Adventures in the Kitchen (and with kids!): Little Smores Cups

My kids have been wanting to do smores all summer. But since we don’t have a grill or a fire pit, we haven’t been able to do it. So what did I do but get online to look for an indoor alternative! We found this easy recipe and since I had all the ingredients on hand we decided to make a project of it!

DSCF4537

Seven graham crackers go into the food processor.

DSCF4544

smile? It’s fun!

DSCF4549

add 1/4 cup powdered sugar and 6 TBS melted butter.

DSCF4551

scoop a tablespoon of the crust mixture in each little cupcake hole. Bake at 325 for just a couple of minutes. While still hot, break into squares two hershey bars. Break each section into two and put them on top of the hot little crusts.

Cut 12 large marsmallows in half and place one half, cut side down on top of each cup.

DSCF4554

Bake again in the oven for a few minutes to melt the marshmallows (they don’t need to brown!)

DSCF4555

After completely cooled, melt some more chocolate (two bars is sufficient) and dip each marshmallow top into chocolate and let your kids sprinkle the tops.🙂

DSCF4561

Aren’t they cute?! Now…devour. DSCF4562

My boys ate these up! Just a perfectly little sweet bite. Next time I will do less butter in the crusts…waaaaay too buttery for me and I don’t think that much butter is needed to hold the mixture together. The rest of the recipe is simple, easy, and perfect!

Next up: Dress projects!

Best Gluten-Free Cupcake Recipe (ever)

Lately I’ve been asked to make cupcakes for a couple of birthday parties. This week I was commissioned to make some simple Spiderman cupcakes for a 4yo birthday party. Super easy and cute….

DSCF4443

But I needed to make some gluten free ones, too, so I did a simple internet search for a recipe. I came up with this one, which looked super simple and I had all the ingredients on hand. I used Pamela’s GF baking mix, and I did NOT make these dairy free (I used 2 eggs). But boy oh boy! These are DELISH! They taste even better than the glutenous ones.

DSCF4435

Not only is the flavor chocolatey and moist, but the crumb is perfection. A little spongy, light, and they looked just perfect in the black cupcake liners I used. Best eaten the first day as they do dry out. If you are planning on making them ahead, dab a simple syrup on them before frosting to keep them moist.

DSCF4441

I hope you try these! They are worth it even if you’re not gluten free.

Adventures with Kids: Birthdays and Staycations

This week we were privileged to house-sit a beautiful home nearby which rests on a fairly vast property. It has tons of country charm, complete with chickens and a great big garden.

20140714_150004

During our stay we also celebrated my two boys’ birthdays! My oldest turned 5 and my youngest turned 3. Some people say that time flies with kids. Has it flown by for you? I’m not sure, but these boys do keep me busy and we had some fun times this week.

20140712_183325

That cake was the equivalent of a “pinterest fail” so I won’t insult your intelligence with its own blog post! But it was fun to make and the boys really loved it. I had grand plans of a Castle/Dragon themed birthday, but we only made the cake and pinata which both turned out to be more learning experiences and fun for the boys than actual creative accomplishments for me! Oh well. What’s being a mommy for, anyway? : )

Attempting to break the pinata….

DSCF4309 DSCF4303 DSCF4320

That last picture cracks me up….and now….success! Filled with candy, fruit snacks, and two t-shirts (Turtle Power! and Planes!) I just rolled up and taped to fit into the pinata.

DSCF4324

Sugar rush….

DSCF4333

And for the grand finale, Bennet got a new-to-him bike!

DSCF4374

Next time I’ll share some pictures of what’s growing around our backyard, and some recipes for using up all those summer squashes overflowing in the garden!

 

Adventures in the Kitchen: Strawberry Rhubarb Pie!

My mom was visiting last week so we took the opportunity to go to Hollin Farms, a beautiful pick-your-own farm in Western Loudoun. You should definitely check this place out if you are in the area. It’s set atop beautiful rolling hills with a view of the Shenandoah Mountains. It was lush, cool, and just beautiful. We picked over 4lbs of sublime little strawberries with a vision for pie!

10473169_10152543781408987_6597667441110687379_n

I have never made a summer pie before and couldn’t recall the pie crust recipe I’ve made in the past. So I did a google search and landed on this recipe from William-Sonoma. Absolutely a dream to work with and so simple to whip up in the food processor.

10421496_1428992864053212_2624561285082036199_n

Mom and I looked at a couple of pie recipes for the filling. Many seemed bland, so we searched for something with a longer ingredient list. I don’t know where Mom found this recipe, but here’s what I did. When I find the source, I’ll be sure to link it!

3 1/2 cup rhubarb (outer peel removed before chopping)
3 1/2 cups strawberries, stemmed and halved1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt

Mix all together and pour into raw pie crust. Then I made a lattice top, popped it in the oven….

10012519_1428992860719879_5811281210117559040_n

Of course it spilled all over and the oven started to spew plumes of smoke….

10434031_1428992867386545_1009663135717255325_n

But in the end….this pie was DELICIOUS!! I will definitely make it again next strawberry season. The crust was flaky and buttery. The filling was mildly tart with amazing strawberry flavor–no doubt due to the freshly picked strawberries that are nothing like the bland behemoths at the grocery store. My husband and I ate it up within a few days. I even had it for breakfast. And I do not apologize!

 

Adventures With Kids: Fabric Weaving

My little boy picked up a fun book from the library the other day called Make It! It’s a book about using stuff you’d throw away to make fun crafts. Not only is it full of fun crafts, but it teaches kids to reuse things rather than consume and accumulate junk. My kids loved the idea of using stuff we already had to make paper mache bowls, tin can mobiles, and old hat t-shirt pillows.

One of the easier ideas suitable for a younger kid is making a simple loom with a piece of cardboard, and then weaving a little mat with scraps of fabric. My 5 year old thought he could do it all by himself, so we got to work. He let me wield the scissors, but he did most of it without help!

I first made a cardboard rectangle roughly 8″ by 12″, then cut slits on either short side. Then we threaded 1 inch strips of long fabric through each slit on the front and around the back. When that was done, we started to weave….

DSCF4183-001

Corban got the hang of it very quickly….”over, under, over under, over, under, PULL! Now make it neat…”

DSCF4185-001

Way to weave, buddy! When it was all done, we cut the back open and tied the loose ends on the top.

DSCF4194-001

The perfect sleeping mat for his special stuffed tiger. He can’t wait for me to sew something else so there are more scraps to use for weaving. : )

Give this easy craft a try and don’t forget to look for the book at your local library! It’s called Make It! by Jane Bull.

Exciting Content Coming Soon!

I’ve decided to take this blogging thing seriously and write up an editorial calendar. I will be posting something each week from four different categories, one each week:

Confessions (my blogs subtitle after all!)—homemaking, parenting, marriage…

Adventures in The Kitchen–recipes! baking, cooking, experimenting…

Adventures in Design–floral, sewing, home decor….

Adventures with Kids–anything having to do with my boys! Crafts, stories, pictures, outings…

 

Won’t you join me? This’ll be fun.🙂