For the Love of Lists – Week 4

Lists for Days | August 31, 2016 | By

These weeks sure are flying by!  I’m loathing that August comes to a close today.  I love September, but for different reasons than why I love July and August.  I’m just not ready for the change.  We’re going to start homeschooling a bit later than public school starts, so I’m prolonging my summer as much as I can.  Bring on a few more lots more of those hot, sunny days.  

Green Beans - Love of lists 4

I hope you’ve been enjoying these lists.  They’re kind of random, but I love sharing the things that I come across.  

  1. If anyone has an obsession for gorgeous dish towels, Anthropologie has an amazing collection to choose from.  So pretty!
  2. A little maxi-dress inspiration from Lulu’s.  (They have some really nice stuff!)  This flow-y one, or this long sleeve one.  
  3. We’ve been talking about making banana pancakes for years.  (Ever hear the song by Jack Johnson?  So good.)  We finally did this weekend.  They were awesome.  Lesson learned:  You can start frying pancakes, realize you forgot the egg, scrape the already partially cooked pancakes back into the bowl, add the egg, and still have them turn out alright!  Who knew?  Pretty good tip though, eh?  
  4. This article, “The Unhealthy Truth Behind ‘Wellness’ and ‘Clean Eating'” resounds with me.  Super interesting.  A must read. 
  5. As I’ve said before, I’m a list maker, a planner.  This article is a reality check.  I need to surrender my list-making pen over to the only One who really has control of the day.
  6. Also – am much as I hate to say it, Fall is closing in on us.  And as it does, I find myself dreaming of warm drinks and knitting.  This Maple Cardamom Latte looks pretty fantastic.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Torte

Pies and Tortes | August 28, 2016 | By

If you read the last post (For the Love of Lists – Week 3), you’ll know that I admitted to having a few food-related weaknesses.  One of them (probably the biggest one), is peanut butter.  Mix that with chocolate, and OH Bessy!  You’ve got me caught.  You see, the problem for me, with making a dessert like this, is that I want to eat it all.  And some of you will say, ‘Then eat it!’.  I say – that’s probably not the best thing to do.  Overeating=getting sick of certain flavours.  And I never want to be sick of peanut butter.  It is just so dang good!  (Not to mention the calories.  I mean, this is calorie-free!)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Torte

Anyhow, this recipe comes from the Baker Chick, who found the recipe on Annie’s Eats.  It’s been tweaked along the way, but for the most part, it’s pretty similar to the original (so check it out, if you’d like!).  

We are talking chocolate crust, and a fluffy, rich-but-not-too-rich filling, some crunch, topped with ganache.  We are only using 1.5 blocks of cream cheese, which I think is great!  Mostly because those cheesecake recipes with 8+ blocks of cream cheese cost an arm and a leg to make.  (I might be exaggerating with the 8+ blocks, but even 4 can get kind of costly!)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Torte

Also, we’re making it in a spring-form pan, which means it is super thick and absolutely wonderful.  We have GOT to do this more often!

We had some friends visiting from away over to enjoy this with us, and I’m pretty sure it’s a winner.  Not to mention that the company was spot on.  If these people want to move closer to home, I’d take that.  😉

Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Torte

So!  Down to the baking.  You’ll notice in the notes that I did something a little different with the crust (that I think makes it amazingly awesome-er).  But you don’t have to do it this way!  I’ll include the other way too.  

Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Torte

Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Torte
A rich, but fluffy chocolate/peanut butter combo. Thick, and guaranteed to satisfy your sweet tooth.
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For the crust
  1. 3/4 cups chocolate cookie crumbs
  2. 1 3/4 cup graham crumbs (or just chocolate crumbs - see note)
  3. 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  4. 1/2 tsp salt
  5. 1/3 cup cocoa
  6. 1/4 cup sugar
For the crunch
  1. 3/4 cup toffee bits or 2 crushed Skor bars
For the filling
  1. 2 cups heavy cream
  2. 12 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  3. 11/2 cups peanut butter (crunchy or creamy-your preference)
  4. 11/4 cups icing sugar
  5. 1/2 tsp vanilla
For the topping
  1. ½ cup heavy cream
  2. 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate
  3. Sprinkling of toffee bits/crushed Skor bar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Mix together crust ingredients, and press into a greased 10-inch springform pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cool. It must be completely cool when you fill it.
  3. Whisk whipping cream, until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
  4. In another bowl, cream that cream cheese until it's nice and smooth. Add peanut butter, icing sugar, and vanilla.
  5. Fold in whipped cream and toffee bits, until well combined. Be gentle with that whipped cream. Don't crush it.
  6. Pour into crust, cover, and freeze for about 10 minutes, to set the filing. Then you can either keep freezing it (more of an ice cream cake), or pop it in the fridge (more of a mousse torte) for a few hours.
  7. Add chocolate and cream to a microwave-safe dish (or measuring cup), and place in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir, and keep microwaving at 20 second intervals until the chocolate stirs into the cream smoothly. (You could also do this on the stove.)
  8. Pour topping onto your mousse, add the toffee bits, and pop in the fridge/freezer for a few more minutes.
  9. Serve, eat, and be wowed.
Notes
  1. You can just use chocolate crumbs with butter and salt for the crust, if you prefer. I found the mixture of both, plus cocoa and sugar, made it richer, and more chocolatey.
Adapted from The Baker Chick
Adapted from The Baker Chick
Whisks and Wooden Spoons http://whisksandwoodenspoons.com/

For the Love of Lists – Week 3

Lists for Days | August 24, 2016 | By

Somehow we’re halfway into another week already!  Time for some more list-happenings, eh?

