Monday, September 1, 2014

Memories of Last Fall: Recipes & Projects

Hi Everyone! Since September is here, I thought I would share some of my favorite recipes and projects from last fall with you today! This is my favorite time of year for baking as well as decorating the home, because as the weather gets cooler, more warmth begins to fill the kitchen and the home! And there's nothing that'll warm up your home in a more wonderful and delicious way than the smell of cinnamon or pumpkin spice! You can also check out some of my fall pumpkin projects that are all super easy to create, that I have included below. I also included some of my favorite trips that we took last fall, because we had so much fun exploring some of the Greater DC area where we live! I have lots of new ideas and recipes to share with you this year, and can't wait for the season to fully begin!


Pumpkin Spice Whoopie Pies with Cream Cheese Filling (Recipe HERE) and Mini Apple Turnovers (Recipe HERE)

Classic Apple Strudel (Recipe HERE) and Cinnamon Sugar Donut Muffins (Recipe HERE)

Croissant Bread Pudding (Recipe HERE) and Pumpkin Spice Pancakes (Recipe HERE)

Plaid Sugar Cookies (Recipe HERE) and Pumpkin Sugar Cookies (Recipe HERE)


Cinnamon Coffee Cake (Recipe HERE) and Whole Wheat Apple Muffins (Recipe HERE)


Classic Apple Pie (Recipe HERE) and Homemade Slow Cooker Apple Butter (Recipe HERE)


Apple Cranberry Crisp (Recipe HERE) and Fresh Cranberry Mini Scones (Recipe HERE)


Pumpkin Candle Holder (Tutorial HERE) and Monogrammed Pumpkin Table Setting (Tutorial HERE)


Pumpkin Flower Centerpiece (Tutorial HERE) and Burlap Treat Bags (Tutorial HERE)


Shenandoah National Park (Read about it HERE) and Great Falls National Park (Read about it HERE)


Amish Pumpkin Farm (Read about it HERE) and Fall in Washington DC (Read about it HERE)

I hope you found something to inspire you here, and that you have the most wonderful fall this year! I'll be back soon with some new recipes & projects!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

A Trip to St. Michaels, Maryland

Hello Everyone! Happy Weekend! I cannot believe that this is the last weekend in August, this summer has flown by so quickly! I hope you all have a great weekend and manage to soak up all the remaining summer fun! I wanted to stop by today and share some pictures of a recent day trip we took to a quaint little historical town in Maryland, called St. Michaels. We have loved exploring this area since we moved to Maryland almost two years ago (you can check out more travel posts HERE!) and this is one of the cutest places around! This 17th century town on the Chesapeake Bay is filled with lots of little shops, seafood restaurants, ice-cream parlors, bed & breakfasts and shops, and is definitely worth a visit if you're ever in the area!

It was a beautiful sunny day so we decided to walk around the marina first. It was pretty busy with people sailing in and out, some stopping for lunch at a popular seafood restaurant, The Crab Claw!

The Crab Claw (you can check it out HERE!) sits right on the Chesapeake Bay, has seating both inside and outside and specializes in crabs! This is one of my favorite things about Maryland; all the amazing fresh seafood. If you are a seafood lover, you definitely want to come to Maryland at some point!

We've had lots of crab cakes and crab cake sandwiches since we've lived in Maryland, and these were really good! Super fresh and light, and so delicious!


What's better than sitting outside on a beautiful day, eating delicious seafood, with your favorite person in the whole world?! Doesn't get much better than that!




I loved all the sweet little street signs all around the town. The main street in St. Michaels is called Talbot Street, and it's lined with lots of nice shops specializing in all the things Maryland is known for, little antique shops, restaurants and cafes, ice-cream parlors, bed & breakfasts and inns, and old churches.


Here are some pictures of the main street, Talbot Street (named after Talbot County which is the county where St. Michaels is). All the buildings were decorated with beautiful plants and flowers, flags and images of crabs, of course!




More historical buildings on Talbot Street.

I loved this sign at a Bed & Breakfast called The Snuggery (which is actually the oldest residence in St. Michaels) on one of the side streets! It's a little difficult to see in this picture, but it's a man tipping his hat to a lady. It was so cute! I loved all the little details like this that many of the homes and buildings had, there was something to look at on every corner, and it made walking around the town so fun!


