Friday, March 11, 2011

Thoughts on Grown Ups

Sometimes I wish that I didn't have to do grown up things like go to work every day, pay bills, do laundry, clean, and be responsible. It was so nice when I had parents that did that for me everyday and all I had to worry about was making sure I got my homework done. I was having lunch with a good friend today and we were talking about all of the hard things that we are going through in our lives and the difficult decisions that we have to face everyday. We both decided that we wanted to color in coloring books all day while watching TV and eating good food made by our mom. Oh how I miss it so much! Being a grown up is hard and is frustrating at times too. There are days that I am ready to give up.

But then I think of all of the good things that come with being a grown up and I don't feel so bad. I LOVE being married to the man of my dreams. I like my job (most days...) and helping the sweet little kids and their parents. I like leaving in my own place and doing whatever I want whenever I want.
And most of all, I love to cook in my own kitchen what I want to! It is fabulous. I love collecting recipes and ideas for things to make for me and my husband and one day our kids. Whenever I tell Andrew that I found a new recipe he rolls his eyes and tells me that I have too many recipes already that I don't and do I really need anymore? I stock a TON of food blogs and am always looking for new ways to make so many things. I just bought a new cookbook today and am thrilled to make everything from it. So with that said I want to share tow new recipes today. One sweet and one savory.

The first is one that I found while watching the Food Network during Valentine's weekend. I immediatly knew I needed to make it and searched the web to get the full directions. It is so sweet and so good and Andrew and I devoured it all! A perfect mix of peanut butter and caramel. YUM!!

Peanut Butter-Caramel Pound Cake
by Giada De Laurentiis on the Food Network

Vegetable oil cooking spray
1 (9.5-ounce) bag soft caramel candies, unwrapped (recommended: Kraft Classic Caramels)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a 9-by-5-by-3-inch nonstick, metal loaf pan with vegetable oil cooking spray. Line the bottom of the pan with a 14-by-3 1/2-inch piece of parchment paper. Spray with vegetable oil cooking spray. Line the sides of the pan with a 14-by-7-inch piece of parchment paper. Set aside.

In a small, heavy saucepan, combine the caramel candies and heavy cream over low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the candies have melted and the mixture is smooth, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium and beat in the eggs and vanilla. With the machine running, gradually add the flour mixture in batches to form a thick batter. Beat in the peanut butter. Transfer half of the batter to the prepared pan. Pour 2 tablespoons of the caramel lengthwise along the center of the batter. Using the tip of a knife, swirl the caramel sauce into the batter. Place the remaining batter on top and pour another 2 tablespoons of the caramel sauce lengthwise along the center of the batter. Swirl the caramel sauce into the batter. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out with moist crumbs, 55 to 60 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan and peel away the parchment paper. Cool completely on a wire rack, about 1 hour (center of cake will fall during cooling). Slice the pound cake and place on a serving platter. Warm the remaining caramel sauce over low heat. Drizzle the caramel sauce over the pound cake slices or serve alongside.

Next a super good super easy way to have pizza. I made this one night when my husband was at work and I was tempted to eat them all before he got home, they were that good! Andrew liked these as well and requested that next time we add some more meat to the mix. I think this is going to be one of my go to recipes!
This recipe came from one of my favorite blogs, I actually just bought their book. You can take a look for yourself right here,
One look and you will love them! Our Best Bites rocks!

Stuffed Pizza Rolls
Recipe from OurBestBites

1 roll refrigerated pizza dough* (or make your own)
marinara/pizza sauce (or make your own)
2T grated Parmesan cheese
1 T olive oil or melted butter
1/2 t garlic powder
1 t dried Italian seasoning
mozzerella cheese, diced or grated
Pizza toppings of your choice: ie, ham and pineapple, pepperoni slices, sausage, etc.

*You can use regular pizza dough, or thin crust.

Preheat oven to heat specified on pizza dough package. Usually it's 400 degrees. If you make your own dough, 400 is usually a good heat as well.

Unroll your pizza dough onto a lightly floured surface. Pat or roll the dough so it's about 12" by 8". Use a pizza cutter to slice the dough into 24 squares.
Place cheese and desired toppings on each square.
When all of your dough squares have cheese and toppings on them, carefully lift up each square and wrap the dough around the toppings. Pinch to make sure each ball is sealed shut and then place them seam side down in a lightly sprayed pie pan (or similar sized dish).
Brush the tops of the dough balls with olive oil or melted butter and then sprinkle with the garlic and Italian seasoning and top with Parmesan cheese.
Cook them in the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown on top. Keep an eye on them! Doughs vary, so I'd check them after even 10 minutes.
Serve warm with warmed marinara sauce on the side for dipping.

What do you think?

So one other random thing, a couple of weeks ago Andrew and I went to the Ice Castles up in Midway. The price seemed a bit much but it was still fun and we got some good pics and made a day out of it. Here are just a few from the day.