RECIPE: FROSTED SUGAR COOKIES + JOSHIE’S 3RD BIRTHDAY

Joshie turned THREE! We had such fun day, mainly directed by him since he’s in a SUPER bossy phase. Hilarious when it’s directed towards his brothers… not so much when it’s directed towards Jeffrey and me. He loves dinosaurs and the color blue which became the loosly-based-but-also-the-pandemic-so-whatever theme.

 

Since he oddly doesn’t like chocolate, I made him my favorite sugar cookies and frosting but made them into easy bars. Like I said… pandemic whatever I’m not rolling and cutting these into shapes! SO simple and delicious. The frosting is from this recipe for swig cookies since I wanted that thicker frosting. SO good. If you’re using this cookie recipe for cut out holiday cookies, you might want a thinner frosting that dries. This recipe pairs really well together, but it’s not great for stacking and packaging. More just for eating.

SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM FOR THE RECIPE!

For the party hats, I cut out a spikey shape, scored the edge, folded it, and used double stick tape to secure it to the side of the party hats.


I made Joshiesaurus tattoos- he loved them!! Purchase in my shop HERE.

I got the little dinosaurs (natural plastic, non-toxic) HERE and then just put them in a 3 shape on a grocery store cake.

Social-distanced ice cream truck party with cousins and neighbors!

Georgie being weird and charming.


Momtern and Dadtern!

Now for the cookie recipe that everyone loved!

COOKIE RECIPE:

  • 1 c. butter or margarine (or half and half) room temp
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, room temp
  • 2 tbsp whole milk, room temp
  • 2 tsp real vanilla extract
  • 3 c. flour (I always bake with bread flour but AP is fine)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Sift all dry ingredients and set aside.
  • Mix butter and sugar til fluffy 2-3 min.
  • Add egg and mix well.
  • Add vanilla.
  • Slowly mix in dry ingredients alternating with milk.
  • Mix until just combined.
  • For bar cookies: press dough into a small sheet pan lined with parchment paper, press plastic wrap on top of the dough, and chill for a couple hours or overnight.
  • For cut out cookies, press dough into a disc and wrap with plastic wrap, chill for a couple hours or overnight. Flour the counter and dough really well. Roll out super thin if you want them to keep their shape otherwise they will puff up and be delicious, but not perfectly shaped. Might want to add a little more flour to the dough as you roll it out. Make sure to pop them back into the fridge or freezer once they’re shaped and on parchment lined baking pans before you put them in the oven to bake.
  • Bake 350º for 10-12 minutes until BARELY golden- for real. Don’t over bake these! They will continue cooking in the pan after you take them out of the oven.
  • Once cooled, use the parchment paper to peel the bars out of the pan, ice, and slice. Again, chill if you want cutting to be super easy.

 

FROSTING RECIPE:

  • 1/2 cup butter room temperature
  • 2 tablespoon sour cream
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoons vanilla
  • dash of salt
  • 1 drop red food coloring
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk**

Mix all but food coloring and milk together until fluffy. Add food color if you want. Add milk 1 tbsp at a time if needed to thin out or soften the frosting. Spread onto cookies once cookie has been completely cooled.

 

Here’s what the cookies look like rolled and cut before decorating. A little soft and fluffy, a lot yummy!

 

xo,

L

MY FAVORITE PASSOVER RECIPES

I weirdly love passover food. I eat matzo year round. I love mixing horseradish with haroset. Like a weirdo. Since I’m a vegetarian, I really only make a few things for Passover and let my parents do the main courses. During this quarantine, my poor husband and kids are stuck with the few things I CAN make. Jazzed up Mazto ball soup, Haroset, matzo bark/crack, chocolate covered macarons, and matzo brie (for breakfast). Turns out with some roasted vegetables and potatoes, it makes for a pretty good meal!

 

HAROSET

I really don’t measure! This is just an approximation. My Grandma says to use 1 apple per person. Make sure there’s enough wine to fully coat all of the mixture. The apples will soak up some of the wine, so you’d rather overdo it a little bit then have it be dry.

 

3-4 large honeycrisp or sweet apples, peeled and finely chopped

1-2 cups sweet red wine (or any red wine + a few TBSP brown sugar)

1 tsp cinnamon

1 cup pecans or walnuts, finely chopped

 

– Mix everything together and let it sit in the fridge while you make the rest of the dinner. Stir several times so that all the apples get coated.  The flavor gets better as it sits and the apples get soaked.

– Serve with matzo

 

 

HOMEMADE MATZO BALL SOUP (VEGETARIAN)

I make mine vegetarian but also roast some chicken, shred it, and add to everyone else’s bowls. Quarantine style… I defrosted chicken breasts, placed them on a foil-lined baking sheet, drizzled with olive oil, salt, pepper, then baked them in the oven for 15 min. Shred and add to the bowls who want chicken!

You can add as many or as little vegetables as you want. It’s mostly about the seasoning and the matzo balls.

I’m NOT a fan of the pre-made soup mix. It’s too salty and not enough flavor for my taste. If that’s all you have, consider at least adding these veggies and seasonings to the broth!
Makes about 6 servings

 

1/2 cup matzo meal

2 eggs

2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp water

1 tsp water

1 large yellow onion, diced

3 carrots, diced

3 stalks celery, diced

1 heaping tbsp minced garlic

lots of dried or fresh seasoning: I added a couple teaspoons of  THIS spice which is absolutely magical, but you could recreate it with salt, freeze-dried shallots, chives, garlic, onion and green peppercorns. I also added about 1 tsp thyme, and a dash of dill. I’m the only one who loves spicy things, so I add crushed red pepper just to my bowl.

2 – 32 oz boxes of vegetable broth

 

Make the matzo balls:

Add eggs and oil to a medium bowl and whip with a fork. Mix in matzo meal, water, and salt until combined. Leave in the fridge for 15 minutes while you make the soup.

Heat olive oil in a large pot on medium.

Add diced vegetables and cook for a few minutes until just softened, maybe about 5 min.

Stir in minced garlic and dried/fresh seasoning and cook a few more minutes.

Add vegetable broth and bring to a boil.

While you wait for the pot to boil, grab the matzo ball dough from the fridge.

Using a cookie/ice cream scoop (anywhere from 1″-2″), scoop up the dough then roll it in your hands to make sure it’s packed together.

Drop in the matzo balls in the soup then cover the pot tightly with a lid.

Simmer for 40-60 minutes.

Top with a little parsley and crushed red pepper if you want… but no one in my family likes either 🙂

 

 

MAZTO BARK / CRACK

CLICK HERE

 

 

CHOCOLATE COVERED MACAROONS

This one is based on Ina Garten’s but a little less sweet. CLICK HERE

 

 

MATZO BRIE

So many good memories growing up eating my Grandma’s crispy matzo brie around passover, and my Grandpa’s more eggy version. Both so good with pure maple syrup!!

For 1 serving:

1 1/2 boards of matzo

1/2 cup milk

2 eggs, beaten

sprinkle of cinnamon

butter for the pan

 

Heat up milk in the microwave about 1 minute- I like to use a large glass pyrex or just a microwave save large bowl.

Break up the matzo in large pieces and put them into the hot milk for about 30 seconds just to soften the matzo.

Drain most of the milk out.

Add in eggs and cinnamon, and mix together.

Heat up butter in a skillet on medium, then pour in the matzo mix. I like to mix it up a bit to make sure all sides are coated and crispy. Or you could make it pancake style if you like a fluffy, eggy consistency better. Done when golden brown and egg is fully cooked. Top with a shake of cinnamon and maple syrup. Yum!

 

HAPPY PASSOVER!!

xo

Leah

RECIPE: NANA’S GINGER MOLASSES COOKIES

Lightly spiced and lightly sweet, these soft ginger molasses cookies are the BEST. They’re super pretty and stack well, so they would be nice holiday gifts for neighbors or teachers! I make these every December just like my nana and mom did. Enjoy!

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup granulated sugar (plus more for topping)

3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temp

1 egg, room temp and beaten

1/4 cup molasses

3 cups flour (I always use bread flour, but use what you have)

3 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp cloves

1 tsp ginger

1 tsp cinnamon

 

  1. preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. cream butter and sugar until smooth, about 5 min.
  3. mix in egg and molasses
  4. add dry ingredients gradually until just combined
  5. scoop dough with a cookie scoop or tablespoon, roll into a ball in your hands first, then roll in granulated sugar (I put the sugar in a shallow bowl so it doesn’t get messy)
  6. bake on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet for 8-10 minutes until cracked and golden.
  7. let cool for a few minutes on the tray… then eat warm!

DIY HALLOWEEN COSTUME – BABY HOPPER, STRANGER THINGS

You already know my love for Hopper… and his shirt. If the MUG wasn’t enough, I just HAD to get Joshie a toddler version of the shirt. The problem? No one makes them! What, are we living in the Upside Down? I got Jeffrey the grownup version HERE, but had to paint a shirt for Joshie. It was easier than I thought, and only took maybe 2 hours and that was to let the paint dry.

 

To be honest, Joshie is more of a Dustin (DUSTIN DIY HERE with my middle one Max!) but this had to be done. If you’re more of an Elle, you can make ELEVEN’S EGGO WAFFLE PURSE DIY HERE.

 

 

WHAT YOU NEED:

Fabric paint: pink, green, white (see below for color suggestions)

* Paint brushes – 1 thick for the bigger areas of dark pink and green, 1 thin for the accents in light pink and light green

Black fabric marker or Sharpie

Mustache or face paint

White toddler button down shirt (or would be soooo cute as a collared onesie!)

* Jeans

* Brown belt

 

MIX YOUR PAINT:

START PAINTING:

At first you can unbutton the shirt and lay it flat, but eventually you’ll want to put it on a hanger while it dries. You can add detail on it that way if you’re impatient like I am!

It’s not a perfect match, but it doesn’t need to be. The less precise you are, the better it looks in my opinion. Just be confident in what you’re doing, and it’ll magically just work out. Or at least that’s what works in my brain!

I tried to stick on the hairy mustache, but Joshie was NOT having it. I had to draw it on with face paint instead.

Toddler Hopper to the rescue! Happy Halloween!

xo

-L

HOW TO THROW A GAME OF THRONES PARTY IN ONE DAY + FREE PRINTABLES

The easiest, laziest, and CUTEST Game of Thrones finale party ever! You can throw this together in an afternoon and still impress your guests.

Scroll down for free printables of all of the food signs pictured!

Set up a candy and snack bar with these clever treats! Add these tootsie roll eggs for DRAGON EGGS! Soooomeone in my family ate them all before I had a chance to take a photo.

For the main dishes, make some LITTLE CHICKEN FINGERS (chicken fingers and vegetarian chikn’ fingers), THEON’S FAVORITE TOY (hot dogs or pigs in a blanket and veggie dogs), and HIGHGARDEN SALAD (just a salad with chopped veggies).

For dessert, you’ll have the candy bar and you could also make SANSAA’S FAVORITE LEMON CAKES (a box mix of lemon bars).

Finally, add some DORNISH WINE (any kind of wine)! Maybe even some spiked limeade with a little green food coloring for WILDFIRE.

No detail is left out here. Tie this VALYRIAN STEEL tag on a mason jar full of utensils.

Download FREE PRINTABLES here: 1 | 2 | 3

If you have time, this is our favorite CARD STOCK to print on and the best PAPER CUTTER.

You can stick the food tags on place card holders or simply place by the food. THESE are cool for every day use but also Game of Thrones appropriate. $10 for 20 and Amazon prime!

 

If you want to see my Game of Thrones party in action, check out the GOT story highlight on our instagram account!

xo

– L

RECIPE: HAMENTASHEN

 

DELICIOUS, SOFT, SUGAR-COATED HAMENTASHEN

 

Hamentashen are a traditional three-cornered cookie we (Jews) make on Purim! I grew up in St. Louis, MO. There was this great Jewish bakery called Pratzels, and I would look forward to their hamentashen every year. Most other recipes I’ve tried are crunchy, crumbly, dry, or tasteless. But this bakery K I L L E D it. They were soft, filled with a delicious pie filling situation, and covered in sugar. Sadly it closed, and I’ve been trying to re-create the recipe ever since. UPDATE: our amazing instagram family found it HERE! Still try mine too… they are seriously amazing if I do say so myself!

 

Today I had a lightbulb moment! My favorite sugar cookie recipe is soft and delicious.. what if I used that for the dough? All the recipes online are really really different. Is this weird? Well I just went for it. I thought, if this doesn’t work out with the first tray, I’ll just make sugar cookies for the boys and enjoy the raw dough because OHMYGOSH it is absolutely delicious! Spoiler alert…. this dough makes incredible hamentashen and has the soft consistency like Pratzels! Mazel tov, me!

