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Pull-Apart Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Bread

9/19/14


I have wanted to make this bread for an entire year.  No really, see this post from one year ago.  I told you I'd get to it!  One, year, later.  But it was SO worth the wait and effort.  While it wasn't a difficult bread to make, there were definitely more steps involved than your average baked treat.  However, the "pull-apart" nature of the bread means it doesn't have to look perfect.  I had a hard time rolling out my dough into a rectangular shape but I stopped stressing about it, figuring that once it baked everything would mesh together nicely... and it did!  Instead of a buttery rum glaze, I used vanilla paste.  I'm sure rum would be delicious, but I didn't want the flavor to freak out my kids.  Everyone in the house love it - MAJOR hit!  And after the bread and these cookies, I still have more pumpkin puree left in the can, hmm... ideas??  Have super DUPER weekends!   

Find the recipe HERE.  






Slow Cooker Apple Pulled Pork

9/17/14


I've officially had 3 kids for 4 weeks.  Life will start to get WAY easier now, right?

Bahahahahahahaha *manic laughter* bahaha *tears* bah *face plant into computer* ha.

Actually, if I'm being honest, I've found myself adjusting more quickly to life after each birth.  I'm used to the chaos and zero sleep after one and then two kids.  So basically, I'm saying I could EASILY have 19 children like that Digger family.  Dagger?  Dugger?  Yeah, them.  

That said, I still have moments of pure insanity, like the other day when I tried to make this Slow Cooker Apple Pulled Pork.  A friend on Facebook sent me the basic recipe: cook 3 pounds of pork in a slow cooker for 6-7 hours on low with a bottle of BBQ sauce and a chopped apple.  Easy, right?!  Yeah, unless you're an idiot like me and you accidentally buy some sort of pork loin instead of a pork butt or shoulder.  A loin is lean.  A loin won't PULL apart in a delectable manner like a butt or shoulder will.  So basically this was a FAIL by me but we ate our lean pork anyway and enjoyed it.  Because what can go wrong when you put meat in a sweet Hawaiian roll and top it with cheddar?       

I can totally handle 11 more children.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies + Brown Butter Frosting

9/16/14


One year ago today, Carson began a new job that changed our lives!  We moved from the city of Santa Monica, California to the suburbs of Long Island, New York and have immensely enjoyed watching our children roam free in our new space.  The kids and I have also loved every minute of our mornings spent watching Daddy in the Orange Room.  So to celebrate, I baked cookies last night inspired by this milestone.  And what is the best type of "orange" this time of year?  Why, pumpkins, of course!  (Or screwdrivers, now that I can drink them again...)

After posting this photo on Instagram...


 ...and asking you fine people what I should bake with these ingredients, someone pointed me towards these Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies, stating they were the bomb dot com (I can HEAR my future teenage children rolling their eyes at me).  Well, that they were my friends, that they were.  Perfectly spiced, perfectly soft, perfectly pumpkin-y, PERFECT.  Did they need Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting??  Probably not.  BUT I DO WHAT I WANT.  So I frosted them with this and I do NOT regret it (you won't either). 




You should bake them.  Unless you're on the west coast and it's 1,000 degrees.  In that case, you should get naked and dance in front of your freezer, I think.  

Congrats to Carson and everyone that works so hard in the #OrangeRoom!  

SD on Instagram

9/11/14


Hello!  It's me, mom of three, goo goo gee.  And as you can see, sleep deprivation has gotten the best of me because I just wrote "goo goo gee" and that's not normal.  Remind me when they decide to sleep for more than three hours at a time??  When they're teenagers?  Good, good, okay.

I don't have anything new and exciting for you, so I decided to share some Instagram photos with you.  If you don't already follow me, well, do it.  The above photo is from this past Sunday.  The Jets played the Raiders (Carson's team), and we had a tailgate party.  My mom was here, and she made a whole bunch of deviled eggs: original, and a tarragon kind.  Yum.  Below, Carson made "street tacos" - marinated steak, salsa verde, shredded Mexican cheese, chopped white onions and cilantro.  Yum! 


