September 29, 2011
September 13, 2011
Ohhh, fall is just around the corner and I really can't wait. I LOVE fall. I love being outside, camping, playing, walking, anything. I love using the sunroof on the van and having the kids shriek, "close the windows!!" because it's so windy back there. There is something about a fall day that makes me feel Alive with a capital A. I cannot imagine living in a climate without all four seasons, if only to appreciate spring and fall when they come. When we went on our honeymoon in Alaska, nine short years ago, we went in September for two weeks. Those two weeks were the sum total of Alaska's fall season. Two short little weeks!! I'm so glad our's lasts a little longer here in the south. Fall is glorious!
When I saw these adorable treats in Family Fun magazine (can you tell I really love this magazine?), I knew I had to make them. They are sooooo cute and perfectly autumnal. They were seriously easy. The kids did them without my help. They ended up with a little extra icing in strange places, like the shoulder of a tee shirt and inside an ear, but they had a great time and they were so immensely proud when we served them to friends.
If you need a little fall in your life, you must make these. Here's what you need:
- icing (really this should be chocolate brown, but I was lazy and already had leftover white)
Put a dab of icing on the top of the cookie and break a tiny bit of pretzel stick off. Put the pretzel in the icing. These need to set up for an hour or so. You can speed up the process by putting them in the fridge, but it might make your cookies a little soft (and the kiss really hard).
You can assembly line them if you want to make bunches. Assign each kid a job and you can make massive amounts for teacher gifts, preschool snack, grandparents day, Thanksgiving dinner. You could set up a table to entertain the kids during Thanksgiving and put the supplies for chocolate acorns and the gumdrop turkeys.
Tell the kids they can play a little trick on the grown ups and have them put some real acorns collected from the yard on the table with the chocolate acorns and see if the adults notice. Everyone will get a kick out of that!
September 7, 2011
I love rosemary and I love chocolate. I never thought to put the two together, but this pie proves you can. I've only used rosemary in savory cooking, so this was a walk on on the wild side for me and may be for you. It turned out delicious! I loved the creamy- meltyness of the pie with the cripsy crust (actually I think anything in a pie shell is wonderful - stay tuned for a end of summer zucchini pie recipe).
I will warn you when you serve this, tell people the name of the pie otherwise they will give you funny looks when they bite into what they suppose is just chocolate pie. I know, because this happened to me at a homeschool moms get together. That mild, almost piney flavor makes it's way slowly through the chocolate, but it's there. I suggest putting a spring of rosemary on the top of the pie. All you need is a small slice of this so it goes a long way. It's especially good with a glass of milk or a cup of bold coffee.
Rosemary Chocolate Pie
frozen pie crust
2 c good quality chopped chocolate (I prefer dark)
12 oz evaporated milk
2 large eggs
3 springs of fresh rosemary (or you could sub mint leaves)
whipped cream for garnish
Prebake pie crust according to directions, be sure to prick the bottom so it doesn't raise up. Cool.
In saucepan, put milk and eggs, whisking together over medium heat. Stir in rosemary. Heat for 8-10 minutes occaisionaly stirring until the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat, remove the rosemary and slowly add in the chocolate. Stir into the chocolate is melted and completely smooth. Pour into the crust and refrigerate until firm (at least a couple of hours). Serve with whipped cream and a rosemary sprig. :)
September 5, 2011
Happy Labor Day! Here are some of the fruits, well vegetables, of my labor this summer. I've never grown sweet potatoes and they were surprisingly easy. That is, once I figured out where to find them!
Lest you think I know a lot about gardening, let me prove you wrong. I had one of those really stupid moments and my friend Sandy was there to witness me, in all my moronic glory. She and I were out for dinner one night and I was talking about my sweet potato vines. I relayed how healthy and vigorous the vines were, but every flower just seemed to fade out without producing any veggies! I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong. She looked at me incredulously, as if I had suddenly grown two heads. She very quietly asked me if I looked under ground (I'm sure inside her head she added, "you idiot"). Slowly the light bulb came on...of course...sweet potatoes are POTATOES!! They grow under ground because they are a root vegetable, it says so right there in the name. Somewhere in the recesses of my mind, I knew this fact, but not ever having grown them and having all my OTHER veggies above ground, I lost sight of this very important bit of information.
Sure enough, I went home and looked at the ground around my vines, instead of gazing at the green plants. It was practically exploding with potatoes. How could I have missed this??!! I carefully dig them up and was rewarded with some "big 'ol whoppers" as my three year old says. They are monstrous! As a thank you to my dear friend for not rapping me on the head in the middle of dinner, I gave her some sweet potatoes straight out of the ground, dirt and all. :)