Sunday, January 29, 2012

Day 30 and #53... and #54...

Yeah, I'm not kidding. Guilty as charged. This weekend was a BIG baking weekend. A big weekend in weight loss, too. My brother's 20th birthday was last night, and of course, I needed to bake something in honor of the momentous occasion. On top of that, with all of the dieting taking place, I have been literally searching out any excuse to bake for others. Just being in my kitchen element, surrounded by butter and sugar, seems to make me feel a little more normal, since my diet of strictly protein and vegetables ISN'T.

In regards to the diet, this week has been an emotional yo-yo. After baking that GORGEOUS rainbow birthday cake last weekend for Papa Baird, I went ahead and let myself sneak a little piece- under Mothers Baird's INSISTING of course- and it was exactly what I needed. So colorful, soft, and just the little bit of sweet something I needed to take my mind off of the dieting. Nervously stepping on the scale the following morning, I was pleased to see I hadn't gained any weight... no no no, the weight gain happened THE FOLLOWING morning. You have no idea what a slap in the face it was to see my weight go back up to 137.2. It actually hurt my feelings. To make matters even worse, I managed to plateau this entire week, for no good reason! I took it very personally, smacking myself upside the head for even thinking it would've been all right to try that cake. Thankfully, this morning, I am at 135.4... my smallest I have been in YEARS. I'm thinking the plateau was due to the fact that for about two weeks I wasn't able to make it to the gym, whether it was due to traveling OR the weather. With that being said, the gym is becoming PRIORITY #1. Let's take a look at my goals-

Initial weight: 146.6 pounds
Current weight: 135.4
Weight loss: 11.2 pounds
Weight left to go until initial goal: 0.4 pounds

Whoo hoo! This feels pretty good, although I am NOT celebrating until I hit 135 flat. It is then I will buy myself a treat. For now, I am NOT resting easy. Who knows when I'll run into another plateau? I'll keep you updated when that goal actually happens! Yay!!

Now let's get to the real reason you're reading this blog. Recipe #53 and #54. The first is for my brother. I offered to make him dessert, but my mom really enjoys making us/buying us something tasty for our actual birthday treat- instead, I asked if he'd want me to make him breakfast the following morning to eat before going to work. After looking through my Pinterest (where there are TONS of DELICIOUS choices), he asked for something I had been eager to make for weeks- Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake. Yum... two of my favorite things combined into one treat: breakfast AND cake.

This recipe (with the spoonful I had allowed myself to try) is GOOOOD. The top of the cake gets all nice and crusty, the inside is moist, and the blueberries... oh goodness, my diet is making it so hard to be good.

#53: Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake (as found on


½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tsp. lemon zest or more — zest from 1 large lemon
7/8 cup* + 1 tablespoon sugar** (
* 7/8 cup = 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons and ** This 1 tablespoon is for sprinkling on top)
1 egg, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 cups fresh blueberries
½ cup buttermilk


1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Cream butter with lemon zest and 7/8 cup of the sugar until light and fluffy.
    - All right, true confession time. I was NOT able to finish this cake before my brother left for work for a variety of reasons. The first was, I woke up at 6:30 thinking I could have the breakfast ready before his 8 o'clock shift. Bad move. First of all, I wasn't officially up until 6:40 (it's Saturday morning, give me a break!), and on top of that, it took me a solid 15 minutes to FIND our lemon "zester" (it was literally RIGHT in front of me the entire time. Yup. Solid work). 
    - P.S. Have I mentioned my beef with lemon zest? All of the work just to get the skin off of a lemon, and then you just leave the large lemon on the counter to rot. I am DETERMINED to cut it up and use it in water this weekend, mark my words!


2. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Meanwhile, toss the blueberries with ¼ cup of flour, then whisk together the remaining flour, baking powder and salt (all of this in separate bowls! That's three bowls!)
3. Add the flour mixture to the batter a little at a time, alternating with the buttermilk. Fold in the blueberries (Alternate half of the flour mixture into the batter, then 1/4 a cup of buttermilk. Alternate until all the flour and buttermilk is gone, mix, and then fold in the blueberries).
4. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan (or something similar) with butter or coat with non-stick spray. Spread batter into pan. Sprinkle batter with remaining tablespoon of sugar. Bake for 35 minutes. Check with a toothpick for doneness. If necessary, return pan to oven for a couple of more minutes. (Note: Baking for as long as 10 minutes more might be necessary.) Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving [My cake took about 45-47 minutes in the oven, take note!]
There you have it. I wish I could have a big, old slice. Look at this, perfection in a pan!

Now, recipe #54 came to be for a variety of reasons. First of all, last week, one of my friends and I decided that we needed to run cookies to a couple of other girls we know because we quickly realized that their birthdays were both last month, and we did NOTHING to recognize this. Michelle volunteered to go get them cards, and I of course stepped up to the plate to bake (... and I will admit, it was half out of selfish reasons. I just really wanted to bake, GOSH!). On top of that, I also needed to bake for my students, because I had promised them that if they met their goals in our winter M.A.P. science test, I would bring them a treat. With that being said, I needed to do something festive for the birthday girls, as well as kid-friendly. I found a FUN recipe...
I love all things cake batter. After making cake batter blondies for Mothers Baird back in October, I kept finding other "cake batter" recipes I wanted to try- cake batter pancakes, cake batter rice krispie treats, cake batter cake pops, cake batter truffles, and finally this one.
#54: Cake Batter Pudding Cookies (as found at love this BLOG!)
1 1/2 sticks (or 3/4 cup) butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 (3.4 oz) package instant vanilla pudding mix
3/4 cup yellow cake mix
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
2-1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
*Note- the pictures will show a doubled recipe, since I needed to make 30 cookies for the kids, plus extras for the girls.
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Stir together flour, salt and baking soda and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars together. Add in pudding package and cake mix and beat until well blended. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until smooth. Add flour mixture slowly until well incorporated.

3. Mix in sprinkles. Roll into 1" balls and place on greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 F for 10-12 minutes.
    - Used an entire bottle of sprinkles between two batches of these cookies, and I really don't think that was enough. Also, I ended up keeping my cookies in the oven for about 15 minutes, because the middles were definitely not done at the suggested time.

There you have it! Another simple cookie recipe brought to you by your's truly. Now, I have to tell you though, I let myself try one of these cookies (*gasp* but what about your diet?!), and I was slightly disappointed. On the blog I pulled this from, the women who had commented on the recipe said it was "So delicious!" and "One of the best they've tasted!" LIES. It's good, don't get me wrong... but it's basically just a fluffier sugar cookie. That's it. I was hoping for this ooey, gooey pudding-like cookie, but instead I literally just got your run of the mill, could've-probably-bought-this-in-the-store-for-a lot-less-money-and-saved-a lot-of-time sugar cookie. Oh well, my kids will really enjoy it, I'm just worried about letting down the women I baked for...

Hi, welcome to every school teacher's nightmare- baking for 30+ students.

You cookies, you disappoint me so!

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