Citrus Spring Pound Cake: with a can of pop

For Easter, I was in charge of dessert and was debating about what to make until I discovered we had a tiny can of Sierra Mist (like Sprite) pop in our garage.
Literally, it was a mini-can at only 7 oz. I have no idea where it came from or who left it there.
I took this as a sign from the baking gods and went with it.

A few weeks ago, I had found this absolutely divine looking citrus pound cake from The Pioneer Woman (here).
It just so happens to involve one cup of 7-up (or Sprite or Sierra Mist).

So I just had to make it.

Picture credit: The Pioneer Woman.

Picture credit: The Pioneer Woman. Her baking is like art.

The only thing I altered was I added an orange to the mix. I don’t think you can have zested lemon and lime and then omit orange.

Also – I WANT HER BUNDT PAN. It is a Nordic Ware Jubille Bundt pan and… I have dreams about this pan.

And finally, if you have a KITCHENAID MIXER (this is the one I have)- this will make this recipe oh-so-easy. I relied heavily on mine.

Ingredients

For the cake-

3 sticks of butter
3 cups sugar
5 whole eggs
3 cups flour
1 cup 7-up (I used Sierra Mist)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbl. Lemon, Lime, Orange zest (that is one of each)

For the Glaze-
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbl. (of each) of lemon, lime, orange zest — dried for at least 30 mins.
1 Tbl. (of each) lemon, lime, orange juice
1 Tbl. water (might need to add more)

Do you spot what is by the couch? Creepy.

Do you spot what is by the couch? Creepy.

Cake

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2. Zest all you lime, lemon, orange. Doing this ahead of time saves you a lot of time. Be sure to save the juice for the glaze.

Zested and it smells so good!

Zested and it smells so good!

3. Bust out that mixer and  make sure you fit it with the paddle attachment (not a whisk). Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing throughout the entire process. Add the flour and salt, one cup at a time, mixing. I did all of this with a medium to medium-low speed.

4. Then on LOW (put it on low or else you will make a mess), slowly add the 7-Up until combined. Add your 1 Tbl. of each zested fruit. Mix well.

Mixer made it easy-peasy.

Mixer made it easy-peasy.

5. Spray your bundt pan generously with nonstick baking spray. Add large spoonfuls of batter into the pan until it is evenly filled. Smooth out the surface.

6. Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes. Remove pan from oven and let it cool for 15 minutes.

7. Carefully turn it out onto a cake pan and cool.

Letting it cool.

Letting it cool.

Glaze

Dried zest.

Dried zest.

1. Combine all glaze ingredients in a bowl, whisk until thick but pourable. Use a spoon to drizzle it all over the cake. Let it set, then serve it up!

2. You can use extra zest to sprinkle on top and even cut some fruit pieces to decorate the bottom.

 

All done!

All done!

Sneaking into the background.

Sneaking into the background.

Happy Easter!

Tell me-

What is your favorite Spring dessert to make?

Sincerely,

Lily

Almost Married = Busy, Busy

Three weeks.

Three weeks is all the stands between me and my new life.
I will go from fiance to wife in a matter of seconds.
I will lose my current last name, and gain Mr. Speedy’s.
I will make a promise, an engagement, into a lifetime commitment.
I will be one part of a two part new family.

Serious vogue faces.

Serious vogue faces.

I have done quite a bit to prepare for March 28th, but I still have the following to scratch off my list:

  • Bikini Wax: To do or not to do? Frankly, I have been debating this for months and I still don’t know if I should take the plunge or not.
  • My wedding ring: Next week, I shall go to the jeweler and leave them with my engagement ring so they can make a band that perfectly matches. This is kind of important. Kind of need this done. I already have Mr. Speedy’s boxed up and ready to go.
  • Do not lose weight: When I get busy or stressed, I have a tendency to eat less and less. My dress is getting fitted  to my current bod. Mr. Speedy doesn’t want me any smaller and I don’t want the dress falling off of me. No weight losing is allowed.
  • Beauty regimen: My feet are SCALY LIKE A DRIED UP FISH. Seriously. I am trying really hard to put thick lotion on them every night. This is my main beauty regimen.
  • Coordinate deliveries, finalize reception layout, decor: Ugh…… I am trying not to think about this one too much.
  • Coordinate day of meals: I will be in a hotel suite with my ladies. We will probably be hungry. So far I have mimosas on my list of foods. I should probably work on this.
  • Prepare for visitors! I am just so excited for all the family and friends that are coming into town… I have to mentally prepare my heart and mind for all the visiting. I cannot wait. Mr. Speedy’s family will be here from NE, along with his dear Aunt and Uncle from TX, friends from Iowa, CA, IN, DC, WA, VA… all over. I am beyond excited to see everyone. It is like the best reunion ever.
  • Memorize my vows: If I can memorize the alphabet, I can memorize my vows…. right??? Every time I practice them, I start crying and my heart squeezes up like I am sprinting in a race. I need to learn how to say them c-a-l-m-l-y.
  • Hair Trial: I am doing this on Saturday! I already had one but it did not turn out…. so we are trying it again! If it doesn’t work, I’ll just wear this hat-
So chic.

So chic.

I am getting very curious about what guests are wearing to the wedding…. since it is 1920’s theme, I am sure (and hoping!) there will be lots of pearls, feathers, glitz, tuxes, top hats, and canes. It is also black tie optional, so very formal. I am really excited to see what people wear and how they accessorize. Our entire wedding party will have these 20’s accessories, so no one will be out of place — it’ll be such a roaring good time (so corny, I KNOW)!

In OTHER news, I got Achilles tendinitis about a month ago which really threw me off. Running kind of keeps me balanced and happy and sane and focused. But, I have been healing and biking (very different from running!). Biking is a good workout but it certainly makes one’s butt super sore! I am not sure how my marathon training will be once I start running more… but I am trying not to even think or stress about that at the moment. Marriage is my #1 thought and my marathon just might have to take a back seat for a while.

I have book club this weekend – we read the Divergent trilogy. Has anyone else read these books?? I am excited to get together with the club, eat some food, wine it up, and discuss what faction we would be in and how Tris and Tobias are probably not the greatest couple and should just break up and date other people.

I have a few blogs written… to make myself more visible the next few weeks! So bear with me, they are very wedding-related!

Sincerely,

Almost-Married-Lily

The Best Darn German Chocolate Cake

Although I am German, I have never really enjoyed German Chocolate cake.

Something about the texture of coconut shavings lumped into the frosting has always turned my taste buds away. I really am not too crazy about coconut and I generally like vanilla over chocolate.

HOWEVER- all of that has changed. AMEN.

When I hosted book club, I wanted to make a German Chocolate cake and my fellow book nerd (and the best baker friend a girl could have), pointed me to this recipe. She swore that is was the best and I am pretty sure it is. The recipe is from the famous NY Mangolia Bakery and Carrie Bradshaw would have swooned over it. If you were to bake this and give a piece to Mr. Big, he would have probably dumped Carrie and fled to you.

Whatever was leftover the next day, I took to my parents for dinner and I am suprpised my brother did not lick the platter clean.

Does that not look divine? Ist sew tasteeeey.

Does that not look divine? Ist sew tasteeeey.

Magnolia Bakery’s German Chocolate Cake

  • For the cake:
    4 oz. Baker’s German Sweet Chocolate, broken into squares
    1/2 cup of water
    2 cups all purpose flour
    1 1/2 tsp baking soda
    1/4 tsp salt
    4 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
    1 cup butter, softened (two sticks)
    2 cups sugar
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    1 cup buttermilk
  • For the frosting:
    1 1/2 cans evaporated milk
    6 egg yolks
    2 cups sugar
    1 cup butter, cut into small pieces
    2 tsps vanilla extract
    4 cups sweetened, shredded coconut
    2 cups coarsely chopped pecans

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Grease 3 (I ONLY USED TWO) 9 x 2 round cake pans, then line bottoms with wax paper (I DID NOT DO THIS)

3. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the chocolate with water, stirring to melt the chocolate and blend well. Set aside and let it cool.

This is the chocolate to use people. Do not eat it, you will be tempted to eat it.

This is the chocolate to use people. Do not eat it, you will be tempted to eat it.

4. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

5. In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks together.

6. In a large bowl, on medium speed, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

7. Add the egg yolks, beating until well combined.

Whip it up real good.

Whip it up real good.

8. Add the chocolate mixutre and vanilla extract.

9. Add the dry ingredients in, alternating with the buttermilk, beating after each addition, until smooth.

10. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites on high speed of an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Fold it into the batter.

11. Pour equally into cake pans and bake 25-30 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. DO NOT OVER BAKE- it is very light and fluffy.

Directions for the frosting:

1. In a large saucepan, beat together evaporated milk and egg yolks.

2. Stir in sugr, butter, vanilla extract.

3. Stir over medium heat about 15-18 minutes or until thickened and bubbly and golden in color. Remove from eat.

4. Stir in coconut and pecans.

5. Transfare to a large bowl and cool until room temperature and of good spreading consistency (about 2 hours).

6. When cake is cooled, spread frosting between layers and over top. DONE AND EAT!

German Chocolate Cake!

German Chocolate Cake!

Baking this cake also gave me a perfect reason to use my pretty cake display stand that I got from my baker-book-friend from the shower. It pretty much was begging to be used ever since I unpacked it:

So pretty!

So pretty!

The spread from book club!

The spread from book club!

So….. how many people are fans of this type of cake? What is your favorite cake?

Mine is lemon! I love anything lemon-flavored.

Sincerely,

Lily

A Corny Football Party

I have come to terms that I am a corny kind of gal.
I love corny jokes.
I love corny gestures of love.
I love corny corn muffins.

Mr. Speedy wanted to host a Super Bowl party and naturally, I had to decorate with corny signs. I also made corny corn muffins (it pairs nicely with chili).

Can I just once again stress how amazing FREE PRINTABLES are for parties??? Just google any theme and you can pretty much find some decorations.

If you enjoy parties or need some recipes, read ahead…

I found some great ones at Three Little Monkeys Studio (find them here) perfect for a football fiesta:

printables

Although time consuming to cut, totally worth it.

The day before tha game, I did lots of prep.

I did all the prep after doing the following:

  • Ran 14 miles after 14 days off.
  • One of my eyes froze shut due to large clumps of snow and my lashes catching it all, fusing together in the cold.
  • Showered and then had my hair trial for the wedding.
  • So while prepping all the food, I had a rather nice curly look going on and felt pretty:
My hair is so tamed and pretty. Rare look.

My eye is no longer frozen. Hair is so tamed and pretty. Rare look.

Moving on from frozen eye story and good hair, what was prepared?

I made a pretty banner, complete with a gold glitz ribbon:

FOOTBALL just got classy.

FOOTBALL just got classy.

I made really ridiculous food labels:

FREE THROW apparently is NOT a football term. Mr. Speedy’s friend informed me that it is actually a basketball term.

Whoops…. good thing I didn’t put anything with ‘goalie’ or ‘net.’ Whatever, these corny little signs were adorable.

I relied heavily on recipes from Mr. Speedy’s mom (her family Deviled Eggs), my mother’s chili, and The Pioneer Woman‘s recipes. And speaking of my mother, she was awesome and not only let me use her crockpot (it has a ‘warm’ setting and mine does not) but also came over and helped me prep the chicken and chili. Moms are the best.

  • Buffalo Chicken, Deviled Eggs, Corny Mini-Corn Muffins, Crockpot Chili
spreadLABELED

SO MUCH FOOD.

BUFFALO CHICKEN BITS – warning: VERY spicy. I did not eat these because I’d die.

From The Pioneer Woman’s cookbook- A Year of Holidays. Also, I tripled the recipe (it has 8 servings) but I could have easily added another serving or two (we had 30 guests and it was all gone, gone, gone!)

Chicken Bites:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbl. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • One 12 ounce beer
  • 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into bites

1. Combine flour, cornstarch, salt in a medium bowl.
2. Then pour in beer, whisking. Keep adding beer and whisking until the batter is somewhat thin but still thick to coat chicken.
3. Add a few pieces of the cubed chicken, tossing and coating with batter.
4. In a large pot, fill with 3-4 inches of oil and heat over medium-high heat.
5. Fry up the chicken that is coated until it is a deep golden brown.
6. Set fried chicke on paper towels to drain-cool.
7. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil (make sure the sheet has little sides, not flat), and place chicken evenly on it. Set aside.

