White Baked Goods for Specific Ethnicity Gatherings

mrsnowlin

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Italian Wedding Cookies, Russian Tea Cakes, Mexican Wedding Cakes, Swedish Tea Cakes, what do you call the little white snowballish cookies that come around each December? Addictive, that’s what.

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I know that it’s January and we are all mid-cleanse, mid-Whole30, mid-detox, mid-misery, but I promised my sweet friend Mandi that I’d post about these babies and a promise is a promise. Plus, come February, you just might want to make these little drug balls for your Valentine. The recipe is, as always, at the bottom of this post, but I have SO much to talk about first! We haven’t chatted since October. Yeesh. A lot has happened in the past two and a half months. Man, where to start? Well, I got a haircut, like a SUPER bad haircut back in October. I asked for a long bob, something like this:

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After 90 minutes, I looked WAY more like this: 1586815645_cf6cb0ee13

The stylist spent an insane amount of time curling my hair under, while my seat was turned away from the mirror. I came home, cried and whipped out my trusty scissors and made the best of the worst. Ridiculous selfie #1:

me

Then, in November, after 37 years on earth, I’ve decided on the tattoo I’d get IF I chose to get a tattoo. But, sho nuff, someone else got it first.

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So, I may go with my second choice, once my next 37 year font search is over.

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Along came December and I fell back in love. Please don’t tell my husband. He actually doesn’t even know I have a blog, so this may wreak a lot of havoc. I’m not permitted to use our home computer. So really, keep quiet.

I remembered Mr. Darcy

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And Colin Firth in Love Actually, another favorite holiday movie.

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And I listened over and over to Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud”, I’d love to post the video, but it’s so, so Dancing With the Stars cheesy. So, here’s some lyrics instead!

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I also did an insane amount of yoga in front of my christmas tree, which did NOTHING to balance out the calories I inhaled. Sweaty yoga selfie? Check! (Ridiculous selfie #2)yoga

Now we are all caught up. Doesn’t it feel good to be up to date with current events? Oh yeah and here’s the recipe for cookies…

 

Italian Wedding Cookies
Yields 80
Little balls of addiction, rolled in powdered sugar.
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Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
1 hr 20 min
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
1 hr 20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
  2. 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  3. 3/4 teaspoon salt
  4. 1 1/2 cups finely ground almonds
  5. 4 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  6. 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
  2. Cream butter or margarine in a bowl, gradually add confectioners' sugar and salt.
  3. Beat until light and fluffy.
  4. Add almonds and vanilla.
  5. Blend in flour gradually and mix well.
  6. Shape into balls (or crescents) using about 1 teaspoon for each cookie.
  7. Place on ungreased cookie sheets, and bake for 15-20 min.
  8. Do not brown. Cool slightly, then roll in the extra confectioners' sugar.
Notes
  1. If you aren't eating all of these immediately, keep in fridge or freezer and re-roll in sugar!
Adapted from Allrecipes.com
Adapted from Allrecipes.com
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Apple Cake

mrsnowlin
light apple cake

I’ve told you about Lisa’s awesome apple cake in the past. Yet, I don’t see you making it, so I’m coming back at you with it. This time though, I’m changing something. I’m wondering if you aren’t making apple cake because you haven’t met Lisa in person.  

Maybe you are thinking, “I knew a girl named Lisa in high school and she was the worst. She was the Regina George of our school.”

Or, for you ladies (and gents) of the 80’s, “She was the Heather Chandler of our school.”

Or, for the readers of the 70’s, “She was the Carrie of our school.”

Friends from the 60’s, “She was the Yoko Ono of our school.”

For those who were in high school before the 60’s, “She was the Mary, Queen of Scots of our school.”

So even though I swear that Lisa is super fantastic and makes really, really good food, I’m going to rename Lisa’s Apple Cake to……

Apple Cake. 

Now, I know what you are thinking. 

How does a wordsmith of that caliber NOT have a job working for Hallmark?” Your guess is as good as mine. My first guess is, I’ve never applied for a job at Hallmark. 

