Monday, September 30, 2013

It's feeling like fall, y'all!

I don't remember hearing the word "pumpkin" as much growing up as I have the last several years. Maybe it's adulthood that makes your mind recognize that pumpkins are actually something more than plastic tubs you collect candy in or the big orange balls you scoop slimy grossness out of in preparation of a good carving. Once September hits, there's nothing you can't find in pumpkin flavor!

Well, the coolness has made it to the morning air here in North Central Florida, so I was ready to smell my house up with the fall scent of pumpkin pie. Only I didn't want to make a pumpkin pie. I saw a recipe on Facebook, but it was too detailed and complicated... too many ingredients or steps are turn-off's for me when it comes to baking. So I found one similar and tried it out. It's really good!! It was delicious warm (I was supposed to be letting it cool completely... nobody's got time for that).  It was still just as good this morning after chilling in the fridge all night. When I paired it with my hazelnut coffee with Cinnabon creamer, it was yummy in my tummy! Here's the recipe for anyone interested in trying it:

Pumpkin Cheese Bread II ~ from


Cream Cheese mixture
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 egg
1 Tbsp orange zest

Pumpkin mixture
1-2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1-1/2 cups sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease 2 8x4 loaf pans (I used one large loaf pan).
  2. In a medium bowl combine all ingredients for the Cream Cheese mixture. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together 1-2/3 cup all-purpose flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.
  4. Place pumpkin, vegetable oil, 2 eggs and 1-1/2 cups sugar in a large bowl; beat well. Stir the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture just until combined. At this point, you can fold in some chopped pecans if you feel like it. I don't put nuts in my cakes, cookies or brownies.
  5. Pour 1/2 of the pumpkin batter into your loaf pan(s). Spoon the cream cheese mixture on top of that and then add the remaining pumpkin batter on top.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a toothpick (or bamboo skewer) inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool bread in pan(s) for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Or, make you some coffee and cut into the masterpiece after about 15 minutes because it smells just that good. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Brown Sugar Caramel Pound Cake... say whaaat?

I had to share this recipe with y'all. It is the best pound cake I've ever made or eaten! It's warm, moist, and the caramel drizzle is exactly what it needs to make it outstanding. This will be my go-to recipe to take to parties, pot-lucks and... okay, just to make for home.

Brown Sugar Caramel Pound Cake

1 ½ cups butter softened
2 cups light brown sugar, packed
1 cup granulated sugar
5 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
1 8oz bag toffee chips
1 cup pecans, chopped (optional - I don't use)

Caramel Drizzle:
1 – 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

*Note, the drizzle recipe makes a LOT, so I would recommend poking holes in your cake before drizzling it so it seeps into it. Believe me, it will only make it better.

Preheat oven to 325 spray a 12 cup Bundt pan with cooking spray with flour.

Beat butter until creamy. Add sugars beating until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. In medium bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mix to batter alternately with milk, beat until just combined. Stir in toffee bits and pecans. Spoon batter into pan and bake 85 minutes or until wooden pick comes out clean. To prevent excess browning, cover cake with foil while baking.

Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack. Spoon Caramel Drizzle over cooled cake.

Directions for Caramel Drizzle
In a medium saucepan, combine condensed milk and brown sugar; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking frequently. Reduce heat, and SIMMER for 8 minutes, whisking frequently. Remove from heat; whisk in butter and vanilla. Let cool for 5 minutes before using. NOTE: Make sure you drizzle the caramel while it’s still warm. When cooled, the caramel does somewhat harden.


Rewind one year

One year and two weeks ago I had a new baby. No, not a warm-blooded bambino (we would be quite rich, however, if that happened), although she was clothed in bright pink duds and I had some of the same new-Mom jitters I had when both of my kids were born. Susan's Plexus was born on September 7, 2012. About 6 weeks into my journey of taking these awesome products, I decided this was a product that could help so many people get healthy and I wanted to help spread the word. Hopefully I could make some extra money on the side, but I wasn't expecting more than maybe $200/month at most. Hey, that dream of $200 was incentive enough for me to post a few before & after pictures and keep taking the products to drop more weight. I was about 10 lbs down at this point and feeling excited about where this was taking me.

Fast forward.

Today, in honor of my 35 lbs, 22" and 2 sizes that Plexus has helped me get rid of, I'm baking up a new blog recipe. Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of Pink Life
  • 1 cup of Munchkins
  • 1/2 cup of Recipes
  • 1/4 cup of Funnies
  • 1 Tbsp of Exercise
  • 2 tsp of Miscellaneous
  • A splash of Sass

Combine all ingredients and and you'll get my Sweet Gators blog. It'll be bringing you something sweet and sassy on a regular basis. Taste and enjoy!

And by the way, that $200 hope has been dramatically blown out of the water each month. :)