thursday things – easter is coming and other things

Here’s what you’ve missed over the last week

This guy who failed at Wheel of Fortune. He has ALL THE LUCK but unfortunately zero brains…

These tiny humans who make me want to make my own tiny human fight club which I assume would be judged by various levels of round-house-hug-attacks and “my-noggin-is-too-heavy-and- I’m-going-to-fall-over” combo moves.

And more adorableness in the secret (adorable) life of snails!macro-photography-snails-vyacheslav-mishchenko-2

Oh, and a tip about zesting citrus.  Let’s get something food-related in here, I guess.

And of course, since Easter is this weekend, a round-up is in order!


Easter 2014 Recipe Round Up

The Easter Eggs

Emma Magazine’s DIY Easter Egg Dye

The Carbs

This gorgeous tsoureki from A Periodic Table

Life Tastes Good’s tomato and scallion cream cheese bagel bombs

A super easy dutch baby from yours truly


Playing with Flour’s sweet or savory crepes 

Blueberry waffles from Some Kitchen Stories

East of Eden’s almond breakfast rolls

The Desserts

Cream cheese and blueberry galette from Wit & Vinegar

Serena Bake’s lemon-lime pound cake

Movita’s Easter cake with swiss meringue buttercream


Or some orange honey pound cake from Evil Shenanigans



Oh, and let’s not forget these beauties

peanut butter egg 1291

The Drinks

Spoon Fork Bacon’s blood orange mimosas

This bellini bar from How Sweet It Is


Jellybean martinis from Wee Eats

jellybean martini

Blueberry-almond butter smoothies from Love & Olive Oil

Kitchen Simplicity’s family-friendly (aka: alcohol-free) sangria

The Rest

Savory Simple’s Boursin deviled eggs

Mini mediterranean frittatas  from FoodieCrush

Bacon and potato quiche from Foodness Gracious

Crunchy Creamy Sweet’s breakfast skillet casserole 

Kale, apple, and pancetta salad from Elephant Eats

This gorgeous glazed ham from Simply Recipes




DIY Peanut Butter Eggs

peanut butter egg 1291

If you live on planet Earth and have heard of Easter, you have probably encountered at least one Reese’s peanut butter egg in your life.  And, if you had consumed said egg, then you know it’s the best candy known to mankind.

Of course, as a die-hard chocolate/peanut butter fan (and a lifelong Reese’s egg eater) it was only a matter of time before I had to recreate these godly treats in my own kitchen.

reeses egg ecard

What I didn’t realize when I set out to make these how much effort I would end up putting into them.

First off, since I am a lover of dark chocolate while Future Husband loves milk chocolate (which is the more authentically “Reese’s” one to use anyway), I already knew that I had to make at least two versions.

Since I was already making two versions, I decided to go a step further than just changing out the type of chocolate used and decided to try a hard-shelled version and a milk chocolate soft-shelled (more Reese’s-like) version.

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Normally a hard-shelled chocolate requires two things 1> a chocolate mold (check!) and 2> tempering chocolate (not-check).

Since we’ve already discussed how much I loathe chopping chocolate, you can probably deduce that I also have no patience for tempering chocolate. This meant that the chocolate I got had to be low-maintenance chocolate. No chopping or tempering required.

Enter – these beautiful little guys. “No tempering” you say? I’m listening…

And did you notice how adorable and tiny they are? Already optimized for melting.

chocolate 3792



So, with just the use of my egg-shaped mold and no special tempering or chopping, my molded eggs came out shiny with a crisp snap while my dipped eggs came out perfectly soft and chewy.


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Now that my chocolate problem was solved, it was onto the filling.

Most of the recipes you see for Reese’s-type treats will put you somewhere between one and ten thousand pounds* of powdered sugar.  Now it doesn’t take a scientist to figure out that adding copious amounts of powdered sugar to a recipe will make your filling cloyingly sweet.

(*That may or may not be a slight exaggeration.)

We want our filling to taste like peanut butter, right? Not like powdered sugar. So clearly there was some work to be done.

This was easy with the hard eggs, since the mold held the filling it didn’t have to be particularly sturdy.

However, since we were dipping our soft-shelled eggs, we required a sturdier filling. One that we could mold in our hands without it either melting or falling apart. As easy as this seems, despite my best efforts, I could not get my original filling to be able to be molded by hand.

And I tried hard, like, really hard.

After stirring in several extra pounds of powdered sugar, I decided to attribute this failure to my use of coconut oil in my original filling, as it is the only major difference between the two fillings that I made.  And while my kitchen is a bit warmer than your average kitchen, even the freezer was no help. Once my frozen peanut buttery goodness touched the luke-warm melted chocolate it turned to goo.

So we needed to thicken our mixture, but not add a ton of sweetness to it… Enter: powdered peanut butter (or “peanut flour”). While this helped to both a> keep my filling peanut-buttery and delicious without adding sweetness and b> thicken my filling, it did not thicken it enough for me to mold.

So, back to the drawing board.

peanut butter egg 3839

I solved this issue by swapping my coconut oil for butter (sorry, arteries!) and added a tad bit more powdered sugar than I would generally prefer, but balanced it with a generous scoop of peanut butter powder and a pinch of salt. The result was surprisingly close to what the inside of an actual Reese’s egg tastes like. Combined with the soft milk chocolate coating, I’m pretty sure I hit the nail on the head. Or at least darn close to it.

And then, just for fun, I did a caramel-filled one. I used this pre-made caramel filling which could be pressed into the egg mold or rolled into an egg shape and … done!

Easy peasy.

I even made some with peanut butter AND caramel inside because I was feeling a little crazy. You, of course, can fill your eggs with whatever you like!

peanut butter egg 1242



Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 8 to 12 eggs, depending on siz

Serving Size: 1 egg


  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 10 to 12 Tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons peanut butter flour (I used PB2 powdered peanut butter)
  • 8 to 10 ounces chocolate coating (I used Chocoley's Bada Bing Dipping & Coating Chocolate)


    Make the filling:
  1. Place peanut butter, butter, and brown sugar in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat at 50% power for 30 seconds and stir.
  2. Continue heating in additional 15 second intervals until butter is completely melted and stir the mixture until all the ingredients are incorporated.
  3. Stir in the salt until incorporated. Stir in peanut butter flour and 1/2 cup of powdered sugar until incorporated.
  4. Stir in additional powdered sugar, 1 Tablespoon at a time, until the mixture stiffens almost akin to play-dough consistency.
  5. Cover bowl and place in fridge to cool, about 1 hour.
  6. Shape the filling
  7. Once cooled, scoop into a scant tablespoon-sized ball and roll into a ball.
  8. Place the ball in the palm of your hand and pat into an egg-like shape.
  9. Place onto a parchment-lined plate or baking sheet and continue with the rest of the peanut butter mixture.
  10. Cover peanut butter eggs and place in refrigerator or freezer until chilled, 15 to 20 minutes.
  11. Make the eggs
  12. Melt chocolate in a double-boiler or microwave. - I melted my chocolate at 50% power in the microwave and stirred, then continued melting at 10 second increments until it was mostly (85%) melted, then stirred to complete the melting process.
  13. Remove peanut butter eggs from freezer and working one egg at a time, quickly but gently drop the egg top-down into the chocolate, then flip to coat the bottom and lift out of the chocolate. Give it a couple gentle shakes to allow extra chocolate to drip off, then place chocolate-covered egg on parchment to dry. Use the back of a spoon or a butter knife to encourage your egg to jump onto the parchment.
  14. Repeat with remaining eggs until complete.


* Eggs can be made larger or smaller as desired, I got 10 out of mine.

* If your peanut butter is softening, return to fridge to chill and re-melt chocolate to try again.

* If you aren't a fan of the "dunk and flip" method, you can also dip the bottom of the egg into the chocolate, lift it out, and then spoon additional chocolate over the top of the egg to cover. Give it a gentle shake to distribute the chocolate and shake off the excess.

