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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Cookie Dough Truffles - recipe!

When J.B. took his first bite of these, his face was completely blank. No reaction. Nothin'. I waited patiently for him to either spit them out or shrug with indifference. {it was obviously they weren't great, right?} Wrong. He walked across the room and planted a huge kiss on me. Told me he's never been so glad to be married to me... I'm not sure how else to take that. But I'm considering it a rave review for the recipe! : ) 

These are pretty simple. There's more "waiting time" involved in it that actual prep time. If you're short on time, there's a shortcut at the bottom of the recipe.

4 tbsp. butter
 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup all-purpose flour
  7 oz. sweetened condensed milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
 1/4 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
  12 oz semisweet bakers chocolate
Mini chocolate chips (for garnish)

Makes about 20 truffles.

Combine the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and blend on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes

Beat in the flour, condensed milk and vanilla extract until smooth.

 Stir in the chocolate chips. 

 Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the mixture has firmed up enough to form balls. Mine took about a half hour.

Shape the chilled cookie dough mixture into 1-1½ inch balls.  Place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Then chill in the freezer for about 2 hours.

 Intermission... how do you guys cook? Do you have a TV nearby? Do you crank up the radio? Do you relish the silence?
I always have the dogs underfoot {they know what goes on in the kitchen and always volunteer to be taste testers}. But I like to crank up some music and enjoy cooking. Today I've got Pandora up on my iPad ... along with a glass of that fantastic sangria!

 When you're ready to dip the truffles, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Dip each chilled truffle one at a time {I like to use a toothpick}. Make sure to shake them gently for a few seconds to get rid of the excess chocolate. If at any point, the cookie dough balls become too soft and mushy, put them back in the the freezer for 30 minutes.

Place the dipped truffles on a new sheet of wax paper. If you're using mini chocolate chips for garnish, sprinkle on top quickly after dipping each truffle before the chocolate sets. Once all the truffles have been dipped, store them in the refrigerator until you're ready to serve them.

Bad news  -  From the time you dip these, it's going to take about a hour before they set well enough to eat them. Otherwise you'll be chomping on a mushy pile of chocolate and cookie dough goo
... unless you're into that?

Yes, they are a good as they look. Actually, they might be better than they look. My photography skills {or lack there of} don't do them justice.

A shortcut:  If want to skip making your own cookie dough, you can always buy the prepackaged cookie dough that breaks off into the individual pieces. Dip those into the melted chocolate for the same effect. 

Hope ya'll love these as much as I do! J.B. and I are headed out now to spend the rest of the day on our boat on the river. I love love love summer weekends!

{Denver loves to go too!}

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Guest Bedroom Reveal!

Isn't it about time that I shared the new look in the guest bedroom??
 I've really been enjoying this room. It's super calm and comfortable, just the way I want my guests to feel.
Come on in.

{Denver likes it too}

Remember my newly reupholstered chair? It fits right in here.

Over the chair, I have some garden baskets on the wall filled with classic paperback books.

The bedroom furniture is all super affordable and from Target.com. Simple and functional.

Lamp and candle holders are Pottery Barn. And I'm a sucker for hydrangeas...

I grabbed the mirror over the bed for next to nothing at a local design store. It was pretty banged up and a leftover piece of a set. Didn't bother me any...

I gave it a coat of cream spray paint and then distressed it with a sanding block. 

As always, I'm tweeking, but I'm already pretty sold on this place. 

Ya'll feel free to drop by anytime!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A little bit of this, a little bit of that....

Ugh, is it only Tuesday??

The husband and I had such a fantastic weekend, and now we're looking forward to the Memorial Day plans next weekend. Let me tell you, this is really putting a damper on Monday - Friday....

Saturday, I threw together a last minute yard sale with my mom and a friend. It was hot but we managed to get rid of a lot of things and all make a little cash. At the same time, my dad, young brother and husband were all in the back yard taking down the last of the tornado damaged trees. 

Now that all of the clean up is done we can start working on making the yard look like this!

{all from HGTV.com}

Obviously its going to be awhile ...


I think its officially late spring in north Alabama - hot and humid for three or four days, then rainy and humid for three or four days. And repeat.

