Thursday, April 29, 2010


This past weekend Christine and I re-visited an old haunt, Howl at the Moon. We hadn't been there since Halloween and we used to practically live there on the weekends! A friend of a friend was having a happy hour party (which you can win for you and 100 of your friends) and we decided it would be nice to get some piano bar action again. We had tons of fun and here are a few pics:

Monday, April 26, 2010

New Recipes!

Lately I've been completely obsessed with the recipes found on Baked Perfection. All 4 that I've tried so far have been delicious and well received by the taste testers. I just found this entirely cupcake devoted list of imaginative recipes and I have to try some ASAP! The site is called Ming Makes Cupcakes. I'm baking for Bake for Hope this weekend so I might try one of these for that event. I'm leaning towards the Espresso fudge cupcakes with chocolate cream cheese icing (bottom of the linked page). Let me know which one you think is delicious!

P.S. The Bake for Hope bake sale will be held at the Perry Family YMCA located at 1700 League City Pkwy, League City, TX 77573 on Sunday May 2nd from 2-4pm. I'll be posting about what I'm making so be sure to check it out for some yummy treats!

New contest!

Yay another contest! This one is the Etsy Texas April Design Challenge. The theme is Spring Blooms so I entered the Cashmere Baby Cloche Hat since it has a rose accent on it. YOu can see all the entries and vote at the bottom of the page: VOTE! Hint: my entry is #24 and is listed as jaclyn43552 in the voting poll. Thanks for lookin!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Etsy Kids Design Challenge for April

Time to show your love for Ten And Ten! Vote for the Safari Baby Booties (by jaclyn43552) in the Etsy Kids Design Challenge for April: VOTE! Thanks for your support!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Treasury East is Here!

Etsy has been hinting at a new Treasury option besides the cut-throat fight to get a Treasury Main. The new Treasury East is super easy to use because they don't expire, and you can put more items in each treasury. Here's the first one I made:

Thursday, April 15, 2010

New Review of Baby Gifts

Stephanie from Coupon Clippin Mommy recently reviewed a knit hat and some sewn mary jane booties that I had sent her. I'm so thankful for her kind words! You can read her wonderful review here: REVIEW. Here is a picture of the review set I sent her:

Thanks again, Stephanie!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Homemade Samoas Bars

I reported last week that I had hit my goal for the Great American Bake Off (Yay!), but that I was still taking donations in exchange for baked goods. Another one of my friends, Randi, decided to take me up on the offer and requested not too much chocolate. I went to my now favorite blog for recipes, Baked Perfection, and found this recipe for Samoas (aka Caramel deLites to some) Bars because I know that the kids of Club Haven love Girl Scout cookies. These bars were quite involved and took me pretty much an entire half day to complete. First you bake the cookie base and let it cool:

Then you toast the coconut and let it cool:

Next, you melt the caramels and fold in the coconut and spread it on the cookie base and let it cool before cutting into bars:

Finally, you melt the chocolate and dip the bottoms of the bars in chocolate (I actually ended up spreading it on the bottoms since the cookie base was almost getting suctioned off the coconut top) and then drizzle chocolate on the tops of the bars. And voila, final product:

Hope Randi and whoever she decides to share with at Club Haven enjoy the newest confections from kitchen de Jaclyn! Here is the recipe as I made it:

Homemade Samoas Bars

Cookie Base
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan, or line with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter, until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla extract. Working at a low speed, gradually beat in flour and salt until mixture is crumbly. Pour crumbly dough into prepared pan and press into an even layer. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until base is set and edges are lightly browned. Cool completely on a wire rack before topping.

5 cups shredded coconut (sweetened Baker’s coconut)
19-oz good-quality chewy caramels (Werther's)
1/2 t salt
4.5 T milk
16 oz. semisweet chocolate (Nestle chocolate morsels)

Preheat oven to 350. Spread coconut evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet(preferably one with sides) and toast 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until coconut is golden. Cool on baking sheet, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

Unwrap the caramels and place in a large microwave-safe bowl with milk and salt. Cook on high for 3-4 minutes, stopping to stir a few times to help the caramel melt. When smooth, fold in toasted coconut with a spatula. Put dollops of the topping all over the shortbread base. Using a spatula, spread topping into an even layer. Let topping set until cooled. When cooled, cut into 24 bars with a large knife or a pizza cutter.

Once bars are cut, melt chocolate in a small bowl. Heat on high in the microwave in 45 second intervals, stirring thoroughly to prevent scorching. Spread chocolate on the base and sides of each bar and place on a clean piece of parchment paper. Transfer all remaining chocolate (or melt a bit of additional chocolate, if necessary) into a piping bag or a Ziploc bag with the corner snipped off and drizzle bars with chocolate to finish. Let chocolate set completely before storing in an airtight container.

Makes 24 bar cookies.

You can find the original recipe from Baked Perfection here: SAMOA BARS

Friday, April 9, 2010

Goal: Achieved!

