Tuesday, June 28, 2011

White Sheet Cake

Yesterday under extreme pressure due to a looming evening work event, I was able to complete a massive amount of work fast.  I was able to drive home 30 miles, feed my child a Popsicle for and dinner, work out, cook myself dinner, empty the dishwasher, then reload the dishwasher all in one hour and 45 minutes.

Who knew I could do it that fast, please don’t tell anyone. My husband could obviously read this but him reading this is like me being interested in his golf score - so I think I’m safe.

Speaking of being safe, liking this cake is surely a safe bet. I liked it so much I sampled about half of it in 2 days. I also made those twix bars on the same weekend so you can imagine that it was a fierce battle for my attention…I would call it tie in all honesty, the only loser = my pants.

On the subject of pants, I have noticed a few things.

1. Stacy and Clinton do not lie, get those puppies altered.
2. Jeans exist to make us crazy in dressing rooms, well jeans and bikini’s..OK maybe bikini’s are one step in front of jeans.
3. Bra’s also make me crazy in dressing rooms, glad I don't have to put them back on the hangar right because that's brain surgery for sure.
4. I hate limits in dressing rooms
5. Don’t eat this cake and then try on clothes in a dressing room

There now you know how I feel about pants…speaking of feelings have I told you about my demanding kitties lately? I feel like they are playing games with me.  Just this morning no matter which way I moved I had one just under my feet and was on the verge of tripping. How does this happen? It’s like when you’re walking down a hallway and start dancing back and forth with the person walking straight at you. Why is it as soon as your break left…they do too, then right, then left, then right?

The other cat kept demanding fresh sink water while I was brushing, seriously dude there is a water bowl downstairs…like right next to your stinky cat food. I will not, I repeat will not be the sink turner on person for you. Let me say that in a language you understand “meow , meowwww, umm meow”.

Now let me talk to your food lovers in a language you understand, on to the recipe!

Delightfully borrowed with itty bitty changes from AllRecipes
{Printable Recipe}

• 1 cup butter
• 1 cup water
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 cups white sugar
• 2 eggs
• 1/2 cup sour cream
• 1 tablespoon of Vanilla extract
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 cup butter
• 1/4 cup milk
• 4 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
• Sprinkles (NOT optional)


In a large saucepan, bring 1 cup butter or margarine and water to a boil. Remove from heat, and stir in flour, sugar, eggs, sour cream, 1 tablespoon Vanilla extract, salt, and baking soda until smooth. Pour batter into a greased 10 x 15 x 1 inch baking pan.

Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 20 to 22 minutes, or until cake is golden brown and tests done. Cool for 20 minutes.

For the Icing

Combine 1/2 cup butter or margarine and milk in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Mix in sugar and 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract. Spread frosting over warm cake. The icing will set up quickly, so spread fast. Dot with Sprinkles.

Need something fun for kidlets? I cut out little squares and placed them on straws and handed over a tall glass of milk with them. Kids can eat the small square of cake then sip their milk from the straw the cake was on. Easy peasy.
Peace Out.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Homemade Twix Bars

Holy crap ya’ll I just used 2lbs of butter while baking over the last 2 days. Just so you know it’s not an equal trade when it comes to poundage. My bootay is approximately 5lbs heavier, and my conscience can only handle so much more…so I am going to have to unload on you. Consider me the co-worker who brings all their goodies in on Monday to fatten you up.

Does anyone have any objections?

Well since you guys seem up for unloading let me get the rest of this week’s confessions off my chest.

I confess that I told Indigo that we were going to get a smoothie if she promised to leave the park like a good girl, she did…and then I drove her straight home. I did however supplement with a Popsicle so I’m not all bad.

I confess that I wiped something off the floor with a sponge..the same sponge we use to wash dishes off. There I said it. I’m gross.

I confess that sometimes I steal time from work, someone has to make sure the Internet is still working right?

I confess that I chew a pack of juicy fruit per day.

I confess that I bought 5 apples for snacks for this week’s lunches, and I have 5 left.

I confess that on Friday I had 2 donuts, and I didn’t go back for seconds – I grabbed 2 from the get go.

I confess that while driving I pretend like I don’t notice that someone is trying to get over into my lane because I really just don’t want to let them in. In all honesty they should have thought about getting over earlier and not at the last freaking moment!!! Not getting a car length ahead of me buddy!!

There now I feel better, the only thing left to do is work out for 2 weeks.

