Hocus Pocus 2013!

Well, we’re done with 2012 and on to 2013.  Looking back I think I’m overall pretty happy with the way the year went.  We learned a lot, laughed a lot, and made some big decisions that turned out to be the best.  I hope everyone had a year worth reflecting on and I wish you the best for 2013.

 

To start the year off right I’ve decided to share with you my recipe for hocus pocus rolls.  Why hocus pocus?  Because they’re MAGIC!  They taste like a cinnamon roll with none of the effort, there’s a disappearing act that is pretty cool, and they are magically DELICIOUS!  Did I have you at cinnamon roll?  I thought so.

Here’s what you need:

roll of crecent rolls

marshmallows – 1 for each roll

melted butter or ghee

cinnamon sugar mix

 

First POP that can of crecent rolls open and lay them out.  Then take a marshmallow coat it in ghee or melted butter and cover with cinnamon sugar.

Hocus Pocus Rolls

 

 

Next you want to place the marshmallow in the center of the roll and roll it up so that the marshmallow is completely sealed in there.  I only made four rolls because we don’t give much sugar to my son so I left the other four plain for him.  Anyway, I left a couple unsealed to show you what happens.  Nice of me, huh? 🙂

Hocus Pocus Rolls

 

Next I brushed some ghee over the top and dusted a little bit of cinnamon sugar on top.  Pop them in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until they’re golden brown.

Hocus Pocus Rolls

 

When they come out, they’ll look totally normal, but the magic is waiting on the inside!

 

Hocus Pocus Rolls

 

As you can see, if you leave them unsealed, they poop all over the place and it’s sticky and hard to unstick.  SO, make sure you seal them up.

 

Here’s what happens when you do it right:

Hocus Pocus RollsAs you can see, there’s no marshmallow in sight.  It’s just cinnamon sugary goodness with “icing”.  SO good.  SO easy.  Try it out!!

 

Red Velvet Sneezes

Hey all!  I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas filled with family, love, and great food!  We had plans to go to a get together at our cousin’s house.  The morning of Christmas we both woke up with fevers and our son was hacking up a lung in his room.  There was no way we were making it anywhere.  Especially with four other kids attending the festivities, we’d feel horrible if we got them all sick.  All week we had anticipated going to this get together so we hadn’t even grocery shopped.  In order to avoid the Christmas rush we put off our grocery shopping till after the day.  Bad idea.  Now that we were stuck at home all we had was the Red Velvet Trifle I had made for the party and a 3 lb. chub of beef.  We decided to make chili for dinner and dig into the trifle for dessert.  Oh what?  You want my trifle recipe…well…alright.

 

Here’s what you need:

Red Velvet Cake

 

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder (unsweetened)
2 oz. red food coloring
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda

Mix together the flour, salt, and baking powder, set that aside.  Then in another bowl mix together the cocoa powder and red food coloring, it will be a thin paste.  Set that aside too.

Next mix together the butter and sugar until it’s fluffy then add in one egg at a time, vanilla, and the red cocoa powder mixture.  Add in a third of the flour mixture and once it’s mixed in add half the buttermilk.  Keep alternating like that until everything is incorporated.  Don’t forget to scrape down the sides.  

In a small bowl mix the baking soda and vinegar together.  It will fizz so make sure the bowl accommodates for that.  Mix it into the batter.

I baked mine in a 9×13 rectangle pan because I just wanted to cube them, but you could easily divide these into cake rounds or whatever shape you want.  I baked at 350 for about 20 minutes.  Just check on it and when a toothpick in the center comes out clean, it’s done.

Chocolate Ganache

1/2 cup half and half
1 cups milk chocolate chips

Just heat up the half and half to almost boiling and take it off the heat and add in the chocolate chips.  No need for the double boiler, this is ganache made simple.  I used the Ghirardeli milk chocolate chips…seriously…out of this world good.  You could use dark chocolate if you wanted.

Cream Cheese Marshmallow Frosting

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup melted marshmallows or marshmallow fluff
1-pound box confectioners’ sugar (2 cups)

Mix together the cream cheese and butter until it’s fluffy, then add in the marshmallows and sugar.  Mix until it’s smooth.  You could also add nuts or coconut if you wanted.  I think coconut is really good with this frosting!  A good tip for using the marshmallow fluff – heat up your spoon under hot water and you’ll have a much easier time dealing with it.  This stuff is STICKY.

Now to assemble the trifle.  I just layered the red velvet and then covered with ganache then added dollops of frosting.  We don’t like a whole ton of frosting, but if you wanted actual layers with complete coverage I would just double the frosting recipe.

Once assembled mine looked like this:

Red Velvet Trifle with Chocolate Ganache and Marshmallow Cream Cheese Frosting

 

The color is unreal and it tastes SO good.  Moist, chocolatey, DELICIOUS.  Try it out!  Let me know how yours turn out!

Paying it forward

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The most incredible thing happened this morning. I decided to go to Starbucks to fuel myself and the woman in front if me paid for my drink. We were in the drive thru so I didn’t get a chance to thank her. She said to tell me happy holidays. I was in shock. I didn’t think such generosity existed. I felt so incredibly full of joy and I was compelled to make someone else feel that good. So I paid for the person behind me. I hope they paid it forward as well. What a wonderful start to my morning. What random act of kindness will you do today?

Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos

My phone DIED!  So I couldn’t take pictures of this fabulous dish.  Take my word – it looks, smells, tastes amazing.  The best part, it’s EASY!  Here’s what you need:

 

2ish pounds of boneless, skinless Chicken thighs or breasts (I used Thighs)

1 packet of Taco Seasoning (I used chipotle Taco Seasoning)

1 – 16 oz jar of Salsa (I used Old Dutch Restaurant Style Chipotle Salsa)

 

I used Chipotle stuff because my husband really likes that smoky flavor, but you can use pretty much anything you want.

Throw your chicken into the crock pot, coat it with taco seasoning, pour the salsa over it, and set it on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-6 hours depending on how cold or frozen your chicken is.

I cooked mine for 4 hours on high and it was fresh from the store.  It was SO good, nobody could guess there’s only 2 ingredients in it!  The even better part, with my crazy schedule I never have time to cook so this amount will last us all week.  We’ve had it as tacos and last night I made quesadilla’s.  Let me know what combinations you used and how it turns out!

The Evil Peanut

Some of you may be wondering where I disappeared to.  Let me explain.  

My little angel got the stomach flu and that went on for about a week.  Poor little guy was pooping and vomiting all day long.  So because I missed work and school I had to make up some hours which made my week pretty jam packed.  Then just when I think things are calming down I get a phone call from my angel’s school.

This is where I will start for today’s post.

It was a Monday and it had snowed and was pretty icy.  My parents were in town visiting.  I dropped my angel off to school and then made my way to work with my folks.  It took us an hour and a half to make the usually 15 minute trip.  Slipping and sliding the whole way.  Not even a minute after I park, my phone rings.

“Your son is having a reaction to something.”

I tell them I’ll call them back as I scramble to get a hold of my husband.  I don’t take it too seriously but i figure I’ll never make it there fast enough so I send my husband.  An hour later I get a call from him and he seems concerned.

“I gave him Benadryl an hour ago and the rash has spread down his body.  I tell him to go to the doctor and plan to meet him there.  I start to feel it might be serious.

When I get to the doctor’s office I enter the exam room and don’t even recognize the child sitting there in my husband’s lap.  That couldn’t possibly be my child, that’s not what he looks like!  But it was in fact him, and I was in complete shock.  My normally healthy child was suffering from a food allergy and we had no idea what caused it.  He had already received a shot of Epinephrine and had just finished throwing up the Benadryl they tried to give him.  The doctor tells us that we have to take him to the hospital just to make sure his reaction doesn’t get any worse.  At that point it was fine to take him in our car.  Jayesh went home to pick up our phone chargers and a few things.  While he was gone, the reaction seemed to be coming back.  They gave angel another Epipen and called the ambulance.  Of course my mind starts racing as they tell me this is a pretty serious reaction and he could stop breathing.  I felt completely helpless as I cradled my crying son.  

Fast forward a couple of weeks, we have now figured out he has a peanut and sesame allergy.  That day it was sesame that he reacted to.  So when they tested he was 90% reactive to sesame and 100% reactive to peanuts.  This frightens me.  If that was a reaction to a 90% allergy, what happens when he has peanuts?

This is how I see peanuts now:

Image

 

So now we’re checking labels and thinking twice about what we eat and how we cook.  I can’t even begin to describe how scary this whole ordeal was.  The thought of losing my son is unbearable.  This little love of mine that I protected in my belly has an enemy.  He’s my little super hero and we’ve now discovered his kryptonite.  I imagine this must be how Superman’s mom feels.  The evil Mr. peanut is no longer welcome in our home.  Until my son can understand his allergies, it is my job to protect him.  I’m coming out swinging.  I’ll be damned if anything hurts my little Angel.  Mr. Peanut and his sidekick Sesame – beware.