Eme turns six and butter cream frosting

Yesterday our youngest rascal, Emerson turned six. It was a special day and he was up bright and early (5:00 am) to start celebrating. He requested a chocolate cake with orange icing but he did not want it to be a basketball and no other decorations, "just orange icing mom." He picked his favorite pizza joint to eat at for dinner. Dad and Pop Pop brought him chick fil a at school for lunch and Pop Pop stopped by to throw his new football with him. Before he went to bed he hugged me and told me it was the best day ever. I squeezed him a little tighter and a little longer and buried my nose into his head and inhaled all the 6 yr old smells that I could. Don't you wish you could freeze certain moments?
 We now officially own every.single. nerf gun ever made. Ever. You think I'm kidding don't you..

 this is a very intense stance and face. Next Eli Manning? a mom can dream...
 As I've said before my kids don't "do" shirts.

 Below is the vanilla butter cream recipe I use for cakes, it's delicious and it's forgiving, oh and it has butter, what else do you need?  Enjoy.

4 sticks butter softened (not melted, it must be soft, I leave out on counter for about 2 hours)
6-8 cups sifted powdered sugar (it's important to sift your sugar to prevent any lumps) start with 6 cups and it may be sweet enough, I tend to go on the lower end of the sugar.
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
up to 8 Tbsp heavy cream or milk

Using a mixer with the paddle attachment mix butter for about 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Turn mixer on low and slowly add the powdered sugar. Once incorporated, turn mixer to medium and add salt, vanilla and cream. add cream by the Tbsps until you get desired consistency.

 butter is beautiful.

Monday Musings

1. So happy for Octavia Spencer last night. Loved The Help, love her.

2. My favorite dresses from last night.

Octavia Spencer sparkles in a sophisticated white Tadashi... Matt Sayles / Associated Press

Emma Stone wears a bow-embellished red Giambattista Valli. Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

WORST: The Girl With The Sagging Sleeve

3. Worst dresses for me last night.
WORST: Caped Crusader
The dress was actually fine but this "cape" was awkward and weird.
WORST: Dust In Our Eyes
I love her I hate this dress.
BEST: George's Golden Girl

too much...GOLD. I think she tried to dress up like Oscar.

Oreo stuffed chocolate chip cookies

These are ridiculous. Very decadent, very sweet, the size of your fist. The oreo gets all soft and slightly melted in the midst of all those gooey chocolate chips....You must try them.

Recipe by Picky Palate

2 sticks softened, unsalted butter
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
10 oz bag chocolate chips (I used semi sweet)
oreos (about 24) I used double stuffed.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
It the bowl of an electric mixer combine the butter and sugars and cream until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla mix until incorporated. In a separate bowl whisk the flour, salt and baking soda together, slowly add to butter mixture and mix until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop out some dough and place on top of oreo then take another scoop and place on bottom of oreo, use hands to form dough around the oreo, making sure to seal all around the cookie. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet, repeat until all the dough in gone. Chill prepared raw cookies in frig for about 30 minutes.
Bake for 9-13 minutes or until baked to your liking. (I did 13 minutes)


 Our busy Saturday's of 3 basketball games are almost over. Thank goodness.
 Beautiful Abby.

Pinterest addict. 

 77 in February? no complaints here.

so, I would love to say that the Mister got this from a fight, cause he's tough and manly and stuff, but actually its from a Breath Right Strip. (Can you say sexy?) I told him we have a lawsuit on our hands but he's a better person then me and says no, it was his own fault for peeling it off too quickly. I say...Whatevs...oh and he's still tough and manly anyway. But he will never live this one down. NOT ever.

Vegan Chocolate Cake

A Bundt cake to me says, I care about you, you are special to me. Sit down and put your feet up, unwind. Have a piece of cake and tell me about your day. This cake is full of ingredients everyone should have, so you can whip it up in no time at all.

recipe by Joy the Baker

2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup dutch processed cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup warm coffee
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 handful chocolate chunks or chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 inch bundt pan, set aside.
In a large bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
In a medium bowl whisk together the oil, coffee, and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips if using. Pour batter into prepared pan (batter will be thick). Bake for 30-35 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean (mine baked for about 40 minutes.) Remove from pan and let cool for about 10 minutes before inverting onto a cooling rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Shortbread Bars

I'm not really a fan of peanut butter and jelly "desserts" I like my peanut butter and jelly smeared between 2 pieces of whole wheat bread. That's about it, but I stumbled upon this recipe and it looked simple, and fast and I had the ingredients on hand, and you all know I love shortbread....I am so glad I tried this recipe, it is REALLY yummy. I will definitely be making these again.

