FabFitFun Boxes

I am so so skeptical of all of these boxes of goodies  I see while perusing through my social media.  But then a few of the bloggers I follow, showcase these boxes every once in a while.  I decided to try one of them out and see just what the hype is about.

FabFitFun let’s you customize a few things each season in your box and then throws in a handful of other cool hip items for your body, wellness or just to accessorize with.

I picked the canvas vegan leather backpack, the leave in conditioner and the Quay sunglasses. I was surprised at how awesome this box turned out! And that leave in conditioner – the scent is too die for!

Everything was well made and came in full sized which is a definite win win!

The Wipe Your Mouth – Carrot Cake

It’s the Cadillac of all carrot cakes.  Let’s be honest – it’s also my most favorite cake ever.

INGREDIENTS:

 

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1-1/2 cups canola oil
  • 2 cups finely grated carrots
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup well-drained crushed pineapple
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (I use walnuts)

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:

  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Additional chopped nuts

DIRECTIONS:

  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Add the eggs, oil, carrots and vanilla; beat until combined. Stir in pineapple, coconut and nuts.
  • Pour into a greased 13×9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
  • For frosting, beat cream cheese and butter in a small bowl until fluffy. Add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth. Frost cake. Sprinkle with additional nuts. Store in the refrigerator.

Enjoy this one.  I swear it’s worth the few extra calories.  The pan is heavy as hell too, so don’t go running around with it, LOL.

 

Cranberry Pear Coffee Cake

So so yum!!!  It was Pre-Birthday Coffee Cake celebration to make it extra special I added in yummy fruit…..I had these very ripe pears and some cranberries I had frozen from Thanksgiving time.

Cake:

2 1/4 c flour

1 c softened butter

1 c sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

3 eggs

1 c plain yogurt (I used Trader Joe’s – not greek)

3 tsp vanilla extract

Mix the sugar and butter; add eggs

In a separate bowl mix the dry ingredients with a whisk

Mix the wet into the dry ingredients

Chop up 1 cup of pears and mix in 1 cup cranberries (I like pecans too – but left them out of this batch)

Butter a 9 x 13″ pan

350 degrees and 50 minutes later

Voila!!!!!

Enjoy and Enjoy!!!

Happy Salty Meat Day

aka St. Patrick’s Day, LOL

I bought my corned beef a week earlier than the holiday so I froze it.

I took it out a day before I was going to use it to defrost in the fridge.

I filled the crock pot – half way with water – added in the spice packet and quasi frozen meat.  I turned it to high and left it there for about 12 hours, then I turned it to keep it warm.  (This was an overnight ordeal)

I boiled the potatoes in separate water with a dash of salt.  I sauteed the cabbage with salted butter and pepper.  I didn’t want the veggies and potatoes to be super salty, the meat would be salty enough for all of us.  And since I didn’t want to eat with an IV of fluids due to salt intake, this was the best way to go, LOL.

 

Brownie Me This and Brownie Me That

Homemade brownies are just the best.  You get that yummy crunchy edge and soft and gooey center thanks to sticks of melted butter ……LOL

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • Preheat the oven to 350 and lightly grease a 9×13 pan.
  •  In a saucepan over low heat, melt the butter, then add the sugar and stir to combine. Heat just until the mixture is hot, but don’t let it bubble. Watch for it to start looking shiny as you stir it.
  • As the butter is heating, n a large bowl beat the 4 eggs with the cocoa, salt, baking powder, and vanilla till smooth.
  • Add the hot butter & sugar mixture to the egg & cocoa mixture, stirring until smooth.
  • Add the flour and chocolate chips, again stirring until smooth.
  • Pour the batter into your prepared pan. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the edges of the brownies look set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. It’s ok if a few crumbs stick to the toothpick…the middle should be very moist, but not unbaked!

Minestrone – The Final Days for Hot Soup in AZ

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 medium ribs celery, chopped
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 2 cups chopped seasonal vegetables (potatoes, yellow squash, zucchini, butternut squash, green beans or peas all work)
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 large can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, with their liquid (or 2 small 15-ounce cans)
  • 4 cups (32 ounces) vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup whole grain orecchiette, elbow or small shell pasta
  • 1 can (15 ounces) Great Northern beans or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained, or 1 ½ cups cooked beans
  • 2 cups baby spinach, chopped kale or chopped collard greens
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for garnishing (optional)
    1. Warm 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the chopped onion, carrot, celery, tomato paste and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables have softened and the onions are turning translucent, about 7 to 10 minutes.
    2. Add the seasonal vegetables, garlic, oregano and thyme. Cook until fragrant while stirring frequently, about 2 minutes.
    3. Pour in the diced tomatoes and their juices, broth and water. Add the salt, bay leaves and red pepper flakes. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper.
    4. Raise heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil, then partially cover the pot with the lid, leaving about a 1” gap for steam to escape. Reduce heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer.
    5. Cook for 15 minutes, then remove the lid and add the pasta, beans and greens. Continue simmering, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until the the pasta is cooked al dente and the greens are tender.
    6. Remove the pot from the heat, then remove the bay leaves. Stir in the lemon juice and remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Taste and season with more salt (I usually add about ¼ teaspoon more) and pepper until the flavors really sing. Garnish bowls of soup with grated Parmesan, if you’d like.

This soup makes a big batch – I end up sticking it into mason jars!!!  Thank me later.  It’s a hearty soup too and my kids love it with some melted cheese on the top.  Enjoy!!!

Mexican Wedding Cookies

Who doesn’t love a butter cookie rolled in powdered sugar?  Duh, no one….. LOL

They’re easy to make and they’re so yummy!

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees

Cookies:

1 cup softened butter

1/2 c sugar

2 tsp vanilla

2 tsp water

2 c flour

1 c chopped pecans

1/2 c powdered sugar

Cream the butter and the sugar.  Stir in the vanilla and water.  Mix in the flour and pecans.  Let chill for an hour.

Rolls out into small balls the size of a quarter.  Bake for 15-18 minutes.  Let sit on pan for 1-2 minutes and then roll them in the powdered sugar.

Enjoy, enjoy and enjoy.