Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Fruity Pebbles Macaron Ice Cream Sandwiches

My favorite cereal: Fruity Pebbles. It is the cereal that peeks out at me when I walk down the cereal aisle. I quickly push my cart past the Flinstone's, trying not to make eye contact on my way to the Shredded Wheat I know I should be buying. Sometimes, I give in and buy a box. Last week was one of those times.

 

I decided to turn my favorite cereal into a macaron. Instead of buttercream or ganache, I filled them with strawberry ice cream. They are pretty much portable bites of cereal and milk. Kept in the freezer, these are ideal for snacking on in the middle of the night when you are too hot and uncomfortable to sleep. Just me?







I flavored my meringue with a bit of lime extract to enhance the fruity-ness of the pebbles. It worked. These cookies are a gem. Make them and eat them while standing in front of the freezer. It is the only way.

Fruity Pebbles Macaron Ice Cream Sandwiches
makes about 2 dozen

1 c powdered sugar
1/4 c almond (or cashew) meal
1/4 c Fruity Pebbles cereal, crushed into a fine powder + some whole "pebbles" for garnish
2 large egg whites
5 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon lime (or other citrus) extract
 softened strawberry ice cream, for filling
- - -
Follow the steps in this recipe making the following adjustments:
1. Add the citrus extract to the whites for your meringue and whip as normal
2. Sift the cereal into the powdered sugar and nut meal
3. After you have piped your macarons and they have rested for about 15 minutes (they will still be a little tacky) sprinkle half with a few whole Fruity Pebbles for garnish
4. Bake and fill the cookies according to the recipe, using softened strawberry ice cream in the place of buttercream or ganache (use a small cookie scoop to portion ice cream onto the bottom shells of your macarons before sandwiching)
5. Store the finished macarons in the freezer

Monday, May 18, 2015

links & such

I am enjoying a quiet morning and a small cup of blueberry coffee. I got hooked on the stuff when I lived in Vermont a few years ago... Green Mountain Blueberry, if you see it grab some! Today's agenda: finishing this coffee, hearing little Rose's heartbeat and a long walk. Oh and cookie dough. There will be some of that too. All in all, a nice little Monday.

This cake makes me want to make a funfetti cheesecake.

coney island cheesecake I howsweeteats.com

I know we will have a total newborn on our hands at this point, but I kinda sorta really want to buy tickets to this concert. Am I crazy?

Speaking of that newborn, I really need to practice using my wrap. I am watching these tutorials and let me just say these women make it look easy (I make it look like I am a confused mess, which is not far off.) Practice practice practice!











I think I will make a small batch of croissants.

 A small batch of homemade croissants. Steps are broken up into 3 days, so nothing is too complicated! @dessertfortwo                                                                                                    
Tater tots for breakfast! Let's!

tater totchos recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

I hope this means Paula is making a comeback, she is one of my favorites!




Friday, May 15, 2015

on freezer mealing & root beer pulled pork

I have been told that the first few weeks of life with a new baby are crazy and that having some quick meals prepped in advance is essential. So I took a day and stocked our freezer. It is not something I plan on doing all the time, I like the process of cooking at the end of a long day to unwind. But I am sure I will be glad I made them during those first few weeks of sleep deprived craziness. Here's the breakdown and a recipe for some damn fine pulled pork.

I made this chicken pot pie filling and bought frozen puff pastry. All you have to do it thaw, transfer to a pie dish, top with the pastry and bake.


I also made a lot of enchiladas following this recipe. I made a double batch of the filling and assembled two large pans (plus a small pan for our dinner that night.) All we have to do is top with sauce, cheese and bake.



I made a double batch of the pioneer woman's macaroni and cheese. It made four pans worth (one of which we ate right away because OH MY GOD MAC AND CHEESE.) If you haven't tried her recipe yet, do it. The secret is in the dry mustard.



I threw a pork shoulder into the slow cooker and let it work its magic (recipe at the end of the post.) This meat is good for sandwiches, nachos, tacos... or thrown on top some mac and cheese. Don't judge.



Finally, I bought a bunch of frozen stir fry vegetables and we portioned out thinly sliced steak for a "stir fry kit." Just add rice and egg rolls.

Oh and cookie dough . Lot's of pre-scooped cookie dough. This is me and the belly making basic chocolate chip dough.


