Category: Dessert

Snowman Cupcakes

What a sweet week it’s been! And it’s not over yet. I’ve got more baking to do. So far this week, I’ve made Christmas Crack Candy, Christmas Chocolate Cake, Christmas Tree Brownies, and lastly, for now, Snowman Cupcakes!

wpid-20141211_112356_hdr.jpg

I took the semi-homemade route, again, this time. So, these were pretty easy. Sort of. I’ll get to that. But if you plan to make them, they will be easy.

wpid-20141211_112131_hdr_20141211195105320.jpg

Aren’t they darling? I was in charge of dessert for my Bigs’ class’ birthday party for Jesus today. I thought about going the Jesus/religious symbol route when it came to decorating, but I was nervous about the kids having to eat Baby Jesus. It could go all kinds of wrong. I’ve seen some cute Jesus decorations, but knowing me, I’d make a disaster out of it.

wpid-20141211_112222_hdr.jpg

So, I decided on snowmen.

wpid-20141211_112159_hdr.jpg

I like the way they came out. I really enjoyed making these.

wpid-20141211_112245_hdr.jpg

And just like real snowmen, they each have their own little personalities*.

*decorating inconsistencies

These cheerful cupcakes were delicate and had a soft crumb, were rich in chocolate flavor (thanks boxed mix!), and covered in a delicious, fluffy, marshmallow-y frosting. The crushed peppermint added a refreshing, festive flavor. These were a hit!

Snowman Cupcakes

1 box of your favorite cake mix (or one batch of homemade) – I used chocolate

ingredients used to make cupcakes

silver cupcake wrappers (other Christmassy ones would be cute too)

1 batch of 7 Minute Frosting (recipe below)

candy canes, crushed (I crushed up 12, but didn’t need it all)

Wilton Icing Decorations, snowman variety

Follow the directions on your cake mix box and bake cupcakes, as directed. Let them cool completely. You can expedite this process by placing the cupcakes in the freezer or refrigerator.

While those are cooling, make your 7 Minute Frosting (recipe, directions, and a short story below). I iced the cupcakes using a swirled effect, to make them look peppermint-y. If you want to do that, you’ll need to paint a stripe of food coloring (I used Americolor Red gel) on the inside of your icing bag, before filling it with the frosting.

Once the cupcakes were iced with the swirled frosting, I sprinkled them with the crushed candy canes, and placed one of the Wilton Icing Decorations on top.

I ended up making the frosting twice.

7 Minute Frosting – Recipe #1

Source: Paula Deen, Food Network.com

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar or 1 tablespoon white corn syrup (I used white corn syrup)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup water
2 egg whites
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Place sugar, cream of tartar or corn syrup, salt, water, and egg whites in the top of a double boiler. Beat with a handheld electric mixer for 1 minute. Place pan over boiling water, being sure that boiling water does not touch the bottom of the top pan. (If this happens, it could cause your frosting to become grainy). Beat constantly on high speed with electric mixer for 7 minutes. Beat in vanilla.
I have made this dozens of times before, and it’s always turned out beautifully, but ran into a problem this time. I used the white corn syrup, while I usually use the cream of tartar. I had both on hand, so I’m not sure why I chose the syrup. Anyways, it didn’t set up and the sugar didn’t fully melt. It was a grainy, soupy mess. And I know that my boiling water wasn’t touching the bottom of the glass bowl on my double boiler. Ohhhh wellllll.
wpid-photogrid_1418424722208.jpg
I tried a different recipe for the second batch. I actually used a recipe I hadn’t used before and it worked out perfectly.
Fluffy White Frosting – Recipe #2
Source: allrecipes.com
1 C white sugar
1/3 C water
1/4 t cream of tartar
2 egg whites
1 t vanilla extract

In a saucepan, stir together the sugar, water and cream of tartar. Cook over medium-high heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is bubbly.

 

In a medium mixing bowl, whip the egg whites and vanilla to soft peaks. Gradually add the sugar mixture while whipping constantly until stiff peaks form, about 7 to 10 minutes.
I’m sure that either one you choose will work out fine. I’d stick with the cream of tartar though. That one always works for me. #nowiknow #lessonlearned #themoreyouknow
Since I only needed a dozen cupcakes, I had a little fun with my leftover batter.
wpid-20141211_112451_hdr.jpg
I baked a mini chocolate bundt cake. Then, I filled the hole with the red swirled marshmallow frosting (the good batch), sprinkled crushed peppermints on top, took a few pictures of it, then ate it, off of my “Cookies for Santa” plate. It was good. I had to test my product before it left my kitchen. Bakers and Chefs, you know this. It’s an important part of the process. I did this for you.
wpid-20141211_112531_hdr_20141211202358892.jpg
I happen to know that Santa loves his (or her) cookies, but would not turn down this sweet little bundt cake, if you left it out for him (or her).
Blessings!
Kristin

Christmas Tree Brownies

As you may (or may not) know, I’ve been a baking fool this week (in my defense, a “fool” isn’t all bad! for you non-Anglophiles out there, it’s also an English dessert made from a mixture of pureed fruit that has been folded into whipped cream.). I’ve made something each day and I’m so excited about these next two (SUPER easy!) recipes that I’m going to be sharing with you all!

wpid-img_20141211_163510.jpg

Today’s recipe is not only stupidly easy, but adorable. It might be my favorite. It’s SO cute. I also love that this recipe can be changed around, so easily, for any kind of color scheme you want, or even just to use the decorating supplies you have on hand (I happen to be a decorating hoarder).

wpid-20141210_173608_hdr.jpg

Christmas Tree Brownies

1 box of brownie mix (or one batch of your favorite homemade recipe)

1 packet of green cookie decorating icing

1 packet of white Wilton Candy Melts (mine had sprinkles in them, a bonus for these!)

various sprinkles (I used multi colored nonpareils and star shaped sprinkles)

1 13×9 pan

Christmas tree shaped cookie cutter

Prepare your brownie mix as directed and pour into a greased 13×9 pan. Bake as directed. I baked for a little bit less time because my pan was very shallow. Let it cool completely, once baked.

wpid-20141210_173718_hdr.jpg

Place waxed paper on your counter top, under your cooling rack. Use your cookie cutter to cut out the desired amount of trees. Mine made 11 trees, with lots of scraps (you know, for snacking or whatever). Place on top of the cooling rack. Use your green cookie icing to make stripes on your trees. There is no wrong way to do this! Repeat with your Candy Melts (I melted mine in the microwave in a microwave safe bowl, using 30 second increments, until fully melted). The Candy Melts look like fresh-fallen snow on these beautiful trees. Add your sprinkles in any pattern (or none at all!) that you wish. When I added the star atop the tree, I first added a small dollop of the green icing, to act as glue.

Place in the fridge and package up, if desired.

wpid-20141210_181021_hdr.jpg

These came out SO cute and I think my Bigs’ classmates will really enjoy them.

wpid-20141210_174148_hdr.jpg

I hope you give these a try! Enjoy!

Kristin

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…cake!

wpid-20141209_134533-1-1_20141209220245378.jpg

So, I told you I made cake. Remember that? I’m sure you do. I mean, if you told me that you made a cake, I would not forget. Cake isn’t a flippant thought in my mind. Anywhoooo…

Isn’t this a sight to behold? A thing of beauty? A real looker? I used one of my two go-to chocolate cake recipes, this one being the one-bowl selection. To decorate, I chopped up those magical Ferrero Rocher candies (I used a pack of twelve, four each of three flavors, for this 9×13 sized cake). I distributed those around the edge of this beast and sprinkled some Christmas nonpareils on top.

wpid-20141209_134643.jpgSure, my butter wasn’t fully softened and left little chunks in the frosting. Can’t win them all. But hey, when were chunks of rich, creamy butter a bad thing, in a rich, creamy chocolate frosting? Maybe you CAN win them all.

wpid-20141209_134650.jpg

This cake is incredibly moist and the frosting equally smooth. It’s a winning combo, especially with the addition of Ferrero Rocher chocolates. I realize this sounds like a sponsored ad, but it isn’t. Although, Ferrero Rocher, if you’re listening, I’m up for sponsorship. #pleasesponsorme #anyone #anyone? My Bible study ladies seemed to really enjoy it. I know I did!

wpid-20141209_134622.jpg

I mean, lookee.

Here’s the original recipe:

http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/2013/06/one-bowl-chocolate-cake-made-from-scratch.html

And the frosting recipe:

http://myrecipemagic.com/recipe/recipedetail/moms-chocolate-frosting-the-best-frosting-recipe

I also made lunches for my boys (obvi).

For my Bigs:

wpid-photogrid_1418256364988.jpg

It’s a wreath-shaped PB&J and a teeny little gingerbread-shaped PB&J. I also packed colby jack cheese, a few pretzels, half a mandarin orange, a few apple slices, and some of that freaking good cake. I promised my Bigs that I’d try to save him a piece. He’ll be so happy to have it. I also sprinkled on a few red, green, and white chocolate covered sunflower seeds just because. Unfortunately, he got sick in the middle of the night, so he’ll be enjoying this from home today. (if you think of it, say a little prayer for his recovery? he’s got a Christmas performance at school tomorrow that I know he’d really be sad to miss being a part of – thank you!)

And for my Smalls:

wpid-photogrid_1418256519223.jpg

For him, I packed a PB&J in the shaped of a little tree and a little gingerbread boy (which I’ve ruined with a big ol’ face, but he won’t notice), colby jack cheese, apple slices, half a mandarin orange, honey-roasted peanuts, and a few of the chocolate covered sunflower seeds for his little dessert.

Many blessings to you!

Kristin

Candy & Gingerbread & Sprinkles, oh my!

Sounds like the stuff my dreams are made of!

I’m not even remotely kidding.

This has been such a sweet week – literally! I made some candy yesterday and baked a cake today, all of which I’ll be sharing with you. And I’ve made some really sweet lunches for my Bigs.

In appreciation of my sons’ school’s staff (most of whom have become lovely friends to me), I made candy. Crack Candy, to be specific. Have you tried this stuff?! It’s SO good, that it’s addictive, like, you know, crack. Eeeek. It could also refer to the ingredients, which include crackers. That seems like a safer name. Anyways, I Christmas-ized this Crack Candy.

wpid-20141208_161751_20141208190357903.jpg

I mean, really. Crunchy, crispy, salty crackers, enrobed in a homemade caramel sauce, baked until it’s soaked all the way through, and then covered in bittersweet chocolate. I can’t even. I mean, I can. But I resisted. Not that I wanted to. But I did. These are SO easy to make and they make such an impact. At least I hope they do. I doubled the recipe and added Christmas colored sprinkles.

wpid-20141208_140137.jpg

Christmas Crack CandyCooking spray
35 to 40 saltine crackers, or however many cover the bottom of your sheet pan evenly
1 C butter (2 sticks)
1 cup brown sugar
About 2 C bittersweet chocolate chips

1 t vanilla, optional
Sprinkles, optional (for me, it’s not optional!)
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Line 1 large sheet pans with aluminum foil and liberally spray with nonstick spray. Place the Saltines in a single layer on the pan. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together and bring to a boil. Reduce and simmer for about 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat. This is when you would add your vanilla.
Pour over your Saltines and place the pan(s) in the oven for 3-5 minutes. The caramel will be bubbling. Remove from the oven and pour on your chocolate chips. I placed it back into the oven for a few minutes to fully melt the chips, but you can just wait. Use a knife (or an offset spatula) to spread the chocolate. Add sprinkles, if desired.
Let the chocolate set up. You can place these pans in the freezer or fridge to expedite the process. Once fully cooled, break up the pieces. Store in an airtight container.
These make excellent gifts!
wpid-20141208_161806.jpg
I also made a sweet little lunch for my Bigs – gingerbread themed! Sadly, I didn’t have any actual gingerbread for him to eat. A true crime!
wpid-photogrid_1418176716837.jpg
Despite this little gingerbread man’s HUGE face, I think he turned out alright. Bigs won’t notice his wonkiness. It is peanut butter and Jif chocolate s’mores peanut butter (that’s how my family rolls – peanut butter on peanut butter sandwiches!) and I used my gold food-safe spray and Food Writers to add details. I did the same to make two little Christmas trees. I also packed pretzels, raisins, dried dates, apple slices, mandarin orange slices, and yogurt for dessert. I added a teeny bit of the homemade chocolate frosting (recipe upcoming), from the cake I made today, to the yogurt for some lovely cocoa flavor and added some gingerbread and holly berry sprinkles.
Blessings!
Kristin

Ice Cream Cone Cornucopias

wpid-20141120_155038.jpg

Boy, have I got a fun thing for you to try! If you’re looking for a sweet Thanksgiving treat for kids or even for place settings at the kid table (although I don’t know any adults who would turn this down), then you’ve come to the right place.

wpid-20141120_155047.jpg

I’m here to show you Ice Cream Cone Cornucopias! Filled! With popcorn! And M&M’s!!! I came across this idea on Pinterest when looking for Thanksgiving feast desserts for my Bigs’ VPK class. They looked super easy and I have a friend who has made them and she also said they were easy.

