Monthly Archives: August 2017

Back to School Treat – Cinnamon Rolls

When I first got married I would treat my new husband with the tube of cinnamon rolls that you get in the supermarket.  I remember fearfully trying to pop the can open, handling it as if it were an unexploded land mine that might remove a limb or at the very least shoot a projectile into my eye.  I still shiver in fear passing them at the market.  Flash forward a few years and we are at home with a toddler and I am pregnant with our second and I realize one can is no longer enough as my toddler gobbles up bun after bun (pregnant me might have had a few as well).  A couple more years we have two little ones and I am pregnant again and I realize that we either need to buy stock in Pillsbury or I need to learn how to make these things from scratch.  I found many recipes that were mostly the same with a few small differences and began to experiment on my own.
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Chocolate Caramel Cupcakes with Bakery Frosting.

Bakery Frosting?  What on earth am I talking about?  For the longest time I never knew what the exact name was for the light and fluffy frosting that came on cakes from the bakery and then one day I tried making some crazy concoction called Swiss Meringue Buttercream.  This was it!  This was Bakery Frosting!!!  I had unlocked a whole new level of baking.  Now, don’t assume I hate the classic buttercream. That definitely has a dear place in my heart, but for certain cakes its just too heavy and too sweet.  This post is going to cover assembling this magical cupcake and the instructions on making a classic Swiss Meringue Buttercream.  Lets start with the frosting.
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Decadent Peanut Butter Pie

WARNING! This is not your everyday pie.  This is not an “I have a half hour I want something sweet” pie.  This is definitely a special occasion pie.  It is an “I want to impress my inlaws” pie.  It takes a little planning and a little work, but I promise you it is totally worth it.  You know those desserts that cause you to let out a totally involuntary mmmmmmmmm? This is that kind of dessert.
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My Favorite Fajita Marinade

I love babies. I know that that sentence has nothing to do with fajitas, but hear me out. I have had a slew of girlfriends having babies lately and I love getting the chance to go over and snuggle the heck out of those newborn babies.  However, there is a payment that goes along with all of those snuggles.  One must bring a meal.  I love the advent of websites like so I can get booked in to see those babies!  This last meal train was a little tough for me because I was late to the signup game and all of the traditional go to meals had been taken!  So I brought out the Fajita Guns.  A little guacamole, some cilantro rice, of course peppers and onions, and chicken marinated in this awesome marinade.  I love the combo of the spice and the brown sugar along with the freshness from the lime and cilantro.
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Summer Risotto

Arborio rice is the trickster of the grain family.  Most people don’t even know that is the name of the rice that goes into making the delicious dish called Risotto.   Not too long ago you could hardly find arborio in the rice section of the grocery store.  Arborio rice reminds me of the cows in the chick-fil-a commercials, telling us to eat the long grain stuff instead, because arborio is much too complicated to mess with at home.  Don’t buy me, buy some nice brown rice, if you want to get daring check out that basmati over there.  Maybe its just me that makes up voices for the bags of rice while standing in the aisle?  Anyway, the point of all of this is that most people don’t make risotto at home.  Its far to complicated, or time consuming, or confusing to even attempt.  Best leave this dish to the professionals! BAH!!  Yes, it takes a little more effort than boiling water and adding rice, but you can make a meal out of risotto. Continue reading

Grilled Mushroom and Goat Cheese Pizza

So, for a long time I wondered if pizza could ever be as good at home as it is at a restaurant.  I have been making pizza at home in my oven for a couple decades now, with my nieces and nephews and now my own children.  It has always been something I’ve just done for the kids,  it makes a huge mess, they have a blast and we end up with mediocre pizza.  Well those days are a thing of the past.  I realized that my beloved oven was giving me subpar crust!! After switching the whole operation over to the grill, I began to work on the dough recipe.  Turns out that the recipe that came with my kitchen aid mixer wasn’t giving me the best dough possible…shocking right?  I found that combining bread flour and regular flour I get a crispy crust that still has a bit of chew to it. Continue reading

My Favorite Chocolate Cupcake

Since my tenth birthday, when all I wanted was new baking pans, it has been obvious that baking is a passion in my life.  I also have never been good at following other peoples orders, which in baking (and in a few other areas) gets me in some trouble.  My poor family has had to endure quite a few failures as I have tried to perfect my own recipes.  Can you imagine the horror of eating cupcake after cupcake?? Continue reading

No time for breakfast! Egg Cupcakes

There are days when eleven o’clock rolls around and I will find myself devouring cupcakes because I didn’t make time for breakfast.  Now, I am not dissing cupcakes, I think everyone should enjoy a good cupcake, but probably not for breakfast and probably in moderation.  These little egg cups are a perfect way for me to eat while running around trying to control the insanity around me.  You can eat them while doing a multitude of chores and are great for eating in the car! Bonus, they keep me sated much longer than a banana or a piece of toast, so I am not seeking out second breakfast or elevensies.
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Just for Fun – Rainbow Frosting

Sometimes I just need a little fun and a little whimsy in my life.  I love to make cupcakes for the kids and give them a few bottles of sprinkles and let them go to town decorating before devouring their little creations.  It makes a huge mess but they have a blast and I have ten to twenty minutes to enjoy a cup of tea and relax.  The frosting that I am using here is a classic american buttercream.  This frosting takes about ten minutes to make and the recipe I am giving should make enough to frost at least a dozen cupcakes using a piping bag.  If you wanted to just spread the frosting on your cupcakes you could probably get two dozen frosted.
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Need dinner stat! Chicken Broccoli Ziti

Spent the day poolside – imagine relaxing by the pool, drink in hand, reading the latest issue of gourmet….that’s not what my day was like. Taking four kids to any sort of water activity should qualify as an Olympic event. Add to that, my five year old informing me my belly looks extra puffy in my bathing suit and it was just a stellar experience. So thankful for my older niece and nephew and nanny and papa helping. Yes, it takes five people to wrangle my four children at one pool, and every one over the age of seven is now exhausted from the experience.  Regardless of all of that, dinner still needs to get on the table. So, I turn to chicken broccoli ziti (actually penne today), this is always a favorite. This is a go to meal for pot lucks, or bringing meals to new parents. It takes about a half hour to throw together and tastes terrific.
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