Skye’s Perfect Carrot Sheet Cake with Whipped Cream Cheese Icing

Carrots and cake are the perfect combination and will ease your conscience about eating sweets. I mean, carrots are a vegetable and vegetables are good for you, right?! 


I am skilled as all get out when it comes to baking and if I wasn’t an author, I’d probably have a coffee shop/ bakery. 
Since I am an author though and I produce books so quickly, my baking is saved for my family and friends. 

This recipe was concocted by me after combining and tweaking several other recipes and to me… this is the PERFECT cake. The carrots and walnuts give great texture to the moist cake and whipping the icing so it’s, oh so, fluffy… simply perfection. 

You could obviously make this into a layered cake, but why would you when sheet cakes are SO easy?! 

Without further adieu… here we go. 

Ingredients: 

3 cups of finely grated carrot

2 cups all purpose flour

2 cups sugar

4 large eggs

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup applesauce

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp cinnamon

2/3 cup of chopped or whole walnuts

splash of almond extract (literally a tiny splash)
DIRECTIONS

Spray or flour a 9 x 13 baking pan and set aside. (I use Baker’s Joy)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sift the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt into a large bowl.

In a separate large bowl beat the eggs, oil, and applesauce for 1 minute. Until combined and it starts to fluff up.

Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Add the vanilla and almond extract and beat until incorporated. 

Fold the grated carrots into the egg mixture.

Fold half the flour mixture into the egg mixture until combined.

Fold remaining flour in.

Beat batter for 1 minute. Until your batter is smooth, creamy, and fluffy.

Gently fold in walnuts. 

Pour into a prepared 9 x 13 baking pan.

Bake for 25-35 minute or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Allow to cool completely and frost with icing below.

Cream Cheese Frosting

16 oz. cream cheese, room temperature 

2 sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature

3 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups powdered sugar

½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Directions:

Beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla extract together until they are fully incorporated. No lumps. 

Add the powdered sugar and mix until combined. Beat until smooth and creamy, 1-2 minutes. 

Frost the entire cake with the whipped icing. If you would like, sprinkle additional chopped walnuts on top. 

ENJOY! And prepare to see it vanish! 


As always, if you make it and you love it, let me know! 

Enjoy the chaos, because everything else is boring! 

Cut-Out Sugar Cookies and Royal Icing

It’s CHRISTMAS, y’all! Santa comes tomorrow night and we celebrate the birth of Jesus. 

If you have little ones, like we do, they love the holiday season and one of our favorite traditions is making and decorating sugar cookies. 


We actually talk about the reason for the season while we make, bake, and decorate. Christmas movies are usually playing in the background and an occasional carol is sporadically sung. 

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. 

This is a virtually foolproof recipe for cut out sugar cookies. Though, make sure to have pretty precise measurements. 

They will spread very little with NO refrigeration. 

In other words, you can make your dough, roll out and cut your cookies, and pop them right into the oven. 

Make your icing while they bake and as soon as they cool, you can get started with your decorating! 

Cutout Sugar Cookies
Yield: approximately 20 large cutout cookies or 30-40 small to medium cutout cookies

Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (softened)
1 cup  sugar

1 egg

1.5 tsp  vanilla extract

2 cups flour (do not pack it. Loosely scoop)

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp baking powder
Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with a silicone baking mat (my recommendation) or parchment paper.

2. Cream butter and sugar together  until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.

3. Add egg and vanilla and mix until combined.

4. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then add to wet ingredients (a little at a time) and mix well. Dough will be very thick and crumbly. Use your hands to help mix it together.


4. Divide your dough into roughly 2 equal parts. On parchment paper, dust lightly with flour and  roll dough to about 1/8 to a 1/4 inch. If dough sticks to rolling pin, lightly sprinkle the ROLLING PIN with flour.

5. Use cookie cutters to cut out your shapes, then transfer to non stick cookie sheet.

6. Bake cookies 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven just as they brown on the edges.

7. Allow cookies to cool for 15-20 minutes, then once cool, DECORATE! We prefer Royal Icing 


Royal Icing Recipe: 

Ingredients:

4 cups powdered Sugar

3TB Meringue Powder

5-6TB Cold Water

Food coloring OR Gel Food Dye

Directions: 

Add your powdered sugar and meringue powder to a deep mixing bowl. Slowly add water 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing well. 

You want your icing thick enough that when the icing falls back into the bowl, it takes a few seconds to level out. 

Once you have your icing the right consistency, separate it into smaller bowls to cover all of your icing colors. Add dye and stir until incorporated and desired color is achieved. 

Use squeeze bottles or Ziplock bags for each color. If using Ziplock bags, snip the corner off just a smidge after sealing and you have a piping bag! 

*We use squeeze bottles because they’re perfect for the littles. 

Then… grab everything and sprinkkes and get to work! 

Enjoy! 

MERRY CHRISTMAS


 

Pumpkin Chili & Pumpkin Cornbread

It’s NOVEMBER 1st, y’all! 

That means it’s “officially” holiday season around my home. Though, the 86 degree temps haven’t received the memo. 

I am a huge fan of pumpkin, so I decided to try a new recipe today… Pumpkin Chili. 


I have never made it before and I can’t follow a recipe to save my life, so as per my norm, I used several recipes and kind of created my own. 

I used lean ground turkey, 3 types of beans, and of course pumpkin. But, pumpkin pie is sweet so I just had to add some sweetness to my recipe.

My house smelled amazing all day and my kids both ate 2 bowls. I think it’s a hit!

Ingredients: 

2lbs Lean Ground Turkey

1 medium onion, chopped small

2/ 15oz cans of seasoned black beans (I used Trappey’s)

1/ 15oz can seasoned kidney beans (I used Trappey’s)

1/ 15oz can seasoned Pinto beans (I used Trappey’s)

1- LARGE can of pumpkin (28 oz)

1- small can of diced tomatoes with mild green chilies (I used Rotel) 

3TB ChiliPowder

1.5TB Pumpkin Pie Spice

3/4 cup brown sugar

Salt to taste

Shredded cheese- optional

Sour Cream- optional 

Directions:

Brown your turkey and onion in a skillet until cooked through. (I sprinkled a dash of both chili powder AND pumpkin pie spice in the mixture to cook.)

Dump meat and onions into a large Crock Pot (or deep pot on the stove). 

Add all other ingredients (except cheese and sour cream) and stir well. 

Set Crock Pot on low and cook for 8 hours or High and cook for 3 hours OR set stove burner on low and cook all day. Stir regularly on the stove.

To serve, stir well and top with cheese and/or sour cream if you’d like!

ENJOY! 

I also made Mini Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins. 


Delicious!!

Ingredients: 

2- small  box Cornbread Mix (Jiffy is what we use)

1/ 15oz can of pumpkin 

1tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice

3/4-1 cup water

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375. 

Mix cornbread mix, pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, and 1/2 cup water. Add more water if needed. You want the mixture incorporated, but not soupy. 

Spoon muffin mixture into lightly sprayed muffin tins or pan. Cook 16-25 minutes, depending on size of pans. 

Serve warm with butter or honey butter! 

So amazing! 

 

Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Brownies

Today I decided was the perfect day to decorate for Fall (even though it was 90 degrees in Louisiana.)

Technically it was Fall on Thursday, but Louisiana missed that memo. Hell, we miss a lot of weather memos unless they involve rain or heat or both. Lol. 

Anyways, I decided to decorate my mantle and fireplace (you know since we need it when it’s sweltering outside and walking to the mailbox causes you to sweat.). 

Here’s my scaled down decorations, but I like them! 

Fall is my favorite season. 

And since my house is now ready for Fall, even if the temperature is not, I thought… what can I bake?!

Answer… 

Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Brownies

Mmmmmmm. 

Pumpkin Pie Spice, Cheesecake, AND Chocolate, well, that cannot possibly be bad. 

I scrounged around and saw I had all ingredients so I got to work. 

Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Brownies

Brownie Ingredients (you can also use box mix instead. I won’t tell.):

1 1/2 cups Sugar

3/4 cup Flour

1/2 cup Cocoa Powder

1/2 tsp Baking Powder

1/4 tsp Salt

1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

3 Eggs

3/4 cup Vegetable Oil

Cheesecake Ingredients:

8 ounces Cream Cheese, softened to room temperature

1/3 cup Sugar

1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

1 Egg

1/2tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Grease an 9×9 baking dish. (I use cooking coconut cooking spray)

In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients until mixed.

Add wet ingredients and mixed until completely combined. Do not beat. You just want to combine them.

Pour the batter into the greased baking dish. Spread evenly. 

In a separate bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar until combined and smooth.

Add the vanilla extract, egg, and pumpkin pie spice. Beat again until well combined.

Spoon cream cheese mixture over the brownie batter.

 Use a toothpick to create swirl both patterns to your desired design.

Bake for approximately 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Allow to cool for 15-20 minutes. Cut into squares. 


Grab a cup of coffee (or milk) and ENJOY! 

Skye’s Show Stopping Guacamole

If you’re like me, you love avacados. I could eat them plain (and do quite regularly.) I slice them and add them to sandwiches and salads. But my absolute favorite is guacamole! 
Today, after punishing my kids and making them clean (I know, horrible mother. At least they thought so. I mean, how dare I make them clean the house when the sun was out and it was a gorgeous day! My 8 year old diva’s words.), I DID let them go outside and then we came in and made guacamole as a snack.  

It was a hit and we, of course, made a giant batch, but that means more for me later when I watch some Netflix after their bedtime!

Here’s my recipe: 

  

Ingredients: 

5 good sized RIPE avacados, diced

1 small purple onion, finely chopped

2 TB Lemon OR lime juice (fresh is best, but in a pinch, use bottled)

1 TB garlic powder

1 TSP dried Chipoltle (skip if you don’t care for it)

1 TB chopped fresh cilantro (1/2 TB dried)

Sea salt to taste. 

Fresh ground pepper to taste

***No one in my house cares for tomatoes, so I do NOT add them, but if you like them, finely chop a small Roma or whatever you like and add them.

Diced avacado (The diva wanted to point them out.) 

Directions: 

Dice avacados and chop onions. Add them to a large bowl. 

Add other ingredients. Stir, stir, stir. 

Taste. 

Adjust salt and pepper to your liking. 

***We like chunky avacados, so I do not really mash them, but if you like smooth and creamy guacamole, mash away. 

Can serve immediately or refrigerate overnight for the flavors to meld together. 

*Bet you can’t wait to devour it. It’s really THAT good. 

Enjoy! 

 Before stirring. 

Homemade OREO Butter

Are you a fan of Oreo cookies?! Would you like to be able to spread Oreos on fruit, bread, or literally anything else?

Now you can with my super easy and delicious Oreo Butter. 

It’s very easy to make and comes together pretty quickly. It’s perfect for parties or gift giving or really any time you want a sweet treat. 

  
Oreo Butter (Homemade) 

 

Makes: 1 jar/ container
Ingredients: 

2 ½ cups finely crushed Oreos (2 packs of Oreos with the filling removed)

½ stick melted salted butter (cooled)

½ cup evaporated milk 
Directions: 

With food processor pulse your cookies until finely crumbled (if you do NOT have a food processor, you can use a Ziplock bag and a wooden rolling pin. Just crush the cookies with the pin inside of the closed and sealed bag. You will need to do it multiple times to get it fine enough.)
In large bowl, stir in melted butter and evaporated milk until combined.

*If butter is too thin, add more cookie crumbs to thicken.

*Can store in a jar or container up to 6 weeks. 

*MUST be refrigerated to store. 
Serve with graham crackers, sliced fruit, bread, cookies, or cheese.
Tips:

*Allow to come to room temperature after refrigeration before eating.

*You can substitute whole milk for evaporated milk

*For vegan or dairy free Oreo butter, sub any nut milk or coconut milk. 

ENJOY! 

As always if you try it and you love it, let me know and be certain to share the recipe with your friends! 

Always embrace the chaos because everything else is boring! 

The Day I Finally Felt Like an “Author.” RELEASE WEEK: ALLURING SURRENDER: DAY 4.

Skye Turner~ Author

The Day I Finally “Felt” Like I Was an Author
By: Author Skye Turner

About seventeen months ago, I started on this journey called self-publishing. One day in the summer of 2013, while my husband was offshore and my kids were running around my house like crazy little people, I sat at my laptop and decided to get the ideas that were living in my head… out.

I wrote like a person possessed that day. I think I wrote something like nine thousand words. It was like now that I was finally allowing the voices in my head to talk, they had so much to say.

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