Delight fully borrowed from The Sweet Details
{Printable Recipe}

1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup butter
2 tbsp Corn Syrup
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup brown sugar

1-bag of semi-sweet choco chips


In a large bowl, mix together all the base ingredients until crumbly. Press into a 9x9 dish that had been lined with aluminum foil. Be sure to lightly coat foil with cooking spray. Bake at 325 for 20 minutes, or until a nice golden brown.

Combine all filling ingredients into a saucepan and bring to a boil,.reduce heat and stir for 6 minutes . Pour over warm base. Let cool for at least one hour.

Melt chocolate in a double boiler and pour over filling, spread with a spatula and cool to room temperature and then place in your fridge for 4 hours before cutting.

I cut and wrapped them individually in wax paper. Keep these puppies in the fridge for storage. They keep well.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Pasta with Escarole, White Beans, and Sausage

Today I bid farewell to TV that has entertained me over the last few months..and welcome a few.

Games of Thrones, oh how I love thee. I must admit at first I thought, how could I ever watch such fantasy…and now I wish I had a mini dragon of my own.

Nurse Jackie? If ever there was a nurse who was on drugs you would want to take care of you, she's it. Take it easy on your husband lady….PS Coop is really cute.

The Borgias – You are boring and can leave.

Freaky Eaters – Actually I have no idea if their season ended but dude I LURVE this show. If someone who eats couch cushions doesn’t peak your interest then nothing will, not to mention there was a lady who would eat the couch too - as long as you put tartar sauce on it.

Intervention – A solid show in my arsenal for years, I root for each and every person!

True Blood & Boardwalk Empire – “Woot Woot”, I think that says it all.

Toddlers and Tiaras – You can quit following me for liking this show, I know it is all sorts of wrong but I also love all the Housewives so as you can see I rank low for quality programming.

So as you can see I spend a large portion of my day sitting all still like on a couch.

Since you can’t grill and keep a keen eye on the TV, I decided to whip up some pasta over the weekend to keep us fed during the week. I am super smart this way with planning. I mean how can you watch all this goodness and cook dinner at the same time??

Delightfully borrowed (slightly altered) from The Food Network
{Printable Recipe}

• 3/4 pound pasta, I used spiral
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 3 Large Links of Italian-style chicken sausage, casings removed, crumbled
• 1 medium head escarole, rinsed, drained and chopped, about 8 cups
• 1(14-ounce) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
• 1 cup chicken broth
• 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves
• Salt
• Freshly ground black pepper
• Parmesan


Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package.

Heat the oil over a medium heat in a large, deep saute pan or 8-quart stockpot. Saute the onion until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook an additional 1 minute. Stir in the sausage and cook until heated through and browned, about 4 minutes.

Add the escarole and cook until wilted, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the beans, 1 cup of chicken stock, sage and red pepper flakes and simmer until the mixture is heated through and liquid is slightly reduced.

Add the sausage-bean mixture to pasta and toss well.  Season with freshly ground pepper and salt, to taste….then toss on the Parmesan baby.

Now plop down on the couch and eat…get your TV on all proper like with a big ole honkin bowl of pasta - and if you have some time please check out a food bloggers tribute to Monet.  Want to try out the recipe I supplied....Gingersnap Tart with Pumpkin Pastry Cream!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Future Ballerina?

This little number is courtesy of a little re-sale boutique called The Bird's Nest.

This little 6 dollar ballet dress made my million dollar Indy very happy!  She twirled, she whirled.

She was transformed and had so much grace! Such a little lady.  I could envision her sipping tea and then taking a stroll through fancy streets.

Then she turned to me and said "Poopy head - get me some milk". I love that girl.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Chianti Pot Roast - Pressure Cooker Meal

I’m back, and I have lived to tell the stories.
I missed 2 flights.
I had about 3 breakdowns.
I ate about 12 fast food meals.
I watched about 20 episodes of Bridezillas.
I saw 3 in the flesh deer and 1 fawn and a toad.

I had way too much fun and have 548 pictures to prove it.
I learned that pressure cookers are AWESOME.
I learned that mole rats are freaky.
I learned that my daughter can talk for 7 hours straight without breaking a sweat.
I learned that Alvin and the Chipmunks are a lifesaver when you have no more life left in you. Thanks Alvin.

