Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Fried {Mini} Chocolate Hazelnut Pies

Fried {Mini} Chocolate Hazelnut Pies
I've never deep fried anything before. I'd been afraid. 1-will it be messy? 2-Gah that's a lot of wasted oil. 3-Oh man...that sounds like a dangerous thing to be able to do at home. But, now I've deep fried some stuff and I can say--it's not that messy. But yes to the rest of the above. However? Still so worth it. For these little pies alone.
Fried {Mini} Chocolate Hazelnut Pies
I got it into my head that I wanted fried little pies filled with chocolate hazelnut spread (which most people know by the most common brand name, "nutella", but I love to use PB & Co's Chocmeister Dark Chocolatey Hazelnut Spread). This idea was so pervasive (but not in a preggo-craving kind of way, more in a oooh that's a good idea kind of way) that I finally decided to do it. I used my favorite all butter pie crust recipe (which always gives me super buttery and flaky crust), filled it with the chocolate hazelnut spread, folded it over and sealed it, fried it, topped it with powdered sugar and....HOLY MOLY.
Fried {Mini} Chocolate Hazelnut Pies
The pie crust was all flaky and fried with just enough sweetness, thanks to the powdered sugar, and then when you bite into it and get that rich and warm chocolate hazelnutty deliciousness....it's like an experience. I feel like they'd totally be served in some hip cafe or restaurant. I got myself downright addicted and ate probably more than I'd care to admit. They were so good. I think everyone should try them at least once-that's my official recommendation. :P

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Monthly Meal Plan-September (Tailgaiting)

082717 September-main

TODAY IS MY BABY SHOWER! But, while I'm enjoying that, I've also got you covered for all your September recipe needs with this month's round up.

This month's recipe round up was brought to you by:

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Something Saturdays (8/26/17)

Well this week was fairly boring-I've spent the whole time getting prepared for my baby shower tomorrow. Today I'll be doing lots more prepping (and baking) and tomorrow is the big day. I'm so excited!

Posts from this week 
Homemade Mocha Pudding

Recipes from the blog that I made this week
Extra Flaky Biscuits
 

Recent links bookmarked (visit my Pinterest for more)
Fluffy Whole Wheat Waffles (Sally's Baking Addiction)

Movies/TV Talk (assume there'll be spoilers)
Game of Thrones-I'm so bored with everything at Winterfell right now. But omigosh poor little (not so little) Viserion! At least Dany and Jon just keep getting cuter and cuter (forgetthatsheshisauntforgetthatsheshisaunt).

Younger-Gahhh Liza don't listen to anyone, you and Charles are clearly meant to be together!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Homemade Mocha Pudding

Homemade Mocha Pudding
Michael asked me to buy him pudding cups for work. I groaned and asked if I had to and he asked why and I told him how unhealthy they are and can't I just make you pudding instead??

"...Oh. Yeah. You can do that."

"OOOOOH can you make me mocha pudding?"

So here we are.
Homemade Mocha Pudding
Fun fact: homemade pudding really isn't tough to make. And this one in particular is ultra easy-there aren't even any egg yolks involved! And actually...I mean...in the scheme of desserts...it's not that bad for you. Really. Could be way worse-and it's definitely sooo much better than all the junk they put in the processed stuff. I'm totally gonna be "that mom" guys. #sorrynotsorry

Also, I can personally attest that this makes really delicious just chocolate pudding as well-you just need to omit the espresso/coffee powder portion of it. Then it's yummalicious chocolate pudding! It's thick and comforting and tasty. And hilarious how you can serve it in a little cup or bowl with a spoon and think of being a child, or all fancied up in little glasses with whipped cream and feel sophisticated. Life's all about perspective, ya know?


