Monday, April 14, 2014

Easter Bunny Tails

I love Spring and I love Easter! I feel like this time in my life my kids are at the perfect age for Easter! My boys are 5 and 3 and baby girl is 18 months! I cannot wait for Easter egg hunts this year! There is so many fun treats out there for Easter and these Easter Bunny Tails are no exception! We packaged them up with a cute label and handed them out to people along with mini carrot cakes and bunny bait that will be posted later this week! 

Easter Bunny Tails

1 cup butter, unsalted, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar (plus more for later to roll them in it)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cup flour
1 cup pecans, finely chopped in a food processor

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a bowl mix the butter and powdered sugar together with a hand mixer until creamy and smooth. Then beat in vanilla. Gradually add the flour and then add in the finely chopped pecans. Take a cookie scoop and put flour on it. Scoop up the cookie dough and then roll them into perfect balls and place on a cookie sheet. Continue the process (flouring the cookie scoop each time) until all the dough is done.  (Will make about 2 1/2 dozen cookies) Bake for 10 minutes.  When cookies have cooled off a little but are still warm to the touch roll in powdered sugar. And then let the cookies cool on wire racks! 

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Friday, April 11, 2014

Moist Carrot Cake with Thick Cream Cheese Frosting

If there is any dessert that screams Easter to me it is Carrot Cake. And luckily it is my husbands favorite! That is always his birthday cake of choice! This recipe always hits the spot! I love to top mine with thick cream cheese frosting with a little nutmeg in it and some chopped walnuts! 

Moist Carrot Cake With Thick Cream Cheese Frosting

2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
3 cups grated carrots
1 cup walnut, finely chopped, optional 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine sugar, oil and eggs. Sift all dry ingredients together and slowly add into wet mixture. Add grated carrots and chopped walnuts. Pour into greased pan. 9 inch rounds cook for 50 minutes. Mini loaves cook for 20-23 minutes. Let cool then frost with cream cheese frosting and top with more walnuts if you want.

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 pound powdered sugar
pinch of nutmeg

Mix ingredients all together and then frost cakes once they are cooled.

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Friday, April 4, 2014

Zucchini Bread with Lemon Glaze

During spring time I feel like I am always wanting something fresh and light as a snack or for breakfast. This zucchini bread is just that! My favorite is making them into mini loafs something a little fun and different!

Zucchini Bread with Lemon Glaze
2 cups sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 cup oil, or melted butter
2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour, sifted
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups zucchini, shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combined wet ingredients and then in a sifter combine all dry ingredients and sift into the wet ingredients. Then stir in the shredded zucchini. Spray pan (can use mini loafs (my favorite), bread pan, or muffin tin) Bake bread loaf for 45-60 minutes and 20 to 25 minutes for the muffins, and 20 minutes for the mini loaf. Make sure you test them with a toothpick or knife before you take them out to make sure they are cooked all the way!

2 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup powdered sugar
A little warm water to consistency

Mix all ingredients together. Add a little warm water until the consistency is not thick like icing and can be easily poured. Drizzle over warm loaf.  I like to add a little lemon shavings to the top for decoration.

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Monday, March 31, 2014

Texas Sheet Cake

In our family Texas Sheet Cake is a staple. It is made more than boxed brownies and is consumed faster than any cookie. My absolute favorite is a slice of Texas Sheet Cake with a scoop of homemade peppermint ice cream! (Oh great my mouth is watering…) I know I could go on and on telling different stories about this dessert but all you need to know is that it is made on the stove top, is very easy, and is amazing. Best thing you can bring to any sort of "pot luck" event.  Just trust me! (And the picture below explains why I can only take pictures while my kids are at school or sleeping. Remington decided to just come right up and take a bite out of one of the brownies as I was taking pictures! Good thing he is cute!)

Texas Sheet Cake
1 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 Tablespoons cocoa
1/2 cup margarine (butter will work fine too)
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 cups flour, shifted
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a saucepan, mix water, oil, margarine, and cocoa. Bring to a boil. Cocoa should dissolve. Remove from heat. Add sugar, eggs, and flour. Beat well. Dissolve baking soda in buttermilk. Then pour the mixture and the vanilla into the batter. Mix very well. (If there is lumps from the flour put in the blender for a few minutes) Grab a 10x17 cookie sheet and grease well and then pour batter evenly in. Bake for 20 minutes.  (you can add 1/3 cup chopped nuts if you want also) Rinse out the saucepan and then return it to the stove and make the frosting.

