Friday, January 31, 2014

A Little Bit of Everything

Hello Sweets,

Saturday is coming up super fast :D, thankfully Nathan will be here tomorrow to take all my last minute stress away.  I've been making daily trips to my new place, bringing over any small items that I can manage.  I even picked up a step ladder today, that way I can reach everything in my apartment without hurting myself more.  I am super excited and cannot contain it anymore!!!  The only thing that would make it better is going to be here tomorrow, until then I will just keep doing busy work.

Even though most of my groceries are now at my new place, I was smart enough to leave the basics behind.  Of course that means, baking supplies!  I cannot have people helping me move without supplying some treats, but I can't just do what I've done before lol.  Y'all know me, I've just got to try something new :)  Tonight's treat is something really unique, and something that would be perfect in the fall during harvest season.  The main ingredient is something I love working with and have done a few different recipes, can you guess what the main ingredient is?  It's pumpkin!!  I love pumpkin so much, but as you may or may not recall I do not care for pumpkin pie >_<  But what if I turned to whole pumpkin pie upside down and inside out?  That is almost what this recipe is like, but at the same time it's not lol.  How about I let y'all judge it for yourself.

Pumpkin Pie Bars
1 1/3C flour
3/4C sugar, divided
1/2C brown sugar
3/4C butter, cold
1C quick cooking oats, uncooked
1/2C pecans, chopped
1 pkg brick cream cheese, softened
3 eggs
1 can (19oz) pumpkin
1Tbs pumpkin pie spice (I mix my own)

 1)  Preheat oven to 350F.  Line a 13"x9" pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over the sides; spray foil with cooking spray.  Mix flour, 1/4C sugar, and brown sugar in medium bowl until blended.

2)  Cut in butter with pasty blender or with 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

3)  Stir in oats and nuts.

4)  Reserve 1C oat mixture and set aside.  Press the remaining mixture into the bottom of the  prepared pan.  Bake for 15 minutes
5)  Beat cream cheese, remaining sugar, eggs, pumpkin, and spices with mixer until blended.
6)  Pour over crust; sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture.



7)  Bake for 25 minutes, cool for 10 minutes.  Use foil handles to remove dessert from the pan.  Transfer to wire rack, all to cool completely before cutting.

Although the name says pie in it, the only real pie part about it is the pumpkin layer.  The top is like a steussel, but the bottom taste closer to a shortbread cookie.  My nephew even gobbled it down, so it's kid approved.  If you're getting sick of having traditional pumpkin pie year in and year out, try this out for a change.  It's definitely a crowd pleaser, not to mention it's easy on the pocket book.  I want to thank Philadelphia cream cheese for the amazing recipe.

Well I am down to the final box and I couldn't be more thankful.  The worst part about this whole moving thing, like I've been saying for the last few weeks, packing is the worst!  At least Nathan will be here tomorrow, eeekkkkk I can't wait.  All I have to do is get through the next 18 hours, *tick tock* *tick tock*Until next time...

Stay sweet,

Jennifer xoxoxo

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

So Very Sleepy

Hello Sweets,

I'm tired :(  This whole moving process is wearing me out, and making me sore.  Which is why my post today is going to be a check in/what's up with me post.  I promise tomorrow we'll be back to baking some yummy treats, pinky promise!

So I cleaned out my part of the deep freeze today, along with a good portion of my cupboard (don't worry I left enough for me to survive).  My grandfather and I brought it all over to my new place **happy dance**, and now my kitchen is starting to really come together.  Now with that being said, I'll probably reorganize it a bujillion times over the next week or so, but that is just me and I'll want it perfect lol.  I know for sure there is one cupboard that won't be changed at all.  That is my tea and spices cupboard, that's because it is a small narrow cupboard so it's just the right size for them!  Tomorrow I'll be bringing a little more food over and also a small piece of furniture for my bathroom.  Anyone who knows me knows I love to organize, so this is going to make my bathroom counter clean and that's harder for us girls ;)  I'm also going to pick up some new baking pans, because some were ruined by a cleaning solution and one seems to have disappeared O_o  Luckily there is a sale on Wilton (my favorite baking brand) products so I'm getting the good stuff!  While I'm buying that I also need to buy a step stool since my shoulders are always in pain.  Slowly but surely I'm making my new apartment a home, I'll take some progress pics tomorrow to share with y'all.

For now I am back to my final stages of packing, anyone want to come finish this for me?  Lol can you tell I hate packing, doesn't help that I'm tired and sore already.  *Sigh*  Just thinking about getting to work is making me sleepy, enough procrastinating I am off!  Until next time....

Stay sweet,

Jennifer xoxoxo

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Just One Minute Sir!

Hello Sweets,

I have had one busy day, and it's not done yet.  I am running on next-to-7no sleep so food is what is keeping me going (I'm eating while typing this lol), but I have a feeling I'll crash the second I step foot back into the house.  Let me tell y'all what kept me running around all day today, I got my keys!!!!!!!
aren't they perfect :)

So it's official and in my possession, and I've even started filling the cupboards with all the kitchen goodies that wouldn't fit into my cupboard (yes singular).  I'm so excited for Saturday when the big move happens, until then I will be doing small trips with my extra food and my breakables because something always gets broken when I let someone else do it for me :p

Since I have a meeting that I need to get to within the hour, I thought it would be a perfect fit for tonight's recipe.  Have you ever craved cake later in the evening?  And the thought of a whole cake is just asking for trouble?  Then cake in a cup is exactly what you need!  I've seen many different recipes, pins, and instagramed articles about these but never tried it myself.  That all changed when Nathan decided to text me that he was enjoying some gooey chocolate pudding cake, not fair!!  So of course I went into research mode, determined to find a quick little chocolate cake.  I hit the jack pot when I came across the Yummy Mummy Club.  I kept coming back to this recipe, so it was decided right away that chocolate cake in a cup had been found!

5 minute Chocolate Cake in a Cup via yummy mummy club
4Tbs flour
4Tbs sugar
2Tbs cocoa
1 egg
3Tbs milk
3Tbs oil
3Tbs chocolate chips
dash of vanilla
1 large coffee cup

1)  Add dry ingredients to the mug and mix well.

2)  Add the egg and mix thoroughly.  Add milk and oil, mixing again.

3)  Add chocolate chips and vanilla, mix.

4)  Place mug into microwave and cook for 3 minutes on high.  The cake may rise over the top of the mug so don't be alarmed if it does.


5)  Allow to cool a little and then tip out onto a plate (or eat straight from the cup!).

I dolled my cake up by sprinkling some icing sugar on top :).  The cake itself is quite moist considering the method it's made by. The only thing that stood out a little too much for my tastebuds was an eggy taste, further research post devour has given a few different options like beating first and only using a few tablespoons. 

Well I'm in the car finishing this, and I hate to cut it short but I don't really have a choice lol.  I'm trying to keep my creative juices going but it's hard when things are being packed up and shipped over to the new place ;)  Until next time....

Stay sweet,

Jennifer xoxoxoxo

Monday, January 27, 2014

Not Quite a Cake, Yet Not Quite Pudding

Hello Sweets,

Well tomorrow is the day I get my keys!!!  I am doing as much packing as possible tonight so I feel as though it's not such a daunting task, but the mandatory naps aren't helping.  I just woke up from one and am feeling quite groggy, so I figured I write a post to help wake my brain up before I do anything else.  As much as I am looking forward to moving, the stress of the final days is getting to me lol.  I just hate the packing part lol.  Oh well, it has to be done right?  On the plus side, I found this super soft and super awesome bath mat.  Do statements like that mean that I've become old?  I am finding that new household objects are super fun for me, lol yea I am old.

So today we are delving right into chocolate!  Are you a "chocoholic"?  If so then you've picked the perfect day to stop by my little blog :)  I'm not a chocoholic, but if it's the right dessert I will be all over it.  This dessert is the quintessential chocolate craving quencher, if you really want chocolate and can't wait to get it, then this is the recipe for you.  Let's get to the good stuff, so I can get back to packing *yawn*

Gooey Chocolate Pudding Cake
3/4C flour
1/2C sugar
1/2C unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2tsp baking powder
2/3C milk
1tsp vanilla
2Tbs vegetable oil
2/3C packed brown sugar
1/4C mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4C cocoa
1 1/4C hot water

1)  Preheat oven to 350F.  In a 2qt casserole dish, combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and baking powder.

2)  Add milk, oil, and vanilla.  Stir until well mixed.

3)  In a small bowl combine brown sugar, cocoa powder, and chocolate chips.

4)  Sprinkle over cake batter.  DO NOT STIR.

5)  Pour hot water over top.  Again, do not stir.

6)  Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the top looks cooked.  Serve warm.

chocolaty gooey goodness
This dessert is so hard to explain, as it's not quite pudding but it's not quite cake either.  What it is, is a warm, gooey, chocolaty plate of heaven.  I love chocolate lava cakes, but this will do in its place any day!  The fun part is when you serve a piece, because under the cake section is the gooey puddingness (totally just made up my own word lol).  This is something that will definitely be made again, as it was such a great hit.  Nathan sure did love it :)

Now it's time to get back to the fun stuff; packing lol.  Maybe beforehand I will bake up a treat, lol probably shouldn't, but I wanna lol.  Until next time....

Stay sweet,

Jennifer xoxoxo

Sunday, January 26, 2014

My Bark is Better Than My Bite

Hello Sweets,

It's Sunday and the weekend is over :(  I hope y'all spent your weekend doing what you love, and perhaps even a little baking thrown in as well.  I was completely unproductive :(  I slept through all of my alarms (yes I has multiple), which meant I didn't get to go to church.  Then because I wasn't at church I missed spending the afternoon with my grandpa picking things up for my new apartment.  Ugh, lol well at least I'm getting a blog out to y'all right?  I can always make up for my laziness after this post, there is still a bit of packing left to do so that's a priority.

I think part of the reason I missed my alarm was because I couldn't sleep, so I spent my time looking and researching the cutest thing.  Sugar gliders!!!
How cute are they!! **Not my picture**

Aren't they just frickin' adorable?!?  Now I so want one, lol they are the most interesting creatures I've come across in some time.  They are marsupials, which means they're closely related to kangaroos and they're more commonly in the southern hemisphere.  They are nocturnal creatures, but have been known to be a little active in the day (as long as you protect their eyes from bright lights).  They eat fruits and veggies, and then need protein from things like meal worms, chicken, or hard boiled eggs.  Personally I think I would stick to the chicken and eggs, but who am I kidding I can't deny a healthy option to any pet I own lol.  The cute part is they have quite the sweet tooth, so when you create a BLM (a mix of ingredients to get specific vitamins and calcium) mixture there is definitely honey involved.  The other part I just absolutely adore about them is that bonding with your sugar bear (another name for them) is a must, and they love to be right against your body in a pouch.  I just want one so bad now lol, they are so sweet looking and they bark like dogs so it would help subside my desire to get a puppy....for now lol.

Anyways, enough about Sugar Bears, let's get back to the good stuff.  So my momma really wanted me to make this recipe she nonchalantly posted to my FaceBook, really subtle like lol **cue eye roll**.  Since I was going to be spending a night at her house and she was going to drive me to the airport, I was completely okay to make it.  The nice part about this recipe is there is not a lot of ingredients involved, and chances are you have most of them on hand already.  If you like peanut butter and chocolate together as much as my momma and I do, this recipe is completely for you.  We can thank Hershey's for this recipe, since it came from their recipe section :)

 Peanut Butter Bark via Hershey's
2 pk (4oz each) semi-sweet chocolate baking bars, broken into pieces
1 2/3C peanut butter chips
1Tbs shortening (I used butter instead)
1/2C roasted peanuts

1)  Cover cookie sheet with wax paper.  Place chocolate in a medium microwave safe bowl on medium for 1 minute, stir if necessary.  Continue with 15 second increments, stirring after each heating until chocolate is melted and smooth.