You can use red or green apples in this recipe. Even the crappy ones that return home in your kid’s lunch! This isn’t your typical heavy, oil-laden cake. It’s light, airy and just sweet enough. Let me know if you try it. 

Or, I’ll keep writing about it. a la The Shining.

jack

light apple cake

Apple Cake
Serves 12
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 c. sugar
  2. 4 eggs
  3. 1 1/2 c. flour
  4. 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  5. 1/4 cup pineapple or orange juice
  6. 4-5 large apples, peeled, cored and chopped (large pieces)
  7. For the top - cinnamon, sugar, butter
Instructions
  1. Whisk eggs and sugar, add juice, then dry ingredients and stir until combined. Stir in chopped apples. Pour into greased 13 x 9 pan. Sprinkle top with cinnamon and sugar, and place dabs of butter on top (as much or as little as you want). You can also sprinkle top with chopped walnuts. Bake at 350 for 1 hour.
http://fooditforward.com/

Paleo Pumpkin Pie

mrsnowlin

This morning, I offered Dallas some advice about being a good friend, he told me, “I know, Mama.”

My mother hates to be called mama. Totally not her thing. To her, mama means this:

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When I hear mama, I think of this:

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 I’ve transitioned  from a working mom back to being stay at home mom and things have been going really well. Yesterday, as we drove home from 2nd grade pick up, I was joking around with my kids. I had been feeling pretty good about all the stay at home mothering I had been lavishing on my children. 

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We listen to lots of music on Pandora in the car and a song from the Disney movie, Tangled came through the speakers. Rapunzel is singing on about all the chores she does before 7:15 am, as she has nothing else to do in her lonesome tower.

Max took this opportunity to tell me, “Mom, you are like Rapunzel!”

I couldn’t quite figure out what he meant, because I have recently cut my hair. Before I had more time to think, Max explained it’s because “I don’t ever give them any attention.”

Luckily, Dallas stood up for me, laughing and telling Max how his accusation was untrue. 

Still Max stood his ground. “No, mom. You don’t ever do anything with us.”

WHAT?

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He was trying to make some point about me being so busy doing chores all the time. Whatever kid. I think I only spend 19 or 20 hours a day (including a few hours at night) with you. Tell it to your future therapist. 

I know some drama is headed Max’s way, because he is determined to have three wives. Dallas offered some great advice this morning on the situation. “Max, it’s illegal to have three wives. But, it’s not illegal to have three girlfriends.” Should I call TLC now?

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I joined a 7:30 pm meeting last night, after cooking my family some beef stew, biscuits (gluten-free),  homemade potato salad and (paleo) pumpkin pie (with non-paleo whip cream). A little treat was in order, so I got myself a Vietnamese iced coffee. 

Have you had one of these drinks? HOOOLY heartbeats. This type of coffee highlights caffeine for what it really is, a close cousin to crack. 

At 9 pm, I drove home and sat to check my email before bed. It wasn’t until then that I just how fast my heart was beating. 

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I couldn’t get to bed, so I sat and watched old clips of Joan Rivers. Honestly, I had no idea she was that funny. What a talented woman. The real win came this morning around 6 though…

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Sorry, that meme shouldn’t be funny. It still makes me giggle though. Maybe because I picture them as sister wives, too? Plus, its kind of stupid. They are all around 70, which is totally the new 55. Not nearly old enough to worry about sleep-dying. 

I was a total zombie the rest of today. Jy reheated leftovers and added in some extra hot dogs for good measure. I ate a protein bar for dinner. Why can’t my family just be happy with protein bars, too?

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Ok, so after this marathon day, let me share a great recipe! You don’t need to be a paleo-person to eat a piece of paleo pumpkin pie! Heck, it makes it even better, because now you can add some whipped cream. I also chickened out and dropped about 1/4 cup of raw sugar into my pie mix. The real winner here is the crust. Bookmark or pin this for the holidays, it will come in handy, I promise!

