Tag Archives: Holidays

Happy Opening Day!

9 Apr

To all my wonderful Phillies fan readers out there, Happy Opening Day. Don’t worry, you’re not the only one bitter about sitting behind a desk instead of watching the game.

To all those who don’t like the Phillies, it’s okay. We can’t all be awesome.

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Monkey Bread: a Fail-Proof and Delicious Dessert

4 Apr

As Easter creeps up this holiday I join a lot of my friends in trying to help put together a menu for family dinners. In large family settings it can be really tricky to find food that everyone can enjoy, so oftentimes the simpler recipes tend to shine. Think about the stars of your holiday meals: turkey, ham, potatoes, all very simple but absolutely necessary for a successful holiday meal.

Dessert has always been a challenge for me when it came to holidays. My desire to impress and my love for baking has always trumped the K.I.S.S. (keep it simple, stupid) rule of thumb. I hate the idea of making something as standard as cupcakes or brownies, but I knew for this year I would need something that everyone could enjoy.

Enter the Monkey Bread.

My mom has been making Monkey Bread since I was young, mainly because it’s super simple and crazy delicious. I decided to whip up a batch this weekend, and took my own little twist on it to make it even more successful. If you’re strapped for time and looking for a cheap fix, I guarantee that this will be a hit this holiday weekend.

Monkey Bread

Ingredients
2 packages, Pillsbury Grands Refrigerated Biscuits
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tub (14 oz.) Land O Lakes Cinnamon Sugar Spread

Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Butter a bundt pant with a small amount of the Land O Lakes butter spread. Usually to do this I take a paper towel, scoop a small amount off the top of the tub and rub it in with my hands. It doesn’t matter if you put too much on, as it all melts into the same place, but don’t skimp!


2. In a large bowl, mix together your sugar and cinnamon. It will look wonderful and light brown and fabulously delicious. I like to make 2 cups of this, keep it in a Tupperware, and spoon it over buttered toast in the morning for a quick breakfast.
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3. Cut all of your biscuits into quarters and throw them into the large bowl of sugar, completely coating every piece. When shopping, make sure you buy the biscuits, not the layered dinner rolls that Pillsbury makes. Drop those pieces into the bunt and repeat until your out of biscuits. The remaining cinnamon-sugar can be poured over top of the bundt.


4. Melt the remaining Land O Lakes butter spread in the microwave, only for about 20 seconds, then pour that evenly over the top of the biscuits. If you would rather use butter, be my guest, but I found this stuff at Wegmans for pretty cheap and it has changed my world.


5. Bake for approximately 35 minutes. When the top is browned and you think it is done, take it out and examine the open spaces in between, and push down on a few of the pieces on top. If it feels squishy and soft, the inside is raw, but if it feels stiffer the inside is baked. Don’t worry about the top burning when trying to cook the inside. If that becomes an issue (I’ve made this recipe a ridiculous amount of times and I’ve never had that problem) put a piece of foil over the top.
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6. Flip your monkey bread out of the bundt and onto a plate and you’re done! The hardest part will be not grabbing it right away, but remember that it is pretty much covered in molten caramel, so please be careful! And enjoy!
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Super Easy, Super Fast Craft: Mr. Kate Scarf

29 Feb

Today is Leap Day, so imagine my horror when I opened my closet to find that I did not have a single piece of yellow or blue clothing to wear to work! I would have gotten poked in the eyes, Leap Day William would have been ashamed, and I certainly wouldn’t have gotten anything from his bucket of sweets before he went back into the Marianas Trench (if you’re questioning anything I just said, just click the “Leap Day William” link)!

After some more digging, I decided I had no choice but to DIY my Leap Day attire. So I turned to one of my favorite crafting and style bloggers, Mr. Kate, for inspiration.

I’ve made a t-shirt scarf before, but obviously I needed one in yellow for today, so I whipped up this 10 minute scarf last night before bed! It’s super simple and you only need a few  supplies: an unused t-shirt, scissors and a scrap of fabric about 8 inches long. If you want, you can even use the scraps from the t-shirt you work with, so the scrap isn’t 100 percent necessary. Can’t be any simpler.

A few months ago I found a deal at one of the craft stores by me on t-shirts, so I bought a ton and have been holding onto them for crafting purposes, but you could also use a junky old shirt you don’t wear anymore. I’ve seen this craft done using shirts with prints on them and that looks really cool, but obviously it wouldn’t fit my leap day need so I grabbed my yellow t-shirt.

First thing’s first: cut off the hemline at the bottom of the shirt and cut off just below the armpit part of the shirt (P.S. I hate the word armpit and I’m mad that I had to write it… twice). You’ll be left with a rectangular loop of fabric. You can ditch the other parts of the shirt, or save the top part to use later on.

Take your rectangle and cut about a one inch strip of fabric from the bottom of one of the connected ends (where the shirt would sit on your side) up to about one inch before the end of your other connected end. Definitely check out the photo, it’s a little hard to explain, but it’s easy when you get going. This craft is not for the perfectionist. The cuts don’t need to be perfect. The first time I did this I used a ruler, and then realized it was pointless. To get a general inch, I use my “rule of thumb.” An inch is sort of kind of the size of the top of your thumb to it’s knuckle. If you really need to measure an inch out for this project, just use your thumb!

Continue cutting strips until you’re out of space, Making sure you leave about an inch at the end of your t-shirt. You want all of the strips to still be connected at the end. When you’re done it will kind of look like a hula shirt for a really tall baby or something. Now hold each strip at both ends and lightly tug on the strip. The harsh edges you get from cutting it will curl in, so that each strip looks like a long, skinny cylinder. The photo below shows the top half after I pulled the loops, and the bottom half before. Definitely check out the Mr. Kate video below for any questions. You don’t need to pull hard, and if you have strips that are skinnier than others pulling hard might actually lead to breaking, so be careful!

Now that all your strips are pulled and looking svelte, take the section that hasn’t been cut, open it up (kind of like you were putting it on as a t-shirt). Take your scarf while it is open (see photo) and just bunch it together. What will happen is the strips that you cut and tugged on will open up turn into your scarf, and the uncut piece will just be a small section on the scarf. Use your scrap of fabric to wrap the uncut area together, so that it doesn’t open up while you’re wearing it and so that it doesn’t stick out in the middle of nowhere. I used a blue t-shirt from my last t-shirt scarf (for Leap Day’s sake!), but you can use whatever you want! Yarn, leather (last scarf I made I used a leather strap from an old boot I had), ribbon, or a piece of scrap from your t-shirt so that it doesn’t stand out.

And voila! I recommend you check out Mr. Kate’s video below and her post for a full explanation. I wasn’t about to make a video, because quite honestly I lost my camera charger and my camera was on the verge of death, and as I mentioned I  was just about to go to bed, so there was no way I was taking a picture of myself looking as I did. Plus, Mr. Kate is much cuter and quirkier than me, so I’m pretty sure you would enjoy it more if you watched her!

Happy International Pancake Day!!!

21 Feb

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Enjoying it in (super-full) style.

Yeah I LOVE Valentine’s Day, So What!?

14 Feb

Hey guess what world!? While you’re busy writing angry Facebook statuses about Hallmark scams and blah blah blah I’m off enjoying a holiday that’s cute, fun and totally harmless. Yeah I’m wearing pink! I’m also wearing red, and I painted my nails pink for the occasion. So what!? Yeah, I gushed over the box of flowers my boyfriend delivered to my office, while the anti-V-Day grumps moaned about it, so what!? And you bet your butt I’m going to eat at least one heart-shaped thing, watch at least one romantic movie today and send Valentine’s Day e-cards to at least five friends today.

I’m just tired of how cool it is to be anti-holiday nowadays! What is so wrong with dressing a little cuter than usual and being festive? I personally believe all of my friends and associates are far too young to be such curmudgeons about a holiday as painless as Valentine’s Day. I was single for 19 years, so I can understand the slight sting that comes with that, but you can still make it a fun day to celebrate the loves of your life, be it your best friend, your parents, your dog, Biggie Smalls… Whatever!

So I say Bah! Humbug to all those Valentine’s Day grumps. I’m going to take today to giggle a little more than usual, be obnoxiously cute, and have fun! It’s not too late for you to join me. Call up some friends, go buy some candy, and enjoy a fun and funky break in an otherwise mediocre workweek. You don’t need a guy buying you stuff or a girl asking for crap to enjoy the day. Valentine’s Day can be a fantastic way to celebrate loving yourself, loving your life and loving what the future may bring you. So join in the Valentine’s Day Revolution!

The rest of you can just enjoy another, boring Tuesday.