Monday, January 30, 2012

CheeseCake Macadamia White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Did you ever notice the following things...

Did you ever notice that whenever you go to place something dirty in the dishwasher it always needs to be emptied?  Why is this?  Why oh why can't I just one time show up to the dishwasher without having to unload that darn thing.  And people who don't have a dishwasher, this should just go to show you that once you have one you will just have a new thing you hate to do, and find all too time consuming.

Speaking of unloading the dishwasher, did you ever notice there is always another pile of laundry waiting for it's turn in the washer.  Not only that, did you ever notice there is always a load in the dryer...or perhaps it's been there for days and has been re-fluffed about 5 times in hopes that you would finally bring it upstairs to fold? 

Did you ever notice that as soon as your child lays down for a nap one of the following things happens - Neighbors dog starts the symphony of neighborhood dog barking, someone decides to saw wood next door, your parakeet makes friends with outside free birds and they decide to sing love songs to each other.

Did you ever notice that cookies taste yummy?


INGREDIENTS (makes 2-3 dozen)
{FULL Printable Recipe}

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup macadamia nuts, chopped coarsely
1 envelope cheesecake flavored pudding mix


Pre-heat oven to 350, line a baking pan with Parchment Paper.

Cream butter and both sugars until nice & fluffy.  Add in the Vanilla & eggs, mix well.  Next blend in flour, baking soda, pudding mix, and salt.  Stir in the white chocolate chips & nuts.  Round off by the tablespoon full (i like big cookies) onto your baking pan.  Bake for 11-14 minutes, depending on how large you made the cookies.  Move to a cooling rack.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Fresh Raspberry Cupcakes with Fresh Raspberry Buttercream

We made a valiant effort to eat all of our meals at the table this weekend, dinner not coffee table. During one of our little stints scarfing down the 4th burger of the weekend (I blame me totally..and the male child in my belly). During one of these stints my daughter said to us "we need to pray, we need to pray".

Normally Indigo and I say a nightly prayer and that's it, so I thought it was adorable that she wanted to say a prayer before our 4th maybe 5th. So the prayer went a little like this...

Indigo : "Dear god thank you for this food, please keep everyone safe in warm beds tonight. Bless Jesus Christ, and Jesus please make my friend Jack invisible- AMEN."  And then she ate her lunch.

If that lovely adorable over the top cute prayer doesn't get answered, I will go make Jack invisible myself - or at least offer him a burger to remain scarce.

Raspberry Cupcakes (makes 24 cupcakes)
{Full Printable Recipe} 

• 3 cups raspberries
• 3 tbs sugar, for the raspberries
• 1/4 cup half & half, at room temperature
• 6 large egg whites, room temperature
• 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
• 2 1/4 cup cake flour, sifted
• 1 3/4 cup sugar
• 4 tsp baking powder
• 1 tsp salt
• 12 Tbsp unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened


Three hours before baking, toss your raspberries with 3 tbs white sugar. Smash raspberries with a fork or potato masher. Let them sit in a bowl and become nice and juicy (3 hours time). Once ready, puree this mixture in your food processor. Reserve ¾ cup of this puree for the cupcakes, 3 tbs for the Butter Cream. The rest can easily be used over ice cream.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare your baking dishes. I made 24 cupcakes in liners. You could always make a cake if you prefer. In small bowl, combine puree, milk, egg, vanilla and mix with fork until well blended. In bowl of stand mixer (or with a hand mixer), add sifted flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and mix to combine. Continue beating and add butter. Mix until combined and resembling moist crumbs.

Add liquids and beat at medium speed for about 1 minute or until full and evenly combined. Stop mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl and hand beat for 30 more seconds. Divide the batter evenly among the pans or into your cupcake liners about half way. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (time will vary).

Let cupcakes rest in pan for about 10 minutes and turn out onto wire racks. Let cupcakes cool completely (about 2 hours).

 Raspberry Buttercream

• 3 tbs fresh raspberry puree
• 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, firm and slightly cold
• 3 1/2 - 4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
• 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce mixer speed and slowly add confectioners' sugar; beat until well combined. Add vanilla and 3 tablespoons cherry puree.

PS - Raspberries do have seeds, so if you have an aversion to the texture in general I would not recommend these cupcakes...but if you love a freshly made cake that is flavored with fresh fruit, then by all means...OPEN UP.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Merlot Mushrooms

Let me tell you that from Friday at 300pm when I picked up my child until last night at 800pm my child's lips never stopped flapping - How is that even possible? Don't answer that, I know the answer.

Being 3 1/2 means you can run at 100mph and sleep 12 hours everyday (and all your bills are paid!!!!)...Is that not every mid thirties ladies dream? It happens to be mine these days.

