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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Chocolate Leaves





In case you're looking for an edible fall decoration that you can use while the leaves are falling, here's one of my faves. These little chocolate leaves are great for topping your cakes or cupcakes. I started doing this several years ago & almost every time I make them, people ask me how. It's easy & fun! Try it for yourself:

Start with some chocolate chips, which you will melt in the microwave at 20 second intervals, stirring in between, until chocolate is melted & smooth.
Next, dab a little onto a sheet of waxed paper (which will be your work surface), making a kind-of oblong blob, like so:
Then, using the tip of a knife or a bamboo skewer, drag the chocolate from its center, out, "drawing" a leaf. This will take practice & no two will EVER turn out the same. They're just cool that way.

After you have made all your leaves, place in the fridge to harden. The beauty of these is that they can be made ahead & stored in the fridge for weeks. Leave them on the waxed paper until you're ready to use. Then, peel the paper off carefully to remove. Then, add them to your baked goodies!

Just be sure to use them only during the fall because otherwise they tend to look like weird centipedes or something!
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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Mmmm...Fall!



Just finished a great recipe for Caramel Corn that I found online. It was rated 5 stars with something like 988 reviews, so I figured it had to be good. And it is!

Here's the recipe if you're craving this flavor on this beautiful fall day!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 quarts popped popcorn

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (95 degrees C). Place popcorn in a very large bowl.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil without stirring 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in soda and vanilla. Pour in a thin stream over popcorn, stirring to coat.
  3. Place in two large shallow baking dishes and bake in preheated oven, stirring every 15 minutes, for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool completely before breaking into pieces.

Here are a couple tips other people suggested that I tried: (1.) Use half the butter suggested--still turns out great. (2.) Add peanuts or pecans.

Enjoy!
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Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Best Nest





This was my absolute favorite book when I was little. And throughout my married life, I've spent MANY hours "feathering" our different nests. First, it was our tiny apartment with the wood-paneled walls, then our little white house with the green shutters, then our brick house with the big back yard, and now the house we just finished building a little over a month ago. I can't help but love this house the most because of the time & effort we spent choosing EVERY LITTLE detail. And I enjoyed every minute of it because I love expressing who we are in the elements we use to make our house a home.

Maybe not everyone loves to "nest" as much as I do, but if you are one of these people, stay tuned & I'll post some of my favorite projects & favorite blogs of other people like us. I'm definitely not the most creative of people. Almost everything I do has been inspired by something I've seen someone else do somewhere. (I told you I'm a copycat!)

And this little project I did last night was something I saw on etsy. A girl on there had made these adorable placemats & was selling them for $15 each. Because I'm too cheap & I knew I could do a knock-off version, I bought $3 placemats at Target & a 20-cent piece of black felt, found a bird silhouette online & went to town!
Here's the finished product:




Even for those of you who don't sew, you could make these! (If you need detailed instructions, just ask me.)

And as one more little treat, I'll share this link to one of my biggest inspirations as of late:
The Nester. You cannot not love her. She rocks.


Love Your Nest!
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Thursday, October 22, 2009

I've Moved!

Yes, I've moved. And this is my new address. My OtherBlog has been "retired" for now, mainly because it contained too much personal info for a public site (I just don't know anyone in Morocco) & partly because I've been so inspired recently by so many great blogs. One of them is my sister's. Click here to visit her.
As I have been known to confess in the past, my sister (who is younger than me) used to copy everything I did as we were growing up & rather than be sweet about that, I used to complain & try to get her to stop. Well, now I'm the one who drives her crazy by copying so many things that she does. I can't help it! She has great ideas! She has a great little inspiring blog & also knows where to find other great blogs!
We'll see how good I am at keeping this one updated.
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