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Wednesday, February 13, 2019

BROWNIE CUPCAKES FOR TWO

I love desserts and because of that, I decided to start looking for some recipes that I can make for two.  Since I have very little self restraint, having tons of leftovers is BAD.  So, I found a recipe just in time for Valentine's Day which makes a total of 4 servings.  WooHoo!!!
The recipe is super simple and the end result is just as you'd expect.  Chewy, Chocolatey, and Moist!

INGREDIENTS:

¼ cup semisweet chocolate chips
¼ cup butter, cubed
1 egg
¼ cup sugar
¼ tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup chopped pecans

DIRECTIONS:

In a microwave, melt chocolate chips, and butter, stir until smooth.  Cool slightly.  In a small bowl, beat egg and sugar.  Stir in vanilla and chocolate mixture.  Gradually add flour; fold in pecans (I used about half of what the recipe called for).

Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full.  Bake at 325 for 20-25 minutes or until tops begin to crack.  Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.    ENJOY!

Thursday, February 7, 2019

THROW PILLOW WITH PETALS

Having just switched to a new comforter, it was time for new pillows to match the new color scheme.  You know how we women love our throw pillows!  I'll be honest, I purchased three pillows at Home Goods.  They were large, and down filled......great quality, they pulled in two of the three colors from the comforter and I just couldn't beat the price!

The one color I couldn't find anywhere, was a deep cocoa brown.  So, I found this awesome fabric at Hobby Lobby that actually looks like tooled leather, but it's a synthetic fabric.  So cool!
I got this baby done in just a few hours.  I couldn't stop once I got started.  Cutting out the circles, sewing the inverted darts and then stitching the pattern into place took the most time of course.  But, it was also fun.

I have a pillow in my guest room that has similar petals all over the top.   I really like it, but I had no luck finding them anywhere.  I guess it makes sense since I probably bought it 5 or 6 years ago.  So, I did what any good seamstress would do.....I removed one of the petals to use as a pattern and see how it was constructed to create the petal shape and went to town on my very own design.
I already had a pillow that I used for the fiberfill filling, so this baby cost me well under $10!  Plus, I still have fabric leftover.  I wouldn't dare however make another pillow since my husband would probably freak......he just doesn't get the whole throw pillows on the bed thing....go figure!?

Monday, February 4, 2019

MAKE AHEAD BREAKFAST BITES

I wouldn't call these one of my favorite breakfast recipes, but I'll let you decide for yourself.
The first thing I would change if I make these again, they need to be made in extra large muffin tins.  I found by the time I placed the dough inside, there was little room for the ham and cheese, especially since I knew I needed to leave room for the egg.  By using larger tins, you'd have more room to layer a decent amount of filling (as it was, I didn't put more than 4 pieces of ham and a few pieces of shredded cheese), and add additional filling to the top as the recipe called for.....as it was, I couldn't add any additional topping after I added the egg.

Below is the recipe as it was written, feel free to use my recommendations if you'd like.......

INGREDIENTS:

3½ cups Original Bisquick mix
1 cup milk
12 eggs 
2/3 cup grated cheddar cheese
2/3 cup diced ham
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
½ Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary (I opted for dried parsley)

DIRECTIONS:

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray 12 regular size muffin cups with cooking spray.  In medium bowl, mix the Bisquick mix and milk with a wooden spoon to form thick dough.  Dump out onto floured surface, using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough to 1/4 inch thick.  Cut into rounds with a 3-4 inch cookie cutter.

Press the rounds into the cups.  Sprinkle cheese in each cup, followed by a few cubes of ham.  Crack the eggs individually into small bowl, then gently slide 1 egg into each muffin cup.  Top with remaining cheese and ham.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper and rosemary.  

Bake 20-25 minutes or until egg whites are set.  Cool in pan 5 minutes, then lift cups out susing knife.  Serve immediately.  Store leftover egg cups in an airtight container in the fridge up to 3 days or individually double wrap and freeze for up to 1 month.  Reheat in the microwave at low power.  

NOTE:  I went back into the website and read some of the reviews.....one baker said she used refrigerator rolls to eliminate all the hassle of rolling out the dough

Enjoy!

Monday, January 14, 2019

CORNER TABLE

This little table is seeing its second re-design.  I don't really know how long I've had this table...it's been awhile.  It's such a cute little design that I moved it with us to our new house and painted it a color scheme that would match the new color palette.   Now that we've been in here 3+ years, it's time to let go.   You women know exactly what I mean.
This time, since it's moving to a "new home",  I re-painted it once again in the color scheme of that location.   I actually went with chalk paint this time around......and I love this color that I chose from the Behr collection.

I found a "before/after" photo of the original table as I purchased it, along with the first time I re-painted it.  It's fun looking at the transformations!

Typical of paint projects, I sanded off a good portion of the old paint scheme before I started painting it.   I used a variety of foam brushes to get the job done.

After three coats of paint, I added some off-white stenciling and a prussian blue accent at the base of the table legs.  I added a few prussian blue touches in/around the stenciling to tie the color in to the overall look.
The prussian
blue was one of the 2 oz. craft paint varieties that you find at Hobby Lobby.   I also opted to ditch the original knob and found a cute little white/grey knob at Hobby Lobby and brushed on a touch of the chalk paint to coordinate with the table color.   That's it!  I'm so glad that it will have a new home.  It's really in great shape, and the corner shape makes it truly unique!

Thursday, January 10, 2019

AGATE COASTERS

Agates have stolen my heart.....so this Christmas I decided to gift some agate coasters to my daughter.  You can find these online; shop around since you'll find a wide range of prices, sizes, colors and quality out there.

I knew that I wanted to add a gold rim as a finishing touch and despite the fact you can find them out there with the finished rim,  I opted to DIY.  After all, I had several gold paint pens from another project and they would work just great.
When you shop around be sure to find the size that would work well for a coaster.  The 3-4" variety work really well.  Be aware since these are natural stones, they will be uniquely different.   To me that's what gives them so much character. 

As for adding the gold rim, there are several varieties of gold paint pens out there.  I got mine at Hobby Lobby.  I held the agate at the center of the stone, between my forefinger and thumb and spun the stone around slowly as I painted it.  Super easy! 

The color scheme is perfect for her house since her accent colors are navy and gold.  They look so pretty!

Saturday, December 29, 2018

SALMON PHYLLO CUP APPETIZERS

As part of my Christmas brunch buffet this year, I made some cute and tasty salmon appetizers.  I put together the salmon mousse filling myself and thought I'd share it with you!
I found the pre-made phyllo shells in my local Safeway.  This particular brand came in a box of 15 which was the perfect size.  Some of the brands show FILLO on the front of their packaging.

As for the ingredients, here's what you'll need and how I put them together........

INGREDIENTS:

4 oz. package sliced smoked salmon
2-3 Tbsp. capers (divided)
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp. sour cream
1 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
¼ tsp. dill seasoning
salt/pepper to taste
splash of lemon juice
fresh dill

DIRECTIONS:

Bake cups in the oven as directed.

Separate the salmon slices and using a fork, break apart approximately 3/4 of the slices with a fork.  This portion will be added to the other ingredients to make the filling.  The other remaining slices will be used as the pieces which stand up inside the cup, so slice those into narrow pieces. 

In a small bowl blend together the cream cheese and sour cream using a fork.  Add the Old Bay seasoning, salt/pepper, 1-2 Tbsp. of capers, and the lemon juice.  Continue mixing with the fork breaking up the capers in the process. 

To assemble, add a slice of the salmon half the circumference of the perimeter of the shell.  Using a pastry bag with a large circular tip (remember there are pieces of salmon and capers that need to pass through the opening), fill the cups to the rim with the mixture.  

Once the cups are filled. Garnish with capers (3-5) and fresh dill.  Refrigerate approximately 30 minutes prior to serving.

NOTE:  I ended up with a small amount of leftover filling.  Enough to top 5-6 triscuit crackers for lunch the next day!    

Enjoy!

Sunday, December 23, 2018

BAGEL BREAKFAST CASSEROLE

Oh man!!!!  This has become my new favorite breakfast casserole recipe.  It is loaded with flavor, is light and fluffy and can be made the night before....oh, and it bakes up so pretty.  What more can you ask for?
I just made this for our Christmas brunch (yes, we celebrated on the 22nd) and it was devoured.  When the recipe indicated it serves 8-10, it was right on.  I served 8 adults, and we literally had 2 portions left.

Think of a bagel breakfast sandwich in a casserole, and that's exactly what you get with this yummy dish.

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup half and half
8 large eggs
kosher salt and black pepper
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 1/3 cups crumbled cooked breakfast sausage
1 1/3 cups packed baby spinach
2 large plain bagels, split and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 1/3 cups shredded provolone
8 oz. cream cheese, cut into ½ inch cubes
*2 Tbsp. "everything" bagel seasoning


DIRECTIONS:

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish with either butter or cooking spray.

Whisk together the milk, half and half, eggs, dry mustard. 3/4 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper in a bowl.  Fold in the sausage, spinach, bagels and 3/4 cup of the provolone.   Pour into the prepared baking dish.  Dot the top with the cream cheese and sprinkle all over with the bagel seasoning and remaining provolone.

Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes.  Uncover and bake until the casserole is puffed, golden brown at the edges and set in the center, about 45 minutes more.  Let cool 15 minutes before serving.  

NOTE:  You can assemble the entire dish the night before, refrigerate and bake the following morning.  Let the chilled casserole sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before baking.

ENJOY!

*Everything bagel seasoning can be purchased online, or you can make it yourself.  Turns out I had all but one of the spices I needed, so I opted to purchase that one and make my own. (2 Tbsp. poppy seeds, 1 Tbsp. white sesame seeds, 1 Tbsp. black sesame seeds, 1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. dried minced garlic, 1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. dried minced onion, 2 tsp. flaked sea salt or coarse salt)

recipe adapted from:  www.foodnetwork.com