Homemade Oreos

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You know what they say; if at first you don’t succeed, open all the windows and doors, air out the smoke, replace the batteries in the smoke detectors (they definitely should have gone off…) apologize to the neighbors, drink a big glass of wine, wait about a week and try again.

I found this recipe here, and thought it looked simple enough. Well, not so much. I really can’t put my finger on where exactly I went wrong, but one of the major mistakes I made was using wax paper, which, I now know, is not the same as parchment paper, there is an important distinction between the two (hence the smoke).

Here is what my first attempt at this recipe looked like:

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so yeah.

The second time I made the following modifications:

1. used parchment paper

2. added an extra half an egg white

3. added the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients slowly (the recipe tells you to do this, but I forgot the first time)

4. Made the cookies by rolling up balls of dough about an inch in diameter (instead of using an ice cream scoop-those were too big)

5. Baked them for only 7 minutes instead of the 10-12 the recipe called for (they burned)

The dough for these cookies is so stiff that my mixer started letting off a weird melting-plastic smell… Probably time to get a new one!

All-in-all they turned out pretty great  (they involve a lot of butter and sugar so they are, of course, delicious)

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They certainly look pretty!

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Terrariums: Greenery for Black Thumb’s

Though I love house plants, we don’t have a very good relationship with each other.  I either give them too much attention or not enough… either way the result is usually a dead plant.

When I saw these gorgeous terrariums at Yakuza Lounge in Portland (which is amazing by the way!) I felt inspired to attempt something similar in my home.

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I found a hanging terrarium with a similar feel at Chapters Indigo (though they don’t seem to have it anymore)

It’s a pretty shallow container, so I didn’t exactly follow the proper steps (like adding charcoal and a drainage layer)  I just added dirt, a cactus and some moss… and so far so good!

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Nice to have a bit of greenery in the house during the winter!I found a similar hanging terrarium here, could make a great xmas gift for the black thumb in your life!

Home Improvements: Picture Frame Rehab

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Over the years my boyfriend has collected a whole bunch of old picture frames.  I love them! They are all different shapes and sizes and colours, the only thing they have in common is that none of them have any glass.

IMG_5839I know you can get glass custom cut and fitted to frames, but I just never got around to it…

However, during a recent trip to Ikea, I came up with the idea of using inexpensive poster frame parts to bring new life to our old frames.

Frame RehabI measured my frame, then cut the cardboard and plastic from the poster frame to size using an x acto knife.  It’s key to use a ruler when cutting to keep lines straight. Also, be sure to score the plastic layer a couple times before attempting to cut through it, it’s pretty delicate and might crack if you’re not careful.

IMG_5949If you get the size just right, the cardboard will be able to stay in place on it’s own, but you could also use some small finishing nails to keep it in place.

So glad to finally make use of the frames and to put some of Mike’s life drawings on display!  One of the benefits of using the plastic instead of glass is that it’s light weight!

IMG_5850Here’s my finished picture ledge!

Cookie Monster: Simple Cinnamon Cookies

Cookie Monster: Simple Cinnamon Cookies

Ever since last week’s cake baking success, I’ve become a little obsessed. It suddenly dawned on me, that with a few ingredients, I can just whip up cookies or cakes whenever I want! (This is probably not the best thing for me, since I’m a sucker for anything containing sugar.)

In the midst of a sugar craving last night, I made a batch of these cinnamon cookies.
In my excitement I didn’t let the dough chill as the recipe instructed, I also made only 15 cookies, not the 24 that the measurements were intended to make… I’m not always the best at following instructions when I’m excited about something, but they turned out great anyway! They reminded me a bit of doughnuts.
A tasty, simple and dummy proof recipe! (I promptly ate 6 of them -they’re extra delicious when they’re still warm!)

Home Improvements: Plate Wall

Home Improvements: Plate Wall

I’ve been collecting plates for several years now, with the intention of eventually one day creating a plate wall. I finally found some adjustable plate hangers at Pier 1 and figured out how to drill into a brick wall (not as hard as I thought, hint: drill into the mortar) and ta-da!!! I now have a plate wall!

I’ll continue to add new plates as I collect them. These ones were gathered from Anthropologie, West Elm, China Town and vintage stores.

Dessert for the Queen of Desserts!

In my family, my Mom is the go-to person when it comes to all things baked.  She is a pie/cookie/brownie expert.  I, on the other hand, have very little experience when it comes to baking.  When my Aunt asked for a volunteer to handle dessert for my Mom’s birthday celebration, I saw it as an opportunity to get some baking practice.

I picked this recipe, because it looked amazing and suitably decadent with it’s pumpkin cake and cheesecake layers and cream cheese icing.

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It turned out pretty great, and it took me exactly one entire day to make. My cakes took significantly longer than the recipe called for, I suspect the problem is my oven…

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As a side note, my boyfriend, who is currently in Portland OR for work, suggested the idea of baking cakes together. I texted him the ingredients list and we had a good ol’ fashioned cake-bake-date!

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He opted to replace the cream cheese icing for an almond butter icing which sounds pretty incredible and by all reports it was!

Another side note: my niece who is not yet 3 told me that, “this cake is really delectable” and my sister swears she didn’t feed her that line. ADORABLE!!!!

Caramel Apples

One of the best things about fall is that Macintosh apples are in season. At this time of year they are just right, crispy and sweet and plentiful! The only thing that can be done to improve upon them is to dip them in a pot of melted caramel and them roll them in crushed walnuts (but isn’t everything better that way?)

The weather this weekend was kind of dreary and cold, so making a batch of caramel apples was the perfect way to spend a cozy afternoon.

 

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Feeling pretty sugar high!