We stopped by an antique shop (picture on the left) that had so many old treasures (and we may have brought one back with us!) and also a Christmas shop (because I can't ever pass by a Christmas shop without going in!) where I saw all these Downton Abbey Christmas ornaments! (Picture on the right) They had ornaments of Highclare Castle, the cars that were driven in the later episodes of Downton, and even an ornament that looked like the bells in the servants' hall! A dream come true for any Downton fan!


I loved these two white rocking chairs at this Bed & Breakfast! I can just imagine sitting in one of them early in the morning, sipping my English Breakfast Tea out of my favorite teacup and watching the world wake up! Sounds perfect to me. I hope you enjoyed walking through this sweet little place with me, and if you're ever in Maryland and are looking for a nice place to visit and eat some delicious crab cakes, make sure you visit St. Michaels! You can find more information about the town and the area HERE. I hope you all enjoy your weekend, and come back soon for some fall inspired recipes and projects! Thanks for stopping by today!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

How to remove wax from jars

Hello Everyone! I have a super quick and easy craft tip for you today... for how to easily remove wax from a glass jar! If you love scented candles like I do and have lots of used up ones sitting in the back of one of your kitchen cabinets (like I do!) waiting to be repurposed for something one day, then this is for you! With three simple steps, you can easily remove the wax and re-use the jars for storage or making new candles! Here's how to do it...

You can remove the wax in three easy steps! First, place the jar in the freezer for a couple hours or overnight, because this will make removing the wax much easier! Next, using a sharp knife, cut the wax into a couple big pieces, making sure you cut all the way down to the bottom of the jar. As soon as you make one or two cuts, the pieces will become loose, and the wax will start coming out itself! Take all the pieces of wax out, then wash the jar with a sponge and some soapy hot water just to make sure you got all the wax out!
Happy Crafting, Everyone!
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Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Perfect Crepes

Hi Everyone! When it comes to crepes, I have never had much success; they were either super thick and drenched in oil, or thin, ripped up and burned. My mom on the other hand, is a pro at making crepes! Her crepes always turn out perfectly and she always has two or three pans of them going at the same time, unlike me who struggles to keep one going! With a couple tips and a good recipe though, my crepe making skills have improved, and I have a great recipe to share with you today! I absolutely love crepes, both sweet and savory, and this recipe works for both. I love sweet crepes with Nutella and bananas or with some berry sauce and whipped cream, or savory ones with a creamy mushroom or spinach filling just to name a couple... and I'm getting pretty hungry just writing this!

THE PERFECT CREPES

YOU WILL NEED
2 cups and 2 tbs milk (A little over 16 fl oz)
3 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbs granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
Oil for cooking crepes



DIRECTIONS
Whisk all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Make sure there are no lumps, and that the batter is nice and smooth! Then, let it sit and rest for about 20 minutes. Once the batter has had time to rest, add a little bit of oil to your pan and cook the crepes one by one (I use about a ladle-full of batter for each crepe), swirling the batter around the pan then letting it cook for a couple of minutes, until you start seeing bubbles on the surface and the edges begin peeling off a little bit. Then, very carefully flip the crepe over and cook on the other side for just a minute or two, until it has cooked through. Follow the same process for each crepe.

Happy Baking, Everyone!
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*I previously shared this recipe on Or So She Says, where I am a monthly contributor, make sure you go and check out the site, you'll find lots of great recipes, projects & ideas!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hi Everybody! After a busy summer filled with lots of travel, fun adventures and not much time spent at home, it feels like life is getting back to normal again... I'm not sure whether I'm happy about that or not, but I'm excited for this fall; for the cool weather, our annual trip to the pumpkin farm in Pennsylvania, walks through the colorful countryside, drinking apple cider and baking pumpkin rolls and apple pies! But before all of that, I have a cookie recipe to share with you today! I can never resist a good chocolate chip cookie, and add some gooey melted caramel in the middle of that cookie and you have cookie perfection! The last time I made these cookies was on one of those days when literally everything that could go wrong in the kitchen did. I made a batch of cookie dough and when I baked off the cookies they didn't look right... I forgot to add in the baking soda! I was pretty annoyed, but decided to make a new batch, making sure I didn't forget a single ingredient this time! The only problem.... when I went to get the baking soda out of my pantry, there was none left! I had pretty much had it with the cookie dough at that point. So one angry trip to the store and a fresh new box of baking soda later, the cookie jar was filled with these chewy caramel filled cookies and all was well with the world again (or at least in my kitchen it was)!

