29.8.12

Whoopie Pie Wednesday: Pineapple & Malibu

A dessert from a drink is a favorite of mine, a perfectly acceptable way to enjoy one while you're working;)I don't know where this idea struck me, probably in the pudding aisle. That's where most of random ideas formulate. I know...

Anyways, Summer is drawing to a close, and I wanted to try some light treats to celebrate with friends. And what better way than pineapple and coconut?! Actually, I could probably think of 4 dozen ways(but I won't bore you with trivial details) as I may have a slight abhorrence aversion to coconut. Pina Coladas, never. Coconut cream pie, No thanks. I think it's when it's overwhelming and definitely the texture. shudder at the thought. Those little pieces floating around. Messy. Haha. Ugh. But I digress...

I can handle Malibu in small doses, mainly with exponential amounts of pineapple juice, probably the opposite of most people, but I may have started to slowly appreciate the sweetness of coconut. And while this is not my favorite of the whoopie pies, I did find it more tasty than I had anticipated. But my coconut loving friends gobbled these right up so if you're a fan, this is perfect for you!


Ingredients
1 box pineapple cake 
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil(canola or veggie)
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1 tbs malibu
Filling
1 box coconut cream pudding
6-8 oz cream cheese softened
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tbs heavy whipping cream
2 tbs Malibu
(or cool whip)

Preheat oven to 350'
Mix together dry cake mix, oil, eggs, juice and Malibu. The dough will be thick, I sometimes put in fridge for 1/2 an hour before putting on cookie sheet. I normally use a round TBSP to place on cookie sheet, but you can also use a round TSP to make them bite size and get more out of it. Bake 8-9 minutes

For the filling
Cream softened cream cheese on low for 1 minute to get fluffy, add the pudding packet, tbs of whipping cream and the Malibu, beat until fully incorporated and slowly add the remaining whipping cream and beat until very stiff peaks begin to form. or for alternate version, prepare the pudding w/1 cup cold milk and Malibu and mix w/cool whip. Place in fridge for hour to let either version set up. 


Once the cookies have cooled, lay one cookie flat, top it w/the filling and then place it's partner on top. 

***Notes I only used half the pudding packet, cause you know, I love me some coconut.or not. and this would probably be good w/real coconut flakes added to the filling and maybe small pineapple pieces to the dough. 






28.8.12

New Hampshire take 1

We normally take two trips a year with my in-laws, Florida and a different New England location. We've done the Berkshires and Vermont. and my in laws own a place in Jamestown, RI. It's a small island adjacent to Newport. We go there for long weekends and golf outings for the guys.
 I did not think it possible to love N.H. as much as the lush greens of Vermont(plus, Vermont has Ben & Jerry's, I mean...)but how wrong I was. My heart some how found space to adore it...just as much. I will not write a whole lot on this post as words aren't necessary in this scenario, ergo, the pictures will do the talking. 
View from the Sunset Hill House, doesn't even look real...It sure is!
My in-laws, I apologize that they're probably "awesomer" than yours;) 


walking bridge in Littelon, next to cool old mill


Iron Bridge 

Iron Furnace in Franconia Notch

Pollyanna, I was die hard for this movie(Littleton)

So polite;) downtown Littleton

The gorgeous river basin

She's 6' I'm 5'3...this makes for it looking like I'm being spanked.
 hahahaha 

more river basin

Loved Sugar Hill, so quaint!

a church in Sugar Hill, one of my favorite captures.

afternoon tea at the Horse and Hound Inn

You can see part two of our trip, which includes Cannon Mountain
 and the breathtaking Mt. Washington hotel, Here 

Linking up with Travel Tuesday.

27.8.12

Strawberry Cheesecake Ooey Gooey Bars


Sometimes you just want something sticky and well, ooey;) these bars do just the trick. And they're so easy to make. I'm obviously completely a wee bit obsessed w/the ooey gooey butter cookies and this is the "cake" version that the cookies were based on, with a slight variation: strawberry! Yum. I've made a few and while the red velvet is my favorite to date, this offers a "summery" flavor temptation that the red velvet lacks. Who am I kidding...I will eat red velvet whenever(and wherever!)



So here is the adapted version of Paula Deen's Ooey Gooey Bars

Ingredients

Cake:
1 box stawberry cake mix
1 egg
8 tablespoons butter, melted
Filling:
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened 
2 eggs 
1 teaspoon vanilla 
8 tablespoons butter, melted 
1 16-ounce box powdered sugar

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine the cake mix, egg, and butter and mix well with an electric mixer.  Pat the mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 13 by 9-inch baking pan.
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth.  Add the eggs, vanilla, and butter and beat together. 
Next, add the powdered sugar and mix well.  Spread over cake batter and bake for 40 to 50 minutes.  Make sure not to over bake as the center should be a little gooey.
**** I actually used two 8x8 pans and baked for around 35 minutes. But I normally follow her directions. and I like this better when it's a few hours old, I didn't refrigerate it but I imagine if it wasn't all eaten that you should overnight.


California Caprese Skewers

We had friends over for dinner and I was trying to find something quick and easy to throw out and I had heard of "California Caprese Salads" before and knew my friend liked avocados and thought I'd give it a whirl.It calls for most of Wiki's favorite ingredients(see:awesome wife) and instead of fresh basil, I incorporated a pesto dressing to be drizzled over the top. It was not difficult at all and was actually less messy than making the usual salad version. 


Ingredients
8 skewers
1 package small mozzarella balls
1 package cherry tomatoes
2/3 avocados
1/2 cup pesto(homemade or classico store bought)




Slice the avocados in half and remove pit, if you have a melon baller use it to scoop balls of flesh out(ummm, I just giggled typing that. haha I don't feel bad admitting that) and lay on a separate plate with the mozzarella and tomatoes. Now take each ingredient and slide onto skewer, I did three of each. Lay on serving tray and drizzle with the pesto. If you won't be serving for a while, leave one of the avocado pits on the plate and cover before placing in fridge. This can minimize browning of the avocado.

My mother in law always makes her own pesto and here is her recipe:
2 cups basil
1/2 cup Romano cheese
handful of pine nuts
2/3 garlic cloves
1/2 cup of olive oil

place all ingredients except olive oil in food processor and pulse together till combined and then slowly stream in olive oil till you have desired consistency. She is Lebanese and I'm pretty sure she has a few "spices" added that I don't know about...I only know people rave about it, I can't have this as I'm allergic to pine nuts.

22.8.12

Bourbon Heath Mudslide

literally three of my favorite words, each in their own right...looking at the three side by side is almost too much to take. This drink was ridiculous. I wish I could somehow properly parlay my thoughts on this to words, yet somehow they evade me...Just do what you can to make this asap, especially if your name is Ashley and you love bourbon as much as I do, I posted this recipe especially for you, madame!

I was in Harris Teeter the other day and stumbled upon this:



You have got to be kidding me?!?! I literally did a neck snap in the middle of the aisle, it was as if the people who work at High Road sincerely cared about my well being and want only for me to be happy. How sweet of them and how delightful of HT to have them on sale, buy one, get one, Yay day for me!

I raced home and dove into this as quickly as I could and it was divine, divine I tell you! But...b/c I am me, I had to see what other step I could take this to. I looked and discovered I had some heath bar pieces and some caramel ice cream syrup and of course...bourbon and whipped cream vodka and thus was born, my hands down favorite(at least to date) mudslide.

Ingredients
1 cup ice cream
1 1/2 oz bourbon
1 oz whipped cream vodka
1 oz bailey's
smattering of heath bar pieces
1/2 cup ice
2 oz caramel ice cream topping
place all ingredients in blender and blend to desired consistency

Obviously you may not find this ice cream readily, I would think you could use any caramel based ice cream and get a similar delicious treat. Have at it! 

and the second time I made this...I topped it w/bourbon whipped cream. I combined 1 tbsp of cheesecake pudding(dry mix) and a tbsp of bourbon, mixed them together and let sit in fridge for a few minutes. I whipped half a cup of heavy whipping cream till it started to thicken and added the pudding mixture, beat till very thick. Oh. my. goodness. It was like a bourbon cheesecake mousse. I used it as the filling in my red velvet whoopie pies last time. Yum. 


