Jill & Matt

I absolutely love this invitation! 

(image credit)

Vote for Cunningham Park

As many of you know on May 22nd Joplin, MO was hit by a massive tornado.  Many people lost everything, but Joplin is on the right path to rebuilding.

Cunningham Park is one of the parks that was destroyed by the tornado and we have a chance to rebuild it.  Coca-Cola is sponsoring a contest to give up to $100,00 to the top 3 parks in the US.  Cunningham Park is currently #3 in the rankings and we want to keep it in the top 3.  All you have to do is vote to keep in there.

Please help Joplin by voting for Cunningham Park.

Here’s how to vote:

  1. Visit www.livepositively.com
  2. In the “Search for a Park” bar above the map, type in “Cunningham Park” and in the next box “Joplin.”
  3. You will see one red dot on the map. Click on it and it will bring up a screen where you can vote for Cunningham Park.

That’s all you have to do. But you can vote more than once, so please keep those clicks coming! You can vote through September 6.

 

Bento Lunch Boxes

Must. Invest. In. Bento Boxes. Now.

Every week it seems as if I am obsessed and addicted with something different.  I can’t help it, I have an addictive personality.  This week I am addicted to Bento Lunch Boxes and with school back in session these would make great healthy lunches for the kids to take to school.

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Definition of a Bento Box according to Wikipedia:

Bento (弁当 bentō?)[1] is a single-portion takeout or home-packed meal common in Japanese cuisine. A traditional bento consists of rice, fish or meat, and one or more pickled or cooked vegetables, usually in a box-shaped container. Containers range from disposable mass produced to hand crafted lacquerware. Although bento are readily available in many places throughout Japan, including convenience stores, bento shops (弁当屋 bentō-ya?), train stations, and department stores, it is still common for Japanese homemakers to spend time and energy for their spouse, child, or themselves producing a carefully prepared lunch box.

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(image credits: pirate, Mario)

 

(image credit: Domo, Hello Kitty)
 
(image credit: giraffe, flower)

Cinnamon Roll Cake

Let me start off this post by thanking Cookin’ Up North for this…

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cinnamon roll cake

 

I’ve never made cinnamon rolls, but I bet it’s not as easy as making a cinnamon roll cake.  Hence the reason why I made the cake and not actual rolls.  How can I pass up a chance to have dessert for breakfast?!

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Cake mixture and a brown sugar cinnamon mixture is swirled into together.  I can’t forget to mention that there is butter in the brown sugar cinnamon mixture and it makes the cake moist and delicious.   Yummmm….butter.

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Bake the cake in an oven that is preheated at 350 degrees.

Powdered sugar, milk and vanilla are mixed together to make a yummy glaze.

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Pour the glaze over the warm cake.  Is your mouth watering?  Mine’s is.

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Print

Cinnamon Roll Cake

Ingredients:

Cake:
3 cup flour
1/4 tsp.salt
1 cup sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup butter, melted

Topping:

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. cinnamon

Glaze:
2 cup powdered sugar
5 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Directions:

Mix everything together except for the butter. Slowly stir in the melted butter and pour into a greased 9x13 pan. For the topping, mix all the ingredients together until well combined. Drop evenly over the batter and swirl with a knife. Bake at 350 for 28-32 minutes.

Using a fork poke holes in the cake and while warm drizzle the glaze over the cake.

I baked mines in two 8x8 pans.

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Words of Wisdom

There is nothing like a good quote.  It’s amazing how just a few sentences can sum up how you feel.

 

This is pretty much my outlook in life….

 

(image credit)


Oh and of course there is this…

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There’s no place like home

I came across this picture on Pinterest and it made me miss home.

Mango Cake

I love mangoes!  I think it’s the Filipino in me that makes me love them so much, or maybe it’s the way that they taste.  I don’t know why I love them, I just do.

A few weeks ago I headed over to our local Mexican store for ingredients to make Arroz Con Pollo and while I was there I spotted a box of mangoes, so I bought the box.  I figured between the kids and I they would get devoured.  I was wrong.  By the end of the week I still had had 7 mangoes left from the box of 8.  I didn’t want them to go to waste, so I peeled, chopped and froze them.

What does one do with a freezer full on mango?! I decided to make a cake.

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Anything that has 3 sticks of butter is worth eating to me.

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According to the original recipe I was supposed to bake the cake in a 10 inch flute/bundt pan.  I surprisingly don’t own either one of those, so I made a layer cake.

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Fresh whipped cream and mango was layered in between the cakes.

Print

Mexican Mango Cake

very slightly adapted from: foodnetwork.com

Ingredients:

Cake:
1 1/2 cups or 3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing the pan
3 cups cake flour, plus more for pan
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup buttermilk

Topping:
2 cups chopped fresh or frozen and thawed mango
2 tablespoons water, plus extra, as needed
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus extra, as needed
4 ounces cream cheese

Directions:

Cake:
Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally butter and flour a 10-inch tube, Bundt pan or (2) 9 inch cake pans

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. In another large bowl, using an electric mixer beat the 1 /12 cups of butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, beating well after each addition. In batches, add the flour mixture, alternating with the buttermilk and ending with the flour mixture.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake until the cake is golden and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45 to 50 minutes (for flute/bundt) 30 to 35 minutes (for 9 in. cake pans). Transfer the cake to a wire rack and cool completely in the pan. Invert the cake onto the wire rack, then put it on a cake plate or platter.