As oft happens in my kitchen adventures…

…(to me) easy they were not. The directions call for soaking the bottoms of sugar cones in warm water for 20 seconds, microwaving the cones for 20 seconds, and bending the bottoms around a pencil (or the like) for 20 seconds. Sounds easy enough, right? I was glad I purchased two packs (of 12 cones) even though I only needed 12. I ended up using every last one (I destroyed ate mucked up about 12). So. My recommendation to you, is to A) buy more than you need just in case and B) soak the cones for longer than 20 seconds (I’d say upwards of 45).

Or, maybe it will all work perfectly for you, as it’s supposed to. 🙂 I tend to muck things up a bit.

I had to let mine dry for a few hours, due to the massive bath they took during the earlier process. Once they were dried, they looked so cute. I wanted to fill them with popcorn, M&M’s, AND pretzels (a la Charlie Brown Thanksgiving), but I only had room for the popcorn and M&M’s. And I think it came out perfectly and the pretzels weren’t even needed. I hope the kids love them.

wpid-20141120_155051.jpg

Here is the original post, detailing the process:

http://thecraftpatch.blogspot.com/2011/11/thanksgiving-cornucopia-treats.html#.VG6ZjY-OOrA

wpid-20141120_155137.jpg

Blessings!

Kristin

Fluffy Speculoos Cookies with Fruit & Nuts

Have you started your Christmas cookie list yet? I haven’t either. But I made some cookies tonight that might end up on it! My sons’ school is having a Thanksgiving feast for the teachers tomorrow and my contribution is cookies. They don’t want anything I’d have to cook. It works out much better this way.

wpid-photogrid_1416441213686.jpg

I found a recipe on a food blog that I follow and tweaked it a little bit for the ingredients I had (incidentally, I didn’t have brown sugar on hand and had to make some from scratch), and also made some additions. These are so easy to whip together. They only use one bowl! Those are my favorite kinds of desserts. I hope you try them and love them.

Fluffy Speculoos Cookies with Fruit & Nuts

Recipe adapted from: Biscoff Cloud Cookies, Cookies and Cups

http://cookiesandcups.com/biscoff-cloud-cookies/

  • ½ cup butter, room temperature
  • ⅓ cup creamy Speculoos Spread (Trader Joe’s answer to Biscoff)
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup mixed nuts and fruit (I used cranberries, raisins, pistachios, and almonds)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Cream together the butter, Speculoos and both sugars for about 2 minutes with a stand or hand held mixer.
  4. Add in egg and vanilla and mix until combined.
  5. Add in salt, cornstarch and cinnamon and mix until combined.
  6. Add in flour and mix on low, until combined.
  7. Add in your nuts and dried fruit mixture. Only stir until incorporated.
  8. Use your cookie scoop (or spoons) to drop onto prepared sheet. These cookies won’t spread.
  9. Bake 8 – 10 minutes, or until golden. Cool on cookie rack.

These are SO easy, so festive, and even more importantly, delicious. You can customize them for any holiday, as well. The Speculoos spread (or Biscoff) is filled with a buttery, almost caramelized flavor, complementing chocolate, dried fruit, or nuts.

Give them a try!

Blessings,

Kristin

It’s the end of the week as we know it (and I feel fiiiine)

It’s in your head now. Right? You’re welcome. R.E.M. rocks! Do people say “rocks” anymore? Do young people say “rocks” anymore? I wouldn’t know.