 

IMPORTATANT NOTES:

  1. You really really need to chill the dough. Try and make the dough the night before or at least chill for a couple hours. Divide the dough in quarters and wrap each in saran wrap. No need to make them into disks. The dough is super soft but keeps it’s shape.
  2. Keep the dough chilled for the whole process. So that means roll the dough out and cut the circles. Chill in the freezer. Add the filling and shape. Put the tray back in the freezer. THEN you can bake. They will keep their shape so much better.
  3. Don’t overfill the cookies or have the topping be runny. I used about 7 chocolate chips / 3 cherries from the pie filling WITHOUT the juice. Actually this picture above was before I blotted the filling a little with a napkin.

 

RECIPE:

1 c. margarine (I know, right? Just trust me), room temp

1 c. granulated sugar

1 egg, room temp

2 tbsp whole milk, room temp

2 tsp real vanilla extract

3 c. flour (I always bake with bread flour)

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

Optional: handful of sprinkles if using

Filling: I used bittersweet chocolate chips and THIS filling- so good!

A little extra granulated sugar for the outside of the fruit ones

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

Sift all dry ingredients and set aside.

Mix butter and sugar til fluffy 2-3 min.

Add egg and mix well.

Add vanilla.

Slowly mix in dry ingredients alternating with milk.

Mix until just combined.

If you’re adding sprinkles to the dough, mix it in at this time. I took half of the dough out and kept it plain, then added the sprinkles to the second batch.

Divide dough into quarters, wrap tightly in saran wrap, and chill overnight or at least for a couple hours.

Take one ball out of the fridge and roll out on a lightly floured board, 1/4″ thick.

Cut 3″ circles and place on a parchment paper-lined tray.

Chill in the freezer while you work on the next tray.

Once chilled, fill each circle with a SMALL amount of filling. I used about 7 chocolate chips OR 3-4 cherries (try to keep the runny parts to a minimum).

Form triangles and pinch the corners together slightly to make sure they don’t fall apart and spill all the filling!

If you’re making fruit ones, I like to gently dip the triangles in granulated sugar.

Chill again in the freezer again for 20 minutes or so. The longer they’re chilled, the more they will keep their shape. If you’re making way in advance, just keep covered in the fridge.

Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes or until very very very slightly golden. The whole point is to keep these SOFT so please don’t over-bake them. Cool on the tray for a couple minutes only, then slip the cookies still on the parchment paper off the tray to cool completely.

 

Mazel tov, you’ve made delicious hamentashen!!

 

xo

Leah

MELTS VALENTINE

Melts are basically toddler crack. They’re just dehydrated yogurt and fruit, but for some reason, all of our kids go crazy for them… even our big kids! This year, Joshie AKA Lil Intern is giving these Melts packs to his friends. We’ve linked all the materials you’ll need below. You could easily staple the tag to the Melts bag that they come in, but this is just one step cuter!

1. Purchase:

BAGS (unless stapling directly on the Melts bag they come in)

 PINK MELTS

and recommended but not necessary…

CARD STOCK

PAPER CUTTER

 

2. Download your cards HERE

 

3. Print on white card stock. THIS is our favorite ever!! Super bright white and prints vibrant colors. It really makes a difference, especially with this printable since there’s so much color.

 

4. Cut right on the lines using a paper cutter. THIS one is the only kind we’ve found for seeing right where you’re cutting.

 

5. Fold the card in half, add melts in the clear bag, fold the top of the bag a little, and staple the card on top. Or staple the card to the top of the melts bag that they come in.

 

For ALL of our previous Valentines Day Printables, click HERE!

xo

Leah & Jenni

WARM FUZZIES VALENTINE

I don’t know why kids go crazy for pompoms, but they do! We use these as currency in our house. It’s so weird, but they’re colorful and fun and hey- it’s better than giving your kids candy all day long! These would be fun to give to teachers as well since they could totally use them for their students! Throw a few in each bag and call it a day.

1. Purchase:

CLEAR BAGS

POM POMS

and recommended but not necessary…

CARD STOCK

PAPER CUTTER

WASHI TAPE

 

2. Download your cards HERE

 

3. Print on white card stock. THIS is our favorite ever!! Super bright white and prints vibrant colors. It really makes a difference, especially with this printable since there’s so much color.

* When printing, make sure to set the scale to 100%! That will make it so the size of the card is exactly half of the paper, and you can just make one simple cut down the middle of the paper. It also fits inside the bag much better at this scale.

 

4. Cut right on the lines using a paper cutter. THIS one is the only kind we’ve found for seeing right where you’re cutting.

 

5. Pop the card and pom poms in the bag, seal with cute washi tape, and you’re done!

For ALL of our previous Valentines Day Printables, click HERE!

xo

Leah & Jenni

SLIME VALENTINES

Will slime EVER go out of style? Not likely when it comes to our kiddos. No matter how many times it gets stuck in their hair, on our rugs, or left behind on the kitchen table…. we STILL give in to their love for slime. You can easily order these MINI SLIME PACKS and simply attach them to the downloaded valentine below (on top of the glob of slime) with GLUE DOTS.

1. Download your color choice(s) below.

BLUE/GREEN

PINK/TEAL

2. Print on matte photo paper or card stock. This photo paper  is our favorite! The colors print out so vibrant!!

and recommended but not necessary…

PAPER CUTTER

3. Time to cut & assemble! Each card measures 4.25″x5.5″, so you will get 4 valentines per page by making a few simple cuts. Place a glue dot on the back of each slime container and stick it to the printable!

We cut the valentines while the kids are at school, then leave a nice little kit out so they can put them together themselves. It makes for a nice and quiet after school or rainy day project for them to do independently!

One of our kiddos took these last year, and they were a big hit! We did not use any bags to cover them as the glue dots really hold the slime on well. We just threw them all in a cute vday gift bag, and let them hand them out to the class!

xo

Jenni

MESSY VALENTINE

Kids are gross. Kids like gross things. The end.

You could use this printable for anything messy! We’ve linked some cute options below…

1. Purchase:

CLEAR BAGS

SLIME

or FRUITY GLITTER SLIME

or FOAM SLIME

and recommended but not necessary…

CARD STOCK

PAPER CUTTER

WASHI TAPE

 

2. Download your cards HERE

 

3. Print on white card stock. THIS is our favorite ever!! Super bright white and prints vibrant colors. It really makes a difference, especially with this printable since there’s so much color.

* When printing, make sure to set the scale to 100%! That will make it so the size of the card is exactly 5.5″ and you can just make one simple cut down the middle of the paper. It also fits inside the bag much better at this scale.

 

4. Cut right on the lines using a paper cutter. THIS one is the only kind we’ve found for seeing right where you’re cutting.

 

5. Pop the card and slime in the bag, seal with cute washi tape, and you’re done!

For ALL of our previous Valentines Day Printables, click HERE!

xo

Leah & Jenni

CHAPSTICK VALENTINE

Remember Lipsmackers? Team Dr. Pepper or no? LOL! Kids still love them, and they’re super fun and colorful for Valentines. Plus at less than $1 per tube, it’s pretty perfect!

1. Purchase:

CHAPSTICK PACK

and recommended but not necessary…

WASHI TAPE

CARD STOCK

PAPER CUTTER

 

2. Download your cards (we’ve split up the flavors- 2 per page):

TROPICAL PUNCH & WATERMELON

STRAWBERRY & KIWI

MANGO & COTTON CANDY

VANILLA & OATMEAL COOKIE

 

3. Print on white card stock. THIS is our favorite ever!! Super bright white and prints vibrant colors. It really makes a difference, especially with this printable since there’s so much color.

* When printing, make sure to set the scale to 100%! This way, you’ll only need to make two cuts.

 

4. Cut right on the lines using a paper cutter. THIS one is the only kind we’ve found for seeing right where you’re cutting.

 

5. Match the chapstick with the correct colored card, tape the chapstick with cute washi tape, and you’re done!

For ALL of our previous Valentines Day Printables, click HERE!

xo

Leah & Jenni

“YOU” NETFLIX VALENTINE

Here’s a delightfully creepy Valentine’s Day card for your stalkee. If you haven’t watched “You” on Netflix… you’re probably sleeping better than we are.

1. Download your card HERE

2. Print on white card stock. THIS is our favorite ever!! Super bright white and prints vibrant colors. It really makes a difference, especially with this printable since there’s so much color.

3. Cut right on the lines using a paper cutter. THIS one is the only kind we’ve found for seeing right where you’re cutting.

4. Be creepy and give it to your Valentine. That’s a lot of love, okay?

xo

Leah & Jenni