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Food & Recipes

Pie of the Week #6 // S’Mores Pie

November 8, 2016

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Today’s pie of the week is a good one, my friends! Okay, if you’re my husband then you probably disagree – the man has a serious dislike of “fluffy” things including pudding and whipped cream, which is why I decided to gift this pie to my mom’s co-workers rather than keeping it in our house. That said, if I was left with this pie in the house it wouldn’t be long before I would eat the entire thing on my own!

Although this chilled pie would probably be better suited for summertime, I tend to think that the s’mores flavor profile is good any time of the year. In fact, I think you could easily bring this pie to the table during the holiday season and almost everyone would be pleased. The marshmallow flavor is quite subtle, but if you’re looking to boost that a bit, I would suggest adding some miniature marshmallows to the top of this pie when garnishing just to be sure the message and flavor comes across.

The pie can be kept in the refrigerator, covered in plastic wrap, for up to three days, if it lasts that long! Just be sure to top with the whipped cream right before serving for best results!

S'Mores Pie
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8 servings
 
Ingredients
  • Crust
  • 1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Filling
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 (7 oz.) jar marshmallow creme
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Topping
  • Whipped cream, graham cracker crumbs and chopped chocolate
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Add the butter to the bowl and stir until well combined. Press mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Bake 10 minutes; cool completely.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the ¾ cup heavy cream to a simmer. Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate and salt. Whisk until completely smooth. Cool.
  3. In a very small pan or saucepan over medium heat, heat the water. Sprinkle the gelatin over water and allow to dissolve. Whisk mixture together until gelatin dissolves completely, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
  4. Meanwhile, in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the heavy cream on medium speed until very soft peaks begin to form. With the mixer running, slowly pour the gelatin mixture into the cream and continue to whisk on high speed 2 to 3 minutes more or until firm peaks form (the gelatin will prevent true stiff peaks from forming.) Slowly whisk in the marshmallow creme and vanilla until evenly combined and smooth.
  5. Stir together the marshmallow mixture and the semi-cooled chocolate mixture until evenly combined. Pour mixture into the prepared crust. Refrigerate 4 to 8 hours or until filling is set. Top with whipped cream, graham cracker crumbs and chopped chocolate just before serving.

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

Food & Recipes

Pie Week #4 // Blueberry

October 7, 2016

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This week has been good and busy and long and short all at once. Joe has been traveling for work (returning home today!) meaning I’ve been manning down the fort at home. I love my days at home with Ainsley, usually Thursday and Friday each week, but if I do a poor job at planning activities, outings and strategic errand running, said days can seem awfully long when they start at 6 am and don’t end until 8 pm. All my fellow mommas, can you relate?

So in addition to keeping the house (relatively) clean, keeping the toddler entertained and well-fed and working whatever hours I could squeeze in between said entertainment and hosting the high school youth group at our house Wednesday night, I managed to stick to the Pie of the Week challenge and make this blueberry pie.

I wrapped this beauty up and delivered it to friends who had their third baby last month, along with this recipe from Pinch of Yum. The report back was that it was all a big hit, so I feel confident sharing the recipe even if I didn’t get to try the pie myself.

I didn’t use the crust recipe below, as I have a favorite recipe that is my go-to these days. But I did use the filling recipe, swapping fresh blueberries for frozen and letting the pie bake about 20-30 minutes longer until the filling was bubbly.

Find the recipe HERE.