Recipe by Picky Palate

4 sticks softened butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup strawberry jam
1 cup powdered sugar
4-5 Tbsp heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Slowly add the flour and salt, mix until just combined. Wrap 1/2 shortbread up in plastic wrap and store in frig for another time. Prepare and 8X8 inch pan by lining with foil sprayed with nonstick spray.
Press the other 1/2 of shortbread evenly into prepared pan. In a microwave safe bowl melt the peanut butter until it is pourable, (about 20 seconds) Pour evenly over shortbread. Do the same with the jam. Using a butter knife swirl the peanut butter and jam around making sure to cover all the shortbread, without cutting into the dough. Bake in oven for 30-35 minutes or until the edges start to brown. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Cut into bars. In a separate bowl combine the heavy cream and powdered sugar. Drizzle over bars just before serving.

Monday Musings

1. http://whatsgabycooking.com/slutty-brownies/ What the Heck? I am not going to make these today for fear that I may eat the entire pan all.by.myself. but you seriously should. And let me know how freakin amazing they are. Go on. I'll wait.

2. Just as expected, the media has over talked and overplayed Whitney Houston to the point I cannot hear her name anymore. And seriously, I will Always Love you is NOT the only song she sang. Move on.

3. The kids are out of school for 2 days, just because. They have spent the entire day with their heads in the frig and pantry. I think they would eat the drywall if I poured chocolate sauce on it.. I have never seen anything like it. They are not even teenagers yet. Lord, help me.

4. Are you watching American Idol? It's gonna be good this season.

5. Jennifer Lopez is so pretty.

6. Monday is almost over. Yay.


 Made some buckeyes for a dear friend's 40th. Can you say addicting?
 The rascals were gettin wolfy. Time for haircuts.
 This is a typical Friday Night round here.
 Got to spend more time with my favorite gal.
I am so ready for Spring.

Crock Pot Cuban Chicken

I saw this recipe on Tasty Kitchen. It went over quite well with the rascals and especially the Mister. Every time I make a meal in the crock pot I say to myself "I really need to do this more often." Dinner cooks itself. Love it.

1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
4 cloves of garlic chopped
1 whole green pepper (diced)
1 Tbsp diced green chilies (I added a whole small can)
1 4 ounce can tomato paste
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 jar olives (optional)
rice or egg noddles to serve

Mix all of the ingredients except the chicken in a slow cooker. Lay chicken breasts on top. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Shred chicken with a fork. Serve over noodles or rice.

Oreo Pudding Poke Cake

Instead of buying candy and more "stuff" (crap) for my kids because somehow over the years they expect something from ME for Valentines. I made them a cake. They were extremely content. This is a very easy and very yummy treat. I used the red Oreos since it was Valentines.

1 box chocolate cake mix
2 boxes oreo pudding
1 container oreos crushed

Bake cake as directed.
During the last few minutes of cooking prepare your pudding as directed on box. You do not need the pudding to be very thick you want to be able to pour it onto your cake with ease.

Once you pull the cake from oven poke holes all over cake while it's still warm (I used the back of a wooden spoon) then pour pudding evenly over the cake. Cover with plastic wrap and let it set up in frig for about an hour. Add crushed oreos just before serving.

Monday Musings

1. So The Walking Dead is back on. Super.pumped. I cannot get enough of the zombies. Unfortunately along with the show come restless nights. Why do I do this to myself??

2. Adele is so amazing and talented. I think we could be best friends.

3. We lost another Legend this weekend. Whitney Houston was so beautiful and graceful and such an icon. She was truly blessed from God with the most amazing voice. May she rest in peace.

4.  Do you celebrate Valentine's Day? We totally do. I think most people that say humph, actually, secretly want to celebrate or be recognized. Listen when your in a relationship for a long time then you throw some kids in there, it is easy to put your relationship on the back burner. Not intentionally it just happens, so if your gonna give me a holiday to be able to recognize it and celebrate it I'm all in. We are going to dinner, without the kids, I may even where heels!

5. Did you know the Queen of England is looking to hire to someone to (insert royal British accent) "draw her bath" she is paying 22K! What the heck!

6. Um.. how can she talk? eat? drink? this can't be enjoyable for her. I'm actually having trouble breathing just looking at this.
 Holding back? The structured shoulders and sequin encrusted netting were - by Lady Gaga standards - almost unoriginal



 I cannot drink coffee before running for reasons I won't mention here. (Umhum..makes me have to pee.) So, besides having a lovely, beautiful running partner to push me, this is what I am thinking about the entire time I run....COFFEE. And I love my new Anthro mug.
 if you haven't tried them, you really should.
 Neighbors who send over amazing chocolate chip cookies for no reason, rock!
 I got to love on this sweet pea for a little while this week. Made.my.day.
 Can you say precious? do you not want to squeeze those cheeks?
I cannot look at the sky or the ocean without seeing God. He is amazing.