Monday, January 30, 2012

Chocolate Pie...Oh My!

So the tradition of baking something on the weekend continues.  I made a chocolate pie and it's so yummy.  It's super easy to make and very old school southern.  I utilized a graham cracker crust (pre-made, it's the easiest way to go) and made the filling and meringue topping.  So here's what you need and how to do it.  Enjoy it.

What you will need:

For the filling
1 cup of sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup cocoa
2 cups of milk
2 egg yolks (reserve whites for meringue)
1 tbs shortening
1 tsp vanilla

For the meringue

3 egg whites (two from the reserves of filling mixture)
4 tbs sugar

Stir sugar, salt, cornstarch and cocoa together.  Slowly mix in milk.  Simmer on medium high heat stirring constantly until mixture becomes very thick.  (Much like the consistency of pudding)

Remove from heat and add egg yolks, shortening and vanilla extra.  I tempered that mixture just to ensure the eggs didn't scramble.  Stir ingredients together and add to pie shell.

For the meringue, beat egg whites until fluffy.  Add sugar 1 tbs at a time and beat until stiff white peaks form.  Cover pie filling with meringue and bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

Sunday, January 29, 2012


So last weekend I posted a portion of my "to do" list and can happily say I completed everything on the list.  I told you about the coffee cake I made and now I' m here to show you the finished headboard.  It was very easy to make and I am completely satisfied with the finished product.  All I needed was a piece of plywood (cut to desired size at Lowe's, mine was 4 ft by 5ft), a couple of 2x4s, foam (i used 1 inch foam), batting, fabric, adhesive spray, staple gun with 1/2" staples, nuts & bolts.

I decided to construct mine using a white muslin for the fabric choice and make slipcover like items to allow me to rotate out the fabric of the headboard more easily and to be able to clean it as necessary.

Like I said, it's a fairly easy project and didn't take too long.  I sprayed the plywood with adhesive spray (note: make sure to use in a well ventilated place as to not kill your brain cells) and then apply the foam.  I then wrapped the batting around the foam and board and stapled to the back.  Then I wrapped that with the muslin and again stapled to the back.  Next, Paul drilled the 2x4s to the back of the board, ensuring it would align with the frame and then attached to the frame using some nuts & bolts. The fabric I used to slip cover the frame was actually a shower curtain from World Market.  It was the perfect size, 72x72, and was so much more affordable than going to a fabric store to get a printed fabric.  So, here she blows....

In other news, I desperately need to take a class on how to better take pictures. My skills are non-existent when it comes to photography.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Oatmeal Stout Gingerbread Coffee Cake

So one of the things on my weekend "to do" list is done.  I made an oatmeal stout gingerbread coffee cake courtesy of a recipe provided to me by Garrett out of his Beer Advocate mag.  So here's the breakdown of what you will need and what to do.  Enjoy!

Cake Ingredients:
12oz Stout
1 cup of Molasses
1 1/2 tsp of baking soda
1/2 cup of butter room temp
1 cup brown sugar (tightly packed)
1 tsp fresh ginger peeled & grated
3 eggs
2 3/4 cups flour
1 tbsp of baking powder
1 tbsp of ground ginger
2 tsp of cinnamon
1 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Oatmeal Streusel Ingredients
1 1/2 cups of oatmeal
1 cup of brown sugar
3/4 cup of flour
2 tbsp candied lemon peel
1/2 tsp ground cardamon
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup of chilled butter cut into small pieces

So here's the deal on what to do with all of these ingredients, first be prepared, this takes a good amount of prep time.  Second, my kitchen looked like a flour bomb exploded in it afterwards but that's probably more of an issue with my organization not indicative of the recipe :).

For the cake:

Pour stout in pot over high heat & bring just short of a boil.  Add Molasses, whisk to combine and then add baking soda.  Once all ingredients are combined set to side to cool to room temp (approx. 20 minutes).

Add room temp butter to mixing bowl of stand mixer with paddle attachment and cream on medium speed until soft and fluffy.  Add sugar and ginger, beat on high for 2-3 minutes. Add one egg at a time and until thoroughly combined.

In a sifter over a mixing bowl add flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, salt, cloves and nutmeg then sift into bowl to ensure evenly mixed.  Pour stout mixture over flour mixture, gently combine and then add to stand mixer ingredients and combine.

For the Streusel:

In a preheated 350 degree oven lay out oatmeal on baking sheet and toast for approximately 8-10 minutes, mixing it around at least once during the process to ensure even toastiness (not sure if that's a real word).  Remove oatmeal and put in mixing bowl, add in sugar, flour, lemon peel, cardamon & salt.   Let cool.  Once cool mix in chilled butter pieces combining to make tiny balls of deliciousness. 

