Tiramisu....I am not a big fan of this dessert -- to me it is, well....forgettable? The handful of times I have tried it was a direct result of there being nothing else available on the dessert menu -- and by nothing else, I really mean nothing else with Chocolate :) Each time I dove into this seemingly delicious on the outside dessert, I was always sorely disappointed...it was like eating...a cloud, I suppose.....fluffy and creamy but with absolutely no flavor beyond a scant hint of alcohol....
My husband, on the other hand proclaimed a few months ago that he ABSOLUTELY LOVES tiramisu....what!? Ugh, men -- you LOVE tiramisu??? really??? In the 9 years I have known you, you have never mentioned once a word about tiramisu and for the 3 years we lived in the Italian restaurant capitol of the U.S. (New Jersey) you never once ordered tiramisu, nor reveled in it's marvelousness as you are now....But I digress, that's why I love him, he keeps me guessing :) ...So, since my husband LOOOOVES tiramisu, I thought it would be fun to create a recipe we might both enjoy!? One with the traditional soft and fluffy elements, but made richer with bountiful flavors of spiced rum, cinnamon and vanilla -- now we're talking!
I came across Betty Crocker's shortcut, americanized version of tiramisu and decided to take it a few steps further -- here is what I came up with:
SHORTCUT SPICED TIRAMISU
1 (8oz) package Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup Powdered Sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 Tbs Spiced Rum (I used Captain Morgans)
1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1 package Ladyfinger cookies (I used aprox. 21 cookies)
1/2 cup Espresso or Double Brewed Coffee
2 tsp Cocoa Powder
Grab a 8X8 inch glass or ceramic baking dish.
With a hand mixer, beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, cinnamon, vanilla in a large bowl on medium speed until creamy. Add rum and beat again to incorporate.
Rinse and dry beaters. In a medium bowl, beat heavy cream on high speed until stiff peaks form.
Fold whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture until incorporated. Set aside.
Layer aprox 12 ladyfinger cookies on the bottom of the baking dish, breaking cookies if needed to make sure the bottom is entirely covered. Spoon 1/4 cup of the coffee over the ladyfingers.
Carefully spread half of the cream cheese mixture over the coffee soaked cookies. Next, evenly sift 1 tsp of cocoa over the cream cheese.
Repeat -- adding another layer of cookies, coffee and cream cheese. Top with remaining sifted cocoa.
Cover dish in plastic wrap and place in fridge to soften. This takes 4-6 hours, but I prefer to leave mine overnight before cutting...it gets tastier the longer it sits!
Sorry for the poor pictures, we are deep in the belly of the rainy season here and my natural light is non-existant! BUT, I did witness something truly amazing this morning, and wanted to share! This was the view from may backyard at around 7:30 this morning...as I was sipping my coffee in complete darkness, all of a sudden my ENTIRE house started to glow a bright orange! I turned to the backyard and saw this...it took my breath away...I did not adjust the color on this photo! And, really it was even more magnificent than the picture shows...I guess I will take days and days and days of rain and darkness to see something like this! :)
Have a great weekend!
This past weekend, a friend and I drove to a holiday boutique craft fair -- we intended it to just be a girls' day out, a chance to get away from the kids for a few hours and recharge....we had no intentions of buying anything....that was until we walked in the door :) Some homemade lip balms, bar soaps, a few jars of hand raised honey, 2 handmade journals made from old library books, a customized wooden sign, some children's books and this lovely vintage tablecloth later, we left fully recharged and ready to take on motherhood once again! :)
This was actually the very first table we stopped at after arriving to the fair, a woman was selling loads and loads of GORGEOUS vintage table cloths, one prettier than the next! But, this one in particular caught my eye from the get-go! I didn't bite just then, but decided to look around the rest of the room to make sure that I wasn't getting swept away by the excitement of seeing all of this gorgeous lace and needlepoint work :) We made it all the way around the fair....and this cloth was still calling my name!
Only, when I saw this lovely piece of fabric, I didn't think table cloth at all....I thought, 'Man! That would make one beautiful QUILT!' So, my plan is to transform this vintage table cloth into an amazing quilt :) It seems simple in my head: line the table cloth with a neutral cotton, add batting and backing fabric, and viola! a quilt! ...But we shall see?? The part I am having the most trouble figuring out, is how I am going to bind/finish the quilt since the table cloth has these lovely scalloped edges??? Any and all suggestions on how to accomplish this would be greatly appreciated! I would hate to trim the scallops off, since they are one of my favorite parts of the cloth....but it just might come to that?
Of course, I will be sure to keep you all updated on my progress! In the mean time, if you're needing a little pick me up today, take advantage of Starbucks' buy one get one FREE on all holiday beverages!! Dec 13 -16 from 2-5!!! Yay! You know where I will be this afternoon! :)
...and please, any suggestions on how to finish the edges would be GREATLY appreciated!!! :) Have a great weekend!
I finally finished it!
I couldn't be happier with how it turned out
Please visit my Etsy Store if you would like to learn more about this quilt!
The ultimate comfort food, Chicken and Rice Soup, takes on a flavorful citrus twist in this AMAZING recipe I found over on Fork, Fingers, Chopsticks! This recipe is very easy to put together, makes a ton of food and tastes even better the next day! What's not to love about that!? Not to mention it was kid tested by my picky eaters and passed with flying colors...they even ate the carrots...what!?
I found the original recipe a little difficult to read -- I like my recipes written with, dare I say....military precision :) So, the wordiness of the instructions drove me a bit bonkers as I was trying to follow them on my phone's tiny screen...I think I have mentioned before that I won't print an unworthy recipe, it must pass the family taste test before it will win a permanent place in my cookbook. :) This one, will be printed this afternoon!
So, in case you are like me, and would like a trimmed down version of this recipe's instructions, along with some changes I made to simplify the cooking process for myself, here it is:
Lemony Chicken and Rice Soup
Makes 6-8 servings
3 Chicken Breasts (cooked in crock pot with 1 cup water on low for 6 hrs, then shredded)
2 Tbs Olive Oil
1 Yellow Onion
2 Stalks Celery, sliced
3 Large Carrots, sliced
8 Cups Chicken Stock (not broth)
1 cup Arborio Rice (Risotto Rice)
2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Black Pepper
3 Eggs, Whisked
2 Lemons, Juiced (about 1/2 cup)
*Place Chicken in crock pot in the morning and cook with 1 cup of water on low for 4-6 hours. Turn crock pot to warm, shred chicken in pot and set aside until ready to use*
When Ready to Eat:
- Add Olive Oil to a large stock pot and heat over medium high heat. Add Onion, Celery and Carrots to pot and sauté for about 5-6 minutes.
- Add Chicken Stock, Rice, Salt and Pepper to the pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat, cover and simmer on low for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, turn off heat and remove 1 cup of cooking liquid. Set aside -- this will be used to temper your eggs.
- In a small bowl whisk together 3 eggs and lemon juice. Temper the eggs. To Temper: Pour a small amount of reserved soup liquid (about 2 Tbs at a time) into eggs while whisking constantly, fully incorporate liquid and eggs before adding more liquid. Continue until whisking and adding liquid in batches.
- Add tempered eggs to the stock pot and stir to incorporate. Add shredded chicken and any liquid from the crock pot to the soup. Stir and Serve! Season with Salt and Pepper to taste -- Enjoy!
*Store leftovers in an air tight container -- note soup will thicken considerably as it cools, which I love! But, if you want a soupier soup for your leftovers, just add water before reheating -- these pictures are of reheated 'second day soup' without any added water*
This is an amazing recipe that I hope you will try!
Last night I got a wild hair. And as a result have opened, what I think is going to be, a HUGE can of worms :) I finally decided to take the plunge....I made a dress for my daughter! I've always dreamed of being able to sew her (and my) wardrobe from top to bottom -- how fun would that be!? But of course I was always limited by my own inexperience in sewing and the seemingly daunting task of teaching myself the basics in clothes making....which, if you play by the rules, means following patterns....and I hate patterns.
So, I decided to search the web using 'easy tutorials for girls clothing' as my guide and stumbled onto a TON of helpful tutorials on making anything from leggings to capes to skirts, tops and dresses! This, is where the wild hair comes in.....it was 8:30 PM, motivated and excited by the tutorials I found online, I decided 'I'm going to make a dress!' And off I went to the sewing closet to pick fabrics and begin my project.....I wasn't confident it would turn out very well, but wanted to get my feathers wet.....
To my surprise, it worked!
I used two wonderful tutorials from CraftyCuboard and from DanaMadeIt to make this awesomely easy dress....It is essentially a circle skirt attached to a t shirt!
A great project for beginners and one that is so versatile! The tutorial called for a sash around the waist, but I decided to use the leftover fabric that I cut out to make the radius of the circle skirt as an embellishment for the top of the dress. You could also layer the skirt with different fabrics or add a contrasting hem to the bottom of the skirt....or even shorten the skirt length and turn it into a tunic top -- really you could make so many different looks with these tutorials!
It took me about an hour from start to finish. I could hardly sleep last night thinking about how my daughter was going to react to seeing her dress in the morning! She took one open-mouthed look at it and proclaimed 'I love it! Can I please wear it today!?' So....now I am hooked :) So much so, that I spent this morning (the one day a week I have 'off' when all of the kids are in school) at Joann's buying yards and yards and yards of fabric to make more dresses! ....Next up, a peasant style dress....
