Tag Archives: baking

Fruit Pizza

fruit pizza 2

My attempt at being healthy has failed me. It’s been a long time since I can remember being excited to eat well. Actually, to be fair, I can’t remember a time I was ever excited to eat well. Sure, I force myself to eat apples as a mid morning snack while at work. Sure, I’ll eat almonds and rice cakes in the afternoon, but if you put a bag of peanut M&M’s in front of my face, I’d choose them every single time over the healthy alternative. That’s just who I am. I can’t hide it.

So you’d imagine my surprise when my mother-in-law made a fruit pizza while visiting us a few weeks back. I took one bite and thought I’d gone to heaven. (Just so you know, I’d never tasted the likes of the fruit pizza…) Sister quickly pointed out that the crust of said pizza was made of…sugar cookie dough.
Are you kidding me?
Is there anything more brilliant?
Cookie dough as crust.
I was hooked.
bberry fpizza dip
So the other day, I set forth to make this glorious pizza. And you’ll be happy to know that I snacked on the fruits while making it! I know, total insanity. I even went so far as to chop up extra strawberries to eat with cereal.

If you feel the need to be naughty but feel like you’re being healthy because there’s the slightest bit of fresh fruit involved…then this recipe is for you.

Fruit Pizza

1 pkg sugar cookie dough (16.5 oz), softened
1 pkg cream cheese (8 oz), softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1/3 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup apricot jelly (or apple jelly)
1/4 cup water

fruits: amounts vary to your own personal liking
1/2 cup sliced fresh strawberries
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup diced fresh peaches

To make:
Heat oven to 350°F.
Grease 12-inch pizza pan or spray with cooking spray.
Press softened cookie dough into the pan until it forms a crust.
Bake 15 to 17 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool pizza completely, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla with a mixer on low speed until thoroughly combined. (Feel free to taste test to make sure.)
*Heat jelly over low heat, adding water. Bring to a rolling boil. Set aside.
Spread cream cheese mixture over cooled crust.
Spread apricot jelly/water mixture on top of cream cheese mix.
Arrange fruit to top it off.
Chill for an hour.

Store in refrigerator.

*You can omit this step if you like and just spread the jelly over the cream cheese, but I wanted a slightly less thick version.

Now you can almost feel good about your dessert choice.

Almost.

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Blondies

It’s so rare that I sit behind my home computer anymore.  Honestly, these days with work the way it is (insane), the thought of getting back onto a computer sounds about as appealing as having my head shaved. Thus the reason I stay away. Kind of sad actually, because I was given this recipe almost exactly a month ago. I know, I’m pathetic.

I finally give you….

Blondies.

1 ½ c. (7 ½ ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 t. baking powder
½ t. salt
12 T (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
¾ c. packed dark brown sugar
½ c. white sugar (a little shy of ½ c.)
2 large eggs
1 ½ t. vanilla extract
¾ c. semisweet chocolate chips
¾ c. white chocolate chips

Adjust oven rack to the middle position and preheat to 350 degrees.
Pan prep/trick for easy removal:
Spray 13 x 9-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray. Fold two 16-inch pieces of parchment paper or foil lengthwise so that one piece measures 9 inches wide and the other measures 13 inches wide.
Lay one piece along the length of the pan then the other one across the width of the pan. Make sure to press the paper or foil down into the corners so they lie flat. What you are going for is to have the pieces criss-crossed with rather clean corners in the pan . . . but with extra length hanging over each side. The extra length makes “handles” to remove the blondies after cooking and cooling. Spray the sheets with nonstick cooking spray.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Whisk the melted butter and sugars together in a medium bowl until combined. Add the eggs (beat first) and vanilla and mix well.

Using a rubber spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the wet mixture just until combined. DO NOT OVERMIX. Fold in the semisweet and white chocolate chips and nuts, if using.

Turn the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a rubber spatula. Use the spatula to gently pull the batter into the corners and try to get a uniform thickness.

Bake until the top is shiny and cracked and feels firm to the touch, 22 to 25 minutes. Cool the pan completely on a wire rack. Remove the blondies from the pan using the foil or parchment handles and transfer to a cutting board.

Use a large bread or serrated knife to cut into 20 or 24 bars and serve. Hint: To have clean edges, you can use the knife to trim all the way around the bars before cutting into squares.

