make

the best cookie is a giant cookie

At the last book club our group of friends had, our dear friend Abbey who happens to be insanely creative brought the dessert. Naturally we were all excited to see what she whipped up and it didn’t disappoint. She made individual cookies, baked them so that they were just soft and gooey and topped them off with vanilla ice-cream. It was pretty much as good as it gets.

So naturally I had to recreate her perfection the next night but in giant form since the best cookie is a giant cookie! Fair warning that this is not a dessert for bikini season (sorry I’m not sorry!). This recipe is so simple that it can be thrown into the oven during dinner to enjoy just after while it is still warm and gooey! Enjoy!

ingredients

  • one package of pre-made cookie dough or your cookie dough of choice for 24 cookies
  • ice-cream of choice (we had coffee – naturally I dug through both mine and the boy’s to find all the chocolate coverged beans…)

instructions

  1. Preheat oven to temperature specified in the cookie recipe.
  2. Grease a cheesecake pan or any spring pan or you can use individual serving size jars. This allows for super easy “extraction” of the cookie.
  3. Press all of your cookie dough into the bottom of the pan.
  4. Place in the refrigerator until after dinner or simply pop into the oven if you are ready to enjoy.
  5. Bake for the amount of time specified in the recipe or until lightly golden brown and still soft.
  6. Immediately unclasp the spring.
  7. Cut the cookie into servings while still hot.
  8. Top with ice-cream and enjoy!
my cookie dough of choice

my cookie dough of choice

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pressed and ready to be baked!

pressed and ready to be baked!

the best tea towel for cookies!

the best tea towel for cookies!

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this isn't a dessert to consider what a "normal" serving size should be

this isn’t a dessert to consider what a “normal” serving size should be

my cookie topped with ice-cream

my cookie topped with ice-cream

the boy's cookie + ice-cream (i promise there is one hidden in there somewhere)

the boy’s cookie + ice-cream (i promise there is one hidden in there somewhere)

nom nom nom!

nom nom nom!

taylor brass

brass blossom

peach lemonade pie

For our “Let There Be Light” dinner I wanted to make a fresh pie that screamed Spring time. It just so happened that the day following the time change was Pi Day. I happen to think Pi Day should be a holiday in itself to celebrate the wonderful dessert, pie!

Nothing says Spring time to me than peach pie so that is what I made. However after making the filling with the peaches and cutting down on the sugar I felt that it was still a bit too sweet. But the only thing I had on hand to balance the sweetness was lemonade. It was definitely one of those life hands you lemon moments and the lemonade was the perfect pairing with the peaches!

I will most definitely be making this pie again this summer!

ingredients

  • 6 cups peaches
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup baking sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • large splash of lemonade
  • pie crust of choice

instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare your preferred pie crust. Remember to always use super cold water, a cold bowl and refrigerate your crust after making.
  3. Mix together peaches, brown and white sugar, vanilla and cornstarch in a large pot. Cook over low to medium heat until peaches begin to break down.
  4. While the mixture is cooling add a splash or two of lemonade depending on your tangy preference.
  5. Prepare the pie crust on a well floured surface. Separate the crust into two balls. Roll the first half out for the bottom of the pie and insert it into the pan.
  6. Carefully pour the fruit mixture into the pie pan.
  7. Roll out the second half of the crust into a large circle.
  8. To make an art deco styled flower, use a shot glass or any other circular object to cut circles out of the second crust. Cover the pie with the second crust.
  9. Press around the edges to seal the pie.
  10. Bake 40-45 minutes or until golden brown.
  11. Enjoy a slice or two with a heaping scoop of ice-cream!

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a ball of dough

the second ball of dough

peaches galore!

peaches galore!

the cutouts

the shot glass cutouts

art-deco (ish) flower pie

art-deco (ish) flower pie!

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baked to perfection!

baked to perfection!

Enjoy!

taylor brass

brass blossom

snowflake pie delight

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I knew the Holidays were going to be absolutely crazy this year as I was only home for about three weeks. So before the madness ensued we had a few friends over for dessert and drinks. I threw together a pie and topped it with some snowflakes. We enjoyed some pie, some popcorn, some drinks and an episode or two of MeatEater.

Yes, we all snuggled on the couch plus a black dog or two and watched a hunting show. If that’s not Idaho, I don’t know what is. As the boy professed this summer, it was one of those romantic little friend nights that was just perfect.

