Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Insane Toffee Bars

When I want to bake something yummy for myself I bake these or carrot cake. I'm pretty predictable that way - I only like the yummiest stuff ;-)

Insane Chocolate Chip Toffee Bars
1 18.25oz yellow cake mix
1/2 C (1 stick) butter, softened
1 egg
1 1/2 C coarsely chopped pecans
2 C chocolate chips (I like milk but you can use any kind)
1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 10oz bag chocolate covered toffee baking bits, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and foil-line a 9x13 pan with aluminum foil and grease foil - I use canola oil spray for this.

Combine cake mix, butter and egg in a large bowl and mix with mixer on medium speed until blended and crumbly. Then use a spoon to stir in 1 1/2 C chocolate chips and 1 C chopped pecans. Set aside 1 C crumb mixture. Press remaining mixture evenly in pan and bake for 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and pour sweetened condensed milk over partially baked bars. Then sprinkle with 1 1/2 C toffee bits, remaining crumbs, chocolate chips and pecans. Bake an additional 25 - 28 minutes or until just turning golden brown. Remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining toffee bits. Let cool and then slice into small bars (VERY rich).

Make sure you have a copy of the recipe on hand for anyone who tastes them :-) Or just send them over here!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Emerald Quilt Challenge

I did it! I actually got one done IN TIME! It's kind of a miracle considering all the illness we've add over the past month - nothing serious but lingering and then back for a second round and boy am I ready for everyone to get healthy. And stay healthy. So my little sicky kept taking these impromptu three hour long naps on the couch in the sewing room. Great to see her resting, not so great for my productivity. But such is the life of a mom.

This is actually the second start to my EQC quilt after I realized the awesome EPP one I'm working on might be done, oh around Christmas :-) So I used Megan's awesome pattern from the Fresh Mini Quilt Club - if you haven't joined you might want to because I think they are all going to be great patterns! I used Joel Dewberry's Notting Hill for the center and binding, a couple of Kona solids and a shot cotton (the chartreuse). I could not be happier with how it turned out! I think these colors were really tricky to get accurate but this top photo is the best on colors.
But this one really shows the quilting, so I used them both. There you go. Thanks to Ali for organizing and hosting this fun little contest, as well as all her fantastic sponsors! The entries look pretty impressive and I'm happy to be among them :-)

Emerald Quilt Challenge : entered in the Mini category, quilt finished at 18" square from Fresh Mini Quilt Club's March Mini pattern.

Happy St. Patrick's Day and here's to a healthy week for us all!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Ruby and Turquoise

A couple of hard-won finishes to share - this mini scrappy trip along was made with 8 strips instead of 6 a la Frecklemama. Came together really fast compared to how slowly I felt like the others went together. Maybe I'm just getting better/faster? Also, I pinned NOTHING, which is a huge switch for me. Honestly I see no difference between the one I painstakingly pinned and this one. Lesson learned. I added a border to make it look a little more finished - it ended up at about 40" square, perfect for a wall-hanging or baby quilt.
Fun new table runner - Keyhole pattern. This came from a book called On A Roll Again by Heather Mulder Peterson, published by Anka's Treasures - not sure if it's still in print but it has some great quilt/table runner patterns for jelly rolls (or 2 2/2" strips you cut yourself, like I did :-)
Just one more gratuitous quilt shot for fun. So why all the ruby and turquiose? Go check out Fabricate Atlanta and you'll see why! You can see these lovelies in person at their open house THIS Saturday at 2pm - it's going to be a fun place to learn and connect with other crafty minded people in Atlanta and we all need more crafty people in our lives, right? Right! One of the amazing people coming to teaching April is Vanessa from LBGStudio - her Photography for Bloggers as well as her incredibly cute Foldover Clutch. Can. Not. Wait.

Hope to see you Saturday!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Mrs. Cornell's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Every family has their own favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, right? This one is ours from a neighborhood friend of my grandmother's (I think since this recipe has been around as long as I can remember - if I'm wrong let me know Aunt Bonnie). It's a little different and a lot yummy.
I made some on Monday to console myself on being stuck at home on day SEVEN of child with illness (flu? plague? black lung? nothing for sure except the misery). I made half with just chocolate chips for the kiddo and half with the world's best pecans for the grown-ups. Oh and we're now on day NINE but we're finally starting to see some improvement. I can not stress enough how THANKFUL I am to have a mostly healthy child, especially after the past week and a half. Anyway, back to the cookies...
If they spread too much when you bake the first batch you can always add a little extra flour. Also don't over bake them or they'll be SUPER crispy the next day. If that happens just throw a slice of bread in the container you're storing them in to soften them up. Or dunk them in your coffee.

Mrs. Cornell's Chocolate Chip Cookies
3/4 C vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 C light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 C sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
3 C flour
12 oz chocolate chips (I used 1 C chips and 1 C chopped pecans here)

Whisk together oil and eggs, then add sugars and vanilla. Mix well. Add dry ingredients and mix to combine, then add chocolate chips.

Bake at 350 degree on ungreased sheets (I use my silpats just because I always use them for everything). Bake 10 - 12 minutes (or until just golden brown). Cool on sheet for a couple minutes then finish cooling on rack.

If anyone has a favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe I'd love to hear about it! I feel like CCC's are like pizza, you can never try too many different kinds ;-)

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