Notes from Travel :

One hour lay overs are just not enough.
By the time the food cart gets to you…what you want…yeah it’s gone
You really don’t want the seats near the restroom
If your baby isn’t crying, someone else’s is..however this makes you feel oddly satisfied.
And..if your mom has a new pressure cooker – be sure to break it in

Delightfully borrowed from a cookbook that lives in Ohio.
{Printable Recipe}

4 tbs Olive Oil
2-3 lbs Beef Chuck Roast, cubed
½ tsp salt
½ tsp garlic powder
Black pepper, just a pinch
1 ½ cups Chianti, split into two ¾ cup portions
1 ½ tsp beef base, mixed with 1 ½ cups water
3 oz tomato paste
2 tsp sugar
2 tbs minced garlic
1 ½ tsp Italian Seasoning
8 oz baby bella mushrooms, sliced
4 med tomatoes, cut into large chunks
2 tbs corn starch


Add the oil to the Pressure Cooker and heat on high heat or “brown” with the lid off.

Sprinkle all of your cubed beef with the salt, garlic powder, black pepper. Add into the pressure cooker and sear on all sides.

Pour in ¾ cups of the Chianti. Add the beef base, tomato paste, sugar, garlic, and Italian Seasoning into the pressure cooker. Secure the lid and set on high for 40 minutes.

Perform a steam release on the cooker, and remove lid. Remove the meat and cover with aluminum foil. Add mushrooms and tomatoes into the cooker, if low on juice add the leftover ¾ cup Chianti. To thicken the sauce, stir in the 2bs of corn starch.

After 6-8 minutes, pour the mushroom and tomato mixture over your beef. I served mine over Gnocchi. It was delish.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Little Kitchens - Interactive Baking for Children

Welcome to the first edition of Little Kitchens. I hope to make this a new feature that we can have at least once per month. What is Little Kitchens?

Number one this is simply a chance to bond with your child. Sometimes we might get caught up in everyday life and it’s always nice to fully focus on your child while doing something you love at the same time.

Number two is teaching, we are our children’s number one teacher. Why not move that to the kitchen? And so Little Kitchens is born.

Let’s get interactive, let’s forget perfection and bake our little hearts out.

Let’s measure flour, sugar, butter, and chocolate chips…and eat the evidence.

Let’s color, glue, cut, and place our art from Little Kitchens on the fridge.

Let’s teach our kids how to cook – Lets bake cookies and roast vegetables.

Today we are going to bake Oreo Pudding Cookies. There are a few things you as the parent will need to print out before we get started.

INGREDIENTS 4 Little Kitchens

Cookie Print Out
Ingredients Print Out
Glue Stick
Scissors (to cut out the Baking Items and cookie)

*Print out the 2 items above, carefully cut out ingredients for your child to color & glue*

INGREDIENTS 4 Oreo Pudding Cookies
Delightfully borrowed, slightly altered from The Girl Who Ate Everything

1 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 (4.2 ounce) package instant Oreo Pudding mix
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Hershey's Cookies N Cream Large Candy
1 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips


Mom or Dad, Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Let’s get out our measuring utensils. I like to go over the different measurements with Indigo. For each measurements I filled the cup and let her pour the ingredient in to the bowl. I placed Indy right on the counter, that’s right girls butt all up on the counter..live a little.

First pour the flour into a bowl.

Next measure out the baking soda, and salt and let your child pour over your flour. Hand over the whisk and let your little one stir gently.

Cream together butter and sugars. We used a hand mixer, I let Indigo hold on and help. Remember to let your little one count measurements with you.

Beat in pudding mix until blended. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add the flour mixture and mix to combine. Stir in cookies n' cream pieces and chocolate chips. Now taste the dough together, good habits start early.

Using a cookie dough scooper, place golf ball sized dough balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Cookie stays a very light color, not brown at all. They stay quite “puffed” too. Place on a wire rack to cool.

Now while the cookies are in the oven, we can make art. I covered my table with some white paper, and placed the cookie and ingredients on it.

Me & Indigo talked about the ingredients while she colored each one and then glued them on to her large cookie.

Presto – Little Kitchen art.

I hope you enjoyed your time, I know me & Indigo sure did. It only takes an hour to have a very special moment with your child. One she or he will never forget. Let me know if you try this out 

PS. This is Indigo pre-face plant on the cement

PPS. I will be on vacation next week.

PPPS. Love ya’ll, don't party too hard while I'm gone...because I would be jealous.