O Babies

I made these for my friend’s baby sprinkle. She’s from CA and spent extensive time in HI so she identifies with those places (and their warmth) as opposed to MA where it’s FREEZING and still snowing. Yup-more snow on the way. Will we break the record for all time recorded snow in the area? Absolutely. Anyway, back to food. This chocolate treat was for her sprinkle, as a nod to warmer treats. I call them O Babies because 

  1. She’s about to have a baby (duh-do people still say duh?)
  2. These are seriously overloaded with chocolate
  3. these are also overloaded with toppings

Oh yeah-and they’re ALL YUM.

This is what you’ll need;

Ginger cookies

1 bag of high quality chocolate chips

1/4 cup diced dried papaya

1/4 cup golden raisins

1/4 cup chopped cashews

1/4 cup chopped pecans

Prepare a chocolate mold by spritzing with oil. I used coconut oil spray. This allows you to tip the chocolates out easily.

Mix all fruit and nuts together in a small bowl. Top chocolate mold with fruit and nuts. (I left two empty so you could see the pretty heart motif)

Next melt chocolate. I did this using a double boiler. Stir chocolate until it melts completely.

Add chocolate to chocolate mold-about 1 teaspoon in each. Add more nut/fruit mixture, then chocolate. Place a ginger cookie on top. Place mold on a cookie tray and pop in the freezer for at least 1 hour. 

Pop out of mold and serve!

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Abernethy Biscuits


I want to make these…and hide in a closet and eat them all myself…I wonder if they would aid in their own digestion? LOVE! Check them out!

Originally posted on LondonEats:

After my recent little sojourn into traditional baking with Tudor marchpane, I thought that it would be a nice link to today’s recipe – a fairly simple biscuit flavoured with that rather “olde worlde” flavour, caraway seeds. I love that spice – it is delicious in cheeses and sugary sweets alike, and adds a lovely aromatic flavour to biscuits when you bite into them. As the flavour stays in the seeds, you get little bursts of caraway as you munch on the biscuit.

So I set about writing this post thinking that it was another piece of Scottish baking – I assumed, perhaps not unreasonable, that Abernethy biscuits were named after the town of Abernethy in Perthshire (my part of the country, what’s not to love about that?). And according to my mum’s research about our family tree, I think we even have links to the town. Brilliant!


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Weekly Round Up

Ill be quick-since Downton is coming up and I’m slightly addicted… this is what we’re having this week…

Sunday-We ordered pizza. It’s snowing for the millionth time. I.Just.Couldn’t.Face.Anything. Blah!

Monday-Shrimp and Cilantro Grits

Tuesday-Fennel, Garlic and Potato Soup

Wednesday-Meatballs and Pasta

Thursday-Paprika Chicken and Spinach

Friday- Marinated drumsticks

Saturday-Shrimp Curry

Have a fab week!!

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I love donuts. I haven’t always loved donuts. To be honest, since moving to Massachusetts, my love has grown. It must be because this state’s national food source is Dunkin Donuts. 

I actually prefer donuts that have mostly air (kruellers) or donuts that are baked. Dunks doesn’t sell those SO   I decided, yesterday, after we drove past 5 Dunkin Donuts during an errand run and my daughter freaked out that I wouldn’t stop, that I would make some.

I had seen Nutella bread all over pinterest and I decided to marry the two, but I decided to use the cookie dough spread from Trader Joe’s (that’s swirled with fudge). I know, super indulgent. Wait until you see the icing…

This is what you’ll need;

2 eggs

1 stick melted butter

1/2 cup milk

1 cup sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

4 ripe bananas

3 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt 

2/3 cups Cookie dough fudge spread

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a standing mixer add sugar, eggs, milk, butter (melted and come to room temperature) and vanilla. Mix until smooth. 

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl sift flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder.

Back to your standing mixer. Peel and add each banana (great job for your kid) to the sugar mix. Once all bananas have been added and mixture is fairly smooth, add dry ingredients, 1/3 at a time. Last add your fudge cookie dough spread. Mix in. Batter is ready.

