Sunday, April 24, 2016

Mom's Carrot Cake

This is another old family favorite!! It is a super moist cake and really simple to make. This has also won awards at a few Girl Scout Bake Offs!! This recipe requires a bundt pan which I do not own so I decided to make a homemade version. I wasn't sure if it would work but I was willing to take the chance. Ellen thought it had a 100% chance of failing but I was much more confident than that. I gave it a 65% chance of success. LOL... And it totally worked! It was a perfect bundt...nothing stuck to the glass. I was very impressed with myself. So if you are in need of a bundt pan and do not possess one, no can make one. Just place a heavy bar glass in the middle of a round cake pan and spray that sucker really well. If you have a really thin batter that might not work as well but a thick batter doesn't move or run under the glass so it will totally work.

My Homemade Bundt Pan

I was nervous while it was baking...

The end result.....PERFECT!


2 C Sugar
3 C. Flour
2 tsp. Baking Powder
2 tsp. Baking Soda
3 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Salt
1 1/2 C. Oil
4 eggs
1 T. Vanilla
4 4 oz. Containers Carrot Baby Food


Mix all dry ingredients together. Add oil, eggs, vanilla, carrots. Spray bundt pan generously with cooking spray. Pour batter into pan. Bake at 350 for 1 hour.   Cool completely before turning out of pan. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Spring Pasta - Shells with Broccoli, Edamame and Pesto

Pesto has become a new favorite in my house.  I find I use it constantly for the kids.  They LOVE Pesto Pizza and Pesto Cheesy Garlic Bread but for some reason I haven't made Pesto pasta.  This one I whipped up in just minutes for a quick dinner using prepared pesto that I bought at the market.  When I have more time I'll make my own and of course post that recipe too!

My kids absolutely loved this dish.  It's a great side dish or a main dish served with garlic bread.  Use the prepared pesto for an easy, super quick dinner during the week.  This would also be delicious served cold for a BBQ side dish.


1/2 lb. pasta (any shape you like)
1/2 cup prepared Pesto
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
2 cups raw broccoli florets, cut small
1/2 cup frozen, shelled edamame


Cook pasta until a dente and drain.  Stir in pesto and parmesan cheese and mix until pasta is well coated.  In a med skillet on the stove heat 1 tablespoon olive oil, add garlic and cook on med heat for about a minute stirring so it won't burn.  Add broccoli florets and sauté garlic for about 2 minutes.  Stir in frozen edamame and cook for another minute until edamame is heated through.  Pour hot broccoli and edamame over the pesto pasta and stir in.  Serve immediately.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Good Morning Love Chocolate Chip Muffins

I woke up ridiculously early one Wednesday morning and had a lot of time on my hands which for this mother of 3 is extremely rare.  I walked the dogs and then decided to make my kids muffins for breakfast.  I really needed to hit the market that day because we were out of pretty much all easy to prepare breakfast foods and some staples, which included milk. Grrrrrr!  I had a bag of mini chocolate chips and some flour and sugar so I figured I could whip up some muffins that the kids would really like to have before school.  I start making the muffins and then realize again, NO MILK!   What to do, what to do?  I had a small container of light cream and a small container of half and half. So it was worth a shot, cream is thicker than milk right?  So how about half cream and half water to make up for the cup of milk?  Then I need vegetable oil and of course I'm out of that Olive Oil?  why not?  These muffins came out so delicious and the kids really loved them, especially because they were in the shape of hearts (also a last minute choice :)


2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup of milk (or 1/2 cup light cream or half and half plus 1/2 cup water)
1/3 cup veg oil (or 1/3 cup olive oil)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup mini chocolate chips


Prepare muffin pans by lining with cupcake liners and then rolling up small balls of aluminum foil and placing foil ball outside of each cupcake liner to make a "heart" shape.  You can also use marbles but nothing that is plastic, plastic coated or rubber.

In a med bowl mix first 3 dry ingredients together using a whisk to get out any lumps.  In a large bowl mix together eggs, oil, sugar, milk(or cream and water) and vanilla.  Once combines add dry mix into wet and stir until the batter is smooth.  Add in 1 cup of mini chocolate chips and stir to combine.  Fill each heart shaped muffin cup 3/4 full with batter.  Bake at 350 degrees F. for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean.  Allow a few minutes to cool in pan before removing to a wire rack to cool further.   Serve with LOVE!