Tag Archives: Recipes

Sweet Treats

My longtime friends will know that when I was a kid I didn’t like sweets.  Weird I know…I mean I didn’t even want a birthday cake!  My mom got one anyways for everybody else, but I preferred the salty snacks.  As I have gotten older that has changed, in fact attending weddings I can’t wait to get a slice of cake with coffee.  And during my pregnancies, oh man oh man, I want sweets multiple times a day!!

As much as I love Pinterest, recently especially I have really gotten into it, I don’t really use it much for recipes.  Or if I do pin a recipe I am very skeptical.  The reason being, any blogger can make a photo of food look delicious, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to taste great.  I also have made some recipes that were not up to par.

My #1 go-to for food recipes is Allrecipes and if the recipe is rated by a large amount of people with 4 stars and up I have always have pretty great results.  I also like to go to reputable websites like The Kitchn, Bon Appetit, anything from Ina Garten (of course), Giada De Laurentiis, Ree Drummond, and last but not least these food bloggers ALWAYS have top notch recipes, Orangette, Dinner A Love Story (I recently made their coke braised carnitas) and Smitten Kitchen (I want to make her key lime pie, if I do will you come over and hang out with me?).

I have to confess, this was on my mind to post for sometime now and these are more Christmas treats, but just yesterday we made Valentine’s day sugar cookies and well, fudge, my husband can eat that anytime of the year.  We all know my motto, simple and easy and all these recipes are.

Fudge
adapted from Allrecipes

3 cups of semisweet chocolate chips
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup of butter

– Place all ingredients in microwave safe bowl and heat for 3-5 minutes in microwave
– stir mixture every minute and until chocolate chips are melted
– Pour in a greased 8 x 8 glass dish and put in refrigerator until set.  (highly suggest adding parchment paper to easily take out fudge)
– Store in fridge

Rolled Sugar Cookies 
adapted from Allrecipes
makes 5 dozen cookies

1 1/2 cups of butter
2 cups of white sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 cups of all purpose flour
2 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp of salt

–  Cream together butter and sugar until smooth, then beat in eggs and vanilla and lastly stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt
–  Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour, overnight is best
–  Preheat over to 400 d F
–  Roll out dough 1/4 inch thick and cut into shapes with desired cookie cutters
–  Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven, cool completely

This recipe is great because the cookie cutter shapes retain their shape.  Plus they taste great with or without frosting, they are not too sweet!

Saltine Toffee
adapted from Allrecipes

Saltine Crackers
1 cup of butter
1 cup of dark brown sugar
1 1/2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips

– Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
– Line 1 layer of saltine crackers onto a cookie sheet that has been lined with greased foil or parchment paper
– In a saucepan combine butter and brown sugar and bring to boil on medium high heat.  Make sure to have mixture boil for a 3 full minutes
– Pour mixture onto saltines and spread evenly
– Bake in oven 5-6 minutes.  I will warn you that you may panic when you look in the oven.  The saltines are floating and not nicely lined as you had originally placed them.  I thought I made a mistake b/c the mixture was under the crackers but that’s ok!!  Remove from oven and realign the saltines with a fork.
– Spread chocolate chips over mixture and let them sit for a couple minutes so they are softened and then spread evenly.
–  Let brittle harden in fridge and once completely cooled break into pieces
–  Store in fridge

These recipes I have made multiple times now and they are ALL awesome.  I love when people share their tasty recipes and why I can’t help but share good recipes when I come across them.  After this I am going to start working on meal planning, I want to be better at it this year, lately it’s been disastrous!!  Any tips?!

photo 2

if you come over and we have sugar cookies i promise we won’t use those sprinkles!!  nola claimed they were delicious btw

New Favorite Type of Book

I know that it’s been mentioned before how much I love food in previous posts, but in case you missed it and don’t know that side of me, food is pretty big deal.  And it’s more than just me loving to eat it’s an emotional fun thing for me.  I hope in a good way anyways…I also may have a slight addiction and though I’m still breastfeeding I’m going to hate it when I can no longer use that as my excuse to eating so much.

I had gestational diabetes when I was pregnant and though it required me to eat VERY healthy, I truly was an emotional wreck.  Sure it helped me not gain hardly any weight, but I would have traded all of that to eat some foods I loved so much.  It’s like food warms my heart.  Some may get this and others won’t, my husband for example eats mainly for survival which I still can’t wrap my head around.  The nice thing about this is he’s very open to what we have and if I’m craving something he’s usually game.

I’m the person that studies menus online before going to the restaurant because I’m so excited to see what they have and it gives me time to think about what I’m going to order.  When I wake up it doesn’t take me too long to think about what I’m having for every meal.  To go back to my gestational diabetes, I had an appointment with my dietician where I remember calling CJ and about to burst into tears about how I was so upset about things were going and that they wanted to put me on a Metformin.  The following day my water broke, so if that tells you how stressed I was.  Lets just hope I handle things better the second time around.

But it’s even more than me just liking food, I love that food can bring you back to time you had it with family or friends.  Or that a certain type of food brings back a special memory.  Eating mussels and sopping up the wine sauce with bread will always make me think of dates with my guy.  Sushi is something I was first introduced to by my dear friend and we have had countless times eating it together since.  My mom’s french toast is my favorite and I look forward to it every time I go home.  But most importantly food brings your favorite people together to catch up, talk and make memories while nourishing your body.

With all that being said, I have a new love for books that include personal stories about their lives and the story behind a recipe they are sharing.  A recipe is a recipe, but when it comes with a story the food sounds much more delicious to me and obviously it’s much more special.  One of my biggest hopes is to pass the love for food onto my kids and make memories making food together and of course the conversations we have around the table.  Here are a three books I have read in the past that involve the author’s personal story to the food and recipes they share.  These are my absolute favorite books to read recently and I highly recommend them!

bread

Bread and Wine spoke close to my heart because it talks about not only the love for food, but the spiritual and emotional connection food allows people to share when around the table.  I actually met Shauna at a book reading and she’s pretty awesome.

homemade life

Without sounding cliche, the book A Homemade Life is also sooo good!  Krystal actually recommended this to me and so glad she did!  The author Molly Wizenberg has a blog called Orangette which I love following.  Molly has such a cool and hilarious personality that shines through in her writing to the point where I would love to hunt her down and beg her to be my friend.  I also have made a lot of her recipes and it seems she only posts recipes that are exceptional.

pasta

This last book, The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken was the first book I read that involved a personal story with recipes and it was probably 7 years ago which is pretty amazing since I have a hard time remembering things a week ago.

I can’t say enough good things about these three books and hope you give them a try.  If you have any books you have read similar to this style please let me know because I’m dying to read more like it!