Thursday, May 7, 2015

Read Along With Me: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

This book was simply put...amazing. Every page, every chapter. Kristin Hannah paints a historically accurate picture of life in France during Hitler's rise to power, while encapsulating girl power that transcends time and inspires all. 

Read this book. Share it with those you love. Discuss it. I am sure you will love it as much as I did.

Buy it here.

Monday, March 16, 2015

"Magically Delicious" Leprechaun Treats

St. Patrick's Day is a day of leprechaun fun at my children's school, so we wanted to continue the fun with a way to help "trap" him...some yummy, sticky treats!

To make your own, you will need:
3 tablespoons of butter
1 bag of marshmallows
1/2 bag of Lucky Charms cereal
non stick spray
green food coloring
gold (chocolate) coins for decorating.

1. Pick out 20-30 mini marshmallows from the cereal and put aside.
2. Spray a 9x13 pan with non stick spray.
3. In a large pot, melt the butter and marshmallows, squeezing in 5-6 drops of green food coloring.

4. Remove from heat and add in cereal, stirring quickly.
5. Press the cereal mixture into the pan. (Tip: Use a little non stick on your hands or spatula to spread evenly) Allow to cool.

6. Decorate with the lucky charms marshmallows and some gold coins.

7. Enjoy!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Valentine's Day Chocolate Pie

Is there anything more perfect for Valentine's Day than chocolate? Well, maybe diamonds, but you get my point.

This pie is full of dark, rich chocolate and has a homemade graham cracker crust. Make one for someone you love (or yourself!) today!

To make your own you will need:

1 pack graham crackers, crushed
6 tablespoons of butter, melted
1/3 cup sugar

Mix ingredients together and press into pie pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

Pie Filling:
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups skim milk
4 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons butter

Combine the sugar, salt, and cornstarch in a large pot. Add the milk and eggs and stir.

Heat on high until bubbling, then reduce to medium-high. Mixture will start to thicken, see picture. 5-10 minutes.

Once pudding-like in texture, take off heat and add the chips, vanilla, and butter, mixing until smooth.

Pour the filling in the pie pan and chill for 6 hours.

I decorated mine with some mini heart sugar cookies, but strawberries, raspberries, whipped cream.... anything would be a welcome addition!


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Handmade Scarf Swap 2015

So excited to participate in this year's Handmade Scarf Swap!

The lovely ladies over at Sew Caroline and Sewbon organized a fun craft swap for 2015 that partners up bloggers to swap handmade scarves. Will they be knit? sewn? felted? So many crafty options...

My partner is Angel (blog is Simply Lovely Things) from California. I originally wanted to do a granny square crocheted scarf before I knew who my partner would be, but since Angel is from warm and sunny Cali, I need to rethink my plans. Cyber stalking, I know that she makes her own jewelry on Etsy, and LOVES vintage clothing. She also has two adorable pups that keep her very busy!

So, I think I will be so cute to craft up a cowl and doggie bandanas to match....but which fabric to use? I have narrowed it down to these three, as all of these are lightweight, vintage in print, and would look great on her.

Now to choose and sew. So excited!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Year's Day and Banana Pudding Pie, perfect together.

This year, I decided not to go crazy making resolutions of grandeur and keep it simple. "Do what makes you happy". And, if it is not making you happy, fix it this year so it does. It is the little things in life that go unnoticed because we are all so busy and concentrated on the big successes. I have made success in my personal life, family, and work. I plan to maintain them, sure, but I also want to end the day smiling and making memories. So today, New Year's Day, I am going to eat pie with my family and play Monopoly and laugh while potty training my 2 year is moving too fast. It is about time I live, taste, and breathe it all instead of worrying, stressing, and freaking out about what is next. Here's to a great year!

To make your own New Year's Resolution pie, you will need some simple ingredients:
pie pan
Nilla Wafers
5 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons sugar

3 bananas (squeeze a little lemon juice on them to reduce browning)
2 boxes of vanilla pudding (I used sugar free)
2 1/2 cups skim milk
1 cup whipped topping

First, make the crust by crushing 50 Nilla wafers and mix with butter and sugar. Press into a pie pan and bake for 7-8 minutes at 375 degrees.

Allow to cool completely, or place in freezer to quick cool.

To make the filling, add the pudding mixes and milk in a mixer and combine. Throw the bananas in whole and the pudding will have a chunky texture. Mix to desired texture. Add in 1/2 cup of the whipped topping.

Pour pudding in shell and decorate with leftover Nilla wafers and whipped cream. Sprinkle some crumbs and Voila!

Enjoy after 2 hours in refrigerator to allow pie to set.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Cookie Exchange: Eggnog Snickerdoodles

I love cookies and eggnog- but together?! Even better!

These cookies bake up quick and are soft and chewy with a nice sugary crust on the outside. The secret to the crust is dipping them in sugar twice! (Hey, even Santa checked his list twice so this naturally works here too!)

To make a dozen, you will need:
1 cup of flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons of butter
1/3 cup of egg nog ( I used soy egg nog)
2 tablespoons vanilla
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar

4 tablespoons sugar
dash of nutmeg
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Mix the dry ingredients and set aside.

Melt butter and pour in egg nog, vanilla, and sugars. Combine with the dry ingredients until a dough forms.

Chill dough for 10 minutes then roll into 12 balls.

Roll balls twice in the cinnamon coating, and place on parchment paper about 3 inches apart.

Bake for 15 minutes and allow to cool completely.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice cookies

Is there anything pumpkin spice can't cure?!

While on my weekly Target trip, my cravings were satisfied with all pumpkin spice items for an amazing $1! Who says money can't buy happiness? Obviously someone who didn't bake as much as I do!

These chips (which I have never seen before) are delish right out of the bag, but I wanted to make a cookie that was spicy and gooey to enjoy.

To make your own dozen, head to target soon for the deal and make sure you have the following:
1 cup of flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick of butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup pumpkin chips
1 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. Stir the sugars and egg, and add in vanilla.
2. Sift in flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
3. Stir in chips gently.

4. Place dough in the fridge for 20 minutes until chilled.
5. Remove from fridge and roll out 1 1/2 inch balls and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden.

Allow to cool completely and enjoy. You can thank me later.


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