I have a kitchen helper. Maybe you do too. My kitchen helper is my 18-month-old son Matthew. For about the last 4 months now, he’s been interested in what I’m doing in the kitchen, but can’t actually see what I’m doing–which is apparently very frustrating for toddlers. You know, to know that someone is doing something fun, but they aren’t a part of it.
So I decided to do what any logical, baker-crazy mom would do. I pull up a chair and have him stand next to me, watching what I’m doing. (I usually give him a measuring cup and a spoon, and he’s very content banging the counter, swirling the spoon in the cup, talking outloud.)
This past week, he’s helped me make a cake, sandwich cookies, and now bars. He’s getting to be a pro, and pretty soon, he’ll pass me up. His new thing is looking at what’s baking in the oven. And he usually cleans the outside of the door, which is super helpful. I mean, tongues aren’t just for talking. Continue reading
Happy New Year to you! I hope 2012 has treated you well so far. One tradition that I love to do January 1st is to make New Year Resolutions. In years past, I would make 10 or so resolutions, but I’ve become wise in my old age, and decided that 5 was plenty. (Especially since I could never accomplish them all and felt like a failure.) Since I’ve been married, one resolution that was always on the list was to love my husband more, but since it become a “tradition” to put that on the list, I subsequently dropped it. I am going to share my resolutions with you because they (experts, maybe?) say if you tell people, then you have a good chance of accomplishing them. So, here are my 5 resolutions for 2012:
1. Not be afraid to try new things, like make a cake and decorate it with fondant.
2. Train for a 10k and be okay if I walk some of it.
3. Eat more vegetables, but not necessarily less sweets.
4. Get better at decorating sugar cookies.
5. Continue to grow as a writer, baker, and photographer. I am inspired by you every day! (Thanks for reading, commenting, and trying my recipes.)
I think they are completely doable.
In regards to resolution #3, I wanted to share with you this amazing fudgy brownie recipe. It’s one of those I-forgot-I-had-this-recipe recipe. The only reason I remembered this delicious treat was because I was at the grocery store a few weeks ago and saw a bag of chocolate chips that contained dark chocolate and mint–together. My world changed in that moment. Continue reading
Peppermint is one of my all-time favorite flavors. In fact, when I go to Starbucks, 9 times out of 10, I order a peppermint mocha (except now, when they charge me more for it because it’s considered a “holiday” drink). And peppermint, when paired with chocolate, is one of the most heavenly desserts I have ever had. So when I thought of creating a dessert for a holiday party a few days ago, this was the first thing that came to mind.
If you love chocolate, or mint, or both, these are the cupcakes for you. The mint adds a subtle contrast to the chocolate cake, and when you take a bite, you get a nice, even flavor of both cake and frosting. (It was really difficult for me to eat just one. I have such a hard time with self-control!) However, if you’re like me and you eat cake because you love frosting, then pile the buttercream on, and get a little bit of cake with your frosting! Continue reading
I like to think I’m Irish. I look enough like one, (red hair, fair skin, and freckles), that I don’t think anyone would question me if I said my ancestors were from Ireland. I even participated in the Shamrock Run last weekend (although it wasn’t to support the Irish). It’s the only time of the year that my red hair and pale-ness is truly appreciated. So in honor of my possible, maybe probable, roots, I made something green and something chocolate–Mint Oreo Truffles. Green in honor of St. Patrick’s Day and chocolate because I love chocolate. Plus today was such a windy, stormy, and rainy day, I needed something to cheer me up. (I shoot in natural morning light, but since it was hardly light out with this storm, some of the pictures appear a bit dark.)
It’s a super easy recipe to make. The hardest part is not to eat all the Oreos before you make the truffles. (I am proud of Eric and myself–we only ate two total!) And it’s not really truffles, so don’t let the title scare you. The only things that these treats and truffles have in common are that they are circular, made with chocolate, and have a soft center.
Alrighty, here we go. You need the following ingredients:
In a food processor or blender, crush the Oreos. It’s best to use about 6 at a time. If you put too many in, you’ll end up with chunks. You want it fine.
Let it whirl in the food processor for a minute or so. Continue reading