Homemade Mocha Pudding

Adapted from Foodie with Family

Homemade Mocha Pudding
Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 and 1/2 tsp. instant espresso or coffee granules
  • 3 cups milk (any kind you prefer)
  • 5 oz. dark, semisweet, or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Optional-whipped cream and grated or shaved chocolate, for serving
Preparation:
  • In a dry, heavy bottomed, 2 quart saucepan whisk together the cornstarch, sugar, cocoa powder, kosher salt, and coffee granules-making sure to get any big lumps worked out.
  • Slowly add a little bit of the milk at a time, whisking after each addition until combined, until it is all thoroughly incorporated and smooth. 
  • Turn of medium heat and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Once it boils, still whisk constantly and boil for about 2 minutes or until thickened. 
  • Remove from heat and add chopped chocolate and vanilla extract, whisking slowly until everything is fully melted and combined-when it has darkened and turned glossy.
  • Pour immediately into serving containers or storage container(s). You can serve hot or lay a piece of plastic directly on the surface of the pudding and transfer carefully to the refrigerator (it will be hot!). Chill for at least 2 hours or store for up to 4 days (pudding may start to separate a bit in the fridge, just give it a good stir before serving). 
  • If desired, serve with whipped cream and chocolate garnish. 
Homemade Mocha Pudding
Might I entice you to try a bite? 

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Something Saturdays (8/19/17)

The wedding I did last weekend with Perfectly Planned was awesome (two words: S'MORES BAR. With homemade marshmallows!) Then, Sunday, Michael and I just got stuff done at home (which included some setting up of the nursery which was so exciting). I had a photo shoot on Monday (uh hi apparently it's been a minute since I modeled because I feel like I look so old-and huge but I know I know I'm preggo-in the pics I saw. But, c'est la vie! Tuesday I had a dentist appointment and other than that I just worked on getting some cleaning and baking and such worked on to prepare for the baby shower (WHICH IS ONE WEEK FROM TOMORROW!) which is also what I did the rest of the week.

Today I'm working and then going to a dinner with a bunch of family! What are you plans?

Additionally, Tina Fey in this clip is me. I am her. Get yo'self some cake.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Extra Crispy Baked French Fries

Extra Crispy Baked French Fries
I meeeean....we all love french fries, right?? But generally frying them is a messy and unhealthy thing we don't wanna mess with at home. That's why baked fries are so awesome--but I feel like they're never quite crispy and flavorful enough...

until now!
Extra Crispy Baked French Fries
The two things that really help crisp these fries up is soaking them in water (this helps get some of the starch out, which gets a crispier result) and making sure to dry them after that. As far as flavor goes that's on you: salt the heck out of 'em. Put some truffle oil and parmesan cheese on them (that's what I diiiid!). Do garlic or a spice blend. Whatever makes your french fry loving heart happy.
Extra Crispy Baked French Fries
Have I told you all my french fry shame? The kind of gross way I used to eat (specifically McDonald's) french fries as a kid? I used to....*deep breath* suck off the salt and then dip them in ketchup. They were soggy and gross and I don't know what was wrong with me....I'm so sorry. Please forgive me. I was a weird kid with weird food habits.
Extra Crispy Baked French Fries
I'm a changed lady, now, and am in fact a bit of a french fry snob. These were definitely the best fries I've ever baked at home and they will be getting made again (so that Michael can actually try them because I maaaay have eaten them all before he got home. Oops!)

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Something Saturdays (8/12/17)

I got a lot of stuff done this week-some cooking and making phone calls, stuff like that. But I had lots else happen too! Last weekend Michael and I traded in his dying 2003 Honda for a new Subaru Forester that we're leasing (aka I got a mom car lol). I love it so much and spent so much time playing around with it, Michael's enjoying getting my Elantra to himself now (since it's 2015 it's still so much nicer than what he was driving). The wedding I worked afterwards went great and I have another one today, yay! On Sunday, Michael had to study for his big comprehensive exam (he needed to pass in order to graduate from his master's program in December) but we also ran an errand, grabbed dinner with friends, annnnnd wandered into Target and bought our baby 6 adorable outfits. I did some maternity clothes shopping and got some super cute stuff on Monday (Michael also took his exam and passed! Woo!). Tuesday we had a pre-baptism class at our church and it was actually surprisingly nice. Friday I bought some more stuff for baby (who can resist!?) and then had a girls night with my boss, Val, and our mutual friend Evie. It was so nice!

Did you have a good week?

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Baby Update -- 20/21 Weeks


How far along: Currently 21 (and a half) weeks

Due Date: December 15, 2017

Baby's Size: According to my app, about 10.5 inches and 12.7 oz.

Total weight gain/loss: I've gained about 5 pounds.

Maternity clothes: Still wearing some normal clothes, but it's getting more difficult. Still liking these jeans from Target and I have a newfound love for stuff from Wren and Ivory. I also went on a mini shopping spree and got some tops, a dress, and a bra from Motherhood Maternity.

Stretch marks: Not yet!

Sleep: Pretty good.

Best moment of this week: Finding out the gender-everything feels so much more concrete! And seeing it on the ultrasound-at one point I could feel and see it jerking around at the same time, so surreal <3 I also had fun shopping at Motherhood Maternity, hehe. Oh! And a bunch of stuff off our registry is starting to get purchased so that's fun!

Miss anything: Not having to essentially buy a whole new wardrobe lol. So I miss money.

Movement: Yepp! Started feeling it a couple weeks ago. He's getting pretty active lately.

Food cravings: Nothing in particular.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Not really! Just the normal stuff I've never liked lol.

Have you started to show yet: Yepp I am definitively showing now! It feels like all of a sudden I got huge lol--in fact, since that picture above was taken I'm pretty sure I'm already bigger.

Gender: 

IT'S A BOY! Even though I was in no way sure, there was a part of me (and Michael) that felt like we were having a girl, and the vast majority of friends family felt the same so we were a little shocked when the tech told us that we're having a boy! And apparently he was quite proud to show that he is, in fact, a boy lol. We're so excited!

Labor signs: Noooo.

Belly button in or out: Still an innie!

Wedding rings on or off: On, but I can feel it getting a bit more snug.

Happy or moody most of the time: Mostly happy happy happy!

Looking forward to: More movement and the baby shower-it's in about 2 and a half weeks!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Something Saturdays (8/5/17)

Woo! This week feels like it's been so busy! Last weekend was my family's family reunion, which is always lots of fun-and there were a couple babies there to play with this year so Michael and I were extra happy. Monday I got some stuff done at home and then also hung out a little with Michael's mom and sister (and her friend, Allie). Tuesday I, again, just got some stuff done. Wednesday was exciting because my friend Kevin took me along with him to the Shawn Mendes concert in Cleveland (with Charlie Puth as the opening act). We were in the fourth row and it was AMAZING. It was both of our first concerts and it was an awesome experience. They were both great, the music wasn't overly loud, my only complaint was how old I felt surrounded my squealing teenaged fangirls lol. Thursday I got more stuff done and then spent some time with Michael's mom, grandparents, and aunt. This was all to help keep my mind off how anxious I was for FRIDAYYY--when we learned the baby's gender!!! Check back for a pregnancy update on Wednesday for more about that lol. But then I ended up spending time with Michael's dad and stepmom and having dinner with them, which was super nice.

And today I'm working a wedding-so all good things!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Butterfinger Oatmeal Cookies

Butterfinger Oatmeal Cookies
I don't hate these pictures! It's a miracle!! I've been sort of ho hum on my food photography lately-as I'm sure you can probably tell. But I had a bit of inspiration with the styling for this one and the light decided to cooperate so I can show you these cookies in all their glory.
Butterfinger Oatmeal Cookies
Chewy oatmeal cookies full of crunchy bites of Butterfinger=perfection!! I made these for Michael to bring to work one day for some sort of party or something that they were having. I will admit that I think my oats may have been stale and thusly I wasn't in love with the cookie I sampled before sending them off, which made me super worried. But Michael insisted they were tasty and all his coworkers raved about them soooo....I have no idea. I'm sure the recipe is still great--but just for safety, make sure your oats aren't expired...ha.
Butterfinger Oatmeal Cookies
Seriously, these are an ideal cookie for bringing to parties or mailing in care packages since they're pretty sturdy and the nature of the oats and butterfinger bits means they're super delish at room temperature (as opposed to my own personal preference of cookies being warm and gooey, usually). Plus-almost everyone loves butterfingers. Can you say "crowd pleaser"??

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