Gluten Free Apple, Honey, and Olive Oil Cake

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You guys. Have you ever made a recipe that is so good that you are at a loss for words? I just did that. Earlier in the week, I found a recipe for an Apple, Honey, and Olive Oil Cake that looked out of this world. It wasn’t gluten free, so I thought I’d be nice and make it such, so my husband could eat it, too. I definitely deserve some kind of pat on the back or a new pair of shoes or something for that act of kindness. Anyways.

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This cake was not only easy (you probably have ALL of the ingredients!!), but it wasn’t overly sweet OR unhealthy.

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It’s basically a health cake. You’re welcome.

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I’m going to be perfectly honest with you right now. I cut a huge slice of this and put it on my dinner plate. I ate the first slice right along with my baked ham with cloves, green beans with almonds, and corn.

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I DO have one regret – not buying (and eating) vanilla ice cream with this. It would be killer. So, that is my sage and wise advice to you today. Buy vanilla ice cream to go with this.

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This cake was one of the best things that happened to me all day.

Gluten Free Apple, Honey, and Olive Oil Cake

Recipe adapted from: Pickledplum.com

5 small red apples (or 4 larger ones), peeled, cored, and sliced thinly

5 T gluten free flour mix (with xanthan gum in it) or another GF flour with 1/8 t xanthan gum added)

5 T brown sugar

5 T extra virgin olive oil

1 t baking powder

4 large eggs

⅔ C honey

Cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350F.

Grease an 8-inch cake pan, then place the apple slices inside. Put flour, sugar, baking powder, olive oil, eggs, and honey in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Pour the batter over the apples and sprinkle cinnamon over top. Bake for 20 minutes. Take the pan out of the oven and drizzle more honey on top. Bake for an additional 25 minutes.

Eat hot or cold. It was ridonk hot. It would be even more ridonk hot with that vanilla ice cream. I’m planning on eating it cold later tonight and/or for breaky. I’m sure it’ll be ridonk, once again.

Enjoy!

Kristin

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Pretty on the Outside

Upon reading this title, you may think this post has to do with something deep, profound, even. And I can get like that. I’m a deep thinker, that’s for sure. But this isn’t about anything like that. It’s about food. That’s pretty. On the outside. And not so much on the inside. Well, technically, the inside was pretty, too, but it didn’t taste pretty. The only way “pretty” can be used to describe this dessert was “pretty bad”, to be honest. So bad, that I am not even going to share the recipe with you. But I love how it looked, so I am going to share that. Just the looks. The pretty outside.

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Before this, I had never made a jelly-roll cake before. I had always wanted to. And it was a fun one to make. I am going to keep making them until I get one right. You know, for the sake of research. So, stayed tuned for that. “That” being future successful jelly-roll cakes (fingers crossed).

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See how pretty this came out? Such a tragedy about the taste. Despite following this particular recipe exactly, it came out very eggy. Not in a good way. There is a time and a place for eggs, and a beautiful jelly-roll cake is not one of those times, despite what you may have heard. Or not heard, in this cake (my fingers wanted to type “cake” and not “case”, and so how can I deny them that? leaving it.).

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Luckily, I had made it to take to a girls’ night in and it was eaten by friends, very polite friends, who told me it was good even if it did taste eggy. Bless. Bless them. Bless me. Bless my egg roll. And bless my kids, who thought it was great (but, also, my two year old licks floors and chair seats, so his tastes can’t really be complimented).

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So, see? Not everything that looks like a pretty little package on the outside has a matching inside. That’s as deep as I can go with this.

Not everyone is ready for this jelly.

Kristin

Beach & Birthday & Bunches of Other Stuff

I said I was going to be better at blogging, didn’t I? Well, I had every intention, but boy, has summer life given me other plans. We’ve been so busy with fun things! We’ve gone to the beach, we’ve eaten good food, I had a “big” birthday, where I was thrust into a different decade. Yes, it’s been busy!

I’m going to start with two weeks ago. My mind works best in chronological order.

