Cakes & Pies, Recipes

Blueberry & Lemon Mini Cakes

Loaded with blueberries and bright flavor, these blueberry lemon mini cakes make a delicious treat!

These mini cakes are moist with lots of bright flavor thanks to lots of lemon zest, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and a tart lemon glaze.

I love fresh blueberries with this recipe but you can use frozen ones.  Just make sure to thaw them before using, then dry off and toss with the flour.

INGREDIENTS

For the cake:

  • 2 cups blueberries 
  • 2 and ¾ cups all-purpose flour, spooned & leveled plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • ¼ cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup full fat sour cream, room temperature

For the lemon glaze:

  • 1 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  •  1/4 cup lemon juice
  •  1 zest of one lemon
  •  1 teaspoon salted butter

INSTRUCTIONS

To make the cake:

Preheat the oven to 350°F. 

Add the blueberries and 1 tablespoon of flour to a mixing bowl and toss together until all of the blueberries are coated with the flour. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar for about 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy.

Mix in the eggs one at a time until well combined, then mix in the vanilla. Slowly mix in the lemon juice, lemon zest, and oil.

Add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the sour cream, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients on low speed. 

Mix in each addition until just combined, making sure not to over mix the batter.Then add the blueberries and gently fold them into the batter until just combined.

Spray a 10-inch bundt pan well with nonstick cooking spray. Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan or cupcake pan and evenly spread it around.

Bake at 350°F for 50-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. 

Cover loosely with foil if needed for the last 5-10 minutes of baking to prevent excess browning.

Remove from the oven and cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes, then invert the cake onto the wire rack to finish cooling.

While the cake cools, make the glaze.

In a large microwavable measuring cup, the 4 cup capacity ones are the best, combine the sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest.

Add in the butter then microwave on high for 45 seconds.

Take out the measuring cup and whisk until smooth, making sure there are no lumps.

Let it sit for a few minutes. 

Top with the lemon glaze. 

Recipes, Seasonal

Orange & Honey Baked Ham

Sticky, sweet, tangy, and full of flavor… this orange & honey glazed ham is one that you’ll be happy to have as the star of your holiday meal or Sunday dinner!

Ham is perfect to serve for family holiday gatherings. There is not a lot of prep, it feeds a big crowd and it can be served warm or at room temperature.

Making a glazed ham is really simple, as the ham is already fully cooked, you’re just heating it up and adding a great glaze.  So don’t be intimidated here, I highly encourage you to give this recipe I try! 

Trust me when I say that you’ll be wanting this ham for MORE than just holidays or just Sundays!

Ingredients

Glaze 

  • 1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 4 tablespoons brandy
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp. pumpkin spice 
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 2 orange sliced, thin 

Ham 

  • 1 bone-in spiral ham (approximately 8lb.)
  • 10 whole cloves 
  • 1 orange, sliced 

Instructions 

Preheat the oven to 325°. 

In a saucepan, whisk all the ingredients for the glaze. Heat on low, stirring occasionally until it is well combined and smooth. Remove the pot from the stove.

Place one whole clove throughout the ham just push the clove into the ham.

Place the oranges slices in between slices of ham. 

Place the ham in a large roasting pan and cover top of the ham with foil. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Every 20 minutes, remove the ham from the oven and brush all over with the glaze. 

After 1 hour and 15 minutes, remove foil from ham, brush with the glaze & cook for additional 25 minutes until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the ham registers 135°. 

Transfer the ham to a platter and tent with foil. 

Let rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing. 

Cakes & Pies, Recipes, sweet tooth

Caramel Banana Bread

Think of this as a breakfast bread version of bananas Foster.

With its super-moist texture, buttery banana and caramel flavors, and incredibly soft crumb, this is my favorite banana bread recipe. It’s not only drizzled with caramel—it’s stuffed with it too!

Check out my Nutella Swirled Banana bread recipe too.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted, plus more for pan
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 4 super ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup caramel, plus more for drizzling

Homemade Caramel Sauce

  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar 
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoon butter, cubed

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350° and butter and flour a 9″-x-5″ loaf pan. 

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.

In another large bowl, mix sugar, butter, buttermilk, vanilla, egg and egg yolk until smooth. 

Pour wet ingredients over dry and stir until combined, then fold in mashed bananas and caramel.

Transfer batter to the prepared baking dish. 

Bake until deeply golden and a toothpick comes out clean, about 1 hour. 

Let cool for at least 10 minutes.

Drizzle with caramel.

Homemade Caramel Sauce Instructions

Add the sugar and water to a 3-quart heavy bottomed saucepan; stir a little so it sits in a flat, even layer.

Warm pot over medium heat and cook until the sugar dissolves, turns clear, and starts to bubble. (It will be cloudy at first, but will turn into a clear, bubbling liquid.) This takes about 3-4 minutes.

(At this point, do not stir again – simply allow to bubble, swirl the saucepan occasionally and brush down the sides of the pan, as needed, to prevent crystallization.)