1 pound powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Put all ingredients (except the vanilla) in the saucepan. Stir well over medium heat until everything dissolves. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Stir well and then frost while warm. 

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Homemade Soft Artisan Beer Pretzels

I have always been a huge Krusteaz fan! We use their products almost weekly. Especially their waffle and pancake mixes. So when I received a package from them I was so excited to be working with a company that I already knew was a hit in our house! As I looked through the package I noticed a box of "beer bread mix" that was one product of theirs that I had yet to try! I wanted to make something new but yummy! And then I realized that soft pretzels would be just the pair for this bread mix and boy was it perfect! I will admit that this was my first time buying beer. I almost had a heart attack buying it because I was so nervous! Haha I drove to a gas station a couple miles from my house just to avoid the fact that I may run into someone that I know and that they would wonder why I was buying a can of beer at 9 A.M. with my baby and 3 year old in hand. (I am sure my husband is going to love this story haha) I then had to text my mom to make sure that all the beer would be cooked out and then I text her again just to double check! And well among all the chaos these "Homemade Soft Artisan Beer Pretzels" were born! I ate one for breakfast, one for lunch, and then my family enjoyed them for dinner!

Homemade Soft Artisan Beer Pretzels
yields:10-12 pretzels

1 1/4 cup warm water
5 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 (heaping) Tablespoon Active Dry Yeast
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup beer
1 (19 oz) krusteaz beer bread mix
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups hot water
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg, beaten
course sea salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Then in a mixer, place warm water, sugar, kosher salt and mix together. Then add yeast. Let sit for 10 minutes. Then add in butter, beer, krusteaz beer bread mix, flour, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix until well combined about 8 minutes! The dough should be sticky but pull away from the sides. If dough is too sticky slowly add more flour while you continue to mix. Grab a large bowl and greased it. Place the dough in the bowl and cover. Let rise for 1 hour. Once the hour is up lightly grease counter space. Separate dough into 10-12 balls. Then take one and roll it into a long snake about 15 inches. Then make a "U" shape and then make a pretzel. Then in a medium sized bowl place hot water and baking soda. Grab 2 cookie sheets and grease them and then set aside. Dip each pretzel in the water/baking soda mixture and let sit in there for 5-10 seconds. Then place on cookie sheet. Continue those steps until all pretzels are done. Let sit for 10 minutes. In another small bowl beat the egg. Once the 10 minutes are up lightly brush pretzels with the egg wash. (This will make them shiny when they are cooked!) And sprinkle with course sea salt! Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown! Serve with honey mustard dipping sauce or nacho cheese sauce!

Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce
1/4 cup dijon mustard
1/4 cup mayo
2 Tablespoons Agave Nectar
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

Whisk all ingredients together!

Nacho Cheese Sauce
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated

In a saucepan over medium heat melt butter. Then whisk in flour. Pour in milk and continue to whisk. It will thicken up. Add in salt and then cheddar cheese and mix until all the cheese is melted. Continue to whisk until sauce thickens. Pour in a dish and serve!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post by Krusteaz, however all thoughts,opinions and the recipe are mine*

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Friday, March 21, 2014

Buffalo Chicken BLT Pitas

I feel like a lot of my inspiration for my family, life, and blog posts come as I lay in bed at night. And that was exactly what happened with this fun and yummy meal plus a few others that will be featured in the following weeks! It had been one of those long days! I had deep cleaned my house and then when my kids were home from school we had some friends over to play for a few hours. My clean house was not so clean anymore, my dinner didn't turn out exactly how I had hoped, and the list goes on and on. I could not wait to get into my bed! I finally had fallen asleep when my oldest came in crying from a bad dream. A hour later my middle son cried because he wanted me to lay with him and scratch his back. (Yes I know he is a DIVO!) And well it was 1 A.M. by now and I was now unfortunately wide awake! As I lay in my bed for 2 hours the inspiration then started. I kept thinking of different ways that I could use these yummy pitas and wraps that Toufayan had sent me! I then dreamed up this little recipe. I desperately wanted to get up right then and make them! But I knew that if my husband walked in on me at 2 A.M. making pitas he would think that I had definitely gone crazy! So they had to wait. I only made it a few more hours and by 9 A.M. I had these yummy pitas ready to taste test! And they were a winner and I'm sure to helped using Toufayan pitas..they are out of this world good!

