Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Creative Thursday Link Party No. 8

Hello Blogging friends and welcome to Creative Thursday Link Party No. 8

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend!  We had wacky weather here in California with dark skies and rain on Friday and Saturday.  But it was still a fun weekend spent with family at my Parent’s house at the lake.   

Hopefully you are all enjoying your summer or getting ready to start summer vacation.

I want to thank everyone who linked up last week cause you guys are amazing!  I truly appreciate all the time everyone takes each week to come here and party.

I can't wait to see what you all have been doing this week, but before we get this party started let me show you your most viewed and my favorite features from last week (in no particular order)

This week I'm changing it up - The top three are the most viewed 
The bottom three are my favorite features of the week

Top Left to Right -
1.  Oatmeal Cream Pies from Stella B's Kitchen amazing soft oatmeal cookies with a creamy marshmallow filling just waiting for me to make them.
2.  S'mores Cupcakes from Salt Tree these are amazing looking with all the ingredients of a S'more and the ease of a cupcake.  They look divine!  Can't wait to try these!
3.  Cake Batter Fudge from Sally's Baking Addiction made with real cake mix for that authentic cake batter flavor then add in some sprinkles and other yummy ingredients and heavenly fudge is made.

Bottom Left to Right - 
4.  Recycled glass containers turned into vases from April's Country Life Blog where April shares a wonderful story about how these awesome glass jars were invented by her Great Grandpa.  I can't wait to try this technique. 
5.  Caramel Filled Cupcakes with Whipped Caramel Frosting from Rose Bakes my absolute favorite flavor ~ caramel.  Rose makes beautiful and scrumptious creations every week.
6.  Fabric Scrap Wreath from Pretty Providence this is a beautifully created wreath using fabric scraps we all probably have laying around.  I can't wait to make some of these :)
Congrats to all who were featured ~ Don't forget to grab a button from the sidebar
Now on to the party!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sugar and Spice Muffins

Lately I have been in the mood for muffins, so I dusted off this recipe and made these little beauties the other day.  I had forgotten how simple yet delicious they really were. If you like warm cinnamon sugar doughnut like flavors, you'll love these.  Give them a try and let me know what you think.  They're totally worth it!
Here's what you need:
1-3/4 cup flour 
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon 
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
3/4 cup sugar 
1 large egg
3/4 cup whole milk

Topping:
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar 
1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray a muffin tin, regular or mini, with cooking spray and set aside.

In a bowl mix the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg and set aside.
 
In the bowl of a stand mixer add the oil, sugar, egg, and milk and mix until incorporated.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until fully combined.
Fill each muffin tin 2/3 full with batter and bake for 18 - 22 minutes for regular muffin size and 16 - 18 minutes for mini muffin size.
 
If you didn't use muffin liners and only sprayed the tin then when the muffins are done, let them sit for only about 1 minute then turn out onto a paper towel or cooling rack; they are much easier to remove while still hot.  If  you used muffin liners then you can let them sit for a couple of minute then remove to cooling rack.

Place the sugar and cinnamon for the topping in a bowl and mix well.  In another bowl put the melted butter.

Taking the still warm muffins, first roll the top and partway down the sides in the melted butter then into the cinnamon/sugar to coat the whole top of the muffin.  Set on cooling rack to finish cooling.
 

 
Nom, nom, nom.....Warm cinnamon sugar doughnut flavored muffins.  Betcha can't eat just one :)

Serves - 12 regular muffins or approx. 34 mini muffins - depending on tin size

Enjoy!

~Hugs~
Michelle

Here's the handy printable - Sugar and Spice Muffins 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Creative Thursday Link Party No. 7

Hello Blogging friends and welcome to Creative Thursday Link Party No. 7

Well if you’re from my part of the country, summer vacation started yesterday!  I am so excited that for the next two ½ months I don’t have to nag teenagers to get up and get ready for school!  Yea – Summer!

My daughter graduated from High School last week and what a busy week is was.  Now onto the summer job hunt for the kiddos, should be fun :)

Well enough about me and on to you guys and your amazing talent!
I want to thank everyone who linked up last week cause you guys are amazing!  I truly appreciate all the time everyone takes each week to come here and party.