Whoopie Pie Wednesday: Red Velvet

a giant Red Velvet this time, b/c well...why not I ask you? My friend Icca was in town and it happened to be the week of her birthday. I spent a little time trying to nonchalantly come up with what her favorite cake might be without it be obvious I had planned to make one for her. She happened to mention how she had recently gotten a red velvet and it had looked delicious, unfortunately as we know, looks can be deceiving. I set about to rectify this, as red velvet anything makes my heart pitter patter. When deciding how to best make her treat, I surmised, after listening for a while, that whoopie pie would be better suited for her than an actual cake. She likes icing, but not "heaps" of it. So without further ado...


Have y'all ever heard of Ross? I assume most of you have, because most of you are "my people" Anywyas, in one of my many dalliances through Ross I stumbled upon this giant whoopie pie pan and seeing as how it was clearanced to $2.99, obviously I had to have it and have it I did. Basically it amounts to being a 2 "layer cake" pans in one, it looks like this



Well, ok...that's what it looks like after you fill it with batter, but you get the point. Let's not care about small details or anything.

Ingredients
1 box red velvet cake
how many ever eggs and oil the cake requires
filling
8 oz softened cream cheese
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 oz bourbon
1 pkg cheesecake pudding mix

bake the cake according to directions(I followed for two 9x9 pans) let cool.
cream together cream cheese, 1/2 packet of dry pudding mix and bourbon till fluffy(appx 1-2 min) add remaining pudding packet and whipping cream, start on low and slowly turn to high, beating until very stiff peaks begin to form. Frost the cooled bottom layer. Top carefully with other cake layer and place in fridge for a minimum of an hour for filling to set. 

You should probably serve this with milk, apparently people like that or something. I wouldn't know...I'm not one of those people! 

My Icca enjoyed her cake so very much she had two servings and just said "ummm, this is good, like really good. yum" It was almost like she was surprised it was so good. Haha

We miss and love you already!!!!

16.8.12

Pumpkin Carrot Cookies w/Maple Cream Cheese

I hadn't planned to do this post till after Sept. 1st. As I already said, in my world Fall starts at 12:01. I should have my own midnight madness countdown just for that. Hmmm. but seriously...I had been perusing the aisles of Michael's the other day(big mistake) and the second I walked past the Fall section my mood became elevated, my serotonin is obviously a fan of Fall, I was born in the Fall, after all...all the best babies are, ya know;) Anyways, when I left I headed straight to the store and decided I must make something with pumpkin. It had to be done.

The basis of this recipe came from one of the 5 pumpkin butters I still had frozen from last year and wanted to use. Since ooey gooey butter cookies call for...gasp, butter, I decided to finally make some goodness of it. I decided carrot would be a great cake base, as I hadn't tried that one yet. 


I posted the finished product on Instagram, you know, the sight that has me thinking I should be paid to take photographs, and my sweet friend Annie paid me a delightful compliment and asked for the recipe. So Miss Annie, just for you, a month a head of schedule...I am doing this b/c you keep me enthralled w/all the adorable pictures of the lil bits(seriously people, her kids are ridiculous.) keep 'em coming




time to get down to the nitty gritty
ingredients:
cookies
8 oz cream cheese(room temp)
1 container pumpkin butter
1 tsp vanilla(I actually used bourbon, but if you don't have it)
1 egg
1 box carrot cake mix
1 cup confectioners sugar
maple cream cheese filling
4 oz cream cheese(room temp)
2 tbs maple syrup flavored pudding


directions

 In a large bowl mix the cream cheese & butter until smooth. Beat in the egg, then the vanilla and finally the cake mix. Cover & refrigerate for at least two hours. In a smaller bowl fork mix the cream cheese(for the filling) & the syrup, chill for two hours also(at least, can stay longer if you like.) Preheat oven 350' Take 2 tbs of dough and spread out in your palm, then add a tsp size of the filling to the middle and wrap the dough around the filling until it forms a ball. Roll the ball around in confectioner's sugar and bake for 10 min. The cookies will have a gooey center. You can cook for a few minutes more if you like a "cakery" texture, but I prefer this way.I made some without the  cream cheese center and they were just as scrumptious, if you wanted to skip the extra step.

***notes I had actual butter w/pumpkin flavoring, not to be confused w/ "pumpkin butter" Since it's early it may not be out yet. So you could make your own, I would use 3/4 stick of butter(room temp) and add either 2 tbsp pumpkin puree or pumpkin butter, adding pumpkin spice would also be good. Or if you have pumpkin cream cheese instead of butter...You can easily adapt this recipe to your taste.

Weekly Addiction: Shampoo Bar

I will admit it...I am a bath and body addict junkie. I see new products and I need them, notice the specific need...not want. I mean, c'mon what if this new product changes my life. It can happen. It has before. haha Maybe not...ok maybe. Don't you judge me.

Anyways, we were in New Hampshire a few months back and as we meandered our way through downtown Lincoln, I stumbled upon this little shop that was celebrating their grand opening. They beckoned me w/their funky chic feel and they made me fall in love when they offered me champagne. I mean, seriously...How could I then not buy something. Obviously it is my job to support small business. Then I saw the prices and I took a larger gulp of my champagne. This was what we Southerns would refer to as "hoytie toytie" and as you already know from my aforementioned ramblings...I was already IN LOVE. This is always what happens. haha 

Ok to the point of my story, there is one. I promise. Out of the corner of my eye I spied these tins in a big canister w/a sign that said "grand opening special $5." Ummm, I don't know what that is, but sold! As it turns out...I wish I had purchased a billion more. This was what I took for my own
This is perfect for plane rides b/c it's a solid! I use it on my hair sometimes but to be honest...this is the greatest shaving cream EVER! I love it and it smells so beyond yummy! Just pick it up, run it under some water and build up a good lather. It will put you in the best of moods, I guarantee it!

I can't for the life of me remember the store I got this at but you can get yourself one here
Hydra Shampoo Bar

15.8.12

whoopie pie wednesday: strawberry cream

I made these for a friend who loves her some strawberry and these do not disappoint. You just better love you some too...if not, you may have a complete slight aversion to these. They are the perfect treat for the long summer nights.

Ingredients

1 box strawberry cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1/4 cup water
filling
strawberry cream pudding
4-6 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp heavy whipping cream


Preheat oven to 350'
Mix together dry cake mix, oil, eggs and water
I normally use a round TBSP to place on cookie sheet, but you can also use a round TSP to make them bite size and get more out of it. Bake 8-9 minutes

For the filling
Cream softened cream cheese on low for 1 minute to get fluffy, add the pudding packet and 2 tbsp whipping cream, beat until fully incorporated and slowly add the remaining whipping cream and beat until peaks begin to form. or for alternate version, prepare the pudding w/1 cup cold milk and mix w/cool whip. Place in fridge for hour to let either version set up.



Once the cookies have cooled, lay one cookie flat, top it w/the filling and then place it's partner on top. 



I think next time I may incorporate fresh strawberries into the filling. May as well make use while they're still in season.

14.8.12

Sparkling Raspberry Lemonade Margatini

Margatini, is this a word? I only know that it is a mix of two of this chic's favorite drinks. I coined it one night and am afraid to google it for fear I will see someone else already has. Who wants to see their inferred genius laid to rest? Not I. haha so if someone else already thought this up...shhhhhh, don't tell me! ***addendum, I just looked. there are so many of us smarties out there. haha. boo.

 Anyhoo, quite frankly one of my favorite things ever is the Simply Raspberry Lemonade. I love that stuff, by itself or paired w/a tasty adult addition. I was in Virginia God's Country visiting family and ran to the store to make a quick drink for everyone and this is what I came up with. I think you will find this refreshing and way somewhat too easy to drink... consider yourself warned.

Ingredients(for 2 glasses)
6 oz raspberry lemonade
1 1/2 oz vodka
1 1/2 silver tequila
2-3 oz champagne/sparkling wine

put all ingredients except champagne into shaker w/ice and shake vigorously. Strain into martini or margarita glass. Top glass w/Champagne/wine. Tip to your mouth...and let the good times roll.
.