* My chocolate-dipping "tools" usually consist of a plastic fork with the middle two tines removed, and a plastic spoon. I know I'm killing the environment but it beats cleaning chocolate off of my cutlery.

* Although I've seen PB2 all around lately (even at Target!), if you can't find it I have seen peanut flour at Trader Joe's or you could use finely ground almond flour. I've also heard wonderful things about the thickening power of coconut flour, but have yet to purchase any.

Hard-shelled Peanut Butter Eggs

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 10 2-inch eggs

Serving Size: 1 egg



    Make the filling:
  1. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt peanut butter, coconut oil, and brown sugar on 50% power for 30 seconds. Stir and continue to microwave in 15 second increments, stirring in between, until mixture is combined.
  2. Stir in peanut butter powder followed by powdered sugar. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes or until chilled.
  3. Make the shell
  4. Prepare a sheet pan (or just cover part of your counter) with a sheet of parchment paper.
  5. Meanwhile, make your chocolate shells. Melt chocolate in a double-boiler or at 50% power until chocolate is 85% melted; stirring every 15 seconds or so. Once chocolate is mostly (about 85%) melted, removed from heat and continue stirring until completely melted.
  6. Fill molds about 2/3 full with chocolate, then rotate and gently shake the molds to run the chocolate up the sides. Once completely covered, turn mold upside down over parchment paper and shake to remove excess chocolate from mold. Use an offset spatula or bench scraper to remove excess chocolate from the mold exterior.
  7. Set aside to firm up, about 20 minutes, which should be right about the time your peanut butter filling is ready.
  8. Fill the eggs
  9. Pipe or spoon peanut butter filling into your egg molds, making sure to leave at least a couple millimeters at the top. If you fill your molds with too much peanut butter, the chocolate bottom will not be able to cover the peanut butter completely. Continue with the remaining shells until complete.
  10. Put their tops (or bottoms) on
  11. Gather the (now hardened) chocolate pieces from your parchment and return them to the bowl with your remaining chocolate. Gently re-melt the chocolate.
  12. Using either a pastry bag (or ziploc bag) or a spoon, pour melted chocolate in a thick zig-zag over the exposed peanut butter of each egg.
  13. Gently tilt and shake the egg mold to distribute the chocolate until it completely covers the peanut butter, using extra chocolate if needed.
  14. Tap chocolate mold on counter a few times to release any bubbles, and using an offset spatula or bench scraper remove excess chocolate from the mold.
  15. Set aside to cool and harden, you may speed this process up by placing the mold in the refrigerator if desired.
  16. Release the eggs!
  17. Once hardened, give your mold a good whack on the counter over your parchment paper with the open side down. Don't be shy here, this mold is the only thing standing between you and your chocolate eggs... so you give it what it deserves!
  18. Continue whacking the egg mold firmly against the counter like a lunatic until some eggs release. Remove those eggs to a safe place (like your mouth) and continue whacking the mold against the counter until all eggs have been released.
  19. Reward yourself with a peanut butter egg, you worked hard and you deserve it.
  20. Store in an airtight container at room temperature (assuming your home is cool) or in the refrigerator.


* Don't chill your eggs between adding the peanut butter and the last bit of chocolate or the chilled peanut butter will harden the chocolate before you have a chance to spread it around.

* I'm not sure if re-melting chocolate works with all chocolate or just happened to work out for me because mine was made for such a thing... Maybe someone more experienced than I am in chocolate would be able to answer that.

* Although I've seen PB2 all around lately (even at Target!), if you can't find it I have seen peanut flour at Trader Joe's or you could use finely ground almond flour. I've also heard wonderful things about the thickening power of coconut flour, but have yet to purchase any.

[ Disclaimer: I did receive chocolate to try from Chocoley but I was in no way required to review or recommend their products to you. However, I am going to recommend their chocolate anyway because a> I loved working with it, it tastes great, it's reasonably-priced, and they will send you FREE SAMPLES. WHO DOES THAT?  As always, opinions expressed on wee-eats are honest and my own because it's my blog and that's how I roll.]

DIY Reese's Eggs |

UPDATE: Per some requests I thought it would be helpful to include a list of the items I used for these recipes:


irish soda bread pudding with vanilla bean creme anglaise

bread pudding 1047

Hello, friends.

Today is Sunday.

Also known as: March 16th.

Also known as: My Birthday! (/thunder claps)

But today’s post is not about my birthday, or the two cakes I made, or my new birthday toys. We can save that for Thursday.

Today, my friends, is about this:

bread-pudding-1112- 2

Bread Pudding.

With creme anglaise.

Made from your St. Patrick’s day leftovers.

No, not your corned beef and cabbage leftovers (although now I have a strange urge to create a savory corned beef bread pudding). This is made from your irish soda bread leftovers.

You know that bread we made last week? Well, chances are you didn’t eat the whole loaf, and if you haven’t tossed it by now it’s definitely stale.

Let’s not be wasteful, OK?  Not when there’s deliciousness to be had.

bread-pudding-1142 2

This bread pudding was inspired by this beauty from Foodness Gracious, who is responsible for flipping the Irish soda bread switch in my head this year. Seeing that picture causing me to create last week’s tasty St. Patrick’s Day treat in the first place JUST so that I could use it to make bread pudding. The fact that the soda bread came out so tasty on its own was just a bonus.

So, transform your stale, old bread into sweet, creamy, deliciousness with the help of just a few eggs and cream. I bake mine uncovered because I enjoy the contrast of the creamy custard to the crunchy crust, but if you prefer a tender crumb through and through, cover yours with foil while baking.

Irish Soda Bread Pudding

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Yield: 1 11-inch (2 quart) casserole


    For the bread pudding
  • 5 to 6 cups bread cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar, plus 1 Tablespoon set aside
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • For the creme anglaise
  • 1 cup heavy cream or half and half
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla paste or extract


    For the bread pudding
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 325F
  2. 2. Cut bread into 1-inch cubes and fill 2-quart casserole with bread. In a medium bowl, whisk together the heavy cream, milk, egg yolks, 1/3 cup sugar, vanilla, and salt. Pour over the bread cubes and let sit 20 minutes to allow the bread to absorb the milk mixture.
  3. 3. Sprinkle remaining tablespoon of sugar over the bread pudding and bake in the center of the oven for 45 minutes, or until top is lightly browned and the center is set. When it is done baking, the outside should be set and pressing on the center should not release any liquid from the bread pudding. (Internal temperature should reach 165F degrees)
  4. For the creme anglaise
  5. 1. In a small saucepan, heat half and half over medium-low heat until bubbles form around the edges, about 6 minutes. You do not want the cream to full boil or simmer.
  6. 2. While the cream is heating, whisk egg yolks and sugar together in a small bowl until combined.
  7. 3. Once the cream is heated, whisk warm cream into the eggs a tablespoon at a time to temper the yolks.
  8. 4. Once about half the cream has been added to the yolks pour the entire egg yolk mixture into the pan with the cream and continue to heat over medium-low, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens.
  9. 5. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use. (Can be made 1 day ahead)
  10. Serve creme anglaise over warm bread pudding.


* You don't have to use irish soda bread, any cubed bread will do. I recommend challah or brioche.

* If your bread isn't quite stale yet, you can cube the bread and let it sit out for about an hour to dry out, or pop it in the oven and give it a quick light toasting.

* If using unflavored bread, I recommend adding some cinnamon to the bread pudding batter, because cinnamon makes everything better.

* Leftover slices of bread pudding can be stored, individually wrapped, in the freezer. Reheat in the microwave, covered, about 1 to 2 minutes on 50% power, checking periodically.

irish soda bread pudding |

irish soda bread

irish soda bread 1044

Tis the season for corned beef and cabbage, for green beer and green socks, and for soda bread.

Irish soda bread, to be exact.

