Wednesday, October 30, 2013

4 Days of Halloween-Bargain Holiday Treats

I LOVE a good bargain, I also love pharmacies! That being said, whenever I need a quick fix, I head straight to CVS to drop $40 on items that I "need". My local outpost has a really awesome seasonal/pet aisle, so that is usually my first stop. I've had to exhibit a gargantuan amount of patience by waiting to enjoy all these seasonal treats as most of them came home with me before the calendar even turned to October 1st!

While I love an artisanal baked treat just as much as the next Starbucks-addicted white girl, I can't help myself when it comes to these Pillsbury cookies! 
Sally Hanson's Nude Now is THE perfect shade! 

I ordered a 30pc set of striping tapes from Amazon for $2 which made it well worth the 3ish weeks it took for them to arrive from Asia.

4 Days of Halloween-Baked Pumpkin Seeds

Growing up, my Dad always separated out the pumpkin seeds from the guts that we collected in a bowl and toasted them as a snack. I was never a huge fan, until I found this honey/brown sugar recipe (adapted below)! I also made a small batch of honey seeds sprinkled with coarse ground sea salt-I'm obsessed with salty/sweet flavors, and the salt brought out the sweetness of the honey really nicely.  I plan on sprinkling these babies over yogurt, ice cream, and salad (if I ate salad). These could also be  mixed into my apple streusel muffins as a replacement for the chopped pecans! 

  1. Rinse seeds in water while still wet and gooey
  2. Soak seeds overnight in salt water (salt measurement based on taste)
  3. Mix 4 tbsp of honey and seeds in bowl until they are completely coated
  4. Spread seeds on baking sheet (I recommend investing in a Silpat sheet for your pans) bake for 30 mins at 300 degrees
  5. After 30 mins sprinkle with brown sugar or coarse sea salt and bake for another 30 mins or until GBD
  6. Enjoy! If you have a variation or suggestion, I'd LOVE to hear it!!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

4 Days of Halloween-Pumpkin Carving

I had been waiting all year to bust out my Pinterest carving pins and create a chevron and polka dot pumpkin. The dottie-kin could not have been easier, all it took was a drill and the largest bit we had in the house. The chevron pumpkin was a whole 'nother story. In the end, I carved a hand drawn, chevron-ish pumpkin. Next year, I'll equip myself with the proper tools for the job! 

I've never seen a pumpkin look so gross before, I LOVE IT! 

I was nervous about my glass topped dining table, but cleanup involved nothing more than Windex and paper towels! 

 The finished products! 

Monday, October 28, 2013

4 Days of Halloween-Painted Pumpkins

I've always loved the Fall season, but this year, I've been really excited for its arrival! I got these baby white's while food shopping. ShopRite is not the ideal pumpkin picking situation, but I had to have them. I love things-but I really love mini sized things!!

 I hosted a brunch for some friends and decided to paint these as a center piece for my coffee table. Overall I was happy with how they turned out. In the future, I would hand paint the pumpkins rather than spray painting them because the paint dripped and also took forever to dry. Unfortunately, my favorite bowl now has silver spots on it (this could become another DIY if I can't clean it up). 

 I had a little photoshoot with my fave little Piglet while I had my camera out :) #meanmuggin 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Plated-THE Coolest Food Delivery Company

Plated was founded as a way to make cooking a healthy, locally sourced dinner a part of the modern busy lifestyle. Every week Plated offers recipes from top and up-and-coming chefs. These recipes usually require you to have some basic ingredients on hand (salt/pepper/water/pans/knives/etc). Their mission is to get as many people cooking food at home as possible, and with this delivery system, there's no excuse! I have to admit that my husband does all the day-to-day cooking our house (I handle what I like to call "Novelty" baking/cooking-get it?) and it took him less time to follow this recipe than it does for us to talk about what we want to make and then get it together and on the table. 

Every Sunday we say that we are going to plan our meals for the upcoming week and then shop for those ingredients, but we never seem to get it together and actually make that happen. I was instantly excited when a friend shared Plated codes with me and I was able to order two different meals for us (4 meals total) and come home on my lunch break to find the ingredients sitting on my stoop. The tuna that you see above was some of the freshest I've ever had and stayed nice and cold while I was at work-which was a concern of my husband's (he is very serious about food safety, whereas I feel that a little stomach ache could push me to my goal weight). 

I'm a huge fan of monthly delivery services. I subscribe to Birchbox and JewelMint, while my dogs subscribe to Barkbox (Yes, THEY subscribe), and my husband subscribes to Tonx (Love Coffee? Google it)-Plated is a natural progression for our household! 

(All opinions expressed above are my own. Compensation was not provided by Plated, I'm just a huge fan!) 

Raw Apple Streusel Muffins by StoneGable

All I'll say is that they're amazing, and they're worth the effort. Also, double the struesel if you like to have a good time.  Here are StoneGable's Apple Streusel Muffins!
Enjoy! CD 

More often than not, I have my iPad in my cookbook stand! 

I chose to sprinkle the chopped pecans on top to add more texture

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Apple Pie feat. Smitten Kitchen's Pie Crust 102

Apple baked anything is enough to convince my husband to go apple picking. We met a couple friends at Warwick Valley Winery and spent the day sampling wines, climbing trees, and enjoying a "French Farmer" picnic! We each came home with about 12lbs of apples and I set out to bake pie, streusel muffins, and an apple crisp. Needless to say, the crisp never happened, but I will be featuring my pie and muffins! I'm always looking to up my game on my pie crust decor, tell me your fave ways to dress up boring (though tasty) crusts!

Jane Hornby's apple pie recipe and my Pinterest "Yum" Board always see me through! 

I displayed these beauties in my dining room until I was ready to bake them! 

A similar pie crust cutter can be found here!