Shark Week Cookie Cake

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{I’m still here! I know it’s been 70 days since I last posted (who’s counting?!), but I’m still here. And my little, loyal blog was here, waiting for me, all along. And I hope you were, too. I hope to get back into feeling good, and feeling inspired, and delivering better-than-subpar blog posts and recipes.}

Do YOU know what week it is? SHARK WEEK! We just love Shark Week in our house! My boys just love sharks and we get a kick out of having a whole week devoted to them. I always like to make a fun treat. This year, I made a cookie cake!

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It is an enormous chocolate chip cookie, “choc” full of chips.

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It is covered in creamy, vanilla frosting ocean water, its frothy waves lapping up to shore, meeting the gold, glittery beach.

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Let’s hope that the owner of the surfboard went for a walk! Yikes! Those waters are super shark infested!

Shark Week Cookie Cake

Serves:  A lot of hungry dudes and dudettes

Recipe adapted from: Doughmestic Housewife

1 C softened butter

1 C sugar

1 C brown sugar

2 eggs

1 t baking soda

3 C flour

2 C chocolate chips

Mix the first 5  ingredients. Then add the flour. Fold in the chocolate chips. Press into a greased cookie/pizza pan. Bake 18 – 25m at 350F.

Frosting:

4 C powdered sugar

1 C shortening

4 T milk (plus more, if you need to thin it out)

1 t vanilla extract

Food coloring

Mix together until you have the right consistency (spreadable, not too runny). Split the frosting into two parts. Color half of it blue (I used both green and blue to make a turquoise-y color).

Extra materials:

Graham cracker crumbs

Gold and blue sugar sprinkles

Fish and dolphin sprinkles

gummy sharks

Plastic palm trees, surf board, umbrella

After the cookie caked has been baked and cooled, frost half of it with the white frosting. Cover most of it with the graham cracker crumbs and gold sprinkles. Leave a little bit of white frosting showing, for the waves. Next, add the blue water. Then add the sharks and sea animal sprinkles, blue sugar sprinkles, palm trees, surf board, and umbrella.

And there you go, little surfers!

Hang then! Don’t let the sharks bite you!

Kristin

Christmas Wreath Cookies

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Okay, Friends! If you don’t have any cookies baked yet, you’re either not going to or you don’t have any quick, easy ideas. I can’t help you with the former, but here is a great recipe for the latter. My boys and I whipped these up today (for Santa and Mrs. Claus).

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They are rich with butter, crumbly in the best kind of way, and packed with vanilla and almond flavors.  I can almost guarantee that you have all the ingredients already (don’t quote me on that).

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Wreath Cookies

1 C butter, softened

1/2 C sugar

2 1/4 C APF

1/4 t salt

1 egg

1/4 t almond extract

1/4 t vanilla bean paste (or extract)

5-7 drops of green food coloring

sprinkles

Preheat oven to 400F.  Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the flour, salt, egg, almond extract, vanilla bean paste (or extract), and food coloring. Roll the dough into little balls and form a hole in the center (I used an icing tip). Put on the sprinkles.  and place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 10 – 12 minutes, or just before the cookies turn brown. Transfer to a rack to cool completely. 

My boys also made these little masterpieces:

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I let them go nuts with M&Ms, sprinkles, marshmallows, and icing. I think Santa will both enjoy them and go into a cookie coma!

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Memories were made and that’s all that matters. ❤

The Merriest of Christmases to you and your families! May you feel God’s love and know the real reason behind this special season.

God bless!

Kristin

Easy Pie Crust

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I have never been one to make pies. I love eating them, but making them scared me. Getting the dough ratio just right, rolling it out, and transferring it to the pie tin seemed very daunting to me. That is…until my Mom shared her foolproof pie crust recipe with me. She’s been using it since 1970, where she got it from a gal who also lived in her dormitory. She’s also submitted it to several church cookbooks over the years; it’s ease and popularity always proven. Because cold fat (butter) and ice water are not part of this recipe, it’s easier to make and use. At least for scaredy cats like me! It yields a nice, flaky crust and comes out perfect every time.