I went on my monthly girls’ night dinner to a sushi place. My friends and I love getting gussied up.

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I got that dress at Goodwill, as I often do. I love finding gems at Goodwill.

I ordered the Cucumber Roll and the Avocado Roll. They were pretty good.

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The next day, Friday, we went on our usual Friday Playdate. We went to an indoor children’s playing place. That’s the official name.

The boys painted (Smalls stepped in red paint, naturally), played dress up (they had costumes for girls and boys!), and went in the sandbox.

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I had packed lunches for the boys…

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…and in my hurry to get out of the house, I forgot the top piece of bread on Bigs’ PB&J! Ooops!

That night, I made a turkey dinner! I know the picture looks like it was edible, but trust me, it almost was not. I roasted it, to the tee by how much it weighed, and it came out dry. As a bone. Also, I left some of the innards inside. Ooops. They got grody in the roasting process.

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Thank goodness for side dishes. 🙂

On Saturday night, my wonderful in-laws took us out to dinner to have an early birthday meal since they wouldn’t be in town on my actual day.

I had a beet and goat cheese salad:

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It was incredible.

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I ordered the chicken off the “lighter” menu to aid in my diet journey. It had chicken, asparagus, artichoke hearts, roasted tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, capers, garlic, and balsamic. Delicious.

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For dessert, I picked the s’mores cheesecake! YUMMY! See? That’s why I ordered from the “lighter” menu.

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After our dinner, we walked around the plaza and played with the giant-sized checkers. The boys had so much fun! They must have felt like they were in Honey I Shrunk the Kids!!

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Smalls promptly stood on a black checker and pooped in his pants. It was the entertainment for a lot of people walking by. What can you do!

Checker pooping included, it was a perfect night!

On Monday, we visited with my parents. We helped my Mom prune her garden. She let the boys pick beans and tomatoes.

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Then, we ate lunch and made and ate dessert – Strawberry Coconut Cream Pie Bars!

Yes, that’s right. And they were as delicious as they sound!

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I can’t even. The glazed fresh strawberries on top of the cool, creamy pie remind me of the strawberry pies my Mom would make when I was growing up (where I would lick the hot glaze off the wooden spoon, burning my mouth but not caring), in the same kitchen where we made this dessert!

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Try the recipe. Yesterday.

http://willowbirdbaking.com/2014/04/07/strawberry-coconut-cream-pie-bars/

The next day, I took the boys to the beach with three of my girlfriends and their wonderful children. It was overcast (yet we still got burned, even after applying sunscreen once an hour!), and a beautiful day. It was our first beach trip of the season!

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The boys wasted no time playing in the sand. Smalls did struggle, however, with the incoming waves and the constant sand on his hands and feet. He’s a little finicky. 🙂  He felt a little better when I put Bigs’ water shoes on him.

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He loved pulling around this little cart.

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There is something about the salty, fresh air and the sound of the waves that puts my soul at ease.

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A woman, near where we set up ‘camp’ (and believe you me, it looked like a campsite, with all of the stuff we brought), helped Bigs catch a little fish. He was so proud of that little fish. He carried around as long as he could until the bucket overturned in a wave and the little fish rejoiced in its freedom.

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Whenever I am at the beach, it gives me a chance to reflect on God’s great gifts to us on this Earth.

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My little Smalls enjoyed spending his beach time close to me, as the older kids splashed, boogie-boarded, built sand castles, dug holes, and played.

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Sweet friends

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We ate our picnic lunches and Smalls clutched his food for so long, they were covered in sand (SANDwich, watermelon, carrots – all covered!).

It was a great day!

On Wednesday, we were busy, once again, but I was able to find time to make some donuts (isn’t there always time??).

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We were going on a playdate the next day and I couldn’t show up empty-handed!

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I’ve used this short-cut recipe before and loved it.

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I also tried my hand at donut holes. I think I need more practice (if you know what I mean, wink wink!).

