Friday, November 30, 2012

Peppermint Frosted Chocolate Sugar Cookie Bars #holidaytreats

Seems like I can’t get enough of the Peppermint Chocolate Combination, and I hope you can’t either.  These chocolate sugar cookie bars are soft, and so easy to serve up. Plus there’s no need to roll out any dough and cut out the cookies. What a time saver, right?
Chocolate Sugar Cookie Bars
  • 1 cup of butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 4 ounces of melted semi-sweet chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons of unsweetened coco powder
  • 4 cups of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspon of baking soda
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Combine all the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl.  In a mixer cream the butter and sugar until it is fluffy and light.  Continue mixing and add the eggs and the vanilla.  Slowly add in the dry ingredients until combined. 
Press the dough into a greased 13x18 inch baking pan.
Bake for 15 minutes. 
Cool completely before frosting.

Peppermint Frosting
  • 1 cup of butter, room temperature
  • 3 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract
  • 2-3 tablespoons of milk
Using the mixer, cream the butter until it is light.
Add the vanilla,  peppermint, and powdered sugar and mix together.
Slowly add the milk until the frosting reaches the consistency you want.
Frost the cooled chocolate sugar cookie bars in the pan and top with crushed candy canes or sprinkles. Cut and serve when ready.
Peppermint_frosted_chocolate_sugar_cookie_bars (8)

Be sure to check out all of the awesome treats below. There are 50+ Holiday sweet treats for you to enjoy!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Peppermint Vanilla Sugar Scrub- great for hands, feet, and body

A couple years ago I shared 3 recipes for different sugar scrubs: CITRUS SUGAR SCRUB, BROWN SUGAR & CINNAMON SCRUB, VANILLA SUGAR & SALT SCRUB.  This year I am sharing my recipe for a Peppermint Vanilla Sugar scrub. It’s great for your feet, hands, or your body.  And sugar scrubs make great gifts!
  • 1-2 CUPS OF Raw Sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons of almond oil
  • 1 teaspoon of vitamin E oil
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix together.  You can store in a jar in the refrigerator for 2-3 months.  Just take out what you need before you shower. It’s important to keep water out of the rest of the scrub to preserve it.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

End your Thanksgiving right, I'm giving away an iPad! #ipadgiveaway

Okay, I know most of you guys are stuffed and sleepy from eating all your yummy food, but get ready to wake yourselves up because it's iPad GIVEAWAY TIME!  Happy Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and a Merry Christmas to from us to you! Am I right?!

You know I am always up for a good giveaway.  And I'm pretty sure that giving away a brand new iPad with Retina Display (32 GB & Wi-Fi), is considered better than good!

This awesome group of creative bloggers listed below have teamed up to offer you the latest in the iPad series.  Wouldn't you like to be reading my/our blogs from a new iPad?  Yeah, I thought you would!  :)
Or perhaps go shopping or stay in touch with everyone you know through your favorite social media channels.  Well, this is your chance to enter to win a new iPad 4 with Retina Display!

Blog Button New 150 glimpse_button150
Diary of Dave's WifeHappy Go Lucky

Even if you already have an iPad, you can still enter to win. Bet you'd have yourself a new best friend if they found a new iPad under the tree this Christmas!

To Enter:
 *Follow the guidelines in the rafflecopter box below. 
*Please make sure you do what is asked, because we will be verifying the winner & their entries!
*In addition to the entries below, you also have the option to tweet about this giveaway everyday for additional entries!
*It is very important that you follow the rules.  Don't forget!

This giveaway will end on Friday November 30th at midnight EST. 

We hope you stick around for some more awesomeness along the way because this is only the beginning of what's to come for the holiday season! 

Thanks for stopping by & good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, November 19, 2012

Our Thanksgiving Menu

Thanksgiving recipe post

Okay, so there are only 3 days left till Thanksgiving and I’m going to share some of the recipes that almost always end up our table every year. Since we’re keeping it small this year, just the four of us, I cut our Thanksgiving menu down by a lot.

Let’s talk TURKEY, this one of our favorite recipes for turkey, it’s got bacon, maple syrup, and lots of butter.  Tyler Florence really knows his stuff. Before we cook it though, I usually brine it, and stuff the inside with onion, lemon, carrrots and herbs. 

My love for PAULA DEEN includes this awesome green bean dish she created and this sausage stuffing. YUM!

We can’t forget about the candied sweet potatoes, they’ll go right next to the mashed potatoes and gravy.

And I haven’t even shared what we’re doing for dessert, Pumpkin Cheesecake and my Chocolate Peppermint Cream Pie!

