Ally's Sweet and Savory Eats

Sunday, February 19, 2017

One Bowl Sour Cream Chocolate Birthday Cake

Homemade cake can be so easy.
This one only requires a bowl and an oven!

One Bowl Sour Cream Chocolate Birthday Cake...mix it all up in one bowl and watch it get devoured! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

I love this cake so much I could scream!  I also loved it so much I had to put half of it in the freezer in fear I'd forget to take care of my own children as my whole mind, body and spirit was consumed by it's dark, rich, cocoa flavor.

I've never been one to be addicted to something.  I love an occasional drink, but I don't need it.  I never dabbled in anything stronger than alcohol.  I never had an afflication with video games or gambling.

But this cake my friends, was soon becoming an addiction.

Do they have a Cake Eater's Annonymous club?

One Bowl Sour Cream Chocolate Birthday Cake...mix it all up in one bowl and watch it get devoured! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

So imagine the horror when the husband started pulling that darn leftover cake out of the freezer for THREE NIGHTS IN A ROW after dinner.

I turned away.  I pretended to ignore seeing the pleasure on his face while taking bite after bite.  I left the room when the kids started joining in on the fun.

It was awful.  It was like being a kid stuck in a candy store, yet not being able to sample anything.  I wanted to tell myself, "just one bite" but I knew better.  I've never met a cake that could grab you by the lips and suck you in as much as this one did.  

One Bowl Sour Cream Chocolate Birthday Cake...mix it all up in one bowl and watch it get devoured! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

The whole point of making this deliciously evil cake was because it was the husband's birthday weekend.  He got his requested cheesecake but had to share with friends, so like a sucker I felt sorry for him and made him MORE dessert on his actual birthday.

I'm so nice.

I'm so nice I made myself suffer.

Prehaps what makes this cake so good is that it requres limited ingredients, one bowl and the oven. My five year old and my two year old even helped!  I handled the frosting, but the cake was all their doing.

Its richness comes from the sour cream, I have no doubt.  It has deep flavor, is incredibly moist and will stay fresh on the counter for 3 days.  I have proof.  After three days it was still so damn good that I {as you know} threw it in the freezer.

One Bowl Sour Cream Chocolate Birthday Cake...mix it all up in one bowl and watch it get devoured! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

The next time you have a birthday celebration in your house dig up this recipe!  If they like chocolate that is...this will become their new favorite.

And don't forget the frosting.  It's makes it.

One Bowl Sour Cream Chocolate Birthday Cake 

2 c. flour
2 c. sugar
3/4 c. cocoa powder
1 t. baking powder
2 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
2 eggs
2/3 c. sour cream
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. vegetable oil
2 t. vanilla
1 c. hot water

Frosting:
1 stick unsalted butter
4 T. cocoa powder
6 T. milk
1 t. vanilla
4 c. powdered sugar

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9x13 cake pan with cooking spray.  
2.  Using a large mixing bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
3.  Add in the eggs, sour cream, milk, oil, vanilla and hot water.  Using a spatula stir to combine into a thin batter.
4.  Bake for 40-43 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Let the cake cool completely before adding the frosting.
5.  To make the frosting melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Whisk in milk, vanilla and cocoa powder.  Take off the heat and whisk in the powdered sugar.  Continue to stir until smooth. The frosting will be thick.  Spread over the cooled cake.
6.  The cake will stay fresh covered on the counter, but can also be kept in the fridge.

One Bowl Sour Cream Chocolate Birthday Cake...mix it all up in one bowl and watch it get devoured! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Want other birthday cake inspiration?  We love every single one on this list!


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The BEST Potluck Baked Beans

Oh, these beans!  This recipe will be the one that everyone asks you for...

The BEST Potluck Baked Beans...these will be the hit of the party!  Sticky, salty and sweet this is the only way you'll want them from here on out! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Did everyone recover from Valentine's Day?

Even if you are not attached to someone via a legal document I hope you were able to spend the day, or at least a part of the day with the people you love.  Or at least watching sappy romantic dramas on Netflix and dreaming of that someone who got away.

Hey, we've all been there.

This mushy holiday is always a double holiday for us as the husband's birthday is a couple of days prior.  I'm always torn.  One gift?  Two?  Combine it all and call it good?  Well, as it turns out we had company over the weekend, so I made his requested birthday dinner, my homemade lasagna {seriously, the best} and this homemade cheesecake with cherry topping, not only for him but to feed the crowd.  It was all a big hit.

He may have had to stay upright after that dinner due to overconsumpution, but it was all good.  Then since I was feeling super ambitious and he had to "share" his dessert over the weekend I went ahead and baked him a cake after everyone left.

