Saturday, November 24, 2012

Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Brown Sugar Glaze

My name is Jessica and I am a Pinterest Addict.

I've been obsessive compulsively pinning recipes on Pinterest. Quite honestly, I need a life. I decided to actually start making some of the 800+ recipes that I've hoarded. This is one of them. It was very yummy!

This recipe came from this pretty blog. Gotta give credit where credit is due :) How Sweet It Is

Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Brown Sugar Glaze
 Serves 18
⅓ cups Water 1 can Pureed Pumpkin (15 Oz)
2 whole Eggs
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
2 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 box Yellow Cake Mix (18 Ounce Box)
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 cup Brown Sugar, Divided
½ cups Flour
4 Tablespoons Butter Melted
¼ cups Granulated Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
¼ cups Heavy Whipping Cream

Preparation Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350F. In a large bowl mix together the water, pumpkin, eggs, 1 Tablespoon of vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice until well combined.

Add the cake mix and baking soda and mix until just combined.

Grease a 9×13 pan with butter and pour batter into pan.

In a small bowl mix together 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1/2 cup flour and melted butter.  Use your fingers to sprinkle over the top of the cake.

Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

For the glaze, combine the other 1/2 cup brown sugar, granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and heavy cream in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and stir until all sugar is dissolved.

When cake is finished baking, poke holes in the top with a toothpick. Pour glaze over the cake, making sure to cover all surfaces. Serve cake warm or at room temperature.

Ben & Jerry are the Loves of My Life

I've been searching far and wide, taking trips to various crowded and insanely obnoxious super markets. These Ben & Jerry's "limited batches" are quite honestly a giant pain in my ass. Anyway, my search has finally come to an end. Thank you Wegman' never let me down.

Ben & Jerry's Cannoli Ice Cream!
 I love cannoli. What Italian girl doesn't? And I literally enjoy every single thing about this ice cream. But my absolute favorite part is the Mascarpone Swirl. It tastes just like cannoli filling. The fudge covered cannoli pastry shell is not a disappointment either. I suggest you get some of this ASAP. Trust me...your life will never be the same. EVER. I love it so much I think I might marry it.

Ben & Jerry. The coolest guys that ever lived. The End.

More Pumpkin Please!

Did I ever mention that I love pumpkin? If not, please refer to my previous post Why I love Fall- Reason #1. Also, words cannot describe how much I love ice cream. For details on my ice cream obsession please refer to this post: Ice Cream is a Girl's Best Friend. Now that you are well informed, you can imagine my excitement when I came across the best pumpkin pie ice cream in the world. Ladies and Gentlemen, It is my pleasure to introduce.... 

I cannot take credit for this discovery. My wonderful boyfriend, who also shares my obsession for food, found this at the store and said that it is awesome. And he was right....IT IS AWESOME. The ice cream tastes exactly like pumpkin pie. My absolute favorite part is the GIGANTIC layer of graham cracker crust in the middle. Yes, I said GIGANTIC. I can seriously eat this entire quart of ice cream all by myself and probably wouldn't even feel guilty about it.

Why I Love Fall- Reason #1

There are MANY reasons why I love fall, most of them involving food. (Are you surprised?) Reason #1 is : PUMPKIN. FLAVORED. EVERYTHING. If you don't like pumpkin. Screw you and stop reading :) Words cannot even describe how much I love pumpkin. Pumpkin breads, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin cupcakes, pumpkin pudding, pumpkin pie, pumpkin beer, pumpkin hummus (seriously.).....literally EVERYTHING. that I got that out of my system. Two of my favorite pumpkin flavored items are Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins. They are only available during the fall months which makes them even more special. There isn't much to describe about the Pumpkin Spice Latte. It tastes exactly how it sounds. It is pretty much like a latte and pumpkin pie had a baby. You can get it hot or iced. Also, when I feel like watching my calories the "skinny" version is equally delicious.  
 Now lets talk about the Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffin. Basically a very moist, delicious pumpkin flavored muffin with a scoop of creamy cheese cake on top. IT IS LIKE HEAVEN ON EARTH. I have no other words to describe it except I effing love it. 
Stay tuned....I plan on sharing a few of the other reasons why I love fall (If I don't get too lazy.) I have a feeling my next post is going to be about beer. Woooooo!

