it’s not Christmas till i bake an obscene amount of goodies…


it was a boxed mac and cheese kind of weekend.

i know, it’s shameful to admit, especially considering my usual rantings involve using pretty much all whole, made-from-scratch ingredients.

sometimes you just need some blue box mac and cheese in your life.

A) because it’s awesome.

and

B) sometimes you’re too busy baking to go out and kill a chicken and grow some zucchini for dinner.

(please note, i have never actually killed a chicken myself and i’ve only successfully grown zucchini once)

but this was my weekend. baking and boxed mac. at least it was organic. although i highly doubt that organic powdered cheese sauce is really any better for you than conventional powdered cheese sauce.

*shrugs*

anyway…

DO YOU WANT TO KNOW WHAT I BAKED!?!?

i’m sure you totally do. no one reads blogs about conventional vs. boxed mac and cheese. people read blogs about other people baking 30 loaves of banana bread and several dozen sugar cookies.

before you get too impressed, they were totally mini loaves.

first of all, can we please talk about how adorable and totally functional these ceramic mini loaf pans are?!

i found them on sale at michael’s for $1 each, and they might just be my favorite bread pans ever. i baked 30 mini loaves and not one, NOT ONE fell, stuck or baked up weird. not bad for a buck.

i used Joy the Baker’s whole wheat and millet banana bread recipe, because it’s totally my favorite ever.

only i left out the millet this time.

and i used sucanat instead of normal sugar.

what is sucanat?

glad you asked…

sucanat is a super unrefined sugar.  basically, they crush a sugar cane to get the juice out,  boil the juice, evaporate and then crush up the granules that are left.  the molasses aren’t removed, which means sucanat is lower in calories than normal sugar and has the benefits of the vitamin B6, potassium and chromium from the molasses.

it’s also not as sweet as refined sugar, which means my fruit bread tastes like just that: fruit bread.  not cake.

Joy’s recipe converts from two large loaves to six mini loaves per making.

aren’t they such precious little loaves?

my second baking project all started with a simple question from Ben:

“what is this ‘pinterest’ thing?”

((sigh))

ere go, i saw this photo:

and found myself on the crazy domestic’s blog.

i decided these little guys would be way too cute as name tags for gifts for our kids ministry volunteers at church.

there are like 50 billion ways to make melted snowman cookies, some are more intense than others.

i don’t make sugar cookie dough from scratch.  shhh!  it’s just not my thing.  it doesn’t turn out right.

i also wasn’t about to tackle fondant.  no thank you.

here’s how i made my melted snowman cookies:

first, i pre-rolled my cookie dough into slightly-larger-than-golf-ball-size balls.

then, i smooshed them out to make a “puddle-y” shape that was about 1/2 an inch thick and baked them.

once the cookies had cooled, i made a slightly thinned out version of royal icing, and iced the cookies, letting the frosting dribble off the sides. totally my idea of cookie decorating. precision not required.

then i melted marshmallows in the microwave for like 15.2349 seconds, just till they got puffy and mushy.

each snowman got a marshmallow head, and a sliver of mandarin orange candy for a nose.

then i piped eyes and arms on in black icing and the persons name in red, green or blue.

cute, yeah?

thanks pinterest.

that’s the story of why i ate boxed mac and cheese all weekend, like i need a reason.

i dearly hope that your Christmas season is filled with all kinds of wonderful baked goodies, fruit breads and mac and cheese in its many forms.

♥ megan

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