Category: Baking

A Day in the Life: The Last Day of April

Apparently my alarm was set for 6:30.  I don’t remember setting it that early, but it starting pounding at the door and yelling my name around that time.  The good news is she wanted to snuggle.  So we sleepily moseyed back to my bed and got our snuggle on for a good 45 minutes.  And then we giggled for a good 10 minutes and eventually made our way downstairs for breakfast.

We had almost no milk in the house, so hubby wasn’t allowed to have cereal for breakfast.  That left enough milk for Cupcake to have some in her cup and in both of our bowls of cereal.  We opened a new box of Kashi Triple Berry Crunch.  I approve!  Cupcake also had some applesauce and I had some OJ.  We got a little bit of play time in before we had to get ready for Stroller Strength class.

I totally overdressed for Stroller Strength.  By the second lap around the park (1/2 mile) I had to take my jacket off.  It got warm fast.  We worked on legs and of course did cardio.  I ran (at my 4 month pregnant pace) and I’m sure I’m going to feel it later.  The kids had a great time playing on the playground after class.  I forgot my phone in the car so I couldn’t take a picture of her in her cute new, wide legged jeans going down the slide.  She also had a great time pushing around a dump truck she stole from the older boys (they weren’t actually playing with it, so………).

We stayed at the playground for an hour, so my plan to get groceries was out the window because it was now lunch time (and I forgot my coupons anyway).  Back home I made Cupcake a peanut butter and jelly, served up with some raisins and pasta salad.  I had leftover pulled pork and pasta salad.  She ate maybe half her sandwich before the neighbor came over with her daughter (who’s almost 5).  The kids played.  Moms chatted.  I gave away an Amish Friendship Bread starter (woo hoo!  now I only have to make one!!) and then I kicked them out because it was naptime.  Oh, and I was supposed to put the chicken in the Crockpot at noon, but I got distracted by the company.

I had intended to put a coat of paint on the dresser but Cupcake was not cooperating with the nap, I still needed to fine tune my grocery list (yeah, I was going to go to the store underprepared) and get a shower.  I sent her back to bed twice before I got in the shower.  I again sent her back to bed once I was done showering.  It sounded like she got the hint, so I headed down to the basement to hem the neighbor’s new curtain (the main reason for her visit earlier).  She brought it to me like this.

Smart girl!  She has no sewing experience, so I was impressed with her method of marking the desired length.

I got to try out a new method for ensuring even hems!

I listened to the buzz of my sewing machine, while watching some Samantha Who? on Netflix, and listening to the silence on the baby monitor.

Success!!

OK, so the silence on the baby monitor was not a toddler sleeping like I thought.  She discovered how to escape from her bedroom!! As I was coming up the stairs I could smell Old Spice and was quite nervous about what I would find when I got to the top of the stairs.  I found a toddler saying “uh, oh, blankie” and discovered said blankie covered in bits of a blue, smelly gel in daddy’s bathroom.  At first I thought it was shaving gel, but I didn’t really have time to investigate.  I quickly looked for the source of the blue gel, but had to move along.  The hubs was walking in the door and I had a dentist appointment to get to.  (Turns out it was deodorant.  She apparently thought it was fun to tear it up into chunks.)

No cavities!!  A little bit of pregnancy induced gingivitis, but that’s pretty normal.  It’s actually not too bad (I think it’s less than what I had with Corinne) which is probably due to the fact that I brush and floss a million times a day thanks to my Invisalign trays.

A quick to the grocery followed my dentist appointment.  We didn’t have enough milk to make dinner so it couldn’t wait.  At least it was a quick trip because I was toddler free!  And I didn’t forget my soda on the bottom of the cart! (I don’t buy soda, like ever, except when I have a party coming up that I tend to leave my soda on the cart when I put it in the cart return.)

I came home to discover a toddler sitting on top of a daddy who was laying on the couch. They were watching Dora the Explorer.  Cupcake was so entranced she didn’t notice me come in the house, which means she didn’t get off her daddy, which resulted in me lugging the groceries in by myself.

Time to make dinner.  Chicken and Dumplings.  I used this recipe.  It was fantastic!  Cupcake asked for seconds!  (Luckily my chicken was cooked at a reasonable time, since I forgot to put it in the crockpot when I originally planned.)

Hubby’s car needed to be dropped of at Mazda as it will be in for a few days of repair.  She who did not nap fell asleep on the 10 minute drive there and back.  (If she’s going to fall asleep during a quick car ride I’m going to assume she still needs the afternoon nap that she has been fighting so hard the last 2 weeks!)

Cupcake continued to destroy the house.

Hubby mowed the lawn.  Momma did the dishes.

Off to bed for the little one.

Back to the kitchen for the momma.  It was day 10 of my Amish Friendship Bread adventure, so it was baking day.

It doesn’t look very appetizing right now, but I can assure you it tastes fantastic! (I don’t know why they call it bread……clearly it’s so sugary it’s cake!)  Have you ever had this stuff?  OMG! I love it!  I’m always afraid to give all my starters away because it’s so good, but my thighs really don’t need a loaf every 10 days!

While the bread baked momma cleaned.

This guy helped.

See I told you so!

I enjoyed the smell and sounds of rain and the cleanliness of my kitchen and living room before heading up to my comfy bed with my chic lit.

The day ended with one tired momma who hoped that the alarm was set for at least 7:00!

Sneaky, Sneaky

I did a little impromptu baking the other morning.  We were hosting a playdate and one of the mommas had planned to bring whoopie pies.  Well, she wasn’t able to make them.  Imagine the disappointment from 5 pregnant women when they found out whoopie pies weren’t coming.  I knew I was the only one who could save the day.  I was the only one who would have time in the morning to make them.   So, although I’m usually the involved mom I needed a little help with child control.  Hello, Curious George 2, streaming on Netflix!

I get working in the kitchen, Cupcake is happy seeing her favorite monkey from her favorite books coming to life on the tv, things are going good.  I opt for red velvet whoopie pies, based on the list of ingredients needed for them and their filling (I didn’t have heavy cream on hand and most other frosting recipes need it).  I had recently made the chocolate whoopie pies and there was a lot more batter in the bowl after mixing it up this time.  Uh oh…this is going to take longer than I thought!

So I’m scooping, and baking, and cooling, and transferring…………  I turn around after transferring some pies to the cooling rack to discover this………..

Where’d she come from?!?!?!  How’s she get a cookie?!?!?!  And does she already have one in her mouth?!?!?!

Silly momma left the first rack close to the edge of the counter!!!!  Duh!!!

So I had to let her eat the cookie she had.  I rearranged my messy countertop so the cookies could be moved away from the edge.  Oooohhhh……..that made her mad!!!  Girl’s got a temper!  I shuttle her out of the kitchen since the oven door is about to be opened.

Next thing you know……..

Yeah, this is her solution for shortness.  “I’ll just go get a chair, momma.  Then I can reach.”   And I thought the tantrum when I told her no more cookies was bad!  When I took the chair away and put it back in the living room the waterworks started, the screaming was ear piercing, and the flinging of a little toddler body was very dramatic.  What a diva!  Some snuggles, a bit of milk, and a reminder that her friends were coming over and the tantrum was over.  Phew!   I almost had the pies done by the time our first guests showed up, but there was one more batch to go when the arrived.  By the time I was ready to frost everyone had arrived and they were all staring me down, waiting to dig in.  And we ate way too many!

As if the cookies weren’t enough, this girl proved she has a sweet tooth just like momma.  There were 3 kids playing in the living room, we thought the other two were still hiding in the cubby.  Nope, they were being suspiciously quiet in the kitchen, behind the island where no one could see them from the living room.  But suddenly, Cupcake came running into the living room proudly yelling “cookie!”  She had recruited her tall friend to snatch the box of TimBits (donut holes) off the counter and the two of them had stuffed their faces!  Not only that, but Cupcake had about 8 donuts scooped up in her arms and was proudly showing them off!  My first instinct was to run and grab the donuts out of her hands……..unfortunately not to grab the camera.  But I did at least get a shot of the mess she made!

Yep, she’s got a whole donut in her mouth and every type of sugar and glaze all down the front of her shirt and pants!!!  Thanks for the comic relief, Toots!  I wonder why she didn’t take a nap that day…………………..