So without further ado here is the most simple pie recipe that I usually end up eye balling!

ingredients

  • 2 cups peaches
  • 4 cups blackberries
  • 2 cups sugar (i used brown)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • a squeeze of lemon
  • pie crust of your choice
  • fun cookie cutter!

instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare your preferred pie crust. Remember to always use super cold water, a cold bowl and refrigerate your crust after making.
  3. Mix together the fruit, sugar, cornstarch, vanilla and squeeze of lemon in a large pot. Heat over low to medium heat until the mixture thickens a bit.
  4. Separate pie crust into two balls. Roll out the first for the bottom of the pie and insert it into your pie pan.
  5. Carefully pour your fruit mixture into the pie pan, careful not to make any dribbles on your crust!
  6. Roll out the second ball. Cut a fun shape into the middle. I used a snowflake in honor of the plethora of snow we had before the Holidays. Lay over the pie. Cut around the edge.
  7. Press around the edge to make a fun pattern.
  8. Use any extra pie crust you have to make two more of the same shape and place on either side of the cutout shape.
  9. Dust with sugar.
  10. Bake 40-45 minutes or until golden brown.
  11. Enjoy a piece of pie with some ice-cream, popcorn (obvi), drinks and good company!
the cutest snowflake cookie cutter + a crazy amount of flour

the cutest snowflake cookie cutter + a crazy amount of flour

my favorite measuring spoons

my favorite measuring spoons

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ready to be topped

ready to be topped

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obviously should have taken off the price marker….

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just a “dusting” of sugar…more is more?

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enjoy!

enjoy!

taylor brass

brass blossom

a salad fit for christmas — arugula, pomegranate, pear & pumpkins seeds

christmas salad!

christmas salad!

I volunteered to bring a salad to dinner on Sunday and basically just looked in my fridge and pantry to try to combine a few things I already had. The result was so yummy that we had it three nights in a row!

This salad is festive, fresh, and the perfect complement to a heavier winter meal. Better yet, it’s Christmas colors!

Here’s a look.

servings

6

prep:cook time

20 minutes

ingredients

  • one container pre-washed arugula
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (roasted and salted or is raw, roast and salt them yourself…I prefer the latter)
  • goat cheese (pre-crumbled, or crumble it yourself with a fork…again, I prefer the latter)
  • pomegranate arils from 1/2 pomegranate (pre-packaged, or whacked out yourself…you know what I’m going to say)
  • one asian pear
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • two cloves minced garlic
  • 1/4 t thyme (fresh or dried)
  • lemon juice from 1 1/2 lemons
  • 1 t honey
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of pepper

instructions

  1. If you have raw pumpkin seeds, roast them with a splash of olive oil, salt and pepper over medium heat in a small pan.
  2. If you have a whole pomegranate, cut it in half, whack it with a wooden spoon into a bowl to release some arils, and then pick the rest out with your hands. More on this here. it’s a pain, but as my future brother-in-law said on Thanksgiving while slapping a fruit with a wooden spoon, “it’s therapeutic.”
  3. Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, thyme, honey, salt and pepper in a container that you can seal with a lid. I like to use a small mason jar and shake the dressing to mix it.
  4. Thinly slice the pear into thick matchsticks.
  5. Add the arugula (I use a heaping handful x the number of people eating), pomegranate arils, roasted pumpkins seeds, sliced pear, and crumbled goat cheese to a bowl. Dress the salad when ready, and enjoy!
also known as pipettes :)

also known as pepitas 🙂

arils ready to go

arils ready to go

I like to use a small mason jar so it's easy to shake up the dressing

I like to use a small mason jar so it’s easy to shake up the dressing

ingredients for the dressing

ingredients for the dressing

i absolutely love pomegranates...their a pain to get the arils out of, but they're so pretty and delicious!

i absolutely love pomegranates…their a pain to get the arils out of, but they’re so pretty and delicious!

fresh triple washed arugula

fresh triple washed arugula

pan roasted pepitas...so good as a snack alone also!

pan roasted pepitas…so good as a snack alone also!

dressing all shaken up

dressing all shaken up

christmas colors!

christmas colors!

cheers krista

brass blossom

showering baby girl parker with love (and pumpkins)

On Christmas Eve, the Detwiler Family is due to receive the best gift ever — a baby girl, daughter of my cousin Anna and her husband, Robert.

