Saturday, February 22, 2014

Homemade Oatmeal Cream Pies

As a woman and wife that bakes a lot, you tend to get a reputation for certain things.  One thing that I have learned through the years about crew chiefs is that they will eat anything, good or bad and it never lasts long!  Especially if it is homemade.  So, whenever I'm trying a new recipe, have been in major bake mode and have too much around or have left overs from a party or from company over, I send it in with the hubby to work.  I'm sure to get an empty container back by the end of the day. 

The birthday tower of desserts.

For my husband's 30th birthday I wanted to do something different and we hadn't been in Vegas long and were just beginning to make good friends.  I decided to make all his favorite boxed snack sweets, but homemade.  I made Oreos, Zebra Cakes, Moon Pies and Oatmeal Cream Pies.  They were all good but the Oatmeal Cream Pies were to die for!  They soon became the most requested and sought after thing I've made.  Well, those, and jalapeño poppers.  :)  When we got our orders to move, I knew that before we left I had to make sure to make them one last time.  So I made a double batch for the guys and they were gone in minutes. 
They are fairly simple to make and turn out great every time.  Without further ado, here's the great recipe!

1 1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
3 cups oatmeal
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Cream together butter and sugar.  Add in egg, vanilla, baking soda, salt and cinnamon until creamy.  Mix in flour and then oatmeal until well combined.

Use a small cookie scoop or drop by tablespoonfulls onto parchment paper lined cookie sheets.  Bake at 375 for about 10 minutes.  Let cool 2 minutes and transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.

Cream Filling:
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1-2 T whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla

Beat butter and gradually add powered sugar until it begins to combine.  Add vanilla and then whipping cream a little at a time.  Beat on high speed until it begins to get fluffy.

Once cookies are cooled completely, line them up to make matches that are about the same size. 
Put filling into a freezer zip-lock bag and snip a corner off to use as a pastry bag.  Add about 1 T of filling onto 1 of the cookies and top with another cookie.  Press gently together to spread the filling.  Repeat with the remaining cookies.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Butternut Squash Soup with Thanksgiving Meatballs

Who doesn't like the smell of Thanksgiving dinner cooking?  It's one of those smells that just warms your heart.  I'd been wanting to try a Butternut Squash soup for a while, but knew I never could make it when my husband was around.  He detests squash of any kind and sweet potatoes too.  Usually whenever he's gone I make all those things for myself.  My kids like some of it, but not all.  But I just don't care sometimes.  The first week he was gone I was trying to do a good cleanse and get sugars out.  This was a great recipe to do that with.  I made the soup and meatballs and ate it for lunch throughout the week.  I froze half of it to pull out later. 
I had found a few different recipes for this kind of soup, but didn't know where to start.  Then I was checking out recipes from Change of Pace and found her favorite along with her recipe for Thanksgiving Meatballs.  Sounded good to me and like a perfect combo.  So I gave it a try!  Both are delicious!  The meatballs have the perfect flavor and taste to get you through the year until next Thanksgiving and the soup had the perfect flavor to go with them.  Not to mention tasting good too.  I hope you like it as much as I did.  Use it as a go-to lunch or a nice hot dinner on a cold night. 

(From Real Simple)

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F. In a large bowl, toss the squash with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, 2 teaspoons of the salt, and the pepper. Place the squash on a rimmed baking sheet and roast in oven for 15 minutes. Turn the cubes over and continue roasting for 15 minutes or until they are caramelized; set aside.
  2. In a Dutch oven or a large stockpot, heat the butter and the remaining oil over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and sage and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are translucent and tender, 10 minutes. Add the squash, broth, and the remaining salt and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until the liquid is flavorful. Remove from heat.
  3. Using a blender or a food processor, blend the soup in batches until smooth. Return to the pot and keep warm.

