No-Fuss Polka Dot Date Cake

Here is a quick and easy cake to bake which has a unique, yet mighty tasty flavor. The cake doesn’t need a separate icing — the nuts and chocolate chips which are sprinkled on top of the cake batter serve that purpose. The unique flavor comes from chopped dates which are added to the batter — please, don’t say “no” — this is a delicious cake. I don’t remember where the recipe came from; but I love the cake and have kept the recipe filed away all these years. When I need a “no-fuss” cake recipe, I call it up. This week, I have to bake a dessert in a hurry for a special event.  So I’m making “Polka Dot Date Cake.”

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Brown Sugar Glazed Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallow & Pecan Topping

Here is a simple, yet slightly decadent sweet potato recipe, which is perfect for the holidays. The scent of aromatic spices and toasty pecans warm up the kitchen as fresh sweet potatoes bake in a brown sugar glaze. Even if you aren’t a fan of sweet potatoes, this recipe is hard to resist. And best of all, it is easy to make. The most difficult part of this recipe is peeling and dicing the sweet potatoes. I like to share sweet potato recipes in the autumn; since Louisiana-harvested sweet potatoes are so readily available. Plus, they are quite nutritious. This year I am sharing a holiday recipe which deviates a bit from the nutritional angle — but this recipe is so very good — serve it for a special occasion.

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Sweet Potato Spice Coffee Cake with Crumb Topping

It seems like I always purchase one too many sweet potatoes for the recipe that I’m making. I hate to waste food. Here’s a coffee cake recipe which uses just one sweet potato. I have been sharing Louisiana cuisine and beyond on my blog since my blog began. “Sweet Potato Spice Coffee Cake with Crumb Topping” is one of the first recipe ideas which I posted and it is still one of my favorite recipes. Today I made the coffee cake again using my last sweet potato. This coffee cake is full of pumpkin pie-type spices. The batter it includes both brown sugar and molasses. Add a crumb topping with aromatic pecans and the result is an absolutely delicious coffee cake. Watch out — it is hard to resist a second piece.

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Persimmon Rum Pound Cake

This week I’m making a delicious “Persimmon Rum Pound Cake” using some of the Hachiya persimmons growing on my backyard persimmon tree. This type of persimmon tree grows very well in Louisiana, mine was loaded with fruit this fall — I counted over 100 persimmons! While the persimmons grow during the summer, they are firm and astringent — almost impossible to eat. When they ripen in autumn, the fruit becomes very soft and translucent. The persimmons become sweet, gelatinous and lose their pungency.

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Southern Cookin’: Hummingbird Cake

Today I am baking a “Hummingbird Cake,” a cake with a Southern tradition. It is early in June and this time of year reminds me of our annual trips driving our kids to summer camp in Mississippi. The camp is located in the heart of the Mississippi Delta and you can’t get more southern than this. It was always a bit sad driving down the two-lane country roads with red dirt, smell of pine trees, and hot, hot humidity as our kids would be gone for most of the summer. But they loved camp and made many enduring friends there. So a “Hummingbird Cake” reminds me of this annual ritual.

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Cane Syrup Ice Cream with Candied Pecans

Do you ever purchase an ingredient, forget that it is somewhere on your pantry shelves and purchase it again? This is how I wound up with three bottles of Steen’s Cane Syrup. What can a person do with three bottles of molasses-flavored syrup? I made ice cream — a great summertime dessert. Yum. And I added candied pecans using pecans left over from last winter’s holiday baking. This is a low-fat ice cream; my recipe uses whole milk rather than heavy whipping cream. Lite and delicious. Continue reading