Pumpkin, meet Butter Cake

Hello!

I’ve missed you all sooooooo much!

45 hr of work+ nursing school = when the heck do I get to blog?

I have finished up another semester of working towards my BSN, and am on Winter Break. Alleluia! But despite that equation of little sleep, a girls still gotta eat, right? So no worries, my blog family. I’m still a cooking machine!

Last year, I brought bourbon-spiked sweet potato casserole to the table. This year, I’m still keeping it orange.

There is a bakery I grew up on in Philly called Stock’s Bakery. The sticky buns, danishes, and donuts are massive. Every Easter, Grandmom gets pound cake for everyone.

But… on special occasions, we get butter cake. Not like Betty Crocker butter cake… BUTTER CAKE!

How in the world can I make this decedent, guilty pleasure? I’ve asked the universe since I was a wee one.

When I was younger, Stock’s would sell out of butter by noon. If we remembered, we would call and reserve it. It is nothing fancy to look at:

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All Photo Credit: Stock’s Bakery Facebook

 

Off-white, cracked surface, in a shallow metal tin, wrapped in wax paper. The End.

Then you cut into it, and as you remove your knife from the pan, you watch this gooey, creamy filling mask the metal of the cutlery. This thin square you have just cut is melt-in-your-mouth heaven!

Oh my goodness, I think I’m drooling on my keyboard.. Oops!

Then, last year, on one of my Cooking Channel binders, I saw Bobby Deen make a lighter version of his Mama’s Gooey Butter Cake. Game on, Bobby, game on. After reviewing his recipe, I cut it back a bit more using applesauce, liquid egg substitute, and a reduced fat cream cheese. (I can’t believe cream cheese is the secret!) But then October hit.

It’s Pumpkin Season!!!

Then November rolled around, and suddenly, it’s Thanksgiving! The family has been in a funk over the past year, and getting even funkier, but with my own apartment, now, and a dad and an uncle so close to me, it was my turn to have my very first thanksgiving!

On the Menu:

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NOT sharing

 

  • Rosemary and apricot glazed turkey breast
  • Bourbon-Spiked Sweet Potato Casserole
  • Roasted Thyme and Lemon Veggies
  • Cranberry sauce made from scratch
  • The last of the beloved Grandmom Thanksgiving Stuffing from the freezer
  • Turkey gravy
  • Spinach Roll (A Wilmington institution, Serpe’s Bakery, caught fire last year and had to close. They reopened and we had to get a slice of tomato pie. While there, Dad mentioned how difficult it must be to make their spinach and pepperoni rolls. I accepted the challenge. I think he knew I would, that sneaky old man!)

But it isn’t quite Turkey Day without…

Turkey… duh..

No, dessert!

With pumpkin on the brain, the warming scent of cinnamon air that fills the season, and a partial (very large) can of pumpkin in the fridge, the gears began-a-turning…

When I made Bobby’s cake, the “crust” was much thicker than Stock’s. Ok, let’s cut that back. Flavor was there, but… Ok, let’s “Fall” this thing up!

 Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake

10-16 slices

The Cake

  • ½ package of carrot cake or spice cake- cake mix
  • ¼ cup milk of choice
  • 1 tsp lemon juicepump
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce, maybe pumpkin

The Gooey

  • 8oz fat free cream cheese, room temp
  • 1 cup pure pumpkin, NOT pie filling
  • ¼ cup plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp light buttery spread (like Blue Bonnet light, or Country Crock light)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ¾ cup powdered/confectioners sugar

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Mix all cake ingredients well. Transfer to a 9 inch pie pan or square pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.

Beat the filling ingredients, slowly incorporating the powdered sugar. Pour over the cake batter and smooth the surface.

Bake 30-35 minutes, and allow it to rest and cool.

 

Optional: Drizzle with melted white chocolate. Why? Just because.

Nutrition (1/16):

Calories: 100, Fat: 1g, Sat. Fat: 0.4g, Cholesterol: 2.2mg, Sodium: 192.6mg, Carbs: 19.8g, Fiber: 0.7g, Sugars: 12.8g, Protein: 3g

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It is a rich cake, so with a bit of whipped cream, 1/16 is quite guiltlessly satisfying. But be my guest to cut a bigger piece… You’ll want to! 

Daniel was invited to a co-worker’s house at his new base, for which I was very thankful. I think he was super excited, too, because he baked three pies to take with him! Yeah, he bakes! Crazy, right?!

So after some good company, yummy food, a glass of wine, and a slice of Fall heaven, it was time to relax.

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The following day, I was back in the kitchen! I baked ALL day! I may or may not have raided the discount rack at the farmers market and bought like 20lb of apples….

You’d think after baking 2 apple pies, 3 batches of cookies, and about 10lb of apples worth of applesauce, I’d be exhausted, right?

I could not pass up the invitation to catch up with my friends at Tim and Tori’s house! I went to high school with both of them, and now they are engaged! Timmy was my first crush in high school and Tori is one of my bridesmaids.

