Monday, February 20, 2012

Homemade Beignets

The beignet (ben_YAY) became Louisiana's state doughnut in 1986. If you have ever been to New Orleans you probably stopped by Cafe Du Monde, which is one of NOLA's star attractions. It is a 24 hour French Quarter cafe that serves only two items; chicory-infused coffee, and beignets. I have never been to New Orleans myself, but having married into a cajun family.. I consider myself fairly knowledgeable to their traditions. I have been told that many NOLA natives use refrigerated biscuits to make beignets, so I decided to try it for myself. My son and I were amazed at how well they turned out. They will literally melt in your mouth, folks! Delicious goodness at its best!!  We both ended up covered in powdered sugar, and it was fun to start our own Mardi Gras tradition with homemade beignets.
  • 1 can refrigerated biscuits
  • Vegetable oil
  • Powdered sugar
You will want to use regular style biscuits..not the layered, flaky biscuits. I used Pillsbury Grands Homestyle Original Big biscuits.

Separate biscuits, and cut into thirds.
Pour oil about 2 inches deep into your skillet. Heat the oil on a med-high. Once your oil is hot and ready you may now fry the biscuit pieces in batches.. about 2 minutes on each side or until golden.

Sometimes you will find that they roll over on their own when they are browned on one side.  Once finished set the biscuits on some paper towels to soak some of the grease.  I find it best to place a few layers of paper towels on my cooling rack.  Generously dust with powdered sugar. Serve immediately. 

After 10 minutes or less you have a generous batch of your own homemade beignets. I can't wait for you to try this at home.   These are so quick, easy and FUN to make..not to mention just in time for your own Mardi Gras matter where you are.

As always, thank you for your comments.


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Ice Cream Cake

I found this recipe on Pinterest, but decided to change it up to our liking.  You can view the original pin here.  What I like most about this recipe is that it is simple enough that anyone can make changes to it according to their own likes and dislikes.  It is a basic recipe that will allow you to experiment in the kitchen. 

  • Ice Cream Sandwiches (10)
  • Chocolate Fudge
  • Whipped Cream
  • Crushed Oreo cookies
  • Meatloaf Pan 9 x 5 x 3
  • Wax or Parchment paper (for lining)
  • Saran Wrap (to cover)

***The fudge can easily be changed..think Nutella, fruit spread, peanut butter, chocolate syrup, fat free, sugar free, etc.  The possibilities are endless. I personally like the fudge...can you tell I'm trying to channel my love for a DQ cake? (I know my Mom is especially going to enjoy this cake.)

Line your pan with the Parchment paper, or wax paper.  It is easier if you line it so that you end up with two big flaps on both sides of the pan.  The flaps will come in handy later.  In the picture my flaps are tucked under the pan..out of my way.

You will want to slice about a 1/4 inch of the sandwiches off at one end.

Meanwhile, have a helper crush your Oreos. If you don't have a helper I would recommend doing this step first, so your ice cream does not melt.  We placed a handful of Oreos in a large Ziploc bag, and my son whacked them with a lemon press until they were good and crumbled.  As you can see in the awesome action shot below.  Make sure you put something under the bag to protect your countertops.  I used a folded linen napkin.
(reward your helper with the sandwich ends you just cut off in the step above)

Now you want to line the pan with the sandwiches.  Making sure they are firm, and flat on the bottom.

Next, you will take a small icing spatula and spread the fudge evenly over the sandwiches.  You can use as little or as much as you like.

Next, you will spread a layer of whipped cream over the fudge.

Generously sprinkle the crushed cookies over the whipped cream.  Next time I make this I want to try crumbled brownies instead of the cookies.  I think that may bring me even closer to the homemade DQ cake.

Now that you have your first layer, repeat the same steps again to form the second layer.
Your finished product should end up looking something like this..

Once you have all the layers complete you want to take the flaps on both sides and gently fold them over..covering the top of the dish.

Tightly, wrap saran wrap around the pan.  I wrapped it long ways all the way around two times, and then twisted it.. and wrapped it the other way 2 more times.  You want to make sure it is sealed tightly enough that air is unable to get in...thus causing freezer burn. You will now place the pan in the freezer for at least one hour, or up to one week.

