I Heart Coffee

Growing up, I never understood why anyone would want to drink coffee.  I loved the smell of it – but a single drop of the bitter, brown liquid on my tongue would immediately twist my face into an involuntary look of disgust.

I happily lived a coffee-free life for many years… until the birth of my twin girls.  My world was turned upside-down and I’m pretty sure that my post-pregnancy hormone surge included some sort of devilish coffee-craving hormone.

The level of exhaustion new parents can face after the birth of a child is unimaginable.  Baby books do not prepare you for it.  Experienced parents don’t want to scare the uninitiated… or the post-baby fog has simply wiped clear their memories of it.  I was completely not ready for it.  Coffee and a binge-watching session of the TV show, “24,” are pretty much the only things that got me through the first few weeks of late night feedings (OK… and maybe the wonderfulness of my husband, the cuteness of my oldest daughter and the insanely adorable bundles of squishy love that I had just given birth to.)

Here is me and Juliet a few days after her birth.  I was unbelievably happy but couldn’t hide the exhaustion in my eyes.  Crazy times!

Juliet_and_Me_Exhaustion

It’s now 5 years later and my new-found love for coffee has never waned.  It’s only natural that thoughts of coffee love would pour out of my head, begging to be put on paper 🙂  And it’s only natural that I would simply have to have my own cup of coffee while creating a coffee cup masterpiece… it’s all in the name of research 😉

I Love Coffee Draft Illustration

 

Even my kids got in on the coffee cup-drawing action!  I love drawing with them!

Juliet decided that she wanted to open a coffee shop.  Here is her “business plan.”

Juliet_Coffee_Shop_0215

Here is the picture that Ellie created for Juliet’s fantastic coffee picture shop!  It is topped with black marshmallows… what could be yummier?!?

Ellie_Coffee_Cup_0215

And here is my final version.  While I illustrated the design by hand with pencil/ink, it is one of the first illustrations I have ever converted to vector.  I LOVE that I can print out a people-size coffee cup if I wanted to!  Vector illustrations are sooo cool.   Too much fun!

I Heart (Love) CoffeeCoffee_Doodle_Final

Between the 3 of us, I think that we have a pretty good start on our coffee picture shop inventory 🙂

Time for another cup of coffee!

 

 

 

Happy Perfect Pi Day

Happy Pi Day 2015Hooray!  It’s Pi Day!  Today’s the day to celebrate the glorious wonder of math and that crazy little symbol, Pi.  It’s also the day to eat lots of pie – that’s my favorite part.

Pi represents the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter and is equal to approximately 3.14159 (the number actually continues infinitely…. but I will never remember any more digits than that.)  Pi day is celebrated each year on 3/14.   This year is an extra special celebration because the date is 3/14/15 and represents the first 5 digits of the number instead of just 3 like most years.  Yippee!

I could celebrate by calculating the circumference of circles but I would much rather make pie 🙂

Since I didn’t have an opportunity to actually bake anything this year, I thought that I would share a recipe for one of our family’s favorite pies – Juliet’s famous and super delicious “Green Pie.”

As everyone knows, my kids LOVE to draw.   Last year, Juliet created a picture of a pie and decided that we simply HAD to make it.

Juliet's Green Pie

 

She said that it was a chocolate pie with green frosting and chocolate sprinkles…. and she was going to call it “Green Pie.”

We started with our favorite recipe for S’more pie and “green-ified” it to match Juliet’s vision of “Green Pie.”  The cool whip topping was dyed green and an all-important layer of chocolate sprinkles was lovingly scattered on top.

S'more Pie

I think that we did a pretty good job 🙂

Juliet's Revised Pie Pic

 

If you want to make your own super delicious “Green Pie,” here is the recipe!

JULIET’S GREEN PIE
Recipe by Juliet and Mommy (adapted from Keebler’s S’more pie recipe.)

INGREDIENTS:
1 pre-made Graham pie crust (I use Keebler’s crust with 2 extra servings… if you use a smaller version, you may have a little leftover filling)
16 regular marshmallows
½ cup milk
¾ cup heavy cream
1 cup milk chocolate chips (you could probably use semi-sweet if you wanted)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tub (8 oz.) frozen non-dairy whipped topping, thawed, divided

DIRECTIONS:

1.  Make Ganache Layer:  Pour semi-sweet chocolate chips in medium bowl.  Heat heavy cream in saucepan until just about to boil (or microwave for 45 seconds to 1 minute… watch carefully so it doesn’t start to boil over.)  Pour warm cream over chocolate chips and let sit for 1 minute.  Gently stir for a couple minutes until smooth.

Let ganache mixture cool for 10-15 minutes until slightly thickened and pour into pie crust.  Smooth evenly along bottom and up the sides.  If mixture is too thin to stick to sides, refrigerate the pie for a few minutes and try again.  Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour to set.

2.  Make Pie Filling: In medium saucepan, heat marshmallow and milk until melted and completely smooth – stirring frequently. Remove from heat and stir in the milk chocolate chips until melted and smooth.  Cool to room temperature.

Fold 1 ½ cups whipped topping into cooled pie filling mixture.  Pour evenly into pie crust.  Smooth top with a spatula.  Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or until set.

3.  Finishing Touches: Add a small amount of green food coloring to the remaining whipped topping and gently fold with a spatula until color is evenly distributed.  Spread green topping over pie.  Use a small spoon to add decorative swirls if desired.  Sprinkle with chocolate sprinkles.  Store in refrigerator.

NOTES:  Can be made a day ahead.  Leftovers are usually good for 2-3 days.  I usually like to make my own graham cracker crust but the pre-made version is fantastic for baking with kids (and it tastes good too.)  Sometimes I also get a bigger tub of whipped topping so that I can pile on a nice rounded layer on top.

Enjoy!  Happy Pi Day!!