Category Archives: Food

Cupcakes For Cupcake’s Baptism!

Yesterday was Cupcake’s baptism!

1497277010245

She was such an angel about it! She was asleep up until we got up on the church altar. Then she opened her eyes & perked up, almost as if she knew that the ceremony was all for her.

Afterward we had a little party at our house to celebrate.

1497277063797

So of course I made a cake!

1497277985597

A pull-apart cupcake cake to be precise. Cupcakes for my Cupcake’s baptism ❤

This cake was so easy to assemble! I used 1 box cake mix, about 3 tubs of frosting, & some chocolate candies.

I think it came out looking beautiful.

I’m very much looking forward to raising little Cupcake to be a God-fearing woman.

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10

Pull-Apart Cupcake Cross

assembly instructions
  • 28 cupcakes
  • ~50 oz frosting (about 3 tubs)
  • candies for decorating
  1. Assemble the cupcakes into the desired cross shape.
  2. Frost each cupcake with a large rosette ( I used Wilton 2D tip)
  3. Fill in the gaps with more rosettes.
  4. Decorate with colorful candies.

Nursing Mommy’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Shake

Cupcake is 2+ months old & growing like a weed! It’s very satisfying to look at her double chin & chunky legs & know that I did that.

Thankfully breastfeeding is going very well with little intervention from me, but every now & then I’ll drink some Mother’s Milk tea or malta to ‘help’ my supply. I haven’t actually had any supply issues, but eating yummy galactagogues can’t hurt.

What’s a galactagogue, you ask?

Milk

Do galactagogues really work? It’s debatable. I am not a doctor or a lactation expert, so please consult a professional if you are having any issues breastfeeding. The list of foods classified as galactagogues is long & includes lots of healthy & delicious foods. A lot of very common foods are on it, so there’s a good chance any breastfeeding mom is already consuming at least some.

wp-1489159609744.jpg

I’ve also been drinking this shake from time to time. It’s a nice treat between meals. This shake has ground flax seed & puffed wheat, two of the aforementioned galactagogues. Ground flax is not just good for lactation – it’s full of omega 3 & fiber. I’ve been putting it into all sorts of things from drinks to baked goods & even pizza. The shake also has peanut butter for protein & a packet of chocolate Carnation Breakfast Essentials. I’ve made similar shake recipes with cocoa powder instead, but the Carnation stuff is much tastier & full of vitamins. Now, this isn’t exactly a health food. I called it a shake instead of a smoothie for a reason! I used sweetened puffed wheat & regular Carnation stuff, but you can use unsweetened puffed wheat & no-sugar-added Carnation to cut down on the sugar.

wp-1489159402899.jpg

One packet of the breakfast powder makes 2 servings of this shake, so I either share with my husband or blend everything but the ice together & save half in the fridge to blend later.

Is this shake going to help with breastfeeding? I can’t say for sure, but I can tell you it is tasty & fun!

Nursing Mommy’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Shake

Makes 2 servings
  • 2 Tb Peanut Butter
  • 2 Tb Flax Seed
  • 1 cup Puffed Wheat
  • 1 packet Chocolate Carnation Breakfast Essentials
  • 1 cup milk
  • ice
  1. Blend all ingredients except ice together for a few minutes.
  2. Add ice, blend until desired consistency.

 


Even though I’m posting more intermittently than ever, I was touched to see this:

100 followers

Thank you for all the follows ❤

International Bacon Day, part 2!

Today is the OTHER International Bacon Day! I’m enjoying some bacon & eggs with my hubby, but check out some more bacon recipes below!

Mrs. Dessert Monster

Today is International Bacon Day!

Or at least, one of them, anyway.

To celebrate both bacon day & the start of college football this weekend, I’m making these delicious sweet & cheesy bacon tots.

wp-1472924600891.jpg

I first made these for New Year’s Eve last year & they were such a hit!

Just a little prep & 25 minutes later you’ll be in sweet, crunchy heaven! There’s just something about the combination of brown sugar & bacon that’s hard not to love. Then this recipe adds 2 of my other favorite things – cheese & potatoes.

wp-1472924621144.jpg

YUM.

wp-1472924612141.jpg

I better not make these until our friends come over, otherwise there will be none left for them!

Sweet & Cheesy Bacon Tots

Adapted from Damn Delicious 
  • 2 cups frozen tater tots, room temperature
  • 1 oz sharp cheddar cheese, cut into 1/4-inch squares
  • 4 slices bacon, cut in 4
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  1. Preheat oven to…

View original post 86 more words

Pregnant Tiramisu

I have been pretty good this pregnancy about following the guidelines of what not to eat. Not too paranoid, but definitely avoiding the basics.

No alcohol. No cold cuts. No sushi. Limited caffeine. Nothing with raw eggs.

Raw eggs is one that seems straight forward, but isn’t. Meringue frosting? Raw egg whites. Homemade mayonnaise dressings? Probably has raw eggs. Tiramisu? RAW EGGS.

I had never made tiramisu before, but earlier in my pregnancy I had a hankering for it & looked up some recipes to see if I could substitute the obvious non-pregnancy friendly ingredients out. I was surprised when nearly every recipe called for raw egg yolks, & some also use the raw egg whites!

I figured tiramisu was just one more thing I’d have to add to my  ‘No’ list. Until I came across this post by Lily from Little Sweet Baker. She did it! An amazing egg-free tiramisu recipe! With a few substitutions, baby & I could enjoy tiramisu after all!

wp-1481295139210.jpg

Not only is this recipe safe for pregnancy, it’s also amazingly simple – which is great since pregnancy brain is in full swing around here. To make the tiramisu truly pregnancy friendly I used decaf espresso & omitted the liquor. My husband & I switched to decaf espresso when we found out about the baby, so that was no issue. I also increased the amount of vanilla extract a little to ‘make up’ for the liquor taste.

wp-1481295192600.jpg

I ended up making this recipe several weeks ago when we had some friends over to watch a football game & it was a big hit! One of my friends is really sensitive to caffeine & was grateful for a decaf tiramisu recipe. So it’s not just pregnancy friendly!

wp-1481295184505.jpg

Serve with a decaf cappuccino & have yourself an (almost) authentic Italian night!

Pregnant Tiramisu

  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 cup mascarpone, softened
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1.5 cups decaf espresso, cooled
  • lady fingers
  • cocoa powder for dusting
  1. Using an electric mixer, beat the whipping cream until stiff peaks form.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix the mascarpone, sugar, and vanilla extract.. Add mixture to whipped cream and beat again until smooth.
  3. Dip each lady finger into the cooled espresso. Do not soak too long or they will get soggy. Line a 9×9 square baking dish with a layer of dipped lady fingers.
  4. Spread half of the cream mixture over the lady fingers. Repeat another layer of lady fingers & cream. Chill for a minimum of 4 hours, best if overnight.
  5. Dust with cocoa powder before serving. (If you do this before chilling the tiramisu, like I accidentally did, it will still be delicious! Just a little less pretty.)

National Dessert Day!

October 14th is National Dessert Day!

It’d be wrong if I let the day go by without sharing something with y’all.

Here are some recipes to inspire you to celebrate!

wp-1476479602644.jpg

Cinnamon Gingerbread Ice Cream

S’mores Cake

Chocolate Mousse

Blueberry Cake with Lemon Buttercream

Fudgy Cocoa Brownies

Strawberry Lemon Cheesecake Icebox Cake (or, Cheesecake Lasagna)

wp-1476479789395.jpg

Custard-style Vanilla Ice Cream

The Best Banana Pudding Ever

Ricotta Honey Sesame Ice Cream

Caramel Apple Cake


How are you celebrating?

Boxed Mac & Cheese Hack

A while ago my mom shared a genius easy weeknight dinner with me.

It’s so ridiculously easy that I’m almost embarrassed by how short this post will be.

wp-1474049543202.jpg

Yup, that’s right. It’s a boxed mac & cheese hack.

You might be thinking, “OK, so you add some vegetables to cooked mac & cheese. That’s hardly a hack.” The truth is it’s even simpler than that, & all you have to dirty is one pot plus the colander.

As the macaroni noodles are boiling, you add FROZEN vegetables right to the pot. Strain like usual, & add the ingredients for cheese sauce as you normally would.

THAT’S IT!

wp-1474049549529.jpg

It’s super versatile. Use any kind of frozen vegetable mix you like!

