Peach Cobbler {and Tillamook Ice Cream}

Did you know that July is National Ice Cream Month?  It makes sense.  July… it’s HOT! 

But I didn’t know there was a whole month devoted to the tasty, frozen treat.  I first learned when I reviewed this book.  After all, it was Ronald Reagan that declared July as National Ice Cream Month.  What a great man!  ;)

And now you know… if you didn’t already.

Did you also know that Tillamook makes just about the best ice cream out there?  It’s totally true!  {Yes, they sent me coupons for free ice cream but only asked for honesty.  The opinions made in this post are 100% mine.}  I was first introduced to Tillamook when they asked me to help them out with a Back to School Healthy Eating Campaign (see my post here).  They sent me a bunch of coupons for Tillamook products.  Of course I had seen them before in the store but always passed on them for the less expensive brands. 

All the products were great but once I got a taste of their ice cream…… OH BOY!  I had a hard time going back to the store brand (which always seems to be on sale).  So I was elated when they contacted me again to do a review of the ice cream.  Our absolute favorite is the Marionberry Pie Ice Cream.  WOW!  Chocolate Peanut Butter is a close second.  The kids and my father-in-law really like the Banana Split flavor.  That one just didn’t do it for me but to each his own. 

And then there’s the classic…. Vanilla.  Don’t get me wrong, I can appreciate that some folks prefer the old classic.  Miss K, C, and B are some of them.  But if I’m going to do plain ol’ plain… I prefer Vanilla Bean to regular Vanilla.


But there’s got to be something to go with it.  So Sunday night we decided to pull out the dutch oven and make a cobbler. 

We were all in heaven!!  It’s just what we needed after a dinner of grilled cheese sandwiches because mom (that would be me) forgot to put the roast in before church.  Whoops! 

This is the simplest recipe you’ll ever find.  Our good friend Kevin taught us the butter thing.  Before that we had always used a can of Sprite.  Never again, my friends.

  • 1 yellow cake mix
  • 1 large and one medium can of peaches
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
  • Vanilla ice cream (Tillamook Vanilla Bean is best! ;) )

Heat briquettes ahead of time.  You’ll need 24 total.

Spray your dutch oven with nonstick cooking spray.  Pour peaches into oven.  We poured all the juice from the large can but drained the medium can. 

Sprinkle cake mix evenly over the peaches. 

Melt butter and pour slowly and evenly over cake mix trying to cover the entire thing.  (It can be tricky.)

Place lid on oven.  Cook outside with 10 briquettes underneath and 14 on top.  That’s about the equivalent of a 350* oven.  Cook for about 40 minutes. 

Serve with ice cream and enjoy! 

Cobbler 1

Cobbler 2

Cobbler 3


Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

There’s a war going on in my house.  And it’s all because Anthony’s taste buds are dying? dead? deranged? insane? disturbed?

I don’t know, all I know is they’re just not right!  Pumpkin is one of the best flavors in the world when paired with sugar… and chocolate chips (unless it’s pie, because… EW!).  But seriously, it causes me much anguish that he doesn’t love pumpkin the way I do. 

Maybe I should have screened him better before entering into this lifelong commitment… I kid, of course ;)

Every time I make a pumpkin dish (besides pie because he already likes the pie) I force it down his throat and I just know that this will be it!!  This will be the time that he says, “WOW!  That is great!  I love it, give me more.” 

No such luck.  He always politely eats (if you can call his unacceptance as ‘polite’… psh!) and then says something like, “I just don’t love that flavor combo.”

Who is this man? 


Anyway, I found a recipe that I LOVE!  (Original recipe found HERE) I modified it slightly because the original recipe made a gigantic batch and I like my pumpkin treats to be full of spicy flavor.  And I lowered the temp of the oven as well.

These are TO DIE FOR, moist and delicious!  I promise you’ll love them (unless you’re my husband, then you’re just a weirdy! ;) )

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Mix together the following:

  • 1 c. softened butter
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar


  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla

In a separate bowl, combine:

  • 2 1/4 c. flour
  • 1 1/2 – 1 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 – 3/4 tsp. cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. allspice
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

Add to butter/sugar/egg mixture and mix…


  • 15 oz. pumpkin puree

Once all is combined well, stir in:

  • 1 1/2 c. chocolate chips

Bake at 325* for about 20-25 minutes.  This made 24 muffins. 

Pumpkin Choc Chip Muffins

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Pumpkin Pudding Cake

Has pumpkin season come and gone already?  Am I too late to post a pumpkin recipe?  I sure hope not because you absolutely, positively want to try this recipe!  I promise, it is insanely yummy. 

