Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Happy Holidays and Malt Chocolate Chip Cookies

Our little girl enjoying her new bone!

I love to add a little holiday to my nails, this was my take on Christmas!
OPI: Base- Big Apple Red and Glitter- Gettin' Miss Piggy With It

Southern Christmas Pot Luck with some amazing friends! I'm glad the ladies like to eat and cook as much as I do!
(Fried Chicken, Ribs, Sweet Potato Rolls with Ham, Squash Casserole, Butter Beans and Shrimp, Cheese Biscuits, and Fudge Pie)

Malt Chocolate Chip Cookies (30-36)
Time: 25mins Prep and Bake

 This recipe was adapted from Pioneer Woman.

- 2 sticks of Unsalted Butter (Softened)
- 3/4c and 1 tbsp of Brown Sugar
- 3/4c White Sugar
- 2 Eggs
- 2 tsp Vanilla
- 2c Flour
- 1 1/4tsp Baking Soda
- 1/2c Malted Milk Powder
- 1 Bag of Semisweet Chocolate Chips
- Pinch of Salt

  1.  Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cream your butter and sugars, add your vanilla, and eggs.
  3. Add your Malt to the mixture.
  4. Sift the flour with baking soda and salt.
  5. Slowly mix in the flour to the bowl.
  6. Gently fold in your chocolate chips. 
  7. Make teaspoon sized balls or use a cookie scoop and space them out on the cookie sheet. They will spread a little.
  8. Bake for 7-10mins.  Bake time is based on your oven, but mine worked best at 7-8mins, the 10mins were a little too crispy for me.
  9. Enjoy and save a few for Santa!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Braised Korean Short Ribs ( Galbi Jjim)

My husband has been traveling for work quite a bit lately so I decided to make a nice homemade winter dinner for his return. The Braised Korean Short Ribs my parents make sounded absoultely perfect for the chilly evening! My parents don't measure anything, so I did my best to recreate it and it turned out pretty darn delicious! Make these short ribs, place over rice, and ENJOY! Happy Holidays!


Galbi Jjim ( 4-6 Servings)
Time: 3-5hours

- 4lbs Bone In Short Ribs
- 3/4-1c Soy Sauce (Start with less and add more if necessary)
- 1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
- 1 Tbsp Sesame Seeds
- 1-2 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
- 1/3-1/4c of Sugar ( You can use Brown Sugar or Honey)
- 4 Cloves of Garlic Sliced
- 1 Bunch of Green Onions
- 2 Potatoes
- 1/4tsp Black Pepper 
- Pinch of powdered ginger
- 10 Boiling Onions (You can also use a large onion)
- Chestnuts and Carrots (Optional)

 Sauce: Mix together your soy sauce, sugar, pepper, sesame oil, sesame seeds, and rice wine vinegar and set aside.

  1. Rinse your meat to remove any residue from the bones.
  2. Boil the water with the top open, you want enough water to cover the ribs. ( About 1/2-1inch over the ribs)
  3. While you're bringing the water to a boil, trim any fat from your ribs and also score the meat.
    • By scoring, cut about 1/4inch deep parallel cuts into the meat, then you can go back and do the other side, making almost a diamond shape. It helps tenderize the meat take on the flavor of the sauce.
  4.  Add your meat to the boiling water and boil for about 1.5-2 hrs. continuously removing fat from the surface with a ladle. Once it begins to boil again after you add the ribs, pour in another cup of water and let it continue to boil.
  5. Keep the water at a medium high heat and make your sauce and set aside.
  6. Rough chop all of your vegetables and set them aside, you can just remove the skins from the boiling onions and throw them in whole. You will put the vegetables in the last hour.
  7. After about 1.5-2 hours, the water should have reduced quite a bit and the meat should be almost done cooking. Ladle some of the water out of the pot, you will want to leave about 4-5c of the broth.
  8. Add your sauce to the broth, throw in the vegetables, and cover the pot on low for another 1-1.5 hours. The longer you cook your short ribs, the more tender they will be!
 Little Dolls enjoying a piece of meat before the sauce was added!

Suggestion: Just to mix things up a little, we made short rib sandwiches the next day for lunch! Toast up some rolls, add some Sriracha and Mayo (Optional), some juice, and pulled apart short ribs. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Slumped Wine Bottles

Looking for a fun and unique gift idea? Take a look at some of the links below for a slumped wine bottle. They can be used for kitchen/dining room decor or as cheeseboards.

I bought slumped wine bottles as gifts a few years ago at a street fair in Tucson, AZ and everyone really enjoyed them. I recently found out that you can get your own wine bottles custom made at a few places online. While it can be a little expensive, I think it's a special way to keep and display your wine bottles from special occasions!

