Thursday, October 15, 2015

Owie Owl and Boo Boo Bear

Bug is at that age where he falls multiple times a day.  All summer he had scraped knees.  He would always point out his boo boos.  He's bonked his head multiple times and has even had his first fat lip due to a mishap on his cousin's scooter.  It's a good thing he loves his helmet.


Whenever he falls its really hard to hold ice on the area.  It's too cold and he doesn't like it.

I started looking around Pinterest to find some type of "ice pack" that I could make.  I found a great tutorial for an Owie Owl and a Boo Boo Bear.

The directions were easy to follow and they were easy to make.  I made them both from fabric I already had, so it was an inexpensive project also.  




They are filled with rice, so they can also be heated for a warm compress if needed.  Now we are ready to go the next time Bug falls down.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Strawberry Yumminess: Freezer Jam, Yogurt Muffins, Shortcake

At the beginning of the summer I made a to-do list.  Items on the list were things around the house, things I wanted to sew/make, and things I wanted to do with Bug.  I knew that my list was too long and that I probably wouldn't get everything on my list (as usual), but berry picking was one of the things that I really wanted to make sure that we did.  I thought it would be fun for the little guy and I could use the berries for different baking projects.

Summer felt like it was coming to an end and we still hadn't gone berry picking.  A lot of places in the area were starting to shut down for the season.  I thought that were not going to get to go.  Kevin knew that  I would be really bummed if we didn't go.  He scouted out a strawberry farm and planned it for our last weekend before going back to work (and our anniversary).


It was a great way to spend a morning.  Bug had fun eating more strawberries than he put in the buckets and I got 5 pounds of strawberries for some baking projects.



First on the list, was freezer jam.  I remember a post from Dana at Made a few years ago when she made freezer jam.  For some reason this post has been in the back of my mind ever since and I wanted to try it out.  Canning has always intimidated me, but freezer jam seemed something I could handle.

It was really easy and pretty quick.  I followed the recipe that came with my pectin.  The jam turned out great and I love that I have a supply in my freezer that will last us a while.



Next on the list was strawberry shortcake.  We had my family over for a BBQ and after a busy weekend Kevin said I had to keep it simple.  He wanted me to buy some pre-made angel food cake so that I could relax.  Unfortunately, I couldn't find any at the grocery story.  I decided that Bisquick would be a good option.  I've only ever used it for pancakes and waffles.  I also thought that making homemade whipped cream would add a special touch.

It was a hit.  Everyone enjoyed theirs.  It was a quick and simple

I wanted to try something a little on healthier side as my last project.  I found this great recipe for Strawberry Greek Yogurt Muffins.  I thought they would be an easy go to breakfast option our first week back at work.

They were delicious.  The yogurt made them super moist.  They only used 3/4 a cup of sugar and had a little brown sugar on top, so I didn't feel guilty giving them to Bug either.


The strawberries were so fresh and sweet they were also a yummy part of our breakfast and lunch for a few days.

I loved having the strawberries as a reason to bake.  I'm looking forward to fall and hopefully some apple picking.  I love apple recipes too!


Thursday, September 10, 2015

Mini Dark Chocoloate Salted Caramel Delight

A few weeks ago we were going to a friends house for dinner. I was thinking about what dessert I wanted to take with us.  The first thing I thought about was the dark chocolate salted caramel delight.  It was so yummy I couldn't wait to make it again.  The problem was, there was only going to be four of us for dinner.  Taking a whole cake wasn't necessary.  Then I had a great idea...individual cakes in mason jars. 
These were fabulous.  They were easy to take along and serve. They fit in with a couple of beers.

My mom had also mentioned that she kept seeing my post on the cheesecake and would love to try it too.  This made it super easy to send some home with her to try.  I also think that because they have an actual lid they might last a little longer in the refrigerator.  

I only made half of the recipe and it made eight individual servings. 


Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Delight  
Adapted from: Little Sweet Baker and Kevin & Amanda

Ingredients:
Crust
1 cups Oreo cookie crumbs
3 tbsp unsalted butter
Cheesecake
1/4 cup cold whipping cream
225 grams of cream cheese
6 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
Caramel
2 tbsp butter
1/6 cup packed brown sugar
1 tbsp cup whipping cream
Ganache
1/2 cup whipping cream
4 oz dark chocolate chips (or semi-sweet)

1/2 tbsp sea salt flakes

Directions :
  1. Mix the cookie crumbs with the melted butter and press onto the bottom of mini mason jars. Chill in freezer.
  2. Using a handheld mixer, whip the whipping cream till soft peaks form, set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, whip together the mascarpone, sugar and vanilla until incorporated. Add the whipped cream to the mixture and blend untill smooth. Pour over the chilled crust. Place back in freezer for at least 1 hour.
  4.  Combine 2 tablespoons butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture begins to bubble. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Slowly whisk in 1 tbsp heavy whipping cream until smooth. Cool caramel about 15 minutes.
  5. While caramel is cooling make the ganache. Place chocolate chips in a glass bowl.  In a saucepan, bring 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream to a simmer over medium-high heat. Pour over chocolate chips and whisk until smooth. Let cool to touch and pour over frozen tart.  Let it set for a few minutes, but don't let it harden too much.  Drizzle caramel over the ganache and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until ready to serve.
  6. Before serving sprinkle with sea salt.

Enjoy!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Baby Shower Gift

I'm an auntie again!  My sister-in-law had a baby girl last week...3 weeks early.  I am so excited for our growing family and that The Bug has another cousin..

When I found out she was pregnant, I started a list of gift ideas.  As the due date got closer, the list got longer.  I decided to make a few of the them for the shower to make a cute little gift basket.


The divided basket is from a Noodlehead pattern.  I thought that it was going to be difficult, but it was pretty easy.  It was the last part of the project and I got it done in one night.


I put in a few of my favorite burp cloths that I give to everyone that I know.  I do not leave home without these.
 

The biggest project was the quilt.  It was the third quilt that I had made.  I wanted to try a new type of quilt and came across this tutorial from Cluck Cluck Sew.  I thought that it would be perfect.  It looks complicated, but was actually pretty easy.



The Bug loves blankets.  When he saw this on the back of my sewing chair he grabbed it and decided he needed to test it out.


So it has been cousin tested....


and peek-a-boo approved.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Award Winning Dessert: Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Delight

Uncle Kevin and I went to an Iron Chef themed dinner party.  Everyone had to bring a dish to share using the secret ingredient that was revealed 2 days before the party. 



When the ingredient of cheese was revealed I went straight to Pinterest to find a dessert with cheese. I didn't want to go with an ordinary cheese cake.   I found this great recipe for a dark chocolate salted cheese cake using mascarpone instead of cream cheese.  As I was reading the recipe, it reminded me of a dessert I made at Christmas.  I decided to combine the two recipes to create my Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Delight.  It was a great combination.


At the party everyone created a card for their dish and the voting was done by secret ballot at the end of the night. It was a fun idea for a party.  We got to try so many different cheese dishes.  I won for best dessert and tied for best overall dish.  I was so excited. My prizes were a bottle of wine and a new colander...just what every kitchen needs.

I've already made this again for a work lunch.  I made a few changes the second time to make the process a little easier.  The great thing about no bake/frozen desserts is that they don't heat up your kitchen in the summer and can be made ahead of time if you're having a party to free up your kitchen the day of the party.    This is definitely going to become a go to dessert.  

 Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Delight  
Adapted from: Little Sweet Baker and Kevin & Amanda

Ingredients:
Crust
2 cups Oreo cookie crumbs
6 tbsp unsalted butter
Cheesecake
½ cup cold whipping cream
275 grams softened mascarpone cheese (or 250 grams of cream cheese)
¾ cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Caramel
4 tbsp butter
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/8 cup whipping cream
Ganache
1 cup whipping cream
8 oz dark chocolate chips (or semi-sweet)

1 tbsp sea salt flakes

Directions :
  1. Mix the cookie crumbs with the melted butter and press onto the bottom and sides of a 9" tart pan. Chill in freezer.
  2. Using a handheld mixer, whip the whipping cream till soft peaks form, set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, whip together the mascarpone, sugar and vanilla until incorporated. Add the whipped cream to the mixture and blend untill smooth. Pour over the chilled crust. Place back in freezer for at least 1 hour.
  4.  Combine 4 tablespoons butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture begins to bubble. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Slowly whisk in 1/8 cup heavy whipping cream until smooth. Cool caramel about 15 minutes.
  5. While caramel is cooling make the ganache. Place chocolate chips in a glass bowl.  In a saucepan, bring 1 cup heavy whipping cream to a simmer over medium-high heat. Pour over chocolate chips and whisk until smooth. Let cool to touch and pour over frozen tart.  Let it set for a few minutes, but don't let it harden too much.  Drizzle caramel over the ganache and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until ready to serve.
  6. Before serving sprinkle with sea salt.
 

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Personalized Photo Album

I did a lot of online shopping when I was on maternity leave.  Probably way too much, but I had to do something to keep myself occupied during all of the nursing sessions.

One of my favorite online shops is Pick Your Plum.  It's a daily deals site that has a lot of craft and baking supplies.  They have other items also, but these are may favorites.

I ordered a personalized wooden book cover with The Bugs name on it.  I didn't know what I was going to use it for, but I couldn't pass up the great deal.


They've been sitting on my desk for months and I was trying to figure out what to do with it. After his birthday I had his monthly pictures that I had printed as part of the decorations.  I thought it would be great to use the book covers as a photo album, but I wasn't sure how to make it work and look nice.  I found this blog entry from someone else that had the book covers.  She made some cute books for her nieces and nephews.  I liked how hers looked and it got my mind thinking of how I could make my pages.  I spent one evening working on them and love the way they turned out.



I got a pack of plain paper and a coordinating pack of decorative paper from Michael's. I kept it simple.  The plain paper is the background and I cut strips of the decorative paper as borders to the pictures. To hold it all together, I used binder rings. 

I'll probably add something to the front, but for now I love how it turned out.  I've looked through it so many times already.  It's crazy to watch him grow as I turn the pages. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Easter Cake: Carrot Cake Cheese Cake

Two of my favorite desserts are carrot cake and cheese cake.  When I came across this recipe from Wicked Good Kitchen on Pinterest I knew that I had to make it.  I thought that it would be perfect for Easter.
 Of course I had to find a festive way to decorate.  I wanted something "springy"  I came across this idea from Glorious Treats.  I decided to just do the top with the flowers.  I think I did a few too many.  If I do this again, I would put less flowers on it. 



It was delicious. Not all of my family are huge dessert eaters, but everyone tried this and loved it.  I thought that it would take a long time to bake all three layers, but it didn't take much longer than any other cake with a filling.  I will definitely make this again.