Marshmallow Pops!

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Happy new year pretty kitties!

We are back in action after a little winter break, and we come bearing a wonderfully easy treat just perfect for a little soiree! Or a big soiree, since you can make a lot in a small amount of time. Have you ever heard of marshmallow pops? Wellllll they are a tasty and dare I say sorta healthy? dessert treat. And a cinch to make! You can find plenty of recipes on the web for these, but why do that when you’re reading this one?

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INGREDIENTS

one bag of marshmallows
white melting chocolate discs
sprinkles
paper straws

sprinkles!

DIRECTIONS

Put down wax paper wherever you plan on resting your pops.
Using a knife, cut a little X in one end of each marshmallow before inserting the paper straw.
Melt the chocolate either in the microwave or on your stove, per the package directions.
Dip your marshmallow into the white chocolate, sort of twirling the excess chocolate off.
Before the chocolate hardens, sprinkle sprinkles!
Put the pop top side down on the wax paper to let dry.

INSIDER TIPS

At first I dipped the white chocolate-covered marshmallow into the bowl of sprinkles, but I quickly found that created a crazy amount of sprinkles on each pop, and let’s face it: sprinkles are pretty and festive, but they aren’t necessarily super fun to eat. Use sparingly by just dropping the sprinkles on.

I did these the night before my party, so I wrapped them in saran wrap in a 9 x 13 pan so they wouldn’t dry out. I ended up having some leftover and took them to a party 2 days later and they were still good to go!

Get creative! You can use almond bark, dark chocolate, or whatever as the melting part and really you could dip that in a slew of other things too, like crushed up peppermint, or crushed graham cracker for a s’mores take, etc.

Bonus: Kids love ’em!

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Have fun poppin’!

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Birthday Week Treat: Strawberry Cobbler

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My mom has a lot of cookbooks, and most of them have been so loved over the years they are missing covers, dog-eared, with an unavoidable butter stain or two signaling a well used recipe. One in particular is a spiral-bound bank employee type from the 80s that has at least 3 cobbler recipes in it, and Mom has crafted her own version for it, scrawled in her pretty handwriting in the margins.

There are two reasons why I’ve eaten this dessert so much, besides the obvious fact that it’s delicious: 1) there is a high chance you already have all the ingredients except the fruit and 2) in about an hour you will find yourself standing over the stove, eating straight from the pan.

So what better way to continue celebrating my Birthday Week than with my favorite cobbler plus my favorite fruit? We’ve never used strawberries before and holy cow I wish I would have thought of it sooner. The crispy, buttery crust mixed with the softened, sweet strawberries? So good. Mom usually makes it with blackberries or peaches, and those are great, but this strawberry version is a keeper!

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INGREDIENTS

2 pounds strawberries, washed and hulled
1/2 cup butter
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup milk
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
Dash of salt

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Slice all the strawberries. Mash roughly half of them in a separate bowl and add about 1 tsp sugar (note: the riper the strawberries, the less sugar is needed). Set aside.

Take your stick of butter and put it in the 9×13 pan. Melt it by putting it in your preheating oven.

Meanwhile, mix remaining ingredients. Remove pan from oven once butter is melted and pour batter over the melted butter, spreading it as evenly as you can. Next pour the strawberries over the batter. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until edges are a pretty brown.

Enjoy!

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p.s. Stay tuned later this week when we feature DIY Birthday Party Nails!

Baked Pickles: The Perfect Birthday Party Appetizer

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Two words. Fried. Pickles.
I’ve only discovered these within the last few years but, while pretty much any food tastes good fried, pickles are exceptional!
When I host a party I love to make snacks. And no matter how much food I make its usually gone by morning. If there’s still some leftover that’s just a bonus!
This year I went some of the usuals, like Amy Sedaris’s Lil Smoky Cheese Ball, which always blows everyone away. But I wanted to try something new. Insert “Fried” pickles. These babies were actually baked, not fried, but delicious none the less!

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Recipe adapted from Shrinking Kitchen.

Ingredients

Pickles (You can either use the kind already cut into slices or cut up some whole dill pickles. I cut up whole pickles so the slices would be nice and thick.)

1 cup Italian –style panko crumbs

Few sprigs of fresh dill (optional)

1 egg

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. If using whole pickles, cut to bite-size.
  3. Mix the dill with the panko crumbs in a bowl.
  4. Beat the egg in a separate bowl. You’ve successfully made a pickle makin’ station!
  5. First dip the pickle in the egg, then roll around in the breadcrumb mixture.
  6. Put each pickle round on a foil-covered baking sheet, about an inch or two apart.
  7. Bake for 7 minutes, flip. Bake 7 minutes more. Broil for one minute (but make sure they don’t burn!)
  8. You can serve with ranch dressing, or if you’re feeling spicy, try this chipotle mayo I used.

I hope you enjoy these as much as we did! Have a lovely rest of your weekend!

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We Heart Crab Rangoon

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Crab Rangoon + Mini Pies. What’s not to love? I picked up this mini pie mold from Target around Valentines day and thought for a long while about what to make first. Crab rangoon is one of my all time favorite foods and something I’d never tried to make before. While these aren’t traditional crab rangoons they taste darn close to the real thing. And guess what, they’re easy and delicious!

I like to keep things simple, especially when trying out a new recipe. I used packaged puff pastry because A. it’s easy and B. I always have puff pastry in my freezer. But if you have a go-to homemade pie crust or want more of a challenge I say go for it!

Ingredients:

1 package puff pastry, thawed

8 oz cream cheese, softened

one bunch green onions, chopped

6 oz crab meat (I used canned but I’m sure fresh crab meat would be delightful!)

Cracked black pepper, to taste

mini pie mold (if you don’t have a mini pie mold this could be improvised  by using cookie cutters to create any shape desired.)

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Directions:

1. Mix together cream cheese, green onions, crab meat and pepper in a bowl.

2. Roll out the puff pastry on a floured surface. Press puff pastry to each side of pie mold. Use a sharp knife to trim off excess pastry around the edges of the mold.

3. Fill one side of the mold with about 1/4 cup cream cheese mixture. You want the pie to be nice and full, but not so much that it will overflow while cooking.

4. Press mold together and hold shut for just a few seconds. Again, take a knife around the edge of the mold to trim off excess dough. (Note: If you’re using a cookie cutter, press the edges together with a fork.)

5. Open the mold and voila! The mini pie should fall into your hands. Once removed, press around the edges to ensure the pie is secure and no filling will seep out during baking.

6. Bake on a cookie sheet at 350 for 10-15 minutes, or until your mini pie is puffy and golden brown.

These are delicious served with a side of sweet and sour sauce or on their own. Also, they’re just as good cold as they are hot. Success!

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