Happy Birthday Cupcake Bouquet for my Bestie!

It’s a little late posting but I had to share. 

Happy Birthday to Big Red! I have known her since I was a toddler, and that’s a long time. I couldn’t ask for a better person to call my best friend! She is always there and never ask for anything in return. Happy Birthday! 

My sister thought if would be fun to make a cupcake bouquet for her birthday. We got together with our daughters and came up with this beautiful cupcake bouquet. It was very easy to make, the hardest part was baking the cupcakes. 

We took plastic cups for the dollar store and stapled them together. We added green confetti paper grass in each cup. Wrapped it with a ribbon and set the decorated cupcakes in each cup opening. Then we added frosting leaves in between each cupcake, and bingo we were done!

We had fun making the our 1st cupcake bouquet, we decided to make another bouquet for a friends bridal shower party. This one was made with almost 60 mini cupcakes. 

We didn’t stop there, my sister had the idea to shape the cupcakes together as a wedding dress, she’s so smart! 

We make a great team!!

Can’t wait to make more cupcakes creations!

Chocolate Banana Bread 

I love anything with chocolate and banana… candy, ice cream and cake. I especially like chocolate covered frozen bananas. When I was little and the ice cream truck came down our street, I always got a frozen banana. To this day if I get anything off the ice cream truck, my first choice is still the frozen banana.

When I was in my kitchen one day I noticed that my bananas were getting kinda ripe. I didn’t want to make just plain banana bread, I thought why not add chocolate. So I tweaked my banana bread recipe and added chocolate…. mmmmm.. did it come out good! Big V asked me to make another loaf so he could take some to work. I knew it was a keeper at that point. So here I share my Chocolate Banana Bread recipe with you!

Chocolate Banana Bread 

1 1/2 cups mashed bananas 

1/2 cup melted butter  (1 stick)

1 egg

3/4 cup brown sugar 

1/4 cup  white sugar 

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon baking soda 

1/4 teaspoon salt 

1 teaspoon cinnamon 

1 cup flour 

1/2 cup cocoa powder  (I use dark cocoa powder)

1/2 cup chopped walnuts  (optional)
Pre-heat oven to 350. Prepare loaf pan with non stick spray.

1) In a medium bowl mix mashed bananas, melted butter, brown sugar, white sugar, egg and vanilla. 

2) In a different medium bowl sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. If adding nuts do so at this time.

3) Fold flour mixture into banana mixture just until combined. Do not over mix. 

4) Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes then turn out on to cooling rack to cool.


Soft as a Pillow Dinner Rolls

When it comes to fresh homemade “HOT” bread or rolls right out of the oven, can you wait until they cool down? Not here, I try but no luck and my family is just as bad. Big “V” will have the butter and knife waiting until I give the ok to dig in. Because of our lack of patience, I have to make more than one batch of what ever bread I am making.
So when it come to my Soft as a Pillow Dinner Rolls, 1 or 2 batches is not enough. I sometimes make 4 batches. 1 batch for us to test to make sure they are ok to eat, 1 batch for my neighbor, 1 batch for my sister’s family, and another one for us for dinner. And if my brother lived closer or coming down, I would have to make another batch or two for them. If your family is anything like my family, save yourself some time and just double the recipe from the start. You will not regret it!

Soft as a Pillow Dinner Rolls 

2 1/4 teaspoons of dry active yeast

1/4 cup warm water

1/3 cup sugar (divided) 

1/4 melted butter 

1 cup hot milk

1 teaspoon salt 

1 egg beaten 

4 1/2 cups flour

2-4 Tablespoons of melted butter (for topping rolls)

Pre-heat oven to 350. 

1) In a large measuring cup, add warm water, yeast and 1/2 of the sugar. Do a quick stir and set a side until  yeast foams, about 10 minutes. If it does not foam your yeast is not good.

2) In large bowl add hot milk, the 2nd 1/2 of the sugar, salt and butter. Mix well, make sure sugar is dissolved. Let cool until about 110 degrees. 

3) Add yeast mixture to the milk mixture, add beaten egg. Mix well, add the 4 cups of flour one cup at a time. Leave the 1/2 cup flour aside. You will have a soft sticky dough.

4) Dust a clean counter top with some of the 1/2 cup of flour, kneed dough adding flour as needed for 5 to 6 minutes. Dough will be smooth at this point.

5) Place dough in a well buttered large bowl, cover with a clean dish cloth and let rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours until doubled in size.

6) After dough has risen, punch dough down and kneed for  5 minutes. I do not add more flour, but if needed use as little as possible. Adding to much flour, you will not get a light fluffy roll.

7) Divide dough into 16 equal parts and roll in to balls, place balls into a well buttered 13×9 baking pan. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes until doubled again.

8) Brush with 1/2 the melted butter for topping. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Once out of the oven brush with the remaining melted butter. 

Let cool if you can!