Pecan Pie Cookies

One of Rich's favorite desserts is pecan pie.  So I saw this recipe and knew I had to make it.  They turned out really really yummy and were not as much work as I thought they would be. Try them!

Pecan Pie Cookie Recipe

1 cup  packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder

1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Prep cookie sheets wiht silpats or parchment paper
2. Combine butter and sugar in a bowl and beat until creamed
3. add egg and vanilla and beat until combined, then add flour and baking powder and mix until combined
4. Mix filling ingredients in a separate bowl and set aside.
5. Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place 2 inches apart. Make thumbrints with your thumb
6. add a teaspoon of filling into the center of the thumbprints
7. Bake for 8-10min rotating halfway through until lightly browned
8. cool on cookie sheet for 2min and remove and continue cooling on cooling rack

Best Pumpkin Bars Ever .. they happen to be vegan and gluten free, but dont judge them by that

I found this recipe last year and it changed my life.  I have since modified it to be a bigger recipe because they get eaten too fast.  I know that they are vegan and gluten free and that makes most people go yuck, but let me tell you as a butter and flour loving girl...... I do not miss these ingredients at all.  This has become my favorite fall recipe ever.  You must try it right now!

Peanut butter Pumpkin Bars Recipe

1 cup peanut butter
1 can pumpkin puree

2 cups brown sugar, packed
1 cup white sugar

4 cups oats
2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
2 tbsp vanilla extract

Optional: Add  1 cup of raisins, nuts, or chocolate chips to the mixture for some pizzazz  I like mine plain but this would jazz it up.

1. Pre heat oven to 350 and line a 13x9 in baking pan with parchment paper
2.Combine pb, pumpkin, sugars spices and vanilla in a bowl and stir till combined
3. Fold in oats
4. Spread batter into prepared pan (it will be very moist).  Bake for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  The bars may still look underdone, but that’s ok because they will continue to set up as they cool.
5. allow to cool completely before slicing.. I know the wait is agonizing but you bars will cut better if you wait.

Caramel Apple Popcorn.. or The Best thing I Have Ever Made

Its fall!  Time to try new yummy fall recipes.  This popcorn is like crack, its amazingly delicious and I cant stop eating it.  It filled a whole cereal tupperware container so it made a really big batch.  Good Luck trying to keep your hands off it while it is cooling.

Caramel Apple Popcorn


5  100 calorie bags of popcorn popped (or about 3 normal bags, but I would go with the light butter and salt)
2 (2.5 oz) bags of apple chips
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp salt
1 (14 oz ) can of sweetened condensed milk


1.Preheat oven to 250°  Prep a big bowl with non-stick cooking spray and pour popcorn and apple chips in. Also cover 2 cookie sheets in partchment paper or silpats
2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine brown sugar, butter, corn syrup and salt. Heat until melted and begins to boil. Once boiling, pour in your can of sweetened condensed milk and stir continuously for 5 minutes
3. Remove from heat and pour directly over popcorn and apple chips, stirring until coated evenly.
4. Divide evenly among the 2 cookie sheets and spread out into a single layer
5. Place cookie sheets in preheated oven and bake for 45-50 minutes
6. Remove from oven, break into pieces and allow to cool.

Pumpkin Spice Rice Kirispies

 These pumpkin spice marshmallows hit the scene last year and I missed them =( ... so this year I bought 5 bags and will probably go back for more. This is an amazing recipe... you must try it!  Its similar to the recipe that is on the back of the marshmallow bag, but I changed the steps a bit because I don't do anything by the book Yo.  Add this to your fall recipes because you wont be disappointed.


1/2 stick butter
1 bag pumpkin spice marshmallows
5 cups rice kirspies
1/2 -1 cup candy corn

1. Prep 13x9in pan by spraying with non-stick cooking spray.  Spread candy corn evenly in the bottom
2. Prep large bowl with nonstick cooking spray and poor rice krispies in it.
3. on med heat melt butter, add marshmallows and stir constantly until melted
4. Pour mixture over rice kirspies and stir until well mixed.
5. Pour mixture into pan on top of candy corn and press firmly into even layer.
6.  Let cool and eat!

