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Halloween/ Fall 2020

This year was very different than usual, but I still tried to make it fun for the kids. I made these Halloween cupcakes:

There were no zombies running after us this year, and no trick-or-treating. 😦 But we made new memories! There was a Halloween parade in our neighborhood, and I did a Scavenger Hunt for my kids!

Halloween Sprinkle Cookies!

Of course I made my annual Halloween Brownie Pizza– but I wasn’t able to get orange Halloween oreos. So I decided to get dark chocolate ones instead– and I told my kids I got them as spooky “rotten pepperoni.”

And my kids asked me if they were really rotten. I was confused and said, “They’re oreos!” And they proceeded to ask me again if they were rotten. Blink blink.

So… let’s move along…

My youngest and I tried making some quick chocolate-covered pretzels, but it was a bit of a disaster. Still yummy though:

I also put some creepy, crawly spiders on our pizza! Ewww!

My kids made these awesome pumpkins:

And finally, I decorated the house a little to get into the Halloween spirit:

So I guess even though this year was very different, we still made it fun and special!

Here’s to making the best of everything! 🙂

Christmas Desserts 2019

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Well, late again, but earlier than last year! 

Also, I didn’t have quite as many mishaps this year– so that’s an improvement.

My biggest ordeal was making Rice Krispies treats for my son’s class party.

We had a concert the night before, so I stayed up until 11pm making them.

I was soo tired!

But they’re pretty, aren’t they?

The infamous Rice Krispies Treats.

Anyway, I woke up and packed them up– and we got a call that schools were closed!

No, there was no snow.

No, there was no ice.

No, there was no frozen tundra.

You get the point.

There was the possibility of some freezing rain, which never came.

So… since there was no school, there was no party.

Brownie trees. As you can see, I had an obsession with drizzling chocolate this year!!

Not related to baking– but the school closing ruined everything!

I had to drive to work later and it took forever…

I had to wrap up the Rice Krispies Treats so they wouldn’t dry out (because it was a Friday)…

We had to reschedule the party for next week, when I was supposed to be working on cookies…

Pumpkin Cookies

Anyway, guess what?

I was going to take the Rice Krispies Treats in on Monday– and schools closed again!

I gave up.

Gingy!

But then my husband volunteered to deliver the treats on Tuesday.

They didn’t dry out, and the kids loved them.

So, yay!

Rainbow Cookies

Other than that, I only burned my fingers twice on baking sheets.

But I didn’t drop the cookies as I screamed and let go of the sheets!

Shortbread Cookies

And the last crazy thing that happened was when I baked some white chocolate peppermint cookies:

Very Pepperminty Cookies

I used 3 different silicone sheets to bake them– and the peppermint smell wouldn’t come out!

I soaked them, scrubbed them, used vinegar, etc.

So I had my husband just buy me more because I was running out of time!

And eventually the smell did come out…

Lace Florentines

Anyway, here are the rest of my desserts:

Soft Gingerbread Cookies

Italian Ricotta Cookies

Snickerdoodles

Chocolate Spritz Cookies

Lemon Spritz Cookies

Chocolate Cups with Peanuts

Low Fat Chocolate Chip Biscotti

Almond Biscotti

And believe it or not– I used 2 ovens for the first time ever!

It was so much quicker!

Maybe next year I’ll make even more.  🙂

 

Halloween/ Fall 2019

I’m super late again, but that’s my life!

Here are some brownie bites I made for my son’s school party:

I also made my brownie pizza (it’s a tradition now):

I feel like I have a recurring theme going on for Halloween.

Last year my son broke his collarbone at this time… 

And this year my other son broke his finger.

So running away from zombies at Fright Fest was a bit tricky.

He didn’t mind though.  

My 10-year-old, on the other hand, was freaking out.

Is it wrong that we laughed while one zombie chased him and his brother?  🙂

Good times!

Anyway, back to food.

I made pumpkin goodies:

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

And for school lunches, I drew these cute little faces on mandarin oranges:

For Halloween dinner, we made little pizzas with spiders on them!

I also drew a cute face on a pepper!

Apparently I was into drawing faces this year… they also went on fruit cups and bananas!

And finally, my kids’ pumpkins:

They went simple this year.

Oh, and by the way, my kids were fine at Fright Fest.

They got used to the zombies after a while and then it was just fun.

Well, except for the scary clowns that were apparently out to kill us…

But don’t worry, we all made it out alive!

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?

