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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Pumpkin Pie Cake

Or if you're not a family that loves Pumpkin Pie (like mine), here is a yummy and easy cake to make instead.

What you'll need:

15 oz can Pumpkin
2 Eggs
1/3 C Milk
2 t Vanilla
1/4 C Oil
1 3/4 C Flour
1 C Sugar
1/3 C Brown Sugar
1 t baking Soda
1/2 t salt
1 t Nutmeg
2 t Cinnamon

Mix the wet ingredients, add the dry. I used a whisk to get out all of the lumps. Pour into sprayed bundt pan. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for about 35-40 minutes. Check with tester (stick a skewer in the middle of the cake and if it comes out with out wet batter, it's done), if it comes out clean, you're good to go.

Cool for 10 minutes and invert on plate. Frost lightly with cream cheese frosting. Serve.

This is my recipe for cream cheese frosting. I probably used a third of this recipe and put the rest in the fridge for another day.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 brick Cream Cheese~softened, yep low fat
1 stick butter~softened
2 t Vanilla
4 C Powdered Sugar

Mix together and frost

Ready for the oven

Out of the oven

Ready to eat

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

French Silk Pie

What's on your dessert table this Thanksgiving?? Max would not consider it a holiday without this pie. I bought one a couple of months back at Baker's Square because Claire had to bring a dessert to school and I couldn't make it. Have you bought one lately?? SKIMPY!? It just confirmed my reasons as to why I make things at home and they taste better.

These photos are my repeat so it's with a traditional pie crust.

What you'll need:

1 C softened Butter
1 1/2 C Sugar
4 (1 oz) squares unsweetened baking chocolate, melted and cooled
2 t Vanilla
4 Pasteurized Eggs
1 pie crust...I use a frozen one that I cook first or an Oreo Crust

Melt chocolate in microwave or on the stove top. Cool for about 5 minutes. Cream your butter and sugar with an electric mixer for a couple of minutes. IF you have a Kitchen Aid, this is a recipe to use it on. Use the whisk attachment.

Add melted chocolate and vanilla and beat, you might want to scrape down the side of the bowl. Turn the speed up to a 6 on your mixer and add an egg, beat for 3 minutes, keep adding eggs until all 4 are added, beating 3 minutes after each addition. Pour mixture into prepared crust, cover with some Saran Wrap and chill at least 2 hours before topping with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

To make the whipped cream

Small container of Whipping Cream
1 t Vanilla extract

Whip it until it's firming up. Add 3/4 Powdered Sugar and whip until stiff. Top pie.

To make Chocolate shavings, I just used a peeler and peel a Hershey's chocolate bar over the top.

After you've beaten your butter and sugar, add cooled melted chocolate
Ready to chill, I put some saran wrap on top just to be sure it wouldn't get chewy.
Top with Whipped Cream and chocolate shavings

Monday, November 19, 2012


Someone's birthday is around the corner and you "have" to find the right card.  You go to the store, read a bunch of stupid cards and pick the least "stupid" one, pay $4 for the pleasure and send it off.  Honestly, I have stopped buying cards unless it's for someone that I absolutely can't see OR on the rare occasion I find one that makes me smile. 

Well, today that all changed.  I just found out about this new thing that Shutterfly is doing and I HAD to share.

Treat is Shutterfly’s exciting new greeting card brand that makes it easy for people to create and send one-of-a-kind greeting cards. Treat cards are perfect for holidays, birthdays, congrats, thank yous and every occasion in between. It’s crazy fun. It’s super easy. And it’s totally personal.

With the holiday fast approaching, we want to leverage the cheer/spirit that the holiday season brings for people and inspire them to let that special someone know that they’re thinking of them, with a totally unique, personalized greeting card from Treat.
Sample messaging:  Your holiday checklist just got shorter. Create and send a totally personalized greeting card from Treat for FREE. Whether saying thanks for Thanksgiving, wishing a best friend a holiday birthday, or simply sharing the holiday cheer with a just because card, Treat lets you create a one-of-a-kind card that is sure to impress.

HERE is the totally FUN free Treat card good only on Monday 11/19 & Tuesday 11/20 for YOU!!
Here's your Code: TREATBLOGR

Check it out!!

This is a sponsored post from Shutterfly.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Chicken and Rice

I am guessing you've figured out my secret?  That I have been completely unorganized, busy running around and not digging the "fall back" of the clocks.  My body REALLY doesn't like the lack of sunshine.  I'm writing that off to why I am so completely scattered.  So, I'm taking my B12, Vitamin D and squeezing in a nap here and there and hope to be get my groove back. 

