Friday, September 30, 2011

Have a wonderful weekend!

Happy Friday! Tomorrow night I'm going out to celebrate my birthday with a group of friends at a Mexican restaurant I have been wanting to try for a long time. I love extending celebrations, it's like my birthday is a week long.

What are you up to this weekend? Pin It

Thursday, September 29, 2011

S'mores Cookie Bars

Last week we went over to see Tina & Chris (and of course little Charlie, who is getting so big already, I cannot believe it), I decided to make a recipe I saw on We Are Not Martha a while ago but had been saving because Tina is a s'mores addict, I just made a couple small changes to the original recipe. I think they turned out great and everyone really enjoyed them.

Ingredients:

2 1/5 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
11 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 vanilla sugar (can also use granulated)
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
2 packages graham crackers, broken into squares (36 squares total)
2 1/2 king size Hershey bars

Preheat oven to 375°.

Combine flour, salt and baking soda in a bowl.

Cream together butter and sugars, add eggs one at a time and then vanilla extract. Slowly add flour until just combined. Stir in marshmallows and chocolate chips.

Line a baking sheet w/ a silpat (or parchment paper) put all the graham crackers squares on the pan and then scoop about 1 tablespoon of the cookie dough onto each cracker. Put them into the oven for 5 minutes, then remove them and put one Hershey block onto each cookie, return to the oven for about 6 minutes. Let cool and enjoy!



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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

New Years

Today marks the start of two new years for me. Tonight (at sundown) is Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) and it is also my birthday.

Today Greg and I are celebrating with breakfast out, some relaxing, and then later today we'll be going to my family's house for a dual birthday/Rosh Hashanah dinner. This weekend I have plans with a bunch of friends to go out for dinner and drinks to celebrate.

On Rosh Hashanah you typically eat sweet things for a sweet year, apples and honey is the classic pairing for this tradition. In honor of this, I make an apple cake with honey glaze every year:

cake:
4 large apples, peeled and diced
2 teaspoons cinnamon
5 tablespoons sugar
3 cups all purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°

Mix chopped apples with the 2 teaspoons cinnamon and 5 tablespoons sugar and set aside.

Mix together remaining ingredients until well combined (FYI: the batter will be quite thick).

In a greased bundt pan, layer cake batter and apples - you will have 3 layers of batter and 2 layers of apples.

Bake for 1 hour and 40 minutes

glaze:
1 cup confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons milk

Whisk ingredients together in a small bowl until smooth, drizzle over cake

For those observing the holiday, Shana Tovah!


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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

What's on my nails: Essie Very Structured

Very Structured is another from Essie's fall line "Brand New Bag," it is a sort of rusty/burnt orange color that screams 'autumn.' I was really undecided about getting this one, but I think it may be my new favorite for fall (and definitely my pick for Halloween nails), it's a very unique shade and much more wearable than I originally thought it would be.


What's on your nails today? Pin It

Monday, September 26, 2011

Cider Donut Bread Pudding

We went apple picking this weekend (thankfully the rain held off), and on our way out of the farm, we picked up 1/2 dozen cider donuts. When we shared a donut later that day, it wasn't as good as we remembered, the flavor wasn't great and it was lacking the cinnamon sugar coating that I generally associate with cider donuts. I decided to salvage them as best as I could, so I cut them up, let them get nice and stale and then made bread pudding!


ingredients:
5 stale cider donuts, broken into bite size pieces
1 1/4 cups half & half (you can use any milk, cream, half & half combo, this is just what I had on hand)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 large apple, peeled and chopped
maple syrup (optional, for drizzling on top at the end)


Place the donut pieces and apples into a 8x8 buttered baking dish.


Combine the milk, half & half, eggs, cinnamon, vanilla and sugar in a bowl and then pour over the donut and apple pieces, let sit until the liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally to disperse the liquid.


Bake at 350° for about 30 minutes. Allow to cool a bit, drizzle with syrup (if you wish), serve with a glass of cider and enjoy!



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Friday, September 23, 2011

Have a great weekend!

Happy Friday and first official day of Fall (it's finally here)! This weekend I'm hoping to go apple picking (weather permitting, which is looking pretty dreary) and otherwise get caught up on some of the fall premieres (still haven't watched Modern Family, Community, The Office or Parks & Rec yet and Pan Am debuts on Sunday), and do some errands.

On the news this morning there was a blurb about how a pair of the original Ruby Slippers from The Wizard of Oz are going up on the auction block in December, they were worn by Judy Garland in the film and apparently the ones used for most of the close ups on the shoes, including when they disappeared off of the feet of the Wicked Witch of the East. What a neat piece of movie history to own, I love that the soles are painted red (just like Louboutins!). I wonder how they will be displayed by the winner.

photo from the associated press

What are you all up to this weekend?

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Cream Cheese Pound Cake with Chocolate Glaze

This is a busy week of seeing friends for dinners and such. As I love to bake, I always offer to bring dessert, it's a great excuse to try new recipes, and everyone appreciates something homemade and yummy. Last night I brought a cream cheese pound cake (from this Southern Living recipe) finished with a chocolate glaze. The cake was very heavy and dense (I could never eat more than one piece at a time) but was delicious and moist. The chocolate was really the perfect addition to it.


Cake:
3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs
3 cups all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  • Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until combined.
  • Combine flour and salt; gradually add to butter mixture, beating at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Pour batter into a greased and floured 10-inch Bundt pan.
  • Bake at 300° for 1 hour and 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 to 15 minutes; remove from pan, and let cool completely on wire rack.

    Glaze:
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips
    3 tablespoons unsalted butter
    1 tablespoon corn syrup
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Combine chocolate, butter and corn syrup in a bowl over a pan of hot water until combined and smooth and then stir in vanilla. Drizzle and spread glaze over cake.






Do you have something you normally bring when you're invited to someone's home?
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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

BLESS bag collaboration with Longchamp



"Jeremy Scott, Charles Anastase and the design duo BLESS were selected by ANDAM and invited to create limited editions of Longchamp’s Le Pliage® bag, bringing their unique and avant-garde vision to bear on the groundbreaking foldable design that has become a cult classic and a staple of modern urban life."

Isn't it cute? It looks like a little bagel and transforms into a great handbag. What a wonderful piece for trips, it packs up into basically nothing!


photos and details from BLESS
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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Brown Bread

When a bread basket is presented, I almost always go for the brown bread. It's a lightly sweetened, chewy and delicious bread. Since my breadmaker has come into the picture, I decided I needed to make my own, after reading through many different recipes I have created a version that I think is top notch.

Ingredients:
1 cup + 1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup molasses
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup quick oats + more to sprinkle on top of bread before baking, if desired
3 cups bread flour
2 1/4 teaspoons bread machine yeast

Directions:

  1. Add ingredients to bread machine in order above
  2. Set machine to dough cycle
  3. After completion of the dough cycle, remove from machine, shape into a boule and cover loosely with lightly oiled plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes
  4. Pre-heat oven to 350° 
  5. Sprinkle some more oats on top of bread (if desired) and bake for 40 minutes


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Monday, September 19, 2011

And the winner is...

Thank you everyone who enetered the September giveaway! And a big thank you to Hinge Heads for sponsoring this month's giveaway!

The winner of the Hinge Heads is Elle from Elle Sees! Congratulations Elle!
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Friday, September 16, 2011

Have a great weekend!

Happy Friday! I have no idea what I am doing this weekend, but know I will be enjoying this lovely fall weather that has popped up all of a sudden in Boston, it's gorgeous out!

Don't forget, the Hinge Heads giveaway closes tonight, enter now!

What are you all up to this weekend? Pin It

Thursday, September 15, 2011

What's on my nails: Chanel Blue Boy

My order from Chanel's Fashion's Night Out collection arrived, and I am really pleased with Blue Boy (the only one I decided I couldn't live without) It's such a nice shade of greyish blue.



What's on your nails today?

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Missoni for Target

Today the Missoni collection for Target is finally available for purchase! I absolutely love Missoni's use of colors and patterns and am excited for a more affordable way to indulge! I especially love the accessories and home goods available.

I already placed an order online for the items I wanted the most: zig zag flats, throw blanket in passione and some tights and will probably stop by a Target sometime soon and see if anything else catches my eye from the collection.

Here are a few of my favorite pieces from the collection:









What do you think of all the designer collaborations with Target? Are you getting anything from the Missoni collection? Pin It

Monday, September 12, 2011

WanderMonster

I recently happened upon a great site called WanderMonster, a project of Rob Kimmel Design. WanderMonster features daily "lunch posts," which chronicle post-it notes given by Rob to his son in his lunchbox. Each post-it has a half written story and a half drawn picture. It's up to Rob's son to fill in the blanks, and then they are shared on the website. I think this is such a unique and special way for father and son to share and bond over something every single day and it sparks such creativity!

Here are a few of my favorites:




details and photos from WanderMonster
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Friday, September 9, 2011

Have a fantastic weekend!

Happy Friday! Weeks following long weekends always seem to take a bit longer, don't they? It's so hard to shift back into working mode. This weekend I am going to a friend's bridal shower which is going to be a brunch at a great looking restaurant. Not too much else is on the horizon for me, I'm looking forward to some relaxing.

What are you all up to this weekend? Pin It

Thursday, September 8, 2011

September Giveaway: Hinge Heads

Giveaway time!

This month's giveaway is for Hinge Heads (which you may remember from these posts) I love having them in my home and know that you will too!

The winner can pick their favorites from the Hinge Heads website, or they can surprise you and send along a little assortment.

Note: If you are already a follower of this blog or my twitter account, you still need to create an entry by clicking the green button next to the corresponding options




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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

New Shawnimals: Ninja of the Month for September

There's a new Shawnimals ninja available today! The Fröst Ninja






If Sprout Ninja acts as a foresty, Mother Earth-type for the world of Ninjatown, Fröst Ninja is the guardian and founder of all things chilly. See those snow-capped peaks atop the Feroshi Mountains? How about the cold winds blowing down from the hills across Soy Bay? Yep, totally Fröst Ninja. Read on...


AVAILABLE Wednesday September 7th at 1pm CDT!

From the tag:"Yet another Original Ninja is revealed! This time of the snowy, windy & mountainy variety. His stark, white eyes reveal a cold solitude, and many mysteries. And what's that on his head? Um... we think it's... uh, probably just... well, never mind."

Motto:
""Be still and you will be moved..."

When you order this $30 product you get...
  • A handmade ~ 7" x 7" plush Ninja limited to 100 pcs.
  • Signed and numbered fancy hang tag
  • Fun accessories – Toasty-warm Gort headdress!
  • A character sticker
  • A character button
Fine folks can also purchase more Ninja of the Month merchandise like stickers, buttons, a poster, etc here:
http://shop.shawnimals.com/collections/ninja-of-the-month/

They can also see more about this NotM release at www.ninjaofthemonth.com/
Note: Fröst Ninja is part of the Shawnimals Handmade line of plush. For ages 6 and up. Decorative use only.

photo and details from shawnimals
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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

What's on my nails: Essie Power Clutch

Essie Power Clutch is from the Fall 2011 line "Brand New Bag," it is a nice and shiny deep dark grey with a slight cast of green (the green was basically impossible to capture in my photo though I tried many times). I am really loving this shade for the fall.


What's on your nails today? Pin It

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Bread Machine's Maiden Voyage

Happy Labor Day everyone!

I tried out my new bread machine over the weekend for the first time, and I am completely in love with it. It's easy to use, the bread came out nicely, and I love not having to keep checking back on my dough.

I decided to start off with one of the basic recipes that comes with the machine:

Homestyle White Bread

Ingredients:
1 cup + 2 T water (75° - 85° F)

1 T butter, room temp
2 T sugar
1 T non-fat dry milk
1 1/2 t salt
3 c bread flour
2 1/2 t bread machine yeast

  1. Attach kneading blade to bread pan
  2. Add ingredients to pan in the order in the recipe
  3. Set bread machine to basic mode for 1.5 lb loaf
  4. All done!


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Friday, September 2, 2011

Have a wonderful weekend!

Happy Friday! I am so happy to have a three day weekend. We will be sticking around Boston, going to BBQs and I plan on doing a lot of baking. My (amazing) brother in law sent me a bread maker and I am so excited to try it out, I have been wanting one for such a long time. Do any of you have a bread maker? What's your favorite recipe for it?

What are you all doing for Labor Day weekend? Pin It

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Les Jeans De Chanel

A week from today, Chanel will debut three denim inspired shades created for Fashion's Night Out. I just got my e-mail to join the waitlist (and immediately signed up!) I really want to get Blue Boy and possibly Blue Rebel as well. Click here to reserve your spot on the waitlist as well. 


What's your favorite shade from this collection and how are you feeling about the new trend of blue nails this fall?
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