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Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Resolute Year

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Every year, I make resolutions and every year, I tend to fall off the wagon by about week 8, but everyone once in awhile one sticks. Last year, I decided to start a blog. At first, I did not tell any of my friends, I wanted to make sure I could actually do it before I started spreading the word. Turns out I can, mostly. Yay! This year, I gained 43 official followers and scores more who follow it at their own pace! I’ve learned a lot and how I like to do things. I love all the great feedback I have gotten on my blog, and suggestions. Along the way, I have discovered a ton of other cool new blogs to follow as well and learned to procrastinate even more but such is life. This hasn’t been the easiest year for me, I’ve had to deal with several road blocks but this blog has kept me going. Instead of writing what I plan to do this year personally, I wanted to let you know what I plan to do this year for all my readers (or occasional browsers). This way, hopefully, you can help keep me going!

1) Do a few giveaways.

Because I love to give gifts and everyone deserves a little more cheer even if it’s just a baked goodie and a gift card.

2) Blog 4 times a week or more.

I know this is one that you guys will have to stay on me for, sometimes I get to wrapped up in life to remember to take some photos, but luckily I got a new lens for christmas so hopefully this spurs me on to take more photos.

3) Get a little more personal

I want to inject a little more “Katy” into my blog, which can mean either OCD color coded things or glitter. Take your pick.

4) Balance things out

Some weeks, I feel like all I do is write about cooking, other weeks all I do is decorate. I want to start making sure everything becomes more balanced. Also balance out vegetarian/desserts/drinks recipes

5) First Things First

Tutorials on simple things, that every person should know how to do. From juicing a pomegranate to how the internet works to removing stains. I think everyone including myself, could benefit from learning some of the great tricks out there.

So there you go, any other suggestions? Please. Pretty please. Pretty please with a  cherry on top. I will never know I am heading in the ‘write’ direction unless you let me know!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Pepperoni Rolls

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     My grandparents are from West Virginia and no, they are not cousins. Anyways, in West Virginia, they make something called pepperoni rolls. My whole family is obsessed, we will call up our favorite bakery and have them shipped to us all over the US. If anyone we know is going up there, we beg them to stop by and get us about 3 dozen of them.  Yes, 3 dozen per family. They are that good, so the other day my grandparents and I decided to try out making them. Ours weren’t perfect but they were pretty darn good.

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Ingredients:

Pepperoni

Pizza dough (bread dough might be better)

Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 350.

2) Slice pepperoni into small sections then quarter it.

3) Cut the dough into sections and wrap around the pepperoni. Place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for about 15 – 20 minutes or until golden brown.

4) Enjoy!

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P.S. I know I promised more vegetarian recipes and I will start with some great ones in the new year! Soon! I promise!

P.P.S. Sorry my posts haven’t been as regular, coming home for winter break hasn’t been a break at all, I have been busier than ever and it’s been kind of tough. Anyways, look for better posting next year (it’s one of my goals)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Gracious Gifts: Cookbooks for the Health Conscious

Here’s another cookbook idea for the holiday season.

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      I have to admit, I bought this cookbook because a girlfriend of mine had it and made the tortellini recipe. That recipe was to die for and when I found out it wasn’t half bad for me, I knew I needed this book. I am also a book hoarder, mainly just cookbooks and coffee table books. I freely admit it, along with a lot of stuff, I own like 12 different cook books. I love pictures and this book has a pretty picture with every recipe and they are easy to follow. 5 fresh ingredients in 15 minutes, sign me up!  Anyways, enough about my hoarding tendencies. This book would be great for your health conscious friend who still likes really good food!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Bedroom Art Update: HELP!

Okay, so I have finished the artwork but I can’t decide how exactly to hang it. I decided to do what any smart person would do and ask my lovely readers! Do we like the left where the small ones overlap or the right where they do not touch? Here’s how I did the art.

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What do you think? Please comment with your vote!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

It’s A Wrap: Takeout Boxes Plus Satin Ribbon

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       I love wrapping presents, and there are always so many innovative ways to wrap presents these days . One of my latest obsessions has been Kraft paper. I absolutely adore the brown paper with brightly colored ribbons. I babysit for this adorable couple and for the holidays, I made Rice Krispy Treats (recipe to follow) and put them in the take out box (from micheals) and just tied it with a double faced wide satin ribbon (NO WIRES). The lady couldn’t stop raving about how cute it looked. Definitely going to carry this over for presents this year.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Gracious Gifts: Cookbooks for Beginners

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Here’s a gift idea for a recent grad or for someone starting out on their own. How To Boil Water cookbook is fabulous. It has tons of great simple recipes and the best part is has helpful tips throughout. There is a chart for how to cook different vegetables, and good toppings for each one. What are good food and wine pairings? And answers the age old question of what’s the difference between chopped and diced.  Anyways, its one of my favorite cookbooks and I constantly refer to it when I have a question of what to make or need some ideas for different ways to spice up my vegetables. Great for a beginner cook.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Peppermint Bark

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I love peppermint bark and the best part is I can make it in 10 minutes flat plus it only takes three ingredients. I make it as a little gift for my professors and they are always so touched. It’s the perfect gift that shows you are thinking of them without having to spend too much money.

