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Cookie + Pie, 2gether 4ever {recipe: peanut butter cookie pie}

12 Jun

I don’t really have a story to tell except that I made this pie and it was amazing. I think you should make it too.

It is like a warm-and-chewy-soft-and-gooey peanut butter cookie that still has a crisp top and looks nice because it’s all held together in a succinct pie crust.

Go. Bake. Eat!

Peanut Butter Cookie Pie

Serves 8-12

adapted from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody

  • 1 pre-made, unbaked pie crust (or one recipe homemade crust for a one-crust 9-inch pie, rolled out to be 1/4 inch thick)
  • 1 cup granulated Sugar
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Reeses Pieces
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Press pie crust into a 9-inch pie plate like you would for any pie
  3. In a bowl, combine butter, sugar, and peanut butter, mix well.
  4. Add eggs and vanilla, stir to combine.
  5. Add flour, stir to combine.
  6. Add Reeses Pieces, and chocolate morsels, stir to combine.
  7. Spread filling into prepared pie crust.
  8. Bake until firm in the middle (it will still be a little gooey from the Reeses Pieces and chocolate chips in the middle if you test it with a knife), approximately 45 minutes.

Cool, slice, and serve with whipped cream if you like.


Something Else I Didn’t Know {recipe: easy focaccia bread}

29 May

Right now I have 11 friends who are pregnant. And one coming home Friday with a baby from Ethiopia. That is 12 babies. That is a big enough number that according to the rules of writing, you don’t have to spell it out with letters. That is a lot of babies.

I am sorry, but there is still something that no one tells you about having babies. I am going to tell you abut it so maybe the seven of you who are pregnant with baby number one don’t for a minute wonder, “am I the only one?”

I am over most of the weird things that happen to the body. And those things are weird not because they don’t make sense or because they seem completely out of nowhere, but because all of these things happen to your body that all work together for a specific purpose to support you and the baby perfectly. For example:  Your body emits some hormones that make your ligaments all loosey-goosey. This could be annoying because if the hormones work in you like they did in me, you have to stop running and rest or your hip joints cause shooting pain down your legs. You could think this is annoying but really it is helpful. You don’t need to be running to prove that “you can still do everything you did when you weren’t pregnant,” and, you need everything to slide out of place a little to make room for that baby to make its grand entrance into the world.

All of that seems so weird because it really does work together so well. Most of what we experience in life doesn’t work together well because it gets wrecked up by us and our pride and our selfish motives or desire for someone else’s approval that we expect everything to get all messed up. When hormones and bones and body systems all work together how God created them to support and sustain us, it feels weird.

So here is the other thing:

It took a while to feel any love.

People tell you that the minute you have a baby, you experience more love and joy than you have ever felt before. Consequently, I was really confused in our first few weeks as a family. I knew I was supposed to take care of this baby, and I could do that, but I didn’t feel much love.

I felt tired most of the time and confused at how to get her to stop crying when nothing seemed wrong. I felt a whole new set of responsibilities and the weight of someone else’s needs being forever more important than my own. But I did not feel love.

And then that did funny things to my head like make me wonder what love and joy are and if I ever felt them before and what was I doing wrong? Because I was definitely not feeling like everyone said I would. And you don’t want to tell anyone that you don’t love your baby because surely someone will take your baby away and put you in one of those jackets where the arms tie in the back. And you remember the time that your husband came with you to one of your last doctor’s appointments and as you were leaving the doctor quickly said something under her breath to your husband about how if he ever sees any bad or depressed behavior in you post-delivery that he should call the doctor immediately. And I didn’t want to go to the crazy house. And I didn’t think I needed to. I didn’t feel anything bad, I just didn’t feel anything awesome.

In a moment of weakness or after a glass of wine (which I think are the same for me ), I tell my husband all of these things and he tells me he thinks that’s ok, he thinks what I am feeling is normal and that I am a good mother. He assures me that this is not grounds for the straightjacket. And that is what I need to hear and we talk about it again the next weekend and I can’t even remember the feelings of emptiness that I had because now I feel love and joy and I want to do nothing but hold that baby and if she cries in the middle of the night and it means I get to fall asleep holding her or see her smile at 4am, well, I just think that is wonderful.

And for the recipe:

This bread is awesome. Make a big bowl of dough and then stick it in the fridge and pinch off parts of it on different nights. Top with your favorite pizza toppings for a meal, smear some garlic butter on it for s side, or slice it open and make a tasty sandwich.

Focaccia Bread

Makes about three 12-inch pizza crusts.

2 3/4 c. warm water

1 1/2 T. active dry yeast

1 T. salt

1/4 c. olive oil

6 1/2 cups flour

optional add-ins: garlic powder, rosemary, lemon zest, italian seasoning…

  • Put water in a large bowl and sprinkle yeast on top. Let sit about 5 minutes.
  • Add remaining ingredients and stir until most all flour is incorporated.
  • Cover bowl with saran wrap or a slightly damp towel.
  • Let sit at room temperature 2 hours, use right away or refrigerate until ready to use (can stay in the fridge up to five days, the flavor will get yeastier as the days go on).
  • When ready to use, preheat oven to 400. If you have a baking stone, put that in the oven.
  • Pinch off the dough you want to use and slowly pull it out into a circle.
  • Place on baking stone or lightly greased cookie sheet and bake 9-13 minutes. If I am making a pizza, I bake it about seven minutes, then put the toppings on it and bake about five more.

original post:

4am Not so Bad, Happy Mother’s Day {recipe: healthyish organic carrot cake with maple cream cheese frosting}

8 May

The day before last Mother’s day we had a baby shower for Erika. She was on her way to becoming a mother. We sat in a room with her sister and her own mother and talked about babies and all of the things that were to come.

The day after last mother’s day I took a pregnancy test and saw that extra line and cried and got excited all at the same time while having the selfish thought that I should wear my tiniest jeans to work that day because it might be the last time I wear them. Ever.

But sandwiched between a day celebrating two new motherhood experiences, was a day for my own mom. Mother’s day. I surely have a mother worth celebrating. She would stop whatever she was doing to talk to me. She had supersonic ears and would show up at my bedroom door if I woke up sick in the middle of the night, even though I was upstairs and across the hall…she knew. She let me use her as an excuse, which probably kept me out of a lot of trouble. If you are ever in a situation that you don’t want to be in, if there’s a party that’s going to a second location that you don’t think is right, you can always blame it on me. Tell them you would go, but your mom is so lame, she won’t let you stay out that late, and then call me. I will pick you up wherever you are, whatever time it is…I used that so many times. My mom stuck with me and took the heat during the awkward teenage years when I wasn’t yet strong enough to stand up on my own two feet and needed an out. She was patient while I gained my self-confidence.

On my birthday this year I wondered why we even have mothers day at all and why our own birthdays aren’t days where we solely celebrate our mothers, for enduring another year with us. Taking care of us. Loving us through spilled bowls of cereal and wayward decisions. But that doesnt happen. On birthdays our mothers celebrate us. Because there is something about being a mother that makes you want to celebrate your kid. Regardless of what they do, or even if they don’t do anything.

Shilah has been getting up at 4am for no real reason. She’s wide awake. She’s ready to start the day. I get frustrated for a minute when I think, five hours of sleep? Really, that’s it? But then its her and my little secret that I don’t mind the 4am getup. She eats and then I lay her on the floor and try to hold the pacifier back in her mouth so that she will go to sleep but the pacifier won’t stay in because her mouth is open so wide in an all-out smile, that the pacifier falls out. By that time it’s only 4:30am and while the rest of the city is sleeping, we are awake, smiling. It’s cute and I love it. I am honored to be her mother.

And, I am honored to have a mother of my own who I know has felt the same things about me, times 100. Literally. Shilah is three months old and I am 25. Which means my mom has 100 times more experience with me than I do with my baby girl. I won’t run the calculations on grandma, but she has more than both of us.

Four generations of Weirauch ladies.  Love you, mom. Thank you.

How did we manage to cover the entire spectrum of hair color? Don’t genes mean anything?

Healthyish organic carrot cake with maple cream cheese frosting

adapted from Whole Foods

  • 1 cup rolled or quick cooking oats
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • 1 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup dried currants
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened finely shredded coconut
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Lightly butter a (9-inch) square baking pan and set it aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix oats and walnuts. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt and mix well.
  3. In a second large bowl, combine carrots, maple syrup, currants, coconut and vanilla.
  4. Add carrot mixture to flour mixture and stir until completely incorporated.
  5. Transfer to prepared pan and bake until cooked through and deep golden brown, about 1 hour. Set aside to let cool before cutting into squares.


  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  1. Mix cream cheese, powdered sugar, and additional maple syrup until creamy, Dollop on top of carrot cake.

Don’t Go Off-Recipe When You Can’t Taste {recipe: teriyaki chicken with broccoli rice stir fry}

15 Apr

So I am feeling a little under the weather and I decided to try a new recipe last night. In an effort to stretch our grocery budget, I am looking outside of my typical recipe ingredients for new recipes that are good and cheap.

[Enter dark meat]

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are healthy and wonderful, but they are also the most expensive cut of chicken, so when I saw a recipe for teriyaki chicken legs, I thought I would try it out. Five pretty large chicken legs cost less than $3 at Sprouts.

