Monday, September 5, 2011

muffin tin cookies ~ Ina Garten chocolate chip cookie recipe

That time is here... the day I've been both dreaming about and dreading...BACK to SCHOOL!  

I can't believe the whole summer has whirled away so quickly.  In light of getting back in the swing of things...I thought I'd send the kids to school with some tasty tidbits from home.  And what better way to do that than with home made chocolate chip cookies?

 Here's where things got a little interesting....well for me anyway.  Some of you may already do this.  But it's new to me and only an afterthought because I don't own a cookie sheet.  EGADS!  I usually use a lasagne tin upside down, but tonight, I really didn't want to use my oven for 8 cookies every 15 minutes.  So I used what I had to speed up the process....cupcakes tins. 

This worked out much better than I even expected!  To ensure that your cookies don't stick, simply pour about a tablespoon of vegetable oil in one of the muffin trays, and then with a cooking oil brush, keep dabbing into the oil and spread around to the rest of the tray.  Be sure to coat the bottom and lower sides.  Roll the dough into ball as per usual, then with slightly wet hands, flatten the dough.  When the cookies were done their baking time, I let them cool and they popped out soooo easily!

Now of course these cookies came out a little thicker than a regular cookie, but they are all perfectly shaped the same and my boys didn't seem to mind at all.  In fact, they thought the muffin tin cookies were "sick".  They even thought that this would be a cool idea to do our brownie recipe in the muffin tins too, a homemade version of the '2 bite brownie'.  Yummy, now we're talking!


Ina Garten {Barefoot Contessa} Chocolate Chunk Cookie

1/2 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 extra large eggs at room temperature
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts (optional, I left this out...we are a nut free school)
1 1/4 pounds semisweet chocolate chunks ( I used chocolate chips)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cream the butter and two sugars until light and fluffy in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the vanilla, then the eggs, one at a time, and mix well. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt and add to the butter with the mixer on low speed, mixing only until combined. Fold in the walnuts and chocolate chunks.
Drop the dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, using a 1 3/4 inch- diameter ice cream scoop or a rounded tablespoon. Dampen your hands and flatten the dough slightly. Bake for exactly 15 minutes (the cookies will seem underdone). Remove from the oven and let cool slightly on the pan, transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

* I used a convection oven and found that 13 minutes baking time was perfect.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Sweet Paul

Why have I not seen this before now? 

Do you remember Martha Stewart Kids magazine?  It was one of my favourite magazines and I used to get all giddy when my subscription would arrive in the mail.  You can only imagine my grief when they stopped the magazine. 

Well Sweet Paul has filled my void!  

Not only is his blog fan-TAB-u-LOUS...but there is also an online Sweet Paul Magazine too with an option to buy the printed copy of the issue.  Stunning photography, recipes, crafts, decor...and lots more!  

Be sure to stop by and see Paul for many more sweet ideas!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

coffee filter lamp shade

There once was a lampshade that could. 
Then one day the lampshade just couldn't anymore. 
Until now....

Honestly?!  Coffee filters..who knew?
I would love to take credit for this amazing diy project..but while clickety click clicking away from one crazy talented blogger to another to another and another...I found the most gorgeous lampshade made of coffee filters that was crafted by Sarah at Northwest Hospitality. 

Hmmmm a coffee filter lampshade...how very interestingly beautiful....and I  HAVE ALL THE SUPPLIES ON HAND!  My shade wasn't a drum, like Sarah's, but I decided I had nothing to lose..and the coffee filter extravaganza began.

What you need:
hot glue
coffee filters (bulk from Costco)
wine for the friend who gets suckered into folding : ) {thanks 'C'}

1.  fold coffee filter in half
2.  fold in half again
3.  fold in half again
4.  fold point up and add a spot of hot glue
Continue this process and glue folded filters to lampshade until full.

I would like to add that this process really DOUBLES the size of your shade.  I had started out with the lamp below... 

and when the shade was completed...the size no longer looked appropriate on it's base.  Luckily I had another lamp in the house that I swapped out the base for.  I gave it a quick paint job and some distressing and am super happy with the results.

It really does give all the most wondrous glow at night.    I have another lampshade to revamp in Ava's room.  But this time I'm going to try ruffles.  Wanna see what I mean?  Take a stroll on over to see a gal by the name of Jennifer from Dear Lillie...but be forewarned..have a potty break first because you WILL be there for a very very very long time!  Seriously this chicky has more talent in her baby finger than I could ever dream of.

Also, if you would like a much more detailed tutorial on the coffee filter lampshade and many more inspiring ideas...please visit Northwest Hospitality.

Have a great week everyone!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Going Green

In the spirit of today, St. Patrick's Day...
a little green goes a long way.

Picture sources: Suziebeezie, House Beautiful, Eclectic Reinvented, Martha Stewart, Cupcakes Take the Cake

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

a touch of spring...

Since Mother Nature
is NOT listening to me, I thought I'd bring a little spring
inside the house, starting with the family room. 

My mantel was feeling a little drab.  With a $0 budget and an
urge to create something otta nothin'...
around the house I went, robbing a little from here and there.

I pulled out a picture frame that I've been hiding
under the couch, and printed "Spring".  Pretty original huh?
  I wanted the sign to read simple and clean, so Spring it is.

The bird's nest is real. 
Mr. vG and the kidlets brought it in during the winter.

Old milk bottles filled with white navy beans make for a sweet candle holder. 
The other candles shown are sitting on a pair of silver candle sticks turned upside down.

Twine can be very effective for decorating on the cheap.

 The curtain tie backs can be made to your desired size or thickness.
I simply cut 9 equal lengths of twine, and with 3 groups of 3, made one main braid.

Mr. vG always complains about too many pillows in HIS movie room...
so they've been adopted by the family room where they will be well loved!

The turquoise and green pillows together make a cheerful combination.

Speaking of pillows...
before Christmas, I won a giveaway and started a post
but completely forgot about it!!!  What a smuck I am! 

I won a sweet ring and this beautiful "keep calm" pillow by Little Miss Momma
 from a Tatertots & Jello giveaway!  These are seriously 2 of the SWEETEST girls
I've ever had the pleasure of sorta knowing : )  Check out their awesome blogs for
many many many crazy good ideas!

Spring I really miss you...please come soon.

Happy March Break

 I've linked this post up to: My Uncommon Slice of Surburbia , A Beach Cottage

Saturday, March 5, 2011

hallway love

Oh hey!  I know I know it's been awhile...a LONG while {shame shame no excuses here}.  And you're probably thinking...all this time, months really, and all she's got are hallways? 

Well sir, do I love halls?  Halls to me are very important yet sometimes overlooked spaces.  They lead you and set the feel for what is to come...like an invitation...come follow me.

The April issue of Style at Home magazine did a piece on designer Amanda Nisbet which included this fabulous hallway above.  Just look at all the amazing detail in this space!  Let me count the ways...the arches, the orb & sconce lighting, the sisal rugs, the panelling and linen wallpaper...all come together with stunning perfection.

More arches.  I think I just may have a new obsession to add to my very long list.

MMmmmmm mmm, if I could eat it I would.  This hallway makes me smile with all it's sunshiney brightness.  Makes me wanna take my closet door off...if only I had such beautiful blankies to display.  And those lights!

 Planked ceiling and built ins provide mucho cozy for this pass thru.

Destiny, from A Place for Us, tranformed her cookie cutter hallway with the simple addition of homemade signs.  Love this look?  Destiny gives a wonderful tutorial here.

Not quite the hall hallway, but I had to sneak in another arch : )

Happy Weekend All!