Your birthday cake choice says a lot about you, doesn’t it?
I can never decide between all of the sweet possibilities, so I try to maximize my day with a two-in-one choice: cookie cake. My husband usually goes less traditional: the last few years he’s requested an apple pie and donuts. My mom, on the other hand, has held strong with this grapefruit bundt cake!
She’s requested this grapefruit bundt cake for several years now, and it’s become a family favorite! It has a hint of citrus from the grapefruit, and a richness from the cream cheese. I don’t remember where the recipe first came from, but it’s become part of our story now! And aren’t the best recipes passed down like memories?
Along with birthdays, we also make it for other special occasions! So in celebration of Mother’s Day this weekend, here is one of my mom’s favorite desserts 🙂
Grapefruit Bundt Cake
- 1/2 cup (8 Tbsp) unsalted butter
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1 Tbsp grapefruit rind
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup milk (Any kind works! I’ve used skim, whole and almond milk)
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 Tbsp grapefruit juice
- 2 cups powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare your bundt pan – instead of spraying it with oil, we recommend buttering the pan and then coating it with a light flour layer. In a mixing bowl, combine butter, sugar and cream cheese and beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs, along with the oil, grapefruit rind, vanilla and milk and mix it all together. Next, add the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt). Pour into the pan and bake for approximately one hour. Let the cake cool completely before taking it out of the pan!
To make the grapefruit glaze, combine the grapefruit juice and powdered sugar with a mixer. You can experiment with the amount of juice and sugar, depending on the thickness desired. The more glaze, the better!
Happy Mother’s Day!
When I was younger, I made it a goal to have a recipe memorized. It seemed glamorous to have a signature recipe; to be known for a culinary creation that I could whip up at any point during the day, from anywhere.
Now that I’m writing that out, however, I’m actually not sure where or when I thought I’d be in those situations. Maybe I imagined I’d be challenged to a bake-off while traveling through a quaint town outside of Paris? Clearly, I’ve read too many chick-lit books set in the City of Love.
For now, I’m celebrating smaller milestones, like finally having this six-ingredient cookie recipe memorized. A win is a win, baby! Maybe one day my brain will have more space for a complex, impressive French dish… but right now it’s consumed with marketing work, diapers and cheerios. C’est La Vie.
Anyway, this recipe came from an old Mrs. Fields cookie book a long time ago. I don’t even know if I’ve ever made anything else out of it… my mom and I found this one and never looked back! Now, I make them for holidays and any time a little extra sugar is needed 🙂 I just made them recently for a baby shower I co-hosted for my brother and his wife. I rolled out blue fondant and cut out hearts to place on top for a simple, classic cookie.
Foolproof Sugar Cookies
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 3/4 cup salted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Basic Buttercream Frosting
- 1/2 cup of unsalted butter (1 stick)
- 1 T vanilla extract
- 1 t skim milk
- 2-4 cups of powdered sugar, depending on desired thickness
Yield: 2-3 dozen cookies
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed. Add the egg and vanilla, and beat until well mixed. Scrape down sides of bowl, then add the flour and salt. Blend until combined. Gather dough into a ball. Flatten the ball into a disk and wrap tightly in a plastic wrap or a plastic bag. Refrigerate for at least one hour or several days.
When you’re ready to bake the cookies, roll the dough out on a floured surface. With cookie cutters, cut dough into desired shapes and place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes, being careful not to brown*. Immediately transfer cookies with a spatula to a cool, flat surface.
To make the frosting, mix all of the frosting ingredients together, slowly adding powered sugar until you reach the desired thickness. (The measurements are loose on this one!) You can also add a few drops of food coloring. Frost and enjoy!
*To make sure they’re soft, take the cookies out as soon as they lose their sheen and have a matte top. Then, let them sit for a few minutes before moving to a cooling rack.
When the witching hour replaces happy hour: After emerging from the newborn haze, I felt like I had to re-learn or refine some of my social (and general life) skills. Mainly, the art of entertaining while also taking care of a tiny human. Who knew it would be so exhausting?
I’ve always been a little scatterbrained (can we call it creative?) and now that my attention is consumed by a crazy little boy, I’m at a whole different level of distracted most of the time. But, I love having people over when I can get it together! And I’ve been lucky enough to learn from my mom, the ultimate hostess, over the years! She’s always throwing together events, hosting large groups of people and cooking homemade-everything in the midst of it all.
Of course, doing it all isn’t always realistic! But I’ve certainly picked up on a few valuable tips from my mom. Number one? Make a plan and have fun with it. Make sure that you choose recipes you trust and that can be prepped ahead of time to reduce stress. Cultivating community is important and it doesn’t have to be high-maintenance or all consuming to have friends or family over. Sometimes, pizza is totally the answer.
Other days, you can make an impressive line-up, like the following menu, and still have time to relax beforehand with a glass of wine. It all comes down to prepping items and utilizing shortcuts — like rotisserie chicken, store-bought salsa and cake mix. Amen.
Apps:Chips, salsa and pomegranate guacamole (recipe below!)
The Best Pomegranate Guacamole
Serves 2 – 4
- 3 avocados
- 1/3 tomato, diced
- One big handful of cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 lemon or lime juice
- Salt and pepper to taste (plus, add a dash of garlic salt!)
- 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
- Optional: 1/4 onion, minced
Directions: First, get the avocados into a big mixing bowl and mash them up. Next, dice the tomato and chop the cilantro and throw it into the bowl. Squeeze 1/2 of a lemon or lime into the bowl, then add the rest of the seasoning and mix. Fold in the pomegranate seeds last, saving a few to sprinkle on top. Enjoy!
Meatless Monday, Taco Tuesday, Waffle Wednesday – oh my!
Honestly, I find all of those themed categories to be overwhelming. I always start out meal planning with the best of intentions… but I’m also impulsive with cooking and eating! I usually end up moving things around because it feels more like soup weather on Monday versus Tuesday or I decide that I don’t want to wait until Thursday for tacos (picture shrugging girl emoji!).
Moral of the story? This isn’t a meal planning pitch. In fact, it’s a call for help! How do keep your weekly meals in check/on track? What are your go-to recipes? I can’t remember the last time we actually followed a set schedule of meals. We usually have basics on hand for last-minute, fast dinners like pasta or ground turkey tacos, and then we’ll rotate some new recipes or other favorites in each week. I’m always in need of inspiration, but now I often have tiny toddler hands reaching for everything I’m cooking and demanding my full attention while water boils over! That means my recipe criteria requires minimal prep and even less hands-on cooking time.
So, if you’re in need of dinner inspiration too, or just want to try a new easy recipe this week, below are some favorites that we’ve had in rotation lately. Please share any of your family favorites (or tips for distracting a toddler while cooking!) in the comments!
Vegetarian lettuce wraps from the Pioneer Woman
Spicy Peanut Soup with Sweet Potato and Kale from PinchofYum
BBQ Tofu with roasted veggies and potatoes from OhSheGlows
Asian Chicken Noodle Soup from EatLiveRun
Greek Burgers and sweet potatoes from Run Fast, Eat Slow