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Apple Bread Pudding

I found this recipe this week in a Taste of Home magazine.  I would never eat bread pudding as a kid, but as an adult, I have formed a small addiction to it.  I love it and anywhere I go that might have it on the menu for dessert, I order it.  So when I saw this recipe for an apple bread pudding with a caramel drizzle over it, I knew it would be on the menu this fall.  This morning I made an entire 9×13 pan and realized that I was going to need to find someone to share it with.  No one in my house will eat this, don’t ask me why…I live with a bunch of freaks.  So I called my BFF and invited myself and my bread pudding over for brunch.  We had pudding, coffee and good talk, a perfect way to spend a rainy Saturday morning.  Enjoy!


Apple Bread Pudding with Caramel Drizzle

3/4 cup butter

4 cups chopped peeled tart apples (I used Honeycrisp)

2 cups sugar

3 t. cinnamon (I might have used 3 Tablespoons, I tend to over dose on the spices)

2 t. vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9×13 pan.  In a large skillet, mix together the butter, apples, sugar and cinnamon.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Reduce heat, simmer uncovered until apples are tender, stirring occasionally.

6 eggs

2 1/2 cups milk

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup heavy cream

dash of nutmeg (Again, I tend to be very liberal with my dashes)

1 loaf of almost stale bread (recipe called for french loaf, I just used plain white bread)

For bread pudding, whisk eggs, milk, sugar and nutmeg until blended.  Stir in bread crumbs and apple mixture.  Transfer to a greased 9×13 pan.  Bake uncovered for 45-55 minutes, until a knife comes out clean in the middle.  I just used a jar of ice cream caramel to drizzle over each individual serving.  Serve warm, it’s soooo good.  Transfer left overs into the refrigerator, when ready to eat, just microwave for a few seconds until hot again and enjoy all over again!

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Tomato Jam

About a year ago, we were out in Wisconsin visiting my Grandma, who is now over 80 years old.  Her and her boyfriend still have a huge garden that they harvest and almost everything that comes out of it, they can.  At dinner one night, my Grandma pulled out a jar of tomato jam.  I thought in my head, “Gross, who eats this stuff.  It sounds disgusting.”  My Grandma told me to take a piece of toast and just try it.  Four pieces of toast later, I was hooked.  This has turned into my favorite jam ever and I decided to plant tomato plants this year just so i could make a bunch of it.  Well, my tomato plants were terrible, I ended up getting about 4 tomatoes from them.  But my sister, who has a very green thumb and a huge garden, had plenty to share.  So today was tomato jam day.  I’m not kidding, you must try this jam.  I promise, you will definitely be wanting more!

Tomato Jam:

3 cups of peeled and crushed tomatoes

3 T. lemon juice

1/2 t. cloves

1/2 t. allspice

1/2 t. cinnamon

1 box Sure-Gel

4 1/2 c. sugar

Mix all but sugar together in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Cook for 2-3 minutes.  Add sugar.  Cook at a slow boil for 10 minutes, stirring often.  Have your jars sterilized and ready to fill according to how you normally can.  Laddle into jars and process with a hot water bath for 10 minutes.  Remove from bath and cool.  Enjoy!

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Rhubarb Orange Marmalade

This week’s recipe was rhubarb orange marmalade.  I’ve been trying to do one recipe a week in my new canning obsession.  This recipe had three ingredients and turned out awesome!  So so so so good.  If you like orange marmalade, you will love this.  If you still have rhubarb, make this today!  You will not be disappointed.  Enjoy!

Rhubarb Orange Marmalade Jam:

6 cups chopped rhubarb

6 cups sugar

2 medium oranges

Combine rhubarb and sugar in a large dutch oven.  Grind oranges in their entirety in a food processor, add to rhubarb and sugar.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring OFTEN until marmalade sheets from a spoon (when you dip a cool metal spoon in the mix and when pulled out, the jam runs off the spoon in a sheet, not in drips), about 1 hour.  Remove from heat, skim off foam.  Carefully ladle hot mix into hot half-pint jars, leaving 1/4″ head space.  Remove air bubbles, wipe rims and adjust lids.  Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water canner.

