My Parent Self[ie]

Mothering. Truly beautiful take on the complicated emotions of parenting.

Unlearning

IMG_1749

The picture was terrible. Just terrible. But, then again, selfies were likely invented by someone younger than I am.

After several chaotic hours with my children, I decided that the real cherry on top of our day should be special. Go hard or go home, right?

We ventured to the local Wildlife Center in a muggy 90 degrees for their daily show. Thirty minutes of educational entertainment for $0 sounded like the best idea I have had in weeks. My son was thrilled.

So excited, in fact, that he improvised and stuck his tongue out when my thumb finally found the capture button.

View original post 280 more words

Chocolate Snickerdoodles, Whaatt?!

I love to put my own twist on something that is generally familiar to people, I enjoy their reactions to the new flavor in an old favorite, or their surprise at how familiar they are with a recipe that they did not recognize in its new clothes.

Today’s fun; Chocolate Snickerdoodles. These are a thick chocolate cookie that you’ll know is familiar by the bite, but can’t quite place why.

I learned how to make snickerdoodles in 7th grade at school, but I can’t quite recall why we learned this. I did retain the recipe for all of these years, but the recipe uses a box cake mix and I try extremely hard not to use those. Although there are good, natural alternatives these days. (I really like Arrowhead Mills, Organic.)

For years I didn’t share this recipe with others because it was my ace in the hole. Everyone loved them, but had never tasted them before. I always kept a box of cake mix in the pantry in case I needed to impress someone on the fly.

I finally stopped being lazy and figured out how to make these from scratch about a year ago.

**Here’s a little throw back to how to be “that woman”: scoop them, roll them in sugar mixture and then place them in a zip lock freezer bag and toss them into the freezer.  At any given time you can have ‘holy cow, these are amazing’ cookies with only a 15 minute thaw time.

Chocolate Snickerdoodles Cookies

Chocolate Snickerdoodles

** If you need to cheat a little with a cake mix, keep scrolling.  I got your back. I won’t tell a soul.

1 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 tsp cream of tartar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1 egg

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Mixture for rolling cookies:

1/4 cup sugar

1 Tablespoon cinnamon
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees (325 Convection).

Whip butter, sugar, cream of tartar, vanilla and salt until light.  Using a mixer with the paddle attachment is easiest here, but a wooden spoon and a bowl will do just fine.

Add the cocoa and egg; mix only until combined.

Add baking powder, baking soda and flour.  Mix only until combined.  Do not over mix.  Will be dry and crumbly.

Scoop into 4 oz balls.  Roll in sugar and cinnamon.

Bake 5/6 minutes, turn pan and bake 4/5, centers will still be very soft.

Let cool on cookie sheet.

 

Makes 8 really large (amazing) cookies.

Cake Mix Option (easiest with little helper hands)

arrowhead mills

1 package cake mix

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 egg

Rolling Mixture:

1/4 cup sugar

1 Tablespoon cinnamon

Dump the mix into a bowl. Add the butter and mix until combine with a wooden spoon. Mix in the egg.  Scoop, roll and bake as above.

Attempting Perfect: Red Velvet Gift Bread

Every woman, at some point, dreams of being ‘that woman’.  You know the one: she always brings the perfect gift, her hair always looks right, her car doesn’t have crumbs or what was once a complete outfit in the back.

I’m going to share with you my go-to gift giving treat that occasionally lets me have that moment of  “Damn, she’s got her shit together!”

Red Velvet Loaf 2

I created this bread years ago as a freezer staple.  I can make a batch, wrap them up all pretty and at the drop of a hat I can grab one and dash off the surprise a hostess with what looks like a gift I woke up early to get ready for her.

It is a comforting bread that has a heady texture and a light bite.

red velvet loaf 4

Its not too sweet and bread works nicely at adult affairs as well as kid friendly ones.

As is true with all red velvet, the red food coloring is not necessary, it just makes it more fun!  So if your life if full of granola moms that frown at red food dye, simply replace the quantity with milk.

This recipe makes 2 full size loaves; I have included the half measures incase you don’t plan to share and want to make just one.


Red Velvet Loaves

First:

Make the filling:

1 Package Cream Cheese
¼ Cup Sugar
1/8 Tsp salt
½ Tsp Lemon juice
1 Egg
2 Tablespoons All purpose flour

Cream together the cream cheese, sugar, salt and lemon juice with a whisk. This can be done by hand or with a mixer.  Mix in one egg until smooth.Whisk in the flour until smoothly combined and place in pastry piping bag or zip lock freezer bag; promptly refrigerate to firm up the mixture.

