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Salt and Chocolate





Last Build Date: Tue, 21 Nov 2017 10:51:15 +0000

 



I’m Back..

Thu, 19 Jul 2012 13:32:00 +0000

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I’m finally back after my self imposed hiatus. Life has been pretty crazy around here with C being a toddler and everything now. Between work and life my days are pretty full but I really started to miss this creative outlet. That isn’t to say I stopped baking and cooking by any means but the time it takes to write up a post and edit and take pictures just wasn’t there for me.

So when I was contacted by TortillaLand to write up a recipe featuring their tortillas again I jumped at the chance. I honestly love their product and thought this was just the right push for me to get this blog rolling again.

When its hot like really hot, and you want something grilled but can’t even fathom standing out side. This is a meal that is summer in a tortilla and yes you will have to use your stove but its only one pan and shrimp take only a few minutes to cook. Promise.
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Beat the Heat Shrimp Tacos

6 TortillaLand Flour Tortillas
3/4 lb peeled deveined shrimp
2 ripe avocados, diced
5 pieces of bacon
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 smoked paprika
1/2 cup sour cream
Tomatillo salsa

Combine the sour cream, chili powder, cumin and paprika in a bowl. Set aside.

Warm a large skillet over medium high heat, once the pan is hot place one tortilla in the pan and let it cook for 20 seconds and then flip. Cook until it starts to puff up or about another 30 seconds. Repeat until all tortillas are cooked.

Cut the bacon into strips, I like to use my kitchen shears to do this right over the pan. Cook in the same large skillet the tortillas are in and cook until crispy. Removed the bacon and drain on some paper towels. Reserve some of the bacon fat in the pan.

Add the shrimp to the pan and cook a minute or two on each side until opaque.

Time to assemble -
On a tortilla spread some spicy sour cream, then arrange a few shrimp, top with some avocado pieces, bacon bits, cheddar cheese and pour on as much tomatillo salsa you would like.

Eat and Repeat.

These are slowly becoming a staple in our house this summer.

********* Disclaimer. Tortillaland provided me with some tortillas so that I could test them out and create a recipe. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

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What I’ve Been up to

Thu, 01 Sep 2011 18:59:00 +0000

When I started this blog a little over 4 years ago I didn’t know what it would turn into or if I would keep it going for as long as I have. It has turned into an outlet, a reason to try a recipe and a way to share my love of food with the world. My life in those 4 years has changed quite a bit and with C in the picture now my free time for baking and cooking has been reduced not that I mind as I get to spend time with her instead. So my life has been consumed with bottles and diapers and baby food. Baby food that I make for her because I feel its the best for her and its something I know everyone can do so I thought I would share. When I was pregnant I bought a few baby food cookbooks and to tell you the truth I haven’t really touched one since I started making baby food for her. They didn’t follow what I felt she should be eating or they had ingredients I wasn’t going to drive an hour to find. I find making baby food really easy and it takes roughly the same amount of effort to make 1lb of apples as it is 10lbs of apples. And as a working mom I need to mass produce as much as I can. I have a process that I follow, not really a recipe. You don’t need any fancy equipment or special baby blender. The food processor, blender or immersion blender you got from your wedding shower or that you already have will work just fine. In this photo there are Raspberries, Apricots, Blueberries, and Nectarines.Apple Baby Food – AKA Applesauce Peel and core as many apples as you would like to make and cut them into a large dice. Put them in a pot with small amount of water and put a lid on it and cook them over medium heat stirring occasionally until fork tender. You might have to add additional water if it all evaporates. Place the fruit in bowl of your food processor, blender or use your immersion blender right in the pot. Blend until you reach your desired consistency, really blended to begin with and then chunkier as they get older.Repeat with any fruit or vegetable. You might not need any extra liquid when making some of the softer fruits. I place all my baby food in portioned out sizes in the freezer. Some people use ice cube trays or other containers. I love these Beaba containers I found. They hold a lot more so its less guess work as to how much to thaw out. They are the only specialized baby food item I use.If I’m feeling ambitious I’ll peel the softer fruit, if not ill just strain out the skins or seeds depending on the fruit. I strained the raspberries I made for C and the nectarines.So this is what my freezer looks like on a regular basis. Bags of frozen baby food and baby food freezing. So that is my life now, baby food, C and enjoying every moment I have with her. [...]



Breakfast Tacos

Wed, 06 Jul 2011 21:43:00 +0000

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The 4th of July is always busy for my family with multiple BBQ’s and fireworks. We never seem to be at home and aren’t normally cooking any big meals. But this year I wanted to do something special for P. I wanted to make him a nice breakfast to get the weekend started off right.

So when Tortilla Land contacted me about trying their product. I jumped at the chance. The ability to make fresh tortillas in a minute is really appealing. And they were really really good.
So I was inspired to make him some Breakfast Tacos.

