Category Archives: Baking

Going Bananas

Another weekend has come to an end, a very busy weekend.  I couldn’t wait for this weekend.  I was going to get my garden planted, my house was going to be sparkling, and I was going to bake up a storm.  Well then I realized I didn’t have time for everything on my to do list.  I still got a lot accomplished even with the cold temperatures, the rain, and deciding I just wanted to have some fun instead of running around like a chicken with my head cut off!

We had a great time going out to dinner and then having a fire pit at our house Friday night.  On Saturday, Eric, Tyler and I went out for breakfast while all the marathoners were still out running, we went to Sam’s Club to try out the free weekend (and bought a lot of stuff and are considering renewing our membership), I bought a few new spring/summer clothes, and cleaned out my car!  My wonderful parents came to visit on Sunday.  It’s always fun to see them and Tyler interact, and Tyler was certainly putting on a good show for them today!  If that wasn’t enough, I also got a little bit of baking in, some amazing banana bread.

I have a bad habit of buying 5 bananas, one for each day of the week, to eat for breakfast.  Well lately I’ve been eating a little more food than that on the days that I get my butt out of bed to run in the mornings .  I haven’t been using up all my bananas.  This week I decided instead of tossing them out on the next trash day it was time to make something yummy with them.  I’m not a fan of just banana bread all by itself, and Eric doesn’t like chocolate chips in his banana bread.  As a compromise, I decided what we needed was a streusel topped banana bread.  I’d seen muffins like this and figured there had to be a recipe out there for a loaf of bread of it.  I found one on the blog, Just a Taste!

The ingredients that I used to make the banana bread.

The ingredients that I used to make the banana bread.

This bread was very quick and easy.  I think I was able to pull the batter and streusel topping together and into the oven in less than 20 min. Of course it took nearly and hour to bake, but during that time, I could accomplish other things like buying clothes online!

Bread batter before the streusel topping

Bread batter before the streusel topping

I did make one change to this recipe.  Instead of using buttermilk, I just used regular whole milk since that we have on hand for Tyler.  It still takes great, so I don’t think it made any difference at all.  Tyler even ate a good half a slice if not more this morning, so if Mr. Picky will eat it, I think nearly anyone would.  I think this quick and easy bread will be on the menu again when I have bananas that I don’t use!

The finished product.  The blurry picture is due to a little boy squirming!

The finished product. The blurry picture is due to a little boy squirming!




Boozy Brownies

We had a lovely sunny weekend after a pretty bad week.  Last week included Tyler getting another ear infection, lots of rain, and our main credit card getting hacked, and someone using it at the Home Depot in Surprise, AZ.  Surprise!  Really it wasn’t so bad though because Chase caught it for me pretty quickly and took care of it very quickly.  On the bright side, the plumber came out and fixed all our minor problems (3 of them in an hour!), and we started the refinance of our house.

Then Saturday came around, and it was sunny and beautiful.  I helped work at the Science Olympiad and got to catch up with my former officemate, which was a lot of fun!  Eric had a less than fun day because he came down with strep throat…again.  I have a feeling that the liquid amoxicillin that he and Tyler were on wasn’t strong enough to kill all the germs like the pills did since I didn’t get strep again.  Thank goodness.  This time Eric got a fun penicillin shot in the hip!

Then Sunday, I got to work on a lot of projects that I’d been putting off for awhile.  While I worked on a few crafty projects that I can’t share yet, I also got some baking in this weekend.  I made some yummy Kahlua brownies that I found on Pinterest.  They were from a blog called Homemade By Holman.  Eric always loves having Kahlua and Bailey’s in his desserts, the boozier the better!

The ingredients for the brownies

The ingredients for the brownies

The brownies were made from scratch, and they came together pretty quickly.  My biggest problem with the recipe I found was that it didn’t say what size of jelly roll pan to use.  I used 15″x10″ pan, and only baked them for 30 min.  They still came out a little over-cooked though.  If I make them again, I will probably use a 13″x9″.  They were a little thinner than I would have liked.

All the ingredients to make the Bailey's icing

All the ingredients to make the Bailey’s icing

The icing was really simple.  I even mixed it by hand.  I probably added a third extra to the recipe.  The original amounts certainly didn’t make enough.  At least it was easy enough to make more. Starting out with the beginning amounts and adding on worked out well.


Someone got into the brownies a little early!

Someone got into the brownies a little early!

They are really good.  The only real downside is that we can’t really taste Kahlua, but the Bailey’s comes shining through! We’ll definitely be trying them again!

Birthday Fun!

Time for the birthday post!  It was a good party.  After all the cleaning and cooking, it was all worth it even when it did result in a few arguments the night before!  We gave Tyler his presents from us before the party started to help keep him awake so that he’d take a nap right before the noon party.  We got him some Mega Blocks, big Crayons (to work on those drawing skills!), and a Radio Flyer wagon with seat backs and cup holders (which if it ever warms up we might get to use)!

Tyler opening presents

Tyler playing with his new crayons

Tyler playing with his new birthday presents

Tyler ready to go for a ride in the wagon

He was in his brand new 1 shirt for the morning “partying”, but during his 2 hour nap before the real party, he got it a little damp, so we had to change him.  This had to be my most disappointing part of the whole thing because I LOVED this shirt.  I got it on Etsy from the PatchesandPuppies store.

