Monday, January 29, 2018

monday {menu}

{e x t r a  l a r g e} 
Butter Brown 
Chocolate Chip
i n g r e d i e n t s
  • 14 tbsp. salted butter, divided
  • ¾ c. brown sugar, packed (dark brown works too)
  • ½ c. granulated sugar
  • 1¼ tsp. kosher sea salt (or 1 tsp. table salt)
  • 2½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 egg + 1 yolk
  • 1 ¾ c. all-purpose flour (8¾ ounces)
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¾ c. semisweet chocolate chips
  • 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate

d i r e c t i o n s
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
  2. Place 4 tablespoons of butter in a large mixing bowl; set aside.
  3. In a medium heavy bottomed saucepan set over medium-high heat, add 10 tablespoons of butter. Heat until melted, about 2-3 minutes, then whisk constantly until the butter begins to sizzle, then foam. The butter will become golden brown with a nutty aroma. DO NOT LET IT BURN. Remove the heat and pour over the butter in the large mixing bowl. Stir until the butter is completely melted.
  4. Add sugars, salt, and vanilla, whisk until combined. Add the egg and yolk and whisk until mixture is smooth, about 30 seconds. Let the mixture stand for 3 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda.
  6. Whisk the butter sugar mixture for 30 seconds. Let the mixture stand for 3 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, chop the bittersweet chocolate into chunks.
  8. Whisk the butter sugar mixture for 30 seconds. Let the mixture stand for 3 minutes.
  9. Stir in flour mixture to the large bowl, mix until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips and chunks.
  10. Create balls of dough that are approximately 3 tablespoons in size. Place six balls of dough on each sheet, sprinkle the tops with sea salt if desired.
  11. Place one sheet at a time in the oven and bake for 12 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through - 6 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the sheets for 2-3 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

happy sunday...

Monday, January 22, 2018

monday {menu}

As I sit in my office working I realized 1.) I forgot to eat lunch and 2.) I need to leave soon to get my little ones at school.... So I think I'm going to whip this shake up fast. It sounds so good {minus the sea salt}! I'll let you know how it tastes! Happy Monday everyone!

Sunday, January 21, 2018

happy sunday...

Sunday, January 14, 2018

happy sunday...

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

tuesday {truth}

..10 things about me..

1.) I'm a very sensitive person... I wear my heart on my sleeve. I dwell and over think on how and why people could be mean or hurt people. I need to talk about the problem till it's resolved and all worked out.

2.) I love to cook... Creating new meals for my friends and little ones is so much fun for me. Plus, I feel that spending time in the kitchen is also very relaxing for me. Trying new foods always brings a smile to my face.

3.) I'm a divorced woman... Someone said the perfect thing, I never came from divorce and even wanted a divorce, but life happens and you must pick yourself up and move on. Plus, I feel everything happens for a reason!   

4.) I'm not a huge drinker... When I do I love the cold bubbles of a beer. Weird... haha I know! I love it! 

5.) Organization makes me very happy... Having everything in its proper place is beyond thrilling. I know having kids changes that, but it's not impossible. My brother says, I should start an organizing company. Hmmm not a bad idea. Clutter makes me crazy!

6.) I don't color my hair... I used to color my hair blond, but after I had Taylor the thought of going back and forth to get it done was draining. Plus, Taylor was strawberry blond so I decided I want people to think she was mine... Just kidding. I loved her hair so I decided why not and try it. So Yup, I'm a real redhead!

7.) I've gotten botox... My mom got it for me when I turned 40. Yes, I'm over 40 now... Yikes! I love it and it really has helped me with my Southern Cal sun lines on my forehead! I could see the difference in only 2 weeks from the very 1st time I got it!!!! I felt so much more confident! Just saying... Go get it you'll love it!   

8.) I will always travel with my kids... My children have huge meaningful conversations with me about everything {i'm so lucky}. No joke everything... The one thing that I started hearing in our conversations is that they were so sad being left out or left behind in travel adventures. After hearing their pain... I made a decision to never ever travel without them. They are my first priority in life. 2018 is going to be a huge travel year for us... I look forward to showing my kids the world! 

