Friday, January 31, 2014

Let's Get Ready toooo...Pretend I know About Football

Good Morning Sports Fans!
Happy Superbowl Weekend!!

As much as I don't follow football (I literally had to ask someone at work yesterday which two teams were playing), I love any excuse to make fun party food!
Plus, I love the commercials and halftime show!

I have gathered up some of my fave party dishes and appetizers, in case you are still on Pinterest deciding what to make!

7-Layer Greek Dip

Lentil Bruschetta Appetizer

Brie and Fig Butter Sauteed Spinach Flatbread

Southwestern Egg Rolls

BBQ Chicken Crescent Cups

Crescent Roll Bites with Ricotta

Greek Turkey and Veggie Meatballs with Feta and Quinoa


Salted Caramel Brownies

Cake Batter Fudge

Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cream Pies

Healthier Carrot Cake

Chewy Gingerbread Cookies


Lavender Martini

Smoky Greyhound Cocktail with Grilled Grapefruit

Happy Superbowl-ing!

Sounds Like a Good Day for a Giveaway

Hey Guys,

I joined up with a bunch of wonderful ladies, including Stephanie over at the awesome party site: Spaceships and Laserbeams, for a HUGE CASH Giveaway!  You have to check out her site for party ideas! There are millions.

So, Happy Friday!
Enter below to win some moolah!!
Awesome Cash Giveaway!!
This giveaway wouldn't be possible without an amazing group of bloggers and businesses. They include: Spaceships and Laser BeamsA Wife A Mom A LIfeTempo di FestaLane34 Studios, Party with the WarriorsDoodlecraftGrown Ups MagazineSwish PrintablesWas All A DreamA Delicate GiftPetite BebeThat's LolliMore Than PaperModern Moments Designs, Dainty FawnLittle Party LoveDesign Dazzleno. 27 CollectionCouponing in CanadaOne Swell StudioDesigned by Dawn NicoleSaving by DesignSassy SmidgensHello My SweetJ'adore Lexie CoutureVintage ConfectionsThe Pretty Party ShoppeMom It Forward and The Funki Little FrogAnd that's not all! To see the complete list of sponsors for this blog, check out the Rafflecopter form.

$1200 Beat the Blahs Cash Giveaway

January 30, 2014 at 11:59PM ET - February 27, 2014 at 11:59PM ET
Open Worldwide
PRIZE: One winner will receive $1200 USD payable via PayPal
Eligibility and Rules: This giveaway runs from January 30, 2014 at 11:59PM ET to February 27, 2014 at 11:59PM ET. It is open to individuals over the age of the majority in their home country. The winner will be chosen randomly through the Rafflecopter form. It is the sole responsibility of the winner to report to and adhere to all laws in their respective country, which includes payments to any governing tax body. This giveaway is void in any country where it is prohibited by law.
Claiming Prize: The prize will be sent via PayPal. The winner must claim their prize within 48 hours of receiving notice. If you do not claim your prize within this time frame, your entry will be void and another winner will be drawn. We don't want to have to do that! Please ensure that the email spaceshipsandlaserbeams [at] gmail [dot] com is on your "safe list."
Disclosure: This giveaway is a blogger-sponsored event that is in no way affiliated with PayPal, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or any other social media channel. If you have questions, email Stephanie at Spaceships and Laser Beams at spaceshipsandlaserbeams [at] gmail [dot] com.
Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter! None of the entries are mandatory but the more entries you do, the more chances you have to win! Running short on time? Come back as often as you like to finish the form and maximize your chances of winning the big prize.

With that I wish you a happy weekend!
I'm excited for Bruno Mars to perform for the Superbowl Halftime!
Treasure by Bruno Mars on Grooveshark

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Greenery Valentine's Wreath

So during my round up of my fave Valentine's Day wreaths on that there internet, this one was by far the most adorable, and I knew I had to re-create it!

The problem with Pinterest is that sometimes photos Pinned only lead to Tumbler, or just a jpeg photo, with no blog in sight.
Well, I think it is from this blog, but I can't find it. And it's in Swedish.

But, luckily, this one appeared pretty straight forward.
This one was made from a wire coat hanger, but luckily, the amazeballs store that is Hobby Lobby, actually had wire wreath frames in the shape of a heart! Score.
I scoured their greenery garland section for one that looked similar to these small olive branch leaf-looking greens. And success. Another score!
Finally, I got some green floral wire and floral tape (couldn't decide which would work better) to attach the branches to the wreath frame.
I had embroidery thread, ribbon, and red felt at home, so I was all set!  I think the photo might have used a wooden heart, instead of felt, and I bet you could find that in the wood painting section of the craft store, and paint one red. Easy Peasy.

So, clip off long lengths of the garland, and attach around the wreath with floral tape. I should have tried thin wire, possibly, instead. Floral tape is weird! Have you guys used it before? It isn't sticky at first, until you stretch it out and start to wrap it around, so it was a bit tricky to get used to, at first. But it did end up working.

This wreath frame had three layers, so after I made one full heart, I went back in and filled in the bare spots with more of the garland, on the other wires.

Next, cut a heart from felt, hole punch a hole in the top-center, and tie with embroidery thread at the top of the wreath, making sure the length of the thread allows the heart to end up where you like it, in the middle of the wreath.

Hot glue to stay in place.
Tie another ribbon, or strip of burlap, around the top, as well, to hang your wreath!

 And voila! Adorable and festive!
A bit of springtime color in these winter months! (syke, we're in's never winter. Ha! Sorry. Don't hate and disown me.)

Enjoy! <3

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Heart Shaped Ombre Frosted Pink Cupcakes

These cupcakes are a festive Valentine's Day treat!
My sister, the best soux chef around! - she does dishes!!!, and I made heart-shaped cupcakes with 3 different colors of frosting for an ombre effect.

Inspiration HERE:

Aren't those amazing?

So, I was inspired, and made these!

The white cake recipe we used called for cake flour, but I learned, thanks to Pinterest, you can make your own!
So easy!
Thanks to Joy the Baker, we learned you can just sift some cornstarch into regular all purpose flour!
See her full tutorial above for the details.

For the heart-shaped cupcakes, you can cheat and use a regular cupcake/muffin tin, instead of buying a heart-shaped pan! All you need is some glass marbles, and/or aluminum foil!  Genius idea from: HERE.
Put a paper cupcake liner in each tin, and fill each just over halfway full with batter.
If they are too full, they will puff up and no longer resemble a heart.
Once filled, drop a marble, or small ball of foil, in each tin, behind the liner, to make the top of the heart. These alone turn out super cute, but, for more of a heart shaped bottom, add foil strips to either side, right at the bottom, to form the point of the heart. Too cute!

On to the recipe.
I used this cake recipe HERE:
Honestly, they came out a bit dense, contrary to their name. So, use any white cake recipe you like!

And now, for the frosting!
Again, use any vanilla frosting you like.  I tried this one from Meg over at Big Red Clifford this time, and it was great!

Once you have your batch of frosting, divide it into three bowls, and add: 1-2 drops of red food coloring to the first one, 3-5 drops to the second, and 6+ drops to the third.  Basically, as you are making them, you just want to make sure that the next bowl is noticeably darker than the one before, so you get three distinct gradient pink shades for the ombre effect.

Shh!! This is the real life that is happening around that "blog photo" ;)

Put the first shade into a piping bag, and outline the heart shaped cupcake, then fill in the center with another smaller heart shape.

Add (optional) edible glitter or pink sprinkles, and Ta da!!
Amazing, Heart-Shaped Ombre Frosted Cupcakes!
Perfect for your Valentine.

I am linked up with I Heart Naptime's Link Party Palooza , Six Sisters' Stuff: Strut Your Stuff Saturday , Will Cook For Smiles: Show Stopper Saturday, A Little Claireification: Best of the WeekendI Should be Mopping the Floor: Mega Inspiration Monday

Friday, January 24, 2014

Valentine's Day Wreath Round Up

I know, I know it's January.
...and my Christmas tree may or may not still be up.

But, the world of crafting has moved on to Valentine's Day, so I suggest we do the same!
A wreath is such a fun and easy way to celebrate a season or holiday, so I have gathered up some of my favorites to give you some ideas!

And a wreath doesn't just have to go on the outside of your front door.
You can hang one on the inside of your front door, or on any bedroom, bathroom, or closet door inside your house, as well as on cupboards, curtain rods, or drawer knobs!

Floral Wreath

Pink?!! Burlap Wreath

Burlap Wreath with Mini Bunting and Roses

XOXO Wreath with Branches

Grey Yarn Wrapped Wreath

Paper Doily Twig Wreath

Baby's Breath & Lavender Wreath

Red Roses Wreath

Now, let's take this inspiration, run to our nearest Hobby Lobby or Michael's, and get DIY-ing!

Love, & Hot Glue Burns,

XOXO (I can't say that without thinking: Gossip Girl.)

I am linked up with I Heart Naptime's Link Party Palooza , Six Sisters' Stuff: Strut Your Stuff Saturday , Will Cook For Smiles: Show Stopper Saturday, A Little Claireification: Best of the Weekend, I Should be Mopping the Floor: Mega Inspiration Monday

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Apple Cobbler Cheesecake with Snickerdoodle Cookie Crust

...and I worked long and hard to get that title as short as I could! Haha
These layered dessert bars are so yummy!

The crust is a snickerdoodle cookie, topped with cheesecake, then homemade apple pie filling pressed into the cheesecake, and lastly, a crumble topping.

Mind blown?

Let's get to it!

(Adapted from a Betty Crocker Recipe)
First, start your apples, if you are using fresh. In a pinch, you can use canned apple pie filling instead.
But, if you can cut up an apple, you can make your own from scratch!
(If you Google it, you can get some tips on apples that work best for baking, depending on which varieties you can find at your store.)

2-3 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced or cubed.
1/8c sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg

Place diced apples in a large pan. Sprinkle with sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix well and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until apples are tender but not mushy.
Set aside.

Make a snickerdoodle cookie dough, and press into a 9 x 13" pan.
Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

I used This Recipe. I halved the recipe, and once you press out a good 1/2" thick crust, if you have leftover dough, just make a couple cookies later.
You need to make sure all the layers end up fitting in the pan.

Next, onto the cheesecake batter.
Again, just use your favorite classic recipe, or mine below. If you use your own, you might need to half the quantity, or adjust, as needed. No need to adjust if you use mine.

Cheesecake filling:

1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened
1/3c granulated sugar
1 egg
1/8c sour cream
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Beat the cream cheese until smooth in a large bowl, scraping down bowl, as needed. Beat in the sugar until incorporated, about 1 minute. Add in the egg, and blend until completely combined. Beat in the sour cream, lemon juice and vanilla until combined.

Pour over the snickerdoodle cookie dough crust.

Spread cooked apple mixture over the cheesecake layer evenly.

Lastly, (I didn't say this was simple, I said it was delicious!!) make a crisp streusel topping.

3/4 c  all-purpose flour
1/2 c  granulated sugar
1/4 c  brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/3 c butter, cut into small pieces

Combine all ingredients with a fork or your hands, until the butter is well combined into the crumbs, and it forms even clumps.
Sprinkle over the top of the apples.

Ta da! You did it!

Now, Bake this awesomeness at 350 degrees, for 40 minutes, or until cheesecake is set.
Let cool, then refrigerate until well chilled.  Cut into bars.
Store in the fridge.

Linked Up with Clarks Condensed