the newest addition to my family


I never dreamed that I would own one of these bad boys (or bad girls, in this case) so early-on in my baking endeavors! I decided to name her Meg, short for nutmeg which is one of my favorite spices!
How did I get so lucky, you ask? Well, let me tell you how blessed I am. (and I promise I am not bragging. I'm sharing. There is a difference.)
You see, at the time I got married (almost 3 years ago exactly) I wasn't that interested in baking. So when it came time to register for gifts, I didn't even know this bad boy (oops, I mean, bad girl) existed! So, I registered for a $12.99 hand mixer. Being that I had never even owned a mixer before, my little cheapy was good enough for me! As I started experimenting with baking, I noticed that a lot of times the recipe would direct me to use a certain attachment for my Kitchenaid mixer. As if it was trying to say that if I don't have one, I shouldn't even be attempting this recipe. So, out of curiosity I starting pricing these machines. WOWZER!!! Yeah, the hand-mixer was gonna have to last me for quite awhile, as these bad boys (why do I keep doing that?) were WAY out of my price range.
As time went by, I dreaded any time I had to beat, whip, cream or mix anything for longer than a minute. As many of you know, I hate anything remotely related to exercise. So, I would call Pete in to help. Thank God he didn't mind 12 minutes of a one arm exercise. Then one day last week it donned on me! Just ask Pete to buy me one for my birthday! And just because I like to post random, boring status updates on facebook, I announced to all of my "friends" that it was on my wish list for my birthday that was still 3 months away. Never in a million years did I ever think any one of them would, or even be in the position to, fulfill my birthday request!

I think it was 3 days later, Pete tells me a large package arrived. I could not get home fast enough! I swear, I was speed racer on 17-92 that day! I couldn't believe my eyes!!! AND it was the EXACT color that I would want! WHO? HOW? WHEN? HUH?

Well, it was my Aunt Jackie and Uncle Richard, whom I inherited when I married Pete. I just can't tell you how much I lucked out in the in-law department. (OK, I'm kinda bragging about that. Sorry!) Not just cause they send me random gifts in the mail. But these people are so very thoughtful, kind and giving. They just accepted me immediately as one of their own. Pete is a big pain in the ass a lot of times, but that boy gets big points for the family he gave me!

THANK YOU UNCLE RICHARD AND AUNT JACKIE! Meg and I are going to have a long, happy and productive life together! There will be some treats on their way to Vegas VERY soon!

Happy St. Patty's Day!

Being only part Irish, I never really celebrated St. Patrick's day aside from wearing green and maybe drinking a green beer. But now that I added Coffin to my name, its become quite the tradition! Momma Coffin's maiden name is McNally, so that makes the Coffin kids ALL Irish! Although I don't really enjoy corned beef, cabbage and beer bread, I enjoy the celebration immensely! My in-laws go all out, it's a night that includes dressing up, Irish prayers, Irish beer/liquor, traditional Irish songs and don't forget my favorite part, dancing the Irish jigs! Here is an example of what a St. Patty's Day looks like with the Coffins:

So, this year I wanted to make a couple of desserts to add to the celebration! I decided to make a Guinness Cake with Baileys Irish Cream Frosting, and for those of us who are trying to watch our weight, Mini Low-fat Key Lime pies.
I learned a couple of things last night throughout the 5-hour process.
1) I will never try to make TWO desserts at once EVER again.
2) You can NEVER grease a pan TOO MUCH.
First, the Key Lime pies. The recipe I found (and altered a bit) was to make Key Lime bars, I decided to put them in mini cupcake pans instead, cause anything baked in a mini cupcake pan is CUTE, in my opinion. I used butter flavored non-stick spray pretty generously, or so I thought. But being that I banged the bottom of those mini cupcake pans to the point of DESTROYING them (out of frustration) I am guessing I could have used a bit more. Not to mention, I left them in a little too long cause cause I was busy trying to make a WHOLE SEPARATE dessert! Yeah, not smart.
But after tasting one of these disastrous-key-lime-pies, I came to the conclusion that they are just too yummy to throw out. Here are the only few that came out decent-looking. (and by the way, I am not giving out the recipe cause I do not want to put you through the HELL that I went through to get this "eh" tasting key lime pie!)

So, on to the Guinness Cake. The recipe specifically stated to grease the pan in every nook and cranny, due to its tendency to stick. Again, I THOUGHT I did. But once I turned the cake pan over and only half of it fell out, I came to realization #2 (see above). What a mess I had! But it's okay, cause I had a different plan for these babies!

Cute, right? How else should a Guinness Cake be served? The only thing is that I can not tell you if the cake is good or not. I don't like Guinness and it definitely tasted like Guinness. But that frosting??? GET OUT OF TOWN! Forget the cake, where is the spoon!?!
Here is the recipe for the frosting:

Baileys Irish Cream Frosting

8 tbsn. unsalted butter, room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
8 tbsn. Bailey’s Irish cream

Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium high until light and fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar until incorporated. Mix in Bailey’s until smooth. THAT's IT!

Here is the recipe for the Guinness Cake that I got from a co-worker. Thanks Patti!
And Patti got the recipe from Smitten Kitchen.

Chocolate Stout Cake
1 cup stout (such as Guinness)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter or spray a bundt pan well; make sure you get in all of the nooks and crannies. (Some people even go so far as to brush the inside of their bundt pans with melted butter–you cannot be too careful!). Bring 1 cup stout and 1 cup butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.
Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Transfer cake to rack; cool completely in the pan.