Blame it on the Rain

Well, I guess I can’t blame it on the rain since it had stopped falling.  But I can blame it on the brain!  Pregnancy brain that is!!  The funny thing about my mistake is that I was JUST having a conversation about it with a friend of mine.  Over the weekend a friend of mine tried to bake whoopie pies.  She halved a recipe because it made such a large batch and when the pies were done baking they were flat.  She texts me in a panic about what went wrong.  My first thought was that she forgot the baking soda. She insisted she included everything. So I thought maybe it was just a bad recipe.  She said is was from Pioneer Woman.  So, yeah, I’m thinking the recipe was good and she just messed up the ingredients when she did her math.

So all this talk about whoopie pies made me hungry.  Darn, I did’t have enough flour to make whoopie pies!!!  That’s what I get for making homemade pizza earlier in the week.  So I just dreamed about whoopie pies.  Luckily for me the hubs had to make a grocery store trip, so I stressed to him several times to pick me up some flour while he was there.  (I really, really needed it because I have an Amish Friendship Bread starter that needed some, too!)  And then I remembered I was going to a banquet and I needed to bring a dessert.  Yay!!  A reason other than my sweet tooth for making whoopie pies!!!

Fast forward to banquet day.  I have to make the pies while Cupcake is awake because they’ll need time to cool.  So, here I am combining flour, cocoa powder and salt.

I cream my butter, shortening, and brown sugar. Add an egg and vanilla.

And mix it up.  I start adding my flour mixture and milk and I end up with this beautiful, delicious looking batter.  Makes you want to lick the spoon, right?  Yeah, me, too, except that darn pregnancy keeping me from consuming raw eggs!!!

I scoop out my batter using my small scoop, which makes perfect little pies in a uniform size.

Into the oven they go!  And then I start chatting with a friend on Facebook about whoopie pies again.  She says she wants her pies to come out fluffy like the pumpkin ones I made back in the fall.  I tell her I’m making chocolate ones right now from that same recipe book.  They come out nice and fluffy.  She asks what book I have.  I reply this one.

She’s excited because she just ordered that one yesterday!!!  And then I realize my terrible mistake!!!  The baking soda is still sitting on the counter!!!!  I guess it was the combination of pregnancy brain, toddler under foot, and trying to Facebook chat while baking that caused me to forget the very crucial ingredient we had been talking about for the last several days!!!!

So I add some baking soda to the remaining batter because it’s very obvious that my pies are not fluffy!!

See I’m not super mom after all!!!!

Luckily I caught the mistake early enough that I was able to fix it.  The pies without baking soda weren’t very pretty, but at least they still tasted OK.  (No, I didn’t taste 2 of them to make sure!!!  OK, maybe I did.)

So I let the cookies cool.

And then it was toddler nap time.  Time to whip up some filling.

mmmm…….peanut butter……..mmmmm…………room temperature (75 degrees with the windows open!!!) butter.  Wait, ew!  No, I don’t like to eat butter!

Whip it up and add some salt!  Yes, salt!  It’s the secret ingredient.

Add some confectioner’s sugar and mmmm……you’re drooling now, aren’t you?

And now you know why I did this step during nap time.  So I could lick the paddle without a toddler creeping in on my fun!!!!

I put my filling in a pastry bag and use my #12 tip to get a smooth coat of filling on my pie.  And then sandwich two pies together.

Are you  hungry, yet?

How about now?

 

Chocolate Whoopie Pies

Ingredients

  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk

Instructions

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. 2. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt onto a sheet of waxed paper. In the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter, shortening, and brown sugar on low until just combined. Increase the speed to medium and beat until fluffy and smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat for 2 minutes.
  3. 3. Add half of the flour mixture and half of the milk to the batter and beat on low until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the remaining flour mixture and 1/2 cup milk and beat until completely combined.
  4. 4. Using a spoon, drop about 1 tablespoon of batter onto prepared baking sheets and repeat, spacing them at least 2 inches apart. Bake one sheet at a time for about 10 minutes each , or until the pies spring back when pressed gently. Remove from oven and let the cakes cool on the sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.
http://whatdoesshedoallday.com/blame-it-on-the-rain/

 

 

Salty Peanut Butter Filling

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. In the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the peanut butter and butter on low speed until smooth and creamy. Add the confectioners' sugar and the salt and beat on low to incorporate. Increase the speed to medium and beat until the filling is light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
http://whatdoesshedoallday.com/blame-it-on-the-rain/

 

Recipe from: Whoopie Pies by Sarah Billingsley and Amy Treadwell