Photo Friday

It’s been a crazy week and I haven’t really picked up my dslr at all so I’m sharing some pictures from my Instagram. We successfully completed our first big road trip with both kiddos last night. We drove to Ohio to visit Joel’s family and it was about a 14 hour journey. I am amazed at how well the kids did.

A little magazine reading to pass the time.
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Noah had Dr. Seuss week at school and participated in all kinds of fun spirit days.

Backwards Day. Kriss Kross will make ya jump, jump.
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Silly Hair Day.
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We’ll be here through the weekend. Wish us luck on our drive home.

Mini Bagel Bites

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Did you guys love Bagel Bites when you were a kid? I remember my brother and I always got so excited when my mom bought them for us. I don’t even know if they make them still but every time I think of them, it brings me back to my childhood. Whoever thought of turning a boring bagel into pizza is kind of a genius.
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I don’t know about you all but I really struggle with lunches for the kids. I don’t really want to cook a full meal but I also don’t want to do sandwiches every day. A lot of times, we have all the ingredients on hand for English muffin pizzas but recently we had some mini bagels lying around and I thought it would be a fun change. They were gobbled down within minutes and that’s saying a lot considering it often takes up to an hour to get Noah to eat a meal. The kid is just too busy for silly things like eating. He’s also a big snacker so he would rather eat like a bird all day then sit down and have 3 meals. I will be nice to have this one in my back pocket when I need him to focus and eat.
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I have to tell you too, they were equally well received by the 30 year old boy in my house too. Nice to know iconic kid food can span the decades.
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Mini Bagel Bites

4 mini bagels, split in half
8 Tbsp. pizza sauce
8 Tbsp. shredded mozzarella cheese
mini pepperoni, or desired toppings

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place bagel halves, cut side up, on a baking sheet. Spread each bagel half with 1 tablespoon of pizza sauce and top with 1 tablespoon each of mozzarella. Top with mini pepperoni or other desired toppings.

2. Bake for 8 minutes, or until golden and bubbly.
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National Peanut Butter Lovers Day {Celebrate with Unilever Ice Cream}

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Did you know today is National Peanut Butter Lovers Day? That is definitely something worth celebrating! My favorite way to indulge in peanut butter is with chocolate of course. I know I have expressed my deep love of the combination a many a time around here. I mean, there’s peanut butter bars (one of my all time favorite desserts), peanut butter eggs, cookie dough bites, Elvis ice cream, need I go on? I really have an undeniable love. So when I was contacted to try Unilever’s peanut butter ice cream products I knew I couldn’t say no. I’m calling it research. I can’t let those products sit on the shelf and not let my loyal readers know how they are, it’s for the good of the people. That’s how I justify the calories at least.

And what better way to celebrate National Peanut Butter Lovers Day then with ice cream! I don’t care if it’s cold outside, it’s always ice cream time.

I was provided the opportunity to try Breyers Blast! Reese’s Chocolate, Klondike Reese’s and Magnum Double Peanut Butter. Well, I was a fan of the Klondike Reese’s Bars before I was contacted so they have been gladly consumed many times around here. I love the bits of Reese’s cups throughout the ice cream and of course, the chocolate coating. I went to Klondike’s website and they suggested making a shake with one. What kind of food blogger would I be if I didn’t try that out? I did, just for you. And it was good. Do it, do it now.
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I definitely enjoyed the Magnum Double Peanut Butter Bars the most. I’ve never tried any of the Magnum Ice Creams Bars before so I can’t compare them but I’m pretty sure the chocolate coating was made by sweet, sweet angels.  It’s so rich and tastes like pure, real chocolate unlike lots of coatings out there that taste weird and waxy. I love the peanut butter layer between the chocolate. It adds an extra creamy richness that just puts these over the top. I see the almond, dark and gold varieties in my future. The Double Peanut Butter variety are only available at select retailers, such as Target, but will be released nationwide in April. Like we needed another reason to go to Target? Just add these to the list, or don’t…because you know you don’t just buy what’s on your list when at Target anyway. I did that once and I was super disappointed in myself as I walked out of the store. Felt like a serious failure at life.
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Last, and least for me, was the Breyers Blast! Reese’s Chocolate. This ice cream wasn’t bad by any means, but it was chocolate. Those that have been following me for awhile know that I like my chocolate in small doses. Chocolate chip cookies? Yes. Chocolate cookies? No. Chocolate cake or ice cream are not my thing. It’s just too rich for me. I have to say though, I liked the big chunks of Reese’s throughout the ice cream. I just would have enjoyed it more in vanilla. When we go out for ice cream at places that blend toppings into your custard, I always choose peanut butter cups in vanilla ice cream. ALWAYS. I ordered a limited time flavor once and immediately regretted it. Some may say I’m a creature of habit but I like to think I know what I like.
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So if you need a little peanut butter pick me up to celebrate National Peanut Butter Lovers Day, make sure to go check out one (or all) of these delicious ice cream treats. Or come on over to my house so I don’t eat ALL THE ICE CREAM.

*I was compensated for these products but all opinions are completely my own.

Klondike Reese’s Shake
recipe from Klondike
serves 1

1 Klondike Reese’s Bar
1/4 cup milk
Handful of ice

Dump all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth and creamy.

Photo Friday

So in my free time (hah), I do this. No, I am not an 80 year old woman but I love quilting. I made this quilt for my brother’s birthday and gifted it to him on Wednesday.
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I love creating things with my hands and I find it particularly relaxing.
Trey's Quilt
His favorite color is green if you haven’t figure that out already. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about it since it’s very different from anything I’ve made before but it turned out to be one of my favorites so far.
Trey's Quilt

Buttermilk and Feta Mashed Potatoes

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So I’m pretty sure I have the weirdest kid in the world. He doesn’t like potatoes. POTATOES. Seriously, not mashed, baked fried…nothing. What kid, or person really, doesn’t like fries? It’s seriously concerning and makes me question whether he’s really mine. Because this lady never met a potato she didn’t like.

I usually make these potatoes with gorgonzola (ala How Sweet It Is) but we had some leftover feta from pizza night so I gave it a try. It was definitely a good decision. I loved the creamy, saltiness the that it brought to the potatoes.
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We had these on Fat Tuesday with our ridiculous steaks but they would be equally delicious with chicken or pork. Or roasted veggies if your torturing yourself and not eating meat. I mean, if you’re a vegetarian.
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Buttermilk and Feta Mashed Potatoes

3 lbs. russet potatoes, peeled and chunked
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup crumbled feta

1. Place potatoes in a pan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook for 10-15 minutes or until fork tender.

2. Drain the potatoes and put them back in the pan. Add butter and salt and mash potatoes. Slowly add in buttermilk as you mash, adding more or less depending on your preference. Stir in crumbled feta and leave on heat for a couple minutes to allow it to melt. Serve immediately.

 

Homemade Pasta

Homemade pasta is totally where it’s at. You’ll never want to go back to the store bought stuff and you won’t believe how simple it is. Only 3 ingredients to fresh, delicious pasta from scratch.
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Last week Noah and I were making macaroni salad and he was pretty insistent that we make homemade noodles for it. I’ve been loving his interest in cooking and photography lately so I didn’t want to discourage him by saying no so we did a little negotiating and I promised him that we would make some on the weekend. He asked every single day if it was the weekend yet. The kid doesn’t forget anything. So finally when Saturday rolled around it was time and he was over the top excited. Like couldn’t stop moving or talking or dancing on the counters excited.

So we got to work mixing the flour and salt then made a well for the eggs.
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Then he “lightly” (or as lightly as a 4 year old can) whisked the eggs in the well.
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And started to pull in the flour from the sides of the well and mixed until a shaggy dough was formed.
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Then it was time to knead the dough. I lost him for awhile on this one since it was “boring” and he doesn’t like to get dirty (he gets that from his mama, kneading is the worst). Slowly add in water as needed for the dough to come together. Then cover and let it rest for 15 minutes.
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We then divided the dough into 6 pieces and rolled them out starting with the lowest (thickest) setting and continued to smaller settings until we reached the desired thickness.
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Then, what he was most excited about, we cut the pasta using the fettuccine attachment.
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Although the process takes a little bit of time and planning, it probably took us about an hour, the end result is definitely worth it. And keep in mind I had an active 4 year old helping me which added some time.

Plus, I got to check off another item on my Top 100 (I admit I’ve made fresh pasta before but have never photographed and shared it here). I’ve kind of neglected the list lately so it was nice to have accomplished something there. We may just have to start fresh pasta Saturday’s around here.

Homemade Pasta
serves 4-6

3 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp. salt
4 eggs

1. Mix flour and salt then make a mound and make a well in the center.

2. Crack eggs in well then whisk lightly. Slowly pull in flour from the well walls until a shaggy dough is formed.

3. Knead dough until smooth and elastic (5-7 minutes), adding water by the tablespoon if it’s dry. Then cover with clean towel and let rest 15 minutes.

4. Divide into 6 pieces, work with one piece at a time and keep remaining pieces covered. Flatten into a rectangle and pass through pasta roller on lowest setting, fold in half then pass through the roller another 2-3 times. Crank to next setting and pass through another 3-4 times, then again on the next setting. Lay on floured surface then cover with a towel. Proceed with remaining pieces. Switch to the pasta cutting attachment (we used fettuccine) and pass each pasta sheet through. Place cut pasta on a floured surface and cover with a towel while you complete the remaining pasta. Boil 2-3 minutes in salted water.

 

Photo Friday

On Monday I told you about spending Valentine’s Day with my boy. I don’t get to spend a lot of time just with him so it was a really special day for us. I managed to snap a couple pictures of the little dude doing his thing although I think he actually took more pictures than I did that day.
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He’s really been into photography lately and has loved helping me style and photograph the dishes I feature here. On Valentine’s morning we created and baked up our own recipe, red velvet muffins (turns out red velvet is pretty bland without the cream cheese so I won’t be sharing them). We did photograph them though and this is how it went down. I told Noah, like I always do, that we had to take pictures before we ate them so he ran to my cabinet where I keep my pretty bowls (yes there’s a cabinet for them), opens it and picks one out. Then he ran to the towel drawer to pick out a “pretty, valentines-y towel” then ran to table with them, drapes the towel in the bowl and fills it with the best looking muffins. Then he ran to get the camera. To say I was bursting with joy is an understatement. It’s something special to see such passion in your child about something you love. Man, that kid is awesome.