Monday, October 31, 2011


Just wanted to wish ya'll a Happy Halloween!! Hope you get lots of treats and a few tricks!! :-)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Cinnamon Whipped Cream

Did you ever eat so much of something when you were a kid, because you LOVED it, that you honestly can't stand the taste of it now that you're older?  I actually have a couple of things: store bought whipped cream (in a tub or spray can) and baked beans to name a couple!  First off, the reason I hate whipped cream, is because I used to grab a tub of it and eat it right out of the tub.  That's how much I loved it.  I did it so often that I became really sick of it.  Now that I'm older, if we go out to eat or order something that has/might have whipped cream, I have to order it with out.  Just the slightest taste of it makes me want to gag.  As for the baked beans, I just loved them so much, one night I ate too many and I got really sick. 

When I spotted the recipe for Pumpkin Oreo Cheesecakes, the recipe said to top it off with whipped cream.  I really didn't like the sounds of that at all to be honest with you.  So I got onto Pinterest and searched for Cinnamon Whipped Cream.  I love Cinnamon, so I figured that would help me get over the flavor, plus it'll be homemade so it should taste a lot better than store bought.  I haven't ever made homemade whipped cream either, so I figured I'd give it a try.  I went with the recipe on Can You Stay For Dinner, which she also paired it with a pumpkin spice cheesecake (similar to the cheesecakes I made).  I liked that it only took a few ingredients, and maybe 10 minutes to make (give or take).  And guess what...when I tasted it, I was in awe that I actually liked it!!  It tastes nothing like store bought whipped cream, and I love the addition of it a little "flair"!

1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1/4 cup Confectioners Sugar (powdered sugar)
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract


Beat heavy cream until it begins to thicken.

Slowly add sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.

I didn't pipe it onto the Pumpkin Oreo Cheesecakes right away,
so I put it into a bowl, covered it with plastic wrap, and put it in the refrigerator. 
When I was ready to use it (the next day) I got out my mixer
and re-whipped it for a few seconds. 
It tasted and looked like I had just made it.

After I re-whipped it, I got out a pipe bag and decorating tip,
and swirled it on the cheesecakes!

The Cinnamon Whipped Cream was also a hit, and paired really well with the cheesecakes.  It would be great on some Apple Pie, Ice Cream, even cake!  I guess what they say is true...everything is better when it's homemade!!

Do you prefer homemade whipped cream over store bought?  Is there anything that you used to love that you can't stand now?  Let's hear it!!

Linking up too...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pumpkin Oreo Cheesecakes

My co-worker/good friend, Tracy, birthday was this last weekend; she's really good friends with my FMIL, and she always cooks up an amazing meal for our birthdays.  So when FMIL called to tell me what time to come over for Tracy's bday dinner, I suggest that I bring dessert. 

Tracy LOVES anything Pumpkin, last year I made her Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins.  She really wanted those, but I told her that we needed to try something new!  I've been wanting to try these Pumpkin Oreo Cheesecakes that I spotted over at Inside BruCrew Life over a year ago...the time had come!!  Jocelyn is an amazing, inventive, and fun baker...check out her blog! ;) 

The recipe that she has on her blog makes 24 mini cheesecakes, but I didn't want to make that many...I don't think my jeans would be able to handle all of the extras, since there were only going to be 5-6 of us!  So I decided to cut the recipe in half, which is the recipe I am sharing with you today.  I also made a few spice additions, as well as made my own Cinnamon Whipped Cream topping.  I will be sharing that recipe with you tomorrow! ;)

Pumpkin Oreo Cheesecakes topped with Cinnamon Whipped Cream
I didn't have orange sprinkles, so I used yellow!

I must admit, I was a little scared to make these, because I haven't ever made Cheesecake before.  I always thought it would be a lot more difficult, so I just never wanted to give it a try.  So of course once they were baked, cooled, and topped with Cinnamon Whipped Cream, I just had to do a taste test.  I mean, who bakes something and doesn't try it before giving it to her guests?!  That's just wrong.  I had to make sure they were edible, and indeed they were!!  They turned out fantastic, I was so excited to take them to Tracy's bday dinner.  Let's just say in the end, they were a hit!

Yes, that is a Pumpkin Pie plate with "how-to" printed on it!
I love it, super cute! My Gma gave it to me.

Ingredients: Makes 12
1-8 oz pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tbsp. sour cream
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 c. canned pumpkin (I'm made some muffins with the leftover pumpkin ;))
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. cloves
24 Oreos
Homemade Cinnamon Whipped Cream

1. Preheat oven to 350* Place cupcake liners in a muffin pan.

2. Beat the cream cheese until creamy.

3. Add the sugar and cream again.

4. Add the eggs one at a time beating after each one.

5. Add the rest of the ingredients and beat again.
This is where you'll add in the spices, they add great flavor!

6. 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.

7. Bake for 20-22 minutes. Cool in pan for 15-20 min before removing and placing on a wire rack to finish cooling.

8. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Top with Cinnamon Whipped Cream right before serving.

These little Cheesecakes would be perfect for a Halloween Party and even Thanksgiving!!  What is your favorite thing to make with Pumpkin?  What about Cheesecakes?  Please share!

Linking up too...
At Home With Haley
It's A Blog Party
The Girl Creative
Today's Creative Blog
Not So Homemade
The Shabby Creek Cottage
What Allie's Making Now
Somewhat Simple
Lovely Crafty Home
Just a Girl
The Sisters of the Wild West
Polka Dots on Parade
This Chick Cooks
Ginger Snap Crafts
Homemaker on a Dime
My Favorite Finds
Mom's Crazy Cooking - This Weeks Cravings: Halloween

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Engagement Picture Prop Reveal!

So remember when I teased all of you with a little tiny sneak peak to a prop that I made for our engagement pictures?!  Well the wait is over!!!  Well kind of...I'll show you the finished product, but you'll have to wait to see our engagement pictures.

I created a Save The Date Tile for our pictures, and it turned out pretty cute!!  I used my Cricut, Cricut Design Studio, cream colored tile from Home Depot and some Navy and Pink Vinyl from Expressions Vinyl .  Here is how I did it...

Using my CDS I typed it all out just how I wanted it to look, then I took away the text leaving just the border.  I cut out the border using Navy vinyl, and set that aside.  Back on CDS, I clicked "undo" to bring the text back, and then deleted the border.  I cut out the text using Pink vinyl.  Then  I took some transfer tape and stuck the border where I wanted it, and then I placed it on top of the Pink vinyl so the letters would stick where I wanted them to stick.

layout on CDS

transferring to transfer tape.

On transfer tape, sticky side

So the transfer tape now had the border and text stuck on it, and then I lined it up just right on the tile.  I carefully placed the transfer tape on the tile, sticky side down, and pressed down.  I used my little "rubbing" tool and rubbed everything on, just to make sure it would stick. 

Rubbing it on the tile
Then I carefully peeled back the transfer tape, rubbing if I needed to, until everything was stuck onto the tile.  Then I removed the remaining vinyl that was left behind.

peel back
And was finished and ready for pictures.
Finished product!
After making it I realized the pink wasn't dark enough for our colors, so I asked our photographers if they could edit the color to be fuchsia.  Well they did and it looks fab!!!  But you'll have to wait until I get the CD before I will show you our pics. ;)

What do you think?!  I seriously love it, and think it was a great prop for our pictures!

**UPDATE** - to see the prop "in action", check out our Engagement Pictures!

Linking up too...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Down & Out...

...I was, I should say.  My weekend wasn't the greatest.  We were supposed to go back to my {small} hometown, but that didn't happen.  It started off by me having to leave work super early, because I felt terrible.  My stomach was killing me, I was nauseous, and just felt weird.  Good thing I went home, because I ended up being really sick with the stomach flu.  Remember last week when I said Dustin had food poisoning?  Apparently it wasn't food poisoning, I had the same crap that invaded his body for 2.5 days.  I ended up running a 101 temp for like 6 hours, finally broke about 2:30am.  I had the worse aches & pains I've had in my entire life, I thought I was dying!  Once the fever broke, I didn't hurt anymore.  Saturday I felt pretty good, just not back to normal, so I pretty much just vegged all day long with Bernie.  Sunday rolled around and I felt like a brand new person!!  The weather was gorg out, we cleaned house, did laundry, and started on a couple projects I've been wanting to do for awhile.  I had so much energy, it was amazing!!  

Today I'm tons better, and when I came to work I was surprised with an unexpected bonus and a raise!!  Wahoo!!  My Monday's don't usually start off too well, but honestly it's been a great day for me!! 

As for the mentioned projects above, no sneak peeks, you'll just have to wait.  I'll give you a hint involves spray paint!!! :)

Did you do anything fun over the weekend????

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Simple Biscuits

Did you see the Steak Soup I blogged about last week?  Let me tell you it was tasty, and these simple biscuits that I'm getting ready to share with you was a perfect match! 

I've never made biscuits from scratch before, and to be quite honest I was a little afraid to give it a try.  Maybe it's because my dad attempted to make me and my brothers homemade biscuits once and he totally goofed it up?!  I'm going with that. ;)  The recipe called for a lot of sugar and instead he put a lot of salt (I'll give him the benefit of the doubt, it was super early and was half asleep)!  They looked fabulous, but needless to say we took one bite and we spit them out!  Poor guy was tramatized, and hasn't made them since. 
I was randomly looking on Pinterest (click to follow me!), which I feel like I spend a lot of time on there here lately, and I found these Basic Biscuits.  This particular recipe is from Budget Bytes, which is a blog dedicated to giving you the cost per serving for each reipe.  So not only are these Biscuits great, they are a lot cheaper than canned Biscuits.  I think these will be my go to biscuits from here on more canned biscuits for us!  ;)

A note before you get started...the original recipe calls for Buttermilk, but I didn't have Buttermilk and learned from Budget Bytes that if you add vinegar or lemon juice to your milk it will make Buttermilk.  Great tip!

1 cup of Milk
1 tbsp of mild vinegar or lemon juice
2 cups AP flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
4 tbsp (1/2 stick) cold butter

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a small bowl pour in milk and add lemon juice (or vinegar) and put back into refrigerater until you're ready to use it. Unless you have buttermilk, you can use that instead.
3. In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. 
4. Slice the butter into pats and add to flour mixture.  Using your hands, smoosh together the dry ingredients with the butter until its incorporated.  It takes a little bit, but you will end up with a "fine sand" type texture.  You can use your food prossesor if you'd like or a special pastry tool that cuts in butter.
5. Stir in the "buttermilk" until mixture is wet.  The dough will be very sticky at this point.  Squish it into a ball.
6. Spread some flour out on your countertop, and flour your hands.  Grab your dough and flatten it out on the countertop until it's about 3/4" thick.  Cut out biscuits using a cutter or cup, put on to baking sheet.  You will need to reform the dough, flatten it back out until you've used it all up.
7. Bake the biscuits at 450 degrees for 15 minutes, until they are golden brown on top.  Eat plain, slather with butter, jelly, or some honey! 

We ate some smothered with grape jelly, but we also dipped them in our Steak Soup.  It was fab!! :)  Next time I make some B&G (biscuits & gravy), I'm going to make these biscuits!

How do you like to eat your biscuits?  Plain, smothered in honey, jelly, gravy, etc?

Linking up too...
At Home With Haley
It's A Blog Party
The Girl Creative
Today's Creative Blog
Not So Homemade
The Shabby Creek Cottage
What Allie's Making Now
Somewhat Simple
Lovely Crafty Home
Just a Girl
The Sisters of the Wild West
Polka Dots on Parade
This Chick Cooks
Ginger Snap Crafts
Homemaker on a Dime
My Favorite Finds

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


So sorry for the lack of posts lately.  Things have been a little crazy around here!  Saturday we went to the Fall National races to watch our friend race the last race of the season, and to watch some other engines that our company built race.  Sunday D ended up with food poisoning, so he was out of commission until this morning.  Yesterday I had a dentist appointment, so I was gone half the day.  Bernie is back to his normal crazy little self, thank goodness!!  Although, I think he keeps wondering where the wet dog food went...he kind of loves that stuff!!  I'm also gearing up for my next Funky Zebra Party this weekend...Ashley (bestie) is the host!  I'll be loading up tomorrow afternoon, bowling tomorrow night, and leave to go to my {small} hometown after work Friday for the weekend.  Should be a great time!

At the races...we were a little dirty!

Anyways, just a little update on what's going on with us lately.  I'll be back tomorrow with a yummy Biscuit recipe!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hearty Steak Soup

I love it when the weather starts to cool off at night.  I love that the leaves and everything is starting to change.  I love fall.  Though we are still enjoying the 70 & 80 degree weather (no complaining here), I like the cooler temps at night (so does my wallet!).  I could live with this type of weather year round, seriously!  In a nut shell, cooler temps to me means...comfort food, heartier soups, and hot chocolate (maybe even some Hot Chocolate Chip Cookies?!)!

I've been craving some type of vegetable beef, steak soup, beef and noodles type of dishes...which I'll be honest I'm not a vegetable soup kind of girl.  I started roaming through my Fix It & Forget It cookbook for some inspiration...I didn't have time to make it in the crock pot, because it was well past noon.  I found a Steak Soup recipe that looked like a great base, and then I added some additional ingredients.

This soup is hearty, it's beefy, and all around will definitely warm you up inside if you need it!  You can add or take away anything you wish, but this is how I made it.

1 lb stew beef
2 tbsp oil
5 beef bouillon cubes
5 cups water
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can green beans, drained
1/2 onion, sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced
1 zucchini, halved and sliced
3 large carrots (or approx 10-12 baby carrots), cut up (I cooked them in the microwave in some water for 2.5 minutes to help soften them up)
1 large russet potato, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
Black Pepper and Salt to taste

1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/2 tsp salt

1. In a large pot, heat up 2tbsp of oil on medium heat.  Once its hot, add in your beef and season with your choice of seasonings (I used Black Pepper, Salt, Montreal Steak seasoning, and Garlic Salt).  You don't want to over cook it, just until it's brown.
2. In a medium pot bring to boil 5 cups of water, and then add in 5 beef bouillon cubes.  Once dissolved, set aside.
3.  After the beef is browned, add it into a large pot along with the following: beef broth, diced tomatoes, drained green beans, onion, red bell pepper, zucchini, carrots, potato, minced garlic, and salt & pepper to taste.  Cover with lid.  Reduce heat to medium-low, let it simmer for about 1 hour 1.5 hours, stirring occasionally.
4. Approximately 15-20 minutes before serving, you will need a medium pot to melt 1 stick of butter (I just used the same one from the beef broth).  Once it's melted, remove from heat.  Stir in flour to create a roux/paste, add in a little salt.
5. Add the roux/paste into the soup, stir until it's smooth.  Let it thicken for about 15 minutes.
6. Grab a bowl, fill it up, and devour!!

Notes: You can do this in the crock pot, the only thing you'll need to do is: follow steps 1-3 as stated above, but cook on low for 6-8 hours.  Approximately 1 hour before you eat, you'll want to add the roux/paste in made in step 4 and turn it on high.

I served this Steak Soup with some yummy homemade biscuits, which I will do a post on those later.  It was a perfect fall meal!

Linking up too...
At Home With Haley
It's A Blog Party
The Girl Creative
Today's Creative Blog
Not So Homemade
The Shabby Creek Cottage
What Allie's Making Now
Somewhat Simple
Lovely Crafty Home
Just a Girl
The Sisters of the Wild West
Polka Dots on Parade
This Chick Cooks
Ginger Snap Crafts
Homemaker on a Dime
My Favorite Finds

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Out of Commission

Our baby had to go in to get his teeth worked on yesterday, because he had severe gingivitis.  While they were in there cleaning and polishing his teeth (they put him under), they ended up having to pull 3 teeth.  So for the next 5 days he has to eat canned dog food, which is like a treat to him, because we never give him that.  He is really trying to be in a good playful mood, but when he picks his toys up he whines the whole time.  Poor guy!  And when he's laying down or moving to get comfortable, he moans.  I feel so bad for him.  So today when I left home to come back to work, I left him just like you seen in the picture!  I figured he would love to be surrounded by blankets and toys, maybe he'll take a little nap.  Anyways, he's on medication to make sure he doesn't get infection where they pulled the 3 teeth, and for inflammation from them cleaning/polishing for awhile.  After he's better, I will have to start brushing his teeth everyday or every other day, which should be fun (not).  He also has to go in yearly to get his teeth cleaned from now on.

So if you have a dog, it's not a bad idea to take them in to get their teeth checked!! 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Girls Weekend Recap

A couple weeks ago I blogged about having a girls weekend, and I just realized I never blogged about it last week!  You was super crazy last week.  I was getting ready for a DOT Audit all week, had it on Thursday and passed with flying colors, and Friday I was able to breath again.  So I apologize for the lack of posting, but I had bigger things on my plate. 

So our girls weekend was a BLAST!!  My car was loaded to the brim by the time we got everything loaded up!  Friday night we got to Aimee's house around 9pm, hung around her house and played catch up until 2am.  I love nights like that!  
Back seat loaded

"I hope you have a big trunk, because I'm gonna to stick my bike in it!"
Name that movie...
Saturday morning after getting about 5 hours of sleep we got up and around.  I started setting up for our Funky Zebra Party that was that night so I wouldn't have so much to do after dress shopping, we ate lunch, and then off to the girls' dress appointment we went.  I don't think we were supposed to go anywhere other than where Aimee lived though...there was construction everywhere we went.  Construction in the {big} city = long lines of traffic with crazy drivers, and ridiculous delays!  We were late to the appointment, but we made it nonetheless!  The girls tried on several dresses and I must say that there wasn't one that I hated.  They were all very cute, which made it really hard to choose.  But I think we found one that tops all of the others, but come to find out it's being discontinued soon.  Well as you know Ashely S wasn't able to join us (she finally had her baby BOY last Thursday!!), so we didn't order them.  I'm hoping in a month or so we can venture out and have her try it on, then get them ordered if they are still available.  If they aren't, don't worry we have backups!!  Here are a couple that we really liked, but can't show you the one we want or its backups! ;)

One of my favorites, but the girls said they were a little
constricting and it had a "tail feather"!

This one was really cute, wish they would've had it in Navy
so we could see what it would've looked like.

I was almost sold on this one until she sat down...
it like really poofed up! And it looks better in person, not
so much in the picture (material).

Oh and I forgot to mention little Maycee joined us!!  I was so excited to see her, she's so cute!!

She hung out with her "aunt Kayla" while
her mommy tried on dresses!
Aww...such a pretty girl, love her smile!! :)
After dress shopping we loaded up on Starbucks, some beer and wine, and cupcakes, and headed back to Aimee's.  I finished setting up for the party (with the help of Aimee & Ashley, thank you girls!!), we got ready, and then the party started.  We didn't have a huge turnout, but the girls that came totally rocked it!!  Here are some pictures of the set up...

After the party was over, we hung out for awhile, and decided us 3 girls were going out!  So out we went, and watched some really funny people sing karaoke.  And by funny I mean not so good!  After we came home, we decided to tear down all of the merchandise and pack it up.  I think we got like 5 hours of sleep again, so by the time we left Sunday early afternoon, Ashley and I were really wore out!

Friday, October 7, 2011

CRAZY COOKING CHALLENGE #2 - The ULTIMATE Hot Chocolate Chip Cookies

Who doesn't love some Chocolate Chip Cookies?!  What about a cup of Hot Cocoa?!  What about both of those together?  Do I have your attention now?!?!  :)


This is the 2nd month of the CRAZY COOKING CHALLENGE that Tina over at MOM'S CRAZY COOKING is hosting (click link for more info)!  Last month we did the ULTIMATE Mac 'N Cheese recipe, I made Traditional Mac 'N Cheese (a little better than traditional I might add! ;) ).  This month we were to search and bake the ULTIMATE Chocolate Chip Cookie.  I was pumped for this one; so I did a search via Google and on the amazing Pinterest (click to follow me!) to find the yummiest Chocolate Chip Cookie.  There are hundreds of Chocolate Chip Cookie recipes out in blog land, but I didn't want to make a normal "run of the mill" cookie either, something fun and different!  So I decided to go with Hot Chocolate Chip Cookies that I found over at The Whimsicle Cupcake.  Yes they are still Chocolate Chip Cookies, but made with Hot Chocolate packets.  I pretty much followed her recipe, but I added PB chips and didn't chill the dough.  Below are the ingredients I used and what I did...

2 sticks Salted Butter, room temp
1 cup Sugar
⅔ cups Light Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
3-¼ cups Flour
4 packages (1 Oz. Packets, NOT Sugar-free) Hot Chocolate Mix with mini marshmallows (it's what I had on hand)
1 tsp Salt
1-¼ tsp Baking Soda
1 cup Each Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips and Peanut Butter Chips (equal 2 cups)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats, set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, hot chocolate mix, salt and baking soda.

3. In a large bowl (I used my Kitchen-Aid bowl and mixer) cream butter and sugars until smooth and fluffy.

 4. Beat in eggs, one at a time until incorporated well then add vanilla until combined.

5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in 3 to 4 parts, making sure all is incorporated. Do not over-mix, mix until the dry ingredients just disappear.

6. Using a rubber spatula, fold in chocolate chips.  It will be very thick, that is how it's supposed to be!

7. Scoop the dough onto prepared baking sheets (I used an ice cream scoop). Bake for 9-11 minutes. Mine took right at 11 minutes. They might not spread out all the way, but as you let them cool they will.

8. Let cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a rack to cool.

Note: Adding cup up mini marshmallows would heighten the “hot chocolate” appeal. Cut 1/2 cup of mini marshmallows into quarters and mix in with the chocolate chips and proceed with the recipe. 

These cookies were delightful...and yes, reminded me so much of Hot Chocolate.  They are soft and chewy, just the way I like 'em!!  The PB chips just added a little extra flair, but I think they would still be great without.  However, I love Peanut Butter & Chocolate together!!  Don't these cookies scream fall?!  Love them, so fun!  Thank you Jeanette over The Whimsicle Cupcake for sharing these yummy cookies!

Be sure to check out the other bloggers who are participating in the challenge, and vote for your favorite "Ultimate" Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe (click the "like" button).  Don't forget to stop in and say HI!! ;)

Linking up too...
At Home With Haley
It's A Blog Party
The Girl Creative
Today's Creative Blog
Not So Homemade
The Shabby Creek Cottage
What Allie's Making Now
Somewhat Simple
Lovely Crafty Home
Just a Girl
The Sisters of the Wild West
Polka Dots on Parade
This Chick Cooks
Ginger Snap Crafts
Homemaker on a Dime
My Favorite Finds