Before serving remove all plastic wrap, and unfold the "flaps" of paper.  Firmly holding the two flaps...using them as handles to help you lift the cake from the pan placing it onto a serving dish. Generally, I remove the paper setting it aside, so I can use it to store the remaining dessert in the freezer. 

Doesn't this look wonderful!!??

Now, slice...serve..and ENJOY!

As always please feel free to leave a comment.  If you decide to use this recipe, and make your own changes please share the changes.  I love trying new things.  I can't wait to hear how this ice cream cake turned out for you.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, February 17, 2012

High Five for Friday

Welcome to High Five for Friday!!  The H54F posts are my absolute fave, and I look forward to posting each week!  We should all take a moment to recall the weeks blessings.  I hope by reading my Friday blog that you will sit back and reflect on things that you enjoyed this week. Just a reminder that you always have something to be thankful for.

 Sadly, I had to say goodbye to my little flip, half-smart phone. The hinge broke on the flip part, so when I tried to text.. it would close, and when I tried to talk.. it tried to open. It eventually became a fiasco each and every time I needed to use it. I went through a lot with that little phone.  It even went on my honeymoon with me.  Sometimes, we become attached to the strangest things.  Luckily, a few months before I was eligible to upgrade I began saving for the new iPhone....  I have a jar that I put money in anytime I need to save for something special.  I splurged and got the iPhone 4S.  The one with Siri.  Siri and I have already shared many laughs together.  Although..she doesn't really laugh, she does have a sense of humor.  When I first got the phone my husband was totally jealous when I would talk to Siri.  He took the phone from me and said "I don't like you!"  Siri responded "I will remember that!"  Whaaat??  I told him that he better apologize to her.  He did, to which she replied "It's all good."  I couldn't have my new friend upset with me.. beginning on day one.  I have all of these iPhone cases that I found..two on Etsy, and two on eBay. I'm having a hard time deciding which one I like best.  I love the leopard...I love anything leopard.  I think the striped case will be super cute this summer..I love the imperfection on one of the stripes..that is so me.  Currently, I am using the Burberry-ish case.  Apparently, you can wrap a hard iPhone case with decorative tissue paper, paint it with a few coats of lacquer and make your own unique iPhone case.  That may be a project to add to my list.  Which do you like best?

I recently purchased the black Toms.  I love to wear black; it is slimming, after all...clothes..I mean.  I have to say as cute as these are they are not my favorite Toms.  They show fuzz balls, and pet hair..and pretty much everything that you would rather they didn't show. I got these from an eBay store..they were never worn, new in the box, and $20.00 cheaper than retail price.

My little Westie babies spent Valentine's day at the salon this week..They were groomed, and bathed. Brodie was so clean and comfortable that he decided to have a little nap on my pillow when he got home from the doggie spa.  How sweet is this??!! bff this week!!  Along with a box of Kleenex. *sniff* *sniff* You are supposed to take Cold-Eeze at the very first sign of a cold. It has a unique formula that releases zinc ions into your upper respiratory system, inhibiting the cold virus' ability to reproduce. It is clinically proven to shorten the duration of the common cold by nearly half. The next time you feel a cold coming on, go to the drugstore and buy a box. A box of 18 lozenges will run you around $5.00 (ish.) Totally worth it!

 I found this recipe on Pinterest, and decided to make it for Valentine's day. I knew it would be simple and delicious. My 12 year old son even told me he wanted to help me make it. Once I started to make my grocery list to buy the ingredients..I decided I would try to change it up a bit. You can find the pin here. Don't you agree that my dessert looks way better than the pin? We loved it so much, that it would be totally unfair if I didn't share the recipe with all of you. It is a very light dessert...not on the calories, but it's not a super heavy dessert. After a little slice of this delicious goodness you won't leave the kitchen table feeling guilty. I am currently working on a blog that will show how I made it. I hope to have it posted before the three day weekend is over. Stay tuned!!