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Breakfast Tacos
2 Tortilla Land Tortillas
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 of a cup of breakfast sausage
3 spring onions, sliced thinly
2 slices of cheddar cheese
1/4 cup of pico de gallo
1 tablespoon olive oil

In a skillet over medium high heat cook the tortillas for 30 seconds a side until they puff up and and have some golden brown spots on them. Remove and set aside. In the same pan place the olive oil and the spring onions and cook for 2 minutes until they start to soften. Add in the breakfast sausage and cook until done. Add in the eggs and stir so that the eggs coat everything and cook until the desired doneness. Divide the egg mixture between the two tortillas and top with a slice of cheese and some pico de gallo and serve.

Disclaimer – I was given some Tortillas from Tortilla Land for this post but the opinions and recipes are my own.

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And the Winner Is…

Fri, 01 Jul 2011 17:49:00 +0000

Thanks to Random.org the winner is

Number 3 -


Kendra said...




I love Weight Watchers when I actually track. I agree too about drinking water! Really helps take off the hunger!


So send me an email with your address and Ill get the package right over to you.

Thanks again to everyone who entered.

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Hi My Name is Katie and…

Mon, 27 Jun 2011 17:07:00 +0000

I’m on a Diet, yes there I said it. Feels freeing like in a 12 step program or something. I’m trying to lose some of this baby weight and lets face it some before the baby weight too.

Since C was born via C Section any future kids will be too so I figured I better get in amazing shape before then.

So I officially became a Suburban Mom and joined a Zumba class with some friends. It totally kicks my butt and makes the time go by fast. But Exercise alone won’t do it. Let’s face it running a blog that has basically just baked goods isn’t really helping the situation.

Hence the recipes that are more real food that I have been doing. Sweets are however my downfall, I just love them so much.

So when My BlogSpark asked If I wanted to try some Fiber One Brownies that were only 90 calories. I figured what the heck they might just be the answer to my sweet tooth problem.

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So if you are on a diet and are looking for a sweet option for only 90 calories why not enter to win the wonderful prize back below.

Ok so the Rules and Regulations part. This is open to All US residents. This giveaway will end July 1st at 12pm Central Time.

Now How to Enter 3 Different Ways!
1. Leave a Comment here about anything diet related, tips, tricks, your diet downfalls.

2. Tweet about this post and then leave a comment back here with the link to the tweet.

3. Talk about this Giveaway on your Blog and leave a comment with a link back to the post.


And Make Sure you leave me a way to contact you! Otherwise how can I let you know you won.

Good Luck!
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Disclaimer – I was given the above prize pack for this post from My BlogSpark  and Fiber One but my opinions are my own.

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Guilty Pleasures

Mon, 20 Jun 2011 13:43:00 +0000

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Everyone has them, things that you don’t want people to know.

I’ll share a few then you can share some if you dare.

1. I have a love of bad reality TV, if most people would gag at the sight of the show you can bet I’m engrossed in it.

2. Cream Cheese frosting, I could eat a whole batch no problem in way too short of a time frame.

3. Dishes, Platters, Glasses, put me in a Home store and I’ll gravitate right to them. I do have someone to blame for this one. Thanks Mom!

4. The Color Purple, If its purple I have to have it, doesn’t matter if I already have 4 purple T shirts that are exactly the same I need another because its some how different.
And Last but not least

5. Cinnamon, its it in something on something doesn’t matter I’m want it.  I used to swap out the vanilla ice cream on apple pie a la mode for cinnamon ice cream all the time in middle and high school after school events. I just LOVE the stuff.

So when I saw this recipe on Joy the Baker’s site I thought. I must eat you immediately.

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I served this with a cream cheese frosting dip, basically just cream cheese frosting in bowl. So make some or buy some just serve it with it you won’t regret it.

I didn’t change a thing from her recipe and she has great pictures and tutorial on how to stack it all together.
Get the Recipe Here.

And if you haven’t listened to her Pod Casts yet I would strongly suggest that you do. They are hilarious!
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Carrot Cake Pancakes, Yes Please

Thu, 02 Jun 2011 17:51:00 +0000

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I would have to say that Carrot Cake is one of my very favorite cakes. Its probably because it has a lot of Fall flavors and Fall is my favorite time of year. Warm spices, a little bit hearty and I’ll eat cream cheese frosting on anything. So when I bookmarked these pancakes probably forever and a day ago because the link that I had doesn’t even go to the page anymore I wanted to make them right away. But as most things on my Google Reader go, it was pushed aside by other things I marked down as a must do. So here I am years later after a major clean up with these little beauties.

When P’s sister came into town we made these for her as she also shares my affinity for Carrot Cake. These totally hit the spot. They were sweet for sure, but I will never complain about a sweet filled breakfast.

