I’m still here and have news to share!

Goodness this has been a busy time for me.  There has been a ton going on like the end of the school year for the kiddos, working on my new cookbook, becoming a full time student and dealing with some personal issues that have plagued me since last Fall/Winter.  In short, life has gotten in the way and although I am a busy bee by nature this year has taken me by surprise and my blogging schedule had to take an intermission.  Let me fill you in, so you don’t think I deserted you.  But first, I have excited news to share.

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A few months ago I was visiting my local Barnes and Noble and finally found my cookbook on the shelf.  It was released last November with multiple distributors across the country but it had not made it to my hometown bookstore until now.  It was thrilling and I was totally elated!

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Soon after I found my book in the bookstore, I was featured in my first magazine ever.  Taste of Home graciously featured me as their recipe star in the June issue of Simple and Delicious.  This was a milestone I wanted and another item off the bucket list.  Things are coming along and all my hard work is paying off.  I’m Happy happy!

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Why no posts?  Here’s what’s happening;

The first exciting reason I have not had time to blog in the last month or so is because I am extremely busy trying to reach my contractual deadline with writing my second cookbook.  It’s a dinner cookbook that’s full of my favorite go to family recipes both from when I was a kid and that I make for my family today.  I am thrilled I have the chance to put this fabulous collection in print for the whole world to enjoy. But if you remember from my earlier rants about writing my first cookbook Delicious Mornings, it takes an extreme amount of effort and time.  I am once again, developing delicious recipes, staging food and taking and editing pictures for the book and then writing it all up and sending it to the publisher by August 1.  It’s a full time job and I am grateful for another opportunity to produce a spectacular cookbook that I hope will inspire home cooks for years to come.  I certainly put my heart and soul into everything that I do, and I truly hope that it shows and will be something my kids will be proud of. 

Here is a sneak peek of some of the recipes that will be in my new Dinner Cookbook set to release in January 2016.  Details to follow.

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Recipes from the cookbook include homestyle family favorites with Asian, Italian and American flavors.  Simple to prepare and tastes out of this world!

On a personal note;

Last year I turned 40 and since then my life turned completely upside down.  I have gone through personal struggles and issues at home that completely derailed me.  I never saw it coming and never thought it would happen to my family but it did.  Things will workout the way they are supposed to and I am confident I have made decisions that will benefit both myself and my children in the future. It has taken a lot of courage, focus, professional help and soul searching to understand why I am going through this but I am certain this was meant to happen and my life as I knew it will never be the same.  I believe that in time it will be better.  In some way, a miracle will happen and through all of this heartache and uncertainty I will come out on top and my children will continue to thrive and be brilliant little versions of me that continue to make me proud each day.  My friends and family mean the world to me and have helped pull me through all of this and for that I am grateful.  They have inspired me to continue on,  focus my energy on work, the cookbook, the kids and to stay positive.  Here is proof that even though life can take a giant crap on you when you least expect it, that there is still so much to enjoy and be thankful for.  That no matter how bad things get, there is beauty in the world and a reason to live life to the fullest.  I have spent many recent months feeling hopeless and in tears with no motivation or focus, but I slowly picked myself up and started to cherish the things around me.  I realized that I am not a victim of unhappiness. I was choosing unhappiness and making myself miserable.  I finally decided I needed to choose happiness.  Because that’s what God intended for me and that’s the happy, fun loving Mom my kids deserve and need to see everyday.  To my family and friends, thank you for being there for me.  We will be just fine.

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My bro’s.

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Through tears and mental breakdowns there are still so many memorable moments to embrace and recognize.  Each day the sun will rise and shine and I have learned that each day it’s up to ME to notice it.  Because if you don’t, you will miss out on the beautiful things in life that matter most.  I notice the sun more than ever now because I don’t want to miss a thing.  One request though dear Sun, rise a little slower everyday…my babies are growing up too fast.  Here are my beautiful reasons to carry on and choose happiness…

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My daugher!  She is the one in black.  And yes, she wanted to wear combat boots with her dress to her 8th grade formal.  I wasn’t keen on the idea myself but with what I had been going through I realized that in the grand scheme of things, this meant nothing.  It gave her the freedom to be herself.  And she was the brightest star that night.  So I guess it did mean something after all.  

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She is a mini me!!

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And while I was busy with my daughter and all her 14 year old daily activities, I was still keeping up with my baseball players.  They kept me on my toes this season.

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My youngest son! He played his first season of AA and did great as a catcher.  He was selected to tryout for All-Stars but although he didn’t make the team, I was just proud he was selected.

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My middle son! He also had a great season with new coaches and a team that is currently in first place. Championship game is this weekend and he made the All-Star team. We are still going baseball strong at the Bakehouse.

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And my oldest son!  He continues to amaze me on what a great rider he has become in such a short amount of time.  He truly is a jockey at heart. 

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He was also promoted to the highest rank possible for a freshman in his first year of ROTC.  He has found something he is passionate about and that means I can rest easy now knowing he has found his place.

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In the midst of the ups and downs of life, I still sit in my office to write my cookbook and brainstorm blogging ideas for the very near future. Oh, and I have another announcement!  Not only will I be blogging for buttercream bakehouse, but I am also starting a new blog this Summer. Why a new blog?  Because it’s time for change and for me to take the bull by the horns.  My plan is to get on my feet and keep them firmly planted on the ground.  I decided to embrace a new career path that I am very passionate about.  I am currently enrolled as a full time Esthetician student and I can’t wait to start my new career.  In addition to food blogging, I will now add beauty blogger to my resume.  My new blog will be all about my journey becoming an Esthetician, tips and secrets of the trade, products that I use that really work, new and exciting trends in skincare and makeup that make a difference.  And since I am a foodie at heart, I will also incorporate food to my beauty blog as well.  Diet can really help the skin and so can homeopathic treatments that you can make at home.  I can’t wait to get started so stay tuned for more info. You won’t want to miss this.  Change is good my friends.  Change is good.

“the secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new”

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Be back soon to share more recipes, my life, my book and my new journey.  Happy Baking!

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buttercream bakehouse

Brown Sugar Pancakes

It’s no secret brown sugar takes center stage at the Bakehouse. The kids swoon over the molasses sugar combo and I am in the mood to spoil them rotten so I decided to host a brown sugar explosion on the blog. Last week I posted a scrumptious brown sugar pound cake that was so moist and delicious we even had some for breakfast. We literally couldn’t take our hands off of the pre sliced pound cake I left on the counter. It was a pleasant surprise to taste the difference of swapping out some of the regular sugar for brown sugar in the recipe. Today I decided to try the same approach to a standard pancake recipe.  Brown sugar pancakes are a refreshing twist to ordinary pancakes as the brown sugar adds a nice rich taste that tastes similar to caramel.  I also snuck in a bit of quick cooking oats to the batter for texture and taste.  Just make sure you use quick cooking oats or your pancakes will be too dry.  To help counter that I used buttermilk which keeps pancakes light, moist and extra fluffy. You simply can’t make a stack of pancakes better without it. If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can make your own following THIS recipe. I topped my stack of heaven with a sprinkle of brown sugar and of course a generous drizzle of maple syrup. These didn’t last long and the new revelation that brown sugar makes everything better, has hit home in our house. I will be swapping it out in future recipes to see if I can bring new life to some of our favorite desserts. I am SO looking forward to this. For more on cooking the perfect pancakes be sure to refer to my breakfast cookbook Delicious Mornings. I give special tips and tricks to cooking the best pancakes you have ever tasted.  Happy cooking!

brown sugar pancakes  

brown sugar pancakes 

brown sugar pancakes

brown sugar pancakes

Brown Sugar Pancakes

Brown sugar pancakes
Yields 8
brown sugar is the star of this recipe with the addition of quick cooking oats to add a healthy benefit. Great topped with a sprinkle of brown sugar and of course maple syrup.
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Cook Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
  2. 1 cup flour
  3. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  4. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  7. 1 egg
  8. 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  9. 1 cup buttermilk
  10. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, combine the oats, flour, baking soda, salt and sugar. In another small bowl, beat the egg, oil and buttermilk using a wire whisk. Pour wet mixture into dry ingredients just until moistened.
  2. Using a large cookie scoop or a 1/3 measuring cup, pour batter onto a greased hot griddle. Turn when bubbles form on top and cook for an additional minute or until lightly golden brown on the edges.
Buttercream Bakehouse http://buttercream-bakehouse.com/

buttercream bakehouse

Brown Sugar Pound Cake

brown sugar pound cake

Well I blew my diet on this one. I have been wanting to try a brown sugar pound cake recipe for a long time now. In fact, I have a list of brown sugar desserts I plan to blog in the very near future. Brown sugar is a favorite at the Bakehouse. The kids are caught literally digging their hands into the brown sugar jar I leave on the counter. They try and shove as many scoops as they can in their mouth before I catch them. I love it too. The molasses and sugar combo is actually easy to make and I will share a homemade recipe for it soon ( yes, you can make your own BS at home) but for now let’s talk cake. This cake is super moist and buttery with a very tender crumb and tons of IN YOUR FACE brown sugar flavor. I absolutely love the melt in your mouth texture (thanks to the butter) and the drizzle of buttery brown sugar glaze on top. This cake is so moist, it actually doesn’t need the drizzle but why leave it out? Like I always say, if you’re going to cheat, indulge or stray off of your diet do it all the way and really enjoy your little slice of heaven.  This butter and sugar drizzle is cooked on the stove which caramelizes the brown sugar making it taste just like butterscotch. Homemade butterscotch is just as good, if not better than homemade Brown Sugar. It really tops this perfect bundt cake well giving it that extra oomph and indulgence most of us crave when our sweet tooth get’s the best of us. I know this cake will blow your diet too but it’s running season so do a few extra laps and if you don’t run, walk your butt off. It will be worth it for a slice of decadent brown sugar bundt cake. Enjoy!

