Monday, March 26, 2012

Lindsay's Bridal Shower

One of my dear friends Lindsay, is getting married!  I could not be more happy for her as she starts this new adventure.  Lindsay is one of my oldest friends.  I still remember when we were sitting in Gulf Shores Alabama, debating which guy was the hottest on our church youth trip {priorities of 8th grade girls...}.  This is trip where Lindsay, Ashley, Kathy, and I began our friendship.  Now Linds' is acting all grown up, and getting hitched {Ashley and Kathy are already grown up}.  Life's not a race.  Lindsay's wedding is in a couple weeks, and I know it is going to be beautiful.  I will be sure to take lots of pictures!  Here are some pics from her shower our Mom's hosted. 

These petite fours were divine, and I love the monogram.


Sausage Quiche...


Pioneer Woman Quiche {my favorite, click HERE for the recipe}

 
If were talking quiche you have to have a spinach one...

 

More pictures from the shower...not involving food :)


Me, Kathy {and baby}, Lindsay, and Ashley




Showers always make me think my kitchen is soooooo boring.  Linds got some really fabulous things!


Hope you are having a great week!  I'm craving quiche now...

{Leslie}

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Chocolate PB Sandwich Cookies


I am so excited about these cookies! I mean, what could be better than the chocolate pb combo?!? Peanut butter is one of those food that I eat everyday {no joke}.  Usually with celery, and this is all thanks to my South Beach Diet bender I did last year... When I am at work I look forward to it all 1st period {I am a teachers not a high school-er}, because it is always my second period snack.  I am definitely stuck in my ways a creature of habit. I made these cookies using this fabulous Gooey Lemon Cookie Recipe.  I am a little proud of myself, because I made up this recipe all by myself {for the most part :)}.    

You will need:


Cookies:
1 Box Dark Chocolate Cake Mix
6-8 oz Frozen Whipped Topping {softened}
1 Egg
1/2 tsp Vanilla
1/2 Cup Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
Powder Sugar {for rolling}

Cookie Directions:

1.  In a large mixing bowl combine cake mix, whipped topping, egg, and vanilla.  Beat at medium speed until well combined.  The original Lemon recipe only used 6 oz {3/4 of an 8 oz container} of whipped topping, but for some reason this was not enough for this recipe.  I kept adding whipped topping until it reached a better consistency.  

2.  Fold in chocolate chips.  

3.  Using a cookie scoop, drop dough into a bowl of powder sugar {I usually do 4 at a time}.  Roll the dough until it is completely covered with powder sugar.


4.  Using your hands roll the dough to make a perfect ball {yes, perfection is necessary...jk this helps the cookies to come out not so flat}.


5.  Place chocolate ball on a cookie sheet a couple inches apart from each other.


Bake for 13-16 minutes or until the cookies look cooked in the middle.


Allow cookies to cool on a wire rack for 2 minutes before moving them to a plate.  Make sure cookies are completely cool before adding the frosting. For the frosting you will need:


Frosting:
{modified from THIS recipe by Suzanne Stull}
***Warning:  This makes more icing than you need for the cookies so either find a neighbor or a hungry squirrel to eat the rest...it is way too addicting to go in the frig.  Or maybe I have no self control?

1/2 cup Butter {room temperature}
1 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
1/4 tsp Vanilla
2 to 2 1/2 Cups Confectioners Sugar
4-6 TBSP Cream {you can also use milk}

Frosting Directions:

1.  Holy Moly this might be my favorite frosting of all time...This is not an exaggeration, and no I am not being dramatic.  Beat butter and peanut butter until light and fluffy.

2.  Added 1/2 cup of powder sugar , and mix until well combined.  With the mixer still running add 1 TBSP of cream.  Scrape down the edges and repeat.  The original recipe says to use 4 cups of powder sugar, but I liked the flavor of only 2 cups.  So the next step is VERY IMPORTANT...test your frosting after each 1/2 cup powder sugar, and TBSP of cream until the flavor is perfect for you.  You can keep adding more powder sugar {and cream} until is tastes exactly how you want it.  I wanted the frosting to be thick, because it was going between two cookies. 

3. Using an icing dispenser {or a spatula} apply icing to the bottom of one cookie.  Then make your sandwich! I was very happy with how they turned out!


I wish I could say the same for my shoes {this neeeeever happens while I cook ;)}...


Enjoy!


