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DIY Mason Jar Gifts!

27 Dec

On a budget or just don’t know what to get a friend or a family member that already has it all? What about a homemade gift that’s from the heart? Especially when it comes to food, even those who have it all would still love it! Sorry I had to post this after Christmas, I couldn’t spoil the surprise that I made these for some of my friends by blogging about it! It was super simple and only took a few hours.

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Here are some helpful tips!

1. Make a paper funnel to help you pour all your ingredients perfectly into your mason jar and not all over your kitchen floor!

2. Plan ahead of time and trial and error to see what color combination you want to see in the jars!

3. Line up your ingredients on your kitchen counter so it’s easier to put into mason jars, instead of scrambling around for the right ingredients.

->> Ingredients <<-

1/3 cups brown sugar

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp baking soda

1/3 cup + 1 tbsp flour

1/2 cups oats

1/2 cup white chocolate chips

1/2 cup dried cranberries

 

->> Order of ingredients<<-

**If you want your mason jar to end up the same order as pictured below, this is the order I poured!

1. baking power, baking soda, salt, flour

2. brown sugar, cinnamon

3. dried cranberries

4. oats

5. white chocolate chips

SimplistiCreations_MasonjarGifts (1 of 1)

SimplistiCreations_MasonjarGifts (2 of 1)

I also made little printable booklets to send with the mason jars so my friends know how to bake the cookies. Along with that, I also provided ways they can reuse this mason jar after the cookies are baked! I’ve attached a downloadable pdf version of my booklet here. (Click on the image below and the pdf will download!) Hope this was helpful! Happy Holidays!

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Let’s talk Soup…because Winter is Coming.

18 Nov

I’m a major Game of Thrones fan… and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to include this meme in my post :p

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As the weather becomes colder and colder, I notice I crave soups and stews now more than ever! I wanted to share some of my favorite savory recipes! What’s your favorite recipe for the winter time to keep cozy?

Creamy Chicken Pot Pie Soup

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30 minutes to cook- serves 6   Recipe Source

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Creamy Parmesan Tomato Tortellini Soup

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30 mins to cook – serves 4   Recipe Source

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Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

3

30 minutes to prep – serves 6    Recipe Source

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Seafood Chowder Soup

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25 minutes Pre time, serves 4  Recipe Source

Blue Moon Cupcakes with Orange zest

28 Aug

Happy Tasty Thursday! Last night I had to bring some sort of deliciousness to work for a Potluck and I decided to bring Blue Moon cupcakes with thick cream cheese frosting, topped with orange zest for an extra Zing! (Of course, it was very light in beer, and being that I’m in an advertising industry, it’s fairly common to have a beer now and then to celebrate during work hours). Look at how delicious they look! I couldn’t wait to try them as soon as they were out of the oven! I love me some warm cupcakes! Noms!
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View the recipe below!

Mini Blue Moon Cupcake
Makes 24

Ingredients:

BlueMoon Cupcakes:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 2/3 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 orange, zested (plus more for garnish)
2/3 cup Blue Moon beer
2 tablespoons whole milk
orange cream cheese frosting:
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a mini muffin tin with 24 mini cupcake liners.
2. In a mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt.Set aside.
3. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer, cream butter for 1 minute. Add sugar and cream together with butter for about 3 to 4 minutes.
4. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down after each addition.
5. Add vanilla and orange zest and mix until just combined.
6. In a mixing bowl whisk together beer and milk. Alternatively add beer mixture and flour mixture to butter mixture until fully incorporated.
7. Fill cupcake liners 1/2-2/3 full.
8. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Transfer cupcakes onto a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
9. For frosting: In a stand mixer, cream together butter and cream cheese. With motor running add sugar, 1/2 cup at a time until all sugar has been added, scraping down sides of the bowl after each cup of sugar. Stir in the orange juice until fully incorporated.
10. Pipe frosting onto cupcakes or spread with an offset spatula and top with fresh orange zest.

ENJOY!!

Speaking of deliciousness, I also made some roasted rosemary almonds yesterday for a wine and art night this weekend. What’s better to pair with wine than roasted almonds and Brie?? I only took a few pictures though, but they were definitely delicious! I don’t know how much would actually be left before this weekend…. :/

Happy Tasty Thursday!

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Blueberry Lemon Cupcakes with Mint Garnish Recipe

21 Feb

It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted! This past week, I made some super delicious cupcakes to bring to work. Check out this easy blueberry lemon cupcake recipe!

