6-inch) organic corn tortillas

Method

  • Preheat oven to 425 F. ¬†Spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl, stir together the cream cheese, salsa, lime juice, chile powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, onion powder, garlic, parsley, scallions, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. ¬†Add the chicken and cheeses and stir until evenly distributed. ¬†Season the mixture to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Place 2 tortillas at a time on a microwave safe plate and cover with a damp paper towel. ¬†Microwave for 25 seconds, or until the tortillas are soft and pliable. ¬†Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of the filling onto the lower third of each tortilla, and roll tightly. ¬†Place seam side-down on the prepared baking sheet. ¬†Repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling.
  • Spray the taquitos with cooking spray and sprinkle with kosher salt. ¬†Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the tortillas are crisp and golden. ¬†(I loved them served with sour cream!)

Adapted from Pink Parsley Blog

Banana Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Banana Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Banana Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting aka Banana Bread Cake. Banana bread with frosting that also has yummy hints of spice. SO GOOD.

After I took this picture I added about a 1/4 chopped pistachios to the top. I think it would be good with chopped walnuts too.

Last Saturday some of my family members visited. Zandria and Paul, Angela with my two baby nephews (19 months and 3 months) and later on my Mom and little brother Isaac. My boyfriend also had some friends over that were jamming guitar and drums downstairs so between them and the babies it was quite a lively household…and a good excuse to make cake. I’m always looking for an excuse!

Banana Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 4 bananas
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup (12 T.) butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice

for the cinnamon cream cheese icing:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temp.
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temp.
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice

Method

  • Preheat oven to 350¬į. Spray a 9” x 13” pan (I used 2- 9 inch round cake pans) with cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, thoroughly mash the bananas. Add the sugar, butter, and sour cream, and stir to combine. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring to combine after each addition. Then stir in the vanilla.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and allspice.
  • Add half the flour mixture to the banana mixture, and stir to combine. Then add the other half of the flour mixture, stirring again. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until nicely browned and a toothpick comes out with no wet batter. The cake surface should bounce back when you press on it. Cool completely before frosting.

for the frosting:

  • With an electric mixer, combine all ingredients until smooth and creamy. Spread frosting evenly over cake. Slice to serve. Store any remaining cake in the refrigerator.

Recipe from A Farmgirl’s Dabbles

Soft Gingersnaps with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Soft Gingersnap cookies

I made these cookies last Friday while my 2 nephews (17 months and 1 month old) and my sister Angela were visiting. I watched the boys for her while she went out to get her hair done.

Needless to say I waiting until Ang got back before I started the cookie baking. I’m not skilled enough to watch 2 small babies AND make cookies at the same time. While Ang fed and entertained the youngest I put the oldest, Ryder, on the kitchen island and let him play with a bowl and the spices while I made the cookie dough. He found a way to get the baking powder open! The picture I got of him is blurry but you can see the white powder all over his little navy colored pants ūüôā

Ryder helping me bake cookies

I let him taste the molasses and lick the icing beaters. He has a cute habit of saying ¬†“Ummmmmmmm” whenever he tastes something he likes and I heard it a lot that afternoon!

Soft Gingersnap Cookies with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing

Soft Gingersnaps with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

From Two Peas and Their Pod

For the gingersnaps:
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1‚ĀĄ4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1‚ĀĄ2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3‚ĀĄ4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1‚ĀĄ4 cup molasses
For the frosting:
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 ounces white chocolate, chopped and melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar

Method

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with a Silpat baking mat or parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and spices.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add in the egg and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined. Add in the molasses and mix until combined.
  • With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture. Mix until flour disappears.
  • Form the dough into tablespoon sized balls. Place the cookie dough balls on prepared baking sheet, about 2 inches apart.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cookies are set, but centers are still soft. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for two minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
  • While the cookies are cooling, make the frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed until smooth. Add the melted white chocolate and vanilla extract. Beat until smooth. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the powdered sugar until smooth.
  • Using a knife, frost the gingersnaps with frosting.