Friday, March 30, 2012

Signs of Spring

Happy Friday y'all!! 

Aren't you just loving spring so far? The weather, the colors, the flowers and blooming trees? I don't think that I have ever been more excited about spring before. 

Spring means no more driving to work on icy roads, being able to spend more time outdoors, barbecues, the PERFECT weather! If you have never been to Denver in the spring I suggest you visit, the weather couldn't be any better.

Spring also means...

bright colored towels for the kitchen! YAY TJ Maxx!

and a brightly colored CUPCAKE trivet!

it's time to brighten up your wardrobe too

Blazer: Forever 21 Shirt: Old Navy Jewelry: Target, Italy Watch: Target

and buy flower inspired jewelry

Necklace and bracelets: Forever 21

and last but not least, enjoy nature!

Hope everyone has a great weekend! Go outside and enjoy the weather! : )


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Easter Sugar Cookie Bars

I know it's not quite Easter yet. And, actually, we made these for St. Patrick's Day. 

BUT, I had bought some cute little edible pearls from Ross and had to go ahead and use them. Looking back at the pictures, they look extremely Easterish, hence the title.

You guys HAVE to make these! Usually, once I make something I am ready to move on to the next thing. There are just so many yummy looking recipes out there! But, I am already ready to make these again. They were that good!

And I bet you already have everything you need to make these!

What you need:

For the cookie bars:

1 Cup Unsalted Butter, Room Temperature
2 Cups Sugar
4 Large Eggs
2 Teaspoons Vanilla
5 Cups Flour
1 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda

For the frosting:

1 Cup Unsalted Butter, Room Temperature
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
Pinch of Salt
4 Cups Confectioners Sugar
3-4 Tablespoons Milk
Food Coloring, as needed
Sprinkles, if wanted

What to do:

For the cookie bars:

Preheat oven to 375.

Generously spray down a 10x15 or 9x9 brownie pan. We had a big cookie sheet that had sides on it and it was perfect!

Cream together the butter and sugar using your mixer at medium/high speed for about 2 minutes, until light and fluffy.

Reduce the mixer speed and add the eggs one at a time. Add in vanilla.

In separate bowl, mix together the flour, salt, and baking soda.

Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, combining well.

Using a rubber spatula, evenly spread the mixture onto your prepared baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until light brown. We left ours a tad bit under cooked for the gooey-ness.

For the icing:

In a medium sized bowl beat the butter until light and fluffy.

Add the vanilla and salt, mix well.

Reduce mixer speed and carefully add in the confectioners sugar, slowly or it will go everywhere!

Add the milk and mix until smooth. The recipe calls for 3 to 4 tablespoons, but you can put as little or as much as you like. It just depends on how thick you want the icing. 

Add the food coloring if you are using it.

It's ready to go on the cookie bars! 

Tweaked a bit from here.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Chewy Lemon Cookies

We love lemon. And we loved these cookies. They are chewy, sweet, not overwhelmingly lemon but just a hint so you know it's there, yummy cookies. And the best part....?

There are no eggs in this recipe. Do you know what that means?? You can eat the dough!! And let me tell ya, it's DELICIOUS!

These were a nice little spring recipe with the honey and citrus. You've gotta try 'em!

What you need:

1 3/4 Cups Flour
Pinch of Salt
8 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
Zest from 2 Lemons
2/3 Cup Sugar
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
1/4 Cup Honey
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Cup Powdered Sugar, for Coating

What to do:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper OR spray well with non stick cooking spray. Either way works. In a medium sized bowl whisk together flour and salt. Set to the side.

2. With an electric mixer, cream together butter, lemon zest, sugar, and honey. Mix until very smooth. 

3. In a small cup, combine the lemon juice and baking soda. With the mixer on low, add in the flour mixture and lemon juice mixture. Be sure it is well mixed, you may have to do some by hand.

4. Roll the dough into balls, about 1-inch or so. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, less if you would like them a little more gooey. That's how we wanted the second batch and loved them a little gooey-er : ). Let them cool for a few minutes and coat in powdered sugar.