Paleo Thanksgiving Meatballs(this made a dozen for me)

1lb ground turkey (I used 94% lean)
1/4 cup almond flour
1 egg beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon grass fed butter
1/4 cup celery finely diced
1/2 cup onion finely diced
1 garlic clove finely diced
1 teaspoon dried sage

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a pan.  Add the onions and celery.  Cook until onions are translucent and everything is soft.  Add the sage and garlic.  Cook until fragrant.

While everything is cooking put the turkey, almond flour, egg, and salt in a large bowl.  When the onion mixture is done add it to the turkey mixture.  Mix thoroughly.

Roll into balls and bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until a thermometer reads 165 degrees.

The perfect little combo!  Yum!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Lasanga 3 Ways

I've been gluten free for about a year now.  For the most part I can honestly say it has been much easier than I ever thought it would be.  I still have moments when I really want a good sandwich or want to eat a burger not wrapped in lettuce or a good hot pizza.  I've gotten pretty good at the GF flours to make baked goods and when I can fool even my family I know I've got a success.  Usually when we have pasta I'll make them regular pasta and I'll make myself rice pasta.  I really don't mind it and actually think it's good.  I've made casseroles for my family using rice pastas too and they didn't even know it until I said something.  Win!  The one pasta that I have the hardest time with giving up is lasagna.  For one I can't find rice pasta lasagna noodles anywhere and two, I just wanted the real thing.  Tear.  Pity party over now.  I decided to try to make a Zucchini "Lasagna" for myself while I made a regular one for the loves in my life.  Plus, who can't use some extra veggies in their day, right?  It was simple enough to just sub out the noodles with thinly sliced zucchini and still layer it with the same cheese mixture and sauce.  It was a little more "watery" after baking from the zucchini cooking and releasing their natural water, but still good just the same.  Next I'm going to have to try the ribbon zucchini noodles and maybe even try the Zoodles one day.  So, now onto the good stuff.  Here's the recipes for my lasagna.

All my sliced zucchini
-One pot of Mom's Spaghetti Sauce, made and cooled.
-Cook 1 lb lasagna noodles according to package, drain, rinse and set aside.  OR Thinly slice 2-4 zucchini (depending on size and how big of a lasagna you want.) and set aside.
-Cheese layer: 
Mix together- 12 oz cottage cheese, 3 cups mozzarella cheese, 1 wedge Romano cheese (shredded) or 2 cups of Italian cheese blend, 2-4 generous tablespoons of prepared pesto
-To assemble:
In the bottom of a casserole dish spread enough spaghetti sauce to thinly coat bottom. 
Next, 1 layer of noodles or zucchini
Then add small spoonfuls of cheese mixture.
Followed by another layer of noodles or zucchini.
Add more sauce to cover.
Keep repeating until you have no more noodles or cheese.
Lastly top with sauce and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
-Bake at 350 for 35 minutes or until bubbly. 
Or cover and freeze.  If baked frozen, it'll take closer to 1 hour to heat through.
When making your lasagna, make it yours.  Either use all noodles, use all zucchini or use both.  If you use both alternate layers to make a vegetable lasagna.  Yum!  I got 3 lasagnas when I made this.  I baked 2 and froze the other.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Getting Crafty!

I thought I'd show you my crafty side.  It isn't big, but its there and I do really enjoy it when I do.  I'm the one that looks at what everyone else makes or see something in the store and think, "I could make that!" But then I never really do.  I also pin all sorts of amazing crafty things to do and want to do all of them, but in reality, will do maybe 5 of them.  But, when I do feel crafty, I get my craft on good!
Since we are moving across the world soon I wanted to do something for the grandparents.  They came out to visit one last time before we fly out so we made special mugs for them.  They were sitting next to the coffee pot when they arrived and used them the whole visit.  They turned out adorable!  Only catch is, bake them a tad longer to ensure that it doesn't rub off.  Also, if you use colored markers the lighter colors will fade some when washed.  I would recommend hand washing.  Have fun!

Another fun thing I did was make silhouettes of my 3 kids.  It was so simple and is one of my favorite things I've ever made.  Here is the link for how to make these pickin' cute keepsakes.

What's your favorite thing to craft??