Thursday, April 16, 2009

Happy Easter!

It was great to have my family over for Easter this year. Never had I been able to invite my grandparents to my house for a Holiday like this. It turned out great. At first we were worried about the rain, but it cleared up and dryed up just in time for the hunt.

Bianca Checking out her Basket!

Cordelia, Happy with her basket, not happy im taking pictures!

My handsome young man!

And my Big girl, who is suddenly too big to take pictures with her basket!

All the kids had such a great time searching for Eggs, and then Cracking Cascarones!!

Here are both girls getting Daddy with the Cascarones!

Here is Bianca looking very confused about all the Confetti!
Hope you all had a wonderful Easter!!

I did it, I did it, I did it!!

I started baking a lot more in the past year. I told my husband its really all thanks to him, cause he makes sure the kids dont bother me in the kitchen too much while I get a chance to try out my cakes, and he also loves being a taste tester. Also, he really has made it possible for me to feel comfortable in my life to be able to think of doing anything extra. So thanks Hubby!

Now, I saw this cake a couple months back on Bakerella's Blog, and I fell in love. I really wanted to make it. It just looked amazing and at the same time, very Hard! So, Ive been putting it off. But for Easter, I really wanted to take a chance and finally make this cake. Bakerella made a 14 layer cake. And it came out fantastic. The pictures she took and the ease that she shared really made me feel like I could do it too. But still I was nervous, I had never committed myself to something that would take that amount of time to do. But I was determined!!

So, on Bakerella's blog, she gave some different recipe sites that she found, and I looked them over and decided to go with The Smith Family's 12-Layer Cake. The same one that Bakerella used, but I stayed with the 12 Layer Cake. Mostly for the pan issue. I went out and bought pans, and they came in sets of 3, so I grabbed 4 sets, and figured I would use the ones at home to make the other 2, but then I got worried that what if they werent the right size, so I went with the 12 foil pans that I had.

I followed Bakerella's advice and buttered the pans, used parchment paper and buttered again. Then I filled each pan with 3/4 cup cake batter and flattened them all out. I cooked 3 pans at a time, for 12 min each at 350 degrees. Each layer came out perfect! Once they cooled, I removed them all and removed all the papers. Then I set them up on the wire rack and began to frost the cakes, At first I thought I shouldnt use too much icing, and then I started adding more, and once it was done, I just kept pouring the icing on to cover up some of the spots. In the end, it still had a few spots, but no one really cared.

I had planned on adding an extra layer of frosting to give it a cleaner look, but Guests were arriving for Easter, so I finished off the cake by adding Pecans to the top.

In the end, everyone loved it, they went on and on about how moist it was, and was very beautiful. I even got requests to make it for a few family members birthdays, and for every special occasion. It really was a bit of work, but It turned out fantastic. I would be happy to make this cake again!!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Sausage Green Bean Alfredo

Another one of my throw together meals. I was really craving the taste of all of these and I was really surprised that it came out so good. Ive already made it twice for the house, and everyone eats it. Even the kids. They do moan and groan about the green beans a bit, but in the end, they eat it. And they like it.

I used the Eckridge Sausage, cut into small pieces, then just browned it, in about a tablespoon of Olive oil.

I added 1 can of green beans, and let that cook for a while. Then I added 2 jars of the Ragu Alfredo sauce.
Once the Thin Spaghetti noodles were done, I drained them and added the Alfredo sauce to them. Very Yummy!!

Beef & Rice

I love recipe sites.. I can sit all day and go from recipe to recipe.. I was looking for something quick, easy, and something the kids would eat. And to my surprise.. I found something. Although, now the kids are eating more and lots of different foods, I was a little concerned about the ingredients, but Larissa has been asking for white rice for days. So I thought Id look for something that had rice also.

Kraft's Quick-Fix Beef and Rice

1 lb. lean ground beef
2 cups frozen peas
2/3 cup (1/2 of 10-3/4-oz. can) condensed cream of celery soup
1/4 cup milk
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
2-2/3 cups hot cooked instant white rice
1 cup KRAFT Shredded Cheddar & Monterey Jack Cheese

PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Brown meat in large skillet; drain. Stir in peas, soup, milk, garlic and thyme. Bring just to boil.
SPREAD meat mixture onto bottom of 8-inch square baking dish. Top with rice; sprinkle with cheese.
BAKE 10 min. or until cheese is melted.

I ended up doubling the recipe, We have 5 kids and 2 adults in the house, And I had an idea that everyone would eat it. And they did. I had enough left over to take to lunch the next day. So that worked out well.
Here is a close up of the inside. I also added carrots to it, but there isnt that many. But they were really good.

Butterfly Party

My cousin threw this very cute butterfly party for her daughter. They asked me to make a chocolate chip butterfly cake. Kinda new for me. But it ended up being very easy, and very yummy.

My last butter fly cake came out kinda funny, and ended up melting on the way to the party. So these actually came out much better. Although, I think Ill have to make them one more time to get more practice.

What a cute Menu! Mini Carrots, Grapes, Chicken Nuggets, Mini Bananas, and Cheese Sticks.

A very cute Pinata!!

My Cute little butterflies!!

Proofs of School Pictures

We got the proofs back from the girls first week of school. They are cute. We ordered a package of the girls together. The rest, Im glad that I at least got the proofs.

Too bad Bianca was so scared, and crying. She usually has such a great smile.

Cordelia did so much better. But so cute!

This is the one we ordered.

Funfetti Sandwhiches

I saw this idea on Carly's Kitchen. So I had decided to make these. And I went out and bought the mix and icing, and when I went to make them, to my surprise, I saw a Funfetti Cookie recipe on the side of the box! How great. I thought about making the cookies, but then decided to go with the sandwhiches.

Ill admit, when I first saw the idea, I wondered how is it that the cake mix wont run. And after seeing the recipe on the side of the box, I thought.. OH thats how.
Recipe from Pillsbury

1 (18.9-oz.) pkg. Pillsbury® Moist Supreme® Funfetti® Cake Mix
1/3 cup oil
2 eggs
1/2 (15.6-oz.) can Pillsbury® Creamy Supreme® Funfetti® Vanilla Frosting

1. Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, combine cake mix, oil and eggs; stir with spoon until thoroughly moistened. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. With bottom of glass dipped in flour, flatten to 1/4-inch thickness.
2. Bake at 375°F. for 6 to 8 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets.
3. Spread frosting over warm cookies. Immediately sprinkle each with candy bits from frosting. Let frosting set before storing. Store in tightly covered container.

Once mixed, it was more like cookie dough.
They came out just like cookies!!
All that was left, was to make the sandwhiches. And they were yummy!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Johnny Carino's at Home!

Ok, so since we dont go out much, and we like to cook at home, we decided to give one of our favorite dishes a try. We were craving the food, and I knew I could make it at home!! So, he is my attempt at the Chicken Milano!
Here is the Johnny Carino's Version!

First we took 5 frozen chicken breasts, Placed them in a pan and sprinkled Season all on them. We had bought some canadian bacon to place on top. We put the oven on 350 and they baked for about 30 - 40 min.

Next we took some frozen spinach, and fresh mushrooms and cooked them with some Olive oil and I also added bacon bits for flavor.

We added that to some Ragu Alfredo Sauce, and poured that over Fettucine noodles.

And here is our version of the Chicken Milano. It was great! I loved the taste of bacon in mushrooms in the sauce. Oh and the chicken came out great.

And to top it off, we had a salad on the side.. Yes, we add grapes, and strawberries. Its our favorite salad combination.

Courtney's Bachelorette Party

Oh my goodness.. We had a great time. I was so nervous and excited to go out with the girls. Its been a while since Ive gone out, and gone out by myself. Since Cordelia was born, I havent gone out much. And when I did, we had to work to find a sitter. And when Bianca was born.. It only gotten harder. So, its been a while. And I was excited with the idea to be able to go out with the girls. I ended up having a great time.

All us girls, after a night of partying!
Me, Deborah, and Melissa

Me and Hope

Me and Deborah

Me and Courtney

Me after a very long night!

Courtney's Bridal Shower

Courtney is one of my long time friends. In April she will be getting married, And in March we celebrated her bridal shower, oh and the bachelorette party (next post) But durning the day we had a great bridal shower. Although, it was very windy.

The kids had a great time. I had to have all of them with me that day, cause dad was going to be left with them at night. But it was nice for them to be there, we had some great pictures!

Here are my kids, with Tara, Daughter of my great friend Deborah. My son Joshua, my niece Kaelani and Tara were all born in the same year. I think they are separated my only a few months. So its nice to see them growing up together.

Here we all are, having a good time.