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Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream Cake

6/22/17


My dear, sweet, loving husband was born on June 22nd.  That is today, in fact!  Happy Birthday Carson!!!  (He won't read this.)  Anyway.  If you are unfamiliar with June 22nd (weird thing to say), it is the day after the first day of summer.  It is often the last day of school for many.  And, AND, it happens to be VERY close to Father's Day.  One year, the two dates were actually one day apart.  Why am I writing things that are obvious?  Because I'm trying to justify my lack of enthusiasm for baking two cakes for two great occasions in such a short (busy) period of time.  

  That's why this year, I tried to combine things that I know Carson loves (mainly ice cream and the chocolate/peanut butter combo) in a dessert that was very easy to pull off.  Enter this ice cream cake: a mouth-watering crowd pleaser that anyone can throw together, and I mean ANYONE (especially if you have kids willing to unwrap all the peanut butter cups in exchange for one or two or five).   

It begins with an Oreo crust... yes, I said that.  One whole package of Oreos, crushed together, combined with melted butter and pressed into a cake pan.  Then, the ice cream.  Best part?  You can choose your favorite flavor, brand, make your own, etc.  I decided to layer my cake with a Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup and a Vanilla Bean (this brand).  There is hot fudge and crushed peanut butter cups in between the two layers, more hot fudge on the top, and MORE crushed cups on top of that.  All that's really time consuming is letting your layers melt in between, but I think at the end of the day... we all have patience for that.  After all, ice cream cake is worth the wait.  As would my husband's birthday be if he could move it just... you know... a weeeee bit further away from Father's Day.   

Full cake recipe here.  (But again, modify it to your liking!)


Chicken Marsala

6/19/17


Oh, June.  June... you are a nutty, nutty month.  You are living la vida loca, and yes, I am still living in 1999.  I am also still living in a world where June means summer... not recitals, teacher gifts, preschool graduations and camp registrations because, oh right, I'm a mom now and not a teenager living at the turn of the century listening to Ricky Martin.  It's just that when I was a kid June used to symbolize the beginning of summer, and now it feels like the end of so much.  Perhaps that's because I'm an emotional wreck about my kids growing up and my daughter starting elementary school next year with her big bro.  Time is speeding by, and this time of year is making me nostalgic for simpler times... when a new Backstreet Boys song was all I really cared about.  

Maybe I'm feeling this way because my mom has been staying with us for a few weeks and the other night she cooked dinner.  This always causes me to feel a bit like a teenager.  (By the way, does anyone else have a child that says "a bit" all of the time because Peppa Pig is everywhere??)  As much as I love to cook, there is nothing better than someone taking over every once in awhile.  That particular night, she made us a Chicken Marsala which was delicious!  It felt like comfort food but tasted light and refreshing - like something you could eat again and again. 

She followed this recipe :)

Stay tuned later this week for an epic ice cream cake!           



Mozzarella Panzanella

6/7/17


When is a celebrity going to name their kid Panzanella?  It's about time, right?  There is a human being named Reality Winner living amongst us, after all.  We could call her 'Zanella' for short.  Or him, I'm not trying to assume Panza would be a girl.    

What am I saying.  I'm so tired I don't even use question marks when I'm supposed to anymore.  I type nonsense about children being named after bread salads.  I blog once every 17 days (but don't worry, almost every day I have that moment when I'm not sure if I put on deodorant).


Let's be serious, though, and less gross, and talk about how underrated bread salads are.  A leafy green usually takes the spotlight when it comes to salads but in this case a crusty, crunchy bread is paired with sweet, juicy tomatoes, crunchy peppers and onions and a tangy, garlicky dressing.  I added loads of creamy mozzarella and some diced avocado to mine, because I win at life.  I followed Her Highness Ina's recipe, however this is a really versatile salad that's easy to throw together with a number of things in your fridge.  You can use store-boght croutons or toast up a nice sliced bread or baguette you happen to have on hand.  My favorite part of this particular recipe are the salty capers and the fresh basil - it's really the perfect summer dish or future name for your child.         

Recipe HERE.

S'mores Bark

5/26/17


In the last 10 days, we had 7 house guests, a 1st communion, a party with close to 100 people and a 3-day trip to California (complete with a redeye).  That's a lot of numbers, and if you add them together, it equals 1 brain-dead mom.  But guess what?  Even when you're incapable of barely anything, you can make this S'mores Bark.  It's the easiest thing, requiring 3 ingredients that you probably have in your pantry and the best part?  You can make your kids do it for you... 


That little blue girl was no help, however.  

Recipe here!  

Have a great weekend and Memorial Day... and thank you to the brave men and women who serve our country to keep us safe.

Tater Tot Breakfast Burrito

5/16/17


I recently had a breakfast burrito in Los Angeles at an INCREDIBLE coffee shop called Alfred Coffee + Kitchen, but the burrito itself came from The Rooster Food Truck.   I ordered something named the 'Rico Suave' which had eggs, bacon, tater tots, avocado and a cheddar & cotija cheese blend.  Yes, tater tots.  TATER TOTS IN A BURRITO.  If you've never experienced the splendor of tater tots in a burrito, you should really (bonus points if you can name what children's book that line comes from).  Now that I'm back in the land of bagels and deli egg sandwiches (which there is NOTHING wrong with), I know I need to make my own Rico Suaves at home.  And I do.

I really do.

Here's how I do it:

Fry up a few pieces of bacon in a pan until crispy.  Remove and wipe out most of the grease.  In the same pan, add some tater tots (you don't even have to thaw them out) and fry until golden.  I like to smash them once they're soft enough which will help them crisp up.  Remove from pan.  Add your scrambled eggs (I always add cream to my eggs) and softly scramble.  Remove.  Layer your burrito with shredded cheddar, crumbled cotija, eggs, bacon, tots, and avocado.  Fold and then lightly grill in the same pan until the tortilla becomes lightly golden.  Serve with your favorite hot sauce!

Rosemary Greyhound Cocktail

5/15/17


Happy Day After Mother's Day!  I hope your Sunday was full of happy children, thoughtful partners and a few minutes of alone time.  Don't y'all think that particular holiday should be a week long?  Cause I do.  I also think I should probably not use "y'all" like I'm from the South, because I'm from Minnesota, and we say things like, "yah, suuuure, ya betchya."  I'm finishing off my Mother's Day as I type this, eating stove-popped popcorn and watching Guardians of the Galaxy with my kids who are snuggled up on the pull-out couch (and it's driving my son crazy that I have no idea what's happening in the movie).  I had a magical day that began with Carson letting me sleep in (until 7:30, my body is incapable of anything past that) and then walking downstairs to freshly delivered bagels and homemade cards and art projects from my kids.  What more could a mom want?  Other than a week-long all-expenses paid trip to Mexico with her friends.

Kidding (sort of) aside, it was a truly great weekend.  The kind that makes your heart feel full.  We had Flag Football Friday followed by a sushi dinner and a mother-son karate class on Saturday that I'm STILL sore from, followed by a lot of recipe testing at home.  In the middle of all the cooking, I tried out a new cocktail that will surely become a staple this summer.  Freshly squeezed grapefruit, earthy rosemary and a hint of homemade simple syrup made this beverage more than delightful!  

Y'all should try it out.  Ya betchya.           



Parmesan Cloud Eggs

5/10/17


Lately, "Cloud Eggs" have been all the rage.  I guess they've been around for a long time, but Instagram has taken their popularity to a whole new level, as only Instagram can do.  I mean, they are super purrrrrrty, aren't they?  A bright, runny yolk delicately placed atop fluffy, baked egg whites.  Best part?  It takes less than 10 minutes to accomplish.  All you need to do is separate your eggs, whip your whites, bake them for 3 minutes solo and 3 minutes with the yolks.  Done!  I added Parmesan to my egg whites after the stiff peaks were formed, but I want to experiment with more ingredients like chopped chives, crumbled bacon and other types of cheeses.  And you might be wondering how it tasted?  SO delicious.  It's a delightful texture and a very healthy breakfast.     

You can view tutorials on how to make these here and here.

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