Tuesday, May 31, 2016

145.4...Root Beer Float Cake with Root Beer Icing and Ice Cream

I cooked a ton over the Memorial Day weekend. The first thing I made was Root Beer Float Cake with Root Beer Icing and Ice Cream to take to Alicia’s house on Sunday.  I had it recently in cooking class and knew I needed to make it right away.

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Root Beer Float Cake with Root Beer Icing and Ice Cream (Serves 12)

Recipe from Phillis Carey

Ingredients:

Cake:

2 cups flour

2 cups sugar

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder plus more to coat pan

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1 cup root beer

2 large eggs, at room temperature 

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. vanilla 

Vanilla ice cream

Frosting:

1/2 cup unsalted butter

7 Tbsp root beer 

3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1 lb. powdered sugar, sifted to remove lumps if not a new box

1 tsp. vanilla 

Directions:

1. To make cake, butter a 9x13 inch baking pan; dust with cocoa powder shaking out any excess. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa and salt in a large bowl. Bring butter and root beer to a boil in a small saucepan. Pour over the flour mixture and stir with  a spoon until combined. 

3. Whisk eggs in a medium bowl and add buttermilk, baking soda and vanilla. Stir into batter until incorporated. The batter will be thin. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. 

4. For icing, place butter, root beer and cocoa powder in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until butter melts. Remove from heat and whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla. Cool cake 10 minutes and then spread with frosting and allow cake to cool completely before searing with ice cream.

Printable Recipe

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Thursday’s dinner was courtesy Trader Joe’s Fettuccine with Mushrooms. 

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I added some roasted asparagus to it. It was pretty good. Felt like it needed a protein to go with it though….

Friday’s breakfast: 

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I took the kids to school, went to my dentist appointment, then to drop my car off for new tires. 

Lunch was Trader Joe’s chicken salad, veggies and ranch dressing. 

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One of my husband’s birthday gifts in April was frozen Giordano’s Stuffed Cheese Pizza. We decided to give it a try Friday night. 

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It’s our favorite pizza of all time so I was worried it wouldn’t live up to expectations.

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I was wrong. It was epic. 

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Fabulous dinner! When you order the pizza, it comes with two so we have another one to be excited about!

Saturday morning I quickly grabbed half an English muffin with peanut butter for breakfast before heading out the door. 

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It was time for puppy class to see our new pup Wally and for Arnold and Wally to officially meet. 

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Dare I say love at first sight? :)

After puppy class, we stopped at McDonald’s for breakfast. I enjoyed their egg white McMuffin with hot sauce. Yum!

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Lunch was a turkey wrap with veggies and ranch. 

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That evening, we went to our friend Melody’s surprise 40th birthday party. I ate a bunch of sushi.

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I only managed to take one photo all night. Karin and I:

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Fun party! We got home super late and were hungry again so we picked up Taco Bell. 

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Mexican pizza, Meximelt and Taco Supreme. Seriously amazing. 

Sunday’s breakfast:

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We went over to Alicia’s for lunch. They made a ton of amazing pizzas on their barbecue. I’m not sure which one was my favorite!

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Dessert was the Root Beer Float Cake with Root Beer Icing and Ice Cream:

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I came home and prepped for the barbecue we hosted yesterday. I ate so much pizza that I skipped dinner. 

Yesterday’s breakfast:

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Before our guests came over, my husband picked up Wally and brought him home. 

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Welcome home Wally!

Eventually everyone started to arrive. I put out some Cheesy Jalapeño Hot Corn and Red Pepper Dip (recipe coming):

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Lunch was served!

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Blackened Chicken Breasts with Cajun Tartar Sauce, Cilantro Cabbage Slaw with Black Beans, Carrots and Red Bell Peppers (recipes coming) and corn on the cob.

A bunch of desserts were brought over so between the Root Beer cake and those, we were super full!

Not full enough to say no to Phil’s BBQ for dinner though!

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Half rack baby back ribs, cole slaw and beans! So good!!

This morning was rough going. I think there should be a Memorial Tuesday just to recover and relax from having the Monday off! 

Breakfast: 

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Today has been a bit crazy. I had an appointment cancel at the last minute this morning which ended up being fine because now I can try and get more done at home. My house looks like a hurricane hit it!

What yumminess did you eat this past Memorial Day weekend?

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Thursday, May 26, 2016

146.0...Banana Muffins

My son came home from school the other day and declared that his friend had the most amazing banana muffins in his lunch and asked me to please make them immediately. I tracked down the recipe from his friend’s mom and started baking. I surprised him with them when he got home from basketball practice last night. Mom points for sure!! 

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Banana Muffins (Makes 24)

Recipe from the lovely Tamara 

Ingredients:

1 stick of butter

1 cup sugar

3 eggs

4 bananas

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray muffin tins with cooking spray.

2. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time. Add bananas and vanilla. 

3. Combine dry ingredients and add to the wet ingredients. 

4. Put in muffin tins and bake for 20 minutes. 

*Tamara sometimes added chocolate chips which I will try next time. She advises to only do 1/2 cup sugar if using the chocolate chips. Also, if the bananas are very ripe, she adds less sugar.

Printable Recipe

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On Tuesday night, I went out with some friends to Seasons 52 for dinner. We split two flatbreads.

Artichoke & Laura Chenel Goat Cheese (leaf spinach, balsamic onions, roasted peppers):

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Lobster & Fresh Mozzarella (roasted sweet peppers, slivered scallion, lobster sour cream):

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They were decent. Nothing I’d go crazy about.

I did really enjoy my entree though:

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It was the Alaskan Salmon special with risotto and asparagus. Very good!

Wednesday’s breakfast:

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After the kids went to school, I went to spin class at the gym. 

I met some friends at lunch at a new (to me) sushi place: Tabu Sushi.  Miso soup:

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Alicia and shared a few things. Tuna, salmon and yellowtail sashimi: 

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Gazuki Roll:

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Lemon Cilantro Roll:

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The service was slow but the food was really good. I’d definitely go back.

Last night I celebrated National Wine Day at Pizza Rev.

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Might be my favorite “holiday”!

Today’s breakfast:

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I took the kids to school, then to the gym for Sculpt class. Then it was off to the mall to get my phone repaired (microphone broke). While they had my phone for two hours, I shopped and had lunch at Tender Greens. Since I didn’t have my phone, I couldn’t take a picture of my food. It felt so weird not to do so!! I had exactly what I had on Monday minus the soup. 

The kids have dentist appointments this afternoon and that’s about all we have planned. Enjoy your day!

How long do you think you could go without your phone before you went nuts? It was really weird not having it today. There was so many times I went to reach for it remembering it wasn’t there.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

144.4...Summertime BBQ

We took the kids to see the “Angry Birds” movie on Sunday night. I thought the movie was cute but my poor husband, who has never played the game, was bored and didn’t understand half of the jokes. Lol.

Beforehand, we stopped at Mia Francesca for dinner. I ordered the Halibut but they brought me the Branzino instead. They told me to keep the Branzino and they’d also bring the halibut. I got to try both!

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I loved the Brussels sprouts on the Branzino but enjoyed the halibut fish better.

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Ah Monday morning. You always seem to sneak up on me. At least I have my favorite breakfast to look forward to.

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I took the kids to school, then went to Hardline class at the gym. 

I needed to run some errands at the mall so I met my husband at Tender Greens for lunch. I had the Herb Brushed Albacore with roasted veggies and a salad.

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I also had the Roasted Tomato Soup which was good but it turned out to be too much food. Note to self. Skip the soup.

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Dinner was easy courtesy of Buitoni. 

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I heated up a jar of Trader Joe’s marinara sauce and made a salad. 

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All meals should be this easy to whip up!

Today’s breakfast:

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After school drop off, I went to Cardio Strength class at the gym. That class really sucks the life out of me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fabulous workout. 30 minutes of a choreographed type aerobics workout, followed by 30 minutes of strength training. I’m sweaty and spent afterwards. But I seem to drag the rest of the day. Or maybe it was the giant meal I had at cooking class…..?

Today’s class was another Phillis Carey winner: Summertime/Memorial Day BBQ. Perfect timing for Memorial Day weekend…I’m not sure if we’ll be doing any grilling yet, but at least I have some ideas.

The first plate had three recipes on it:

Mediterranean Deviled Eggs with Mustard, Olives and Capers

St. Louis Chili-Rubbed Ribs with Chipotle Stout BBQ Sauce

Cilantro Cabbage Slaw with Black Beans, Carrots and Red Bell Peppers

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So good. I’m ready for BBQ season to start! The cole slaw was fantastic. I can guarantee it will be on my blog at some point this summer! The deviled egg was really good too! I enjoyed the ribs as well….they’d be even better with more sauce!

The second plate had two recipes:

Grilled Sweet Spice-Rubbed Chicken Breasts with Fresh Strawberry BBQ Sauce

Spicy Roasted Sweet Potato and Bacon Salad with Jalapeño Jelly Dressing

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I can’t say I was the biggest fan of the chicken. It’s not the chicken’s fault, it’s the strawberries. I just can’t get on board with the fruit with food thing. But….the sweet potatoes were fantastic! So different!

Dessert was Root Beer Float Cake with Root Beer Icing and Ice Cream:

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YUM! Loved this. My son is a big root beer fan…will have to make this for him soon!

Have dinner with some friends tonight so there is more eating on the horizon! Sluggishness continues….

What do you do when you feel sluggish? I drink iced tea or coffee. Sometimes even sitting down for 15 or 20 minutes helps.

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