Also she gets to ride a scooter and those things are darn fun. She also gets to try new things everyday of her life right now...Remember those days? Not me, my memory is shot due to lack of motivation and illegal substances. (Consider that confession number 2 for the year)

Just this weekend Indigo got to try some food she has never ever ever tried before. She tried things like angel food cake, fresh whipped cream, manicotti, and juicy fruit bubble gum (staple in moms diet).

What did mom try that was new? I actually have some!!! I got to try standing for 9 hours straight while preparing a fabulous 4 course meal, a new vampire flick (6 outta 10 from me), and Merlot soaked mushrooms...dear must try them!

Ingredients (Serves 4-6)
Delightfully borrowed from PW
{FULL Printable Recipe}

2 pounds White Button Mushrooms
1 stick Butter
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 liter Merlot Wine
1/2 teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 cups Boiling Water
2 whole Chicken Bouillon Cubes
2 whole Beef Bouillon Cubes
1/2 teaspoon Dill Seed
4 cloves Garlic, Peeled
Salt for taste


Thoroughly wash the mushrooms and throw them into a large stockpot. Add all the remaining ingredients except the salt. Stir to combine.

Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for five hours.

Remove the lid, then continue cooking, uncovered, for two hours.

Add salt to taste at the end if desired.   Also drink the other half liter of Merlot if desired, in case you needed a reminder.

PS - I halved PW's recipe, and altered the cooking time slightly.  For the true recipe use hers....9 hours of glorious simmering means heaven.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Cheesecake

I like to try and teach my toddler random things, stuff like countries and capitals fits in to this category. One of the current ones I thought she knew is Turkey, the capital of Turkey is Ankara FYI...

So one evening my kidlet decides that she is going to quiz me and she started rattling off countries and I gave her the capitals.

Indigo - "Mom what is the capital of Egypt?"
Me -     "Cairo"
Indigo - "Good mom, that's right"
Me - "OK, ask me more"
Indigo - "Mom, what is the capital of Chicken??" (very serious face)
Me - "ummmm... (confused face)...ummm, giblets?"
Indigo - "NO mom, the capital of Chicken is Ankara"

Yes, Chicken has replaced the country of Turkey in her brain...hehehehehe. Have to love the things kids say.

I also have to let you know that apparently Indigo is also carrying twins, I was informed of this last night when she made me feel her babies kicking. She has named them Rosie...yes both of them.

They are due in April just like her big brother, looks like this house is going to be filled with babies.

Speaking of what houses are filled with, mine is filled with dolls and barbies. I find that in the late evenings when Indigo is already in bed these dolls and barbies start freaking me out. When I clean up I am always sure to be gentle for fear that they will hurt me in my sleep

Am I the only one? Never mind, don't answer that!

Delightfully borrowed and adapted from Better Homes and Gardens
{FULL Printable Recipe}

1 1/2 cups crushed Graham Crackers
1/2 cup + 2 TBS Butter, melted
2 TBS Sugar
(2) 8oz packages Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup creamy Peanut Butter
1/4 cup Sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
2 tbs Half & Half
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract


Pre-heat oven to 300. Combine the crushed grahams with melted butter & 2 tbs sugar. Press into a lightly buttered 9-inch spring form pan, sides should rise 1 1/2 inches or so.

Beat 1 package of your cream cheese with your mixer until smooth. Beat in Peanut Butter and 1/4 sugar until combined. Fold in one slightly beaten egg and set aside this mixture.

In a saucepan stir chocolate chips over a low heat until fully melted and smooth. Cube remaining cream cheese and add to mixture until it re-melts, stir constantly to combine. Stir in milk and vanilla until smooth. Remove from heat, fold in 2 slightly beaten eggs - slowly.

Now we can assemble. Spread half the chocolate mixture into your spring form pan, next layer is the Peanut Butter layer (use it all and flatten it) - Top with the last half of your chocolate and smooth the top.

Bake for 45 minutes, or until center is set. Once removed, set on a wire rack to come to room temperature. Cover and chill in your fridge for 4 hours before serving.

PS - One slice equals 5 miles of running, just helping you with the math

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Grilled Cinnamon Chicken over Sweet Potato Grits

I did something really really really out there last night...any guesses? Let me give you some multiple choice answers so we can narrow down the field of craziness that was my evening.

Here are your choices

1. Went out to the club to party down doused in glitter?
2. Went out to the club to party down doused in perfume?
3. Went out to the club to party down doused in a dress made out of steaks?
4. Stayed up until 11pm watching House Hunters?

So, take a guess - which one?

Nope your wrong, I DID NOT go clubbing...I totally stayed up until 11pm watching House Hunters. Let me tell you...when you realize that you stayed up WAY past your bedtime and come to the realization that your child is getting up at the same time no matter what...

You get sad...and then you worry about how bad the day is going to suck...which makes sleep further and further away... LOL.

But you know what makes me happy? Waking up to the old ball and chain making French Toast & coffee...already getting mini me ready to go. It totally ended up being a rocking morning and I got to stay up late and party like a rock star.

Rock Stars watch House Hunters right?

INGREDIENTS (serves 6)
Delightfully Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens
{FULL Printable Recipe}

6 Chicken Breasts (thin)
1 TBS Vegetable Oil
2 tsp Salt (or amount you prefer for taste/health)
1 tsp ground Cinnamon
3/4 cup Quick Grits (or enough to serve 4-6)
3 cups water (or amount called for on your box for grits)
1/2 cup canned Sweet Potato
1/3 cup shredded Cheddar
2 TBS Butter
Fresh Sage


Drizzle Chicken with oil, coat chicken nicely. Rub chicken with the Cinnamon, Pepper, and 1/2 tsp Salt.

Pre-Heat grill to 350-400, according to the thickness of your breast - grill until juices run clear.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan bring your water to boiling. Stir in grits, sweet potato, and 1 1/2 tsp salt. Return to boiling then reduce heat and simmer covered, stir frequently. Once grits have thickened add in the butter & shredded cheddar.

To serve, spoon generous portion of grits onto your serving plate - top with one chicken breast and sprinkle on diced fresh sage. Season to taste with more salt & pepper if desired.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Fall Leaf Salad

Just yesterday I removed chocolate from my child's cheek by licking my hand then wiping her face.

Just yesterday I realized that I have made up over 7,942 songs about Cinderella to get my child to brush her teeth..

Just yesterday I traded my child a marshmallow for a nap.

Just yesterday I pulled out 4,342 hairs from my child head trying to remove one of those uber small plastic hair bands...same ones my mom tortured me with.

Just yesterday Indigo asked me to tickle her and I obliged, 20 times.

Let's just hope making her laugh is something she always wants...and marshmallows too.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Creamy Crabby Macaroni & Cheese

Wife -        "What year is it going to be honey?"
Husband - "What year do you think it's going to be dear?"
Wife -         "Ummm, ummmm 2013?"
Husband - "Are you kidding me?"
Wife -         "2012????, It's not like I write checks anymore!"
Husband - "Do you know how old you are?"
Wife -         "I'll pretend like you didn't ask me that"

end conversation.

We are such a loving family - and we Welcome in the year 2012...right??? Confirmation please. All I really know is I am that much closer to get the pee inducing creature outta me for good...wait one sec....gotta go pee....

OK, back now. Last night the New Year was rung in with a movie and the couch...actually now that I think about it that is pretty much the way I currently celebrate any holiday. I did manage to make it till 1030pm, sort of my personal best record.

Beings that I have a living alarm clock that wakes me at the first shot of sunlight beaming from the east (aka 630am on the freaking dot every single omg time) I sort of feel it's OK that I'm in bed by 1030pm.

Also I ate 16lbs of pasta, taquitos, and corn dogs - sort of coma inducing...Let that be the first confession of 2012.

Delightfully borrowed from Eatin on the Cheap
{Full Printable Recipe}

1/2-3/4 pound elbow macaroni (less mac the creamier)
4 T unsalted butter
1 c. Panko Bread Crumbs
2 3/4 c. Half & Half
2 T minced fresh parsley
1/2 t. garlic powder
1 T grated Parmesan cheese
1 t. salt
1/4 c. AP flour
1/4 t. cayenne
1/2 t. ground mustard
1/2 t. old bay
2 c. Fontina
1 c. Gruyere
2 (6 oz) cans crab meat, drained


Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta for directed amount of minutes. Drain, set aside covered.

Place Panko crumbs in a small bowl. Melt 1 T of butter and toss with breadcrumbs in a small bowl. Pan fry the panko crumbs in a small pan over a medium heat until toasty. Next add in the parsley, garlic powder, Parmesan. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the remaining butter. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the half & half until the mixture is smooth. Continue to cook and stir until the sauce has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Remove from the heat and stir in cayenne, old bay, mustard, and  salt. Stir in cheese until it has all melted.  Give it a little taste test to see if you want more seasonings.

In a large bowl, stir pasta, cheese sauce and crab meat together well. Place your macaroni in serving bowls and sprinkle with bread crumbs. Enjoy!

* This recipe from the original inventor called for baking the dish, but I prefer a creamy macaroni and cheese - so if you make it my way be sure to serve it asap *