{good eats} easy donut holes for monsters

Do you have little monsters in your house?  I do. I mean they are cute little monsters. but MAN those fangs can really come out when they want a donut!!

Now I’m not going to say that we eat a lot of donuts in our house (maybe a few) and I’m not going to admit that we have a drive-thru donut shop down the street (we frequently visit) or that the girls have particular donuts they MUST have (purple sprinkles/white frosting, pink sprinkles/white frosting, sprinkled donut holes). Nope, not going to admit any of that.

But what I will admit to is being lazy on Halloween morning….

And the kids wanted donuts…but even with the imminent threat of fangs, I really didn’t feel like driving anywhere.

Lazy. Just plane LAZY.

But I did have a few cans of Pillsbury’s little biscuits in the fridge. (Hubs likes Little Smokies wrapped in biscuits for football watching Sundays.) So I figured I could work out something so my laziness didn’t have to drive anywhere.

1. Crack open a can of those 10 little biscuits

2. Cut them in half.

3. Bake them until just golden (maybe 6 minutes).

4. Dunk each in melted butter.

5. Then roll them in a mixture of white sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon. No idea how much of each I used. I just poured a little of it all in a bowl and stirred.

6. Stack em up on a plate and you’re whole family will be happy. In fact, you’ll come out looking like Martha, rather than the lazy person you, I started out as that morning!


(BTW – this made more than we could eat, I froze them in a Ziplock and have been pulling out a couple at a time as needed. LOVE having them ready to go ~ rather than heading to the donut store….just sayin’)

Yep, I’m lazy.

{Good Eats} Zucchini Bread, hello AWESOMENESS!


This Zucchini Bread has made my whole week!  We seriously have so much squash in our garden (I think I might have mentioned this yesterday…) that I’m giving it away, baking up a storm and searching out every possible way to eat it (that also doesn’t make us cringe at the thought of eating one.more.zucchini!).

I found this recipe on the Food Network from Paula Deen.  Now Paula is DEFINITELY not known for her overly healthy meals, more for butter and sugar and oh.so.fabulous southern food deliciousness.  So when I saw this recipe, I knew it would not be the healthiest bread we could make, but it would taste DARN GOOD!

The sweet, the spices, the moist with the crunch of the crust…the nutty flavor (without crunching into nuts), and the salty melted butter…oh.my.goodness!

That being said, there were quite a few suggestions in the comments for substituting applesauce, and using agave nectar. I will definitely try playing around with it a bit to see what we like over at the Coady House.  But until then, we will happily be munching away at this SUPER EASY, SUPER SCRUMPTIOUS bread! (and I will not tell you about the 4 muffins I have consumed while writing this post either…)

Few changes I did:

1. Addie and I made this together today (fun summer project to do with the kids). I ended up filling 12 muffin tins with paper liners (baked 25 minutes), and then splitting the rest between 2 loaf pans (baked 45 minutes).  Please note, I also bake using a convection oven, so a little faster than the norm.

2. I love the flavor nuts give to baked good, but I hate biting into a nut. Does that make sense??  Crazy, I know. I used my food processor to finely chop the walnuts, placed them to the side, then grated the zucchini in the food processor and set it aside to make my life a little easier….

3. We called this “Zucchini Cake” in our house instead of bread…which it kinda is…but anything with the word “cake” attached is deemed worthy of eating no matter if there is a green veggie baked inside.

Go here for the full recipe for the Zucchini Bread.


{Good Eats} RIDICULOUSLY good cookies!

I don’t even know what to say about these cookies, except that they are RIDICULOUSLY GOOD! I was in a bit of a cookie rut.  I’m not gonna lie, normally my cookies get some pretty positive reviews…however, I think the last 2 or 3 (12….) times I just kept missing the mark. Stupid things like doubling half the recipe and not the other half, using Tablespoons instead of teaspoons of salt, miss measuring the brown sugar….I mean this has gone on and on and on. I was certain my brain was telling me YOU SHOULD NOT BE EATING COOKIES, therefore I WILL MAKE IT IMPOSSIBLE for you to bake them.

But Sunday I had to give it a go again.  Jenny over at Picky Palate is pretty much a dessert goddess.  If it is coming out of her kitchen you just know it’s going to be good.  I had seen her Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookie weeks ago and it’s been haunting me to bake it.

