August 8, 2017

Lemon Pie


I love a good sweet treat and my go to sweet treat for weeknights are dark chocolate covered almonds or I bake chocolate chip cookies once in awhile.

With the warm sunny days I have been craving fruit and something fresh and light. When I saw this Lemon Pie recipe from Joanna Gaines from HGTV's Fixer Uppers I knew it was exactly what I needed. I altered it just a bit due to what I had, for example, I didn't make the crust nor did I make or have any whipped cream and it made no difference. This pie was delicious, easy to make, and I will definitely be making this lemon pie a few more times before the end of summer.


Pie Filling Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups Eagle Brand “sweetened condensed” Milk ( I used about 1 can and half and it didn't change the recipe at all)
  • 3 egg yolks 
  • ⅔ cup lemon juice 
  • 1 dash salt 
  • 1 lemon (I added this so that you could cut thin slices for decoration)


To Make Pie Filling: Mix Eagle Brand Milk, egg yolks, lemon juice and salt in a bowl. Mix well with mixer or whisk.

Pour into pie crust and bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Place pie in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or more.




Crust Ingredients ( I didn't make a crust, I had a store-bought graham cracker crust)

  • 1 ½ cups crushed graham crackers 
  • 6 tbs butter ⅓ cup sugar 


To Make Crust: Combine crushed graham cracker, softened butter, and sugar. Mix well and press into greased (I use Baker’s Joy non-stick spray) pie dish. Bake for 8 minutes at 350.

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Whipped Cream Ingredients (I also didn't make the whipped cream or have whipped cream, and it tasted marvelous anyway)

  • 1 small carton of heavy whipping cream 
  • 2 tbsp sugar 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 


To Make Whipped Cream: Mix whipped cream, sugar, and vanilla. Whip until fluffy, and add to cooled lemon pie.



This was a fresh, light and sweet pie, and the graham cracker crust added the perfect crunch to the light airy pudding like texture of the lemon pie. 

I hope you enjoy making it and eating it on a beautiful sunny day.

March 15, 2017

Saint Patrick's Day Treats


I listed a few of my favorite easy Saint Patrick's Day treats to make the day before or day of Saint Patrick's Day. You are going to love how simple and easy these are to do.

1.  I love a good peanut butter and sandwich. I usually eat one before I work out and sneak in some slices of bananas in it too. I simply toast the bread and use a shamrock shaped cookie cutter to cut one toast and then I fill the shamrock cut out with jam. I used a peach jam so it looked like a gold shamrock.

Here is the full step by step: http://peachycheek.blogspot.com/2015/03/saint-patricks-day-peanut-butter-and.html



2. Leprechaun hats made with chocolate covered marshmallows and Keebler's fudge stripe cookies.
Recipe and Photo from: http://blog.hwtm.com/2012/03/diy-tutorial-leprechaun-hat-smores/

Tip: To make this easier,  I recommend dipping the marshmallows in chocolate (or buying chocolate rolos) putting them over a chocolate cookie and simply adding a mini cut out green shamrock.



3. These are easy peanut butter shamrock cookies using the same shamrock cookie cutter. I also use it to make chocolate chip shaped shamrock cookies.

Here is the recipe: http://peachycheek.blogspot.com/2014/03/shamrock-peanut-butter-cookies.html



4. Rainbow Veggies. This is such a cute and quick idea. All you need is a slice of green, yellow, orange, red pepper and cauliflower put it over a mini bowl of salsa, guacamole or my favorite hummus (recipe and photo via parents.com)


I hope these little fun treats bring a smile on your face.

March 1, 2017

Saint Patrick's Day Oreo Treats - You're the Gold at the End of my Rainbow


Top of the morning to you! For Saint Patrick's Day I made these Milk Chocolate Covered Oreos and wrapped them in gold and rainbow colors. They are available in packs of 9, 6, or 4 and each one comes wrapped in a matching bow with a rainbow note to give to your loved one that says "You're the Pot of Gold at the end of my Rainbow".


They all are milk chocolate covered oreos, but you can request dark or white chocolate too.

Shop ChocolateFinch below. Happy Saint Patrick's Day. I wish you a day filled of joy and luck.






February 15, 2017

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread


Do you have bananas that look way past due? Heavy dark brown and black stains?

Back away from the trashcan, do not throw them away, and make this easy chocolate chip banana bread today!

Ingredients
1/4 cup vegetable oil (or substitute with olive oil)
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar (or 1 cup of sugar)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 bananas, mashed
1 cup chocolate chips (I used mini chocolate morsels)
1/2 cup of walnuts (optional)


Directions
Pre-heat the oven to 350°F .

Grease a 8 1/2-inch x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.

Mix in the oil, bananas and eggs.

Stir in the chocolate chips and pour into the greased loaf pan.

Bake for about 50-60 minutes, until golden brown, or a butter knife  inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the loaf in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out and cool completely, right side up.


February 1, 2017

Valentine's Gift Guide and Sharing the Love



Ah. Valentine's Day. To some it's a special and lovely day to celebrate love with their significant others or friends. And to some it might not mean as much.

Well if you are wondering about me, I think it's a sweet day. Valentine's is not a day that is meant to be negative. It's a positive day. I have been lucky and grateful that I found a partner many years ago. He and I respect and love each other very much. He is a true partner. One who cares, listens, is kind, caring, loving, respectful, and funny.

