Double Berry Vanilla Fluff Cake

First, I wanted to throw a couple more 4th ideas your way since it’s coming up in a couple days!!! We’ll be headed up north to my parents cabin in a little town called Springerville. I don’t know why, but the valley really doesn’t do anything for the 4th except for fireworks. So we try to go up north every year since Springerville does a parade, rodeo, fireworks, and 4th of July dance. It’s just really a “down home” “small town” fun experience.

Last Minute 4th Ideas!!

I also have a confession. I don’t know why, but I’m in love with sucking the color out of my pictures these days. I feel like it makes them look old and kind of vintage. I just love it. Is there anyone out there with this same compulsive habit? Seriously, every single picture I have to fight the urge to remove some or most of the color out of it.

Anyways, back to this cake. It kind of just popped into my head and I had to see if I couldn’t make it turn out. I have this firm belief that all cakes should be super moist and melt in your mouth. I also feel like anything containing sweetened condensed milk turns out amazing. And, I really don’t know where the marshmallow fluff came into play, but the combination of it all made a moist fluffy cake that literally melts in your mouth. Hope you guys enjoy this recipe as much as my hubby and kids did!!

Printable Recipe

Vanilla Fluff Cake
1 16.25 ounce box white cake mix
1 7 ounce container marshmallow fluff
2 eggs
1 cup water
1 cup all-purpose flour

Topping
1 1/2 heaping cup dice strawberries
1 heaping cup blackberries
1/2 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup white chocolate chips

Vanilla Almond Glaze
1 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 vanilla extract
3 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl combine white cake mix.

Marshmallow Fluff.

Eggs and water.

Mix together on low speed until well incorporated.

Add flour.

Mix on low until batter is smooth.

Spread batter into a greased 9×13 inch pan.

I just couldn’t resist. Had to take a close up of these gorgeous blackberries.

Evenly space first blackberries over batter. Then evenly space strawberries over batter around blackberries. Press down on berries slightly.

Pour half a can of sweetened condensed milk over berries.

Top with white chocolate chips.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes until edges turn golden brown and center springs back to the touch. Set aside and let cool for a couple minutes.

In a small bowl combine glaze ingredients and mix until smooth.

Drizzle over warm cake and serve.

Printable Recipe

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4th of July Line Up!!!

I can’t believe today is already Wednesday. I have absolutely had no time to catch up since getting back from California. I think I need a vacation from the work that accumulated while I was on vacation. I really can’t complain though. It was a gorgeous weekend on the beach. We also visited an amazing spot called Sunset Cliffs. I have been to San Diego more times then I can count and have never heard of this place. It was breathtaking.


Definitely a little crowded. And one of those spots that if you go without a partner, you feel a little left out. But worth the drive to see. My poor sitter was such a good sport though as I said repeatedly, “Oh!! I have to just get one more picture.”
We had lots of fun, but it seems as if everything in my life has to hit all at once. So just a forewarning, I’m taking the rest of the week off and will be posting again Monday. Which is why I’m giving you all this yummy line up of amazing 4th recipes to try until I come back. My Momma got a hysterectomy yesterday and I will be spending some much needed time tending to her. Take care!!
Barbecue Favorites
Patriotic Desserts

Red, White, and Blue Berry Trifle

Good morning!! It’s almost the 4th! So I wanted to add this recipe cause it is so super easy, if you are looking for a last minute red, white, and blue dessert.
I love this dessert cause it’s gorgeous, patriotic, and it’s like a deluxe strawberry shortcake. It’s so good! Note to everyone though: If you want to do the sparklers, use cake sparklers. I guess they have specific sparklers, and I didn’t use them, and got junk all over the top of my tart. I had to re-wash the blueberries and scrape off some of the mascarpone topping before I could serve it. So don’t do that.

And if I don’t see/post/talk to you before then, Happy National Independence!!

Printable Recipe

Red, White, and Blue Berry Trifle
     1 1/2 pounds raspberries or strawberries
     3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, divided
     1/4 cup cold water
     16 ounces mascarpone cheese
     2 cups cold heavy cream
     1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
     Fine salt
     20 to 24 ladyfingers
     3/4 pound blueberries

In a medium bowl, combine berries with 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar and water (if using strawberries, mince up into small pieces first). With the back of a fork, lightly mash berries to release their juices and let sit 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir together mascarpone and 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Whisk in cream, vanilla, and a pinch of salt and whisk until soft peaks form, about 4 minutes.

