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Halloween/Fall 2018

This year was different because my son broke his collarbone.

That meant no running away from zombies like other years...

Instead, I drove myself crazy baking for my husband’s office Halloween party.

He had asked me to bake pumpkin cupcakes on a weeknight (the horror!).

I got home really late from work and started baking.

This was a new recipe, and sadly only made a dozen cupcakes.

Pumpkin cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting.

My husband said that wouldn’t be enough, so I started making vanilla cupcakes, too.

But I only had enough cream cheese frosting for the pumpkin cupcakes, and I realized there was not one bit of powdered sugar in the house.

How does this happen??

Too late to run to the store, so I used a regular batch of buttercream I had made–instead of the cinnamon one I wanted to make.

In the meantime, my oven was acting crazy and stressing me out.

I kept running over to get lunches ready for the next day…

Eat a quick dinner in between baking…

Help kids with homework…

And so on…

Then I colored the buttercream frosting orange, piped the cupcakes, and by then I was about to run away screaming because I was so tired.

And that’s when it happened…

My husband told me his office wasn’t actually having a party at work after all– it was just people bringing in candy for Halloween.

So I threw the cupcakes at him.

OK, I didn’t really– but I wanted to!

But that’s ok, his office enjoyed the cupcakes.  🙂

The rest of Halloween was pretty hectic, but I got to bake some fall brownie bites for my son’s school party:

Brownie bites with fondant leaves.

We had spider personal pizzas and mummy hot dogs:

I also made pumpkin pancakes for the first time, and they were a hit!!

And of course, my kids’ pumpkins– didn’t they do a great job?

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Valentine’s Day 2018

Another holiday, another chaotic day in my house…

All my holiday posts sound the same– never a dull moment.

I barely had time for desserts, but I did manage to make some.

These are sugar cookie bars.

Did I put too much frosting?  😉

My family liked them, so I was happy.

As for the craziness– my husband left on a business trip that night, my son had a meltdown, 2 of my kids were fighting about who got me one of my presents, and of course, the food got cold as I made everyone pose endlessly for pictures.  🙂

Isn’t that what typically happens at everyone’s house for Valentine’s Day??

Ok, it wasn’t all crazy.  We did have fun– Valentine’s Mad Libs and jokes, presents, heart-shaped pizza…

But I knew things would get crazy, so I planned a nice relaxing Valentine’s Day brunch the previous Sunday!

I think I’m onto something!!  🙂

No, I didn’t starve my family.  Aside from waffles and strawberries, we had pancakes, 2 types of bacon, sausages, and scrambled eggs.  But nothing else looked Valentiny enough.  🙂

 

 

Christmas Desserts 2017

I’m back, and going crazy as usual!

I feel like my Christmas posts should be called My Christmas List of Unfortunate Events.  🙂

So I thought last year’s Christmas baking/planning bad luck was a one-time thing, but apparently it’s meant to happen a lot!

Here is my list from this year (along with my desserts!):

Brownie Bites with chocolate drizzle

We moved into a new house this year, and I haven’t gotten used to the oven, it seems.

My lemon spritz cookies burnt. My chocolate chip cookies burnt. My snowflake cookies burnt. You get the idea.

Yeah, you would think I would’ve gotten the idea after the first two, right?

Well, at least the entire batch didn’t burn.

Still stressful though.

Shortbread Cookies dipped in white chocolate

Then I couldn’t find my favorite little snowflake cutter.  

I think my husband, son, and I spent over an hour looking.

Didn’t find it.

Italian Ricotta Cookies

The next day, I couldn’t find the black edible marker for my snowman cookies.

My husband ended up running to the store because I needed it for my son’s school party the next day.

Snowman Cookies

Then a few days later, I couldn’t find my piping tip to decorate the sugar cookies.  

That I did find– after a loooong time and some tears…

But as I was looking for it, guess what I found?

Yep, the cookie cutter and the marker I couldn’t find the other day!!

Ugh.

Chocolate Pretzel Caramel Bars

Oh, but it goes on…

My Christmas tree cookies turned splotchy, so I lost a half batch. (Anyone know why the glaze would get splotchy?)

Whimsical Trees

At another time, I knocked over the tall tub of sprinkles.

And they happened to be little round sprinkles, so they all bounced and rolled off the island.

Fun times!

White Chocolate Chip Cookies.  They don’t look very pretty, but they taste good!

My other son had a party and I spent the entire morning making his gingerbread men fondant toppers.

I don’t know why it took hours, but I needed to do so many other things!

Oh yeah, and I forgot to bring the cute gingerbread man cupcake carrier that I had packed to take to the party.

And during the party, I had to run out to move my truck because it was parked in the bus lane!

What craziness!

Gingerbread Man Mini Cupcakes. Do you see the one waving at you?  🙂

And let’s not forget the time the melted chocolate sprayed everywhere while I was trying to drizzle it on the brownies!

