Sunday, November 19

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Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse. - Henry Van Dyke

Quote Up!

Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgiving, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessing. -William Arthur Ward

Friday, November 17

Sunday, September 13

Banana Cupcakes (Almond Brown Sugar Frosting)

I don't have a sweet tooth! (Ahh! Shocking!) Well, it's true. I do however love baking. I delight in many things, baking being in the top 5. I love creating new recipes. I love the smells baking cause in the house. I even enjoy the warmth of simply having the oven on! Silly, I know, but again, it's very true. With Autumn rolling around, baking in my home happens two or three times a week! The weather cooled down this weekend and for some odd reason I felt the need to bake. I mean it is something I really love to do.

I made Quick Lemon Drop cookies since I had some extra lemons that really needed to be used up. My sister who works way too much and way too hard was going into work at odd hours. Pulling midnights is hard work, but get this, she works in a bakery. Ha ha. I never even thought about it. She never brings that stuff home, it's frozen and never homemade, as sweets should always be! Since my sister was working so hard and wasn't able to eat as she normally would, I then created a basic breakfast cookies. But today I'm going to give you the recipe for my banana cupcakes! That's right you heard me:

Banana Cupcakes
With Almond/Brown Sugar Frosting

Look at them! Don't they look amazing? (Need a napkin to mop up the drool?!)

For the Cupcakes you'll need the following:
  • 1½ Cup All purpose flour
  • ¾ Cup Granulated sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking soda
  • ¼ Teaspoon salt
  • 1½ Cup mashed bananas (3 bananas)
  • ¼ Cup coconut oil (Or unsweetened applesauce)
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 Egg, lightly beaten

So here is what you do:

    You know the drill first you preheat oven to 350 degrees, and line muffin tin with papers, set aside.

    In a large bowl, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk to combine. Set aside.

    In a medium sized bowl, add in the remaining ingredients. Stir to combine.

    Add the wet mixture to the dry and stir until just combined and no dry spots.

    Divide the batter among the 12 cupcakes wrappers, about ⅔ of the way full.

    Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

    Cool completely.

While those are cooling let's make the frosting. You'll need an electric mixer. I've never made this by hand but I imagine it to be quite strenuous to do. So if you have it, use an electric mixer or stand mixer would be even better!

Almond Brown Sugar Frosting

  • 2½ Tablespoon all purpose flour
  • ½ Cup milk
  • ½ Teaspoon almond extract
  • ½ Cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ Cup packed brown sugar

    In a small saucepan, whisk the flour and milk together. (I used chocolate almond milk from my local grocer)

    Cook this mixture over medium heat, continuously whisking until thick.

    Remove from heat, stir in the almond extract and let cool to room temperature.

    Again with a hand/stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy and the graininess is gone.

    Add in your cooled milk mixture and beat it on high speed until a whipped cream consistency. It's going to take a while, but it will be well worth it.

Once the cupcakes are cooled, frost away, and refrigerate any leftovers
I had some banana chips and decided on a little decoration. Aren't they pretty?! 


Friday, June 26

Cheers to Comfort Food (Grilled Cheese and Tomato Basil Soup)

Tomato Basil Soup and Grill Cheese Sandwich!

It's classic, comforting and a reminiscence of childhood. Mom got home late from work as dad always does. You're use to doing your homework by yourself anyway since your siblings have their own lives to live. I was the baby of four, and by the time I can to be my parents were tired but grateful for their gift. I was truly a gift. Believe me it's true. But we were struggling to make ends meet. My mother, the great woman she is worked a hectic and stressful 9-5 for the government then went to school at night. She raised us almost singlehandedly until my father finally realized the other women he was chasing weren't actually chasing him back and mom wasn't bothering to chase him anymore either. (I mean you can only give them so many chances before you come to your senses.) She did a wonderful job as a mother, tired or not. We never wanted for anything. (OK, maybe some attention from her.)
 (I added some freshly shaved parmesan cheese and basil. YUM!)
She always had a knack for satisfying my hunger quickly. She'd come home late. My brothers would be out running the streets, my oldest sister was locked away in her room and I'd be waiting for her to walk through the door. She was terribly exhausted but she always went into the kitchen and made something that tasted like heaven. I didn't like tomatoes when I was a kid unless it came in a bottle (full of sugar) and I could squeeze it onto something greasy, and even then I would only use a little bit. But she could turn a simple can of tomato soup into a tomato bath that I would most certainly take. I've grown to love tomatoes, they are the first thing I think about when planning my garden each year. 
(Don't you just love those crunchy pieces that escape! I Do! This isn't a marriage proposal but it could be!)

My dad made the best grilled cheese sandwiches, of course I never told mom that. He did this sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar that drove our taste buds crazy. Put them together and yum yum! You have the most delicious and crazy fast comfort food imaginable. So today I woke up feeling a little blue. I've had a hard time since father's day, missing him and whatnot. I guess I find myself still lingering in the stages of grief. I also miss my mom who lives not to far from me, but with both my and my husbands hectic work schedule, I can't get 10 minutes to go get a comforting hug or a kind word. She misses me too! Right now I have a busted vehicle making it even more difficult. Life's that way sometimes huh?!