So what are you having for Thanksgiving? Are you going big, or doing it up small like we are?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Stepping out of the Mommy Uniform #dressfortheday and #WIWW

photo (2)
Sometimes being a work at home mom and a blogger means I don’t often leave the house during the week. Unless I need to run some errands or have appointments for myself or the kids, I’m usually at home in pj’s or sweats, or some other kind of loungewear. And my kids are often running around with no pants on because they think being a naturalists is a cool thing.  Yeah, even when it’s freezing inside the house they strip their pants and shirts off and fling them across the couch, and I’m left to wonder why they aren’t covered in goose bumps. 

This past week I think I did pretty good dressing in some cute and stylish outfits, and I shared them on Instagram with you guys. I’ve been feeling like I want to dress up more, get out of the work at home, mommy, blogger uniform. I want to be ready to be able to leave the house whenever, to run errands, or take the kids to the park, or meet up for lunch with a friend…

And that’s why when I came across Abby’s blog Dear Abby Leigh, and her #dressfortheday posts, I knew I wanted to link up.  Her motto is “DRESS FOR THE DAY YOU WANT TO HAVE… NOT THE ONE THAT’S TRYING TO HAVE YOU.”
  • 3/4 sleeve gray sweater from Target (a last year’s Black Friday Find and on clearance) $11.98
  • Black Butter Slim Leg Jean from Avenue on sale for $39.99 (love them!)
  • Brown Olivia Three Buckle Riding Boots from Avenue on sale for $56.99, but right now they’re on sale for $44.40!
  • mess in the background behind me (completely free and able to replicate if you have 2 crazy toddlers)
I just fell in love with the idea that I could dress for the day I wanted to have, and not just wait to get dressed when there is something to do or somewhere to go.  Sometimes I want to dress up or wear jewelry but then I think, “eh, I don’t really have anywhere to go so I’ll just stay in the sweats I’ve got on.”  But why shouldn’t I dress up for me if I wanted to? Why shouldn't I dress my best if that’s how I feel that day?
There’s never once been a day where I have regretted dressing in clothes that made me feel cute or stylish, but I have had plenty of days where I regretted staying in my pj’s and not getting out and doing anything because I wasn't ready/dressed.  Anyone agree with me?  If so, get your self dressed and link up, check out Dear Abby Leigh and The Pleated Poppy, two great link up party to show off what you're wearing for the week!

     pleated poppy

Chocolate Peppermint Cream Pie

Chocolate Peppermint Cream Pie  from alwaysinwonder
Can we all just take a minute to talk about how yummy the combination of chocolate and peppermint is?  Because seriously you guys, chocolate and peppermint is so good. Not to mention how one little taste can magically bring forth all the goodness of winter and take away all the bad.
Oreo Cookie Pie Crust
24 whole Oreo cookies
1/4 cup melted unsalted butter
In a medium-sized bowl or a food processor, add the Oreo cookies and blend until the texture of coarse meal. Add the melted butter and blend until well combine.
Place the ground crumb mixture into a 9- or 10-inch deep-dish pie pan and press onto the bottom and up the sides evenly. Try to make the crust about 1/8 inch (1/3 cm) evenly all around.
Refrigerate the crust for at least an hour before you add the filling of your choice. This will help prevent crumbling when you want to serve it.
Makes 1 pie crust.
photo (2)
Chocolate Peppermint Cream Filling
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/3 cups semi-sweet chocolate (either chocolate chips, or baking chocolate)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup heavy cream, divided
  • 2 cups milk
Place the chocolate, butter, peppermint and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl and set it aside. In a medium saucepan whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, cocoa & salt. Whisk in 1/4 cup of cold heavy cream until the mixture is smooth, with no lumps. Repeat with another 1/4 cup of the cream and then whisk in the 3 egg yolks.  Place the saucepan over medium heat, and gradually whisk in the remaining cream and milk.
Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking constantly as the mixture thickens. Continue to whisk for about 2 f minutes, then remove from the heat. Pour the heated mixture over the reserved chocolate, butter, and extract mixture.  Whisk and mix until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Pass the filling through a strainer into a bowl to remove any lumps.
making a chocolate cream pie  (1)
Place plastic wrap on the surface to prevent a skin from forming, and chill thoroughly.  Once chilled, transfer the filling to the Oreo cookie pie crust. Level the top with the back of a spoon or spatula. 
making a chocolate cream pie  (2)
Before serving, top with whip cream.
Chocolate Peppermint Cream Pie on alwaysinwonder
I'm linking this recipe up to a fun party I just heard about a couple of days ago. It's Tidy Mom's Love The Pie Party!  Starting Tuesday Nov 13-19!  She is also giving away a Whirlpool Stove during this party!!!  Come join Love the Pie with TidyMom  sponsored by Whirlpool and enter to win a new Whirlpool Range.