Friday, May 29, 2015

April's Cookie Trial ::. Twix Thumbprint Cookies

I saw the recipe for these Twix Thumbprint Cookies over at The Recipe Critic and decided I needed to try these. I think I could have thrown a bit more chocolate on there, but I liked these a lot! I think the hubby thought they were a little bit too sweet.

In case this recipe gets lost on unlinked... here is the recipe:
Twix Thumbprint Cookies
Src: The Recipe Critic

A delicious thumbprint cookie that tastes exactly like a Twix! A shortbread layer, a caramel filled center and chocolate drizzled on top!
Shortbread Layer:
⅔ cup Unsalted Butter, softened
½ cup sugar
2 Eggs (yolks only)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1½ cups all-purpose flour
Caramel Filling:
14 soft caramel candies (like Kraft Caramels)
3 T. heavy cream
Chocolate Drizzle:
6 ounce milk chocolate chips

To make the shortbread layer: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium sized bowl, combine ⅔ cup butter, sugar, egg yolks and vanilla in bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Add flour; beat at low speed until well mixed. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour or until firm.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Make indentation in center of each cookie with thumb or end of wooden spoon handle. Bake 7-10 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Cool completely.
To make the caramel filling: Melt the caramel and heavy cream in the microwave stirring every 30 seconds until it is fully melted. Using a teaspoon fill each indentation with the caramel.
To make the chocolate drizzle: Melt the chocolate in the microwave stirring 30 seconds at a time until smooth, and scoop into a ziplock bag. Barely snip the corner and drizzle over the cookies.


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Weekly Meal Plan

Mothers Day! This mama is not cooking :)

Junior League Meeting for mama
Pesto Chicken Bake

gymnastics AND new photography class for mama
Crockpot Mexican Stuffed Peppers (from garden)
This is a hold over from last weeks meal plan that we didn't get around to

late soccer night
Tuscan Sausage Soup from the freezer
This is one of our "keeper recipes"

*new* Ritzy Cheddar Baked Chicken

Family homemade pizza night

Caprese Avocado Salad

Marinated Flank Steak

Andouille Sausage, red beans, and rice

Taco Night

Ground Beef Casserole


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Our raised garden ::. The Second Month

Here's my belated post about month 2.
Click here for all garden related posts.

After 2 months:
I need to remember to actually water the garden. The hubby (if you remember, the person whose idea this garden was) had foot surgery so garden tending has been handed over to yours truly. I think I'm doing pretty good. I go out at least once a day to check on the garden. The girls LOVE LOVE to go see if there are any strawberries ready to be picked, they have taken over the strawberry job. Also, they enjoy green bean picking too.

I'm really having fun with this garden thing... but I kind of slacked and didn't actually take a full garden picture this month.

What have we learned:
Picking green beans actually causes more to grow... and we should have picked them a whole lot sooner.  The bush green bean plant has a maturity date of 55-60 days. While we got TONS of green beans, I had high hopes of giving some to friends and freezing a lot... but by the time we got around to that a lot of them were turning yellow and overripe.  All that said, I'm quite impressed how well these did since we grew them from seeds!

We should have planted our tomato plants WAY further apart. They are so crowded we can't get in there to see if we even have tomatoes. Also, I'm afraid the crowding was encouraging bugs and fungus.

Bell Pepper plants ALL grow green and only change colors (yellow, red, orange in our garden) when they are ripe. We were a little confused when the peppers on ALL our plants were green... fingers crossed we get some to change color.

Head lettuce likes shade and will not actually form a head if it's too sunny or hot. SOOO.... that was kind of a bust. We did not get ANY yield from our head lettuce - it was "bolting" I think and shooting straight up... so we pulled that.
Not-so-much-of-a-head head lettuce
Our red romaine lettuce, on the other hand, gave us quite a yield; We tried both tearing off the outside leaves and cutting the whole heart to the ground and letting it grow back. Nearing month 2, I felt like I couldn't keep up with the number of plants that we planted... and it too was beginning to shoot straight up and flower. I was told that once your lettuce flowers, it becomes bitter... so after 2 months (and a few days) we ended up pulling the red romaine. We may try this again in the fall.
Red romaine

I've also learned that me and herbs are not friends -- I can not keep those things alive to save my life. Except for mint... turns out I really have no use for mint... I am pregnant so mojitos are out of the question... and this herb grows like a weed and is trying to take over the herb section of our garden - YIKES!

This months yield:

LOTS Red Romaine Lettuce -- we had a salad at least every other day (sometimes daily) for a month and a half
Green beans, green beans, and MORE green beans

A few green bell peppers
Some tomatoes (that didn't get destroyed by bugs)
Strawberries every so often
And ONE onion (which I apparently picked too soon and wrong -- which was another thing we learned!)

Stay tuned for next months update.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Weekly Meal Plan

SUNDAY was...
Grilled marinated flank steak with mac n cheese and (garden grown) salad

Andouille Sausage, red beans, and rice

Tacos... of course! with some black bean hummus

Late soccer night
Ground Beef Casserole

Crockpot Mexican Stuffed bell peppers (from our garden!)

Garlic Parmesean Crusted Chicken

Homemade pizza night

Grilled Chicken, green beans, and mac n cheese

Grilled Flank Steak with black beans, corn, and tomatoes

Chicken and spinach stuffed shells

Roasted Garlic, Pesto, and Chicken Pizza

Corned Beef, potatoes, and cabbage


Link within

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