Giant Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies are so easy and make such a big splash that they have now made it into my normal baking repertoire .. they are less fussy than my other chocolate chip cookies  but also take a lot of ingredients because they are giant.  These are a knock off recipe from a popular bakery in NYC.   I have made them with and without nuts.. so feel free to be creative.



2 cups cold unsalted butter
2 cups light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp cornstarch
6 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 cup chopped pecans

 1.Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpats. Pre heat oven to 350

2. Cream the butter and sugars with an electric mixer on medium speed. Add  eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cornstarch. Gradually add the flour, mixing just until blended. Stir in the chocolate chips and pecans.

3. Use an ice cream scoop to scoop dough onto cookie sheets, and use hands to roll into nice balls.  Place cookie dough balls in the freezer for 10 minutes.

4. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Allow the cookies to cool 5 to 7 minutes on the cookie sheets, then move to cooling racks.

Purple Rose Cake

I made this purple rose cake for a friends daughter and her 1st birthday photoshoot.  Isn't she adorable in her tutu.. oh I made that too.  Our friend and colleague Jody Mack did the pictures.. you can see more of her wonderful photography at her website.  Jody is scheduled to do our Christmas pictures again this year.. can't wait.

Salted Caramel Brownie Bites

Made these little beauties for a baby shower... they are a little bit of effort, but I love the way they turned out!

Brownie Recipe
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup  unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F, Fill 24 mini muffin tins with paper
2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler
3. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar.
4.Next, stir in the vanilla extract and eggs. Finally, stir in the flour and salt
5. Pour into prepared muffin tin
6. bake for about 15min or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack

Caramel Recipe
1 C brown sugar

1/4 C light corn syrup
1/3 C whipping cream
3 Tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla

For salted caramel use 1/2 – 1 tsp coarse sea salt.  Add salt to desired saltiness.
Cook sugar, syrup and whip cream over medium heat for 5-6 minutes or until it reaches 230 degrees on a candy thermometer.  Stir in butter and vanilla.  let cool to room temp

Ganache Recipe
8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate

1 cup heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon coarse salt

Coarsely chop chocolate. A serrated knife is best for the job; its sawlike teeth grab the chocolate, breaking it up.Bring cream just to a boil over medium-high heat. Pour over chocolate, and add salt. Let stand for 10 minutes (don't stir -- doing so will cool the ganache too quickly, making it grainy).
Stir with a whisk until smooth and shiny to break up any pieces and emulsify cream and chocolate.
 Let ganache cool to room temperature, stirring often, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Beat it with a mixer on medium-high speed until paler and fluffy, 2 to 4 minutes.


on each brownie put a swirl of caramel sauce then top with some piped ganache.  Then add some more caramel sauce and sprinkle with some sea salt.. and watch them disappear

Awesome spicy bread

Made this for a dinner party and it was oh so yummy... the 4 of us at the whole loaf!

Recipe From Joy The Baker

1 cup (8 ounces) of warm water (between 110 and 115 degrees F)
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
pinch of granulated sugar
4 ounces unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
3/4 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
2 or 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
 4 cups  bread flour, plus more for dusting the work surface
a few big pinches of coarse ground black pepper
2 teaspoons salt
olive oil, coarse sea salt, and chili flakes for topping

1.Sprinkle yeast over warm water, add pinch of sugar and stir gently.  Allow yeast and warm water to rest, foam and froth for about 5 minutes.  If yeast does not foam and froth after 5 minutes, toss it and start over again with new yeast.
2. Melt butter in a small saucepan.  When butter is melted, remove from heat and add herbs, chili flake, and garlic.  Set aside.
3. Place flour in the bowl of an electric stand mixer, fitted with a bread hook.  Add salt and pepper.  Pour in activated yeast mixture, and butter mixture.  Stir on low speed, with the dough hook, for about 10 to 12 minutes.  The dough ball should clean the sides of the bowl and not stick to the bottom of the mixing bowl.  The dough will be relatively smooth and supple, with some firmness from the bread flour.
4.Place dough in a large greased bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest in a warm place until double in size, about 1 hour.
5.Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
6.When doubled in size, place on a lightly floured surface and knead by hand for about 2 minutes.
7.In a large Dutch oven, add about 2 tablespoons olive oil, to coat the bottom of the pot.  Place dough in pot and use a large knife to slice a fairly deep cross into the dough.  Drizzle about 3 more tablespoons of olive oil atop the bread.  Sprinkle generously with coarse sea salt and pepper flakes.
8.Cover with tight fitting lid and bake for 30 minutes.  Reduce oven heat to 400 degrees F, remove lid, and allow to make for about 15-20 minutes more.

