Thursday, December 15, 2011

Magic Reindeer Food

I recently came across these cute reindeer food labels on Pinterest,  from The TomKat Studio.   How fun would they be as party favors for a kids Christmas party or a family activity for Christmas Eve!  You can pretty much add anything to the food mixture that you may have around the house.  I simply used oats, sprinkles and glitter.  So head on over to The TomKat Studio to print up your free copy of labels. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Chocolate Crinkles

Good Morning!

These cookies are super chocolaty and chewy just like brownies, but are a little more festive with powdered sugar, making them perfect for Christmas time.   Be sure to have a chilled glass of milk or warm cup of coffee for dipping...enjoy!

Chocolate Crinkles

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat together the sugar and vegetable oil, until the mixture resembles wet sand, about 2 minutes. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in the vanilla. Gradually mix the flour mixture in, until just moistened. 

Cover the dough tightly with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or as long as overnight – this is necessary, as the dough is very wet and needs a while to thicken and firm up.

When you are ready to bake your cookies, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper.  Roll the cookies into 2 tablespoon sized balls, using either an ice cream scoop or greased hands, then roll them well in the 1 cup of powdered sugar. Place the cookies about 2 inches apart on baking sheets.

Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, until firm but still a bit cakey looking. Allow them to cool completely before moving, storing, and/or serving. These will keep well in an airtight container for up to 4 days, or they freeze well for up to 3 months.

Linking to:

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas Pinterest Obsession

Good Morning!

Hope all of you are enjoying the Christmas season and getting your favorite decorations out, I LOVE this time of year!  Here are a few images from Pinterest (are all of you as addicted as I am?) that I am swooning over...

Love this mini tree - beautiful color scheme

 I'm on a mission to make these burlap stockings, it's a must

White Christmas

Love anything made of mercury glass, these are amazing

Some of my favorite gift wrapping ideas

Vintage black, white, gold and silver goodness

{visit me on Pinterest to see more images I love}

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Inspiration

Thanksgiving and Christmas are by far, my most  favorite holidays ever!  I love all the food, drinks and family gathering to celebrate together.  Here are some fun and festive Thanksgiving ideas I'm loving... 

Usually all of your family and friends already know they are invited to the big feast, but how fun would it be to receive one of these cute cards in the mail!  (postcard invites available on Etsy)

 I LOVE this simple and chic pillow, it's just perfect!
(available at dear lillie)

Here is an easy DIY project for place cards...they can be embellished with anything you would like to fancy them up.  (available as a FREE printable download at EAB Designs)

I love the idea of having a dessert table full of all kinds of "mini" treats!  These mini pumpkin cheesecake trifles look so elegant and sound super tasty.  (recipe available at Hoosier Homemade)

How fun would it be to have a champagne & sweets party the night before, yes please! Or even the day after, as a champagne brunch to kick of the Christmas decorating!  (more party ideas at the party dress)
Hope all of you have fabulous Thanksgiving! 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sausage, Mushroom & Potato Gratin

Happy Thanksgiving Week!

I recently received my November Cooking Light issue and couldn't wait to try out this savory and hearty recipe.   Although I hardly ever cook with meat (it's just this weird thing about me, but I actually really like eating it, coming from a girl who loves burnt hot dogs),  I was willing to  venture out on this one and give it a try.  This comfort food dish is packed with all kinds of great flavor that reminds me of my husband's Thanksgiving stuffing recipe that I LOVE and could eat all year long.  The fun thing about this recipe is that it could easily be served for brunch or dinner...enjoy!

Sausage, Mushroom and Potato Gratin
adapted from:   Cooking Light Magazine

8 ounces hot Italian sausage (I used Jimmy Dean Hot Sausage)
1 tablespoon butter
3 cups chopped onion
2 shallots, chopped
8 ounces sliced cremini mushrooms
1 1/2 pounds red potatoes, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup fat-free, low sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded gruyere cheese
cooking spray

onion, shallot, mushroom mixture

onion, shallot, mushroom,  potato mixture

 onion, shallot, mushroom, potatoes, sausage mixture

Preheat oven to 400°.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage to pan, and sauté for 5 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Remove sausage from pan; drain. Wipe pan with paper towels. Melt butter in pan. Add onions; sauté 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms; sauté 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add potatoes and salt; sauté 5 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally.
Stir in sausage and broth. Remove from heat. Spoon potato mixture into an 11 x 7-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray; top with cheese. Cover and bake at 400° for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes or until golden.  

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Starbucks Holiday Drinks

Good Morning!!!

The red holiday cups from Starbucks are out, woohoo!  There is something about these lil  red cups that make me all giddy inside, I LOVE this time of year!!!  Be sure to visit your local Starbucks to celebrate their "buy one, get one free" event, between 2pm - 5pm, November 17th - 20th!  Simply purchase one holiday drink and receive the second drink for FREE!  Cheers!

(for more details, click HERE)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Fall Mantel

Good Morning!

Hope all of you are enjoying the changing colors of leaves and getting ready for some Turkey Day celebrations.  Here are a few photos of our fall decor this year...

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Feeling The Blog Love

I am beyond excited to tell you all that I won my first blogger awards from 2 fabulous ladies,  Leigh at Fun to Funky and from Julie at Shabby Momma!  Thanks so much for the love ladies, way appreciate it!!!

 The rules for this award are:
-Thank and link back to the person who gave you this award
-Share 7 things about yourself
-Send it to other bloggers and let them know you have awarded them

7 things about me:
1. The best Christmas present/surprise ever, was my lil sister Katie when I was 8 years old!
2.  I am usually in bed by 9:30, old lady of me, I know, ha!
3. I met my husband over a latte at Starbucks.
4.  Think I could live off of a diet of cheese, bread and maybe a lil champers.
5. I have a special place in my heart for birds and squirrels.
6. I am extremely indecisive, but I'm working on it...
7.  I STILL sleep with the silky part (only thing that has survived this long) of my childhood blanket.

Now to pass on this "Major Lieber Award" here are the rules, in no particular order:

1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
2. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
4. Have faith that your followers will spread the love to other bloggers.
5. And most of all -- have fun!

Be sure to check out these lovely blogs: 

Emily Ann Interiors ~ I can always count on Emily for some amazing interior inspiration, love her style!
Curb Alert ~ Tami has a great eye for finding the best roadside treasures and turning them into something fab!
 Fancy Frugal Life ~ Love all of Lina's shabby chic diy projects, she's so creative!
Simply Decorated ~ If you are ever in need for a tasty treat, Alice has an amazing collection of yummy recipes!
Confessions of a Plate Addict ~ Found this gorgeous Christmas mantel on pinterest that I'm still swooning over!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Squares

With the crisp fall air out, I have been totally taking advantage of every "pumpkin" recipe I can find.  My good friend Alice, at Simply Decorated (head over to her blog to take a lil looksey at all of her delish recipes) always has the best desserts for our Bunco meet ups.  I decided to challenge myself and try out one of her fabulous recipes...they are pretty amazing and fairly simple to make.  Enjoy!

Pumpkin Spice Squares
adapted from:  Alice @ Simply Decorated

2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. nutmeg 
4 large eggs
2 cups pumpkin
1 cup vegetable oil
2 1/4 cups sugar

Mix together the eggs, pumpkin, oil, and sugar. Set aside.  

Set aside. Mix together the dry ingredients, and add the pumpkin mixture. Stir until combined.  

Pour into greased half sheet pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  

When cool,  frost with cream cheese frosting (see recipe below).

Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz. cream cheese at room temp.
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter at room temp.
2 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar

In a mixer, combine the butter and cream cheese on low speed until smooth.

Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and mix until combined. Spread on cooled pumpkin squares.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Apple Cider Shandy

I can't believe it's almost November, ahhhh, where did the month go???!!!  Here is a fun and easy cocktail to enjoy during these fabulous fall days...Cheers & Happy Friday!!!

Apple Cider Shandy 

4 (12-fluid ounce) bottles, Heineken or Heineken Light, chilled
1 (25.4-fluid ounce) bottle sparkling apple cider, chilled

Slowly pour the beer into a 10-cup capacity pitcher and slowly add the sparkling cider.

Pour the shandy into frosted glasses, serve and enjoy immediately. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Twice Baked Potatoes with Mushrooms & Prosciutto

Good Morning!

Since football season is kind of a big deal at our house, thought this recipe would be perfect for snacking on while watching some Monday Night Football. These super yummy potatoes do take some prep time, but they are soooo worth it.  The mixture of  creminis and prosciutto with melted cheese is simply amazing! 

Twice Baked Potatoes with Mushrooms & Prosciutto
adapted from: Giada De Laurentiis

4 russet potatoes
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 3 tablespoons
1 small onion, chopped
1 shallot, chopped
8 ounces small mushrooms, such as cremini or button, sliced
3 cloves garlic minced
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded extra-sharp cheddar
4 thin slices prosciutto, halved

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Using the tines of a fork, prick the skins of the potatoes all over and arrange on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours until tender and cooked through. Remove from the oven and let cool until warm enough to handle, about 20 minutes.

While the potatoes are cooling, in a medium skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and shallot.  Cook and stir frequently, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook until the mushrooms are golden and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 6 minutes. Put the mixture into a medium bowl. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and, using a small spoon, scoop out all but 1/4-inch of the flesh. Add the potato flesh to the mushroom mixture. Add the butter and 1 cup of the cheese. Mix well. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Arrange the potato halves, cut side up on the baking sheet.  Brush both sides of the potatoes with the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil and season the inside with salt and pepper, to taste. Spoon the mushroom mixture into each potato half. Arrange 1 half-piece of prosciutto on top and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.  Bake until the cheese is melted and the prosciutto is crispy, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a serving platter.  Enjoy!

Linking to:

Friday, October 21, 2011

EllaNora Boutique SALE

Good Morning!

My good friend Kari, who owns EllaNora Boutique, is having a super fabulous sale today from 9-1!  Be sure to check it out for some amazing deals!  Cheers & Happy Friday!

Here are a few of my sale favorites!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Burlap & Black Lace Wreath

Good Morning!  

I'm so excited to share my Halloween wreath with all of you today!  Since I love anything with lace and burlap, I decided to combine the two materials for a vintage chic looking wreath.   It was extremely simple to make and can be dressed up with any of your favorite embellishments.  Happy Crafting!

  • 10 inch wreath form 
  • 1 yard of burlap
  • 2 yards of lace ribbon
  • hot glue gun
  • scissors
  • embellishments (I used an old black lace headband that I had with a rosette attached to it, I just cut the rosette off from the headband part) 

    • Cut your burlap into 3 inch strips.
    • With one piece of burlap strip start by placing a dab of glue on an end piece to your wreath form.
    • Wrap the burlap strip around the wreath form, overlapping the previous burlap strip and glue every few wraps to keep the burlap attached to the wreath.
    • Once you get to the end of the strip, hot glue the end to the wreath form.
    • Start the next strip over the end of the previous and continue wrapping.
    • Continue to wrap and glue until your wreath form is completely covered in burlap strips.
    • With one end of your lace ribbon, glue the end piece to the wreath and start wrapping around the burlap. 
    • Once the lace is wrapped around, just glue the opposite end that you started with to the back of the wreath form.
    • Glue or pin any embellishments you would like to use.  I added a few black feathers to the back of my black rosette and pinned it right to the wreath form.  

    Linking to:

      Tip Junkie handmade projects

      Sumo's Sweet Stuff

      Tuesday, October 11, 2011

      Lack of Energy

      Along with the drastic changes in weather, (one day it's in the 80's, next day it's 65 and raining - enough to make a girl crazy when trying to figure out what to wear for the day) my husband and I have been hit with sore throats, runny noses and sneezes.  Think this vintage card pretty much sums up how I'm feeling this week....Cheers!

      Thursday, October 6, 2011

      25 Ways to Wear a Scarf

      So super excited the weather has finally cooled down and actually feels like FALL, woohoo!!!  Time to bundle up in boots and scarves.  Check out this fabulous video for some fun scarf ideas! 

      Tuesday, October 4, 2011

      Black Lace Candles

      About a year ago, I was determined to have ivory lace votives for our wedding decor, they were super simple to make and looked elegant.  Since then, I have always wanted to wrap lace around taller candle holders, but never really got around to it.  I was at the Dollar Store recently, and came across some tall candle holders that would be perfect to wrap in black lace for some Halloween Decor! 

      I simply used an old pair of lace leggings (not sure why I ever owned these, ahhh!) and slipped the candle holder down the leg and cut at the bottom.  The great thing about using old leggings is that you don't even have to use spray adhesive, the leggings fit perfectly tight around the glass candle holder.  Voila!

      Linking to:

      Tip Junkie handmade projects

      Transformation Thursday