Red, White Chocolate, and Blue Pie in a Jar

I’ve been looking forward to today’s post forever.

Well, not exactly forever, since I’ve only known about it for a month.

Month…forever…same thing when you’re excited.

But it’s a blogger picnic, ya’ll! And with a giveaway attached–how can you beat that?

The gals over at the Crock-Pot Ladies put together this awesome blog hop–a great way for you to get lots of picnic ideas for your summer festivities (though raise your hand if you’re like me and wondering where in the heck this year has gone) all in one spot.

AND, you have an opportunity to win a $60 Amazon gift card (by-the-by, if you haven’t entered my giveway yet for The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook, make sure you get your entry in)!

Okay, so my contribution to the picnic are these little pie-in-a-jars.  I’ve sort of been obsessed with little pie jars, as you might have been able to tell with my cherry limeade pies, mint brownie grasshopper pies, and coconut caramel pies.  I can’t stop.  They are just too cute, no??  And instant portion control!  I made these in little 4-ounce jelly jars–so they are really the right amount for a single serving.  Especially if you’ve been hogging out on a bunch of other picnic food.

‘Cause really, what’s a picnic if not for hogging out.  It’s a celebration.  I eat.

These little pies come together easily–and are really fairly figure friendly if you use sugar-free pudding mix and fat-free Cool Whip.

There. I said it. I use Cool Whip and I am not ashamed.

Plus, they are layered with fruit, so they’re semi-healthy, too. Fruit in anything = instant health food. End of story.

And, just screw on the little lids, pop ‘em in your cooler, and you’re good to go!

Red, White Chocolate, and Blue Pie in a Jar

Red, White Chocolate, and Blue Pie in a Jar

Ingredients

  • approximately 8 graham cracker sheets
  • 3-4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • white chocolate chips (optional, about 1/4 cup)
  • raspberries and blueberries (approximately 1 cup each)
  • 1 package white-chocolate pudding mix (I used sugar free)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon mint extract (optional)
  • 2 cups Cool-Whip, thawed

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. In a food processor, blender, or by hand, crunch up your graham cracker sheets. Add in melted butter and sugar, stirring to combine. Press a tablespoon or two of the cracker mixture into the bottoms and up the sides of your jelly jars.
  3. Place jars on a silpat lined baking sheet (just so they don't slide around) and bake for approximately 20 minutes. Remove tray from oven and sprinkle on a few chocolate chips. Bake about 5 minutes longer, until the chips just start to melt. Remove and let jars cool.
  4. Meanwhile, mix together pudding mix, milk and extract (if using). Gently fold in whipped topping.
  5. Once your jars have cooled, add a few raspberries and/or blueberries on top of the crust. Dollop on white chocolate mixture, and top with additional fruit.
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/red-white-chocolate-and-blue-pie-in-a-jar/

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


 

I’m linked up at these great parties this week: Crazy Sweet Tuesdays, Trick or Treat Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesdays, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Cast Party Wednesday, Whip it Up Wednesdays, Watcha’ Whipped Up Wednesdays, Eat, Pray {Read}, Love, Sweet Treats Thursday, Mrs. Fox’s Sweets, Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons, Itsy Bitsy Paper, Crumbs and Chaos, I’m Lovin’ It Fridays, and Weekend Potluck!

All-American Barbeque Chicken

Oh my gosh, guys.  Oh. My. Gosh.

I did not intend to post this recipe.

I wasn’t planning on photographing a single thing Sunday night as we sat down to dinner, but then…

…we took a bite of this chicken.

Amazeballs.

So I quickly snapped one shot to share with you guys and then went back to shoving my face full of this messy, saucy, wonderfulness.

I’m not sure if it was the Tall Boy’s fabulous grilling skills or what, but this chicken might have been the best I’ve ever eaten.  And I’ve eaten a lot of chicken, let me tell you what.  I’d made a very simple (like four ingredient simple) marinade earlier in the day, threw my chicken in a ziploc bag in the fridge and forgot about it until grilling time.  I’d planned to use some bottled barbeque sauce for basting and serving, but then I decided to try my hand at making my own sauce.

Holy macaroni, I’m glad I did.

I’ll preface this by saying that the sauce took a little while to make.  Well, the actual preparation took no time at all…it’s just that the sauce needs to simmer for around an hour or so.  But it’s so, so worth it.  No joke.  Make this for your Fourth of July cookout, and then come thank me later.

All-American Barbeque Chicken

Ingredients

  • 2 to 3 pounds chicken breasts or thighs
  • For the marinade:
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • For the Barbeque Sauce:
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons liquid smoke (to taste)

Instructions

  1. Place chicken in a ziploc bag. Combine your marinade ingredients in a small bowl, then pour over chicken. Marinate 6 hours, or up to overnight, turning occasionally.
  2. For the sauce:
  3. Combine water, onion, butter, brown sugar, mustard, vinegar, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
  4. Stir in remaining ingredients. Return to boiling, then reduce heat and simmer for 50 to 60 minutes.
  5. Use sauce for basting the chicken during the last 10 minutes of grilling. Serve chicken with remaining sauce.

adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Tailgating Issue, 2011

http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/all-american-barbeque-chicken/

I’m linked up at these great parties this week: Crazy Sweet Tuesdays, Trick or Treat Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesdays, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Cast Party Wednesday, Whip it Up Wednesdays, Watcha’ Whipped Up Wednesdays, Eat, Pray {Read}, Love, Sweet Treats Thursday, Mrs. Fox’s Sweets, Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons, Itsy Bitsy Paper, Crumbs and Chaos,  I’m Lovin’ It Fridays, Weekend Potluck and The 21st Century Housewife!

{Easy} Pulled Pork with Even Easier Slaw

As much as I love cooking, I hate cooking in the summer.

Our kitchen and dining room gets full southwest exposure and is crazy-hot from approximately April 1 through Halloween. Or later, depending on when our short fall season decides to show up here in the midwest. So, when we’re not grilling out, we’re either not cooking or cooking in a way that doesn’t require turning on the oven. Or even the stove. Gah! I get cranky when I get hot.

No one wants that.

I made this pork in my crock pot–I love using my crock pot.  It allows me to be lazy, and still have a decent meal on the table at the end of the day.

I’m going to add a disclaimer to this post: I don’t like coleslaw.

Not even a little bit.

But the Tall Boy loves it, and since I made this meal over Father’s Day weekend, I decided I’d make him some coleslaw.  I don’t know if it was just his excitement from actually getting to eat coleslaw or what, but he claimed this slaw was super yummy.  What I do know is that it was super easy, which is my main requirement when cooking!

{Easy} Pulled Pork with Even Easier Slaw

{Easy} Pulled Pork with Even Easier Slaw

Pulled Pork from My Baking Addiction, Coleslaw adapted from Paula Deen's Southern Cooking Bible

Ingredients

    For the Pulled Pork:
  • 1 large onion (I used yellow), sliced thin
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 boneless pork butt or shoulder (4 to 6 pounds--I actually used 3 pounds and this worked great)
  • 3/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • For the Slaw:
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 bag coleslaw mix
  • salt, black pepper, and poppy seeds (if desired)

Instructions

    For the Pulled Pork:
  1. Rinse roast under cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Place sliced onions in the bottom of the crock pot. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, paprika, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly, and rub mixture all over your roast. Place the roast on top of the onions.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine vinegar, Worcestershire, red pepper flakes, sugar, mustard, garlic salt and cayenne pepper. Whisk to combine. Drizzle about 1/3 of the mixture over the roast. Cover and refrigerate remaining vinegar mixutre.
  4. Cover crock pot and cook on low for 10-12 hours. Drizzle about 1/3 of reserved vinegar mixture over roast during last 1/2 hour of cooking.
  5. Remove meat and onions; drain. Shred meat and serve with remaining vinegar mixture and/or your favorite barbeque sauce.
  6. For the Slaw:
  7. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar and sugar.
  8. Place coleslaw mix in a large bowl and pour dressing on, tossing to coat. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  9. Garnish with poppy seeds before serving.
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/easy-pulled-pork-with-even-easier-slaw/

Almond Joy Blondies {The Great Blogger Switch-Up}

Here’s how we’re rollin’ today guys.

