Friday, 30 November 2012

Diet Coke Brownies

Diet Coke (caffeine free) is one of my favorite things. I love that feeling of taking a sip from a bubbly, cold glass of Diet Coke-y goodness. Yum. So when a friend told me about Diet Coke Brownies I had to try them.

I really wasn't a huge fan of these (although I managed to eat the whole pan - not in one sitting). They didn't taste like regular brownies. They are more sticky, dense and pudding-y. With that said, they did fix the chocolate craving so I thought that, even though I probably won't make them again, I would share them anyway. 

1½ cups of diet coke
1 package of brownie mix

Step 1: Mix Diet Coke and brownie mix. It fizzes a lot. 

Step 2: Pour into a greased dish and bake following the instructions on the box. I had to leave mine on a little longer than the box suggested.

Step 3: Cool, ice and enjoy. You could skip the icing but I buy the brownie mix that includes a package of icing. In my opinion you can never go wrong with icing.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Winter Printable

In the craziness that went with becoming a fulltime stepmom, I definitely neglected other aspects of my life. Things have started to settle down now and I’ve decided to get caught up on things I have to do and things I want to do. One thing on the want to do list is to decorate for winter so I started by making this printable.

This is my first printable using picmonkey and I’m really happy with how it turned out. It’s a quote from the song Winter by Tori Amos. I also painted a dollar store frame to put it in. I gave it a couple coats of blue and then sanded the edges to give it a weathered look.

My favorite thing about this is that it doesn’t look Christmas-y. I tried to avoid Christmas pictures or colours because I wanted something to fill the gap between Halloween and Christmas. I think this fits the bill quite well. I have a second project and maybe a third that may or may not be a failure that coordinates with this printable that I’m hoping to share with you before I get into the Christmas mood.

I do have one small problem. I have it saved as a jpeg but I can't figure out how to share it. I've been scouring the internet but can't find instructions that work. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.

Shared on: A Creative Princess, Delightful Order, Artsy-Fartsy Mama, Clean & Scentsible, Positively Splendid, Sugar Bee Crafts, Someday Crafts

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Chocolate Oatmeal Pomegranate Cookies

Have you ever eaten a pomegranate? I hadn’t until the other night. Let me back up a little… Last weekend M and I were at the grocery store. We saw the pomegranates and discovered neither of us had tried one so we bought two. Fast forward a few days and we decided to eat them. They took a bit of work to peel but to be honest I found it quite relaxing. I used this post from Little Bit Funky for peeling instructions.

We didn’t realize how many seeds we would end up with so we decided to use some to make cookies. I followed this delicious recipe from Purely Sweet Mom. They’re easy to make and super delicious!

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 splash vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups flour (I used half white and half whole wheat)
1 cup oats
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup pomegranate seeds (about 1 pomegranate)

Preheat oven to 375.

In your mixer cream butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla.

In a separate bowl mix flour, oats, baking powder and baking soda.

Slowly add dry ingredients into your mixing bowl.

Stir in chocolate chips and pomegranate seeds.

Use a mini scoop (or roll in small balls) and place about 2 inches apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. We made 42 cookies.

Bake 10 – 12 minutes (until golden brown) and let cool on cookie sheet a couple minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Shared on: Positively Splendid, Itsy Bitsy Paper, Sugar Bee Crafts, Clean & Scentsible, Ginger Snap Crafts, A Creative Princess, Delightful Order, Arts-Fartsy Mama, Lines Across

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Advent Calendar

We typically don’t do advent calendars with the step-kids. We tried in the past but it didn’t work because the kids weren’t here all the time and then they’d come over and eat a weeks worth of chocolate at once. After a couple years, we gave up. However with them living here this year, I wanted to do bring back the tradition with an extra special advent calendar. Here’s what I came up with.

Below is a breakdown of what’s included. I guess it’s a good thing the kids don’t read my blog. Each kid gets the same type thing, although the specific presets are different. I put them all in a white bin from the dollar store.

Number of Days
Striped takeout boxes
Hershey Kisses (Chocolate and Cookies & Cream)
Tiny white baggies with Christmas stickers
Jelly Beans
Tiny white baggies with Christmas stickers
Brown paper baggies with baker’s twine
Little presents (chap stick, earrings, pocket warmers, etc.) that are geared towards the interests of each kid
Polka Dot takeout boxes
Gift cards for Wal-Mart and the local movie store
Polka Dot takeout boxes
Brown craft paper with baker’s twine
Bigger presents (games, calendars)

I apologize for not having better photos but I had to put this together when the step-kids weren’t around. That meant no natural light for me and you get to see my coats hanging on the chairs in the background. Oh well, just keeping it real. Now comes the hard part of waiting until December 1st to let them start opening.