Savory Servings by RaDonnaRidner-Thurman
Jul 22, 2011 | 5831 views |  0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

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Easy Garlic Cheese Biscuits
by RaDonnaRidner-Thurman
Jan 24, 2012 | 31272 views |  0 comments | 40 40 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
Easy Garlic Cheese Biscuits
Easy Garlic Cheese Biscuits
Prep time: 5-10 minutes

Bake time: 8-10 minutes

The shelves in my kitchen are overflowing with cookbooks. Some dating back into the 1950’s even. Even though I don’t always get to look through them as often as I would like, I can’t bear to get rid of even one of them. Last week I grabbed one of my favorites – determined to find something in it to make. It is the Betty Crocker Red Book Bridal Edition Cookbook. I received mine about 12 years ago right before I got married. I haven’t really had the time to go through it and make a lot of recipes but I was so excited to find a recipe for easy garlic cheese biscuits.

I love going to a certain restaurant just for the garlic cheese biscuits. Yes, the seafood is okay and it’s an all around decent meal but I just can’t get enough of those biscuits. I had no idea how this recipe would turn out and I just happened to have all of the ingredients on hand and about 20 minutes before dinner. They came together so easily and they were delicious. I thought they were close to the same as the restaurant ones but my dinner guests insisted they were identical if not better. If you love those biscuits, I encourage you to make this recipe and judge for yourself!

What you will need:

2 cups of Original Bisquick

2/3 cup of milk

½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

¼ cup of butter, melted

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

The Directions:

Preheat your oven to 450. Mix the Bisquick, milk, and cheese until a soft dough forms; mix it thoroughly until you get a soft dough. Using a spoon, drop them onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake them for about 8-10 minutes or until they are golden brown. Mix the butter and garlic powder and brush it on the warm biscuits before removing them from the cookie sheet.

The first time I made these, I was in a hurry and I misread the instructions and put ALL of the ingredients into the bowl and dropped them on the cookie sheet and baked them and served them and they were just as delicious. So if you are really pinched for time, that method works as well.

Roasted Root Vegetables
by RaDonnaRidner-Thurman
Jan 04, 2012 | 3975 views |  0 comments | 35 35 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
Roasted Root Vegetables (with grilled chicken and brown rice)
Roasted Root Vegetables (with grilled chicken and brown rice)
Total prep time: about 15 minutes

Total cook time: 45 minutes – 1 hour

Most New Year’s resolutions include eating healthier and losing weight. This is one of my favorite side dish recipes that is both healthy and takes advantage of the delicious vegetables in season during the fall and early winter seasons. It is one of my own creations and was born out of a need to come up with new and creative ways to prepare turnips! My parents live on a farm in Tennessee and my Dad has a garden year round. In fact, I came home today with a box FULL of fresh, purple top turnips. They are just beautiful. However – the flavor can vary greatly depending on how you cook them. I grew up eating them stewed with just a little sugar and I grew to love them. Yet I still am unable to convince my family to eat them that way. This recipe is unique in that it includes several root vegetables – and together their flavors blend and meld in a way that produces a very bold side dish. I love to serve this alongside a fresh chuck roast or with grilled chicken and brown rice. The dish has carrots, red onion, parsnips, and purple top turnips. Are parsnips new to you? They are a root vegetable that is related to the carrot, except they are much paler and taste sweeter. You prepare them just like carrots – remove the outer skin with a vegetable peeler and they are ready to go. Turnips are the same – using a sharp knife or vegetable peeler remove the outer skin (cut off and discard the root end). It is such a simple side dish that can cook while you prepare the rest of your meal.

Here is what you will need:

1 red onion cut into chunks

3-4 parsnips cut into 1 inch chunks

3-4 carrots cut into 1 inch chunks

3-4 small turnips cut into small chunks

2 teaspoons of dried thyme

2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

Kosher salt to taste

Fresh cracked pepper to taste

The Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Toss all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Spread them out on a large baking sheet and roast them on the middle rack of the oven for about 45 minutes – 1 hour or until all of the vegetables are tender. Gently stir them with a spatula about every 15 minutes so that they are cooked evenly on all sides.  

