White Chocolate Chip Lemom Cake Mix Cookies

It’s 42 days until our cruise.

I’m super amped about it. SUPER AMPED!!!!

This will be our first vacation as a family of 4, so I am really excited about that.

We are leaving out of Tampa and are going to Key West and Cozumel. While we have been to both places previously, yet I am still really looking forward to the cruise. We are just going to visit these places with a different focus now, especially having kids now.

Like, we are want to see how Key West is doing post Hurricane Irma – hopefully well! Also, the last time we were in Key West was for our Babymoon with Autumn. So fun, but I need a drink in hand this time, especially from The Rum Bar.

We have had a Royal Caribbean Credit Card for awhile and I just recently noticed that we had some points expire. Unacceptable! So I started to look into cruise that we could take and how I could redeem the points that we have before they died off. I was looking for a really affordable cruise and ending up stumbling across one that had a BOGO 1/2 OFF deal with a Kids Sail Free deal. That means the 4 of us are taking a cruise for the cost of 1 1/2 fares. WIN! And I redeemed a ton of points to cut that price in half. I nearly had a Brandi Chastain moment when I got off the phone after I booked the cruise. AHHHHHHHH!!!!! GOAAAAAAAAAAAAAL!!!!!

Anyway, leading up to the cruise, I should stop eating all the stuff that is brought into my office from vendors (I can resist some chocolate, but toffee from Tampa based Toffee To Go… I WILL NEVER RESIST THAT FOOD FROM THE GODS!!!!!!) and these cookies.

I’m warning you, these are super quick and easy to make, and I swear will disappear just as quickly. Cake Mix cookies for the win!!!!!

White Chocolate Chip Lemon Cake Mix Cookies

Makes 22-24 Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 15.25 ounce package of lemon cake mix
  • 2 Cups white chocolate chips

Process

  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Place a non-stick silicone baking mat on a large cookie sheet.
  2. Whisk together the oil and the eggs. Mix in the cake mix.
  3. Once the cake mix is completely moist and lump free, mix in the white chocolate chips.
  4. Scoop 8-12 heaping Tablespoon sized dough balls on to the baking sheet (depending on size of baking sheet)
  5. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until just set. Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for a few minutes to allow of them to firm up in the center. Remove to continue to cool on a cooling rack.
  6. Repeat for the rest of the cookies.
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Mini Lemon Blueberry Monkey Bread Muffins

Let’s talk The Handmaid’s Tale!!!

I am addicted. Seriously addicted. I have watched and re-watched the available 5 episodes. And I am counting down until the new episode is released on Wednesday.

The storytelling is amazing, the acting is incredible, the costumes are well developed… I could go on and on. It’s scarily so well thought out and horribly believable. It gives me chills watching it.

Insist that you watch it.

Then you must come back here and tell me what you think!!!

I also insist that you make these Mini Lemon Blueberry Monkey Bread Muffins

Autumn inhaled 2 of them after eating her dinner. I guess she liked them. She even ate one while getting a bath. (Of course, I had to snap this to Amanda as ongoing documentation of the weird stuff my kid eats while in the tub- previous to this it’s been buttered french bread, pasta, and cous cous- clearly she likes carbs!)

I honestly was surprised since they are a bit tart from the lemon in the muffin and the lemony glaze but the gobbled them right up. She is a big fan of blueberries so they were right up her alley.

I hope that you enjoy them just as much as we all did too.

Mini Lemon Blueberry Monkey Bread Muffins

Makes 12 ‘muffins’

Ingredients

For the muffins

  • 1 can of buttermilk biscuits (8 pack, 16.3oz)
  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 Cup blueberries
  • 1 tablespoons butter, melted

For the glaze

  • 1 1/2 Cups powdered sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoons lemon juice

Process

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray the cavities of a muffin tin.
  2. Cut each biscuit into 10-12 small pieces.
  3. Combine the sugar and zest. Add the pieces to the sugar mixture to coat them. Add about 2/3 of the biscuit pieces to the muffin tin cavities, add the blueberries, top off with the remaining biscuit pieces.
  4. Evenly pour the melted butter into each muffin cavity.
  5. Bake for 18- 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes prior to removing.
  6. Combine the powdered sugar and lemon juice to make a glaze. Drizzle over the warm muffins and enjoy!

