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Raspberry Mint Fudge Cookies...


This weekend, I started testing out recipes for Thanksgiving. I would like to make some kind of sweet potato meat pie along with the lemon and onion green bean recipe I posted here. Somehow, my day of recipe testing started off with baked goods... by habit, I assume. It's as if I blacked out for a split second and voila... Cookie batter everywhere {and yes, I am one of those girls that ends up seriously covered in batter when I bake... I found some batter on a pair of boots the other day, that I am ninety nine percent sure were in my closet while I was baking; that's what I mean when I say I get batter everywhere}... I really need to lay off the sweets for a bit!

I have a love/hate relationships with experimenting in the kitchen... I'm so excited when a recipe turns out great {like this one} but up until that unveiling point, I sit and basically stare at my oven, having no idea how long my concoction needs to bake for. I've also learned throughout my experimental baking projects, that if a batter tastes absolutely amazing, and I'm talking 'better than any cookie or cupcake that you've ever had before even though it's still in its batter form' kind of amazing... then your batter probably won't work out well in its baked form. I know that sounds crazy, but please refer to this photo from the most amazing batter I had ever tasted... that ended up remaining in its gooey, uncooked batter form throughout the entire baking process... it was a disaster... a cupcake graveyard, if you will.

 These raspberry fudge mint cookies were inspired by what I had in my pantry... chocolate mint chips, cocoa powder, raspberry preserves and dried cranberries. I'm so happy they turned out, because I was a bit worried about what the mint, raspberry and cranberry flavor combination would taste like. I think I may have to make these for my family's Thanksgiving this year, they're that good.
 



Raspberry Mint Fudge Cookies...
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup mint chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup raspberry preserves

Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  • In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla on medium speed until fluffy.
  • Add flour, cocoa, baking soda, oats and salt and mix on medium until well-combined.
  • Add mint chips, preserves and dried cranberries and mix by hand until combined.
  • Spoon tablespoon sized dollops of batter onto a greased or floured baking sheet (both methods work just the same) and bake for 20 minutes.

enjoy...


Marvelous Oversize Mirrors...


Oversize mirrors are so elegant. Whenever I see them, I automatically think to myself that the homeowner inherited that mirror from the wall of a royal palace somewhere, where it once hung so handsomely next to portraits of kings, queens, dukes and duchesses... 







{ one // two // three // four // five // six // seven }

Homemade Honey Maple Applesauce...


Ahhh yes, tis the season for apple orchards and hay rides... and of course, homemade honey & maple applesauce! The best part of all, is that this was literally the easiest thing I could have made; I made it while I was baking cookies, watching Practical Magic for the 2837597th time and blogging {I was the queen of multitasking this weekend}... and did it ever make my house smell amazing!


Homemade Honey Maple Applesauce...

  • 3 chopped apples {I used golden delicious because I already had them, but honeycrisp, fuji or gala apples are good to use depending on the growing season you're in}
  • 3 tablespoons water 
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • a pinch of ground cloves
  • a pinch of salt
  • a pinch of ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla


Preparation

  • Peel and dice apples.
  • In a medium saucepan, add apples, water, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, maple syrup, honey and salt, cover and let simmer over medium heat for about ten minutes.
  • Remove from heat and add vanilla.
  • Using a potato masher, mash apples well and serve!


enjoy...

Inspired by Tim Burton...


In honor of Halloween...

tim burton

Happy Halloween...

{via}

{see you in a few days...}

Lemon Brownie Bites...


Now that the candy and food laden holidays are upon us, I have officially experienced my first holiday sugar coma via a serious overdose on halloween candy. I've yet to fully recover from my sugar rush, so small portions are absolutely ideal at this point. Well, really no portions are ideal at this point... since I'm mid-sugar-crash at the moment and can barely keep my eyes open... I may have to take a break from baking for a few days... Cheers to all of you that work in a bakery day after day... I definitely don't have the will power that you do!

In the spirit of small portions, here is a recipe from red couch recipes for lemon brownie bites...