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->> Ingredients <<-

3 cups plus 2 tablespoons cake flour, divided
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/2 cups whole milk, at room temperature
1 cup blueberries

->> For the Icing <<-

16 oz cream cheese, softened
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
4 cups confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon

->>Directions <<-

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with paper liners.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together 3 cups of flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar on         medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Mix in vanilla extract, lemon zest, and lemon juice.
4. Reduce the mixer to low speed and add the flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the milk, starting and ending with flour. Mix until just incorporated, do not over-beat. ** you can also use a large spoon and mix by hand if you don’t want to use a hand mixer.
5. In a small bowl, toss the blueberries with the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour. Using a spatula gently fold the berries into the cake batter.
6. Divide the batter evenly among muffin pan cups and top each cupcake with 3 to 4 additional blueberries if desired.
7. Bake 15-17 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center of cupcakes comes out clean. Let cool in the muffin pan 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the Frosting: Place butter and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add confectioners sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Mix until thick and creamy. Add more powdered sugar if necessary until the frosting is of good piping consistency. Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes. Garnish with blueberries.

SimplistiCreations Blueberry Lemon Cupcakes 1

 Enjoy!
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Pumpkin-y Goodness & other Thanksgiving Deliciousness!

20 Nov

Thanksgiving is up and coming and I just wanted to share some of my favorite recipe finds, since we’re all prepping for our big Thanksgiving dinner!

Vegan Dishes
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Green Bean casserole! Yum!

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Of course, can’t forget the veggies!
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Love me some desserts!
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And apple pie, the alcoholic version!

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What’s your favorite dish for Thanksgiving?!

SimplistiCreations

Simply Delicious: Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes

4 Nov

As part of my love for pumpkin fall flavors, I decided to try out a new recipe I found- the pumpkin spice latte cupcake!
Now my apartment smells freshly of pumpkin and cinnamon spice! =] How lovely. It’s a simple recipe, especially for those short on time!

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>>Ingredients<<

For the Cupcakes
1 spice cake mix (15.25 oz.)
1 can pumpkin puree (15 oz.)
3 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup brewed coffee, cooled
For the Frosting
2 teaspoons hot water
2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
6 ounces baking white chocolate squares, chopped
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

>>Instructions<<

  1. Combine the cake mix, pumpkin, eggs, oil, and coffee in a mixing bowl. Beat on low for 1 minute, and beat on medium for 2 minutes. Spoon into 24 cupcake liners. Bake at 350* for 18 minutes. Cool completely before frosting.
  2. Frosting: Stir the hot water and instant coffee until dissolved. Set aside. Heat the white chocolate and heavy cream over low-medium heat until melted and smooth. Let cool for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Place the butter and coffee mixture in a bowl and beat for 1-2 minutes. Slowly pour in the melted chocolate mixture and beat until creamy. Slowly add the powdered sugar and cinnamon and beat until thick and fluffy. This will take about 5 minutes. Frost cupcakes.

What do you guys think?!

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A case of Mondays…

16 Sep

I have been impressively productive for a Monday….Finally managed to check off things on my to do list that I’ve been pushing off the past week…. not sure if it’s because of the sudden change of weather in Milwaukee, but today definitely feels like fall.  Anyways, because it’s a monday and we still have such a long week ahead of us, I wanted to post some pumpkin recipes that I found recently and can’t wait to try! If you click on the individual images, i’ve linked the source where you will find the recipes! Have fun baking and Happy Monday!

1. Pumpkin Creme RollPumpkin recipe 1

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2. Pumpkin Cranberry Pecan Bread!

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3. Pumpkin Cheesecake Trifles

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4. Pumpkin Yogurt Ice Cream

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5. Pumpkin Macarons

Pumpkin Macarons

What do you guys think? What’s your favorite Fall recipe?

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Fall favorites: pumpkin flavor everything!

9 Sep

It’s that time of year again when Culvers comes out with their signature pumpkin shakes and concrete mixers. Needless to say, I couldn’t wait to dig in!

Speaking of fall, I can’t wait till this up coming Carabox Exchange, especially since the theme is “Fall in love with this season”, so essentially everything about Fall. But this time, we get three months to get to know our fellow blogger friends. Stay tuned for that reveal!

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Parchment Salmon with Lemon & Basil

27 Aug

I tried a new cooking technique a few days ago…. working with parchment paper. I love salmon of all types, especially smoked or in sushi, but I feel like every time I bake it or steam it, I always end up overcooking it. So I did some research on best methods to cook salmon and I found out parchment paper is more commonly used than I thought, so I gave it a shot! I found this awesome recipe online and really just put everything inside a parchment pouch and it cooked perfectly! It was soooo delicious!

Salmon Recipe 1

Salmon Recipe 2

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->> Ingredients <<-

  • 1 (6 ounce) salmon fillets
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • parchment paper big enough to make a pouch
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 lemons, thinly sliced
  • Vegetables (I had sliced carrots, tiny potatoes and asparagus)

->> Instructions <<-

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

2. Dice up the asparagus and tiny potatoes to bite sizes. I cut up the veggies first since it takes a longer time to cook the veggies in comparison to the salmon. This way both the dishes will be done at the same time and I could avoid having the fish get cold.

3. I made a pouch for the salmon by cutting a piece of parchment paper a little bigger than the piece of fish. Then I cut out a duplicate size of parchment paper for the top. Place the parchment paper on top of a cookie sheet for easy transport into the oven.

4. I then seasoned the salmon with salt, pepper and basil. Then I added the virgin oil onto the salmon and topped it with two thin slices of lemon.  Once the fish is fully seasoned, I used the duplicate size of parchment to put on top and folded the edges over to “lock” in the fish into the pouch.

5. I used the same parchment pouch method for the veggies to make sure the heat is kept inside the pouch to cook the food faster. I seasoned the veggies with virgin oil, rosemary, basil and salt and pepper. ( I didn’t exactly measure this portion- since different people like to season their veggies differently. I personally love pepper so I put a lot of pepper into mine).

6. Once the oven is done pre-heating, I placed both trays into the oven and allowed the fish to cook for 20 minutes. The veggies took a little longer so I kept it in the oven for 30 minutes total.

Overall, I decided that I love cooking with parchment paper! The fish came out perfect and it wasn’t overcooked or undercooked and it was delicious! I can’t wait to find more parchment paper recipes! What do you guys think? What have you tried cooking with parchment paper before?

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Sesame Peanut Pasta Salad – Yum!

8 Jun

I’ve always said I’m a food enthusiast and a lover of all desserts…. but I realized I have yet to start posting my recipes or concoctions I’ve been making lately… I just get so caught up in making the food and trying it right after that….I always forget to take photos before I start eating away.

So this past week I tried a new recipe I found online…. it’s a combination of sesame peanut salad and a pasta salad I found. It turned out a lot better than I originally anticipated and adds a little summery fun to the dish.

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Ingredients:

Pasta:

1 package of pasta (I used Orzo and rings for a “bite size” approach)

1/2 cup of vegetable oil

1 medium carrot, cut into 1 inch matchstick pieces

Fresh bundle of asparagus

Salt and pepper to flavor of your liking

1/2 cup of chopped peanuts (garnish)

Cilantro (garnish)

Sesame (garnish)

 

Lightly tossed romane salad:

1 Lettuce head

1 medium yellow bell pepper

1 Box of cherry tomatoes, cut in halves

Light Thousand Island Dressing

 

Peanut Sauce:

1/4 cup light soy sauce

1/2 cup of creamy peanut butter

1/2 cup of warm water

2 tablespoons of rice vinegar

2 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon chopped minced garlic

2 teaspoon sweet chili sauce (optional)

 

 

 

How to Make it:

Salad:

1. Chop lettuce, depending on how diced you want your lettuce- I made mine look like chopped salad….

2. Cut yellow bell peppers to strips

3. Lightly add in thousand island and toss all together

4. Place salad at the bottom of the plate

 

Pasta:

1. Prepare pasta according to package directions- run under cold water after boil

2. Cut asparagus to 1 inch in length and the carrot to 1 inch match-like pieces.

3. Lightly toss on a pan to cook for 8-10 minutes with a teaspoon of virgin oil and salt & pepper for flavor.

4. Once the veggies are cooked, toss them into the pasta with a “splash” of virgin oil so the pasta doesn’t stick to each other… use your discretion of how much oil to put in

5. Plate the pasta on top of the salad that’s already on your plate… and now comes the sauce!!

 

Peanut Sauce:

1. Microwave the peanut butter so it’s in a liquid format

2. Mix in the soysauce, water, vinegar, honey and garlic until it’s the right consistency you would like. I wanted my dressing more liquidy so the salad wasn’t so thick so I played around with the ratio of water and honey to make it thinner. If you want it thicker- the recipe above should give you a pretty consistent and thick dressing.

3. Put as much of the dressing you’d like on top of the pasta, garnish with sesame, crushed peanuts and cilantro.

4. You can choose to stir it up or just eat as is. Enjoy!

 

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What do you guys think? Have you tried a similar recipe before?
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