Saturday, October 25, 2014

Pumpkin Cake Roll

We were expecting company today, I was to meet a relative for the first time . . So I wanted something delicious, but since I am a baker I wanted something other than what I bake at work :) Plus I have TONS of pumpkin this year. So I decided to try this recipe to test it . . . It was delicious, easy and so handy that it can be made ahead. I made a double batch and have one in the freezer for an emergency dessert :)

I also tweeked the recipe by sprinkling chopped nuts and dried cranberries over the filling before rolling it up. YUMMY!

Notes: You do not need to roll the cake up in a towel, as long as you do not over-bake it. Be sure to line the pan with baking paper. Enjoy :) 
Favorite Pumpkin Cake Roll Recipe










  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 2/3 cup canned pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • Additional confectioners' sugar, optional
To see the instructions click on this LINK

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Honey Cake- My Favorite Cake

Since I work in a bakery I bake ALOT of cakes. Were I to count them they would be in the hundreds this year :) But my all time favorite cake right now is this Latvian honey cake. I love that it is sweet, but perfect with coffee and as moist as one could wish! YUMMY. This cake vanished in no more than 10 minutes this evening!

I have borrowed this recipe from the website cetrassezonas and tweaked it some. I hope it will work with your American sour cream or wherever you are from. But as long as you can get your hands on real sour cream you should be fine.

You will need:

Springform pan 10-11 inch. 


1 1/4 c. sugar
3 cups flour
7 T. butter
2 eggs
2 T. honey
1 t. soda.


2 cups sugar
3 cups sour cream
2 T. grated lemon rind
1 t. vanilla extract


1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup cream


Melt the butter, sugar and eggs. Stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Pour into separate bowl.

Place soda and honey in pot, heat over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture is caramelized. It will be foamy and gradually turn a rich brown. Do not burn! This part is always so cool! I didn't know you could do this with honey :)

Add this mixture to the egg mixture and stir well. Stir in flour. The dough should be stiff and you can let it cool and it will become even easier to handle.

Prepare sheets of baking paper by  tracing the size of the pan on the paper. You will need 5 such prepared baking sheets or papers. Divide the dough into 5 equal portions. Flip the paper over and roll out so that the dough is the size of your drawn circle. Use flour as necessary to keep from sticking. It will be thin, apx. 1/8 inch. There is no need to have a perfect circle, you will trim the edges later.

Bake until brown, and crisp. DO NOT  BURN! It bakes quickly.

When the rounds are ready let them cool and then trim them to fit inside your springform pan. Save the trimmings for later. Prepare the filling by stirring it well, until the sugar is dissolved. It will be soupy!

Layer one cake round at a time, then spread apx. 1 cup of the sour cream mixture. Then another round until you have used up all the rounds and all the filling. Pour any remaining filling under the last layer. Do not put filling on top layer if you desire to top with chocolate. Chill overnight. You can also add the chocolate at this point or do it the next day.

The next day if you haven't already topped it with chocolate then melt the chocolate with the cream and then spread over the cake. I topped mine with rough sugar grains here and chilled the chocolate. When it was set I then removed the cake from the pan.

You can put the remaining edges that you cut off in a blender and grind them into crumbs which can then be used to garnish the edges of the cake. This cake is meant for home so the decor is simple, but you can decorate it as you desire!

Slice and enjoy!

So let me know if you make this cake and how it turns out for you!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Key Lime Pie- On a Stick

So here is a recipe I just really want to try. It looks fabulous and though it would take some time to prepare and dip I think it would be well worth it!

Key Lime Pie on a Stick | The Girl Who Ate Everything

Monday, August 25, 2014

Classic Bran Muffins

Made these yesterday and added some nuts and dried cherries. YUMMY! 

Thanks to :



  • 1 1/2 cups wheat bran
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup raisins


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.
  2. Mix together wheat bran and buttermilk; let stand for 10 minutes.
  3. Beat together oil, egg, sugar and vanilla and add to buttermilk/bran mixture. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir flour mixture into buttermilk mixture, until just blended. Fold in raisins and spoon batter into prepared muffin tins.
  4. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool and enjoy!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Basil Pesto

I love basil and the best way to use a lot of it fast is to make pesto. My kids love noodles and they love using pesto. I made some of this and froze it in small portions for the winter. 

My recipe is something like this one:

But my recipe has 5 cloves of garlic and a bit more oil. I add enough to make it a nice consistency, I don't measure it :) I also used toasted almonds because pine nuts are too expensive. 

What do you make with your basil?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Summer Wedding

 This summer I got to make another wedding cake for a sweet friend. Doesn't she look lovely?

