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Holiday

Family, Food & Recipes

Holiday Snack Mix & Travel with Kids

November 15, 2017

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img_6588This post is sponsored by SC Johnson. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make the content on Espresso and Cream possible. #ZiplockHolidayUAI

Back before I had kids, my visions of weekend baking projects were pretty idyllic and, I now realize, unrealistic. I imagined my child happily cutting out cookie dough and decorating cookies, mess-free. Of course now that I have two kids of my own I know better than to tackle elaborate or time-intensive baking projects. Because Ainsley is bound to lose patience and I’m bound to be picking up a giant mess long after the project has lost it’s novelty. So these days, we keep our holiday baking projects on the simple side and everyone in the family is a lot happier because of it.

We have a few holiday road trips coming up in the next few weeks, including some air travel to visit family in Florida, so I’ve been planning and strategizing on how I’m going to keep not one but TWO kids happy in the car and in the air. My solution: busy bags filled with all sorts of goodies, activities and fun new and inexpensive toys. Because we all know that an entertained child is a happy child.

I headed to our local Walmart last week before music class to pick up a bunch of goodies for our trip, along with the supplies to make this Holiday Snack Mix recipe. Ainsley and I made the snack mix together, then portioned it into Ziploc® Brand Storage Snack bags for our travels. We also tied some of the bags with ribbon for gifting to friends and family.

I filled the Ziploc® Brand Storage Gallon bags with coloring books, crayons, stickers, inexpensive figurines (Ainsley’s favorite!), our homemade snack mix, a few new movies, and more. Hopefully these bags provide hours of entertainment and delight while we are doing our holiday travels!

Partnering with SC Johnson on this post was a total no-brainer for me, because as a mom of littles, I use Ziploc® Brand bags for pretty much everything. I always have at least a few Ziploc® Brand Storage Gallon bags in the car as makeshift trash cans on road trips to keep the car clean and organized and to keep figurines and toys grouped together and keep a bunch in my purse for air travel to contain trash and dirty diapers. Mom hacks all around!

Check out the full (easy!) recipe below. And if you’re a frequent Walmart shopper like me, there are also some great coupons available here.

Holiday Snack Mix
Author: 
Prep time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 10 oz. white almond bark
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 6 cups square-shaped rice cereal
  • 2 cups pretzel sticks
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup red and white candy-coated chocolate pieces
  • Red and green sprinkles
Instructions
  1. In a large microwave-safe bowl, microwave the almond bark, peanut butter and butter on HIGH 30 seconds. Stir; continue to microwave in 15 second intervals, stirring between intervals, until almond bark, peanut butter and butter are melted. Continue to stir until mixture is well combined. Stir in the peppermint extract.
  2. Combine cereal and pretzel sticks in a large mixing bowl. Pour almond bark mixture over cereal and stir until well combined and cereal is evenly coated. Transfer mixture to a Ziploc® Brand Gallon Bag and add in powdered sugar. Seal back and gently shake to coat cereal with the powdered sugar.
  3. Transfer mixture to a flat surface covered with parchment, waxed paper or aluminum foil. Spread in an even layer and add in the candy-coated chocolate pieces. Sprinkle with the red and green sprinkles. Let cool completely.
  4. Divide the mixture into Ziploc® Brand Snack Bags. Tie with ribbon, as desired.

This post is not sponsored or affiliated with Walmart.

Food & Recipes

Pie of the Week #6 // Apple-Cran-Raspberry Pie

November 15, 2016

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This week’s pie of the week might not be for everyone. Whew. Okay, I feel like I just needed to get that out there before waxing poetic about how much I love this pie, because it’s true. It’s not a pie that everyone will love, but I certainly love it and will be making it more than once this holiday season.

Inspired by homemade cranberry sauce – the stuff you make with real, whole cranberries, not the stuff in a can – this pie is tart and tangy and nearly requires a heavy dollop of whipped cream or vanilla bean ice cream to balance the tartness of the cranberries, raspberries and apples. The mix of three fruits produces a pie filling with great texture and interest, and while it might not be a home run that everyone can agree on, it’s certainly a pie that my little family can get behind.

I was inspired by recipes I’ve made in the past, and this recipe from Cooking Light, which I tweaked slightly to fit my flavor preferences and the ingredients I had on hand.

Pie of the Week #6 // Apple-Cran-Raspberry Pie
 
Ingredients
  • Pie crust for a 9-inch double crust pie
  • FILLING
  • 2 cups peeled and diced apples
  • 1½ cups fresh cranberries
  • 2 cups frozen raspberries, thawed
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • CRUSH WASH
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • Coarse sugar for dusting
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Line a 9-inch pie plate with one of the pie crusts.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the filling ingredients until well combined.
  3. Roll out remaining crust and cut into strips. Use strips to form a lattice pattern on top of the crust, going over and under every other strip. Pinch edges of crust to seal together. Trim off excess crust around edges and roll/crimp crust edges to finish.
  4. In a small bowl, stir together the egg yolk and heavy cream. Brush mixture on lattice and edge dough and sprinkle with the coarse sugar.
  5. Bake at 375°F for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour more, until filing is bubbly and crust is golden brown. If necessary, cover crust edges with a pie crust guard or aluminum foil to prevent over-browning.
  6. Cool completely before serving.

 

Family, Fashion

Christmas Gift Guide for Her (all under $100)

December 3, 2015

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1. “Wifey” T-Shirt | Ily Couture
I bought the sweatshirt version of this for my sister who just got married this year and it was a hit! I own an Ily Couture product and absolutely love how soft the material is that they use and the cute, cheeky sayings.

2. The Quinn Necklace | Natalie Borton
I love supporting small business owners, and I was so excited when my blog buddy Natalie decided to open up her own jewelry shop. Her pieces are so pretty and they are all limited edition, meaning only a few people will have the same piece of jewelry. How cool is that?

3. Volcano Mercury Glass Candle | Capri Blue
A candle is a candle, right? Wrong! I have fallen head over heels for the scent of this candle. (It’s the same one they use in Anthropologie stores…) It’s heaven on earth, I tell you, and anyone would be thrilled to get one.

4. Nourishing Cleansing Balm | Beautycounter
This is my new favorite face product and I can’t stop singing the praises of it. The balm functions as a cleanser and makeup remover while also giving moisture to your skin. Bonus? It can be used as an overnight face mask when your skin is feeling dry during these cold winter months.

5. Diaper Bag Organizer | Lily Jade
Lily Jade makes amazing diaper bags, but if that isn’t in your budget, consider buying just the diaper bag organizer from Lily Jade. I love that it immediately turns any large purse into a diaper bag, meaning you can enjoy fashion and function together in one. Great for any new or expecting moms!

6. Personalized Stationery | Rifle Paper Co.
I think personalized stationery is just so lovely, and it’s something that I’m always hesitant to buy myself. But when I do? It just feels so fancy and inspires me to write more handwritten notes. Do your family members a favor and buy them some beautiful paper products.

7. Eloise Brocade Sleep Pants | Anthropologie
I have a theory that you can never go wrong with giving a gift that is a “practical indulgence” – meaning that it’s something useful but a little more of an upgrade than what someone would normally purchase on their own. Sleepwear is a great example. I always want to buy beautiful sleepwear, but I can never justify the price. What a great gift to give, right?!

8. Chestnut Suede Slipper | Ugg
I have Ugg slippers and wear them all the time. They’re durable, comfortable and cute.

*Affiliate links used where applicable

Uncategorized

Recipes from Around the Web

December 4, 2014

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I realize that I haven’t shared many new recipes on Espresso and Cream lately, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been creating new recipes like crazy at work! Most of the content I’ve created recently has been holiday-temed. In case you’re looking for a little Christmas baking inspiration, I thought I would share with you some of my favorite recipes I’ve developed lately around the web:

1. Christmas Tree Cookie Pops (pictured above)

Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 8.01.39 AM2. Giant Gingerbread House Cookie (so much easier than making a gingerbread house!)

Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 8.03.21 AM3. Santa Hat Cookies 

Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 8.05.28 AM4. Asian Chili Roasted Brussels Sprouts 

Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 8.06.57 AM5. Impossibly Easy Mexican Chorizo Breakfast Bake 

Madison

 

 

 

 

Uncategorized

Sweet Potato Muffins

November 15, 2012

Happy Thursday, friends! I can’t believe how fast this week is going. Actually, it’s hard to believe how fast every week has been going lately. Is next week really Thanksgiving? Say it isn’t so, because I still have Christmas card pictures to take, and a menu to plan for the friends-giving celebration we’re having this weekend, and I have to decide what to bring to Joe’s family Thanksgiving. Whew!

In the spirit of the holidays, I decided to bake up a little breakfast treat that feels like Thanksgiving. Adapted from the Whole Wheat Pumpkin Bread recipe I shared last week, this recipe for Sweet Potato Muffins is spot on in flavor and texture. One of you guys pointed out last week that some recipes seem to take to whole wheat flour well, while others don’t. I completely agree! I love using whole wheat flour in quick breads and hearty muffins, like these, because it tastes appropriate. The hearty, dense flavor of the whole wheat flour pairs well with the sweet, semi-savory flavor of the sweet potatoes.

If I had a bit more time, I would have made a homemade cinnamon-honey butter to slather on these muffins. I think it would have added an extra layer of flavor and decadence. Alas, I didn’t have the extra time. So I settled for regular old butter. Still completely delicious and maybe a bit healthier. But since Thanksgiving is just around the corner, is anyone counting?

Sweet Potato Muffins
Ingredients
*1/4 cup cinnamon applesauce
*1/3 cup sugar
*2 large eggs
*1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*1 teaspoon baking soda
*1/2 teaspoon baking powder
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
*1 cup peeled, cooked and mashed sweet potato
*1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

Instructions
*Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease muffin tin. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine the applesauce, sugar, eggs, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, salt and canola oil. Stir until well combined. Add in the mashed sweet potato and whole wheat flour and stir until just combined.
*Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin. The batter should make about 9 muffins. Bake for 11 to 14 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool slightly in muffin tins. Cool completely on wire racks.

Happy Baking!
Madison