Ice Cream is a Girl's Best Friend

Today is National Ice Cream Day! I actually cannot describe how much I love ice cream. If I was forced to choose one specific thing to eat all day every day for the rest of my entire life, I am 98% sure it would be ice cream. In addition to my love for ice cream, I also have an obsession for chocolate sprinkles. I want to dive into a pool of chocolate sprinkles and swim and splash around like a 5 year old. True story. I like to dream BIG. Therefore, one of my main goals in life is to go to the Ben & Jerry's factory in Waterbury, Vermont and get The Vermonster. The Vermonster is 20 scoops of ice cream, hot fudge, banana, cookies, brownies, and whatever other toppings your inner fat kid desires.
I have traveled to the Ben & Jerry's factory in Vermont with the hopes of achieving this life-long dream. Yes, I went to Vermont during the peak of ski season for the sole purpose of visiting Ben & Jerry's.....not to go skiing. However, once I realized the Vermonster costs around $40 and we had no freezer, I decided it was impossible and a waste of money for 2 people to attempt to eat this gigantic sundae. I promise it will happen one day...and it will be amazing.
I have many favorite ice cream shops, all for different reasons. So, for your reading is the list of Closet Fat Chick's Favorite Ice Cream Shops. (I've been waiting all your life for this. You're welcome.) These are in no particular order because they are all so good I seriously can't rank them in a fair order. 1. Scoops- Myrtle Beach, SC- This place is one of my favorites because they make their own waffle cones. Not little wimpy waffle cones either, BIG home made waffle cones. As soon as you walk in it smells like fresh baked waffles. Scoops also has the best Moose Tracks Ice Cream I've ever tasted. I was disappointed to learn that Scoops does not make their own ice cream, which pisses me off a little. I feel like if you are going to open and ice cream place you better go all in and make your own damn ice cream. However, their awesome waffle cones make up for this. 2. Polar Cub- Whitehouse Station, NJ- This place is one of my favorites because of their home made whipped cream. Their whipped cream is so thick that you can turn your ice cream sundae completely upside-down and it will still stay in place! UH-MAZING.  
3. Colonia Dairy Maid- Colonia, NJ- This place is my favorite for one reason and one reason only. SPRINKLES. No matter what size sundae you order, they will leave like one inch of space in the cup and fill it to the brim with sprinkles. IT MAKES ME SO HAPPY. This place is good for your classics....vanilla & chocolate. They have "40 flavors" however, 36 of them taste like vanilla. (That was an exaggeration.) My tip for Colonia Dairy Maid....having a few awesome flavors is much better than having crap load of mediocre flavors. Just sayin....  
 4. Hassel's Ice Cream Parlor- North Wildwood, NJ- Hassel's has THE BEST waffle and ice cream sundaes. As soon as you order, they will literally make a fresh waffle for your sundae. They pile it high with several scoops of ice cream and whatever toppings you want. It's pretty amazing folks. Hassel's does not make their own ice cream either. Whatevs, their waffles still rock. 
 5. K's Brain Freeze- Matawan, NJ- My newest favorite! This place opened about 6 weeks ago. A friend of mine suggested this place to me. (Thank you Ada!) This place has A LOT of flavors. I've tried many of them so far and they were ALL awesome. I am assuming the rest of them will be awesome as well. Some of my favorites so far are Caramel Crunch, Almond Joy, & Carrot Cake. All of the flavors are home made. The owner is a very nice guy. They will also let you try as many flavors as you want before you make your decision. If you are in the area please go visit K's Brain Freeze and have some yummy ice cream.

6. Thomas Sweets- New Brunswick, NJ- Every single flavor I've had from this place is great. My favorites are Birthday Party, Banana Pudding, and Almond Joy. They also make the best Ice Cream Sodas!

And case you were favorite store bought ice cream... Wegman's Premium Ice Cream- I usually do not like store brand anything. Everything from the Wegman's brand is amazing including the ice cream. My favorite flavors are Rum Raisin, Pistachio, and Peanut Butter and Jelly. Some of you may be wondering about the Peanut Butter and Jelly. It literally tastes like peanut butter and jelly ice cream. There is no other way to describe it. You will have to just try it for yourself.

Jessica Bakes a Cake. (Yes, this really happened.)

Ok, so here is Pinterest recipe attempt number two. This weekend I decided to make a Strawberry Lemonade Layer Cake. First, I never really baked a cake before. This one was still out of a box, but I still think that counts. I did actually make the icing so I guess that is also a step in the right direction. Second, my pics are still crappy because I was too lazy to use my good camera.
As is what the cake is "supposed" to look like :)

  • One box of strawberry cake mix (plus oil, water and eggs as directed on box)
  • 8oz. Philadelphia Cream Cheese (softened to room temp.)
  • 1 packet (0.23oz.) of Kool-Aid Lemonade
  • Yellow food coloring gel (as desired for color)
  • 2cups Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Creme
  • 8 oz. Cool Whip Topping
  • Fresh strawberries to garnish.
  • Make cake according to box and bake in 2- 9 inch round cake pans as directed. Turn finished cakes over on cake racks and allow to cool completely.
What a surprise! I do not own a cooling rack. This is how they cooled and it was perfectly fine.
  • Cream together cream cheese, lemonade and yellow food coloring until smooth.
  • Mix marshmallow creme in and then mix in Cool Whip until completely smooth. Refrigerate until cake is cooled and cut.
  • Cut each cake layer in half.
  • Alternating layers of cake with layers of filling, assemble cake. End with layer of filling.
  • Top with sliced strawberries.
  • Refrigerate and serve chilled.
I did a couple things differently. I used pink lemonade mix for the icing. I guess people went crazy for some lemonade Kool-Aid this weekend because there was absolutely NONE at the store. I did not use yellow food coloring because the pink lemonade obviously turned the icing pink and I thought adding yellow to that would be a little odd. Also, I did not cut each layer in half for two reasons: 1. Because I'm a spaz. and 2. Because I was advised by several people that since I am not an experienced cake baker I should probably hold off on that for a little while. Overall, the cake was very good. It is very refreshing and light. It would be something good to bring to a BBQ or just for a yummy treat on a hot summer day. It was very "lemony". I LOVEEE me some lemon so I didn't mind. But for people who aren't into lemon that much I would recommend using less lemonade mix...maybe half a packet. is the end result! Not so bad if I do say so myself :)

Warm Toasted Marshmallow S'more Bars

I've been collecting recipes on Pinterest for several weeks now. It's actually becoming sort of addicting. Anyway, I decided that I am going to try at least one recipe from my Pinterest collection every week, otherwise it makes no sense to just waste time pinning recipes all day like a weirdo with no life. This weekend I decided to make Warm Toasted Marshmallow S'more Bars. I LOVE S'mores. If you don't believe me, please refer to this post: I Effing Love S'mores. Before you read any further, I would just like to point out a couple things. 1. I DO NOT bake. and 2. I haven't mastered the art of food photography yet so forgive the crappy pics. Next time I will use my Nikon instead of my iPhone.
This is how they are SUPPOSED to look.