Once the party got started, it was a lot of fun.  We started with lunch, which I forgot to have Eric get a picture of, but I went pretty simple with just sandwiches, chips, veggie pizza, fruit and a salad that my mom made.  This made it possible for me to focus on making Tyler’s smash cake and putting those decorating skills I learned 4(wow it doesn’t seem that long!) years ago to good use.  I made funfetti cupcakes for everyone else and a 6″ funfetti smash cake for Tyler with a puppy on top and his name on the side.  I think it turned out pretty well.  Definitely not professional looking but good enough for our little party.  I got cute puppy cupcake toppers on Etsy as well from the iheartcupcakestoo store.  Honestly, while I try to be crafty myself, I love Etsy and what I can find there.

The cupcakes for all the big kids at the party

The cupcakes for all the big kids at the party

What the cake looked like before Tyler got to it.

What the cake looked like before Tyler got to it.

I was really hoping for a good old cake smashing with icing everywhere from Tyler.  Evidently he doesn’t like to get messy though.  He touched a little and then started crying and wanted out of his high chair.  Eric held him and gave him some cake though and for some reason that was ok!  Hopefully he doesn’t become addicted to sugar like his momma!

Tyler barely touched the cake, but at least got a little bit of icing on himself.

Tyler barely touched the cake, but at least got a little bit of icing on himself.

Eric giving Tyler his first real taste of cake

Eric giving Tyler his first real taste of cake

In the end, Tyler had a great day surrounded by his family.  He got A LOT of presents (so expect a how to organize a lot of toys post at some point!).  Eric and I couldn’t be happier how his big day turned out, and it will stay with us for a long time.  Now on to Tyler and Eric’s joint party this weekend!

Relaxing and playing with new toys at the end of the day

Relaxing and playing with new toys at the end of the day

A Hobby Update

Other than hobbies related to Tyler’s birthday, I realized I hadn’t written about any other hobbies I’d been involved with lately.  I have had a little bit of time, specifically last weekend to do some baking and some sewing.  Unheard of to have that much time right?

Actually the baking came about because I made a cake to take into work last week, and accidentally bought the ingredients for the wrong cake.  Luckily I had all the ingredients for the one for work, but that meant I had all the ingredients for the other sitting around.  When Eric found out that it was hot chocolate bundt cake, he decided I needed to make it right away and even gave me extra time away from Tyler to make it.  It was pretty good.  I thought it was a little dry unlike the chocolate sour cream bundt cake for work.  Eric has eaten the majority of this cake (definitely unheard of!) although I have eaten my fair share.  The interesting thing about this cake is that it uses hot chocolate mix in the cake and the glaze.  I think you can definitely taste the mix in there.  It is an interesting cake.

Eric's Hot Chocolate Cake

Eric’s Hot Chocolate Cake

Also last weekend I started working on my next sewing project, our chair cushions.  I realized I need to do a zipper.  This was definitely not a beginner’s project, and I probably should have sat down and really thought it out a little more before I started cutting.  I “think” it will turn out ok though.  I’m itching to get started on it again, but haven’t really had time this week to go somewhere to buy a couple zippers.  Hopefully I’ll get one done this weekend, but that’s a pretty lofty goal at this point. I think I’ll just be happy if I get the zippers bought.

In other news, it’s only a week until Tyler’s birthday, and he’s walking a lot more.  I still haven’t caught it on video though.  Hopefully we’ll catch it this weekend since he’s been coming home pretty grumpy from daycare this week.  In their reports they tell me he’s doing a lot of walking though.  Sometimes even pants-less!  I’m definitely looking forward to the end of the work day tomorrow!  Yay Friday and Happy Weekend!

Candy Pie

One quick note!  I have a 10 month old today!  Crazy how fast it goes!

Sweet 10 month old!

Sweet 10 month old!

Eric let’s food go to waste.  Does that really surprise anyone?  It bothers me the most when he lets candy go to waste though.  Every year I give Eric a bag of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, my mom gives him some Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and sometimes he gets some other candy from my side of the family too.  So I had a plan after this holiday season to make sure at least some of Eric’s Christmas candy was eaten.  I looked up dessert recipes that use Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.  Beyond using up some of Eric’s candy, it’s also nice to use them because I don’t like peanut butter (Sacrilegious…I know!), and it would help me stay on my diet.

Even though I was using his candy, Eric didn’t get much of a say in this plan other than to decide what kind of dessert he wanted.  He picked a pie.  I was hoping he’d say brownies, but pie works too.  So I came across this recipe from Mrs. Claus’s cookbook.  How appropriate is that since I was using Christmas candy?!

Again I forgot to take pictures while I was making it, even though I did think about it!  (And forgot again!) At least I got one after I finished though.

Eric's yummy (for him) dessert this week!

Eric’s yummy (for him) dessert this week!

It was pretty simple it probably only took 15-20 minutes to wrap up, and Eric gave it the thumbs up after he ate it for dessert at lunch on Monday. So if you need to get rid of some Reese’s cups or just want a peanut butter pie, it’s a good recipe.

Get Rid of the Candy Pie (adapted from

  • 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
  • 1 cup peanut butter (I used smooth and would recommend it)
  • 8 oz Cool Whip (the recipe originally called for 12 oz but I bought the wrong size.  I think any more would have really overflowed my crust)
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 store bought or homemade graham cracker crust
  • 15 miniature Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (I added more than the recipe called for to get rid of more candy!)
  1. Combine the cream cheese, peanut butter and sugar until well mixed.
  2. Fold in the cool whip by hand
  3. Cut up 5 peanut butter cups sprinkle across the bottom of the crust
  4. Spread half the peanut butter/cream cheese mixture in the crust
  5. Cut up and sprinkle 5 more peanut butter cups on top of the mixture.
  6. Spread the rest of the peanut butter/cream cheese mixture into the pie crust
  7. Top with the rest of your cut up peanut butter cups.
  8. Refrigerate until solid.

That’s it.  Easy and evidently tasty according to Eric, and he still has some peanut butter cups left!