Thursday, October 16, 2014

BYU Mint Brownies/Monsters Inc Birthday Cake



Dalton looked over my shoulder at Pinterest while I defined the type of cake mommy can't make and we picked out a simple frosted Mike Wazowski circle cake. He wanted a chocolate cake though, and I am tired of buttercream on chocolate cake (bleh) so I was trying to think of something else when John suggested mint. Oooh, mint brownies! I used the BYU mint brownie recipe, baking it in two circular cake pans. I greased and floured the pans first, baked the cakes about 20-22 minutes (instead of the 25 the recipe called for) and they popped right out when cool.

BYU Mint Brownies Recipe
1 c. butter
1/2 c. cocoa
2 T. honey
4 eggs
2 c. sugar
1 3/4 c. flour
1/2 T. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 c. chopped walnuts (optional)

Melt the butter and mix with the cocoa. Allow to cool.  Mix chocolate mixture with honey, eggs, sugar, flour, baking powder and salt.  Stir in the nuts.  Grease and flour a 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

Mint Icing Recipe
5 T. butter, softened
dash of salt
1 T. light corn syrup.
2 1/3 c. powdered sugar
1/2 t. mint extract.
3 T. milk

Mix the butter, salt, corn syrup, powdered sugar and mint extract. Slowly add the milk until the icing is the right consistency.

The BYU mint brownies also have a layer of chocolate icing. I didn't do this for aesthetics, but if I did, I would sift 1/3 c. cocoa in with the powdered sugar, and leave out the mint extract.

Monday, August 25, 2014

First Grade Lunch

What Maggie mainly ate for lunch every day of first grade. 
 Homemade bean and cheese tortillas.

Cheese and ham slices rolled up. She made me peel the brown edge of the ham off.


Also still a hummus and pretzels fan.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Pizza Pretzels

I began making pizza for dinner last night and the kids ran in and asked if I was making pretzels. Well, why not? Pizza pretzels were born. We've had these at Wetzel's Pretzels, so it wasn't an original idea, but I'd never made them before.

Also, I recently discovered that my pizza dough and pretzel dough recipes are exactly the same. Embarrassingly, they are printed right above each other on the paper I've been reading them off for four years. Here's the recipe again:

1 T. yeast
1 c. warm water
1 T. sugar
2 T. oil
2 1/2-3 c. flour

For the pizza (and pizza pretzels), I add a couple teaspoons of minced garlic. I don't usually let my pizza dough rise, but I usually go through the double rising process with pretzels. However, since I had planned on making pizza, I didn't have time. So I skipped it and they were fine. The dough was actually amazing and I think it's because I added a squirt of the soy lecithin that's been lying around my kitchen unused for several years. It made the dough really stretchy, satiny, and it looked like the pretzel dough the bakeries use.  If you're interested in this, I found a helpful article on dough enhancers.

Once the dough was mixed, I made the usual pretzel shapes, skipping both rising steps.

Boil them in baking soda water for 10 seconds on each side. Sprinkle plenty of mozzarella cheese and add some pepperoni slices.

Bake the pizza pretzels at 425 for 10-12 minutes. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Baked Cinnamon Sugar Donut Holes

I've wanted to make homemade donuts for a long time, but not badly enough to invest in a donut pan. I tried this recipe and baked the donuts in balls on a cookie sheet.  Boom - donut holes.

Adapted by a friend from Baker Bettie.

5 T. butter
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 c. sour cream
1 t. vanilla
2 t. baking powder
1 1/2 c. flour

Cinnamon Sugar Topping:
1/4 c melted butter
1/4 c. sugar mixed with 1/2 t. cinnamon

Cream butter and sugar, stir in remaining dry ingredients. Form balls and bake at 325 for 8-10 minutes (I THINK I had to bake them quite a bit longer).

Cool slightly, then dip in butter and then sugar mixture. Yum...

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Green Smoothies

I mentioned in my journal blog that I'm doing a healthy living challenge with my friends. One of the items you earn points for is eating three servings of vegetables. It's harder than it should be so I've been trying out green smoothies.

First of all, I discovered I don't like almond milk. My smoothies got a lot tastier after I stopped using that. Here are two recipes the kids and I have really liked. 

Other tips:
Vanilla yogurt adds aome flavor and sweetness, not to mention protein. 
You need about a cup of liquid to get the smoothie to blend. 
Use some frozen ingredients to keep your smoothie nice and cold without adding ice. 



Tropical Green Smoothie
1/2 c  vanilla yogurt
1/2 c orange juice
1 c spinach
1/2 c. pineapple
1 kiwi
1 mango



Rainbow Smoothie
1/2 vanilla yogurt
1/2-1 c orange juice
1 c spinach
1/2 c frozen strawberries
1/2 c frozen blueberries
1/2 banana

I've also made the rainbow one without yogurt. Also good. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Homemade Slime

Homemade Slime! I made this to use for Letter S Preschool. It was super easy and fun.

Mix equal amounts school glue and liquid laundry starch, and add a little food coloring. Mix it until the liquid is all dissolved. If it is too runny, add more starch. One small bottle of school glue (plus equal amount of starch) made a nice amount for one kid.


It's globby, gloopy, squishy, squeezy and really, really fun.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

April Fool's Tacos

Here is Maggie's April Fool's Day lunch.

Then for April Fool's "dinner" we had "tacos".

Stand N Stuff Tortillas
Chocolate ice cream (refried beans)
whipped cream (sour cream)
colored shredded coconut (lettuce and cheese)
cherries (tomatoes)
green sprinkles (green onions)


Ta dum! Maggie threw a fit and refused to eat it, but did eventually settle for a bowl of plain ice cream.


We had actually tacos for actual dinner right after.