Sunday, June 24, 2012

Chocolate Chunk Pine Nut Cookies

Most people think that because I bake so often,that the last thing I would ever want is for someone else to bake for me....WRONG!!!!I love my sweets,and I really love when friends share their desserts and recipes with me.
   After my son Timmy had finished his Father's Day deliveries,my neighbor Maria surprised me with a bag of delicious cookies that she had made that day.She also,was kind enough to share the recipe.I love pine nuts,and am a self-professed chocoholic,so naturally I loved them!This is an easy recipe,that reminds me of a shortbread cookie with is a perfect accompaniment to a glass of tea or coffee,or in my case,a big glass of ice cold milk.Enjoy!

1 c. unsalted butter,softened
1 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
pinch of salt
1-1/2 c. flour
3/4 cups of pine nuts
1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

   In the bowl of your mixer,blend together the butter ,powdered sugar ,cocoa,salt and vanilla.Add the flour,pine nuts and chocolate chips.Roll the dough into balls( about 1 tbsp each),and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.Bake at 325 degrees,until the tops look dry,approximately 18 minutes.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Garden Update/Advice?

   Okay,so if you are a frequent visitor to the blog,you know that I have started a small garden with my boys.Things are definitely starting to sprout,and a few of our plantings are doing well...others,not so much.Here are a few pics of the strong ones...
Potato plants are doing great!
Grape and Cherry Tomatoes
Carrots and String Beans
Zucchini,Cucumber & Yellow Squash!Flowers blooming!
Romaine Lettuce
    We also planted  eggplant,San Marzano Tomatoes and Sugar Snap Peas....and they all died or are about to.Fortunately,the seller refunded our money(they were organic,and over $16 per plant),and were very kind about the entire thing.I must admit,I am disappointed though :(
   While the tomato plants seem to be doing well,we have run into a problem with our Beefsteak plant.Take a look...
How depressing....
Not sure if this is the work of a child or an insect..hmmm...

    Any advice for us?Do they usually split like this,and if so,any idea why?We would also love some ideas for organic methods of keeping the insects away......please feel free to comment and help a fellow gardener!!Thank you in advance!!
   We also have some fall colored sunflowers ready to bloom.....I am looking forward to harvesting them when they are ready for some pretty fall blog photos!
   I'll keep you posted as we head into summer.....wish me luck!!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Chocolate Fudge Bars

Here is the recipe Timmy decided to make for Father's Day this year. It is adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe,but instead of using chocolate wafer cookies for the crust,we used Oreos,for extra sweetness.It is kind of a mix between fudge and cookies.Yummy,but messy!I think that the filling would really taste great on brownies also.We packaged them,and again,Timmy went off to make his deliveries!I hope you all enjoy your Father's Day!I apologize to all of our neighbors in advance for the gooey chocolate package you are about to receive...tasty,but messy!

 Crust Ingredients:
27 Oreos(or chocolate wafer cookies)
1 Tbsp plus 1-1/2 tsp. sugar
6 Tbsp. melted butter
    Using a food processor, pulse the Oreos until they are finely ground.Mix the crumbs with the sugar and butter.Press firmly into the bottom of a parchment-lines 9x13 baking pan.Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.Remove from the oven and set aside.

1 pound of bittersweet chocolate
1 can of sweetened condensed milk(14 oz.)
1/4 c. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
4 tbsp. butter
pinch of salt
    In a double boiler, melt together the chocolate,milk,sweetened condensed milk,salt,and butter.Mix until smooth.Add the vanilla.Pour over the prepared cookie crust and spread evenly.Top with walnuts.Refrigerate for 2 hours.Slice and serve.Enjoy!
    The adorable tags are free printables that we found on

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Busy Busy Busy

The past few weeks have been super busy!Class trips,Communions,preparing for final exams,and all of the other fun things that come along with the end of the school year.Today,I spent the day with my son Sean for his end of year picnic.Monday,I will do it all over again with my son Timmy.Monday evening,my son Mikey graduates from elementary school,and next week is filled with exams for my son Chris.Needless to say,I am looking forward to the end of next week!!
   It has not been a super-productive week for me as far as baking goes,but I've squeezed in a few goodies,as you can see from the photos above.This weekend will be spent creating Father's Day treats for our neighbors with my son Timmy.I'll post the recipe for his treats ,as well as pics this weekend.Check in to see what we have planned!! Enjoy your weekend!!!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Watermelon Cookies

  Here is one of my children's favorite summer is adapted from a Taste of Home recipe that I found years ago.The original recipe called for currants & sesame seeds,which did not appeal to my kids,so we use mini chocolate chips instead.This is a great recipe to make with the kids,as it is like playing with Play-doh.It makes a fun addition to end of year school parties as well as all of your summer picnics.

3/4 c. butter,softened
3/4 c. sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. of almond OR vanilla extract
2-1/4 c. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
red and green food coloring
mini chocolate chips

   In the bowl of your mixer,cream together the butter & sugar. Add the egg and vanilla or almond extract.Add the baking powder,salt and flour,mixing just until the ingredients are blended together.
    Divide the dough in half.Add a few drops of red food coloring to one half of the dough,using your hands to work in the color well.Using your hands,roll the dough into a long log about 6 inches long,wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate.
   Divide the other half of the dough in half again.Color one half green,then wrap each piece(the green & plain) in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about a half hour.
   Remove the dough from the refrigerator.  On a lightly floured surface,roll the green dough into a rectangle measuring about 8 x 3 inches.Repeat with the plain dough.Carefully,place the plain dough on top of the green dough.Then,place the red log in the center,and wrap the sides around the red dough.You will have a log that is red in the center,surrounded by plain dough,then surrounded by green dough.Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for an additional hour or up to 2 days.
    When you are ready to bake,remove the log of dough from the refrigerator. Carefully slice the cookies.Place a few mini chocolate chips in each slice. Bake at 350 degrees for about 6-8 minutes,until the cookies are firm,but not brown.As soon as you remove them from the oven,slice in half or into quarters. Enjoy!!!