Wednesday, May 14, 2014

I'm Still Alive!

Hey, everybody!  I realize it's been quite some time since my last post.... it turns out that entirely sane people do not attempt to work full-time, start going to graduate school full time for their MBA, have any semblance of a social life/family time, and run a blog at the same time.  Who would've thought?  I know some people could probably do that, but let's be honest, I'm not that talented. 

I still am going to post when I can, and I'm always active on my Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest page.  Please check back occasionally to see what I've been up to!  As always, thanks so incredibly much for all the love.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Cookie Butter Waffles

Real breakfasts are a rarity in this house.  We both work full time with a bit of a commute, so hubs usually has some cereal in the morning and I hurriedly grab some Greek yogurt and fruit to take with me to work.
Real exciting, right?  Weekend breakfasts are the only time we can have real breakfasts.  You know what I mean; the ones that take longer than 3 minutes to throw together.  The ones we don't have to eat over the sink because we're running late (just me?) 

Weekend breakfasts usually consist of savory things involving eggs, cheese, and bacon/sausage or sweet ingredients that are in the waffle, pancake or french toast family.  I rarely make the same thing because there are so many delicious breakfast recipes out there and I keep finding more.  Prime example: Alaina at Fabtastic Eats has the most delicious waffle recipe I found on Pinterest and just had to try this weekend... I'm so happy I did!  These are Cookie Butter Waffles drizzled in their very own complimentary Cookie Butter White Chocolate Syrup.  You guys - the syrup for these waffles is ridiculous.  It's an extra step, but don't skimp out and use regular because it's totally worth getting an extra pan dirty.  Do it.  I'm being bossy.
If anyone out there has NOT yet been exposed to Cookie Butter, this is the perfect opportunity to try it out.  However, I do recommend tasting it directly from the jar with a spoon first if you haven't tasted it plain already.  Think peanut butter consistency + gingerbread-y goodness from crushed Speculoos biscuits = out of this world.  On a related note, I used the last bit of my Cookie Butter for this recipe and there are no Trader Joe's in my area to replenish my stock*... who wants to send me some?!

*If you can't find Cookie Butter or don't live near a Trader Joe's, you can use Biscoff Spread which I can always find locally at my regular grocery store.

Cookie Butter Waffles with Cookie Butter White Chocolate Syrup:
Recipe from Fabtastic Eats
Makes about 5 waffles

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk (I used Skim)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup cookie butter

2 tablespoons white chocolate
1 tablespoon cookie butter
1/2 cup pure maple syrup

In a large bowl, mix together the flours, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.  In the bowl of your mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk together the brown sugar, eggs, milk and vanilla.  Stir in cookie butter until combined.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined.  Add batter to your waffle iron and cook according to your manufacturer's instructions. 

For the syrup: combine the white chocolate, cookie butter and maple syrup in a small saucepan over medium low heat.  Whisk until melted.  Serve over hot cookie butter waffles.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Monthly Mix-Ins

1.  We went to our friend Bob's lake house a few weekends ago and we were bummed because it poured all night and we couldn't have a bonfire. All was redeemed the next morning when we woke up and it was gloriously sun-shiny and beautiful! Check out that InstaNature.

2.  I went back to one of my old high school's football games for the first time in a few years and was immediately depressed at how much younger everyone looked than me.  It wasn't that long ago.... right?  It totally was.

3.  These Caramel Apple Bars from Inside BruCrew Life look amazing, and much easier to eat than  actual caramel apples.  Win.

4.  Anybody catch the Blacklist premiere on NBC?  James Spader is born to play super creepy bad guys and I love it.  I think we'll be hooked in a few episodes as it gets going.

5.  I try not to overdo it for the people that get pumpkin'd out (although I never could) but if you are ready to dive right into the pumpkin baking season, then go check out Brown Eyed Baker's 20 Pumpkin Recipe list.  They all look amazing.

6.  Gahhhh.... these cookies.  Rainbow sprinkles + glaze + sugar cookies = sugar overload AND I LOVE IT.  Try being sad when holding something covered in sprinkles... try.

7. Annnnd in honor of my beloved Eagles losing yet another game this past Sunday, I bring you 13 Pointless Observations Every Football Fan Makes About Their Team When It's Losing.  Except the Eagles should be listed under more than just #12.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

I am going to Jamaica over my one-year anniversary weekend (side note: how has it been one year?!?!) in just a few short weeks.  My boss brought in his wife's world-famous-ridiculously-amazing-drool-inducing German chocolate cake last Tuesday.  On Friday, I walk in and find two different kinds of pumpkin donuts sitting on my desk.  I brought in my usual plain Greek yogurt with blueberries for breakfast... but guess what prevailed?  Pumpkin donuts; no contest.
I swear the entire world knows when I'm trying to eat a bit healthier and kick my workouts up a notch and it just starts magically throwing baked goods in my face. Sigh. 

But I digress... what I really wanted to talk about was the fact that I made some cupcakes for an adorable coral and teal themed baby shower last weekend.  How awesome is that color scheme?  I think her nursery is modeled after these same colors, which I love.  Here were the invitations (I did some digging for you and found the same design on Etsy):
I made classic vanilla cupcakes with vanilla buttercream and some devil's food cupcakes with a rich chocolate buttercream.  I had a picture of the invitation beforehand, so I searched online and found adorable wrappers that matched the chevron and coral dots perfectly!  God bless the Internet.  I decided to pipe a little girly coral ruffle on the vanilla cupcakes to add some color and tie in the scheme.  Finally, I made cute little chevron toppers for the chocolate cupcakes with "Baby M" since they are still deciding on a name for their new little lady.  I had so much fun doing these!  I decided this would be the perfect opportunity to share my go-to chocolate buttercream.  Try using Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa with heavy cream in this recipe - it's to die for!
Chocolate Buttercream:
Makes enough to frost about 24 cupcakes

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened 
1 pound bag powdered sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder (you can use Special Dark cocoa powder as well!)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 tablespoons whole milk or heavy cream

Cream the butter for a few minutes in a mixer bowl on medium speed until light in color and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and cocoa to the mixing bowl.  Turn your mixer on the lowest speed until the sugar and cocoa are completely absorbed by the butter.

Add the vanilla, salt and milk/cream and beat on medium speed for about three minutes.  If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency for piping, add a little more powdered sugar. 

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