One Smart Little Cookie is a collection of everything that brings inspiration, comfort and beauty into my life and home.
I love to create a beautiful home and enjoy it with my family.
It is sharing
what I love to do; baking and cooking in a healthier way without sacrificing flavor
, crafts,
party planning, activities, organization, and home decor.

Being a "Smart Little Cookie" is not about being perfect, it is about knowing how to enjoy life and family to it's fullest~to your fullest.
Due to my creative process, my home gets messy, my kids play in their jammies-all day sometimes (the terribly relaxed days tend to be my favorite),
and my hubby has become much more patient and supportive over the years with all of this.
In fact, he often has his own creative ideas and we both find ourselves anticipating our upcoming projects together~love him!
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE a clean house, but I've rejected denial, and with a toddler who is a budding creative type herself,
I feel accomplished when the dishes are in the dishwasher before naptime (not mine, hers).
I've accepted the fact that "spotless" cannot mean what I have always
envisioned in my mind, at least not with kids,
and I would rather enjoy my kids and beautiful home, than a spotless, sterile home.
I have learned to take each day, one day at a time, and everyday should leave us feeling inspired and more contented.
The day should leave us, whispering in our ear, "the day has been as well as it could have been done, and it has been done well."

Go ahead and take a bite, indulge yourself and try my recipes and crafty creations in your own home.
I hope to inspire you to feel like the "Smart Little Cookie" you are!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Scrumptious Banana Cake

I made this delicious cake to celebrate my newest niece's First-Month Birthday.  I've been on bed rest and immediately following my release, both of my daughters became sick.  So, I'm anxious and excited to meet this new little addition to my extended family!
What better way to celebrate her first month of life than with a Scrumptious Banana Cake decorated in sweet pink frosting.

The Recipe

                 1/2 c unsalted butter, softened        3 ripe bananas, mashed
                 2 3/4 c unbleached flour                  1/4 c applesauce
                 1 1/2 t baking powder                     1 t vanilla extract
                 1 t baking soda                               1 2/3 c sugar
                 1/2 t salt                                        4 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line bottom of cake pans with parchment paper cut into the shape of pans being used.  Spray and dust with flour; set aside.  In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.  Mash bananas and transfer to a small bowl, mix together with applesauce, and vanilla; set aside.
In a seperate medium bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition.  Add flour mixture in two parts until blended.  Mix in banana mixture until just combined.  Transfer batter into prepared cake pans and bake about 30 minutes until golden brown, or when a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
Invert cakes out of the cake pans, peeling away the parchment paper and carefully place each cake right side up on a wire rack to cool.

Crumb Coat and Frosting

When cakes have cooled, transfer the cakes into the refrigerator until set, this will eliminate any breakage while applying the crumb coat.  In the meantime, 
make ~The Perfect Frosting~

The Perfect Frosting
(for anything you might like to frost to perfection!)

1/4 c butter, room temperature
1 16-ounce package powdered sugar
1/4 c milk
1 t vanilla

Beat butter until smooth and creamy; gradually add powdered sugar, beating until well blended.  Add milk a little at a time and vanilla.  Add more milk and powdered sugar as needed until smooth.  (Double this recipe when using as a crumb coat and as frosting)

 Crumb Coat

 Take cakes out of the refrigerator.  Working with first cake layer, frost a thin layer of The Perfect Frosting on the top and side.  Do the same with the second layer.  Return both layers to the refrigerator until set, about 1-2 hours.  


 When crumb coat is set, frost the top of the first layer with The Perfect Frosting.  Place the second layer on top of the first and frost entire cake.

Smart Little Cookie Tip:
Use any flavor extract your heart desires.  I use this frosting universally on everything from mint-frosted brownies, to sugar cookies, to cakes! It's my favorite, and I'm happy to share it with each of you.
You may like to use a cream cheese which would also be a delicious flavor combo with this cake. mouth is watering!

This Banana Cake is both Chic and oh, so Scrumptious!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

I love the rich color in this Valentine! 
I hope you each have a day full of love, love, love!