Monday, October 31, 2011

Hippies and Stitches

Happy Halloween!!
I hope you all had a wonderful and spook-tacular weekend.  Sorry, I couldn't help myself.  Our weekend was interesting to say the least.  Friday night was a date-night-in with the hubs, a big, fat pizza and Bridesmaids on DVD.  Saturday, we slept in, made a yummy brunch in our pajamas and lounged all day. 

That night was the Duke Halloween Party and we were so excited to dress up in our groovy 70's gear for the shin-dig.  Becca hosted an amazing drinks/appetizers party before and I made these delicious Cinnamon Roll Pumpkin bars, which were amazing. (recipe to come!)

The party was great -- I loved seeing all of our friends and the creative costumes. (My favorite was Mugato (from Zoolander), complete with a razor skateboard! )  Here are some pics from the evening....

 Unfortunately, the party was cut short, as hubs got injured amidst the dancing and fun.....and we were whisked off to the E.R. where he had to get 10 stitches in his chin :(  It was a long, nerve-wracking, exhausting night, and there was a lot of waiting, waiting, and more waiting.  Like 5 hours of waiting.  Booooo. 
(And that wasn't a fun Halloween Booooo, that was a sad and depressing Booooo.)
A HUGE thank you to Katie and Russell for bringing us and waiting there with us.  Y'all are truly the best.  (And also to our sweet friends Katelyn, Katie (again) and Erica who brought over lots of fun goodies and delicious food to the apartment. Thank y'all!) 

Since we were in the ER until 6am, we spent all of Sunday morning catching up on our zzzzz's.  We woke up and listened to one of Tim Keller's online sermons about living out the Gospel, and sang one of my favorite hymns together (our own little church service) happened to be one of the best mornings I've had in awhile.  Who knew that something like a minor accident and 7 hours in the E.R. would be something that I could be thankful for.  Don't get me wrong, it was awful, and I hate seeing my husband in pain like that.  But it's times like these when you remember what your marriage is really all about, who is there for you in the rough times, who holds you when you "ugly cry", who picks you up when you fall, who reaches for your hand at exactly the right moment, and who prays with you when you feel helpless and broken. 

So although it was definitely an unfortunate chain of events that night, there is always a lesson to be learned, and for that I am thankful.  And I am thankful that my hubs is still as handsome as ever,
even with those mean ole stitches.

(By the way, I'm the "ugly crier", not him.)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pumpkin Oreo Cheesecake

I made these delectable (and rich!) sweets last week for my fall desserts party!  They are basically exactly what they sound like, oreos on top and bottom, with a delicious pumpkin cheesecake in between.  Mix ingredients, and bake in muffin tins....they are easy to make, and hard to resist!  ;)  
Top with whipped cream and sprinkles for a fun and festive touch. 

Mini Pumpkin Oreo Cheesecakes

2-8 oz pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs
2 tbsp. sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. canned pumpkin
whipped cream

Preheat oven to 350* Place cupcake liners in a muffin pan. Beat the cream cheese until creamy. Add the sugar and cream again. Add the eggs one at a time beating after each one. Add the rest of the ingredients and beat again. Place one whole oreo in the bottom of the cupcake liners and fill up the liner 3/4 full with the cheesecake batter. Push another whole oreo into the top of the batter. Bake for 20-22 minutes. Cool in pan for 15-20 min before removing and placing on a wire rack to finish cooling. Keep refrigerated. Top with whipped cream and oreo sprinkles before serving. Makes 24.  (I cut recipe in 1/2 and made 12.)

Here are some pictures of my process -- so easy!!

before baking

after baking

Happy Baking!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fall Dessert Party II

Last week was my 2nd annual Fall Dessert Party, and it was so wonderful :)  See the 1st annual Fall Party here.  I invited my girlfriends over for an evening filled with yummy autumn-themed treats and drinks.  We also had Lia Sophia jewelry to try on and buy!  It was so much fun and I LOVED preparing all the food and goodie bags --- fall-time desserts are the BEST desserts in my opinion.  

