Super Easy Incredible White Cake……

Recently, I posted about cake mixes vs. scratch cakes. I made a cake recently, that was a bit of both. Yep, I had forgotten that I had tucked away this recipe quite some time ago. I recently pulled out the recipe and I had notes scribbled all over it, about how much I loved this cake, but I don’t remember where the recipe came from. Well I baked it last week and I just have to say, this will now be my go-to white cake. It’s everything that I want in a cake. We have fluff, we have moist, we have lots of flavor. It’s not too light. It’s not dense and heavy. Three days later, it was still moist. It’s perfect……to me, anyway. You need to bake it and judge for yourself. I love this cake. It would be good with any frosting. I used a basic cream cheese frosting and some fresh strawberries. It holds up to ice cream too! I tried that. 🙂

I can’t really think of anything else to say about this cake. It’s good. Really good. Go make it. Now.

Incredible White Cake

1 box white cake mix (Pillsbury or Betty Crocker)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
8 ounces sour cream
2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil
1 1/3 cup water
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat oven to 325.  Spray a 9×13 baking pan with non stick spray. In a large mixing bowl, add the cake mix, flour and sugar together.

Add the sour cream, oil, water, vanilla and eggs to the dry stuff. Mix for 1 – 2 minutes.  Pour into prepared baking dish.

Bake for approx. 35-40 minutes, depending on your oven. Frost with your favorite frosting.

Note: for round cakes, bake in 8″ round pans for 30-35 minutes.
for cupcakes, bake for 15-18 minutes. Makes approx. 28 cupcakes

Cheesy Cream Potatoes……………..

Over the years, I, like you probably, have made many versions of scalloped potatoes, au gratin potatoes, cheesy potatoes, potato casseroles, etc. There are just so many things that you can do with potatoes. But have you ever cooked potatoes in cream before?  Oh my. Oh my, oh my, oh my. I’m so in love.

I mean, come onnnnnnnnn. Potatoes swimming in cream! Are you hearing me? So, if that wasn’t enough…..then you add cheese. You bake em, and the cheese gets all melty and stuff. Yes! Can you believe it? These potatoes are rich, creamy, melty mounds of yumminess.

You must make these. Grill up a good steak, serve these taters on the side and you will feel like you’re in a fancy steakhouse. No, wait! You will feel better than being in a fancy steakhouse, cuz you will be in the comfort of your own home….without the fancy constricting clothes! You may want to wear some stretchy pants though so you can be comfortable whilst eating these potatoes!

Cheesy Cream Potatoes

2 large potatoes (I used russet)
1 pint (2 cups) heavy cream or 1 cup of half and half and 1 cup heavy cream
2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese (I used 1 cup of gouda cheese and 1 cup cheddar cheese)
1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper

Heat oven to 350. Spray an 8×8 baking dish with non stick spray.

Pour the cream into a pot. Add the salt and pepper. Slice potatoes into 1/4″ slices. Place them into the cream, and cook at a medium heat until it starts bubbling. Turn to low simmer for about 10 minutes. You don’t want to over cook the potatoes at this point or they will be mushy.

With a slotted spoon, carefully remove the  slices from the hot cream and place them in a single layer, slightly over lapping, into your sprayed baking dish. Top with half of the cheese. Add another layer of potatoes. Pour the hot cream all over the top of the potatoes. Top with the other half of the cheese.
Cover with foil and bake for about 20-25 minutes.

Allow to sit out of the oven for about 10 minutes, as they will be super hot! Don’t burn your mouth!!

Optional add ins:

-onion slices or chopped green onions
-ham or bacon
-green chiles
-anything your potato loving heart desires


Carrot snack Cake……………..

Isn’t it funny that many of us…….ok, maybe just me……don’t like cooked carrots, but we love a good carrot cake? Everyone has their favorite carrot cake recipe. Some people like it with a lot of spices, some like it with pineapple, nuts and raisins. I remember my mom making carrot cake a lot. She would take it to all of her friends, her doctors, her insurance agent….everyone. Everybody loved it. That was the carrot cake I grew up with and I loved it. It was nothing fancy… pineapple, nuts or raisins. It was so moist. It didn’t even have frosting. So that’s how I thought carrot cake was supposed to be.

The first time I ever had carrot cake frosted, I was like, whaaattttt? I was so used to my mom’s cake. Over the years, I tried other people’s carrot cake, but never liked them. Until I tried my friend Grace’s recipe. Her’s has the perfect balance of everything and has the creamy cream cheese frosting. So, that is my go to recipe now. But lately I have been craving my moms cake…..with no frosting. I had her recipe (written in Japanese), that I had someone translate for me. Unfortunately, my cute little pet bunny chewed off most of the recipe. So, now I am on the search for a recipe similar to hers.

I found one with the same ingredients. I just have to get the quantities right. In the mean time, this one is close. It’s really good.  Like I said, it’s a no frills carrot cake….a great snack cake with a cup of tea or coffee. You can frost it if you want. I did have some leftover frosting from another cake I made, so I put just a small dollop of frosting on a slice. I also thinned out a bit of frosting to drizzle over a slice of the cake.  But I really prefer this one plain.

I really encourage you to try this if you’re looking for a simple, flavorful cake without a bunch of stuff.

You can see in the pictures, just how moist this cake is. It’s really good served cold!!


