Sunday, August 9, 2020

Farm Baby Shower - Bumble Bee Diaper Cake & Bloody Mary Bar

One of my very best friends is expecting soon and her family hosted the most beautiful farm baby shower. It was picture perfect with picnic tables, farm flowers, and hay bales. I wanted to share some pictures for inspiration. I was especially fond of the Bloody Mary Bar which they planned so well!

The bloody mary bar was definitely a hit. I love how they put everything in mason jars and on ice to keep things cold. There were so many options. You could really make your favorite bloody mary! The bacon was definitely the best part! It was candied smoked bacon and was absolutely amazing!!! Some other things to put on your bloody mary bar: steak sauce, variety of hot sauces, horseradish (I always put extra of this), black pepper, lemon and lime wedges, variety of olives, shrimp, pepperoncini peppers, pickles, cheese, and celery! Your guests can have fun putting together their own cocktail.

I put together a bumble bee themed diaper cake. We purchased some bumble bee baby items like a bumble bee plush toy, blankets, and Burts Bees lotions. I also added some ribbon and sunflowers to decorate. The burlap ribbon gave it a special touch.

To make the diaper cake -

1. Either cut a big round from cardboard or purchase a cake round from the craft store. This will be your base. Cover the base with your favorite pattern.

2. Take individual diapers and roll them together. Place an elastic around each diaper roll.

3. Follow these directions to construct the actual diaper cake: https://ahostinghome.com/2018/08/08/pink-floral-diaper-cake-the-only-diaper-cake-tutorial-youll-need/

4. Then, wrap each layer of the diaper cake with the bumble bee towels. To keep the towels in place, wrap each layer with burlap ribbon and/or yellow ribbon. 

5. Then, decorate it! Place the plush toy on top to act as a topper. Then, place the flowers and Burts Bees products here and there. It was super fun to make!

I hope this post serves as inspiration for you! It was such a cute theme!

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Chocolate Chip Cookies














































I have searched all my life for the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. I think I finally found it! It has the right amount of saltiness and sweetness. It is so soft and chewy. It is absolutely perfect!

I am usually not a baker - it is usually to precise and specific for me.  I am also not a dessert person, but for whatever reason, chocolate chip cookies are my favorite! Especially when they come straight out of the oven! You can't get any better than that!

Ingredients:
  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar 
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp non fat milk powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 (12 oz) bag of semisweet chocolate chips
Recipe:
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Mix together the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in a bowl using a hand mixer. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until combined.
  • Add the flour, milk powder, salt, baking powder and baking soda to the bowl and mix until combined.
  • Finally, mix in the chocolate chips. 
  • Scoop out dough using a spoon or ice cream scoop (which helps to keep the cookies uniform in size) on a lined baking sheet. Bake for 11 minutes.

Monday, May 4, 2020

Banana Cream Pudding

This is by far the best banana cream pudding you will ever have! It is so incredibly delicious. My recipe is based off of Paula Deen's 'Not Yo' Mama's Banana Cream Pudding.' I have made some changes here and there.

Please keep in mind that the bananas will go bad if they are exposed to air for too long! You can make this ahead of time, but I would recommend enjoying the banana cream pie within 12 to 24 hours. Otherwise, the bananas will get too brown.


Ingredients

  • 1 (8-oz) carton of heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp of sugar
  • 1 (14-oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (8-oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 (5-oz) box instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 8-10 bananas, sliced
  • 3 bags chessmen cookies

