Super Yummy Bread Bowls
October 25, 2013, 9:00 am
Filed under: Uncategorized



Well let me first start off by acknowledging that I just may be the worst blogger, ever. I apologize and vow for the umpteenth time that I will do better in the future.


These simple White Bread Bowls are simply amazing. I made them one night on a whim and we as a family were instantly hooked! I have been asked  for the recipe so many times that I decided it was silly NOT to post it here… So here it is! 🙂


After you bake these  bad boys up and let them cool


Cut The tops off and gut ’em ImageImage


Mmm… Fluffy 



Fill them to the brim with your favorite soup or stew. (Pictured above are Split Pea Soup with Sauteed’ onions and Kielbasa and Loaded Creamy Potato) 


2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45
degrees C)
2/3 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast*
(I have also used one packet of rapid rise yeast, it changes
the texture slightly but is still delicious)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
6 cups flour
1 egg, beaten
  1. In a large bowl, dissolve the sugar in warm water, and then stir in yeast. Allow to proof until yeast resembles a creamy foam.
  2. Mix salt and oil into the yeast. Mix in flour one cup at a time. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Place in a well oiled bowl, and turn dough to coat. Cover with damp cloth. Allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
  3. Punch dough down. Knead for a few minutes, and divide into 4-6 pieces, depending on how big you want your bowls. Shape each piece into a ball and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush well with beaten egg and cover with plastic wrap lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Let rise about 30 minutes or until doubled. Preheat oven to 350.
  4. Remove plastic wrap and bake in preheated oven 20-30 minutes or until deep golden brown.
  5. Cool to just above room temp and cut the tops off, scoop out the inside and fill with your favorite soup or chowder

Red Velvet Cheesecake Layer Cake
March 24, 2012, 5:03 pm
Filed under: baking, Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,



So my blogging nightmare has come true. I waited a long while after having the initial desire to start a food  blog before actually starting it because of the huge fear that I would ultimately neglect it… and so I have.

My sincerest apologies to anyone who noticed or missed it.

Onward to my post. 🙂

This incredibly delicious ultimate perfection of a dessert.

A creamy Cheesecake sandwiched between to moist, fluffy Red Velvet Cakes.

Combining two of the most delicious desserts to make one magical concoction.

I found the original recipe  Here. There’s a link there to a tutorial for these awesome icing roses.

Jon started work at a new tattoo studio recently and a few weeks after he did I had the crew and their lovely ladies over for dinner to meet and mingle with them (seeing as my kids keep me pretty much house bound having them come to me was my best option) As if I need ANY excuse to cook for people.

We dined on an array of Italian dishes and I made this incredible cake for dessert.


I sincerely enjoyed our evening. Delicious food, great company and a decadent dessert!

For the cheesecake layer:
20 oz full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
Zest of half a lemon
1-1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1 tbsp all purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and set a pot of water to boil.
Grease a 9″ springform pan and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper. Wrap the outside of the pain with tinfoil to keep water out, and set the pan into a larger pan (for the water bath).
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat until smooth.
Hand  mix in the lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt.
Add eggs one at a time, making sure they are combined but not overmixed.
Add the sour cream and stir in the flour until just combined.
Pour the batter into the greased pan and pour boiling water into the larger pan, halfway up the cheesecake pan.
Bake until the cheesecake is just set in the middle – about 40 minutes.
Run a knife along the sides of the pan and let the cheesecake cool completely by placing plastic wrap onto the surface of the cheesecake and refrigerate several hours or overnight.
For the red velvet layer:
2-1/2 cups cake flour
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
2 eggs, at room temperature
1-1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp white distilled vinegar
Red food coloring, as desired
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2 9″ pans.
Whisk together the flour, sugar,  cocoa powder, and salt together in a medium bowl.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs, oil, buttermilk, vanilla extract,  together until well combined.
With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and beat until well combined. Add the food coloring until desired color is achieved.
In a small bowl or cup mix together the baking soda and vinegar and allow it to fizz for a few seconds then add it to the batter.
 Divide the batter equally between the 2 pans. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean, rotating the pans halfway.
Cool the cakes in the pans for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edges and invert them onto cooling racks to cool completely.
For the cream cheese frosting:
24 oz cream cheese, cold
12 tbsp butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
6-8 cups powdered sugar
 In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together cream cheese and butter until light and creamy.
 Slowly add the powdered sugar
 Add the vanilla extract and beat until well combined, about 2-3 minutes.
To Assemble:
Layer the cakes on top of each other and frost and decorate how you’d like!
I’ve already been asked to make this cake again and I’m excited to do it! It’s fun to make and the results speak for themselves!

I’m going to make an honest effort to more regularly update and post the things I’m baking. I do bake a lot I just never make it as far as talking pictures and getting them up here, but I’m gonna try! Thanks so much to everyone who is still reading and enjoying!

Spicy Pumpkin Cupcakes
October 18, 2011, 11:02 pm
Filed under: baking | Tags: , ,

Have you ever been baking something you just knew was going to be delicious?

That was the case with these cupcakes. As soon as I licked the batter off my finger I knew they were magic.

I was right.

Soft, moist and full of spices. They were the perfect dessert to bring to a pumpkin carving get together with family.

I topped them with a double batch of super fluffy French Icing  that I whipped the crap out of  and finished ’em off with some cute fall inspired leaf sprinkles.


Adorable, no?


We had such a fantastic time hanging out with my family (some of which we hadn’t seen or spent time with in way too long) I thoroughly enjoyed every minute.

It didn’t hurt that it was an autumn inspired event since I love everything fall! 🙂

The above photo is one of my absolute favorites, ever.  My beautiful little girl, Sierra carving her pumpkin (all by herself!) Plus my handsome boys, Jon and Gage and of course  littlest love, Mila enjoying themselves. ❤

If you know me at all you know I couldn’t bring  just one dessert!


So I also whipped up these awesome Cookie Sandwiches & Candy Corn Fudge



AND I got to tote my cupcakes around in my nifty new cupcake holder- holds 24 cupcakes and is shaped like a giant cupcake, right up my alley…  (thanks for the gift  babe, you know me too well!)





So I did totally cheat and use canned pumpkin for this recipe but I fully intend to make it again and use fresh.

I also put an OBSCENE amount of spices in the batter… I love me some spices! 🙂


This recipe was adapted from Annie’s Eats  and I may even adapt it a little more next time… I’ll keep you posted 😉


Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. baking powder

3 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tbls. All spice

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1 tsp. salt

1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree (or 1 1/2 cups fresh)

1 cup sugar

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1 cup canola or vegetable oil

4 large eggs


Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a medium bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt.  Set aside.

Blend together the pumpkin, granulated sugar, brown sugar and oil. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in two or three additions, mixing just until incorporated. Fill the cupcake liners about three-quarters full.  Bake until the cupcakes are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 18-20 minutes.


Again, I doubled this frosting recipe  (leaving out the Oreo crumbs) and piled it on. Delish!








Caramel Apple Mini-Cheesecakes & Caramel Apple Bites
September 21, 2011, 10:54 pm
Filed under: baking | Tags: , ,

I’m back! It’s been two long months since I’ve been able to dedicate time to my baking and my blog. It was a long move with a lot of hiccups a long the way, but finally we are settled in!

Just in time for my favorite baking season of the year, fall!

Sigh… I must admit though, it hasn’t been very fall like here in Texas and my heart aches for the beautiful Hudson Valley.

It’s still SO incredibly hot here and feels nothing like the cool autumn days I cherished in New York . So I figured I’d take the best of  this seasons baking ingredients and mix it with one of summer’s cool treats to  make these delicious mini cheesecakes. They are FABULOUS. Creamy and cool with that spicy jolt of cinnamon and comfort  of simmered apples.Mmm mmm!

I’m also always looking for fun new recipes Sierra and I can make together and these caramel apple bites stole my attention as soon as I saw the idea.

They didn’t hold up very well, so I definitely suggest doing them as an activity for a party or quality time with the kids and serving them immediately. Messy,  but yummy! 🙂 (It is  notable that they are not any messier than classic caramel apples)

For the caramel apple bites:

1 package Kraft wrapped caramels

2 tbls heavy cream

2 large Granny Smith apples

Sprinkles and/or mini chocolate chips/nuts

20 or so skewers/lollipop sticks (I couldn’t find mine last minute so we winged it with corn on the cob holders, but I don’t recommend it! 🙂 )

Using a melon-baller  scoop out round circles of the apple. (Each apple makes 8 or so ‘bites’)

Add caramels and heavy cream to a double boiler. Heat until caramels are melted and mixture is smooth.

Dip apple bites in warm caramel and roll in sprinkles/chips/nuts.

Let set up a few minutes and devour!

(Reserve left over caramel for the cheesecakes if making both)

Now for these incredible little cheesecakes!

For the caramel apple topping:

2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced thin.

1/2-1 tsp cinnamon (I like a full teaspoon but I LOVE cinnamon)

1 tsp vanilla

2 tbs sugar (more or less to taste)

2 tbls butter

1/2 cup melted caramels

For the graham cracker crust:

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

3 tbls butter, melted

1 tbls sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

For the filling:

2 (8ounce) packages cream cheese (softened)

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

dash of salt


Caramel Apple Topping:

In a medium sauce pan combine sliced apples, butter, cinnamon, sugar and vanilla. Cover and simmer about an hour or until apples are soft.

Remove from heat and stir in melted caramels. (See above for directions on melting caramels)

Set aside.

Meanwhile for graham cracker crust:

Preheat oven to 350

Mix graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, cinnamon and sugar. Press about a tablespoon of the mixture into 12 cupcake liners.

Bake at 350 for 5 minutes.

Reduce oven heat to 300.

For the filling:

In a medium mixing bowl, beat soften cream cheese until light. Add sugar, vanilla and dash of salt. Beat well. Add eggs and beat until just mixed.

Layer cheese mixture over cooled graham cracker crusts.

Bake at 300 16-20 minutes.

Let cool to room temperature then layer cooled caramel apples on top. Cool in the fridge at least an hour.

Oreo Cupcakes – A sweet treat for my sweet little birthday boy!
July 10, 2011, 4:41 am
Filed under: baking | Tags: , , ,

My beautiful little boy turned 2 yesterday! Gage is such a special soul. I don’t think there’s anyone who’s met him that didn’t fall in love a little bit.  Gage has an ASD (Autism spectrum disorder) and doesn’t usually like crowds but this birthday was so great for him.  He really took part in the fun and even had a sincere interest in opening his presents. But I have to say, more than anything, he loved his cupcakes! He’s always a sucker for Mama’s cupcakes (and all my other baked goods!)

I set out to make him something extra special, and extra decadent – just the way he likes ’em!

They really came out AMAZING… And so fun to photograph! (Obviously!)

I love these little bitty cupcake bites!

The Oreo baked inside makes these cupcakes extra special but the icing recipe I used is very special to me.

Almost every family birthday party (both immediate and extended) as far back as I can remember had a request for French Icing. Seeing as it’s always been my favorite, I knew right away it would be the icing I’d make for Gage on his birthday! It’s a not-too-sweet lick-your-fingers-clean kinda icing that my family traditionally paired with spice cake at our gatherings but it really is delicious on anything! I stayed true to the original recipe with the exception of adding Oreo crumbs. Delicious! I’m extremely excited to share it and I sincerely hope you try it, with or without the Oreos!

For the cup cakes:

2 cups sugar

2 cups flour

3/4 cups cocoa

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 package instant chocolate pudding

3 eggs

1cup sour cream

1/2 cup oil

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 cup boiling water (or strong brewed coffee – I would have used this but my coffee maker isn’t working!)

24 Oreo cookies, with one side twisted off and reserved for the frosting.

Preheat oven to 350. Line cupcake pans.

In a large bowl whisk together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pudding mix. Add oil, eggs sour cream and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until well blended (about 2 minutes) Continue beating while slowly adding in the boiling water. Beat about 30 seconds after adding the water.

Put the Oreo with one side twisted off cream side up and fill cupcake liners about 1/2 way. Bake 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean. Let them cool completely on cooling rack.

* I had extra batter after 24 cup cakes. I made cup cake bites using mini Oreos. I also used some mini Oreos as a garnish.

For the icing:

1 cup milk

3/4 cup flour

1/2 cup butter -at room temperature

1/2 cup Crisco

3/4 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

24 Oreo cookie tops -crushed

 Place milk in a small saucepan.  Sprinkle the flour over the milk, 1/4 cup at a time and whisk until smooth.  Place the saucepan over low heat and stir constantly until the mixture becomes thick pulls into a ball.  Remove from the heat and put ball into a bowl. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the mixture and tuck around it to make sure there is no exposed parts.  Refrigerate until cooled to room temperature or colder (at least 30 minutes). In a large bowl, cream the butter and Crisco.  Add the cooled flour milk mixture and beat until well blended.  Mix in the vanilla.  With the mixer on medium speed, gradually add the sugar and then continue to beat the icing a

fter adding the sugar for an additional 10-12 minutes until noticeably whiter and creamy. Add Oreo crumbs and mix until just blended.

* Visit my wonderful friend at thepurplespoon for great step by step photos making this icing. She modified the recipe some but the basic steps are the same. 🙂

Stuffed Avocados
July 8, 2011, 4:58 am
Filed under: Cooking | Tags: ,

No big long story to go with this post.  Between the impending move and my beautiful son, Gage turning two tomorrow there’s a lot going on! But these stuffed avocados are just fantastic, so I had to share!




