nourishing & unapologetic
Born Daily is back in the kitchen.
I'll be honest, I've never left. My clothes know it and my thighs show it. But... in the name of butter and good karma, I'll take it for the team.
Shamefully, I've not shared any of my latest culinary happenings.
I've had a few people ask recently if I'd be returning to the tastier and more style sides of this space. And, that's a resounding YES. I love y'all and I love yapping my trap. So, there's more to come on this here blog.
What better way to get back in the groove then at the kickoff of the holiday baking season? I've got 12 recipes that I think are perfect for Santa's plate, your family gatherings, and that work party. All of these recipes I've made (sometimes more than once) but failed you with snagging my own pictures of some of them. All original recipe sources/authors are credited and linked.
Going in particular order, because -- I play favorites:
12. Frosted Cranberry Orange Drop Cookies
These cookies are all things winter in one bite -- tart cranberries and bright winter citrus with the indulgence of cream cheese frosting.
They're simple to make but pretty enough for a party. Taste of Home has a winner in these!
And, fun fact, I took third place in my company's Fall Festival dessert contest with 'em.
11. No Fuss Pie Crust
Secret: I pretty much only like pie if it's ice cream or chocolate. I think it's because pie crust frustrates me. Impatience is the root of all my frustration and not the pie crust but I digress. So, when I saw this recipe on Pinterest that heralded "no butter, no chilling, no rolling," my interest was piqued. And I did exactly what you shouldn't do -- busted out a new recipe for Thanksgiving. Much to my surprise, this pie crust held up its claims. It was easy. It was quick. It was pretty dang good.
The Country Cook calls this Wham Bam Pie Crust, all I can say is thank you, ma'am!
TIME FOR PIE
10. French Silk Pie
Just above I confessed chocolate pie is one of my one and only likes in pie form. And this recipe is the sole reason why. Ree Drummond, aka The Pioneer Woman, held nothing back with this one. It is dreamy, creamy, and actually really easy. I found this originally in her cookbook, but it's also online on her blog, and mine too.
WHIP THIS UP
9. Sugar Cookie Bars
Growing up sugar cookies were my least favorite cookie, like lowest on the list. But I've grown to like them... especially these sugar cookie bars that will win about anyone over. They come together quickly but are rich and memorable. Plus, they're easy to make festive with a few drops of food coloring or sprinkles.
8. Brownie Crinkles
You don't have to read past 'brownie.' But if you do, I'll tell you it gets better because they're gooey and dusted with powdered sugar. There are several variations of these -- some from scratch and others from boxed brownies. Because I am generally baking a ton of things at once, I opt for the box mix version. Cincy Shopper has a great one.
7. Pumpkin Cream Pie
Pumpkin pie purists, you might what to skip this one. But if you're open to spicing up your pumpkin pie, make this one from Lauren's Latest. It is unexpectedly delicious. It's creamy like it's name but it's still so full of flavor. And trust me, making the homemade whipped cream is a MUST.
SPICE IT UP
I'm a sucker with anything 'doodle.' That's a given. But these cookies, from Averie Cooks, are a classic mash-up of molasses cookies, gingersnaps and snickerdoodles. They are soft; the molasses carries them through, and the sugar coating put them over the top. You think you're not going to like them and then they'll steal the attention on any cookie platter.
5. Buried Cherry Cookies
If there's one cookie I've eaten my weight in during my lifetime so far, it's this cookie. It's from a cookbook that my parents have had for umpteen years at this point. I'm linking a recipe from Taste of Home because I know it matches. They're not fancy and they're not for everyone. But if you like cherries and chocolate, you don't want to miss this one. They are a teeny bit messy but I promise they're worth it.
4. Caramel Cheesecake Bars
Holidays give us a reason to celebrate the richness and indulgences of the season, right? These are your answer to that. They are classic cheesecake bars COVERED in a homemade caramel sauce. You can cut them small because they are a lot extra, plus everyone will want a bite. Six Sisters' Stuff knocked it out of the park with these.