Recipe

  • In your first bowl, combine the cream cheese and condensed milk together until smooth using a handheld electric mixer. 
  • In a second bowl, mix together the heavy whipping cream and sugar until the cream reaches stiff peaks.
  • In a third bowl, combine the milk and pudding mix and blend well. Please do not follow the pudding recipe on the box of the instant pudding mix (only add 2 cups of milk).
  • Fold the majority of your whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture. Save about 1/4 of the whipped cream on the side to fix any "oops" that happen along the way.
  • Then, add the pudding mixture to the whipped cream/cream cheese and stir until well blended. This makes your custard.
  • Line the bottom of a baking dish or trifle dish with 1 bag of cookies. Then, layer 1/2 of the custard on top. Then, a layer of bananas. Then, a thin layer of whipped cream (if there is any remaining left). Layer the dish with cookies, bananas, then custard. Finally, place a finishing layer of cookies on top. 
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve.
 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Bacon Wrapped Dates Stuffed With Blue Cheese

Bacon, blue cheese, and dates make the perfect sweet and salty combo. This is my go-to party appetizer, because it is super easy to make and always a crowd pleaser. I discovered it once at a friend's party, and I have been addicted ever since.

You probably recognize this appetizer because I've posted it on my blog before. I wasn't thrilled about how the pictures in the original post turned up, so I decided to do an update post. I love this appetizer so much that I had to do it justice with better pics!

Ingredients:
  • 1 package of dried, pitted dates (about 30 dates)
  • 1 container crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 (12 oz.) package of bacon (cut raw bacon strips in the middle if they are very long strips)
Directions: 
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
  • Slice each date on top, stuff with as much blue cheese as it can hold, wrap in bacon, and secure with a tooth pick. Repeat with the remaining dates. Simple right?
  • Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes, or until bacon is crispy. Usually i also like to turn the dates halfway through so that they crisp up evenly on all sides. 
  • Serve warm.  
Note: If you're taking it to a friend's house, bake the dates for about 10 minutes at your place so you are not traveling with raw bacon. When you arrive at your destination, bake for another 5 minutes or so until bacon is crispy. 


 





Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Avocado Toast

Yesterday we had a SNOW DAY!! I can't believe it's the middle of March and I have 2 feet of snow outside my door. I love being snowed it because I dedicate my time to recipe testing, watching movies, and eating delicious homemade food.

This is a copy cat recipe of one my favorite breakfast spots called Sunset Cafe. I love going to Sunset Cafe but some days it is absolutely impossible to get in. Lines are usually out the door, and during the winter, standing outside is usually not an option. So, I decided to recreate the dish myself. It wasn't hard to make as the ingredients are extremely simple! Not only is this dish flavorful but there are so many beautiful colors on the plate. It definitely brightens your day!!

Note: The onions are pickled overnight so you'll want to prep this ahead of time.

Serving: 4 people
Ingredients:
  • 8 Slices of Toast
  • 2-3 Avocados
  • 1/2 of a Red Onion
  • 2 Limes
  • Goat Cheese, crumbled
  • 1 Jalapeno, sliced
  • 4 Eggs 
Recipe:
  • Overnight, you will want to pickle your red onions. This is what gives the onions a bright pink color. Thinly slice the red onion and squeeze the lime juice of two limes over the onions. Let it sit overnight (or for at least 4-5 hours).
  • Toast your bread and set aside.
  • Mash together the avocados to achieve a smooth consistency. Add a tad of salt and pepper.
  • Cook your eggs to your preference. I love over easy or poached so you can get that glorious runny yolk.
  • Assemble your toast by spreading the avocado onto the toast, then place your egg in the middle. 
  • Finally, add your sliced jalapenos, crumbled goat cheese, and picked red onions.


Sunday, March 12, 2017

Classic Reuben Sandwich with Slow Cooker Corned Beef

A favorite Irish dish of mine is corned beef, mostly because I love reubens. It's the combination of the buttery bread, salty corned beef, crunchy sauerkraut, creamy dressing, and melted swiss cheese that gets me every time. Since I can always get the perfect reuben sandwich at my local irish pub, I've never tried to make it at home before. In honor of Saint Patrick's Day this year though, I decided to give it a try. It turned out even better than I expected. The hardest part about this recipe is waiting all day for it to cook in the crockpot! Patience is certainly not one of my best qualities.
I wish the picture showed a little bit more of the corned beef because it is definitely the star of the sandwich. I decided to cook it in the slow cooker so that the corned beef would be super tender. The recipe below is for a classic reuben sandwich. You'll see pickled onions in the picture too because I LOVE pickled onions and I had some extra in the fridge. If you'd like to add some pickled onions to your reuben as well, squeeze lime juice on top of thinly sliced red onions, and let it sit for a few hours ,or overnight if you can, in the fridge. Add the onions in place of the sauerkraut, or with the sauerkraut like I did!
I love this slow cooker recipe because you can make so many fun dishes with the extra corned beef like irish nachos, a reuben dip, or even reuben potato skins! There are so many options! Below I included the slow cooker corned beef recipe along with how to make the classic reuben sandwich.

Slow Cooker Corned Beef
Ingredients

  • 2 corned beef briskets with spice packets (about 3 pounds each)
  • 1/8 cup of black peppercorns
  • 7 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 beers
  • water
Recipe
  1. Place beef briskets in a slow cooker with one of the spice packets (discard the other one), black peppercorns, garlic cloves, and bay leaves.
  2. Cover brisket with beer. If beer does not fully cover the top of the briskets, then add water until liquid is covering briskets.
  3. Cook on low for 8 hours.
Reuben 
Ingredients
  • corned beef from slow cooker recipe above
  • sauerkraut (I found mine by the pickles in the deli section of my grocery store)
  • sliced swiss cheese
  • sliced marble rye bread
  • thousand island dressing
  • butter
Recipe
  1. Once beef briskets are cooked, take the briskets out of slow cooker and let it rest on a cutting board. 
  2. Discard the liquid in the slow cooker and cut out any excess fat from brisket. 
  3. Slice the corned beef.
  4. Take two slices of bread. On each slice of bread, butter one side.
  5. Place one slice of bread butter side down in a skillet on medium heat.
  6. On top of the slice of bread add one slice of swiss cheese, then sliced corned beef, then sauerkraut, then thousand island dressing.
  7. Top with a second slice of swiss cheese, then the second slice of bread butter side up.
  8. Cook for a couple minutes letting the bread on the bottom to become golden brown, then flip.
  9. Cook for another minute or two until both sides are golden brown and cheese is melted.



Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Taco Dip

I absolutely love this dip! It's a cheesy cream cheese dip, but still tastes fresh since it is topped with salsa, lettuce, and tomatoes. Everyone always seems to love it.

It is definitely one of my favorite party appetizers to make. It's fast and easy, and I can throw it together in no time. I also love that it is a cold dip. Since I don't have to worry about baking it, I can transport it easily to someone else's house. It's also great to make if I know my oven will be crowded with other things.

You can top the cream cheese mixture with any of your favorite taco toppings. I usually stick with mild salsa, cheddar cheese, tomatoes, and lettuce since most people tend to approve of those toppings. If you and your crowd are a fan of olives, scallions, and jalopenos, however, then I would add them too! I have a friend who hates onions and a boyfriend who hates spicy things so I always have to keep them in mind! If it was up to me, I'd be using jalopenos, spicy salsa, and hot sauce on top! I like thinks spicy, but since most people don't, I usually keep this dip as mild as possible. Don't be afraid to customize the dip based on what you love. Hope you enjoy!!

Ingredients:
  • 1 (16 oz) container sour cream
  • 2 (8 oz) packages of softened cream cheese 
  • 1 package of taco seasoning
  • 1 (16 oz) jar of salsa
  • 2 cups of grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • shredded lettuce
  • tortilla chips
Recipe:
  • Using a hand mixer, mix together sour cream, cream cheese, and taco seasoning.
  • Spread cream cheese mixture on the bottom of a dip dish
  • Spread salsa on top of cream cheese mixture
  • Sprinkle cheese on top of the salsa
  • Scatter lettuce and tomatoes on top of cheese
  • Serve with tortilla chips

 
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