Cannoli Poke Cake Recipe

So I know, I KNOW, that I have been on a poke cake bender. BUT...1) It's my blog and can bake what I want to, and 2) Seriously, there is no such thing as too much cake. So, with that being declared, here's another freaking poke cake. Deal with it.

Now, there are a lot of pins on Pinterest boasting a cannoli poke cake. But, as a cannoli eater, I wasn't impressed. They have issues. Condensed milk issues. The issue being that my husband prefers the poke cakes that have pudding. I couldn't find an alternate recipe on Pinterest, so therefore, it must not have existed. So I made my own.

This is for you people out there who, like my husband, prefer the pudding to the condensed milk in your poke cake.

Also, I feel that my poke cake gives a more well-rounded cannoli cake experience. Although I would also say that I think that I can improve on this cake by adding cherries to the cake mix and actual nuts to the top. If you agree, go for it. Because I'm busy and the likelihood that I am going to remake this recipe AND post it here is pretty slim....

Although I will say that my mom and I made cassata cake cupcakes at Christmastime, and we plan on making them again, and those we will probably post on the blog. They were the bomb. Cassata cake is basically a cannoli cake. This cannoli poke cake is its easier, bastard cousin. Yep, I said it.

So, this may seem obvious, but if you use a white cake mix and you use the "full egg" recipe (which includes egg yolks) you will get a yellow cake, not a white one. Go figure. Dammit. 

With instant pudding, you have to work fast. As in, mix that shizz up and pour it on without time to think in between. Lucky for me, I was also watching an 11 month old while doing this and what do you know, she pulled up a tupperware to the water cooler while I was doing this. I heard water being poured. Need I say more? 

I still managed to get this sucker all pudding-ed up, and into the fridge. Ha. I win! 

I let mine sit overnight generally, or from morning until evening. Top with the entire thing of whipped topping and then sprinkle *liberally* with mini chips. 

Not to be all political or anything, but you never hear people being like, "let's be conservative" about their desserts. And I think that says something, don't you? *wink wink*

Bossy Italian Cannoli Poke Cake 

Time: Active, 30 minutes | Makes: 1 Hellofa cake | Difficulty: Easy 

You Will Need:

1 box white cake mix + the ingredients on the box
2 boxes pistachio pudding (instant y'all) 
4 cups milk 
1 tub of whipped topping, extra creamy
15ounce whole milk ricotta
Mini chocolate chips 


Prepare cake according to package directions, keeping in mind that if you want your cake to actually be white, you should use the recipe on the box sans egg yolks. Geez.

Take the cake out of the oven and let it cool for five minutes.

Using the handle of a wooden spoon, poke holes in the cake.

Mix together the milk and pudding mix (quickly, while your kid is secretly preparing to drain all your water resources using the tupperware as a step stool).

Pour onto the cake, ensuring you make it into those nice little holes ya just poked.

Cover and refrigerate overnight or however long you have. It'll be fine.

When ready to serve, mix whipped topping & ricotta cheese. Top your cake with the mixture and mini chips! YUM.

Also: take that dang whipped topping out of the freezer and let it thaw. Otherwise, you won't be able to spread it. Sheesh.

Things To Do While Waiting For a Baby....

It's really hard to believe that this time last year I was counting down the days until I would meet my new baby. Sometimes it seems like it happened to someone else, I swear. But anyway, in honor of my daughter's first birthday, I thought it would be fun to share some stuff I wrote last year this time, but never published! This is one of those things.

So, to my still pregnant, or newly pregnant, or pregnant yet again friends, here's a list of things you can do while waiting to give birth!

1. Pretend like you don't care when the baby comes.
2. Watch all mine seasons of 19 Kids and Counting on Netflix.
3. Decide you no longer care about the weight gain, and purchase gelato.
4. Engage in Pinterest projects. Lots of them.
5. Meditate.
6. Try to decipher your baby's position in the womb.
7. Freak out because you swear something is wrong.
8. Decide it's probably okay... Feign casual indifference.
9. Watch everything on the DVR.
10. Clean the floor.
11. Clean the bathroom.
12. Clean the EVERYTHING.
13. Freak out and have a good cry because no matter how much you clean, you can still see the dirt that no one else can see.
14. Go on lots of walks.
15. Do pregnancy exercises (bounce on the ball, squats, lotus pose, cat/cow).
16. Google random symptoms to see if labor is imminent.
17. Drink tea and read a non pregnancy related book.
18. Make a house manual for after the baby is born (yes, I did this).
19. Stock up on toilet paper.
20. Turn off everything in the house and bask in the silence knowing that your life will never be this quiet again.

What would you add to this list? Share it with me in the comments section below! 

I've Been Gifted A Climber

Every parent looks forward to their child becoming mobile. Or perhaps I should say, every first time parent look forward to their child becoming mobile…because once it actually happened, I found the parenting workload went from manageable to, “Oh my god, get her! Get her! What’s she doing?!

It used to be that I could lay The Bird on a blanket while I cooked or worked on a project. Now she’s licking the glowing apple on my computer while I pry her little fingers from around the screen. It’s lovely to watch her making her way around the little play table we got her—and boy is she quick—but it was a whole new ball game the day we nonchalantly put up a baby gate only to watch her scale it like a well-trained spider monkey.

Yes, it’s true, we’ve been gifted a climber. She climbs things I didn't even know could be climbed. She reaches heights that are really something to marvel at as well as to be scared of. Um, hello, earth to my little offspring, you could really hurt yourself!

While I try to keep it in perspective that having a baby who walks early and climbs is really awesome in many ways (for instance, she impresses the pants off people), I’m also left scratching my head about what to do with this kid. It’s not as though I can reason with her at this stage and explain that climbing that high could result in an injury. I can’t pad the whole house in wrestling mat material to avoid injury (can I?) And despite myself, I can’t seem to stop worrying.

All of this, and my mother, as she observed my daughter trying to climb the chest of drawers in my bedroom, says, “You should really get Ipecac. Kids who climb sometimes get into things they shouldn’t.” Literally, my jaw dropped because I didn’t need a new fear, and I didn’t want to buy Ipecac. Of course, I will be buying the Ipecac because it’s one those situations where you have to “reverse black cat.” This is a technique where you act pessimistically so that you get lucky, thereby “reversing the black cat.” It’s not a guarantee, but hey, it’s worked before.

In the name of practicality, I suggested that perhaps when she’s a little older we get her an indoor climbing wall. From a more psychological standpoint, I love that my child is fearless and daring. It’s a trait that I know will continue to haunt my nerves, but it also excites me. My husband is not as afraid as I am, so at least there will be some ying and yang in our approach to parenting; he was born with a bit of the fearless gene himself.

Moments like these, when I realize that my child is her very own person with her own quirks and traits, I am in awe. It’s what makes being a parent great and also scary. She’s this little human, all her own, and she’s only beginning to discover it. Who knows, maybe some day she’ll scale mountains! Until then, I guess I’ll continue to chase her around the house, pulling her down off tables, chairs, dishwashers, and….oh what’s that? Great. She’s using the oven as a chin-up bar. 

Stuff I Use [Parenting Edition]: Mum-Mums

If you follow me regularly, then you may know that giving my child solid foods was a little complicated for me. To be clear, it was me, not her, and we eventually found a system that worked for us. But then there was the subject of those all-pervasive baby puffs. There are several brands out there...and they are chocked full of ingredients I can't freaking pronounce. Which makes me endlessly frustrated.

Through several trips to the baby aisle in the grocery, I connected with other moms and they told me about Mum-Mum rice rusks. They are supposed to be available at Walmarts, but I have no Walmart in my town (we do a couple of towns over....) and even so, I don't like to shop there. Yes, I am opposed to it morally, but even more than that, I just literally hate the experience of having to actually go into the Walmart. Sorry, it's just how I am. It weirds me out hardcore.

So, I did what any parent would do: I sent my mom into the Walmart. But she couldn't find them. So, to trusty Amazon I went! I ordered this three pack of Mum-Mum rusks, and we've never looked back!! These little suckers are AWESOME. Gluten, dairy and egg free, I can pronounce every ingredient on the box (can I get a hallelujah!?!) My daughter LOVES these and I don't have to feel bad about her eating them--everyone wins.

The thing is, she mostly eats whole foods. But we are sort of in transition. She's 10 months (almost 11) and is still learning how to pick up foods and get them to her mouth. She's an angel at meals, but likes to participate by eating along with us. If we are having something too spicy, not soft enough, or something else that makes the food unfriendly for my babe, then these are great to give to her. I also feel that it's helped her chewing skills along as well.

They are terrific on the go, with one word of caution: they are rice rusks, so they are brittle. SO I wouldn't go throwing them in the diaper bag and forgetting about them because you are likely to wind up with a crumbled mess on your hands! Conveniently, though, they are individually wrapped, which is great for travel. Also, they dissolve really easily so I don't have to worry about choking at all. I also like to spread hummus on them for her sometimes for an extra treat!! YUM!

So, I'm happy to report that I am in love with the product. AND, they make a toddler rusk as well. So we can stay in Mum-Mums for a while!!