Friday, September 23, 2011

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies Stuffed with Peanut Butter

These cookies are outta control. I made a batch without the peanut butter and they were crazy good too. Try this recipe today! For those of you who had mothers that were in charge of high school SGAs and baked Otis Spunkmeyer cookies as a fundraiser and you therefore ate cookies all the time in your childhood will find these cookies akin to the double chocolate chip cookies from Otis. Yum! Check em out:

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies Stuffed with Peanut Butter (original from Lovin in the Oven)

1c creamy peanut butter
1/2c sugar
1 egg

2 sticks butter, room temp
1c sugar
3/4c brown sugar
2 eggs
1T vanilla
1 3/4c flour
1t baking soda
1/2t salt
2c semi-sweet chocolate chips
1c cocoa (Hershey's special dark)

Beat together all ingredients until smooth

Preheat to 350F. Beat butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla, beat until smooth. Mix in the flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder intil just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

I flattened a tablespoon of cookie dough on a baking sheet. Then placed a rounded tablespoon of the peanut butter mixture on top. Finally, placed a large cookie scoop of dough on top and pressed the seam so no peanut butter was showing.

Bake ~15 minutes. If you are not adding the peanut butter stuffing then bake ~10 minutes. Cool completely.

Note* you can always swap out some of the semi-sweet chocolate chips with other chips or nuts/ dried fruit for a different taste!


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

White Pizza

I dunno about you but white pizza is way high up on my favorite pizza list. I have no idea where my favorite white pizza is from, but I think I'd like to try creating it at home since it was probably somewhere on the East Coast and that's not exactly an easy drive nowadays. I found this recipe from the Sugar Plum Blog and I figured it was a good jumping point. It definitely made a delicious pizza, but I'm not sure that I've achieved perfection yet. Luckily this was only my first try and this is a great recipe from which to build. Check it out:
Recipe White Pizza (original from Sugar Plum)

3/4c warm water
2t active dry yeast
2t honey
3/4t salt
2T butter, melted
1 1/4c bread flour
1/3c flour
1/4c cornmeal

2T butter, melted
1/4t garlic powder
2/3c ricotta cheese
6oz fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
1/4t sea salt
1/8t freshly ground pepper

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together water, yeast, and honey. Rest for 5 min. Mix in salt, melted butter, bread flour, and flour until well combined. Mix in cornmeal and knead dough with a dough hook for about 5 minutes. Lightly cover bowl and allow to rise in a warm area for 1-2 hours or until doubled in bulk.

Preheat to 450F. Place dough on a pizza stone and spread into a circle of about 1/4" thickness. In a small bowl, stir together butter and garlic powder until combined. Brush over dough. Spread ricotta over dough. Evenly top with mozzarella. Sprinkle sea salt and pepper on top. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden and bubbly.

Here are my suggestions/ plans for next time: instead of garlic powder use minced garlic, be sure that the ricotta cheese is room temp if not warm so that it is easily spreadable, more mozzarella, use Woody's Gourmet Black Truffle and Thyme Sea Salt and tri-color pepper, add oregano. Enjoy!

Headboard Update

I've officially liquid-stitched the white piping to the inner outlined seam of the headboard. I'm currently trying to decide if the headboard needs another piping outline on the edge of the headboard and I once again want some feedback please! And Linds, here is a visual so you and everyone else can help me decide if the outer edging is necessary/ awesome:
As you can see I decided to try out the headboard in my bedroom up against the gray wall to help visualize. I'm aware that the navy headboard with navy duvet is a bit much. The last pic is the new duvet lying in wait for it's debut moment when I have all the bedding ready to go :) Let me know: second layer or no?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Foodzie Tasting Box and Birchbox Reviews

So I'm pretty sure I've neglected to tell you all about my two favorite subscriptions. If you're thinking magazines, I promise I wouldn't bore you with my love of Real Simple and Martha Stewart Living ;) I'm talking about my Foodzie Tasting Box and my Birch Box! The Foodzie tasting box an aggregate of samples from the Foodzie online store, usually following a theme. Foodzie is a company that likes to focus on foods and beverages made by small food companies in the USA (yay local!). Many of the foods and beverages they stock can't be found anywhere else and they often fit into a special category such as: handmade, following old family recipes, incorporating unique ingredients, etc. You can also find a lot of organic, locally sourced, or Fair Trade items. I've received three of these tasting boxes so far and I'm loving them! Here are the last two I've gotten: August was a nostalgic/ comfort food theme:
September was a 'Tea Time Out':
Some of my favorite items from the Foodzie Tasting Boxes have been: Black Truffle & Fresh Thyme Herb Sea Salt (which I used in this recipe), 479 White Cheddar Black Truffle Popcorn, Oren's Kitchen Coconut Chili Macademias, and Sir Kensington's Gourmet Scooping Ketchup. The tasting box is $19.99 per month and it's totally worth it! You can cancel at any time so no worries about getting sucked into one of those club schemes (and while it sounds like it due to my excellent advertising skills I am not getting anything for their review, just wanted to give my homies a heads up!). Check out some of the products from this month's box in-depth on their blog or just dive right in and sign up for next month's box!

The other subscription box I'm currently loving is the Birch Box. The peeps at Birch Box hook you up with 4-5 samples of items from their site- be it hair products, cosmetics, skincare, nail polish etc. Being pretty make-up stupid I find this to be a great way to try things without forking over $50 for a face cream, especially since I have no idea what I'm doing in cosmetic world. Luckily for me, Birch Box also has a blog with tutorials, videos, and suggestions for how to use their product and each product page details what a particular item is supposed to do for you. As for what kind of products they work with, this is what Birch Box has to say: "We’ve shamelessly cherry-picked every category to bring you companies that pour time, research, and love into their products. You'll find both clinical skincare lines and makeup artist-approved color collections, up-and-coming niche brands and longtime favorites. In our beauty drawer, diversity rules". I've definitely gotten some products that didn't make sense for me and some crazy awesome things that I was willing to splurge on the full size item. The following are some of my faves I've received: Number 4 Lumiere d'hiver Reconstructing Hair Masque, Befine Night Cream, and Befine Exfoliating Cleanser. Here are pics of my first and second boxes (August and July, I forgot to take a pic of September):
Sign yourself up for a recurring monthly subscription for only $10 (once again you can cancel at anytime so no getting trapped) or even sign up for a whole year! This time I get 50 points (100 points= $10 off a full sized product purchase) if you use my link to sign up, but I haven't received any freebies to write my review, I just really like my Birch Box! Let me know if you end up trying them!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

So, a week ago we had a freak cool temp week here in Houston. By cool temps I mean 85 during the day and as low as 68 at night!!! This was an amazing respite from our record-breaking who-knows-how-many 100+F days in a row. I was so chilly I even indulged in a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks (eeeeee!!!!). I know the rest of the world loves their 'Indian Summers' but in H-town there's nothing better than a faux Fall (besides perhaps a real Fall) and I rolled with the Fall spirit by making some pumpkin cinnamon rolls with some caramel sauce, yum! Take a looksie:

Now my rolls were no longer hot by the time I got around to putting the glaze on, so be sure to check out the irresistible-ness of the ones over at The Girl Who Ate Everything.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Carmel Glaze (from The Girl Who Ate Everything)

1/3c milk
2T butter
1/2c pumpkin puree
2T sugar
1/4t nutmeg
1T pumpkin pie spice
1/2t salt
1 egg, beaten
1 pkg dry yeast
2c bread flour
1/2c brown sugar
2t ground cinnamon
2T melted butter

1/4c butter
1/2c brown sugar
2T milk
1/4t vanilla
1/4t pumpkin pie spice
1 dash salt
3/4c sifted powdered sugar

In a small saucepan, heat milk and 2T butter until butter is almost melted, stirring constantly. In a large mixer bowl, combine pumpkin, sugar, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Add milk mixture to large bowl and beat until well mixed. Beat in egg and yeast. Add half of the flour to the bowl. Beat on low speed for 5 min, scraping the sides frequently. Add remaining flour and mix thoroughly. Turn dough into lightly greased bowl, then grease the surface lightly. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled (~1 hour). Punch dough down. Spray a surface with cooking spray and knead dough a few turns to make a smooth dough. Roll dough into a 12"x10" rectangle. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Brush surface of dough with melted butter, then sprinkle surface with brown sugar mixture. At the long side of the rectangle, roll the dough up into a jellyroll. With a sharp knife, cut roll into 1 inch slices (or 12 pieces). Place rolls in a greased pan and cover. Let rise until nearly doubled, 30-45 minutes. Bake rolls at 350F for 15 minutes.

In a saucepan, heat butter until melted, add brown sugar and milk. Cook over med/low heat for 1 minute. Transfer to mixer bowl and add remaining ingredients. Beat until well blended. Drizzle over cinnamon rolls.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Headboard Update: Near Completion!

Who's excited?! This kid! I've got my headboard almost complete. I cut the foam and the crevice for the inner line:

I added batting to the center of the headboard to give it a bit more of a puffy look:

I cut and sewed the navy velvet upholstery fabric:

I fitted the fabric to the board and used a pneumatic staple gun to affix the fabric to the board:

So I've done everything in my original plan but it just didn't turn out as magnificent as I had hoped. I think it's because A)I'm not a professional upholsterer person (duh) B)I made the outline too far in compared to the inspiration piece and C)Picked a fabric color that was too dark to see the details of the center puffiness etc. Never fear! I have a plan to make it magnificent but different; I want to put white cording in the inner seam. Here is the idea pinned onto half the board:

Please let me know what you think and if I should also maybe add some to the edge as well. I'm heading to Joann's this weekend to get some more piping so I can try that look out as well. Can't wait for your feedback!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Headboard Project Update

I FINALLY have all the goodies I need to start working on this headboard project! Hopefully with the long weekend coming up I can make some serious progress on this baby! Stay tuned!