Happy Third Birthday!

Happy Birthday to my little guy.  It was three years ago today that you came into this world!

090811.2 3rd bday cake

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090811.12 3rd bday cake

 

I just used some frozen cookie dough from this batch of chocolate chip cookies and put them in a small pyrex dish; baked it for 20-25 minutes and voila: Mini Cookie Cake.

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No, I Haven’t Fallen Off The Face Of The Earth

I think I’ve started and re-started this post a bajillion times now. I’ve also been thinking alot about what type of blog I want to maintain. I don’t want separate ones for “me” and for food, especially now that they are more intertwined than before. I think my main problem is actually keeping up with it. I was doing well when I had a desk job. 😉 I could spend my “break time” online and working on posts. Now my break time consists of scarfing down some lunch and heading back into the kitchen. Which, I don’t mind, it just forces me to use some of my at home time on the computer.

I’ve actually been doing something these past few months, I promise. 🙂 Let’s see…since the last post Thanksgiving came and went. We visited my family in Kansas and I found out two of my girlfriends from back home, who are sisters, are both pregnant. We’re all about 4 weeks apart from each other! My mom told my sister not to drink the water. Haha!

Christmas came and went. I made a pumpkin cheesecake with an awesome graham cracker and pecan crust that I took to the in-laws. MC’s teachers received a tray full of goodies this year: red & green sprinkled sugar cookies, dark chocolate covered pretzels, chewy cocoa brownies, ginger molasses cookies and chocolate peanut butter squares. Man, when I was making those pb squares I just about licked the bowl clean they were so good!

There’s a lot that has happened in the past few months that I wanted to blog about, but never got around to. I quit my job at the “mass production” bakery and now work at a much smaller local bakery/cafe and I love it. I started working there about a week or so before Thanksgiving and I’m so glad I did. One day here is different than the next. I’m not baking up sheets and sheets and layers and layers of cakes every day. Some days I’m making pies, other days brownies, most days some sort of soup (for their lunch business), sometimes bundt cakes or muffins. Although, when Christmas rolled around, it was brownie central in there. They do a huge mail order business around Christmas. Everyone wants brownies shipped to friends, family and co-workers. I’m actually not a huge fan of their brownies. But I must say, the best way to eat these are frozen with ice cream. OMG! Baby Girl (BG) loves it too.

Speaking of BG…this girl moves around in utero way more than her brother did. At least from what I can remember. I’ve slept alot since then. 😉 But seriously. At 9pm all I want to do is sit on the couch and relax for a little bit. But, noooo…she wants to have a dance party in my belly!

And then there’s school. I completed my Basic Food Prep class with an A, but that was to be expected. We had an open book final, which I finished in 30 minutes, because I actually studied the guides, that the questions came directly from. So…yeah. Anyway. I’m hoping my Fundamentals of Baking class (5:30pm-10:00pm on Tuesday nights) is structured better and I that I learn more. Otherwise, I’m going to wait until they get their act together a little better. I’ve already talked to the instructor about possibly having to take the final early or late due to extenuating circumstances AKA giving birth. Heehee.

I don’t know if anyone is even still reading this blog, but if you are, thanks for sticking around. I promise to work on more content and I’m hoping that I’ll be able to at least do 1 or 2 posts a week. There are currently a couple rattling around in this noggin of mine. Be on the look out for some Buttermilk Waffles and Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies.

Happy Birthday Mister Cheeks!

And the search is over for now…

banana cupcakes w/white choco cc frost

My little guy turned two on Monday. I can’t believe it! It seems like just yesterday I was holding his skinny 5 pound body in my arms for the first time (he was 3 weeks early). He is just growing and learning and saying more and more every day. Yes, I lose my patience and yes, I get exasperated, but for the most part I think I’m doing alright by him. 🙂

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enjoying his cupcake. check out the frosting on his nose. adorable. 🙂

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and, this is how he got the frosting on his nose.

I decided on the banana cupcakes with white chocolate cream cheese frosting, with a few modifications. I quadrupled the recipe, and used 2 cups of whole wheat flour (I wanted to use white wheat, which I’ve seen recipes call for, but couldn’t find any in my store) and 4 cups of all purpose flour for the cupcakes. I also used butter and added the applesauce to the bananas instead of the butter/sugar mixture.  It helped with the consistency of the batter.  I personally could taste the whole wheat in the cupcakes, but they were still good.  One girl, an older sibling of one of MC’s friends, ate three (yes 3!) cupcakes.  And of course she’s active and skinny.  Darn that metabolism!

For the frosting, I only made one and a half batches (12 ounces white chocolate, 12 ounces cream cheese, 2 teaspoons of vanilla & 2-3 cups confectioners’ sugar) and it worked out perfectly.  I don’t like to use a ton of frosting on my cupcakes.

The cupcakes and the party were a hit.  I mean, how could the kids not have a good time here?

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party

Previous Posts
Search For The Ultimate Birthday Cupcake, Part 1
Search For The Ultimate Birthday Cupcake, Part 2
Search For The Ultimate Birthday Cupcake, Part 3
Search For The Ultimate Birthday Cupcake, Part 4

Ice Cream? Cupcake? Both!

ice cream cone cupakes

Ok, technically not both, but it’s a cupcake inside an ice cream cone. 🙂 I’m taking these fun treats to MC’s school for his birthday tomorrow.  His birthday’s Monday, but my family will still be here, so he won’t be going to school.  

If I and MC’s school were able to store them all, I would have put the ice cream on top of the cupcake and then frosted it. But, that wasn’t possible, so I just frosted them instead.  

I thought this was a pretty cute idea, not something you’d normally see.  But, apparently it’s pretty common.  Check out what I found on my box of ice cream cones:

ice cream cone cupakes

I was going for a “funfetti” type cake, but I didn’t want to use a cake mix. I looked around online and found a white cake recipe I could play with. I knew my frosting was going to be sweet, so I cut the amount of sugar in the cake recipe. I also had to use some margarine since I ran out of butter. The only issue I ran into was when I mixed in the sprinkles.  My batter had a blue tinge, but it still had the “confetti” look, whew.

ice cream cone cupakes
I actually cut the tops of the first batch, because I’d overfilled them – see the blueish hue?

I thought I’d try something different with the frosting, because um, remember I ran out of butter, and I didn’t want to go to the store. I used butter flavor shortening. I also thought maybe it’d stand up a little better and keep it’s shape until snack time tomorrow afternoon. 😛 I put sprinkles in the frosting, as well as on top. I think it turned out pretty good…kinda proud of myself.

ice cream cone cupakes

Confetti Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes
Adapted from Gourmet Magazine as found here
Yield: 24 ice cream cone cupcakes
Printable Recipe 

Ingredients:
8 tablespoons unsalted butter + 4 tablespoons margarine , softened
1 cup sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
6 large egg whites
¾ cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ cup sprinkles

Preheat to 350F. Stand ice cream cones up in muffin tins.
In a mixing bowl sift flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
In a measuring cup combine egg whites, milk and vanilla extract; set aside.

In a stand mixer, beat butter, margarine and sugar for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy.
Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter mixture then add half the milk mixture. Continue to alternate beginning and ending with flour mixture. Scrape the bowl and beater often. Gently fold in sprinkles.

Fill the cones ½ to 2/3 full of batter. Bake for 25-30, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool before frosting.

Confetti Frosting

Ingredients:
2/3 cup butter flavor shortening
2 to 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons heavy cream (or milk)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 cup sprinkles

In a stand mixer beat the shortening until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and heavy cream; beat until smooth. Mix in vanilla until combined. For a stiffer frosting add more confectioners’ sugar. For a thinner frosting add more heavy cream (or milk). Gently fold in the sprinkles and pipe or spread onto cooled cupcakes.