Lemon Brownie Bites

  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter; room temperature 
  • 4 eggs 
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon 
  • Zest from 1 lemon 

For The Glaze...
  • 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Additional lemon zest for garnish 
Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees/ Line the bottom only of a 9X13X2-inch baking dish with parchment paper and spray with Pam. 
  • In a mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar and salt; add butter. 
  • Stir together eggs, juice from 1/2 lemon and zest from 1 lemon; stir into batter and pour into prepared pan. 
  • Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until set, use a toothpick to check. Remove from oven and cool on a rack.

For the Glaze

  • If making brownies, only use 1 cup of powdered sugar. When brownies are cool prepare glaze by stirring together powdered sugar and 2 tablespoon lemon juice. You want a stiff glaze. If too stiff add more lemon juice. If making brownies then drizzle over brownies and sprinkle with additional lemon zest.
  • If you want to make the brownie bites, roll cooled brownies into bite-sized balls. Make sure you don't include any light brown crusty parts -- save those for your children. You want a smooth-textured brownie bite. Then add 2-3 teaspoons of glaze to each brownie bite and work with hands to incorporate and re-roll back into ball. Pipe glaze on each ball and while glaze is wet add lemon zest. If desired, using a
  • sieve, sprinkle powdered sugar on the bites
{recipe/photo via red couch recipes}

enjoy...

Inspired by Morocco...


I just love how vibrant and playful this decor is... If only I had the courage to paint my walls any of these colors!










{ one / two / three / four / five / six / seven }

Photo...


{via}

Halloween Cupcakes...




I didn't have time to get the piping tip I really wanted to use, so the frosting job is less than phenomenal, but aren't these candy corn cupcakes kind of cute?! My lack of perfect piping tip left these cupcakes looking a bit like something out of a Dr. Suess book, but I'm kind of okay with that... 

But alas, I have to be honest with you; these were a last minute project for a Halloween party I am attending, so I doctored up a box cake mix and store-bought frosting... I'm so ashamed of myself.

For the cake, I took an angel food boxed cake mix {again, so ashamed} and added honey and peanut butter chips. I filled the liners 3/4 full and baked at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown. For the frosting, I used pink and yellow gel food coloring to make the orange layer. I added honey, lemon juice and marshmallow fluff to store-bought vanilla frosting and whipped it in a stand mixer on medium for about two minutes. I continued this method with another batch of frosting for the yellow layer and then again {without food coloring of course} for the white layer.


Have you made any cute halloween themed desserts this year? Leave the link, I'd love to see them!



A Lovely Day For a Throw Pillow...



I have throw pillows for my bed... However, I think they may have wandered under my bed.

If only I could keep track of my throw pillows...


throw pillow love


Lemon & Onion Roasted Green Beans...


My immediate family is spread out all over the country, and my extended family generally ventures somewhere warmer during the holidays... suffice it to say, my family get-togethers have been few and far between over the last few years. This year however, my extended family will all be here for Thanksgiving, and words simply cannot explain how excited I am for this. My family is a bunch of too loud, too energetic, mostly inappropriate, no-holds-bar group of people {much like the family in My Big Fat Greek Wedding}, but they make me so incredibly happy because they are my own. 

Since thanksgiving is right around the corner, my baby sister and I finally got to talking about what we're planning on bringing this year. My first dish of choice is absolutely green beans. I generally make green beans sauteed in olive oil and fresh garlic and topped with chevre cheese and almonds. This year however, I may have to try this extremely easy recipe from one of my favorite foodie blogs, Mod Meals on Mendenhall...




"I mixed good French green beans with a yellow onion cut into large slices in olive oil, salt and pepper. Roasted at 425 for about 10 minutes – or until the green beans were tender – then sprinkled with lemon zest and juice. I added chopped almonds for an extra crunch on top."


So easy!

Banana Cupcakes with Honey-Cinnamon Frosting...


I'm having a serious craving for all things honey right now. As a matter of fact, my breakfast this morning was sliced bananas with honey and cinnamon... So of course, I had to find a cupcake recipe that mimicked my Wednesday morning breakfast. Low and behold, my exact breakfast in cupcake form: banana cupcakes with honey-cinnamon frosting from TNT-cook...


