Orange Loaf Cake

Orange Loaf Cake Instagram

I love anything citrus.

With that statement made, I’d like to remove a newly expired stipulation. I loved anything citrus, as long as it wasn’t baked.

And I think it was mostly lemon, rather than any of the other flavors that I didn’t like in baked goods. I don’t know why, because I love lemons, but it was always disappointing to me to bite into a sugar cookie or cake… only to find it lemony. I’d eat lemon meringue pie, but with an inward begrudge.

But yesterday. Yes…only yesterday… I made an orange loaf cake. I don’t even know why I was drawn to try it, because even as my mixer was running, and I was zesting and juicing the orange to add into the batter, there was a part of me that was unsure, thinking that I could just leave it out, and make it a plain loaf cake.

You know.
The safe route.

And even as those thoughts were running through my head, I was pouring the orange juice into the batter, and adding the zest.

The faint smell of orange wafted from my mixer, and I began to get excited. Really, REALLY excited. I had a feeling that this would be a crucial turning point in my life.

A revelation.

I wasn’t wrong. I can’t get over how delicious this loaf cake is. When I walk by the counter where it sits on a plate, I feel really happy, as if I overcame a nuisance dislike for something that I really do love.

This cake. It’s dense and moist at the same time. The sweetness of the orange just pops with every bite, making you want another, and then another… and it’s all wrapped up in a perfect little package with the crunch of that orangey glaze.

And the best part of it all? I know you’re going to love it too!

Life is good. It’s a “When life hands you oranges.. bake cake.”…kind of good.


Orange Loaf Cake

Orange Loaf Cake
The Cake
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • Juice and zest from one medium size orange (about ½ cup juice)
  • 1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup milk plus ½ tbsp cider vinegar (to make sour milk)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
The Orange Glaze
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3-1/2 tbsp orange juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
The Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Generously grease and flour on 8” loaf pan.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter, sugar, eggs, orange juice and zest. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, soured milk and vanilla. Beat on low for about one minute, and then increase speed to high, and beat for one minute.
  4. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan, and bake for 50 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the middle of the pound cake comes out clean.
  5. Let cool in pan for about 10 minutes, and then carefully flip onto a cooling rack to finish cooling. When the pound cake has cooled for about 30 minutes, and is still warm to the touch, pour the glaze over the cake, and let the cake finished cooling, and the glaze dry completely.
The Orange Glaze
  1. Combine the powdered sugar, orange juice, and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat on high until smooth and creamy. Pour over cake, and let sit for about an hour to set.



Coconut Lazy Day Cake

Coconut  Lazy Day Cake

Coconut Lazy Day Cake

There is one ingredient that I regrettably tend to forget about. I always have it on hand in my freezer, but I never think to use it…


I don’t know why I don’t think of it because I do love it…but it’s always such a special treat when I finally pull it out of the freezer and throw it on a cake, or cookies… or a bunch or two…or three… straight to my mouth.

And I like it simple. If I’m going to eat coconut, I want it to be the star of the show, not some back up singer to pineapple or banana, you know? So a simple white cake with a sugar glaze, topped with plain coconut is just fine by me!

Coconut Lazy Day Cake This recipe is just the simple Busy Day Cake adapted from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. I’ve changed it up (of course) to suit my taste, because I found that if I use the full 2/3 cup of sugar that it calls for in the book, it is way too sweet. Again, let the coconut be the star of the show, and it’s natural sweetness shines with this not too sweet cake. The sugar glaze gives a fun initial crunch before sinking into the moistness of the cake!

This Coconut Lazy Day Cake is truly one of my favorites. And it lives up to its name, Lazy Day Cake, because it is such a quick and easy cake, it’s perfect for those days when you want cake, but don’t want to commit to the time and effort for it, because you don’t have the time… or like me… you’re just feeling lazy. And that’s definitely okay with me.

Life is good. It’s a “I’ll stop being lazy, when lazy stops being so awesome…” kind of good.


Coconut Lazy Day Cake

Lazy Day Cake
This recipe is adapted from the Better Homes and Gardens "Busy Day Cake"
The Cake
  • 1⅓ cups all purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ⅔ cup milk
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup shredded coconut
  • Sugar Glaze
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
Sugar Glaze
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp vanilla
The Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour an 8” round or square pan, and line the bottom with waxed paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder. Add the milk, butter, egg, and vanilla, and beat with a hand mixer until just combined. Stir in the ½ cup coconut. Pour into prepared pan, and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove cake from pan, and generously brush the hot cake with half of the sugar glaze.
  3. Let cool for ½ hour, and brush the cake with the remaining sugar glaze. Top with the 1 cup of shredded coconut.
Sugar Glaze
  1. Heat the butter, sugar, water, and vanilla over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Do not bring to a boil. Let cool.


