Roasted Tomato Soup

If you like tomato soup this is the only recipe you will ever need. And if you don’t like tomato soup then I’m not really sure why you’re here. Unless you’re my mom, and you just like to read all of my posts. Wait a minute… YOU’RE NOT MY MOM!

Ok sorry, that’s not the point. The point is that this is a seriously delicious way to enjoy some tomatoes. I found myself with about a ten pound box of tomatoes in my kitchen (Thanks Mom), and decided to finally measure and write down my award-winning tomato soup recipe.

It hasn’t technically won any awards, but I’m pretty positive that it could. On a side note: If any of you use this recipe to win any contests, I’d appreciate a share of your winnings.

Alright, enough with the rambling. LET’S MAKE SOME SOUP!

Roasted Tomato Soup Recipe

Ingredients

  • 8-10 Fresh Tomatoes (This number could vary drastically based on the size of each tomato.)
  • Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt
  • 2 Onions (diced)
  • 5 heaped teaspoons Minced Garlic
  • 2 tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 1 tablespoon Chicken Base
  • 32oz Stock (one box)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2 tablespoons Sugar
  • 4 cups Half and Half (one quart)
  • 2 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • Fresh Basil (chopped or torn)
  • Freshly grated Parmesean

Directions

Step 1
Preheat your oven to 375 and wash those ripe tomatoes.
Step 2
Ok. So I have no idea exactly how many tomatoes you will need.
Step 3
What I do know is that I crammed a 12 inch by 18 inch rimmed baking pan with a very crowded yet mostly single layer of tomatoes.
Step 4
Keep your little guys whole and chop your big guys into large pieces.
Step 5
Generously olive oil and kosher salt these juicy little bastids. I rubbed 5 tablespoons of olive oil on them and then sprinkled 1 tablespoon of kosher salt over them. (I know this because I measured for all you jokers who insist on exact measurements. You're welcome.)
Step 6
Pop 'em in the oven to roast for about 40 minutes, or until they look like this.
Step 7
While they're roasting, heat a large pot or dutch oven over a medium flame and dice your onions (mine were skeeball sized, so if yours are either ginormous or tiny adjust accordingly.)
Step 8
Saute the onions about 8 to 10 minutes until they are softened and fairly translucent.
Step 9
Add your garlic and cook a couple more minutes to take away its bite.
Step 10
Stir in the tomato paste and Chicken Base. "What the hell is Chicken Base?"
Step 11
Good Question.
Step 12
Chicken Base is basically a jar of highly concentrated chicken stock, that you should be able to find on the soup aisle of your local grocery. If you: can't find it, don't want to buy an extra ingredient, or think the idea of concentrated chicken paste is on the whole creepy; then by all means don't use it. I choose to add a little toward the beginning of most non-vegetarian soups because I find it deepens the flavor. And if I'm really being honest I kind of enjoy sniffing the jar. DON'T JUDGE.
Step 13
Anyway, chicken base or not, now is the time to stir in an entire carton (32 oz) of broth. I used chicken here, but by all means use whatever tickles your boat.
Step 14
Simmer. Like for awhile. Seriously. Walk away, and leave it alone.
Step 15
When you pull the tomatoes out of the oven, allow them to cool a bit before you add them to your simmering soup pot... unless you're a total badass.
Step 16
Add 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, 2 Tbs sugar, lots of freshly cracked black pepper, and all of the tomatoes with their juices to the soup. And please before anyone gets bent out of shape about the seasonings; this is completely subjective. This is how I like it seasoned. Well not really. I'm serving this to a 7 and 3 year old. If I weren't I'd put WAY more red pepper flakes. Nevertheless, this may not be how you prefer it, so season to your tastes.
Step 17
Simmer again for about 20 minutes.
Step 18
Remove the pot from the heat, and kill all the chunks with an emersion blender.
Step 19
Now for the best part of this super healthy soup. Add an entire quart of half & half. Don't think about it. Just do it.
Step 20
Add 2 Tbs of balsamic vinegar to round out the flavor.
Step 21
Taste and reseason to taste if needed, and serve it up.
Step 22
I like to add lots of torn or chopped fresh basil into each bowl, but there are tons of other great was to garnish this: freshly grated parmesan, more cracked black pepper, another splash of balsamic... the world is your oyster!
Step 23
Oh, and a grilled cheese of course.
Step 24
Boom.

