Cold Tea Gingerbread with Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

by Divine Domesticity on August 31st, 2008

If I ever have my own bakery, this recipe is going on the menu. Delicious doesn't even begin to describe it. Moist and spicy with the pleasant tang of whipped cream cheese frosting. This recipe is from 1910 and from the amazing cookbook, Heirloom Baking with the Brass Sisters.

Cold Tea Gingerbread with Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes one 9" x 5" loaf


1 1/4 cups plus 2 Tbsp. sifted flour
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup cold tea (I used Honey Ginger Peach tea)
1 scant tsp. baking soda
1 Tbsp. hot water
1 egg, beaten

1. Set the oven rack in the middle position. Preheat the oven to 350-f degrees. Line the bottom and ends of a 9" x 5" x 3" loaf pan with a single strip of wax paper or parchment paper. Coat the pan and wax paper liner with vegetable spray. *I used Pam with Flour liberally and was able to skip the wax paper/parchment paper step. I love that little can of spray! It is a miracle!

2. Mix together flour, ginger, cinnamon, and salt.

3. Cream butter and brown sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add molasses and combine.

4. Add sifted dry ingredients alternately with cold tea. Dissolve baking soda in hot water and add to batter. Add egg and combine thoroughly.

5. Pour batter into loaf pan. Bake 45 minutes, or until tester inserted into loaf comes out clean. Cool in pan on raack for 20 minutes. Invert pan and place on rack to continue cooling. Serve gingerbread hot with lemon sauce or cold with whipped cream and chipped walnuts. Store loosely covered with wax paper at room temperature.

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1/2 cup white sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream (I used even less, probably half this amount, since it was all I had)

1. In a small bowl beat whipping cream until stiff peaks form; set aside.

2. In a large bowl combine cream cheese, sugar, salt and vanilla. Beat until smooth, then fold in whipped cream.

Adapted from Allrecipes.com

Kid Approved!

by Divine Domesticity on August 28th, 2008

I felt like trying out a silly little recipe this evening, so corndog muffins it was! I made a few changes. First I cut the recipe in half, only using 1 small package of corn muffin mix and 4 hot dogs. Second, I cut the hot dogs into small pieces. Third, my husband dislikes cheddar cheese, so I omitted the cheese from the recipe. I added a small slice of cheddar to about half of the muffins so I would still get some cheesy goodness. Fourth, I used cupcake liners, sprayed with Pam, which was a mistake. Use a good non-stick muffin pan instead.

You can serve these with a little yellow mustard or ketchup if you'd prefer. Enjoy!

Corndog Muffins

Makes 18 muffins

2 (8.5 ounce) packages cornbread mix
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
9 hot dogs, cut in half

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease muffin tins.

2. Stir together the cornbread mix and the brown sugar in a large bowl. Whisk the eggs and milk in a small bowl until smooth. Fold the eggs and cheese into the dry mixture until moistened. Spoon mixture into muffin tins until 2/3 full. Add 1 hot dog half to each muffin.

3. Bake in a preheated oven 14 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown.

I'm not sure what a nugat is, but if it were up to me, it would mean Goooood.

by Divine Domesticity on August 29th, 2007

Just a quickie recipe that is super delicious and easy to throw together on a weekend morning. Enjoy!

Bread Nugat
Makes one 8" round pan, several servings

1 can Pillsbury plain flavored biscuit
1/4 + 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
4 Tbsp. butter
1/8 c. dark brown sugar
1/3 c. evaporated milk

1. Pre-heat oven to 350-F degrees. In a bowl, mix 1/4 cup of sugar and cinnamon, set side.

2. Prepare a 8" cake pan, cut each biscuit into four pieces, coat each piece with the sugar mixture, place in the pan.

3. In a small pot, heat the evaporate milk, 1/4 cup sugar, brown sugar and butter to boil, immediately pour it over to the bread pieces.

4. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Serve warm.

Just a few bullets.

  • Bloglines is wacked! My apologies to my bloglines subscribers. For some unknown reason my old posts are constantly showing up as having been updated. Anyone know why this happens?? It drives me nuts.
  • Braxton Hicks contractions have started! I've been getting them every day, off and on, for the last few days. They aren't painful really...just uncomfortable.
  • I've added a "Status" feature to my sidebar that is inspired (or you could say, stolen) by Ari from Baking and Books. Check the top right sidebar for a daily update on what I am up to, what I am cooking, and perhaps, what movie star I've run off with in my crazy pregnancy dreams. The night before last it was Vin Diesel. Last night it was Charlie Hunnam. Oh and in all my dreams where I'm running off with them, I'm totally 9 months pregnant. Dream slut!
  • I'm trying really hard to make it through the first season of Twin Peaks. Oh the drama! All I can say is thank God for Kyle MacLachlan . His quirky butt makes the show bearable to watch.

They look like caterpillars but I don't care.

by Divine Domesticity on August 25th, 2008

I am taking the weekend off from blogging while some family visits (The good kind of family members that we actually like, har har) so I will see you on Monday with hopefully very delicious recipes for seafood pasta, homemade garlic bread, and also some cookies!

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy a little appy recipe I created during the last holiday season. Using the rosemary as skewers is purely optional. I just thought it would be cute for the presentation. :)



Vanilla Bean, Pineapple & Bacon Wraps with Rosemary Skewers

1/2 Vanilla bean, seeds removed (I used a whole bean, I think it may have been a tad too much)
1 can pineapple rings (Obviously, if you can get fresh, go for it)
1 package thin sliced bacon
Sprigs of Rosemary for skewering (optional)

1. Cut up pineapple into goodly sized chunks and mix with vanilla bean seeds until the seeds are evenly distributed.

2. Cut bacon slices in half, then wrap around a chunk of pineapple. Place with bacon tail ends down on a baking sheet.

3. Broil in oven for about 10 minutes, watching carefully so bacon doesn't burn. After cooling them for a bit, take a very small-width-ed (is that a word? I have no idea) knife and pierce through so Rosemary can easily sit inside. Serve and enjoy!

I will note that they taste significantly better when they aren't *piping hot* The heat brings out the heavy vanilla scent and leaves a strong after taste. If you let them cool down just a tad the after too-strong taste pretty much disappears.

Pregnancy Countdown

I am really not in the mood to think of clever post titles today. :)

In pregnancy news, the countdown has begun! Only 33 more days until my little girl's estimated due date. I am really not into taking personal belly shot pictures, so this is as good as it gets. The 8th month of pregnancy has literally BLOWN UP my belly. Kind of insane. Just a few weeks ago I was about to still wear my pre-pregnancy jeans, not comfortably or anything, but still, and NOW, now there is a good 4 inch gap between the jeans button and hole if I were to try to button them up. Hello comfy yoga pants and big maternity tees!

Oh, and some big news, WE PICKED A NAME!!

I am keeping it a secret till she is born though. The name we ended up with was one that had been a favorite of mine from the get go, and no matter what other name was suggested that was perfectly nice, I just couldn't see her named as anything else. My husband picked out the middle name and left the first name all up to me. What a great guy huh? He lets me do whatever I want.

Seriously, enough with the sweets already!

by Divine Domesticity on August 23rd, 2007

I'm in the mood for something savory. Something cheesy and comforting. How about the most delicious mac and cheese ever? Yes!

This is the ultimate mac and cheese. It has a delicious twist with some little chunks of pastrami thrown in, then it is topped with some buttery bread crumbs. Delicious!




Pastrami Mac and Cheese
Makes 4 to 6 Servings

4 Tbsp. butter, plus extra for the baking dish
1/2 lb. farfalle
1/4 c. flour
2 cups whole milk
2 cups (about 1/2 lb) grates sharp cheddar cheese
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 lb pastrami, diced (scant cup)
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper
10 Ritz crackers, pulsed in the food processor, about 1/3 cup crumbs

1. Preheat oven to 350-f degrees. Butter an 8 x 8-inch baking dish.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat and cook the farfalle until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain.

3. In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the 4 Tbsp. butter. Sprinkle the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until the flour is incorporated, about 1 minute. Gradually add the milk, stirring, and raise the heat to medium. Cook, stirring frequently, until almost boiling and smooth, about 5 minutes. Add the cheeses and stir until melted and incorporated, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the pastrami and lower the heat. Add the pasta and season with salt and pepper.

4. Transfer the pasta to the baking dish and top with the cracker crumbs. Bake until browned and bubbling, 20 to 25 minutes.