(Cooks Note: The cake can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and store at room temperature.)


Topping:

Combine the mango, water, sugar cream cheese and tequila, if using, in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and thick, adding extra water, if needed. Taste and adjust the sweetness with extra sugar, if needed.

If using a bundt pan, spoon the mango topping evenly over the top of the cake.

If making a layer cake:
Even out the cake layers by using a serrated knife and cutting the top to make the cakes even. Take a fork and lightly pokes holes in the bottom layer of the cake (make sure not to go all the way through the cake).

Take half of the mango topping and pour over the top of the bottom layer of the cake. Then evenly spread homemade whipped cream (by mixing 1 cup heavy whipping cream, 2 tbl. sugar and 2 tsp. vanilla until soft peaks form).

Place the other cake on top with the cut side down and pour the other half of the mango mixture on top.

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Ham and Swiss Hawaiian Bread

I love the weekends, but who doesn’t?!  Weekends to me mean lounging in my PJs eating a slice of mango cake (recipe coming soon) for breakfast and watching Brothers and Sisters on Netflix while blogging.

Although I like to do nothing on the weekends I can’t forget that I have 2 kids that need me to feed them.  Just because I’m lazy doesn’t mean that I can’t fix them a yummy snack/lunch.  I found a recipe for Ham and Swiss Hawaiian bread in one of the many magazines I read (I’m a magazine whore) and thought it would make a great weekend snack.  It’s fast, easy and yummy.

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Take a loaf  of Hawaiian Bread (my kid’s favorite).

 

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Cut the bread into squares (don’t cut it all the way through).

 

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Take some Swiss cheese and slice it or shred some Swiss cheese.

 

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Slice up some ham.

 

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Nestle the ham and Swiss in between all the nooks and crannies of the bread.

 

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Cover it with foil and bake for 10 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven.

 

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Cut and serve.

 

As I was making this I realized that this recipe is so versatile.  I think next time I’m going to try it with pesto and mozzarella.

 

 

Cookie Cake

I am sitting on my son’s blue bean bag on the floor of my living room floor typing up this post while my son is sitting on one end of the couch watching The Jetsons Movie (Netflix is a wonderful thing.) and my daughter is sprawled out on the other side sleeping.  The reason why I have to sit on the floor is because my living room is big enough to hold a 3 person sofa, too bad there are 4 people living in this house. Anyhow, that has nothing to do with what I’m about to show you.  I just thought I would share that random information with you, that I have a small living room.

Let’s move on to the important stuff, cookie cake.

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This light and summery cake is easy to make. It reminds me of tiramisu because of the mascarpone cream in the middle of each cookie layer.  Trust me, this is one cake that you will want to make.

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First, I took about 8 dozen (yes, you read that right, e-i-g-h-t) of my homemade Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies.   The original recipe calls for Chocolate Chip, but I’m a rebel.

You can use your favorite cookie recipe or store bought cookies.  I haven’t tried this recipe with store bought cookies, but if you do try store bought cookies make sure they are not “chewy” cookies.

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Then, I whipped together 8 oz. of mascarpone cheese, 3 cups of heavy whipping cream, 2 tbls. of sugar and 1 tsp. of vanilla into a heavenly cream.

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Take about 9 or 10 of the cookies and place them on a platter or cake stand and spread out a cup of Mascarpone cream on the cookies.

I opted for this pretty pink platter since I only have on cake stand, which I have photographed on this blog more than once.  Yes, I need more cake stands, preferably pretty and non-clear glass cake stands.

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Continue to layer the cookies and cream until you can go no more (about 5 to 6 layers).  I made 2 smaller cakes and even had some cookies left over.

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I finished off the cake with cocoa powder, but you can also finish it off with chocolate shavings.

Print

Cookie Cake

adapted from: martha stewart living magazine

Ingredients:

3 cups heavy whipping cream
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
roughly about 8 dozen chocolate chocolate chip cookies (or your favorite cookie) baked until crisp
cocoa powder for garnish

Directions:

Whisk together 3 cups cream, mascarpone, sugar and vanilla in a chilled bowl until medium-stiff peaks form.

Arrange 9 to 10 cookies in a circle and carefully spread 1 cup of mascarpone cream over the cookies, leaving a little border.

Repeat to form 6 to 7 more layers, finishing with the cream. Top with sifted cocoa powder for garnish.

Lightly drape plastic wrap over the top and place in the refrigerator for a couple hours to allow the cookies to soften and serve.

Deep Fried Oreos

This is an example of what happens when I am bored….

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funnel caked covered oreos (a.k.a. deep fried oreos)

 

I don’t know how these things happen, they just do.

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I had a bucket of funnel cake mix that I ordered from my son’s fundraiser back in December and I knew that I just had to use it.   It’s was calling my name.

There was no expiration date on the package (that I could see) so I figured it was still good to use.  My kids and I didn’t get sick so I assume that I was right about the mix ;).

I mixed the funnel cake mix according to the directions and noticed that the mix was very thick and dry, so I added more water to get the consistency I wanted.

Don’t have funnel cake mix handy, check out this funnel cake recipe.

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Then, I took a package of Oreos and dipped them in funnel cake batter until it was fully coated.

I fried them up in 1/2 inch of preheated oil in a skillet until golden brown on both sides.

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This is what I got.  Not bad for being bored.

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