Now that we have made enough Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix to give to everyone, it is time to make it feel like more of a gift. What better way than to turn the jar into Rudolph? This is so easy and super cute. With a couple of pipe cleaners and a couple of eye balls your jar goes from blah to fab in just a coupe of minutes.
Monday, November 30, 2015
Sunday, November 29, 2015
Look who's having a baby! It's our friend Ro! She and her husband, Chris, are in our close group of friends. As soon as I heard she was pregnant, I knew I wanted to help throw her shower. Luckily Sarah and Amanda were happy to help. We are so excited for them and had a great time planning her shower.
From hence forth this week shall be known as hot chocolate week! Hip hip hooray! As I run around the house decorating for Christmas, there are two things that MUST be present.
- Christmas music
- Hot chocolate
Friday, November 27, 2015
I had some bananas that were getting a bit soft. My first thought was banana bread but then I decided I needed a dessert. Carlee has made Di's Banana Cake several times so it must be a hit. I decided to make that and change it a little by trying a new frosting. I had just created a Brownie Batter Ice Cream recipe so I had some brownie mix left. What a great way to top banana cake. I like a thick fudgy frosting so that is what I made. It is thick, rich and yummy.
Thursday, November 26, 2015
My mom made sweet potatoes like this every year. It's just not Thanksgiving without them. I've made them other ways too, but always have to make these in addition to them if I do. Some things are non-negotiable at Thanksgiving. Stove Top stuffing has to be served for my boys. Kristie must have green bean casserole, Carlee is all about mashed potatoes and gravy and Chloe must have these sweet potatoes. It's egg noddles for me. I called my mom to make sure I got this just right. I know when I asked for the recipe that she would say to get out THE cookbook and look. She didn't have to tell me she meant the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. Before we were finished with the next sentence I had it out and the recipe was there. We make a few changes to that recipe and it suits us perfectly. I hope you enjoy it too.
I'll start this with the disclosure that I have never eaten any other acorns. That being said, I am still pretty sure these are THE MOST DELICIOUS ACORNS! They have to be. There is no way they aren't. I mean really, think about the ingredients:
- Peanut butter Oreos, I mean really. They took the most iconic chocolate cookie and put peanut butter in the filling. It HAS to be good.
- Cream cheese just makes everything better.
- Chocolate. 'Nuf said!
- A little bit of pretzel cause chocolate and pretzels are meant to go together.
- Sprinkles because they make everything special.
Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Oreo Acorn Balls done. 2 -3/4 Old Fashioned Honey Maple Pecan Pies in the refrigerator along with a Pumpkin Slab Pie. Flourless chocolate cake and Reese's peanut butter cookies ready to go too. I just have a few finishing touches left to do and the dessert part of my contribution will be done. And just now I remember my promise to Carlee.
I got this.
I just love the color of fresh cranberry sauce! It always has such a vibrant magenta jewel tone. Plus I love the magic of taking tart berries and making them into something so special. It is fun to watch them pop and have the whole thing thicken up right in front of your eyes. I also love the combination of cranberry and orange. They were just meant to go together! The cinnamon stick adds just a little flavor and makes it smell wonderful while it is cooking. This whole combination definitely screams holiday!
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Somebody super cute and very special had a half birthday recently! MiMi always made us half birthday cakes when we were kids, so I wanted to carry on the tradition. Any excuse for cake, am I right?! I did think in moderation though and really only made a half of a cake, rather than making a "half" cake that was really just twice as tall. Though the thought did cross my mind!
Monday, November 23, 2015
I know, I know, I've said it before... but frosting is my jam! I love making frosting, using frosting, eating frosting! So when a special little dude had a half birthday recently, I jumped at the chance to try a new frosting. I had some mascarpone left over from the Charlotte Russe, so I was excited to give it a try as a frosting. My first thought was to use it in place of cream cheese in a classic cream cheese frosting. I decided to consult the internet first to see what those who have gone before me had tried. It seemed as though everyone like mascarpone frosting with some ratio of mascarpone, heavy cream and powdered sugar. I am not one to go against everyone, I figure if that many people say it is the way to go there must be something to it. So, I picked amounts that made sense to me (mostly based on the measurements of the ingredients I had on hand) and it turned out beautifully!
Friday, November 20, 2015
It's time for another round of #TheCakeSlice Bakers! We started a new book. I had a lot of fun finishing out The Southern Living Cake Book with the group. Those cakes were a lot of fun, but I think this next book is going to be interesting. It looks like it might push me to try a lot of new things. So I am happy to see where it takes us and I hope you enjoy the ride! So without further ado, I introduce you to our next book; Maida Heatter's Cakes.
Thursday, November 19, 2015
Planning the menu for Carlee and Matt's birthday celebration was easy. Carlee is great at letting me know what they would like for the dinner. This year it was a taco bar, one of Matt's favorites.
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
If you have spent much time here at Cooking With Carlee, you know that I love to cook with my little guy. One of our favorite things to make is baked oatmeal. He begs to make it sometimes, and who am I to say no to such a wholesome treat? He gets so excited to create something tasty with me. He has egg cracking, ingredient dumping and stirring down to a science. He even gathers up some of the materials he knows we will need to make it. First he carries his table and chairs into the kitchen, then he gets out the whisk and his pick of bowls. Then we are ready to go to work!
