My Awesomely Random Life (and Everything in Between)

Posts tagged ‘baking’

Friday Faves

Helllooooooo! La la la.

Friday, Friday, Friday – we made it! Is anyone else looking at their calendar just absolutely horrified that October is well underway, and dunh, dunh, dunhhhhh, the holidays are quickly approaching? I mean, don’t get me wrong. I LOVE the holiday season, but I feel like I haven’t had time to fully enjoy the pumpkin spiceness of fall yet. Which is exactly what I plan on doing this weekend. Some end-of-the-season softball, a beautiful autumn hike with friends, football (duh) and maybe a little (or a lot) of some HQ baking action are the makes of a couple of fantabulous days, my friends.

Whatever your plans are for the weekend, I hope you have a wonderful time, but before you get started in on all of the fun, be sure to check out my finds from around the web and more in this week’s edition of Friday Faves!

Favorite travel: 50 Trips to Take in the United States. This is a great list, and I was happy to see I’ve been to a bunch of the places in it. I still have high hopes and dreams of getting my booty overseas soonly, but this is a good reminder that we don’t always have to travel far to get a wonderful experience!

50TripsToTakeintheUS

Favorite find: 3/4-Sleeve Color Block Sweater. This is one of the sweaters I recently got at Old Navy. The detail down the center + color blocked sleeves is super cute plus it’s just. so. comfy (and 50% off right now – dangit!) A must for me and my life motto: life is short – wear comfortable clothes!

Top

Favorite bite: Melt-in-Your-Mouth Pumpkin Cookies. I attempted to make Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies last year for Thanksgiving and, while I thought they were okay bordering on good, my family took one bite and said they had the texture of cotton balls. Thanks, guys!! Think I’ll stick with this recipe instead. 😉

pumpkin-cookie

Favorite song: No, YOU’RE ugly crying! Jamie Lawson is incredibly talented and just signed with my forever fave Ed Sheeran’s label. Just try not to use all the tissues while listening to this song. I double-dog dare you.

Favorite photo. Wherever this is, I want to go to there.

Favorite funny: Bat Dad (click then scroll down for videos.) Oh my gosh, these videos of a Dad who disciplines his kids while wearing a batman mask are HYSTERICAL. I dare you not to laugh. 

BatDad

Favorite festive: Balloon Dipped Mason Jars. I adore this super simple idea for turning plain old mason jars into “candy corn”. Perfect festive decor for a Halloween party!

candycornvase_mini

Favorite sip: Pumpkin and Apple Cider Fizz. I’ll take 47, thanks. Shaken, not stirred.

PumpkinAppleCiderFizz1_mini

Favorite pooch. Can you handle the cuteness?

Favorite indulge: Skillet Brownies. DYING! Love the fact that this recipe can be made from start to finish in a cast iron skillet. Totally trying this sooner rather than later.

SkilletBrownie_mini

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Getting My Sweet Teeth On–A [Cook] Book Review

9780804137683Well hello my fellow sugar-fiend friends!

Boy do I have a treat for you (pun intended).

Now normally, I am not one for cookbooks. I mean, sure, I love looking drooling at the photographs of the delicious food on the pages, but when it comes to actually rolling up my sleeves and using the book for what it actually is there for, to cook things, I’m not such a fan.

Don’t get me wrong.

I LOVE to eat.

I’m just not very savvy in the kitchen when it comes to whipping up tonight’s dinner.

But baking?

Now THAT is a whole other jar of cookies.

I am the baking master of disaster.

I don’t want to brag, but I do make the best chocolate-chip oatmeal cookies in three counties (I’ve got references) and love getting creative with anything having to do with dessert.

It doesn’t hurt that I also have the biggest sweet tooth (sweet teeth is more like it) of anyone I know.

In Sweet: Our Best Cupcakes, Cookies, Candy and More, Food Network Magazine editors have picked their all-time favorite treats and put them into one amazing book.

I seriously feel like I gained five pounds just staring at the cover of this book! But as a lover of all things called dessert, I couldn’t help but get it, and I’m so glad I did!

This book is made up of various chapters from to die for cupcakes, cookies, whoopie pies, candy, and even to cakes that I swear look like they came from a bakery shop! What I love about this book is that it’s for EVERYBODY, meaning it doesn’t contain ingredients that you have to cross the continent to find. It’s straight forward, self explanatory, and easy to use as well as follow. Each dessert has it’s own picture, another thing to love about this book as I dislike trying new things if I have no idea what it’s supposed to even look like, and the recipe printed on the side in an easy to follow guide. It shows the ingredients first–again, it’s all stuff that can be found in a local grocery store–and from there it tells you exactly how to make the product. This book is also littered with useful tidbits that make it an interesting read as well as pages thrown in that show how to spice up existing snacks like dipping pretzels, chips, and other items in chocolate, or even taking a recipe that they have and adding additional things to it, so one recipe can actually have various tastes.

