Tuesday, March 23, 2021



1 box yellow cake mix
3.4oz instant vanilla pudding
4 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup dark rum
1/4 cup water

1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup dark rum

Preheat oven to 325º
mix all cake ingredients together until well combined.  Pour into a greased bundt pan.  Bake for 50-60 minutes.  Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then invert onto a plate.

Prepare glaze.  Combine butter, sugar and water in a sauce pan.  Bring to a boil and stir constantly for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to cool a bit before stirring in rum.

Pour half of glaze into bundt pan and carefully lower cake back into the bundt pan.  Stab the bottom of the cake with a fork or skewer several times and slowly pour the remaining glaze over bottom of cake.  Allow to sit in pan for several hours or overnight.  Invert back on plate to serve.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021



4 oz water
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons matcha green tea powder
8 oz sweetened almond milk

Microwave water and sugar for a minute to a minute and a half.  Stir green tea powder in hot water.  The sugar and tea powder should be completely dissolved.  Add green tea to 8oz almond milk and pour over ice.

Saturday, January 2, 2021



1 box yellow cake mix, plus ingredients to prepare 

cannoli creme center:
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

cannoli frosting:
I don't remember what I made!  I know it was close to the cannoli creme and was doubled.  May have had cream cheese and/or cool whip added in too.

chocolate ganache:
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

mini cannoli's are from Publix bakery as decoration

Bake cake as directed on box and allow to cool.
Prepare cannoli creme and assemble cake with the creme in the center.
Prepare frosting and remove about 3/4 of a cup to pipe over ganache, then add mini chocolate chips to frosting.
Frost cake.
Microwave heavy cream for one minute and then stir in chips until melted.  Allow to cool a bit before slowly pouring over top of cake.
Pipe reserved frosting on top of cake to decorate and add a mini cannolis.



1 box strawberry cake mix, plus ingredients to make
2 8oz bricks cream cheese
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups heavy cream
fresh strawberries, sliced for decoration

Bake cake as directed on box and allow to cool.
Beat cream cheese and sugar until creamy and mixed well - no lumps!  Add in vanilla and heavy cream and beat until stiff peaks form.
Frost cake and decorate with strawberries.


3/4 cup flour
2/3 cup sour cream
1 cup sugar
3 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

cream cheese filling:
8 oz cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
about 15 mini candy canes, crushed

To make design on roll if desired:
use a cookie cutter to trace shapes onto a piece of paper.  Place paper on sheet pan and cover with wax paper.
Mix cake ingredients together and remove 1/4 cup of batter and add 3 tablespoons of flour.  Divide in half and dye one half red and the other half green with food coloring.  Place in a piping bag or ziplock bag and cut the tip.  With the bag, pipe batter onto wax paper tracing the design from the paper.  Move the paper around carefully to cover as much as you'd like.  Be sure to remove paper when you're done piping.  Place sheet pan in the freezer for 30 minutes to allow the designs to solidify.
Pour remaining batter evenly over wax paper and bake for 15 minutes at 350º.
Remove from oven and roll tightly.  Allow to cool to about room temp.
While it's cooling, prepare cream cheese filling.  Beat cream cheese and sugar until soft and creamy - no lumps.  Add in butter, extract and candy canes.  Mix well.
Unroll cake and spread filling evenly over it.  Roll it back up tightly, carefully removing the parchment paper as you roll.  Wrap in Saran Wrap and allow to cool completely before serving.
Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Monday, December 28, 2020


66 Nilla wafers, divided
2 1/4 cup sugar, divided
1/2 stick butter, melted
3 bricks cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs
1 cup white chocolate chips, plus extra for garnish
4 cups (12oz bag) fresh/frozen cranberries
1/4 cup maple syrup
rosemary for garnish if desired

Prepare cranberry layer and garnish first
cranberry layer:
Combine 2 cups cranberries with 1/2 cup sugar and 1/8 cup water.  Bring to a boil then lower and simmer for 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.

cranberry garnish:
In a medium sauce pan, bring maple syrup and 1/4 cup water to a boil, lower heat and allow to simmer for 2 minutes then add in 2 cups cranberries.  Cook cranberries for about 5-10 minutes.  You want them to soften but still hold their shape.  Remove from pan and dust half of them with sugar.  Lay out on wax paper to dry.

preheat oven to 350º.  Finely crush 50 Nilla wafers and mix with 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 stick butter.  Press firmly into the bottom of a 9" springform pan.  Press 16 whole Nilla wafers around outer edge of crust, gently pressing down to hold in place.
Spread cranberry layer out evenly over crust.
beat cream cheese and 1 cup sugar until smooth and creamy.  add sour cream and vanilla, mix well.  Add eggs 1 at a time mixing between each one.  Add 1 cup white chocolate chips and pour over cranberry layer.
Place springform pan inside another pan.  I use a 9" silicone pan.  Then set that into a roasting pan.  Fill roasting pan with water and bake the cheesecake for 50 minutes.  Cool for 4 hours.
Garnish with rosemary, candied cranberries and more white chocolate chips.