Spray a donut pan with cooking spray or rub with butter. Add batter, filling only 1/3 full. Bake for 10 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

We decorated our donuts two ways per Z’s request. Powdered sugar (which you need to do when donuts are hot) and chocolate frosted with sprinkles (which you need to do when donuts have cooled). These are her favorite two donuts. While this isn’t the healthiest snack on the planet, it’s not so bad (and they’re delicious)! 

Store in an airtight container, separating layers of donuts with parchment paper. They will keep a week (but you’ll have eaten them by then).

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Sprinkle Meringues

My friend Brie recently had a ‘sprinkle’ to celebrate the upcoming birth of her second child. All of her friends were SO excited to share this day with her and we each brought food and drink to share (along with baby goodies of course!)

The party was beautifully decorated and the food was out of this world! (I’m looking at you chocolate covered strawberries). 

I made a couple of items (the theme was chocolate and sprinkles) one of which was meringues. I thought this light and airy cookie/candy would be the perfect addition (and bonus- it would hold sprinkles beautifully!)

Meringues don’t require a lot of ingredients but they do require precision and patience. Not something that a four year old has a lot of. But if you involve your child at the right moments, this can be a great recipe (and a lesson in science!).

This is what you’ll need;

4 egg whites

1/4 tea white vinegar

3/4 cup powdered sugar

1/2 tea vanilla extract

sprinkles for decorating

Preheat oven to 200 F.

Using a standing mixer, add your room temperature egg yolks and whisk on medium high until frothy. 

Next add the vinegar and watch until soft peaks form (4-5 minutes). Go get your kid! It’s sugar adding time! Add your sugar 1 tbsp at a time, whisk until everything thickens up and hard peaks form (when you lift the mixer out, the mixture doesn’t drop off). Add vanilla and mix in.

You can either a) put this mixture in a bag to pipe out or b) use spoons. I don’t mind the mess and I like Z helping so I opted for spoons. They aren’t uniform because of this, but she had a great time, and that’s really all that matters anyway. 

Using a spoon scoop out two spoonfuls per cookie. Top with sprinkles and bake for 2 hours.

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Herby Orzo Salad

I have this cookbook that I bought for 75 pence at Foyle’s in London when I was doing my master’s. There was 1 recipe I wanted to try and I figured I couldn’t beat the price (yay for clearance sections!). Crazily enough, this cookbook has been my go-to when I need inspiration. I usually have to alter the recipes to suit my family’s tastes (there is an overwhelming amount of octopus in most recipes) but the base of the recipes are fabulous.

Anyway, I wanted to make something filling for a get together I was having since I wasn’t serving dinner. They had a beautiful parsley couscous and I thought ” I have orzo and strangely a lot of fresh herbs.” (which I buy in the winter when I’m missing summer) An idea was born.

This is what you need;

1 1/2 cups orzo

1 tbsp olive oil

2 cups vegetable stock

1 can chickpeas, drained

2 tomatoes, diced

1/2 red onion, diced

2 tbsp fresh flat parsley, chopped

2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

2 tbsp fresh mint, chopped

2 lemons

Prepare your orzo. I like to fry mine in oil before I cook it as it keeps it nice and firm and Z (and B) prefer it this way. Once orzo is coated with oil, add vegetable stock. Cover and bring to a boil. When boiling, reduce to low, crack the cover to let out a little steam and let stock reduce. When liquid is gone and orzo is cooked remove using a fork (it helps ‘fluff’ the orzo) put orzo on serving platter. Add all other ingredients except lemon. Stir to combine. Squeeze lemons and add salt and pepper to taste. Give it a final stir.

That’s it! A super easy, super hearty, kid-friendly salad. Serve warm or cold. This dish helps to remind us that summer will come!

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Spaghetti Carbonara

I made this awhile back, but with the sickness that has not quite left the building (another dr visit today yay!) I’ve been a bit behind in my posting.

Spaghetti Carbonara is one of those deeply satisfying meals as its hearty, tastes great, requires almost no ingredients and is quick to make.

This is an easy sell to kids, it’s pasta, it has bacon and cheese and it looks like there is no sauce. 

Some people get nervous about the eggs in this dish as they are cooked by the heat of the pasta and reserve pasta water. Fear not! They ARE cooked!

This is what you’ll need;

3 large eggs

3/4 cup Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 pack bacon

3 garlic cloves, minced

pepper to taste

Cook your pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, whisk eggs and cream together until frothy. Add cheese and mix well. Set aside.

Cook bacon until crispy. Remove and chop. Reserve bacon grease in pan. 

Sauté garlic in bacon grease. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water.

Working quickly, turn garlic off heat. Stir in pasta and slowly pour egg/cream/cheese mixture over stirring the whole time to coat and cook. Next slowly add pasta water still stirring pasta. Your pasta should now be coated, the sauce should be thickened! Top with bacon, mix through and add pepper to taste.

Delicious! (and SO easy!)

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Orange Blossom Truffles

This is an incredibly simple candy to make. Perfect for a holiday party, a gift, or to satisfy a four year old’s wish to make something for every character in Strawberry Shortcake (of which orange blossom is one).

I use very few ingredients when making truffles so Z can help me and she likes the end result. We’ve tried and modified lots of recipes, the more fussy ones she doesn’t end up eating. This is my favorite. In the end you’re making a ganache that you heat up in your hands. I like to cut the super sweetness of the melted chocolate with rolling them in pure cocoa which is bitter, but Z really likes.

This is what you need;

1 bag (10 oz) high quality chocolate chips

1 tea orange blossom water

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 tbsp pure cocoa powder

In a medium saucepan, slowly bring cream to a gentle simmer. Add orange blossom water. Remove from heat and immediately add chocolate chips. Stir until chips are melted and smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours.

Remove ganache and using a teaspoon scoop out chocolate. Roll between your palms to form a ball and then roll in cocoa powder. Voila! You have a truffle!


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Weekly Round Up

Sickness has almost left the building. We’re hoping that a couple more low key days will finally kick it out of the house (until the next monster bug).

Since we spent a couple of days not eating, some of us are voracious and some of us still want to only eat basic food. Therefore our menu reflects our dueling ‘needs’.

Hope you have a great week!

Monday-Sweet Potato and Coconut Soup

Tuesday- Parsley Cornish Hens

Wednesday-Black Beans with Pork and Lemon Rice

Thursday-Shrimp with Cilantro Grits

Friday-Panang Curry

Saturday-Butternut Squash Pasta

Sunday-Caesar Salad with Steak Tips

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BLT Pizza

Where to begin?

I’m resorting to the phone app as I have two sick kids that are sleeping on either side of me and if one of them wakes up I may lose my mind (just a little bit). So I’m going to try to get this post out during my hopefully 15 minutes of silence and then chug a pot of coffee.

BLT pizza. What an amazing idea. So simple, so delicious, and definitely appreciated in our baconaholic household.

I made this before sickness descended on our house (first b, then me, then z…lucky lucky w) and it really was a hit. in fact I may have eaten half the pizza myself.

This pizza came to be because we had a large forgotten bag of spinach in the back of our fridge, z asked for pizza and bacon for dinner and I was looking for something simple.

So I sautéed the spinach with olive oil, salt and garlic, used a store-bought dough and got to work.

This is what you’ll need;

1 bag spinach (there will be leftovers)
1 tea salt
1 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 store bought pizza dough
2 tomatoes sliced thin,
1/3 package bacon, cooked and chopped
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

I’m sure most of this will be self explanatory, but here goes…

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Sauté spinach in 1 tea olive oil. Add garlic and salt when leaves are almost wilted. I then puréed the spinach so that I could use it as baby food and a base-double win for me.

Take your store bought dough and stretch it out however you do it to make a pizza (I’ve found people have very varying methods for this). Add the rest of the olive oil to the middle of your rolled pizza base and paint the dough until all top sides are lightly covered with oil. Put in oven for 10 minutes.

Remove pizza after 10 minutes and add 4-5 tbsp of spinach, making your base or “sauce”. Cook in oven for another 10 minutes.

Remove and top with bacon, tomatoes and cheese. Cook 5 minutes. Slice and serve!


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