Baking

Polar Bear Cupcakes

Polar Bear Cupcakes

For some reason Christmas has been really overwhelming and stressful for me this year, and I am not on my game at all! Our Christmas cards never got sent, {or even made!} The christmas gifts I ordered for friends and family still haven’t arrived and will be really late! The awesome christmassy recipes I had in mind never got made or posted, and I haven’t even baked a single thing for my friends and neighbors! It wouldn’t be quite as big of a deal if everyone else around me wasn’t 1000% on their game! Friends and neighbors have come by to deliver desserts and goodies to my family and I, we’ve received tons of beautiful christmas cards, and gifts from family members {early!} I feel the love, but at the same time, I feel totally put to shame!! So today I finally decided, amidst the chaos of trying to find my passport for our trip to Victoria, planning my 8th wedding anniversary, wrapping gifts, tidying my house, doing laundry and school and dance runs, to make some cute christmassy cupcakes for my friends and neighbors! As a perfectionist, I die a little inside every time I have to do something sub-par because I spread myself so thinly, which is why I came up with the FASTEST, EASIEST, cupcakes I could think of, that would turn out super cute with next to no effort! I got out my boxed cake mix, and frosting from a container! GASP! {I know, feel free to totally judge me here, I am even judging myself!} And had a lot of fun making these cute cupcakes for my friends and neighbors in return for their kindness! YES! One thing checked off my list, and only six days to go! :-/ {Sometimes I just wish I could be a man at christmas}. Here’s how for all you crazy-busy, last-minute mommas-like-me, out there!

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Oreo Truffle Figgy Puddings

Oreo Truffle Figgy Puddings

Last week was kind of a crazy week, which might account for why I have fallen off the planet lately! We had 5 christmas parties to attend in 4 days, then my daughter Gemma and I went to see the nut-cracker ballet together on our first mummy-daughter date over the weekend. I have been having a blast, but amidst the constant chaos of running around, a part of me just wanted to snuggle up under a blanket with some hot chocolate and watch Elf! {Probably a sign that I am getting older… I turn the big 3.0 in a couple of weeks! So just a heads up, I might just fall off the planet again!} For one christmas party I was assigned to bring something yummy! I love excuses to bake, and since my mother in law gave me the biggest box of Oreos you have ever seen in your life, the other day, I thought I would make some delicious Oreo truffles! I made them a little more “fancy” by putting a raspberry inside, and covered them in even more chocolate on the outside– chocolate on chocolate is my kinda dessert! I decorated them like cute little figgy puddings, so they were the perfect thing to take to a christmas party! But they’d also be the perfect thing to snack on whilst snuggled up watching cheesy christmas movies too! So whatever the occasion, I hope you enjoy!

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Mini Double Streusel Pumpkin Bread

Mini Double Streusel Pumpkin Bread

This weekend my boys went to Seattle, and left us girls home alone, so we had some fun baking together. We made a pumpkin streusel bread {mostly because the boys both hate pumpkin, and us girls love it, so we seized the opportunity!} But we accidentally put too much mixture in the bread pan, and it over-flowed in my oven, smoking out my entire kitchen, and even though the bread had been in the oven for over an hour and a half, it wasn’t even nearly cooked through! So it was just a complete disaster. In fact, when I cut into it, and all the batter spewed out, it made my daughter gag, and she refused to try it! She is hilarious!
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Candied Apples

Candied Apples

I LOVE candied apples, or as we call them in England “Toffee apples,” and knew my kids would love them even more! So this fall I was determined to learn how to make them! I have actually wanted to make them every autumn for the last few years, but have been a little intimidated because they just seemed so laborious and complex, and I knew I wouldn’t get them to look or taste as good as the gourmet varieties sold around here. Washington State is renowned for their apples, and we live amongst orchards in a big apple growing community here in Mattawa, so we get amazing BIG, fresh delicious apples of almost every variety! I should have used some of those to make these toffee apples, but I actually went to the store and brought some in tricities! Haha. Then yesterday a friend of mine delivered a whole box of galas to me, so I should have waited! {But, I guess it’s just a good excuse to make more!}
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Mini Pear Pies with Caramel

Mini Pear Pies with Caramel

The other day on pinterest I saw a recipe for Mini Pies with Pears and Blue Cheese that looked awesome! I both love and hate it when I see a genius recipe idea like this… because I wish I had been the one to think of it first! But I was so happy someone had thought to do this–because it’s so simple to adapt in so many fresh, unique ways! Instead of blue cheese, I decided to fill mine with my husband’s all-time favorite cheese, and a classic-pairing for pears: delicious Bris! Then I simply topped them with some chopped candied pecans, and served them with an autumn side-salad.
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