Saturday, June 7, 2008

Thank you, Ms. Deen!

Although my Granny used to make Gooey Butter Cake, Paula Deen is the one that introduced me to the variations of this rich, flavorful, fat-filled delight! I love the pumpkin version, and I've made it that past two Thanksgivings...and it's been a big hit, both times. I can't wait for Thanksgiving in June so that I can make it again! Check out the Haunted Hamlet for my favorite Halloween version!! This is from Paula's book, Lady and the Son's Just Desserts

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake
1 (18.25-ounce) box yellow cake mix
1 egg
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 (16-ounce) box confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 13x9x2-inch baking pan.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine cake mix, egg, and butter and mix well. Pat into the bottom of prepared pan and set aside.
Still using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth; add eggs and vanilla. Dump in confectioners' sugar and beat well. Reduce speed of mixer and slowly pour in butter. Mix well.
Pour filling onto cake mixture and spread evenly. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Don't be afraid to make a judgment call on the cooking time, because oven temperatures can vary. You want the center to be a little gooey, so don't bake it past that point!
Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Cut into squares. Just remember that these wonderful little cakes are very, very rich, and a little will go a long way-even for piggies like me!

Pumpkin Gooey: This variation has to be at the top of my list, especially around Thanksgiving. For the cake part, I sometimes use a spice cake mix. I have even used a chocolate cake mix, but I think my favorite is the basic yellow cake mix. Follow the original recipe, adding a 15-ounce can of pumpkin pie filling and an extra egg to the cream cheese filling. Bake as usual, remove from oven, and allow to cool. Cut into squares and top each square with a pecan half. Serve with a dollop of fresh whipped cream. I promise you'll never want pumpkin pie again!

Those are Paula's comments, but she's won't!!

Thanksgiving in June!

Happyalice over at Magical Holiday Homementioned that her clever hubby asked her if, since we are all celebrating Christmas in July over there, if that means we'd have Thanksgiving in June! Although he might have been joking (or maybe not!) I've decided that is a FABULOUS idea!! So, we'll be having Thanksgiving in June! It'll be the 4th Thursday in June, which is June 26, Turkey Day!! So we'll do just that...we'll have a turkey breast (cooked in the the crockpot with a package of French Onion Soup mix poured over it, it is so good!), dressing, green beans, mashed potatoes, baked sweet potatoes, rolls and pumpkin gooey cake. I am already excited about it! Thanks for the idea, Mr. Happyalice! Even though I try to do something similar on Turkey Day, this is the first time that I'm calling it "Thanksgiving in June"! Don't you just LOVE IT??


Monday, June 2, 2008

Autumn in the Country

Here's some tips from Gooseberry Patch's Autumn in the Country cookbook. If you are not familiar with these books, I highly recommend them. They are fabulous for their recipes (mostly country type food, but quick and easy usually!), but they have great tips on the bottom of each page as well.

Here's a few that I've either done or plan to do this year:

*Top decorative urns with plump pumpkins for a quick and easy doorstep welcome. Orange pumpkins are oh, so cheerful, or try white Lumina pumpkins for a ghostly appearance!

*Enjoy a weekend retreat, at home or away! Spend the day in your jammies...savor a leisurely brunch, work puzzles, re-read a favorite book or browse holiday catalogs. What could be cozier?

*Put away summer toss pillows for the season...set out warm & cozy cushions of flannel or fleece

*Go out and greet the sunrise! Wrap warm breakfast breads in a vintage tea towel before tucking into a basket...add a thermos of hot coffee or tea

*Stir caramel topping into a mug of hot cider for an instant warmer-upper

*Carve an extra Jack O'Lantern or two and deliver to elderly neighbors so they can enjoy some Halloween fun...what a neighborly gesture!

*Set mini pumpkins on top of terra cotta pots...line them up the front porch steps for a cheery welcome!

*An oh-so-simple harvest decoration...roll out a wheelbarrow and heap it full of large, colorful squash and pumpkins

*Tuck some aluminum foil wrapped apples or sweet potatoes into campfire coals for a treat. When they're tender, sprinkle with brown sugar or right from the foil packet.

And, finally a quote that I just love:

All seasons are beautiful for the person who carries happiness within. Horace Friess

Carry happiness within!