And in my 37th Year…

I interrupt this not-so-regularly updated adoption blog to say that in my 37th year (which, BTdubs, starts today) I plan on doing the following things (in no particular order):

  • Becoming a mommy to a sweet little child from foster care
  • Getting a job worthy of my degree, my experiences, and myself
  • Being the best darn wife and mommy I can be
  • Learning as many new web and design technologies as I can
  • Kicking butt on the technologies I already know
  • Being a better person
  • Learning to speak up for myself appropriately
  • Not letting certain people rule my mind simply bc I am related to them
  •              See also, growing a bigger pair (sorry for that graphic!)
  • Sheep2Skein, push it
  • RS Creative Solutions, push it
  • Bake more
  • Actually make the projects I pin on Pinterest



Little Taste of Heaven, or French Toast Casserole


French Toast Casserole

This is one of my favorite recipes. For the last couple of weeks, I have been saving the ends of all the store-bought bread loaves, both white and wheat. When I finally had about half a loaf worth, I knew it was time to get to baking. Well, that and eggs. We don’t buy them very much so I had to wait for eggs. 🙂

As usual, I only loosely follow recipes. I cut up all the bread into roughly 16 pieces. The smaller and more bite size, the easier to eat. I learned this the “hard” way. Since I had way more than 5 cups of bread pieces, I just crammed it all in. The milk mixture I kept accurate to the recipe as it was quite a lot as is even with extra bread. In my 8×8 glass pan, there was about 6-7 cups of bread. This just meant a more dense end result. I dotted the butter on top (no margarine in this house!) and spooned on a bit “too much” of the cinnamon sugar mixture. It’s in quotes because can there really ever be too much?


So without further ado…. the “official” recipe

5 cups bread cubes
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup white sugar, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon margarine, softened
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Lightly butter an 8×8 inch baking pan.
3. Line bottom of pan with bread cubes.
4. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, milk, 2 tablespoons sugar, salt and vanilla. pour egg mixture over bread. Dot with margarine; let stand for 10 minutes.
5. Combine remaining 2 tablespoons sugar with 1 teaspoon cinnamon and sprinkle over the top.
6. Bake in preheated oven about 45 to 50 minutes, until top is golden.

Make it. Eat it. Love it.


Savory Onion and Garlic Baking Powder Bread

Baking Powder Bread |

As it happens I desperately wanted to bake bread and upon further searching, I discovered I was out of yeast! Bread without yeast? Is that possible? Apparently it is as I found a delicious recipe for baking powder/ no yeast bread.

And boy oh boy is it delicious!

I made it on Tuesday for the first time and added thyme and oregano. After it finished cooking, I proceeded to eat about half of it standing in the kitchen. Seriously, it was that good. I decided to try it again today, only a larger loaf and with different flavorings. I made 1.5 times the online recipe and added several seasonings. My version is based on Yeast Free Bread and made the following modifications. It turned out to be a savoy bread chock full of flavor.

Baking Powder Bread |

5C all purpose flour
2t salt
6t baking powder
1C onions, chopped
4-5 garlic cloves, chopped
2.5C milk
1C butter, melted
2t oregano, to taste
1.5t thyme, to taste
1t chili powder, to taste
Parmesan or other cheese


  • Preheat oven to 400*F.
  • Using a stand mixer, mix flour, salt and baking powder in the bowl.
  • Add the milk and butter to the dry ingredients on low speed. Continuously stop to fold dry ingredients back into the mixture. The dough should be moist but not sticky. You may need to add more flour if mixture is too sticky. Do not work the dough too much.
  • Once the wet and dry ingredients are thoroughly mixed, add the onions, garlic and seasonings to taste.
  • Shape into a ball or an oval, with oiled hands and place on parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  • Bake for 40 minutes at 400F.
  • My bread was still a bit moist at this point so I turned the oven off and left the loaf in for an additional 15 minutes.

Baking Powder Bread |

Now if only I had some homemade butter to top this amazing loaf of bread…


Baking Biscuits with Modifications

Everyone that knows me or reads my blog knows I am a huge fan of baking and cooking. I’m usually pretty good about following recipes… unless I’m missing ingredients like those amazing peanut butter cupcakes I made several months ago.

Today is my younger brother’s birthday bash and my contribution is biscuits. I made them for Thanksgiving and they were a huge hit. Well, I was under the impression that I had plenty of ingredients. I started off doubling the dry items in the KitchenAid and when I went to grab my single stick of butter, I realized my mistake. All my years of baking and today I totally forgot that it takes 2 sticks to equal 1 cup. Dammit. (I was tripling the recipe and thus needed a full cup.)

So I started Googling and crossing my fingers that oil was an acceptable substitute. As is, I was already using butter instead of shortening (lard/Crisco) and they were perfect. Turns out that, yes, oil is a perfectly acceptable substitute in biscuits, but I had to modify the other wet items.

Which I did. And they were totally delicious! Perfect, slightly dense, and super yummy. Although next time, I’m adding some baking soda as well bc they resemble little rocks and aren’t big and fluffy.


Without further ado… the recipe with my modifications in green:

J.P.’s Big Daddy Biscuits from
Prep Time: 30 Min (not even 15 minutes by my watch)
Cook Time: 15 Min (see below)
Ready In: 45 Min
Servings: 6 huge biscuits (or 10-12 small biscuits)

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1/3 cup shortening (or unsalted butter or 1/3 cup vegetable oil)
  • 1 cup milk (if using oil, max out at 2/3 cup)
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
  3. Cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse meal. (I dumped the oil straight in and used the paddle attachment until it resembled coarse meal.)
  4. Gradually stir in milk until dough pulls away from the side of the bowl. (This took less than the full amount. With the dough hook attachment, I drizzle in about half and then slowly added the rest every 30 seconds or so.)
  5. Turn out onto a floured surface, and knead 15 to 20 times. (Or leave in the KitchenAid and keep using the dough hook for about another minute until it forms a ball.)
  6. Pat or roll dough out to 1 inch thick. Cut biscuits with a large cutter or juice glass dipped in flour. Repeat until all dough is used. Brush off the excess flour, and place biscuits onto an ungreased baking sheet. (I pull off roughly equal sizes chunks, roll into little balls and place with all sides touching in a baking dish lined with parchment paper.)
  7. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges begin to brown. (For my oven this takes about 18 minutes, then I turn the oven off and let it sit for another 5-6 minutes.)



Baking Bread.. Challah, that is

Things have been hopping around here! No, that’s not an Easter reference as, well, I’m Jewish (albeit a bad one) and hubby is exhausted from work and sleeping all day today. No egg hunts for us. I fully plan on implementing them when we have kids. They’re so much fun!

Today I made Challah, well I started yesterday, but it had to rise 2 times. According to the recipe, the first rising shouldn’t only taken 2 hours max. After 4 hours (at 4am) I gave up and went to bed. I added a damp paper towel to the plastic wrap covering and turned the oven light on. At 9am, it filled the bowl and was perfect. I smashed it back down, replaced the plastic wrap and damp towel and went back to bed for a few more hours. When I went back to it, it rose again to fill the bowl. I braided 4 mini loaves and made 9 or 10 little Challah knots.

Wow. They were little bits of heaven.

Challah recipe from the fabulous

And for dinner tonight, tilapia fish fry! That’ll be posted later. 😀


Decadent Cupcakes with Creamy Peanut Butter Icing

Peanut Butter Icing Cupcake |

I have been wanting to make cupcakes since St. Patrick’s Day. Last night, I finally made them. Over the years, I’ve learned that cakes and cupcakes need to be fully cooled before icing so it doesn’t crumble. Anyhow, the cupcakes turned out delicious. The batter was a bit thick – perfect for spooning out without getting everywhere. Also, note to self, make sure to do an ingredients inventory before starting to make anything.

Tonight when I went to mix up a batch of my favorite buttercream icing, I made the horrible discovery of having only 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar instead of 2-3 cups. Um, major oops there. It was time to get creative. I mean really creative as we didn’t even have milk. What can I say, it’s been a while since we did a full grocery shopping trip.

Without further ado, I give you my recipes…

Cupcakes | BeccaBlogs.comCupcakes (from Cupcakes by Susanna Tee)
I doubled the recipe from the book as it only called for 12 cupcakes.
+ 1 cup (2 sticks) soft margarine (or butter)
+ 1 cup white sugar
+ 4 eggs
+ 1-1/2 cup white flour
+ Small amount of flavor extracts (lemon, vanilla, orange, etc)

Preheat oven to 350*. Put paper baking cups into cupcake tins. Recipe should yield 24, but it only made 20.

Dump everything except the extract into a bowl and mix until smooth. I was looking for a unique flavor, so I added both vanilla and orange extracts to taste.

The batter will be thick. Spoon it into the tins about half full. They will rise during baking.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until the tops are golden brown – my oven required 25 minutes. Transfer to cooling racks and allow to cool completely.

************ Cupcake Icing |
Peanut Butter Oatmeal Icing (aka holy crap I have no ingredients!)

+ 8 tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
+ 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
+ 3 heaping spoonfuls creamy peanut butter (or to taste)
+ 1/2 cup rolled oats
+ Pinch of salt

Seriously, this was a totally made up, throw everything into the bowl and cross my fingers recipe. I started by mixing the butter and sugar together and it made a glaze.

Nope, didn’t like it.

Next I added 1 spoonful at a time of peanut butter (total 3) until I got to a decent flavor. It was decadently creamy and fluffy, but it was still missing something.

Hmm what else could I add?

iSpy a container of rolled oats; the raw kind that you mix with water and sugar and cook on the stove. Add enough to make the desired consistency. In my case it was 1/2 cup of rolled oats.

The salt was to give it a bit more flavor.

Refrigerate the icing before you ice the cupcakes just for a little bit of extra thickness not fully achieved by the oats. Dollop on the cupcakes and enjoy!

Cupcakes |

Oh yeah, these babies are totally going into work tomorrow. There are still 16 left and we don’t want them in the house. I know, I’m strange. I love baking, but neither of us really eat sweets.


Contemplating a Blog Split

Hello friends!

I have a bit of a dilemma here. Well, it’s really not a dilemma, but I do want to expand my blog a bit and think this might do the trick.

Have y’all noticed my increase in posts about baking? Even before I received my amazing new best friend KitchenAid stand mixer, I was always a big fan of cooking and baking. This passing fancy has certainly expanded over the last few weeks. To the point that I’m heavily considering creating a tab specifically for baking and creating a new default page where you’d pick normal blog or foodie blog. Eventually this would expand to pregnancy/ adoption, foodie, and other stuff.

As I was making butter earlier and taking lots of pictures for yet another foodie post, I started thinking about this. I mean, does it make sense to have all the posts mixed in together? Would it make a difference in my RSS feed? That I don’t know and do need to look into before making any changes. Does anyone know? My current RSS points directly to my home page. What will happen if I change my front page to a Pick Your Feed type page?

Of course, before I go ahead with this switch, I need to figure out the details first. Any help would be greatly appreciated!