Saturday, August 29, 2015

Pumpkin Layer Cake (a.k.a. Magic Pumpkin Cake)

I don't know about you but I'm ready for fall. Well, maybe not the shorter days that come with fall. I am a daytime, warm, sunshine-loving kinda gal. But I'm definitely ready for fall flavors. I love those fall smells of apples, cinnamon and clove (and of course, pumpkin). If you hang out on Pinterest much, this season is usually referred to over there as the season of pumpkin-everything! So, true, right? It's because pumpkin is good y'all! We get excited. Kinda like bacon. You just say the word and you have everybody's attention!
So when I saw my folks at Kroger putting out the cans of canned pumpkin pie filling this past week, I knew I had to figure out something to make with it. Of course, I coulda just made pumpkin pie, right? But ya know, my brain is always thinking of fun twists on classics that y'all might love too. And so, enter the Magic Pumpkin Cake, a.k.a., Pumpkin Layer Cake. Layers of pumpkin pie, vanilla cake and pumpkin pie-spiced whipped topping. Hello sweet pumpkin cake! Where have you been all my life?
Why is it magic? Well, because you actually pour the cake batter in first and the pumpkin pie filling in second -  but after it bakes - the pumpkin layer ends up on bottom and the cake layer on top. So obviously, no magic happpening here, it's just because the pumpkin layer weighs more than the cake layer so it sinks to the bottom of the baking dish. But baking it this way allows everything to cook evenly without any layer being under-done or overcooked. Do yourself a flavor - make this!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Red Carpet Sweet Potato Cupcakes (Giveaway)

Y'all, I have been hurting at the seams with a secret. I can't tell you how happy I am to finally let the cat out the bag. I am horrible at keeping secrets. Well, the good kinda secrets anyway. But I had to keep a lid on this one for good reason. Because it involved YOU! So, are you ready for it? Martha White has partnered up with the Country Music Association. They are teaming up to present the 49th Annual CMA Awards on November 4th in Nashville - Country Music’s Biggest Night™.  The awards air LIVE from the Bridgestone Arena Wednesday, November 4 at 8|7c on ABC. So what does this mean for us? Well, for me, it means I am going to the CMA Awards to cover all the fun fabulousness that is this big night. The music, the food, the city! I could write an entire blog post on my love for Dolly Parton and Luke Bryan but I'll save that for another day (hee hee.) And guess what? Martha White wants to send one of YOU to the CMA Awards too!! Aghh! Are you screaming with me? Come on - we could be doing this together!! Shut. Up!
The GRAND PRIZE is a trip FOR TWO to Nashville, y'all. The winners get to attend the awards as well as a tour of the Country Music Hall of Fame and all of the winners' airfare and hotel and transportation is included! 
For details on how to enter the Martha White CMA Awards Sweepstakes, head on over to the Martha White Facebook pageHERE OFFICIAL RULES: HERE. There are FOUR grand prizes! So get on over there and enter!
Martha White has been celebrating music heritage for generations. In fact, Martha White brings this tradition all around the country with the Martha White Bluegrass Express. Rhonda Vincent and the Rage (the most award-winning Bluegrass band ever!) have been carrying the sounds of bluegrass with Martha White for the last 10 years. I've meet Rhonda y'all (she's incredibly nice and daggone - she's got a voice the likes I've never heard before in my life!) 
And what funner (funner, that's totally not a word but it totally makes sense here, so I'm rolling with it) way to celebrate the CMA Awards and country music than with an awards-inspired recipe! Martha White has a brand new muffin mix out - Sweet Potato. Mmm Hmmm. I said sweet potato. Anyone else as excited about this one as I am? It is crazy-good, so moist and of course, it is as simple to make as all the other Martha White Muffin Mixes. To me, country music and food go together. I bet I can name at least 5 country songs that mention sweet tea or cornbread. Ammaright? Don't forget to check out the fun giveaway at the end of this post for all our Country Cook friends to celebrate!
2 (7 oz.) packages Martha White® Sweet Potato Muffin Mix
3/4 cup milk
1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple, undrained

6 ounces cream cheese
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/2 cup coarsely chopped, toasted pecans

HEAT oven to 400ºF. Spray 12 medium muffin cups with Crisco® no-stick cooking spray.
STIR together muffin mix, milk and pineapple in medium bowl just until blended.
FILL muffin cups almost full. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely.

BEAT cream cheese, butter, brown sugar and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Gradually beat in powdered sugar until blended. Spread generously over cool cupcakes. Sprinkle with pecans. 
Makes 12 cupcakes 
Alternate ingredient: Martha White® Apple Cinnamon Flavored Muffin Mix, Pumpkin Muffin or Martha White® Apple Cider Flavored Muffin Mix may be substituted for Martha White® Sweet Potato Flavored Muffin Mix

a Rafflecopter giveaway
For more award-inspired recipes, check out these Encore Chess Pie Bars from Mommy's Kitchen and Songbird Sweet Potato Skillet from Southern Bite. These yummy treats are made using Martha White's Chocolate Chip Muffin Mix and the new Sweet Potato Muffin Mix. Click the pictures below to see the recipes and get more chances to win this sweet giveaway!
Encore Chess Pie Bars at Mommy's Kitchen

Songbird Sweet Potato Skillet at Southern Bite

© Martha White Foods, Inc.  Crisco is a trademark of The J. M. Smucker Company. This is a sponsored post. I am a proud ambassador for Martha White. All opinions are my own.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Bacon Wrapped Potatoes with Sour Cream & Onion Dip

I've said it before, but it bears saying again: potatoes are my favorite veggie. They are affordable, versatile and good for you! Especially these Creamer potatoes that I have fallen in love with. In. Love. Have you started seeing these in your grocery store yet? They are Creamer potatoes from The Little Potato Company and boy, are they GOOD! 
They come packaged four different ways. Here in the U.S., we've got the Baby Boomer Creamer Potatoes (orange bag below). They have a thin skin, are grown in rich soils and have a buttery flesh that just loves all those oils and flavorings that you add to them. Then there's the Dynamic Duo Creamer Potatoes (in the green bag below) that are a combo. of the Baby Boomers and the Blushing Belle Creamer potatoes. These have already been pre-washed (yay!) and they're super nutritious. Naturally gluten-free and cholesterol free. They are packaged straight from the farm - right here in the USA!
Next you have the Terrific Trio (in the blue package). This is a combination of the Baby Boomers, Blushing Belles, and the blue creamer potato. If you have never had blue potatoes, you need to try it. It doesn't have a strong flavor at all. I love to make a red, white & blue potato salad with these. Very patriotic, dontcha know? And then we have the Blushing Belle (in the red package) which is a red-skinned creamer potato. Blushing Belle has a soft, light texture with a mild flavor. This one is really good roasted or mashed (or smashed!) 
Below is an adorable video to learn more about these special taters. 
So now that you know all about the creamer potato varietals, I thought it would be fun to share a scrumptious recipe for them. I'm going with an appetizer here but honestly, I could eat this as a dinner side too. Bacon and potatoes - if loving you is wrong, I don't wanna be right....
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