Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Waaaaay too busy working on the bathroom project over the weekend to bake something. I did, however, discover this little gem of an ice-cream topping at a little get together.
Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate Topping

It's not so throat-burning sweet as regular chocolate syrup. It goes perfectly on a banana split made with quality Neopolitan ice-cream, which reminds me of being a kid and stirring and stirring the ice-cream until it turned into a Frosty-type consistency and flavor.

This topping, on the other hand, was disgusting.

Go with good old Marshmallow Fluff if you insist on a marshmallow topping.

Friday, September 25, 2009


The master bathroom renovation is underway. Today was demo day, so it's all been gutted, which is pretty boring to look at, but I've been working on some other things this week that will complete the look I'm hoping for.

The plan was to replace the louvered door that leads into the walk-in closet. But then I had an idea....

The door before.

And after.

It was extremely easy.
You don't even have to own any power tools.
But it's more fun if you do.

First, I got rid of the slats, using my jigsaw to cut right up the middle,
then the slats just popped right out.
This left little grooves in the door.

So I covered them with 3/4 inch trim, which fit perfectly, attaching it with Liquid Nails. Another option would be to fill in the grooves with wood filler and then sand it smooth.

I had to sand my door almost to the bare wood because it had two layers of glossy paint on it which was making the top layer peel. Normally you should only have to lightly sand it to rough it up a little before you paint.

I primed, then painted the door.

Using a clearance duvet cover from Target, I made "curtains" for the top and bottom sections. I found small tension rods at Target to hang them. You could staple the fabric in, but I wanted the option to wash them or even switch them out easily if I get tired of the fabric.

It turned out exactly how I pictured it, which is always a good thing. I'm thinking about using this idea on the louvered bifold closet doors in my girls' bedroom.
Meanwhile, I can't wait for the entire bathroom project to be done!!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Very Chocolatey

Tried another Martha special. These turned out rich and fudgy and were eaten before I could get a picture with ice-cream on top.

Chocolate Truffle Cakes

5 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp all purpose flour
14 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 Tbsp sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 tsp salt

1. Preheat oven to 375°. Generously butter a standard 6-cup muffin tin. Dust with flour, tapping out excess; set aside.
2. Put chocolate, butter, and 1 Tbsp sugar in a medium heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water; whisk occasionally until smooth. Remove from heat and let stand until cool and thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Process eggs and remaining Tbsp sugar in a food processor until pale and oubled in volume, about 2 minutes. Sift flour and salt into egg mixture; pulse to combine. Add chocolate mixture 1/4 cup at a time; pulse each addition until combined, about 10 times. (Batter will be thick.)
3. Spoon mixture into the prepared muffin tin, filling cups three-quarters full; swirl tops with back of spoon. Bake until tops are springy to the touch, 18 to 20 minutes. Immediately turn onto wire racks; reinvert, and let cool.
Serves 6.

Monday, September 14, 2009

I Made This One Up

You can make any combination you want with this recipe but here's what I did:

Toffee Ice Cream Bars

1 pkg crunchy toffee cookies, crushed (I bought some Archer Farms brand at Target - you need about 3 cups crushed)
1 stick melted butter
2 small boxes chocolate pudding
1 cup milk
carton of vanilla ice-cream, softened (not melted, just softened)
1 (8 oz) carton Cool Whip
Pkg crushed Heath bars for baking (in the baking aisle)

Combine the crushed cookies and the melted butter and pat it into the bottom of a 9x13 pan to make a crust. Set aside.
Mix the milk and pudding together. It will be pretty thick. Stir in the ice-cream. I added most of the bag of Heath stuff to this mixture. Spread over crust. Spread Cool Whip over that. Sprinkle the rest of the Heath over the top and freeze for at least a couple of hours.

I think a good variation would be peanut butter cookies instead of the toffee cookies and crushed Butterfinger instead of the Heath. ☺

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Fall Recipe

Had a loverly Labor Day and then yesterday I finally got a chance to try this recipe out. It's from a really old Martha Stewart magazine. Never too early to bust out the pumpkin recipes I always say. ☺
These cookies are very soft and moist. I've never had brown butter icing before and it just might be my new favorite!

Pumpkin Cookies With Brown Butter Icing

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/4 ground ginger
3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
11 ounces (2 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, divided
2 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups canned solid pack pumpkin (14 oz)
1 cup plus 1 Tbsp evaporated milk (plus more if needed)
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract, divided
4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted

1. Preheat oven to 375°. Line baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Fit a pastry bag with a large coupler and a 1/2-inch plain round tip; set aside. (I'm sure you could use a Ziploc bag and cut the corner if you don't own any cake decorating stuff.)

2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in a medium bowl; set aside. Cream 12 Tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) butter and the brown sugar on medium speed of a mixer until pale, about 3 minutes. Mix in eggs, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. On low speed, add pumpkin, 3/4 cup milk, and 1 tsp vanilla; mix until combined, about 2 minutes. Add flour mixture; mix, scraping down sides and bottom of bowl as needed, until well combined.

3. Transfer batter to pastry bag. Holding tip close to parchment paper, pipe 1 1/2 inch rounds 1 inch apart (piping them does make a difference in the appearance of the cookies when they are baked). Bake until tops are springy to the touch, about 12 minutes. Let cool on sheets 5 minutes; transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

4. Meanwhile, put confectioners' sugar in a large bowl; set aside. Melt remaining 10 Tbsp butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes (mine took several more minutes after cranking the heat to med-high).

5. Immediately pour batter over sugar, scraping any brown bits from sides and bottom of pan. Add remaining 5 Tbsp of milk and remaining 2 tsp vanilla; stir until smooth. Spread about 1 tsp icing on each cookie. (If icing becomes stiff, stir in a little more milk until spreadable.) Cookies can be stored in an airtight container up to 3 days.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Part of this queen size bed skirt has now become a pint size little girl skirt.
I kinda want to see how many different things I can make out of it.

I'm not sure this could have been any easier.
The hem is already there and the gathering at the waistband is done.
I cut above the skirt part just enough to be able to fold it over and make a casing for some elastic, and then sewed up the side.
30 minutes - tops.