So, the end of the week is here (yay). It’s been such a crazy week. I haven’t even had a second. But now I do. So, I’m taking my second to show you food.

wpid-photogrid_1415748243482.jpg

Bigs’ Wednesday lunch was a breakfast theme! I packed a pancake “sandwich”, made with two gluten and dairy free pancakes, peanut butter, and honey. I also packed one slice of turkey bacon, cut up, some assorted raisins (Trader Joe’s big bag of assorted raisins ROCKS [#cantstopwontstop #imold]), a colby jack cheese slice, an orange, and granola (Trader Joe’s again).

wpid-photogrid_1415900826941.jpg

Bigs’ Thursday lunch was another turkey lunch (this time with ham and cheese!). I used my Food Writers and a turkey cookie cutter to make him so cute (if I can say so myself). His hay bale is crusts. I also packed grapes and applesauce. Bigs told me he was “staaaaarving” after eating this, so I made sure to pack more tonight for Friday’s lunch.

wpid-photogrid_1415920667939.jpg

So. For Bigs’ lunch tomorrow (Friday), I was sure to pack more food. I went with a Fallish squirrel theme. I made a ham and cheese sandwich, shaped like a squirrel. I used my Food Writers for his eye detail and cut out a little piece of fruit leather in the shape of an acorn. I also packed pretzels, seasoned corn, grapes and pineapple, an organic yogurt squeezy thing, and Trader Joe’s ginger cookies for dessert.

He’s going to go nuts! Get it? I love a pun.

And for my Smalls’ lunch today, I packed a Mickey Mouse(ish) lunch. And to prove it, here’s a blurry picture:

wpid-photogrid_1415900587945.jpg

Three baby Mickey Mouse shaped PB&J’s, some organic Trader Joe’s PB crackers, grapes, and TJ’s school house letter cookies. He ate all the grapes this time!

I also made Thanksgiving this week! I don’t think you can have it enough. I made a meal for a friend and doubled so my family could enjoy it too!

wpid-img_20141111_181931.jpg

I can’t wait for the REAL Thanksgiving! It’s going to be the bomb! (Do they say “bomb” anymore? Or is that done-zo?) For us, I made gluten free Turkey and Sage Meatballs.

Turkey and Sage Meatballs

1 lb (ish) ground turkey

1/2 C gluten free breadcrumbs

1 egg

S&P

1 1/2 t of ground sage or poultry seasoning

Mix together, roll into balls, place on greased pan, bake for 30 – 45 minutes (depending on size of meatballs) at 350F.

I covered our meatballs with a homemade cranberry orange sauce.

Cranberry Orange Sauce

1 C fresh or frozen cranberries

1/4 C frozen orange concentrate

1/3 C water

1 T sugar

1 packet of plain (unflavored) gelatin

Place all ingredients, except for gelatin, in saucepan. Bring to a boil. Whisk in the gelatin and simmer until thick.

wpid-20141111_181039.jpg

Roasted turkey breast for my friend. I seasoned it with S&P, garlic powder, onion powder, poultry seasoning, and olive oil. I roasted it according to directions.

wpid-20141111_112819.jpg

I made green bean casserole, all of which I could have eaten by myself. I love it.

wpid-20141111_112843.jpg

I made sweet potato casserole. I didn’t have marshmallows, but I DID have marshmallow fluff. And being the resourceful woman that I am, I swirled that ooey gooey fluffy goodness around in the sweet potatoes and it came out just fine.

wpid-20141111_113809.jpg

I made cheesy corn and cornbread casserole.

http://jareskepinterestrecipes.wordpress.com/2012/12/29/corn-casserole/

wpid-img_20141111_184140.jpg

I made my first ever pumpkin pie (weird that it’s my first!). I used a basic recipe. And I overdid it. But I love my friend, she didn’t even care.

And lastly, I made an old fashioned Cranberry Fluff Salad. I took a picture, but it looked awful. Like bad awful. But it was good. SO good. I am on the molded and gelatin based salad train. Doesn’t that sound like a gross train to be on? It’s not. It’s amazing. If you like that sort of stuff. Which I do. I DID have to change the recipe, due to my lack of marshmallows. Again, I used the fluff. I thought it might work since that IS one of the names in the recipe. And it DID work, maybe not as successfully as marshmallows would have, but it was still really good!

http://www.mybakingaddiction.com/cranberry-fluff/

Do it. That could be your Thanksgiving, right there.

Have a BLESSED end to your week! We are ending our week right with our church/school’s Fall Festival tomorrow night! It’s going to rock!!

Blessings,

Kristin

Halloween Muddy Puppy – a last minute Halloween dessert recipe

wpid-img_20141031_140228_20141031141254314.jpg

Do you call it “Muddy Buddy” or “Puppy Chow”? I grew up with both names for this dessert. I like them both. I can’t decide which one I want to call it, so for now, I call it “Muddy Puppy”. It seems to work out.

Do you need a quick last minute Halloween party recipe that is sure to please? You’ve come to the right place! This recipe can be made in under 20 minutes (add a few to that to the drying phase) and contains very simple ingredients. And it’s addicting. I’m not so sure that’s a good thing though.

wpid-20141031_135240_20141031141105175.jpg

Halloween Muddy Puppy

Serves: a ton

8 C Chex cereal

1 C semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/4 C butter

1/2 C peanut butter

1 1/2 C powdered sugar

Candy (I used candy corn, Kit Kats, and mini M&M’s)

*You can also add vanilla (I didn’t and it tastes fine without)

*This can be made gluten and dairy free with the base ingredients (GF Chex, DF butter) – just make sure your candies are, as well

Put the Chex in a large bowl. Melt the chocolate chips, butter, and peanut butter (microwave for 1 minute, stir, microwave in 30 second increments to ensure it’s completely melted). At this point, you could add vanilla. Pour over your Chex and stir gently. Place in a Ziploc bag and pour in powdered sugar. Shake shake shake! Spread onto a large pan, covered in wax or parchment paper. Dry and cool. Add your candy.

**Caveat: I was in a rush and shook the powdered sugar and Chex WITH my candy. It all tastes the same, but your mix would be more vibrant if you followed the above instructions, which I failed to do. Which is typical.

Have a blessed Halloween!

Enjoy!

Kristin

Mummies and Pumpkins and Cakes, oh my!

What a fun weekend we had! I participated in my first bake-off. I am SO not competitive, by nature. It gives me anxiety, like, for real. But I LIVE for baking (and you know, my kids, husband, Jesus too). And it was a friendly competition, hosted by my wonderful friend, judged by two chefs that she knew. And I knew we’d ALL be winners, you know, eating all of the desserts. I wanted to do something seasonal, so I decided on a pumpkin cake. To me, that would be perfectly acceptable on its own, because…#pumpkinallthethings, but this was a competition.

The cake itself was so pretty. The recipe called for an entire can of pumpkin, which I hadn’t seen before. I knew it would be rich with fall flavor and moist.

It was heavenly. While that was baking, I went to work on  next project – the cake’s decoration.

wpid-img_20141026_122623.jpg

Melting chocolate – isn’t it magical?

Halloween Candy Bark!

wpid-20141026_083628.jpg

I meannnnnn, forrealz! This is a thing! I ran across the recipe in my research and fell in love with it. It’s so festive! I could have used any candy, I suppose, but the blog used these and I loved how it looked like the inside of a trick or treat bag, but with eyes.

wpid-20141026_102249.jpg

It was so pretty. I can’t even handle how cute it came out.

wpid-img_20141026_222248.jpg

It’s my new favorite. Of everything.

http://www.justataste.com/2014/10/halloween-candy-bark/

Since my pumpkin cake recipe called for 3 8-inch rounds and I only had two, I made three smaller cakes to go with the 2-layered big one.

wpid-20141026_113855.jpg

I decorated the big one with the Halloween bark, cut into shards, and I used candy corn, more shards, and eyeballs to decorate the smaller ones. Not the cleanest work I’ve ever done, but it worked out because my creation won “Most Innovative”! I was so happy. It really was a delicious cake (and the bark was SO good).

This cake would be an incredible addition to a Thanksgiving table. It’s maple cinnamon cream cheese frosting takes it to a new level.

http://www.thenovicechefblog.com/2012/10/pumpkin-dream-cake/

Since my long-suffering husband is both and dairy and gluten free, I couldn’t let him go to the bake-off with nothing to eat. I made him a Chocolate Pumpkin Sheet Cake.

wpid-20141026_100641.jpg

I could tell by the batter that it was going to come out delicious.

wpid-20141026_112451.jpg

And I was right. It was HUGE too, enough to feed a gluten and dairy free army. It puffed right up like a “real” cake! This was my first successful attempt and GF DF from-scratch baking (cakes). I left off the frosting (since it was filled with dairy).

wpid-img_20141026_163458.jpg

I’ll be using this recipe again and again. It called for over 1 can of pumpkin, but I just used one and it turned out beautifully.

http://www.thebakingbeauties.com/2010/10/gluten-free-chocolate-pumpkin-sheet-cake.html

All of the desserts at the bake-off were delicious. That was a fun night. I’ll have to up my game for next year’s competition.

wpid-img_20141026_230706.jpg

And lastly, I made mummies. Not real ones. Because that’s gross. And unheard of. In these modern times.

wpid-20141027_183814.jpg

I’ve made these before (here). They are too easy for words and make a big impact (to kids, mostly, I think).

wpid-20141027_185755.jpg

They’d be great dipped in ketchup. But that would look bloody. And grody. We don’t do bloody. Unless it’s a lip or knee. And not on purpose.

wpid-20141027_185800.jpg

I was going to make them all like the one on the left, but then nobody had time for that.

wpid-photogrid_1414456584242.jpg

I packed that little guy in my Bigs’ lunchbox, along with seasoned corn, banana chips, raisins, pineapple, red grapes, a Halloween cookie, and some orange and black chocolate covered sunflower seeds.

Boo!

Blessing to you!

Kristin

Thankful Thursday

Tomorrow is Thursday and it’s my turn to work in my son’s co-op! I’m so excited! I love his teacher and his classmates and absolutely adore spending the whole day with him in school. I am so thankful for his school and the experiences it has given us both. I am MOST thankful for the love of Jesus that the staff, parents, and children have at his school. Jesus is in every conversation, every lesson. I’m so thankful that my sons’ hearts are filled with His love, even while at school.

Here is the lunch I packed for my Bigs:

wpid-collage-2014-10-15-18_22_25.jpg.jpeg

I made a chicken, cheese, and mayo wrap and sliced it in half. I used Halloween cupcake picks to keep them together. I packed peanut butter filled pretzels, seasoned corn, a yogurt squeezy thing, and a teeny slice of apple gingerbread (my Mom made it and sent it over), cut into sticks. Yum. I used other Halloween trinkets and cupcake picks to decorate (a Frankenstein [I just read that the SCIENTIST was named Frankenstein, not the monster] and a plastic spider ring. Good times.

For my Smalls:

wpid-collage-2014-10-15-18_25_25.jpg.jpeg

I made a PB&J wrap, cut in half. I also packed a few peanut butter filled pretzels, freeze dried mango, red grapes cut in half, and some of that apple gingerbread cake.

And for me:

wpid-collage-2014-10-15-18_30_27.jpg.jpeg

I packed cinnamon raisin quinoa (recipe below), fresh steamed green beans (with S&P and red pepper flakes), a mini plum, some green grapes, and a honeycomb candy. I can’t wait for that one. I bet you that my Bigs will be poaching my dessert. 😉

I made the quinoa and green beans for dinner. The leftovers are perfect for lunch and taste delicious cold.

wpid-20141015_175430.jpg

Cinnamon Raisin Quinoa

1 C quinoa

1/2 C slivered almonds

salt

1 1/2 C boiling water

1/2 C raisins

Toast the almonds until they are brown, add the quinoa and do the same. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Fluff.

The original recipe called for a cinnamon stick and cranberries. I only had raisins and cinnamon was easier for me to use. Either would be delicious!

And for a sweet ending (not for me, sadly), COOKIES! I made gluten free peanut butter cookies (with chocolate chips) for my gluten free friend’s birthday.

wpid-20141015_174455.jpg

I love how easy these babies come together…

wpid-20141015_174459.jpg

…and how they make my house smell.

wpid-20141015_180248.jpg

That’s another good time right there.

http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/gluten-free-peanut-butter-cookies

I have made these before several times, and they always come out wonderful.

Have a WONDERFUL Thursday, blessings to you!

Kristin

“A gentle answer will calm a person’s anger. But an unkind answer will cause more anger.” – Proverbs 15:1

“As a tree gives us fruit, healing words give us life. But evil words crush the spirit.”             – Proverbs 15:4

Proverbs 15 is FULL of wonderful Biblical truth!