Cut one or two pieces parchment 1 inch taller than side of an 8-inch springform pan and line inside of pan. Place half the ladyfingers in pan and top with half the berry mixture (you are going to have to cut up the ladyfingers so they fit, as shown above). With a small offset or rubber spatula, spread half the whipped cream over berries. Tap pan gently on counter to remove air bubbles. Repeat with remaining ladyfingers, berries, and whipped cream. Top with blueberries and refrigerate until whipped cream is stiff and cookies have softened, about 3 hours (or, tightly cover with plastic, up to 3 days. To serve, unmold trifle and peel away parchment.

Printable Recipe

Recipe altered from www.marthastewart.com.

Sugar Cookie 4th of July Fruit Tart

Hey Everyone!! Hope everyone is having a fabulous Monday. Me on the other hand, has a serious case of the “Mondays”. I just can not seem to get going today for the life of me. Maybe a really cold shower will clear up my head. Going to have to experiment on that after I’m done with this post. I guess that is what I get for taking NyQuil at midnight. I just couldn’t sleep, and NyQuil always nocks me out. But, I guess your suppose to be able to get a solid 8 hours of sleep or something like that when taking, and my boys that have decided to wake up at 6:30am. Every. Single. Morning. had other plans in mind. Food for thought when taking for next time.

But now that the week is officially started, time to get back to business!! I, for one, have a lovely pile of clean clothes that have been neglected all weekend. And when I say pile, I mean the equivalent of a small mountain. I know! I know! If I had never neglected it in the first place, it would have never gotten that bad. Well, in my defense… Um… Ok I have no excuse other then, I REALLY HATE laundry, ok!! It’s not the putting it in the washer to the dryer that kills me. It’s that fact that I spend all that time folding and hanging to put them away, and literally two seconds later my kids are looking for their 4th pair of clothes to wear for the day, and they all end up all over the floor anyways. Come on moms?! You know what I’m talking about!! But apparently, my husband is not a fan of “Mount Clothing” that has established a foundation on my side of the bed. (Sigh)

But enough of my Monday morning!! You gotta do what you gotta do, so there is no point in grumbling about it (even if it does make me feel better ;).

Anyways, here is a fabulous dessert that kind of kills 2 birds with one stone. (I’m in the mood to use the word fabulous an obscene amount of times btw, bare with me) The recipe I stole this idea from used the cookies in the tart as decor. But I was thinking, how great is it when you are crazy stressed getting ready for your holiday activities, and you all know you’ve been there, to not have to make a second batter. You could just double the tart crust recipe, roll out your cookies, and bam!! Two desserts for the 4th. A tart for the adults, and cookies for the kids. Or you can go ahead and put the cookies in the tart too, which looks fabulous too 🙂 Either way, super fun, cute, and fabulous 😉 dessert for the 4th!! Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

Sugar Cookie Crust
     1/2 cup granulated sugar
     1/2 cup powdered sugar
     1 cups shortening
     1/2 teaspoon vanilla
     1 large egg, beaten
     2 cups + 2 tablespoons cake flour
     1/2 teaspoon baking soda
     1/2 teaspoon baking powder
     1/8 teaspoon salt
     sugar, for decorating (optional)

Filling
     14 ounce can (1-1/3 cups) sweetened condensed milk
     1/2 cup dairy sour cream or light dairy sour cream
     1/2 teaspoon finely shredded lemon or lime peel
     1/3 cup lemon or lime juice
     1/2 cup fresh blueberries
     3/4 cup fresh raspberries

Red, White, and Blue Sprinkles for cookie accent (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, add sugars and shortening.

Cream together. Mix on slow speed 30 seconds, then scrape down the bowl with a spatula. Increase speed to medium and mix 3 minutes. Slowly add vanilla and beaten egg while mixing.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the mixing bowl.

Mix on slow speed until just blended. Do not over mix.

Using floured hands, press 3/4 dough into a 9 1/2″ tart pan with removable bottom. Set extra dough aside.

Lightly sprinkle crust with sugar, is desired, and bake at 350 degrees F for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden.

As soon as your crust is finished, you’ll notice the middle has risen up. Using a spatula, lightly press center of crust back down. Place crust in pan on cooling rack to cool.

Meanwhile, roll out extra dough onto a lightly floured surface. Using a star cookie cutter, cut dough into different size stars. Place cutouts on an ungreased baking sheet. If desired, drop red, white, and blue sprinkles onto the center of uncooked cookies and press down very lightly. Sprinkle sugar over cookies if desired. Bake at 350 degrees F for 6 to 8 minutes. Place cookies on cooling rack to cool. Let cookies and crust cool completely.

For filling, in a mixing bowl combine condensed milk, sour cream, lemon or lime peel, and juice. Stir about 3 minutes or until mixture is thickened. Once crust has cooled completely, fill crust with filling, cover and place in fridge for 1 hour to allow filling to firm.

Before serving, assemble tart. Loosen and remove sides of pan from crust. Transfer crust to a platter, leaving bottom of pan under crust. Top filling with berries.

Decorate tart as desired by placing cookies either around, in filling, over crust, etc. Cut and serve.

Makes about 12 servings.

Printable Recipe

Cookie/Crust recipe adapted from www.food.com. Tart recipe altered from www.bhg.com.

No Sew!! 4th of July Tank

As promised, super cute and easy, no sew 4th of July tank tops!! Let’s just get this out in the open right now, I do not craft! It’s not that I don’t find it appealing or that I can’t find cute ideas that I would like to mimick. It’s because, well, I absolutely suck at it. But I actually did this one, and I think it turned out pretty cute! So, even though this isn’t really a recipe or food related, I figured I would share it anyways.

Here is what it looks like on. I made one for me, my 2 sisters, and mom so we can be all matching at the parade. Fun, right!? I’m so super excited!

A couple of thins before you begin though. This works best if you find a shirt with pretty thin material. It just hangs better. Also, try your shirt on before you begin, and figure out where you want your blue area to be. My first shirt I made, the star area was way to small and just didn’t look good. I like the stars best when they go down to your waist, but figure out what you like and mark it before you start. Other then that, your set to go. Here are the instructions, and Good Luck!

Printable Instructions

Materials:



     Plain white T-shirt one size larger than you normally wear (Unless you want it tight)
     Pair of Scissors
     Red and Blue Spray Paint
     Painters tape
     Paper stars

For the stars, use clip art or google stars. Print out your favorite and cut out. Arrange and tape stars onto  upper left side of shirt.

First, place full strip of tape across shirt under where the stars. Cut a second strip of tape in half and place vertically to line stars in the center upper part of shirt.

Continue to place strips of tape across open area on shirt, spacing and aligning equally across the shirt. (Strips don’t have to be perfect. Just eyeball it.)

Take shirt outside and lay on a surface that you don’t mind getting paint on (like an old sheet or a tarp). Using paper, cover the striped area of shirt and spray the star area blue.

Remove paper and cover star area as you spray striped red.

Let shirt sit for a couple hours to dry before removing stars and tape. If desired for a darker color, do a second coat at this point and after letting dry completely, then peel off the tape/stars.

Follow this video and cut your tank to desired style.
http://youtu.be/sZlW6GspLls

After you have finish, turn inside out, wash and dry shirt. Then show it off!!

Printable Instructions

Shirt idea from www.klejeune.blogspot.com.

4th of July Line Up!!

What are you doing for the 4th of July?! Not sure yet? Well, here are some recipes to get your creative juices flowing. Chances are that you are either throwing, or going to a barbecue. So here are some awesome dishes and sides for a barbecue. Not to mention some super yummy patriotic desserts 😉 Hope this gets you thinking, and will have more 4th of July recipe’s to come in the next week!! (Please forgive the quality in some of the pictures. Some are from when I started the blog, but I wanted to include them cause I still absolutely love the recipe.)

Barbecue Dishes & Sides
Jack Daniel’s Glazed Ribs

Frog Eye Salad
Creamy Pasta Salad
The Man-Burger (Favorite Burger Recipe of All Time!!)
Cranberry Broccoli Salad
Rich ‘n’ Cheesy Macaroni
Patriotic Desserts
Root Beer Float Cupcakes
S’mores Stuffed Brownies
Death By Oreo Cupcakes
Fireworks Cupcake Towers