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January 27, 2012

Friday Favorites- Lucky Leaf Giveaway Winner

Sorry I haven't gotten to post today! I've been busy busy! The winner of the giveaway is Lizzy Allen! Congrats Lizzy!! Enjoy baking! Thank you Lucky Leaf for hosting this give away.
Even if you didn't win you go to their website to try their delicious recipes!
www.luckyleaf.com
Totally random, but nothing like a 2 story closet to start your weekend off right!
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houzz.com

Happy Friday Everyone!

January 26, 2012

Wearable Valentine Gifts

It seems like 99% of people show Valentines love with food. I love food as much as the next guy, but maybe these shoes wouldn't be so bad either :)
Valentine Sparkle

These gum ball necklaces are super cute and you can eat them when you're done wearing it!
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How about keeping your loved ones pucker moist with these cute chapstick Valentines.
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Burt's Bees chap-stick is my favorite! You can print the cards at the link below!

How about giving some cute hair pins?
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Don't forget today is the last day to enter my giveaway! I'll announce the winner tomorrow!

January 24, 2012

Valentine Cookies

Peanut butter cookies with the Hershey kiss in the middle used to be my favorite treat as a kid. Try substituting the kiss for a chocolate heart, for a valentine's whimsy cookie!
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Go here for the recipe-bettycrocker.com
I swear by the Betty Crocker pouch cookie mix.
 Sometimes I'm just not precise and patient enough to make my cookies from scratch!
Betty Crocker Cookie Mix

January 20, 2012

Friday Favorites- The Peacock Edition

I have a friend getting married who is channeling the peacock for her wedding inspiration. I've had such a great time searching for peacock things. Here are some of my favorites!
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I loved getting married, and all the detailed planning! O to get to do it over!
Everyone have a wonderful weekend, and don't forget to enter my first ever giveaway!

January 19, 2012

Lucky Leaf Giveway

I've reached 700 followers! 700!! That is so exciting and beyond anything I would have imagined when I started this little blog. Hello to all you newcomers, so excited to know you! I love hearing from you guys so pipe up whenever  you feel the need. Today is my first giveaway.

 Lucky Leaf pie filling is giving  me the opportunity to share the love with one special reader by giving away a gift package including Lucky Leaf Premium Pie Filling, their new Bake Your Heart Out Recipe Book, crisp mix and a pot holder. 

Just tell me which of the the recipes you'd like to try in the comments. 

Enter by midnight on Thursday January 26th, so we can get your goodies in time to bake on Valentines I will announce the winner next Friday. 
Nothing like some oozy gooey sweetness to add a little something to your holiday.


Chocolate Cherry Cake with Rum Ganache
Ingredients

1 package 2-layer-size chocolate cake mix
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
2 (0.23-oz.) packages unsweetened lemonade-flavored drink mix
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ cup cooking oil
4 eggs
1 (21-oz.) can LUCKY LEAF® Premium Cherry Pie Filling
1 (8-oz.) carton dairy sour cream
2 tsp. almond extract
1 (4-oz.) bar sweet baking chocolate, chopped
1 cup whipping cream
9 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 Tbsp. dark rum

Preparation
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 10-inch fluted tube pan (Bundt pan); set aside. In a large bowl stir together cake mix, flour, sugar, drink mix, baking powder and baking soda. Add oil, eggs, LUCKY LEAF Premium Cherry Pie Filling, sour cream and almond extract. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for 2 minutes (batter will be stiff). Fold in chopped sweet chocolate. Spoon into prepared pan. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 20 minutes. Loosen sides and remove from pan. Cool completely.
For ganache, in a small saucepan heat whipping cream just to boiling. In a medium bowl pour hot cream over bittersweet chocolate; let stand 5 minutes. Stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth; stir in rum. Place bowl with chocolate in a bowl of ice water and let stand about 20 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Transfer cake to serving plate. Spread ganache over cake. Let stand 1 hour before serving to set up. Makes 12 to 16 servings.
*You can substitute Lucky Leaf Premium Strawberry Pie Filling for Cherry.


