Babycakes for my baby

So today Adelaide bamboozled me. Yep … sure did. I’ve prided myself in the past on knowing when she’s faking but this morning she got me. She started to complaining that her “tummy was going in circles” when we were in the middle of breakfast. She (like her dad) can think her way into her sickbed and this has been a thing before. I figured it was the Monday-morning-don’t-want-to-go-to-school blues so I employed my usual tactic and encouraged to her continue getting ready for school. But when she told me 30 minutes later, “Mommy I’m 1000% I don’t fell good,” I second guessed my tough-love approach. So I told her she could stay home. But I DID make her pinky promise (that is the ultimate level of promise between us) that if she started to feel better that she would go to school.

Well … by 10 a.m. it was pretty apparent whatever “ailment” she had wasn’t there so I sat her down and reminded her of the pinky promise. By 10:30 a.m. we were in the car headed for her school. As I drove home, I just shook my head. I couldn’t believe she fooled me. She’s only five years old!

We also discussed why she didn’t want to go to school. It is heartwarming that my little girl wants to spend her days next to me, but it’s also heart-wrenching because she wants to so that she doesn’t have to feel the ache of separation anxiety  when we have to say goodbye for a little while.20160908_173218

So after school I busted out the Babycakes cake pop maker for my baby girl. Grandma gave this little gem to Adelaide as a Christmas gift and it has been a lot of fun. For a while my creativity was stunted and I just made plain ol’ cake pops using a box cake mix because they were easy to make with Adelaide and our decision to make them was usually spontaneous. A few weeks ago clouds lifted from my creative brain matter as I pondered the usual dinner dilemma and I thought, “Wait! I bet you can make all sorts of stuff in this thing!” And sure enough … you can. I found a ton of ideas online and have tried a few already.

Well … today we stayed simple because I was dying to try brownies in the cake pop maker! It was amazing. I used a box brownie mix and followed the directions to make cake-like brownies (I added a tiny bit more water because I like them a bit lighter) and viola! Delicious brownie balls. Some came out looking a little odd but delicious all the same. The brownie balls didn’t last the night and two-year-old Oliver definitely approved.

I recommend the Babycakes cake pop maker because, really, the options are endless with what you can do with it. It’s easy with kids who want to help make whatever you’re making, and the end product usual earns you extra cool-mom points and is just as impressive to adults.

Here are links to three of my favorite cake pop maker idea generators:

6 Things You Can Make in A Cake Pop Maker – Besides Cake by OneGoodThingByJillee

14 Things You Can Make For Dinner In A Cake Pop Maker by Diply

Tips & Recipes by Babycakes

 

 

 

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Denise’s Amazing Apple Dip

We were chatting in her kitchen (the usual spot) when my Aunt Denise started to make one of her newest creations … an apple dip. At first I was skeptical because the only apple dip I had ever had before was the super-sweet-sticky versions found in grocery stores (not my favorite). Well … I almost wish I hadn’t tried Denise’ apple dip because it is aahmaazing and I make it often (like tonight which is what prompted this post).

This recipe is extremely versatile and you can personalize it to your taste. You can adjust the peanut butter and sugar to match your taste and include whatever add-ins you want. My aunt likes to add caramel balls and mini M&Ms instead of the mini chocolate chips. My favorite version is below.

INGREDIENTS
8 oz cream cheese
1/3 cup peanut butter (more or less depending on your taste)
1/3 cup white sugar (you can reduce this depending on your taste)
1/3 cup brown sugar
Mini chocolate chips (however much you want)
Heath chips (however much you want)

Whip the cream cheese with an electric beater. Add peanut butter and whip it until light. Add the sugar until well blended. Mix in the chocolate chips and heath chips. Serve with sliced apples.

Crunchy Couscous Galette (leftover couscous heaven)

So I ALWAYS have leftover couscous. I never seem to make the perfect amount for my family or maybe I’m too optimistic on their consumption of the lovely grain but I’m the only one who eats it … whatever.

I had leftover couscous with mushrooms that was on its last day of usability so I Googled some options and found this gem on Food & Wine’s site. I was thrilled with the result. It is a definite keeper and I’m not the only one who thinks so. In fact, by the time I went to take a picture of the masterpiece, my husband had eaten it all. So thanks Jonny Valiant for use of your pic.

