February SBGEX: Kitchen Gadget Exchange

February 24, 2008 at 9:37 pm | Posted in Cupcakes, Fun, kitchen utensils, SBGEX | 3 Comments

As you all know by now, a group of my wonderful foodie friends and I have a “baked goods exchange” every month.  This month we decided to do instead of baked goods, a kitchen gadget exchange.  I thought this sounded like so much!!!  There are always gadgets that I want but won;t actually buy for myself (among some of my current wants – a garlic press, a mini muffin pan, a dough scoop…I could go on!) ever. 

One of the things I have been wanting is a little set to help me learn to ice cupcakes and cakes – something to actually make my icing look pretty!  Some of my friends do amazing things with cupcakes (like Clara @ iheartcuppycakes).  Now, while I doubt I ever get that into it, I would like to be able to do some neat things every now again. 

My February gift arrived Friday evening and I was so excited!!  My secret baker/exchanger this month was….Alanna!!!  I opened it up and inside was a 25 piece Wilton cake decorating set!!!  But wait, that wasn’t all….also some awesome Anne Taintor napkins, because I just adore her stuff.  But best of all, she had put in some of her latest cupcakes – the Vanilla Nut Martini cupcakes.  I have to tell you, what is so funny about this is that all week I have been telling her how good these look and how I couldn’t wait to make them this weekend.  I have been literally just drooling over them – I LOOVE vanilla and these just looked amazing!!  So now I don’t actually  have to make them this weekend – I can just eat these!  Um, actually though, they are already gone.  They were so good.  They didn’t last long.  My best friend was literally just eating the icing out of the pastry bag.  These are hands down, THE best cupcakes I have ever eaten.  The icing absolutely  makes the cupcake.  You are awesome Alanna!!!!!


January SBGEX – Part Two (Kat Graz RULES!!!)

February 19, 2008 at 1:34 am | Posted in Breakfast, Muffins, SBGEX | 6 Comments

Yes, I totally just sounded like my brother who is in high school – but she DOES rule!  What an awesome SB! 

As all of you faithful readers saw, Kat Graz was my January baker in the SBGEX – and she sent me a New York cheesecake!  And as she promised, there was more to come.  More!  Can you believe it?!  🙂 

 Last week we had a terrible ice storm – but yes, the Fed Ex man backed right up to my front door and delivered my box of goodies to me. : )  Thank you Mr. Fed Ex man!  I was so excited – Kat made THE most amazing banana muffins.  They were mini muffins (so perfect for me to take to work for breakfast) AND she made them healthy.  As I’ve mentioned, she is a personal trainer and a nutritionist – so I couldn’t quite believe the cheesecake (ha!) but she says this was to make up for that!  (For the recipes, click here)  She made them even healthier than what her recipe reads on her blog – ask her if you want to know her “secret” ingredients!  I would have never guessed!

As if the muffins were not enough, there was an additional gift!  Background – I eat pretty healthy most of the time despite some “cheat”recipes that I put on my blog.  : )  I faithfully eat a bowl of Kashi cereal with fruit every morning for breakfast (1 of my 5 meals a day).  Kat owns a gym – gyms get samples.  SO, she sent me a ton of Kashi cereal samples!!!!!  Seriously – could she get any cooler?! 

Anyway, thank you so much Kat for your thoughtfulness and sending some amazing things to me!!  I can’t wait to see you in Chicago in April – on your birthday nonetheless!  : )

Baked Good Exchange January – part 1

January 28, 2008 at 6:29 pm | Posted in cheesecake, Fun, SBGEX | 7 Comments

Saturday morning Tommy and I were working on Sheridan’s bedroom when the doorbell rang. Of course I’m thinking, “Oh crap! The house is a mess, I’m in my pj’s…etc.” You know, all of those things you think when the doorbell rings unexpectedly. : ) However, when I opened the door, there sat a box on our doorstep and I glanced at it and saw it was a cheesecake box!!! From New York!! I knew it had to be one of my awesome JFacie friends sending me something for our January exchange! Sure enough, there was a note on it from Kat Graz saying that even though she was sending this awesome New York famous cheesecake, she was baking me something as well. She is supposed to be my nutritionist/personal trainer friend! What is she thinking?! LOL : ) I took it in the house and yelled for Tommy to come see it and he literally started jumping up and down like a little kid. Cheesecake is his absolute favorite thing ever!

We had some of this finally Sunday evening – we were so busy that we didn’t have time to really enjoy it until then – and we literally had this for dinner. LOL It was SOO good! I think it’s the brownie marble cheesecake flavor – so freaking amazing! I can’t get cheesecake like this around here so the fact that Kat thought to do that makes her awesome in our book! Tommy says he really likes Kat now a lot. LOL : )

Thank you Kat for this unique and awesome foodie gift!!!! You are the best!!!

December Baked Goods Exchange – I got my goodies!

December 15, 2007 at 10:20 pm | Posted in Candy, Cookies, Fun, pizza, SBGEX | 1 Comment

Another month, another baked goods exchange! I got mine early in the month this time so that was very exciting for me! : ) My girl kept saying that she had sent them and I still hadn’t received them and she was getting worried about the goodies thinking they might not be good when they got here. But alas! Today I finally received them which was perfect because it was right in the middle of my baking spree.

And my secret baker this month was….ALANNA!! Thanks fellow wine-o!!! : ) : ) She sent me 3 really awesome things – Pepperoni snacks (because I’m always wanting pizza), chocolate peanut butter swirl fudge, and chewy peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.
Pepperoni Snacks – This one is from Clara’s blog so I will kindly direct you to that link

Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Fudge – From allrecipes.com

Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies – From allrecipes.com

Recipes from allrecipes.com, etc., pictures from my kitchen

November SBGEX – Thank you Clara!

December 2, 2007 at 3:25 am | Posted in Candy, chocolate, Cookies, Fun, SBGEX | 2 Comments

Another month, another baked goods exchange with my Facie/Foodie friends. And my secret baker this month was….Clara!!! Totally funny because she kept giving me updates on what my “secret baker” was saying about the mailing progress, etc. and I totally thought it was someone else because everyone goes to Clara with updates. Sneaky sneaky!!!
Anyway, I was so excited when I saw the box on the doorstep – so was Tommy! LOL
Lots of yummy goodies….I had 4 different kinds of cake truffles – white chocolate with rainbow sprinkles, white chocolate with cocoa powder, cocoa powder, and white chocolate with dyed white chocolate stripes. Also, she made me chocolate cream cheese cookies! YUMMO!
See links for these recipes on Clara’s blog – I’m too lazy to type them out. LOL : )
THANK YOU CLARA!!!!!! Now you might be Sheridan’s favorite friend…if the goodies last long enough for her to see them! : )
Recipes from Clara, picture from my kitchen

My baked goods arrived!!!

November 10, 2007 at 9:44 pm | Posted in Candy, Cookies, Dessert, Fun, SBGEX | 1 Comment

My wonderful foodie/Facie friends and I decided to do a baked goods exchange every month since we are all so into cooking now. It is so much fun! Anyway, mine arrived today from Lori and they are so yummy looking! She said she was making enough for our family and I know she had to have thought of the kids as well when she made these treats which is so sweet. 🙂 They arrived at the door and Sheridan looked in the box and said, “Which friend sent you these?!” and I said, “Lori did,” and she said, “Well, Lori is my favorite friend of yours now!” LOL : ) So whoever gets my name in next month’s exchange has something to live up to according to my kids!
Goodies were:
Rice Krispie Treats
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 pkg. jet puffed mini marshmallows
1 pkg. (13 oz) of Rice Krispy Cereal
Microwave – butter in large microwavable bowl on HIGH for 45 seconds or until melted. Add marshmallows. Toss to coat. Microwave 1 – 1 1/2 minutes or until marshmallows are completely melted and mixture is well blended, stirring after 45 seconds.
Add cereal, mix well…(it may look like it is never going to stick together, but it will). Press firmly into a greased foil lined 13×9 inch pan.
Cool completely to firm and cut into squares.
Wrap leftovers tightly and store cool
Chocolate Dipped Pretzels
1 bag of chocolate chips
Pretzels, fruit or anything you want dipped in chocolate
Microwave one bag of chocolate chips in a small bowl on high for about 1 1/2 minutes stirring at the 45 second mark. Chocolate should be completely melted. Dip in pretzels one at a time. Drip off the excess chocolate and immediately sprinkle. Lay to dry on piece of wax paper.
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
In a medium mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the 1 cup of sugar, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Beat until combined scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour. Cover and chill dough about 1 hour or until easy to handle.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees after the dough has been chilled. Combine 2 tbsp. of sugar and cinnamon. Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Roll balls in sugar – cinnamon combination to coat. Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 9-10 minutes or until edges are golden, transfer to a wire rack and let cool.
I’ll update the ratings once we eat some of this awesome stuff!!!
Pig Rating:
Mrs. Pig Rating:
Little Pigs Rating:
Recipes from Lori, pictures from my goody box! : )

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