CARAMEL STUFFED CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

YOU WILL NEED
Your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe!
Chocolate covered soft caramel candies (like Rolos)
Or soft caramels cut in half for each cookie
Optional: coarse salt to sprinkle on top to make these salted caramel chocolate chip cookies!



DIRECTIONS
To make these, simply make your cookie dough as you would normally (leave the baking temperature & time the same as well), and let it chill in the fridge for about 20 - 30 minutes. Once the dough is chilled, preheat your oven (I bake mine at 375 deg F) and line your baking sheets with parchment paper. Place a chocolate covered caramel (or a soft caramel cut in half) in the middle of each cookie, make sure it's completely sealed with cookie dough all around and form a ball shape. Place your cookies on your baking sheets, at least 2 inches apart, then bake according to your cookie recipe directions! Let the baked cookies sit on the baking sheets for at least 5 minutes after they come out of the oven so all the caramel doesn't ooze out! They are best eaten slightly warm when the caramel is all melted!



I hope you love these cookies too!!! And for a quick trick to have fresh baked cookies anytime you want them? Check out THIS post about how to freeze cookie dough balls and have fresh cookies in 10 minutes whenever you want them!!!
Happy Baking, Everyone!
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Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Day in Edinburgh, Scotland

Hello Everyone! It's hard to believe that the summer is coming to an end! I hope you've all enjoyed your summer, that you've had some time to relax and have fun, and that you've made lots of new memories! We've had a busy but great one, filled with lots of travel (and jet lag), and so many new experiences and memories. We recently spent a week in Scotland, and I wanted to share some pictures of our day in Edinburgh with you today! 

Edinburgh is a beautiful city with so much ancient history and lots of charming old streets and squares. At the top is Edinburgh Castle, which overlooks the city. This is one of the views from the castle!


I was pretty excited to be wearing a scarf and a jacket in the middle of the summer! I am not a fan of the heat and the humidity that the summer brings with it, so I was loving the cool temperatures and even the occasional rain showers!


Bagpipes & Tartan
Everything was so beautifully green.


I loved this old gate!

Scottish rock candy (left) and A Scottish Recipes dish towel (right)!

Fish & Chips! We didn't actually have this in Edinburgh, but I wanted to include this here too, because it was so so good! With all the grease that it contained, it was a heart attack waiting to happen, but it was oh so delicious!

Beautiful gardens in the city


The day that we were here happened to be one one of the days that the Fringe Festival was on in the city! There were lots of street performers and vendors out, and it was so much fun watching them all!

 Traditional Scottish tartan blankets


More tartan!

Edinburgh Castle

The interior courtyard of the castle



Cemetery for soldiers' dogs (left) and St. Margaret's Chapel (right). This little chapel was incredible, it was a tiny little room with just a couple of places to sit, but it was so peaceful and serene. It is also the oldest building in both the castle and in the city, and it's hard to believe it's been standing there since the 12th century!


You really need at least half a day to explore the whole castle, but it is so worth seeing at least a little bit of it! Besides seeing the Scottish crown jewels or some of the interiors of where Mary Queen of Scots lived, you get to see some absolutely beautiful views of the city!

I feel like we've been in a constant state of jet lag these past couple of weeks which has made sleeping pretty difficult, so as soon as I saw this tea, I had to get it! It's so good, and I managed to stay asleep until 5am... !!!

This was such a fun trip, and I loved being able to visit this beautiful old city! If you are ever in Scotland, it is definitely worth a visit! This was our last trip of the summer, so it's time to put those suitcases away and get ready for the next season.... I can't wait for fall to come now, after the chilly weather in Scotland I am so ready for it! I hope you are all having a wonderful week, and have a great rest of the summer!

PS. I couldn't resist re-sharing this Scottish treat with you.... I need to make some more shortbread soon!
Get the recipe HERE!

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