Then last week Jenny did a post on ALL of the stuffed cookies she has come up with this year. HELLO!?!?  Now HOW am I supposed to resist THAT I ask you!?!?

But I’m lazy.

And with the track record I’ve had, I just figure “STUFFED” was not something I should attempt. These days, I would likely set the oven on fire. So instead I planned to just throw a sleeve of Oreos in the mixer and cut back the chocolate chips to 1/2 of what Jenny suggests.

But then…..

Yep, you know there had to be a “But then…..”

I was getting all the ingredients set up when Hubs walks in the kitchen.

Hubs: “Bummer, there were some kids selling candy bars out of a cooler, and I didn’t have any cash on me.”

Me: “What?  Where did they go?  I’ve got cash!!”

And out Miss Piper and I went running to the neighbor’s house to catch them on their route.  We scored 6 beautiful Caramello Bars!!!  That would be little pockets of caramel wrapped in milk chocolate. Oh YUM!

NOW I was going to have to make stuffed cookies.

I followed Jenny’s recipe making the following changes:

  1. I used 1/2 the chocolates chips (using only milk chocolate chips)
  2. I threw a sleeve of Oreos in the mixer. Just let the mixer break em up.
  3. I placed a scoop of cookie dough on my parchment lined cookie sheet, then placed a Caramello square on top of the dough, placed my second scoop of dough on top of the Caramello square, then pushed down the sides just a bit to seal.
  4. I baked mine 9-10 minutes. I also baked single scoop (unstuffed) cookies along side the big daddies. They baked in the same time without issue. Figured smaller cookies were better for the little Punks around here.

And YES, that is caramel DRIPPING down the cookie….oh.my.goodness.  RIDICULOUSLY GOOD!!! Enjoy!

(I also froze some of the little ones to add to ice cream later this week…just sayin’…)

A Twist on Tradition ~ Caramel Pecan Cookies

My youngest sister has been married a year. She is one of the most creative human beings I know, and she not only loves to throw a party, but she also loves to find over the top recipes. (And since she doesn’t have any Littles underfoot yet, she has a little more time to find the good stuff!)

Last Thanksgiving as we had all just been together for their wedding in October, rather than fly home, she and her new husband joined friends for dinner. And as is customary, my sister found a MEMORABLE and AMAZING dessert.

Though I wasn’t there to eat them, just hearing these cookies talked about, I hope I can persuade her to make them for us this year.  I love a great Pecan Pie, but I love a little twist on tradition too, especially if it gives me all the same yummy goodness!

So surprise your guests, or your hosts, on Thursday with a new treat…just don’t forget the ice cream!!

Caramel Pecan Cookies
From Epicurious.com


For the crust:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

For caramel pecan topping:

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into bits
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups pecans (1/2 lb), toasted , cooled, and coarsely chopped


Make crust:

Grease a 13- by 9-inch metal baking pan, then line with foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on both ends, and grease foil.

Follow recipe for basic butter cookies to make dough (do not chill), then press dough evenly onto bottom of baking pan, using plastic wrap on top to prevent dough from sticking to your fingers, and chill until firm, about 20 minutes.

While crust chills, put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375°F.

Bake crust until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 20 minutes. (Leave oven on.)

Make topping while crust cools:

Cook sugar in a 2 1/2- to 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, undisturbed, until it begins to melt. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally with a fork, until sugar is melted to a deep golden caramel. Tilt pan and carefully pour in cream (caramel will harden and steam vigorously). Cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until caramel is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in butter, vanilla, salt, and pecans.

Immediately spread topping over cooled crust and bake until bubbling, about 20 minutes. Cool completely in pan on rack, about 2 hours.

Run a heavy knife under hot water, then wipe dry and cut confection into 2-inch triangles, diamonds, or squares.

perfect sunday dinner ~ gingermen sandwich cookies

Sunday Dinner.  In our family growing up, that translated to “Family Night”.

And I loved it.

All the way down to how my amazingly creative and stylish mother would set the table.

But then she would bring out dinner. “Dinner fit for the Queen” as my dad used to say. (If he wasn’t saying. “You all should come over more often, we never get to eat like this”.  Riiiiiight…..good thing we knew he was kidding!)

When I met Pam and Maggy of Three Many Cooks, I could feel “family” from the first “Hello!”.  I had been reading the Three Many Cooks blog and feeling as though I already knew these awesome women.

But theeeeen I read a post about hotdogs.