So these are my ode to all things Fall because around here we didn’t get any Spring so I will have to wait until Fall to enjoy some nice moderate weather!
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Carrot Cake Pancakes adapted from Joy the Baker

Pancakes
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons finely chopped pecans
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Dash nutmeg
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup packed brown or granulated sugar
1 cup milk
2 cups finely grated carrots
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Spread
4 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a bowl, combine the flour, pecans, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and nutmeg.
In a separate bowl, combine egg, brown sugar, milk, carrots, and vanilla mix to combine.
Stir carrot mixture into dry ingredients until moistened. Pour batter by 1/4 cupful onto a greased hot griddle. Turn when bubbles form on the top of pancake; flip and cook until golden brown.
For topping, blend cream cheese, powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla until smooth. Serve with pancakes, or as we did spread a ton on and enjoy.

Note - I always like raisins in my carrot cake so I think next time I will add them.

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Risk and Reward

Mon, 23 May 2011 14:36:00 +0000

I have decided to take more chances. One of those chances was entering to host a party sponsored by Food Buzz and Cost Plus World Market. Since I love Cost Plus World Market, I figured, "What the heck, might as well give it a shot instead of my usual 'they wouldn't take my proposal attitude'". So when I got back that they accepted my proposal, I was shocked and very excited. I'm already at Cost Plus World Market at least every few weeks, so a sponsored post was amazing.So we had originally planned to have friends over, who hadn't met C yet. I had the whole menu planned and ready to go when we got the call. They couldn't make it. So since I had already started the drink and the food, I thought, "You know what, we are still going to have something. Just the 3 of us." It was finally nice out and I wanted to celebrate that. So we continued on as planned, with one, minor yet delicious, substitution.As you can see, I made a ton of my fake out sangria, because I like it to sit and let the flavors muddle together. So I figured, "Might as well go with it, and let it finish muddling." I made a large dent in the final consumption so not all was lost. :) And I love the dispenser that I used. I had been pining over it for a while, thanks to the mason jar craze that is hot right now. Now that I have it, I really want another. It was already a hard sell to P as it's something I don't need blah, men and their practicality. Now everything you see here, minus the silverware, is from Cost Plus including the table and chairs. Told you I love them. Even if it wasn't a post sponsored by them I would be singing their praises. It's honestly a one stop party shop for me. If I'm going to a party or throwing one they have everything I need.Ok. back to the dinner. After the success of pork a palooza, we have decided to have a yet unnamed burger event and we are testing burgers for it. So this weekend the test burger was 'Big Blue'.And originally we were going to make potato chips, but since it was just the 3 of us (and only 2 of us were actually eating) we decided on baked zucchini fries. Which were amazing I can't wait to make them again. The Big Blue BurgerFor the patty1 lb of ground beef I like to use 80/20 when I make burgers1 tsp salt1 tsp olive oil1 tablespoon bread crumbs1/4 tsp freshly cracked pepperMix to combine form into 3 patties stuffing about 1 1/2 table spoons of blue cheese into each patty.Cook the patties over a pre heated grill about 8 minutes a side or until medium.For the sauce1/4 cup mayo1/3 cup blue cheeseStir to combine and let sit in the fridge until ready to serve. This can be made in advance.For the Onions1 onion, really thinly sliced2 tsp of balsamic vinegar1 tsp olive oilCook the onions in the olive oil until they are just starting to get some color on them then add in the balsamic vinegar and cook for another 2 minutes. Set aside until the burgers are ready.AssemblyTake a pretzel bun and put a generous amount of sauce on both sides and place a leaf of lettuce on the bottom bun and some balsamic onions on the top. Place the burger on the bottom bun and carefully top with the top bun. Zucchini fries4 medium to large zucchini cut into sticks1/2 Cup of milk1 cup of bread crumbs1 tsp onion powder1/2 tsp garlic powder2 tsp Brady street cheese sprinkle1/3 cup of Parmesan cheese gratedPinch of saltA few grinds of pepperPreheat oven to 425. Spray 2 baking sheets with non stick spray. Combine the bread crumbs, onion powder, garlic powder, cheese sprinkle, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper and set to the side.Dip the zucchini in the milk and the dredge in the bread crumb mixture, lay out on the baking sheet with a little space between them repeat until all are done.Bake for 25- 30 minutes rotating the pans once half way through the cooking. Fake Out SangriaI need a better name for this so I’m taking suggestions!1 64oz container of lemona[...]



Keeping It Real

Fri, 20 May 2011 20:37:00 +0000

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Normally I only show you what special things I bake up. But I have decided to start keeping it real. I don’t always have time to bake now because of C. But I always have time to make dinner during the week. Ok most days I do sometimes P has to do the cooking. So expect more of this and more of me keeping in real.

Like how I live on fewer hours of sleep than I ever remember.

How laundry in my house now accumulates over night to gigantic proportions.

How this blog and baking used to really important, now watching C learn to clap is the most important part of my day.

FYI she just learned last night I about died from cuteness.

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Vegetarian Enchiladas
1 onion - quartered and sliced
1 green pepper  - medium dice
4 portobello mushrooms - medium dice
1 cup of frozen corn, thawed and drained
1 can of tomato sauce
1 16 oz container of salsa - as hot as you like it
1 cup of shredded quesadilla cheese, you can substitute cheddar
1 1/2 cans of black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 bag of frozen spinach, thawed and drained
5 large tortillas
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large skillet put about a tablespoon of oil and cook the onions and peppers until the onions are translucent and the peppers are still just starting to get tender. Then set them aside in a large bowl. Add another tablespoon of oil and cook the mushrooms completely and add into the bowl along with the corn, black beans, and spinach. Season with salt and pepper. Add in 1/2 of the tomato sauce and 1/2 of the salsa into the mix and stir to combine. In a 9x13 pan mix half of the remaining tomato sauce and salsa on the bottom of the dish. Add 1/2 to 2/3 of a cup of the vegetable mixture into each tortilla and roll them up seam side down into the pan. Top with the remaining tomato sauce and salsa and sprinkle with the cheese. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes.
I use this recipe to use up left over vegetables I already have so feel free to change the vegetables up as you see fit.

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Pork A Palooza 2011

Sun, 01 May 2011 16:41:00 +0000

First I would like to thank Roger Goodell  the NFL Commissioner for having me host Pork A Palooza 2011.You may ask why am I thanking Roger Goodell the NFL Commissioner because he changed how the draft works. Every year we threw an NFL draft party now I understand most of you would understand why some one would throw a Super Bowl party or a party on a random Sunday to watch the game. However you do not live with my husband who is a football fanatic, we watch the NFL combine, we watch the draft (all 3 days), we watch every football game the Chicago Bears play, and we always have a Super Bowl party.So when it would be draft day everyone would be at my house early on Saturday morning ready to eat what seemed like at least 10lbs of meat a person. They would then call each other the next morning and talk about the meat sweats they had the night before. But the commish he changed things last year he made the NFL draft move to a Thursday night during prime time. This made it rather difficult to have a party because people have jobs, children and other obligations on Thursday nights so this year when the NFL draft was still on a Thursday I decided we should do something during draft season.So I decided we were going to throw Pork A Palooza 2011, everything was going to be made with pork, drinks, desserts, you name it, everything was going to have a pork or pork by product in it.  So with out further ado I give you Pork A Palooza 2011.MenuDrinks - Bacon Chocolate MartiniBacon Apple Bourbon FizzFood - Bacon Explosion BurgersBLT DipHam, Brie and Fig PaniniBacon Wrapped Blue Cheese DatesBacon Fat CornbreadHam Cheese and Chive BreadSonoran Hot DogsChorizo Pozole inspired SoupRoasted Cauliflower and Bacon SoupCheddar, Guinness and Bacon SpreadPancetta PoutinePulled Pork NachosDesserts - Bacon TrufflesPeanut Butter Bacon CookiesBacon and Beer SmoresBacon BrittleThese are the dates which were amazing.The Cauliflower and Bacon Soup, my personal favorite. The Pancetta Poutine, a Real Crowd Pleaser. The Bacon Explosion Slider, we ran out of these pretty quickly.  The Sonoran, messy to eat but oh so tasty. Ham Cheese and Chive Bread.I didn't get pictures of everything as I was playing hostess and baby wrangler.But this was the aftermath. And Because this is already an awfully long post. I will be posting the recipes in another post.[...]



Bacon and Beer, What could be better

Tue, 08 Mar 2011 17:21:00 +0000

(image) So I can finally announce what I have been working on that has been taking the precious time I have to cook and bake away from this blog.

P and I are throwing a party. A party that meant I had to test alot of recipes to see what we would want to use because…… they will all contain a pork or pork by product. We are Hosting Pork A Palooza 2011. The menu is just about final which means I can start posting recipes as the party date approaches.  So our first official offering is Bacon and Beer Smores, I had never made marshmallows before but they were on my cooking bucket list so I was able to kill two birds with one stone.
These are really simple once all of the components have been made but take into account that the marshmallows need to set up overnight.

(image) Bacon and Beer Smores

Beer Marshmallows found HERE
Note: I only cooked my sugar to 238 then removed it from the heat as the first time I went to the full 245 and the results were not good at all.

Bacon Chocolate Bar
12 oz of Milk chocolate melted
7 pieces of bacon cooked and crumbled
Combine chocolate and bacon and spread on a parchment lined baking sheet and let it harden in the fridge.

Graham Crackers

To assemble take a graham cracker and place a piece of bacon chocolate on it then top with a beer marshmallow and toast with a culinary torch.  You could also go old school and roast the marshmallow on a stick or skewer over a fire or gas stove top. Then top with another graham cracker and try to resist having another one.

