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!

Is That For Real?

Last night, Barry and I went shopping for some patio furniture. I told I’m we could only get the table if I was allowed to put it together! Being handy gives me some feeling of accomplishment.  I get really proud when I can put things together. So after a lovely table was assembled, I learned that Blueberry Craisins, besides be addicting, are really good in yogurt!

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Moving on…

With internet and Photoshop and the ever evolving technology, its hard to figure out what’s real and what’s just a joke.

I mean, think about it… How many times has Morgan Freeman died or McDonald’s twitter account been hacked?

I saw this breakfast sandwich and thought it was a spoof on Paula Deen, in the midst of her recent dealings in the court. Needless to say, when I walked into Dunkin, I couldn’t believe they actually had a bacon and egg sandwiched between a glazed donut! (Paula is famous for her burger between two Krispy Kremes).

Barry and I have been talking about this sandwich for days, now, and he finally gave into temptation this morning on our way to the shore.

Barry didn’t think the flavors meshed, so naturally I had to try it. I promptly corrected his blasphemy. The saltiness from the bacon and sweetness from the glaze… I held the sandwich for a hot second and was still tasting glaze on my fingers 30 minutes later! That glaze gets everywhere!

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While Barry was driving, I searched this breakfast sandwich, only to find some other interesting food combinations all of the world.

Some items that I found interesting and dangerously tempting to try:

Gross Foods -- In and Out 100 by 100 Burger19 Outrageous Fast Food Items

  • We have a local farm that makes bacon ice cream. I’ve had it and its not super impressive, but you still can’t take away how decadent bacon, ice cream, fudge, and caramel sound together!
  • The Carl’s Jr. Breakfast Sandwich sounds right up my alley. I won’t lie to you… whenever I get BK breakfast, which isn’t very often, I always put my tots on the sandwich! Carb on Carb!
  • Hardee’s Monster Biscuit is like a breakfast meat-lovers paradise! The only thing missing is scrapple!
  • 100×100 Burger is so unrealistic! Who thinks of this? I just want to point out that the only person that might be able to eat this whole thing is Joey Chestnut, and I would want an EMT on standby to revive him after his cheese induced heart attack. (by the way… 1 slice of cheese is around 80 calories… thats 8000 calories of cheese, alone!)

Extreme Eats

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Yeah, that says “Fried Butter!” Yay, Seaside!

  • Um, mac and cheese buns… with mac and cheese… and bacon… and more cheese…. and mayo… Zombie Burger has really done  it!
  • Speaking of Mac and Cheese… the mac and cheese pizza is tasteless from CiCis. I had it when the the company first opened and    was not impressed with anything from the menu.
  • After seeing everything that you can fry at the stand in Seaside, I’m not impressed with the KitKat Pops from the Pizza Hut in the Middle East.

7231366738286_45725Over the Top Fast Food Creations:

  • (Slide 2) The ‘Merica Burger just looks like a heart attack.
  • (Slide 5) A Sloppy Joe on a Krispy Kreme! I dig sloppy joes because they are, well, sloppy… I can only imagine the pairing of    sweet donut to the tangy sauce…
  • (Slide 9) Sonic’s PB and Bacon Shake= Instant obesity. Check out the sugar content! 82g of sugar and 79g of fat!
  • (Slide 16) BK Japan puts pumpkin on some buns with a nut sauce. The concept sounds delicious in spite of the pumpkin being      fried, but, hey, maybe this will be the next BeWell make over!
  • (Slide 23) When I was a kid, stuffed crust pizza was my jam. Now, Pizza Hut UK has a hot dog stuffed crust. After looking up the    nutritional facts, I may have to dabble in a homemade version, because the concept just sounds too good!

Barry shared this with me. I’ve heard of the Tur-Duck-en, but this is a whole new level of crazy!

So much for this being a healthy living blog…