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Paleo Pie Crust
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Ingredients
  1. Crust
  2. 1 ¼ cups raw walnut halves (you could also substitute pecans)
  3. 1 cup blanched almond flour
  4. 1 egg white
  5. Generous pinch of salt
  6. Pie
  7. 1 ¾ cups pumpkin puree (use fresh or this is the equivalent of a 15oz can)
  8. 2/3 cups raw walnut halves
  9. 1/3 cup raw or roasted unsalted cashews
  10. 3 eggs + 1 egg yolk
  11. ¼ cup honey
  12. ¼ cup maple syrup
  13. 1 cup water
  14. 1 tsp ginger
  15. 1 tsp allspice
  16. 1 tsp nutmeg
  17. 2 tsp cinnamon
  18. ½ tsp cloves
  19. ½ tsp cardamom
  20. ¼ tsp salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Grind walnuts in a food processor or blender until finely ground and almost starting to turn into walnut butter (i.e., just starting to clump together).
  3. Mix walnuts, almond flour, egg white, and salt together (you can pulse in your food processor or do this by hand).
  4. Press/pinch into a 9” pie plate (an 8” deep dish pie plate will work too).
  5. Pierce the crust with a fork every ¼” or so to stop the shell from bubbling up while it bakes.
  6. Bake for 20-22 minutes, until starting to turn golden brown.
  7. Let cool at least 10 minutes before pouring the custard in.
  8. Preheat oven to 350F (if you’re making your pie right after making the crust, just reduce the temperature).
  9. Place cashews and walnuts in your food processor or blender and pulse until finely ground. Add eggs, honey and maple syrup and blend for 2-3 minutes until completely smooth (you could also add some of the water if it’s too thick for your food processor or blender to puree well). It is very important to blend until completely smooth, otherwise your custard will be watery.
  10. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until combined.
  11. Pour into cooled pie shell (doesn’t need to be room temperature, just cool enough to touch). Spread the top out evenly with a spatula.
  12. Bake for 40 minutes. Allow pie to cool completely before serving.
http://fooditforward.com/

Chocolate Chip Cookies – Thin and Crispy

mrsnowlin
Chocolate chip gf cookies

Vacation is officially over! It would have been awesome if I had somebody blogging for me over the summer. That way, I could show up, acting as if nothing has changed and make some type of hilarious Becky Conner joke (a la the 7th season of Roseanne).

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 Instead, let’s just hit the recipes and act like none of this vacation stuff ever happened. 

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I don’t know if mothers of generations past truly did make cookies for their kids to enjoy after school. Maybe it’s an urban legend that won’t go away. Maybe my mom just never got the memo?  Either way, the story isn’t going away and kids end up hearing about it from their friends. 

Wouldn’t you rather your kids hear it from you? Sit down and talk to your kids. If you aren’t sure where to start, maybe you could order some pamphlets. 

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Enough joking around, let’s get cookie-ing. This recipe is from the cookbook I am convinced everyone should own, not just those with the title of “mom”. I’ve referenced The Mom 100, written by Katie Workman, in many different posts. Her recipes just don’t fail. They work and they work every time.

Sometimes it is easy it bypass the cookbook section of your local bookstore (or ahem…Amazon), thinking any recipe needed can be found on the internet. 

Here’s the problem with good ole’ internetty, baby girl just ain’t reliable. Sure, you’ll find 984,3454,345 recipes for clam chowder, but it is truly hard to know what to trust. Many times reviews of recipes or books are written by friends, fans and family, so you can’t always be sure of what you read.

Besides, everyone with a kitchen should own a couple of go-to cookbooks. They save you from wasting ingredients and time and offer insurance of happy tum-tums. 

*For those who don’t spend most of their time around kids, tum-tums are tummies, or stomachs. If you happen to be a middle-aged man with no children in their familial or social circles and you actually DO use the word tum-tum, I want you to stop. I want you to stop reading this blog and stop owning a computer. You sir, are strange. 

