Sugar & Spice & Everything Christmasy!!!

So as proof that I’ve been putting my KitchenAid to VERY good use this holiday season…

Christmas cupcakes: for bowling night

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Cookies and Mini Cupcakes: to share with friends and family

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New Recipe!!!! Nutella Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies that Andrea and I made together!

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They are AMAZING!!!

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Chocolatey Chocolate Brownies by the Christmas Tree πŸ™‚

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Traditional Christmas Cut-out Cookies, Lemon Bars, and (my personal holiday favorite) Chocolate Cookies with Peanut Butter Chips: to take to share with coworkers

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And a Christmas Cupcake Order! πŸ™‚

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Merry Christmas to all and to all great Christmas treats!

Happy Turkey (and Pie) Day!!!!

So little did I know that my fantastic boyfriend had bought me a Christmas gift in early November and he couldn’t stand it any more… he just had to give it to me! So the night before I was going to be making apple pies for the Thanksgiving dinner… TaDa!!!!!
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My very first KitchenAid attachment!!! It’s an awesome slicer/peeler/shredder!!!!

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Unfortunately it slices apples too thin so I couldn’t use it for my apple pie preparations… but I know it’ll be great for many more recipes to come!

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How do you like them apples? A perfect assortment for 2 huge apple pies!

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This is my favorite part of the preparation!!!
My sister and I used to fight over who got to stir in the cinnamon and sugar… in order to be the official taste-tester of course!!! πŸ˜‰

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I also made my first ever pumpkin pie! It went over really well!

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YUM!

And just because… I have to show how awesome the bird turned out as well!

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And the perfect plate: made up of a little taste of everything!

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I used the KA to whip up some awesome mashed potatoes, the batter for the cornbread, the pumpkin pie batter, and the pie crusts!
It defiantly helped cut down on time of prep work!!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!!!

Pumpkin Bars

Given the spirit of Thanksgiving I get in quite a pumpkin-y mood! So when I went to Taste of America to get the American imported products I need for our Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday, I bought extra cans of pumpkin. Pumpkin bars have always been a family favorite, but I don’t remember ever making them… my aunt usually does. So I figured I’d give it a go!

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This was only the second recipe I have made using my new KitchenAid. After the craziness of the whoopie pies, I figured I’d stick to a tried and true family favorite!

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I ❀ Pumpkin!!!!

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When I put the batter in my 9×13 inch pan I thought it would all fit… Good thing I decided to split it into two pans!
They got a little toasty and cracked on the top, but nothing a little cream cheese icing can’t fix!

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I feel like the I have the power to whip anything with my KA! The icing was ready in a flash!

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Put the two together and you get Pumpkin Bars!!!

My family uses the recipe from Better Homes and Garden’s CookBook… but it’s also online!Β 
Go check it out if you’re interested:Β http://www.bhg.com/recipe/bars/autumn-pumpkin-bars/Β 

As a rule of thumb I always read recipes (especially the ingredients) first and see if there is anything I might want to tweak. Granted, if I’m looking at a new recipe that isn’t similar to anything I have ever made before, I try to follow the recipe closely so that when I’m finished and I can see how it turned out and know what to change for the next time.

Enjoy!

Half-sized Whoopie Pies

So I spent a while trying to decide what would be the first thing I should make in my new KitchenAid. I knew I wanted to make something that required some sort of icing so I could put it’s whipping power to the test! The weekend before my KA arrived, we took a trip to Segovia and I discovered this great store called “CASA” (HOUSE) and I tried to limit myself to only buying one or two things (because I could have gone crazy in there!!). I saw a whoopie pie pan and thought, that’s it!!! I’ll find a whoopie pie recipe to use as my first recipe in the new KitchenAid! In hindsight I probably should have stuck to a recipe I already knew and trusted… I had to doctor this recipe as I went! But really the recipe didn’t matter, I still had a blast using my KA for the first time!

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Soooo once I got all the necessary ingredients together I started whipping up the batter for the chocolate cakey-cookie part…..

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Yum!!

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I added the last few necessary ingredients and started using the big ice cream scoop (that has barely ever been used for actual ice cream scooping to be honest) and started measuring out the batter onto my new whoopie pie pan.

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They turned out pretty well… Although not as flat as I would have liked…

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Now, I must say that traditionally whoopie pies are two cakey-cookies put together sandwich style with cream in the middle… But sandwich cookies are usually too much for me. I for one would always prefer 2 smaller cookies over just 1 big one…. So when I realized just how massive they would turn out to be sandwich style, I decided to put the cream on top of each cookie instead of in the middle of two cookies.

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I even made a chocolate cream version for us chocolate (with even more chocolate) fans out there!

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Looking forward to sharing my 2nd KA story! I’ve been using most of my free time to use my KitchenAid instead of updating you all on my blog! I hope to share more recipes, pics, and tips soon!

I bought a KitchenAid Mixer!!!!!

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I fiiiiiiinally bought my own KITCHENAID STAND MIXER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Do a happy dance with me!!!

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I bought it on amazon.es, and I went for the cheapest one I could find… (because man they cost a pretty penny!) I would have loved to have bought the green apple colored one… buuuut I went for the red one instead because it would have been 100 euros more expensive to get the color I wanted… But I love the red one just the same because it’s mine!!!!! It has been WONDERFUL!!!! I can’t believe I used to mix all of my recipes by hand before this!

I ordered it on November 1st and by November 6th UPS came knocking at my door!!!! And I haven’t stopped baking since! It’s the ULTIMATE new kitchen toy!
Here are some fun “unboxing” pictures… πŸ™‚

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A box, inside of a box…

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…inside of another box… (keeping it well protected!!)
Noooooot to “smash it with a hammer!”


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(love that movie) ANYWAY…

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Love at first sight!!! πŸ™‚

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There she is!!!!

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I cleared a space for my KA the night before it was due to arrive so that…

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TaDa!!!!!!!!!! It fits in so nicely!

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LOVE it!

If you’ve got a KA of your own, let me know what you love to use it for the most!

It arrived just in time for Thanksgiving and I made some AWESOME mashed potatoes!! So creamy!
Other years it was a nightmare doing it over the stove and constantly having to mix and heat and mix and heat…

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Keep an eye out for new blog posts!!!! Trust me, I’ve kept busy mixing up recipes with my KA mixer and I baked up a storm during the holidays!!!
Lots of updates coming soon!!!!

Thanks for reading! It’s nice to be back!!!

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Blueberry Muffins!!

I love blueberry muffins!!!!! A friend of mine bought me blueberries from the grocery store because sometimes they’re difficult to find (and they tend to be super expensive)… And so I made some blueberry muffins!!!!! YUMMM!

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Fresh Blueberries!!!!! YUM!

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When mixing the blueberries into the muffin batter, it’s best that you roll the blueberries in flour first so that later when baking, they blueberries don’t explode. Instead, they tend to stay whole.

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Ready to be put in the oven!

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Bakin’!

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Perfect little blueberry muffin! I sprinkled a little bit of white sugar on the top before baking so that it has a nice glossy look (and it’s tasty too!)

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Care for one? πŸ˜‰

Thanks for stopping by!

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Jubilee Jumbles (the disappearing cookies)

These cookies are the family favorite without a doubt! Since they have icing that needs to set, it’s takes longer to make them… so that usually means that we don’t bake (or get the pleasure of eating) them that often. So they are special occasion cookies! I decided to make them for the first day back at bowling practice. I had been in the US for 2 and a half months, and you can tell by the picture that everyone missed me…. or rather, my cookies!!! I barely had time to take a picture before they all disappeared! πŸ˜‰

Two things that go well together: Cookies & Bowling!!!

Tortilla de Patatas 2…. 3 & 4!!!

Back in March I wrote about the many steps it takes to make ONE tortilla de patatas and this summer my family asked me to make one for them. I was eager for them to be able to try this traditional Spanish dish, however, my family is quite large (therefore, just ONE tortilla de patatas wouldn’t be enough). My mom then reminded me that I could use her KitchenAid mixer attachment to help slice the potatoes! She encouraged me to make them without even peeling the potatoes which I never thought to do since in Spain people peel virtually everything (apples, pears, peaches, etc) before eating them. So I decided to go for it: leaving the peel of the potatoes was going to save me a lot of work!

So I set myself up for slicing the potatoes with the help of the KitchenAid mixer:

Slicing up the potatoes was SOOOOOOOOOO easy thanks to the KitchenAid!

Potatoes sliced & onions diced!

My dad helped me fry all the potatoes… we had a great production line going on!

My first KitchenAid utensil (and most recent new kitchen “toy”) came in handy when frying the potatoes in the hot oil.

This is just one of four tortillas cooking!

I think it took around 4 or 5 hours to make them all for the family party that day!

But it was time well spent!

Everyone loved them!!!!

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Tiramisoup!

Every year my aunt and uncle host a Labor Day Picnic at their house. Everyone brings a crockpot filled with food, a salad, or a dessert of some sort. My cousins and I go to their house ahead of time to help clean the house and prepare the food. Usually I am just a helping hand in the party’s preparation but this year I decided that I was also going to make a dessert myself. I chose to make Tiramisu since it was something a little more out of the ordinary and it turned out really well the last time I made it.

Wellllllll… this time it turned out more like TiramiSOUP!!!! I mistakingly bought fat free whipping cream which my grandmother (in all her baking years of wisdom) said that I would never be able to get it to really whip to a cream… and she was right! There was no way, no how. It just remained a liquid, no matter how long I tried to whip it….

Luckily the end result wasn’t a complete disaster because let’s face it, if you put whipping cream, sugar, ladyfingers, powdered chocolate, and a grated Hershey’s chocolate bar on virtually anything, it’ll still be delicious enough to eat even if the consistency isn’t what you wanted it to be!!

People ended up using it as a type of sauce to dip a cookie in or put over a brownie! haha… It was a hit even though I felt as though it was a disaster! That’s why I love baking so much! You try new things and even though it may not turn out exactly as you want it to, baking very rarely results in complete disaster!!!

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Cookies & Cupcakes (JOE’S BDAY PARTY 2)

In addition to the Zucchini Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins that I made ahead of time for my cousin’s birthday, I also wanted to make some cookies and cupcakes! I made the cookie dough ahead of time as well and the cupcakes the day of the party.

THE COOKIES:

I’ve written about these “surprise peanut butter middle chocolate cookies” before… they are one of my favorites! But they take a while to make. The chocolate dough has to be chilled before flattening out each cookie in preparation to be filled with the peanut butter middles.

It can get a little messy but they’re fun to make (and so worth the work!!!) πŸ™‚

They turned out well! Everyone loved them! πŸ˜€

THE CUPCAKES:

Since it was a birthday party… I had to make something I could decorate for the occasion! So I decided on chocolate cupcakes with white icing that I would decorate to look like the Philadelphia’s baseball team’s mascot The Phillie Phanatic! πŸ™‚ It was not as clean looking as I would have liked since I was decorating cupcakes as if it were a flat sheet cake… But I think it turned out pretty well!

And Joe enjoyed “helping cleaning up” by sampling the leftover icing!!! haha

It was a very fun day! Great food, wonderful family, many laughs. πŸ™‚

Thanks for reading!!