Second make the batter:

Preheat oven to 350F.

Step one:

1 ½ Cups Buttermilk (3/4 cup buttermilk)

1 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar (1 ½ tsp)

2 Tablespoons Red Food Coloring {replace with milk if not using dye} (1 Tbl)

Combine milk, vinegar and food coloring in a measuring cup, leave to sit while you continue on.

 

Step two:

1 Cup brown  sugar (1/2 cup)

½ Cup Butter (1/4 cup) – at room temperature

1 Tsp Vanilla (½ tsp)

¼ Tsp Salt (1/8 tsp)

In a  bowl cream together the butter, brown sugar, vanilla and salt until light and fluffy. Easiest with a mixer, but not necessary.

 

Step 3:

4 Tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (2 Tablespoons)

4 Eggs (2 eggs)

Add the cocoa powder and the eggs before mixing again.  I prefer to mix this part by hand with a hand held whisk, over mixing eggs is easy to do but I’m far to lazy to achieve that by hand.  You only need to mix thi until it is fully combined.

 

Step 4:

At this juncture you will add the milk mixture you concocted at the beginning.  Add it slowly incorporating it into the batter.  Your batter should be quite liquid at this point.

 

Step 5:

2 Cups All Purpose Flour (1 cup)

2 Tsp Baking Soda (1 tsp)

 

Add dry mixture to the wet, stirring until completely and smoothly combined. Try not to over mix.  The baking soda and the vinegar will interact at this point and may foam up a little bit.  Don’t worry, you’re not going to blow up your kitchen. Carry on.

Next, pull your cream cheese from the fridge, snip the end or one corner and set it on a napkin or a counter top you don’t mind cleaning up later.

Grease and cocoa (or flour) a full size bread pan.

Here’s a quick video if you’ve never done this before:

I love Baker’s Joy, it is a staple in my kitchen.  It combines this step into one easy spray.  Who doesn’t love easy?

baker's joy

Spoon or scoop slightly more than ½ of the batter into the 2 pans.

Pull your cream cheese from the fridge, snip the end or one corner and pipe 3 thick cords of the chilled cream cheese mixture onto the center of the batter in the pan.

Spoon the remaining ½ of the batter around and on top of the cream cheese, making certain to cover it completely.

Place pans into your 350F oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool on a rack in pan. Do not remove it early, it will lose shape. Allow to cool completely.

You can drizzle the top with a cream and powdered sugar glaze, or just slice and eat. It is delicious and has a lovely texture.

I wrap them in cellophane and then place them into a large ziplock freezer bag.  Into the freezer they go and at a moment’s notice I (believe it or not) am THAT woman, perfect gift in hand.

Red Velvet Loaf 2

Easy taco dinner, at your house

Let’s begin by making introductions.  I am Holly.  I am the founder of B.A.M! and I cook for a living.  What that really means is that when I get home, I don’t want to cook.

I’m not blessed with tiny humans of my own, but I have many Momma friends that I support endlessly.  I think that needed to be said since I know the question will come up at some point.

The man in my life is a single dad to an amazing young man.  I cant believe that I get to be a part of their lives.  I love everyday of it, even the tough ones.

One of the first meals that I made for that amazing child was one of my go-to’s.  Chicken Tacos.  I started making them years ago from left overs and they became one of my favorites so I built an actual recipe instead of just throwing together what was left in the fridge. Consistency is a good thing.

These are one pot magic.

Start with chicken, I use the breasts off of a rotisserie bird from the grocery store.  Shred that chicken into a skillet.  Pour in all of the ingredients (I’ll list them down below), cook until thickened. Warm up tortillas and DINNER TIME!

Easy Chicken Tacos

Chicken Breast

2 large chicken breasts, shredded

 

 

Salsa

 

1/2 of a 16 oz Jar of hot sauce (Hell on the Red is my favorite, but any that you like will be perfect. Red or green.)

 

herb Ox

 

2 Packets of Chicken Bouillon (Herb Ox is my favorite, but use what you prefer)

 

Combine all ingredients in a skillet.  Cook them together on medium/low heat for approximately 10-15 minutes.  The liquid from the hot sauce will evaporate a bit and the mixture will thicken. Continue to stir the ingredients as they cook.

Remove the pan from the heat.

Warm up tortillas, we prefer corn, but flour is great too.

We top them with shredded cheese, but other options are lettuce, tomato, cilantro, or onions.

Dinner is served. Eat immediately.

This serves the 3 of us well, with a little left over for grazing after the meal (Boys!).

You could add some warmed up canned black beans as a side.

20150803_112111