Category Archives: Cooking

Banana Sushi Snack

Natalie walked into the kitchen to try and make a new snack: Banana Sushi. Naturally, I asked her if I could document it, and if it turned out good, blog it. She happily obliged. 

So, obviously it turned out good!

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Here’s what you’ll need:
2 pieces of white bread (can cut the crust off, but we like the crust)
1 banana
peanut butter
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Here’s what you’ll do:

  1. Put the bread on a flat service, overlapping about 1 inch or less.
  2. Flatten it with a rolling pin.IMG_4531
  3. Spread peanut butter over the flattened bread.
  4. Peel the banana and put it on the bread.IMG_4533
  5. Roll the bread up over the banana.IMG_4534
  6. Slice it into about 1-inch slicesIMG_4536
  7. Enjoy!

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The kids loved it (well, the one who is allergic to peanut butter..he just didn’t know we even made it), and it is so easy!

On a related note, as I was blogging this, the kids were upstairs playing a game. Danielle and I hear Natalie yell “Lucas! Stop being a monkey and be a person!”

 

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Cinnamon Sugar Coffee Cake Muffins

Today I was feeling like baking….obviously I was in the mood for cinnamon, because it was either cinnamon sugar coffee cake muffins or snickerdoodles….and obviously the muffins won. But be on the lookout for snickerdoodles soon! 

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Ready to bake?

Here’s what you need:

For the muffin:

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup granulated white sugar
1 egg
1 cup milk

For the cinnamon sugar topping, you will need:

1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup granulated white sugar
1 Tablespoon cinnamon

Here’s what you do:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

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3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar, egg, and milk.

4. Add the flour mixture to the oil mixture, and stir until just combined. It will be a rather thick mixture.

5. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with non-stick spray. Or you can use butter. You just don’t want it to stick. I don’t suggest using cupcake liners…save those for some cupcakes!

6. Divide the batter as evenly as you can among the muffin tins…and then lick the bowl and the spoon with the kids like I did!

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7. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. They will not look done, because they will not brown at all! Here is how mine looked…

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8. Right away, run a butter knife around the edges to loosen them (super easy to do!)

9. Turn them upside down onto a cooling rack. What I do is I place the cooling rack upside down onto the muffin tin, and then use hot pads to turn the cooling rack and the muffin tin over…then just lift off the muffin tin and there you go! They are all out!

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10. Then, of course, turn them right-side up. But they are hot!

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Now, while those cool, let’s make the cinnamon sugar topping! You will need two bowls…use small, shallow bowls. 

11. In one small bowl, melt the butter. I microwaved it on high for 20 seconds. It melted about half of it and softened the rest. Then I stirred it with a fork until it was all melted. 

12. In the other bowl, combine the cinnamon and the sugar. 

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13. Take a muffin. Dip the top into the butter. Then dip it into the cinnamon sugar mixture. Then put it back on the cooling rack to let it harden before you serve ’em up. 

Confused? Six-year-old Lucas was my helper for this part. We created for you a convenient video…too bad it cut off at the end! But, it is still helpful. 

14. Enjoy!

Best when enjoyed with a glass of milk.

Also, the kids were playing hide and seek while I was baking. Twelve-year-old Natalie was hiding in the kitchen….and when the oven started to make the kitchen smell amazing from the baking muffins, I yelled to all the kids “GUYS, IT SMELLS SO GOOD!!!” And Natalie opened the cupboard she was hiding in (where the plastic storage containers are kept) and she whispered “I only smell Tupperware!” I laughed so hard. And took a picture of her. Because I had to share that. Don’t worry, I made sure the other kids weren’t near when I took the picture…they couldn’t find her!

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Now, go enjoy your muffins!

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Pokemon Pokeball Cupcakes

This is me and my friend Gino. 

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Gino is one of the best guys I know. He is an accomplished artist, he is unyieldingly patient, he is a dedicated friend, and he is jubilantly kind. Though he may tell you otherwise. 

So, for Gino’s birthday, I made him Pokeball cupcakes…because he likes Pokemon!

Here are 3 Pokeballs…

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And here are 4 of my Pokeball cupcakes…how did I do?

 

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Here’s how to make your own Pokeball cupcakes….gotta catch ’em all!

Here’s what you’ll need…
24 cupcakes
24 white Mentos
red sugar sprinkles

white icing 
black gel icing

Here’s what you will do…
1. Bake your cupcakes. Let them cool.

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2. Work on one cupcake at a time, because the icing will harden as you go, and you need it wet for the sprinkles to go on. 
3. Frost 1 cupcake and put a Mentos in the middle.
No need for fancy tips and special tools when frosting this cupcake…just smooth it on with a knife, the back of a spoon, or a spatula. Don’t even worry about getting it smooth. As you can tell, I wasn’t too picky about that, and I think they turned out just fine. 

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4. Put the red sugar sprinkles into a bowl.
5. Dip half of the cupcake into the sugar sprinkles.
Don’t worry if some red sprinkles get on the white side. It happened to plenty of mine, and they still turned out great. But I guess if you ARE worried about that, then you can just get a toothpick and pick them off. But Gino didn’t care, he was just excited to have his very own Pokeball cupcakes. I’m sure your friend will also not care if there are a few stray sprinkles. It will still look and taste great!

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6. Use the black gel icing to draw a circle around the Mentos (right against it), and a line between the red sprinkles and the white icing.

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7. Repeat with the rest of your cupcakes.

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8. Enjoy! Best when shared with friends like Gino. 

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Best Croutons Ever

There was this one time when I made croutons…OK, I’ve made them like 5 times. They are so good. 

