Ooey Gooey Pumpkin Butter Cake

Happy leftover deliciousness day! Yesterday I ate nearly all my favorite things, so I thought best to share with you one of them today. Since we have a full weekend left (hooray!) to relax and eat more, you may want to try this over the weekend. You will not be disappointed.  Earlier this year I fell in love with Butter Cake, and my co-worker shared with me a Pumpkin Butter Cake recipe since I simply adore all that is pumpkin.

Source: Modified from the Foodnetwork, Paula Deen



1 package yellow cake mix

1 stick of butter, softened

1 egg

Ooey Gooey stuff:

1 15 ounce can of pumpkin

3 eggs

.5 stick of butter, softened

1 8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened

16 ounces of powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp cinnamon

Mix the cake ingredients with a mixer until well-blended. Pat cake into 13×9 inch lightly greased baking dish. I used Pam baking spray.

Next, mix pumpkin and cream cheese with mixer until well blended. Add eggs, butter, vanilla, powdered sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon (pro-tip: if you are out of either of these, add 2 teaspoons of pumpkin spice mix). Mix will, pour on top of cake mix. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. The top will look like it’s not done, but that’s because it’s supposed to stay ooey and gooey.

The recipe actually calls for a full stick of butter in the pumpkin part, however I decided to add only half and it was still delicious.

Serve with Cool Whip and sweat pants.

Happy Thanksgiving =)


Moscow on the Hill

It’s the nearly the most wonderful time of the year again. Which means St. Paul turns into a Winter Wonderland. Although I’m a Minneapolis girl through and through, I still have a soft spot for St. Paul and the little snow globe town it becomes each winter.  The best place to dine during a cold night? Moscow on the Hill – so authentically Russian you feel as if you’ve been transplanted to Russia and they’re peer pressuring you to try all the million vodka flavors (which you should, but not all in one night). Caramel is a favorite of mine. Enjoy the borscht – fresh, subtle dill, heart-warming; a side of bread and garlic butter, and the Pelmeni if you want to go all out. Always finish with the Napolean – light, fluffy, fresh fruit, and absolutely amazing.



Post-barre class Kristi & I frequent Lucia’s for a yummy breakfast. OK maybe not frequent, but we’ve been there twice – and I was not disappointed. Lucia’s menu is simple, but classic. With Quiche, eggs, bacon, and pastries. Basically a breakfast lovers dream. The eggs were classic with a hint of thyme to spice it up. The bacon was crispy and tasted home cooked. The Quiche was light and fluffy, with a blend of Parmesan.  If you’re in the mood for something home cooked and easy, definitely give Lucia’s a try!


Butcher and the Boar

This place might be my new favorite.  Newly opened in 2012 Butcher & Boar is definitely for the meat-lover, but there is something for everyone. This is an overdue post, since I was there last April for kStyle’s birthday and ordered the tequila-cured salmon topped with lime, cilantro and jalapeño – a trifecta of awesomeness, basically. Fresh, spicy and unique I polished off the plate.  With a side of blackened cauliflower that tasted grilled and spiced with pepper and lemon, this meal was fantastic.  To top it off, and satisfy my renewed obsession with, I ordered an Old Fashioned.  More recently, I’ve finally visited their patio and it is definitely in my top 3 patios of the city. Check it out! Thank me later =)


Sea Salt

It’s that time of year again – I’m so nostalgic for the beginning of the school year, the weather, the new clothes & nerdy supplies but boooo I’m grown now and I have to work. I also struggle with my intense love of summer heat and being outside versus the coziness of boots, sweaters, Badger football, and hot meals that is fall. I’ve had grilled cheese and tomato soup 3 times this week, and it’s only been 60 degrees…

Sea Salt is a Minnesota summer classic. I SO wish this was open year round, but clearly the appeal is that it’s a summer joint. I always, always, always order the fried fish tacos. I’ve tried the regular fish tacos, and the fried just kills it – no fishy smelling fish, fresh cilantro, diced onions and lime over the top gives a mix of flavors so similar to traditional Mexican food it’s hard to find anywhere else, let alone in Minnesota. Pro tip: go post-rainfall to enjoy Minnehaha falls, bike there if you can, be prepared to wait an hour or more on a beautiful day, annnd don’t forget to save room for the best ice cream in town: Sebastian Joe’s.  I recommend (per my dear friend Liz’s suggestion) Raspberry Chocolate Chip or the Nicollet Pot Hole – I’m not kidding when I say it’s the best ice cream in town.

Luckily, Sea Salt stays open through October, and rumor has it the lines are non-existent this time of year.


Mrs. Lucas’ Enchiladas

I’ve never liked enchiladas at Mexican restaurants, probably because they taste so much more fresh, flavorful, and you can moderate the amount of cheese when you make them at home. I have 2 favorite enchilada recipes, and this is one of them. Over the holidays Lindsay invited me to her family’s place and her Mom made these enchiladas – six months later I was still craving them and requested the recipe. So delicious, easy and has a spicy kick! They were a hit when I made them for Father’s DayImage. Can’t beat that they’re low in cals too. Try these!

Source: Mrs. Lucas


1- 15 oz can pinto beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup canned whole kernel corn, drained

½ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

½ cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided

2- 10 oz cans red enchilada sauce (mild to hot, depending on your taste) divided

½ cup fresh, refrigerated salsa

Cooking spray

8 (6 inch) corn tortillas

  • Preheat oven to 375
  • In medium bowl, partially mash beans with fork
  • Add corn, Jack cheese, 1/3 cup cilantro and 1/4 cup enchilada sauce.
  • In another bowl., combine remaining enchilada sauce and salsa.
  • Lightly coat 13 X 9 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Pour ½ cup of enchilada sauce mixture in bottom of dish.
  • Warm tortillas in microwave according to package directions. Place a spoonful of bean mixture down in center of each tortilla; roll up. Arrange tortillas seam side down in baking dish.
  • Top with remaining enchilada sauce mixture.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with remaining cilantro.


