Monday, March 31, 2014

DIY Recipe: Breakfast casserole

You know when you see a recipe and say to yourself "I should totally make that"? Well, I found the below recipe on Instagram. It was posted by a lady I follow on there. It looked very yummy and easy so I figured "perché no?" ("why not" in Italian).

I am glad I did because its been a HUGE hit with JOE! She has had one (sometimes 2) helping a day since I made them. I did "thin" it out a bit since JOE has some sensitivities to the original ingredients used.

The best part is that J is interested in trying them too. Considering he doesn't really like eggs, this was big. I plan on making them with just egg whites for him since he can somewhat tolerate egg whites and using spicy Italian sausages.

Anyways, here are the ingredients needed. It is very similar to a frittata or crust-less quiche.

This makes 1-dozen muffins:
1/2 cup egg whites
1/4 cup light heavy cream (yes, they sell those at the grocery store!)
1/2 chopped onion (I used my frozen stash. No teary eyes here :-))
1/2 chopped bell peppers (again, I used my frozen stash)
Sprinkle of parsley
1 cup shredded light mozzarella cheese
1/2 packet of diced turkey bacon (just get the stripes and cut them up. The original recipe calls for spicy sausages. Just be sure to get it out of the casing first).

1. Grease muffin pan with olive oil or cooking spray.
2. NOTE: If you're using sausage, brown it in a pan with the chopped onions and bell peppers before adding to the mixture in step 3 below.
3. If you're using turkey bacon like I did, in a bowl, add in chopped onions, bell peppers, eggs, egg white, heavy cream, cheese (leave some out for later) and seasoning. Mix it all together then add the turkey bacon

4. Spoon mixture into muffin pan filling it to about 3/4 full

5. Top with some cheese
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-minutes or until it looks cooked throughout.

JOE decided to "help" me so I gave her a bowl and mixer

Check out my baby hard at work!

The end results

Taste test. YUM! JOE wanted it right away!

Have an awesomely blessed week!

Friday, March 28, 2014

DIY: Giant Reese's Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcake

"What a difference a year makes!" You hear that saying all the time but unless you are looking at it in pictures, it seems not much has changed. I was about to write this post and thought to myself "didn't I just post about J's birthday a few months ago?" Well, I did...12-months ago to be exact! I am reminded of the saying "time change is the only constant in life" or something like that...I am bad with idiomatic expressions! :-P

J's birthday was yesterday. He is now officially the same age as me. I tease him all the time to show me respect since I am older. I am actually a little over 6-months older than him. I guess now that we're the same age, I have to retire that being older line for another 6-months :-).

J LOVES chocolate peanut butter cake. I mean he REALLY REALLY loves it. So I decided to make J a Giant Reese's Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcake. I think JOE will also come to love chocolate peanut butter cakes judging from how much she enjoyed tasting the filling when I was making the cake. I guess I am the only red velvet cake lover in the house.

This was relatively easy. A little time consuming but easy overall.

You will need the following:
Reese's Peanut Butter Premium Cupcake mix (you'll need the ingredients for the cake...eggs, water, milk, oil)
Peanut butter molding chocolate buttons
Giant cupcake pan
Mini Reese's Peanut Butter cups
Cake mate sprinkles for decor
Birthday candle

The Shell:
The day before you plan on making the cake, you'll need to make the peanut butter shell. I got the bag from Michaels but your local grocery store might carry it.

1. Melt half the bag in the microwave for a minute. Stir and pour into the bottom side of your giant cupcake pan. Do not grease the pan. It isn't necessary.
2. Use a brush, your clean dry hand or a spatula to properly spread the chocolate around.
3. Put in the fridge for 20-minutes.
4. Melt the other bag and repeat steps 2 & 3 above
5. Leave in fridge for at least 1-hour. I left mine overnight because I made this after I got back from work and had my hands full with JOE.
NOTE: To remove the shell, you might need to use a toothpick to loosen around the edge in like 4 places. I only needed to do it in a couple of places and it came right out.
6. Store the shell in the fridge until you are ready to use

Below is what it'll look like.
The cupcake shell

Close up of the shell

The Cake:
- Mix the cake mix according to the instructions on the back of the pan
- Since you're working with a giant cupcake pan, you'll need to leave it in the oven to bake for 1-hour as opposed to the 21 - 26 minutes listed on the back. Start checking at 50-minutes just incase.
- Use a skewer to check on the cake's doneness.
- Let the cake cool for 15-minutes before taking out of pan.
- Mix the peanut butter filling that came in the box.

Decorating the cake!
- Use a serated knife to carefully cut off the top of the cake to smooth it out. Store the top to use in ice cream later. YUM!!!
- Use the knife again to cut the cake horizontally into 2-equal halves.
- Using the knife, carve out the outer edge of the cake so it'll fit properly into the cupcake shell
- Using half of the peanut butter filling that came with the cake mix, spread it on top of the bottom half then put the 2 halves together.
- Use the other half on the top of the cake
- Add sprinkles 
- Add peanut butter cups and a candle
- Let it all cool in the fridge for 30-minutes


The End Result:

The Birthday Celebration:
J decided to take the day off to relax and enjoy his day. I am glad I made the cake the day before because he was able to have some of the cut up pieces during the day. 
When I got home, we got ready and headed out to J's favorite restaurant. I want to say his all time favorite but I know how much he loves Fogo De Chao so I think they are both his top picks for places to eat. 

Cheesing it up for the camera.

Ready to open presents. J didn't tell me what he wanted for his birthday so he got the cake, dinner and a gift card from JOE and I. 

I love this picture. Check out a similar one from last year. 

Time to blow the candle! JOE of course had to be a part of it :-).

JOE reading her card to her da-da. This was just too cute! She really does amaze me everyday!

Dig in! The cake was SOOOOO yummy and RICH! I had to get an extra small sliver and even then, I didn't finish it. JOE of course had ALL my sprinkles!

Expertise needed: You just need to be comfortable baking and improvising if needed.
Total Approximate time: I made the cake over the course of 2 evenings after I got back from work. The first night took me less than 10-minutes of prep work. The second night took me about 30-minutes of prep work. So actual prep work time was 40-minutes BUT the actual time for the cake from start to finish adding in baking and cooking time was more like 2-hours.
Total Spent on materials: Approximately $10. The box of cake mix was about $4.39, the candy melts was $1.99 (with coupon), the mini peanut butter cups was on sale (yay for Easter candy!) for $2.50 per bag. I didn't use the entire bag though. I already had the sprinkles and the pan at home.
Feedback: I think it was a hit! :-)

Foolery: Things that make me go hmmm...

I haven't done a lot of casual reading lately. However, this story did get my attention and sympathy. I am sure this man was really looking forward to being a dad. It is really sad that it was all a lie. I am glad his girlfriend is getting the help she needs.

This story still baffles me. I just don't understand how a mother will let her 8-year old child spend so much time alone with a man that's not the child's father and not be concerned about what is going on when she isn't there.
If you see this girl OR the man who has her, PLEASE call it in to your local authorities. With all my heart, I pray this child is found alive soon. 

 On a lighter note, I know there's been a lot of talk about Kim and Kanye's appearance on the cover of Vogue magazine. I don't care much for them but when I saw this picture, 2 things came to mind.
1. Awww...Nori is just so cute!!!
2. I hope she pees on him! He was so inviting that by having the baby lay on him naked. Still not sure what that was about.
Of course, after I thought that, I read the following day that she did indeed pee on him. LMAO! Don't pee is harmless. Take it from someone who has had a lot of pee and other things on them :-). Being a parent and/or caring for a baby is FUN!

Have an awesomely blessed weekend and remember to be kind to strangers!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Message in a tea bag

Lately, I have been feeling tired due to having a lot on my plate and stressed because I can't get it all done.

2-nights ago, I decided to have a cup of tea before going to bed in hopes that it'll help soothe me a bit.

This was the message on the tea bag.

I know it is likely in a million other tea bags out there but I felt that message was specifically for me at that particular time.

Hope you're having an awesomely blessed day!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Photo Dump Wednesday (PDW): Food pics and stuff

Yay!!! It is hump day! I am reminded of the camel commercial where the camel wants to remind everyone what day it is. Its really dry humor but thinking of it just made me smile this morning.
Hope you're having a good week so far. I have had a lot on my plate and on my mind in the last few weeks but I am slowly but surely getting back to me.

I have heard the saying "the mind is a terrible thing to lose". Stress does make things a lot more challenging but I am working out and with J's support and JOE's love, things are starting to come together.

Anyways, back to PDW! Some of these are pictures I took a couple of weeks ago.

Trying to lose weight for me means eating fewer carbs and more proteins. That was my dinner. An italian sausage chicken patty, a slice of american cheese, ketchup and pepperdew peppers. YUM!

So I tries to make Akara (bean cakes) again and this time, they were much fluffier and yummier too!

Practicing my photography skills

JOE's nanny just got back from her home Country and brought us some oriental sweets. EVERYTHING is YUMMY! The empty spaces were consumed by me BEFORE J even got home! In my defense, it has nuts and nuts are good for weight loss right?

This was just too funny! JOE sleeping in our bed. She's been teething and for the last week, she has woken up either at 2am or at 4am and wouldn't calm down until we bring her to our bed. Mommy and daddy need sleep so if this'll soothe her, then so be it.

Last week, JOE's nanny was on vacation so J and I got to watch JOE on alternate days. This was on day 2 for me. JOE and I went to the mall for a bit. After she played at the playground, we went to view the giant tank they have at the mall. 

Then got some frozen yogurt.

Look at that confident and determined walk. My model in the making :-).

On day 1, we went to the library. JOE loves it there but I don't think the other readers were too pleased when we were leaving because JOE decided to throw a tantrum and screamed her way all the way to the car!

So this was funny. I made crepes 2 weekends ago and we had one last one that I had saved all through the week. I wanted to have it for breakfast last Thursday since I knew I'd be home. I made my coffee, unwrapped the crepe, put it down and got JOE's oatmeal for her. I turned around and my little girl was running away with MY crepe. She was eating it and laughing at the same time! I tried to get a bite but she would have NONE of it. She ate the entire thing then offered me her messy hand. I thought she wanted me to have the rest but nope...she wanted me to clean her hands! Needless to say, lesson learned! I am going to start hiding when I want to enjoy a treat by myself. J & JOE, BEWARE!!!

Monday, March 24, 2014

DIY: My all time favorite "vegetable soup"

Nigerians call it vegetable soup but here in the US, it is referred to as spinach soup. Regardless of what you call it, it is simply DELISH!
It requires 5 ingredients. Spinach (I used frozen), onions, sliced bell pepper, olive oil and chicken stock.

Heat about 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a saucepan, add the onions and let it cook until clear,  then add the frozen spinach (as much as you want) and sliced bell pepper then the chicken stock and being to a boil then let simmer.

The amount of spinach and chicken stock you add will determine how thick or soupy it will be.

Serve alone, over rice or on quinoa. J, JOE and I love it!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Photo Dump Wednesdays

Well, since I don't have a ton of time to "talk", I figured I can say it in pictures. Here are 2-weeks worth of pictures I have taken.

Happy Hump day!

Started my transitioning process 5.5 months ago. I can actually see the difference in my hair texture.

Yummy spinach and turkey omelet made for me by my awesome "little" brother.

My niece turned 1 a little over a week ago. Check out the cake!

These mango pudding cups were AWESOME! I got the recipe from my sister in law's mom and plan on making it as soon as I can gather the ingredients. They tasted almost like mango lassi!

Party fit for a Princess.

J and the cousins. They really had fun together! They are 4-months apart.

YUM! Fruit kabobs!


The parents of the birthday girl!

JOE loved this hello kitty ballon. She wanted to walk with it everywhere!

And here we are at Church. JOE, making her music concert debut!

Love this pic! My niece, nephew and JOE. Happiness!


Why does my daughter think it is OK to operate MY iPAD with her foot? Please explain why?

My office area is undergoing reconstruction so we have temporarily been moved to another building. Check out the view from the new building. Part of why I love working in DC.

Can't wait until it gets warmer. I'll be having my lunch here on the roof top once its warm enough to.

Hope you're having a fun and awesome week!


Contact Me


Email *

Message *