December 27, 2011

My December...

Where oh where did the month go! I tell ya just the other day I was musing on about pies and here we are almost to the new year. So it's recap time! I started the month off pretty much how I ended November... Baking! December is the best time for treats... not sure if it's the holidays or that space in time between Thanksgiving and the New Year when calories don't count but I love it! This season was filled with all new treats! Started the treat making with Cake Pops

it's tradition that my dear friend, Jen and I make treats. Years past have been chocolate covered marshmallows and this year we decided to mix it up a bit, though the same process was involved with sticks, melted chocolate and toppings... lots and lots of toppings!

They turned out super cute and tasty! next up were the hundreds of turtles I must have made over the course of the month. these are the easiest treat ever. Pretzel, place a Rolo on top and soften in the oven for a few minutes, take out of the oven and smoosh a pecan on top! let cool and set and viola done!

There are roughly 56 Rolo's in a bag... I think between making them at my Moms', mine and my sisters' houses I made maybe 8 bags worth... you do the math, but they are a hit every where they went. Probably my favorite baked good where the little spritz cookies i made with the cookie press I received last year. I had never used such a contraption but it was surprising fun and easy and who doesn't like a cookie gun! One batch made quite a bit but they were little so it was actually the perfect amount. (p.s. yes, after this I am the cookie pro!)

They turned out so freaking cute and delicious! I will be making those again! In between treat making... there were some crafting to be had so here is this years project. cute little mason jar snow globes.

Surprisingly this was all crammed into the first half of the month... add to that a couple Christmas parties, including one with a stay at Stien Erickson Lodge up at Deer Valley, and one filled with friends food and fun and by the 15th I was pooped but the fun was just starting. That day I flew out to Seattle for 5 days to stay over during my sisters Birthday. The trip was filled with catching up with old friends, feeding a Zebra, a photo-bombing peacock  (more on that later) a couple Ferry Boat rides, a gorgeous sunrise a spectacular sunset over downtown, eating food I can't get in Utah, a Birthday party whew. 

Once back from Seattle it was a mad dash to the Christmas finish line where the F-Hub and I spent Christmas Eve eating Chinese Food with my family and watching A Christmas Story (Clint's first time). Christmas morning was started with traditional waffles and present opening. The party didn't end there, we drove back to Logan to spend the rest of Christmas with Clint's family eating another delicious meal and exchanging gifts. I'm glad the timing worked out that we were able to spend the holidays with both our families. I know that that can get hard as relationships and families grow. I also know how extremely blessed I am. I have a great family, am gaining another one in Clint's and speaking of Clint I am so grateful to have such a wonderful man in my life, words can not explain what he means to me and how excited I am for the upcoming year planning and continuing our lives together. I started this year off a little rocky and a little lost but could not be ending it on a better note. I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday and I wish everyone a Happiest of New Years! 


November 26, 2011

The Good, the Bad (looking) and the Delicious!

I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving and maybe did a little Black Friday shopping... I sure did. it was a very low key event with my closest Family (minus the sis) and the F-Hub. We ate, we lounged, we ate some more and then went home, where I promptly passed out on the couch and only woke up to reposition myself in bed. I had originally thought I would partake of the growing (and slightly out of control) tradition of Black Friday shopping, but I was unable to wrap my head around what I would actually go for and the thought of the cold and the crowds were to much a deterrent... so I woke up and got online. I was still able to get some pretty good deals so i feel like I was more then successful.Anyhoo... back to the purpose of this post... PIES. I made four this year... which considering there were only 7 of us at dinner may have been overly ambitious but I had the time and the want so why not!!

First up... Pecan Pie. once of my favorites and really one of the easiest to make (and by make I don't mean the crust... no need to slave away piecing together pastry dough when you can buy a perfectly good frozen crust for a few dollars)

Ingredients- easy enough


Perfection- and tasted great too!

Next was a Banoffee Pie- a what? you say... well its  Banana- Toffee Banoffee... its made with a can of sweetened condensed milk that's been cooked till its basically toffee... there are different ways to achieve this. Once is to boil the unopened can in a pot of water (the can must be completely submerged AT ALL TIMES for 2.5 hours and then cooled and poured over the sliced bananas or it contents of the can can be microwaved for short intervals (so as not to boil over) until the right consistency is reached. I prebaked the graham cracker crust for 10 minutes and then chilled the pie overnight.

super easy.. right

Bananas and Toffee sauce

Finished with fresh whip Cream and mini chocolate chips

Third up isn't really a pie per se but its in a pie crust so I'm going with it. It was a Pumpkin cheese cake. I'm not a big fan of Pumpkin Pie but I love a good cheesecake. Although this one tasted fine, it reaffirmed that I don't like pumpkin pie and it was more that then cheesecake but others liked it just the same... 


pre-bake : note best not to overfill the pie as you will end up with this...

it wasn't quite the Grand Canyon of Cheesecakes but it ended up with its fair share of cracks and crevices. but luckily it did taste better then it looked.

Lastly the piece de resistance... Homemade Apple. I may have gotten a little carried away with the apple part of this pie as I was determined to fit as many in the pie as possible apparently. The end result looked a little bit like a nursery rhyme pie but I loved it!

once again pretty basic ingredients

piled high and dotted with butter

kinda expecting black birds to fly out... 

Glorious! and tasted perfect to boot!

 nomm nomm nomm nomm...

I hope everyone had a great Holiday and is enjoying the weekend... I got plans I'm off to get the Christmas Decorations out of storage and get to work!

November 23, 2011

Some Proper Before and Afters...

 So it has been a long time coming, granted I took a few breaks in-between but I can with much pleasure say the cabinets are done!! and man do they look good. it's like a whole different kitchen. I still need to paint the baseboards to match but that is minor in the whole scheme of things and that will have to wait until after Turkey Day. But now... the long awaited (if only for my benefit) before and afters!!

messy picture I know but hey... we do live in this kitchen... but doesn't the brass just seem to glow like creepy eyes... yuck!

and the sleek after...

Never mind my Pie baking "goods" peeking out in the corner... I'm prepping for the "big"day :) here are some more beauts!

See the baseboards are screaming to be finished but hey... I got pies to bake and turkey to eat... so they will have to wait... but I can't even begin to describe the transformation. I wish I could bring everyone through my kitchen to see them in person cause my camera sucks and the pictures do not do them justice. All in all the project cost about $100 not counting "materials" like paint brushes etc. The Paint kit was around $70 and I'm happy to say that 1 kit did my entire kitchen, including the back of the bar and the half bath that's off the kitchen. I should have just barely enough to do the baseboards. I was extremely pleased as to how far it went. The knobs are pretty plain brushed nickel and I could have probably got them cheaper (just ask my mom) but I have no patience and didn't want to wait so to Home Depot I went and found a set of 25 for about $30 or so ( I don't exactly remember) after finishing the kitchen I have 4 knobs left which is more then enough for when I refinish the upstairs bath. I couldn't be happier with the results, and given the ease (albeit monotony) of the project I would recommend it to anyone who hates their cabinets... And now that this is finished it's on to one of the many other projects I've got floating around in my head... most likely up is the roman shade for the kitchen window... but first. PIES :)