Blueberry Poundcake

Guess where I am today, guys!?

Blueberry Poundcake | Beautiful Disasters

Notice the fogginess in this picture…that’s how humid it was here last week. My camera lens would fog up 2 seconds after I wiped it EVERY time!!

The BlogHer conference! Seriously guys, I have been wanting to go to a BlogHer conference for a few years now. This year was the perfect storm.

First of all, it’s in Chicago which is soo convenient for me.

Second of all, the Pioneer Woman (Ree Drummond) is going to be there. There are going to be soo many fabulous bloggers that I love and admire so much there like Jenny Flake from Picky-Palate, Amanda from Kevin and Amanda, and so many more! I’m super nervous that I’m going to be fan-girling really hardcore and do something embarrassing. Whatever, let’s be honest, it’s sort of inevitable with me.

Blueberry Poundcake | Beautiful Disasters

Third of all, this is the first summer I’ve had where I have no sports or camps to conflict with things like this. Weird, growing up… going to conferences for fun and all now. Details to come on Monday (or Wednesday…don’t want to overshadow Monday’s SRC reveal).

This here is a recipe that was part of using up all those Michigan blueberries (remember all 10 lbs. of those suckers..). This poundcake was a HUGE hit! It was gone crazy fast and was the perfect breakfast treat and a great snack. So easy to whip up and super tasty!

Blueberry Poundcake

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cups unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup plain or vanilla nonfat yogurt (greek or regular nonfat yogurt work well)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 eggs
1 cup blueberries, rinsed and drained and tossed with 1 Tablespoon flour (I used whole wheat flour)

  1. Preheat oven to 325˚F and spray a loaf pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together both flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Using a mixer, cream together the butter, sugar, and yogurt. Add in the vanilla extract. Mix in the eggs, one at a time until fully combined. Fold in the blueberries. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 60-65 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for about 30 minutes, then transfer to finish cooling on wire rack. Enjoy! Cover or store leftovers in an airtight container.

Blueberry Poundcake | Beautiful Disasters

Random Fact of the Day: Brad Pitt has been smoking since the sixth grade!

Old World Pumpkin Bars (from The Gingered Whisk) -SRC Post!

If you haven’t been around here long, you may not know that I LOVE the secret recipe club. Seriously one of the best decisions I have made since I started blogging was joining the club. Looovvee it! Full of great, fun people with awesome blogs!! To learn more about the Secret Recipe Club, you can click here to see how it works :)

For the month of February, I was assigned to post about The Gingered Whisk. Jenni is the wonderful host of The Gingered Whisk. She is totally adorable (I know that’s like totally wrong for me to say since I’m younger, but whatever!) Naturally she is a ginger. Hence the “gingered” whisk! I love how she has a light heart about being a ginger, I know some people can be super sensitive to the term!! (In case you’re not familiar with what a “ginger” is…it’s a red-head; a person with red hair :)) I love how real of a person she seems. I felt totally connected with her when she mentioned that she always has her toenails painted but can’t keep her fingernails painted for 5 minutes. I’m like the EXACT same. Seriously, nail polish on my fingernails just looks so, so, so wrong. But then toenails without polish just look…naked. yuck! We need to keep it PG around here!!

Anywho, the hardest part for this post, as it seems for EVERY SRC post, was picking the recipe I wanted to make. I noticed she made The Pioneer Woman‘s famous cinnamon rolls, that I have been meaning to make forever!! She finally pushed me over the edge and I finally made them! I decided however not to use that post as my secret recipe club post since it didn’t really highlight Jenni as much, which is like the point of this post!

So I finally settled on making Jenni’s Old World Pumpkin Bars. I tend to associate pumpkin with Fall, but these just looked too good for me to pass up. I’m a huge fan of layered bar recipes and this bar definitely has layers! At the base you have a buttery shortbread crust that where oatmeal add a nice little hearty element, then you have the pumpkin layer-hello gooey yumminess!, then the whole bar is topped off with a brown sugar-pecan crumb topping. Perfection :)

If you’d like to see more delicious recipes like this one, hop on over to the Gingered Whisk right now!!

Old World Pumpkin Bars

(FROM the Gingered Whisk)

(I halved the recipe to fit a 9×9 inch dish)

1/2 cup flour (I used half whole wheat, half all-purpose)

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup oatmeal

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter

1 cup canned pumpkin

1 egg

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon cloves

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons white sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 cup pecans (I chopped mine up a little bit)

1 Tablespoon butter

1/4 cup brown sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix flour, brown sugar, oatmeal, and butter until fully combined. Press crust mixture into 9 x 9 inch baking dish. Bake in preheated oven for 7-10 minutes or until golden on edges. When fully baked, take out of oven, but keep oven on.
  2. Mix pumpkin, egg, cinnamon, cloves, milk, white sugar, and ginger. Once fully mixed, pour over crust and bake in 350 degree F oven for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, mix chopped pecan, butter and brown sugar together. I found using a fork to be the easiest method. When pumpkin layer is done baking, take out of oven (Keep oven on!) and sprinkle brown sugar-pecan mixture on top. Bake an additional 7-10 minutes in 350 degree F oven. Cool before serving and enjoy by itself, with whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream!

