Thursday, November 27, 2008

Confessions of a Terrible Horrible Rice Krispie Treat Maker

I can make and bake just about anything. Amongst my favorites are ooey gooey cookies, moist cakes, and the ever so challenging pie. However, my nemesis is the marshmellowy, buttery, just perfectly sweetened, any six year old can make it bar the "Rice Krispie Treat."

I am not sure what goes on during the process of me following the recipe for Rice Krispie Treats right off the box. Somewhere after the melting and the mixing I find my treats to be the consistency of...umm...well peanut brittle. Possibly glass which is the best description since if you slam them up against the counter they will shatter into a million pieces.

My first thought is that it's a genetic problem, of course. My mother has the same problem with her Rice Krispie Treats. She always blamed it on the altitude (this is what she always says upon a cooking disaster- but I was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt on this one). Beings that I am at sea level that theory is now out the window. Perhaps it is an ingredient blunder. So, I have made certain that all whopping three of them are as fresh as they can be.

Therefore, it shall remain a mystery unless one can oblige me in mastering this tasty little treat.

Chip & Dip Cookies

Yes...this recipe actually calls for potato chips in a cookie. Good grief is that a lethal combination. This recipe is a hybrid of a recipe I found on my favorite baking site and a recipe I found in a Betty Crocker magazine. Together they make the perfect combination!

Chip & Dip Cookies
2 c. peanut butter
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1/2- 1 c. plain crushed potato chips
1/2 c. almonds
1 Baker's Dipping Chocolates
Mix: All ingredients but almonds and chocolate
Refrigerate: 30 minutes then roll into balls
Bake: 325 for 18-20 minutes
Dip in chocolate and almonds

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Christmas 2007- A Little Holiday Cheer

Thanks Aviva for sharing your photographic talent with us!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Something Healthy...Lettuce Wrap Salad

Contrary to popular belief I do enjoy healthy food every once in a while....especially during meal time. After meal time is when the artery clogging begins. Here is one of my favorite quick meals that is super simple and easy. Anyone who can heat items in a pan and cut up an apple has this recipe in the bag.

Lettuce Wrap Salad

1 rotisserie chicken (pull off meat- so much fun)
2 bags lettuce (1 like romaine/1 like butter or spinach- just to mix it up)
1 apple (diced)
1/2 bottle of Newman's Own Sesame Ginger Dressing (any of the Asian variety will work)
1/4 c. pine nuts

Mix all ingredients (except lettuce) in a pan until warm. Then toss into salad. We like ours with rice on the side- it isn't a meal without STARCH people.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Special K Bars

Along with feeling that everyone should share in my Holiday cheeriness I also feel that this is the time of year that nobody should be counting calories, fat or how many treats they have scarfed down. These bars do include Special K cereal which is supposed to help one lose weight, right? Food is one of the few simple pleasures in life so enjoy! Last time I made these bars my husband hid them on top of the fridge so he could have them all to himself.

Special K Bars
1 c. sugar
1 c. white syrup
1 1/2 c. peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
6 c. Special K cereal
2 c. chocolate chips

Boil sugar and syrup then stir and add remaining ingredients. Place in a 9x13 inch pan.
Top with 2 c. melted chocolate chips (melt chips for 30 seconds then stir). Top off with some sprinkles just because the kids LOVE them!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Life's Too Short Not to Burn a Candle Everyday

So...this is the time of year that I fail miserably at controlling my insatiable appetite for Holiday festiveness. I want to blare my Celine Dion or Kenny G Christmas music throughout my home,
burn my "holiday sparkle" candle that smells exactly like a Douglas Fir, curl my children into their Santa and reindeer decorated footed jammies, and buy the ornament decorated baggies and Kleenex boxes (totally marketed towards suckers like me at the end of the grocery aisle). Not to mention bake, bake, and bake. That is exactly what I intend on doing starting today and I think everyone should join in. After all, that candle that you don't burn just because your waiting for some special occasion is just collecting dust... and shouldn't your house smell that beautiful everyday?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Raking in the Dough

Gotta love the "bake sale"..... easy and simple cupcakes for Chloe's school. So, at least that is what we thought. Needless to say we ended up just throwing some sprinkles on them at the end and calling it a day! Therefore, I will not bother sharing the recipe as to keep you people from unnecessary baking suffering.


Into the mind of an 11 year old...thinking outside the box does not even begin to describe this type of logic. Never a dull is just a snippet! dearest Tween I am so happy you are here to share your knowledge.

"If you eat a hamburger upside down it tastes better"

"If you shake your phone while sending a text message it will send it much much faster than usual"

Lily was not a big fan of the cupcake "dirt."

Monday, October 20, 2008

Mummy, Mummy, Mummy...

What possesses a small child to repeat a word over and over and over again until you want to flick them in the head with "tall man and thumbkin." Do they REALLY believe you didn't hear them the first eight thousand times? In honor of this phenomenon we went ahead and made these cute little mummies which are just a wrap different from pigs in a blanket.

KitchenAids: The Tween blessed us with her presence during this event. The Toddler also enjoyed eating (I mean why should a person wait a whole 11 min. for something to bake) the unbaked "weenies" which pretty much made the Tween and I want to hurl.

1 can crescent rolls
44 cocktail sized sausages (Lil' Smokies)
Mustard (mustard dots for eyes)

Oven: 375 degrees
Lay out dough and smooth seams tight (cut dough vertically in 1/2 then horizontally (7x1/2-inch) into 44 strips
Wrap mummies tightly on both ends
Bake: 15-20 min. until golden brown

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Homage to the "Plain M&M"

Can we just give a little love to the plain M&M…the one who has been reduced to the “potty training reward” like that freezer burnt crusty meat in the spider infested corner of your local grocer. Lets face it by themselves they really are just not that interesting. Really the “PLAIN” (the name says it all) M&M was doomed immediately following the invention of it’s cousins: the peanut, almond, dark chocolate, premium (whatever), peanut butter, green tea (isn’t everything green tea flavored these days?) even the mini is cuter. And don’t even act like you would choose regular M&M’s over the Holiday colored ones. However, have you ever noticed that if the plain M&M is the only offered up snack material at your great Aunt Linda’s house, you will totally grab a handful and happily shove them into your mouth. Yep.

This is how I imagine a conversation amongst unfriendly M&M’s. Yes, the ones on the commercials with the legs, gloves and puffy white shoes.

M&M #1 (insert foreign snobby butler accent): Yes…well I come from the store on the Vegas strip. Customized not only with a message, but also by color and size. I will be making my last appearance at the Jones-Smith wedding sprinkled on the tables right next to the begonias.

M&M Plain: Yeah, well I get to live the life on the shelf of some snot-nosed kid’s bathroom. I may actually get this painful existence over with if “The Mom” would just start generously handing us out more than 3 at a time. Miserable.

And you know your favorite color is BLUE. You and 30% of the rest of the population.
Go ahead and go here to personalize some M&M’s, or buy a nice size bag of “PLAIN M&M’s” and make these super yummy cookies.

M&M Cookies

1/2 c. butter
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/3 c. oatmeal
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
1 c. M&M's (pour a few more for the kiddos to eat while mixing)
1 1/3 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt

Bake: 350 degrees for 11-13 min.
Mix: Butter, egg and vanilla. Then add in all other ingredients. Make sure to form balls with the dough or use a scooper firmly packed as the consistency of this dough is very dry (perfect this way).
Yield: About 2 dozen

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Pumpkin (I Hope we can get Through this Without a Potty Break) Bread

Three potty breaks, one change of clothing, and a Starburst later we finished up this lovely loaf of perfection. Moist, moist, moist is the only word to describe this scrumptious bread. No need to light a candle when your oven emanates the delicious scent of nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon.

KitchenAids: The unnapped (no this is neither a word nor highly recommended) Toddler and the ever scrutinizing watchful eye of the Bean (I must admit his supervising skills are unprecedented- his eyes follow our every move).

3 c. sugar
1 c. vegetable oil
4 eggs
16 oz. canned pumpkin
3 1/2 c. flour
2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp all spice
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
2/3 c. water

Oven: 350 degrees
Mix: All ingredients in order 2 at a time
Time: 30-40 minutes (make sure to do the toothpick test)
Yield: 2 loaves

Top, dip, and spread in any fashion:

Cranberry Cream Cheese Spread
1 8oz. cream cheese
1/4 c. butter
2 c. powdered sugar
1/4 c. canned cranberries

Mix: All ingredients

Introducing My Little Kitchen Aids- The Toddler, the Tween & The Bean

The Toddler a.k.a. "Moussey"

Big blue eyed blond ball of toddler. Refuses to take no for an answer. Has been known to throw "tantrums" and baby dolls therefore may be found seen on the staircase crying and flailing about. The former obviously resulting from the latter. Sings sweet songs about arachnids and weather. Is charming in the ways of smiling, dancing, storytelling and writing utensils. Most likely will have to potty while I am knee deep in making her lunch while nursing the "Bean" (see below) and answering the tele on the way out the door 15 minutes behind schedule...

Favorite phrase "Mine"
CHANDLER SHOUT OUT: "Could you be anymore irrational?"

The Bean a.k.a. "Budsie, Rydies"

A huge mouthful of toothless grin. Most likely to be seen lounging in another human beings arms or kicking it in some sort of modern day soothing device (swing, bouncy seat, etc.). Happy, happy, happy unless we are hungry, wet, or sleepy.

Favorite phrase "ga ga goo goo coo coo"
CHANDLER SHOUT OUT: "Could you be any cuter" (come on he has only been on Earth a couple weeks)

The Tween a.k.a "Chlomo, Schloe"

Beautiful, athletic and has a heart made of gold! She wrote the book on how to "Save the Drama for Your Mama" (lucky me). So incredibly sweet and helpful in every way. Will forever learn things the hard way and has accepted this fate as if it were black permanent marker on my new Restoration Hardware Egyptian Cotton comforter (Yes, similar to the one the toddler drew on). Most likely spending time with peers on a roller coaster of emotional turmoil. Usually seen on some sort of communicable device speaking in foreign messages.

Favorite phrase: "I don't know" and my personal favorite "Whatever"
CHANDLER SHOUT OUT: "Could you be anymore dramatic?"