Comfort Foods and Indulgences

kingcakeEvery Mardi Gras, I have been wanting to make a King Cake for the kids.  I just never seem to have the extra time.  So when I came across an easy idea to make this happen, I went for it.

The King Cake is a dessert eaten all over the world in different forms and associated with the festivities of Mardi Gras, and it is no where more beloved than New Orleans.

It is normally a sweetened, yeasted bread stuffed with a cinnamon, cream cheese or praline filling and shaped into an oval ring.  It is then topped with white icing and sprinkled with yellow, green and purple sprinkles.  A small, plastic baby is then stuffed inside and whoever finds the trinket is declared the KING!

Anyways, this is the ultimate King Cake cheating recipe.  However, if you find yourself short on time, give this a whirl.  It surely tasted delicious!!

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orangemuffins.jpg As I do before posting most of my recipes, I shared this one with my mom. Unlike most of my recipes, she didn't sound exactly thrilled when I read it to her. (She's not that into chocolate. Weird, I know. But whadda ya gonna do?)

The very next day I got a phone call, that went like this:

"Susan. I made those orange and chocolate chip muffins yesterday. OH. MY. GOD. They were soooo good!"

"Really? You thought so?"

"Oh, there's just something so wonderful about the combination of the tangy orange and the sweet chocolate. And you know walnuts are my favorite."

"I'm so happy you liked them!"

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Chicken-Tenderloin-Parmesan-bakedWeeknight dinners can be daunting if you are working all day or chasing kids around after school. We have been in the middle of basketball season, which means, three nights a week it is chaos at dinnertime. Mostly because the kids are starving by the time they get home. 

Everyone here loves chicken Parmesan, but I don't really have time on a weeknight to pound out chicken breasts, make red sauce and shred several kinds of cheese. As a result, I have come up with an alternative, quick method everyone in my family really enjoys. The best part, I can literally throw this together after a basketball game and it's ready in no time.

The only thing I have to remember is take out a package of tenderloins from the freezer in the morning. I buy them in bulk at Costco.

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pie smores slicesSummer has officially arrived in Los Angeles. It’s hot. My oven hasn’t been turned on for days. Dinners are all about the BBQ, my saute pan, and lots and lot of fresh veggies and salads.

Not using my oven is a big problem for the dessert loving boys that I happen to live with. There is only so much ice cream one can make and berries dipped in homemade chocolate sauce doesn’t always satisfy the sweet tooth. The question is; what can I make for dinner, including dessert that didn’t require me turning on my oven.

I am not fond of a no bake pie. I like most desserts cooked and sometimes, the more well done the better. So, in order to beat the heat, give my family the dessert they deserve, I have whipped up a sweet treat that both young and old will devour.

Grabbing a bag of gluten free graham cracker crumbs from the freezer, and a block of Scharffen Berger chocolate, I got to work before the mid morning sun heated up my kitchen. If you want something quick, easy, using only pantry staples, this is the dessert for you.

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stoutcake.jpgIf ginger is your thing, this is most definitely for you. I sit here writing and contemplating if I should go get another piece...it would be my fourth. There is something about 10 degree weather that makes you want to bake and eat. So I did.

Let me mention the incredible flavor this cake has to offer. It has so much complexity and richness between the Guinness, the molasses, fresh and ground ginger and other spices. However, the best part is how incredibly moist this is...just look at it.

I truly feel if you are going to gift a loaf, this should be the one. At the very least try it for yourself, it's worthwhile to bake up. I also think it would be splendid with a dollop of whipped cream.  Yum.

Oh, I almost forgot, no mixer is needed, that's always the best.

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