Saturday, August 16, 2014

Lime Bars

I used my go to lemon bar recipe and substituted the juice and zest of some fresh local limes that I was given.  We love lemon bars and were a little nervous that the lime bars just wouldn't taste right, but we actually ended up liking the flavor of these a little better than lemon bars.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

{Lightened Up} Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie

Unless your limes are key limes (which mine weren't) this doesn't technically qualify as key lime pie, but "lime pie" doesn't sound like a fancy enough name, so key lime pie it is.  I was in a hurry today, distracted with the rest of dinner preparations (and my 2 rugrats) so I chose to make this easy and use a store bought crust, which is not something I'd normally do, so please substitute your favorite homemade graham cracker crust if you like.  To me this dessert screams summer; it only bakes for 15 minutes, not overheating your kitchen, is easy to prepare, and is cool, tart and refreshing.

-1 graham cracker crust (homemade or store bought)
-1 heaping Tbsp lime zest
-1/2 c fresh lime juice
-4 egg yolks
-1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
- (optional) whipped cream for topping

In medium bowl, mix together lime zest, lime juice and egg yolks.  With mixer on medium high, beat in sweetened condensed milk until thoroughly mixed.  Pour filling into crust.  Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.  Allow pie to cool to room temperature and then refrigerate at least 2 hours prior to serving. 
Serve with whipped cream, if desired.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


Amy's Brownies

These brownies are from the book An Everlasting Meal.  I have always struggled with scratch made brownies and have never found a recipe that I was completely happy with.  Brownies have always kinda been my nemesis because I think I'm pretty good at baking and bake a lot of great things and cannot for the life of me understand why I can bake cakes, breads and muffins but can't seem to conquer something as simple as a brownie... I mean there isn't any yeast and there are hardly any ingredients so they really shouldn't be that hard.  I am happy to report that I have conquered the brownie and these actually turned out well.  The reduced amount of flour (than most recipes) and high amount of chocolate and butter lend themselves well to a moist, fudgy brownie.  I do tend to like my brownies on the thicker side, so next time I'd probably bake them in a smaller pan than the recipe states so that each square has more height to it.  Other than that, I wouldn't change a thing, and I was quite pleased by the short ingredient list and simple steps for this recipe.

-4 oz unsweetened chocolate
-1 c butter
-3 eggs
-2 c sugar
-2 tsp vanilla
-1 c flour
-chocolate chips or walnuts (I omitted these)

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 13x9 baking pan.  Melt the chocolate and butter in a mixing bowl placed over a small pot of boiling water.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.  Beat in 1 egg at a time.  Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until combined, then add the flour.  Spread in the pan and top with chocolate chips or walnuts or anything else you like.  Check them after 20 minutes.  They should be done by 25 to 30.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal

Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal

This is a slightly different spin on my standard baked oatmeal recipe.  Jeremy, Eli and I all really enjoyed this, but I haven't met a baked oatmeal yet that I didn't like.  If this was just for me I'd probably add in a touch of cloves and nutmeg also, but Jeremy tends to not like dishes like this with much spice so I left them out for him.  You could also add nuts, raisins or craisins to suit your taste.  Baked oatmeal is such an easy, nutritious and inexpensive breakfast to serve, or we eat it as breakfast for dinner in our house often.  You can prepare this and bake it immediately, or I often prepare it the night before, refrigerate overnight, and then pop in the oven upon waking up.

-4 c rolled oats
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 Tbsp baking powder
-1.5 Tbsp cinnamon
-3 eggs
-1 c (no sugar added) apple sauce
-1 c sugar
-2 c milk
-1.5 Tbsp vanilla
-3 apples, peeled and diced
-2 Tbsp brown sugar

In a medium bowl, whisk together oats- cinnamon.  In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs-vanilla.  Stir oat and egg mixture together.  Stir in apples.  Spread into a greased 9 x 13 pan.  Sprinkle brown sugar over top.  Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Thai Sweet Chili Dressing

Thai Sweet Chili Dressing

I whipped up this simple dressing to enjoy on one of my Vietnamese Noodle bowls because I had leftover Sweet Chili Sauce lying around to use up.  I really liked this combination of sweet, spicy and tangy over the bowl, and would buy (or make) sweet chili sauce in the future just to make this dressing.