Stay Tuned...If all goes well, you might be seeing a dress or two available in my store in the near future :)
THE SPOTTED LAMB'S VETERANS' DAY SALE BEGINS NOW! NOW UNTIL NOVEMBER 14TH ALL QUILTS ARE 15-50% OFF!!
*No Code Required -- Current Prices Reflect Veterans' Day Discount*SHOP SALE NOW
I guess the word about my Slim Potato Casserole is beginning to get out! I was approached by an editor at AllFreeCasseroleRecipes.com who wanted to include my recipe as part of their collection! You can see my recipe by clicking HERE If you haven't tried it already, please do! It's the perfect time of year to bake up a deliciously hot and comforting dish that won't cause your buttons to bust! :)
Have a wonderful holiday weekend and a special thank you to all of our Veterans, past and present, who have made the selfless commitment to protect our home and all that we value as American citizens!
When my boys were babies...well, younger babies that is, I made all of their baby food from scratch. Not for any other reason than that they ate a TON of food -- I would have had to rob a bank to pay for the amount of store bought jarred baby food I would have had to buy to keep their bellies full! As you might imagine, they are not picky eaters, but what they LOVED the most was when I made butternut squash puree. So, it surprises me when I realize that I have never made my own pumpkin puree!? To think that, after all of the baby food I have made, the fact that the boys' favorite baby food came from the squash/gourd family, and the fact that I LOVE pumpkin anything...it never even crossed my mind to make fresh pumpkin puree!? I guess that's what happens when you get into grocery store auto-drive....just picking things off of the shelf and tossing them into the cart without thinking about whether or not it is healthier, less expensive and even easier to make your own from scratch.
Anyway, thanks to PInterest, my eyes were opened: 'hey, homemade pumpkin puree looks pretty darn easy, inexpensive and good!' I made my first batch last night -- along with some pumpkin bread using my fresh puree -- and I am here to tell you that I will never go back to canned pumpkin! The taste difference is pretty remarkable and I can't wait to try the fresh puree in all of my other pumpkin recipes...pumpkin pie -- oh my!
The process is VERY easy and the rewards are... well, delicious!
Here's how to make your own puree!
-PreHeat Oven to 350 degrees.
-Line a rimmed cookie sheet with tin foil and spray with cooking spray.
-Cut your Pie Pumpkin* in half and scoop out the seeds and stringy bits
-Place each half of the pumpkin face down (skin side up) on the cookie sheet
-Cover the pumpkin halves with more tin foil
-Place the cookie sheet in the oven and bake for 60-90 min -- pumpkin is done when you can pierce the skin easily with a skewer and the flesh is soft.
-Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and let cool until pumpkin can be handled safely.
-Flip the cooked pumpkin halves over and scoop out the flesh from the skin (this should be very easy, like scooping butter) and place in a large bowl.
-Mash the pumpkin flesh with a potato masher or fork.
-Use your pumpkin puree right away or store in glass canning jars and place in the freezer for later use! That's it!
*A pie pumpkin can be found at your local grocery store -- they are smaller sized pumpkins, usually around 8 inches in diameter and have more flesh and a less stringy texture than their larger Jack-o-Latern brothers. Although, you may be able to find these smaller pumpkins at your local patch too, that is where I found the one I used.
In the mean time, all of this talk of baby food and purees had made me miss these two little roly-poly baby faces...
Sniff, Sniff....it's amazing how quickly time flies!
I am teaming up with my wonderful friend Jill, over at AutismDeal.com to host an amazing fundraising opportunity for Autism Spectrum Disorder Research! Jill is an amazing long-time friend, fellow military spouse, wonder-mom to two beautiful boys and recently earned her PhD in Psychology to boot! In her own words: 'we need to keep searching...everyday...for every child and family [living with ASD]. My son Jaxon has been recovering from Autism for the past 4 years. Together we have found a way to 'give' back and hope that more research will lead others to recovery.' Jill will be selling these awesome, Spotted Lamb made key fobs for charity. Each fob costs $10.00 and for every fob sold, $5 will be donated to Autism Research -- amazing! Please head on over to AutismDeal.com to order yours today!
I was able to use the last of the Kaffe Fassett fabrics I order for this quilt, which I then used for this quilt, and finally turned into THIS beautiful table runner!
I thought the colors would be perfect for a fall/winter centerpiece -- maybe even a great backdrop to Thanksgiving dinner!?
I made this runner reversible -- using a really nice mustard and cream colored paisley print for the back, which I thought would allow this runner to be used year-round!
Artful stitching, and bright, warm colors -- it's going to be hard to part with this runner! If you'd like to see and read more about this runner, please take a look at my Etsy store!