everyday food made simple

biscoff choco-cinnamon chip cookies

Yesterday was Little B’s due date. Which means in less than two weeks, we will have a ONE year old! Can you believe it? Can you also believe that in this entire year, Brian and I have never left Little B in the hands of a babysitter and gone out for a date? 

Just this past weekend, we started this new thing where we each leave the house for a few hours to go where ever we want and do whatever we want. Whether it’s to run errands in peace, to hang out with friends, to leisurely stroll up and down the aisle of Target (because let’s be honest, that can be a treat in itself sometimes), or to just sit at a coffee shop and read a book – I think it’s important to be able to get away and go something and not have to listen to the Paw Patrol theme song for them umpteenth time.

So what did I choose to do for my first two hours of scheduled freedom? I went to Starbucks, ordered myself a mocha, and read a book. It was heavenly. Part of me felt bad for enjoying that time away from Little B. I mean, I’m a mom, and shouldn’t moms want to spend as much time with their babies as possible? It’s called mom guilt, ya’ll.

So I sat in a soft, plush sofa by the fireplace and read my book (I’m currently reading The Ladies’ Room), wishing I had some of these soft pillowy Biscoff cinnamon chip cookies to go with my coffee.

biscoff choco-cinnamon chip cookies biscoff choco-cinnamon chip cookies biscoff choco-cinnamon chip cookies

biscoff choco-cinnamon chip cookies
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  2. 1/2 cup creamy Biscoff spread
  3. 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  4. 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  5. 1 large egg, at room temperature
  6. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  7. 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  8. 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  9. 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  10. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  11. 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  12. 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  13. 1/2 cup cinnamon chips
Instructions
  1. Using an electric mixer, cream together butter, Biscoff spread, and both sugars until light and fluffy. Add in the egg and vanilla extract and beat until combined, scraping the sides occasionally if needed.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chocolate chips and cinnamon chips. Using a medium cookie scoop, drop 1.5 tablespoons worth of dough onto a lined baking sheet. Chill the dough balls for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown - do not over bake!
  5. Makes 22-24 cookies
Adapted from Buns In My Oven
Adapted from Buns In My Oven
Simple Everyday Food http://www.simpleeverydayfood.com/
Recipe adapted from Buns In My Oven

© Simple Everyday Food. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use any of my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or kindly link back to this post for the recipe.

Sharing is caring! Email this to someonePrint this pagePin on PinterestShare on YummlyShare on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on Twitter

IMG_6908 copy

I don’t know about you, but my summer is flying by right before my eyes. It didn’t seem all that long ago the sun rose and painted the sky a pretty mixture of pinks, purples, and oranges at 5 a.m., it was still bright out at 9 p.m., we grilled burgers and steaks and pork chops every night, and Starbuck’s iced coconut mocha macchiato became my summer jam.

Every year around this time I always look back at my summer bucket list, and every year I realize there are so many things I wanted to do but didn’t accomplish – I wish I went to the farmer’s market more, baked a little more, blogged a little more, spent more days out in the sun, checked off more books off of my list, went to more fairs, and ate more ice cream.

What I did do, however, was make this cake. This amazingly simple, no-oven-required-because-we-all-know-how-hot-it-already-is, cake.

IMG_6807 copy IMG_6840 copy

IMG_6929 copy   

S’mores icebox cake, to be exact. Layers of creamy marshmallow cream on top of sweet chocolate ganache on top of graham crackers, topped off with mini marshmallows that’s broiled to toasty perfection. So so good to where you will want to eat it straight out of the pan when your husband isn’t home.

IMG_6903 copy

IMG_6909 copy

So before summer is over, before the weather starts to cool down, before your kids go back to school, please make this as a last hurrah to summer – I promise you won’t regret it.

s'mores icebox cake
Print
Ingredients
  1. 2 and 3/4 cups heavy cream, divided
  2. 7 oz marshmallow fluff
  3. 1 and 1/2 cups mini marshmallows, divided
  4. 11 oz semisweet chocolate chips
  5. 1 box graham crackers (you probably won't use the entire box)
Make the marshmallow cream
  1. Using a stand or hand mixer, beat 2 cups heavy cream on medium-high for 5 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Add in the marshmallow fluff and continue beating on medium-high speed for another 3 minutes. Gently stir in 1 cup mini marshmallows, set aside.
Make the chocolate ganache
  1. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, heat the remaining heavy cream until simmering. Remove from heat and pour over chocolate chips in a heat-proof bowl. Let mixture sit for 5 minutes, then stir until combined and smooth.
  2. In a 9x9" baking dish, spread a thin layer of the marshmallow cream on the bottom. Top with a layer of graham crackers. Break the crackers into pieces to make sure all the marshmallow cream is covered. Top with another layer of marshmallow cream, then generously drizzle/spread the ganache over the top. Repeat layers once more, leaving about 1/4" from the top of the pan.
  3. Garnish the top with remaining mini marshmallows, crushed graham cracker pieces, and extra chocolate chips, if desired. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  4. Right before serving, turn on your broiler and broil the cake for 1 minute or until marshmallows are brown and toasty. Remove immediately and freeze for 10 minutes to let set and serve. Cake can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  5. Makes one 9x9" pan
Adapted from Delish.com
Adapted from Delish.com
Simple Everyday Food http://www.simpleeverydayfood.com/
The beautiful thing about this recipe is that you can change up the layers based on what you like more. Want more chocolate? Then add in a few more layers of chocolate ganache. Love graham crackers? Then put it another layer of graham crackers. Whatever you decide to do, it’ll be delicious either way.

IMG_6920 copy

Recipe adapted from Delish

© Simple Everyday Food. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use any of my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, and kindly link back to this post for the recipe.

 

Sharing is caring! Email this to someonePrint this pagePin on PinterestShare on YummlyShare on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on Twitter

Happy New Year, friends!

golden oreo cupcakes

To say that it’s been a while would be an understatement, so thank you for sticking with me and following along despite the fact that SEF has been on a long hiatus since May of 2015.

The main reason why it’s been a little quiet on the blogging front is because I’ve been a leeeetle preoccupied with something else in our life right now. Something that’s been taking up most of my energy..

IMG_6209 copy edited

Yep, we found out we were expecting a little bundle of joy (it’s a BOY!) not too long after we came back from our Taiwan trip last May, so instead of spending time blogging, I’ve been spending my energy shoving donuts and cinnamon rolls in my face and taking multiple naps on the couch for the past 9 months.

I can’t promise that there will be regular posts on SEF once the baby is born, but I’ll do my best to make an appearance on here every once in a while in between the messy hair, sleepless nights, and multiple diaper changes.

Now that we’ve got the big news out of the way, did everyone have a fabulous holiday season filled with family, friends, fun, and food? I hope so. Our holiday season this year was pretty low-key considering I’ve been achy, tired, and uncomfortable pretty much 24/7. Putting up Christmas decorations and planning a feast and making a few dozen Christmas cookies just seemed way too exhausting while carrying around a 6+ pound bowling ball.

To celebrate the beginning of 2016, let’s start the year off on the right note – cupcakes!

Diet? Diet schm-iet. You can resume your healthy diet after you make these cupcakes!

golden oreo cupcakes

golden oreo cupcakes

These golden Oreo cupcakes are made with a little help from a box of yellow cake mix. Each cupcake is lined with a golden Oreo on the bottom as a surprise, and is topped with homemade fresh whipped cream frosting.

golden oreo cupcakes

golden oreo cupcakes

IMPORTANT: Because the whipped cream frosting uses heavy cream as one of its main ingredients, I would recommend either making and piping the frosting right before serving. If you prefer to make the frosting ahead of time, transfer the frosting into a piping bag, store it in the refrigerator and pipe onto cupcakes when they’re ready to be served.

golden oreo cupcakes

golden oreo cupcakes

I brought these to work and they were a huge hit! Everyone loved the little Oreo surprise on the bottom and people raved about the fluffy frosting that had just the right amount of sweetness to it.

 golden oreo cupcakes

Thank you again for everyone’s support throughout the past few years and sticking with me even when posts have been scarce – let’s make 2016 a good one!

golden oreo cupakes with whipped cream frosting
Print
For the cupcakes
  1. 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  2. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  3. 1/2 cup sour cream
  4. 1 cup skim milk
  5. 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  6. 1 box yellow cake mix (I used a 15.25 oz box from Betty Crocker)
  7. 1 package (3.4 oz) instant vanilla pudding mix
  8. 24-26 Golden Oreos
For the frosting
  1. 2 cups heavy cream
  2. 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  3. 1/3 cup instant vanilla pudding mix
  4. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  5. 24-26 mini Golden Oreos, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line cupcake pan with liners and place a Golden Oreo in each liner. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, vanilla, sour cream, milk, and oil. Beat over medium speed until combined. Then slowly add in the cake mix and pudding mix and beat until just combined. Spoon about 1 and 1/2 tablespoons worth of batter into each liner.
  3. Turn your oven down to 350 right before you place the cupcakes in. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean (mine took exactly 20 minutes). Remove from oven and cool for about 5 minutes before transferring them onto a wired cooling rack to cool completely.
  4. Right before you're ready to serve the cupcakes, make the frosting: beat the heavy cream over medium-high speed then gradually increase the speed to high (I used the splash guard that came with my mixer to prevent splatters all over my kitchen walls). Add in the powdered sugar, pudding mix, and vanilla extract, and continue to beat the mixture on high for about 5 minutes, or until frosting looks pale and fluffy. Pipe onto cupcakes prior to serving and top with a mini Oreo.
  5. Makes 24-26 cupcakes
Notes
  1. Because this frosting uses heavy whipping cream, the piped cupcakes cannot be stored at room temperature. I transferred the frosting into a piping bag, stored it in the refrigerator, then piped the cupcakes (as many as needed) right before serving.
  2. Otherwise the unpiped cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Adapted from Living Better Together
Simple Everyday Food http://www.simpleeverydayfood.com/
Recipe adapted from Living Better Together

© Simple Everyday Food. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use any of my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or kindly link back to this post for the recipe.

Sharing is caring! Email this to someonePrint this pagePin on PinterestShare on YummlyShare on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on Twitter

IMG_6158 copy

A few weeks ago, I crossed one more thing off of my culinary bucket list: homemade pastry cream. I made some Boston cream pie cupcakes for a coworker’s birthday, and I was surprised at how easy it actually was to make pastry cream from scratch.

After it was all said and done, I was left with four egg whites sitting in a bowl on my kitchen counter. I had an internal conversation with myself regarding what to do with them: tossing them down the drain was out of the question. Maybe an egg white scramble for breakfast? Orrrrr…. I could make meringue cookies.

Yes! Meringue cookies. Now the big question: what kind of meringue cookies? Since Memorial Day is around the corner and summer is soon approaching, how about something that screams “summer”? That’s when I remembered that little bottle of root beer extract I bought last year, tucked all the way in the back of my “extracts” bin (yes, I have a bin just for extracts).

ROOT BEER MERINGUE COOKIES, you guys!

…Sorry, I’m yelling. But seriously, it can’t be any fancier and cooler than that, can it?

IMG_6140 copy

IMG_6126 copy

You know how there are certain things and smells that remind you of something? Well, as these babies were baking in the oven, my entire house smelled like root beer, which totally reminded me of sipping on an ice cold glass of root beer on a hot summer day and how much I wish it was 85 degrees and sunny outside at the time.

 IMG_6144 copy

IMG_6129 copy

If you’re not familiar with making meringue cookies, I have a few tips that I’ve learned based on past personal experiences that I talk about here. And in case you’re not familiar with meringue cookies, they’re not the kind of “cookie” that comes to mind; instead, they’re light, slightly crunchy, and melt right in your mouth as soon as you bite into it. Think of it like a fancy cookie that fancy people eat, except it’s not at all difficult to make whatsoever.

IMG_6151 copy

IMG_6121 copy

Make these for your family and friends to impress them – each batch easily makes at least 60-80 of these cookies so there will be plenty to pass around, plus I swear you can never just eat one!

root beer meringue cookies
Print
Ingredients
  1. 4 egg whites, at room temperature
  2. 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  3. Pinch of salt
  4. 1 cup granulated sugar
  5. 2 teaspoons root beer extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt starting on medium speed for a few seconds, then gradually increasing the speed to medium high. Beat for 1-2 minutes or until soft peaks form*.
  3. Turn your mixer to high and add in the granulated sugar into the egg white mixture, one spoonful at a time (about 1 tablespoon) until gone. Beat the mixture for 5 minutes until stiff peaks form**. Add in the root beer extract and beat until combined.
  4. Transfer the meringue to a pastry bag with a large open star. Pipe meringues about 1" apart and bake for 60 minutes. Turn off the oven and let the meringues stand in the closed oven overnight. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to 5 days.
Notes
  1. *Soft peaks = tips curl when you lift the whisk straight up
  2. **Stiff peaks = tips stand straight up when you lift the whisk straight up
Simple Everyday Food http://www.simpleeverydayfood.com/
© Simple Everyday Food. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use any of my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or kindly link back to this post for the recipe.

Sharing is caring! Email this to someonePrint this pagePin on PinterestShare on YummlyShare on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on Twitter

lucky charms bars

I know I’m a little late in the game, but I finally watched Big Hero 6 and I loved it! Have you seen it yet? I’ve heard so much about it when it first came out, but never really put too much thought into it until a coworker of mine brought it for me one day and told me it was her daughter’s new favorite movie.

There were definitely parts of the movie that I totally wasn’t expecting to happen, but there were also a lot of other parts of it that were cute and made me smile.

Baymax totally reminded me of a giant walking talking marshmallow, which in turn reminded me that I needed to share these ridiculous bars I made a while ago that involved sticky gooey marshmallows….

lucky charms bars   lucky charms bars

Marshmallow treat bars are probably one of the easiest things to make – they only require a few ingredients, they don’t require any special equipment or powering on the oven, and a batch of these things is usually enough to feed a crowd. Cheap, quick, and easy is the kind of desserts I like to bring to a potluck.

lucky charms bars

lucky charms bars

I’m sure we’ve all had terrible marshmallow treats before. You know, the kind that may have sat out for a few days too long? The kind that’s not at all soft and gooey when you bite into it? The kind that scrapes a layer of epithelial tissue off the roof of your mouth that leaves the top of your mouth raw and sore for days? Yeah… if you’re looking for that kind of a marshmallow treat (WHYYYYYY would you ever want a rock hard marshmallow treat would be beyond me), this recipe is not it.

lucky charms bars

They’re oh so soft, so chewy, so gooey, so sweet, and so so so delicious. Not to mention on top of the 5 cups of marshmallows that goes into it, there’s more than plenty colorful Lucky Charms marshmallows in them, which makes them yummy to eat, and even prettier to look at.

lucky charms bars

lucky charms bars   lucky charms bars

This was only the second time I’ve ever made marshmallow treats. The last time I made them a few years ago, I’m pretty sure I got sticky marshmallow goo all over my hands and hair, my bars were hard, and Brian landed himself a trip to the ER that ended with 7-8 stitches on his toes… but that’s a whole ‘nother story for a different day.

Although my marshmallow bars weren’t a huge success that day, I did learn a few things that day about making these treats that I’m going to share with you, so listen up!

lucky charms bars   lucky charms bars

The single most helpful tip I learned was to grease EVERYTHING that will be coming in contact with the cereal/marshmallow mixture – that includes every single inch of the pan, the spatula you’ll be stirring with, and your hands if you’re using them to press the cereal treats into the pan rather than wax paper.

lucky charms bars

I actually lined my baking pan with parchment paper for easy removal of the bars once they cool. That way you can lift the entire pan of marshmallows onto a cutting board to cut them into squares rather than trying to cut them up while they’re in the pan.

lucky charms bars

When you’re pouring your cereal/marshmallow treats into the pan, don’t press them too hard into the pan. The more you try to cram them together, the denser they’ll get, and the harder they will become once they cool. If you’re not into greasy hands, you can also gently press them in with a sheet of wax paper.

lucky charms bars

lucky charms bars

These really do taste best if you eat them the same day they’re made, but they will still taste great the day after. I wouldn’t recommend storing them for more than two days, unless you’re purposely trying to end up with dry, hard marshmallow bars.

lucky charms bars   lucky charms bars

Sorry for the photo overload, my friends. I was having an indecisive day!

lucky charms bars
Print
Ingredients
  1. 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan
  2. 5 cups mini marshmallows
  3. 6 cups Lucky Charms cereal
Instructions
  1. Lightly coat a 9x13" baking pan with butter, line with parchment paper (the butter will help the parchment paper stick to the pan), then grease the parchment paper with another thin coat of butter. Set aside.
  2. Melt butter in a large pot over low heat. Add the marshmallows and stir until the marshmallows are completely melted. Remove from heat and stir in the Lucky Charms with the buttered spatula until combined.
  3. Pour cereal mixture into the prepared greased baking pan, pressing the tops gently with waxed paper* and let cool. Remove the bars from the pan using the parchment paper and transfer onto a cutting board. Cut into squares and serve. Bars can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
  4. Makes one 9x13" pan
Adapted from A Pumpkin & A Princess
Simple Everyday Food http://www.simpleeverydayfood.com/
 Recipe adapted from A Pumpkin And A Princess

© Simple Everyday Food. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use any of my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or kindly link back to this post for the recipe.

Sharing is caring! Email this to someonePrint this pagePin on PinterestShare on YummlyShare on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on Twitter