Elvis’ Favorite Waffle Dunkers {& a Giveaway!!!!!}

Elvis' Favorite Waffle Dunkers

I savor every day that is nice out. In fact our windows and doors are open now so I can enjoy the breeze and warm afternoon temps. We’ll just ignore the fact that I just let a ton of flies in, shall we…

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My Dad rented a house on Cape Cod or all of our families to go to for a week in August for his 75th birthday. I can’t wait!! It will be awesome to have everyone together to hang for the week. The cousins will all get play and swim at the beach and in the pool, which is going to be so much fun for all of them. Plus, it will just be so nice for the family to be together. I think it’s been 15 years since my bother, sister, and I all took a vacation together. I am really looking forward to that lazy week in August.

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And I swear I am going to pack my waffle irons so I can make all the cousins breakfast every morning. No really, I propably will. ha!!

I am just so hooked on waffles!!! And why shouldn’t I be?!?!? They are so awesome!!!

Exclamation points!!!! LOTS OF THEM!!!!

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I think all the kids are gonna love when I bring my Mini Babycakes Waffle Sticks Maker since it makes fun waffle sticks that they can dunk into syrup. They are fun for kids of all ages as Autumn can easily grab them with her little toddler hands. And I swear the biger boys will enjoy that they are perfect for an on-the-go breakfast so they can play outside.

Plain waffle strips getting dunked in maple syrup us awesome, but I wanted to create a jazzed up, super fun recipe so I created this Banana and Bacon Waffle with a Peanut Butter Sauce for dunking.

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Yep! I was inspired by Elvis’ favorite sandwich! He loved peanut butter, banana, and bacon sandwiches. So I made these waffles sticks using those ingredients. I think The King would approve of these sweet, and yet slightly smokey, waffles with the luscious peanut butter sauce. Oh man, that peanut butter sauce is to die for.

The waffles sticks come out stuck together, but you just need to snip them apart with your kitchen shears to break apart the 4 waffle sticks. As well, they will come out a wee bit soft from the waffle maker, but they crisp up in just a few minutes when you place them on a wire baking rack.

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Now don’t freight if you don’t have this awesome waffle sticks maker, you can use a square or circular waffle iron and just stack up your waffles and drizzle the peanut butter sauce over the waffles when serving them. But I think the Mini Babycakes Waffle Sticks Maker makes for the cutest waffle dunkers.

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If The King was still alive I swear he would be singing the praises of these waffles. Definitely not singing the blues here!

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Elvis’ Favorite Waffle Dunkers

Makes 48 Waffle Dunkers/12 waffles

Ingredients

For the waffles

  • 6 ounces bacon
  • 12 ounces butter
  • 3 large very ripe bananas
  • 1/2 Cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Cups flour
  • 1/2 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 Cups buttermilk

For the peanut butter dunking sauce

  • 3/4 Cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 Cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 Cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 Cup light corn syrup
  • pinch of salt

Process

  1. Cut up the bacon into small pieces, no bigger than 1/4″ wide. Cook until golden brown. Remove from the skillet and place on paper towels.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Beat together the bananas and sugar. Once combined add the eggs, melted butter, and vanilla extract, beat well.
  4. Add 1/2 of the flour mixture to the banana mixture, gently mix. Add half of the milk and mix to incorporate. Repeat with the remaining flour mixture and milk. Add in cooked bacon and mix to thoroughly incorporated.
  5. Cook in your preheated Mini Babycakes Waffle Sticks Maker until golden brown and crisp. Place on a wire rack to cool and crisp up.
  6. Prepare the peanut butter dunking sauce by combining all of the ingredients in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat until it has reached a boil. Turn down the heat slightly and mix thoroughly. Let simmer for 3 minutes to thicken. Serve warm with the waffle sticks.

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While I received the waffle maker from Select Brands, all opinions are my own. 

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And now the GIVEWAY!!!!

I am kicking off my awesome partnership with Select Brands by giving away a Mini Babycakes Waffle Sticks Maker. In fact, for the next 2 weeks I am sharing fun dunkable waffle recipes and will be giving away waffle makers then as well. Three awesome recipes, three awesome giveaways in the month of May. Awesome!!

So let’s kick things off this week with this Select Brands Mini Babycakes Waffle Sticks Maker giveaway!

Follow the instructions HERE!!

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Peanut Butter Swirled Brownies

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

Hip Hip Hooray! Hip Hip Hooray!

Price and I had a date night this past weekend!!!!!

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Date nights are few and far between for us. Shoot- the last one was 2 months ago and before that was in the summer. We are busy and sorta lazy about it at the same time. Plus, there is the extra money involved when it comes to hiring a babysitter. But we bit the bullet and arranged for our lovely sitter to come over so we could get out.

