Funnel Cake

Funnel cake has a very special space in my soul.

I’ve been obsessed with funnel cake ever since I was a kid. Whenever we attended any fair, amusement park, or outdoor event I would always beg to end the day with funnel cake. As I got older and America’s culinary world grew more creative I began to see new types of funnel cakes covered in pounds of whipped cream, strawberries, jam, and sometimes peanut butter. 

Nothing against those inventions, but I’m a funnel cake purist. Just powdered sugar will do it for me, thanks.

Funnel cake is ridiculously easy to make at home, and all of the ingredients are probably already chilling in your fridge and pantry. You can even get creative if you don’t have a funnel on hand. To get the squiggles for the frying step, I’ve been known to fill up a Ziploc bag with the batter and snip off the corner in order to squeeze it out. This is also a great method for piping frosting if you don’t own a pastry bag.

So here is how you make funnel cake at home. I’ve made this funnel cake recipe multiple times when I was craving something sweet, deep fried, and sugary and it hits the spot every time. Enjoy!

Easy Homemade Funnel Cakes
Serves 4
Light and fluffy fried funnel cakes
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups oil for frying
  2. 1 large egg
  3. ⅔ cup milk
  4. 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  5. 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  6. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  7. ¼ teaspoon salt
  8. Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium high heat until the oil reaches 350 degrees. Reduce heat to medium to maintain the heat.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine egg and milk.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
  4. Pour batter into a funnel (with your finger over the tip), or spoon batter into a large plastic bag with a tip cut off.
  5. Pipe batter into the hot oil making a squiggly design and working from the center out. Fry funnel cake for two minutes on each side.
  6. Remove from oil onto paper towels to drain.
  7. Sprinkle powdered sugar over hot cakes.
Spring Summer Sam http://springsummersam.com/

StrawberryPancakesRecipe

StrawberryHealthyPancakes

I visited the Oxnard Strawberry Festival over the weekend and walked away with a belly filled with strawberry shortcake and delicious fried festival food. And of course, a nice pint of fresh, organic California-grown strawberries.

Being the wannabe chef I am, I knew right away that I wanted to cook with the strawberries, so I whipped up some Strawberry Greek Yogurt pancakes the next day.

These pancakes are nice and thick and fluffy, just how I like them. The secret to fluffy pancakes is to not overstir the batter. Use a whisk to incorporate everything just until all the ingredients come together, then put your whisk down and walk away. It’s okay if there are a few lumps left in the batter.

These pancakes are the perfect treat to add to your summer breakfast or brunch menu. I hope you get to try them!

Strawberry Greek Yogurt Pancakes
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Ingredients
  1. 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled (plus more butter for greasing)
  2. 2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  3. 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  4. 1 and 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  5. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  6. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  7. 2 large eggs
  8. 2 cups plain Greek Yogurt
  9. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  10. 1 cup sliced strawberries
Instructions
  1. Melt the 6 Tablespoons of butter first. Microwave or stovetop - either is fine. Set aside to slightly cool. You don't want it piping hot.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together until combined. Set aside.
  3. In another large bowl, whisk the eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla extract together until combined. Whisk in the melted butter. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk by hand gently to combine the ingredients. The batter is thick and a few lumps may remain. Very gently, fold in the strawberries.
  4. Heat a griddle or skillet over medium heat. Coat generously with butter. Once hot, drop about 1/4 cup of batter on the griddle. Cook until the edges look dry and bubbles begin to form on the sides, about 1 minute. Flip and cook on the other side until cooked through, about 2 more minutes. Coat griddle/skillet again with butter for each pancake or batch of pancakes.
  5. Serve immediately.
Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction
Spring Summer Sam http://springsummersam.com/

Speculoos Baking Recipes

I’ve been up to no good.

These super gooey cookie butter chocolate bars are indulgent, delicious, and 100% good for you.

Seriously! Chocolate contains antioxidants which has been proven to do good stuff to your body. These cookie butter bars are backed by science, people!

I adapted this from a chocolate peanut butter bar recipe by Dear Crissy. Pretty much all I did was swap out the peanut butter for Trader Joe’s Speculoos Cookie Butter because I’m not a huge fan of peanut butter desserts. If you’re not familiar with Speculoos, think of it as a yummy, cinnamony ginger cookie. And Trader Joe’s found a way to grind Speculoos up into a delicious, buttery spread.

Yas.

Cookie Butter Chocolate Bars

This is a super easy treat to make just in time for the weekend. Enjoy! And don’t forget to follow me on Bloglovin’ if you are not already.

