Thursday, July 28, 2011

Peanutbutter Chocolate Chip Bacon Cookies

Boy the name of these cookies is a mouthful....a mouthful of deliciousness!!! I stumbled across this recipe at Munchkin Munchies and I had to try it. Just look at this delectable combination....
My mouth is watering just looking at them!
Look at the chocolate chips and bacon chunks floating on pillows of peanut butter cookies....yuuuuum!
Of course I am a bit of an indulgent glutton, so I couldn't stop there. I made smaller cookies and turned them into sandwiches filled with peanut butter buttercream!

If you are in need of a salty sugary high, try them out!

Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip, Bacon Cookies (adapted from Munchkin Munchies)
Makes 1 dozen large cookies or 1 dozen small sandwich cookies (24 small cookies)
Cookie Ingredients:
1 1/4 Cup Flour
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Baking Powder
1/8 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Salt
5 Strips of Bacon
4 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, room temperature
1/2 Cup Chunky Peanut Butter
1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/2  packed Light Brown Sugar
1 Egg
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/3 Cup Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350. 
Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl.
Cook the bacon in a skillet until crisp. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate.  Reserve 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings.  Once bacon is cool, crumble into pieces.
Beat butter and bacon drippings in a mixer until smooth. About 1 minute on medium speed.  Beat in peanut butter until combined.  Add in both granulated and light brown sugar, and beat until smooth.  Then add in egg and vanilla until light and fluffy.
Reduce mixer to low and slowly add in the flour mixture, scrapping the sides of the bowl as needed.
Add all but 2 tablespoons of the chocolate chips and all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon pieces.
Form dough into balls, and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Flatten the cookies with a fork.  Gentle press remaining chips and bacon into the tops of each cookie.
Bake until golden, about 12-14 minutes.
Let cookies cool for a few minutes on baking sheet, then transfer to wire rack to cool.

Meanwhile....if you are feeling adventurous, prepare your sandwich filling!

Peanutbutter Buttercream Filling
1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter, room temperature
1 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
3 tablespoons Milk (or as needed)
2 cups Powdered Sugar

Beat butter and peanutbutter in a mixer until fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar, alternating with a little milk.  Beat well until reaching desired consistency.  
Once cookies are cool, pipe dollops of filling on one side of a cookie, and sandwich another one on top.
Sit down before eating, or you may fall over from the amazingness!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Blue Brushed Flower Cookies

Good Evening! Wow, tonight is a late night post!  I had a busy evening of sunset yoga at a local lake, followed by preparing for a birthday brunch at work tomorrow morning.  Even though its late, I'm sharing another one of my "left over cookie experiments".  I love the brushed embroidery technique, so I gave it a shot on some left over black cookies.  I love the black and turquoise combo, don't you?

I just love this look! I cant wait to try it out on more cookies!  Good evening night owls!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Inspired Monday: Pineapple Cream Cheese Spread

Can you believe its already the end of July?! I can feel the summer clock ticking away.  It makes me start thinking I need to have a summer party and fast! Today's inspiration is a pineapple cream cheese spread, check out how cool this looks!

I haven't tried the recipe out yet, but it sure looks delicious!  Do you have any fun summer parties planned yet?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

DIY Designer Inspiration: Z-Gallerie Venezia Mirrors

I am so excited to show you my latest project! I came across these Venezia Mirrors from Z-Gallerie, and loved them! 
But I did not love the $69.95 each price tag.  These 4 mirrors would run approximately $280!!!
I decided to create my own, for a much smaller price tag.  
Using Dollar Store mirrors, I cut contact paper into shapes with my Cricut, and covered them.  Then I sprayed them with frosted glass spray paint and.....
Viola!! My very own set of Venezia mirrors!!
Here comes the best part....
Cost Breakdown:
6 mirrors: Free (I already owned them---I did get them at the Dollar Store several months back)
Contact Paper: Free (yep, already had it for other projects)
Frosted Glass Spray Paint: $5
Picture Hanging Hooks: $1
Glue to Apply Hooks: $3
Total Cost: $9

Total Retail Savings: $271!!
I hope you enjoyed my project and perhaps are inspired to create your own!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

