Tag Archives: cake

What’s in the Box? Recipe Roundup #14

What's in the Box?

After over 2 months of vacation, Harper and I are finally back to reality.  It feels nice to unpack our bags, hang up our clothes and put our toiletries back in the medicine cabinet.  But lots has happened since we first left for Ireland back in June.  While we were gone, Freddie got another new job.  Which means yet another move for us (which, if you’re still keeping track is 12 moves in 8 years…with 3 of those moves happening in the last 8 months).  As much as we had hoped they would, things just didn’t work out for us in San Louis Obispo.  But as they say, when one door closes, another one opens, and Freddie’s new opportunity is even better than his last.  So while Harper and I were visiting friends and family all over the globe, Freddie was busy packing up our new home up north and moving us south to good ol’ Orange County.

Luckily, I am no stranger to this area.  I have aunts, uncles and cousins who live in Orange County and so I guess you can say I have grown up coming to visit here.  It’s just so much bigger than what we have become accustomed to after living in Santa Barbara for the past 3 years.  But there is nothing better than being close to family, so we are very grateful for that.

And of course, I couldn’t approve of the move until I found a CSA.  And my new one sounds awesome!  I just didn’t submit my subscription in time to get a box this week, so next Tuesday I will be picking up a box and can’t wait to share it with you all.

But in the meantime, let’s check out the links from last week.  I am loving the rooty, tooty, fresh and fruity flavors that are coming our way…Pizza with Raspberries, Pasta with Peaches, and Quinoa with Cranberries (and pineapple mint!).  Get’s me more excited than it should.  But, as we all know, I have a weakness for fruit.  Which is why I have decided to share my favorite summer fruit recipes this week.


Raspberry Chicken

Raspberry Chicken with Homemade Rice Pilaf - In Her Chucks

Fresh Strawberry Yogurt Cake

Fresh Strawberry Yogurt Cake - In Her Chucks

Lime Pistachio Squares

Lime Squares with Pistacio Graham-Cracker Crust - In Her Chucks

Lemon Iced Tea

Lemon Iced Tea - In Her Chucks

Your turn: What are some of your favorite ways to incorporate your CSA fruits into simple and delicious meals?  Looking forward to drooling over your ideas.  

Linking up for the first time?  Click here for more info…and Welcome!

PS:  Don’t forget to tell your readers about the party by linking back to this post and grabbing the official “What’s in the Box?” button at the bottom of my blog.  Thanks!

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Fresh Strawberry Yogurt Cake

Fresh Strawberry Yogurt Cake - In Her Chucks

Happy Easter everyone!  Today is a joyous and wonderful celebration of our Savior’s resurrection.  It is an opportunity for a fresh start, a rebirth and a great time to reflect on the incredible blessings we all have in our lives.

We have been preparing for this holiday for the last week.  Harper helped me by dying Easter eggs, my friends and I have been busy planning the perfect Easter feast and today Harper enjoyed herself on her first Easter egg hunt.  And she sure didn’t waste time digging into her egg hunt loot…

Easter Egg Hunt

As much as I love Easter candy (peeps, Cadbury eggs, life-size chocolate bunnies), I love homemade baked goods even more.  During this time of year I usually like to prepare my festive treats with carrots.  The Easter Bunny really puts on the pressure to come up with new and inventive ideas to use his favorite veggie (seen here and here).  But this Easter I decided to take a new path and utilize my favorite fruit instead.  Luckily, this cake is so good, I don’t think the Easter Bunny will mind.


1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

2 cups sugar

3 eggs

3 tablespoons lemon juice, divided

Zest of 1 lemon

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

8 oz plain Greek yogurt

1 lb fresh strawberries, diced

1 cup powdered sugar


1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan (10-15 cup pan).  Sift together the 2 1/4 cups of flour, baking soda and salt.  Mix in the lemon zest and set aside.

2.  Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in 1 tablespoon lemon juice.  Alternate beating in the flour mixture and the yogurt, mixing just until incorporated.

3.  Toss the strawberries with the remaining 1/4 cup of flour.  Gently fold them into the batter.

4.  Pour the batter into the Bundt pan.  Place in the oven and reduce the temperature to 325 degrees F.  Bake for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

5.  Allow to cool at least 20 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.  Once cooled whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and the powdered sugar.  Drizzle over the top of the cake.

