Crock Pot Jambalaya

Crock Pot Jambalaya ~ Pearls + Girls

You’d think because I’m a busy mom that must mean I use my crock pot all the time.  Actually, I don’t.  Maybe if I had a really pretty crock pot (mine is white with vegetable pictures on it) I’d use it more. ;)  I prefer to cook in my beautiful, red, shiny Dutch oven.  I started making this jambalaya recipe in my beautiful, red, shiny Dutch oven after I ditched the boxed jambalaya mix from the grocery store.  Not only does this recipe allow me to have complete control over the ingredients, BUT it was super simple to adapt as a crock pot recipe!  The veggies, spices, chicken and chorizo cook all day, then you just add the rice and shrimp about 45 minutes before you want to serve dinner.  Enjoy! :)

Crock Pot Jambalaya

Yield: 6 - 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
  • 28 oz. can diced tomatoes in juice
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tsp Old Bay Seafood Seasoning
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (only add 1/2 tsp if you don't like it too spicy)
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 link chorizo sausage, thinly sliced
  • 1 lb. chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 lb. raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 1/2 cups long grain white rice
  • 2 TBSP flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped (optional)

Instructions

  1. Add all the ingredients to the crock pot except for the shrimp, rice and parsley.
  2. Cook on low for 5 - 6 hours.
  3. Stir in the rice and shrimp.
  4. Increase temperature to high and cook for an additional 45 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle with chopped parsley. (optional)
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Plum Custard Tart

Plum Custard Tart ~ Pearls + Girls

After a long, hot summer in the Midwest, it’s finally starting to feel like autumn in my neck of the woods.  The cooler days and even cooler nights have inspired me to hunker down in my kitchen making some comfort food.  Before everything in Blogland turns to apples and pumpkins, I wanted to share one more recipe reminiscent of summer.  I found the most adorable little pluots (plum crossed with an apricot) at my local market, and decided to whip up a quick tart.  A flaky crust filled with vanilla and cinnamon scented custard and topped with ripe, juicy fruit?  Yes, please!!!  Hold off on the apple crisp and the pumpkin pie for just a tad bit longer and make THIS tart to wish summer a fond farewell.  Enjoy! :)

Plum Custard Tart

Yield: 6 - 8 servings

Ingredients

  • Homemade or store bought pie crust
  • Custard Filling
  • 3 TBSP cornstarch
  • 1 TBSP vanilla
  • 2 TBSP hot water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used 2% milk)
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • Topping
  • 6 pluots or 4 plums, thinly sliced
  • 1 TBSP sugar, for sprinkling (optional)

Instructions

  1. Bake your pie crust according to recipe or package instructions in a 9-inch tart pan.
  2. Allow to cool to room temperature while you make the filling.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, vanilla and hot water until combined. Set aside.
  4. In a saucepan over medium heat, scald the cream, milk and sugar. Add the cornstarch mixture and whisk constantly until the custard thickens, about 2 - 4 minutes.
  5. Transfer custard to a bowl and press a layer of plastic wrap on top of the custard to keep it from forming a skin as it cools.
  6. Refrigerate custard for 30 minutes.
  7. Pour custard into the tart shell and use an offset spatula or the back of a spoon to spread evenly.
  8. Top with the sliced plums and sprinkle with sugar (optional).
  9. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
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Chunky Monkey Muffins

Chunky Monkey Muffins ~ Pearls + Girls

I have to admit, I feel pretty lucky to have two little girls that don’t fight me (much) on fruits and veggies.  Sometimes I try to sneak them into muffins, pancakes, and homemade bread, but often times serving broccoli florets (aka ‘dinosaur trees’), green beans (aka ‘silly swords’) and mango slices (aka ‘sunshine sticks’) don’t prompt much of a food battle.  I discovered that giving a goofy name to a new food makes it just a teensy bit more likely they will actually EAT it! :)  Nicknaming foods with silly monikers may be one of the nutritional tricks this mama has up her sleeve, but to be honest, convincing my kids to eat Chunky Monkey Muffins with bits of chocolate peeking out of a golden batter didn’t take much any convincing at all!  They are naturally sweetened with bananas and maple syrup, but also packed with whole grains, fiber, omega 3s and of course, dark chocolate.  Now you can feel better about serving your kids (and your spouse) a yummy breakfast without sacrificing flavor OR fun!  Enjoy! :)

Chunky Monkey Muffins

Yield: 12 regular sized muffins or 8 jumbo muffins

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour (I use the King Arthur brand)
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup PURE maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cups mashed bananas (about 4 overripe bananas)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chunks (I use 62% dark chocolate)
  • 1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Line a muffin tin with muffin wrappers. You could also use paper baking cups, which are oven safe up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Whisk together both flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. Set aside.
  4. Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or a large mixing bowl and a wooden spoon or spatula, combine the maple syrup, melted butter, mashed bananas, eggs and vanilla. Mix for a few seconds to combine.
  5. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and mix until combined.
  6. Fold in the chocolate chunks and chopped pecans with a spatula.
  7. Pour batter into muffin cups, filling each about halfway full.
  8. Bake for 20 - 22 minutes for regular sized muffins, 28 - 30 minutes for jumbo muffins or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
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Pearls + Girls Fan Favorites

Hi, all!  I hope your weekend is off to a great start!  I must admit, I’m stressing a bit.  I’m not complaining (ok, maybe I am just a teensy bit), but as a person who doesn’t thrive on change, these last few weeks have hit me like a ton of bricks.  Nothing a few drinks, some yoga and a marathon of Downton Abbey episodes won’t cure though (at least, that’s what I keep telling myself). :)  So to tide you over until I get back to my blogging + baking self, here’s a round up of my most popular recipes on FacebookPinterest and Twitter over the past (almost) year!  I love to hear from my followers, so if you’ve made any of these recipes (or plan to in the near future) I’d love to hear about it!  Enjoy! :)

Caramel Glazed Coconut Carrot Cake ~ Pearls + Girls

This cake was shared over 100x with over 10,000 views on Facebook! :)

I’m not a huge coconut fan, but in THIS cake, it really hit all the right notes.

Add some cream cheese frosting and gooey caramel sauce…..seriously,

how can you go wrong with that?!?!  Get the recipe here

S'more Cookiewiches ~ Pearls + Girls

 These delightful treats can be shared around a campfire….or not!

Bake the cookies and let everyone roast their own marshmallows

or use marshmallow fluff, it’s up to you!  Get the recipe here

Pecan Coffee Cake ~ made with whole wheat flour and flaxseeds ~ Pearls + Girls

At our house, a special weekend breakfast or brunch is not complete without coffee cake!

This version is made with whole grains and flaxseeds, so even though it’s still a naughty treat,

I feel a little less guilty having a second slice!  Get the recipe here

My Favorite Fudgy Brownies ~ Pearls + Girls

These fudgy brownies are hands down my family’s favorite treat.

This made from scratch recipe has a hint of espresso powder to bring out the chocolate flavor.

Get the recipe here

Lazy Lemon Pie ~ Pearls + Girls

If you are a lemon fan, this is the treat for you!  The title isn’t deceiving,

any lazy baker could whip this pie together in a jiffy.

Who says quick can’t be delicious, too?!?!

Get the recipe here

Bacon Cheddar Scallion Drop Biscuits ~ Pearls + Girls

I love biscuits, but the rolling and cutting process at breakfast is a bit time consuming

when I’ve got a hungry crowd to feed ASAP.  These drop biscuits are made in the food processor,

no rolling or cutting required!  Get the recipe here

Buckeye Cheesecake ~ Pearls + Girls

 I may be a slight chocoholic, but my peanut butter obsession runs a close second!

This dessert fulfills both indulgences!  Cheesecake takes awhile to bake,

but it’s worth the time for a dessert that looks as impressive as THIS!  Get the recipe here

Mini PB IceBox Pies ~ Pearls + Girls

Peanut Butter?  Did you say peanut butter?  Yep, and this one is a no bake recipe,

perfect for entertaining family and friends.

After all, who doesn’t like to eat their own individual pie?  Get the recipe here

Almond Toffee Chocolate Chunk Cookies ~ Pearls + Girls

I am not a gluten free convert, but I have done some exploring with gluten free baking.

These cookies have a fabulous crunch.  Not to mention chocolate and toffee….yeah,

I wish I had a couple to munch on right now!  Get the recipe here

Blueberry Pistachio Muffisn {Gluten Free} ~ Pearls + Girls

Coconut flour is a relatively new baking ingredient for me,

but it was definitely a winner in this muffin recipe!

The flavors and colors would make these a stunner on your brunch buffet!

Get the recipe here

100 Days of Real Food Cookbook Giveaway

Did you enter the giveaway to win a copy of Lisa Leake’s new cookbook, 100 Days of Real Food?  What are you waiting for?!?! :D  I just posted my review yesterday!  If you want to adope a REAL FOOD lifestyle and kick those processed foods to the curb for good, this cookbook is a must read!  100 family friendly recipes that are healthy, colorful AND delicious to boot!!!

Frozen Yogurt Pops ~ Pearls + Girls

Since we’re in the middle of a major heat wave, I decided to make Lisa’s Frozen Yogurt Pops yesterday.  Oh, boy, were my kiddos excited! :)  Not only do they LOVE to help in the kitchen, but they just happen to love popsicles!  I mean, what kid doesn’t?!?!  My girls took turns measuring out the ingredients, and we used a funnel so they could easily pour the mixture into the molds.  The berries give the popsicles a lovely purple hue (my oldest daughter’s favorite color) so it didn’t take much any coaxing to get my picky eater to try one. ;)

Frozen Yogurt Pops ~ Pearls + Girls

 

Go check out Lisa’s blog for even more inspiration, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway by September 4th!  Happy Cooking! :D

100 Days of Real Food ~ Cookbook Review + Giveaway

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I’m a huge fan of Lisa Leake’s blog, so when I heard she was publishing a cookbook, 100 Days of Real Food: How We Did It, What We Learned and 100 Easy, Wholesome Recipes Your Family Will Love!I couldn’t wait to check it out!  Imagine my surprise when I applied to be one of her cookbook ambassadors and received my very own signed copy of the book in the mail last week!  I’m so honored to be representing a fellow blogger with a focus on making family friendly food from scratch as part of a healthy lifestyle.  As I opened the book, I gleefully skimmed through the first few chapters after reading Lisa’s introduction of how her typical American processed food diet was transformed in just 100 days!

This book is packed with information and recipes, but here’s a few of my favorite tidbits:

  • why eating REAL FOOD is so important
  • grocery shopping tips, as well as lists of pantry, fridge and freezer essentials
  • how to choose better prepackaged foods with 5 ingredients or less
  • lists of processed foods with real food substitutions
  • tips for creating your own home garden
  • school lunch options that will appeal to even the pickiest eater
  • guidelines for sticking to your REAL FOOD PLEDGE while eating in restaurants and traveling
  • family friendly recipes (many can be modified to be gluten free, vegetarian or dairy free)

Lisa and I both have young families, so putting kid friendly meals on the table every day is an absolute must!  Kids are often the worst food critics, and I’ve been known to let out a silent (or not so silent) cheer when my girls try a new food.  We eat with our eyes first, and colorful food is not only healthy, but beautiful!  Luckily, Lisa includes a drool worthy full page photo of each and every recipe!  I’m excited to try her Tomato Bisque, PB & J Smoothies, Cinnamon Apple Chips, Veggie Corn Chowder, Quinoa and Sausage Stuffed Peppers, Slow Cooker Flank Steak Fajitas and Cajun Shrimp Alfredo!

100 Days of Real Food

(left) Leake family at the farmer’s market

(top right) Veggie Corn Chowder

(middle right) Cinnamon Raisin Quick Bread

(bottom right) Shortcut Eggplant Parmesan

Since I’m an avid baker and dessert lover, I was curious to see the recipes in the Special Treats chapter.  Lisa shares several whole grain baked goods and naturally sweetened treats the whole family will love!  I dish up a lot of traditional desserts and baked goods on my blog, however, I strive to incorporate whole grains, nuts, natural fats and oils, natural sweeteners and antioxidant rich dark chocolate and cocoa powder in my recipes as much as possible.  I’m looking forward to making Lisa’s Whole Grain Pumpkin Muffins and Extra Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Bites!  YUM!