I made this one chilly night when I was really craving comfort food but was completely lacking ambition.  It took all of 10 minutes to throw together, an hour to cook so I could grab a quick nap and it hit the spot for me.  I realize that probably everyone has either seen this recipe, made it or at the very least eaten it somewhere but it was the first time I had made it so I thought I'd let you know how easy it was.

My kids ate it, they don't love anything mixed together and this was considered "mixed".  Yes, I know, it's rice and it's chicken but, well, yeah, I'm out of excuses for these children.  They eat it or they eat cereal, I don't really sweat it anymore and they ate it.

Here's what you'll need:

Package of Chicken Breast, mine was 1 1/4 lb
Can of Cream of Chicken Soup ~ I use 98% fat free
1 C fat free Half and Half ~ you can use water, chicken broth, milk
3/4 C White Rice ~ not instant
1/2 t Onion Powder
1/2 t Garlic Powder
1/4 t Pepper
1/2 C Mozzarella Cheese shredded

Whisk together the soup, Half and Half and seasoning together.  Add rice and pour into a sprayed casserole dish (I used my small pot since I was too lazy to dig out my pyrex).  Cut each chicken breast into thirds and sprinkle with Season salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Place around the rice mixture.  Sprinkle cheese over the top.  Cover and bake at 350 for 1 hour.  Serve with your favorite vegetable or if you have kids that aren't fussy, toss the raw or frozen vegetable in with the rice and bake it all together.

                Ready for the oven
Top with Cheese
                                       Dinner is served
Makes 4 servings

Friday, November 9, 2012


Max got to be part of something pretty amazing this past weekend.  He played in the WORLD's largest hockey tournament in Chicago.  562 teams from 30+ states, 7 provinces and 8 different countries.

I will admit that I wasn't as excited as Max.  It was an expensive tournament that involved a road trip...on a bus...with 30 other people.  Road trips are not my favorite, might go back to 6th grade when we did a family "driving" vacation.  We were driving across the desert, the air conditioning had broke the day before, it was over 100 degrees and my brother was laying over the top of the seat (this was before we wore seat belts) moaning in my face, "I need Agua.  I need AGUA", over and over again.  Good lord, give the kid a glass of water already because I still hear his voice clearly 35 years later when I get in a car!

Did I mention that I also "sometimes" get car sick (yes, it happened and it sucked)?  And, although I knew to some extent, it quickly became abundantly clear that I am someone who should be part of the planning and not just following the pack OR I need to get a prescription for Xanax if I don't. 

But this is Max's last year of association hockey.  I have a small panic attack whenever I think of that because it means that his childhood is coming to an end.  YES, I know he's 15 but he started association hockey when he was 4 so in my "head" it is still part of his childhood.  It is another milestone and I want to be there for every second of it.

So, we boarded a bus last Thursday morning for three days of hockey.  We played New York, California, Toronto and Michigan.  They did a lot of homework on the bus, a little sight seeing around town, ate some Chicago Deep Dish (my personal fav Giordano's Spinach!!  If you go to Chicago it is a MUST eat.) and most importantly became a team in every sense of the word.

Because we were on a bus and together pretty much the entire time, I had a LOT of time to observe.  The coolest thing I noticed was that boys weren't attached to one person or clique, they all worked the room basically.  They were supportive and respectful of each other AND they used their manners.  I heard please and thank you without prompting and saw doors being held without a second thought.  I saw a bunch of boys who showed heart on and off the ice and it made me proud to be a hockey Mom.

I also got to see what our coaches were made of and I was completely impressed.  They had a system in place for the weekend.  They helped the boys with their homework, knew when to be a friend and when to be a coach and admitted when they made mistakes.  During some tough games they taught the boys how to dig deep and see what they were made of.  They held them accountable without the boys even realizing it.  No easy task with a bunch of hormone driven teenagers.  My hat is off to them.

At the end of the weekend, we found ourselves tied for first in pool play but didn't advance because of tournament tie-breaker rules.  We were ONE goal away from moving on to the championship round!!  If you want to read the full story, we were featured here.

If this first tournament was a taste of what the season has in store, I think it might be something special.

                                 Boarding the bus

                                 Michigan Avenue

                        Billy Goat's for a Cheezeborger!!