I first tried this at my family Christmas party this past December.  My cousin had brought it and I was in LOVE at first bite!  Seriously, it is ridiculous.  I’ve had pumpkin pies, pumpkin rolls, pumpkin bars, pumpkin cake, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin bread, and even pumpkin cinnamon rolls… all of which I LOVE.  Pumpkin is my friend.  But never had I ever heard of a Pumpkin Pudding Cake.  And guess what, I think it’s my favorite pumpkin treat of all time!   

It took a couple months but I finally… finally!… got the recipe from her.  I practically begged her for it.  Thank you, Kara!

She got this recipe from a friend of hers and boy oh boy am I glad they are friends!  ;)

Now, let’s make some deliciousness!

pumpkin pudding cake

Pumpkin Pudding Cake

Preheat oven to 350*


  • 1 yellow cake mix (reserve 1 cup)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

Mix together the cake mix (minus 1 cup which you should set aside for the topping), egg and butter.  Pat into the bottom of a greased 9×13 pan.


  • 2 c. canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 12 oz. can evaporated milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Combine all ingredients and mix with electric hand mixer.  Pour over crust.


  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. (1 stick) chilled butter, cut into smaller chunks
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 c. reserved cake mix

Blend all ingredients with pastry blender or fork.  Blend until crumbly.  Sprinkle evenly over top of filling.

Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour… THEN, turn oven OFF after one hour and leave cake in for 10 minutes longer. 

Serve warm or cold (I actually prefer cold) with whipped cream or ice cream. 

If you are a pumpkin fan, you will love this! 


BabyCakes Cake Pop Maker

Maybe you remember that the last time I made cake pops it worked like a charm… kind of. 

They were a lot more work than I had anticipated and vowed that I would definitely try them again (in a year or two ;) ).

But then my mom bought us a cake pop maker by BabyCakes

babycakes 1

babycakes 2

She bought it at the beginning of December and it took until now for me to try it.  Can you blame me?  I was nervous!  Plus, the whole idea of a cake pop holding together is the fact that it has frosting as the ‘glue’.  That’s how it works.  These were going to be pure cake… how in the world were they going to hold together and stay on the stick?  There was just no way!

Needless to say, I was skeptical.

And so it sat and sat forever and ever (two months counts as forever and ever, right?) until I finally mustered up enough courage to give it a go.

I used a recipe from the owner’s manual for chocolate cake pops.  The recipe called for a bit of freshly brewed coffee.  We don’t drink coffee at our house so what do you do when you have no coffee to freshly brew?  You brew up hot chocolate of course!  Worked like a charm!

I followed the directions to a T regarding how early to plug in the unit, how much batter to put in each section and how long to let them cook. 

babycakes 3

And I learned a thing or two about how quickly I needed to fill each section… umm, yeah.

babycakes 4

That’s what happens when you put a whole tablespoon in (as directed… it fills it to the top) and go too slowly filling the rest.  I recommend filling it just slightly lower than the top and then move quickly!  I also recommend spraying with non-stick spray between each batch.

But even that slight mishap didn’t ruin the cake pops.  The thin layer between them chipped away easily.  No worries.

To remove them from the unit, I used the handy dandy fork tool that came in the box.  Honestly I thought that would be a silly way to do it because it would break them.  Surprisingly, it worked wonders and I don’t know how I would have done it without that wonder of a fork-ish thing.  What would you call that thing?  I just don’t know.

babycakes 6

Look how cute they are! 

babycakes 5

Perfect little balls of happiness.  Yes, they made me happy.

Once they were cooled they went into the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.  Then I left and my mom took over the process with her little helpers also known as my kids. 

After pulling the pops out of the fridge, she stuck them on the sticks.

She melted the chocolate in the microwave, added a few teaspoons of shortening to thin it a bit (you can also use coconut oil) and stirred until it was a good consistency for coating and then rolled the pops in it to coat. 

How cute are they? And they tasted good too.  Like, REALLY good!  It’s a good thing I have so many kids to help me out with eating naughty treats because I could have a major issue!

babycakes 7

babycakes 8

Do I recommend this product?  Heck yes!  Will I use it again… SOON?  Heck yes!  Do I think you need one?  Heck yes! 