INGREDIENTS

  1. 4 tablespoons unsalted butter*
  2. 1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots*
  3. 2 cups couscous*
  4. 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth*
  5. Salt
  6. 3 large eggs
  7. 2 cups shredded cheese
  8. Freshly ground pepper
  9. 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive

* Omit and use leftover couscous if you have it.

DirectionS

  1.  In a large saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the shallots and cook over high heat, stirring, until softened, 2 minutes. Add the couscous and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the broth and a pinch of salt, cover and let stand for 5 minutes, until the liquid has been absorbed. (THIS STEP WOULD BE OMITTED IF YOU ARE USING LEFTOVER COUSCOUS)
  2.  Fluff the couscous and scrape it into a large bowl. Let it cool a bit if it’s hot. Stir in the eggs and cheese and season with salt and pepper.
  3.  Preheat the broiler. In a large nonstick skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in the oil. Spread the couscous mixture in the skillet. Dot with the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and cook over moderately high heat until golden on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Broil the galette 8 inches from the heat for about 5 minutes, until golden and sizzling. Using oven mitts, invert a large plate over the skillet. Carefully flip the galette out onto the plate, cut into wedges and serve.

See the original recipe here.

STRAWBERRY CAKE MIX DONUTS a.k.a. “Pink Donuts”

I came across this easy donut recipe from onsugarmountain.com and instantly put it on deck to make with Adelaide. So … we did this Saturday when we finally had a lazy morning while Daddy was out golfing and Oliver was taking an amazing God-knew-I-needed-it long nap.

These donuts were super easy to make and really good. We ate them plain and then had to stop ourselves so we would have some to eat with frosting. I have a donut baking pan so that’s what I used but a mini donut maker would work fine, too.  You’ll also see my substitutions. Since I live in Tobago, I often don’t have all ingredients but I always find a workaround.

Adelaide calls these “Pink Donuts.”

  • 1 box Strawberry Cake Mix
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk (I substituted with what I had: milk and a bit of vinegar)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp melted (and slightly cooled) butter
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and spray donut pan with cooking spray.
  2. Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl and beat with electric hand mixer until the batter is smooth.
  3. Pour donut batter into a ziploc bag, then cut the corner to pipe donut batter into your pan. I fill it a little less than half full to get a good donut shape (and it’s easier to come out of the pan).
  4. Bake for about 5 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a donut comes out clean.
  5. Let cool on wire rack while you make the frosting

Glaze/frosting:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 to 2 tbsp heavy cream (I substituted with what I had one hand: skim milk and a bit of cooled melted butter)
  1. Whisk together sugar and cream/milk until a thick glaze forms. You can adjust the amount of heavy cream to get the right consistency.
  2. Dip half of donut into frosting, then cover with sprinkles and let sit until dry.

Thanks to Jessica Gonzalez | On Sugar Mountain

Hootenanny – German Pancakes

If awesomeness were measured by pages I think 540 PAGES in the Borg Family Cookbook is a close indication of how awesome my family is. What else is awesome? The Hootenanny German Pancake on page 70 and my cousin Kelli Rivera’s description of the breakfast delight.

“Once upon a time Mr. Pancake saw Mrs. French Toast, they fell in love and had a child. It was named Hootenanny – or was that how they made the child? Regardless, this is the beautiful combination of pancakes and French toast in one wonderfully simple and quick dish. My kids love to watch it bake because it bubbles up in crazy forms. I forgot to mention it is delicious!”

1/2 cup butter, melted (I use less)

My kids love how the Hootenanny German Pancake rises up all crazy.

My kids love how the Hootenanny German Pancake rises up all crazy.

6 eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt1 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Pour the melted butter in a 9×13 baking .
  3. Beat the eggs, milk, salt, cinnamon, vanilla, and nutmeg until frothy.
  4. Whisk in the flour until well combined.
  5. Pour over the melted butter in the baking dish. Do not stir.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes or until the center is set and the edges arebrowned.
  7. Serve with maple syrup or powdered sugar and fruit.