Friday, May 31, 2013

School Bus Cake

Happy birthday Teacher!

On the teacher's birthday, what to do?

Create a School Bus Cake!!!

See, there she is, next to the bus driver^^^

See, there she is, next to the bus driver^^^

Divided Oreos for the faces...
See, there my son is^^^, in the middle^^^

And a TEACHER birthday card.

Thanks for looking!
<3 Lishie
Gabriel's Mom

Slow Cooker Honey BBQ Boneless Pork Loin Ribs

I was super excited for these. The house smelled gorgeously of bbq & honey... Mmmmm... 8 simmering hours. I made these on a day when we were home, in advance because I'm a bit freaked out by leaving something plugged in on all day. Anyone else? So at the end of the cook-time, I tasted the melt-in-your-mouth pork... it was absolutely delicious. Then I did something really stupid. I dished the steaming hot contents into a bowl, topped it with tinfoil for the cool down process. OVERNIGHT. (Anyone else?) Bye bye pork ribs :(

I shall be making these again, very very soon! This is the perfect dish if you want BBQ or it you want something delicious without turning on the oven. 

<3 Lishie

Slow Cooker Honey BBQ Boneless Pork loin Ribs
End Product
  • 3 to 4 lbs boneless pork loin ribs
  •  S&P
  • 1/4 c light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 c honey
  • 1 bottle barbecue sauce
Spray the insert of a 5 to 6-quart slow cooker. Place pork, fattier side down into the pot. Sprinkle pork with s & p, brown sugar, & minced garlic; turn the pork ribs to coat all pieces. Pour honey & BBQ Sauce evenly over the pork. Cover & cook on LOW for 8 hours. Serve w/ more BBQ sauce on the side.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Sour Cream Cinnamon Coffeecake

This is a delightful snack cake for when you want just that perfect, tender piece of cakeage to go with your afternoon drink. Look at that cinnamon-y streusel. I brought it into work for yet another celebration.

<3 Lishie

Sour Cream Cinnamon Coffeecake 

1/2 c (4 ounces) butter
1 c (7 ounces) sugar
2 large eggs
2 c All-Purpose Flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 c sour cream

1/2 c sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla

Cream together the butter, sugar, & eggs. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda & salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture alternately with the sour cream, stirring after each addition.

Grease & flour a regular-sized (9 1/2-inch) tube pan or bundt-style pan, or a 9 x 9-inch pan. Spread half the batter in the pan, & sprinkle with half the topping mixture. Repeat with remaining batter & topping.

Bake the coffeecake in a preheated 350°F oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cake tests done. Cool it for 10 to 15 minutes, then remove it from the pan. (If you've baked it in a 9 x 9-inch pan, just serve it right from the pan.) Place the cake right-side-up (topping up) on a plate to serve.
Yield: about 12 generous servings.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Perfect Pound Cake

There's nothing better for a warm spring or summer night then a slice of fresh pound cake w/ a dollop of fresh, whipped cream & strawberries.

<3 Lishie

Pound Cake 
  • 1 lb butter, softened (room temp)
  • 3 c sugar
  • 6 large eggs (room temp)
  • 4 c all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 c milk
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. (The butter will become a lighter yellow color; this is an important step, as the job of the mixer is to incorporate air into the butter so the cake will rise. It will take 1 to 7 minutes, depending on the power of your mixer.) Gradually add sugar, beating at medium speed until light & fluffy. (Again, the times will vary, & butter will turn to a fluffy white.) Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until yellow yolk disappears.

Add flour to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beginning & ending with flour. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. (The batter should be smooth & bits of flour should be well incorporated; to rid batter of lumps, stir gently with a rubber spatula.) Stir in extracts.

Pour into a greased & floured bread pan.

Bake at 300° for 1 hour & 40 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from pan, & cool completely on a wire rack.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Snack Quarry Mix +

The Snack Quarry is my take on Chex Mix minus the Chex.
And another fun snack from The Dinosaur Party.

Snack Quarry Mix
I mixed:
  • 1 bag of Bugles (Dinosaur Claws!)
  • 1 bag of shaped pretzels -waffle, etc. (Foilage!)
  • 1 bag of Peppridge Farm Rainbow Goldfish (Dinosaur Food!)
  • 1 bag of Yogurt covered raisins (Dinosaur Eggs!)
Mix it all up in one, big bowl...
Place a new, cleaned, Kid's shovel in the bowl...
And you have it... a Prehistoric

The kids LOVED it. Loved "digging" food.
It's the simple things.

Speaking of Simple things... Prehistoric Punch & Party Horns.
For Gabriel's 3rd Birthday, we had a Space theme & served Tang. It went over so well... People ran out to buy, well, Tang. So I thought, well, serve Tang again since it's orange for the dinosaur theme & call it "Prehistoric Punch".  As for the "Party Horns" for any triceratops in the crowd, they were just dime candy sticks.

<3 Lishie
Gabriel's Mommy

Monday, May 13, 2013

Apple Cupcakes for Teacher

Apple Cupcakes for Teacher

Teacher Appreciation Week 5/6- 5/10.
Thank you...
For teaching my baby boy...
For taking the time to care...
For everything you do...
For the little things...
For the big things...
the kindness,
the stern-ness,
the gentleness...
the urging on...
the tenderness...
the love.
Thank you for it all.

<3 Lishie
Gabriel's Mommy

Apple Cupcakes for Teacher
1 Vanilla Cupcake Recipe.
1 Cocoa Frosting Recipe (see below).
Red Sprinkles.
Pretzel Sticks.
 Spearmint jelly leaves.
Gummy Worms.

Cocoa Frosting Recipe
  • 1/2 c butter, softened
  • 3 c powdered sugar 
  • 1 c cocoa
  • 1/3 c milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Combine all ingredients together until smooth.

ABCs/123s Cupcakes
1 Vanilla Cupcake Recipe.
1 Cocoa Frosting Recipe.
ABCs/123s Sprinkles.


Teacher Appreciation Days 1 & 2 are HERE.
For Day 1:

For Day 2:

For Day 3:

For Day 4:

And now, for Day 5, to cap off the week:
Apple & ABC/123 Cupcakes for Teacher

Friday, May 10, 2013

Italian Chicken Meatballs

So just in case you think I only bake... here's a savory meal for you ;) We've been eating a lot of standbys in the DeMaria house & this is one of them. If you cannot tell from all of the celebratory cake, it's been busy & that is not to mention the other things going on! I don't want to exhaust you by listing them so, here, read this tasty recipe instead! Happy Friday!!!

<3 Lishie
Italian Chicken Meatballs
  • 1 1/4 lbs. ground chicken
  • 1/2 c breadcrumbs
  • 2 TBSp chopped onion
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 TBSp chopped parsley
  • 1/2 c Parmesan cheese, grated
  • s & p
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • zest of 1/2 a lemon
  • 3 TBSp olive oil
  • 29 oz canned tomato sauce
Preheat oven to 400°F, setting rack to top of oven. In a large bowl, using your hands, gently mix together first 11 ingredients. Shape into 3" size balls & place a few inches from each other on a foil-lined baking sheet. In a small bowl, mix one spoonful of your sauce with olive oil. Brush this mixture on top of each meatball. Bake for 15 minutes.

Remove meatballs from oven & add to your simmering sauce (below) for 5-10 minutes. Serve with pasta. And shredded fresh parmesan, yes, don't forget the parm!

Sauce- saute 1 small onion, chopped in olive oil w/ 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 TBsp tomato paste... Add the rest of the tomato sauce... Simmer on low...

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

We had a very grey, wet day in New York so what better than to brighten it? A work birthday. I love work birthdays... I love to bake for work birthdays. Win, win :) Only thing is, how to transport a 2 layer cake via bus & a 1 mile walk?! Well, in pieces, of course. I clandestinely prepared this in the break area with a view. And I think it turned out pretty... 
Bunting is my new favorite obsession.
Make a Wish...

<3 Lishie

Carrot Cake
  • Baking Spray, for pans
  • 2 c all-purpose flour
  • 2 c sugar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 c canola oil
  • 3 c grated carrots
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 2 (9") round pans.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger & salt. Add eggs &  oil. Blend until combined.Fold in the carrots.

Pour into pans. Bake for approximately 40 minutes. Remove from oven & cool for 5 minutes. Remove from pans & allow to cool completely before frosting.

  • 2 (8-oz) packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 stick salted butter, room temperature
  • 1 (16-oz) box powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Mix all ingredients until fluffy.

Photo Courtesy of Jeremy Kelley (THANK you!!!)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Boulder Bars ~ Trix® Crispies

Another fun, colorful, full-of-sugary-goodness recipe from Gabriel's Dinosaur Party.
Boulder Bars!!! Beautiful snacks that harken back to the dinosaur age... Never heard of them? They were created by the bright Lava from the Lava Cake Pops! Anyway, these too were loved by all so much so that mommasaurus here did not get one! Ha.

<3 Lishie
Gabriel's mommy

Boulder Bars ~ Trix® Crispies
adapted from Kelloggs
  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 package (10 oz., about 40) regular marshmallows
  • - OR -
  • 4 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 6 cups TRIX® cereal
1. In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows & stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.

2. Add TRIX® cereal. Stir until well coated.

3. Using buttered spatula or wax paper evenly press mixture into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray. Cool. Cut into 2-inch squares. Best if served the same day.

In microwave-safe bowl heat butter & marshmallows on HIGH for 3 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes. Stir until smooth. Follow steps 2 and 3 above. Microwave cooking times may vary.

IF I could take good pictures, this is what they'd look like up close & personal... From Cravings of a Lunatic:

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Cream Cheese Carrot Cake Muffins

It's Teacher Appreciation week & today is Teacher Appreciation Day. My son has a great teacher & I've been throwing ideas around in my head for a week-long thank you celebration. Day 1: flowers & a handmade card (see picture below. The "card" is a pair of paper ice skates with yarn laces, all laced up. G's teacher is also a figure skater & skate teacher. The card says, "I APPRECI-SKATE you! Love, Gabriel").

I mean seriously, it's so easy to personalize a thank you, ignore that pinterest stuff! Do something FOR the teacher. I don't know about you but I had some great teachers myself. You know who they were... the ones who didn't count down the days till summer & who took a real interest in YOU. Yes, YOU. Well, I want to say a big thank you to all of them. They helped me so much.

I found out through G's teacher's sister that Ms. F loves carrot cake... I decided Day 2 would be cream cheese carrot cake muffins for the teacher & for the classroom aides. And these came out soooo yummy!!! You'll have to stay-tuned for Days 3 through 5 ;)



Gabriel's mommy

Cream Cheese Carrot Cake Muffins
slightly adapted from King Arthur Flour


  • one 8oz package cream cheese
  • 1/4 c granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla


  • 2 1/4 c, a-p flour
  • 1/2 c granulated sugar
  • ¼ c light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 c water
  • 1/3 c vegetable oil
  • 1 c grated carrots, lightly packed; about 2 medium-large carrots
1) Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a standard 12-well muffin pan. Or line the pan with paper muffin cups, & grease the cups.
2) To make the filling: Place the cream cheese in a microwave-safe bowl, & heat on low power for 40 seconds. Stir in the sugar & vanilla. Set aside.
3) To make the muffin batter: In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
4) In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, water, & oil.
5) Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
6) Fold in the grated carrots, stirring to combine.
7) Drop about 2 TBsp of the batter (a TBSp cookie scoop works well here) into each muffin cup, spreading it to cover the bottom.
8) Dollop on a heaping TBSp of filling; a level TBSp cookie scoop works well here.
9) Cover with enough batter to fill the muffin cups quite full. The batter will come to within about 1/4" to 3/8" of the top of each muffin cup. But don't try to use all the batter; unless you have particularly deep cups, you'll have abut 1/3 cup batter left over. Bake it in a separate custard cup, if desired.
10) Bake the muffins until a toothpick inserted into the cake part of one (not into the cream cheese filling) comes out clean, about 20 minutes. The tops of the muffins will feel firm to the touch.
11) Remove the muffins from the oven, & as soon as you're able to handle them, transfer them to a rack. If you serve the muffins warm, the filling will be molten. If you wait for them to cool, it'll firm up.
Yield: 12 filled muffins
carrots in a row

ooey-gooey goodness

"I APPRECI-SKATE you! Love, Gabriel"