Sunday, December 1, 2013

Pine Cone Napkin Ring


 I've been slacking on here lately, but making another human takes a lot out of you.  I know I've promised some updates on how things are going, but honestly there hasn't been much to report. No weird cravings, no crazy mood swings... just some exhaustion that has me getting ready for bed the moment the sun goes down.

Thanks to never having any energy, I managed to hold off on any Christmas decorating until after Thanksgiving (normally I can barely make it through Halloween). I'm taking it easy on the crafts this year, but these pine cone napkin rings are so easy they were too hard to pass up! Directions below if you want to make them yourself...

Easy Christmas Decor - Pine Cone Napkin Rings
SUPPLIES
Left over tree branch
Ribbon
Pine Cone
Ashland Stem Wire
Hot Glue Gun






Directions

Make a ring by taking the Ashland Stem Wire and wrapping it around in a 1 inch circle as shown below.

Easy Christmas Decor - Pine Cone Napkin Rings













Hot glue the ring to the back side of your pine branch and the pine cone to the front of the branch. And that's it!! Super easy.

Easy Christmas Decor - Pine Cone Napkin Rings



Sunday, October 13, 2013

Scrumptious Homemade Oatmeal Cream Pies


Lately, I've had a bit of a sweet tooth and oatmeal cream pies seem to really hit the spot. I especially like the idea of making my own and skipping out on all of the artificial ingredients you find in the store bought kind. I set out to make my own and since they received great reviews from friends and family I think they are worthy to share here. Hope you enjoy!



Perfect dessert for fall - Homemade Oatmeal Cream PiesIngredients
Makes 9-10 cookies

Cookies
1 and 1/4 cups of softened butter
1 cup of brown sugar                    

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp molasses or honey
1 and 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
3 cups of uncooked quick-cooking oats

Creme Filling 
7 ounce jar marshmallow creme
1/2 cup of shortening
1/3 cup of powdered sugar





Directions

Perfect dessert for fall - Homemade Oatmeal Cream PiesPreheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a cookie sheet and set aside.

In a bowl mix together butter and sugars until creamy. Add in eggs, vanilla extract and molasses. Mix until well blended.

In another bowl mix in baking soda, salt, cinnamon and flour. Add in oats.

In a large bowl mix together the dry and wet ingredients. You can use a mixer or do it by hand.
Perfect dessert for fall - Homemade Oatmeal Cream Pies

Scoop balls of dough (equal to 3 tablespoons) onto the greased cookie sheet. These will spread out in the oven so make sure they are at least 2 inches apart.

Bake for 10-11 minutes until the edges of the cookies are light golden brown. Move to cookie rack to cool.

While the cookies are cooling make the filling by mixing together the marshmallow cream, shortening and powdered sugar. Spread 1 tbsp of filling on to a cookie and top with another cookie.

Hope you enjoy!













































Monday, September 2, 2013

IT'S A GIRL!!


Gender Announcement - Gender Reveal - Sugar Spice Everything Nice
I might have mentioned before that I have not been blessed with patience... at all... not even a little. So having to wait until almost half way through our pregnancy to find out the gender of our baby has not been easy for me! There's just so little you know about the person growing inside of you and getting to find out their gender is the first little glimpse of who they will be and what their life will look like. I don't know how people go their whole pregnancy without finding out. More power to them.

After trying out every old wive's tale known to man, we finally had our ultrasound last Thursday and the doctor confirmed that we were having a girl! Being able to look at the screen with Woody and see our baby wiggling around was the coolest moment of my entire life. Woody is constantly telling me not wish days away, but I can not wait for here to be here and in our arms. So exciting.... EEEEKKKK! <3 br="">








Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Do you ever speak to soon?

Do you ever speak too soon? I certainly do. In my last post  addressed the fact that I didn't know when Woody and I were going to have kids. Just three short days later our lives changed forever when we found out we would soon be expecting a little one! We are both completely over the moon, as are our families.

It's a lot to take in and although I am only three months into the journey I find that I already have a whole new respect for anyone who has ever have kids. It is crazy all of the things that your body can do. It has been the best experience of my life and has been completely different that I ever imagined it would be.

