Hawaiian S’mores

School is back in session here in Hawaii which seems crazy early to me because 1) hello, August just started and 2) it is still H-O-T but, I’m not complaining because our favorite haunts (aka the neighborhood pool and beach) are extra quiet now that the big kids are in school. 

Hawaiian S'more

Since our kids are still small, summer is still in full swing for us. We are enjoying extra long days in the sun, water playdates with friends and (Daddy especially) the west side swell. 

Before my cousin Lily went off to the mainland for the summer, we had her over for dinner. Of course, you I can’t have someone over for dinner without making a yummy dessert so I decided to put together the most classic of summer desserts: s’mores. 

I went to the grocery store to grab the ingredients and the local section was calling my name. LOUD. So I went over, grabbed a bunch of pineapple, coconut and macadamia nuts and decided that I would put my own twist on the summer dessert staple.

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I dipped the grahams in melted dark chocolate, then sprinkled with either coconut flakes or macadamia nuts and put them on a cooling rack to dry.

Then, we roasted our mallows, stacked it with a pineapple ring and some extra chocolate (for good measure) and sandwiched it between two decorated grahams and dug in. 

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The Hawaiian S’mores were t-t-t-t-tasty, tasty (Fergie throwback, anyone?) 

The pineapple really lightens up the s’mores which means you don’t have that gross heavy feeling after eating one which means you can have more than one. 

I think that next time I will try with my coconut marshmallows

What’s your favorite way to dress up a s’more? I’d love to hear about it below! 

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Celebrate National Strawberry Shortcake Day at Macy’s Ala Moana

Summer is here! Ok, maybe not officially but the temperatures and our upcoming travel plans sure have me feeling as if it is.

One of my absolute favorite summer traditions is attending the Strawberry Festival in my grandparent’s small town. Three days of crafts, parades, and wholesome fun make for a happy mama. Oh, and all the strawberry shortcakes that you can eat don’t hurt either 😉

I’m still about a month away from stuffing my face with my favorite small town strawberry shortcakes so, to hold me over, I decided to make my own version of the iconic summer dish. 

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I’m not always a fan of a really sponge-y cake that gets soggy once you add toppings, so when making strawberry shortcakes at home, I prefer to use a biscuit as the base. This time, I started with a chocolate biscuit (cut into star shapes for a little extra flair), added a layer of juicy, ripe strawberries and topped with a drizzle of my homemade marshmallow whipped cream. 

YUM

Tuesday, June 14th is National Strawberry Shortcake Day and this year I’ll be celebrating with Macy’s. Across the country, local chefs will be visiting select Macy’s locations and demonstrating how to build their perfect version of this American classic. Sounds fun, right?!

If you are on O’ahu, come join me at Macy’s Ala Moana! The event is free and the demonstration begins at 2PM. Not in Honolulu? Check here for an event near you. (While the Honolulu event does not require an RSVP, some do – make sure to check early and reserve your spot!)

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If you can’t find an event near you, make sure to check out this recipe for “The Most Amazing Strawberry Shortcake You’ll Ever Make” by Johnny Iuzzini, award-winning pastry chef and member of Macy’s Culinary Council. Shoot – even if you can attend one of the events, make this recipe. Slow roasted strawberries with a vanilla-creme chantilly?! I’m drooling…

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This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of Macy’s; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. 

How do YOU like your strawberry shortcake?

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12 Days of Christmas Cookies: Sugar Cookies

Bust out those aprons – it’s cookie time! Between now and Christmas, I’ll be sharing 12 delicious cookie recipes for you to try. Share some with your neighbors, bring some to a cookie swap party, or keep them all for yourself. I won’t tell anyone. Promise.

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Sugar cookies. Total classic Christmas cookie right?

For the past few weeks my social media feeds have been flooded with sugar cookies in all shapes and sizes, beautifully baked and decorated to perfection. 

Aesthetically, my sugar cookies are far from perfect. My stars are a little less than stellar and the edges were a little more crunchy than they should be. 

I left the decorating to Lyla and I think she saved the cookies with her mad decorating skills. (nope, no mom bias here) 

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The actual cookie though is delicious – I followed this recipe with no modifications. Next time, I’ll stay a little closer to the oven to make sure I don’t brown the edges 😉

Do you make sugar cookies at Christmas time? I would love to see your finished products!

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12 Days of Christmas Cookies: Raspberry Thumbprint

Bust out those aprons – it’s cookie time! Between now and Christmas, I’ll be sharing 12 delicious cookie recipes for you to try. Share some with your neighbors, bring some to a cookie swap party, or keep them all for yourself. I won’t tell anyone. Promise.
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My Grandma makes awesome jam. 

In our family, it’s as good as gold.

I almost couldn’t bring myself to use it for this recipe because, if I did, I wouldn’t have anymore gold. 

But, a little birdie told me that some more jam may be coming my way for Christmas so I decided to use it up. 

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Don’t have any of Grandma’s jam laying around? No problem. The shortbread cookie base for these thumbprint cookies is delicious on its own. Fill them with whatever kind of jam is your jam (see what I did there?) and I’m sure you will be pleased. 

Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup room temperature butter
  2. 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  3. 2 egg yolks
  4. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  5. 2 cups flour
  6. 1/2 tsp salt
  7. 1 jar of jam of choice
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. Beat together butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy
  3. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla extract
  4. Add flour and salt and mix until dough is formed
  5. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place on parchment-lined baking sheet
  6. Using your finger, make a small indentation in the center of each cookie
  7. Bake cookies for 8 to 10 minutes or until bottoms are lightly brown
  8. Remove baking sheet from oven
  9. Fill each cookie with jam
  10. Bake for an additional 3 to 4 minutes
  11. Cool on wire rack
BRINGING UP BYRDS http://www.natashabyrd.com/
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12 Days of Christmas Cookies: Peanut Butter Blossom

Bust out those aprons – it’s cookie time! Between now and Christmas, I’ll be sharing 12 delicious cookie recipes for you to try. Share some with your neighbors, bring some to a cookie swap party, or keep them all for yourself. I won’t tell anyone. Promise.

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Peanut butter and chocolate. Is there a better combo?

(the answer is no)

I feel like this cookie is a classic and doesn’t need much of an intro. You know what to expect and when you use this recipe from my girl Betty Crocker, you know what you are going to get. 

Pro tip: make sure you roll them in granulated sugar before baking to make them extra pretty. 

Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Blossoms
Yields 36
Classic peanut butter and chocolate cookies
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  2. 1/2 cup light brown sugar (packed)
  3. 1/2 cup butter, softened
  4. 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  5. 1 egg
  6. 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  7. 3/4 tsp baking soda
  8. 1/2 tsp baking powder
  9. about 2 TB granulated sugar for rolling
  10. 36 chocolate candies (or a few more if some just so happen to find their way into your mouth)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. In bowl of electric mixer (or large bowl) combine sugars, butter, peanut butter and egg
  3. Mix on medium speed (can also use a spoon) until well combined
  4. Slowly stir in flour, baking soda and baking powder until dough forms
  5. Form dough into 1 inch balls
  6. Roll dough balls in granulated sugar and place on parchment lined baking sheet
  7. Bake 8-10 minutes
  8. Press an unwrapped chocolate candy into center of each cookie immediately after removing from oven
  9. Let cookies cool completely on cooling rack
Notes
  1. Want to jazz up your peanut butter blossoms this year? Try adding a chocolate peanut butter cup to the center instead of the plain chocolate. My cousin suggested this to me and I can't wait to try - the more chocolate and peanut butter, the better!
BRINGING UP BYRDS http://www.natashabyrd.com/

 

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12 Days of Christmas Cookies: Grandma Etta’s Cookies

Bust out those aprons – it’s cookie time! Between now and Christmas, I’ll be sharing 12 delicious cookie recipes for you to try. Share some with your neighbors, bring some to a cookie swap party, or keep them all for yourself. I won’t tell anyone. Promise.

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This is a special cookie recipe in our household. It is a family favorite, passed down to me by my sweet mother-in-law when Alex and I were first married.

Per family tradition, this cookie only makes an appearance at Christmas time and, seeing as these are Alex’s favorite cookies of all-time, you can bet that it is on repeat in the Byrd house for the entire month of December.

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This recipe makes a thin, somewhat chewy cookie. It’s spicy and citrusy and totally unique.

Because I only bake them at Christmastime, I always roll them in a festive red sugar sprinkle but the color bleeds into the dough when baking which results in a not-so-photogenic (but still delicious) cookie. So, if you plan on making these for a cookie spread or to bring to a party I recommend using regular sugar.

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Does your family have a special Christmas recipe?

Grandma Etta's Cookies
Thin, chewy, spicy, delicious. A family favorite!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
12 min
Total Time
22 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
12 min
Total Time
22 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup butter (room temperature)
  2. 1 1/2 up sugar
  3. 1 tsp ground ginger
  4. 1 tsp ground cloves
  5. 1 tsp baking soda
  6. 1 tsp cinnamon
  7. 1 egg
  8. 1/2 tsp lemon rind
  9. 1 TB light corn syrup
  10. 2 1/4 cup flour
  11. Coarse sugar or sprinkles for topping
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. In a medium bowl, blend together butter and sugar
  3. In a small bowl, mix together ginger, cloves, baking soda and cinnamon; add to butter/sugar mixture
  4. Add egg, lemon rind and corn syrup to mixture and stir until combined
  5. Slowly blend in 2 1/4 cup flour (more if dough is sticky)
  6. Roll dough into 1" balls, tap the top of the ball in coarse sugar or sprinkles
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 12 minutes, or until edges are lightly brown
Notes
  1. The original recipe says to mix ingredients with a spoon (you go, Grandma Etta) - I cheat and use my stand mixer with the paddle attachment 😉
BRINGING UP BYRDS http://www.natashabyrd.com/

 

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12 Days of Christmas Cookies: Chocolate Crinkle

Bust out those aprons – it’s cookie time! Between now and Christmas, I’ll be sharing 12 delicious cookie recipes for you to try. Share some with your neighbors, bring some to a cookie swap party, or keep them all for yourself. I won’t tell anyone. Promise.

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If you’re happy it the weekend and you know it clap your hands. CLAP CLAP. 

I am so thankful that it’s the weekend. The past few days have been full of doctors appointments, toddler meltdowns and figuring out our new dynamics as we venture out into public. Mentally, I’m exhausted and I am so very glad to have an extra set of hands around for a few days (husbands rock). 
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I don’t have much to say about these cookies (mainly because my brain is fried) except for the fact that I sent the whole batch to work with Alex and got an email the same day from one of his co-workers asking for my crack recipe. 

So, if you only make one cookie this weekend, let this be it. 

 

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Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
Perfect chocolate cookie - almost like a brownie - rolled in powdered sugar. What's not to love?!
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  2. 2 cups white sugar
  3. 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  4. 4 eggs
  5. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  6. 2 cups all purpose flour
  7. 2 tsp baking powder
  8. 1 tsp salt
  9. 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar (for coating)
Instructions
  1. Mix together the cocoa powder, sugar and oil in a medium bowl. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Mix until smooth and shiny
  2. In separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Stir into the coca mix until smooth
  3. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and put into fridge for at least 4 hours
  4. Preheat oven to 350F. Roll dough into 1 inch balls, coat each ball in powdered sugar and place onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper
  5. 5. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cool on pan for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack
Notes
  1. Make sure you chill this dough - it will be really hard to form into balls without doing so!
Adapted from Collecting Memories
BRINGING UP BYRDS http://www.natashabyrd.com/
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