Carrot Snack Cake

1/2 cup + 2 Tblsp vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 – 1 tsp cinnamon, depending on how much cinnamon you like
1  1/2 cup grated carrots (I use the grater attachment of a food processor, to shred the carrots. Then I remove the grater and put in the blade. Then I pulse it until the shreds are chopped super fine).

Heat oven to 350. Lightly oil an 8×8 baking dish.
In a mixing bowl, whisk the oil, sugar and vanilla together. Whisk in the eggs. Add the flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Mix to combine. Don’t overmix. Stir in the carrots. Pour into baking dish and bake for 35 – 40 minutes, depending on your oven. Allow  cake to completely cool. Frosting is optional.


4 oz softened cream cheese
1/4 cup  softened butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 – 3 cups powdered sugar
few drops of milk if you want a thinner frosting to drizzle

Whip the butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Add vanilla and powder sugar and mix thoroughly. Frost, dollop or drizzle.

Store the cake in the refrigerator.




Chile Colorado Tacos……………

Chile Colorado. Chunks of beef cooked in a deep red, smoky sauce. Sounds great right? It’s so good.

If you’ve ever ordered it in a restaurant, it’s usually dry and tough……overcooked. Making it at home is so much better. Super easy too. You just throw everything in a crock pot, and let it go! The beef comes out so tender and juicy. You could throw some potatoes in too and have it that way….kinda like a stew. But I like to shred up the tender chunks of beef and make tacos. The meat just shreds up so easily. Then, you build your tacos with whatever you want……cheese, lettuce, salsa….whatever you like. I usually serve it with a side of rice so that I can pour some of that delicious sauce all over my rice. SO good.  But I gotta tell ya… wont even want to eat beans or rice. You will be too busy enjoying the tacos.

I’m telling you….this is so easy and you will want to make it again and again.

Taco time!!



Chile Colorado Tacos

1 large can Red Chile Sauce (not enchilada sauce)  I used  3/4 of the can
1 small onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, cut in half
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp cumin
1 beef bouillon cube
1 tsp black pepper
2 – 3 lb chuck roast

tortillas (fry them in a bit of oil for taco shells)
shredded Monterey jack cheese
shredded lettuce

Put the roast into a crock pot. Add onion, garlic, oregano, cumin, bouillon cube, black pepper. Pour the sauce all over it. Cover and turn crock pot on high. Cook for 3  1/2 hours. Spoon the sauce/juice over the meat occasionally while it’s cooking. Check the beef at 3  1/2 hours. It should pull apart with  fork. Shred it up  and build your tacos!

Serve with some good salsa and some refried beans.

Serves 4-6 people


Let’s talk Cake…Mix vs. homemade……..

As promised, I thought we could have a little chat about cake. I have made many a cake using a boxed mix. But I gotta tell ya, once I started making cakes from scratch, I can sure tell when a cake is a boxed mix. Now, don’t get me wrong….I love cake and I will eat a boxed mix cake. But…..but…..I would rather not…..unless it has a really good homemade frosting.  Oh, and hell no to those tubs of frosting. I can not stand them! I can tolerate a cake mix, but no way to tubbed frosting. It has to be homemade frosting!

I do make cake pops from a boxed mix cake. But really, that’s about it, unless I’m just going to use dry cake mix as a base and doctor it up. Now, that is fun to do. There are so many ways to make a boxed mix taste better. But before I get to that, let me share with you the good things about a boxed mix:

Over all, a boxed cake mix does produce a fluffier cake.

Most cake mixes call for oil. The oil produces a moister cake and the cakes stays
moist longer.

Boxed cake mixes are quick, yes. But once you have a favorite go-to cake recipe, It really doesn’t take
that much time to make your own.

Ok, so if you really don’t want to mess with making a homemade cake, that’s ok. But let me suggest some ways to make your cakes taste better! Better is good. Better is better!

For chocolate cake, replace the water with: 
Room temperature coffee, ginger ale, cream soda, light or dark beer, half milk/half water.

For white or yellow cake, replace the water with:
Orange juice, ginger ale, cream soda, a light color beer, half milk/half water, champagne,
juices drained from canned peaches or fruit cocktail, lemon or lime or orange zest.

Other additions:
Add 2 Tblsp of mayonnaise or sour cream to the batter. It gives your cake richness and makes it moist.

Replace the oil with an equal amount of melted butter . The butter gives much more flavor than
the oil, but the cake will stay more moist longer, with oil. This isn’t a problem if you’re going to eat
your cake soon.

Add 1 tsp. good vanilla extract to your batter.

If boxed mixes are a bit too fluffy for you, adding an extra egg will give the cake richness and thickness.

Tubs of Frosting:
If you reallllllly have to use the tubbed frostings, here are some tips that you may want to try:

If you don’t have or want to add anything to it, just dump the frosting into a bowl. Whip it at
medium speed for about a minute. Just by whipping it, you will notice that it has “fluffed” up and
you have a bit more frosting now.

Dump the frosting into a mixing bowl and add 1/2 tsp vanilla, 3 Tblsp softened butter and 2 oz. of soft
cream cheese. Add 1/2 cup of powdered sugar and whip it up until fluffy.

Dump the frosting into  a bowl, add 1/4 – 1/2 cup powdered sugar and whip. Pour in 1 Tblsp. heavy
cream and whip until nice and thick and creamy

So, there you go. I hope you will try some of these tips. Later on, I will be posting a recipe for white cake that uses a cake mix as a base, but extra flour, sour cream, and other good things are added. It’s a good and sturdy cake that is often used as wedding cake or large birthday cakes.

Happy cake baking to you.