In the Kitchen with Miss J: Banana Bread

Baking Banana Bread

It is still super hot here in Louisiana, but we still have to do some baking every now and then. It’s so much fun to do together and tastes good, so we put up with the extra heat from the oven. One thing that has become a bit of a staple for us this summer is banana bread.

Baking Banana Bread

Our family loves bananas, but sometimes we don’t eat them fast enough and they get too ripe. They are then either destined to go into a green smoothie, the freezer, or banana bread. I found this super easy recipe here while searching for something else. I loved the blog and keep reading through posts and then I stumbled upon it.

Baking Banana Bread

We keep ours as simple as the recipe is for now because I usually don’t have any other fun things to add in like chocolate chips or walnuts. Miss J loves smashing up the bananas for it the best. I would say it’s an easy enough recipe she might be almost able to put it all together by herself (I of course still do the oven part). For a spread, we usually add some cinnamon to cream cheese.

Baking Banana Bread

The bread tends to dry out some after a day or two, but is still great when toasted. I think if I stored it more properly it wouldn’t dry as much though. I can be lazy sometimes ;) Any new easy fun recipes you have tried lately?
-Jess

In the Kitchen with Miss J: Sweet Potato Muffins

In the kitchen: Sweet potato muffins

By now, you know about my obsession with sweet potato and pumpkin baked goods in the fall. The other week, I decided to have miss J help me with a new recipe I found: sweet potato muffins.

In the kitchen: Sweet potato muffins

Might not sound too amazing, but they were yummy! Everyone in this house ate them up fast.

In the kitchen: Sweet potato muffins
In the kitchen: Sweet potato muffins
In the kitchen: Sweet potato muffins

Even this silly five year old who wanted funny pictures for these :) It’s so fun how engaged she is in all of this right now. It might change down the road, but I’m totally enjoying it for now.
-Jess

“Cupcake Mixology”

Cupcakes

Continuing on with my daughters’ combined birthday party, today I want to share about the cupcakes I made. I have to say, I had a lot of fun making these. I think what made it so fun was making so many different kinds. It was really quite simple too! I first learned about “cupcake mixology” from a Beautiful Mess here.

Cupcakes

I had never even thought about taking a basic cake mix and then making a few changes to create a few different kinds from that one base. They made their cupcakes from scratch, but I just used boxed mixes to make it easier on me. We were out of town for this and I wanted to make things as simple as possible. That’s where this next post from Love From the Oven came into play.

Cupcakes

I found hers when looking for cupcake recipes I could use in this cupcake mixology that were different than some of the ones used on ABM. I wanted them to be catered more to my daughter’s taste ;) Plus, I used the formula she has for the boxed mixes with adding mayonaise. It worked like a charm!

Cupcakes

In the end, I ended up with the following flavors: PB& J, Peanut Butter Monster, and my version of plain classic cupcake from ABM here. Then I made the Oreo and the Andes mint one from LFTO here. And finally, I found the lemonade with cream cheese frosting recipe here.

Cupcakes

I of course didn’t do each one exactly the same, but pretty much.

Cupcakes

I will admit, the pb&j was the least liked! lol. We had a bunch of them left over, but almost all of the cupcakes were gone at the end!

Cupcakes

It was also hot, so the icing kind of melted and so did some of the candies, but they made it and were a delicious addition to the party. Anyone else done this with cupcake mix before? I love the variety!
-Jess

*PS: We live in Louisiana and are waiting for the hurricane to come to our part. If you leave a question or email me, I will get to you as soon as possible as long as we still have power and internet connection :)

*PSS: Got the little chalkboards from JoAnn’s

Cake Mix Chocolate Whoopie Pie with Peanut Butter Filling

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Who loves whoopie pies???? I do! I wanted to try a chocolate one with peanut butter filling but I wanted to make it as easy as possible. There’s already enough I have to do already. Any time and brain energy saved is great!

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So I was thinking about whoopie pies and how basically it’s kind of like two pieces of cake with frosting in the middle. But, the cake is more dense and the frosting isn’t quite as frosting like, if that makes sense :)

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I then began to think then how easy would it be to use a box of cake mix? You don’t have all the control over every single ingredient like you do if you make it from scratch, but it does save some time and you can get a box for pretty cheap when on sale. But, I thought about how boxed cake mix is really fluffy. So I researched how to make it more dense. I found all kinds of solutions but decided to go with one that suggested adding yogurt as a thickening agent. Then I remembered how a ton of popular cake recipes out there right now use just a box of cake mix and something like a can of soda or a can of pumpkin, etc. I figured a thing of yogurt could work that way as well. So I gave it a try. I ended up having to add water as well, but for the cake part you only need 3 ingredients!

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Those three ingredients are:
-One box of cake mix
-around 7 oz. of yogurt (I used plain Greek yogurt)
-water called for on the back of the box

Stir together until mixed. Don’t stir a lot because the more you stir the more air gets in, creating a lighter batter.

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I put half the batter in a pan that is made for making whoopie pies.

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The other half of the batter, I just plopped on a cookie sheet. Of course, the best way to make them pretty is to actually pipe it out like I did on the pumpkin whoopie pies. But, I didn’t want to make the time for that :)

I cooked mine for about the same time as it said for cupcakes. But, keep an eye on them. Different cake mixes might take shorter or longer.

Once done, let them cool.

For the peanut butter filling, I just made my own variation of many recipes I have used before. It kind of happened partly because I didn’t have all the ingredients for any recipe I found, so I used what I knew worked and made it a smaller portion. But, I still had a good amount of frosting left over. And let me warn you, it is rich. So I don’t put a ton on the cake part.

