5 Things I’m Loving: June 2014 Edition

Keelin and I have been talking since the beginning of the year about putting out a monthly post with some of our favorite things each month.  Since we are approaching the halfway point of 2014, it seems only fitting that I actually get going with my first post of this new series!  We hope to continue these types of posts in the future as our way of sharing our latest finds!  Without further ado, here are my top five things I’m loving this month:

International Delight Iced Coffee

1.  International Delight Vanilla Flavored Iced Coffee: Although I love to make cold-brewed iced coffee, sometimes I don’t plan ahead and it can take 12-24 hours to “brew.” International Delight’s iced coffee line is perfect when I’m in a time crunch and need my iced coffee fix for the day!  ID’s iced coffee also comes in Original, Mocha, and Caramel Macchiato.


2.  Fit Bit Flex: Our entire family has recently jumped on the Fit Bit bandwagon!  The Fit Bit Flex is a pedometer that you wear on your wrist to track your daily steps, but is also estimates your distance, active minutes, calories burned, and sleep efficiency.  You can add friends who have a Fit Bit to compare 7-day step counts and that has proven to be a great motivator for me!

Here’s what the main dashboard on the iPhone app looks like:

fitbit stats

It measures my daily steps in 15-minute increments throughout the day:

fitbit steps

It even measures your sleep efficiency (at least I’m efficient at something!)

fit bit sleep


raised garden beds

3. Raised Garden Beds: Earlier this spring, we built raised garden beds using these very detailed and helpful directions from the Pioneer Woman.  We planted lots of vegetable plants about a month ago and we love checking out how things are growing every day.  I’m crossing my fingers that we will soon be making Caprese Salad and Mediterranean Dip with our garden bounty (that is if our pesky forest critters stay away!)  I’m chronicling my gardening journey this summer with Instagram- follow me at 2Sisters2Cities and search for the hashtag #barryfamilygarden.


4. Audible: One of my favorite hobbies is reading books, but I struggle to get through a lot of books these days with my two little guys pulling me in all directions.  I try to read at night before bed, but I usually get through a page and a half before I’m falling asleep.  I recently started listening to audio books via the Audible app on my iPhone and I’m loving it so far.  I’m already on book #3!  I try to use the app whenever I’m cooking, cleaning, folding laundry, or out running errands (without T in the car as he pretty much insists on listening to kid’s music 100% of the time.)

5. Dark Sky app: I love that the kids can play outside almost everyday lately, but summer weather can be a bit unpredictable with sudden rain and storms.  Someone recommended I try out an app called Dark Sky.  It can tell you (pretty accurately) if it’s going to rain or not within the next hour.  It also has detailed forecasts of periods of rain or clouds for a full 7-days on a hyper-local level.

So there you have it…my first round-up of things I’m loving this month.  What are you currently crushing on this summer?

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of International Delight. The opinions and text are all mine.

2014 Summer Bucket List

2014 Summer Bucket List

This past holiday weekend, my family and I sat down to make our 2014 summer bucket list!  It always feels like summer flies by so we wanted to make a list of everything we are hoping to do this summer.  I’ve seen a lot of different ideas on Pinterest for making a summer bucket list, but we just wrote everything out on a large piece of paper using different colored markers.  Here are some of the items on the list:

Iced Coffee Recipe

  • Make iced coffee (for me!)- *see below for iced coffee recipe ideas
  • Plant a vegetable garden (more posts to come on our new raised garden beds this year after my first failed attempt at reviving the garden beds that came with our home)
  • Go to the pool
  • Go to the beach
  • Make popsicles
  • Go out for ice cream
  • Make strawberry shortcake
  • Go on a boat ride
  • Trip to Maine
  • Go to the park
  • Watch Planes 2 in the movie theater
  • Blow bubbles
  • Play with the water table
  • Have a picnic
  • Grill hotdogs
  • Watch fireworks
  • Catch a fish
  • Water balloon fight
  • Go to the aquarium
  • Go to the children’s museum
  • Eat lunch at a food truck
  • Run a 5K
  • Farmers market
  • Bonfire
  • Mini golf

*We have shared a couple recipes in the past on how to make cold-brewed iced coffee.  We wanted to share one more way to enjoy your iced coffee this summer- with International Delight flavored creamers!  Add a splash of Caramel Macchiato, French Vanilla Hazelnut, or White Chocolate Mocha to your iced coffee this summer for the perfect afternoon pick-me-up!  (A full list of International Delight flavors can be found at the I.D. website.  Plus, be sure to check out International Delight’s new packaging at your local grocery store!)  If you are looking to make a large batch of iced coffee, we recommend this cold-brewed iced coffee recipe.  However, if making just a small batch is more your thing, check out our mason jar cold-brewed method!

Mason Jar Iced Coffee

We are looking forward to crossing off all these life experiences off our summer bucket list and we may add in a few more over the course of the summer.  What are some of your favorite things you must do each summer?

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of International Delight. The opinions and text are all mine.

Peanut Butter Cream Pie

Peanut Butter Cream Pie

This weekend is Memorial Day Weekend, the unofficial start to summer!   I am so excited for summer for the nice weather, the fresh produce, and the chilled desserts!  My boyfriend and I have been taking advantage of the longer days and have started running.  We have a park within walking distance from our house so we started a Couch to 5k Challenge.   There is still a lot of running/walking, but we are half way through the program.   It is so nice to be outside and taking advantage of the beautiful park we live near.

Peanut Butter Pie

I made this pie a few weeks ago and it was the perfect cold dessert.  I love the peanut butter/chocolate combination of the pie and topping it with chopped peanut butter cups makes it even more amazing.  This pie would be the perfect Memorial Day dessert because you can make it ahead and it is cold and delicious.   It’s actually even better the next day so feel free to make it a day ahead of time and chill completely in the refrigerator.  Hope you all have a Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Slice of Peanut Butter Cream Pie

Peanut Butter Cream Pie
Serves: 8
For Crust
  • 16 Oreo cookies
  • 4 tbsp. butter, melted
For Filling
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • 8 oz. cream cheese (I used ⅓ fat kind), at room temperature
  • ¾ cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tbsp. milk
  • ½ cup chopped roasted peanuts
  • 3 cups of heavy cream
  • ½ cup chopped peanut butter cups, for topping
To make Pie Crust-
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor pulse the Oreo cookies until finely ground. Pour the melted butter over the crumbs and pulse until butter is incorporated. In a 9" pie pan spray with non-stick spray. Dump the cookie crumbs into pie pan, spread evenly and work in to an even crust on the sides and bottom. Bake crust for 10-15 minutes until pie crust is set. Let cool completely before adding filling.
To make filling:
  1. In the bowl of your mixer fitted with a whisk attachment whip two cups of heavy cream until thick and fluffy. Put the whipped cream in a separate bowl and set aside for a later step.
  2. Add cream cheese and confectioners' sugar to empty mixer bowl and mix together until smooth.
  3. Beat in peanut butter, milk and chopped peanuts and beat together for about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Gently fold in 2 cups of the whipped cream by hand until everything is combined.
  5. Pour the filling out into the cooled crust and spread evenly. Refrigerate for at least two hours.
  6. When serving, whip remaining whipped cream and top each slice with whipped cream and chopped peanut butter cups.

Peanut Butter Cream Pie with Chocolate Crust.jpg

Source- Adapted from Emeril Lagasse

sisterk (2)

Greek Quinoa Salad

Greek Quinoa Salad

I have to admit that I have had a hard time getting on the quinoa bandwagon.  I think the issue was that I was eating it plain and only seasoned with salt and pepper…boring, bland, blah!  I’ve recently come to the realization that quinoa is much better when you incorporate it with lots of fresh, flavorful ingredients.

With all the recent reports about the high amounts of arsenic in rice, I’ve been attempting to keep our family’s rice intake to a minimum.  Quinoa is certainly a great substitute because it is a great source of protein, iron, and fiber.  Quinoa is also a great sub for pasta as well.

