Believe it or not, I have ANOTHER kid…who I’ve never blogged about. 😀 Until now! I’m still in the process of digging up his first birthday pics but in the meantime we’re just gonna skip ahead to his SECOND birthday.
We did an alphabet theme for this one because the child knew his alphabet forwards and backwards way before he turned two. And boy themes are TOUGH…farm animals, cars, jungle, cartoon/tv shows…ugh. Not my style so much but the alphabet theme turned out cute! Here are a few pics from our fun day…
It was a fun party with beautiful weather and awesome friends! And a certain two year old ate WAY too many chocolate letters off of the chocolate chip cookie bars while mom wasn’t looking but hey, it was his birthday and c’mon chocolate is just GOOD. 😉 We love you E!
It’s summertime and we’ve been eating lots of ice cream around here! The other day I was craving the Jamoca Almond Fudge ice cream from Baskin Robbins which I haven’t had for YEARS and decided to recreate the coffee and chocolate ice cream concoction. So I whipped up a coffee ice cream and topped it with a hot fudge sauce and some roasted almonds…all dairy and refined sugar FREE, of course.
The coffee ice cream turned out fabulous and I may share that recipe another day but for now I wanted to share this awesome Dark Chocolate Fudge Sauce! The recipe I adapted it from called it a hot fudge sauce but when I warmed it up I got it a little TOO hot and it got too thin for my liking so I did away with the “hot” part and just left it at fudge! If you warm it up just a bit, it maintains a nice, thick, creamy texture and it really is perfect on ice cream or fruit!
Free of all the nasty chemicals, refined sugar, processed oil and whatever else goes into the store-bought kind and this one is spoon-licking good! And yes, it’s totally ok to just eat it straight from the jar. 🙂
I can’t believe I’m already writing a Fourth of July blog post! This last couple of months have flown with my daughter turning two and having a baby…suffice it to say I’ve baked nothin’ in the last few weeks and don’t have any super-fabulous, totally-original July 4th recipe to share with you BUT I do have some past inspiration from my blog and others that are patriotic AND delicious! So here are 10 gorgeous red, white and blue desserts that you can feel proud serving this Fourth of July holiday! Enjoy!
Hey friends! Man, I feel like I’ve barely recovered from all the Christmas baking and New Year’s Eve is staring me right in the face! Ack! I’m not gonna lie, at this point I’m not sure what I’m going to bake, if anything, and quite truthfully these no-bake dessert dips are looking pretty good to me right now. Very short list of ingredients, no oven involved and just darn tasty. So this is the direction I think I’m gonna go…because I actually want to enjoy my New Year’s and not drive myself crazy the next couple of days baking non-stop in the kitchen. Just keepin’ it real people!
So what are your New Year’s baking plans? Or do you have any?? I’d love to know!
P.S. Check out last year’s New Year’s Eve dessert inspiration here!
As stated in previous posts, I am loving all the fruit this summer. I can’t say it enough. I don’t know if I just forgot how good berries and cherries and melons were or if it’s the fact that we are consciously trying to eat more fresh fruit, but everything is just sooooo good this year. And as usual when the cherries show up in the store, I find myself standing in front of them, debating wether or not to spend the money and get some. Like, every. time. I will seriously stand, debate, put some in my cart, put them back, stand there some more, see if I can cut something else from my grocery list then resign myself to the fact that they are a little too pricey and slowly walk away. How sad is that?!? So when I found some gorgeous cherries at Braum’s (of all places!) on sale for a ridiculous price, I snatched them up.
Of course I initially wanted to eat all of them right away. But then I saw this recipe for fruit leather from Baked by Rachel and that was it–I KNEW what I was doing with those cherries. I was nervous since I’ve wanted to make fruit leather, gummies, etc before but have always been scared of leaving my oven on for 15 hours and not having it turn out and some people said it worked, some said it didn’t so I just never tried but this time I was going for it! Of course, I STILL put the leather in my oven a little too late in the evening for the five hours baking required and ended up waiting until 12:30 at night to pull it out of the oven. Yes, I’m 31 and that’s late for me. Anyway…
I pulled it out and knew immediately it wasn’t coming off the parchment paper. Ok, not to panic. Haha, yeah right, I totally panicked. And then I went to bed. That’s right, I went to bed and FORGOT about the fruit leather sitting on top of my stove. And you know what? It worked! Apparently setting the pans out in the open air overnight for about eight hours was the right thing to do because the next day I was able to slice and VERY GENTLY peel them off the parchment paper! Sweet! And wow, are these things amazing!!! Jeremy loves them, I love them and my niece and nephew love them (and the kid test is the true test if you ask me). I totally plan on making them again but trying a different fruit and subbing sucanat for the sugar so they are a little more healthy.
⅓ c. plus 2 T. Sugar in the Raw (or granulated sugar which is what the original recipe calls for)
Preheat oven to 170 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large saucepan, combine cherries and water and bring to a boil over high heat, cooking and stirring until all the cherries are soft and have broken down a bit. It will take about 8-10 minutes.
Transfer to a blender and blend until completely smooth (mine had the tiniest pieces of cherry left in it and I actually loved it). Return to saucepan, add sugar and cook over medium-low heat until thickened, about 10 minutes.
Divide mixture evenly between the two baking sheets. Use an offset spatula or the back of a large wooden spoon to spread the mixture as evenly and thin as possible without the white of the parchment paper coming though. Spots that are not thin enough, may not cook/dry completely (I had one small spot like that but it wasn't a big deal).
Bake in the oven, rotating pans every hour for 5 hours or until just slightly tacky. Remove from oven and let air dry on the baking sheets for at least 8 hours.
With the parchment paper, lift and move the fruit leather sheets onto a cutting board. Using a pizza slicer (or extremely sharp knife), cut the sheets into 6 strips each (for a total of 12 strips). Starting at the edge of one sheet, gently peel the leather away from the parchment and roll up. Wrap a piece of parchment around each roll-up and secure with string or tape. Store in an air-tight container.
I can’t seem to get enough of the amazing fresh fruit from our farmer’s market this summer. I find myself buying more than I can possibly eat before it goes bad, but I try! Peaches, blackberries, raspberries, cherries, watermelon…there’s just so much summertime goodness right now. And I couldn’t let the whole summer go by without making a cobbler! This recipe was super easy to throw together. I had it in the oven in 30 minutes and it only took another 30 to bake up.
I did make a couple of changes. I wanted some oats in my streusel so I cut back on the amount of pecans and also used less blackberries because the ones that I got were so amazingly sweet, I couldn’t bare to use them all in the cobbler. They were way to good just eaten fresh. But I still liked having a few scattered throughout the cobbler. It was perfect, in my opinion and totally hit the spot, warm and gooey out of the oven with a scoop of cold vanilla ice cream.
5 c. Fresh Peaches, sliced (about 5 large peaches)
½ c. Granulated Sugar
3 T. All-Purpose Flour
¼ t. Nutmeg
1 c. Fresh Blackberries
Lightly grease a 9x9 pan. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
For the Streusel
Stir together the brown sugar, butter and salt in a medium bowl. Add flour, pecans and oats until blended. Set aside.
In a large saucepan, stir together peaches, flour, sugar and nutmeg over medium heat. Stirring occasionally, leave over medium heat until juices have thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and gently stir in blackberries. spoon mixture into pan. Crumble streusel mixture over hot peach mixture.
Bake for 30 minutes, until bubbly and golden brown.