brown sugar pound cake

brown sugar pound cake

Once the brown sugar cake is to room temperature, it’s ready for your lovely homemade brown sugar glaze. Just pour it into a pourable glass measuring cup and drizzle over top of your cake. You can also drizzle each slice when serving. 

brown sugar pound cake

Looks just like honey doesn’t it?  Sweet like honey too and tastes like hot buttery, brown sugar heaven.

brown sugar pound cake 

brown sugar pound cake

You can see the moistness in the crumb.  It’s so moist you can literally eat it with a spoon.  

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adapted from Betty Crocker.

Brown Sugar Pound Cake 

Brown Sugar Pound Cake with brown sugar glazle
Serves 8
Moist and delicious brown sugar pound cake drizzled with a butterscotch brown sugar blaze. A brown sugar lovers dream cake.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups light brown sugar
  2. 1 cup white sugar
  3. 1 1/2 cups butter
  4. 5 eggs
  5. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  6. 1 cup milk
  7. 3 cups all-purpose flour
  8. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  9. glaze;
  10. 1 cup butter
  11. 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  12. 2 tablespoons milk
  13. 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  14. 1 teaspoon vanilla
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour a standard size bundt pan up to 10 inches. In a small bowl mix together the flour and baking powder; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar until light and fluffy about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk, mixing just until incorporated. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 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. Meanwhile, in 2-quart saucepan, heat glaze ingredients except vanilla to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Remove from heat; cool to room temperature. Stir in vanilla. Drizzle warm sauce over sliced cake.
Adapted from betty crocker
Adapted from betty crocker
Buttercream Bakehouse http://buttercream-bakehouse.com/

buttercream bakehouse

S’mores Stuffed Crescent Rolls

Pillsbury crescent rolls are a versatile ready made dough that can be used in both savory and sweet recipes.  My S’mores stuffed crescent rolls were inspired by their chocolate filled crescents recipe. S’mores are a classic combination of chocolate, marshmallows and graham crackers roasted over an open fire but in this dessert twist, the gooey goodness of chocolate chips and mini marshmallows are stuffed in crescent rolls and baked until golden brown. The dough becomes warm and flakey and the classic S’mores filling will tickle your taste buds. This handheld dessert is great for picnics, lunches and even convenient for an on-the-go afterschool snack. The kids will love making them as much as they do eating them. Start by unrolling the perforated dough on a flat surface.  Place the marshmallows and chocolate chips on the wide edge of the dough, roll them up and bake until golden and delicious.  For an easy topping, melt the extra chocolate chips in a glass measuring cup or bowl in the microwave. Add to a ziplock sandwich bag and snip one corner. Drizzle the melted chocolate once the treats are cooled for an extra special touch.  A delicious, easy to prepare snack that’s finger lickin good!

s'mores stuffed crescent rolls 

s'mores stuffed crescent rolls

For a different taste, try using butterscotch chips or white chocolate chips.  You can also use milk chocolate or dark chocolate chips if you like.

s'mores stuffed crescent rolls

For an easier topping, simply omit the melted chocolate drizzle and instead dust with a light shake or two of confectioners sugar using a Shaker.

s'mores stuffed crescent rolls

The flakey crescent rolls are tender and soft making each bite delicate and light.   

s'mores stuffed crescent rolls

s'mores stuffed crescent rolls

An absolutely must have for the S’mores lover in your life.  Enjoy!

S’mores Stuffed Crescent Rolls

S'mores Stuffed Crescent Rolls
Yields 8
S'mores flavored crescent rolls. A quick dessert that is easy to prepare and delicious!
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
12 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
12 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
  2. 1 cup chocolate chips plus more for drizzling
  3. 1/2 cup mini marshmallows
  4. Powdered sugar, if desire
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Separate and unroll perforated crescent roll dough. Place about 1 Tablespoon of chocolate chips and 1 Tablespoon mini marshmallows on wide end of each triangle. Roll up, starting at wide of triangle all the way to opposite end. Seal edges by tucking under and place seam side down on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350°F. for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or drizzle with melted chocolate.
  2. To melt chocolate;
  3. Place 1/2 cup of chocolate chips in a glass measuring cup or bowl. Microwave for 20 seconds and stir. Melt an additional 10 seconds and stir until lump free. Careful not to burn chocolate. Place melted chocolate in a sandwich bag and snip one corner. Seal bag and drizzle with opened end over semi cooled crescent rolls.
Adapted from Pillsbury
Adapted from Pillsbury
Buttercream Bakehouse http://buttercream-bakehouse.com/
 

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