Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Back To Reality

I had a wonderful long weekend with my parents, but sadly had to put them back on a plane for Indiana yesterday.  I miss them already!

What can a girl do to cheer herself up?  BAKE!

I was hoping my Mom and I would have a chance to bake up some Amish Friendship Bread this weekend, but we were so busy doing everything else.  It's rare for me not to bake on Day 10.  I think I was starting to go into withdraw.

I took my sad little self into the kitchen and poured my heart into baking up 7 mini-loaves of Cinnamon Raisin AFB.  I was just going to do the traditional "original" version, but the box of Golden Raisins sitting on my counter called out to me.  Who could blame them for wanting to join the party?

I have had these adorable little treat bags stashed away in my pantry.  I asked the Hubby if he'd like to take some loaves to work with him.  I think the members of his department will appreciate a taste of heaven.  If they don't, there is something wrong with them!

I stashed one loaf away to either put in the freezer as a treat for myself (once I've made a little more progress on my diet) or to give to a friend.

If I haven't mentioned it before, anyone who is a fan of Friendship Bread or would like to learn more about it should immediately (after you've finished reading this post) head on over to The Friendship Bread Kitchen.  You'll be glad you did.  It's a beautiful site loaded with tons of useful AFB info as well as over 100 recipe variations.

I still feel blue about my parents going back home, but I did enjoy my time in the kitchen tonight.  I'm looking forward to my next Bake Day.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Long Weekend

The parents will arrive from Indiana in a few shorts hours to spend a long weekend with us.  It's been almost a year since I saw them last.  It's fair to say that I will be very happy to see them.  I've been running around the house all afternoon trying to get everything done.  I'm exhausted and they aren't even here yet.

Between school and spending time with the family, I won't have time for blogging the next few days.  Forgive the silence.  I will get right back to it next week.

Until then, everyone have a wonderful rest of the week and eat something yummy & if at all possible buttery. :)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Duff Goldman Meets Blue Bunny

I do believe I have found a match made in heaven!

Duff Goldman (Ace of Cakes) teams up with Blue Bunny Ice Cream.   Umm, hello?  Why didn't someone think of this sooner?

I have always adored Duff and was sad to learn that Ace of Cakes was coming to an end. *sniff sniff*  Naturally, I got very excited when I discovered this news.  Who doesn't enjoy cake & ice cream together?  I'm a fan of the Blue Bunny brand and am eager for these new flavors to hit stores.  Hopefully, they will roll them out nationwide and not just select areas.

Of course, now I'm craving ice cream!  That's not good since I'm trying to shed a few pounds.  I guess I'll just drool over the pictures on my computer instead.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Dinner Ideas - Philly Cooking Creme

Ever had one of those days where you're just lacking inspiration in the kitchen?

Typically, the Hubby and I go out to eat on Saturday nights.  However, we decided to stay in tonight.  My parents will be visiting later in the week for a few days and we know we'll probably eat out a few times while they are here.  Why not save a few pennies this weekend?  We've all been there before.

I asked Hubby what he wanted for dinner, but his only suggestion was "chicken".  Yeah, that helps a lot.  :) 

I wandered off to the Neighborhood Market in hopes of finding my inspiration.  While strolling the aisles, I came across Philadelphia Cooking Creme.  I have seen Paula Deen make mention of this product via Facebook, but I had never tried it. 

This is the flavor I chose.  The Neighborhood Market only had 2 choices - this and the original. 

There was a recipe suggestion on the back and it involved chicken.  We have a winner!  I grabbed a bag of frozen stir-fry veggies to add with the chicken and creme sauce.  The recipe called for fettucini, but the store was out of Bertolli's fresh fettucini so I opted for tortellini instead. 

The dish turned out well.  The cooking creme added a nice flavor without overpowering the flavors of the veggies and chicken.  Hubby approved!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Bake Day!

Today was my Bake Day for Amish Friendship Bread.  I decided to try out a new variation that I thought would be wonderful for Mother's Day celebrations.  Trust me, this recipe is good any day of the week but Moms would go wild for this on their special day.

That's my happy little Starter ready to do it's job.  It has been waiting for 10 days now & couldn't contain itself any longer.

Here are my spare Starters ready to go in the freezer.  I don't have anyone to give them to around here right now.  Plus, I want to use one while my parents are visiting next weekend.  Can you tell I'm not a good aim when it comes to getting it neatly in the Ziploc bag?

Any idea what this is going to be???  Don't worry, I'll tell you...

Still guessing?  This lovely pan is going to turn into delicious Chocolate Craisin AFB Muffins.  Is your mouth watering yet?  It should be.

Here we are up close & personal with the finished product.  This tasty morsel does not disappoint.

I also baked two loaves of Chocolate Craisin AFB Bread as well.  I haven't decided where all these lovely little treats are going to end up, but I'm sure I can find them happy homes.

And here's my lovely Starter back in it's jar.  Thankful to be saved & live another day...10 days to be exact.


