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Thursday, March 30, 2017

11 Awesome Cakes for Your Spring and Easter Celebrations

    I would say my love of cake is thinly veiled at best.  By now I am sure most of you know that I don't need much of an excuse to bake one.  In fact, I recently threw myself a "graduation party" at work because I passed an 8 hour online class.  Of course it involved a cake!  I mean, my coworkers didn't complain.  But it does seem I've set a precedent as one of my coworkers received a new certification today and now everyone wants to know when the party is.  I'll be sure to show him this list so he has some ideas!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

MiMi's Easy Mushroom Flatbread

Quick and easy, this flatbread will certainly find it's way into your heart! Full of mushrooms, garlic and Parmesan cheese on a buttery crust for that perfect flavor combination. 

     I was on the road all day again today, so I didn't have time to make a full dinner.  Which turned out to be a blessing in disguise.  We have a fridge full of leftovers that need to be eaten up.  As I was digging through the fridge trying to figure out what to heat up for who, I stumbled upon a tube of crescents.  I never keep stuff like that in the house, but I bought a couple of cans for some family favorite recipes in the stack.  I also had a pint of mushrooms that had been on the counter for a few days.  They still looked pretty good, but their lifespan had to be getting short.  So, the stars were aligned.  I had to make this recipe.  I mean, what choice did I have?!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Easy Banana Bundt Cake

    To be fair, I haven't shared a cake in over a week.  So, I'm due wouldn't you say? This easy banana bundt cake came out of the need to use some of those darn overripe bananas that seem to show up on my counter every so often.  Luckily I am not one to back down from an excuse to bake a cake.  Plus it gave me an excuse to break out a fun cake pan I hadn't used yet.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Easy Family Meal Plan Week 11

      It's that time of the week again!  It's time to find out what is on the menu for the week.  Why is it that as the days are getting longer, they also get busier and feel shorter?  The extra hour of light makes us want to be outside more, especially little man!  So it is great to have these menus ready to go, at least the thinking is taken out of it!  Plus these really help keep things fresh.  It is so easy get in a rut and our goal is to help you keep it fresh and easy!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Easy Honey Mustard Pork Chops

      Sometimes you just need a quick and easy meal.  You know how it is, after a long day when you stumble in the door and see those hungry faces staring at you wondering what is for dinner.  Dinner? Crap, dinner! These pork chops are perfect for one of those nights.  They come together quickly, are nice and tender and full of flavor.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Chewy Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies - No Flour Needed!

These no flour cookies are full of peanut butter, oatmeal and chocolate chips. It makes a big batch, but you can freeze some dough for cookies on demand later!

    These are my go-to drop cookies.  They are always go over really well.  It is a big batch, so be prepared to share.  They are chewy, peanut buttery and full of oatmeal goodness.  I love baking them in big soft cookies, but they are also good as smaller two bite cookies.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Easy No-Bake Spring Nests - A First Day of Spring Tradition

    We have been making these nests for as long as I can remember.  The first day of spring meant bringing enough of these to share with our whole class in school.  MiMi (my mom) found the recipe in the paper many moons ago.  She still has the original clipping. It is just a tad bit yellowed with age.  I'd like to say this is much older than me, but my guess is that would be a lie!

Greek Coconut Cake

This syrup soaked cake is LOADED with coconut and it is delicious, moist and full of flavor! Greek Coconut Cake is going to be a new favorite!

     It's cake time, it's cake time, everyone it's cake time!  I don't think I have ever baked (or eaten) as many cakes in my life as I have these past few months.  You'd think we never eat anything else, but somehow we manage to get in our three square meals a day despite all of the cake!  Of course the twentieth of the month always calls for cake.  This month's choices for the Cake Slice Bakers all looked like winners.  There was the Ten Layer Coffee Chocolate cake, which totally has my name written all over it actually.  I was really tempted, but with so much going on I wasn't sure I could devote the time to it and I thought maybe it would be good to show a little restraint.  The Banana Loaf actually looked really good too, but I already have quite a few banana baked goods posted and I like to try something new and exciting. The Mandarin, Polenta and Macadamia Cake sounded really interesting as well.  In fact, I'd love to give that a try one of these days too.  But the 4th and final choice ended up being a shoe in when all of the chips fell.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Simple Pasta with Peas, Ham and Cream

This pasta dish is perfectly simple.  It is a great way to use up some leftover ham and turn it into a comforting and delicious meal!

