Sunday, September 28, 2014

Classic Apple Turnovers

I know I've been slacking on my blog but we have had some company visiting! My mom and sister were here and we made it to 3rd Street Apples Orchard/Pumpkin Patch last weekend! It was super cute and the boys loved being able to pick their own apples and select a few pumpkins. Nana even pushed them in a wagon! To celebrate our new collection of apples, I made some wonderful apple turnovers! They were fairly easy to make with ingredients I already had - except frozen pastry puff. So, I ran out and got some and we all enjoyed what the boys called, "small apple pies."

Classic Apple Turnovers

- 4 medium sized apples, cored and diced
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 tbsp. butter, melted
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 2 tbsp. cornstarch
- pinch of salt
- 1 x 17.5 package frozen pastry puff thawed

Cream Cheese Icing

- 6 tbsp. cream cheese, softened
- 3 tbsp. butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 1/4 cup warm milk

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. On a floured surface, roll your pastry puff out to 12"x12" square. Cut each sheet into 4 equal sized squares (8 total).
3. Combine your apples with lemon juice in a bowl. Add sugars, nutmeg, cinnamon, cornstarch, and salt and mix together.
4. Brush the edges of your pastry square with an egg wash or milk and place 1/3 cup of your apple mixture in the center. Fold the dough over diagonally and press together, making a triangle.
5. Transfer to your cookie sheet. Repeat for the remaining pastry puff squares.
6. Brush the tops of the turnovers with egg wash or milk and make a slit at the top of each turnover with a knife.
7. Bake for 20 minutes.
8. For icing, combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and heat until smooth. Drizzle on top of the turnovers. Serve warm.

 Bag of freshly picked apples!

 Coring and dicing my apples (some of mine were very small)

 Apple mixture

 1/3 cup of apple mixture in the pastry puff

 Apple turnovers ready to go in the oven

Apple Turnover with Icing

 Apple Picking with my mom and sister

 Me and the boys

My sister, Rachael

Enjoy!
Brittney

Monday, September 22, 2014

Chocolate Birthday Cake

This past weekend my sister flew to Colorado to celebrate her 27th birthday with us! My mom was even able to fly in for the week for a much needed visit. I had asked my sister what kind of birthday cake she would like and she said 'chocolate!' I am a huge fan of Pioneer Woman and she has this amazing recipe for a Big Chocolate Birthday Cake. Well I halved the recipe so we wouldn't be stuck with so much cake - and it turned out to be incredible! Totally worth making a birthday cake from scratch when it comes out as good as this did. I even found a free printable for a 'cake banner' on Pinterest that I put together to decorate the top of the cake.

We also headed out to a concert at the Red Rocks Amphitheater to see Grace Potter and the Nocturnals as a gift to my sister. What an amazing venue and good rocker chick concert!

Chocolate Cake by Pioneer Woman (recipe is halved to make 2 x round cakes)

- 2 sticks of butter, unsalted
- 4 tbsp. cocoa
- 2 cups flour (plus 2 tbsp. at high altitude)
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 eggs, beaten

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease two round cake pans.
2. Melt your butter and cocoa in a small saucepan on low heat. Add your boiling water.
3. Mix your flour, salt, and sugar in a separate bowl. Pour the butter/cocoa mix on top and combine.
4. In another bowl, mix the buttermilk, baking soda, vanilla and eggs together. Stir into the flour mixture.
5. Pour half of the mixture into a cake pan and the other half into the other pan. Bake for 20 minutes.

Frosting:
- 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 12 oz. chocolate chips
- 1 tsp. vanilla

1. In a saucepan, heat your cream until hot.
2. Place your chocolate chips into your Kitchenaide mixing bowl. Pour the heated cream over your chocolate chips. Whisk together until chocolate is melted.
3. Place the bowl into the fridge until completely cooled.
4. Add vanilla to your frosting and beat with your mixer until frosting is light and fluffy.
5. Frost your cake!

 Chocolate Cake with Banner

 "Happy Birthday!"

Wow... delicious.

Enjoy!
Brittney

Friday, September 12, 2014

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Welcome Fall and Pumpkin EVERYTHING into my life! Today it is 40 degrees outside and snowy. Wow. In September. Yesterday, I was in a "I need something pumpkin flavored now" mood and decided to make Pumpkin Snickerdoodles! They came out a little large, I will make 1 inch balls next time, but man were they soft soft soft. Delicious. My husband told me to cover them up so he'd stop eating them! The boys loved them as well. Palmer even thought he was cool because he got to sit on a bar stool and eat his next to his big brother. I hope you are enjoying a little bit of Fall where ever you are in the world!

