Monday, September 12, 2011

birthday treats for brett

Brett's birthday was this past Saturday, Sept. 10. To celebrate I made him a few special treats... a sausage and egg breakfast casserole for brunch, followed by chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes for our KU tailgate.

I had never made a breakfast casserole before, so I found a quick and easy recipe on it was nice because I made it the night before, and then popped it in the oven the next morning. I didn't take a picture until after we had already cut into it (we were hungry!), so it's not very pretty. But, it sure tasted good!

Not sure if you can tell in the picture, but half of the casserole has corn flakes on top. I wanted something crispy, so I added cornflakes when there was about 10 minutes of baking time left.

The chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes were pretty easy also... since I was short on time I doctored up a box mix. In my opinion, doctored up box mixes are just as good as homemade mixes, and they're so much easier... plus, they're practically no fail. I get so frustrated when I spend an hour on a homemade mix and then my cupcakes don't rise, or they're too dense, etc. So, save yourself some time and frustration and try doctoring up a box mix. I typically use four eggs rather than what's called for on the box, and use a cup of buttermilk instead of the amount of water called for on the box. For this recipe I used a cup of oil, 4 eggs, a cup of sour cream and half a cup of water. No buttermilk... also I used the box mix that has a box of pudding in the mix. Makes the cupcakes nice and moist!

I also cheated and used Pillsbury cookie dough. Even though my homemade cookie dough is the BEST, I just didn't have time. I dropped a tsp of cookie dough in the middle of each cupcake and also baked a dozen cookies to cut in half and place on top of the cupcakes for decoration.

I used my staple buttercream icing and added mini chocolate chips to it. Overall, I think the cupcakes turned out great! The birthday boy loved them, and they were a hit at the tailgate.

Cupcakes and Boulevard Wheat - yum! :)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars

Happy Labor Day weekend! What are you doing to enjoy the long weekend? We're staying in town, but planning on doing a lot of yard work, as well as getting together with friends! Tonight we're attending a BBQ to celebrate a friend's birthday. I've decided to bring dessert. When I asked my husband what he thought I should bring, he said "anything with peanut butter and chocolate." So, I did a quick search and decided to make Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars, a recipe I found on one of my favorite blogs, Bake at 350.

Here's a look at these delicious, decadent bars...

Recipe, courtesy of Bake at 350.

YUM! A perfect labor day treat, I can't wait to share with everyone! Actually, I can't wait to get these out of my house so I don't eat the entire pan! :)

Have a great Labor Day weekend!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

welcome, september!

Have you heard the song, "Wake Me Up When September Ends" by Green Day? I'm not a huge fan of the song, but this past August made me think about it often... I kept thinking, "More like 'wake me up when AUGUST ends!'" The month of August dragged and seemed like it would never end. Between the crazy heat and my excitement and readiness for all things fall, I was ready for September to get here all ready.

So, thank goodness it's September 1! To me, September signifies the beginning of fall, which is my favorite season. I love fall because:

1. Cooler Weather
2. Cooler Weather = A Change of Clothes! By August/early Sept. I'm SO ready for a change of clothes... I'm sick of tank tops, shorts and flowy dresses. By this point I've given up on getting tan, so my pale skin is ready for jeans, sweatshirts and sweater dresses. Oh, and did I mention boots? I'm obsessed with boots.
2. Beautiful Fall Leaves - I love watching the trees turn beautiful shades of red, orange and yellow. One of my favorite things is to drive down Ward Parkway and Lee Boulevard in the middle of October and look at all the beautiful trees and the leaves falling. Gorgeous!
3. Football! - I may not be a big football fan, but I love the tailgating aspect, and I enjoy driving up to Lawrence in the fall and hanging out on the hill with my family and friends before a game.
4. Pumpkins and Mums - fall is one of my favorite times to decorate (Christmas comes in first)... I love buying pumpkins to adorn the front porch, along with beautiful mums.
5. Fall Baking! - Pumpkin cupcakes, pumpkin pie, apple cookies, apple streusel... YUM! Who doesn't love a good fall dessert? I also love fall cooking - chili and stew come to mind!

Those are just a few of my favorite things about fall. Even though it's just September 1st and it's still 100 degrees outside (ugh)... fall is right around the corner and I'm ready to enjoy it! Bring on the sweaters, boots and pumpkins!

What is your favorite season?