I have only been to one baby shower in my life, let alone ever hosted one. My cousin Heather and I jumped at the opportunity to host a celebration for Anna and her little one. It was a beautiful afternoon full of lots of love, bubbles, bites, and gifts. We can’t wait to meet you, Baby Parker!

decor

We couldn’t resist some pink (and gold, duh) and so selected this gold foil square invite with a pink envelope liner from Paperless Post, the paper line.

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many think that Paperless Post is always paperless, but think again! The quality of these festive invites was pleasantly surprising — more so than other popular stationery brands I’ve seen.

Since the shower was in October, we easily decided on an autumn theme. I found this photo on Pinterest that served as inspiration (more to come on these very versatile decorations!):

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found on stylempretty.com

Here’s our version, plus some additional gold and pink details with some canvas and chalkboard signs:

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you should have seen Heather and me blowing up these balloons…we found a sip of wine before each effort helped tremendously 🙂

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more to come on these carved pumpkin centerpieces!

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it’s amazing what you can do with some spray paint, candlesticks, and Costco flowers!

baby shower

baby shower

big balloons and metallic pumpkins greeted guests at the front door

baby shower

a cool copper color spray paint I found at the local hardware store

baby shower

dress my cupcake is a great décor brand (albeit a little pricey when it all adds up!) that I found at Zucher’s

baby shower

can’t resist a colorful straw and some chalkboard food signs!

menu

We decided on a baby shower brunch since it was on a Sunday and provided some yummy small bites of both breakfast and lunch foods.

Heather and I prepared:

  • A mimosa bar and some non-alcoholic options
  • French toast casserole with maple syrup (rave reviews. recipe here.)
  • Avocado toast with homemade bread
  • Bacon wrapped fingerling potatoes (my personal favorite. recipe here, plus we brushed on some pesto before baking.)
  • Veggie cheese quiche from Cristina’s (which disappeared in about 20 minutes)
  • Donut hole kabobs

Friends of the mom-to-be brought:

  • Mini quiche
  • Fruit
  • Kale salad (our all-time favorite. recipe here)
  • Pumpkin and red velvet cupcakes from Bigwood Bread (anna’s favorite)
  • Caramel chocolate cake from Cristina’s (another of anna’s favorites)
  • Baguette with spinach dip and mixed veggies
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I repurposed the “yay” gold letters I made for our “K” birthday party and served tea and coffee out of these one-of-a-kind cups from Boulder Mountain Clayworks

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the spread!

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these were ridiculously delicious…

baby shower

pretty dessert corner with a canvas sign that took me wayyyy to long to make

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gotta love brunch

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pretty avocado toast on homemade bread by mike

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how pretty is that cake from cristina’s?!

the company

Anna and Baby Parker are so loved, and that showed with the guest list and the size of the present pile! I’ve also never had so many small children in my home, let alone newborns!

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baby shower

mom-to-be and cassie hitting up the mimosa bar (sparkling cider for anna, of course!)

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these are real…newborn…babies…four of them…in my house!

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hostesses and the beautiful mom-to-be!

the present pile

the present pile

pretty present wrapping

pretty present wrapping

It was a great day, and we are counting down the days until Baby Girl Parker’s arrival!

cheers krista

 

brass blossom

 

scream for ice cream — homemade ice cream cake

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The boy really, really, really loves ice cream. Like eats a couple of half gallons a week. So to help him work on his dad bod I made a homemade ice cream cake. We had 4 others over for dinner and I estimated that COMBINED we would eat like a third of the cake. But no. Five of us ate about a fourth of the cake and the boy ate the rest. He started with a large piece, followed by another large piece and then fishished the beauty off in one sitting. It was like something you would see at the circus.

Now I’m sure you are all pretty impressed right about now that 1. I actually made a homemade ice cream cake and 2. the boy ate pretty much an entire ice cream cake and didn’t explode. And prepare to be even more impressed at how easy this cake is to make and how wowed everyone will be that you actually made a homemade ice cream cake (sorta).