I was originally planning on making a greek orzo salad to go along with Giada’s Tzatziki Salmon recipe last night.  I realized that I had no orzo in the pantry and thought it would the perfect opportunity to sub in some quinoa.  I found a Bobby Flay recipe for Greek Quinoa Salad and adjusted it a bit to my preferences.  I was so pleased with the results!  I think this greek quinoa salad will definitely be making it’s way into our side dish rotation.  I’m so psyched to finally say bring on the quinoa!

Greek Quinoa Salad

Greek Quinoa Salad
Recipe type: salad
Cuisine: Greek
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
Skip the rice or pasta and try quinoa for a healthy, but delicious substitute!
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and cooked according to the package
  • ½ hothouse cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 cup kalamata olives, cut in half or kept whole (whatever is your preference)
  • ½ cup crumbled feta (or use more or less based on your preference)
  • 2 green onions (green parts only), sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  1. Cook the quinoa according to the package's directions. Once cooked, place quinoa in a medium-sized serving bowl and allow to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, start to make the Greek dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, red wine vinegar, dried oregano, garlic, salt, and pepper. Slowly add in the olive oil and whisk together at the same time so that it emulsifies.
  3. Add the dressing to the cooled quinoa and mix until incorporated. Add in the cucumber, tomatoes, olives, feta, green onions, and parsley and continue to stir until all the ingredients are evenly distributed. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for at least one hour before serving


Source: Adapated from Bobby Flay

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Strawberry Margaritas

Strawberry Margaritas

Happy Cinco De Mayo!  Are you looking for some recipes to celebrate with?   Well, you have come to the right place.   I love, love, love me some Mexican food so it isn’t too hard to find a recipe in my my collection to make around here.

Over the weekend, I mixed up a couple batches of these Strawberry Margaritas to celebrate with.   With strawberries on sale for so cheap around this time of year in California, it seemed like the perfect flavor  for our “margs.”  I love this classic recipe for Margaritas,but sometimes a little variation is needed.  The best part about this recipe is that you make strawberry simple syrup which can then be used to make other drinks like strawberry milk, pink lemonade, or even strawberry-flavored seltzer water by mixing in a few spoonfuls.  I recommend making the strawberry simple syrup ahead of time.  I also juiced my limes ahead of time so when I was preparing the drinks, everything was ready.  Enjoy!

Strawberry Margs

Strawberry Margaritas
Serves: 2 drinks
  • 4 oz. triple sec
  • 4 oz. tequila
  • 5 oz. strawberry simple syrup
  • 4 oz lime juice
  • Ice
  • sugar and kosher salt, to garnish
  • lime slices and strawberries, to garnish
  1. To make simple syrup- In sauce pan, heat 1 cup of water with 1 cup of sugar, stir and heat until mixture is clear. Put in a mason jar and let cool.
  2. To make Strawberry simple syrup, put in 1 cup of cooled simple syrup and 1½ cups of cleaned, hulled strawberries. Blend until smooth.
  3. To make Margarita- Mix together all ingredients with ice. Rub a slice of lime on the rim of 2 glassed, dip glassed is the sugar/salt mixture so it sticks to rim. Add additional ice to glasses and pour mixed drink into glasses. Garnish with lime wedges and strawberries. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Source- Adapted slightly from Tide and Thyme

Want more recipes for Cinco De Mayo?


Classic Margaritas


Pico De Gallo

Salsa Verde

California Salsa
taco dip

Taco Dip

Carnitas Tacos

Black Bean Burritos
tres leches cupcakes {from 2 Sisters 2 Cities}
Tres Leches Cupcakes

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Mason Jar Iced Coffee

Mason Jar Iced Coffee

M and I actually got to spend over three whole days together this week while visiting our parents’ in Syracuse.  The stars aligned for our schedules to match up because I was able to find a plane ticket that I didn’t need to take out a small loan for and M had a free week because it was school vacation week for T.

Mason Jar Iced Coffee

Mason Jar Cold-Brewed Iced Coffee

Mason Jar Iced Coffee

Mason Jar Iced Coffee

As always, my mom had special meals and treats planned for us, but one of our favorite afternoon pick-me-ups (which I am learning is very necessary with two active babies running around) were the mason jar-brewed iced coffee.  She had made two different types made with regular coffee and a caramel flavored coffee.  The mixture of the strong smooth coffee with the rich caramel flavor, the creamy half and half, and sweetness of the condensed milk was the perfect combination.

Mason Jar Iced Coffee

Mason Jar Iced Coffee
Recipe type: drink
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3-4
The perfect afternoon pick-me-up!
  • ⅔ cup ground coffee, flavored if you prefer
  • Cold water
  • Half-and-half or milk
  • Sweet condensed milk
  1. In a 1-quart pitcher or mason jar add in ⅔ cup of ground coffee. (We used caramel-flavored coffee). Fill with cold water and set on the counter for 12-24 hours.
  2. After the coffee brews, line a mesh sieve with cheese cloth and a coffee filter. Place over a 1-quart measuring cup. Start off spooning the grounds at the top of the jar into the filter. Slowly pour the coffee through the filter until all the liquid passes through the filter, cheese cloth, and sieve.
  3. While the remaining coffee is filtering, rinse out the pitcher or mason jar.
  4. Squeeze the remaining coffee out of the filter. Pour the filtered coffee back into mason jar. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  5. To serve:
  6. Fill glass with ice. Pour in the coffee, followed by a few tablespoons of half and half or milk and then 1-2 spoonfuls of sweetened condensed milk. Stir together and serve with a spoon. Add sugar or sweetener if your prefer your drink sweeter. Enjoy!

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Deviled Eggs:  Four Ways

Deviled Eggs 4 Ways.jpg

One of the most popular posts on our site has been the Classic Deviled Eggs post from Easter last year.   M and I got a good laugh after Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Superbowl Sunday because we would get so much traffic from Pinterest for the Deviled Eggs post.  I think we have only thought about having deviled eggs around Easter time, but we are so glad for to learn  there are hardcore deviled egg fans year-round!   I have been thinking of how I could expand on the original post to show more versions of deviled eggs.

Herb and Crumb

I personally love classic deviled eggs and had never ventured outside of my favorite recipe.  When I received this month’s Cooking Light, I was excited to see they had 12 different types of deviled egg recipes.  I knew I had to try some new recipe variations!

In one day, I made four of the 12 types, adapting them slightly based on ingredients I had on hand.  (I was quite impressed that I could make four types without buying any more items!):

  • Pickle Jalapeño
  • Pimiento Cheese
  • Herb and Crumb
  • Wasabi Ginger

The results (well, besides Matt and I being stuffed with eggs) were delicious.  My favorite of the four was the Herb and Crumb,  while Matt’s was Pimiento Cheese.   I predicted that would be his favorite since we are always making up this Pimiento Cheese Dip I shared with you last month.

Easter is the best time to make deviled eggs because of all the extra hard-boiled eggs from decorating eggs.   When my sisters and I were younger, we loved decorating eggs.  Since there was four of us, my mom had to make a lot of eggs so we could get our fill of coloring.   What did we do with all that extra eggs?   Deviled eggs and egg salad sandwiches of course!  We hope everyone has  a great Easter Weekend!

Pimiento Cheese .jpg

Hard-Boiled Eggs
  • 12 eggs
  1. Gently place the eggs in a large saucepan and cover with cold water (water level should be 1-inch above the eggs.)
  2. Place saucepan on stove-top, set to high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, remove saucepan from heat, cover, and let stand for 10 minutes.
  3. Fill a large-sized bowl with ice cold water while the eggs are sitting.
  4. After the 10 minutes, take eggs out of hot water with a slotted spoon and place in the ice water gently; let sit for 5 minutes.
  5. Store in refrigerator or use immediately

