Saturday, August 31, 2013

S'more Krispy Treats

Rice Krispy treats.

I used to not really get them.   I mean, I just never thought they were that good.  Most of the Rice Krispy treats I'd had were dry and boring. At least those were my feelings until I found this girl- Mallow & Co

Cute blog, right?  And her ratio of marshmallow to cereal is completely different from the recipe on the big blue box.  Guess what?  They're so much better this way!  Her recipes yield nice gooey substantial Rice Krispy treats.  These S'more Krispy treats are one of my favorites.  Lots of gooey marshmallows, chopped up Hershey's bars, and Golden Grahams cereal.  Nummmy.

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Friday, August 30, 2013

American Apple Pie

I used to think I didn't like apple pie.  Biting into a slice of pie and crunching down on an apple just sends shivers down my spine.  Recently it occurred to me that I don't actually hate apple pie.  I just hate the texture of most apple pies.  This pie is the result of some experimentation and results in a pie that does NOT have crunchy apples.  

This pie is amazing.  Double crust, or crumble topping- either way, it's delicious.  If it's not one of the best pies you've had in your life, I will eat it for you. ;)  If you want to make a crumble version see the notes at the bottom of the recipe- you'll need to omit some of the sugar in the pie recipe so it won't be too sweet.  I've included my favorite crumble recipe as well.

I know most people use Granny Smith apples for apple pie, but I love using Braeburn's.  They aren't quite as sour as Granny Smith but they are a tart apple and they don't turn to complete mush when baked like many other apples.  I think they have a better flavor as well. Give them a try!

All-American Apple Pie
Recipe adapted from Allrecipes

-Double pie crust
-6 HUGE Braeburn apples (or 8 medium)
-2 Tbsp Minute tapioca granules.
-1/2 lemon (for squeezing)

-1/2 cup butter
-3 Tbsp flour
-1/4 cup water
-1/2 cup white sugar
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-1 tsp cinnamon
-1/4 tsp nutmeg
-1 tsp vanilla

Peel and slice your apples. (After I peel mine, I use an apple cutter to cut them into thick slices.  Then I cut each of those slices very thinly into 4 pieces.  These thin slices cook fast and won't be so crunchy in the finished product.)

Toss minute tapioca and a couple of squeezes of lemon juice with the apples.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Press one pie crust into the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Stir in flour to form a paste. Add water, white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and let simmer.  Stir in vanilla. Reserve just enough of this mixture for glazing the top (Keep it in the saucepan, but remove it from the heat and put a lid on it).

Pour the rest of the mixture over the apples and toss to coat.

Pour apples into pie crust.

Top pie with the second pie crust.  Make sure to vent it well.

Brush reserved sugar mixture over the top of the lattice crust. If it has thickened too much, move it back over low heat (lid on) for a minute or two until you are able to work with it.

Place the pie on a cookie sheet in case it bubbles over while baking.

Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.  Lower heat to 350 and bake for 45 minutes more. Because I prefer an apple pie with NO crunch, I then turn the oven off, and leave the pie in the oven for another 30-60 minutes. It is done by now, so this step is totally up to you and how you prefer your pie. (Use a wooden skewer to test the firmness of the apples if you're not sure!)

Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack.  Allow to come to room temperature before serving. This will "set" the juices so it's not runny.

You can heat individual slices up in the microwave if you want hot apple pie!

Top with vanilla bean ice cream.

For Apple Crumble Pie:  Toss apples with all of the mixture (Do not reserve any for brushing.) Top with crumble topping and bake as usual.

Crumble Topping
-1 1/4 cups flour
-1/4 cup brown sugar
-1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
-1/4 tsp nutmeg
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/2 cup butter, melted and COOLED

Whisk together dry ingredients.  Add cooled melted butter. Toss until chunks form.  Sprinkle topping evenly over pie.

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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Fresh Peach Pie

My oldest started Kindergarten last week.  I didn't cry.  I know that probably makes me a bad mom, but it was a happy day for both of us. He has been so ready for so long and really it's only 3 hours a day so it's not real school anyways.  It is weird to drop him at school and have my other little one all to myself for a few hours.  When I say weird I do mean weird, but I also mean reallynice.  A piece of me is missing while he's gone but I find I'm also a better mom (and way more patient) with one kid rather than two. 

