Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Monday, August 16, 2010

Living Room

Still settling in...

My little reading corner...found the yellow flower pillow at Target.
We do not have a bar area in this house, so now we have four bar stools from Ikea that I've been trying to be creative finding places for.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Pendant Lighting

I'm thinking this pendant light from Pottery Barn might work out really well over the table...

What do you think?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

That Martha...

Has everything!!! When did this happen? Martha has a line of pet supplies at Petsmart!
Love this little bed, I think both of our dogs could fit in it together.

A bath tub for your puppy!

And a tote for supplies!

Treat Jars...love the Martha blue!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sneak Peek

Still getting things put away and organized. Hopefully this weekend I will get things hung on the walls. I just realized... in this picture you can see entry way, dining room and kitchen haha!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Cake Balls and Oreo Truffles

I have been practicing Bakerella's Cake Balls. She makes it look so easy... and she is SO creative. I'm still working on trying to get mine smooth~
And these are Bakerella's Oreo truffles. Even easier than the Cake Balls, and only because you don't have to bake a cake :)

You can find the recipe for the Cake Balls here. You can use any cake mix/frosting/candy melt combo that you like.
And the recipe for the Oreo Truffles here.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Home Sweet Home

Our new digs
So cottagey! The yard needs some TLC, but we'll get it in shape :)

I love all the windows, and the corner window in the family room is great.

Yay, gas stove and updated kitchen.

The washer and dryer have to go at the end of the cabinets, the other choice is down in the basement...I don't think that sounds like too much fun, this will be way more convienent.

I love the charm of these old houses... notice the archways? This is taken from the family room looking into the dining room, and then the kitchen. (obviously haha!)
So happy to have hardwood floors! No carpet, yay!!!

Family room corner window.

Family room, taken from the dining room.
I'm looking forward to decorating. The backyard is the size of a small park, also in need of some TLC, but a place for a garden :) Rosie and Roxie are going to love it! More pictures to come.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Strawberry Jam

Strawberry jam is the first thing that I learned to can several years ago. Water bath canning, and strawberry jam is a good place to start, and it really isn't as difficult as you may think. Once you make your own homemade jam, you'll never buy store-bought again. Soon you'll be thinking of all kinds of fruits that you can turn into jam... the possibilities are endless. Then there's jellies and syrups...yum!!

It doesn't take much to get started, and most of the things you need are at the hardware store.A large water bath canner with rack, a jar lifter, magnetic wand, wide-mouth funnel, and a canning book. I really like this one.

5 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and mashed
7 cups sugar
4 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 package (49 g) powdered fruit pectin
1/2 Tablespoon unsalted butter
Place 8 or 9 8 ounce canning jars in the water bath canner, fill with water to cover jars, and bring to a simmer.
In a small sauce pan simmer the center lids.
In a large pot or dutch oven (at least 6 quart or larger) add mashed strawberries, lemon juice, pectin, and the butter. Bring to a full boil. Add the sugar all at once and stir to distribute sugar. Bring back to a full rolling boil, and boil for 1 minute, 15 seconds. Turn off heat and skim the foam off the top with a spoon.
Remove one jar at a time from the simmering water. Using the wide-mouth funnel, ladle jam into jar leaving 1/4 inch space at the top.
Run a knife down the side of the jar to remove any air bubbles.
Wipe the rim of the jar with a damp cloth to remove any residue.
Remove center lid from simmering water and place on jar. Put screw bands on jars being careful not to over tighten. Repeat with all the jars. If you end up with a portion of a jar you can use that jar right away (refrigerate). It does not need to go in the canner.
Once all jars are filled, place on canning rack and lower back into the water bathe canner. Cover with lid and bring to a full boil. Boil 10 to 12 minutes. Turn off heat and leave jars in the canner an additional 5 minutes. Remove jars using jar-lifter and leave jars undisturbed for 24 hours.
After 24 hours, remove screw bands and check the seal of the jars. The center lid should have no give. If there are, store those jars in the fridge.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

What's Old is New Again

My new collection is Pyrex. Larry and I have been having fun on our road trips (today we went to Sonora) looking through antique shops, picking up old pieces of Pyrex. These small casseroles are the perfect size. The funny part is Larry used to have the green flowered Pyrex when I met him. Haha, now we are scouting antique shops for it... who would have ever guessed. I'm kind of liking how all the different colors are working together. I think I'm onto a new color scheme for the kitchen....again :)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Party Tables...My New Obsession

I can't believe the talent that is out there. When did party tables become so incredibly cute? As I've been checking out different blogs, I have discovered that there is a whole world of party blogs out there. You know how it goes...once you find one it takes you to another, and so on and so on. The inspiration is just endless. These accomplished and talented bloggers are all so helpful and willing to share their ideas, their creativeness, and their sources.
There are party tables that feature every kind of party you can think of... whether it's a wedding, shower, birthday party, and even a welcome the puppy party. Here are a few of my favorites that I wanted to share...

This sweet party was created by Glory, http://glorioustreats.blogspot.com/2010/03/candy-party-its-here.html who wanted to do a candy themed party for her daughter. Glory has it all... a candy buffet, a food/dessert buffet, there is a drink buffet.
And she even made all the food herself including the darling cupcakes and cookies. And if Glory wasn't nice enough to share her pictures, she has shared tutorials on her sugar cookies. Go check out her blog for more pictures and some wonderful inspiration of other parties that she created!




Anne from A.Party Style, created the most original party for her daughter's first birthday... Milk and Cookies, how cute is that? Why didn't I think of that???
I am immediately drawn to the colors. And who doesn't love milk and cookies?
Takes you right back to your childhood doesn't it?

Anne made all the cookies, and the cake... talk about taking it to the next level. I am definitely signing up for that cake decorating class I've been threatening to take :)

Anne made the pom poms as well, using different shades of brown, white and cream tissue paper.

For more details and pictures be sure to check out A. Party Style
And for more inspiration check out some of Anne's other parties and ideas

photos courtesy of Vicki Lynn Photography
What little girl wouldn't want this adorable party theme? The very talented Kim from The Tom Kat Studio, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite blogs, put much thought and care into making her daughter's special day memorable. Kim has been very generous with her party planning ideas, sources and inspiration. Please check out her blog for more details of Kate's Fairy Garden Party, and other fabulous parties. Kim also has an Etsy shop with everything you need to plan a memorable party.
With all this inspiration, I think I need to plan a party!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Got Dog Treats?

Dog treats are actually pretty easy to make, and my dogs really do like them better than store bought. Plus it's nice knowing what is in them.

Rosie's Peanut Butter Treats
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup milk
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flours and baking powder.
In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the peanut butter and milk until smooth.
Add half of the flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture and mix until combined. Add the rest of the flour mixture and knead on a floured surface for a few minutes.
Roll dough between 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes. Bake on a silpat lined baking sheet (or parchment paper) about 6 minutes. Depending on size of treats, mine were pretty small. If making larger treats may need to leave in oven up to 15 minutes. Watch carefully. Cool on a rack and store in sealed plastic bags in the refrigerator.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Mini Key Lime Cheesecakes

Mini Key Lime Cheesecake
for the crust:
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 T sugar
pinch of salt
3 T unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat 12 cup mini cheesecake pan with cooking spray. In a medium size bowl, stir graham cracker crumbs, sugar and salt. Add the melted butter and stir until combined. Press equal amounts into bottom of cups and press with a tart tamper Bake 10 min and then cool completely.
for the filling:
16 ounces cream cheese, at room temp.
14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
3 egg yolks
4 ounces Nellie and Joe's key west lime juice
pinch of salt
Pour condensed milk into blender. Add cream cheese gradually, in small portions and mix until smooth. Add egg yolks and blend well. Add salt and key west lime juice. Continue blending until mixture is smooth. Pour into mini cheesecake pan and bake for 15 to 17 min. Let stand for 10 minutes before refrigerating. Refrigerate overnight. Top with freshly whipped cream, and garnish with fresh lime zest.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Cocoa-Buttermilk Cupcakes with Chocolate Malt Buttercream Frosting

This morning I made cupcakes using Dorie Greenspan's recipe from Baking from my home to yours, for Cocoa-Buttermilk Birthday Cake and Chocolate Malt Buttercream Frosting. The frosting was amazing!!! All I was missing was Charlotte's Apron...much to my surprise the cupcakes turned out without it ha!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Ultimate Turtle Brownies

I found this recipe on a fabulous blog that I recently discovered, Dinner and Dessert I think we have the same taste because I truly want to make everything on her blog!
I have been wanting to make caramel sauce for sometime now, I've always been a little intimidated...not as hard as I thought! I served these with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce at Girl's Night. Very yummy!

Ultimate Turtle Brownies
source: Dinner and Dessert via Cooks Illustrated May 2006
1/4 c heavy cream plus 2 additional Tbsp.
1/4 tsp. table salt
1/4 c water
2 Tbsp. light corn syrup
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
8 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 tsp. baking powder
2 large eggs, room temp.
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. table salt
2/3 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
25 pecan halves, toasted
( I sprinkled chopped pecans on instead)
To Make the Caramel: Combine cream and salt in a small bowl. Stir well to dissolve the salt.
Combine water and corn syrup in a 2-3 quart saucepan. Pour sugar into center taking care not to let granules touch side of pan. Gently stir with spatula to moisten sugar thoroughly. Cover and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Cook covered, and without stirring until sugar is dissolved, and liquid is clear, 3 to 5 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook, without stirring, until bubbles show faint golden color, 3 to 5 minutes more. Reduce heat to medium-low. Continue to cook (swirling occasionally) until caramel is light amber and registers about 360 degrees on candy or instant-read thermometer. 1 to 3 minutes longer. Remove saucepan from heat and carefully add cream to center of pan, stir with whisk or spatula (mixture will bubble and steam vigorously) until fully incorporated and bubbles subside. Stir in vanilla and butter. Transfer to microwave safe glass measuring cup or bowl and set aside
To Make the Brownies: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly spray 9-inch square baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Line pan with foil so edges on all sides over-hang. Spray foil with cooking spray.
Melt butter, bittersweet, and unsweetened chocolate in medium heat-proof bowl over barely simmering water, stirring occasionally. Do not let water touch bottom of bowl. When smooth and combined remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly. Meanwhile whisk together the flour and baking soda in a small bowl, set aside. In a large bowl whisk together eggs, sugar, salt and vanilla until incorporated. When chocolate has cooled slightly, add to egg mixture. Whisk until well combined. Add flour mixture, stir with rubber spatula until almost combined. Add chopped pecans and chocolate chips, mix until incorporated and no flour streaks remain,
Distribute half the brownie batter in prepared pan, spread evenly. Drizzle scant 1/4 cup caramel over batter. Drop remaining batter in large mounds over caramel layer, spread evenly and into corners with spatula. Drizzle additional scant 1/4 cup caramel over top. Using tip of butter knife, swirl caramel and batter. Bake brownies until toothpick inserted into center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached. About 35 to 40 minutes. Cool brownies on wire rack to room temperature, 1 1/2 hours.
Heat remaining caramel in microwave until warm and pourable, but still thick, do not boil (45 to 60 seconds, stirring once or twice) Pour caramel over brownies. Using spatula spread evenly to cover surface. at this point I sprinkled remaining pecans over top. Refrigerate uncovered at least 2 hours. Remove from pan using foil overhang as handles. Remove foil and slice. Let come to room temperature. We served with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Curd Filling and Lemon Cream Icing

