May 11, 2017

Cookies & (Irish)Cream Pie

Featuring Oreo® Baileys® Butter & Oreo® Toffee...

I truly cannot take credit for this idea. You know how when kids start carrying-on at the table & stuff just begins to snowball? Such was the case here -- I simply asked my fellas what comes to mind for cookies & cream. One said "Irish Cream?" and then it was all downhill after that.

We started by making the butter. Since we needed a full cup we tossed Oreo® sleeves into the blender and used a little help from Baileys® to create this magical spread.

Next we needed to make the toffee.
(I got this idea while perusing candy recipes, but actually used a 1946 "Joy of Cooking" for the toffee recipe.)

Here we used another 35 cookies for the base, plus maybe a half-dozen more broken up to fill in the holes... (I did melt a cup and a half of semi-sweet chocolate chips to spread over the cooling candy, but next time I'll just leave it with cookies & toffee.)

So, here's the complete dessert recipe:

Didn't hear one complaint from the fellas...

(of course, their mouths were too full of cookies & cream to speak...)

I, however, was saying "Oh, oh, ohhhhhhhhhhh!"

For more information on our monthly Improv Challenge hosted by Nichole, you can visit her blog or our group's facebook page

And now, here are some cookies & cream recipes by fellow participants:

April 23, 2017


We'll begin this post with thanks to H's Nana & Poppy 
for providing such a sweet ride for him to roll up with his date to prom.

(& thanks to his dad for being chauffeur!)

H looks handsome in everything, but his peeps had to have their input...
We started the evening with pictures. Mr. & Mrs. D & big sis come along. (When your baby asks another family's baby to prom, it becomes quite a family production...) 

We'd previously scouted our location for picturesque-ness & sunlight that time of day,
but did not expect like 400 OTHER PROM-GOERS FROM ALL OVER TOWN to be there as well. I think this made H & P.D. slightly nervous (he was a trifle stiff in some photos) and kind of cramped our style & time allotment.

The lovely corsage from Glendale Flowers was perfect for P.D.'s dress & accessories.
She looked like a princess!

We had to wait our turn for a couple of the more picture-perfect backgrounds,
and it turns out some of the crowd  multitude  throng horde  prompicturemob were girls from their school.

Mrs. D was fun to watch as she posed the kids
(as well as any "professional photographer" from a studio) 
and cleaned benches so P.D.'s dress wouldn't be mussed.
There were so many laughs! We enjoyed the time spent with the D family.
And then, after all that,
prom was but another pleasant memory...

April 20, 2017

Bananas Foster Biscotti (gf)

This mama doesn't "do" bananas. Used to -- but now, even their smell, ever since my first pregnancy, A couple of my fellas eat them, so I allow a banana or two in the house until it starts to become too yellow. Can't even have the peels in the compost bucket indoors -- straight out to the garden pile with it!
Imagine my chagrin upon learning Nichole deemed April's #ImprovCookingChallenge ingredients to be coconut & bananas! (Last time bananas happened, a couple years back, I didn't participate that month...)
Ah well! We're grown-ups! We'll add a little alcohol & make it work. Soooooooo... why don't we whip up a batch of these: 

The biscotti are a little crumbly, the rum drizzle drench is slightly tacky, but those are pretty darn good gluten-free, processed-sugar-free cookies! Here's the recipe:


Do you like almond butter? or cashew butter? or sun butter? I highly recommend coconut butter! I used Bob's Red Mill Shredded Coconut to make mine.

The resultant biscotti do not (thankfully) have a pronounced banana flavor. You could always add more banana liqueur to the cookie batter. ☺☺☺☺ The links below will take you to some more banana & coconut recipes:

April 19, 2017

A day in the life of...


First thing, nap on mom's bed before she can make it -- the sheets should still be warm & cozy...

Next, sit on the buffet & watch for bird friends. Jump at window, break some cobalt glass & knock over a few plants.

Rest up for next activity in one of mom's wreath projects...

Watch out back door for cat friends visiting from over the neighbor's wall.

Play Hide-and-Seek in mom's plants.

Nap on mom's embroidery project.

Act all offended when she shoos you off the blanket. Be a martyr & nap on the cardboard insert. 

If you act quickly,  there's time to grab on the towel mom used to press her embroidery.

Ask to be let outside again and trap a lizard under a pool float.

Ah, looks like mom made the bed, finally!

"Help" mom husk the corn for dinner...

"oh look!"... 

"I should prolly help inspect the corn while I'm here! "

"I'm tired from helping with the meal. Do not disturb until you call me for dinner!" 

 Check to see if friends wish to play again.

Oooooops! Played a little too hard with this friend...

Oh! Is that how those birds keep ending up in the pool?

Hey! Looks like Nana left her seat cushion -- better check to see if it's nap-worthy...

Here's a corner by the grandfather clock that hasn't been slept in for a few days. Wait here for dad to get home from work.

Mom left some fabric samples on the piano -- I'm just gonna rest-up before it's time to get wild tonight!

March 16, 2017

Loaded Potato Scrolls

I asked my fellas what we should fix for POTATO & CHIVES month. I got one request for Irish Stir-fry, and one down on his knees begging that we make Irish Nachos again. ("MOM! Aren't chives just skinny green onions?!") When I tried explaining chives are what's in the dip for Claim Jumper's Loaded Skins®, I then had a request for loaded skins. THAT was when I decided to bake bread -- loaded bread.  So, the Loaded Potato Scroll* was born.

We started with some baked, then mashed Butter Golds. How I managed to save a cup from being devoured by the crew, I have no idea.  But I did have to hide it in the fridge until I was ready to try the recipe!

The chives proved to be the tougher part of this assignment -- I'd planted some in hopes I could have a little harvest in time for the recipe, but our little 90° heatwave proved my undoing. I had to resort to a grocery package... :( 

But the filling... oh the filling!!!!! You can never have too much bacon! This is what we used:

The dough is pretty easy, and so is spreading the filling. If you've used GF flour, the making of the roll & slicing can be a little awkward...

Also, GF flour idiosyncrasies make the rising a little ambiguous.

Since flours brown differently when baked, I decided to use a thermometer to determine when the scrolls were finished.

Because it was such a lovely spring afternoon (in the shade!) we decided to make a little picnic & eat our loaded scrolls (in the shade!)

They were delicious! (...if you can close your eyes & imagine the bread part as tasty, light, fluffy gluten-filled dough!)
I think the filling could take some more bacon, though...

Here's the recipe:

(This recipe is gluten & processed sugar free. It will work using wheat flour, but please adapt the rising & baking times as appropriate.)

*Read why the fellas refer to these as "scrolls" here.

If you're interested in joining our monthly #ImprovCookingChallenge you can find that info here. In the meantime, enjoy these recipes by some of our members: