Thursday, December 31, 2015

Caramelized Pear, Bacon and Brie Bites


Happy New Years Eve! I am a huge believer in setting goals and writing them down to help you achieve them! I have goals posted up in my closet that I read every day while getting dressed and it helps me to be able to see them each and every day to help achieve them! 

I am also a huge lover of appetizers and party food! When I was trying to develop a recipe for Krusteaz to share for New Years I couldn't help but think of something bite size! And believe it or not this is my first recipe that I have created using their famous pie crust! The product that started Krusteaz! So when I was given a choice of which product to use I knew that I had to go for an original! And I sure am glad that I did! It is a the perfect product for a mini appetizer! Add pear,bacon and brie and it makes this appetizer more than just a appetizer but a fancier appetizer for a special gathering! 

So I hope you enjoy this recipe for these little "bites" as much as I did! And Happy New Year! I can't wait to be able to accomplish new goals that I have set for my blog and am grateful for each and every one of you for reading, following, and trying out my recipes! 



Caramelized Pear, Bacon and Brie Bites

INGREDIENTS

Crust:
1 cup Krusteaz Pie Crust Mix
2-3 tablespoons water

Filling:
4 ounces brie, diced into 1/2 inch cubes
1 tablespoon butter
1 large ripe pear, diced small
Pinch of salt
Pinch of cinnamon
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
4 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
3 slices of cooked bacon, diced

INSTRUCTIONS


Can be found here!



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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Homemade Apple Cider




I was sent this recipe from a water company and made it and it was beyond amazing! We are normally not huge apple cider people but I could drink this daily! That is how amazing it was! I received my Christmas cards from Minted.com and listened to Christmas music while sipping on these apple cider and it was honestly a perfect moment! Plus the smell of this stuff cooking is amazing! My house smelled good all day long! 



HOMEMADE APPLE CIDER
INGREDIENTS:
·         12 medium apples, assorted types
·         2 oranges
·         4 cinnamon sticks
·         1 whole nutmeg
·         1 Tbsp. whole cloves
·         1 tsp. whole allspice
·         7 bottles of Jeju 16 Water (16.9 oz bottles)
·         1/2 - 1 cup brown sugar
DIRECTIONS:
1.    Wash the apples and oranges, and then roughly cut into quarters. (Don't worry about removing peels, seeds, or stems.)  Place in a large stock pot.  Add cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, cloves and allspice.  Cover with Jeju 16 Water, filling the pot until it is nearly full. Bring to a simmer over high heat, stirring occasionally. Then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 2 hours.

2.    Once the apples have softened after an hour or two, use a potato masher (or tongs or the side of a spoon) to mash the apple and orange slices once they are soft.  Cook for one more hour.

3.    Strain out the apple cider into a clean pitcher or pot.  To get the maximum juice out of the apples, you can press them through a fine-mesh strainer or strain through a cheese cloth.  Stir in your desired amount of sweetener until it is dissolved.

4.    Serve hot.


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Saturday, December 12, 2015

Chocolate Dipped Marshmallow Reindeer


These cute reindeer were simple and fun to make and another addition to the photoshoot from a few weeks back. What you do is melt down chocolate break pretzel in half to create antlers. Stick a marshmallow on a stick and dip the marshmallows in chocolate and attach the pretzels. Lay down on parchment paper to dry. Add white sprinkles for the eyes and a red nose! 

Chocolate Dipped Marshmallow Reindeer

Marshmallows
Sticks
Chocolate Melts
Mini Pretzels
White Sprinkles
Red Dot Sprinkles

Melt down chocolate break pretzel in half to create antlers. Stick a marshmallow on a stick and dip the marshmallows in chocolate and attach the pretzels. Lay down on parchment paper to dry. Add white sprinkles for the eyes and a red nose! 




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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Donut Snowmen


Sometimes during the holidays life get so busy and you forget to slow down and spend some time with your children. I will admit that I literally have to schedule time to bake and do fun activities with my kids during the holiday months when I am baking orders 8 hours a day 6 days a week. Our family always does gingerbread houses together and my mom does "cookies with Nana" day where she takes all the grandchildren and gets matching aprons and cups and plates for each children customized and my kids look forward to it every year.


