Strawberry Banana Marble Cake

I am on a strawberry kick this week! How can you not be at this time of year!

I found this super easy recipe for a Strawberry Banana Marble Cake and I just had to make it!

 

Thanks to Averie Cooks for the wonderful inspiration for this delicious Strawberry Banana Marble Cake – I made a few key changes to make it my own (and you know me-I can’t just follow a recipe!) and the results were wonderful.

It’s a very moist cake, slightly denser than your average cake but with a lighter finish and rich strawberry and banana flavor – a perfect combination!

 

Ingredients:

Yield: one 9×9-inch pan

3/4 C granulated sugar
1/3 C liquid-state coconut oil (melt in microwave before using)
1/4 C milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 C ripe mashed bananas (about 3 medium bananas)
1 1/4 C all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
3/4 C Strawberry puree

Glaze
about 1 C powdered sugar
2 tbsp fruit juice (I used cranberry to make the frosting pink!)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9-inch square pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together granulated sugar, coconut oil, milk, and vanilla.

Add the bananas and stir to combine.

Add the flour, baking powder, optional salt, and stir to combine. Batter will be lumpy; don’t overmix or cake will be tough.

Turn batter out into prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.

Pour over the strawberry puree unevenly over the top of the cake.

 

Using a spoon, lightly mix the puree with the cake batter making a swirl pattern

 

Bake for about 40 minutes, or until center is set and slightly spring to the touch, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter.

Place pan on a wire rack and allow cake to cool fully before glazing. While cake cooks, make the glaze.

Glaze – To a small bowl, add 1 cup confectioners’ sugar and juice, and whisk until smooth. Depending on desired consistency, you may need to play with sugar and juice ratios slightly.

Evenly drizzle the glaze over the cake before slicing and serving.

 

 

30+ Mouthwatering Ice-Cream Recipes

I LOVE Ice-Cream!

It’s one of my favorite desserts and I love it in all it’s forms!

I have been so excited seeing delicious recipes pop up all around the internet – especially those shared at The Pretty Pintastic Party every Friday which was the foundation for this 3-+ Mouthwatering Ice-Cream recipes!

 

When I dug a little deeper I found some incredible recipes for cakes, popsicles, ice cream, granitas and even some dairy-free options which are a plus for Captain America!

I hope you enjoy these 30+ mouthwatering ice-cream recipes as much as I did – check them out – click on some of the links to visit the sites and see the recipes in full and show the creators of these delights some love!

Happy Summer!!

 

Fruit Based Ice-Cream

 

Guri-Guri Hawaiian Ice-Cream by My Pinterventures

Lemon Coconut Ice-Cream by Sweet & Spicy Monkey

Coconut Lemongrass & Hibiscus Ice-Cream by What’s On The List

Roasted Fig & Ginger Ice-Cream by Blahnik Baker

Spiced Apple Ice-Cream by Gidget Goes Home

 

Ice-Cream (non-fruit)

 

Vanilla Bean Ice-Cream by Gidget Goes Home

Bubblegum Ice-Cream by TipToe Fairy

‘Adult’ Almond Joy Ice-Cream by Seduction In The Kitchen

Maui Snow White Russian Ice-Cream by Seduction In The Kitchen

Malted Banana Ice-Cream with Peanut Butter & Chocolate Covered Pretzels by Eat It & Say Yum

Banana Nut Butter Soft-Serve by Raia’s Recipes

Skinny Red Velvet Cake Ice-Cream by My Big Fat Happy Life

Triple Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice-Cream by Meatloaf & Melodrama

Mexican Spiced Chocolate Ice-Cream by Gidget Goes Home

 

Sorbets, Granitas, Sherbets & Semifreddo

 

5-Minute Peach Sorbet by Captain America & His English Rose

Coconut, Lemongrass & Hibiscus Granita by What’s On The List

Sweet Cherry Coconut Sherbet by Sweet & Spicy Monkey

Guilt-Free Mango Banana Ice-Cream by Boogieboard Cottage

Peach Mango Sorbet by Lori’s Culinary Creations

Berry Sorbet by Lori’s Culinary Creations

Mango Lemon Semifreddo by Swirl & Spice

Simple Lemon Sorbet by Gidget Goes Home

 

Ice-Cream Sandwiches

 

Nutella Cookie Ice-Cream Sandwiches by The Baking Fairy

Easy Lemon Ice-Cream Sandwiches by Meatloaf & Melodrama

Peanut Butter Fudge Ice-Cream Sandwiches by Delightful E Made

Banana Berry Frozen Yogurt Bars by Flourishing At Home

Popsicles

 