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Homemade Rootbeer

It is always a pleasure to meet another person from your home country. When you live far from home like I do, meeting another American is like meeting a person you've got lots in common with- even if that is just being American.

We had the pleasure of getting to know some friends better over the weekend and they shared with us the fact that they make their own root-beer. First of all I was surprised, it had never occurred to me to even consider making any. You can't get it here in Latvia, but I haven't missed it and so I just lived on in that state until now.

Our friends made us some rootbeer and gave me a bottle of rootbeer extract. I was excited to try it out and now that the weather is extremely hot I thought I'd give a whirl.

I decided to deviate from the recipe on the bottle a bit after theirs had turned out flat. We make our own fruit syrups every year and they make a nice sparkling juice when you add them to sparkling water.

So I decided to make my rootbeer syrup and only add it to each glass as it was served. The results were delightful and delicious and very much a taste of home :)

The recipe on the bottle says to make one quart you need 1/2 T. extract, and 8 tablespoons sugar, and enough water to make 1 quart. I decided to make a double portion for my 2 liter bottle of carbonated water.

My recipe version :

1 T. extract
12 T. sugar
1/4-1/3 c. boiling water.

I then stirred this over a low heat until the sugar was dissolved and then let it cool . To serve add a couple of tablespoons or more (to taste) to each glass, add the fizzy water and stir. Add ice and serve.
Delicious, and refreshing.

Best of all you kind find this cheap on Amazon :) Yay!

Thanks to new friends for new ideas!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Chocolate Mousse Cake

So if you have never had or made a mousse cake you SHOULD try this one. My friend told me about a cake in France and I had a hunch it was a mousse cake. I scoured the internet and found this recipe and since then I have made this MANY times. Everyone loves it.

It is rich, and light and so chocolately!

DELISH! Thanks Brown-Eyed Baker for another great recipe!

Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake by @browneyedbaker ::

Sunday, May 18, 2014

A litte bit of France- Repost

There is not many people who could resist a freshly baked crossiant, and by request of Julija we made these one lovely evening. Wow, were they fantastic. Just look at all those layers!

Here is a recipe, not sure if it is the one we used, but it looks good. (I tried this recipe today before reposting this it IS a winner.) You can never go wrong with a warm crossiant. YUM!

We also whipped up some French onion soup and I made some French Macarons to complete our evening with a French theme. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

American Pancakes

Pancakes are a BIG deal to my kids. They LOVE them, I mean, really LOVE them. We usually only eat them on Saturdays- they are the special weekend treat.

My husband makes some really good Latvian pancakes, and he makes some amazing onion pancakes. Let me tell you, that man can make some amazing pancakes.

But you know what, mine aren't bad either :) Now and again I want so really American pancakes and some maple syrup- at least the fake stuff which I make myself with my maple flavoring. So here is the recipe we made the other day, and this time it wasn't Saturday because my boy said he wanted so pancakes, even it was only Tuesday :)


1 1/4 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
1 T. sugar
1 egg
1 cup milk
2 T. oil


Mix wet ingredients and dry ingredients separately. Then combine and stir VERY lightly, just until combined. DO NOT over stir. That is the secret to fluffy American pancakes. Bake on hot, oiled pan. Makes 8 - 4 inch pancakes.

I doubled that recipe.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Chicago Style Pizza

Ever since we were in Chicago and I had the amazing deep dish pizza there; I have known that  I needed to try my hand at making it myself.

I finally looked up a recipe and thanks to The Brown Eyed Baker the girls and I made it Sunday. We were all in LOVE. It is so different than traditional pizza- and so yummy!

Friday, January 31, 2014

Cinnamon Rolls and their friends :)

Everyone loves cinnamon rolls. But how about some new fillings in those doughs? Today we made the good old fashioned cinnamon rolls and two other variations: 

I made a half a batch of this dough recipe and it was still enough for 4 pans of rolls. 

Quark and Chocolate: 
 Mix some quark (biezpiens) aka farmer's cheese or curd cheese, with sugar and a little sour cream if it is very dry. Spread and sprinkle with mini chocolate chips. Roll, cut, let rise and bake. YUMMY! 

Pizza Rolls:
Roll dough, spread with a light coating of tomato sauce. Sprinkle with pizza spices (oregeno, basil), top with a good amount of grated cheese and some chopped meat (I used pepperoni sausage). Roll, and slice. Let rise and bake. A great appetizer or snack for kids. 

