Friday, May 24, 2013

New Blog!

Hi guys! Remember me?! I took a little hiatus...ok a BIG break from the blogging world. But...
I'm back!

I needed a break to figure out exactly what I wanted out of my blog. I felt a bit limited to the content on this blog because it's all about cooking (which I LOVE), but I wanted to share more with you. More about my life and all of the things I love and am inspired by!

So...I've been busy developing a NEW blog! With an entirely new address!

www.ourlittlenestblog.com 

Here you'll find posts on:

Family
Home Decor
DIY
Style
Beauty
And of course Food!

 Be sure to change this url in the blogs you follow so that it will show up in your news feed. And don't worry, if you'd like to come back and look at this "old" blog it will still be here!

So what are you waiting for?! Go check out the new blog and let me know what you think! I am so excited for you to follow along and I hope that you will find it as a place to make you feel good and find inspiration!
  

Monday, December 24, 2012

{11th Day of Christmas} North Pole Cupcakes

Happy Christmas Eve everyone! I have a special Christmas treat to share with you today. I was in love with these cupcakes the moment I saw them on Pinterest and I'm sure you will be too! They are so pretty and fun for the Holidays!


 
Although they may look fancy and a little tricky to put together these cupcakes were pretty simple to make. Here's how:

Makes about 12 cupcakes
Ingredients:

1 box Duncan Hines Red Velvet Cake Mix
2 cans Betty Crocker Whipped White Icing
12 candy canes
12 red coated round candies (like Red Hots)
Sanding Sugar
"North Pole" signs made out of cardstock

Directions:

Line cupcake tins with liners. Prepare cupcakes according to package directions. Let cupcakes cool completely on wire racks.

Fill a piping bag with the whipped icing and a start tip and frost the cupcakes with what seems like insane amounts of icing. Sprinkle cupcakes thoroughly with sanding sugar. 

Break the curved part of each candy cane so that you are left with about 4 inches of the straight part. Insert each candy cane into the center of each frosted cupcake and slightly tilt to the left.

Put a dab of frosting with a toothpick onto the top of each pole and attach a red candy to the top.

Put another dab of frosting with a toothpick in the middle of the pole and adhere the "North Pole" sign. Press lightly and it will stick on.




And there you have it...the cutest Christmas cupcakes you may ever cross paths with!




Inspired by Jenny's Cookies

There's lots more Christmas Treats where these came from! Check them out!




12 Days of Christmas
Treats

Sunday, December 23, 2012

{10th Day of Christmas} Mint M&M Chocolate Pudding Cookies

Alright guys...I have a confession to make...I've never tried a pudding cookie before. I dunno if I've been living under a rock or what but I've recently seen these pudding cookies all over Pinterest! So I decided to try my hand at baking some. But not just any ordinary pudding cookie...a Chocolate pudding cookie filled with Mint Christmas M&M's!



Oh yeah baby!!!


These cookies are so moist and the flavor of the Devil's Food pudding mix is just wonderful. Throw in some Mint Christmas M&M's and you've got yourself a fabulous Christmas cookie!

Makes about 2 dozen
Ingredients:

3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 small (3.9 oz) box Devil's Food instant pudding mix, dry
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/4 cups flour
1 cup Mint M&M's

Directions:

In a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars. Beat in the dry pudding mix. Add the eggs one by one and the vanilla. Beat well to combine.

Add baking soda and flour and beat well to combine. The mixture will look dry, but you'll notice that if you roll a little into a ball it is a good consistency, so don't worry about that!

Stir in the Mint M&M's.

Roll into 1 inch balls and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Until edges begin to crisp but the center is still a little soft.

Recipe Adapted from Chef in Training



Saturday, December 22, 2012

{9th Day of Christmas} Petite Peppermint Sandwiches {Throwback Recipe}

Well my 12 Days of Christmas Treats series is almost over! But don't worry I still have a few more yummy treats up my sleeve for you! Like these Petite Peppermint Sandwich Cookies...


























