Friday, December 23, 2016

Eggnog Fudge

It's the most wonderful baking time of the year!  I whipped up some easy eggnog fudge to add something different to my cookie tray this year.


I'm not going to pretend to be a super fan of eggnog, but put the flavors into fudge and it works out nicely.


Eggnog Fudge
From Real Housemoms

Ingredients
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter
2/3 cup eggnog
1 tsp nutmeg, plus more for sprinkling
12 oz white chocolate
7 oz marshmallow cream
1 tsp vanilla

1. Grease a 9 inch square pan.**
2. In a medium saucepan combine sugar, butter, eggnog, and nutmeg.  Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. When it comes to a rolling boil, insert a candy thermometer. Heat to 235 degrees F.  This will take about 10 minutes.
3. Remove pan from heat and add white chocolate, vanilla, and marshmallow cream. Stir until mixture is fluffy and has lost its shine.
4. Spread evenly into prepared pan.  Cool completely before cutting into squares.

**I found the fudge difficult to get out of the pan, so I would recommend lining it with parchment paper.


Don't be intimidated by the candy thermometer!  I just used the digital thermometer I use for cooking meats and everything worked out perfectly.

I wish you all a sweet holiday season!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Cranberry Bliss Bars, Starbucks Copycat Recipe


If you have never tried a cranberry bliss bar from Starbucks, I am really quite sorry for you.  However, luck is on your side, because now you can make them in your very own kitchen!

These are going to be a great addition to my Christmas dessert tray. I love a good bar cookie recipe because you don't have to keep rotating cookie sheets all day long.



Cranberry Bliss Bars
From Recipe Girl

Ingredients
1 1/2 sticks of butter
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
3/4 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup dried cranberries
6 oz white chocolate chips

8 oz cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
6 oz white chocolate, melted
1/2 cup dried cranberries

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 13x9 inch pan, set aside. Melt butter a small bowl in the microwave, stir in brown sugar. In a large mixing bowl mix butter and sugar mixture with 2 eggs and vanilla.  Gradually add flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
2. Gently stir in cranberries and white chocolate chips. Spread into prepared pan, batter will be thick and almost dough-like. Bake 18-21 minutes. Cool completely.
3. Using a hand mixer, combine cream cheese and powdered sugar. Beat in half of the melted white chocolate.  Spread over cooled bars. Sprinkle with cranberries and drizzle with remaining white chocolate.



I chose to cut mine in triangles because that is what Starbucks does.  Feel free to just make rectangles or just eat the whole pan with a fork while watching Lifetime Christmas movies.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Alton Brown's Triple Cheese Popcorn


I went to see Alton Brown's live show in NYC last weekend.  It was really fantastic.  The best part about it was that the entire second half of the show was all about popcorn! So, yea, it was basically the best day ever.


He shared his favorite way to season popcorn during the show so about twelve hours later I made a trip to the supermarket to find the necessary ingredients.  If Alton loves popcorn as much as I do, I knew I needed to have this seasoning ASAP.


Tripe Cheese Popcorn
From Alton Brown

Ingredients
2 ounces cheddar cheese powder
1/2 ounce Parmesan cheese, the cheap stuff they keep next to the pasta sauce
2 tbsp nutritional yeast (it was in the natural food section of my supermarket)
1 tsp buttermilk powder (found in the baking aisle)
1 tsp kosher salt

1. Dump all the ingredients in food processor or use your immersion blender to combine and create a fine powder.
2. Bake a large batch of popcorn and dust with seasoning*

*Note: This is a very large amount of seasoning and while it is delicious, there was just too much of it.  I would suggest making your usual bowl of popcorn and dust the popped kernels to taste.


Here is a little secret: it tastes just like Doritos!! It's incredible.  I am already thinking up other uses for this cheesy blend....

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Pumpkin Brookie Bars

Allow me to explain what a pumpkin brookie bar is... pumpkin cookie base + fudgy brownie top.  You with me so far?

Good.



Drooling yet?

Good.


Pumpkin Brookie Bars
From Crazy For Crust

Ingredients
For the cookie layer:
1/2 cup melted butter
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt (if your butter is unsalted)
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1 3/4 cup flour

For the brownie layer:
1 box mix + ingredients to prepare

1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 13x9 inch pan.
2. Mix together butter, pumpkin, and sugars.  Add egg yolk, vanilla, and spices and combine.  Slowly add flour.  Press dough into the prepared pan.
3. Mix brownie ingredients together and pour over cookie layer.  Bake 25-35 minutes until the brownie is set in the middle.  Let cool before slicing into bars.


These are every bit as wonderful as you are imagining right now.


Could you have imagined a more beautiful sight for your Thanksgiving dessert table?  I think not.

Dr. Mercola's Complete Probiotic Powder Packets

I got another freebie! I hate to brag, but getting these packages from Mom's Meet in the mail is pretty darn exciting.

This time I got to test out Dr. Mercola's Complete Probiotic Powder Packets for adults and children (2 different kinds).


The raspberry flavor was really delicious.  I have tried other powdered supplements before and I can tell you not all flavors and powders are created equal.  It's organic too, so you can feel good about drinking it!


The whisk element in the bottle made it easy to get the powder packets to dissolve which I really appreciated; it's really unappealing to drink my supplements when powder sediment is on the bottom.  We eat/drink with our eyes right!? Look how pretty it is :)


You can get your hands on these probiotic packets at Dr. Mercola's website here or check out their facebook, pinterest, and twitter sites.


I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com), May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my honest opinion on my blog. The opinions posted are my own.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Apple Cider Custard Bars

These apple cider custard bars would be the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving dessert spread.  This recipe has all the wonderful flavors of fall and it's in bar form so you don't have to worry about having another pie server.


Apple Cider Custard Bars
From Crepes of Wrath

Ingredients
For the crust:
2 cups flour
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter, cubed

For the custard:
1 cup cider
8 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup flour
3/4 tsp salt
powdered sugar, for dusting

1. Preheat oven to 350.  Grease a 13x9 in dish liberally with butter.
2. Combine flour, sugar, salt, and butter in a bowl.  Use your fingers, or a pastry cutter, to mix the dough until a crumbly coarse mixture forms.  Press into prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes.
3. Whisk cider, eggs, brown sugar, granulated sugar, flour, and salt in a bowl.  Pour over baked crust.  Bake an additional 20-25 minutes, until the top is set.
3.  Allow bars to cool for 4-6 hours before dusting with sugar and slicing into square.

Note: I halved this recipe and made my batch in an 8x8 inch pan and it worked wonderfully.


I cannot wait to make these again for Thanksgiving!


So much easier to make than a pie AND easier to eat too!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Kale Pesto + Pasta Party

I made a batch of this kale pesto for a pasta party at my house last weekend.  This DIY dinner was our fourth annual.  

For past parties see:

First, I'll share the pesto with you.  Then, I'll show you our glorious pasta bar.


Kale Pesto
From Pinch of Yum

Ingredients
2 cups kale and parsley combined (I used a lot more kale them parsley. You be the judge here)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1 clove garlic
the juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup almonds

1. Toss it all in the food processor until it becomes a paste. That's it!


I gave myself a nice swirl of kale pesto on top of pumpkin spice gouda mac and cheese the other night.


Now it's party time! For the pasta toppings we had: butternut squash, onions, chicken, mushrooms, sausage, brussels sprouts, basil, ricotta, and Parmesan cheese.


We cooked up a few pounds of pasta (I found fall theme pasta shapes at Home Good's) and had 3 sauces: marinara, kale pesto, and alfredo.


We lived for several days off of the leftovers from this party!