These are two if my favorite things to keep cool this season:

Simple Raspberry Lemonade. Holy crap. This stuff is ridiculously addicting. Confession: I go through at least two bottles a week! {its in the grocery store section with the orange juice...}

Stirrings Simple Red Sangria mix. I just bought my first bottle of the season. Definitely one of my favorite things about summer. {Local folks - I get this at Le Gourmet Chef at Bridgestreet}


I'm also working on organizing my craft room. When people come over and check out the house, I usually refer to that room as the "craft room/junk room" ... because it looks pretty junky. All the leftover pieces of furniture and decor have found a haphazard home in this room. Now that the yardsale has taken care of a lot of that, I'm on a roll.

Here's some of my inspiration!

{Apartment Therapy, the little things, Pottery Barn}


I'm also putting together a little care package for my favorite niece Olivia. Some onesies, her baby announcements, burp clothes.... Can't wait to send it off to her and Melissa!

Cutest thing ever?! I think so!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

Happy sunshine-y Sunday to you all! Here is a yummy dessert I made the other day. Enjoy!!

 - red velvet cake mix and what it requires {usually an egg and some vegetable oil}
 - for cheesecake blend - 8 oz cream cheese, 1/3 cup of sugar, 1 egg, 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix red velvet cake mix as instructed on the box. Careful, this red stuff will stain you in a heartbeat.

Pour mix into a greased dish.
You won't need all of this mix for a regular batch. For example, I'm using a 9 x 13 glass dish and I only used half of the mix.

Combine the cheesecake ingredients in a bowl.

Spoon cheesecake blend over the top of the red velvet mix. Make sure to use it all!

Take a knife and draw it through the two blends to create a swirling effect.

Bake for 30-35 minutes. Use the "toothpick test" to check the brownies before taking them out of the oven. 
{insert a toothpick into the center of the dish, if it comes out clean, then it's done}

Allow to cool completely before cutting. 

So yummy!!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Gushing over a Mississippi wedding ...

Despite the fact that this blog kinda serves as my way of telling you guys about all kinds of great stuff, I don't feel like I really gush about stuff that often. I mean seriously gush ...

The backstory. There is a photography studio from my college town that I tend to keep up with {via their blog - Armosa Studios}. I knew the photographers, Wes and Tera, in college and they even did mine and J.B.'s engagement pictures while we still lived in town. The other day, Tera posted about a fantastic wedding shoot they had just done. How surprised was I to find out that the wedding was in Cleveland, Mississippi - my husband's very small hometown six hours away!
So I click. I read. The wedding was in J.B.'s home church. The bride and groom went to Delta State, the local university where his dad is a professor. And my father in law knows them well. Small, small world.
Ok great, who really cares? {I know what you're thinking ...}
THEN, I checked out the wedding pictures. 
And I gushed.
And gushed.
And gushed.

I love love this bride's style. I love love her color choices {grey and yellow}. I love love her dress. I could go on and on. Instead, maybe I should just share so we can all gush together, eh?

I love the skeleton key boutonnieres! And it looks like an assortment of fabric flowers, vintage buttons, and lace. Sigh. These are perfect.

The asymmetrical flowers are fantastic!!

The dress. The lace. Wow.

I. cannot. get. over. those. doors. I love love love them. Seriously. Church weddings can be difficult to make your own. But wow. I love this set up. What a perfect look!

It's weird seeing something you know turning into some unexpected. Off the top of my head, I can tell you that this reception was held at a local restaurant called Airport Grocery. It's one of those local vintage places that everyone knows.
While I've had a couple of meals there, it never occurred to me what a fantastic location it would be for a wedding reception! Especially one styled like this!

The bride left in her grandmother's wedding dress. She redesigned the style and fit, using all of the original materials. Wow. Obviously its a great creative idea, but what a beautiful gesture to where she comes from.

So many gorgeous things! It really makes me wish I could get married all over again! As much as I love my wedding, at the time I really didn't have any idea what I was doing. I was the first of any of my friends to get married and hadn't even been to that many weddings myself. Sometimes I feel like I missed out on so many beautiful, creative ideas that come with weddings.

Congrats to this gorgeous bride and groom! And thanks again to Armosa Studios for showcasing this incredible wedding!

To check out Armosa Studios, go { h e r e }.
To check out this specific wedding post, go { h e r e }.