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Okaaaay, so I have a lot to learn about transferring the dough [evenly] and making it pretty!

Easy Pie Crust

Makes enough for one bottom crust

1 1/4 C flour

1/2 C shortening

1/2 C boiling water

1/4 t baking powder

1/4 t salt

Combine all the ingredients. Stir well, until completely mixed. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Roll out, as desired. Add your filling and bake in a 350F oven (time depends on filling). You can place tin foil on the crust if it starts getting too brown.

THAT’S IT! How easy is that?

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I hope you enjoy this family recipe! (I used the Libby’s Pumpkin Pie recipe right off the back of the can)

Peace ‘n’ Blessins’!

Kristin

First Day of Fall Kindergarten & 3’s School Lunches

Tomorrow is…wait for it…okay don’t…THE FIRST DAY OF FALL! For us, living in sunny and hot Florida, this means nothing more than not looking like a wackadoodle for putting out pumpkin decorations (I proudly fall into the wackadoodle category, as my fall decor has been out for weeks!). Sometimes, we Florida girls will also wear boots, quite unnecessarily (I also do this), order our weight in (sometimes skinny and alternative milk) PSLs (look it up if you don’t already know), and marvel at how crisp our mornings have been, in the mid 70’s. Ahhhh, Fall! Would I love to see some orange leaves? Yes. Would I love the weather to require boots or snuggly sweatshirts? Heck yes. But for now, I shall celebrate with pumpkin shaped sandwiches in my kids’ lunchboxes. I do what I can with what I have.

****slurrrrrps on my PSL****

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For my babes, I made a honey maple turkey, colby jack, and mayo sandwiches shaped like pumpkins. I used Food Writers to add a few details. I also packed cheddar sandwich crackers, peaches, grapes (for Bigs), broccoli (for Smalls), applesauce squeezey (for Bigs), an Apple Pie Oatmeal Cookie, and a few candy corn (or “candy pa-corn” as my Smalls calls it).

It’s Fall Y’all!

Kristin

Ham & Cheese Friday Kindergarten & 3’s School Lunches

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Tomorrow is Friday. Yay. I’m so glad we made it another week. I packed ham, cheese, and mayo sandwiches for my boys. With this Arnold’s Country Bread, I only have to make one sandwich and split it between them. I also packed cotton candy grapes, an Apple Pie Oatmeal Cookie, cheddar sandwich crackers, raisins, a natural fruit leather, broccoli for Smalls, and yogurt pretzels for Bigs.

Long live the weekend!

Kristin

Apple Themed Kindergarten School Lunch

‘Tis the season for all things pumpkin…AND apple! I made a quick batch of homemade applesauce earlier this week. I peeled, cored, and sliced gala and golden delicious. I put them in a saucepan, with a little bit of lemon juice and a few cinnamon sticks, over medium high heat. I stirred them until they broke down. I added cinnamon, a little bit of pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla. When they over adequately tender, I blitzed them in the food processor. That’s it! It made my house smell so autumnal and homey! And my oldest loves it! So, with that and the Apple Pie Oatmeal Cookies I made last week (I froze the batch), I was inspired to make an apple themed lunch for my oldest.

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I made an apple shaped sunbutter and apple jelly sandwich. I used Food Writers to add a little red color and I used some of the upper crust to look like a stem. I also packed colby jack cheese, snap pea crisps, homemade applesauce (with a little extra cinnamon on top), an apple cookie, and a squeezy yogurt. I decorated with two little apple cupcake picks.

I guess you could now call me an inCIDER on all things apple. 😀

Kristin

Ham & Cheese Kindergarten & 3’s School Lunches II

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For Wednesday’s lunches, I made ham, cheese, and mayo sandwiches. I also packed cheddar sandwich crackers, peaches, corn, broccoli (for Smalls), and an Apple Pie Oatmeal Cookie.