* I did order a Veuve bottle from Island Bottle Factory for a friend's birthday and it turned out beautifully! It really is a great gift idea.

Photo Source: MitchellGlassworks

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Our Wedding Cake

Our AMAZING wedding cake!

A personal touch is always appreciated in my book! For our wedding cake my dear friend Laura made us a custom topper that included our dog Dolly. We couldn't bring her with us so it was nice to have her be a part of our day in some way. Laura had made her own cake topper for her wedding and I was thrilled when she agreed to make ours. I hope she knows what a special gift that was for us, not to mention how adorable it came out! Be sure to check out Etsy or find a crafty friend to help make one for your special day!

Now onto the actual wedding cake! Mary from The Scottsdale Resort made the most stunning cake I have EVER seen and I wish I had been able to thank her in person. Not only was it beautiful but it was DELICIOUS! We had a dark chocolate Baileys cake with a Baileys mousse. My dad is not a fan of chocolate, but he even liked this cake! I hope our guests enjoyed it as much as we did.

I'll be sure to post more about our wedding and honeymoon in the following months as I get photos! If you're planning your wedding or honeymoon, best wishes and don't forget to enjoy the ride! Everyone tells you that it flies by, but that year of planning flashes before your eyes on your wedding day. Cheers!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Oreo Balls

We're back in business and kicking off the holiday season with rich and delightful Oreo balls! My friend Adam's wife made these treats for me last year and I ate them all within an hour -- it was only 8am. These are super easy to make and great for holiday parties and goodie bags!

Oreo Balls (Makes about 30)
Time: 2-3hours (Prep, Cook, and Chill)

- 1 Package of Oreos
- 8z Package of Cream Cheese at Room Temperature
- 12z Package of White Chocolate Chips (You can use Milk Chocolate or Almond Bark)
- Sprinkles/Candy Canes (Optional)

I just got this for our wedding, I love my new food processor! It's almost as good as using a hammer.
  1. Finely crumble your whole Oreos in a food processor.
  2. Add your cream cheese and continue to mix. I do this in two batches to help the cream cheese mix evenly with the crumbs.
  3. Roll out walnut sized balls and lay them on parchment paper. Place the pan in the fridge or freezer for about 1hr - 1hr 30mins.
  4. Using a double broiler or microwave, melt your chocolate.
  5. Pull your Oreo Balls out of the fridge, make sure they are hard, and dip them in the chocolate.
  6. Put some sprinkles or candy cane bits on top of the Oreo Balls. (Optional)
  7. Place the Oreo Balls back onto the parchment paper and into the fridge to harden for another hour or so. 
Dolls makes her appearance, sorry little one no chocolate for you!

 Let these bad boys chill for longer than 1 hour if you have time. They taste better when the Oreos are completely chilled! Enjoy!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Turkey Chili

This weekend we enjoyed a relaxing yacht ride with some great friends. I got a beautiful sunset picture that I cannot wait to put on canvas! I also remade the pumpkin cupcakes for our dessert and used cake flour. The cake flour definitely made the cupcakes "softer and bouncier," for a lack of better words. Both types of flour worked well, but if you have cake flour or happen to be at the store, pick some up!

ELBM will be going on a break until post honeymoon. I will be back in late November/early December to share some great photos from our European adventure! Have a fabulous few weeks and in the mean time remember to eat, love, and be merry! 

I love this chilly weather, it's perfect for making chilis, stews, soups, and anything else that gets you excited for the season! I wasn't sure if I was going to post this recipe, but we both really enjoyed our turkey chili so I thought I would share!

Turkey Chili (Serves 4-6)
Time: 20min Prep and 1hr Cook

- 1-1.5lb Ground Turkey (Interchangeable)
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1-2 Chopped Bell Peppers
- 1c Frozen Corn Kernels
- 2-4 Minced Garlic Cloves
- 1 Chopped Onion
- 1 Minced Jalapeno (Seeds removed - optional)
- 2 Cans of 14.5oz Diced Tomatoes ( I used the natural no salt - you can play around with this)
- 2 16z Cans of Beans ( I used Kidney and Pinto)
- 2 tsp of Tomato Paste
- 1 4oz Can of Green Chiles 
- 1c Lager or Broth
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire
- Shredded Cheddar
- Sour Cream 
Spices (I like to premix the spices) 
- 1 tsp Creole Seasoning
- 1/2 tsp Lawrys
- 1 tsp Sugar
- 1 tbsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder 
- 2-3 tbsp Chili powder
- 1 tsp White Pepper
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 1 tsp Coriander
- 1 tsp Oregano
- 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
  1. In a large pot heated to medium, add your olive oil chopped vegetables and sautee for about 5mins.
  2. Add your ground turkey and break it up. Cook for another 3-5mins and add your garlic, worcestershire and beer.
  3. Add your drained can of beans, can of chile, corn, cans of tomatoes (one drained), and tomato paste.
  4. Add all of your spices and turn down the heat to medium low. Cook covered for 30-45mins.
Serve chili with a sprinkle of cheese, dollop of sour cream, and a side of cornbread or Fritos!

