Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Butterscotch Brownies and a Gift Bag Tutorial

Hey hey! It's finally here!!!
A couple of weeks ago, I was honored to guest post over at Skip to my Lou.
Well, today I'm going to share those Butterscotch Brownies with you guys!
Be excited!
Be very excited!

Goodness, gracious these are good.
We've been making these in my family for years!
Can I tell you what my family actually calls them?
Crack brownies.
They're that be warned.

Of course, with any good recipe,
it helps to round up all your ingredients first!
That way you know if you're out of something so you can find a substitute.

For these brownies, you need to melt your butterscotch morsels
and butter over a water bath on the stove.

If you have a double boiler...fantastic!

If not, do the next best thing:
place a metal mixing bowl over a saucepan with a couple inches
of water and you, too, can achieve melted morsel goodness.

The water should be boiling softly, simmering really.
See? Almost ready!
Stir it around to help it melt and mix more evenly.

Do NOT be alarmed if it looks like this when you
take it off the stove and stir in your brown sugar...

Because once it cools and you start turns to spun gold, baby!

Be careful not to over bake...these tend to look gooey in the center...
you'll be tempted to keep adding a few minutes.
Resist, my friend, resist.
I know this from experience.
I actually should have taken these out about 3 minutes earlier than I did.
Oh well...they were still soft and delicious.

This mix is easy to give...
especially in an easy to make fabric gift bag.

Once you bag your dry ingredients, fold your fabric lengthwise
and measure the width of your bags.  Add an inch or so to each side.
Cut so that when you sew the sides,
the bottom is the fold in the fabric and the top is open.

To keep it simple, just cut the open end in a zigzag pattern.
It doesn't even have to be perfect.
Fold so that the right sides are together,
sew up the sides, leaving the top open.

Turn your bag right side out...and fill with your bags of dry ingredients.

For these brownies, there are 3 dry components:
1. Brown Sugar
2. The flour, salt, and baking powder.
3. Butterscotch Morsels

Include a printout of the instructions inside the bag.
Tie it all up with a pretty tag and some've got a great hostess gift.

 Butterscotch Brownies
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 – 11.5 oz pkg butterscotch morsels
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup {1 stick} butter
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp real vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped nuts {optional ~ I never put nuts in mine, my mom always puts nuts in hers}
Preheat oven to 350°. Combine dry ingredients, set aside.
Melt morsels and butter in a double boiler; remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl.
Stir in brown sugar; cool 5 min. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Blend in flour mixture.
Stir in nuts {optional}. Spread evenly into greased 13x9x2 pan.
Bake 30-35 minutes (check at 30). Cool and Cut.
For thinner brownies...15x10x1 pan, bake 25-30 minutes.

Oh, and I am not to be held responsible if you
suddenly become butterscotch brownie dependent.
Just sayin'.

Alrighty then...
you guys be good and safe on Halloween!
Check your candy and brush your teeth!

BTW...what candy do you steal from your kids' stash?
And which ones will NOBODY eat?

Creating drools here:

Thursday, October 24, 2013

A Hint of Halloween Hoopla

Ah, yes...once again I'm late to the party.
Nothing new here.

I added a few Halloween touches to the fall living room.
I didn't put everything out, as we'll be traveling over Halloween this year.
Didn't make sense to haul it all out of the basement...
but I wanted to share what I did get out.

Isn't this little "pillow" just so cute?
I can't even remember where I got it.
Big surprise. :)

I picked up these awesome paper fans/medallions, whatever they are,
when we were in Minnesota last month for some family business.
They have this freakin' AWESOME nursery called Gerten's.
I could spend hours there.
And they always have the coolest seasonal decor.

I actually found a couple crows at the dollar store.
And they still had some feathers on them.

Since I have the barnwood flower box on the coffee table this year,
I had to figure out where to put this little runner.
Okay, not the best place, but it works this year.

I usually use that big honkin' bowl above for trick or treat candy.
These little smiling jack-o-lantern faces make me happy.

This polka dot witch hat is still a favorite.

Argh...this guy turned out so blurry!
I found him at HomeGoods...I think he needs a name.
Any suggestions?

I was trying, and not succeeding, to get a decent shot of
the boo blocks with the creepy red-eyed bat hanging behind them.
Oh well.
I hung the banner that was on the fireplace last year here in the dining room.

I am loving adding fun things to the top of my dresser.
Someday...I'll get it painted.

The vinyl for the subway art came from Landee on Etsy.
Some of her designs you can just get the vinyl and make the board yourself.
That's what I did here.

Aaaaand...that's all, folks!
I didn't even get out my big ceramic pumpkin my dad gave me.
It has a flickering bulb so it's super cool!

Next year.

Hope you guys have been scaring up
some fun around your favorite haunts.
I pushed off the post with the gift bag so I could share some
Halloween with you...but it's on the schedule early next week.

So...make sure you come back and see me!
Have a great weekend!!!!

Oh...I almost forgot!!!
There are just a few more days to enter the GIANT baking bundle giveaway!

Friday, October 18, 2013

My Favorite Pumpkin Bread and Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins!

Howdy folks!
Do you feel the crisp fall air?
I do...there was snow here this morning!
Ugh...I am not ready for that.

SO...let's warm up those kitchens by baking something yummy!

 That's right...pumpkin bread.

I know what you're thinking.

Everybody's got pumpkin bread.
What makes mine special?
Well...I guess nothing if you ask it like that!

But's MY favorite pumpkin bread.
Really...see? The tag says so.

I've tried many recipes...this one...
in my most humble the absolute best.

Oh...and it's great for giving!
Just put the dry mix into a zipper storage bag...
tuck it into a cute little home-sewn fabric bag...
add a cute tag (don't forget instructions inside)...and you've got a tasty gift!

Instructions for the bag are coming...
they are part of another post that I did for a guest spot.
You guys will see it here next stay tuned!

You can also use this recipe for...dun dun dun...
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins!
OoOoOoOoh...who doesn't love those?

Just drop and plop...a little dab'll do ya!

You've waited long enough...let's get baking!
My Favorite Pumpkin Bread
printable version
Dry ingredients:
  • 1 2/3 cup flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar {I always use dark}
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
 Wet ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Whisk all your dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the oil, water, pumpkin, and eggs.
Beat in dry mixture, careful not to over mix.
Pour into a greased 9X5 loaf pan and bake for about an hour.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Prepare mix as directed above.
Scoop batter into paper baking cups in a muffin tin about 2/3 full
{makes 18}

For cream cheese filling:
  • 1 1/2 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
Stir ingredients together and drop by small spoonfuls into the center of each unbaked muffin.
{See picture above}
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Let me just say...these are reallllllllly good.
I don't share things with you I don't think are worth the trouble.
So what are you waiting for?
Preheat those ovens!
I've made 4 loaves and one batch
of muffins in the last few weeks.
I might be obsessed.

Speaking of baking...there's still time to enter
the GIANT baking bundle giveaway!
Do it!

Doing anything fun this weekend?
I'm headed to a chili cook off tomorrow.
Hopefully there's no more snow for a while!

Sharing here:

Thursday, October 10, 2013

La Tour de Fall

Come one, come all...
we're headed on a little tour of fall!

Step right up ladies and gents
{are there any of you?}
and prepare to be astonished... the fact that you only get to tour the living room.

Bummer, huh?
Now you're thinking this isn't even worth the admission fee.

Wait, you paid an admission fee?
I never saw a dime!
I hope you didn't just give your money to the cat...she can't be trusted.

Really, you can't trust someone who sniffs catnip and plays
with string and talks to inanimate objects.
Oh, wait, I talk to inanimate objects.
Ignore that last part.

So, it's a short tour.
Once around the living room and back. 

And there are always refreshments,
and the cat hair is free!

This awesome jar filled with fallish thingamabobs I made based
on the ones from Shanty2Chic...this one just has an extra base below the jar.
The script lampshade I made last year.

I decided to take the candles out of my sconces and tall candlesticks...
and replace them with pumpkins!

The lower ones are real, the upper ones are not...
and I had to tape them in to keep them from leaning.

{"Hey, this guy botherin' you? Cuz it looks like he's leanin'"}
Bonus points if you know the movie!

Okay, there aren't really any points...I lied.
But hey, I love that movie!

I have been waiting all summer to fill it with fall things!!!!'s awesome! 

It need a little more fluff and filler in the bottom...but I still love it!

Well, there you have it...the tour that wasn't a tour.

And since you've been such good sports,
I'll show you the dining room table.

Which seconds before looked like this:

 Just keepin' it real.
It's usually much worse, this is where I work on most projects
so there's always a bunch of stuff around.
You can't see the stack on the chair!!! :)

I figure I'll get to the Halloween stuff next week...sometime.

Hope you've enjoyed this mini tour...
since I don't do seasonal decorating throughout the house,
I didn't see the point.
Either that or the rest is in shambles...
I'll never tell.

I hope you lovelies have a fantastic weekend!
win a KitchenAid Mixer in your choice of colors
along with a whole bunch of awesome goodies!!!