Upcycling Wine Corks

I like love wine!

What does a wine-o lover of wine like me do with the wine corks?  Throw them away of course.  Well, not anymore!  Apparently there are so many things I can do with wine corks, like make a bath mat or a wreath and even a monogram.  I’m leaning towards making a monogram for my entry way.

Here are a couple cool things I saw around the web that anyone can make with just a few or a lot of wine corks:

 

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Bauble Bar

I love when I come across new websites and Bauble Bar is one of my new favorites. Not only do they have the cutest accessories they are at reasonable prices. If you sign up for a new account you will get a $10 credit, don’t worry the account is free.

Here are just a few of my favorite pieces:

[1] Acrylic Monogram $56 [2] Roseland Disco Wrap $28 [3] Teal Fes Bangles $52
[4] Lilac Stack Ring $54 [5] Soleil Strip Cuffs $162 [6] Seafoam Cable Necklace $54

CLICK HERE to sign up for your free membership to the Bauble Bar and receive $10 off your first order.

Fudgy Rocky Road Bars

I am hoping I still have a few readers out there.  I know I’ve been MIA, but I have a decent reason.  Want to hear it?  Well, on the 14th of February I left for Miami to go on a cruise with half of my office.  I got back from that on the 20th and then on the 22nd I left for San Antonio for a work conference and got back from there on the 26th.  So I was pretty much out of town for the last half of February.  As tired as I was I did have an amazing time.  I got to parasail in Key West, snorkel in Cozumel and visit the Alamo in San Antonio.

I must say that this last week at work has been rough.  I am pretty sure I acted like a b*tch most of the week…oops.  Hey, I was tired!  It’s amazing how traveling can take a toll on you.  But no worries I am back and I don’t plan on traveling until October.

I love Rocky Road ice cream, so when a co-worker brought these bars to the New Year’s Eve party I knew I would love them.  He was kind enough to give me the recipe and I thought I would share it with you all.

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Fudgy Rocky Road Bars

Ingredients:

8 graham crackers
1 1/2 cups natural almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
1 cup marshmallow fluff
1 bag semisweet chocolate chips
1 can condensed milk

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line bottom of a 9x13 baking dish with graham crackers, breaking them to fit if necessary. Bake until crackers are lightly toaster and fragrant, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle with almonds and dollop with marshmallow fluff.

In a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, combine chocolate chips and condensed milk. Cook, stirring occasionally, until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Pour chocolate mixture over marshmallow topping; working quickly, swirl together with a thin bladed knife. Refrigerate until set, about 1 hour. Cut into 18 squares.

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Robot Valentines

I came across these Juice Box Robots on Pinterest and just had to make them for my kid’s Valentine’s Day treats.  I even got my kids to help by gluing the eyes on to the “head”.  My children enjoy anything that involves glue, hence they had a blast making these.

I made the rest of the robot by using Laffy Taffy for the arms and Starburst for the feet.  Then I packaged it in a cellophane bag and attached Robot Valentine’s Cards.

Of course, you can make these for any occasion.  These would make great favors for any party.

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Juice Box Robots

Ingredients:

per robot:

(1) juice box
(1) mini box of Nerds
(2) pieces of Starburst
(2) mini Laffy Taffy
a pair of googly eyes
white glue
glue dots

Directions:

Put a small amount of white glue on the back of the googly eyes and glue on to the Nerds box, let dry. While you are waiting for the "head" to dry. Using the glue dots place the Laffy Taffy on each side of the box, creating "arms" and on the Starburst and place on the bottom of the juice box, creating "feet". When the eyes are dry, place the "head" on the top of the juice box with the glue dots.

To package them place in a cellophane bag and tie with ribbon.

Magic Peanut Butter Cookies

These cookies have got to be the easiest thing I have ever made, except for boxed macaroni.  Actually, I think that these cookies are easier to make.  There is a total of 4 ingredients, yes 4, in these things.  I guess that’s why they are called “magic”.  I think any baked good that doesn’t contain flour should be called “magic”.

Don’t let the lack of flour fool you.  These cookies are just as delicious as a cookie that contains flour.  The cookies are light and practically melt in your mouth.  I know I always say this, but they go great with your morning coffee.  I know, I have a problem, but at least I am eating breakfast (the most important meal of the day).

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Magic Peanut Butter Cookies

Gooseberry Patch's Dinners on a Dime

Ingredients:

1 cup sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix sugar and peanut butter until well combined, add the remaining ingredients. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet. Using the back of a spoon lightly "smoosh" the cookie.

Bake for about 10 minutes wuntil golden. Cool completely.

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Fool’s Toffee

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Who would have thought that saltines, caramel and chocolate go together and create bliss?!  Not me!

I am sure there is someone or 500 two that knew that the salty crackers goes fantastically (apparently fantastically is a word since spell check didn’t underline it in red) with the sweet chocolate and caramel.

If you are like me and have never tried or even thought about this combo then you are in luck, because this recipe is one of my favorites.  There is nothing more appealing to me (in terms of food) than a recipe that is cheap and easy to make.

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Fool's Toffee

Gooseberry Patch's Dinners on a Dime

Ingredients:

40 Saltine Crackers
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup butter
2 tbl. light corn syrup
12 oz. bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Line a 15x10 jelly-roll pan with lightly greased aluminum foil. Arrange the crackers in one layer, making sure to cover the whole pan. Set aside.

Combine brown sugar, butter and corn syrup in a saucepan over medium heat. Boil for 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour hot mixture evenly over crackers. Bake at 375 degrees for about 5 minutes.

Remove from the oven; immediately sprinkle with chocolate chips. Return to oven for about one minute, until chips melt. Remove from oven; spread chocolate chips over the crackers with a spatula until smooth. Place pan into the refrigerator to cool.

When set, break into serving-size pieces.

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[10 ways]: Oatmeal

I don’t like to eat oatmeal for breakfast.  Oatmeal makes me gag.  I would much rather have brownies than oatmeal to start my day.  I know, oatmeal is good for you…blah, blah, blah.  I get it!  I just don’t like the texture oatmeal.  Let’s not judge!

However, I do enjoy eating oatmeal cookies.  Oh and I like granola bars.  Are those good for you?

I did find some recipes I would like to try that contain oatmeal.  I think I will have to make the Oatmeal Cookie Chunk Ice Cream for breakfast.

No-Bake Energy Bites–  Little balls of energy, sign me up!  These snacks are packed with peanut butter, chocolate, coconut and honey.

 

 

S’mores Oatmeal–   I know I said I don’t like the texture of oatmeal, but I can’t seem to help but want to try this.  It’s S’mores so it’s bound to be good, right?!

 

 

Oatmeal-Bacon Waffle Cookies–  Did someone say Bacon?!  These are for sure going on my “to bake” list.

 

 

Oatmeal Carmelitas–   With caramel oozing out of these bars how can you eat just one?!

 

 

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cupcakes–  Now, this is the kind of oatmeal I would eat for breakfast.  Anything with the word cake in it is good in my book.
 

 

Oatmeal Walnut Cocoa Nib Cookies–   Cookies filled with walnuts and cocoa nibs.  You can’t go wrong.

 

 

Oatmeal Cookie Chunk Ice Cream–   Homemade ice cream loaded with cinnamon- sugar and oatmeal cookies.

 

 

Oatmeal Cream Pies–  Mascarpone-Cream Cheese filling sandwiched between two oatmeal raisin cookies.

 

 

Oatmeal Shortbread Cookies–  I love shortbread cookies!  I imagine that the oatmeal in these cookies give it great texture.

 

 

Oatmeal Smoothie–  Oatmeal in a smoothie?  Very interesting..interesting enough to try.

[obsession]: textured walls

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Salted Caramel Fudge Brownies

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If you are a chocolate hater, then this recipe is not for.  As a matter of fact, if you are caramel hater this recipe is not for you either.  However, if you love chocolate and caramel than this will make you happy.  And if you are a sodium lover like me than this will make you extremely happy.

There is nothing better than a fudgy brownie with sea salt caramel oozing out of it that makes everything better.  And boy does this brownie make everything better.  You could have punched me in face while I was eating this brownie and I would have given you a hug.

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Salted Caramel Fudge Brownies

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups Kraft Caramel Bits
1/3 cup water
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 oz. bittersweet chocolate
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
sea salt

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium saucepan melt the caramel bits and water and mix until smooth. Set aside.

Spray an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Make sure to spray the sheets with cooking spray as well.

Melt the chocolates and butter using a heatproof bowl set atop a pan of simmering water. Melt the chocolates and butter until smooth. Set aside to cool.

Whisk together the eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt in a medium bowl until combined. Whisk the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture; then stir in the flour with a wooden spoon.

Pour half of the mixture into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Pour the melted caramel on top of the brownie mixture and sprinkle a generous amount of sea salt over the caramel. Pour the other half of the brownie mixture over the caramel and spread evenly.

Bake for about 35 minutes or until it is slightly puffed. Cool on a wire rack.

Once cooled remove from the pan (this is tricky since the caramel oozes out of the lining) by taking a butter knife and going around the edges of the pan and cut into 1-inch squares.

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