For those of you who aren’t aware – Irish soda bread is a yeast-free bread, sometimes sweet and sometimes not, that is leavened with baking soda (hence the “soda” bread) and usually filled with things like raisins and caraway.  It has a bit of a reputation for being dense, dry, and bland.

I know what you’re thinking, “MY GOD THAT SOUNDS DELICIOUS! WHERE CAN I GET SOME!?”

Clearly nostalgia is playing a role in my desire to stuff my face with biscuit-like slices of dense flavorless bread.  However, since I was going to have a whole loaf of the stuff laying around, I wanted to make it palatable enough for FH to enjoy as well. Especially after he said that it sounded “absolutely awful”… and I really couldn’t argue with him on that topic.

Though soda bread is a popular Irish recipe, it’s not necessarily the most beloved St. Patty’s Day food on the planet.

irish soda bread 1028

So,  I decided to get to work on making an improved version of the traditional Irish soda bread. Our typical soda bread which is basically flour, butter, a bit of sugar, baking soda, caraway seeds, and raisins… got a bit of an overhaul.

Ok, maybe a lot of an overhaul.

I added buttermilk and egg to improve the texture, upped the sugar to increase the sweetness (read: flavor), nixed the caraway (but then felt guilty and added a pinch of cardamom), and replaced the rage-inducing raisins with dried cherries and currants. I tried really hard to think of a green dried fruit, and debated dying some golden raisins green (you know, for St. Patty’s Day!) but golden raisins are still raisins and raisins have NO PLACE in my baked goods. Or my life.


And although currants are very similar to raisins, I think it’s because they are super small and have a different flavor that they make me less angry. And dried cherries are delicious. Really you could use any fruit you like – I think dried apricots would go well in here, too (plus, I could possibly get them to a passable shade of green, maybe).

The result? Success! Big success.

irish soda bread 1036

Like FH-impressing success. (Although, I’ve been proving him wrong a lot lately)

The resulting bread had a much more tender crumb than your average soda bread with more flavor and a nice well-developed crust on the exterior. So even if you have tried (and disliked) soda bread in the past, give this one a try and I think you might change your mind.

irish soda bread

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 1 10-inch round loaf


  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • pinch cardamom
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled, cut into cubes
  • 1 1/2 cup mix-ins (dried fruit of your choice)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 Tablespoons orange juice


  1. Preheat oven to 375F degrees
  2. In a large bowl or stand mixer, mix the dry ingredients together.
  3. Add the butter and cut into the dough or incorporate with paddle attachment.
  4. Add the currants and stir to combine.
  5. Add the liquid ingredients (buttermilk, egg, and orange juice) and mix just until the mixture is moistened.
  6. Turn out onto lightly-floured surface and knead gently for a few turns (about 5 to 10 turns) until the dough forms a cohesive ball.
  7. Transfer dough ball to parchment-lined baking sheet and pat into 1-inch thick disk. Cut an "x" into the top of the dough, about 1/4-inch deep.
  8. Bake 35-45 minutes until exterior is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool at least 10 minutes before serving.


I mixed this in my KitchenAid with the paddle attachment, but you could easily use a large bowl and wooden spoon.

 soda bread pin

thursday things


Happy Thursday! Tomorrow is not only Friday, but VALENTINE’S DAY! We already know how I feel about Valentine’s Day (and I even have The Oatmeal to back me up!). So I am personally pumped for Valentine’s Day. I’m even making treats for my co-workers. Because, VALENTINES!  I’ll include a quick round-up of recipes for you towards the end of the post in case you want to make something for your valentine, too. ;)

This year FH and I are kicking things up a notch around here and will be eating our Valentine’s dinner off of paper plates, because we’re classy… and also because he came home from the store with these the other day…

owl plates valentine

So our Valentine’s Day will most likely be spent picnicking in the living room with paper owl plates and the new season of House of Cards. Sounds like a pretty solid Valentine’s date to me.

Maybe I’ll even light a couple candles, ya know, for romance.

In other news, Canadians were jerks (and also geniuses) at the Olympics by making a vending machine that would only dispense goodies to people with Canadian passports. They later redeemed themselves by being super nice to Russia. Let’s face it, in these Olympics, Russia can use a little nice right now. 

Doritos is trying to kill us all by essentially making their version of a mozzarella stick. Which is queso encased in Dorito crumbs and fried. I think they have finally crossed a line…

Papa John’s attempts to recycle their dough went horribly awry…

McDonald’s opened an oversized restaurant in Peru to let adults feel like kids again (and I guess kids would feel like… ants? I’m not sure).

This man reinvented the door (who knew it needed reinventing?). I could never have that because I would spend all day opening and closing the door. Open. Close. All day.





While he was making doors, some other people (for some unknown reason) were making werecats (ie: werewolf + cat), and others were giving cars to fish. Because that’s necessary.

While part of me can’t help but feel like this money should be spent researching a cure for cancer or something, the other part of me now feels the need to buy a fish, buy a car for said fish, and let him terrorize my cats.

It seems like a good investment to me.

I also think I need this stackable condiment holder.


Not only does it save space, but it reminds me of the little ring game that babies play. Now it’s an acceptable game to play as an adult. I think I would end up also playing another game called “How many times does Natalie put the salt shaker on upside-down and spill salt everywhere,” though.

Now, to the REAL NEWS: I managed to get my hands on not one, but BOTH new Oreos flavors.

And I did in-depth testing of BOTH of them… for you guys. That’s how much I love you.





Cookie Dough Oreos were good, but did not taste like cookie dough. My initial reaction upon eating them (while standing in the store parking lot) was that the Oreo cookie overpowered the taste of the filling. I reassessed the flavor when I reached home and tried them again as a whole, dissected, and then dipped in milk (which is my personal favorite way to consume an Oreo).

I thought the “cookie dough” filling was more reminiscent of a syrup perhaps, maple? No, maybe caramel. FH caught a hint of “coffee or mocha” flavor – so I think we settled on “Caramel Latte.” Not a bad flavor, overall, just not cookie dough. Oreo just needs to stick a “Caramel Latte” sticker over the “Cookie Dough” label and all will be well. Except one issue: graininess (totally a word). I wish I’d taken a zoomed-in picture of the filling, but you’ll just have to take my word for it – the filling is SUPER grainy in these cookies. Which is only semi-off-putting as it was only really an issue in my filling-only version of the taste test.

My verdict? Save your money, and make these instead.

Now, the Marshmallow Crispy Oreos are a totally different story. Since they use the vanilla cookie in this one, there’s no chance for the flavor of the filling to be overpowered. And while some people think these are “too sweet” I would have to ask them when the last time they had a rice krispy treat was… because THOSE ARE VERY SWEET. I liked these cookies and they are a clear winner over the other limited edition flavor. My favorite part about these cookies was the real rice krispies (sorry, “crisp rice”) in the filling – I even had a little “snap, crackle, pop” action while eating them.

Verdict? If you like rice krispy treats – these are worth checking out.

Speaking of cookies, here is a video of Loki from Thor teaching me Cookie Monster about delayed gratification. (Side note, did you know that Loki is actually super nice and not a super evil jerk? What other lies have movies told me!?)

As promised, a round-up for those of you who want to do something sweet for your Valentine (or friend, or coworkers). Here are a few super easy ideas – which means you can throw them together tonight in time to dispense them tomorrow!

Milk & Cookies Snack Mix from Cookies & Cups


Valentine Rice Krispie Hearts from FoodieCrush


Valentine Trail Mix from A Spicy Perspective


Strawberry Chocolate Chip Cookies from Sally’s Baking Addiction 


Valentine Popcorn from She Wears Many Hats

Chocolate-Strawberry Cupcakes from Wee Eats


Valentine Chex Mix from Betty Crocker



Lastly, check out this cat and his mad ups.

Unless you’d rather look at pictures of the cutest kitten in the whole world. Or both.