SWEET TOOTH FIX
3. Peanut Butter Balls
A candy maker I am not. But these peanut butter balls will impress anyone. And if you are a Reese's fan, this recipe gets you pretty darn close. This will become a regular in your treat rotation.
MAKE A CLASSIC
2. Orange Marmalade Muffins
I know, I know, a muffin?! But let me continue because these muffins are one-hundred-percent amazing. I've been making these muffins for ten years now. Seriously, they are that good. The buttermilk is secret ingredient and makes them so, so tender. You're welcome; you just found your Christmas morning breakfast.
I can't find a recipe online so I'm listing my copy here:
1. Cannoli Cookies
Saved the absolute best for last. These are Nick's favorite cookie of all time. They seem a bit fussy but they're rich in all the best ways. And a cookie sandwich just amps up the appeal. Take the time to make these. Use the real ingredients. And, follow the directions. Normally I am not a stickler but just do it just like the recipe and you'll be rewarded.
CANNOLI FOR CHRISTMAS
Let me know what you make and love. I'll be back soon with a savory edition too. And, if you have any can't miss holiday favorites, drop them in the comments for me.
Until next time--
I wasn’t going to write anything.
I wasn’t going to feel anything.
I wasn’t going to be different.
It wasn’t going to be different.
Except it was.
This year is different.
It was going to be my first official Mother’s Day. And, I guess it is. But, my heart knows it’s not what we planned. It’s not the same.
If you hear or read a twinge of sadness, you’re right. It’s there. But I’m doing my damndest to channel that hope in my soul.
In the light of the impending holiday, I have a few suggestions to my fellow mommas-in-waiting, those who still have empty arms and a chunk of their hearts still missing, those who’ve suffered a loss during pregnancy or after, and those who have had failed adoptions. This could also apply to those who've lost their mother or estranged, I suppose too.
1. Find your kind.
Literally, find your kind. Find the ladies who have walked this path, and those still in the midst of it. These are the folks who can really relate to the experience, the emotions, the emptiness, and the impatience. Connect with them via social, text, a call, or in person. Talk it out or be quiet together. Lend your support and send a little love on this day. It's hard for everyone but hard is better together, usually. I think.
Also, find your kind. Be kind to yourself. Remind yourself that the lack or the loss isn't your fault. It isn't in vain. And, it isn't over. Practice some self-care.
2. Expect the awkwardness.
People, including your closest family and friends, don't know what to say. And, what can they say? Sometimes what's said hurts more than helps. But, let's try to understand, even if someone says all the wrong things, they're trying to fill the space. They think they need to say something to show their sympathy or empathy usually because they really, really care and want what is best for us. And let's be brutally honest and self-aware, generally we don't know what to say back which is awkward for them too. Plus, if they weren't saying anything, then how would we feel? So, let's give our crew and the well-meaning strangers, the benefit of the doubt. Grace is a gift we can give them and it helps us too. Accept that the awkwardness will happen and embrace it. Say thank you for their sentiment or dive in and have a conversation if you feel so moved.
3. Eat your favorite food or something totally indulgent.
All the health experts and nutritionists probably would tell you emotional eating is bad. And, probably a poor coping mechanism. But, I'm here to tell you that there is something special about your favorite food -- be it a fudgy brownie, a tart lemon bar, a double-dip cone, or heap of chips and guac. Whatever your go-to is, make it or order it. And don't second guess it. Calories don't apply here.
4. Get some sunshine and some moves in.
For me, getting some steps in outside not only gives me a dose of Vitamin D and some fresh air, but gives me a chance to dream and think big thoughts. I always feel refreshed after a walk or a yoga sesh.
5. Love on the mommas in your life.
This can be a hard one in particular on this day. But do it anyway if you can. Tell them they’re doing a good job. Tell them what you admire about their approach to #momlife. Tell them why they’re special to you. Our relationships with other women are so important. You know the gals I’m talking about: Your momma gave you life. Relish if you’ve still got a grandma or two around. And don’t forget to love those sisters and sister-in-laws who gifted you the most precious nieces and nephews on the planet. Love on your momma friends; they are a good group to learn from — plus you were probably friends with many of them BEFORE they had kids in tow. These are our examples. These are our role models. These are our future babysitters, play dates, and room mom crews.
6. Know you are still a rockin’, strong, rad, beautiful soul that gives the world her best.
Through the monthly disappointment and spontaneous tears, you are still you. And that is enough. Totally enough.
Note, these are just suggestions. By all means, if you just can't do any of these, and you just need space and quiet, take it.
And, tomorrow, if you happen to go to church, and you get to the inevitable portion of the sermon when the pastor or priest asks all the mothers to stand up and be recognized, do what feels right. If you want to stand because you have a babe in Heaven, stand tall. If you want to sit because it doesn’t feel right to stand, stay planted, but don’t shrink. And if the well-meaning little in your family asks for another flower for you too (because her mom and grandma have one), accept it with grace. You’ve earned that flower.
Mommin’ is hard. No matter what stage you’re in or if you haven’t even got to really start it yet. All mommas matter.
For now, I’m going to be a momma-in-waiting. But I know it’s going to be worth the wait.
Until next time,
In preparation for Pi Day, I bought these beautiful berries. Then I immediately came home an made a pie that you're going to want to copy. Today, March 14th is a holiday. Albeit a math related day (and, well, math has never really been a fave of mine), I can get behind a play on words. So, we're having pie for Pi Day. But, actually it's extra special because it's our sweet niece's birthday too! Thus, we must celebrate twice as much.
In honor of her, I made a pie with two of her current favorite things: strawberries and Oreos.
Oh, and I snuck in a layer of ganache.
This is kind of a rarity on here, a recipe post without a lot of pomp and circumstance, but in the interest of all that is right and good, we should cut to the chase.
This three part recipe is mostly original, i.e. an experiment, so I hope it will find favor with you all.
Oh So Oreo Strawberry Pie
Mostly Original Recipe
Makes 1 pie (that you'll want to hoard, but it's nice to share. do with that what you will.)
5 tablespoons butter, melted
1. Crush Oreos in a food processor OR enclosed in a ziptop bag with a rolling pin. (I prefer the food processor because it's much more efficient). Pulse until cookies create a fine crumb.
2. With a fork, mix in melted butter, until well incorporated.
3. Press into 9-inch pie pan.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 6-8 minutes.
5. Let cool completely.
1/2 cup chocolate chips (milk, semisweet, dark- your choice!)
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1. Using a double boiler, combine chocolate chips and cream. Heat until melted through. Should be smooth, shiny, and a little thick.
2. Pour into cooled pie crust.
I think technically for a ganache, you should heat up the cream THEN stir in your chocolate, but I was multitasking with dinner and didn't want to have more than one step.
Strawberry Gel and Strawberries
(the non-original part; original recipe here)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup water
1/4 strawberry gelatin powder (I used JELLO)
1. Mix cornstarch, sugar and water in small saucepan. Whisk occasionally. Bring to a boil. Let boil for about 1 minute until thickened.
2. Whisk in strawberry gelatin power until dissolved.
3. Let chill in fridge for about 2 hours.
4. Wash and slice strawberries (according to your preference).
5. Arrange berries on top of cooled ganache layer.
6. Top with gelatin mixture.
7. Place pie in refrigerator. Let cool for at least 4 hours (and overnight if you can even handle that!)
Note, I am not really a fan of JELLO, but this seemed to be the most popular fresh strawberry pie coating so I went with it. I don't think I regret it.
This pie is pretty. And it is pretty rich, pretty grand, and pretty delicious. It's perfect for a birthday! (Plus it's the perfect transition to our pending spring and strawberry season!)
And since I can, we want to wish sweet L, aka Baby, a happy happy happy 3rd birthday! We love you to pieces, niece! May 3 be wild, wonderful, and all together fit for the princess you are. Can't wait to celebrate you soon!
I hope you make this pie. Moreover, I hope you enjoy every crumb of it.
Until next time,
HAPPY NEW YEAR! wooooooooooooo.
2016, holla! Let's revel in its blankness and its possibility. This the time many of us: jot down goals for the next 365; silently commit to eating less or exercising more or whatev other way we can be better to ourselves; or resolve to somehow rock the new year with a new hobby, skill, or job. Whether or not you make resolutions is absolutely a personal choice. If 2015 you was stellar, hey, keep it up! If you wanna make 2016 yours, take action!
Either way, here are some suggestions for totally killing it this year:
1. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. (you can stop reading now if you want, this is enough for a great year.)
2. Find your tribe. You know, those guys and gals (fam and friends or strangers) who support you best. Do your part to cultivate those relationships. #squad
3. Our outdoors are great, if you haven't heard, so get some sunshine. (but, probably wear your sunscreen.)
4. Put your time and energy into things that build you up and bring you joy. No one has time for fun sponges, obligations for obligation's sake, and time suckers.
5. Serve somebody or something without expectation. I promise your soul will smile.
6. If something isn't working, make the change. Take the leap. You owe yourself and those you love the best you. Find and keep that perspective. (on a personal note, thanks for that lesson, 2015!)
There you have it. You can now take 2016 by storm.
Wait, were you expecting 16 quick tips? Well, obviously that would have made sense. But don't feel short changed. Honestly, 16 statements might have belabored this post. So, you get six. Let's be frank, these are reminders of what your brilliant self already knows. 2016 is yours for the taking and making. We are already on our way to being our best selves. It's Day 1 of 365... let's do this.
I'm eager to see what incredible, challenging, and rewarding things our New Year brings. Thanks for the privilege of sharing this space with each and every one of you. Peace 2015! Bring it 2016!
Until next time,
Oh, and just because I love #flipagam, here's the 2015 #mrandmrsborn highlights:
One more thing. #bonus
There is no "perfect." Life is as grand as it is messy. More than anything, it is personal. Let's give each other that. I'll be me. You do you. Live the life that is yours now.
We've made it. Christmas Eve greetings to all! I hope today finds you with your shopping done, the stockings hung, and the holiday plans made. If not, godspeed. It's likely nutty out there in the shops and stores.
If you're still trying to decide which cookies to leave out for Santa, boy, do I have a treat for you. These chocolatey, toffee-studded, slightly salty cookies are sure to be just the sugar fix Santa needs to finish his route. (Plus, it makes a ton so you can sneak a few too.)
Here's the scoop on a new favorite. It's a recipe from Smitten Kitten. I've actually made these cookies twice this holiday season (remember that one batch of cookies I'd made at the time of my last post.) The flavor combo is spot on. They're pretty easy to make which is always a bonus.
Chocolate Toffee Cookies
What you need:
1/2 cup AP flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped (could also use bittersweet)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups (packed) brown sugar (light or dark, either will work)
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
5 1.4-ounce chocolate-covered English toffee bars, coarsely chopped (I used Heath)
1 cup walnuts, toasted, chopped (I toast them on 350 for just a few minutes, until you start to smell them)
Flaky sea salt for sprinkling (SK says optional, but I think it's a must!)
What to do:
1. In small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt). Set aside.
2. In a double boiler, heat butter and chopped chocolate, until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat. Let cool.
3. In stand mixer bowl, beat brown sugar and eggs. Beat until mixture is thick, about 4-5 minutes.
4. Mix vanilla and melted chocolate into brown sugar mixture. I usually put a little chocolate in the brown sugar and mix until well-combined just to temper the combo. Then I add all the remaining melted chocolate.
5. Stir in dry ingredient mixture.
6. Fold in toffee pieces and walnuts.
7. Chill batter in fridge for about 45 minutes to an hour.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
3. Scoop spoonfuls onto cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. (I tend to arrange in 3x4 rows).
4. Top each dollop with a pinch of flaky salt.
5. Bake one sheet at a time for 12-15 minutes. (Both times I've pulled mine out at 12 minutes). The tops will just begin to crack.
6. Cool on sheets for 5 minutes. Then remove to wire rack.
7. Store in airtight container.
If you leave these out for Santa, he may just leave you extra present under the tree.
Now, from my Born Daily home to yours, wishing you the gladdest tidings of good cheer this season! May your holidays be filled with all things that warm the heart and soul.
Until next time--