I get to be Hayley from The Domestic Rebel and I’m totally jazzed.

See, a few weeks ago, Back for Seconds came up with this super great idea to write a post and recipe inspired by a blogger friend.  We threw our names into a (virtual) hat, and I have to tell you–I was secretly wishing I drew Hayley’s name.  Not just because she makes about the best baked goodies ever, but because she’s totally cool and awesome and if I could go back and be 21 again, I’d want to be just like her.

But I realized after drawing her name, I had a huge problem. She has waaaaaaay too many recipes I want to make to choose just one.  Stuff like Monster Cookie Cups and Snickers Cupcakes and Snickerdoodle Donut Muffins…so Hayley??  Umm, be prepared to see about a million of your recipes pilfered over here, ‘mmkay?

After the inital panic wore off, I decided I’d make something using coconut.  And since I’ve never had Almond Joy candy pieces before (it’s a travesty, I know), I decided to go with Hayley’s Almond Joy Blondies.

Now, I suppose I could have changed this recipe around some, or gone off on my own and made something “inspired” by Hayley…but since I’m pretending to be her and all, I pretty much just followed her recipe spot-on.  The only changes I made were baking mine in two 8-inch round pans rather than a 9×13 pan, and using white chocolate chips instead of regular chocolate.

And let me tell you: these bars were amazing.  Seriously. Amazing.

I ate practically half of one of the pans while I was setting up my “photo shoot” and the other half the next morning for breakfast.  The other pan I sent with the Tall Boy to work pronto so I didn’t eat it also.  I totally would have done it, too.  I have no willpower.

Especially when chocolate and coconut are involved.

See those little Almond Joy candy pieces poking out from inside the blondies? They were taunting me, ya’ll.

I had to eat ‘em.

Almond Joy Blondies

Almond Joy Blondies

Ingredients

  • 1 package yellow cake mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded coconut, divided
  • 1 package Almond Joy candy bites
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Mix cake mix, eggs, and oil. Stir in 1 cup coconut and three-quarters of the package of Almond Joy candies until combined.
  3. Press dough into a 9x13 pan (or two 8" round pans) and bake 15 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool completely in the pan.
  4. Meanwhile, toast the remaining coconut until lightly golden and fragrant (toast in an even layer at 300 degrees, flipping coconut every so often until done). Cool slightly.
  5. Melt the white chocolate chips until smooth and melted. Drizzle it across the cooled bars and top immediately with the shredded coconut and remaining candy bit pieces. Allow to set, about an hour, then cut into bars. Store airtight for 1-2 days.
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/almond-joy-blondies-the-great-blogger-switch-up/

Wanna see the other blogger switch-ups?  Of course you do–they’re awesome!  Check ‘em out!

Crazy for Crust inspired by Kitchen Meets Girl
Back 4 Seconds inspired by Crazy for Crust
The Domestic Rebel inspired by Sally’s Baking Addiction
Sally’s Baking Addiction inspired by Back for Seconds

I’m linked up at these great parties this week: Crazy Sweet Tuesdays, Trick or Treat Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesdays, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Cast Party Wednesday, Whip it Up Wednesdays, Watcha’ Whipped Up Wednesdays, Eat, Pray {Read}, Love, Sweet Treats Thursday, Mrs. Fox’s Sweets, Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons, Itsy Bitsy Paper, Crumbs and Chaos, I’m Lovin’ It Fridays, and Weekend Potluck!

Cheesecake Popsicles

You know that scene in Hitch where Will Smith’s character is teaching Kevin James’ character how not to dance?

That’s totally me.

Not the Will Smith part, though.  The Kevin James part.

Despite having had years of jazz dance lessons, belly-dancing lessons, and performing on color guard, I’m pretty much the last person you want to see trying to bust a move.

Plus, I’m like super-shy, so the idea of people watching me while I attempt to “break it down” sort of makes me want to crawl in a hole.  I pretty much stick to the comfort of the “step and snap” school of dance.

Anyway, this summer we joined a swim club, so Doodle would have somewhere to go play on those hot summer days, and so that maybe the Tall Boy and I could socialize with some other couples.  Last week, we were lounging near the kid pool while Doodle splashed his way across–until Adele’s Rumor Has It came blaring over the loud speakers.  At this point, Doodle quickly switches into some kind of crazy dance mode, stomping around the pool, flinging his hands in the air, clapping, head-bobbing, and putting on quite a show.

Totally getting his freak on.

Everyone was sort of quietly giggling and smiling–’cause really, there’s almost nothing cuter than a child dancing–until he screamed out pointedly at me:

“Mom, isn’t this that song you like?”

So much for trying to impress new friends at the pool.

Anyway, another great part of being a kid?  Eating popsicles with abandon.

Except you don’t have to be a kid to eat and enjoy these popsicles–they mix up quickly, and taste just like cheesecake (bonus!).  Plus, adding in a few strawberries and blueberries makes ‘em a perfect 4th of July festive treat.

Or, you know, trying to impress your new friends at the pool.

Cheesecake Popsicles

Cheesecake Popsicles

Ingredients

  • (8) 5-ounce Dixie Cups
  • popsicle sticks
  • 8 sheets graham crackers, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 (small) packages cheesecake instant pudding mix
  • 4 cups milk
  • sliced strawberries and blueberries

Instructions

  1. Crush your graham crackers into small pieces, using a food processor, blender, rolling pin--whatever you've got!
  2. Stir in melted butter to combine.
  3. Combine pudding mix and milk, whisking together until smooth.
  4. Add a small layer (a spoonful or so) of pudding mix to the bottom of your cups.
  5. Next, add a layer of your graham cracker "crust" (again, about a spoonful).
  6. On top of your graham cracker crumbs, layer in a few sliced berries. Fill cups up the rest of the way with the remaining pudding mix.
  7. Insert popsicle sticks and freeze until set.
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/cheesecake-popsicles/

Have a great Friday, everyone!!

I’m linked up at these great parties this week: Crazy Sweet Tuesdays, Trick or Treat Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesdays, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Cast Party Wednesday, Whip it Up Wednesdays, Watcha’ Whipped Up Wednesdays, Eat, Pray {Read}, Love, Sweet Treats Thursday, Mrs. Fox’s Sweets, Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons, Itsy Bitsy Paper, Crumbs and Chaos, I’m Lovin’ It Fridays, and Weekend Potluck!

Chocolate Cherry Tart with Almond Whipped Cream

This Chocolate Cherry Tart with Almond Whipped Cream is the perfect treat for any chocolate lover in your life!

This Chocolate Cherry Tart with Almond Whipped Cream is the perfect treat for any chocolate lover in your life!

Before we get started on this recipe, I’m still celebrating my one-year blog birthday!  So be sure to enter my giveaway for the Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook by Linsday Landis!!

This is my sixth month participating in the Improv Challenge, hosted by Kristen over at Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker. If you haven’t heard about the Improv Challenge, each month participants are assigned two ingredients to pair together to create a fun, new recipe. This month’s ingredients were cherries and almonds.

The toughest part of this challenge was not eating all of the cherries before I finished preparing this dessert.

Seriously, after I made the cherry sauce, I placed it in a bowl on the table for serving…and came into the dining room to find Doodle eating it directly out of the bowl.  I couldn’t get too upset at him, since he turned to me with a serious look on his face and cherry juice dripping off his chin and said, “This is sooooo good, mom.”

Can’t say I disagree.

Although this dessert looks super fancy (at least it does to my pretty low-key household), it really was a breeze to make.  I used my no-roll pie crust (although you could certainly use a pre-prepared crust from the refrigerated section), and the filling whipped up in just under 10 minutes. The almond whipped cream was a snap, and the added flavoring was really a nice complement to the chocolate and cherries.

This Chocolate Cherry Tart with Almond Whipped Cream is the perfect treat for any chocolate lover in your life!

If you have any chocolate lovers in your life, make this.

