Monday, September 28, 2015

Preparing For Fall Tip #1- Crumb Crust

   As we head into a season filled with holidays and the gathering of  friends and family, we find ourselves looking to make our baking and cooking faster and easier. We want to spend less time in the kitchen and more time with the ones we love. This month, I am going to give you a few shortcuts and tips to help prepare ahead of time, so when guests arrive, there is no need panic. A few quick tricks can make entertaining less stressful and more fun.
   It is now fall and that means pie! I find that one of the reasons many people do not bake pie from scratch is because of the time it takes to make pie crust. Yet, not all pie crust needs to be made of dough,nor does it need to be difficult.With a little advanced preparation, putting a pie together can be quick and fun!
   One of the things I like to do when I have an extra few minutes , is to make and store crumbs. I use ginger snaps, graham crackers, chocolate chips,sugar cookies and Oreos, pulverize them in my food processor, and store them in mason jars. Another  way to store them is to place them in freezer bags and keep frozen until needed. Many people like to bake the crust before adding the filling, but I prefer not to, especially if I am baking the pie. I prefer a softer crust. However, if I am using the crust for any type of unbaked pie, I will bake the plain crust at 350 degrees for approximately 10-15 minutes, let cool, then fill.
   Not only is this a great way to be a step ahead when making a pie that requires a cookie or cracker crust, the crumbs can also be used as a  topping for ice-cream, yogurt, or smoothies.
  If you want to prepare one step further, you can  use  the recipe below(quick and easy) for a crumb crust, fit it into a pie plate, then wrap the pie plate tightly with plastic wrap and store in the freezer until needed. When you are ready , take it out, add your desired filling and bake. Easy and stress-free.

Cookie Crust:

Approximately 20-25 cookies of your choice
1/4 c. melted butter
 -Pulverize the cookies in a food processor. Add the melted butter and mix together until all of the crumbs are coated.
- Pour into a pie plate, and using either a dry measuring cup or your hands, press down firmly so the crumbs fit into the shape of the plate.
-The crust can be used immediately or wrapped well and stored inthe freezer for up to three months.

Graham Cracker Crust:
-1/4 c. melted butter
- 1/4 c.  sugar
-pinch salt
    Mix all ingredients together and fit into desired pie plate. Use immediately, or wrap tightly and store in the freezer until needed.
***You can also add a touch of cinnamon ,if desired.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Lots of Cookies!

 I am so happy to be back to blogging again! It has been a while, but I have been busy baking many,many cookies, and arranging platters for friends and family! Above is a platter for a Fourth of July party. Below  are a few pictures of what I have been up to over the past few months. Now I am looking forward to once again sharing new recipes, ideas, and gardening tips with all of you! Stop by, and see what's cooking!
     This platter was made for an Easter celebration.
 This one for a teacher's retirement luncheon!
 Monsters for a young boy's birthday bash!
 A fourth birthday platter for a boy who loves monster trucks!
 This first birthday party had a jungle theme.

 A thank you platter...just because.
 Here are a few wedding favors. The bride chose these adorable starfish cookies, packaged with brown sugar (sand). She also requested chocolate and vanilla cupcakes! Delicious!

Have a sweet day!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Teacher Appreciation Day

Today I am sharing with you the treats that I sent in to school with my sons for Teacher Appreciation Day! Lots of sweet goodies, including adorable teacher -themed chocolate covered Oreos. The molds can be found at ! I will be back with more recipes soon! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Light It Up Blue For Autism

I have been on an oreo kick lately, so in honor of Autism Awareness here are some Chocolate covered Oreos!I will be back this week with some more delicious recipes! Have a great day!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Easter Oreos

I am way behind...truly way behind, but I am back! Here is a quick post to let you see what I have been up to as of late. I hope to be posting more frequently, especially now that we are finally at the beginning of the planting season!! Easter/Spring chocolate covered oreos have been my latest hobby. All you need are some oreo cookie molds, along with melting chocolate,in a variety of colors, and of course oreos!! Easy to make, and a fun project for the kids. Thank goodness it is spring!!
Enjoy the warmer weather!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

Wishing you all a very Happy Halloween!! Here is a picture of the cookies I made for my son's class...just wanted to share with you!! Have fun trick or treating!

Monday, October 28, 2013

NYC Walking Chocolate Tour

In honor of National Chocolate Day, I wanted to share pictures from my recent visit to NYC for  a chocolate tour of the city. We had a wonderful, funny tour guide named Alex, and he was quite knowledgeable about not only chocolate, but about the city and architecture as well. We visited multiple bakeries, and chocolate shops, sampling their treats along the way.Enjoy the pictures!

Our tour guide Alex, had a great sense of humor and did a great job of showing us around the city.


Our group gathered at the Chelsea Market, where Food Network lives. We then walked to a little chocolate shop called the Chocolate Bar. It was a quaint little shop where we each sampled a small piece of chocolate. It was good, but I was  honestly thinking to myself that I hoped we would be sampling more than a one inch square piece of chocolate! From there, we walked to one of the oldest chocolatiers in NYC, Lilac Chocolates. . At this stop, we sampled a small piece of dark chocolate, along with a delicious piece of  butter crunch toffee....which truly was divine.
   As we walked along, out guide Alex gave us lots of information about the city, and different types of buildings, street signs his French accent, which made the tour that much more fun!
Our next stop was Magnolia Bakery ,  ,which is infamous for its cupcakes. We were each treated to a chocolate cupcake with a creamy chocolate frosting. Unfortunately, I ate mine before I remembered to take a picture of it...sorry about that.
We continued our walk until we came upon Milk & Cookies,www.milk&  ,where we were each given a large chocolate chocolate chip cookie. At this point, some people were a bit full, but as a chocolate lover, I was happy to sample mine.It was delicious!
We then moved on to a place called Xocolatti's  ,in SOHO. Here, as you can see, the walls were stacked with candy boxes, making it a very attractive place to shop.My only disappointment came when they told us we would be sampling a piece of white chocolate, with mango and topped with....are you ready? PAPRIKA!   Now, I love white chocolate , but I was less than enthusiastic. However, I tried it , and I must say that I was pleasantly surprised. I loved it.....chocolate, with hints of mango, and then the paprika hits you at the end. Normally, I would never have tried something like that...but I am glad I did because it was really good......and $25 per pound!

Next, we went to the place I would have to call my favorite of all....a specialty shop called Bisous . They make French macaron cookies in a wide array of flavors. Of course, we sampled chocolate since we were on a chocolate tour. These were magnificent....decadent and absolutely delicious. I have added this store to my list of possible online gifts for the holidays. Definitely my new favorite treat!

Our next stop was Pasticceria Bruno ,on Bleecker Street. We passed Murray's cheese shop, and although the huge wheels of Parmeggiano  Reggiano were calling my name, we walked on. At Bruno, we sampled cannoli, which we were told beat Bobby Flay's in a throw down....but hey, he is Irish,so was to be expected! I did a little shopping at this stop and bought some cannoli and cookies to bring home to my hubby and boys. It was a beautiful bakery, but quite expensive.
   Our final stop was at Vosges,  where we sampled chocolate with chipotles in it. It was good, and spicy! Again, not my typical choice, but a nice treat .
   All in all, we walked over 40   city blocks, which I would have to say took care of our calorie intake for the day! It was a fun evening, and something I would suggest if you are in NYC and love chocolate! Find more information at .  Now, I have to start planning for the cupcake tour!!