Putting it together:

In a coated 9x9 pan layer half cake mixture top with half streusel mixture trying to spread evenly.  Layer remaining cake mixture and then streusel. Bake at 350 for approximately 45 minutes.  Once a knife is clean when inserted in the middle of the cake.  Now this is the best part, after it's cooled down a bit pour yourself a nice cup of coffee and slice you up a piece of the delicious little treat and enjoy.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Happy Weekend

I have big plans for myself this weekend, partially because the last several weekends I have felt like a lazy bum and because it is supposed to get up into the low seventies today (you have no idea how happy that makes me). So any who, this is my itinerary for the weekend:

1.  Go for a Run....outside!!!

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2. Bake this


3. Make a headboard

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With all of these plans and the normal weekend activities, I better get to work. :)  Happy Weekend everyone!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Unique Wall Art

I stumbled across this photo on pinterest (imagine that...I swear that website is soooo addicting) and I thought to myself "wow, what a cool idea, where can I get an old envelope preferably written by one of my grandparents" to enlarge and frame.  I think it was originally from a feature of a "bachelor pad" in Southern Living magazine and I just love it.  Imagine all the possibilities, the history behind it and the conversation starter it would be.  So I am off on a hunt to find an old envelope to try and do this to, and by hunt I mean call my mom and ask her to look for something. :)

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I found a rug!!

So as I mentioned a couple of posts ago, I wanted a rug for the kitchen.  I loved all of the rugs featured in that posts but had to be mindful of the money I spent.  Also, realistically this will be in the kitchen so it will have to be something that I will be ok with if it gets wet, food gets dropped on it, etc.

I searched world market because I wanted something a little "ethnic" looking but had no success.  Don't get me wrong, they have some beautiful rugs but they didn't have anything fitting my size, budget and style needs.  I lucked out when I went to TJ Maxx (oh how I love that place) which was great because you never know what they will have, fyi they now have couches which is insane but a whole other topic all together.

 So I scored this rug for $24.99. I know that it is not something that will last forever and be a family heirloom  and I'm ok with that. It has some blue in which I like, but also gives some added texture and color to the mass amounts of beige tile on the floor.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Painted Furniture Legs

So I came across this photo on the blog, Little Green Notebook and thought, that would be something quick and easy to do and update a piece of furniture.  So that's just what I did.  I had a table that is used as a side table in the guest room that was perfect for the little project.  It was originally black and I had already painted a glossy coral color over the summer but felt it was missing a little pizazz  So this past Saturday I broke out the painters tape and some gold acrylic paint I had laying around and got to work.

Like I said it was super easy and I'm pretty pleased with the way it turned out.  I have a matching chair in the guest room which I will do the same on, just need to purchase some more paint.

PS please excuse the scratched molding on the door, that's the handy work of our cat.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I need a rug!!!

I am really in need of a rug for the kitchen...and I'm not talking about one of those little mats that you put at the sink, I want a rug.  There are several things I have to consider, obviously price is first on the list then style and size.  So just for kicks and throwing the price issue right out the window I picked some of my favorite rug choices for kitchens.  They are all very different in size, style and placement but me likey them all. :)  So if anyone has an extra fabulous rug laying around I would be happy to take it off your hands for you.

                                        all pics via
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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Summer...please get here

This weekend has been pretty mild here in NC, especially since the beginning of the week got into the low 20s at night..boooo.  I am in no way a cold weather person, my thoughts are if I want to be somewhere cold I will travel there.  I am much more of a warm weather gal, the heat and humidity don't bother me at all.

I'm looking forward to the days where it doesn't get dark until 9:30 and we can sit outside with friends and enjoy the warm summer weather.  Of course with thoughts of warm summer nights I am dreaming of creating a wonderful outdoor space to do just that.  Here's some of got on my mind.

Deck with plants, chairs, umbrella, and lights

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These last two are of our work in progress deck and yard with a cameo of our black lab mix Kiwi.  :)  She's so cute.

Monday, January 2, 2012

I have an addiction....

to caffeine that is, specifically coffee.  For Christmas, Paul and I received a wonderful gift in which to feed our addiction to the delicious bean.  His parents got us a Bosch Tassimo one cup coffee maker, and I must say I have no idea how I even functioned without it.  This machine is a work of art, it's incredible  it will make anything from a frothy cappuccino to hot chocolate.  In fact, over the weekend we had some friends over for a New Years celebration and made a Caramel Macchiato for one of our friends and we all literally stood around it watching it make the tasty little drink. 

I would highly recommend this to anyone that is contemplating getting a one cup coffee maker.  It will make you soo happy if you do.

Here's a pic of it in action, my own little electronic barista whipping me up a cappuccino.  Yummy.