Saturday, July 23, 2016

White Chocolate Hazelnut Cake

I'm not usually a huge fan of white chocolate. I'm not sure why.... it's kind of a weird flavor I think.
Plus... milk chocolate is just THE best. So... there's really no comparison.
Why did we make a white chocolate cake then? Well... because of the Nutella frosting. It just pairs amazingly, ridiculously well with white chocolate.
Who knew?
Well.... now y'all do.
Your welcome.

White Chocolate Hazelnut Cake

6 oz of white chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup hot water
1 cup butter, room temp
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch salt

Nutella Buttercream
1 cup butter, room temp
1/2 cup Nutella
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups icing sugar
2 - 3 Tbsp cream

1 cup hazelnuts

Preheat oven to 350. Line 3 X 8 inch pans with parchment paper and spray lightly with cooking spray. Set aside
In a small saucepan, melt the white chocolate and water over low heat. Stir until smooth and allow to cool while you prepare the rest of the cake.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until smooth, scraping down sides as needed. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients alternating with the buttermilk. 
Stir in the white chocolate mixture.

Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pans, it will be thick. 

Bake at 350 until cakes are golden brown and toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.

Let cool on wire racks for 10 minutes and then run a knife around the outside of the cake to loosen it. Invert cakes onto wire racks to cool completely. 
Prepare frosting - In a large bowl, beat butter until creamy, scraping sides as needed. Beat in Nutella and vanilla. Gradually beat in the icing sugar. Beat in cream, a tablespoon at a time, until desired spreading consistency is reached.  

Place one layer of cake on a serving platter and top with a scoop of the frosting. Spread the frosting to cover the cake.

Repeat with remaining 2 layers of cake.
Frost sides of cake. You can fancy it up by piping on some swirls or just frost it flat - totally up to you. Finish decorating by using some whole hazelnuts and some chopped hazelnuts. 

Cake is fine at room temp or can be chilled until ready to serve. It can also be made a day ahead and kept, covered, in the fridge overnight. 

I didn't get a photo of the cake cut so I'm going to use that as my excuse to have to make this cake again soon. I mean.... it wouldn't be right to not have a photo of a lovely big slice of cake for our readers. 

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Loco Moco

Not too long ago Sue was telling me about this delicious Hawaiian dish called Loco Moco. 
To be honest, when she first told me the ingredients I was thinking it sounded a little crazy. I mean, I've had an egg on a hamburger before (delicious) but an egg with gravy and rice? Craziness. 
But then I decided to give it a go. 
Best. Decision. Ever.
I don't think it would be wrong for me to eat this every day for dinner for the next few weeks. 
I'll let you know.

Loco Moco

hamburger patties
white rice
fried eggs
beef gravy

Cook hamburger patties your favorite way. (Now, my favorite way would be on the BBQ but a bear destroyed my BBQ so now I prepare them in the oven. Still good. )

While burgers are cooking prepare the rice. 
When the rice and burgers are almost ready, prepare the eggs and gravy.

**NOTE ** I cook my burgers at 375 for a total of about 15 - 20 minutes (flipping over at the half way mark). The rice takes about 20 minutes so I start them at the same time. 
The eggs and gravy (I used a package mix!) only take about 3 or 4 minutes so I just throw them on at the end. 
When everything is ready, place a scoop of rice on a plate. Top with a burger patty and a generous scoop of gravy.

Top with a fried egg.

Serve immediately. 

This is a fairly heavy dinner so I didn't add any other sides. Just this big ol' bowl of protein and carbs, thank you very much. 
So tasty.
Yet another reason to love Hawaii. 

We're sharing at Carole's Chatter - Be sure to click over and check it out! 

Friday, July 8, 2016

Watermelon Smoothie Bowl

If you are a fan of Pinterest or Instagram then you have probably noticed that smoothie bowls are the new "in" thing. 
It took me a while to get interested in smoothie bowls. I mean.... smoothies in a cup, sure, I've been having those forever. Why on earth do you need to have them in a bowl topped with extra things?
And then.... I actually made a smoothie bowl. 
Holy heck!
Yes. They are worth all the hype. 
For realz. I'm hooked. 
Something magical happens when you pour a smoothie in a bowl instead of a cup. 
Even more so when you pour it into a bowl made of watermelon. 
Plus.... *cue angels singing* healthified deliciousness is always a plus.
According to MyFitnessPal, this bad boy is: 183 calories, 30 carbs, 3 fat, 10 protein. (Recipe makes 2 servings)

Watermelon Smoothie Bowl

1 cup 0 fat Greek yogurt (I use lactose free)
1 small watermelon (yields about 3 - 4 cups of diced watermelon)
2 Tbsp shredded coconut
8 fresh cherries, quartered
1/3 cup blueberries

Freeze the Greek yogurt until it is solid. (**I usually freeze 1 cup portions in Ziploc baggies so they are ready to go when I want them.**)
Cut watermelon in half and scoop out the insides. Remove seeds if there is any. Drain off excess juice. 
Place watermelon in a blender and pulse briefly. Add in the frozen Greek yogurt and blend until smooth. (**If you find it too runny - you can blend in ice to thicken it up.**)
Pour the mixture into the watermelon halves.

Top with the coconut, cherries, and blueberries. 

Serve immediately. 
It just looks so darned fancy schmancy, am I right?
Of course smoothie bowls can be easily switched up. I like to use pineapple flavored yogurt with the watermelon for a tropical twist. 
I've also made PB2 smoothies bowls and pumpkin pie smoothie bowls. So many choices. I've been posting pics on Instagram but decided  I'd better actually start sharing the recipes on our blog before I start forgetting these delicious combinations. 
All aboard the smoothie bowl train!