I made these last year for Christmas and they were a big hit! Peppermint cream smooshed between little sugar cookies flavored with peppermint extract...then rolled in crushed peppermint candies = triple the peppermint goodness! These bite size cookies are absolutely adorable and perfect for any holiday party!


























Get the recipe here!

And don't forget to click the button below to check out all the fabulous treats we've had so far on my 12 Days of Christmas Treats series!



12 Days of Christmas
Treats

Friday, December 21, 2012

{Day 8} The NY Times Best Chocolate Chip Cookie

Happy 8th Day of Christmas everyone! Boy, do I have a treat for you today! My friend Kayle from The Cooking Actress is here to let you in on a little secret that's called...the NY Times Best Chocolate Chip Cookie. That's right...THE BEST! If you haven't been over to Kayle's blog yet, you have got to get right on over there! This girl whips up some bomb food in her kitchen! Uhhh hello...remember this guest post she did for me a little while ago? Yea...bomb! Take it away Kayle!


'Twas some time before Christmas,
and all through the internet,
peoples wondered who this was,
posting on Chelsea's Culinary Indulgence...



'Tis I! Kayle from The Cooking Actress! Hello my dears and a Merry almost Christmas or Happy {insert holiday you celebrate here}! Chelsea asked me to come by her blog today to share some holiday cheer! And of course...cookies.



Like most children, my mother baked up a whole lot of cookies during the holiday season. In my case however...I didn't much care for them. Sugar cookies just aren't my favorite (although I adored decorating them), and my favorite cookies-chocolate chip-were made thin and dull in flavor by whatever recipe my mom used. What I DID love was the dough. That chocolate chip cookie dough completely made up for the sub-par cookies. My mom would always make the dough ahead of time and keep it in the refrigerator until she wanted to bake them, and she would sternly scold my brother, dad, and I that we were not to touch it! (We were, however, allowed to lick the beaters and the bowl and spoon). Of course, we didn't listen to her. Dad and I would always tip-toe into the kitchen and steal finger-fulls of dough before fleeing, and giggling. And then we'd do it all again. I think the sneakiness of it was half the fun. And Santa always seemed to like the cookies, so I was cool with the overall arrangement.


 These cookies only have 1 thing in common with those cookies-they have a resting time in the refrigerator. This is the famed New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe and it is one that I fully intend to bake for my children one day (you know...when I have them) for the holidays--it will be difficult to resist eating this dough for the full 48 hours but...the cookies will be SO GOOD that we will be able to wait. And if the kids take a few finger-fulls of dough...well...I suppose that would be OK. :)



What makes these cookies so special? Let us list:
1.      They use bread and cake flours (producing a large, chewy, cookie)
2.      Good quality chocolate, and lots of it!
3.      Large cookies (around 5 in. when baked)-which provide a distinct 3 textures (crisp outside, gooey middle, and the magical middle ground)
4.      Sprinkling of salt on top-a beautiful combination of sweet brought out by that touch of salty.
5.      The 48 hour rest time. There's a whole scientific she-bang about why this is great, but just trust me that it is exactly what cookies need. They bake more evenly, turn a more gorgeous, deep shade of brown, and the flavors are more complex.

Definitely 1 of my faves. Definitely something you should put on your holiday baking list!




























Now you all know the secret to the NY Times Best Chocolate Chip Cookie! Make sure to stop by here for the recipe! Thank you so much Kayle for sharing this fabulous cookie recipe with us all. Be sure to stop by and show Kayle some love!

