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Friday, November 25, 2011

Pumpkin Bread

I hope everyone had an awesome Thanksgiving!

My family had an awesome day, and we sure didn't need anymore food in the house, but I just had to make this pumpkin bread.  

This is an old family recipe, and the terminology was a little funny on it. But it turned out great! This recipe makes 2 loafs and bakes at 350 degrees for 75 minutes.

Here is the recipe and how to:


3 cups sugar
1 cup oil
4 eggs
2 cups of pumpkin puree
2/3 cups water
1 1/2 tsp. salt 
1 tsp. cinnamon
 1 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. baking soda
2 1/3 cups flour

Mix the sugar and oil.

Beat the eggs and pumpkin into the sugar and oil. 

Sift the flour, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and baking soda into the mixture. 

Resist eating the batter and grease 2 loaf pans. 

Pour into the pans and bake at 350 degrees for 75 minutes. 

Okay I had wrote the first half of this blog while the bread was in the oven. 75 minutes was way too long! 

My bread also stuck to the pan :( 

However the bread was still really good! Just reduce the baking time and pour the batter slowly into the pan and everything should be ok! 

Hopefully everyone enjoy this at work tonight! 


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Dinner is served part 2!

I don't mean to brag but, this dinner was FREAKING delicious!!!! 
Not to mention it was really easy! 

On Sunday night seven of us feasted on pan seared steaks with a wine sauce, potatoes, green beans, and mini pumpkin pie croissants. (These were seriously amazing warmed up and paired with a little vanilla ice cream! Thanks mom for making them!)

Searing all of the steaks took a little longer than I anticipated, and I found it was easier to just cut open the meat to check its color rather than using a thermometer.

Alright onto the food. I found this recipe in The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. I think I said this the last time but I really like these cookbooks! This recipe serves four so make sure you make the necessary adjustments. 

Here is what you need:

4 boneless beef stakes about 1 inch thick trimmed.
1 tbs vegetable oil. 
Red Wine Sauce:

1tbs vegetable oil
1 shallot minced
3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 teaspoons brown sugar
3 tbs butter, cut into 3 pieces and chilled
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme

Pat the steaks dry with paper towels, and season with salt and pepper. 

Heat 1tbs of oil in a large skillet until the oil is smoking.
 Brown the steaks on the first side for about 4 minutes. 

Flip the steaks over and continue to let them cook to the desired doneness. 

Transfer the steaks to a plate and tent with foil for 5 minutes. 

For the sauce: add the remaining vegetable oil to the pan and heat. 

Add the shallot  and cook until soft (about 2 minutes)

Stir in the broth, wine  and brown sugar. 
Make sure to stir in any brown bits in the pan, they add flavor. 
Simmer until thickened. (mine never thickened, but it was still delicious)

Stir in any meat juice from the tented plate. 
Reduce the heat to low and whisk in the butter one piece at a time. 
Add the thyme after removing the pan from the heat. Salt and pepper to taste. 

Pour the sauce over the steaks before serving, or once its on your plate. :D 

Alright, a friend of mine told me that my sauce wouldn't thicken with out using a stainless steel pan. Somebody try it out and let me know! 

Tomorrow I hope to conquer the bangle, which I have high hopes for! That darn make-up bag, might end up in the trashcan, and those other 2 pumpkin recipes are calling my name. However the oven is going to be pretty full over the next few days. :( 

Keep checking back! I have 8 days to complete October's goals. Hopefully I can pull this off! 


Sunday, November 20, 2011


It has been forever since I last posted. Sorry about that. I've been really busy with work,  and trying to get other things done.  In October I did raise money for Susan G. Komen by baking for donations. I was able to raise $174.00! I also perfected a new cupcake frosting! 

Alright here is a post so I can cross something off of last months list. SNICKERDOOLES! 

If you have never had a snickerdoodle I highly suggest making this recipe immediately, its probably one of the best ones around! I found this recipe in an old cookbook, the kind where everyone sends in recipes and then the school or organization has them printed and they sell them as a fund raiser. 

Its super easy, basically you could just throw everything in the bowl and mix but here is the play by play.

1/2 cup margarine (I use butter) 
1/2 cup shortening
2 eggs
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tbs. sugar (set aside)

Mix thoroughly the margarine, shortening, sugar and eggs.

Blend in the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. 

shape dough by rounded teaspoon or use a cookie scoop. 

Combine the cinnamon and 2 tbs of sugar and roll the dough in mixture. 

Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes and immediately remove from baking sheet. (This step is very important it prevents the cookies from becoming crispy.) Let cool and enjoy!  

Hopefully over the next few days I can finish up that make-up bag, decorate a bangle or two and make some pumpkin bread. The pancakes might have to wait until another day. Oh and that pan seared steak with a red wine sauce is for dinner tonight! Check back soon for that post! 


Monday, October 17, 2011

Pumpkin Pie!!!

Hey all! Sorry for the lack of activity this month. I warned you this month might be rough. 
Whatever I don't finish from this month I plan on finishing next month. 

For now I'd like to share with you this pumkin pie I made. It was made using Paula Deen's Recipe

Instead of buying pre-made crusts I used the recipe I used in my apple pie post

Alright now that I've got that out of the way here is the tutorial.

First pre-heat the oven to 350. 

Here is what you need: 
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 cups canned pumpkin, mashed
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg plus 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer. 

Beat in the pumpkin, then the sugar and salt. 

Next beat in the eggs, yolks, half-and-half, and melted butter. 
Finally, add the vanilla, cinnamon, and ginger and beat.

Grease your pie pan and roll out the dough. It will be necessary to bake your pue crust before you bake your pie. you will need to weigh it down to prevent the dough from rising. I used foil and some change but you could also use foil and uncooked beans or foil and pie weights. 

My crust still came out with a few bubble. I carefully poped them. (watch out for steam being released from the bubbles.)

Poor your filling into the crust and bake for 50 minutes. Stick a knife into the center, when it comes out clean your pie is done. 

Let cool. Cut. Top with whip cream. Enjoy! 

See you hopefully soon! 


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Give Away Winner!!!

I am pleased to announce that the winner of my first giveaway is......

Mrs. Payne!!!! She said...


I will be contacting you within the next few days, to arrange the delivery details of your prize.

Thank you all so much for participating. Check back this weekend for some pumpkin madness!


Monday, October 3, 2011


I love October.  Pumpkins, crunchy leaves, and boots, what's not to love? 

With my love of October comes a love of pumpkins! 

So this month's baking focus will be PUMPKIN! We will be making pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin bread and pumpkin pie. I feel like I need to redeem myself and try another pie. 

This month's dinner will be pan seared steaks with a red wine pan sauce. 

This month's craft project will be finishing the make-up bag, and hopefully decoupaged bangles. 

This month's cookie will be snickerdoodles. 

I am really busy this month with very few days off. It is my goal to post one post a week, commute to work, sleep, work my other job/jobs, exercise and scrapbook. If all of these things happen it will be a miracle! 

Happy October!!! 

<3 Courtney  

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Craft of the month: a pencil/make-up bag.

Okay. I hope you guys are ready for this!  This is the last post for September. 

First a little background information. I don't sew. It took me forever to figure out where to start on this project. It was almost comical. 

Are you ready to see it? 

Womp. Womp. Womp. 
I was having such a hard time just getting to here, there are just not enough hours in a day. I will finish it though. Eventually. 

When it's done I'll attempt to post a tutorial. That is if I can remember what I did. 


Pie crust and an apple pie how to

Okay guys, this was supposed to be the last apple recipe of the month, however the apple pie its self was not that great. So I thought I would share with you how to make the crust, and the basics of assembling an apple pie. 

While researching this post I learned that the key ingredient to a great pie crust is

I used Ina Garten's recipe for perfect pie crust. 

The recipe calls for:
  • 12 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter (diced) 
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/3 cup very cold vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup ice water
  • A food processor
  • A rolling pin
  • A clean flowered surface
  • Saran wrap

Place the flour, salt, and sugar in the food processor pulse a few times giving it a good mix.  Add the butter and shortening. Pulse a few more times until the butter is the size of peas. 

With the food processor running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse the machine until the dough begins to form a ball. 

Divide the dough into two halves, wrap in saran wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. 

Roll out one half of the dough on a flowered surface. 

Place the crust in the pie pan. 

Fill the pie pan. 

Roll out the other half and roll it onto the rolling pin. This will make it easier to lift the dough. 

Pinch the pie closed using your fingers or a fork. 

Check the recipe for bake time and temperature. Let bake and enjoy! 

Here's a tip.....wrap the endges of the pie in foil, and make sure you coat the entire top in an egg wash.

Don't forget to enter the give away! It closes on 10/5 at 12:01 am. 


"I'm not easy to understand, but you know me like the back of your hand." - Miranda Lambert

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Cookie of the month: Jumbo Black Bottom Macaroons

Hey everyone, I still have 2 more posts to do and 2 days to do it! 
I'm going to warn you right now, October is going to be really rough on me. I will be working about 50hrs a week so bear with me! 

On to the Cookies!!! 

A couple of years ago one of my wonder ful college roommates gave me Big Fat Cookies a wonderful cookbook full of easy to follow recipes and pictures. This is the first recipe I tried and these cookies are so DELICIOUS. 

Here's how to make them.

Preheat the oven to 350 degree, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and butter the paper. 

7oz bag of sweetened coconut
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/8 tsp salt
11/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg white
pinch of cream of tartar
1 tbs sugar

Chocolate coating:
9 oz semisweet chocolate chopped
1tbs canola oil

In a large bowl, combine the coconut, condensed milk, salt, almond extract and vanilla extract.

In a medium bowl use a mixer and beat the egg white with cream of tartar until they are foamy. Beat until soft peak forms, beat in sugar. 

Use a rubber spatula to fold the egg mixture into the coconut mixture. 

Using a cookie scoop, ice-cream scoop or 1/4 cup scoop the batter on to a prepared baking sheet. 

Bake for approximately 17 minutes or until the tips of the coconut are light brown. Let the cookies cool completely. 

Melt the chocolate and conola oil into a double boiler. Don't have a double boiler? Click here for ideas.

Dip the bottom of each cookies into the melted chocolate mixture. Set on wax paper, and let them harden. To speed up this process place them in the refrigerator. 


A few tips. 
1. Place the cookies on wax paper after dipping them in chocolate, if not when you remove the cookie from the pan you'll loose all the chocolate. :( 

2. Make more than one batch. The batch I made only made 14 cookies. 

Don't forget to enter the giveaway