The Baker Upstairs: February 2022

2.27.2022

10 Delicious Cake Recipes

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10 delicious cake recipes - These delightful cakes are perfect for any birthday or special occasion!
10 delicious cake recipes - These delightful cakes are perfect for any birthday or special occasion! One of my favorite family traditions is making a homemade birthday cake for my kids and husband each year for their birthday. They request different flavors and types of cake, and I do my best to deliver.  I'm sharing some of our favorite cake recipes below, perfect for any celebration!

These birthday cake waffles are so delicious, easy to make, and perfect for a special birthday breakfast!
10 delicious cake recipes - These delightful cakes are perfect for any birthday or special occasion!
This fun and whimsical chocolate donut birthday cake is so delicious and indulgent!
10 delicious cake recipes - These delightful cakes are perfect for any birthday or special occasion!
This chocolate peanut butter cake is so luscious and decadent, with the perfect combination of flavors!
10 delicious cake recipes - These delightful cakes are perfect for any birthday or special occasion!
This delicious chocolate chip cookie cake is so easy to make, and perfect for any occasion!
10 delicious cake recipes - These delightful cakes are perfect for any birthday or special occasion!
This luscious and decadent flourless chocolate cake is as simple as it is delicious!
10 delicious cake recipes - These delightful cakes are perfect for any birthday or special occasion!
This giant donut cake is super easy to make, and so fun, too! Perfect for birthdays and special occasions!
10 delicious cake recipes - These delightful cakes are perfect for any birthday or special occasion!
 
This lemon cream cheese coffee cake is so tender and flavorful, and perfect for breakfast, dessert, or entertaining!
10 delicious cake recipes - These delightful cakes are perfect for any birthday or special occasion!
This six layer rainbow cake is colorful way to brighten up your birthday!
10 delicious cake recipes - These delightful cakes are perfect for any birthday or special occasion!
This gorgeous raspberry lemon cake has the most delicious combination of flavors. It's fresh and light, and perfect for spring!
10 delicious cake recipes - These delightful cakes are perfect for any birthday or special occasion!
This cake recipe is so simple and easy, and perfect for a birthday party!
10 delicious cake recipes - These delightful cakes are perfect for any birthday or special occasion!

2.13.2022

11 Creamy Pasta Recipes

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11 Creamy Pasta Recipes - These pasta recipes are creamy and simple, perfect for lunch and dinner!
11 Creamy Pasta Recipes - These pasta recipes are creamy and simple, perfect for lunch and dinner!
Pasta seems to be a perennial favorite with everyone around here, so I have a wide variety of delicious pasta recipes that I make regularly. There are so many different varieties of pasta shapes and sauces, and they're all delicious! I'm sharing some of my favorite creamy pasta recipes with you to give you a little dinner inspiration!

Creamy baked shells and cheese - so easy to make and the perfect comfort food recipe!
11 Creamy Pasta Recipes - These pasta recipes are creamy and simple, perfect for lunch and dinner!
The Best Lasagna
This delicious lasagna is truly the best! The recipe makes two pans, so it's easy to bake one and put another in the freezer for later!
11 Creamy Pasta Recipes - These pasta recipes are creamy and simple, perfect for lunch and dinner!
Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Pasta
This cheesy chicken and broccoli pasta is delicious and so creamy!
11 Creamy Pasta Recipes - These pasta recipes are creamy and simple, perfect for lunch and dinner!
Chicken Asparagus Pasta
This flavorful and delicious chicken and asparagus pasta is the perfect light dinner or lunch for a busy day!
11 Creamy Pasta Recipes - These pasta recipes are creamy and simple, perfect for lunch and dinner!
Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad
This delicious and zesty chicken caesar pasta salad is quick and easy to make, and perfect for a light summer meal!
11 Creamy Pasta Recipes - These pasta recipes are creamy and simple, perfect for lunch and dinner!
Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta
This cheesy and delicious chicken cordon bleu pasta is so flavorful, and so easy to make!
11 Creamy Pasta Recipes - These pasta recipes are creamy and simple, perfect for lunch and dinner!
Farfalle with Zucchini
This farfalle with zucchini is delicious and light, filled with healthy vegetables!
11 Creamy Pasta Recipes - These pasta recipes are creamy and simple, perfect for lunch and dinner!
Garlic Parmesan Chicken Penne Pasta
This garlic parmesan chicken penne pasta is quick and creamy, and so delicious!
11 Creamy Pasta Recipes - These pasta recipes are creamy and simple, perfect for lunch and dinner!
Linguine with Clam Sauce
This linguine with clam sauce is simple and quick, and so creamy!
11 Creamy Pasta Recipes - These pasta recipes are creamy and simple, perfect for lunch and dinner!
Creamy Pumpkin Shells and Cheese
This creamy pumpkin shells and cheese pasta is the perfect fall meal and so delicious!
11 Creamy Pasta Recipes - These pasta recipes are creamy and simple, perfect for lunch and dinner!
Cheesy Taco Pasta
This cheesy taco pasta is so easy and totally tasty!
11 Creamy Pasta Recipes - These pasta recipes are creamy and simple, perfect for lunch and dinner!

