Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cookie Dough Truffles

Salmonella schmamonella...I'll eat this cookie dough any day that I want! I found these little treasures on-line a few weeks ago. I wanted to make them, but I was a little nervous about the whole "dipping them in chocolate thing." It never really works out well for me. I figured I would give it a go anyway, and see how it went. I mean, even if it didn't turn out the way they are supposed to, I would still have a ton of little cookie dough chunks to nosh on! This recipe is so easy too, no crazy concoctions or mixing, just everything in a bowl and go.
You are going to need
1/2 cup softened salted butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 (14 oz can) of sweetened condensed milk
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips
 Combine in a bowl, the butter, sugar, vanilla, and sweetened condensed milk.
 Then add the flour and the chocolate chips.
 You should be able to form the dough into balls at this point. My kitchen gets really hot when I cook because it's a tiny kitchen, so I had to put my dough in the fridge for a little bit. I did it for about 20 minutes. Take the dough out of the fridge, and roll it into walnut sized balls. Place them in the freezer for two hours.
Now take your chocolate chips and 1 tbs butter. I never put mine in the microwave, I do the double broiler method. If you do it in the microwave, melt it in 25 second intervals, stirring in between each.
video
Now you can throw the cookie dough into the chocolate, and fish it out with spoon. When you are done, put them in the fridge for 2 hours.
 Okay, they should look more solid than this when you are done. I, however, had made mine when company was here, and I didn't have a lot of time to put them in the fridge. So  they started to melt as soon as you touched them.  Yours should be fine.
 I took this pic when I pulled them out of the fridge (again a little melty because it was way early) but it was worth it, they were so good. My co-workers gobbled them up!!! I left a few of the cookie dough balls as they were, with no chocolate. They were great for a quick snack!
Enjoy!
Em

Thursday, March 24, 2011

What makes you Bee-utiful?

Good afternoon to all! Well, today was a great day to do the Spring challenge because I used most of the products that I picked today.  The question is "What are some recommendations for products you'll be using this spring as you're headed outdoors more?" Well, today I had a heavy day of Geocaching, so I was in the sun for awhile. After being outdoors and in the wooded areas all day, I used a lot of these products when I got home. The first thing I put on today was sunscreen. I'm a fan of the old favorite, Coppertone. I don't use the SPF 4 like everyone I know, I use the 50. What is 4 doing for you, really? I love this spray bottle and the cream for your face. I swear by these.
 Summer in Florida leaves your skin dry and itchy, so I always head for the scrubs whenever I need to get my skin back to normal. I found these three lip scrubs at Basin in Downtown Disney. I love lip stuff, any, and all lip stuff. These ones come in three flavors, coconut, strawberry and my favorite, raspberry. Just so you know, they are edible, and you lick it off when you are done scrubbing. They taste so good!  They get my lips ready for my Mary Kay lip gloss. I use the Beach Bronze color which is my favorite! Also when my face looks a little dull, I use Mary Kay Microdermabrasion, and revitalize serum. It makes my face look shiny and fresh afterwards.

 For my hands, I love Burt's Bees products. I am a huge fan of the miracle salve for dryness, and the lemon butter cuticle cream. I slather that stuff on before I go to bed, and put my hands in gloves that I bought from Bath and Body works. After an hour or so my hands look great! I just bought this nail polish from Ulta, called Hot Spot. It is so pretty and not to pink or red. Looks great on manicured hands.
 I also have fallen in love with my Basin Scrubs. To die for. I'm all about making scrubs from home, but my hubby splurged on these for me at Christmas. Shea Salt scrub, which is like a creamsicle, and sugar scrub. I use these in the shower, and throw some shea butter and almond baby oil on, and my legs are beach/shorts ready! They are super smooth, not like the frogs legs below.
For those of you who know me, you know my skin is basically translucent. I fake tan my body, that's right, and I'm not ashamed.  I love the Jergans natural glow lotion. It gradually tans you, so I stop when I'm the color that I want to be. It's a nice color too, not a carrot color.
These are my favorite spring products. Hope you see something that you like!
Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

It's Spring Break! Where do you want to be?!




