Cooking for a family, while making family time

Blog

Easy Sandwich Bread

Easy Sandwich Bread

Once that grocery store panic hit I knew it was time to focus on a bread recipe. It’s always said “grab the bread, eggs and milk” and now of course we all realize toilet paper should never be left off that list. No matter the […]

Spring Cleaning Your Kitchen

Spring Cleaning Your Kitchen

It’s that time of year again, warm weather and fresh starts are upon us. Also time to use some elbow grease and do some of the chores we tend to put off over the winter. This is a little off brand for me, however, you […]

Easter Egg Cookie Cake

Easter Egg Cookie Cake

This sweet treat has been on my “to try” list for awhile. Usually I make the same carrot patch brownies every year for Easter. They’ve become a tradition my kids and I look forward to each year. With Easter already being a bit off this year (thanks coronavirus) the timing seemed perfect to try something new.
My kids are huge supporters of Mommy Spice, and it’s important to me to get them in the kitchen with me as much as possible. With our new homeschooling schedule I tried to make theme days to add a little something to look forward to each week. We now celebrate “Tasty Tuesday” where we cook together a fun treat each week. This Easter Egg Cookie Cake was really easy, and a lot of fun for the kids to help make. Not a lot of real “cooking” is required so it’s a perfect beginner recipe too!

Ingredients:

1 roll refrigerated sugar cookie dough
1 can vanilla icing (cream cheese or regular)
1lb assorted fresh fruit

Additional supplies needed:

Parchment paper

Rolling pin

Method:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. To keep things easy, do all of the work on parchment paper. Lay your parchment paper on your counter, open your cookie dough, and using a rolling pin, roll out to about a quarter inch thick. If your rolling pin is sticking to the cookie dough, use a small dusting of flour to prevent further sticking. Using a butter knife, cut and shape your cookie dough to be an egg. You will have some dough left over though, that’s ok. Now pull your parchment paper with the egg shape cookie dough on top onto your baking sheet. Bake your cookie cake in the oven for 12-15 minutes, or until light brown around the edges. Once it’s finished baking, carefully drag the parchment paper (with the cookie cake on top) to a wire rack to cool. My kids were antsy so we only let ours cool about 10 minutes until we started to decorate. Spread on a thin layer of icing, then get to decorating with an assortment of fruit. Enjoy immediately or refrigerate and eat within 5 days.

Egg shape before baking.
Egg shape after baking. It expanded about an inch on each side.
After icing and fruit were added.
While trying to buy time waiting for the cake to cool, rinse and cut all of your fruit. Also have the kids come up with a plan for the fruit you chose. What order do you want to place things? Such as not placing the raspberries and strawberries next to each other for better contrast. Another fun lesson is taste testing all the fruits and deciding which go best together. We decided on laying the tart fruits next to the sweeter ones together. This is also a good time to roll and bake your extra sugar cookie dough into small cookies.
Guys this one was a lot of fun! Honestly the hardest part was getting the “egg” shape from the cookie dough. Mine wasn’t perfect but once decorated you cannot even tell! To get the most bang for your buck I suggest buying a container of assorted fruit from the produce section. Customize this the way you like, however I will say it’s also a good time to introduce some new fruits. We don’t eat a lot of mango or kiwis but on top of this cake the kids gobbled them up.
This is also a perfect quarantined Easter treat. Stores are not selling out of fruit, icing or cookie dough! So grab these supplies on your next essential run to spread some Easter cheer while we’re all stuck at home.
Exercise Egg Hunt

Exercise Egg Hunt

Want a fun way to get the kids to burn off some energy? This exercise egg hunt is perfect! It can be done outside or indoors so no worrying about the weather. It’s a great way to get the kids moving while also sharing in […]

Snack Necklace Math

Snack Necklace Math

Hello fellow Mommy Spicers thrown into virtual learning/ homeschooling your children. Let’s not pretend this adjustment is easy, it’s anything but. However, I do like to try and find ways to make it more bearable. That to me means one thing, bring in the snacks. […]

Spiral Pizza Bites

Spiral Pizza Bites

Life is very different right now with the COVID-19 pandemic going on. Most of us have been home with our children for over a week now practicing social distancing. It felt the right time to switch up things here at Mommy Spice. To hopefully not only help my fellow parents and followers get food on the table but to also try and incorporate that into a good teachable moment that involves food! Kids and food go hand and hand, I once did an entire lesson plan on sandwiches in college. Now I know my kids love snacks, and food is an awesome resource to use as a reward as well. Today’s post will be a little different, I’ll discuss the lesson, and supplies needed. Then the recipe and method.

Pizza lesson plan:

Supplies:
Book: Pete the Cat and the Perfect Pizza Party
Craft: Construction paper in a variety of colors, scissors, glue stick, colored pencils

Lesson: Fractions /sharing equally for younger ages

I did drive up pick up at Target for our Pete the Cat book, it was $8.99 for the hardcover. However, there are multiple read aloud versions on YouTube, if you don’t have/want to buy the book. Also really any kids book on pizza would work.

Plan:

Read Perfect Pizza Party to your children, explain alliteration to your older ones.

Cut white circles out of printer or construction paper and have the kids color their pizza crust, sauce and cheese.

Next cut out of construction paper all of the very silly toppings from the book. Use different colored paper, or draw, color and cut out your toppings. Now re-read the book and with each page, glue on the topping mentioned. Have the kids read aloud the tongue twister with you. Let your craft dry, and have the older kids fill out their pizza fraction work sheet. Again lots of free printable are available online, you don’t have to write up your own.

Spiral Pizza Bite Recipe

Ingredients:

1 can refrigerated pizza dough (crescent dough will work in a pinch)

1/2 cup of pizza or marinara sauce

1-1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

 

Optional:

Parmesan cheese, for topping

Dry Italian seasoning

Method:

Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees. Unroll your pizza dough on a large cutting board or clean counter. (If using crescent dough, pinch together all of the seams to make one large dough sheet). Sprinkle on Italian seasoning and press gently into the dough. Next pour on your sauce, and smooth out evenly, then sprinkle on the cheese. Starting at one side, roll your dough into a long tube shape. If your dough sticks, add a little flour to your hands to make rolling it up easier. Once your dough is rolled, using a serrated knife cut out 1-1 1/2” disc shapes (spirals), you should be able to get 12-15 spirals. Next lay them flat on your baking sheet 2 inches apart. Bake 10-12 minutes or until a light golden brown. Once done, top with parmesan if desired and serve warm.

My tip for these pizza spiral bites is to work quickly. The refrigerated dough becomes harder to work with the warmer it gets.

Fun fact, this recipe came about because my oldest has started the braces process and on the “cannot eat” list is pizza crust. Doesn’t seem like a big deal right? She can still have the best part of the pizza! Well she was crushed and I was determined to find a way she could still enjoy pizza without having to give up the crust. Enter these spiral bites which are super soft and safe to eat. Not to mention super versatile. Fill these with any topping combinations you like and you’ll have a fun kid approved snack.

Double Rainbow Cupcakes

Double Rainbow Cupcakes

Another year, another new birthday treat to come up with. This sweet little treat is actually a twist on a cupcake I made for my other daughters birthday a few years back. I did change it some, and ditched the texture for novelty. By following […]

Rainbow Treats

Rainbow Treats

I’m always looking for new and creative ways to celebrate my children’s birthdays. It seems as they get older it’s become a little more challenging to find new ideas that bigger kids will enjoy. I love a good theme party, always have, and it turns […]

Reverse Sear Steak

Reverse Sear Steak

Alright lovers, Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and what better way to celebrate than with steak! A nice steak dinner has been my go-to meal for years now. Fun fact, it’s me who wants the steak! My husband was not a steak eater when we first met, but considering he met me IN a steak house I think he knew what he was getting into.

I grew up with a dad who cooked a lot of awesome steaks and went on to wait tables at a popular steak house chain all throughout college. Shout out to Longhorn, I’ll be forever indebted to Darden for not only meeting my husband through that job, but also my best friend. It’s also where I fell in love with food from a cooking perspective.

Now last year I was reading all of this buzz about the cooking method reverse searing. I was intrigued. Then I tried it and oh my gosh, guys it was THE BEST steak I’ve ever made. It was so unbelievably tender, moist and buttery. The best part? It’s EASY! No really, all you need to make this recipe work is time.

Ingredients:

2 steaks, cut of choice (1-2lbs total)
3 tablespoons butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 sprigs of fresh thyme

Salt & Pepper

Additional supplies needed:

Oven safe wire rack

Meat thermometer

Method:

Preheat your oven to 275 degrees, yes you read that right. Low and slow wins the race. Next, line a baking sheet with foil and top with an oven safe wire rack. Take your steaks out of their package and salt and pepper generously on both sides. Place your steaks on the wire rack and into the oven the steaks go for 45 minutes to an hour and 15 minutes. The time will depend on the size steak you get and your preferred doneness.

Once your steaks have an internal temperature of 150 degrees (medium rare) to 160 degrees (medium) take them out of the oven. A good digital thermometer makes this super easy. Mine was funny enough, a Valentine’s gift one year from my hubby. He got it on Amazon, for $11!

Now it’s time to sear your steaks. In a frying pan heat up 2 tablespoons of butter over medium/ medium high heat. Place your steaks into the pan and set a timer for just one minute. Flip your steaks and add in your additional 1 tablespoon of butter, garlic, and fresh thyme. Set the timer for one minute again. Then tilt your frying pan down slightly to make the melted butter mixture pool to one side. Spoon this butter over the top of your steak for 30 more seconds. This is called butter basting. Flip your steak one more time and butter baste the first side you seared for 30 seconds. Place the steaks on your plate, top with remaining butter mixture if desired and enjoy!

These steaks are going to cut like butter! They are so soft and juicy! Doing the reverse sear method you also do not need to let your steak rest. You can enjoy it hot out of the pan right away and all the juices will stay intact.

I know an hour plus of cooking time is a lot to ask but it’s 90% inactive time. The oven does all the hard work for you. To give you an idea for length of time you might need for your steaks depends on the cut you chose. When cooking 1lb ribeyes or New York strip steaks I do one hour at 275 degrees for an internal temperature of 155 degrees. For smaller but thicker cuts like 1/2lb filets or tenderloins I do 1 hour and 15 minutes at 275 degrees to reach and internal temperate of 155 degrees. If you like your steaks done more start by adding additional 5-10 minutes to the cook time. Thicker steaks take longer than thin ones, but the good news is you can’t over cook these!

Reverse sear if a foolproof way to never waste money on steak again. It’s easy when grilling a steak to leave it on too long and char it. Steak is an expensive protein and this is a good way to get the most out of that money. Even if you do cook these to medium well or well done the texture is still going to be soft and moist. The low and slow cook method locks in all of the steaks juices making this a delicious bite no matter how you cook it. You will be sure to impress your valentine (or anyone any time of the year) with this new method of cooking steak.

Tex Mex Egg Rolls

Tex Mex Egg Rolls

Alright once you realize how EASY egg rolls are to make, the sky is the limit. You can stuff anything in those bad boys and it’ll be delicious! Not to mention that anything Mexican, or tex-mex I just know I’ll love. The trick to making […]