Happy Birthday Hubby!

Today is my dear darling husband’s birthday. I knew I wasn’t going to have an opportunity to bake his birthday cake with Abug this week, so over the weekend she and I made his cake. I decided on making a chocolate cake topped with a peanut butter butter cream icing and mini reese’s pieces. The chocolate cake I decided to use was my grandma’s recipe. Abug and I made the cake, I put it into the oven, baked it off, and that’s when it all fell apart, literally.

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Pumpkin Cupcakes with Burnt Marshmallow Icing

Were you worried I didn’t complete the challenge this month? Don’t worry, I remembered. I was quite worried I wasn’t going to so one day last week, Tuesday in fact I decided to make them. Normally I have my little one under my feet, but she wasn’t…. why? Because she was sick.

Tuesday morning when I woke up the house was chilly so I actually turned off the air (which wasn’t on) and turned on the heater. My girl woke up and she was complaining about being cold, but like I said the house had a chill so I wasn’t worried just yet. As the house started warming up, so did I. But she still kept complaining about being chilly. That’s. NOT. NORMAL. for her. I’m telling you, when the rest of us are cold, she’s just fine or even complaining about being warm. That bothered me.

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Cinnamon Browned Butter Icing (for Spiced Sugar Cookies)

Rolling out fall spiced sugar cookie dough

The other day I ran across a recipe for spiced cookies. I thought… mmmmm those sound good. Problem was, they called for 3/4 of a cup of butter. I hate when recipes make me cut a stick of butter up like that and don’t finish it off. Silly I know, but true no less.

So I continued on my day and ran across another recipe for spiced cookies, this time it used 3 sticks of butter (1 1/2 cups). Okay, so that’s better. But truth be told, I prefer to use my butter in even numbers. I’m totally weird.

All day for 2 days I’d randomly look back at these recipes thinking, boy they sound good but the butter amounts are bugging me. Finally, I decided to make the batch that used 1-1/2 cups butter, but possibly use the seasonings in the smaller batch. They were different after all. So I pulled 3 sticks of butter out of the refrigerator to come to room temperature. Then I went back to staring at the recipes at hand. Both of them. That’s when it hit me… It’s just a sugar cookie recipe that they are doctoring up with spices… why not use the sugar cookie recipe that is my own unique one?

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Strawberry Birthday Cake

A slice of Strawberry cake sitting on a plate with the rest of the cake sitting on the cake plate behind it.

Today is my daddy’s birthday! Happy Birthday, daddy! I’m not sure though, that a birthday on a Monday is much fun. First off, I’m not sure of many people who like Monday’s… and secondly… read the first statement. Poor Monday does get a pretty bad rap… I wonder if people who Monday is their Saturday/Sunday hate Monday as bad as the rest of most of the world… Just a thought that has absolutely NOTHING to do with my daddy’s birthday.

Eggs

Abug and I have spent a lot of the summer learning (her not me, I’ve been teaching) how to bake. I’ve kind of created a monster really. Whoops. She wakes up a lot of mornings and asks what we are going to bake today. Haha. So I knew that she needed to bake Papa a birthday cake. I set out to decide what kind of birthday cake we were going to bake him. Little did I know, she had her own agenda. I finally decided upon a Cinnamon Roll Cake, but she changed my plans.

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Milk and Cookies Cupcakes

So I have created a little bit of a monster at my house… a baking monster that is. My little one absolutely LOVES to bake. Every morning she wakes up, looks at me, and asks, what are we going to bake today mommy? Can I let you in on a little secret? I absolutely LOVE it. I always hope she wants to continue to bake/cook with mommy!

These cupcakes… I didn’t really have high hopes for them to be honest. I wasn’t sure about the milk on top (look at the last picture). I wasn’t sure about the cookie. Truthfully, I wasn’t sure about the sweetened condensed milk in the cupcake and icing. A lot of people would probably think these would be the best, but I was quite worried…

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Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

Scalloped potatoes seem to be a staple in a lot of people’s repertoire. Growing up, I really only thought that they came out of a box or premade from the store. And I can tell you I hated scalloped potatoes. They were horrible pieces of cardboard, sorry to the boxed brands out there. And the premade stuff from the store… yuck! I seriously hated scalloped potatoes. Until one day…

One day I went to a friends house. There for a while, we went to a friends house multiple times per week. And one night she made us dinner. She said she was making scalloped potatoes. Oh gosh, I rolled my eyes trying not to let her see my huge distaste for scalloped potatoes. Like the good dinner guest, I took a scoop and went and sat down. I planned on eating those scalloped potatoes first so that I could mask the taste with the rest of the food she made.

