Texas Sheet Cake: Real Food Style

texassheetcake

.

I have had a lot of trouble transitioning a handful of recipes over to real foodified versions, and they invariably contain powdered sugar in the original recipe.  For example, I have these lime cooler cookies that are to die for, but there is just no other way to make lime juice glaze without powdered sugar!  Honey is okay, but powdered sugar really makes them perfect.

But these aren’t lime coolers.  And even though the original recipe for Texas sheet cake calls for powdered sugar in the glaze, I am happy to say that my real foodified version of Texas sheet cake is not only bomb, but passed the approval of several high school aged kids that didn’t know they were eating unrefined-sugar and whole grain Texas sheet cake. In fact, all they said was “YUM!” and “What’s your website, again?”  I’ll take it!

So first of all, let me tell you why I love this chocolate dessert probably the best of all chocolate desserts, cakes or cookies anywhere.  Yep.  I love Texas sheet cake that much! [Read more…]

Orange Brownies = Orangies

orange brownies = orangies

I saw a picture of these orange brownies on Pinterest, and I was immediately transported to a memory of eating orange rolls dripping with orange icing.  Why am I such a sucker for anything with citrus in it?  Anyways, these orange brownies, or as I like to call them, orangies, are perfect for a light dessert.  One of my friends called them “orange heaven”.  I’ll take it!

For whatever reason, I am tied to oranges for good.  I grew up in a house in northern California, surrounded by orange trees in the front and back yards.  We would climb them and play lava monster, or hide from our beagle, Claire.  You could smell orange blossoms all over the neighborhood in the spring.

[Read more…]

Family Tradition: The Birthday Fairy, Yellow Butter Cake, and a Golden Birthday

golden birthday cake

My mom has a bit of magic in her.  Always has.  I think I have this magic in me, too.  Maybe it’s genetic…  My mom invented this amazing thing called The Birthday Fairy (shhh, don’t tell!).

When you wake up on your birthday, did you know the Birthday Fairy has been there?

You might be covered in glitter.  As you get out of bed, you might see a trail of candy and small trinkets leading the way from your bed to the hallway and then down to the living room where your wrapped presents lay in a pile.  You might wonder how the Birthday Fairy knew that you really, really wanted jelly shoes.  (Child of the 80’s alert: I remember thinking this!)

I have implemented this idea ever since I got married (as my initially begrudging husband can confirm), but I have really enjoyed it as my sons have gotten old enough to anticipate the Birthday Fairy coming on their special day.  Plus, this year is extra special, because not only is the Birthday Fairy coming, but she is bringing Golden Birthday themed treats and presents.  And I am making a yellow (golden) butter cake for the occasion! [Read more…]

Classic Peach Cobbler

whole grain peach cobbler

If you like to go camping, you’ve probably got a cast iron Dutch oven in your garage.  And if you have a Dutch oven, and you’re like me, then you have probably made peach cobbler in it at some point.  I love the combination of sweet peaches and cake batter, all together in a paper bowl, all while sitting under the trees in nature.

But while peach cobbler is one of my favorite camping treats, for me it is still most closely associated with my Gramma’s house.  Most Sundays we would all end up over at her house, playing with cousins and eating ham and au gratin potatoes.

For dessert I remember having bowls of peach cobbler with vanilla ice cream slowly melting over the top.  Bright yellow peaches and vanilla bean flecks running in creamy rivulets into the golden cake.  Perfection! [Read more…]

Strawberry Freezer Jam: Real Foodified!

As a child, I used to open the big freezer in my garage and gaze at all the hot pink jars of strawberry freezer jam lining the shelves on the inside of that big heavy door.  There was nothing better than a piece of toast with that jam slathered on top.  And we never ran out!  It was as if it regenerated all on it’s own.

Ah to be young, and not see the efforts of your mother.  Of course it was that my mother would process quarts and quarts of strawberry jam in a large pot, canning them for the freezer and so we would have a good-sized supply for at least several months at a time.  It is this flavor-memory that makes this recipe I am sharing today so meaningful.  [Read more…]