Archive | July, 2012

Nutella Cookies

30 Jul

I worked on a little Lovin’ From the Oven this weekend, and you have to check out this recipe for Chewy Nutella Cookies.

Because these spread quite a bit while cooking, I only dared to bake 6 on a cookie sheet at a time.  strangely enough for every six that came out of the oven, only two made it into the cookie jar.  Some chocolate loving little hands swiped them (mine included)!  We ate these yummy chocolatey hazelnut pieces of heaven while watching all those toned bodies work for Olympic gold.  Do I feel guilty?!  Not one bit!  Wait…Nutella’s good for you right?!



UPDATE: Rrrrrrrrrrrrr

23 Jul

Here’s my second attempt.  This time I tried to use more “spots” and made them much smaller…about half the size actually.  I was happier with the resuls this time.  Either way, we got to munch on a second birthday cake!  There’s always room for cake!  A Happy Birthday indeed!

Anytime Pops

20 Jul

I love to bake.  But now that I’m back at work (*tear*) I don’t have a ton of free time.  So the last time I made cake pops I reserved some that had been balled up and placed on sticks and put them in a zip lock bag in the freezer.

Well yesterday we finally finished this cake.  With no time to bake tonight (and we all know dinner isn’t complete without dessert) I pulled a pop for each of us out of the freezer, microwaved some chocolate almond bark and coated the cold (but no longer frozen) pops.  Do you know what this means?!  You can make a batch on the weekend and have pops for weeks….That is if you can hold off!

Now you know what you’re doing this weekend!


19 Jul

Today my little baby sister turns 19!  Ahhh…remember those days?!  For her birthday I tried to take one of her favs and put it inside the cake.  Can you tell that its leopard print?  Well its supposed to be.  It didn’t turn out exactly like I envisioned it.  But lucky for me I have another shot at it!  I’m going to do the whole thing all over again this weekend.

I made the “spots” using the cake pop method.  I simply added a small amount of chocolate frosting to cake that had been dyed and baked.  I formed odd-shaped balls of the brown and then wrapped them with the black cake.  I dropped “spots” in the bottom of the plan and poured some of the batter on top and added some more spots that were sticking up out of the batter a little.  As the cake baked it rose up over them.  You’ll need a lot of spots.  I thought I used a lot on my first attempt, but I can see that I will need many more and probably smaller and less uniform…

Wish me luck on take two…

For her name, I simply wrote it out with melting candy and then generously sprinkled it with gold sugar sprinkles.  Place it in the fridge to set and pouf…super cute cake topper!

Happy Birthday Keila!

Trix Are For Kids

12 Jul

…And for kids’ birthday parties!

I had the pleasure of assisting our dear Summer with setting up for her daughters’ birthday party.  With a vintage circus/carnival theme, naturally there were many polk a dots incorporated.  For some crazy reason, party supplies in her area were limited so we got creative.

We used the classic rice krispie recipe but swapped out Rice Krispies cereal for Trix.  They are colorful and fun and a little extra sweet.  My favorite part?  When you cut into them, they creat a really pretty pol a dot pattern from the side.

To package each to be placed in favor bags, I wrapped each with a small piece of plastic wrap (so it won’t stick to anything).  For decoration and to further our theme, I took a couple of extra favor bags and cut them into strips just long enough to fit around the Trix Treat.  Then I wrapped a piece of Japanese washi tape in a coordinating color around the center of that.  They were placed in a basket near the favor bags and each of the small guests got to pick one to add to their favor bag before leaving.  There were a few extra for us big kids too…

A Valuable Gift

11 Jul

Looking for a gift idea for that special summertime birthday coming up?  I recently gave two of my favorite little girls a gift that keeps on giving.  I created a lemonade stand gift basket that included a jug with spigot, a juicer, a pad of paper for taking orders and keeping track of sales, a yellow tablecloth, plastic cups, straws, ice bucket, lemons and a jar of sugar (although they’re sweet enough already!).

The kids squeezed the lemons, mixed up the fresh lemonade, made their own signage and set up shop outside.  I made some lemon shortcut cookies to help lure in customers too.

