Fancy Little Pound Cake

Yet another new recipe for me, this pound cake turned out pretty darn yummy! I’ve never made a pound cake before, but I was recently looking for a recipe that wasn’t too complicated and didn’t require any special ingredients as I didn’t have a lot of time to mess with fancy. However, using my new mini bundt cake mold, I whipped up this pound cake and baked it into a pretty little cake topped with powdered sugar glaze and berries. It was so scruptious!

fancy little pound cake

fancy little pound cake

If you’re going for a low cal, or low fat treat, move on, this isn’t it. It’s a smaller, lighter version of the original 1 pound of butter cake, but it’s by no means the perfect treat for dieters counting calories. Let’s move on to the creation of yum…

Fancy Little Pound Cake recipe:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • Powder sugar icing

In a mixing bowl, stir together flour and baking powder. Soften butter. In another bowl, beat butter with electric mixer for 30 seconds at medium speed. Gradually add super (2 teaspoons as a time) to butter and beat at medium speed for about 6 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute each. Scrape bowl often. Gently add in flour mixture, beating on low until just combined.

Grease and flour baking pan/s. Pour batter into pan and bake at 325 for 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes, remove from pan and cool for another 20 minutes. Drizzle prepared glaze and top with fresh berries.

Baking pan/s – recipe good for 1 9x5x3 inch loaf pan, or two small bundt pans and 3 3x5x2 inch load pans.

Powdered sugar icing

  • 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons milk

Mix powdered sugar, vanilla and 1 teaspoon milk. Stir in additional milk until drizzling consistency.

Easy Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream

Homemade ice cream is always the yummiest, so say my kids. So for my daughter’s 4th birthday party I made her homemade strawberry ice cream. It was super easy to make and oh so yummy! I started with a simple vanilla ice cream recipe and just adapted it by adding fresh strawberries and a little strawberry syrup. I used store bought syrup because I was short on time, but if you have the time, you can make your own syrup, see below.

easy homemade strawberry ice cream

Ingredients you’ll need for homemade strawberry ice cream:

  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh strawberries
  • 1/4 cup strawberry syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

How to make easy homemade strawberry ice cream:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, dissolve sugar in half and half.
  2. Thoroughly mix in remaining ingredients except strawberries.
  3. Stir in strawberries.
  4. Following your ice cream maker’s instruction, add mixture to complete the process.

Alternatively replace the sugar, syrup and strawberries above by making your own strawberry syrup: Combine 1 cup chopped strawberries with 1/2 cup sugar and let soak overnight. Finely chop in a food processor. Then mix into ice cream mixture.


Adventures with Potatoes Au Gratin

No, I didn’t go trekking into a pile of potatoes and cheese; this week I tried my hand at Potatoes Au Gratin. I love cheese and you can’t go wrong with potatoes… so why not, right?

Every recipe I read called for a 30 minute prep time and a baking time of 1 – 1.5 hours, but I was hungry NOW and really not feeling 2 hours patient. So I started with a potatoes au gratin recipe from and modified it a bit. The result was a great success – the kids even went for 3rd helpings!

Potatoes au gratin


  • 4-5 medium potatoes, washed
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 TBS butter
  • 3 TBS flour
  • 1.5 cups shredded Cheddar/Monteray Jack cheese
  • 1/2 medium sized onion

making potatoes au gratin

Cooking instructions:

  1. Prepare the potatoes: in a 9×9 casserole dish with cooking spray or butter. Cut 4-5 medium sized potatoes into 1/4″ slices. Chop 1/2 onion (I used a white onion). Lay half of the potato slices on the bottom of the casserole dish. Sprinkle onions over top. Add remaining potatoes and set aside.
  2. Prepare the cheese sauce: In a medium sauce pan melt butter then mix in flour to create a paste. Stir in milk. Stir in cheese and continue stirring over medium heat until cheese is melted and sauce begins to thicken, approximately 3 minutes. Remove from heat and carefully pour over potatoes in casserole dish. Sprinkle salt, pepper and a little garlic seasoning over top. Sprinkle a thin layer of shredded cheese on top (optional).
  3. Bake: Traditionally, at this point, you would put the dish in the oven and bake for 1-1.5 hours. For quicker cooking time, place in microwave and cook on high for 8 minutes. Then place in preheated oven at 400 degrees for 30-45 minutes until top is slightly golden.
  4. Remove from oven, let stand for 10 minutes.

Next time I think we’ll add a bit of fresh Parmesan on top and see how it turns out.

Battle of the LA Live burgers

If you’re a fan of the bacon cheese burger, there are two places at LA Live! that you can get a delicious meal, Wolfgang Puck and the Yard House. There’s something about traveling and working that makes me hungry for a good ol’ burger. Nothing like a big dose of juicy protein to revitalize the system.

Wolfgang Puck burger at LA Live

Wolfgang Puck burger at LA Live

Yard House burger at LA Live

Yard House burger at LA Live

Despite all the unnecessary vegetables on the plate and the lack of bacon, I prefer the Wolfgang Puck burger (who needs all those pickles???). It was bigger with a more substantial bun and a bit more flavor cooked right into the meat. However, the service at the Yard House was much better. The Yard House bun was nice and soft, almost Wonder Bread squishy which I liked but not with a big burger. Burgers aside, the yard House has much yummier desserts…

Yard House ice cream with freshly baked cookie at LA Live

Yard House ice cream with freshly baked cookie at LA Live

This ice cream sundae was enormous! I didn’t have a bite, I was too busy stuffing fries into my face. Another yummy dessert they serve is a freshly backed brownie with a scoop of ice cream on top. We were too amazed at the size to remember to take a picture.

Regardless of all the noise we land locked folk make about California and sprouts, there is indeed delicious meat to be had in the Golden State.

The Original Pantry Cafe is delicious

Original Pantry CafeAt the end of a long busy week in Los Angeles I was wondering town looking for a good place to grab some breakfast. Just a few blocks up from our hotel we found the Original Pantry Cafe. One of the women I was with remembered hearing it was good food, so we wondered in.

I’m a big fan of the diner. I like basic comfort food with no fancy names and no fancy sauces. I love milk shakes and french fries and I really really love breakfast. Butter, syrup, and some kind of thick, rich carbohydrate to soak it all up really starts my day off (or dinner for that matter) with a big fat encouraging smile.

This is a classic diner atmosphere with classic diner charm. There are photos from a variety of dates along with posters decorating the walls throughout. The Original Pantry Cafe has been open since 1924, “never without a customer” and you can even see years of traffic in a spot by the front door… look at all those layers of flooring!

Original Pantry Cafe floor

There are no printed menus, everything is written on a few boards placed on walls around the restaurant. The food choices are traditional all American foods; bacon, eggs, french toast, sandwiches, etc. I was thrilled to also get a tall glass of perfectly yummy raspberry ice tea. Our server was fantastic, our glasses were never empty and we left delightfully full.

Original Pantry Cafe food

Another aspect I love about this place is the price. It’s only a few blocks up from the Los Angeles Convention center on Figueroa, just up from LA Live!. Most of the places we encountered were over priced with mediocre service. I ordered a plate of french toast with a side of bacon, the server brought me scrambled eggs with cheese at no charge (because eggs sounded good but I forgot to order them and he over heard me), yet my total bill was just under $14.

The photo above includes an omelet and hash browns I was luck enough to sit by but didn’t have the honor of tasting, I heard the happy recipient chewing though.

The Original Pantry Cafe in Los Angeles is truly a hidden gem in plain sight.

Original Pantry Cafe outside sign