Monthly Archives: January 2013

Dorothy’s Eclairs

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Just so you all know I do have access to recipes other than those I find on Pinterest. And here is one šŸ™‚

A few months ago we were at my in-laws house, my mother in law had just made some deliciousĀ eclairs. I had to have the recipe! She said she had gotten it from a lovely old lady Dorothy (good nameĀ and hence the name of the eclair, Also a good name because it was my Grandmas name)Ā who they used to live across the street from.

This recipe is easy, and delicious. YOU MUST TRY! here is what you will need:

Eclair shells
1/2 C. butter
1 C. boiling water
1 C. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
4 eggs
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Ā Boil the water and butter
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Once boiling add the flour and salt
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stir vigorously until it makes a ball…this is quick!
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Like…really quick!
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Remove from heat
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Let cool slightly, and add eggs one at a time and stir until smooth.
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I was worried about this, It looked like I had made dumplings for a while but I kept stirring really fast and look! It got smooth.
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Now take 2 spoons
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Ā and scoop and scrape…make them about spoon size.
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I ended up with 41 balls…You can also put this dough in a pastry bag and make logs
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now you need to smooth out the tops, the recipe I had said to use a wet spoon to smooth them out, I found my fingers were less hastle.
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Put them in a 450…yes 450 degree oven for 12-15 minutes…this will puff them up
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see Puffed! keep them in the oven but turn the temp down to 325 and bake another 25 minutes
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You should have these!
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Now while they are still hot, tear…or like I did cut the tops off
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scrape out the insides…You really don’tĀ have to do this step, but it makes that lilĀ bit more room for the filling šŸ™‚Ā You couldĀ just poke a hole in them really, and leave that lil bit in there and just pipe the filling into them
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Now this is the insides of all the puffs…not much but still kinda yummy to eat.
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place your puffs back in the oven for a few minutes just to dry them out nicely
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Ā all dry šŸ™‚
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Now time for the filling!!!
Filling
1 large Instant Vanilla Pudding (sugar free works fine, and allows diabetics to enjoy them)
2 C. milk
8 oz. Cool Whip
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mix the milk and pudding (i used cheesecake flavor, I am sure any flavor would be great) Mix them until nice and thick…I used skim milk, I think 2% or whole would make it thicker.
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then fold in the coolwhip
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There is your filling
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Take a spoon generously plop it in the eclairs
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Yum
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Place the top back on
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Do not throw the left over filling away…EAT IT! it is YUMMO!!! šŸ™‚
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Here is the finished product
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Enjoy!Ā Ā Ā  I did not frost, I think they are great right here…but there is an option frosting Keep scrolling down.
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Optional Frosting
3 oz. unsweetened chocolate
3 Tbsp. butter
2 C. powdered sugar
1/3 C. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
Melt chocolate and butter in microwave.Ā  Stir in rest. Frost eclairs.
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French Bread…pretty easy

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As you know (if you have been keeping up with my blog) I have been in a roll with bread…hahaha roll, with bread get it! ya I’m lame. Anyway, I have been trying any and all bread recipe I can get my hands on. My favorite so far is still the Amish white bread recipe, but this one may be a close second. I had a worry after i had made it, and was concerned with the recipe when the instructionshttp://www.dealstomeals.blogspot.com/2009/03/blog-post_09.htmlĀ Ā said to punch it downĀ 3 times during the rising process, I thought this was going to take hours (id did not, then theĀ recipe just called for yeast so I just used active dry yeast, come to find by reading her comments that she was using the rapid yeast, this too had me worried. Come to find, that it did not matter that I used regular yeast, and it did not take hours to make, I punched it downĀ 3 times and still had bread in about 2 hours with the whole process start to finish. it is a nice airy bread, tastes great, and as a side note, it makes fantastic french toast!

Here is what you will need:

2 1/2 c. warm water
2 Tbls. yeast
3 Tbls. sugar
2 Tbls. white vinegar
Add the above ingredients together and let sit until bubbly (about 3-5 minutes).Ā  Then add:
1 Tbls. salt
1/3 c. oil (I use veg)
6-7 c. flour (or a little more if it’s too soft…i used almost 8), one cup at a time–add enough until the dough is soft, but firm enough to mold into dough loaves

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combine the water, yeast, sugar and vinegar

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I stirredĀ it and let it do its thing for a few minutes in the oven on the proof setting (if you don’t have a proof setting, just a low heat or a warm place in the house is fine)

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is should get a lil bubbly

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then you want to add the salt and oil

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now you get to start adding the flour. The instructions said 6-7 cups…I needed almost 8. I guess it just depends on the weather, elevation and just the mood

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this was after 6 cups…mine was just not ready to be bread so I kept going

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here we are at 7…it is supposed to be sticky, not like regular bread, so if you can make a loaf with it is ready to go, mine was still too loose.

