Thursday, December 31, 2009

Pumpkin Cookies Vs. Oatmeal Cherry White Chocolate Cookies

Okay... I must admit I'm not one to make cookies. Strike that... I don't make "Everyday People" cookies. When my kids come home and ask me to whip up some cookies, this is what I normally pop out:

I guess you could call me a cookies snob. I can't help it... it's in my blood! It's part of me! I have royal icing and fondant running through my veins!

So I was running through my number one blog "Bake at 350" and I noticed that Bridget posted that the Flavor of the Month is "Cookies". Cookies? It really caught me off guard! This woman is the queen of beautiful cookies and she wants to see ours? Perhaps it is just to laugh at our attempts? NAH! I don't know her but Bridget is totally not like that! So it honestly took me a bit to figure out what she wanted from me. I knew I had to dazzle her so I started pouring through recipes. It's a weird thing I have about me: Wanting to please and entertain at the same time. I'm a Leo. Enough said!

So I decided quickly that nothing out of Betty Crocker would do. At this time I would like to apologize to Betty. She has gotten me through many things and I love how she holds my hand through little trials and tribulations that I have had, but today I needed the heavy hitters. I hit my new best friends up... BLOGS. I stumbled across a new one... Joy the Baker. She has a category for cookies! Lovely cookies! Cookies to die for! I found two on there that I knew I had to try but the dilemna was which one for the Flavor of the Month?? Okay... I did both. So here they are and please enjoy!

Pumpkin Cookies Revisited
2 cups All Purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola or corn oil
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup butterscotch chips

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper & butter the paper.

Stir the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together in a medium bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, mix together using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the eggs and sugar until smooth and lightened in color, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing. On low speed, mix the oil, pumpkin and vanilla until blended. Mix in the flour mixture to incorporate it. Mix in the chips.

Using an ice cream scoop with a 1/4 cup capacity, scoop mounds of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing the cookies at least 2 1/2 inches apart. You can also use a 1/4 cup measuring cup.

Bake the cookies one sheet at a time until the top feels firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry, about 16 minutes. Cool them on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then use a wide spatula to transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Oh they are delicious! BUT... I think I'm kind of partial to the next one!

Oatmeal Cherry White Chocolate Cookies
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups All Purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup dried cherries
1 cup white chocolate cips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Add oats, raisins and white chocolate chips; mix well.

Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookies sheets and then move to wire rack.

Everyday People cookies suddenly rock! I got a thumbs up from the Vermont Air Guard as well as many friends that suddenly flocked to me once they found out what I made.

You must try both! You can't lose! Thanks Bridget for helping me find my love for cookies of baking past and thanks Joy for sharing your recipes!!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

My life the Carnival

Holy cow! I can't believe it has been so long since I've been on here blogging. I feel neglectful. So sorry!!

So let me catch all of you up on what has been going on...

I lived my summer in Soccer Land. You know... the place where all of the little kids run crazy on the fields, screaming and tripping over each other. I did discover that one of my girls bends it like Beckham while the other one treats the field like it is her fashion runway. She claims she only joined because she liked the uniforms.

While visiting Soccer Land we drifted magically into school time. Let me just say this... Three girls, school shopping. Enough said yes?!

Oh and then the real fun began!!! I began my quest to design the birthday party of all birthday parties! Grace's birthday is August 30th and Noelle's birthday is on September 11th with Noelle being born first. Back away from it... I'm begging you. So I asked them nicely if we could smush their birthdays together and sprinkled it with bribes since last year I told them I would never ask them to share again. They agreed once I offered up the mother of all birthday bribes.... FACE PAINTING!!

So we decided the theme would be a carnival theme and invite both classrooms. That's right... both classes and topped it off with family and friends. It had the potential of 60 people. I prayed nightly that there would be enough kids but that some would unfortunately have to decline.

So the invitations were boxes of Cracker Jack with a homemade ticket to "Admit One". Thanks to my amazing friends I scored a hot dog steamer, a plinko board, a bounce house and a face painter! Who knew that my friends had all of this stuff and my one friend had the hiddent talent of face painting??!!! Oh and I must admit... I had a cotton candy maker.

