Apple Cream Cheese Blondies

img_7454

It’s the perfect cozy Saturday morning over here…everyone is in their pajamas, the fire is burning, and there are apple blondies in the oven.  Smells. So. Good.

I took these photos a year ago, and forgot to post the recipe with updated photos.  I posted it originally back in 2010 here (wow that was a long time ago!), and have been making it several times a year ever since. It’s a crowd favorite and SO good!  They are great on their own, but the frosting puts them over the top!  #allthebrownsugar

img_7428

Apple Cream Cheese Blondies

For the Blondies:
2/3 cup butter, softened
2 cups brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch salt
1 heaping cup peeled chopped apples
3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
3 oz cream cheese (frozen for about 1 hr, and cut into little cubes, also optional)

For the Brown Sugar Frosting:
4 oz butter
1 cup brown sugar, packed
¼ cup milk
2 cups icing (confectioner’s) sugar, sifted

Directions:
Prepare a 13 x 9 dish with cooking spray, or line with parchment paper. Preheat Oven to 350.
Beat butter, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla until thick and smooth, about 3 minutes. Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture on low speed, mixing until blended. Stir in apples and nuts, mixing well. Fold in the cream cheese pieces. Spread evenly in the prepared dish and bake until set and golden, 25-30 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on rack.

In a small saucepan over low heat, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar and milk. Bring mixture just to a boil then remove from heat and let cool to lukewarm. Sift in the confectioner’s sugar, mixing until smooth. Spread evenly over bar. Let stand until frosting is firm enough to cut. Cut into bars or squares.

img_7449

Chocolate Chip Cookie Brittle

img_8956

Oh.  My.  Goodness.

This cookie brittle…it’s addictive.  I think I have probably made it at least five times in the last two months.  It’s super easy to whip together, and everyone loves it!  I love to give it as gifts…because I like to give gifts, but also because I can’t have this stuff around the house.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Brittle
Recipe from Cookies and Cups

Ingredients:
14 tablespoons of butter, cubed
1 cup Turbinado Sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional…I do not add these in)
1 heaping cup chocolate chips

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350.

Line a 12 x 17 baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.

In a medium saucepan, combine the butter and sugar, and stir constantly over medium heat.  Once the butter is melted, cook for one more minute and remove from the heat.  Let this mixture cool for 5 minutes.

Whisk the butter/sugar mixture for about a minute, then add the vanilla and salt.  Slowly stir in the flour until the dough forms, and then gently mix in the chocolate chips.

Press the dough onto the pan in a thin layer – almost to the edges!

Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Rotate the pan a couple times through the baking process.  The brittle is done when it is golden and firm to the touch.

Let the brittle cool completely, and break into little pieces.

Enjoy all the buttery goodness, and try not to eat the entire pan at once!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Bars

IMG_8470.jpg

These bars….they were AMAZING, and super easy to put together.  I found the recipe over here at Pinch of Yum.  I had to give most of them away, because I just love anything with peanut butter and chocolate.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Bars
Recipe from Pinch of Yum

Ingredients:
For the cookie dough:
1 stick unsalted better, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 egg
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
2 cups chocolate chips

For cheesecake filling:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Cream butter, sugars and peanut butter until fluffy.  Add the egg and beat until incorporated.  In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking soda and salt.  Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter and sugar and mix until combined.  Add in the oats and chocolate chips.

For the cheesecake filling, mix the cream cheese, egg, sugar and vanilla until smooth.

Press 2/3 of the cookie dough into the bottom of a 9-inch baking dish.  Pour the cheesecake filling over the cookie dough.  Crumble the remaining cookie dough over the top.

Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake for another 15-20 minutes (mine took about 45 minutes total) until the top is lightly browned and the cheesecake layer is set.  You can serve them warm, but I preferred mine chilled for a few hours!

ENJOY!

Pumpkin Patch 2016

pumpkinpatch

Oh my goodness!  I can’t believe it has been almost a year since I have last blogged!  I miss this little space, sharing photos, posting recipes and occasionally sharing my heart on here!

twins

The kids have grown SO much!  The last time I posted our Pumpkin Patch photos was 2014.  I can’t believe how much they have grown and how FAST those two years went by!

IMG_8913.jpgbrooke

The really do love each other…and yes they do fight, but at the end of the day they all care so much about each other!  I hope they will stay the best of friends.

img_8906

Stitch Fix Review | September & October Boxes

Stitch Fix

I just wanted to take a minute to share my September/October Stitch Fix Boxes!  I have LOVED almost everything they have sent me!

I’ve had several questions on how it worked, so I wanted to share one more time in this post….

First, go HERE to sign up, and fill out your style profile.  There will be many questions so they know your style, body type and preferences. You can sign up for the frequency of your box as well…either to be every few weeks, months.  You CAN take a break from receiving boxes by just editing your profile if you are not needing new pieces.  Every box you are charged a $20 styling fee.  That fee goes towards ANYTHING you purchase in your box.  So if you only keep one piece, the $20 goes towards purchasing that piece.  If you purchase the whole box you get a discount.  If you send the whole box back you do not get the $20 styling fee back.  There is a pre-paid mailing bag to ship all your items back to Stitch Fix.  Super simple and easy!  Hope that helps a little bit!

I shared in THIS post a few months ago, that I started being very specific with some things I would like to see. They have surprised me every time by including everything I have asked for!  I have gotten some staple wardrobe pieces in these last few boxes!

September Box

Here are my favorites from the September box.  The black dolman top was very flattering, but I already had one very similar.  I LOVED the camel sweater and the plaid scarf.  The material on both of them were very soft, and the fit of the sweater was very flattering.  I think there was a mistake on the pair of jeans they sent that month….they were about 5 inches too short.  The fit was amazing, but I sent them back because of the length, and didn’t end up exchanging them for another pair because I had a similar pair in my wardrobe.
FullSizeRender
Here is my October Box.  I knew I was going to love it as soon as I opened it!  There was an amazing faux suede blazer that was SO SOFT, distressed boyfriend jeans, a color block sweater with a button back, a cable knit sweater with plaid back, and a striped dolman shirt.
November Box
Beckham really loves to also check himself out in the mirror during this process.  The dolman shirt was very soft and comfortable, but it was very big on me.  The color block sweater was pretty as well, but it wasn’t as versatile as I like.  The jeans fit perfectly, but were very similar to a pair I have in my wardrobe.  The blazer was AMAZING, but I have a leather jacket that is almost identical and I couldn’t justify keeping it.  The one piece I am keeping is the cable knit sweater with the plaid back.  It is so comfortable and cozy.  I always love keeping pieces I don’t really see around as much.

Please excuse the poor photo quality!  It was super cloudy today, and I had a hard time getting good photos.  🙂

If you sign up to start getting your boxes, you can share your referral link with others and get a $25 credit once their box ships! I have been able to get free pieces with each box by sharing my link, and I appreciate everyone who has used it!

Have a happy weekend!

Summer Photography Challenge

IMG_9357

This summer I challenged myself to pull my camera out more every day.  I enjoyed learning to take photos in different light, and in different situations.  I’ve had my camera for almost 3 years – and it has been worth every penny to me.  I get to stand behind the lens, and capture beautiful moments.  I thought I would share just a few of my favorites!IMG_6358IMG_8209IMG_9266I have had a lot of questions on the camera, lens, and editing software I use.  So here it is!

Camera | Canon T3 
Lens I can’t live without | 50mm 1.8
Editing Software | Lightroom 6

here is an example of my image after editing:

Screen Shot 2015-08-25 at 1.35.41 PMI usually just do minor edits in LR – I usually adjust the white balance, sharpen or soften, change exposure.  It’s very user friendly and I love it!
IMG_7553photographypost2 summerphotography IMG_7683IMG_6571 photography post 3IMG_9179IMG_7089IMG_6862 IMG_7052 IMG_7435 IMG_7201For those wanting to learn their camera more, I always suggest sitting down with your camera and really learning manual mode.  I have used toys on the floor in the past, and just played with each and every setting.  I have enjoyed learning more about photography SO much, and taking photos of my kiddos is priceless to me!

IMG_7814

 

 

 

Stitch Fix Review

stitch fix`I posted a photo of my stitch fix box last week on Facebook, and had a lot of questions on how it works…so of course I thought a blog post was in order!

I took a little break from stitch fix over the summer.  The last box I got, had absolutely NOTHING in it that I liked!  I decided to ask for specific items, and give it one more shot!  This box happened to be my best yet!
stitchfix
I asked for a striped blazer, boyfriend/distressed jeans, and loose fitting tops.  I LOVED what they sent me.  Everything fit perfectly (i don’t know how they do that!), and if I had the money I would have kept the entire box!  I ended up keeping the moto jacket…it is so comfortable, and I thought would be a great staple piece for fall/winter here in Oklahoma!

Here’s how it works….
You fill out a detailed survey on your size, sense of style, likes and dislikes.  You can choose your favorite color palettes, styles and patterns.  You can also choose the price ranges that you would like to see in each box!  You also choose the frequency of each box….they range from every 2-3 weeks, once a month, every other month, and once every three months.  I have gotten some great staple pieces from my previous boxes.  You pay $20 for the stylist fee….which goes towards any item(s) you purchase.  It is non-refundable, so if you do not keep an item, you do not get the $20 back.  They send a pre-paid shipping bag, and you have three days to put any unwanted items in it, and ship it back for free!

Tips to help make your box successful
I suggest creating a Pinterest board (mine is labeled “style”), and linking it to your Stitchfix account.

Screen Shot 2015-08-17 at 10.09.36 AMWhen you have a scheduled fix, you have an option to leave your stylist a note.  Here is my note for September’s box!  I would be specific when leaving a note, and ask for certain items that you would like to see in your wardrobe!

It’s such a fun way to get some new staple items for your wardrobe.  I really don’t love shopping, but always am looking for quality pieces to add to my wardrobe.  If you decide to try it, I would love if you signed up through my link!

https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/3947079

Happy SHOPPING!