Saturday, December 31, 2011


Happy New Years Eve! I'm celebrating with sparkly things!

Sparkly nails

Sparkly tights

Sparkly make-up

Goodbye 2011, hello 2012!

Friday, December 30, 2011

(Salted) Caramel

Probably my mother's and my proudest moment of Christmas baking was succeeding in making caramel and salted caramel. We got the recipe here.

The recipe is as follows:

Vegetable oil
1½ cups sugar
¼ cup light corn syrup
1 cup heavy cream
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon fine fleur de sel, plus extra for sprinkling (we used sea salt instead)
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract 

Line an 8"x8" pan with parchment paper and brush on oil.

Combine the water, sugar, corn syrup, and unsalted butter.

In a deep pot, heat the mixture on medium-high.

Boil the mixture until it turns to a golden brown and swirl it, don't stir. While you are waiting, start the next step.

In a separate, smaller pot, combine the cream, butter, and 1 tbsp fleur de sel (or sea salt). Simmer over medium heat, then set aside.

When the sugar mixture has turned golden brown, pour the cream mixture into it carefully (it will bubble up). Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon.

Boil for about ten minutes, or until it has reached 248 degrees (firm ball) measured on a candy thermometer.

Pour the mixture into the lined 8"x8" pan.

Sprinkle fleur de sel or sea salt on top (we only did half because my mother isn't a fan of salted caramel).

Refrigerate overnight then let sit at room temperature to facilitate easier cutting.


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Santa hat brownies

Still working my way down the list of holiday desserts my mother and I made. Here we go with Santa hat brownies...

The process was simple: bake brownie, cut into circles, add a layer of whipped cream, add a strawberry, add a small blob of whipped cream on top!

We kind of cheated and made brownies from the box. Admittedly, they were from a Ghirardelli box so they were super yummy, but still not as good as home-made. Unfortunately, we bought the  fudge brownies and the dessert as a whole didn't turn out as well. 
In the future, I would use a more cake-like brownie and hand-whipped whipped cream as both would probably help support the weight of the strawberry.
Got the idea here.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Peppermint bark

Also made peppermint bark for Christmas. Super easy, super quick festive dessert. Credit to my friend Gracy for the recipe.

Here is how I made it:

I also made white chocolate peppermint bark :)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Marshmallow reindeer

Some of the treats I made for Christmas were marshmallow reindeer! I got the idea here. I thought mine turned out pretty well.

Here's how it went:

Dipping the marshmallow on a stick in melted chocolate.

Pushing the pretzels (previously broken in half) into either side of the marshmallows.

Cutting (or biting :) ) a red Mike and Ike candy in half to stick on for the nose.

Adding little pearl sprinkle eyes.

Then refrigerate to harden the chocolate.


Monday, December 26, 2011

Bleu cheese pear salad

Now that Christmas is over, it is time to stop eating EVERYTHING in sight. Time to be healthy again! After a day shopping the after-Christmas sales, it was time for some good food! Added some lettuce to a side my family had last week with dinner and I ended up with a super delicious salad. 

This salad included:

Romaine lettuce
Bleu cheese crumbles
Feta cheese crumbles
Dried cranberries
Almond slices

On top was poured a delicious vinaigrette of one part apple cider vinegar to three parts olive oil, a tiny bit of mayonnaise, a dash of mustard powder, and a pinch of salt. 

The side from last week's dinner.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Had a wonderful Christmas! We ate fantastic food with fun family, and all of my baking came together perfectly:

Every year it is a tradition that we have a round of White Elephant, which always involves much laughter. This year I got a pretty cool gift, a wine bottle filled with Christmas lights, like this one:

Pinned Image

Tutorial here.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve...

...a fulfilling (if early) morning volunteering; making ADORABLE Christmas goodies; a festive church service; a DELICIOUS dinner of lobster bisque, escargot, and king crab legs; and opening presents!
And it's not even Christmas yet!

Looking forward to tomorrow, a day full of fun and food with this silly bunch (aka my family):

Friday, December 23, 2011

Gift exchange

Today I exchanged gifts with my friends. We munched on the cookies I made the other night and the peppermint bark Gracy made (soon to be blogged about when I give it a try!) and gave each other little presents.

I gave the girls knitted headbands with crocheted flowers!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Gingerbread house

Babysitting all day, had six kiddos under my care. Over a foot of snow on the ground so we were stuck inside all day.

 What did we do? We made what ended up to be a:

 'Modern Art' Gingerbread House.

Plus we thoroughly decorated these...

...with all of these frosting colors (the kitchen was an absolute disaster). Wish I could babysit for the rest of my life!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas cookies

Feels like Christmas here in Colorado where I spent the day shopping with my mother. The stores were hectic and the traffic unbelievable. On the bright side however, it snowed! We have about six inches on the ground right now, so we spent the evening decorating cookies!

Using the same frosting I used on the apple braid (minus the nutmeg, plus food coloring)...

 ...we turned these plain ol' thangs into...

...these fancy shmancy ones!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Finally finished my cowl! LOVE it, so comfy and soft!

Here it is, worn two ways. There are buttons in both corners but it is pretty hard to tell in the pictures. 
I used a full skein of yarn, alternating rows of 30 knits and 30 purls.

Pinned Image

It was inspired by this one.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Twisted updo

Went to a Chanukah party tonight and I wanted to try a new hairstyle I have seen around. I saw it on Pinterest and traced it back to here.

Here's my attempt:

Starting with slightly wavy hair

Put the bottom half in a messy bun

Took a small section from the side, twisted it, and pinned it above the bun. Took a small section from the other side and did the same. Repeated until all hair was twisted and pinned.

The final result. Pretty cool, and quick!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Spa Sunday

In the middle of a very hectic weekend right now, thought I'd recuperate by enjoying a bit of a spa day. I wanted to make a hair mask, a face mask, and a hand and foot scrub. When they were all mixed, I ended up with three suspiciously similar-looking, oddly-yellow creations.

For my hair: suspicious yellow mixture #1.

A hair mask from here.

Mix 1/2 cup honey, 1 egg yolk, and 1 tbsp olive oil. Work into damp hair and let sit for 20 minutes under an old towel or shower cap. Rinse with cold water to avoid cooking the egg.

My hair was nice and shiny after this, but the scent was a bit of a turnoff until I shampooed. 

For my face: suspicious yellow mixture #2.

A home microdermabrasion from here.

Mix 1 tbsp orange juice and 1 tbsp baking soda and spread on face. Leave on for 20 minutes then scrub with damp fingers to exfoliate and remove.

This one made my skin super soft and smooth!

Plus, this is another one of my favorite face mask recipes:

For my hands and feet: suspicious yellow mixture #3.

My own recipe:
2 tbsp butter (softened)
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
Mix together and rub on hands and feet. Rinse, and enjoy super soft skin!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...