{Leslie}

Friday, March 16, 2012

Chocolate & Butterscotch Cookies


Well hello there!  Can I just say that I love spring break...I am not really doing anything too exciting, but staycations can be pretty fabulous!  So far I have caught up on my sleep, worked on my tan, saw some of my family, and stayed on track with my half marathon training!  My friend/coworker Cathy made these Chocolate & Butterscotch cookies, and I looooooved them so much I had to make them.  You will need:

1 - 12oz bag of Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 - 12oz bag of Butterscotch Chops
1 Bag Chow Mein Noodles
1/2 - 1 cup Unsalted Peanuts{add more if you heart feels like it}

In a microwave-safe bowl combine chocolate and butterscotch chips.  Start by melting the chips for 45 seconds then stir.  Then work at 15-25 second intervals (be careful, it is easy to burn the mixture). 

In a large bowl place 2 cups of chow mein noodles.  Pour the oh so fabulous melted chocolate/butterscotch into the same bowl.  Add more noodles until you get a good ratio.  Confession time.  When I made these I didn't have exact measurements so I just kept adding chow mein until the consistency was where I wanted it.  Also stir in the peanuts...


I know it looks a little gross, but your going to have to trust me...these are scrumptious.  Spoon 1/4 cup size cookies onto a cookie sheet that is covered with wax paper. 


I'm hungry.  Cookies for dinner tonight? 


If you are looking for an easy, and wonderful cookie recipe this one is for you!  Oh yeahhhh!  By the way, I do have a book recommendation {yes, I am a dyslexic that occasionally reads :)}... I am a sucker for a good love story. If you are too, then you will need to check out The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks.


I read it in two days, and for me that is lightning speed.  I also blame this book for my sunburned back...  I am also super pumped for the movie {April 20, 2012}!!!


I'm a little sad that I finished the book, but it had to happen because I have been putting off making these {the inspired room is a fabulous blog}:


I hope they turn out as beautiful as the picture...

{Leslie}

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

PIE for Pi Day


There are two things I really love in life...sweets and math. This morning I decided that I was going to celebrate Pi Day with {Skinny Taste's Peanut Butter Pie}.  I have really loved using Skinny Taste's crock pot  recipes, but I was dying to try on of the desserts {shocking, I know}.  Gina {the mastermind behind Skinny Taste} says this recipe has only 217 calories for 1/10 of the pie.  That is not too bad!  I might have more than a 10th though...I did make one adjustment which might add a *few more calories.  Instead of using chocolate syrup I used melted chocolate chips. To make this you will need:

  • 1 reduced fat graham cracker pie crust
  • 5 oz of cream cheese {softened}
  • 1/2 cup powder sugar
  • 1/3 cup Better n Peanut Butter {I got this at Sprouts}
  • 8 oz frozen whipped topping {softened}
  • 1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • Dash of milk

In a mixer combine cream cheese and powder sugar.  

 
Add the Better n Peanut Butter {this has half the calories of PB}... I wouldn't say that this is better than peanut butter when you eat it by the spoonfuls, but I did like it in the pie though :) If you cannot find this I am thinking regular PB would work just fine!


Mix until well combined.  Looking yummy...


Now fold in the whipped topping {make sure you let this sit out for a while}, and pour mixture into pie crust!


 An easier option is to use chocolate syrup, but since I didn't have any I used chocolate chips.  Melt the chocolate chips in a microwavable bowl with just a dash of milk.  I microwaved mine for only 30 seconds, and it was almost too long!  I stirred until the chocolate was a consistency I could work with.  I then put the chocolate in a zip lock bag {make sure your chocolate isn't too hot}, and cut one of the corners to make my crazy design.  


Cover your pie, and refrigerate for 3 hours before serving! 
 
Happy Pi Day!

{Leslie}

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Lemon Bars



I don't know about ya'll, but something about spring makes me want to eat lemon desserts.  If I am being honest, then I also like desserts with strawberries... blackberries... bananas... dark chocolate... peanut butter... well you get the picture.  I might have a sweets problem.  This Lemon Bar recipe is from the oh so fabulous Ina Garten.  You can find her full recipe {here}.  This recipe pretty stinkin' fabulous, and I think the lemon flavor is just perfect.  The only thing I would do differently next time is to make sure I bake it long enough...mine was a little too gooey in the middle (I didn't really mind eating the center pieces with a spoon...).  I halved the original recipe, because bikini wearin' season is around the corner {my pool is calling my name}.  I also can't count on Tall Tan Man eating more than one bite.  I really don't get how he doesn't love sweets.


You will need :


Crust:

  • 1/4 pound butter {room temperature}
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • A pinch of kosher salt

Filling:

  • 3 large eggs {room temperature}
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoons grated lemon zest {get 4 lemons to be safe}
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice {use the same lemons}
  • 1/2 cup flour

  • Powder Sugar, for making it look pretty

{accidentally put 2 sticks of butter out...}

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and grease an 8 by 8 inch pan.  In an electric mixer combine butter and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy.  Add the flour and salt and mix until somewhat combine {it will look like the picture below}.  Dump the ingredients onto a floured surface...




With floured hands work the dough until it magically turns into this {yes you can do this}...




Press dough into pan, and make sure it goes up a half inch on all sides:




Let the crust chill for five minutes in the refrigerator.  Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the crust is slightly brown.  Place on a cooling rack when done.  


In the meantime let's make the filling!  Whisk together all the filling ingredients, and BAM you just made the filling.  Now I am going to be honest...This step takes no time while the baking the crust/allowing it to cool takes a lot longer.  I was a little annoyed with all the waiting {guess I need to pray for patience}.  So I put the filling in the frig, and ran to red box to pick up some movies {I really loved Crazy Stupid Love}.  By the time I got home the crust was cool enough for me, and I added the filling on top. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes {make sure it is cooked in the middle!}. 

Allow the lemon bars to cool to room temperature before you cut. You can cut square bars or triangles. Sprinkle with powder sugar...




So yummy...I already want to make these again.  :)



Hope ya'll have a great weekend!  I am on SPRING BREAK!!! What what!  I am so thankful that my career still has spring break.  My goal over the next week is to SLEEP...work on a couple home projects...work on my tan{go away rain}...maybe blog a little...try some new recipes...I bet your jealous.  I also get to hang out with this guy.  


If your jealously did not increase 10 fold we can't be friends.  

{Leslie}

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Salsa {ARRIBBBA}!!!


This salsa is my serious new addiction. 

Very serious. 

Holy Moly.

It has changed my life.

{slight exaggeration}  

I have changed what I am making for  breakfast, and dinner so I could use this salsa.  I found this {recipe} on Pioneer Woman's website.  Ree is so wonderful, and her recipes do not fail me.  This recipe makes a lot...initially I was like "how in the world can I eat all this salsa?"  I was being so childish.  {sigh} I have to confess that I have already made a second batch... This recipe does call for a LARGE food processor, but no worries.  Mine is a baby one, so I processes in shifts.  I was worried that this would change the taste of the salsa, but it did not {and if it did, I don't care...I'm in love...with a salsa}.  Okay.  Get ready.  

 
 You will need:

1 Can (28 oz) of diced tomatoes {target didn't have the whole tomatoes}
2 (10 oz) cans Rotel
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 whole jalapeno thinly sliced {I left all the seeds in}
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 whole lime juice 

Now this directions are pretty difficult to explain...combine all the above ingredients in a food processor, pulse until salsa reaches the consistency you want, refrigerate for an hour, and enjoy {maybe I was being a little sarcastic}!  If I had not already met my calorie intake for the day {yes, I do *attempt* to count my calories...} I would get out some of my homemade pita chips and dip away right now...  


This post makes me feel very Texan.  Just something about the word salsa makes me thankful for this wonderful state.  Alright, I'll stop talking so I do not get pegged for one of those "our state is better than yours" people.  YA'LL have a great week!  Spring break is in 3 days!  Yeehawww.  :)


 

{Leslie}  
  

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Photo A Day Challenge {February}


Well, I did it!  I participated in the House of Smiths Photo-A-Day Challenge.  :)  It was fun trying to be creative with the themes, and using instagram for the first time {I was behind the times}.  Here are the themes for the days:


March has just begun so you can still join!  You don't need a blog or anything to do it {well you do need a camera...or a phone with a camera :) }!  Here is the list for march:


I wont judge you if you have to cheat a little, or if you miss a day.  I did {by cheat I mean you take the picture late or you just use an old one}:)  I am sad that I didn't even get a leap day picture!!! I know, I'm such a slacker...February was a good month.  I can wait to see what March has in store!  Hope you have a great week!

{Leslie}
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