I’m back!

I had really intended on scheduling posts for while we were on vacation. But man, I was so busy in that week or two before we left that I just didn’t have time. And then, conveniently, my new design was ready to go the day after we left so it all kind of worked out.

And yeah! Did you see the new design?! I’m pretty excited about it. The lovely girls at Wooden Spoons Kitchen did an amazing job. And now my next task is to speed the site up. Hopefully within the next few weeks, everything will be worked out.

So now, Sand Pudding!

It occurred to me about halfway through taking these photos that worms probably don’t live in sand. Then I remembered that the baby and I both got bit by something on our trip to the beach and my mom said that it may have been sand fleas. And that’s when I decided that gummy worms are much cuter than sand fleas (seriously, google those things!) and the worms could just stay on the sand pudding.

This is the kind of dessert that I just love. You guys, I don’t even like pudding. But because it has crushed cookies that look like sand on top, I’m all about it. And of course the kids loved it. My 4 year old keeps asking for “that ice cream with the dirt on top” because he is deeply confused the whole thing.

Click for the full recipe

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One day last week I was all wound up about strawberry shortcake. Like, I’d thought about it all night the night before and then I got even more pumped because I had sour cream to make my favorite sour cream pound cake.

Excited doesn’t even begin to cover how I was feeling.

And yes, I realize my feelings toward food tend to be pretty extreme.

But anyway, I put the pound cake in the oven and wanted to get started slicing the strawberries. Guess what.

We had no strawberries.

And I’m having a lazy summer. I’m only motivated to do fun things like stovetop s’mores-ing and swimming and splash padding. Going to the grocery store is not on that list.

The pound cake just sat there for days and finally I came to terms with the fact that no one was going to show up at my door with strawberries and made my kids French toast with it.

Well I finally went to the store over the weekend (with a kid wearing two different shoes) and got some dang strawberries. I made this Angel Food Cake to go with them and I think I’ve decided that Angel Food is my favorite for shortcake. It reminds me of those little round sponge cakes that you can buy and I love those so much!

Angel Food Cake

about 12 servings

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups egg whites (about 9)
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
1 cup cake flour
1 1/4 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Place oven rack in the lowest position. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Place egg whites in a large bowl; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
  3. Sift 1/2 cup sugar and flour together twice; set aside.
  4. Add cream of tartar, extracts and salt to egg whites; beat on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining sugar, about 2 tablespoons at a time, beating on high until stiff peaks form. Gradually fold in flour mixture, about 1/2 cup at a time.
  5. Gently spoon into an ungreased 10-in. tube pan. Cut through batter with a knife to remove air pockets. Bake 35-40 minutes or until lightly browned and entire top appears dry. Immediately invert pan; cool completely, about 1 hour.
  6. Run a knife around side and center tube of pan. Remove cake to a serving plate.
http://fakeginger.com/2014/06/16/angel-food-cake/

6

Big disaster in my life.

We can’t find Cuties anymore.

I don’t even know what to do. The baby (he’s almost 3 – not a baby) eats at least 3 a day and now they are gone from the grocery store shelves. Yesterday I found a bag of pluots labeled dinosaur fruit and thought “Hey, it’s got a dinosaur on it. Maybe he’ll eat them!”

Nope.

I’m kind of regretting using our last bag of Cuties on these cupcakes. Kind of. But not really.

Because Orange Cream Cupcakes! I’ve been really digging citrus cakes for awhile now so an orange cupcake with orange cream cheese frosting? All about it!

Don’t worry if you’re in the same predicament as me with the Cuties though – you can use any kind of orange!

Orange Cream Cupcakes

from Food Network Magazine, May 2014

Ingredients

For the cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sugar
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk
For the frosting:
3/4 cup fresh orange juice (about 2 oranges)
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons orange zest
orange gel food coloring

Instructions

    To make the cupcakes:
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a muffin tin with 12 liners.
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium mixing bowl.
  3. Beat the eggs and sugar in a large bowl on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed and slowly beat in the melted butter. Beat in orange zest and vanilla.
  4. Beat in the flour mixture in 2 additions, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat until just combined.
  5. Divide batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling each about 2/3 of the way. Bake about 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean Cool completely on a wire rack.
  6. To make the frosting:
  7. Bring the orange juice to a boil in a saucepan; reduce heat to medium and simmer until reduced to 1 1/2 tablespoons, about 8 minutes. Let cool.
  8. Beat the cream cheese in a large bowl on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy. Beat in the butter, a little at a time, until smooth. Reduce mixer speed to low; sift the powdered sugar into the bowl and beat until smooth. Add the vanilla, the cooled orange syrup, and orange zest. Beat until combined. Add food coloring until desired color is reached. Refrigerate until spreadable, about 15 minutes. Spread onto cool cupcakes.
http://fakeginger.com/2014/06/12/orange-cream-cupcakes/

