Kids in the Sink

Pomegranate White Chocolate Chip Cookies

pomcookies1

You know those really intimidating looking fruits in the produce aisle that show up in the late fall and continue to taunt us half way through the winter?  You know, they’re red and kind of strange looking.  Pomegranates.  That’s what they’re called.  Immediately Youtube how to manage a pomegranate and be intimidated by them no longer!  Then go buy one and make these cookies.

These cookies… ohhh, these cookies.  I made them shortly before Christmas and we haven’t gotten around to posting them until now.  That’s ok, though.  And do you know why?  It’s because they’re cute and they’re red and white. Do you know why that’s significant?  Because in a few short weeks, Valentine’s Day will be here.  If you’re on Pinterest, Valentine’s Day has already showed up.  I was pretty surprised to already be seeing all that red splattered all over the screen and the cute ideas I can use for the kiddos but I quickly jumped on board and realized that these cookies would be super for that occasion!  They’re cute.  They’re tasty.  There’s fruit in them, for Pete’s sake, and Valentine’s Day is like the official sponsor of fruit desserts (chocolate covered strawberries, you hear me?).

pomcookies4

I dare say, these are better than the old stand by of boring chocolate covered strawberries or (God forbid) a dumb edible arrangement.  I’m sorry.  I’ve been burned by that company every. single. time. I have attempted to utilize their services on or around February 14th.  So, I’m not sorry.  The only thing I’ll be sorry about is if you don’t make these cookies.  You’ll be sorry about it, too, so do not make that mistake.  Make these for you and your sweetie or your kids or your best friend or whoever it is that you celebrate Valentine’s Day with.  Happy (way early) Valentine’s Day!

-Melissa

pomcookies3

White Chocolate Pomegranate Cookies

Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup pomegranate arils

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and the sugars until light and fluffy.
  3. Add egg and vanilla and continue to beat until well combined.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Slowly stir the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
  6. Stir in the oats and white chocolate chips.
  7. With a very gentle hand, stir in the pomegranate arils until they’re evenly distributed throughout the dough.
  8. Make 1-inch dough balls, spaced at least 2 inches apart on the baking sheet and bake for about 10-12 minutes, or until just golden brown.
  9. Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Source: Two Peas and Their Pod

Leave a comment »

Faith Friday + Oreo Truffles

crackballs3

Now that I’m a stay at home mom, (Ahhhhhhhhh!!! My dream come true!) I decided to start waking up at 0′dark thirty when the husband gets up to read the Bible.  What’s wrong with me? I don’t know.  Whatever.  But I have to do it some time because if I waited until I have a free moment, that would be never.  The devil would win and that’s not good for business.  Do you have a routine for quiet time? Any tips for me?  I was struggling to figure out a good time and that’s what I came up with.

crackballs1

So anyway, this morning during my quiet time, I flipped open my Bible to Job.  I figured, that’s a good book to read again.  Wrong.  That book is sad!  I only read the first chapter and good grief, I was depressed.  Then I had to think about it a little more and really let it sink in.  God allowed Satan to test Job using all of his things, but wouldn’t allow him to actually lay a finger on Job himself.  God had such faith in Job, knowing that he wouldn’t falter or curse His holy name, even when everything he had in his life was taken away.  And guys, Satan really brought his A game.  Satan took all of his animals, which were his livelihood, and even his precious children.  But still, Job praised God.  Not just praised Him, but fell to his knees to praise Him! Wow.  Just wow.  Is anyone else feeling a little… guilty?

The thing Job remembered, even when it seemed like his life was being torn away from him, is that our God is sovereign.  Why would God allow such a thing to happen to such a faithful servant of His? Well, friends, that’s not for us to know.  That’s where faith comes in.  We have to believe that His plan is so much better than ours.  Like, SO much better!  It’s so easy to get bogged down by stuff.  When someone messes with our stuff, that’s when things get real.  We get serious. Seriously angry or depressed.  But do we ever get serious about praising Him when things get all messed up?  Do we ever throw ourselves down on our knees and just worship Him for what He is?  I’ve seen a few people in my life that praise Him even in the worst of storms, but it’s definitely not the norm.  It’s not our natural instinct.  It’s something we have to work at and ask God to improve in us.  It is what He expects of us, and I pray that during this Christmas season, we could remember that.

crackballs2

It’s so easy to get caught up in this “season” and make it about stuff.  This Christmas, if things don’t go exactly our way, let’s remember Job.  And not just because his story seems so tragic, but because he served the Lord the way that we all should.  He believed in God’s timing and never spoke a curse about it. I bet if we give that kind of faith a try, we would all benefit.  Happy weekend, friends.  Be blessed!

