Snapshots from Father’s Day

On Sunday, RJ and I celebrated our very first Father’s Day. Even though our daughter, Penelope, has about four more weeks (!!!) before she comes into the world, we still consider ourselves parents. Or at least, parents-to-be. Well, parents enough to make a nice dinner!

While RJ was at work, I made him something a little special that he’d been asking for for a while now: shrimp cocktails. They turned out well enough for him to devour them (he ate mine, too, since I wasn’t a big fan) but I have to say I never, ever want to make them again. I hadn’t cooked shrimp from raw before, so it was a learning experience, but a messy and kind of smelly one. I definitely prefer my shrimp hot and in a pasta, or breaded. But he loved it, so that’s all that matters.

Sorry for the less-than-high quality photos; it was getting dark by the time I finished cooking!

In addition to the shrimp cocktails, I also made pasta and vegetables with garlic butter sauce. I used penne, and called my creation “Vegetable Penny.” Hehe. I suspect Penny will like the dinner named after her once she’s old enough to understand it!

What sort of special things did you do for Father’s Day? Let me know in the comments!

– Amber

Nutella-filled Muffins

Note: This was posted on my old, now defunct, blog that I tried to start back in 2012 called Amber in the Forest. This was the only post I made, and then I gave up. Ha! I figured I loved these muffins so much, that I should repost them here to share with my current readers. Enjoy!

They look like regular muffins, but…

Image

Image

Surprise!

Recipe for Nutella-filled muffins:

Use your favorite plain, sweet muffin recipe. You can make them from scratch, or just make them from a baking mix like Bisquick. Sometimes you need to take shortcuts in life, you know?

Once you have your plan muffin batter, whisk in a tablespoon of Nutella.

Grease your muffin pan, and fill each cup only 3/4 of where you normally fill them to, and reserving some batter.

Bake your muffins for 3-4 minutes. Remove from the oven. Use a teaspoon and a finger to put a dollop of Nutella in the center of each muffin. Then drizzle enough of the remaining batter on each muffin to cover the Nutella. Bake for the remaining usual bake time of your muffin recipe.

And voila! They’ll probably be gone by the end of the day; I ate about half a dozen just myself. Enjoy!

– Amber

Bagels Bagels Bagels!

The past few days I have made massive amount of bagels. They’re probably one of my favorite, and most successful, breads I’ve ever baked. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who doesn’t like bagels.

The great thing about homemade bagels is that there’s very few ingredients, and making them yourself means you know exactly what’s in them, if you’re the kind of person worried about ingredients and preservatives.

I got my bagel recipe here from Emma at A Beautiful Mess. I adapted the recipe slightly for the cinnamon raisin bagels, and added 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup raisins, and 3 tablespoons cinnamon before adding the yeast mixture.

My favorite are by far the cheese bagels, but the cinnamon raisin bagels are a close second! I added a bit of salt to the sesame bagels, but they ended up tasting more like pretzels than a bagel. Still, super delicious.

In case you’re wondering, I didn’t make all of these bagels for myself. We’re sending some to friends and family tomorrow (that is, if they last through the night).

The most satisfying part of the bagel process.

Happy Father’s Day everyone!

– Amber

DIY Recipe Book

I’ve been meaning to put together a recipe book for a long time now. Since I get most of my recipes from online, it’s a pain to organized all the printed-out sheets. They end up getting crumpled or spilled on, and they’re never collected all in one place. I wanted a way to put together all of my favorite recipes that would be a little bit classier than a three-ring binder, and without spending tons of money on a cute recipe book.

Here’s what I came up with: a composition notebook covered with cut up file folders and some washi tape. It’s great, because I can hand-write recipes my grandma dictates to me over the phone, or tape in printed-out versions of ones I find online. Plus, it allows me to customize how it looks and make it more personal. I want to be able to pass it down to my daughter someday. I’m excited for all the yummy cooking and baking our small family will be doing together!

Donuts!

Last Saturday was National Donut Day. I loooove donuts. Some of my favorite memories are when my mom and I used to go out for donuts together. Once, when I was like 7, when she was putting on her seat belt in the car after we picked up a box of donuts, I managed to slide the box underneath her. We joke to this day about how I strapped a box of donuts to her butt. When I was ten or eleven, she took me to see Kill Bill in theaters with her, but after ten minutes I was terrified and she had to take me out of the theater. So we went and got Krispy Kreme while my stepdad watched the rest of the movie.

Anyway, I have a lot of memories revolving around donuts. But they were never really anything I thought I could make on my own!

So I finally tried it. And they turned out great!

These s’mores donuts taste just like a summer campfire. So fun!

Recipe source: http://www.food.com/recipe/old-fashioned-cake-doughnuts-donuts-383868

For the icing: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/doughnut-glaze-recipe/index.html

(To make the chocolate icing, I melted in a bar of Hershey chocolate. It tasted perfect!)