So lets get down to the important thing... CAKE. It's important that each of my kids have their own cake. I insist that even though they share the day, they don't share the cake. After some searching I decided that I would make popcorn cupcakes for the guests and very large candy apples for each of the girls.

The popcorn cups were cupcakes baked in liners and I hand painted Wilton nut and candy cups with red food coloring and a paint brush. I made the little label on my computer and attached them with double sided tape. I then frosted the cupcakes and the "popcorn" are marshmallows that I cut an "X" into on the end with scissors. After I put the marshmallows on I sprayed them carefully with the Wilton food coloring spray. It was a loooooong process. I think I had 60 cupcakes and it took me a bit. I kept saying "Oh geesh... never again!" But you know, when it comes to my girls I would make these over and over if they wanted me too!

So after a very long day of sugared up kids, "You're welcome parents!", I dunked my kids in the bath, plopped them in bed and headed out to survey the aftermath.

Poor duckies... I'm so glad I didn't have any friends with a petting zoo otherwise I think I wouldn't be able to display a picture.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Triple Threat

So I follow this blog and it is called "Bake at 350". This blog is AMAZING!!! Bridget (amazing blog goddess) shares techniques, recipes and beautiful pictures. So any who... Bridget is now doing something called...

What it entails is every month she gives a theme and we can join in and do the theme, post them on our blog and link back to her. Well this month's theme is pie.

So I set off on a mission. A mission for pie. I'm not a huge fan of pie I must admit but who am I to shun it?! Wouldn't that be rude! So I decided if I was going to partake in this adventure, I was going to do something fun.

My first thought: whoopie pies! And by the way, did you know I found whoopie pies, whoopy pies and whoopee pies. Yes it's true. I was fascinated that whoopie came in three different versions! Okay folks, leave it alone as I know most of my friends have a snicker on their face right now. Geez. Simmer down! Again I rolled off onto the side path in my brain so forgive me.

I decided to go with "Whoopie Pies" and found a Maple Walnut Whoopie Pie with Maple filling. How did it turn out? Well let's just say you aren't about to see the recipe below. What a HUGE disappointment!

Okay I'm getting to the real recipe!

I scoured the internet and my cookbooks looking for something different and I stumbled across the blog (another favorite) called Cake Spy. Well she posted a recipe called the Triple Threat. It looked like it could cause a sugar coma and teeth to fall out all in one bite! I was totally in! So please enjoy the recipe...

The Triple Threat
1 Pie crust
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
1 Cake mix

Take the pie crust and roll it out in your pan like so...

Then take your cookie dough, you can buy the package mix, the type in the tube or be Martha and make it from scratch.

Then as this is sitting, and you're trying not to eat the extra cookie dough, make a cake mix according to the directions. I have to admit folks, this was a boxed cake mix as it was hotter then heck and the thought of a scratch cake was not at the top of my list!

Take the cake mix after it is made and pour it over the pie crust & cookie dough.

Take this hot mess at 350 degrees on your middle rack. This truly is just a guide as I encourage people if you don't know your oven really well, then watch it carefully.

After it is done baking, take it out, let it cool then frost it. This is how mine turned out:

Let me just say this this tastes so good but please have a glass of milk on hand as it is very sweet.

I think a great combination for this recipe would be a gingersnap crust, sugar cookie dough, a spice cake and top it with a cinnamon buttercream.

Try it and let me know what you think! Also, if you try any other versions, please let me know!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Recipe Search

So I set out this weekend to find a new recipe to share with everyone. I pulled out all of my cookbooks, scoured the internet and found nothing exciting. It's hard to decide when you aren't hungry and then it is impossible to decide when you are beyond hungry. Sigh... I had to amuse myself until I got hungry and could find something decent. It didn't find anything until Sunday.

On Sunday early morning my husband G.I. Joe headed off to a lovely base in... ready for this?! Alaska! Oh my! Poor G.I. Joe! However will he cope with this? I often tell him to enjoy his vacation when he's off of these adventures but I know he's working hard. I went online to look at the base website and there are all of these beautiful pictures of jets and the men and women working and let's not forget Gov. Sarah Palin! Anyways let me roll around to the recipe.