   Spring is finally here!  Well, in two days it will be anyway.  I don't know about you, but I am ready.  I've had enough of the back and forth between nice weather and cold.  Our daffodils came out and bloomed and it snowed two days later.  Our blackberry bushes are getting leaves and our strawberry patch was greening up too.  Hopefully the subsequent freeze didn't set anything back too far.  That weather man of ours likes to keep us on our toes!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Easy Family Meal Plan Week 10

    I know, I know... it's Saturday and I normally post meal plans on Monday.  But I have to give you cake on Monday.  I know, it's terrible to have to have cake, but it is Cake Slice day.  So there is no choice, I must give you cake.  Tomorrow I am cooking with the Sunday Supper tastemakers and we are sharing easy spring recipes.  So that leaves today!  I am half tempted to move the meal plans to Saturday anyway, leaving you a bit more time to actually plan and shop if you want to cook along.  What do you think?  Either way, this week's lineup looks delicious!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Spring Pea Salad

    I wanted to bring a light and fresh side dish to K.C.'s crab feast.  I kept changing my mind about what I was going to make.  I needed something I could make in advance.  Something I could make before work and not require much before we headed across the street to K.C.'s house.  We are so lucky to have my brothers live so close!  So, I decided to make a pea salad.  Jamie from Love Bakes Good Cakes posted a recipe on Facebook recently that got the idea in my head.  Hers looked great, but I wanted something a bit lighter, so this is what I came up with.  It was pretty darn good if I do say so myself.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Savory Spinach and Cheese Pie

      Happy Pi Day!!  This is one of those holidays that I didn't even know was a thing until high school.  You'd think we would have celebrated it in math class, but no.  My first Pi Day was celebrated in typing class of all things!  I think I must have had a hungry teacher.  Either way, we all brought in pies and feasted in honor of 3/14, the day of pi!  I am not one to let a chance to celebrate go unnoticed, especially when it involves pie.  So, I was really excited to see that Coleen from The Red Headed Baker was hosting a Pi{e} Day event.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Easy Family Meal Plan Week 10

Is it just me or do Mondays just keep coming faster and faster?  As the weather warms up it seems like time speeds up a bit too.  I get home from work and want to spend some time out playing with little dude before I have to get dinner going.  So knowing what we are having and having as much prepped as possible makes it that much easier to get it all done.  Of course that starts with getting a menu planned.  It just so happens that we have done that work for you!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Carlee's Cabbage

    To start this story, we will need to go to the way back machine.  This may explain a lot ;-).  It was the early 80s and I was right around 2 years old.  We were living in the Chicago burbs while my dad went to dental school.  We were getting ready to come to central Illinois for a weekend visit with grandma and grandpa.  So, I was on the phone with grandma getting the details in order.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Irish Tea Brack #StPatricksDay

   Top 'o the morning to you!  Now that it is March, it seems like a few Irish recipes are in order.  I think everyone has a favorite way of doing corned beef and cabbage, so I didn't want to go right there.  I always love trying something a little bit different and fun. So, this brack seemed like a wonderful option.  If you haven't heard of tea brack before, you are not alone.  You should certainly get familiar though!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Not Your Mama's Chocolate Pie

    To tell you the truth, I am not really the pie maker in the family.  MiMi plays that role on my side.  My brother-in-law Anthony and my mother-in-law/Nana fill the role on my husband's side.  I just can't seem to make a pretty crimp on the pie crust.  No matter what I do, it looks like uneven and unpretty.  I love all of the beautiful pies I see online, but I just don't have the patience to make that beauty at home.  Or maybe I just lack the skill.  Either way, I make pie crust like a grade school child.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Easy Family Meal Plan Week 9

    Are you ready for another week?  It seems like I just posted the last menu yesterday, but I suppose time does fly when you are having fun!  Of course I am excited about this week's menu.  There is sure to be a little something for everyone here!

Friday, March 3, 2017

ABC (Asparagus, Barley and Chickpea) Salad

   Back in the fall I bought a GIANT bag of pearled barley.  I had big plans for using it in all sorts of soups and stews and other lovely wintery comfort food.  I did make a few lovely soups, including this delicious Creamy Mushroom and Barley Soup.  Mmmm! But it turns out when you only use barley a cup at a time, it takes a while to get through a big old bag.  So I needed to mix it up and make something a bit more spring and summer friendly.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Shiny Fudge Frosting

This Shiny Fudge Frosting is so easy to make and sooooo delicious! No mixer needed, just a saucepan and a little bit of patience. 

    I knew for Jax's birthday I wanted to make a rich and dark chocolate cake.  I wanted that cake to be enveloped in a rich and fudgy frosting.  This combination of devilishly good chocolate cake and fudge frosting was the perfect thing!