Paula Deen’s Restaurant – The Lady and The Sons. Savannah, GA.

Big ups to Paula, despite turning diabetic (not cool irony, not cool) she’s managed to keep her restaurant a non-diabetic free zone. This is the first installment of Traveling Eats – soooo many yummy places all over the world right? Luckily I’ve been one of those annoying people who takes pics of their food before anyone’s allowed to eat since the early 2000s, so we might have a few throwback eats in the blog soon. Stay tuned.

So let’s see, the fam and I were in Hilton Head and my co-worker had nearly demanded I try Paula Deen’s restaurant in Savannah, GA on the way home back to Minney.  Um, genius.  Like a true Indian Southerner, I ordered the Sweet Tea (divine), Fried Green Tomatoes (helllooooo, LOVE that movie, it was time to understand what these actually were) and the butter cake.  Fried Green Tomatoes are the perfect summer treat, I had 3 and I was a happy little southerner.  In all honesty you couldn’t taste the tomato, but the light breaded crispy exterior and the combination of breading and fresh , tart, green tomato (fried anything is good, right) was spectacular: simple yet genius. The BUTTER CAKE! EAT THIS RIGHT NOW! I need to find a way to replicate this. Or mayhaps I will start a fund for my travels to Georgia. Good gawd this was pretty much the best thing I’d put in my mouth all year (to date, I can’t think of anything better, and that was 3 months ago). Insert inappropriate joke here if you like.  It was moist (ew I hate that word), crumbly, chocolatey annnnd bursting with sweetness that wasn’t overpowering.  I’m going to let you daydream about this food now. Oh, the cheesecake was sugar free and not too shabby (My Dad ordered) I would recommend! annnd I ate the fried green tomatoes too fast to capture on photo, apparently. Sorry about it.  Happy Summer Sunday!


Word. Sons.


Zucchini Fritters

These fritters are a perfect summer dinner OR breakfast.  I actually crave them every time I see them!

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Yield: About 6, 4 inch fritters

  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt, plus extra to taste
  • 2 green onions, split lengthwise and sliced thin
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Olive oil for frying

To serve (not optional)

  • 1 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 to 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
  • Pinches of salt
  • 1 small minced or crushed clove of garlic
  • 1 tsp cuminImage

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

Trim ends off zucchini and grate either on the large holes of a box grater or, if you’re lucky, using the shredding blade of a food processor.

In a large bowl, toss zucchini with 1 teaspoon coarse salt and set aside for 10 minutes. Wring out the zucchini in one of the following ways: pressing it against the holes of a colander with a wooden spoon to extract the water, squeezing out small handfuls at a time, or wrapping it up in a clean dishtowel or piece of cheese cloth and wringing away. Make sure that MOST of the moisture is out, otherwise you’ll be left with soggy fritters. Nobody likes a soggy fritter.

Return zucchini shreds to bowl. Taste and if you think it could benefit from more salt , add a little bit more. Stir in green onions, egg and some freshly ground black pepper. In a tiny dish, stir together flour and baking powder, then stir the mixture into the zucchini batter.

In a large heavy skillet — again if you’re lucky, use a cast iron— heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Ideally, adding enough oil so the skillet is about 1/4 deep in oil will cook these fritters to a yummy, oily, crisp.  Drop small bunches of the zucchini mixture onto the skillet only a few at a time – don’t crowd- and lightly nudge them flatter with the back of your spatula.

Cook the fritters over moderately high heat until the edges underneath are golden, about 3 to 4 minutes. If you find this happening too quickly, reduce the heat to medium. Flip the fritters and fry them on the other side until browned underneath again, about 2 to 3 minutes more.

Drain briefly on paper towels then transfer to baking sheet and then into the warm for about 10 minutes, in order to get crispy.

For the topping, if using, stir together the Greek yogurt, lemon juice, zest, salt, and cumin and garlic and adjust the flavors to your taste. Dollop on each fritter before serving.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I may have a new favorite cookie…my old standby was Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies from Potbelly’s but hello YUM these cookies were amazing.  Contrary to popular belief (and by popular I mean my mother) I do love to cook. Here’s a recipe to my new favorite cookies:


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 to 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1/2 to 1 cup semi-chocolate chips (depending on your preferred chocolate need1. In a large mixing bowl beat butter and peanut butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add the granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, and baking powder. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in the eggand vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour. Add milk – just enough to make the dough smooth. Add chocolate chips.

    2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Drop cookies by spoon dropping them in small balls onto your greased cookie sheets  Bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until bottoms are light brown. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool. Makes about 36 cookies.

    Source: The Idea Room


Remember that episode where Carrie has writers block and write about men and french fries…that’s how I felt about my last post. After a month’s hiatus, I’m still so behind…one of the minor flaws in writing a food blog is that you eat all.the.time. I guess that could be considered a bonus too. Anyways, it was a cold winter night, and we trekked to Gather at the Walker Art Center. A mere 2 minute walk from my front door, which I love.  We ordered the fries (delish), and grilled cheese sandwiches. Each sandwich had a different flavor – jam, bacon, something else I can’t remember. yum.

For entrees we ordered the tuna (my first time with straight up tuna, and it was ah-mazing) I highly recommend.  It had a citrus broth and was so refreshing I can’t even put it in words. We also ordered the fish, which had a greek essence, quinoa and parsley.

Dessert was warm guinness gingerbread cake, caramel apple compote, vanilla ice cream. I highly recommend,  owned by D’Amico, Gather has a different guest chef every month.  Enjoy!