I served mine with jalapeno cheddar corn muffins. If you don't have time to make it from scratch, buy a jiffy corn muffin mix and throw in a 4oz can of jalapenos (or less) and 1/2-1c of shredded cheddar cheese into the batter. Bake as directed, this is an easy and delicious upgrade to the muffins! 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Following our afternoon at Green Hand Farm's Pumpkin Patch, we decided to go over to a friend's house to carve our pumpkins and make some cupcakes! Since baking is a fairly new hobby for me, I searched several recipes and blogs to find the perfect pumpkin cupcakes.  Below is a recipe that I adapted from  Smitten Kitchen and while I've made a few tweaks, we absolutely loved the cupcakes!

Between the cupcakes and pumpkin carving it was impossible not to be in the fall spirit. Hope you guys get to enjoy some of fall fun this season!

Pumpkin Cupcakes (Serves 24)
Time: 30min Prep and 20-25min Bake

My sous chef Caiti prepping the mixer

- 1 Stick of Unsalted Butter, Room Temperature
- 1c Dark Brown Sugar
- 1/3c Granulated Sugar
- 2c Flour ( Cake was recommended, but all I had was all purpose, worked fine)
- 2tsp Baking Powder
- 1tsp Baking Soda
- 1tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1tsp Ground Ginger
- 1/2tsp Ground Nutmeg
- 1/8tsp Ground Cloves
- 1/2tsp Salt
- 2 Large Eggs
- 1/2c Sour Cream and 1tsp Vanilla (Add a little milk to smooth out texture)
- 1 1/4c Pure Pumpkin Puree

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line cupcake pans.
  2. Beat butter and sugars on medium speed until it becomes fluffy.
  3. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, and salt into a bowl.
  4. Add eggs 1 at a time to mixer and alternate between adding the eggs, the flour, and milk. Begin and end the mixing with the flour, beat in the pumpkin puree until the batter is smooth.
  5. Scoop the batter into the liners  and lightly drop the pans on the countertops to get rid of air bubbles. 
  6. Bake in oven for 20-25mins, insert a toothpick into the center and make sure it comes out clean.
  7. Place cupcakes on rack/remove from pans and let them cool. 
  8. Place them in the fridge for 25mins to cool, frost, and devour! 
- Two 8ounce Packages of Cream Cheese, Softened ( I used neufchatel )
- 1 Stick Unsalted Butter 
- 2c Confectioner's of Powdered Sugar
- 1/3c Pure Maple Syrup
I wanted to add orange extract to my frosting, but forgot it at home...if anyone tries it let me know!
  1. Beat all ingredients on medium until fluffy and smooth.
  2. You can use a spatula to put on the frosting or pipe on the frosting.
  3. I didn't have any piping bags so I just used a large ziplock bag and snipped the edge.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Beer Can Chicken

The chicken comes out perfectly seasoned and juicy every time. This is perfect for any season, you can grill it in the summer or serve it up with some baked acorn squash in the fall!

Beer Can Chicken (Serves 3-4)
Time: 15min Prep and 70-90min Cook

- 3.5lb Whole Chicken
- 1can of Beer
- Olive Oil, to rub on chicken
- 1tbsp Sea Salt and Pepper
- 1tsp of : Ground Ginger, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Paprika, Brown Sugar, Oregano

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Rub the entire chicken with olive oil. Make sure to get under the skin as well.
  3. Apply desired amount of rub onto the chicken, under the skin, and into the cavity.
  4. Drink half of the beer and add brown sugar and herbs of your choice into the can. ( I like to use thyme or rosemary)
  5. Finally, place the bird on top of the can and carefully place it in the oven.
  6. Roast the bird for about 10mins and reduce the heat to 350 degrees. The chicken should roast for another 70-90minutes. Check with a meat thermometer that it is cooked throughout.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Happy Halloween!

I know it's not Halloween yet, but I've been dying to post these photos of Dolly in her costume. Although she won't be answering the door with us to pass out candy...we like Dolly to be festive. Some call it torture, but c'mon it's all in good fun!

Sorry for the lack of posts these past few weeks, I've been extremely busy with wedding and honeymoon planning. Have a great Monday and I hope these photos put a grin on your face!

Hi, Mom!

Seriously, give me my Greenie!

See! It's all good! 

