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Baked Brie with Kahlua & Pecans

Posted on Apr 24, 2012 in Recipes | Comments Off

I don’t think I’ve seen anyone eat this and not fall in love….it is sooo delicious.  I first ate this mouth watering appetizer at a friend’s place years ago (thanks Mrs. Taylor!) and have been making it ever since.  There are few ingredients, it’s quick & easy to make, and have I mentioned it’s delicious?

What you’ll need:

  • 1 sheet of puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 medium wheel of brie or 1/2 a large wheel
  • 1 cup Kahlua or any coffee liquor
  • 1 cup brown sugar – not packed
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

1.  Preheat the oven to 410 degrees.  Lay some tin foil or parchment paper on a baking sheet and spray with non-stick

2. Lay out the puff pastry sheet

3. Cut the brie in half – horizontally.  This way you can layer the ingredients  (I like to scrape the white coating off the outside of the brie, but it’s not necessary)

4. Set 1 layer of brie in the pastry and top with 1/3 cup brown sugar,  1/3 cup pecans, and 1/3 cup Kahlua.

5. Place the other layer of brie on top and add the same amount of ingredients on top.

6. Wrap the puff pastry around the brie and top with another layer of the same amount of ingredients (maybe a little extra if you want).

***Greta is always by my side when I’m preparing food!

7.  Bake for about 20 minutes or until the pastry is lightly browned and puffy.

8. Serve with crackers or bread.  Enjoy!!!

 

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Keep Your Cocktails Safe!

Posted on Apr 13, 2012 in Entertaining | Comments Off

During parties I wonder if I spend more time talking to others or trying to figure out which glass is mine.  Here is a simple, cute, and cheap way to identify which glass is which….we certainly don’t want to mix up Mommy’s ‘grape juice’ with the kid’s.

I have a quart of chalkboard paint left over and have been painting all sorts of items (“20 things to do with chalkboard paint” will be coming soon!) Below I used clear plastic glasses, but you can do this same DIY project to any glassware you want….wine, martini, pint glasses, coffee cups, etc — making a set is a great gift idea!

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Holy Great Guacamole

Posted on Apr 9, 2012 in Recipes | 2 comments

This is such an easy and delicious recipe…I’m talking 5 minutes prep time.  Guacamole is full of healthy fats and makes a colorful addition to your table.  Tis the season for margaritas & chips and guac!

 

What you’ll need:

  • 3 ripe avocados (if they aren’t ripe enough by the time you need to use them, you can microwave them for a little bit to soften them)
  • 2 ripe roma tomatoes, without the juice and seeds, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 lime, for the juice
  1. Mince the garlic
  2. Finely chop up the tomatoes (to drain the juice and seeds, cut the tomatoes in half and squeeze the innards into the sink before chopping)
  3. Spoon the insides of the avocado out
  4. Add salt
  5. Squeeze the juice from 1/2 of a lime (this prevents the guacamole from turning brown)
  6. Mix all together and enjoy!  It’s best if eaten shortly after being made.  However, to store it put it in an air-tight container in the fridge.
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All Things Easter

Posted on Apr 5, 2012 in Entertaining, Home | Comments Off

Spring is awesome.  I am thrilled to have my windows open, hear the birds chirping, and see Cadbury Mini-eggs on the grocery shelves.  The only downfalls to this season are my dog tracks in mass amounts of mud and I realize I have limited time to attempt my annual summer weight loss plan (dang Cadbury!).  However, the budding trees and blooming flowers inspire me to make colorful Easter decor and treats.  Here are a few that are easy to make!

Glittered Eggs:

I think glitter is the most fun.  Unfortunately, it also can make the biggest mess….after my daughter crawls around on the floor tomorrow she is going to be full of glitter!  Take your time to set out paper or plastic to work on (I should take my own advice).  See “DIY & Craft Projects” for directions.

Stained Glass Hardboiled Eggs:

Easy and cool….with or without the shell.  Hardboil eggs and then crack them up, but don’t peel the shell.  Set them in water with a fair amount of food coloring added.

Once you take them out of the dye they will look like this:

 Or you can peel them to get this effect:

 

Stained Glass Potato Salad:    See the “Recipes” page or type ‘easy low-fat potato salad’ in “Search This Site” at the top of this website.

Easter Bunny Cake:

This is actually super easy!  Make 1 round cake (1/2 of a boxed cake mix).  Cut it in half and ‘glue’ it together with a little frosting.  Use a Snow Ball for the tail and spaghetti for whiskers.  Decorate with candy and paper ears.