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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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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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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Christmas Desserts 2014

I wish I could say something new this year, but it’s the same:  I ran out of time.

I was doing really well, until my husband had to travel during 2 weeks in December.

Yeah, in December!  Can you believe him???

I mean, couldn’t he just say he needed to stay home so his wife could bake Christmas cookies?

I’m sure his boss would understand…

OK, back to reality.

Here are my new sugar cookie trees– I call them my “Whimsical Trees:”

Whimsical trees 2a

I love them!  The funny thing is that I made them with a leaf cookie cutter that I bought in a Thanksgiving pack.

I also made mini cupcakes with fondant toppers:

Christmas Cupcakes a

Cappuccino Biscotti so my husband won’t cry that he doesn’t like any of the desserts:

Cappuccino biscotti a

Lace Florentines (these cookies are seriously delicate.  I cracked a bunch just trying to break one in half to try it. Good news is that I got to eat the broken pieces).  

They each have 2 thin cookies with melted chocolate in the middle:

Lace Florentines a

There are 13 cookies stacked on top of each other! (Actually 26 because they are sandwich cookies.)

Chocolate Chip Cookies, with cute Christmas chocolate chips!

I was very excited when I found Christmas color chips, until they turned pink and light green after I baked them.

Oh well, just make believe they are red and green!

Chocolate Chip Cookies 2a

Oreo Cheesecake cookies:

Oreo Cheesecake Cookies 2a

And my usual ones…

I know, I keep posting the same cookies every year…

But how else can I prove that I made sooo many desserts that they almost killed me?

Here are my favorite tree cookies!!!!

Christmas tree cookies a

My Low Fat Chocolate Chip Biscotti:

Low fat biscotti. ajpg

Dipped in dark chocolate.

Really big snowflake cookies:

Big Snowflake Cookies a

Medium snowflake cookies:

Medium Snowflake Cookies a

Small snowflake cookies.  

Yes, I’m now done with snowflake cookies:

Small Snowflake Cookies a

Chocolate Spritz Cookies:

Chocolate Spritz Cookies a

And Rainbow Cookies:

Rainbow cookies a

And that’s it!! I actually had a few more on my list, but I’m exhausted!  😦

Now I have another million things to do, so I better stop writing.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

 

Robot Party (Part 2)

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OK, I’m back with the rest of the desserts for the Robot Party.

These are usually my favorite desserts to make because they are waaaaay easier than the cakes.

Well, the cookies were not my favorites for this party (I hope that’s not considered complaining because I promised I wouldn’t complain this time!).

Robot cookies a

They took forever because no matter what I did, they didn’t look like robots.

Monsters? Puppets?  Weird faces that come out of your TV?  Anything but robots!!!

Finally I ran out of time and convinced myself that robots can look like anything you want.  Right?  OK.

Because of those cookies, I had no time for any more robot-themed desserts, and had to settle on color-scheme desserts.

Here are the mini cupcakes:

Mini cupcakes 2b

 I had no sprinkles that were those exact colors, so I made the dots out of fondant.

Yes, it took a lot of time– but I was happy that they matched perfectly!

And some chocolate-dipped marshmallows for the kids to take home:

Marshmallow pops a

 And the cake balls:

Cake balls a

And finally, the usual  just-in-case-we-run-out-of-desserts brownies:

Brownies a

And that’s it!!  Another party done!

Robot dessert table a

Outer Space Party (Part 2)

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The 3 cakes I made for the Outer Space party were not enough (in my mind), so I made more desserts…

Outer Space Cupcakes b

Mini cupcakes and regular size cupcakes, with fondant decorations.

I made a lot of stars because originally, my son asked for a  star party (he’s only 5, so I guess that was exciting for him).

When I asked what kind of cakes he wanted, he said, “Five star cakes!  And star cupcakes, star cookies…”  

I stopped him and suggested an Outer Space party, because I figured the desserts would be more fun…  and of course, I can’t just take the easy route.

So, I also made sugar cookies for the kids to take home:

Outer space cookies aAnd I felt bad for the adults, so I made smaller cookies for everyone to eat at the party:

Space Cookies a

I made “Asteroids,” which were actually banana cake balls:

Cake balls a

And just in case there weren’t enough desserts, I made my just-in-case-brownies:

Space brownies aAnd that was about it– we had enough!!  Phew!

Dessert table a

OK, next party coming soon!!!  🙂

 

Pirate Party (Part 2)

I almost forgot the rest of the Pirate Party desserts!

These are my favorite because they’re much easier than the cakes, and I can make them ahead of time.

