Dolls Gone Wild

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Drunk Cake for 21st Birthday

My demon child turned 21 recently. Being the awesome mom I am I decided to make her a drunk Barbie cake. If you look these up on Pinterest you see Barbie is usually bent over a toilet vomiting sprinkles. Cute, but I wanted to do more of a Barbie Gone Wild theme.

Normally I would bake the cake myself but this time I cheated and bought a small cake from our local grocery store.

I bought a swimsuit Barbie doll, the swimsuit would be her underwear. She had to have dark hair to match my daughters.

I hit up the ABC store to grab a few shot bottles. Once home I emptied a few of them. I will let you speculate on how.

I tried to gently sit the doll upon the cake, she kept wanting to fall off the cake. She’s such a drunk! I ended up just pushing her rump down into the cake. I placed the liquor bottles on the cake and the 21 candle.

Bam! Done!

My daughter LOVED it! She had a great birthday and Barbie had a really really good time.

 

Before the booze got to her

Before the booze got to her

the cakego home barbie you're drunk

We did not let her drive her dream car home.

We did not let her drive the dream car home.

You Gotha Try This Banana Pudding, Pt. 3 of a Family Food Saga

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banana pudding 4

Banana Pudding. There’s a hundred recipes out there, each one claiming to be the best. How do you determine which is the best? Easy, it’s the one you grew up on. See, it is not about the taste when it comes to banana pudding (unless you find yourself face to face with a bowl made by someone who doesn’t know what the hell they’re doing), banana pudding is about memories.

I come from a big family. BIG. Not only do we breed like bunnies but once you become friends with someone in the family, you become family. There’s no getting out either. Kind of like the mafia but with less violence.

With a big family and the merging with other families comes many variations of banana pudding. To me each one is good. One does stand out above the rest but for the sake of family peace I will not name names. Over the years I have learned these recipes and have combined the best of each one to make…‘You Gotha Taste This Banana Pudding’. I’m sure the name won’t catch on but I think once you try this banana pudding recipe you just might be hooked.

You Gotha Taste this Banana Pudding

Ingredients:

Bananas

Vanilla Wafers

Vanilla instant pudding, 2 small boxes

2 ½ cups milk

1 small tub of cool whip, thawed

½ small can of condensed milk about 7 ounces.

2 tsp. vanilla extract

In a large bowl mix the 2 boxes of pudding with 2 ½ cups milk. I use a hand mixer. Once mixed add condensed milk (you can use the whole can but your banana pudding will be way to sweet) along with the vanilla extract. Beat until it has a smooth pudding consistency and has started to thicken up slightly. Gently fold on the cool whip. I put my pudding mixture in fridge until I’m ready to assemble.

Just the pudding and milk

Just the pudding and milk

With cool whip added

With cool whip added

While you’re pudding mixture is chilling out in the fridge, take a handful of vanilla wafers, place them into a Ziploc bag, and seal it.

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Find a weapon, I use a hammer with a dishrag or small hand towel laid over the bag (this prevents the hammer from tearing open the bag). Now beat the wafers. Beat them until they are vanilla crumbs. This will be the topping.

Beating the wafers. Ignore my chipped nail polish

Beat the wafers. Chipped nail polish is optional.

wafers to crumbs

wafers to crumbs

Slice your bananas. The amount depends pretty much on what you have on hand. I usually have a lot since my dad is always coming by with a bag of bananas he found on sale. I swear that man has not met a banana he didn’t like.

I just toss the banana slices into the cool whip bowl. No need to dirty extra dishes.

I just toss the banana slices into the cool whip bowl. No need to dirty extra dishes.

Once the bananas are sliced it’s time to get assembling. A pretty bowl or casserole dish is what you need.

Line the bottom of your bowl/dish with vanilla wafers. Spoon half of your pudding mixture over wafers. Add a layer of bananas. Repeat.

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Wafers, pudding mixture and banana.

Wafers, pudding mixture and banana.

Now the top is up to you. Some people line the top with whole wafers while others sprinkle the top with wafers crumbs. There are even those who lay down another layer of wafers, cover with a layer of just plain cool whip then sprinkle wafer crumbs. No wrong choice here. Cover with foil and allow to sit in the fridge a few hours.

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An important note: if you are making this dish for a get together you must make a small bowl of banana pudding and put in fridge. Why? Because if it’s like my family gatherings you’re not going to get any of it unless you do this.

Cover with foil and let chill in fridge for a few hours.

