Monday, September 30, 2013

Baking Fail

I have a million things I'm getting ready to share, but this was just too funny to wait. Seriously it seems like sometimes the easiest of things turn out to be the most disastrous. This weekend was Hadley's birthday party, and amongst many treats I decided to also make rice krispie treats.

Please keep in mind I have made these many times before. So I have NO idea what happened. They require 3 ingredients. Seriously 3. I'm still confused as to how I messed these up. This picture does not do the wreckage justice.


See how there's just a big blob in the middle? I'm not sure if marshmallows go bad, I'm pretty sure we've had ours since Gracen's party in April.... or if there's a trick to using our new gas stove top? But whatever the reason I still don't know how it happened. The butter melted just fine, but when I added the marshmallows, they didn't melt like they were supposed to. It just made one giant marshmallow... and they looked like they were almost starting to burn so I just added the cereal anyways, and as I tried to stir them in made a giant mess in the process. Then I decided to try and put it in the pan anyways, and well you can see how that turned out :)

So now matter how much I think my culinary skills have improved over the years, leave it to little old rice krispie treats to put me in my place. Needless to say there were no rice krispie treats at Hadley's party!






Monday, September 16, 2013

Mini Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

This weekend the weather was absolutely gorgeous, and I couldn't help but have a mini baking session. While my personal fav is still zucchini bread, I also made some mini pumpkin chocolate chip muffins!

Source

I am a huge fan of the Skinny Taste blog, which helps me make the things I already love, but try to use better ingredients. So when I saw these mini pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, I jumped at the chance to make them. They were the perfect fall treat! I made them the night before - because well I'm not exactly a morning person. As soon as they came out of the oven, the Mr. ate a couple and could've kept going if I wouldn't have stopped him. The girls each had a bunch for breakfast this morning, and then Hadley and the Mr. ate the rest before I even got home from work. I guess I better just make some more then :) These would be perfect to freeze for later too, if there are any left!

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour*
  • 3/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup raw sugar **
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 tbsp virgin coconut oil (or canola)
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • baking spray 
  • 2/3 cup mini chocolate chips
Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a mini muffin tin with paper liners and lightly spray liners with oil for easy removal.

In a medium bowl, combine flours, sugar, baking soda, pumpkin spice, cinnamon, and salt with a wire whisk. Set aside.

In a large bowl mix pumpkin puree, oil, egg whites and vanilla; beat at medium speed until thick. Scrape down sides of the bowl.

Add flour mixture to the wet mixture, then blend at low speed until combined; do not over mix. Fold in chocolate chips.

Pour batter into prepared muffin tin and bake on the center rack for 22 to 24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

*I just used 1 1/4C of all-purpose flour, because that's what I had - probably lost a healthy point but oh well ;)
**I had never even heard of raw sugar, but again I didn't have this and after some googling, decided it was just fine to use regular sugar




Saturday, September 14, 2013

Gracen's 5th Birthday Party!

Hey! Remember me? Yea I fell off the blogging planet for a little while. Starting a new job, grad school, buying and remodeling a house, traveling abroad, and 2 kiddos heading back to school kind of kept me busy.

Now that I'm in the midst of planning Hadley's birthday party, I thought I'd share the dets about Gracen's birthday party, ya know, last April :)

For her theme, we went with Pinwheels. We usually just do invites through evite so it's easier for the parents to keep track of, and they had an adorable pinwheel one. Theme chosen! We had her party at the park, and were once again very lucky with the weather. This past spring, for those who have already for gotten, was realtively cool. Hello snow in May! I kept with the dessert table theme like I did with Hadley's last fall and I'd say it was definitely a hit with the 5 year old crowd.


I also made Gracen's shirt, although this isn't the best pic of it. It's just an applique pinwheel. I may or may not have an obsession with appliques!



I made miniature rice krispie cupcakes, much easier for little hands to hold onto, and much less mess (and less sugar intake!) then the full size I made last time. I also made mini cupcakes with pinwheel toppers that I got from the party store. That was the best $2 I spent, because all the kiddos were mesmerized by them actually spinning in the breeze! This time around I made the white chocolate covered pretzels again, but used the pretzel rods - cuts prep time by a lot. And just as delicious!


I'm madly in love with her cake! She requested those colors, and even though it's not the prettiest to look at, it was still delicious, and you should've seen her eyes light up when she saw it! I just love the little banner, I just cut out some craft paper and wrote her name on it in and hung it on the oh so popular straws these days. Those suckers are expensive! So instead of doling them out to sip on juice with, I just used them as d├ęcor. And no worries - the 5 year olds didn't seem to mind! The inside of the cake was tie-dyed, blue/purple/pink of course. But #blogfail I didn't catch a photo of it! Once we sang happy birthday, cut it, and gave it to the kids, our memory card was full and the cake was pretty much devoured by the time we could erase a few.


Gracen had a blast, and we're so incredibly thankful for all the wonderful friends we've made at school the past 2 years! She is one luck 5 year old, and we're pretty darn lucky to be her parents.


Obligatory family photo! My girls have gotten pretty used to the 'mamarazi' by now ;)