Easter Cupcake Bouquet

Easter Cupcake Bouquet

Here is a wonderful Easter Cupcake Bouquet for your Easter table this coming Sunday!

This is such an easy and inexpensive way to decorate your table! You will delight your family and friends as they enjoy Easter dinner with this pretty centerpiece made with delicious yellow and chocolate cupcakes decorated with buttercream flowers!

So easy to make, you can find my recipe for this dessert / centerpiece idea at Deco and Bloom’s Holiday Kitchen!! 


Pork Ragout over Gnocchi

Homemade Gnocchi with Pork RagoutI’ve been listening to XM radio for about three months now…well, for as long as I’ve had it, which is about three months.

I listen to The Bridge, which is like a soft rock kind of station. It’s very nice to have, especially on my long rides to work now.  But, I’ve learned a couple of things since I’ve been listening…

 First, I’m not a fan of Bob Seger anymore.  I’m sorry to all of you fans out there, and to Bob himself, to whom I mean no offense.  It’s nothing personal, Bob.  I just found myself getting annoyed when one of your songs came on. I know..I was surprised too, but people change.  It’s not you. It’s me.

And the second thing I’ve learned?  I don’t know squat when it comes to lyrics.  Sometimes I just can’t figure out what they’re saying altogether, and that’s when my singing suddenly turns to humming, and then back to singing.   And then other times, I just destroy the lyrics.

For example:
Orleans sang the song: “Still the One”.
Their lyric:  “You’re still the one who can scratch my itch..”
Prudy’s lyric: “You’re still the one who can scratch my ears..”

That song came out in 1976, so for 40 years, I’ve been singing about scratching ears. Honestly?  I’m not sure if I’ll ever remember to scratch that itch. 

Or my all-time epic lyric disaster:
AC/DC sang the song:  For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)
Their lyric: “For those about to rock, we salute you…”
Prudy’s lyric: “For those about to rock, we sell new shoes…”

Now, in my defense with this one… I have never been a fan of AC/DC.  The guy doesn’t sing. He screeches. You can’t understand a word that comes out of his mouth.   It’s nothing personal to the AC/DC guy. I don’t know his name. I don’t even know what he looks like. Or even if he’s still alive, or well…for lack of a better word… “not of this world any longer”.  I mean no offense to the aforementioned singer.  I’m sure he’s a very nice man with lots and lots of friends…but he and I just have nothing in common.

Okay, so maybe I get some lyrics wrong sometimes, but that doesn’t stop me from singing my heart out!


There is one thing, however, that I will always get right, and that’s gnocchi.  I have them down to a science, in which they’re actually foolproof.  If you’re a fan of gnocchi, then you know that they are deliciously light and airy with a lemon and sage butter…but can go to the other end of the spectrum and stand up to a highly flavorful and savory pork ragout.

I know I have said this before, but if you’ve never added pork to your sauce, it’s about time you do.  It brings such a rich, almost buttery flavor to the sauce that is unlike no other. Very little prep, and a few hours of braising makes for fork tender pork with an intense marrying of wine, tomatoes, thyme, and rosemary. It just doesn’t get any better..

Life is good. It’s a “Do you have any lyrics disaster stories?” kind of good..  