Of course, I plan to share lot of this time in my life here... So stay tuned because it is bound to get interesting!



Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Million Dollar Question


Easiest Pie Ever - Mix Peaches, sugar and cinnamon in a ziploc  bag, pour it all in premade pie crust, fold it over and you've got a  beautiful pie!
At each point in your life, there will be one question that you will be asked over, and over, and over again. For example, your senior year of high school you'll be asked hundreds of times which college you are going to. Fast forward a few years to the moment you get engaged and you can expect to get asked at least 3 times a day if you've set a date yet. A few months before the wedding literally every person you've ever met will ask "if you're ready". I'm not complaining about these questions because they are being asked by someone who either A) genuinely cares about how your life is going or B) is just trying to be polite and make conversation. So no biggie, just have your general answer prepared and everyone will be happy.

Since I've made it through the great milestone of getting married, I'm suddenly faced with a question that not only do I not know the answer to, but it scares the living *#&@** out of me. It's the holy grail of all questions. The question that I never thought I'd be forced to answer.... "So, when are you guys going to have kids?".Don't get me wrong, Woody and I are really looking forward to having children. I think we both will make great parents. A solid 98% of me is really excited for that part of our life, but the other 2% is a having a mini-panic attack every time I'm asked that inevitable question. On one hand, I think babies are so cute with their little miniature fingers and toes, teeny shoes and sweet smiles. But then, just as I'm caught up in the fantasy of adorable offspring, someone will come tell me a story about how their kid pooped in the bathtub the night before. They mostly tell the story as if it was cute and funny. But let me tell you, to some one who has never had kids: IT'S NOT. It's completely terrifying. Please stop telling me these stories.

But all in all, weird baby bodily functions aside, we do want kids one day. So, if you're wondering, the answer to the question is, "whenever the time is right." I can't tell you the exact time yet. Anyways,  thank you for bearing through my random rant. Today's recipe has absolutely nothing to do with anything of the above, but it is pretty easy and delicious so I think you should try it. ;) 




OVERLY EASY FRUIT TARTS



Blackberry Tart


Easiest Pie Ever - Mix Peaches, sugar and cinnamon in a ziploc  bag, pour it all in premade pie crust, fold it over and you've got a  beautiful pie!Ingredients:
1 premade refrigerated pie crust  
4 cups of blackberries
1/2 cup of white granulated sugar
1/2 cup of teaspoons of flour
2 ounces of milk

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°
Unroll pie crust on parchment paper 
Mix remaining ingredients, besides milk, in a large Ziploc bag until the fruit is well coated
Spoon mixture into the center of the pie crust and fold the edges over the blackberries

Brush the milk over pie crust  
Place on a baking sheet and cook for 25-30 minutes or until the crust is light golden brown
 

Serve with whipped cream or ice cream








Peach Tart

Easiest Pie Ever - Mix Peaches, sugar and cinnamon in a ziploc  bag, pour it all in premade pie crust, fold it over and you've got a  beautiful pie!Ingredients:
1 premade refrigerated pie crust  
4 cups of sliced peaches (fresh or frozen, but NOT the canned kind because those won't work)
1/2 cup of white granulated sugar
1 teaspoon of all spice
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
4 teaspoons of flour
2 ounces of milk

Directions:

Easiest Pie Ever - Mix Peaches, sugar and cinnamon in a ziploc  bag, pour it all in premade pie crust, fold it over and you've got a  beautiful pie!
Preheat oven to 350°
Unroll pie crust on parchment paper 
Mix remaining ingredients, besides milk, in a large ziploc bag until the fruit is well coated
Spoon mixture into the center of the pie crust and fold the edges over the peaches

Brush the milk over pie crust
Place on a baking sheet and cook for 25-30 minutes or until the crust is light golden brown

Serve with whipped cream or ice cream
















 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Rosemary Garlic Butter


Homemade rosemary and garlic butter. Makes the BEST garlic bread


You know that Blink 182 song about how nobody likes you when you're 23? That song has is all screwed up. When you're 23 everyone likes you and why wouldn't they? You're still at the age where you can eat or drink whatever you desire without your body punishing you. You have a job where you make enough money to pay for the fun stuff you want, and since that job is probably your only responsibility you've got plenty of time to enjoy it all. You=total life of the party. 

Now fast forward to when you're 27... that's when no one likes you. This is the point in your life when anything more than two glasses of wine results in a 3 day hangover, your metabolism-free body forces you to wear Spanx under all of your clothes, and instead of spending money on going out your extra mula is suddenly going to items that only enable you to do more chores like vacuums and washers. Total snoozefest. Who wants to hang out with a person like that? Not me. This whole "getting your act together" part of life is exhausting and borrrriiinnngggg.*

Okay, so I may be exaggerating a little. But making new friends at 27 is way harder than it's ever been at any other age.  I didn't think moving a few cities over would make me feel so lonely, but it has definitely been more challenging to build on relationships than any other age. I feel like this is the point in life where everyone is so busy working on their families and careers that there's not much energy left for anything else. And I'm definitely guilty of this. It's just been so crazy with Woody working full time and going to school full time and trying to keep up with all of the day to days. I feel so drained all the time and instead of getting out I just want to lay on the couch and watch Friends reruns.

I know what your thinking, "Wow, way to be a Debbie Downer, Lauren." And you're totally right. Me=pity party. Can someone cue the violinist to start playing me a slow sad song? 

I kid, I kid. 

There is light at the end of the tunnel though. Woody is almost finished with school and we're finally getting to go out and do some things together. I have made a few close friends since I've been here. They have definitely be invaluable. I won't write about them here though, because that would be weird and no one wants to be friends with the creepy blogger girl. 

Hopefully, soon I won't have time to sit at home a make butter, but for now if I'm going to be home alone I can at least make friends with my inner fat girl. Which finally brings me to today's recipe: Garlic and Rosemary Butter.

Ingredients: 

1 Pint of heavy whipping cream
1 Tablespoon of finely chopped fresh rosemary
3 cloves of roasted garlic (cooked long enough to be very soft and spreadable. You can use this recipe)
1/4 teaspoon of salt. 

Directions:

Pour the whipping cream into a blender. Blend for several minutes. The cream will start to
get thicker, at this point pulse the blender and stop to stir every so often. After a few minutes of this your blender will suddenly start to make a different noise. This is a result of the buttermilk separating. Keep pulsing until it looks like the picture on the right. 




Now you will need to strain the mixture. Scoop the butter and  cream into a strainer and place it over a bowl or sink so the buttermilk can continue to separate from the butter. Let sit for 15-20 min
Homemade rosemary and garlic butter. Makes the BEST garlic breadHomemade rosemary and garlic butter. Makes the BEST garlic bread
After all of the buttermilk is strained move the butter to a bowl and stir in the rosemary, garlic and salt.

And that's it. You did it! You just spent 20 minutes of your life making butter... Now get out there and do something fun.



Sunday, March 24, 2013

Beer Braised Collard Greens









Occasionally I find myself in the mood for a big bowl of collard greens. Since they're extremely healthy, I always let myself indulge. It could be the Polk County coming through, but I've convinced myself that they are some sort of super food.

Most of the time they contain pork, but since Woody and I are observing Lent this year, these were prepared without any meat. I'm a Pentecostal so the whole Lent thing is new to me, but I really like the meaning behind it and decided to do it with Woody. Since Woody is Orthodox, our Lent just started this past week. We've only been a few days without red meat, but I already feel really good and have dropped two pounds. I could get into this year round.

Anywho, I don't know all the rules about what to eat and not to eat, but I'm pretty positive these are okay ;)

Ingredients:

1 medium to large bunch of fresh collard greens, chopped
1/2 sweet onion, diced
2 garlic cloves chopped
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 can of whatever beer you have (or whatever is on sale at the 7-eleven. Seriously it doesn't matter.)
1/2 cup of water
1 tsp. of salt

Directions:

In a large sautee pan heat oil and onions until the onions are tender

Add in beer, collard greens and water

Continue to cook over medium heat, uncovered, until leaves are tender (about 20 min) stirring frequently. (about 20 min)

Serve with vinegar or hot sauce.