Morning Smiles

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Some mornings we have our act together and some mornings we don’t.

Thankfully we were on our A-game today so I was able to take some pictures of our super smiley Autumn as she was showing off a new outfit today. My boss gave this to me shortly after I returned to work in February so I was excited that 1) it was warm enough today for her to wear it 2) she is finally kinda, sorta is big enough for 3-6 months clothes at almost 5 months. ha!

We just love our smiley girl!

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Happy Monday!

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4.11-13: Weekend Recap

{Friday}

Work from home during the day | drop off milk for donation | Autumn finished 4th month vaccines (2 shots) | pizza | Grimm

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{Saturday}

morning snuggles in bed| eftover pizza for breakfast | cleaning around the house | nap with Autumn | Old Navy & Costco with Autumn | laundry | took a walk on the beach | got ice cream | watch the Darlington NASCAR race | bed

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 {Sunday}

Up early | blueberry muffins | morning snuggles, nap | Price hung up pictures | dog park | give Kemper a bath | Price got his hair cut, went to Home Depot | made Chia pudding | Autumn didn’t want to nap – finally took a super long nap | I had a short nap, Price had a long nap | Turkey Teriyaki Meatballs for dinner | cleaning | mad men | bed

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Banana Cream Pie

Banana Cream Pie

I am just itching to go on vacation.

At the very least planning one would cool my wanderlust urges. I just love adventures and times to relax in a new setting. I love to discover new places and try new things.

Price and I are looking into cruises for next January as a way to celebrate my 30th. I think a week in the Caribbean is just the best idea to break up the cold winter up here. Plus I think turning 30 while sipping a daiquiri as I soak up the sun is they best way to spend a milestone birthday

As well, I’m waiting for Jet Blue to release more dates next year so that Emily and I can have a girl’s weekend. I can’t wait to check out Seattle and have her show me all around.  Everything she has been telling me about the PNW sounds awesome. I think it will be such a fantastic time. yay!

Anyway, let’s check out this awesome pie for Pieday Friday!

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This banana cream pie should be illegal.

It’s that good. Really really good.

The flavor is so good. The silky smooth pudding filling is a great companion to the fresh bananas.

Price came back from work and I basically shoved a spoonful of the pudding into his mouth the moment he walked in. I don’t think he minded though. Well, maybe it was a tease because he had to wait for it to set up. ha!

I suggest that you make the pie well in advance of serving it. You can let it chill for an hour but I think that the longer the better. Then you garnish it right before serving so the bananas don’t brown. And I think that some whipped cream is great for a garnish as well. yum!!

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What pies should I make next? I’m taking suggestions!!

Banana Cream Pie

Makes a 9″ Pie

Ingredients

  • 1 9″ deep-dish pie crust
  • 3/4 Cup sugar
  • 1/3 Cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cup milk
  • 3 egg yolks, beaten
  • 2 Tablespoons
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 bananas

Process

  1. Bake the pie crust according to the packaged instructions/recipe. Let completely cool.
  2. Slice 4 of the bananas into 1/4″ thick rounds. Set aside.
  3. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  4. In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the sugar, flour, and salt. Gradually pour the milk in while stirring gently. While continuously whisking, cook over medium heat until the mixture is bubbly. Keep stirring and cook for about 2 more minutes, and then remove from the burner.
  5. Mix a small quantity (about 1/3 cup) of the hot pudding mixture into the beaten egg yolks, and immediately add egg yolk mixture to the rest of the hot mixture. While continuously whisking, cook for 2 more minutes.
  6. Remove the mixture from the stove, and add butter and vanilla. Stir until the whole thing has a smooth consistency.
  7. Place the banana slices in the cooled baked pastry shell and then top with pudding mixture.
  8. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Chill for 1 hour before slicing. Garnish with the remaining banana prior to serving.

Sourced from All Recipes

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French Toast Roll-Ups {& a Musselman’s Giveaway}

French Toast Roll Ups

Spring!!! Spring!!! Spring!!!

I can barely contain my excitement with Spring’s arrival.

It’s beautiful in the mornings and the late afternoon is great when I leave work. The nights are warmer now so we have been driving to the next town to go to the beach. It’s great to be out in the fresh salt air getting a bit of exercise right next to the waves. Autumn usually sleeps in the carrier Price wears and I have Kemper, who gets slobbery and sandy. I like to ask Price where the people are coming from when the planes fly low overhead on their approach to Logan Airport. He makes it up on the spot but it’s fun to imagine going there and taking the same trip over the beach looking down at other people walking their dogs. Moments like that are why I love Spring so much.