 

If you need a wee bit of proof before trying out this cookie recipe, read a couple posts of the past. Or, posts of yore, for those of you who prefer fancy Sherlock Holmes talk. 

These aren’t the only recipes from The Mom 100 I have made, just a small sampling. I baked her vanilla cake on Sunday, which turned out great too. If you don’t believe the most trustworthy person on the face of the earth, you can also check it out from the library. Just wash your hands after touching the pages. You never know where people take their library books once they get home. Reminds me of a little story…

 

Chocolate chip gf cookies

 

Chocolate Chip Cookies
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups all-purpose flour (I use Cup 4 Cup gluten free)
  2. 1 teaspoon kosher or coarse salt
  3. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  4. 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  5. 3⁄4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  6. 3⁄4 cup granulated sugar
  7. 2 large eggs
  8. 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  9. 2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chunks or hand-chopped chocolate bars (we use milk chocolate chips)
Instructions
  1. Position two oven racks so that they divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 375°F if you are planning to bake the cookies right away, otherwise preheat the oven 30 minutes before you want to bake them.
  2. Place the flour, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl and whisk to mix. Set the flour mixture aside. Place the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in a large mixing bowl and, using an electric mixer, beat them on medium speed until creamy and well blended, about 3 minutes.
  3. Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the eggs one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Blend in the vanilla.
  4. Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing in each addition until incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips using a spoon or a rubber spatula if you like your chips to be intact or continue using the electric mixer if you are interested in little bits of the chips breaking off and flecking the batter attractively.
  5. If you are not planning on baking the cookies immediately, press plastic wrap directly onto the dough in the bowl and refrigerate it for up to 4 days (the longer the dough sits, the richer and more developed the flavors will be).
  6. When ready to bake, roll pieces of dough into 11⁄2-inch balls and arrange them about 21⁄2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
  7. You’ll probably fit 12 cookies on each baking sheet so this will take at least three baking sheets for all of the cookies. You’ll want to bake two sheets at a time, placing one on the top rack and one on the bottom.
  8. Bake the cookies until nicely browned, 14 to 16 minutes. Peek partway through the baking time and rotate the baking sheets if the cookies seem to be cooking unevenly.
  9. Remove the baking sheets from the oven and let the cookies sit on them for about 1 minute to firm up a bit. Using a spatula, transfer the cookies to wire racks to finish cooling.
Notes
  1. Original recipe found at http://www.themom100.com/the-mom-100-blog/recipes/bigfatchocolatechunkcookies/#sthash.hhBrCHyJ.dpuf
Adapted from The Mom 100
Adapted from The Mom 100
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Happy Thanksgiving!

mrsnowlin

I have so much to be thankful for today, for starters, a healthy family, two amazing little boys and a wonderful husband. Then there are the joys of this morning alone, Peet’s coffee, watching the Macy’s parade with my kids, a hubby having fun at the track, a bonus holiday delivery of the San Francisco Chronicle, you know, the little stuff.

I often  wonder why we don’t spend Thanksgiving thanking the Wampanoag tribe for helping the English settlers survive. Shouldn’t we be donating money to Native American tribes or something? It’s great that we are all thankful for Black Friday and all, but what about the original meaning of this holiday? Turns out, Thanksgiving is more symbolic than a ritual reenactment.

For those of you reading on the bus or waiting in line (and have nuttin’ by time), you can read more about the actual history of this North American holiday at Plimoth Foundation’s website.

Enjoy this day with your family, friends and loved ones. If you can’t do that, have a nice spiked egg nog in hand at all time. If you can’t or don’t do that, have a really sweaty workout this morning to spike your endorphin levels. If you won’t do that, go to the movies or something, you’re bringing the rest of us down!