What does Spring Break mean for you? Well, if your a kid, it means hours upon hours of running around outside,  playing video games, and my personal favorite, sleeping in!  How about the teenagers? For them, it's extra shopping time, extra phone time, and extra time trying to see what (put the current hot guys name here) is up to.Then you have the college kids, and this is where it gets fun folks! Spring break means nice weather, beaches, and a little bit of drinkin'! All the fun times that you can imagine, and probably some things that you wish didn't. What did you do for your spring break growing up. I never did anything. It's okay, wipe your sad tear. I was always working. Don't get me wrong, I went out and had a blast with my friends whenever possible. Did I ever have serious "going out of town" spring break fun...no. I remember turning 18, and thinking, yes, spring break, let's do this. I had so many places in my mind. Florida was one of them. I grew up watching MTV spring break. They were always in Florida. (I know at least 80% of you are reading this and shaking their head smiling. You know why? I'll tell you why, because that was when MTV was "da bomb" as the kids say. They don't actually say that, but that was what came to mind. That's when they actually had music on that channel, and Dr. Dre and Ed Lover used to host the MTV raps at the beach house. Right now, that 80% is singing the Dre song and doing the dance. Don't be ashamed, I'll have it in my head all day now. For those of you who don't know what I am talking about...
Dr. Dre and Ed Lover
Lets get back to the point here kids. By the time I was ready to have crazy spring break fun in Florida, the worst thing happened! Sigh...we moved to Florida. What! I know! You would think it sounds fun, but no. That is like being able to eat at the place you love every single day. After awhile, you don't love it anymore, because it's not special anymore..ya know?  So, I moved my vacation spots elsewhere. Today's question of the Spring Day challenge with Meghan and Amber is this. "Where are you/would you be headed for spring break this year (real or ideal)?" Here are my top picks right now.
Fiji

 Greece
 Paris
 Ireland
 Italy
 Bora Bora
 Hawaii
These are my new loves! Now, since I am not a gazillionaire, or have my own private jet, I will not be seeing any of these places this year. I will probably be here...
You think I would get sick of this place living here, but I don't. I love Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios!
 My other places will have to wait...one day my friends, one day. What about you? Where will you be heading off to?
Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Springtime = Fun and Flirty!

I love springtime. Last year I went through a serious shoe buying phase...and shorts, and capris.  I love dresses too, but I never where them because I have totally translucent skin. I always need to stock up on the fakola tanning supplies. That's right, I fake bake. It is way hotter than it needs to be in Florida already, and I vote no on the whole wrinkles thing. The last two times I bought liqueur I was carded. I want to stay looking young. I've already been looking at new springtime clothes, and shoes much to my hubby's disliking. Just window shopping, I promise.  My sister told me about this linky party, which is basically when you write a blog post, and then link it up to another blog.  The two blogs are Brunch with Amber, and little girl in the big world. They have 5 days of questions that you can link up about. I missed day one...sadness, but I am ready now! So today's question, "What is your favorite spring outfit?" Hmm, I don't really have one that I already own, but I found one that I would like to own. I found this on the Charlotte Russe site the other day.
Floral Chiffon Tube Dress
So pretty, and it says springtime party to me.
I then headed over to the Payless website to match up these little babies.

Fioni Kutie Knot Platform I also found these super cute cuffed shorts. I love the black sash on them!
Birdseye Cuffed short with Sash
Happy Shopping all!
Enjoy!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Happy Birthday Einstein!

This week was a huge birthday week for us. I guess not really so much with the human birthdays, but with the animal birthdays. We had two human and 4 pets to celebrate. I know half of you that are reading this probably think I'm a little nutso, but you have to understand something. I am around animals all the time. I work with animals. I grew up with animals. There wasn't a time where we didn't have at least two pets in the house. At one point we had 3 dogs, 6 cats, two birds, 4 guinea pigs (two females, so the store said, but two more showed up in the cage weeks later) 2 firebelly newts and a fish. We never actually had a Pear tree though. Anywho, we never actually had birthday parties for the pets. It was always just a verbal, "Hey (pet's name here) Happy Birthday." As always, they looked up at us with the little confused faces wondering what we were saying. Then looking at each other, with what I like to call the "I don't know what they are saying... lets just stand there and hope they go away..or feed us," face. So cute they are. So, when my little Steiner turned one, I decided it was time for me to learn how to make doggie cakes. His first B-day cake was peanut butter and bananas. It had yogurt and carrots for a topping. He loved it. I threw a little Spiderman candle on top to make it official. This years cake was named "Peanut Butter delight." I used most of the same ingredients as the first cake, because there are only so many things that you can give to dogs. Here is what you need to make your pooch a cake.
1 cup white or whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup of shredded carrots
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup honey
1 egg
12 oz cream cheese
cinnamon (to taste)
carob chips/or chocolate yogurt drops

