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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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blackberry ice cream

Last summer, I made my first attempt at blackberry ice cream.  Homemade blackberry ice cream.  Lucky me…I just happened to have an ice cream maker that I’d received for a wedding gift several years back.  Of course, I’d never taken it out of the box, but that’s beside the point.  The first attempt at ice cream turned out well.  Unfortunately, I didn’t photograph it…therefore, I didn’t blog about it.  Truth be told, maybe that was a good thing.  Because it gave me something to do this Memorial Day weekend.  You know, gave me an excuse to make and eat some stinking good ice cream.

blackberry ice cream

Truth is, it wasn’t terribly hard to make. And remember, if I can make it, anyone can make it.

blackberry ice cream
ingredients:
2 pints fresh blackberries
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups half & half
1 cup sugar

5 large egg yolks
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

equipment needs:
fine mesh strainer
ice cream maker

directions:
Add blackberries to medium saucepan, adding 1/4 cup sugar and juice of 1/2 lemon. Cover and cook over low heat for 20-25 minutes.
Drain using the fine mesh strainer, pressing the berries until as much juice as possible has been extracted. Set juice aside.

Next, heat half & half and the remaining 1 cup sugar in a separate sauce pan over low heat. Turn heat off once mixture is totally heated through.

In a separate bowl, add heavy cream. Set aside.

Beat egg yolks until yolks are pale yellow and slightly thick. Temper the yolks by drizzling 1 1/2 cups of half and half/sugar mixture, whisking constantly. Next, pour the egg/half & half mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of the half & half mixture. Cook over low to medium-low heat until the mixture is thick. Stirring constantly. No really, keep stirring.

Drain the custard mix using the fine mesh strainer. Pour into the heavy cream. Stir to combine.
Add blackberry juice to the cream/custard mixture and stir well.

Chill mixture completely, then follow your ice cream maker instructions.

See, easy.
bberry diptych

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Getting the nursery ready

Things are definitely in the home stretch with this pregnancy.  Today I hit the 34 week mark.  Yeap, horrifyingly close.

We’re also in the home stretch of finishing up the nursery.  And while I would love to post some pictures of it, I haven’t exactly taken any.  So, I decided to at least share a little idea of one of the things that will be in the nursery- family photos. Or rather, young photos of the soon to be grandparents and well, Ashley and me.  I haven’t gotten all of the photos in yet, but here’s what I have so far:

ashley at 3
{that’s Ashley at 3}

Cute katie (what happened)2
{yeap, that would be me…also at 3. should I be worried that ashley and i had the same haircut?}

pop pop
{my dad…who I am now referring to as pop pop}

momma lyn
{and my mom…in what appears to be one of the cutest and most creative outfits I have ever seen}.

 

I promise to post photos of the actual nursery soon…guess I might want to finish it first.  And good news…I actually baked the other day.  And took photos of it! Stay tuned, I may actually have a food post soon!

xoxo-

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Huevos Rancheros

huevos rancheros

I know, I know. Hell apparently has frozen over. I’m blogging! Crazy, right? Just know that I’m going to start making more of an effort. I promise.

Now, let’s get back to the food. If you’ve ever had huevos rancheros at more than one restaurant, you’ll know they never taste the same twice. They can include a multitude of ingredients. And be served many different ways. Since I’m too lazy to find out how you’re really supposed to make them, I went with a pretty fool proof recipe. I’m pretty sure this recipe isn’t exactly authentic, but you know what? When it tastes this good, I’m not too concerned about how authentic it is.

Huevos Rancheros
(serves 2)
Ingredients:
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
12 oz ground chorizo (since I didn’t go hunting for chorizo, I used spicy Italian sausage, out of the case, diced into small chunks)
1/2 can refried beans
1/2 can fire roasted tomatoes (which you can find at any grocery store on the canned tomato aisle)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
4 corn tortillas
1 tbsp butter
5 eggs
1 tbsp milk

Additional:
sour cream
mexican cheese blend
(3 skillets)

The original recipe can be found here, on Life’s Ambrosia, but again, I switched a few things up.

To make:
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add 1/2 of the diced onions and cook until softened. Stir in sausage/chorizo. Cook 5-7 minutes until sausage is cooked through. Stir in refried beans. Cook an additional 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low.

In another skillet, heat 1 tbsp olive oil. Add in remaining onions and cook until softened. Stir in fire roasted tomatoes and add salt. Cook for 5 minutes over medium high heat. Reduce heat to low.

Heat last remaining tbsp of oil in yet another skillet. Cook tortillas for 30 seconds on each side. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Once tortillas are cooked, drain oil from skillet. Melt butter over low to medium heat. Meanwhile, scramble up eggs using the tbsp of milk. Add to the skillet and scramble until eggs are done. Top with cheese and melt through. Remove from heat.

To assemble:
Place one tortilla on a plate, top with sausage/refried beans. Top with second tortilla. Add scrambled eggs. Spoon tomatoes over top. Add cheese and sour cream.

Enjoy!

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A White Trash Wednesday Miracle

I made you a promise and I actually kept it.  And in a (semi) timely manner no less. It’s shocking really because I’m one of those people who has all of these grandiose plans…made with the sincerest of intentions. Then life gets in the way. Really, it does. Between that 9-5 gig that pays for the roof over my head and the clothes on my back, the weekends away, the long commutes, the early morning workouts (say what?), the tv watching, and that side gig I’ve got going now, following through with certain commitments tends to fall by the wayside sometimes.

But I said I would make this meal and that’s exactly what I did.

And I’m thrilled I did for two reasons:
1. it was goooood.
2. it means I am, deep down, a little white trash.

And I’m okay with that.
Because deep down, I think that’s why you like me.

If you’re wondering what all of this nattering is about….it’s about the first official White Trash Wednesday poll.
It’s about the Tater Tot Casserole.
109

If you’re game and need a white trashy recipe to test out, by all means try this one.  But I do have a few thoughts. Mind if I share? Good. Thanks for playing along.
The recipe calls for cream of mushroom soup to be mixed with the ground beef. If you’re not one for the soup taste (my husband loathes the stuff), I say go for sour cream instead and while you’re at it, toss in a Lipton Onion soup mix for good measure.

I’m pretty sure I may go that route the next time I make the stuff.
And there will be a next time.

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Witch’s Brew

While visiting with my neighbors the other night, their son, this little guy:

052

gave me the cutest little Halloween treat ever…
a bag of Witch’s Brew.

005

And since we’re in the home stretch for all things Halloween, it needed to be shared…

Because who doesn’t love bat bones?
Or pigeon poop?
Or ghost noses?

I know I do.

So if you’ve got any last minute Halloween treats to whip up, this one should definitely go on your list.

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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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