It's coming next.  You don't want to miss it! 

The BEST Potluck Baked Beans...these will be the hit of the party!  Sticky, salty and sweet this is the only way you'll want them from here on out! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Then the next night I made him another dinner {either I'm really nice or I was really bored!}.  I cooked up a delicious pork tenderloin, sauteed onions and mushrooms and served these beans on the side.

I'm not going to lie. My baked beans usually consist of opening a can.  And honestly, I did do that here....but hold on, I doctored them up so well, it became a new dish.  One that my family loved and I am sure with be a hit among the potluck circle come this Spring.

Is there such a thing as a potluck circle?

Here's the other piece of the puzzle.  It's been warmer here than it really should be.  It's February in Iowa and we've been enjoying some 50 degree weather days.  We should have snow and wind and cold.  So I'm technically getting WAY ahead of myself and I'm already longing for Spring.  We've been stuck inside since November and I'm over it.

So, hence...these beans.

The BEST Potluck Baked Beans...these will be the hit of the party!  Sticky, salty and sweet this is the only way you'll want them from here on out! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

I most definitely think of baked beans as a summer food. In fact my birthday dinner requested every single August for the past 35 years {gulp} has been burgers on the grill, this insanely good potato salad and baked beans.

Every year.  Never changes.

Warmer weather has me craving warm weather food.  The other day it was a juicy B.L.T. Heck, even one day it was a salad.  This weekend?  Baked beans.

Being who I am, I doctored this up, probably to the point that some might even have to search for the beans, but trust me, this dish is delicious!  It can be made a day ahead and sit away in the fridge to forget about or can be thrown together right before it goes in the oven.

The BEST Potluck Baked Beans...these will be the hit of the party!  Sticky, salty and sweet this is the only way you'll want them from here on out! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Impress your church ladies, card club or extended family with these beans!  And don't forget the bacon strips on top slathered in barbecue sauce.  It makes the dish taste better and look better.

And then promptly tuck away this recipe for summer as you'll want to put it on your weekend barbecue schedule.

The BEST Potluck Baked Beans


1 28 oz. can baked beans 
1/2 lb. ground pork sausage
8 strips of bacon
1/4 c. honey
1 T. onion flakes
1 t. onion powder
1 t. garlic powder
1/2 c. barbecue sauce

1.  In a skillet over medium-high heat cook the ground sausage until no longer pink.  Drain off the excess grease and set cooked sausage aside.
2.  In that same skillet chop 4 slices of the bacon into bit sized pieces and cook until crisp.
3.  In a large bowl combine the cooked sausage, bacon, beans, honey and spices.  Stir together and pour into an 8x8 baking dish.
4.  Lay on the remaining 4 strips of bacon and liberally brush with the barbecue sauce.
5.  Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until the top bacon is crisp.  Allow to sit for 5 minutes before eating.

The BEST Potluck Baked Beans...these will be the hit of the party!  Sticky, salty and sweet this is the only way you'll want them from here on out! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Need some other great potluck inspiration?  I have some great ones!


Friday, February 10, 2017

Double Glazed Citrus Loaf

This delicious, mouthwatering quick bread reminds me of Spring!
Grab some oranges and lemons and get baking.

Double Glazed Citrus Loaf...tangy, soft, full of citrus flavor and glazed...TWICE! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

There are a few things I've realized in the past two days.

1.  I want to go back to the tropics where it is 80 degrees, sunny and spectacular.
2.  I'm having a hard time not drinking a mojito at breakfast here at home.
3.  I was completely at a stand still today at lunch when the amazing buffet of chips, salsa and guac weren't placed in front of me.
4.  I will continue to rub tinted lotion all over me in the hopes my tan lasts until June.
5.  I realized yesterday that I haven't baked since the holidays.

So I may be in a bit of a funk.  We came back to cold temperatures and having to shovel snow.  My face is peeling, yet I'm stuck in the middle of winter!

In an attempt to feel "spring-ish" I grabed some orange juice, some freshly squeezed lemons and got to work.  While firing up the KitchenAid mixer I suddenly thought to myself, "I haven't baked anything since the end of December!"

That needed to change.

Double Glazed Citrus Loaf...tangy, soft, full of citrus flavor and glazed...TWICE! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

I wanted to bake a quick bread that would be great with morning coffee or as an afternoon pick-me-up when the kids got home from school.

And....it needed a glaze.  A thin, syrupy glaze full of flavor that soaked in and stayed put.  I'm pretty sure I accomplished both.  I even went as far as poking holes in the cooled bread with a kabob stick so that when I poured the glaze over it went through the whole loaf.

