Happiness Is… Recipe: Our Favorite Caramel Corn

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Happiness is a 2 week Christmas break with my family.

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Happiness is spending the weekend at my parent’s house.  They do everything for us while we are there.  It is like our very own bed and breakfast, and I love it.

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Happiness is Advent.  We give the littles very small presents every morning, and I love watching their excitement as they sit together, patiently waiting to open it.

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Happiness is memories of where it all began.

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Happiness is a nephew who makes me smile…and dreaming of holding another baby niece or nephew one day.

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Happiness is Christmas decorations.

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Happiness is yummy snacks during the holidays.  When I recently did some baking for the faculty and staff at our school, I decided to make some Caramel Corn, too.  I knew exactly which one I wanted to make because I had made it for Ethan’s birthday party, and it was a hit.

Our Favorite Caramel Corn

Our Favorite Caramel Corn

Ingredients

12 C popped popcorn

1 C brown sugar

1/4 C white Karo syrup

1/2 t salt

1 stick unsalted butter

1/2 t baking soda

1 t vanilla

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200.
  2. Pop popcorn and set aside.
  3. Place brown sugar, Karo syrup, salt, and butter in a microwave safe dish, and cook in the microwave for 30 seconds.
  4. Remove from microwave, and stir it all to combine.
  5. Return to microwave and cook for another 2 minutes. Take it out and stir, and then cook for 2 more minutes.
  6. Remove from the microwave, and add the baking soda and vanilla.
  7. Place the popcorn in a large bowl, and pour the caramel mixture over the popcorn, stirring to combine.
  8. Line a large baking sheet with foil, and spread the popcorn out on it.
  9. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
  10. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
http://cookingformykids.com/2012/12/20/happiness-is-recipe-our-favorite-caramel-corn/

Recipe by Our Best Bites.

Have a happy, blessed weekend!

Eat Cake and Celebrate – Recipe: Chocolate Fudge Cheesecake Cake

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As a family, we celebrate.  We celebrate big, and we celebrate small.

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Yesterday’s birthday celebration was small, but it created big memories.

Memories of my littles so excited to give me the birthday card that they had handmade just for me.  It was filled with the sweetest words. Words that captured my heart.  Words that told me how well they know me and that, each and every day, they are my world.  They are one of the reasons why celebrating birthdays is fun.  It means that I have had another year as their mom.  Another year to celebrate our life as a family.

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Memories of opening presents that they had excitedly gone to the store with Papa to pick out.  And, then returned with cute little smiles, because they had secrets.  Big secrets to them.  Secrets that have proven just how much they have grown…because they kept the secrets for two whole days without telling me what they had bought for me.

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Memories of my amazing chef of a husband patiently cooking dinner, while simultaneously explaining everything that he was doing to the littles and then letting them help with the small things.  It was a lesson for this 39 year old momma, as well.  Slow down.  Enjoy the moment. Do not always be so rushed to get dinner on the table. Or, maybe just let Sean cook more of the meals…

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Memories of a special birthday cake that I made myself.  My family was a bit concerned that I wanted to spend part of my birthday day baking myself a cake.  I knew what I was doing, though, because I knew exactly what I wanted.  The best memory of all came when Gabriel took a bite.  When I asked him if I made the right decision by making it myself, his smile was priceless as he said, “Yes!”

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To say that they day was perfect seems so cliche.  But, it was.  It was perfectly as I had imagined it would be.  The pace was slow and relaxed.  The mood was celebratory and festive.  The day that I was born, my last birthday in my thirties, was exactly as it should be. Family.  Food.  Fun.

I found this cake at Recipe Girl.  I used the exact recipe for the cheesecake and frosting, and then, instead of the red velvet cake part, I used my chocolate cake recipe.

 

Summer Fun: Make Ice Cream Sandwiches – Recipe: Chocolate Fudge Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich

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As I was looking through our Summer Fun List on Sunday, determining what all I wanted to do with the littles this week, I realized that we had not made ice cream sandwiches yet. I am not sure how I could have missed anything food-related, but I was certain that I would remedy that as soon as possible.

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Monday afternoon I went to work creating what I hoped would be a delicious dessert for our family.

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The pictures do not do this fantastic, kid-friendly dessert justice at all.  I was in a bit of a hurry to get them put together so that they would be ready after dinner, so I did not take the time to roll them in cute little sprinkles or anything.

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But, I am here to tell you that looks can be so deceiving.

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Because, these ice cream sandwiches were really delicious.

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The chocolate fudge cookie combined with the homemade vanilla ice cream created a perfect summer treat.

Chocolate Fudge Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich

Chocolate Fudge Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich

Ingredients

Vanilla Ice Cream

1 pint whipping cream

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup sugar

1 can sweetened, condensed milk

3 eggs

1 cup whole milk

Chocolate Fudge Cookies

2/3 cups granulated sugar

1/3 cup brown sugar

5 tablespoons butter

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

7 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon salt

Instructions

    Preparing the Vanilla Ice Cream
  1. Blend together the whipping cream, vanilla, sweetened condensed milk, sugar, and eggs.
  2. Pour it into the container of your ice cream freezer.
  3. Add 1-2 cups whole milk to finish filling the freezer (adjust according to the size of your freezer).
  4. Freeze according to the manufacturer instructions. Mine usually takes about 30-45 minutes.
  5. Remove from container and store in the freezer until ready to use.
  6. Preparing the Chocolate Fudge Cookies
  7. Preheat oven to 350.
  8. Prepare baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper.
  9. Combine butter, sugar, and brown sugar.
  10. Add egg and vanilla, and mix until combined.
  11. In a separate bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, and salt.
  12. Add the flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture until just combined.
  13. Using a small cookie scoop, scoop out a ball of chocolate fudge dough.
  14. Place on the cookie sheet, and then flatten with the palm of your hand.
  15. Repeat with the remaining dough, which should make about 12-14 cookies.
  16. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  17. Remove from oven, and allow to cool for 2-3 minutes before moving to a wire rack.
  18. Cool completely before creating the ice cream sandwiches.
  19. Preparing the Ice Cream Sandwiches
  20. Flip over one cookie so that the flat side is on top.
  21. Take a small scoop of slightly softened ice cream, and place it on top of the cookie.
  22. Top the ice cream with the flat bottom of another cookie.
  23. Slightly press everything together.
  24. Repeat to make a total of 6-7 ice cream sandwiches.
  25. Place in the freezer until ready to enjoy.
http://cookingformykids.com/2012/07/24/summer-fun-make-ice-cream-sandwiches-recipe-chocolate-fudge-cookie-ice-cream-sandwich/