HAPPY HUMP DAY!!

Kristin

Gluten Free Apple, Honey, and Olive Oil Cake

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You guys. Have you ever made a recipe that is so good that you are at a loss for words? I just did that. Earlier in the week, I found a recipe for an Apple, Honey, and Olive Oil Cake that looked out of this world. It wasn’t gluten free, so I thought I’d be nice and make it such, so my husband could eat it, too. I definitely deserve some kind of pat on the back or a new pair of shoes or something for that act of kindness. Anyways.

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This cake was not only easy (you probably have ALL of the ingredients!!), but it wasn’t overly sweet OR unhealthy.

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It’s basically a health cake. You’re welcome.

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I’m going to be perfectly honest with you right now. I cut a huge slice of this and put it on my dinner plate. I ate the first slice right along with my baked ham with cloves, green beans with almonds, and corn.

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I DO have one regret – not buying (and eating) vanilla ice cream with this. It would be killer. So, that is my sage and wise advice to you today. Buy vanilla ice cream to go with this.

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This cake was one of the best things that happened to me all day.

Gluten Free Apple, Honey, and Olive Oil Cake

Recipe adapted from: Pickledplum.com

5 small red apples (or 4 larger ones), peeled, cored, and sliced thinly

5 T gluten free flour mix (with xanthan gum in it) or another GF flour with 1/8 t xanthan gum added)

5 T brown sugar

5 T extra virgin olive oil

1 t baking powder

4 large eggs

⅔ C honey

Cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350F.

Grease an 8-inch cake pan, then place the apple slices inside. Put flour, sugar, baking powder, olive oil, eggs, and honey in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Pour the batter over the apples and sprinkle cinnamon over top. Bake for 20 minutes. Take the pan out of the oven and drizzle more honey on top. Bake for an additional 25 minutes.

Eat hot or cold. It was ridonk hot. It would be even more ridonk hot with that vanilla ice cream. I’m planning on eating it cold later tonight and/or for breaky. I’m sure it’ll be ridonk, once again.

Enjoy!

Kristin

Kebab Kindergarten School Lunch

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For tomorrow’s lunch (for my Bigs), I packed two ham & cheese kebabs. I used colby jack cheese. I also packed apples, peaches, raisins, pretzels, and an Apple Pie Oatmeal Cookie.

Happy Friday Eve!

Kristin

Pumpkin Kindergarten & 3’s School Lunches

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I had waited long enough. It was time. Time to pull out the Fall decorations and put them up proudly, knowing that not everyone would agree with my decision. So, today, that’s exactly what I did. I’ve got my Fall wreath on my front door, some sparkly gourds filling a glass pillar (because all gourds should be sparkly), some felt owls on my china cabinet. Oh yes. My boys are so excited. I also baked apple cookies. God-willing, with all this Fall surrounding me, Fall weather will come sooner and relieve me of this dreadful 90+ degree heat.

To further celebrate our festive decor, I went with a pumpkin theme on my boys’ lunches for tomorrow. I made pumpkin shaped sunbutter and apple jelly sandwiches, and used my Food Writers to add a wee bit of detail. I also packed red grapes, cheddar sandwich crackers, charred corn (in my pumpkin shaped silicone cupcake wrappers), and one Apple Pie Oatmeal Cookie.

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These cookies are the epitome of Fall. Chewy, soft, warm with cinnamon, sweet with apples.

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Oh yes, boy

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This recipe is EASY. And, wait for it…HEALTHY! I made smaller cookies than the recipe called for (instead of fifteen, I made 22), and I added vanilla bean paste, in addition to the vanilla extract. And each cookie is less than 100 calories (and actually, I think MUCH less since I made smaller cookies!). These can also be easily converted to gluten free. A must!

http://amyshealthybaking.com/blog/2015/01/03/apple-pie-oatmeal-cookies/

Happy (almost) FALL, y’all!

Kristin