Recipe

Pi Day – S’mores Pie

It’s Pi (3.14159265359) Day, and Patrick decided we really should have pie to celebrate.  I wasn’t really planning on making a pie this week, so my options were a limited as far as what ingredients I actually had on hand since winter has decided to return and I really didn’t want to have to make a trip to the store just to get stuff to make a random pie.  So Pinterest to the rescue and s’mores pie it is!  I made a few modifications, and it turned out pretty good considering it was a last minute decision.

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S’mores Pie

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

7 tbsps butter, melted

1/3 cup sugar, plus 3 tablespoons sugar

3/4 cup heavy cream

6 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

1 tbsp plus 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided

1 jar (7 oz) marshmallow creme

4 oz (1/2 package) cream cheese, softened

1 cup heavy cream

 

Directions

For the Crust, mix graham crackers, sugar, and melted butter in medium bowl. Press into bottom and up sides of 9-inch pie plate. Set aside.

 

For the Filling, bring cream just to boil in small saucepan. Pour over chocolate in medium heatproof bowl. Let stand 1 minute then stir until smooth. Stir in 1 teaspoon of the vanilla. Pour into prepared crust. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until chocolate is firm.

 

Beat marshmallow creme, cream cheese and 1 tablespoon vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. In stand mixer add whipping cream, 2 tablespoons sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and mix on medium-high until stiff peak form. Gently stir marshmallow creme mix in to whipped topping until well blended. Spread evenly over chocolate layer in crust.

 

Refrigerate at least 2 hours or until ready to serve. Garnish with mini chocolate chips or chocolate curls and/or toasted marshmallows, if desired.

Daily, Recipe

No Bake Lactation Cookies

Okay, if you are not a nursing mom, then feel free to just ignore this post.  :)

Just like most nursing moms, I am always looking for ways to increase my supply.  Since going back to work, I have noticed a slight decline in output when pumping.  So, in order to combat this, I decided to try to make some “cookies” that are supposed to help increase your supply.  I ate 2 of these cookie balls last night and today I was able to pump twice as much as I normal do.  Yea!  Since, I’m thinking these actually work, and they have the added benefits of being quick and easy to make and fairly healthy and pretty yummy, I thought I’d share the recipe.  I took several different recipes that I found online and sort of came up with these that I think work pretty well.  Enjoy!

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No Bake Lactation Cookies/Balls

Ingredients:

1 cup oatmeal ( I used half steel cut and half old fashioned)
1/2 cup flax seed
3 tablespoons of Brewer’s yeast
1/2 cup almond butter (can use peanut butter)
1/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

Directions:

Mix all dry ingredients together.

Stir together the almond butter, honey, and vanilla.

Add in the dry ingredients.

Stir in the chocolate chips.  (Note: You could use raisins, peanut butter chips, dried cherries, pretty much anything.  I bet dark chocolate chips, dried cranberries, and dried cherries would be really good.)

Let chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Form into balls. You can flatten them into more of a cookie shape if you would like.

Store in the refrigerator or freezer in an air tight container.

Basically, these work because oatmeal, flax seed, brewer’s yeast, and almonds are all said to increase your milk production.

You can kind of play around with the other ingredients, but as long as you have the basic brewer’s yeast, oatmeal, and flax seed in there you should be good.

Other things that you could add that are said to help milk production are: coconut, sunflower seeds, slivered almonds, ginger, dates, dried apricots, molasses, sesame seeds, and pumpkin seeds.

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Daily, Recipe

Recipe: Kettle Corn

This past weekend, Patrick decided he wanted popcorn and I had been wanting to try making kettle corn at home so that is just what I did.  One small glitch, I was out of oil, but I did have butter which worked perfectly.  It was super easy and so good.

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Ingredients:

1/4 cup of unsalted butter (or oil)
1/2 cup of pop corn kernels
1/4 cup of sugar
salt to taste

Directions:

In a large pot, heat the butter (or oil) over a medium heat.  Add 3 kernels of popcorn.  If using butter, be sure to stir constantly.  You do not want the butter to brown.  Once the 3 “test” kernels have popped, add the rest of the pop corn and the sugar and place the lid on top of the pot.  You may need to use a pot holder or towel to help hold the lid on as it may get hot.  Since the butter and sugar both can burn fairly easily and because you don’t want the popcorn on the bottom of the pan to burn, you will want to keep the popcorn moving by shaking the pot and alternate in 3-5 second intervals leaving the pot on the burner and lifting it up and giving it a good shake.  Once the popping has slowed down, remove the pot from the heat and carefully pour the popcorn into a large bowl.  Add a few shakes of salt and carefully (the sugar will be very hot) stir the popcorn for a couple of minutes to keep it separated or else you will end up with one giant popcorn ball.    That’s it.  Just serve and enjoy!

Daily

Feeling Christmas-y

Today I am in the Christmas spirit. I have started making Christmas candy added, some finishing touches to the decorations around our house, and I even put a Christmas touch on the flower pots out front.

I thought I would take a quick second and share a super simple candy recipe and show off my Christmas-fied flower pots.

First up, Crock Pot Candy!

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This could not be easier, well I guess you just go buy your candy, but where’s the fun in that?

Crock Pot Candy

Ingredients:

1 – 12 ounce can of unsalted peanuts

1 – 12 ounce can of salted peanuts

1 bag of semi sweet chocolate chips

1 bag of milk chocolate chips

1 bag of peanut butter chips

1 package of vanilla almond bark

Directions:

Layer each ingredient in your slow cooker in the order listed above. Turn the Crock Pot on low, put the lid on, and forget about it for 2 hours.

After 2 hours, stir. Being sure to combine everything until all the chocolate is smooth. Replace lid and let cook on low for another hour.

When ready, give it a good stir and then using a cookie scoop (or spoon) scoop the yummy mixture into mini muffin tin liners. I was able to make 100! Let cool, allowing the candy to firm back up and then enjoy!

While you are waiting on your candy to set up, you can quickly pull together my next little project.

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My flower pots out front have been looking pretty awful lately. It’s cold here in Missouri and so the flowers have been long gone and as lovely as giant pots of dirt on my front stoop is, I thought they could use something a little more festive.

I found this idea on Pinterest, where I seem to find about 90% of my ideas these days, and decided that it was simple enough and pretty enough that I wanted to do it.

We have a large evergreen tree in our front yard and we have about a million pine cones littering our yard. I decided to pick up some of the pine cones, trim a little greenery off our tree and start decorating. If you don’t have an evergreen tree or pine cones in your yard (or your neighbor’s), you can always pick up some at your local craft or hardware store. All I did was layer in some of the trimmings from our tree and then just place pine cones and some shatterproof ornaments that I actually picked up at the thrift store for 50 cents. You can’t beat that kind of deal!

I think it adds just the right amount of Christmas and certainly looks better than the dirt and dead flowers we had before.

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Daily

Our Cupcake Gender Reveal

 

 

 

We decided to have a little fun with our gender reveal.  Instead of just telling our family after our ultrasound, we I decided I wanted to let them know with cupcakes!

Cupcakes (2)

First, start with your favorite cake recipe.  I used a simple yellow cake (recipe below).

Cupcakes (3)Add paper liners to your cupcake pan. I used a rainbow pack of liners since this little one is our “rainbow baby.”

Cupcakes (5)Carefully fill your cupcake liners.  I like to use an ice cream scoop.  It makes for less mess and ensures that each cupcake is being filled evenly.

Cupcakes (6)Let cupcakes bake, making your house smell super yummy

Cupcakes (7)After your cupcakes have cooled, scoop out the middle.  I use the tip open end of a frosting tip.

Cupcakes (8)Whip up your favorite frosting.  I tend to go for a simple buttercream (recipe below).

Cupcakes (10)Take a photo of both the blue and pink food coloring and post it on your Facebook to tease everyone a little bit more…this part is optional, but a lot of fun.  ;)

Cupcakes (11)Stir in your food coloring.  Pink!

Cupcakes (12)Pipe the colored frosting into the center of the cupcakes.

IMG_0388Take the remaining white frosting and pipe onto the top of each cupcake being careful to cover any hint of color.

IMG_0407Try and keep your family from snagging a cupcake early and peaking.

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Watch the excited reactions as your family bites into the cupcake and reveals the big surprise.

IMG_0409Here are the excited Grandmas  (Patrick’s mom on left, my mom on right)!

 

Recipe: Yellow Cake

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 cups milk
2 teaspoons vanilla

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.
In a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy.
Add the eggs, one by one.
Stir in the vanilla.
Sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder.
Slowly incorporate the flour and milk into the butter, sugar mixture.
Beat until everything is fully incorporated.
Pour in pans.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

 

Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) of unsalted butter
3-4 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
4 tablespoons milk

Directions:

In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the butter until fluffy, slowly add in 2-3 cups of powdered sugar (be sure to have mixer on low at first or you will have powdered sugar all over your kitchen).
Increase mixer speed and add in vanilla and 2 tablespoons of milk.
Add in remaining powdered sugar.
If frosting is too thick, add additional milk, 1 tablespoon at a time.
Beat until you get the desired consistency.
Divide frosting and add coloring as desired.
Frost cupcakes and enjoy!

 

Daily

Recipe: Baked Potato Soup

Because it’s cold outside

Because it’s been super rainy.

Because Daylight Savings means it now gets dark at 5:00.

I am in the mood to make homemade soup. I love making soup. It always makes the whole house smell yummy.

Baked Potato Soup is one of the easiest soups to make and I usually have everything on hand to make it. I love recipes that don’t require an extra trip to the store.

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Baked Potato Soup

Ingredients:

5 tablespoons. butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour (about 3 oz.)
4 cups milk
2 teaspoons fresh parsley (I usually have some of those Dorot frozen cubes of fresh herbs – I used two cubes)
1 clove garlic, minced
4 baking potatoes (I often cheat and use Ore-Ida frozen cut Russet Potatoes)
1 teaspoons salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
sour cream
chopped green onions
shredded cheddar cheese
bacon slices, cooked and crumbled

Directions:

In a large pot, boil potatoes until they are soft. Drain, and set aside.

In the same pot, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour and stir until lightly browned.

Slowly whisk in milk. Add in minced garlic. Stirring constantly, bring to a slow boil and cook until slightly thickened.

Once thickened, add potatoes back in and add salt, pepper, and parsley.

Reduce heat and let simmer until ready to serve.

Serve and garnish with sour cream, green onions, cheddar cheese, and bacon crumbles.

Daily

Recipe: Soft Pretzels

Patrick LOVES Auntie Anne’s soft pretzel bites at the mall.  So naturally, I decided to try and make them at home.  They were super easy and so yummy!

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Soft Pretzels

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups water
1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 cup bread flour
3 cups flour
2 cups water
2 tablespoons baking soda
coarse salt
2 -4 tablespoons butter (melted)

Directions:
Sprinkle yeast on lukewarm water in mixing bowl; stir to dissolve.

Add sugar, salt and stir to dissolve; add flour and knead dough until smooth.

Let dough rise one hour.

In the mean time, prepare a baking soda water bath with 2 cups warm water and 2 tbsp baking soda.

After dough has risen, pinch off bits of dough and roll into a long rope (about 1/2 inch or less thick) and shape into pretzels, sticks, or cut into bites.

Dip pretzel in soda solution and place on greased baking sheet.

Sprinkle with coarse salt.

Bake in oven at 450 for about 10 minutes or until golden.

Brush with melted butter.

Enjoy!!!