**I was NOT compensated in any way, shape or form for this review.  The BabyCakes ‘people’ don’t even know I exist and have no idea I am doing a blog post about their product.  It’s just a product that I tried and really loved and thought you might love it as well.  All opinions herein are my own and were not influenced in any way.  The link to the cake pop maker on Amazon is an affiliate link.  Should you choose to purchase from that link, I will earn an itty bitty percentage that would be much appreciated!  Thanks so much.**


Cake Pops {Tutorial}

Have you ever made cake pops?  If not, I’m sure you’ve at least seen them around.  I’ve wanted to make them now for a couple of years but never had until K’s birthday party over the weekend.  She really wanted them as her ‘cake’ so I decided it was time I give it a go.

cake pops 16 

Let me just tell you… they’re a LOT of work!!  I looked up several different tips online to ensure that they turned out well, and they did, for the most part.  We had our occasional casualty here and there but I think the next time I make them I’ll give myself a whole day’s head start!  Doing it the day of was a little stressful and we didn’t have quite enough time to chill the pops before coating them in chocolate – which was the cause of said casualties. 

Are they worth the effort?  Absolutely, but they’re not the easiest things in the world.  Before making them I thought, I’ll make these for Halloween, Christmas, birthdays, and every other major holiday!  Now I’m thinking not so much. 

They’re fun and way cute. If you haven’t made them before, you should try it. 

The first thing you’ll need to do is make a cake.  Grab any flavor of cake mix you desire and make it according to package directions.  K wanted strawberry cake pops so we went with a strawberry cake mix. 

cake pops 1

Let the cake cool completely before doing anything else.  This could take a few hours.  Once it’s cooled, place it in a large bowl in chunks.  I know it’s hard to see that beautiful cake dumped into such an ugly heap.

cake pops 2

Now crumble it up with your hands.  Crumble, crumble, crumble.

cake pops 3

Add about half of a container of frosting (choose one that complements your cake flavor- we used strawberry frosting) and mix it up with your cake crumbles.  You’ll probably have to get messy and use your hands.  I would have taken a pic to prove that I did so myself but do you know how hard it is to take a picture while covered in cake and frosting?  My camera would NOT have thanked me!

cake pops 5

Spray your hands with nonstick cooking spray and shape the cake mixture into several small balls.  Roll them tight!  Depending on the size, you should get anywhere from 30-50 pops. 

cake pops 7

Now you’ll need some sucker sticks (bigger ones) from the baking section of your craft store (or Wal-Mart).  I sent Anthony to the store for me and he came home with the BIGGEST ones.  I think I would use some that are slightly smaller next time. 

Melt some Candy Melts in the microwave for 30 seconds.  Stir.  If it’s not quite ready, microwave another 30 seconds and then in 10-15 second intervals after that, stirring each time until it’s melted.

cake pops 9

Dip the sticks in the melted chocolate then push the sticks into the cake balls. 

cake pops 8

cake pops 10

Place either in a block of craft foam or a cake pop holder (that’s what I have but I recommend either having another one or using a couple of blocks of foam – the holes were too close together in the cake pop holder).  Another option is to just lay them on a cookie sheet or large plate and place in the fridge for SEVERAL hours!  You could do the freezer if you’re in a pinch for time. 

cake pops 11

Once they’re chilled, melt a package of Candy Melts in a double boiler or your own makeshift double boiler {pan with shallow simmering water and heatproof bowl on top).  Candy Melts come in LOTS of different colors at craft stores.  If you can only find white (or are using regular white chocolate chips) you can color them with food coloring but Do NOT use the water-based food coloring.  Use gel.  Water will ruin your chocolate… even just a drop!!

cake pops 12

The melted chocolate may be a little too thick for coating your pops so to thin it out a bit, you can use a tablespoon or two of shortening.  I used coconut oil because I don’t usually have shortening on hand. 

Coat your pops in the melted chocolate.  Some tips I read suggested spooning the chocolate on for a smoother finish but I found that to be harder and it made them look messier.  If the spoon method works for you, great!  I just kind of rolled my pops in the chocolate until it was evenly coated.  This is where we had a few mishaps.  Ours didn’t have enough time in the fridge.  But most of them turned out just fine. 

cake pops 13

K had the privilege of decorating them.  She sat with her 6 dipping bowls full of different sugars and sprinkles, ready for each chocolate covered pop I handed her.  She loved doing that. 

cake pops 17

And there you have it!  We refrigerated them again after finishing just to be sure that the chocolate hardened and no more would fall off. 

cake pops 16





Chocolate Zucchini Cake

And now you can sing my praises because I am finally following through! 

Thank you, thank you… you’re too kind.

But seriously, you’ve got to try this cake. 