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this is with my 8th cup…it was perfect. still stick, and still a loose dough

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I greasedĀ a bowl and scraped the dough out into it…dont knead it, dont punch it, just plop it in there. Then I sprayed the top with cooking spray

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place it in your oven or in your warm spot and let is rise to the top of the bowl, this can take a lil while took mine about a half an hour.

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See it grows! now to punch it!

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PUNCH!

then put it back in the oven or warm spot to let is rise again…punch it down and let it rise again, then punch it another time and let it riseĀ again…(took about an hour all together.)

If you don’tĀ have the time to do this, do not worry one punch down and re rise is enough (You probably don’t even have to punch it down if you are in a hurry, just let it rise once without punching it)

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now you have a bowl of fluffy dough…I did not punch it this time, that is just theĀ dent from the previous punches

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GreaseĀ your countertop and turn that dough out onto the counter…Do not knead

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cut the dough into 3 equal sized pieces. Shape them into long rectangles to resemble french bread loavesĀ and place on greased cookie sheets…you can sprinkle corn meal on the cookie sheet to if you want.

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slice a few lines in the bread to make it pretty and brush the tops with egg

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let them rise for about a half an hour until they have doubled in size, or until they are the size you want them.

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see pretty loafs….Now bake for 30 minutes in a 375 F oven

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Mmmmm

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Beautiful!

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ENJOY!!!

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PMS cookies

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If you are reading this and you are a woman, then you understand why one might need a PMS cookie. If you are a man and you are reading this, you know a woman who may need these some day and it would be helpful to know how to bake them!

All day today I was CRAVING something sweet. I just couldn”t figure out what it was I wanted. I searched pinterest high and low, nothing looked good. Until I saw it…. http://www.annies-eats.com/2011/01/14/giant-double-chocolate-cookies/Ā I had to make them.

The recipe said it only made 12 large cookies, nowĀ now, this would just not do, I needed more than 12! So I doubled the recipe. Now looking back, I really don’t need that many Large cookies. But I know I will eat them anyway. So I will give the recipe for a single batch of 12…if you are like me, then double it. The photos will be showing the doubled portions…so dont be shocked!

You will need…remember this is for a single batch of 12…for 24 like the pictures show you need to double this.:

1 cup (2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cubed

1Ā¼ cup sugar

2 large eggs

Ā½ cup dark cocoa powder

2Ā¼ cups all-purpose flour

Ā¼ tsp. coarse salt

1 tsp. baking powder

2Ā½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

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Cream the sugar and the butter together for 2-3 minutes

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Should look nice and fluffy

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Then add your eggs one at a time and blend them in

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It should look creamy like this

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Now for the cocoa…I used Hersheys Special Dark cocoa powder

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Mic until thoroughly combined

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Next add your flour, salt and baking powder

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You will have a to die for dough now….dont dive in, you still need to add the chips!

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MmmĀ chocolate chips…you may need a heavy-duty spoon to fold these into the batter

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This is as far as a spoon would get me.

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So put down a piece of parchment paper, and put your dough on that and knead…yes with your hands!

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You will get it looking like this, just make sure there are going to be chips in all the cookies

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Next thing you wanna do is make a nice even rectangle, or square, or whateverĀ shape you’re lilĀ PMS’ing heart desires. Make sure the dough is even all the way around though

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Cut that shape into 12 (or 24 if you doubled) even sized whatevers šŸ˜›

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Roll them up into balls, and place them on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet (little helpers like this part)

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The flatten them a bit

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Put them in a 350 degree F oven for 16-20 minutes. I did 20min

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You will have fist size chocolate goodness

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Le them rest on the cookie sheet for about 5 minutes

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Transfer them to a cooling rack

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And ENJOY!

