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Happy Valentine’s Day

Things I’m loving today:

This Twitter party today at 2:30 p.m. EST from Operation Beautiful.

This recipe for calzone hearts.

This card.

This song by Colbie Caillat.

Here’s something to remember for everyone:

Find something in every day that makes you smile, even just once. Capture that memory somehow. And remember it. No matter what day it is.

Today I’m thankful for all of the people in my life who love me, and I extend that love back to all of them.

And a little shout out to my boyfriend. :)

I hope you all have a wonderful day. I plan on eating plenty of chocolate.

So, here’s the question for the day:

Candy hearts: Love ‘em or hate ‘em? ;)

Happy Valentine’s Day!

~Ashley

A Cookie Recipe I Thought I’d Lost

Hello everyone and happy Friday to you all!

Today I had a craving for a cookie I’d made about two years ago. I’d been reading one of my favorite blogs, Vitamin G, and came across this post about a vegan banana chocolate-chip cookie recipe. You can find the original recipe here.

I thought I’d saved the recipe in my email. (I didn’t.) I thought had bookmarked it, but I lost my bookmarks awhile back.

I found the blog post I’d found the link to the recipe on. But then, when I clicked on the link to the original recipe I found myself staring at the screen: the link didn’t work. IT WAS GONE.

After frantically searching for another link to the recipe, and eventually finding a link that did work, I realized: I had the recipe, all along, in my “Family Recipe” binder. I compared the recipe card to the recipe online. It was the same, and I was set to go!

I love these cookies.

Straight out of the oven, they’re perfect. They might need a minute or two to set once out of the oven, but you don’t have to wait if you don’t want too.

Straight out of the fridge they’re perfect.

The batter even tastes delicious (and better yet, there’s no raw egg. It’s the cookie dough no one will yell at you for eating raw.)

Here are a few changes I made:

-I used 2/3 cup of brown sugar, like the Vitamin G blogger had mentioned.
-I only had one large banana, so I added about a 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce.
-I used oats instead of oat flour, but used the same amount (2 1/4 cups).
-The batter was a bit too sticky, so I added about a 1/4 cup flour to thicken things up.
-I put the batter in the fridge in between batches. It helped keep the cookies from browning on the edges too quickly.

Other changes I’d make for next time:

- I had larger dark chocolate chips, so I’d scale back on the amount of chocolate.
– Though the cookies tasted fabulous even with the addition of applesauce, I’d rather have the second banana the recipe calls for.
– I’d like to add crunchy peanut butter.

I hope you’re having a great night!

~Ashley

Linzer Cookies, Take Two

Hi, everyone! I hope you’ve had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. My personal favorite Thanksgiving dish is the stuffing (or dressing), which we still have plenty of. :)

Anyway, tonight we decided to make Christmas cookies. We try to make these each year. Tonight we had a bit more fun than normal and made different colored frosting and used tons of sprinkles.

The other day I wrote about Linzer cookies. Tonight, I made a batch and they were great! I used strawberry jam, and I made the cut-out cookies with the same sugar cookie batter my mom used for the cut-out sugar cookies. I’ve found variations on the basic cookie recipe, including shortbread, almond shortbread, and even pistachio! I kept with the basic sugar cookie recipe though, and my dad says they were a huge hit.

They’re different than I had expected. They’re not as sweet, but you get a burst of sweetness from the jam and dusting of powdered sugar. I preferred them not being as sweet as I had anticipated.

I would share photos but my phone is acting crazy. Every time I turn on the camera, it freezes. Oy.

However, here’s a picture of my pug in front of my parents’ Christmas tree:

I discovered that she is afraid of the tree. Poor thing.

So, if you’ve been thinking of trying these sandwich cookies, I’d give them a shot! They’re definitely worth trying.

Have a great night!

~Ashley

Recipe for the Season: Linzer Cookies

I have always wanted to make Linzer cookies. I see recipes for them each year, and every year I tell myself, “I’m going to make these.” And I never have.

Today I found the perfect cut-out with several attachments for the middle (heart, diamond, flower) and I cannot wait to bake a batch. I’m planning on using orange marmalade or I might buy raspberry jam.

Have you ever made these cookies? If so, what flavors have you tried? I’m thinking a chocolate one might be delicious, or even a pumpkin one?

Anyway, I hope you are enjoying your week so far, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving for those in the U.S. I cannot wait to make my pecan pie! I’ll share another family recipe here this week, and I’m sure you will love it.

Thanks for reading!

Ashley

Daily Discovery: Let’s get “retro rad” with Emily Ellyn

Hi everyone! I hope you all are having a great Halloween. In my earlier post about Halloween, I shared a recipe by my friend and Food Network’s Next Food Network Star Top 10 finalist, Emily Ellyn’s recipe for spiced applesauce. I wanted to share some of her Halloween-inspired recipes, along with showing you pictures of her “retro rad” food and fashion 2013 calendar, which is now available to pre-order. Check it out, and enjoy:) There are only 250 copies, so if you want one then you better hurry.