And there was no drama, no crying, no dropping anything (well, I did drop one cookie), no freaking out, no throwing food at people… well you get the picture.    🙂

I made sugar cookies:

Pirate Cookies a

Chocolate lollipops for the kids to take home.  They were rather large lollipops!

Chocolates a

Cupcakes, of course:

Pirate cupcakes a

I made the fondant toppers.

Little brownie pirate boats:

Pirate brownies a

And pirate marshmallows.  I saw these online and couldn’t resist:

Marshmallow Pirates a

Dipped them in chocolate and drew faces with an edible marker. Super easy and they were the first to disappear!

Well, the boys seemed to enjoy the desserts.

And I did my best to feed the parents when they came to pick them up.

All in all, a success!

Pirate Dessert Table a

FYI- this is a big dining room table…

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Valentine’s Desserts 2014

I disappointed myself this year with Valentine’s Day desserts.

I had great aspirations, but then the usual happened:

My son broke his pinky, my nanny had a birthday, we had 2 Valentine’s day parties, there was a kids’ party we had to go to the prior weekend, the kids were stuck at home for 3 snow days… you know how it goes.

So, without any further excuses, here are my brownie bites:

I piped the chocolate hearts out of chocolate, and made pink buttercream frosting.

I piped the chocolate hearts, and made pink buttercream frosting.

They weren’t cutesy enough for me, since I like very pink and red desserts, with sprinkles.

But no time, so I made brown sugar blondies with Valentine’s M&Ms.

At least the cupcake cups I put them in were cutesy!

Blondies FB

And that was all I did.

But in my defense, I also had to make a birthday cake, so you know…

Mel's cake

For our awesome nanny!

As I always say, I’ll do better next year!  🙂

Silly Monster Party (Part 2)

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I’m finally back with Part 2 of the Silly Monster Party!

I just realized I never posted it, and now it’s almost  time for the next party.

Wow, I feel tired just from saying that.

So let’s get started.  Here are the silly monster cookies, packaged for the kids to take home:

Silly Monsters Cookies a

Yes, I insisted on making every single monster face different. 

I have NO idea why I make things difficult for myself.   🙂

I also made smaller cookies for people to eat at the party:

Silly Monsters Small Cookies a

(I somehow managed to forget to take a picture of them on the serving platter, so it’s a less appealing picture!)

I also had cupcakes:

Silly Monsters Cupcakes 3a

I made the monsters out of fondant.

And I made mini blue raspberry jello cups:

Silly Monsters Jello a

Yep, I drew the little faces on each cup.

Some lime cake balls:

Silly Monsters Cake Balls a

See the creepy eyeballs?

And of course, brownies.  I think of these as my emergency backup dessert– you know, in case I run out of everything else. 

Which I never do.  

But still, just in case.

Silly Monsters Brownies a

And that was all I had time for.  I wish I could’ve done more.

I know, you can say it.  I’m crazy.   🙂

Silly Monster dessert table for FB a

4th of July Desserts 2013

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I had a nice, relaxing 4th of July planned out, along with 2 simple and cute desserts.

But craziness always happens.

So let’s rename them “2 messy but yummy desserts.”

First, I made mini trifles—blueberry and strawberry cheesecake.

I decided to make them the night before the 4th, in case I ran out of time.

But it was at that time that we realized we needed to leave early in the morning, so I had to rush making them in order to get my kids off to bed.

And this is how they turned out:

4th of July  mini trifle 5a

The cream was sooo yummy.

Not very neat or pretty—but EVERYone loved them.

Yes, you heard right.  Even my husband.

Yeah, I was shocked too.

4th of July  mini trifle 3a

Then on the 4th, we planned to go to a science center to entertain the kids for an hour or two.

So… after 8 hours there, we closed the place down and had to drag them out.

Yes, 8  long, exhausting hours- during which they didn’t even want to stop to eat!

So now we only had a short amount of time to eat dinner, make the next dessert, and leave to see the fireworks.

Yep, I had been sure that I’d have plenty of time to make frosting for my brownie dessert– but I had ½ hour altogether.

I improvised and had to use Cool Whip, which of course, does not hold up very well.

So this is what happened (I had to make several):

Firework brownies a

I made the swirly things out of chocolate.

I was not happy that my desserts weren’t very pretty.

But hey, everyone loved this dessert too.

Two for two.

Wow. I can’t complain.

And by the way, we did make it in time to see the fireworks—in the pouring rain.  🙂