2)  Immediately place peanut butter chips and shortening into another microwavable safe bowl.  Microwave for 1 minute, stir if necessary.  Continue with 15 second increments, stirring after each heating until chips are melted and mixture is smooth.

 3)  Stir in peanuts.

4)  Alternately spoon above mixtures onto prepared tray, swirl with a knife to create a marbling effect.

5)  Gently tap tray on counter top to even out thickness of mixture.  Refrigerate for about 1 hour, or until firm.

6)  Break into pieces.  Store in an air tight container in a cool dry place.

You'll end up with one pound of candy, but on the bright side you'll have no problem finding people to share it with.  It's not overly sweet, and has the perfect subtle saltiness to it thanks to the peanuts.  My momma was very happy with the end result and that makes me happy :)  There are so many different types of bark out there, you're sure to find one that suits your fancy.

 Well I really need to get off my butt and start packing some more.  Tomorrow is the start of a string of chocolaty posts, so be sure to come back because you won't want to miss out on these!  Until next time....

Stay sweet,

Jennifer xoxoxo

Saturday, January 25, 2014

A Rebel Alliance Birthday!

Hello Sweets,

Only a few more days until I get the keys to my new place, which means I am in full on packing mode.  I am excited to be back in my own place, but I will miss my fun little conversations with my roomie.  But it was time for me to get back into my own space again, I just wish someone could do my packing for me lol.  I don't have much left to pack, but the way I've been feeling I might as well be packing a 30 room mansion :p  Which in turn mean I am exhausted, so I thought I would do a quick little post about Nathan's birthday :) 

Nathan's birthday almost always falls on Thanksgiving, and anyone who has a birthday near a holiday knows that combining the two is never fun for the birthday celebrator.  Knowing this, I decided that I would separate the two and make sure Nathan felt very special.  Luckily for me Nathan loves shrimp almost as much as I do, and Nathan's parents hate any seafood so it's never made in the house.  I decided to make him my Spicy Shrimp Linguine, and when I showed him the pictures he was sold on the yummy dinner.  When it was just the two of us, I surprised Nathan with a sweet little card and some paintings that I did just for him :)
Texas flag for my Texan man

A memento of our love and anniversary
Then on the first day we had just the two of us, I decided to make him a delicious dinner complete with wine and garlic french bread.  Lets see handsome and his satisfied smile;

Happy birthday boy!
Look at that beautiful delicious dish

 Of course I also made Nathan a delicious cake, chocolate of course as that is his favorite, but we decided to keep that for the family celebration on Thanksgiving.  Since I had created Star Wars themed cupcakes for a birthday a couple months prior, it was quite obvious what the theme was going to be.  We decided to go with a "rebel alliance" theme, and he let me run with my imagination.  He told me (repeatedly) that I didn't need to make the symbols because he knows how temperamental marshmallow fondant can be, but I am both stubborn and determined lol!
chocolate cake with chocolate icing and marshmallow fondant
I used blue coarse sugar to emulate a starry background :)
 Needless to say he was extremely happy and grateful with the results, and nothing makes me happier than to see him smile.  I think now I have created a bar for myself when it comes to his birthday cakes, and knowing me I'll raise that bar every year from now on!

Well I really should get back to packing, but first I need to make some dinner.  Thankfully I made a couple of chicken breasts the other night, purposely, so I'd have a quick meal option :)  Yup, not just a pretty face over here lol ;)  Until next time....

Stay sweet,

Jennifer xoxoxo