Monday, January 28, 2013

A Baltimore Weekend

This weekend I flew to Baltimore to keep my niece and nephew for the weekend. My sister and brother-in-law had a party in NYC, so it was just me and the munchkins. We had a wonderful weekend together. We spent most of our weekend playing at home, but ventured out each day for lunch. I loved getting to spend so much quality time with the munchkins, and it was fun to see a glimpse of my sister's every day life.

 This little guy was feeling extra cuddly this weekend and I loved every minute of it!

 Love this sweet girl!
My sister has her hands full with these two, but they are precious little kiddos. I miss them already!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Preview Night

This weekend we hosted a friends and family preview night at our new cafe. The cafe officially opens tomorrow, but Saturday night was a chance for friends and family to get a sneak peek. After many months of hard work it is exciting to see the finished product. 
 We celebrated the beginning of this new chapter with good food and good company.


Thankful for these next folks who have listened to me talk all about the cafe development for the last few months...What will we talk about at family dinner now? Joke.


And thankful for these friends who have been so fun to work with...

Monday, January 14, 2013

Snacks

I am not a breakfast person. I like to just eat a little something to start the day, but breakfast is not my thing. This leaves me starving around 10:00 am. Like stomach growling hungry. This weekend I went on a quest for the perfect morning snack. Here is what I ended up with. #1, Trail Mix. I did pecans, almonds, craisins, sunflower seeds, chocolate chips, and white chocolate chips. I have already started scheming about the next combination. My next batch is going to involve yogurt covered raisins. It's already been decided.
 Mix & store in an air-tight container. The end.
 Snack #2, granola bars. Not your over priced, over processed, store bought granola bars. Plus, I had all the ingredients on hand...always a happy surprise. 
Mix together quick oats & rice krispies. 
 Melt butter, honey, and brown sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring continually until butter is melted and ingredients are blended. Cook at a simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour the wet mixture over the dry mixture. Press the mixture into a lightly greased 9x11 pan (I only had a 9x13 so I just didn't use the whole pan). Press down very firmly to avoid crumbling later. 
Top with chocolate chips. The recipe called for mini's but I just used regular because that is what I had. Let the bars sit at room temperature for 2 hours before cutting. 


Trail Mix:
2 cups pecans
1 cup almonds
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup sunflower seeds, raw
1/2 white chocolate chips
1/2 cup chocolate chips
*I did less almonds because that was all I had, otherwise I would have just done an even split between pecans & almonds

Chewy Granola Bars
From Mel's Kitchen Cafe
4 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 cups quick cooking oats
1 cup rice krispies
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Friday, January 11, 2013

Winter Favorites

New favorite color - Essie's "Smokin Hot". It is the perfect wintery mix of purple and grey. 
One of my friends from college has started an etsy shop. She has awesome handwriting and has started creating prints. I asked her to do two custom orders that I gave to my sisters for Christmas presents. I love all of her stuff! Check our her website & etsy shop. 

This eyeliner primer is one of my favorite items in my makeup bag. A little goes a long way and it helps my eye makeup stay fresh. My friend Kari sells Mary Kay and she got me hooked on it! Check it out here
We enjoyed these little frozen treats when we had some friends over for dinner. Can't go wrong with anything s'mores related. 
Pumped that season 3 of Downton Abbey just started. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Peanut Butter Balls

Y'all. These peanut butter balls. Usually peanut butter balls aren't my favorite, they are a little too rich for me. But...I know they are a popular dessert so I decided to make these as my Christmas goodie to give this year. This recipe happily surprised me, reminding me of puppy chow. 
The steps are simple, but time consuming. You mix together peanut butter, melted butter, powdered sugar, and Rice Krispies. It is easier to mix it all together with your hands. Roll the mixture into a ball and then freeze them for a little bit.
I always have bad luck melting chocolate, so I used a double boiler.
After I dipped them, I set them out on a cookie sheet to harden. Then popped them off and into jars.
I found the original recipe through pinterest. The only change I made was to use semi sweet chocolate chips instead of milk chocolate chips. I got about 60 peanut butter balls from 1 recipe, so I double the recipe and got around 120 peanut butter balls total.

Rice Krispie Peanut Butter Balls
2 cups creamy peanut butter
3 cups rice krispies
3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
2 bags of semisweet chocolate chips