Crockpot Beef Teriyaki Noodles

Crockpot beef teriyaki noodles has quickly become one of our favorite dinners of all time!

Perfectly sweet teriyaki sauce infuses into beef stew and carrot chunks. Then it gets thickened up to coat noodles. Any kind of noodle would work here obviously, but we love to use lo mein or egg noodles. It’s a simple matter of mixing a sauce, and turning on the crockpot. The hardest thing about this recipe is smelling it cook while you wait.

I’d say the best part of this meal is how insanely easy it is to make, but really it’s the flavor. This is absolutely delicious!

Please try it on a busy day, and let me know what you think!

Crockpot Beef Teriyaki Noodles Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 to 1 1/2lb beef stew meat
  • thick carrot slices or chunks
  • 12 to 16oz lo mein noodles (or your favorite noodles)

Marinade

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup mirin
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 heaped teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 splashes of sesame oil

Directions

Step 1
In a large measuring cup pour in the first four liquid ingredients of the teriyaki marinade.

By doing this, you skip making an extra mixing bowl dirty. Just make sure you start with the liquids to ensure that you can measure them accurately.
Step 2
You'll end up with 1 1/2 cups of liquid.

Once that's done, dump the last of the marinade components.

Give it a good stir with one of your measuring spoons (once again to save on dishes), and move on with your carrots.
Step 3
I love the little circles of sesame oil that settle on top for some reason.

The number of carrots really depends on their size along with how much meat you end up using. These were some pretty small ones. Here are ten that I've got peeled and ready to chop.

Step 4
Slice them on a bias into large chunks. Small pieces would get lost or too saturated with sauce in a crockpot, so when in doubt go bigger here.
Step 5
Fill the bottom of your crockpot with a layer of carrot chunks.
Step 6
Next comes the layer of beef chunks.
Step 7
Now top it all off with another layer of carrots.
Step 8
I didn't have quite enough for this, so I ended up chopping up an 11th carrot. It's not an exact science, but I'm a bit too neurotic to look at sparse carrot coverage.

Anyhow, on to the hard part... pour the marinade over the whole shebang.
Step 9
Here's a look before cooking on high for four hours.
Step 10
And here's a look four hours later.
Step 11
Yum!

Strain out every last bite of beef and carrots into a bowl.
Step 12
I like to shred the chunks of beef slightly.
Step 13
The dish would still be yummy with larger pieces, but I've done it both ways and prefer smaller pieces that are kind of all over the place.

Now for what really sends this dish over the top!

Pour all of the meat juice and marinade out of the crockpot and into a skillet.
Step 14
Kick up the heat to high, and boil away for about ten minutes.

Every now and then give it a stir/scrape with a spatula. But basically it can just go on it's own until it looks thickened and the bubbles completely cover the surface area and are really big and fat like this.
Step 15
Now it's just a matter of adding in the beef and carrots.
Step 16
And toss in some cooked noodles.
Step 17
Toss it all around, and dinner is done!
Step 18
Ok, so it might not be pretty...
Step 19
but it's one of the most delicious dinners you'll ever have!!

Lemon Cookies

When I invented these Lemon Cookies and tried them for the first time, I  was immediately proud. I knew they would be made many many more. Not to get weird but when I eat them I can totally imagine myself thirty years from now making them for my grandkids. They are that good. Ok enough getting weird…

I hatched the idea because:

1) Wyatt wanted to make cookies one day, and I’m easily talked into sweets (just ask Brian). I love finally having a little cohort by the way. It’s much more fun to bake for no reason with someone else that thinks it’s a great idea.

and

2) We somehow had a bowlful of 8 or 9 lemons. We had no plans for them, and they weren’t getting any younger. Why not, right?