Prepare yourself, sticking an advertisement mid-blog:

I’m only posting this here because Amazon has the same Ronco Showtime Rotisserie that I have, at a great price. It’s usually $129-$149. It’s my 2nd favorite kitchen appliance (behind my Vitamix) and it’s how I busted out a Thanksgiving turkey in 2.5 hours yesterday. Check out this turkey! No knife was needed for carving, I pulled that sucker apart with my hands.

So juicy, so salty, so yummy.
TurkeyRoti

Time for me to go play with my kids and get in a workout before pretending like I haven’t eaten in a decade. Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Hannukah friends!

 

 

 

Dark Chocolate Brownie Heaven

mrsnowlin
Easy Brownies

What is better than a brownie? A dark chocolate brownie!

Dallas has been playing a game called Bakery Story on my Kindle and has been all over me about setting up a home bakery. He gets in these moods where he creates menus and wants to sell food to all our neighbors. Food which I am supposed to buy and cook. Needless to say, these games don’t make it much further than the menu writing phase.

This past week, Dallas has had a baking bee in his bonnet, asking me every day to make him banana bread. Being Sunday, I thought I’d pop a loaf into the oven before church and do something nice for my family. After an hour of baking, my sweet loaf tasted great, but a little plain. Oops, I kind of forgot to put the bananas in. I basically made sugary bread.

To make it up to him, I made an oeey-gooey batch of dark chocolate brownies, which happen to by Jy’s favorite as well. I did though, have an alterior motive, I wanted to bake something I could blog about. A win-win-win.

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You can find dark chocolate cocoa powder at most grocery stores, but this recipe will work with any type of cocoa.

 

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It’s that time again…

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Can you guess what’s in the glass? Surprise! It’s not coffee. It’s a fall mix of flavors with pumpkin, greek yogurt, banana, powdered peanut butter, a smidge of maple syrup and a dash of cinnamon. It’s a quick way to stock up on calories in the morning if you are in a rush. My kids weren’t bananas about it, but I was! Sometimes you just need something to carry you for a couple hours.

It’s after 7 p.m. on a Sunday night, which means it’s lunch packing time. So glad to be able to blog tonight and am looking forward to figuring out how to work blogging back into my schedule, with the goal of writing on a daily basis. It will take me a while, but I’ll get there!

Happy Fall Friends!

 

 

 

BananaCado Sammy

mrsnowlin

BananaCado

 

 

Sounds strange, tastes good. Ok, I’ll elaborate.

So, my latest obsession is the Food Sense app for iPhones. (Here’s a review). However, you totally do NOT need to have an iPhone, or any phone to come up with the same answers this app offers. It will just take a bit more effort on your part.

Food Sense helps track what is called a pulse test. Dr. Arthur Coca wrote a book called The Pulse Test, “…his classic bestseller shows readers how to find their personal allergies and avoid illness. The Pulse Test shows readers step-by-step how to discover their pulse pattern and test themselves to find out what foods and/or inhalants cause their pulse to work beyond its regular capacity.”

Basically, testing your pulse will help you discover possible allergies and sensitivities. Both of which cause inflammation. Which is basically the path to h-e-double-hockey-sticks.

You start the test by measuring your heart rate while still lying in bed, first thing in the morning. This is going to set the bar for the rest of the day.
Then, you’ll take your pulse one minute before sitting down to eat. Once you are done eating, you’ll wait thirty minutes until you track your pulse again, then sixty minutes and then ninety minutes. Any sensitivity can show up as a raised pulse up to ninety minutes after eating.

Dr. Coca discovered that a pulse rate 16 or more beats higher than that first pulse reading of the day, means there is a sensitivity or possibility of allergy. How cool is that?

Aaaaaand, what does that have to do with an BananaCado Sammy?

Well, as I’ve known in my own head, long before the iPhone came around, I have a major sensitivity to sugar. I just can’t handle it like everyone else. Which totally makes me wonder if that’s why I can have one glass of wine and look like I’ve been cast in the movie The Hangover?

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I’m also off the charts with tomatoes, which I have never, ever known about. And pasta, but…duh on that one.

Anyhow, I made the BananaCado Sammy in hopes of creating a dessert that needs no added sugar. Which always means fruit, which usually means boring. I tried the final product out on my parents and husband and all approved. My dad suggested I’d might want to sprinkle some sugar on top. I totally inherited my sugar intolerance from him, I’m sure! He just doesn’t know it yet.

My mom is full aware I blame her for my cereal weakness. Some girls get their hips from their mother, I get an undying love for cereal.

BananaCado Sammy
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Don't skip the butter, just make sure it is organic, from a grass-fed cow. It makes a huge difference!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 1 Banana
  • ½ Avocado
  • 1 T. Butter
  • ½ Square of Matzo
  • Sea Salt
Instructions
  1. Melt butter over medium-high heat in a medium skillet. Saute' banana until golden and a bit crispy.
  2. Spread avocado gently over Matzo and spoon bananas over top. Sprinkle generously with some sea salt and enjoy!
 

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Chunky Chookies

mrsnowlin
oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

What I really want to call these babies are chookies. Chunky cookies.

They started out as an attempt to make a yummy gluten-free cookie and it is really good that I didn’t offer one to my good friend who suffers from Celiac, because they are NOT! I grabbed a small bag that looks like all the other bags I buy from Sprouts. Tapioca starch? Nah. Rice flour? Nah. Graham flour, perfect! Graham flour is another form of wheat flour, so major gf fail there.

Chookies are really thick cookies that could also be considered a big, fat granola ball, minus the super-crunch.

cchipcookies

 

Before I pass on the recipe, I want to take this chance to talk to you. Because…you are an adult. Also because, you don’t need me to wipe you.

*Disclaimer: If you do need me to wipe you, you’ll need to get on the waiting list. 

I’ve been busy playing camp counselor/mom/swim coach/cook/you-get-the-idea, while school is out. While yes, it is fun, it’s also so, so constant. Every day is a new field trip or playdate or experience. I’m ready for a real vacation. I have been away from both kids for one night. Like, never. Like…mama goin’ crazy. Ready for a girl’s trip kind of crazy.

I’m not a big party girl though, I’d love to go to Vegas for some restaurants, gambling, museums and shopping. Translation: Don’t have me plan your bachelorette party. 

Can we talk about my kids (again) for just one minute? I’ll keep it short, promise.

My oldest son, Dallas loves to give me “helpful hints”. When I talk about or try to work on my ebook, he wants me to hear all of his ideas. Every word of his ten thousand sentence paragraph. And, here’s what every idea sounds like:

Me: “I’m trying to work on a Harry Potter recipe.”

 

“Oh, Mom, I know! You could make a thing with pudding and then….

Me: “Hang on Dallas, I’m working on a recipe for E.T.”

“Mom, I have an idea. You just get some pudding…

Me: “Let me just take this picture of this drink for Curious George.”

“Oh! Mom! You know what would be awesome? If you took pudding…

I don’t have a transition here. It’s just pudding, pudding, pudding and on to the next topic.

 

We’ve seen the kid movies that have all come out. While I loved Turbo, I’m extra looking forward to Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2 in September. My kids are just looking forward to more Red Vines and popcorn.

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These are my kids.  They are children who have yet to learn that the movie snacks and treats cost more than the film’s budget. Popcorn, two drinks and some candy? Yeah, that will run you about $12 mil.

Alright, back to the chookies. This recipe is a bit funky. No white sugar, no white flour, but it tastes better than you’d expect. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say they taste better than whitened up cookies!

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Chunky Chookies
 
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Dates should be soft. If they are cold or hard, let them soak in very warm water for 10 minutes+ to soften.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 150 grams or 5+ ounces of dates
  • ⅓ cup coconut sugar
  • ½ cup butter (1 stick) - softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • 3 cups oats
  • ½ cup graham flour
  • 1½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1½ - 2 cups of chocolate chips (depending on desired level of chocolate-ness!)

Instructions
  1. In food processor, work together dates, coconut sugar and butter to create a creamy consistency. Transfer to a large bowl and mix in eggs and vanilla. In a smaller bowl, mix graham flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.

