Archive | September, 2012

Inaugural Giveaway – Winner Announced!!

29 Sep

Drum roll…………………………………………………………………………………………..

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……………………the winner is Walid Omar!! WOOOHOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Walid, you were the lucky number today. I’ll be sending you an email shortly to get all the details of what you’d like in your package and where I’ll be sending the lovely parcel to!

Thanks to everyone who became a Follower to enter the Giveaway! I’m thinking of doing these on a bi-monthly basis, so there will be plenty more opportunities for you to win! Meanwhile, you’ll be kept in the loop as I dive into recipes of all sorts and crafts here and there.

To give you an idea of what’s planned for upcoming posts…

In the food department: to-die-for sugar cookies, complete with a homemade frosting/glaze. You will want to make these, trust me.

In the craft world, I’m excited to share this one with you. Using gel medium to transfer photos on to wood. It’s rather simple and looks extremely cool when you’re done.

So stay tuned! Great things are coming up in blog posts. Hope everyone gets themselves outside to enjoy the beautiful Fall weekend, I’m off to an apple orchard here shortly. Going to try my hand at homemade apple butter this weekend. We’ll see what happens…

The Inaugeral Giveaway Post

25 Sep

‘ello all!  I have been meaning to write this post for five days now so I apologize profusely for my tardiness. I taunted you with a Giveaway Post and then took forever to write it. I’m a failure. So sorry.

On the upside…the time is now, the time is here – THIS is the Giveaway Post! YOU could win!

Here are the glorious details:

What: A fun-filled package could arrive on your doorstep, in your mailroom, to a P.O. Box near you. It will be filled with theeeeese items:

  • A cookie of your choice, whether from this blog or not. The winner can pick the type of cookie (this means “peanut butter” not “big”, just for those of you funny people out there).
  • A snack of your choice, from these two options: Granola or Chipotle & Rosemary Nuts
  • All the ingredients (other than butter – that’s yours to purchase) for Knock You Naked Brownies because that’s the REAL point of this blog – trying to bring tasty recipes into your home for YOU to make and enjoy! I’ll provide just about all the ingredients and then you can roll up your sleeves and give it a go. Humor me, ok? I think you’ll surprise yourself. And they are TASTY, I promise!
  • A spatula to add to your kitchen. I solemnly swear I’ll pick out a really great one. But what it looks like will be a surprise, I hope that’s alright.
  • You never know what other surprises I’ll throw in. Just because surprises are fun. I love surprises. And if you don’t, too bad. There will be some in the package. Handle it.

Why: Because everyone needs a fun package in the mail sometimes! I wish I could send you all a fun package but then I’d be broke and it just wouldn’t be as special. But don’t you worry, there will be more Giveaways. Why? Please read this section again.

When: The Giveaway entry period will end Friday, September 28 at 11:59 PM. I’ll announce the winner in a post on Saturday morning sometime between 9:08 AM and 11:43 AM. Just for a little added anticipation.

How: As stated in my previous post, you must be a Follower on the blog to be entered. You must click the button in the upper right corner of the blog, follow the prompts and become an official Follower to be entered (becoming a Follower means that you’ll get an email each time I post in the future, which is on average about 4-7 times a month I’d say). This is also how I’ll clarify the details of the package and the mailing address with the winner as I get to see a list of all the lovely email addresses of the blog followers. The winner will be selected through use of a random number generator where each follower will be assigned a number and the RNG will do the rest. Equal chance for all!

So if you’re not yet a Follower, please be one! Then you’ll not only have the opportunity to win but you’ll be updated each time I have a new recipe or craft to share. C’mon, it’s a win-win.

If you already are a Follower, congratulations – you’ve entered the Giveaway and have nothing else to do except wait for Saturday’s announcement! You’re so on top of things.

If you just read this blog in passing, well, I’m so glad you stopped by. Please continue to do so. But unfortunately I don’t know who you are so can’t enter you into the Giveaway. Sorry about that.

Those are all the details. That’s it. Simple and super fun – I can’t wait to put this package together for the lucky winner!

Best wishes to all who enter and may the odds be ever in your favor…(ha, couldn’t help it)…

Snickerdoodles

13 Sep

Before I dive into one of the best cookie recipes EVER, I have a few things I need to share with you (at least read #3 if you don’t want to read #1 and #2)…

1) Can I just say I love September? There are many reasons why this is such a glorious month (cough…birthday…cough, cough), but I truly think Fall foods are some of the most delicious, cozy foods ever. Get excited as I hope to have many blog posts of Fall foods to share with you soon, many I hope to whip up this weekend. This particular weekend is the first where I will not only be home long enough to eat something from my own fridge/cupboards, but I’ll have plenty of “me time” in the kitchen. I can’t tell you how happy that makes me!

