Archive | recipe

MINI MAKERS: HOMEMADE MARSHMALLOW SNOWMEN

Whatever your personal feelings are about marshmallows I urge you to set them aside and try this recipe asap! They taste like sweet, fluffy clouds and are the perfect addition to a winter hot cocoa routine. We turned this batch into snowmen using icing but have also used candy eyes and are dreaming up ways to embellish them for Valentines day too.

There’s a recipe and video below to help with steps and show the consistency of each mixture. Just to clear up any possible confusion, we recorded this video in October hoping to get a “ghost marshmallows and hot cocoa” post up before Halloween but ran out of time. Then last month I thought, gosh it would be fun to make “marshmallow snowmen” and decided to take pics to share with you guys BUT forgot to get any images of the steps (oops!). So, we pulled footage (just off my iPhone, lol) and pieced it together. YAY! Consider yourself warned, tho. You know those sweet “cooking with kids” episodes and segments where the children stand looking prim and proper, waiting patiently for their turn to add ingredients or be in charge of whisking? Welllll, this is not one of those videos, lol. When the kids get involved in the cooking in our home, things get silly and messy in a hurry! I’m sure you can relate!?

These images crack me up because I seem to be smiling through the chaos, but I honestly don’t remember Espen and Poppy pestering each other like the pics imply. Anyways, if inviting kids into the kitchen with you sounds more overwhelming than fun, I highly suggest having them take turns being your sous-chef. Things tend to escalate quickly when there’s more than one helping!

HOMEMADE MARSHMALLOW RECIPE

You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup water, divided into 1/2 cups
  • 3 packets unflavored gelatin
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla (optional)
  • cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • optional: sprinkles, food coloring, icing gel or pens, candy eyes

Here’s How:

  1. Butter the inside of a 9×9 inch pan and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add 1/2 cup of water and sprinkle all 3 envelopes of gelatin over the top. Let sit.
  2. In a medium saucepan, add remaining 1/2 cup of water, sugar, corn syrup and salt. Stir to combine and then bring to a rolling boil. Continue boiling for about 1 minute or until a candy thermometer reads 240 degrees F. No need to stir while it boils and be very careful not to spill or splash (and keep kids in a safe spot) as it is so, so hot!
  3. Next mix gelatin mixture just enough to break up clumps. Slowly (and carefully) pour in sugar syrup. Turn mixer to high (make sure it doesn’t splash!), add vanilla and whip until thick and gooey/fluffy (see video for reference). Approx 10 minutes. You can also add food coloring or sprinkles towards the end of this step too!
  4. Using a spatula, scrape into prepared pan and spread evenly. Grease a square piece of plastic wrap using cooking spray and cover the marshmallows (so the mallow and wrap are touching). Let sit for 6 hours to overnight.
  5. When ready, whisk together the corn starch and sugar and sprinkle the powder mix over your work surface (a tray or cutting board would work). Run knife around the edges of the pan to loosen and then turn out marshmallow slab on top. Sprinkle the top with powder mix. Lightly grease a knife with cooking spray and cut marshmallows as desired. (Or use cookie cutters!)

Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

We’re prepping for a big snowstorm over the weekend so you can bet these will be on our menu and activity list.

What’s the weather like where you live?

xo, Rae

7

AUGUST MEALS + A DONUT RECIPE

Ever go on a trip, plan on visiting, eating or shopping somewhere, but put it off until the last day only to discover that it’s closed!? That was us last week while in Corvallis where there is this really fun donut shop called Benny’s Donuts that was recommended to us. So bummed that we missed out on a local favorite, but it’s also what inspired todays kitchen concoction which was delicious and fun too so I can’t be too mad about it!

Recipe and details below along with our meal plan for August!

VANILLA BAKED DONUTSmakes 12

You’ll Need:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk (whole, skim or anything in-between)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • *a donut pan (mini muffin pan would work too)

Here’s How:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray donut pan with cooking spray.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together.
  3. Spoon batter into donut pan, filling 3/4 of the way — Or pour batter into a ziplock and cut the corner to pipe the batter into donut cavities.
  4. Bake for 8-10 minutes, then get started on the glaze (details below) and set out the toppings.
  5. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan. Transfer to a plate or cooling rack.
  6. Once completely cool, dip into glaze (recipe details below) and then toppings. Let glaze set for 30 minutes before storing or stacking.

DONUT GLAZE 3 WAYS

You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 drop of food coloring
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
  • toppings and sprinkles — animal cookies, sprinkles, chocolate chips, coconut flakes, favorite cereal, cookie crumbles, bacon, etc.

Here’s How:

  1. For the glaze whisk together sugar, milk and vanilla extract. If needed, add milk in small amounts until you have desired consistency. Divided into 3 bowls.
  2. For vanilla glaze you can leave as is or add a drop or food coloring.
  3. For chocolate glaze, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of coco powder to taste and mix well.
  4. For maple glaze, add 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, to taste.
  5. Follow directions above to glaze and top your donuts!

(Poppy’s cute play gown from Plain Jane… also Jane is my mom’s name and Tilly’s middle name so their dresses are even harder for us to resist!)

Eating, I mean, taste testing as soon as the donuts are topped… no waiting for the glaze to set around here, LOL!

Here’s what’s on our menu this month:

12 DINNERS TO MAKE IN AUGUST

EASY

MAKE AHEAD OR BAKED

30-45 MINS

BREAKFAST, LUNCH + SNACK IDEAS

Hoping to draw summer out until the very end and that includes mealtime :) So, share your favorites in the comments!

XO, Rae

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NO BAKE SUMMER RECIPE: MAGNOLIA’S BANANA PUDDING (WITH TOPPINGS)

They say necessity is the mother of invention – so we give it (and the magnolia bakery cookbook) all the credit for this recipe. I’ve been dying to make magnolia’s famous banana pudding but bananas are  a polarizing ingredient in our family and who wants to make a dessert that isn’t enjoyed by all? So instead of sticking to the traditional bananas we included a few other topping options and it turned out so, so good.

The recipe and some silly pics below — because cooking with kids is highly entertaining.

(Griffin’s v. appropriate banana shirt  from zara and on sale!)

Griffin LOVES to cook and be in the kitchen but is so funny and picky about food. He ended up being a fan, but instead of layering in a cup he would dip the wafers in the pudding to eat.

OUR VERSION of MAGNOLIA BAKERY’S FAMOUS BANANA PUDDING (adapted from this cookbook)

You’ll Need:

  • 1-14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1-1/2 cups cold water
  • 1-3.4 oz. box instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1-12 oz. box nilla wafers (reserve some to crumble for topping)
  • TOPPINGS: sliced bananas, sliced strawberries (or other berries), crushed nilla wafers, sprinkles, chocolate chips, anything fun you have on hand!

Here’s How:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix sweetened condensed milk and water together. Add pudding mix and beat until well combined. Cover and chill for 4 hours or overnight.
  2. In another large mixing bowl, whip cream until peaks form.
  3. Remove pudding from refrigerator and add whip cream. Fold into the pudding until well combined.
  4. Spoon into individual cups or bowls and layer with nilla wafers, fruit and other toppings!

Two pics up — when everyone decided they needed a beater to lick but there’s only 2, ha! A familiar scene anytime we make dessert.

Whipping the cream was pretty funny because the kids kept dipping their finger into taste and were super confused by the lack of sweetness… whipped cream that tastes like fluffy milk? Weird.

It tastes so good. And rich. And the kids are already talking about what other versions we could make. I’m definitely saying yes to all the entertaining summer activities that we can do together, don’t require an oven and result in something edible.

What’s your favorite thing to whip up in the kitchen with kids?

Oh, and here’s another good banana recipe that’s perfect for summer!

Speaking of bananas, where does your family fall on the banana debate? Or pudding for that matter…?

I hadn’t had pudding since I was in the hospital after having Poppy… even the store-bought stuff tastes good when your starving and just gave birth, LOL.

xo, Rae

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BREAKFAST CLUB: STEEL CUT OATS + ICE CREAM

If you’ve followed along with us over on Instagram for any amount of time, you’ve probably noticed that we’re big ice cream junkies. So leave it to us to find away to eat it for breakfast! Scooped over a warm bowl of steel cut oats, is a favorite around here.  The ice cream melts perfectly (like it does over a warm brownie) so you get a little bit with each bite.

The kids love that their bowl of oatmeal looks more like an ice cream sundae and I love that it’s easy to make yet feels kinda fancy and is perfect for a special school day or weekend morning.

The meal hardly requires a recipe, but I find that some sort of list and instructions are helpful anytime I try something new.  So, I wrote out more details for you below… keep scrollin’!

Her face says it all… Ice cream for breakkie? YAAAS PUH-LEEZE!

STEEL CUT OATS + ICE CREAM

You’ll Need:

  • favorite oatmeal
  • favorite ice cream (halo top is a good option for breakkie!)
  • favorite toppings (ideas: shaved almonds, berries, bananas, coconut flakes, sprinkles, etc.)

Here’s How:

Prepare oatmeal like you normally would or according to package directions. Steel cut is our go-to but old fashioned oats work too. When the oatmeal is almost done, set out any toppings you have on hand and your ice cream choices. Halo Top (not an ad, just a fan) is a good option because it’s lower in sugar, higher in protein and so delicious. When the oats are done, scoop into bowls. For the kids or if you don’t want your ice cream melting too fast, let sit for a minute. Add a small scoop of ice cream and toppings to each and then eat up!

It’s a really fun way to start the day and a good way to get a picky eater to try oatmeal. Plus, your basically swapping out the traditional brown sugar and milk for a scoop of ice cream, and I could be totally wrong, but it feels like an even trade! Especially with a healthier ice cream choice. But I guess it all comes down to the scoop size, LOL :)

(our waffle cone bowls are no longer available, but I thought THIS SET OF 4 or THIS neutral one was super cute!)

Things get a bit messy when the boys start to dish :) And I guess, when your limited to a certain amount of ice cream you load up on sprinkles (below)!

The only downside to ice cream for breakfast is that the kids might start requesting it for all meals, ha! Last night at dinner Poppy said, “My tummy says I’m only hungry for ice cream. So I’m not hungry for chicken.” She kills me.

Let me know if you end up trying it, or if this is something you already serve for breakkie! Also let me know if you have any fun breakfast recipes we should try this weekend. Bonus points if they’re quick to make.

Happy Friday friends!

xo, Rae

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LITTLE BITES: ESPEN’S BUENO GUACAMOLE RECIPE

Poppy’s mantra — feed me and tell me I’m pretty. So it’s no surprise she’s 100% smitten with Espen in this pic, who just finished making guacamole for them to snack on. And I kinda think she’s onto something because there is nothing cuter than a guy (big or small) that knows his way around the kitchen! Allllll the kisses for the cook!

Todays recipe is courtesy of our Latina friend Maria (who we love so much!). It’s the best guac I’ve ever tasted and is perfect for little helpers! Espen (11) and Tilly (9) are able to make it themselves (with supervision) which is kinda nice and fun to watch. And the younger kids enjoy smashing the avocados, adding things to the food processor and pushing the buttons. So you’re basically just there to make sure the lid get’s put on before any buttons are pushed :)

Recipe below!

Gotta love a bikini clad audience! Ha! She changes outfits a few times a day when we’re home and there is often either a swimsuit or a princess dress involved. (Gingham bikini from our fave Olivia + Ocean)

NOTE: If you like your guac smooth, add everything to the food processor and chop (don’t puree). If you like it with more texture, mash the avos by hand. 

MARIA’S GUACAMOLE RECIPE

You’ll Need:

  • 2 avocados, halved with pits removed
  • 1/4 onion
  • 3 roma tomatoes, rinsed and cut in half (seeds removed if desired)
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, rinsed and non-leafy stems removed
  • fresh juice from 1 lemon (or more to taste)
  • salt to taste
  • garlic salt to taste

To Make:

  1. ADULT, Prep ingredients and spoon small amounts of the salt and garlic salt into small prep bowls. Get the food processor ready.
  2. KIDS, In a small mixing bowl, scoop avocados out of the skins and mash with the bottom of a glass or a fork. Set aside.
  3. KIDS (supervised), Add onion, tomatoes, and cilantro to food processor and chop. Scoop chopped tomato mix to the mashed avocado and stir until combined. Squeeze juice from the lemon into the mixing bowl and sprinkle with salt and garlic salt. Taste test and add more if needed.
  4. KIDS, serve with quesadillas, tortilla chips or nachos OR as a topping for tacos, sandwiches, toast, burrito bowls, etc.

We’re ready for ya, Taco Tuesday!!!!

I have a feeling we’ll be making a lot of this next week on vacay!

What’s your favorite thing to eat (or drink) on taco night?

XO, Rae

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LITTLE BITES: HEALTHY PEANUT BUTTER ENERGY BALLS (NO BAKE!)

If I had a personal chef or the discipline/organizational abilities to meal prep once a week, these energy bites would for sure be on the menu every time. They’re homemade (read: guilt-free), easy to grab and go, loaded with healthy stuff, tasty enough to satisfy a sweet tooth, and loved by (almost — because there’s always that one…) everyone in the fam bam. They’re also really fun to package up and share with friends. Even better when we’ve just made a fresh batch and the kids have buddies over!

I’ve always wanted to be the house with the best snack food for all the kids, without feeding them too much junk, and even though I fall short often, mixing these up makes me feel like I’m winning just a little :)

Peep the recipe below!

NO BAKE PEANUT BUTTER & CHOCOLATE CHIP ENERGY BITES, makes approx. 2 dozen

You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup old fashioned oats (like quaker), uncooked
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup favorite nut butter (I like to use almond butter but usually use adam’s peanut butter)
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seed
  • 1/2 cup favorite chocolate chips (I like to use the mini kind!)
  • 1/4 cup honey (agave works too)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chia seeds, optional

Here’s How:

  1. Using a hand or stand mixer, combine and mix ingredients until thoroughly combined.
  2. Using your hands (and cookie scooper if you have one!), roll into 1 to 2 inch balls. Eat right away or chill first.
  3. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week…. But I promise they won’t last that long, LOL.

Happy Tuesday Loves!

xo, Rae

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DINNER TONIGHT: HEALTHY TURKEY EMPANADAS

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Empanadas are tasty hand pies common all over Latin America. Today, I’m excited to be teaming up with Foster Farms® to share a version you’ll want to make ASAP for a few really good reasons 1. It only requires a handful of ingredients 2. We’ve used organic ground turkey for a healthy twist and 3. They’re easy and fun to eat on game or movie night, or take with you for a picnic or snow day!

However, there are no excuses necessary for throwing these cutie (hand) pies together. Take a peek at the recipe and step-by-step pics below!

Making and rolling dough is usually one of my least favorite tasks in the kitchen, but this recipe comes together in under 10 minutes and is so easy to work with!

FOR THE DOUGH, YOU’LL NEED:

  1. 1 cup water
  2. 3/4 cup shortening
  3. 2-3/4 cups flour (plus more for rolling)
  4. 2 teaspoons kosher salt

HERE’S HOW:

  1. Add water and shortening to a saucepan and heat over medium until shortening has melted (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, whisk flour and salt together. Using a measuring cup, make a well in the center of flour mix.

Slowly stir shortening and water into the mixing bowl until dough forms. Knead mixture with your hands until dough is well combined and has a smooth texture (about 1 to 2 minutes). Wrap dough in plastic wrap and let chill for 2 hours.

While the dough finishes chilling, it’s time to make the filling. And apparently rhyme too! Ha!

FOR THE FILLING, YOU’LL NEED:

  1. 1 large bell pepper (or 1-1/2 small peppers), finely chopped
  2. 1 large sweet onion (or 1-1/2 small ones), finely chopped
  3. 1/3 cup coconut oil (or olive oil)
  4. 1 lb. Foster Farms® Organic Ground Turkey
  5. 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  6. 2 teaspoons paprika
  7. salt and pepper to taste

HERE’S HOW:

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add peppers and onions to pan and sauté until golden brown. Add spices and cook for an additional couple minutes or until fragrant. Transfer to a medium sized mixing bowl. Add meat to pan, season with salt and pepper and cook until browned. Add to mixing bowl and let cool while doing the next step.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper (optional). Divide dough into 12, 2-inch balls (see pic below). On a lightly floured surface, roll dough balls into 5-inch circles.

Scoop 1/4 cup of filling into the center of each rolled dough. Fold in half and press edges together with your fingers and then a fork. Place on prepared baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes.

My little kitchen helper and taste tester!

Once you get comfortable making the dough, the filling combinations are endless! Poppy wasn’t a fan of the bell peppers so next time I might swap them out for a veggie she enjoys or allow all the kids to make their own fillings. With so many people and varying taste buds in our family, I love a recipes that can be customized!

Which is also one of the things I appreciate about Foster Farms®. We’ve been cooking up and serving their products in our kitchen for a long time and love that they have such a great selection of organic meats. The Foster Farms Organic Ground Turkey we used is USDA Certified Organic with No Antibiotics Ever!

Makes it easy to switch up our favorite recipes or use ingredients that we already have on hand while also knowing we’re feeding our family the best!

XO, Rae

P.S. — A big thank you to Foster Farms® for inspiring this post and to you guys for supporting the brands that make blogging possible! As you guys already know, I don’t do many sponsored posts so you know that when I do, it’s because it’s with a brand I already know, trust and love!

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(One more pic of Poppy helping grab all of our fresh ingredients at Safeway ;)

 

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Foster Farms®.

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10

UNICORN HOT COCOA + A KID CHARCUTERIE PLATTER

With the majority of winter and lots of time cooped up at home still ahead of us, we’re staying cozy and having fun while whipping up some unicorn and narwhal hot cocoa. Watch the video below to see how we make it!

Did you watch long enough to see the “cutie” platter at the end? It’s my favorite way to feed a crowd without actually having to cook or clean!

Most of the fixings got eaten before I could snap a picture for this post, so I thought I would try and put one together today and share on Instagram Stories. Come say “HI!” if you get a chance! I’ll also add it to an “eat” collection below my bio for safe keeping. For now, here’s the hot cocoa recipe…

UNICORN or NARWHAL HOT COCOA

You’ll Need:

  • whole milk (or milk of your choice)
  • powdered white mocha  powder and/or white mocha syrup (you can use both or just one)
  • 1/4 teaspoon all natural powdered food coloring (I like this kind!), or a drop of liquid food coloring
  • toppings of choice: whip cream, sprinkles, marshmallows, paper straws, etc.

Here’s How:

Over the stove or in the microwave, heat your milk. Stir in powder mix and/or syrup. Add food coloring. Once the milk has cooled enough for little ones to drink, add your toppings and enjoy!

*If you’re having the kids help you, make sure the milk isn’t scolding… spills tend to happen when kids are involved and I would hate for someone to get a burn!

Don’t forget the marshmallows and whip… Even if just for entertainment value ;)

Extra props to Johan for figuring out how to piece together the video… it was not an easy one!

Are there any videos you’d like to see in the future?

XO, Rae

PS — See you over on Instagram later today!

PPS — More unicorn fun –> HERE and HERE.

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HEALTHY EATS: MY ALMOST FAMOUS ARUGULA + PESTO SALAD

Christmas is only a couple (and a half) weeks away (how can that be!?) and I’m having the hardest time thinking about or doing anything that doesn’t involve holiday prep or family time. Unfortunately all other tasks have taken a backseat, including any kind of self-care. Let’s just say my abs, nails, hair and eyebrows could use some serious TLC. A little extra sleep would probably be a good thing too. I’m guessing you guys can relate!?

And even though I helped Poppy inhale a small bag of fish crackers on Thursday while we meandered through Target, I’ve made sure to feed my body healthy stuff too and this salad makes it super easy! It’s also been my go-to side dish for get-togethers lately and after so many requests for a recipe I figured it was time to share something more official than a verbal list of salad fixings.

Just looking at that pic makes me feel healthier, LOL, but here’s the recipe so you can try it at home. Assuming you like arugula and pesto, it will not disappoint!

YOU’LL NEED:

  • 5 oz baby arugula, chopped (don’t ask me why, but it’s not the same without chopping!)
  • 2 cups quinoa, cooked
  • 8 oz grape/cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, shaved almonds, sunflower or pumpkin seeds
  • 4 tablespoons pesto
  • parmesan to top, optional
  • bite sized salami or chicken, optional
  • salt and pepper to taste

HERE’S HOW:

Toss together arugula (or sub with spring mix), quinoa, tomatoes, nut or seed of choice and pesto. Add olive oil to thin pesto if you like so it coats more like a dressing. Top with parm and choice of meat (optional) and serve!

It’s so simple, but so full of flavor! I make it at least a few times a week for lunch, dinner and even breakfast with a fried egg on top.

Another thing I’ve been good about (which is a pretty short list!) is using my detox mama roller! The combination of grapefruit and cypress boosts your immune system and energy while decreasing toxins, inflammation, anxiety and appetite and it smells delish!

With that in mind, MONDAY is the last chance to shop the holiday pop-up! Everything will ship on Tuesday and should take 2-3 days to arrive.

Thanks for all the love and feedback on wednesday’s video… If you missed it, go take a peek HERE.

Happy weekend you guys!

xo, Rae

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3

DECEMBER MEALS + A SUGAR COOKIE RECIPE YOU’LL LOVE

Cookie baking, Holiday movie watching, hall decking, and gift wrapping, sign me up for it all. But with December 1 comes a reality check. Christmas will be here before I know it and there’s so much I want to get done between now and the 24th. Assuming you guys are in the same boat, I did my best to curate dishes and recipes that are mostly easy to make and perfect for leftovers! But first a sugar cookie recipe that does not disappoint! Seriously, I don’t eat many desserts that don’t involve chocolate and couldn’t stop snacking on these.

SUGAR COOKIE + ICING RECIPE

YOU’LL NEED (for cookies):

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • cookie cutters (I used this one)

YOU’LL NEED (for icing):

  • 2 cups shortening
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 8 cups powdered sugar (aka icing sugar)
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream, less or more for desired thickness/texture
  • sprinkles
  • food coloring (the all-natural one we used)

TO MAKE THE COOKIES:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together butter and sugar. Then add egg and vanilla and cream together.
  2. Whisk the baking powder and flour together. Gradually add dry ingredients to sugar mixture, mixing in-between until well combined.
  3. Knead dough by hand for a minute then immediately roll smaller batches, on a floured surface, to about 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out with cookie cutters.
  4. Place on cookie sheet and bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven before they brown. Move to wire rack or platter and let cool completely before icing.

TO MAKE THE ICING:

  • In a large bowl, beat shortening and vanilla. Add powdered sugar in small amount (I added 1/2 cup at a time) and combine.
  • Add cream gradually and beat until desired thickness and consistency.
  • Divide icing into bowls and add food coloring to each as desired!
  • Spread onto cooled cookies and add sprinkles!

Here are a few other dinners on our menu plan this December!

12 DINNERS TO MAKE IN NOVEMBER

EASY

MAKE AHEAD OR BAKED

30-45 MINS

BREAKFAST, LUNCH + SNACK IDEAS

1

BUTTERNUT SQUASH PASTA CARBONARA + 12 OCTOBER DINNERS

I may not be 100% ready to say goodbye to the summer heat and sunshine, but am fully ready to embrace all the yummy fall flavors and scents. Last night I made butternut squash pasta carbonara, a family favorite (6 out of 7 of us anyway!) this time of year, and wanted to share the recipe with you along with a list of other dinner ideas. My hope is that the list below helps inspire and make October meal planning a cinch!

Warm and cozy fall comfort foods, here we come!

PASTA CARBONARA WITH BUTTERNUT SQUASH SAUCE, takes 45 mins + serves 4-6

You’ll Need:

  • 3 cups cubed butternut squash, about 1 small squash
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons dried or fresh sage, optional
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg (or more to taste)
  • 1-14oz can chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream (1/2 + 1/2 or whole milk)
  • 8 (or more slices) of bacon, cooked and roughly chopped
  • 16oz. pasta of choice (linguini pictured)

Here’s How:

  1. Chop squash (here’s a handy video), onion and garlic and cook noodles according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup pasta water before draining and set aside (for sauce if needed). Cook bacon as desired and set aside.
  2. To make the sauce, heat oil in a large stockpot and add squash, onion and garlic. Add sage (optional), salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste. Sauté for 10 minutes. Add chicken broth and bring to a light boil for another 10 minutes. Stir in cream and remove from heat. Use an emersion blender (one of my favorite kitchen tools– so handy for soups and sauces and easy to clean!!!) to cream sauce or use a regular blender (just be sure to only fill 1/2 way when working with hot liquids so may need to blend in batches). If needed, add more chicken stock or pasta water to thin sauce.
  3. In the large stockpot, toss together noodles and sauce. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Dish onto plates and top with bacon and parmesan.

So goooooood!

Anytime red sauce or pesto are involved my pasta of choice is usually penne so it’s easier and less messy for the kids to eat, but this butternut sauce is the perfect color and consistency for slurping, twirling and finger eating!

A list of 12 dinners that will be on rotation at our house this October below…

12 DINNERS TO MAKE IN OCTOBER

EASY

MAKE AHEAD 

30-45 MINS

(*perfect for halloween!)

What’s your favorite fall dinner?

Feeling so much better today…. thanks for all the well wishes! You guys are the best!

xo, Rae

 

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