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I think my friend liked them! She’s got a sweet tooth, just like me! 🙂

Here’s the recipe:

http://www.confessionsofacookbookqueen.com/2012/04/mini-devils-food-donuts/

The next afternoon, I made Mushroom Piccata (I didn’t follow a recipe, I just made them as I would make Chicken Piccata) and a corn and bean salad for lunch. My Smalls was obsessed with both!

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For the corn and bean salad, I used one can of corn, one can of beans, one avocado, tomatoes, S&P, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.

And when the boys went to bed, I ate a little cake that I’d made the day before with leftover donut batter. I used a little bit of malted chocolate frosting that my Mom had made. It was just the right size and the perfect nap-time treat.

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Nap time was also a treat.

For my last dinner in my 20’s, I made a taco bar. It was good! The kids enjoyed it too. They didn’t even mind that I burned the hard taco shells.

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I made a taco salad for myself.

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And, then last Friday was my 30th birthday. Eeek! I am now in a different decade! It’s so weird. I immediately felt older. Anyways, we started the day with pancakes (GF, DF). I jazzed up the plates a little bit. You need sprinkles on your birthday always, even if it’s your 30th.

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My husband took off work. He’s so wonderful. He always takes off work on my birthday. He took me (and the boys) shoe shopping after breakfast. And then we went to Chili’s for lunch.

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My Hubs and I had some kind of pineapple-y adult beverage.

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I got the Honey Chipotle Chicken. When I was pregnant with Smalls, I ate this and got horribly sick. Not from eating it, but from being pregnant. And usually when that happens, one doesn’t again eat the food that made them sick. But I like this meal so much, I keep eating it. TMI? Whatever.

For dessert, we ordered the Cinnamon Lava Cake with our free birthday dessert coupon. It turns out, the staff will sing to you even if you turn 30. I ate my cake with pink, embarrassed cheeks.

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After naps, we went in search of free donuts. It was National Donut Day. How fitting that my birthday fell on this day. It’s like the universe knew.

When the kids were in bed, my husband surprised me with a little pineapple coconut cupcake to eat without pecking children around.

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It was a wonderful 30th birthday. I don’t think I would have changed a thing.

My Hubs and I went out on an adult celebratory birthday dinner the next night. We went to a Vietnamese restaurant we used to frequent. But before we went, my Mom brought some Peach Cupcakes over to celebrate! They were great!

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At our Viet restaurant, I ordered a bubble tea, in green tea flavor, with boba.

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I am obsessed with these things.

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It was divine. I’m going with taro next time.

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I was a happy Birthday Girl.

We ordered the Summer Roll Sampler.

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And we each ordered the Chicken Pho.

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We went to a bookstore for coffee afterwards. Just like we used to do before kids. Viet and the bookstore. Computer mags for Hubs, rag mags for me. It was so nice to get some alone with my Husband and do some of the things we used to do.

On Sunday, we went to church and later on, I made a yummy dinner. I made macaroni and cheese from scratch and paired it with a rotisserie chicken and fruit.

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Happy bellies.

And here are my gratuitous salad pictures (of salads I’ve made and eaten) to keep me motivated on healthy eating and jogging, at least enough to keep the cake calories off, which I realize is a lot due to the amount of cake I’ve eaten lately.

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Whew. We are all caught up! I hope you all are doing well, and like always, I hope I can stick with posting, even through our busy summer days.

Blessings!

Kristin

The Carnival came to town!

Come one, come all!!

What a big weekend it was for us! We celebrated our Bigs’ 4th birthday. We had so much fun. His birthday celebration started last Thursday, when I packed that fun birthday lunch for him for school. That night, we went out to get some of the food we’d need for his birthday party on Saturday. We found the corndogs at Target. While there, as per the usual, Bigs led us to the vacuum aisle.

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This kid loves vacuums. He always has. I am telling you, I’d not be surprised if he was the inventor of the next big, cool vacuum. What a great way to spend your last night as a three year old – pretend vacuuming the Target aisles in your Woody & Buzz Lightyear boots.