Ingredients:

Cookie Dough (I halved the recipe, original full recipe here), Makes 2 dozen cookies

- 1 3/4 cup flour
- 3/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. vanilla

Coating:
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. ginger
- dash of allspice

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl combine your flour, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix well together and set aside.
3. In your electric mixer, mix together your butter and sugars until fluffy.
4. Add your pumpkin until combined.
5. Add the egg and vanilla.
6. On low, slowly add your flour mixture. Once dough is formed allowed to refrigerate for an hour.
7. In a separate bowl combine your ingredients for your sugar coating.
8. Place parchment paper on your baking sheets. Form 1 inch dough balls and before placing the ball on your baking sheet, coat your ball in the sugar-spice mixture.
9. Take a drinking glass and dip the bottom in your sugar-spice mixture and flatten each ball of dough on your baking sheet.
10. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

 Cream your sugars and butter together

 Pumpkin Snickerdoodle dough

 Balls of dough with sugar-spice coating

 Flattening dough balls with a glass

 Flat Cookie dough

 Pumpkin Snickerdoodles!

 They love them!

Mmmmmmm

Enjoy!
Brittney

Monday, September 8, 2014

1st Day of Preschool

Today my son started his second year of Preschool in the Butterflies class for 3 1/2 year olds. He woke up excited and hungry! We put a new outfit on him and he ate all his breakfast and couldn't wait to put his firetruck backpack on. It was extra special because daddy was able to come to the first day, last year he was deployed. So, hopefully this year starts out smoothly with daddy home! Daddy even took special pictures of Kinley on the front porch. Palmer joined in on the fun, too!

When we arrived at school we took a few pictures with some friends and headed to our new classroom. We had volunteered to bring snack for the first day of school so Kinley was ready to be the "Snack Leader." All the kids met their teacher upon class starting and introduced themselves and got a name tag. Then, they all gathered around the Assistant Teacher to play with hand puppets. Our son was ecstatic about his name tag and kept ripping it off his shirt and telling the kids around him, "Look! My name is Kinley! See, see!" I think this is going to be a great year!

He will go to school from 9-11:45 am on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. When Palmer and I went to pick Kinley up, he was not in the best mood. I think it will take a few days to get into the routine of class and learning how to have fun despite not getting "blue Playdoh." He is so MY child! Overall, Kinley had a good day and we can't wait until Wednesday!

 First Day of Preschool 2014-2015, sign here

 Kinley and Palmer

Kinley being very animated during circle time!

Enjoy!
Brittney

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Apple and Pumpkin Fall Mason Jars

Fall projects are keeping me busy! I made these sweet Mason Jars out of pint sized jars and attached a free printable tag I found here. You can fill these with candy corn, fruit snacks, candy or little trinkets. They also look super cute as a Fall decoration in your home. We filled the apple with fruit snacks and some lollipops and the pumpkin jar with candy corn.

Supplies

- pint Mason Jars
- green spray paint
- wooden knobs (Hobby Lobby)
- brown acrylic paint
- red acrylic paint
- orange acrylic paint
- green scrapbook paper
- scissors
- hot glue gun

1. Remove the metal lids from your Mason Jars and spray paint them outside with your green spray paint. Allow to dry completely.
2. Paint your jars with your acrylic paint either red or orange. Allow to dry and paint another coat.
3. Paint your wooden knobs brown and allow to dry completely.
4. Cut green leaves out of your scrapbook paper and once your knob is dry, glue gun them to the knob.
5. Glue your knob and leaves to the lid of your Mason Jar. Screw your lid back onto your dry jar.
6. Attach a cute tag, fill, and give to a friend!

 Apple and Pumpkin Mason Jars!

 Apple with "For the Apple of my Eye" tag

 Pumpkin with "Happy Fall Ya'll" tag


Enjoy!
Brittney

Friday, August 29, 2014

Skinny Alfredo

Last weekend I went on a 10k run and came back home in time to whip up dinner! This meal didn't take very long at all and was super easy to make. The sauce has a skim-milk base, as opposed to heavy whipping cream, making it a healthy dinner option! The garlic-y taste of the sauce is so good and pairs well with a nice white wine and some grilled chicken. Although, I didn't enjoy a glass of wine until later since I had to drink a lot of water and my protein shake! My husband, however, felt like he had been wined and dined with this meal!

Skinny Alfredo

- 1 pkg. fettuccine noodles, cooked as directed
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tbsp. flour
- 1 cup chicken broth, low-sodium
- 1 cup low-fat milk, I used skim
- 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper

1. In a large sauce pan heat your olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute.
2. Sprinkle your flour on top of the garlic stir to combine.
3. Slowly whisk in your chicken broth, and then your milk. Bring to a simmer and allow to cook for a few minutes to thicken.
4. Stir in your parmesan cheese, salt and pepper until cheese has melted.
5. Add your pasta to the sauce and enjoy!

Skinny Fettuccine Alfredo with grilled chicken

Enjoy!
Brittney

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Fall Decor with FREE Printable

I love Fall. And I'll admit - I have already decorated a little bit for Fall. I found THE cutest FREE printable that reads "I Love Fall" and it comes in orange (pictured below), green, yellow, pink and blue. I used a wooden door wreath, a rustic wooden frame, and some glitter faux leaves to display this print on my front door (purchased at JoAnn Fabrics). I also printed it to display on my bar in the dining room. Hope you like my Fall decor!


"I Love Fall" wreath

 "I Love Fall" FREE printable

Fall Decor: "Fall" banner purchased here, Garland made by my kiddos how-to here

Enjoy!
Brittney