Rice Krispie Treat Eggs 

This was my first week on my own with the girls after all our family left. I was a bit scared at firs, but I think the transition has gone fairly well. Much better than I thought it would! I’ve been trying hard to make it a point to do something with Paisley every day so she doesn’t feel lost in the shuffle. On Tuesday we painted an Easter bunny cutout together, Wednesday she had a friend over to play, and today we made these Rice Krispie eggs. I found this recipe on The Pioneer Woman (my idol)’s page and thought it seemed like a great activity to do with big sister. We had a lot of fun making them together and it was just something she got to do with mommy by herself. 

Ingredients: 

– 6 cups Rice Krispies cereal 

– one 10 oz. bag mini marshmallows 

– 4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) butter

– Hard shelled Cadbury chocolate eggs 

– assorted sprinkles 

– plastic Easter eggs 

Directions: 

Begin by melting your butter in a large stock pot. Once the butter is melted, add in the whole bag of marshmallows. Using a wooden spoon, continue to stir the mixture until the marshmallows are completely melted. Remove the pan from the stove (so the mixture doesn’t burn) and add in all the rice cereal. Stir until completely incorporated. 

Now, take your plastic Easter eggs and lightly spray them With nonstick  cooking spray. Fill the bottom of the egg with some of the marshmallow mixture and press into the egg. Place a chocolate egg in the center of the mixture and press firmly. I made a little well with my finger and then let Paisley put the egg in, it was easier for her than putting the egg in herself. Now, fill the other half of the egg with more of the marshmallow cereal mixture and close the egg firmly. When you open it up, you’ll have an adorable egg shaped Rice Krispie treat 🙂 

Place the treat eggs in an empty egg carton and decorate with the assorted sprinkles. You can roll the eggs in the sprinkles, but Paisley just decorated them right in the carton. 

Store in an airtight container and enjoy! 

   

                                       

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Eggless Cookie Dough Dip

My friend Alesha originally made this dip for one of our get togethers and oh my gosh! It is SO good! It doesn’t have any eggs in it either so you don’t have to worry about consuming raw eggs! She served it with Nilla wafers the first time and that’s a fantastic combination! I bet it would be scrumptious on any sweet thing really though or as a topping on ice cream, YUM!

Ingredients:
– 1/2 cup butter
– 1/3 cup brown sugar
– 1 tsp. vanilla extract
– 1 block softened cream cheese
– 1/2 cup powdered sugar
– 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions:
Melt butter, add brown sugar, and vanilla and mix together. Cream together the cream cheese and powdered sugar. Slowly add in the brown sugar/butter mixture. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Place in the fridge to chill or serve right away with Nilla wafers.

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French Silk Chocolate Pie

My husband isn’t a big pumpkin pie fan so I usually make an alternative pie for him on holidays. I usually go with my chocolate mousse pie (recipe on here) that he loves, but this year decided to try something a little different. As a general rule of thumb, and especially while pregnant, I don’t like to make things with raw eggs so when I started searching French Silk pie recipes I was a bit dismayed to find that most of them did in fact contain raw eggs. I finally found a recipe without eggs that still sounded like a traditional French Silk, so I gave it a try. I. So glad that I did too because hubby said this was his new favorite pie and he even liked it better than my chocolate mousse pie! Score! 🙂

Ingredients:
– One (9-inch) pre-baked pie crust, use my favorite pie crust recipe (on here) and bake it for about 15-20 minutes at 375F. Let cool completely.
– 2 sticks butter (1 cup) softened
– 3 cups powdered sugar
– 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted
– 2 tsp. espresso powder, I couldn’t find it at the store so I just used I stand coffee
– 4 tsp. vanilla extract
– 4 Tbsp. sour cream
– homemade whipped cream

Directions:

In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream butter and powdered sugar together until light and fluffy. Add melted chocolate and instant coffee (or espresso powder) to the bowl. Add in sour cream and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy. Pour the mixture into the cool pre-baked pie crust and chill for at least an hour. Top with the whipped cream and garnish with chelate shavings or sprinkle chocolate chips on the top.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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Lemon Velvet Cake

After all the Christmas treats and heavy food I wanted to bake a lighter dessert for our dinner date with some good friends on Saturday. This cake was absolutely delicious and fit the bill perfectly! I loved how strong the lemon taste was and the cake was super moist too. This would be the perfect cake for summer also. Absolutely a must try!

Ingredients:

Cake:

– 1 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. cake flour
– 1/4 tsp. baking soda
– 3/4 tsp. baking powder
– 1/2 tsp. salt
– 3/4 cup granulated sugar + 1 Tbsp. sugar
– 1/2 cup vegetable oil
– 1 large egg
– 3/4 cup buttermilk
– 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
– zest of one medium lemon

Frosting:

– 2 cups powdered sugar
– 1 stick (1/2 cup) softened butter
– 1-2 Tbsp. lemon juice
– 1 Tbsp. poppy seeds

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 325F.
Spray two 6-inch cake pans with nonstick cooking spray.
In a small bowl, mix the lemon zest and 1 Tbsp. sugar together, and set aside.
In another small bowl combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt). Set aside.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, add the vegetable oil, egg, and 3/4 cup sugar. Beat until,ugh the and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Add the zest/sugar mixture to the bowl and combine.
In a glass combine the buttermilk, vanilla, and lemon juice, stir to combine.
Now, add buttermilk mixture and the dry ingredients to the bowl, add them alternately beginning and ending with the dry ingredient mixture. Beat after each addition, but don’t over mix.
Divide batter among your two prepared cake pans.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the cakes pass the “toothpick test”. Cool your cakes in their pans for about 5-10 minutes and then turn them out and finish cooling on wire racks.
When the cakes have cooled completely, make the frosting.

Frosting:

Beat the powdered sugar with the softened butter until light and fluffy. Add the lemon juice in, beat. Then mix in the poppy seeds and beat one more time. Taste and adjust as needed. If your frosting is too thick you can add some more lemon juice and/or a little bit of milk to thin. Or if it’s too thin, just add in some more powdered sugar. Fill and frost the cake layers. I put my cake in the refrigerator for a few hours to firm up the frosting before I covered it and then took it out a few minutes before serving to warm it up a little bit again.
Enjoy!

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Double Chocolate Brownies

Oh brownies, I do love brownies! So Paisley and I were in the baking mood the other day and decided to make brownies for Dad when he got home. Everyone in our house loves them and it’s one of those things that I just haven’t made in a long time. I didn’t even have a recipe for brownies, so I went looking and stumbled upon this one. The recipe was pretty straight forward and used butter (not oil), and had a whole 12 ounces of chocolate chips included in the recipe! I took a chance and made a batch and I’m So happy I did! They are divine and I think will be my new go-to brownie recipe! Sometimes I like my brownies frosted, my mom used to make them that way growing up, but to be honest I didn’t even miss the frosting since there’s so much delectable chocolate in the actual brownie itself. These were dense, but not heavy, thick, chewy, soft, and plump full of chocolate! The perfect brownie in my book! 🙂

Ingredients:
– 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
– 1/2 tsp. baking soda
– 2/3 cup melted butter, divided
– 1/2 cup boiling water
– 2 cups sugar
– 2 eggs
– 1 1/3 cups flour
– 1 tsp. vanilla extract
– 1/4 tsp. salt
– 12 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine cocoa and baking soda. Add in 1/3 cup melted butter and the boiling water. Stir to incorporate.
Stir in sugar, eggs, and the remaining butter. Next add the flour, vanilla, and salt. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Pour mixture into your prepared pan and bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes. Check the brownies around the 35 minute mark, I had to increase the cooking time on mine. I would say it was closer to 50 minutes, but all ovens vary so just keep an eye on them to make sure they aren’t burning.
Remove once a knife inserted comes out clean.
Serve warm with a big glass of milk or serve with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream on top! Yum!

PS sorry for the lack of pictures until the end, I was baking with a toddler! 😉

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Triple Chocolate Cheesecake

For Father’s Day I wanted to make something special for my husband. He’s such a wonderful husband and father and he works so hard to allow me to stay home and raise our daughter. He definitely deserved some kind of tasty treat to go along with his Father’s Day present! Which by the way, he got a pressure washer, and it’s awesome!
Hubby loves chocolate like me, but to be honest I was burnt out with making chocolate cake after all the cakes for the birthday party. I wanted something a little different and something that I could whip up during nap time to surprise him with. I came upon a chocolate cheesecake recipe that seemed like a perfect fit! I haven’t made a lot of variations of cheesecake before, but I figured, how can you really go wrong with chocolate and cheesecake, and I would be correct! 😉

Ingredients:

Crust layer:
– 18 chocolate sandwich cookies aka Oreos, finely crushed
– 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
– 1/4 cup butter, melted

Filling:
– 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
– 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
– Three 8-oz. packages cream cheese, softened
– 1 cup granulated sugar
– 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
– 3 eggs
– 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Topping:
– 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
– 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
– 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350F. Lightly spray a spring form pan or a 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray.

Begin by making your crust. Combine the crushed Oreos, sugar, and melted butter in the bottom of your pie plate. Press the mixture into the bottom of the pan to form the crust. Bake in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, and remove from the oven to cool. Bump your temperature down to 325F.

Now, we’ll move onto the filling. In a small saucepan, combine the chocolate chips and whipping cream. Cook on low and continue stirring until completely incorporated. Set aside to cool.
In the stand of your mixer, combine the cream cheese and the granulated sugar. Beat until smooth, add the cocoa, mix well, and then add the eggs, beating well again.
Once the chocolate cream mixture is cooled, add it and the vanilla to the mixer. Beat until completely incorporated, then pour the batter into your cooled crust. Bake in your preheated oven for 45-50 minutes, or untill the cheesecake passes the toothpick test in the center. The edges will also start to crack a little bit to signal it’s doneness.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before making your topping.

Lastly we’ll make the topping. In a small saucepan, combine the last of the chocolate chips, whipping cream, and vanilla. Cook on low heat until incorporated. Stir continuously until it is smooth, and make sure to not burn your chocolate. Pour on top of the cooled cheesecake and spread it out evenly. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or overnight if possible. I topped mien with a heaping spoonful of whipped cream and some fresh berries to put it over the top!
Enjoy!

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Caramel Apple Pie

Happy (belated) Memorial Day everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful day spent with family and friends and good food, while remembering those who have fallen in the line of duty ❤
In honor of the weather starting to get hot and summer approaching I decided that an apple pie seems fitting and "American". Believe it or not, but this was actually my first apple pie that I've attempted! We ended up just staying home and bbq'ing hot dogs with our little family of three, so maybe it was a good thing that this was more of my practice pie. It was delicious and had amazing flavor, but the apples were just a tad crisp still and I think needed to be sliced smaller and maybe cooked for a bit longer in the oven. Next time, I'll tweek it a bit and I'm sure it will be perfect!
Please give this pie a try though, it's incredible!! 🙂

Ingredients:

Pie Dough (please refer to the recipe, "perfect pie crust" on here. It's the best pie crust and is so versatile whether you're using it for sweet or savory pies! 🙂 Perfect Pie Crust | mariahsrustickitchen
https://thehomemadehomemaker08.wordpress.com/2013/07/30/perfect-pie-crust/

Salted Caramel Sauce Ingredients:
– 1 cup granulated sugar
– 6 tbsp. salted butter, sliced in 1 tbsp. increments
– 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
– 1 tsp. salt

Directions:
Begin by placing your sugar into a medium saucepan. Turn the heat to medium-high and stir continuously for about 8-10 minutes. I know it will seem like the sugar isn't doing anything, but trust me, the heat is working its magic! The sugar will eventually start to get clumpy and soon turn into a thick, amber colored liquid. Keep stirring, until all the sugar is completely dissolved and transformed, and be careful not to burn it.
Carefully, add the chunks of butter to your liquid, the sugar will bubble up and hiss at you as you continue to add the butter, but keep going and just be a bit careful. Stir the butter completely into the caramel, about 2 minutes or so.
Slowly, drizzle the heavy cream into the mixture, this will also bubble up, so again, just be cautious.
Allow the caramel to boil for about a minute. It will rise in the pan as it boils.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the tsp. of salt, allow to cool. Once cooled, cover the caramel tightly and store for up to two weeks in the refrigerator. Warm caramel up for a few seconds before using in the pie.

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That caramel sauce is so delicious and decadent, try and leave so e for the pie 😉

Pie Filling Ingredients:
– 2 tsp. lemon zest
– 1/4 cup lemon juice
– 6 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced pretty thin and uniform
– 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
– 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
– 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
– 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
– 1/2 cup granulated sugar
– 1 egg beaten (I left this step out because I ran out of eggs, it’s optional since it’s just for the egg wash)
– coarse sugar for sprinkling (optional)

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 400F.
Now, we’ll make the apple pie filling, place your sliced apples in a large bowl. To the bowl, add the lemon juice, and lemon zest and toss gently. In a small separate bowl, combine the flour, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and sugar. Add this mixture to the large bowl with the apples, and gently toss to combine. Set aside while you roll out the dough.
Roll out one of your dough balls and carefully place the dough in your pie dish. I used a deep pie dish and that worked well.
Fill the pie crust with the apples, there will be a lot of apples, but add them all, they will cook down once in the oven. Drizzle with 1/2 cup of your caramel sauce, reserving the rest for the topping.
Now, make the lattice cust. This was my first time doing a lattice crust and I didn’t do it correctly. I was still pretty happy with how it came out, it was more rustic looking than a perfect lattice crust, but I kind of like my pies more rustic 🙂
If you’ve never done a lattice top, like me, I would recommend googling it first to get the idea. I should have done this, but knew the basic concept so I thought I’d be ok.
If you just want to go for it, this is what I did. I rolled out my second dough ball, make sure you use quite a bit of flour so it doesn’t stick to your work surface. I used a pizza cutter and cut out 8 uniform strips of pie dough, then I laid the first four strips on the pie vertically and then laid the final four pie dough strips on the pie going horizontally. I weaved the strips over and under to make a “semi-lattice” crust. Like I said, I didn’t do it correctly, but next time I’ll do a bit more research and make the crust correctly.
If you’re using an egg wash, brush it on now and sprinkle with the coarse sugar.
Place your pie on a large baking sheet and bake in your preheated oven for 20 minutes. After the 20 minutes, bump the oven temperature down to 375F and bake for an additional 40-50 minutes. Check the pie after about 35 minutes, and if you notice the crust getting a bit too dark cover it with aluminum foil and continue cooking. When the time is up, do a toothpick test, to make sure that the crust is fully cooked. The apple pie filling will be happily bubbling away to signal it’s doneness.
Allow the pie to set and cool for about 4 hours before serving. Top with the rest of the warm caramel sauce to serve.
Enjoy this fun and yummy spin on the traditional apple pie!

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