Pina Colada Cake

National Pina Colada Day is July 10th, and you can have your drink and eat it too.  Nothing says summertime like a tiki cocktail, and when you turn those flavors into a boozy cake, it is pretty much a guaranteed baking win.  This cake is packed full of coconut and pineapple in various forms and has rum in the cake, frosting and layering components.  The perfect balance of creaminess, fruitiness and rum-ness.  Hello summer!

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Banana Cheesecake with Gooey Peanut Crust

 

If I had to pick one food to represent my childhood summer experience, it would have to be Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwiches.  I remember one summer spent riding my bicycle to a friend’s house, playing in his creek and eating peanut butter sandwiches just about every single day!  If we found ourselves at my Grandmother’s house, another ingredient would be added to this simple fare…..mayonnaise.  Please tell me I am not the only one who has consumed a peanut butter, banana and mayonnaise sandwich?!  My Grandma would say that the mayo helped to prevent the peanut butter from sticking to the roof of your mouth though I didn’t mind the stickiness and would have preferred to go without the mayo. Ugh!  Don’t worry, there is no mayonnaise in today’s recipe.  With that said, I set out this summer to recreate the flavors of my childhood by creating a cool, creamy, simple cheesecake recipe.

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Spiced Stout Cupcakes with Malted Cream Cheese Frosting

I live in a college town and that means when St. Patrick’s Day rolls around everywhere you look there are pub runs, pub crawls, and bars opening ridiculously early (like I’m still sleeping early).  I’m not sure how a religious feast day celebrating Ireland’s patron saint turned into a day of drinking massive amounts of beer and wearing green; but I’ll happily raise a pint to anyone who can drive snakes out of a country!  Yes, I know that is actually a myth.  While I do love a good beer, I also really enjoy baking with beer.  I have been loving a spiced stout produced by a local brewery, 7 Sisters Brewing, and I decided to make a St. Patrick’s Day worthy dessert out of it.  Unlike a regular stout such as Guinness, a spiced stout is like a grown-up version of root beer, full of delicious spice and a touch of sweetness.

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