Recipe from The Comfort Food Cookbookby Joan Schwartz

I've never been a huge fan of pound cake.

by Divine Domesticity on August 22nd, 2007

Usually I find pound cake to be too dry, too crumbly. I'm embarrassed to admit that besides baking the occasional pound cake, Sara Lee was the only way I consumed the baked good. Finally, one day I decided to try a Paula Deen recipe for Sour Cream Pound Cake. Surely Miss Paula wouldn't lead me wrong?

She didn't. I found this pound cake to be more and more delicious by each passing day. On the third or fourth day it was absolutely scrumptious served with a bowl of fresh strawberries and whipped cream. If you can manage to have a bit of patience, let it sit for a day or two, at least after initially trying a slice. It just gets better and better.

Grandmother Paul's Sour Cream Pound Cake
Makes one pound cake

1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter
3 cups sugar
1 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups all-purpose flour
6 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

2. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Add the sour cream and mix until incorporated. Sift the baking soda and flour together. Add to the creamed mixture alternating with eggs, beating each egg 1 at a time. Add the vanilla and pour the mixture into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes.

Easy as banana ice cream.

by Divine Domesticity on August 20th, 2007

Are you ready for quite possibly the most simple recipe for ice cream ever?


Banana Ice Cream
Makes 2-4 servings

3-4 bananas (not too ripe)

And that is it!

I also added some caramel sauce and some mixed nut topping, but that isn't necessary as it is quite flavorful and delicious all on its own.

1. Slice the bananas into coins and lay on a piece of wax paper. Transfer to freezer and let them freeze for 1-2 hours.

2. Add the frozen banana slices to a food processor and process until creamy and extra smooth. This may take a few minutes. I had to stop a few times to scrape down the bowl. After the mixture was initially mixed and in very small pieces, I had to let it thaw for about 10 minutes when my processor blade wouldn't pick up the mixture as it was too hard. If this happens to you, just wait a few minutes and try processing again.

3. Eat within 2-3 days. Since this ice cream has no preservatives, it is best to eat it sooner rather than later. I prefer to eat it immediately after preparing. It should be the perfect soft-serve consistency after you finish processing it. Enjoy!

I'm a rockin' girl blogger!

Many thanks to the gorgeous Deb from The Humble Housewife who gave me the Rockin' Girl Blogger award a while back. The idea is that if you are nominated you in return nominate 5 girls who you think rock the internets.

If my nominees have already participated, or aren't much into these sorts of things, feel free to opt out. I hope you do though. :)

German Apple Pancakes, Ja!

by Divine Domesticity on August 19th, 2007


I made these little betties a while back and they were deeelicious. Warm, comforting, and very tasty. Of course, I like Martha's photo much better than my own, so I'm including it.

German Apple Pancakes
Makes 6 pancakes

2/3 cup flour
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cut into pieces (about 1 pound)
3 eggs
1/4 cup, light brown sugar
5 tablespoons granulated sugar plus more for tin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3/4 cup whole milk

Topping Ideas
Maple syrup
Fresh whipped cream
Strawberry jam
Extra confectioners' sugar
Fresh squeezed lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Brush melted butter inside each muffin cup; coat with granulated sugar.

2.An adult can peel, core,and slice each apple into twelve wedges, then cut each wedge into three pieces.Toss with brown sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice.

3. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat.Add the apples and saute, turning occasionally, for 10 to 12 minutes, until caramelized. Remove pan from stove; let cool 5 minutes. Divide the caramelized apples among the muffin cups.

4. Place flour, salt, granulated sugar, melted butter, eggs, and milk in the bowl of a food processor. Process for 3 minutes.

5. Pour batter over apples. An adult should place tin in oven and lower heat to 400 degrees. Bake 15 minutes. Pancakes will puff up during last 5 minutes of baking.

6.Take tin from oven and turn it over on a flat surface to remove pancakes. Dust with confectioners' sugar and serve immediately.

One Giant Pancake: If you prefer, you can make a traditional large pancake to share instead of six individual ones. Follow the steps for the recipe, using an 8-cup apple pan or a 10-inch nonstick ovenproof skillet or baking pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges become puffed and golden. An adult can run a knife along the edges of the pan and then, using potholders, turn out the finished pancake onto a serving platter, cut into wedges.

Recipe from Martha Stewart

Baby names and birth annoucements

First off, to answer Carrisa's comment, I will share the baby name probably when the baby is actually born -- but so far we have NOT picked out a name. Or to clarify, I have not decided on the name. I'm having such a hard time! My main problem is I can't find a middle name to work with the name I really like. So I start looking for other names to be used as a first name instead, and the cycles continues. Very frustrating. Also keep in mind that we had our pug puppy for about 2 weeks before I could decide on a name, so really, this isn't too surprising.

I found some baby annoucements that I love, but the only thing is they are pretty expensive. So I may go the cheapo route. But for the sake of recording what I really wanted, here they are:

I can't wait to meet her! Squee!

One of my absolute favorite cookies...

by Divine Domesticity on August 17th, 2008

Martha Stewart's Surprise Cookies. The cookie itself is chocolaty and moist. On top is gooey marshmallow with a smooth topper of chocolate frosting. Make them. Love them.

Surprise Cookies
Makes about 2 dozen

Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
12 large marshmallows, cut in half horizontally

1. Preheat oven to 375°. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg, milk, and vanilla, and beat until well combined. Add reserved flour mixture; mix on low speed until combined.

3. Using a tablespoon or 1 3/4-inch ice cream scoop, drop dough onto ungreased baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake until cookies begin to spread and become firm, 10 to 12 minutes.

4. Remove baking sheets from oven, and place a marshmallow, cut-side down, in the center of each cookie, pressing down slightly. Return to oven, and continue baking until marshmallows begins to melt, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

5. Spread about 1 tablespoon of frosting over each marshmallow, starting in the center and continuing outward until marshmallow is covered.

Chocolate Frosting
3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Place confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl. Whisk in butter and cocoa powder. Add milk and vanilla, and whisk until well combined.

Recipe from Martha Stewart Kids magazine

Baby Shower Rundown!

The baby shower was held in Kansas City, KS, which was a HOT place to be. I think we were experiencing at least 100 degree weather that day, plus high humidity. I made pretty much everything from the menu the day of the shower and managed to show up about 20 minutes late because there were still some food items to get ready at the last minute.

The clubhouse where we had the shower was decorated very sweetly and simply. Pink table clothes, a banner reading "It's a girl!" and some balloons and streamers hanging from the ceiling.

There was SO MUCH FOOD! There were tables set up across the length of room and they were FILLED with food! I couldn't believe we made that much.

We had invited about 25 people, men and women, and I think about 15-20 actually showed up. I was bracing myself incase NO ONE showed up, lol, but my husbands family is usually really good about attending family events. None of my family attended, but that was okay. I really only wanted my sister to come, but I totally understood that she couldn't make it (living far away in TX), so it was no biggie for me.

Right off the bat everyone ate, and ate, and ate. Everything tasted so great, it was hard not to pig out! After we finished up gorging ourselves, it was present opening time. We got a few things off of our registry, a few gift cards, and a few random gifts that were pretty awesome. My husbands cousin who had a baby just a few weeks ago packed a giant gift basket full of things that weren't on my registry that she thought were absolute necessities, which I appreciated very much.

My husbands family is very friendly and chatty, so we all hung out and talked in small groups for a few hours, then around 5pm everyone headed home.

You may notice that I never mentioned any baby shower games -- Well, I hate them! That was the one thing that I made clear right off the bat, NO GAMES! We had a great time just hanging out, eating, drinking beers on a hot hot day (for those that could drink, lol) and enjoying each others company.

The day after the shower we headed to Target in Kansas City (There is no target where I live now!) and bought a TON of stuff. All necessities, but still, a ton! It was a lot of fun to just throw things in the cart. We've been on such a tight budget the last few months and it was a blast to be able to put what we needed in the cart and just buy it.

Here are a few of the fun things we have either bought on our own, or received at the baby shower. I have bought most of my baby things half price off of ebay or amazon.com to cut down on insane baby costs.
We still have the big items to buy. One - a family car! We are going to have to find a cheap used car, pronto. I refuse to finance another car in my life (Hello Dave Ramsey!) so we are going to look around Wichita for a car to buy. Besides that, we need a stroller, a car seat and base, and a play pen. Luckily a family friend is going to let us use her crib and bassinet since her daughter has outgrown them. That will save a ton of money. The only thing is we wont get them until the end of August, so let's hope that the baby doesn't come early!

I am officially 8 1/2 months along now with 6 more weeks to go. The nursery still has a lot of work to be done in it. Eek! I'm not ready! :)

Baby Shower Recipes Continued

Party food. All of the following recipes were absolutely delicious. Party food. The best kind of food, in my opinion.

Pan Fried Onion Dip

12 servings - Recipe from Ina Garten

2 large yellow onions
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise, not light

1. Cut the onions in half and then slice them into 1/8-inch thick half-rounds. (You will have about 3 cups of onions.) Heat the butter and oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.

2. Add the onions, cayenne, salt, and pepper and saute for 10 minutes.

3. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 more minutes until the onions are browned and caramelized. Allow the onions to cool.

4. Place the cream cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until smooth.

5. Add the onions and mix well. Taste for seasonings. Serve at room temperature.

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Party Pinwheels
15 servings

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 (1 ounce) package ranch dressing mix
2 green onions, minced
4 (12 inch) flour tortillas
1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup diced celery
1 (2 ounce) can sliced black olives
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

1. In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, ranch dressing mix, and green onions. Spread this mixture on each tortilla. Sprinkle red pepper, celery, black olives, and cheese (if you'd like) over the cream cheese mixture. Roll up the tortillas, then wrap them tightly in aluminum foil.

2. Chill 2 hours or overnight. Cut off ends of the rolls, and slice the chilled rolls into 1 inch slices.

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Fluffy Fruit Dip
Many servings

2 (3 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix
1 cup milk
1/2 cup amaretto liqueur
1 (16 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed

1. In a medium bowl, mix together the vanilla pudding mix, milk and amaretto liqueur. Beat in the thawed frozen whipped topping. Chill 1 hour in the refrigerator before serving.

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Blueberry Cream Cheese Pound Cake
16 servings

1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
1 (16.5 ounce) can blueberries, drained, juice reserved
1 cup confectioners' sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan.

2. In a large bowl, stir together cake mix, pudding mix and sugar. Make a well in the center and pour in water, oil, eggs and cream cheese. Beat on low speed until blended. Scrape bowl, and beat 4 minutes on medium speed. Stir in the blueberries. Pour batter into prepared pan.

3. Bake in the preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

4. Make Glaze: In a small bowl, combine confectioners' sugar with 2 tablespoons reserved juice from the blueberries. Drizzle over cooled cake.

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Cherry Cream Cheese Tarts
12 servings

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 eggs
12 vanilla wafers
1 (21-ounce) can cherry pie filling or other pie filling

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Place a paper cupcake liner in each cup of muffin pan. Beat cream cheese with a handheld electric mixer until fluffy. Add sugar and vanilla, beating well. Add eggs, 1at a time, beating well after each addition. Lay a vanilla wafer, flat side down, in each muffin cup. Spoon cream cheese mixture over wafers. Bake for 20 minutes. Allow tarts to cool completely. Serve with cherry filling on top, or pie filling of your choice.

Photos from Allrecipes.com

Music



Music test

Best Spinach Dip Ever

by Divine Domesticity on August 14th, 2007

best ever spinach dip....didn't photograph so well, but it was good!Best Spinach Dip Ever
Makes one bread bowl dip
View printer friendly recipe 
 

1 cup mayonnaise
1 (16 ounce) container sour cream
1 (1.8 ounce) package dry leek soup mix
1 (4 ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and chopped
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 (1 pound) loaf round sourdough bread

1. In a medium bowl, mix together mayonnaise, sour cream, dry leek soup mix, water chestnuts and chopped spinach. Chill in the refrigerator 6 hours, or overnight.

2. Remove top and interior of sourdough bread. Fill with mayonnaise mixture. Tear removed bread chunks into pieces for dipping.


Chocolate Brownie Trifle
Makes one trifle

1 (19.8 ounce) package brownie mix (I like the Betty Crocker brand)
1 (3.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
1/2 cup water
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 (12 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 (1.5 ounce) bar chocolate candy

1. Prepare brownie mix according to package directions and cool completely. Cut into 1 inch squares.

2. In a large bowl, combine pudding mix, water and sweetened condensed milk. Mix until smooth, then fold in 8 ounces whipped topping until no streaks remain.