  2. Gently stir oats into the wet mixture in large bowl. Add the remaining dry ingredients, followed by chocolate chips.

  3. Work dough into little balls and gently press the balls down with your palm, onto a greased cookie sheet.

  4. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes. Let cool completely!
 

Moon Pies

mrsnowlin

moonpies

Fourteen homemade Moon Pies took me approximately 37 hours to make. Giver or take 33 hours.

Nothing was going to stop me from making the party favors from scratch. Nothin’.

The first go around was yummy, but a bit of a messy, squish cookie.

cookie

Looks more like an ice cream sandwich, right?

My first go-round involved a crummy (and crumby) graham cracker recipe, marshmallow fluff made without a candy thermometer and Costco chocolate chips. Overall decent, but nothing super special.

Second attempt worked out much, much better.

IMG_2283

 

I found a graham cracker recipe that rocked. Grabbed a $6 candy thermometer from Sprouts and learned the power of sugar boiled to 240 degrees. Scored a super salivating caramel recipe and finally, bought the expensive chocolate chips for melting into ganache.

The result? Something truly naughty. One bite is enough, seriously. I’m not saying it the way some people say, “I just have to remind myself to eat!” kind of way. One bite really is enough. You won’t stop there, though. You’ll probably eat half a pie before excusing yourself to lie on the couch. Unless of course you are one of the “I just never remember to eat” kind of people. Then, you may actually stop at one bite. Whatever to you.

Back to making 14 Moon Pies.

I did it.

I had to freeze them overnight, so they wouldn’t melt by party time. My kitchen has felt the pains of war. My glutes are insanely sore from a Yoga Strength Fusion class I took yesterday. One of those things is not like the other.

Here we go. Get your aprons and stretch those Hammies. This ain’t easy, friends.

Graham Crackers
 
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I doubled this recipe and cut the grahams with a 3" biscuit cutter.
Author:
Recipe type: cookies
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 & ⅓ cups graham flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ⅔ cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together both flours, the baking soda and salt; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the butter, brown sugar and honey, and beat at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed just until blended and the dough comes together, about 30 seconds.
  3. Transfer the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap, press into a 7-inch square, and wrap tightly. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 5 days.
  4. When ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  5. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a ⅛-inch thickness and cut.
  6. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes and then rotate the baking sheet. Bake for another 6 to 8 minutes, or until the cookies are dark golden brown and just firm to the touch. Let cool for a minute on the baking sheets, then transfer to a cooling rack. Let cool completely (they will crisp up as they cool). Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Marshmallow Fluff
 
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I made two batches of this to create 14 Moon Pies.
Author:
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • ¼ cup water
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large egg whites
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. In a small pan, mix together sugar, corn syrup, water and salt. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan, making sure it does not touch the bottom of the pan. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine egg whites and cream of tartar. Begin to whip on medium speed using the whisk attachment.
  3. Meanwhile, turn burner on high and put the pan with the sugar mixture on the heat. Allow mixture to come to a boil and heat to 240 degrees, stirring occasionally.
  4. The goal is to get the egg whites whipped to soft peaks and the sugar syrup heated to 240 degrees at close to the same time. Just stop whipping the egg whites when they reach soft peaks.
  5. When the sugar has reached 240 degrees, turn mixer on to low. Add a small amount of the hot sugar mixture and allow to mix. Add another small amount of the sugar mixture. Continue to add mixture slowly so you don’t scramble the eggs.
  6. Once all the sugar has been added to the egg whites, turn up the speed of the mixer and continue to beat mixture for about 7-9 minutes or until the fluff is stiff and glossy. At about the 5 minute mark, add vanilla extract.
  7. Use fluff immediately or store in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Caramel Sauce
 