Warm Toasted Marshmallow S'more Bars

1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® sugar cookie mix 1 cup graham cracker crumbs 1 cup butter or margarine, melted 3 cups milk chocolate chips (18 oz) 4 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows 1. Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, stir together cookie mix and crumbs. Stir in melted butter until soft dough forms. Press into ungreased 13x9-inch pan. 2. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until set. 
3. Immediately sprinkle chocolate chips over crust. Let stand 3 to 5 minutes or until chocolate begins to melt. Spread chocolate evenly over crust.
3. Set oven control to broil. Sprinkle marshmallows over melted chocolate. Broil with top 4 to 5 inches from heat 20 to 30 seconds or until marshmallows are toasted. (Watch closely; marshmallows will brown quickly.) Cool 10 minutes. For bars, cut into 6 rows by 4 rows. Serve warm. Store any remaining bars tightly covered.
These were pretty delicious although I have a few complaints. I wish the crust was a little more "graham crackery". The next time I make them I will probably try a different graham cracker crust. Also, it said to serve warm but when it is warm it does not come out in "bar" form like the pretty picture all the way at the top. It actually comes out more like this:
Overall, for my first recipe I think it was a success. They are kind of messy and hard to serve if you are having a party or something. But they are very yummy so I would suggest that anyone who loves them some s'mores should try them!

Maui's Dog House- Wildwood, NJ

I'm not usually a big fan of hot dogs, but the hot dogs at Maui's Dog House in Wildwood, NJ were definitely amazing. I heard about this place on one of my all-time favorite TV shows...Diner's, Drive-ins, and Dives. Guy Fieri is my hero. I can go on all day how much I love Guy Fieri, but enough about that let's talk about these hot dogs.  
Maui's Hot Dogs features 23 different gourmet hot dogs. It was a tough decision due to the fact that every hot dog on their menu sounds amazing, but I decided to go for the "Smokin' Cheesy Drunk" which is a traditional German frank, spicy mustard, beer soaked sour kraut, cheddar cheese, and bacon. The hot dog even comes served in a dog bowl. It was delicious!
Some of the other hot dogs I would like to try on future trips (or all in one shot lol) to Maui's are: The "Soprano"- Traditional German frank, baby spinach sauteed with garlic and white wine, topped with extra sharp provolone cheese. Forget- About- It- Traditional German frank, spicy ground beef chili, raw onion, spicy mustard, globs of cheese, and freshly cooked bacon. Horsey In Chicago- Traditional German frank, Horsey Mustard, Raw Onions, Pickles, Hot peppers, Tomatoes, and Celery Salt. And of course your meal is not complete without a side of "Salty Balls", which are fresh small potatoes cooked in a brine of salt and spices, served with melted butter. I almost enjoyed these more than the hot dog. Almost.... 
So, if you are planning a trip down the Jersey Shore, I would highly recommend making a stop at Maui's Hot Dogs. You won't be disappointed!
I don't know who this guy is. Thought he was the owner but apparently he just works there. Still a cool guy though :)

I Effing Love S'mores

Today, I would like to discuss the awesomeness of S'mores. Who DOESN'T like S'mores?! If I could meet one person in the entire world, it would be whoever thought of taking graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows and melting them together to create the most amazing snack/dessert of all time. Whether they are roasted over a campfire or simply melted in the microwave, I could eat endless amounts of S'mores per day and never get sick of them. I firmly believe that the person that came up with this concept is a genius.  
On a slightly different note: I am very disappointed in "Hershey" for discontinuing the best chocolate bar they ever made. Although it was discontinued several years ago, I am still deeply saddened by it's disappearance. RIP Hershey's S'mores Bar...

Oatmeal Creme Pies. Enough said.

I just rediscovered these amazingly awesome treats......Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies! There are some imposters out if you're going to pick some up at the store make sure you get Little Debbie. SO ADDICTING!
Being the Closet Fat Chick that I am.....I really think it is possible to eat an entire box of these in one night. I hide them away from myself in my pantry for that exact reason :)
And just when you thought it couldn't get any better...........they make DOUBLE DECKERS! Seriously?!?! ARE THESE FOR REAL?!?! I need to get me some of these ASAP!

