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Thanksgiving 2016

Another stressful Thanksgiving.

Why, you ask?

Because I didn’t get to make my low fat Butterscotch Bars with Thanksgiving M&Ms.

It all started well because I prepped most of the dinner the night before.

But then things got out of control.

I did make a Pumpkin Cake and Caramel Apple Cookies:

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Not too pretty, but tasty!

 

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Apparently there was no time for prettiness this Thanksgiving…

And my husband helped out and made 2 pumpkin pies (it was a taste test) and a pecan pie:

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One regular pumpkin pie, and one pumpkin pie with mascarpone cheese.

But before I knew it, we had eaten such a big meal that I was exhausted and just couldn’t make the Butterscotch Bars.

We had stuffed mushrooms, homemade olive tapenade, spinach artichoke dip, turkey, stuffing, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, asparagus, glazed carrots, rolls, corn pudding, and cranberry sauce.  Along with the desserts I mentioned above.

I know, it just doesn’t seem right without the Butterscotch Bars…

I was quite disappointed with myself, but what can I do?

Well, I can start baking for Christmas!  

Suddenly, I feel much better.  See you soon!  :)

 

Halloween 2016

No time for fun Halloween desserts again this year.  

Where does the time go??

I cheated and made spider cupcakes with a kit (the actual cake and frosting are homemade, though):

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My husband actually liked these! Dark chocolate cupcake with chocolate buttercream frosting.

And as I always say, if you run out of time– just make Rice Krispies ghosts.

OK, I don’t always say that, but still.

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And my usual brownie pizza, except we couldn’t find Halloween Oreos anywhere.  So I used pumpkin flavored ones:

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So anyway, I thought I got scared last year at Fright Fest…

That was nothing.

This year we went to Busch Gardens.

It wouldn’t have been so bad if my husband hadn’t suggested that we go into the haunted corn maze.

It started off pretty well until the zombies were jumping out and making me scream nonstop… and I mean some serious screaming.

I had the same human shield as last year– my 9-year-old– except this year I literally hid behind him the entire time.

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How cute is this centipede??  If you like to eat bugs, that is…

The maze seemed to go on forever and I was starting to lose my voice.

After we were done, I realized they hadn’t been jumping out at my husband or kids in front of me.

Why, you ask?

I was being targeted.

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Hot dog mummies have become a Halloween tradition in our house!

I’m serious!

Of course I didn’t know that until later, when my husband informed me that he kept hearing the zombies communicating with each other.

They kept saying “after the kid in the orange shirt.”

Can you guess who was behind the kid in the orange shirt?

Yep, you guessed it.

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Creepy egg eyeballs.

So… if you want to avoid having zombies after you, looking like an insane person, and losing your voice– just stay calm.  And don’t hide behind your kids.

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My kids’ pumpkins this year!

Sports Party (Part 1)

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OK, I am waaaay behind with everything I need to post, and my parties are starting to double up.  

So here’s one from a while ago……..

I was thrilled when my son asked for a really simple party theme.

I dreamt of all the extra time I would have after I finished baking and decorating all the desserts the night before the party.

Until this cake happened:Sports tiered cake a

“It’s a super simple cake,” you say?

Yes, perhaps it is.

Except I couldn’t figure out how to draw the sports balls on the trim.

I tried to do the designs with fondant on fondant, and it looked ridiculous.

I tried to pipe the designs on with frosting, and it was worse.

After a long time, I finally decided to draw them on with edible marker.

And then I just couldn’t draw the soccer ball design, no matter how hard I tried.

I know, it sounds crazy, but I just couldn’t.

Here are 2 more cakes, to distract you from my complaining:

 

Basketball cake 2a

Can you believe I got no good pics of these cakes??

 

Soccer ball cake a

 

 

So back to the original cake– it took me like 3 hours until I finally figured it out.

I must have been seriously tired.

I don’t want to see sports ever again.

Well, except for part 2 of this party post (with the other desserts).  

Promise I won’t complain– and here’s the final cake:

Football cake a

See you soon!

 

Valentine’s Desserts 2016

I love making Valentine’s Day desserts!

They are soooo pretty.

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I love these cute baking cups!

I had great plans for these brownies, but ran out of time as usual.

So I made frosting and piped a quick outline.

I took them to my son’s class and the kids loved them, so I guess they’re not too bad.

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These are my favorite mini heart cakes with white chocolate chips (and they’re low fat!!)

Did you know you can entertain an 8-year old for a long time if you let him put chocolate chips in each bite-sized cake, for several batches?  ;)

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And I made Rice Krispie Treats dipped in chocolate.

I promise they were adorable, but my husband decided he needed to take the good camera to Hawaii with him.

Hawaii over Rice Krispie Treats???

Well, I had to use the little camera– hence this awful picture:

Rice Krispies Hearts

The quality of this picture makes me want to cry. But at least we have good pictures of a luau and a whale tail jumping in the bay!😛

And finally, these little M&M cookies.

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And that’s it for now- see you soon!

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Christmas Desserts 2015

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Yes, I am aware that it’s January 9 and Christmas is long past, but I wanted to post anyway.