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Cookies don’t Shake Hands, Cookies have to Hug

Wed, 16 Feb 2011 19:10:00 +0000

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I'm Type A as I have said many times before and I'm really hard on myself when things don't turn out as planned. But now that C is in the picture I don't have as much time to worry about small things. So when I was trying to make a dessert for work from a recipe I found, things did not work out as planned. And these cookies were for the garnish for this dessert and as you can see even these didn't come out right. But you know what I didn't care, I thought 2 cookies together equals 1 cookie. :) And that these cookies must know its close to Valentine's Day and they just love each other so much they had to hug. I know the cookies spread and they didn't actually want to hug so need for any lectures on how to fix my cookies.
So the next time your cookies hug don't worry because I'm sure they will still taste great!
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GTL for Life

Tue, 08 Feb 2011 18:04:00 +0000

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Vices we all have them and I have many, but one in particular drives P nuts. My love of reality tv, something about my lack of tv growing up and only watching PBS he thinks predisposes me to like this "crap" this late in life. So when my friend decided to start having Jersey Shore Thursdays at her house and we would do themed food I was all about going. I get to watch Jersey Shore and have immediate conversation and commentary, score. And I could wear sweatpants and eat food and dessert, double score. So when I told my friend that they were not all in fact Italian (collective gasp) she decided we would have Latin Flair Jersey Shore Thursday. So I set out to find a suitable dessert for such an occasion and I found it.
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GTL Cake AKA Great Tangerine Loaf Cake

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter,
at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 Tbs. finely grated tangerine zest

For the tangerine syrup:
1/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup fresh tangerine juice (I used sunburst tangerines)


Preheat an oven to 350ºF. Spray a 1lb loaf tin with baking spray
In a bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt.
In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the butter, sugar and zest until blended. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
Add the flour mixture alternating with the milk. Beat until blended and smooth.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes.
Make the tangerine syrup: Take the juice and sugar and reduce by half over medium high heat. Once reduced set aside to cool.
Remove the bread from the oven, using a fork or skewer, gently poke the top in several places. Slowly drizzle syrup over the hot bread. Let the bread cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn the loaf out onto the rack, top side up, and let cool completely. Makes 1 loaf.


I served mine with Chambord Whipped Cream. Because its Jersey Shore Thursday and we gotta have some booze somewhere!
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Creature of Habit

Tue, 18 Jan 2011 15:42:00 +0000

I know I'm old. Yes I said it I know I'm old. Not because some one forgot to check my license when I bought alcohol, nope I always get carded and then get the once over. And its not because they are trying to be cute. Its is because I'm a creature of habit and routine. Every Friday night we do our Grocery Shopping, it means we can have the whole weekend to ourselves and if we are up for work anyway might as a well just stay up few more hours and get it all done. So that means every week we go to the same stores at about the same time, so at our weekly Trader Joe's run the staff saw my stomach grow and grow and would ask when I was due. I would politely answer and we would go on our way. I figured they only remembered us because we use the same reusable baskets each week and they are unique. Oh yea and because I was a big pregnant lady :)So when I broke routine and went on a Tuesday during the afternoon sans baskets with C I thought no one would recognize me or say Hi. Boy was I wrong people that apparently hadn't been working the Friday night shift in a while stopped me and wanted to see the baby and wanted to know her name etc. That is when I knew I had turned into a predictable old lady. So I will sit here in my sweat pants and eat my favorite old timey dessert, Bread Pudding. And Bread Pudding gets even better when drizzled with Caramel and Trader Joe’s Fleur De Sel Caramel Sauce is perfect.Maybe getting old isn’t so bad if I can eat decadent desserts like this with out having to worry about skinny jeans, micro minis and tiny tee’s.White Chocolate Blueberry Bread Pudding with Salted Caramel Sauce1 cup of heavy cream1 cup of half and half2 teaspoons of cinnamon1/2 of a 1lb loaf of dense white bread12 oz of white chocolate chips, divided6 egg yolks1/2 cup of sugar2 teaspoons of coarse sea salt2 teaspoons of vanilla8 oz of blueberries, I use the frozen wild blueberries from Trader Joes because they are tiny and really flavorfulFleur De Sel Caramel SaucePreheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 6 6oz ramekins with non stick spray and set aside. Heat cream, half and half, vanilla until it comes to a boil then turn it down to a simmer, mix in the white chocolate and stir until combined and completely melted. Then set aside to cool. Chop the bread into 1 inch cubes and set aside in a large bowl. In a bowl mix the egg yolks, sugar, salt and cinnamon together, add in the warm cream mixture and whisk to combine. Pour the custard mixture over the bread and stir to coat every piece and let it sit for 10 minutes. Add in the blueberries and stir gently. Then divide the mixture evenly between the ramekins. Bake for 17-22 minutes or until the top is light golden brown and the custard is pretty much set. Heat the caramel sauce for about 30 seconds in the microwave and drizzle over the warm bread pudding.[...]



New Year, New Resolution

Thu, 13 Jan 2011 17:27:00 +0000



Every Year People make resolutions some we keep and some we don't even stand a chance at keeping.

