Pigu {Italian Gougères}

Here while back, I came across a recipe for Pigu. What the heck is Pigu I wondered? Well, basically it is a little dough like thing filled with romano cheese. You start out by making the dough much like noodles, but I almost think it comes out tasting more like bread than a noodle dough. Basically, it is like an Italian Gougères.

Okay, I’ll bite (for you)… what is a Gougères? It is a choux pastry flavored with cheese (usually Gruyère), then usually filled with a savory filling.

So, we have dough, check.

We have cheese, check.

Well, it’s like an Italian Gougères, correct? We’re going to go with it and run! (more…)

Just Retired Tiered Cake (Vanilla)

Just Retired Tiered Vanilla Cake

I sure hope you didn’t try to come to my blog last week. I woke up on Wednesday and would have sworn it was April Fool’s Day (by the way, I hate that day). When I came to the blog, it redirected me to some weird website.

It was trying to get me to click on a button to back up my Window’s machine. Well joke’s on them because I don’t have a window’s machine. But whatever. Anyway…

Over the weekend, I was able to knock 2 things off my Baking/Cooking Bucket List. I made a tiered cake which I haven’t done since I took cake decorating classes. And 2, I made a mirror glaze cake.

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Triple Chocolate Cake

We’ve been working on our house, it feels like non-stop. Some days walking in there is so… almost depressing, but some days it feels like nothing is happening. It is… but it’s happening up in the attic where you just don’t see results other than more lights are popping up as well as electrical plugins. Oh… and an HVAC system. Heat… let there be heat!!

And I swear, our friends are the absolute BEST. We’ve had so much help from our dear, darling, beloved friends. There truly are NO WORDS to describe them! So, when I found out Shelby’s 21st birthday was yesterday, I knew I had to make her a cake!! (She’s newer to this bunch, this is why it was a new find of her birthday!)

Triple Chocolate Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream, Homemade Strawberry Jam, and Chocolate Covered Strawberries with Chocolate Ganache

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Chocolate Birthday Cake

What is the deal with everyone wanting Chocolate Birthday Cake? Seriously… haha. Okay, let’s back up and I’ll explain. Tbug’s birthday is the 2nd of January. Then my father-in-law’s birthday is the 9th of January. Bam, 2 in a row.

When I asked her what she wanted, it was a yellow cake with chocolate icing. Very plain and simple. Sometimes though, those are the best. Then I asked my father-in-law what he wanted. He said, oh, I guess chocolate maybe.

Chocolate, okay, we could go many different ways with that, right? But… then he mentioned, not German Chocolate or was it not Devil’s food chocolate. Gosh, I can’t even remember now. Either way… that did help narrow it down a little.

I had run across The Stay at Home Chef‘s The Most Amazing Chocolate Cake. I’ve made the cake before, which ended in me almost having a meltdown and crying. Ugh! But I’ve learned quite a few tricks since then… So… I decided to make it word for word recipe-wise.

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Black Forest Birthday Cake

New Year’s Eve tends to be a night where everyone is ringing in the New Year. And don’t worry, we brought in the new year. In fact, I brought in the new year baking a cake… but not this one. I made this one the day before…

Our friend Doug has a birthday on New Year’s Eve. Yup, his momma got to ring in the new year in the hospital, but it wasn’t a bad accident. Nope, it brought my friend Doug into the world… 50 years ago in fact. And I have to admit, I met him in 2013 and didn’t realize he was in his 40’s at the time.

Wow, I’ve known him 5 years… CRAZY. I just thought about that. Just a thought… but back to the cake.

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She’s 16… Holy Cow

I’m not sure when or how this happened, but she decided to turn 16 on me. WHAT?!?! I feel old, trust me! She was 6 when she came into my life. I was 19 when she was born. She’s 16 now. HOLY CRAP! Yes, I just said that.

Last month I asked her what kind of cake she wanted. She said yellow cake with chocolate icing is her favorite. So… yellow cake with chocolate icing it is… But I had to add sprinkles. It would have been boring without the sprinkles.

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3-Layer Microwave Cake (Happy Birthday Momma!)

Yes, you read this correctly! This 3-layer cake was made in the microwave. Mind blown! haha.

So a blog I like to follow called Bigger Bolder Baking (mentioned a time or two) said you could make a 3-layer cake in the microwave. Now if you know anything about me… of course I’m going to have to try that out.

Once upon a time for Christmas, my mom bought me a silicon baking set… but at the time I didn’t really care for it and never figured I’d use it ever again, so of course I got rid of it eventually. To me, it was just taking up space in the cabinet. And this time frame was like when I was still in high school or just first into college. Like a long time ago. By the way, I think I’m hanging out with my 15-year-old too much… like has been said like way too many like times. haha! Yes, sometimes we count how many times she uses that word in a sentence. 1 sentence. I think the record was 6 so far. One. Sentence. Let that sink in a minute.

Anyway… I had to go online and get new silicon baking pans because obviously metal ones and a microwave aren’t friends. Also, just for future reference… a metal bread tie and a microwave aren’t friends either.

3-Layer Microwave Cake

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Getting to This Point

Thursday morning… November 29, 2018, a day I never figured would happen. It was an uphill struggle the whole way. I had a meltdown a few times along the way. We all did. It was frustrating as hell (pardon my language). If you’ve ever thought about buying a foreclosure house, my thought is… DON’T. Okay, maybe that’s being a bit melodramatic.

I was told if it was worth it, keep fighting. There were days I questioned my sanity and wondered why I thought it was worth it.

With all the buy/flip shows on HGTV and DIY Network, everyone seems to want to buy houses and flip them these days. That wasn’t our goal… for the most part anyway.

Remember back to September 2016, we sold our house. In fact, we moved out on our Anniversary weekend. That weekend felt like a slap in my face. These last few years haven’t gone anything like I thought they would. I can guarantee they aren’t anything like 25-year-old Nicole thought they’d be. Maybe that’s the fun in life… maybe not. I’m not really sure. But… needless to say, we sold our house and moved back in with my parents. That was just supposed to be a stepping stone to the next thing. (more…)

Christmas Tree 2018 (And a Surprise)

Finally, the tree went up at our house over the weekend. I’ve been pretty much chomping at the bit (horse term) to get that tree up. I would like to say it went up without any hitches, but it didn’t… NOT. AT. ALL. In fact, I think the term hitches is a nice way of saying how things went on Saturday when we put the tree up. Sad day! Part of me wants to jot those memories down and part of me wants to forget it ever happened. No use in dwelling on the past, right? Let’s just say, Christmas is my favorite holiday (followed so close by Thanksgiving and all of the rest of the holidays) and I used the phrase, I Hate Christmas. Sadly, I try to teach Abug not to say hate. It’s something I try to instill in Abug, don’t hate. Yet I was so frustrated I kept saying HATE. Hypocrite! (that was directed at me, not you :))

The Tree

A few years ago we bought this tree at Lowe’s on sale after Christmas. Best purchase we’ve ever made when it comes to Christmas trees. It goes together so nicely and yeah, I love this tree. Plus, I’m a white light girl and hubby is a colored light guy… This tree flashes back and forth between white lights and colored lights. Best of both worlds!

My friend Harriett told me I needed to make a tree skirt for my tree, but it was too late to start it when she suggested that… so next year. I’m holding you to that Harriett! So Abug decided she was going to put the tree skirt on the tree… (more…)

Thanksgiving 2018

And just like that, Thanksgiving is over.  I saw a meme the other day that I actually saw a year ago… something about spending 10 hours cooking for it to be gone in 30 minutes and then spending 5 hours cleaning up or something. haha. But that’s kind of the fun in Thanksgiving!

It’s also funny how short weeks feel the longest sometimes. Thanksgiving is always the 3rd Thursday of November. And that week, every year feels so long! Probably because of the anticipation of what is to come that week. That’s what I’m going with anyway!

This year, we had plans to leave Tuesday after Abug got out of school to head to my aunt and uncle’s house in Oklahoma. I love when we get to go see them. I have a pretty small family as is, so when we don’t get to see each other on holidays it makes it feel so weird. Weird is the only word I can see to describe it. My family did get bigger when I married my husband, but still… unfortunately they don’t care for me very much so I’ve heard. I get blamed for things that are out of my control and that sucks. But my husband, he’s my rock. He loves me and that’s what matters!

Anyway, Tbug couldn’t come down with us because she had a dentist appointment on Wednesday. My parents weren’t able to come down until Wednesday night so they brought her with them. It was a big happy family!! (more…)