dessert


Ok, I feel like lately, this blog is turning into a cry-for-help, in that…I cannot stop making all the bad-for-you desserts that we’re supposed to avoid!  And, it’s ten-zillion times worse when I make it, and it stays in my house for me and the family to eat, bc I don’t know about you, but that generally means that the kids will have some, E might have one piece or so, and yea, the rest is mine by default.  Gross.

Still, seeing (and drooling over) a fudge recipe on Pinterest is a sure-fire recipe for bathing suit-season disaster.  But, thankfully, that dreaded season is still months away, so bring on the homemade fudge! 😉

So, this truly couldn’t be easier- melt chocolate chips w/condensed milk and a dash of salt; remove from heat and add in some vanilla extract.  Tada, fudge.

I’m pretty suspicious, so we’ll see- but the best part of this “we’ll see” is that the fudge has to cool for about 2 hrs, bringing it well past the kids bedtime.  Oh well, guess I’ll have to be the taste-tester this time! 😉

Be back in a bit!

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So…my “I’ll be back” turned into two years– sorry! 😉

This was a tricky recipe bc it seemed to change dramatically w/temperature.  Initially from the fridge, it tasted good but seemed like I had just put chocolate frosting in the fridge; it wasn’t “fudge-y,” just chocolately and sweet.  However, after the ride to my parents house (about an hour and a half), I tried it again, and it was GREAT- even the consistency was perfect.  But then…later that night, out of the fridge for a few hours, the vanilla seemed so overpowering and actually kinda gross.

So, if you know just when you’d like to serve this (down to the hour!), this is a great recipe, especially bc it’s crazy-easy!  But, it’s really difficult to judge how it’ll turn out over time, so I may just keep on searching for a fudge recipe! 🙂

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These just looked too fun not to make- even though I’m not really a s’mores fan (it’s the marshmellows).  I’m a cute-dessert fan, and a chocolate fan, and…well, the kids thought this was a fun project, especially as it meant they got sweets before bed.

I broke a graham cracker in half, then cut a large marshmellow in half and stuck it sticky-side down to the cracker (oh, and please ignore the ugliest cookie sheet ever- the “good” ones were in the dishwasher!).

Then, into the broiler (on low) they went for literally two minutes- keep an eye on them bc one minute they’re fine, the next, burning.  Once you see a bit of brown, turn the pan- I had to, bc the marshmellows in the back weren’t browning, while the others were nearly burnt.

Then, once everything seems as dark as you’d like, take ’em out and pop on a Hershey kiss- three minutes tops from start to finish, and how cute is this?

The kids really loved this project- although a few of the s’mores ended up losing their kisses 🙂

And, being too little for s’mores doesn’t mean that you miss out on dessert- you just get a giant marshmellow to drool over!

E “customized” his s’mores…by adding French vanilla ice cream and some strawberries…yum:

Definitely a fun treat- and, for three minutes of prep time, totally worth it!

This is something I’d wanted to try forever, but didn’t bc I was scared off.  Who knows why, but anyway, I avoided making apple butter.  Never again- especially now that I found a slow-cooker recipe! 🙂

The only bad thing about this recipe is that it takes a total of 12 hrs.  And, since I’m scared of leaving my slow-cooker on while we’re asleep, I had to start this pretty early.  (Well, it’s only 8am, but it’s still early to be thinking about cooking projects!)

Peel, core, and chop 2.5 lbs apples- they suggest using a mix to create a more complex flavor, and I normally would have done that, but we had loads of Fuji apples lying around, so I didn’t get fancy w/it.  Also, I used more apples than in the recipe, only bc mine were tiny, and the recipe was for large apples.

Then, add in white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg- and cook on low (stirring occasionally) for 10 hrs:

Be back in…oh, forever, w/an update! 😉

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Ok, so I started at 8, and it was finally ready at 6pm.  But, I totally forgot about it, since I’d been smelling it all day, and didn’t remember it until nearly 7!  (Oops!)  After the 10-hr cook, I used a hand-mixer to mash the apples- you’re supposed to use an immersion blender, but I don’t have one.  The hand-mixer was a bit tricky, but I smushed the apples into one side of the slow-cooker, and ran the mixer over them a lot until the mix was pretty smooth.

Then, one more hour of cooking on high.

OH- my apple butter was really thick, almost like paste, and the thought of one more hour of cooking had me thinking I’d just be cleaning a baked-on mess out of the slow-cooker, so I added about a half cup of water, and stirred it in.  Perfect!