Bowl I made for myself as I was assembling the banana pudding

Bowl I made for myself as I was assembling the banana pudding

banana pudding 3

banana pudding 2

banana pudding 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

Super Bowl of Disaster

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In baking sometimes things can go wrong, sometimes they go Titanic. The ship is sinking with no hope for rescue. That happened today. One baking pin went wrong and one went Titanic.

Pin 1:
Baking pancake mix in muffin tins to create a pancake bowl. I ended up with pancake muffins. So I didn’t get my pancake bowl, no problem. I just cooked up some sausage patties and made pancake/sausage breakfast sandwiches. Pretty tasty.

Pin 2:
Turning your muffin pan upside down to make cookie bowls. Yeah…that one was a disaster. No survivors. I have burnt cookie pieces in my hair, a pan that almost did not come clean and a husband who is still laughing at me. I will laugh about this one day also. Just not today.

The pancake bowl. I followed the instructions so I don’t know what went wrong. I will check out more pancake bowls pins and see if I can do something different next time. When I finally get it right I will share the experience with you.

Tasty pancake sausage biscuit

Tasty pancake sausage biscuit

The cookie bowl. It was a last minute thing, I was baking cookies for tomorrows family dinner. I was down to the last bit of dough when I spotted my muffin pan sitting innocently in the dish rack drying. I got an idea (obliviously this was my first mistake). I remembered a pin, if was just a photo with no instructions, but it looked easy enough.
So I flipped the pan over, gave it a nice coat of cooking spray, slapped on the cookie dough and popped it into the oven. The pin showed the cookie down covering each muffin tin completely. I worried I didn’t use enough cookie dough, I didn‘t have much dough left. Apparently it does not take much cookie dough to make a bowl. I used too much and ended up with a darn big mess.

Prelude to the horror

Prelude to the horror


Cookie was baked/burnt onto the pan. I had to get a butter knife to fight and scrape the cookie mess off the pan. Burnt cookie was going everywhere. EVERYWHERE. All over my nice clean counter, the floor, my hair, I even had some crumbs get into my eye. I did learn that saying curse words at burnt cookie stuck to a pan does not do a thing to help get it off the pan. I did go seek out other pins. Next time I will mold aluminum foil to the muffin tin. I will also use less cookie dough per bowl. Hopefully I will have success next time.
Shameful

Shameful


Oh the horror!

Oh the horror!

Yummy Indoor S’mores

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The universe talks to us all. We just have to learn to listen. For example I had bought some of the new Hershey chocolate spread to try out. It was Wednesday. Thursday I come home from work to find a surprise left for me on my kitchen counter, marshmallow Peeps. My dad had got them for me after Easter and just decided that Thursday afternoon it was time to give them to me. So almost an hour later that same day I open up the sales paper from our local grocery store. Graham crackers were buy one get one free. Yes universe I hear you loud and clear…you want me to have smores.
Can’t fight fate people.
So later that evening I was enjoying a couple of indoor S’mores. To top it off I was enjoying my snack while wearing my ‘Chillin with my Peeps’ t-shirt.
Happy, I was so very happy. It seems toasting little yellow marshmallow bunnies puts a little lightness in my dark soul.

Indoor S’mores

You need:
Hershey chocolate spread
Marshmallow (peeps or the regular)
Graham crackers

The Gang

The Gang

Turn oven on to the broil setting. Take one of your graham crackers spread on the Hershey’s heavenly spread. Set aside. Put marshmallow on other graham cracker, place on cookie sheet.

The sacrifice

Pop that marshmallow in the oven. Watch closely. When the marshmallow is brown to your preference remove from oven.

Toasty Bunny

Toasty Bunny

Now marry the toasted bunny up to the chocolate covered graham cracker. Now you have a sandwich of gooey marshmallow chocolate happiness. Also known as S’mores.

After doing all that there are two things left to do: sit back and enjoy.

Yummy Indoor S'mores

Yummy Indoor S’mores

Loaded Blueberry Chia Muffins

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muffin

I have several boxes of blueberry muffin mix. It was on sale the other week along with chocolate chip cookie mix. It was a GOOD sale, too good to pass up. So I got two boxes of each. The next day here comes my dad with three boxes of each. He said it was a great deal and plus he thought it would be nice for his daughter to bake him some blueberry bread. The story doesn’t end there. Later that day as my husband comes home from work he announces, “hey look what was on sale”. Yes he got two boxes of blueberry muffin mix. I open the pantry door and reply to him, “yes I know it was on sale.” He sees all the boxes, laughs and replies, “Well at least we’ll have muffins during an apocalypse.”

So three boxes of muffins later I really wanted to change them up some. I decided to bake some to freeze them for workday breakfasts. Now if I’m going to have a muffin for breakfast I want it to fill me up. I opened my cabinets to see what I could throw in with the mix. There was my new Chia seeds. I can replace the eggs with that. I spotted some walnuts, some sunflower seeds, a packet of granola and some toasted coconut. I thought to myself, ‘what the hell throw it all in.”

And I did. The result: a muffin that filled me up and tasted pretty good. I did go overboard with the sunflower seeds, the taste almost overpowered everything else. So I will cut the amount in half next time. They are small muffins, at first I thought I would need two to fill me up. No. One was plenty. Is this a muffin your kids will like? Doubt it. Is this a muffin you will like? I hope you give it a go to find out.

A little something I want to share: I think the muffins would have risen more if I had used eggs instead of Chia seeds. I did bake a loaf of blueberry bread later that week, the only thing I changed in the recipe was using Chia seeds in place of eggs. I ended up with a tasty but a much smaller loaf than usual. Something I need to investigate further.
Do you replace your eggs with Chia seeds? If so, how does it work for you?

Gotha’s Loaded Blueberry Chia Muffins

1 blueberry muffin mix (or your favorite blueberry muffin)
Chia seeds to replace 3 eggs (3 tbsp chia + 9 tbsp water, sit to side for 15 mins)
½ c. water
1/3 c. oil (I used coconut)
½ c. walnuts
1 ½ tbsp. sunflower seeds
¼ c. granola
3 tbsp. coconut flakes
Blueberries (can that came with mix)

After your chia seeds have absorbed all the water and is gel like, add the seeds, mix, water and oil to a large bowl. Mix by hand.
Add walnuts, granola, sunflower seeds and coconut flakes. Mix.
Last add your blueberries. Fold them in gently.
Fill muffin tins.
Bake 20 minutes at 400 degrees.
This made a dozen.

Don’t judge a muffin by its picture. These aren’t picture perfect muffins but they are tasty.

Add 9 tbsp. of water to 3 tbsp. of seed. Let sit for 15 minutes. Replaces 3 eggs.

Add 9 tbsp. of water to 3 tbsp. of seed. Let sit for 15 minutes. Replaces 3 eggs.

Those nutty nuts

Those nutty nuts

The muffins aren't going to rise much at all.

The muffins aren’t going to rise much at all.

The small but filling Loaded Blueberry Chia Muffin

The small but filling Loaded Blueberry Chia Muffin

 

 

 

 

 

Great Balls of Sausage. Part 1 of a Family Food Saga

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sausage balls 3

My family loves food. Especially the food at family gatherings. Over the next few months I will share with you the must have foods at these gatherings. Some will be ones I tweaked using recipes from Pinterest. The rest will be the exact recipes my family uses because some recipes are perfect and need no tweaking

Here is the list of my family favorites:
Sausage balls. A must have yet there is never enough. These things go fast.

Watergate salad. Not a salad at all just plain awesome dessert. This is the one I usually make unless I’m experimenting with a new recipe.

Shirley’s pineapple cake. My mom has been making this cake forever. People fight over this cake, I’m talking family feuds. She usually makes 2 of these. If she would start making 3 maybe I could bring some home for once. (That is a hint mom). I’m not sure if it has an official name. we just call it Shirley’s cake, well I call it Mom’s cake.

Anita’s cheese ball. We have this at family holidays. Weddings. Baby showers. Parties. Basically anytime we can think of an excuse to have Anita make one.

Sandra’s Spinach dip. A great dip even the spinach haters love. If Sandra neglects to make it for a gathering people get mad. MAD.

Cathy’s broccoli cheese casserole. This is always the last thing to arrive at our gatherings. Usually after everyone’s plate is made but we all make a dash for it when it does arrive. Why is it always last you ask? Because Cathy is always late for gatherings. I tell everyone if the party is at 3 tell Cathy it is at 2 and she might make it on time. No one listens to me.

Okay let’s start this series off with sausage balls. It’s a simple recipe but one that can go downhill quick if something is slightly off. When cousin Crystal makes them they are always perfect. The rest of us don’t succeed in perfect a lot with these. Usually the balls end up too dry. I decided to hit Pinterest to find a fool proof sausage ball recipe. You know what? I succeeded.