This is a dinner I've been making a lot lately for the kiddos.  We call it Mexican Pizza: flour tortilla, refried beans, ground turkey flavored with taco seasoning, shredded Mexican cheese (baked for about 10 minutes at 400 degrees) and usually topped with corn and avocado...


And finally, last night I made Weelicious' Chocolate Chip Granola Bars for school snacks.  I'm obsessed with this recipe.  Also I drank red wine and almost fell asleep standing up!  


Thanks for stopping by... stay tuned for a couple of awesome giveaways next week!

Minion Cake

9/8/14


My little Etta, who suddenly looks gigantic to me next to her newborn sister, turned two over the weekend.  Thankfully, she had no idea it was her birthday because I'm not exactly in the proper mindset to get a decent party together (hashtag NO SLEEP).  That said, do you think I could let a birthday go by without baking a cake?  Nope.  I like to torture myself.  Etta loves the Minions (calling them bee do's), and I'm not proud of how much "Despicable Me" I let her watch in my last month of pregnancy.  So I decided to make her a Minion Cake, using a boxed confetti mix (see: newborn baby) and a Vanilla Buttercream Frosting.  

I divided the batter into two cake pans: one round and one square.  Then I cut the round cake in half, trimmed the edges slightly, and set it on top of the square to form the minion shape.  I separated the frosting into four bowls, and used dye to make yellow, blue and grey (leaving a small amount of white for the eyes).  A large chocolate chip became the eyeball, melted chocolate for the smile, pretzel sticks dipped in chocolate for the hair, and marshmallows dipped in chocolate for the feet.  My minion had no arms.  He lost them in war.  Wait, what?  Just kidding... um, they were behind his back.  The cake was a hit!  Although Etta would have been happy blowing out candles on a cardboard cake (servers at restaurants have to re-light the candles 15 times if Etta is with us).

I can't believe my baby girl is 2!  And I can't believe I have another baby girl that is over 2 weeks.  
And I can't believe there will be ANOTHER Royal Baby (actually I can believe that and don't care).       

Q's Green Smoothie

9/3/14


Y'all know me.  I'm a 'cup of coffee slash chocolate croissant' morning kind of person.  I'd rather eat a salad, not drink one.  Hell, it's breakfast time and I'm devouring a cookie as I type this (I'm still pregnant, right?).  So you'd be correct in assuming I haven't had many green smoothies in my lifetime.  In fact, up until the other day, I hadn't even had one!  But Carson's sister Quinn was visiting, and she decided to change all that by making me one.  Guess what?  I enjoyed it!  It was very smooth, just slightly sweet and extremely fulfilling.  She threw it together in a matter of minutes... a very encouraging thing because now I have a thousand children and zero time.  I will make you again, Green Smoothie!  And probably balance you out with a chocolate chip cookie (let's be real here). 

Q's Green Smoothie
(Makes 2 glasses)

2 cups super greens (if you can't find, use any combo of spinach, kale, etc.)
1 cup ice
1 avocado
1 banana
1 cup egg whites
1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
Stevia to taste

Blend everything together and enjoy!
           

Black and White Chip Cookies

9/2/14


A week or so ago, in honor of the Emmy Awards (ahem, The Voice was robbed), Jackson and I made some cookies because, let's face it, we make cookies in honor of anything.  It's the first Tuesday of the month?!?  THAT'S HUGE LET'S MAKE COOKIES.  But these cookies were special, because they were Jack's idea.  He thought, why not make a cookie with half dark chocolate chips and half white chocolate chips, sort of like the infamous Black and White Cookie we see EVERYWHERE in New York.  I think I've used the word "cookie" in every sentence so far.  Anyway, I used this recipe again because now I have it memorized, split the dough into 2 bowls, added white chocolate chips to one and semi-sweet to the other...   


...placed about a tablespoon of each side by side, formed them into balls and baked them!
Ta da, fancy Black and White Chip Cookies, courtesy of my genius son Jack.


Hope you guys had a nice Labor Day Weekend!  I spent mine feeding a baby every hour and a half... two-week growth spurt?!?  Back tomorrow with a Green Smoothie!

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