Monday, December 19, 2011

Salted Peanut Bars

These take a little more time than my regular Salted Nut Roll Bars but are worth the extra effort (which isn't really much). :) They are tasty and have totally satisfied my bar-craving (along with the Twix Bars I just made). It's a great recipe for me because I had most of the ingredients in my house and I really needed to use up that little bit of Rice Krispies left over from Rice Krispie bars.

Salted Peanut Bars

1/2 cup soft margarine
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups mini marshmallows

2 cups Rice Krispies
2 cups salted peanuts
2/3 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup oleo or butter
2 tsp vanilla
1 (12oz) pkg peanut butter chips

Crust: Mix all crust ingredients together, except the marshmallows, in a large bowl until crumbly. Press firmly in to a greased 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes. Sprinkle with the marshmallows and return to oven for 2 minutes, until marshmallows begin to puff. Cool while making topping.

Topping: Combine corn syrup, oleo, vanilla and peanut butter chips in a large pan until melted and smooth, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in peanuts and Rice Krispies. Spoon over marshmallows and crust to cover. Refrigerate until firm. Cut into bars.


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Twix Bars

I'd have to say that The Hull Christian School Cookbook is my go-to for baking. It has some great recipes for cookies, bars and snacks. It's my favorite for homemade goodies. I had to call one of my dear sisters-in-law for some clarification as she grew up using this cookbook just like me. :) With her help and a call to her mom, these Twix Bars turned out delicious!!

Twix Bars

1 tube refrigerated cookie dough
1 (14oz) pkg caramels
1 can sweetened condensed milk
3/4 stick oleo (I used margarine)
1 (12oz) pkg milk chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter

Spread cookie dough on a greased jellyroll pan (it will make a thin crust). Bake in a 350 degree oven until golden brown (about 12-14 min). Melt the caramels, sweetened condensed milk and oleo, and spread on cookie crust. Refrigerate 1 hour. Melt chocolate chips and peanut butter and spread on caramel layer. Refrigerate until firm. Then cut into squares.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

House Update

I've been doing all kinds of little projects around the house but thought I'd keep my promise and take you all along for the ride. That's really hard to do, being a perfectionist and all. So here are a few pictures from around the house and I'm sure I'll take time to tell each story and give you a tutorial I'll be sure to give you a quick overview. :) These pictures were taken in November hence the fallish decor.

Here's a bookshelf that's in the process. I just used some old fruit crates and stacked 'em. The top "display shelf" is built out of an old wooden palette. I made the bunting for the bathroom but had a little extra so I added it to the shelf for some color.

Here's part of our kitchen/office area. I made the curtain out of some flour towels and some scraps of fabric. It's really too short for this space but I haven't had the heart to move it to the window above the sink (not as tall) because I'm going to have to alter it and I'm not too excited to do that. You can kind of see our aqua cabinets that I love! We haven't gotten the doors on them yet and I don't know that I'll put the top doors on as I'm really enjoying having them open. I also got the idea to hang our colander's on the wall from a family at church. This is one of my favorite areas to be in during the day. I can be on my computer, watching the boys out the window and enjoying a cup'o joe. But looking at that curtain in the picture is paining me so that's maybe next on my to-do list. 

This little light is in our kitchen. It's made from an old milk-separator I got at a junk store. My husband turned it into a light for the kitchen and I love it's feel. You can also see where I proudly display my recipe books. I love the way the red contrasts with the aqua. :)

Here's our school calendar. Since it hangs in our dining room I wanted it to be functional but not make our dining space look like a kindergarten classroom. I got an old screen window from a friend and I spray painted it cream and then sanded it to make it look rustic. That way a little of the rusty read shows through on the edges. I really like how it turned out. I used some scrapping paper to make the calendar outline and then designed some squares to fit. It was a long process to decide what to do about holidays and birthdays but I made some generic birthday/anniversary cards and we use a wet-erase marker to write names of family and friends. They are all attached by velcro so it makes changing things easy. We use the little red paper clip to mark what day it is. I really like how it turned out - functional and vintagey all at the same time.

Here's a picture of our bathroom. Well, to be specific our shower/tub. I made the bunting (the same that's on the bookshelf in the living room) to add some color to the room without having to buy a shower curtain that was patterned. This way I can change the color or feel of the room without having to buy a new curtain. I still need a little something to hang over the toilet but it looks better than it did when it was all white. :) Oh, and we got one of those "fancy" hotel curtain rods that create a little more "space" in the shower. It's been really nice!!

This is a picture of the shelving that's in our bathroom. We decided to keep the doors off the top half of the built-in and paint the back wall of the shelves the same aqua that's in the kitchen. I really like the idea of keeping the colors the same throughout the main rooms of the house so if you want to "redecorate" things in one room you can just move items around. Makes redecorating cheap and easy. :) I added red cloth bins for storing larger items. 

I love the look of vintage blue Ball jars. Here I put two on the counter to store cotton balls and cotton swabs. There are some on the shelf too, that hold shells and other little cutesy items. I also love how the gray towel pulls the gray out of the jar lids. It's the little things that make me happy.

This is our living room. You can see that little crate bookshelf next to the door that goes to the garage. We hung coat hooks by the garage door and the front door. That way we have a home for our things no matter what door we enter. The embroidery hoops over the couch are filled with fabric cut from fat-quarters from our local quilting store. And I made the "V" with buttons from my Grandma's button tin that I got after she passed away. I added a few red buttons in the "V" to add a little color. I made the pillows on the couch from our old throw pillows. They matched the couches that are in the basement and they do not look good with the current theme I have going so I decided to recover them with slip-covers so I can wash the drool right off of them. :) The first one is made with some turquoise fabric and then I made some bunting with red-polka-dot pennants. I think it turned out pretty cute and didn't really cost me a thing. And the cream pillow behind it has some stacked flowers sewn on it. They're both pretty simple and the best part is that I can wash them.

 The next two pictures are just some decorations I put up for fall. We don't really decorate for Halloween and I want to remain frugal so I decorate for the season instead of the holiday as it lasts longer. This is a little print I made of the hymn, Come, Ye Thankful People, Com. And I used some scrabble tiles to make the words "Give Thanks." The candle is a generic one with some twine tied around it. And it's all setting on top of a piece of burlap that I use as a table runner.

This is an idea I got from Maggie. Her mom had something similar to this in her home and I loved it. It's a pie tin with an old cheese-grater. It's filled with potpouri and the best part is that there's a candle under the grater. The light makes little stars when it's lit. Right now I have pine cones in the pie tin and a Christmas candle underneath to make it smell like we have a fresh tree when ours is a plastic as they come. 

Well, that's a short preview of some of the things we've been doing around the house. We've officially stopped on the major decorating/renovating as unexpected things have been popping up that need our attention and our funds more than the aesthetic things we were focusing on before. Hope you enjoyed this little tour and hopefully I'll have more exciting things to show you in the future. :)

before and after's to come "soon"