We don't traditionally go out on Valentine's Day, but we do make it a point to do a little something special. Usually it involves takeout from our favorite place and that usually involves spaghetti and meatballs and garlic bread (my favorite meal). And I make it a point to send my loved ones near and far a little something to remind them that I am thinking of them and that I love them. I like making a little box and sending them little treats and something I think they will enjoy.

So I made a little list of some ideas for Valentine's Day that you could give or send to a sweet loved one or even yourself. I also think it's important to treat yourself once in awhile. It always feels good to do something special for someone else, but it is equally important to do something for you too.

Plan something for tomorrow's you.  For example, it might not be a secret, but I love breakfast. I could eat pancakes for lunch and dinner too. Sometimes I will make some chocolate chip and blueberry pancake batter on Sunday night, so on Monday morning I can quickly make pancakes before heading to work. Sunday night Kim was planning and doing something nice for Monday morning Kim. It's all about sharing the love with one another and ourselves. When we treat ourselves right, we have room to share that with others.

Black Feather Jewelry. Choker necklaces are in trend right now and my red stone chokers are a perfect gift and so are our heart and pyrite "flame" earrings. We also have amethyst pieces which are February's birthstone.

Oreos Covered in Chocolate
. These make perfect gift to give to most on your list. Everyone I know loves a sweet treat. I know I certainly do. Chocolates on Valentine's Day is a sweet tradition, and these chocolate covered oreos I make come in Valentine colors and hearts. They arrive before or on Valentine's Day and are ready to be gifted with a box and bow wrapped around each. They come in 6, 9, or 18 packs. Make sure to get the order in before Feb 8 for before Valentine's Day delivery.

Black Letter Board. These vintage inspired board are the latest trend. They are cute to leave special messages, motivational quotes, and more. I recommend writing a sweet message to a loved one with a special gift. I like to use mine to post the day's menu (dinner and dessert).

Burberry Heart Rain boots. These Burberry rain boots are not only very cute with the heart motif on top of their traditional plaid, but they are also very comfortable, however, the calf width varies and is snug.

Thymes Goldleaf Gardenia candle.  This scent has notes of jasmine, rose, amber, opulent patchouli, and praline. Thymes has my absolute favorite candle right now which is Thymes' Frasier Fir. I don't have a real Christmas tree, so I lit this candle up and it smells like a beautiful pine fresh forest. The Gardenia candle is a beautiful sweet and refreshing candle to light as we head into spring.

Love Pillow. This "Love" pillow from Pottery Barn is a sweet addition to your Valentine decor. It is hook and loop embroidered. And if you don't have Valentine's decor well consider this piece to start.

Rifle Paper Co Greeting Card. Make your own or buy a sweet card like this pretty "You're the Bees Knees" from Rifle Paper Co. I also think making your very own is very thoughtful. Whether you buy one or make one, make sure you share how you feel to your loved on. Expressing your love and feelings are important in all types of relationships/

William Sonoma Love is Love Mugs. This is my favorite thing on this list, the Love is Love mugs sold out on PotteryBarn and William Sonoma has them still available. You receive a pair of two mugs, and a portion of the proceeds support the LGBT community. I think mugs make a great gift and you can fill them with little chocolates.


January 17, 2017

Chocolate Layer Cake



I love chocolate and one thing I have not been able to perfect is a Chocolate layer cake, but I found the best recipe for a chocolate layer cake and this was exactly what I was looking for. The only note I will make is next time I will put a lot more frosting in between both layers and I am going to add mini chocolate chips to the batter. Other than that, it was perfect.

Ingredients

1 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups sugar
14 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, 4 ounces coarsely chopped and 10.5 ounces finely chopped
15 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-size pieces and chilled
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 eggs
4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups heavy cream


Directions:


Position a rack in the lower third (one down from the center) of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Grease two 8-inch round cake pans. Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper, then grease the parchment.


In a saucepan, dissolve 2 cups sugar in 2 cups water over medium-high heat. 


Remove from the heat, add the coarsely chopped chocolate and 6 tablespoons butter and whisk until smooth. 

Whisk in the cocoa powder. Beat in the eggs, then stir in 2 teaspoons vanilla. 


In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Add the flour mixture, whisking until incorporated.


Divide the batter between the prepared pans and bake until the cakes are springy to the touch and have pulled away from the sides of the pans, about 30 minutes.


Transfer to racks and let cool for 10 minutes. Remove from the pans and place on the racks. Let cool completely.


Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the finely chopped chocolate and the remaining 9 tablespoons butter, 2 teaspoons vanilla and 1/8 teaspoon salt. 


In a medium saucepan, bring the cream and remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar to a boil. Pour the cream mixture over the chocolate and let stand for 2 minutes, then stir the mixture until smooth. Refrigerate, stirring occasionally, until thickened to a spreadable consistency, about 1 hour 15 minutes.


Remove the parchment from 1 of the cake layers and place the layer on the cake stand. Place about 1 cup of the chocolate frosting in the center of the layer and spread.

Remove the parchment from the second cake layer and place the layer on top of the first and spread the rest of the frosting on the top and sides.

I didn't plan anything special for the top, and really just wanted to cut right in and enjoy it, so I just added two hearts I made and called it a day. But this cake is perfect without any decorations or you can add whatever you would like on top it's a perfect canvas.


This chocolate layer cake is meant for a yummy birthday cake, but I made it for fun. I think it would also make a beautiful Valentine's Day cake too.

I hope you enjoy making this as much as I did. Enjoy!!