MAKE IT, EAT IT: Chocolate Milk Mix

The other day we had a chocolate milk emergency. As in, there was no chocolate syrup in the house from which to make chocolate milk. And it was one of those stupidly cold days that make you want to spend the day under an electric blanket reading a good book – not traipsing to the grocery for chocolate syrup.

But a certain almost three-year-old I know had taken a tumble down the stairs and the only thing that would fix her boo-boo was a little glass of chocolate milk.

So I did what any good mom would do – I went to Pinterest (how was I even human before Pinterest??). With the click of a few buttons I had about a gazillion chocolate milk mix recipes in my hands.

<enter happy dance here>

CHOCOLATE MILK MIX:

1/3 C. Cocoa Powder

2/3 C. Powdered Sugar

Pinch of salt

Mix that stuff up with a whisk, put it in a jar, toss a spoonful or two into a glass of milk, and VOILA!

teal

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Make It, Eat It: The Butter Noodles

They’re not just butter noodles. They’re THE butter noodles. Simple and delicious and kid friendly (even my pickiest eater is willing to snarf this stuff down.

I love this recipe because it incorporates veggies that make me think of summer – yellow and zucchini squash. So delish. Lookit:

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You want it RIGHT NOW, don’t you? Me, too. Here’s the recipe, from my table to yours.

THE BUTTER NOODLES:

1 lb pasta (I vary what I use depending on my mood. The kids prefer spaghetti.)

6 T. Butter

1/2 Red onion, minced

8 Cloves of garlic, minced

A large bunch of basil (chopped, and OH LORD THAT SMELL *swoons)

A large bunch of baby spinach (also chopped)

1-2 Zucchini, sliced

1-2 Yellow squash, sliced

Salt and pepper

Parmesan (optional, I didn’t have any on hand for the batch in the picture)

READY, SET, GO:

Make the noodles according to the package. While that’s going, melt the butter in a skillet. Reduce the heat to low and add the onion and garlic. Sip a little wine while you wait for them to become fragrant. You’re not in a hurry.

When the onions and garlic are fragrant, take a deep breath through your nose (smells heavenly, right?), and then add the basil and spinach. Take another deep breath. Your olfactory sense should now be in a heightened state of nirvana.

Toss the squash on top and add a little salt. Cover with a lid and let all those veggies get nice and soft (but not overcooked or the squash will get slimy). Sip a little more wine if you’re feeling impatient.

Once the veggies are all as cooked as you want them to be, add the pasta and toss. You can add a little more butter now if you want, or top with cheese. Let it set for a few minutes and voila! Food for your belly that makes your mouth happy.

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MAKE IT, EAT IT: BREAD

I love homemade bread. I love the process of making it – the ingredients and the kneading and the smells and the way my kids come running the second their noses pick up the scent. I love how fresh butter doesn’t stand a chance against bread’s warm embrace, and I love how a dab of honey can take a slice from mmm-mmm good to nirvana in the space of a second.

I mean, look at this loaf.

bread

Yummo.

The recipe for this bread is sooo easy to make – honestly, truly, start-to-finish, in a little more than one hour of your time. And completely worth it.

5 1/2 C. Bread Flour

2-4 Tbsp. Sugar

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 Rounded Tbsp. Instant Yeast

1 1/2 Tbsp. Oil (I use olive)

2 C. Warm Water (warm to the touch – warmer than lukewarm, but not hot on the skin), plus extra

Mix dry ingredients. Add oil and water. Mix for a minute, adding water as needed to get the consistency sticky. Don’t add too much or the dough won’t keep it’s shape. Once you’ve got your sticky consistency, let it mix for five minutes. (HONEST MOMENT: I can never wait a full five minutes, and it’s never been a problem.)

Cover mixing bowl with a towel and let dough rest for 10 minutes.

Pour about a tablespoon of olive oil onto a dry surface. Turn dough out and knead briefly – seriously, like five or six times, just enough to get some of the air out of the dough and make the texture of it smooth.

Separate dough into loaves. I like to make mine into four smaller round loaves, but you can do whatever shape you like. (I keep telling myself I’m going to make some bread-bowl sized, but I can never seem to muster that kind of delayed gratification…I just want to eat it the second it comes out of the oven!) Cover loaves and let rest for 25 minutes.

Pre-heat oven to 350.

After loaves have risen, cut a cross or lines into the top of the loaves. (‘NOTHER HONEST MOMENT: I don’t own knives sharp enough to properly do this, so I never can manage that nice, crisp line. I was so desperate the other day I tried using my pizza cutter and the results were laughable. Whatever. It was still delicious.)

Bake those suckers for 25 minutes. Drool as the smell of fresh bread fills your house. Grab some fresh butter and PIG OUT.

You’re welcome,

teal