Friday, September 28, 2012

Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Brown Sugar Glaze

I got this recipe from Pinterest, and whoa momma is it good! I'm definitely making this at Thanksgiving this year!

You will need:
  • 1/3 cup of water
  • 1 can of pumpkin (15 oz.)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp. of vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. of pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 box of yellow cake mix
  • 1 tsp. of baking soda
  • 1 cup of brown sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup of flour
  • 4 tbsp. of butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. of vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream
1. In a large bowl, mix together the water, pumpkin, eggs, 1 tbsp. of vanilla extract, and pumpkin pie spice until well combined. Add the cake mix and baking soda and mix well.
2. Grease a 9x13 pan and pour batter into pan.
3. In a small bowl, mix together 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1/2 cup of flour, and melted butter. Sprinkle over the top of the cake. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
4. For the glaze, combine 1/2 cup of brown sugar, granulated sugar, 1 tsp. of vanilla extract, and heavy whipping cream in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and stir until sugar is dissolved.
5. When cake is finished baking, poke holes in the top with a toothpick. Pour glaze over the cake in a zig-zag pattern. Serve cake warm!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

So-Gal's Recipe: Chicken Tortilla Soup

The toddler insists on "sitting" at the "big boy table" now. What does this mean? My newly-upholstered chairs that I'm kinda/sorta in love with are now covered in crusty food remnants and stains. It also means that dinner has become 100% more entertaining. And when I get to share some yummy soup with two of my siblings dropping in for dinner, it makes mealtime even better. :)

You will need:
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 cans of original Rotel
  • 1 cup of dry black beans
  • 1 can of purple hull peas
  • 1 cup of baby lima beans
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 2 cans of chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • Pepper
  • Garlic salt
  • Fajita seasoning
  • Chili powder
1. Add diced onion, beans, Rotel, chicken broth, and spices in crock pot. Stir to mix.
2. Put chicken breasts into crock pot and submerge in liquid.
3. Stir occasionally, shredding chicken once cooked.
4. Cook on high for 7 hours.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Pumpkin Bread

Yay! It's officially autumn! Happy fall! My favorite season has finally arrived, bringing promises of football games, family time, beautiful colors, cooler weather, and--of course--pumpkin bread! :)

You will need:
  • 2 cups of granulated sugar
  • 1 cup of canola oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 15 oz. of canned pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup of water
  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. of baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. of salt
  • 2 tsp. of cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. of nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. of pumpkin pie spice

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease two standard loaf pans.
2. In mixer, beat sugar and oil until blended. Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each one. Add pumpkin and water, mix until blended.
3. Add flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin pie spice. Pour batter into prepared pans.
4. Bake 50-60 minutes. Check with a toothpick.

I love pumpkin bread! My favorite bakery in town makes the most mouthwatering pumpkin bread, but it's expensive. And after making this, I'm never going back, because this was just as good! My favorite way to eat pumpkin bread is to spread a little margarine on a slice and stick it in the microwave for just a few seconds. De-lish!

I love that this recipe makes two loaves. You can bake one for yourself, and then you can surprise a friend with a warm loaf of pumpkin bread!

And here's a picture of my fallish front door. . .minus pumpkins, of course! Gotta' wait 'til October for that! ;)

Happy fall, y'all!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

From Fish And Fountains To Conniptions And Cupcakes

When I picked up the toddler after Bible study today, he was so excited to see me that it just melted my heart in a big ol' puddle on the floor. "YEEESSS!" he screamed, jumping up and down, "MOMMY'S HERE!!!!"

His teacher said, "He was hilarious today. He kept watching the other kids and saying, 'This is crazy!'" Yep, that's my child. :)

So after church, the toddler announced that he wanted to go to the park. Hello, read a momma's mind why dontcha'!? So we picked up a kid's meal from Chick-fil-A and headed to our favorite park!

And go right ahead and shake your head, click your tongue, and report me to the Bad Parents Association, because yes, I let my child have a soft drink for the first time ever today. I got him a Sprite, and I really didn't feel like ruining the gorgeous weather and sweet time with my angel with a fight over 8 ounces of a sugary drink. So there.

His first reaction? Well, his first reaction was to make a funny face. :)

Hehe! :) After a second sip, he said, "It's cold!" And then he decided it was the greatest thing ever.

The reason this is my favorite park is because it's completely shaded. The reason it's the toddler's favorite park is because of one thing: the fish. A tiny stream runs along the side of the park, and so naturally we go fishing every single time we're at the park. Of course, this involves standing on the bridge with nine inch twigs in our hands while my son screams at the fish.



And finally, "Fish are takin' a nap." Okay, good enough for me. According to my two-year-old, the only reason we did not catch any fish today was because it just happened to be their nap time.

The entire time we were at the park, I was chilly. It was heavenly! But it did get me thinking that it was definitely time to ditch the summer sandals and get the toddler some good shoes for autumn/winter. So, we headed over to my favorite place to get the little one his shoes: The Toggery! Of course, I was able to bribe the toddler with the promise of a fountain that he could throw money into.

So, off we went in search of the fountain! The toddler ran around throwing pennies in and getting soaking wet. I asked him if he was ready to go into the store, to which he shockingly replied, "Okay."

As soon as we walked into The Toggery, he darted to the section full of trucks and tractors. And did I find the perfect pair of fall shoes for my angel baby? Oh, yes I did!
Paulo Brown Suede shoes by Livie & Luca! How cute are they? And now that I'm having another boy, I don't have to feel guilty when I spend more on my child's shoes than on my own! Bonus! :)

One little problem. They didn't have them at this Toggery. . .but they could hold them for me at The Toggery in the Heights. Okay, not a problem. They were cute enough, and I was willing.

One big problem. While I was sorting all this out with the sales woman, my child had found a Mater truck. Of course, we already have a Mater truck. But this was no ordinary Mater truck, this was a Mater truck from The Toggery--AKA, the most expensive Mater truck you could find.


I knelt down and said, "Buddy, we're not going to get this little Mater truck, because you have a really big Mater truck at home. This little truck is for babies. Now, if you can be a big boy and put it down, we can go get (um, thinking frantically here) . . . a cupcake. Do you want a cupcake?"

"Oh, sure!" he replied.

"Great! Then let's go put up this little Mater truck, okay?" I asked.

Tantrum of the century. He was actually sprawled out on his back at the entrance to The Toggery screaming bloody murder, "LITTLE MATER TRUCK! I WANT A LITTLE MATER TRUCK!" I finally managed to drag my child outside and onto a bench, where he proceeded to scream for everyone to hear. I just sat there, glared back at the people glaring at us, and dreamed of my cupcake I was no longer going to get.

Because a momma has to stick to her word, right? She has to be believable, right? If she says a cupcake for good behavior, then that is what she'd better stick to, right?

Unless you're 29 weeks pregnant. And suddenly the only thing in the world that can satisfy you is a red velvet cupcake with cream cheese icing from Cupcakes on the Ridge.

Oh, yes I did. After my child stopped screaming, I dragged his little behind into the cupcake store and promptly bought BOTH of us cupcakes. (Call the Bad Parents Association, I know.)

But, what can I say? Sometimes parenting is less than glamorous, and you're not as perfect as you dreamed you'd be when you could feel those tiny kicks and jabs and you got nine hours of sleep a night, dreaming of what your angel would be like. A holy terror who screams for Mater trucks and makes you bend promises? Yep. A best buddy who plays with you at the park and teaches you how to scream at fish and laugh your head off and make your life better than you'd ever imagined? Yep.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Yes, you read that right. If you aren't salivating right now, there's something wrong with you.

I got this recipe from Disneyland's Carnation Cafe, and I tweaked a few ingredients.

You will need:
  • 1 lb. of bacon
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3/4 cup of diced celery
  • 4 large Russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 4 medium red potatoes, cubed
  • 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups of chicken broth
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups of heavy whipping cream
  • shredded cheddar cheese
1. In a large (and I mean, the biggest one you've got!) pot over low-medium heat, fry bacon until crisp.
2. Remove bacon and pat dry on paper towels. In bacon fat, cook onions, carrots, and celery for 5 minutes. Add potatoes and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Add chicken broth and 3/4 of the (crumbled) bacon. Season with salt and pepper. Whisk in flour.
4. Over medium heat, bring soup to a simmer and cook for 30-45 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Mash some of the potatoes for a thicker, creamier texture.
5. Add whipping cream and simmer for 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

Sprinkle cheese and remaining crumbled bacon onto individual servings. This easily serves 6-8 adults. Make sure that you serve with sourdough bread or a French loaf.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

He Screams For "Ice Creans"

Yes, please don't judge, but I was desperate enough this morning to make the following promise to my son: "If you act like a big boy and don't cry at school, you can have chocolate, ice cream, and tractor tippins (his favorite part of Cars)."

Mom of the Year Award 2012 right here--bribing your child with sugar and movies for good behavior. Geesh. :)

McDonald's has become our favorite place to get ice cream. Why? Because my very picky eater who will scream bloody murder for ice cream really only wants about four bites. So, yay for cheap ice cream and Momma getting to fulfill her latest pregnancy craving of chicken nugget Happy Meals! :)

This afternoon, after his usual four bites, the toddler said "Yuck!" and pushed the ice cream as far away from himself as possible (also, bonus, in the direction of Mommy).

I took several bites of the ice cream, loaded everything onto our tray, and asked, "Okay, are you all done? You don't want any more ice cream?"

"Yes," he replied.

"Are you sure? Mommy can put your ice cream in the trash? You're all done with the ice cream?"

He was adamant. He was finished. It could go in the trash.

Of course you know what happened the millisecond I put the ice cream and the rest of our food into the trash.

Yes,  we were "those people" leaving McDonald's--Mommy trying desperately to hold it together (and to hold a flailing toddler) and the little man screaming, red-faced, for "ICE CREANS! MY ICE CREANS!"

Sunday, September 2, 2012

And Baby Makes Four!

Yep! I've waited until the third trimester to announce on my blog that. . . we are having a baby! The toddler is so excited that he's going to have a little brother, and he tells everyone to "be gentle" to Mommy because "Jack is in the belly!"

We are all thrilled to pieces, and cannot wait to love on this little guy! (Although, I've got to be honest, I'm a little nervous about being so outnumbered by boys!)