Ean’s Fifth Birthday Camp Out

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Ean turned five in September (He is a cheeseball…see above photo). He is growing up so fast! We celebrated with his cousins and a couple friends with a Boys Camp Out in the backyard. Most of the items for his party we had on hand…or my mom did. I love the green percolator, it was a wedding gift for my parents and it was the perfect touch. The boys had hot dogs, gummy worms, s’mores, campfire cake & hot cocoa…and a lot of fun. I am sure our neighbors loved it!

Perfect Pancakes

pancakes

Pancakes are a weekly occurrence in our household. I am pretty sure my kids could eat them for breakfast 365 days a year. My favorite part of the recipe is the Sprite you add at the very end. Growing up my grandma always told me, ‘J just add a little Sprite or 7Up to your pancakes to make them fluffy.’ You can make this recipe without the Sprite and they are still delicious, but the Sprite makes for a fluffier pancake…and for some sweet memories of my grandma. 

Perfect Pancakes makes 16 pancakes

1 1/2 cup buttermilk

2 cups flour

4 Tablespoons white sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 tablespoons butter, melted

4 tablespoons Sprite or 7 Up  (I never really measure this)

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk eggs, vanilla and butter into buttermilk. Pour the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and whisk until lumps are gone. Add Sprite until combined. You can add any add ins at this point. E & Nor love mini chocolate chips or blueberries.

Heat a large griddle over low to medium heat, and coat with butter or cooking spray. Pour 1/4 cup of batter onto the skillet, and cook until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip with a spatula, and cook until browned on the other side. 

 

Pineapple Whip Disney Style

Pineapple Whip

We had the opportunity to go to Disney World a few weeks ago for vacation. (Matt got to go to the Model Schools conference so we got to tag along!) We had a really amazing time and even got to vacation with friends. After Disney, we spent a few days at Pennsacola Beach with my parents…much needed relaxation after all of the Disney goodness. You can see a few photos from our trip below.

My absolute favorite treat from our vacation was Disney’s Pineapple Whip. Before we left for the trip, I had seen a few knock off recipes pinned on Pinterest. I ended up finding one that is pretty much from scratch and will satisfy any Disney Pineapple Whip craving…at least until you can get back to Disney World.

Pineapple Whip

from Highheels & Grills

Ice Cream

2 cans (20 oz. each) crushed pineapple

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

2 Tbsp lime juice

1/3 cup sugar

1-1/2 cups whipping cream, whipped.

Juice

Pineapple juice {As much or little as you want}

Sugar, to taste

Drain crushed pineapple and reserve 2 Tbsp. Set aside. Place pineapple, lemon juice, lime juice, sugar and reserved juice in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Pour into a gallon zipped freezer bag and store flat in freezer until it becomes a slushy consistency. About 1-1/2 hours.

In a large bowl, gently fold pineapple mixture into whipped cream until blended. Return to freezer until completely frozen. About 1 hour.

For the Juice: Add enough sugar to your pineapple juice to make it sweet enough to your liking. Scoop ice cream into a cup and fill the rest of the way with your juice.

Enjoy!

 

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One Crazy Month And A Half

 

 

 

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It has been one crazy month and a half, friends! I feel like I have spent the last week catching my breath…just before the next round of crazy hits! I also thought I would catch you up…just a little bit.

The last weekend in March I ran my first half marathon. It had been a goal of mine for a while and over the winter I just decided to start training. I loved it, possibly more than a normal person should and I made my goal time! 13.1! Yay!!!

The following weekend there was a shower for some dear friends who were expecting a baby girl, who is already here now…and absolutely adorable. Congrats Matt & Em! Easter (which seems like an eternity ago) was in there along with a solid two weeks of the Campbell family being sick (This is really the only negative part of the craziness).

Nora is now 2 you guys. I’m not sure how that is possible. We had a couple small family parties for her the weekend before her birthday. The girl LOVES Minnie, so a Minnie party is what she got.

The weekend of Nora’s actual birthday I had the opportunity to help throw a couple major events for Springhill because (long story short) we are getting a new pastor and I am getting a new boss. Flowers, decorations, desserts. I loved every minute of it…although it was slightly stressful at times, I had some amazing help! I’m really excited for what is ahead.

The weekend of Mother’s Day was so relaxing because we didn’t have much going on and I got to hang out with my littles.

Bring on the next round of crazy!!!

 

 

 

 

Carrot Cake Whoopies

carrotcakewhoopies

Easter is just a few days away!  I love Easter so so much for reasons that have nothing to do with carrot cake.  BUT one of the things I have grown to love about Easter dinner (besides the time with family) is Carrot Cake. These whoopie pies are a fun twist on the traditional cake…the kiddos will be excited about carrot cake!

Carrot Cake Whoopie Pies

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 medium carrots, grated (about two cups)

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat together sugars and butter on low speed until combined. Add eggs, beating well. Add the vanilla and beat until combined. Add flour mixture and beat on low until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl.

I like to use a pastry bag for whoopies. Fill pastry bag with batter, drop about 2 tablespoons of batter onto one of the prepared baking sheets and repeat, spacing them at least 2 inches apart. Bake one sheet at a time for about 12 minutes each. Let cool on the sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 pound confectioners sugar (4 cups)

1 teaspoons vanilla

Cream together cream cheese and butter. Beat in vanilla. On low speed, add confectioners sugar a little at a time. Once all sugar has been added increase to medium speed until frosting is creamy.

Sandwich filling between two cakes and store in an air tight container.

 

 

Peanut Butter Rolls

peanutbutterrollls

A few weeks ago, I was making a banana coffee cake with a peanut butter glaze and the idea for these rolls popped into my head. I guess technically the idea was for them to be a breakfast roll, but they are SO SO sweet they work great as a dessert. These have been taste tested by some of the toughest peanut butter critics I know…and they highly approve.

Peanut Butter Rolls:

Dough:

1 C milk (whole would be awesome)

1/4 C butter

3 1/2 C all-purpose flour, divided

1/4 C sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 envelope instant yeast, or 2 1/4 tsp

1 egg

Filling:

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter

1/2 cup butter, melted

3/4 cup brown sugar

Glaze: 

1/4 cup  butter, softened

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

2 cups powdered sugar

2 tablespoon whole milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

Additional chopped peanuts or Reese’s peanut butter cups for topping.

Combine milk and butter in a small sauce pan. Heat over medium low heat,  stirring until the butter is melted and the milk is warm to the touch but not hot.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, add 3 cups flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Stir by hand to combine. Add the egg and milk mixture, and beat on medium-low speed until combined. Add the remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time, beating after each addition until incorporated. When the dough begins to form a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, you have added enough flour (I used all 3 1/2 cups). Continue beating for 5 minutes on medium-low speed (speed 2 on the KitchenAid). Remove the dough hook and cover the dough with a damp towel and let rest for 10 minutes.

When the dough is ready, turn it out onto a floured work surface. Then use a floured rolling pin to roll the dough out into a large rectangle, about 14 x 9 inches in size. Use a knife or a spatula to spread the 3/4 cup of peanut butter out evenly over the entire surface of the dough. Next, spread the melted butter over the peanut butter. Then sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the peanut butter and butter.

Beginning at the 14-inch edge, tightly roll up the dough. And then give the final seam a little pinch so that it seals. Use a serrated knife to cut the remaining dough into 11 or 12 equal pieces. (11 rolls seem to fit in a pie plate, while 12 rolls fit in a rectangular pan.

Place each of the cut peanut butter rolls into a greased pie plate or 9 x 13-inch baking dish. I like to drizzle an additional 1/4 cup of melted butter over the rolls at this point. Then cover again with a damp towel, and leave the dish in a warm place to rise for 1 hour (dough always takes longer to rise in my house, so I let the rolls rise for two hours, they were perfect).

While the dough is rising, make the icing.

When the rolls have risen, uncover the dish. Then place on the center rack of the oven and bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, or until the rolls are golden and cooked through. Remove and let cool on a wire rack for at least 5 minutes. Drizzle with your desired icing and serve.

For the Icing: 

Either in the bowl of an electric stand mixer, or a mixing bowl, beat softened butter and peanut butter together until combined. Then beat in powdered sugar. Add vanilla and milk. If the icing is too thick, add a tablespoon or two of milk to thin.

Top with chopped Reese’s peanut butter cups or peanuts.

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I am not sure if I have ever mentioned it before, but  Mint Chocolate Chip isone of my all time favorite ice cream flavors. I have loved it ever since I was a little girl.

Now, if you were to take that ice cream and turn it into a cookie…you would have these delightful little green bites of goodness. They are crisp and cool and so so yummy. Perfect for St. Patrick’s Day…if you need a green dessert idea.

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from Little Dairy on the Prairie 

1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. shortening
1½ c. sugar
2 eggs
1½ tsp. peppermint extract
a few drops of green food coloring (You can use as much or as little as you would like, depending on color)
2 1/2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cream of tarter
¼ tsp. salt
6 oz. Andes Creme de Menthe Baking Chips
6 oz. Nestle Winter Dark Chocolate & Mint Morsels – (You can use semi-sweet chocolate chips if you don’t have the mint ones)

Cream butter, shortening and sugar for about three minutes. It should be fluffy. Add eggs, green food coloring and peppermint extract. Cream for another 2-3 minutes. Measure dry ingredients in a separate bowl or sifter. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture. Mix until combined. Add mint and chocolate chips. Gently stir to until incorporated.

Drop cookies using a 2 Tablespoon size cookie scoop. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. Watch for the cookies to begin cracking. Let cool on baking sheet for a few minutes. Transfer to cookie rack and finish cooling.