-Melissa

crackballs4

Oreo Truffles aka Oreo Crack Balls

Ingredients:

1 package Oreo cookies
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, room temperature
12 oz semisweet chocolate
2 tbsp coconut oil (or shortening)

Directions:

  1. In a food processor or blender, process whole Oreo’s until they are finely ground. You could even put them in a plastic bag and bust out the rolling pin. Go old school. Either way, try to get them as finely ground and smashed as possible.
  2. Place ground Oreo’s into a large bowl with the cream cheese. Using a wooden spoon or your hands, mix until it is well combined and all of the crumbs are moistened.
  3. Using a cookie scoop or tablespoon, scoop out Oreo mixture and roll into balls. Place on cookie sheet and chill in refrigerator.
  4. While the truffles are chilling, place your chocolate chips and coconut oil in a small saucepan over low heat. Melt, stirring occasionally, until smooth and glossy. You could also do this in the microwave in 30 second intervals.
  5. When the chocolate is melted, take the truffles out of the refrigerator and  coat them in the chocolate. I used a spoon to coat them and picked them up with a fork, shaking off any excess chocolate. Return to refrigerator to chill until set. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator for 1-2 weeks. Seriously, they can last a while. But they won’t. Trust me.

Source: A recipe we found somewhere on the Internets a looooong time ago

3 Comments »

Faith Friday + Candy Cookie Pizza Just Because

candypizza1Last Sunday, I was sitting in church, minding my own business, trying to get my God on, when God got all.up.in.my.face.

In a bad kinda good way. You know; the kind of way where He reveals something to you that you really didn’t want to hear, but you needed to hear, but it was hard to hear so really you would’ve rather not heard it, but it’s good that you did? Yeah. That kind.

It started with 2 Peter 3 and there were a couple things that really made me stop and shudder at how I act towards God, like, daily. And then immediately want to get on my knees in repentance.

8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3: 8-9)

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Wow. What is your definition of slowness? Because in this fast-paced world, I know mine is very different from God’s. To me, an hour can drag on forever. Waiting can feel like torture. But to the Lord, he’s barely blinked. He doesn’t see time the way we do, friends. We can’t understand all of the wonders and mysteries of Him, heavenly time being one of those things. I have said it before and I’ll say it again: i.am.not.patient. It is something I am constantly struggling with and something I wish I would get, because I am tired of lessons in patience. And so often I go to God, angry, asking why my prayers haven’t been answered. Why hasn’t He heard me? Why isn’t He talking back? Why isn’t He doing something?! How self-righteous that sounds to me as I type. How selfish. But praise God because of the second part of those verses. He is patient with us, so that all may come to repentance.

candypizza2

He could destroy us now. I could shout and complain and sin and He could destroy me instantly. I certainly deserve it. But He doesn’t. He is patient with me, allowing me to learn and bend and mold into the person He wants me to be. Allowing me to repent. Giving me that opportunity. The opportunity to once again, fall down on my knees and throw up my hands and say I am sorry. I am sorry. Minute after minute, hour after hour, day after day. He is patient where I am not. He is loving where I do not deserve it. His days are short where mine are long, but it is ALL FOR ME. And when I say me, I don’t mean me. This is for us. This is for everyone. So that everyone comes to repentance.

14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. 15 Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. (2 Peter 3: 14-15)

Our Lord is patient so that we may have salvation. He is withholding His wrath from us when we do not deserve it. He has the power to destroy with the mere blink of an eye. But He doesn’t! So what can we do to thank Him? What does He want us to do? How does He yearn for us to live? His wish for us is clear. He wants us to be at peace. To be blameless, spotless. He is there waiting with arms open wide to cover us in grace and mercy and love over and over again until He calls us all home. When we run to Him in repentance, He gives us peace. It is His promise to us. Don’t squander that precious gift. Run to Him. Lean on Him. Repent. He doesn’t work on our timetable, because our timetable is flawed. But His is always perfect. Always.