Chocolate Craisin AFB Bread

   1 cup Amish Friendship Bread Starter
   3 eggs
   1 cup oil
   1/2 cup milk
   1 cup sugar or Splenda
   2 teaspoon vanilla
   1 tsp cinnamon (can be omitted)
   2 cups all-purpose flour
   1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
   1/2 teaspoon baking soda
   1/2 teaspoon salt
   1 small box chocolate instant pudding (may use 2)
   1/2 cup cocoa powder
   1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
   1 cup craisins

  1. Preheat your oven to 325° F (165° C).
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the starter, eggs, oil, milk, sugar, and vanilla extract until everything is well combined.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cocoa and pudding mix. Add the starter mixture to the flour mixture and gently stir until the batter just barely comes together. Gently stir in the chocolate chips and craisins.  
  4. Grease the muffin tins and fill each one half way.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until they are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean. Let them sit in the tin for 3-5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack.
  6. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Friendly Wednesday Blog Hop!

I am on the lookout for new blogging friends/followers.  So, I was happy to read about this Friendly Wednesday Blog Hop while visiting Susieqtpies Scraps of Life.

If you're stopping by, please feel free to leave me a comment.  I'd love to find some new blogs to read and would really love some company on this new little blog of mine. :)

Moody Starter

This is my Starter for Amish Friendship Bread.  If you do not know the joys of Amish Friendship Bread, I urge you to head on over to The Friendship Bread Kitchen.  You will be forever changed!

Normally, my Starter is quite the happy little entity.  Some might even describe it as "perky".  Today, however, it appeared to be moody.  When I went to give it a daily stir, I noticed down at the bottom of the jar (and sadly I did not think to capture an image of it) that it almost looked to be separating from itself.  Imagine fat rising to the surface.  That's what it reminded me of, but at the bottom of the jar rather then the top.  Maybe my dear Starter knows that in a few days it will be transformed and the anticipation was too much for it.

When I opened the jar, it smelled and looked completely normal.  See how it's bubbling in excitement?

I gave it a good stir and it quickly went back to being it's normal happy self.  I'm going to keep a close eye on it in case it needs to be put in a time-out.  I'm not raising a moody Starter that's for sure!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Can You Feel The Gooey Love?

I have always been a fan of Paula Deen.  She's a woman who tackled personal demons to give her sons a better life and to later become the success that she is today.  She's a down to earth Southern gal who loves to cook and of course loves to eat.  The best part is that she doesn't apologize for it.   She admits her love of butter on an almost daily basis.

I have tried several of her recipes, but one in particular has always been a huge success at potlucks and special occasions.  Her legendary Ooey Gooey Butter Cakes can make you gain 5 pounds just from looking at them.  Being the Chocoholic that I am, I was immediately drawn to the Double Chocolate Gooey Butter Cake recipe.

Try not to drool all over your keyboard!

If this looks like heaven on a plate to you as well, jot down this recipe and proceed directly to your kitchen.  You'll be glad you did.

Double Chocolate Gooey Butter Cake by Paula Deen


  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted, plus 8 more tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted, plus additional butter, for greasing pan
  • 1 (18.25-ounce) package chocolate cake mix
  • 1 egg, plus 2 eggs
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped nuts


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Lightly grease a 13 by 9-inch baking pan.
In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, 1 egg, and 1 stick melted butter, and stir until well blended. Pat mixture into prepared pan and set aside.
In a stand mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the remaining 2 eggs, and the cocoa powder. Lower the speed of the mixer, and add the powdered sugar. Continue beating until ingredients are well mixed. Slowly add the remaining 1 stick of melted butter, and the vanilla, continuing to beat the mixture until smooth. Stir in nuts with a rubber spatula. Spread filling over cake mixture in pan. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the cake; the center should still be a little gooey when finished baking. Let cake partially cool on a wire rack before cutting into pieces.

Monday, March 14, 2011

MvF Love

I should have spent yesterday afternoon studying for my upcoming exams, but Travel Channel was running a Man v Food marathon.  How could I resist such temptation?

If you are unfamilair with the show, one of my many foodie crushes, Adam Richman, travels the country to take on eating challenges.  When he visits a city, he also highlights a few local "must-try" restaurants.  I'm always telling my Husband that it's like Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives with an enormous eating challenge tacked on at the end.

Side Note:  Guy Fieri, host of DD&D is also one of my many foodie crushes.

This is Adam Richman, for anyone not in the know.  He's not your typical "crush" kind of guy, but I adore him.  He has a love for food that makes my heart skip a beat.  I think his heart might skip a few beats as well if you've ever seen some of the challenges he's tackled.  We're talking pounds of food in one sitting.  I swear he must have an Iron Gut!

You can learn more about Man v Food.

I'm going to avoid the television tonight so that I might actually get some studying done.  Wish me luck!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Back in the Blogosphere!

It's been quite some time since I have blogged.  Back in the day (before blogging existed), I ran a website dedicated to all things related to Emeril Lagasse and in particular his show Emeril Live.  I had so much fun with it.  At one point, I was being sent material and images from his book publisher to help promote him even more...like he needed the help. :)

When blogging became the latest trend, I did some product reviews for various companies and enjoyed that as well.  At some point, real life got in the way and I stepped away from blogging.  I've missed it.

So, I thought I'd give it another go.   As the title says, I believe in the Paula Deen theory that everything is better with butter...a little dab will do ya!  I am indeed a foodie at heart (my waist line can prove that for me) and have loved baking since I was a little girl.

I'm not exactly sure where this blog will lead, but I can guarantee you that a lot of it will revolve around food/recipes/cooking ideas/celebrity chef crushes.  You get the idea. :)

Hopefully folks will come along for the ride!