Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Am I back?

 

It has been a year since I blogged.  A whole year.  I wasn’t sure I would come back to blogging.  I have still been baking, cooking, creating, loving….but haven’t felt the words to blog.  I was thinking about getting back into it in January, just not sure what would be my back to it post.

Then….came the email.  “Show us what you would make with our Girl Scout cookies”  The calling….yes, I had some great ideas.  And so I said yes,  I would love some cookies to play with, to create with, to BLOG with. 

I ran some great (in my mind) ideas by the husband and boys….and came up with these.

Samoa Baked Doughnuts

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Looks good right?!   Good enough for a comeback?  :)

I love how easy baked doughnuts are, no need to mess around with oil and frying.  I love a good fried yeasty doughnut, but there is something about a baked cakey doughnut that just makes me happy.  And we all want to be happy.  These will make you happy.  I promise.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup AP Flour

3 TB Unsweetened Cocoa

1/2 cup Sugar

1/2 tsp Baking Soda

1/4 tsp Baking Powder

1 TBSP Coconut Extract

1/4 cup Milk

1 Egg

3 TBSP Canola Oil

1/4 cup Hot Water

Preheat your oven to 350 deg.  Gather your ingredients. 

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I will tell you all about that Coconut Jam in a bit.  It’s divine. 

Directions:

Mix your dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. 

In a large-ish measuring cup, whisk together the milk, egg, oil and coconut extract.  Pour into the dry ingredients and whisk all together until there are no traces of flour.  Mixture will be thick.  Add 1/4 cup of hot water.  Whisk together slowly as to not splash. 

Pour batter into prepared (spray with baking spray) doughnut pans.  Fill wells about 1/2 way full.  I like to pour my batter into a piping bag and then pipe in the batter….less mess.  Makes approx 9-10 doughnuts depending on your pan size.

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Wilton makes a great heart doughnut pan….thought that would be fun for Valentine’s Day…aka love day.

Bake the doughnuts for about 9-10 minutes.  Should be springy when touched.   Gently remove from the pan and onto a rack to cool.

While the doughnuts are cooling mix together the following for the chocolate glaze.

1/4 cup Melted Butter  (so worth it.)

1 1/2 cups Powdered/Confectioners Sugar

2 TB Unsweetened Cocoa

2 tsp Coconut Extract

1-2 TB Hot Water

Mix all ingredients together, except the water.  Add water one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. 

Then…..take about 4 tablespoons of the delicious Coconut Jam and put in a microwavable dish.  Microwave the jam for about 15 seconds until slightly melted.   You can find this jam in most Asian markets.  It seriously tastes like a coconut caramel….awfully decadent, and incredibly delicious. Look at it…

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Be sure to chop up about 4-5 Girl Scout Samoa cookies too.  And have a few tablespoons of shredded coconut out too.

Time to assemble these doughnuts….

Gently dip the doughnut into the glaze – put back on to the rack so the glaze can do it’s thing and drip down the sides (yum).  Work on two at a time so that the glaze stays wet enough for toppings to stick.  Sprinkle the glaze with a bit of shredded coconut, and chopped Samoa.   Work on two at a time until all have toppings.   Then…..you cannot miss this step….drizzle all the topped doughnuts with the melted Coconut Jam. 

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Next…it’s really easy….call down your children, husband, anyone, to enjoy these with you.  They wont be disappointed.

A huge thank you to Girl Scouts of Western Washington for allowing me to participate in their Girl Scout Cookie Contest.

If you need to find out where to get your hands on some Girl Scout cookies to make these….they made this really awesome cookie finder page for you.  Cookie sales are from Feb. 28 – March 16.

You can also find Girl Scouts of Western Washington on Facebook and Twitter.

Hope you get your hands on some Samoas and make these…..seriously.

ps….doughnuts are the new cupcake.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Do-Si-Do Pie!


It’s that time of year again….the Girl Scouts are out and about selling their delicious cookies door to door and at your local grocery stores.  Have you seen them yet?  If not, you can check HERE to see how to get your hands on some of their goodies.  There is an app for that too!!
The Girl Scouts of Western Washington announced last month that they would be having their Girl Scout Cookie Recipe Contest again….and of course, even though I am as busy as can be, I couldn’t NOT take the chance to submit a recipe.
I wanted to make something with peanut butter this year, though I did test some recipes out with the Savannah Smiles….love the lemon tang….goes perfect with meyer lemons.
And you know peanut butter goes ever so lovely with….chocolate!
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Do-Si-Do Pie!
I made 4 mini pies (4inch) but this recipe would make an 8 inch pie
Crust:
2 Sleeves of Do-Si-Do cookies – with the peanut butter filling removed (eek….I know!)
4 tbsp Melted Butter
Chocolate Peanut Butter Ganache:
5 oz Chopped Dark Chocolate
1/4 cup Smooth Peanut Butter
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
Peanut Butter Chocolate Filling:
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
1/2 cup Smooth Peanut Butter
1/2 cup Powdered Sugar
7 oz  Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 oz Melted Dark Chocolate
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
To make the crust:
Put the do-si-do cookies in a large ziploc bag.  Take your frustrations out on the cookies with a rolling pin or meat tenderizer….or if you have no frustrations, feel free to put them in a food processor and turn them into crumbs.  I liked leaving some larger chunks for texture, but mostly you want crumbs.  Similar to making a graham cracker crust.
Put into a medium sized bowl.  Add butter and mix thoroughly.  Press the mixture into the bottom of the pie plate(s).  Put into the fridge while you make the other components to the pie.
To make the Chocolate Peanut Butter Ganache:
Place the chopped chocolate and peanut butter into a heat proof bowl.
On medium low, heat the heavy cream and vanilla in a small pot. Simmer for a minute or two….you want it hot, but not boiling.
Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate and peanut butter.  Let it sit for a bit to let the chocolate melt a bit.
Whisk together until smooth.  Set aside to cool a little, but not too much – you want it pourable still.
To make the Peanut Butter Chocolate Filling:
I used this recipe from Jennifer Perillo for this filling….with the addition of chocolate to make it a little richer.
Whip the heavy cream in a bowl until stiff peaks form.  Put the bowl into the fridge to chill out while you make the rest of the filling.
In a double boiler or microwave, melt the 2 oz of dark chocolate and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the cream cheese and peanut butter until fluffy and lovely.  Switch it to low and beat in the powdered sugar until combined.  Add in the condensed milk, vanilla and melted chocolate.  Increase the speed and mix until well combined and the filling is smooth.
Using a large spatula, mix in 1/2 of the whipped cream.  Then fold in the remainder of the whipped cream.
To put the whole pie together….
Take the pie plate(s) out of the fridge. 
Spoon enough of the Chocolate Peanut Butter Ganache to cover the bottom of the pie crust.
Pour the Peanut Butter Chocolate Filling into the pie plate(s).  Use a spatula to smooth the surface.
Drizzle some of the remaining ganache over the top of the filling to make it look pretty.
Put the pie into the fridge to set for a few hours or overnight.  If you can wait that long.  This pie filling is hard to not just sit with and devour with a spoon.
ENJOY!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Courage to Change GIVEAWAY


Super excited to kick the year off with a giveaway on LB,BO.  When I saw that Shell, from Things I Can’t Say, was looking for bloggers to test out and giveaway board games from Courage to Change, games designed for kids with special needs, I knew that it was an opportunity I should jump on.  All the games that I was able to chose from were tempting….but I focused on one that I thought would help and be fun for my special little man.
One of the things that we (Aiden’s Preschool teachers and I) are working on with him is routine and rules. We are planning on putting him in all day kindergarten next year, knowing that it could be tough, to get him use to those routines and rules that go along with being in school ALL day.  So that when he gets to first grade, he has them down pat and can focus on the learning.  So….when I saw “The Classroom Behavior Game”, I knew that would be a great one to work on these skills with him to prepare him for next year.  I also thought that it would be a fun game to take into the school so that his classmates could enjoy it and learn some of the rules as well.
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After watching the video about the game and who it caters to, I knew that it would be a fantastic game for Aiden.  And for Jakob!  It will be a fun way for Jakob to teach Aiden how to behave in school, and maybe remind Jakob too!! :)
I am REALLY looking forward to getting the game – my stalking the tracking number says it will be here in three days.  You could have a chance to win one too! a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Be sure to check back here next week for a review of the game itself, after the boys and I get to play it a few times and take it into Aiden’s class for his friends to give it a whirl.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year

 

With the start of a brand new year, I think about all the things that I didn’t quite accomplish in the past year and if they are something that I really wanted to do…or what was stopping me.

Ask anyone who knows me well will tell you I am the queen of procrastination – will find any reason to stand in my own way.

I have goals for this year, attainable ones.  We will get into this later as I start to plan them out a little further.

The problem with starting this new year and thinking about all the great possibilities that come with it is that I am starting it without my partner, my best friend.  Having Jason on the other side of the world for the first half of this year makes it difficult.  Will it really start, do I want to accomplish all these goals without him?  I know he would tell me to get it done, get going, make things happen.

Damn Army. 

So, with those thoughts floating around my head and heart, I wish you all a very Happy New Year and hope that all your dreams come true this year….I plan on making mine!

Monday, September 10, 2012

He touches my heart….

 

Aiden had his first day of school today.  Another year of Preschool for my little man, he will love it and then will be primed and ready for Kindergarten next year.

Today he came home with this:

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A puzzle…with this note:

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Touching.  Truly warmed my heart.  And we did just what it said, we put it together and he told me about all the fun he had.  Thank you Ms. H, I adore it.

It was inspired by this book, which they read today:

kissing hand

Great first day!!