Friday, July 31, 2015

S'mores Brownies

Happy Friday! This week was weird. It never felt like it got started but then Friday seemed so far off. I am glad it is finally here. 

The humidity finally dropped too. Thank goodness. I felt like I was melting the past few days. Feeding the baby was miserable. She is like an oven. We both sweat buckets. 

To celebrate I am offering you these delicious brownies. Quintessential summer treats. I can never get enough S'mores in the summer time. Our new charcoal grill makes it so much more tempting to have one every night. But for those nights when we are not firing up the grill these brownies come in handy. They are super easy to make and are the next best thing to a true S'mores.

S'mores Brownies

by Emily Morris
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Keywords: bake dessert chocolate marshmallow brownies
Ingredients (serves 24)
  • 1 box brownie mix, or your favorite brownie recipe
  • ingredients for your brownie recipe or box (mine used 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup vegetable oil, and 1 egg)
  • 12 graham cracker sheets, crushed
  • 1/4 c butter, melted
  • 10 large marshmallows, cut into 1/2 pieces
  • 1 regular sized Hershey bar, broken into rectangular pieces
In a medium mixing bowl mix crushed graham crackers with melted butter. Place in a 9X13 pan and push into the bottom.

Bake in the oven at 350 degree for 10 minutes.

While the graham crackers are cooking prepare brownie batter.

Remove pan from oven and fill with brownie batter. Spread evenly over the graham cracker layer. Top with marshmallows. Bake brownies according directions, about 20 minutes.

When the brownies are almost done remove from oven and add the Hershey pieces on top. Bake for 3-5 more minutes.

When the brownies are done and the marshmallows are browned remove from oven. Cool completely before cutting.
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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Mango Lassi ‪#‎thebookclubcookbookCC

Today is my first post for a year long group celebrating reading and cooking. Each month a new book will be chosen from The Book Club Cook Book, a cook book that has recipes from many popular recent and older novels. The goal of this club is to pick a book a month and either make the recipe from The Book Club Cook Book or another recipe inspired by the novel. 

If you are interested in join see this post from Camilla, our leader.  There is a giveaway at the bottom of this post for The Book Club Cook Book.

The book for July is Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri.  The book is a compilation of short stories looking at individuals upholding Indian traditions and culture in a different culture.  As for the food the book provided two recipes, a Mango Lassi and Hard Boiled Egg Curry in Mustard Sauce. I am all for a good curry but one of my favorite treats when eating in Indian restaurants is a Mango Lassi.

Mango Lassi
reproduced with permission
developed by Shikha Kapoor for Masala Art
  • 3/4 C plain yogurt
  • 1-1/4 C cold water
  • 1 C prepared mango pulp
  • 1 T sugar
  • 8 ice cubes, crushed (approximately 3/4 C)
  • 1 t rosewater
  • crushed pistachios for garnish

1. In a blender, combine the yogurt, water, and mango pulp. Puree until smooth. Add the sugar and crushed ice cubes and blend again.

2. Add the rosewater and serve chilled in a tall glass with pistachios over the top, if desired.

And to kick-off the event, Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla, this month's host, is giving away a copy of the book.* Enter to win a copy of the cookbook so you can join us in future months, if you wish!

One of our lucky readers - US and Canada only! - can enter to win a copy ofThe Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's Favorite Books and Authorsby Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp, courtesy ofTarcher-Penguin.Giveaway runs from July 1st till July 31st at 6 o'clock PM, Pacific time. Please see terms and conditions in the rafflecopter widget below. Many thanks to Tarcher Books. You may find Tarcher: on the web, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Pinterest.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Disclosure: Camilla received a complimentary copy ofThe Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp to use in this year-long project plus the opportunity to give a copy away. Opinions are our own. We received no further compensation for our posts.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Raspberry Peach Smoothie #secretrecipeclub

How can it be the last week of July already?  I feel like it just turned warm. And wasn't the 4th of July last weekend?  Man oh man the months are flying by.  The end of the month also means it's time for The Secret Recipe Club.

For those of you who don't know The Secret Recipe Club is a group of bloggers that get together once a month for a special reveal day posting to share a creation from a secretly assigned member of the group.  It is a great way to learn about new blogs and find tasty new recipes.

For July I was assigned Sew You Think You Can Cook by Lauren. Not only does Lauren have some fabulous recipes, but she quilts. Like legit patterns and sewing. I am beyond impressed. She made this one for the 4th of July. I can't even!

I don't about you but it has been hot, hot, hot around Connecticut. Hot and humid to be exact. When it is hot and humid I just  want to eat ice cream. And although this can go on for a few days. A diet of ice cream is not the healthiest of options. So when I was looking for recipes I wanted to find something cool and ice cream replaceable.

