Hello and Happy Monday! How was your weekend? The weather in Kentucky was gorgeous! As with the past few weekends, we had a good mix of productivity and relaxation…and we tried to spend lots of time outside before the summer temps arrive!
The world feels pretty heavy right now, so fresh air and sunshine provided some sense of comfort.
Here’s our Weekend Top 5:
Hayden got a haircut and lots of snuggle time with Homer.
The kids enjoyed the Slip N Slide…and have the bumps and bruises to prove it!
Saturday afternoon we celebrated cousin Layla turning 3. They had an ice cream party for her. It turned out really cute and the weather was amazing! My kids had at least two cups of ice cream and two of the delicious cookies!
Sunday morning, we went to The Stave, an outside restaurant just past Versailles in Frankfort, KY, which was our first time eating at a restaurant since early March. Travis had been there before for lunch, and we ordered brunch this time.
The restaurant is near Woodford Reserve Distillery. There were plenty of picnic tables all spaced out and then a “tree house” with seating of spaced out tables and chairs. We had ordered ahead and sat at a picnic table by the creek to enjoy our food. Travis and the kids shared biscuits and gravy, bacon, eggs, and potatoes. I ordered the local chorizo hash. We all enjoyed our food.
Again, it was our first time actually eating at a restaurant in many months, and I was impressed. Of course, the servers wore masks, the tables we spread apart, and you could even purchase a plastic table cloth for $1 for the picnic tables if you wanted to. We enjoyed the weather, the kids threw rocks in the creek, and we took our time eating our meal. It was a great way to start our Sunday.
I’ve seen Christine share about her very indulgent brownie recipe on her Instagram stories. Hadley helped me make it yesterday for our Sunday dessert.
Brownie mix (+ingredients needed for the mix)
Double Stuf Oreos
Chocolate chip cookie dough
Spray the bottom and sides of an 8×8 pan.
Press cookie dough down for the bottom layer.
Place Oreos in rows to fill the pan.
Fix brownie mix per the instructions on the box and pour over the Oreos.
Bake at 350 per box instructions for 8×8 pan (I think mine baked a little over 50 minutes!)
Definitely let it cool as long as possible before cutting into it. We baked it in the afternoon & didn’t eat it until after dinner, so it had perfectly set up.
Finished product! Delish.
So that’s what we were up to this weekend! Now, we are ready to tackle the first official week of summer!
Recently, Andrea shared that she made a cookie cake for her son’s birthday. I like to bake, but have never baked a cookie cake. Y’all, we are cookie cake people. I usually order them from Great American Cookie which is in our mall. Cookie cakes for all special occasions. For my birthday, I always say, “All I want is a card and a cookie cake!”
Lately, I’ve had more time to bake, so most Sundays Hadley and I have baked a sweet treat for Sunday dessert. I thought it would be fun to make a cookie cake as our Sunday treat a couple of weeks ago.
I will keep this post simple as Andrea shared about baking her cookie cakes using this recipe, so that’s what I did too!
3/4 c. room temperature, unsalted butter
1 c. packed brown sugar
1 large egg, plus 1 yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 c. all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
Hadley is always big help in the kitchen. Hayden mostly prefers to be the taste tester 😉
We did not do homemade buttercream icing…although, I do love a good buttercream icing. We just used vanilla icing and sprinkles we had on hand. Hadley did most of the decorating!
Also, of note, not sure if we did something “wrong,” but the cake did rise a bit in the middle. It wasn’t flat like a cookie cake. That being said, it tasted delicious. Like most desserts, it barely lasted two days in our house!
I do want to try the recipe again and press the batter down more before putting it in the over. Also, not sure if Hadley had too big a scoopful of baking soda causing it to rise a bit more than it should have or not? I fall somewhere between novice and expert baker 😉
Overall, the recipe was a success and tasted delish!
Have you found yourself baking more during this time? What are some of your favorite recipes to bake? I’m afraid “quarantine 15” may be real!
Last week, I was talking to my Gma on the phone, and she mentioned an easy peanut butter cookie recipe. The next day, as I was digging through my recipe card box, way in the back, I found a recipe that I had for “Magical Peanut Butter Cookies.” Like her recipe, it only had four ingredients! The kids and I made these on Tuesday, and they were so good.
1 c. peanut creamy peanut butter
1 c. sugar (I believe the recipe my Gma had seen used brown sugar; I used white granulated sugar) **You’ll need a bit more sugar for the tops of the cookies.
1 egg (Make sure you have two small people who will fight over cracking the one egg…)<insert eye roll>
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350*
Grease large baking sheet (we ended up using two cookie sheets)
In mixing bowl, combine peanut butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla extract.