Banana Cupcakes with Honey-Cinnamon Frosting

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 4 ripe bananas), plus 1 whole banana, for garnish (optional)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For Honey-Cinnamon Frosting

  • 1 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. 
  • Make a well in center of flour mixture. In well, mix together butter, mashed bananas, eggs, and vanilla. Stir to incorporate flour mixture (do not overmix). Dividing evenly, spoon batter into muffin cups. 
  • Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cupcake comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan; cool completely on a wire rack. Spread tops with Honey-Cinnamon Frosting. Just before serving, peel and slice banana into rounds, and place one on each cupcake, if desired

For Frosting

  • In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat confectioners' sugar, unsalted butter, honey, and ground cinnamon until smooth, 4 to 5 minutes 
{recipe/photos via TNT-cook}

enjoy...

Dreaming About Decoupage Dressers...


I may have found my weekend craft project...










{ one / two / three / four / five / six / seven }

Nutella Aphrodisiac Puffs...

Ahhhh nutella, you've won me over once again.

As I was browsing the wonderful world of internets {I must point out that in my head, I just typed out 'world wide web'. Instead, 'wonderful world of internets' came out...I'm just gonna go with it}, I came across this recipe titled, 'Nutella Aphrodisiac Puffs' from the Free Spirit Eater... I was immediately sold.




Nutella Aphrodisiac Puffs...

  • 1 Sheet, thawed puffed pastry dough
  • 1 jar nutella
  • 4 thin sliced strawberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tbsp water
  • Enough flour to lightly flour dough working surface


Preparation


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Roll out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and cut into squares or desired shape. Make sure to leave enough left over to create borders.
  • Mix egg and water, then brush the edges of dough squares with egg wash.
  • Cut thin strips of dough and gently press into squares to create borders and lightly brush egg wash over strips.
  • Scoop less than a tablespoon of Nutella onto the inside of squares and spread evenly, place on sheet tray and bake for 10 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and sprinkle chopped nuts. Let cool for about ten minutes then add strawberry slices as desired.
{recipe/photos via free spirit eater}

enjoy...

Black and Red...










{ one / two / three / four / five / six / seven / eight }

Victorian Neon...



Neon Victorian Chairs

Late Night Pantry Pie...

You've seen those special K cereal commercials where they say, 'having a midnight craving? don't reach for the chocolate cake, reach for a bowl of nutritious special K cereal!'... well, don't listen to them. I'm all for health and fitness, I like to use lowfat and sugar free ingredients when possible, and I'm a huge advocate of not eating after 7 p.m. But every once in a while, you are absolutely allowed to cheat! You work hard, eat well and push your mind and your body to the limit during the week, so have a little cheat here and there on the weekend!{side note, there's a slight possibility that the Special K commercial was onto something... seeing as it's currently 4:00 a.m. on Sunday morning and I'm wide awake, watching Practical Magic for the 3897th time and writing this post... I think I may have had a midnight sugar overdose...}

This past Saturday night, my sister, Brooklyn and I had a girls night in. We sipped on white wine and ginger ale cocktails, made homemade mac & cheese and watched Wisconsin Football on TV {kind of... we had the game on, but ended up just chatting in the kitchen the whole time. If anyone asks, I attentively watched the game}. Later on that night, we were craving something sweet but didn't really have anything to curb those cravings. We ended up pulling together a handful of random ingredients, along with a pie crust we had lying around, and created a 'late night pantry pie'.

This creation was literally a random mix of anything and everything we could find at 11:00 p.m. on a Saturday... and it was seriously good.



Late Night Pantry Pie...
  • 3 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk + 2 tbsp milk
  • 2 cups chocolate mousse {we used pre-packaged chocolate mousse, but an easy recipe for homemade chocolate mousse is available here}
  • 1 pre-made pie crust
  • marshmallows, for topping
Preparation
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake the pre-made pie crust per package directions or until golden brown.
  • In a large mixing bowl, blend cream cheese, powdered sugar, brown sugar and 1/3 cup milk.
  • Once creamy, add melted peanut butter and 2 tbsp milk. 
  • In a separate bowl, combine your ingredients for chocolate mousse {our prepackaged mix required mixing milk and mousse mix on high speed until fluffy}
  • Once your pie crust has cooled, pour the peanut butter cream cheese mixture into the crust and spread evenly. Add the chocolate mousse mixture on top.
  • Cover the pie with marshmallows and freeze for one hour.
  • Remove the pie and serve!
enjoy...