 

 

Flowers in Candy: Wrap the stems of flowers with wet paper towel, cover it with a plastic sandwich bag, and tie or tape it shut.  This will keep enough water on the flowers to last a day or so (enough time to use this idea for an Easter meal centerpiece).  Place the flowers and candy in a vase!  ***you can do this at other holidays too

 

Bird’s Next Treats: 

  • Melt 1 bag of milk chocolate chips and 1/2 cup peanut butter.  Mix in 4 cups of chow mein noodles (or a combo of these and Cheerios).  Form them into little nests.
  • Place shredded coconut in a bag with green food coloring and shake it up.  Add it to the center of the ‘nests’.
  • Fill with candy

 Easter Cake Pops:

 

 

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Easy Low-fat Potato Salad

Posted on Apr 5, 2012 in Recipes | Comments Off

What goes with a gazzillion spring and summer meals?….wow, good guess!  Below is my mom’s recipe for potato salad: easy, classic, delightful.  I’ve added the step of making it ‘Stained Glass Potato Salad’, so you can ignore the coloring of the eggs if you want it to look traditional.  Enjoy!

What you’ll need: 

  • one dozen eggs, hardboiled and peeled
  • 9-10 medium sized potatoes
  • 2 cups Miracle Whip (I use Light and it turns out great)
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard (or 2 tsp yellow)
  • Food coloring (if you want to make it ‘stained glass’…great for Easter)
  • Salt and pepper  *you can also add a little dill

    1. Hardboil the eggs and peel the shell.  Place the peeled eggs in various glass of water mixed with whatever colors of food coloring you would like. ** You can also skip the next steps and just make deviled eggs!
    2. Peel the potatoes and boil them (cook enough so a fork can poke through them easily).  Let the potatoes cool.
    3. Cut up the eggs and potatoes.  Mix with the other ingredients.
    4. Keep refrigerated and eat within a couple days.
 
 

 

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How to make tissue paper poms / tissue flowers

Posted on Mar 27, 2012 in DIY & Crafts | Comments Off

I love tissue poms.  They are such an inexpensive and easy way to decorate and really make a room festive.  The nice thing about using tissue flowers as decoration is that tissue paper comes in a ton of colors and it goes a long way.  You can glue them onto sticks and make arrangements in vases, you can string them up across a room or tree, or you can tape or tie them to almost any surface.

You will need:

  • Tissue paper, a scissor, floral wire, and a wire cutter

1.Depending on the size you want the tissue flowers to be you will vary how small you cut the tissue paper (if you cut it at all).  For small to medium size poms I recommend 9-12 sheets of paper.  For larger poms I recommend more sheets of tissue in order to keep them looking full.

2. Fold the tissue, accordion style (you don’t need to put a hard crease on the fold) and cut a piece of wire (about 5 inches seems to work well).

3. Twist the wire around the middle of the folded paper

4. Cut the ends of the tissue.  Cutting the ends in various ways will change the look of the finished tissue flowers.

5. Carefully pull apart the tissue.  To prevent and reduce tearing, I recommend separating by a few sheets at a time and then pull apart individual pieces.

*You can save the scraps that you cut from the ends of the poms to use as confetti or to fill glass votives or jars for extra decorations.

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Proscuitto, Fig, and Cheese Pinwheel Appetizer

Posted on Mar 27, 2012 in Recipes | Comments Off

This is one of the favorite recipes that I created.  They’re easy to make, there aren’t many ingredients, and everyone who tries these gooey sweet-n-salty delights loves them!  15 minutes prep time, 20 minutes cook time.  Makes about 16.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
  • 1/2 cup softened cream cheese (I like to use whipped)
  • 1/3 cup fig preserves
  • 1 package (4 ounces) proscuitto
  • 1 1/2 cups parmesan (using a mix of parmesan and mozzarella is good too)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 420 degrees
  2. Roll or spread out puff pastry onto a cookie sheet (lined with parchment paper or tin foil for easy clean up – sprayed with non-stick if you want).
  3. Melt the cream cheese in the microwave for 10-15 seconds to soften it and then spread it on the puff pastry
  4. Layer the proscuitto, fig preserves, and shredded cheese
  5. Roll it up and cut into 1 inch slices
  6. Lay them out on the pan and bake for 20 minutes or until pastry is puffy
  7. Eat your heart out
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