Topic-Changing Thursdays: The Fudgelet is 2 Years Old!

Oh, Fudgelet. You have come so far in a year. Last year, you weren’t talking, just babbling. This year, I can ask you questions and get several word answers. In 15 years from now, you might use fewer words to answer me than you do now (haha). Last year, I had a big party planned. This year…well, it is a month out from when I am starting this post and I have to say that there is no party planned. We might do a summer party and celebrate yours and K’s birthdays, we might have a fancy playdate with our friends…but I’m not sure. I keep waiting for a day when I can sit down and plan that out. Right now, I haven’t even had time to get some chores done. You know, because you have decided to give me 2 no-nap-days this week. Yeesh. You’re sick, so that explains one of them. The other one? I don’t know. We were both so tired that day.

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Thankfully, you are super cute. That part hasn’t changed. In fact, I think you might be even cuter now.

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Tips-y Tuesdays: Overnight Oats

Before you start to pass judgment and think I’m some hipstery cook, let me tell you that overnight oats are EASY and fast. They make a great breakfast when you have little time to make food in the morning (hi, Toddler Fudgelet!) but want something filling. In the morning, after the Fudgelet gets me up with his morning song (wah wah is the fav), we brush our teeth and go downstairs where he plays and I work out. Sometimes K can take him in the morning while I work out so that he gets some Daddy time, but otherwise he hangs with me. Occasionally he tries some moves, and other times he is counting my reps with me (he can do 1, 2, 3 but sometimes forgets what comes next, then can go up to 9). After this, depending on hunger levels, I either shower or do breakfast next. Either way, we are both quite hungry by this point. As a result, I enjoy quick breakfasts that are easy to assemble.

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Caramel Blondies

These bars are pretty easy to make. The only slightly fancy part is the caramel at the beginning. And, you can do that part a little ahead of time if you need to. I made the caramel during nap and finished the blondies while he was awake since whisking stuff together is easy to do with him around. Watching hot sugar on a stove? A little trickier when distracted.

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White Cake with Ombre Vanilla Frosting

This is a special time. The Fudgelet is turning 2, K is celebrating a birthday larger than 2, and it’s the middle of summer. I actually did not make this cake this week, although maybe I should. Either way, it is a great cake for celebrating special times…or just to celebrate cake. That’s the reason I made this one. I was watching a bunch of YouTube videos of cake decorating, particularly this channel and was inspired to make a cake. In particular, I loved their unicorn cake with rainbow sides. I had tried an ombre finish before, but the more I worked the frosting, the finish just turned…pink. It was a yummy cake, anyway, so I figured I didn’t have much to lose.

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Foil Packet Salmon, Spinach, and Mushrooms

Before you get on my case, I promise this white fish is salmon. Say what? Yeah. There was a new (to me) type of King Salmon available at my Costco and I was curious. I was going to pass on it until a stranger told me more about it. He said if I like King Salmon and had never had this type, that I should try it. I keep forgetting the name, but it is named for a river between BC and Alaska. It was a really nice piece of fish. Tender, moist, and all yummy fish traits without being “fishy”…not that that bothers me as much. But, this was still wild (troll) caught and I know wild fish tend to be fishier to some people.

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Chocolate Frosting Topped Vanilla Cookies

Alas, I am still on the search. These cookies looked like they would be identical to ones I have (so far) only found back home. The cookies back home are simply called “chocolate tops” and are amazing. The cookies are thicker and closer to shortbread, and the frosting is the kind that is almost crunchy and super firm when set. I will need to experiment, but in the meantime, I will share these cookies. Not the same, but still yummy, and still worth sharing.

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In fact, I did share them. You can see some “unique-ly decorated” cookies below.

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I took some to a friend who had just moved. Moved houses with a toddler. And a newborn. Craaaaazy. But, it’s their forever home, so she isn’t so nuts to move for that reason. The Fudgelet and I visit often since he loves all three girls, as do I. The whole family have names that start with A. The first daughter was because they liked the name, but then with the second…it would be odd if her name didn’t share an A, since she would be the outsider. But then it also makes them the family of all A’s, which can seem odd to some people. We promised her it was fine and we wouldn’t think less of her, haha.

Anyway, these cookies were great because I could make the dough in advance and then when I knew we would be getting together, I baked and frosted them during nap time.

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See the baby monitor?

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So, these may not be proper “chocolate tops” but they are still yummy and maybe you would also like to try them. Or maybe you have a recipe I can try that is closer to my dream cookie?

Directions for Chocolate Frosting Topped Vanilla Cookies

Adapted from Chocolate Chocolate

For the cookies

  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened
  • 1 cup vegetable (canola) oil
  • 1 cup superfine sugar (or finely ground granulated sugar)
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Beat the butter on medium speed for 2-3 minutes to make it a bit fluffy. Then, on the same speed (lower if necessary, higher if you can manage without making a mess), beat in the oil in a steady stream.

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The mixture will be liquidy. On low speed, or begin stirring by hand then switching to the mixer, stir in the superfine sugar. Beat for 2 minutes on medium speed, then do the same with the confectioner’s sugar for another 2 minutes.

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Beat in the egg yolks and vanilla for a minute until the mixture is well-combined.

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Again on low speed, or by hand, stir in half of the flour mixture. Add half again, then the remaining amount, scraping down the sides of the bowl and making sure the flour is just barely combined. The dough will be very soft and a bit crumbly.

Press it into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 5 hours or freeze for 1 hour until the dough is firm and not too sticky. You can make the dough up to 3 days prior to baking.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F when ready to bake. Prepare baking sheets with baking spray/parchment/liners. Take 2-Tablespoon-sized balls of dough and roll them into balls. Flatten them lightly, but not all the way because they will spread.

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You just want the top to be flat. Bake for about 15 minutes, until set and golden on the edges. Rotate the pans halfway through baking.

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Let the cookies cool on the pans for a few minutes before transferring them to wire racks.

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While the cookies cool completely, make the frosting.

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Spaghetti Pie

When I saw this recipe from David Lebovitz, I was immediately excited about it. I love pasta and cheese, and it gets baked into a pie! I’ve actually made another version of this before, as a way of using leftover pasta. This was tasty, but I did add a little something extra to appease K. Keep reading…

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