After I ventured off onto some cooking websites I found it on the Kraft Foods site: Spaghetti Bake. I know, I know. Boring! But the kids were all for it and since G.I. Joe was gone I don't touch the grill so we were limited.

I'm going to share the recipe with you all and let me tell you that this is easy but oh so good! I'm a fan of boiling pasta and putting butter and parmesan cheese on it for a quick me and this fell right into that area of comfort to me. Should we eat stuff like this? Of course not but for those healthy people, DEAL!

Here you go folks, a little bit of heaven!


8 oz. Spaghetti, uncooked
1/2 pound of italian sausage or ground beef (remove the casing from the sausage)
1 (14 oz. ) jar of Spaghetti Sauce
1 Egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups of Mozzarella Cheese, divided
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 375. Spray 8 inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

  • Cook the spaghetti
  • Meanwhile, brown the sausage or burger then drain
  • Stir the sauce into the sausage/burger. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Drain the spaghetti and place in a large bowl

Now... I doubled this portion of the recipe as my kids are cheese freaks. So if you want, go for it. If not, that's okay too!

  • Add the egg, 1 cup of the mozzarella and the parmesan cheese to the spaghetti and toss to coat
  • Place the mixture in the baking dish
  • Top the mixture with your sauce and meat
  • Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella over the top

Bake for 15 minutes or until heated thoroughly. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting to serve.

Here is a picture of my easy and yummy dinner!

I have to tell you that the kids enjoyed the leftovers which is a rare thing.

Let me know what you think and enjoy!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

New Path

Hi All!

So I decided what I want to do is feature a new daring recipe once a week. Now please remember I will do my best at the once a week!

After the busy months I have taken a "Cake Vacation". I'm pooped! 2 or 3 cakes a weekend can do you in and I'm learning how to say no, which can be a useful word. Learn it my over-achieving friends!

So I will do a recipe, not necessarily baking, and post the pictures and the recipe for all to enjoy. If you would like to see something, please let me know as I'm up for a challenge!

Off to plan my first recipe!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Holy Cow!

I have been so horrible about hoping on here and blogging! Sorry to all of you. Such a huge following! HA HA!

So let's see... The kids have been keeping me busy with illnesses and I have been working on a website for the business which I just got disgusted with one day and went to a brand new site and started all over. I'm almost done that and I'm much happier with it. I am now waiting for my domain to be released by the other company. Damn places!

Oh geez... and golf season has arrived! I have already gone twice in less than a week and I am feeling like a pro! I think I found my groove already! My golfing gals are going to be getting a lot more emails from me mid-day begging for someone to join me and my pink clubs for a wild time. Yes... pink clubs.

I get so much crap for them but I do I care? No not really and it gives Tonya, Tink & Cyndy some amusement. And that's what I'm there for right? Well at least I think that's the reason!

So let's see. I'm also taking part in the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life. It's a 24 hour event where we walk around a track and of course we raise money for it. My sister and I have been on a fundraising mission to be at the top. We're a little competitive I guess you could say!

And food... I've been working on making items and taking 'professional' looking pictures for the website. Here are a couple:
I did the chocolate apples and those were AMAZING!!! So yummy really! Then the next two pictures are cake balls.
Cake balls are just cake mixed in with frosting and then dipped in chocolate. It sounds so easy but really it is time consuming, especially items like the chicks.
I started reading about cake balls on a bunch of different blogs and since they seemed to be so popular I tried them. Let me just say that I am HOOKED!! Especially with making them into little animals or cupcakes. You have to check out Bakerella's blog and you will see what I mean. She is beyond talented and I love looking at her blog.
I found the chicks on there and tried them. LOVE THEM! So cute! I am working on bunnies and sheep next. I will post pics on those soon. I just finished 124 chicks, 50 rabbits with 50 more to go and then I will do some sheep. I'm not sure how many but not the amount I am doing right now on the chicks and bunnies.
If any of you are looking to do your own thing you have to check out Bakerella, Bake at 350, CakeJournal to find a real wide variety check out Cake Central. These blogs and websites have been such a huge source of inspiration to me.
Right now I am trying to come up with some other ideas for cake balls. I want to do some flowers but not sure how to do it. I'm thinking the cake ball will be the center and then find a candy like Necco Wafers or something along those lines for the petals.
But if any of you have ideas for cake balls, shoot me a note on here and I will create them and send them to you. Of course I will have to post the pictures for all to see.
So now I'm off my friends to finish up the bunnies and then dinner with the Harlows!
Take care!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I'm Back!!!!

