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Food & Recipes

Pie of the Week #5 // Pumpkin Cream

October 31, 2016

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I’m a serious fan of pumpkin pie. It’s always the pie that I gravitate toward at the dessert table on Thanksgiving and the first pie I think of making when the calendar turns over to fall. So naturally, I’ve already made a handful of pies this fall, including a pumpkin pie of the more classic variety, but when I saw a recipe in Food & Wine for Pumpkin Cream Pie, I knew it had to be made and shared as well.

My little toddler helper assisted me in the making of this pie, so you’ll see her handiwork everywhere in the wonky edges of the crust, but it’s been so fun baking together and teaching her to enjoy time in the kitchen. Although it requires much more mess and time, I’m thankful to be starting traditions with her in the kitchen at a young age.

The original recipe called for a chocolate cookie crust, which would have, in my opinion, been perfection. But since we had some pie crust already made, I figured we would go the more traditional route. If you were to make this at home, I highly suggest a graham cracker crust or chocolate cookie crust instead to really take this dessert into the “decadent” category.

Pie of the Week #5 // Pumpkin Cream
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8 servings
 
Ingredients
  • Crust for a 9-inch pie (crust of choice, see above)
  • 1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin puree
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¾ teaspoon ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • Whipped cream for garnishing, if desired.
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350°F.
  2. Prepare crust as desired/directed and press into 9-inch pie plate.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients and stir until smooth. Pour mixture into the crust and bake 45 to 50 minutes or until the edges are completely set and center of the pie jiggles just slightly. Cool 2 hours. Top with whipped cream just before serving, if desired. Cut into slices to serve. Refrigerate leftovers.

 

 

Fashion

Fall Favorites: Beauty

October 28, 2016

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It’s been a while since I did a good product round-up, hasn’t it? I’ve added so many new beauty and personal care products to my list of favorites and have been really behind on sharing them with you all, so what better day than Friday to talk about something as fun and makeup and beauty products?

1. Beautycounter’s New Makeup Palettes (above)
These palettes just launched as part of the Holiday 2016 collection and they’re beautiful! Previously, my eye shadow, blush, bronzer and highlighter were all in separate containers, but I LOVE the versatility and ease of having them all in one single palette. There are two color options, the cooler Winter Dream Palette and the bronzed Winter Warmth Palette. My favorite has been the Winter Warmth, but I dabble in both from time to time.

2. Glossier Boy Brow 
I’m newly obsessed with Glossier’s Boy Brow. It’s a brow gel/filler that works to plump, fill and shape your brows all at once. It makes getting ready a snap and it’s the one product that I won’t leave the house without applying, even if I’m not wearing any other makeup. It’s just that good.

3. Batiste Dry Shampoo
I’ve been out of the dry shampoo game for a while now, for an unknown reason, but I heard so many people rave about this dry shampoo that I had to pick some up. It did not disappoint and I’ve been using it on the regular. I love that it doesn’t weigh your hair down and works well to absorb extra oil. I also blast my clean, blow-dried roots with this for extra volume and texture.

4. Beautycounter’s Luminous Nudes Lip Set
The Bare Shimmer Lip Gloss on top of the Twig Lip Sheer is pretty much the perfect color combo for someone like me who loves a little color to their lips while also having it look natural. I’ve been wearing both of these on the regular and can’t get enough.

5. Glossier Super Bounce Hydrating Serum
This serum was recommended by Natalie and she was totally right, per usual. It’s formulated with hyaluronic acid and B vitamins to leave your skin hydrated, plump and glowing. I use it daily in the morning before applying my moisturizer and makeup.

Food & Recipes

Weeknight Dinner // Pepperoni Pizza Boats

October 27, 2016

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I’ve been thinking a lot (and I mean a LOT) about what I want Espresso and Cream to look like in the next couple of years. As I mentioned a while back, I was feeling seriously lack for inspiration and guidance on what I wanted this space to be. When you’ve had a blog for over seven years it morphs and changes over time and I was left feeling that my site had become less cohesive than ever before. A completely random mix of whatever I felt like posting. Or perhaps more accurately, whatever I felt like not posting.

After taking some time to really take inventory of my heart and passions for this little corner of the internet, I’ve realized that more than anything I miss posting recipes. As I’ve been developing more recipes in my freelance career, I’ve wished that I wasn’t always giving the best photos and the best ideas to others but keeping some of those ideas to share with you all on Espresso and Cream. So you’ll be seeing more recipes and more consistency with those recipes going forward.

I’ve decided that the content shared on this site will, for the most part, fall into a few categories:
1. Food and Recipes
2. Fashion and Lifestyle
3. Family and Faith

These categories will, hopefully, give me enough breathing room to be creative while also providing me with guidelines for what does and does not fit on the site. Hearing you all share about what you love about Espresso and Cream was so helpful and you have no idea how much I appreciate your thoughts and input in this process.

So, without further delay, today I’m sharing one of my favorite easy family meals. My mother-in-law is a fabulous gardener and we benefit from all the spaghetti squash she grows every year. I especially appreciate that spaghetti squash store well in the pantry for quite a while, so I have time to work through our supply before they go bad.

For me, pasta night is really not about the pasta. Pasta is mainly a vehicle for marinara sauce and cheese, so I’ve been happy to swap out the pasta for spaghetti squash, and I think you’ll find that your family is, too. This play on pepperoni pizza is just kid friendly enough to please little eaters but good enough to satisfy the adults in your house, too.

