Irish Soda Bread

Guys, yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day. Did you wear green? I did. I had on a t-shirt that said “Lucky Charms.” I also had on a sweatshirt that had green on it. Speaking of said sweatshirt, when I took it off I don’t know what I did with it… plus I don’t remember taking it off. Oy!

So Last week I showed you my list of 100+ things to bake. I’m kind of thinking of it as a 101 in 1001, but there really is no deadline… it’s also kind of like a bucket List. Either way, a lot of things I’d like to make. It’ll be fun! Especially when my new kitchen gets done! (Of course, we’ll have to move into the house also…)

But, yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day. I’ve always wanted to be that mom who celebrates all holidays. I fail miserably! But yesterday, Abug and I made Lucky Charms Cupcakes, I made Irish Soda Bread (on my list), and then we had Rubenish/Deli Style Nachos. I’d say between the shirt and the food I nailed this one!

Irish Soda Bread

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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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Oreo Cheesecake Cake

Another birthday cake! Yey, I love birthday’s!! Although… the story about this cake…

  1. The person who I made this cake for apparently doesn’t celebrate birthdays anymore…
  2. I didn’t get to try any.
  3. I was told it was yummy.
  4. Life took over and I was afraid I wouldn’t get it to them on their birthday

I’ve been so consumed by the house remodel, I swear, that I was afraid that I wasn’t going to be able to deliver Dan’s birthday on time. I told him this the day before. That way he knew it was coming and I didn’t forget.

In the end, I got it there on Betty White’s 97th Birthday, aka Dan’s birthday. I did tell him it was a birthday cake to celebrate Betty White’s birthday since he apparently doesn’t celebrate birthday’s anymore….

Betty White’s 97th Birthday Cake (aka Dan’s Birthday cake)

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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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Holiday Home Tour… Wait, What??

Everyone is all talking about Christmas and Holiday Home Tours and I’m over here like wait, WHAT?!?! I want to do that. Oh, wait… I can’t. Why? Well, look above. Do you know what you’re looking at? If not, I’ll tell you… It’s my open concept bathroom/Kitchen. Why put a wall between when you can make them one and take a shower while stirring something on the stove, right?

I’m kidding… sort of… I’ll explain. Right here on the left side of the wall (look for the shovel leaning up against the wall on the right side…) you really are looking into the kitchen and bathroom. And there really is no wall separating the two. They always say be prepared if you plan on doing something like this because you don’t know what you’re going to find. Well, what we found was there was a leak for what appeared to be YEARS in the bathroom where the bathtub/shower combo was and the floor was rotted. In fact, the wall behind where the window is was rotted all the way through and you can actually see the back side of the siding through the house. That’s not normal. Nope, not normal at all. (more…)

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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Pecan Pie Cake

As we all pretty well seem to know, this year has been the year of cakes. I stumbled across this cake a while back and thought, Perfect for Thanksgiving! In fact, I debated making this for Hubby’s birthday cake since I knew he wasn’t going to be home. But then he was going to be home. In the end, he wasn’t home. Then I made a cake he would like just in case. Heck, we were eating it without him and he can’t have nuts so…

So one of the ladies my mom works with asked me to make a cake. It was going to be one she’d had I’d made before… a Pumpkin Spice Latte Layer Cake. Somehow with some convincing, I conned (haha) her into this one instead. She decided that yes, we’d do this one because the other flavor was more for her taste and this would be more for her whole family. My only request was I had to know how it was because I wasn’t going to get to try a bite. I hear it was excellent! I don’t know. I’ll probably have to make it sometime so I can try it! I like Pecan Pie.

Pecan Pie Cake

Unlike most of the cakes here lately 2 things… 1. I didn’t pull from here and there to do exactly what I wanted. I followed the recipe to a T. 2. It was only 2 layers high, not 3 or 4. The cake itself was made with brown sugar instead of regular sugar. It gave it a more molassessy feel/taste. Yup, totally made up that word. But as you know, brown sugar has molasses in it if you have to make it yourself. (more…)

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…)