Today is a great day because I have reached my fundraising goal for the Great American Bake Off! I set my goal at $100 and to date I’ve fundraised $105. I’d like to thank the following peeps for donating and letting me try out new recipes for them:
Meredith- Brownies and Blondies (my first brownies from scratch)
Momma and Poppa- TBD when I go home in May
Craig- Carrot Cake and Peanut Butter Cup Brownies (UMD sooo covered that spread!)
Rob- Oreo Chunk Chocolate Chip Cookies (my new favorite cookie of all time)
Amy- Peanut Butter Smores Bars (so incredibly yummy and rich I can only eat 1/2 at a time)
Randi- Homemade Samoas Bars (probably the fanciest thing I've made in awhile)
I’m going to stop pushing this agenda but the 'donate and I’ll bake' offer is still on the table through April. Just click on the Great American Bake Off button on the right side of the blog and I’ll bake you anything you want. Thanks again to everyone who donated to make sure no child goes hungry in the US!

Peanut Butter Smores Bars

So I got another donation for the Great American Bake Off fundraiser that I’m doing. Thanks Crisp Family! The request was, once again, for chocolate. I of course went to my new favorite recipe resource, Baked Perfection, and found a recipe for Peanut Butter Smores Bars. I got the OK from Amy and to the kitchen I went. I think I overdid it on pretty much all the layers of this bar so they are ultra decadent and gooey. I recommend heating these babies up in the microwave (they’re best warm) and eating them with a fork they’re sooo gooey (and therefore delicious). Here are some pics of how mine turned out:

Here is the recipe from Baked Perfection with my exact ingredients:

Peanut Butter Smores Bars

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs ( 7 full graham crackers)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 super-sized (4 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate Ghirardelli Bars
2/3 cup JIF reduced fat creamy peanut butter
1 (7oz) jar marshmallow fluff

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix until just combined. Divide dough in half and press half of the dough into an even layer on the bottom of the prepared pan. Spread the peanut butter evenly over the dough. Place chocolate bars over peanut butter . Two 4 oz. bars should fit perfectly side by side, but break the chocolate (if necessary) to get it to fit in a single layer. Spread marshmallow fluff evenly over the chocolate layer.

Place remaining dough in a single layer on top of the fluff. This is most easily done by putting the second half of the dough in a gallon size freezer bag. Use your palms to flatten it out, and then use scissors to cut down both long sides of the bag, so it will open up book-style. Open it up carefully, and the dough will stick on one side of the bag. Then place the bag, dough side down, on the other layers. From there peel the bag up and spread the dough where it is uneven.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool completely before cutting into bars

Makes 16 cookie bars.

Check out Risa from Baked Perfection’s original post here: SMORES

Hope the Crisps love em!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Oreo Chunk Chocolate Chip Cookies

As you all know I’m doing the Great American Bake Off to benefit charities to end child hunger. If you donate $20 to my BAKE SALE then I’ll make you whatever baked good you desire. My friend Rob donated this week and since I think there is very little danger of him reading this post before receiving his mystery cookies, I’m gonna tell you what I made him. He requested cookies and was partial to chocolate so I found this recipe for Oreo Chunk Chocolate Chip Cookies on Baked Perfection (so far her recipes are 2 for 2 regarding deliciousness). I changed the recipe a little and used Chocolate Creme Oreos instead of Double Stuffed for extra chocolaty-ness. I also may have poured in a few more chocolate chips than necessary hehe. Not only was the cookie dough delicious but the cookies turned out awesome as well! I hope Rob gets these before they get too melty! Here are some pics:

The recipe is as follows (from Baked Perfection once again)

Oreo Chunk Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 package vanilla instant Jell-O Pudding (not prepared)
1 dash of cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
2+ cups chocolate chips
30-40 chocolate creme Oreos, crushed into medium chunks

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, salt, package of vanilla pudding mix, and dash of cinnamon. In a second larger bowl beat together the butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract until creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Slowly beat in the flour mixture until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips and Oreo chunks. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack. Recipe makes between 4 and 5 dozen cookies.


Monday, April 5, 2010

Earth Day 5K

This past weekend I ran an Earth Day 5K with some of my friends here in Houston. It's a little early for Earth Day (April 22nd) but let's just call April Earth month and roll with it(I changed the blog background to recycle symbols for April aka Earth Month). The race started at Discovery Green downtown, and there was a huge Earth Day festival going on as well. The race was 'green event' where you were encouraged to carpool (we did), recycle your old sneakers (Erin did), water during the race was served up in biodegradable cups that were composted after the race, and the t-shirt for the race was made from organic cotton. We had a great time and would have liked to stroll the Expo more but the race was so early that most of the vendors weren't set up yet. Many thanks to Erin for finding the race and asking us to run with her! Here is our sweaty post-race group pic:

Thursday, April 1, 2010

NCAA March Madness!

Last weekend was the Regional Finals for NCAA March Madness! Houston’s Reliant Stadium was hosting some of these games and I ended up going with some friends. We saw the Baylor vs St. Mary’s game. What happened to St. Mary’s? They must have been outta gas after beating Villanova because they got whomped by the Baylor Bears, which of course made the mostly Baylor (hello Waco is only 186 miles away) crowd very happy. Then we saw the Duke vs Purdue game. Much better game even if Duke was involved ;) The Baylor and Duke wins helped my brackets and it was great to see some college basketball again! Here are some pics:

Lot's of yellow and green Baylor fans:

Devin, Steve, me, and Steph at the games: