Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Bake it Pretty

I stumbled across this website in one of my internet searches, and it had such fun things for the baking aficionado. It's called Bake It Pretty, and it really does have almost everything you could want for creative touches for your baking projects. Here are only a few of the most festivus (yes, I know that is a made up word) items that can be found on the website.

Disco Dust : "An extra-fine glitter that catches the light just like a disco ball, giving your baked creations a jaw-dropping sparkle that is sure to impress!"Chocolate & Chili Sugar : "All new, gourmet sugar grinders inspired by the seven deadly sins! These unique flavors will add an exciting touch to your baked goods, drinks, desserts and more."
Damask Baking Cups
Lovely Mini-Sized Fluted Baking Liners
Fleur-de-Lis Cookie Cutter *Love*

Monday, September 28, 2009

Pumpkin Spice Loaf


1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
teaspoons baking powder
teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
teaspoon salt
cup granulated sugar
cup canned solid-pack pumpkin
cup vegetable oil
teaspoon vanilla
cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
cup packed dark-brown sugar
cup all-purpose flour
cup walnuts, finely chopped
teaspoon confectioners' sugar (optional)


1. Loaf: Heat oven to 350°. Coat a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Mix flour, baking powder, pie spice and salt in small bowl. Beat egg and sugar in large bowl. Beat in pumpkin, oil and vanilla until smooth. Make a well in center of flour mixture. Add egg mixture. Stir just until moistened and batter comes together. Fold in walnuts. Spoon batter into prepared pan.

3. Topping: Mix butter, brown sugar and flour in small bowl until crumbly. Stir in walnuts. Sprinkle over batter.

4. Bake loaf at 350° for 50 to 55 minutes, until wooden toothpick tests clean. Cool in pan on rack 10 minutes. Turn out onto rack to cool completely. Dust with confectioners sugar; slice.

So I just had my first bite, and it was very tasty! It wasn't too sweet like I expected, but the crumb topping is amazing! I just love a good crumb topping. The cake was moist and delicious. It was the perfect thing to get me ready for fall!

Recipe Courtesy of Family Circle.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Bedside Manner

I barely have enough space in my bedroom for one bedside table, but some of these are very fun. The chair idea is unique, and I love the feeling of the bed with the sailboat headboard. And what fun accessories on them all!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

A Lovely Fall Wedding

I really like whimsical, untraditional wedding cakes.
And fun programs are a must.
You already know my obsession with apples; they were part of my wedding too.
This is perfection. I love the delicate flowers and the ribbons and bows.
I want this in my front yard!And again, perfection.

Friday, September 25, 2009

A Crafty Christmas

No, I'm not the type of person that likes to skip fall and jump right to Christmas, but I thought if I started soon, I would actually have the time to complete some of these super easy Christmas crafts. All you need is some felt and a little imagination! Talk about saving money... most of these cost around $20, and a piece of felt is about .15 cents. It's definitely worth my time!
*Or if the craft route is absolutely not you, you can buy all of these at Crate and Barrel starting in October.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Baked Ziti

This is the best baked ziti ever! I have made this several times, and it has never failed. It makes so much that I freeze at least half of it, and I have left overs on top of it. It's so simple and delicious! Here's the recipe, and a picture, thanks to Cookin' Mama at All Recipes.INGREDIENTS
  • 1 pound dry ziti pasta
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 (26 ounce) jars spaghetti sauce
  • 6 ounces provolone cheese, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 6 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add ziti pasta, and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes; drain.
  2. In a large skillet, brown onion and ground beef over medium heat. Add spaghetti sauce, and simmer 15 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter a 9x13 inch baking dish. Layer as follows: 1/2 of the ziti, Provolone cheese, sour cream, 1/2 sauce mixture, remaining ziti, mozzarella cheese and remaining sauce mixture. Top with grated Parmesan cheese.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cheeses are melted.

I Couldn't Resist... Please Enjoy This : ) (Single Ladies Dance)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Mmm... Enchiladas

I was trying to think of something new to make for dinner, and I came across Tyler Florence's recipe for Chicken Enchiladas. I had never made one of his recipes before but it had 5 star reviews and it seemed easy enough for a Monday night, so I gave it a shot and was not disappointed. I can't say it was the most amazing dinner ever, but it was good. Scott even ate two of them which is kind of unusual since he isn't a big eater. I did change some things just because of preference and lack of wanting to buy ingredients just for this recipe, but I'll tell you that at the end. Well, I'll get to the point; here is the recipe.