Weeknight Dinner // Pepperoni Pizza Boats
Author: 
Serves: 2 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 2 medium to large spaghetti squash, cut in half lengthwise with seeds/guts removed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 cup marinara sauce of choice
  • ½ cup shredded pizza blend cheese or shredded mozzarella
  • 10 pepperonis
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 400°F. Place spaghetti squash on a baking sheet and drizzle the cut sides with the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Turn but side down on baking sheet and bake 40 to 60 minutes or until spaghetti squash "ribbons" easily when tested with a fork
  2. Scrape/shred spaghetti squash halves to make noodles. Pour ½ cup of marinara on each half and toss sauce with spaghetti squash in shells along with ¼ cup each of cheese. Top each with 5 pepperoni and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.
  3. Return to the oven and bake 10 to 15 minutes more or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

 

Food & Recipes

Double Peanut Butter Snack Bites

October 24, 2016

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I’ve gotten a fair number of questions over the last year about feeding Ainsley, and toddlers in general, and limiting their consumption of sugary snacks. Sadly, I am probably not the best person to ask. Because there’s the parent I thought I would be in my head and the parent I actually am in real life, and that parent is one who probably lets her child have one too many sugary treats on more than a few occasions.

It’s become so clear to me as Ainsley has gotten older that sugary treats for kids are everywhere! I go to the bank at 10 am and they ask if Ainsley wants a sucker, we run to the post office, grocery store and a number of other places that also offer candy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very thankful for those treats now and again when my child really does need a distraction for me to continue on with my errands, but I’m also aware that saying “yes” every time they are offered means a steady stream of candy throughout the day – something I’m not keen about.

So what’s a mom to do?

Well, I’ve noticed that a cookie is a cookie for Ainsley, whether it’s sweetened with a little honey and made with whole wheat flour and resembles a graham cracker or it’s covered in frosting and made at the bakery. The same goes true with all other treats (except M&M’s…) that are sweet in nature. I’ve been trying to make more alternatives to sweet treats at home, in hopes that we can still enjoy an afternoon cookie or an energy bite, like these, without feeling weighed down by all the sugar and extra junk neither of us really need.

These energy bites are super tasty and actually, I think, taste better the second or third day after the peanut butter has had a chance to soften the oats a little bit and the flavors come together. I love them because they’re portable and easy to eat, too, so we can take them along in the car or to the park, etc.

Double Peanut Butter Snack Bites
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter (not the natural kind)
  • 1½ cups old fashioned oats
  • ½ cup peanut butter powder (such as PB2 or similar)
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients together using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Work together as much as possible with the spoon/spatula, then work the remaining bit with your hands to evenly combine.
  2. Scoop into 2-inch balls and roll between your hands to form. Place on a cookie sheet or tray and allow to set at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving. Cover remaining bites in a plastic storage container or bowl covered with plastic wrap.

 

Pregnancy

Oh, baby!

October 18, 2016

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Because I know not all of you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, I should start by saying that yesterday we made it internet official and announced that we are cautiously, hopefully anticipating the arrival of another little one in May.

It’s been an incredibly fearful first trimester, complete will tearful calls to the doctor, late night worrying and lots and lots of prayers. Maybe pleading would be a better way to describe my prayers? Lord, please deal kindly with us. Please have it be your will that we could welcome this little life into our family here on earth. Thank you for the gift of this pregnancy. Please forgive me for my fears, doubts and lack of trust.

There really are no words to truly explain how difficult this has been, yet how thankful and hopeful I feel. Pregnancy after a miscarriage is a uniquely fear-inducing experience, when you have no idea how your little one is doing in there, yet your heart is planning and preparing with every day that goes by.

Someone asked me after I announced if I would be able to share some of my tips for surviving the first trimester after experiencing pregnancy loss. Oh, dear friend, I wish I could share words of wisdom, but if you had been a fly on the wall of our house the last 10 weeks then you would know that I have no answers. I’ve been right there with you, scared and fearful and hoping for the best.

I recently learned during our most recent appointment that I’ll be treated like a normal OB patient. Nothing about me or my pregnancies seems normal to me, but I’m digesting what it will look like to go through a pregnancy without a thousand ultrasounds to reassure me every step of the way. To have everything look good enough to be considered normal is, of course, a blessing, but I have to admit that I do miss the added reassurance of seeing that little baby every couple of weeks like we did with Ainsley.

Since I know you’re a praying group, I’ll continue to ask for prayers of support and encouragement as we walk this road. Your prayers for the continued health and development of this baby would be so greatly appreciated.

Madison

A few other, lighter, questions that I’ve answered below:

How are you feeling?
Horrible! Or, I should say, typical. I’ve been sicker than I was with Ainsley, which is a little bit reassuring. I’ve been avoiding foods like coffee but haven’t had any really strong aversions other than sweet food almost always sounds horrible and I can’t stomach the idea of my daily smoothie that I used to love. I’ll eat anything slathered in salsa and sour cream and I’m still happy to eat vegetables, which is very welcome this time around!

How far along are you?
10 1/2 weeks

When are you due?
May 14th

Gender predictions?
None! And we don’t intend to find out this time around. 🙂

Maternity clothes?
Not yet! Although I’m counting it a miracle every day my non-maternity jeans still button. I have a feeling my days are limited.

Exercise?
I’ve been exercising, following the 21 Day Fix and 21 Day Fix Extreme videos this trimester. I’ve still felt good enough to get in a workout most days, and I’ve also been getting lots of long walks in with Ainsley and Joe. Because of my fears during the first trimester, I’ve been choosing to stick with low impact workouts, doing some modifiers on the videos and completely giving up running and my weekend Cross Fit with Joe. I’ve missed really strenuous workouts and sweat sessions, but I’m happy to do it for this baby!