Homemade marshmallows will forever go down in history as my worst baking idea ever. I spent two hours and a significant amount of money creating a sticky, sweet dessert that tasted exactly like the marshmallows that I buy in a bag at the grocery store for less than a dollar. To make matters worse, I spent the following two days scraping white goo off of my counters, cabinets and ceiling. 🙄 As a result of my overly ambitious marshmallow project, I also ended up replacing my standing mixer because the gooey mixture got so thick that it burned up the engine. 😬 I get the award for the most expensive homemade marshmallows in history. 😅 Lesson learned - No more homemade marshmallows for this girl.
Despite my bad marshmallow experience, there are still things that I make from scratch even though I could buy them cheaper from the grocery store. BUT - I try and only make the foods that are going to be better than the store bought versions. Homemade ice cream, homemade pies and homemade brownies - all things that are way better than the grocery store versions, in my opinion. Breads, spaghetti sauce and pasta also fall into that category of better homemade than store bought even though I could buy them cheaper from the store.
It takes 9 minutes to boil a box of dried spaghetti noodles. 🍝 It takes me a the better part of an afternoon to make fresh, homemade pasta. Is it worth it? Absolutely. If you've ever had fresh pasta - you know that nothing else even compares. I love it so much in fact that I'm willing to dedicate hours of my life to kneading, stretching, rolling and cutting out dough to make the most delicious pasta possible.
Is it possible that there could be a happy medium between 9 minute dried pasta and the half day homemade version? Cook's Illustrated thinks so. They published a recipe for fresh pasta dough that's made in a food processor. (I can hear the disappointment of Italian women everywhere who are appalled by the idea.) Taking the kneading out of my hands (literally) makes the pasta making process sooooo much easier. I typically spend and hour making pasta dough by hand and I made this dough in a little under 15 minutes. I was more than a little hesitant that it was too good to be true but I was willing to give it a try.
Turns out - letting the food processor do the kneading was genius. The eggy dough was soft and stretchy. It's shaved at least 45 minutes off of my pasta making process. Yay for time saving ideas.
1 cups flour
1 cup semolina flour
2 eggs + 6 egg yolks
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Drain pasta and toss with sauce and top with cheese.
There is just nothing like the taste of fresh pasta and homemade spaghetti sauce. Makes me want to jump on a plane and head back to Italy today! 🇮🇹
You can just call me Miss Daisy. 🌼 I hired my own personal driver for the summer. The last time I checked, we didn't have any Uber or Lyft drivers in my area so I decided that I would take the matter into my own hands and hire my own driver for the summer. (aka my 21 year old daughter) Her rates are cheap. 😂
I'm not happy about the fact that hiring a driver happened as a result of a broken right foot rendering me unable to drive BUT I do love having a personal chauffeur. 🚙 I'm not so sure that my Uber driver shares my feelings about this relationship though. And she definitely doesn't appreciate the fact that I give her a rating at the conclusion of the ride either. ⭐️⭐️⭐️😂
It doesn't matter if I'm running errands, dropping off a cookie order or going to a doctor's appointment - I love having her by my side. She's at the age when I know that she won't be living with us much longer and our time with her is precious. It really is a gift to be able to have her as my Uber driver because I'm fairly certain that she would opt out of accompanying me on my weekly Wal Mart pick up appointments if she could. #forcedfamilytime 😂
I feel like I'm running even more errands now that I have a companion than I would if I was flying solo. Driving to Atlanta to pick up a camera lens is way more fun when I have a partner. Our chores become an excuse to run through Whole Foods market, stop and pick up food at a new restaurant or swing by and visit and old friend.
I have no desire to crutch my way through a grocery store or ride on one of those little electric scooters, so grocery store pick up has been the name of the game lately. Breaking my foot has forced me to give up control over choosing my own groceries and I've developed a whole new appreciation for the fact that someone is willing to do my shopping for me. 😉
I still like to choose my own produce though so I've been asking my Uber driver take me to the farmers market for my fresh fruits and vegetables. (My Uber doubles as my cart pusher and basket carrier too.) #betterthananuber Our Georgia farmers markets are absolutely bursting with local produce this time of year. The blueberries and blackberries have just started to ripen in my area and that was all the excuse that I needed to make this delicious Mixed Berry Buckle.
Mixed Berry Buckle
1 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
6 Tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup whole milk
4 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 cup blackberries, cut in half
1 cup blueberries
1 cup raspberries, cut in half
Remove from pan once it cools. Slice into wedges.
