I put some weird food in jars and made labels for them.

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And they turned out so cute.

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And net carbs per serving. You’re welcome.

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However, the actual labels aren’t keto approved. Don’t eat them. Print them.

Click here to print and apply to your weird food jars. They should print perfectly on 2-inch round Avery label stock, unless Avery changed their template. I made my labels blue, to match my kitchen. If I get enough comments, I’ll add more colors.

With three kids, and a full time job, I’m constantly looking for the fastest ways to get dinner on the table. And, now, when you throw sports into the mix, I need it even faster than the fastest. I need it in an instant.

Enter the Instant Pot.

Honestly, as I type this, I wish I was given this pot for free and then asked to review it. I was not. I paid full, Prime Day, price for it. But, it’ll be worth it. I hope. My pot got delivered (along with 215,000 other lucky Prime Day shoppers) 4 days ago and I still haven’t used it.

So, if you’re as intimidated as I was after you received your Prime Day Instant Pot, don’t worry, I’ve created a handy guide:

10 Easy Steps to Start Using the Instant Pot

Step One: Remove the Instant Pot from the outer shipping box.

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Step Two: Start having buyer’s remorse. Am I ever going to use this dumb thing?

Step Three: Join the Instant Pot Community on Facebook. <– you’re welcome Instant Pot for the link.

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Step Four: Spend hours scrolling through the recipes on the IPC on FB.

Step Five: Remove buyer’s remorse. This pot is awesome. 83,204 members keep telling you so on FB.

Step Six: Promise yourself you will make a meal using the Instant Pot. Just as soon as you go to the grocery store.

Step Seven: Go to the grocery store.

Step Eight: Hide the Instant Pot Community on Facebook. It’s taking up too much time and making you feel guilty about not using your Instant Pot.

Step Nine: Text your sister and ask her how to do the water test. I hear this is the real first step.

Step Ten: Unhide FB group and put the kids to bed. Tell yourself you’ll do the water test tomorrow. Just as soon as you get home from work and find the perfect recipe on the IPC FB page.

Preston and I are going to our friends’ (that’s plural, because we like both people equally) house for dinner on Saturday. We haven’t really been out together without the kids since I had the baby. He’s 4.5 months old and I’m excited. I’m so excited I told Preston I would make a cheesecake. A made-from-scratch cheesecake!

I’ve made this cheesecake before. Actually the last time I made it, we went to dinner at the same place. It was delicious. Or at least we all thought it was. Surely it wasn’t all of the wine we drank before we ate the cake.

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This cheesecake has 5 boxes of cream cheese and whipping cream! WHIPPING CREAM! How can it not be good?

Since I have a million kids now (or three, but it feels like a million) and 2 of them are in sports, I knew I would need to make this cake on two separate nights. It’s what working moms do.

Wednesday night I make the graham cracker crust. See recipe below. OMG, as I’m typing this, I’m realizing it was the butter! The butter is what started the fire! Keep reading. I’ll get to the fire.

It’s Thursday. This is cheesecake makin day.

Preston and the big kids leave for wrestling. I stay home with the baby. I put Mav in his highchair, with some toys on his tray to play with. That’s what Mom’s do, who want to bake. I click the oven on to 500 degrees and turn my back to my baby and my oven. Mom of the year.

I start going about my cheesecake business… stirring, dumping, whipping, licking. In that order. I think I smell something burning. Eh, it’s probably just a little something that fell into the bottom of the oven. 500 degrees is really hot. It’ll burn off just in time for me to put my delectable cheesecake into the oven. It’s totally fine.

But the responsible mom in me decides to turn around. Mav is happily chewing on his rubber giraffe. The oven is on fire. Holy shit, the oven is on fire. ON FIRE! Don’t freak out, it is on the inside of the oven. But there is a flame. And the flame is reaching from the bottom burner all the way to the top burner. That’s quite a flame. Luckily I had just talked about a work lady’s oven catching on fire and how you should never open the oven door. Because giving oxygen to a flame is like giving candy to me. They both get bigger.

So I do what any sane person would do. I yell, “SHIT WHAT SHOULD I DO?” Then I quickly shut off the oven and pray for the fire to go out. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE go out! It does. But then the smoke starts. What next? Wet towel? I’ll throw a wet towel over the top of the oven and turn on the exhaust fan. It’s still getting smokey, so I open all the doors. But it’s only 17 degrees outside, so the baby and I put on our stocking caps and discuss what I should do about the delicious made-from-scratch cheesecake batter that is sitting on the counter.

The baby isn’t much help.

I call my mom. She doesn’t answer.

I call Sister A. She doesn’t answer.

I call Sister B. She doesn’t answer.

I call Sister C. She answers, thankfully. She tells me I’ll probably need to clean out the oven or the fire will start again, but the cheesecake should be fine sitting on the counter.

But now the baby is crying. It’s bathtime and bedtime. This sister ain’t got time for cleaning the oven.

Sister B calls back.

Sister B texts Sister A. Sister A calls back. We decide, with her husband’s help, that the self cleaning option might be the best option. I pour the cheesecake into a glass bowl and leave it to bake tomorrow.

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DELICIOUS MADE-FROM-SCRATCH CHEESECAKE

Graham Cracker Crust
12 tbsp butter, melted
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup crushed graham crackers (this was 1 sleeve plus 1 cracker)

Mix all ingredients together. Mixture should be somewhat dry, add more graham crackers , if needed. Press in bottom of spring form pan. Place spring form pan on cookie sheet before baking (butter may drip from edges of pan) Bake in preheated 375º oven for 10-12 minutes, cool completely.

Cheesecake
5 boxes of cream cheese
1 3/4 cup sugar
3 tbsp flour
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp vanilla
5 large eggs
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup whipping cream

Beat cream cheese, sugar, flour, lemon juice and vanilla on high speed until fluffy. Add eggs and yolks one at a time, beating until well combined. Slowly blend in whipping cream. Pour into chilled crust.

Bake in preheated 500º oven for 10 minutes, reduce heat to 250º and bake for an additional 50-60 minutes. Times vary by oven, might take as long as 90 minutes. Cake may crack. It should be somewhat firm when jiggled. When it stops jiggling, it’s done.  Cool cake overnight and serve with your favorite fruit topping.

Enjoy.

 

This year, since I really slacked on the kids’ birthdays, I decided I’d give them a yummy dessert to stick their candles in.  So, here’s what I came up with: chocolate chip buttercream frosting sprinkle cookies.

Aren’t they beautiful?

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I love buttercream frosting. I’d eat it with a spoon. You know, if that weren’t frowned upon.

So, after I baked my chocolate chip cookies (use your favorite recipe, or get the tube in the refrigerated section, whatever, I won’t judge), I whipped up this trusty buttercream frosting recipe. It’s never failed me.

However, if you don’t want your frosting to be off-white, I suggest using the clear vanilla extract. It’s a thing. Amazon it. Or just go to your local cake store, they’ll have it.

For mine, I didn’t care if the frosting was off-white, I used the original (black) vanilla (is that an oxymoron? black vanilla) extract, I was throwing sprinkles on there, because it’s for a birthday! Holla!

Happy 8th and 5th birthdays to my little gingers!

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Don’t worry, these cookies can be for any occasion. Like a world record, 1.5 billion Powerball ticket party. The little sprinkle balls might get everywhere when you eat them, but hey, you’re gonna win that billion. You won’t care. You can hire a person to clean up the mess.

I’ve found the way to keep good readers, is to listen when they ask for things. Like Gourmet Mac & Cheese.

That’s want you want? You got it.

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That looks delicious, right?

It’s super simple. I made it tonight, in approximately four minutes. Whaaaaa? Being almost 9 months pregnant, that’s how we roll around here. Fast. And easy. And me, barefoot and pregnant, in the kitchen, makin’ gourmet mac & cheese.

Step 1: Buy this. Hint: it’s in the refrigerated section at your local grocery store.

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Step 2: Be careful with that knife, if you don’t want any dishes. If you’ll be cutting up microwaved hotdogs for your son, then don’t be careful. Poke those holes, in that plastic, where ever you darn well please.

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 Step 3: Put that bad boy in the microwave for 2 minutes (basically just follow the directions printed on the side)

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Step 4: Remove from microwave. Carefully peel plastic back and stir. Again, to minimize amount of dishes to be washed, give the spoon you’re using to stir this with to someone eating the mac & cheese.

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Step 5: Microwave again. Following the directions on the side of the container. Spoiler: It’s 2 minutes.

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Step 6: Stir again and serve in a pretty little dish. Splurge on the pretty dish, because why not. You didn’t get take out, again. Yolo.

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It’s 100 degrees and I’m pregnant. And, personally, I think this mac and cheese tastes super gourmet.

*Hormel did not pay me to write this post. But, if they wanna pay me, that’s cool. They can pay me in containers of mac & cheese.

Somes days I want sweets. Okay, who am I kidding, all days I want sweets.  But, being pregnant has made this worse, because now I feel guilty eating them.

This sweet was almost health-food so I didn’t feel too guilty… it had peanut butter. (;

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And, who can pass these up, especially when there’s only three ingredients: marshmallows, cocoa crispy cereal and peanut butter.

Peanut Butter Cocoa Crispy Treats

1 bag of regular or mini marshmallows (one bag, the regular-sized bag)
1/2 cup peanut butter (creamy, crunchy, natural, if you’re feeling super healthy)
6 cups cocoa crispy cereal (generic is just fine)

Scoop peanut butter in a large microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 45 seconds to melt. Next, pour marshmallows on top of peanut butter and stir to coat. Pop back in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, stir. Microwave for 1 more minute, until all is bubbly and delicious. Pour in 6 cups of cocoa crispy cereal (you can add more if it’s too marshmallow-y.)

Pour in a greased cake pan and eat it all up. Or, save some for your family.

Enjoy.

It’s the first day of the new year and I’m eating popcorn in my pajamas. At 2:00 pm. Why? Because I can.

I’ve decided 2015 will be the year I do the things I wanna do, because I wanna do awesome things.

Like eat popcorn. Caramel marshmallow popcorn. At 2 o’clock in the afternoon.

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Marshmallow Caramel Popcorn

1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
1/2 cup brown sugar (packed tight)
10 regular marshmallows (or 100 mini marshmallows)
2 bags of butter popcorn, popped (I think that’s equal to 10-12 cups of popped popcorn)

Start by popping both bags of popcorn (separately, I don’t think you can pop two bags at once, but this is your year, you pop both if you want). Now, pour popcorn into a very large bowl. Make sure to remove the unpopped kernels. Your friends, or if you’re not sharing, your teeth will thank you. In a glass microwave-safe bowl, put one stick of butter (I chop mine so it melts faster) and 1/2 cup of brown sugar. Microwave for 1-2 minutes, until melted. Stir. Add marshmallows and stir to coat. Place bowl back in microwave and go for 2-3 minutes. Stirring once, twice, three times a lady. That’s when it will really start to boil and turn into a yummy caramel goodness. Pour this hot, bubbly caramel over your freshly popped popcorn. Then stir, stir, stir. It will try to ooze through the popcorn to bottom of the bowl, but you don’t let it. Stir, stir, stir.

Eat it now. It’ll melt in your mouth and you’ll start to worry if eating too much popcorn is bad for you. Don’t worry. It’s healthy. It has fiber. Fiber is healthy. Now, if you can’t eat it all in one sitting, that’s fine. Put an airtight lid on that bowl and eat it an hour, when you’re ready for more popcorn. And now it tastes like a very large popcorn ball. You just can’t lose with this popcorn.

Hugs and kisses and New Year wishes,
Blendra

 

Some days I make good decisions. Some days I don’t. I thought my decision to buy 3 – 32 ounce containers of Greek Gods Honey Flavored Greek Yogurt that doesn’t expire until December 2, was a great decision. It’s probably because I love this greek yogurt. I have my friend to blame, she got me hooked on it.

I hate yogurt, I told her. You won’t hate this yogurt, she told me.

She wins. She always wins when it comes to food. But, I’m not certain why I thought I’d eat it for three weeks in a row, with Thanksgiving being one of those weeks in-between. I had pie to eat for breakfast that week. Duh.

So, when she told me to make these awesome greek yogurt pancakes with my almost expired yogurt, I trusted her.

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Not only did I make the recipe, I made it times FIVE. You can find the original recipe (for one serving) here

Greek Yogurt Pancakes
1 – 32 oz container of Greek Gods Honey Flavored Greek Yogurt
5 – eggs
2.5 cups flour
5 -tsp baking soda

Stir yogurt until it’s very creamy, then add eggs and stir again until all eggs are incorporated. In a separate bowl mix flour and baking soda. Pour yogurt/egg mixture on top of flour and mix, mix, mix. I’m not sure if you can over mix, but I realized the longer it sat in the bowl the more the flour started to dissolve and the batter puffed up. I heated my griddle and went to town, cooking up 36 pancakes!

My kids loved them. And, I loved them after I cleaned up the mess.

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They were the fluffiest, lightest pancakes ever. But they do expand when you cook ’em, so watch out. (;

Last night when I looked in the fridge I noticed an usually large amount of bricked cream cheese in my fridge. Like eight bricks. Who does that? And then I noticed the pound of bacon. All lonely. I vaguely remember throwing that in my cart last week, while I hungrily packed vegetables and fruit on top of the cookies and frozen pizza. Sheesh, bacon and cream cheese what’s a girl to do? Buy some fresh jalapeños!

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These little suckers are amazing. And easy. And only three ingredients. Cream cheese, bacon and fresh jalapeños. And pretty cheap too. I got 15 jalapeños for 84 cents. 1 brick of cream cheese for $1.00 (I think? I had 8 bricks, so it had to be cheap when I bought it). 1 pound of bacon for $3.50 (maybe more, I was hungry). 30 delightful treats for a little over $5. Mmmm.

The worst part of these delicious jalapeño poppers was slicing the jalapeños and removing the insides. Most people recommend wearing gloves. This mom ain’t got time for gloves. I just powered through with gusto and many kinds words to my kids, like “don’t bother me I’m working with hot peppers here!” After all 15 jalapeños were sliced, I scooped in some of the cream cheese. I started with a spoon, then moved to my hands, who cares, I just had to get it in the bellies of those jalapeños. Then I used the same knife I sliced my jalapeños with and sliced the bacon in half. Next I delicately wrapped each cream cheese stuffed jalapeño with a half slice of bacon. Placed those little devils on a foil-lined cookie sheet and baked in a pre-heated 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. Just until the bacon started crisping up and the peppers started to soften.

I’d recommend removing the jalapeño poppers from the pan and placing them on a paper towel to drain some bacon grease. But, heck, a little bacon grease never hurt anyone. And, I’m certainly not gonna judge you. If you want to pop a whole one in your mouth, straight from the pan, while the bacon grease stains your shirt and the hot pepper burns the roof of your mouth. You do that. You own that shirt. And that mouth. You do what you want.

Enjoy.

Some days you wake up and you just want to drink cupcake-flavored coffee. Some days you can’t stop thinking about cupcakes until you finally google: cupcake coffee creamer. I found this recipe and stayed right with it, except for doubling it. It only called for half a can of sweetened condensed milk, what am I supposed to do with the other can? Drink it. Probably shouldn’t.

So here she is, my favorite homemade, super simple, why wasn’t I making this sooner, cupcake coffee creamer.

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Seriously, it takes like 3 minutes to blend up. I made mine while both kids were screaming, so I could drown out the noise. Multi-tasker.

I used the powdered Hot Chocolate Cupcake (it does not make a good cake, but makes a good creamer) Cake Mix, for my first batch. Let me know which flavors you enjoy.