Holy Cow! It's been too long since I've been on here.

Let's see... January was a busy month with experimenting with cookies. Check them out:

Then I did a couple of cakes for Nik's Mom and Dad (Their birthdays are on the same day):

Mary Lou likes to drink wine so I did a nice yellow cake with vanilla pudding in between the layers and chocolate ganache all over. It was heavenly!

Larry likes Monty Python so I took a stab at it. Underneath is a lovely homemade carrot cake that he absolutely loved! He raved about it and boy do I feel like a proud peacock!

Then after those cakes at the end of January I went running into February!

It was Tyler's birthday and it happen to fall on the 100th day of school - which is a pretty big deal now. I never got to celebrate it! Anyways... I made 100 cookies to share with his class.

Then it was Tyler's birthday cake for the weekend. Nik twisted his arm into having Bolt (from Disney) even though she claims she didn't. Let's just say the jury is still out on that one!

So here is my first stab at doing a cake with MMF. Oh yes! The glorious MMF! People were very happy with it so I was quite satisfied.

I am still learning the technique for stacking and have to work on my edges but I think I've got that down after this one!
And here's Tyler enjoying his cake!

Boy what a lot of fun!

So now I just finished another cake tonight that I have to download all of the pictures for. So stay tuned for that and I promise I won't be a stranger if you won't!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Cookie Time

So today Noelle was home sick so I thought I would try and pop out some cookies.
I decided to use a new sugar cookie recipe which does nothing for me. My old recipe has a base of confectioner's sugar and the new one is flour. The reason I tried this is they claim the cookie would not spread. LIE!! They also seemed to cook odd meaning the left side would brown and the right side wouldn't. Nothing new with my stove so I have no clue on this one. I'm so going back to my ol' stand by!
I also decided instead of using my normal royal icing I would use my new friend MMF to 'frost' them.
Here are my efforts for today:

I truly enjoyed making these but since they are my first attempt I am totally not satisfied with how they look. I like the idea of using the MMF instead of doing the outline and then flowing the color on the inside.
I know... Two cookies in an entire day? Please! I made a bunch more cookies but haven't iced them yet. I also tinted a crap load of MMF.
By the way gang, the MMF tastes wonderful! Yummy! I give it a thumbs up and currently I'm looking for some flavorings so I can change the taste a little.
So I hope you enjoy and Tonya, I thought of you while I made the martini!
Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Messy Mallow Fondant

So here is the update...

I got straight to business last night to make my MMF. It was a crazy mess! It smelled incredible but an all out mess.

I had confectioner's sugar all over my counter from mixing everything and then the instructions tell you to generously grease your hands with Crisco and begin to knead the MMF. They aren't joking when they say to generously grease up your hands! I had it stuck on every inch of my hands within moments. Thank goodness Tim was there to help me add the rest of the confectioner's sugar and then he greased the counter so I could pull it out of the bowl and knead it more.
I've never met such a kneady recipe in my life! This is why I don't make bread. Hello!?!

So here it is looking all pretty:

I know it doesn't look like much but I felt like I built a small house after all of that!

So the all important question is "How does it taste?" You know what... I haven't gotten around to that part yet. I decided I'm going to use it on some sugar cookies and go from there. That way I can hand out the cookies and have people give me their feedback.

So just as a side note: I did swear during this process but it sounded like "WTF" & "FUB". Oh I can't forget my favorite "FTLOC".

There's something to chew on my friends!

Monday, January 19, 2009

MMF? Watch your mouth!

As I have been traveling around on these cake blogs and websites I kept seeing people use "MMF". What the heck?! I couldn't grasp it and honestly didn't pay too much attention to it.