Lucky Stars Ginger Spice Apple Tart
1 (15-oz.) package rolled refrigerated unbaked pie crust (2 crusts)
2 (21-oz.) cans LUCKY LEAF® Premium Apple Pie Filling
½ cup butter
1 Tbsp. finely chopped crystallized ginger
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
½ tsp. grated fresh ginger
Butter-flavor nonstick cooking spray
1 tsp. sugar
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
Frozen whipped dessert topping, thawed, or vanilla ice cream (optional)
Chopped crystallized ginger (optional)

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375°F. Let pie crusts stand at room temperature according to package directions. Unroll one of the pie crusts. On a lightly floured surface, roll crust to a 13- to 14-inch circle. Transfer pie crust to a 10x2-inch round tart pan with removable bottom or a 10-inch deep-dish pie plate. Trim crust to the edge of the pan. Set aside. Unroll remaining pie crust. Using a 2- to 3-inch star cutter or other desired cutter, make 5 to 6 cutouts in the pastry. Set pastry and cutouts aside. In a large saucepan heat LUCKY LEAF Premium Apple Pie Filling, butter, crystallized ginger, vanilla, 1 tsp. cinnamon, nutmeg, and fresh ginger over medium heat until butter is melted, gently stirring frequently. Pour apple filling into pastry lined tart pan. Place the pastry with the cutouts atop the filling. Trim pastry to edge of tart pan and gently press the top pastry to the bottom pastry to seal. If using a pie plate, fold top pastry under bottom pastry and pinch to seal; crimp edge as desired. Place star cutouts atop the pastry, leaving most of the openings in the crust exposed. Lightly coat pastry with nonstick cooking spray.
In a small bowl combine sugar and ¼ tsp. cinnamon; sprinkle over pastry. Place tart on a foil-lined baking sheet. To prevent overbrowning, cover the edge of the tart or pie with foil. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove foil. Bake about 10 minutes more or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool on a wire rack about 1 hour. Remove sides of the tart pan. Serve warm. If desired, top with whipped topping or ice cream and additional crystallized ginger. Makes 8 servings.
*To add a Valentine’s Day twist, use a heart-shaped cookie cutter instead of the stars.
 
Layers of Love Cherry-Choco Trifle

Ingredients
1 (18.25-oz.) package chocolate cake mix, prepared
1 (4-serving size) package instant chocolate pudding mix, prepared
2 (21-oz.) cans LUCKY LEAF® Premium Cherry Pie Filling
2 cups frozen whipped topping, thawed
Chocolate curls (optional)

Preparation
Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare cake mix according to package directions and bake in a 13”x9” baking pan. Let cake cool completely and cut into 1-inch cubes. Prepare pudding mix according to package directions. Chill at least 30 minutes. Place half of cake cubes in a 3- to 4-quart trifle bowl. Spoon one can of the LUCKY LEAF Premium Cherry Pie Filling over cake; spread 1 cup pudding over cherries and top with half of whipped topping. Repeat layers. Top with chocolate curls, if desired. Cover and chill at least 1 hour. Makes 12-14 servings.
*You can substitute Lucky Leaf Premium Strawberry Pie Filling for Cherry.

 

Go to their Facebook page to check out their video on how to make delicious desserts just in time for Valentine's Day.

January 18, 2012

Playful Playrooms

Landry is four months today!!

 She wanted me to post about her possible future playrooms :)

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source: houzz
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source: Decor Pad

Her pediatrician gave her the go for peas and carrots. She is very excited I'm sure! I got this baby food maker for Christmas, that I am so excited to start using.

 Do you guys have any great tips or baby food recipes? 

January 16, 2012

Valentine's Day Wreaths

I hope everyone has had a wonderful weekend! My door has been feeling a little naked lately. Here are some wreaths I'm thinking about making!
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January 13, 2012

Friday Favorites- I'm busy!!

If you live in Midland, you will be interested, if you don't... sorry to bore you :)
I have been hard at work co-chairing Junior League's fundraiser. The event is called Shotguns & Stilettos, and it will take place at the end of February. Sorry I've been missing in action quite a bit, but running this show has turned into quite a job! 

Read below for information on the event. If you are interested in tickets, click here to go to our Junior League of Midland website! 
We are going to have Jerry Jeff Walker for our headliner at the Buckshot Bash! 

So come out and spend some time with girlfriends at Girl's Night Out, enjoy your kiddies at the Pretend and Play lunch, or burn some cash at our Stilettos shopping market!
Here is our wonderful committee.


For the past several years, JLM has hosted two events to raise funds to support our community programs. This year we have combined the best of both events into one celebration: Shotguns & Stilettos. Shotguns and Stilettos is a multi-day celebration of shopping, shooting and socializing from February 23-26th! As demonstrated by the event overview below, we have something for everyone: shoppers, shooters, socialites, and even the mini shooters and shoppers! 
The Stilettos Market:  For all you shoppers, The Stilettos Market is your one-stop shopping extravaganza with unique merchandise from more than 70 carefully selected vendors from Texas and across the country. You can shop for clothing, gourmet foods, gifts, children's items, jewelry and more. The Stilettos Market opens for general admission on Friday, February 24, 2012, at 10:00a.m.
Girls Night Out Preview Party: For the socialites that like to shop, join us for Girls Night Out from 6:30 to 9:00 pm, Thursday, February 23, 2012, for a special preview of The Stilettos Market. Bring your girlfriends for a ladies night out you won't forget!  Your ticket includes a fabulous spread of delightful food, delicious cocktails, and an evening with friends that is sure to be full of laughter and fun. Your Girls Night Out ticket includes a 3-day pass to The Stilettos Market so you can come back again and again.
The Clay Shoot: For all the shooters out there, JLM is hosting the 11th Annual Clay Shoot on Saturday, February 25, 2012. The Shooters enjoyed Jake’s Clays so much last year that we will be back there again. We have shooting flights available in the morning and the afternoon with an included lunch in the middle. You can join the shooting fun as an individual or as a team. As always, several lucky shooters will win raffle prizes!  Last year one in every five shooters won a prize, such as guns, scopes and gift cards.
Buckshot Bash: After a day of shopping, kick up your boots to live music at the Buckshot Bash. This popular event attracted 880 casual-country socialites last year and we are “shooting” for 1000 attendees this year.  The Bash will be held Friday, February 24, 2012, at the Commemorative Air Force hangar. The festivities will include musical performance by Jerry Jeff Walker, a Texas cuisine buffet, dancing, live and silent auctions, and raffles. The Buckshot Bash will be an evening you won’t forget! Last year, we sold out before general admission, so make sure you scoot on over to get your tickets fast!
Pretend and Play Lunch:  This year, we will be entertaining our Pixies and Pirates with a magical world of pixie dust, treasure and adventure! The Pretend & Play Lunches will be perfectly suited for your sweet Pixies and daring Pirates with kid and parent friendly food, arts and crafts, live entertainment, face painters, and much more. We will have twice the fun by hosting two seating options, 12:00pm and 2:30pm, on Sunday, February 26, 2012. We sold out last year before general admission so make sure you Pixie and Pirates don’t miss out! Costumes are welcome but not required.

Remember to check our website www.jlmidland.org often for updates to our event! Also new this year, is the PRESENTING SPONSOR option. Presenting Sponsor’s will have their name featured in the name of the event, i.e. Buckshot Bash presented by XYZ, Inc. If you are interested in your name being highlighted on one of the most prestigious events in town, a presenting sponsorship may be perfect for you! 
As we venture into our 63rd year of service, our commitment to building a stronger Midland community is stronger than ever. We have been extremely blessed by our philanthropic partnership with loyal and generous supporters like you. We are respectfully requesting your financial support for the 2011-2012 year and hope you choose to partner with The Junior League of Midland, Inc. in making Midland an even better place to live. 

January 9, 2012

Valentine Cookie Pops

I know I know, New Year's diets.... but these treats are too cute to not share! Courtney at Pizzazzerie made these adorable Valentine's Day cookie pops! Chocolate chip cookies are my FAVORITE.VALENTINES-DAY-COOKIE-POPS
Click here for the step by step instructions!

January 7, 2012

Dreamy Oreo Brownies

Because calories don't count on the weekends, I made these for game night tonight! These Oreo brownies are sinfully delicious, paired with a glass of champagne... they are just plain heaven! I'm obsessed with everything on the cookies and cups blog! Check her out if you need some new dessert ideas, if you are on a New Year's diet, do not enter her site! haha.

Dreamy Oreo Brownies
1 box brownie mix (I used Pillsbury Fudge Brownies) – with ingredients to prepare them according to the package directions
1 (16.6 oz) package Oreo cookies divided equally into 3rds all coarsely chopped
1 (8 oz) tub of Cool Whip thawed in fridge
1 8 oz block of cream cheese softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
Prepare brownie batter according to package directions, folding in 1/3 of the chopped Oreos.
Bake according to package directions, until a toothpick inserted 1 inch from the edge comes out clean.
Let brownies cool completely.
Meanwhile in your mixer bowl beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar until combined and smooth.
With a spatula fold in the Cool Whip and another 1/3 of the coarsely chopped Oreos.
Spread the cream cheese mixture on top of cooled brownies.
Now in a microwave safe bowl melt the chocolate chips and the vegetable oil on medium power for 1 minute.
Stir and repeat in 30 second increments until melted.
When chocolate is melted spread evenly over the cream cheese layer.
Now sprinkle the remaining Oreos on top of melted chocolate.
Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or until ready to serve.
Cut into squares.
All photos: Cookies and cups.com

January 6, 2012

Friday Favorites- The Lean Edition

Its that time of year again, not only are our homes feeling bare, but it seems every one is vowing to eat healthier. This is one of my all time favorite healthy meals. 
Shrimp tacos, its from the Southern Living cookbook.
Try these out! You won't be disappointed.
Ingredients
  • (16-ounce) container nonfat sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder, divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground red pepper, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 pound unpeeled, medium-size fresh shrimp
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice 
  • garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil 
  • avocado, chopped 
  • (8-inch) corn tortillas, warmed
  • Preparation

    1. Whisk together sour cream, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon red pepper, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and cinnamon. Add 1 1/2 cups water, stirring until smooth. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
    2. Peel shrimp, and devein, if desired; chop. Combine remaining 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon red pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a shallow dish or heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag; add orange juice and shrimp, turning to coat. Cover or seal, and chill 15 minutes. Remove shrimp from marinade, discarding marinade.
    3. Sauté garlic in hot olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 2 to 3 minutes. Add shrimp, and cook 5 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink. Serve with sour cream mixture and avocado in warm tortillas.
    Souther Living August 2001

    Another random! I'm feeling random this Friday! Its hard to not blog about delicious unhealthy food! I usually find myself organizing around this time of the year. Instead of saving all your kids art work in piles or boxes, scan them and make a coffee table book. 
    This will be something they will treasure for decades to come!
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    Have a great weekend!

January 5, 2012

Craft time

Who else feels like their house is naked? It is always so sad taking down the Christmas decorations. I never remember what I had where  before, and it always seems so bare. Using natural elements this time of year will help your house transition to spring. I love the height of the sticks in this arrangement. To make the moss letters, go to your local craft store and get those wooden letters, then hot glue dried moss to them, and voila a cute inexpensive decor to add to your home. Sometimes less is more, so don't overcompensate and go overboard with your decor!
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