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Cannoli Dip

4 Feb

Hi everyone! Did you all have a good weekend? Eat some good food at your Super Bowl parties?

I think I discovered my new go-to dessert. Cannoli dip. Did you all know cannolis* are made from ricotta cheese? They’re my favorite dessert and I did not know that until yesterday. I don’t know what I thought they were made from except for deliciousness. Deliciousness that was unattainable at home. But not anymore!

Cannoli dip

I came across this recipe for the dip on Pinterest (of course!) but when I bought the ricotta saw that there was a cannoli filling recipe on the back too. So, in what seems to be my new way of cooking, I improvised a bit by combining my favorite parts of the two recipes. The final recipe was something, very loosely, like this:

Cannoli Dip

  • 1 lb ricotta cheese
  • about 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • about 1/8 teaspoon vanilla
  • about 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips, plus more for garnishing
  • 1 package waffle cones

Stir the ricotta cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla together. Taste it and add more powdered sugar or vanilla if you think it needs it. Stir in the mini chocolate chips. Add more if you want to. Put into a serving dish and garnish with more mini chocolate chips. Break up your waffle cones into small pieces for dipping. And you’re done!

Way too easy. And soooo good. It even eliminates my least favorite part about cannolis – that they’re sometimes a bit messy to break apart and eat!

*I also just learned that those with good knowledge of Italian would actually use the singular form connolo and the plural form cannoli. But as I clearly do not know Italian, I’ll just go ahead and stick with the Americanized version. Also, I learned that cannolis are from Sicily, which is where the Italian side of my family is from. Must be why I like them! :)

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DIY Ornaments – 2012

20 Dec

For this year’s holiday ornament I decided to re-create an old favorite of mine. It’s the little snowman labeled “c.” below that I first posted about here.

Christmas OrnamentsI think my Grandma made the original. As a note to self, I probably should not try to re-create things my Grandma made. She’s pretty much a nicer Martha Stewart with a few more children, less time spent in prison, and no bazillion dollar company to pass down to us (bummer on that last one.) But point being, everything she makes is perfect.

With the baby taking up much of my time this year I knew I’d need something I could get done easily – and could easily start and stop as she needed me – because I wanted a whole bunch of them.

20121206-0383

You should be able to buy the mini clothespins at your local craft store but they were sold out at mine so I found them on Amazon. I decided to make the scarf out of yarn to add some dimension which I thought was fun.

Clothespin snowman

The other bonus to the snowmen (as compared to the previous years’ ornaments) is that I could mail them since I wasn’t sure I’d see everyone in time. With the exception of actually going to the post office (one of my least favorite chores), I love mailing things. Just one more chance for fun wrapping! I went for untraditional colors based on these pretty pink bubble mailers and free holiday printables.

20121207-0429

Yay! Crafting makes me happy and even though it was a little trickier to plan and execute this year I’m glad I was able to keep the tradition alive.

{In case you missed the previous years’ ornaments: 2010 and 2011}

Oatmeal with Apple and Pear Compote

16 Dec

I’m not a big breakfast person. In fact, unless you count coffee as breakfast, I used to skip it all together. Though I’m sure some of my favorite lattes have enough calories to count as breakfast, I think the nutrition experts would find several things wrong with that scenario. So, I have tried to get better and one of the keys to this (since I am not a morning person) is preparing things in advance. During the summer this is often yogurt, granola, and fruit packaged to go so I can eat it at work. In the winter, this gets swapped out for oatmeal. Often plain but sometimes with brown sugar and milk added.

This October, however, I was introduced to oatmeal with a homemade apple walnut compote from one of my favorite cafes. As luck would have it, around the same time I came across a recipe on Pinterest for baked apples in a bag. Now, the idea of microwaving a plastic bag freaks me out a little so I had to change things up a bit.

I started with a big batch of steel-cut oatmeal (which I make according to this recipe, give or take a few things depending on what we have on hand.) For the compote, I chopped up a Honeycrisp apple (I just discovered these this year and I LOVE them) and a pear (because we had one) and threw them into a small saucepan. I added a couple spoonfuls of brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 2 tablespoon of water, and some raisins. Then, I just heated everything up until it seemed good and mushy. (This is obviously not a very precise recipe, which causes me a bit of stress quite honestly, but it turned out just fine.)

When it was done, I put the compote on top of my oatmeal and threw on some walnuts. Voila! A healthy, hot breakfast.

Oatmeal

Now if only I had taken the time to toast those walnuts it would have been even better. But my daughter was 5 days old at the time. The fact that I managed to make breakfast, take a picture of it, and eat it while it was still hot is pretty miraculous, if you ask me.

A few of my favorite baby things

14 Dec

With the holidays coming, I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of baby gift guides out there. Those bloggers are all far more stylish than I am and generally seem to be far more willing to spend a lot of money on a small child who will quickly outgrow things. So, I’ll leave them to their lovely gift guides while I present the reality of what I’ve loved for our new mom/baby needs.

Onesies with snaps – I’ve had several people tell me that zippers are the way to go but I respectively disagree. They apparently find the snaps difficult to deal with in the middle of the night. Now, maybe this is unfair since Pete changes the diapers in the middle of the night, but I strongly prefer snaps. It makes it far easier to check whether the diaper needs to be changed (the diapers come with wetness indicators now! how things have changed since I babysat!) without having to expose the baby’s whole body.

{Carter’s}

This particular onesie happens to be a newborn favorite of mine. Claire looked so pretty in it that I might need to go out and get it in a bigger size too.

Changing pad liners – Oh, poop. It gets talked about – and cleaned up – so much in our house now. Though the changing pad covers are pretty, we’ve also liked having these liners on hand to minimize the number of times we have to change and clean the whole cover.

{Amazon.com}

OxiClean MaxForce Stain Remover – Sticking with that same theme, I had no idea you had to pre-treat baby poop stains in clothes. (I’ve mentioned before I’m not so good at laundry!) This stuff gets everything out. Amazing.

{Amazon.com}

NoseFrida Snot Sucker – This is a little gross but it works. I’d rather a little gross than listen to my poor baby struggle to breathe at night. The regular aspirator just wasn’t as effective for us. And I like that you can see exactly what you’re getting out with this one.

{Amazon.com}

Soothies Gel Pads – If you’re planning on breastfeeding, I recommend having some of these on hand before the baby is even born. Without going into too much detail, breastfeeding has been harder than I expected (and I expected it to be hard.) It seems like a lot of what I read or heard about beforehand focused on getting a proper latch. Maybe I was just ignoring the other parts but it made it seem like any issues would be identified right away and should clear up in the first few weeks. Though we had a bit of trouble right in the beginning our real troubles didn’t even start until around 2 or 3 weeks when Claire was suddenly super fussy when eating. These things saved me when I wasn’t sure how much longer I would make it.

{Amazon.com}

I tried the Ameda brand too and also liked those. They can be used longer which is a plus, especially in the beginning. But the Lansinoh version has a fabric backing that I have a slight preference for so I plan to keep some of these on hand for any future needs.

Car seat strap covers – I’m including these on my list because I saw them in the store and thought they were for overprotective parents. Then I saw how Claire’s head leaned in her car seat and the mark the strap made on her neck one day. Oh my goodness, so sad. I got online and bought these the same day.

{Amazon.com}

I’m guessing not all babies have the same issue but, as a bonus, she looks pretty cute with her little face squished between her bunnies. :)

Fall Treats

14 Oct

Now that it’s too cold for ice cream, my sweet tooth has turned to more fall appropriate treats. I won’t usually bake for just the two of us (recipe sizes are meant for sharing!) so I was excited to recently have two different get-togethers with friends to try out some new recipes I found on Pinterest.

First up was a spin on traditional caramel apples – Caramel Apple Snickers Pie

Oh my deliciousness. And it doesn’t even require baking. Way too good and way too easy to make. Especially considering apples are my favorite thing ever right now. I swear I’ve eaten more already this year than in the past 10 years combined. I made the recipe as listed in the link above but it turned out to be too much apple and too much cool whip mixture for my pie crust, in case you want to cut back on both of those.

And then there was Pumpkin Cake –

Photo source: sheknows.com

This was probably especially good to me because Pete doesn’t like pumpkin flavored anything so I don’t ever make it. However, pumpkin everything was the request of a friend who just had a baby and I certainly wasn’t going to deny her! Again, I made the recipe as listed in the link (following directions is really the extent of my cooking abilities!) and I thought both the cake and the frosting were delicious.

Mmmm. And now that I’m thinking of fall favorites, Charise’s S’Mores Cookies just came to mind. If I had the ingredients on hand I’d probably make them right now using the justification that I could bring the rest to work. Perhaps a trip to the grocery store is in order…

Sparkle Monogram Pumpkin

13 Oct

I’ve said it before (here and here) but it’s worth repeating every year – I love pumpkins. We’ve hosted quite a few pumpkin carving parties but some years it just doesn’t work out. This would be one of them for the obvious reason that I am 9 months pregnant. I figured even trying to carve a pumpkin right now would be a pretty ridiculous feat. So, if I couldn’t carve, how about painting on a monogram and adding some glitter? Seemed like a pretty obvious choice if you ask me!

 

Of course, the downside to painting is that you don’t get any pumpkin seeds. If anyone has any to share I’ll be right over!

J.Crew Bubble Necklace

23 Jun

Look what arrived at my doorstep yesterday!

 

It’s the J.Crew Bubble necklace and the best part about it is I won it in a Style Me Pretty giveaway! I never win anything so this is still pretty crazy to me. And I admittedly would never spend $150 on a necklace (let’s remember that’s how much my wedding dress cost) so it’s nice to win such a fun splurge. The necklace I originally selected, a gold and clear crystal necklace, was no longer available. This is definitely a little trendier (and is apparently the subject of many knock-offs, written about hilariously here) but hopefully I’ll be able to pull it off. :)

Oh. And if you’re wondering why a woman who has been married nearly five years is still following a wedding blog, let’s just call it a guilty pleasure. The photography and events are all so pretty that I can’t resist!