So I made the chicken legs and decided I would spruce up the white rice called for in the recipe. I added all sorts of stuff…soy sauce, orange juice, ginger…and I kept tasting it, and it tasted like nothing…just bland rice. I was confused at how all of that flavor was just soaking into the rice.

It wasn’t. I have a cold and I couldn’t taste anything. I realized that once we were eating and I said, “I marinated this chicken in teriyaki sauce all day and I can’t even tell….oh, wait.”

I am not going to tell you what I put in the rice. You don’t want it. There is enough soy sauce in it to give you hypertension with just one bite. Just make the white rice like the recipe says.

Teriyaki Chicken with Broccoli Rice Stir Fry

adapted from Rachael Ray

serves two

  • 4 chicken leg drummers
  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces) teriyaki sauce
  • Coarse black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 3/8 cup water
  • 1 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup jasmine rice
  • 1 bunch broccoli, trimmed and cut into 3-inch pieces
  • Salt
  • 2 large cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
  • 1 inch ginger, grated or minced
  1. Place chicken drummers in a resealable plastic bag with the teriyaki sauce and let marinate 4 hours or overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 400
  3. Arrange chicken legs on a roasting pan and season chicken liberally with coarse black pepper.
  4. Cover chicken legs with foil and roast 20 minutes.
  5. Turn legs over and roast 10 minutes more.
  6. Remove foil and roast an additional 5-8 minutes to darken and crisp.
  7. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  8. While the chicken cooks, bring stock and water with 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil to a boil over high heat. Add rice and stir, bring back up to a boil then reduce heat and cover pot. Simmer 18 minutes then fluff with fork.
  9. While chicken roasts the last 10 minutes, bring a few inches of salted water to a boil. Add the broccoli and cook 2-3 minutes, then drain. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large skillet. When oil is hot, add blanched broccolini. Stir-fry 2 minutes, add garlic and ginger, and stir-fry 1 minute more. Serve chicken legs with stir-fried broccoli and rice alongside.

Easy, Hearty Dinner {recipe: taco chili}

14 Apr

We eat a lot of tex-mex food. It is easy, delicious, and you can use the same ingredients over and over. This recipe originally came from another food blog. I made it once and loved it, then went to make it a few months when I was pregnant. I figured I would make enough to freeze some for post-pregnancy, so I doubled the recipe. I forgot that the recipe already serves about 8. So, with my crockpot filled to the brim, I was making Taco Chili for 16. We just finally finished it.

Lesson learned – the recipe freezes well and it’s one of those dishes, like many soups and chilis, that seems to get better with leftovers, the flavors all have a chance to meld together.

Make a big batch when you’re expecting the whole family in town, or when you need to stock your freezer for busy weeks ahead!

Taco Chili

Adapted from Rebecca Crump (

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 diced onions
  • 2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans RO*TEL® diced tomatoes and green chilies
  • 3 (15-ounce) cans black beans
  • 1 (15 1/4-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 (1-ounce) envelope taco seasoning
  • 1 (1-ounce) envelope ranch salad dressing and seasoning mix
  • Garnishes: Tortilla chips, cheese, sour cream, hot sauce, cilantro, sliced avocados
  • 1. In a large skillet, cook beef and onions over medium heat until beef is no longer pink. Drain, using a slotted spoon, as you transfer browned beef and onions to a Dutch oven, stockpot or slow cooker.

    2. Add tomatoes, black beans, and corn. Stir in the taco seasoning and ranch salad dressing mix.

    3. If you’re cooking on the stovetop, cover the pot and simmer soup over low heat for 30 minutes up to 1 hour, stirring occasionally. If you’re using a slow cooker, cook on low heat for 6 to 8 hours.

    4. Garnish individual servings with tortilla chips, cheese, sour cream, hot sauce, and cilantro, if desired.

    original post:

    Cooking for Eight {recipe: green chile chicken enchiladas}

    8 Apr

    A lot of the recipes on here are sweet. But, let’s get practical. We’re all making regular dinner meals way more than we’re baking flourless chocolate cakes, whether we want to or not.

    With a baby and just the two of us grown-ups, here is my secret for eating home-cooked meals every night: cook for eight. That will give you enough for dinner and then lunch the next day, and another dinner+lunch meal to throw in the freezer. It also breaks up the monotony of sandwiches for lunch.

    I freeze everything now. Most recipes are freezeable if you just freeze them before the last few steps of the recipe are complete. You don’t want to put the finishing touches on a meal and cook it to its fullest, then freeze it, thaw it, and end up cooking it more when you reheat it.

    Also we got rid of our microwave because it just didn’t fit in the kitchen, so we reheat stuff in the oven. Do that. Food is heated much more thoroughly in the oven, and you can cover your meal with foil (don’t use that in the microwave) and it actually just gets heated, and not cooked/dried out more.

    These enchiladas are great, easy, and they freeze well. Serve them up with a side of queso.

    Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

    • 2 T butter
    • 2 cloves of garlic, diced
    • 1 can green chiles (I used medium)
    • 2 T flour
    • 2 cups chicken broth
    • 1 cups sour cream
    • 16 oz jar tomatillo/green salsa
    • 1 t cumin
    • 1/4 t cayenne
    • 1/2 t salt
    • 1/2 t pepper
    • 4 cups cooked, shredded chicken (cook your own chicken breasts, use leftover chicken from something else, or grab a rotisserie chicken)
    • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
    • 12 flour tortillas, small size
    • 1 cup shredded cheddar
    • 1 cup shredded Pepper Jack
    • 1/2 red onion, diced

    Preheat the oven to 350.

    Melt butter in a large saucepanover medium heat. Drain chiles and put in butter pan with the garlic, let cook about a minute. Stir in the flour and let cook another 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Whisk in chicken broth until smooth, let cook until the mixture bobbles. Stir in sour cream, salsa, cumin, cayenne, salt, pepper, and cilantro until the sauce is smooth. Remove from heat.

    Butter a 9×13 baking dish*. Add 1 cup of sauce to the bottom of the pan. Add chicken, cheddar cheese, and chopped onion to the center of each tortilla and roll, placing seam-side down in the dish. Pour the sauce over the enchiladas, top with leftover cheese, and bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until top is brown and bubbling.

    For two people, split the recipe between two 8×8 pans and freeze the second one.

    To freeze: Cook the sauce and cool completely. Store in a freezer bag. Store your pepper jack cheese in another freezer bag. Assemble the enchiladas without the sauce in portion-friendly dishes and wrap well with plastic wrap or foil. When you’re ready to cook them, thaw the sauce at room temperature, pour over the top and top with shredded cheese. To cook thawed, bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes (or to an internal temperature of 165). To cook straight from the freezer, increase the baking time to 45-55 minutes.

    Original post:

    How to Renovate Your Wardrobe for Free {recipe: maple walnut shortbread}

    1 Apr

    So I have learned some things at work that are completely not work-related. Like how to tie a good scarf knot and how to make stellar cake balls and how to plant a container garden. And how to have a Clothes Swap.

    Let’s face it. I just had a baby and those once-tight jeans are now too-tight jeans that would look great on you and the flowy top that you wore twice and now hate? It would look great with my baby-feeders. So, get all your lady friends together, bring the stuff from your closet that you don’t wear anymore, spread it our in a giant room and get your friends to do the same. And then shop. For free. Donate what’s left and go home happy!

    Here are the rules for a Clothes Swap that go in an Evite. Just copy and paste them, and send to your own friends!

    Bring your old clothes and an appetizer or a dessert or something to drink to the swap, along with a bag or two so that you can haul away your new goodies.

    1. Clean out all of the Clothes, Shoes, Jewelry, Purses and other Accessories you don’t want (all of those things that you need to get rid of because no matter how many times you try them on, they will always be too small/too big/too tight-in-the-wrong-place/the wrong color/wrong material, or just plain ugly);

    2. Come to the swap and take new-to-you clothes that you do want (free shopping!); and

    3. laugh at what is just plain ugly.

    4:00 – Show up and grab a drink and some appetizers while you sort your clothes. We’ll have all items divided into different categories of clothing in different rooms of the house.

    4:30 – Go time. Start bagging what you want, try things on, solicit feedback from your peers (ask questions like, “does this make me look fat?” and get told you look fabulous).

    5:00 – Have another snack and laugh at what is ugly (perhaps an award will be given for the worst piece?).

    Later – Go home. Brag to husband/fiancee/roommate/mother how you just got bags of fantastic clothing and accessories for free, AND got rid of the crap in your closet.

    Great, huh? Now go do it with your friends!

    You can make these for your snack. They are quick and tasty. Eat the leftovers with coffee on a groggy Saturday morning.

    Maple Walnut Shortbread

    from Real Simple

    • 1 cup unsalted butter
    • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup maple syrup
    • 1 egg, separated
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts

    Heat oven to 300° F. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, and egg yolk until smooth. Stir in the flour, cinnamon, and salt until combined.
    Spread the dough into an ungreased 15 1/2-by-10 1/2-inch jelly-roll pan or cookie sheet with sides.

    Beat the egg white in a small bowl with a fork until foamy. Spread evenly over the dough.

    Sprinkle on the nuts and press them gently into the dough.

    Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until the shortbread shrinks slightly from the sides of the pan. Do not overcook; you want them to be a little chewy. Cut diagonally into 3-by-1 1/2-inch bars.