Pork Ragout over Gnocchi


Pork Ragout over Gnocchi
Serves: 6 servings
Pork Ragout
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2½ pound pork roast
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • ½ can beef broth (use the can from the crushed tomatoes)
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • Shaved Asiago Cheese for garnish
  • 6 large potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes (you’ll want four cups of riced or mashed potatoes)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup Romano cheese
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 cups flour
Pork Ragout
  1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy braising pot over medium heat. Season the pork roast with salt and pepper. Sear on all sides in the olive oil. Add the onions and garlic, and let simmer over low heat for about five minutes, or until the onions are translucent.
  2. Add the tomato paste, butter, red wine, crushed tomatoes, beef broth, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, salt, and pepper.
  3. Bring ingredients to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about ½ hour.
  4. Cover, and place in a a preheated 350 degree oven. Braise for about 2 to 3 hours, or until the liquid has thickened, and the pork is fork tender. The thyme will be cooked down. Remove the sprigs of rosemary and bay leaves, discard them.
  5. Serve over homemade gnocchi with shaved Asiago cheese.
  1. Boil the potatoes in a large pot of water until they become tender. Drain. At this point, you can either mash them with an electric mixer (don’t add anything to them, i.e. butter, milk..), or you can rice them.
  2. If you mash them, make sure that there are no chunks of potato left. If you do, it’s really no big deal, you’ll just have chunks of potato in your gnocci… Believe me, I mashed them for years, and they turned out fine.If you rice them, use a few cubes of potatoes at a time…rice them into a bowl. Set aside until they are cool enough to handle, because you’ll be mixing and kneading with your hands.
  3. Pour the riced potatoes (4 cups) into a mound onto your floured work surface. Make a crater in the middle of the potatoes, and add the eggs, Romano cheese, and salt. Mix thoroughly with your hands. Add the flour, one cup at a time, kneading until incorporated. If the dough seems too sticky to make into a ball, add another ½ cup of flour. You don’t want to knead or handle the dough too much; otherwise you’ll end up with tough gnocchi.
  4. Using a knife or a dough scraper, cut a slice of dough from the ball, and roll it into about a 1-inch diameter log. Cut the log into 2” pieces. Repeat until all of the dough has been made into gnocchi.
  5. This part is completely optional: Holding the gnocchi board in one hand, and using your thumb with slight pressure… roll the gnocchi down the board quickly.
  6. Place each gnocchi onto the prepared cookie sheet lined with floured parchment. You’ll probably end up with four layers of gnocchi on the one cookie sheet.
  7. If you plan to cook them right away, bring a large pot of water to boil with generous sprinkling of salt (about a tablespoon). In small batches, boil the gnocchi for about three to five minutes…or until the gnocchi begin to float. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon. Don’t drain, because you’ll have a few more batches to cook.
  8. If you’re going to freeze them right away, put the whole cookie sheet of gnocchi into the freezer, and let freeze individually so that you can throw them into a baggie, without them sticking together. Don’t try to skip this step. If you try to freeze them without pre-freezing the gnocchi, you’ll end up with a big blob of dough. Trust me, that comes from lessons learned!.


Homemade Linguine with Lemon and Garlic

Lemon Pasta I know… I’ve been negligent.

I haven’t been around for a couple of weeks. I started a new job last week, and I’ve gone through all of the normal emotions of starting said new job. I’m intimidated and overwhelmed, nervous and apprehensive.

And this place. Honestly, it is like a city within a city. They tell me that everything is in a circle. At this point in time, I don’t believe that. To me? It’s a maze of hallways, offices, cubicles, and conference rooms!

Oh, and I’m told that in the spring, I’ll get chased by geese as I walk into the building. What the???!!!

Oh the other hand, everyone is so welcoming, so nice, and so patient. I know that I’m going to be very happy there.

I just can’t wait for three months to pass by. For some reason, I think that in three months, I’ll feel more settled, and will have a better grip on things.

The funny thing is, is that it’s the same company that I’m working for. Just a different location. A lot of new people, but a lot of people who I have worked with for years. And about an hour drive each way, which means that I’ve lost an hour of sleep, and shaved an hour off of my evening.

So, all of my emotions, my lack of that one hour sleep each morning, my loss of one hour in the evening, meeting new people and trying to remember names, all combined have made me exhausted by the time I get home. I get home, I make dinner, clean up, and then go to bed.

So please bear with me, t’s just a matter of time, and I will adjust. I’ll get into a new routine, and I’ll be back to posting even better than before! You know that butter, basil, and breadcrumbs is my passion…and I love all of you…my friends….who are always here to support me in everything that I do.

In the meantime, let’s enjoy a very simple meal that I rely on for days/weeks/months like these. It’s just a simple homemade pasta. Yes. Homemade! It takes no time at all to throw a pasta dough together, but you can always use dry too. I admit it. I do a lot. But for the sake of this conversation, let’s talk homemade… Butter, lemon, and garlic over a homemade thin linguine…the perfect meal for a busy day. Quick and easy…and delicious. It just doesn’t get better than that!

Life is truly good. It’s a “And maybe, just maybe… I will finally realize that the guy I keep calling Tom…well…his name is really Jim” kind of good.