I promise there is a recipe post on the horizon.  Pinky-promise. 

Cael - Note

We’ve been trying to fit as much into this last month of summer as possible, or so it seems.  Lots of friends being seen, lots of sun time, it’s really great (though perhaps a bit tiring).  I’m a summer lover for sure.  There’s a place in my heart for each of the other seasons, but summer is my favourite. This part of me deep down is looking forward to warm drinks, jeans, and nights in.  But the rest of me knows that there will be wayyy too much of that going on.  Winter seems to last forever, don’t you think?  Anyhow.  Enough talking about that.  It’ll come soon enough.  

On to the list for the week!

My physical list here at home includes laundry, [finally] painting the bathroom (which may never happen), cleaning out the spots in our house that get overlooked and are overflowing with STUFF, dishes, supper.  I really hope I can make some progress.  

This week 3 list  – much more fun than laundry and dishes.  Enjoy this exploration of cool internet things.

  1. I ordered a devotional from Kristin Schmucker, and I can’t wait to see it!  All of her merchandise is gorgeous, and I am super excited to start a new devotional.  
  2. We made these sugar cookies for our church camp this week – super yummy.  I’m hoping to do a post on them soon, with a bit of a change (because who has time to chill dough?!).  FYI – Joy the Baker is on of my favourite food people.  
  3. I have yet to attempt a jumpsuit/romper style, but if I do – this one’s a winner!
  4. Read the new Harry Potter this week.  I was skeptical because of it being a play, but it was pretty darn fantastic!
  5. I love cookbooks with amazing photos.  I could look at them allll day.  This one, from I Heart Naptime, looks like it’s going to be pretty great. (PS – I also <3 naptime.  It’s pretty awesome.)
  6. If you peruse my Pinterest, you’ll notice I have a thing for chai, and peaunut butter.  Weaknesses, I’ll admit it.  (Also, Earl Grey….  cookie dough…  there are wayy too many weaknesses, alright?  No judging.)

NOTE:  That peanut butter cake I linked to is AMAZING, just so you know.  I made it, and it was so worth it.  Just don’t leave me alone with one, or it’ll be history.

**Cael leaving us a note on the door.  Gotta love those kid smears all over the window, right?  (Everyone’s windows look like this right?  Please tell me I’m not the only one who only wash their windows  bi-yearly weekly.)

For the Love of Lists – Week 2

Lists for Days | August 14, 2016 | By

I’m going to just take a moment to bask in my sense of accomplished consistency.  Another post!  Hooray!  

Briar Laundry Basket

Another week of lists.  I was talking to a few other moms today, both list-makers, and non list-makers.  One was like me – an ongoing list for groceries, a daily list of things I need to make sure I don’t forget to do, and a list (okay, five lists) of things that should (but probably won’t) get done in the near future.  I cross things off as I go, and combine lists to make the pile of paper on my desk smaller.  But there’s always something to do.  Blogging is on my list too!  And I’m happy to say I’ll be able to cross that off of one of the lists for today. 

Anyhow!  Here’s a curated list of things that I think are pretty great. 

  1. Bespoke Post.  A cool little boutique-style online shop, with amazingly curated stuff.  They send out monthly boxes too.  This box, and this box look pretty great!  
  2. Simple summer salad recipe here.  If you want another, check out my chickpea salad too!
  3. Snazz up your pantry with these free printables.  Super cool, and you’ll be all organized and stuff!  (What is this word, “organized”?)
  4. I’m in love with Anthropologie‘s quilts.  They’re gorgeous.  If I ever bought one, I’d probably be hesitant to actually sleep under it.  This one‘s pretty gorg, as is this one.  
  5. I’m hoping to try these butterscotch pudding popsicles out soon.  They look so creamy and good!
  6. Need a new door mat after a crazy, dirty summer?  This one is super cool!
  7. I love to wake up before the kids get up.  The alone time, well, it’s wonderful.  I try to get a quiet time in, and get some reading/blogging/emails in, but then I tend to get trapped in this terrible/lovely thing called the internet.  It’s a black hole, I’m telling you.  Laura Wifler just wrote a great article about how to have “Intentional Mornings“.  While you’re there, check out her other super encouraging articles.  She’s a great encouragement!

 

I hope you all have an amazing week!  Tune in for a recipe [hopefully] later on this week.  I tried to photograph one today, only to realize I left my camera elsewhere…  Oh well. 

**Briar “helping” me hang the laundry.  

No-Machine Ginger Ice Cream

Ice Cream | August 10, 2016 | By

Have you ever had ginger ice cream? 

Well, first I must ask, do you like ginger?  Because if you don’t, you won’t like this.  However, if you do – this is going to be your go-to ice cream. 

Ginger Ice Cream

First off – no ice cream machine = no problemo.  I do not have counter (or cupboard) space for an ice cream machine at this point, as awesome as they are.  In comes no-machine or no-churn ice cream, and we have zero problem!  It freezes up like a dream!  Scoops like store-bought ice cream.  It’s wayy creamier than most store bought ice creams (because it’s made with actual whipping cream – lots of it!).  It’s not the same as store-bought.  But that’s okay.  It might be better-er.  Especially when you throw in some ginger.  Wow.  

Has anyone ever had ice cream that is spicy?  This is it.  You have cold (the ice part), creamy (that’d be the cream – duh), sweet and spicy (the sweetened condensed milk and ginger, respectively)!  It’s a party on your taste buds.  

There is a local ice cream shop around here that makes homemade ginger ice cream.  That’s where this idea was born.  Can I have ginger ice cream at home!?  With only FIVE ingredients?!   Sure thang.  

Ingredients

It’s super easy.  And there are so many options, if you really don’t like ginger.  We’ve made cookie dough, vanilla, and vanilla with chocolate shavings.  (Cookie dough is also amazing, because you can put ALL the dough in there.  Basically cookie dough, with a bit of ice cream.)  I’m thinking bubble gum for the kiddos next. 

No-Churn Ginger Ice Cream

No-Machine Ginger Ice Cream
Yields 9
Spicy ice cream without a machine! So much flavour, so few ingredients, so little time involved in the making!
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups whipping cream
  2. 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  3. 1/2 tsp vanilla
  4. 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  5. 1 x 3 inch nub of ginger
Instructions
  1. Place ginger in food processor, and process until it's in small chunks (like skor bit-sized, or a bit smaller).
  2. Whip your cream, until stiff peaks form.
  3. Fold in the sweetened condensed milk, ground ginger, and vanilla, gently.
  4. Add ginger, and fold again.
  5. Place in a 9 x 9 or loaf pan.
  6. Freeze for at least 6 hours, or overnight.
Notes
  1. You can add more or less ginger, as to your liking. The size of your chunks of ginger - also up to you!
Whisks and Wooden Spoons http://whisksandwoodenspoons.com/
Anyhow, we’re enjoying the *sigh* last month of summer before school starts by getting ice cream, working on being outside all the time, and hanging out all the laundry.  

Boys, trampoline, popsicles

 

 

*Boys hanging on the trampoline eating popsicles

Recipe linked up on Buns in My Oven

No- Machine Ginger Ice Cream

For the Love of Lists: Week 1

Lists for Days | August 5, 2016 | By

Another week, another post!  Yay for some consistency (finally)!  

I love lists.  

Jude pool

On the old blog (Forever Faith and Food), I had a series called, “Things“, where I just shared a few things that I’d found along the way.  This is going to be super similar.  I’ll link you up to some pretty sweet things (at least, I think they’re sweet).  

We’re talking recipes, clothes, interesting articles, maybe even some songs!  Whatever I’ve had the chance to see, love, and probably pin!  (Who are we kidding here, I definitely pinned most all of them.)  

So here goes.  The first list!  

  1. Hammer and Chisel.  Over the last few years, I’ve been followed Amber Kuiper on her blog, “Mommy’s Me Time“.  Awhile ago, she became a Beachbody coach, and she really seemed to love it.  So when I friend close to here also became a coach, we decided to bite the bullet and try a workout.  As it was the middle of winter, we really weren’t getting much exercise.  We decided on Hammer and Chisel, because it’s a pretty intense workout, and it’s something both of us can do.  Lots of strength exercises, and toning.  We loved it!  We’re planning on doing another round come fall.  I’d definitely recommend it!  If you’re local – send me a message and I’ll set you up with an amazing coach!  
  2. Does anyone else out there LOVE Starbucks’ oat bars?  Because they’re amazing.   I’ve yet to find a good copycat recipe.  This one looks pretty legit.  Imma try it out!  
  3. Speaking of food… (What else is there to talk about anyway?!) … I made this AMAZING flourlesss chocolate peanut butter WOW cake for a friends birthday last month.  It was amazing.  Zero calories too.  😉 
  4. I love me a small clutch.  This one looks pretty great.  Small, and colourful.  Cross body.  It has got it all!
  5. Another blog I love, is Espresso and Cream.  She writes great, encouraging pieces, that I can almost always relate to.  A Christ-follower, fellow-blogger, and mom.  “Don’t Miss the Point” talks about being IN this world, but not being OF it.  Read on.  

Hope you all have a great weekend!  I have a wonderful recipe up my sleeve that I’ll hopefully share in the next week!  And some other odds and sods  floating around in my brain too!

***Jude playing in our little kiddie pool.  Sunshine days are the best kind of days.