Chocolate Cherry Tart with Almond Whipped Cream

Chocolate Cherry Tart with Almond Whipped Cream

adapted from Sunset Magazine, July 2010

Ingredients

  • Pre-bake your pie crust according to package directions, or use this recipe for a no-roll pie crust.
  • For the chocolate filling:
  • 7 ounces top-quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup half-and-half
  • 1 large egg
  • For the cherries and whipped cream:
  • 3/4 pound pitted cherries
  • 2 to 5 tablespoons sugar (adjust according to taste)
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • slivered almonds, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 250.
  2. To make the chocolate filling:
  3. Put chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. Heat cream and half-and-half in a medium saucepan over medium heat until simmering, then pour over chocolate. Let sit a few minutes, then stir gently until smooth.
  4. Break egg into a separate medium bowl, then pour into chocolate mixture, whisking constantly until incorporated (keep whisk in contact with bottom of bowl so as not to whip in air bubbles).
  5. Pour mixture into the tart shell and bake until just set (no longer jiggles), 25 to 35 minutes. Let cool completely.
  6. To make your topping:
  7. Warm cherries in a saucepan over low heat with granulated sugar to taste until sugar melts. Whip cream with 2 tbsp. sugar and almond extract until soft peaks form.
  8. Cut tart into slices and serve each with a few cherries and a dollop of cream on top.
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/chocolate-cherry-tart-with-almond-whipped-cream/

Check out my previous Improv entries:

Peanut Butter {and Peanut Butter Cup} and Jelly Bars
Buffalo Chicken Potato Skins with Blue Cheese and Cheddar Cheese
Carrot Cake Cookies with Dulce de Leche Buttercream
Lemon Cream Cupcakes with Raspberry Cheesecake Buttercream
Cranberry Muffins with Eggnog Cream

I’m linked up at these great parties this week: Crazy Sweet Tuesdays, Trick or Treat Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesdays, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Cast Party Wednesday, Whip it Up Wednesdays, Watcha’ Whipped Up Wednesdays, Eat, Pray {Read}, Love, Sweet Treats Thursday, Mrs. Fox’s Sweets, Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons, Itsy Bitsy Paper, Crumbs and Chaos, I’m Lovin’ It Fridays, and Weekend Potluck!

And be sure to check out everyone else’s goodies!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Pudding {and a Giveaway!}

Oh my goodness, guys.  Guess what?

I’ve been blogging for a year.

I never dreamed when I started this little ol’ blog just how much fun I would have.  And how much I would learn.  Seriously, when I dove into this hobby, I knew absolutely zero about blogging, or the technology that went along with it.  I’m still learning–every day.  I want to thank you all, so very much, for following along with me on this journey.  Especially those of you who even bothered to stop and read my blog when my posts looked like this.

Holy cow.

The very best part of blogging is something I never expected–forming friendships with readers and other bloggers.  Also, it’s so nice to know there are other crazy people like me out there who sort of have a freak out moment if their family tries to eat something that hasn’t yet been photographed.

Anyway, I wanted to say thank you.  For reading, pinning, following me on Facebook, sharing your own stories and recipes, and for giving me a small little corner of the world to call my own.  And if I could give you all a boatload of hugs and presents, I would.

But I can give one of you this cookbook from Lindsay Landis, of Love and Olive Oil.*  Surely you’ve seen it.  And if you haven’t yet, you need to.

A.MA.ZING.  I had it on pre-order from Amazon since February, and it finally showed up on my doorstep last week.  I haven’t been able to put it down, and I’m seriously considering just working my way through it, cover to cover.  Cookie dough stuffed cinnamon rolls?  I’ll take two, please.  Cookie dough brownies?  ‘Smores?  Blondies?  Um hmm, sign me up!  How can you go wrong eating eggless cookie dough?

The answer: you can’t.

Doodle and I made this pudding the day the book arrived, since I had all of the ingredients already on hand and I couldn’t wait to test out one of the recipes.  It was quick and easy, extremely smooth and creamy, and yep–tasted just like cookie dough.

Is it wrong that I hid the last bowl of this in the back of the fridge, telling the rest of my family it was all gone?