And it inspired me to write a post about hot dog buns.

And then Maggy Tweeted, “We’ll be in LA next week, let’s do lunch!”

And I loved them even more. And haven’t looked back since.

(Me and Maggy)

Needless to say, when I received Pam’s newest cookbook Perfect One-Dish Dinners ~ All You Need for Easy Get-Togethers I couldn’t wait to try it!  It’s arranged a little differently than most in that the recipes are grouped as an entire meal, but the beauty is Pam gives you little “Instant Alternatives”.  So when you’re looking at menu for A, B, & C and don’t think you can do A or B, she gives you an easy alternative that wont sacrifice the meal.  I just love that she has done the dinner menu for you! One less thing on my busy mom brain!

So I decided to try out her Chicken Pot Pie Dinner Menu:

Appetizer: Perfect Spinach-Artichoke Dip
Instant Alternative: Smokehouse Almonds

Salad: Mixed Green with Shredded Carrots and Dried Cranberries

Dinner: Chicken Potpie with Green Apples and Cheddar Biscuits

Dessert: Gingermen Sandwich Cookies
(This was actually an “Instant Alternative” for her Chili Dinner, but they sounded too good to pass up!)

Yeaaaaah, you really can’t get mad at this Spinach Artichoke dip.  I almost did my own “Instant Alternative” old faithful Trader Joe’s frozen Spinach Artichoke, but in the end I went for the homemade and am sooooo glad that I did.  It will stay as a favorite in my cookbook and will be made OFTEN.  My babes went crazy for it too! Absolutely delicious. I have never tasted one like it…of course what’s not to like when cream cheese is involved??

Chicken Potpie….it should be renamed, ” Where have you been all my life Potpie?”. I say this because I was more than skeptical of the ingredients.  I was raised on traditional potpie with veggies.  It’s the potpie I cook today and friends and family love.

This is not that potpie.  This has apples and leeks.

You saute them in butter. And well, frankly, butter can make everything taste perfect. Don’t you agree?

I certainly do now if I didn’t before.

I used the kids’ nap time to make all the dishes for dinner. But the one thing  I could not do early was the biscuit topping. So instead I measured out all the dry ingredients, and grated the cheese.  The only thing left to do was add the frozen butter (say what???) and buttermilk.

Now the salad I figured would be the wall flower of the dinner and basically just show up. But oh no! It made it’s presence known!

Pam suggested adding thinly sliced red onion if you wished, and we did, wish that is.  However I’m not a huge fan of onion that “bites”. My sister taught me a trick to soak your red onion in balsamic vinegar and then take the onions out and add to your salad when you’re ready to eat.  Because this salad called for a Balsamic Vinaigrette this was one way to cut out steps.  The salad was prepped in the fridge and I added the “marinated onions” with a splash of olive oil when we sat down for dinner.  YUUUUUUUUM! Salad was a hit!

Not a bad looking dinner huh??  And I made THE ENTIRE dinner while the girls napped!  OK, to be truthful, my 2-1/2 year old decided not to go to sleep, so she was in and out of the kitchen. And my 7 mos old “helped” while I made dessert. So a TASTY, DELICIOUS dinner like this is totally doable for a busy mom!

Every dish was a hit at dinner and will be making a return visit.

(That’s a “Clap-clap, YUM, Mama”. In case you needed translation…)

But now I need to back up.

Piper was my “helper” for dessert.

Piper: “Oh Mama, these look good!”

Me: “Not yet, baby…”

Piper: “Awwwwe, Mama!!!!”

Me: “We need to add a few more ‘scant tablespoons’ to these little men”.

Piper: “Oh that’s a gooood idea, Mama!”

Piper: “Standing ovation, Mama! Yippee!”

My Friends, these are good.

You should make them.


But I warn you….

They may make a 2-1/2 year old witch run wild around the dinner table.

And a 1-1/2 year old dazed and confused cat may ask…

What WAS that Grampa????

And basically I have no words for this….

But I do for this.

Sunday Dinners, Family Nights, or “Hey you, come and eat”.

The name doesn’t matter.

What does matter is that when you get together with family and friends, it’s going to be fun.

It will leave you with wonderful memories (and full bellies if Pam Anderson has anything to do with it!)

I can’t wait to try more of the Pam’s recipes!  The following are a list of friends of Three Many Cooks. We were all invited to share a Sunday dinner with you this Monday.  Check out what everyone did!! I know many on this list ~ amazing people, photographers, foodies, and friends…every post should entertain and show you a little more of Pam’s beautiful and scrumptious book.

*** AND, I would love to share a cookbook with you!  Leave a comment below and tell me what your favorite thing is about a Sunday Dinner.  I’ll pick a random name on Wednesday and send you copy of this fabulous book! ***


Gingermen Sandwich Cookies
Pam Anderson ~
Perfect One-Dish Dinners ~ All You Need for Easy Get-Togethers


2 – 5oz packages Pepperidge Farm Gingermen Homestyle Cookies
6 oz softened cream cheese
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1/4 cup crystallized ginger


Beat cream cheese with butter until smooth and fluffy.  Beat in confectioners sugar and ginger.  Smear a scant tablespoon frosting on one side of 16 gingermen cookies. Top with remaining 16 gingermen. (Cookies can be prepared up to 2 hours ahead of time.  After that, the cookies start to soften, but they are perfectly fine that way too. ~ I agree! We had ours soft!!)

real simple ~ chocolate fondue

I know I’ve been re-posting a few things lately.  But I’m doing it for a couple reasons.

1.) I’m living out of a suitcase with my babes at my parents house while they are out of town and our floors are being re-done.  Read = THIS IS NOT FUN.  I am thankful we had a place to go, but having your life split between 2 houses and not having all that you need in one place + having kids that are NOT SLEEPING, all equals a not so great time…

And 2.) MFE has a much different readership number now than it did back when I originally posted some of these favorites.

And, honestly, they are favorites that I think you really need to know about.  This Chocolate Fondue is SO EASY!  I would give my left arm to have this right now!  With all the fun holidays coming up, this should be on your “Make This” list for sure! I’m making it the moment we move back into our house, I promise you…at this point I might eat the whole thing by myself…

Here is the original post….


I have to give complete credit to my sister for finding this recipe in Real Simple. We were both pregnant at the same time over New Years in 2007/08.  We opted for a mellow night in with our hubbies in Tahoe.  She cooked an amazing dinner for us, and then we splurged on this for dessert…SOOOOO YUMMM! We actually sent the boys to the market to get us the chocolate and told them not to come back with anything but the GOOD stuff….well they took us seriously, because they brought back Lindt Milk chocolate.  We seriously died and went to Heaven that night.

Since that night, I have made this NUMEROUS times.  It’s a super easy crowd and party pleaser.  Great conversation starter too.  Don’t be surprised if everyone asks for the recipe after.

(Image: Real Simple)


3/4 cup heavy cream
1 pound milk or dark chocolate, broken into pieces (I use milk chocolate)
1 pint fresh strawberries
1  store-bought angel food cake, cut into 1-inch pieces (optional)
8 ounces dried fruit, such as pineapple slices and figs (optional)
(1 like to use: blackberries, banana slices, green apples & caramel cookies from Trader Joe’s)


1. In a small saucepan, over low heat, warm the cream and chocolate. Stir until the chocolate melts. Transfer the fondue to a serving bowl. (I like to put a little bit into a few different ramekins and place at all sides of the dining or coffee table, you can also use a dessert fondue pot, but you don’t have to.)

2. Serve immediately with forks and foods for dipping strawberries, angel food cake, etc..

blueberry crumb cake. heaven on a plate!

Oh my goodness gracious!  This is just Heaven on a plate I tell ya…

I read somewhere (clueless now where, so sorry!) that blueberries are fabulous to give your kids as they hold LOADS of the good stuff that most veggies do.  And well, if you have kids (who me?) that aren’t huge fans of veggies (what? mine?) then you should go ahead and load up EVERY plate you can with blueberries.  So I went out and bought a big box at Costco (not that my kids struggle with veggies or anything…did I mention it was a BIG box??).  We have been going blueberry crazy in our house.

Then I decided we needed a little sweet treat to go along with the original nutritious purpose…enter a Blueberry Crumble that will knock your socks off and possibly make you have another child (though I sincerely hope not in my case!)

Let’s be quick about it and give you the 411 so you can go bake one up!

I had my usual side kicks “help” me out.

This is what went in the oven.

This is what came out.

It killed me to wait for it to cool down to move to the cake stand.

I didn’t really let it take the appropriate time.

There were bites to be had People!

Did I mention the butter in this topping?  Here, take a closer look…

So buttery & sweet & delicious…OMG, it’s killing me all over again!

I’m going to need to bake another one.

‘Cuz it was good.

I can’t say that it lasted all that long in our house.

Think it was gone the next morning…

Blueberry Crumb Cake
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa


For the crumb topping:

1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed (don’t skimp!)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
For the cake:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature (3/4 stick)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 – 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
2/3 cup Greek yogurt (1 small container Fage)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup fresh blueberries
Confectioners’ sugar for sprinkling (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9-inch round baking pan.

For the crumb topping:

Combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl. Stir in the melted butter and then the flour. Mix well and set aside.

For the cake:

Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed for 4 to 5 minutes, until light. Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla, lemon zest, and yogurt. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined. Fold in the blueberries and stir with a spatula to be sure the batter is completely mixed.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and spread it out with a knife. With your fingers, crumble the topping evenly over the batter. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely and serve with whipped cream, confectioners sugar, ice cream…you choose!

a little slice of heaven ~ plum & peach buttermilk cake

A couple of weeks ago our Plum tree was going CRAZY with ripe plums and I was desperate to find as many recipes as I could to use them up.  I sent out a call for help (AKA – “Tweeted”!) for Plum recipes.  To my pleasure a wonderful new friend, who I had recently met at the Thermador event in Arizona (yep, that’s a post I still need to write…), Maria from Two Peas and their Pod sent me a link to one of her scrumptious recipes. Plum Nectarine Buttermilk Cake.  If you have not checked out her site, you need to.  She shares fabulous recipes, and well…she is just so genuinely nice!  You kind of feel like she is your friend next door.

(Plus, I’m not the only one that adores her…check out the Raspberry Lemon Bars, WOW, yum!)

I didn’t have nectarines, but I did have a big box of beautiful peaches (that I had just used to make an easy little grilled dessert).  So I substitued.  I also love to use a tart pan with tall sides. It just makes cakes look pretty, and it’s nice to lift the cake out rather than worry about the whole flipping-it-out-thing….but a regular 9″ round pan is perfectly fine!  You can’t always get away with using a tart pan, but I usually try to!

Seriously, check out that fruit!?!?  YUM!

The house smells divine. I NEED to take a bite of this cake!!  My Vanilla ice cream is waiting more patiently than me….

Oh Maria, you have not failed us on this one!  Thanks for sharing the recipe! So beautiful and it tastes Heavenly!

ice cream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!

We love dessert in our house.

And I love to play the game of “use all leftovers, must.use.everything.in.the.fridge.and.freezer”

It’s a delusional game, but it gets me my jollies.  I know, weird.

Anyway, I usually win.

Except this one time when my mother-in-law asked if I wanted to save grilled hot dogs leftover from an afternoon BBQ.

Me: “No, I think I’m gonna draw the line there.  I mean, how many dishes can you REALLY use leftover hot dogs in??”

She agreed and we tossed them. If only I could get those dogs back!!  I was reminded the next day by a friend’s mom…”Oh, why not use them in Baked Beans?  Or chopped up in Mac & Cheese for the kids?”

Daggummit.  Guess I lost that round.

Anyway, dessert, let’s get back to what’s important.

We love ice cream sandwiches.  And I always find them to be a crowd pleaser.  In fact a crowd OVER ACHIEVER is more like it. Normally, I make them with chocolate wafers, vanilla ice cream, and Heath toffee bits.  But these sandwiches came about because I was about to leave town again, my dad had brought over grocery store bakery peanut butter cookies a few days earlier, and we had about 2 inches of ice cream left….

I find cutting open the ice cream carton is the easiest approach.  Had this been a new container, I would have sliced the ice cream an inch at a time after cutting off the carton, working quickly.

I’m a bit of a sucker for restarant supply stores.  I love to buy things that you normally only see at restarants.  Trust me, for the $15 you will spend for the 5000 of something, you will find a MILLION places to uses them!  Case in point, French Fry bags.  I’ve used these to give the kids snacks to take outside, to hold sliders at dinner parties, but most of all, to hold little cookie ice cream sandwiches.

Get all your supplies out, as the sandwiches need to be assembled in the shortest amount of time possible.  You want them back in the freezer, quick, quick, quick.

You will need:

The cookies (again I normally use Chocolate Wafers, but any cookie will do)

Ice Cream ~ whatever suits your fancy.  I love Ben & Jerrys’ Vanilla Heath Bar

Toppings for the sides ~ I would use Heath Toffee Bits if given the option.  They stick to the sides and are simply the BEST!  Place on a plate and set aside

A box or baking pan to line the finished sandwiches in stacked bags for the freezer.

I like to lay out a bunch of cookies face down to begin with.

I slice off ice cream, an inch at a time, and then cut equal portions of that slice.

Quickly place an individual piece on each cookie.  Don’t worry about shape, it will all taste the same in the end.  I made these a little full as I wanted to use all the ice cream and only had a few cookies.

Place a top on each sandwich, and roll them in the waiting topping plate.

I used peanut butter & milk chocolate chips this time as it’s what I had (but they don’t stick as well).

Heath Toffee bits truly are the bomb and are worth the drive to the grocery store.

Quickly slide the sandwich into the little bag and stack them on a tray, shoe box, baking pan, anything that lets you keep them all together and into the freezer.

Pull them out for dessert and watch your guests go CRAZY!  (I’m serious, they will go crazy!)  My hubs is always so glad when we have leftovers!


s’more Brownies – gimme some more!!!

(Image: Picky Palate – And please note, how amazingly PERFECT this looks!! Not so much for ours!)

I am on such a recipe kick these days!  Must have been that Thermador event last week!!!  It actually IS because of the Thermador event…I was surrounded by some of the BEST food bloggers in the country, along with some of the BEST cooking appliances in the country…how could I NOT be inspired to do more cooking???  That post is coming soon, very soon….but until I wrap my brain around it all….I just have to share some of the fun I’ve been having. (Feel free to check out the Tomato Jam, Buttermilk Syrup, and Goat Cheese & Strawberry Salad while you’re waiting on that post…you wont be sorry!)

I need to explain though that I’m not a trained culinary chef, nor an expert chef, nor even a semi expert home chef.  Yes, I do still call both my mom and dad (who ARE great cooks) to refresh my memory on many of the basics (How long do I boil an egg??)

BUT, I do have instinct when I cook and I follow instruction well.  In my past life, prior to marriage and prior to kids I cooked a lot, and a lot from scratch, still never an expert, but I enjoyed being in the kitchen.  As the years have gone by I’ve had to simplify.  My cooking days are still flavorful, just not as complicated.  A REALLY good meal comes from a date night out or eating at mom and dads.

But after my Thermador visit, I’ve been inspired again to find simple recipes that let me be the cook I used to enjoy being, in the short amount of time I now have each day.

On top of all that, to be able to incorporate something fun with the kiddos, well that’s just priceless!  And sometimes you have to just do something fun.

This particular recipe doesn’t have a whole lot to do with cooking, but it does with baking…

Don’t you have fond memories of cooking and baking with your family growing up?  Good news is, it doesn’t always need to be perfect, in the end it all tastes the same.  I currently have a baking love affair going with Picky Palate’s site.  Did you see her Ice Cream Cookies we made last week?  Well this week we made her S’more Stuffed Brownies….and we had fun!

Yep, pretty sure Jenny had her graham crackers a little more lined up than ours.

Can you stand this chubby little hand??? I had to include this photo for the little squishy arm alone!

And I couldn’t find the Hershey Bars (later they were found in the back of my SUV, slipped out of the grocery bag and ended up chocolate soup!) But we scrounged around and found more birthday candy in the freezer.  Hayden thought we should use them still wrapped….

1 chocolate kiss for Hayden….1 for the pan…

1 chocolate kiss for Addie…1 for the pan.  I think this ACTUAL kiss made it into the pan after that bite.

Looking gooooooood!

Many hands = less work (isn’t that how the saying goes?  I may have to talk to the author about that…)

Oh Mama!  This looks good!

Here Mama, Addie do it!  Like dis Mama!

See Mama!?  Yum!

No!  We’re not eating chocolate AT ALL!

What you talking about, Mama!??

There’s PLENTY of chocolate in the brownie pan!

(And PLEASE scroll back up to the top to see Jenny’s and then look at ours..HAAAA!)

Can we do it again Mama??

Yeah Mama!  Can we, can we!!!?!?

And see, in the end they look the same (almost).  And they sure tasted good!!!

Be sure to have your glass of milk or Vanilla Ice Cream waiting!

(Image: Picky Palate)

For the recipe and a perfect set of step by step photos, check out Picky Palate.