Hot Sauce:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • One 12 ounce bottle cayenne pepper sauce (I used Lousiana)
  • 5 dashes of hot sauce
  • 3-4 dashes of Worcestershire sauce

1. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
2. Melt it all together, whisking to combine.
3. Pour it over fried chicken evenly (you can also put the chicken in a large bowl and mix sauce on it that way).
4. If you use a baking sheet, I suggest then popping the chicken in the oven on WARM for about 10 minutes to let sauce fuse with chicken.

Serve it on a platter with toothpicks. I had ranch dip on the side. A blue cheese dip would be great too.

DEVILED EGGS (made these the day before)

      • 18 eggs
      • miracle whip (or mayo)
      • vinegar (I used balsamic)
      • pepper, salt
      • mustard
      • paprika

1. Boil the eggs and peel. Slice them down the middle, long ways.
2. Take out all the yolks and put them in a medium mixing bowl.
3. Add about 1/2 c. of miracle whip, 1/4 cup vinegar, 1-2 tsp. pepper, 1 tsp. salt, and a few hefty squirts of mustard.
4. Mix and mash until smooth. Taste and add more ingredients if needed.
5. Spoon a hefty spoonful in each open egg white. Sprinkle paprika on top.

EXTRA- add capers on top of paprika. Made some mixed with a honey mustard or horseradish.

CORNY CORNBREAD MUFFINS (made these the day before)

      • 2 packages of cornbread mix
      • 1 can of corn

Just follow the direction on the package but add can of corn (drained). I like mini muffins because you can grab a handful and pop them in your mouth easily. Apparently, I don’t like to take bites or chew?!?

CROCKPOT CHILI – easy to make a day ahead, store in cold area, and plug it in a few hours before party.

      • 2 lbs. ground beef (I generally choose a lean one)
      • 1 chopped onion
      • 2 chopped peppers (red, green, whatever you wish)
      • 2 large cans Brooks Chili Hot Beans
      • 2 small cans chili ready diced tomatoes
      • 1 can dark red kidney beans

1. Chop up all the onions and peppers.
2. Saute onion, pepper in a large skillet. Add meat and saute it all together, until cookied. Set aside.
3. In large crockpot, pour all the beans and saute-cooked mixture. Mix well. Cook on low for 4 hours.
4. Serve it with shredded cheese, sour cream, and crackers. Yum!

And now…… desserts are very important in any party.

Generally, I try to keep desserts very healthy- replacing eggs and oil with greek yogurt or applesauce. Omitting large amounts of surgar. Using shredded carrot for moisture. But since it was a football party, I thought I’d just stick to regular recipes and nothing too healthy.

      • Chocolate Nutella Berry Cake, Lemon Bars, Sugar Cookies, Chocolate Covered Pretzels
This cake was zeeee best.

This cake was zeeee best.

Corny label.

Corny label.

So tasty!

So tasty!

NUTELLA CHOCOLATE BERRY CAKE

Find the recipe here. Boy oh boy, was this a treat-

A cocoa chocolate cake, thickly spread with nutella, then a hefty layer of homemade whip cream, sugared strawberries and boysenberries, and then repeated.

I had no leftovers. This was all gone. The recipe only called for strawberries but I would add any berry or fruit that suits your fancy.

Don’t like nutella? Use peanut butter. 🙂

The Lemon Bars were made from a box. They are super easy and super tasty.
The cookies were store bought because…. that is what happened.
The chocolate covered pretzels my dear fried made (she even drizzled them in team colors) and they were perfecto!

So tell me…

Did you watch the game? Did you make anything crazy good to share? Did you eat too much and have a food baby the entire night? I did not watch the game and did not figure out who was playing until about half-way through it… and I think all these food items were crazy good. Guests brought lots of great dips and appetizers too! And… I still have a food baby from yesterday. It is poking out, I can feel it.

But it was so worth it.

Sincerely,

Lily