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
You guys, isn't this dessert pretty?! I think it is the perfect new treat for your holiday dessert table. The cranberry sauce on top makes me think Thanksgiving, but isn't the color perfect for Christmas? You should definitely plan to make it for both!
Want to know the best part(s)? Don't worry I'll tell you! Here are a few:
- It is no bake, so you don't need to jockey for oven space!
- It is sweet enough to be dessert, but it isn't sickeningly sweet.
- You can make it a day or two in advance.
- It has three kinds of fruit in it, and wholesome dairy. So, it is practically a health food!
Are you convinced you should make it yet? You definitely should be!
Monday, November 16, 2015
We have tried roasted potatoes many different ways over the years, but we always come back to these. The first time we had them was at MiMi's house probably about 7 years ago. Ever since, they have been one of Matt's favorite potato dishes. This is one of the few potato dishes he is willing to eat without drowning the potatoes in sour cream, cheese and bacon!
Friday, November 13, 2015
Happy soup season to one and to all! I love soup season. I would celebrate almost daily during the fall and winter if I didn't share my dinner table with a soup scrooge. The struggle is real, y'all!
Luckily I can win him over with things like chili and ham and beans. Hearty soups that eat like a meal are acceptable as long as I don't go crazy and try to make them too often!
Thursday, November 12, 2015
I just love soups during the fall and winter. There are so many options and they warm you to the core. I could eat just soup for dinner and be fine, but Matt needs a little something more to make it feel like a meal. That is why I whipped up some skillet cornbread to go with our ham and bean soup.
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Do you guys like sweet potatoes? Matt could definitely go without. He usually humors me if I make them, but skips them at Thanksgiving. I, on the other hand, love them. I love sweet potato fries, roasted sweet potatoes, baked sweet potatoes, sweet potato casserole. You name it, I probably like it! I wanted to try something a little bit different, thinking maybe I would find the perfect thing to bring Matt over to my side. So, I thought it would be fun to make a duchess potato version of sweet potatoes! You get some slightly crunchy bits on the edges and soft, pillowy sweet potato on the inside. What's not to love?
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
This may be my new favorite side dish! Of course it would be, it is a sweet side after-all! But really, these apples are so easy and sooooooo good. They come out soft and sweet with a little bit of cinnamon spice. Jax and I could eat a whole batch, I am quite sure of it! We did share a few with Matt, begrudgingly. These sweet apples were perfect alongside a nice salty slice of ham. What a fun fall meal!
Monday, November 9, 2015
This squirrel chow is a perfect fall treat! We were headed to Chicago to visit Matt's sister Jess and her family and I knew I wanted to bring a fun snack along. Jess's husband, Ant, gets migraines when he has chocolate. So you can imagine he avoids it like the plague! I don't know how he survives without... but I get nasty headaches sometimes too, so I certainly see why he does. So I wanted to make sure to bring something he could have as well. This was the perfect answer!
Friday, November 6, 2015
This is was one of the few menu items that has been on the list since I ever started planning the apple themed shower. Other ideas came and went, but this one was must have throughout the planning process. I love make your own food bars and what can be better than a caramel apple one? Whole caramel apples are hard to eat though, and with so many other treats I didn't want people to have to commit to a whole apple. So we did slices instead!
Thursday, November 5, 2015
If you are going to have an apple themed shower, you have to have apple pie! Am I right?! I went back and forth deciding what kind of pie to make, but in the end decided a slab pie was the right way to go. That way people could take as big or little of a piece as they wanted and there was sure to be plenty for everyone! To mix things up and make it extra fun, I threw a little cornmeal into the crust and used apple cider instead of water. The results were amazing, if I do say so myself!
Wednesday, November 4, 2015
Most people in the midwest grow up with their mom making lasagna one of two ways:
- With ricotta
- With cottage cheese
I grew up having neither in my lasagna! MiMi made lasagna completely different and she learned to make it that way from Maw-Maw. So get ready to be shocked, amazed or possibly horrified. No matter what, just promise you will give it a try!
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
And now back to the Apple of Their Eye Shower! I am really hoping I can get all of the treats posted from that shower before we get to the next one in a couple of weeks. I usually make a little bag of cookies as the favor for people at parties. This time I decided to do something a little different. I thought a little cereal snack mix with apple pie flavors and apple chips would be a perfect fit for the theme. Then everyone could have a little bag of treats to eat the next day while reminiscing over the fun we had.
Monday, November 2, 2015
These rolls are so soft and really are easy to make! I have been looking for the perfect opportunity to share them with you and this seemed like the right time. They are a perfect roll for your holiday spread. You can size them smaller for your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, or larger for leftover ham and turkey sandwiches! Be warned though, if you make them this holiday season, you might as well plan on making them for every holiday from now on. People will love them so much they will keep requesting them!
Sunday, November 1, 2015
Is your house now full of soooooooo much candy? Are you looking for something to do with it? Or conversely, did the kids come home with a lot of candy and you are looking for a way to get your hands on it? Either way, this could be the answer to all of your candy woes!