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Gus’s Mac and Cheeseburger

A couple weekends ago Abug wanted a new book. We decided we were going to go to town and get a new book. We asked what kind of book she wanted. Her answer: A Princess Book.  That day she came home with 3 books. A princess book, another book, and a Princess Cookbook. WHAT?!?! Yup, it exists. It’s called the Disney Princess Cookbook. After she picked out a few books, we went over to the cookbook section to browse. I saw this book and on the cover are three princesses. I figured it was a kids book in the wrong section, but when I picked it up, sure enough, it was a princess cookbook.

I’ve always been a huge proponent of learning to cook early. I got Tbug in the kitchen with me to the point at a young age I could sit in the kitchen, and actually turn her loose. I would just monitor the recipe to make sure she didn’t forget something.

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Greek Ravioli Skillet

Greek Ravioli Skillet. A perfect combination of salty and pasta. The combination of pasta, beef, Feta cheese, and Kalamata olives come together with zucchini, Basil, and tomato sauce to create a perfect Greek dish.

I mentioned yesterday that 9/11 holds a special, weird, place in my heart. Three different events happened on that day to just kind of leave me in tears. Losing my grandma was extremely difficult for me. I spent a lot of time with my grandparents (both sets, all 4 of them) growing up. Both my parents worked, so for many summers, I stayed with one or the other set of grandparents. Losing my first grandparent was difficult. You have no idea. I was in my early 20’s so I was lucky, some people don’t even get to meet their grandparents. I was extremely lucky.

So, what does that have to do with Greek Ravioli Pasta? Good question.Well… My grandma was half Greek. Her father actually came through Ellis Island. Once upon a time I went to New York City and did all the touristy things, including touring Ellis Island. That was CRAZY the things they went through coming through there. WOW! My great-grandpa died when my grandma was 5 years old. He got pneumonia a couple years before penicillin was invented. Had he gotten it after, he would have probably been saved, maybe anyway. Who really, truly knows.

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Molten Lava Cakes

Earlier this summer I was so excited when I found this Baking challenge… except, it let me down. Okay, I’ll explain. I was really looking for a reason to get excited about baking. I was also looking at finding new things to bake. Something to learn or a new recipe to try that may be different than what I already bake or something, right? Isn’t that the fun of a challenge? To learn something new… That’s what I thought…

So I was so excited to see September 1 come around. That meant something new on Sally’s Baking Challenge, except I was sorely let down. It was decorating a cupcake. Seriously? I’ve been working on making and decorating cupcakes already. I’ve had cake decorating classes. Decorating with icing and tips is nothing new to me. I wanted a challenge. And all she was doing was decorating a cupcake to look like a sunflower. You choose your own cupcake recipe. Well crap.

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Peaches and Cream Cupcakes

Okay guys, first off, I need to mention… I have an odd number of photos. Yes, there are 11 photos. For some reason I hate odd numbers. I think it is because I prefer symmetry instead of asymmetrical things. Sigh! Two… wait for the rest of this post because seriously. I’m still shaking my head! Finally, happy September. Now that it’s September, can I put my Christmas tree up yet?!?! You think I’m kidding? I’m really not…. Sadly…

Truth… Prior to a couple years ago, I’d never used farm fresh eggs. Yes, I grew up on a farm. No, we didn’t raise chickens. No one I knew raised chickens. We used store bought eggs. And truthfully… farm fresh eggs kind of freaked me out. I don’t know why? I can’t explain it. It is/was just a weird quirk with me. I say was because….. Those eggs above, are farm fresh. Yes, y’all I’ve been using Farm Fresh eggs. Truth number 2 right here… I hardly ever say y’all when speaking, but I will type it. Another thing I can’t explain.

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