Thanks again for stopping by to read H54F!  I look forward to reading your comments, so please feel free to leave one. I have several blogs in the works.  Some new products, and several recipes.  I am making a Mardi Gras themed dinner this week and plan to blog about that as well.  Stay tuned...the best is yet to come.

Have a fabulous weekend, friends!


New to High Five for Friday? Check out some of my other H54F posts here, here, here, and here.

Monday, February 13, 2012

February Birchbox

Sound the February Birchbox has arrived! 

Much to my surprise, it arrived two days earlier than expected.  I checked the mail on our way out to run errands Saturday.  My husband and son were getting into the car as I was making my way to the mailbox. I had a mini celebration - with Birchbox is Birchbox is here... No one was there to celebrate with me, but I was also thankful that no one was there to hear me talking to myself with such excitement. I would have taken it with me and opened it in the car, but I noticed that my husband got in the passenger seat...his way of saying he didn't want to drive. He drives a truck for a living, so I don't complain too much when he doesn't feel like driving. After all, he was just getting home from work.  I huffed and puffed a few times and looked at them like...umm ..hellllo..My Birchbox is here, so I'm not ready to go yet. They just looked at me with blank stares. Neither of them seemed very thrilled at the idea that they would wait while I opened my box. So, I left the unopened box, and ran the errands. Thinking about what could be inside the box just about the entire time that I was away. As soon as I got home I opened her up...

My (Valentine) February Birchbox

(I am using one of my awesome placemats from Target as my backdrop)

When I first saw this, I thought..hmmm a hot pink Easter egg??  Of course, it wasn't an Easter egg. It's Valentine's Day..not Easter. It is a hot pink sponge that helps your foundation look photoshop required.  I don't use foundation...only powder; but I do use a sponge-ish tool to apply my powder, so I thought I'd give it a go. The "egg" did noticeably smooth my powder for a more blended appearance.

In the square container is Mineralogie - Ultimate Cream Concealer.  Made with pure minerals, this full coverage concealer erases under eye circles, and blemishes without caking.

In the black tube is Jouer - Luminizing Moisture Tint.  This is an award-winning tinted moisturizer.  Birchbox calls it their daily shortcut to dewy, glowing skin.

What would Valentine's Day be without some chocolate?  Here we have Chuao Chocolatier - Spicy Maya ChocoPod. That's a mouthful, huh?  No pun intended. Spicy and sweet!  An artisanal dark chocolate treat laced with chile,  and cayenne pepper.  Happy V Day to me, and my tastebuds!

This little, foreign-to-me item, is called Eye Rock - Designer Liner
It is supposed to replace liquid liner, and achieve a perfect cat eye with a single-use stick-on liner strip...Whaaat??  This could get interesting, folks!  I may have to plan my Halloween costume around this, or scare my husband and son one Saturday evening..just for fun. 

If you are interested in getting your own box you can sign up to be put on the waiting list at It is a first come first serve type thing, and the virtual line seems to move fairly quickly. Sign up, and tell me what's in your box!

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, February 10, 2012

High Five for Friday

Welcome to High Five for Friday!!  TGIF, right!  This post is aimed to remind myself of the little things I am thankful for from the week.  I also hope it will allow you to sit back and reflect on things that you enjoyed this week.  Just a reminder that you always have something to be thankful for.

I am so excited to announce that I have added a new button to my blog...Right over there ----> above the "welcome" section.  If you click on the link it will take you directly to my Pinterest page...where you should follow me..if you aren't already.  How cool is that??

Just in time for Valentine's day I am using OPI Sweet is a pretty neutral pinkish color.  I got it at Kroger...did you know Kroger carries OPI polish?

Here we have another fab pair of custom Elisabeth Ashlie earrings. These earrings are hard to come's almost like a race to get them.  If you are friends with them on fb, then you will know when they post new earrings in their Etsy shop. If you like them you better act fast because they sell out faster than anything I've ever seen before.  That goes to show how amazing they are.

Have you read Water for Elephants?  Have you seen the movie?  I am the kind of person that would rather watch the movie before I read the book.  I'm not ashamed to admit I am somewhat backwards compared to the average bird.  I rented the movie from Redbox, then I bought the movie on Amazon.  I have seen it a few times now.  I just love it.  This week I started reading the book.  Although I knew I would love the book, I couldn't help to be taken aback by the first page..It is something I think about often.  It was almost like the author knew my exact thoughts.