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The great bread flop…

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I know I know, if it is not broke don’tĀ fix it. But saw this recipe for bread and I had to try it. I love the AmishĀ bread recipe I have been using but it is a little bitĀ dense and was looking for a more fluffy recipe. This one I found on Pinterest was not it. http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-basic-white-sandwich-bread-166588Ā It was an ok recipe, but thereĀ are a few things I may change if I ever do try this again. The thing I did not like was that I had to add the sugar with the flour, I think I would rather dissolveĀ the sugar in the warm water then add the yeast and stir it all together and letĀ sit untilĀ it is frothy. Where as this recipe just has you dissolve the yeast in the warm water and then add all of the other ingredients. Look at me trying to be a master baker šŸ˜› I am going to be the first to tell you that I know NOTHING about bread baking, but I do know that yeast needs to be able to come alive and do its thing.

I am posting my flop recipe so that you guys all know that not everything I make turns out great. Sometimes you have a flop, such is life. You have to pick up your feet and move on…so here it goes.

Enter, “The Flop”…

You will need:

2 teaspoons active-dry yeast
1 cup (8 oz) warm water
2 tablespoons (1 oz) unsalted butter
1 cup (8 oz) milk – whole, 2%, or skim
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon salt
5 1/2 – 6 1/2 cups (1 lb 9 oz – 2 lbs 3 oz) all-purpose flour

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Place the warm water in your mixing bowl, and sprinkle the yeast on top (this is where I would do different, but that is for a different post at a later time)

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The yeast is now dissolved

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Combine the melted butter, milk,Ā sugar and salt, and get one cup of the flour

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dump them into the yeast mixture

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stir until you have a lumpy batter

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next add 4 1/2 cups of flour to the mixing bowl (add more if you need it)

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mix it until you get a floury shaggy dough

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then knead the dough for 8-10 minutes, it will get nice and soft, a little sticky is good, it should ball up nicely.

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put your dough ball on the counter and clean out your mixing bowl (or grab a clean one) grease the bowl and place the dough ball back in the bowl turn it around so that the ball is nicely oiled.

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place a damp cloth over the bowl and find a warm place for it to proof

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let it proof for about an hour

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It should look like this

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Do not punch it (iĀ know, darn) just turn it out onto a very lightly floured counter

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cut it into 2 pieces

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Do your best to make them into loaves. fold and pinch, You can do it

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Place them in oiled loaf pans

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and let them rise aboutĀ a half an hour or untilĀ the peaks rise just above the pan

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this was mine after a half an hour…not much hight, so we kept going

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there we go, an hour of proofing and we have it, but the tops are dry šŸ˜¦

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and when I slit the tops they fell šŸ˜¦

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turn your oven onto 420 degrees F, when you put theĀ loaves in the oven turn it down to 375. then bake for 30 minutes…You will then have, well I hope yours turns out better.

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Butter the tops,

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Not bad…but not good. Enjoy!

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Ice Globes

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It has been cold with a capitalĀ “C” here the past few days. Nothing to do but stay inside. I remembered seeing a cool idea on, you guessed it, Pinterest last summer. It was for frozen water balloons…

http://modcloth.tumblr.com/post/13605657291/these-little-ice-globes-are-made-by-filling

Ok theseĀ onesĀ  in the above post were too tiny, I had some regular sized balloons that I found in my junk drawer (don’t judge, you know you have a junk drawer).

here is what I did!

Get some food coloring, and some balloons and a faucet that you can stick a balloon onto

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put some food coloring into the balloon, a may have over did it, but more color the better right!

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The only faucet I had to accommodateĀ a balloon was my bathroom sink, and it barely worked.

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Hold on tight…the water will go everywhere if you don’t!

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I did not take any pictures of a full balloon, but just tie it up…you can do it.

It does get a lil messy, it cleans up though. You could put rags down if you are worried.

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The bathtub works as a good pen to keep them all in line

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and since mother nature has the heater turned off, I have the natural outdoor freezer. Some people told me that they used theirĀ deep freeze, use what you have.

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I brought mine outside VERY carefully, 2 at a time. It was a chore.

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None popped when I was placing them. I went to check on themĀ a half an hour later though ans 2 had explided!…just have pretty snow now šŸ™‚

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this is about 5 hours later, still liquid in there, so we will wait it out over night, and see how they are tomorrow.

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I will update, don’t worry!

Ok, I’m back…and look what I found out in the yard this morning! The water froze and expanded, and the ballons were all torn.

