Sunday, November 27, 2011

mod podge = LOVE

i love hobby lobby. SO MUCH. that's one thing about about north carolina that is better...there is a hobby lobby!! i didn't realize how awesome mod podge was until i made a gift for a friend, a monogrammed pumpkin. i used my mother-in-laws cricket to cut out the letters. i NEED a cricket! even if i don't scrapbook. i would FIND a reason to cut out letters and shapes :)

so my first mod podge was these pumpkins...

for henry:

for brad and me:

for the pumpkins- using the cricket i cut out the letter i wanted. i used a foam brush and put a layer of mod podge on the pumpkin where i wanted the letter. i put the letter on the mod podge and then put a layer of mod podge over the paper on the pumpkin. i smoothed out the paper and let it dry. finished product was great!

NEXT the girls at work and i put together a basket for a baby shower. i thought we should get scrapbook paper, letters, and mod podge to make letters to go in the basket. they turned out so cute!!

for the wooden letters- i bought the letters at hobby lobby and got a few pieces of scrapbook paper. we tore the paper into small sections. put a layer of mod podge on the wood and wrapped pieces of paper around. then covered with more mod podge. we continued this process until the entire letter was covered. we glued to a solid piece of scrapbook paper and after the letters were completely dry we cut around the paper with a box cutter. so, the end result was the front of the letters as a collage and the back of the letters a solid pattern.

i was so happy with the result of the baby letters i decided i wanted something for our house! since christmas is around the corner i thought a christmas one would be awesome! brad and i did this one together.

we got the letters, burlap, and frame from hobby lobby of course! we were so excited. went home and got to work...a few hours (and drinks) later this was the finished product!!

for these it was the same process as with the other letters. difference is we actually used the mod podge to put the letters on the burlap after they were finished. mod podge is so strong- it held the letters on the burlap just fine!

i think i may be obsessed. :)


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Layered Peppermint Cheesecake

My mom saw this recipe in Southern Living and wanted us to make it while I was home. It felt like it took FOREVER to make due to the cooling and freezing of the cheesecake but it really didn't take too long to do the prep and baking. I really loved it but I think next time I will switch out the icing for a peppermint cream cheese frosting :) At the bottom of this I added the recipe for the peppermint cream cheese frosting in case that tickles your fancy!

Layered Peppermint Cheesecake
Source: Southern Living 2011


What you need-

Peppermint Cheesecake Layers:

3 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup crushed hard peppermint candies

Sour Cream Cake Layers:

1 (18.25-oz.) package white cake mix
2 large eggs
1 (8-oz.) container sour cream
1/3 cup vegetable oil

White Chocolate Mousse Frosting:

2/3 cup sugar
1 cup white chocolate morsels
2 cups whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Garnishes: White chocolate curls, peppermint candies

What you do-

1. Prepare Peppermint Cheesecake Layers: Preheat oven to 325°. Line bottom and sides of 2 (8-inch) round cake pans with aluminum foil, allowing 2 to 3 inches to extend over sides; lightly grease foil. Beat cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar, and 2 Tbsp. butter at medium speed with an electric mixer 1 to 2 minutes or until creamy and smooth. Add 3 eggs, l at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Add flour and next 3 ingredients, beating until blended. Fold in candies. Pour batter into prepared pans. Place cake pans in a large pan; add water to pan to depth of 1 inch.

2. Bake at 325° for 25 minutes or until set. Remove from oven to wire racks; cool completely in pans (about 1 hour). Cover cheesecakes (do not remove from pans), and freeze 4 to 6 hours or until frozen solid. Lift frozen cheesecakes from pans, using foil sides as handles. Gently remove foil from cheesecakes. Wrap in plastic wrap, and return to freezer until ready to assemble cake.

3. Prepare Sour Cream Cake Layers: Preheat oven to 350°. Beat cake mix, next 3 ingredients, and 1/2 cup water at low speed with an electric mixer 30 seconds or just until moistened; beat at medium speed 2 minutes. Spoon batter into 3 greased and floured 8-inch round cake pans.
4. Bake at 350° for 15 to 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely (about 1 hour).

5. Prepare White Chocolate Mousse Frosting: Cook 2/3 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring often, 3 to 4 minutes or until sugar is dissolved. Add morsels; cook, stirring constantly, 2 to 3 minutes or until chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Cool to room temperature (about 30 minutes), whisking occasionally.

6. Beat cream and 2 tsp. vanilla at high speed with an electric mixer 1 to 2 minutes or until soft peaks form. Gradually fold white chocolate mixture into whipped cream mixture, folding until mixture reaches spreading consistency.

7. Assemble Cake: Place 1 cake layer on a cake stand or plate. Top with 1 frozen cheesecake layer. Top with second cake layer and remaining cheesecake layer. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread top and sides of cake with frosting. Chill until ready to serve. Garnish, if desired.

ALT frosting-
Peppermint Cream Cheese

What you need-

8 oz of cream cheese
1 stick of butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 tsp peppermint extract
about 2 cups of powdered sugar

What you do-

Beat cream cheese, butter, vanilla & peppermint extract until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar until frosting consistency! easy peasy!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Easy Chicken and Dumplings

No news here that I love pinterest. It's where I've been getting all my latest recipes. I saw this easy chicken and dumplings recipe...I didn't believe that dumplings would actually be easy as I have tried to make them before and ruined it. BUT this one is REALLY easy and really GOOD!! soo, YAY! chicken and dumplings! :)

This picture isn't the best but I just snapped quickly before serving to my niece!

Easy Chicken and Dumplings
Source: Eat at Home

what you need-

about 3 cups cooked chicken
6-8 cups chicken broth
2 cups flour
2 Tbs. butter
1/2 tsp. baking powder
salt to taste (just shake some in)
about a cup of milk, maybe a bit less

what you do-

In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients with a fork or pastry blender. Stir in the milk, mixing with a fork until the dough forms a ball.

Heavily flour a work surface. You’ll need a rolling pin and something to cut the dumplings with. I used a sharp knive. Also good to use a small spatula to lift the dumplings off the cutting surface.
Roll the dough out thin with a heavily floured rolling pin. Dip your cutter in flour and cut the dumplings in squares about 2″x2″. It’s okay for them not to be exact. Just eye ball it. Some will be bigger, some smaller, some shaped funny.

Use the floured spatula to put them on a heavily floured plate. Just keep flouring between the layers of dumplings.

To cook them, bring the broth to a boil. Drop the dumplings in one at a time, stirring while you add them. The extra flour on them will help thicken the broth. Cook them for about 15-20 minutes or until they not doughy tasting. Add the cooked chicken to the pot and that’s all!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Oatmeal Crème Pies

I REALLY love pinterest now. SO many good recipes are to be found!! I saw this one last night and knew I had to make it! I love oatmeal cookies and with creme? YES PLEASE! plus, I've always loved the Little Debbie ones :)

This was actually a really easy recipe! And, Brad LOVED them!

Oatmeal Crème Pies
Source: Bloomingon Bainbridge Blog


What you need-

1 ¼ c. butter, softened
1 c. brown sugar
½ c. white sugar
1 ½ c. all purpose flour
3 c. oats
1 egg
2 t. vanilla
1 t. baking soda
½ t. salt
¼ t. cinnamon

What you do-

Preheat the oven to 375.

Mix dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. (flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon) Add oats to the dry ingredients. Set aside.

In an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar (white then brown) until creamy. Add egg and vanilla-mix well.

Gradually add dry oat mixture to butter/sugar mixture.

Mix until combined.

Use small cookie scoop-to-scoop dough. Place dough balls 2 in. apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake at 375 for 10 minutes. Keep on baking sheets for about 2-3 minutes to cool (and keep cooking) Remove from parchment paper to wire racks to completely cool.

Crème Filling

½ c. soft butter
2 c. powdered sugar
1-2 t. whipping cream
1 t. vanilla

What you do-

Combine all ingredients in an electric mixer. Beat on low until mixed well. Then, beat on high until light and fluffy.

Once cookies are completely cool add crème filling in between cookies to make the crème pies. It’s that easy!