Summer Accessories

Can you all believe that Birkenstocks are back in style?! Yeah, I couldn’t believe it either but they are. What’s great is they come in all sorts of colors now. I got the silver ones and I love them! Birks are so comfy! But good luck trying to get a cute pair it seemed that everywhere I looked was sold out. I got lucky and found my pair online from Bloomingdales.

With that said, Summer is approaching which gave me a great reason to update my closet. I love updating my wardrobe, but what woman doesn’t like to update their closet. I especially love simple pieces that will last me more than just the season. I recently purchased a couple of accessories to update my Summer wardrobe.

Want to know what I bought? Ch-Ch-Check it out:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Summer AccessoriesBirkenstocks, Loeffler Randall Work Tote, Moschino Belt, Nike Roshe Run
 
 
 

Birthday in a Box

Birthday Box

 

My youngest sister turned 22 on the 4th of this month (I couldn’t post this until she recieved it).  With her being in CA and me being in MO I wasn’t able to spend her birthday with her or even get her gift to her on the day of her birthday.  I am lazy when it comes to mailing out things, especially packages.  I just really hate going to the post office.  I don’t know why I just do.  So unfortunately her birthday gift arrived about 8 days late (better late than never, right?).

What I gave her was a Birthday in a Box which included:

  • water balloons with rolled up bills in it (I taped a pin to the sign on the box so she can pop the balloons)
  • boxed cake mix (I taped candles to the box.)
  • frosting
  • cupcake toppers 

 

Want more ideas for gifts in a box?  Check these out:

Box of Sunshine

Ice Cream Social in a Box

Root Beer Float in a Box

 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Skillet

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Last night my husband looked at me and said “Where’s the chocolate chip cookies?”.  I looked at him with crazy eyes and said “What do you mean chocolate chip cookies?!  We don’t have any chocolate chip cookies!”  He then proceeded to give me the “Please can you make cookies face?” and I of course did what was necessary and made the damn cookies! My husband is a spoiled turd!  When it comes to food he always gets what he wants from me.  He’s lucky I love cooking!

Now there are always a few things that I make sure I keep in my pantry/fridge and chocolate chips is one of the pantry staples.  I make sure to never be without a bag, because who knows when my husband will give me the “please make me cookies face”.  Trust me that face is a sight to see and who can say no to a face like that?!

I did one-up myself and baked the cookie in a mini skillet.  I got my mini skillet from Amazon and I love it!  But then I didn’t stop there, I proceeded to top the cookie with Neapolitan Ice Cream and whip cream.  All I can say is that it was AMAZEBALLS!!  I couldn’t put the skillet on the table fast enough for my family before their spoons went digging in it.

P.S.

I’m sorry for the poor picture quality.  I took the photo with my iPhone because it was a last minute dessert (no time for food styling and making sure the lighting was right) and once I ate it I knew it was too good not to share.

P.P.S

I also made regular cookies out of this recipe.  The cookies were fantastically chewy and delicious!

 
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Chocolate Chip Cookie Skillet

very slightly adapted from : allrecipes.com

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

To bake in a skillet: Lightly grease the skillet by using a paper towel with a little bit of vegetable oil on it.
To bake as cookies: Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.

Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.

In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon.

To bake in a skillet: Using an ice cream scoop place 2 scoops of cookie dough in the skillet and with your hands press the dough evenly into the skillet.
To bake as cookies: Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.

Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Green Tea Ice Cream

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I love having an ice cream maker!  There are so many flavors of ice cream that I want to conquer.  The first one I decided to make for ice cream season is green tea.  I found this recipe in Shape magazine and I love it because it is decently low in calories (only 106 calories per serving).  The texture is not your typical uber creamy ice cream because in this recipe almond milk and coconut milk are used.  I’m sure if you wanted to you can use heavy cream but that would of course add heavy calories.  I don’t mind the texture.  I love the green tea flavor and it satisfies my ice cream craving.

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Green Tea Ice Cream

shape magazine

Ingredients:

14 oz coconut milk
2 teaspoons matcha green tea
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 tablespoons agave nectar

chopped dark chocolate, for garnish (optional)

Directions:

Combine the coconut milk, matcha, almond milk, and sugar in a blender until smooth. Place mixture into the freezer for about 30 minutes to chill.

Add the mixture to an electric ice cream maker and churn until thick, about 15 to 20 minutes. Using a spatula, remove ice cream from maker and place in an airtight container. Put the ice cream back into the freezer for at least 30 minutes, or until it reaches the desired consistency. For a harder ice cream, freeze for at least 2 hours. The final product will last up to a month in the freezer.

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Let’s catch up…..

Okay, so it’s been almost a month since I’ve talked to you, so I figured I’d better catch you up on what has happened.

 

Well, this happened…..

 

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 My hubby graduated from MSSU with an Accounting degree!

Brian and Denise

Our BFFs from CA came to celebrate Jared’s graduation. (Our BFFs are the bestest BFFs EVER!)

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To celebrate Jared’s graduation we went to Table Rock Lake.

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We stayed at Chalets on Table Rock in the Big Buck Lodge.

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While we were there we swam at the pool which had…..

