Strawberry Walnut Crunch

image

I have a small family… Just the three of us. So it isn’t cost effective for us to have a Costco membership… All the food ends up going to waste. Often recipes are too large for the three of us, which is why I look forward to having family over to eat with us. I get to make large quantities lots of food and it doesn’t go to waste. Or there are some dishes that are my favorite but the work that is required for three people outweighs the “Yummy in my tummy” feeling I would get once I was able to sit down to eat.

Aside from spending time in the kitchen, I love spending time in the living room watching Food Network. While watching the Pioneer Woman she made these delicious appearing Strawberry Oat Bars. But the quantities would be far too much for the three of us, so the recipe below is halved… Also I added walnuts because I wanted to make sure it had a crunchy texture.

Recipe adapted from Pioneer Woman

1 stick butter plus 6 tbsp., cut into pieces
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cups oats
1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
4 oz. strawberry preserves (My daughter went a little crazy with the preserves and it still turned out great!)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray your baking dish with non stick spray.

2. In a large bowl add the the butter, flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. I gave my daughter the 1/4 measuring cup and put those math skills to the test.

image

3. Then have your little chef use a pastry cutter, mix all the ingredients so that it now resembles a crumble. Mixed in the chopped walnuts with a spoon or fork.

image

4. Put half of the mixture into the bottom of your baking dish and press with the backside of the spoon. Now spoon and spread the preserves across the bottom layer. Put the remaining crumble mix on the top and gently press down.

image

5. Put it in the oven for 35-40 minutes.

6. Enjoy! This is intended for breakfast but my husband and daughter could not wait until the morning and dug in after dinner.

image

Mine may look different then what you make because I used Earth Balance which is a dairy free butter.

Advertisements

Doggy Treats

We love giving home baked goods as gifts for Christmas! We have been busy at work making everthing from candy to beef jerky. It is a busy time of year, but we couldn’t forget about our dogs! They are part of the family, we call them the puppy sisters, and between the two of them and my daughter they fight and tell on each other like sisters do. Making dog treats is enjoyable but it is much harder to incorporate my daughter in that process, so when I seen a recipe for homemade Frosty Paws I ran to the store to get the ingredients that I needed.

They have been a hit, and we have given them out to our extended family’s animals as well. Nothing has brought my daughter more joy than making this and “treating” her sisters to this chilly snack.

Recipe
32 oz. plain yogurt
1 mashed ripe banana
2 tablespoon peanut butter
2 tablespoons honey
Ice tray, these sizes are much better for our little dogs then the large bowl available at our Target

1. I started by measuring the honey and peanut butter slightly, so that it would be easier to stir for my daughter. I threw in all the rest of the ingredients in and let her stir till her heart was content.

20121218-205123.jpg

2. Then she spooned it into the ice tray. I popped the tray in the freezer until it was ready to treat them.

20121218-205333.jpg
That’s the only mess she made! I’ll have to remind her next time she gets sloppy.

3. Let them enjoy! I thought wrangling kids for pictures was difficult, but two dogs and one kid was a killer. So I couldn’t get a good picture.

Happy Holidays!

A Very Merry Un- Birthday

20121202-191802.jpg

I mentioned that Wednesday was my daughter’s birthday, but today was her birthday party! Beyonce talks about becoming Sasha Fierce when she steps onto stage, when it comes to party planning I become a different person entirely… The past few days have been a blur of making decorations, setting up, cleaning, cooking, and baking. Thank goodness for that alter ego of mine because she took over the wheel!

I mentioned that in my family nerdiness is valued. Along with that comes the need to pay attention to detail. When my daughter said she wanted an Alice and Wonderland party I knew I needed to do it justice it deserved, as it is a story near and dear to my heart.

I made Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting a la the Red Queen. To save time I used the box cake mix and made the frosting myself. I will share this recipe later this week.
20121202-183248.jpg

I also made Strawberry Chesire Cat Cupcakes! I also made these from the box, but added 3 tbsp. strawberry puree. The guest thought they were homemade, and who am I to tell them any different? 😉 I doubled this recipe to make the frosting
20121202-183932.jpg

Since it was a birthday party and we were celebrating everyone’s un birthday as well we went a bit crazy on birthday cake desserts.

We did birthday funfetti dip,
20121202-184856.jpg
Click here for the recipe

Birthday cake rice crispy treats,
20121202-202753.jpg
Click here for the recipe

And chocolate chip cookie dip. It pains me how delicious this is, and I am unable to gobble it down!
20121202-185059.jpg
Click here for the recipe

Also we had sweet potato/potato salad. It was fantastic I made this recipe up after having something similar on our family vacation! I will share later this week! It was so good my husband said to save it for ourselves. My inner party planner butted in and told him, “Nopers!”
20121202-191739.jpg

Because my alter ego, who is a perfectionist, took over this weekend there was little help required of my daughter in the kitchen. She helped with some of the decorations: the mushrooms, the flowers with eyes, painting the cards and characters, the mome raths, and the cylindrical paper lanterns. But as a do it all mom I wanted to share these with you!20121202-190454.jpg

All in all it was a great day! And I am giving my alter ego time off till Christmas at which point she will return with vengeance.

