Friday, February 21, 2014

Hi All!
 
I recently switched all things Quinntessential Mommy over to a new, custom domain name. I'm doing it all myself (!) and there are still a few kinks to work out, but we're up and running for the most part.

So, please head over to TheQuinntessentialMommy.com and follow me there. Eventually this blog will redirect you there automatically but I'm having trouble figuring that out. (Anyone out there know how to do it??)


Before you go, be sure Like The Quinntessential Mommy on Facebook so you're in the loop!
 
The Quinntessential Mommy
 
See ya on the flip side!
 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!


Happy LOVE Day!


Valentine's day is one of my favorite days of the year. What's better than celebrating love? It doesn't have to be romantic love--I like celebrating all the love I have in my life!

Since we had yet another snow day yesterday, Gia and I made my favorite super soft sugar cookies. I absolutely love simple, yet tasty, cookies and a few years ago I was on the hunt for a sugar cookie that stayed soft. I found this recipe and they are totally my jam.


We make them every year for Valentine's day and Gia had so much fun using the cookie cutters, brushing the cookies with egg yolk and decorating them with sprinkles. Sometimes we ice them and sometimes we don't. We didn't ice them this year and they are just as delicious.   

So, without further ado, here's the recipe...



 
1 cup white sugar
1 cup butter, softened

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, butter, cream cheese, salt, almond and vanilla extracts, and egg. Beat until smooth. 
2. Stir in flour until well blended. Chill the dough for 2-3 hours.
 
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
 
4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough 1/3 at a time to 1/8 inch thickness, refrigerating remaining dough until ready to use. Cut into desired shapes with lightly floured cookie cutters. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. 
5. Leave cookies plain for frosting, or brush with slightly beaten egg white and sprinkle with candy sprinkles or colored sugar.
 
6. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until light and golden brown. Cool cookies completely before frosting.
 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

God Bless Nicholas Robert!

On a cold, sunny day in January my little boy officially became a Catholic. He was baptized by Msgr G, who also officiated at our wedding, and baptized Gia too.  It meant so much to me to have the Msgr baptize the newest member of our family. 
 
 
 
How cute is he in his little suit and hat?



Nicholas was baptized on the same day we celebrated the baptism of Jesus. The church was still decorated for the Christmas season and it was beautiful. 
 
 

Nicholas was a champ. He was a happy little camper and didn't even flinch when he got wet.

Gia hasn't been to church in a while (bad Catholics that we are) and she was all over the place during the ceremony: in the pew, out of the pew, standing by us, jumping off the altar...you get the idea. Luckily we were the only family in the church so it wasn't that big of a deal.

I love these next pictures--they are the embodiment of love and family to me.  First, godmother Jenn is holding her godson, and Dawn is standing with Gia, her goddaughter. These two are such amazing women and my kids are lucky to have them in their lives.


Next, Nicholas's godfather Tom is holding him and Jon is standing with Colin, who is Jon's godson. These guys are all awesome role models for Nicholas.



And of course, one beautiful shot with Yadi!!


After church we headed to a local restaurant and had a yummy dinner to celebrate Nicholas. Nicholas also had a wardrobe change into a little white sweatsuit with a baby blue velvet collar and cuffs.


For some reason I was obsessed with getting a custom cake for Nicholas. It was absolutely gorgeous and insanely delicious (it was chocolate cake with cookies and cream/Oreo filling).  I accidentally smashed the cross on the top when I put the box top on too tightly. And, in typical Krista fashion, I decided it was of the utmost importance that I make the favors--chocolate crosses and cake pops. Of course the crosses turned into the biggest debacle ever, but in the end it all worked out. The cake pops, on the other hand, were so easy and so much fun. There were many inquires about where the cake pops were from, which made me feel really good about my hard work.



It was a beautiful day, surrounded by family and filled with God's love!

 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Vacation, All I Ever Needed...

Vacation...had to get away!
 
We're leaving today for Jamaica for a week. Jamaica, as in the Caribbean. Not Queens. 
 
This is Gia last time we were in Jamaica.

I'll try to post here as often as I can. Cell service and wifi are spotty in Jamaica. In the meantime, follow me on Facebook for updates much more often!

Stay warm, everyone!








Monday, February 3, 2014

Lucy's & No Bake Mini Cheesecakes


You know how much I love to cook and bake. And lately I haven't been doing either one much because I'm trying to lose the last of the baby weight. But, when I was given the opportunity to try Lucy's Cookies, I jumped at the chance. The cookies are all natural, non-GMO, gluten free and made without nuts, milk and eggs. And many of their ingredients are organic.  And...Lucy's are the most delicious cookies.




I tried Maple Bliss, Ginger Snap and Cinnamon Thin. All of the cookies are crunchy and pack a huge amount of flavor into the perfect little cookie. Each cookie is only 1 point on Weight Watchers Points Plus, and I found myself saving up 3 points each day so that, after the kids were asleep, I could sit and have some cookies and a cup of tea.




My favorite of the 3? Definitely the Maple Bliss. It's pretty unique -- I've never had a maple cookie before--and the flavor is perfection.  Not too subtle, not too strong, sweet and also a bit savory. It took all my willpower to not eat the entire box in one sitting. Clearly Gia loved them too.




And then I had the brilliant idea to do something even better with the cookies---bake with them! I've been really in the mood for cheesecake lately and I've been wanting to try a no bake recipe. So, I combined my new favorite cookie and this yummy recipe and came up with an awesome little cupcake-sized piece of cheesecake heaven.  

The best part of this recipe is that you can use low-fat cream cheese and fat free whipped topping for a lighter alternative, while still having awesome flavor.  (Don't use fat free cream cheese or the cheesecakes won't set at all.)


Maple Bliss No Bake Mini Cheesecakes

no bake mini  cheesecakes -- The QUINNtessential Mommy
Crust:
1 package of your favorite Lucy's cookies, ground to crumbs (about 3/4 cup of crumbs)
(I used Maple Bliss this time because they are my favorite, favorite, favorite ones.)
3 tablespoons melted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

Filling:
2 (8 oz) packages of cream cheese, softened
1 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup of frozen whipped topping (like Cool Whip)

1. Line 24 muffin tins with cupcake liners.

2. In a bowl, mix together crushed cookies with melted butter and the 3 tablespoons sugar.

3. Press crumb mixture into muffin tins.

4. Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth

5. Fill each muffin tin to desired level. (I like a LOT of crust, so I didn't fill mine so full.) 

6. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Garnish with whatever you like!



 
 
 **I was given Lucy's Cookies to test. The recipe for the cheesecake is adapted from All Recipes. All opinions are my own.**