This year I hit the gingerbread gold for our family!!! The house I got for me from Costco was already built and the frosting was made. Score! Then I found a kit that is made exclusively for Michaels with 4 little houses in it. They are small but perfect for the kids to each decorate and eat. It also came with premade frosting too! Oh, did I mention that mine came with a tree too?
(By the way, I am back!!! I will be posting some new great recipes on this, my much abandoned food blog;)
Ok, I feel a little guilty posting this as a recipe because it is so easy!!! I had it for the first time almost 15 years ago at my (now) best friend’s bridal shower. Since then it is a go to treat for all entertaining I do during the spring. And I always get at least 1 person who has never had it and wants to know how to make it, so here it is in all its simpleness;).
1 box of cream cheese (8 oz), you can use neufchatel instead of full fat cream cheese
1 jar of marshmallow creme (about 7 oz)
Strawberries to dip
Leave the cream cheese on the counter to let it soften and come close to room temperature. Either use a stand mixer (my fav) or a hand mixer and mix the two ingredients together. Put it in a nice bowl. That is it! You can store it in the refrigerator if you have any left over;). I tend to mix it up earlier in the day or even the day before but I do like it close to room temp!
Ok, donuts are a huge holiday tradition with us! We do donuts for Hanukkah and Christmas morning every year since NerdDad and I got married. I was afraid that going gluten free was going to be the death of such a beloved tradition. So I went in search of a gluten free recipe. The first one I tried was not good at all. These on the other hand were a big hit!!! I based it off of recipe I found over at Food.com but then made a few changes.
2 eggs , beaten
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
5 cups home made gluten-free rice flour mix
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
Powdered sugar for tossing (I think I used 1/2 cup)
Mix all the wet ingredients together and in a separate bowl mix the dry ingredients. Then fold them together (don’t use a mixer. Then let it sit for at least 15 minutes. I mixed them before dinner for Hanukkah and let them sit the whole time. Then heat up a pot of canola oil to medium heat.
I do a small test and when it immediately sizzles the oil should be ready. Then I use a small scoop (I think it is about a tablespoon of dough) and put a few scoops in the oil. Don’t over crowd the pot! It is about 3 minutes for each ball to cook. You may have to flip them to get them cooked evenly. I take the finished balls and place them on paper towels to drain while I put the next bunch in. Then put the drained donuts into your bowl of powdered sugar and roll (ok, really I do more of a bounce;).
I have a small Starbucks problem but I want to be a little healthier and a little frugaler. So I decided to start making my own blended drinks. I love the Rocket/single serving blender that I invested in. Considering that 1 blended drink ranges from $4-$5, it hasn’t taken long to make my money back.
I put in crushed ice, coffee (that was cold & leftover in the frig), left over creamer, a shot of chocolate sauce and blended. Then I topped it with low fat chocolate whipped cream. Delish! A cheap and easy way to replace my Starbucks frap!
So NerdDad and I recently went wheat free (not so much the kids) and I am still trying to emotionally deal with that;). When I started thinking about making holiday food I quickly realized that I didn’t really have much in the way of fab desserts. So I decided to resurrect the rice pudding. But the problem is that I knew that NerdDad wasn’t a big fan. He said it tends to be dry and not sweet. Well, I rectified those problems! I also made them smaller by cooking them in souffle ramekins.
NerdDad says they are very tasty and have almost a bread like consistency that may come from the Jasmine rice that I use. But I am sure you can use any kind of white rice.
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
3 1/2 cups milk
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
4 cups cooked Jasmine rice
Preheat your oven at 325 degrees. Butter your ramekins and the add sugar and cinnamon. Turn until it the cinnamon and sugar covers the butter and dump the excess. Beat with a whisk the eggs until slightly frothy. Then whisk in the sugar until smooth. Then add the cinnamon, vanilla and salt. Then whisk in the milk. Stir in the rest of the ingredients.
Then ladle everything into your ramekins and place them on a cookie sheet. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a knife placed 1/2 way toward the center comes out fairly clean. The same procedure if you bake it in one large baking dish.
So I was lucky to get all my great dairy for this recipe from Smart and Final! But why am I talking about that now? Well because of Smart & Final’s “Help Our Teachers, Help Our Kids” (#SmartFinalSupportsSoCalSchools)!
Students & families collect Real California milk seals from select First Street products, then teachers submit seals. Each seal counts as one sweepstakes entry. Teachers who submit 100 seals get 25 Scholastic books or $25 school supply gift card. Each teacher entrant gets one Scholastic book. The California Milk Advisory Board is going to announce winners in February.
(This project has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for#collectivebias #CBias. While they provided the subject all the words and thoughts are mine;)
For those of you who haven’t heard, NerdDad and I have given up wheat. But I am missing baked goods!!! So I am now searching out cookies and breads and the like!
Luckily my friend Megan at the Gluten-Free Project has gone before me. So this week I made her Gluten Free Oatmeal-Raisin Chip Cookies. They were so good!!! I found the batter a little thinner but they were still yummy! Check it out and let her know that I sent you;).
Aren’t these cute? The kids were delighted with this little treat and it was just assembly.
Take any round cookie as a base. Here I am using premade lemon sandwich cookies but homemade would work just as well. Then I took a can of premade white icing (though homemade would have worked) and split it. Some I tinted blue like the sky. And some I tinted yellow like bees. Then I iced the cookie in blue and placed a Twix in the middle. I put the yellow icing in a sandwich bag and cut a small whole in the corner. Then just add 3-5 strips on each Twix. Then cut the marshmallows in half and stick them on the sides of the Twix.
You know what comes next…”We all scream for ice cream!” Now that it is officially summer time our schedule has loosened up quite a bit. So I have time to do something special for the kids after dinner every now and then. This time I did sundaes!
First we headed out to Walmart to stock up on supplies! While I may have a little more time, I don’t want to spend it all shopping. So I love that I can combine all my stops into 1 place;).
First is the ice cream! I may be a bargain hunter but in this house we do not chintz on the ice cream! So we went with the Dreyer’s Slow Churned Thin Mint. I had no idea that there was a Girl Scout Thin Mint flavor!!! I know that I am in not alone in my love of the Thin Mint cookie so I was stoked to have it in ice cream.
Then the kids had fun picking out extras! It is funny how everyone has a different list of must haves. NerdDad wants waffle bowls and chocolate syrup. The kids are all about sprinkles, whipped cream and cherries. But you can always find something for everyone! And I love the fact that I can use all those ingredients not only in sundaes but in other desserts too! Have you had frosting flavored by cherry juice? Yum.
But this, like all food experiences, isn’t really about the food. This is about the experience together. The kids love feeling like grownups as they add a little of this and a little of that without anyone keeping track or caring. We remember sitting around and just relaxing with nothing more important than each other to focus on. These are the memories that our kids take away from the many years they live with us. These moments are more memorable that Tuesday night’s homework or the morning rush to get out of the house. These are the moments that we will all take with us!
(This shop/project has been compensated as part of a campaign for Nestlé. And while they may have provided the subject, I provided all the words and opinions.)