Bachelorette Season Finale Party

A couple weekends ago the Bachelorette season finale was on. Of course I invited some girls over to watch it with me and it turned into the first “party” we’d hosted so far in the new place! It was all kinds of fun….and I made a few desserts and some Sangria for refreshments.

First, I found these yummy things and had to try them since they seemed so appropriate for a “Bachelorette” party (and um, they looked delicious for obvious reasons)!

These Red Velvet Cheesecake Cookies were just as amazing as the blogger said they would be. Be sure to make them in advance though as they do take quite some time with chilling and rolling and all….

So here’s the recipe which I stole from Culinary Couture and Two Peas & Their Pod (credit and big props go to them!). Notice again that you’ll need to freeze the cream cheese filling for 2 hours and chill the dough for at least 2 hours, so be sure to leave yourself enough time! I never read all the way through a recipe about the chilling part until it’s too late, which is why I’m calling it out here again! 🙂

What You’ll Need:

For the cookies–

  • 1 box red velvet cake mix (I used Duncan Hines)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • pinch of vanilla powder (I threw in a little bit of vanilla extract since I didn’t have any powder on hand, and they turned out fine!)

For the cheesecake filling–

  • 4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • pinch of vanilla powder (again, I used vanilla extract)

For the white chocolate drizzle
1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips, melted

Instructions:
For the cookies
In a large bowl, combine the cake mix and flour. Whisk together until clumps disappear. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the cake mix with the flour, eggs, oil and vanilla and mix until smooth. The dough will be really oily (that’s normal!). Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours.

For the cheesecake filling
Using a hand mixer, combine the cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Using a teaspoon, scoop out balls of cheesecake filling and place on a plate. Continue scooping out cheesecake filling into teaspoon balls until you have 10. Place plate in the freezer and freeze for at least two hours. (I started off making teaspoon balls and realized halfway that I was going to have a lot of filling left over, so I made my balls bigger. If you do this, make sure to use enough dough to completely cover the balls of filling so it doesn’t leak out. You can also just make more than 10 teaspoon balls, and consequently, make smaller cookies to use up all of the balls.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray, or line it with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.

To assemble the cookies, take about 1/4 cup of red velvet cookie dough and flatten in your hands. Be ready to get messy! Place a ball of cheesecake filling in the center and wrap the cookie dough around the filling. (If the dough starts to crack when you’re wrapping it around the filling, don’t worry, just press it all together by cupping the dough between both your palms…). Gently roll into a ball and place on prepared baking sheet. Only bake 3-4 cookies at a time because the cookies are pretty big and will spread.

Bake cookies for 11-13 minutes or until they begin to crackle. Let them cool on a baking sheet for 5 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Melt the white chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl or over a double-boiler. Drizzle the white chocolate over the cooled cookies.

brownies and red velvet cookies

To go along with the Sangria I made, I wanted to add a little more red to the glasses, so I made these “Wine glass Tags” – my version of wine glass charms that most people use to keep track of and distinguish people’s glasses. I thought it added a little more “Bachelorette” to the night. 🙂

wine glass marker tags

Hope you enjoyed this post! Now let me know if you have any other creative ideas for wine glass charms/tags. And let me know what you think of those cookies if you decide to try making them!

A Taste of Summer | LemonBerry Sangria

Summer is my very favorite time of year in New England. I love the warm weather and all the fun recipes that go along with it. I was so excited when I found this one on Pinterest. First of all I love Sangria but I’ve never tried making it myself. This recipe looked easy enough for me to attempt and when I decided to have a girl’s Bachelorette Season Finale party at my house, I knew this was the one I had to make (it was pink in the picture!).

Things I learned in my process of making this recipe twice:

  1. It’s hard to mess up Sangria
  2. You can never have too much fruit
  3. You can never make enough. 🙂

white lemon strawberry sangriaWhite Strawberry Lemon Sangria, courtesy of Kitchen Treaty

Ingredients
  • 2 lemons, thinly sliced
  • 1 apple, cored and sliced (any kind)
  • 1 cup strawberries, hulled and sliced lengthwise
  • 1 750 ml bottle white wine (I used Lucky Duck Chardonnay)
  • 1/2 cup white rum
  • 4 cups lemon-lime soda (I used Sprite)
Preparation
  1. Add lemon slices to a large pitcher. Follow with the apples, then strawberry slices.
  2. Pour the wine and rum over the top.
  3. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 4 – 5 hours.
  4. Take out of the refrigerator and add the soda. Add a few pieces of the fruit to your glass and pour sangria over to serve.
  5. ENJOY a glass (or two) with some friends and get outside before it’s too late to enjoy!

Sangria, the finished product

Au jardin | A garden themed baby shower!

I’ve been looking forward to this post ever since my friend Kat (blogger @ Withywindle) and I decided to host a baby shower together for our friend Johanna! So I’m excited to finally share some pictures from the event.

Couple of things you should know:

  • We decided to make it garden themed partially because Johanna is vegetarian and super healthy…and because it was spring, and because it’s so darn cute!
  • Much of the credit for the way this shower turned out I owe to my friend. She gave up her beautiful house for the event, did most of the decorating and a great deal of the cooking!
  • Many of our ideas were from other blogs which we stumbled upon probably through Pinterest (I’ll credit them below the pics)
  • A classic children’s book can make a great guest book! Have the ladies sign the inside of the book and write a note to the baby
  • Cake Batter popcorn is really really addicting

Garden Baby shower

Credits & Links

Luscious Lemon Squares

My take on Mini Spinach Quiche

Mini Fruit Tarts

Mini Caprese Salad Bites

Inside Out Carrot Cake Muffins

 Garden Baby Shower

Credits & Links

Birthday Cake Batter Popcorn

Some garden inspiration gathered here

The best and easiest Tissue Paper Poms tutorial

Cute graphic design elements

I learned a lot throwing this little shower. It was so much fun, we had a great turn out, and the food was all delicious! We were pretty pleased, to say the least. Aside from all the baking, I really liked learning to make tissue poms! I hadn’t done any before but my green poms ended up looking like heads of lettuce, which was pretty perfect! 🙂

Check out Kat’s cute post of the same event with her beautiful pics here!

Here’s one more baby shower idea I had to share from Sea Kettle Diaries –a flowery onesie bouquet! One of the cleverest, prettiest gifts!

No-Bake Nutter Butter Nutella Pie

Happy Friday everyone! Since it is Friday, it’s time for a dessert recipe.

I’m a huge sucker for sweet things and I grew up baking a lot. Whenever my family was having company over (which was pretty often), I was typically the one that made the dessert, so I really miss baking as frequently as I used to. I made this recipe a few weeks ago when we had friends over and it turned out delicious. How can you go wrong with Nutella PIE with Nutter Butter crust?!! Oh and did I mention you don’t have to bake this and you can throw it all into your KitchenAid? Extra big points for it being quick and easy to whip up. I found this keeper here on Eat, Live, Run. Make sure to travel over there to see her pretty pictures.

mixing the cream cheese

You’ll Need: (copied from Eat, Live, Run)

for the crust-
24 nutter butter cookies
1/4 cup butter

for the filling-
2-8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup nutella
1/2 cup whipping cream

for nutella ganache {optional}
1/4 cup nutella
1/4 cup cream {or more if you like a thinner ganache}

Step-By-Step

Spray 9-inch pie plate with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

{1}Place nutter butter cookies into food processor and grind until they are fine crumbs. Stir together with melted butter.

{2}Press into prepared pie plate. Place into refrigerator to chill.

{3}For the filling, whip cream cheese and sugar together until well blended. Stir in vanilla and nutella. Scrape sides of bowl and mix again briefly. Stir in cream and then increase speed and whip 3 minutes or until very thick.

{4}Pour into pie crust and smooth the top. Refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours.

To serve, prepare nutella ganache by microwaving nutella and cream together until a thin sauce forms. Drizzle over pieces of pie.

Nutter Butter Nutella Pie

A few things to note:

  • I had my pie in the fridge for at least 3 hours and it still wasn’t quite set enough when I cut into it. Either I didn’t whip it long enough, or my fridge hardens pies very slowly. Next time I make this I might try popping it in the freezer for a few hours instead.
  • By the time dinner was over and digested, I was ready to dig into the pie and there was no time to make a ganache. It was totally great without it but if you have the patience to drizzle some more chocolate over it, by all means, go ahead! It definitely pretties up the pie… 🙂
  • This is a dangerous one to keep around the house… leftovers sure didn’t last long!

What’s for Dinner | Chipotle at Home

[a late Cinco de Mayo post]

A couple of nights ago we were having friends over for dinner and we were racking our brains trying to figure out what to make. One couple that was coming was vegetarian and one person we were having over was allergic to gluten, so we decided on burritos/taco salad. The guy that couldn’t have the tortillas could just make a naked burrito or have taco salad. We decided that would be the easiest, so we set off for the store. On our way we realized we had been craving Chipotle lately, so I started scouring the web for a copy-cat Chipotle rice recipe. I stumbled on this recipe from Skinny Taste that seemed simple enough, so we picked up the ingredients we needed and put everything together at home. This meal –complete with two kinds of beans, optional chicken or steak, cheese, sour cream, salsa, homemade guacamole, tomatoes, and lettuce, and sauteed peppers & onions– took around an hour and a half to prepare. The Cilantro Lime Rice really hit the spot!

cilantro lime rice

Here’s how you do it (we doubled this recipe):

  • 1 cup extra long grain rice or basmati rice
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro
  • 3 tsp vegetable oil

Add rice, water, 1 tsp oil and salt to a small pot and bring it all to a boil. Turn down to low and cook until the water evaporates for about 15 mins. It should look fairly dry throughout. Turn off the heat and keep the pot covered for an additional 5 minutes.

In a medium bowl, combine chopped cilantro, lime juice, rice and remaining oil and toss until completely mixed. Then spoon the rice onto your tortilla, top with your favorite burrito toppings, and enjoy!

Wednesday Roundup | Goin’ Fresh

My mouth’s been watering over these salads recently since the weather’s been getting warmer … and I just can’t wait for the veggies in grocery stores to get fresher! Enjoy these yummy tomato, avocado, etc. salad ideas!