Mixed Berry Buckle - is it a breakfast food or a dessert? Good news - it's both! If you want to eat it first thing in the morning - call it breakfast. If you're craving a midnight snack - call it dessert. 😉
Have you ever wondered how in the world people manage to get dinner on the table all at the same time? My mom is a pro at it but it's definitely a genetic trait that I'm missing. More often than not, I fail miserably at any attempt that I make at getting a complete meal cooked, heated and ready to serve all at the same. My dinners resemble more of a progressive dinner than a sit down meal. The main course and the sides are hardly ever warm at the same time. 🤷🏻♀️
When I finally make the announcement that dinner is ready my family gathers around the table - whichever family member is last to the table and ends up in the "hot seat." That's what we refer to as the chair that sits closest to the oven because whomever occupies that chair has to hop up 2-3 times throughout the meal to retrieve things from the oven as they're warmed. It's just become part of our dinner routine. 😂
I'm convinced that the competence and expertise needed to get a meal on the table all at the same time is an inherited trait because I am NOT getting any better at it. You would think that over time, I would have learned how to cook a ham and warm a pan of macaroni and cheese simultaneously but inevitably, I end up with ham that's ready to serve at least 30 minutes before the macaroni and cheese is ready.
I've learned that make ahead side dishes really work best for me because of my inability to properly time my menu. Now that we're approaching summer, I feel like dinner time can be saved by make ahead, cold side dishes. You know what I'm talking about. Vegetables, salads and pasta dishes that you can make ahead of time and toss in the refrigerator until the main course is ready.
German Potato Salad is exactly what I need to compensate for my inadequacies and make me look like a dinner pro. I make it in the morning, toss it in the frig and pull it out just before we sit down to dinner. Oh, and it's delicious!
German Potato Salad
8 slices bacon, cut into 1/2" slices
2 pounds small red potatoes, sliced 1/4" thick
3 cups water
2 Tablespoons + 1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon celery seeds
3 Tablespoons cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons whole grain mustard
4 scallions, sliced thin
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Add scallions, parsley and bacon to potatoes.
I served this simple potato salad alongside some grilled hamburgers, fresh corn on the cob and ice cold watermelon slices. What a great way to kick off the summer of 2020.
Beach trips are the BEST. When we booked our girls beach trip last January, we never imagined that we'd be in the midst of a global pandemic or that I would be on walking restriction. We could never have predicted that we'd be packing masks, hand sanitizer, wipes, crutches and a scooter along with our swim suits, suncreeen and towels. Our trip may not have turned out exactly like we had planned but the current circumstances, made me even more grateful for a weekend at the beach with some of my favorite women.
There was no shortage of junk food on our "girls only" beach vacation. Which is exactly how it should be. 😅The only problem is, when I got home from vacation, I still wanted to snack on sugar all day. I'm slowly trying to wean myself off the sugar addiction so it only makes sense that I'd make a batch of peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. 🤷🏻♀️
I love a chewy chocolate chip cookie and I love soft peanut butter cookies so why not combine the two? A soft, chewy cookie packed with peanut butter and loaded with chocolate chips might just be the most perfect cookie, I've ever made.
The real question is: Are these peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips? OR are they chocolate chip cookies with peanut butter? Either way, we can all agree that they're delicious.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 and 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups creamy peanut butter
1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 and 1/2 cups chocolate chips
Cool cookies on a wire rack.
Happy Sunday friends!
Happy National Doughnut Day! 🍩
Is it a coincidence that National Beignet Day and National Doughnut Day fall in the same week? I think not. And it may just be my favorite week of the entire year. 🍩
Beignets on Wednesday and doughnuts on Friday. Commenting the special dates with deliciously fried breakfast treats almost makes this whole broken foot thing tolerable. 😂
Maybe we can petition to add Cinnamon Rolls to the line up of scrumptious breakfast foods that we honor during the first week of June. 😂 I feel like they would complete the series nicely. Second week of June - National sit-ups week.
I'm a fan of all kinds of doughnuts but I only eat them on special occasions. National doughnut day is exactly one of those occasions. Once I discovered the world of baked doughnuts, I've had a much easier time convincing myself that they're an acceptable on more than just on special occasions.
Old fashioned cake doughnuts are deep fried in hot oil. New fashioned cake doughnuts are baked in a hot oven. No more buying excessive amounts of oil, waiting around for it to heat up or trying to decide what to do with the oil once you're finished frying. These healthier baked doughnuts are delicious AND you can make these little gems in under 20 minutes!
I generally reserve my homemade doughnut making adventures for the Fall when the weather starts to get a little cooler and we're spending more time inside with our hands wrapped around steaming hot lattes. BUT, this doughnut recipe just screams Spring. It's bright lemon flavor and fresh blueberries just seem like the perfect May breakfast, don't you think? 🍋
Baked Lemon Blueberry Doughnuts
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 tablespoons butter, melted and slightly cooled
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 - 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup powdered sugar
2-3 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Bake 9-10 minutes at 350.
Dip each donut in glaze. Place glazed donuts on wire rack placed over foil lined baking sheet. Allow glaze to set.
I love a great homemade donut but if you're not in the mood to bake - Dunkin Donuts is offering a free donut to every customer with a purchase of a beverage today. Krispy Kreme is giving away a free donut to every customer all week! Here's to a week of celebrating the most delicious breakfast treats of all time.
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