-1 c sweet chili sauce
-1/4 c rice vinegar
-4 Tbsp lime juice
-2 Tbsp fish sauce or soy sauce
-(optional) 1/2-1 tsp sriracha sauce

Whisk together all ingredients and chill until serving.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

13 months

So I'm a little late (2 weeks) on posting this, but better late than never and Elisha is doing so many cute things right now that I really want to remember but will probably forget in a few months.

Eli is at such a fun age right now and has such a fun personality.  For the most part he's a very happy, laid back, easy going kid... unless it's close to nap time and you take away something he wants, then he violently throws himself onto the floor with no regard for his own safety.

He has been walking for 3 months now and is completely stable.  He walks with purpose back and forth across our house, often dragging a chair or toy along for the ride.  As he walks he usually keeps his left arm bent and keeps his right arm straight, swinging it dramatically as he walks. (I've wondered if this is his own thing, or mimicking me, cause I normally have my purse on one arm at the elbow and keep that arm bent while the other hangs down.)  He walks with his big chest out, and feet slightly turned in and plows through anything in his way.

He loves to play peekaboo and will do it over and over again with the greatest laugh I have ever heard.  He loves to eat and seems to always be wanting to do so.  He has just recently started showing an interest in books, and I often find him in a corner with a pile of books next to, or on top of him.  He still loves to play with balls, they are probably his favorite toy.  He throws them, catches (sometimes) and races around retrieving them.  He brings us his shoes all day long until we take him on a walk or adventure.  He frequently throws toys in the bath tub and comes to me trying to tug his shirt off signaling that he wants to take a bath. 

Just within the last week or two he has learned to climb onto and off of the couch all by himself and he is quite proud of this accomplishment.

He has the best curls along the back of his head.  And they only get better when it's humid or when he gets hot and sweaty.  They tightly curl up into little ringlets leaving this mama powerless against them.

He is starting to say some words other than mama and dada.  Mainly "do" every time he sees a dog, "nana" for banana and a few others.  He is also getting good at communicating his point, pointing at things and grunting until we understand what he is trying to get across.  We can also hold up food or toy items and ask him if he wants them and he will aggressively shake his head yes or no.

He loves to help me put laundry in the dryer, or empty the dishwasher.  He's my little helper.

Him and Noah absolutely adore each other and nothing in the world makes my heart more happy than to watch them play peekaboo, wrestle on the floor or race around the house squealing in delight as they go.

Here was my 13 month post from Noah.


Jill's Salsa

Jill's Salsa

I've tried a lot of homemade salsa recipes over the years including my friend Alex's, or Crystin's, or the Pioneer Woman one.  Some with fresh tomatoes, some with canned, some hand chopped, some easily and quickly done in a food processor.  This is my friend Jill's recipe, it is my current favorite.  I think I prefer a chunky/ hand chopped salsa, but if I was in a hurry I'd throw all of these ingredients in a food processor and come out with a thinner, restaurant style salsa texture.  And yes, there really is sweet chili sauce in this salsa... weird and counterintuitive, but delicious.  It has inspired me to think outside of the box though, and I think next I'd like to try sriracha in a salsa, because sriracha is always a great addition.

-5-6 roma tomatoes, diced
-1 green pepper, diced
-1 yellow pepper, diced
-juice and zest of 1 lime
-1/2 red onion, diced
-1 clove garlic, minced
-3 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
-1 can Original diced tomatoes and chiles (Rotel)
-1/2 Tbsp sugar
-2-3 tsp salt
-1-2 Tbsp sweet chili sauce

Stir all ingredients together and refrigerate a few hours before serving to allow the flavors to combine.