Recipes

Salted Caramel Conundrum

Last week, my friends Katie and Lauren invited me to a Premier Designs Jewelry Party. If you ever have a chance to attend one of these events, I highly recommend it. Their living room had been turned into a boutique complete with knowledgeable Premier representative, Brittany, who showed us how to pair and repurpose many of the pieces in fun, new ways. I had a blast and get to spend a few hours out of the house with some fun individuals. Also, shiny things. I like shiny things. Anyway, the day before the party I thought to myself, “I should bake something… It should have caramel.” I really hate to admit this, but I have been trying very unsuccessfully to make caramel for the last few months. It seems that no matter what I do, I always end up with a brittle, hard candy. Not the gooey treat I was hoping to make.   I took to the internet to see if I could find the solution to my caramel conundrum. After a few minutes of research, there it was looking me in the face. Temperature. Temperature is everything when making caramel. If my failed attempts taught me anything, this is it. I was pouring my cream right out...

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Lovely Leftovers: Ham and Bean Soup

I regret to admit that I have fallen off the blogging bandwagon. Work kinda took over for a couple months and all my side projects were put on the back burner… Good news, I’m back! And I have tons of ideas and recipes I’ve been waiting to share. So let’s get to it. Leftovers are one of my favorite things, and thanks to a giant ham Clint’s dad cooked for dinner, we were in possession of a mountain of leftovers for the following week. I’m pretty sure that I have mentioned my love of leftovers in a previous post, so I was more than happy to take a good chunk home and repurpose it over the next few days. It’s always nice to be able to whip something up quickly and not have to start entirely from scratch. I started with the basics and made some ham sandwiches and fried ham and eggs, but by the third day, we were in the mood for something a little different. My mom would always make split pea soup with leftover ham bones, but Clint is still hesitant when it comes to meals that are primarily green. This didn’t mean that soup was completely out of the picture, I would just have...

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Confetti Cake in a Cup

I have a couple of confessions to make. 1) I don’t know how to use a microwave. It’s not that I have anything against microwaves (other than the fact that I think the texture of food cooked in them can be really weird – okay, maybe I do have something against microwaves); I just never had one growing up. I tried using the microwave in the break room when I worked in an office, but I gave up after I exploded my lunch a few times. 2) I have a huge sweet tooth. I love baking and almost always have something sweet hidden in my pantry. Now these two facts might seem to have nothing in common, but there’s a story here. A few weeks ago, I was rooting around in my kitchen trying to find something to satiate my late night sweet tooth craving. Much to my dismay, all I found was ice cream. And being that Texas has been unseasonably cold lately, that was not going to make the cut. Cupcakes are usually my go to baking treat, but I didn’t have the energy to bake a batch. I wanted something that was a single serving. I started browsing the Internet to find something that I could...

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Have You Found Plastic Baby Jesus?

Yesterday was Three King’s Day, which means that today I will be taking down all my Christmas decorations. It is officially the end of the Christmas holiday season. It’s a sad day. The only thing getting me through is the miniature slice of King Cake I snagged from my mini get-together last night. nom. King Cake is a bit of a misnomer. It’s actually more of a sweet bread than a cake. I make one every year, and I have to admit, it’s a bit of an ordeal. It takes several hours and goes through multiple phases of resting and rising. All this considered, the final product is totally worth the effort. For those of you unfamiliar with the tradition of the King Cake, here is a brief history: In many Spanish-speaking countries, the King Cake (or Roscón de Reyes as I grew up calling it) is traditionally eaten on January 6th in celebration of Three Kings Day. The round cake represents a crown an is often decorated with colored sugars and fruits to symbolize jewels. A small baby figurine is baked into the cake. Whoever finds the baby in their slice of cake is responsible for buying next year’s cake. I’ve always baked my baby into the cake,...

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Homemade Christmas & Free Mason Jar Printables

Less than one week until Christmas. It’s official, we are very quickly approaching “last minute gift” territory. It’s that time of year where you run around the mall trying to find some small gift that says I’m thinking about you… without resorting to the sample size bin at Bath and Body works (if you do stop by Bath and body, Cucumber Melon is always a safe choice). I try to avoid during the holiday season. There are far too many people rushing around and it stresses me out. Instead, I shop from the safety of my computer and bake things from the comfort of my kitchen. My latest obsession this year has been gifts that come in mason jars. These jars are so versatile and can be used to gift anything from cookie mixes to bath salts. Also, I just love the way they look (I know, I know… another blogger who is obsessed with mason jars). My two favorites are beer bread and hot chocolate jars. I try to keep a few of these sets on hand during the holidays. You never know who is going to stop by and it’s a nice little way to let people know you are thinking about them. Hot Chocolate: — Layer...

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Winter Cookie Exchange

Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, it is officially the beginning of the Christmas season. I have been working on a few Christmas-themed blog posts over the last few weeks and have had the house decorated since the beginning of November. I promise I’m not usually one of those people who decorates for Christmas before Thanksgiving… Lucky for me, I have great friends that are willing to dust off their holiday attire and humor my crazy by joining me in a Cookie Exchange a little early in the season (thanks guys). We had a great time watching Elf, eating cookies, assembling gift bags, and getting in the Christmas spirit in the middle of November. I set up two separate areas for the party — a cookie buffet so that we could all taste and vote on the cookies that everyone had brought and gift assembly area for guests to put together their goodie bags. Click here to see the full set. For the tasting buffet, I decided to play around with the idea of milk and cookies and give it a bit of an adult twist. I checked out a few milk-based cocktails and opted to make something special just for the night. While I was experimenting, I noticed...

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