Saturday, August 31, 2013

August Crafternoon

     It's a new month which means another fun night with the ladies at our monthly Crafternoon.  This time our host, Elizabeth, opened up her home to us for craft night.  We were welcomed with some yummy Mojito cocktails to start our evening.

Tonight's craft we made necklace, bracelet, or wine charms.
All you need are Scrabble tiles, Modge Podge, paintbrushes, paper cutter,
small printed images (found mine at InkFive), Diamond Glaze,
toothpicks, Exacto knife, E6000 jewelry adhesive, silver plated bails,
 and silver necklace chains.

Everyone getting their craft on!

First, I cut the picture images to fit on the Scrabble tile.
Paint on a little Modge Podge on the back side (side without letter).
Let dry 15-20 minutes.

Time for some snacks!

We enjoyed some Baba Ganoujh that Elizabeth made,

 and some Farro Salad with Creamy Feta Sauce that Jennie made.

So while I waited for my tiles to dry I enjoyed
 the lovely smell of some beautiful Butterfly flowers, 
the freshness of my minty lime Mojito, 
and piled plate of yumminess!

After my tiles were try, I applied a thin layer of Modge Podge on top 
of the image and along the sides....then let dry 15-20 minutes again.
When they are dry apply the Diamond Glaze (DO NOT SHAKE THE BOTTLE,
make sure to put a few drops on a piece of paper to get the bubbles out first).
Evenly cover the trimmed paper tiles with a generous amount of glaze,
spreading gently with a toothpick, which can also be used to pop any bubbles.
Let the glaze dry completely!  You can apply a 2nd coat if needed.
After they are throughly dried apply a small amount of the jewelry 
adhesive to one of the bails then attach it to the back (letter side)
of the tile.  Let aside to let adhesive dry.

While the tiles dry, time to enjoy some dessert!
Elizabeth got creative with her drying style.

Marisa brought some delightful cream puffs, 

and I made a Pumpkin Spice Kulfi garnished 
with caramel, walnuts, and Angie's Salted Caramel Popcorn.

These are Marisa's beautiful creations!

And look at Jennie's!

Now to find the perfect chain to put our pretty charms on, that's it!
This was another great Crafternoon!

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Friday, August 30, 2013

Pumpkin Spice Cookies

     I still have a lot of pumpkin left over from the Pumpkin Spice Kulfi and the Pumpkin Banana Muffins, so I thought I would bake up some cookies to use up the rest of it.  I made half the batch with the glaze the other have I added some chocolate chips to the batter and baked them up.  Both types turned out great!
Original recipe from My Baking Addition.


2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 TBsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar (lightly packed)
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 large egg (room temperature)
1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup confectioner's sugar
1 1 /2 TBsp milk
1 TBsp unsalted butter (melted)
1 tsp vanilla extract

How to make them:

Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt, set aside.
In a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugars.
Add the pumpkin, egg, and vanilla to the butter mixture.
Beat on medium speed until fully incorporated and creamy.
Slowly add in the flour mixture and mix until combined.
Using a medium cookie scoop, drop dough onto the prepared cookie sheets.
Bake for 12-15 minutes.
Allow cookies to cool on the pan for a few minutes before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the glaze combine the confectioner's sugar, milk, melted butter, and vanilla.
Add milk as needed, to achieve glaze consistency.
Place a pice of parchment or wax paper on your work surface and place a wire rack on the top of the paper.
Pour the glaze into a plastic squeeze bottle.
Then drizzle the cooled cookies with the glaze.
Allow glaze to firm up before serving and ENJOY!

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Friday Foodie Favorites: Angie's Popcorn

     Welcome to my fourth Friday Foodie Favorites!  Today's post is about Angie's Popcorn! These little bites of popped kernels are bursting with flavor!  I discovered them at Target and LOVED them! Liam liked them too, we even snuck some into the movie theater to see Turbo.  We tried the Sweet & Salty, but today I'm featuring Salted Caramel.

  I found this great recipe on Sugar Plum for Pumpkin-Spiced Kulfi with Caramel Popcorn 
that I thought I would try to make.


1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12oz) can evaporated milk
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 cup walnuts (toasted & finely chopped)
caramel popcorn
caramel sauce (optional for garnish)

How to make it:
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, heavy cream, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg until combined.
Pour mixture into an 8 or 9 inch in length loaf pan.
Sprinkle walnuts over the top.
Freeze overnight or until set, about 6 hours.
To serve:
Dip loaf pan into hot water (don't submerge) for about 15 minutes, then invert onto a cutting board.
Cut into equal slices and plate walnut side up.
Top with caramel popcorn and drizzle with caramel sauce and additional walnuts if desired then ENJOY!
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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Monthly Menu: Garlic Chicken, Cheesy Broccoli Rice, & Peas

     Last night's dinner was really good, I was pleasantly surprised with how the chicken turned out since there were only 4 ingredients!

August 27th: Garlic Chicken, Cheesy Broccoli Rice, & Peas
Recipe found on Totally Recipes.


4 boneless and skinless chicken breasts
4 TBsp brown sugar
4 garlic cloves (minced)
3 Tbsp olive oil
Salt & Pepper to taste

How to make it:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Grease or line a baking pan with aluminum foil.
Saute the garlic in olive oil until it becomes soft.
Put the chicken in the baking pan, season with salt and pepper.
Combine the softened garlic and brown sugar.
Then spread the garlic mixture over the chicken.
Bake without a cover for about 40 minutes.
Take out and let cool then ENJOY!

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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Baba Ganoujh

     My friend Elizabeth, made this Baba Ganoujh, I've never been a big fan of eggplant, but this was amazing!  She was so kind as to share the recipe with me, so I wanted to share it with you! 


1 medium eggplant (1 lb)
1/4 cup lightly packed fresh parsley leaves
3 TBsp fresh lemon juice
3 TBsp Tahini
2 cloves garlic (minced)

How to make it:

Place the whole eggplant on a grill or under a broiler.
Cook, turning about every 5 minutes, until charred all over (about 20 minutes total)
Cut the eggplant in half, scoop out the flesh and discard the skin, let cool.
Place the eggplant, parsley, lemon juice, tahini, and garlic in a food processor container fitted with a steel blade.
Process until the parsley is finely chopped.
Let stand at least one hour for flavors to meld.
Serve with cut up pita bread or pita chips then ENJOY!

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Farro Salad with Creamy Feta Sauce

     My friend Jennie, brought this over for our Crafternoon, it was so good! Just had to have the recipe!

Recipe found at My Recipes.


2 TBsp extra virgin olive oil
2 TBsp fresh lemon juice
2 TBsp green onions (chopped) 
2 tsp fresh oregano (chopped)
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 1/2 cups whole-grain faro (precooked)
1 cup tomato (chopped)
1 cup cucumber (peeled and thinly sliced)
1 cup organic canned chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley (chopped)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 (6inch) whole wheat pita
cooking spray
1/8 tsp paprika
1/4 cup 2% reduced fat Greek plain yogurt
2 TBsp water
2 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese (softened about 1/4 cup)
1.5 oz Feta cheese (crumbled, about 1/3 cup)

How to make it:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine the first 5 ingredients in large bowl, stirring well with a whisk.
Add cooked farro; toss gently to combine.
Combine tomato and next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a medium bowl.
Let stand 10 minutes.
Add tomato mixture to farro mixture; toss gently to combine.
Split pita into 2 rounds, cut each round into 6 wedges.
Lightly coat pita with cooking spray; sprinkle with paprika.
Arrange pita wedges on a baking sheet; bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until crisp.
Combine yogurt, 2 TBsp water, cream cheese, and feta, stirring with a whisk.
Serve with faro salad and pita chips and ENJOY!
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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Pumpkin Banana Muffins

     Last night I asked Liam what he would like for breakfast in the morning, he told me he wanted muffins.  Alrighty, I guess we are having muffins in the morning!  I recently made a dessert with some pumpkin, and I had A LOT left, so thought I would find a muffin recipe so I could use up the rest.  And I did...Pumpkin Banana Muffins! PERFECT!