I decided to use basically the same cookie dough base as my Christmas Snickerdoodles  because, well,  it’s awesome. I added lemon zest and juice into the dough, and then opted for lemon sugar instead of cinnamon sugar for rolling. It seemed so easy to switch up that I wondered if it could possibly work? The answer is “Oh my God YES!”

My mom and sister Mandy were over helping watch the newest addition to our family, Ruby, while Wyatt and I made our experiment. I ended up sending about half of the dough home with them after they tasted these because they loved them so much. We all decided they are Lemondoodles – partly because it’s insanely accurate, and partly because it’s fun to say.

These cookes are little bites of light, chewy, buttery, lemony perfection.

I can’t believe you’re still sitting here. Go make them right now!

Lemon Cookies Recipe

Meal type Dessert

Ingredients

Cookies

  • 1 stick unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (basically the zest of one lemon)
  • 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt

Lemon Sugar

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • zest of one lemon

Directions

Step 1
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Mix the zest of one lemon and 1/2 c sugar together to create the insanely fragrant lemon sugar.
Step 2
I think it's a good idea to make the sugar first, so that it has awhile to infuse with that lemon flavor before you roll the cookie dough in it later.
Step 3
Hold the sugar to the side while you move on to making the dough.

Next drop the butter, shortening, sugar, and 1 tsp lemon zest into the bowl of your mixer.

Cream on medium high for about a minute or so until it's light and fluffy.
Step 4
Add the eggs and lemon juice, and mix again on medium until it's all well incorporated and a beautiful pale yellow.
Step 5
Sift or whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt.

Add the dry mixture in several rounds until each is just barely combined.
Step 6
Once the last round is just incorporated, carefully scrape down the sides and especially the tricky bottom of the mixing bowl.

Give it all one last very quick mix to make sure all of the dry ingredients are thoroughly worked into the dough.
Step 7
I have a feeling that any size cookie dough balls would work out wonderfully at this point. You'll just need to add a few minutes here or there to your bake time if you opt to go bigger.

I received three different sized cookie dough scoops for Christmas from my mom, and I don't think I can ever go back! I've settled on the large size for my chocolate chip cookies. But for these the medium scooper which makes around a one and a quarter inch ball is perfect.
Step 8
Of course this is not an exact science. You just need a scoop of dough... don't go nuts.

I like to go ahead and do all the scooping in one quick go.
Step 9
Now roll each scoop of dough into a ball, and give them a thorough rolling in the reserved lemon sugar.


Don't be scared to really coat the dough. The more sugar that ends up on the outside, the more delicious lemony crunch you'll enjoy on the finished cookie.
Step 10
Tada... a full sheet of sugar coated Lemon Cookies (well almost, you still might want to bake them).
Step 11
In case you didn't know, I had a baby 5 weeks ago! Her name is Ruby, and she's amazing!

That being said, I really don't need to eat a full batch of cookies. One of the only sad things about finally having your baby is the realization that you can no longer eat like a pregnant lady. *Sigh*

So, in an act of sheer will power, I only made one pan of cookies (this made 20) and sent away the rest of the dough with my mom and sister.

Look at all the deliciousness that I'm missing out on.
Step 12
If you've just had a baby, and you can guilt yourself into holding back some of the dough or if you're just one of those weirdos that never uses a full batch of dough (sacrilege) simply drop the ball of dough into a ziploc and refrigerate it for a later use.
Step 13
By the way, mom and Mandy rolled and baked these straight out of the fridge and said they turned out great.

Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees.
Step 14
I really can't decide if these are better warm or at room temperature.
Step 15
I think before I make my final decision on that one I'll need to do some more research...
Step 16
lots and lots of research!

Christmas Snickerdoodles

Happy Holidays!

As anyone who knows me could tell you, I love this time of year! I go a little nuts, especially now that I have my little Christmas cohort Wyatt to help. We decorate, read christmas books, watch christmas movies, make crafts, and of course We Bake!

It’s become a tradition that every year for a few weeks I bake like crazy, while across town my mom REALLY bakes like crazy. Then we get together, and in one day we bag up enough cookies and candies to choke an elf! Okay well I guess it probably wouldn’t take too much to actually choke an elf, but we make and bag enough to give as gifts to: mom’s friends, our families, my coworkers, and all of Brian’s clients. If it doesn’t sound like a lot then I’ve said something wrong… it’s insane! But it’s insane in a fun way, especially since my sister Mandy, Brian, and even Wyatt have been recruited to help with the baking and bagging.

Last year I adapted my favorite snickerdoodle recipe ever so slightly to turn them into Christmas Snickerdoodles! This is Trisha Yearwood’s Snickerdoodle Recipe, and it’s absolutely wonderful! I’ve adjusted the amount of salt because I always have unsalted butter on hand so I use that in place of her salted butter, and I’ve really upped the amount of sugar used to roll them in because… well that’s what makes them so darn Christmasy!

Please make these… I promise everyone on your Christmas list will love them!

Christmas Snickerdoodles Recipe

Meal type Dessert
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold, Serve Hot
Occasion Christmas

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tarter
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 5 heaped tablespoons Christmas sugar
  • 2 heaped teaspoons cinnamon

Directions

Step 1
Let's start with the ingredient that transforms these from insanely delicious snickerdoodles into insanely delicious "Christmas" snickerdoodles!

You'll need cinnamon, red sugar, and green sugar.
Step 2
I listed 5 tablespoons of Christmas sugar to 2 teaspoons of cinnamon as the ratio for the dipping/rolling sugar mix.

This is just to give you a guideline of where to start, but please feel free to modify that. I know I always do.
Step 3
The thing is that as you start rolling the dough balls, you'll end up using up the sugar and being left with balls that are mainly rolled in cinnamon. These will taste great... however, if you want the pretty red and green cookies as your finished product, you'll need to add more sugar as you go.

By the time I've made a few batches of these back to back (as I end up doing a lot this time of year) I never know exactly how much sugar or cinnamon are in my mixes... I just keep adding both as I see fit.

I make tons of these during the Christmas season, and I've found that the sugar mix keeps great if it's stored in tupperware when you're done rolling.
Step 4
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, and get ready to sift the dry ingredients.

Add in the flour, cream of tarter, baking soda, and salt to your strainer or sifter.
Step 5
Sift it all into well mixed fluffy pile, then set aside while you ready the creamy stuff!
Step 6
I always crack my eggs into a small bowl first before adding them into the mixer bowl on top of my other ingredients.
Step 7
I've gotten some weird eggs in the past, and let me say that one bad egg can waste a stick of butter faster than Paula Dean!

Stir the eggs up with a fork so that they incorporate into the dough faster.
Step 8
Add the butter, shortening, sugar, and eggs into your mixer bowl.
Step 9
Mix on medium speed for about 1 to 2 minutes.

It should look well blended and creamy.
Step 10
Scoop in about half of your dry mix.
Step 11
Mix until just incorporated, then add the other half.
Step 12
Scrape down the sides and especially the bottom of the bowl, then mix one last time for only about 5 or 10 seconds.

This dough has a perfect soft Play Doh texture, and if I weren't pregnant I'd just want to start eating it right now!
Step 13
To minimize on messy hands and fingers (which wastes more of your colorful sugar mix as it sticks to you instead of the dough) I like to roll all the dough into balls first.

I go ahead and line them up on two large parchment lined cookie sheets.
Step 14
This should make about 50 Christmas Snickerdoodles once they're all rolled out.

Now it's just a matter of getting these guys thoroughly rolled in the red and green sugar mixes... you may need to recruit help for this step.
Step 15
Aren't they adorable already?
Step 16
Pop into the 400 degree oven and bake for about 10 minutes.

When you pull them out, they should be puffed up like this.
Step 17
Let them cool for a few minutes right on the pan, and then carefully transfer them onto cooling racks to finish cooling off.
Step 18
These have become my favorite holiday cookies because they're so stinking cute,
Step 19
and insanely delicious!
Step 20
Merry Christmas!

Kale Pesto

My four year old ate a bowlful of noodles coated in kale pesto!

If that doesn’t convince you that this is a tasty way to get some raw kale into your diet, then I’m not sure what will. This is my traditional pesto recipe just replaced with kale instead of basil.

I actually love kale. It’s something that I had to talk myself into trying, but now I can’t believe how much I love it! It’s basically a nutritional powerhouse, being one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. However, as much as I may love raw kale in a nice fall salad with dried cranberries and pears, trying to talk Wyatt into eating a kale salad is laughable. Believe me… I’ve tried. He’s been blackmailed into trying small bites of raw kale before in exchange for the promise of dessert. It’s never been worth it. He takes the smallest bite humanly imaginable, shudders while he dramatically chokes it down, and then gets to eat a cookie for his trouble.

The night I made this pesto, I made sure to use a fun-shaped noodle that he hadn’t seen in awhile. I also never used the “k-word”. It was strictly referred to as “green noodles”. Dinnertime with Wyatt has become hit or miss as of late. Some nights he’ll just eat happily, and others (I’m afraid the majority) he needs to be coaxed or hounded into taking every single bite. I have to say that this was one of the easiest dinners (not to mention tastiest) in recent memory!

Please try this and let me know what you think!

Kale Pesto Recipe

Allergy Milk, Tree Nuts
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Appetizer, Condiment, Lunch, Main Dish, Side Dish, Snack, Starter
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Gourmet, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold, Serve Hot

Ingredients

  • 6 cups washed baby kale (most of a 9 oz package)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/2 cup chopped marcona almonds (or salted nut of your choice)
  • 1 heaped teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions

Step 1
Even though pesto is a raw sauce, I decided to turn the olive oil into garlic oil. It's a really easy process.

Add the 1/2c olive oil into a small saucepan, and add a tablespoon of minced garlic.
Step 2
If I'd had a fresh head of garlic I would have simply added in about 2 or 3 cloves. We always have a jar of minced in the fridge, so even though it's more to scoop out later, it'll taste just as garlic-y!

Heat over low/medium heat. Usually I say medium/low heat, but you really want to be careful not to scorch the garlic here so make sure it's set to the lower end of things for this. Give it about 10 minutes to really infuse the oil.
Step 3
Expect some bubbles the last couple of minutes, but pull it off the heat early if you think it's about to really boil! After about 10 minutes pull the pan off the heat; allow to completely cool before you add it into your pesto.

Add two overflowing cups of kale into your food processor.
Step 4
I have a mini-prep food processor, which I love, and use for almost everything. Now, however, is definitely the time for your large food processor if you've got two size options.

Look how full my larger processor is with just two cups... I can't imagine how long it would have taken if I'd had to use my mini-prep!
Step 5
Pulse kale about 4 times. Add 2 more cups kale; pulse again. Add the last 2 cups of kale; pulse again.

Here's what 6 cups of pulsed kale looks like, if you'd ever wondered.
Step 6
Add in the chopped nuts, parmesan, and lemon zest.
Step 7
Pulse about 8 times.
Step 8
Add the tablespoon of lemon juice, and pulse about 3 more times.

This smells fantastic by the way!

Now, using a slotted spoon, scoop the garlic out of your cooled oil, and add it into the pesto.
Step 9
Replace the lid of the food processor. Turn it onto the lower setting (mine has 1 or 2... I picked 1) and slowly pour in the garlic infused olive oil.

Unfortunately I'm not skillful enough to pour a steady stream of oil into a running food processor and photograph it... so here's what it looks like after adding the oil and letting the machine run for about 20 seconds.
Step 10
Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add salt and pepper to taste. I added 1/2tsp salt and 1/4tsp black pepper.
Step 11
Run the processor one last time for about 10 seconds, and you're left with this beautiful pesto!
Step 12
Of course the obvious use for this is simply tossed with your favorite pasta shape of the moment...
Step 13
but you can really use as you would any other condiment. Brian's already tried it as a sandwich spread and inside burritos!
Step 14
I was thrilled that Wyatt ate up the "green" noodles without a fight, and I hope that everyone in your house is delighted with these healthy dish as well!

Candy Corn Cookies

Wyatt’s favorite Halloween candy (and possibly favorite candy of all time) is candy corn. Because of this, we always end up with way more than we need floating around the house this time of year.

This year, I decided to make some Candy Corn Cookies to try something new. I put a spin on the ever so popular cake mix cookies. They turned out great, and we all loved them! I made a batch for a neighborhood Fall Festival (it was really a Halloween Festival but no one calls them that anymore) and they really went over well. I donated them for the cake walk, and was super pleased to see them get picked by the kids that won!

Whether you’ve got a Halloween event coming up, or if you find yourself with too much leftover candy corn after the holiday… these are the perfect quick cookies!

Candy Corn Cookies Recipe

Allergy Egg
Meal type Dessert
Misc Child Friendly, Pre-preparable
Occasion Halloween

Ingredients

  • 1 box golden butter or yellow cake mix
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter (softened)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup candy corn (chopped)

Directions

Step 1
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Toss the two sticks of softened butter into your mixer bowl, and beat on high for at least a minute or so.

You always want to get butter or shortening super fluffy at the beginning of almost any cookie dough.
Step 2
Dump in the whole bagful of cake mix, and mix in on medium speed.

You'll be left with big buttery crumbs like these.
Step 3
Crack in the egg.
Step 4
Mix on medium speed again until blended into a smooth cookie dough paste.
Step 5
Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and toss in the cup of flour.
Step 6
Mix in until barely incorporated.
Step 7
For the candy corn I measured out a cup first...
Step 8
not that measuring is super important here.

And then I chopped it all up slightly. I wanted to keep some nice sized pieces, but didn't want to deal with whole pieces while balling up the dough.
Step 9
Just so you know, chopping candy corn is easier said than done. But I still think it was worth it!

Now make sure every single candy corn bit makes it into the mixer.
Step 10
Blend on a medium low setting for maybe 10 seconds or so.

I'm basically trying to spare my hands the work of stirring the candy into the thick dough.
Step 11
Look at that... I mean that's some seriously thick cookie dough.

Plunk the huge blob of dough back into the mixer bowl.
Step 12
Use a cookie scoop or spoon to make balls of dough that are about the same size.

Set them a hefty 2 inches apart on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
Step 13
Once my cookie dough is balled and lined up like little buttery solders, I like to break off a few more candy corn pieces for something special I do with cookies.

I like to look for blank spots on the tops and strategically press in some extra bits here and there. See the difference?
Step 14
I do this with chocolate chips, or whatever item has ended up in our cookie dough that day. It usually makes for the loaded up cookies you just want to grab!

Pop the pan into your preheated oven, and bake for 12 minutes.

This dough makes enough for two full big pans of cookies. You can either make both now, or make one pan and save the rest of the dough.

I get another fresh sheet of parchment, and scrape the other half of the dough right into the center.
Step 15
Shape the dough into a candy studded log.
Step 16
Then just roll it, rubber band it, and label it... and you'll have a whole new pan of cookies for another day!
Step 17
After 12 minutes, this is what I pulled from the oven.
Step 18
As you can see, these are really light colored cookies. Don't be tempted to keep baking them for more color, because you'll just burn the bottoms and melt the candy even further!
Step 19
These are so buttery and delicious!
Step 20
I hope you love them!

Candy Corn Pudding Parfaits

Here’s another quick and easy Halloween treat for you!

Layers of colorful puddings get topped with sweetened whipped cream and festive garnishes. Use any type of pudding that your family enjoys… as long as they’re flavors that will lend themselves to food coloring. For the toppings you could use all kinds of things: sprinkles, cookie crumbs, candy corn, or any kind of small Halloween treat come to mind. I used some of my Halloween Spider Cookies  and Wyatt loved it!

Candy Corn Pudding Parfaits Recipe

Meal type Dessert
Misc Child Friendly, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold
Occasion Halloween

Ingredients

  • 1 box cheesecake flavored pudding mix
  • 1 box white chocolate flavored pudding mix
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream (about a one pint container)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • yellow gel food coloring
  • orange gel food coloring

Directions

Step 1
Any light colored pudding flavors would do the trick here. The main thing is making sure that they'll take the food coloring easily.

I liked the sound of cheesecake and white chocolate.
Step 2
So it gets really complicated here.

Mix the puddings according to their package directions.
Step 3
Add a nice sized blob of food coloring.
Step 4
Make one flavor yellow,
Step 5
and the other flavor orange.
Step 6
Place a gallon sized ziploc in a large measuring cup, and fold down the top.
Step 7
Pour in the yellow pudding.
Step 8
Reseal the top, and you have an instant piping bag!

Pour the orange pudding into another bag,

Place both bags into your fridge to thicken up a bit, and move on to the whipped cream.
Step 9
Pour the cream into mixer, and whip on high for about 3 minutes.

Add the sugar.
Step 10
and whip another 30 seconds or until you're pleased with the stiffness of the cream.
Step 11
Repeat the ziploc trick with the sweetened whipped cream, and you'll officially be the proud owner of three bags of sweet goop!
Step 12
Press the pudding back away from one corner of each bag, and snip off a small tip.
Step 13
Now it's just a matter of layering the ingredients into a cute dish!

The yellow goes first.
Step 14
Follow it up with a little orange.
Step 15
Then top it all off with some sweetened whipped cream.
Step 16
They're nice and candy corny as is, but of course I felt obligated to go further.
Step 17
The spider cookies on top might have been a bit much, but hey... it's Halloween.

Halloween Spider Cookies

Here’s another creepy Halloween treat for you! These are a great sweet treat project to make with kids, because it’s only a few ingredients, and they are quick and easy!

I’d seen these on top of cupcakes in a Halloween magazine last year, and I thought they looked like something I might actually be able to make. Well, after whipping these up, I can say that anyone can make these look just as cute as a magazine photo shoot… with the right supplies.

Wyatt and I tried to make these last week, but I learned that all frostings (or glue as Wyatt called it) are not created equal. I could have made homemade frosting, but he seemed just as happy to listen to Halloween music and eat the supplies! At any rate, one more trip to the store later, we made these!

Halloween Spider Cookies Recipe

Meal type Dessert
Misc Child Friendly, Pre-preparable
Occasion Halloween

Ingredients

  • Halloween Oreos
  • Reeses Pieces
  • thin licorice (like)
  • chocolate frosting

Directions

Step 1
Here's the original lineup of ingredients I used.
Step 2
The "cookie icing" was definitely the wrong choice for these.

As you can see, it's extremely loose.
Step 3
Wyatt didn't care in the least.

All he wanted to do was eat Twizzlers and Reeses Pieces anyway.
Step 4
On the other hand, I still wanted to make spiders. The next day I bought this cookie creme frosting and it worked great!
Step 5
I also found the chocolate flavor much more pleasing than the other icing.

Anyway, now that I had the right "glue", it was time to start making some spiders!

I started by pulling apart some of the green licorice, and breaking it off into equal sized pieces. After making one with longer legs and another with shorter legs, I found that the shorter legs worked much better.
Step 6
Grab an Oreo, and dollop two globs of frosting where you'd like his eyes to go.
Step 7
Squish on a couple of conveniently colored Reeses Pieces, and BAM!

Step 8
He's got eyes!

Now squirt a generous line of frosting along the side so that you'll have enough room for four legs.
Step 9
I'll give you three guesses what comes next.
Step 10
That's right... spider legs.

Add four more on the other side, and all he needs now is a name.
Step 11
Ok so maybe don't name them, just eat them!
Step 12
And have a Happy Halloween!

Chocolate Chip Rainbow Cookies

If you’re ever looking for a kid friendly cookie, then look no further than Chocolate Chip Rainbow Cookies!

Just the sight of these makes my son, Wyatt, smile. Actually, these were his brainchild. We love to make cookies together. Our system goes a little something like this: I measure everything out, he uses a measuring cup to scoop and dump the pre-measured ingredients into the mixer, he grabs handfuls of dough and eats as much as he can, I let him do it several times then end up taking away his height a.k.a the dining room chair that raises him up to assistant baker level.

Months ago while we were making a batch of cookies, he wanted to dip them in sprinkles. I just knew that once in the oven they were going to melt all over the place and make a huge rainbow mess. But he can be very persuasive, so we tried it anyway. I couldn’t believe how perfectly cute they came out of the oven! It does freak me out a little, wondering what kind of crazy witchcraft or unnatural ingredients goes into making sprinkles… but not enough to ruin the fun of these cookies!

I’m sure that any kind of cookie dough would work with this method, but please try my Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies if you’ve got the time to make them!

Chocolate Chip Rainbow Cookies Recipe

Ingredients

  • chocolate chip cookie dough (Try my Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies!)
  • rainbow sprinkles

Directions

Step 1
Use a cookie scoop or a spoon to make a ball of your cookie dough. Any size works here from bite-sized to super duper (just be prepared to adjust your cooking time).
Step 2
Now plunk one side down right into your bowl of sprinkles.

Since I used a scoop, mine have a flat side. I plunk the dough with the flat side up to keep that side sprinkle free for the cookie sheet.
Step 3
Mush it around a bit until your happy with the sprinkle coverage, and voila!
Step 4
Sprinkled cookie dough!

Line the sprinkled balls up on a parchment lined cookie sheet leaving at least an inch and a half in between.
Step 5
For my Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies they will bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. That's for about ping pong sized balls of dough. If you've made bite-sized or super duper sized, make sure to adjust your size down or up accordingly.
Step 6
This is my son's favorite way to have chocolate chip cookies!
Step 7
Of course I love them too...
Step 8
so much that I took a million pictures of them!

Mummy Hotdogs

Happy early Halloween!

In our house we absolutely love Halloween! We tend to go a little nuts with the decorating, T.V. special watching, baking, treat buying, costume making, and eating associated with this holiday. Ok so it’s always mainly been me, but now I have an almost four year old cohort that’s thrilled to go right along with me. It’s awesome! I’m not sure if that means that he loves Halloween as much as I do, or that I love Halloween as much as a three year old.

At any rate, this was a festive little project we did together the other day. To call it a recipe is laughable… it’s canned crescent roll dough wrapped around hotdogs. To call it original is even more laughable, because we’ve all seen these before. Nevertheless, we had a lot of fun making these together!

Here’s our version of Mummy Hotdogs!

Mummy Hotdogs Recipe

Ingredients

  • 8 hotdogs
  • 8oz cans crescent seamless dough (or regular crescent rolls)
  • yellow mustard

Directions

Step 1
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Here's what you're workspace will need:
Step 2
the baking sheet you plan on using, a cutting board, the crescent dough, the hotdogs, and a pizza cutter.

Unroll your seamless dough. If you're using crescent roll dough roll it out just like this also.
Step 3
You want a big rectangle.

Now, using your pizza cutter, roll out thin strips of dough.
Step 4
At this point, it's pretty straight forward.

Have a helper wrap the dough strips around the dogs.
Step 5
My helper loved getting to touch everything, but instead of "mummies" we would have ended up with "tangled up spools of kite string".
Step 6
Maybe for another holiday.

Anyway, while he worked on his next one, I would fix his last one. I tried to get them all wrapped up with one open space left for the face.
Step 7
Pop mummies into your preheated oven, and 15-17 minutes later pull out these.
Step 8
Squirt some mustard (or your hotdog condiment of choice) into a small ziploc. Snip off a teeny tiny corner, and pipe on some little mummy faces like these.
Step 9
Pretty silly I know. But there you have it... Mummy Hotdogs!
Step 10
I hope your little helpers love them as much as mine did... he ate two!