Original recipe here.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Mama C's Chocolate Pudding

Mama C = Mama Cypert = Garrett's grandma

This pudding is delish! AND...wait for made in the microwave!

Seriously, y'all, I'm not just sucking up because it's the grandma in law, this stuff is the best chocolate pudding I have ever tasted! So good that it usually only lasts about 2, maybe 2 1/2, days here.

What you need:

1 Cup Sugar
3 Tbl. Flour
1/4 Cup Cocoa
1/4 Tsp. Salt
2 1/2 Cups Milk
2 Egg Yolks, slightly beaten
1 Tsp. Vanilla
I Tbl. Butter

What to do:

In a large, microwave safe bowl add first 5 ingredients, mixed well, and cook 3 minutes. 
After 3 minutes stir the mixture and then cook for 3 more minutes. Keep doing this until the mixture has thickened. I usually do 3 to 4 rounds.

Then add about 1 cup of the mixture SLOWLY to egg yolks, stirring the entire time. This is to temper the eggs so that they don't scramble when you add them to the hot mixture. 

Pour the egg yolks and 1 cup mix back with the rest of the mixture and stir. 

Return to microwave and cook until desired thickness. I like THICK pudding, Garrett likes it a little thinner. It's up to you!

* Bear with me, pudding isn't the most photogenic of things.

Now, I have a surprise for you.

You can also make a pie with this pudding! Just cook it a little longer in the microwave until it thickens up a little more and put it into a prepared pie shell! YUM!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Oreo Pudding Poke Cake

Hi blog friends!

Aren't you excited that it's finally Friday!? Lord knows I am.

Today I have a recipe for a really delicious, moist, chocolatey, refreshing, and Oreo-y cake! This was a definite hit at our casa and really easy to make. The husband even loved it and he isn't a huge chocolate fan!

What you need:

1 Box Chocolate Cake Mix
Ingredients needed to make cake (eggs, oil)
2 4oz. Packages of Instant Oreo Pudding
4 Cups of Milk
Oreo Cookies, Crushed

What to do:

Make cake according to directions on box. Bake in a well greased pan. 

Right before the cake is done you can start making the pudding. In a medium bowl, add milk to the pudding mixture and whisk until most lumps are gone. Let pudding sit for about two minutes. You want the pudding to thicken slightly, but not all of the way. Leave it a little runny if you can.

When cake is finished, while still warm, poke holes about 1 inch apart all over. We used the ends of our beaters from our hand held mixer but you can use anything really.

Pour pudding mixture over warm hole-poked cake. Once it is all poured, smooth it out over the cake like icing.

Let cool on the counter for about 30 minutes and then put in the fridge to set.
After about an hour it should be ready to put the crushed Oreo's on top and take your first bite!

Original recipe here.

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Breakfast Muffins

One day I was scrollin' through Pinterest and I came across these delicious looking breakfast cups from Adventures of Our Fami-Ly and knew right away that I had to give them a try! If you don't already, stop by Sarah's cute blog and check it out, I think you will like it. She has some cute ideas, like this DIY Pedestal Bowl

This recipe was super easy, low on the ingredient count, and YUMMY!

We had made breakfast pizza before (here) and it was similar to that but even better in our opinion!

What you need:

Crescent Rolls (We used the Big & Flaky ones, 1 can made 7 muffins)
Bacon (4 pieces or more)
Eggs (5 for 7 muffins)
Grated Cheese

What to do:

Get out your muffin pan and spray it down good! Don't miss a spot. 

Preheat oven to 350.

Then open up the crescent dough and, one by one, place the triangles of dough into each muffin cup.

Some will hang over the edge. I just squished it down until it lined the whole cup and evened out.

Now, time to cook the bacon! We cooked ours in the microwave, but you can fry it too or bake it or however you normally cook bacon, do it that way!

Set the cooked bacon aside and scramble the eggs. Go ahead and salt and pepper them. You want to cook them until they are almost done, but leave them a tad bit runny because they will finish cooking in the oven.

Fill the cups with the scrambled eggs.

Top with bacon.

 Sprinkle with cheese.

Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 18 minutes, until the crescent dough is golden brown and the cheese is melted.