Thanks for reading this blog from Tweedle Dee and Alice!

20121202-200534.jpg

Squid Hot Dogs

I have a picky eater, I hate to admit it, but I do. My daughter would be perfectly content with eating hot dogs, chicken nuggets, PB&J, and Panda Express for the rest of her life. But I enjoy trying new foods whether we are at a restaurant or at home. I seen this idea on Pinterest, and thought this would be a great way to get her out of this rut. She calls them Squid Hot Dogs, weird names help kids eat anything. They are the easiest thing to make and they make her happy, which makes me happy.

1. I let her cut the hot dogs herself, using a butter knife, it’s great practice for cordination and she won’t lose any digits this way.

2. “String” the hot dogs with spaghetti noodles that are uncooked, continue until all the hot dogs are done.

3. Put the “squids” into a pot of water. I wait to boil mine until she is all done, because she likes to drop them into the water. Begin to boil. Cook until spaghetti noodles are cooked all the way through. Drain the from the water, or “fish” those little squids out with a fork.

4. Enjoy!

This was the first experiment with something different and the dish that got me started down the path of getting her involved in the kitchen. It has worked wonders and it helps that her dad acts like he is freaked out by them. It led to her loving spaghetti and ball park pasta.

*Disclaimer* each child’s ability in kitchen varies, and I highly recommend you oversee your child while doing the cutting if they have never used a butter knife.

BBQ Pizza

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I love pizza, more than I care to admit. When our family ordered pizza I would look forward to eating it for breakfast the next morning! But recently I developed was cursed with a milk allergy! As an adult that means I know all of the great foods I am missing out on: cheese, Hot Cheetos, ice cream, the ease of purchasing bread at a store, etc. But I digress. Back to the pizza, I am no longer able to call up my local pizzeria and get my pizza. So we have a great alternative… we make our own, and it is fantastic!

My daughter loves making pizza and each person in the family gets to customize their pizza. So my husband and daughter are still able to enjoy the melty and heavenly mozzarella and I get a great dairy free pizza with no fear of anaphylaxis. Some days if I am feeling very adventurous I’ll even make it vegan.

Pizza Dough Recipe
Makes 2 medium or four small individual pizzas
1/2 cup water, warm
2 1/4 tsp. instant yeast or one individual package
1 tsp. sugar
4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cup water, room temperature
2 tbsp. olive oil, more to coat

1. Start by putting the warm water in a small bowl or cup, sprinkle the sugar in and stir until it has dissolved. Now sprinkle the yeast into the sugar-water mixture. Let sit for 19-15 to allow yeast to activate. After 10-15 minutes the mixture should have a foam on top. You can omit the sugar, but the sugar causes the mixture to foam. The foam shows that the yeast activated, I’ve been burned far to many times by yeast that was a dud. Lesson learned and solution found. Add the room temperature water and oil to the yeast water mixture.

2. Now in a large bowl combine the salt and flour stir to blend together. Slowly incorporate the water into the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon. This is where the kids get involved! Have them continue to mix using the wooden spoon, while they are doing that flour the surface.

3. Knead on a floured surface until smooth, the kiddos can do this or you can. Coat a bowl in the olive oil and put the dough in the bowl and cover, let it rest for about an hour.

4.This is my daughter’s favorite part, punching down the dough. We call this Hulk Smash, on a side note we are complete nerds at my house!

Photobucket

5.Divide into two medium or four small dough balls. Let rest for 10 minutes.

Photobucket

6. My daughter loves using her very own rolling-pin and rolling out her own crust. They may not be perfect but they are delicious.

Photobucket

7. At this point you can bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. But since I am a California girl and I love my grill, I like to take it to the patio…

8. Does that sound scary to you? It shouldn’t be, I was frightened for so long but now it is a family favorite. Just turn on half the burners on high, allow it to pre-heat. Grease the grill. Put the dough (sans toppings) down after about thirty seconds to one minute it will start to puff up, let it puff for thirty more seconds and flip. Cook the uncooked side for one minute to a minute and a half and it will be all done.

9. Now put the toppings of your choice. Some suggestions: artichoke hearts, roasted bell peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, pepperoni, sausage, and whatever else tickles your fancy. I like to put a store-bought pizza sauce on mine, but some days when I’m feeling feisty I’ll opt for an infused olive oil. Once you have your toppings put them on the side that wasn’t lit, close lid and let the toppings warm. For those of you lucky enough to enjoy cheese, let it sit until it’s nice and melty.

10. Enjoy!!!

Photobucket

It is such an easy thing and we run it like a buffet so while I’m at the grill my daughter and husband are getting their toppings ready. We have done this when we have family over for dinner and it goes over smashingly… Or should I say Hulk Smashingly