FYI healthy would not remotely be a word I would use to describe this cake (unless you are like super low on calcium?). Cheers to ice cream, eating like a “Fat Boy” and having seconds, thirds, fourths!

ingredients

  • a box of 12-square FatBoys (yes, you read that correctly…)
  • a jar of caramel sauce or chocolate sauce or really any sauce or two or three of your choosing
  • one pint of whipped cream

instructions

  1. grab a cake plate that will fit in your freezer, unwrap the first “FatBoy” and place it on the plate.
  2. do the same thing with the next five “FatBoys” arranging them in a rectangle that will become the bottom layer of your cake.
  3. heat up your sauce of choice and generously drizzle (no need to be sparse as you are using 12 “FatBoys”) across the top of the first layer.
  4. unwrap the last six “FatBoys” and arrange as the second layer on top of the first.
  5. place the cake into the freezer to chill those “FatBoys” again.
  6. make whipped cream by whipping one pint of whipped cream in a cold metal bowl. ( i didn’t add any sugar or vanilla to my whipped cream because i figured 12 “FatBoys” and a large portion of caramel sauce would do…)
  7. chill whipped cream until stiff.
  8. frost your chilled cake with the chilled whipped cream.
  9. decorate or generously drizzle your cake with some more sauce.
  10. chill cake until serving.
  11. devour! #nomnom
what else could you need in life?

what else could you need in life?

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the "sauce"

the “sauce”

a generous drizzle or seven

a generous drizzle or seven

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yep, that is what 12 "FatBoys" look like on a plate

yep, that is what 12 “FatBoys” look like on a plate

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ready to devour!

ready to devour!

so excited!

so excited!

the boys first piece

the boys first piece + some beer

my piece

a normal sized piece…

taylor brass

brass blossom

inspired side — veggie poke

one of my favorite plates ever.

one of my favorite plates ever.

When the boy was lucky enough to bring home 50 lbs of flash frozen ahi last winter from the baja, we dedicated ourselves to mastering how to cook the delicious, clean, and meaty fish. I think I could eat ahi every day, and we basically did for a couple months.

We would sear it rare on the salt block with some sesame seeds and serve it with some jasmine rice. But, what about a veggie? In comes my invention, veggie poke, based off a yummy dish I enjoyed at The Sushi Bar in McCall, Idaho.

It’s quick, simple, refreshing, and sophisticated and brings plenty of color and nutrients to your plate.

servings

 

4

prep:cook time

 

20 minutes

ingredients

 

  • one large cucumber
  • one bunch asparagus
  • two large carrots
  • one large avocado
  • sesame seeds
  • soy sauce
  • juice from one large lemon

instructions

 

  1.  add a teaspoon of olive oil to a medium frying pan and heat over medium heat. rinse and chop the asparagus into .5 inch pieces. add the asparagus to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until barely tender. remove from heat.
  2. peel, core (with a spoon to get the soft seeds out) and medium dice the cucumber and add to a medium bowl.
  3. peel and medium dice the carrot and add to bowl.
  4. half, grid in .5 inch pieces, and scoop out small cubes of avocado into bowl.
  5. once cool, add the asparagus to the bowl.
  6. mix about 1 T soy sauce, the juice of one large lemon, and a healthy dash of sesame seeds into the bowl. mix well. add more of any of those ingredients to taste and even add some sriracha for some kick.
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yummy, simple ingredients

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chopped asparagus

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scooped cucumber

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perfect avo

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finely grid the avocado and squeeze or scoop out the chunks

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some beautiful ahi, direct from our local grocery store

undressed veggies

undressed veggies

veggie poke ready to go

veggie poke ready to go

cheers krista

 

brass blossom

idaho pie – raspberry-rhubarb summer pie

A few weekends ago I had a sudden urge to make a pie. I already had some frozen raspberries in the freezer, so I put on my Hunter boots, gathered the grazing goats and Maude Pod and set out for the rhubarb plant. It was pretty much a scene straight out of ‘Little House on the Prairie’ (or so I thought)…

I gathered the last of the rhubarb while the goats chomped on everything in site and we had a nice little moment out in the yard. That was until I decided it was time to make the pie and had to round up all the goats while holding several stalks of rhubarb. It turned into a complete goat rodeo and a few stalks of rhubarb were sadly lost in the process. It was definitely one of those moments that seemed far more idyllic than it was in reality, as displayed by the large cut on my leg from the fence getting the best of me. Goats: 1. Taylor: 0.