I'm a list maker, a horrible type A list maker. And I made lists of things I wanted to do in 2010 some of which I did and some of which I didn't complete.

So this year I have one simple resolution, to actually use the many cookbooks I own. So during my lunch break at work (I'm actually going to use it for me time instead of just working through lunch), I'm going to bring a cookbook and use these fun little post it tabs that I got and mark down the recipes I want to make. And then I will bring that cookbook home and make everything that I marked and only when that is done can I move on to another cookbook.

I'm hoping this helps me make a commitment to my baking again since having cupcake has been my major priority. I think I deserve to do some baking, so I'm looking forward to sharing all of that with you.

And if you are wondering what I had written down to do that didn't get done in 2010, you are nosy. But fine I'll share with you.

1. Master Pie Crust - I didn't even attempt this and I will as I am sure there is some in one of my cookbooks
2. Finish the rest of my Catering Menu - I got about half of the cupcakes done but I still need to do some recipe formulation on the rest
3. Learn the ins and outs of my camera - I tried to read the manual, BORING
4. Make a Crepe Cake - I just need some uninterrupted time and lets face it I'm a mom now so that might not happen for the next 18 years :)
5.Organize my closet - I actually just bought some containers to help with this but they are however just sitting in my front room. Sigh.

But I did make about 4 gallons of vanilla extract, so if you need some let me know :) and I did complete my holiday baking and learned a few tricks while doing that. So between being pregnant, having a baby and all that comes with that I don't feel bad about what I didn't get done at all.

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I'm Back....

Tue, 23 Nov 2010 17:16:00 +0000

Thanks for still keeping up with me.

I promise I'll be posting some new stuff soon and I can't wait to start sharing great recipes with you again.

The reason for my absence is of course my biggest baking project yet. Cupcake is finally out of the oven.

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She is absolutely wonderful and a lot of work so we are just now getting a schedule and into the swing of things so I can get back to baking and blogging.

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Hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving! Get ready for some great holiday recipes from Cupcake and I.


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And the Winner Is

Wed, 15 Sep 2010 13:17:00 +0000

And the winner of the Prize from Pillsbury and Blogspark is...............


carrie said...

when my girls are loving each other and of course- chocolate.

-carriechilton@gmail.com

Congrats Carrie!


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Don’t Tempt a Pregnant Lady

Wed, 08 Sep 2010 16:04:00 +0000

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Don’t tempt a Pregnant lady with chocolate. Its really not a good idea. So when My Blog Spark asked me if I wanted this prize pack, how could I say no. It was hot out and I didn’t want to turn on the oven but could really go for a baked chocolate dessert. So I anxiously awaited this package because not only was I going to eat chocolate I could smell like it too.

Don’t worry they didn’t sent the actual product, but you bet I went straight to the store once I got my coupon and picked up the bite sized caramel variety. You know portion control and all.

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And they hit the spot big time. I know I can always make something better but at this point in my life instant gratification is nice.

So how about some instant gratification for you. That is right you could have some too, because I’m giving away the same prize pack that I received from My Blog Spark and Pillsbury.

Ok so the Rules and Regulations part. This is open to All US residents. This giveaway will end September 10th at 5pm Central Time.

Now How to Enter 3 Different Ways!

1. Leave a Comment here about something that gives you instant gratification.

2. Tweet about this post and then leave a comment back here with the link to the tweet.

3. Talk about this Giveaway on your Blog and leave a comment with a link back to the post.

And Make Sure you leave me a way to contact you! Otherwise how can I let you know you won.

Good Luck!

Disclaimer - Pillsbury provided me with the free product, information, and prize pack through MyBlogSpark.

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Diet Food?