Start by heating your oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together your flour and baking soda.
 Add all of your remaining ingredients and mix well.
Pour your mix into a well sprayed nonstick pan. The instructions say 40 minutes. I used a 9x9 pan. This recipe is a small batch, so it was very shallow in the pan. I ended up cooking it for 20 minutes, not 40.
 He always sits underneath my feet while I cook. I have almost crushed him on numerous occasions.
 "Mom, is it done yet!?"
 I made a different topping this year. I decided to go with a cream cheese frosting.
"Mom, is that my cake?"
 I didn't have any carob chips, so instead, I used some Chocolate flavored yogurt drops. You can get these at any Petsmart or Petsupermarket. I put them in my processor and made them dusty.
 Ready to cool now...
 "Mom, pleaaasseee, can I have a taste!!!"
 "It's so close I can taste it!"
 Ready to decorate...
Here is the mixed up cream cheese, cinnamon, and vanilla.
Spread it evenly over your cake.
 I had a bone shaped cookie cutter, so I cut up a bunch of carrots and filled the shape.
 Then I filled in the open spots with the Chocolate drops.
 Happy Birthday little man!!
video
Recipe courtesy of Dog Treat Recipe Exchange
Enjoy!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

"Wounded Warriers" Part 4 of the Chicagocache fun!

Okay, so the last one for the day is a real kicker. We decided to do one last run. It was a little tougher than the last ones because the battery on my phone was dying, and that is where I was getting my geo information. So, I could only look, and read the info a few seconds at a time. We headed off to an old military housing district. There were all kinds of swirvy roads in and around it. My GPS took me by a little park. We decided to get out and walk it. At this point, our boots and jeans were already starting to be soaked through. What can I say, when I want something, I want it, and I didn't care if I had a small lake forming in my boots. We read the info again as quick as could. We read over some really important info about parking, and some other tracking information. We started out across the park, and made our way to a hill. I said okay, we need to get down this hill, but not cross this little ravine. We had about three places it could be, but we weren't sure which one it was. Again, no phone, battery was super low. My sister said "I think I see stairs across the way." Off we began, down the way to find the "stairs." There were no stairs. Sigh. Back to the other side we went. I said "I am going in!" Off I headed down the hill. This is hill I was not supposed to go down.

I made it the bottom, and found the ravine that was mentioned in the clue. It said don't cross it, so I didn't.
My mom decided to head down afterwards. Well, halfway down she fell and landed on a tree stump. Ouchies! She was scraped up. This was the first battle wound of the day. I said okay, my phone says it is around this area here, so let's have a look in a few places. The hint was "electric", so we had a few places that we know it had to be. Did we find it, no. My sister said, "There has to be a way to get to the road on the other side of the ravine." I said "I'm going to jump the ravine, it is only like 1/2 foot wide." They yelled and said no. So I made my way back up the hill, to figure out a new plan.
This is the view of the structure from the "right/safe way."
On my way down, I had quickly checked out this metal structure, but didn't think anything of it. It didn't seem to have any electricity, so I ignored it. On the way back up though, I figured I would check it out just in case. I thought to myself, "What about this thing? Could it be in here?" We agreed, no, and I continued up. So, the whole way back up the hill, I had been grabbing and moving little branches out of my way to help me climb. I said to my mom, "Watch out for this barbed wire, there are a few random pieces sticking out in random places." Literally as I said this, I moved one aside, catching it in my hair. My mom and sister yell, "Don't move!" There I was stuck, on a hill, with rusty barbed wire tangled in my head. Battle wound number two. So my mom heads down the hill to save my life....or my hair. I realize as she heads down the hill, that she had already fallen once. What happens if she falls, and hits me, and I am still attached to this wire. I had a this vision of her hanging from my feet, and me hanging from the wire in my hair....awesome. I tried not to panic, or laugh, being that I was still having a blast, even though I was possibly going to need a Tetanus shot later on that evening. We get up the hill, and head back to the car. We drive around the neighborhood, and low and behold, we find a little circle that is the start of a walking trail. As I write this, I am shaking my head, and calling us idiots. We park the car, and begin our mission again.
After about 500 yards or so we come across this power jack. This has to be it.
I climbed the little hill next to it, and pulled up the cover.
The cover flew off to reveal our cache!! Whoo hoo!
Inside was a log, a picture, and a little lapel pin. The pin had two soldiers on it, one was carrying the other. It said "wounded soldier" on it. This was the perfect find for our mission, considering that we had two injuries on this trek.
A couple walking their dog saw us on this hill, playing with the electrical jack. After we assured them we were Geocaching, and not destroying property, they smiled and offered to take our picture. It was an awesome day!
Enjoy!
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