Vanilla Sugar Cookie Popsicles by Little Miss Celebration

Mango Popsicles by First Time Foods

Healthy Popsicles For Kids by Caroline Nixon’s Blog

Ice-Cream Cakes

 

Oreo Ice-Cream Cake by Coffee With Us 3

Brownie Reese’s Ice Cream Cake by Mom ‘n Daughter Savings

Ice-Cream Cake with Circus Animal Crust by Food Faith & Fitness

Ice-Cream Cake with Crunchies by Thrifty Treasures

The Best Birthday Carrot Cake & Cupcakes

The Best Birthday Carrot Cake & Cupcakes
Recently I needed to make a cake for an event AND a birthday cake for a friend.

I decided to make a bulk batch of carrot cake and make the best birthday carrot cake and cupcakes! Creating 2 cakes in one!

I actually used the cupcakes as the birthday cake – because it was serving multiple people at church – and cupcakes are easier to serve, and I took the cake to the party!

The Best Birthday Carrot Cake & Cupcakes

The cakes were VERY easy to make, especially as I didn’t grate all the carrots as many recipes suggest you do. I used my trusty Vitamix to chop up the carrots until they were really fine. You could us e a food processor or a grater attachment…..or you could be very dedicated and grate them all by hand!

The cakes were absolutely delicious! Even convincing Captain America that carrot cake is indeed fabulous! The birthday boy (well man actually!) loved them as did the rest of our congregation!

The large cake, even though it took much longer to cook than I anticipated, went down a storm at the party too!

The Best Birthday Carrot Cake & Cupcakes

I will definitely be making these best birthday carrot cake & cupcakes again……and I don’t think I will be waiting for a birthday to make them!

If you need advice on frosting cakes and cupcakes you can read my tutorial here: Frosting Techniques

The best birthday carrot cake and cupcakes tasted best the next day after the flavors had settled and have gotten friendly with one another. It is also more moist on the 2nd day as well.

 

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Spiced Carrot Breakfast Muffins

Spiced Carrot Breakfast Muffins

Do you get bored with the same old cereal and toast?

Do you skip breakfast because you don’t have time in the mornings?

Sometimes it is nice to try something different for breakfast.

Spiced Carrot Breakfast Muffins

Try these Spiced Carrot Breakfast Muffins as the perfect alternative for a healthy breakfast, packed with nutritious, wholesome ingredients, for the quick breakfast on the go.

The spiced carrot breakfast muffins are very simple to make, especially if you cheap and use a machine to grate all the carrots! You can make a bunch in advance and freeze them-ready to grab one first thing in the morning.

Spiced Carrot Breakfast Muffins
I made these recently for our morning snack at church, as a healthy alternative to the usual cakes, cookies and doughnuts. Unlike many breakfast muffins they are moist, not too sweet and they have all the usual breakfast favorites-oats, nuts and flaxseeds-it’s like granola in a muffin!

Spiced Carrot Breakfast Muffins

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How To Throw a Bridal Shower on a Budget

How To Throw a Bridal Shower on a Budget

 Wedding Season is fast approaching which means Bridal Shower season too!

We all know that throwing a Bridal Shower can be very expensive. I put together this guide to How To Throw a Bridal Shower on a Budget sharing some ideas some friends and I used when we hosted a Bridal Shower recently.

When it comes to celebrating our friends up and coming nuptials we want to throw them an incredible party-but often that requires hefty budgets and hours of planning. Some friends and I recently threw a fabulous Bridal Shower for a dear friend on a very tight budget!

We all love parties and celebrating so we put our heads together, and our small budgets and came up with some great ideas of how to throw a Bridal Shower on a budget.

How To Throw a Bridal Shower on a Budget

1) Plan in advance

The further in advance you plan the more likely you are to be able to reduce the overall cost of the shower. When we are planning in a time crunch, budgets tend to get throw out and we overspend. Careful advance planning allows you to search online (see #7), find discounts and spread out the costs. You also have the opportunity to find skilled people who are willing to help you.

2) Pick a Theme

Choose a theme that is quite general-this allows you a lot of fluidity when purchasing decorations, planning food and games.  The more limited your theme, often the bigger your budget has to be. The color theme for the Bride’s wedding was red-so we chose that! We were then only limited by color but had lots of other things we could include to make the theme sing!

