Easy S’Mores Cookie Bars

IMG_0212

In many areas in the Pacific Northwest this Fourth of July, campfires are prohibited due to high risk of wildfires. If you’re like me, then making S’mores is a pretty important part of camping, and summer in general. What’s a mom to do? Make S’mores cookie bars at home and pack them along on picnics, camping trips, and barbecues. These are super easy and quick to make.

  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 C. sugar
  • 1 C. dark brown sugar
  • 1 t. Kosher salt
  • 2 t. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 C. flour
  • 9 graham crackers, crumbled (smash ’em up in the package before you open it, no mess)
  • 12 oz. milk chocolate chips
  • 2 1/2 C. mini-marshmallows, divided

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with foil, so that the foil overhangs both sides. Spray with cooking spray and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the butter, eggs, sugars, salt, and vanilla until smooth. Stir in the flour and graham crackers. Gently fold in the chocolate chips, and two cups of the marshmallows. Press the mixture into the pan evenly – wet fingers help with this. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 C. of marshmallows over the top. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until bubbly around the edges and just set in the center.  Remove the pan from the oven and let it sit on the counter for 15-20 minutes. While still warm, lift the bars out of the pan using the overhanging foil. Cut into squares.  When completely cooled, store these in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. If you are transporting these in very warm weather, or if they may be sitting in a hot car, I would recommend wrapping them individually in parchment or wax paper.

Posted in Dessert, Holidays and Special Occasions | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

All Strawberries, All The Time

img_3247

Please enjoy this round-up of my favorite strawberry recipes, before strawberry season is over! Just click the link or picture for the recipe.

Strawberry Cake with Rhubarb Cream 

img_1722

 

Almost Instant Strawberry Sorbet

img_0490

 

Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream 

img_3468

 

 

Strawberry Cream Cheese Breakfast Pastries

img_1792

 

Strawberry Coconut Sherbet

img_0135

 

 

Posted in Dessert, Gluten Free, Healthier Options, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Deviled Eggs Can Be Chic

0242This is my all-time most popular post! It has been reblogged, shared, and pinned on Pinterest over 2,000 times. Pretty cool.  Happy Easter!

Most people feel that using a piping bag for any reason is too much work, too fussy, or too difficult.  You might look at a recipe that calls for piping something like meringue or icing and decide to simply skip it.  Making something like these chick deviled eggs looks like it took a ton of time and effort.  Not so!  This is the coolest gadget ever:  It’s called the Squeeze It Decorator. It’s a plastic squeeze container that comes with different decorating tips that screw on.  It’s so easy to use that I am piping like a mad woman.  I promise I am not being paid by Tupperware or anyone else to blog about this thing.  You fill the container with your filling, slap on the tip and squeeze.  These chicks took me less than two minutes to pipe.  If I had used a spoon and tried to fill them and make them look nice it would have taken me at least 10 or 15 minutes.  All the pieces go in the dishwasher and then store inside the gadget itself.  What will they think of next!?

  • 10 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
  • 3 T. mayonnaise
  • 1/2 t. yellow mustard, I used French’s
  • 1/2 t/ mustard powder
  • 1 pinch, garlic powder
  • 2 t. lemon juice
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • carrot and chive garnish

Cut the eggs through the equator to make round cups instead of oblong.  Carefully scoop out the yolks.  Place the yolks and all other ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.  You may need to add a few drops of water if the mixture seems too thick.  Place the yolk mixture in a piping bag or Squeeze It Decorator :) fitted with a star tip.  Pipe the mixture in a spiral into each white cup.  Garnish with carrot beaks and chive eyes.  I used a toothpick to insert the eyes more easily.  Chill.

Posted in Gluten Free, Holidays and Special Occasions | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Thin Mints Ice Cream Cake

IMG_0420

Every year I buy several boxes of Thin Mints from the Girl Scouts and stash them in the freezer.  After the kids go to bed my husband and I will eat a few, ice-cold, out of the freezer.  By some miracle, I still had enough left to make this easy “cake”.  If you have any Thin Mints left in your freezer, this is a winner – no baking involved.

  • I roll of Thin Mints (the box comes with two rolls.  That other one will be really lonely in the box all by itself, so you’d better go ahead and eat it while you’re making this.)
  • 1 pint of mint chocolate chip ice cream, softened to a spreadable consistency.

