Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ooey Gooey Chocolate Chip Blondies

If you are in the mood for some chocolatey goodness, you're in the right place. I found this recipe on Lovin' From the Oven which, by the way, has tons of amazing desserts if you happen to have a sweet tooth like Zach and me.

We major-league underbaked ours (on purpose) and reduced the original recipe's flour content, which is how they derived the 'ooey gooey' part of their name. We are total melt-in-your-mouth kind of people and prefer our desserts fudgey rather than cakey, so these were perfect.

Ingredients:
2/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 stick butter (melted)
1 egg
1 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease an 8"x8" pan.
  2. Cream together the melted butter and sugar. Add the egg, vanilla and salt and stir again.
  3. Gradually mix in the flour until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  4. Pour the batter into greased pan.
  5. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the edges begin to brown.

We made these last night as a late night treat and they were yummy right out of the pan, but would have been difficult to cut and transport anywhere else. Today, however, they have set and are easy to cut but still have their gooey centers. Lord, please make these bars magically disappear out of our kitchen before either of us gets yet another cavity.

I lied Lord. Totally worth the toothache.

Above is fresh out of the oven, below is the morning-after. Delightfully sinful either way.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful Hump Day! 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Nifty Thrifty

Oh, how we love thrifting! There is a lovely little thrift shop close to our apartment that we have fallen in love with and it was full of goodies today, all of which were 50% off their already very discounted price. Score.

Some of the day's treasures:
$2.00 silk blouse

 .50 belt
.25 magazines (for my momma)

 $2.00 silk blouse...my favorite find
love the built-in vest

This was not a thrift store purchase; Zach bought it at an online estate sale for $20.00 and we picked it up on Sunday. He is very proud of his John Wayne Alamo poster. You can't tell from my awful picture-taking skills, but this thing is HUGE. We can't wait to hang it in our new media room!

Hope this inspires you to get out there and find some treasure of your own :).

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Halloween Mix

I know what you're thinking. Halloween? Seriously? It's still September. And you'd be correct, but you will forgive me quickly once you realize that I am introducing to you the best combo since PB&J. Fo' real.

Meet candy corn and peanuts.

I had this for the first time last fall and was instantly hooked. There's just something so amazing about the sweet, honey flavored candy corn with the salty peanuts that is inexplicably tasty. You gotta try it. We used twice as many peanuts as candy corn because we like it a little more salty, but it's yummy any way you wanna eat it. We also found these cute glass jars at Dollar Tree for $1 each (of course) that are just right for holiday hand-outs.
We are going home this weekend and will be giving these treats to our families since we probably won't see them again until Thanksgiving :(. Just typing that made me sad. Good thing I have this little salty/sweet mix to cheer me up.

Happy (very) early Halloween!

Friday, September 23, 2011

A Gem of a Magnet

I would like to preface this post by saying that this shouldn't even be classified as a "craft project" it was so simple. But, because it's fun to play Martha Stewart sometimes, I will continue to pretend like this was a very meticulous task (it wasn't).

Our fridge was looking pretty shabby.  As we are finally reaching adulthood, sort of, we are beginning to receive invites to weddings, parties, and such in the mail. This is exciting! However, because we are reaching adulthood and losing our memories, we forget about these parties and events if they are not staring us in the face every morning when we reach for the milk and OJ. Sadly, we didn't have enough magnets to display many pictures and reminders and the ones we did have, well, were flimsy freebies that needed to go. In our household, when a magnet won't hold up the chinese take-out menu, Houston, we have a problem.


You will need:
hot glue gun
mosaic gems, jumbo mix
round, ceramic magnets

Glue each magnet to the back of a gem, let it dry, and pop it on your fridge!

 Before:
After:
I also added a few flowers from here

Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend! We are headed back to College Station to watch A&M put the hurt on OSU :). See you Monday!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Rolled Ribbon Roses

Confession: I am officially a flower-making junkie. I'm not sure what it is that fuels the flower fire in me, but something definitely has set a spark. I have seen many fabric rose tutorials lately but when I was in Hobby Lobby several days ago and saw their ribbon was 50% off (I swear, 50% of that store is constantly 50% off. Totally not complaining.) I decided to get a few rolls and play around. These were so simple and fun to make, even Zach wants to try. Okay, not really. But you should!

You will need:
ribbon, about half an inch thick
hot glue gun
felt squares
needle and thread, optional (depending on your project)

Fold your ribbon in half. Keep it on the spool with a little slack and pull it as you go
Begin rolling the ribbon, securing every few wraps with glue
Twist it as you go, wrapping around the center. This is hard to explain, but you will get the hang of it. The more you twist, the more 'character' the flower has.
Once the flower is the size you'd like, cut enough ribbon to fold over on to the back. Secure it with glue.
It should look something like this...
Cut a small felt square and glue it to the back of your flower to serve as the base
I stitched mine onto a baby headband that I'm giving to a friend, but you can use yours for so many different things. These white headbands were 3 for $1.99 at Hobby Lobby.
If you choose to put them on a band like this one, make sure you pull the elastic tight before stitching. The flowers may seem a bit squished, but when worn they sit just right.
If you are attaching on to a bobby pin....
Put the bobby pin around a piece of cardboard or thick paper

Add a little glue to the top
Gently press the flower down and leave for several minutes until dry
Pull it off the paper and you have yourself a lovely new hair accessory
Or if you'd like to stitch it on (my personal preference)....
Stich through the back of the flower and through the top (ridgedy) side of the bobby pin. Repeat several times until the flower is tightly fastened. I did not put a felt base on this one, but should have! Oopsie.

Secure with a double knot and trim excess thread
Tah Dah! You will never have a bad hair day again.

Hope you find this tutorial helpful and make yourself some lovely little roses :)

Trinkets 'n Treasures


I love jewelry.

Whew! I feel much better now, getting that off my chest and all.

Now I can talk about how much I adore displaying my faux pearls and rhinestones and not feel as though I'm treating the jewelry itself like an ugly stepchild. That is, in fact, the whole point of this slight obsession of mine; jewelry deserves to be showcased at all times, even when it's not being worn. The whole taking it off and throwing it in a drawer thing (which yes, I'm guilty of too) should so be against the law.

You've probably noticed by now that Zach and I are very in to thrifting. We live for a good treasure hunt. Anytime we go into an antique mecca, we part ways like we've never met before and do our thing. I immediately head to the glassware and Zach's all over the coins like white on rice. I have this infatuation, you see, with delicate vintage trinket boxes and jewelry holders of the sort. Basically anything that will nest a few bracelets and look snazzy on a vanity. These even work great on the kitchen windowsill for last minute dishwashing or dough kneading emergencies. Oh, the possibilities. Zach can have all those silly coins; I go for the good stuff.


We found this one in Galveston on The Strand, tucked in the neatest little antique shop. I like the unique color and scalloped edges.

Last weekend when we were in College Station, Lisa and Katy discovered a gem of an antique shop with great furniture. We didn't leave with a loveseat, unfortunately, but I did pick up these lovely trinkets. The shop owner and I debated for a solid 4 minutes over what their original purpose was; I still stand by my butter dish proposal. My grandma told me once that back in the good 'ol days, each place setting had its own small, individual butter dish. Who knows though...these may have been made in '92. That's still considered antique, right? The set of 4 was $6, and hand painted, so naturally I couldn't pass them up.



That's the beauty of vintage finds...giving them a purpose that suits your individual taste and needs. What would you use these trinkets for?


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Brownie Walnut Cookies


Zach and I love a good brownie. We love a good cookie, too. So naturally we thought it seemed pretty ingenious to combine the two, as found here on the novice chef. We just had to try her recipe, with our own little twist, and were very pleased with the end result. It was a tad bit cocoa-y for my taste, but still yummy. I told Zach they turned out a little tough on the outside yet soft and mushy on the inside, just like I like my men. We giggled. These cookies are so Z.

Ingredients:
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
pinch of salt
2 egg whites, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


(chocolate chips not pictured...their addition was a game-time decision)
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray.
Mix sugar, cocoa and salt in a bowl. Stir in walnuts and chocolate chips. Add egg whites and vanilla, beat with a fork or electric mixer on medium until batter is just moistened (do not over mix).
Drop batter by the tablespoonful onto baking sheet in evenly spaced mounds, leaving lots of room for spreading. Bake cookies until tops are slightly cracked and glossy, about 12 minutes. We didn't let ours get too cracked as we wanted them to be ooey-gooey.
 
Let cool for 5 minutes. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.

Happy baking!