Buffalo Chicken BLT Pitas

Crockpot buffalo chicken
Ranch or Bleu Cheese Dressing
Tomato, sliced
Avocado, sliced
Cheese (shredded or sliced), provolone is my favorite
Bacon, fried
Toufayan Pitas, white or wheat

Make the buffalo chicken using the crockpot recipe listed above. Take toufayan pita bread and heat in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Spread ranch or bleu cheese dressing on the inside of the pita. Place a handful of the chicken then some cheese. Top with tomato, lettuce, avocado and bacon! Fold up and ENJOY!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post by Toufayan however recipe, thoughts, and opinions are my own

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

St Patricks Day Meal

It feels like all over Pinterest during this time of year is fun things to eat, craft, or decorate for St. 
Patricks Day. I always pin a million things and plan to do them with my kids but rarely does it ever happen. (Hopefully I'm not the only one) I was out of town with my kids while my husband worked the days leading up to this holiday. So when I returned home I was exhausted, had a pile of laundry to do, and was trying to pick my battles. So the unpacking and laundry was set aside to make this fun and magical meal for my family. I also picked up 6 boxes of Krispy Kreme Donuts to doorbell ditch our neighbors with a cute St. Patricks Day message on them. Then my friend had a piƱata at the park for the kids to hit! It was such a fun memorable holiday! 

Here is the menu:
Fruit Rainbow with Fruit Dip
Green Scrambled Eggs
Green Bacon
Rainbow Jello
Clover Sugar Cookies
Rainbow Cupcakes

Now onto the recipes!

Rainbow Fruit with 2-ingredient Dip
Purple Grapes

4 ounces whipped topping, thawed
6 ounces Strawberry Yogurt

Mix ingredients together and store in the fridge. Add to the plate right before serving.

Rainbow Jello
Small Boxes of:
Lime Jello
Strawberry Jello
Orange Jello
Lemon Jello
8 ounces whipped topping, thawed
Whipped Cream  

Prepare Lime Jello as directed on the back of the box under the "quick chill" method. Pour 2/3 of the Jello in the bottle of a sprayed 9x13 glass baking dish.  Let sit for 30 minutes. Mix the remaining 1/3 of jello with a large dollop of whipped topping. After the 20 minutes is up pour the lime whipped topping mixture on top and let sit for another 30 minutes. Then repeat the process for each flavor of jello. Once it is all done top with home-ade whipped cream or more cool whip. 
(These are the flavors I used but you can use whatever flavors you want. You also can add more colors too!)

Swedish Waffles
3/4 cup whole milk, warmed
2 Tablespoons warm water
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons yeast
2 eggs, room temperature
1 cup butter, softened
3 Tablespoons honey
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla
4 cups bread flour
1 (10 ounces) package Lars Swedish Pearl Sugar

Add the water and 2 Tablespoons sugar to the warm milk and stir. Add the yeast and let sit for 10 minutes. It should get foamy. In a large bowl, kitchen aid, or bosch beat together the eggs, butter, honey, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and vanilla. (I added green food coloring at this time) Then add 2 cups of flour and mix for a few minutes. Scrap sides and add the remaining 2 cups of flour slowly. Dough should be a little sticky. Don't just dump in the 2 cups slowly add it so that your dough does not become dry. Cover and let rise for at least 4 hours. The longer the better! (This can be made overnight! And can rise for up to 24 hours!) Then punch down dough and knead in the swedish sugar pearls. Then separate into 8-10 equal parts. (I like to half mine and then half those and then half those and so on instead of just trying to eye it into equal parts) Heat up waffle maker and then spray and place a ball of the dough on it and spread it a little. Cook until golden brown! Butter and then place whatever toppings you like! We like to have a variety because each of us eat them differently! 

Bananas, sliced
Strawberries, slices
Cookie Butter from Trader Joes
Whipped Cream

Green Bacon:
After bacon in cooked lightly brush on green food coloring.

Green Eggs:
Crack a few eggs into a bowl and beat. Add food coloring and beat some more. Cook eggs on a greased skillet.

Hope you all had a great St. Patricks Day and enjoyed these fun recipes! 

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