-Heather

Candy Cookie Pizza

Ingredients:

For the cake:

1 roll (16.5 oz) of sugar cookie dough
1/4 cup m&m’s
1/2 cup coarsely broken pretzels
20 fun sized candy bars, cut into fourths (about 2 cups)
1/4 cup chocolate chips, melted

For the frosting:

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 1/2 powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 12 inch pizza pan.  Roll out the cookie dough into a large circle.  Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.  Let cool completely.
  2. While cookie pizza crust is baking, make frosting.  Cream together cream cheese and butter for a few minutes until light and fluffy.  Add powdered sugar and vanilla and beat for several minutes until nice and creamy. Set aside.
  3. When cookie pizza crust is completely cool, spread frosting onto crust.  Sprinkle with broken pretzels and chopped candy bars.  Drizzle melted chocolate over finished product and serve chilled or at room temperature.

Source: adapted from Pillsbury

Leave a comment »

Faith Friday + Brown Butter Pumpkin Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting

Happy belated Thanksgiving, friends! We just wanted to take a moment to share the things that we’re thankful for this year.  I (Melissa) will go first!  Although this year has been a roller coaster of events and emotions, I wouldn’t change a thing.  This year I’m thankful to have seen my children grown up while only having to work part time.  I’m thankful that Bailey is becoming more and more her own person every day, even when that person wants to contradict what her mother says.  I’m thankful that Kale, in the last couple of months, has started becoming independent and not so dependent on me.  He’s starting to cling to his daddy and it’s so fun watching those two boys play together.  I’m thankful for my husband and that he’s right where he should be – home safely.  I’m thankful that in a time that is so hard for so many people, I have everything that I need and then some.  Although I’ve enjoyed my job and the experiences that it has brought me, I’m very thankful that next month will be my last month.  I’m so excited (and a little scared) to start my new adventure as a stay at home mom and hopefully a home schooling mama.  Lastly, I’m thankful for this blog and the people who continue to share with us, pray for us, support us and read about our shenanigans each day.  Oh, and I’m thankful for the other half of this blog and the friendship that we share.  Woof, friend!

Woof to you, too, friend! This year has been a roller coaster for the both of us. We’ve seen things unfold that we couldn’t have imagined ourselves and we have watched the Lord work in both of our lives this year. I (Heather) am thankful for so much, but not nearly often enough. Thanksgiving is a great day to give thanks, but it also causes me to pause and take note of all the days throughout the year in which I am not thankful enough. I’m thankful for the Lord and his unfailing, unwavering, and unconditional love. It’s His unconditional love that loves me even though I am whining, complaining, and rebelling. Even when I push Him away, He loves me still. And that has happened more often than I would like to admit this past year. I’m thankful for my husband, who had to humble himself, swallow his pride, and give up on “dreams” to support and provide for his family. I’m thankful for the job that was rewarded to us as a result and the wonderful town we have relocated to. I am thankful to be out of my mom’s house and into one of our very own. On that same note, I’m thankful for my mom and stepdad, who took us in for waaaay longer than they were supposed to and never once complained or made us feel like we were imposing.

I’m thankful for my children. For my little boy who is potty training now, becoming a big boy. For my little boy who hardly needs me at all, but still calls me mama, strokes my face, tells me I’m pretty, and doesn’t let go when he calls me at night, wanting me to stay just a little while longer. I’m thankful for my girl, for a whole year with her. I am thankful that she is learning to walk (literally) away from me, but I am thankful that I still get to nurse her, watching her as she sleeps, snuggled up against me and playing with her hair. I am thankful for those little hands that reach up to me and call me Mama.

I am thankful for my friends. All the new friends I made at Manna Church before I left, and the new friends that I will make here in Wendell. I am thankful for my best friend, who has helped me in every single way imaginable, over and over and over again. Who loves me when I forget to charge my camera and realize that after we’ve set up a shot. Who loves me when I forget things days in a row. Who loves me despite the fact that I am completely unorganized and chaotic, and she is…not. Who loves me despite the fact that I am kind of pretty much totally neurotic. Who just loves me. (And again, I’m thankful for my husband. Because he deals with those things AND lives with me every day.)

I am thankful for heat on cool nights and air on hot days. For hot showers. For comfy couches. For clean clothes and good food. For dark chocolate. For Apple products. Except maybe the iPhone, because mine continues to jump off of things and further shatter it’s screen. I am thankful for deep mixing bowls and good-ish kitchen knives. I am thankful for the library and nice days to walk there. I am thankful for sippy cups that don’t leak and the fact that my pre-Ella pants still fit. I am thankful for the treats that I continue to make, apparently to challenge that. I am thankful for life. For my health and the health of my family. I am thankful for the air in my lungs and the blood in my veins and the heart that beats for my Savior. I am thankful for a son who loved me enough to offer one last sacrifice for all, Himself.

-Heather and Melissa

Brown Butter Pumpkin Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting

Ingredients:

For the cupcakes:
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs

For the caramel sauce:
2 cups granulated sugar
12 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
1 tbsp fleur de sel or coarse sea salt

For the frosting:
3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup salted caramel sauce

Directions:

  1. For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line a muffin tin with paper liners. Set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter, stirring occasionally until brown flecks form. Once you see the brown flecks and smell a nutty aroma, remove it from the heat. Pour into a bowl and let cool.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and spices.
  4. In another bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, sugars, eggs, vanilla, and brown butter. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until just combined.
  5. Divide the batter evenly among the cups, filling 3/4 of the way, and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Transfer the pans to a wire cooling wrack and let cool completely before removing the cupcakes.
  6. For the caramel sauce: Take all of your ingredients out and have them ready. Once you start, you will need to be careful not to burn the sauce. This can happen quickly. Also, you might not want to do this in the middle of potty training or your caramel sauce will come out a little darker than you intended. Just sayin’.
  7. In a heavy 2-3 qt saucepan, heat the sugar over medium-high heat. When the sugar starts to melt, start whisking. The sugar will clump, but keep whisking and it will continue to melt. Once it is mostly melted, stop whisking and swirl the pan to melt any remaining.
  8. Continue to cook, swirling the pan as necessary, until the sugar is a deep amber color, or 350 degrees. Watch it very carefully at this stage, because it can go from golden delicious to burnt in a second.
  9. As soon as the caramel is a deep amber, carefully add the butter and whisk until melted.
  10. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully whisk in the heavy cream until combined. Whisk in the sea salt and let cool for 10 minutes in pan before removing to a container.
  11. For the frosting: In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  12. Reduce speed to low and add the powdered sugar, mixing until combined.
  13. Turn off the mixer and add the caramel sauce. Mix on low until combined, then beat on medium-high until light and airy, about 2-3 minutes.
  14. Frost the cooled cupcakes and drizzle with caramel sauce. Enjoy!

Source: Two Peas and Their Pod

1 Comment »

The Slacker’s Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup

We know, we know, most of you probably have half of your Thanksgiving already prepared by today, let alone your menu finalized and prepared for. You probably made lists and timelines and prepared for months in advance for the big feast.

And that’s cool. If that’s your thing. But mostly, we kind of procrastinate. Ok, I (Heather) mostly always procrastinate. If Melissa made a Thanksgiving feast, she would most surely be a planner and list maker. But, neither of us are going to be hosting Thanksgiving this year, so we are procrastinators. Sorry. 

We know that our fellow procrastinators are out there, just scouring the recipe round-ups, looking for that last minute something. And we love you for that. And because we love you, we rounded up some of our own past recipes that would be a perfect addition to your Thanksgiving menu. All of these are pretty easy to throw together, but will taste like you spent hours in the kitchen.

Apple Pie Baked Oatmeal - Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, even on Thanksgiving. You’ve got to keep your energy up, cooking and hosting. So make this the night before, throw it in the oven in the morning while you are prepping other things, and you have a very easy, filling, and most importantly, delicious breakfast to get you through the day. Win.

Baked Pumpkin French Toast - Yet another throw in the fridge overnight, bake in the morning, enjoy. This french toast is totally wonderful. I mean, it has a streusel. Anything that has the word streusel in it, is automatically grounds for making and devouring. Start your cheat day off the right way, friends.

Deviled Eggs - You guys know us. We are Southern girls. And we’ve said it before, if you are southern and you are having a get together, which is defined as any occasion in which 5 or more people are involved, then you need deviled eggs. Enough said.

You Look Like Cap’n Crunch Sweet Potato Casserole - This sweet potato casserole is a huge hit at our Thanksgiving. My (Heather) mom requests it throughout the year, especially at Thanksgiving. We adapted the recipe for a challenge to make a Cap’n Crunch topping, which my husband now prefers, but you could top it with marshmallows or the original recipe called for a pecan/brown sugar topping. Whichever is your thing. Do you.

