Stop Lookin'. Get Cookin'.

Serving up simple food, inspiring ideas and connecting along the way.

Summer Pasta Salad

Summer Pasta Salad||

Hello! Remember me? I’m Kendra. I’ve missed you.

I know it’s been awhile. It has taken me most of the summer to adjust to this full-time-working-outside-of-the-home gig. Managing not only my time but everyone else’s summer schedules has been a learning experience for me while being gone from the house for 9 hours every day. Some things had to be put off this summer and my blog was one of those things. BUT, I found some spare time this weekend to share a recipe. And today, I have a Summer Pasta Salad that was delicious!

How to Make a Surprise Inside Cake

Surprise inside cake ||

Just a quick tutorial on how I made my “surprise” inside 1D (that’s One Direction for all of you non-tween girls out there) birthday cake for my daughter.

An excellent step-by-step can be found here by Beth from Hungry Happenings. LOVE her creations and this post she wrote is what I followed to make this cake.

First (and I don’t have a photo of this step) we cut out the number “1” and the letter “D” out of Sara Lee Pound cake (found in your freezer aisle). I took the lazy/resourceful route. I knew I didn’t have time to make my own pound cake. The inside “surprise” needs to be made out of a dense cake to hold its shape. So I cut a family size Sara Lee Pound cake horizontally into 3 layers. I then laid my cookie cutter onto the cake and cut out the designs. This method is very similar to cutting out cookie dough.

Keep the pound cake frozen until you need it so that it is easier to cut out the designs. I was able to get 15 “1s” and 15 “Ds” out of the one pound cake using 1.5” cookie cutters which was just enough to fit inside my loaf pan end to end. Depending on the size of your cookie cutter, you may get more or less.

Make Ahead Party Desserts and Tips

Make Ahead Desserts & Tips |

We had our daughter’s high school graduation party last weekend.  It was one of the best parties we’ve ever thrown and it was a full team effort to put it together and to pull it off.

It was a day full of sunshine, smiles, and full bellies.

As we started to plan the menu for this party back in March, my daughter had a few dessert requests and I added a few more.  I knew I wanted almost everything to be bite sized or smaller servings.  Guests like to try a little bit of everything and the smaller the portion the better for the party goers hips.

I knew the week leading up to the party would be chaos so my two girls, my mom, and I had a two day baking marathon at the beginning of April where we made everything that could be made ahead of time that I had freezer space for.  This is key – making sure you have freezer space.

Individual Fruit Pizza Cups

Fruit Pizza Cups Words

There are a lot of “lasts” going on in our house.  Our oldest is graduating from high school so almost every day has a “last” something. Last home softball game. Last test.  Last prom. Last band concert.

Then there is our youngest daughter who is spending her last days in elementary school.  With her we are doing the last elementary school concert. Last Sock Hop. Last Jump Rope for Heart.  Last Parents Group meeting.

Whipped Chocolate Ganache and Caramel Covered Pound Cake

Chocolate Ganache and Caramel Covered Pound Cake

My sister-in-law asked me to bring a “blog worthy” dessert for Easter dinner a couple of weeks ago.  Gee – no pressure at all. Thanks Kari!

But then I had a vision.

I bought two Sara Lee Pound Cakes, had some Kraft Caramel Bits on hand, and wanted to make the Whipped Chocolate Ganache again so I bought some heavy whipping cream and chocolate chips.

My vision was not quite what the end product became.