30 May 2012

Carrot Cake Coffee Cake

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Baking is my therapy.

{So is exercise, but that's another story.}

Sometimes I just feel like crap about whatever is going on and I realize it's been awhile since I've been in the kitchen. I go to my oven like a moth to a flame and begin to create and I feel better.

My favorite kind of therapy is when I'm creating something that's in my head. Not just following a recipe, but changing it. Making it mine. Or making it fit my mood. The thinking, the figuring, the measuring. It's soothing and relaxing. It's perfect for those days you need a little therapy.

Like when I realize Andy Cohen is on a book tour and not making new episodes of Watch What Happens: Live.

Or when the season finale of Grey's Anatomy is just so...wrong...that you almost want to scream and shout and yell nasty things.

Or when your daughter is so upset about what happens on the playground at school that her body reacts by making her sick.

Or when other parents try to parent your child at school, without you present, causing more of said sickness.

Baking is a great release for times when my kid isn't perfect.

And especially for times when I wish other parents would realize the same things about their own children.

And for times when I really, really wish no one knew who I was and that I blogged anonymously, so that I could really blog, if you get my drift.

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29 May 2012

Chocolate Cake Ball Stuffed Peanut Butter Cupcakes

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Hey, before I tell you about these awesomeamazingyouwon'tbelievethem cupcakes, I wanted to let you know that I was a guest poster today over at Something Swanky! I'm talking about using Curves in PicMonkey and another little helpful commenting/HTML tip. Go check it out!

And now, on with your show...

I work out every day. I mean I stuff Almond Joy candy bars in crescent rolls for breakfast. I kind of need to exercise.

Usually I go to the gym, where I embarrass myself in a Core class or I read 50 Shades of Grey on the elliptical and try not to blush.

{Side note: have you read that book? Oh my. It's...intense. And I don't quite understand why everyone is so thrilled about a book where a girl chooses to be in an abusive relationship? If it wasn't for the good...stories...I'd probably have stopped reading. Just kidding... I'm so excited I'll be discussing this at a book club. That night should be interesting. There better be lots of cocktails.}

I've been really enjoying running, which is a lot for me to say because my running is a lot like Phoebe's. {If you have no idea what that means, well...can we even move on from there?}

I can't do it more than a couple times a week, as I have an old lady body with old lady knees and ankles and a bad lower back thanks to being pregnant with Jordan. (I swear, it's all been downhill since I had a kid. What the heck is up with that?)

{Speaking of kids ruining your body, when I'm at the gym and see the clique of 12-pack ab moms at the pool in their teeny tiny bikinis with three kids apiece, I want to cry. Or maybe go and poke them and look for their alien not-from-Earth marks. Because, seriously, how is that possible?}

I really enjoy running outdoors, although my geriatric knees don't allow it as much as on a treadmill. Nevertheless, I strap on my running shoes a few times a week and head out, jamming to I'm Sexy and I Know It.

And every single time right when I get sweaty and out of breath and I feel like I'm ready to die because I'm running a 12 minute mile, an old dude passes me.

The same old guy. Every time. He's gotta be in his 80s. All hunched over and running.

Faster than me.

It's humbling.

But then I remind myself, he's probably an alien too. And then I feel better.

Also something that makes me feel better?

Doing this:

~Read More~

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28 May 2012

Crazy Sweet Tuesday

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Hey everyone! Welcome to Crazy Sweet Tuesday, the total opposite of a Weight Watchers meeting.

I hope you're having a wonderful Memorial Day. I hope you're relaxing, BBQing, sleeping, or all of the above. Well maybe not BBQing while you're sleeping. That could pose a hazardous situation. But whatev, you get what I mean.

Guess what? I'm guest posting today for Jerri over at Simply Sweet Home! I've been a longtime member of Jerri's linky party, Friday Favorites, so I jumped at the chance to guest post for her.

Of course, I made a pie. Because pie rocks. I mean, it's Memorial Day and all. An American holiday. And America is synonymous with pie.

And this pie is amazing. It's made of a pantry!

Just kidding. That would be gross, all wooden and slivery.

If you want to know what this super-awesome pie is actually made of, go check it out over at Simply Sweet Home. Tell Jerri I said hi!

Okay, now onto the party!  Here are a few of the awesome treats that caught my eye last week:

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27 May 2012

Red, White, and Blue Cupcake Tops

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Happy Memorial Day! Whatcha all up too?

Wait, what? You're not reading blogs on your day off?

Well then, you're missing out on probably the easiest Memorial Day treat ever.

To be perfectly honest, I never usually make red, white, and blue treats for Memorial Day. I never thought about it, really, until we went to a BBQ last year thrown by a military family.

Then I kinda got it. I'm slow that way.

Anyway, this is a super simple idea to dress up your dessert table tomorrow. In case you haven't set your menu down to the last morsel.

{I mean, not everyone is as anal as I am. I don't think.}

~Read More~

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26 May 2012

Rocky Road Bars {I'm Guest Posting!}

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Hi everyone! I just wanted to let you know that I'm guest posting today over at Lisa's wonderful blog, Sweet 2 Eat Baking. Lisa makes some super-yummy-fabulous treats like Caramel Shortbread Bars and Coconut Ice.

I'm over there hijacking her blog with stories about myself (of course, talking about myself is what I'm best at) and sharing these awesome Rocky Road Bars made out of chocolate cookie dough, almonds, and marshmallows.

Because Rocky Road, well, kinda rocks. Of course.

So pop on over and say hi to Lisa. You'll love her as much as I do! As a bonus, you'll get this recipe. It's a win-win!

Happy Saturday!


25 May 2012

Whatever Friday

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It's Friday, yay! Although I'm a little sad, because that means that Almond Joy Week is over.

But it's a three day weekend, woot!

How was your week? Long? Short? Busy? I'm jealous that so many of you are already out of school. We have until June 7th.

Lots of stuff happened this week..let's get started!

1. First and foremost, it was Almond Joy Week.

I tempted you with another awesome pudding cookie.

I gave you a rundown of the 10 pounds I'm going to gain when I got to Arizona next month.

And talked about my love of all things supercheap.

I have so many more Almond Joy ideas. I may have to do another themed week in a few months. :)

~Read More~


23 May 2012

Frozen Almond Joy Mini Pies

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{Yup. Still Almond Joy Week. Woot!}

I love the Dollar Tree. It's awesome.

I mean, where else can you buy cereal, greeting cards, bungee cords, an American Flag, and a pregnancy test for only $5 plus tax?

Although I do have reservations about some of the foods they sell at the Dollar Tree, (perishables? um, no thank you) I love finding hidden gems in the packaged food aisles, for only $1.

Like their maple cookie sandwiches.

Or the frosted animal cookies.

Or like the time I bought the entire shelf worth of Tapatio sauce for Mel's birthday party, whereupon I glued his face to the bottle and made him Mr. Tapatio.

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22 May 2012

Almond Joy Crescent Rolls

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{Pssst...it's still Almond Joy Week round these parts. You excited??}

I love to travel. In fact, if we ever won the lottery (which means I would actually have to play) I think I'd get Jordan a tutor and travel all the time. I love seeing new places, revisiting old ones, staying in hotels and eating out in new places (let's not confuse that with trying new things; we all know I don't do that).

In fact, the whole eating thing on trips is one of my favorite parts. So much so that I have a "TV Food Maps" app on my phone with which I can search eateries nearby that were featured on my favorite food TV shows, like Cupcake Wars.

And then there is what I call "nostalgic eating" on trips. When you visit a place you once lived and eat to your hearts content. (Like when I go home to my parents' and overindulge on Village Host and Preston's.)

This summer we have some free flights and not a lot of money, so we're going to Arizona. (Hot summers in Arizona = super cheap hotels.) We lived in Chandler (outside Phoenix) for about five years after we got married. Jordan was born there and I haven't been back in a few years.

As soon as I heard where we were going to go my mind started working (as did my stomach, in anticipation). Most of what I want to do there is eat, no app needed.

We're going to Dilly's Deli, for sure. It was the first place we ever ate in Tempe (our realtor took us there on our first trip down to find a house back in 2002) and it boasted grilled sandwiches before paninis were all the rage.

Paradise Bakery. For cookies. EVERY DAY.

Chompie's. Oh, Chompie's. There is actually one across the street from our hotel. I'd eat there for every meal if I could. Bagels, diner food. Sandwiches bigger than your head. A New York style deli in the heart of the sweltering dessert. Because there is nothing I'd rather do besides eat five pounds of food when it's 116 degrees.

The Hangar Cafe at the Chandler Airport. It's a greasy spoon, and honestly, the food isn't the best in the world. It's the atmosphere (and the memories) that count. You park outside the airport and walk across the tarmac to get to the entrance, as airplanes drive by you. It was one of Jordan's favorite places to go as a toddler.

Oh, and we're going to see some sights too. The Zoo is the best one I've ever been too. And we're going to hit Sedona. Where they have great ice cream and a really good Mexican restaurant.

Our hotel gives free "breakfast" and by that I mean stale pastry. I can assure you, there won't be any of these babies in site. Too bad, too.

Although, since we have a kitchenette, I could go to the store and make some.

Since this is the easiest breakfast pastry ever. And, um, it's candy for breakfast.

I'll never say no to that!

Do you live in the Scottsdale/Phoenix/Chandler area? Any other haunts I should hit while we're there? Most of our time will be in Scottsdale, but we will be going down to Chandler to show Jordan her old house and the hospital she was born in (she's been asking to see it). Oh, and to hit The Hangar. And the Super Target at Germann & Gilbert, where Jordan spend 90% of her infanthood. Of course.

~Read More~

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21 May 2012

Crazy Sweet Tuesday

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Welcome to Crazy Sweet Tuesday, where I skip the meal and go straight to dessert.

Thanks everyone for linking last week! There were so many, it was hard to choose. But my Sweet Tooth threatened to take away my sugary cravings if I didn't pick some. So I did.

Lots of features this week, so let's get started!

Words with Friends Cookie by Lizy B. Bakes. I really want to try something like this for a *certain person's* summer birthday but don't know if I can pull it off. She also has tutorials on how to do it!

Marshmallow...Mother's Day...Baby Shower Cake by Pops and Podge. Love this decorating idea!

Cookies & Cream Frosting by Shaken Together. Frosting with Cool Whip. {So that means I can eat it all, right?}

Toasted Coconut Ice Cream with a Fudge Ripple by Life Made Simple. Um, it's coconut. What's not to love?

Blueberry Coconut Custard Mini Tarts by Baking with Blondie. Ditto.

Biscoff Cookies with Biscoff Filling by Crunchy Creamy Sweet. Um, it's Biscoff. Ditto again.

3D Butterfly Cookies by Sweet Simple Stuff. This is so creative - 3D cookies! They're so pretty too.

Thanks again to everyone for linking last week! I love seeing all your links and comments and it means so much to me that you come here every week. Have a wonderful week and let's get this party started!

~Read More~


20 May 2012

Almond Joy Pudding Cookies

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Well, were you able to figure it out after my teaser on Friday?

It's Almond Joy Week!

I have this huge love of Almond Joys. Really, a love of all things coconut.

It's one of those times in life where you realize your mother was right: your tastes change. See, until two Halloweens ago I hated coconut. Wouldn't come near it.

Then I tasted an Almond Joy from Jordan's trick-or-treat basket.

It was love at first sight.

Now I want to put coconut in everything.

I can't even buy Almond Joys. If I do? I'll eat the whole package. They're too easy to eat. Two bites, gone. It's not fair really.

After I made those Almond Pudding Cookies I was at the store staring at the pudding boxes. {Please tell me I'm not the only one that brainstorms in the Jell-O aisle? Long enough that people get annoyed at you for blocking their way?}

Coconut Cream stood out to me, as does everything coconut these days.

What goes best with a coconut pudding cookie?

That's right.

Almond Joy. And then my mind started going and I came up with so many ideas. Too many for a week, but I gotta start somewhere.