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

{Day 7} Dark Chocolate Peppermint Truffles

On the 7th Day of Christmas I'd like to introduce you to Kristin from w/milk & sugar! If you're looking for inspiration for some yummy recipes, cute decorating ideas, and DIY fun you've gotta stop by this girls blog! One of my favorite sections of her blog is her "pinned it and did it" page where she finds fun projects and recipes on Pinterest (the most addictive site ever!) and recreates them. Love it! Take it away Kristin!

hi! I'm Kristin from w/milk & sugar, where I blog about everything cooking, baking, decorating, & homemaking. I feel so honored to be a part of Chelsea's 12 Days of Christmas Treats. I'll admit, I have a bit of a sweet tooth. So when December rolls around I have no choice but to bake and eat all of my favorite cookies, breads, and candies. But I also love trying new recipes, like these Dark Chocolate Peppermint Truffles. The idea of truffles sounded a little daunting - because they're so rich and decadent I always assumed they were difficult to make. But I was pleasantly surprised to find there are really only two main ingredients - cream and chocolate - and no candy thermometer required.



Dark Chocolate Peppermint Truffles adapted from Bake It & Make It with Beth ganache: 8 oz high quality dark chocolate 3/4 c heavy cream 1 1/2- 2 t peppermint extract coating: high quality cocoa powder or extra dark chocolate (melted) candy canes or peppermint candies

1. Chop chocolate into small pieces, or pulse in a food processor. Pieces should be roughly the same as the size of a chocolate chip. Be sure to use good quality dark chocolate with a high cocoa percentage so that the truffles will be rich and creamy. Place chopped chocolate in a heat safe metal or glass bowl.

2. Heat heavy cream in a small sauce pan over medium. Bring to a simmer then remove from heat and carefully pour over dark chocolate. Let sit for a few minutes.

3. Stir ganache mixture to incorporate. Add peppermint extract. Cover bowl and refrigerate 4-6 hours, or until mixture is cool and firm.

4. Remove mixture from the refrigerator and lay out a cookie sheet, covered in wax paper. Using a melon baller, cookie dough scooper, or whatever you have handy, scoop mixture into small 1 inch balls. I used a tablespoon measure and it worked perfectly. Place truffles on cookie sheet and follow instructions for coating below.

If coating with cocoa powder:

- place cocoa powder in a shallow bowl and immediately roll truffles in to coat. These are best served right away since the cocoa powder will not last long (it will absorb the moisture in the air and/or refrigerator). This method is not only very easy, but it also has a very classic truffle look. Serve with a strong coffee for an after dinner treat.

If coating with chocolate: 

- place truffles on cookie sheet and into freezer. Heat additional chocolate on a double boiler until completed melted. Remove truffles from freezer and drop one at a time into melted chocolate. Using a spoon, remove truffle and make sure completely coated.  Sprinkle crushed candy canes on top.

A few tips for storage: 

The truffles will keep a few weeks if stored in the fridge, but if they're coated with cocoa or peppermint candies it will not be pretty since the condensation will be absorbed (even if in an airtight container). If making ahead of time it'll be best to refrigerate them and then coat before serving.

These were surprisingly easy and so delicious. Perfect for that special holiday party or to give as gifts!

Thanks so much for sharing Kristin! Those truffles look awesome (and so easy to make)! Be sure to show Kristin some love and stop by to say hello!

Blog // Facebook // Twitter // Pinterest


12 Days of Christmas Treats

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

{6th Day of Christmas} Double Coconut Macaroon Cookies

Happy 6th Day of Christmas guys! Today I have a yummy treat from my friend Kim at Cravings of a Lunatic. Her blog is full of delicious recipes you're sure to love! And here she is!

I am so pleased to be here guest posting for Chelsea today. I'm going to be honest folks, I seldom guest post for people. It makes me all kinds of nervous so I only do them once in a blue moon. The pressure tends to get to me. I second guess every decision and stress myself out. Plus I never know how much to edit myself other blogs. I tend to have an "if I think it, I say it" attitude. So I worry my snarkiness will not translate well on other sites. But I'm throwing caution to the wind today. Why? Well for Chelsea of course. She's awesomely fantastic and cute as a button. So today I'm not going to worry if my photos could be better or my big mouth is going to get me in trouble. What's a little snarky attitude amongst friends.