Asian Chicken Noodle Soup
by RaDonnaRidner-Thurman
Jan 02, 2012 | 3115 views |  0 comments | 35 35 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
Asian Chicken Noodle Soup
Asian Chicken Noodle Soup
Total approximate time from start to finish: 35-40 minutes

It’s finally starting to feel like winter! And you know what that means – another SOUP RECIPE! If this is your first visit to my blog, I love a good soup recipe. I probably have enough recipes to make one every day the entire season of winter. All different cultures have some sort of soup recipe and it is so exciting to try to find new ones that are easy and delicious to make. I found this one in my food and wine quick from scratch recipes cookbook. I modified it just a bit for our family and I have been making it for 6-7 years now. It is definitely one of my favorite soup recipes. It is perfect on a cold night and just like most chicken soups – it is great when you have a cold. It has a kick of spice to it with the chili powder so you might want to adjust that to your personal tastes. One of my favorite things about this recipe is the bok choy. We live in Alabama – how often have you cooked with bok choy? Believe it or not, you can find it at most grocery stores like Wal-Mart, Kroger, etc. Just look in the produce section with the other cabbages, greens, etc. I just adore the various flavors that come together – from the Asian spices to the little zing of cilantro – it comes together to make a delicious pot of soup!

Here is what you will need:

1 tablespoon cooking oil (I use extra virgin olive oil)

1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil

1 onion, chopped

2 ribs of celery cut into ¼ inch slices

4 cloves of fresh garlic, smashed and minced

1, 1 inch piece of fresh ginger sliced very thin

2 tablespoons of chili powder

1/8 teaspoon of dried red pepper flakes

6 cups of low sodium chicken broth

1 cup of canned crushed tomatoes in thick broth

1 ½ pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breast (leave them whole) or boneless, skinless chicken thighs

3 tablespoons of Asian fish sauce

1 cup of cilantro leaves plus ¼ cup of chopped cilantro

1 ¾ teaspoons of salt

¾ pound of spaghetti

½ head of bok choy, cut crosswise into ¼ inch slices

¼ cup of lime juice (from about 2-3 limes)

The Instructions:

In a large pot, heat both oils over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, garlic, ginger, chili powder and red pepper flakes. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring a few times.

Then add the broth, tomatoes, chicken, fish sauce, cilantro leaves, and the salt. Bring it to a simmer, cover it and reduce the heat to medium low. Simmer it covered for about 15 minutes, until the chicken is just done. Remove the chicken and let it cool. Cook the soup for about 15 minutes longer.

Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in a large pot of salted, boiling water until it is just done (about 9 minutes). Drain the pasta and add it to the soup. Cut the chicken up into small, bite sized pieces and add it to the soup as well. Last, add the bok choy. Bring the soup back to a simmer and cook it until it is just done, about 2 minutes. Stir in the lime juice and chopped cilantro. I love to serve mine with a nice, crusty bread to soak up all of the spicy goodness in the broth.

A note about the ingredients:

You can find the Asian fish sauce and the Asian sesame oil on the Asian food aisle at Kroger, Winn Dixie and Food World. The fresh ginger is in the produce section, usually near the root vegetables in the refrigerated cases. You can find the bok choy near the other cabbages and lettuces. If you have rice noodles on hand, you can certainly substitute it for the spaghetti. It definitely gives it a more Asian flare.

Rudolph Reindeer Cupcakes
by RaDonnaRidner-Thurman
Dec 20, 2011 | 7266 views |  0 comments | 49 49 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
Rudolph Reindeer Cupcakes
Rudolph Reindeer Cupcakes
This is one of the cutest cupcake ideas I have found. I wish I could take credit for it but I just had some good luck with recreating it. I saw it in a magazine last year and I was able to find the picture online last week. It is not as difficult as it may appear – you can make your cupcakes from scratch or make it using a box mix. I had a little extra time so I made mine from scratch, I will post the recipe I used for the cupcakes (starlight yellow) and the frosting (chocolate butter cream) later this week. I am only posting the instructions for the décor, I wanted to go ahead and get this up in case anyone wanted to make these for Christmas. I made them for one of my son’s classes at school for today’s Christmas party and they LOVED them. The trick to keeping the “parts” on is peanut butter. It makes the perfect edible glue! And who doesn’t love peanut butter and chocolate together? I hope you have as much fun making yours as I did mine. They are almost too stinking cute to eat! Almost….

