Open kitchen cabinet

Good morning friends! I hope you all had a great weekend. It was unseasonably chilly here on Saturday, so I tackled a free project that I’ve been contemplating for some time. I’ve been thinking about removing a set of upper cabinet doors in the kitchen for a while to create an open shelving look. Previously, I removed a set of lower cabinet doors under the sink and made a sink skirt to replace them. I decided to try the upper door removal Saturday and I really love how it turned out. And Rob approves too! In love

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I am so glad to be able to see some of my decorative accessories on display now!

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I love these baskets from Ikea. I’ve had them for years and they make a great accessory. I slapped a tag on it because I slap tags on everything. Seriously. Be right back

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I like having my hand crank pasta machine out on display. The accessories are behind it, which you can see here, but you can’t see them when you are looking up at the cabinet.

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Thanks for stopping in! Have a great start to your week. Red heart

Recipe: Chocolate chunk cookie cake with salted caramel drizzle

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I don’t know about you, but I always loved the cookie cakes you could get at places like the Great American Cookie Company in the mall. I actually had a friend who worked at such a place, and they’d give away product at the end of her shift (otherwise, it got tossed in the trash). Yum. Free cookies.

A while ago, I made a cookie cake for a friend’s birthday dinner and it seemed to be a hit. I did the same for another friend a few weekends ago. What is it about a giant cookie ‘cake’ that seems fun and special? I don’t know, but they are always a hit and they are not hard to make. Here is my version.

**Disclaimer- I cook and bake because I like to eat. When I bake, it’s all about putting it together and getting it into my belly. So if you are looking for a fancy decorated cookie cake like the ones from the mall cookie companies,  this is not for you.  Who me? Let’s file this under ‘rustic’, shall we?

Okay, here we go.

Cookie dough: this is a variation on a cookie cake recipe I posted a while ago. For this cookie cake, I used all the dough from this dough recipe. This makes a very big cookie cake.

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

pinch of salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 1/4 tsp baking powder

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

1 large egg at room temperature

1 tsp vaniila extract (****or 1 TBSP of caramel sauce right into the dough mixture if you’re out of vanilla like I was today. The caramel sauce has vanilla in it).

2 cups dark chocolate chips (I like Ghiradelli 60% cacao chips the best)

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, cream the butter, sugars, vanilla (or caramel sauce) and egg for about 5 minutes until pale and fluffy. While this is working (if you’re using a stand mixer- if you’re using a hand mixer, you will need extra hands and I can’t help you there! Ha!), combine your flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in another bowl.

3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in batches (4 or 5 small batches). Add a little of the dry mixture to the wet, turn your mixer on low just enough to incorporate the dry ingredients, then turn the mixer off and add more.

4. Fold in your chocolate chips until they are mixed throughout the dough.

5. Now, place a piece of parchment paper on your countertop and dump the dough out into the center of the paper, like this:

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6. Top the dough with a second piece of parchment paper, like this:

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7. Press down on the dough to flatten it out, then finish smoothing it out into a circle with a rolling pin. The size you want to make it will depend on the size of your pan. I used a 16 inch pizza pan. If you want it to be more uniform in shape, you can clean the edges up with a sharp knife or pizza cutter.

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8. Remove the top layer of parchment and quickly slide the parchment with cookie dough onto a round pizza pan.

9. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-16 minutes, or until the whole cookie is golden brown, like this:

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10. Drizzle it with caramel sauce and top with flaked sea salt.

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Now do your best to leave it alone until after dinner. Be right back

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“Fixer Upper” inspired wall greeting

Do you guys watch ‘FIxer Upper’ on HGTV? I just LOVE that show and love Joanna Gaines’ style. I have always had some sort of typography sprinkled into our home décor, even in our house in Pittsburgh. But I have always used letters that are the same font and size. But I have loved the way Joanna uses salvaged letters of all sizes and fonts on her show. I don’t have any salvaged letters…but I do have Hobby Lobby….and a 50% off sale on letters. Rolling on the floor laughing

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Um, I love it. I kept the existing ‘M’ and purchased the other 3 letters on sale this weekend. Rob is so patient…he helped me lay out all possible combinations in the store before we decided on this. Red heart

Before:

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After:

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Have a great Monday, friends!

Lemon white chocolate chip cookies

Hello friends! I created this recipe years ago and actually published it on the old version of this blog (which you can still find in the archives)…but I have tweaked it just a touch and, in turn, I hope I have improved upon it. I love these cookies anytime of year, but they are especially nice in the summer, as the lemon flavor makes them seem lighter. If you don’t love lemon, you can certainly substitute your favorite citrus. I have made this recipe with orange and lime and they have been good. The lemon just happens to be my favorite. I hope you like them too!

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Lemon white chocolate chip cookies:
Yield: about 18 large cookies

Cookie batter:
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 egg
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
zest of one lemon
2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1 cup of white chocolate chips

Glaze
juice of 1 lemon
3/4 cup powdered sugar (plus up to 3 extra tablespoons of powdered. sugar if your lemon yields a lot of juice)***
whisk all ingredients together and set aside

***Start here, then taste the glaze- this is just a glaze, so you can tweak the measurements. For a thicker glaze, add more powdered sugar. I tend to like mine on the thicker side.

Directions:
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat butter, egg and sugars, along with extract and zest on medium high speed until fluffy and pale yellow in color (4-5 minutes).
Gradually add in the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated. Stir in chips

Use a large cookie scoop and scoop cookie dough onto a parchment lined sheet pan

Bake cookies at 375 F for 10-12 minutes. Mine usually take right around 11 minutes.