Sugar will form clumps, but continue swirling and cooking until the mixture thickens and turns a deep amber color like honey (this can take anywhere from 8-12 minutes), keeping a watchful eye so the mixture doesn’t burn.

Carefully add the butter and whisk until completely melted. (The caramel will bubble up rapidly, so be careful and continue to whisk.)

Remove the saucepan from the heat and slowly pour in the cream, whisking continuously until all of the cream has been incorporated.

Whisk in the vanilla and salt.

Set aside to cool in the pan for 10 minutes.

Then pour into a lidded glass jar and allow to cool completely. (It will thicken as it cools.)

Recipes, Small Bites

Asian Ceviche

I love ceviche! This twist on the traditional Ceviche is loaded with seafood, red onions, peppers, cilantro and Thai chili peppers; all marinated in sake and fresh lemon juice. Yup, I said sake! I created this recipe to serve at my family’s Christmas eve dinner! 

It’s such a vibrant dish that’s perfect for weekends or parties. Truly a recipe seafood lovers will instantly fall in love with! 

INGREDIENTS 

  • 1 bag frozen seafood mix
  • 1 pound medium-sized shrimp, cleaned
  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup cilantro , chopped
  • 1 medium size red onion, chopped small
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped small
  • 1 red sweet pepper in vinegar, diced
  • 1 Thai chili pepper, diced 
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 lemons, juiced
  • ½ tablespoon Sake
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Toasted sesame seeds

INSTRUCTIONS 

Boil frozen seafood mix (15 minutes), shrimp (3 minutes). Strain and place into a bowl. Refrigerate until chilled.

Chop shrimp in small pieces. Mix the remaining ingredients together in a large bowl. 

Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on top before serving. 

Serves 8–12

Recipes, Small Bites

Thai Coconut Mussels

I was so excited how delicious these mussels came out! This may just be  my new favorite mussel recipe. It has hints of spice, tang and sweet flavors.

It comes together very quickly- on the table in under 15 minutes. The broth is delicious, so make sure you have crusty bread available to soak it up. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 pounds fresh mussels, scrubbed and de-bearded
  • 1/4 cup of chicken stock
  • 1 can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp Red chili paste
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • 1 Thai green chili, diced
  • 1 cup of whole basil
  • 1 cup of chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime

INSTRUCTIONS

In a large saucepan, combine the chicken stock, coconut milk, red Thai curry paste, fish sauce, sugar and seasonings.

Summer on medium – high heat and bring to a light boil.

Add in the tomatoes, chopped Thai green chili, basil and chopped cilantro.

Simmer for 10 minutes.

Then add the juice from 1 lime and those delicious fresh mussels.

Cover and stir occasionally for 8 minutes.

Discard any mussels that have not opened.

Serve immediately!

Healthy, Recipes

Pan-fried Orange Glaze Grouper

For Christmas Eve this year my sister-n-law and I decided to do something a little different… 

In most Christmas comedy movies, the family ends up getting Chinese after the home cooked dinner goes wrong, so we decided let’s make our own Chinese dinner for Christmas Eve. 

This homemade Asian Orange sauce is so easy! Make a tasty, quick and healthy dinner ready in under an hour, that you can use over fish or chicken! 

This sauce has a delicious umami flavor and it’s full of ginger and garlic plus a little heat from the red chili paste. The best thing about making your own sauces and condiments is you can adjust the recipe to suit yourself. 

Serve this fish with my Garlicky Ginger Green beans and white rice. 

Ingredients

  • 6 -4 oz. portions Grouper or white filets
  • 6 Clove Garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Ginger
  • ½ teaspoon Red Chili Paste
  • ¼ cup Orange marmalade
  • 1 tablespoon Soy sauce, low sodium
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoon Sesame oil
  • Zest of one orange, for garnish
  • Green onions, for garnish

Cilantro, for garnish

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

In a saucepan over medium high heat add orange marmalade, sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, rice vinegar and paste.  Stir until thoroughly combined and just beginning to boil. Set aside.

Add olive oil to an ovenproof frypan and turn to medium high heat.  As it warms, pepper both sides of the fish and add to the frypan.  Sauté fish 3-4 minutes until browned.  Flip filets over and spoon about a tablespoon of sauce over each filet. 

Place in the oven for 5-6 minutes until the fish flakes easily.

Spoon remaining sauce over baked portions.

Top with orange zest and cilantro.

Recipes, Small Bites

Buffalo Chicken Tater Tot Nachos

Crispy tater tots with layers of spicy buffalo chicken and melted cheese, topped with ranch dressing, crumbled blue cheese and green onion.  These tater tot nachos are fully loaded and perfect as a meal or as an appetizer for sharing.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 bag (2 LBS) frozen tater tots
  • 2 boneless chicken breast, shredded
  • 1 cup bacon, crumbled 
  • 1 cup plus Frank’s Red Hot Wings sauce, 1 tablespoon  for garnish
  • ½ cup blue cheese crumbles, plus 2 tablespoons for garnish
  • ½ cup ranch dressing, plus 1 tablespoon for garnish 
  • 1 block cream cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • ½ cup mozzarella cheese
  • 2 green onions, garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a sheet pan with foil.