Roasted Broccoli - AKA the best broccoli of your life. This broccoli is so delicious and really should be a player on your Thanksgiving table. You won’t regret it. Trust.

Sixty-Minute Dinner Rolls - Dinner rolls. In 60 minutes. That taste like regular rolls that take forever to rise and rise and rise again. What else do we need to say?

Brown-Sugar Buttermilk Pie - This pie. I (Heather) have been waiting since last year for a reason to make this pie. And the reason has come. Tomorrow, I will be throwing this together and trying hard not to eat it before Thursday. You should do the same. It puts pumpkin and pecan pie to shame.

So that’s it. That’s all we got. Next year, we will be on top of things. Maybe. Probably.

Happy Thanksgiving all! Enjoy it with family and friends! Reflect on all of the things in our lives that the Lord has given us, and count your blessings, because they are great!

Oh give thanks to the LORD, call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples. -1 Chronicles 16:8

-Heather and Melissa

 

Leave a comment »

The Slacker's Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup

We know, we know, most of you probably have half of your Thanksgiving already prepared by today, let alone your menu finalized and prepared for. You probably made lists and timelines and prepared for months in advance for the big feast.

And that’s cool. If that’s your thing. But mostly, we kind of procrastinate. Ok, I (Heather) mostly always procrastinate. If Melissa made a Thanksgiving feast, she would most surely be a planner and list maker. But, neither of us are going to be hosting Thanksgiving this year, so we are procrastinators. Sorry. 

We know that our fellow procrastinators are out there, just scouring the recipe round-ups, looking for that last minute something. And we love you for that. And because we love you, we rounded up some of our own past recipes that would be a perfect addition to your Thanksgiving menu. All of these are pretty easy to throw together, but will taste like you spent hours in the kitchen.

Apple Pie Baked Oatmeal - Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, even on Thanksgiving. You’ve got to keep your energy up, cooking and hosting. So make this the night before, throw it in the oven in the morning while you are prepping other things, and you have a very easy, filling, and most importantly, delicious breakfast to get you through the day. Win.

Baked Pumpkin French Toast - Yet another throw in the fridge overnight, bake in the morning, enjoy. This french toast is totally wonderful. I mean, it has a streusel. Anything that has the word streusel in it, is automatically grounds for making and devouring. Start your cheat day off the right way, friends.

Deviled Eggs - You guys know us. We are Southern girls. And we’ve said it before, if you are southern and you are having a get together, which is defined as any occasion in which 5 or more people are involved, then you need deviled eggs. Enough said.

You Look Like Cap’n Crunch Sweet Potato Casserole - This sweet potato casserole is a huge hit at our Thanksgiving. My (Heather) mom requests it throughout the year, especially at Thanksgiving. We adapted the recipe for a challenge to make a Cap’n Crunch topping, which my husband now prefers, but you could top it with marshmallows or the original recipe called for a pecan/brown sugar topping. Whichever is your thing. Do you.

Roasted Broccoli - AKA the best broccoli of your life. This broccoli is so delicious and really should be a player on your Thanksgiving table. You won’t regret it. Trust.

Sixty-Minute Dinner Rolls - Dinner rolls. In 60 minutes. That taste like regular rolls that take forever to rise and rise and rise again. What else do we need to say?

Brown-Sugar Buttermilk Pie - This pie. I (Heather) have been waiting since last year for a reason to make this pie. And the reason has come. Tomorrow, I will be throwing this together and trying hard not to eat it before Thursday. You should do the same. It puts pumpkin and pecan pie to shame.

So that’s it. That’s all we got. Next year, we will be on top of things. Maybe. Probably.

Happy Thanksgiving all! Enjoy it with family and friends! Reflect on all of the things in our lives that the Lord has given us, and count your blessings, because they are great!

Oh give thanks to the LORD, call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples. -1 Chronicles 16:8

-Heather and Melissa

 

Leave a comment »

Pecan Tassies

One year, my cousin brought these to our Thanksgiving meal. Before this experience, I believed that I didn’t like things like pecan pie. And honestly? I’m not sure if I like pecan pie or not. I’ve still never actually had a slice. You see, I may have talked about this before, but I grew up in a house where only my mom cooked. And if my mom didn’t like something, she didn’t cook it. She didn’t like pecan pie. Or pumpkin, or brussel sprouts, or sweet potatoes, or various other things that stunted the growth of the immature foodie-to-be in me. She also wasn’t/isn’t really a big fan of baking (I know, right?! Who is this person and how did she spawn me??) so needless to say, she never made or bought a pecan pie, regardless of how many folks think it’s a staple around the holiday season.

That brings me back to these little babies. These little darlings. I maybe ate the entire batch of these the year my cousin brought them. Cream cheese in the crust? Brown sugar and butter and pecans in the filling? Yes, please. Sign me up quick, fast, in a hurry! I begged her for the recipe and she gave it to me and boy, oh boy, has my life been ever changed. If you haven’t had one of these before, please, please, try them. You won’t regret it. Well, you might. If you like your waistline to stay like it is and not be ever-expanding. But hey, it’s Thanksgiving. That means the calories don’t count, right? Right! Let’s do this…

-Melissa

Pecan Tassies

Makes about 24

Ingredients:

For the crust:

1/2 cup butter, softened
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup all purpose flour

For the filling:

2 tbsp butter, melted
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup pecan pieces

Directions:

  1. For the crust: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a mini muffin pan.
  2. Beat together butter and cream cheese for about 2 minutes on medium until light and fluffy. Then add flour and mix until a soft dough begins to form. You may have to use your hands to bring the dough together at the end.
  3. Shape dough into approximately 1 inch balls and place in prepared mini muffin pan. Using a rounded shaper or your fingers, press down to make the dough balls into little crusts for each mini muffin cup. I use the wooden end of my pizza cutter and it works perfectly to form the crusts but I have used my fingers to mold each ball into a crust, as well. If using a shaper, dip it in flour each time to prevent sticking. Also liberally flour hands if using fingers to mold each crust. Set aside and make filling.
  4. For the filling: Stir together butter, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla until well combined. Add in pecan pieces and stir until mixed.
  5. Fill each crust with a scant teaspoon full of filling, taking care not to over fill. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Once baked, cool in pan for 3 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Source: The Pampered Chef

PS. Since this is a Pampered Chef recipe, I feel the need to note that our friend, Paula at All Things Moms is a Pampered Chef consultant. This recipe (and many others!) would be made much easier by utilizing some of their amazing products so please see her for any and all of your kitchen needs!

1 Comment »

Maple Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

It’s finally here! The week of Thanksgiving, where us foodies get to plan our menus and cook for days and then eat, eat, eat to our little hearts content! This week we’ll be coming at you with a few Thanksgiving desserts and then on Wednesday, a last minute roundup for all you last minute procrastinators who still haven’t finalized your menu.  If you’re that person, God bless you for going to the grocery store that late.  Our prayers are with you!

Until then, add this to your dessert menu for the big day.  They’re cheesecake but much, much easier.  And they’re pumpkin.  You KNOW there must be a pumpkin dessert at Thanksgiving dinner and it doesn’t have to be the traditional pumpkin pie.  You can make these creamy, dreamy treats instead.  Or make them for a random Monday treat.  Either way, we promise you’ll be excited about it.

-Heather and Melissa

Maple Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Ingredients:

For the crust:

42 gingersnap cookies
2 tbsp granulated sugar
5 tbsp butter, melted

For the cheesecake filling:

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
2 eggs
12 ounces evaporated milk
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
Pinch ground cloves

Directions:

  1. For the crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees  and grease a 9×13 baking dish.  Line dish with parchment paper so that the paper is hanging over on each long side of the pan.
  2. In a food processor pulse together the gingersnaps and sugar until they’re finely crushed.  Add the melted butter and pulse a few more times until well incorporated.
  3. Pour out mixture onto the prepared baking dish and press down until the crust is evenly distributed in the dish.  Bake for about 10 minutes.  When done, set aside until the filling is ready to be poured in.
  4. For the filling: Meanwhile, prepare the filling.  In a large bowl, cream together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add the pumpkin and beat until smooth.  Add the eggs and beat well, scraping the sides as needed.  Add the evaporated milk, maple syrup, and vanilla and continue to beat until well incorporated. Lastly, add cinnamon, ginger, salt, and cloves until well mixed.
  5. Pour filling over prepared crust in baking dish and bake for 30-45 minutes.  The original recipe calls for 30-35 but I baked mine in a glass pan so it took longer for some reason.  Just be careful and watch it after 30ish minutes.  Remove from oven when it is set in the middle of the pan.
  6. Remove from oven and set on wire rack to cool.  Once they’re room temperature, remove from pan using the overhanging parchment. You can then cut them into bars and refrigerate.  I like them best served cold.  Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Source: Brown Eyed Baker

Leave a comment »

Faith Friday + The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever

Oh my gosh, guys.  I’m reading this book and it’s totally convicting me.  “Messing me up in a good way,” is how I’ve heard the girls at She Reads Truth refer to it.  Except that I’m not sure how good it is just yet, because I just read a chapter and had to immediately come write this entry, because it messed me up that much.

