Pumpkin Bread Trifle


Pumpkin Season is here!  I am not usually one to make too much of that but I am really feeling it this time around.  I pulled this recipe from my November 2018 Better Homes & Gardens magazine–mostly because I have a trifle dish and wanted to make something pretty in it.

Just a note–I had issues with the syrup that was going over the pecans.  I think it was supposed to be kind of like a brittle or something?  Well, it didn’t work for me so I just toasted the pecans in some butter in a skillet for a few minutes.  It was still yummy!  I am just sharing my version today, but if you want the full recipe, check it out here.

Pumpkin Bread Trifle
Layered tastes of the season, right here.
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  1. 3 c. granulated sugar
  2. 1 15-oz. can pumpkin
  3. 1 c. vegetable oil
  4. 2/3 c. water
  5. 4 large eggs
  6. 3 1/3 c. all-purpose flour
  7. 2 t. baking soda
  8. 2 t. pumpkin pie spice
  9. 1 1/2 c. chopped pecans
  10. 2 1/2 c. heavy cream
  11. 1 8-oz. carton sour cream
  12. 1 c. powdered sugar
  13. 2 T. milk
  14. Opt--Caramel ice cream topping, pomegranate seeds or sweetened dried cranberries
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease bottoms and 2 inches up the sides of two 9 x 5 inch loaf pans.
  2. In a large bowl stir together the granulated sugar, pumpkin, oil, 2/3 c. water, and eggs until combined.
  3. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and 1 t. salt. Stir into pumpkin mixture. Spoon into prepared pans.
  4. Bake 1 hour or until a toothpick put into the center comes out clean. Let cool in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, place on racks and let cool completely.
  5. In a medium skillet, melt 2 T. of butter over medium-high heat and then add the pecans and a dash of sea salt. Toast the pecans until fragrant, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and set aside.
  6. In a bowl beat heavy cream, sour cream, powdered sugar and milk with mixer on high until stiff peaks form.
  7. Cut one loaf of pumpkin bread into 1-inch cubes. (Freeze other loaf up to 1 month or eat it!) In a large trifle dish, alternate layers of pumpkin bread cubes, pecans, cream, cranberries, and drizzled caramel sauce 3 times.
  8. Serve immediately or chill up to 8 hours.
  1. NOTE: Another pecan option is listed in the original recipe.
Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens Magazine
Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens Magazine
Mormon Mavens https://www.mormonmavens.com/

Copycat Shoney’s Hot Fudge Sundae Cake

Shoney's hot fudge sundae cake

I had actually forgotten that this yummy chocolate cake, hot fudge, and ice cream dessert existed (or that Shoney’s existed) until recently while browsing Pinterest. When I saw a picture of it, immediately recognized it without even reading the text, and was instantly overcome by a wave of nostalgia.

I used to have those all the time!

When I was eleven or twelve years old we would head to Shoney’s (you may remember it as Bob’s Big Boy) occasionally for a meal and the only thing I remember about those restaurant visits is the Hot Fudge Sundae Cake. (You may also know it as Hot Fudge Cake, Hot Fudge Ice Cream Cake, etc.)  I’m sure they had other dishes that I liked but, you know, priorities.

shoney's hot fudge sundae cake



And since National Chocolate Day is September 23, I figured this is a great recipe to honor what should be (and in my mind, IS) its own food group….CHOCOLATE.

It’s a pretty simple recipe with few ingredients.  Just make sure that you have time to allow for baking and freezing.

Copycat Big Boy's Hot Fudge Sundae Cake
Serves 12
A delicious dessert with chocolate cake, vanilla ice cream, and chocolate sauce!
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Total Time
2 hr 45 min
Total Time
2 hr 45 min
  1. 1 dark chocolate fudge cake mix (I used Duncan Hines)
  2. plus ingredients for the cake mix (usually eggs, vegetable oil, water)
  3. 1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream
  4. 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  5. 1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
  6. 3 Tbsp. whipping cream
  7. 1 tsp. vanilla
  8. Reddi Whip or prepared whipped cream
  9. maraschino cherries with stems
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a 9x13-inch pan with heavy duty aluminum foil so that, length-wise, the foil extends over the ends of the pan (this will become "handles" later to take out the cake). Spray with nonstick cooking spray and dust with a little of the cake mix powder (or use flour if you like).
  2. Mix cake mix according to package directions. Pour into you prepared pan and bake for the length of time your cake mix suggest. For me this was 26 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean or with just a hint of cake crumbs on it.
  3. Cool completely for (about an hour).
  4. Carefully lift up on your foil handles and place the cake on the counter. Using a long serrated knife (like a bread knife), carefully cut into the edges of the cake to a depth of about 2-3". Do this all the way around trying to stay even. Then, insert the whole knife at one end of the cake and carefully zig zag your way through the entire cake. (Using those starting cuts should help your knife to stay in a "channel" so that you don't end up with it cut unlevel.)
  5. Lift both layers at the same time from the foil and place back into the pan. Then carefully lift out the top layer and lay on top of the foil. I found this to be the easiest way to move fragile cake layers. But you do you!
  6. Take the vanilla ice cream out of the freezer. The easiest way to slice up the ice cream is to remove it as a block from it's container onto a cutting board. Use a long knife to cut 1"-ish slabs from the ice cream. Place these slabs on the top of that bottom cake layer, laying them like puzzle pieces to fit as tightly together as possible. You may need to take some ice cream scraps and fill in any gaps.
  7. Replace the top cake layer, cover with that foil you used before, and place the whole thing in the freezer for at least an hour.
  8. When you're about ready to serve the cake, place the chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, and whipping cream in a saucepan and melt the mixture together over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla.
  9. Remove the cake from the freezer and cut into 12 portions (4 by 3....or smaller portions if you want). Remove a piece to a serving plate, top with sauce, whipped cream, and cherry and you're ready to dive in!
Mormon Mavens https://www.mormonmavens.com/

