Sunday, September 28, 2014

Cheesecake cookies

How's that for some alliteration?!  But in all seriousness, it has been WAY TOO LONG since I've whipped up a batch of cookies and frankly, it was about time.

I originally saw these cookies on pinterest, where all yummy things seem to get their start around here. These cookies are soft and fluffy, cheesecake in cookie form with a sweet chocolate dipped bottom.


The original recipe for these cookies is on one of my new favorite blogs, Yellow Bliss Road.  For my cookies though, I halved the recipe, which ended up making 18 cookies.,,just enough for us.    

INGREDIENTS
4 oz cream cheese (room temperature)
1/4 cup butter (room temperature...I actually just heated mine in the microwave for 10 sec. to soften)
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract (plus a tiny bit extra because I love it)
1 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Use a hand mixer to mix cream cheese and butter together in a large mixing bowl. 
Add sugar and mix until smooth.
Mix in the eggs and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. 
Add the dry ingredients into the mixing bowl and mix until smooth.  
Drop by spoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for 10-12 minutes until cookies are barely golden.  
Move cookies to a cooling rack.  Allow to cool completely before dipping in chocolate.

CHOCOLATE DIP
To create the chocolate dip, I used chocolate flavored almond bark candy coating and followed the melting instructions on the package.  Once cookies have cooled, simply dip the bottoms into the melted chocolate and place on wax paper.  

I moved the wax paper with cookies into the fridge for about 5 minutes to allow chocolate to set and harden.  


Enjoy!  And for the original recipe and other great fun things, be sure to check out Yellow Bliss Road!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Color Block Canvas Painting

It's also been a while since I've had a craft night.  Hubs recently went on a camping trip with his college friends, so I just knew that this would be the perfect time to tackle a project I've been wanting to do - color blocked canvases.  

I was in luck, too, because Michael's was having a sale on canvases and I got these 2 18 x 20 canvases for just $6.99!  

Of course we have painter's tape already at home since we've been painting so much around the house since we moved in and I have an unhealthy amount of acrylic paint stored up from when I used to paint craft things way more often.  These were super easy and fun and I'm really happy with how they turned out. 

STEP 1: Use painter's tape to block out your design.  You'll want some shapes to be bigger and others smaller, with lines going in different directions.  BUT, there is certainly no specific pattern to follow.  
Just be careful to wrap the tape around to the back to keep clean lines on the sides of the canvas.  And, press the tape all the way down.  (I made a few mistakes on mine because of space between tape and canvas where I didn't press the tape down enough.)


STEP 2: PAINT!  I used a different foam brush for each color.  Lots of these colors had to be mixed with white paint to make them not so bright.  We're putting these in our bedroom and my in-laws beach condo.  We're hoping to totally revamp our bedroom there and I'm excited to have these to go on the wall!  

Anyway, because of that, I wanted the paintings to be bright and fun and I love blues and greens for the beach.  And yellow, of course, because blue and yellow make green, and because I wanted one hot color in there.  :)


STEP 3:  Once the paint dries (it might take 2 coats in each shape), pull up the painter's tape.  I love them so much.  You can see below some of the places where the lines aren't as crisp and clean.  These are the places where I failed to press the tape down enough.  Learn from my mistakes.  


They look kind of coastal, right?!  

And what a fun, frugal, craft!  I can't wait to take these to the beach!




Monday, September 8, 2014

Movie Night - The Giver

Y'all.  It has been a minute since I've posted on this old blog.  Frankly, I think I liked the photo of the salmon so much, I just wanted to keep it at the top of the blog a little longer.  ha.  The truth is, lately, when I've come home from work I haven't wanted to even turn on a computer and I'm ok with that.

Of course, the problem with that is that I don't get around to blog email, posting, comments, social media, etc.  But don't you worry your pretty little heads, things are fun over here and I'm happy to share some of it with you.

This is from a couple of weekends ago - hubs and I went to see The Giver in theaters and had a blast!
But first of course, I needed to settle in with some ice cream and read the book.


We never go to the movies.  They are just so expensive.  Anybody agree?  We bought 2 tickets, 2 drinks, and popcorn to share and would have spent $40 if it weren't for a lovely gift card from a Christmas gift.  We're happy to just wait for it to go to Redbox and watch at home.  

But, since we never go, this felt like a special little treat and we really had fun.  


Don't worry!  We waited until after the movie to take a selfie with the flash.  ;)


And one (kind of) with the movie poster!

We really enjoyed this movie.  We've been holding on to our gift card for a fun movie that we'll both like (aka not chick flick or crazy action movie...but a happy medium) and I was excited when The Giver came out.  

Since I had just read the book though, I definitely found myself within the first 15 minutes thinking, "Wait, that's not the same!"  But, I realize that it's hard to capture ALL of the book in a movie and overall, I think it did a good job of sticking to the themes of the book, which is what I think matters the most.  

It was only an hour and a half though, so it ended WAY sooner than I expected it to...and kind of abruptly.  I wish there was a better ending for the movie.  

Overall though, what a fun night.  So thankful for gift cards that encourage us to do things out of the ordinary and for a sweet husband who makes a point to take me out on dates.  



Saturday, September 6, 2014

Hey! I miss you!

Have you ever had one of those moments where you think about someone and realize, "Man, it has been so long since I've seen them!"?

I recently had several of those moments actually.  I've got a big(ish) family.  There are 4 of us kids all within 5 years apart (the youngest are twins, so it's not that crazy).  I'm the oldest, so I left home first and at this point, everyone is out on their own, doing their own thing.  

My brother called me from college recently with a quick question and after I got off the phone, I realized that I haven't had a chance to visit with him since May.  And it seems like so long.  He had an internship in a different state this summer so he wasn't home before going back to college.  So, we talk on the phone, but I don't think it's the same as sharing a couch.   

And it's been even longer than that since all of us were together.  And I just miss them sometimes.  


Hubs and I did make it down to the beach over Labor Day weekend though, and we had the extreme privilege of driving my bros-in-law.  And I've got to be honest, when the last of them got in the car, I was so happy at having us all together.  

I really have one of the greatest families....both of them - in laws included. 

And I can't even tell you how happy it makes me to have everyone in the same place.  

The weather is getting colder though and that means the holiday season is coming up...aka everyone off work and out of school and relaxing together.  

That's all I have to say about that.  

Monday, August 18, 2014

10 Minute grilled salmon filets - cook from frozen

There are times when I try new things in the kitchen specifically with the hopes of creating something delicious and blog-worthy.  And then there are times when I want something healthy and delicious, but I need it pronto.  Just every now and then, those little gems find their way to blog-land.  

Today, I'm happy to be sharing one of those recipes with y'all.  Grilled salmon filets - cooked from frozen in just about 10 minutes.  


Somebody hold the phone.  Did I just say 10 minutes?  Yes, yes I did.  And it was eaten in less than that.  ;)

I keep these frozen salmon filets on hand for times when I need something quick and usually when hubs is out for some reason or another since he doesn't like seafood (although sometimes I will cook a meal, and make salmon just for me...)

For this beautiful piece of salmon, you'll need a frozen filet (I buy the individually wrapped ones in the freezer section of the grocery store), and a non-stick pan.  


INGREDIENTS
1 salmon filet
2 tsp  olive oil
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp basil
1 pinch salt and black pepper

DIRECTIONS
Heat non-stick pan on medium heat
Rinse frozen salmon well in warm/hot water to remove any ice 
Gently coat with olive oil and lemon juice
Place in heated pan
Cook for 5 minutes* on each side, sprinkling each side with 1/2 salt, pepper, and basil

Enjoy.  Preferably with kale chips for a lovely light lunch, but hat's just how I like it.  


*Cook time may vary based on the temp of your pan.  It's important to make sure salmon filet isn't frozen hard when you start cooking.  Test for done-ness (see above for the slit I cut in my filet to be sure it was done all the way through).  Don't eat under cooked seafood.