Here are some pics from the evening:  

Goodie Bags!

The Spread
Hoooooo wants a cupcake? ;)

Nutter Butter Ghosts

Pumpkin Oreo Cheesecakes - Recipe to come!
Cinnamon Roasted Almonds

Glazed Doughnut Muffins

Beautiful Jewelry by Lia Sophia 
Emma, Mere, and Katelyn

Becca, Kelly, and Emily
Lesley, Me, and Kate
I'll take one of everything, please ;)
Susan, Me, and Katelyn

SUCH a fun night, thank you ladies for coming!!  

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Getting Cozy

Happy Friday!  Ok, well it's really Tuesday, but for me and my work schedule, it's F-f-f-FRIDAY :) Whoooop Whoooop :)  I don't know about y'all, but the weather here in NC has been lovely lately, 70's during the day, and 50's at night.  For the cooler evenings at home (while eating chili and watching X-Factor), I've been loving getting all cozied up in cable-knits...they are the ultimate comfy clothes and can be worn out or in.  It's not quite cold enough to bust them out around town, but you better believe I'm rocking the big ole sweaters, warm leggings, and leopard slippers at all times in my abode.  Tis the season, right?  

Here are some pretty cable-knit goods to feast your eyes upon.   Speaking of feasting, I made some pumpkin chocolate chip muffins this afternoon, and oh.em.gee.  I could have eaten the whole batch. 
And I might have. 
Cozy Cableknits
(1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Cookie Dough Cups

Ok y'all, I recently made these cookie cups for a dinner party, and they were so much fun to make!!  Honestly if you just look at the picture above, you might be able to guess exactly what they are (cookie cups) and how I made them.  BUT, for anyone out there that would like to know the step-by-step of how I made these precious bite-sized treats, keep reading!!!

First of all, I was inpsired by this website   (from my Pinterest of course), and I pretty much just followed her recipe.  For the actual cookie dough, I used this recipe

I first made the dough, and then just baked some regular size cookies on a cookie sheet.  Then I got out my mini muffin tin and divided the rest of the batter among the cups (about 1/2 TBSP each). 
(I sprayed the pan first w/ Pam, if you can't tell by the pic....I kinda got carried away! Ha!)

So I baked them at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.

Once the cookie cups are baked, and before they are cooled, press the back of a tablespoon into the cookie, creating a shallow "bowl." 

Once they've cooled, remove the cookie cups from the tin and fill with whatever kind of yumminess your heart desires!!  I just used regular canned frosting, and used a fancy frosting tip to fill them. Some others ideas to fill them with are: frosting, chocolate, peanut butter, ganache, caramel, nutella.

I sprinkled some peanut butter chips on top to jazz them up a little and, TA-DA!  Bite-sized cookie cups!
(P.S.  I truly believe that when something is bite-sized, the calories don't count.  Anyone with me?  ;)

Enjoy!! Happy Hump Day!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Hawaiian BBQ chicken

Another "pinned" recipe success!  See actual pin here, and original recipe/website here.
This was an EASY crockpot recipe that only called for 3 (yes, 3) ingredients! It's basically shredded bbq chicken with mango and pineapple flavors.  If you want to serve it over rice after it is cooked (like I did), then that would be your 4th ingredient. It's really yummy, and again, so simple to throw together. 
Below are pics of my process. 

4-6 boneless chicken breasts (mine were frozen)
 1 bottle hawaiian bbq sauce (from Target)
pinapple (frozen or canned)
rice (optional)

close-up of BBQ sauce
Place frozen chicken breasts in the crock pot and cover with BBQ sauce. Empty pineapple chunks on top. Cook on High for 2-3 hours or Low for 4-6 hours.

Before serving, shred chicken with two forks while still in the crock pot so the chicken will be well coated with sauce. Serve over rice.