Friday was his actual birthday. Our original intent was to take him on the train after breakfast, but their schedules were not fitting in with our schedules and also it was RAINY. Like, a monsoon-rainy. So we decided to play his day by ear, realizing that our expectations of it might just be higher and more complicated that they needed to be…than Bigs’ expectations. So, we started the first day of his 4th year singing “Happy Birthday” to him and letting him open his present. We’d gotten him a whistle (yay for him, booo for us). That was all he’d asked for. All he wanted was that and to be able to eat a whole vitamin versus the half serving for children under 4. After those two exciting gifts, we went to have a wonderful breakfast. Bigs ordered chocolate chip pancakes (one huge one, in this restaurant). We got the same for Smalls.

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They were giant. Bigger than the boys’ heads. Just the way a birthday pancake should be.

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I’d say Bigs loved it. Those chocolate chips were smeared all over their sweet, little faces.

I ordered the French Toast Monte Cristo.

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It was really delicious. It came with some dressed greens. Husband got eggs over breakfast potatoes.

With our bellies full, we went home for a little while to relax. Our neighbors came over to wish Bigs a Happy Birthday and we visited with them. That’s when the skies really opened up. When we were able to, we finally got back out into the storm to go to Toys-R-Us. Side note: that place, of all places, needs to put sanitizing wipes for their carts. Blech! We surprised Bigs with a water table (yay gift cards!!). We went home and set it up and the boys had so much fun playing with it on the back porch.

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It was nice to be able to be doing something outdoors even though it was pouring outside.

After naps, we went to Ale House, where they have both delicious food AND a gluten-free menu. I ordered the Chicken Cajun Pasta. It was so good and there was so much of it, I got to eat it again at home!

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Husband ordered shrimp, Bigs ordered mini cheeseburgers and fries, and Smalls ate a grilled cheese and fries. We ordered a piece of chocolate cake to take home.

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It was also huge. We knew Bigs would love this as his birthday cake!

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I stuck candles in a little slice for him and we sang! Even Smalls sang along, the best he could. I’ve been teaching him this song for weeks so that he could sing it to Bigs. The boys wore little birthday cone hats and enjoyed their cake.

It was a perfect day.

Saturday was party day! We’d rented a pavilion at our neighborhood park months ago, in preparation for this day. Quite sadly, the weather had gotten even worse than it was on Bigs’ birthday, the day before. All weather reports showed thunderstorms all day long. We didn’t have a back up plan, but we had to make one quickly. Before 7:00am rolled around, we decided to move the whole operation to our house. That would be the only way a birthday party would happen. Also sadly, my house was a pigsty. I’d neglected cleaning it, as I oft do, because I’d been so busy preparing for this outside birthday party. So we cleaned and cleaned and decorated and notified our guests about the change in plans. It was a frantic morning. And an extremely rainy one…we made the right decision.

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Dining Room Table

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Details, upclose

I found almost all my decorating supplies at the Dollar Store. I put the centerpieces on top of red and white tablecloths. For the centerpieces, I put some yellow crinkle confetti in the bottom of a decorative plastic popcorn bucket and then some yellow and white flowers. Since these were supposed to grace eight picnic tables, and we were now partying inside, I put them all over the house. I actually love the way it came out. I also put some ticket stubs (also found at the Dollar Store) around, as a confetti. And for the dining room table only, I put some carnival charms, that I’d found online, and a mason jar filled with gum balls.

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I twisted red and white crepe paper and hung it to look like a circus/carnival top, centering around Bigs’ chair at our dining room table.

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I did a similar thing on the antique desk that is in my foyer….

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…and the same for the top of my TV in the living room.

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I made a “4!” out of tickets on the front door.

And then I set up the games downstairs…

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Pin the nose on the clown (sticker noses)

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Fishing (and a bucket of prizes)

And we also had hula hoops, and three little red baskets where the kids could throw three plastic baseballs.

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Here were some carnival bags for the kids to hold their loot in, as well as some carnival temporary tattoos.

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Then I set up the candy bar and food. For the candy bar, I used bags of Charms Fluffy Stuff cotton candy (dollar store!), licorice (red and black [I LOVE black licorice…I think my Dad and I are the only ones]), candy wax bottles, sugar-coated rainbow strings, watermelon gummies, and swirl lollipops.

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I placed popcorn bags next to the candy bar and popcorn so our guests could easily walk around with their treats. I bought bags of popcorn from the deli at Publix and made (my Mom was on duty) corndogs.

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I think it was a hit!

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I used the same red and white theme with the popcorn buckets and flowers throughout.

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I love how the food table came out!

The cake was DELICIOUS too. I didn’t make it this year, not for that amount of people. I got it at CostCo. Bigs requested chocolate, so chocolate is what he got! I asked for extra sprinkles because…that’s how we roll.

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Fireworks added to cover my Bigs’ name 🙂

It was really, really delicious. I LOVE Publix cake, but this was really tasty and a great deal! Bigs’ GF friend from school brought a GF cupcake for both herself AND for Husband. What great friends! And we served GF hot dogs and buns to them.

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Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to youuuu, Happy Birthday dear Biiiigs, Happy Birthday to youuuu!

It was great party! Thank you to all that helped and attended!

 

Happy 100 Blog Posts!

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This is Sprinkles in my Lunchbox’s 100th post! I can’t believe I’ve already hit 100. I guess I had a lot to say! And mostly, I’ve eaten a lot.

100 posts might not seem like a lot compared to the beautiful blogs I follow, but for this little bloggy blog I started back in October 2013, almost 6 months ago, it’s a big deal. For me, anyways. It’s a dream that I made happen. I am happy I did it. It’s cathartic, it’s fun, and it’s been a great purpose for me.

To celebrate, I made a 100th Post Cake. Because…cake.

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Right away, I knew what recipe I wanted to use for my celebratory cake.

I used Willow Bird Baking’s White Sheet Cake with Fluffy Whipped Icing.

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I have been following Willow Bird Baking for about five years, and the writer of the blog, Julie, is such an inspiration. When I decided to start this blog, I would refer back to hers for moral support. And she always has such lovely writing, great pictures, and fabulous recipes. There was one post, in particular, where she gave out advice to other food bloggers. I loved her advice. She also had a recipe with that advice. I loved her recipe. I knew I had to make it.

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So I did. To celebrate. Not that you need, in my humble opinion, a “real” reason to make a cake. Who’s with me?

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I halved the recipe, since I knew that if I didn’t, I’d eat a whole cake. And as much fun as that sounds, I don’t want to set a bad example to my little boys. And other reasons. Apparently sitting down with a full cake on your lap and a fork in your hand is frowned upon. But whatever.

I used a weird sized pan because that’s what I had.  It still came out. I could have used a 9×9 for a thicker cake, but there is something about a long cake that looks so appealing to me. And it was short and squat too. Sort of like a cake made for a dollhouse.

Even cuter.

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Julie was right – the addition of the almond extract, in both the cake and the frosting, really gave the cake a bakery taste. I love a bakery taste. I love almond cake. So delicate. So bakery.

I love the word, “bakery”. It conjures up the most beautiful pictures in my mind. “Cake” does too. Is that weird?

The cake itself was really easy to whip together.

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So was the frosting.

Moist, white, almond-cake, covered in a sweet, smooth frosting.

Yes please.

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Thank you to my family, friends, and followers of this blog. I am so thankful to have an audience that cares what drivel I find myself writing down each time. I am grateful for you.

And thank you to Julie, for being a great starting point for me, a mentor of sorts, and an inspirational support.

Thank you friends!

Sincerely and God Bless,

Kristin

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Recipe for the cake and frosting that you need to try yesterday:

http://willowbirdbaking.com/2013/02/05/white-sheet-cake-with-fluffy-whipped-icing/

A Simple Kind of Life

It is SO easy to get caught up in the not-so-simple ways of the world. I fall victim to it, myself. I’ve only had a “smart phone” for maybe a year and a half. It’s been life-changing. In good and bad ways. I can easily and quickly snap pictures of my beautiful children that my previous phones would not allow me to do (so easily). But I can also find myself with my nose in my phone, missing out on the very moments for which I should be emotionally (not just physically) present. I vow to change this. I want my boys to remember me present. And I WANT to be with them.

Although it should be a “no, duh!!” (I’m a 90’s kid, what!), I’d love to make it a priority to have fibers from The Simple Life woven into every day. We have a very busy life, but if I can find a way to slow down, even if for a minute, and show my boys the simple pleasures in life, I feel we can live so much more of an enriched life.

“To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter… to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring – these are some of the rewards of the simple life. ” – John Burroughs

A bike ride, playing on the playground, drawing with sidewalk chalk, making muffins with Mommy, scavenger hunts, gardening with Daddy (Mommy has a brown thumb), trips to the library. I need to slow down. For my kids’ sake.

The other night, we went to our neighbor’s house to chat. We adore these neighbors. They were our first friends in this neighborhood and have remained our best of the bunch. They are older than us (which we love) and treat us like family. And the boys adore them. As do we. They have a beautiful and magical yard (they spend lots of time outside and cultivating their it). And they have grapefruit trees and herbs. It’s awesome. The boys enjoy learning about all of those things.

Baby Running

Smalls is holding a grapefruit and running in this picture.

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Here is Bigs picking a grapefruit.

Grapefruit Tree

I love living in a neighborhood where citrus trees grow rampant.

Digging Around

The boys love going in their bushes and planters.

Herbs

Look at these fantastic herbs they have. Aren’t they lush and gorgeous?

Mint

I only wish my own backyard looked like this!

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In addition to taking home grapefruits, I took home a bundle of fresh “neighbor” herbs: two kinds of mint, chives, parsley, rosemary, and dill. Just lovely.

Ahhh, the simple things.

25 “Slow down. Take a deep breath. What’s the hurry? Why wear yourself out? Just what are you after anyway?” – Jeremiah 2:25 (The Message)

Speaking of which, since it IS the weekend, I made a simple dessert for you (for me).

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Chocolate Devil Bars

Makes 16 bars (or less, depending on how much you eat in one sitting)

Adapted from:

http://www.ilovemydisorganizedlife.com/2013/11/peanut-butter-gooey-bars-25-days-of/

  • 1 C peanut butter (or 3/4 C peanut butter + 1/4 C Biscoff, as I did)
  • 1/2 C butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 package Devil’s Food cake mix
  • 1 C semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 13ish oz can of dulce de leche
  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Combine the first four ingredients in a bowl.
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  • Press half of the mix in a lightly greased 8×8 baking dish.
  • Bake for 10 minutes.
  • Layer the chocolate chips, followed by the dulce de leche (I put spoonfuls down).
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  • Pat down the remaining cake mix.
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  • Bake for 30 minutes.
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  • Once cooled, cut into squares. It came out gooey for me. Which I love.

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It was tasty. And quite rich.

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I froze some to give to my Mom and Dad and also sent some across the street to our lovely neighbors.

I hope YOU enjoy them if you make them! As you can see (if you click the link to the original recipe), I made changes to almost every main ingredient, so this recipe is quite customizable to both your tastes and what you have on hand (as it turned out for me).

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

The grass certainly isn’t always greener on the other side. Enjoying what God’s given us and opening our eyes to what we actually have is life-changing. In the best way.

Here’s a great post (Daily Hope) by Rick Warren about the Bible’s take on slowing down and enjoying life.

http://purposedriven.com/blogs/dailyhope/index.html?contentid=4971

Here’s to doing just that – slowing down, putting technology aside (for the moments that count, the moments WITH our children), and enjoying this beautiful life God’s gifted us.

Blessings,

Kristin

Not my Gumdrop Buttons!

