Saturday, February 15, 2014

Making Lunch Fun: Valentine's Day

How was your Valentine's Day? And your Thanksgiving? Christmas? New Year's Eve?  I took a little break, of sorts - no reason in particular.  I just wanted to enjoy the holidays with family, and then afterward I found myself a bit unmotivated.  
Wanna know something really spectacular that happened while I was away?  Domestic Femme blew past its 100,000th visit!!! I think I'm getting the hang of this SEO thing :)

Valentine's Day Lunch Surprise #Idea #Ideas #School #Lunchbox #Kid #Kids #Food #Easy #Simple #Quick #Cheap
I kinda like to do special lunches for the little guy, on certain days of the year (See: Easter, Birthday, 1st Day of School).  I did this last year, for Valentine's Day:
Valentine's Day Lunch Surprise #Idea #Ideas #School #Lunchbox #Kid #Kids #Food #Easy #Simple #Quick #Cheap
  
The containers were spotted within the Valentine's Day section of my local grocery store.  Cool, huh?

This year, I covered up his lunch in some wrapping paper, slapped on some fun stickers, and topped his drink with ribbon.


Valentine's Day Lunch Surprise #Idea #Ideas #School #Lunchbox #Kid #Kids #Food #Easy #Simple #Quick #Cheap

Valentine's Day Lunch Surprise #Idea #Ideas #School #Lunchbox #Kid #Kids #Food #Easy #Simple #Quick #Cheap

Voila!


What fun lunch ideas have you created?  Did you do anything for Valentine's Day?


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Monday, November 25, 2013

Thanksgiving Favorites: Fresh Deep Dish Pumpkin Pie

Few flavors epitomize the Fall season quite like pumpkin.  It's E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E right now: Pumpkin Spice Lattes, Pumpkin Bars, Pumpkin Rolls, Pumpkin Bread.
This pie is a perfect addition to your Thanksgiving spread, topped with whipped cream.  Ditch that canned pumpkin, roll up your sleeves, and let's start baking!

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Fresh Pumpkin Pie {adapted from Ruth and Beth's recipes} Printable Recipe
makes: 1 deep dish pie


Ingredients (crust):

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter
3/8 cup shortening
1 1/2 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg
1/4 cup water

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Directions:

1) Cut the butter into small slices.

2) In a mixing bowl, blend together the flour, salt, cinnamon and sugar.  Add in the butter, shortening, egg, and water. Mix until well blended **Note: if the dough easily sticks to the side of your bowl, add more flour {a little at a time}, until it pulls off of the sides**.

3) Cover the dough and refrigerate.


Ingredients (filling):

1 sugar pumpkin
1 (12oz.) can evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt 

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Directions:

1) Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

2) Cut the pumpkin in half and remove all of the seeds.  Line a baking sheet with foil and grease it {I usually need 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil}.  Place the pumpkin halves open-side down, onto the foil.

3) Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes.  Cool until just warm enough to handle, and use a spoon to scrape out the pulp.  Turn the oven up to 450 degrees.

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4) In a blender, mix in the pumpkin puree, milk, vanilla, white and brown sugars, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, flour, eggs and salt.  Blend for 1 minute.

5) Take the pie crust out of the fridge, and roll it out, into a deep dish pie pan.  Pour in the pie filling and place the pie in the preheated oven.
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6) Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes and then reduce heat to 350 degrees.  Cook for an additional 60-70 minutes, until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Allow the pie to cool a bit, before transferring to the fridge, to cool overnight.  Enjoy with your favorite whipped cream!

****Pro tip: If you want to decorate the top of the pie with crust cut-outs, bake them separately, and add them after the pie is completely cooked.  In the photos below, the one on top had the crust cut-outs added toward the end of cooking.  When the pie cooled, the cut-outs caused cracking.  It definitely didn't look as good as the one shown on the bottom, wherein I waited until the pie was completely cooked, before adding them.****

Fresh Deep Dish Pumpkin Pie #Pies #Scratch #Puree #Recipe #Recipes #How #To #Filling #Easy #Real #Homemade #Thanksgiving #Fall #Autumn #Classic #Old #Fashion #Fashioned #Holiday #Holidays #Bake #Instructions #Dessert #Desserts #Fresh #Menu

Some kitchen favorites, that were utilized during the creation of this pie:



What's your favorite pumpkin treat?

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Friday, November 8, 2013

Pecan Cream Cheese Ball

Do you always buy your cheese balls from the store?
STOP IT!
There are too many great homemade recipes out there for you to be buying a prepackaged, mystery ball.  This appetizer is SO good and perfect on top of your favorite cracker.

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My mom makes this every Christmas Eve.  In our family, there isn't an actual meal served on Christmas Eve.  We simply fill up on Summer sausage, cheese, crackers, this cheese ball, and shrimp cocktail.  Hoosiers... ...  


Pecan Cream Cheese Ball {courtesy of my mom} Printable Recipe
makes: 1 ball

Ingredients:

2 (8oz.) packages cream cheese
1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons chives
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 3/4 cup pecans, finely chopped
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 cup parsley, chopped

Pecan Cream Cheese Ball #Recipe #Recipes #Appetizer #Appetizers #Creamy #Parsley #Lemon #Cheddar #Garlic #Chives #Worcestershire #Worcester #Holiday #Holidays #Christmas #Eve #Idea #Ideas #Menu #Menus #Thanksgiving #Get #Together #Togethers #CheeseBall #GameDay #Game #Day #Days #Easy #Snack #Snacks #Football #Super #Bowl #Superbowl #Finger #Food #Foods #Crowd #Party #Parties #Potluck #Potlucks #New #Year #Years


Directions:

1) Mix together cream cheese, cheddar cheese, chives, lemon juice, garlic, Worcestershire, milk, and 1 cup of pecans.

2) Stir remaining pecans and parsley together in a medium bowl (these always come in handy).  Form cheese mixture into a ball, and coat with pecan/parsley mixture until well covered.  Serve with your favorite crackers.


Pecan Cream Cheese Ball #Recipe #Recipes #Appetizer #Appetizers #Creamy #Parsley #Lemon #Cheddar #Garlic #Chives #Worcestershire #Worcester #Holiday #Holidays #Christmas #Eve #Idea #Ideas #Menu #Menus #Thanksgiving #Get #Together #Togethers #CheeseBall #GameDay #Game #Day #Days #Easy #Snack #Snacks #Football #Super #Bowl #Superbowl #Finger #Food #Foods #Crowd #Party #Parties #Potluck #Potlucks #New #Year #Years

What do you traditionally eat on Christmas Eve?


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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Cookie Perfection: Chocolate Crinkles

The holidays are quickly approaching and I'm SO excited to start baking!

A couple weeks ago, Jhanis teased her fellow Instagram followers with a pic of some Chocolate Crinkles.  She totally sold me, once she explained that they were soft, chewy chocolate cookies, covered in powdered sugar.  
OH. MY.
  


Cookie Perfection: Chocolate Crinkles #Cookies #Dark #Recipe #Recipes #Swap #Swaps #Exchange #Exchanges #Brownie #Brownies #Devil #Devils #Food #Christmas #Thanksgiving #Baking #Holiday #Holidays #From #Scratch #With #Thin #ThinMint #ThinMints #Mint #Mints #Cocoa #Peppermint #Party #Parties #Ideas #For #Kids #Kid #Friendly #Cracked #Crackle #Crackles #Fudge




These taste like devil’s food or soft brownies, and are a perfect remedy to your chocolate craving or cookie exchange.  I triple dog dare you (oh, yes I did) to eat just one!



Chocolate Crinkles {adapted from Ingrid's recipe} Printable Recipes --> (regular) (mint)
makes: 2 dozen

Ingredients:

3/8 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8  cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
15 drops black food coloring
1 teaspoon peppermint extract (if you're making the mint chocolate crinkles)
1/2 cup powdered sugar


Cookie Perfection:  Chocolate Crinkles #Cookies #Recipe #Recipes #Swap #Swaps #Exchange #Exchanges #Brownie #Brownies #Devil #Devils #Food #Christmas #Thanksgiving #Baking #Holiday #Holidays #From #Scratch #With #Mint #Mints #Cocoa #Peppermint #Party #Parties #Ideas #For #Kids #Kid #Friendly #Cracked #Crackle #Crackles #



Directions:

1) Mix together the cocoa powders, sugar and oil.  Add in the eggs, vanilla, food coloring, flour, baking powder, salt, and peppermint (if you're making the mint version). 
Cookie Perfection:  Chocolate Crinkles #Cookies #Recipe #Recipes #Swap #Swaps #Exchange #Exchanges #Brownie #Brownies #Devil #Devils #Food #Christmas #Thanksgiving #Baking #Holiday #Holidays #From #Scratch #With #Mint #Mints #Cocoa #Peppermint #Party #Parties #Ideas #For #Kids #Kid #Friendly #Cracked #Crackle #Crackles #