Some of the desserts actually call for store bought cakes (which I thought was a genius idea! Because sometimes, ain’t nobody got time for that!).  Unfortunately for my waist line, I will be trying as many of these recipes throughout the fall baking season as possible. I did try out a few recipes already, just something easy and quick (the chewy chocolate chip cookies and the brownie bars), and let me say they were divine! I brought them into work and instantly became everyone’s new BFF.

This is definitely a book for any dessert loves, and has tons of recipes that would be cute for kids to get messy and help with too!

I give this oh so sweet book a solid 5 stars!

*I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

Huh?

Hi friends!

How you bes? Despite the gloomy and rainy early spring weather that we’ve been having down here in Cartersville, GA, I be pretty swell. Every now and then, I love me a good rainy day; it gives me an excuse to stay in and chilax a bit, possibly curl up with a good book (oh who am I kidding? I am SO getting my read on!),

do some baking,

or even catch up on some of my guilty TV pleasures.

Now I don’t know if I could have this kind of cloudiness all the time (so sorry Seattle; I’m dying to visit you but I just don’t think I could take the constant state of wet that you’re in), but every now and then I welcome it with open arms. Especially on occasions when I can do this:

Earlier today as I was waiting for my grilled cheese to, well, grill, I got to thinking. Some of my deepest thought-provoking and philosophical meanderings occur while standing over the stove, waiting for my grilled cheese to get the perfect consistency of ooey gooey. Needless to say, I spend a good deal of time using that noggin of mine. Anyway, as I stood in the kitchen, spatula in hand and the lovely smell of nearly burnt cheesebutterbread permeating my nostrils, I couldn’t help but think of why no one hasn’t invented a grilled cheese scented candle or air freshener yet. It didn’t make sense. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good Vanilla Buttercream Frosting or Apple Pie candle any day (I currently have 4 which I refuse to burn because they just smell so good!), but man oh man how amazing would it be to have a grilled cheese burning the midnight oil?! Or pizza? Or how about bacon? Am I right? I’m talking to you Yankee Candle people. I think I just might be on to something here. ..or maybe it was just the hunger talking.

As I casually flipped my sandwich over to get that equally perfected carmalization on the other side, I started to think of other things that just didn’t make sense to me, things that made me go, “Huh?”

  • Garden Gnomes-creepy little men with hats bigger than they are standing watch over people’s garden vegetables? HUH?
  • Brail written on the drive-thru windows of banks, fast food restaurants and  other walk-up services? HUH?
  • Skinny jeans that take the force of the cast of 300 plus the cast of Braveheart to put on and take off and make whoever is wearing them walk like they have an extreme wedgie? HUH?
  • Speaking of wedgies, can we talk about thong skivies (aka butt-floss) that have about an ounce of fabric but cost an arm and a leg? HUH?
  • Why don’t adult menus come with fun coloring and activity placemats like kids’ menus do? I mean I like a good dessert wordfind and chicken finger connect-the-dot like every now and then. HUH?
  • Traveling TO a vacation spot always seems to fly by a lot faster than traveling FROM your vacation spot back home. HUH?
  • What was up with PigPen from Peanuts? Didn’t his parents ever stop and think to teach him the ways of a shower or bath? HUH?
  • Twi-Hards (or uber obsessive Twilight fans). HUH?
  • Or even worse…Beliebers (uber obsessive Justine Bieber fans). HUH?
  • Or even worse that that?! Twi-Hards and Beliebers who are my mom’s age! HUH?
  • Having to take my flip-flops off when going through airport security. HUH?
  • Getting bags of chips that approximately 13% chip and 87% air. HUH?
  • Cubs fans. HUH?
  • The fact that drinking milk straight from the carton seems to just taste better than when poured in a glass? HUH?
  • A simple hug from mom can make everything better. HUH?

There are oh so many things in this crazy and wonderful life that make me go, “Huh”, but I think that is, in part, what makes it so crazy and wonderful. These things leave me guessing, leaves me in wonder. They make me ponder and ask questions and think over grilled cheese sandwiches. After all, if we understood everything, where would the fun or adventure be? Where would the endless discussions and light-hearted disagreements be? Where would the persaverance for growth and learning be? It’s good sometimes to be senseless.

Especially when it comes to Cubs fans.

Have a great rest of your night guys!

Question of the day: What are some of the things that you just have to say, “Huh?” to?

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