Monthly Archives: August 2015

Monkey Bread Muffins

Every 6 weeks or so it’s my Sunday school’s turn to bring food to church.

Previously I made some yummy granola bars. Last week I made these delicious monkey break muffins.

Monkey Bread Muffins - Mrs. Dessert Monster

This was my first time ever making OR eating monkey bread.

I had never even heard of it before Pinterest. Don’t know if that’s a Cuban-American First Generation problem or some kind of regional thing or what.

Now that I have made it & tried it I am hooked.

These were so simple! I got this recipe from The Frugal Girls.

The secret is refrigerated biscuit dough!

Monkey Bread Muffins - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Cut each biscuit in 6 pieces. Then shake them in cinnamon sugar.

Put 8-10 biscuit pieces in each foil cupcake liner. Foil liners really are the way to go for these. I ran out & used some paper liners to finish the recipe, which I had doubled, & the results were super sticky. I made a little over 3 dozen muffins by doubling the recipe, so i’d say this recipe makes about 20 muffins.

Add raisins, walnuts, whatever else your heart desires! I made a mixture – I like giving people options! I found it best if you put 4-5 biscuit pieces in, then sprinkle in the stuff & top off with more biscuit pieces. This way they raisins/whatever are not just floating on the surface, but nicely mixed in with everything else.

Monkey Bread Muffins - Mrs. Dessert Monster

I differed from the Frugal Girl’s recipe a bit by spooning 1 tablespoon of the brown sugar/butter mix over each muffin.

Monkey Bread Muffins - Mrs. Dessert Monster

The results were glorious.

Buttery, sugary, chewy, soft, crunchy – in other words YUMMY!

These were the talk of the day at church.

Monkey Bread Muffins

Yields approximately 20 muffins

  • 3 tubes refrigerated biscuit dough
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • ½ cup raisins (optional)
  1. Heat Oven to 350 degrees. Put foil liners into muffin tin.
  2. Mix white sugar and cinnamon in a plastic bag. Cut biscuits into 6 pieces. Shake biscuit pieces in the plastic bag until covered in cinnamon sugar.
  3. Place 8-10 biscuit pieces in each foil liner. Add raisins or walnuts, if desired.
  4. In a small sauce pan, melt the butter and brown sugar over medium heat. Boil for 1 minute.
  5. Spoon 1 tablespoon of butter mixture over each muffin.
  6. Bake for 15-17 minutes. Cool & enjoy!
In The New House Designs

Ode To Waffles

Today, August 24th, is National Waffle Day!

Tonight we are taking Cuban food over to our friends – congri & pork – so no waffles for us.

But in our house we have waffles all the time.

cinnamon rolls in the  waffle maker - Mrs. Dessert Monster


Grilled Cheese in the  waffle maker - Mrs. Dessert Monster


Chicken & Waffles - Mrs. Dessert Monster


Bacon Waffle Sandwiches - Mrs. Dessert Monster

So I decided to compile all of the waffle posts into this ‘ode to waffles’ & include a BONUS waffle entry that I haven’t written about yet.

Cinnamon Rolls – Waffle Maker Style

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches In The Waffle Maker

Bacon Waffle Sandwiches

Chicken & Waffles


Last year for my husband’s birthday I made him maple bacon waffles. I got this delicious recipe from Ashlee Marie.

Maple Bacon Waffles - Mrs. Dessert Monster

We wuv waffles!

Wedding Wednesday FINALE – Gifts To Your Spouse

Ladies & Gentlemen: it is Wednesday.

It’s the final Wednesday in this lovely little series I started back in May. It’s been a lot of fun sharing all the little details of our wedding. It’s really helped me appreciate all of the planning & work that went in to our big day.

I think wedding symbolize the amount of work we are supposed to put in to our marriages. Think of all the work you put in to the day you promised someone you’d stay with them forever, then put in that same amount of effort constantly to keep your promise. We are still in the newlywed/honeymoon stage, I suppose, so all the work is still fun. I want to put in the effort so that it always stays fun, more or less. So that our marriage/life ‘nets’ fun.

One of the last things my husband & I did for each other before getting married was exchange gifts. I really like this tradition, & since our wedding was so close to Christmas we gave each other gifts the morning of our wedding, instead of for Christmas.

My gift to my husband was totally Pinterest inspired.

Gifts To Your Spouse - Mrs. Dessert Monster

I got him a nice watch, set it to the date & time of our ceremony, & left him a little note in the box.

Gifts To Your Spouse - Mrs. Dessert Monster

My husband personalized my gift as well.

He got me a necklace from Things Remembered. It has since gotten a little beat up from me wearing it everyday, so I grabbed these photos from the website.

Gifts To Your Spouse - Mrs. Dessert Monster

It has both of our birthstones on it like this picture (September & October), but mine says “To the woman I love”

Gifts To Your Spouse - Mrs. Dessert Monster

On the back it says our names & anniversary.

