Vanilla Buttermilk Pound Cake with cream cheese glaze

12 tablespoons of butter, plus 2 tablespoons (for pan)
1 cup sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 large eggs
2 cups of all purpose flour, plus 1 tablespoon (for pan)
1 and a half teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon of salt
Cream Cheese Glaze
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
1 and a half cups powdered sugar
¼ cup of evaporated milk
1 and a half teaspoon vanilla


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together butter and sugar for 8 minutes in a mixer.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a glass measuring cup, pour in buttermilk.
Stir in the vanilla and eggs into the buttermilk.
Turn mixer on low. Start slowly pouring (separately) in the wet and dry ingredients into the butter and sugar.
Turn off mixer and scrape down the sides.
Turn mixer on one more time– on low, just long enough to make sure all the ingredients are all mingling together.
**Do not over mix.
Butter your loaf pan with about 2 tablespoons of butter.
Add 1 tablespoon of flour to “dust” the butter in the loaf pan.
Dump out any excess flour.
Pour all of the batter into the pan, spread evenly.
Bake for 60 minutes.
Test the cake with a toothpick before pulling out. (A few crumbs on it is perfect!)
Cream Cheese Glaze
Add 1 and a half teaspoons of vanilla into a ¼ cup of evaporated milk. Set aside.
Mix together the cream cheese and powdered sugar with a mixer.
While mixing, slowly pour in the milk and vanilla into the cream cheese mixture. The consistency should be thin, but creamy.
Drizzle onto cake.


3 Tbsp evoo~extra virgin olive oil
1 or 2 sweet yellow onions (1 large or 2 small), chopped
2 green or red bell peppers, chopped
3 lb very lean ground beef (90/10 or leaner)
1 c fresh bread crumbs (or 3/4 cup dry crumbs)
3 large eggs, slightly whisked
1 can(s) condensed cream of mushroom soup or bechamel sauce with mushrooms
3 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to your taste
2 Tbsp evoo
1 small yellow sweet onion, finely minced
1 or 2 clove garlic, finely minced
2 c thinly sliced mushrooms (shitake, crimini, white, whatever kind you like)
2 can(s) golden mushroom condensed soup
2 c beef stock (homemade stock is best, if you have it)
salt and pepper to your taste

How to make it

Pre-heat oven to 350^.
In large hot skillet add EVOO. Heat on med-hi heat till shimmery~add onions and bell peppers. Saute' for 2 min or until soft. Remove skillet from heat. In large bowl break up beef; add eggs, soup or bechamel sauce, worcestershire sauce, bread crumbs, salt & pepper, and saute'd onion/bell pepper mixture. Work the ingredients together with your hands~if this freaks you out, wear disposable vinyl gloves. Do not over work mixture or it will be tough. Spray your pan w/cooking spray of choice.
Form into 13"x9" pan, leaving a 2" gap between meat and pan on all sides. Place on middle rack in oven. Bake for 1hr & 30minutes if using metal pan; bake 1hr & 10minutes if using non-stick or glass pan. While baking meatloaf, prepare gravy.
In hot skillet, on med-hi, heat EVOO till shimmery. Add onions and saute' for 1&1/2 minutes or until translucent. Add garlic and mushrooms and saute' until mixture becomes brown and dry. Remove from heat. In large bowl pour in Golden Mushroom Soup and slowly add stock or broth , whisking all the while till smooth. Now stir into mushroom mixture in the skillet and s&p. Set aside. About 10 minutes before meatloaf is done, put gravy on med-hi heat till it comes to a slow boil. Remove from heat. Take meatloaf out of oven and drain if there is fat in the baking pan. Pour hot gravy over meatloaf. Return to oven 10-15 minutes. Serve with mashed potatoes and veggies of choice.

Melt-in-Your-Mouth Meatloaf


1 lb hamburger meat (we prefer grassfed beef)
1/2 onion, chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 carrot, shredded
2 eggs
5-6 slices of bread or 1 1/2-2 cups bread crumbs
3/4 cup ketchup
1/4 tsp sage
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
a bit of mustard
For the sauce:

1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar
a bit of mustard


Mix ingredients and add to a loaf pan (I like my cast iron loaf pan).
Top meatloaf with sauce.
Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 30 minutes to 1 hour and 45 minutes, depending on your oven.
Serve it up next to your favorite homemade bread and mashed potatoes!

