Hi, I'm Rachel.

A few years ago I could barely boil water.

True story.

Determined to be a kick ass wife, I developed a love for football and learned to cook in my tiny Jersey City kitchen. I spend my days working in Manhattan, my nights and weekends chasing after a rambunctious toddler, and the hours in between cooking with my husband and feeding my TV habit...oh, and I blog about it all! 

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Entries in St. Patrick's Day (9)


Grasshopper Pudding Cups


You know something crazy is going on when I get two recipe posts up in one week! That crazy thing is that Penelope has been loving cooking lately. Our weekends have been filled with food prep and some of my very favorite moments from this past weekend were spent with P sitting on our kitchen island helping me cook. I will happily cook all the time if she is into it.

And amazingly, there's been a shift lately. I've noticed that when Penelope helps cook, she is then excited to eat the finished product. This is music to my ears since we've certainly had our rough patches with getting her to eat in the past. In fact, the last two weekends she's helped make soup and then would proceed to eat two full bowls of it. I'd call that a major parental win and I'm hoping that this keeps up!

On Sunday morning, P wanted to make something so I thought we'd try some instant pudding. I only had the powdered sugar free fat free kind which really wouldn't be my first choice of desserts to feed my child but it's what we had and we had a lot of fun making it together. I decided to make these grasshopper puddings and dye the vanilla pudding green for St Patrick's Day, and then I thought this would be a great 'recipe' for Baby Talk Tuesday since it's so easy for kids to help. And watch the mystification on their face when the pudding turns green. Penelope was positively enthralled.

Grasshopper Pudding Cups
1 pkg instant vanilla pudding
1 pkg instant chocolate pudding
4 C fat free milk
1/4 tsp peppermint extract
4-5 drops green food coloring
Whipped cream topping, if desired

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the vanilla pudding mix and 2 cups of milk. Add food coloring and whisk for 2 minutes until it thickens.

In another bowl, whisk the chocolate pudding mix and remaining 2 cups of milk until it begins to thicken. Add peppermint extract and continue whisking until 2 minutes have passed in total.

Let both bowls of pudding soft set in the refrigerator. Once set, layer the pudding into individual cups or a large trifle dish. Top with whipped topping and enjoy!

Kid-approved tasks:
Pour pudding mixes into bowls
Help pour milk
Help whisk
Lick whisk --->I told Penelope this is why being the chef is awesome because you get to lick the bowl.

So that's it. I wouldn't even call this a recipe, just getting creative with my kiddo in the kitchen. And it's simple and fast enough that you could totally squeeze this in tonight for St. Patrick's Day!


Do you have any plans for tonight? I have a corned beef slow cooking in beer at home and will be adding some cabbage, carrots and potatoes when I arrive home! And of course, a little Irish soda bread on the side!

PS: chocolate stout mini cakes/chocolate stout cupcakes/irish oatmeal cake/favorite beer braised corned beef + cabbage


Gorgeous Evening

Fun things: My Chocolate Stout Mini Cakes with Irish Cream Frosting are on The Daily Meal today! Head on over to check it out :)

Yesterday was a positively gorgeous day. It was sunny, about 70 degrees and slightly breezy. It was, dare I say...perfection.

In the NY/NJ area, we really only get like a handful of these days each year. Generally, the weather is either too warm and humid or too cold and windy. To have a perfect day is one to be savored.

So when I arrived home (and it was still light out! yeah daylight savings!!) last night, Shaun and I decided to hit the streets for a nice long walk around the neighborhood.




The streets of Jersey City were bustling! Everyone was out enjoying the weather.


We headed up toward the Path station and I couldn't help but stop at McDonald's for a....Shamrock Shake!


I've actually never had one before and have been obsessing over it for the last week (although the commericals are so annoying and make women look dumb...oh well). I finally just decided that I needed to see what all the hype was about...you know, for research purposes.


Verdict? It was super sweet (no problem there!) and refreshing but I wish it was just a little more minty. Ah well. Still a nice treat for a Tuesday evening :)

Today is supposed to be almost as beautiful outside so I'm excited to wear a spring coat today! Hope you all are having beautiful weather this week!


Questions of the Day:

What's your favorite thing to do in the warm weather? I love just being out and about, or having dinner or glass of wine out on the terrace!

Shamrock shake...yay or nay?


Oh and if you want to make your own Shamrock Shake...check out my healthy mint shake!

And in case you missed it...you might also like my Chocolate Stout Mini Cakes with Irish Cream Frosting! Just sayin'.



Chocolate Stout Mini Cakes with Irish Cream Frosting

It was a harsh reality dragging myself out of bed this morning...in the dark! Ah daylight savings! How are you handling it today? I absolutely loved the fact that it didn't get totally dark out last night until after 7pm. Shaun and I went for a long walk in the sunshine around 4pm yesterday and it was great. The streets were bustling, the sun was shining, the weather was perfection. I'm looking forward to leaving work tonight in the daylight!

I think we ALL need a treat this morning...you know, in order to properly adjust. I made you one.

So this coming Saturday is St. Patrick's Day. I'm not Irish. But I don't care, I'm still down to wear green things and eat copious amounts of corned beef and cabbage and Irish cream laden desserts. Everyone's Irish on St. Patrick's Day, don't you think?


This weekend, I made a little snack to share with you. I didn't dye anything green, but I did use some nice Irish alcohol in my dessert. I had made these Irish car bomb cupcakes a few years back and they were such a hit that I thought it would be fun to test out another dessert with chocolate, Irish stout and Irish cream. Enter these cute little mini cakes, loaded with buttercream.


 Shaun proclaimed this one of my top 3 desserts of all time. I'm not sure what the other two are on that list, but I have to agree with him.


And the super duper fantastic supercalifragilisticexpialidocious part? They are just 4 Points+ per cake (I didn't tell him this until after he ate one) AND they are incredibly easy. Yeahhh buddy!

Chocolate Stout Mini Cakes with Irish Cream Frosting
Makes 30 cakes; 4 WW Points+ per cake

for the chocolate stout mini cakes:
1 box Supermoist chocolate cake mix
1 box chocolate sugar-free fat-free instant Jell-o pudding mix
3/4 C Guinness draught
1/2 C applesauce
3 eggs

for the Irish cream frosting
1/2 C butter, softened (1 stick)
2 C confectioners sugar
2-3 Tbsp Bailey's Irish Cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
splash (or two) of milk


To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the cake mix, pudding mix, Guinness, applesauce and eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer ready. Beat on low for 30 seconds, then on medium-high for 2 minutes until all ingredients are completely combined and fluffy.

Using a tablespoon-sized mellon baller/ice cream scooper, drop heaping tablespoons onto a greased baking sheet, into a greased whoopie pie pan. I used both methods and the ones from the whoopie pie pan came out a little cuter and nicely shaped, however, if you don't have one it's no thang. A baking sheet works totally fine.

Bake for about 12 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool slightly on pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


To make the frosting, beat the butter until totally soft and fluffy. Add the sugar, one cup at a time, thinning out with the Bailey's and vanilla as it beats. Add milk if you'd like to make it thinner. This frosting is very strong Bailey's flavor, and so if you don't like that so much, use less Bailey's and more milk. Frost cooled cakes and top with sprinkles of choice.


Eat many, immediately.


Give some to friends. Give some to your building concierge. I did. They liked them.

You will too. I promise.

Questions of the Day:

Do you prefer it to be dark in the morning and light at night? Or vice versa? I think I prefer it this way!

Do you look forward to any Irish-themed eats for St. Patrick's Day?


For more St. Pat's recipes, please see:

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

Irish Oat Cake + Irish Cream Frosting

Irish Soda Bread (my favorite one ever!)

Beer Braised Corned Beef & Cabbage