November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving Dessert Table

 I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving!  I don't know about you, but I basically just cooked and ate the WHOLE time!  It. Was. Fabulous!!  I have to say that my favorite part of the day is always the dessert.  I mean...HELLO!!  Thats kinda my thing:)  This Thanksgiving I wanted to do a little dessert table and this is what I did...Enjoy the pictures!
 We had Cream Cheese and Butterscotch Pumpkin Pies from Picky Palate...they were to die for!  Also, tons of Oreo Truffles.

 We had Pumpkin Blondies and Pumpkin Whoopie are all on my blog:)  Pumpkin Pies...of course:)

 Pumpkin Gingerbread good!!  Recipe is below.

Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle or Shots
Recipe from: Paula Deen

2 (14 oz) pkg gingerbread mix (only 1 if doing the shots)
1 (5.1 oz.) box cook-and-serve vanilla pudding mix
1 (30 oz.) can pumpkin pie filling
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/3 tsp. cardamom or cinnamon
1 (12 oz.) Cool Whip
1/2 c. gingersnaps

Bake the gingerbread according to the package directions; cool completely.  Meanwhile, prepare the pudding and set aside to cool.  Stir the pumpkin pie filling, sugar, and cinnamon into the pudding.  Crumble 1 batch of gingerbread into the bottom of a large, pretty bowl.  Pour 1/2 of the pudding mixture over the gingerbread, then add a layer of whipped topping.  Repeat with the remaining gingerbread, pudding and whipped topping.  Sprinkle on the top with crushed gingersnaps, if desired.  Refrigerate overnight.  Trifle can be layered in shot glasses.  (I got mine at a Restaurant Supply Store)

November 22, 2010

Sesame Street Cupcakes

 I was sooo excited to show you these fun little cupcakes!  My husband needed them for  They always choose a funny character for one of their co-workers and this year was Sesame Street!  I had fun making these little guys!
 For the eyes I used the Mint Mentos, mini chocolate chips and some "glue" (which is powdered sugar and milk).  I cut the tips of the mini chocolate chips off and then glued them on the Mentos...thats it!  Eyes complete!
 For the mouth, I used Oreos.  Use a bread knife to carefully cut the Oreo...First take out the creme:)  For Cookie Monster I cut them right in half.  Elmo...cut right above the "oreo", use the big half for Elmo and the small half for Oscar.
For Elmo's nose I used an Orange Lemonhead.

Supplies you need:

Favorite Cupcake recipe
Frosting in 5 colors: red, blue, green, dark brown, light brown
mini chocolate chips
Orange Lemonheads

Source: Etsy...Typewink

November 12, 2010

A Tip For You:)

I don't know about you, but this week has been CRAZY busy for us!  We have had lots of running around and lots of running after my 17 month old baby.  He is such a mess!  He is in that stage where he is getting into EVERYTHING and climbing on EVERYTHING and playing in the toilet and the toilet paper.  He also somehow manages to find markers and draw all over the walls and floor.  Soon I will look back on this and laugh:)  Right???  

Another reason its been so crazy is that a friend of mine introduced me to a little tip, and I have been going CRAZY and cleaning everything in sight!!  It is so fabulous, I wanted to share it with you!!

This little mixture will clean everything and make baseboards, doors, bath tubs, floors, etc clean and bright!  Its amazing!  I have been doing a bucket a day!  Its so fun... weird, right?  But you know...flu season is coming up and you might as well get rid of germs somehow!!
So here is the magic recipe:

1 Bucket
Hot Water
3 capfuls of bleach, I like the lavender smelling one:)
1 squirt of dish soap

Fill your bucket with HOT water, add the bleach and dish soap.  Clean till your hearts content!

Anyone else have any fabulous tips?  I would love to hear about them, as I'm sure many others would too!

November 8, 2010

Chocolate Pie

Yes...this is as good as it looks, and IS NOT fattening;)  So you can eat slice after slice.  Shoot, you can eat the whole pie!  I will for sure be making this for Thanksgiving...its a nice change from all the pumpkin and apple stuff.  It is incredibly rich...but you still will have a hard time not eating more!!

I was bad and used a store bought crust.  Next time I think I will make a graham cracker crust (I will give the recipe).  The chocolate was good...but a little rich.  Either way will be delicious though!  Hope you enjoy!

Chocolate Pie

Graham Cracker Crust: (Betty Crocker)
 1 1/2 c. (about 20 squares) graham crackers, finely crushed
1/3 c. stick butter, melted
3 TBS sugar

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix crumbs, margarine and sugar.  Press mixture firmly against bottom and side of pie plate.  Bake about 10 minutes or until light brown; cool.

Chocolate Pudding: (Martha Stewart)
2/3 c. sugar
1/4 c. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/2 c. milk
4 large egg yolks
2 TBS unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 tsp. vanilla

Place a fine-mesh sieve over a medium bowl; set aside.  In a medium saucepan, off heat, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, salt and cocoa powder.  Very gradually (a few TBS at a time) whisk in milk, taking care to dissolve cornstarch.  Whisk in egg yolks.

Whisking constantly, cook over medium heat until the first large bubble forms and sputters.  Reduce heat to low; still whisking, cook 1 minute.  Remove from heat; immediately pour through sieve into bowl.  Stir butter and vanilla into hot pudding.

Place plastic wrap directly on surface of pudding (to prevent skin from forming); chill at least 3 hours and up to 3 days.  Before serving, whisk pudding until smooth; pour onto pie crust.

Whipped Cream:
1 c. heavy cream
1/4 c. sugar (may use less if you don't want as sweet)
1 tsp. vanilla

Pour cream into bowl and start to beat until it starts to get thick.  Gradually add sugar and vanilla.  Whip until it is right consistency.

November 4, 2010

Hot Chocolate

 I may be thinking why am I putting Christmas up ALREADY!  Well my friends, it IS time to start thinking about gifts.  And I got a good neighbor gift for you!  The best part???  This stuff lasts up to 3 months so you can make it now!  Isn't that FABULOUS?  I thought so!!
 As I am typing this up I am sipping on a nice HOT cup of this stuff.  It is so good!  It is also so easy to make!  I was in the kitchen for a matter of minutes and was able to whip it up in no time at all!  I haven't tested it too much, but if you would like, I'm sure you could substitute some Andes Mint Chips  or Chocolate Chips instead of the white...I think I must try the Andes sometime.  Who doesn't love a little mint in their cup?

Also, you must add some HOMEMADE whipped cream to this stuff!  It is DELISH!  I don't know why, but the real stuff is so much better...well, I do know why...its homemade:)

Hot Cocoa Mix
Source: Just Get Off Your Butt and Bake!!  (Love that blog name;)

Makes about 20 servings
3 c. nonfat dry milk
2 c. powdered sugar
1 1/2 c. Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 1/2 c. white chocolate chips
1/4 tsp. salt

Combine ingredients in large bowl.  Working in two batches, pulse ingredients in food processor until chocolate is finely ground.  Store in airtight container for up to 3 months.  To make hot cocoa, stir 1/3 c. of this mix into 1 c. of hot milk.  Top with whipped cream and some Andes mints.

Homemade Whipped Cream

1 c. Heavy Cream
3-5 TBS sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Start whipping the heavy cream, when it starts to thicken up a bit, gradually start adding the sugar 1 TBS at a time.  Sometimes I add way more sugar, depending on my mood and how sweet my dessert is.  Then add vanilla.  Beat until "whipped cream" consistency.  If you over beat, it may turn into butter:)

November 2, 2010

Pumpkin Blondies

I really hope your not sick of pumpkin recipes yet!!  I HAD to share this last (maybe not last....) recipe with you since it is by FAR my favorite one yet!  My cousin has had this recipe forever and thought it looked good, but hadn't tried it...let me tell you...I will be making these a hundred times before the season is up!  I was expecting a more cookie texture, but it is more cake-like.

You may be tempted to add chocolate chips instead of the white, DON"T DO IT!  I promise, they are perfect as is!  Also, if you are like me, you tend to add more spices then what the recipe says, its not necessary for these.  They are perfectly seasoned!  These are a must for Turkey Day!  Enjoy!

Pumpkin Blondies
Source:  adapted from Martha Stewart

2 c. flour
1 TBS pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
2 sticks butter
1/2 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. sugar
1 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. pumpkin puree
1 c. white chocolate chips
1 c. butterscotch chips
1/2 c. chopped, toasted nuts (opt.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 9x13-inch baking dish with foil.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt.  Stir together and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugars on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Beat in the egg and vanilla until well combined.  Mix in the pumpkin puree.  With the mixer on low speed add the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated.  Fold in the white chocolate and butterscotch chips (and nuts, if using) with a rubber spatula.

Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.  Bake until the edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs, about 35-40 minutes.  Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely before cutting.

To serve, lift the cake from the pan using the foil and transfer to a cutting board.  Peel off the foil and using a sharp knife, cut into 24 squares.