 Pickle Jalapeño Deviled Eggs

Pickle Jalapeño Deviled Eggs
  • 12 hard-boiled eggs
  • 3 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp. 2% Greek yogurt
  • 1½ minced sweet gherkins
  • 1 tbsp. minced pickled jalapeño
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp. fresh cracked pepper
  • Thinly sliced gherkins, for garnish
  1. Peel eggs and then slice length wise. Take out the yolks of the eggs and place them in a medium sized bowl. With a fork, mash the egg yolks until all the large chunks are gone.
  2. Add in remainder of ingredients except for garnish and stir with a rubber spatula. Mash mixture on the side of the bowl to smooth out any lumps.
  3. Prepare a pastry bag with a large star tip (I used Wilton’s 6B). Take egg yolk mixture and add it to the pastry bag, then twist the top portion closed to push the eggs into the bag further.
  4. Pipe the yolks into the egg whites by applying pressure to pastry bag and lifting up slowly and releasing the pressure as the egg white fills with yolk. Top each egg with sliced gherkins.

 Pimiento Cheese Deviled Eggs.jpg

Pimiento Cheese Deviled Eggs
  • 12 hard-boiled eggs
  • ¼ cup chopped pimientos, drained
  • ¼ cup light mayonnaise
  • ½ tsp. hot sauce
  • ½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp. fresh cracked pepper
  • ¾ ounce reduced fat shredded cheese
  • 2 tbsp. pecans, toasted and chopped, for garnish
  1. Peel eggs and then slice length wise. Take out the yolks of the eggs and place them in a medium sized bowl. With a fork, mash the egg yolks until all the large chunks are gone.
  2. Add in remainder of ingredients except for garnish and stir with a rubber spatula. Mash mixture on the side of the bowl to smooth out any lumps.
  3. Prepare a pastry bag with a large star tip (I used Wilton’s 6B). Take egg yolk mixture and add it to the pastry bag, then twist the top portion closed to push the eggs into the bag further.
  4. Pipe the yolks into the egg whites by applying pressure to pastry bag and lifting up slowly and releasing the pressure as the egg white fills with yolk. Top each egg chopped toasted pecans.

 Herb and Crumb Deviled Eggs.jpg

Herb and Crumb Deviled Eggs
  • 12 hard-boiled eggs
  • 2 tbsp. panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp. butter
  • ¼ cup light mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp. light sour cream
  • 3 tbsp. chopped green onion
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp. fresh cracked pepper
  1. In a small fry pan, melt the butter and add the panko bread crumbs. Stir until toasted.
  2. Peel eggs and then slice length wise. Take out the yolks of the eggs and place them in a medium sized bowl. With a fork, mash the egg yolks until all the large chunks are gone.
  3. Add in remainder of ingredients except for toasted panko breadcrumbs and stir with a rubber spatula. Mash mixture on the side of the bowl to smooth out any lumps.
  4. Prepare a pastry bag with a large star tip (I used Wilton’s 6B). Take egg yolk mixture and add it to the pastry bag, then twist the top portion closed to push the eggs into the bag further.
  5. Pipe the yolks into the egg whites by applying pressure to pastry bag and lifting up slowly and releasing the pressure as the egg white fills with yolk. Top each egg with the toasted panko breadcrumbs.

 Wasabi Ginger Deviled Eggs

Wasabi Ginger Deviled Eggs
  • 12 hard-boiled eggs
  • ¼ cup light mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro, plus 2 tsp. for garnish
  • 4 tsp. grated ginger
  • 4 tsp. wasabi paste
  • 4 tsp. lime juice
  • 2 tsp. toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
  1. Peel eggs and then slice length wise. Take out the yolks of the eggs and place them in a medium sized bowl. With a fork, mash the egg yolks until all the large chunks are gone.
  2. Add in remainder of ingredients except for garnishes and stir with a rubber spatula. Mash mixture on the side of the bowl to smooth out any lumps.
  3. Prepare a pastry bag with a large star tip (I used Wilton’s 6B). Take egg yolk mixture and add it to the pastry bag, then twist the top portion closed to push the eggs into the bag further.
  4. Pipe the yolks into the egg whites by applying pressure to pastry bag and lifting up slowly and releasing the pressure as the egg white fills with yolk. Top each egg with toasted sesame seeds and chopped cilantro.


Pickle Jalapeno

Source- Adapted slightly from Cooking Light, April 2014

Wasabi Ginger.jpg

And here’s a bonus version- the classic recipe for Deviled Eggs for all those leftover Easter Eggs!


Click Here!

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Double Chocolate Guinness Ice Cream

Double Chocolate Guinness Ice Cream

Even though it’s snowing today (ugh ugh ugh), I still wanted to make a batch of this Double Chocolate Guinness Ice Cream in anticipation of St. Patrick’s Day.  I found this recipe in David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop ice cream cookbook and knew I had to make it for this weekend.  My husband and I both love Guinness, chocolate, and ice cream and this recipes incorporates all three!

Double Chocolate Guinness Ice Cream

This ice cream recipe incorporates milk chocolate and Guinness in its base flavor.  The milk chocolate balances well with the Guinness and neither one overpowers the other in terms of flavor.  I kicked the chocolate flavor up a notch by adding in mini chocolate chips towards the end of the mixing process to add a bit more chocolate goodness.  Plus, as K has mentioned before, the best part about cooking with Guinness is that there is always a bit left over to have a little sip for yourself!  If you are looking for a slightly different St. Patrick’s Day recipe this year, I highly recommend this Double Chocolate Guinness Ice Cream.

I’ve been so focused on organizing and working on a few house projects since the new year that I haven’t prioritized making new recipes and blogging about them.  I’m hoping  to share a few more of my favorite recipes that I’ve made recently soon.  It was a lot of fun to finally get back into it!  Now that baby N is almost 9(!) months old, I feel like things are finally starting to get a little easier around here…until he starts walking anyway!

Double Chocolate Guinness Ice Cream

Double Chocolate Guinness Ice Cream
Recipe type: ice cream
Serves: 6
  • 8 ounces milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup whole or 2% milk
  • ½ cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ¾ cup Guinness (the rest is for you to sip!)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips
  1. Place the milk chocolate chips into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer over the top.
  2. Mix together the milk, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan and warm over low heat. Whisk together the egg yolks in a medium-sized bowl. Pour the warm milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the entire mixture back into the saucepan.
  3. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a wooden spoon, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spoon. I recommend using a thermometer and removing the mixture from the heat when it reaches between 170-175 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Pour the custard through the strainer over the milk chocolate chips, then stir until the chocolate is melted. Once the mixture is smooth, whisk in the cream, Guinness, and vanilla. Stir until cool over an ice bath.
  5. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Add the mini chocolate chips in the last few minutes of the mixing process.

Source: Slightly adapted from The Perfect Scoop* by David Lebovitz (*Disclosure: This link is an affiliate link.)

Looking for more St. Patrick’s day recipes?  Try these below!

DIY Shamrock Shake


Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes Filled Chocolate Ganache and Topped With Cream Cheese Frosting


Chocolate Chip Soda Bread


Corned Beef and Cabbage


Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

sister m signature


Pimento Cheese Dip

Pimento Cheese Dip with Chips

Well, hello readers!  I originally made this recipe for Super Bowl Sunday, but ran out of time to post it before it happened.  Then, I was going to post this as an Oscar’s appetizer, but I am now too late for that!  Get it together Keelin!  I am officially sharing this recipe with you all so I don’t procrastinate it anymore.  This Pimento Dip is a quick and easy cold dip that makes a perfect last-minute appetizer.

Pimento Dip and Chips

A few years ago, I shared a hot Tex-Mex Pimento Cheese Dip with you and today I am sharing a cold one.  This dip goes perfectly with tortilla chip strips.  The best part about this dip is that Matt can pull it together all on his own and I just get to eat it!  I actually don’t think I have made this recipe yet, even this batch was made by Matt!  We always dip right into this as soon as it is ready.  If you plan to make this recipe ahead of time, store in the refrigerator and bring out 30 minutes before serving.  It’s still amazing when it’s cold, but this dips firms up when it is chilled and you will break your chips in it.  Nothing is worse than breaking your chips in the dip…well, there are probably a few more thing, but in the dip world it is pretty tragic.

