Pumpkin Cranberry and Nutella Pound Cake

I am on a Nutella kick.  Nutella on toast, on bananas, in banana bread, in cream cheese, in yogurt….a Nutella sammie…u get the idea.  So I thought, hey, maybe a pumpkin Nutella pound cake in honor of National Pound Cake Day! Pound cakes are traditionally heavy and a bit fat laden so I lighted up this recipe with applesauce and Stevia which made room for those few extra Nutella calories.  Brilliant!

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home.

Recipe Notes:  I replaced half of the oil with applesauce, replaced one cup of sugar with Stevia (for baking), added 1/4 cup dried cranberries and swirled a 1/4 cup of melted Nutella into the batter once it was in the pan.

Results:  Very moist with a small ribbon of creamy Nutella and a tart pop of cranberry here and there.


  • 2-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
  • Confectioners’ sugar


  • In a large bowl, combine sugar (or Stevia), applesauce (if substituting for oil) and oil until blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and cloves; add to egg mixture alternately with pumpkin, beating well after each addition.
  • Transfer to a greased 10-in. fluted tube pan. Bake at 350° for 60-65 minutes or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack. Remove pan and cool completely. Dust with confectioners’ sugar.
  • I made a simple yogurt topping of 1/2 cup greek yogurt, 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar and a tablespoon of Nutella.  Stir and chill until ready to use.
  • Yield: 12-16 servings.

Linked to: Sweets for a Saturday, Saturday Swap, Tatertots and Jello, At the Picket Fence, Decidedly Healthy, Sundae Scoop, Hodgepodge Friday, Cookbook SundaysRecipe Swap SundayPotluck SundaySundays at One, Not Baaad Sundays, Seasonal Sundays, Mouthwatering Mondays, Sumos Sweet Stuff, Something I Whipped Up, Made By You Monday, Whipperberry Friday Flair, Homemaker Mondays, Your Recipe, My Kitchen, Eats Well with Others, Meals on MondayFriday 1ST, Happy Housewife, All Things Related, Tasty Tuesday, Sweet Tooth Friday


Cherry, Chocolate and Orange {HEART} Scones

I {HEART} these orange, cherry and chocolate scones! Gooey chocolate, chewy cherries, orange zest and cocoa base.  Oh my…these have moved to the top of the scone list!  A keeper for sure!

Really easy, really tasty and a perfect breakfast for a lazy sunday morning. Pop them in the oven, a cup (or two) of espresso, a lazy morning and best of all, an easy breakfast in bed!

And, with Valentine’s Day tomorrow I just couldn’t resist cutting them into hearts.  Too cute.


Cherries by John Loo

Chocolate Chips…

Choco Chips By Ayelie



Inspired by Bon Appetit, 2/2002.


  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
  • 1/2 cup miniature dark chocolate chip
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried cherries
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. With a pastry blender or a large fork, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the chocolate chips. Mix in the orange juice to form a dough.
  3. Turn out the dough on a floured surface. Pat or roll into a 9 inch circle about 1/2 inch thick. With a 2 1/2 inch fluted biscuit cutter, cut out 12 scones, pushing the dough scraps together for the last few, if necessary. Transfer the scones to the baking sheet.

Heart Scones Ready for Baking

  1. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Move to wire racks to cool.

Add a little mint, a chocolate square and serve!

Melting chocolate, chewy cherries, zest of the oranges…I could eat these every day!

Linked to:

Cookbook SundaysRecipe Swap SundaySeaside Valentine’s PartyPotluck SundaySundays at One, Not Baaad Sundays, Saturday Swap, Sweet Saturday, Seasonal Sundays, Mouthwatering Mondays, Sumos Sweet Stuff, Something I Whipped Up, Sweet and Savory, Made By You Monday, Your Recipe, My Kitchen, This Weeks Craving.

{Some Photos Creative Commons Attribution 3.0}

French Fridays with Dorie ~ Basque Potato Tortilla

We love Frittata.  We often make them for Sunday brunch.  Hash-brown potatoes on the side or mix it up with a simple salad.  A great guest brunch…the variations are endless.

Guess what I make when my husband is traveling?  Yep, a frittata…usually with tomato, spinach and a bit of feta.  There is something so comforting about breakfast for dinner.  Simple too!

This week, we are having a Basque Potato Tortilla from Around My French Table (Dorie Greenspan). Similar to a frittata with a twist or two.  The potatoes are browned and added to the egg mixture not served on the side.  I like this…simple one dish preparation.  I also like that I don’t have to utilize my non existent omelette flipping skills.

I made a few changes…instead of diced potatoes, I sliced them thin with a mandolin and I added asparagus.  I think it turned out just lovely and it tasted fantastic!  Golden and puffy out of the oven, thin and crispy potatoes on the bottom and fresh asparagus on the top.  Just as simple and as good as any frittata I have ever had.  Simple and tasty!

