Tag Archives: driscoll’s

Baking, Bonding and Getting Ready For The Holidays + GIVEAWAY

1 Nov

This is my favorite time of year.  With the Holidays quickly approaching and the weather getting colder, baking is one of our favorite after-school activities.  We bake for friends, family, parties, and Holiday gatherings.  I always include my girls in our baking activities because it’s a great way to bond, talk about the day, and it’s a wonderful learning experience.  They learn which ingredients go into mixtures.  My oldest is learning to read, so she works on reading the recipe and helps find ingredients while we are shopping. 20141101-084017-31217875.jpg 20141101-084020-31220728.jpg We recently spent a few afternoons making the most delicious Jam-Filled Sandwich Cookies from Dorie Greenspan’s new cookbook, Baking Chez Moi (recipe and giveaway at end of post). When baking with kids, it always takes a little longer (or double the estimated time).  To start our baking adventure, we were lucky to work Driscoll’s and made home-made Rasperry Jam which was absolutely delicious. We used Driscoll’s rasperries and this recipe.  It was such a fun activity, especially since it was a rainy day, and it makes enough to give as a gift or use for breakfast or lunch.  It takes a while so I recommend making it a day or two before you plan to make the cookies. Jam 20141101-084016-31216029.jpg Next, up was making the cookie dough.  Before you start keep in mind the dough needs to be refrigerated so if you don’t have enough time to do it all in one day, you can place it in an air tight container and finish the next day.  We ran into that problem but it worked.  We started putting all the ingredients together to make the dough.  My daughter couldn’t believe that we didn’t need eggs.  After the dough was ready, I had my girls pick a few cookie cutters. Dorie uses a 2-inch round cutter but since it was the Holidays my girls wanted to add a twist and make a few other types of cookies.  We tried to find cutters that would be easy to fill and pinch together to keep the jam from spilling out the sandwich. The dough can crack easily.  Use a little water and push it back together. After the cookies were finished, we added decorations (because my girls love to decorate after baking) and colored sugar sprinkles instead of regular sugar. DSC_0041 jamcookie Here’s what we made: DSC_0221 Halloween Ghosts & Pumpkins DSC_0233 20141101-084014-31214180.jpg DSC_0229 Hearts DSC_0235 DSC_0236 DSC_0239 Frozen Lovers or Winter Wonderland DSC_0252 We shared our cookies with friends and left some for dad when he came home.  Everyone thought the cookies were “amazingly delicious”.  We can’t wait to bring some to Thanksgiving.  We are also excited to bake more of Dorie’s desserts this Holiday season. GIVEAWAY:  One lucky reader will have the opportunity to win a copy of Dorie Greenspan’s new cookbook, Baking Chez Moi and $15 in Driscoll’s Coupons.  Enter HERE for your chance to win!  Good luck and happy baking!

Thank you to everyone for following and entering, I hope you have a happy Holiday season!

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Dorrie Greenspan’s Jam-Filled Sandwhiches (Makes about 12 sandwich cookies. Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup (60 grams) Confectioners’ Sugar
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons; 4 oz; 113 grams) unsalted butter, cut into chunks at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup (136 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (43 grams) cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • About 3/4 cup (240 grams) jam, for filling
  • Sugar, for sprinkling
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting (optional)

Directions: Position a large strainer over the bowl of your stand mixer, or over a large bowl if you are going to use a hand mixer, and shake the confectioners’ sugar through it.  Drop the pieces of butter into the bowl, add the sugar and beat at low speed with the paddle attachment or hand mixer, until smooth. Put the strainer over the bowl again, add the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt, stir them around to combine and shake them onto the butter mixture.  Pulse the mixer a few times, so you don’t have flying flour, then beat on low speed until the dough comes together.  You’ll hit a stage where the dough is crumbly, mix on.  In another minute or so, the dough will come together and just about clean the sides of the bowl, your signal to stop mixing. Turn the dough onto the counter and divide it in half.  Shape each half into a disk, kneading the dough gently if necessary to pull it together and shape it. Put one piece of dough between two sheets of parchment or wax paper and roll it to a thickness of about an 1/8 inch.  Don’t worry about the shape of the dough. Slide the papaer-sandwiched dough onto a cutting board or baking sheet.  Repeat with the second piece of dough (you can stack the pieces).  Refigerate the dough for at lease two hours.  (Wrapped well, the dough can be refrigerated for up to two days or frozen for up to two months.  Defrost frozen dough for 5-10 minutes before cutting.) WHEN YOU’RE READY TO BAKE: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line two baking sheers with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Pull one piece of dough from the refrigerator and cut out the cookies.  (Leave the bottom piece of paper in place so that if the dough gets soft and needs a quick chill, you can easily trasport it.) Use a 2-inch round cutter, but you can cut these a little larger, if you’d like (of course the yield will be less).  Dorrie doesn’t advise using smaller than 2-inches because they’ll be too difficult to fill.  Place the cookies on the baking sheet, an inch or so apart, and refrigerate while you cut the second piece of dough (reserve scraps).  Put the second set of cookies on the other baking sheet; refrigerate. Gather the scraps from both pieces of doug, press them together and roll the dough until it’s an 1/8 inch thick, then chill until firm enough to cut and make more cookies. Spoon a little jam onto the center half of the chilled rounds- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon is sufficient for a 2-inch cookie.  Dip your finger into a bowl of water and, one at a time, lightly moisten the edges of each round, top with an uncovered round and press gently to seal.  Sprinkle tops with sugar. Bake for 15-17 minutes, rotating the pan at the midway point, or until the cookies are golden brown on the bottom and colored only around the edges.  The tops may crack, and thats fine.  Carefully transfer them to a cooling rack and let them cool to room temperature. Bake the second sheet of cookies, then cut and bake the remaining dough, making sure the baking sheet is cool. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, if you’d like, right before serving. Disclaimer: I received a copy of Baking Chez Moi and coupons and a gift card to Whole Foods for ingredients.  All opinions expressed are my own.  The recipe is from Dorie Greenspan’s book Baking Chez Moi.  Thank you to Driscoll’s Berries for introducing us to this amazing recipe.  We can’t wait to try more!

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Fun (FOOD) Friday: Under the Sea

3 Oct

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I should be talking about Halloween and pumpkins but my girls can’t stop reminiscing about their summer trip to  Magic Kingdom.  The highlights of course, meeting the princesses.  A new attraction from our last visit a few years ago was Ariel’s Grotto.  It was simply amazing for them to go “Under the Sea” and meet their favorite Mermaid.  For dinner the next night, I decided to do something a little fun with their food.  I made a mermaid (or Ariel) themed dinner, not as beautiful as the “real” Ariel but it was fun and exciting for the girls.

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It was simple to make.  For the…

Head: I got ready made Turkey meatballs from whole foods and heated them up. I then cut eyes and a mouth

Hair: I made spaghetti with Vodka sauce.  I placed the spaghetti around the head so that it looked like hair.

Shells: I used two Driscoll’s Strawberries.

Tail: I sliced up kiwi and placed it on the plate to look like a tail.

Arms: I used two carrots.

Fish: I had S’More Goldfish and took the chocolate fish out and placed them on the plate for an “Under the Sea” look.

The next time I make our Mermaid meal, I will use cooked spinach for seaweed or broccoli for “under water” plant life.

 

Does your child love mermaids as much as my girls do?  Here a few activities you can do to continue your “Under the Sea” themed evening:

 

Happy Friday!

Disclaimer: All images, ideas and opinions expressedare my own.   I was not compensated for this post.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Celebrating National Strawberry Shortcake Day with a Party @driscollsberry #StrawShortcake

10 Jun

National Strawberry Shortcake Day is June 14th.  Did you know that the first ever shortcake recipe was printed in an english cookbook in 1588?  In the 1850’s Strawberries were added to the delicious shortcake.  Since then, there have been several variations of one of America’s favorite desserts with whipped cream added to the sweet treat in 1910.  

Images from Driscolls

Images from Driscoll’s

 

Our refrigerator is always stocked with Driscoll’s Strawberries.  It was hard pass up the opportunity to celebrate National Strawberry Shortcake Day with Driscoll’s.  When I asked my 5-year-old daughter how we could celebrate, naturally she said “with a party”.   We started the planning process and decided to keep it simple and invite a few neighbors. We looked through recipes and looked at the history to find out which variation we wanted to make.  Growing up in the 1980’s, angel food cake with whipped cream and strawberries was very popular and the only version I remember having as a child.  I told her it was my favorite summer dessert and my brother had it at everyone of her birthdays.  She decided we should try my childhood favorite.

A few days before the party, we went to a friends bake sale.  My daughter saw ice cream cone cupcakes there.  She decided she wanted her strawberry shortcake in a cone. I suggested making cupcakes to in case some of the adults or kids didn’t want a cone. On the day of the party, we were about to fill our the cones and cupcake liners with angel food cake when she decided to add strawberries to the batter to “surprise” her friends.  Together we came up our own variation called Strawberry Shortcake Surprise, Any Way You Like (recipe below) in which guests could choose how they wanted their cake and what would go on it.

StrawberryShortcake

What you will need:

Ingredients:

  • Boxed Angel Food Cake or try this recipe on Driscoll’s
  • Package of Ice Cream Cones
  • 1 container Driscoll’s  Strawberries (available at Whole Foods)
  • 1 can Whipped Cream (We used Whole Foods 365)
  • Strawberry Ice Cream
  • “Surprise” Toppings: My girls favorites are strawberries, rainbow sprinkles, and Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips

StrawberryShortcake2

Directions:

  1. Lay aluminum foil over half of the cupcake pan.  Cut slits in the aluminum to place ice cream cone.  Line the remaining cupcake spots.
  2. Let your child(ren) help by slicing or chopping the strawberries using a Curious Chef Knife or mixing the Angel Food Cake ingredients together.
  3. Fill cupcakes and cones with cake batter and strawberries.  Bake for 12-15, times will vary so make sure to check occasionally.
  4. Clean up and set the table for the party.
  5. Place Ice Cream, Whipped Cream, Cupcakes, Ice Cream Cones, “Surprise” Toppings, Aladdin Mason cup(s) or bowels on the tables.
  6. Let your little guests get creative and create their very own Strawberry Shortcake Surprise. Strawberry ice cream was added too the cones, topped by whipped cream and delicious toppings while cupcakes were eaten with whipped cream and fresh strawberries or were placed in a mason and layered with with the ice cream, whipped cream, and other toppings.

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A party wouldn’t be complete without decorations and activities.  To let our neighbors know where the party was, my daughter made a sign on her boogie board and stuck it on the door.  When my girls hear Strawberry Short Cake, they think of their favorite show and the adorable characters.  We used our Strawberry Short Cake Berry Bitty Clubhouse on the table for decoration which the kids had fun playing with after.  The next activity was, pin the strawberry on the shortcake.  I printed a blank cake my daughter colored in.  Each child picked a Peaceable Kingdom Scratch and Sniff Strawberry Sticker and took their turn to get it on the cake.  It was a blast.

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The next variation of Strawberry Shortcake we make will be  Dorrie Greenspans Strawberry Mouse Shortcake (below).  Check out her story and connection to Strawberry Shortcake on Driscoll’s.

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Image from Driscoll’s

For more great recipes visit http://www.driscolls.com/recipes.  Follow the celebration with @driscollsberry on twitter and instagram using #StrawShortcake!

Click the Image to ENTER for a chance to win a KitchenAid Stand Mixer & a year of berries

Click the Image to ENTER for a chance to win a KitchenAid Stand Mixer & a year of berries

Happy National Strawberry Shortcake Day 2014!

Happy National Strawberry Shortcake Day 2014!