I was so glad that I had the chance to be apart of such a fun Christmas photoshoot where I created a few holiday "kid friendly" treats. This event kinda forced me to do some fun holiday food that of course when my kids saw me making them they had to be involved. So as I began making these little snowman my kids one by one started to trickle in and began to take over a job on the "building of the snowmen" and since we live in Arizona this may be the only snowman building they get to do all year haha!




So whether you are doing these for your children or grandchildren or if you are having a holiday party with your family these are a perfect addition! And one trick I will inform you on is to have a little Karo syrup handy just in case you need to start "glueing" snowman parts on!



Donut Snowmen

white Donut Holes
mini White powdered donuts
orange tic tacs
pretzel sticks
gum drops
mini chocolate chips
fruit by the foot/ fruit roll up (cut in strips)
starlight peppermint
Karo syrup (to "glue" anything while keeping it edible)

Place 2 mini donuts at the bottom and a donut hole on top. Poke little hole in the gum drop and place on pretzel sticks and then poke two holes in the sides and attach the pretzel stick arms. Use some Karo syrup and attach a gum drop to a starlight peppermint. Place on top of the donut hole to create the snowman hat. Poke holes and place 2 mini chocolate chips (pointy side in) to create the eyes and a hole for the orange tic tac nose.  Rip off a piece of the fruit roll up and create a scarf (you can cut slits in them to create the "scarf" effect) and place around the neck or below the donut hole and then on top with the donut hole.

These snowmen can be as simple or complex as you would like to make them. Add more or less. Let the kids have fun with them!




Photo Cred: Bridgette Marie Photography

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Monday, December 7, 2015

Chocolate Chunk Peppermint Pie



I obviously have a hard time letting pie go after Thanksgiving. But as much as I enjoy a good slice of pie I enjoy a good slice of freezer pie even more. My kids feel the exact same way! I also love pairing a good freezer pie with a yummy cookie crust. And nothing pairs better in my mind than chocolate and peppermint to celebrate the winter holidays!



I let my son be the first taste tester of this pie and he said it was the better after school snack ever! And is now going to be a staple at all my holiday get togethers! I of course had to use my go-to cookie mixes! Krusteaz has perfected their cookie mixes and this year they have even added more delicious ones! So to help simplify your holiday season grab some cookie mixes and you can easily bake gifts for neighbors, parties, and for Santa!

Chocolate Chunk Peppermint Pie

Crust:
1 package Krusteaz Triple Chocolate Chunk Cookie Mix
1 egg
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons water

Filling:
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup peppermint candy canes, crushed
1/2 pint heavy whipping cream, whipped to stiff peaks
Toppings (optional):
Shaved chocolate
Crushed peppermint

FOR INSTRUCTIONS HEAD HERE! 


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Thursday, December 3, 2015

Peppermint Oreo Chocolate Chip Cookies



A couple of weeks ago I had a fun holiday photoshoot planned. I was asked to create a few different kid friendly recipes for the kids to enjoy as they sat on Santa's lap and wrote letters to Santa. (You can read more about it here)  plus there is a free santa letter printable! Such cute fun ideas for your family on that blog! You will definitely want to check it out!




When I was brainstorming what recipe I should add to the collection I came up with this little thing! It is a spin on normally chocolate chip cookies which makes them kid friendly and easy to make! Add a holiday twist by adding Andes Mints and you got the perfect (and easy) holiday cookie!




When people ask me some baking tips on what takes my baking to the next level I always say that there is a few things that you need to use quality ingredients for. 2 of those things are name brand powdered sugar and high quality vanilla extract! It makes a huge difference in taste when you use high quality vanilla. My favorite go-to vanilla product is this Nielsen-Massey vanilla extract. I use their paste all the time and their whole vanilla beans! Hop on their website and shop around! You will not be disappointed in their high quality products! 


Peppermint Oreo Chocolate Chip Cookies
3/4 cup unsalted butter softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
1 cup oreo cookie chunks
1 cup Andes Peppermint crunch pieces



Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cream butter and sugars together. Add the egg and vanilla and blend it. Mix in flour, cornstarch,baking soda, and salt. Stir in mini chocolate chips. Then the oreo cookie chunks and andes peppermint crunch pieces. 

Bake for 8-10 minutes until barely golden brown around the edges. Let cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes and then transfer to a wire cooling rack. Then serve.








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