PS. If you wondering why there is no recipe, club rules frown on posting recipes from Dorie’s new book.  BUT…it is such a great cookbook that you will want to add it to your collection. Buy or borrow the book and join the French Fridays with Dorie group.  Buy the book:  Around My French Table (Dorie Greenspan)

Chai Tea Granola ~ Sweet Coconut Thai

I love a good cup of Chai tea.  What’s not to love?  Cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, star anise.  Having a cup this morning with a bit of warm milk and honey got me thinking…thinking that this tea would make a great granola.  It did!  Top a bowl of greek yogurt, ice cream or simply in a bowl with milk. Breakfast for dinner in this house tonight.


3 cups rolled oats

1/4 cup flaxseed

1 cup nuts, such as almonds, sunflower and pepitas

1/2 cup honey

1/3 cup freshly brewed Celestial Seasonings Chai Tea ~ Sweet Coconut Thai

1/2 teaspoon real vanilla extract

1 tea bag, cut open

1 cup dried fruit (cranberries, dates, figs, apricots, what ever you prefer)

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut (optional)


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

  1. Combine tea, tea leaves (from open bag), honey and vanilla extract in a small sauce pot and heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the honey has melted. Set aside.
  2. In a large glass bowl, combine rolled oats, flaxseed meal, chopped nuts and fruit.  Pour the honey-tea mixture over the oat mixture and mix gently until the oats are thoroughly coated.
  3. Spread the mixture in a thin layer on a baking sheet (light oiled or sprayed with Pam) and place it in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring the granola once half way through baking.

Remove from oven, add coconut (if using) and cool.

For best results store the cooled granola in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Makes approximately five cups of granola.

Linked to:

Make it With…Mondays, Midnight Maniac Meatless Monday

{photography ~ layland masuda at http://www.laylandmasuda.com/}

Eggs a la Italia

An Italian twist on the classic Scotch Eggs.  Italian sausage and a tomato & basil sauce.

Sausage, Eggs and Panko

We made this recipe for two or 1.5 eggs per person.

3 hard boiled eggs, peeled

3 links of Italian sausage (casing removed)

1 egg beaten

Flour to coat eggs

1 cup panko

I can diced Italian seasoned tomotoes

2 tbs basil (chiffonade)

3 tbs grated pecorino romano cheese


Flatten the sausage to create a disc that is about 2 times bigger than the egg.   You will need to be able to wrap the entire egg in the sausage.  Toss the egg in a bit of flour to coat and then wrap in the flattened sausage.  Roll the sausage wrapped egg in the beaten egg and then in the panko.

Rolling Egg in Panko

Egg Covered with Sausage and Panko

Eggs a la Italia Ready for Oven

Place the eggs is a casserole dish, chill for at least one hour (we chilled overnight) and then bake for 30 minutes at 400.

Ready For Oven

While the eggs bake, mix the diced tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of chiffonade, salt and pepper (to taste) in a saute pan until most of the liquid evaporates.

Remove eggs from oven when sausage is browned and drain on paper towel.  Spread tomato basil sauce on plate, add egg and dust with one tablespoon of cheese.

Plated Egg a la Italia


Linked to Tasty Traditions, Life as a Mon Recipe Swap, Creative Juice Thursday, HoH

Fried Egg, Salumi and Pesto on Focaccia

This fantastic brunch was inspired by Design Sponge’s “In the Kitchen With” guest Charlotte Tolhurst. I made a few changes using salami, basil pesto and freshly made focaccia.  The results ~ incredible!  Truly guest worthy.

Original Recipe for Fried Egg with Chorizo and Sage Pesto Sandwich:

Preparation Time: 20 mins
Cooking Time: 4 mins
Serves: 1

Sandwich Ingredients:

1 ciabatta roll
1 egg
5 hand cut slices chorizo  ( about 5mm or a little less than 1/4 inch thick)
A hand full of rocket
A little olive oil


50g (2 ounces) sage leaves
50g (2 ounces) walnuts
150 ml (2/3 cup + 2 tablespoons) extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic
50g (2 ounces) Parmesan
5 grams (1 tsp) salt


Combine all ingredients in mini food processor and pulse until blended.

To make your sandwich, fry the chorizo in a hot pan with a little oil, not too much as the chorizo will produce its own oil. 

When the chorizo is starting to crisp up move to the side of the frying pan and fry your egg until the white is cooked through and the yolk is still runny.

Slice open a ciabatta roll and fill with the chorizo then the rocket and top with the egg, finishing with a drizzle of pesto.


Linked to:

At Home with Haley

Let’s Do Brunch

Tuesdays at the Table

Tasty Tuesdays

What’s on your Plate?

Somewhat Simple

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{Random food and photos}