The book is Weird by Craig Groeschel, and weird it is.  I’m not too far into it but the chapter I just read, chapter 3, was about rest and the lack of ability to rest.  Conviction, here we go.  Heather always tells me she has trouble with being lazy and I have trouble with resting.  I, for one, don’t think Heather is lazy but I know, without a doubt, that I have trouble resting.  I’ve always blown people off when they’ve brought that up to me.  There is no blowing God off, I guess.  This time He told me via this book and it totally smacked me in the face.  Dang. I don’t know how to rest.  I literally don’t know how. I sleep at night. Not very well, because I have two young children, which is self-explanatory, but I do manage to get some sleep.  If I’m awake, though, I’m doing something.  Menu planning, cooking , sorting through recipes, catching up on Facebook messages or emails, planning cool stuff to do with the kids, etc.

Guys, I check my texts, emails, and Facebook updates at stop lights.  Seriously? I am not that important. I am a mommy that works part-time (for now, more to come on that later) and I’m addicted to being busy.  That’s ridiculous!  I’m so busy being busy that I miss time with my babies, the ones that make me the most happy!  Stupid.  Sure, they’re around in the house while I’m doing all this busy work but we’re certainly not spending time together. I could go on and on about the stupid things I do instead of rest but that doesn’t seem productive so let’s just move on.

Matthew 11:28-30 reads, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  I’m not sure about you, friends, but my yoke feels anything but easy and my burdens are the farthest thing from light.  Duh.  Because I’m not doing it right.  I’m not doing it His way.  If I don’t take time to rest, I’m not obeying Him.  It doesn’t matter if the things I’m doing instead of resting are good things.  It doesn’t matter that they’re not necessarily bad or harmful to me.  The truth is, they’re harmful to my soul if I can’t get away from them long enough to rest.

Surely I’m not the only one of us who does this, right?  Please, tell me I’m not alone here!  Let’s all just remember, around this time of Thanksgiving, to be thankful for all that we have.  Not for the fancy accessories and cool electronics.  But for the very fundamental things such as family, and friends, and rest.  Be thankful that we’re not just given the suggestion to rest and spend time with our God, but that we’ve been given an order to do so.  That’s pretty awesome.  God, Himself, told us to sit down and just take it all in.  Make time for that, friends.  It’s important.

And while you are resting, enjoy Heather’s most favorite chocolate chip cookies. Thin and chewy for days, because they are made with brown sugar instead of granulated. Well, chewy for days if they last days. And after you make them, I’m betting they won’t. Have a blessed weekend!

-Melissa

*Note: I’m just going to say it again; if you would just listen to me the FIRST time, it’d save you some heartache. You know I’m, like, always right. :) I’m totally kidding. A little. Woof, friend! -Heather

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever

Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup + 3 tbsp plain flour
1 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, use a wooden spoon to mix together the butter, brown sugar, salt, and baking soda until completely combined.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until well combined.
  4. Add the flour and mix until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Scoop tablespoon sized balls and place them on the prepared baking sheet, about an inch apart.
  6. Bake for about 8-10 minutes, until the cookies are just set in the middle. Be very careful NOT to overbake! They will set more as they cool and this  keeps them chewy and wonderful.
  7. Let cool on pan for 1-2 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely. Unless you just can’t wait and want to burn your tongue off on hot, gooey cookies. It would totally be worth it and no one would judge you.

Source: Butter

3 Comments »

Bread Pudding + Happy Blogiversary!

Friends!  A year ago, we started this little blog with a  Buffalo Shrimp Wrap.  Check that out.  How bad is that picture?! Bad! In one short year, we’ve learned some amazing things about blogging, faith, photography, and friendships.  Both of our lives have taken drastic changes that we probably couldn’t have predicted had you asked us a year ago.

People would read our Facebook status’ and tell us that we should be writing this stuff down.  People would ask us for recipes to things we were posting about.  Heather said over and over that we needed a blog.  So, finally, as typically happens, Heather took the initiative and made a blog.  She said I could be a part of it if I wanted but that she was going to finally do it.  Well, ok then.  Why not, right? So we started off on this venture together and it’s been quite a learning experience.  Heather has become an amazing photographer (because she was already a pretty amazing writer) and I tapped into my writing skills that I didn’t know were there and together (with God), we’ve grown this thing that I feel so proud of.  But I’ll let Heather tell the second half of the story…

Guys, please don’t look at that picture. I am really, extremely tempted to totally delete that link, but instead I will just justify it by saying it was totally a whim thing, this whole blog, and so was that picture and it was the middle of the night and it was with the sorriest, crap camera of life. And I didn’t even know what the words aperture or shutter speed meant.

Ok. I’m done. So, I made a blog, Melissa joined, we posted stuff. I felt increasingly that we needed to incorporate our faith more into the blog. I just thought it would really be a good way to encourage others and spread the word. I just wasn’t sure how. I ran the idea of a Faith Friday past Melissa and she liked it, so we hashed out the details and posted our very first Faith Friday with oatmeal cream pies. Not long after that, one of us got the idea to start pinning our own recipes. Every day after that, we got more and more viewers. And the funny thing is, those little oatmeal cream pies still get us more views than any other post. The first post where we openly began discussing our faith as an encouragement to others gets us the most views. To this day.

We kind of took that as a sign that we were on the right track and continued blogging and Faith Friday’s. But blogging can be hard and life gets in the way. Especially when so many things in both of our lives were going down paths neither of us could have predicted. Through the course of this blog, we have been on a roller coaster of ups and downs, and often times it has seemed like we couldn’t see a foot in front of us to know which way to go, when to move, how to make it work. And sometimes, that took its toll and we wanted to quit. We’re just a little blog. Who really reads us, right? It’s not like we’re Pinch of Yum, or anything. (By the way, if you ever read this, you’re our hero, Linsday! We totally started our blog because of you and we think you are doing AMAZING things in Christ!)

But, every time that we wanted to quit, we would get a record views that day. Most of the time, that happened after not even posting regularly! We can’t explain it. But each and every time, God showed up and said, Look, you guys are doing the right thing. Keep it up. I’m working here. Follow my lead.

So we did. Through financial struggles and family problems and now a move across counties, we did. And we continue to. And we just pray that God is using us, using our blog, to touch the lives of our readers. Even just one. We are so thankful for every single person that looks at our little piece of the world-wide web, and we are so blessed to have so many people who have encouraged us and prayed for us. God is doing amazing things. Through all of us. It is with the work of His hand that this blog is possible and the views of people like you that keep us going.

So thanks. And make a chocolate bread pudding. With homemade whipped cream. And maybe eat it all at, oh, 10:00 am. Because it happens.

Happy blogiversary!

-Heather and Melissa

Chocolate Chunk Bread Pudding

Ingredients:

For the bread pudding: 

6 Hawaiian sweet bread, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2/3 cup milk
2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp Kahlua (I didn’t have any, so I just added a tad more milk)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 ounce semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped or 1/4 cup chocolate chips

For the whipped cream:

1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 tbsp powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. For the bread pudding: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Arrange the bread cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes until lightly toasted. Remove bread from oven.
  3. While the bread is cooling, combine the milk and the next 5 ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk until combined. Add the bread and toss gently, coating each piece. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.
  4. After the bread mixture has chilled, preheat the oven to 325 degrees and coat a small baking dish (I didn’t have ramekins, so I used a 3 cup Pyrex dish) or 2 ramekins with cooking spray.
  5. Pour half of the bread mixture into your baking dish and sprinkle with half of the chocolate. Pour the remaining bread mixture on top and sprinkle with the remaining chocolate.
  6. Place the baking dish in an 8×8 square baking pan and add hot water to the depth of about an inch. Make sure that the water does not spill over the top into the bread pudding or it won’t set.
  7. Bake for 35 minutes or until set. Serve warm with a dollop of whipped cream.
  8. For the whipped cream: In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the cream, sugar, and vanilla. Whip on high until light and fluffy.

Source: The Best of Cooking Light

1 Comment »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 133 other followers