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Monday, May 30, 2011

My Baseball-BBQ-Birthday Weekend!

 I had an amazing weekend!  My Tall Tan Man's team was in town so I got to watch some baseball, and spend some quality time with lots of wonderful people.  Thank you Kelli for coming to all the games with me!  Saturday night my good friends Jill and Sarah came for the game.  We had wonderful Mexican food at Christina's before the game.  Aren't they pretty?

On Sunday my family hosted a BBQ for a lot of the guys on the team!  I wish I would have taken pictures...I was busy hosting.  Be on the look out for yummy recipe posts this week.  :)  Today my Tall Tan Man and I went to breakfast at this great place in downtown Frisco called Fifth Street Cafe. 

The breakfast tacos were amazing!  Yep, I took a picture of my food before I ate it...I knew it was going to be good!

Here is a picture of my Tall Tan Man and I after the game.  I am a lucky girl :)  He helped me check off # 4 on my wish list!  I was really excited (I still am...)!  

I can't believe I turn 25 tomorrow...I hope you all had a wonderful long weekend.  Please don't forget why we celebrate Memorial Day.  I am most thankful for my Pawpaw on this day!  He fought in World War 2, Vietnam, and Korea.  He is the best looking 86 year old I know!

Have a great (LAST) week (OF SCHOOL)! I can do it...I will make it...I will survive. 

Grace, peace, and be sure to enjoy some sweets!


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Lemon Blackberry Scones

Confession time.  I have been having a creativity block.  I am pretty sure this is because I am a high school teacher, and there is only 5 school days left this year.  When I was getting ready yesterday I checked for grey hairs...there were none {phew}.  This not only shows how stressed I am, but most importantly my brain is not fully functioning.  I need summer.  I am only 24 years old {for only 5 more days}, I should not be checking grey hairs.  Anyways, I decided that I needed to try a new recipe to get me out of my funk.  These scones were yummy!  If you have read any of my other recipes you know I find a lot of them from Tasty Kitchen. Well, I am excited to tell you that this one is all me.  Yep.  I finally decided to live on the edge of glory (Lady Gaga anyone?).  I didn't take pictures during the process, :( sorry.  I am not sure if y'all even enjoy that...I do though.  I made PW Cinnamon Scones a couple months ago, and took pictures if would you like to see the basic process.

The Goods:
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 6 TBSP butter
  • Zest from one lemon
  • Juice from one lemon (about 2 TBSP)
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup blackberries (or more...follow your heart)
The Glaze Goods:
  • 1 cup powder sugar
  • Juice from one lemon
1.  Preheat oven to 350.

2.  Combine flours, oats, sugar, and baking powder in a large bowl.  Cut in the butter.  To be honest, I was wanting to make the scones partially with whole wheat flour.  Turns out I didn't have whole wheat flour...I had bread flour.  So, I said "why not?"  I am not sure if it made a big difference.

3.  Add the zest, juice, yogurt and egg.  Stir gently with a fork.

4.  Place mixture on a floured cutting board, and knead until it reaches a good consistency.  

5.  Form your dough into a larger circle, {this is really a cylinder} about 1 inch thick. 

6.  Sprinkle with sugar, and cut dough into triangles that are equal in size. 

7.  Bake for 13-18 minutes.  Combine your glaze ingredients.  When scones are completely cool drizzle with glaze.  Enjoy!

Grace, peace, and be sure to enjoy some sweets!


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Summer Preview

I had my last Monday of the school year yesterday!  That was a beautiful feeling (words cannot express how happy this makes me).  I am SO ready for summer!  I believe teachers need summer more than the students do.  I am wondering what this will mean for my blogging...I will be spending most of my time on the road watching my Tall Tan Man doing what he loves. I guess this means I will have to be pretty creative with my posting :)  These are a few of the things I am looking forward to the most this summer. I am a numbers person, therefore they are in chronological order (I didn't want anyone to feel more or less important in my life...haha). 

Oh Baseball.  I am going to try spending less than $300ish dollars on diet cokes, and soft pretzels (with nacho cheese of course) this summer.  This will be good for my bank account and my love handles.  ;)

Meg's Baby is coming! I am very excited for Parker's arrival, and I know Meg is feeling really ready these days {5ish weeks!} .  These photos were taken by Meg's friend, Esther.  She is a fabulous photographer, and I think you should check out her website.  

Bahamas with Sarah T. and Kelli!

Kristen's Wedding!!!  I can remember when these two went on their first date (ohh the cinco).  These are two very wonderful people God put together.    Sean's cousin took this amazing picture.  His company is called Josh Hunt Photography.  I would of never guessed he just started this company.  His website is a work-in-progress, but still displays some beautiful pictures. 

Moving!  It is going to be a decorative explosion.  Watch out.  Home decor is one of my favorite passions, and it has been pent up for about 2.5 years.  Again.  Watch out.

Grace, peace, and be sure to enjoy some sweets!


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Wonderfully Made

I decided to name my blog Wonderfully Made from one of my favorite chapters in the Bible, Psalms 139.  

You should go read the whole chapter.  Now.  Do it.  Now.  Was that pushy? Sorry... :) This chapter shows me how much God already knows me, and loves me for who I am (all of me).  God is always here for me.  I easily forget that, and choose to lean on my own strength, knowledge, and (if I am being honest) what I think will make me happy.  When I don't lean on God, I am not living like I am wonderfully made.  It is actually quite ugly, and those things that I think will make me happy end up leaving me empty.  I am thankful that I serve a God that keeps seeking after me even when I forget to.  Hope you had a great weekend and have a great week!

Grace, peace, and be sure to enjoy some sweets!


Friday, May 20, 2011

Ridiculously Wonderful Butter Cream Frosting

OH MY GOODNESS...Eating icing by the spoonful is not something I am proud of.  For some reason, this frosting made me lose the little self control I thought I had.  Have I mentioned my blog is making me a little fluffy?  I like to use the word "fluffy" instead of heftier.  Just makes me think of round bunnies, rather than my pants being to tight.  I might need to clean up my act with swimsuit season right around the corner...oh wait it is here.  Ugh. Maybe it is time for me to be creative with some healthy, but still sweet recipes...I need to stop ranting (complaining), and show you this awesome recipe I found.

I modified this butter cream frosting recipe from one I found on Tasty Kitchen. 

The Goods:
  • 1-1/2 sticks butter, room temperature
  • 1 Pound Powder Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon Heavy Cream

1. Cream butter until light and fluffy.  

2.  Slowly add powder sugar, 1 cup at a time.  

3.  Scrape down the edges and add vanilla.  Mix. 

4.  Add butter cream and mix.  This consistency was perfect for can add more if you want it thinner.  

This makes enough to ice approximately 2 dozen cupcakes.  I only made 1 dozen, so I am not totally sure.  This icing was a fabulous addition with the chocolate cupcakes I made.  :)

Grace, peace, and be sure to enjoy some sweets!


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Chocolate Cupcakes (Daddy's fav)

Okay ya'll, I am sitting here making myself write this post so I do not eat another one of these cupcakes...I made these for my wonderful Dad's birthday.  I want to go by my Dad's rule: Cupcakes are smaller than a piece of cake, therefore you should have two...or three...okay stop.  My Dad loooves chocolate cake with white icing, but it can't be just any white icing.  I did some searching for a great white icing recipe, and found one on tasty kitchen (of course).  I decided after eating this icing that it definitely deserves its own post.  I should have that up by tomorrow or Friday.  This a chocolate cupcake recipe I also found on tasty kitchen.  I followed her recipe pretty closely, except I may have added more chocolate chips.... 

The Goods:
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter, Softened
  • ¾ cup Sugar 
  • 1 whole Egg 
  • 1 whole Egg White 
  • ½ cup Plus 2 Tablespoons Buttermilk 
  • ⅓ cups Water 
  • 1 Tablespoon White Vinegar 
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract 
  • 1-½ cups All-purpose Flour 
  • ¼ cup Baking Cocoa 
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda 
  • ½ teaspoons Salt 
  •  ½ cup Mini Chocolate Chips (I changed this from ⅓)

Preheat your oven to 375.  In a mixing bowl, cream the butter, and sugar until light and fluffy.  Is it bad that I love the smell that comes from butter and sugar when it is creamed together?   

Add your eggs one at a time, and beat until well combined.  Now add you buttermilk, water, vinegar, and vanilla.  Mix until well combined.  This mixture will be liquidy, and that is okay.  I think. :)

In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.  I wasn't really sure what "baking cocoa" was.  I had both sweetened and unsweetened cocoa powder.  Google told me it was most likely the unsweetened one.  

Slowly add you dry ingredients into your liquid mixture.  Fold in your mini chocolate chips (they are so cute!!). 

Evenly distribute the batter into a lined muffin tin.  This only made a dozen cupcakes for me (recipe said it would make 15).  

Bake for 15-18 minutes.  Make sure you check to see if they are done with a tooth pick. :)

Allow these to cool COMPLETELY before you ice them.  The icing recipe will be up soon!  This might sound extreme, but it might be the best butter cream icing I have ever had.  Ever.  

If you want to add more chocolate, roll the icing in the leftover chocolate chips.  

Hope you are having a fabulous week!

Grace, peace, and be sure to enjoy some sweets!


Monday, May 16, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares

Are you the kind of person that can eat peanut butter out of the jar?  I am.  I have to remind myself that there is about 100 calories per spoonful (sorry to ruin that if you didn't know...).  The combination of chocolate & peanut butter is one of my favorites.  This a FABULOUS recipe I got from a sweet friend's now mother-in-law. 

The Goods:
  • 1/2 Cup Light Corn Syrup
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Crunchy Peanut Butter (or creamy)
  • 3 Cups Rice Krispies
  • 12 oz Chocolate Chips

Butter an 8" square pan.  In a medium sauce pan, combine the corn syrup and both sugars.  Cook at medium heat, constantly stirring, until the mixture comes to a boil. 

Remove from heat, and add the peanut butter.  Stir until well combined.  Add the rice krispies.

Stir until the krispies are covered, and pour into your 8" pan.

Smooth out the krispies mixture, and add the chocolate chips.  

Let the chocolate chips sit for about 5 minutes, then spread out the chocolate chips with a spatula. 

Allow the chocolate harden.  You can cut these up into squares, or use fun cookie cutters.  I wish I would of saved some for me....

I was sending these as a gifts so I wanted them to be extra cute :)  Gotta love the Texas flare...

Here is a picture from the trip to Iowa when we all had way too much of this (2006):

Grace, peace, and be sure to enjoy some sweets!


Sunday, May 15, 2011

My Dad's Grilled Chicken

I have never had grilled chicken as good as my Dad's grilled chicken.  He told me a couple of his "secrets" and said I could share them with y'all :)

My dad said the key to making a good marinade is making it stronger than you would ever want eat.  He changes the ingredients every time, but these are the usual suspects.

He does not add the marinade until the chicken is on the grill.  He also adds extra seasoning salt once the marinade is on the chicken.  

He allows chicken to cook for 35-40 minutes. Another important key is to flip the chicken at least 5 to 6 times.  Each time you will need to apply more marinade.  This is his secret to passing the time:

This chicken is ridiculously awesome.  I think for a man to truly win my heart he needs to be able to grill chicken like my father.

Grace, peace, and be sure to enjoy some sweets (or something off the grill).


Friday, May 13, 2011

Coffee Ice Cream with Reese's Cups

Summer is around the corner, it is time to break out the ice cream maker!  This is my favorite Kitchen Aid attachment, maybe because it is my only one.  I found this recipe on Tasty Kitchen by Heather Cristo.  I love coffee and I added my favorite mix in, Reece's cups.

The Goods:
  • 2 cups Heavy Cream
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 cup Very Strong Coffee
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • Pinch Of Salt
  • 6 whole Large Egg Yolks
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract 
  • Mini Reese's Cups

    In a MEDIUM sauce pan, heat the cream, milk, coffee, sugar and salt until the sugar has dissolved.  I first tried to make this in a small sauce pan, and soon discovered that wouldn't work.  You would think a math teacher understands volume.

    While the cream is heating up, whisk the egg yolks until they are fluffy in a large bowl. 

     When the cream mixture is done, pour it into the egg mixture a little bit at a time, constantly stirring.  Make sure you pour slowly or you will end up with scrambled eggs in your ice cream (yuck)!

    When mixture is well combined, return to the sauce pan.  

    Heat the custard over medium heat while constantly stirring. When the custard coats the back of a spoon, remove it from the heat.  Now add the vanilla.

    Refrigerate at least two hours, or until the mixture is cool. 

    Now make the ice cream according to your own ice cream maker.  You do not want to add the Reese's Cups until the ice cream is really thick and almost done.  

    You can go ahead and eat the ice cream if you are okay with it being more like a milk shake.  Otherwise, refrigerate for 4 hours.  I only waited an hour and a half so it wasn't completely frozen yet. Enjoy!

    Grace, peace, and be sure to enjoy some sweets!


    Tuesday, May 10, 2011

    Dessert Stands

    I personally believe a dessert stand must be as pretty as the dessert that is on it. I made both of these stands a couple months ago and have used them for a couple of showers I helped host.  I got the idea for this stand off of an Etsy Shop: E.Isabella Designs. This stand is made from a plate I found at Marshall's and a candle stick holder I found at an antique shop.

    I used epoxy to attach the base, because I had some mishaps with super glue.  I really figured out epoxy holds when I fell down on the ice while caring this stand.  I was holding the base when the plate and my body slammed against the ground...I wish the plate was as strong as the epoxy:

    This is another stand I made.  I had a super glue mishap with this one...It use to be taller, but the glue did not hold.  I almost like the new one better!

    A view from the top:

    I had a fabulous coworker ask me to make her a dessert stand last semester, and I have been a complete slacker...I finally got around to it this weekend!  Here are the materials you will need:
    • Pretty Plate
    • Candle Stick Holder
    • Epoxy
    • Sand Paper
    • Pen
    • Ruler

    Sand the top of the candle stick holder that will be touching the plate.  You want to make sure you create a rough edge to help the base attach to the plate. 

    Now find the center of your plate and mark it with a pen.  

      Then measured the diameter of the top of your base. Lets say your diameter was 8 cm, then you would measure 4 cm out from the center.  Place little tick marks where this is.  Now place the base on the plate, and make sure it looks accurate.  If you want to, you can put more tick marks to help you place your base.  

      Spread epoxy over the edges of the base (this area should be sanded).

      Place the base on the bottom of the plate (the place should be marked).  If I were to do this again, I would of had the plate upside down on the table, and placed the base onto it.  For some reason, I thought I should put the plate on the base, with the base upright...duh that was stupid.  :)

      After all that let the plate sit for a while.  I am overly cautious with how long I wait to move the stand.  I use a weight to make sure the plate is extremely secure. 

      Finished :)

      Grace, peace, and be sure to enjoy some sweets!

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