Cinco De Mayo Party Photos

 Sorry it has been so long since the last post.  Here are the pics from Cinco de Mayo party.  Enjoy!

Are You Ready?

Tomorrow is cinco de mayo... Im doing some last minute preps as well as making food.  Just wanted to share my new prep... I made a little subway art.  I made it downloadable for you as well.  it is also fully editable so you can go in and change the words if you like.




Last week we attended our first Seder dinner.  Everything kosher, no leavening.. so I made this classic Passover cookie to bring.  They are great for beginners and make a wonderful treat anytime not just for Jewish holidays.

Macaroons Recipe

1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups  shredded coconut
2 large egg whites

1.Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat
2. In a large bowl, combine sugar, coconut, egg whites. Using your hands, mix well, completely combining ingredients.
3.  Use 1 1/2 tablespoons to form mounds; place on prepared baking sheet, spacing about 1 inch apart.
4. Bake until golden brown, 16 to 17 minutes, rotating halfway through. Let cool on a wire rack.

For the chocolate variety, melt 4oz semisweet chocolate chips in a double boiler, let cool a few minutes and add to the mix, bake as directed above.

Prepping for Cinco De Mayo

Here is a menu for my Cinco De Mayo party.. so excited it is on a Saturday this year!

Burrito Bar
            -Chile verde
            -Sour Cream
Chicken Quesadillas
Mexican Fruit cups
Tres Leches
Margarita Cupcakes
Aguas Fresca

Here is a small Idea board with links!

Fruit cups- no link.. just put fruit in a cup with lime and chile powder

Key Lime Cupcakes

Sorry I have been out of commission for a while... I have been baking, but just not blogging .. it has been a very busy spring so far.  Here is something to cheer you up in case you were sad I was gone.

Key Lime Cupcakes with Key lime curd!

Want something tart, sweet and oh so refreshing?  Try these.. but I warn you, if you do not have a juicer.. your little fingers will be tired.

3 1/2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks cool unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs 
1/3 cup key lime juice
2 tablespoons key lime zest
1 1/2 cups buttermilk

1. Preheat oven to 350*F. Line a muffin tin with 24 paper liners.
2. Sift the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt three times, set aside.
3. Using a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on low until it’s softened a bit. Add the sugar and increase the speed to medium. Beat until fluffy, about four minutes. Add one egg at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the lime juice, zest, and food coloring and beat until mixed. (The mixture will look curdled.)
4. Add the flour in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Mix on low until just combined. 
5.Fill each cupcake liner 2/3 full. Bake 20-25 minutes. Cool completely 

1/2-cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons grated key lime zest (about 4-5 key limes)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed key lime juice (8-10 key limes)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced

1. In a medium saucepan combine sugar, eggs, lime zest and juice.
2. Cook mixture over medium-low heat, whisking constantly. Cook until mixture begins to thicken and hold the mark of a whisk ran through it; about 10-15 minutes.
3. Remove pan from heat. Whisk in diced butter a few pieces at a time. Mix until well combined
4. Place in a bowl and  cover mixture tightly with plastic by laying plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd. This prevents a film from forming. Chill in the freezer for 1 hour.. but check every 20 min to make sure it isnt actually freezing, you just want it to cool and thicken.

1 stick cool unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
8 ounces cream cheese (room temperature), cut into 8 pieces
2 ¼ cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon key lime zest

1. Using a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on low until it’s softened a bit. Increase speed to medium and add the cream cheese one piece at a time. Reduce speed to low and slowly add powdered sugar until combined. Beat in zest.

To Put all together... place curd in a piping bag with a round tip or filling tip and pipe curd into cupcakes.  Then ice as desired.. and sprinkle with some key lime zest.