Here's another confession for you all. I am not done my holiday shopping. I know right! This is completely unacceptable from the chick who used to have her Christmas shopping done by April every year. One year I did it all in January when all the sales were slamming good. The problem with that is as the hooligans get older it's harder to choose things that far in advance. Or if something malfunctions you can't return it. So every year the kids got older I shopped later in the season. Now that they are 24 and 18 I'm shopping moments before the stores close on the 24th. It's a sad state of affairs. One more year and we might be celebrating Christmas on New Year's. Apparently the mama needs to get her act together. 

We also have the challenge of trying to organize a time when all 4 of us are free so we can decorate the tree. Let's just say I don't have a tree at this point in time. I'm really not Scrooge, I just have insanely busy kids. B-Dude flew in from Calgary on Monday but hubs had to go out-of-town for work on Tuesday. So we will be picking out our tree on mini-me's birthday this year. Happy Birthday Mini-me, here's your birthday christmas tree. Yup, we're all kinds of weird here at the Bee household. It's hilarious to those who know me well. I'm usually one of those folks that has the tree up early and a different "themed" tree in every room of the house. All the ornaments are usually home-made. I give tons of home-made gifts. I used to be Martha on steroids. Somewhere along the line I've lost my Christmas mojo. I need to find it. But first I need a nap.

One thing that always happens no matter how busy or lazy we are over the holidays is making cookies. Coconut macaroon no bake cookies get made every single year. It's tradition and dates back to me being a teenager. This year I just happened upon the coolest bag of coconut M&M's. I stowed them away for safe keeping until the holidays. I just knew they would be awesome in my coconut macaroon cookies. I am so glad I held onto them. These are some over the top yummy cookies. You can do them in a jar to give as gifts. I mean if you're "one of those kind of people". You know, the kind who is organized and on the ball. Not the kind that curls up to nap every afternoon. 


Double Coconut Macaroon Cookies:

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup shortening
3 cups oats
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup coconut
3/4 cup coconut M & M's

Optional:
1/2 cup of mini M & M's 

Directions:

In a large pot combine your sugar and cocoa. Cook on low heat, slowly add the milk to this and stir until all the sugar dissolves.

Now bring to a boil, add your shortening and oats and stir quickly. Cook for about 1 to 2 minutes more, remove from heat and continue to mix until well combined.

Add the vanilla, salt, and coconut and mix well. 

Add your coconut M & M's now and mix. 

With a spoon drop onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and let cool. 

Once almost cool you can add extra mini M & M's for extra pops of holiday cheer.

Serve with a big old coconut smile!


If you would like to give these as gifts in jars you can add all the dry ingredients in the jar and then place a tag on the jar with instructions how to make them. They adapt well to be a dump it all in, kitchen sink type of cookie. I would just tell people to scoop out the coconut and M & M's and add those after they are done cooking. But everything else can be done in one fell swoop. You would have them follow these instructions if doing a jar cookie:

"Combine 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup shortening in a large pot and cook over medium heat until shortening melts. Add all the ingredients to the pot and stir until well combined. Drop cookies onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Allow to cool. Garnish with extra M & M's if desired. Enjoy!"


I would like to thank Chelsea so much for inviting me to her blog for the holidays. It's been an absolute pleasure working with this young lady. Anyone who loves pink as much as I do is a friend for life. Add to that her motto is to indulge and we're like soul mates or something. I'm a big believer in living large for time to time. Life is meant to be enjoyed, especially around the holidays.

Have a wonderful and loved filled holiday season everyone. If you have some free time stop by Cravings of a Lunatic and say hello. You can stalk my sassy butt on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest as well.

Toodles and smoochies! xx 

 Thanks so much Kim! I LOVE that these fabulous cookies can be made into a fun gift!