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This is what was underneath…it is still a lil messy. even though it was colder than cold, not all of the water froze. so to remove the balloons do not wear your best clothes.

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My driveway is lined with happiness!

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Key tree

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I know I’m not the only one who seems to have a clutter problem. It may not bother some people, but for me…I HATE clutter! My kitchen counter has become the new home for hats, keys wallets and anything else that gets put in your pockets throughout the day. I needed a new home for this stuff, but where?

I searched PinterestĀ of course! I found some decals of trees that people stick to their walls, they are blackĀ and look likeĀ a silhouette, and then I saw that someone had put hooks on one! WHY CAN I NOT THINK OF THESE THINGS! Here is the link I used as my inspiration!

http://aplaceidliketocallhome.tumblr.com/post/6470876814

I had some left over charcoal color paint from the play kitchen project, and I had brushes too…I had a pencil and a view of a tree in my mind. I could do this! and so I did!

 

I needed a spot. I know! That angled wall at the top of the entry way stairs, I have had no idea what to do with it…until now!

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Pencil out a tree…this is easier than it may sound. Be free…trees are wild, they have no rules, put a branch here or there. You can do it. (sorry the pencil did not show up like it should have.)

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Get some paint and fill in the lines…I changed some branches along the way…that is the great thing about art, it has no rules either!

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First coat done, all this happenedĀ during my lil ones nap! it is quick and easy!

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After the lilĀ one went to bed at night it was time toĀ get busy again. I did a second coat of paint and some touch ups.

The one long branch that is sticking straight out, it has a purpose. I had bought some floating shelves at a garage sale past summer, I found a home for one! If you have not seen these, they are the greatest!

This kind has a level built into the bracket, I just held it where I wanted it, got a marker and marked the holes for the screws and away we went…folow the directions on yours if you decide to use one.

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The shelf is up!

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Now some hooks, these are just run of the mill hooks, use whatever you want.

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Hooks are up! TREE IS DONE!

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And this is the tree in action…best thing of all…I HAVE MY KITCHEN COUNTER BACK!

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Cheesecake Brownie bites

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Cheesecake…Brownies…mini and bite sized!

OH YES!

I saw this and I ran out and bought myself a mini muffin tin, this was not a splurge by any means. In this house that tin will get a lot of use, I have a bit of a sweet tooth, and there are oodles of recipes to make that tooth happy!

It was a cold, mama doesn’t wanna leave the house day and I had to entertain the wee one. this was perfect!

What you will need is:

For the brownie batter:

4 large eggs

1Ā¼ cups baking cocoa

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 Tablespoon instant espresso powder, mixed with 2 teaspoons water

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2Ā¼ cups sugar

1 cup unsalted butter, melted

1Ā½ cups all-purpose flour

 

For the cheesecake filling:

1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened

3 Tablespoons sugar

1 large egg yolk

 

don’tĀ forget to heat the oven to 350f

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Make sure your “helper” has their own stuffs to play with

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Mix together the eggs, cocoa, salt, baking powder, espressoĀ mixture (iĀ just used strong coffee) and vanillaĀ until well blended. I did it by hand, it was easy enough…and I sifted theĀ cocoa so I didn”t have lumps.

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Next add to the bowl the sugar, butter and flour…

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Mix it all up and you have yourself Brownie batter! Now set it aside…no don’t eat it by the spoonful. But if you do, I won’t judge šŸ˜‰

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Time for cheesecake filling…

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throw the 3 ingredients in a bowl and mix them all up

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Scrape it up and put it in a plastic bag or pastryĀ bag. (I would say you could just scoop it into the brownie cups too if you do not want to do this part.

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grease the pan, and scoop about a tablespoon of brownie batter into the cups

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snip the corner off the plastic bg if you decided to do this method

 

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squeeze a generous amount of filling on top of the brownie batter. I was not generous enough on these, I was worried I would not have enough filling…I had plenty

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This is how much I ended up putting in the second batch and still had plenty left over…be generous, it makes them taste better šŸ™‚

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Place about a teaspoon of brownie batter on top

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Put them in your 350 degree oven for about 12 minutes…mine took a lil longer. Insert a toothpick when it comes out clean, they are done.

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Let them cool in the pan for about 5 minutes or so

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then let them cool on the rack…or enjoy warm šŸ™‚

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