*I've made this a couple times since and I added cointreau once, good and sprite once. But the kicker was making it frozen, Yes, please! Just add all ingredients into blender and blend to desired consistency and then top off with the champagne/wine. It's also quite tasty with a sugar rimmed glass. 


Spinach & Artichoke Dip Frittatas

A lot of the recipes that come to my mind are b/c I have to play around and find tasty food for Wiki that is low in carbs and while we both are your basic carnivores, eventually...it gets boring. Seeing as how he is Italian, he loves him some frittatas and I have come up with a few different version to appease my mister. I was making some spinach & artichoke dip for a party and I thought, wait, add eggs to this and Wiki will shower me with praises...and by praises, I mean eating all of it and barely looking up;) 


The Ingredients
6-8 eggs
1/4 cup cream
1 cup finely chopped artichokes
1 small pkg of frozen spinach, thawed & all water drained out
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup shredded parmesan


Preheat oven to 350'

Be sure to coat pan in non stick spray(and you still may have to use a knife to run around edges to get out)whisk together eggs and cream and fill muffin tins 3/4 full. In a separate bowl combine all remaining ingredients until thoroughly mixed. add a large tbsp of the mixture to the egg cups. Bake for 18-20 min or until they set


These were Wiki's dinner, I am allergic to spinach...see how good a wife I am. cough, cough but these would also be perfect for a get together with friends, you can adapt the recipe to use in a mini muffin pan to get a lot more.. **as a side note, I actually made these with the new lemon herb cream cheese, He said it made it a bit creamier.

13.8.12

Makin' Whoopie...Pies

Salted Caramel to be exact...Yes, as good as it sounds. Actually, let's just for the sake of doing so, say it's even better. Whoopie Pies are something I was introduced to in my twenties..."officially" anyways, of course I'd had moon pies, fudge rounds and oatmeal cream. But then I had the tasty original...2 chocolate cake like cookies with a decadent cream in the middle. I made failed miserably at a batch, as Southern as I am, Crisco isn't in my blood. I cannot make it work for me & sadly - our friendship was never meant to be. Where's my grandma when I need her?! I did ok with out them for a while, they're actually not all the rage down here, we like our pound cakes and crumbles and oh yeah, chocolate chess pies. Then I upped and married myself "one of dem der Yankees" ;) haha and well, whoopie pies are popular there. I needed to fit in.

This led to me trying a variety of different versions before discovering the whole "cake mix cookie" craze. I've stumbled upon quite a few "base" recipes if you will and then have "whimsy'd" them up to exactly how I like them. One of my favorites is from Mix and Match Mama, I have used hers quite frequently, while always changing it up just a bit, as I've always done with recipes, unless it's a Maddie original and I only hope that people will like mine enough to give it their own twist. 

Enough of the small talk, I bring to you now a bit of goodness known as Salted Caramel Whoopie Pie


Ingredients:

cookies
1 box choc cake mix( I made w.yellow once and added a packet of the hot choc mix, was also quite yums)
1/2 cup canola oil(or any you prefer)
2 eggs
1/4 cup caramel creamer
filling
1 packet Starbucks salted caramel hot choc packet
8 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup caramel creamer
3/4 cup whipping cream
(alternate version)
cool whip

Preheat oven to 350'
Mix together dry cake mix, oil, eggs and creamer
I normally use a round TBSP to place on cookie sheet, but you can also use a round TSP to make them  bite size and get more out of it. Bake 8-9 minutes

For the filling
Cream softened cream cheese on low for 1 minute to get fluffy, add the hot choc packet and creamer, beat until fully incorporated and slowly add the whipping cream and beat until peaks begin to form. or for alternate version just mix a tub of thawed cool whip w/hot choc packet and creamer. Place in fridge for hour to let either version set up.

Take half of the cooled cookies and spoon yourself a heaping bit of filling and top with other cookie. There may be some left and it makes a great dip! I've discovered these are yummier after a night sleep in the fridge.

Enjoy!