Friends

Welcome 2012!

It is going to take me a very long time to get used to writing 2012…I swear the other day I wrote 2008 for the date on something. I have a lot of ideas of really fun posts for this coming year and am very excited to share them! A ton of great tutorials, viagra crafts, salve and, caries of course, recipes are coming your way :)

Before I start on these new posts I want to share my favorite 11 things about this past year (I thought sharing 2011 things I liked would get a little long so I settled on just 11 ;), and 12 things I am looking forward to this next year.

11 Favorite Things from 2011 (in no particular order):

1. Going to Haiti this past summer- it was a life-changing experience and I’m so thankful I got to go.


2. Learning how to cook and starting to blog about my cooking and baking and learning about food photography :)


3. Learning more about photography, growing my photography business, and getting my new Canon 5D! <–I have some posts coming soon about these things :)

4. Going to Maine with my family on vacation- It was fun to relax and eat tons of ice cream with my family.


5. Going to Boston with my grandparents and visiting colleges- Seeing the colleges was fun, but spending time with my grandparents was even better.


6. Finishing all my ACT, SAT, and AP testing as well as all my college applications! It certainly wasn’t fun while I was doing it, but I’m so happy it’s over!

7. Christmas. Enough Said.

8. Finishing my wall mural.


9. Spending time with friend just in general and also attending my friends’ Harry Potter themed birthday party and Christmas party :)

10. Seeing Harry Potter 7…part two…in theaters…the end of an era…sniffle.

11. Eating cake. It was fun.


12 Things I am Looking Forward to in 2012:

1. Graduating. Come on May!

2. Choosing what college to go to. Seriously I better get into one of them ;)

3. Improving my photography. I have several photography workshops and  I am looking forward to :)

4. Summer! I really hope to do a mission trip this summer….we’ll see what happens :)

5. Christmas. I look forward to this every year. It’s coming soon!

6. Turning 18. Man am I gonna partaaay it up. :P

7. Going skydiving. My dad’s been promising to take me skydiving once I’m 18 and I am determined that it is going to happen.

8. Starting college…I hope I have a good freshmen year!

9. Baking and cooking lots of new things. I want to start creating my own recipe …and blogging about them of course!

10. Read lots of new books- I’m going to try to branch out and read some more classics this year. Any good book suggestions?

11. Spending time with my family and friends :)

12. Making new crafts and doing lots of new creative things.

What things are you guys looking forward to this year? Do you make any resolutions?

I have more goals rather than resolutions. I’m going to try to train for a 5K, I’m not baking anything in January (sad, I know…), and I just want to have a good year with all the crazy changes that are going to happen.

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Nutella Brownie Bites

I have had so much go on this week it’s been crazy! (I know I probably say that every week…but it’s true!)

At the beginning of the week, geriatrician our car that hasn’t been working for the past 3 years magically started working again. I had a feeling it was just a fluke…but I was going to enjoy having a car for as long as it would last! On Tuesday I had to be at school early so I drove the car. Everything worked out great which was pretty awesome. I rode the bus on Wednesday and took the car on Thursday, price since I had to stay after school for a bit. As I was leaving the school parking lot, cure I felt like the car just wasn’t running quite right. I thought I was just being paranoid. But soon the car starting vibrating, making some unpleasant noises, and the check engine light was flashing like crazy. The route home has a ton of hills and I wasn’t sure I was going to make it up some of them! I had the gas pedal pressed all the way to the floor and was going 15 mph….I felt bad for the long line of cars behind me. I kept praying that I would just make it home and thankfully I did! But that’s the end of us having a second car for the moment…oh well.


Friday was a very busy day. I got home from school and immediately left to go to my piano lesson. I came home and then turned around and left for my friend’s Halloween party! I was going to try to dress up but I didn’t have time to put a costume together. Instead, I put on my favorite ugly Christmas sweater, a Santa hat, and snowflake earring and went as a Christmas enthusiast…not much of a costume ;) Some other people had amazing costumes, though. My friend, Jesse, was Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas. She had ordered the dress and had her whole face painted green with stitches all over it. She also had a bright red wig made of yarn..pretty spectacular! Melanie had sewed a Christmas elf costume which was really cute…I totally want to steal it ;) and her boyfriend, Josh, was a penguin. My friend Kaitlyn was someone from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow…I haven’t watched the movie so I’m not sure, but her outfit was great. She had a fancy dress on with a cape that had roses on it. She had also powdered her face to make herself paler. Oh and let’s not forget Trevor! He was apparently a viking but I though he looked more like a yak. Just saying.

We had a ton of fun. We played catchphrase and watched the movie The Others. I’d never seen it before but I thought it was awesome! I don’t like scary movies but this one wasn’t really scary, just suspenseful (especially with the freaky music in the background). But I would definitely recommend this movie. After that we watched Tron (yes I know..random) for a while before we had to go. It was a really great night!


In my last post I shared these Nutella Swirl Brownie Bites and promised a second recipe! Here it is! These are Nutella brownies with only three ingredients- Nutella, egg, and flour. I wasn’t apprehensive if they’d turn out with such few ingredients but they magically did :) I took these along with the other brownie bites to my friend’s Halloween party and everyone loved them.

The Nutella Swirl Brownies are very fudgy while these brownies are more cake-like with a gooey center. They’re both very good. Most people liked the Nutella Swirl Brownies more than these, but it just depends on what kind of brownies you like! You can’t go wrong with making either of them. I hope you have a wonderful Halloween weekend!

Nutella Brownie Bites
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Slightly adapted from Savory Sweet Life.
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Ingredients:
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1 cup Nutella spread
2 large eggs
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
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Directions:
  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a mini muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  2. Put the Nutella and eggs in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth and well blended. Add the flour and whisk until blended.
  3. Use an ice cream scoop to put the batter into the muffin tins.
  4. Bake for 11-12 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out with some gooey crumbs.
Makes 20-24 brownies (depended on how much you fill the muffin tins).
Enjoy!
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Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yesterday was a busy (but good) day! I was really tired because my friend Jessica and I had been to the Hillsong United concert the night before (more on that later :). School was pretty boring..the best part was working on our coil pots in AP Art History. I wish we could just do art projects in there all year! I got home and immediately left to take Celina to her acting lessons and I had my first piano lesson with a new teacher. The lesson went well but it’s going to be strange to have a piano teacher again! On our way home we stopped by Kroger to get a couple of things. When I got home I worked out and showered and then baked cookies as a birthday present for my boyfriend :) He sent me a link to these Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies from Picky Palate a while ago so that’s what I decided to make!

Before I used to really enjoy baking cookies and it was what I made most frequently. Lately I just haven’t been in the mood to bake cookies but these super delicious over-the-top cookies reminded me how fun it is :)

First you have to make a big batch of chocolate chip cookie dough. Any cookie dough would work but I followed the Picky Palate recipe which was pretty basic but used a tablespoon of vanilla. I liked the extra vanilla in the dough- it added a nice flavor.

I think this picture speaks for itself. 2 chocolate chip cookies. 1 Oreo.

It’s hard to tell how big these cookies are (and the picture isn’t that good…) but they are enormous!

Yummy! Oh a miracle happened…the oven stayed on the whole time I was baking! I was so excited!

I was really bummed that we didn’t have milk! We only had almond milk…and it’s really not the same. We’ll have to buy some milk today so I can enjoy these cookies to the fullest!

These were so good! I had dinner at Carrabbas with my boyfriend and his parents. I gave him the cookies afterwards and he said they were really good! My family liked them too. Success all around!

Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookie

Recipe from Picky Palate

Ingredients:

2 sticks softened butter

3/4 Cup packed brown sugar

1 Cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 Tablespoon vanilla

3 1/2 Cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

10 oz bag chocolate chips

1 package of Oreos…they HAVE to be double stuffed. It’s the law.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (and pray that it will stay heated).
  2. Cream together butter and sugars until well combined. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until combined.
  3. In a separate bowl mix the flour, side effects salt and baking soda.  Slowly add to wet ingredients along with chocolate chips until just combined.
  4. Using a 1 tbs ice cream scoop, take one scoop of cookie dough and place on top of an Oreo.  Take another scoop of dough and place on bottom of the Oreo. Use your fingers to press the dough around the Oreo until you can’t see it anymore.
  5. Put the cookies on a baking sheet and bake for 9-10 minutes. I like to keep my chocolate chip cookies a little underbaked :) Take them out of the oven and stare and the amazing thing you’ve just created!

This makes 20-24 extremely large cookies! Make them today for someone you love and eat them with real milk! You know, the kind from the cows :)

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