Other variations: 
caramelized milk and chopped nuts
quark and berries
vanilla pudding, topped with glaze and coconut


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Biezpiens-Quark-Farmer's Cheese

Here I have lived in Latvia for 8 years and spent a whole lifetime in the States before that and I have been totally sure that there is no such thing as "biezpiens" in the USA. A few times now I have seen the word translated as "quark". Finally, I remembered to look up the subject and as it turns out this type of cheese is widely spread throughout the world.

Quark is made by warming soured milk . . . you can read about it online if you are interested. 

Sometimes it gets translated as cottage cheese- but the cheese we think of in the States for cottage cheese is not like this. This is typically dry, crumbly and not creamy- though it comes in a wide selection here as well. It is eaten both as a sweet dish and salty dish. My kids love it mixed with sour-cream to make it creamy, sprinkled with sugar or with jelly or jam. That is a popular breakfast here in our home.

In the USA it is known as farmer's cheese. I must say that I personally never saw nor ate it when I was growing up in the States- but it does me good to know it does exist there:)

So next time you are living in the States and want to make a Latvian recipe or recipe from another country that calls for quark or biezpiens you will know you can find it, or something similar.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Mom's Chili

It is cold, very cold. And nothing warms like a bowl of chili and a side of cornbread. This was our lunch today:


1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1 pkg. taco seasoning
2  T. brown sugar
2 T. 5% vinegar
1 glass water (or more if you like it more watered down)
1 quart tomato juice (or tomatoes in juice, or crushed tomatoes which is what I used. )
1 onion- diced
2-3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2-3 cans kidney beans- drained.

  • Brown meat, drain of fat if necessary. 
  • Add onion and garlic and saute until tender. 
  • Put this in pot, add remaining ingredients and simmer for some time so that flavors blend. 
  • Serve with grated cheese and cornbread. YUMMY

June's Cornbread Supreme

This is a family favorite of ours for cornbread, given to us by our dear friend June and adapted by me. This is a lovely side for chili. 


1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter
4 eggs
1 can creamed corn or normal corn
1 cup flour
1 cup cornmeal
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup shredded cheese (jack and cheddar)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F/ 175 C
  2. Melt butter
  3. Mix together all ingredients
  4. Bake in 9x13 greased pan or in iron skillet ( this is what I do) 
  5. Bake until golden and until toothpick inserted comes out clean- 20-40 minutes. .

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Pumpkin Streusel Pie

For Thanksgiving one always needs Pumpkin Pie. I have always liked pumpkin pie, but am not crazy about it. Until this year when I ran across this twist to the traditional pie from HERE.

I used my own pumpkin pie recipe and just added the streusel topping. It is soooooooo yummy and adds such a nice crunch to the pie. You don't even need whipped cream if you top it with this.

I had too many pies at Thanksgiving, so I froze one of these- unbaked. I took it out today and baked it. My husband would not even wait until it cooled off and he gave is a high rating. Now believe me (he is my biggest critic), so if he says it is good, then it is really GOOD! 

Streusel Topping:

  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
Crumble together these ingredients and sprinkle on top of pie last 10-15 minutes of baking. Cook until nicely browned. 


Sunday, January 5, 2014

Pizza- Our way

 The varieties of pizza are as unique as each person I would think. But this is our favorite dough recipe and a few of our favorite topping combinations: 

Dough: I got this dough recipe from my good friend Lena. This is a good, fast recipe. When I have more time I make my mom's "real pizza dough recipe".

2 1/4 t. yeast
1 1/3 c. warm water
3 1/2 - 3 3/4 c. flour
2 T. olive oil
1-3 t. salt  (we use less)
1 T. sugar


Mix until smooth and elastic. Cover and let rise 1-1 1/2 hours. (Sometimes I don't even let it rise that long). Makes 2 pizzas.

My favorite:
-Deep dish (cooked in my stone pan)
-Thick crust, sometimes cheese filled edges.
-Homemade tomato sauce
-Spices: basil, oregano and rosemary
-Toppings: American style pepperoni, mushrooms and olives, and if I have it feta cheese.

His favorite:
-Medium thick crust
-Tomato sauce
-Spices: basil, oregano
-Toppings: smoked chicken or chicken fillet, curry sauce (mix cream with curry powder), pineapple, bell peppers, sometimes ham and he loves hot peppers on it too. But I don't bake them on the pizza otherwise the spiciness spreads way to much!

-Any thickness of crust
-Spread with white garlic sauce (it is sold here that and in Germany)
-Toppings: As desired, but as usual I like American pepperoni, and whatever else is on hand at the moment.

Other sauces to try:
-BBQ sauce
-Pesto sauce
-Cream cheese
-Fresh sliced tomatoes-yum

Get creative with those toppings!

What are your favorites?