Gifts To Your Spouse - Mrs. Dessert Monster

It came in this adorable jewelry box that says, “Today, tomorrow, always.” *swoon*

Gifts To Your Spouse - Mrs. Dessert MonsterGifts To Your Spouse - Mrs. Dessert Monster

I’m clearly not the best candid photo person.

It was really nice to read my husband’s sweet words (even better jewelry!) the morning of our wedding.

About an hour after exchanging gifts (via our best men), we became husband & wife.

I have really enjoyed being able to share & reminisce about our wedding day, but to be honest I would have been just as overjoyed & excited if we had eloped. Or had a smaller wedding. Or if it rained & the cake fell on the floor. At the end of the day it’s not about the wedding. It was never meant to be about the wedding. It’s about the man God gave me as a husband, & being the best wife I can be to him.


Busy Nights & Shepherd’s Pie

Life is busy. Like, really busy. Time is flying by.

One of the reasons that time seems even more fleeting for me lately is the fact that I don’t like to consider my job as part of my life. When you factor everything in, I am away from home because of work for 50+ hours a week. What do I mean, then? Well, those 50+ hours a week are so that I can have a paycheck to provide for ‘my life’. I don’t love what I do. It’s not totally my job’s fault, though. I realized in college that I am never going to be a career oriented person.

I am a family oriented person. I am a people oriented person. I love being close to my family. I love seeing my friends often. I love being around babies & kids. I love hosting dinners & parties & making food for people. I love going to church & being involved in several different ministries.

Not everyone enjoys all those things. Some people are more introverted & require plenty of chill time to recharge. Some people are extroverted, but not too fond of hosting or cooking. Or, they aren’t fond of children. Some people don’t get along with their families as well as I do. Some people haven’t found a church they call home, or choose not to go to church at all.

Some people love their jobs/careers & get their blood pumping by working really hard to achieve success in their field. I cannot relate. Don’t get me wrong, I am a hard worker. It’s just not something I love.

If I’m being really honest, of course work is a part of my life. I would just rather be doing other things. I know that even people who love their jobs feel like this at times, I just find myself counting the minutes more than most. I look forward to one day being a stay at home mom. That job will be a lot harder than the one I am doing now, but I think it will be a lot more fulfilling to my personality. I’m several years away from that, so for now I suppose I will keep showing up to work Monday-Friday.

Because work takes up so much of my time, I cherish the nights I get to host a meal & hang out with people during the week. Life (including work) gets really busy, but that doesn’t mean we can’t carve out some time for people. The weekend is too short to do everything I want to do & see everyone I want to see.

To feed extra people, I’ve started stocking up on quick/easy ingredients. For example, when pork roast is on sale, I’ll buy one & freeze it until the day my husband & I can share with someone else. I buy meat on BOGO & just freeze them until we use them. I also try to buy certain things in bulk. Ground beef is one of those things.

Y’all might already know that my husband & I are totally beef people. I bought a 2lb pack of ground beef a few weeks ago & just split it to several smaller portions in Tupperware before freezing. So far we’ve made burgers & taco salad with it. Last night, it was shepherd’s pie.

Shepherd’s pie always has plenty of servings, depending on how much you make. Sometimes I make it just for me & hubby; we take the left overs as lunch the next day. This is a recipe that I almost always have ingredients for. It’s perfect for busy nights. There are some recipes that call for lots of prep & fresh ingredients – this is not one of them.

Box mash potatoes + canned (or frozen) veggies = quick & easy dinner. Throw in some ground beef & some cheese & you’re all set.

This one-dish meal is perfect for busy nights, which occur more often than not. It makes weeknight activities all the easier. My brother & my niece came over just in time for dinner. It was great seeing them!

Gotta run – busy, busy! I leave you with this photo collage. I was going to include the recipe, but I realized that I kind of just wing it every time I make this. Don’t get too hung up on recipes. Put whatever kind of corn (I used southwest style) & whatever other veggies (I used canned peas & carrots) you’d like! Season the beef whatever way you want; I always use Worcestershire sauce. Get mashed potatoes whatever way you can – homemade, store bought, instant, leftover, etc! Throw some cheese on top (I used cheddar, but you catch my drift) & broil it until it looks good to you.

Life is too short to get hung up on weeknight dinners. 🙂

Shepherd's Pie - Mrs. Dessert Monster

In The New House Designs

Wedding Wednesday – Gifts For The Bridal Party

Hello, it’s Wednesday!

The wedding Wednesday series is almost at a close!

I think it worked out great to end this series with the ‘gifts’. After all, the gift giving was done right before the wedding.

Today I want to share some of the gifts we gave to our bridal party. It meant a lot to us that we had a core group of friends/siblings by our side on that day.