What you will need:

Cupcakes with chocolate icing (made from scratch or use a box mix and tub icing if you want)

Nilla wafers

Mini pretzel twists

White M&M’s (found in the bag of coconut M&Ms)

Red skittles

Peanut butter

1 tube of black gel icing

The Instructions:

Make the cupcakes and frost them with chocolate icing. It is easier to work on one "part" and put it on all of the cupcakes at one time. I started with the “faces” and put peanut butter on the back of a nilla wafer and placed it on the bottom middle part of the cupcake. Next, lightly spread peanut butter on the back of the pretzel that will come in contact with the cupcake and press them lightly into the cupcake for the antlers. For the eyes, put a small dab of peanut butter on the back of two M&Ms and place them just above the nilla wafer centered on top of the pretzels. Put a little peanut butter on the back of a red skittle (you can also use red M&M’s or brown M&M’s for regular reindeer) and place it in the center of the nilla wafer. Last, take the tube of black gel icing and put a tiny dot in the center of each M&M.

Don’t be sad if a little bit of the peanut butter is visible on the various “parts,” I thought mine looked a little smudgy. But, I was told by several very honest friends that it was not noticeable until I pointed it out. Besides, it adds to the character of these sweet little treats!


Ava's Pumpkin Cake with Homemade Cream Cheese Icing
by RaDonnaRidner-Thurman
Dec 16, 2011 | 4564 views |  0 comments | 42 42 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
Ava's Pumpkin Cake with Homemade Cream Cheese Icing
Ava's Pumpkin Cake with Homemade Cream Cheese Icing
This recipe is one of the most special recipes that I own. It belonged to my husband’s maternal Grandmother, Ava Wilson. She was an amazing woman and I had the privilege to know and love her for several years before we lost her suddenly to a stroke. Every year in November, she would make a very special pumpkin cake for my husband for his birthday. I think she had perfected the recipe over the years. One year (5 years ago), we weren’t able to make it to Tennessee to celebrate his birthday. So I called her to get her famous recipe and try to make the cake myself. I will never forget that phone call, I still laugh when I think about it. Her measurements were very general – “a little of this,” “maybe a cup of that or more if you need it.”  She was so happy that I had called to get the recipe and asked me if she could pass me the torch so that I could continue the tradition of making him a pumpkin cake for his birthday. Of course I happily accepted and I have been making it every year since. I hope we can keep this special recipe in our family for generations to come.

I will warn you – it is a bit labor intensive but it is absolutely well worth the time and energy you put into it. Fresh pumpkin works best but you can substitute canned pumpkin if you must. Every year I send my sweet husband to work with his pumpkin cake to share with his co-workers. They cut the first piece around 8:30 and by 10:30 there is none left. It is very moist and delectable with hints of fall spices. Top it off with the cream cheese icing and it is pure heaven.

MOM’s Pumpkin Cake Recipe

Ava Wilson


2 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

2 cups sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

4 large eggs

2 cups pumpkin puree or cooked mashed pumpkin


Preheat the oven to 350. Grease and lightly flour two 9 inch rounds (or a 9 x 13 pan).

Sift flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl and stir to combine. In a separate bowl, combine sugar and vegetable oil. Using a mixer, beat in the eggs one at a time until thoroughly combined. With your mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture and beat well. Stir in the pumpkin (if using fresh cooked pumpkin, make sure you have gotten most of the moisture out with a cheese cloth or strainer).

Pour the batter into your prepared pan(s). Bake it on the center rack of your oven for about 35-45 minutes, depending on your oven. Let cakes cool in the pan for about 20 minutes before removing them from the pan. They need to cool an additional hour before you frost them if at all possible.

Place one layer on the cake plate and apply a liberal amount of cream cheese frosting. Trim the top of the second cake if needed so that it will lay evenly on top of the first layer. Gently place the second cake onto the first layer and frost the entire cake liberally with remaining cream cheese icing (there may be some leftover frosting, you want to use enough to cover the cake and any gaps).


Cream Cheese Icing:

1 stick of real, unsalted butter, softened (1/2 cup)

2 packages of cream cheese (8 oz each), softened

2 pounds of powdered sugar

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.

Using a mixer, blend the butter, cream cheese and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Slowly add all of the powdered sugar until the frosting is a nice, spreadable consistency. You can store the leftover in the fridge – it is yummy with fresh strawberries.

**If you are frosting a 9x13 cake, you can halve the cream cheese recipe.

All pumpkins are not created equal!
by RaDonnaRidner-Thurman
Dec 14, 2011 | 5419 views |  0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
Cinderella Pumpkin from Dad's Farm in Tennessee
Cinderella Pumpkin from Dad's Farm in Tennessee

Cooking and freezing fresh pumpkin

So I know I’m a little late on this post… About 4-6 weeks late actually but things have been a little hectic in our household as of late. Thankfully things have calmed down just enough so that I have time to talk about pumpkins! I have memories growing up of my Grandmothers and my Mother cooking many, many things out of pumpkin. I grew up on a farm and we grew most of what we ate. We would harvest in the late summer and fall and can and freeze and eat that during the winter. One of my family’s favorite vegetables is pumpkin.