Let them cool and enjoy!

Thanks again to Sarah for the inspiration for these yummy breakfast muffins!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Happy Birthday Alyssa!!

Today is my little sister, Alyssa's, birthday!! 
I can't believe it but she is 21 which makes me...gulp...25. (Mom and dad, it makes you even older than that. 
: ) Your welcome!)

Alyssa and I are besties. Have been since day one...well, her day one. Before her, my best friends were my Nana and our cat Fluffy. But the day Alyssa arrived, that all changed.

I wanted to hold her when she was little, steal the spotlight from her when my dad was videotaping her birthday parties, and pretty much just be the bossy older sister. We played school and store and restaurant. 
"Don't come in my room until I'm ready. Ok, come in. Do you want to buy any of my stuff?" 

We played mailman too. "Put a shoebox outside your door and I'll leave letters in it!"

We aggravated our parents on school holiday nights when we would stay up late laughing and talking while they had to be up for work in the morning. I can't tell you how many times my mom came in and made us go to our own rooms just so she could get some sleep. She also threatened us with making us wake up early and do chores. We got the chores done, about 30 minutes before her lunch break, but still slept in. We were sneaky. 

We sneaked into my Mema's room while she was sleeping to spy on her. We giggled alot at her house too, which often ended with Alyssa having to go sleep in Mema's bed and me all alone.

We seesawed the night away in my room.

We giggled and giggled at night in hotel rooms while on vacation. That really made our parents mad. I think that is one of my favorite memories. Still makes me giggle. And I know, when you read this, it'll make you giggle too Alyssa.

We also fought. Alot. About all sorts of things. I pinched her, ("Whitney did you hit her!?"), she kicked me, we got into trouble. Normal sister things.

 I can think of hundreds of other memories that I have of us and that we are still making. I am so lucky to have the sister/best friend that I do!

I wish that I was in Texas celebrating your 21st with you B! I hope you had/are having a great day so far! I love love love you and can't wait to see you!

Now for some pics!
Her 15th birthday.

Us with our mama

One of my all time faves!

Before her HS graduation.


First Mexico trip : )

Packing up her stuff to move her into her dorm!

Mine and Garrett's wedding!
Best maid of honor ever! : )

And last but not least...

Love you little sis!


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Frosted Butterscotch Cookies

Hi y'all!

About a year ago, Garrett and I found a Better Homes & Gardens Homemade Cookie cookbook at Goodwill. I think we paid 50 cents for it. My how I love thrifting, as evidenced here and here, it's even better when you buy something that, over a year later, you are still using.

We always leave notes in cookbooks after we make something so we don't forget what each of us thought about it. The notes next to this Butterscotch Cookie recipe were "Savory and Sweet. A++" from Garrett and, "Really really realllly good. Definitely make again" from me. After flipping through this book and seeing these comments I decided this recipe had to be shared with you guys.

What you need:

For the cookies:

2 1/2 Cups Flour
1/2 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
1 1/2 Cups Packed Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Shortening
2 Eggs
1 Tsp Vanilla
1 8oz Carton Sour Cream
2/3 Cup Chopped Walnuts

For the icing:

1/2 Butter
3 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar
5 Tsp Hot Water
1 1/2 Tsp Vanilla

What to do:

Lightly grease a cookie sheet. In a medium bowl combine flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside. 

In a large mixing bowl beat brown sugar and shortening with an electric mixer on high speed until well mixed. 

Add eggs and vanilla. 

Beat until combined. Add flour mixture and sour cream alternatively to beaten mixture, beating after each addition. Stir in chopped walnuts.

Drop dough by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart onto the greased cookie sheet.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are light brown Let cool completely before spreading with icing.

How to make the icing:

In a medium saucepan heat and stir in butter over medium low heat until golden brown. Remove from heat. Stir in powdered sugar, hot water, and vanilla. Beat until frosting is easy to spread. Immediately spread on cookies.

I made some into cookie sandwiches, and left some just a single iced cookie.

Hope you all are having a fantastic weekend!

Sharing here:

Country Momma Cooks
Six Sisters Stuff
Two Sasters