Regardless of the ‘Little House on the Prairie’ moment, this pie turned out quite idyllic, pretty much like everything Idaho-related! Also please excuse the copious amounts of flour all over my kitchen…I’m convinced one day my iPhone will die from drowning in flour.

ingredients

  • 5 cups chopped rhubarb
  • 2 cups raspberries
  • 1 cup baking sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • pie crust of your choice

instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare your pie crust. I always have the most success with very cold water and refrigerating (or freezing for a few minutes if your impatient) the pie crust until cold.
  3. Roll out half of the crust on a floured surface for the bottom layer of the pie. I used a 9″ pie pan.
  4. Lay the crust gently over the pie pan and evenly cut around the edges with a sharp knife. Set aside.
  5. Gather, buy or harvest your rhubarb. Wash and cut into small pieces.
  6. Combine 5 cups rhubarb and 2 cups raspberries until well mixed.
  7. Pour sugar, cornstarch and vanilla extract into raspberry-rhubarb mixture and mix until sugar coated.
  8. Transfer raspberry-rhubarb-sugar mixture into the pie pan on top of the bottom layer of the pie crust.
  9. Again, roll out the other half of the crust. Cut out a fun shape or shapes in the center and gently lay the crust on top.
  10. Cut around the edge of the pie pan again and firmly press a border.
  11. Bake the pie for 40-45 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
  12. Enjoy with some ice-cream, wine and fabulous company over a game of cornhole! Or something like that.
raspberries + rhubarb = love

raspberries + rhubarb = love

sugar coated

sugar coated

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hand-cut "idaho"

hand-cut “idaho”

ready to bake!

ready to bake!

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dinner dates! and the only picture of the baked pie i managed to take...

dinner dates! and the only picture of the baked pie i managed to take…

taylor brass

brass blossom

watermelon juice — detox from too much fun and sun

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Happy National Watermelon Day! I happen to think that watermelon is one of the more versatile fruits. It can take so many forms, and everyone likes watermelon. Side note: our goats refuse to eat watermelon, which we all just find bizarre. It is delicious by itself, the perfect side for any bbq (cut into fancy shapes of course) or makes the most refreshing juice.

So in honor of National Watermelon Day, here is a super simple recipe for watermelon juice that is perfect for an early week detox from too much fun and sun!

ingredients

  • a medium sized seedless watermelon
  • your choice of sparkling water
  • ice-cubes
  • large knife
  • blender of sorts

instructions

  1. Cut the watermelon in half and continue to cut the watermelon off of the rind into small chunks. Discard the rind.
  2. Place the small chunks into your blender. My blender didn’t recognize the weight of the watermelon until I smashed it down a bit….
  3. Blend the watermelon until well blended and frothy. You can strain the juice at this time if you don’t love pulp.
  4. Pour the juice into a large pitcher or glass bottle.
  5. Serve over ice with a splash of sparkling water.
  6. Enjoy on a hot summer day, preferably with a straw!
ready to blend!

ready to blend!

the handiest cuisinart blender my lovely mother got me

the handiest cuisinart blender my lovely mother got me

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my favorite la croix at the moment

my favorite la croix at the moment

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delicious!

ready to enjoy!

love how frothy this juice is

love how frothy this juice is

taylor brass

brass blossom

“right-side-up” raspberry rhubarb cake

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The other weekend I set out on a mission to make a “right-side-up” cake. I love using fresh fruit to make a fruit compote that turns into true amazingness when it is baked on the bottom of a cake. So I figured why not make an “upside-down” cake even more amazing by turning it into a “right-side-up” cake with the fruit compote on the bottom as a tasty surprise? Anyone following me? That’s okay…

Turns out my cake had other plans for me and turned itself into an “upside-down” cake while baking. #fail. I probably should have used all that physics I learned and considered that the fruit compote would do this as it was denser than the batter….regardless, all the wiser the cake was still amazing and gave me good excuse to harvest some rhubarb from the ginormous plant in our yard that must have soaked up all the Spring rain.

Enjoy!

ingredients

instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour baking pan (I used my bundt cake pan).
  2. Combine washed and chopped rhubarb with raspberries in a large bowl. Melt butter.
  3. Mix butter then brown sugar, baking sugar and salt until well combined and fruit is thoroughly coated in sugar.
  4. Make cake according to directions.
  5. Since apparently it doesn’t matter put the fruit compote or cake batter in first followed by the other. (Note: I think you could make a right-side-up cake if you waited until the cake was partially baked to put the compote on top.)
  6. Bake per cake directions or until golden brown, which took approximately 45 minutes for me.
  7. Allow cake to cool for ~20 minutes.
  8. Flip cake onto cake plate and enjoy with a heaping dollop of whip-cream or ice-cream!
fresh rhubarb

fresh rhubarb

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ready for sugar

ready for sugar

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my favorite cake mix

my favorite cake mix

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"right-side-up" prior to baking

“right-side-up” prior to baking

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ready to enjoy!

ready to enjoy!

taylor brass

brass blossom