Random Fact of the Day: Sleep deprived people perform as badly or worse than those who are drunk.

Week in Review (2/6-2/10)

Monday I finally feel almost completely better!! Woohooo! I also showed what magic can be done to cookies with coconut. Hello gooey coconut yumminess! Coconut lovers, this ones for you :)

Tuesday I’m like right there 90% better and I just cranked through my work like a rock star. Ever have those days where it just flies by and you’re flying right with it?

Wednesday I finally tried The Pioneer Woman‘s Cinnamon Rolls. HOLY MOLY, there is a reason why this woman is on the Food Network. Because she’s a genius with cinnamon rolls. These babies alone could get you on TV. No doubt. My post brought the recipe down to just 10 cinnamon rolls….instead of the the monstrous amount the original recipe yields.

I also had my last ACT tutoring session (3 cheers to that!) and feel 100% good to go for taking the real thing Saturday!

Thursday I had like the complete opposite day of Tuesday. Me and work were just not going to get along. It’s Thursday. I’m ready for the weekend. Paah-lease, you really want me to finish an economics packet and physics packet. Fine…but it will be at like 10:30 at night because I’m pretty much OCD about homework and can’t fall asleep without it being done. I was also on my own for dinner (which I actually like, so I can experiment!) and I made a fabulous wrap. Why is it fabulous, you ask? Because it was delicious and made me feel healthy. I’ll share it with you guys later! :)

Friday I tried something that I have no idea how anybody came up with. Seriously, who thinks of putting black beans in brownies? Well let me tell you, these brownies have such a deep, rich chocolate flavor that you would never even be able to tell that they are lower in fat and high in protein. Thumbs up to that!

Another exciting thing that happened? I’m BETTER!!!! No more ridiculous coughing! No more medicine (YUCK)!!!!

This morning (Saturday) I’m taking the ACT! fsadkfhaslkdjfhiu AHHH! Let’s hope I get a perfect score, how awesome would that be!?!?

How was your week??

Random Fact of the Day: A hippo can open its mouth wide enough to fit a 4 foot tall child inside.

Pioneer Woman’s Famous Cinnamon Rolls

Many of us have heard of the Pioneer Woman‘s Cinnamon Rolls. I wouldn’t doubt that they are like world famous.

The original recipe calls for 7, yes SEVEN pie tins of cinnamon rolls. Now don’t get me wrong here. I would LOVE to devour seven tins of cinnamon rolls, but I think we all know that 7 pans may not allow me to live to see the next day. And well, I love you guys and I kind of would like to be able to blog with you all! Therefore, I scaled the recipe down to like a human size portion. Instead of 7 pans, I made one pan with 10 cinnamon rolls. Perfect :)

I actually had a couple of these bad boys for dinner. Cinnamon rolls for dinner…how could you go wrong? Totally nutritious, right? I did have my gummy bear vitamins with them, so it was a very well rounded meal :).

The frosting I decided to make was a recipe I got from on-line that is like a Cinnabon wanna-be. Totally delicious and perfectly complements the cinnamon roll! If you love cinnamon rolls, or like even just food in general, MAKE THESE! There is a reason why these cinnamon rolls are so famous. Because they are insanely delicious!!!

Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls

(makes 10 cinnamon rolls)

(adapted from The Pioneer Woman)

1 cup milk (I used skim)

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup white sugar

1/2 package (1 1/8 teaspoon) active dry yeast

2 cups plus 1/4 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

6 Tablespoons butter, melted

1/2 cup white sugar

cinnamon, to taste

  1. mix the milk, vegetable oil, and sugar in a saucepan. Scald the mixture over medium-high heat (heat until just before the boiling point). Turn off the heat and leave to cool for about 45 minutes.
  2. When the mixture is lukewarm to warm, but NOT hot, sprinkle in the active dry yeast. Let this sit for a minute.
  3. Add 2 cups flour and stir together. Cover and let rise for at least an hour.
  4. After an hour, add 1/4 cup flour, the baking powder, the baking soda, and salt. Stir together until fully combined. Now you can cover the dough and pop it in the fridge until you need it-overnight, or even possibly a day or two. Be aware if it starts to overflow out of the pan..just punch it down.
  5. When ready to prepare rolls, sprinkle rolling surface generously with flour. Take half the dough and form a rough rectangle. Roll the dough thin, maintaining a general rectangular shape. Drizzle the melted butter over the dough. It is cleanest to pour closest to the middle of the rectangle and then spread using a spatula to get to the edges. Sprinkle the white sugar over the butter, evenly. Then sprinkle cinnamon on top. I used quite a bit, probably a few Tablespoons but I’m not totally positive on the exact amount. Just add cinnamon to taste. Starting at the end farthest from you, roll the dough in a neat line, keeping the roll pretty tight as you go. Pinch the seam of the roll to seal it. Spread 1 Tablespoon of melted butter in the bottom of a 13 x 9 inch pan. Cut the rolls about 1 inch thick and lay them down in the buttered pan. Let the rolls rise for 20-30 minutes (Preheat oven to 375 degrees F), then bake at 375 degrees F until light golden brown, about 15-18 minutes.

Cinnabon-Wannabe Frosting

(adapted from Sandra Lee’s Frosting)

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

1 cup powdered sugar

1/3 cup cream cheese (I used the neufchâtel kind with 1/3 less fat, still delicious!)

1/2 Tablespoon vanilla extract (most people would probably use less, Im just kind of a vanilla crazy)

  1. Cream butter, cream cheese, and vanilla extract until smooth. Mix in powdered sugar until desired consistency.

Random Fact of the Day: Dolphins can recognize and admire themselves in mirrors.

Cajun Chicken Pasta

HA! I just realized my last post had some major issues going on. What the heck was I trying to say??? “There is nothing here, I’ll tell you that. Nothing, not a single ounce of that. “I’m still totally lost. Like what was going through my head? I’m guessing that I thought of something in my head that sounded witty, but then I forgot to actually type it. Then I tried to be funny. And instead I just confused a bunch of people. At least the pictures looked yummyIn case you didn’t know we describe pictures as edible objects around here now.  Hence the whole yummy picture thing up thereOn a completely different note, it really annoys me when people don’t hold the door open for youEspecially when they turn around and actually see you.  I mean they clearly know you’re gonna be going in or out the same place they are! I mean it’s totally understandable if they don’t happen to turn around or just have their hands full. Even being on the phone could be used as an excuse. But otherwise, it’s just plain rude. Today someone did that to me as I was walking into one of my classes. I was NOT in the mood for this, so I totally lashed out. I mean I went insane. Now this person just so happened to be in my next class, so I walked behind them the entire way. And you know what I did?

I did that annoying step on the back of their shoes thing. You know, where it feels like your shoes is about to fall off every time someone does it to you.

Yep, I showed them.

(In case you’re wondering… I know this isn’t totally insane. I just don’t really have it in me to do something to someone I have to face in class everyday twice a day for a semester. I don’t enjoy enemies, either.)Oh yeah, this pasta is SUPER tasty!!! you should make it :) hop to it, now!

Cajun Chicken Pasta

(adapted from The Pioneer Woman)

3 whole Boneless, skinless chicken breasts cubed

3 t. cajun spice mix, more to taste

1 lb. fettuccine

2 T. olive oil

2 T. butter

1 whole green bell pepper, seeded and sliced

1 whole red bell pepper, seeded and sliced

1/2 whole large red onion, sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

4 whole roma tomatoes, diced

2 c. low sodium chicken broth

1/2 c. white wine

1 c. heavy cream

cayenne pepper to taste

freshly ground pepper to taste

salt to taste

chopped parsley, to taste

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain when pasta is still al dente; do not overcook!
  2. Sprinkle 1 1/2 teaspoons cajun spice over chicken pieces (or more, if that’s what you like!) Toss around to coat.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a heavy skillet over high heat. Add half the chicken in a single layer; do not stir. Allow chicken to brown on one side, about 1 minute. Flip to the other side and cook an additional minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on  a clean plate. Repeat with remaining chicken. Remove chicken, leaving pan on high heat.
  4. Add remaining olive oil and butter. When heated, add peppers, onions, and garlic. Sprinkle on remaining Cajun spice, and add salt if needed. Cook over very high heat for 1 minute, stirring gently and trying to get the vegetables as dark/black as possible. Add tomatoes and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Remove all vegetables from the pan.
  5. With the pan over high heat, pour in the wine and chicken broth. Cook on high for 3-5 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze. Reduce heat to medium-low and pour in cream, stirring/whisking constantly. Cook sauce over medium-low heat for a few minutes, until cream starts to thicken.
  6. Serve.

**This is one of those dishes that tastes even better the second day, so you can really get that sauce soaked in the noodles. If you want to serve it the same day, I recommend leaving enough time for the noodles to sit in the sauce for maximum flavor.

Fact of the Day: “60 Minutes” on CBS is the only TV show to not have a theme song or music.