Cookie Butter Chocolate Bars
Yields 24
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Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
45 min
BARS
  1. 3/4 cup butter, softened
  2. 1 cup packed brown sugar
  3. 1 egg
  4. 2 teaspoons vanilla
  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 2 cups all-purpose flour
FROSTING
  1. 1 12-ounce package semisweet chocolate pieces
  2. 3 tablespoons butter
  3. 1/4 cup Speculoos Cookie Butter
  4. 1/4 cup hot strong coffee
  5. 1 cup powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 15x10x1-inch baking pan with parchment paper or foil, or lightly grease pan; set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl beat the 3/4 cup butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg, vanilla, and salt until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour.
  3. Transfer dough to the prepared baking pan spreading evenly (press with hands). Bake for 20 to 22 minutes or until edges are golden. Cool on wire rack.
FROSTING
  1. In a small saucepan cook and stir chocolate pieces and the 3 tablespoons butter over low heat until melted and smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in peanut butter and coffee until combined. Stir in powdered sugar until smooth. Spread uncut bars with frosting. Let stand until frosting is set. Cut into bars. Makes 24 bars.
  2. To store: Place bars in a single layer in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Adapted from Dear Crissy
Adapted from Dear Crissy
Spring Summer Sam http://springsummersam.com/

Banana Peanut Butter Goji Berry Smoothie

I will fondly remember 2015 as the year that I focused on my health and got into shape. I didn’t diet, obsess over my jean size, or stop eating after six. I wanted to be healthy and I made it happen.

I don’t count calories, demonize carbs, or avoid the occasional donut party at work. And yet I’ve still managed to reach my goal weight and become happy with the way I look and feel. Now I have new goals to set for next year and hope to explore strength training and weight lifting for the first time – two things that used to scare me but now seem more in reach.

My 2015 was also the year of the smoothie, and I want to introduce you all to the smoothie I drink in the morning before my hitting the gym. This is my favorite smoothie of all time. I’ve been working out pretty consistently for about seven months now and this smoothie has foods that give me energy (oatmeal) and protein for building muscle.

This Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie has been my savior for mornings when I’m hungry and tempted to grab a muffin or a bagel. It’s lightly sweetened with honey which satisfies my never-ending sweet cravings, and also includes goji berries, a superfood I only discovered this year.

So here is the recipe for my favorite smoothie. It’s the perfect thing to jumpstart your health goals for 2016 – or recover from yesterday’s Christmas feast one step at a time!

Peanut Butter Banana-Goji Berry Smoothie

  • 1 banana
  • 2 TBS peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1 TBS honey
  • handful goji berries
  • granola for topping

Pour the almond milk into your blender, and add in the oatmeal, banana, peanut butter, goji berries and honey. Blend until creamy. Pour into a tall glass and top with a sprinkle of granola, more goji berries and a squeeze of honey.

Protein Workout Smoothie Recipe

Blueberry Pancakes. Just typing those two words sends my taste buds into a frenzy. Pancakes are one of my all time favorite foods. They are infinitely better than waffles, and yes I will argue if you believe otherwise.

I love to cook, but my new healthy lifestyle has really put a damper on my cooking binges. No more late-night chocolate chip cookie experiments, or peach cobblers, or banana bread, or any of the other foods that make this world a better place. I’m committed to eating healthier, but last week I just really wanted pancakes. Like, really really. So I searched Pinterest for a healthy pancake recipe that wouldn’t make me feel guilty, and I found it! And I made it! And it was glorious!

And you can find it here!

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Back in high school, I dedicated an entire summer to perfecting pancakes. That was many, many moons ago but I think I learned some valuable tools that summer. First, always butter the pan in between pancakes. Always. If you don’t, then every pancake made after the first one will come out darker and less flavorful. We want our pancakes to be brown, not black. Butter in between your pancakes!

Don’t flip your pancake until you see bubbles start to erupt near the middle. Those bubbles mean that the batter is getting cooked through, and you want an undercooked center. As a general rule, I usually let my pancakes cook for one minute on the first side, and about two minutes on the other side. Keep your stove at a low temperature so that the pancake does not brown too quickly.

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Ah, lovely isn’t it?

These pancakes are just awesome. I love oats, and the oats in this recipe added a nice hearty texture to these pancakes. They turned out very moist and not overly sweet. I’m surprised that there are only two tablespoons of sugar in this entire recipe – I think I made eight pancakes and ate two of them for breakfast, so I felt good knowing I wasn’t getting a sugar overdose. My boyfriend ate three, so I froze the remaining pancakes in a ziplock bag to enjoy for another day. By the way, did you know that you can freeze these pancakes?! All you have to do it toast them and they’re just as good as the day you made them. Try it!

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I would totally make this recipe again and add different mix-ins like strawberries or dark chocolate chips. I still have a bit of blueberries left over, so I may be making these again this weekend. I hope you all give this recipe a try! Let me know how you like it 🙂

~Thanks so much for reading and don’t forget to follow my blog!

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