Monday, May 21, 2012

Zero Calorie Apple Pie?!

Craving a sweet late night snack? Here's your answer folks:

Apples = Negative calorie food!

All you need...
A small souffle dish or bowl
One apple
Stevia In The Raw (or your fav imitation sweetener)

Peel the Apple and cut in to small chunks. Sprinkle with cinnamon and Stevia. Bake for 8 mins at 350 or pop in the microwave for a minute and... VoilĂ !

Enjoy :)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Big Fluffy Wreath!

Now before I show you this, just know that this will take a lot of time and be very tedious but in the end it is well worth it. It looks so fluffy and so pretty!

All you need:
Hot glue gun
LOTS of hot glue sticks
Coffee filters (white)
Some sort of wreath form: styrofoam or metal (if you use metal grab some twine or garland so it is easier to glue on the coffee filters) I had an old wreath so I took it apart and used the garland idea. It worked great!

I went to Costco and I bought a 700 count of white coffee filters, I wasn't sure how much I was going to need, turns out I used a little over half. So maybe Publix would be a better bet, just buy a 350 count or so. Unless you have the time to make two ;)

Fold each coffee filter once and then again, glue, place on wreath form, and repeat! (Lots)

Forewarning: You WILL burn yourself at least a couple dozen times. Lord knows I did!

After you have the fullness of the wreath you desire, you may want to take some scissors and even it out a bit to better shape it.

All in all, this has been my favorite project yet. Come Spring time I might have to make another one with some brown filters and add some Spring flowers! It can also be a year-round wreath, I added a red ribbon for the Holiday season but that can easily be removed to add a shamrock for St. Patrick's Day or a couple Easter eggs for Easter. Let your imagination run wild with this one!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

                                         Blogaholic Designs”=

Simple but sweet stockings

I'm not big on the extravagent, fluffy stockings. I like making my own. Sometimes simple is the key.

We got a new puppy this year so we had to make him a stocking as well, especially since our other dog already had one. (He would get too jealous.) To be honest I am somewhat OCD and I went ahead and decided to make new ones for us all just because I wanted all the stockings to match.

All you need for this little side project:
$1.50 stocking(s) from Wal-Mart
Glitter (I chose green glitter)
Acrylic paint (I chose green for both because the stockings are red)

That's it, hopefully you have nice handwriting otherwise find someone who does. :)

Gingerbread men...I mean cookies! :)

No cookie says the holidays more than a cute little gingerbread cookie! I picked up a set of Christmas cookie cutters up from Target, it had the perfect gingerbread man cutter in it. I believe the ensemble of 5 cookie cutters were only $4 so you can't beat that.

Now, if you're pressed for time you can obviously pick up Betty Crocker's latest pre-made cookie mix but what is the fun in that? This is a DIY blog anyhow. :)
For the cookies:
3 1/4 cups of flour
3/4 teaspoons of baking soda
3/4 cups (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter do not melt, soften at room temperature
1/2 cup of brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup of molasses

(You can add raisins, choco chips, candy pieces, frosting etc.)

In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and spices. Set aside.

In mixer: mix the butter, sugar and beat until fluffy. Mix in eggs and molasses. Gradually add the flour mixture; combine on low speed. (You may need to work it with your hands to incorporate the last bit of flour.) Divide dough in thirds; wrap each third in plastic. Chill for at least 1 hour or overnight. Before rolling out, let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a rolling pin, roll dough 1/8 inch thick. Use the cookie cutter(s). Press raisins, chocolate chips, or candy pieces in the center of each cookie if desired for "buttons".

If there is one short cut I like to make it is Pam, nothing beats Pam. Spray your baking sheet and place cookies (spaced a part enough, gingerbread rises a lot) Bake 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Let sit a few minutes and then use a metal spatula to transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Decorate however you wish! :)

For the icing:
1 egg white
1/ 2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 3/4 cups of confectioners sugar (AKA powdered sugar)

Again, you can just buy the pre-made frosting if you're in need of a time savor. I chose to make my icing. For any icing whether it is homemade or pre-made you can use a plastic zipbloc bag as a quick fix to having no icing decorator.

Take a plastic bag and shape a cone at one of the corners, pour/scoop the icing in, snip the end and wa-la!

A desert that will sure be loved, Pumpkin Cheesecake

Around the holidays everyone loves some pumpkin pie but one of my new favorites is pumpkin cheesecake! With a mixer it is a very simple recipe. Instead of making a crust you can make it even more simpler and buy a pre-made crust but I would rather have a DIY crust... ;)

For the crust:
1  3/4 cups of graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons of light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1 stick of melted butter (salted is the best for the crust)

Combine the crumbs, sugar, and cinnamon in bowl before adding the melted butter. Press down into a circular springform pan and set aside. So easy!

For the filling:
(Make sure you use a mixer, it will take nearly forever to use just a whisk)
3 (8 oz) packages of cream cheese
1 (15 oz) can of pureed pumpkin
3 eggs
1 yolk
1/4 cup of sour cream
1  1/2 cups of sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I was lucky enough to be given some REAL vanilla as a present, if you have it... use it, it makes a difference!)

Beat the cream cheese for a good 5 or 10 minutes until it is nice and smooth. Add the pumpkin puree, eggs, egg yolk, sour cream, sugar and all the spices. Gradually add the flour and then the vanilla. Beat until it is a nice creamy color.

Pour into crust and place in oven for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let it sit for 15 minutes. Cover and place in fridge for at least 4 hours. The longer it has to cool the better.

It will most definitely be a delight at any holiday dinner table. Mmm mmm!

As you can see big families call for multiple pies, just double the recipe and you're good to go!

Sweet Potato Casserole!

One of our holiday favorites, an "easy peasy" side dish that everyone is sure to love!

I went to Publix and got one of the 'throw-a-way' aluminum trays. Easy clean-up the next day!

What you will need:
5-6 good sized sweet potatoes
1/4 cup of butter (1/2 a stick)
1/2 cup of brown sugar, add more if you like it very sweet! You can never go wrong with brown sugar...
Smidge of ground cinnamon, again for taste add as much or as little as you like.
1/4 cup of Half and Half
10.5 oz bag of mini marshmallows and/or chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Chop the sweet potatoes into quarters, boil until tender enough to stick with fork.

In separate bowl mash together:
Butter, cinnamon, half and half, and brown sugar.
Place in pan and top with marshmallows, pecans, etc.
Pop it in the oven for 25-30 mins or until the marshmallows are golden and melted!

In regards to Thanksgiving, I like to do as most as I can the day before. So, I prepared everything in the pan and covered it with foil. Tomorrow I will pop it in the oven and it will be just as yummy!

Bon appetit!