Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup S'mores!

I'm not doing much fancy cooking this week, but I am bringing you an updated take on the camping classic - S'mores!

Just when you thought a S'more couldn't get any better - think again!  Instead of the traditional Hershey's bar, try the classic milk chocolate stuffed with a soft peanut buttery center!  These Reese's Peanut Butter Cup S'mores are over the top delicious!

The key, of course, is roasting the marshmallows until they've reached a perfect golden brown.
If you don't smell like a campfire when you're finished, you just didn't try hard enough!


Then there's that age old question of one marshmallow.......

....... or two?

You can see my preference here!

My beautiful niece, Sherah, would agree.  
These Peanut Butter Cup S'mores are completely worth the ooey, gooey, sticky mess!

Monday, June 27, 2011

iheartfaces | A Touch of Whimsy

With three little girls at home, the theme of "A Touch of Whimsy" made for a super fun week!  In this photo we went for the whimsy of pattern and maybe the irony that there has been no need for  an umbrella in the sunny, 95 degree heat for many, many weeks!  I can't wait to get more whimsical ideas this week at I Heart Faces! :-)

Friday, June 24, 2011

I'm Not Complaining .......

I spend the summer months dodging the southern heat, adjusting the thermostat and standing over the A/C vent.  I spend the summer months shamelessly sending my husband to the kids' swim meets so that I don't have to feel the sweat trickling down my back.  I don't believe in outdoor camps when the weather consistently tops 90 degrees.  Instead, I bring the kids to the pool where I try to sit, motionless, as they run and jump and play.  This is my southern summer.  There.  I have said my piece.

Today, therefore, when the thermometer topped out at a mere 58 degrees, I didn't complain. 

Toto, we're not in The South anymore!  This is the land of my youth.  This is the land where my forefathers, who once inhabited the Arctic Circle, decided to settle.  This is my home.  

OK, so I didn't grow up in a barn, but I did pass this freshly painted beauty while walking in the brisk morning air!

And as the locals complained about the unusually cold temperatures, I just smiled to myself, took a deep, deep breath of the cool, crisp air......

and counted my blessings.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Fresh Ricotta, Cherries and Lemon Zest Crostini

Cherries.  Plump, red, succulent balls of sweet delight.  

We wait all year for these seasonal gems.  When they finally arrive, we eat them by the bowlful, leaving nothing to show but stems and pits.  When I found this recipe in Whole Living Magazine, it seemed to me to be the perfect Ode to Spring.  Juicy cherries, grated lemon zest and fresh ricotta cheese.  Breakfast al fresco.  What a perfect way to start the summer!

When it comes to cherry season, a good cherry/olive pitter is a must.  Fortunately, I got my husband this really nice one from Williams-Sonoma a couple of years ago for Christmas.  I'm telling you, he gets the best presents!

Macerate the cherries in brown sugar for about 10 minutes.  
Watch the delicious, sweet juices start to flow!

Grate the zest of one lemon and mix it with the ricotta cheese.
Spoon mixture on top of rustic bread, toasted. (I used a cranberry walnut bread.)

Top with the delicious cherries and enjoy the fruits of summer.

Don't forget that evasive little pit that wound up in the photos! :-)

Fresh Ricotta, Cherries, and Lemon Zest Crostini
Whole Living Magazine

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Combine 6 ounces (1 1/4 cups) pitted, chopped sweet cherries and 1 tablespoon light brown sugar; let macerate 10 minutes
  2. Brush 4 slices rustic bread with 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil and toast until golden, 5 to 7 minutes.  
  3. Mix 1/2 cup fresh ricotta with the grated zest of one lemon.  
  4. Spread bread with ricotta and top with cherries.  Garnish with more zest.
  5. Eat al fresco under the warmth of the morning sun.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

iheartfaces | My Boys

I'm married to Superman.  It's true.  Always on call.  Always coming to my rescue when life gets tough.  From diaper changer to coach, he's been there every step of the way.  He encourages  and challenges, disciplines and loves.  And did I mention?  This man of steel can still pull off the red cape and tights! :-)


Friday, June 17, 2011

Cream Cheese Swirl Blondies

Now and again, Anna the Scholar becomes Anna the Baker.

While I am working my way through Martha Stewart's Cupcake Book, Anna prefers Martha Stewart's Cookies.  
Cookies are a bit less fancy.  A bit more her.

Anna chose to bake these Cream Cheese Swirl Blondies to bring to the NEW NEIGHBORS!  
While the new neighbors did not include new playmates ..... they did have two dogs!

Tart Cream Cheese swirled with sugary, cookie dough batter.
Be careful..... These Blondies are highly habit forming!

Thank goodness for the new neighbors!

Cream Cheese Swirl Blondies
Martha Stewart's Cookies

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Line a buttered 8-inch square baking pan with parchment, allowing a 2-inch overhang.  Butter overhang.

Blondie Layer
1 2/3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
9 Tablespoon Butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.

In a separate bowl, mix butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add eggs and vanilla; mix until combined.  Reduce speed to low.  Add flour mixture; mix, scraping down sides of bowl, until well combined

Cream Cheese Layer
6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons flour
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Put all of the ingredients for the Cream Cheese Layer into a bowl.  Mix on medium speed until smooth.

Pour half of the blondie batter into prepared pan, and spread evenly with an offset spatula.  Spoon two-thirds of the cream cheese mixture on top, and spread evenly.  Drop dollops of remaining batter on top (spacing about one inch apart.

Gently swirl cream cheese mixture into batter with a butter knife, running the knife lengthwise and crosswise through layers.  Bake until golden brown and a cake tester inserted into center comes out with a few crumbs but not wet, 45 to 47 minutes.  Let cool slightly in pan, about 15 minutes.  Lift out; let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.  Blondies can be stored between layers of parchment in an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 days.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Father's Day Tee Time Cupcakes {MSC}

How cute and easy are these?  These Father's Day Tee Time Cupcakes from Martha Stewart's Cupcake book are sure to be a hit for any dad on Father's Day.

Simply start with any cupcake (I used Martha's One Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes.)

And top with icing. 
 (I used green tinted Cream Cheese Frosting for no other reason than it's my favorite!)
Cover the freshly iced cupcakes with green sanding sugar 
(or green sparkly sugar flakes, if that's what you have in your pantry!)

As luck would have it, in my totally clutter-free life, I found these fun paper scraps which I had used for another golf-themed project.  These, taped to wooden skewers transformed into colorful flags. 

These candy coated chocolate mints, which I found in the bulk candy aisle at the grocery store, made delicious mini golf balls.  Keep the white ones.  Eat the rest.

These cupcakes aren't only for Father's Day.  
Wouldn't they be cute for a Miniature Golf themed birthday party?

Thanks to Julie at Little Bit of Everything for this month's pick!
Check out her blog - she made the sand traps, too!

UP NEXT.... Fourth of July Cupcakes!

I'm linking up with......
WEDNESDAY: All Things Inspired