Mini Lemon Angel Food Cakes with Lemon Blueberry Compote

Mini Lemon Angel Food Cakes

Tomorrow is a big day!

It’s going to be Autumn’s first time having a friend over. In fact, she is going to sleep over so it’s going to be a very special time for the girls.

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It’s my friend Nichole’s birthday so we are going to have her daughter over so her fiance can take her out for a fun night. In fact her fiance and I planned this as a fun surprise for her. Plus, the girls would just have a blast. They are addicted to each other.

I am planning on prepping some cookie dough tonight so the girls can make some cookies in the afternoon for an activity and a special treat to enjoy after dinner- pizzas that they get to create!

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I have been on a baking kick lately and recently whipped up these mini angel food cakes, among a bunch of other stuff that I can’t wait to share.

Angel food cake is one of my favorites to make as I love to whip those egg whites like crazy. It’s just so fun. Plus, so pretty. I think those peaks are pretty.

Since angel food cake only has a few ingredients, with the primary ingredient being the eggs, I focus on having great quality ingredients to have a great tasting dessert. In general, I try to get organic foods but if that is not possible (or affordable) I focus on getting something is fresh and all around good for the environment and for us.

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I have been hooked on Nellie’s Free Range Eggs since doing our first Whole30 last year. We were eating so many eggs that I wanted to eat eggs that were go for us and for the chickens. I figured that that was the least I could do! I switched to Free Range since Cage Free just isn’t enough. Chickens that are cage free are just cage free eggs, they are still jam packed into factories. Nellie’s chickens have access to the outdoors so they can sit, lay, play, and peck in grass. And they can even give themselves dusts baths as well. Besides that they are also Certified Humane. I love how much they love their chickens!

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The proper care and diet creates a great product that tastes and looks great. I really notice a difference in my eggs that I enjoy for breakfasts, fritatas that I eat for lunch, and the desserts I enjoy at the end of the day.

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Overall, I love that angel food cake isn’t sooo bad for your since it uses egg whites, making it fat free, and not a crazy amount of sugar. yay!

I normally would have just made 1 big angel food cake but I can’t find my 3 pans. Yes, I have 3 angel food cake pans. Don’t ask… But since we are in a state of flux since we have moved in Feb I don’t know where they are in the unpacked boxes. I couldn’t deal with buying yet another angel food cake pan so I figured I could at least justify the expense of a new pan if it made mini ones. I hopped over to my trusty Amazon and picked out a Wilton one that makes 4 at a time and it arrived just a day later. (Prime = best thing ever!)

These mini angel food cakes are so cute, but are so good too. I love the lemon added to the cake. It just gives it a bit of flare, which goes so well with blueberries. yum!

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If you feel that you want to just make 1 large cake, then triple all of the ingredients (1 Cup cake flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 12 eggs, 1 teaspoon cream of tartar, 1 1/4 Cup sugar, and zest of 3 lemons), follow the came process, except that you want to divide the flour into 3-4 batches when adding it into the beaten egg whites, and bake for 35-40 total. Super simple.

Grab some eggs and make yourself some adorable mini angel food cakes!

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Mini Lemon Angel Food Cakes with Lemon Blueberry Compote

Makes 4 mini angel food cakes

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 1/3 Cup cake flour (spooned and leveled)
  • a pinch of salt
  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/3 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/3 Cup and 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • zest of 1 large lemon (save the lemon for the compote)

For the lemon blueberry compote

  • 1 pint blueberries
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2-3 tablespoons
  • serve with whipped cream

Process

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place flour and salt in a sieve, sift into bowl, and set aside.
  3. Using a stand mixer or a hand mixer, beat the egg whites on medium-high until foamy, about 1 minute. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat until soft peaks form.
  4. Gradually adding sugar and lemon zest while beating the egg whites; beat until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes.
  5. Using the sieve again, sift the flour mixture over egg-white mixture. Incorporate the flour by using a rubber spatula to fold in the mixture by scooping up some the egg whites along the side of the bowl and gently folding them over the center, repeating until the flour is all incorporated. The key is to do this very gently and not deflate the beat egg whites.
  6. Evenly spoon the batter into the ungreased cavities in the angel food cake pan. Remove large air bubbles by gently mixing the batter with a small knife. Wipe down the edges to remove excess batter to prevent burning.
  7. Bake until the cakes are golden and spring back when lightly pressed, about 22-26 minutes. Flip upside down and place on wire baking rack. Let cool for 1 hour prior to removing the cakes from the pan.
  8. While the cakes are cooling, make the compote by combining all of the ingredients and cooking on low until the berries burst, about 10 minutes.
  9. When the cakes are cool, remove from the pan by running a knife around the outer edge of the pan and remove the cake and tube from the frame work. Then run you knife along the between the bottom of the cake and the pan, at the point you can gently pull the cake off the tube part. If there is resistance, then run a knife around the tube as well. Serve with the warm compote and some whipped cream.

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Want to try Nellie’s Free Range Eggs?

Then locate them near you HERE! And grab a coupon HERE as well!

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Post contains affiliate links

Thanks to Nellie’s Free Range Eggs for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.

 

Lemon Bars

Lemon Bars

I’ve been living in FL for a month now and I have been loving it all.

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The weather is amazing so windows are practically opened all the time. It’s so refreshing. BUT my dad told me not to don’t leave your car windows open to air out your car because geckos have been known to get in there and then just so happen to pop out while you’re driving, causing you to freak out, swerve off the road, and die. Okay, I added that last part but I’m sure that would happen to me so my windows are staying shut while I’m not driving.

But right now I’m totally loving all the fresh Florida citrus that is in season now. You can go to groves to pick citrus the way that you can pick apples in New England. We haven’t done it yet, but it will be a great activity one day.

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I decided to make that Lemon Bar recipe from a recent cookbook that I received to use up some of the tons of lemons I have been buying.

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The Perfect Portion Cookbook by Anson Williams, Bob Warden, and Mona Dolgov is right up my alley. I attacked it with post it’s the night it arrived.

What’s so appealing about this book to me?

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Well, it’s jam packed with over 150 healthy recipes that are ones that you would actually want to eat. Seriously, this cookbook is the real deal with cinnamon rolls, french toast, chili, pasta, and all kinds of dessert. It’s all about enjoying your favorite foods at a reasonable portion size. Plus, there it isn’t loaded up with phony stuff like non-fat plasticy butter. Recipes use butter. This is real life people.

The authors introduce the ‘idea’ of breaking down your recommended caloric intake by 3 meals and snacks during the day. They breakdown what a serving size of each recipe would be, like if you have 1/2 Cup of something it could be for lunch, but a larger portion would be for dinner. It’s really helpful to break things down this way.

As well, they give you a week’s worth of meals as an example to get you through the day with healthy options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with 2 snacks, and a dessert. Life needs dessert.

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I had a tough time of picking which recipe to first try since I had a good 30+ of ones that were must makes. Would it be the Cinnamon Rolls? The Chicken-Fried Steak? The Enchilada Bake? The “Hot Cocoa” Pretzels? Or Apple Pie turnovers? Tough decisions, but I decided on the Lemon Bars because I have a swimming pool sized bowl filled with citrus in the kitchen. I also exaggerated that, like the gecko thing. Clearly.

Anyway, I whipped these lemon bars up and I have to say I am so damn impressed with out well they came out.

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Since my baking supplies are in transit now, I just grabbed a pan out of my dad’s pantry which happened to be a rectangle but the surface area was comparable to a a 8×8 pan. So before you look at this and thing “yo lady, that’s not a square pan…” I know, I know. But it worked, I swear. You can also switch it to be a 9″ round pan but cutting out 20 even slices could be tricky.

Make these lemon bars. You will never ever know that they are just 100 calories each. Plus, it will help that they are just 100 calories each since when you eat them all it’s just 2,000 calories for the pan… oh wait. crap!

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Lemon Bars

Makes 20 Bars (each bar is just 100 calories!)

Ingredients

For the Cookie Crust

  • Non-stick Cooking Spray
  • 2/3 Cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 butter, softened
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cold water

For the Filling

  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 1/4 Cup sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 Cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Powdered sugar

Process

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare an 8″ x 8″ baking dish by spraying with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, combing the flour, butter, sugar, and water together using your fingers. The dough will be rather thick.
  3. Evenly press the dough in the bottom of the pan. It will be pretty thin.
  4. Bake the crust for 15 minutes, or until just until the edges begin to lightly brown. Let cool for 5 minutes.
  5. In a large bowl, or in the bowl or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix together all of the filling ingredients until well combined.
  6. Pour the filling over the coled crust. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and springy to touch.
  7. Let cool for at least 30 minutes prior to cutting into 4 rows, and then in 5 rows the other direction to create 20 pieces. Dust with powdered sugar.

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While I received The Perfect Portion Cookbook in exchange for a review, all opinions are expressly my own.

Post contains affiliate link(s)

 

 

Lemon Meringue Pie Waffles

Lemon Meringue Pie Waffles

37 Days until our wedding!!! AHHHHHH!!!!!

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It’s so exciting and nerve-racking as we still have so many little things to figure out. Sure, Price’s suit and my dress are all set but we have to nail down a bunch of things still. Like we’ve been shopping for the Out of Town Bags we are going to hand out at our reception dinner, and then started to assemble them the other night, and now we have to decorate them with some ribbon next. Nothing too time consuming but just stuff like that.

It’s fun to plan it all out and do it to. It’s just that the time is getting squeezed, but it will all get done, right?!?! Okay, I know it will, but still ahhhhh!!!

Anyway, I’ll have some more in depth wedding planning posts soon.

In the mean time, I have this delightfully sweet and tart waffle recipe for ya. It’s finger licking good. Like chicken, but 10x better.

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Ever since I saw these Lemon Meringue Cupcakes I couldn’t stop thinking of them. For real, they were haunting my dreams.

Granted, I was doing Whole30 then and some days I could have killed someone for some sugar. But in reality, they just looked awesome and I wanted them so badly.

Obviously, I had to make them, but with a twist. I had to make them into waffles.

Waffles are my everything right now. They are so awesome. I think about them all the time. You know, in the mix of toddle things, wedding things, work things, etc, etc. My brain is a jumble of delightful things.

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These Lemon Meringue Pie Waffles are perfectly tart and sweet. It’s a great combination of flavors. I love lemon. It’s so refreshing. And lemon Meringue pie is so lemony. It’s the best.

Sure, pie is great. I love pie. And I know, I made over 50 last year when I did my Year of Pie posts. But waffles are so much easier to make. Plus, you’re basically having pie for breakfast. So that’s awesome.

Right now the most important thing is to make these. And for me to write vows, make favors, and order babies breath wholesale. Oh yeah, all that.

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Don’t mind me as I stress eat these waffles while sitting on my kitchen counter going ‘la-la-la’ in my head. Care to join in?

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Lemon Meringue Pie Waffles

Makes 20 mini waffles, 10 waffle sandwiches

Ingredients

For the Waffles

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

For the Lemon Curd

  • 1 batch of Lemon Curd (3 Cups) or store bought lemon curd/lemon pudding

For the Meringue

  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 4 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • powdered sugar

Process

  1. To make the waffles, start by preheating your waffle iron.
  2. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
  3. Vigorously whisk the eggs in large bowl until fluffy. Add the milk, vegetable oil, lemon zest, and vanilla extract until just combined. 
  4. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Some small lumps are okay.
  5. Ladle 1/4-1/3 cup of the batter the onto hot waffle iron. Cook until golden brown. Remove to a baking rack on a cookie sheet in an oven warmed to 200 degrees. 
  6. While the waffles are cooking, make the meringue.
  7. Set a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water (don’t let the water touch the bottom of the bowl) to create a double boiler. Whisk together the egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar, until egg whites are warm to the touch, sugar is dissolved, and mixture is frothy. Remove from heat.
  8. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer with whisk attachment, beat until glossy and stiff peaks have formed. Add the vanilla in during last 30 seconds.
  9. Serve by plating a waffle , scooping a generous amount of the lemon curd on the warm waffle, and then scooping the meringue on top. Using a kitchen torch, or your broiler, brown the meringue. Top off with another waffle with making sandwiches. Dust with powdered sugar. Enjoy!

Waffle recipe by I am a Honey Bee, meringue from Baked By Rachel