Delicious, fast, EASY weeknight dinner.

Frozen Veggie Boxed Mac

  • 1 box mac & cheese + ingredients needed for cheese sauce
  • 1 bag frozen vegetable mix
  1. Boil macaroni noodles according to package instructions. Add frozen vegetables. Strain.
  2. Put noodles & vegetables back in the pot & make cheese sauce according to package directions. Serve & enjoy!
 

 

Sweet & Cheesy Bacon Tots

Today is International Bacon Day!

Or at least, one of them, anyway.

To celebrate both bacon day & the start of college football this weekend, I’m making these delicious sweet & cheesy bacon tots.

wp-1472924600891.jpg

I first made these for New Year’s Eve last year & they were such a hit!

Just a little prep & 25 minutes later you’ll be in sweet, crunchy heaven! There’s just something about the combination of brown sugar & bacon that’s hard not to love. Then this recipe adds 2 of my other favorite things – cheese & potatoes.

wp-1472924621144.jpg

YUM.

wp-1472924612141.jpg

I better not make these until our friends come over, otherwise there will be none left for them!

Sweet & Cheesy Bacon Tots

Adapted from Damn Delicious 
  • 2 cups frozen tater tots, room temperature
  • 1 oz sharp cheddar cheese, cut into 1/4-inch squares
  • 4 slices bacon, cut in 4
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper & set aside.
  2. Lay one tater tot on its side & top with a cheese square. Wrap in a piece of bacon.Repeat with all tater tots. Roll each tater tot in the brown sugar, pressing to coat.
  3. Place tater tots seam side down onto the parchment paper. Sprinkle more brown sugar if necessary. Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes. Serve immediately.

Want more bacon-containing recipes to celebrate today?

Bacon Waffle Sandwich

Shrimp & Cheese Grits with Bacon

Bacon Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Burnt Chicken (honey Italian chicken tenders)

In college my friend, Frank, & I used to make dinner together all the time. He made these delicious chicken tenders one night & I have been hooked ever since. The recipe is incredibly simple – just a few ingredients that marinate into the chicken & then caramelize beautifully. Frank got the recipe from this website, but according to that poster the recipe is older than that. It’s supposed to be a copycat of a Cracker Barrel recipe, which I’ve never tried, but if they’re anything like this recipe I totally recommend them.

The first time I made these for my husband he loved it. It’s his favorite thing I make us for dinner. He’s the one who dubbed this recipe ‘burnt chicken’.

wp-1466683350213.jpg

I promise you it’s not actually burnt! The marinade caramelizes in the pan into these delicious little bits.

The recipe is sooo easy – you just mix together the Italian dressing (zesty is the best for the most flavor), lime juice, & honey, let the chicken marinate for at least an hour, & put all of it in a pan. That’s it! Seriously.

wp-1466683313211.jpg

When you first put it in the pan it will look like this ^. Then you just leave it alone. Leave it, don’t touch it until the liquid has reduced significantly & is darkening (20+ minutes).

wp-1466683318769.jpg

When the chicken looks like this ^, flip over & cook for 5-10 more minutes so the other side of the chicken gets some of the good stuff on it. Don’t worry about your pan, the oil in the Italian dressing will pretty much guarantee that nothing sticks to the pan.

wp-1466683324276.jpg

Voila! The end result is delicious, sticky, slightly tangy, slightly sweet chicken tenders. Depending on your oven, pan, & temperature the caramelizing might take a little while – up to 40 minutes. Just be patient, the end result is well worth it.

wp-1466683330432.jpg

Burnt Chicken

AKA honey Italian chicken tenders
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips/chunks
  • 1/2 cup Zesty Italian Dressing
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • juice from 1 lime
  1. Place all 4 ingredients in a gallon ziplock bag. Marinate for at least an hour.
  2. Pour out the bag into a large skillet & cook over medium heat until liquid reduced & becomes thick & sticky, about 20-30 minutes.
  3. Turn each piece of chicken once & cook for an additional 5-10 minutes.

Prosciutto Ricotta Pizza

Last week I shared a delicious whole wheat pizza crust recipe. Now I’m finally getting around to sharing what I put on it!

wp-1463688419444.jpg

 Tada!

