We had such a great weekend it's hard for me to even think about it without getting all verklempt! First, The Girl and Baby Elsa arrived!! Sadly, no Max, he stayed at home with his dad, and I missed him terribly! It was so nice to have The Girl here and little 10-month old Elsa, she is just the most amazing little thing...sweet as a sugar pie and then some!
Below is a pic of one of the few times Elsa was not smiling - she was tired, and tired of Gramma - she wanted her mommy! I hurried and put her in the stroller and got her outside, trying to keep her happy...and then it rained! Luckily, her mom drove up just as the drops started to fall...and Elsa was all smiles again!
The Girl was here working, she had several photo sessions, so while she was off doing her thing, I had Elsa all to myself...what a treat! Elsa is a heart-melter - that's all I can say! Having them here would have been enough, I tell you, enough! But then...after years and years of hearing about it, years of reading rave reviews, years of wondering what all the hub-bub was about...the mister and I went to the theater Saturday night (I know! Two weekends in a row to the theater!) and we saw WICKED!!!
Oh. My. Gosh. Hold the clock tick...WICKED was SO good. SO fun. SO fabulous! Toss-Toss! I loved every single second! NOW I get it! Now I know why it's so popular! But wait, there's more! Before we went to the play, the mister and I had dinner at a little place I had read about, and it's located just a block from the Paramount at 8th and Pine...Dragonfish. It's a Pan Asian restaurant and we stuffed ourselves with the most amazing food...and then the bill came - what a shocker...ONLY $36.00!!! This place is such a bargain for what you get - IF you haven't been there - GO! And when you do, make sure you try the tempura fried peppered bacon (sigh!), or the crab cakes or Caramel-Gingered-Chicken...AahMazing!! We also had the Vietnamese lettuce wraps and Saigon rice - everything is appetizer size and is meant to be shared - and everything is just so good! Seriously go and tell them Nan sent you!
Now, how do you top a visit from the most beautiful baby in the world, WICKED and an amazing dinner out? With this dessert. It's not just hype - or even Pinterest hype - which is where I first saw this recipe...it's the real deal...let me tell you in three words why you should believe me...
Paula Buttah Dean. As you gaze at the picture below, let's have a moment of silence, shall we?
This is one of those recipes that after reading, you'll think, "There is no way this can be good!" Which is what I thought...yet there were all those reviews...dozens and dozens of great reviews....and after reading them all, I went to the source - to Paula Deen herself, and read what she had to say...then I was convinced...if Paula says this is a must, then who am I to disagree?!? And Paula is right...this is SO good - good enough that it's already been put on our 2012 Thanksgiving dessert list!! It's pumpkin pie meets butter cake...it's dang good my friends, dang good!
Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake - From Paula Deen
1 (18 1/4-oz.) package yellow cake mix
1 stick butter, melted
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 stick butter, melted
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the cake mix, egg, and butter and mix well with an electric mixer. Pat the mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 13x9-inch pan (I used a 10-inch, deep-dish pie pan and I had to bake it longer.)
To make the filling: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla, and butter, and beat together. Next, add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and mix well. Spread pumpkin mixture over cake batter and bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Make sure not to over bake as the center should be a little gooey. (I baked the 10-inch pie pan for an hour and a half. The center should be set, not jiggly, but still soft.)
Serve with a sprinkling of powdered sugar or whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. If you make this in a 9x13-inch pan, cut them into squares. This is a very, very rich dessert, so small squares would be just fine...and if you bake it in a pie pan, cut small wedges. Serves 16 in a 9x13 and 12 in a 10-inch pie pan.