Sunday, February 22, 2015

Girls Spa Day

When I started this blog 2 years ago, it was a New Year's Resolution to blog once a week for a whole year.  I thought if I gave myself a goal, and was held accountable by my (not so) many readers, I would actully make an effort to try new crafts, DIY projects, and recipes. I did pretty well that first year, then I started slacking off in the past year.  So m yNew Year's Resolution for 2015 is to host a girls night at my house once a month.

Although it seems like I'm being selfless and providing a place for all the best girls in my life to have some girl time, I'm also super excited to throw a mini party each month.

January was Game Night and we played a few Minute to Win it Games, which were a blast! (sorry I didn't take pictures of them)

February was Spa Day and my roomate and I went all out.

We let everyone choose a single time use mask and after soaking these washcloths in water, we put them in a crockpot on low so they were warm when we wiped off the face masks. 

We also wanted everyone to leave with a favor, so we decided to make sugar scrubs.  This is such an easy thing to make, I'm shocked I haven't done it before!  Basically we put a few cups of granualted sugar in a bowl and added enough melted coconut oil to make the mixture a paste. Then add in a few drops of essential oils and you're done!  We chose Eucalyptus, Jasmine and Lemon so everyone could find one smell they liked. 

We even set up a nail polish station and watched Mean Girls while talking about girly things :)

Friday, January 23, 2015

New Year's Eve Party!

My roomate and I decided that this year we would have people over at our place for New Year's Eve and skip the craziness of going out downtown.  We obviously love planning parties, we had so much fun just decorating the house :)

My roomate made this "chalkboard" frame for us at a thrift store. We painted the backside of the glass with black paint and use a white bistro marker to change the saying as the mood strikes.

We made some Rice Krispies Treats with some crushed up Oreos. Sooo delicious! 

Everyone at the party got a mini bottle of champagne with a note to have a sparkling new year!


 We even set up a backdrop for a Photo Booth

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Classic Spritz Cookies

For my birthday my grandma gave me a cookie press, she knows my passion for baking.  Since I never made cookies with a cookie press before, I went with a basic recipe.  Since one recipe makes 40 cookies, and I don't have a family of 5 to eat them, I shared them at work. So many people commented on how the cookies reminded them of the holidays when they were younger. 

What You Need: 
A Cookie Press
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/14 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl on medium speed. Add flour, salt, egg and almond extract. 

Place the dough in the cookie press and place on the cookie sheet. Bake 5-8 minutes. 

Watch out, the edges can brown very quickly.  

Immediately remove cookies from the cookie sheet and decorate. 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Chocolate and Cherry Trifle

For a Christmas party with some amazing family friends, who are really just family, my mom and I decided to take a stab at a trifle.  Neither of us had made one before but it was surprisingly easy and looked beautiful!

What You Need:
1 box of chocolate cake, and any ingredients to make it
2 containers of Cool Whip, thawed
1 box of vanilla pudding
1 jar of maraschino cherries, or more if you want ;)
Extra vanilla extract if you want more vanilla flavor
Chocolate flakes as garnish

Depending on the depth of you trfile container, make two or three cakes in 8 inch round cake pans. While the cakes are baking, make the pudding. Mix one container of cool whip into the pudding with a spatula.

Take the maraschino cherries out of the jar and drain them in a colander.  Do not rinse. You can pat them dry if you think they are still dripping.

After the cakes have cooled completely, place one cake on the bottom of the dish. Use a knife to trim it if it doesn't fit in the bottom of the dish. Next place a layer of maraschino cherries on top.  Make sure some of the cherries are up against the glass so you can seem them in the layers. Cover the cake and cherries with a layer of the pudding and Cool Whip mixture.

Keep repeating layers until you reach the top of you dish. The second container of Cool Whip will be the top layer of your dish. Garnish with a few cherries or some chocolate flakes.

This dessert was delicious and surprisingly light so we didn't feel as bad eating dessert after a giant meal. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Mini Pumpkin Pies

This post is a little late, but better than never.  I made these adorable mini pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving and they were a huge hit. 

What You Need:

4-inch round cookie cutter (or bowl as a template)
Cupcake tin
1 package refrigerated pie crusts
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
2 eggs
1 tablespoon Pumpkin Pie Spice


Thaw the refrigerated pie crust if you bought it frozen. Preheat oven to 425°F.
Unroll the thawed pie crusts on parchment paper and use the 4 inch cookie cutter to cut out 6 circles.

Grease the cupcake tin and line the muffin cups with the 4 inch circles.

Mix pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, eggs and pumpkin pie spice in large bowl until smooth. Pour into pastry lined muffin cups to the top. Top with a pastry leaf if desired.
Bake for 15 minutes then reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. Bake another 20 – 25 minutes or until knife inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool 30 minutes in pan and remove to wire rack to cool for another hour for pumpkin filling to set completely.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Fabric Covered Headboard

The bed I currently have in my house is a hand-me-down from my parents.  My mom bought the bed before my parents even started dating.  I never used the headboard that came with it because it was oak and didn't (and still doesn't) match my white furniture.

So after having the headboard sit in the garage for the last 20 years, I decided I wanted to cover it for my bedroom at my new house.  Because my mom bought such a high quality bed, the wood was extremely hard, and getting the upholstery nails in it was a process. But with a little help from my parents we finished it.

What You Need:

1 or 2 packs of upholstery nails, depnding on the headboards size


Lay the batting down on a clean floor and place the headboard face down on top of it. Make sure there is about 5 inches of batting that folds over to the back side of the headboard.  Use upholstery nails to nail the batting down at least twice on each side. You won't need many nails because we'll use more after we add the fabric. Once the batting is on, pick up the headboard and lay the fabric printed side down on the floor and then the headboard face down on the fabric.  Once again make sure there is enough fabric on the back that you can nail it down.

Here's where it starts getting tricky. You'll want to make sure the fabric is taut so there aren't any wrinkles. Start by pulling nailing the fabric on the middle top, then nail the fabric down about 5 inches to the left and right of the middle.

Follow the same technique from above for the bottom and edges of the headboard.  Make sure you pull the fabric tight before nailing the fabric down.  Once the edges are all pretty secure pick up the headboard and see what parts need to be pulled back more and nailed again.  More nails the better!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Stovetop Cabbage Casserole

Recently I spent part of a Friday off of work at Miller Farms in Platteville, CO (just 30 minutes north of Denver).  For $20 a person they let you pick a few bags of veggies straight from the ground! After my vegetable picking fun, I had to find some new recipes for all the food I had at home.  

Yes, I got all these veggies for $20! 

Diary of a Recipe Collector had a great recipe for a one-pot cabbage casserole. I'm not normally a fan of cabbage but this recipe is amazing!

What you need:
1 lb. ground beef
Salt and pepper or creole seasoning
1/2 onion, chopped
1 cup rice, uncooked
3 large handfuls of roughly chopped cabbage
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
2 cups of water 
1 cup shredded cheese 

Brown the ground beef and onions in a pan. Once the onions are clear, add the rice, cabbage, tomato sauce and 2 cups of water. Stir everything together and let it come to a boil. 

Then reduce the heat to medium low, cover, and simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes or until rice is done and cabbage is soft. If you lift the lid before the 20 minutes to check the rice it may not cook all the way.  

Once cooked, top with cheese and cover with lid to melt a few minutes.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Curry & Coconut Butternut Squash Soup

This is the perfect recipe for a cold fall day. Like today. The first day it's been around 60 degrees in Denver.  It's finally feeling like sweater and boot season!  Although, they say it will be almost 80 again later this week.  

I've never actually made a soup before but it was surprisingly easy. 
What you need:
1 medium butternut squash, split in half with the seeds removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped carrot
1 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 (14 oz) coconut milk
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds with a spoon.  Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle one teaspoon of salt on the halves of the butternut squash. Place them cut side down on a cookie sheet and roast for 30-45 minutes. 

After the squash is done let it cool while you saute 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, carrots, and onions to a soup pot. Then add the coconut milk, vegetable stock, curry, garam masala, cumin. Next add the butternut squash. 

Having never made soup with a butternut squash before I looked this part up. Yes, you can just cube the squash and add it with the skin to the soup.  If you prefer you can use a vegetable peeler or knife to cut around the skin. 

Bring the pot to a boil then let it simmer for about 15 - 20 minutes. While you're waiting, occasionally mash the squash with a wooden spoon.  This is when the soup smells absolutely delicious! After the 15 minutes use a blender to smooth the soup.  

Monday, October 27, 2014

Mummy Cookies

Need a treat you can make quickly and take to a Halloween party? I've got just the recipe for you! I found this idea on Pinterest from The Kurtz Corner and I was super excited to try it out. Everyone at work loved these so much I'm going to make them again for our Halloween Party on Friday.  

What you need:

Pepperidge Farms Milano Cookies or other oblong shaped cookies
White chocolate chips or baking chocolate
Canola oil
Candy eyes from the baking section
Ziploc bag or frosting bag and small round tip


Arrange the cookies on a plate or on aluminum foil. Make sure they are fairly close together so you waste only a little chocolate going cookie to cookie.

Place the chocolate chips in a saucepan on the stove on medium heat and add a teaspoon of oil to make the chocolate like a liquid. Keep stirring as the chocolate warms and add more oil as needed. Once all the chocolate is melted let it cool before pouring into the Ziploc bag. To easily pour the chocolate into the bag, grab a large plastic cup and insert the Ziploc and fold the edges over, as you would with a trash bag on a trash can.

Cut one of the corners of one of the Ziploc so it has a small hole to drizzle the chocolate on the cookies.  I put chocolate on a few cookies and then before it cooled added two candy eyes.  I also had to add a second layer of chocolate to a few of the cookies.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Puff Pastry Sandwiches

At a recent girls night I made these awesome Puff Pastry Sandwiches and they were a hit.  They are a bit messy because the pastry is flaky but they were delicious. And everyone liked having options for what kind of sandwich they had.

What you Need: 

Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry- thawed
Variety of lunch meat- thinly sliced
Variety of cheese slices
Condiments of choice- I used mayonnaise, mustard and pesto
Container of cherry tomatoes- full or halved


Thaw the puff pastry sheets according to the package directions (about 45 minutes).
Unroll the sheet onto a lightly floured work surface, then use a pizza cutter to cut the pastry into small squares.

Bake the little squares baking sheet lined with parchment paper at 400*F for 12-14 minutes. Once the pastry squares are baked and cooled, separate each square open (horizontally) to create a top and bottom piece of "bread" like a mini sandwich.

Spread a thin layer mayo, mustard or pesto sauce onto one side of the sandwich, then add a slice lunch meat and a slice of cheese. Top with matching pastry square. Finish the mini sandwiches with a cherry tomato and a toothpick to hold it all together.