My husband & I first had this delicious combination in Italy. You have not had ricotta cheese until you’ve had it fresh in Italy. It’s been 2 years and I still think about it. Ever since, this has become our favorite pizza combo. Naturally, it was our first choice of toppings for my first homemade pizza crust.

It’s nothing too complicated. You start with the standard pizza sauce & shredded mozzarella & then add prosciutto slices & spoonfuls of ricotta. To make it even more delicious I added black pepper, oregano, and crushed garlic. Pro tip: you don’t have to peel garlic if you’re going to use a garlic press!

wp-1463688435819.jpg

I don’t have a pizza stone, so I just baked it on an old cookie sheet in the oven at 500 degrees (that’s as hot as my oven gets) for 12-15 minutes.

wp-1463688397461.jpg

I didn’t try this, but for a crispier bake it for less time on the cookie sheet & then put it directly on the rack for the last few minutes.

wp-1463088473771.jpg

I will definitely try that tip next time.

wp-1463688429539.jpg

Now we don’t have to go out to a fancy Italian place to get this awesome pizza!

Prosciutto Ricotta Pizza

 

  • pizza dough, rolled out
  • olive oil
  • pizza sauce
  • shredded mozzarella cheese
  • prosciutto slices
  • ricotta cheese
  • crushed garlic
  • black pepper
  • oregano
  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Brush the edge of the pizza crust with olive oil
  2. Spread pizza sauce and mozzarella cheese on the crust. Place pieces of prosciutto spoonfuls of ricotta cheese all over the pizza.Sprinkle crushed garlic, black pepper, and oregano all over.
  3. Bake for 12-15 minutes using cookie sheet or pizza stone.
  4. Cut, serve & enjoy!

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

I experienced some firsts with this recipe: first time using the dough hook on my KitchenAid mixer, first time ever using yeast, & first time using my new pizza & pastry roller!

wp-1462988125769.jpg

My friend Beth has pizza every Friday. I love her life! She almost always makes it from scratch, & after enjoying some of her awesome pizzas myself, I asked for the recipe.

She shared that it’s from one of her favorite cookbooks: Brown Eggs and Jam Jars.

This dough was really easy to make, even for a yeast novice like me. I halved the original – if I messed this up I didn’t want to waste like 5 cups of flour! – & used ‘regular’ flours instead of bread flour. The results were wonderful. The dough calls for honey, but it is not an overly sweet crust, so don’t omit it.

wp-1462988105314.jpg

I had to Google how yeast is supposed to look when ‘foamy’ to make sure I was doing it right. I think I nailed it!

After the yeast is foamy, I added all other ingredients & kneaded for about 5 minutes. I had to add a splash of water at the end because not all of the flour had combined, so use your judgement until you get a nice ball of pizza dough.

wp-1462988111867.jpg

 Before rising…

wp-1462988117870.jpg

After!

I let the dough rise for 45 minutes, per the original recipe. You want your dough ball to double in size. Then comes the most fun step – you punch down the dough!

The original recipe makes four 16″ pizzas, but I halved it so I split my dough ball in half & froze what I wasn’t using that day.

wp-1462988132263.jpg

I don’t have a pizza stone, so I just baked my pizza on an old cookie sheet.

The pizza came out AWESOME!

wp-1463088473771.jpg

Stay tuned for part 2, where I’ll tell ya what I put on it!

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

Adapted from Brown Eggs & Jam Jars

Makes two 16″ pizzas

  • 1/4 cup warm water (110-120 degrees F)
  • 1 tbsp active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cool water
  • 1/8 cup olive oil + more for oiling a large bowl
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp salt
  1. In a stand mixer bowl, combine yeast & warm water until the yeast dissolves. Let sit for about 5 minutes, until foamy.
  2. Add all other ingredients. Using dough hook, knead for 5 minutes, until dough is fully combines & smooth. Add more cool water 1 tsp at a time if necessary.
  3. Place dough in a large oiled bowl & cover with a towel. Allow dough to rise for 45 minutes, until dough doubles in size.
  4. Punch down the dough & divide in half. Roll out the portion(s) you want to use.
  5. Freeze an unused dough ball for up to 3 months. Let frozen dough thaw for 8-12 hours & let rise before rolling out & using.