2.07.2022

Instant Pot Clam Chowder

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This instant pot clam chowder is so thick and creamy, and full of flavor! It's totally delicious comfort food!  
This instant pot clam chowder is so thick and creamy, and full of flavor! It's totally delicious comfort food!
Since moving close to the Oregon Coast, clam chowder has definitely become a staple in my family's diet. We know all the best clam chowder spots to hit up along the coast, but sometimes I don't have the time or energy to drive 90 minutes to the coast just for a cup of chowder. I've been working on perfecting my own clam chowder recipe that I can make at home, and I think I've finally done it! This instant pot clam chowder is truly one of the best clam chowders I've ever eaten. It's thick and creamy, but still feels light. It's full of flavor without being fishy or overwhelming. It's loaded with chunks of tender potatoes, clams, and bacon. What more could you ask for in a chowder?
This instant pot clam chowder is so thick and creamy, and full of flavor! It's totally delicious comfort food!
I have a stovetop version of this chowder that is also completely delicious (and feel free to use that one if you don't have an Instant Pot!) but I made a few little tweaks to the recipe make it even more perfect. I love using the Instant Pot because I can just get dinner going and then take care of all of the chaos around me without needing to remember to stir or turn down the heat or whatever. Plus, if I forget about it or get distracted doing something else, it will just sit there and stay warm until I'm ready to take care of it. It's a lifesaver!

My family insists that I make these cheese biscuits every time I make clam chowder, and they complement each other perfectly. With some fresh fruit on the side, it's the perfect comfort food meal!
This instant pot clam chowder is so thick and creamy, and full of flavor! It's totally delicious comfort food!
Instant Pot Clam Chowder

for the soup:
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 teaspoons garlic
4 slices thick cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
4-5 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3 (6.5 ounce) cans clams
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning

for the roux:
4 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup flour
1 cup half and half
1 cup milk

Add the butter to the instant pot insert and heat on saute mode until melted. Add the celery, onion, and garlic to the pot, and cook 3-4 minutes, until the onions and celery are softened. Add the bacon, potatoes, clams (with the clam juice), chicken broth, pepper, salt, and Old Bay seasoning to the pot. Put the lid on the pot, turn the knob to seal, and cook at high pressure for 20 minutes. Let the pressure naturallly release for 10 minutes, then quick release the remaining pressure. While the pressure is releasing, make the roux by melting the butter in a small saucepan. Stir in the flour to form a paste. Cook 3-4 minutes, until golden. Slowly stir in the half and half and milk, and cook until thickened. Stir the roux into the clam chowder and mix until blended. Serve hot, topped with oyster crackers.
This instant pot clam chowder is so thick and creamy, and full of flavor! It's totally delicious comfort food!

2.05.2022

Chocolate Covered Cinnamon Bears

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These delicious chocolate covered cinnamon bears are a fun and festive treat, and so easy to make!
These delicious chocolate covered cinnamon bears are a fun and festive treat, and so easy to make!
I'm so glad it's February! It's my favorite month because not only is it my birth month, it's also the month of Valentine's Day (my favorite holiday!). We don't usually do anything too romantic as a couple, but I always make a fun Valentine's breakfast (sometimes breakfast for dinner) for the family, and all of the pink, red, and chocolatey treats we can eat!

Chocolate covered cinnamon bears are one of my favorite treats, but I can rarely find them in the store here in Oregon. I don't know if they're mostly just a Utah thing, or what? They're so easy to make at home that I can just whip up a batch whenever the craving strikes. Since they're so simple (only two ingredients, plus whatever decoration you want to add) I would advise using a good quality chocolate for dipping. I love Guittard chocolate wafers, but I've also used the Pound Plus chocolate from Trader Joe's and had good results. Really, whatever chocolate you like will work great, as long as it tastes good! For the cinnamon bears themselves, I like Sweets brand, but you can use whatever you like.
These delicious chocolate covered cinnamon bears are a fun and festive treat, and so easy to make!
If you haven't done a lot of chocolate dipping before, the key is to melt the chocolate slowly, stirring it pretty constantly, and be careful not to overheat it. It's really easy to burn the chocolate or heat it to the point that it seizes and is totally unusable. I like using a double boiler on low heat. If you don't have a double boiler, you could place a metal bowl over a pot and it will work just as well. Just be patient! If you're dipping the cinnamon bears and your chocolate starts to cool down and harden, you can gently heat it up again in the double boiler. I decorated some of the bears with sprinkles, and drizzled some white chocolate over the top of others. They turned out so cute and festive!
These delicious chocolate covered cinnamon bears are a fun and festive treat, and so easy to make!
Chocolate Covered Cinnamon Bears

1 pound cinnamon bears
8 ounces milk chocolate melting wafers (I used Guittard A'Peels)
optional: sprinkles, contrasting colors of melting wafers for decoration

Line a baking sheet with parchment or silicone. Add the milk chocolate to a double boiler over low heat, and melt, stirring frequently to prevent overheating. (Alternatively, you can add the chocolate to a microwave-safe bowl and heat at 50% power for 30 second intervals, stirring in between.) Drop the cinnamon bears into the melted chocolate, turning to coat all sides. Lift the cinnamon bears with a fork, tapping gently to let the excess chocolate drip off, then place on the prepared baking sheet. Add sprinkles immediately, or let the chocolate set, then drizzle with a contrasting color. Let set completely. 
These delicious chocolate covered cinnamon bears are a fun and festive treat, and so easy to make!
If you're looking for some other fantastic Valentine's Day treats, be sure to check out the posts below: