Pineapple Coconut Rum Cake

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Deciding to try out a new recipe is always kind of exciting. Will it turn out like you’re hoping? . . . Or will it turn into a radioactive pile of mush even your pets turn their noses up at? Being as sick of winter as I currently am, I decided to go for one of the more tropical kinds of recipes I found online. So here we are, with this delicious pineapple coconut rum cake. I tweaked the recipe I linked above just a smidge since I didn’t have any actual rum extract or pound cake mix. I was also lacking crushed pineapple, but it turned out pretty well even with the “chunks” style. (Which, by the way, who in the hell in marketing decided “chunks” sounded appetizing to begin with??)

Here’s the ingredients I used:

  • 1 box vanilla cake mix.
  • 1 20 oz. can of pineapple (chunks) in 100% pineapple juice.
  • 1/2 Cup shredded sweetened coconut.
  • 1 tsp. Malibu coconut rum.

Following the recipes directions, I mixed it all up, poured it into a lightly sprayed pan, and popped it in the oven for 35 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. It certainly doesn’t rise quite as much as your typical cake might, but it was a good, light cake with a pleasant flavor. Especially when there is whipped cream added on top, as pictured above! πŸ˜‰ And for those of you who despise coconut, one of my testers who also loathes coconut said that it wasn’t even really noticeable, and also enjoyed the cake. So, all in all, I chalk this one up as a pretty decent success. πŸ™‚ The flavor was good, but I don’t think it will really win many points for overall presentation any time soon. But if you’re just looking for an easy tropical dessert to enjoy at home, it does the trick quite nicely!

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Getting Festive

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Happy Holidayyyys! ❀ Today is Christmas Eve and with all the recent and upcoming festivities I wanted to squeeze some time in to pop in and say Merry Christmas since I don’t know if I’ll get a chance to tomorrow. πŸ™‚

Last night we met up with my boyfriend’s family’s for their annual bake-a-thon, where we baked and decorated an arsenal of Christmas cookies. Shapes ranged from reindeer to unicorns and everything in between. Seriously, I mean everything in between. We also had an armadillo-shaped cookie and a penis-shaped cookie because inappropriate baked goods are funny. His mom also made these delicious pastries called Rugelach.

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We’re celebrating tonight’s Christmas Eve at my boyfriend’s parents’ house, and Christmas over with my family so I’m pretty excited. I feel like I did a lot of holiday stuff this year. More than I think I usually do, so while all the running around can be stressful and tiring at times, it did make for a particularly festive holiday season so far. πŸ™‚

Some of the holiday highlights included:

Visiting a historical village’s Holiday Nights event. It was really cool walking around after dark, learning some interesting stuff and seeing the rambunctious β€œmurmurers” in action. I didn’t know anything about this old β€œmurmuring” holiday tradition, but apparently it involves revelers of the season dressing up in disguises to go house-to-house for food and drink and partying it up. So, it’s kind of like Halloween at Christmas for adults, except you get booze instead of candy. Not too shabby, in my opinion. Why the heck did we do away with this awesome tradition?

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Goings to an outdoor Kringle Market and shopping around for lots of goodies, including my new favorite dessert, The Christmas Kronut. This was my second year going, and although the crowd can be a bit much, I plan on going again next year. It was a lot of fun. πŸ™‚

Christmas shopping for my loved ones is always a fun thing to do. I love when you find someone the perfect gift and then seeing the look on their face when they open it. I will say, though: I normally quite dislike wrapping the presents. It’s just tedious. lol My attention span has never been in it. I moaned and groaned the whole way through it, but I think I actually did a decent job wrapping gifts this year. I’m not known for my wrapping skills, in fact, I’m known for purposely wrapping the gifts in a manner that makes it look like a toddler did it. Or a drunk uncle. One or the other.

The work holiday party was also a lot of fun. I’ve mentioned before that I work as a program instructor at a day program for adults with special needs. I love my job every day, but seeing all their faces light up when they got to meet Santa Clause and taking our room caroling around the entire building was just so nice. We sang fun, upbeat songs like Jingle Bell Rock, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, etc. and had a bunch of fun instruments for everyone to play. We did a big potluck and since I baked a bunch of stuff for the last couple work parties I decided to take it easy on myself for this one and brought in rolls and made a some delicious Garlic Parmesan Butter to go with them.

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Minus some stressful family medical issues that have luckily since been improving, the last month of 2017 has been a pretty good one. πŸ™‚ I’m excited to see what the new year will bring. I hope you guys all enjoy what’s left of the holiday season and have plenty of festivities of your own! ❀

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Christmas Kronut: Holiday Dessert Review

I don’t usually do dessert reviews, but when you find a new sweet that “takes the cake” as your favorite dessert ever, well, that warrants a post . . . and a bad pun. Allow me to introduce you to the Christmas Kronut!

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Picture from Home Bakery’s website. (I didn’t think to photograph my actual kronut before devouring it in pure bliss.)

I found this delectable treat in downtown Rochester in my home state of Michigan. This was my second year attending the Kringle Market there, a big event with Christmas lights, as well as tons of vendors and entertainment to kick off the month of December. It was a lot of fun and there were plenty of neat vendors, but this Christmas Kronut was the #1 thing I was excited about purchasing.

The vendor selling these bad boys actually has a gorgeous bakery located right downtown called Home Bakery. They describe the dessert as “deep-fried croissant dough, filled with vanilla bean pastry cream, tossed in cinnamon-sugar, dipped in a vanilla bean glaze, and finished with white nonpareils, and red and green holiday-themed sprinkles.”

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It was utterly amazing. Every single part of it brought something special to the dessert, from the cinnamon-sugar kronut itself to the oh-so-delicious vanilla bean cream that it was stuffed to the brim with. The different elements of this holiday themed sweet manage to shine on their own but also blend together perfectly as you eat it. It’s also adorably festive-looking, so it makes for a wonderful seasonal treat.

I’d easily give it 5 out of 5 stars, though I think it deserves some extra credit for being what I personally deem to be the best dessert I’ve ever had. πŸ™‚

What’s you’re favorite holiday treat to enjoy this time of year? Or just your favorite dessert in general?

Calvatia Gigantea: The Giant Puffball!

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Behold! The giant puffball (and my shoes).

I’ve stumbled across a few giant puffball mushrooms before, but had never bothered picking one since you often hear the warnings about those poisonous look-alikes and I’ve grown slightly fond of breathing over the years. πŸ˜‰

Well, after reading some helpful info on properly identifying edible giant puffball mushrooms, we decided to chance it by plucking up this bad boy we found on my mom and dad’s property. Here’s my mom plucking it up. Say “Hi” Mama Moth! πŸ˜›

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After my mom picked it out of the ground we brought it inside and prepared to cut it open. The guides we read said you wanted a pure white center in the mushroom, and no gills and whatnot, so we were pretty pleased to cut it up and see that snowy center. πŸ™‚

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We’ve still gotta cook it up, but we’re excited to try it. If I suddenly stop posting after this, well, I guess our mushroom identifying skills were not quite as up to snuff as we’d hoped. Wish us luck!

Do you ever hunt/cook mushrooms? Any experience with puffballs? Lemme know! I’d love to hear about it. πŸ™‚

Banana Blueberry Bread + Spring Photos

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Hey, guys! ❀ Just sharing some baking and outdoors photos. This weekend was pretty busy but I managed to squeeze in some yard work and baking. The weather’s been so nice that I even did the little reading I could get in outdoors. (I’m loving Six of Crows so far!!)

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Banana Blueberry Bread
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Fresh From The Oven!
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Lilacs Out Back.
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Cute Little Winged Buddy.
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The Rhubarb is getting HUGE! Hoping to try some new rhubarb recipes this year.
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Firewood.

Last Time I . . .

Decided to do a post about recent “Lasts” because why the heck not? πŸ™‚

Last Thing I baked: Last night I had the chocolate craving to end all chocolate cravings so I baked fudge brownies with chopped up Milky Way candy bar in it. I’d never tried making brownies with chopped candy bar in them, but I will definitely do it again. The bits of Milky Way were so melty and delicious!

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Truer words have never been spoken.

Last Book I finished Reading: I recently got around to finally finishing Golden Son by Pierce Brown (second book of his Red Rising Trilogy). It was so good! I liked it even better than the first one. 5/5 stars!

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Last Photo I Took: Caught Bailey after she had crawled into my travel bag and made a bed out of it. It’s a poor quality pic because I took it with my crap-tastic phone, but it was too cute not to snap a picture of. πŸ™‚

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Last Song Listened to: The Birthday Massacre- In the Dark.

Last Movie I Saw In Theaters: Power Rangers! lol Yeah, I went and paid adult dollars to go see it. (Actually my boyfriend did, but still, don’t you judge me.) πŸ˜›

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Last Food I Ate: Nachos! Had them for dinner earlier. πŸ™‚

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Last Outfit I Wore: I’m in my pajamas because whenever you get home for the day and don’t have to go anywhere it is considered “Fuck Pants O’clock”. My pajamas make no sense today, I’ll admit it. I have on an old Cannibal Corpse band T-shirt with light blue Pajama bottoms that have cute little penguins all over them. Murder on the top, Cuteness on the bottom!

If you want to answer the same questions in the comment area, feel free to have at it! Perhaps we have the same tragically mismatched taste in bedtime attire, or both enjoyed a bounty of nachos for dinner? Only one way to find out! πŸ˜›

QUESTIONS:

Last Thing You Baked?

Last Book You Finished Reading?

Last Photo You took?

Last Song You Listened To?

Last Movie You Saw In Theaters?

Last Food You Ate?

Last Outfit You Wore?

Help Bees Help YOU!

Hey, you! Yeah, you! You like food, right? Well, so do bees. And bees (being the bad ass little pollinators they are) help provide us with so much of the food we eat to stay alive. Cheerios and Veseys Seeds recognize the major decline in bee colony numbers and are giving away MILLIONS of wildflower seeds for FREE to people in the U.S. and Canada to encourage people to do their part and get planting!

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Cupcakes and Machetes and I have already signed up for our seeds so give into peer pressure and be sure to do it too! It’s seriously SO easy. Just click this magical link of awesomeness and get those free seeds!! πŸ˜€

Not a bad deal, right? Everyone wins. Free flowers, bees get some much-needed help, you get to enjoy some gardening when spring hits, bee colonies hopefully grow and flourish and the world gets to continue stuffing their faces with all those delicious fruits and veggies and other nutritious noms.

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We’re all on this planet together, and it’s up to us to take care of one another and the earth itself. Even simple little things like this make a big difference if enough of us get off our butts and do something.

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