Eat a Cupcake

This is a stop-motion video I made for my photography class and I hope it encourages you to eat something delicious today :)

I did not make this cupcake (I bought it at a local cupcake shop) but I hope that I can someday make cupcakes that look that pretty!

Have a wonderful week :)

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Felt Hairbow Tutorial

I absolutely love wearing hair bows and wear them almost every day (maybe that’s why people tend to think I’m younger than I actually am ;). I have had trouble finding bows I like in stores, more about and when I do find them, order they’re often pretty expensive. I found a tutorial of how to make bows out of felt. It’s super simple and they’re so cute!

The first thing you do is cut a rounded rectangle out of felt and a smaller thinner strip of felt (either the same color or a different color).

Next, pinch the rectangle in the middle.

Take your smaller strip of felt and wrap it around the pinched rectangle. Take some hot glue and glue the strip around the rectangle.

I’ve found the easiest way to make these into clips is to use one of these metal saw-tooth thingies and just slip it between the bow and the strip.

So cute!

I want to make these in all sorts of colors and for all different seasons!

I found this tutorial at Ruffles and Stuff. She has a tutorial for another type of bow made of felt as well that I haven’t tried yet.

Enjoy!

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Jalapeno Popper Dip

I love this dip. I’ve made it three times now (for New Year’s Eve, diet the Superbowl, search and one time randomly for dinner) and each time my family has loved it. We used to make Jalapeno Poppers a lot, health but this dip is just as good (maybe even better) and really easy to make.

Sometimes jalapenos are not spicy at all. And sometimes they are. I was trying these jalapenos to see how spicy they were (to decide how many to put in the dip), and I just placed a tiny piece on my tongue and thought I was going to die. I was drinking milk and eating sugar and seriously nothing would help the pain!

In general, though, this dip is not very spicy. I put two (large) jalapenos in it and we like it that way, but you could always put more if you like things extra hot. This dip is creamy and cheesy with pieces of bacon and jalapeno, topped with a crunch breadcrumb/Parmesan topping. The texture and taste are perfect! We usually eat it with tortilla chips, but I also like eating it with carrot sticks and crackers :)

Jalapeño Popper Dip

Ingredients:

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup mayonnaise (low-fat is ok)
4 pieces of bacon, cooked and chopped up (I’ve used real bacon and microwave bacon…both work great)
2-3 jalapeños, minced (if you can’t get fresh, substitute a 2-ounce can diced jalapeño peppers, drained)
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Topping:
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Combine the cream cheese, mayonnaise, bacon, jalapenos, garlic, cumin and cheddar cheese in a mixing bowl. Pour the mixture into a 8 by 8in baking pan or 5 by 9in pan.
  3. Combine the panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese and melted butter in a small bowl, mixing together with a fork (or your hands) until everything is incorporated. Sprinkle evenly over the cream cheese mixture.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the dip is bubbling. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips, crackers, vegetables, etc.

Note: These are the directions for half of the original recipe. It makes the perfect amount for my family (usually there are 3 people eating it). To make more of the dip, double the recipe and bake it in a 9 by 13in casserole pan.

Recipe slightly adapted from Brown Eyed Baker :)

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Gooey, Delicious, Incredible S’mores Bars

Whenever I look at other people’s food blogs, esophagitis I wonder how they stay healthy. It seems like most food bloggers that I follow are pretty much all pretty thin and healthy looking, which makes me wonder if they work out and how many of their desserts they eat. I’ve always struggled with my weight and self-esteem, and I love baking and creating food because it makes me see food as something fun and a form of art and self expression, instead of something that will make me fat. I think that one of the things young girls (and really women of all ages) struggle with most is their weight and feeling beautiful, and that’s why I decided to start workshops, called Beautiful, for middle school girls.

Beautiful strives to instill in girls that they are gorgeous and special because they are God’s creation. We had a workshop this past Saturday and it was so fun. We talked about the messages the media sends girls and how we as women get our ideas of what beauty is from the media, our friends, family, etc, but how we don’t get our idea of beauty from God. I think that when we are able to be confident that we are cared for and special in God’s eyes, other things start to become less important. After we talked about this, I gave each of the girls a deck of cards and we spent the rest of the time writing positive things about each other and about ourselves on the cards. It was fun for everyone (including me) and I’m excited to start putting my cards in places that I’ll see them daily :)

Those are some of the cards I made :)

I made this dessert for the girls and they all loved them and each ate several pieces. While I think it is very important to maintain a healthy lifestyle, it made me happy to see them eat them without worrying about weight-gain. We talked about a quote I read on Pinterest that said “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” and how that’s just a terrible statement. I understand that it’s trying to say that eating a dessert or whatever isn’t worth the calories and isn’t as satisfying as being skinny, but I think it communicates that food and eating isn’t as important as being thin. As someone who has struggled with anorexia, I know that being skinny is not as important as food and that depriving yourself of food is not healthy. Why spend your life counting every calorie and agonizing about food? Food is fuel. It is not the enemy. And you know what? The girls and I decided that these bars taste a whole lot better than skinny :)

I honestly think these S’mores Bars are one of the tastiest things I have ever made (and that’s saying something!) The bottom layer is a fudgy brownie layer then there’s a layer of graham cracker, chocolate chips, marshmallows, buttery cookie layer, and sweetened condensed milk. Mmm!!! <– You know it’s good when I use three exclamation points. It’s sweet, gooey, and all-around delicious.

This is a really simple recipe to make, too. First you mix your brownie mix (or make from scratch brownies if that’s how you roll) and pour it in a 9 by 13in pan lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil (aluminum foil is probably easier). Cover it with a layer of graham crackers. Dump a ton of chocolate chips and lots of mini marshmallows on the graham crackers. Next, mix up your yellow cake dough and gently press it on top. Drizzle on about a cup of sweetened condensed milk and bake! It’s really easy and sooo tasty. Really, make these soon. They’d be a great Valentine’s Day dessert or every day dessert- because really, who needs and excuse to tell someone you love them?

S’mores Bars

Ingredients:

1 family size box mix of brownies and the ingredients to make the brownies (probably canola oil, water, and 2 eggs)
9-ish honey graham crackers
12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips (or more!)
4 cups mini marshmallows
1 box yellow cake mix
1 egg
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup sweetened condensed milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 by 13in pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil that has been generously coated with cooking spray. Make sure your lining goes all the way around the pan.
  2. Mix up your brownie mix according to the box directions and pour it into the pan.
  3. Cover the brownies with the graham crackers. You want to fit as many of the graham crackers on there as you can.
  4. Pour the chocolate chips onto the graham crackers and then add the mini marshmallows.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the box of yellow cake mix, egg, and stick of softened butter. Use your hand to mix the dough all together.
  6. Top the marshmallows with the dough. I found the best way to do this is to take some in your hand, press it so it’s flat, and place it on top of the marshmallows. Repeat this until all the marshmallows are covered (it does not have to be perfect) and then drizzle on the cup of sweetened condensed milk.
  7. Bake it in the oven for 18-22 minutes. It’s hard to know when it’s done, but the top layer should be a nice golden brown. I took mine out after 18 minutes and it turned out wonderful- the brownie layer was really fudgy.
  8. It takes a long time for this to cool enough to cut. I was really impatient and tried to lift this out of the pan too early…it was a bit of a messy disaster. But if you wait for it to cool completely, you can cut nice, even squares (you can see the difference in the ones I cut right away and the ones I cut the next day).

This recipe was inspired by this and this recipe from Picky Palate <–she’s awesome!

Ok…I know I said in this post that I wouldn’t keep posting pictures of my puppy…but I can’t help myself! I think he’s just too cute :) And in desperate need of a haircut…I promise he does have eyes under there.

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Valentine’s Day Recipes

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! How do you celebrate?

I kinda miss the days of elementary school Valentine’s Day, cardiology when you got a little paper card from all the kids in your class, sometimes with a piece of candy taped onto it. My littlest sister, Ella, is in Kindergarten and she’s been working on writing all her classmates’ names on the cards she and my mom bought. I think it’s cute and nobody has to be sad that they didn’t get any Valentines.

Most of my high school classmates, on the other hand, hate Valentine’s Day. I just don’t get that! It make me think of the scene in Freaky Friday when Jamie Lee Curtis is talking to one of her patients on the phone while she’s grocery shopping. She says “Remember, you are a smart, strong, beautiful, independent woman and you don’t need a man to complete you” and the woman at the butcher counter thinks she’s talking to her and says “Thank you” all teary-eyed. Hehehe. I just want to go up to all those Valentines-day-hating-girls and tell them that they don’t need a man to complete them!

That being said, I’ve never really been big into Valentine’s Day, but I definitely love using it as an excuse to bake. Instead of giving people chocolates, why don’t you bake them something with chocolate? It’s tastier and more personal :) Here are some delicious ideas.

This Brownie Nutella Mousse Pie was incredible. There’s a fudgy brownie layer topped with a creamy Nutella mouse layer. Make this for anyone who loves Nutella :)

Here’s another Nutella recipe…Nutella Swirl Brownies. Bite-size, cute, and tasty!

Chocolate Cake+Buttercream Frosting+Ganache+Heath Bar= delicious!

If you’re making anyone breakfast in bed, definitely check out these Cinnamon Rolls! You could also make them for dessert…they’re really that good. I think I would fall in love with anyone who make these ;)

These Mini Peanut Butter and Nutella Cheesecakes have been super popular on this blog…and for good reason! They’re tasty and look really adorable!

Cookies with raw dough in the middle. Need I say more?

Oreo Truffles are one of my all-time favorite treats. You could put these in a cute little heart box :)

I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine’s Day, whether you go out to a romantic dinner or bake up some treats and watch the movie Valentine’s Day :)

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