Hostess Sno Balls- Little Pillows of Happiness

One thing in this world that I really LOVE are Hostess Sno Balls. These coconut covered marshmallows with cream filled chocolate cake inside are like little fluffy pillows of happiness. Who wouldn't love a combination of such deliciousness?  
My favorite thing about Sno Balls (besides the yumminess) is that they come in all different colors. My favorite of course are the pink ones...obviously. During Halloween they sell them in orange. During St. Patty's day they sell them in green, and I even saw them in bright blue....not really sure what that was for. And of course there's the traditional white ones.  
I found a recipe for a giant "Sno Ball" cake. I am going to attempt to bake this at some point in my life and will keep you posted with the results. Keep in mind, I pretty much suck at baking but I will give it my best shot. yourself a favor and head to the grocery store, 7-11, Quick Check, or any gas station with a convenience store and buy yourself some Sno Balls. You won't be disappointed.

Pork Roll- Its Jerseylicious!

For those of you that don't live in New Jersey, you are probably not aware of one of the best creations on earth....PORK ROLL! I'm not even exactly sure what pork roll is. I know that it was made some time in the 19th century by someone named John Taylor from Trenton, NJ, which is why it is also known as "Taylor Ham". Pork Roll is typically only found in New Jersey, which is one of the only 3 things that I actually like about New Jersey. First thing I like about New Jersey is diners. Second, is boardwalk food. Third, is pork roll. That is pretty much it :)  
Pork Roll, Egg, Cheese, Salt, Pepper, & Ketchup on a roll....that's the only way to do it ladies and gentleman. It is pretty much one of my top 5 favorite things to eat for breakfast. If you live in the area, head on over to the Woodbridge Deli. They make some goooood ones! Visit their site
 So, there you have it friends...if you ever visit New Jersey, be sure to have some pork roll. If you already live in New Jersey, you should feel proud that this greasy, fattening, delicious piece of meat can't be found anywhere else in the country. Lucky us!

My Top Five Favorite Road Trip Foods!

One of my favorite things about road trips is stocking up on lots of delicious snacks to take along for the ride and/or stopping somewhere along the way for a yummy meal. Here you will find a list of my top five favorite foods to eat on a road trip. You're welcome.

1. Sno Balls- Little pillows of happiness! (Only the pink ones)
2. M&M's (Any kind works...but I prefer peanut!)
3. Pringles- Classic duck lips picture below.
Heading south???
4. Waffle House- The classiest waffle joint you will ever come across.
5. Cracker Barrel- If it ain't fried it ain't cooked! I love me some chicken fried chicken, chicken and dumplings, pecan pie, and a giant glass of sweet tea.

English Muffins? Who knew?

Never in a million years would I have thought that English muffins can be so amazing. Don't get me wrong, I do love the occasional Thomas English Muffin, but these English muffins are no comparison to Thomas'. My family received a lovely Harry and David gift basket containing 2 packs of Wolferman's Signature English Muffins. If I wasn't afraid of gaining 50lbs I would be eating them with every meal with the occasional snack in between!
The first thing that makes Wolferman's Signature English Muffins so amazing is that they are about 3 inches thicker than the traditional Thomas English Muffin. Put it this way....compared to Wolferman's...Thomas English muffins look like they were stepped on and then run over by a mac truck. Another thing that makes these so amazing is that they come in a variety of flavors such as San Francisco Sour Dough, Cheddar Cheese, Pumpkin Spice, Cinnamon Raisin, Chocolate Chip, and many other forms of deliciousness. They even come in miniature size for those of you who like to watch your waist line. So cute! I did some research and found that these English muffins are not only available at Harry and David, they are also available at You can create a custom package with a variety of flavors and even choose from an assortment of jams to compliment your muffins! Love it! 
In conclusion, I would like to thank Wolferman's for introducing me to another piece of deliciousness to tempt me away from following my diet.

Best Brownie of My Life


The best brownie I ever had in my entire life is from Artisserie Bakery in Hamilton, NJ. I've never been to the actual bakery. They randomly show up at work selling delicious goodies and trying to make me fat almost every week.

Inside the delicious chocolate coating is a chewy fudgy amazing chunk of heaven. It is literally the best brownie ever. If anyone thinks they can challenge this I will gladly accept other brownies for a taste test!