Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Polenta French Toast

I have been saving this recipe for awhile...waiting for the right moment. The stars had to align perfectly, ya know? Anyway I was making a big ole pot of polenta and realized there was no way I was eating that much Italian polenta with the Creole Chicken and Sausage I made in the slow cooker. I remembered I wanted to try Breakfast Polenta and specifically use the tip at the end of the Take a Megabite blog post. Ms. Megabite is right, this is like French Toast's cousin. I sliced my pieces big like I would French bread so it took a bit of time to brown up in the pan. May not be photo friendly but then again I snapped a quick picture as I was digging in...just returned from the gym. This is delicious stuff and the polenta flavor barely comes through with all that cinnamon, brown sugar, and vanilla goodness.


Vanilla Brown Sugar Breakfast Polenta

{Serves 3-4}
Recipe adapted in half from Joy the Baker
  • 1/2 cup polenta
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup milk
  • heaping 1/4 t salt
  • 2 heaping T brown sugar
  • 1/2 t vanilla
  • pinch of cinnamon
  1. Measure out the polenta in a small bowl and top with 1/2 cup cold water. Put remaining cup of water and milk in a saucepan and bring to a low boil. Add salt and stir. Slowly add polenta mixture, whisking away lumps.
  2. Once all of the polenta is added, turn the heat to low, and simmer until thickened. When it’s the thickness you fancy, stir in the brown sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. Remove from heat and serve in a small bowl or cup topped with a little bit of milk and some additional brown sugar if you want. Enjoy!
TIP: Pour the leftover polenta into a plastic wrap lined loaf pan and chill until firm. Then slice, dredge in flour, and toss in a frying pan with some hot vegetable oil. Top it with jam or syrup and enjoy! It’s like French toast’s cousin!

Okay, so this blog is mainly cupcakes and other baked goods but I just have to share this Slow Cooker Creole Chicken and Sausage with ya'll too. I served mine up with polenta instead of rice.

Slow Cooker Creole Chicken and Sausage

Serves: 6
The essentials:
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 12 ounces smoked Andouille sausage, cut into small rounds
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1¼ cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Creole seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
Optional extras:
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 14 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 green bell peppers, chopped
  • ½ cup sliced green onions for topping
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter (randomly delicious)
  • salt to taste
  • brown rice for serving

  1. Place the essential ingredients in the crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3 hours.
  2. Shred the chicken directly in the crockpot to your desired texture. Add the extras, if you want, and cover and cook for another 20-30 minutes. This is also a great time to make your rice, if you're serving it with rice. When everything is ready, taste the chicken mixture and season with salt. Serve the creole chicken over rice and topped with green onions.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake

Well another Father's Day has gone by. I do not know about your dad, but mine loves cake. I showed him the Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake on Sally's Baking Addiction and his eyes lit up like a five year old on Christmas morning. I knew with that response that this cake would be a good one for Father's Day. He is not a big fan of blueberries. However, my mom and I are berry addicts so he obliged since it is a three layer cake. This was my first three layer cake and I was up for the challenge. My mom later admitted that she knew I could do it but was not sure the cake would "cooperate". Apparently my mom has a history of cake mishaps. As a kid I remember her struggling with caramel frosting (my dad's favorite).

I followed the recipe to a tee and am a little disappointed in the blueberries. Sally recommends rolling the blueberries in flour so they do not sink to the bottom of the cake. Well as you can see in the pictures my blueberries fell! Of course my mom says, "I could have told you they were still going to sink". She is just a baking know it all after 40 something years of baking. If you are looking for a work out then zest and squeeze the lemons for this cake! Squeezing lemons is hard work!!! My hands were hurting and my mom had a response for that too "you do have little hands". I must be doomed in the baking world if lemons are required with my little hands.
This cake made the father happy and that is all that matters! He did not have too much to say, probably did not want to get in trouble with my mom. You know he really likes it when he licks the front and back of the fork and says "this is good". My mom said "this is better than anything you can get in a bakery. I think you out did me on this one. You will have to make this ever year." If you have a cake lover in your life or you like lemons and blueberries, then make this cake.


Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake



  • 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 and 1/4 cups (250g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) light brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups (375g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (240ml) buttermilk
  • zest + juice of 3 medium lemons
  • 1 and 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh (258g) or non-thawed frozen (275g)
  • 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 ounces (224g) full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 and 1/2 cups (420g) confectioners' sugar
  • 1 - 2 Tablespoons (15-30ml) heavy cream*
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
Get Rich, Delicious Dessert Recipes


Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray three 9x2 inch cake pans with nonstick spray. Set aside.
Make the cake. Using a handheld or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high until creamy - about 1 minute. Add granulated and brown sugars and beat on medium-high speed until creamed, about 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until everything is combined, about 2 full minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Set aside.
In a large sized bowl, toss together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Beat on low speed for 5 seconds, then add the milk, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Remove from the mixer and stir lightly until everything is just combined. Toss the blueberries in 1 Tablespoon of flour and fold into the batter. Batter is extremely thick. Do not overmix at any point. Overmixing will lend a tough, dense textured crumb.
Spoon batter evenly into 3 prepared cake pans. If only using 2 cake pans, your bake time will be longer. Bake the three layers for about 21-26 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Mine took 21 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before frosting.
Make the frosting. Using a handheld or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and butter together on medium speed until no lumps remain, about 3 full minutes. Add confectioners' sugar, 1 Tablespoon cream, vanilla extract, and salt with the mixer running on low. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 minutes. Add 1 more Tablespoon of cream to thin out, if desired.
Assemble and frost. First, using a large serrated knife, trim the tops off the cake layers to create a flat surface. Place 1 layer on your cake stand. Evenly cover the top with cream cheese frosting. Top with 2nd layer, more frosting, then the third layer. Top with frosting and spread around the sides. The recipe doesn't make a ton of frosting, just enough for a light frost. Top with blueberries or lemon garnish if desired. Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes before cutting or else the cake may fall apart as you cut.
Make 1 day in advance if you'd like. Extras keep well in the refrigerator for up to 3days.


                                  Happy Father's Day!!!