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Pudding {and a Giveaway!}

from The Cookie Dough Lover's Cookbook, by Lindsay Landis

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • mini-chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together 1/2 cup of the sugar, salt, and cornstarch until no lumps remain. Add milk and heavy cream and whisk over medium heat until mixture begins to thicken and starts to bubble, about 5 to 7 minutes. Lower heat to medium-low and whisk until thick, about 5 minutes longer.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in remaining 1/4 cup sugar, vanilla and butter, until smooth.
  3. Pour pudding into serving bowls. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing onto the surface of the pudding to keep a skin from forming. Chill until set. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and/or whipped cream prior to serving.
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/chocolate-chip-cookie-dough-pudding-and-a-giveaway/

If you’re interested in winning a copy of Linday’s book for your very own, please enter my little giveaway.  Contest closes July 5th at midnight CST – U.S. shipping addresses only.  This is my first time using Rafflecopter, so here goes.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*I sponsored this giveaway myself. As much as I wish I could say it was so, Lindsay has no clue who I am.

Homemade Hamburger Buns

I decided that one of my baking goals for the year was trying to make more yeast breads from scratch.

And here it is, mid-June, and pretty much all I’ve done is make pizza dough. Which turned out phenomenal, but I kind of feel like pizza dough is pretty forgiving, and really isn’t an indicator of my bread-making prowess. Plus, anything loaded down with pizza toppings can’t be too bad, right?

Truth be told, I’ve been a little scared to do too much bread baking. I get a little (okay, a lot) irritated when I’m not totally successful at something, and my bread-making trials haven’t been exactly favorable in the past.

But a few Saturdays ago, we were strolling through our local farmer’s market, and I stumbled on the most amazing dill buns.  Homemade.  Soft.  Fragrant.  And kind of expensive.  I bought them anyway, because they were truly lovely, and also because I think it’s important to support your local farmers and businesses.

After we gobbled them up, I informed the Tall Boy that I was going to learn to make homemade buns myself, because “how hard could it really be?”

Turns out, not very.

Really!  These were super, super, extra-super easy, and this is coming from someone who is a walking bread-baking debacle.

I decided to start off easy, so I made a basic roll, with some added sesame seeds on top.  But now that I know how easy this really is, you’d better believe I have plans for a millon different flavors of hamburger buns and rolls.

Homemade Hamburger Buns

Ingredients

  • 3/4 to 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast

Instructions

  1. Sprinkle yeast over warm water and let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, combine flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl.
  3. Once your yeast mixture is foamy, add in butter and egg (combine in the bowl of a stand mixer using a dough hook or other large bowl). Slowly add in flour mixture, kneading until the dough is smooth and soft.
  4. Cover the dough, and let it rise for 1 to 2 hours, or until it's nearly doubled in bulk.
  5. Gently deflate the dough, and divide it into 8 pieces. Shape each piece into a round ball; flatten to about 3" across. Place the buns on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, cover, and let rise for about an hour, until noticeably puffy.
  6. If you want to add seasame seeds, Brush the buns with a whisked egg white and sprinkle the seeds on top.
  7. Bake the buns in a preheated 375°F oven for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden. Remove them from the oven, and brush with melted butter, if desired.
  8. Cool the buns on a rack.
  9. Yield: 8 large buns.
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/homemade-hamburger-buns/

I’m linked up at these great parties this week: Crazy Sweet Tuesdays, Trick or Treat Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesdays, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Cast Party Wednesday, Whip it Up Wednesdays, Watcha’ Whipped Up Wednesdays, Eat, Pray {Read}, Love, Sweet Treats Thursday, Mrs. Fox’s Sweets, Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons, Itsy Bitsy Paper, Crumbs and Chaos,  I’m Lovin’ It Fridays, and Weekend Potluck!

Jalepeno Hummus {with Cilantro and Lime}

It’s month number five of Eating the Alphabet and I’m so glad to be back and participating this month.  If you’re not familiar with Brenda’s Eating the Alphabet party, each month we’ll create a new recipe using a fruit or vegetable with an assigned letter–this month we’re using the letters I or J.

I was all set and ready to go, with a great recipe for tacos and a mango and jicama salsa.  Because if you know me at all, I’m all about the Mexican food.  The only problem is that I couldn’t find any jicama in my grocery store.  Seriously, it’s like a conspiracy.  Remember my last Eating the Alphabet post when I couldn’t find any figs?

And since there are not that many readily available fruits and/or veggies that start with I or J, I settled on jalepeños.

You know I always have a stockpile of them in my veggie drawer, right?  To make stuff like Ooey Gooey Mexican grilled cheese or garlicky marinated shrimp or stuffed jalepeño topped burgers.   I add jalepeños to nearly everything.  If I could  find a way to put ‘em in a cookie, I’d probably do it.

And, since I found this fabulous looking recipe from The Gluten Free Goddess on Pinterest eons ago, I decided it was high time I give it a try.  While it’s not the prettiest of dishes, it tasted absolutely amazing.  In fact, the Tall Boy told me this was light years better than any store-bought hummus we’d ever had.  And even better, it was just a fraction of the cost, and took me about five minutes to make!  How awesome is that!?!?

We’ll be making this again, for sure, and it’s perfect for serving along naan, carrots, cucumbers, crackers, or homemade pita chips.

Jalepeno Hummus {with Cilantro and Lime}

Ingredients

  • 1 15-oz. can chilled chickpeas or garbanzo beans, drained, rinsed
  • Juice of one large fresh lime
  • 1-2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic
  • 2 heaping tablespoons jarred jalapeños, drained
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
  • Pinch of cumin, to taste
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste
  • Pinch of sea salt, to taste

Instructions

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor until smooth.
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/jalepeno-hummus-with-cilantro-and-lime/

Happy Friday!

I’m linked up at these great parties this week: Crazy Sweet Tuesdays, Trick or Treat Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesdays, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Cast Party Wednesday, Whip it Up Wednesdays, Watcha’ Whipped Up Wednesdays, Eat, Pray {Read}, Love, Sweet Treats Thursday, Mrs. Fox’s Sweets, Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons, Itsy Bitsy Paper, Crumbs and Chaos, I’m Lovin’ It Fridays, and Weekend Potluck!

I can’t wait to see what everyone else made! Be sure to check them out!

Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Cookies

So, I kind of thought since I have a little boy and not a little girl, I’d be saved from a bunch of childhood drama.

Turns out that is not exactly the case.

In case you didn’t know, little boys can squeal and fit-throw like the best of ‘em.  Fortunately, we’re growing out of most of that.

There are exceptions, though.

Case in point: On Sunday, a we experienced a series of events that eventually led to time-out.  Plus, further punishment included a restriction against anything Super Mario related for the rest of the day.

The horror.

And, as always follows time-out, the Tall Boy sat down with Doodle to discuss “why” he was in time-out and “why” certain types of behavior are not acceptable.  At the end, Doodle nodded his agreement, apologized for “acting that way,” and then said in a small voice, “This is the saddest day of my whole life.”

I like to seem like a sympathetic parent, but I’ll be honest–it took pretty much everything I had to keep from howling with laughter.  Instead, the Tall Boy and I jammed one of these blueberry lemon cheesecake cookies into our mouths and nodded solemnly.  “Yep, pretty sad,” we agreed.

These cookies turned out nicely–very soft, with the plump blueberries oozing their sweet juice out of the tops.  Coupled with a mild hint of tart lemon and a sweet cream cheese filling, these could cheer up anyone’s sad mood.

 

Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 cup flour
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 package cream cheese, softened, and mixed with a bit of sugar (to taste)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper or a Silpat and set them aside.
  2. In a large bowl with an electric mixer cream together the butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy. Blend in the lemon zest, juice and eggs.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the baking soda, baking powder, salt and flour then mix it into the wet ingredients, until just combined.
  4. Gently fold in the blueberries. Refrigerate the dough for about 15 – 20 minutes to make it stiff enough to roll.
  5. For each cookie, roll 1 heaping tablespoon of dough into a ball then flatten it slightly into a disc shape. Place a 1 teaspoon cream cheese cube into the center and form the dough around it.
  6. Bake about 10 - 14 minutes until the edges brown slightly.
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/blueberry-lemon-cheesecake-cookies/

I’m linked up at these great parties this week: Crazy Sweet Tuesdays, Trick or Treat Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesdays, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Cast Party Wednesday, Whip it Up Wednesdays, Watcha’ Whipped Up Wednesdays, Eat, Pray {Read}, Love, Sweet Treats Thursday, Mrs. Fox’s Sweets, Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons, Itsy Bitsy Paper, Crumbs and Chaos, I’m Lovin’ It Fridays, and Weekend Potluck!