Apple Bundt Cake with Cider Glaze




This apple bundt cake is perfect for fall and the holidays.  The glaze is amazing and takes only a minute or two to mix up, so don’t skip it!

I love Bundt cakes. They are simple to make, unpretentious, and can be packed up as gifts or sliced up for snacks and (ahem) breakfast. The only thing I like better than them are small bundt cakes. That way I can make a full recipe and divide it into either two or four cakes. One to give away, one to keep, one to freeze, etc.

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Lunchbox Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Filling

Here you will find a recipe for chocolate cupcakes, a vanilla cream filling, and an easy chocolate frosting. They are perfect for your child’s lunchbox.

My little peanuts are very tired from their first few weeks back at school, so I baked them these chocolate cupcakes as a special treat. They were so tasty, with a light and soft texture that is like a boxed cake mix. So many cupcake recipes turn out tough and dry, or just blah, but I promise this one is tender and perfect.

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Our Favorite Pound Cake


This recipe is from Cook’s Country, called Cream Cheese Pound Cake.  The cream cheese does not do anything other than make it delicious.  You would never guess it is in there.  We like this in the winter and spring, served with berries and whipped cream.

We always bake pound cake recipes in small Bundt pans.  They are 6 cups each, instead of the standard 12 cup large Bundt.  One to keep, one to share.  A small slice holds up well in lunch boxes.DSC02442.jpg


You will need:

12 ounces of cake flour (3 cups, but better to weigh it)

1 t. salt

4 eggs and 2 extra yolk at room temperature

1/4 cup milk

2 t. vanilla extract

3 cups sugar

3 sticks of unsalted butter, softened

6 ounces cream cheese, softened

  1. Heat oven to 300 degrees.  Liberally spray 2 small Bundt pans with cooking spray.
  2. Mix salt and flour in one bowl.  Mix eggs, milk, and vanilla in another.
  3. Cream butter, sugar, and cream cheese on medium high until light and fluffy.  Slowly add egg mixture on low until just blended.  Add flour mixture one cup at a time until just blended.  Scrape down sides and mix a few seconds more.
  4. Scrape into prepared pans and bake about 60 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean.  Remove from pans after about 5 minutes, or else they will stick.  Cool completely on wire racks.  Will keep well wrapped in plastic wrap a few days.



Heath Bar Chocolate Chip Blondies


Almost two months of summer left, and it already feels like it is ending.  Today is one of those low humidity, not too hot, rare for Virginia perfect summer days.  More like how our fall weather is, but without school and early sunsets.  Most of our 53 windows are open and a breeze is blowing through every room.


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The garden is moving into late summer, as the more fall colored sunflowers start to bloom, like Autumn Beauty, Chianti, and the second planting of Jua Maya

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The first batch of Silver Queen corn is getting cut down this afternoon, with fall sugar snap peas, scallions, spinach, and cilantro going in its place. We had a cool and rainy day yesterday, which seemed to remind everyone summer won’t be here forever.







We baked this yummy treat together last week.  It will be a good one for lunch boxes and cooler days:

Toffee Chip Blondies

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-1 cup butter, melted

-1 3/4 cups light brown sugar

-2 eggs

-2 t. vanilla

-2 cups flour

–1/2 t. salt

-1 package of chocolate chips (12 oz)

-1 cup Heath bits

  1. Preheat oven to 350.  Line 9 x 13 casserole pan with foil, heavy duty if you have it, with enough overhang to make little foil handles.  Butter the foil.
  2. Using electric mixer, combine melted butter and sugar.  Add eggs and vanilla, beat until well combined.  Add flour and salt, beat for just a few seconds until flour is incorporated.  Gently stir in chocolate chips and Heath bits.
  3. Pour batter into pan, bake for 25 minutes.  The bars will cool to doneness and will look underbaked at first.  Allow to cool in the pan, removing with foil handles when completely cooled and ready to cut.

Key Lime Pie with Meringue Topping

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Key lime pie is my favorite dessert, and I have made many versions,  but this is the best.

It is not green, because it is used real key lime juice, and any key lime pie that is green is not to be trusted.

Start the afternoon before you want to serve it.  It really needs at least 8 hours to chill once fully assembled, and it will take you about 3 hours to get to that point. OR, you can make in the morning and pop in the freezer for about 4-6 hours.  It will be firm but not frozen solid.  The meringue does not freeze that well, so be careful and don’t let it freeze.

For the crust:

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 1 and 1/2 sleeves)

1/3 cup sugar

6 tablespoons melted butter

1/2 teaspoon cinamoon

  1. Grind your graham crackers in a food processor to get crumbs.  Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until blended.
  2. Press into a 9 inch pie plate
  3. Bake at 375 for 7 minutes exactly.  Do not wait for it to brown, or it will be rock hard.
  4. Cool at room temp for 1 hour.

For the filling and topping:

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup key lime juice (MUST BE KEY LIME.  Bottled key lime is perfect, like the Nellie’s and Joe’s brand, which is found with cocktail ingredients at my grocery store.  Fresh regular lime is NOT OKAY.)

1 teaspoon grated lime zest (normal lime is fine)

2 egg yolks

1 whole egg

4 tablespoons white sugar

2 egg whites (this all adds up to 3 whole eggs)

  1. Mix everything in a bowl EXCEPT the egg whites and sugar.  Pour into your graham cracker crust, cover and chill for an hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 350
  3. Make meringue by mixing egg whites and sugar in an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.  Spread meringue gently over pie.
  4. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until top starts to brown, like the picture below.
  5. Cover and chill 8 hours+ in fridge, or 4 hours in freezer.


*Note: if you want to pipe the meringue on top, you will want to use 3 egg whites and 6 tablespoons of sugar.  And be careful with the pastry bag you use, they have to be large and slightly stiff, like the large one in this reusable set.  Kids like to pipe.*