2) I have exciting news! Well, exciting to me. I’ve mentioned how much I’ve wanted one of these in a multitude of blog posts…I’ve been staring at them in the store like a kid staring at the puppy section in the pet store. I’ve made the excuses: “it’s too much money”, “where would I store it” blah blah blah. But I give up. I want one!

Yes, yes, you may have already guessed it. A KitchenAid Mixer is going to be purchased this weekend. It’s my birthday present to myself and I’m going to love it to pieces. Now I just have to decide on a color (HELP)!

3) So…with it being Fall, the season of baked goods and with the upcoming purchase of my new BFF the KitchenAid Mixer…I’m going to have all these goodies that I will not be able to eat all by myself. And as it’s a month for cool kids to have birthdays, seems only right to have my first blog giveaway!

Yes, you read correctly. A GIVEAWAY.  Where YOU WIN things. I won’t tell you what is specifically in the giveaway yet, but I’ll have an upcoming post with all the details. It will probably consist of a variety of homemade goodies from me and most likely also involve a spatula or two. Probably some buttons involved somehow if I’m being completely honest. (You should have seen that one coming.)

I will say, all you will have to do to win the giveaway will be to be a follower on the blog. So if you’re one of those readers who has not clicked the ‘Follow’ button yet, this is the time to do it! The Giveaway Post will occur within the next week (I hope!) with details including when the winner will be announced etc…so stay tuned!

Now that all of THAT is out there…we can get to down to the cookies.

I have this thing for chewy cookies, don’t you? If a cookie is crispy or crunchy…meh…not my thing. But chewy cookies, um, YES please. Thus, I was on the mission to find a tasty, CHEWY version of snickerdoodles. And I dare say, I think I was successful. I do warn you, these are one of those cookies where you can’t have just one. Or two. You may find you’ve eaten five before lunchtime. It happens. I won’t judge you because well…that may have happened to someone I know. A friend of mine. Ok, to me. Whatever. I’m NOT ashamed. Nor will you be you be when you taste one!

Few last notes, I chose to use a recipe without cream of tartar (because I didn’t have any) and found this exact same recipe on multiple blogs. So, I’m not sure where the credit should go to, but just know many have tested it out, devoured them, blogged about it etc. TRUST in THEM. And me too I hope!

Ingredients:

  • 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour (I chose to use whole wheat flour, whatever you prefer)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
  • 2 eggs

**Important Cooking Notes added on 9/26/12:

  • I’ve had a few readers try out this recipe and would like to mention if you prefer sweeter cookies, adding a dash of vanilla will help with that. I made these without and loved them, but if you’re in need of real sweet taste beyond the cinnamon and sugar, the dash of vanilla will accomplish that.
  • Be sure to use unsalted butter or the cookies may turn out a bit salty. If you must use salted butter, then leave out the 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

Coating:

  • 2 Tablespoons of granulated white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon

This is a simple recipe, just requires some blending before you get to the fun part.

First things first – preheat the oven to 350. Grab a medium-sized bowl and mix your flour, salt and baking powder together. Make sure it’s all mixed up well and then set that bowl to the side. (Apologies for the lack of picture. I don’t know where my mind was.)

Grab the butter and make sure it’s SOFT. Trust me. Not kinda soft. Not a little bit soft. SOFT. Or it will stick to your mixer’s beaters and if you’re anything like me…you will get upset…spout off a few choice words…stop the blender…poke the butter out of all the beaters crevices…etc. etc. etc. Just trust me. 🙂

Now take that lovely, soft butter and mix it with your sugar using either your hand mixer or your electric mixer. It takes about 3 minutes, so set a timer, put on some good blending tunes (highly recommend “Don’t Wake Me Up” by Chris Brown…it’s perfect for kitchen tunage needs) and get mixing. It should look pale, fluffy and glorious when you’re finished.

Once the sugar and butter is all blended, mix in your eggs one at a time. When they’re all mixed in, slooooowllllly mix in your flour mixture.

Once it is ALL mixed together, get out a small plate or saucer and pour out your cinnamon and sugar “coating.” A small bowl works too, I just prefer the plate/saucer method.

Roll your dough into small balls, then roll them in your cinnamon/sugar mixture before putting them on a Pam-sprayed cookie sheet. I follow the 3 x 4  method, as you’ve likely seen in past posts.

Bake them for 12 – 15 minutes, until they have a hint of that lovely, golden brown color. Pull ’em out and let them cool. Or don’t let them cool and pop one in your mouth when they’re still warm. Either way, be prepared to be wowed.

Set them out for friends…or maybe just for yourself.

These are also great cookies to pack up and take to the office or a party as they don’t crumble in Tupperware. Trust me! I took these babies all the way to Chicago with me a few weeks ago on the plane and there wasn’t one broken cookie.

So bake yourself a batch and enjoy these delicious little morsels. They’ll be gone before you know it!

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