Halloween Sugar Cookies

Autumn at home on beautiful Bainbridge Island, Washington. Pacific Northwest home decor during fall time. White kitchen with warm open cabinets of wood and marble counter tops. Halloween sugar cookie recipe, easy recipe with cream cheese frosting. Bainbridge Boheme

This is going to be a cut to the chase kind of blog post. I didn’t have the chance to snap photos of these delicious cookies after they were frosted, but before they were devoured! So this is the only photo you get! You’ll just have to take my word for it, these cookies are amazing. These are my favorite Halloween cookie cutters that I’ve had for years. I lost the pumpkin cutter somewhere along the way, but that is life.

I make these cookies every year, but this year has been especially fun. Now that Julian is a little older (almost 2, oh my word!) he has been able to help so much in the kitchen with me! If you follow along on Instagram (@heidi.stephens) you’ve probably seen that a lot! For a future post I may offer some tips on baking with toddlers if you all are interested.

Anyhow, happy baking everyone! Oh, and if you try this recipe out, be sure to tag me so I can see your spooky, sweet creations! Without further ado…

Ingredients:

COOKIES:

¾ cup butter, room temp

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1 egg yolk

2 tsp vanilla

Grated rind of 1 lemon (or 1 tsp lemon extract)

¼ tsp salt

2 ½ cups flour

FROSTING:

1/4 cup butter, softened

4oz cream cheese, softened

2 cups powdered sugar

2 tsp vanilla

Instructions:

With a standing mixer, beat the butter until creamy. Add the sugar and continue beating until light in color. On low speed beat in egg and egg yolk just until combined. Add vanilla, lemon rind and salt. Add the flour until blended, do not over beat batter. Form dough into a ball and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375F. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough and stamp with desired cookie cutters. Bake on a lightly greased baking sheet for approx 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool completely before decorating. In a small bowl, beat the frosting ingredients until fluffy and well combined. Frost cookies. Store in an airtight container if you don’t eat them all! Enjoy!

xx,

Heidi

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Blueberry Oat Muffins

A healthy start to the morning with these simple blueberry oat muffins! Easy recipe packed with whole wheat, and delicious berries for a kid friendly snack or breakfast. So simple! A healthy start to the morning with these simple blueberry oat muffins! Easy recipe packed with whole wheat, and delicious berries for a kid friendly snack or breakfast. So simple!I have made a batch of these muffins about once or twice a week for the last month. They are such a simple and nutritious snack for my on-the-go toddler and for myself as a ravenous nursing mom. But I especially love them as an easy addition to breakfast. I’m all about simplifying breakfast lately, since I’m so sleep deprived with a newborn! A healthy start to the morning with these simple blueberry oat muffins! Easy recipe packed with whole wheat, and delicious berries for a kid friendly snack or breakfast. So simple!“Muffin” just may be Julian’s new favorite word as of late. Hooray for healthy toddler snacks! This recipe is super simple, but really packs a punch when it comes to a nutritious treat. I adapted the recipe from a Martha Stewart segment in her latest magazine. I can’t find it anywhere online yet! I substituted a lot of the ingredients that didn’t suit my taste, or that required an extra trip to the store. I’m talking to you spelt flour. Who has time for another store run anyway?!A healthy start to the morning with these simple blueberry oat muffins! Easy recipe packed with whole wheat, and delicious berries for a kid friendly snack or breakfast. So simple! I know you’ll love this recipe as much as my family does right now. I’m soaking in the last blueberry days before it’s pumpkin spice everything. If this recipe inspires you to bake some tasty muffins of your own, be sure to tag me on Instagram (heidi.stephens) or on Facebook (Bainbridge Boheme) so I can see your beautiful creations! Enjoy!A healthy start to the morning with these simple blueberry oat muffins! Easy recipe packed with whole wheat, and delicious berries for a kid friendly snack or breakfast. So simple!Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 eggs (room temp)
  • 1/2 cup butter (melted and cooled)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together flour, oats, chia seeds, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a medium sized bowl whisk together milk, eggs, butter, sugar and vanilla until well incorporated.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
  5. Gently fold in blueberries.
  6. Divide batter evenly to muffins cups.
  7. Bake for 222-24 minutes. Until tester inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean, or until the top springs back when lightly touched.
  8. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

xx,

Heidi

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An All-American Apple Pie

The perfect. simple, easy apple pie. An all-American apple pie to enjoy all summer long! Summer baking is easy with this recipe! Perfect for summer BBQ, fourth of July and Father's Day

Funny back story about the night my husband and I first met…we were at a bar (gasp!) I was sitting with my Dad, who caught Jeff checking me out from across the bar. Jeff was sitting with a buddy, and his friend leaned into him and said, “man that girl is All-American Apple Pie.” Little did he know yet, that I was pie obsessed! Very loudly my Dad announced to me that Jeff was checking me out, and sure enough Jeff heard him. Of course, he had to come say hi now! We hit it off right away, and my poor brother sat with us as we talked for hours, missing about 5 ferries in the meantime. And the rest is history!  Apple pie is now a staple dish, and a funny nickname for me, in our household.

Now onto the pie! For whatever reason, people always say that baking needs to be exact; unlike cooking, which can often be improvised. But I disagree. Sure, there are a few ingredient that you don’t want to mess with too much. But for the most part, I like to experiment quite a bit, especially with my spices.  This is my current favorite combination of spices for an apple pie. I think the hint of ginger is a fun addition, and the amount is small enough that it isn’t overpowering. This pie is simple and classic, and always a hit all summer long. The cherry red pie dish adds an extra flair that I love! Father’s Day, Fourth of July, and summer BBQ’s just scream for apple pie!

The perfect. simple, easy apple pie. An all-American apple pie to enjoy all summer long! Summer baking is easy with this recipe! Perfect for summer BBQ, fourth of July and Father's Day

The perfect. simple, easy apple pie. An all-American apple pie to enjoy all summer long! Summer baking is easy with this recipe! Perfect for summer BBQ, fourth of July and Father's Day The perfect. simple, easy apple pie. An all-American apple pie to enjoy all summer long! Summer baking is easy with this recipe! Perfect for summer BBQ, fourth of July and Father's Day

We enjoyed this particular pie the other day, while having some island friends over for a BBQ. The star cutouts make the pie feel even more “All-American.” As if an apple pie needs help with that.  I love these star cookie cutters and use them all summer long! Julian was my little sous chef, and helped with the star crust, and the “sugar crustos” we made with the leftover pie dough. It’s so fun to share my love of baking with my little man!

As always, please let me know if you try this recipe out at home! I love seeing your creations, so be sure to tag me on Instagram (@heidi.stephens) or on Facebook (@BainbridgeBoheme).

The perfect. simple, easy apple pie. An all-American apple pie to enjoy all summer long! Summer baking is easy with this recipe! Perfect for summer BBQ, fourth of July and Father's Day The perfect. simple, easy apple pie. An all-American apple pie to enjoy all summer long! Summer baking is easy with this recipe! Perfect for summer BBQ, fourth of July and Father's DayIngredients:

1 Perfect Pie Crust

2 1/2 pounds tart apples (Granny Smith’s are my favorite)

2 Tbsp flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp allspice

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp ginger

Pinch of salt

4 Tbsp butter, cold and diced

1 Tbsp water (for glaze)

1 beaten egg (for glaze)

Instructions:

  1. Prepare pie crust as directed. I always use my go-to perfect pie crust! But if you’re in a pinch, or just don’t feel like it that day, store bought works just fine too. Even Martha does it sometimes!
  2. Roll out 1 pie dough disk onto a lightly floured surface. Transfer to an ungreased pie dish and trim edge.
  3. Peel, core and slice apples. Toss apples with flour, sugar, lemon juice, spices and salt. Spoon into prepared pie shell and dot with butter.
  4. Roll out remaining dough. Using a star shaped cookie cutter, cut out approximately 9 larger stars and approximately 6 smaller stars. Arrange onto top of pie.
  5. Place pie in refrigerator to chill for approximately 30 minutes, until crust firms.
  6. Preheat oven to 425F while pie is chilling.
  7. Beat 1 egg and 1 Tbsp cold water together for glaze. Brush stars and pie crust lightly with glaze.
  8. Bake pie for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350F and bake for an additional 45-50 minutes or until crust is golden and juices begin to bubble.
  9. Best served warm, with ice cream or fresh whipped cream! Enjoy!

xx,

HeidiThe perfect. simple, easy apple pie. An all-American apple pie to enjoy all summer long! Summer baking is easy with this recipe! Perfect for summer BBQ, fourth of July and Father's Day

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Easy as Lemon Pie

Easy lemon pie from scratch. Seriously, this is the most simple recipe! Perfect spring pie

Easy lemon pie from scratch. Seriously, this is the most simple recipe! Perfect spring pie Easy lemon pie from scratch. Seriously, this is the most simple recipe! Perfect spring pie Easy lemon pie from scratch. Seriously, this is the most simple recipe! Perfect spring pie Easy lemon pie from scratch. Seriously, this is the most simple recipe! Perfect spring pie Easy lemon pie from scratch. Seriously, this is the most simple recipe! Perfect spring pie Easy lemon pie from scratch. Seriously, this is the most simple recipe! Perfect spring pie

Don’t ask me where the term “easy as pie” came from. Speaking as someone who loves to bake pies, and has been doing it for years, pie is not the simplest dessert to pull off. I find that every pie is a learning experience, and I still have plenty of pie fails. Well, this my friends, this recipe makes for a truly easy pie.

You can whip this delectable lemon pie up in just a matter of minutes (yes, seriously) and still be the hero of the dinner table. Now that my time is more limited (hello there, working mother to a toddler with a baby on the way here!) I am feeling inspired to create more simple recipes. Recipes that can still be showstoppers, but don’t take hours out of your day.

Just recently Jeff and Julian and I were walking around out in our backyard. Jules was running around barefoot, the sun was bright and warm, and I was getting all the springtime feels. When we went inside to put Jules down for a nap, I had the urge to bake something that would keep that springtime, sunshiney feeling alive all day. Enter this lemon pie creation. I’m on a lemon baking kick lately it seems. 

The filling is rich, but the bursts of lemon make it feel light. The simple addition of a whipped cream topping adds to the lightness that exemplifies a spring pie. Typically, I can eat decadent pies all day long. But there is something about the change in the season that calls for a lighter fare.

If this recipe inspires you to bake a lemon pie of your own, be sure to tag me on Instagram (heidi.stephens) or on Facebook (Bainbridge Boheme) so I can see your beautiful creations!

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 1 ½ cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 6 Tbsp butter (melted)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt

Filling

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 2/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (approx. 3 large lemons)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Pinch of salt

Topping:

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of lemon zest (optional)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350F. In a medium sized bowl, mixed together graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, sugar and salt until well combined. Press the mixture into a greased pie pan, packing firmly. Bake for 7 minutes.

In a standing mixer on medium speed, beat together egg yolks, condensed milk, lemon juice, zest and salt until creamy, approximately 5 minutes. Add filling to baked pie crust and bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool on wire rack for 30 minutes, then finish cooling in refrigerator for at least 1 hour to set.

Prepare whipped cream topping by beating heavy cream, sugar, vanilla and zest on high until fluffy. Top the pie with whipped cream and serve chilled. Enjoy!

xx,

Heidi

 

 

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Mother’s Day Brunch and 5 Tricks to Hosting a Flawless Event for Your Mom

How to host the perfect Mother’s Day brunch. Simple ideas for hosting on Mother’s Day and celebrating mom.

How to host the perfect Mother’s Day brunch. Simple ideas for hosting on Mother’s Day and celebrating mom.

^Maternity dress from ASOS, under $50!

How to host the perfect Mother’s Day brunch. Simple ideas for hosting on Mother’s Day and celebrating mom.