It’s soooo good, for real!  It’s a recipe that I got from my Grandma Johnson… except that she’s not really my grandma.  She is the grandma of some of my cousins.  Ok, that kind of makes it sound like she should be my grandma, too but it’s their dad’s mom and he’s my uncle by marriage.  He married my aunt, by blood.  Make sense?

{I don’t know how appetizing it really is to have the word blood in a post about cake but it is October.  Think about it…}

Oh, and I didn’t really get it from Grandma Johnson herself.  I got it from a website her family set up after her passing.  They posted all her wonderful recipes.

Grandma Johnson passed away several years ago but growing up, I was practically part of her family.  I went with my cousins to her home on many occasions.  She preferred me to call her ‘Grandma’ and since I liked her, I was happy to do so.  And eventually I grew to LOVE her.

Plus, I really liked her food.  Oh man, that woman could cook! 

Actually, I don’t really remember much of her cooking, more so her baking. 

That woman could BAKE! 

I’m sure her cooking abilities were equally grand but at the time, I didn’t care about much if it didn’t have lots of sugar.  Come to think of it, I still prefer sugary goods to savory ones. 

I’m working on it, ok? 

What you’re about to bake (you are planning to bake this, no?) is a divine way to use up all that zucchini you’ve got stored in your freezer.  Or maybe you still have some from your harvest.  I sure hope so because if not, you’re missing out! 


Make the cake batter and pour into a greased 9×13 pan. 


Mix the topping and sprinkle on batter.







Chocolate Zucchini Cake

1/2 c. butter or margarine

1/2 c. oil

2 c. sugar

3 eggs

2 c. grated zucchini

2 1/2 c. flour

1/2 tsp. vinegar or lemon juice

1/2 c. buttermilk

4 T. cocoa

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder


Combine wet ingredients in large bowl.  Combine dry ingredients in med. bowl.  Mix until well incorporated.

For topping, mix 3/4 c. brown sugar, 3/4 c. chocolate chips (I used a bit more) and 3/4 c. chopped nuts (optional… I sprinkled some on half).  Sprinkle topping over cake batter.  Bake at 350* for 40-45 minutes. 




Key Lime Coconut Cupcakes w/ White Choc. Frosting

Is there anyone out there that doesn’t LOVE The Food Network?  I, for one, am a big fan.  In fact, I’ll be watching The Next Food Network Star later tonight after the kids go to bed.  Go Orchid!!

Or Vic!

Or Jyll!

Or Susie!

Or Whitney! 

Aaaahhh!  There are so many good ones, I just don’t know who to root for anymore.  As long as it’s not Penny… she’s mean! 

Well, a couple of years ago, I was watching Ultimate Recipe Showdown on the Food Network.  That week they were making cakes/cupcakes.  A couple of the ladies on the show made some cupcakes in the last round that looked and sounded delicious.  So delicious, in fact, that I couldn’t pass on printing out the recipes and making them right away…..

…except that the ‘right away’ thing never happened.  The recipes were printed out right away but the actual ‘making’ part didn’t happen until just recently.  One of the cupcake recipes I made for my boys (all 3) birthdays in March.  They were celebrated all together since they all share the month.  But the second recipe wasn’t made until just last week.  Mmmm, and they were yummy!  I only ate half of one because I was trying to be good.  That and the fact that they were really made for the lemonade stand. 

So, I could just link you directly to the recipe but what fun is that?  They don’t even have pictures!  It’s a crime, I tell ya!  And I think next time I might leave the coconut out.  It tasted fine but gave the cupcakes a strange texture. 

The first thing you’ll do is cream the butter and sugar together for about 5 minutes

Then add the eggs, one at a time and mix on low speed.

Add vanilla, key lime zest and juice.  Mix well.

Mix flour, soda, powder, and salt in separate bowl. 

Alternate adding dry ingredients and buttermilk… starting and ending with dry ingredients.  Mix until just combined.

Fold the coconut into the batter.

Line cupcake pan with liners and spray with non-stick spray.  Fill with batter about 2/3 full. 

Bake for 25 minutes or until they start to brown and it passes the handy dandy toothpick test.  (They didn’t round on the top like most cupcakes but they were still good.)

Cool, of course, and don’t even think about frosting them until they are absolutely, completely cooled!! 

For the frosting (which I failed to take pictures of in the process… I’m totally fired!) you’ll want to melt your white chocolate in a double boiler.  Or if you’re like me, you own no such contraption so a small pan of shallow simmering water with a heat proof bowl will do.  Just make sure the water is shallow enough that it doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl.  Like so…… (it’s the only part I got pics of)…..