Allow cookies to cool and then top with the glaze (drizzle with a spoon and use the back of the spoon to spread). Allow cookies and glaze to sit for about a half hour so glaze will harden.

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Hope this makes your hump day more bearable! Enjoy!

5 things to love about World Market…if only I had more rooms to decorate

Happy Monday, friends! Is that an oxymoron? Probably….whoops. If you have a World Market near you and haven’t been in lately, check it out. If you don’t have one near you, get online and check out these great finds. There is eye candy everywhere in that store!

How cute is this metal storage bin?

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I love this cool industrial shelf. It reminds me of this shelf from Restoration Hardware, which is also awesome but a lot more money. If you like the look, World Market’s smaller version just may fit the bill. I can picture all my cookbooks and cookware on these shelves.

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I want this adorable shelf! Can you please buy and and invite me to your house so I can admire it? Thanks a bunch. Winking smile Better yet, it’s similar looking, but less $$ than its Pottery Barn counterpart.

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All I can say to this adorable shelf is yes please!

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Lastly, these vintage looking crates remind me of an old milk crate. I actually have an awesome vintage Borden milk crate, and these look very similar, minus the inscription.

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Enjoy the rest of your day!

Recipe: Cookies and Cream cupcakes with vanilla and chocolate buttercream frosting

Well HELLLOOOO friends. It’s been a while. The summer is just getting away from me and I have been ignoring this space. Let’s reconnect, shall we? Over cupcakes? I thought you’d like that.

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I don’t know what it is, but I have been on a cupcake kick lately. Don’t worry- I do give some away. I am doing the couch to 5K program….I can’t burn off those calories and then come home and eat 15 cupcakes, now can I?

Do you ever want to try a recipe, but you are missing an ingredient that you need? Happens to me all the time. I crave something, but don’t have all the goods to make it. I came across this cupcake recipe in one of my cookbooks and actually had Oreos in the house that I bought for Rob (a rare event). So, being the good wife I am, I ripped open that package of Oreos and helped myself to half the package to make these cupcakes. Sorry honey. I’ll buy more.

The cupcake and icing recipes are from two different sources. I thought they’d go well together and I believe I was right. My 2 year old neighbor across the street thought so too. Smile

Cookies and Cream cupcakes (recipe courtesy of Kitchen Aid Baking Companion):

Yields 24 cupcakes

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1 TBSP baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 2/3 cup sugar

1 cup milk

1 stick unsalted butter, softened

2 tsp. vanilla extract

3 egg whites

10 Oreo cookies, crushed

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 F and line 2 cupcake pans with liners.

2. Stir together the first 3 ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a hand mixer). Then stir in the sugar.

3. Add the next 3 ingredients and mix on low speed for about 30 seconds. Stop the mixer, scrape the bowl down and add the egg whites. Start the mixer again (slowly) and then beat the entire mixture for 2 minutes. Add the crushed cookies and mix until just incorporated.

4. Fill liners about 2/3 full with mixture and bake at 350 F for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.

Buttercream frosting (Recipe courtesy of Williams Sonoma Family Meals- Maria Helm Sinskey)

Ingredients:

2 sticks of unsalted butter at room temperature

4 cups powdered sugar, sifted

1 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 whole milk (psst- I only had 2% and it was fine)

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tsp. very hot water

*****3-4 crushed Oreos for garnish, if desired

Directions:

1. Start the mixer on low and beat the butter, sugar and salt on medium speed once the powdered sugar is mixed in a bit (unless you want to wear it).

2. Add the milk and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy. Remove half of the icing. This is the VANILLA buttercream.

3. Add the cocoa powder and beat on low speed until combined. Add the hot water to bring it all together and beat again for one minute. This is the CHOCOLATE buttercream.

Ice the cooled cupcakes and add Oreo cookie crumbles if your little heart desires.

I LOVED the chocolate buttercream on this particular cupcake, but both were delicious.

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Enjoy everyone! I won’t wait so long to say hello again.

Five on Friday with a new home tour

Hello Friday! It is the first Friday of summer break for me! I am linking up with Christina at Carolina Charm for today’s Five on Friday. I also have a home tour up on the blog- follow the link below to the main page of this blog for photos. Smile

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One:

I have two of these Threshold stools from Target sitting at my kitchen island at the moment. I am trying to decide whether to keep them or not. We have some nice bar stools from World Market that we like, and we recently covered the cushions with some leftover fabric, but the stools are kind of big for the island and where it’s placed in our kitchen. These are more compact. If you like them, or any barstools at Target, take advantage of the 20% off barstools sale on Cartwheel. The deal expires tomorrow (Saturday June 7).

Hampden Counter Stool Natural Metal

Two:

You aren’t using Cartwheel????? Please tell me you’re kidding. If you’re not using it, and you shop at Target, sign up now. I just got a notification that I have saved over $100 using this app. It’s free and easy. If I have my eye on something that is not a necessity, I wait for Cartwheel to have a discount (like the stools above). Discounts range from 5-25% off. Get signed up!!!!!!!!!!!

Three:

Are you watching Fixer Upper on HGTV? I adore this show. I watched the marathon yesterday (in a nice outfit in my pajamas) to catch up on episodes I’ve missed. I’m in awe of people who have the vision to turn something hideous into something so beautiful.

Four:

Jeni’s Ice Cream opened last night here in Charleston on Upper King Street….just in time for summer break. I’ve had her cookbook for a few years and the recipes are wonderful. I can’t wait to head downtown and feed my face. I am certain I can find a few friends to tag along with me. Winking smile

Five:

If you haven’t visited me lately, I recently posted some home tour pics on the main page of this site. I’m still learning….learning my camera, learning technology. Bear with me! I hope you enjoy the tour. Smile

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!