3. In a trifle bowl or glass serving dish, place half of the brownies, half of the pudding mixture and half of the 12 ounce container of whipped topping. Repeat layers. Shave chocolate onto top layer for garnish. Refrigerate 8 hours before serving.

The Baby Shower Menu!

It may not be very surprising to learn that to me the most fun part of my baby shower is going to be the food! Food food, glorious food!

I got to plan the menu myself, which was a lot of fun and satisfying. Here is what I came up with...any suggestions are more than welcome. The shower is Sunday so if you have any fantastic recipes to recommend, I'd need the links by Saturday morning at the latest. Thanks for any advice or suggestions!

Baby Shower Menu for Approx. 24 people

Appetizers
Pan-Fried Onion Dip with crackers
Best Spinach Dip Ever - Serve in a bread bowl with sourdough bread to dip with
Very Easy Shrimp Dip - along with plain shrimp & cocktail sauce as well (We ended up just serving the shrimp and cocktail sauce and skipping the dip)
Party Pinwheels (Tortillas with filling, cut into rounds)
My very special Corn, Cheese & Salsa Dip with Fritos Scoops

Sides
Fluff Dip with a variety of fresh fruit
Fruit Tray
Veggie Tray

Main Dish
Misc. deli meats & cheese tray with hoagie rolls + condiments + veggies

Desserts
Chocolate Trifle
Blueberry Cream Cheese Pound Cake
Tray of brownies
Cherry Cheesecake Tarts

Drinks
Sodas & waters
Beer

Oi vey, baby showers.

Well now that I've gotten all the drama out of my system, I am feeling much better! :)

My baby shower is this weekend, and while I'm looking forward to it, I'm also worried that nobody will show up. I think it is more of a pity baby shower than anything else, because if this one wasn't offered to me by my SIL, I wouldn't be having one since I don't know anyone in this town. Oh well though! I guess I'll take what I can get. Much to my surprise, a few things have been purchased off of my Target registry.

What I've noticed for the most part is that people attending baby showers tend to buy cute clothing or toys that they see in the store and completely ignore the registry. While the gift is still appreciated, sometimes what you really need is a diaper genie and a grooming kit. I was relieved to see a few items purchased for us which will help us out so much. When money is tight diapers and wipes make such a bigger impact than a cute outfit, if you know what I mean.

----------------------

I may not be back until next week. Have a good week and enjoy a new recipe!


Banana Coffeecake
Makes one 9" x 13" pan

1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. butter or margarine, softened
1-1/4 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2-1/4 cups AP flour
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Topping
1 c. chopped pecans
2 T. sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Beat the cream cheese, butter and sugar in a medium mixing bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla and bananas. Combine the flour, baking powder and baking soda; gradually add to the creamed mixture.

Combine topping ingredients; add half to the batter. Transfer to a greased 13" x 9" x 2" baking pan. Sprinkle with the remaining topping. Bake at 350-f degrees for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Makes 15 servings.

Life goes on...with Mild Spice Bites.

by Divine Domesticity on August 5th, 2008

I might as well just put it all out there. I'm in one of those moods today.

Now. How about a mild spice bite?





Mild Spice Bites
Makes about 60

3/4 c. light-flavor molasses
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. butter (no substitutes)
4 c. AP flour
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 eggs
Milk
Coarse decorating sugar or granulated sugar

Combine molasses, brown sugar, and butter in a large saucepan. Heat and stir until melted. Cool mixture about 20 minutes. Stir together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, and pepper in a large mixing bowl; set aside.

Beat eggs into cooled molasses mixture with a wooden spoon. Stir in flour mixture. Cover dough with plastic wrap, and chill for 1 to 2 hours or till easy to handle.

Divide dough into six equal portions. Roll each portion on a lightly floured surface into a 10-inch rope. Cut ropes diagonally into 3/4-inch pieces. Brush the top of each piece with milk, and dip in coarse sugar or granulated sugar; place 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake in a 375-f degrees oven for 7 to 8 minutes or till edges are firm and bottoms are lightly browned. Transfer to wire racks and cool.

Recipe from Better Homes and Gardens - Christmas Cookies 1999