I did not get pictures of the process. My hands were covered in sausage gunk. I did not want to risk getting anything gunky on my camera. The husband would kill me, it was a gift from him. I think it was more of a bribe. His way of saying, here go pursue your photography hobby and leave me alone to watch football, racing, wrestling or the movie Gladiator for the millionth time. FYI: no matter what he watches it ends up the same way. Him asleep on the couch. Funny how he always knows when I get ready to change the channel. He sits up like a launched rocket while loudly declaring, “Stop! I’m watching that!”

Now that I got off topic let’s get back to the sausage balls. One simple ingredient added to the recipe is all it takes to prevent the dreaded dry sausage ball. Cream cheese. Thank you Pinterest pinners!

SAUSAGE BALLS

Ingredients:
1 lb. mild or hot sausage
1 8 oz. package of cream cheese. Softened.
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese

Mix with a stand up mixer with the bread hook. Or if you’re like me and can’t afford a stand up mixer just dive in with your hands. Washed hands hopefully. Mix, squeeze, roll, fold. Get everything mixed well. Roll into 1 inch balls. Place on a baking sheet.
Bake in a 400 degree preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes until brown.
These were tasty and not dry. I did not make these for a family gathering I just wanted to test out this recipe. What I ended up doing with all these sausage balls was dividing them up in several baggies and over the next few mornings the husband and I would just grab a bag as we headed out the door to work.

Thank you for joining me on part 1 of the family food saga. I will add other parts as I am able to get family members to part with their recipes. Hopefully they won’t hold out on me too long.

Great tasting moist sausage balls.

Great tasting moist sausage balls.

 

Coconut Sugar Candied Pecans

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yummy

So it’s 5:15 a.m., I just saw my husband off to work a little before 5. I don’t have to be at work till 8. Usually I go back to sleep after kissing him goodbye. I was lying in bed trying to go back to sleep but all I could think about was a zombie apocalypse and candied pecans. So at 5:05 I get back up and hit the kitchen. I am obsessing about a zombie apocalypse because I’m outlining a new story about…you guessed it, a zombie apocalypse. So a little after 5 in the morning I’m jotting down zombie ideas and making candied pecans. I’m also making pancakes for my breakfast. And cleaning the kitchen. And doing laundry. I am a multi-tasking fool today.

Yes I have shared the candied pecan recipe before but I just got a bag of coconut palm sugar. This recipe has been begging me to try it with the coconut sugar instead of plain sugar.

So let me tell you about my coconut palm sugar. I opened the bag and this wonderful aroma hit me. I think that is what Heaven must smell like.

So what is coconut palm sugar you ask? Well if you been paying attention you know it is Heaven in a bag.

What it is and I’m quoting the bag here, “it is a brown sugar which is produced by tapping the sweet nectar from the coconut palm tree flower and drying the juice in a large open kettle drum. The juice condenses into the brown sugar.” I still think heaven in a bag is a much better description.

My original recipe using regular sugar calls for cinnamon. I haven’t tasted the coconut sugar yet. So I don’t know how strong or if any coconut flavor there is. To me coconut and cinnamon don’t jive well together. So I decide to omit the cinnamon.

I really liked how these pecans turned out. Even though the coconut palm sugar has a coconutty (yes I made that word up, don’t judge) smell to me it didn’t have a strong coconut flavor. So if you want to add a touch of cinnamon to the recipe your pecans should be fine.

I will give measurements for a full batch but I only made half a batch. The husband had dental surgery so he can only eat soft foods for awhile. I didn’t want to make a full batch and run the risk me eating a whole pound of candied pecans. This way I only do half as much damage to my already doomed waistline.

Coconut Sugar Candied Pecans

Ingredients:

1 cup coconut palm sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
2 egg whites
2 tablespoons water
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound pecan halves

Directions:

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or use a silicone baking mat..

In a bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon and salt. Mix well, you may have to fight a few lumps to break them up. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the egg whites, water and vanilla extract. Add your cinnamon/sugar mixture, stir. Add the pecans to the bowl and stir with a rubber spatula, making sure they are all coated.

Pour the coated pecans onto the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 1 hour, stirring them every 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature. The pecans can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. (but they will be long gone by then, well they are at my house).

Dry mix

Dry mix

Wet mix

Wet mix

Ready for the oven

Ready for the oven

Oh what a mess. Luckily clean up I easy thanks to this silicone baking mat my sister gave me.

Oh what a mess. Luckily clean up was easy thanks to this silicone baking mat my sister gave me.

Now go make some coconut sugar candied pecans for yourself. I’m going to go eat the rest of mine.

Oh so yummy

Oh so yummy