A Day for my Lulu

Evening, y’all! So today would be my sweet Lizzie’s 10th birthday. Lots of emotions, but trying to focus on all the good times.

I woke up early and went to a barre class, one of my favorite workouts. Then I went to the first farmer’s market of the season. What a beautiful morning! I bought a coffee to drink while I checked out all the vendors. Lots of great stuff. I bought some kale, a bunch of radishes, some pimento goat cheese, and some cinnamon bread (Lizzie’s favorite).

Then I came home to a sleepy family still in their pajamas. Everyone had some waffles and cinnamon bread and got ready to head out to a local strawberry farm. We picked TONS of yummy strawberries and had a blast.
After we came home, we all had a pretty chill afternoon… Jimmy Johns Lunch, Naps, TV, playing outside. I made one of her favorite meals for dinner; Pork Ragu with Bucatini and Strawberry Shortcake.





Tomorrow I am going to a Bodyflow class (Thai Chi, Pilates, and Yoga Fusion class) and hanging out with awesome friends at the new Avengers movie. Hope you guys have a fantastic Sunday!

Lazy Baker- 3 Ingredient Cookies Using Boxed Cake Mix

The girls spied a cake box mix in the cabinet a few days ago. Really? Who bought that? Oh, yeah…that was me a few weeks ago when the girls asked me to help them make a pink cake. I caved in and bought it, but it has been hidden in a unorganized pantry this whole time. I guess once your pantry starts to empty out, things start appearing out of no where. Anyways, I remembered seeing this recipe on Pinterest for making cookies out of boxed cake mix. SO EASY!

Lazy Baker- 3 Ingredient Cookies Using Boxed Cake Mix

Ingredients- makes about 12 cookies

1 box strawberry cake mix (hence the pink)
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil


Preheat oven to 375.
Mix the ingredients together in a large bowl.
Use a small ice cream scoop or tablespoon to make round balls.
Bake on a cookie sheet (I used a silicon liner on mine) for 10-12 minutes
Take out and cool.
Decorate with icing and sprinkles.

Becca and Katie had so much fun helping making the cookies and decorating. Brutus thought he might get some leftovers. Not today, buddy!



Chocolate Peanut Butter Semifreddo

Evening ya’ll! This was a scary undertaking…semifreddo…YIKES! I was scared at first that I could not pull this off. I was SO wrong. Looks complicated..lots of steps and patience is a must! But it was really not that hard! This was perfect and had the girls and me eating off the cutting board with forks. I had to share the rest with our lucky neighbors, lest we eat it all in one sitting and maybe regret that sweet chocolate cream in the morning… I saw this on The Chew and just had to make it. Instead of peanuts, I used almonds…

Chocolate Peanut Butter Semifreddo- From Carla Hall on The Chew


Peanut Chocolate Ganache Layer
1 cup Peanuts (toasted; salted; roughly chopped) ***I used sliced almonds
1 1/2 cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (about 10 ounces)
3/4 cup Heavy Cream (heated)

10 Egg Yolks
1 cup Granulated Sugar (divided)
1 teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste or 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract Pinch of Salt
1 1/2 cups Heavy Cream
1/2 cup Creamy Whipped Peanut Butter (warmed; avoid natural varieties)
Reserved Chocolate Ganache


Spray a 5×11″ loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray. Place two 3″ strips of parchment inside the pan so the ends of the parchment overhang the long sides. Lightly spray again with the non-stick cooking spray.

Add 1 cup Peanuts/Almonds (toasted; salted; roughly chopped) Sprinkle in the chopped Peanuts to mostly cover the bottom of the pan.

1 1/2 cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (about 10 ounces)melted on a double broiler

3/4 cup Heavy Cream (heated) Begin to melt the Chocolate in a microwave until mostly melted. Pour in the heated Cream and gently stir to finish melting the Chocolate. Stir until completely blended.

Reserve 1/3 cup Ganache. Then, pour the remaining amount into the pan to cover the Peanuts.

10 Egg Yolks

3/4 cup Granulated Sugar

1 teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste or 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Pinch of Salt For Semifreddo: In a metal or tempered glass bowl, whisk together the Egg Yolks, 3/4 cup of the Granulated Sugar, Vanilla Bean Paste and Salt until pale. Place the bowl over a sauce pot with 1″ of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Whisk the Yolks until doubled in volume and an instant read thermometer reads 160°F. Remove the bowl from the heat and place into an ice bath until mostly chilled, stirring occasionally.