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a waterslide!

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Rode paddle boats (Hubby, Nick and the kids did.  It was too cold for me.)

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Got in the hot tub every night/day that we were there.

There were a few more things that we did while we were there.  Eating a lot in moderation and playing Cards Against Humanity was a few of the things that we did.  But mainly we did a whole lot of nothing which was my goal for the long weekend.

 

Baked Funfetti Donuts

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A few weeks ago I was on Amazon and found this donut pan and this mini cast iron skillet (that’s for another post), which I just HAD to buy. When the donut pan arrived at my door I knew I wanted to make donuts (duh!), but the question was, what kind of donuts.  So, what is a girl to do when she doesn’t know what kind of donuts to make? She goes to the internet, of course.  This is where I will tell you that  I love the internet! Yes, I realize I am not the only one that loves the internet.  But I just wanted to share my adoration with the miracle that we call The Internet,  I mean where else can you buy a donut pan and find a recipe to make donuts in the donut pan?!

This recipe is courtesy of Sally’s Baking Addiction which I found on Pinterest.  Pinterest is another reason why I love the World Wide Web so damn much!  Anyhow, back to the donuts.  These donuts are super easy to make and they are somewhat healthy for you since they are baked.  That should be reason enough to eat these donuts.

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Baked Funfetti Donuts

slightly adapted from sally's baking addiction

Ingredients:

donuts
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 large egg
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup rainbow sprinkles

glaze
1/4 cup milk
2 cups confectioners' (powdered) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
extra sprinkles to sprinkle on top, optional

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Spray a donut pan with non-stick spray. Set aside.

make the donuts

whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and granulated sugar together in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Whisk the milk, yogurt, and egg together until smooth. Add the melted butter and vanilla, whisking until fully combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Do not overmix. The batter will be very thick. Fold in the sprinkles gently to ensure they do not bleed their color.

Spoon the batter into the donut cups or cut a corner off the bottom of the bag and pipe the batter into each donut cup, filling 2 ∕ 3 –3 ∕ 4 of the way full.

Bake for 9–10 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Allow the donuts to slightly cool before glazing.

for the glaze

Combine the glaze ingredients in a medium saucepan over low heat. Whisk until the glaze is smooth. Remove from heat and immediately begin dunking the donuts, one by one, into the glaze. I simply dropped each donut into the saucepan and moved it around to coat evenly. Transfer each donut to a wire rack over a baking sheet to catch the glaze drippings. Take each donut and dunk again if you have enough glaze leftover. Sprinkle with additional sprinkles.

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Mini Spiced Sour Cream Coffee Cake

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I have a confession….I don’t cook breakfast (when I say breakfast I mean pancakes, eggs, and bacon) for my family on the weekdays.  Yes, I am a terrible wife and mother! But here’s the thing, “Ain’t nobody got time for that”!   I cherish my sleep as do my children, so their typical breakfast is Honey Bunches of Oats or Life.  Hey, at least it’s decently healthy cereal.

Before you all start judging me I will let you know that I do try to give my children fast and easy breakfast choices.  For example, when I know my bread is about to go stale I make french toast sticks out of them and freeze them.  I also make egg muffins and blueberry muffins and stick those in the freezer as well.  If my kids want to eat any of those things for breakfast I just take them out the night before and in the morning they can have something besides cereal.  Turns out I am not a bad mom (sometimes).

I’ve added another breakfast choice to my household and I don’t think that these will last for me to even freeze them.  These mini coffee cakes are so yummy and moist.  My kids absolutely love them, to tell you the truth my son ate 3 today.

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Mini Spiced Sour Cream Coffee Cake

fine cooking

Ingredients:

for the streusel topping:
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

for the cupcakes:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs. at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream, at room temperature

Directions:

make the streusel
In a small bow, combine the brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. Drizzle the melted butter on top and, using a fork or your fingers, mix the ingredients until well blended and small crumbs form when pinched together with your fingers. Pop in the refrigerator while you make the cupcake batter.

make the cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 16 regular-sized muffins cups with paper or foil liners.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a medium bowl until well blended. Put the butter in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed until well blended, about 1 minute. Add the brown sugar and beat on medium-high speed until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla with the last egg. Add about half of the flour mixture and mix on low speed until just blended. Add the sour cream and continue mixing until just blended. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the remaining flour mixture.

Spoon the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups. Evenly scatter the streusel mixture over the batter and press gently into the batter.

Bake until the top of the cake springs back when lightly pressed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Move the muffin tins to a wire rack and let the cakes cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Brownie Cookies

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Yesterday was Easter and I hope you all enjoyed the time spent with your family.  I know I did.  We spent our Easter at my in-laws house.  It started with breakfast which consisted of biscuits and gravy, bacon, eggs, hash browns, and cinnamon rolls.  Once we were done with breakfast the kids hunted for eggs (my sister in law is the master of egg hiding) and then headed home to do some yard work and take a nap.  Then we headed back to my in-laws so the kids can go on a treasure hunt (my MIL set up a hunt for my kids to find their Easter gifts) and to chow down on ham, asparagus, scalloped potatoes, carrot cake and bananas fosters ice cream cake.  And if you know me then you know that I made sure to have a bite of every single thing.

You would think that with the day that I had yesterday that I would have been exhausted when I got home, well I wasn’t.  For some odd reason I had the urge to bake (as if I needed to consume anymore food) and I fulfilled that urge by making brownie cookies.  Now if I can keep from eating the whole batch.

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Brownie Cookies

fine cooking

Ingredients:

8 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted if lumpy
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, room temperature
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 3 cookie sheets with parchment paper or nonstick liners.

Put the butter in a medium saucepan and set over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until melted. Remove the pan from the heat and add the cocoa powder, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Whisk until no lumps remain. Set aside to cool, about 5 minutes. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour baking soda and salt until well blended. Once the butter mixture has cooled, add the egg and vanilla and whisk until blended. Pour the flour mixture into the butter mixture and with a rubber spatula stir until well blended. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Using a 1-tablespoon mini scoop, shape into balls and arrange about 1 1/2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Using slightly dampened fingers, flatten each dough mound slightly, re-wetting your fingers as needed. Bake, one sheet at a time, until the tops look a bit dry but still glisten with moisture, 9 to 11 minutes (if the cookies are over baked, they won't come out chewy). Move the sheet to a wire rack and let the cookies sit for 10 minutes and then transfer them to a rack to cool completely.

 

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Cookie Butter Cocoa Krispie Treats

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I should probably apologize to my co-workers who will have to eat these tomorrow when I bring them into the office.  Lord knows I do not need to have all this yummy goodness staring me in the face.  It’s bad enough I had to devour taste test a couple of them to make sure they tasted okay.  Don’t worry they tasted just fine, I ate 3 just to make sure.

To continue my obsession with Cookie Butter I thought that I would make some Rice Krispie Treats, but to kick it up a notch I made it with the Cocoa Krispies. And……HOLY HAWT DAMN that was a good decision! These Rice Krispie Treats are so unbelievably easy to make so just try it for yourself.

 

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Cookie Butter Cocoa Krispie Treats

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 package (10 oz., about 40) regular marshmallows
1/2 cup Cookie Butter or Biscoff Spread
6 cups Rice Krispies®

Directions:

In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat. Stir in Cookie Butter until melted.

Add cereal. Stir until well coated.

Using buttered spatula or wax paper evenly press mixture into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray. Cool. Cut into 2-inch squares.

I used a cookie cutter and cut my treats into circles then I drizzled melted milk chocolate on it and topped it off with crushed Biscoff Cookies.

 

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Mini Cookie Butter Cheesecakes

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First off, I would like to start off by apologizing.  Yes, I know I have apologized many times before but this time I promise hope to not to have to apologize again.  I don’t mean to be a bad blogger it just happens.

Lately I, along with everyone else and their mama, have been obsessed with Biscoff Spread or for you Trader Joe lovers Cookie Butter.  I have been brainstorming all types of things to make with it.  Remember my Biscoff Swirled Brownies or my Biscoff Cream Pie?  Well I didn’t stop there and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.  This go around I made cheesecake and man oh man is it YUMMMMAYYYY!

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Mini Cookie Butter Cheesecakes

Ingredients:

crust:
3/4 cup Biscoff cookies finely ground (about 16 cookies)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

cheesecake:
2 8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup Cookie Butter (I used Trader Joe's Cookie Butter, but you can also use Biscoff Spread.)

Directions:

make the crust
Line 12 muffin cups with foil liners and light spray the liners with cooking spray.

Put the cookie crumbs and butter in a bowl and mix until the crumbs are evenly moistened.

Distribute 1 tablespoon of crumbs into each muffin cup. Using some plastic wrap gently pack the crumbs into the bottoms of the cups to form a crust. Place the muffin pan in the fridge while you prepare the filling.

make the filling
Preheat oven to 300 degrees with the rack positioned in the center of the oven.

Place the cream cheese in the bowl of your mixer and with the paddle attachment beat on medium high until smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar, vanilla and salt. Continue to mix until smooth and no lumps. Add the eggs one at time making sure to fully incorporate each egg. Mix for about 2 more minutes or until mixed well.

Scoop out 1 cup of vanilla batter and set aside. Add the Cookie Spread to the remaining batter and stir until well blended. Portion the Cookie Spread batter evenly among the muffin cups (about 4 tablespoons per cup). Next, portion the vanilla batter evenly among the cups. The cups should be completely filled.

With a toothpick drag and fold the top of the cupcakes in a swirled pattern. Tap the muffin pan on the counter to settle the batter. Bake for about 20-22 minutes (the cheesecakes should barely jiggle). Set the muffin tin on a cooling rack and cool completely. Once the cheesecakes have cooled cover and place the cheesecakes in the refrigerator for about 6 hours.

I drizzled mine with melted milk chocolate once I removed them from the refrigerator. I just place some chocolate chips in a ziplock bag and microwaved the bag in 30 second increments until the chocolate was melted. Be careful not to scorch the chocolate. Then I cut the tip off of the bottom and drizzled the chocolate on the cheesecakes in a back and forth motion.

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