Slow Cooker Love – BBQ Chicken

This past week is catching up to me hard.  After work, I picked MC from school, came home and made a few sides to go with dinner.  By the time I was done, which wasn’t even 30 minutes, I was exhausted.  MC was whining about something, Hubby was on the couch with his ankle propped up and I just didn’t want to be doing whatever it was I was doing, anymore.  I sat down to eat and MC started sticking his fork in his ear, so I took it away, after I’d asked him three times to stop. Two straight minutes of “MY FORK! MY FORK!” while bawling.  I had to laugh or I would cry.  I finally turned to him and told him to stop crying and that it wasn’t necessary to yell and that isn’t how we ask for things.  Then I get a “Peese?” I gave him the fork back, but he still didn’t use it to eat anything…*sigh*

I left the dishes in the sink – didn’t even bother, because there were clean dishes in the dishwasher I didn’t want to put away. I barely finished MC’s bath – Hubby had to take over for a few minutes.  But, thank the lord MC fell asleep fast last night, or I might have run out of the house screaming.

We sat down to watch Superhero Movie and I promptly fell asleep about 45 minutes into it.  So, I can’t tell you whether or not you should watch it, since I didn’t really see all of it.  But, from the 45 minutes I did see, it’d probably be an “eh”.  It’s your usual spoof on the comic movies (Spiderman) that have bombarded the public lately. Not that I don’t enjoy them. I was never really a comic book fan, but I love watching the enormous possibilities of the world on the screen.  😛  Does that even make sense?  I start imagining I’m Jean, or Jubilee and what I’d do with my powers, if I’d fight for good or evil, or hide it from everyone…but, I digress.

The good thing about last night?  Dinner was mostly ready by the time I got home…and it was good.

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken
Servings: 2
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 small onion, diced
4-5 bone-in chicken thighs (mine were frozen)
1 bottle of barbeque sauce (I used Stubb’s Original Bar-B-Q sauce – my fav right now)
¼ – ½ cup chicken broth/stock

Place the onion in the bottom of the slow cooker. Place the thighs on top of the onion. Cover the chicken with barbeque sauce and chicken broth. (The liquid doesn’t have to cover the chicken. The chicken will release liquid since it is frozen and still has the skin on.) Cook on low for 8 hours.

Quick Oil & Vinegar Slaw
Printable Recipe

16 oz package of coleslaw mix
2 tablespoons oil (I used olive oil, but you could use vegetable)
2 tablespoons vinegar (I used apple cider, but you could use any kind)
1 tablespoon sugar
½ tablespoon honey
½ tablespoon celery seed (can omit if using celery salt)
1 teaspoon salt (can use celery salt)
pepper to taste

Whisk all the ingredients, except the coleslaw mix, until combined. Pour the dressing over the coleslaw mix and toss. Set aside or refrigerate for about 20 minutes.

Say Hello To My Little Friend

Look what we found in the yard last night:
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Kinda neat, kinda ooog-y:
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MC trying to find it:
frog

And, now it’s time to go inside:
ladies man

Let The Picture Taking Commence

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(MC drinking his juice in the hood, ok, ok, milk at home, whatever)

New camera is here!  May the picture taking commence.  Ok, maybe not quite yet.  I still have a lot to learn.  I did take a couple test shots, just to see how it felt.  I’m not used to having to look through a viewfinder, but I think I’ll live. 

Hubs is out of town for a couple days, so I have lone toddler duty.  Apparently MC hasn’t been sleeping the full two hours during nap time the past couple days, which I think is why he’s so cranky by the time we get home.  Not only is he hungry, but he’s sleepy too.  Great. 

He’s been eating like a mad man lately – not what I want him to eat, but at least he’s eating, right?  Maybe he’s going through a growth spurt.  Which reminds me, I better call his ped and make an appointment for his 2 year checkup.  I can not believe he’s going to be 2 in August.  He’s growing up way too fast for me.