Line a 6 inch cake pan or ramekin with parchment paper.  Just go ahead and press the paper into the bottom and up the sides, it will be crinkly and uneven in places, no biggie.  Place the cookies in a freezer bag and crush them to a crumbly powder.  Sprinkle half the crumbs into the bottom of the pan.  Drop the softened ice cream on top of the crumbs and use a spatula to spread it evenly.  Sprinkle the remaining crumbs on top.  Pop the whole thing into the freezer for at least 1-2 hours.  Before serving, use the parchment to lift the cake out of the pan.  Peel it away from the cake and place it on a serving plate.  Cut it into wedges with a knife dipped in warm water.

 

Posted in Dessert, Holidays and Special Occasions | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy Pi Day

i.chzbgr

Pie is one of my favorite things to make, possibly because it’s my husband’s and my son’s favorite dessert. Today happens to be Pi day, so what better reason to make a pie? Here is a list of my favorites:

img_7784

Freeform Apple Pie. Baked on a baking sheet, rustic, and simple.

1898154_10202148930939457_1692719534_n

Pink Grapefruit Meringue Pie. Unusual, surprising, and delicious.

img_1977

Mini Cherry Streusel Pies: Dainty, tart, and adorable.

006

Classic Pumpkin Pie: Made from a real pumpkin. Worth the extra effort? Not really, but fun to brag about.

007

Apple Hand Pies: Quick, easy, dessert for four in 20 minutes. 

img_4129

Mini Raspberry Pies: Perfect for a brunch or tea party.

img_0127

Light Chicken Pot Pies: Savory and packed with veggies.

 

Posted in Dessert, Holidays and Special Occasions | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Quick and Easy Bay Shrimp Ceviche in Lettuce Cups

IMG_0131

Here’s a light and flavorful dish that you can make pretty much year round.  I found some Oregon bay Shrimp at our wonderful neighborhood fish market, Portland Fish Market. They are individually frozen so you can just scoop out as much as you want to thaw and then put the rest back in the freezer.  Although, they’re frozen, the quality is very high, and best of all, not only are they are inexpensive, but they are wild and sustainably harvested! True ceviche calls for raw shrimp or fish that is “cooked” by the acid in the lime juice. This is a little easier, and you don’t have to worry about food poisoning. So all you need are a few other grocery story ingredients and you have a flavorful and healthy appetizer or lunch.

  • 2 C. cooked bay shrimp, thawed if frozen
  • zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1 1/2-2 ripe-but-not- too-soft, avocados, diced
  • 1 minced red jalapeño, seeded if you want to control the heat
  • 1/2 C. diced cucumber, peeled
  • 1 t. minced shallot
  • 1 T. minced green onion
  • salt to taste
  • butter lettuce leaves for serving

Gently combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Taste for seasoning and add salt if needed. Let marinate covered, in the fridge, for about an hour before serving. Scoop into little lettuce cups and eat with your hands.

Posted in Gluten Free, Healthier Options, Quick Dinners, Seafood | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chocolate Sables

IMG_0271

For me this is the perfect cookie.  It’s crisp but not crunchy.  Deep chocolate in flavor, but not bitter.  Freezes well, and can be made and stored for at least a week.  Another name for these could be Grown-Up Valentine’s Day cookies.  Grown-up because they are just barely sweet with an intense cocoa flavor.  Sorry kids, these are too good for you.  Since my husband doesn’t care for chocolate, I’m not sure who I made these for….ahem.   Recipe slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen.

  • 1 C. flour
  • 1/3 C. Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 1/4 t. baking soda
  • 1/2 C. salted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 C. sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 3 1/2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • Turbinado sugar for sprinkling

Combine the flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda in a bowl and set aside.  Cream the butter, sugar, and salt until fluffy.  Add the egg and vanilla.  Add the flour mixture a little at a time until just combined.  Add the chocolate and mix just a bit.  The dough will be very crumbly. Test it with a little pinch.  If it holds together when you pinch it, you’re done.  If it’s too powdery add a teaspoon of water.  Try not to over mix.  Wrap the dough in plastic and chill for about 30 minutes.  Heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Roll half of the dough out on a floured board until quite thin – about 1/8 inch.   This is not the easiest dough in the world to roll, it’s crumbly and will fall apart, so just roll enough to cut two or three cookies at a time.  Use a flexible spatula to transfer them to a parchment lined baking sheet.  Sprinkle with a bit of the Turbinado sugar.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Let them cool for one minute before transferring to a wire rack to cool.  Once cool these can be frozen in plastic bags.  Makes about 40 cookies.

IMG_0268

 

Posted in Dessert, Holidays and Special Occasions | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment