Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ladies Who Brunch

A couple weeks ago I had a little brunch with some of my sorority sisters.
The brunch was a potluck, and I brought a delicious coffee cake.
This recipe is SO easy to make, I wanted to share it (and some photos!) below:

Applesauce Coffee Cake


1 box dry yellow cake mix (reserve 2 tablespoons, see below)
15-16 oz. jar cinnamon applesauce
3 eggs
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Streusel Topping

1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons yellow cake mix
2 tablespoons cold butter
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine cake mix, applesauce, eggs, sugar, and cinnamon; mix well.

Combine all Streusel Topping ingredients thoroughly with a fork until crumbly and butter is incorporated into all.

Grease 8x8 pan.  (You can do this in 2 loaf pans, as well) Pour half the batter in, and sprinkle half of the streusel topping on top. Add rest of batter. Add remaining topping.
Bake 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Don't overbake.
That's it!!

 Brunch is always better with twin babies!!

 ...and good friends :)

 Pictures from my friend's blog: The Howard Bunch
So there.

I have Linked Up this post over at Back for Seconds!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Who Needs a Cookie, When you Can Have a Dough Ball?

In the words of Kylie:
"These are my most favorite cookies I've ever had, because I love peanut butter cookies, but I have never had ones WITH chocolate chips before!"

...poor, deprived child.

So, take it from the child, these (Vegan!) cookie dough balls are delicious! Well, vegan if you follow the recipe exactly...I strayed from it quite a bit.
Very peanut buttery and rich so be sure to have a glass of milk (er....not vegan) nearby!

This is another recipe from my new favorite (Vegan) blog:  Peas and Thank You.com

On with the recipe!

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Balls
inspired by Annie the Baker’s Cookie Dough Balls
Makes 12-18 dough balls
  • 1/2 c. non-dairy margarine (i.e. Earth Balance) - I bought this to try, and it tastes just like margarine; and while it has more fat, than the reduced fat spreadable butter I buy, the oils it is made with are much healthier for you. ...Use whatever kind you like.
  • 3/4 c. natural peanut butter (or Jif Reduced Fat, haha, because that is what we had)
  • 1/2 c. organic brown sugar (or regular.....you get the idea...)
  • 3/4 c. organic powdered sugar
  • 1/2 t. vanilla extract
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 3/4 t. salt
  • 1 c. whole wheat pastry flour  (yeah, I just used regular All Purpose Flour this time...)
  • 1/2 c. unbleached organic flour
  • 1/2 c. natural peanut butter chips
  • 1/2 c. non-dairy chocolate chips  (you can guess.....just regular, delicious Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips

Beat margarine, peanut butter, sugars and vanilla until fully incorporated.
In a separate bowl, combine baking powder, baking soda, salt and flours.
Add dry mixture to the mixer bowl a little at a time.
Mix until a dough forms.
Add your chips.
Combine and chill dough for 30 minutes.

**Note: your dough may seem a little dry based on the type of peanut butter used.  If you cannot get it to come together by  mixing or packing it into your scoop tightly, you can try adding an additional tablespoon of peanut butter or milk.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Scoop dough with a mini ice cream scoop (or your fingers) and place balls on a cookie sheet. 
Bake for 10-12 minutes. 

They’ll still be soft and look much like they did going in, but don’t overbake.  Let the dough balls rest on the pan for a minute before transferring to a cooling rack.

Please see the website this is from for more details and more photos:

So there.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Craft Project!

Kylie has so many dress up and real necklaces that I decided to make her a jewelry holder/hook rack.

I bought a cheap, plain wood letter "K" at Michael's, and painted it a bright, glitter pink!
I also bought a few small cup hooks, painted those, as well, and screwed them into the base.
(I like to hammer small nail holes partially in first, to mark where the screws will go, and make it easier to screw in the hooks by hand)

The letter "K" came with a hanger on the back, so all I had to do was hang it on the wall with 2 nails.

And, voila! Totally cute necklace holder!  This would work with larger hooks as a coat rack or scarf/purse holder, too.

You should make one, too!
So there.

What the KALE?!

So...thanks to my recent inspiration of the most hilarious mom blog with great (vegan) recipes, (Check it out!!! : Peas and Thank You.com )  I decided to buy kale for the first time and try two of her recipes: BBQ Kale Chips, and a fresh Kale Salad. (See photo below in meatloaf post)

First, the kale I was supposed to buy is called dinosaur kale...so that alone was reason enough to give this a try!! Haha.