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We went out to dinner at Wagamama and had a great time together even though I wasn’t feeling great. Anyway, I love the food that they serve at Wagamama. It’s so, so fresh. And really flavorful. Plus, a few years ago the company I work for designed some of their US locations. So I got to see the designs develop, which is so much fun to see, and learn all about Wagamama. Like it’s super important to know that the red tile at the Faneuil Hall location is called Lipstick Red. ha!

Anyway, I always like to have special treats for our babysitter, who is our dog walker’s daughter. I sent out an email to her mom to ask what she wanted: Chocolate Chip Cookies or Peanut Butter Brownies. A bit later I got her sweet little response that it was a tough pick but she wanted the Peanut Butter Brownies. So I got to work looking for a knock your socks off recipe since she deserved it.

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I think that this recipe fits the bill!

I adapted a Martha Stewart recipe to load it up with even more chocolate and peanut butter goodness. I just can’t leave well enough alone. But I think that more of awesome stuff is awesome.

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The brownie is slightly cakey and so, so chocolatey. I don’t normally make brownies that are cakey, but I really enjoyed it. It had great flavor and structure. It certainly needed it as it was stuffed and topped with peanut butter. The swirl looks so nice too. Looks good, tastes good.

I added chocolate ships and peanut butter chips into the batter as well. I really wanted to over do it, but without over doing it. Get it. Good.

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I hope you treat these peanut butter packed brownies. And have yourself a great date night soon as well! xoxo

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Peanut Butter Swirled Brownies

Makes an 8×8 pan

Ingredients

For the brownies

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2/3 Cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 Cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 Cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 Cup peanut butter chips

For the peanut butter filling and topping

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Process

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan and line with parchment, allowing a 2-inch overhang. Butter lining (not overhang).
  2. Make batter: Put butter and chocolates in a heatproof medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water; stir until melted. Let cool slightly. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
  3. Whisk granulated sugar into chocolate mixture. Add eggs, and whisk until mixture is smooth. Stir in vanilla. Add flour mixture; stir until well incorporated.
  4. Make filling: Stir together butter, confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter, salt, and vanilla in a bowl until smooth.
  5. Pour one-third of batter into prepared pan; spread evenly with a rubber spatula. Drop dollops of peanut butter filling (about 1 tablespoon each) on top of batter, spacing about 1 inch apart. Drizzle remaining batter on top, and gently spread to fill pan. Drop dollops of remaining filling on top. Gently swirl peanut butter filling into batter with a butter knife, running the knife lengthwise and crosswise through layers.
  6. Bake until a cake tester inserted into brownies (avoid center and edges) comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, about 45 minutes. Let cool slightly in pan, about 15 minutes. Lift out; let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares. Brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.

Adapted from Martha Stewart

 

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5.8-10: Weekend Recap

{Friday Night}

home | get Autumn from daycare | Autumn has dinner, goes to bed | make fajitas for dinner | recipe prep | watch Grimm & Triple D | bed

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{Saturday}

up at 5.30 | kitchen clean up | Price goes to Home Depot | make breakfast | Autumn takes her morning nap | make peanut butter swirl brownies | Price works on installing new screen door | go to Costco | home | go on long walk with Kemper and Autumn | Autumn naps | play time | Autumn has dinner, bath, goes to bed | get ready | Date night at Wagamama | drop Jaden off at home | home | bed

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{Sunday}

Mother’s Day

wake up at 5.30am | breakfast & coffee | Autumn naps | get ready | Make Way for Ducklings Parade | lunch at Parish Cafe | walk back through Public Garden & The Common | home | nap strike | I napped | painting outside with Autumn | Price mows the front yard | Autumn has dinner, bath, bottle goes to bed by 6.30 | Price went to Stop & Chop, CVS | make cake, General Gao’s Chicken for dinner, nutella swirl banana muffin, quiche prep | Price does laundry | start Mad Men | go to bed

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Quack Quack: Make Way for Ducklings Parade- Mother’s Day 2015

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Along one of the paths in Boston’s Public Garden, there is a Make Way for Ducklings Statue in honor of the children’s classic by the same name. When Robert McCloskey was studying in Boston in the 1930’s he would often sit in the Public Garden. That inspired him to write and illustrate the book about 10 years later. It won awards at the time and has been popular ever since.

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The statue was installed in the 1987 in honor of the book. Families and kids love visiting it so much that the 9 bronze statues never have to be polished from kids petting and sitting on the ducks. Throughout the year the ducks are decorated with things like scarves in the winter, jerseys for champion sports teams, and hats for Mother’s Day!

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In 1978 the first Duckling Parade was held on Mother’s Day. Since then large crowds gather to take part, and to watch, adorable little kids march through Boston Common and along part of the route that the ducks took into Boston Public Garden.

