Buttery Coffee Cake

Thick Buttery Coffee Cake

Sunday mornings are reserved for big family breakfasts. Normally, my husband is in charge of making the spread, but since he has been working so hard I have been subbing in and letting him sleep.

Aren’t I sweet?! Yah, no I am not. I must admit that my taking over breakfast duty is purely selfish, because I absolutely hate making breakfast. You see, if I let my husband sleep in interrupted, he will sleep until 11 or 12. Since I wake up at 5 am everyday, 11am seems like an eternity to wait to start our day.

Topping overload Coffee Cake

Since I would feel horrible actually going in and waking him up, I start breakfast. It is amazing how the aromas of something baking or frying bacon will lure him out of bed. I guess subconsciously he knows that if he doesn’t get up immediately when it is ready there is a good chance there will be nothing left when he does actually gets up. My kids seem to have bottomless pit stomachs in the morning.

This past Sunday I had a Honey Do list two pages long, so I started cooking early. I had been craving a buttery coffee cake for sometime and knew this would create the perfect smells to drag him out of bed. By 9am, he was up, fed, and ready to start crossing things off his list. If you ever meet my husband, please do not tell him my secret!

Coffee Cake Bars

I like my coffee cakes thick with lots of crumb topping. I also love the buttery taste, which is why I use my favorite Plugrá European Style butter. It definitely adds creaminess to the cake.

Perfect Thick Coffee Cake

This is the perfect cake for breakfast or dessert. Serve it with some fresh berries and a dollop of whip cream! Enjoy!

Buttery Coffee Cake


  • 3 tablespoons melted Plugra butter
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large egg
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk or milk
  • 3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup light-brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cup unsalted melted Plugra Butter


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In in a bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In the bowl of your mixer, beat melted butter, eggs, buttermilk and vanilla extract until combined.
  4. Stir in flour mixture.
  5. Pour batter into baking dish.
  6. To make the topping, combine the melted butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Mix until small clumps form.
  7. Sprinkle topping over the batter.
  8. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a knife is inserted and comes out clean.

I am an ambassador for Plugrá Butter. Thank you for helping us support our sponsors!

Fig and Mascarpone Cracker Appetizers

Fig Mascarpone Cracker Appetizers

When the ridiculously short fig season rolls around, I try to buy as many as possible. We absolutely  love fresh figs in our home, and I also love baking and cooking with them. They definitely add a WOW factor to dishes.

Fig Mascarpone with drizzled honey

Take these Fig and Mascarpone Cracker Appetizers for instance. Aren’t they pretty? These garnished crackers took all of 5 minutes to make but everyone ohhhed and aaahed when I served them at a friend’s dinner party. They are great because they can be easily assembled at the party. I simply make the mascarpone mixture and place in a piping bag, then assemble and pipe when I am there! Because the mascarpone is sweetened and there is honey drizzled on the fig, these adorned crackers could also be served as a light dessert.

Nut thins

The new Flax Seed Artisan Nut Thins and Multi-Seed Artisan Nut Thins are the perfect snacking cracker and perfect for this appetizer or possibly desert. They are gluten free and loaded with almonds. The crackers are also great for dipping because they hold up well to liquid. Trust me, we have tested them with salsa, hot cheese dip, and of course hummus.

Fig Mascarpone Crackers with honey drizzle

The combination of sweet, salty, and fruity is perfect in this appetizer/dessert. I would love to expand my repertoire of quick fresh appetizers, so tell me what is your favorite recipe?

Perfect Summer Appetizer Fig Mascarpone Crackers with drizzled honey

Fig and Mascarpone Cracker Appetizers


  • 1 cup mascarpone
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 6 fresh figs
  • Blue Diamond Artisan Nut Thins
  • Honey
  • Mint leaves


  1. Beat mascarpone, powdered sugar, and almond extract until smooth.
  2. Place in a piping bag and cut off the corner.
  3. Pipe a dollop of mascarpone into the center of each cracker.
  4. Slice figs and place slice on mascarpone.
  5. Insert a mint leaf and drizzle with honey.
  6. Serve immediately.

This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Nut Thins, however all opinions and recipes are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting all of our sponsors.

Yellow Squash Cakes with an Herb Studded Sour Cream

Yellow Squash Cakes with Herbed Sour Cream

Well my handy summer garden is coming to a close soon. It is kind of bittersweet. While I love have fresh yellow squash, we are kind of tired of it. We still have pounds and pounds left of tomatoes, eggplant and peppers but I am eager to plant my pumpkins and move forward with my fall cooking. Crazy huh!?

Yellow Squash Cakes

I really don’t get it. I am so excited to start summer and everything that comes with it, but come the middle of July I am ready for Halloween and everything that follows it. My husband thinks that I am crazy (and probably so do you!), but I just love the holidays and so do my children.

Yellow Squash Fried Cakes

Anyway, in an effort to preserve summer through the winter months, I made a huge batch of these yellow squash cakes to freeze. I can just picture serving them with a bowl of soup. I did make some to enjoy for dinner  last night and served them with a delicious cherry tomato and red onion salad. Actually, come to think of it, this would make the perfect Meatless Monday meal! Enjoy!

Delicious Yellow Squash Cakes with herb studded sour cream

Yellow Squash Cakes with an Herb Studded Sour Cream


  • 3 cups shredded yellow squash or zucchini
  • 2 cups italian breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup finely diced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Sour Cream
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • 1 tablespoon chopped dill


  1. In a large bowl combine all ingredients except the oil and mix until fully incorporated.
  2. Roll 2 inch sized balls, then flatten to about an inch thick.
  3. If you are planning to freeze, lay patties in a flat plastic bag. Separate layers with a piece of wax paper.
  4. Freeze up to 3 months.
  5. When ready to cook, heat oil in a large skillet.
  6. Carefully place patties in hot oil and cook until brown, about 3-4 minutes on each side.
  7. Place cooked patties and a paper towel lined plate to remove excess oil.
  8. To make the herb studded sour cream, mix diced herbs and sour cream.
  9. Serve patties hot with a dollop of sour cream.

Star Wars Rebels Party

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BDayOnBudget #CollectiveBias

Star Wars Party

Last month we had the amazing opportunity to attend ComicCon for the first time. Baby Ben was absolutely mesmerized by all of the Star Wars characters and has since been playing/sleeping with his light saber that we got for him as a souvenir.

Star Wars Party 1

Since my Mother in Law is in town from Switzerland this year, we decided to have a birthday party for him so that she could celebrate with him. When I took him to Walmart to pick the decorations, he immediately picked the Star Wars Rebels theme.

star wars party 2

With three kids and endless summer camps as well as multiple road trips, I knew that this party had to be done on a budget. My husband calls me the most expensive party planner on earth (because of the amount I usually spend on party planning), so this was quite a challenge. I wanted to make it is just as cute and special as I usually do when I plan my daughter’s birthday party.

Star Wars Party 3

Normally I usually make everything by hand as far as decorations. For this party I enlisted the help of Disney Star Wars Rebels-themed American Greetings party supplies and let me tell you it cut down on so much stress!

Star Wars Party 5

For the initial party table set up, I wanted the backdrop to look like a star studded galaxy. I nailed a string of tinsel globe lights to the wall then placed a black plastic tablecloth over them. I then made tiny holes where the globes were and pushed it through. It definitely added a galaxy theme to the table.

star wars backdrop

I used the cute Star Wars Rebels  cups and stuffed them with trinkets from the Party Favor Pack. The children loved them and the parents loved even more that their children were not going home with a bag full of more candy.

Star Wars Party 4

The party food was of course my favorite part of the tablescape. We served a variety of Star Wars related food that the parents and children went crazy over.

Star Wars Party 7

The Chewbacca Chocolate Cupcakes were especially popular because they were so delicious.

Chewbacca Chocolate Cupcakes

This party was definitely out of my element, but made my new Star Wars Rebels loving child one happy Birthday Boy!

star wars party 6

Chewbacca Chocolate Cupcakes


  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated white sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened Special Dark cocoa powder (or regular cocoa powder)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup stron coffee
  • Chocolate Frosting
  • 4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 3 Tbs. heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • Chocolate Jimmies for decoration


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 muffin pans with cupcake liners.
  2. In the bowl of your mixer, combine all dry ingredients.
  3. Add eggs, buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla and mix on low until combined.
  4. With a wooden spoon, stir in coffee. Batter will be runny.
  5. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake for 18-20 minutes or until a knife is inserted and comes out clean.
  6. Cool completely.
  7. Frosting
  8. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler, constantly stirring with a wooden spoon to avoid burning.
  9. Stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
  10. Let cool to room temperature.In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, combine the confectioners’ sugar, butter, cream, the vanilla and salt and beat on low speed until combined, about 1 minute.
  11. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes, then reduce the speed to low.
  12. Add the chocolate and beat until combined, then increase the speed to medium and beat for 1 minute more.If the frosting is dry, add more milk, 1 tsp. at a time, until it is creamy but still holds peaks. Makes about 2 cups.
  13. Frost cupcakes and garnish with chocolate jimmies.

star wars rebel party supplies


No Bake S’more Cheesecake

No Bake S'more Cheesecake

Today we are celebrating the virtual Birthday of Kimmie from BakeLoveGive.com! She and I met a few years back at a San Diego Blogging event. Soon after our meeting, she moved to San Francisco. She was always on my call list when I went up there and she always took us to her favorite San Fran spots. Sadly (for me, not her) California lost a wonderful food blogger and Kimmie has returned home to Texas. Now I just need to find an excuse to get out there.

Smores No Bake-Cheesecake

So because we can no longer celebrate in person, we celebrate virtually! For Kimmie’s Birthday I thought it would be fun to make a S’more cheesecake. However, with this El Nino humidity, there was no way hell I was going to turn on the oven. Thus, this chocolate cheesecake turned into a rather fantastic No-Bake Chocolate S’more Cheesecake!

No Bake S'mores Cheesecake

The cheesecake is extremely easy to put together and is just as creamy as a traditional cheese cake. When torching the marshmallows, I got a bit excited and almost set my kitchen on fire. After all, I had to get that picture of the flame right?!? I quickly realized that it would have been much simpler/safer to broil the marshmallow s’more cheesecake for about 2 minutes. Live and learn right!

A Slice of S'mores No Bake Cheesecake

I served the slices with some extra ganache because who doesn’t love extra chocolate. This cheesecake is the perfect summer recipe and the perfect way to say Happy Birthday to my friend Kimmie!

No bake Cheesecake slice with chocolate sauce

Check out the other bloggers who are celebrating in this virtual birthday party-Bake Love Give, Cupcake Rehab, JavaCupcake, Sarah’s Bake Studio, Stetted, and  A Less Processed Life.

No Bake S’more Cheesecake


    Chocolate Cheesecake
  • 1 1/2 cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted(I use Plugra)
  • 1-1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 and 1/2 packages (12 oz.) cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter (I use Plugra)
  • 2 cups whip cream
  • 1 and 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 chocolate sauce for serving


  1. To make the cheesecake generously spray a 9 inch pie pan with non stick cooking spray.
  2. Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter.
  3. Press mixture into pie pan and chill for 1 hour.
  4. Place chocolate chips in small microwave-safe bowl and microwave 1 minute; stir then set aside to cool.
  5. Beat cream cheese, sugar and butter in large bowl on medium speed of mixer until creamy.
  6. Gradually add melted chips, beating on low speed until blended.
  7. Fold in whipped topping until blended; spoon into crust.
  8. Refrigerate until firm.
  9. Once firm, top with marshmallows, pecans, and chocolate chips.
  10. Preheat broiler to high.
  11. Once preheated, place the cheesecake under the broiler until the marshmallows have melted and started to puff and brown(about 2 minutes).
  12. When done, refrigerate cheesecake until ready to serve.
  13. Serve slices with a drizzle of chocolate sauce.

Homemade Drumsticks

Homemade Drumsticks

If any of you follow me on Instagram then you would know that I blame my 3 year son 100% for the California drought. No matter how many times I bathe him (on most days it is at least 3), he is always covered in dirt. He is pure boy.

dirty ben

I know that this is a sign of childhood and a happy healthy kid. However when we are out and about, I prefer to have a semi clean child. In order to not have to cart around a gallon sized bucket of water, a towel, and a bar of soap, I carry these super wipes. Wet-Nap® Antibacterial Hand Wipes are perfect for sticky, muddy, dirty hands. These also come in Hands, Face, and Body Cleansing Wipes that are perfect to carry in your purse, car, or just about anywhere else your toddler is. We just stocked up at Walmart for an upcoming road trip!

Clean Ben

The wipes come particularly handy when making and eating homemade drumsticks. Things can get a little dirty when tiny hands are helping. Even the dog got in on the ice cream action and had to be wiped down!

Dog Ice Cream Nose

Homemade Drumsticks are so much fun to make and customize. We opted for the classic vanilla ice cream, but went crazy with toppings and fillings. The kids of course wanted sprinkles (who can blame them), the pre-teen opted for Oreos, and we went the classic route with chopped peanuts.

Wet Naps and Homemade Drumsticks

Between filling the cones, dipping in chocolate, and eating the drumsticks, we almost went through an entire canister! It was certainly a delicious mess and well worth it!

Homemade Drumsticks

Visit Walmart for all your Wet-Nap® needs: 110-Count Hands, Face, & Body Cleansing Wipes, 24-Count Packettes Antibacterial Hand Wipes and 40-Count Canister Antibacterial Hand Wipes! Make sure to also print the coupon before heading to the store, because if you have kids like mine you will need plenty of cleansing wipes!

Homemade Drumsticks

Homemade Drumsticks


  • 12 sugar ice cream cones
  • 1 gallon of ice cream
  • Fillings such as fudge or caramel sauce (optional)
  • 1 block of melting chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or vegetable shortening
  • Toppings such as sprinkles, chopped peanuts, or crushed Oreos (optional)


  1. Remove your ice cream from the freezer and allow to soften for about 10 minutes.
  2. Once ice cream is soft, place a half of scoop into the cone.
  3. Insert the handle of a spoon in the center of the ice cream until about half way, then remove spoon.
  4. Drizzle in fudge or caramel sauce into the hole.
  5. Top cone with a large scoop and place in the freezer to harden for about an hour.
  6. Before you remove the cones, place chocolate park in a large microwave safe cup or deep bowl.
  7. Add coconut oil or shortening, and heat chocolate for 1 minute.
  8. While chocolate is melting, prepare your toppings.
  9. Remove chocolate from the microwave and stir until smooth.
  10. Remove cones from the freezer and dip ice cream tops into the chocolate the immediately sprinkle on the toppings.
  11. Place in freezer for at least 10 minutes before enjoying.
  12. Place in a large ziplock bag in the freezer if not going to eat immediately.
  13. Will stay fresh for 3 weeks frozen.

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Wet-Nap®, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #ConquerTheMess http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

Almondmilk Shakes

Almond Milk Shakes

The kids and I have been having so much fun this summer! I have been keeping them exceptionally busy, and have only heard the “I’m bored” a few times. That is a major win in my book!

Black Forest Almond milk shake

During the school year, dinner preparations are quickly done while they are doing their homework. They always ask to help, but I never let them because there is just too much to do before bedtime. This summer however, I have been including them in all the cooking. I think that it is extremely important that children know what they are eating and where their food comes from.

Almond Milk Shakes in many flavors

One of the things that we have been making pretty regularly are Almondmilk Shakes. They get so excited when I take out the blender. I love that they think they are drinking an ice cream milk shake when in fact they are drinking something much healthier! Not to mention that they are extremely simple to make!

Almond Breeze Milk Shakes

We have been getting really creative with flavors of the Almondmilk Shakes too. We start with the base, Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Chocolate Almondmilk and ice. From there, we have added chocolate, caramel, or berry syrup, whip cream, and of course sprinkles!

Cool off this summer with a low calorie Almond Milk Shake

Last week my husband requested a Black Forest Shake so I added cherries and a touch of kirsch to the smoothie and topped it with chocolate fudge, cherry, and chocolate sprinkles. It was delicious a low-calorie version of his favorite dessert and definitely fulfilled his chocolate loving Swiss sweet tooth.

Fun Almondmilk Shakes to cool off this summer

These Almond milk shakes make a wonderful dessert on a hot summer’s day. They are easy to make and fun to customize! Enjoy!

Almond Milk Shakes

Yield: makes 1 milk shake


  • 1 cup Almond Breeze Chocolate
  • 1 cup ice
  • Chocolate fudge syrup
  • Whip Cream
  • Chocolate sprinkles
  • Cherry


  1. In a blender, blend together ice and almond milk until thick and smooth.
  2. Drizzle chocolate syrup in cup.
  3. Pour milk shake into cup and top with whip cream, sprinkles and top with a cherry.
  4. Enjoy immediately.

This post is sponsored by Almond Breeze Almondmilk. We love these products and love creating fun, delicious, and healthy recipes with their products!