Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Icebox Cupcakes

I swear, I’ve been obsessed with cakes and cookbooks. Well, the cookbook thing isn’t anything new. But this new, pretty, big, fancy cakes thing is new. I can’t tell you how many cookbooks I’ve at least picked up here recently if not put in my Amazon cart. No, I haven’t bought all of them… but a couple here and there. And the websites and the YouTube channels. Oh gosh, someone needs to break me of this habit. Although, right now I need to point out that so far this week I haven’t done ANY baking. I’m almost feeling at a bit of a loss.

Like I said, it’s become a new obsession I guess. The pretty cakes make me happy. One of the cookbooks I did pick up was the Simply Beautiful Homemade Cakes by Lindsay Conchar of Life, Love, & Sugar blog. Guys, no one asked me to say this, but the cakes that she put in this cookbook are just beautiful. I’ve made two of them actually. Although, these are cupcakes, not a cake… but aren’t they just beautiful? (more…)

Tiramisu French Macarons

The same day I made the Strawberry Lemonade French Macarons, I made Tiramisu French Macarons. I really like Tiramisu and when I saw this recipe over on Tatyana’s Everyday Food, I just knew I had to make them. The question was…. when. I was back and forth, back and forth on which ones to make between these and the Strawberry Lemonade French Macarons… but when I made the Spumoni Cake, I had 10, yes 10 egg whites just sitting around so that meant… hello, multiple flavors of French Macarons.

Now, this might also be the place to mention that when you make one French Macaron shell batter, clean all your equipment before starting on the second round of batter. If I would have done that, I would have had 3 types of French Macarons, but when I didn’t clean my equipment, it tainted my egg whites and they didn’t meringue up like they were supposed to. So just remember, wash between batters! It’s important!

The only thing you don’t have to wash is the beaters on the hand mixer because all they touch are egg whites and some sugar. Easy enough. (more…)

Strawberry Lemonade French Macarons

I have been on a French Macaron kick lately, but I guess when you make French Buttercream, you have a lot of egg whites left over. If you didn’t know, French Buttercream is made with egg yolks. Don’t worry, they’re cooked! But we’re not really talking French Buttercream right now… we’re talking French Macarons. Hey, just a thought… Do you think that French Macarons and French Buttercream were made to be compliments so you don’t waste eggs? Just a thought.

But since I’ve had so many egg whites lying around, I thought French Macarons were in order. I love making them. I don’t have them perfected just yet… And practice makes perfect. Plus at our last dive club meeting, I made my friend Danielle a deal that I’d make her French Macarons if she’d make hubby some deviled eggs. He loves them and I’m not a fan so I don’t typically make them. In fact, I’ve only made the once in my life. It was fun boiling the eggs and then seeing if I did it correctly to see if the shells would peel correctly.

Speaking of Deviled eggs, I saw a deal at the grocery store where you crack the egg, pour it in, boil it, and it makes a perfect deviled egg. Interesting! (more…)

Family Fourth of July

I’ve talked about our Family Fourth of July quite a bit this week between the Spumoni Cake, the Wacky Cake, and the Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches. A lot of food talk huh? I also made a Greek Pasta Salad. Holy Yum! But hello, where are the pictures of the fireworks? I’m so glad you asked!

I spent quite a bit of time coming up with what desserts we were going to take. Then making sure I had all the ingredients. Finally, the execution.

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Wacky Cake with Perfect Party Icing

I really think people don’t believe my now 4-year-old can actually cook. There are some kids I’m sure their parents say can cook and maybe they can, maybe they can’t, but my kids, both of them have grown up in the kitchen with me. I started Tbug helping me as early as I could… she came into my life at 6-years-old. And Abug has done nothing but live in the kitchen with me because as a baby I wasn’t sure what to do with her while I cooked.

And yes, there are some people who give women in the kitchen a bad rap because of all the feminism/sexism mumbo jumbo, but I personally LOVE to cook. I haven’t always… but I have since my late teens/early 20’s. When I was a kid, I had better things to do with my time I guess. I wish I’d have started earlier.

But this is a post about Wacky Cake… not me. I’ll try to remember that…

So when we were getting ready for my husband’s family shindig, I asked Tbug what she was going to make for the party. I didn’t quite give Abug such an option because, well she’s 4 and may not know what all there is. She’d have probably told me Mac and Cheese or something like that. Truth be told… maybe I should have let her take that as her contribution. There were few sides it felt like, maybe because I didn’t care for most of them… but there were lots of desserts. (more…)

Spumoni Cake

I broke my blog this morning. I could get to the actual blog, but to write new blog posts, that’s what I broke. I couldn’t even get there. I don’t know why. Thanks to my brilliant husband, he fixed it. I made him think. So here we are, back up and running, again. I joke that I keep him around to fix my blog. It is a joke but he has fixed it for me more than once.

Back around the 4th of July (which was last week… wow!), my husband’s family had their yearly get-together. I got busy trying to decide just what I wanted to make to take. If you’ve noticed, here lately I’ve been really into cakes. So of course, I had to choose a cake. I also chose to make Cherry Cheesecake French Macarons because I had a bunch of egg whites just sitting around. I’ll explain later… obviously. (more…)

Cherry Cheesecake French Macarons

Saturday night we had my husband’s families Fourth of July Party. Lately, I’ve been on the kick to make French Macarons. It might be because my aunt stroked my ego and said that I made restaurant style French Macarons. We’ll blame it on her… lol.

I had egg whites that had been sitting out aging like they say that they need to do for French Macarons. I actually had other plans for them but wasn’t going to be able to do that for a while and didn’t want these to go bad. So I convinced Tbug to make the French Macarons. I thought she might enjoy making something different… Eventually, I had to take over because it was getting late at night and she still had her cookies to make… but she stuck it out to that point I took over. (more…)

Memorial Day Weekend 2018

Better late than never, right? I guess taking a week off from blogging last month didn’t help and then needing to blog like 5 times per day to either keep up or get caught up… whew! So we’re going to learn about Memorial Day Weekend today, the first day of July because that’s how I roll. I also woke up this morning to thunder and rain. OMG, we sooooooooo need the rain!

Memorial Day Weekend 2018

Going into Memorial Day Weekend, we weren’t sure where we’d sleep. Maybe the bed of my truck. Seriously, no idea, but then Jared bought a horse trailer with living quarters and BAM! he let us borrow it and we got to sleep in a bed. Whew!

Like most of our Memorial Day Weekends since 2014, we’ve spent them at the lake. This year was a bit different because Tbug didn’t get to go with us. Bummer! This is our first MDW without her since 2014. She started working on her SCUBA certifications that year. And prior to that year, we were elsewhere. (more…)

My Mother’s Day 2018

Happy Mother’s Day! Mother’s Day is an interesting day, truly. Some people even choose not to celebrate it thinking that it is a Hallmark Holiday, however, those same people are willing to celebrate International Women’s Day. Just a thought. haha. I choose to celebrate Mother’s Day. It might be a Hallmark Holiday but you know… I like Hallmark movies. haha. I wonder if Hallmark tv channel and Hallmark Cards are one in the same… Google… I’ll be for you in a minute.

Now… I was a step-mother long before I was a mother. In fact, 6 years. There is a lot of debate if I got included in that celebration. There’s sometimes a debate if any step-mother’s are included. My husband included me although I didn’t feel like I should. But that’s neither here nor there. I am now a mom too. I guess I do get to celebrate Mother’s Day. Although I should clarify, earlier when I said I celebrated, don’t worry, I celebrated my own mother and my grandmothers.

Anyway, this year I invited my grandma, my mother in law, and of course my mother (after all right now we live in her house) for Mother’s Day dinner. The week leading up, I had no idea what I would make. I like to cook after all! But I was still at a loss for what to make. (more…)

Self Doubt (through Sugar Cookies)

Do you remember last fall when I discussed the Sugar Cookie Challenge? It might have even been late last summer. Well, I’m here to tell you, it was going well… and then it wasn’t. I knew it was kind of a long shot to do 300 dozen cookies, but I was willing to give it a shot. I think I actually forgot to blog a few of the different batches. I’ll go back and make sure, and if I didn’t, I’ll add them. It may not be that important but it is so fun to look back at the years on this blog and see things. Things I had otherwise forgotten… like the post on wedding dress shopping.

So where does the title fall in? Easy… When you are going along, selling dozens of cookies and then all at once BAM! cookie sales stop. You begin to wonder what happened. Then when you very seldom have repeat customers, you begin to question things again.

Were the cookies not good? I did create my own recipe. Did they not meet or exceed people’s expectations? I’m not sure. Do I just suck? Maybe. So much self-doubt creeps in. It is enough to make a person question everything. I mentioned the other day that I used to be the total optimist just like Sue Heck (the character from The Middle), but after being put down and called naive your whole life, it starts to wear on you.

New Sugar Cookies

The week before Easter I decided I was going to make some sugar cookies. It really stemmed from this whole blog. Explain? I’m glad you asked! Well, I was looking back through Easter posts on the blog looking for recipes we had used in years past. I stumbled across a post where Tbug and I decorated sugar cookies way back when. It was actually a kit I bought from the good ol’ Walmart store. The cookies were hard. Who knows how long the icing had been in the package. But it was super easy and super fun!

I decided I needed to do something like that with Abug. But the Walmart store didn’t have those kits the day I went there. So that meant I needed to make my own sugar cookies to decorate. (more…)