So it's Almond Joy week. Three recipes made with or inspired my my favorite candy bar.

{I say it's my favorite. Then I have a Reese's. And I change my mind. Just call me a flip-flopper.}

I hope you enjoy!

And if you don't like coconut? Well...have you tried it recently?

My mom likes to say that your tastes change over time.

~Read More~

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18 May 2012

Whatever Friday

TGIF people. It's Friday, yay!

Do you have any fun plans this weekend? We have our last (regular season) softball game. And Mel's truck is making a "funny noise" so I'll be spending Jordan's summer camp money at an auto shop, I'm sure. Aren't cars fun??

1. I had fun this week, did you? I made you lots of goodies.

I made you think about what you can do with all your spare time.

I made you a new version of one of my favorite brownies.

And I even made you a new version of one of my favorite cupcakes. Aren't I super nice?

~Read More~


17 May 2012

Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes with White Chocolate Frosting

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A lot of things go good in pairs:

Peanut butter and chocolate

Peanut butter and marshmallow fluff

Chocolate and coconut

Pie and ice cream

Clam chowder and sourdough

Margaritas and Mexican food

Coffee and Dorothy

The Real Housewives (of anywhere) and alcohol {for me, not for them}

A bath and a good book

The Soup and Friday night

Cupcakes and cheesecake

~Read More~

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15 May 2012

Nutter Butter Truffle Brownies

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Seriously, you knew it was only a matter of time, right? Ever since I made these babies, I knew I was going to do it again with Nutter Butters. And now I have.

You're welcome.

I think I liked these even more than the Oreo version. Because, I mean, it's a Nutter Butter.

It's peanut butter and chocolate.

Is there anything better?

I actually bought a new package of Nutter Butters for this recipe. I have been working off a bag of the little bite-sized ones since January (impeccable restraint, I know). Now I have little ones and big ones in my pantry. Just calling out too me: make something else with me Dorothy...we love you as much as you love us!

Any bets on how long it takes me to give in to their siren song?

Not long, I can tell you that much.

And I know Canada doesn't have Nutter Butters. Which is weird to me. I mean, come on. How do they not have the best cookie in the world in a country that large? It's insane.

If you don't have access to Nutters, any peanut butter cookie will do. If you happen to have some Girl Scout peanut butter sandwich cookies in your freezer (or is that just me?) you could use those.

One of these days though, I'm going to do a Canada-only giveaway that will include Nutter Butters, Coconut Hershey's Kisses, and Biscoff.

Because you deserve it too, dammit.

Anyway, enjoy these. I know I did. And there is one lady at school who keeps talking to me about how good they were. Two weeks ago.


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14 May 2012

Crazy Sweet Tuesday

 Hello everyone! Welcome to Crazy Sweet Tuesday, where I'm a little crazy, but everything is sweet.

I want to thank you all, so much, for linking last week! I know I've been a horrible host. I'm still catching up from last week but this week is (so far) blissfully quiet. I mean, today when I woke up, I actually could link and read some posts. Without a million other things going through my head.

I know it won't last, but I'll take it when I can get it! (I mean, school is out in three weeks. THREE WEEKS. How is that possible?)

Onto features!

Cake Batter Cupcakes with Cake Batter Frosting by Treat. Eat. Repeat. There is cake batter filling. Seriously.

Salted Caramel Milkshake by SteakNPotatoesKindaGurl. Um, one word: tequila.

Jell-O Swirled Cupcakes with Jell-O Buttercream by Chocolate, Chocolate, and More. This had me brainstorming possibilities!

Peanut Butter Truffle Blondie Chocolate Cupcakes by Doctorate Housewife. Honestly, I want to live with her. A blondie. A truffle. And a cupcake. With frosting. !!??

5-Minute Carrot Cake for One by My Happy Place. This one? Is to tempt my husband with. {Insert evil laugh.}

Thanks again to everyone who linked. Everything always looks SO good and makes me want to run to my kitchen.

{FYI - I usually do. Headed there soon. I really must learn not to write this post on an empty stomach.}

~Read More~