There’s probably more, but I’m too tired to remember because I’ve spent all day wrapping presents and packing cookie gifts.  

And I have a few more hours to go…

Snickerdoodles

So here are the cookies I make every year:

My favorite trees!

Little Snowflakes

Medium Snowflakes.  Made them a different color this year!

Big Snowflakes

Low Fat Chocolate Chip Biscotti

Almond Biscotti

Rainbow Cookies

Lace Florentines

Chocolate Spritz Cookies

Lemon Spritz Cookies

Hmmm, maybe now it doesn’t sound THAT bad.

But at the time I wanted to scream!

Well, it all worked out in the end, and I guess it was worth the heartache.  🙂

Happy Holidays!

 

 

Halloween 2017

It’s super late for Halloween desserts, but better late than never!

Life is crazy these days.

Ok, not just these days– it’s crazy always!

I didn’t have much time to do anything, so I had to pretend I was being creative with Halloween stuff.

Throw some eyeballs on pudding cups, and voila!, pudding monsters!

I had planned to make more desserts, but my family decided to go away for the weekend to Six Flags.

This is becoming a habit now…

So after 6pm, all the zombies came out to scare me.

I’m sure they were scaring other people too, but it felt like they were there for me.

I made these brownie bites for my son’s school party.

The first time I ran away screaming, my 8-year-old started crying.

Once I calmed him down, I feel like he thought it was fun to hold my hand so I could drag him along while I ran away.

He didn’t run to my calm husband– he ran to hold my hand.

And we ran, and I screamed, and they laughed.

I was exhausted.

Traditional brownie pizza!  Literally all but these 6 Oreos broke apart when I opened them!

Anyway, because of all that, I had no time to bake anything else.

Maybe next year I can trade the zombies for the desserts (wish me luck)!

My usual creepy egg eyeballs.

The kids insist on hot dog mummies every year!

And before I go, here are my kids’ works of art:

Valentine’s Day 2017

Things never change.

I tried to have a great Valentine’s Day for my kids, with Valentine’s Mad Libs, pizza in heart shapes, and a few desserts:

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But crazy life got in the way.

By crazy life, I mean the normal stuff: getting home late from work, taking way too long to take pictures of the kids with the Valentine’s day food, slicing my finger open on a Valentine’s day envelope…

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These had white chocolate chips inside. Yum!

Yes, I had to stop and freak out for a little bit.

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My heart-shaped waffles!

Once I put on a band-aid, I continued with the festivities– thinking it wasn’t going too bad for a school night.

I even made some brownies since my husband doesn’t like any of the other desserts:

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I began to put out the desserts, all happy that I was doing things on time…

And then I remembered that my oldest had basketball practice.

So we scrambled to eat dessert, freaked out some more, and he made it on time.

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And I survived another holiday.  Barely.  🙂

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This was a mini cake.

 

Christmas Desserts 2016

This year I started much earlier and things were going smoothly… until now.

I still have thousands of gifts to wrap (exaggerating just a little) and cookies to decorate. 

But the important part is that my kids’ school parties are over…

Before I get into that, here is my double chocolate fudge:

Not sure why I felt the need to put them in this shape…

Anyway, one of the parties was a hassle.

I met resistance the entire way for some reason– but that didn’t stop me.

And the night before was insane.

My husband was out and my kids needed a lot of attention.

Meanwhile, I had to cut out party crafts (long story), bake cupcakes, bake Rice Krispie Treats, wrap teachers’ presents, etc.

And nothing went right…

Here are the Grinch Heart brownie bites and the Rice Krispie Treats I made that night:

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I drizzled white chocolate on them.

Anyway, as you see, no cupcakes.

The oven was acting up and they came out chewy. 

Then the pans started to fall off the counter and my son grabbed them in time, but knocked a huge bowl of water on the floor.

Then I had to make brownies since the cupcakes were no good.

I almost dropped the brownie pan, I almost dropped the cookies I was packing for the teachers, I did drop the tortellini in the sink (I was making them for school lunches the next day), I got green food coloring all over my hand…

And on and on like that…

But I survived and the parties went well.  Phew!

So here are the cookies that I made this year:

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Coffee cookies

 

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Toffee Chocolate Chunk Cookies

 

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Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

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Caramel Apple Cookies

And these I make every year:

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My favorite ones– Christmas trees (which you obviously figured out on your own)

 

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Small Snowflakes

 

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Medium Snowflakes

 

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Big Snowflakes

 

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Almond Biscotti

 

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Low fat Chocolate Chip Biscotti

 

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Rainbow Cookies

 

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Lemon Spritz Cookies

 

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Chocolate Spritz Cookies

 

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Whimsical Tree Cookies

 

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Lace Florentines

And that’s it for this Christmas!

I wanted to make two other things but I ran out of time.  

Maybe for New Year’s.

Happy Holidays!!

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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!  🙂