Peanut Butter Filling Ingredients:
1 cup peanut butter
1.5 cups powdered suger
1 tb milk
1/2 cup butter at room temperature

First mix peanut butter with butter. When fluffy, add sugar until combined. Then add the milk until desired consistency is obtained.

Enjoy!

-Jess

Pumpkin Love and Fall Baking

I can’t believe it’s technically fall already. That means that we have been here for a year already! It has gone by so fast. In lieu of fall arriving, my daughter and I decided to do some fall baking. And what better thing to begin with than with something pumpkiny.

(Oh, and don’t forget that you only have a few more days left to get your comments in for the Giveaway Day giveaways!)

So what did we start with? Pumpkin creme pies. And let me say, these are DELICIOUS.

Stacked up

The recipe makes 12 and these 12 were gone in a day and a half. They are even better (in my opinion) after they have been in the fridge for a few hours.

Bet you can't just eat one ;)

The amount of filling the recipe makes is plenty, so I would suggest making two times the amount of the creme pies to get the most of of the filling. Plus, they will go very fast anyways you might as well make more.

Ready to eat!

I really like things with pumpkin. What are your favorite “fall” foods?

{Here are a few other recipes I would like to try this fall:

3 It Is

My daughter went and turned 3 this past week! Most say, wow, time has flown, I can’t believe it. But, I think she should be five years or something by now! lol. She’s fun :)

Blowing out the candles
I chose to do an outer space theme for her. She has really been into astronauts, Wall-E, and space lately. She had other likes as well, but this one seemed liked the most fun.
Let me tell you, she loved her party decorations and all!
Outer Space Hello Kitty Cake
The cake was inspired by this FLickr find (the moon rocks are Astronaut Freeze Dried Icecream!) I repainted a space ship from Hobby Lobby and the Hello Kitty was completely made by me. We didn’t have a computer at that time, so I needed something easy to draw.

We hung paper stars from the ceiling with fishing line

Pink Solar System

and painted a pink solar system.

We had a lot of fun and

Everyone enjoyed the cake
lots of yummy food :)
Happy Birthday to my big girl!

A Crabby Party

One of the main reasons for coming up to VA recently was for my dad’s birthday party. It’s a big one this year and he wanted to have himself a party. My mom decided on a crab theme for a few reasons. We have always lived in a seafood loving area (and love it ourselves) and my dad found this sign when he retired that says, “Don’t bother me I’m crabby” and put it on his office door (for grins and giggle ;). I tried something new by making this cake.

The Crab Cake

I’ve only made sheet cakes up until this point, so I’m so glad it turned out okay! And it tasted yummy too.

Crab Cake from Top What a cutie! It was yummy too!

It’s starting to get me thinking about what I’m going to do for my daughter’s 3rd birthday, although that is still a ways away. It’s never too early to start planning though, right?

The Birthday Crab

I also made my dad “The Birthday Crab” t-shirt. I did a freezer paper stencil and it didn’t work too well this time, but it worked out. So, Happy Birthday Dad! We had a lot of fun and hope you did too :)

A Deadly Combination

I confess that I love baking. Not because it’s necessarily fun to make it, but the outcome is so delicious! My wonderful amazing mother sends us care packages from time to time, and this time we got two boxes of stuff to make this wonderful dessert. If you like brownies and peanut butter cookies, this is for you.

*Thank you to Glenda for making these for Dayspring so my mom could let me in on this :)*

Yummy!

It was gone in two days! Now, granted, I did make half in a pumpkin tin for my hubby to take to work and share.

For the husband to take to work and share

Here is what you need:

-One box of Supreme Brownie Mix and all the ingredients it says to have
-One Peanut Butter Cookie Mix and all the ingredients it says to have

1. Prepare the Supreme Brownie Mix as shown. Pour in pan.
2. Prepare peanut butter cookie mix as shown. Spoon on top of brownie mix- spread out as best as possible.
3. Cook. I went by the brownie bake time.

A Message in the Cookies

Next time you make cookies, why not create a little message for someone (or yourself?)

Before:

Before

After:

Yummy After

Mmmmmm……so yummy!

By popular demand, I will have a tutorial up for three different place mat clutch/purses by Sunday night :)

Birthday Party Time

Thank you to all who have been entering the contest. I’m going to send those who emailed me personal messages so you know I received them. I’m accepting a few answers, so keep them coming if you haven’t emailed me yet! I will keep it open until Wednesday, then announce the winner on Friday.
I’m all done with my friend’s wedding as of yesterday. While I am still here in VA I will share pictures from all of those events and my girl’s birthday parties. I’m going to start with the parties today.
She really likes cats, so at my parents we threw a Fancy Cats party.

Cat Cupcake Cat Cupcakes on a Stand
The cat cupcakes were easy to make. I used sugar wafers covered in frosting for the ears, mini m&m’s for the nose and eyes, pretzel sticks for the whiskers, and gel icing for the mouth.

A yarn ball decoration
Lots of Kit Kats were around because she will call kitty cats kit cats.
Covered Wall Pictures
To cover up some of the pictures on their wall, I just wrapped it like a present.
The Cat Family Wall
I put all all kinds of pictures of cats on the wall. I wanted it to look like a picture wall in a cats house. I used scrapbook papers for the backing.
The Cat Family Wall
Kitchen Cat Party Decorations
Combing baby's hair
Combing the baby’s hair
Giving the baby a kiss
Then, I asked her to give the baby a kiss, and the baby went in for it too! Awe, a first kiss :)

Party #2

She loves cats too
Immediately saw one of her presents and had to take it wither her to the table.
Panda Cake
The amazing cake her aunt made her (she really likes pandas too!).
Sizing it up Mmm good cake
She really really really liked the cake
I'm gonna get one!
Catching Bubbles

Bubble in my hand
Bubble in her hand