Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving Break

Wondering where I've been? Haven't even missed me? Either way, I'm back! We took a long (much needed) family vacation over the Thanksgiving break. And WHEW, now I need a vacation! 
                                                                                                                                                                   You would think, being Thanksgiving and all, that I would have come back with all kinds of goodies to blog about. Nope. We ate and drank tons, but I didn't take one picture (of our treats, that is). We were in Disney and much too busy with Mickey, Minnie, and the Princesses of course. Now, the car ride down and back with 4 kids, THAT would have been a treat to blog about. (Did I mention I live in PA?)

While I recoup, let me leave you with a few of my fall favorites...                                                                    
Pumpkin Pecan Minis

Banana Bread Cookies

Freakin' Fabulous Cream Puffs with Pecan Mousse

Open Face Nutella S'mores

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving, I sure did!


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Ooh, Ooh, Oozy Bread

I don't watch much daytime TV, if any at all, but a few years back I did catch a great episode of Rachel Ray (had to be pre-Sophia, I was probably pregnant). During that episode, Rachel made her Oozy Bread. Mmm, mmm, mmm! Best daytime TV I've ever watched!

Now a staple during all of our family vacations, this bread will also be a great morning quick fix to serve those overnight holiday guests.

Rachel attaches the following caution message to this recipe: Your neighbors may smell this from a mile away and suddenly pop in unannounced for a piece! Well I say bring 'em on! Otherwise, I may just eat the whole thing myself...

Oozy Bread
1 package bacon, chopped (I use pre-cooked bacon. Saves a step, tastes just as good)
1 8-ounce jar maple syrup
1 stick butter
1 package (8 biscuits) home-style buttermilk biscuits, preferred brand Pillsbury

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place a medium skillet over medium-high heat and add bacon. Cook until crisp, about 8-10 minutes and reserve. Place a small saucepot over medium heat and add the maple syrup and the butter -- do not bring up to a boil. Cook until butter is melted, then turn the heat off and reserve. Butter or spray a 3x9 loaf pan. Pour a couple tablespoons of the maple/butter sauce in the bottom. Layer 3 of the biscuits in the bottom of the pan. Tear up one of the biscuits and fill in any open spaces with the pieces. Don't worry if any still remain, the ooze will fill those in. Sprinkle half of the reserved bacon onto of the biscuits and top with about a 1/2 cup of the butter/syrup mixture. Place the remaining biscuits on top, sprinkle the rest of the bacon over them and top with the remaining maple sauce. Transfer to oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove and immediately turn over onto a serving dish.

Thank you Rachel Ray!!


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Crumb Coat Cakes: Hello Kitty!

Hello Kitty Cake

Every year my husband requests pie instead of cake for his birthday. So this year, like her daddy, my 5 year old wanted a birthday pie (pumpkin to be exact) instead of a birthday cake. Yep, same kid that wanted cheese and crackers instead of cupcakes (re: Marshmallow Pops post). So you're probably wondering why there's a picture of a Hello Kitty Cake above, right? Well, she got her pumpkin pie...but after getting a guilt trip from my hubby (the pie man himself), I made her a cake. 

I know my last two posts make me out to be some kind of cake bully, but I'm not. Really, I'm not! After the whole cupcakes vs. crackers incident, I was more than happy to leave well enough alone. Pumpkin pie sounded good to me! Until..."Wow!? I can't believe you're not making her a cake?" 

With the help of a Hello Kitty cake pan, some leftover fondant, and Sylvia Weinstock's vanilla cake recipe I got it done.  

I'm glad I did, and so was she!


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Marshmallow Pops

Preschool snack = goldfish, crackers, pretzels, maybe the occasional cookie...EXCEPT when it's someone's birthday! Birthdays = cupcakes!

Not always.

When I asked my daughter what kind of cupcakes we should make for her birthday snack she informed me that cupcakes were not in the plan. She wanted crackers and cheese. Crackers and cheese? For a birthday snack? Who's kid is this?

The power of persuasion was not on my side. Her birthday, her choice...crackers and cheese it was. I was not, however, going down without a fight! While shopping, I continued to throw out some ideas to send in WITH the crackers and cheese (I just couldn't let down the kids that were looking forward to a cupcake). Something caught her eye, and she finally gave in.  Handing me a bag of pink marshmallows, she said "Fine, I'll take these."

So, now the kids were going to get crackers, cheese, and a marshmallow. It was time to get creative.

She called these marshmallow princess wands.

The chocolate dipped marshmallow is always a favorite. I just stuck it on a stick and added a mini marshmallow flower.

Viola! A special birthday treat (to compliment the crackers and cheese of course)!

Marshmallow Pops
Large marshmallows (we used strawberry)
Chocolate melting discs (we used white chocolate)
Sprinkles (could use chopped candy or nuts)
Mini marshmallows
Buttercream Icing (picked up a small tube of yellow from baking aisle)
Lollipop sticks

Place one large marshmallow on the end of each lollipop stick. Melt chocolate in microwave, stirring until smooth. Dip marshmallows in melted chocolate, turning to coat. Allow excess chocolate drip off. Sprinkle with topping of choice (sprinkles, candy, nuts, etc) Let pops dry by placing bottoms of sticks into a styrofoam block, or egg carton.  Wrap in plastic and tie with ribbon.

Mini Marshmallow Flowers
Cut mini marshmallows into 4 pieces arrange on top of large marshmallow, using melted chocolate as glue, pipe center of flower with buttercream icing.