I can't wait to see what you all have been doing this week, but before we get this party started let me show you my favorite features from last week (in no particular order)

1.  Stretch your garden dollar from Taking Time To Create is the most viewed feature this week.  A great fence for just a few bucks.
2.  A Fruit Cake from A Cupcake Love Affair is a brilliant use of fruit and a totally refreshing cake for the summer birthday person in your life.
3.  Beaded Earring tutorial from A Rosie Sweet Home these are beautiful red earrings you can create all by yourself with this wonderful tutorial.
4.  White Chocolate Goo Goo Clusters from Inside Bru Crew Life a brownie topped with ooey gooey yumminess.  Must try now!
5.  One Cloth - Five Ways from Creative Chaos is a beautiful way to wear one piece in 5 very unique and creative ways.
6.  Lofthouse Sugar Cookies from Stella B's Kitchen  are soft and airy cookies with an amazing Buttercream frosting.  I'm making these tomorrow and if the family's lucky I might actually share :)

Congrats to all who were featured ~ Don't forget to grab a button from the sidebar
Now on to the Party!

I'm being Featured - Stop on by

I'm being Featured - Stop on by
Happy Wednesday blogging friends!

I just wanted to let you know that I am being featured for the second time as a contributor over at  Inspired by Family Magazine blog and I am so excited that it is posted TODAY!  Hop on over and take a peek, leave a comment, or just peruse their site.

Wishing you all a great week!

Don't forget to come back later tonight and link up to my Creative Thursday Link Party :)

~Hugs~
Michelle

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Michelle's Rice Pilaf

I have always wanted to have a simple rice pilaf recipe on hand for using as a side dish when I don't want to cook potatoes for the millionth time in a row.  So I invented this recipe a few weeks ago and it was super delish!  I will be making this rice over and over again.  Super simple and tasty.

Here's what you need:

1 Tbs. canola or vegetable oil
1 Tbs. butter, unsalted, at room temperature
1/2 cup white rice
1/4 cup Orzo (pasta)
2-1/4 cups water
1 Tbs. chicken bouillon
2 Tbs. low sodium soy sauce
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
2 green onions, sliced thinly

In a medium skillet heat the oil and butter over med-hi heat until the butter is almost melted.  Add the rice and orzo and cook until browned; be careful not to burn the rice and orzo.
 

 
Add water, soy sauce, and seasonings.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes (No peeking)  
 
Fluff with a fork and add the sliced green onion.  Stir to incorporate.  Serve.
              Mmmm  

Serves 4

Enjoy!
~Hugs~
Michelle

Here's the handy printable - Michelle's Rice Pilaf 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Thee Networking Blog Hop {May Edition}

Are you ready to network and  meet new blogging friends?  Well here's your chance

Rules:
Link up to your homepage
Follow Host and Co-Hosts
Hop ~ Network ~ Have Fun

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Maple Brown Sugar Baked Beans

With Summer right around the corner I thought it would be fun to come up with a new recipe for baked beans.  I have one recipe that I have been making for years but I would like to have a few varieties wouldn't you?  So after fiddling with the ingredients this one is my favorite by far with some of my favorite flavors in this recipe; bacon, maple syrup, and brown sugar, yum.

Can't you just taste the ribs off the barbecue and the potato salad cold from the fridge?  Well here is the perfect side dish to go along with those wonderful summer foods.  Perfect for your own backyard barbecue or to take as a Pot Luck dish.

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Here's what you need:

8 slices bacon, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 yellow onion, diced
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 Tbs. yellow mustard
2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp. granulated garlic or garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 (15 oz) cans pork and beans
1 (15.5 oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15.8 oz) can great northern beans, drained and rinsed

Pre heat oven to 300 degrees.

In a large dutch oven (5qt) or oven safe stock pot cook bacon pieces on med-hi until crispy, about 5-7 minutes.
 
When bacon is crispy remove to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain and add the diced onions right to the bacon grease.  Cook for about 7 minutes until tender and lightly browned.
 
Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until well combined.
 
 
Add the bacon back to the pot and stir.  Bring to a boil then cover and reduce to a simmer.  Place covered pot in oven and bake for 1-1/2 hours; stirring after 45 minutes.
 
Beans with become nice and thick while cooking.  Great for serving as a side dish or as a meal.

Serves 8 - 10

Enjoy!

~Hugs~
Michelle

Here's the handy printable - Maple Brown Sugar Baked Beans

You can find me linking up each week to these wonderful parties


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Creative Thursday Link Party No. 6

Hello Blogging friends and welcome to Creative Thursday Link Party No. 6

I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother’s Day and was properly pampered just as you deserve J

I had a wonderful day spent with family and friends.  We had a barbeque and lots of yummy desserts while the kiddos played volleyball and jumped on the trampoline.

Well enough about me and on to you guys and your amazing talent!
I want to thank everyone who linked up last week cause you guys are amazing!  I truly appreciate all the time everyone takes each week to come here and party.

I can't wait to see what you all have been doing this week, but before we get this party started let me show you my favorite features from last week (in no particular order).
1.  Striped Infant Hat from Little Becky Homecky a wonderfully crocheted hat she made for a friend's baby.
2.  Lace Pillowcase Dress from Sew Fantastic a beautifully designed and sewn little girls dress.
3.  Children's Furniture Makeover from Wesens-Art a beautifully reworked children's table, chairs, and storage bench all made over for a little girl.
4.  Jello Swirl Cupcakes with Jello Buttercream Icing from Chocolate, Chocolate and More these look so cute and delicious!  I want one right now please!  If it's got Buttercream Icing, I'm in :)
5.  Maple Bourbon Blackberries from Life Currents do I really need to say anything?  I am already counting the desserts I'm going to incorporate these beauties into!
6.  Brownie Almond Joy Bites from Flavors by Four these look amazing! My favorite flavors all rolled into one amazing little bite of joy.

Congrats to all who were featured ~ don't forget to grab a button from the sidebar
Now on to the Party!


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Cinnamon Sugar Scones

Last week on my link party Nicole at Flavors by Four posted this recipe for Cinnamon Scones and I knew I had to make them as soon as I saw how delicious they looked. These scones remind me of cinnamon sugar toast or even a little like a Snickerdoodle because of the cinnamon sugar flavor.  I loved how they turned out and will definitely be making them again.

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Here's what you need:

2 cups flour
1 cup oatmeal, uncooked, I used the 5 minutes variety
1 Tbs. Baking Powder
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, unsalted, chilled and cut into cubes
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 large egg, beaten
3/4 cup whole milk

For the swirl
2 Tbs. sugar
1 Tbs. cinnamon

Glaze
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 - 3 tsp. whole milk

Pre heat oven to 425 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside.

In a bowl, combine the flour, oatmeal, baking powder, salt, and sugar.  Stir to combine.
 
Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in the butter cubes into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbles.
 
In a bowl or measuring cup combine the milk, egg, and vanilla until mixed, then pour into the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon or spatula until just combined. Batter will be thick.
 
In a small bowl mix the 2 Tbs. sugar with 1 Tbs. cinnamon and pour on top of the scone mixture.
 
Swirl in the cinnamon sugar mixture.  You just want to evenly distribute it without over mixing.
 
Drop mixture by using two large spoons or an ice cream scoop if you want large scones.  If you want smaller scones use less dough per scoop.  Mine made 7 but could have easily made 10 - 12.  I made them very large.
Bake for 11 - 13 minutes.  They will be lightly browned and firm to the touch.  Do not over bake.
Let cool a couple of minutes on the baking sheet then remove to cooling rack to cool completely. (I missed this step and left them on the baking sheet)

While the scones are cooling make the glaze.  In a bowl mix the powdered sugar, vanilla, and 1 - 2 tsp. milk.  You can add more milk a teaspoon at a time until you get the consistency you like.  I only used half the original recipe for the glaze and it was plenty.  You can of course, double the glaze if you need more.
 
Once the scones are cool, drizzle the glaze with a whisk or fork by going back and forth across the scone with the glaze, holding the whisk or fork about 2-3 inches above the scone. 
 
Make sure you have a piece of parchment under the scones or under the cooling rack, depending on where they are when you are glazing them.
 
These are a delicious way to start the day.  Give them a try and I guarantee you won't regret it :)

Serves 7 - 12 depending on size

Enjoy!
~Hugs~
Michelle

Here's the handy printable - Cinnamon Sugar Scones 
Recipe adapted from: Flavors by Four

You can find me linking up each weeks to these wonderful parties