4

Sometimes you just need a fun cupcake in your life. Am I right? (And by sometimes, I mean every day of your life.) I made these cupcakes in honor of the release of Disney’s The Pirate Fairy on Digital HD and Blu-ray on April 1st. It is the newest from the world of Peter Pan and I am pretty excited about it. I think the Disney Fairy movies are so cute – they really appeal to my love of all things pretty and sparkly. My littlest has recently been obsessed with the Tinkerbell movies so I’m sure we’ll be heading to the store first thing April 1 to pick it up. And then we’ll watch it at least 3 times that day. That’s just how we do things around here. I decided to make pineapple cupcakes because for some reason pineapples make me think of fairies. Maybe it’s all the leaves growing out of the top? I really don’t know but they do. This is also my go-to recipe when I get a last minute request for cupcakes because they are so simple and I always have the ingredients on hand. It is just cake mix and a can of crushed pineapple! That’s it! They couldn’t be easier to make and they bake up so light and fluffy. These are one of the only cupcakes that I’d happily eat without frosting on top. I went with a vanilla bean buttercream but you could top the cupcakes with anything you want. Because they are so light, I actually really like them with just a dollop of whipped cream on top and some fresh berries or even maraschino cherries. I went with a “Tinkerbell” green for the frosting and then covered it with sparkly sprinkles. You can’t make anything fairy related without lots and lots of sprinkles! I also made cute little flowers out of marshmallows because I always think of flowers when I think of Tinkerbell. The flowers are so easy – you just cut large marshmallows into pieces and dip them in sprinkles! I used chewy Sprees as the center of my flowers but you can use any kind of round candy.

Pineapple Fairy Cupcakes

Ingredients

1 yellow cake mix
1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple (DO NOT DRAIN)
For the vanilla bean buttercream:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
pinch of salt
2 - 3 cups powdered sugar
2 - 3 tablespoons milk
For the flowers:
large marshmallows
small sprinkles
round candies

Instructions

    To make the cake:
  1. Beat cake mix and crushed pineapple until very few lumps remain. Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake according to package instructions.
  2. Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
  3. To make the vanilla bean buttercream:
  4. Beat butter until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla bean paste and salt. Gradually beat in powdered sugar and milk until it reaches your desired consistency.
  5. To make the flower cupcakes:
  6. Use kitchen scissors to cut marshmallow into 5 horizontal "slices". Dip the sticky side of marshmallow into sprinkles. Position the marshmallows around the cupcake and top with a round candy.
http://fakeginger.com/2014/03/27/pineapple-fairy-cupcakes/

1

I hope you guys are ready for slow cooker recipes because I’m about to have a lot of them for you!

I told you guys last week that two of the boys are playing soccer now and since my husband deployed about a week and a half ago, I’m on my own when it comes to practices and games. Their practices don’t let out until late and there is no way I’m coming home at 8 pm and cooking dinner. So yeah, if you have any tried and true slow cooker recipes, send ‘em over!

I made this over the weekend and omg ya’ll, it’s so good. I very rarely crave something this sweet but I wanted boxed brownies like you wouldn’t believe. I decided to take it a step further and added some chocolate chip cookie dough and “baked” it all together in the slow cooker. It was slightly crunchy (not potato chip-crunchy, but brownie top or cookie crunchy) on the outside and gooey on the inside. I topped it with vanilla ice cream – divine!

I know it’s not much to look at but if you’re having a lazy day or just don’t feel like turning the oven on, this is the perfect way to get rid of a sweet craving.

Three years ago: Guinness and Onion Soup with Irish Cheddar Crouton
Four years ago: Banana Nut Muffins
Five years ago: Chicken and Mushroom Cheesy Lasagna

Slow Cooker Chocolate Chip Brownie Cake

adapted from Betty Crocker

Ingredients

1 box fudge brownies mix
1 packet chocolate chip cookie mix
1/2 cup melted butter
4 eggs
1/4 cup water

Instructions

  1. Spray your slow cooker with baking spray.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine brownie mix, 1/4 cup of the melted butter, 2 eggs, and the water. Stir until everything is incorporated. Set aside.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, combine chocolate chip cookie mix, 1/4 cup of the butter, and 2 eggs. Stir until combined.
  4. Drop spoonfuls of the brownie batter and cookie dough randomly in the slow cooker.
  5. Cook on high 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until cooked but still gooey in the center.
  6. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.
  7. (Note: I used a 2 quart slow cooker. If using a bigger one, cooking time may be shorter.)
http://fakeginger.com/2014/03/17/slow-cooker-chocolate-chip-brownie-cake/

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