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 Since we’re in the middle of a major heat wave, I decided to make Lisa’s Frozen Yogurt Pops yesterday.  Oh, boy, were my kiddos excited! :)  Not only do they LOVE to help in the kitchen, but they just happen to love popsicles!  I mean, what kid doesn’t?!?!  My girls took turns measuring out the ingredients, and we used a funnel so they could easily pour the mixture into the molds.  A lot of homemade popsicle recipes call for simple syrup (granulated sugar dissolved in water) but Lisa’s recipe uses nature’s version…..maple syrup!  It can be a pricey ingredient, but I recently discovered organic maple syrup sold in bulk at Costco.  SCORE!

Frozen_Yogurt_Pops_photo[1]

Frozen_Yogurt_Pops_recipe[1]

100_Days_of_Real_Food_cookbook[1]

I had such a blast exploring Lisa’s new cookbook, 100 Days of Real Food, and I really want you to have the opportunity to make her delicious recipes, too!!!  That’s why I’m giving away a copy on my Facebook page! :)  To enter to win, ‘like’ my blog on Facebook, ‘like’ the post pinned to the top of my page and comment with the words PICK ME!!!

**Due to shipping, this giveaway is open to US residents only.  Enter to win from 6 am EST Sunday, August 31st  –  10 pm EST Thursday, September 4th.  A winner will be selected using the random number generator at random.org and announced on my Facebook page on Friday, September 5th.  Happy Cooking! :D

 

 

 

 

Double Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Double Chocolate Crinkle Cookies ~ Pearls + Girls

Last week I was testing a recipe, and I was pretty irritated that it wasn’t turning out the way I wanted.  My patience definitely has its limits, and on that particular day my kiddos had used up every last ounce of it before I got to my scheduled baking.  Let’s just say if spatulas could talk mine would have said, “Hey, take it easy, lady, I’m a spatula not a contortionist!!!”  After three attempts at modified versions of same recipe I was ready to throw in the towel.  So I decided to scratch the intended recipe and use the dough to make cookies instead.  What a happy accident that turned out to be! :)

Double Chocolate Crinkle Cookies ~ Pearls + Girls

As I crouched in front of the oven watching these little cuties bake, I was expecting to see bite size round cookies.  As the cookies spread, the edges got crispy and the tops began to crack.  Wow, I thought, these look just like the crinkle cookies you see on so many Christmas cookie trays, except they aren’t rolled in powdered sugar!  Since these cookies have a chocolate punch without the sugary overload (or the messy fingers) I declared them to be the perfect mid-week treat!  Seriously, there are only 10 steps in the recipe, can’t beat that for a ‘from scratch’ cookie!!  Enjoy! :)

 

Double Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Yield: about 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour (I use the King Arthur Brand)
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips (I use the Ghirardelli brand)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine all dry ingredients in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on low speed for a few seconds.
  3. Add the eggs, vanilla and butter.
  4. Combine on medium speed until the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  5. Add the white chocolate chips and mix on low speed for a few seconds.
  6. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.
  7. Using a medium cookie scoop or a tablespoon, form dough into balls.
  8. Place on a Silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches apart (I put six on each sheet).
  9. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes.
  10. Cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
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Guinness Beef Skillet

Hard to believe it’s time for back to school already!  I have to admit, I won’t miss the summer weather AT ALL.  Bring on the cozy sweaters, brisk walks through the falling leaves and hot cocoa around the fire already, will ya? :)

Guinness Beef Skillet ~ Pearls + Girls

Fall is my favorite season, but this year it’s also my busiest!  I am working on getting cookie samples baked for Halloween and Thanksgiving in my Etsy shop, as well as making a few orders for showers and weddings.  Add in some dance lessons, art classes, school projects, etc. and a made from scratch dinner on a weeknight can become an afterthought.  So what’s a mama to do when the family is hungry but there’s no time to cook?  Whip out a skillet and serve up a one pot meal, that’s what! :)

Guinness Beef Skillet ~ Pearls + Girls

My Guinness Beef Skillet is made with simple ingredients, so you can pull a hearty home cooked meal together in minutes!  The leftovers just get better and better, so even if you aren’t feeding a crowd, stash a bowl or two in the fridge to warm up later in the week.  Serve it up with a side of crusty French bread to sop up every last drop of the delicious Guinness sauce.  Enjoy! :)

Guinness Beef Skillet

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 small red potatoes, quartered
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 12 oz. bottle of Guinness beer
  • 14 oz. can low sodium beef broth
  • 1 TBSP cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet over medium high heat, brown ground beef and onions until the beef is cooked through and the onions are translucent.
  2. Drain off any excess fat and season beef mixture with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Add the potatoes, carrots and beer.
  4. Reduce heat to medium, cover the skillet and simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. In a medium bowl whisk the cornstarch into the beef broth to create a slurry.
  6. Add the slurry to the skillet, then simmer uncovered for another 5 - 10 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through and can be easily pierced with a fork.
  7. Stir in the frozen peas.
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Pistachio Cake with Blueberry Buttercream

When life hands you lemons make lemonade.  CORRECTION:  When life hands you lemons, pelt them with all your might at the closest inanimate object (ex. pantry door, cupboard, wall, etc. you get the point) then…..make a cake.  Preferably a cake with simple ingredients, baked from scratch, with no artificial colors or flavors. :)

Pistachio Cake with Blueberry Buttercream ~ Pearls + Girls

I did not have the best week.  Not only have things not been peachy keen in the Pearls + Girls kitchen (three, count ‘em, THREE failed recipes in two days) there are a lot of changes on the horizon as well.  School, travel, illness, moving, my Etsy shop, blogging…..there just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day.  But I’m sure you have no idea what I’m talking about. ;)

Pistachio Cake with Blueberry Buttercream ~ Pearls + Girls

I really love pistachios, but it seems as if every recipe for pistachio cake, cupcakes, bread, etc.  starts with pistachio pudding mix.  Bleh.  So I sought out to make my own version with REAL pistachios.  The icing on the cake?  Blueberry buttercream made with fresh blueberries!!  Isn’t the purple hue just gorgeous?  Sometimes, even when I’m overwhelmed and exhausted, I still manage to impress myself.  Enjoy! :)

Pistachio Cake with Blueberry Buttercream

Yield: 8 - 10 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup pistachios (measure with shells on, then remove shells) plus more for garnish
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups cake flour, plus more for greasing pan
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for greasing pan
  • Blueberry Buttercream
  • 1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 TBSP milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Grease a 9-inch springform pan with butter, line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper, then grease the top of the parchment paper.
  3. Add a few tablespoons of flour, tapping the edges of the pan until well coated. Discard any flour that didn't stick to the butter.
  4. Whisk together the eggs, sour cream and vanilla in a bowl. Set aside.
  5. Whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in another bowl. Set aside.
  6. In a food processor, process the pistachios and sugar, pulsing until nuts are finely ground.
  7. Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  8. Add the pistachio and sugar mixture, then cream on high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  9. Scrape down the bowl with a spatula.
  10. Add the wet ingredients on low speed, mix a few seconds (mixture may look slightly curdled, don't worry, it's fine) and scrape down the bowl with a spatula.
  11. Add the dry ingredients on low speed, mixing until just combined.
  12. Increase the speed to medium high and beat batter for 2 minutes.
  13. Scrape down the bowl with a spatula, then beaton high for another few seconds. Batter will be quite thick.
  14. Add batter to the prepared springform pan, smoothing to the edges with a spatula.
  15. Bake for 40 - 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  16. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
  17. Cake should have pulled away from the sides of the pan as it baked, but if necessary run a butter knife around the edges before releasing the sides of the pan.
  18. Remove parchment paper from the bottom of the cake and place on a cooling rack to cool completely.
  19. Blueberry Buttercream
  20. Microwave the blueberries in a microwave safe bowl for 1 minute. This could also be done on the stovetop over medium high heat until the berries split open and release their juices.
  21. Strain through a mesh sieve into a small bowl and allow to cool to room temperature (you can place the uncovered bowl in the refrigerator to speed up this process if necessary).
  22. Using a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or a hand mixer with double beaters, beat butter on high speed for one minute.
  23. Add the milk, vanilla and powdered sugar on low speed, one cup at a time, mixing until just combined.
  24. Add 3 TBSP of the blueberry puree on low speed, mixing until just combined.
  25. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes, until buttercream is light and fluffy.
  26. Frost cake using a butter knife or offset spatula.
  27. Decorate with chopped pistachios (optional).
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Cookie Dough Bites