Mr. J was hankering for this pineapple and rosemary lemonade. I had such a hard time deciding. I really was into this S'mores Cheesecake, the Brussels Sprouts Salad with Caramelized Onions, or this smoothie.  I made this one particularly hot day for breakfast and pretty much drank the one glass followed by serving number two. 

I must have put in more raspberries that Lauren because mine was much more purple.  But I like purple so no complaints here. Starting the day with a pretty drink in a pretty cup makes you forget about the heat....just for a bit. 

Raspberry Peach Smoothie

by Emily Morris
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Keywords: blender beverage peach raspberry

Ingredients (serves 2)
  • 2 C frozen peach slices
  • 1/2 C frozen raspberries
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 C vanilla yogurt
  • 1 1/2 C milk
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
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Friday, July 24, 2015

Kitchen Renovation Updates

Howdy folks!! Next week I will be back to more regularly scheduled postings and some new recipes. Until then I thought I would share some renovation pictures of our kitchen. #disaster #houseinchaos

Here is a before picture. Trust me when I say the pictures do it far more justice than the space actually deserves. 

It was usable but extremely dated. The dishwasher didn't work. There was limited counter space. The cabinets were awkwardly sized. Furthermore, the floors in this space were actually about 3/4 inch higher than the rest of the house and the height of the cabinets. If you were in there for long periods of time you could feel it in your back. 

So here we are three years later. (Sorry for the horrible yellow glare.)

First we moved everything out of the cabinets. There new home was the dining room. We got a new hutch for this project #Craigslistfind We also got a new metal shelf for the basement for extra storage.  The rest found a spot on the floor.

We are living through this renovation, baby and all. My goal is to make it as seamless as possible. Despite my best efforts it hasn't really been seamless but we are doing OK. 

We call this portion the L-shape. We debated about keeping this part of the counter. Without it we would have one open space to the kitchen table and informal TV room. However, we would lose a lot of counter space without this section. 

In the end we decided to keep the counter, although it won't come out as far from the wall. Not having the overhead cabinets would make the space seem a lot more open and light. There are two big windows on either side for natural light. 

Our gigantic closet in the hallway is going to be where the refrigerator ends up, a pantry area, and a mud bench to put coats, shoes and bags when you first come in. 

My job was to move things out. Most of this stuff when to the basement. Mr. J took down the shelving and started tearing out the floors. 

Next up the rest of the cabinets came out. This was much simpler than original thought. My parents came down to help demo and watch the baby. Four adults are way better than two.  

The last step for now was knocking out the backslash. It was on the wall real good. Mr. J ended up taking a hammer to it and then yanking it out drywall and all. I am already dreaming of subway tile. 

We have ordered appliances. The electrician came to move some outlets, rewire, and get everything ready.  Cabinets are set to be installed this weekend. Mr. J is busy removing all of the floors and patching some of the walls and ceiling before then. More updates to come next week. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Our Kitchen is a DISASTER and #WIAW

Demolition continued on our kitchen last weekend. More cabinets are gone. The ginormous closet is emptied and shelves are gone. Flooring is missing. My anxiety is through the roof. It is all for a good cause though. I am patiently waiting for it to all be done. Sadly I think this little (Ha!) project is going to last well into the Fall. 

Starting today our meals are going to be simple. Minimal dishes. Easy cooking. I am going to use this post and look back on longingly when I miss a good home cooked meal over the next couple of weeks. 

Breakfast was my normal trio of beverages. Water. Coffee. Green smoothie. Our new set up is the coffee pot right by the couch. Pretty convenient for refills.

Lunch was a turkey sandwich with cheddar cheese, hummus, tomatoes, and lettuce. Simple but satisfying on a hot day. 

Dinner was amazing! BBQ chicken on the grill. Mac and cheese (Horizon boxed is the best) and a chopped salad with BBQ ranch dressing.  

My snack of choice has been plain yogurt, blueberries and granola.  Every afternoon around 3 pm I am starving. This holds me over till dinner. 

Of course a cookie is what holds me over after dinner. I switched things up and made M&M. And I enjoyed every last bit of them. 

What did you eat Wednesday?

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Blueberry Round Up

Are blueberries growing where you live?  Our local orchard started their PYO blueberries this past weekend. I haven't gone yet but I am definitely planning a trip. I am dreaming of some blueberry pie! In the meantime I have been stocking up at the store. I can never get enough fresh berries in the summer. I think berries just might be my favorite part of summer. Berries and the long days. Although this year my bedtimes come way before the sun goes down. #babylife

In preparation of my blueberry picking extravaganza I did a quick search of my favorite blueberry recipes. Can I have one of each please?