It also meant a lot to me that my good friend, Beth, helped me out with the gift for the bridesmaids. She runs an Etsy shop, Bobbin & Co., where she sells adorable hand-made bags.

Bridesmaid wedding gift - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Bags like this wristlet! We custom designed it to match the wedding theme.

Bridesmaid wedding gift - Mrs. Dessert Monster

This is the inside of the wristlet – I love the surprise music notes!

These came out so cool I bought one for myself! I gave them to the girls the night of the rehearsal dinner, along with the jewelry.

For the guys I also turned to Etsy for part of their gift. AnnieHowes Etsy shop has make your own cuff link kits. I bought one & made musical cuff links for all the guys!

Groomsman wedding gift - Mrs. Dessert Monster

I also got them personalized bottler openers with their initials from Oriental Trading, but there are no pictures of that. Sorry folks! It’s funny how during wedding season last year I thought I was taking too many pictures of all the details. I did not know about the wonderful world of blogging back then.

Next week will be the last installment of Wedding Wednesday. There’s only so much I can say about the details of the wedding. On marriage, though, I could talk forever. Hmm…new series idea?

See y’all next week!

Strawberry Lemon Cheesecake Icebox Cake (or, Cheesecake Lasagna)

July 30th was National Cheesecake Day!

I celebrate this day every year! Actually, The Cheesecake Factory lets me celebrate this day twice a year – their half priced cheesecake special is 7/29 & 7/30!

The Mr. & I went to The Cheesecake Factory on the 29th & had some delicious cheesecake – for dinner.

What? We are adults!

This was actually the 3rd year in a row we’ve done this. I love our traditions!

The 30th we had a nice dinner with some friends we hadn’t seen in a while. A real dinner with protein & veggies & everything. And, of course, dessert.

Being National Cheesecake Day & all, I wanted to make something cheesecake-y. I knew I wouldn’t have the time during the busy work week to make a cheesecake from scratch, so I started thinking of a recipe using pre-made cheesecake filling. Then it came to me: graham crackers + cheesecake filling + homemade strawberry jam! But then I thought to myself, “that sounds a little too basic & predicable. How can I spice it up a little?” That’s when I remembered that I had just a little bit of lemon buttercream left in the fridge. NOW we’re talking!

I had to look up what exactly an icebox cake is to see if I can call my dessert that. The answer is yes.

My husband preferred the term Cheesecake Lasagna, though. I kind of like that, too!

Strawberry Lemon Cheesecake Icebox Cake (Cheesecake Lasagna) - Mrs. Dessert Monster

The steps are easy! Just layer to your heart’s content.

Strawberry Lemon Cheesecake Icebox Cake - Mrs. Dessert Monster

I know, I know, it would have been much easier in a rectangular pan. Well I ain’t got one!

Strawberry Lemon Cheesecake Icebox Cake - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Plus, I wanted to use my fancy Corningware that I got as a wedding present!

Strawberry Lemon Cheesecake Icebox Cake - Mrs. Dessert Monster

It got easier as I added more layers.


I did 3 layers, plus a top layer of graham crackers. That’s where the lemon buttercream came in!

Strawberry Lemon Cheesecake Icebox Cake - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Off to the fridge to chill.

Strawberry Lemon Cheesecake Icebox Cake - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Our friends loved it!

We let them take home the leftovers – we still had some Cheesecake Factory in the fridge. 🙂

Strawberry Lemon Cheesecake Icebox Cake

  • 1 tub Cheesecake filling
  • 1 box graham crackers
  • strawberry jam
  • lemon buttercream
  1. In a deep pan, place a layer of graham crackers. Cover the graham crackers with a thin layer of jam, then a layer of cheesecake filling. Repeat 3 times.
  2. Top with a layer of graham crackers.
  3. Microwave lemon buttercream so that it’s runny & pour over the top layer of graham crackers.
  4. Chill in refrigerator overnight.

In The New House Designs

Wedding Wednesday – Gifts for Flower Girls & Ring Bearer

Last week I shared the gifts we gave to our loving parents. This week I wanted to share the gifts we gave to other special people in the wedding – the kiddos!

I know that the flower girls won’t really remember the wedding, & the ring bearer might not either (or will only remember the part where he got stage fright). So I love the idea of them having something they can look back on later in life while cleaning their room or going through the attic.

Flower girl gift - Mrs. Dessert Monster

I got this book for my two lovely flower girls. It’s really sweet! Fiona is asked to be the flower girl in her aunt’s wedding – how perfect! Inside I wrote a little message to each of my special girls.


There wasn’t a ring bearer book option that I saw, & I wanted to get my little man something more than just a toy. I was so happy when I saw these custom shirts on Oriental Trading!

I just want the little ones to know how much it meant to my husband & me that they were a part of our big day. Tio & Tia love them very much!

More gifts next week! I think this will be a nice way to end the series.