3) Make your food, or find someone who can!

If you are not a budding chef, then look over your guest list and see who is. There is probably a very capable budding chef waiting in the wings to showcase their talents. Ask around as if they are a good enough friend to be invited to the shower then they probably want to bless the Bride in anyway they can.

I was in charge of food because I love it and can make many things from scratch on a budget.  I know how to cut corners, where to find bargains, what to buy and what to spend time making.

How To Throw a Bridal Shower on a Budget

4) Choose appetizers or dessert only

Instead of hosting a full lunch, brunch or dinner for a shower-choose just appetizers and/or dessert.  This will drastically cut your costs but you can still provide enough food to satisfy everyone. This also cuts down on your labor time and means you can probably make most of the food in advance-allowing you to focus on other things right before the shower starts.

I made Hummus and Crab Dip and served them with chips and salsa and a veggie tray, a friend made her incredible Deviled Eggs, we bought party-sized meatballs and served them in a Marinara sauce. For dessert I made Red Velvet Cupcakes and decorated them with the shower colors. I bought some red candies to add to the red decor too

How To Throw a Bridal Shower on a Budget

Warm Crab Dip

5) Don’t prepare more than you need

This is one of the biggest errors people make when hosting parties-buying, preparing and serving too much food! I fall into this trap all the time, as I am my Mother’s daughter, she taught me to make more “just in case”, and I have been over-catering ever since.  I found this very helpful guide online to save you from overspending-How Much Food & Drinks To Serve At A Party

How To Throw a Bridal Shower on a Budget

6) Co-ordinate who is in charge of each area

Ask someone to run games/activities during the shower. Have someone in charge of all the food. Ask someone to co-ordinate decor. Make sure someone liaises with the Bride so she arrives on time and not before!! Split activities with a team of friends and give them something in their area of expertise! More hands make lighter work!

How To Throw a Bridal Shower on a Budget

7) Go online and search stores for discounts 

Try and plan as far in advance as you can. This helps find discounts, offers and spreads out the cost over a period of time rather than having to spend lots of money at the same time.

Here is a list of some great websites and stores I have used for events:

Partycheap.com

Koyal Wholesale

Oriental Trading

Party City– try in stores too

Dollar Tree– try in stores too (they even deliver for free to the stores)

Hobby Lobby

Michaels

Jo-Ann Fabric & Crafts

8) Consider the Season

Try and pick a theme that fits the season we are in. For example, trying to find Fall decor and colors in March will be nearly impossible and will therefore limit your choices and boost your budget. Pick Spring colors in Spring, and Fall colors in Fall. We found some items for our shower in post Valentines Day sales as it was a few weeks after Valentines Day.

9) Don’t spend unnecessary funds on invitations

Create a Facebook event, use Evite or even send an email to your guests rather than wasting money on formal invitations. I know they are pretty and they make a great keepsake for the Bride but in this multimedia culture most people use social media and/or email to communicate now anyway so utilize that method of communication. If you have any elderly or non-social media using guests consider sending them a more formal invitation and maybe even one to the Bride so she has a keepsake!

How To Throw a Bridal Shower on a Budget

10) Use a free venue

We hosted ours at our church, but you can host it at home, ask a local church or community center if they have a space you could use, if the weather allows have it in a local park, ask at your local coffee shop-they may let you use a back room or part of the shop in exchange for buying drinks. Ask around-someone will know a perfect, free space you can use….for free and at minimal cost.

And remember……Have Fun!

The most important thing is that the Bride has an incredible time, celebrating her upcoming wedding with the people that mean the most to her. Don’t get too wrapped up in the decor, food, invitations and games and lose sight of the most important part. Enjoy yourself! Celebrate! Have Fun!

How To Throw a Bridal Shower on a Budget

Monster Everything Cookies

Monster Everything CookiesWho doesn’t love a massive cookie?

How about a massive cookie with EVERYTHING in it?

Check out our new recipe for Monster Everything Cookies! They are the new big thing 🙂

These Monster Everything Cookies have chocolate chips, M&M’s (peanut butter ones no less!), raisins and peanut butter in them-they are chewy and crispy all at the same time! I cannot get enough on them….which is a bit of a problem! I took some to our Bible School so the students could eat them between classes-they were very grateful!

You can, of course, adapt the recipe to suit your preferences ad add whatever ingredients you like to them-there are numerous combinations-so let your imagination go wild and create your own Monster Everything Cookie.