Oh, and a fun tid bit.  I learned on vacation that sucking on lemons {or limes} gets rid of the hiccups! We may or may not have had an episode of extreme hiccups at dinner one night. And it works people, it really works.

Double Glazed Citrus Loaf...tangy, soft, full of citrus flavor and glazed...TWICE! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Shortly after these photos were taken a set of little two year old fingers grabbed the cut up lemons, a hunk of the bread and walked away liked she owned the photo shoot.  She promptly sat down at the table and had herself a little snack.

"What are you doing?"

"Eating".

"Did you ask for a piece?"

"No, but excuse me mama, I'm eating."

Well, okay then.

Double Glazed Citrus Loaf...tangy, soft, full of citrus flavor and glazed...TWICE! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

If you have an event you need to bake for, this Double Glazed Citrus Loaf would be perfect! It makes two large loaves, or four smaller ones.  Great to deliver to a friend or neighbor, make for a baby or wedding shower or as the sweet for Sunday brunch.

Double Glazed Citrus Loaf


3 eggs
1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
1/2 c. orange juice
3/4 c. vanilla Greek yogurt
2 t. vanilla
2 c. sugar
2 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1 lemon - juice and zest

Glaze:
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 lemon - juiced
3 T. orange juice
1 t. almond extract

1.  In a stand mixer or large bowl with a hand held beater combine the eggs, applesauce, orange juice, yogurt, vanilla and sugar until smooth.
2.  Zest the lemon fully into the batter and then cut in half and squeeze all juice {careful to catch the seeds} also into the batter.
3.  Sift together the remaining dry ingredients, adding to the mixture and fold together gently.
4.  Pour into two greased loaf pans.
5.  Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until a deep golden brown and the center is set.  Allow to cool completely.
6.  When the loaves have cooled, use a kabob stick or a fork and poke small holes into the loaf.
7.  To make the glaze sift the powdered sugar in a bowl.  Add in the orange juice, almond extract and the juice of a lemon.  You will want a thin glaze, so if too thick add in more orange or lemon juice. Pour half of the glaze over the cooled loafs and allow it to harden.  Then pour the remaining glaze of the loafs.
8.  Store in airtight containers to keep fresh.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Fried Nutella Wontons

Just three ingredients and you have a thrilling dessert on the table!

Fried Nutella Wontons....just 3 ingredients and you have a delicious, hot, crispy, oozing with chocolate dessert! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

If you are reading this...guess what?  I'm on vacation!  Yes, I'm soaking in the rays on a tropical island far, far away from any work, kids or stress.  I would have loved to bring you along, but alas my luggage has a weight ban and my swimsuits, loungwear, books and tolietries are MUCH more important that....well, you.

Sorry.

But, I didn't want to leave you empty handed.  I most certainly don't want you to be thinking about me getting pampered or being served on hand and foot 24/7.  Not at all.  I will not have cocktails in my hand, chilled and ready for sipping.  I will not go to dinner and order multiple entries just because I can.  And I will NOT order room service.

I'm lying.

I will be doing all of that.

Fried Nutella Wontons....just 3 ingredients and you have a delicious, hot, crispy, oozing with chocolate dessert! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

In between packing and list making {hello, both of our parents need to know how to keep these children alive while we're gone}, I made these Fried Nutella Wontons.

For no reason at all really.  Just because it was a random Monday afternoon and the babe of the family was napping and I was a bit bored.  

I had leftover egg roll wrappers in the fridge that I wanted to use up and a half eaten jar of Nutella in the cupboard.  A dear old friend of mine {hey, Erica!} made something similar to these years ago while I was at her house.  I remember all of us devouring them hot out of the oil dusted with powdered sugar {really, the only way to eat them} and then I promptly forgot about them until some 10 years later.

Biggest mistake of my life.

Fried Nutella Wontons....just 3 ingredients and you have a delicious, hot, crispy, oozing with chocolate dessert! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

It really was a shame the older two kids were at school when I made them, as I had them all to myself.  Hot, crispy, oozing with melted chocolate.

I saved the rest for the kids who had them for an afterschool snack {unhealthy, I know haters}, but they heated up nicely in the microwave and they were none the wiser.  The house may have smelled a bit like a fried donut factory, but I chalk that up to another lesson in cooking for them.

Fried donut smells trump everything else in life.

Gather up these 3 simple ingredients {wontons, Nutella and powdered sugar} and watch this special treat disappear before your eyes!

Fried Nutella Wontons

Print this Recipe!

