Monday, September 26, 2011


A while back, quite a while actually, Pillsbury sent me a goodie box.  They had contacted me and said that they “saw that I like sweet things” (tee hee) and would I enjoy some of their treats.  Yes, please.  I had no idea what they were sending me, and that was part of the fun of it.  I was happily surprised when the package arrived.  I seriously love getting mail – it’s kind of obsessive for me.  Not bills, but packages and letters….make me happy.

Now, understand that I usually like to make all my desserts and treats for my boys from scratch, but there will always be times when I need a little help. I may cut corners on a pie crust, crescent rolls for a meal, or pick up a bag of treats for my boys when I know I am going to be super duper busy.  So when I opened the box to find two bags of their new Sweet Moments Brownie Bites….I realized that they do know that I like sweet things.  I decided that night that dessert was on Pillsbury!  I hate to admit that we almost ate a whole bag in one sitting…the boys liked them.  Jason liked them.  Even I liked them…and I am a tough one to win over with bought desserts.  These were good.  A good substitute for homemade for those days when I just can’t get in the kitchen.  (I would like to point out here that we do NOT eat brownies, cake, or pie for dessert every night…that would be ridiculous)

Have you tried these?

Sweet Moments (Image from

You should….trust me.

A Big Thank You to Pillsbury for thinking of us, and for sharing your delicious Sweet Moments with us.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Madeleine LOVE

Thank you Donsuemor!  Thank you for sending me these incredible little cakes.  It was difficult for me not to eat them all before making this Raspberry Tiramisu, very difficult. I am excited to be participating in Donsuemor’s Dessert a Day project. Being asked to make a recipe using one of their delectable desserts was an offer that I jumped on.  From their list of French treats I chose the Madeleines….and they live up to their description. For those of you not familiar with Madeleines, they are small, light, sweet little cakes that are made in a very special pan.  (A pan that has been on my wish list for way too long, must purchase!)

“Our Madeleines

Donsuemor madeleines are elegant little French cakes with distinctive shell shapes. Rich and buttery with a unique flavor and texture—soft and moist with lightly crisped edges—they are made with the finest quality, all natural ingredients.

Donsuemor is inspired by spirited legends and romance of madeleines. In France, they are most often linked to the town of Commercy, in the region of Lorraine. One narrative suggests King Stanislas Leszczynska sent the recipe for madeleines to his daughter Maria following her marriage to Louis XV at Versailles. She named it for her father's French cook, Madeleine, who learned the recipe from her grandmother in Commercy. A slight variation of this story suggests that King Stanislas was hosting a luncheon. The court's chef did not prepare a dessert, and Madeleine, a young assistant saved the meal by preparing a little cake made at home in Commercy.

Another version suggests that madeleines were invented by Avice, the pastry chef of an influential nineteenth-century French diplomat Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-PĂ©rigord, who placed the batter in scalloped-shaped molds.

And in Spain, the magdalenas, resemblance to the madeleines, are created to mark the Christian pilgrimage route that ends in Santiago de Compostela, in which sea scallops are the symbol most closely associated with this journey.

And for others, it is the French author Marcel Proust who immortalized them in his vivid description of savoring petites madeleines in his novel Remembrance of Things Past.

Donsuemor captures the tradition of these little French cakes, and creates a madeleine unlike any other. Once you taste them you will know why Donsuemor is the one you remember.

Donsuemor madeleines are available in five flavors, Traditional, Dipped, Lemon Zest, Chocolate, and Dipped Chocolate.”     Text from

I pondered the ideas of what to make with these sweet treats.  I thought a trifle, I thought ice cream, but I wanted to showcase the spongy goodness of these cakes….so I went with this….a Raspberry Tiramisu.

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See the lovely seashell shape of the cake…the traditional Madeleine shape…so beautiful.

Raspberry Tiramisu for Two


6 – 10 Madeleine Cakes (depends on size of your dish)

1/2 Seedless Raspberry Jam

1 tbsp Raspberry Liqueur

2 tbsp Whipped Cream Vodka

2 tbsp Water

1/2 cup Whipping Cream

1/2 cup Mascarpone Cheese

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1/8 cup Sugar

1 cup Fresh Raspberries


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk whipping cream, sugar and vanilla extract together until stiff peaks are formed. Cover bowl and put in fridge to keep cold.
  2. Stir together mascarpone cheese and 1 tbsp of whipped cream vodka.  Set aside.
  3. In a small pot, over low heat, whisk together raspberry jam, raspberry liqueur, remaining tbsp of whipped cream vodka, and water.  Stir to combine and continue to stir until jam has thinned.
  4. Take whipped cream out of the fridge, whisk 1/3 of the whipped cream into the mascarpone cheese to lighten it up, then fold in remaining whipped cream.
  5. Pull out your cute clear dish….you really want it to be clear so that you can see the pretty layers as you serve it.
  6. Unwrap the individual Madeleine Cakes and try not to eat them all.
  7. Dip the cakes into the raspberry jam mixture to completely cover them, give them a bit to soak up some of the saucy goodness.
  8. Spread a light layer of the raspberry jam mixture on the bottom of your dish, then place one layer of the cookies in the dish.
  9. Spoon and spread half of the whipped cream/mascarpone cheese mixture on top of the cookies.
  10. Dip more cakes and place on top of whipped cream layer.
  11. With remainder of the whipped cream mixture top the second layer of cakes and smooth nicely.
  12. Cover dish and place in fridge to chill until ready to serve.
  13. Decorate top of tiramisu with the fresh raspberries when ready to serve.

You will need to use a knife to serve this tiramisu as the cakes will still have their spongy texture.

First layer of saucy cakes:

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Look at these layers….

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Thank you, again, Donsuemor for these delicious treats.  Jason and I certainly enjoyed this fantastic dessert after putting the boys to bed….we weren’t willing to share, and with the alcohol in the dessert we shouldn’t be sharing anyway!

You should definitely check out Donsuemor for more of their delicate treats, and also pop over to Cupcake Rehab to see what she made with Donsuemor’s  French Almond Cakes.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Monkey Monday…..FINALLY!

The day finally came…Aiden has been waiting for this day all summer.  Actually, he has probably been waiting for it since the last day of school.  Today was the day.  Aiden’s first day of school finally came.  Today was the first day of Preschool for Aiden.  Thank goodness.  Taking Jakob to school last week and having to tell Aiden that he would have to wait a week was just torture.  Absolute torture.  He didn’t understand.

This morning when we all woke up to start the day, I whispered to him “it’s the first day of school for you, do you want to see Teacher Shelley?” , he practically JUMPED out of bed.  He was so excited and so proud. 

Just look at this smile and see….

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Could his grin get any bigger?  He had a great first day, full of old friends and new, and happy that he got to go to school, finally, just like his big brother.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Monkey Monday: A Friends List

Yesterday the boys and I went to Priest Pointe Park for the afternoon….to make new friends.  Finally, Amanda and my schedules worked and we were finally getting to meet face to face.  The boys were excited to meet new people and have some fun…my little extroverts. It was a beautiful day, a fun afternoon filled with yummy snacks, sunshine, and new friends.

On the way home Jakob suggested we make a “Friends List” to keep track of all of our friends.  And while that seemed like a good idea for them, it got me thinking about my own “Friends List”.  Are there people on my list that I need to erase?  Are there people who got left off the list that I need to put back on?  Definitely, on both counts.  I need to work harder to put those people back on it….desperately.  And those that need to be erased…need to do that too…don’t need the negativity and stress that comes along with it.  I am exhausted from trying to keep those people on the list when they don’t make the same effort.

Do you have a Friends List?  Do you need to do some housekeeping to your List?  What do you do to help rebuild a damaged friendship?