Recipe adapted from: Recipe Girl

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White Chocolate, Coconut & Blueberry Blondies

White Chocolate, Coconut & Blueberry Blondies.jpg

Captain America had a craving for Blondies [insert joke about him marrying one!]

He never craves sweet things, and is allergic to most dairy products and all chocolate, except white-hence the development of White Chocolate, Coconut & Blueberry Blondies!

I have never made Blondies before, so I set about on Pinterest searching for a recipe, which I found on Deliciously Yum. I then adapted it and added our favorite ingredients to make White Chocolate, Coconut & Blueberry Blondies.

I would like to tell you they were a huge success, that Captain America’s sweet tooth was satisfied and all was well in the world…..however, apparently, as of this recipe, Captain America claims he dislikes dried fruit in dessert items (although his favorite cookies are my White Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies), so I found him i the kitchen devouring the Blondies after picking out the blueberries! Yes, really, I wish I was making this up!

White Chocolate, Coconut & Blueberry Blondies.jpg

I have since declared that I will never try and make him the perfect sweet treat ever again, because every time I do he is never quite satisfied! All the more for me!

In spite of all of this, the White Chocolate, Coconut & Blueberry Blondie recipe was a huge success-just not with Captain America!

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Celebrate St Patricks Day

St Patrick's Day Party Ideas 2

Traditionally, I am not really one to celebrate St Patricks Day!

Ironically it is much more common to celebrate St Patricks Day in America than it is in the UK.

I never really did much before but seeing so many wonderful suggestions and recipes around the Internet I am feeling inspired to get in touch with my Irish roots!

You maybe surprised that someone with the last name Cataldo has Irish roots, but my maiden name was Kelly – and you don’t get much more Irish than that.  

We know very little about my extended family, because many of our family records, along with thousands of others, were destroyed in huge fire in 1922 at the Dublin Public Records Office. What we do know is that my Dad’s grandparents were Irish and came to Liverpool, where his Dad was born, where my Dad was born and where I was born!

I therefore stake my claim to Celebrate St Patricks Day in style!

I have always been a little reluctant to celebrate some of the aspects associated with this day as I don’t believe in chance, luck or superstition, so I don’t really want to ‘glorify’ any of those things. However, I was delighted to discover this little piece of Irish folklore – it says that one of St Patrick’s teaching methods included using the shamrock to explain the Christian doctrine of the Trinity to the Irish people…now that I can go along with! Bring on the shamrocks!

For those of you who don’t know St. Patrick’s Day or the Feast of Saint Patrick is a cultural and religious holiday celebrated on 17 March. It is named after Saint Patrick (c. AD 385–461), the most commonly recognized of the patron saints of Ireland.

I mentioned that I was inspired by many suggestions and recipes to help celebrate St Patricks Day in style, so here is my best of what I have found from some blogging friends!

I hope you are as inspired as I am!

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Mum’s Christmas Dundee Cake

Mum's Dundee Cake

When I was growing up this was the Christmas cake my parents insisted on having every year – I refused to eat fruit cake as I had decided it was horrible.  

For some reason, one day I tasted some, and I have never looked back!  Now I am the one who requests this cake for Christmas.

It is delicious!

Mum's Dundee Cake

You have to suspend anything you think you know about fruit cake – this is moist, fruity and soft – if you throw it no-one gets hurt, but I might hurt you if you waste this cake!! LOL!

My Mum makes the best version of this cake, she adapted the recipe from Delia Smith, to create this Kelly family delight that we all know and love!

Mum's Dundee Cake

This year I convinced Mum to make it to sell at a Bake Sale here as part of our Mission Team Fundraiser – it was a huge success!

I hope you enjoy this as much as we do!

Merry Christmas!

Mum's Dundee Cake

 

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Gingerbread Latte Cupcakes

Gingerbread Latte Cupcakes

Following on from the HUGE success of the Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes at last weeks bake sale, Captain America and I were thinking up more ‘seasonal’ cupcake ideas.

I found this recipe for Gingerbread Latte Cupcakes from my favorite go-to baker blogger, Bakers Royale.  She was the inspiration behind the Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes, and this recipe surely did not disappoint!

I am NOT a fan of gingerbread, and being brutally honest, molasses makes me gag, however these turned out REALLY well, and are now Captain America’s joint favorite with my Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting! Which means a happy household here….I can have all the Peppermint Mocha cupcakes and he can have the Gingerbread Latte ones! Continue reading