I happen to ADORE fresh lemonade (and a good cookie) so I was the first customer in line.  But once the word got out on the street everyone from the neighborhood kids to the mail lady stopped by for a fresh treat on a warm summer day.   We all had a great time and the kids got to practice counting money  and learned a little business lesson too (like why it didn’t make good business sense to charge $5 a cup).

I told the kids to remember where they got their start when one day they’re powerful CEOs of their own companies…Cheers to summertime fun!

Orange French Toast

10 Jul

How French is your toast? Is French Toast French?! Probably not. But French Toast is definitely my favorite breakfast dish. And since my kitchen tends to be heavy on the citrus these days, I threw a little in my breakfast as well.

  • 1 loaf Sourdough Bread
  • 2 whole Egg Yolks
  • 1/4 cup Heavy Cream
  • 3/4 cup Milk
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Sugar
  • 1 teaspoons Vanilla
  • Zest Of Half an Orange (or zest the whole thing for even more flavor)

In a shallow dish mix the egg yolks, heavy cream, milk, sugar, vanilla and orange zest. Slice your bread and coat each side in the egg mixture. Cook on a hot griddle until its nice and golden. Serve with syrup and powdered sugar.

It’s so fresh and rich! It’s a great way to start the day!

A Birthday Suit

9 Jul

I really love cute vintage dresses. I wish I had a little more patience when it comes to shopping thrift stores, I just really don’t have the time. To get my vintage fix, I sew my own from vintage patterns. My first go round, I made this Vintage Vogue pattern for my friend’s wedding last September. It’s a 1940’s style dress. I paired it with a coat that my mother-in-law passed down to me and I absolutely love it!

This is my latest, a modern version of a 1960’s dress from New Look 6000 pattern.

I was channeling my inner Joan when selecting the color. Anyone else sad that Mad Men season 5 is already over? anyways…the design called for a large button on the collar, but I decided I wanted to use a vintage circle style pin instead. I really love my new dress and can’t wait to wear it again!!

My next project is a kelly green dress. I can’t wait to start!

S’More Treats

6 Jul

Its no secret that we love some marshmallow, chocolate and graham.  You can find s’more ideas here, here and here.  Well here’s one more to add to your arsenal.

  • 1 bag of Mini Chocolate Chips
  • 1 jar of Marshmallow Bits
  • 1 box of Teddy Grahams
  • 1 large bag or 8 cups of Mini Marshmallows
  • 6 tablespoons of Butter

Microwave the mini marshmallows and butter until it is smooth.  Add in the rest of the ingredients and gently stir until it is all incorporated and completely coated by the marshmallow/butter mixture.  The chocolate chips will melt from the heat of the marshmallow.

Flatten it down in a greased pan.  I used a jelly roll pan, but it didn’t quite fill it.  I think a 9×13 pan would have worked.  Place it in the frig to set and harden.  Once it’s completely set, cut it into bars or even smaller if you want to enjoy it a little slower!

I dare you to eat just one!

Tortillas Para Mama

5 Jul

I love all forms of bread and growing up in a mostly Mexican family, tortillas were a standard.  Somehow I made it through life having never made any myself though.  Well, on his last visit to the local Mexican market, I asked my hub to pick up a tortilla press.  This weekend I finally got to put it to use.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup hot water (keep extra on hand in case you need to add a tiny bit more)

Mix flour, salt and baking powder.  Cut in shortening.  Make a well and add the water.  Combine until your dough comes together and isn’t sticky.  I gather it all in one lump and then cut it with a knife into 8 sections.  Then I rolled each section into a ball.  I put the balls back into the bowl I was working with and covered it with a damp cloth.  Let it rest for 15-20 mins.  Then you can either roll them out as paper thin as possible or use a tortilla press.  Cook on a griddle or hot pan for about 30 seconds on each side.  Slather it with butter and eat!

Or, you can go all the way and fry those puppies!  After frying them I drizzled honey on each side and sprinkled them with cinnamon sugar.  Mmmm…Bunuelos!


And if you’re a real glutton (like myself) you can serve it with some vanilla ice cream!

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