Oh, and the flowers. We can’t forget the flowers!

I’m really hoping that the bulbs I had in the front yard (technically our neighbor’s yard but she let’s me plant there) survived this horrible winter. I’ll just have to wait and see what happens with the lilies I planted. Thankfully the Pieris japonica (Lily-of-the-valley bush) and mini rose-bush I planted last year appear to have made it.

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It will still be awhile until things bloom outside, but in the meantime I can enjoy the beautiful roses that Musselman’s & FTD sent me. Earlier this week a The Color Your Day with Laughter™ Mini Rose Plant arrived and ever since it has been brightening up our dining table.

The rose buds are still pretty tightly closed but some are opening up. While that be disappointed to get a green bush without any roses in bloom, I think that is the best! It means that I get to see each one open up and the flowers last longer. More time to enjoy the bright pink flowers. Love.

Now is the best time to treat someone you love (or even yourself!) with a flower arrangment. FTD is giving my readers $10 off select flower arrangements. Check out the flowers here!

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Anyway, let’s get to the yummy stuff featured in this post…

French Toast Roll-Ups!

These are wonderful, yummy breakfast treats. Quick to assemble, packed for flavor, and easy to eat. You can dip them into the usual maple syrup but the cream cheese based dipping sauce is so good.

I know Autumn is a long, long ways away form helping me in the kitchen but I think this would be a great kid’s recipe. They can help you roll out the bread, spread some apple butter on the bread and roll it up. I’m sure dunking them in the french toast batter would be fun for them too. Plus, I’m sure kids woul dhave fun dunking the french toast roll-ups into the dipping sauce. yum!

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At work, we take turns bringing in breakfast on Friday’s. My turn is coming up in a few weeks and I am planning on making these guys because the recipe is super easy to multiply (or even halve), they are easy prepare so a large batch will be a synch, and easy to transport. I am planning on preparing them really early that morning, but I think they will be just as good to make the night before and then they can be reheated in the microwave at work.

Grab a jar of Musselman’s Apple Butter and make a batch of these. They are just so good!

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French Toast Roll-Ups

Makes 16 roll-ups

Ingredients

  • 16 slices of white sandwich bread
  • 1 Cup of Musselman’s Apple Butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 Cup milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 Tablespoon water

For the dipping sauce

  • 3 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 Cup Musselman’s Apple Butter
  • 1/2 Cup confectioners sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons milk

Process

To prepare the roll-ups

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or grease well to prevent the rolls ups from sticking to the pan.
  2. Using a rolling-pin, flatten a slice of bread to about half of its’ original thickness.
  3. Spread roughly 1 Tablespoon of apple butter evenly on the bread. Roll up with the apple butter side inward. Set aside, with the seam side down. Repeat with the remaining bread.
  4. In a small bowl, beat together the eggs, 1/4 cup of milk, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and nutmeg. Dip each roll-up into the egg mixture to complete coat it, then shake off the excess batter. Place on the baking sheet.
  5. Bake 10 minutes. Pull out of the oven, brush the top side with melted butter, flip each roll, then brush the bottoms with butter. (If they stick, gently use a spatula to loosen them.) Leave the bottom side up and bake another 10 minutes.
  6. In a small bowl, add the sugar and the remaining 1/2 tsp cinnamon. When the roll-ups are done baking, roll each one in the mixture. Serve warm with dipping sauce (below).

To prepare the dipping sauce

  1. In a medium-sized bowl, beat together cream cheese and apple butter until there is a smooth consistency.
  2. Gradually beat in the sugar until smooth and then beat in the milk. Set aside to use later.

Sourced from Musselman’s

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 And now the good stuff… the GIVEAWAY!

You can win a jar of Musselman’s Apple Butter and some recipe cards.

To Enter:

Leave a comment telling me what your favorite things about spring is.

Contest Ends Sunday, April 13th at Midnight EST.

Good luck but if you don’t win be sure to go to your jam/jelly aisle at your local grocery store and pick up a jar of Musselman’s Apple Butter!

And don’t forget to order flowers from FTD!! Save $10!!

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*This blog contains sponsored content. While I did receive complimentary products from Musselman’s and FTD, these opinions are entirely my own.

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Thanks for visiting. Please leave me a comment to provide some feedback. I appreciate all the comments I receive.

Posted in Baking, Food and Drink | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Turkey with a Brown-Sugar Glaze

 Turkey with Brown Sugar Glaze

My mom is coming up from Florida for a visit and it happens to be Easter weekend. I love cooking for holidays but I’m just not sure what to make for Easter. I know what you are going to say, you’re going to say “But you make ham for Easter!” This is true but we didn’t have turkey on Thanksgiving since we had just brought Autumn home Monday night and none of us were going to whip up a turkey just a few days later. (Side note: our super sweet Chilean neighbor brought us over some food- shrimp cocktail, roasted pork, and rice.)

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So I’ve had turkey on the brain every since.

We did do an early Thanksgiving which was awesome but I’ve been thinking about making a turkey recently. It’s probably because I’ve been enjoying the work week more when I have dinner prepped or pre made so we are just assembling or reheating it. A big turkey cooked up on a Sunday would give us plenty of leftovers for lunches and dinners for a few days.

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The turkey is really moist as the skin locks in the moisture. Plus the vegetbale and the liquid in the bottom of the pan also helps keep the turkey from drying out. Can’t have a dry turkey! That’s the worst.

I always use a turkey with a built in termometer as I’ve had issues with the doneness in the past. When I’ve cooked turkeys without a built in thermometer I’ve under cooked them in the past when I’ve just stuck a thermometer in the thigh, received the reading of 165 degrees, took it out of hte oven and when I’ve carved it up later I’ve discovered a pink bird. So, do what works for you.Feel free to use both thermoters… why not!?!

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The brown sugar glaze is easy to prepare and it gives such a lovely flavor to the turkey. But the best is that it makes the skin sticky and crisp. So when you sneak a piece of skin before you serve it you have to lick your fingers clean of any delicious evidence!

As well the gravy is unlike any other gravy I’ve had before. The gravy is made with the drippings from the pan, leftover graze, and hard cider. The cider really does give it a lot of apple-y flavor but I liked that with the sweetness of the glaze but using stock would be just fine as well.

So give turkey a chance for Easter, or any lovely Sunday dinner. If not, the nmake it for Thanksgiving and your family will thank you. They will so so excited that you tried this Brown Sugar Glazed Turkey. I swear!

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Turkey with a Brown-Sugar Glaze

Serves 10-12

Ingredients

For the Turkey

  • 12-15 pound turkey, brought to room temperature
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled, roughly chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 orange
  • herb bundle containing rosemary, thyme, sage
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 cup of orange juice mixed with 1 cup of hard cider or stock

For the Glaze

  • 2/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest, plus 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons of butter

For the Gravy

  • drippings from the pan
  • 2-3 tablespoon flour
  • any remaining leftover glaze
  • 1-2 cups of hard cider or stock
  • sage leaves

Process

  1. Place a rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Place the turkey in a roasting pan with a rack. Tuck wing tips underneath the body of turkey. Stuff the tukey with the carrots, celery, onion, orange, and herbs.
  3. Carefully seperate the skin of the turkey from the breast and place pieces of butter between the breast and skin of the turkey. Season the outside of the turkey with salt and pepper.
  4. Pour the orange juice mixture into the bottom of the pan.
  5. Roast the turkey for for 30 minutes.
  6. Turn down the oven to 350 and let continue to cook for another 45 minutes before rotating for another 45 minutes.
  7. While the turkey is cooking, make the glaze by combining the vinegar, brown sugar, and orange juice in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over high, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture is syrupy, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter and orange zest.
  8. Brush the skin of the turkey with the glaze after it has been roasting for an hour and 30 minutes at 350. Brush and rotate the bird every 15 minutes until it has completed cooking, when the temperature ofin the thickest part of the thigh reads 165 degrees.
  9. Remove from oven and tent with alumnium foil for at least 30 minutes before carving.

To make the gravy

  1. Remove the drippings from the pan. (I suggest using a baster to do this task)
  2. Let the drippings sit for a few minutes so that fat seperates and you can remove some of it.
  3. In a large skillet pour about a 1/4 cup of the drippings into the pan and add the flour to a paste. Slowly mix in the rest of the drippings with some whole sage leaves.
  4. Once that is all comined mix any remaining glaze. Then add the cider until you have reached the amount of gravy you would like. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve the carved turkey with the gravy and enjoy!

Inspired by Martha Stewart

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