Disclaimer:  I received coupons and a gift card to Whole Foods to use towards our celebration with Driscoll’s  All ideas and opinions expressed are my own.  Information in italics are from Driscoll’s.

 

 

Trick-or-Treat, Give Me Something COOL to Drink… (Cool Gear Halloween Giveaway)

22 Sep

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Happy First Day of Autumn!  Although, we are sad summer is over, the crisp fall air is refreshing and it means time for pumpkin picking and Halloween.  My girls are anxiously awaiting Halloween!  They started planning their costumes over the summer and are already making plans with friends for Halloween night!

We recently received a Cool Gear Inc 14 oz Light Up Skull Mug and set of Glow Eyeball Ice Cubes.  My daughter opened it immediately and wanted to leave a “spooky” drink in the fridge for her dad when he came home from work.  We looked in the fridge and came up with “The Eye Socket” (below).  The mug features a flashing light that is turned on and off with a button on the bottom and the eyeballs glow once they are charged with light, adding extra festive fun perfect for night.

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Our favorite berries are Driscoll’s

We have made this drink several times, and every time my girls enjoy it.  It makes about 2 servings.  They enjoy measuring and mixing the ingredients themselves.  They also love smashing the blueberries.  We plan on having a few friends over for pizza before trick-or-treating and will be serving this fun Halloween drink!  DSC_0994

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Another Fall favorite is Apple Cider.  Our favorite apple cider is  from Red Jacket Orchards, found at Whole Foods.  I received a sample of SINFIRE Cinnamon Whiskey from Hood River Distillers not long ago, and decided it might be a good combination.  It sure was tasty.  A great drink to cozy up and relax with after the kids are in bed.  An easy drink to have at an adult Halloween party.  Serve it in this awesome mug and keep it cool with the eyeball ice cubes to “light-up” your night!

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Make this Halloween extra “Spooktacular” for you and your kids and enter to win a Cool Gear Light Up Mug and set of Glow Eyeball Ice cubes by clicking the link HERE!  Giveaway ends on 9/30/2013 at 11:59 p.m.

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More information about the products  below:

Image from Cool Gear Inc

Please note that these eyeball ice cubes are intended for adult use.  My girls asked to use them in their drinks and I explained the cubes were for their cups and not to be put in their mouths.  Because of their size and shape, they could be a choking hazard.  If you choose to use these eyeballs, supervision is required. Image/ Information from Cool Gear

Image/ Information from Cool Gear

Image/ Information from Cool Gear

Disclaimer:  I received a Light Up Skull Mug and set of Glow Eyeball Cubes for this review.  All photos, recipes, and opinions, unless noted, are my own and require permission if used on another site.

National Blueberry Pancake Day!

28 Jan

Today is National Blueberry Pancake Day!  Cooking activities are an excellent way to keep kids busy on cold, rainy or snowy days like today.  Whip up some blueberry pancake (a few recipes below) with your child and eat them for lunch, snack, dinner, dessert or save them for breakfast tomorrow.

Blueberry Pancake Fun!

Blueberry Pancake Fun!

A few recipes:

1. Keep it Simple Blueberry Pancakes:  Perfect for when you are in a rush or need a simple activity for young children.  For 5 pancakes: Use  1 cup Aunt Jemima’s Original Complete Mix, 3/4 cup water, 1/4- 1/2 a teaspoon of vanilla extract.  Mix together in a bowl or we mixed in a measuring cup to make pouring the batter on the pan easier.  While pancakes are cooking, place blueberries in batter. Use as many or as little as your child would like.  My older daughter added chocolate chips for an extra sweet treat!

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2.  Driscoll’s Lemon Ricotta Blueberry Pancakes

Image from Driscoll's

Image from Driscoll’s

3. Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes: Add blueberries to this Whole Wheat Pancake recipe from Skinnytaste

Image from Skinnytaste

Image from Skinnytaste

4. Blueberry Pancake Cupcakes by Your Cup of Cake

Image from Your Cup Of Cake

Image from Your Cup Of Cake