Monday, February 20, 2012

New Year, New City, New Job..

Way more stressed out me!! Hey guys! I hate I haven't been able to post more.. I have missed every minute of it!! I have recently relocated to a new city for a job and between trying to move, train, unpack.. well I haven't has a free second to blog!

Rest assured the move has inspired some great new recipes.. they are currently rolling around in my brain but as soon as I get home from this ten day business trip, I will be getting my but in the kitchen!!

Also, I have been being quite crafty lately! Get excited! I have tons of up-cycling projects for every budget!!

Happy Monday Y'all!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Trail Mix Blues

If your house is anything like mine you have received trail mix goodie bags from everyone.. your students, your kids friends, your neighbors, your great aunt that always gives you socks.. and trail mix!

And let's be honest here not many days do I want to a sit around eating handfuls of trail mix.. don't let it go to waste though! I have come up with the perfect prescription to cure your trail mix blues! It's simple and scrumptious!

Here is how to turn your trail mix blues into Trail Mix Bark!

1 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 cups trail mix 
white bark
chocolate bark

Trail Mix Bark Recipe

1. Over low heat in a small sauce pan melt peanut butter 

 2. Once the peanut butter is smooth stir in honey, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar until well incorporated 

3. Add in trail mix and stir until mixed 

 4. Spread on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper and drizzle with white and chocolate bark
5. Place in freezer until hardened; then break into pieces 


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas To All And To All A.. New Monogram!

Ok so I have to share this one last thing with you lovely people tonight.. It could not wait until the morning! Call me an insomniac but I just can not sleep tonight.. while trying to cure my sleeping woes I came across A MUST HAVE MONOGRAM! I know what you are thinking.. what monogram isn't must have?! Trust me when I say.. this is amazing! 

This is my must have entertaining pick for the new year! Jonathan Adler's oh so chic, oh so monogrammed serving tray! It is a must for anyone who loves to entertain! And with warm weather just around the corner who doesn't want to serve their sweet tea on this beauty! He has a few different styles, all equally monogrammed :) below is the link to my fav! 

Image from

Happy Shopping! 

A Merry Puerto Rican Christmas!

This year for Christmas instead of our traditional southern bourbon eggnog we decided to travel to the Caribbean.. through our glasses at least! :) The traditional holiday drink of Puerto Rico is Coquito and let me tell you that it is delish! My amazing friend came into town for Christmas Eve Mass and dinner, she is from Puerto Rico, so we decided to make this since she won't be able to make it home until January. My mom got this recipe from her friend Robin who is also Puerto Rican! Rest assured this recipe is as authentic as they come, so drink up!

Feel free to make your glasses festive for the holidays! :) I just rimmed them with lime then twirled them in sugar sprinkles!

1 can Coco Lopez (cream of coconut)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 can coconut milk
1 can evaporated milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbs cinnamon (ground)
1 Tbs fresh ground nutmeg
2 cups dark rum
1/2 tsp lime zest
juice of half a lime

1. Put the Coco Lopez and sweetened condensed milk in blender and mix
2. Add the coconut milk and evaporated milk in blender and mix
3. Add in the rest of the ingredients and blend
4. Pour over ice and top with some more fresh ground nutmeg and a dash of cinnamon

Feliz Navidad!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

In A Pinch?

So you promised you'd bring a fabulous dessert to the office Christmas party and with all the festivities you have just run out of time! Not to worry! I will let you in on a little family secret that will save you tons of time!

My great grandmother started the Christmas cookie tradition in our family, at least that's as far back as I remember it going. She was a wonderful cook and most certainly the matriarch of this southern family, Martha Washington Carmichael Hawkins, a blue blood by all accounts. When she died my mother took over the Christmas cookie tradition. Why, some of you might ask did the tradition not get handed directly to my grandmother? Well as sweet as my Mama Kate may be is no cook, once she tried her hand at homemade biscuits.. they could have quite honestly killed someone had they been thrown and they most certainly would have broken a tooth. Becoming all the more clear as to why my mother picked up the tradition.

My great grandmother made her famous homemade sugar cookies completely from scratch, no corners would be cut in her kitchen.. and for the first few years my mom followed the same recipe. But as we are all well aware, life gets busy and cutting those corners becomes all the more appealing.

My mom found a sugar cookie mix that turns out almost identical cookies, and cuts down on the prep time.. no more painstaking flour sifting! Ok so sifting flour isn't really all that difficult but it sure makes a mess!

So here is the secret to save you gobs of time and will be the talk of the party for sure! 

I am trying to make all of my Christmas recipes I'll be posting easy! No one wants to spend their whole holiday in the kitchen.. except for maybe me! :)

*** Make sure you follow the cutout cookie dough directions! It is going to be the second one the package! 

What you will need..

1. In a bowl combine package ingredients and 1 tablespoon of ALL PURPOSE flour and mix 

 2. Then add in 1 stick of softened butter  (do not melt butter!) and 1 large egg

3. Kneed with hands until dough forms

I like to chill my dough in the fridge for a little bit before I roll it out... if you try to cut cookies out of tacky dough it will be near impossible! I even mix mine up the night before I plan to bake them.. cuts down on the clean up when you are trying to arrive at that party fashionable late.. but not after its over! 

I spread some flour on the counter (or wax paper) and roll out my dough.. don't have a rolling pin no need to fear the empty wine bottle for last nights dinner will do just fine :) 

Cut your cookies out and place them on a cookie sheet that you have lined with parchment paper! 

While they are baking you can mix up the Royal Icing.. I don't have an exact recipe here you will just have to use your best judgement until you get the right consistency of the icing.. it is super easy though! 

All you need is: Powder sugar, egg white powder, and warm water

I would start with about a 1/2 tablespoon of egg white powder and go from there! The more powdered sugar you add the thicker the icing the more water the thinner.. it is very simply really! 

Bake, Cool, and Decorate! 


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Southern Living Knows Best!

As an avid reader of Southern Living, I will say that each issue has more than a few ideas I love! Their December double issue however might have made its way into my heart forever! It was full of some of the best (and completely simple) ideas for the holidays! I'll share with you one I tried this morning.. it maybe took 20 minutes start to finish!

If you make the same dessert every year, and like me, you are wanting to dress it up a bit you need this recipe in your life! In all honesty, I can't even call it a recipe! I decided that along with the traditional cutout sugar cookies and Oreo balls (both recipes I will be posting later this week) that my mom and I make every year for Christmas, I was going to make a special cupcake (recipe from Southen Living as well). They had the easiest decoration idea and it's glam factor will be talked about for days!

They may not look like much here, rest assured when I finish baking the cupcakes I will show you just how fab these are! 

Making them is as simple as 1, 2, 3! 
1. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper, spread out your cookie cutters, and spray a little crisco on each one

2. Melt vanilla candy coating (bark) in a small sauce pan over low heat, this will take about 8 minutes

3. Fill cookie cutters with melted bark.. I had to use a small spoon to spread the bark into all the corners.. and put in freezer for about 5 minutes (or until they have hardened 

4. Clean away and excess from the outside of the cookie cutter and then pop the bark out! 

That's it! I put mine in the fridge after i took them out of the cookie cutter just to ensure they don't get melty with the oven on! 

These would be great on cupcakes, cakes, or even just as garnish for a sweet dip or cheese ball!


I'm Back!

And better than ever! I let my blogging.. and even my cooking fall to the way side while I was trying to finish up the semester. Did I mention it was my last semester EVER as an undergrad!

War Eagle, Y'all! 

Now I that am through finals and have walked across that stage I am ready to get my southern butt back in the kitchen.. and gym! Throughout this week I will be posting yummy recipes, tips to make your Christmas easier than you ever imagined, and ideas that will wow your holiday guest or host!

To start things off, here is a little Christmas cheer from me to you! You'll thank me for sharing this link once you look at how fab these are! Every southern lady needs a pair of these in her life! Plus, they would make great hostess gift for all those new years parties! Oh, and did I mention.. they are monogrammed!

Love These!

Merry Christmas, Y'all