So after one day, we have quite a few meals at the ready for when we need them. The most difficult part is not eating them right now... especially that mac and cheese.

Root Beer Pulled Pork (slow cooker)
from www.howsweeteats.com

1 (5 to 6 pound) pork shoulder
1/4 c loosely packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup root beer
- - -
1. Pat the pork shoulder completely dry with paper towels.
2. In a bowl, combine the brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, salt, pepper, chili and onion powders, stir well to mix
3. Take about half of the spice mixture and rub it on the outside of the pork
4. Heat a large skillet over high heat and add the oil
5. Add the pork to the hot skillet and sear on all sides, about 1 to 2 minutes per side, until golden brown
6. Transfer the port shoulder to your slow cooker and pour the root beer over the meat
7. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, until the pork is falling apart and shreds easily with a fork
8. Shred the pork (you can discard any bones at this time) and add in half of the remaining spice mixture
9. Serve as desired or cool completely before portioning and freezing in ziplock bags.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Links & Such

It has been a hot minute since I have done one of these posts! I am trying to make an effort to check in and write at least weekly, while at the same time stocking up on post ideas for after little baby Kaune arrives. Let's be real, I doubt I will be in the kitchen much after her arrival. I can't wait! But I also want her to stay put until the calendar flips to June so I can call her June bug...

Links!

Take this cereal test, it will tell you a lot about yourself.

 

I gotta make this.

Easy Thai Tea Recipe (Thai Iced Tea) from White On Rice Couple

I just discovered this workout video- finally a prenatal yoga video that is about an hour long and just challenging enough!

Project for my weekend: freezer meals for post baby chaos. In addition to "real" food I am also making cookie dough for inevitable cookie emergencies.


Gah I want this boozy milkshake!



This has been my second breakfast all week... I make my chia seed pudding with strawberries, bananas and cinnamon (picture and recipe on peanutbutterfingers.com).


Cherry Almond Chia Seed Pudding Recipe

Have a good start to your week!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Toffee Bars

I officially feel like a camel. Wait, are camels thirsty all the time? Or are they able to stay hydrated on little water in the desert? I don't know. All I know is that I cannot get enough to drink! As I write this I am currently drinking water and am slightly sad that I am so full that I can't drink more water... is that a thing? Lately I am all about beverages, as in I will choose them over actual food. My days are a steady stream of water, lemonade (pink preferably) and coconut water. Oh and a small cup or two of coffee. Old habits die hard.

It is a busy time around these parts as we prepare for baby Kaune's arrival (a month-ish away... gah!) I haven't been in my kitchen nearly as much as I would like. Well, I mean, I have been in the kitchen snacking but not making anything worth talking about. No cool or crazy cravings here, mostly just the liquids. All. Day. I did make some cookies worth discussing. The recipe is one of my go-to Christmas cookie recipes but I want to share them because they are (1) easy (2) damn good and (3) easy. Oh have I mentioned my brain has officially left the building? Pregnancy brain is real. I keep it together pretty well at work, but at home I lose my phone a few times a day, misplace my keys and forget if I turned off burners. I am a hot mess.

So these bar cookies... they are the opposite of a hot mess. They have it all together in three layers. The base is a lovely blondie-esque cookie.



Second layer: chocolate. You could splurge and go with fancy, artisanal chocolate. I prefer Hershey's, it's tradition. Whatever chocolate bar you choose gets broken up and placed on the warm cookie to melt.



The final layer is simply chopped walnuts.



This recipe is a classic. Want to change it up? Swap out the walnuts for pecans and drizzle with caramel before slicing. You could also use white chocolate instead of milk or dark chocolate and top it with chopped macadamia nuts. My next batch, however, is going to involve toasted marshmallows because s'mores = summer.

 

Toffee Bars
makes a 9x13 pan

1 c butter, soft
1 c brown sugar
2 c flour
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
4 chocolate bars
1/2 c chopped walnuts
- - -
Pre-heat oven to 350F; line a 9x13" baking pan with foil and mist with baking spray
1. Cream butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle
2. Add egg yolk and vanilla
3. Combine baking soda and flour and add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients
4. Transfer dough into prepared pan and press into an even layer
5. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes (cookie will look soft and just brown around the edges)
6. Remove from oven and immediately place chocolate bar pieces on top of hot cookie in an even layer
7. Spread chocolate evenly and top with walnuts
8. Cool completely before slicing!