Return of the stink bugs:-(

8 Aug

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I’ve been wondering why the stink bugs haven’t begun devouring my tomatoes. And then I found them.  On the corn.  Next year I will plant a sacrificial row. 

Spring Cakes

6 Jun

Here are two cakes I’ve make recently.  The tree cake was for Bella’s preschool picnic, with the names of the students in the leaves.  The sandcastle cake was for Molly’s bridal shower.  I used a combination of graham crackers and vanilla wafers for the “sand,” plus a little edible glitter to make it sparkle.  The turrets are mini Lorna Dorne’s.

Fruit pizza

14 May

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Yummy & easy!  Sugar cookies with cream cheese icing and sliced fruit.  Cut them into different shapes if you want.  Blot the fruit dry after you cut it to keep the cookies from getting soggy too fast.

Chocolate Chip Brownies (Gluten Free)

4 May

If you didn’t know these were gluten free, you’d never guess.  Even if you did know they might be your favorite brownies ever.  The texture is the best I’ve seen from any gluten free baked good, and the flavor is rich and chocolaty.   They’ll sink a little in the middle after you take them out of the oven, but that’s ok.

I used a food processor to mix the brownies because I wanted to make sure they were very smooth, but as long as your almond butter is smooth-roasted, a regular mixer should do the trick.  I imagine these would not suffer from a substitution (or addition!) of peanut butter chips, or a swirl of cream cheese & peanut butter blended together.

Here’s the recipe, inspired by Elena’s Pantry:

  • 1 (16) ounce jar almond butter, smooth roasted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ¼ cups agave nectar (this is slightly more than the smaller jars, but you can substitute honey for the remainder if you’re a little short)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (or 1/2 tsp if your almond butter is salted)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Heat oven to 325°.  Spray a 13 x 9 baking dish (preferably glass) with baking spray.

Blend the almond butter in a food processor or mixer.  Blend in the eggs, then the agave nectar and vanilla until smooth.  Mix in the cocoa, salt, and baking soda.  Stir in chocolate chips by hand.  Pour into prepared pan and bake 35-40 minutes.

Bedtime Snack

28 Apr

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This is Bella’s bedtime snack – vanilla yogurt, granola, & strawberries.  You might be able to spot my bedtime snack in the background: )

Happy Birthday Bella!

27 Mar


This is Bella’s 4th birthday cake.  Since we had two parties, I suggested cupcakes for one, but she insisted that everyone get the carousel cake.  So I made two tops, that way each party could have a complete cake.

I made 2 cakes, dividing each batch into three layers instead of two.  I iced between three sets of two layers, and froze them.  When they were nearly firm, I marked the center and cut two of the cakes into a dome shape for the carousel top.  The bottom of the carousel was the remaining two layer cake.  The pillars are Wilton cake pillars with dowel rods for support.  The top is supported with covered cardboard cake circles (a little precarious!).  I used a flat tip to pipe the icing on the top, and topped it all off with edible glitter, and of course, ponies.  Shawn always adds a critical element to my cakes, and he was responsible for the construction portion of the carousel, and the flag on top.

Overall, I think Bella loved it, though she did ask me where the poles the ponies went up and down on were!

Date Night: Tapas

25 Feb

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Great time at Date Night tonight.  We made empanadas, shrimp toast (the favorite), sweet potato crepes with cranberry sauce and turkey, plus roasted pepper pinwheels and puff pastry twists.   Visit WWW.recreator.com for more info on cooking classes and videos!

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