M&M Cookie Dough Bites ~ Pearls + Girls

Even after years of teaching elementary school to many first and second grade littles , my excitement for the first day of school has never dwindled.  However, this year I’m celebrating with mixed emotions.  This year MY LITTLE is going to kindergarten (insert gulp, fight back tears, put on encouraging smile)!!!  How is this possible?!?!  Yesterday she was sucking on a binky and learning how to eat with a spoon  (yep, in denial, you’ve been there, admit it).  To put my her first day jitters to rest, we went shopping!  After we picked out a hot pink binder, some fun Hello Kitty folders, as well as shiny, new pencils, crayons and markers, I felt much better she was all set for her first day of school!  ;)

M&M Cookie Dough Bites ~ Pearls + Girls

Over at Spoonful of Foodies I’m kicking off our first theme week, Back to School Snacks, with some yummy nibbles!  M&M Cookie Dough Bites are a super simple no-bake treat to please the littles (or not so littles) after a long day of neuron pumping.  Would these bite size treats and a glass of chilled milk inspire you to hit the books?  Enjoy! :)

M&M Cookie Dough Bites

Yield: 2 dozen cookie dough bites

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 TBSP milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup mini M&M candies
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips, melted
  • multicolored nonpareils (optional)

Instructions

  1. Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar together until light and fluffy, about two minutes.
  2. Add the milk and vanilla, mix on low speed to combine.
  3. Add the flour and salt, mix on low speed to combine.
  4. Scrape down the bowl and mix on medium speed until combined.
  5. Fold in the mini M&M candies.
  6. Refrigerate dough for one hour.
  7. Using a tablespoon or a medium cookie scoop, form balls of dough.
  8. Place cookie dough balls on a baking sheet lined with wax paper.
  9. Drizzle melted chocolate over the cookie dough balls and sprinkle with nonpareils.
  10. Store in the refrigerator.
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Back to School Recipe Round Up ~ Spoonful of Foodies

 

Buffalo Ranch Snack Mix ~ Casa de la Cargill

Apple Empanadas ~ Kitchen Getaway

Baked Pumpkin Mini Donuts ~ The Front Porch Gourmet

M&M Cookie Sticks ~ The Chef Next Door

Breakfast Bars ~ Selma’s Table

Cheese Muffins ~ Selma’s Table

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Squares ~ Selma’s Table

Cocoa Banana Oatmeal “Vitatop” Muffins ~  MerMADE in the Kitchen

Reese’s Stuffed Ice Cream Sandwiches ~ Tastes of Lizzy T

Roasted Garlic and Fresh Herb Goat Cheese Spread ~ Local Savour

Cheddar Cheese Popcorn ~ What’s Cooking America

Cheesecake Bars ~ Kitchen Getaway

Apricot Almond Pillows ~ The Lazy Mom’s Cooking Blog

Italian Herb Cheese Sticks ~ BakesInSlippers

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread ~ Milk and Honey

Baked Cinnamon Apple Chips ~ What’s Cooking America

Gingered Carrot Zucchini Bread ~ From Scratch

Rosemary Lavender Pretzels ~ From Scratch

Blackberry Pistachio Mini Bagels ~ The Complete Savorist

White Chocolate Cranberry Pecan Cookies ~ My Simple Kitchen

Cajun Spiced Sweet Potato Fries ~ BakesInSlippers