Baking Fails: Cake Mix Pumpkin Cookies --

Baking Fails: Pumpkin Cake Mix Cookies

When I was about 15 and in high school, I thought I wanted to be a baker when I grew up.  I started taking cooking classes in school and LOVED it. Cooking is so much fun and a great skill to have for life! One thing that I learned was that baking is a science.  Baking requires precise measurements of certain ingredients or it all goes to waste!  Sometimes it requires increasing or decreasing amounts of ingredients to obtain the perfect result.  I just want to share with you some of my baking fails to SAVE you the trouble of making them yourself.

I’ve been seeing on Pinterest, recipes for making cookies from cake mix, specifically I saw a recipe for 2 ingredient pumpkin cookies. First let me say that when I think cookies, I think soft and chewy cookies OR crunchy cookies. Second, after I started making this recipe I instantly remembered my recipe for pumpkin cake, which is so yummy by the way! You can find that recipe HERE. Continue reading

Five Minute Halloween Oreo Treats -- Mummy Oreos and Monster Oreo Pops --

Super Quick Oreo Halloween Treats

I have a super quick and easy Halloween treat for you today.  It’s so easy that your little one can help you make it, and if you flub up no one is going to know the difference. So quick, that if it’s midnight and you forgot to make something for your kids Halloween party tomorrow, this would be your saving grace. PROMISE!

It’s not midnight, but my son’s Halloween event for school is tomorrow.  With me being sick, I procrastinated.  I am on the other hand a super type A person, and I needed something cute, creative, and yummy.  Something that would wow everyone.  Yes, my friends, I am…THAT mom.

I had seen variations of these treats online for some time now, and they seemed easy enough for me to accomplish, so I dove in head first, no recipe.  That’s right friends, NO RECIPE. Continue reading

Island Eats: Via Gelato

Ice cream is probably my dessert weakness. I’ve never really cared for pies, cakes, cookies, or cupcakes, but ice cream…I can never turn it down!  When I was pregnant, I swear I used it as an excuse to eat a bowl every night after dinner, for that I paid two fold.  I got gestational diabetes, and my son is addicted too! (well, sugar in general).  I promise, I was a good mom and I tried to keep anything sweet out of those tiny little hands and mouth, but the sweet tooth is strong in my family.  My mom, aunty, and sister are ALWAYS eating something that can and will rot your teeth, it was no wonder that one of his first experiences with cake was with my crazy family!

Island Life: Via Gelato, Kaimuki, Hawaii Continue reading

New York City Stops: Magnolia Bakery

I had honestly never heard of Magnolia Bakery until a friend of mine insisted that I go there and try the banana pudding.  When I went to New York recently, it was one of the first stops on my itinerary.

Magnolia’s started as a small bakery in the west village, and since has expanded to locations worldwide. How did I not know this?!  Anywho, there are multiple locations around new york city, and the one I happened to walk into was in Rockefeller Center.

On the outside, it looks like a typical bakery, but when you walk in, it feels so homey! Continue reading

pumpkin cake

Recipe: Pumpkin Cake with Cinnamon Glaze

I hate pumpkin pie. I really do. I don’t know what it is about it, but I absolutely do not like pumpkin pie.  I don’t know if it’s the texture, or the smell, but it makes me gag just thinking about it.  However, I will and do eat anything else that’s pumpkin.  Pumpkin Crunch is probably one of my favorite go to desserts.  When I was in college I worked at this place called The Wedding Cafe and they sold this BOMB pumpkin crunch. I’m pretty sure I gained about 5 pounds just from eating it every shift.

I like to cook, Pinterest is my best friend and worst enemy.  I still haven’t figured out if it’s something that I’m good at, but I know everything I make is at least edible.   Continue reading

Sweet Potato Fries with Fry Sauce Featured Image

Recipe: Sweet Potato Fries with Fry Sauce

Fries are my best friend. Shoestring, crinkle, tater tots, fat, skinny, fresh or frozen, homemade or fast food, crispy, soggy, baked or deep fried. I love ALL KINDS OF FRIES. I have my favorites of course but, generally speaking I’m not fry racist. Unless they are old, old and cold fries are never good. While training for Miss Hawaii, I CRAVED french fries and pizza. Side note: training for a pageant is no joke, it’s hard work, I don’t intend to do it ever again, mostly because I love eating way, too, much.

So what better recipe to start with than my all time favorite food! FRIES! Continue reading

Toaster Oven Chronicles: Tuna Casserole

I’m thoroughly convinced that you earn wings when you become a mother.  Not just when you give birth but from the moment you are pregnant.  Why?  1) you have a hangover that lasts for about 4 months on average.  2) you then have to deal with all the new and weird bodily functions that you possess (farting uncontrollably, bloating, swelling, peeing on average 15 times a day, constipation, etc.)  3)you gain the super obsessive cleaning gene that has been hibernating since your birth.  I know some people manifest this gene early on in life, but really, it’s ten times worse while you’re pregnant, no joke. 4)you actually have to give birth to a human through a small opening in your body.

Another trait that has seemed to manifest itself in recent weeks is the need to cook.  I’ve always enjoyed cooking and would cook every now and then for my grandparents but I’m starting to realize that they are getting older and since they’ve taken care of my every need and want for the past 25 years, I should probably do the same for them.  Thus begins, the toaster oven chronicles.  Why a toaster oven you may ask?  Well, let me take you back about 10 years or so ago….

Our house is old.  My grandparents have had the SAME OVEN/STOVE since they built this house.  It’s really not a big deal because it works, well, that’s a lie, the stove works.  About 10 years ago (It totally could have been more, I really don’t remember when) the oven caught fire while my grandma was making dinner one night, my uncle came and put out the fire.  We cleaned it out and for fear it would happen again, we never ever ever ever used it again.  So, that meant no more meatloaf (my absolute favorite), no more porkchops, no more pot roast! Ugh, obviously I survived but it still sucks.  We’ve always had a toaster oven, but I’ve always thought you’re only supposed to make, well, toast in it, DUH!  I was mistaken.  I’ve recently discovered that you can do ANYTHING with a toaster oven that can be done in a regular oven just in smaller quantities (perfect because my family eats like birds) and with a few little tweaks.

So here we are, the first installment of the toaster oven chronicles. I’ve been SO BORED with our dinners recently since we’ve been limited to what can be made in the microwave and on the stove.  It’s the same thing every night, so I decided to shake it up a little.  I’ve been researching for some recipes but this one I came up with on my own, sort of.  I LOVE TUNA, ask anyone who knows me, tuna and me are best buds.  In sushi, raw, cooked, creamed tuna, tuna patties, tuna salad, tuna and rice, you name it, if there’s tuna, I LOVE IT.  Now, I KNOW you’re not supposed to eat a ton of it while pregnant, so fret not, I have not been eating it as religiously as I have been, so this was a treat to myself.  Don’t judge me.

Here’s what it looked like coming out of the oven:

Tuna Casserole Toaster Oven

Doesn’t it look pretty fantastic?  I must say I was pretty impressed with how it turned out.  As a treat I’m sharing with you how to make it.  Please keep in mind that I did make this recipe up as I went along, and I’ll be brutally honest that I don’t know the exact measurements I used. Yea, that’s how I roll, no fear.

*For my family there was tons left over, but we eat like birds, mind you there is 6 of us.  For a normal family it might feed about 4.

Toaster Oven Tuna Casserole


  • 6-8oz. uncooked Elbow Macaroni Noodles (or any other type of noodle you want to use, it really doesn’t matter)
  • 1 bag mixed frozen vegetables (we used the one with broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots)
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded cheese (we used 2 types of cheese, mozzarella and colby jack and cheddar mix)
  • 2 cans tuna
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 9×9 pan (glass or metal, i’ve found it really doesn’t matter)
  • 1 large mixing bowl
  • large pot (to boil macaroni noodles)


  1. In large pot, add water and salt to taste, bring to a boil, add macaroni noodles, bring back to boil, let cook for about 10 minutes, remove from heat, drain and let sit. (Or you can just follow the directions on the bag/box it came in)
  2. Start to preheat toaster oven (here’s the downside to cooking in the toaster oven, it takes UBER long to heat up to the correct temperature, so start it as soon as you can, it will be ready when you are)
  3. Open and drain canned tuna
  4. In large mixing bowl, combine frozen veggies (still frozen), 2 cups of cheese, 2 cans of tuna (drained), and can of cream mushroom soup (don’t add the water like it says on the can), mix throughly.  You’ll end up with a pretty chunky mixture.
  5. Add macaroni to mixture
  6. Scoop mixture into pan, spread evenly
  7. Cover pan with tin foil
  8. Place into toaster oven
  9. Bake for approximately 30 minutes.
  10. Open toaster oven, remove pan, remove tin foil, replace pan back into toaster oven, and bake an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.
  11. Let cool and you’re done!

It takes about an hour to make from start to finish including prep time, which is long, I know, but if all you’ve got is a toaster oven, you’ll wait.  Oh and like I said, you will need to tweak the recipe because like I said I was making it up as I went along, no intention of posting it here but it came out so good, I wanted to share.

26 weeks 5 days