Gingerbread House

I have this leeeeettle, teeny obsession fascination with all things gingerbread. I love gingerbread cake, gingerbread cookies, gingerbread cheesecake, gingerbread tea, gingerbread ANYTHING! Once Thanksgiving comes to a close, I tend to leave the pumpkin behind (the horror!!) and move on to be all-consumed with gingerbread.

Candy Land Gingy House

Isn’t that just magical?

I find that my favorite Christmas ornaments and decorations (aside from the sentimental ones) are little gingerbread ones – hanging on the tree, printed on my dishtowels. I just love it. I think it’s iconic to the season. And the actual gingerbread tastes so good to me – spicy, sweet, gingery.

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Supposedly, right now, Twix, Oreo and M&M’s have come out with gingerbread flavored treats. I need to get my hands on those. Yesterday.

(Well – maybe I only need ONE of the above?? See review in link below!)

http://sweets.seriouseats.com/2013/12/supermarket-sweets-gingerbread-twix-m-and-m-review.html?ref=title

Gingy

Last year, I made a little gingerbread house that came out adorably. Not perfect, but just perfect. But the real winner of the season was my Husband and Bigs’ gingerbread house from Home Depot. Did you know Home Depot sells gingerbread house kits? Well, they do. And my big boys’ version came out great. I’d say they nailed it.

Gingerbread House Home Depot

Anyways. Maybe we’ll attempt another house this year. I find that Bigs just mostly squirts icing into his mouth and then throws candy in on top of that.

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I have no idea where he learned this behavior from.

<<Insert totally embarrassing photo of myself squirting Publix icing into my mouth during the cookie decorating portion of a Publix tour playdate. Hey! Don’t judge! Publix buttercream is literally THE BEST icing I’ve ever eaten. Try it. Then we’ll talk. PS – I didn’t eat the WHOLE bag of it!>>

Icing Volcano

And I blurred that picture. You can see enough. And trust me – that’s enough. I can’t bring any more shame to my family (LOL).

Here’s how I want to be remembered from that trip! Take note, real-life friends!

Publix Net

Hairnets are classier than an icing volcano erupting in my mouth by my own hands’ work!

Anyways. Enough of that embarrassing stuff.

Gingerbread. Yes. Just yes.

I’ll be making a soft, ginger cookie as one of my cookie choices for Christmas this year.

And today I made lovely gingerbread cakes.

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When I was mixing up the batter, it smelled so fragrant and spicy.

Cooling Gingerbread

And when the cakes were baking, the entire house was filled with that same delicious scent!

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And when those sweet little cakes were cooling, I just couldn’t even handle it.

It’s a family friend’s 10th birthday and I just wanted to surprise her and her family with a little dessert. I hope they like it! I used little gingerbread men sprinkles to decorate our friends’ cake. Look at all that drippy, yummy icing. Good grief! Yum!

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The link for the recipe is below. The only changes I made were using tangerine zest instead of lemon zest (it was all I had and it came out wonderfully) and I used half and half instead of milk. And for the icing, I made my own (did not use the recipe). I mixed some plain cream cheese with a little bit of icing sugar and frozen orange juice concentrate. I love keeping orange juice concentrate on hand. I use it all the time – for icings, stir fry and for homemade fruit snacks.

http://www.joyofbaking.com/GingerbreadCake.html

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The cakes came out beautifully. For ours, I used some holly sprinkles.

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Yum.

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I, of course, had to taste and take a photo, for the blog’s sake.

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It was really delicious, in case you’re wondering. I hope you were wondering…

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And it was a very easy recipe. The one bowl sort.

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A real looker!

So. Please do try that Joy of Baking recipe, if you are looking for a delicious, but easy, gingerbread cake recipe.

And Duncan, our elf, came again. He was in a stocking. Not so creative! HA! Hey, I am keeping expectations low. Saving the “fun” stuff for the end.

 Elf on a Shelf Day 2

Have a sweet and spicy, gingery sort of day!

Kristin

Not my Gumdrop Buttons