9.) I do not drink diet coke... About 5 1/2 years ago I started hearing that diet coke can cause Cancer, seizures and much more! Well, that's all I need to hear. My father at the time was dying of Cancer so I cut it out cold turkey. I have no desire to drink it ever again. I've tasted it here and there... But it's so gross to me now. 

10.) I l o v e manicures and pedicures... It's my de-stresser. When I've had a long and hard day I love to get a them. No joke I could get one everyday if I could. Hey a girl can dream {huge smile}.

Monday, January 8, 2018

monday {menu}

Chocolate Chip Cookies and Milk Cake
Yields: 20 servings

Be sure to use mini chocolate chips in the cake batter. They will disperse and suspend best; larger chocolate chips will sink to the bottom of the pan. Fine grain caster sugar is recommended for the boiled frosting as it dissolves easily. You can usually find this in the baking aisle at the grocery store, but if you’re coming up empty handed, you can make a close approximation at home. Place regular granulated sugar in a food processor and blend until fine. 

Cake layers
6 cups cake flour, sifted
5 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I like peanut oil)
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
8 egg whites, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
12 ounces mini chocolate chips

Chocolate chip cookie dough filling
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1 cup butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup mini chips

Boiled milk frosting and chips d├ęcor 
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups whole milk
2 cups/1 lb unsalted butter, softened
2 cups caster sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
1/2 cup regular sized semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

Optional Sweet Cream Syrup
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

Make the cake layers: Preheat the oven to 325°F. 
Coat three 9-inch baking pans with vegetable shortening or flour-based baking spray (I like Baker’s Joy) and line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper. 
Mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
Beat the butter, oil and granulated sugar together in a separate large bowl until light and fluffy. Add egg whites one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Beat in the flour and buttermilk alternately with the mixer on low speed; begin and end with the flour. Scrape down the bowl as needed. Gently fold in the mini chocolate chips.
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the cakes spring back when pressed in the centers. Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 10 minutes, and then turn out onto wire cooling racks to cool completely. Level the tops of the cooled cakes with a large serrated knife or a cake leveler.

Optional: Make the sweet cream syrup. In a saucepan combine the sugar and cream. Cook over medium heat until the mixture is steaming but not boiling and the sugar is melted. Remove from the heat and let cool. Add the vanilla. Use this syrup to brush the cake layers for extra moisture.

Make the filling: Beat the brown sugar and butter together in a bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour and salt and mix until combined. Add cream a little at a time until the mixture is spreading consistency (you may not have to use all of the cream). Fold in chocolate chips. Place a cake layer on a serving plate or cake stand. Cover the layer with half of the cookie dough frosting and top with a second cake layer. Cover the second layer with the remaining frosting. Place the remaining cake layer on top.

Make the frosting: In a medium saucepan, whisk together flour and 1/2 cup of milk until smooth. Set over medium-high heat and let cook for 3 minutes, or until slightly hot. Whisk in remaining milk and salt. Whisk constantly until the mixture has thickened to the consistency of unset pudding (this can take up to 10 minutes). Remove from heat and pour the mixture into a shallow dish. Place in the refrigerator until cool. When cool, mixture will be thick like custard.
In a large bowl (or bowl of a stand mixer, if you have one) beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add vanilla and mix well. Beat in cooled flour mixture one tablespoon at a time on medium-high speed. When all the flour mixture is added beat on high speed until light and fluffy, about 6 minutes. Rub a little frosting between your fingers, if sugar granules remain, beat for 4 more minutes, or until granules cannot be detected with fingers. 

Decorate: Frost the entire cake with the milk frosting in an even layer; transfer leftover frosting to a piping bag fitted with an open star tip and pipe swirls or stars around the top edge of the cake. Use regular-size chocolate chips to decorate the outside of the cake. Place chips in staggered lines around the outside edge, beginning at the top and working your way down. Decorate the top edge of the cake with the mini chips.

Serve cake slices at room temperature. Store the cake covered in the refrigerator; bring to room temperature before serving

Sunday, January 7, 2018

happy sunday...

Saturday, January 6, 2018

lamp shade love

Recently I've become slightly "obsessed" with custom fabric lampshades... Pleated/gathered ones to be exact!  Everywhere I look I notice them. In master bedrooms and bathrooms,  on sconces, in hotels, pinterest, instagram and even in magazines.  So many places that I can't get them off my mind. Of course I had the most amazing lady up in Los Angles that could and would create beautiful lampshades for me. The moment you walked into her workroom you felt like you were blasted back in time. It was old and beyond dated. No joke you could barely walk in. You looked to the right and old lamps stared at you... You looked to the left and more lamps stared at you. As you looked up she had rows and rows of lampshade forms hanging. Crazy! She sat in the back of the workroom with purchase orders and receipts piled a mile high all around her. Didn't bother her at all. She would welcome you with open arms... Loved that! She was beyond talented and had a thriving business. Truthfully, I couldn't even tell you how my mom found her. No clue! Well... She retired and We have never found anyone like her again. Her quality and vision were beyond priceless. So I guess you all figured what I'm on the hunt for... A new custom lamp shade person. I might have found one... So keep your fingers crossed for me! 

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

tuesday {truth}

So about 5 years ago a woman came into the rustic rooster store front and told me about a series of motivational CD's that I should listen to. I smiled graciously and said, Oh thank you so very much {did an internal laugh}... I definitely should get them. Thanks!  Then as she left I went back to what I was doing and completely forgot about those CD's... Until one weekend when my daughter had a soccer tournament... I was very botherd on my drive to the game and couldn't find peace. Then I found myself wondering into Barns and Noble during our break before the next game and asking the sales lady for the CD's. As I got into my car after the tournament I was eager to start listen to them. I did!  As I drove I concentrated on every word that the woman was saying. I was hoping for a miracle {wink}. A transformation within my mind and attitude... I wanted it right then and there! Man that was very tiering. So to be honest with you for about a week or so later I really tried to listen to the CD's in hope of a change within me. Then one day I noticed my kids took the CD out and put in something different. Hmmmm I wonder if it was a sign {haha}. So about 3 years went by and I completly forgot about the CDs. No joke It never crossed my mind again to listen to them. Then one day I noticed my sunglasses my ex husband bought me for mothers day were missing. I searched high and low in my car... Questioned my children and then tried one more space... The side pocket of my door. Nope... No sunglesses to be found. Except the CD's. Hmmm Was it a sign {wink}? Ok you guessed what I did next... Took the CD out of the case and started back again. I listened! But this time I really listened. I was intrigued. I understood. I could feel her words go through my body and settle in my brain. Obviously, I was craving change in my life {again} right at that moment. To be clear I had gone through so much change in my life that I wasn't looking for more change... I was looking for more of a personality and mind shift. I needed to think differently, accept, forgive, be positive in negative situations and love life to the fullest. Take time to love my surroundings and slow down.   Oh my gosh... I started my transformation that day. No joke it started... Was it a sign that my sunglasses from my past were stolen? I kind of believe that it was. New start... New beginning. I will never really know that answer, but what I do know is,  I had to look to find my sunglasses to find the CD which has brought me to a place in my life that I'm above and beyond loving. When we need something in life because pain has flooded us... We crave change and we seek out peace. Totally normal. I'm the first to say that I've gone through a very rough road... But I'm the first to say that I have made a choice to make my next chapter in my life amazing. If I sit and complain about everything where is it going to get me?! So the minute all my pain started was the minute I choose to make a better life for me and my little ones. Listen... This is so important, You all have a choice in life! So if you make a mistake... That was your choice no one else's! So moving on, I needed to think and act differently. Oh boy it was an interesting road... I'm still on that interesting {learning} road, but I love it!  It's funny because I now watch and listen to people more intensely. I observe my surroundings. I heard a little kid in Target the other day, say mommy I'm wearing a blue T-Shirt can I get a blue slurpie, so If I spill It won't show. Love this! I notice people on their cell phones in public places so much. No conversations with their loved ones. Nothing! I see birds and blue skies which fill me up with happiness... If someone does something to me, I sit back and say, hmmm I don't know what's going on in their lives so I'm going to back off and not take it personally. That moment really isn't about me at all... They are projecting their insecurities on me so they can feel better about themselves. I will admit that's so hard for me because I'm a very sensitive person and I want to help everyone. So it always cuts deep then I stand up and realize that it isn't about me!!! Shhh I do need a few moments to myself to vent and then I release the negativity! I'm thankful for my life now. I'm thankful for my job... I love where I'm going. Things are changing for me in so many ways... Doors are opening and I'm meeting new and exciting people I haven't even thought I would meet before and i'm going places and doing things I never thought I would go or do! Being thankful for what you have is so important. Realizing that you have more than other people can truly change your world. I've never once thought I wasn't blessed, but you start taking for granted things. Look where you sleep... Look at the food you eat... Look at your family... Once you stop and actually l o o k you will understand what I'm talking about. I was invited into this woman group coincidentally after I started listening to the CD's. OMG these woman were crazy smart and extremely successful... No joke I was beyond intimidated and scared to go. But I put my big girl pants on and said, hey you're amazing they invited you for a reason! Hands down that was the best group I have ever been too. I cried in my car when it was over. These woman knew me. Me... Little old me?!?! As one was just about to publish a  cookbook, another was getting ready to jetset to Europe for her high-powered job... Another was starting up a new business and then their was me. They knew little old designer me. The funny thing was all these woman had the same issues and we all connected with the number 3 and 4. Each one of us hit road blocks in our lives {marriage, work, children, life, love... etc} the same time as I did. Each one of us found peace. Right at that point I knew I was walking forward and not looking backwards. Someone once told me I was looking in the rearview mirror of life... Well, guess what that's completely untrue Looking forward is pretty bright... and I love my new sunglasses! Make a list... Start checking thing off and remember life knows how to handle those who make bad choices and those who make good ones. You don't have to prove to people what your worth... Be you and be the best that you can be.  Talk to people how you would want someone to talk to you! So basically the reason for my post today is... If your stuck in life... Sit and make a list. What do you want to do? When do you want to do? Why are you angry? Why are you not letting go? My list has a lot of cleaning and eliminating on it... Start fresh and new. I have a storage unit that was filed with stuff that reminded me of my past so I've cleansed it... and organized what I want to go forward with! This excites me so much. I feel happier when I eliminate... Call me crazy, but I feel like I go forward more smoothly. So right now you all would be so proud of me because of these steps forward and changes I've made. My courtyard is almost clean and my storage unit is almost organized. Haha I love it!  

Those 4 years were the longest 4 years of my life. Now I look back and say oh my gosh that went by so fast! I believe that's a very very good thing... {HUGE SMILE}!

For those of you who want to know what CD's I  listened to... Well,  Here it is {they're a series}...

Monday, January 1, 2018


Have you made your 2018 new years resolutions yet? I sure did! Of course I wrote down the usual {the general must}... 

1.) Organize {all drawers/closets in my house}
2.) Read more books {1st complete the ones on my nightstand}
3.) Take cooking classes {cook things I never thought I would or could cook}
4.) Be kind to all {smile and help others each day}
5.) Eat healthier {cut as many carbs out as I can}
6.) Save more money {stash as much away as I can}
7.) Travel more {go to places I've never been before}
8.) Try new things {do things I never thought I would do}
9.) Shower my kids with affection {kiss, hug and tell them I'm so thankful for them}
10.) Eliminate {cleanse of all unwanted things}
11.) Exercise {push myself harder}
12.) Journal {get it all out on paper... For me to visual see}

But this year I've added a few N E W things to my usual musts...

- Sign up for Meals on Wheels {already did}
- Sign up with my kids for Feed America

- Want to learn 
{you should always be knowledgeable and prepared in case of an emergency}

- I want to run a 1/2 marathon

- Pay my car off in 2 years

I hope you all have a fabulous new year!  Hello 2018... Lets do this! 

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