Bake the bag of tater tots for 30 minutes, flipping them halfway through the cooking time.

In a large bowl, Stir together the shredded chicken, bacon crumbles, ranch dressing, wing sauce and blue cheese crumbles.

In a medium bowl, Mix together the two cheeses.

Place the cooked tater tots in a cast iron skillet. Spoon half the chicken mixture on top of the tots. Sprinkle half the cheese. Repeat the layers. Bake for 5-7 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Garnish with the remaining dressing, wing sauce, green onions, and blue cheese. 

Serve immediately.

Healthy, Recipes

Alfredo Squash & Zucchini No Noodle Lasagna

This delicious twist to a classic lasagna recipe will have your family and friends asking for more! It’s made with white Alfredo sauce, chicken, bacon, squash and zucchini slices. Layer it all together and bake for a creamy, cheesy and delicious low carb dinner.

Lasagna is one of my favorite comfort foods. It’s ideal for an easy homemade dinner since it uses simple ingredients (including store-bought Alfredo sauce), makes a lot, and is great for leftovers. This recipe is sure to be a favorite.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 pounds zucchini (about 3 large)
  • 1 1/2 pounds yellow summer squash (about 3 large)
  • 1 (15 ounce) container low-fat ricotta cheese
  • 1 jar Alfredo sauce
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning 
  • 1 teaspoon truffle olive oil, optional
  • ½ cup bacon, crumbles
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper 
  • 1 cup shredded chicken

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Grease a deep 9×13 inch baking pan.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, ½ cup mozzarella, Italian seasoning, bacon crumbles, salt/pepper and truffle olive oil until well combined.

To assemble lasagna, spread 1/2 of the Alfredo  sauce into the bottom of the prepared pan.

Then layer 1/2 the squash &  zucchini slices, 1/2 the ricotta mixture, followed by 1/2 the mozzarella cheese and ¼ of the chicken. Repeat by layering the remaining Alfredo sauce, squash & zucchini slices, ricotta mixture, chicken and mozzarella. Spread Parmesan cheese evenly over the top; cover with foil.

Bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil; raise oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Recipes, Seasonal

Red Chili Roasted Turkey Thighs

These turkey thighs are garlicky, herby, spicy, and a little tangy, perfect for whether an ordinary weeknight meal or a special holiday feast, they will be a hit! You can honestly use any meat with this recipe, chicken, fish, pork or even steak- the seasoning is delicious!

Serve them with my Thai Roasted Brussel sprouts and butternut squash and of course crusty bread to soak up the mouthwatering drippings. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb Turkey thighs or choice of meat
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 large bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1 stick butter 
  • Olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons roasted red chili paste
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 2 tablespoon poultry seasoning 
  • 2 bone-in, skin-on turkey thighs (about 2 1/2 pounds)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium limes, for garnish
  • Cranberry sauce, optional for garnish 

INSTRUCTIONS

Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F.

Mince 4 garlic cloves. Mince 1 large shallot (about 1/3 cup). Coarsely chop the leaves and tender stems from 1 large bunch of fresh cilantro until you have 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons.

Place the garlic, shallots, 3/4 cup of the cilantro, stick of butter,  2 tablespoons roasted red chili paste, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt in a medium bowl. Whisk to combine.

Pat 2 turkey thighs dry with paper towels. 

Season with the poultry seasoning, coating each side. 

Heat olive oil in a large oven-safe skillet over medium heat, add turkey thighs skin-side down, then use tongs or a spatula to press down on the thighs to create good contact with the hot pan for even browning. Cook until the skin is golden-brown and fat has begun to render, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.

Flip the turkey and pour the red chili butter sauce over the turkey. Cover the pan with aluminum foil. Transfer to the oven.

Every ten minutes, remove from the oven, baste each piece of turkey with the melted butter and turkey juices in the pan.  Cover and return to the oven.  Repeat this every ten minutes until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 165°F, about 40 minutes. 

When the turkey is ready, uncover and let rest for 10 minutes. Garnish with the remaining 2 tablespoons cilantro, cranberry sauce and serve with the lime wedges.

On the Side, Recipes

Bacon Jalapeño Cheesy Cornbread

These Bacon Jalapeno Cheesy Skull muffins were perfect for our Halloween get together! Of course, you can make these in any muffin pan.

Ingredients

4 packets Martha White Cornbread Mix Buttermilk Cotton Country plus water as directed on package

1 cups haberno cheese, shredded

½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded

¼ cup diced pickled jalapenos, drained

6 strips thick bacon, cooked and crumbled

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

Prepare cornbread as directed on package

Stir in bacon, both cheeses and jalapenos.

Bake in the oven until lightly browned. 

#whiskawaykitchen