Frosted Marshmallow Brownies

‘Tis the season for all those summer get-togethers and family reunions.  Running out of ideas for what to take? 

Whether you say “dish to pass” or “potluck”, sometimes it’s just hard to come up with something yummy and easy.  Here is a great idea we shared last summer.

And who can resist a recipe post that starts out with Captain Jack Sparrow?  Savvy?


 Yesterday, my kids asked for “you know, those marshmallow brownie things we used to make all the time” and I was like…

jack sparrow brownies

Seriously, I had completely forgotten.  It’s been years!

It’s a recipe out of my husband’s family’s cookbook.  The original recipe has a scratch brownie, but when I’ve got Thrive Life Brownie Mix lying around, why not use it?  It’s a “just add water” mix so I love that.  But you can use your favorite store mix or your favorite basic brownie recipe!  The fun part comes in what you put on top!

Frosted Marshmallow Brownies
Yields 16
A quick and easy brownie makeover!
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
35 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
35 min
  1. 3 3/4 c. THRIVE Fudge Brownie Mix
  2. 1/2 c. hot water
  3. 2 c. mini marshmallows
  1. 1/4 c. butter, softened
  2. 1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa
  3. 2/3 c. powdered sugar (approximately)
  4. 1/4 c. milk
  5. 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Add the hot water to the brownie mix in a medium bowl. Stir just until the mix is fully moistened. Allow to sit for 5 minutes. (If not using Thrive mix, just prepare your favorite box mix or brownie recipe as directed.)
  3. Spread brownie batter into a greased 9x9-inch baking pan. Bake for about 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out almost completely clean.
  4. Turn off the oven, pour the marshmallows out in an even layer on top of the brownies, and return the pan to the oven for 3-5 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.
  5. Mix the frosting ingredients together, adding more powdered sugar if necessary to make the frosting spreadable. Spread the frosting over the cooled marshmallow layer. Cut into squares and enjoy!
Mormon Mavens https://www.mormonmavens.com/

Peach Cider Sorbet

My husband picked up some Peach Cider at South of the Border a couple of weeks ago, probably because we once had a Peach Cider Slushie at an Amish country store that I still think/talk/drool about.  I decided to try making sorbet out of it but couldn’t find a recipe specifically for peach.  So I looked over a few recipes I found on the internet and combined/tweaked/added to come up with this one.  It was a big hit with the family!  It tastes like fall, but since peaches are a summer fruit it’s best in summer.  Of course, you could always try frozen peaches.  Or you can try it with apple cider and apples, maybe add some whole cloves in with the cinnamon stick.  I’m sure that would be great!

2 cups peach cider
2 large, ripe peaches (peeled, pitted, and cut into bite sized chunks)
1/4 cup white sugar
1 Tbsp. molasses
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 cinnamon stick
1/8 tsp. salt.

1.  Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  Peaches should be soft.  Remove from heat and let the mixture cool for a bit.
2.  Remove the cinnamon stick and discard.  Transfer mixture to a blender and puree until smooth.  Strain mixture through a sieve into a bowl.  Allow to cool to room temp, then cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
3.  Pour chilled mixture into ice cream machine and process until frozen and thick.  Transfer sorbet to a freezer container and freeze for at least 2 hours.

Serve and enjoy!


Originally posted on August 11, 2014.

