Posted at 5:50 am
Another wonderful recipe from Elvira Cavallari are her famous chocolate eclairs. This eclair version is more homey and rustic than the perfect, pristine one you’ll see in glass display cases. In my humble opinion, I’ll take approachable and delicious over too pretty to eat any day. The recipe isn’t difficult, but there are three separate steps that can make it seem more intimidating than it actually is so don’t let that stop you. Start off with baking the buttery shells, then you make the custard filling and top it off with the chocolate frosting. It will make 30 small eclairs so you can serve them for a shower, holiday get-together or a small dinner party and just freeze the rest. They freeze beautifully!
Enjoy. They are definite crowd pleasers!
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 cup sifted flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 eggs unbeaten
- 1 package vanilla pudding mix (not instant) I used Jello Cook and Serve 3 oz package
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 pint (1 cup) heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup soft butter
- 3 oz. melted unsweetened chocolate, cooled
- 3 cups confectioners sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- about 3 Tb milk
- In a medium pan over the stove melt butter in boiling water.
- Lower heat and add flour and salt all at once.
- Stirring rapidly, stir until mixture lowers side.
- Remove from heat and add 1 egg at a time.
- Drop by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto a baking sheet covered in parchment paper.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes.
- Allow to cool and begin making the filling.
- Prepare 1 package Jello vanilla pudding mix in a small saucepan on the stove using only 1 1/2 cups whole milk instead of 2 cups according to the directions on the box.
- After pudding has reached the right consistency, cover with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for 1 hour or until cool.
- Whip 1/2 pint heavy whipping cream into pudding.
- Mix butter and chocolate together. Blend in sugar. Stir in vanilla. Add enough milk until frosting is smooth.
- Slice each shell lengthwise in half.
- Frost each eclair with frosting.
- Use a spoon to fill custard into each shell.
- Refrigerate eclairs until ready to serve or freeze for up to 1 month.
These were immediately eaten after this photo was taken. I have to make sure they pass the taste test! 😉
Posted at 6:00 am
I love that time of year when gardens overflow with vegetables. Maybe you have your own plot in the backyard or perhaps you’re lucky enough to be neighbors or friends with those who want to spread the love. It’s nice to see that some things never change. The grocery bags laid ever so carefully by the doorstep and filled with tomatoes, zucchini that I remember as a child are still being shared today.
These are not your average store-bought zucchinis. They are the size of small children. See what I mean?! My first thought when I saw them was, ‘I never knew they could get that big!’ The sexual innuendos on this abound! Thank you Deb and Martin!
This recipe for zucchini bread will also bring back fond memories if Mom or Grandma made it for you as a kid and it’s a great way to use it up. My oldest daughter has requested I make this over banana bread or even cinnamon rolls! It’s always a proud mom moment whenever you can sneak some veggies in under their nose. I was mentally pumping my fist in the air while she gobbled one slice and then another. 🙂
Moms' Zucchini Bread
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup canola oil
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp grated lemon peel
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 2 cups shredded zucchini
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 8×4 inch loaf pans.
- In a bowl combine sugar, eggs, vanilla and oil until blended. In a separate bowl combine flour, salt, baking soda, lemon peel, cinnamon and baking powder.
- Combine wet ingredients with dry. Fold in shredded zucchini.
- Divide batter evenly between two loaf pans. Bake for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!
Posted at 6:11 am
I love Kind bars, but they can get a little pricey and the taste can be a bit bland. Not the case with these bars. You toast the oatmeal, pumpkin seeds and almonds so it gives the bars a crispy bite and lots of flavor.
These hearty, homemade granola bars make a fast grab-and-go breakfast or perfect mid-morning snack. With the mixture of almonds, pumpkin seeds and peanut butter it has lots of protein to keep you fueled all morning long. This recipe makes 16 bars so you can share the wealth with friends or freeze half and enjoy one bar at a time whenever you need it.
With school less than a month away, they would make a great snack or addition to your child’s lunch. Enjoy!
Almond Cranberry Granola Bars
- 2 cups old fashioned oats
- 1 cup unsalted whole almonds, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- 1 cup packed, pitted Medjool dates
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Preheat oven 350 degrees. Pour oats, almonds and pepitas onto a rimmed baking sheet. Toast in the oven for 12 minutes. Transfer to a big mixing bowl.
- Chop dates in a food processor until you have a rough paste. Scrape into bowl with the oat mixture.
- Warm maple syrup and peanut butter in a saucepan on the stove over low heat until smooth. Add to the bowl along with the cranberries. Mix everything well.
- Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper. Spoon mixture into pan and press down with the back of a large spoon. Freeze for about 20 minutes.
- Lift contents out of pan and cut into 16 squares. Enjoy!
Posted at 6:00 am
My oldest daughter brought home a recipe to make Thunder cake when she was in first grade and every time it storms she’s asked if we can make it. She starts fourth grade in the fall and we finally got all of the ingredients gathered in time to make this cake when the big storms rolled through a few days ago.
Apparently, there’s a children’s book called Thunder Cake and a mystery reader brought this to into her class. In the story, a child is afraid of storms so the grandmother shows her that they can mix all of the ingredients for the cake just like dark the storm swirling outside. Although we usually love storms in this household, some of those lightning bolts hit a little too close to home so we made the cake for good luck…to keep our house safe from any damage. I’m happy to report that it worked. 😉
I will warn you that there’s an ingredient in there that sounds and looks really strange as you’re mixing the cake batter, it’s tomato sauce. Once you add the cocoa powder the smell and odd color disappears and it gives the cake this mysterious, wonderful flavor that you couldn’t quite put your finger on if you tried it without knowing what’s in it.
Personally, I think this cake rivals Portillos. It’s moist, chocolately and goes perfectly with a cold glass of milk or a scoop of ice cream. The process of making the cake is also a great distraction for the kids on a stormy day. Enjoy!
- 1 cup shortening
- 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 eggs, separated
- 1 cup cold water
- 1/3 cup plain tomato sauce
- 2 1/2 cups cake flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- chocolate frosting (I used 1 can of Betty Crocker Chocolate Frosting)
- strawberries, sliced
- Cream together, one at a time, the shortening, sugar, vanilla, egg yolks, water and tomatoes.
- Beat egg whites in a separate bowl until peaks begin to form. Fold into batter.
- In a separate bowl sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.
- Mix dry ingredients into the batter.
- Bake at 350 degrees into 2 greased and floured 8 11/2 to 9 inch round cake pans for 35-40 minutes.
- Allow to cool completely.
- Frost cake with chocolate frosting and top with sliced strawberries.
I used Betty Crocker frosting for my recipe. One can frosted the entire cake.