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As we were unable to attend the parade last year, I was really looking forward to going this year for Mother’s Day. I was so excited to get a little outfit for Autumn as well. We didn’t want to get her a duck costume in case she hated it, or it was too hot, so I stuck with something she loves… tutus!! Loved it.

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It was such a fun day together.

Even if Autumn rubbed her sunblock in her eyes and looked like she was crying for most of the day. Awww poor babe!

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After we took photos at the statues we headed over to the area around the bandstand on The Common to check into registration, get a goodie bag, and play.

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Awww, my loves.

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There was one thing after another for her to explore and play with from balls to bouncy horses. She enjoyed how these were so many other kids around and so many things to play with. Even random picnic blankets to crawl on. ha!

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However, Autumn did not enjoy getting to meet the big duck. She was okay in line and quite excited watching him meet the kids in front of us but when it was our turn she quickly decided he was scary and not to be trusted. ha!

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Thankfully, the kind members of the Harvard Marching Band were a quick distraction to the horror of the big duck.

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Right before the parade started we even got to meet Mayor Marty Walsh!

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The parade was so much fun for those walking and those watching.

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After the parade we headed out to lunch at Parish Cafe, one of our favorite spots in Boston. Autumn was on her best behavior allowing Price and I to enjoy our awesome Zuni Rolls (I swear the best sandwiches in Boston). Plus, I had delicious blood orange mimosas. Win!!

We enjoyed our walk back to the car through the Public Garden and Boston Common as well.

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Mother’s Day was really wonderful this year.

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It was so much fun for us all. We enjoyed the time doing the activities and participating in the parade together. So much to do, so much to tire you out!

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I am thankful to be Autumn’s Mom. She has brought so much joy to my life. I am constantly in awe of her intelligence, charm, sweet personality, and fierce stance on things she wants. The last 17 months have been amazing. I’ve enjoyed watching her grow so much and I know that the best is yet to come.

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Dark Chocolate Bacon Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

Dark Chocolate Bacon Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Buttercream

These cupcakes are so friggin’ amazing.

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When Price and I finished our 2nd Whole30 at the end of April these were our big treat to celebrate completing it. And they were such a great way to celebrate!

As your diet while doing Whole30 is quite limited (amazing, but limited), you really should slowly introduce foods one at a time slowly while going back and forth to the Whole30 diet guidelines to see if things bother you. Since we had already (hap hazardly) done one reintroduction to ‘normal’ foods after our first Whole30 in February we just jumped at our chance to stuff our faces with these cupcakes.

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They were everything we had been thinking of those long 30 days.

The bacon.

The chocolate

The peanut butter.

Come, on… shut up!

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In fact I made these bad boys on Sunday, froze them, thought about them endlessly, and then inhaled a thawed Cupcake for dessert on Friday. They held up really, really well. Now I am scheming on making more and more cupcakes to freeze so we always have something sweet on hand. I’m thinking I need to get a deep freezer! ha!

I was tempted to make a chocolate frosting but at the last moment I asked Price if he thought a peanut butter frosting would be good and he picked that. I think it was the better choice in the end as well.

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I prefer to cut my bacon before cooking it whenever I am using crumbled bacon in a recipe. I just find it easier to work with. Plus, I prefer the bigger pieces of bacon in the cupcake. If you don’t want ‘big’ pieces then feel free to cook the bacon and then chop it up, you’ll get a more crumbly bacon that way.

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One thing to note when making them is that the batter is pretty thin, compared to most other cake batters I have made. Do not worry! They come out perfectly.

I mean, what’s better than a chocolatey cupcake studded with bacon topped off with a light and fluffy peanut butter buttercream!?!?

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Dark Chocolate Bacon Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

Makes 24 cupcakes

Ingredients

For the Cupcakes

  • 1 pound bacon
  • 2 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 Cup cocoa powder
  • 2 Cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 Cup cold coffee, preferably strong
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

For the Frosting

  • 1/2 Cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 Cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2- 2/3 Cup milk
  • 6 Cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Cocoa Powder, for dusting

Process

  1. To make the cupcakes, begin by preheating the oven to 375 degrees F. Fill 2 12-cup cupcake pans with liners.
  2. Using a scissor, cut the bacon into 1/4″ wide pieces. Cook the bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  4. Pour in the eggs, coffee, buttermilk and oil into the dry ingredients mixture. Stir just until blended. Mix in 3/4 of the bacon, reserving the rest for garnish.
  5. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups, dividing evenly. 
  6. Bake 20-25 minutes, until the tops spring back when lightly pressed. Cool for 15 minutes in the pan prior to removing a wire rack. When cool, frost the cupcakes. 
  7. To make the frosting, beat the butter until light and fluffy.
  8. Top with the remaining bacon and then dust with the additional cocoa powder.

Cupcake sourced from All Recipes, frosting by I am a Honey Bee

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Also…

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