"When you're five, you know your age down to the month.  Even in your twenties you know how old you are.  I'm twenty-three, you say, or maybe twenty-seven.  But then in your thirties something strange starts to happen.  It's a mere hiccup at first, an instant hesitation.  How old are you?  Oh, I'm---you start confidently, but then you stop.  You were going to say thirty-three, but you're not.  You're thirty-five.  And then you're bothered, because you wonder if this is the beginning of the end.  It is, of course, but it's decades before you admit it."
"You start to forget words; they're on the tip of your tongue, but instead of eventually dislodging, they stay there.  You go upstairs to fetch something, and by the time you get there you can't seem to remember what it was you were after.  You call your child by the names of your other children and finally the dog before you get to his.  Sometimes you forget what day it is, and finally you forget the year."

I know I will be 35 this year, but if you asked me...I may have to think about it a second or two.  My son looks at me with an odd expression, but he does answer to the dogs name when he knows I meant to say his own. 

I can't wait until I have time to open the book and continue reading today.  You can buy a copy for less than $12.00 on Amazon.

My Mother in Law got me these really cute pedestal plates from TJ Maxx.  I'm so glad she is a Maxxinista!!  They came with ribbon in them, but I decided to try them without.  They are just about the cutest things ever.  I made homemade cookies this past weekend, and they were adorable on the plate...see below..below.  Cute, huh!

 P.S.  Isn't my table runner cute?? Clearance rack at Target...I had to give myself a high five for that awesome bargain find!

You can find the delicious cookie recipe here.

Thanks for stopping by to read H54F...I hope each and every one of you have a fabulous weekend!

New to High Five for Friday?  Check out some of my other H54F posts here, here, and here.


Thursday, February 9, 2012

January Birchbox

I promised I would blog about my January Birchbox, and it's now..yep...February.  Today I received an email confirming the shipment of my February box,  so I figured I better do it sooner rather than later...before I get further behind.  I'm pretty good at procrastination.

  For those of you that have never heard of Birchbox it is similar to a monthly magazine subscription.  Every month, for just $10.00, you will receive a box filled with 4-5 beauty samples from luxury brands. Each month will include a different mix of product types, including makeup, skincare, fragrance, body, and hair care. All samples are generously sized, with enough product to allow you to figure out if they're right for you.  

My January box!!  I looove it!!

If you love the samples, you have the option to buy full size items on the website, with the opportunity to take advantage of free shipping, and a discount of that item for the month in which you received the box.

This is Juicy Couture's signature fragrance..a blend of sweet floral.  Very feminine, and is perfect for day or night.  I love this perfume, and my husband does too!!

VMV Hypoallergenics Eye anti-aging eye serum that brightens and revives your under eye area to conquer those dark circle once and for all. 

Zoya nail polish..the color is Kristen.  A beautiful bluish gray..I wasn't too crazy about it the first time I used it.  I think I put too many coats on, and it was a little too blue for me.  I tried it again with two light coats, and it was a pretty gray.

Jouer Moisturizing Lip Gloss in Birchbox Pink.  It is a fuchsia shade.  I really like apply one coat for a sheer pigment, or layer it on for a brighter pink.   It's like two in one!  I also got an adorable little Birchbox magnet..

Larabar Mini all natural dried fruit and nut bar with wholesome ingredients. I tried it, and even shared it with my husband.  It wasn't our favorite, but it wasn't terrible.
If you are interested in getting your own box you can sign up to be put on the waiting list at  Two of my friends put their names on the waiting list about a month ago, and are now awaiting their first box.  It is a first come first serve type thing, and the virtual line seems to move fairly quickly.  Sign up, and tell me what's in your box!

I should get my February box just in time for Valentine's day!  I am super pumped, and crossing my fingers for some makeup, and/or hair products.  Stay tuned to find out what kind of new goodies are in the box.


Friday, February 3, 2012

High Five for Friday

This has been a pretty amazing week for me..filled with many blessings. It was hard to pick only five things to share with you. So, this blog may turn out to be a Friday Eight..ish.  On a personal level I am grateful that someone I love is home, and healing nicely after spending five days in the hospital following surgery.  We also received news that a couple, very dear to us, will have their first child this year. Something that was not easy to come by for them, which makes it that much more special.  Trey and I finally went to Publix yesterday...for..of all things.. a loaf of bread (white mountain bread in the bakery is fab-u-lous) Lawd, it was like a maze having to weave in and out of all the people, and we only went from the produce/deli section straight to the checkout.  Nonetheless, we made it out alive, and I am thrilled that it has finally opened.  On a more somber note; a few other people close to me have not had such a good week, and remain in my thoughts and prayers. 

The much anticipated Toms ballet shoes came out Wednesday. They are as adorable as can be, but a little pricey. I expected that since their regular shoes range in the fifties, but  $74.00 -$84.00 is more than I care to spend for now.  Maybe later..for sure!  The reviews on them say to get 1/2 size smaller than normal because they run big.  I personally would like to try a pair on before I buy them. There are a few styles I like the best..the brown leopard (shown here), black leather, katia chambray, and allesandra burlap.  What do you like best?

My husband borrowed the first 3 seasons of Sons of Anarchy from our neighbor.  He has been trying to get me to watch it, but the way they described it was unappealing to me.  One night I caught part of an episode, and it drew me in.  Now I am hooked.  I will admit I was drawn in by the most handsome guy I've ever seen on tv...Charlie Hunnman who plays Jax Teller..He is a super hunk!! I remember peeking over my laptop, and saying "who is that?"  I then put the computer away and eventually convinced my sweet husband to start over from the beginning so I could catch up.  If you don't know who Charlie Hunnam is, then google him.. He reminds me of a beefed up version of Heath Ledger, but with a more macho, bad boy, sexier edge.  I found myself daydreaming about him yesterday...this could be a dangerous crush!  I had to break up with Eric from True Blood.  Looove this show!!  It is about a motorcycle club in a small Northern California town named Charming.  It has a great story line, and you easily become attached to the cast. We finished season 2 last night, and have date night plans to begin season 3 tonight.

This is my polish of the week.  The color is Sable, by Mary Kay.  It was a gift from my friend, and Mary Kay consultant.   It is a smallish bottle, and is fairly thin in my opinion, but the color is beautiful once you have a few coats and it dries. The color stayed on, and did not chip or dull. It is a really nice brownish color. 

My earrings of the week are these adorable sterling silver braided knots that I got at Tiffany's.  My husband gets a Tiffany's catalog in the mail and I always flip through it and circle what I like. Just in case he ever feels the urge to buy me something nice.  :)  I have to say that because I know he reads my blog.  I circled these beautiful earrings, drew arrows pointing to them, as well as smiley faces and stars all over the page.  I left the catalog open to the page in plain sight so he would notice. The catalog stayed in the same place, untouched, for months. Which guessed it..he didn't even notice!  While I was in NYC I picked these up at Tiffany's on 5th Avenue.  I put that little blue box, that we all love, in my stocking.  Gotta love Santa!

This is a gloss that I got with a promo code from buying something at Sephora.  Yep, I got it for free!  It is a great gloss.  I've been carrying it in my pocket all week.  It is a plump gloss, so it has that cold, tingly feeling.  I haven't noticed that it makes my lips fuller, but I have noticed that it stays on for a lonnng time  It is Buxom gloss made by Bare Escentuals, and the color is Katie.  By the way..anytime you buy from Sephora you always get to pick out three free samples of products at checkout.  If I don't see something I want for myself, then I pick the products based on what would go well in my guest bathroom box.  Once they have your email address they will send you weekly emails that always contain promo codes for free things.  I doubt this code still works, but for this gloss I used liplove. Free gloss with a $25.00 purchase.  My new fave!

Thanks for stopping by for my Friday Five! I hope you all take a moment to remember 5..or more things that made you smile this week.  Enjoy the beautiful weekend ahead.