All in all, the poor chips taste like dried leaves....(but here is the recipe!!!! Haha BBQ Kale Chips )

But, the salad was good! I didn't have tahini, so I actually used a bit of almond butter, plus a bit of olive oil and it was really good. I also didn't have a lemon, so I used fresh orange juice instead. Hmm...I guess I really didn't follow this recipe much at all...
Anyway, check this one out, too!  Kale Salad 
They both teach you how to properly prepare kale so it is ready to use, so at least you will have learned something from all this.

The recipes are posted toward the bottom of the page at these two link above...I am forcing you to read her hilarious blog before you get to find her recipes.  You'll thank me later.  But probably not for the kale chips...

So there.
Adventures in kale completed.

Meatloaf...Take 3!

So, you may remember my long overdue Meatloaf Victory a few months ago.
Well, since the easy meatloaf recipe was such a success, I decided to try it with ground turkey instead.  Don't worry, I still kept my "hidden" veggies and additional spices out of it. Hmph.  But using 99% lean ground turkey in this recipe makes it even more healthy, and I just like it better.

So here you go! Try my turkey meatloaf recipe!


  • 1 pound 99% extra lean ground turkey
  • 1/3 cup fat free milk (I add, as needed, and don't measure...)
  • 1/2 cup Saltine cracker crumbs (I pulsed these in the food processor)
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion (also pulverized in the food processor)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten  (I actually skipped this, this time, and it was completely un-missed. Add if you like.)


Mix all ingredients (EXCEPT MILK) together gently. Add in milk a bit at a time; the turkey and saltine crackers will absorb the milk.  Keep adding, until you've reached about 1/3 of a cup, or until the mixture won't absorb much more.  (Or just dump in 1/3 of a cup and call it good. I won't tell.)  Form into a loaf and place in baking dish or loaf pan. Top with more ketchup if desired. (Here I topped it with half ketchup, half A1 sauce about 30 minutes into the cooking)
Bake at 350° for about 1 hour.
Serve with a bit of additional A1 sauce or ketchup.
Serves 4.
**Note: I halved the recipe above and used 2 mini loaf pans to speed up the cooking time.
And there you have: Mom's (Healthier) Meatloaf.
So there.

Up next....my adventures in kale.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The World's Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

....and they are. We ate them in 2 days. Don't judge us until you try this recipe!

The photogenic look of them is sub par - doesn't matter. They taste amazing.
But my brilliant friend Jessica (by way of Martha Stewart) gave a tip: put the cookie sheets with cookie dough already scooped on them into the freezer for 15 minutes before baking.
I'll try that next time, so the cookies aren't so flat.
And also, I should try coating the chocolate chips in flour before baking so they don't sink to the bottom.
Again; none of this matters. The taste is wonderful.

OK, on with the recipe!
( I halved the recipe listed below and made about 12 giant cookies)

The World's Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
Makes about 23 3-inch round cookies
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ t. baking soda
½ t. salt
¼ pound (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
½ cup sugar
¾ cup tightly packed light brown sugar
1 ½ t. vanilla extract
1 large egg, at room temperature, lightly beaten
7 oz chocolate chips (I like milk chocolate; use whichever you prefer)


1) Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.

2) Using a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugars on low speed until it is smooth and lump free. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle.

3) Add the vanilla and egg and beat on low speed for 15 seconds, or until fully incorporated. Do not overbeat. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle.

4) On low speed, add the flour mixture. Beat until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the chocolate chips and mix until they are just incorporated. If using a hand mixer, use a wooden spoon to stir them in. Refrigerate dough for at least an hour, and preferably 24-36 hours. (yeah, I didn't do this......)

5) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Adjust racks to lower and upper thirds of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpats. (Or don't. I used a plain, ungreased, non stick cookie sheet that worked perfectly.   (*see note at bottom about Silpats)
Spoon the dough 2 inches apart onto the baking sheets.

6) Bake for 11-13 minutes or until golden brown around the edges but still soft, almost underdone-looking, in the center. Turn the sheets front to back and switch racks halfway through.

Remove the sheet from the oven and carefully slide the parchment or Silpats directly onto a work surface. When cookies are set, remove them to a cooling rack.

Enjoy the amazement.


OK, so these Silpats are very fancy non stick baking mats, and I was so excited to finally get one. Well.....My cookies on the plain cookie sheet actually turned out better.  The ones on the Silpat were very underdone on the bottoms and therefore were actually harder to get off of my supposedly fabulously non-stick new baking mat.

On another note, my wonderful friend Traci sent me her extra felt she didn't need to add to my flower hair clip supplies....look how much she sent! How exciting!!! Thanks!!!
Traci make awesome crochet items, check out her Etsy site,  HERE, too!
I will be posting several new hair clips soon, and Halloween themed ones after that!
Stay tuned to my Etsy site!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

My Etsy Site!

Hey Everyone!!

I have started making some felt and fabric flower hair clips and selling them on Etsy!!

The clips are super cute on a headband for babies, clipped in little girls' hair, and also for us to wear!!!
There are all different patterns and colors, and I can do custom clips, as well!
Please check out my site, and tell all your friends!!  :)


My Shop is called Sapphire Rose Designs, and my User Name/Store Name is listed under amyw333

I am also selling these Gerber Daisy flower clips! All clips come with headband option for $1 more!

About Me:

I am jumping on the flower hair clip bandwagon, adding my own twist with vintage floral fabrics and brightly colored felt. I use vintage and found buttons to add a unique interest to the hair clips, or a big rhinestone for some sparkle.

The name Sapphire Rose Designs is inspired by my Grandma Rosie: all the fabric I use was hers that she picked up throughout the years, ranging from the 1960s to 1990s. I love that the fabric was hers, and the vintage patterns are so fun to use. My favorites are all the tiny florals!

And Sapphire is my September birthstone. So there.


Please ask if you would like something custom made, with different pairings of the felt colors or fabrics, or a different button or headband color pairing! 


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Blogs Galore!

I follow so many craft, food, and party blogs, and there are some really amazing ideas out there.
It makes you want to throw a party everyday!

This particular one I came across today is for a Brunch featuring only bite-size items.
It is SO CUTE. I want to try all the recipe ideas!

Check it out

Thanks to How Sweet Treats for the inspiration!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Pier 1 Strikes Again

Loving Pier 1 Imports' wall art and lamps right now:

I also received a $10 off $10 or more coupon (Awesome.), so I headed down to my store and got:

a really cute reusable bag

and adorable, pink butterfly wall hanging for Kylie's room. 

I like free things.
So there.

Lazy Beach Days

I have two new favorites for my beach days this summer:

BEACH CHAIRS.  Why have I been going without you all these years?! Laying in the sand on a lumpy towel?! What a rookie. Joe has since shown me the ways of the beach chair this summer, and there is no going back!!  We got ours for pretty cheap at Rite Aid: they have canvas handles for carrying on your shoulder, and adjust to recline back.
Needless to say, though, my front is much more tan than my back, because tanning my back does require leaving my wonderful chair for said lumpy towel...

Also, for the "after sun" care...aka when you get sunburned; oops.
Banana Boat makes an amazing ALOE SPRAY!  Click here to view product information.

I have always been a big fan of aloe after a day in the sun. Cooling, refreshing, and very moisturizing.
But. it is goopy, and you have to glob it all over yourself (dramatic...).
THIS is a continuous spray gel! Just like the sunscreen/tanning dry oil that I use. Genius.
I still rub it in, because if you use a lot it drips, but this still is such a great invention. Love it!  So there.

Happy Sunbathing.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

You're Still So Trendy...

Another fun, new dessert I can't wait to try out is the new twist on PIES!

...Except, oh wait, I ALREADY HAVE!!!
That's right! You are looking at an official trendsetter!

I made mini pecan pies for Thanksgiving 3 years ago!
And they were a hit! So good!

Check out the recipe and photos below:

Pecan Pie Tarts

Anyway, more on this current trend!


and Pie Pops

These little miniature desserts are so cute! Check them out!

These can add such a special touch to any dessert or event.  These little pies can be very glammed up and fancy, or laid back and fun.
I'd love to try these Strawberry-Rhubarb Mini Pies !

Or these Mini Key Lime Pies from Sweet & Saucy Shop in Long Beach

So give pie a chance!
So there