*Okay, I have to admit, I didn’t follow this recipe exactly. I used bleached flour and light brown sugar because well, I had them on hand. However, even though they tasted fantastic, they weren’t as great as my friend Mark’s version.  So yeah, you might want to actually use the ingredients that the recipe calls for. 

*Ps. I wish I could say I didn’t eat one of those blondies in the photo. Well, actually, technically, I didn’t eat one.  Nope. I ate them all.

Happy Saturday everybody!

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Christmas gift ideas!

Christmas will be fast upon us and if you’re anything like me, you’ve waited until now to start thinking about gift ideas.  So as I’m browsing sites, I’m going to toss some preciously adorable ideas at you.


Yes, they are dishwashing gloves, but they’re cute!
And don’t you want to look cute even when cleaning dirty dishes?
*can be found on etsy courtesy of fresh studio.

How about this “table for one dish”?


Head over to anthropologie for this one.

How about a beautiful cake stand?
I must warn you…yes,it is pretty, but it definitely isn’t cheap…just sayin’.

A few ideas to get you going. Come back soon for more holiday gift ideas.
I might even throw in a a few eclectic and silly ones.
After all, Christmas should be fun, right?

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A Thanksgiving List

As we’re merely hours away from Eatfest 2010, I thought I’d throw a list up here. This time, for things that I’m thankful for…in no particular order. 1. Family. They may drive me bonkers, but I love ‘em. And can’t imagine my nutso life without them. 2. The husband. Even though he technically falls into the family category, he kind of deserves his own mention. 094 3. Food. Because without food, this little blog would never exist. apples at farmer's mkt_edited-1 4. My pets (Gus, the cat, not shown). This is what I come home to every day. Doesn’t get any better than this. front door 5. You guys. Plain and simple I ♥ you guys. And if you’re wondering who you are, look at all of the links listed on this blog. You keep me entertained. You make me want to be a better photographer, a better cook, a better baker, a better home decorator, a better movie buff, and a better smart a$$. And each one of you guys has inspired me whether you know it or not. So thank you all. Now go enjoy this Thanksgiving eat-a-thon with your loved ones…(or the ones you barely tolerate).

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WTW – burger ‘n fries pot pie

So I have to apologize. I’ve kind of fallen off the face of the Earth. Between work, life, the sun setting far earlier, and my latest project, my attention and love and caring for yawyeor has kind of well, gotten lost in the mix. I’m hoping to step my game up again soon, but in the meantime, I will never leave you in a lurch when it comes to our dear sweet White Trash Wednesday.

Luckily for me, Beth from Happy Life Happy Wife sent me this pretty freaking spectacular White Trash recipe. Let’s just say it’s a spin on the old classic burger and fries meal you’d pick up at your local burger joint. And as much as you’re picturing it look like this, I assure you, it won’t. Because this is classy.
yeah! burger

And this…

is not.

Burger ‘n Fries Pot Pie

ingredients
1 1/2lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef
1 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (4 oz)
2 cups frozen crispy French-fried potatoes (from 20-oz bag)

directions
1. Heat oven to 450°F. In 12-inch nonstick skillet, cook beef and onion over medium-high heat about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beef is thoroughly cooked; drain well. Sprinkle flour over beef mixture. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in tomatoes; heat to boiling. Remove from heat.
2. In ungreased 1 1/2-quart casserole, spread beef mixture. Sprinkle with cheese. Arrange frozen potatoes evenly in single layer on top.
3. Bake uncovered about 20 minutes or until potatoes are golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Original recipe can be found here.

(Big thanks to Beth for this oh so white trashy find!)

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WTW – Results are in.

Well kids, the polling has ended and you guys have spoken.

Tater Tot Casserole – 43%
Mountain Dew Apple Cobbler – 37%
Corn Dog Casserole – 20%

It looks like I’ll be making a fine casserole of the Tater Tots.
Let’s just hope I live to talk about it.

 

I just want to give a personal thank you to those of you who did not vote for the corn dog casserole.  You love me.  You really love me!

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My new toy and a recipe

before-after kitchen aid mixer

You may, or may not, have heard, but I kind of had a birthday last week.  {Shhhh…we don’t talk about age around these parts…} But gifts…we do talk about.  And that pretty little cobalt blue thing staring at you, well, that was one of my gifts.  I love it for so many reasons. 

It comes with the hope of being able to make some beautifully tasty desserts.  And it’s shiny. And pretty.  And blue. And I love it.

And I decided it had to be used, regardless of my kitchen skills.  So as I was reading Bon Appetit Hon the other day, I realized that she had shared the perfect recipe for my first mixer attempt. The recipe originated from 3 Baking Sheets to the Wind as it is one of her fondest food memories. Without going into deep detail, click over to both websites for great recipes and great fun. So oh yeah, the recipe looked pretty fool proof and it required minimal ingredients.  That alone was reason enough to make these little beauties.

So I did. And they were delicious.  Light, buttery, and rolled in confectioner’s sugar. Win-Win-Win.

russian tea cookies

If you’re up for giving your stand mixer a test run, take my advice and make these.

Oh and by the way, they’re called Russian Tea Cakes.

1 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon almond extract
6 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar

Heat the oven to 350 degrees and line two sheet pans with parchment paper.
Combine the flour and 6 tablespoons of powdered sugar in a medium bowl and whisk until combined.
In the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and almond extract until smooth.  Slowly add the flour mixture and mix until fully combined.

Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and place them about 1 inch apart on the prepared sheets.  Bake for 12 minutes.  Allow the cookies to cool completely before rolling them in the 1/3 cup powdered sugar.

Thanks to Wendi and Ali for making my first Kitchen Aid Mixer experience an incredible one!

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Cars and curbs

172

A few weeks back sister and I went out for lunch. We hit up my favorite sandwich place, enjoyed some cookies, and headed back to the office. But we had the misfortune of hitting some midday Atlanta traffic. So I did what any annoyed driver would do…searched for an alternative route out. Seemed pretty safe.

As I’m looking for my escape, sister says, “curb!” Okay, so great, there’s a curb. But because I’m me, I drive right over it. We laugh and laugh and laugh…And then in a matter of minutes, I nail ANOTHER curb!

It’s true kids. Turns out I hit curbs.
A lot.
And because my sister has a pretty hysterical sense of humor, this is what I came home to today:
179
176167
My very own life in the form of a cake.
With a little red ambulance for good measure.

So this is your fair warning kids. If you see a black 4Runner in your path, just sit back and wait. I’ll bet you dollars to doughnuts if there’s a curb anywhere nearby, I’m going to hit it.

Thank you Sister.
This cake made my day.

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Halloween Bars

016

Halloween is getting close and I’m doing all I can to get in the spirit. The 85 degree temperature isn’t helping much, so I’m forced to buy cheap decorations and treats to get me in the seasonal mood.

That’s okay because I really do love the cheap decorations and the throngs of candy bars sitting in a big plastic bowl on my kitchen counter. And sometimes I just enjoy baking those Halloween treats. So that’s exactly what I did. I found a recent Betty Crocker mini magazine and scooped a recipe straight from it. This one was for Halloween Goody Bars, but I’ll just call them Halloween Bars. Even if they were super good.

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Ingredients
1 1/2 cup quick cook oats
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup butter, melted
1 cup chopped pecans
1, 14oz., can sweetened condense milk
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 tbsp butter, softened
3/4 cup Reese’s Pieces (or if you have the patience, orange and brown M&M’s)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13×9 in. pan with cooking spray
In a large bowl mix oats, flour, sugar, salt, and 1 cup butter with a spoon. Stir in pecans. Remove 1 cup, set aside to use later as the topping.
Press remaining mixture into pan.
In a saucepan, cook condensed milk, chocolate chips, and 2 tbsp butter over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the chocolate chips are melted and the mixture has turned into a smooth and creamy goodness.
Spread chocolate mix over crust.
Sprinkle with candies and reserved oat mixture, pressing oat mix into chocolate mixture.
Bake 23-25 minutes or until set.*
Cool completely- around 2+ hours. Cut into bars.

*Mine took over 35 minutes to cook completely, then again my oven is almost as old as I am.)

Ps. these bad boys are rich.  Enjoy with a giant glass of cold milk.
Pps. I have about 10 sitting downstairs. Feel free to stop by and take them away from me. Like I need a chocolate covered buttery oat and sugar bar. Yeap, just like I need a hole in my head.

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Reminder

I may have forgotten to mention that the White Trash poll voting ends on 10/22.

Weird, right?  Well, I gave the whole thing a month. Figured, by that time, I would be…

A) mentally prepared to make a corndog casserole (if ultimately that was decided)
and
B) most likely be back in town for a few consecutive weekends to be able to put said white trash dish together.

So. For those of you who have voted, thank you!
If you haven’t yet, not to worry, you still have time.

Have a great Friday everybody!
Is it 5 oclock yet?

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