Ryland turns 2! A Pixar Cars celebration.

I can’t believe my baby is already 2! I want him to stay little forever!! Although I was sad that it is inevitable that my boy is growing up, I was also happy to create this special day for him to celebrate his birthday. It was so fun planning and preparing for his bday, Ryland loves cars so I wanted to create his own Radiator Springs. With lots of help from my husband and family, the party was a huge success! Here’s a few pics from his party…

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My secret to making a box cake taste homemade is all about the frosting! Most of the time I use box cake because it’s easier and I really don’t think it taste much different… I make sure that I take the cake out right before its done so its nice and moist and another secret is, I use olive oil instead on vegetable oil. I know you’re probably thinking that it’s so gross to use olive oil and it’ll add that olive taste but I think that It makes it taste better and more moist… I actually made it like that on accident because all I had was olive oil and I make it like that every time now… ok, back to the frosting, I never use that canned frosting, homemade frosting is so easy so why not. I found a recipe a while back for butter cream frosting and use it every time. unless the cake calls for cream cheese frosting that I absolutely love! The butter cream frosting is really thick and creamy and ices a cake really smooth. I get lots of compliments on my cakes and the magic is in the frosting 🙂

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Butter Cream Frosting-

Ingredients-

3 cups confectioners powdered sugar

1 cup butter

1 teaspoon whipping cream

Directions

With a hand mixer, mix together sugar and butter. I usually cube the butter so it’s easier to blend. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and mix for another 3 minutes.

Add vanilla and cream and mix on medium for another minute.

all done! good bye canned frosting!!

Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

4 ounces of unsalted butter, softened

4 ounces of cream cheese, softened

2 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Directions

with an electric hand mixer, mix together the butter and cream cheese on low til blended. With the mixer on low speed, add the powdered sugar a cup at a time until smooth and creamy. Then mix in the vanilla. *To add a little Christmas magic to it add a teaspoon of cinnamon 🙂

Thanks for stopping by!

J

Thanksgiving special: Apple struesel pie and garlic parmesan mashed potatoes

Were you asked to bring something to a Thanksgiving dinner this year and don’t know what to bring? I have a side dish and a dessert that is sure to impress! I promise one week I will post a healthy meal…but the holidays would not be as fun with out some comfort food 🙂

GARLIC-PARMESAN MASHED POTATOES

I made this recipe for 4 ppl, so you can double it or quadruple it to make for more people.

Ingredients-

  • 5 red potatoes
  • garlic (1 clove)
  • shredded parmesan (1/2 cup)
  • whole milk (1/2 cup)
  • butter (1 stick)
  • salt and pepper

Wash and leave skin on potatoes and boil potatoes til soft. drain water from potatoes and do not return to pot. Keep pot on medium heat and mince garlic and brown with butter. Add potatoes to pot and mash. Add 1 stick of butter and mix. Then pour in milk slowly and mix til potatoes are creamy, you may need more or less milk. Add 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese and mix. add about a 1/2 tbsp of salt and pepper and taste to adjust flavor. all done! So easy and so yummy!

APPLE STRUESEL PIE

Ingredients-

  • Pie crust-Pillsbury pre made roll out dough

Pie filling-

  • 6 cups of thinly sliced, peeled apples (I used fugi apples, but you can use any pink or green ones you like.)
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • tbsp lemon

Crumble Topping-

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 stick of chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Pre- made crust is so easy and no one will ever know! I cut corners on making dough from scratch since it has a crumble top 😉

Roll out your dough and place on your pie dish and pinch corners all around. Make sure the dough is pressed into your dish.

Pie filling-

Remove skin from apples and cut thin. Add to a mixing bowl and add tblsp of lemon juice to apples. Adding lemon is a lil trick I learned from my mom, it keeps the apples from turning brown and it adds a little tartness to the pie. After the apples are all cut, add sugar, cinnamon, flour and salt. mix to combine.

Add filling into crust.

Mix together crumble toppings in your used  bowl and sprinkle crumble over filling.

Bake pie for 25-30 minutes until edges are golden brown.

All done! Easy as pie! right?

Hope you enjoy the recipes! Let me know how they turned out if you end up making any of them for your thanksgiving 🙂

xoxo,

J

chicken parmesan

chicken parmasan

My favorite type of food would have to be Italian. I’m a garlic addict, so any thing with garlic and cheese is close to my heart. Chicken Parmesan was my very first recipe I learned from my mom. Over the years I tweaked it and made this one of my favorite meals to make. Buon appetito!