1 1/2 cups Heavy Cream
1/4 cup Granulated Sugar In another large bowl, whip the Cream and remaining Sugar until the Cream holds a stiff peak.

chilled Yolk mixture Fold the Cream into the chilled Yolk mixture, making sure not to over mix.

1/2 cup Creamy Whipped Peanut Butter (warmed; avoid natural varieties)
Reserved Chocolate Ganache Pour the Cream mixture over the Ganache layer. Then pour or dollop the warm Peanut Butter and the reserved Ganache over the Cream mixture. Using a metal spatula or Butter knife, swirl the layers together, making sure to avoid hitting the bottom layer of Ganache.

Cover the entire pan with plastic wrap or foil and place into the freezer for at least 8 hours.

When ready to serve, remove the Semifreddo from the freezer. Remove the plastic wrap or foil and use the parchment paper to lift the Semifreddo out of the pan. Place it Peanut side up on a long platter.

Slice and serve immediately. Pour extra Chocolate Ganache over each slice for garnish (optional).

Helpful Tips:
1. A semifreddo is a dessert that means “half-frozen.”
2. Warm the peanut butter in the microwave so it’s easier to stir.
3. Freeze for 6 to 8 hours until solid.












Nutella and Banana Puff Pastry

I was reading a cooking magazine today that shared a recipe for Nutella and Banana Crepes. I had over ripe bananas and almost an entire container of Nutella in my pantry. I also remembered I had a box of puff pastry in the freezer. I would love to make crepes, but one of my favorite things on the planet is puff pastry. It is crispy on the outside and ooey and gooey on the inside. What a perfect combination!

Nutella and Banana Puff Pastry


1 package puff pastry- I use Pepperidge Farm.
1-2 bananas, sliced
1 small container of Nutella- I had a bit leftover that I snacked on while I baked.
1 egg yolk, beaten
sprinkle of kosher salt


Take your puff pastry out and defrost it- follow the directions on the box. Preheat oven to 450. Put one puff pastry sheet down on a silicon baking sheet…get one of these. I actually want to buy more. They are awesome. Add your nutella to the bottom sheet.
Add your sliced bananas.
Cover that with your second puff pastry sheet. Crimp the edges, add your egg yolk on top with a pastry brush, and poke a few holes on top to let the steam escape.
Let it cook until crispy brown on top, about 20 minutes or so. Let it sit for at least 10 minutes. Moved to a cutting board and cut with a pizza cutter. So good guys; you need to try this. So easy and so delicious. The girls and I gobbled it up plain, but I think it would be great with a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream.



Puff Pastry Fruit Pies

These were so easy. All I did was defrost some frozen fruit (I used peaches and a berry blend). I used 2 puff pastry shells. I put the fruit in the middle of the puff pasty and enclosed the sides. 287
Then I mixed an egg and gave the outside a good coating of egg wash and sprinkle sugar over all of it.
Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes or until the puff pastry is nice and golden brown. Serve hot and with ice cream. Nice and easy summer dessert!

Candy Cookie Bars

Do you have any leftover Halloween candy? Then this is for you!!!!



1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons salt
Candy of your choice…I used about 1 1/2 cups

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350
Melt your butter and whisk it together with your sugar and light brown sugar until smooth.. Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk until combined. I used my Kitched Aid Stand Mixer, but a hand held mixer would work just as well.

Next, stir in your flour and salt just until mixed in. Don’t overmix. Stir in your candy.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top
Lastly, add some more candy on top. I added Kit-Kat, M&M’s, and Reece’s Cups.

Cook for about 30 minutes. Check with a knife or toothpick to make sure it comes out clean.

Cool completely, cut, and serve.





Pound Cake

E wanted Strawberry Shortcake. It was her job at the store to remind me to get a pound cake or angel food cake from the bakery. She didn’t, but she said that I could just make some. Challenge accepted! Pinterest helped me with this.

Pound Cake:
•4 cups all purpose flour
•3 cups sugar
•1 pound butter (real butter)
•¾ cups milk
•6 eggs
•2 tsp. vanilla

1.Add into a bowl in order above. Beat with electric mixer for 1 minute on slow. Scrape sides of bowl and beat for an additional 2 minutes on high. Pour into a greased and floured bundt pan. Bake at 325 for 1 hour 30 minutes. Cool 15 minutes. Invert on cake plate and cool.

I didn’t have a Bundt pan…my neighbor didn’t either, so I borrowed her spring form pan. It turned out pretty good anyways. Clean plates all around! The Bundt would have been a better vessel…guess that means I need to invest in one. =)



Mommy and daughter taste test…

Cut and macerate your strawberries in 3 tablespoons of sugar and a bit of water.