I hope everyone is enjoying a relaxing Labor Day weekekend. Here are a couple of fun breakfast ideas that are pretty simple, enjoy!
Flag Toast inspired by Emily Henson.  The receipe can be found here by Taste and Tell.
Star shaped french toast by Sweet Paul.
Colored milk ice cubes by A Subtle Revelry.
Note* Try in Red & Blue, also you could use colored sugar to dip glass rim in!
Fruit kabob flag by The Kitchn.
Red, White, & Blue pancakes by I am Baker.
Firecracker bundt cake by Cooking with Sugar.
Ok so maybe not technically breakfast but it's a holiday, right!
Yogurt berry parfait by Jeanette's Healthy Living.
 
My favorite girl in the entire world is turning two, my niece Maddie James.  She is spending her second birthday being spoiled by grandma in Michigan.  If you couldn't tell, Kitty (my chosen auntie name) is less than thrilled to be missing out on the fun.  Aunt Jamie made her the cutest cake that I just had to share with you, a Rainbow Swirl Cake.  The recipe and instructions can be found here, from In Katrina's Kitchen.  

What I love most about this cake is how simple it is.  No complex flavors, no crazy baking techniques, just add a little food coloring and you have an instant birthday party hit! Jamie topped her cake with white frosting and multi-color nonpareil sprinkles.   I can't wait to try one of my own, maybe a Halloween color scheme.

Tips from Aunt Jamie: Less is more, use neon food coloring for pink/orange/purple/green, and regular food colors for blue and yellow.  
 
I've got to give credit where credit is due, thank you mom for finding this on pinterest and thank you to Taste and Tell for the red velvet weight I put on during my trip to Michigan!  Prepare yourself, your lives are about to be changed, for the better.  My mom found this on pinterest and when she told me what she was making of course I gave her the usual "you're absolutely the battiest women I know are you sure I wasn't switched at birth" look.  Which 27 years later still ruffles her feathers, my goal in life.  Anyway against my disgust she made it.  

Not only was it beautiful sitting out on the table it was delicious.  I instantly went on pinterest and pinned it to my baking board.  It's like a red velvet cupcake and cream cheese frosting all mixed into one, to top it off it's served with vanilla wafer cookies.  It was very simple and quick to make, bonus!

We took it to 3 parties in one week, and never once was I sick of it.  It's such a fun way to serve dessert and something most people haven't seen yet.  How amazing would it be to sit down with a group of girlfriends, some good wine, and this red velvet yumminess. 

Here is the recipe from Taste and Tell:

Red Velvet Cheese Ball
Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
Yield: 16 servings

The ultimate dip for red velvet lovers!! This sweet version of a cheeseball will have you going back for more!

Ingredients

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups red velvet cake mix, dry
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
assorted cookies and crackers (my favorite was Vanilla Wafers)
Instructions

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add in the red velvet cake mix, the brown sugar and the powdered sugar. Beat until smooth and combined.  Turn the mixture out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Wrap up into a ball and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  Put the chocolate chips on a plate or in a shallow dish. Remove the cheese ball from the refrigerator and unwrap. Roll in the chocolate chips. (This might get messy!) Place on a serving plate and serve with cookies or graham crackers.
Maddie James caught red handed...literally!  Turned our back for one minute and BAM cheese ball destroyed.  At least she is attempting to use a utensil!
 
I have to admit every time I walk by the appliance section in any store I used to roll my eyes at the sight of all the kitchen gadgets you could buy now.  Donut maker, cupcake maker, pie pop maker, whoopie pie maker, and the list goes on and on.  It almost felt like we were loosing the art of actual baking, everything has become so simplified there really is no skill involved.

Insert foot into mouth...then I received a BabyCakes cake pop maker for my birthday.  I have to say when I opened the package I was actually really excited.  It was something I would never buy myself and quite frankly I only make cake pops once in a great while because of the time involved.  My life is now forever changed.

Can I just tell you how much time and sweat I save by this glorious invention.  First off if your looking for the traditional cake pop, baked cake blended with frosting, this is not it.  These are actual little balls moist delicious cake.  It was so simple, I sat there amazed at how easy it was and how quickly I was finished.

Here is my first attempt at using the machine.  I must admit...gasp...I used a boxed cake mix.  It has been years since I even bought a box cake mix, and I felt like I was cheating on my kitchenaid mixer as I was buying it.  My boyfriend Scott had the nerve to be annoyed when he walked in and saw the box.  He is so spoiled and he doesn't even know it.  Anyway for a little more fun I added sprinkles to the mix.
Attempt one..Fail.  I overfilled the cups and baked for to long.
After my failed first attempt I decided to go with the squeeze bottle for the batter.  I always use a squeeze bottle to distribute batter when I'm making mini cupcakes and now with the BabyCakes machine.  It really makes getting the batter into the cups easier and more exact, also you end up spilling alot less.  I found that a little under 4 minutes, 3:45, worked best every time.

Tip: If you take to long in filling up the cups the machine starts to bake the already filled cups.  This causes them to overflow when you close the machine and the pops turn out uneven.
The fork that comes with the machine makes for easy removal and transfer to a cooling rack.
Perfect little pops!
 
My baby pink Kitchenaid mixer was given to me as a Christmas gift from my mother 5 years ago.  My initial reaction to this gift... exactly what closet would I be able shove this, in my tiny one bedroom L.A. apartment? Of course one cheesecake later and I was in love, and I quickly began questioning how I ever survived without it.  Insert my mother's smug little smile and nodding head.  Now of course I consider this lovely little lady a staple of my kitchen decor and would never consider hiding her away in a closet.

Although my baby pink Kitchenaid will always be number one in my heart, I slightly wanted to fall over and die when I saw all of these gorgeous mixers.  So here they are some of my favorites!

Pink crystalized Kitchenaid mixer by Bling Diva Designs.
Beautiful custom painted mixer by Nicole Dinardo for Heather Lynn Photographie
Grey Leopard painted mixer by Nicole Dinardo.
Yellow Mod design by Nicole Dinardo.
Beautiful Damask design by Flip Flop Graphics.
After Thanksgiving this year I honestly considered my mixer an super hero.  Cool & Pink.