Fri, 20 Aug 2010 13:23:00 +0000

Ever since I found out I was pregnant I have been trying to do a bucket list of sorts. I know my life won't be over once she arrives but I do know that I will have another focus and that things will take a back burner for a while. So I wanted to tackle somethings I have always wanted to make but didn't ever take the time to make. Angel Food Cake was one of them, because its a little time consuming and you have to be patient and wait for it to finish cooling completely. And I'm kind of a eat it right away girl cause I have already been waiting the bake time to taste it.The one thing I have never understood about Angel Food Cake is that its considered diet food, I mean I get it there are no egg yolks. But, there is a bunch of sugar, some flour, egg whites and not much else. Its not exactly health food. I guess that is why people normally pair it with fruit, so you can feel like you are eating something healthy. Yes, there is your social commentary for the day, feel free to discuss amongst yourselves.Ok back to the cake. I think in my now 28 years (jeez I'm old), I have had angel food cake that didn't come out of a plastic container one time. So how does this cake compare to a grocery store angel food cake. Its amazing, not even close to the grocery store cake. The texture is completely different, it has some for one and its not just soft blah cake, it has a bite to it. The flavor I think mainly because of the vanilla bean paste is so much better.So if you have only ever had grocery store Angel Food Cake you should really give this a shot, it will be work all the time and effort. The Best Angel Food Cake Adapted from Baking Bites 1 1/2 cups egg whites at room temperature 1 1/2 cups superfine sugar, divided 1 cup sifted cake flour 1 tsp cream of tartar 1/4 tsp salt 2 tsp vanilla bean paste Preheat oven to 325F. In a small bowl, combine 3/4 cup sugar and the cake flour. Set aside. In a Stand Mixer beat egg whites until frothy, add cream of tartar and salt. Beat until fully incorporated then begin to add the remaining 3/4 cup of sugar 1-2 tablespoons at a time. Once all the sugar has been added, beat egg whites to soft peaks. Once you have soft peaks, add the vanilla bean paste beat for a few seconds to evenly distribute. Sift the flour and sugar mixture over the egg whites in 6-8 additions and gently fold it in after each addition. Spoon batter into an ungreased 9 inch tube pan. Smooth the top with a spatula and tap the pan on the counter once or twice to ensure that there are no large bubbles lurking beneath the surface. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until the top springs back when lightly pressed. Remove from oven an invert pan over a bottle. I used a wine bottle, that had a nice long neck to invert the cake over. Allow to cool completely or overnight. Gently run a thin knife around the sides of the pan to release the cake when you are ready to serve it.[...]



The Reason

Tue, 03 Aug 2010 17:06:00 +0000

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So posts on the blog have been few and far between. I am still cooking and baking as much as I can but the time to work on the blog has taken a back burner. Because I have been spending my time getting our home ready for a new addition. Yes, that is right I’m having a baby! So between work, getting the house ready for the baby and my regular day to day living activities the blog fell to the wayside and I feel bad about that. So now that I’m in the final stretch and most of the baby work is done I am returning to you, until my little cupcake arrives.

So in honor of my baby girl I made this delicious crisp and because I’m pregnant I ate both of them, ok even if I wasn’t pregnant I would have eaten both of them, don’t judge me. They really were that good.

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Peach and Raspberry Crisp

2 medium peaches

1/2 pint of raspberries

2 Tablespoons of butter, softened

2 Tablespoons of honey

2 Tablespoons of AP Flour

1/4 cup of rolled oats

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place two 6 oz oval ramekins on a baking sheet. Pit and chop the peach into bite size pieces and split between the two ramekins. Sprinkle the raspberries over the top of the peaches. In a bowl combine the butter, sugar, flour, oats and cinnamon until it forms crumbles. Top each ramekin with half of the crumble mixture. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes until the top is golden brown. Serve warm.

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Cheese It’s What’s For Dinner

Wed, 30 Jun 2010 16:23:00 +0000

(image) I have been trying to be better about my blog but it just hasn’t happen. You will all know why soon but I have also been trying to show you what I eat for dinner. My only problem recently is I’m so darned hungry when I get home I cook and eat before even realizing I didn’t take any pictures. So when Ile De France asked I wanted to sample some cheese as a Guest Blogger I jumped at the chance because lets face it cheese and I are best friends. So when I got the package I knew immediately I wanted to make a pasta dish, and bacon makes everything better. And I figured I should probably throw in a vegetable because then I could pretend it was a well balanced meal. And let me tell you I wish I would have made double of this recipe it was so good I wanted seconds.

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Herbed Goat Cheese, Bacon and Asparagus Pasta

8 pieces of bacon, cut into pieces

1/2 bunch of fresh asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces

4 oz of Herbed Ile De France Goat Cheese, crumbled

1/4 cup of heavy cream,

1/2 lb of uncooked pasta, I used fettuccine but any long pasta will work

Salt and Pepper to taste.

Put a pot of water to boil on the stove for the pasta and cook until al dente according to the package instructions.

While the pasta is cooking, in a sauté pan cook the bacon pieces until they are crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan but leave 1/2 of the drippings in the pan. Add the asparagus into the pan and cover and cook until tender. Add in the goat cheese and heavy cream and stir until the goat cheese melts and makes a sauce. Salt and pepper to taste. Add in the cooked pasta and stir to coat the pasta. Top with the bacon and Parmesan cheese if need extra cheese on everything like I do.

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Food List

Tue, 04 May 2010 15:10:00 +0000

(image) Do you ever get those email forwards from people whether it be back in the day or just yesterday. You know the ones, what is your favorite color, what did you eat today, what are you doing right now, etc.

The one question on those that drives me crazy is what is your favorite food. Seriously, you think can be summed up in one answer. Maybe if you aren’t into food it can but to me that is like asking me what is your favorite cheese. To which I would immediately ask, blue, soft, goat, hard, cheddar and the list goes on and on. Because I would have an answer for each of them.

So I started making a Food List that I feel is appropriate. This is a work in progress so please if you have a category leave a comment and I will add it and answer it.