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Cherry Rhubarb Jam

About 10 years ago I tried my hand at canning, hot water bath canning.  I started with peaches and proceeded to make a huge mess, with only half of the jars sealing.  Epic fail.  So I decided I would stick with freezer jams and jellies and leave the canning to the professionals, like my Grandma.  This year I passed a magazine on a rack titled “Canning & Preserving.”  I decided this year is the year to conquer my fears and try again.  The front of the magazine has hot bath canning recipes, the back has freezer and refrigerator recipes.  Just because I had the ingredients in the house, I started with a refrigerator jam tonight.  Tomorrow morning, toast and jam, no question…SO GOOD.  And a beautiful red, could easily be used as Christmas gifts.  The only negative in my book is that it is not a freezer jam and needs to be eaten within three weeks.  After my first taste, that will not be a problem.  Enjoy!


Cherry Rhubarb Jam

4 cups rhubarb, chopped

1 1/2 cup white sugar

1 – 3 oz pkg cherry geletin

1 can cherry pie filling

1 t. almond extract

Place rhubarb and sugar in a large dutch oven or saucepan.  Let sit for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.  Bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes, or until rhubarb is tender.  Remove from heat.  Stir in geletin until dissolved.  Stir in pie filling and extract.  Transfer to jars and allow to cool.  Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.  Enjoy!




Quick Rhubarb Crisp

I found this recipe on Pinterest for rhubarb dump cake.  I had a nice crop of rhubarb this spring and had some that still needed to be used up.  I decided to make this for Sunday dessert at Mom’s house today.  It was easy, used only a couple ingredients and was delicious.  I think my Dad ate half the pan.  I especially liked it warmed up a bit in the microwave with vanilla ice cream on top, or as you fancy folks call it, a la mode.  Enjoy!



Quick Rhubarb Crisp

4-5 cups rhubarb, cut into 1″ pieces

1 cup white sugar

1 – 3 oz pkg strawberry gelatin

1 yellow cake mix

1 cup water

1/2 cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Pour rhubarb into the bottom of a 9×13 pan.  Spread evenly.  Evenly spread sugar over rhubarb.  Spread strawberry gelatin over sugar.  Spread yellow cake mix over gelatin.  Do not stir or mix.  Just layer these ingredients.  Then pour water evenly over cake mix.  Finally pour melted butter over entire pan.  Try to moisten as much of the cake mix as you can with the water and butter.  But do NOT mix.  Bake for 45-55 minutes.  Serve while warm with vanilla ice cream.  Or store covered until the next day and just warm up individual pieces in the microwave for about 20 seconds.  Yummy!



Cinnamon Roll Cake

This morning we have a big clean up at our church, inside and out.  I found this recipe on Pinterest this week and thought it would be a great time to try it out, I’m bringing it to church this morning to share with everyone helping at the clean up.  These were quick and easy to make.  They tasted great while still warm.  Now if I could only find the recipe for the cinnamon roll frosting that they used at Happiness Is restaurant in Byron Center all those years ago when I was young.  I had to settle for plain powdered sugar frosting.  Try these on a Saturday morning…you won’t be disappointed!  Enjoy!


Cinnamon Roll Cake:

3 c. flour
1/4 tsp.salt
1 c. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 c. milk
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. butter, melted

1 c. butter, softened
1 c. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. cinnamon

Mix everything together except for the butter. Slowly stir in the melted butter and pour into a greased 9×13 pan. For the topping, mix all the ingredients together until well combined. Drop evenly over the batter and swirl with a knife. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

2 c. powdered sugar
5 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

While warm drizzle the glaze over the cake.



Yellow Cake Bars

I found this recipe on Pinterest this week.  I told my mom that I would bring a dessert for lunch on Sunday, so I thought I would try these.  So easy with only five ingredients.  I’ve seen this recipe, or variations of it, many times.  But I thought I would share with those of you who might not have seen this before.  My sister-in-law also makes these for her Christmas platters every year.  Yummy and easy, my favorite kind of recipe.  Enjoy!


Yellow Cake Bars:

1 box yellow cake mix
3 eggs
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, melted
4 cups (1 lb) powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 300 and spray a 9×13 dish with cooking spray. Mix cake mix, melted butter and one egg to a soft dough. Press into the bottom of the pan. Mix powdered sugar, softened cream cheese and remaining two eggs until smooth. Pour on top of crust. Bake at 300 degrees for 40-50 minutes until top is golden brown.


Coconut Flan with Caramel Sauce


So, I took my husband on a surprise vacation to Miami, FL a few weeks ago.  We only went for a few days and my intentions were only to sit in the sun and eat all I wanted.  We did sit in the sun, but did not make it out to any of the restaurants I wanted to try.  But…I did order room service the first night we were there and thought I’d try to coconut flan on the menu.  I’ve never had flan and really didn’t even know what it was I was ordering.  But oh my goodness…when I took the first bite, I knew I’d be trying to recreate this at home.  Flan is actually a Spanish dish very much like custard.  It looks difficult to make, but my first try last night produced awesome results!  The flan I had in Miami came in little, one serving ramekin sizes; but the recipe I found online said I could do this in a bundt pan.  I used a sunflower shaped flat bundt pan my mother gave me.  This worked great and looked beautiful.  After my first bite, I knew I had a winner.  This was easy, tasted great and my dinner company enjoyed it also.  Enjoy!

Cocount Flan with Caramel Sauce:

1 cup caramel sauce

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 can (13.5 oz) unsweetened cocount milk

1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk

6 eggs

1 T vanilla

1/2 t salt

1/2 cup sweetened coconut, toasted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray bundt pan with cooking spray.  Warm caramel sauce (I just bought a jar of ice cream caramel sauce and zapped it in the microwave for about 30 seconds).  Using an electric mixer, mix sweetened condensed milk, coconut milk, evaporated milk, eggs, vanilla and salt.  Take the caramel sauce and pour into bundt pan, turning to coat the bottom and sides.  Pour flan mixture over the caramel sauce.  Now, the trick to this is to place the bundt pan in a roasting pan and fill the roasting pan with water so that the water comes about half way up the sides of the bundt pan.  Cover the bundt pan with foil.  Carefully, place the pan set into the oven and bake for about 1 hour and 40 minutes, until the center is set but still jiggles slightly.  Remove from oven and let cool in pan for about 40 minutes.  Transfer the pan, still covered, to the refrigerator over night or at least 3 hours.  Remove from fridge and invert onto a serving platter.  The caramel sauce will spill all over the flan, which is fine.  Slice to serve and sprinkle with toasted coconut.  ENJOY!

Almond Bars

Simple and delicious!  It does not get any better than that.  A coworker brought these bars in the other day and I was going to have just one little bite.  Well, once you taste these, you’ll see how that went.  One bite turned into 3 full servings.  These are oh so good.  Very easy and they make the house smell fantastic while cooking.  Enjoy!

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Almond Bars:

1 cup butter, room temp

1 3/4 cups sugar

1 lb almond paste

Cream together with mixer.  Add:

2 eggs

1/2 t salt

3 cups flour

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Grease a 9×13 pan.  Cream butter, sugar and almond paste together.  Add eggs, salt and flour.  As I was putting this together, I thought for sure something was missing from the ingredient list.  These go together VERY thick, the batter is almost like cookie dough.  But continue on.  Press this into the 9×13 pan.  Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until slightly brown.  Cool completely and sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Enjoy!

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Chocolate Cherry Cake

This is a recipe that my mom got from her sister-in-law, my Aunt Cathy.  She’s not officially my aunt anymore, but I will always consider her my Aunt Cathy.  This is another VERY easy cake recipe, only takes a few minutes to make and is delicious!  If you love chocolate, this is for you.  I had actually completely forgotten about this cake, but last week my sister made the request that I make this cake for lunch after church tomorrow.  So I had my mom dig out her recipe card and I made it today.  And because I needed an “after” shot for this blog post, I just had to cut a piece out and test it.  So, so, so good!  The only piece of advise, be care for any cherry pits that might have made their way into the canned cherry pie filing.  I found one in the piece I cut out, hopefully it’s the only one in there.  Make this today and enjoy!


Chocolate Cherry Cake:

1 box German chocolate cake mix

2 eggs

1 – 21 oz can of cherry pie filling

2 t. almond extract

Mix above ingredients with a mixer.  Spread into a greased jelly roll pan, 10×15.  The pan I had was a bit bigger, still worked fine, just a thinner cake.  Bake at 350 degrees for 23 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool for one hour.


1 cup sugar

1/2 cup milk

4 T butter

2 cups chocolate chips

Heat sugar, milk and butter on stovetop until boiling.  Remove from heat and add chocolate chips.  Stir well until melted and mixed well.  Pour over cake.  Let cool completely.  Enjoy!