Friday, December 18, 2020


Vietnamese coffee is robusta, a very strong and thick brew coffee which is brewed with a phin filter and sweetened with sweetened condensed milk.  A local restaurant has it on their menu and uses Trung Nguyen Premium blend as their grounds of choice.  This coffee has chocolate mixed in and is pretty strong and tastes delicious!  I ordered it off amazon but you can experiment with different types of coffee.  This company also sells the phin filters needed to prepare this coffee here or you can use an individual coffee drip with filter as shown above.

2-3 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons strong coffee grounds  
8oz hot water

If using a phin filter:
Put the sweetened condensed milk in your coffee cup and then place the phin filter cup over top of your mug.  Put the coffee in the filter cup and place the filter lid over top of the coffee.  Pour hot water over to allow a slow drip into your mug.  Stir with sweetened condensed milk and enjoy!

If using the drip coffee shown in photo above:
Put the sweetened condensed milk in your coffee cup and ten place the drip over top of your mug.  Place a coffee filter inside and add coffee grounds.  Pour hot water over the grounds and allow to slowly drip into your mug.  Stir with sweetened condensed milk and enjoy!  

Thursday, December 10, 2020



We first had this sauce at Red Lobster served with their parrot bay coconut shrimp.  It was so yummy I had to make it to pair with our coconut chicken recipe.  Besides shrimp and chicken it also goes well on pancakes/waffles or ice cream.

1 cup pina colada drink mix
2 tablespoons crushed pineapple
2 tablespoons coconut flakes
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water

Combine pina colada mix, pineapple, coconut flakes and powdered sugar in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.
Mix cornstarch and water together in a small dish and add to sauce.  Bring back up to a boil and then reduce heat and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
Serve warm or chill to serve cold.



2 packages ramen noodles - do not use the seasoning
1 stick butter
1 cup slivered almonds
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 package coleslaw mix
1 bunch green onions, sliced

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup peanut or canola oil
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce

Heat butter in a pan over medium heat until melted.  Break ramen into small chunks and add to butter with almonds and sesame seeds, cook in butter until lightly browned and toasted.  Toss ramen mixture with coleslaw and green onions.
Mix dressing ingredients together and drizzle over salad before eating.  

Some notes:
taste the ramen after toasted in butter, OMG so good!
I thought this salad tasted good without the dressing.
The dressing made this salad get soggy very quickly, I preferred the crunch.
The original dressing recipe called for 3/4 cup of oil which we felt was way too much so I lessoned it to 1/2 cup.



We first had this sauce at Sharks Underwater Grill inside SeaWorld and loved it. It goes well on coconut shrimp, coconut chicken or pancakes/waffles

1 cup water, plus 1 tablespoon
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 banana, mashed
1 tablespoon butter

Mix 1 tablespoon water with corn starch until dissolved.  Bring 1 cup of water, corn starch mixture and sugar to a boil.  Allow to boil for 10 minutes.
Add banana and butter and stir until butter is melted.  
Serve warm or chill to serve cool.


2 cups jasmine rice
1 1/2 cups pineapple juice mixed with 1 cup water
1/2 cup crushed pineapple
1 lime, zested and juiced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
drizzle of olive oil
salt to taste

Mix rice with pineapple juice and water.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for 20 minutes.
Once rice is done and cooled a bit, mix with the remaining ingredients.

We enjoyed this side with our fish tacos or coconut chicken.


15oz bag pretzel nibblers
3/4 cup canola oil
*1/2 cup cinnamon and sugar, or more if desired

Toss pretzels in oil and cinnamon sugar to coat.  Lay pretzels out in a pan and
bake at 350º for 10 minutes.  (instead of baking you can microwave in 1 minute intervals for 3 minutes total)

*if you don't have cinnamon and sugar premixed you can mix together 1/2 cup sugar with 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon