Easter 2015 

Easter was especially special this year with our newest addition. We did an Easter egg hunt with our three year old, Easter baskets, played outside, and I made a delicious Easter dinner. As I’ve mentioned before, my husband isn’t a huge ham fan so I normally go a non traditional route for Easter dinner. This year I made a pot roast with all the fixings and the most delicious double carrot cake for dessert. The carrot cake and pot roast recipes are on here if you want to check them out. 

I hope everyone had a great Easter! 

Rejoice! He Is Risen! 🙂 

   

                 

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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! 

   

                                       

Raspberry Almond Thumbprint Shortbread Cookies

There’s a store back in my hometown, well actually a whole production warehouse that is located there called Harry and David. They specialize in fine chocolates, great produce, treats, gourmet popcorn, etc. It’s just the best store and I always go in there and stock up on goodies. Well, when I was little my mom would buy these cookies from H&D called Galletes. They were absolutely delicious and had different fruit fillings in the middle. Once I stumbled upon this recipe I wondered if it would be similar, and I’m SO excited to report that it actually was! The layout of the cookies slightly different because there isn’t two layers of cookie, but the taste is there! 🙂 I didn’t use the glaze this time, mainly because these were the last cookies on my list and I was just a bit out baked from the day, but I’ll be sure to drizzle them next time.

Ingredients:
– 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
– 2/3 cup granulated sugar
– 1 tsp. vanilla extract
– 1/2 tsp. almond extract
– 2 cups all-purpose flour
– 1/2 cup raspberry jam

Glaze:
– 1 cup powdered sugar
– 1 tbsp. Milk
– 1 tsp. vanilla or almond extract (optional)

Directions:
In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat the butter for about a minute on high. Next, add the sugar, vanilla, and almond extracts, beat on medium speed. Then gradually add the flour and beat until combined. Transfer dough to another bowl and press down to compact it. Cover the dough and chill for at least 4 hours.

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking pans with the silpat baking mats or parchment paper. Roll the dough into about 1-inch balls, and place on the baking sheets. Press your thumb into the cookie to make a well in each one, big enough to hold the jam. Fill each cookie with about 1/2 tsp. of jam, or however much the cookie will hold. Try and work fairly quickly because you don’t want your dough to get very warm.
Bake the cookies for about 14 minutes, or until the bottoms and edges are slightly browned. Watch them closely so they don’t overtake and will stay nice and soft.
Remove the cookies from the baking trays after about 5 minutes after taking them out of the oven. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool for about 30 minutes before glazing.

The Glaze:
Combine the powdered sugar, milk, and extract(s) together, stir until smooth. You can add more milk to thin it out or more sugar to thicken it, depending on your preference. Drizzle over cooled cookies.

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I apologize for not getting a picture of the raspberry filled cookies by themselves. My friend and I decided to split the recipe and we placed cherries in one half and the jam in the other. Both were very good, but the raspberry filled ones just took me back to my childhood 🙂

Snickerdoodles

This was my first time making Snickerdoodle cookies and I was pretty happy with how they turned out 🙂 I may try another recipe next time, but this one was really good and they were nice and soft and thick! Mmm!

Ingredients:
– 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
– 1 cup granulated sugar
– 2/3 cup brown sugar
– 2 eggs
– 1 tsp. vanilla
– 3 cups all purpose flour
– 1/2 tsp. salt
– 1 tsp. baking soda
– 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar

Topping:
– 1/2 cup granulated sugar
– 5 tsp. ground cinnamon

Directions:
Preheat oven to 300F.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream softened butter and sugars together. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat until smooth and combined.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Stir to combine.
Add dry ingredients slowly to the bowl of wet ingredients and mix well. Chill dough for 30-60 minutes in the refrigerator.
Combine the cinnamon and sugar topping in a small bowl and set aside.
Roll dough into balls, about an inch thick and roll generously in the cinnamon/sugar mixture. Place coated balls on an ungreased baking sheet lined with the silpat baking mats.
Bake for 12-14 minutes in your preheated oven. Check them after about 12 minutes for slight brownness on the bottom. You don’t want to overtake these cookies, so they stay nice and soft.

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Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Fudge

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you all have had a wonderful holiday season so far this year. We have been absolutely slammed the last couple months, and today marks 29 weeks in my pregnancy so the time is really flying by and March will be here before we know it! 🙂
One of my good friends, Stephanie came over the other day and we had a massive baking day! It was super fun and we got a lot of treats made! We made Reese’s fudge, Sugar cookies (recipe is already on here), raspberry and cherry almond shortbread cookies, and Snickerdoodles! I’ll get the recipes posted on here for you guys.
I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas! Blessings!

Here’s the fudge recipe, which is basically a huge Reese’s ball! Yum!

Ingredients:
– 11 oz. bag mini Reese’s peanut butter cups, unwrapped
– 4 regular Reese’s peanut butter cups
– 14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
– 3 cups chocolate chips, I used semi-sweet

Directions:

Line an 8×8 pan with tin foil, and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
Chop the mini Reese’s into quarters and the regular size cups into eighths.
Place the mini chopped Reese’s in the bottom of your pan and set aside the regular Reese’s for later.
Pour the chocolate chips and condensed milk into a large glass bowl. Microwave in intervals of 30 seconds, stirring well after each time.
Once the chips are melted, pour the mixture over the top of the mini Reese’s and spread evenly.
Sprinkle the reserved regular Reese’s over the top of the chocolate mixture and press them gently in.
Refrigerate until set and then cut into squares.

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I apologize for not having more pictures, I didn’t document my steps but just snapped a few along the way. Here is a picture of everything we made that day, and if you look closely you can see the circular pan of fudge 🙂

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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Mother’s Day 2014

This year was especially special because my “mom” was here. She’s not my biological mother but might as well be. She was a big part in raising me and has always been there, we are very close and to me she’s like a mom. Paisley calls her LaLa, it’s very sweet and endearing 🙂
Hubby took me shopping and I got to pick out a pair of white Levi’s that I’d been wanting, and he took us to lunch at Moe’s. LaLa had some beautiful flowers sent to me “from” Paisley, which was also so thoughtful and wonderful 🙂 we grilled steak for dinner and had fresh fruit and pasta salad with it and then finished the meal off with leftover birthday cake for dessert! 🙂 it was a perfect day! 🙂
I hope all you Mamas out there had a great day too! 🙂

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LaLa and myself 🙂

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