Friday, November 27, 2015

Friday Favorites {First Edition}

Happy Friday!! Well, Happy Friday Night!! LOL! :)

I have been wanting to start a weekly post where I highlight my favorite things around the web and haven't had the time to get it going. However, I'm on Thanksgiving break and decided to just go for it!

This edition will most likely not be very polished but here we go!

This drink right here has me wanting to do a Grinch Party like you wouldn't believe! Simplistically Living has put me in the mood! 

grinch punch featured

You can find this recipe here! Hop on over there and check it out!

Next up on my list are these muffins! Wowza! If you have left over pumpkin these are the perfect reason to use it up. Coming to you from Sally's Baking Addiction.

Pumpkin muffins filled with cream cheese filling and topped with sweet cinnamon brown sugar streusel!

Go right now and check these out, you won't be sorry!

And then there's these. I have been on a Little Debbie kick lately and found these perfect gems. I will be making these VERY soon in my own version of course ;)

Cookbook Queen NEVER disappoints!

I love that these start with a cake mix, because really who has time to make EVERYTHING from scratch?? I love that about her recipes. She keeps it real!

Last on the list for this Friday is this festive drink from Gather for Bread. I had to end on a good note and ending with a drink is always good! 

Cranberry Brunch Punch - Only 4 ingredients. So simple. Mix up in minutes!|

One can never have enough drink recipes and this one went right to the top of my list. I think this would be great if you were hosting a holiday brunch or cookie party! Of course I will be adding an adult kick to mine ;)

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and enjoyed my first edition of Friday Favorites! 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Double Chocolate Banana Bread

Hey, Hey!

Boy do I have a great recipe for you today! If you like banana bread you are gonna loooooove has chocolate in it and we all know everything is better with chocolate, right? You know it!

See.......I was right! Do you see all that chocolate? This bread, I use the word bread loosely, not only does it have cocoa powder in it but it also has chocolate chips in the batter and on top! Whaaaaaaat? You heard me right!

As I stated above, I'm not even sure you can classify this as bread, it's really more like a cross between a fudgy cake and a rich brownie.

I sprinkled this batch with powdered sugar but you could easily add strawberries and whipped cream or ice cream on top to make it extra special.

Okay, okay I'll stop chatting and get to the recipe.


1 1/4 C. Sugar
1/2 C. Butter
2 Large Eggs
2 to 2 1/2 C. Mashed Ripe Bananas
1/2 C. Buttermilk
2 Tsp. Vanilla
1/2 C. Cocoa Powder
2 1/2 C. All Purpose Flour
1 Tsp. Baking Soda
2 Tsp. Cinnamon 
1 Tsp. Salt (optional)
1/3 C. Chocolate Chips (I used Ghirardelli) into the batter
2 Tbsp. Chocolate Chips for the top

Place oven rack in the lowest position. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray one large loaf pan (9x5x3) with cooking spray.

On low beat sugar and butter until smooth. Add in eggs mix on low. Next add bananas, buttermilk and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Add cocoa powder, flour, baking soda and salt and mix just until incorporated. Add in chocolate chips and stir until mixed all together.

Pour into prepared loaf pan. Top with chocolate chips.

Bake 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes, checking every 5 minutes. Let cool and turn out onto a cooking rack.

So take those bananas sitting on your counter and make this right now!! Go. Now. You will NOT be sorry!


Friday, June 19, 2015

Fourth of July Love Cookies {How to}

Hey, hey, hey! It's finally here!! I'm going to attempt to give you a "How To" for some cute and simple July 4th cookies.

Although I am a teacher, I'm not so sure of how well I will do at explaining how to make cookies in word form. I'm used to hands on. You know where I would normally take whatever you are doing from you and do it myself. Is anyone else like that?! Please tell me I'm not alone!

First things first, what you need.

  • Heart shaped baked sugar cookies ( Use your favorite recipe)
  • Icing colors in Red, Navy Blue and White (I like to use Americolor) Which you can usually find at Michael's and Hobby Lobby.
  • Blue icing for outlining 
  • Light blue for flooding
  • Red and White icing for detail
  • No. 3 Tips
  • Couplers
  • Disposable bags (that I was and reuse)
  • Squeeze bottles
I like to decorate my cookies on a cookie sheet because it make it easy to turn the cookie without putting your hands on it. 

Begin by outlining the cookie in blue. This is the hardest part to get down when you first begin decorating. You will want the consistency of this icing to be similar to toothpaste.

You will want to outline all the cookies before moving on to the next step. This consistency of icing typically sets up pretty quickly but still do NOT touch! :) 

Next, this is the part of cookie decorating that is so soothing to me. Of course it was only this way once I got it down. The thing with decorating sugar cookies is, you have to practice A LOT. But trust me, you will get it eventually. 

For this cookie I flooded with the lighter blue. I used the left over outline icing, thinned it down and added some white. Flood icing needs to be the consistency of warm syrup. You are probably thinking, "what does that mean". Flood icing needs to be fluid but not runny. When you squeeze it onto the cookie it should spread a little on its own but not run all over. Again, this will take practice and you will have to find your preference. 

Once the flood icing is on the cookie you can use a toothpick to push the icing to the edges. This is something that will take some practice. If you overfill the icing runs all over, if you under fill the cookie you are fighting with the icing to get it the edge. You will get where you know how much you need to make the process easy and quick for you. Remember, practice makes perfect! ;)

Now for the fun part. This technique is called wet on wet. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE polka dots! So what you do is once the cookie is flooded completely you use the red and white to drop dots onto the cookie. It's like magic! This technique saves you a day in the cookie world. You can go this far, let them dry for 24 hours and voila, they are ready! 

I just dropped a few red dots and then used the white. Play around and have some fun with sizing of the dots and placement. It's A COOKIE so don't stress! Someone is gonna shove in their mouth and devour it in 10 seconds, so don't get too hung up on the details and all attached to it! Trust me, I've had to let go of idea that everyone cares as much as I do as how cute the cookie is. Humph!

Ultimately they don't care...they just want to eat it! 

And now we wait...24 hours if you can. My niece can NOT...she eats them semi-set up but not me...I like them really set up. Whateva you wanna do, it's your cookie :) 

Okay, with these cookies I did add some detail the next day because...well, I have issues. I couldn't just let it be. 

I added some dark blue outline to finish it off. You do NOT have to do this. Trust me your peeps are gonna think you are IT if you get this far and the cookie tastes good. 

I also did some cute little stars to go with. 

You may notice that it looks like the red is "bleeding" and it does. There are ways to stop this if you want to research it, but here's the deal, I can't stress about that. IT'S A COOKIE! I'm not making art here. 

Just cute, simple cookies! 


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaack! Again, I know ;)

Hey, Hey! How do you ya like the new look around here? I finally decided to give the blog a make over with a more professional look. I LOVE how it turned out! I want to give a great big shout out to Sweet Baby Designs, she ROCKS! 

I know, it's been foreeeeeeeeeever since I last posted, but I was trying to decide if this is something I really wanted to do. I am a mother, a partner and a teacher and this blogging business is some serious work! 

Another thing I was pondering was, if I decided to continue blogging, in what capacity did I want to do it. Do I just want to do cookies and if so what do I want to do with the cookies...strictly how to decorate, recipes, just cookies or other baked goods, regular food, ect.?? So many questions. 

For now this is what I'm planning...

I want to show you how to decorate very simple cookies. Cookies that are made with a cookie cutter you can pick up just about anywhere, using three colors or less and with only a few details. Nothing too complicated because let me tell you what, this decorated cookie business is NO JOKE! There are some cookies out there that look like true works of art and they are! Kuddos to those fabulous cookie artists but that is not this woman!

I also want to continue with "Tuesday's Tips and Tricks". This will be a place where I share some of the things that work for me when it comes to making cookies and I might throw some other stuff in there as well from time to time. 

You'll notice I have a tab titled, "Beyond Cookies". This is where I may share some home projects, teacher stuff or just random things going on in my life. 

I really believe this blog will move towards more a lifestyle blog but I wasn't quite ready to make the jump but i wanted to started and I am!

Please follow along as I see where this little blog takes me! Let's enjoy the ride!! :)

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