chocolate pudding

During our last snow day I decided to make chocolate pudding.  Anderson kept talking about it because his buddy Caillou (a show for all non-Mom's) loves chocolate pudding.  I try to limit Anderson's Caillou viewing because the kid really isn't nice to his parents or sister often and they really don't discipline him, but then again there are times when Caillou is sweet and I'm glad he's watching a show that seems more easy to follow than other cartoon nonsense.

I looked up chocolate pudding and was happy to find a one bowl wonder of a recipe from Smitten Kitchen.  It was of course delicious and to help with portion control for Anderson (and myself) I put it in these vintage cups and stored them on a platter in the fridge.  The pudding lasts three days and that's about as long as it could last around here.

The pudding was delicious- just what you'd hope for in a childhood treat.

Recipe thanks to and loosely adapted from Deb of Smitten Kitchen.  

Ingredients You'll Need
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups milk (2% or whole)
  • 6 ounces semi or bittersweet chocolate or I used 1 cup of chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste (or extract)
1.  Combine the cornstarch, sugar, and salt in a saucepan.  Slowly whisk in the milk then stir til lumps are gone.  Place over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally with a whisk.  

2.  After about 10 minutes- before it starts to simmer- the mixture will be thickened and coat a spoon. Add the chocolate now, and continue stirring for 2-4 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.

3.  Distribute among cups and chill 2-3 hours in the fridge.  Enjoy!

let's catch up

I can't believe a month has gone by since I blogged, but then again I can believe it.  I've hardly had time for myself these days so finding time to blog has been hard as well.  We're "in the trenches" as some other Mom's have told me with a 2.5 year old, almost 4 month old, husband in grad school, and as of this weekend my mother in law is visiting us for a bit.  Life is full and busy and Praise the Lord (!!!!) it is finally feeling like spring outside today.

This past month we have been real over the snow and hope yesterdays sitings were the last we see until Christmastime.  We made it to a local winery with everyone else the one day recently that it was warm, and we've explored some around our still new-ish country surroundings as well.

We've found a great restaurant we love, a lovely little bakery, and are thankful still for this house and season we are in, although I'll be happy when grad school is over- one more year!

I know this time will be gone before we know it - Anderson is growing up so fast it seems and Tucker is right there behind him.  I love each of their stages, though of course they each have their moments.  I tell Anderson his whining really hurts my ears and Tucker still hasn't figured out going to sleep to the point where I'd feel like Benjamin and I could safely leave for dinner alone.  Soon I'm sure we'll be able to.

In cooking news we're living off freezer meals.  I'm thankful to have a friend who I cook batch freezer meals with and last week I added to our supply but making some meals that are frozen then just need to thaw and go into the slow cooker for easy dinners with the warming temperatures.  We'll see how they all taste but it feels good to have dinners done in advance for sure.  I used recipes from the site All Things Katie Marie.  I also made and froze Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls and although they were delicious warm I wouldn't make and freeze them again.  Any cinnamon roll recipe suggestions?

That's all for now but I hope to be back again real soon... with recipes and pictures of my almost four month old if you don't mind...

chocolate donuts!

Did you know that I'm running for Mom of the Year?  It's super competitive so I made chocolate donuts and offered them to Anderson for dinner the other night.  I think I won.

Just kidding of course- about the competition- not about the fact that I had a hankering to make these around 4:00 which means by the time they were done it was dinner time.  He had to eat scrambled eggs first (which he scarfed down) and then he had his donut.  Ah, sweet chocolate glazed donut.

Ever since Joy the Baker posted this recipe I had been wanting to make them.  We didn't have a donut pan though so I splurged a whole $7 and got one from Amazon.  I now want another donut pan.  Benjamin told me we mine as well have made cupcakes and that donuts need to be fried but I disagree.  Anderson loves donuts and these were the perfect cake-like donuts that were sweet but not too much so that they couldn't be eaten before noon.  I like the way you think, Joy.

I'd most definitely make these again - maybe even for a birthday party, stacked high on cake plates.  They're the perfect thing and loved by kids and adults alike.  Anderson I'm sure won't be sad if we make them again soon.

Recipe thanks to Joy the Baker

Ingredients You'll Need:
  • 1 donut pan
For the Donuts!
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk or make your own buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted until just browned
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
For the Glaze
  • 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 3-4 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla 
  • sprinkles
  1. Preheat your oven to 325 and prepare your donut pan with nonstick spray.
  2. In a bowl whisk the flour, cocoa powder, soda, salt, and brown sugar.
  3. In another bowl which the buttermilk, egg, butter, and vanilla.
  4. Combine the wet and dry ingredients then pour the batter into the donut pan and bake for 11-13 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool.  While cooling completely make the glaze by mixing the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla, then 3 tablespoons of milk, adding another tablespoon of milk if you need it.  
  6. Dip the cooled donuts then sprinkle them, allow to cool so the glaze hardens some, and enjoy!

What I'm Into: February Edition

My friend Lesley of Barefoot on 45th did a "what I'm into January Edition" last month and I thought it was such a good idea I had to do the same.  I'm always interested in what other bloggers are into, be it books or beauty supplies so I thought I'd share what I'm into as of February.

1.  Sally Hansen Complete Manicure Nail Polish.

I've been into this for awhile and find it to be the only nail polish where I only need 2 coats- no base, no top coat, it last the longest through baths and dishes, and there are lots of great colors.  I have to refrain from getting more until I use up a few bottles.  It's also around $6 which makes it appealing.

2.  Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick

I needed a lipstick this winter that would act like chapstick but have a lot of color.  I basically look like a new person when I have lipstick on (aka I look alive) and this one has been a winner.  I wear Softsilver Rose and like it for a pop of pink.

3.  Bread and Wine.

No surprise here I've really been into this book and gifted it twice this past month as well.  Think a Christian version of A Homemade Life.  To make me love it more I'm 99.9% sure Shauna went to my alma mater, Westmont College!

4.  Margerum M5

This wine reminds me of Santa Barbara and specifically of tasting it with Benjamin outside Curtis Winery before we were engaged on one of his trips there.  Doug Margerum himself poured it for us.  We picked some up and have been enjoying a glass once Anderson is in bed.  Cheers to red wine!

5.  28 Days of Pilates

A friend from college started The Balanced Life a bit ago and this past month did 28 Days of Pilates, a challenge in February to do 5-10 minute videos she created each day.  Although I failed to do them all I'm thankful they're around on her site for when I have only a few minutes to get my body moving.  I'm also super proud of her- Cameron Diaz's new site the Body Book picked up her challenge as well.  Big time!!

6.  Naptime Diaries Prints

I saw this shop was having a sale last month and got one print for us, and one for a friend to put in her son's room.  I'm sure it wasn't what the three year old was hoping to receive but his parents were thankful and I love the message this gives to our little guys.

What have you been into?  I haven't ordered it yet but I'm anticipating being into this book, Hands Free Mama in March- have you read it yet?