Last night I made a Lemon Meringue Pie for a friend's birthday, and had left over lemon curd. I thought it would be great in a cupcake and found this recipe on All Recipes.

Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Curd Filling and Lemon Cream Icing
adapted from: allrecipes.com
3 cups self-rising flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter at room temp.
2 cups white sugar
4 large eggs at room temp.
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons lemon zest
1 cup milk
2 1/2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice ( I used about 4 Tablespoon)
Lemon Cream Icing
2 cups heavy cream, chilled
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners makes about 30 cupcakes. I halved the recipe and made about 12 cupcakes.

Sift the flour and salt together in bowl. In a separate bowl beat the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, one at a time, beating each egg until incorporated before adding the next. Beat in the lemon zest, and vanilla extract.

Gently beat in the flour mixture into the butter mixture, one third at a time, alternating with the milk and the lemon juice beginning and ending with flour. Do not over-mix.

Filled prepared pans with batter 3/4 full. Bake about 17 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pans about 10 minutes, then remove to a rack to finish cooling.

Hollow a hole in the center of each cupcake when cooled and fill with lemon curd. Top with Lemon Cream Icing

For the icing: Beat the cream in a chilled bowl with an electric mixer set on low until cream begins to thicken. Add the powdered sugar and the lemon juice a little at a time, beating after each addition, until fully incorporated. Increase speed to high and beat until icing forms soft peaks, about 5 minutes. Spread or pipe on cupcakes. Refrigerate leftovers.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Macaroni Salad

This is my family's favorite macaroni salad. We like to keep it simple, in fact this is the first time I've added sliced olives... I don't think they'll mind too much.

Macaroni Salad
8 ounces salad macaroni
1 cup mayonnaise (I used low-fat)
2 Tablespoons milk (I used non-fat)
2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups sliced celery
1/2 cup purple onion, chopped
4 hard boiled eggs, chopped
small can sliced olives
Cook macaroni 10 minutes, rinse in cold water, drain. In large bowl stir together mayonnaise, milk, vinegar, salt, sugar, and pepper. Add macaroni, celery, onions, and eggs. Toss to coat well. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Breakfast Girl's Night

Last night was girl's night at my niece's house. Our theme was breakfast and pjs...it was so much fun!!! Of course there were Mimosas... this is Dana and Drea popping open the champagne over the fence...I'm not even telling you what is on the other side of the fence, but the goal is to get the cork over the fence haha!

This is the Cinnamon Rolls rising, I just liked the way they looked. Green Chili Casserole, Cinnamon Rolls, and French Toast Casserole. The Green Chili Casserole seemed to be the big hit of the night, but I could have seriously eaten that whole pan of French Toast Casserole.... YUM!

French Toast Casserole
For the casserole:
1 loaf french bread ( I cut off all the crust)
6 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups half and half
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
For the Topping:
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
2 Tablespoons dark corn syrup
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped (I also toasted)
Spray a 9x13 inch pan with cooking spray. Fill with bread cubes so the dish is completely covered to the top.
In a large bowl mix effs, milk, half and half, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon. Pour over top of bread mixture. I pressed the bread down slightly to make sure it all soaked in. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
For topping: Mix all ingredients. Pour over top of bread mixture. Bake until puffed and golden. About 40 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Green Chili Casserole
7 ounce can green chilis, whole
1/2 pound Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded
2 eggs
2 cups milk
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
Arrange chilis on the bottom of a buttered 1 1/2 quart casserole dish, you may need to split them open. cover with shredded cheese. Beat eggs until fluffy. Add flour slowly and the salt. Beat until mixed. Pour over chili-cheese mixture. Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven 45-50 minutes. Till brown on top and casserole is firm.