You Capture: Summertime

I haven't really been keeping up with my You Capture Challenges, but this week's theme was "Summertime" so I had to make sure I got a few photos!
 We put in the patio this June, so summertime is now David, grilling on our patio!
 Since I can remember, my hometown festival, Fish Day, always marked a "halfway through summer" point. Here I am (left) with three of my favorite girlfriends on our way to the Fish Day fest grounds.
 David and I took our dogs to Lake Harriet for a walk. It was hot, so we took them swimming.  They have never been in the water before.  We had to keep them on leashes, but they didn't seem to mind.
Here is my tiny Sookie swimming in the lake. I don't think she liked it very much!!
I hope everyone is enjoying their summers!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Rhubarb Soda and a Rhub-tini

Rhubarb season was drawing to an end and I had tons left in my garden.  I came across THIS recipe from a local Minnesota website.  Rhubarb soda!  I recently purchased a Soda Stream machine and thought this would be a delicious addition to my usual sparkling water.
Here's how you can try out this refreshing summer drink!
1 cup rhubarb, chopped
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
Add all ingredients to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until rhubarb falls apart. Strain in a mesh strainer and let cool.
Once cool, stir with sparkling water.  Add syrup to taste.  

Fruit "Soda" is delicious but I was in the mood for something stronger.  A Rhub-tini was sounding pretty awesome!
I mixed together vodka and some rhubarb soda. Shake with ice, strain into a chilled glass.  Then I poured rhubarb syrup in the glass, adding to taste. 
I'm thinking this could be a good idea for raspberries too soon!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Inspired Monday: Dreamy Garden Path

I've been working a lot in my yard this season. I'm beginning to cultivate some beautiful perennial gardens and I cant wait to see how they change and grow in the coming years.  I was also inspired by this gorgeous garden path.  I may have to recreate something like this in my gardens!

Are any of you gardeners? What is your favorite plant or flower?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Inspired Monday: Perfect Dog House

I came across this dog house while cruising backyard landscaping ideas.  The article I was reading had reccomendations for landscaping a dog friendly yard.  They suggested creating a shady place for your dogs by having one of these:

Dog owner or not, you have to admit the details on this house are adorable! The window box, the sun medallion, and the house numbers! Its so stinkin cute! I may have to consider this idea for my pups!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Green Chile Burgers

I love summer grilling, but sometimes brats and burgers get a little blah. Spice up your burger with this simple recipe!
Green Chile Burgers (adapted from Betty Crocker)
Makes 4 burgers
1 pound ground beef
1 can chopped green chiles (4 oz)
Pepper Jack Cheese Slices
1 ripe avocado
Hamburger buns
Tomato (sliced)
Sour Cream

In a bowl mix can of green chiles and ground beef until well incorporated.  Form burger patties.  Grill to desired "doneness" (I like mine medium!) and top with pepper jack cheese.  Assemble your burger by spreading ripe avocado on bottom bun, top with burger, lettuce, tomato, and spread sour cream on your top bun.  Enjoy the new twist on a classic grilled burger!

Don't forget, I just joined Twitter! Come show me some Twitter love!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Left Overs

I had some left over cookie dough so I cut a few extra to practice on.  I tried out some brushed embroidery techniques on these.

This one was supposed to be a "J" but I got a little out of control with the swirls so its more like a "T".
I love this effect!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Fairytale Frosting Meets Twitter

OK its official. I've joined Twitter.  I have hesitated for so long, feeling a little overwhelmed with the whole social media thing...I mean its always something new right?  However I decided to jump on board, so come join me!
 You can follow me HERE
In honor of my new Twitter, I also whipped up a few blue bird cookies!
I hope you'll come check out my Twitter account, I need some Twitter love! Ha ha!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Craft Tip: Vinegar

Happy Independence Day! Did any other craft geeks spend their day working on projects? No? Oh. Well, I didn't have any BBQ's to go to, my boyfriend worked, so I did one of my favorite things intead...Craft!
Here is a tip I learned...use vinegar to remove labels!
Check this out....
 I needed to remove some stubborn labels. I sprayed paper towel with vinegar, and wrapped it over the labels. Let it sit about 5 minutes or so. Then scrub off under warm water.  I used a steel wool pad, but a scrubber sponge would work too.
See, labels are gone, no sticky residue! Way quicker and easier than Goo Gone.  
Hope you enjoyed celebrating your freedom in whatever way made you most happy today!


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