Homemade Linguine with Lemon and Garlic
Serves: 2 servings
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
Lemon and Garlic Butter
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • Shaved Asiago cheese
  • ½ tsp lemon zest for garnish
  • Lemon wedge for garnish
  1. Mix the flour and salt, and mound on a clean work surface. Make a well in the center, and add the eggs.
  2. Carefully mix the eggs and flour together, pulling more flour in with your hands, kneading as you go. Don't worry if it seems crumbly at the beginning, the more you knead, the more it will come together. This will form a stiff dough.
  3. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and pliable.
  4. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and let rest for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove from plastic wrap, and divide into fourths. As you work with each fourth of the dough, make sure that you keep the others wrapped, so that the outside doesn't form a crust.
  6. Begin rolling the dough on the widest setting of your pasta machine. Fold the first strip into thirds, and pass the dough through the same width again. Pass the strip at least two times through each width of the pasta machine, ending with the narrowest width, and a smooth strip of pasta.
  7. At this point, you can cut it into the size noodles you prefer, either by running it through the machine's pasta cutter, or by cutting them by hand.
  8. Bring a large pot of water to boil with ½ tsp salt. Add ½ of the pasta, and cook until al dente, about five minutes. Drain in a colander. (Freeze the other half of the pasta for another meal)
  9. While the pasta is boiling, prepare the sauce:
Lemon and Garlic Butter
  1. In a large saute pan, melt the butter. and add the garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, and parsley. Saute for about 3 minutes over medium heat. Remove from heat. Add the pasta to the pan with the butter mixture, and toss.
  2. Serve with Asiago Cheese, lemon zest, and lemon wedge.


Vegetable Pizza

Veggie  Pizza

Looks can be deceiving.

Don’t be fooled by the vegetables on this pizza.  I mean, yes…there are vegetables on this pizza.  And…vegetables are most definitely healthy. But the vegetables were roasted in olive oil…and there’s still the crust that is basically a loaf of homemade bread, along with lots of cheese under those deliciously roasted vegetables. Lots of cheese. 

And at this point in the post, I should mention that “less is definitely not more” when it comes to me and pizza.  I like my pizza fully loaded. (Anchovies excluded.  Believe me. I’ve tried to like those furry looking little fishy smelling fish, but for now, I’m still not a fan. Emphasis on “for now”) 

And this pizza is fully loaded for all pizza and vegetarian lovers alike!

I tend to prefer homemade pizza than I do a restaurant pizza. There are a couple reasons for that. First, pizzas in my area are hit and miss. I can order from the same place and never get the same quality pizza. Most of the time, it’s not the best quality, and honestly, the last time I had a half tray (12 little square slices) and 20 wings delivered, it was $45. Let me spell that out for you..FORTY FIVE DOLLARS. Forty five smackaroos for a pizza that doesn’t even taste all that good.

I made this homemade and…oh…so delicious pizza for less than half of that!

Veggie    Pizza

Have you ever tasted a roasted radish? Seriously, you need to if you haven’t. The natural sugars in these vegetables are the highlight of this pizza. The sweet caramelization just shines with each and every bite, with a delightful balance of savory from the garlic, thyme, and pepper jack cheese.

You won’t miss the pepperoni. I promise.

Life is good. It’s a “I refuse to pay $45 for a lousy pizza ever again…” kind of good.


Veggie     Pizza

Vegetable Pizza
Roasted Vegetables
  • 4 whole carrots, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1 large potato, cut into thin wedges
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 4 radishes, sliced
  • 1 cup snow peas
  • 1 large onion, cut into wedges
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
Pizza Dough
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 1½ cups hot water
  • Roasted Vegetables
  • Pizza Crust
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ¼ cup romano cheese
  • 2 cups pepper jack cheese, shredded
Roasted Vegetables
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. On a large baking sheet, place the carrots, potato, broccoli, radishes, snow peas, onion, and thyme. Drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss vegetables so that they are coated with the oil, salt and pepper. Roast uncovered for about 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are semi tender and lightly browned. (They will finish cooking and brown even more while the pizza is baking).
  3. Remove from oven, and set aside until ready to use.
  4. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees.
  5. While the vegetables are roasting, in a small frying pan, sauté the garlic in 2 tbsp olive oil just until translucent. Remove from heat, and set aside.
  1. Generously oil a large baking sheet.
  2. Blend all ingredients in a bowl until just combined. It will be a sticky mess. Spread out on the oiled baking sheet.
  3. Brush the dough with the garlic olive oil. Sprinkle with romano cheese. Spread the pepper jack cheese over top of the romano cheese.
  4. Layer all of the roasted vegetables and thyme springs over top of the pepper jack cheese.
  5. Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes until the crust is golden brown.
  6. Remove from oven, and remove thyme sprigs before eating.
  7. Serve immediately.


Going Back to My Roots

Going back to my roots with my friends:
Angie of Fiesta Friday
Suzanne of A Pug in the Kitchen
Zeba of Food for the Soul

error: Content is protected !!