How to host the perfect Mother’s Day brunch. Simple ideas for hosting on Mother’s Day and celebrating mom.

How to host the perfect Mother’s Day brunch. Simple ideas for hosting on Mother’s Day and celebrating mom.

How to host the perfect Mother’s Day brunch. Simple ideas for hosting on Mother’s Day and celebrating mom.

It’s hard to believe that it’s already May, let alone that Mother’s Day is just around the corner! My mom and I are both nurses with odd and hectic work schedules, so we decided to celebrate Mother’s Day early this year. I hosted a brunch at our home and had a little too much fun planning it all! I decided to go all out to show my mom how much she is loved and appreciated. You can never say it enough! A color palette of soft blush pinks, whites and creams created a feminine look and to emphasis that the brunch really was all about mom! Sticking to a color palette can help an event look cohesive and more put together.

I love having the opportunity to celebrate my loved ones and this brunch ended up being a huge hit! Here’s a peek at last year’s event. Instead of just sharing the recipes with you all (although I will do that too) I thought it would be fun to highlight how I pulled off the event while being a working mama with a toddler! It is my hope that you can use some of these tips and tricks for your Mother’s Day celebration this weekend! And some of the delicious recipes too! Motherhood truly is the best and most important “job” in the world. Mamas deserve to be celebrated!

How to host the perfect Mother’s Day brunch. Simple ideas for hosting on Mother’s Day and celebrating mom.

How to host the perfect Mother’s Day brunch. Simple ideas for hosting on Mother’s Day and celebrating mom.

How to host the perfect Mother’s Day brunch. Simple ideas for hosting on Mother’s Day and celebrating mom.

How to host the perfect Mother’s Day brunch. Simple ideas for hosting on Mother’s Day and celebrating mom.

How to host the perfect Mother’s Day brunch. Simple ideas for hosting on Mother’s Day and celebrating mom.

  1. Plan ahead. Brainstorm your color palette, theme or general ideas early on. This will help when making decisions on the event. Sometimes I would get a little overzealous while planning, but my original idea of a simple and feminine brunch would reground me. I love Pinterest for this purpose. I had been working on a Mother’s Day Pinterest board for a few weeks prior to the brunch. Have a menu in place a few days to a week before your event. This helps with delegation, and grocery shopping. People often ask me how I have time to bake, and one of my secrets is I always do my shopping and prep work the day before! Baking then becomes a breeze.
  2. Cater to your mama. Seems pretty obvious, right? But I’ve found that making the extra effort to tailor an event towards your guest of honor can make a world of difference. For example, my mom doesn’t drink alcohol. So instead of just sticking her with water while everyone else drank mimosas, I crafted a delicious raspberry lemonade spritzer for her to enjoy. I also was sure to make a playlist of her favorite music. Even something as simple as incorporating their favorite foods into the menu is a special touch. It sets the tone that the event is in her honor!
  3. Use seasonal blooms. Flowers can make your event! I decided to use the gorgeous tulips in our front yard to set the scene for our tablescape. Luckily for me we had lots of pretty pink blooms to choose from. Fresh florals really can transform your space.
  4. Incorporate a sentimental touch. Since this Mother’s Day brunch was in honor of my wonderful mom, I wanted to add a heartfelt touch to the event. I opted to use my Grandmother’s china teacups for each table setting. It was a big surprise to my mom, and she was so grateful to see her mother’s china being put to good use. I also love the idea of incorporating old photos into each place setting too. Again, my Pinterest board has some great inspiration!
  5. Keep food simple and seasonal. When developing the menu for our Mother’s Day brunch I kept things simple and fresh. This meant incorporating springtime fruits and veggies to pay homage to our changing seasons. A light orange bundt cake with a simple orange glaze (I just mixed 1 cup powdered sugar and 2 Tbsp orange juice for the glaze) was a huge hit. We ate fresh waffles topped with a homemade whipped cream (1 cup heavy cream, 2 Tbsp sugar and 1 tsp vanilla whipped together). We then rounded out the menu with a roasted pepper frittata topped with heirloom tomatoes and we had plenty of Hempler’s bacon to enjoy! Simple menus always speak for themselves.

How to host the perfect Mother’s Day brunch. Simple ideas for hosting on Mother’s Day and celebrating mom.

How to host the perfect Mother’s Day brunch. Simple ideas for hosting on Mother’s Day and celebrating mom.

How to host the perfect Mother’s Day brunch. Simple ideas for hosting on Mother’s Day and celebrating mom.

How to host the perfect Mother’s Day brunch. Simple ideas for hosting on Mother’s Day and celebrating mom.

How to host the perfect Mother’s Day brunch. Simple ideas for hosting on Mother’s Day and celebrating mom.

How to host the perfect Mother’s Day brunch. Simple ideas for hosting on Mother’s Day and celebrating mom.

How to host the perfect Mother’s Day brunch. Simple ideas for hosting on Mother’s Day and celebrating mom.

How to host the perfect Mother’s Day brunch. Simple ideas for hosting on Mother’s Day and celebrating mom.

If you try any of these tips, tricks or recipes at your Mother’s Day soiree I would love to hear about it! Be sure to tag me on Instagram (@heidi.stephens) or on Facebook (@BainbridgeBoheme) and let me know! Wishing you all a Happy Mother’s Day in advance!

xx,

Heidi

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Perfect Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

Simple and easy lemon ricotta pancake recipe. Perfect for a spring breakfast for Easter or Mother's Day. Light and fluffy, and oh so good! Simple and easy lemon ricotta pancake recipe. Perfect for a spring breakfast for Easter or Mother's Day. Light and fluffy, and oh so good! Simple and easy lemon ricotta pancake recipe. Perfect for a spring breakfast for Easter or Mother's Day. Light and fluffy, and oh so good! Simple and easy lemon ricotta pancake recipe. Perfect for a spring breakfast for Easter or Mother's Day. Light and fluffy, and oh so good! Simple and easy lemon ricotta pancake recipe. Perfect for a spring breakfast for Easter or Mother's Day. Light and fluffy, and oh so good! Simple and easy lemon ricotta pancake recipe. Perfect for a spring breakfast for Easter or Mother's Day. Light and fluffy, and oh so good!

Oh dear! These are the fluffiest, most flavorful pancakes in the history of pancakes. My family simply could not get enough of these lemon ricotta shortstacks. They are so light and airy, but packed with a powerful lemony punch. My dad, who is not a pancake eater, was hooked! And I can’t even recall how many baby Julian had. Whoops.

The zest of a lemon makes these pancakes the perfect springtime breakfast. They are ideal for making a special occasion feel even more special. Easter and Mother’s Day come to mind for me! You may remember that I vowed to work on my lemon ricotta pancake recipe in my Spring To-Do List post. Well I’m pretty darn excited about how this one turned out, and so happy to share it with you! We will definitely be devouring these come Easter morning. And I hope you will be too!

Keep in mind, these are not a 2 minute pancake. There are a few additional steps here that you won’t run into if you’re using Krusteaz. But I assure you, if you follow the recipe and make these from scratch, you will notice and appreciate the difference! As will anyone that is lucky enough to devour these bad boys!

As always, let me know if you try out this recipe! Be sure to tag me in your creations. I simply love seeing my recipes in other people’s kitchens! Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 ¼ cup whole milk
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, separated

Instructions:

Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Make a well in your dry ingredient mixture, set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together the ricotta, milk, lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla, and egg yolks. In a clean, dry bowl, whip the egg whites on high until soft peaks form. Add the milk mixture to your dry ingredients well, stir until combined. Gently fold in the egg whites. Preheat a skillet or griddle to medium heat. Pour about ⅓ cup of batter onto buttered skillet and cook until bubbles begin to form, and bottom is golden brown, then flip and cook until golden brown on opposite side. Serve warm with a dusting of powdered sugar, or a drizzle of maple syrup. Enjoy!

xx,

Heidi

 

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