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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.

 

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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Valentine’s Desserts 2015

I realize I’m always making excuses for not baking more.

So I’m not going to mention the usual craziness…

I will only say that my sinuses have been kicking my butt for 6 weeks.

Yes, 6 full weeks and still going.

But I forced myself to make at least something for the kids for Valentine’s Day!

Here are my low fat sugar cookies:

Sugar cookie a

 

Sugar cookies 2a

And chocolate-dipped pretzels:

Valentine pretzels a

And since that was all I was able to accomplish, I quickly made some heart-shaped waffles for breakfast:

Heart waffles a

And eggs with a heart cut out!

Heart eggs 2a

That’s all.  

Hopefully once I feel better, I’ll be back with more stuff.

Wish me luck!  🙂

Halloween Food 2014

This year I didn’t go crazy baking way too many Halloween desserts for some reason.

Maybe it was because my husband was traveling all week and I was running around like crazy after my kids.

I had to stop every few minutes to shout, “Stop [insert appropriate phrase here: (fighting, walking on the table, jumping headfirst off the couch, etc.)]!”

And in all that chaos, I somehow managed to make SOMEthing.

I had to throw this little cake together really quickly:

Ghost cake a

I made the ghosts out of white chocolate.

I also made my usual sugar cookies, but decorated a bit differently this year.

For the first time, I used colored sugar on some, and used a different color glaze for others.  I’m a rebel!

Bat cookies a Ghost cookies aBat cookies 2a

Our traditional brownie pizza (well, we started the tradition just last year):

Brownie pizza a

And I did make some cute Halloween food.  There were mummy hot dogs:

Hot dog mummies a

And deviled eggs with black olive spiders on them. 

Yes, because I like to gross myself out every year for some reason.

They were a hit with my kids.

Egg spiders a

Seriously, I couldn’t even look at these. Interesting that I feel the need to make such creepy food…

 My 5-year-old even put another egg on top and called it a “spider sandwich.”

Yeah, I’m still having nightmares about that one…

And finally, my kids’ pumpkins.  I promised I would show them off.  🙂

Pumpkins a

4th of July Desserts 2014

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Unlike last year’s 4th of July messy but yummy desserts,”   this year my desserts weren’t awful looking!  Yay!

I made this jello:

Jello cups a

Jello cups 2a

I thought I was clever for choosing something easy like jello, but it took sooo long to make!

First, I made the blue layer and let it set for an hour.

Then I went to make the cream layer, and found that the heavy cream and sour cream had frozen in my refrigerator!

So I had to wait for them to defrost.

Then I made the cream on the stove, which took forever since I had to stir constantly…

Then another hour for it to set.

Then the red layer– yet another hour.

I was kicking myself for choosing this dessert.

Plus I ended up with no time to make another dessert once I was done.

Luckily, in the middle of waiting for the jello layers, I made these:

Pretzels a

Of course, I have a big problem melting chocolate, so I wasn’t thrilled with this one either.

But in the end, even though the desserts drove me crazy, they looked pretty and they tasted good.

(By the way, my husband actually really liked the jello dessert– even though he hates jello and didn’t like the cream part on its own.  Which doesn’t make too much sense, but we’ll go with it.)

Yay!

 

 

Valentine’s Day Desserts 2013

I’m too tired to think of anything clever to say.

Are you shocked?

But I didn’t want Valentine’s Day to go by without showing you what I made.

Here is all I had time for (not as much as I hoped):

Valentine's cupcake 2a

Low fat strawberry cupcakes with buttercream frosting

I had to add some Valentine’s Day color to my chocolate chip cookies:

Cookies a

Chocolate Chip and M&M cookies

Anyway, I spent Valentine’s Day at home.

We ordered pizza.

Mini heart cakes with white chocolate chips

Mini heart cakes with white chocolate chips

Valentine’s dinner with my husband and 3 very loud boys.

Not very romantic, huh?

Well, it’s the best way to spend Valentine’s Day– with my 4 Valentines.  🙂

Valentine's cupcake 4a

Valentine's cupcake 5a

My Christmas Desserts

I haven’t even started wrapping presents.  And I still have a couple of desserts to make.

So there’s no time to write you a story!

Therefore, you’ll just have to look at pictures.