Pimento Dip

Pimento Cheese Dip
  • 4 oz. reduced fat Cream Cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup light mayonnaise
  • ½ tsp. Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • 2-3 tbsp. pimentos, or chopped roasted red pepper
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped onion
  • Fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
  1. In the bowl of a mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth.
  2. Mix in the remaining ingredients until combined.
  3. Serve at room temperature or chilled with tortilla chips or veggies.

Source- Adapted from Paula Deen via the foodnetwork.com

Pimento Cheese Dip

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Soft Heart Sugar Cookies with Buttercream Frosting

Valentine's Day Soft Sugar Cookies

The most popular type of dessert in this house is by far cookies. It seems we have tried every type of chocolate chip cookie and frosted sugar cookie there is. I am always saving the latest and greatest recipes I find. While I was thinking about what I was going to make for Valentine’s Day, I knew that a soft fluffy cut-out sugar cookie with buttercream frosting was in order. Last years cutout sugar cookies with buttercream frosting were such a hit that I thought soft heart cookies would be worth a try. I made soft sugar cookies with buttercream frosting a couple years ago for a bake sale and they were heavenly. My mom made them for Christmas this year and between my boyfriend and I we ate at least half the batch! These heart shaped soft sugars are right up there with the my other two favorite recipes!

Cut Out Soft Sugar Cookies with Buttercream Frosting
I divided the original recipe in half because it made 6 dozen cookies. Since there is only the two of us in my house and we are both on Weight Watchers, we really did not need 6 dozen cookies!

Soft Cut Out Sugar Cookies

After decorating these cookies with pink frosting and Valentine’s Day sprinkles, I realized how similar these looked to last year’s cookies! I should have tried to make red or purple frosting, but oh well! They were delicious anyways.

Heart Cut Out Cookies
Happy Valentine’s Day!

Soft Heart Sugar Cookies with Buttercream Frosting
For Cookies:
  • 3 cups of All Purpose Flour
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick), at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 small eggs or 1 and ½ large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup sour cream or light sour cream
For Frosting:
  • ½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick), at room temperature
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • Smidgen of salt
  • 3 tbsp. heavy cream
  • food coloring, optional
  • sprinkles, optional
For Cookies:
  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, mix the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add in egg and mix until combined. Add in vanilla extract and sour cream and stir until everything is incorporated.
  2. In a separate medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Slowly mix dry ingredients into the butter mixture, with your mixer on low and making sure to scrape down the sides. Once all combined, divide dough into two. The dough will be sticky so you may want to lightly oil or flour your hands to prevent sticking. Place each dough half on a piece of plastic wrap and flatten to about 1 ½ inches thickness. Wrap completely, repeat for second half, and chill both halves for at least 2 hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  5. Flour countertops and roll out the first dough slab to about a ¼th inch thickness. You may need to flour the top of a dough a little too if it gets too sticky. Lightly flour your cookie cutter and cut out your shapes, place each cookie on prepared baking sheet and leave about 2 inches between each cookie. Repeat until you use up all the dough. This recipe should make about 3 dozen but that all depends on the size of your cookie cutter (mine was about a 3 inch heart.)
  6. Bake for 7-8 minutes until cookies start to turn golden on the edges. Using a spatula, gently move your cookies over to a cooling rack.
For Frosting:
  1. Cream together butter and vanilla extract in the bowl of you stand mixer set at a low speed. Slowly add confectioners’ sugar and a smidgen of salt (half a pinch) until smooth. Add in heavy cream a tablespoon at a time and continue to beat on medium for 1-2 minutes until the frosting has a light and fluffy consistency. Add your desired food coloring and mix in.
For Assembly:
  1. Once the cookies are cool, frost them with 1-2 tsp. of frosting with a offset spatula or a butter knife. If desired, add sprinkles to frosting right after before it begins to set. Enjoy!

Source- Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod
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