Thursday, November 11, 2010

YoYo, YoYo, A Tasty Pumpkin Treat

Prepare yourself. This might be the yummiest fall treat on the planet. Yeah, its that good. Pumpkin YoYo's. Or Pumpkin Whoopie Pies. Call them what you want, they are the perfect fall treat.

I had a very handy helper! He made them from start to finish, with help from me of course! He was a great sport and we both enjoyed making them and spending time together.

Looking yummy...hurry up and bake!

Cooling down. We made ours too big. WHEN I make them again, they will be smaller so there will be plenty more to enjoy.

Make the Cream Cheese filling and put on cookie! Check. I'm good at that!

Smush two cookies together and Voila! A sweet little taste of Heaven.
I'm sure you are dying for the recipe. Not so sure I want to share it...just kidding. Get to baking these treats! I guarantee they will not disappoint!
Pumpkin YoYo's
Pumpkin Cookies
-2 eggs
-2 cups brown sugar
-1 cup oil
-1 tsp. vanilla extract
-1 can pumpkin
-3 cups flour
-1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
-1/2 tsp. cloves
-1/2 tsp. ground ginger (I left this ingredient out and they were still amazing)
-1 tsp. baking powder
-1 tsp. baking soda
-3/4 tsp. salt
Cream Cheese Filling
-4 oz. cream cheese, softened
-1/2 cup butter, softened
-2 tsp. vanilla
-4-5 cups powdered sugar
Beat eggs, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla until smooth. Stir in pumpkin. Add spices, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and beat again. Add flour and beat until smooth.
Drop heaping tablespoons of batter onto ungreased cookie sheets and flatten slightly. Bake for 12 minutes at 350 degrees.
Filling: Beat together cream cheese, butter and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar a half cup at a time until frosting is thick, but spreadable.
After cookies have cooled completely, spread a generous amount of cream cheese filling on one, and top with a second cookie.
Happy Baking!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Built to Last

This past weekend, Chris and I had the privilege of going to see my cousin Adam get married. His bride, Anna, was absolutely stunning and their love for each other was so evident. The music for the wedding was perfect and I am so glad that we got to spend time with all of my family and be there for such an important occasion. It was definitely a long drive, but my super sweet man did majority of the driving!!!!

On Thursday, we spend the day in Nashville with my grandparents. It was so good to get to spend some time with them and just relax. Then on Friday we got up early and headed out for Collinsville (near St. Louis). We spent some time with my family before heading to the rehearsal.

Chris and I at the rehearsal.

Mom and Michelle

The entertainment! I'm so impressed that no one cried. Uncle Gary started out with the sweetest song called "I'll Be Here" by Steven Curtis Chapman. Then my dad played guitar and Uncle Gary, Uncle David, and Aunt Sheri sang "My Wish" by Rascall Flatts and then Aunt Sheri and Uncle David sang "When God Made You." The songs were are so perfect and the music was gorgeous!

The Bride and Groom ~ They wrote their own vows and Adam sang Anna a song with his vows.

Wedding Day! I love my daddy!

My perfect family. (I picked out mom's pretty dress)

Mr. and Mrs. Adam Linnell

I am so glad he came too!

Trying to get a Christmas picture.

Dad, Michelle, and I with Aunt Sheri and Uncle Gary.

LOVE HER!!!! Andrea was so pretty!

Papaw and his kiddos

One of the most precious men alive. I will be the luckiest girl ever if I marry someone half as awesome as he is. He made sure to call Mamaw all weekend and was so excited to get back to take her out to lunch. Too cute!

They kinda rock for making me!

Adam and Anna did most of the reception themselves. It was so pretty! Aunt Sheri made 300 cupcakes that were amazing. I helped frost a few of them. We had a blast making a mess at 5:30am.
Two Beautiful Mommys

So happy for them!
I am so blessed to have such an amazing family. I am happy that Chris was able to come and meet them and I realize more and more how lucky I really am. It was a perfect weekend!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pumpkin Carving Fools

Chris and I decided to carve our first pumpkin together. For some reason or another, we didn't carve one last year, but this is definitely a tradition we want to keep up! Chris was like a little kid in a candy store, and was adament that the pumpkin needed to look "perfect." Which means he ended up fixing a bunch of the places I cut out because apparently, I am no good at pumpkin carving. Who knew!?!?! Haha! Zeppelin enjoyed being outside with us and barking at the pretty fall leaves blowing around in the wind. He was great, and mostly sat on his chain, just like in this picture.

Have you ever seen a cuter puppy?

Our "Perfect" pumpkin before surgery

Chris took care of most of the guts, cause I don't like to get my hands messy :)

He was really excited he got to carve the mouth.

I carved the eyebrows and 1 eye.

Our Pumpkin, after surgery (it looks way cooler at night)

A cute fall family photo! Love my boys!
Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Trick or TREATS

Happy almost Halloween! I am enjoying these last few days of peace before I get back into the real world of work. Zeppelin and I have been taking long walks, playing with tennis balls, and eating lots of food. Yesterday my best friend Whitney and I got together to make some adorable Halloween treats. We made a ton, so after we each took some, I delivered the rest to a local nursing home, where the residents loved them! They are super cute and decently easy to make so I wanted to share our baking adventure with you guys! And the fact that they turned out okay, that's awesome in itself. Just ask either of our moms how many batches of soupy blueberry muffins Whitney and I made when we were younger ;)

The first thing we made were eyeballs. I originally found them here. Those looked way better and cooler, but we did pretty well for our first time. They were pretty easy and fun to make, however, we had problems with the candy coating. I would like to try to make these again and get the coating right, but they taste great and were fun to make!

These are the ingredients.

Make the cake per the box directions, and let it cool completely.

Crumble the cake into a large bowl.

Mix in one container of cream cheese frosting and mix together well.
It's messy, but it's easier to do if you use your hands.

Told you it was messy! Roll mixture into small balls and place on cookie sheet(cover with foil or wax paper).

Place in refrigerator for a few hours or the freezer to speed things up.

Melt your vanilla candy coating and generously pour over balls.

Add lifesavers and use red gel icing to make veins. We had the wrong red icing, and couldn't get the candy coating to cover the way we wanted. The residents at the nursing home didn't seem to mind the way they looked though!

Then goof off with your best friend!
The next we made adorable mummy cupcakes! I originally saw them here. These were pretty easy to make, and these have to be my favorite so far!

These are the ingredients. We opted not to use the chocolate chips.

Make the cupcakes per box directions.

Let the cupcakes completely cool.

Ice the cupcakes with regular vanilla icing.

Add gummy eyes.

Roll out the fondant. Except, apparently that is the one thing I'm missing in my kitchen. So we pulled, flattened, and rolled with a soup can. Talk about being resourceful!

Slice the fondant in long thin pieces and apply to cupcake.
Done! And yummy to boot!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this girl!

My loot!
We had an awesome time creating these. Hope everyone can enjoy a fun project too!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Yummy Vegetarian Dish

I have had a little extra time on my hands lately, try an extra 70 hours a week compared to the last 5 months, so I have really enjoyed taking time to cook great food. I have been trying to experiment with vegetarian dishes because it is so healthy and they taste great too! I was a little leery of this dish, but decided to give it a whirl anyway! It was sooooo GOOD!!! I originally found the recipe here, and wanted to share it with everyone! Enjoy!

-4 Large Zucchini(the recipe calls for 2, but Chris and I demolished that, so I would suggest more zucchini)
-2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
-1 large onion, diced(I used 1/2 an onion and it was perfect)
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-16 ounces of your favorite spaghetti sauce(I used Prego Traditional)
-1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese(I used Italian Style)

-Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
-In a large pot, boil the zucchini until tender, drain
-Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat
-Saute the onion and garlic until onion is tender
-Combine the zucchini, onion, and garlic in a 9x12 inch casserole dish, and mix well
-Pour the pasta sauce over the mixture and stir well
-Top with Mozzarella cheese
-Bake in preheated oven for about 20 minutes, or until heated through and cheese is bubbly!

The recipe says it makes 5 servings, and that each serving only has 217 calories. I didn't make any side dishes and we both got full. I wouldn't change any amounts in the recipe except for adding more zucchini! Enjoy

Getting Back In The Swing Of Things

Life has been very mellow lately. Considering how the last five months of my life have been, I welcome the change of pace. I have moved back to Knoxville, found an apartment, and I start work next Tuesday. Its funny how life can bring you full circle because I will be working for the same company where I had my first job...Texas Roadhouse. I start server orientation next week and then will hopefully be "rolling in the dough" soon after! I feel blessed that I have found a job, and there is actually some great opportunity for management at this store, so we will see where it leads. It helps to know God is in control.

Before I found an apartment, I was lucky enough to be able to stay at Chris's parents house. They have 3 beagles, and Zeppelin was staying there too, so it kinda felt like a zoo sometimes, but it was so nice!

Enjoy the pictures!

Chris's brother, Matt, with Obie
Mom came up for a 3 day weekend to help me move in, decorate, and SHOP!!! I am so blessed to have a mom who will drop everything to come and be with me. I had such a great time just spending time with her, talking, and hanging out. We had a great time and I can't wait to do it again soon!

The living room...thanks mom for the great paint job!

Love my kitchen theme!

How cute is this?!?!?! It's the new theme for the kitchen!

Dinning room(pardon the mess, we are working on a puzzle)

My SUPER CUTE fall centerpiece(Thanks Grandmama)

Spare Bedroom. It will eventually be the scrapbook and music room. Right now it is the throw everything in here that we don't want Zeppelin to get! It's a work in progress!

Bathroom! Love the red shower curtain!

Vanity in the bedroom.

Great big closet!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE my bedroom! Mom did such an awesome job painting it!
Chris and I will be taking a short vacation at the end of the month to Saint Louis! We will drive to Nashville to meet up with my family and then head out the next morning. We are driving up for my cousin's WEDDING! I am so excited that we get to go spend this time with my family and can't wait!
Until next time!