Cheesy Vegetable Chowder {AKA Broccoli Cheese Potato Soup}

5 1/2 Tbsp butter , divided
1 1/3 cups chopped carrots (about 3)
1 cup chopped celery (2 stalks)
1 cup chopped yellow onion (1 small)
2 cloves garlic , minced
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 1/2 cups peeled and cubed russet potatoes , cut 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch thick (2 large)
3 cups chopped broccoli florets (from about 2 heads)
1/4 tsp dried thyme
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 Tbsp all-purpose flour
3 cups milk (preferably 1% or 2%)
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (8 oz)
1/3 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese (1 oz)


In a large pot over medium heat, melt 1 1/2 Tbsp of the butter. Add carrots, celery and onion and saute 3 - 4 minutes. Add garlic and saute 30 seconds longer. Stir in chicken broth, potatoes and thyme and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium, cover with lid and cook 15 minutes. Stir in broccoli and cook 5 minutes longer or until veggies are tender.
Meanwhile, melt remaining 4 Tbsp butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour and cook, whisking constantly 1 minute. While whisking vigorously, slowly pour in milk (whisk well until no lumps remain). Cook stirring constantly until mixture begins to gently boil and thicken, stir in heavy cream. Remove from heat and once all veggies are tender pour into the soup and stir. Remove from heat and stir in cheddar and parmesan cheese until melted. Serve warm.

Uptown Meatloaf

serves 12

preheat oven 400*F
2 lbs beef sirloin, cut into 3″cubes
1 1/2 lb fatty pork shoulder, cut into 3″ cubes
2 tablespoons fennel seeds
1 medium onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups fresh good quality bread crumbs
1 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup V-8 juice
1/2 cup dry white wine
large bunch fresh basil leaves
6 ounces sun-dried tomatoes
1 lb fresh mozzarella, thickly sliced
Coarsely grind meats with fennel seeds.

How to make it

In a large mixing bowl combine ground meats with eggs, breadcrumbs, parsley, onion, garlic, juice, wine and seasonings.
Place mixture on a parchment lined 16″ x 12″ baking sheet.
Spread out mixture to cover parchment.
Sprinkle meat with sundried tomatoes, basil leaves and 3/4 of mozzarella.
Roll up jelly-roll fashion.
Place in meatloaf in oven and roast for 1 hour.
Top with remaining mozzarella and roast until cheese is melted and golden.
Allow meat to cool for 10 minutes before slicing.
Serve with tomato sauce.
I could have completely eliminated my stress by succumbing to high-end products like raw oysters and a big prime-rib roast, to ensure success. I love both…
My hunch was that Axel would enjoy a bit of creativity.
My hunch was right!
Thanks for reading.

Sweet Pimento Cheese

2 c sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
2 c monterey jack cheese, shredded
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 c mayonnaise (i used duke's light)
1 jar(s) pimentos, diced, 4 oz.
1 Tbsp vinegar
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp sugar (i used splenda)

Prep:30 Min

How to Make Sweet Pimento Cheese

In large mixing bowl, combine the two cheeses. Mix with your hands until the two cheeses are totally blended throughout.
In a medium microwave-safe mixing bowl, place the room temperature cream cheese. Cream it, using a fork or an electric mixer. If not soft enough to cream easily, microwave for 15 - 20 seconds. When smooth, add mayo, vinegar, spices and sugar. Again, cream until mix is smooth. Fold in the pimentos until well-distributed in the mix.
Add cream cheese mixture to the two blended cheeses in large mixing bowl. Using a fork, slowly incorporate the cheeses into the cream cheese mixture until all cheese is moistened and well-blended. Continue to blend until you achieve desired texture - anywhere from chunky to smooth - your choice.
You can serve immediately with crackers, celery sticks, or use in a sandwich. Or you can refrigerate and serve chilled. Flavor will intensify as it sits. Enjoy!

Pimento-Cheese Biscuit Sandwiches

1 can refrigerated buttermilk biscuit dough (dairy-free biscuit dough)
8 ounces cream cheese, softened - about 1 cup (Tofutti cream-cheese)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese - about 2 ounces (Follow Your Heart Vegan Shredded Cheddar)
1/4 cup mayonnaise (Follow Your Heart Vegenaise)
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 fresh cherry bell chile peppers, stems and seeds removed, finely diced - about 1/3 cup (or sub red Fresno chiles)
1 large shallot, finely diced - about 2 tablespoons
3/4 cup watercress or arugula (I used arugula)
Fresh cherry bell chile peppers, thinly sliced (optional)
Smoked paprika to taste (new ingredient)

How to make it

1.  Bake biscuits according to package directions; cool to room temperature.
2.  Place cheeses and next 5 ingredients, through shallots, in a food processor or blender; pulse to combine.
3.  Add smoked paprika, 1/4 teaspoon at a time, pulse to combine, and add more if desired.
4.  Cut biscuits in half.  Top biscuit bottoms evenly with cheese mixture and watercress or arugula, and sliced chiles, if desired.  Top with biscuit tops.  Serve on a silver platter or paper plate - whatever.