This year, the holidays were not the same. 

I tried my best and still got the cookies done, but some weren’t done until Christmas and some even later.

What I did finish on time were the cupcakes for my kids’ school parties.

My middle child got these:

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Don’t they look huge??  They are mini cupcakes.  I love my tiny plate!

My youngest got little stockings:

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My oldest got nothing, sadly, because he had no party at school.

I offered to show up to his class anyway, but he was horrified at the thought.

He is 12, after all….  :)

I also made these new Apricot Cookies.

They taste more like a pastry.

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And I made Lemon Spritz Cookies for the first time.

They were a hit!

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The Cranberry and White Chocolate Chip Cookies were good, but didn’t look as pretty as I hoped:

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Speaking of funny-looking, here’s my Oreo Fudge.

I made it with fat-free condensed milk though, so it was low fat!!  Yay!

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So yummy straight out of the fridge!

And this year, I added pretzels to my Oreo and M&M bark:

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And the rest are the cookies that I make every year (hey, I know it’s repetitive, but I work so hard on them that I need to show them off!)

My little Snowflake Sugar Cookies:

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I came up with a new design this year.  The little things that make me happy…

Rainbow Cookies:

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What happened to my camera?? They look like they are underwater!

Chocolate Spritz Cookies:

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Lace Florentines:

Lace Florentines

Almond Biscotti:

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Low Fat Chocolate Chip Biscotti:

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My favorite Christmas Tree Sugar Cookies!

Christmas tree sugar cookies

And finally, although I didn’t make them in Christmas colors (gasp!), here are my chocolate dipped pretzels:

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And that is all….

I hope everyone enjoyed their holidays!

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Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal Cookies

Guess what?? I have a recipe for you!!!

So I’ve never been a fan of pumpkin pie…

I think it was mostly because it was hard to accept that a dessert incorporated a vegetable.

Because of that, I never felt the urge to jump on the pumpkin-flavored bandwagon.

But then my husband came home one day last week with Pumpkin Spice Morsels (or as I call them, pumpkin flavored chocolate chips).

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Look at those pumpkin spice chocolate chips!

I couldn’t just ignore them, so I ate a few…

I was hooked.

I used them to make these cookies and they were a hit!

In fact, my husband came over to me and said, “I can’t believe I’m eating ANOTHER cookie!”

And no one was forcing him.

That says a lot for a guy who doesn’t like desserts with flour in them (his words)…

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Fall plate, fall tablecloth, fall cookies…  :)

I had already made pumpkin cakes for Halloween, just because I needed something simple to bake.

But it was the morsels that changed my life forever.

OK, I’m exaggerating a little, but… I’m all about vegetables in my desserts now!!

Well, not like broccoli or peppers or anything like that.

Alright, maybe just pumpkin.

So I also plan on making low fat pumpkin bread– and of course I will happily make pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving.

Am I on the bandwagon or what?!?!  :)

 

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal Cookies (adapted from NESTLÉ)

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup pureed pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup NESTLÉ® Pumpkin Spice Morsels (or you can use more if you prefer!)

Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking sheet liners.

Mix flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in medium bowl.

Beat butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until combined.

Add pureed pumpkin.

Gradually beat in flour mixture.

Stir in morsels.

Drop by rounded tablespoons 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheets.

Bake at 350° F for 12 to 13 minutes or until light golden brown.

Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. 

Welcome to pumpkin bliss!!

 

Halloween Food 2015

No cutesie desserts for Halloween this year.  :(

But I still tried to do something– in between house hunting, full time work, and taking care of the kids…

Little Pumpkin Cakes.  Even my husband liked them (which is quite rare when it comes to desserts).  

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Mousse Cups.  I’m guessing my husband liked these too, because when I went to ask him, he handed me an empty cup.

Candy Corn colors!

Oh yeah, and I went to Fright Fest at Six Flags.

The zombies came out at 6pm to scare people.

Luckily, I was walking around with my kids, so I knew they wouldn’t scare us.

Yeah, I was very wrong.  Apparently, they scare you even more when you have little frightened kids with you.

Not kidding.

How did I find this out?   Well at the beginning, I was strolling along with my                  I-know-you-won’t-scare-me-shield (a.k.a., my 8-year-old), when all of a sudden– a psycho clown came out of nowhere and chased us with a chainsaw (which was on).

I took off running and screaming, and dragging my son behind me.  

Quite the sight.

And it got worse from there…

Anyway, enough of my traumatic experiences…  here is my annual Halloween Brownie Pizza:

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Look closely and you’ll see little spiders! No, they’re not real…

And I made some Halloween dinners (not all on the same day).

As seen in previous years (2014, 2013, earlier), I obviously have a need to make yucky spiders out of food. Even though they scare me half to death:

I got this idea from the Kitchen Fun With My Three Sons blog.

I got this idea from the Kitchen Fun With My Three Sons blog.

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Some scary Fettucine Faces:

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And my Hot Dog Mummies again!

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And– the grand finale– my kids’ pumpkins!!

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