Stir well with spoon.
Roll dough into balls (walnut size) and place balls of dough on the baking sheet.
With a fork, criss cross the tops of the cookies.
Sprinkle the tops with sugar.
Bake for 12 minutes.
Remove from oven and sprinkle with a bit more sugar.
Cool slightly before removing from pan.
Guess how long our 20 cookies lasted?!? Ugh. Quarantine 15 may be a real thing!
So…we (my husband) planted a small garden this summer. Two summers ago we (my husband) planted one, and we had a vast amount of cucumbers, zucchini, and green peppers. Last summer, we ran out of time in the spring to plant anything, so this year we (my husband) made it a priority to plant a garden again. I (really it WAS me–I’m in charge of watering!) gave all the crops equal love and attention…but what we have ended up with so far is: one decently sized cucumber, about three strawberries the size of my pinky fingernail….and TONS of zucchini. While on vacation, my friend Natalie stopped by to check on our dog Homer ….and took a peek at our garden. She texted me to say there was a huuuuuggggge zucchini that had grown and sent me a pic. When we returned home, I couldn’t believe what I saw sitting on our counter. The pic did not do the size justice.
So–after sharing this pic on Facebook, a few friends reached out to me with a couple of recipes. With those two recipes + the help of Pinterest, we used this zucchini to make: zucchini bread, chocolate zucchini cake, zucchini casserole, and chocolate chip zucchini muffins….#allfromthisbadboy!
I thought I’d share those recipes with you.
Recipe 1: Zucchini Bread:
Well–I turned to Pinterest for this recipe, made the recipe with help from Hadley, was disappointed with the final product (I blame Hadley. Kidding. I think I forgot to drain the zucchini), and didn’t even get a photo of said failed zucchini bread. That being said, my people ate it…we just avoided the middle part. #keepingitrealoverhere I thought about trying to make it again…but…instead thought I’d turn to one of my favorite recipes of all time: chocolate zucchini cake.
Recipe 2: Chocolate Zucchini Cake:
My friend Courtney shared this recipe with me years ago. I hadn’t even heard of chocolate zucchini cake until she shared the recipe with me. I made it many times for years, but I guess I lost the recipe….until she sent it to me again (and gave me permission to share) after seeing the zucchini the size of a baby pic on Facebook. This cake is out of this world! No lie. Here’s the recipe:
1/2 c. butter or margarine, softened 1 1/2 c. sugar 3 eggs 1/2 c. vegetable oil 3 tsp vanilla extract 1 3/4 c. all purpose flour 1/4 c. baking cocoa 2 tsp. baking soda 1 tsp. baking powder 2 c. shredded zucchini (about 3-4 zucchini) (or 1/4 of a zucchini the size of a baby 😉 In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in oil and vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and baking powder; gradually add to the creamed mixture. Fold in zucchini. Spread into a greased 13x9 pan. Bake at 350* for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. **After it cools, I spread whipped topping on the cake as "icing."
I took a pic of the finished product, but then deleted it by accident from my phone. Believe me, the cake tastes even better than the pic I would have shared with you. #bloggingfail.
Recipe 3: Zucchini Casserole:
Another recipe shared with me was from my neighbor (and my friend Amy’s mom), Shelley. This casserole would be a great side dish. We had it to eat the other night with chicken we (my husband) grilled. It was a hit. Three out of four family members devoured it…and to be honest, I love her, but Hadley’s non vote doesn’t count because she lives on salmon, mac and cheese, and waffle with Nutella. Here’s this wonderful recipe (which by the way, kind of tastes like pizza…not kidding!):
2 medium thinly sliced zucchinis sliced green pepper rings sliced onion rings tomato sliced thin grated mozzarella cheese bacon (I used about six slices of the microwave kind and chopped it up) oregano, garlic salt, pepper
I used a smaller baking dish (7ish by 11ish) and began layering with zucchini. After the tomato, I sprinkled the spices, then sprinkled cheese, and then topped with crumbled bacon. I repeated the layers and toppings once more ending with shredded cheese and bacon. Bake at 350* for 45 minutes.
This turned out so tasty! Also, I remembered to take a pic!
Hadley and I made these muffins together with Homer right at our feet. Just FYI- I had enough batter for 12 muffins and then ended up using the leftover batter to make 10 mini muffins since that’s the only other muffin tin I have (and wanted to bake everything at once). I baked the regular sized muffins for about 20 minutes and the mini muffins were finished in about 10 minutes.
Who knew with a little water, luck, and love, I’d (we’d) grow an award winning (in my mind) zucchini?!