E had some after dinner, and said it was really good- and wow, it totally is!  Definitely using this recipe again! 🙂

Another fun project, courtesy of Pinterest! 🙂  This was the “silly” project I had in mind the other day, that I never got around to making, and honestly, it wasn’t nearly as tricky as I thought it’d be.

For starters, I used pre-made crust, which takes out all the usual pie-making nonsense.  Next, the pies are super-small, so the lattice work is really easy to do!

Anyway, the recipe in the link above is for caramel apple pies- I just made apple.  Cut up about two small apples, mix w/a little bit of sugar, some cinnamon, the smallest dash of nutmeg, and sprinkle w/lemon.  Tada!  Then, cut out circles for your pies (I used one of the kids snack containers bc it was bigger than a glass), and press it into a cupcake pan:

Press the dough into the pan, and add the apples:

Next up, the lattice work.  I made another circle in the dough, and then just cut tiny strips into it. Assemble the strips to cover the apples, and just weave them together:

A little egg wash, and then into the oven (350-degrees) for about 25 minutes.

All done- and, yum!  I only made one, as a tester, and now I’m off to make more!  So cute! 🙂

(Just be sure to really let it cool before trying to take it out of the pan- I lost a bit of the bottom by being too impatient!)

 

So, this wasn’t the “silly thing” I was planning to make (that’s going to be a bit more time-consuming), but I thought that the funny name of this drink would still work!

I found this recipe on Pinterest, and it’s not really a “recipe,” per se, but more of a…well, a list of stuff to toss into your water that will allegedly help aid weight loss (I’m guessing that’s just bc it’s encouraging you to drink water!).  Anyway, here goes:  add a medium cucumber (sliced), one lemon (sliced), and a few sprigs of mint, and let it steep overnight.

This is fantastic, and I’m not even a cucumber-fan!  It smells like lemons, but tastes cucumber-y, but not gross cucumber-y bc of the mint.  It’s delicious!

Another “special request” from the 2012 Challenge (thanks, Rebekah!)- and, as luck would have it, I just came across a recipe for almond milk!  I have to say that I was kinda scared about this challenge, too, bc I had no idea where to start but…wow, this could not seem any easier to make!  Seriously, it’s two ingredients (one of which is water), and it involves soaking.  Then a blender.  Um, yea, I couldn’t be more excited to try this now!

You’ll need:  one cup almonds, two cups water.  Let the almonds soak for 2-8 hrs (I’m going w/eight), then strain, rinse well, and add to the blender w/3 cups of water.  Blend for about a minute, until the almonds are broken down.  Strain the milk through a fine-mesh strainer, and store in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Anyway, we’re still in the soaking stage, but this should be ready for “milking” later tonight- check back for an update!

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All done!  This was truly the easiest thing ever- as are most recipes that involve “soaking” as the most important step!  The water practically did all the work for me! 😉

So, I strained and rinsed the almonds, and tossed ’em in the blender w/more water.  Then…blend!  After that, I poured the mix through a strainer, and…tada, almond milk!

The only difference (obviously) from store-bought milk is that…they must add sweeteners bc it’s kinda bland.  Almond-y, but bland.  I’m not a huge fan of almond milk, so that may just be it.  But, if you’re interested, definitely worth making- it was actually kinda fun! 🙂

(Oh, sorry about using ‘miniature’ feature- I just really like the colors that feature makes.  But, that one picture looks like I’m practically filling up a thimble, and this made about 3 cups, so…again, sorry!)

* Quick question for anyone who’s made almond milk before:  Do you use the pulp afterwards for anything?  I was looking online for recipes, but many of them needed a dehydrator…So, just wondering! *

I posted this awhile back, and wanted to do an update post just bc…well, I think the recipe I used before isn’t good.  I mean, it included lots of sugar, and really, you shouldn’t need any- apples are sweet enough!

Anyway, I peeled and cut up about…12 apples this time to make a big batch, and tossed them in a pot w/about an inch or so of water. Not too much, you don’t want watery sauce.  Then, just simmer them, covered, for about an hour.  Well, I half-covered mine- I didn’t have the lid completely on, but had it placed crookedly on top of the pot to let a little heat out.  So, after that, I used a hand-mixer and mixed the softened apples into sauce- about 3 minutes, tops, of mixing.

So easy!  Just apples and water- and no added sugar!  Couldn’t be easier, or more healthy!

Anyway, thanks for reading!

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