Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sweet Potato Crust Quiche


To every ying, there's a yang, right? All that sweet stuff I like to bake and make, but I also LOVE eating healthy - as much as I would love to shove some amazing doughnuts in my face every single morning, I do truly enjoy some eggs, meat, and veggies in my diet! So I was looking for something a little different to make this past Sunday morning. Sweet potatoes and eggs have been a major staple for my breakfasts, but I wanted to make something that would last me a little bit longer, at least to take to work with me for a couple of days. I loved the Eggs in a Nest I had made several times, but those take a little longer since I have to work with each egg separately. As it was, I had some leftover ground sausage and a box of tri-pepper mix. Add some cheese? Lovely! I got to work.

Here's what you will need:

Coconut Oil
1 Large Sweet Potato, spiralized (I use this spiralizer) or grated with a large grater - we don't want it turning to mush
10 Eggs
1 Box of Tri-Pepper Mix
3/4 Cup Sausage, cooked, crumbled and drained
1 Cup of Cheddar Cheese (optional for those on the Whole30 or Whole Life Challenge)
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

1.) Start by heating up coconut oil in a large pan. When it starts to shimmer, add your spiral or shredded sweet potato, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, and heat until cooked. You will have to move it around to make sure it all cooks. I let mine get some brown edges, I like it a bit crispy.
2.) Put some coconut oil on a paper towel and use it to coat a 9" pie pan on the bottom and sides. Add your cooked sweet potato and press along the bottom.


3.) In a large bowl, whisk your eggs, add salt and pepper, tri-pepper mix, sausage, and cheese. Pour mixture over the sweet potato crust and pop into the oven.


Bake at 375 degrees for about 35 minutes, or until center is set.

The result is a fluffy quiche blended into the sweet potato crust. Makes 6-8 servings.


Thank you so much for looking, now go bake something and spread the yum!

As always, I appreciate your comments, questions, thoughts and ideas!

Diana


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Nutella Stuffed Banana Pops


Everyone (or almost everyone I know) has a certain food they loved as a child. For me, memories were made every time we visited Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago to watch the polar bears swim, visit the seals, watch the peacocks strut their stuff, and then... Eat a frozen chocolate covered banana popsicle! Those things were THE BEST. At least they were for me! I was really craving one the other day for some reason, and decided to take the yummy banana pop a step further. How? STUFF IT! With what? NUTELLA! You're welcome. :)

3 bananas, cut in half
1 jar of Nutella
Baker's Dark Semi-Sweet Dipping Chocolate or Milk Chocolate, melted after bananas are frozen
Popsicle sticks
Straw

The directions are fairly simple!

Poke holes in the middle of each banana, making a tunnel (Plus, my little guy LOVED eating the banana "noodles!"


Stuff with Nutella. Now, I know not everyone has a tip like this one, but you should be able to snip the corner off a sandwich bag and try the same, though it might prove to be slightly more messy. 


Put in your popsicle sticks. (Use anything bigger, and your banana will split and Nutella will gush out everywhere)


Freeze for at least 4 hours or until bananas have hardened. Dip the frozen banana into your melted dipping chocolate, letting the excess drip off, place on parchment paper and return to freezer for a few minutes to let the chocolate harden. 

Now EAT!


The result is a wonderfully frozen, yet creamy Nutella center with the crunch of chocolate and obviously, the wonderful sweetness of bananas. I hope you enjoy! 

As always, I appreciate your comments, ideas, thoughts and questions. 

Easy steps: 






Monday, July 7, 2014

Pina Colada Ice Pops


Sorry guys, I seem to be on a piña colada kick all of a sudden! I love drinking them, but I also love to experiment, so I figured ice pops would be a delicious way to cool off this summer! (Please enjoy the video - and sing along if you must...) Cherries are a must in a piña colada, and those were not forgotten. Here are some deliciously easy pops to cool yourself off with this suuummmeerrrrr!

Ingredients:

Pineapple Juice
Cream of Coconut
Crushed Pineapple
Maraschino cherries
1/2 cup Coconut Milk (Silk or Almond Breeze, not the canned kind)

***NOTE: Using leftover piña colada (prior to adding ice and rum) would be the BEST time to make these. The recipe can be found HERE with the ingredients listed above. If you do not plan on drinking some piña coladas, you may adjust the recipe accordingly. I highly suggest you invite some friends over to enjoy some piña coladas though. Seriously.

For the ice pops, whisk 1 cup of piña colada and the half cup of coconut milk in a glass or easy pour container, such as a measuring cup. Pour a small amount of the mixture in the bottom of the popsicle molds (about 1 Tablespoon), add a cherry, and finish pouring the remainder of the mix to the top of your mold. Add your sticks and freeze overnight. This made about 6 small popsicles. Enjoy!

Thank you so much for looking, now go freeze something and spread some yum!

As always, I appreciate your comments, questions, thoughts, and ideas.

XO,
Diana






Sunday, July 6, 2014

Frozen Piña Colada Pie


Have you ever been on vacation and had a favorite drink or food that you just want to bring back with you? I went to the beach last month and piña coladas seemed to be the the drink of choice. You just can't go wrong with the refreshing blend of coconut and pineapple! I love to drink them but what fun would it be to eat them too? Here I present: The Frozen Piña Colada Pie. This one is fairly easy to make, PLUS, you'll have piña coladas to drink when you are done too! It's a win-win in my opinion... I will start with a super easy from-scratch recipe for piña coladas that my mom taught me, then a recipe from a pie I have made before. It's super malleable and it always seems to come out just right! This pie is creamy and has a deliciously subtle piña colada flavor.

Ingredients:
For the piña coladas:
1 46 oz can of pineapple juice
1 15 oz can cream of coconut (I use the Coco Lopez brand)
1 20 oz can of crushed pineapple

For the pie:
2 8 oz tubs of Cool Whip (one for the pie, one for garnish if desired, OR you can beat 1 cup of whipping cream with 2 tablespoons of sugar in a pre-frozen mixing bowl and whisk beater)
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1 cup of piña colada mix from above recipe
1 brick of cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup Cruzan Coconut Rum, or the clear Bacardi Rum
1 jar maraschino cherries for garnish (optional)

8 sheets of graham crackers, crushed or pulsed into crumbs with a food processor
1/2 tablespoon of sugar
1/2 stick of butter (1/4 cup)

You may also use a Keebler graham cracker crust, preferably the deep/two extra servings one.


1.) Prepare your pie crust, mixing all ingredients together with a fork until wet, and pressing up the sides and bottom of a 9" pie dish. Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes.
2.) While your crust bakes, blend the entire can of pineapple juice, entire can of cream of coconut, and entire can of crushed pineapple in your blender in batches. (I had a little accident by not following that advice, you'll end up with piña colada all over your counter, Keurig, wall, and yourself - please do it in batches!) and place in a large pitcher; set aside.
3.) Cream the cream cheese with a hand or stand mixer in a large bowl. Put the Cool Whip and sweetened condensed milk in the bowl and beat until well blended. Slowly pour in your piña colada, then add your rum. Mix until well blended.
4.) Pour into baked and lightly cooled crust, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze overnight.
5.) Garnish with Cool Whip or fresh whipped cream and cherries prior to serving, enjoy!

Thank you so much for looking, now go whip something up and spread the YUM!

As always, I appreciate your questions, comments, shares, ideas.

XO,
Diana

Saturday, July 5, 2014

From Scratch Pina Coladas


When it comes to piña coladas, it can't get much better than made from scratch! I am sharing the recipe my mom has made for as long as I can remember, drinking virgin piña coladas as a little girl on special occasions. I felt so grown up! Now, of course, I might add a little bit of rum, and it is still my favorite - no restaurant or drink mix can compare in my opinion! We made them at the condo on our beach trip for my sister's 40th birthday last month, and now I can't seem to get enough!

Ingredients:
1 46 oz can of pineapple juice
1 15 oz can cream of coconut (I use the Coco Lopez brand)
1 20 oz can of crushed pineapple
Ice (amount depends on how slushy you want your drink, just add in 1 cup increments until desired consistency is reached)
Coconut Rum (I use Cruzan) or Bacardi Rum, add to taste

Method:
1.) Pour half of each of the first 3 ingredients into a blender and blend until combined
2.) Pour into a separate container and repeat the above step with remaining ingredients. To this mix, add ice and desired amount of rum.
3.) Blend until ice is crushed and pour in a pitcher.You may want to add ice and keep blending in batches to keep your piña coladas fresh with the reserved piña colada, or serve "on the rocks". Serve in a tall glass (or cored pineapple) and garnish with whipped cream and a cherry and/or a fresh slice of pineapple. Enjoy!


*Pina coladas will maintain freshness refrigerated for about 3-4 days in a closed container. Just take out of the refrigerator and blend with ice like your own little "mixer"!

Thank you so much for looking! Now go blend up something and spread some yum!

As always, I appreciate your comments, questions, thoughts, and ideas.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Avengers Cake and Cupcakes

I was requested to make a #5 cake with an Avengers (and Spiderman) theme and cupcakes, and I was more than happy to oblige! It was my first Avengers Cake and I knew it would be fun! I am not sure who came up with the original idea for the cake, but it was found on Pinterest and it was super cute. I also got the idea for the Hulk and Captain America Cupcakes by photo, I just kind of made something up for Thor to match the cake, and Spiderman, well, we all know how Spidey looks. ;) Everything was made by hand or fondant cutter/cookie cutter and let me tell ya... I started around 7:45 p.m. Friday night and I got into bed at 6:45 the next morning. Don't ask. I was having so much fun making this cake, time flew, and before I knew it, Mr. Baking Up Yum was getting up to go to work on Saturday (a rare workday for him) and yes, I got "The Look". You know "The Look". The "Are you freakin' kidding me, you are still up working on a cake?!?!?!" Look. I got it. Oh yeah. What can I say? It's my passion. And here are the goodies:

Avengers Cake


Captain America Cupcakes


Hulk Cupcakes


Spiderman Cupcakes


Thor Cupcakes


Thank you so much for looking! Now go bake something and spread some YUM!

As always, I appreciate your thoughts, comments, questions, and ideas! 

XO,
Diana


Friday, June 20, 2014

Frozen Cakes

Well, I thought I was the LAST person on earth that had not watched this "Frozen" movie everyone spoke of. I have a little boy, age 3, and I didn't figure he would be totally interested. Boy, was I WRONG! We went out of town last week and my husband purchased and loaded the movie onto his tablet. We had Baby Baking Up Yum start watching it in the car. 20 minutes in, I was loving listening to the dialogue, but my little boy was also passed out asleep. It DID keep him quiet those whole 20 minutes though! At the condo, it was put on the TV and I have to say, I fell in love... Having made two Frozen cakes before watching the movie, I had no idea what a treat I was in for! I made an Olaf for one of those cakes and I fell in love with the little guy before I even saw the movie. Needless to say, I was smitten after I saw it. Yes, I am crazy, I fell in love with a cartoon snowman! We ended up watching it about 4 times total, but I haven't seen it in full. Guess I'll be watching it again this weekend! Anyhow, here are some pictures of these latest projects of mine (PLEASE forgive the fuzzy cell phone pics, I did not have my regular camera handy on me - I was so sad!):

The toppers were added after I dropped off the cake for this one. The entire cake was chocolate with butter cream and fondant accents, the toppers were regular cake toppers. You can't see this too well, but the snowflakes were pearly. You can see that a little bit on the #4 in the background.


Here's a before picture of the above cake: 


Next is the cake where I had to make Olaf, this was a blue velvet cake with cream cheese butter cream and fondant accents as well. I used the tutorial on Cake Central to make Olaf.



Again, you can't see it too well, but I had opalescent disco dust on the snow and the accents were pearly. Pictured below is the smash cake:


Thank you so much for looking! I may start posting more cakes soon, they all usually go on my FaceBook page and not enough on the blog.

-Diana