I’m not sure if it’s a southern thing or a Tennessee thing but I have a ton of pumpkin recipes. Recipes for pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin stew, fried pumpkin, candied pumpkin, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin smoothies, pumpkin casserole, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin cake, and of course pumpkin pie. And as luck would have it, I married someone who was equally fond of pumpkin. In fact, I will post a pumpkin recipe soon that came from my husband’s Grandmother and is probably the best cake recipe I’ve ever made.

There is one very important rule with pumpkins – not all pumpkins are created equal. The orange ones that you carve at Halloween are just for that – carving. They are not sweet and not cut out for cooking in the least. When choosing a cooking pumpkin, there are a lot of varieties to choose from. You really can’t go wrong with just about any “cooking pumpkin.” I found a great link with a list of some of the best cooking pumpkins, Some of my favorite varieties are the “long island cheese pumpkin” and the “cinderella” pumpkin. Their shells are very hard to cut but well worth the taste and they work well in any recipe. Now if you’re just cooking a pie – the small sugar pumpkin is fairly easy to find and makes a wonderful pie. My Dad grew a large patch of Cinderella pumpkins this year so that is type that I have prepared and described below. The Cinderella gets it name from the pumpkin's resemblance to the one that was transformed into Cinderella's carriage.

When buying your pumpkin at the grocery store – look near the squash or ask the produce manager. Oftentimes they will be labeled “pie pumpkins.” A farmer’s market is also a great place to find home grown cooking pumpkins.

Almost every recipe out there calls for cooking the pumpkin before using it in your recipe. I will post below how I cut and prepare my pumpkins – it is how I learned from my Mom and my Grandmother. If my instructions are confusing or you have questions, please feel free to leave a comment. Or, you can google “cutting a pumpkin for cooking” and there are many you tube videos that take you through the process.

First, I wash my pumpkin really well to get all of the dirt off. I like to use a large old bath towel on the counter, especially if my pumpkin is rather large. I cut out a “lid” much like when carving a pumpkin. Using a large metal spoon, scrape the sides as best you can to remove all of the strings and seeds. Then, cut the pumpkin in half. Take one half and slice wedges of pumpkin. Take each wedge and slice it into small chunks. This will allow you to lay each chunk on its side and slice the skin off easily. Drop the chunks into a bowl of water until you have them all peeled or “shelled.” Repeat with the other half of the pumpkin.

Place the pumpkin chunks in a large stewpot and add water, not quite covering the pumpkin. Bring it to a boil then reduce it and simmer it for about 45 minutes or until the pumpkin is very tender. It should all cook down into the water – if you still have pumpkin exposed after 25 minutes, add enough water to just cover the pumpkin. When it cooks, it soaks up a lot of water and you will have to remove that water later for it to work well in your recipes.

After it has finished cooking, strain it with a wire mesh strainer. I like to use an old dish towel or an old bath towel and after I strain it, dump it in the towel. Standing over the sink, wrap the towel up tight and squeeze out all of the excess water from the pumpkin. I am always amazed at how much water is left before I use the towel method. Put the pumpkin in a bowl and measure out what you need for your recipe. You can freeze the remainder for future uses. Just put the desired amount in a freezer bag and try to get all of the air out before you seal it. I like to freeze mine in 2 cup increments because most of my recipes call for 1-2 cups.

Thanks to my Dad I have lots of frozen pumpkin in the freezer and hope to shower you with family recipes during the upcoming winter that feature this interesting vegetable.




Nestlè Dark Chocolate Crumb Bars
by RaDonnaRidner-Thurman
Dec 06, 2011 | 5186 views |  0 comments | 35 35 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
Nestlè Dark Chocolate Crumb Bars
Nestlè Dark Chocolate Crumb Bars
I found another new bar/brownie type recipe! Did you know that Nestle makes dark chocolate morsels? I did not know that until recently and I was so excited to find another new simple but homemade recipe on the back of the package. I have to warn you though, these little bars are extremely addicting. The sweetened condensed milk gives it just enough sweetness to counteract the dark chocolate bitterness. They come together to make the chocolate filling that practically melts in your mouth. The topping and crust add a unique texture. Paired together, it exudes happiness in your mouth. I found the recipe to be quite easy and it all came together in about 25 minutes total. I love the bar/brownie recipes because there is no waiting around for multiple pans of cookies that you shuffle in and out of the oven and hope that you don’t forget and let a pan get too brown. Personally I don’t care for nuts in my desserts (unless they are a main attraction) so I omitted those when I made the recipe.

What you will need:

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 10 package NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Dark Chocolate Morsels

1 can (14 oz.) Sweetened Condensed Milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

The Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 350 and grease a 13 x 9 inch baking pan.

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter until creamy. Add in the flour, sugar and salt until crumbly. With floured fingers and hands, press 2 CUPS of the crumb mixture onto the bottom of the baking pan. Save the rest of it for the last baking step. The layer will be slightly thin but cover the bottom. Bake it for about 10 minutes or until the edges are golden brown (my oven had it golden brown in about 7-8 minutes).

In a small saucepan, combine 1 CUP of the morsels and the sweetened condense milk. Warm it over LOW heat, stirring constantly until it is smooth. Stir in the vanilla extract and spread it over the hot crust.

Add the remaining 2/3 cup of morsels with the reserved crumb mixture (and nuts if using). Sprinkle it evenly over the chocolate filling.

Bake for about 25 minutes or until the center is set. Let it cool completely before trying to cut it (I waited about an hour).


Chickpea and Lentil Soup
by RaDonnaRidner-Thurman
Dec 02, 2011 | 2429 views |  0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
Chickpea and Lentil Soup
Chickpea and Lentil Soup
Total approximate time from start to finish: 40-45 minutes

The weather has been bitter cold this week, but it is the perfect time for a hot bowl of soup! I found this recipe in my food and wine soups and salad cookbook and I just love it. I was very skeptical at first because the ingredients were a bit… odd. But it is absolutely delicious and tastes even better the next day. It is a vegetarian soup but it is so hearty and filling that even my carnivorous husband devoured it. It is quite simple to make. When I have a crazy day I like to make it the night before, let it cool and put it in the fridge. It takes about 5 minutes to warm it up on the stove the next day. The flavors are even more amazing after they have had a chance to meld together overnight. My favorite thing about this recipe – all of the ingredients are fairly inexpensive! Even if you are not a seasoned cook, I would definitely recommend giving this unique recipe a try.

Here is what you will need:

2 tablespoons of butter

1 onion, chopped

2 ribs celery, chopped

½ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon turmeric

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 ¾ teaspoons salt

¼ teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper

1 cup lentils (any variety is fine)

6 ½ cups water

1 ¾ cups crushed tomatoes in thick puree (15 oz can)

1 2/3 cups drained and rinsed chickpeas (15 oz can)

1/3 cup chopped cilantro    

Lemon wedges for serving

The Instructions:

In a large pot, melt the butter over medium low heat. Add the onion and celery and cook for about 10 minutes until the vegetables are nice and soft. Stir in the ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, salt, pepper and lentils. It will release a huge fragrance of spices but stir it all together so that everything gets coated nicely.

Then add the water and tomatoes and bring it to a boil. Partially cover it and reduce the heat. Let it simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring about every 10 minutes. Make sure the lentils are tender (if they’re not, cook it an additional 10 minutes) and then add the chickpeas. Simmer for about 5 minutes more, stir in the cilantro and it’s ready to serve.

I like to serve mine with a lemon wedge and a little bit of chopped cilantro on top. The chopped cilantro is mostly for presentation but the squeeze of lemon juice really brings out all of the amazing and different flavors in this recipe.

Sausage and Egg Breakfast Casserole
by RaDonnaRidner-Thurman
Nov 22, 2011 | 5434 views |  0 comments | 34 34 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
Breakfast Casserole fresh out of the oven
Breakfast Casserole fresh out of the oven
Total prep time: about 20 minutes (can prepare in advance)

Total cook time: 30-40 minutes (depending on your oven)

Do you have company coming in for the holidays? I love this recipe because I can prepare it the night before and pull it out when I wake up and in about 45 minutes, breakfast will be ready (and I haven’t spent more than 5 minutes in my kitchen). It is also great as a “breakfast for dinner” meal or to take and share at a work or church breakfast. I have to admit, I’m not a huge casserole fan but it’s hard to beat a good breakfast casserole. This recipe is actually from my friend JS. Her mother-in-law perfected the recipe and it has been in their family for years. She brought it to us for dinner one night when our son had surgery and I had to have the recipe. There are a lot of variations of this recipe on the internet but I have had repeated success with this one – it is delicious every time.

Here is what you will need:

1 lb mild sausage

6-8 slices of white bread

1 ½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

5 eggs

2 cups half & half

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon dry mustard

½ teaspoon worcestershire sauce

The Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350. Cook the sausage over medium heat until it is cooked and drain it well. Spread each slice of bread with soft butter then cut it into cubes. Place the cubed, buttered bread in the bottom of greased 9x13 dish. Sprinkle it with the sausage and cheese. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, half and half, and spices and pour it over the sausage, bread and cheese. Bake it for 30-40 minutes or until the middle is set and the top is golden brown. If it starts to brown too much before the middle is set, cover it loosely with foil.

If you are making it in advance, cover it with foil and chill it until you are ready to cook it. Let it sit on the counter about 20 minutes before you put it in the oven.

Vegetarian Version: For our resident vegetarian, I used the imitation soy sausage and she loved it.

Nestle Butterscotch Pumpkin Cake
by RaDonnaRidner-Thurman
Nov 16, 2011 | 2976 views |  0 comments | 35 35 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
Nestle Butterscotch Pumpkin Cake
Nestle Butterscotch Pumpkin Cake
Always in search of a new dessert recipe, I love looking at the back of the various chip packages. From the semi-sweet to the white chocolate chip, they always have at least two recipes they recommend with their product. My thinking is that they have test kitchens and they make sure the recipe is top notch before they publish it on the back of their product. So you are usually pretty safe in making those recipes – I’ve always had good luck with them. I have to admit though, when I saw “butterscotch pumpkin cake” on the back of the Nestle butterscotch chip bag I was extremely skeptical. Who in their right mind would put butterscotch and pumpkin together? It had to be someone very creative who realized that these two flavors can complement each other beautifully. The sauce actually makes the dish. I must admit, I could eat a bowl of the sauce by itself, it is so delicious. I found when I made it though, the longer the butterscotch sauce stood at room temperature, the better it became. So I would definitely recommend making the sauce first and then make your cake. I kept my sauce in a separate container and drizzled it on the slice when I served it. You could probably pour the sauce on the cake if you are going to serve it all immediately. However, if you are going to serve a few slices here, a few slices there, I would recommend keeping it separate because I think the cake would soak up all of the sauce goodness within an hour of pouring it on. You can use canned pumpkin or fresh pumpkin in this recipe. I will post a recipe soon that involves fresh pumpkin, how to prepare it and how all pumpkins are not created equal. Some are for decoration only and there are specific ones for specific purposes (certain types for pies, certain types for cakes, muffins, etc.).

What you will need for the cake:

•    1 2/3 cups (11-oz. pkg.) butterscotch chips

•     2 cups all-purpose flour

•    1 3/4 cups granulated sugar

•    1 tablespoon baking powder

•    1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

•    1 teaspoon salt

•    1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

•    1 cup cooked and pureed pumpkin

•    1/2 cup vegetable oil

•    3 large eggs

•    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

•    3 tablespoons powdered sugar (optional)

What you will need for the butterscotch sauce:

•    1/3 cup of evaporated milk

•    2/3 cup of butterscotch morsels (the rest of the package after measuring what you will need for the cake)

The instructions for the cake:

Preheat your oven to 350. Liberally grease a Bundt pan with nonstick spray or vegetable shortening. Measure 1 cup of butterscotch morsels and microwave them for one minute and stir. If they are still a little lumpy, microwave them for an additional 10 seconds stirring until they are melted. Set them aside to work on the rest of your batter.

In a medium bowl, add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and sugar. In a large bowl, combine the melted butterscotch with the pumpkin, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla extract. Stir vigorously with a wire whisk until thoroughly combined. Stir in your flour mixture and mix until you have a nice orangey – brown batter. Carefully pour or spoon it into the prepare Bundt pan.

Bake it for 40-50 minutes depending on your oven. It will be golden brown on top and if you insert a wooden toothpick and it comes out clean then your cake is done. My got a little brown on top before it was done in the middle so I placed a small sheet of foil over the top very loosely to protect it from getting too brown while the middle finished baking. Cool it in the pan for 30 minutes then remove it and let it cool on a wire rack for at least an hour. Sprinkle it with the powdered sugar and serve it with the butterscotch sauce.

The Instructions for the Butterscotch Sauce:

Heat 1/3 cup of Evaporated milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat until it just starts to boil. Remove it from the heat and stir in the butterscotch morsels. Whisk it until it is smooth, this took me a little while. I still had little bits of butterscotch in my sauce but they ended up dissolving a little later. Let it cool completely to room temperature and stir it before serving.

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