What you will need

  • chicken (boneless skinless thin cut)
  • large can of Hunt’s tomato sauce
  • garlic(2 cloves)
  • fresh basil leaves
  • oregano
  • salt & pepper
  • shredded parmesan cheese
  • mozzarella cheese (shredded 1 bag)
  • 1 egg
  • milk (whole)
  • bread crumbs (Italian seasoned)
  • olive oil
  • pasta

Instructions

Sauce:

Begin with the sauce. Heat a table spoon of oil in a pan on medium heat. Mince 2 cloves of garlic and add it to the pan. Brown garlic then add tomato sauce. Be careful not to burn garlic because it will make the sauce bitter. Add a tsp of oregano, 1/4 cup of basil (julienned), dash of salt and pepper. stir to combine and let simmer. Taste and adjust seasoning. I usually add a little more salt and pepper and oregano. Keep sauce on low and simmer til you’re ready to serve.

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It’s so easy to make a homemade spaghetti sauce at home. Fresher and taste so much better! No need for those jar sauces anymore!

Chicken:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

to make egg wash, put one egg, a 1/4 cup of whole milk and about a half tsp of salt and pepper in a bowl and whisk.

to make bread crumbs, put a half cup of bread crumbs and 1/4 cup of shredded parmesan cheese on a plate and mix.

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Rinse chicken and dip in egg wash first then bread crumbs. completely cover chicken.

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Fry chicken-

put enough oil in a pan to fry the chicken just enough to brown each side. about 2 mins on each side.

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Finish in oven-

*while chicken is in oven you can boil up some pasta.

Put in a baking dish covered in foil, lightly greased and finish in the oven for about 20 mins. Time is depending on how thick your chicken is. At 20 mins check chicken to make sure it is cooked throughout. I usually cut the thick part to make sure it’s not pink. If chicken looks about done pour sauce on each piece of chicken and add mozzarella cheese on top and bake for another 5 mins for cheese to melt. Serve with your favorite pasta covered with remaining sauce and sprinkle with some parmesan cheese.

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chicken parmasan
chicken parmasan

All done! Now take a photo, and share your accomplishments!

Chicken Tortilla Soup & Hot Chocolate

I love when the weather starts getting colder and it finally feels like winter! This is the perfect recipe to snuggle up with.

Soup serves:5

CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP

What you will need:

  • chicken – you can get an already made rotisserie whole chicken from the grocery store or I used fully cooked packaged rotisserie chicken from Fresh and Easy (2 packages)
  • chicken stock (4 cups)
  • water (2 cups)
  • canned tomato sauce
  • garlic (2 gloves)
  • cumin (2 tsp)
  • chili powder (2tsp)
  • onion powder (1 tsp)
  • salt & pepper (dash)
  • canned corn
  • canned black beans
  • carrots (chopped)
  • cilantro (pulled from stem, about a half cup)
  • jalepeno (halved and chopped)

Instructions

Heat a table spoon of olive oil in a large pot on medium heat. Mince garlic and put into pot to brown. Once you smell the aroma of the garlic it is done. Pour in 4 cups of chicken stock and water. Add chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper, and canned tomato sauce, combine and bring to boil.

Tasting your food while you cook is very important when making soup. Taste and adjust seasoning. I usually end up adding more cumin, chili pepper and salt and pepper til its just right.

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Drain and rinse corn and black beans and add to pot. chop carrots to be bite size and add to pot. shred or chop up chicken and add to pot. Stir and let boil. Add cilantro and pepper and simmer for 30 mins. Taste and adjust seasoning. The longer you let the soup simmer the more the flavors will marry and be yummy!

Garnish with sour cream, cheddar cheese and lots of tortilla chips. If you want to get fancy you can serve it in a bread bowl.

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Now you have mastered how to make a soup. You can always switch it up to make it your own, add some bell peppers, zucchini or any other veggies you love 🙂

Now its time to cozy up with some Hot Chocolate.

This is a crock pot recipe. So easy, just add, stir and walk away. *But note that it takes 3 hours on low. Good hot chocolate takes time my friends!

HOT CHOCOLATE

What you will need

  • 1/2 cup Hershey’s cocoa, unsweetened
  • 1 dash salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 14 oz can of condensed milk, sweetened
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 6 cups Vanilla Soy Milk, Sweetened
  • 2/3 cup hot water
  • marshmallows

Instructions

In a small bowl, combine hot water and cocoa. Stir until smooth.

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker, including cocoa mixture, and whisk to combine.

Heat on low for about 3 hours, stirring occasionally.

add marshmallows, I got festive with mine,and added candy corn marshmallows.

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Enjoy!

J