Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Churro Layer Cake

My love for all things cinnamon-sugar is no joke, so when my brother came in town for our shared birthday, it was the perfect excuse to make this daunting cake. I say daunting because this gorgeous 3 layer dessert created by LA's Large Marge, is super complicated.
It has so many components and each made from scratch element requires you to make something else from scratch. The cake requires you to make brown butter. The frosting has two types of chocolate that have to be melted and then cooled. The pralinella (drool-worthy) is the biggest POA of them all. AND the recipe calls for you to not only make churros, but to make churro crunchies. Steps upon steps. But check out how amazing it looks!!
Image result for churro cake
image from The Kitchy Kitchen

The original recipe can be found at The Kitchy Kitchen and you can watch her make it on her YouTube channel.

I like my baking shortcuts though, so I'm here to tell you how I cut corners to make this recipe a bit more manageable.

cinnamon brown butter cake
First off, I never make a cake from scratch. I prefer to doctor up a boxed mix. I found this recipe for browned butter cake from a box. I browned some butter and followed her directions with the addition of cinnamon per the original recipe. I did two 8" cakes, but in hindsight wish I would have done three 6".

The chefs who created this stuff describe it as "nutella but with praline pecans" and it is just as delicious as it sounds. I may or may not have been dipping apples in the extra. The recipe has you make your own praline pecans, but I bought some at the store to save a step. Then I followed the recipe to grind them to a paste in my food processor. The caramelized white chocolate is so worth the effort. Don't be surprised by how runny it is. I was expecting it to be thicker but once you combine it with the praline paste and chill it, the pralinella is think but spreadable.

mexican chocolate frosting
Follow the recipe on this one. This is THE best frosting I have ever tasted. So. Freaking. Delicious.

churros and churro crunchies
Ain't nobody got time for that. I bought a box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch and called it a day.

The verdict? It was good. My version definitely looks pretty pathetic compared to the original. I'd make three layers next time and go heavier with the frosting. The cake layers are really thick and need more pralinella and frosting than I used. I am definitely making this cake again.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

out and about

Can I just start by saying how much I adore her frowny, old man face in the third photo. All the heart-eyes!! Seven and a half weeks of being a mom and I can now spout off all the cliched things about how much I love it and her and how life is different...yada, yada, yada. It's all true. I get it now.

This past week we were out and about a ton. I took her to a Little Gym class. Ridiculous for a 7 week old, I know, but it was cute. I thought it would be nice to meet other moms with babies the same age. It was also nice having an activity that wasn't grocery shopping. The class was for 6 week to 6 months and babies were all at the top of that range. She is still in the stage where she mainly eats and naps. She will do tummy time for like 5 seconds before she starts crying.

Then I went to a mom's group that I found in Plano. I really enjoyed it, as the babies were closer to Gemma's age and many of the mom's cloth diaper too. Being able to chat with people who are in a similar place in life is so important. I am excited to go back next week.

I'm still feeling my way through transitioning this blog. It was a style blog for so long and then I started posting bump pictures. Now, I am not sure what to do with it. I don't know how much of my life and my daughter's life I want on the internet. Yet, I find that holding back and watching what I say results in me sounding choppy and stilted. I don't know. I will just continue to figure it out as I go.
jeans: Motherhood maternity...still :( partially because they are comfortable and partially because I am not sure which box my normal jeans are packed in...up in the attic. 
top: Old Navy
kimono: Umagee (from Paperline Boutique)
boots: Target

Sunday, April 30, 2017


Okay, I admit that this post is a bit deceptive. In the past 5 weeks, I have put on a dress exactly 2 times. I am in my pajamas until noon, if not later most days. I can count on one hand the number of times lipstick has happened. I am not even sure I remember how to do my winged liner. So, I confess that this is not my normal look these days. Not brushing my hair and rumpled PJ's...that is my norm.

But I did actually get dressed in real clothes and I brushed and braided my hair and I left the house. This warranted a blog post. So, here I am all dressed up and heading to Target and the grocery store.

Honestly, I leave the house most days, just not in a dress. I try to run errands during one of her naps since she sleeps like a champ in the car or in her Ergo carrier. Jeremie and I take walks with her most days. Other than that, maternity leave is super chill. I think I am going to have a meltdown when I am back in the frantic pace of the classroom. It will be an adjustment for sure. But I am getting ahead of myself. For now, I am going to enjoy this time at home with my baby.

bump week 40

This was March 21 and I went into labor that night. I was definitely ready for baby to come and I got my wish at 10 o'clock that evening when I began having contractions. 23 hours later, on March 22, Gemma Lynne was born. The past 5 (almost 6) weeks have gone by in the blink of an eye and I can not even believe it's about to be May. 
I was so huge at this point! I am happy to report that all my shoes and my wedding rings fit again. I loved being pregnant but I did not love having cankles. Now that my feet and legs are back to normal, I am doubly horrified by how swollen they were. 
I so enjoyed chronicling my pregnancy and I will miss these weekly posts. Farewell pregnancy, hello motherhood. 
dress: Target
cardigan: Paperline Boutique (not sure of brand)
shoes: Toms

Sunday, March 19, 2017

bump week 39

39 weeks 5 days here. I had issues uploading photos, which is why I am just now posting. Today, today I am actually 40+2. That's right, the due date came and went. No baby yet. I had my 40 week appointment and all is well. I don't know if I've even mentioned that I am planning to try to have an unmedicated, intervention free birth. Try being the operative word. With that being the plan my doctor says we will just wait for her to decide to come. She will schedule an induction at 42 weeks if baby hasn't come by that point.

That will be March 31st, but I am hoping she comes sooner. Up until the 40 week mark, I was all about her staying put and making it to the due date. But as soon as Friday came and went, I flipped. I'm ready for her to come. It's time.

Friday night I freaked out b/c I thought my belly button was turning into an "outie" This doesn't happen to every pregnant woman and so far my belly buttoin has stayed inside. But I've been really worried about it...does it just pop out like those thermometers in a turkey? Is it a gradual thing? I'm very weirded out by either possibility. Turns out it was a false alarm.

Then last night I thought I got my first stretch mark on my belly. I've been very lucky to not get any stretch marks on my stomach yet. Actually, from what I've read, I have my mom to thank for that...thanks Mom. I was getting ready for bed and thought I saw a few on the left side. Turns out they were just creases from laying on that side. She's not too big yet, they estimated 7 lbs 11 oz. If she stays put another 2 weeks and my belly keeps growing and stretching, stretch marks are inevitable.

I'll try to post again this week for the 40th week.
skirt: Old Navy
top: H&M Mama
cardi: J Crew
boots: Target

Thursday, March 9, 2017

bump week 38 + 4

 Still week 38 and I've found a nice balance between being busy and relaxing. I've graded and written lesson plans, baked two batches of muffins to freeze (banana oat and vanilla pear), continued to putter around in baby's room. I've also gone to the library and picked up a few books to read and taken walks with Jeremie. Slow walks because walking is definitely more difficult these days.
Spring Break is about half over, I should actually say I still have half of my Spring Break left. Between a doctor appointment, visiting with friends, and puppy sitting I have plenty to do and plenty of time to veg. Baby still seems happy and content to wait until March 17th and I am fine with that.
dress: Motherhood Maternity
shoes: Tom's
necklace: unpossible cuts

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

bump week 38

Friday is the day that I change weeks, so when I took these on Saturday, I was 38 weeks and 1 day. I went to a wedding that evening, which is why I was dressed up. I usually don't wear maternity clothes that flow or billow out. I feel huge with all that fabric and much prefer the more form fitting maternity clothes. I thought I liked this dress, but I was uncomfortable all night. It was short, it was tight in the wrong places, and I was not a fan.
I am on Spring Break and am struggling to relax. I am not used to having so much free time. I end up either filling my time with errands and chores or sitting around feeling bored and antsy. I need a good book to read. I was reading a baby book called, The Wonder Weeks, but I really disliked it and put it aside. I end up getting bored enough to start grading, which is good because I have a huge stack of papers to grade before baby comes.
The best part about Spring Break are the leisurely mornings. I really enjoy having these mornings with Jeremie to get up slowly and have breakfast. I am a morning person, so getting to spend mornings with him is the best! We should enjoy them since our leisurely mornings are numbered.
dress: Motherhood Maternity
boots: Target
tights: compression tights, not sure of brand