About Me

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Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
I'm a stay-at-home mother of 2 who loves to bake rich desserts, create healthy dinners, and create homemade crafts. I'm always Hungry for the Homemade! Take some recipes, make them your own, and let me know how it goes.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Cake Pops, Santa Style

Cake pops are a new obsession of mine. This is my second set of pops, and I love creating them. I made these just for fun, to try out shaping the cake pops into something other than a sphere. Here is a list of what you need:
Lollipop sticks (available at most craft stores and walmart in the cake decor section)
White melting chocolate
Red melting chocolate
1/2 - 9x13 in. baked cake, crumbled or "shaved" into a bowl
1/3 - 1/2 of a can of frosting
Coffee mug or styrofoam block to put cakepops into while setting up

  1. After baking a 9x13-in. cake, let it completely cool at least 2 hours. "Shave" 1/2 the cake into a large bowl. I do this with my hands. It should look like fine crumbs.
  2. Mix in 1/2 or a little less of a can of frosting, any flavor you like.
  3. Roll into 1-1/2" balls and place on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper or parchment.
  4. Freeze for 15 minutes.
  5. Remove from freezer and shape with hands into a cone shape, like Santa's hat and place back into the freezer.
  6. Melt red chocolates into a mug, following manufacturer's instructions.
  7. Take a lollipop stick and dip 1/4" into the chocolate, then push into shaped cake balls. Holding the cakepop upside down, dip it into the red chocolate covering ALMOST all the cakepop. Place into foam block or in a deep coffee mug to set. Careful not to bump them into each other while still wet.
  8. Place white chocolate into a ziplock sandwhich bag and melt in microwave until soft. Cut a small hole off one corner and pipe the lower part of Santa's hat onto the cake pop, covering the bottom side as well. Since the red should be dry, I found it more stable to hold the cakepop on the red part, upside down and pipe the white on that way. Pipe a 'pom pom' on the top of the hat, and place back in the foam or cup and let set up in the fridge. 
  9. Tie with a ribbon or place in a treat bag.
Add some sprinkling sugar or edible glitter to make them really sparkle!

My PJ Tradition...

2010 Christmas pajamas for my 7 year old son
My mom was an amazing homemaker, and with 4 kids I'm sure it wasn't an easy task to make matching Christmas pajamas most years. Opening some homemade pjs on Christmas Eve wasn't exactly the gift I wanted to open, but looking back at the pictures and the memories, it really was one of my favorite gifts. My kids (7 & 5) don't really care now, but making them jammies is a great love and tradition I hope to pass on. It's also a good way to remember what year was what in those early morning Christmas pictures, madly unwrapping and grinning ear-to-ear in front of their Christmas loot.
My daughter's pjs aren't done yet, but I'm using the same pattern and fabric, just adding red rick-rack to the cuffs. The pattern is from Walmart, was less than $3 and the fabric was bought on Black Friday for only $1.29/yard! These have been the cheapest pj's ever, coming in at only $3/ea. set.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Panera Bread-style Mac N Cheese

I LOVE Panera Bread, not only for the good food, but because it's one place kids, husband, and I can all agree on. I took a spoonful of the Mac N Cheese from my daughter and was shocked at how tasty it was. Sharp white cheddar and white american cheeses made this a must-have recipe at our house. I found a recipe on another blog (Thanks LiveBeautiful; http://www.courtneykirkland.com/2010/09/panera-bread-mac-cheese-recipe.htmlgreat pics!), so I'm passing it along the recipe with my own pictures.

  • 1/3 Cup of All Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 Cup of Butter
  • 2 1/2 cups of 2% Low Fat Milk
  • 8 oz [1 block] of Extra Sharp White Cheddar Cheese
  • 6 Slices of White American Cheese [cut into small pieces]
  • 1 Box of Medium Shell Noodles
  • 1 tsp of Dijon Mustard (I found I didn't like the mustard flavor, maybe a little powdered mustard instead.)
  • 1/3 tsp of Hot Sauce
  • 1/4 tsp of Kosher Salt

-Prepare your noodles according to the directions on the box and drain.
-Melt butter in Boiler on Low Heat. Once melted, gradually mix in 1/3 cup of flour. Whisk continually for 1 minute until creamy and thick.
-Gradually stir in milk on Medium Heat. Sauce should thicken and bubble but remain creamy. Whisk until smooth.
- Next, remove sauce from heat and add cheeses, mustard, hot sauce and salt. Mix thoroughly until smooth and creamy. There should be no lumps in the sauce. 
-Once mixed, add your noodles back to the sauce and cook over Medium Heat for 1-2 minutes…just long enough to heat the Pasta the entire way through.
-Add Paprika as a garnish if you desire. 

Gingerbread Rollin' in Spiced Cream Cheese

Gingerbread Roll with Spiced Cream Cheese

I love the classic Pumpkin Roll with cream cheese filling, but I'm so glad my foodie husband for suggested a Gingerbread Roll. I adapted a gingerbread recipe and spiced up the filling. Mmmm, it was a hit, but as you can see in the picture, not nearly enough filling. I've fixed this in the recipe below.

Gingerbread Rollin' in Spiced Cream Cheese
4 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup water
3 Tbsp. butter, melted
3 Tbsp. molasses
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1-1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
Powdered sugar
2 - 8oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
6 Tbsp. butter, softened
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
1-1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1-1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. vanilla extract

  1. Line a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan with waxed paper; grease the paper and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat eggs for 3 minutes. Gradually add sugars, beating until mixture is thickened. Beat in the water, butter, molasses, and vanilla. Combine the flour, pie spice, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt; fold into egg mixture. Spread batter into prepared pan.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool for 5 minutes. Invert onto a kitchen towel dusted with powdered sugar. Gently peel off waxed paper. Roll up cake in the towel, jelly-roll style, starting with the short side. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  4. For filling, in a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter until smooth, then add powdered sugar and spices and mix until smooth. Add 1-2 Tbsp of milk if mixture is not of spreadable consistency. 
  5. Unroll cake; spread filling over cake to within 1/2-in. of edges. Roll up again. Place seam side down on a serving platter. Dust with powdered sugar if desired. 
I like to wrap in plastic wrap, then foil and freeze for an hour or so before serving. It can also be stored this way for about 2 weeks. 

Friday, December 3, 2010

Obessed With Pumpkin

I want to eat healthy, but I sabotage myself with empty carbs and sugar as I snack all day long. Who's with me here? I crave pumpkin, cookies, and cinnamon goodness during the winter, so let's healthify our cravings, shall we?


Pumpkin Oatmeal, full of complex carbs and fiber to stick to your ribs and curb those morning munchies. Thank you again, Deceptively Delicious!

• 1 c. milk (I went with almond milk)
• 1/4 c. firmly packed brown sugar (I used Splenda)
• 1/4 c. pumpkin or sweet potato puree (I used canned pumpkin)
• 1 tsp. vanilla extract (optional, but I included)
• 1/4 tsp. cinnamon (or pumpkin pie spice)
• 1 c. old-fashioned oats
•  2 tsp. natural peanut butter (optional, I find I like it better without)
• dried fruit and nuts (optional)
• Pure maple syrup to drizzle over the top when serving (which I forgot…)

1. In a small saucepan, combine the milk, sugar, pumpkin, vanilla and cinnamon. Bring to a gentle boil and stir in the oatmeal.
2. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, until the oatmeal is soft and creamy. Then stir in the peanut butter, if using.
3. Spoon the oatmeal into bowls, sprinkle with fruit and nuts if you like, and serve with maple syrup.

Eat Your Veggies


I've been using Jessica Seinfeld's Deceptively Delicious cookbook for about 2 years, covertly hiding veggies in my dinners, muffins, and breads. I don't have a freezer full of veggie purees anymore. It takes a lot of time and effort! But, I will steam and puree a bit for my favorite recipes. 
If you know me, you know I'd gag at the sight of meatloaf.....BUT, she has a fabulous recipe that uses ground turkey and bacon (turkey, but use what you like....I love turkey bacon!) Come on, don't be a chicken. Try it and get past the word 'loaf' in your dinner. If I can, you can! (Just don't tell everyone how healthy it really is.)

        Italian Meatloaf
   1 cup Italian-style (seasoned) breadcrumbs
               1/2 cup skim milk
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 pound lean ground turkey
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup carrot puree (Don't have any? steam a handful and mash 'em in.)
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 cup bottled tomato sauce (I find this too much and prefer BBQ sauce on ours)
4 slices turkey bacon (Oscar Mayer is my favorite)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9x5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, soak the breadcrumbs in milk.
  3. Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and set it over medium-high heat. When the skillet is hot, add the oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally 7 to 10 minutes. Add the celery and cook 3 to 4 minutes longer. Scrape the mixture into the bowl with the breadcrumbs. Add the turkey, Parmesan, carrot puree, ketchup, salt, and pepper, and stir to combine.
  4. Turn the mixture into the loaf pan and smooth the top. Spread tomato sauce (or BBQ) over the meatloaf and lay the strips of bacon on top. Bake until the center of the meatloaf is no longer pink and the bacon begins to brown, 45 to 50 minutes. Cut into slices and serve.
Serve with some mashed potatoes and you have a complete meal full of 'comfort food' you don't feel guilty eating.