About a year ago, my friend Trish gave me the crouton recipe that she uses, and I made them…AND THEY WERE AMAZING. I made them with both white bread and wheat bread. My friend Trish makes them with gluten-free bread. Any way you go, they will be amazing. 

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Super easy AND super delicious. And when you make them, your house smells fabulous.

This recipe makes about 3 or 4 cups of croutons. It depends on what size and type of bread you use, and how small you make them. 

Here is what you will need:

  • 6 slices of bread
  • 3 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoons garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • grated Parmesan cheese

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Trim the crust off of the bread.
  3. Slice the bread, and then cube it. You can decide on the size. However you choose, that will be the size of your croutons.
  4. Mix melted butter, garlic salt, parsley, and Parmesan until no longer lumpy.
  5. Toss butter mixture with cubed bread in a medium bowl until the cubes are evenly coated.
  6. Cover a baking sheet with foil. You don’t need to do this, but it really makes for an easier cleanup.
  7. Spray the baking sheet (or foil, if you covered it) with non-stick spray.
  8. Spread the coated bread crumbs in a single layer on the baking sheet.
  9. Bake for 15 minutes and check to see if they are dry, crispy, and golden brown.
  10. If they need more time, check it every 3 or 4 minutes. Sometimes mine are done in 15, sometimes it’s 25. It depends on the kind of bread I use. 
  11. Take the croutons out and turn them over. I just use my fingers for this. They’re not super hot, and it doesn’t take as much time as you think it would.
  12. Bake for 15 more minutes, until they are done. Again, if it needs more time, give it more time.
  13. Let them cool. Eat some while you wait. 
  14. Store the croutons in an air-tight container, or a Ziplock bag (my preference).
  15. Enjoy!

They are great on salad, in soups, or just eaten as a snack! I took them to class plenty of times and my friends enjoyed eating croutons with me. 

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Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing

It’s fall! And that means the arrival of delicious combinations of flavors. Let’s start here…

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese IcingYep, they’re worth it. It will take you less than 2 hours. Do it. 

Makes 24 cupcakes

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing

For the Pumpkin Cupcakes, you will need:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon coarse salt (Kosher salt)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
4 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree

For the Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting you will need:
2 (8 oz each) packages cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
2 lbs. powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:

For the cupcakes…
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
2. Line cupcake pans with paper liners
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.
4. In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, white sugar, butter, and eggs
5. Add dry ingredients and whisk until smooth
6. Whisk in pumpkin puree
7. Eat some of the batter. There will be enough, don’t worry. I had extra!
8. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling about 3/4 full….or more…
9. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. It was 20 minutes for me.
10. Let sit on counter for 5 minutes
11. Remove from cupcake pans and let cool completely

For the icing…
1. Using a mixer, blend the butter and cream cheese together until well combined
2. Gradually add in the powdered sugar until fully incorporated…I did about 1/4 cup at a time
3. Mix in the vanilla and cinnamon.

Now it’s time to frost the cupcakes! I used Wilton tip #2D Drop Flower, which I purchased last year from Amazon…Amazon is my weakness…
Or, you can frost them with a simple spatula!
Either way, they will be delicious. 

Enjoy! 

 

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Cookie Pie

“Is the purpose of a cookie pie so that you can eat the amount of 4 or 5 cookies at once and not feel bad about it?” -Katrina, my roommate

YES, Katrina! Absolutely yes!

I found this recipe online and had to try it! It’s a keeper, so I’m here to share it with y’all! I made ’em back in February, but I’m just now getting around to sharing…

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What you will need:

  • 1 cup + 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • About 1 cup of M&M’s

What you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Cream butter and sugar
  3. Add in egg and vanilla extract
  4. Mix
  5. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking soda
  6. Mix into the butter/sugar mixture
  7. Fold in the M&M’s
  8. Put into a greased 9.5″ pie pan
  9. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean
  10. Cool
  11. Cut into slices
  12. Enjoy!

Below are pics of part of my process!

I didn’t have a bag of M&M’s, but I did have them in a bunch of different places!

My candy dispenser…

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A “pill” bottle full of M&M’s that my grandma gave me from when she was a leader at girl’s camp…

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And  a package of M&M’s from workshops I went to…

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Here it is all ready to be baked!

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And it’s done! Yum!

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Look, I’m still making this deliciousness – this picture is almost 3 years after I originally posted this!

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Now you go try…and let me know how yours turns out!

Here’s a few more recipes to try!

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Cinnamon Roll Crescents

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Yep. And they’re super easy.

This recipe makes about 11 cinnamon roll crescents, and is easily doubled! I did it while I was making regular rolls, and I could have easily made more filling and put it on more of the rolls. It just depends on how many you want. 

1. Follow the Speedy Rolls recipe
2. After you do step 11, STOP! 
3. Make the filling!

Here’s what you need for the filling:
5 Tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 cup white sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

4. In a small bowl, mix together the butter, cinnamon, and sugar.0155. Evenly spread the cinnamon butter over the crescent rolls

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6. Go back to the Speedy Rolls recipe, and continue to follow steps 12-16.

Here they are while they are rising for 15 minutes…

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0207. Time to glaze them!

Here’s what you need for the glaze:
8 Tablespoons butter

1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla

8. In a small bowl, mix together the butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla until smooth
9. Drizzle the glaze over the cinnamon rolls
10. Let them sit while the glaze hardens…this is the hardest part….in fact, I couldn’t resist…

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11. Enjoy!

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As always, let me know if you have any questions!
And after you make them, I want to hear about how yours turned out!

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