Here are my Christmas Tree Sugar Cookies:

Tree cookies a

I figured it wouldn’t be fun to show my Christmas desserts AFTER Christmas, so I’m just throwing the pictures up here.

Here are big (and I mean big– almost the size of my hand) Snowflake Sugar Cookies. 

Snowflake cookies a

This was the second time I’ve ever piped icing on cookies. Hard work!!

And medium snowflakes:

Snowflake cookies 3a

And little snowflakes:

Snowflake cookies 4a

OK, no more snowflakes.

I also made little brownie reindeer:

Brownie Reindeer a

M&M and Oreo Bark:

M&M and Oreo Bark a

White chocolate fudge (I made it a few minutes ago, so this is the only picture I have):

Fudge a

And Chocolate Spritz Cookies with chocolate glaze:

Spritz Cookies 2a

Gingerbread men (sorry for the bad picture, but I’m running around like crazy)!

Gingerbread Men a

And finally, the Holiday Party Mix I made for all the teachers.  All 15 of them!

Holiday Party Mix a

I have a few more, but I didn’t get to take pictures yet– so I’ll post them some other time.

Time to run…  HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Halloween Goodies

So this year I stayed away from spider desserts.

I made mini cupcakes. Nothing creepy or crawly.

They’re chocolate, and I put them on a black plate– so it kinda looks like the frosting is floating!

I also made chocolate-covered mummy pretzels. 

My 3-year-old asked why I had made “Wrapped up ghosts.”

I told him it was a mummy. 

He asked, a Mommy?

I said no, a mummy.

He said Mommy?

I said no, it’s a wrapped up ghost. 

He was happy.

The cookies were bats and ghosts. (I’m sure you could’ve figured that out on your own, but I had to say SOMEthing about them!)

And finally the  chocolate cake balls. 

Yes, the dessert that causes me the most stress.

And that’s it.

I wanted to make more elaborate stuff, but I was interrupted by a bunch of soccer games, a potential broken finger (my son), an allergic reaction (my other son),
a party, a hurricane, and much more.

Maybe next year…  🙂

Last Year’s Halloween Desserts

Just thought I’d share my Halloween desserts from last year.

My favorite were the mini-cupcake spiders.

I made the legs out of chocolate.

Interestingly, I’m deathly afraid of spiders.

Ever since the day someone threw a spider on my head at summer camp
when I was 12.

Yes, strange things happen to me.

But let’s not get into that.

Back to the spiders– they were creepy.

And why not add spiderwebs since I’m already grossed out?

I made the spiderwebs out of white chocolate.

Not sure why I had a spider theme going.

Anyway, moving on to the cream cheese swirl brownies.

I made the cream cheese orange for Halloween.

And finally, here are some cupcakes with black frosting.

They look kind of scary, but they were tasty.

And now that I think about it, I made 3 types of cupcakes.

Hmm, not sure what that was about.

Anyway, hopefully I’ll come up with something different this year!

See ya!!

White Chocolate Cookies

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I love chocolate.

But I’m now convinced that chocolate hates me.

No matter what I do, it won’t melt. 

I’ve mentioned this before—but now it’s getting out of control.

In the middle of complaining about chocolate, here are some cookies:

Not only do they have white chocolate chips, but they also have melted white chocolate in the batter!!  YUM.

It was the chocolate coating that gave me a hard time.

Can someone please come over my house and show me how to melt chocolate???

Yes, I tried the microwave.

Yes, I tried the double boiler.

Yes, I tried the Wilton melting pot.

Yes, I screamed at it to melt.

No, I could never get it to the right consistency.

Well, at least the cookies ended up looking cute and tasting yummy.

I guess they were worth my fight with the chocolate.

But someday I’ll win…

White Chocolate Cookies (adapted from Betty Crocker)

Cookies

  • 1-2/3 cups white chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar

Melt 1 cup of the chocolate chips and cool.

In large bowl, beat sugar, butter, vanilla and eggs with electric mixer on medium speed until creamy.

Beat in melted chips on low speed. Stir in flour, baking soda and cream of tartar.

Stir in remaining 2/3 cup chocolate chips.

Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake at 325 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until very light brown.

Cool 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.

