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Mealtime Makeovers...Tropical roots PDF Print E-mail

As some of you may know, my roots lie in Florida. Meaning that my biological mother, father and siblings are all from Florida. 

In April of 2006 I, along with the baby in my belly, traveled to Florida to meet the rest of my biological family. One evening we went to dinner at a seafood restaurant and for dessert we ordered key lime pie. I had never eaten key lime pie, nor did I ever actually plan on it.

My mom made me take the first bite and it was one of those completely embarrassing moments when all eyes were on me! It was okay but I was not near as excited as they were about it.

What is amazing to me though, is that soon after my return to Nebraska, I was craving this strangely green, tart delight. I am not saying it is my first choice of dessert, but every once in a while I consider it a treat to have.

Food triggers so many memories for me, things come to mind that I would never have thought to remember, all on account of a few taste buds flaring.

So tapping in to my Florida roots, here is a little twist on the key lime dessert.


Key Lime Poke Cake



1 box white cake mix

1 1/4  cups water

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

4 eggs

Key Lime Filling

1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)

3/4  cup whipping cream

1/2  cup key lime juice or regular lime juice

1 teaspoon grated lime peel

4 drops yellow food color 

1 drop green food color


1 container (12 oz) whipped vanilla frosting

2 teaspoons grated lime peel


Heat oven to 350°F for shiny metal or glass pan. Spray bottom only of 13x9-inch pan with baking spray with flour.

In large bowl, beat cake ingredients with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes, then pour into pan.

Bake 26 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes. With handle of wooden spoon, poke holes almost to bottom of cake every 1/2 inch, wiping spoon handle occasionally to reduce sticking.

In medium bowl, stir together filling ingredients. Pour over cake; spread evenly over surface, working back and forth to fill holes. Some filling should remain on top of cake. Refrigerate 1 hour.

Spread frosting over cake; sprinkle with lime peel. Garnish with strawberries, lime slices and lemon leaves. Store loosely covered in refrigerator.