Sunday, March 28, 2021

Italian Cream Cheese Cake

For the love of cake, this Italian Cream Cheese Cake is moist and flavorful because it’s made with buttermilk. For coconut lovers you can add this ingredient, but I’m leaving it as an option. If using, the rich thick pecan and coconut filled batter is only trumped by the decadent cream cheese frosting. Ideal for showcasing as the feature dessert for birthdays, holidays or any special gathering, it's such an amazing cake it's guaranteed to turn any occasion into something special.

This vintage cake dubbed "Italian Cream Cake" is more Southern than Italian and no one really knows definitively why it was given this name. That said, Italian cream cake recipes often call for all shortening in the batter. However, this recipe is splitting the required shortening in half with the other half using real butter.  

 While it does take several steps to create this cake it's a labor of love well worth the effort when you see the delight on the faces of your family and friends. Serves 16 Total Time 1 hour


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 large eggs, separated, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1-1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut, optional 
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 11 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 6 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour three 9-in. round baking pans. In a large bowl, cream butter, shortening and sugar until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla. Combine flour and baking soda; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk. Beat until just combined. Stir in coconut and pecans.
  • In another bowl, beat egg whites with clean beaters until stiff but not dry. Fold one-fourth of the egg whites into batter, then fold in remaining whites. Pour into prepared pans.
  • Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 20-25 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • For frosting, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until fluffy. Stir in pecans. Spread frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake. Refrigerate.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Tuscan Salmon

Serve this creamy, garlic Tuscan Salmon over a bed of rice, pasta, or your favorite steamed veggies! This recipe is equal parts simple and flavorful—the best combination. Serves 3 Total Time 30 minutes 


3 salmon fillets 
2 teaspoons olive oil 
2 tablespoons butter 
5 cloves garlic, finely diced 
1 small yellow onion, diced 
1/3 cup vegetable broth 
5ounces jarred sun-dried tomato in oil, drained or fresh grape tomatoes 
1 3/4 cups heavy cream 
Salt and pepper, to taste 
3 cups baby spinach leaves 
1/2 cup grated Parmesan 
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped 


Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the salmon filets on both sides with salt and pepper, and sear in the hot pan, flesh-side down first, for 5 minutes on each side, or until cooked to your liking. Once salmon filets are cooked, remove them from the pan and set them aside.

In the same pan, melt the butter in the remaining cooking juices. Add in the garlic and fry until fragrant (about one minute). Add onion and stir fry until translucent. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and fry for 1-2 minutes so they release their flavors. Finally, pour in the vegetable broth, and allow the sauce to reduce down slightly. 

Reduce heat to low, add the heavy cream, and bring to a gentle simmer while stirring occasionally. Season the cream sauce with salt and pepper to your taste.

Add in the baby spinach and allow to wilt in the sauce, and add in the parmesan cheese. Allow cream sauce to simmer for another minute until cheese melts through. Add the grilled salmon filets back into the pan; sprinkle with the parsley, and spoon the sauce over each filet.