In case you missed her competing last season, Emily is the “Home Economics teacher you always wanted.” She “takes the retro, remixes it and makes it rad,” as she says in her bio.

My boyfriend and I were huge fans from the get-go because Emily was chosen by our absolute favorite foodie, Alton Brown (and if he ever reads this, I hope you don’t mind being called a “foodie.” If so, I do apologize.) We thought she was the most interesting, fun, and creative. One of the most memorable parts of her being on the show was her ham hat she created for a challenge taking place during Fashion Week.

Click on the images to find out more and to preorder.

And now… the recipes!

Recipes (she made these for her appearance on Fox35 this morning):

Drinks and Appetizers:

Retro Rad Pumpkin Cheese Ball:

Ingredients:
1 (8-ounce) blocks extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 (8-ounce) container chive-and-onion cream cheese
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 broccoli stalk
Red and green apple wedges, to serve
Crackers, to serve
Grapes, to serve

Directions:
1. Mix with hand mixer until blended the cheddar cheese and next 4 ingredients in a bowl. Cover and chill 4 hours or until mixture is firm enough to be shaped.

2. Shape mixture into a ball to resemble a pumpkin. Smooth entire outer surface with a frosting spatula or table knife. Make vertical grooves in ball, if desired, using fingertips.

3. Cut florets from broccoli stalk, and reserve for another use. Cut stalk to resemble a pumpkin stem, and press into top of cheese ball. Serve cheese ball with apple wedges.

Note: To make ahead, wrap cheese ball in plastic wrap without stalk, and store in refrigerator up to 2 days. Attach stalk before serving. Also, if tome does not permit decorate a store bought Cheese ball with a broccoli stem!

Devil-ish Eggs:

Ingredients:
5 cups hot water
1 (0.3-ounce) bottle red liquid food coloring
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
12 large unpeeled hard-cooked eggs, with shells cracked
12 hard boiled eggs
1/2 C. mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
2 green onions, finely minced
1 tsp. dried parsley flakes
1/2 tsp. dry ground mustard
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
Green food coloring, as needed
24 halved pimento stuffed olive for eyeball garnish

Instructions:
1. Stir together water, red food coloring, and vinegar in large bowl; add eggs, and let stand 1 hour. Remove and drain on paper towels. Peel eggs to reveal pattern on whites.

2. Peel the hard boiled eggs and slice in half lengthwise. Scoop the yolks out into a medium bowl and reserve the whites until needed.

3. With the back of a fork, mash the yolks until smooth.

4. Add mayo, onions, parsley, mustard, salt, paprika, and garlic powder. Mix well. Color to a green consistency. Top will a halved pimento stuffed olive.

Again, I hope you all enjoy the recipes and take a moment to check out what retro-radness Emily is cookin’ up on her website, http://www.emilyellyn.com/, and even order her calendar!

And though the recipes are Halloween-inspired, I think both recipes could be used throughout the entire fall/winter season too! I don’t know about you, but we have a cheeseball on Thanksgiving (and pumpkins are so gorgeous for the entire season), and deviled eggs usually make an appearance at the Christmas party. Maybe then they’ll be called… Angel-ish eggs? ;)

And thanks to Emily for letting me share your recipes!

Happy Halloween (again)!

~Ashley

Happy Halloween: A Collection of Cute Things.

Hi everyone! Are you dressing up today?
Here’s a collection of some of my favorite and adorable Halloween-related things from around the Internet:

Recipes:

Homemade Crispy Twix Bars from Oh She Glows.

Pumpkin Cheese Balls from Betty Crocker via Pinterest.

Homemade Mounds Bars from Chocolate Covered Katie

Spiced Applesauce recipe from Emily Ellyn.

Pumpkin Designs:

Lace Pumpkin.

Pugs in Costumes:

Happy Halloween! I plan on watching a few Halloween-related movies: “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” “Casper,” and of course, “Hocus Pocus.” Stay safe and have a great day!

~Ashley

Daily Discovery: “Doctor Who” Inspired Recipes

Hi everyone! I hope you’re enjoying the beginning of the long weekend.

Today is the premiere of the new season of “Doctor Who,” and if you’ve been following my statuses on Facebook, it should come as no surprise that I’m excited. I’m sad that the companions of the past two seasons are leaving, but I feel it is time. It’s nice to get a new companion and see what happens next.

While scrolling through my Facebook news feed, I came across a collection of “Doctor Who” inspired recipes, including one for fish fingers and custard. ( I still need to try that.) You can find the entire collection of recipes here.

This recipe was my favorite:

They’re adorable, aren’t they?

And if you know Daleks, they are anything but adorable.

I would feel victorious eating a Dalek cupcake. Doctor, this is how you defeat them.

Oh, and my other favorite:

As a ginger, I am very proud that not one, but two ginger companions, are on the show. #teamginger :)

Enjoy the weekend! If you watch Doctor Who, let’s chat about it tomorrow.

~Ashley