Recipe slightly adapted from A Spicy Perspective

What I love most about this cake is how incredibly moist it is.  Whether the credit belongs to the yogurt or the berries, I don’t care…it’s like buttah baby!  But one thing that really does deserve more credit in this sweet treat is the role of the lemons.  From the title alone, you wouldn’t know that not only is the cake topped with a lovely, light and tangy lemon glaze, but the batter has hidden lemon zest and a hint of lemon juice as well.  Which pretty much makes this dessert more of a refreshing sip of strawberry lemonade in a cake form.

So whether you’re hunting for Easter eggs, waiting for the Easter bunny to bring your goodies or enjoying a Sonrise service this Sunday, make sure you end your day with a slice of this delicious spring time dessert :)

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What’s in the Box? #67

What's in the Box? We are busy getting ready for Easter around here, which includes dying batches of hardboiled eggs.  This year, I thought it would be fun to include Harper and her buddy Robin in this process.  However, our egg dying quickly turned into a color mixing experiment.

Dying Easter Eggs

Thank God I had the wisdom to set everything up outside.  I can’t imagine what my kitchen table would look like!  But that’s what hanging with toddlers is all about.  Lots of laughing, lots of learning and lots of messes.

In addition to hardboiled eggs, a proper spread will be in order for Sunday’s brunch as well.  So let’s take a look at last week’s party for some inspiration, shall we?

Last week we had 10 link ups.  And let’s hope none of you are currently on the Paleo diet because last week it was all about the carbs.  There was a nice variety of fresh pizza ideas including Asparagus with Prosciutto, Broccoli and Cheddar, and Mushroom with Caramelized Onions and Gorgonzola.  Yum!  But the fun didn’t stop there.  Lettuce Never Squash Our Love linked up a Pasta with Spinach and Butternut Squash.  Divine!  Yeah, it was a good week :)  Thank you to everyone who participated.  Your delicious and nutritious dishes never cease to amaze me.

Moving on to my farm fresh goodies for this week…

What's in the Box? #67

As I mentioned yesterday, in my sleepy slurred speech, I got my box on Tuesday this week.  They had to do a bit of rearranging with the routes which bumped my delivery up a day.  Yeah me!  Only time will tell if I will be able to change my blogging routine up a day earlier.  Stay tuned for that.

Upon opening my box, I immediately began to devour each and every item with my eyes.  For starters, the fennel, garlic, onion and orange were thrown into some Braised Pork with Orange and Fennel for dinner yesterday.  I had pretty much everything I needed except for the meat which made my trip to the grocery store quick and easy (and cheap too!).

After the success of the strawberry cake I bragged about last week (recipe coming soon…promise), I might have to go for round two.  We have plans to go to a few Easter gatherings this weekend and it is sure to be a real crowd pleaser.

I never got around to making any of my carrot sweets (these or these) last week because I was too busy stuffing my face with How I Ate My Box’s Chicken, Carrot and Leek Stew.  When I tell you this is the most amazing dish I have had in a long time…I am in no way exaggerating.  My whole family gobbled it up.  And then went back for seconds.  So you can be sure I will be making this again this week.  The hubby (who continued to ask me why I had never made this for him before) will be VERY pleased :)  And it will be even better served with a green salad on the side jazzed up with some of those lovely apples.

For the sage I am thinking about making my dad’s famous chicken.  I am pretty sure I owe you a recipe on this one I just never seem to be able to snap a pic before everyone digs in.  It’s just soooooo good :)  I will do my best to get it done this time around.

And finally for the arugula, I am thinking about some Grilled Steak Soft Tacos.  It has been a while since I have made this and after reminding myself of how good it looks simply from the picture, I can’t wait until dinner tomorrow night :)

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Lemon Cake

I have been on a major lemon spree this week.  As I mentioned before in a recent post, I received a few bags full of fresh citrus from my girlfriend Lisa.  So meal planning this week was all about grapefruits and lemons.  I have made Lemon Fish, Lemon Chicken, Lemon Lamb, and now, Lemon Cake.

This cake is one of my childhood favorites.  Having a lemon tree in our front yard, my mom was always finding new and creative ways to use all of the lemons.  This recipe turned out to be a big hit!  Being the professional baker that she is, my mom made her cakes from scratch.  But around my house, I do my best to find shortcuts when I can.  And Dunkin Hines always does me right.



1 package Duncan Hines Classic Yellow Cake Mix

3 oz package of lemon flavored gelatin (I used Jello brand)

3/4 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup Kerns Apricot Nectar

2 tsp lemon juice


Zest from 2 lemons

1/2 cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons juiced

2 cups powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour a bundt pan or spring mold pan.

Add cake mix, Jello mix, oil, nectar, lemon juice and eggs to bowl of electric mixer.  Blend on medium speed for 5 minutes.  Pour cake batter into prepared pan.  Bake for 35-40 minutes.

Cool on rack for 15 minutes.  Remove cake from pan and place on a cooling rack,

Mix lemon zest, lemon juice and powdered sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved.  Poke holes in cake with a toothpick.  Pour glaze evenly on top of the cake while cake is warm so glaze will absorb into the cake.

The secret ingredient in this cake is the apricot nectar.  I love how it adds such incredible flavor and helps make the cake super moist.  The Jello is a bit unexpected but works wonders by creating a soft but spongy texture.  And the addition of the fresh lemon juice and zest gives it that extra punch of lemony goodness.

This cake is delicious and refreshing.  Enjoying a slice after dinner is the perfect treat to round out any meal.  And even though growing up my mom never served this for breakfast, I have to admit it hits the spot with a cup of tea early in the A.M.  Kind of gets my engines roaring.  So whether you eat it in the morning, noon or night, this cake is sure to make your tummy do the happy dance…yum, yum!

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Beet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

I am sure you have all heard of carrot cake.  Possibly even zucchini cake (or cupcakes).  But I would be surprised if you have ever heard of a beet cake.

When I first started receiving my boxes over a year ago, I seemed to get a lot of deliveries of beets.  I had never been too fond of beets, but I am a sucker for fresh produce so I would always find a way to eat it.  Freddie was a little more picky.  I would prepare the beets as the delivery company would suggest, and they would always seem to linger on Freddie’s plate.  He wouldn’t admit that he didn’t like them, but he was always coincidentally “full”.  So I became determined to find a way to make beets that he would find irresistible.

I found quick success with beet fritters.  It is one of our favorite side dishes.  But having only one option can get boring at times.  In our household, we happen to love sweets.  So when this recipe came along we were more than excited.

But does beet cake even sound appetizing to you?  To be honest, I was a little skeptical at first too.  Although it only took one bite, and I was sold!

The taste is similar to other veggie cakes, due to the ginger and cinnamon blend.  There is also a nice crunch in each bite from the bits of shredded beets.  The texture of the cake is exceptionally moist and luscious, thanks to the fresh beets.



1 pound beets

Cooking spray

2/3 cup granulated sugar

2/3 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 large eggs

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup 1% low-fat milk


1 teaspoon grated orange rind

1 stick of unsalted butter, room-temperature

1 8-ounce bar of cream cheese, room-temperature

4 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3-4 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts, toasted


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  To prepare cake, peel beets using a vegetable peeler.  Grate beets, using the large holes of a grater, to measure 2 cups.  (Make sure to wear an apron while grating the beets as they tend to splatter)

Coat 2 (9-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray; line bottoms with wax paper.  Coat wax paper with cooking spray.

Combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, and eggs in a  large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well-blended.  Add beets beat well.  Lightly spoon the flour into dry measuring cups level with a knife.  Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (flour through salt) in a large bowl, storing well with a whisk.  Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.  Pour batter into prepared pans; sharply tap pans once on counter to remove air bubbles.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean.  Cool in pans 10 minutes on wire racks remove from pans.  Carefully peel off wax paper, and cool cake completely on wire racks.

To prepare frosting, beat butter and cream cheese until smooth.  Add vanilla extract and mix until blended.  Add confectioners’ sugar 1/2 cup at a time; beat until light and fluffy.  Fold in orange rind, mixing with rubber spatula.

Place 1 cake layer on a plate; spread with 1/2 cup frosting; top with remaining cake layer.  Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake.  Sprinkle nuts over top of cake.  Store cake loosely covered in refrigerator.

Cake recipe from Cooking Light via MyRecipes.com

Frosting recipe slightly adapted from Cooking Light via MyRecipes.com and MarthaStewart.com

Whether or not you consider yourself a beet fan, you will most definitely be a fan of this cake.  And if for some reason you aren’t, don’t blame the beets.  I mean, what have they ever done to you? :)

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Bisquick Apple Coffee Cake

Nothing says fall to me quite like apples.  The crisp texture reminds me of the brisk autumn air.  The array of colors resemble the changing leaves that sway freely in the tall trees.  The munch of your first bite echoes the crunch of the fallen leaves under your feet.  It truly is the perfect fruit for the season.

With all the apples that have come our way in the past few weeks, I have been on the hunt for some creative ways to incorporate them into our daily meals.  Grabbing a fresh apple for a quick snack is always a great option, but I felt inspired to do something more.  When I came across this recipe, I couldn’t help but give it a try.

Freddie loves all things apples.  He also is a huge fan of coffee cake.  So there was no question that this would be a winner in our household.  Plus, with all of the ingredients already in my pantry and refrigerator, there was nothing stopping me.



2 cups Bisquick Heart Smart Mix

2/3 cup of water

2 tbsp sugar

1 egg

1 granny smith apple, cored, peeled, sliced


1/3 cup Bisquick Heart Smart Mix

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

4 tablespoons butter


1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

2.  Grease 8″ square pan.  Mix cake ingredients.  Spread cake batter in pan.  Layer apples slices evenly on top of the batter.

3.  Mix the topping ingredients of Bisquick, brown sugar and cinnamon.  Spread topping mix over top of batter in pan.  Add slices of butter all over the top.

4.  Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown, testing with a toothpick.

Recipe slightly adapted from Simply Recipes

For something quick and easy, this recipe satisfied my taste buds.  Making only four servings, it was just enough for our family of three (although, after all that pie, Harper wasn’t in the mood for any coffee cake…totally kidding!). I have never been a coffee cake for breakfast kind of gal, but it was sure yummy as an after dinner dessert.  Served with a cold glass of milk, it made for the perfect autumn treat :)


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Poppy Seed Cake

Today’s post was planned to be about our new garden.  Unfortunately we ended up planting well into the evening so it was too dark to take pictures.  So more on the garden tomorrow.  Luckily, I have a stash of my favorite recipes that I have been waiting to share with you.  So I figured I would start out with my favorite dessert, Poppy Seed Cake.

Now, this isn’t just any Poppy Seed Cake recipe.  This recipe is my mom’s Poppy Seed Cake recipe, which by the way, she is pretty famous for.  People always look forward to my mom’s Poppy Seed Cake.  And I think you will too.

My mom’s Poppyseed Cake is a childhood staple.  We didn’t eat a lot of sweets growing up, so whenever my mom would bake it was a big treat.  My favorite part was getting to lick the batter off of the mixer attachment when she was done.  In fact, it still is.

When I became an adult and started to get more interested in cooking and baking, I wanted to learn how to make my mom’s Poppy Seed Cake.  It is a great cake to take to potlucks, dinner parties or holiday gatherings.  I always get people asking me for the recipe after they take the first bite.

The great thing about family recipes is that they are not really recipes at all.  My mom has been making this cake for so many years, that she does it all by heart.  The tough part about that is it makes it hard to share the recipe with others.  So the ingredients list is a little non-conventional, but it gets the job done.

My mom also always makes her cake from scratch.  I, on the other hand, like to get a little help from my ol’ pal Dunkin Hines.  Not only does the cake still taste great, but it saves me loads of time, which is very helpful nowadays.


1 package Dunkin Hines Butter Golden Cake Mix

1 package Jell-O Vanilla Instant Pudding Mix (3.4 oz)

4 large eggs

1 small container sour cream (8 oz)

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup cream sherry

3/4 of a 2.6 oz bottle of poppy seeds

Powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine cake mix and pudding mix together.  Then add eggs, sour cream, oil and cream sherry.  Mix until smooth. Gently fold in poppy seeds.

Transfer batter to a greased and floured bundt pan.  Bake for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.  Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 20 minutes.  Flip cake onto a plate and let cool another 20 minutes before dusting with powdered sugar.

Someone once described this cake to me as “magical”.  And I would have to agree.  There is nothing like it.  It has a unique flavor all its own.  I hope you give it a try and become a fan too.  You will not be disappointed.

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