Friday, November 30, 2012

DIY Winter Botanical Prints

While browsing Ballard Design's website, I found these babies and completely fell in love with them. Here is a picture

However, they are a little out of my price range at the moment. I couldn't get them out of my head though so I thought I'd attempt to DIY some of my own. First I went to Hobby Lobby and got 4 silver frames size 16 x 20 and cardboard-ish looking matting. Then I searched online for winter botanical prints and found these 

I printed them out and taped the them (fancy I know ) to the matting and framed them. Then John hung them for me. I think they turned out great and they only cost $40!The lighting isn't great, but they look amazing in person.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Thanksgiving Place Cards

This year my In-laws are coming up to my parents house for a big Thanksgiving. Since we will have about 13 for dinner I thought it would be fun to have place cards for each dinner guest. I wanted the place cards to look cute but not cost too much, so I went straight to Pinterest and found lots of great ideas

I really like the cork ones but they could be used for any dinner (not just Thanksgiving) so I decided to try those another time (maybe spring?). I really liked the leaf ones, so while on one of my breaks at work I collected some leaves. Originally I was going to just use the leaves and write each person's name on each leaf in gold. This is how they turned out:

They were alright, but they were hard to read in certain lights. Then I thought about making little name tags and punching a hole in them and placing them on the stem. This worked a lot better and the best part is the whole project was free!

I can't wait to set the table with these fall place cards!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

Since it's fall, I wanted to make some with pumpkin. After searching some blogs I found this Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars from Two Peas and their Pod's blog. As tasty as these looked just on their own I decided that they needed a frosting of some sort. That's when I decided to add an easy chocolate ganache to them. They were such a huge hit! I will be making these every fall now. Below is the recipe. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

Yield: 24 bars
Cook Time: 35-40 minutes



2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon pumpkin-pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

Chocolate Ganache: 
1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup milk or heavy cream


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking pan and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
2. With a stand or electric mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth; beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Add pumpkin puree and mix well. The mixture will look somewhat curdled. Reduce speed to low, and mix in dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.

3. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake bars for 35-40 minutes or until edges begin to pull away from sides of pan and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached.
4. Cool bars completely in pan.
5. For the Ganache: Pour 1/2 cup milk or cream into a sauce pan and cook on medium heat until hot. (Milk will begin to bubble on the sides).

Add the whole bag of remaining chocolate chips and remove from the heat. Stir constantly with a whisk until all the chocolate is melted.

After waiting a minute or two for the ganache to thicken, pour the chocolate ganache over the bars. Let the ganche harden for about 2-30 mins. Cut into squares and serve.