Favorite Olive - Picholine

Favorite Bread -Brioche

Favorite Blue Cheese -Cashel Blue

Perfect Burger -Brioche Bun, Grass Fed Beef, Blue Cheese, Bacon, Avocado.

Favorite Dark Chocolate -Taza 70%

Biggest Food Sin - Pie Crust, I buy it. I just never get it to work out. Despite the Picture above.

Best Dining Experience - Gary Danko

Favorite Street Food - Ham and Cheese Crepes in Paris

Favorite Beer - Anchor Steam

Best Food City - Chicago!!!!

Best Fruit Pie - Elegant Farmer Apple Pie

Best Pumpkin Pie - Dinkel's

Best Chocolate Pie - Georgie Porgie Pie from Agan's Bakery

Best Fruit Beer - Samuel Smith Organic Cherry

Food I will never eat - Strawberries, kind of a cop out I'm allergic.


So Please comment and I will add your categories to the Food List!


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Winning is Fun!

Fri, 09 Apr 2010 13:07:00 +0000

Ok the Winner is by the Super Fantastic Random.org

Here are your random numbers:

11 

Timestamp: 2010-04-09 13:07:07 UTC


So that means

(image) grace said...

green, i am not. yet. i need some help!

Is the Winner, So Help is on the way!


Thank you to everyone who entered!



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I’m Back………

Wed, 31 Mar 2010 17:46:00 +0000

Sorry for my prolonged absence. It has been with good reason, But I’m back and ready to bake!

So of course my first post back involves baking right… WRONG. It involves Spring Cleaning which is what I have been doing not only in my house lately but also my life. Re prioritizing and Reevaluating things.

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So what better way to celebrate than to give away some super cleaning products that are also Eco conscious.

So when My Blog Spark asked if I would like to try these and then give some away, heck yes I said I would! So a big thanks to them and Seventh Generation.

I have been wanting to try their products for a while and yes you really get everything pictured no samples here. So We have been using the products for a week now and I think they clean great.

So lets get to the good part where you can win some!

Ok so the Rules and Regulations part. This is open to All US residents. This giveaway will end April 1st at 5pm Central Time.

Now How to Enter 3 Different Ways!

1. Leave a Comment here about why you would like to try Seventh Generation Products.

2. Tweet about this post and then leave a comment back here with the link to the tweet.

3. Talk about this Giveaway on your Blog and leave a comment with a link back to the post.

And Make Sure you leave me a way to contact you! Otherwise how can I let you know you won.

Good Luck!

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Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Wed, 03 Feb 2010 21:01:00 +0000

  I never really go into the whole whoopie pie craze. I now regret that whole heartedly. Not because I like to be trendy but because they are the perfect ratio. Now I’m a little Type A and I like things to have a certain ratio of ingredients. So when cupcakes are all cake and no frosting or vice versa I really don’t like it. So these are perfect not only is the ratio perfect but you surround the great cream cheese frosting with cake on both sides. And Can I just say Cream Cheese Frosting rocks, I don’t care what my sister says.  Yes I know you are probably in shock right now but it is true there are people out there who apparently don’t think Cream Cheese Frosting is the best thing in the world and could eat a bowlful of it on a semi regular basis. Not that I have ever done that before. Back to the whoopie pies, they really are a perfect dessert and the fact that they are hand held makes them even better. I know what I will be serving at the Super Bowl now! Pumpkin Whoopie Pies – Adapted from Martha Stewart 3 cups of AP Flour 1 teaspoon of salt 1 teaspoon of baking powder 1 teaspoon of baking soda 1 tablespoon of Cinnamon 2 tablespoons of Pumpkin Pie Spice 2 cups of light brown sugar 1 cup of vegetable oil 3 cups of pumpkin puree 2 eggs 1 teaspoon of Vanilla Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Filing 12 oz of Cream Cheese, softened 4 oz of unsalted butter, softened 2 tablespoons of vanilla bean paste 2 1/2 cups of powdered sugar   To make the Cookies - Preheat oven to 350 degrees, line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. In a medium bowl combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice.  In a Large bowl combine the brown sugar and oil until well mixed. Add in the pumpkin and stir to combine. Add in the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until completely incorporated. Using a tablespoon ice cream scoop, drop scoops on the parchment paper about 1 inch apart.  Bake for 15 – 17 minutes rotating the pans half way through. The tops should be just starting to crack or firm to the touch. Let them cool completely before filling. To Make the Filling - Cream together the cream cheese and the butter until they are light and fluffy. Then add in vanilla bean paste and stir to combine. Sift in the powdered sugar in 3 additions making sure to mix well after each addition. Set this aside to chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes. Using a piping bag, pipe a good amount of frosting on one cookie and top with another cookie pressing down ever so slightly. Repeat with the remaining cookies. Note – The Recipe from Martha said it makes 12 sandwiches, I made 24. [...]