1 pkg. wonton wrappers
1 jar Nutella
powdered sugar
oil for frying {I used canola oil}

1.  In a deep skillet or dutch oven pour in enough oil to cover the bottom and come up the sides 1inch and bring to a medium-high heat.  You will know the oil is hot and ready when it starts to "ripple".
2.  Cut the wonton wrappers in half on an angle making triangles.  Place a teaspoon of Nutella in the center.  Using wet fingers {a small bowl of water near by helps}, fold over the wonton and seal the edges.
3.  Place in the hot oil cooking about 30 seconds on each side.  These will cook up very fast, you know they are ready to flip when they've turned golden brown.  Immediately remove from the oil, place on a paper-towel lined plate and dust with powdered sugar.
4.  Eat them fresh and hot!

***Please note you can make as little or as much of these wontons as you like, just fry up as many as you know you will eat at the time.  Leftover wonton wrappers will keep fresh in the fridge for up to 1 month, just seal them tightly in a plastic bag.

Fried Nutella Wontons....just 3 ingredients and you have a delicious, hot, crispy, oozing with chocolate dessert! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Buffalo Chicken Pull-a-Part Garlic Bread

Bring this to your next party and watch it disappear.
Easy to make, easy to eat!

Buffalo Chicken Pull-a-Part Garlic Bread...the ultimate party appetizer for all the buffalo sauce lovers! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Calling all buffalo chicken lovers! And haters! Yes, I'm inviting the haters too. I really do think and believe that everyone will love this garlic bread.

Just in time for Super Bowl Sunday, this garlic bread needs to be on your menu. It is perfect to go along with a main pasta dish, but honestly it's even better placed in the middle of an appetizer table. I have no doubt your people will continue to come back for seconds.

Now, I have long been a fan of buffalo sauce on anything long before it was an annoying trend. Maybe I started the trend? Probably not, but I have shared a hearty handful of buffalo sauce dishes over the years {check them all out below}.

Buffalo Chicken Pull-a-Part Garlic Bread...the ultimate party appetizer for all the buffalo sauce lovers! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

This bread not only looks pretty, but it is pretty darn easily to put together as well. You can assemble it right before baking or feel free to prep it the night before, wrap it up, throw it in the fridge to bake off the next day. That juicy buffalo, garlic goodness will only get better!

I happened to find a yummy King's Hawaiian Sweet Round Bread loaf at my local grocery store, but feel free to use any good quality round shaped bread loaf. A nice, crusty top is always nice as it holds together well, but it isn't necessary.

Buffalo Chicken Pull-a-Part Garlic Bread...the ultimate party appetizer for all the buffalo sauce lovers! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

You can also buy a prepared bottle of buffalo sauce and doctor it up with the fresh garlic, but I have always loved making my own {hot sauce + melted butter}.  

The key here is, make it your own! Bottled or not, this appetizer or side dish to a meal is perfect. For any occasion!

But seriously, make it for the big game coming up.  You can even bake this ahead of time, wrap it up in foil, stick it in the crock pot on warm and take it tailgating with you!  You'll run into friends you didn't even know you had.

Buffalo Chicken Pull-a-Part Garlic Bread...the ultimate party appetizer for all the buffalo sauce lovers! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Buffalo Chicken Pull-a-Part Garlic Bread

1 loaf King's Hawaiian Sweet Round Bread {or any round bread loaf}
2 c. cooked, shredded chicken
1/2 c. hot sauce
1 stick unsalted butter
1 garlic clove, minced
1 c. shredded Colby cheese
fresh or dried parsley, for garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Using a serrated knife, cut slices into the bread, going ¾ of the way down but not fully through. Criss-cross the slits to make a grid of slices.
3. In a saucepan melt the butter, add in the hot sauce and minced garlic, stirring to combine. Add in the shredded chicken and toss to coat.
4. Carefully pull apart the slices of bread and stuff the buffalo chicken mixture down into the bread. Then stuff the shredded cheese into the bread as well.

5. Bake for 15-20 minutes or just until all is heated through, the cheese has melted and the top of the bread is getting crispy. Serve warm.

Buffalo Chicken Pull-a-Part Garlic Bread...the ultimate party appetizer for all the buffalo sauce lovers! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Need more buffalo inspired recipes to cure your fix? 

Here you go!








Thursday, January 26, 2017

Chicken Cordon Bleu Wild Rice Soup

This post is sponsored by Veetee, but all opinions are my own.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Wild Rice Soup...the classic dish is turned into soup and bulked up with hearty rice!  Truly comfort in a bowl. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

This post does contain affiliate links for your convenience.

I am beyond thrilled to continue my relationship with Veetee rice in 2017 as a brand ambassador.  If you are a faithful reader {you should be!} you'll remember the three recipes I developed for them last year.  My Fried Stuffed Rice Balls stole the show, but they certainly did not show up my Chinese Chicken Lettuce Cups or my Cheesy Alfredo Chicken Casserole.

I mean, who doesn't like rice?

It can bulk up any meal.  It's budget friendly.  It's easy to make.  It's perfect as a side and compliments most any meal!

What I love, love, love about Veetee Rice is that is comes in easy single {or double} serving microwavable packs.  It is beyond easy to walk over to my cupboard, pull out a flavor and have it on the dinner in less than 5 minutes.

In fact, it cooks perfectly in just 2 minutes. 

Chicken Cordon Bleu Wild Rice Soup...the classic dish is turned into soup and bulked up with hearty rice!  Truly comfort in a bowl. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

When I was dreaming up recipes for this project {I have two more great ones coming up!} I knew I wanted to incorporate some of their Basmati & Wild Rice into at least one of the recipes.  I just love the hearty, nutty flavor.

Where most of my recipes are planned, some just come to me, a bit by mistake.  This one is no exception.  I had been thinking to myself that I hadn't made the classic Chicken Cordon Bleu in a long, long time.  Years in fact.  And yes, I could just serve this rice on the side and call it good {albeit, a bit boring}, but being a brand ambassdaor isn't about being boring.

Soup came to mind as it is winter here and I'm fairly certain I haven't seen the sun in close to three weeks.  When it's dreadfully dreary outside I crave comfort foods, soup being at the top of the list.

Ding, ding!  Why not make one of my favorite dishes, chicken cordon bleu, in a soup form and bulk it up with this fantastic rice?

Yep, that is how this recipe was born.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Wild Rice Soup...the classic dish is turned into soup and bulked up with hearty rice!  Truly comfort in a bowl. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

In my defense soup can be hard to photograph, so I want to emphasize that this version is OUT OF THIS WORLD.  It is a perfect stick-to-your-ribs, creamy, hearty, almost chowder-like soup that will not be passed up by anyone.

The milk, cream and butter make a fantastic base and it's full of juicy chicken, ham and rice and is brought all together with some melted Swiss cheese.  It really does taste just like the classic dish!

You dip your spoon in this and it literally sticks to the spoon, clinging for life, hoping it makes it to your mouth.  Sprinkle a little fresh parsley or any favorite herb on top, serve with a slice of crusty garlic bread on the side and dinner is made.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Wild Rice Soup...the classic dish is turned into soup and bulked up with hearty rice!  Truly comfort in a bowl. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

If you are stuck in a dinner rut, or even a nice Sunday meal rut {it's fancy enough for that!} put this Chicken Cordon Bleu Wild Rice Soup on the menu.  Start to finish, it's done in 30 minutes.  Yes, just 30 minutes!  

Meaning it is easy enough for a weeknight or simple enough for Sunday dinner.  I would also recommend making it over the weekend, sticking it in the fridge and reheating for easy lunches or dinners throughout the week.

I know, I'm looking forward to my leftovers...

Chicken Cordon Bleu Wild Rice Soup


1/4 c. unsalted butter
1/4 c. flour
2 1/2 c. half and half
2 1/2 c. milk
1 c. water
8 oz. cream cheese
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 c. cooked, cubed ham
1 9 oz. package Veetee Basmati & Wild Rice {or 2 c. cooked any wild rice}
1 c. shredded Swiss cheese
drizzle of olive oil

1.  Heat a large stock pot or dutch oven {this is the one I use} over medium heat.  
2.  Drizzle in the olive oil and cook the diced chicken.  Stir, continuing to cook on all sides until not longer pink, about 5-6 minutes.  Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
3.  Add in the butter to melt, scraping all the bits from the bottom of the pan.
4.  Sprinkle in the flour and whisk to combine into a roux.  Continue whisking over the heat for 1 minute.
5.  Stir in the half and half, milk, water and bouillon bringing it up to heat, then add in the cream cheese, whisking to combine.  Continue whisking until the cream cheese has melted and then bring to a boil.
6.  Add in the chicken, ham and cooked rice.  Stir to combine and take off the heat.
7.  Sprinkle in the Swiss cheese and stir until melted.  Put back on the heat on LOW if eating right away, or allow to cool before putting back in the fridge.
8.  Serve along side a salad and with a nice hunk of crusty bread.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Wild Rice Soup...the classic dish is turned into soup and bulked up with hearty rice!  Truly comfort in a bowl. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Is soup your cold weather meal like it is mine?  If so, check out my Main Dishes page. Towards the bottom I have a WHOLE list of our favorite soups, many of which I'm sure you'll love!

A big thank you to Veetee for sponsoring this post!