Found the recipe from Strive for Progress.


3 cups all purpose flour (sifted)
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 eggs (room temperature)
1/2 cup unsalted butter (melted)
1 cup honey
3 bananas (mashed)
1 cup pureed pumpkin
1 cup chocolate chips (optional)
1/2 chopped toasted walnuts (optional)

How to make it:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Line muffin pan with paper liners.
In a bowl of an electric mixer, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, mix on low speed.
Then add bananas, pumpkin, honey, eggs, and melted butter.
Mix at medium speed until combined.
Stir in the chocolate chips or walnuts if using.
Scoop batter into prepared muffin pans.
Bake in oven for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean and muffins are golden brown.
Let cool on wire rack then ENJOY!

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Friday, August 23, 2013

Friday Foodie Favorites: Simply Balanced Herb Mixed Freeze Dried Vegetables

     Welcome to Friday Foodie Favorites...I recently found these Simply Balanced Herb Mixed Freeze Dried Vegetables at Target.  I oringial got them for Kinley to snack on, but they were a little difficult for her to chew, since she only has front teeth still.  But that's ok, just means more for me! YAY!  

These little morsels are so yummy!

These veggies are so tasty can't wait to try out the fruit ones!

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Monthly Menu: Cheesy Doritos Chicken Casserole & Southwest Salad

     So, the other day one of my friends welcomed their new bundle of joy into the world.  As a welcome, I wanted to bring over some dinner to celebrate and to lessen the stress of dinner time.  With that in mind I wanted to make something easy and yummy to take over, plus could make double for us to enjoy as well. 

August 8th: Cheesy Doritos Chicken Casserole & Southwest Salad

Found the recipe on Key Ingredient.

2 cups shredded cooked chicken 
1 cup Mexican cheese (shredded)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1 can Ro-tel tomatoes (mild)
1/2 packet taco seasoning
Bag of Cheese Doritos

How to make it:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except the chips.
Spray a 2qt. baking dish with non stick cooking spray.
Put a layer of crushed Doritos (about 2 cups) on the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
Then layer some of the chicken mixture on the chips.
Repeat once more, ending with a layer of chicken mixture.
Top with more shredded cheese.
Cover with foil.
Bake for 30-35 minutes until bubbling hot.
Let cool before serving and ENJOY!!
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Monday, August 19, 2013

My Friend the Traveling Tipsi Artist

     Today, I wanted to share something really awesome!  My Bestie, Kristi, the Traveling Tipsi Artist, has just launched her new website! You can also find her on FaceBook, Traveling Tipsi Artist!  She came up with an amazing concept of bringing the fun of art right to your house in form of an art party.   You can invite your friends, enjoy some yummy treats, sip on a lovely glass of wine, and paint an amazing masterpiece.  So much fun, I wish I lived closer to host my own Art Party!

A glass of Moscato di Asti and a sugar cookie to enjoy while painting sounds good to me!

Kristi or one of her Artiste Guru's, help to guide your creativity 
into creating a masterpiece.

She can bring out the artist in everyone!

Those are some beautiful pieces of art!

An art party isn't just for the ladies...

Why not have a Beer & Art party with the fellas?

WOW! Look at all that creativity!

If you love art, painting, or even just getting together with your friends, 
you should definitely host an Art Party with your very own
Traveling Tipsi Artist!!

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Buttermilk Chocolate Chip Crumb Cake

  Yesterday, I baked this up! It was really good and perfect with my vanilla latte! Hope you enjoy it as much as Liam and I did!

Original recipe from Piggy's Cooking Journal.


1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup cake flour
1 stick unsalted butter
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup mini bitter-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 eggs (room temperature)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp orange zest

Crumb Topping
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup light brown sugar (packed)
3/4 cup cold butter (cut into chunks)
1 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup mini bitter-sweet chocolate chips (for sprinkling on top of cake)
Powdered sugar (for sifting on top of cake)

How to make it:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray a loaf pan with non stick cooking spray, then line the pan with parchment paper.
To make topping, thoroughly mix the AP flour and sugar in a large bowl.
Drop chucks of cold butter, using a pastry cutter or table knife, cut the butter into the flour until it reduces to the size of large pearls.
Sprinkle the vanilla extract over, working with fingertips, knead the mixture together until moist, clumpy lumps are formed.
DO NOT overmix.
To make the cake, sift the AP flour, cake flour, baking powder, and baking soda.
Then toss 1 TBsp of the sifted flour mixture in a small bowl with the 3/4 cup chocolate chips.
Cream the butter in a bowl of an electric mixer for about 3 minutes.
Add in the orange zest, then add the sugar in 3 additions, beating for 1 minute after each portion is added.
Add in the egg and beat for 45 seconds.
Mix in the vanilla extract.
Alternately add in the sifted mixture in 3 additions with the buttermilk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the sifted mixture. 
Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl to ensure even mixing.
Stir in the chocolate chips.
Spoon the batter into the baking pan and spread evenly, smooth the top with a rubber spatula.
Sprinkle the streusel topping evenly on the cake batter, make sure that the whole surface is covered.
Bake the cake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake turns out clean.
The baked cake should pull away slightly from the sides of the pan.
Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle with the extra 3/4 cup chocolate chips evenly on top of the baked cake immediately.
Let the cake cool completely.
Peel off the parchment paper from the cake.
Sift some powdered sugar on top of the cake and ENJOY!

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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Monthly Menu: Baked Ziti & Salad

     Man, I sure do love meals that can easily frozen and thawed to be cooked the next day.  I know I have mentioned it before, but recently they have definitely come in handy!  Here's another great meal for such an occasion!

August 16: Baked Ziti & Side Salad

Recipe found on


1 lb lean ground beef
1 cup onion (chopped)
2 garlic cloves (minced)
1 (32oz) jar meatless spaghetti sauce
1 cup chicken broth
1 tsp dried oregano leaves
1 (16oz) package ziti pasta (cooked & drained)
shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup parmesan cheese (grated)

How to make it:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large skillet, cooke ground beef, onions, and garlic over medium-high heat for 6 to 8 minutes or until is browned, stirring frequently.
Stir in spaghetti sauce, chicken broth, and oregano.
Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
Cook pasta according to package.
Stir in 1 cup of the sauce into the cooked ziti noodles.
Spoon 1/2 of ziti mixture into a 13x9x2 inch baking dish.
Sprinkle with 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup parmesan cheese.
Top with 2 cups sauce, then remaining ziti mixture and remaining sauce.
Cover and bake 20 minutes.
Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
Return to oven and bake uncovered for 10 minutes or until heated through.
Let cool, serve with a side salad, then ENJOY!

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Friday, August 16, 2013

Friday Foodie Favorites: Talenti Gelato

     I'm so excited about this week's Foodie Favorite, Talenti Gelato!  Have you tried this? It is SO good!  There are lots of flavors to choose from!  So far, I have tried Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup, Mediterranean Mint, and my personal favorite Sea Salt Caramel!  I can't wait to try the rest! 

I could SO just eat it right out of the jar!

     I didn't really have a recipe to go a long with today's Foodie Favorite so instead I whipped up this fabulous Talenti Gelato Sundae!  I scooped some out, drizzled on some Smucker's Magic Shell Chocolate Sauce, then sprinkled on my other favorite Foodie Favorite some crushed Biscoff Cookies.  Oh man, this sundae was AWESOME!

Hope you go out and find a jar, or two, or maybe three! 
They are so delish!

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