Then you’ll let the chocolate cool while you beat the butter until it’s light and fluffy.  Gradually add the powdered sugar and combine well.  Add the salt, vanilla, key lime juice, and sour cream.  Mix until smooth.  Add the melted white chocolate and mix. 

NOW you can frost your cupcakes.  I put the frosting in a zipper bag and cut the corner off to be able to swirl it on.  A real frosting bag (do they have a name?) and cool tips for said frosting bag are more of the contraptions that I just don’t have.  Someday.


Now you’ll garnish with either thin slices of key limes or key lime zest.  I did not want to zest any more.  I had done enough zesting for one day between this recipe and the lemon bars.  I opted for the slices.  Aren’t they cute? 


Key Lime Coconut Cupcakes

3/4 c. unsalted butter, softened (1 1/2 sticks)

1 c. sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

1 heaping tsp. key lime zest, finely grated

1 1/2 T. key lime juice (you can use bottled… NOT lime juice)

1 1/2 c. flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 c. buttermilk

1 1/3 c. coconut

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy on high speed.  Add eggs one at a time and mix between each addition.  Add vanilla, zest, and juice.  Mix well. 

Mix the flour, powder, soda, and salt in a separate bowl.  Alternate adding dry ingredients and buttermilk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.  Mix until just combined.  Fold the coconut into batter.

Line cupcake pan with liners and spray with non-stick spray.  Fill about 2/3 – 3/4 full.  Bake for approx 25 minutes or until tops are just browning and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. 

Remove from oven and allow to cool… after about 10 minutes, remove from pan and allow to cool completely on wire rack. 


White Chocolate Frosting

5 ounces white chocolate (good quality)

1 c. (2 sticks) butter, softened

3 1/2 c. powdered sugar

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 T. key lime juice

1/4 c. sour cream

Melt chocolate on top of double boiler over low heat.  Remove from heat and allow to cool. 

In the meantime, cream the butter until light and fluffy.  Add powdered sugar, a little at a time, until well incorporated.  Add vanilla, key lime juice, and sour cream.  Mix until smooth.  Add melted chocolate, mix. 

Frost cupcakes and garnish with zest or slices of key lime.


Tie Dye (Rainbow?) Cupcakes

What do you do when it’s the night before your daughter’s birthday party and you still haven’t decided what kind of cake (or cupcakes) to make for your guests? 

Grab a cake mix, right?  Right!  Because I’m too cheap to buy a cake from the bakery.  Who needs ‘em?  I mean really, it’s just a couple layers of deliciousness flour, water and sugar with a delightful plain ol’ fruity layer of something or other in the middle and a divine overly sweet whipped cream or buttercream frosting.  Cake mix is sooo much better than that!  (It helps to try and convince yourself of that.)

Well, I wanted something different.  I wanted to do something fun with the cake mix.  After all, in a time crunch, I didn’t have time to whip up my own whole cake.  It HAD to be mix. 

But then, I was reading a blog that I love and saw this cake and decided that was what I needed to do only in cupcake form.  My daughter would LOVE it. 

So, we set to work.  Here’s what we did…

First of all, you’ll make either a white or yellow cake mix according to box instructions.  We used yellow but I imagine using a white mix would make the colors even more vivid. 


Then you’ll divide the batter into 4, 5, or 6 bowls… depending on how many colors you want. 

Color each bowl of batter a different color with food coloring.  I highly recommend the paste/gel food coloring, not the watery liquid kind.  The colors are much better with the paste/gel.  It can be found at Wal-Mart (if you’re not Anthony) in the craft section or in craft stores such as Michaels… Wilton brand. 

Dip a toothpick into the food coloring and swirl it into the batter.  Then stir the batter with a spoon to get it all incorporated.  If you need to add more color, use a clean toothpick to add it. 

Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners and spray with non-stick spray. 


Now start adding colored batter to each cup a spoonful at a time.  Use as many colors as you want for each cupcake until it is 2/3 of the way full.  This part gets very messy with ‘helpers’!  But they sure had a fun time.  Once they’re all full, bake according to cake mix instructions. 

In the meantime, you’ve got a whole lot of dishes to do. 

Perform the handy dandy toothpick test to make sure they are done and pull them out of the oven… unless the toothpick told you they weren’t done.  In that case, don’t pull them out just yet.  ;)

And now you’ve got colorful, fun cupcakes and a house full happy, giddy children.  If only the store would have had Play-doh ice cream in stock. 


Once they’ve cooled, you can frost them (preferably in white so the colors still hold the WOW factor once bit into).  My daughter just had to add sprinkles and colored sugar to them. 

Aren’t they fun?!  Everyone at the party was impressed. 

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