Breakfast Recipe: Parfait in a Bowl

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Ingredients:

Handful of blueberries
Whole banana sliced
Several scoops of vanilla yogurt
Drizzle of Hershey’s chocolate syrup
Sprinkle of raspberries

Put in a bowl in this order: Blueberries, banana slices, yogurt, chocolate syrup, then raspberries. Enjoy!

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My first time making Cake Pops

Once upon a time today I decided to make cake pops. I’m having a little get together to celebrate finding out that my baby is going to be a boy! Anywho, so here’s the pictorial version of how I made cake pops. You can see that the end result is lacking. I’m not sure why the icing ended up looking lumpy. If any of you have made cake pops more successfully that I, please let me know your secret. Thanks in advance!

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From the Kitchen: Strawberry Rhubarb Pop Tarts

Ooooooo! This looks amazing.

{love+cupcakes} Blog

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I grew up in a 1980’s frozen dinner, margarine on toast, American cheese, powdered Country Time Lemonade kinda family. Organic? Never heard of it. Locally grown? What’s that? My mom bought me Lunchables,Pringles and Great White Shark fruit snacks. We were quite the packaged goods family. And while I think I turned out okay, I would never in a million years feed my kids the way I was allowed to eat. Never!! So sadly, my little ones will never know the goodness that is a Kellog’s Pop Tart…but they will most likely get a homemade version every so often as a special treat.

When rhubarb’s in season, I can’t help but buy it whenever I find it, and what better upgrade to the classic strawberry toaster treat!! These mini tarts are the perfect single serving of nostalgia (and they’re excellent with milk!) Enjoy!! -xo

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The Best Donuts on Earth!

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The Best Donuts on Earth!
…that I’ve made so far.

Ok, so I don’t know if they really are the best donuts on earth but they are the first donuts that I have ever made from scratch and they are amazing! Here is my “secret” recipe:

Crispy and Creamy Doughnuts

Ingredients

2 (.25 ounce) envelopes active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/3 cup shortening
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 quart vegetable oil for frying

1/3 cup butter
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
4 tablespoons hot water or as needed

Directions

Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water, and let stand for 5 minutes, or until foamy.

In a large bowl, mix together the yeast mixture, milk, sugar, salt, eggs, shortening, and 2 cups of the flour. Mix for a few minutes at low speed, or stirring with a wooden spoon. Beat in remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough no longer sticks to the bowl. Knead for about 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Place the dough into a greased bowl, and cover. Set in a warm place to rise until double. This will take about an hour. Dough is ready if you touch it, and the indention remains.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and gently roll out to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with a floured doughnut cutter. Let doughnuts sit out to rise again until double. This will take about 30-45 minutes. Cover loosely with a cloth.

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Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until smooth. Remove from heat, and stir in hot water one tablespoon at a time until the icing is somewhat thin, but not watery. Set aside.

Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large heavy skillet to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Slide doughnuts into the hot oil using a wide spatula. Turn doughnuts over as they rise to the surface. Fry doughnuts on each side until golden brown. Remove from hot oil, to drain on a wire rack. Dip doughnuts into the glaze while still hot, and set onto wire racks to drain off excess. Keep a cookie sheet or tray under racks for easier clean up.

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Then eat donuts! And get happy!

Raised Bed Gardens

I recently made some raised beds that look similar to this. I hope that I am able to grow some amazing vegetables this year!

The Carson Gardener

After some experimentation last year, I discovered that the existing dirt in my yard was horrible for growing vegetables. I mixed in quite a bit of good soil, but it still seemed like it contained too much clay. This year I decided to get a bunch of dirt from Full Circle Compost and build some raised beds. Our most successful garden in Gardnerville was grown in soil from Full Circle Compost.

Raised bed garden #1 near completion!
A near complete bed with one hoop attached.

I did an internet search for raised beds, and found great plans to build the ultimate raised bed on the Sunset Magazine site.

I skipped on the hardware cloth bottom liner, and used 3 1/2″ deck screws instead of the #14 wood screws in the instructions. I found that I couldn’t afford redwood with the number of beds I plan to build, so I used douglas fir. Only 1/3 the price…

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