Coating

  •  16  ounces white chocolate chips (or colorful candy melts), melted

Dip cookies in melted chocolate and make them pretty!!

Golden Brownies

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First thing you need to know is that these brownies are awesome.

They’re just like regular brownies, but made with white chocolate.  With some chocolate chips for extra awesomeness.

Alright, now that we got that out of the way, I’ll tell you what a huge hassle it was to name them.

They are NOT blondies.

Nor are they cookie bars.

The recipe is actually for “Snow White Brownies.”

But they’re not white.

And they certainly don’t look like a Disney Princess.

Little bites of happiness?

No, happiness isn’t a tangible item.

Rays of sunshine?

No, that would burn.  And possibly blind you.

So I finally settled on Golden Brownies.

Now that I think about it, it probably doesn’t matter what I named them.  They’re delicious no matter what they’re called.

I’d pick them over a regular brownie any day.

 

Golden Brownies (adapted from the Bake Sale Cookbook)

  • 3/4 Cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 Cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces white chocolate (I used chocolate chips)
  • 1/2 Cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 Cup semisweet chocolate chips

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.

Melt the butter and white chocolate, and stir until completely melted.  Set aside to cool.

Whisk together sugar and eggs in a large bowl.  Stir in white chocolate mixture and vanilla, then stir in flour mixture until just incorporated.

Pour batter into greased 8 inch square baking pan.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes at 350 degrees.

Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.

Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I’m going to tell you a secret.

Aside from being yummy, these cookies are healthy-er than normal.

Why?

Because they’re made with less butter, and they have oats in them.

Then why didn’t I call them oatmeal cookies?

Well, because they don’t taste like oatmeal cookies.  Believe me, my “I-don’t-like-oatmeal-cookies-so-why-are-you-making-these” husband was pleasantly surprised.

They why didn’t I call them “light” cookies?

OK, enough with the questions already!

Fine, I’ll tell you!  It’s because I loaded them up with white chocolate chips.  Alright? Happy now?

OK, now that I came clean, I might as well tell you the whole story.  The original recipe called for raisins only.  I don’t believe in raisin cookies.  So I added Craisins instead. 

They rhyme, so it works right?

Can you see the white chocolate chips?

And then I added lots of white chocolate chips.  Lots.

Yum.

Good news… I had 14 taste testers, and they all loved these cookies.

Bad news… the cookies are gone.

 

Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies (adapted from Cooking Light)

  • 1/2 C granulated sugar
  • 1/2 C packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 C butter, softened
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1/8 t salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 C all-purpose flour
  • 1 C quick oats
  • 1/2 C (or more) white chocolate chips
  • 1/4 C Craisins

Beat first 6 ingredients at medium speed until light and fluffy.

Add flour and oats, and beat until blended.

Stir in chocolate chips and Craisins.

Drop by level tablespoons 2 inches apart on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.

Bake for 11 or 12 minutes, or until golden brown.

Cool on wire racks.

Enjoy!

White Chocolate Chip Bars

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I am so glad these are yummy, because it was quite an ordeal to make them.

This story is for those of you who think it was an effortless baking session.

 

So I melted the butter.  Check.

Wait, it said unsalted.

Oops.

Then I went to get the light brown sugar.

There was only dark.

I freaked out a little.

But I made an adjustment and proceeded.

 

Then vanilla extract.

There’s no more.  Well, a drop or so.

Seriously, could I really be having a vanilla extract emergency??  Yes.

So I freaked out some more.

Once I got myself back together, I did some modifications and hoped for the best…

 

They were crunchy on the outside and oh so soft in the middle.

And oh so good.  

Disaster averted and a new bar created.

Nice.  🙂

 

White Chocolate Chip Bars

  • 3/4 C butter
  • 1 1/8 C packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/8 C sugar
  • 1/2 T vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 C all-purpose flour (I used King Arthur whole white wheat)
  • 1 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1 1/2 C white chocolate chips

Grease 9 x 13 baking pan.

Beat butter, sugars, vanilla, and eggs in large bowl until light and creamy.

Stir in flour and baking powder until well blended.  Stir in 1 cup white chocolate chips.

Spread mixture in the pan.

Bake 25 minutes, or until light golden brown and the center is set.

Cool completely in the pan.

Melt remaining white chocolate chips and drizzle on top.