Being a mom of an elementary schooler is weird as well.  I have to do adulty things like fill out forms and go to back to school night. Don't they know I'm not old enough for that?

I worry about kids leaving him out, or hurting his feelings, or calling him a nerd.  When you become a parent you think the hard part is going to be waking up 9 times every night or hauling a car seat on vacation.  Turns out the hard part is so much more than that.  It's all those fears and worries and the realization that they will never go away and there will always be things you cannot fix.

On a completely different note- Peach is one of my favorite flavors of the summer. There is a little farm stand just down the street from my house and I can't help but overload on peaches, melons, and fresh corn.  I know it is almost time for pumpkin so I've gotta enjoy them while I can! This recipe is one to make as a last minute summer hurrah, or you can tuck away some peaches in the freezer and make this pretty pie for Thanksgiving.  

Happy Thursday!

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Cherry Cheesecake Bars

Anybody craving cheesecake?  These bars are the perfect dessert for an end of summer picnic.  Smooth, creamy, cold, and delicious.

With their gorgeous ruby color, I think they would be perfect for Christmas as well.

You guys have started thinking about that little holiday right?  I already have a stash of Christmas gifts that is piling up.   (I have problems I know.)

I just have to find my five year old a venus flytrap and a declaration of independence.
Kids are weird.

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Root Beer Float Cupcakes

As far as I know, root beer float cupcakes came into being a few years ago.  To be honest, I always thought this was a completely bizarre cupcake flavor and never had any desire at all to try them.


I have a 5 year old who is obsessed with all things root beer. 

And he has these little.  pug.  stuffed animals.

They are family members.  They go everywhere with us.  They navigate in the car.  I like to hide them in odd places and play #hidethepugshideyowife

Anyways.  It turns out the pugs' birthday was a few weekends ago.  Want to guess what flavor of cupcakes they requested?

And so I strapped my old lady panties on and sucked it up and tried my hand at root beer float cupcakes.

I adapted the frosting from a fluffy vanilla frosting recipe, and it. was. AWESOME.

Seriously amazing.  It tasted just like root beer.  And it was light like whipped cream and full of flavor.

I tried flavoring some cupcakes with root beer extract, but honestly you couldn't really taste it, and I think I would have been happier with French Vanilla cupcakes so the recipe below reflects that.

The conclusion is that these cupcakes are fantastic, and not just for pugs.  It doesn't even have to be your birthday.

The frosting isn't the simplest recipe (yes, it does require you to put a pan on the stove), but it is one of my favorite frostings, because it is so light, and it is worth EVERY SECOND.

Please make these for your pugs.

Happy Tuesday!

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Monday, August 26, 2013

Double Cookie Dough Ice Cream

Typically I'm not a huge cookie dough ice cream fan.  I mean it's mostly just vanilla anyways.  I don't even love the cookie dough bits that much because frozen chocolate chips don't melt in your mouth and that just takes away half of the magic of chocolate.

This ice cream, however is cookie dough flavored

An entirely different story altogether.

I really think the best part of homemade ice cream is the freedom to put in an appropriate amount of mix-ins. 

A 1:1 ratio, for example.

This recipe is one to try!
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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Black Forest Cupcakes {Cherry Bomb Cupcakes}

Since Halloween costumes are starting to come out, I figured it was about time I posted this 4th of July treat. (Seriously- how is it August?  I am so disoriented!)

I don't know about you, but around here we celebrate America's birthday by blowing things up.  Nothing says the 4th like fireworks, smoke bombs, and sparklers.  These Cherry Bomb cupcakes therefore, are pretty patriotic, don't you think?

They are yummy any time of year, but if you want to make them for the 4th, the blue cherries make them extra cute. (Roland brand makes these.  You can find them at specialty shops or on the internet.)

Happy Super Ridiculously Late Birthday America!

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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Boysenberry Crumble Bars

Sometimes you need a ridiculously easy recipe that you can put together in your sleep.  This is it.  4 ingredients people.  4 ingredients!!

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