There are a ton of cute and cheap costumes at Target, click here for the turtle costume!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Happy fall, friends! I don't know about you, but I am a total sucker for this season...I love the fashion (boot season) and the food. The smell of spice, pumpkin, apples, it just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. Anyways, to kick off my fall celebration I put up a few decorations around the house and decided to make a pumpkin cheesecake. Per recommendation from the fabulous Pioneer Woman, I also drizzled caramel onto my crust and it added a really nice chewy texture to my crust. Hope you can try this recipe this season!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
Time: 35mins Prep and 1hr/1hr 5min Cook

- 16z Ginger Snaps
- 1 Stick of butter, Melted
- 1-2c of Pecans (Optional)
  1. Add your cookies, pecans, and butter to a food processor until it is ground enough for a crust.
  2. Or - In my case...get a large ziplock and a meat tenderizer (or hammer) and crush away on a chopping mat so you don't break your countertop.  
  3. Once that step is done, grease a 9 x 13 baking pan and pour in your crumbs. 
  4. Use the bottom of your measuring cup to form the crust for your cheesecake.
  5. Place the crust in the fridge until you are ready to spread on the caramel and pour on the mixture.

- 3 Packages of Cream Cheese
- 1 Can of Pure Pumpkin
- 1 1/2c Sugar
- 1tsp Cinnamon
- 1tsp Allspice
- 1/2tsp Nutmeg
- 4 Eggs
- 3tbsp Heavy Cream
- Pinch of Salt
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Beat the cream cheese and sugar until they are mixed well and become fluffy.
  3. Add the pumpkin and spices and continue to mix. 
  4. Slowly add in one egg at a time and finally add your cream until the mixture is completely combined. 
  5. At this point you can either pour the mixture onto your cooled crust or pour on your caramel and nuts onto the crust before your pour in your mixture. 

I used an Ina Garten recipe, it turned out differently compared to my previous caramel sauces, but it was perfect on the crust! You can also buy a jar of caramel at the store and pour on your desired amount.

Get the recipe here! 

Whipped Cream
- 1/2-1c Heavy Whipping Cream
- 2tbsp Powdered Sugar
- 1/4-1tsp Vanilla 
  1. Whip the mixture together in a mixing bowl until you reach your desired consistency. Usually right before stiff peaks form. 
  2. Do not overbeat the mixture...if you do then just start over! 
Enjoy this delicious fall dessert!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Fig and Prosciutto Bruschetta

Easy and yummy! I recently got a few figs from a friend and decided to make use of them in a bruschetta. The sweetness from the fig and honey are perfectly paired with the saltiness of the prosciutto.

Fig and Prosciutto Bruschetta 
Time: 15mins Prep and Cook 

- Spoonful of Ricotta Cheese ( I used part skim)
- Figs, Sliced (About 1 per bread)
- Prosciutto (2 pieces per bruschetta)
- Honey
- Truffle oil (Optional - I heart truffle oil, but my man likes this recipe without it)
- Toasted Bread
  1. Toast your slices of bread.
  2. Drizzle your bread with honey/ and or truffle oil. 
  3. Take a spoonful of ricotta and spread it onto the toasted bread.
  4. Top your ricotta off with 2 slices of prosciutto and sliced figs.
It's a quick and simple treat...if you have the ingredients try it out!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Guinness Brisket

I asked my friend Becca for this recipe several years ago so that I could make it for my love. Since then I've made a few tweaks, but we still love this as much as the first time we tried it. This brisket is perfect for a chilly fall day and super easy for a get together. Serve this up with a side of your favorite crusty bread or salad. I want to warn you that this recipe will need to sit in the slow cooker all day, but the tender goodness is worth the wait, enjoy!

Crockpot Guinness Brisket (Serves 4-5) 
Time: 15min Prep and 8-10hr Cook

If you're of drinking age, go ahead and take a few sips of your Guinness, you know to make it an even 12oz...

- 4 to 5lbs Beef Brisket, trimmed of excess fat
- 12oz Guinness (Or any dark stout)
- 8oz Tomato Sauce
- 3/4c Light Brown Sugar
- 3-4 Carrots, Sliced thick
- 1 Medium Chopped Onion
- 4-5 Garlic Cloves
- 1tsp Thyme
- 1tbsp Parsley
- 1/2tsp Black Pepper
- 1tsp Salt
- 1-2 tsp of Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  1. Mix together the wet ingredients and spices in a bowl and chop any vegetables you want to add. 
  2. Place your trimmed brisket into the pot and top with chopped vegetables. 
  3. Pour liquid mixture over the brisket, cover, and cook on low for at least 7-8hrs.
  4. Once it's ready, serve with some mashed potatoes and crusty french bread!