Chocolate Insanity Brownies

I have made these brownies about 4-5 times in the last 2 months because they are heavily requested and quite easy for a seasoned baker.  If you are not a seasoned baker or do not have many of the tools for this, it might be much much more difficult for you.  So I suggest this recipe for experts only.  Once you have mastered them, everyone will want them.  Rich says he now would consider it child abuse to serve our kid brownies made from a box  now that he knows what real ones are like.  These are truely chocolate insanity. They are huge, moist and you must make them a day before you need them because they take a long time to cool down before you can cut them, but they are worth the work and the wait (judging by the praise I get because i have never eaten one)

Recipe modified from here  Makes 24 2.5 inch square brownies (very big!)


1 pound unsalted butter (4 sticks at room temp)
1 pound plus 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
6 large eggs
3 tablespoons instant coffee granules
2 tablespoons vanilla
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Butter and flour (i just used my silpat)  a 12 x 18 x 1-inch baking sheet (1/2 sheet pan).
3. Melt together the butter, 1 pound of chocolate chips, and the unsweetened chocolate in a medium bowl    over simmering water in a double boiler. Allow to cool slightly.
4. In a large bowl, stir (do not beat) together the eggs, coffee granules, vanilla, and sugar. Stir the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture.
5. In a medium bowl, sift together 1 cup of flour, the baking powder, and salt.
6. Add flour mix to the cooled chocolate mixture. Toss  12 ounces of chocolate chips in a medium bowl with 1/4 cup of flour, then fold into  the chocolate batter. Pour into the baking sheet.
7. Bake for 20 minutes, then rap the baking sheet against the oven shelf to force the air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough. Bake for about 15 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Top will be shiny but not wet.  Do not overbake!
8. Allow to cool thoroughly, refrigerate for a few hours to make cutting easier, and cut into 24 large squares.

Here is my pretty new double boiler that I got for christmas.  It works so much better than me trying to balance a bowl on top of a pot. I heart it.. and it is pretty much necessary for this recipe unless you have mastered the balancing bowl-pot act.

Here is the batter going down onto my 1/2 sheet pan and silpat.  A silpat is not necessary for this recipe but you will have to thoroughly butter and flour the pan.  when mine is done I just run a butter knife (not a sharp knife because it will ruin the silpat) along the edge to loosen the sides and then turn it upside down on the counter and peel off the silpat.. super easy and ready for cutting. If you dont have a 1/2 sheet pan I would suggest splitting the batter into 2    13x9 pans and backing off on the bake time. 

Here is what it looks like when it is done. Nice and shiny but not wet.  I must remind you that there are giant chocolate chips in this, so your toothpick test might hit one of them and be covered in chocolate giving you a false impression that it is not done.  I suggest you do several toothpick tests to make sure you are not hitting a melted chocolate chip.  Here you can see that the top of my toothpick hit a chocolate chip, but when turned around and placed in another area it came out clean (bottom of toothpick)  so my brownies are done!

Hope you have the stamina to make these, cause they are worth it.  If you need them for a party I highly suggest doing them a day before because the cooling process takes hours!

Just in case you were not convinced of the richness and denseness of these brownies, here they are on my food scale.. yes this recipe makes 5 POUNDS of brownies!

Sugar Cookie Bars

Ever want just a really easy quick from scratch recipe?  Well here it is. These soft sugar cookie bars are super easy because you make them in one bowl, and on one sheet pan.  They are soft and yummy. You can change them for any season!. I did them with valentines m&ms, but you can use regular or other colors, or even go for reeses pieces or just plain choco chips.. make it your own!.

Sugar Cookie Bar Recipe
1 cup butter; room temp.
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
5 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp soda
11 oz  bag m&ms or other candy
pink sprinkles 

1.Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, and and vanilla & mix well. 
2. turn off mixer and add flour, salt & soda  then mix just until combined.  fold in 1/2 the m&ms by hand
3. Roll out onto a greased baking 1/2 sheet pan (13 x 18 pan).  Or use two 13x9 pans . Top with rest of m&ms and press in slightly with hands.  Sprinkle with sprinkles.
4. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 min, until light golden brown. Cool completely in pan then cut into 2inx3in bars

My Cupboard

Do you ever wonder what someones cupboard looks like?  Well I just got new containers for my baking goods and decided I would do a post on my awesome cupboard.  I love my new containers.  When I got married I registered for those heavy duty nice looking glass ones.  But the openings were only large enough to fit a 1/2 cup scoop in, and as I was storing them above my head they were becoming challenging to get down because of their weight.  So I looked for nice sleek plastic ones... Martha Stewart to the rescue!  I found these when I wend to St. Louis for a conference at a Macy's.  Sadly we dont have a Macy's, so I bought them all there and they shipped them to me for free!.  Here are my newly organized cupboards!

Nutella Cookies

Peanut butter cookies are my favorite, and I make them a lot.  Which means I bring them to work very often.  One of my co-workers is sadly alergic to peanuts, not the Im going to die alergic, but the kind where you get very bad GI symptoms.. so needless to say, she is sad when she cant partake in the baked goods.  The other day she requested that I make some with nutella rather than peanut butter.  Well I scoured the recipe boards, and saw no recipes that I really liked.  So I decided to input nutella into my favorite peanut butter cookie recipe and go from there.  Turns out nutella has a few different properties than peanut butter, it is less oily so the cookie looses moisture quickly (adjustment in baking time was needed).  Also because it has chocolate in it, it is more acidic than peanut butter ( this would call for more baking soda than normal).  I think they turned out really good, and I went ahead and added the valentines sprinkles I had laying around.

Nutella Cookies

1c Butter Flavored Crisco
1c Nutella
1c White Sugar
1c Brown Sugar
2 eggs
1tsp Vanilla
3c Flour
2tsp Baking Soda

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Cream crisco, nutella and sugars together.  Add eggs and vanilla until combined well.
3. In a seperate bowl wisk flour and baking soda.  Add dry ingredients to the sugar mixture and mix till combined.
4. Scoop 2 inch balls and roll in sprinkles or sugar and place on a parchment lined baking sheet 2 inches apart.  With the bottom of a glass flatten balls to 1/2inch thick
5. Bake for 8-10min or until the tops are cracked and edges are set
6. Cool on cookie sheet for 2 min, then remove and continue cooling on wire rack until completely cooled.

Zucchini Orange Bundt Cake

This past week I had a big step in my PhD career, my thesis proposal.  For a portion of the proposal I had a closed door session with my committee members ( PhDs and MDs that are selected to judge me on my progress).  It is customary to bring a snack for them.  I chose to go with this zucchini orange bundt cake from martha stewart.  It turned out wonderfully.. and I passed with flying colors =) .. thank you zucchini cake


1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom 
Coarse salt
2 medium zucchini (about 8 ounces each)
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest, plus 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice

1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
2 pinches of ground cardamom (optional)
1/4 teaspoon finely grated orange zest, plus 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice

1.Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Brush a 6-cup Bundt pan ( with butter, and dust with flour, tapping out excess. Whisk together flour, baking powder, spices, and 1 teaspoon salt.
2. Grate zucchini on the large holes of a box grater, then squeeze dry in a clean kitchen towel or press in a ricer. (You will need 2 1/2 cups.)
3.Stir together eggs and sugar, then stir in melted butter, zucchini, and orange zest and juice. Stir in flour mixture. Transfer batter to pan.
4. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour (cake will rise quite a bit over the top of the pan but should not run over). Transfer pan to a wire rack, and let cake cool for 10 minutes. Run a paring knife around edges of cake to loosen, and turn out onto wire rack. Let cool for at least 30 minutes.
5.  for the glaze whisk together sugar and cardamom. Whisk in orange zest and juice, and whisk until mixture has the consistency of thick honey. If mixture is too thick, whisk in milk, 1 teaspoon at a time.
6. pour orange glaze evenly over cake, and let set before serving 

Crock Pot Chile Verde

Rich and I are from California.. which means most of our favorite food is Mexican.  The South does not know how to make Mexican food, so we have to do it ourselves.  One of Rich's fave dishes is Chile Verde.  Its slow cooked pork in a green sauce.  There was something like this on a menu at a restaurant here.. and it was basically pork chunks with green sauce on top.. not really the right thing.  So I went searching for a recipe that I could do in my crockpot. After many different types of recipes I devised my own.  Rich loved it!  Here is what we came up with..

Crock Pot Chile Verde
3-4lbs Pork Butt roast
1 26oz Can Tamatillos drained
2 Jalapenos
hand full Cilantro
1 onion diced
2 tsp minced garlic
1tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste

1. In a blender or food processor blend tamatillos, jalapenios and cilantro until it is thin and not chunky
2. Cut pork into 2 inch chunks trimming fat as you go
3. add pork, sauce and rest of ingredients to the crock pot and stir
4. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.  It will be done in 6, and the pork will hold its shape, if you want to have more shredded pork consistency go for longer like 8. I stopped at 6 hours, opened the lid and cooked down the sauce a bit for about 30 min at the end.

Ideas for serving it... make a breakfast burrito with it, make huevos ranchers with it, serve it over rice, rich likes to put it over fries

Confetti Cookies / Funfetti Cookies

Have you guys seen all of the new rage on the recipe boards?  Using birthday cake mix for unusuall things like truffles, rice crispies and pancakes?  Well we were invited to an improptu multiple birthday party this weekend and so I decided to go the easy route and try out cookies using cake mix.  It only has 3 ingredients  (cake mix, oil, and eggs)  my recipe has 4 because i was unhappy with the sprinkle ammount and used more.  I would say I am not a fan of box mixes.. I think they are too sweet and I just love makeing things from scratch.  I know that the cake mix is a taste of childhood for some people so I decided to go for this.  Well they were beautiful, soft cookies.. but as suspected, way too sweet for my taste.  I think these would be wonderful for school birthday parties though, where the kids love sweet things. Also, you can try with other flavor cake mix, like devils food or red velvet!

Recipe Modified from Here.


(18.9-oz.) pkg. Pillsbury® Moist Supreme® Funfetti® Cake Mix
cup oil

1/2 c  Rainbow sprinkles

1. Preheat oven to 375. In a bowl mix cake mix with oil and eggs until just combined.
2. Add 1/4 cup of the sprinkles in the dough and fold in
3. Scoop one inch balls onto parchment lined cookie sheets, roll the tops in the left over sprinkles and place on cookie sheets.  using the bottom of a glass, press the balls down until they are 1/4 inch thick
4. bake for 6-8 min, then cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes and transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely 

Jonathan Adler Dining Room on a Budget

Jonathan Adler is by far my favorite designer.. he has happy, colorful designs.  And lets not forget about his Malibu Barbie house that he did.. Love.  Well this summer I was sort of getting stir crazy in my house.  This is our 4th year in this house and I needed a change.. so instead of moving I started redecorating, room by room.  I started with the dinning room and I am sooooo proud of it.  I used a Jonathan Adler dining room as inspiration.

So here is what we did
1. Painted our existing table Knights Armor Grey and our existing chairs with yellow spray paint and covered them with white seat covers
2. Ordered a chevron rug from ebay
3. Got turquoise curtains from pier one
4. Got a turquoise vase from home goods
5. Made a canvas piece from this tutorial
6. Got a book shelf for my cookbooks and set up an entry way display including a knock of jonathan adler book ends set that I found at Homegoods for 5 bucks.

Here are the finished pictures!

 Do you see the dog bookends?? the Jonathan Adler ones are 30-40bucks and I got these ones for 5bucks!

 Here is a view from the hallway

This is a view from the kitchen

Vase Filler DIY

So I found this awesome apothecary jar at homegoods for super cheep.  I have been looking for one under 30 bucks for a while, so when I spotted this one, I knocked the old lady that was eyeing it out of the way and grabbed it.  But then I looked all around for an appropriate filler and couldn't find one that I liked.  I loved the idea of colorful candy, but on second thought we live in the south where it is humid and I just saw it getting sticky and runny overtime.  Also there is always the worry if it got knocked over then the dogs would get to them before we could and get sick... So I went home with a new jar and no filler.  After some google searching I came across the idea of using dried beans and dyeing them.  Well they turned out awesome.

So here is what I did.  I took a bag of great norther white beans and divided them in half into two ziplock bags.  I took gel food coloring and added sunshine yellow to one bag and sky blue to one bag.  I only added as much as I could scoop out with one toothpick, which isnt much.  Then I shook the bags until the beans were covered.  Then I layed them out on cookie sheets and rubbed them with paper towels to get the extra dye off. Then added them to the jar with some black beans that I bought.. I am soooo happy with the outcome and it matches perfectly with my dinning room!