Chicken Enchiladas

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breast
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder - didn't use
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder - didn't use
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican Spice Blend
  • 1 red onion, chopped -used Vidalia
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced - didn't have on hand
  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 5 canned whole green chiles, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 4 canned chipotle chiles, seeded and minced - didn't use
  • 1 (28-ounce) can stewed tomatoes - didn't use
  • 1/2 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • 16 corn tortillas - used flour tortillas instead
  • 1 1/2 cups enchilada sauce, canned (I bought Chipotle Sauce)
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar and Jack cheeses
  • Garnish: chopped cilantro leaves, chopped scallions, sour cream, chopped tomatoes
*So, as I said earlier I didn't use everything and made some substitutions. I didn't have some of the spices, and I didn't want to buy them so I just went without. The taco seasoning I used still tasted great. I like Vidalia onions better, and they were on sale, so I went that route. I also didn't buy garlic since we're on a budget. (I didn't miss it at all, but if this were Italian it would be a different story.) Another cost cutter led me to ditch the chipotle peppers and buy the Kroger brand "gourmet" chipotle enchilada sauce in a jar as opposed to the normal kind in a can. I was happy I did this because I don't like too many chunky vegetables in things. I also bought the pre-diced peppers. I took out the tomatoes and added refried beans in their place (I don't like tomatoes.) And last, I bought flour tortillas because I don't like corn tortillas. Now that I have totally modified the recipe, on to the directions. (I did like my way though!)*


Coat large saute pan with oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Brown chicken over medium heat, allow 7 minutes each side or until no longer pink. Sprinkle chicken with cumin, garlic powder and Mexican spices before turning. Remove chicken to a platter, allow to cool.

Saute onion and garlic in chicken drippings until tender. Add corn and chiles. Stir well to combine. Add canned tomatoes, saute 1 minute.

Pull chicken breasts apart by hand into shredded strips. Add shredded chicken to saute pan, combine with vegetables. Dust the mixture with flour to help set.

Microwave tortillas on high for 30 seconds. This softens them and makes them more pliable. Coat the bottom of 2 (13 by 9-inch) pans with a ladle of enchilada sauce. Using a large shallow bowl, dip each tortilla in enchilada sauce to lightly coat. **I put some in a pie pan and "dunked" the shells in it. This worked well.** Spoon 1/4 cup chicken mixture in each tortilla. Fold over filling, place 8 enchiladas in each pan with seam side down. Top with remaining enchilada sauce and cheese. **I may have added a little more cheese than recommended. (I like cheese alot.)

Bake for 15 minutes in a preheated 350 degree F oven until cheese melts. Garnish with cilantro, scallion, sour cream and chopped tomatoes before serving. Serve with Spanish rice and beans.

There you have it. It's super easy and highly recommended for a really fast and tasty dinner.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

It's Raining Again

I love black and white pictures, and I love the rain. I wish you could hear the thunder... it's one of the best sounds. I would be perfectly content to just curl up and take a wonderful nap. What do you like to do when it storms?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Granola Bars

Ina Garten's Homemade Granola Bars

The other day at the grocery store, I decided I did not want to buy any more granola bars because they are over-priced, and I cannot pronounce half of the ingredients listed on the back of the box. So, I attempted to make my own (minus the dates) using Ina Garten's recipe. I've tried other recipes that she has created, and they were simple enough, plus the overwhelming 5 star rating gave me the courage to try. So I began by collecting the ingredients:


  • 2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed
  • 1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 by 12-inch baking dish and line it with parchment paper.
Toss the oatmeal, almonds, and coconut together on a sheet pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the wheat germ.
Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.Place the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute, then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture. Add the dates, apricots, and cranberries and stir well.Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Wet your fingers and lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown.
Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares. Photo compliments of The Cutting Edge of Ordinary.

Serve at room temperature.

I've found that they make tasty and filling snacks, and they were indeed very simple. I can hardly walk past the pan without grabbing a little bite. The wheat germ gives it a slightly unexpected taste, since I had never tasted wheat germ, but I quickly got used to it. Try a batch of your own, and let me know if you have any alternatives. Happy Baking! :)

The Horse

While we were at 21C, Elena Dorfman had the following prints on display. I really loved these pictures of the horses, and I thought they were very appropriate for Louisville. I liked all of the horse pictures, but these were my favorite. Here is her website, but I will say that not all of the pictures are "G" rated, so don't wander too far into the site. Stick with the horses, and you'll be fine! :) I hope you enjoy them as much as me!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Favorite Find:

What a happy accident I had! Yesterday when I was looking for green rooms, I stumbled upon the Graham and Green website. It has such fun things. The website has a large variety of things from hammocks to cake plates, but all of the items are very unique. It's a British company, so I don't know that they ship to the US, but it would certainly be nice to imagine that they do. While I have no room or need for anything now, I certainly could imagine a freshly baked cake on that pedestal someday. Check out a sample of the pictures below, and if you like it, check out their website.