You know what I did with all the leftover pieces of cake? Shoved them in little tupperware containers and topped them with a bit of icing and then gave them out at work as individual little cakes! Kind of like those shot-glass desserts that are so popular right now.

Happy St. Patricks Day everyone!

another grad...

I was asked to create a senior announcement for another super-sweet-teen, Kelsey. I have known her since she was a very little girl and she has remained as sweet as always! Good luck Kelsey and congratulations!

the whole package

This is kind of a continuation of a previous post. I got the prints of the senior announcements back from mPix and they couldn't be any more beautiful. I am always amazed at the quality and fastness of mPix.

I ordered them on pearlized paper. It really adds a unique dimension to the print. Unfortunately, my camera isn't good enough to really capture the "pearl-ness" of the paper but I tried anyways.

I ordered copper shimmery envelopes from and it matched perfectly. I think high quality envelopes complete the design. Sometimes the envelopes become an afterthought but you have to remember, this is the first thing you see. To me, it sets the mood for the whole design. And of course I want it to be perfect for my beautiful niece! Look at these gorgeous envelopes!

In addition, I ordered some prints from mPix. They also offer a metallic paper, and these prints are absolutely STUNNING! The color just pops right off the paper. It almost feels 3-dimensional. I tried to capture this with my camera, but you have to see it in person to really see how amazing these prints are. mPix will send you free samples of their paper if you are interested. 

So, HAPPY GRADUATION MY BRITTANY! I know you will make us proud, because you already have.

my favorite dinner

Don't worry, I won't get in the habit of posting every single meal that I cook. That would get extremely boring. But I just had to post this one. It is my absolute favorite! 
Pulled BBQ Pork served over Texas Toast and topped with Momma Coffin's Coleslaw. And on the side? Mac-n-cheese, of course. But not just any mac-n-cheese, a recipe from Pioneer Woman named Fancy Macaroni. The fancy-ness comes from the goat cheese, caramelized onions and bacon. A combination that equals perfection, in my opinion. Pete even likes it, and believe me, as soon as he heard "goat cheese" his nose crinkled. But I told him he would like it and I was right. I like being right. I usually am.
I got these recipes from different sources. The coleslaw comes from Momma Coffin. It's the ONLY coleslaw that I like. There are never any exact measurements when I get a recipe from Momma Coffin, she just "throws things together" as she puts it. So here are the ingredients with an approximate measurement.

Momma Coffin's Coleslaw
1 bag of shredded coleslaw mix (but we prefer it chopped so I throw it in my chopper first)
2 tblsp mayo
1 tblsp sour cream
a few dashes of hot sauce
1/2 lemon juice
1/4 cup of chopped onion
Salt and Pepper

The pulled pork recipe I got from
I like using that site for recipes cause they are rated and you can read feedback from people that have actually made it and they give you tips on any modifications needed.

Pulled BBQ Pork
Place boneless pork ribs in your slow cooker and pour in root beer til the pork is covered. I use Barq's cause it has bite. I cook it for about 5-6 hours (2 hours on high and 3 hours on low). Then drain the root beer, shred the pork, discard any little bit of fat. Put pork back in slow cooker with your favorite BBQ sauce. I use Stub's Spicy BBQ Sauce cause it too, has bite! Cook until heated through. Around 1 hour on low. Serve over texas toast.

Look at that YUMMY-NESS!

And last but not least, BELIEVE ME. The Mac-n-cheese. The only thing I changed was the kind of cheese and the amount... I put a little more, cause you can never have too much. I used the 4 ounces of goat cheese and 2 cups of Sargentos Italian 6-cheese blend. Which includes, fontina, smoked provolone, guyere, asiago, mozzarella, and one other that I forget. Sorry.
Without further ado, I give you... The Mac-n-cheese.

Fancy Macaroni

 Click Here

  • 4 cups Macaroni
  • 8 Tablespoons Butter (Salted Butter)
  • 2 whole Medium Onions, Cut In Half And Sliced Thin
  • 10 slices Regular Bacon
  • 1 Tablespoon Bacon Grease (reserved From Bacon Slices)
  • ¼ cups All-purpose Flour
  • 2 cups Whole Or 2% Milk
  • ½ cups Half-and-Half
  • 2 whole Egg Yolks, Beaten
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • ½ cups Grated Gruyere Cheese
  • ½ cups Grated Fontina Cheese
  • ½ cups Grated Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese
  • 4 ounces, weight Chevre (soft Goat Cheese)
Preparation Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cook macaroni for half the time of the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
Fry bacon until slightly, but not overly, crispy. Drain on a paper towel. Reserve grease.
Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a skillet and then saute onions over medium-low heat for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown and soft. Set aside.
In a pot, melt 4 tablespoons butter (and add 1 tablespoon of the reserved bacon grease for good measure!). Sprinkle in flour and whisk to combine. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat for 1 minute. Pour in milk and half & half, then cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until thick. Reduce heat to low. Add salt & pepper to taste. (Do not undersalt!)
Beat egg yolks and drizzle 1/4 cup hot mixture into the yolks, stirring constantly. Stir to combine. Pour egg mixture into sauce and cook for another minute.
Add cheeses and stir until melted. Add onions and bacon and stir. Taste for seasonings and add more salt if needed. Add cooked macaroni and stir to coat.
Pour into a baking dish and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until sizzling and hot. Serve with red meat or a green salad.