2) Cover dough and chill for 2 hours.
3) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and pour powdered sugar into a small bowl.
4) Scoop dough into one inch balls, and generously coat them in the powdered sugar.  Place them onto the cookie sheet.
Cookie Perfection: Chocolate Crinkles #Cookies #Dark #Recipe #Recipes #Swap #Swaps #Exchange #Exchanges #Brownie #Brownies #Devil #Devils #Food #Christmas #Thanksgiving #Baking #Holiday #Holidays #From #Scratch #With #Thin #ThinMint #ThinMints #Mint #Mints #Cocoa #Peppermint #Party #Parties #Ideas #For #Kids #Kid #Friendly #Cracked #Crackle #Crackles #Fudge

5) Bake for 11-13 minutes, and allow to cool for a few, before transferring to a cooling rack.

Cookie Perfection: Chocolate Crinkles #Cookies #Dark #Recipe #Recipes #Swap #Swaps #Exchange #Exchanges #Brownie #Brownies #Devil #Devils #Food #Christmas #Thanksgiving #Baking #Holiday #Holidays #From #Scratch #With #Thin #ThinMint #ThinMints #Mint #Mints #Cocoa #Peppermint #Party #Parties #Ideas #For #Kids #Kid #Friendly #Cracked #Crackle #Crackles #Fudge


Which version did you make: regular or mint?  What are your favorite holiday treats? 
 
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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

How to Lose at Halloween: A List of the Worst Candy Ever

If your usual Halloween candy purchase includes *any* of the following treats crimesagainsthumanity, STOP IT.  Shut.  It. Down.  This Public Service Announcement is for you.  
Listen.  
I get it.  
  
Not everyone has a friend who will speak the truth to them.  I choose to believe that no one ever told you about your vomit-inducing, candy-giving habits.  Just like no one ever told you that flip-flops and/or facial piercings are inappropriate for an interview.  Or that you’re not supposed to gift those Snuggies you excitedly hoarded from HSN/QVC/CVS.  <-- No one wants those.  Likewise, no kid wants to find any of these candies in their treat bag, on Halloween: 

How to Lose at Halloween: A List of the Worst Candy Ever - #Most #Disgusting #Top #Gross #Grossest #Nasty #Nastiest #All #Time #List #Candies #Black #Licorice #Lame #Lamest #Circus #Peanuts #Peanut #Gummy #Hamburger #Hamburgers #Whoppers #Spearmint #Spearmints


For starters, we’ll begin with the orange Circus Peanuts.  What blows my mind is that somewhere, someone tried one once and thought “These are DELICIOUS! Let’s mass produce them!”  At times, I’ve wondered if actual packing peanuts have more flavor than these vile, flavored bits of foam. 

Black Licorice?! Are you for real, giving out these tar bites?   They smell like rotten, root beer farts and dead squirrels. Why would anyone want to put one near their mouth?

I’d never met a chocolate that made my lips curl into a frown, until I tried Whoppers.  Chocolate covered chalk nuggets?  N’Okay!

Spearmint candies – Wha? Why?  Is this anyone’s favorite?  Please let me know, because I will ship you all of the ones we receive in our annual Halloween haul.  I enjoy the smell of halitosis more than this mint.  

Gummy bears?  I can do those.  They’re delicious and adorable.  Gummy HAMBURGERS?  No.  Uh-Uh.  Who seriously looks forward to finding one of these in their bag?  Can you picture a child out there, savoring every layer, piece-by-piece?  Not me… but typing that out and imagining it just made my mouth fill with pre-vomit saliva. 


Mike & Ike/Good & Plenty – Good news.  No one will e-v-e-r steal your stash... unless they mistake your G&Ps for actual pills.
Random orange & black candy... is this supposed to be generic peanut butter? caramel? taffy?  While we're here, any off-brand/no-name candy <-- Don't do it.  There's too much good candy out there for a kid to take a chance on that ambiguous blob you tossed in their bag.  Not to mention, these particular candies are easily opened/reopened {AKA thrown out by cautious parents}.

People, I’m begging you.  Halloween is once a year.  Splurge on the name brand chocolate or at the very least Sour Patch Kids.  Don’t be that house.   BTW, while you're out {not buying crappy candy}, why don't you start checking things off of your Fall Bucket List?


What's your most hated candy?  

 
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