I got the idea and basic recipe from my friend Becky when she made them recently and her house hold raved about them. So of course (me being me) I couldn’t resist making them too!



These lovely yet simple ingredients come together to offer a rich, but still light and summer-appropriate dish.

Aren’t they pretty?!


Here’s all you need to make them:

4 small-medium ripe avocados

1/2 cup crumbled Feta cheese

1 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp lime juice (I will probably increase both the lemon and lime juice by half a tsp of so next time)

1 roma tomato- Chopped into small pieces  (I may increase this next time as well… And maybe add green chilis for a little kick!)

1 tbls (or so) fresh chopped cilantro (for garnish)

4 cherry tomatoes- cut in half (for garnish)


Cut avocados in half and remove seeds. Scoop out most but not all of the avocado from the skin and put into a bowl.  (The layer of avocado left adds a delicious texture when eating)

Smash removed avocado with a fork and add all ingredients but cilantro and cherry tomatoes. Mix well.

Fill avocado halves with mixture and garnish with cilantro and half of a cherry tomato.

Serve immediately.



Simple and simply delicious!

Quick and easy pizza crust (that can really handle it’s toppings!)
July 6, 2011, 2:58 am
Filed under: Cooking | Tags:


On a whim I decided to make pizza tonight. I had some fresh spinach and baby bella mushrooms waiting to get used and it’s a combo I can’t resist!

I scoured the net for a bit looking for a quick and easy pizza crust recipe that could stand up to the loads of spinach, chicken and mushrooms I had planned for this pizza but I didn’t want to make a crust that was going to take forever to make and wear me out in the process. I found a few and fused them into this one, taking tips and tid bits from here and there. It really turned out yummy! I’m going to include a rough version of what I did for my toppings.  I rarely measure when I’m cooking something savory so feel free to make adjustments to suit your tastes.







Dissolve yeast and sugar and let it get foamy

add salt and flour and let it rest.







Form it into 4-5 pieces and let soak in an olive oil bath.







After about an hour it’ll look like this…








Spread it out on your pan, poke it generously with a fork and pop it in the oven.






Top as desired and bake!







We enjoyed this delicious crust topped with chicken, mushrooms, spinach, fresh mozzarella  and a white garlic cream sauce.


For the crust:

2  1/2 tsp active dry yeast

2  tsp light brown sugar

2 tsp sea salt

2 cups warm water

5 cups flour

(About 3/4 cups olive oil for ‘bath’)


Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water in a large mixing bowl. Allow to sit about 10 minutes until foamy. Add flour and mix well (add a little extra if the dough is too sticky, but mine wasn’t at all) Form the dough into a ball and let it rest about 30 minutes.

Punch the rested dough down and cut into 4-5 pieces. Pour olive oil into a mixing bowl, add the dough balls and spoon oil over the top. Cover loosely and let it rise about an hour. Lift the dough out of the bath and allow excess oil to drip off.

Press desired amount of dough into pan or pans. Bake for 7-10 minutes in a preheated oven at 475.

Remove from oven and let it cool off a little. Lower oven temp to 350. Top as desired and bake an additional 10-12 minutes.


For the toppings I made:

3 chicken breasts

1 bunch fresh spinach- leaves only

6-8 Baby bella mushrooms- sliced

1 cup white garlic sauce (recipe below)

1 cup shredded mozzarella

6-7oz fresh mozzarella (sliced)


To prepare toppings:

Saute’ mushrooms in about a tablespoon of olive oil for a couple minutes and add spinach. Season with a little garlic powder and some sea salt. Saute’ until barely soft, remove from pan and set aside. (Remove any liquid from pan)

Pour a little olive oil in the pan and heat to medium-high.

Slice chicken breasts into bite sized pieces, season to taste (I used garlic and onion powder and a garlic/red bell pepper seasoning from McCormick)  Cook in pan until slightly browned and just done (this won’t take very long). Remove from pan and set a side.


For the white garlic cream sauce:

4 tbls butter

2 cloves fresh garlic-minced

3 oz cream cheese

1 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/4 tsp sea salt

Melt butter in pan over medium heat. Add garlic and saute’ 3-4 minutes. Add cream cheese and stir until melted. Whisk in heavy cream, parmesan cheese and sea salt.  Continue cooking about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let it cool a few minutes before topping the pizza.


To assemble the pizza:

Spread white sauce over pizza. Add half of the fresh mozzarella, layer with about half of the chicken, add shredded mozzarella and top that with spinach, mushrooms, and remaining chicken. Add the rest of the fresh mozzarella on top.