Normally, you all know I am a do-it-yourselfer, from scratch baker, and all around stubborn home cook who typically goes for the most intricate recipe out there. Well…as it turns out, I have a lazy side. Especially when in the depths of recovering from this awful and slow-to-retreat pneumonia that is not going down with out a serious fight.
What could be better than being 8 months pregnant? Being 8 months pregnant with pneumonia, that’s what! Then throw in five kids all starting school on different days, with different needs, and nausea so bad that I basically don’t want to even open the fridge or go to the store, and you have: Semi-Homemade Day!
Gabe and I spent time together in the kitchen last week whipping up some tasty treats that took A) no time to make and B) came from a box, can, container or jar. I had forgotten how easy quick cooking could be, and while once I’m well I’ll be going back to my luxuriously long days in the kitchen, I will admit that cutting corners can sometimes be just what the doctor ordered.
First we made a series of No-Bake Desserts from this book, Sweet Tooth, written by Jen Besel of Savvy Books over at Capstone Press. Gabe has this beautiful (and pride-inducing) habit of borrowing cookbooks from his adorable school library. Not regular books, just cookbooks. His librarians have now started requesting that he bake treats to bring back to them upon finishing each kid-friendly book.
Don’t worry, librarians, we’ve got you covered!
Each book we’ve used so far has been great, and some we’ve even gone on to buy home copies of. This No-Bake Dessert book has been, while slightly 50s-reminiscent (cool whip, frozen lemonade concentrate, condensed milk, etc.), really great for Gabe because the ingredients are easily attainable, easy to READ (yes, I have a reader-eeeek!) and take under 20 minutes to make. Of course, there’s wait time for items to chill or freeze, but nonetheless I have been pleasantly surprised.
Here’s what we made last week on a day when both of us were home sick:
Rolled Wafer Cookie Cake (not pictured yet)
Frozen Lemonade Poppers
Each dessert was really easy with simple instructions, but the Poppers were especially great because we already had some of the ingredients at home. Also, they can be made in tiny person serving sizes so that the clean up is easy. We had friends over Friday night (to help paint the nursery–more on that later) and Gabe distributed his Poppers to all parties interested.
Here’s the process:
Next up, I noticed that King Arthur has come out with a new-to-me line of boxed baking treats, and since I love the brand and always encourage my students to buy King Arthur flour (the red bag!) I thought I would go easy on myself and give the Sour Cream Coffeecake Mix a go. What’s a pregnant gal to do, anyway? I’m such a sucker for good coffeecake and with no energy to really measure and bake, this box ended up being perfectly suited to my needs. I found this mix at my local Food Lion!
The coffeecake was super easy to put together and ended up coming out so moist, delicious and flavorful, that the only thing I would change would be a bit of added salt–but that could be my pregnant palate talking.
I whipped this coffee cake up in 10 minutes, baked for 30 and have it sitting on the counter now for doling out during rushed breakfasts and after-school snacks that are all too common at our house–especially given the time of year.
The beauty of it is that the ingredients are great and that each time any of us buys a mix, we give a meal to a family in need through King Arthur’s Bake for Good program. Doing that extra bit to help anyone in need is a great feeling, and these days with labor looming and pneumonia at my heels, it’s nice to get that warm fuzzy feeling whenever I can;)