Thursday, January 31, 2008

Quiet Book Ideas

I am always trying to find something to keep little ones quiet during church. I went on line and found pictures of Disney things. I put them together in Photoshop and made it "The Many Colors of Disney" book. I had them printed 5x7 through and I will mount them onto card stock (to make them thicker). I will then laminate them and probably bind them together with rings. Who knows how it will hold up in an 18 month old's hands... but we'll give it a whirl.

This book will be the same basic concept as above. (pictures - 4x6 - mounted on card stock, laminated and bound with the rings pictured) This time I am putting family pictures together. They should be fairly easy to rotate as everyone gets older and life changes.
Update: Here is the final product. I tested it out with my son this morning - and he LOVES it!... stay tuned for felt quiet books... hopefully!

Cafe Rio Salad

Okay I am just going to post the recipe now, I think you all need to try it- very yummy!

Cafe Rio Pork

3 lb. pork loin
16 oz. chunky salsa (put in blender until chunks are gone)
1 can coke
2 cups brown sugar

Put pork loin in crock pot and cover half the pork with water. Cook on high for 5 hours. Drain water, cut pork into 1/3 rds, pull fat off and shred with a fork. Mix sauce together (salsa, coke and br. sugar) pour over pork and cook another 3 hrs. on high. Leave on low until ready to serve.

Cafe Rio Dressing

1 buttermilk ranch dressing packet (make as per recipe)
2 tomatillos (tomato like vegetable with a husk around them) - I could only find the canned.
½ bunch of cilantro
1 clove garlic
Juice of 1 lime
1 jalapeno (Use the seeds too if you like it spicy. You could substitute a few drops of green Tabasco for the jalapeno.)

Use a food processor to blend all the ingredients well. Refrigerate.* be warned... this makes a ton of dressing, but it will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Black Beans

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/3 cup tomato juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro

In a nonstick skillet, cook garlic and cumin in olive oil over medium heat until you can smell it. Add beans, tomato juice, and salt. Continually stir until heated through. Just before serving stir in the cilantro

Cafe Rio rice

4 c water
4 t chicken bouillon
4 t garlic –minced
½ bunch cilantro
1 can green chiles
¾ t salt
1 T butter
½ onion
2 cups rice

Blend cilantro, green chiles and onion together in food processor or blender. Bring water to a boil and add all ingredients, simmer covered 30 minutes.

Do you love Reese's???

Reese's Peanut Butter Cake

4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup tightly packed brown sugar
½ Cup creamy peanut butter
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup hot water
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips

8 oz softened cream cheese
½ Cup powdered sugar
¼ Cup creamy peanut butter

1-2 packages Resees Peanut Butter Cups, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 325F. Grease two 9 x 1 1/2 inch pans. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt- set aside.

2. Mix together brown sugar, peanut butter and butter for two minutes. Add egg and egg yolk and mix for another 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and mix for another minute.

3. Add half of the flour mixture and mix until incorporated about 20 seconds. Then add the sour cream, mixing again for 20 seconds. Gradually add the remaining flour mixture. Add the hot water in a slow, steady stream and mix on low to combine, about 30 seconds. Add the vanilla and mix for another 10 seconds. Add the reese's peanut butter chips and use a rubber spatula to finish mixing the ingredients until thoroughly combined.

4. Divide the cake batter into the prepared pans, spreading it evenly. (batter will be thick) Bake for about 15 minutes. If you have Use a toothpick to see if it is done. Let cool completely.

5. Place cream cheese, powdered sugar, and peanut butter into a medium bowl. Stir until smooth. Once cakes are cooled, spread cream cheese over bottom of one of the cakes. Top with 2nd cake.

Chocolate Ganache

1 Cup semisweet chocolate chips
¾ Cup heavy cream
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

1. Place chocolate chips into a medium mixing bowl. Place cream and butter into a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat cream/butter until just boiling. Remove and pour over chocolate chips. Let sit for 3-5 minutes then stir until smooth.

To Assemble: Place layered cake on a wire rack. Place rack on top of a cookie sheet (lined with tin foil) so that the extra chocolate has a place to drip onto. Pour chocolate ganache over cake and using a narrow metal spatula, quickly spread it evenly over the top and sides of the cake. Garnish with chopped peanut butter cups in center of cake.

Note* I used probably 1 bag of reese's and the cake turned out great to me. Also I might try using milk chocolate chips instead of the semi sweet for the ganosh- I don't know if it would change the consistency but it might be tasty! Also I had a bag of the Valentine reese's hearts so that is what I used to garnish my cake
*** Recipe came from the Picky Palate.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Let's start off with a classic... Chocolate Chip Cookies!
This recipe has been in our family for years. So yummy! I made these with white chocolate, but they are just as tasty with milk chocolate.
(Sorry for the bad picture, I'm new at this.)Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 lb. butter
2 c. packed brown sugar
1 ½ c. sugar
3 eggs
2 Tbls. vanilla
1 ½ tsp. salt
1 ½ tsp . baking soda
6 c . flour
4-6 c. chocolate chips
2 c. nuts (optional)
Beat butter with sugar, vanilla and eggs. Add dry ingredients and continue to beat. Dough will be dry. Add nuts and chips.
Bake 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Makes 4-5 dozen cookies