I walked into Timmy and Tori’s house to see a kitchen of my high school crushes! Some of them I haven’t seen since high school graduation! It was like we never parted! Hugs and laughs the whole night! It was absolutely fantastic and just what I needed to break away from the stress, monotony, and isolation of being a working student.

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I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving, surrounded by love and laughs!

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Cleaning Out My Addiction

I was able to squeeze in about 4 hour of sleep before being woken up by some family quarreling outside my bedroom door. I was pretty nervous that this shift was going to be a long one. I wasn’t sure what today would have in store for me either. If you recall, the last night shift I worked went great and went to hell when I got home.

Some days coffee really hits the spot. Before heading off for night shift last night, I brewed a mug of Chocolate Cherry coffee and added a splash of sugar free Kahlua flavored syrup. Delicious!

I arrived at work to find that I was, again, on a 1:1. Okay, this is looking a lot like last Friday night…

After reading a few chapters of a book I brought, it was lunch time. A nice filling helping of Bundo Broccoli Salad, with slices of apples and cucumbers and PB on the side. I was very full at the end of this meal and prayed that this recognition of fullness would last for the remainder of my shift. And it did! It was a water-filled, fiberful meal!

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I was freezing upon returning to my 1:1 and was so thankful for the hot green tea I had just brewed! I’ve noticed a mildly sore throat the WP_003867last two days, and I’m positive its from the Fall allergies and crazy weather fluctuations. I’ve been trying to stay proactive in the fight buy drinking hot green tea. I managed to get a few chapter read, however, and finalize a project I’ve been working on.

I had a sense that today, too, would be a long one. After getting done work at 7am, I wanted to attend a forum at 730, since it had to do with a large number of my patient population on my unit. My plan was to go home afterwards and whip up a shake.

WP_003869I have been wanting to make a Key Lime smoothie for a while now, but I wasn’t about to pass up National Chocolate Milkshake Day! On my way out of my meeting, I saw someone had brought in a huge bag of Halloween candy… Snickers of all things! I was so proud of myself for ignoring it, but when I arrived home, I attempted a Snickers shake for breakfast. It definitely did not taste like a snickers, but it was very filling and I went with it. In fact, I came back to finish it while working on dad’s birthday surprise. I wound up adding it my mug a coffee to create a mocha latte of sorts. Frank had requested a Pina Colada shake, and I have to say, it was one of the best I’ve made. But, alas, it still was NOT bedtime! It was bake time. For the past few weeks, I’ve been working on a recipe for dad’s birthday. Today was the day I finally got to put my creative juice into fruition. I was praying for success and thats what I got! Thank you, God! The house smelled heavenly an I got to use one of my favorite fall ingredient!

WP_003870Around 1pm, I snacked on some dry cereal and sparkling water. Something did not sit right and I actually got sick! I’m always keeping it interesting, aren’t I?

Since I had time at work, I decide to go through my phone. I had so many  favorites that I had created when I was in the height of my illness. I went through, deleting so many things. Why did I save that? I’m never going to cook that. Oh that sound good! I did the same thing when I got home and began weeding through my recipe binders, throwing out useless recipes and things I knew would never be made. I was hoping this might help refocus some of my attention and inspire some healthy meals to come.

But I Want Pancakes!

“Pancakes! Pancakes! Pancakes!” My stomach has been chanting this all week long! I had every intention of a Sunday Pancake breakfast. My tummy had other plans. After work last night, I ate a slice of pizza. I do not think this settled well with me, as I woke up at 6 am feeling nauseous.

After dragging myself out of bed this morning, I made some lemon ginger tea. ( Ginger is good for the stomach, ya know). I had even a hard time swallowing that. I blame myself for this one… I really shouldn’t have eaten something like that before heading to bed.

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I left to go to the hospital to get information on my patients for clinical this week. By the time I left the hospital, I started to feel like I was ready to get something in my stomach. I took it easy with a toasted slice of Sara Lee Blueberry Crumble Bread and some PB2, alone with a bit of a Jazz apple. Have you ever heard of a Jazz apple. It reminded me of a Gala Apple, but with a bit more crunch. My absolute favorite apples, though, are Fuji and Honey Crisp!

After a day of snacking on bread, my stomach started feeling a bit better. I made the dinner I had planned for tonight with the hopes it would settle well. Dinner was in the breakfast form of an egg white omelet stuffed with avocado, red bell pepper, onion, tomato, and shredded fat free cheddar. This was super yummy and I ate it with half a banana with the intent to fill myself with some nutrients. This picture does not look very attractive but its good! When I visited Meaghen in NYC, I stopped by a cafe and the woman in front of me ordered this in a burrito. I got the same and did not regret it!

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Things were feeling good, but as the night progressed, the stomach aches got worse. Theres been a bug going around these parts, and I’m convinced it was a combo of that and the pizza, that my body is not accustomed to eating. My parents are funny.. they started having sympathy pains for me! I’m praying for a recovery for clinical in the morning.