Chocolate Fondue



I recently returned from a wonderful river cruise in Europe with my husband and my parents.  We had a wonderful time!  Our first stop before boarding the boat was Lucerne, Switzerland.  Chocolate everywhere!  My kind of place.  We had lunch one day at a little restaurant on a side street….a fondue house.  We grabbed a table outside and checked out the menu.  We had every intention of having cheese fondue but when we saw the prices (holy cheese!) we quickly decided on the cheapest fondue item for our meal:  chocolate fondue (and that was still really expensive).  

It. was. uh. mazing.  (That’s my hubby in the pic above, enjoying a tasty chocolate lunch in the heart of Lucerne.)  Then we found out it was nothing more than melted chocolate bars and cream.  What?!?  I knew as soon as we got home I had to try this with the kids.  So we did.  And it tasted exactly the same!  Well, until our makeshift fondue pot exploded.  Yeah, that wasn’t as tasty.  The next time we made it we didn’t worry about having it on a flame.  It didn’t stay in the bowl long enough to harden up anyway….we ate it too fast!
6 small Toblerone bars
heavy cream, about 1/2 cup to start
1.  Unwrap the bars of chocolate, break them up, and place the pieces in a saucepan with the cream.  
2.  Stir while it melts and remove from heat when the mixture is smooth.  Add more cream to get your preferred consistency for dipping.
3.  Serve with cut up fruit, pretzels, cubed pound cake, etc.  My personal favorites are strawberries and fresh pineapple.
You can use any combination of Toblerone flavors.  We used half-yellow packaged bar, half blue-packaged bar (I believe those are the technical terms).  My local grocery store carries those as well as a dark chocolate and a white chocolate.  Mix and match to your heart’s content!
Originally posted on September 30, 2013.

Frog Eye Salad

Although this recipe has been around quite a while, it still seems to be unknown to many.  At a recent church function I was asked two questions about it:  “What is this?” and “Can I have the recipe?”  It makes a lot and is a very satisfying side dish or light dessert.

1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 3/4 cup pineapple juice (reserved from canned pineapple)
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 16-ounce package Acini de Pepe pasta
2 11-ounce cans mandarin oranges, drained
1 20-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained and juice reserved
2 20-ounce cans pineapple chunks, drained and juice reserved
1 9-ounce carton non-dairy whipped topping
maraschino cherries, halved

1.  Combine sugar, flour, pineapple juice, and eggs in a medium saucepan stirring well to combine.  Cook over medium heat until thickened stirring often.  Remove from heat, add lemon juice and stir to combine.  Set aside to cool.
2.  Cook Acini de Pepe pasta according to package directions.  Drain, rinse with cool water, and set aside to cool.  (Unless you have a sieve-type large colander, you may have to line your colander with paper towels like I did…..otherwise the pasta will escape through the holes!)
3.  In a large bowl, combine the cooled egg mixture and the cooled pasta.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap (or lid if you have it) and refrigerate until serving time.
4.  When ready to serve add the fruit, whipped topping, marshmallows, coconut, and cherries.


  • The amounts for the marshmallows, coconut, and cherries are up to you.  I like a lot of each, so I added almost a whole bag of mallows, about half a bag of coconut, and a large jar of cherries.
  • This salad keeps well in the fridge after the initial serving but is always best right after the last ingredients are added.  To “freshen” it up a bit after it’s been in the fridge, just add some more whipped topping.
  • Acini dep Pepe pasta is not hard to find in most grocery stores.  It’s just with all the other pastas, not in a special section or anything.  It looks like little balls….it’s the “frog eye” in this salad.
Source:  I got it for the first time from my sister, Amy (fellow Maven known as “Amos”)
Originally posted on April 1, 2013.

No-Bake Cheesecake Bites

Recently I had some ladies over to my house for a little get together and I wanted to serve something that looked pretty and tasted good but was super easy to make.  I searched the internet and finally decided to try these tasty little morsels.  I’m glad I did.  They were a success, and I’ll be using this recipe again for sure!  These are perfect for parties and showers.  You can make the filling ahead of time and fill the cups just before your guests arrive.  Definitely a keeper!

2 Tbsp. packed brown sugar
1/4 cup. sour cream
1/4 tsp. vanilla
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 Tbsp. heavy whipping cream
15 mini Phyllo tart shells (1 package)
berries for garnish
1.  In a mixing bowl, beat the brown sugar, sour cream, and vanilla together until well blended.  Add the cream cheese and beat until smooth.  Add the whipping cream and beat until light and fluffy.
2.  If serving right away, simply spoon some of the mix into each tart shell.  If you want to chill it until later, spoon the mix into a zip-top bag, seal, and place in the fridge till you are ready.  Then take the bag out, snip one corner with scissors, and squeeze the mixture through the hole into the tart shells.
3.  Garnish with berries.
Source:  Kitchen Treaty (although that recipe adds 1 heaping teaspoon of lemon zest, which I omitted)
Originally posted on March 6, 2013.




Originally posted on November 28, 2011.

This recipe comes from Worldwide Ward Cookbook by Deanna Buxton.  I’s original title is “Chapel Fudge” but we renamed it in honor of our toddler, King Henry V (well, Henry, but he’s the fifth child and pretty much rules our kingdom).  

We named it Budge in honor of Henry for two reasons:  (1)  when he tries to say “fudge” it comes out “budge”, and (2) while it was cooling on the counter, he proceeded to dig into it with his hands, prompting an emergency bath!  

Whatever it’s called, it’s good.  I’m not normally much of a fudge eater, but I really do like this recipe and plan to use it often.


4 cups sugar
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk (1 1/3 cups)
20 large marshmallows
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup butter
1 (12 oz) package semisweet chocolate chips

1.  In a large pot, cook sugar, milk, and marshmallows on medium to medium-high heat, stirring constantly.  When mixture comes to a rolling boil, set timer for 10 minutes and continue stirring constantly.  (I had to reduce the heat a bit here as it start to burn just a tad.)  Remove from heat and add vanilla.
2.  Place butter and chocolate in a large mixer bowl.  Pour the hot mixture into this bowl, over the butter and chips.  Beat for 5 minutes.  (I used my Kitchen Aid with the whisk attachment.)
3.  Spread into lightly buttered 9×13 pan and let cool.  Cut when set.  (This took several hours in the fridge.)

Makes 35-40 pieces of fudge

Source:  Worldwide Ward Cookbook by Deanna Buxton.

Pink Grapefruit Sorbet



loooooove Ruby Red grapefruit.  So when I saw a recipe for it on Pinterest, I had to give it a shot.  But when I cut into what should’ve been two Ruby Reds, I was shocked to see just your regular ol’ grapefruit.  So disappointed.  But then I remembered that I had a large can of pink grapefruit juice in the pantry.  Surely that would do, even though fresh would be so much better.  So I used it, and it worked!  So delicious.

My next step after that was trying it with Agave Nectar instead of granulated sugar.  Still delicious!  If you love grapefruit, you’ll love this.  You can adjust the amount of tart to sweet by adjusting the amount of juice and sweetener.  Taste it just before you’re ready to put it into the machine and make your adjustments accordingly.
Ingredients (original):
1 1/2 cups fresh or canned grapefruit juice
2 cups sugar

2 cups water

1.  Combine sugar and water in saucepan and bring to boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce heat to low and simmer until sugar is dissolved.  Cool completely.
2.  When cool, add grapefruit juice and stir to combine.  Pour into freezer bowl of ice cream maker.  Turn machine on and freeze until slushy.  Transfer to an air tight container and freeze until firm, about 2 hours.


Agave recipe:
1 1/2 cups fresh or canned grapefruit juice
1 cup agave nectar
2 cups water

1.  Combine juice, nectar, and water and stir until well mixed.
2.  Pour into freezer of ice cream machine and freeze as stated above.

Source:  can’t remember, sorry!

Chewy Brownies

chewy brownies


Originally posted on July 20, 2011.

Call me crazy, but I love brownie-mix brownies.  I love the flavor, but I especially love the texture of them.  Every once in a while I’ll try a recommended brownie recipe, but I’m always disappointed in the results.  I found this recipe in a Google search for “scratch brownies that taste like a mix”.  This recipe is good enough to keep using, in place of the box mix, until I find an even better one.  It’s awesome with warmed up peanut butter for a sauce with Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce and 3 Ingredient Ice Cream.

1/3 c. cocoa
1/2 c. plus 2 Tbsp. boiling water
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
4 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/2 c. plus 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/2 c. sugar
1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. salt
6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, cut into 1/2″ pieces

1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with foil, leaving about a one-inch overhang on all sides (do this in two foil layers).  Spray with non-stick cooking spray.
2.  Whisk together the cocoa and boiling water in a large bowl until smooth.
3.  Add unsweetened chocolate and whisk until chocolate is melted.
4.  Whisk in melted butter and oil (mixture may look curdled).
5.  Add eggs, yolks, and vanilla and continue to whisk until smooth.
6.  Whisk in sugar until fully incorporated.
7.  Add flour and salt and mix with rubber spatula until combined.
8.  Fold in bittersweet or semisweet chocolate pieces.
9.  Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted halfway between the edge and center comes out with just a few moist crumbs on it, about 30-35 minutes.  Transfer pan to wire rack and cool 1 1/2 hours.
10.  Using foil overhang, lift brownies from pan.  Return them to wire rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour.  Cut into 2″ squares and serve.

If you like thicker brownies, just bake in a smaller pan and increase cooking time.

Makes 24 brownies 

Source:  Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated