Wednesday, September 24, 2014

My Little Caterpillar is becoming a Beautiful Butterfly

     I can't believe my little lady is turing the BIG number 2 pretty soon!  Seems like yesterday we were rushing to the hospital to welcome her into our family.  Another year gone and another year older.  She has definitely grown into a big girl with a huge personality full of sass and curiosity, a total Miss Diva!  Last year we celebrated her 1st birthday Somewhere Over the Rainbow.  This year I wanted to bring one of her favorite books, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, to life.  I got her adorable dress from Wild Olive Kids and her headband from Liz Ann's Bowtique.  I dressed her up and we headed out to the Fabian Garcia Research Center (NMSU Botanical Gardens) for a little photo shoot. I wanted to take pictures for her birthday party invites.  She definitely had a bit of an attitude that day, but I did get to capture a few good pictures of her...even if she didn't flash a smile.

I can't wait to see how her invitations turn out...I'll save that for another post.

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Biscoff Pumpkin Muffins

Recipe modified from Lil' Luna

What you need:

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour (sifted)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
2 eggs (room temperature)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup water
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup Biscoff cookies (finely crushed) or oatmeal (I was out of cookies so used this)
2 TBsp Biscoff Creamy spread
3 TBsp unsalted butter (cold)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

4 oz original cream cheese (softened)
2-3 Tbsp Apple butter

How to make them:

Preheat oven to 350˚F.
Line one standard size muffin pan with liners, set aside.
In a bowl of an electric mixer on low speed, combine the sugar, brown sugar, puree, vegetable oil, applesauce, water, and vanilla extract.
Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until just combined.
In a medium size mixing bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and ground cinnamon.
With the mixing speed on low, gradually add in the dry ingredients, scraping down the sides as needed, mix until no flour pockets remain, set aside.
For the streusel, in a small mixing bowl combine the sugar, brown sugar, flour, crushed cookies or oatmeal (like I used), and ground cinnamon.
Using a pastry blender, cut in cold butter and Biscoff spread.
Continue working the mixture with the pastry blender until it resembles chunks about the size of a pea.
Scoop in enough batter to fill 1/3 of each muffin well.
Then scoop a bit of the cream cheese filling on top of the muffin batter.
Next top the cream cheese with another scoop of muffin batter.
Sprinkle some of the streusel topping on the muffin batter.
Gently pat the streusel into the batter to help it bake into the muffin.
Place in the oven and bake for 18-22 minutes or until the tops spring back and the streusel is golden brown.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 2 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Monday, September 8, 2014

Key Lime Pie

 Recipe featured on Cook. Eat. Love.

What you need:

3/4 lb graham cracker crumbs
4 TBsp sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter (melted)
1/4 tsp salt

4 egg yolks (room temperature)
1 can (14oz) condensed milk
2/3 cup fresh Key Lime juice
1 lime grated zest

1 cup heavy cream (chilled)
2 Tbsp confectioner's sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

How to make it:

Preheat oven to 325˚F.
Break up the graham crackers by placing in a food processor and process into crumbs.
Add the melted butter, sugar, and salt, then pulse until combined.
Press the mixture into the bottom of a 9 inch pie pan, forming an even layer on the bottom, sides and edge.
Bake the crust for 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow the crust to cool.

While the crust is resting, in a bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the egg yolks and lime zest at high speed until fluffy, about 5 to 6 minutes.
Gradually add the condensed milk and continue to whip until thick, about 3 to 4 minutes longer.
Lower the mixer speed and slowly add the lime juice until incorporated.
Pour the mixture into the crust and bake for 15 minutes or until the filing has set.
Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.
Then refrigerate for 20 minutes or over night.

In a clean bowl of an electric mixer with a clean whisk attachment, whip the cream, confectioner's sugar, and vanilla until nearly stiff peaks.
Put whipped cream in a piping bag fitted with star tip.
Pipe the whipped topping onto the cooled pie around the edges and in the center.
Garnish the pie with a slice of lime.
Place in the freezer for about 20 minutes prior to serving.
Then ENJOY!!

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Friday, September 5, 2014

July Crafternoon

          For July's Crafternoon I hosted and planned on everyone getting their "wreck" on.  I recently discovered Wreck This Journal, it's such a fun way to bring out your creativity.  I got a journal for each of my guests, set out all kinds of crafting items, some traditional others not so much.  

Gaby getting her "wreck" on!

My friend, Gaby, brought her mother-in-law Donna.  
She had fun "wrecking" her journal too!

This is one of Donna's pages

Here are some of Gaby's

Gaby's hubby, Josh, even joined in the fun!

I got a little messy with my journal.
I used some paint and a fork to make these cool designs, 
which turned out to look like fireworks.
Pretty fitting since it was a 4th of July themed Crafternoon!

Kinley wanted to do a little "wrecking" herself

So did Liam, he made an awesome hat

As far as the food went, I did a play on hot dogs.
I found some different yummy sausages, 
then came up with some interesting toppings for each one.

This one was one of my favorites!

Pretty tasty!

Yum Yum!

This one was my second favorite!

I just had to taste them all!

As far as desserts go...I made these cute Cheeseburger Cupcakes 
and Crinkle Cut Cake Fries with a side of Plum Jelly as ketchup.

It was a good day, full of creativity, great friends, yummy food, and lots of fun!
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