Sunday, May 20, 2012

Cookie-Dough Filled Reese's Cups

Today, I made Banoffee pie to bring to a friend's dinner... you can read about it at my other blog:

teaching-365.blogspot.com 

(Have you checked it out yet???)


Anyway, Logan HATES bananas and HATES caramel, and I was planning on making this delicious pie which combined the two.  I knew this wouldn't go over well with my picky eater, but I didn't want his lack of developed taste buds to impair my experimentation process, so instead I developed upon it.

In other words, I made something for him, too.

Cookie-Dough Filled Reese's Cups.

Wow.

I got the idea from How Sweet Eats but shuddered when I saw the length of the recipe and the amount of effort I had to exert to make them.

So I did my own little version.

Sorry I didn't do precise measurements, I didn't know how they would turn out so I wasn't too worried about it. 

Cookie-Dough Filled Reese's Cups

Ingredients:

YIELDS ABOUT 12 CUPS
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
cookie dough (I cheated and used pre-packaged)
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon milk

Instructions:

1. In a small saucepan, heat the chocolate chips, peanut butter, butter, and milk until smooth and creamy
2. Spoon a small amount into the different cups of a mini muffin pan to cover only the bottom of the cup
3. Roll the cookie dough into small (1/2" balls) and place on top of chocolate in muffin pan
4. Top with more chocolate until each cup is completely full
5. Freeze for at least 1/2 hour.

Variations:

*Make twice as many by doubling recipe
*Use mini muffin pan liners to get the 'creased' look of the reese's cup
*Use regular muffin pans to make bigger versions



These were absolutely delicious, and unfortunately people went crazier over this 'alternate' dessert than my originally planned one, Banoffee Pie.

But, I mean, how could they not go crazy over Cookie dough stuffed reese's cups?

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Knitting Needle Roll-Up Case

Hi everyone!

I've been needing something to organize my knitting needles in for awhile, and I've been meaning to make some sort of roll-up knitting needle case.  I never thought I would be the sort of person to knit, let alone own multiple pairs of needles AND actually vaguely know the difference between them!!

To make this, I just worked with some scrap fabric.  I sewed two pieces together to form a rectangle approximately the size of a placemat (and I realized afterwards that a placemat would be a great thing to make this out of).  Then I added another piece on top and sewed lines down to separate the compartments.

I don't have THAT many needles so I probably didn't need one this big, but I left a spot for some scissors, my crochet hook (if I ever find it...) and I can always add to my collection (I'm missing numbers 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 9 10).



I sewed a ribbon on to finish it off!!!



That's it!

Don't forget to keep checking my blog, teaching-365.blogspot.com!


I'm updating every day and LOVING what I'm doing!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Inside-Out Chicken Wings and Mexican Street Corn

I have been wanting to make these Inside-Out Chicken Wings from Sweet and Savory, and I finally got the chance to last night.  While I was at the grocery store, I browsed through the ad and noticed that corn is at 'the peak of its season!'.  I remembered a recipe for Mexican Street Corn sitting on my pinterest, so I went ahead and grabbed some.

Let's start with the Mexican Street Corn, because that's where we started last night.  I used the foodnetwork recipe but I saw many variations out there.  Oh. My. God.  It was amazing. Like, one of my new favorite foods. Like, I am currently boiling water to make more. And it was so easy! I boiled the corn, which takes 10 minutes. Then you just slab the mixture on and enjoy. And let me tell you, you WILL enjoy.

So anyways, I was enjoying my corn so much last night that I started getting too full for my chicken. Logan cut up a little piece for me, and it was actually really really good! Good thing we have lots of leftovers!!! I don't know if I'm missing something, but it actually wasn't THAT easy to make. The baking part? Piece of cake! But the flattening chicken part? Yeah... maybe I should learn how to do that.
I started by pounding the chicken with my fist.  I decided that wasn't a good idea. I moved on to using the handle of a knife sharpener. It took FOREVER.  Eventually, I moved on to Logan taking care of this part because it was annoying me too much.
I used ranch to fill them because neither of us are a fan of mold, I mean, er, blue cheese.  I also seasoned the chicken with a ranch packet as well as the spices.  Yummy!!!