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Ingredients:

1 3/4 cup Rice Krispies

11 oz White Chocolate

Peppermint Candies

 

Directions:

1) Place the peppermint candies (about 1/4 cup) in a plastic baggie and SMASH THEM into crumbs.

2) Melt the white chocolate. (I am lazy and use a glass bowl in a microwave, at 30 second increments to not burn it)

3) Stir in the rice krispies.

4) Pour the mix on a parchment or wax paper lined cookie sheet. Flatten out and sprinkle the crushed peppermint candies on it.

5) Place in fridge for 5 minutes to harden then cut or break apart.

6) ENJOY but not too much otherwise your waist will not thank me.

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Weekly Wonderings: December 7th, 2011

Last week, I showed you gifts I wanted to make, this week I think I will highlight some of my favorite gifts I have made or received this year!

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1) Pretty Notebooks

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2) Cranberry Compote

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3) Brownies

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4) Sugar Scrub

Pin 5

5) Glitter Candles

So what are your favorite homemade gifts this year? Got any good ideas? Please share!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Homemade Buttermilk Cornbread!

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         So that buttermilk tip I shared yesterday, yeah it totally got used to make this cornbread. And we used the butter to make honey butter for the cornbread, it was delicious. I used to just buy cornbread mix (FYI, Krusteaux is the BEST) but I am kind of liking this whole homemade thing, and it doesn’t take too much extra time to make each recipe, maybe 15 minutes but the results seem to be worth it. Anyways, this was the perfect touch to a quite Friday night with friends!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cups Corn meal
  • 1 1/2 cups Buttermilk
  • 6 tbsp Butter
  • 1 cup Flour
  • 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1  1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt

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Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 450 degrees and grease a loaf pan. (be warned, ours filled a medium loaf pan and a small one)

2) Combine all ingredients in a bowl until well mixed. (EASY)

3) Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown! Top with HONEY BUTTER (Seriously, you will love it)

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P.S. There aren’t any more photos because we ate it too quickly, sorry! But, hey, it was that good!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Handy House Tip #7: Buttermilk

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So the other day, I decided to make cornbread. At 10pm. On a friday. I’m cool like that. Also because of my whole making things from scratch kick, I decided cornbread would not come from a mix. Enter my dilemma: I had to buttermilk. I refused to let closed grocery stores stand in my way of yummy cornbread. So I did what every person  does these days: I googled it. Turns out there are two ways to substitute buttermilk-

1) Actually make it.

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Pour heavy cream in a jar (or just mix it with a mixer, but where is the fun in that?). Screw on the lid, and shake it. And shake it. ANDDDDDDDD SHAKE IT. It takes about 10-20 minutes, but me and Lotti would switch places and you get BUTTER out of it too. So we had butter for our cornbread! You have to shake it past the whipped cream phase, until it becomes yellow and part of it hardens. Simply pour out the buttermilk, you get about 2/3-3/4 of a cup for every 1 cup heavy cream PLUS YOU GET BUTTER. ( P.S. you need to wash the butter after you pour so the buttermilk doesn’t make it go bad) Seriously, making butter was so cool. We were simply enamored with it the whole time.

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2) Okay, not as cool but simply add lemon or white vinegar to regular milk.

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Add 1 tablespoon lemon OR vinegar to one cup milk. Let stand for 5 minutes. Done. 

 

      The first method does take more work, but come on YOU GET BUTTER too! How is that not worth it? 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Christmas Bulb Headbands or THE GREATEST THING EVER

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My mother is a third grade teacher, I think I need to say that to better explain why we are always doing arts and crafts projects. Or at least, it gives us an excuse. So when one of her fellow teachers received a Christmas bulb headband, my mother knew she had to have one too. I should also point out, I got my love of all things sparkly and glittery from her. This project was right up our alley over Thanksgiving. It was so much fun to make and the more ostentatious they look, the better. We went crazy with making them, and since showing her other teacher friends, we’ve got orders to make a few more! We have now expanded to make them for all holidays so come check us out on Etsy

Check out our etsy shop! http://www.etsy.com/shop/CrowninGlories


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What do you think?