So my sadness and heartache needed a little comforting, and I chose two of the classics, and they were delicious!

Friday, June 19

Red Velvet Pie?!

Red Velvet Pie?! 
Do you mean cake? No! 
I mean PIE! 

I'm not much of a dessert person, but my household has a large sweet tooth. Plus, I get to do the creative baking, so it's a win-win. I'm also a pinterest addict. Hello my name is Kelly and I'm addicted to Pinterest! Hell I'm proud of this addiction! So as I was scrolling through Pinterest one evening I saw Red Velvet Pie and not a lover of Red Velvet Cake I scrolled on past. The next morning I was back in front of the screen and scrolling, and scrolling and happen upon it again. 

Red Velvet Pie.
 Not cake so it might be interesting. 
 Red Velvet Pie.

I have all the ingredients at home already. But since I'm trying a new recipe I'm not going to make the cake part of the pie from scratch (you can if it suits you). 

Ingredients -

- 2 Pie Crusts (You can buy frozen or make your own)
- 1 Box Red Velvet Cake Mix
- 1 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
- 1 Stick of Butter
- 2 Cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

~Follow the instructions for mixing on the back of your cake box (or prepare your homemade batter). - I usually use an extra egg making the cake taste more decadent.
~Butter your pie pans and place the crusts gently into them.
~Pour your cake batter into the shells, splitting it evenly between the two. 
~Bake your cake as you normally would following the directions on the back of the box (or if homemade, according to your recipe).
~Now it's time to make your topping. Put the butter, sweetened condensed milk and chocolate chips in a pot and cook on medium heat until smooth.
~Top the baked cakes with the chocolatey goodness and let set up. 

I also heard that it is even better if you double the delicious chocolate topping! (I just might take them up on that offer!) For someone who doesn't care for red velvet cake I sure enjoyed this dessert. I'm not even a fan of chocolate but I enjoyed every single bite! (And so did my family who has requested it many times since.)

The Finished Product = YUM!

Tuesday, June 2

A Little Mexican! (Oven Baked Chimichangas)


Boy do I love, love, love Mexican. It is my favorite food to eat. Now I've settled for the likes of Taco Bell, in a pinch. You know, when money is tight and it's the middle of the night. We lived on it when we were in high school. There was one Taco Bell close to the school that was open in the early morning hours and yep, you guessed it, we had it for breakfast. Who could pass up tacos that were less than a dollar when that was all we really had in our pockets. I know I sound like my elders who claim bread cost a dime and they walked a mile to and from school in the snow, barefoot. Who would send their children out in their bare feet? Even in the old days. Though I have to admit I love having bare feet. I would never wear shoes if I didn't have to.  BTW, yes I know Taco Bell is not authentic, but that wasn't the point!

But I love Mexican! I love real Mexican food, and it's not hard to find. But I try not to indulge in it's richness too often, though if I could I would eat it every single day. But last night I made Chimichangas, but I didn't want to fry them. Oil and Middle age just doesn't work together. So I came up with these oven fried Chimis that were so delicious that even my husband cleaned his plate! (I have to admit that I was angry when I looked over and his plate was empty because I usually get his leftovers on Mexican night.)

My sister and I went shopping the day before and found some beautiful jalapeno flour tortilla and boy oh boy they added a lovely flavor! I made six with beef, beans and rice. I also make homemade taco seasoning because we don't know what 'other' ingredients they put in that packaged stuff.

Ingredients -
 - 6 Medium Tortillas (I used Jalapeno)
- 9 oz. Ground Hamburger
- Cheese (whatever flavor and amount you want)
- 1 Small Onion
- 1/2 Cooked Rice
- 1/2 Can of Bean (Your favorite variety, I used Red)
-  2 Tbs. Taco Seasoning
- Water
- 2 Tbs. Vegetable Oil (Coconut oil would be a healthier option here.)

Directions -
- Preheat the over to 425' 
- Brown your beef, then drain it of any excess grease.
- Add onion and cook (Just a few minutes).
- Add rice and beans to the mixture.
-Add your taco seasoning, (more or less to taste)
- Allow mixture to marry, for a few minutes adding water if it looks really dry.
- Lay out your tortillas and filled them using all of your filling.
- Add cheese, again to your liking. (I forgot the cheese and only added it after they were cooked. They still turned out wonderfully!)
- After they are rolled tightly, using a pastry brush, brush the oil on every side of each of the chimichangas, turning to coat them well.
- Lay them side by side in a baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray so they won't stick.
- Bake for 15 minutes, gently give them a turn and bake for another 5-10 until they are crispy and delicious!
- Top them with whatever your heart desires. (I top ours with fresh tomatoes, sliced scallions and hot taco sauce!) MMMmm!

Quote Up!

Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the follo...