I did take a picture, but you can't see much.  Sorry, I was too excited to eat my corn to try again.

Ps. Don't forget to check out my new blog, teaching-365.blogspot.com! I did my project of the day first thing this morning, inspired by my puppy!


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

365 Days of Teaching

Let me tell you about Susie.

She's wonderful.

I'm pretty sure she's the only one who reads my blog, but it feels nice that somebody is.

Susie is an amazing crafter, and an inspiration to all.

Really, Susie has been crafting with me since I was 7 years old and she was my girl scout leader.

Anyways, I recently graduated, and she got me this wonderful book called 365: A Daily Creativity Journal.

Now, for the next 365 days, I will be creating something every day that has to do with teaching and my future classroom.

Interested? Please. Please, please, please check out my new blog all about it:

http://teaching-365.blogspot.com

I will still be using this blog to post about my other crafts, recipes, etc.

But now I have a project, a purpose, and a direction. Thank you Susie.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Candy Bowls for Mother's Day

I will end my posts for the day on a much lighter note... a wonderful CRAFT that I was able to finish and fall in love with.

This adorable craft is from Kara's Party Ideas. It's a bubble gum machine/ candy bowl.

I've been wanting to make one for myself, and for Logan, and for WHOEVER for the longest time.

Finally, for mother's day, I found the chance.

This project was incredibly easy and cheap to make!

I ended up make all three of us one in the same day!

Basically, you buy a small bubble bowl from wal-mart ($5) and a 4" terra cotta pot with plate ($2 at wal-mart). You also need doll pin stands and wooden knobs from Michael's/Joanns.




I painted my mom's and I's purple (purple is my mom's favorite color and I didn't have any pink spray paint for mine). I painted Logan's black. You're not painting the bubble bowl... just the pot, the plate, the doll stand, and the knob.

Then glue the bubble bowl to the inside of the pot, open side up (you're going to use the plate as a lid that you lift off.) I used that E6000 or whatever glue. I guess you could use hot glue too.

Glue the doll stand to the front of the pot to make it look like an opening, and the knob to the top of the lid to use as a handle to lift off.

Add a cute ribbon, and you have a candy dish!


To mine, I painted the words 'Kiss Your Brain' to the glass is puffy paint. I'm planning on using it for my classroom and filling it with Hershey's kisses so my students can get a kiss whenever they deserve it.


I added dark kisses to my mom's, and regular kisses to Logan's.


Aren't they so freaking adorable????
I came up with a brilliant idea for Tiffany's baby shower... Make one for her, fill it with bubble gum, and add something saying she's about to POP!

Or maybe an engagement one that says 'He POPPED the question'

Possibilities are endless.  I might just get back on etsy with these ones!

Cupcakes and Bread


So along with all that decorating, I've been crafting and recipeying too. The only thing I haven't been doing it blogging about it all. But here goes!!!


As always, every recipe tried has a story behind it and a lesson to be learned.

Oreo Truffle Stuffed Cupcakes from Love From the Oven:

It was the night before my last day of my internship. I had fought my supervising teacher for the right to make my own cupcakes and bring them in for the students. I had been planning on and looking forward to making these cupcakes for over a week. I had the stuff ready. I was set.

If you've never had Oreo Truffles, you need to. I don't know how to explain them... they're just so freaking delicious.  It's like Oreo, in cookie dough form, but without raw eggs so you don't have to feel THAT guilty eating them. 

Well, I couldn't just make Oreo Truffles... I've made those before! I'm still on this kick of not making a recipe more than once. So I saw this recipe for Oreo Truffles INSIDE cupcakes. Genius. 

Hours. I spent hours on this. 

I made the Oreo Truffle batter, I rolled each ball individually, I stuck them in the freezer, I made the cake batter, I made mixed oreos into the icing to make oreo frosting, I put scooped batter and I stuck oreos inside the batter. I baked. I waited while they cooled. 

I was running out of time. I needed to take my math exam. Then I was going to Logan's. My solution was that I would let the cupcakes cool in my carrier while I was in my exam, then I would frost them at Logan's place later that night.

So I loaded my arms with my bags and my clothes and my drinks and my cupcakes and put everything in the car.

Well, almost everything.

At the last second, the bottom to the cupcake container gave out, and the cupcakes fell to the cobweb-ridden garage floor.  It felt like slow motion, and I was sure I could hear every cupcake's long, drawn out scream:
"NNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"

I was angry. I was livid. I was late. 
So what did I do?
I took a picture.


Notice, not every cupcake made it to the ground. There are still two cupcakes that were saved by the carrier.
In my rage, I bent down and scooped up the cupcakes, throwing them in lumps into the garbage can. I was blinded by anger and MAD at the wonderful cupcake holder so I jerked it up off the ground...
and the last two cupcakes fell to their death.

I believe this is called a comedy of errors.

All of those truffles, trapped inside the tainted cupcake goodness.

At least they weren't iced. I could still solve this problem.

I regained my composure, and called Publix on the way to class.

They would have 24 plain chocolate cupcakes waiting for me when I got out. 

That night, Logan helped me (ok, he kind of held one in his hand for awhile pretending to frost but keeping his eyes on basketball) frost those publix cupcakes with un-ruined Oreo Frosting and stick an Oreo to the top of each one.  I carried them into school the next day and let the students think every cupcake tasted like a Publix cupcake.

The worst part of it all was that for the next week, Logan and our two friends mourned. They would talk about the cupcakes, their mouths watering, and mention how delicious they would have been. Logan picked one up out of the garbage days later and opened it up to look at the truffle inside. I could tell he was trying to figure out how he could still eat the stale, spider-web covered, trash-stinking cupcake, and after a few minutes I swear I could hear his heart breaking from across the room.

Dear Oreo Truffle-Stuffed Cupcakes, you will be missed. Rest in peace, and maybe one day we will honor your existence by attempting to recreate the glory that you were.


Cheese Bread Like Red Lobster from PrayingforParker:

New story, but I can't promise much better of an ending.
Logan and I went to Red Lobster last week. Just so you know, we usually pick our restaurants based on the free bread they give you while you wait for your meal. It's sad, I know, but this is why Red Lobster is one of our top restaurants. Up there with Olive Garden's breadsticks and Macaroni Grill's roll.
Don't judge us. I know you do it too.
So we went to Red Lobster, and when we asked for a box, we asked for a bag of rolls to go, as always (in case you don't know this, these restaurants always wrap you up a fresh bag of bread to go if you ask).
A few days later, Logan came over to my house to make dinner. He brought the dog and the leftover cheddar biscuits.

I think you know where this is going...

On the way, he ran into the store to get some peppers and left the dog and the biscuits in the car.

Seriously... this is going nowhere good.

When he got back, the dog was still there but the biscuits were long gone.
Worried about the dog? A little. Totally depressed our biscuits were gone? Definitely.

But this gave me the perfect opportunity to whip up a batch of the Cheese Bread like Red Lobster from the recipe that's been sitting on my pinterest board for weeks. I had all the ingredients already, why not???

So I whipped and he cooked, whipped and cooked. 

1 hour later, both dinner and bread are ready...
... so we thought.

Our eager hands plopped the loaf of bread on a plate and began to cut it into slices.  
Suddenly, a geyser of gooey dough began to spill out from the middle of the seemingly-cooked bread... and rest was pandemonium.

It was a blur of yelling, laughing, shouting: "How did that happen!?" and "SAVE THE BREAD!" plus four hands attempting to put the loaf back into the pan.
Eventually, we decided to pick off the cooked parts, eat them with our dinner, and cook the rest.

Here was our dinner bread:

We ate the soggy, half-cooked bread. We attempted to cook the rest, but ended up just calling this one a failure. I've been having a lot of those lately.
But I've been learning so much!!!!
Lesson for this recipe: Always stick the fork in it. Looks are deceiving. It might look done, but don't let your hunger get the better of you and ALWAYS, ALWAYS check.
(Needless to say... the dog left THAT loaf alone)


Peanut Butter Ball Chocolate Cupcakes from Love From the Oven:

This last recipe has a little bit of a happier ending.
It was our friend Jony's birthday on Monday. So I wanted to make something.
He likes chocolate and peanut butter, so these Peanut Butter Ball Chocolate Cupcakes seemed perfect.  From the same blog and strikingly similar to the late Oreo Truffle Stuffed Cupcakes, this treat was bound to be delicious.

I was making the cupcakes. I was in a hurry. I'm always in a hurry. Too many crafts, too little time, right?

I was in the kitchen, throwing things in a bowl to make batter... my shirt, my walls, and the rest of my kitchen is being covered in goo, but I don't care. I'm reading quickly. I'm adding oil... I'm adding eggs... I'm adding 1 1/2 cups of oil.
1 1/2 cups of oil?! That seems like a lot. Oh well, no time to re-read.
Until I'm mixing. And it seems a little too oily. So I re-read. 1/2 cup of oil. 1/2 cup. 1/2 cup.
Crap.
No time. Throw some flour in, throw some sugar in, mix, plop in a pan, and throw in the oven.
They'll turn out alright. I have to go to work.

Logan took the cupcakes out of the oven. He made sure to stick a fork in them to make sure they were cooked through (see... we DO learn our lesson!).
He hits peanut butter ball and his fork comes out sticky.
He waits a few more minutes, and sticks his fork back in.
Peanut butter ball = sticky fork.
Waits even longer.
Eventually, he picks through a cupcake and realizes they are done.
Way done.

I get home from work that night and frost each of the cupcakes with peanut butter frosting and stick a reeses cup on top.  They look a little dry, so I break one open and try half of it.
A little dry, but no time. No time.

I arrive at Logan's house with 23 kind-of-dry peanut butter ball cupcakes and present them to the birthday boy.



23 cupcakes. 4 people. We discuss how we are going to do this. I think, "There's no way those cupcakes will all get finished. What a waste."

I obviously underestimate the power of ravenous college students.

Two days later, there are 5 cupcakes left. I had one total cupcake, decided they were too dry, and didn't touch the rest.

But with the other people... well... there were a few utterences of them eating 5 cupcakes for breakfast, there were a few cupcake eating competitions, and a few challenges extended among friends.  

The dry cupcakes found a home after all.  See? Not such a disaster.

Yet, we sit on the couch as they eat their cupcakes, and I am faced with a seemingly-innocent comment:
"You should have made those Oreo Cupcakes again. Those sounded so good."





Maybe I should just stick to crafts.

Depinkifying

So it begins...


Logan's moving in with me this summer. Let me tell you something now. If there's someone you know, anyone, who loves pink... not an obsession or anything, but pink's their favorite color, so naturally the majority of their purchases are things in the color pink. I mean, if you're going to spend good money on something you might as well get it in your favorite color, right? Well, if you know anyone like that, you might as well warn them now. Warn them now that one day, someone, most likely a man, will move in with them, and not be as big as a fan of the color pink. Maybe they don't want their comforter and their bathroom and the rug in their room pink. Maybe they don't want pink sheets and pink artwork and pink blankets. 


Like me. I like pink. 


I'll admit, there are times when I realize that maybe I've gone a little overboard on the pink. 


These are the days when I walk into school with my pink polka dot tervis tumbler in my pink vera bradley bag and my pink vera bradley lunchbox... it's not until I pull out my pink laptop and set it next to my phone with a pink cover that I begin to wonder. That wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't all accompanied by whatever pink I am wearing that day, and there are few days when I am not wearing one thing pink.


Have you read the book Pinkalicous?  I just think it's a pretty color, okay???


But my camera's blue. And my car's blue.  And now... my comforter is blue.


We're getting somewhere!


So here's what my comforter/ room/ bed looked like before:

And now we have compromise:


See? Compromise! My second favorite color, light blue, with brown! It took forever to find this new comforter, and it was very aggravating. Eventually I got it from brylanehome.com which is this great home site I got my bistro table for my front porch from.  I love the idea of the curtain hanging from the ceiling (inspired by sadie + stella), but unfortunately it's the wrong shade of blue. I'll be hunting for the right shade or maybe a shade of brown or cream. We'll see.

Anyways, to make this canopy, you just take two curtain rods (1.99 at Ikea!) and a curtain and hang! More details are on the sadie + stella blog... visit them!






I'm not only DEPINKIFYING my room, but I'm having to make some other changes to fit boy in my house. 


Step 1: Make room in the closet. I might have a 15 foot long closet, but it was painful making room. It took about 4 hours, but eventually I cleared away a whole rack for Logan to fit his clothes.    My goodness... what am I going to do if he doesn't use my hanger system??? (If you take clothes off of the hanger, you put the empty hanger at the end of the closet next to ones of like make and color). Is there a laundry bootcamp that teaches boys to put their dirty clothes in the laundry basket and hang the clean ones up? Hmmm... maybe this is something I could start. 


Step 2: Make room in the bathroom. This wasn't quite as difficult, I just moved some stuff around and gave him a drawer. To put things in. Because that's what you do when you finish using things. You put them in the drawer. Off of the counter. Away. Hidden. 


Anyways... I used the time as an excuse to make some nifty bathroom accessories. 


I made these holders by gluing a decorative cup from the dollar store to a candle stick with E6000 glue (I had never heard of this, but it works pretty well).  We'll use them to put q-tips, etc.



I found the idea for this on the blog: Found in the Ali



I also whipped up a makeup magnet board.  I saw this on pinterest (from Laurathoughts81) using a picture frame and sheet metal, but I found an actual magnet board at Joann's for $10 (which means $5 after my nifty coupon and teacher discount).  Now that I've made it, I would rather have a sturdy wood picture frame, but this will do for now.
All I did was get a roll of magnet, cut it up, hot glue a few magnets to the back of each piece of makeup, and stick! (I used hot glue so that it would be easier to remove if necessary).



Oh! One more thing I created recently... a filing cabinet trunk from Martha Stewart! This was perfect because I had a ton of files and a trunk (that I just HAD to have my senior year of high school) that was just being used to hold a few pet supplies. The trunk had pictures and ticket stubs all over it which was my first mod-podge project, but the pictures were all from high school and of people I wasn't that close to anymore, so I de-mod-podged (I took them all off).

So, I had this nice fresh [pink] trunk and I was all ready to drill holes and put dowels in to hang the files when we [Logan was actually in on this one... it involved tools] realized the files wouldn't fit with the dowels! Logan informed me that Staples/Office Max sells these metal filing cabinet thingies that you just put together and they hang files. You can put them in cabinets or wherever. One day and $15 later (they only sell them in packs of 4 :( ) I got to begin my project!!!

Clearing off the trunk was easy... putting together the hanger was easy... 

Organizing the files??? Ha! Good luck with that!

But eventually... I had my trunk!



I'm very excited about it and I can't wait to have a spot for it in my house (this won't be until December when we have a real guest room!) I'm thinking of adding a little more to it, such as cork boards on the top like on Martha's instructions, but we'll see.


Just a heads up: Some another thing I plan on doing to 'redecorate' and make my house Logan-inclusive (or to just have an excuse to make things) is the anthropologie-inspired shower curtain from sisterview!


Tune in in about 20 minutes for a few recipes I... ahem... attempted lately.  Also, an ADORABLE mother's day gift!!