Blueberry Oat Muffins

Friday, July 17, 2015

Pizza Round Up

There was a time in my life that I didn't really enjoy pizza. It was around 6th or 7th grade. I was that kid. I vaguely remember eating the crust. Now I live in Connecticut. Every other person is Italian. Every other store is a pizza shop. And boy do they know how to make pizza.  It is so good. We probably get pizza once a week. We also tend to make pizza once a week. We had some last night and yum! I kind of wish we could have it again. 

So as I am thinking of all things pizza I thought I would stroll down memory lane with pizza posts. Enjoy!

Garlic Flatbread

On a side note, Miss O watches me like a hawk when I eat pizza. I think she is going to like it too!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Have blog, Must post

This month has been very bad for the blog posting. I realized yesterday that it is halfway through the month and I have only posted one recipe. More will be coming soon I swear. I think the heat has sucked what little motivation I had right out of me. Of course this little one's smiles make it hard to stay behind a computer screen as well. But I am not ready to give it up just yet. For today I thought I would share a little bit about what is currently going on. 

Reading: Who has time for that? I have the book All the light we cannot see by Anthony Doerr. It is about a French girl and a German boy right after WWII. It seems like it would be really good. If only I could start it. Long gone are the days of uninterrupted reading.  When I have free time now I am busy research high chairs and kitchen renovations.

Thinking about: Um, let's just say you don't want know what I am thinking about. Part of the reason I haven't been blogging is that I have so much running through my little mind. It gets confusing, even for me. Here is a quick list:

  • The little one - this is a given. She turned 4 months old last week. How did that happen? How can I love her more and more every day. 
  • Our kitchen - I haven't shared much about our kitchen renovation. Hello? We are doing a kitchen renovation. It's pretty much a complete gut. We are about 1/4 of the way through demo. I am super stressed about the mess, the timeline, the budget. Basically every aspect of it frightens me. Cannot wait till it is done. 
  • Vacation - should we go on one?  Our last get away was to Miami before Miss O arrived. Although I really want to go on one, it seems extravagant given the kitchen remodel, my limited time off due to my maternity leave, and the stress of traveling with the baby.
  • Work - arg?!?!?

Listening: I now put on music whenever I am at work. I swear it makes the time go by faster. I use iTunes radio. They just changed the set up and I am a bit lost. I have Taylor Swift radio, Oldies, and Classical.  The Classical station the other day was so sad sounding I had to turn it off. What do you use to stream music?

Watching: So every night around 8:30 pm I fall asleep on the couch. This makes for a lot of 1/2 watched shows. Right now I really only watch Big Brother and HGTV. I am not sure about Big Brother this year. There are too many twists and craziness. It seems like there is less strategy going on and just chance.   Also the news. I am pretty much out of the house by 7:10 am so my beloved Today show is missing from my life.  

Loving: My family. Every day I think about how lucky we are. I love our time together. It doesn't have to be anything special, although we did have a fun trip to get FroYo the other night. Just sitting on the couch, bath time, and morning wake ups are all so normal and special in their own way.  

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Anadama Bread

Somehow I ended up taking a mini blog vacation. It wasn't intentional but last week was a bit hectic. It was my company's annual company meeting. I had long days. Mr. J was out of town, so it was my first time alone, overnight with Miss O. As luck would have it she got sick. Not fun. And then it was the 4th of July. My best friend came to celebrate and meet Miss O. Now here we are several days later and I still haven't posted. 

I have a bunch to say but am also not so motivated to type out everything currently in the works. So we are just going to speak bread. I am still on my homemade bread kick. Even with all of the hectic-ness of the last couple of weeks I have managed to crank out a new loaf each weekend. It seems to work out that one loaf gets us through the week. I use the bread for sandwiches and Mr. J enjoys toast in the morning. 

The bread this week was extra special. I made Anadama bread. I had never heard of Anadama bread till I moved to Maine. It is a New England thing. Basically it is white bread with cornmeal and molasses. It is sweet and filling. I love it. Pretty much the best time of bread for toast. 

I used my mom's bread machine again and it worked like a charm. Up next I am thinking we might need something a bit more healthy. Oatmeal or whole grain anyone?  Something tells me Mr. J would like to stick with the white bread. 

Anadama Bread

by Emily Morris
Prep Time: 10 minutes, plus rise time
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Keywords: bake bread
Ingredients (1 loaf)
  • 3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 package instant yeast
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 2 Tbsp butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cup milk
Put all of the ingredients into the base of the bread machine. Starting with liquids and ending with the yeast.

Start machine on dough setting. Mine machine takes 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Remove dough from machine, Knead gently to shape into loaf form. Place dough into a greased 9X5 loaf pan.

Cover with a clean dry towel. Let rise till dough reaches top of pan. About 10 minutes from when the dough is at the top of pan preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 40 minutes.

Remove bread from pan. The top will be browned and the bottom should sound hallow when hit.
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