Serve warm or at room temperature. The sauce can be covered and refrigerated for up to 1 month; it will become solid. Reheat or set out at room temperature before using.
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 8 Tablespoons (4-ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • ½ cup heavy cream, not ultra-pasturized
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt flakes (kosher salt can be substituted)
Instructions
  1. In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan add the sugar and evenly pour the water over top.
  2. Place the pan over medium-high heat and swirl the pan gently until the sugar is dissolved and the syrup is clear.
  3. Avoid letting the syrup boil. Increase the heat to high, cover the saucepan with a tight fitting lid, and boil the syrup for 2 minutes.
  4. Uncover the saucepan and continue to boil the syrup until it begins to darken around the edges.
  5. Gently swirl the pan until the syrup turns a deep amber and begins to smoke. Remove from the heat and add the butter.
  6. Gently stir the mixture until the butter is incorporated.
  7. Add the cream and stir to combine. If the sauce becomes lumpy with hard clumps, set the pan over low heat and stir until smooth.
  8. Turn off the heat and stir in the vanilla and salt.
Chocolate Ganache
 
Author:
Recipe type: Sauces & Dips
Ingredients
  • 8 oz. good quality semi-sweet chocolate
  • 4 oz. heavy cream
Instructions
  1. Melt both ingredients in a small pot, over low heat, stirring often. A double boiler can be used, if desired. If you choose to microwave melt, be sure to stir every 30 seconds.
 

Assembling your moon pies is where the mess comes in. Embrace the sticky mess, you have no choice.

Be sure your cookies are cooled. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment or wax paper and be sure you have room in your fridge to fit the pans.

Take one cookie at a time and spread the top and bottom of a with plenty of marshmallow fluff, drizzle as much caramel as desired over the top, then sandwich it between two more cookies. Place on lined pan. Repeat until all cookie sandwiches are created. Next, pour cooled ganache over each stack of cookies, ensuring there is enough chocolate to cover the entire cookie and drip over the sides.

Let the cookies set in your fridge overnight, or as long as you can stand it.

Get some Wet Wipes and go to town.

Seriously, walk to town. These have so many calories. Then, walk back. There, you’ve burned off half.

 

 

 

Lemon Vanilla Sugar Cookies

mrsnowlin

For all you baking volunteers out there, I have found the best sugar cookie recipe! I’ve been on my church’s baker list for a number of years now, which means I’ll get an email a few times a year, asking for some baked goods to be donated. I’ve made butter cookies in the past, but wanted something new for this go around. Whenever I need a no-fail recipe, I usually search through The Pioneer Woman’s site. While this is not a PW recipe, it came highly recommended by her, which was good enough for me!

lemonsugarcookies

 

I have made the original version of these cookies, which are vanilla-almond flavor and they turned out just as well. I’m sure you could have a great time playing around with different extracts. Lemon seemed to be a perfect touch for my Palm Sunday donation to church.

If you are looking to make some frosting or icing, royal or buttercream, I have a suggestion for you. Rather than killing yourself with those four bottles of food coloring that come in the McCormick box, head over to a craft or baking store. The Wilton icing colors are amazing. If you want violet, you add a drop of violet. You aren’t adding two drops of red, then one of blue, then wait, two more blue, then “Oh no”, maybe orange? Check out how much easier life can be…

IMG_1355

Lemon Vanilla Sugar Cookies
 
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Thick, adaptable sugar cookies!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Cookies
Serves: 24
Ingredients
  • 3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 sticks (salted) butter, cold & cut into chunks (I use a grater for mine)
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp lemon extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Combine the flour and baking powder, set aside. Cream the sugar and butter. Add the egg and extracts and mix. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat just until combined, scraping down the bowl, especially the bottom.
  3. The dough will be crumbly, so knead it together with your hands as you scoop it out of the bowl for rolling
  4. Roll on a floured surface to about ¼″ to ⅜″ thick, and cut into shapes. (Bridget suggests freezing them for 5 minutes, which I found to be helpful)
  5. Bake 10-12 minutes.
 

 

Hopefully you are enjoying your Saturday and not spending it running errands! Kim