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

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.


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

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

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: http://saltimbocca.wordpress.com/2010/05/29/easy-focaccia-bread/

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

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

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.

Frosting

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

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

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.

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

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

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!

CLOTHES SWAP RULES:
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.

HOW IT WORKS
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.

AGENDA
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.

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

Two Things For My Parents {recipe: chocolate chip muffins with clementine glaze}

The first is practical:

My mom and I have a lot of conversations that go like this:

Judy: Mmmmm this is good. Is this recipe on your blog?

Morgan: Yep, put it up last month.

J: Oh, I will have to look at that.

M: Do you read my blog?

J: I forget sometimes.

And with my dad,

Dan: Hey, Kim called and said she really liked your blog post.

Morgan: That’s great. Which one?

Dan: I didn’t read it, she said it was about carbs.

My parents don’t jump on checking blogs, but they do check their email lightening-fast. And they use gmail. They are very hip.

So, just for them, and the rest of you who are in the same boat, you can now get Saltimbocca posts in your inbox! Sign up here or click the “Subscribe to Saltimbocca by Email” link on the right of the page and each time there’s a new post, you’ll get an email that has the post in it.

And now for part two:

Last Friday morning, Shilah cried inconsolably. I tried the swing and the bouncy seat and the pacifier and finally I brought her into the nursery and sat in the rocker. We swayed forward and back while I sang to her.

I have a lot of song content because when I was in seventh grade, my parents took my brother and I with my grandparents on a trip to Germany to see the German countryside and the Black Forest and some estranged distant relatives that my grandma had tracked down. I am pretty sure I was a complete brat on that trip. Seeing scenery out of a car window wasn’t really what I had dreamed of at the age of 12. Instead, I sat in the backseat of the rental van and listened to my discman. When we left the house in London, I forgot to grab my cd case and as a result, had only the one cd in my discman to listen to for the entire trip: Jewel’s Pieces of You. I can sing every song. In order. I bet I listened to that cd 40 times that week instead of talking and hanging out with my family.

So this brings me to last Friday, singing to my crying daughter who will not stop and just enjoy the morning with me, and thinking about how I wouldn’t stop and spend the time enjoying my family at 12, and being thankful that I have 40 straight minutes of songs to sing, etched in my mind from sheer repetition.

About the time I started crying out of exhaustion and frustration, she finally stopped crying and listened. We sat, both with dried tears on our cheeks, enjoying the moment.

So, long overdue to my parents…thanks for taking me to Germany.

Chocolate Chip Muffins with Clementine Glaze (adapted from Vintage Victuals)

makes 24 muffins


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream, beaten until soft peaks form
  • 1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips plus 1/4 cup for sprinkling on top.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Grease muffin pans or line with paper liners, and set aside.

Combine milk and lemon juice, set aside.

Combine the dry ingredients, and set aside. In a smaller bowl, combine egg, mik mixture, and oil, mixing well.

Use a spoon to make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Then pour the liquid ingredients into the well.

Stir in chocolate chips.

Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full (which is more full than you would with most muffins, these don’t rise as much as the typical muffin recipe.

Bake 12-16 minutes.

Clementine Glaze

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • Zest and juice from one clementine orange

Mix ingredients together, add additional powdered sugar or water (1/2 teaspoon at a time) to make the glaze thicker or thinner. Drizzle on muffins and sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips.

Two Things For My Parents {recipe: chocolate chip muffins with clementine glaze}

Fifty-One is Not Old Enough to be a Grandma {recipe: cream cheese pound cake with blakeberry sauce}

Apparently 51 is not old enough to be a grandma. That is what the baby thinks. I know this because the baby is lurching into its 10th day of being late in order for my mom to jump through the hoop that is her 52nd birthday.

She doesn’t look 52, does she?

Mom’s birthday present is now on the guest bed, waiting. I actually thought weeks ago that she may get it early. I made her a cake that would freeze well…something dense and full of butter as opposed to her favorite, angelfood cake, which would likely be sticky and gummy if I froze it.

So, happy birthday mom. Your grandbaby-present will be here…soon?

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

1 1/2 cups butter, softened

8 oz cream cheese, softened

3 cups sugar

6 eggs

2 tablespoons vanilla

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 325. Butter and flour a 12-cup bundt pan.

Beat butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.

Add sugar, and beat until light and airy, about five more minutes.

Add the eggs,  and scrape the batter down from the sides of the bowl so that all of the ingredients are  incorporated.

Add the vanilla, mix again.

Then add the flour, salt, and baking powder. Mix onlyuntil all of the flour is incorporate.

Pour the batter into the pan and tap on the countertop so that the batter levels in the pan.

Bake until the cake is set and a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean, about 90 minutes.

Blackberry Sauce

Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

3 cups blackberries

1/4 c water

2 T. lemon juice

1/2 cup sugar

Puree all ingredients with an electric or hand mixer (on low, and in a big bowl so that it doesn’t splash up on you!), or in a blender or food processor. You can strain the sauce of you want, but I like the chunks of berries in there.

Fifty-One is Not Old Enough to be a Grandma {recipe: cream cheese pound cake with blakeberry sauce}