Sunday, April 29, 2012

Chocolate Chip Toffee Bars

All I have to say about this recipe is WOW! This is one of the best desserts.  It is super easy and it has the best of so many things.  Toffee, chocolate chips and walnuts.  I found it on Brown Paper Packages.  You need to make this ASAP! So good! I did a couple of things different but it's basically the same.

Here is another picture close up.  Look at that yummy dessert!

Chocolate Chip Toffee Bars:
2 1/3 c. flour
2/3 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. butter, slightly softened
2 c. milk chocolate chips
1 c. coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)
14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 3/4 c. toffee bits (the bag I bought only had 1 1/3 c. and it was fine)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix flour and sugar together.  Cut in butter till it resembles coarse crumbs.  Add beaten egg.  Mix well.  Mix in 1 1/2 c. chocolate chips and nuts.  Reserve 1 1/2 c. of that mixture and press the rest of it in a greased 9x13 pan.  Bake 10 minutes.  Pour sweetened condensed milk on top.  Top with toffee bits.  Sprinkle remaining crumb mixture on top and then remaining chocolate chips.  Bake 25-30 minutes.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Birthday Party Candy Bar

My husband's birthday party was last weekend and we had a lot of fun.  One of the things that I thought would be cute was a candy bar where people could pack up a bag of candy as their little treat for coming to the party.  But I didn't want just any candy bar.  Since it was my husband's birthday party I picked out some of his favorites and then listed them on a chalkboard I had made.  I thought it was a big hit.  How can it not be when chocolate and sugar is involved!

White Painted Table

I got this table from a local DI for $15.  I loved the shape and style of it but it was a grimy, scuffed up, nasty mess.

Here is the before.  Not very pretty at all.  It needed some TLC!

Here is a photo while I was painting.  I did a couple coats of water based primer from KILZ and lots of coats of white semi-gloss paint (Olympic has a plain white paint for $13/can.  It worked just fine.  I would recommend it).

And the after.  This is in my front room where there really isn't much going on right now.  I am planning things for that room but this is really one of the first things I've done in there.  Gotta start somewhere!

Hubby's Birthday Breakfast

I made a special birthday breakfast for my hubby's birthday today.  It included Easy Potato and Bacon Breakfast Casserole from Our Best Bites, a revised version of homemade Clone of a Cinnabon cinnamon rolls from All Recipes, juice and strawberries.  The casserole is something I made before and loved and the cinnamon rolls were a recipe from my sister-in-law that were INCREDIBLE.  Thank you Chelsea!

Here's another picture of the cinnamon rolls.  Yummm....

And even more up close.  They are seriously the best.  I told my husband that this is my cinnamon roll recipe from here on out.  What's the point in trying any other recipe when you've already found the best? Here are the recipes for the casserole and cinnamon rolls.

Easy Potato and Bacon Breakfast Casserole:
4 c. Potato cubes, completely thawed (I used the potatoes with the peppers and onions)
1 12 oz. pkg. bacon (I used pre-cooked bacon from Costco)
1 1/2 c. pepper jack cheese
1 1/2 c. cheddar cheese
1 bunch green onions, chopped
3 eggs
1 c milk
1/2 t. kosher salt
10 rounds of freshly ground pepper

Place the thawed potato cubes in a greased 9x13 pan.  Sprinkle with both cheeses.  Cook bacon in pan.  Set aside.  In same pan cook green onions for 2-3 minutes until fragrant.  Spread bacon and onions over cheese mixture.  Combine eggs, milk, salt and pepper and whisk.  Pour over top and refrigerate 7-8 hours or overnight.  When ready to cook preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake 40-45 minutes.

Revised recipe of Clone of a Cinnabon:
1 c. 2% warm milk
2 eggs, room temperature
1/3 c. butter, melted
4 1/2 c. bread flour (not regular flour)
1 t. salt
1/2 c. sugar
2 1/2 t. yeast

1 c. brown sugar, packed
2 1/2 T. cinnamon
1/3 c. butter softened

1 3 ounce package cream cheese, softened (I used 4 ounces)
1/4 c. butter, softened
1 1/2 c. confectioners sugar
1/2 t. vanilla
1/8 t. salt

Combine warm milk and yeast in mixer.  Let sit for a few minutes. Add sugar, melted butter, salt and eggs.  Mix well.  Add flour and knead for 7 minutes with dough hook. Put in bowl, cover and let rise in warm place for 1 hr or until doubled.  Roll out onto floured surface until it measures 16x21 inches.  Spread butter on.  Mix brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle evenly over dough.  Roll up dough starting on the long side and then cut into 12 pieces.  Place on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.  Now at this point you can either let them rise again for an hour and then bake them or you can cover them and put them in the fridge overnight.  I wanted to make them the night before our breakfast to make it easy the next day so I covered them up, stuck them in the fridge and pulled them out in the morning.  If you want them to be in the fridge over night take them out the next morning, cover them with a dish towel and let them raise for another hour to give them a chance to raise a bit more and then bake at 400 degrees for 11 minutes.  While rolls are baking mix together frosting ingredients and spread over warm rolls.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Chocolate Cake in a Mug

I found this recipe for chocolate cake that you make in a mug in the microwave, so it takes about 10 minutes total to make and bake the cake.  I didn't have high hopes, but decided to try it anyways.  Super super yum.  It turned out like lava cake, but was very easy to make, and didn't take much time at all.  You should so try this, though it does say on the recipe that this is a dangerous cake because your now only minutes away from chocolate cake any time of the day or night.  It says to make it in a mug, but you would have to have a very large mug, so I made it in a medium large ramekin.  It made enough for Stephen and I to share.  So so good, and I'm not even that big of a fan of chocolate.

Chocolate Cake in a Mug
- 1/4 cup sugar                  - 1 egg
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour      - 3 Tbsp. canola oil
- 2 Tbsp. baking cocoa           - 3 Tbsp. 2% milk
- 1/8 tsp. salt                  - 1/8 tsp. vanilla extract

- 3 Tbsp. semisweet chocolate chips
Optional topping: caramel

Combine sugar, flour, cocoa and salt in a small bowl. Whisk the egg, oil, milk and vanilla in another bowl. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Stir in chocolate chips.
Transfer to a 14-oz. microwave-safe mug coated with cooking spray. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 1 1/4 minutes to 1 1/2 minutes or until top appears dry. Cool for 1 minute. Serve with toppings of your choice.  (Caramel is very good on this, but it's also good by itself.)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Diaper Tricycle Cake

I saw this diaper tricycle cake a couple years ago online, and had wanted to try making it, but didn't have a reason.  One of my friends just had a baby boy, so for her baby shower I decided to make it.  I really liked how it turned out, and it was really easy to make.  The girl who did the youtube tutorial made it really easy to follow.  Fun!  If you want to try making it here is the link.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Slipcover Lamp Shade

I wanted to cover this not very cute, grey shade that I got for sale and I found just the tutorial for that job at the House of Smiths.

Here is the before. Blah! Looks like it belongs in a Best Western.

To ta-da! And I can switch it out to different covers as the room changes. The House of Smiths glued some twill tape at the top so you can't really see the top of the original shade but I didn't do that.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

White Cupcakes & The Best Frosting Ever

I bought these cupcake liners and toppers a while ago at Wal-Mart and knew I wanted to make cupcakes for Easter. I have not had much success with homemade frostings in the past but I took a look at Pinterest and found a recipe for the white cupcakes on the website Recipe Girl and a recipe for the frosting on the blog The Girl Who Ate Everything. The frosting on this blog really is named "That's the Best Frosting I've Ever Had". I have to say these are AMAZING. The frosting is not too sweet so even if you don't like frosting very much (which I have to say you are very odd if you don't like frosting) then this is perfect for you. It is all just too amazing not to make. The cupcake and frosting recipe makes 36. So get to baking!!

White Cupcakes:
1 box white cake mix (they recommend Duncan Hines "Moist" white cake mix but I used Pillsbury and it was great)
1 c. flour
1 c. granulated white sugar
3/4 t. salt
1 1/3 c. water
2 T. vegetable or canola oil
1 t. vanilla extract
1 c. sour cream
4 large egg whites

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place cupcake liners in cupcake pans (you'll need 36). In large bowl, mix together cake mix, flour, sugar and salt. Add remaining ingredients and beat for 2 minutes or until well blended. Fill prepared cupcake tins 2/3 full (I find it is better to do less then you think you need to so you don't get any overflow). Bake 18 minutes.

5 T. flour
1 c. milk
1 t. vanilla
1 c. butter
1 c. granulated white sugar (not powdered sugar)

In saucepan, whisk flour into milk and heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens into a pudding type of mixture (keep a close eye on this because it will come together in about 5 minutes and will do so quickly). Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. The mixture must be completely cool for the frosting to work. Stir in vanilla. While this mixture is cooling, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Then add the cooled milk/flour/vanilla mixture and beat until it all combines and resembles whipped cream. If using a stand mixer use the whisk attachment and not the paddle. Scrap down sides often so it all gets incorporated. It takes at least 10-12 minutes for the frosting to be mixed. If it is still not looking like whipped cream at that point just keep on mixing, it will come together.

Saturday, April 7, 2012


All I have to say about this recipe is WOW. These are the best scones ever! These are a breeze to make and you would have to try really hard to mess these up. I got the recipe from the website Our Best Bites.

1/3 c. unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 c. flour
3 T. sugar
2 1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 egg, beaten
4-6 T. milk

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Put a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together. Cut in butter with pastry blender until it resembles fine crumbs.

Combine egg and 4 T milk. Slowly pour milk mixture into dry mixture while mixing with a fork to combine. If you need the additional 2 T. milk add it now (I used the full 6 T. milk).

Once dough is combined transfer to cookie sheet and spread dough out fairly thick into a circle. Sprinkle liberally with sugar. Cut into 6 slices (next time I think I would do 8 slices because they were a bit doughy) and arrange on cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes.

I served mine with raspberry jam but really any kind of jam, butter, etc would be wonderful!

Bunny Buns

This post is from my Mom. She got the recipe from "The Friend" magazine in the 80's and it is a family tradition every Easter.

1 pkg active dry yeast
1/4 c. warm water
1 c. scalded milk
1/3 c. sugar
1/2 c. shortening
1 t. salt
5 1/2 c. flour
2 beaten eggs
1/4 c. orange juice
2 T. grated orange peel

Soften yeast in warm water and set aside. Blend scalded milk, sugar, shortening and salt. Cool till lukewarm. Stir in about 2 c. flour and beat well. Mix in eggs and stir in softened yeast. Add orange juice, orange peel and remaining flour to make a soft dough. Let stand 10 minutes.

Knead dough 8-10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease surface. Cover, let rise in warm place till double in size (about 2 hours).

Punch down, cover and let stand 10 minutes. To start bunnies, roll dough into 1/2" thick rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Cut dough into strips about 1/2" wide and roll between hands to smooth. Shape into bunnies.

Cover bunnies and let rise in warm place till nearly double in size (45-60 minutes). Bake at 375 degrees for 14 minutes. Frost while warm with sugar glaze.

Punch raisins down where eyes should be.

Birthday Banner

Hi ya'll! My husband's birthday is this month and I wanted to make a banner for a party we are going to have for him. This is what I came up with. Just know the banner looks a lot better in person. I do NOT have the best camera.

First I used the "shapes" feature in Word to created a perfect triangle the size I wanted. I then traced and cut out different papers.

After that I used my Cricut and Alphalicious cartridge to cut out letters and paste them on the triangles.

Then it was sewing time! I simply just sewed the papers onto some ribbon and hung it up!