Category: Fun Stuff
Friday, January 23
I just have three words for you today: Orange Monkey Bread.
Over the long weekend last week the kids and I did some baking together and created a recipe for orange monkey bread. The monkey bread was easy to make and it made for a great kids’ baking project. Plus, it was scrumptious. Even Nate, who isn’t that into treats, declared our monkey bread “dangerous.” I consider that success. To get the recipe, check out my post on Babble!
Show and Tell time! Please share your own stuff from the week! Remember, anything goes! A simple comment with something you accomplished, a link to something funny/delicious/inspiring/crazy, or a link to your own blog posts, all of it is welcome!
Friday, January 16
Happy Friday! I have just two quick things to share today!
First, I just heard about Food Forward on PBS. Has anyone seen it? I can’t wait to watch!
Second, my Babble post for the week! I shared a basic, easy recipe for Baked Yogurt Chicken and provided a roundup of 6 other savory yogurt recipes. Lots of yumminess to be had, my friends.
As usual, please share something! Whether it’s a link to your own blog, a link to something you’ve discovered or just a quick peek into your life, it’s all welcome!
Have a great weekend!
Friday, January 9
First off, you HAVE to go read my post on Babble this week where I share 5 shortbread recipe variations. Every last one of the flavors was divine. In addition, I have two fun holiday posts on Babble that I never shared here on the blog, so here you go!
Before I sign off, Nate and I have been watching The Walking Dead on Netflix and went to bed last night after watching episode 8 of season 4 and all I have to say is…why are we torturing ourselves with this show?!?!?!? Good GOLLY. It’s just so good, we can’t stop!
Show and Tell means the whole class gets to share…show us what you’ve got this week!
Wednesday, December 31
Happy New Year!
I just wanted to share two quick New Years things with you today. First, I shared a recipe for a fun, sparkly mocktail (that can easily be turned into a cocktail, if you prefer!) on Babble this week. Be sure to check it out!
And, tonight, to party with the kids…many, many hours before midnight!
Have a Happy New Year and see you on the other side!
Sunday, December 28
I hope everyone is having a happy holiday season!
So…today I don’t have a menu planned. Nate’s Grammy McCarthy (of orange chicken and blueberry muffin fame) passed away this week, so we are in Massachusetts with family. We’ll be here all week, wishing Grammy was with us and yet still grateful for time together. We were all very close to Grammy and the loss has been hard. She was a grand woman and, in the words of Aunt Janet, like a “tinkling bell.”
Even though my life isn’t in the usual routine this week, if you have a menu planned please feel free to leave it in the comments like normal!
Once the new year starts, I’ll be back to whip us into menu-planning shape. That’s how Grammy would want it. She was a pull-up-your-bootstraps-and-keep-on-moving kind of lady, so that’s what we’ll do. But this week I’m going to let the bootstraps dangle and simply enjoy time with the people I love.
Have a wonderful week and be sure to eat a blueberry muffin in honor of Grammy.
Tuesday, December 23
A big holiday thank you to Q Squared NYC for sponsoring today’s post.
Today we have a Call for Recipes, but let me first set the stage.
My neighbor Kat recently hosted a cookie exchange. I love cookie exchanges, but, much to my surprise, the cookies were not my favorite part of Kat’s get together! Kat served a lovely sit-down brunch before the cookie swap and it was quite wonderful. The food was amazing and it was so nice to take a break mid-morning in the mad rush of December and enjoy good food and company. The whole thing made me feel happy and bright.
For Cate’s birthday party this year the only time we could coordinate with her friends was yesterday morning, so, as inspired by Kat’s party, we decided to host a Christmas birthday brunch! While Cate’s brunch was a little less fancy, it was equally delicious and fun.
I’ve decided brunch is my new favorite thing for entertaining. So much of the food can be made ahead of time, making for less stressful party prep. Plus, who doesn’t love brunch food? Nobody, that’s who. I also love having the party early in the day, it has a completely different feel and, honestly, I like having more time for clean-up when the guests go home, as opposed to night parties where you’d rather go to bed than clean up.
Pictured: Q Squared’s Cool Montecito Large Tray
Q Squared NYC is sponsoring today’s post and I want to give them a quick shout out. Until Q Squared came into my life I didn’t own any serving trays and very few platters. Now I am swimming in beautiful trays and platters and I can’t tell you how fabulous they are for entertaining. I used a Q Squared tray for my cookies at Kat’s party and it was adorable. For Cate’s party, the serving trays came in handy both for the food and the Christmas crafts. Three cheers for Q Squared’s high quality, durable, beautiful serving trays – I can’t live without them now! Oh, before I forget! Q Squared also gave me a few of their Bijou candles for the holidays and the candles smell scrumptious. They have also been the perfect decoration for our coffee table this year. I highly recommend them!
It’s time for today’s Call for Recipes! Please share your favorite brunch recipes and tips! I really do want to host more brunches and become Queen of Brunch. Great aspirations, people. I think I might even plan a little Christmas brunch for this Thursday, so please share tips and recipes!
I’ll kick us off with the brunch menu from Cate’s party.
- Ina’s Banana Granola Muffins (made the day before, warmed in a 200-degree oven for 10 minutes prior to serving)
- Grammy’s Blueberry Muffins (made the day before, warmed in a 200-degree oven for 10 minutes prior to serving)
- Frittata Cups (used spinach instead of kale, made them early in the morning then warmed in a 200-degee oven for 10 minutes prior to serving)
- Hot Chocolate
- Fruit salad
Ready, set, GO! Let’s brunch it up!
Posted by Jane Maynard at 2:14 pm 13 Comments
Categories: call for recipes, fab faves, holidays, Recipes, the goods Tags: brunch, call for recipes, holiday entertaining, q squared, q squared nyc, serving trays, sponsored |
Friday, December 19
Hi Everyone! I am currently buried in boxes and shipping tape, so I’m just going to quickly share two of my holiday posts on Babble this week!
- 3 Kids, a Mom & a Kitchen: A Quest for Grandma’s Pepparkakor (Gingersnaps)…the quest is not yet complete, but we did find a great recipe in the process!
- Copycat Recipe: Trader Joe’s Jingle Jangle Holiday Mix (this is GREAT for gifts!)
You know the drill…share your stuff!
Wednesday, December 17
It’s birthday season in our home, which means I’m busy whipping up cakes for the girls! This year Anna requested a deep dish pizza cake from Cakes for Kids by Matthew Mead. I am absolutely delighted with the results and wanted to share it with you!
This cake was actually quite easy to put together. Here’s how to get it done!
- Use a 9-inch cake. After you remove the cake from the pan to cool, wash the pan. When you level the cake, take off about 1/8-1/4″ so that when you put the cake back in the pan for display, there is space between the top of the cake and the top of the pan.
- Once the cake is back in the clean pan, frost the top with red-tinted butter cream for the sauce. I used red, a bit of orange, and a smidge of green to make the red color. Pipe the “crust” around the edge with buttercream that has extra vanilla extract mixed in (to make it a little more brown). I just used a ziploc bag with the corner cut to make the fat pipe with the frosting. Use cinnamon to add brown spots to the crust, rubbing in lightly with fingers.
- Marzipan is the key to the beautiful veggies on top! For one 9-inch cake you need a 7-ounce package of marzipan, found in the baking aisle at the grocery store. Divide the marzipan into 4 equal parts. When you roll out the marzipan, place parchment paper both underneath and on top when rolling. For the mushrooms, roll out the marzipan thin and cut mushrooms freehand, using a bit of cinnamon to add color. For the bell peppers, knead in green food coloring with a bit of brown, then roll pieces of marzipan out into a skinny snake shape, make circles and then crimp the circle like a pepper. For the pepperoni, knead in red and a bit of brown food coloring into the marzipan and then roll out thin. Using a small circle cutter, cut circles and then texture with a pastry brush (genius!). I used the rippled edge side of my round cutter for the pepperoni. For the onions, roll out the marzipan then use concentric round cutters to make the onion shapes.
- Unsweetened shredded coconut worked perfectly for the cheese! I sprinkled most of the cheese directly on the “sauce,” then placed the veggies and sprinkled a bit more “cheese” on top.
Voila! Deep Dish Pizza…that tastes like cake! It was seriously funny all afternoon with the cake sitting on the counter. It really looked like a pizza!
Posted by Jane Maynard at 3:39 pm 5 Comments
Categories: birthday cakes, kids, Kitchen Tips, sweet things Tags: birthday cake decorating, birthday cakes, cake decorating, deep dish pizza cake, kids birthday cakes, pizza birthday cake, pizza cake |
Friday, December 12
This giveaway is now closed. Thank you!
Today we have a really fun giveaway package featuring two companies who’s products I use in my kitchen every day – Le Creuset and Dreamfarm! Gifts & Giveaways is all about sharing great gift ideas and then, you know, giving some of those awesome things away and that is exactly what we’re going to do today!
Before we get to the giveaway, here are a few gift ideas. These are my most favorite items from Le Creuset and Dreamfarm, the things that I use ALL the time in my kitchen:
- Le Creuset Butter Crock: One of my most favorite things in the kitchen ever. I know I’ve professed my love before. That love has not waned. I also give these as gifts myself fairly frequently.
- Le Creuset 3 1/2 QT. and 5 1/2 QT. Round French Ovens: I don’t use these every day, but it’s pretty close.
- Dreamfarm Levoon: Absolutely enamored with these measuring spoons with a built-in level.
- Dreamfarm Clongs: These are great tongs and I LOVE how they sit up off of the counter.
- Dreamfarm Garject: My most favorite garlic press ever.
- Dreamfarm Scizza: Nate isn’t as big a fan as I am of the scizza, but I love it. I use it all the time for pizza as well as for cutting up my kids’ waffles and pancakes. They are great kitchen scissors and I love how they can stand up on the counter – less mess!
Now that you have some ridiculously awesome gift ideas, I think it’s time for a giveaway. Brace yourself, it’s pretty great.
The Le Creuset and Dreamfarm Holiday Giveaway Set Includes:
- Cheese Fondue in Flame ($300 retail value! So, basically the awesomest fondue pot ever)
- Butter crock (because I will not rest until all humans own one)
- Garject Lite
To enter the giveaway simply leave a comment on this post! That’s it! Easy peasy! Comments must be posted by Midnight PT Thursday, 12/18/14 and prize must be shipped within the U.S. Good luck and happy shopping!
The winner of this giveaway was Rita (Comment #120), who said, “Beautiful! These are awesome kitchen tools/gadgets! Happy Holidays :)” Congratulations, Rita!
Friday, December 5
Happy Friday! I think I might actually be done with Christmas decorating. Normally I get it done in 1 day, but this year it’s been 1 week! It’s kind of been fun stretching it out, though. The kids just need to finish the tree and I need to decide which wreath to hang above our fireplace. I am the most indecisive person you’ll ever meet, so please help and tell me which wreath is your favorite!
Option 1: White wreath that is super cool and unique and that I am in love with. I like how it contrasts with the green wall and ties in with the white shelves and mantel. It’s a little smaller in diameter than option 2 and doesn’t fill the space quite as well.
Option 2: Red berry wreath that is perfectly Christmasy against the green wall and just seems to fit in the room. It makes less of a statement but is a bit bigger. I really like this one, but I’m not in love, but I wonder if it isn’t better for this space.
Now that the decorations are almost done, it’s time to watch some Christmas movies. I started browsing Netflix to find some Christmas movies to watch with the kids and stumbled on One Magic Christmas. I remember looooooving that movie as a kid. I’ll have to see if my kids are equally as enthralled. I was always a sucker for high drama and mysticism as a kid, but don’t know that my kids are like that. Should be interesting…
I have two posts on Babble to share with you this week:
- How to Host the Ultimate Princess Party for Under $50
- California-Style Turkey Sandwich with Thanksgiving Leftovers
You know the drill, Show and Tell is for everyone, so please share your stuff! And please chime in on the wreath!