Every time I would see it I would try to figure out what it stood for. Massive Mongo Frosting, Melting Mountains of Frost? I didn't know and then one day there it was in a post: "Oh!!! MMF! I didn't even think of that."

I couldn't believe it! It was the baking moms' way of swearing! Holy crap! It just blew me away! There they were talking about frosting and then suddenly a light went on for this lady and she felt the need to swear. BUT... what did it stand for?

So I pondered quickly over all of the dirty words it could be. Now listen, I'm not going to post my thoughts on the combinations I came up with but for those of you that know me know I can swear like a sailor! Everytime I ran across "MMF" over the next couple of days I would crack up and shake my head. Crazy ladies!

There I was one night sitting there researching fondant. (For those of you who don't know what fondant is, it is the frosting that you roll out that makes the cakes look smooth and perfect.) Why was I researching this? Because the fondant I have tried tastes like crap. A layer of blah with a hint of almond. Very gross honestly but for the way it has become so popular there had to be some out there that was tasty.

So there I was reading about fondant and how people make it in their kitchen instead of buying it. Cool! I'm all up for processes that save me money. So I noticed a couple of different recipes that seemed pretty easy and then I came across one that caught my eye: Marshmallow Fondant - MMF. What???? I couldn't be! MMF stood for Marsh Mallow Fondant.

I must admit, I was seriously disappointed. I thought these crazy baking Moms sat around on these sites, taking to each other, getting pissed off and to be PC would swear using MMF. Damn.

Maybe next time I should really read the posts before assuming what they talking about? Nah! It was fun while it lasted!

So tonight I'm off to try my first homemade batch of MMF and I will let you know if it really stands for Marshmallow Fondant or one of my fancy combinations.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


As this is a new beast to me all I ask is for patience while I find my groove! Once I get it, I promise you'll be amused!

Let's Begin

My love of cakes all started with my daughter Haley's 3rd birthday. Spongebob was new on the scene and she wanted a cake that looked like him. I agreed knowing that he was just a square and it should take no time at all.

Night after night I would sit on my computer looking for an easy cake that didn't consist of just slapping some figures on top. I wanted to wow her! Soon I found one that seemed easy; a sheet cake decorated with just sectioning off the cake and frosting it to look like him, sleeves and pants made with frosted Funny Bones and pretzel rods dipped in melted chocolate. Ohhhh and let's not forget the shoes made out of Ring Dings!

Being a beginner I knew it could be a challenge but it was still just a square cake. OMG! The time I put into decorating that cake!

The melted frosting wasn't smooth enough on the pretzel rods so I threw them away and then sat there and picked all of the salt off and dipped them again. Success! But then the angle of his sleeves didn't line up so I continued to cut until I got the left and right equal. So what if I now had cut up Funny Bones just laying there. My husband didn't complain as he ate my mistakes.

As I finished up Spongebob I put on his blue eyes and red tie. Hmmmm, that frosting looked choppy and bad. I sat there staring at the cake as everyone told me that it was okay and it would still taste the same. Geez that irritated me! My sister Kim started patting at the tie and it went down a little. My eyes lit up! We then figured out if we dipped our finger tips in water and then patted the icing, it went smooth. Life saver!!!!

As people started to arrive I stood hunched over the cake giving it a bath. I wouldn't stop until he was 'perfect'! Once done, I put Spongebob in the fridge with a warning to everyone as I ran to get a quick shower: "Open that fridge and I will kill you!"

Later everyone smiled and praised me as I pulled Spongebob out and got the candles out. Dilemma! Where do I put the candles? I can't just shove them into him and mess up my work! Kim walked over, grabbed the candles and punctured him three times. It was like a knife to my heart. Dramatic I know but hey! It was my first non-store bought cake!

I will never forget Haley's face when she saw her cake! Her eyes lit up with excitement and her little hands covering her mouth as she let out a scream. (Haley is dramatic too!) I felt like Super Mom as my smile went from ear to ear. Then my smile disappeared as I was handed a knife and plates. I felt a little sad watching my creation being sacrificed to a bunch of people who just stuffed him in their mouths.

I vowed to myself at that moment that I would never get that attached to a cake again!