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.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Layered Pasta Salad

A few weeks ago my sister and I co-hosted a Thirty-One party at our mom's house. We were very excited for a reason to plan a get together and put some Pinterest ideas to good use.

I chose two "pretty" Pinterest recipes that would serve as table decor and food. The recipe for the Layered Pasta Salad is below and the Puff Pastry Sandwiches are here.

Layered Pasta Salad

What you Need:
3 cups shredded lettuce
Start by adding the shredded lettuce in a glass serving bowl or trifle bowl.
In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, and Dijon mustard.
Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

1 1/2 cups uncooked small shell macaroni
1 Tbsp canola oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 cup chopped, fully cooked, ham
1 cup chopped hard salami
1 bag of frozen peas, thawed
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tsp Dijon mustard, or spicy brown mustard
1 cup (4 oz) shredded Colby Jack cheese

Cook the macaroni according to package directions. Drain and rinse the pasta with cold water. Drizzle with oil, and toss to coat the noodles so they don't stick together.

Add the macaroni on top of the lettuce.
Layer in the chopped ham, chopped salami, and thawed peas.

Spread mayonnaise mixture over the peas.

Just before serving, sprinkle cheese on the top layer.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Golf Tournament

Goodwill Industries of Denver hosted its 12th Annual Driving for Diplomas Golf Classic at the Colorado Golf Club in Parker, CO on August 25th. This is one of my biggest events of the year and always requires a lot of work, but spending the day on a golf course isn't bad ;) 

The clubhouse

The silent auction

Each year at our tournament we offer our golfers a gift card for Oakley product. 
This is our pop up shop for the morning. 

The only picture of me from the day. I'm the one in the middle with neon pink running shoes. 

That's a lot of sponsor signs!

Try as I might, I can't control Mother Nature, which was evident at the golf tournament. An afternoon storm rolled in and caused the golfers to quit golfing an hour early. As I was running around trying to make sure our dinner celebration would be ready early, the clubhouse was struck by lightning. The lightning caused the fire alarm to go off and we had to let everyone know to stay inside even though the alarm was blaring because it was safer inside than out.  

If that wasn't exciting enough, the fire department showed up with two firetrucks and an ambulance to inspect the building. I had 6 (hot) firemen walking around the clubhouse checking out smoke detectors. 

Even with the craziness at the dinner, we raised more money than last year for our youth programs!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Goodwill Industries of Denver: Home Store Grand Opening

Like it has been all summer, it's been a while between my posts.  But I've been way busy with work. Really I have. In August and September I had two store Grand Openings and a golf tournament. But now I finally have time to catch up on blog posts.

In early August Goodwill Industries of Denver opened a Home Store in South Denver (located at 8230 S. Colorado Blvd. Centennial, CO 80122 in case you feel the need to visit) that sells furniture and home decor items.  The grand opening was a huge success and the furniture donations at the store still continue to be amazing finds at great prices. See the photos below if you don't believe me ;)

Stuart Davie, Goodwill CEO, and John the Store Manager cutting the ribbon

The crowd of customers that lined up outside

My favorite part of the day was having three amazing companies there to give ideas to the shoppers on ways to up-cycle some of the older furniture pieces that we have. 

Rit Dye had a table set up with ideas on using their dyes to update an old piece of furniture. They dyed that green table on the left and everything they wore! They also gave me a booklet of ideas and some sample dyes, look for posts with that later. 

Re for your home was there to give a tutorial on using Annie Sloan Chalk Paints to update items. They had a full table all day long!

 Here's just a few examples of the furniture we had. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

I Bought a House!

Well, it's been a crazy few months. The housing market in Denver is definitely a seller's market right now.  I'd see a place and that evening it would be under contract. But I finally found a great place and started the process of home buying. After a month of calling mortgage lenders, real estate agents and insurance agents almost non stop I signed my name on the dotted line. Many times over.

I decided it was easier to paint all the walls, and update anything else I wanted to do before I moved my things in. Luckily I have great family and friends who were very helpful.

My stairwell is about 20 feet tall so my dad and I had to build scaffolding so I could paint all the walls.  I thought I was going to fall off every time I moved. 

Family Room

I can't wait to do more decorating. I really need artwork for the walls. 


Master Bedroom

 Master Bathroom

Second Bedroom and Bathroom

I have a roommate moving in so there's no furniture there yet.