Saturday, October 29, 2011

Halloween Treats!

Ok so I think I can easily say that I got carried away with baking Halloween treats this year.  It is all because of Pinterest!  That site is so addicting and I kept finding things I wanted to try.  So needless to say, what was going to be one batch of cookies to take to our Halloween party tonight turned into 2 kinds of cookies, brownies, and cupcakes for Roy's work.  Oops!

First up was the original batch of cookies I was going to make.  Chocolate chip Oreo stuffed cookies!  I used a Halloween Oreo to help make it festive.  Recipe was found on the Picky Palate blog.

Then I found a recipe for those wonderfully delicious sugar cookies that you can buy at the store in seasonal colors.  I had to make them into Halloween cutout cookies!  Recipe can be found on Sweet Pea's Kitchen blog.  If you try and make them take note that I did have to add an extra cup of flour from what the recipe called for to dry the dough out and be able to roll it.  I am guessing it could be because it is more humid in Arkansas than wherever she is?  They turned out great though!

And then for the brownies!  Any old brownie recipe will do.  Then add some chocolate frosting on top and crumbled up Oreos.  I trimmed the bottom off of a mint milano cookie to make it stand up better.  Used some decorating gel to write "RIP" and added a pumpkin.  And presto! A graveyard brownie!

Then Roy comes home from work with Halloween cake mix and frosting and wants cupcakes to take to work.  What the heck?  So these are not from scratch, they are a box.  But I fancied them up a bit by adding a spiderweb decoration to the top.  He forget to get cupcake liners though and I only had 12 regular size ones at home, but I did find some mini cupcake liners.  So he got 12 big cupcakes and 24 mini ones.  It worked out!

Happy trick-or-treating to all!  More pictures to come later of costumes and such from this weekend's festivities!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pumpkin Patch

Well I couldn't let Trey's first Halloween get past me without a visit to the pumpkin patch!  After much online research and asking around at work I decided to head to the McGarrah Farms Patch.  I didn't really care much about the activities since Trey is too young to do the corn maze.  I just wanted one that was good for pictures.  And this one was!  It is crazy how many pumpkin patches and corn mazes there are in Arkansas!  Here are some pics from our trip!

This will be fun to take his picture next to each year.  Although the crooked and bad attempt at fancy handwriting drives me crazy!  You think they would be offended if I brought them a new sign next year?  Haha!

Such a big boy!  Standing up with some help from the pumpkins

But all he was interested in was the grass!

And the straw....

Finally looking at the camera!  It's tough work to get this guys attention!  Notice those two teeth on the bottom.  So cute!

Saturday, October 22, 2011


I made this awhile back when we had some friends over for a BBQ.  I just have not had a chance to share it.  I am not much of a wine fan BUT I do love Sangria!  And this was especially good since I got to control the amounts of what went in. i.e. a little more liquor and a little less wine!

1 large orange
2 ripe peaches
2 cups strawberries 
1 cup raspberries
1/4-1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup Chambord
1/4 cup citrus or orange vodka
1 bottle Rose wine
1 1/2 cups ginger ale

For serving: Ice (if preferred), orange slices, or fresh raspberries

First wash all the fruits well.  Cut all the fruits into small slices except leave the raspberries whole. Place all the fruits in a large bowl, and add the sugar, triple sec, and vodka.  Mix the fruit well, pressing it down in the bowl so it is mostly covered by the sugar/alcohol mixture.  Soak the fruit, mixing occasionally, for at least 1 hour, but if you can soak it for 2-3 hours it will be even better. 

To mix up the sangria, add the bottle of Rose wine, and the ginger ale to a large bowl or drink dispenser, then stir in the fruit and alcohol.  Mix well, and chill before serving.  If you like, serve with ice, in glasses garnished with orange slices or fresh raspberries.

Mine was nice and chilled so I did not need ice.  Enjoy!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

S'mores Cookie Bars

This past Friday was a co-worker's last day on our team.  She has been an awesome part of our team and we are sad to see her go.  But, she is leaving due to a promotion so we are happy for her!  For her last day I decided to make these wonderfully yummy s'mores cookie bars.  They were a hit!  And personally I think they taste better than actual s'mores.  I found the recipe online from here.  They were very simple to make and didn't take much time at all!

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 king-sized milk chocolate bars (e.g. Hershey’s)
  • 1 1/2 cups marshmallow creme/fluff (not melted marshmallows)

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in egg and vanilla. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix at a low speed until combined.
  3. Divide dough in half and press half of dough into an even layer on the bottom of the prepared pan. Place chocolate bars over dough. 2 king-sized Hershey’s bars should fit perfectly side by side, but break the chocolate (if necessary) to get it to fit in a single layer no more than 1/4 inch thick. Spread chocolate with marshmallow creme or fluff. Place remaining dough in a single layer on top of the fluff (most easily achieved by flattening the dough into small shingles and laying them together).
  4. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool completely before cutting into bars.
Makes 16 cookie bars.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Steel City

Recently we took a trip to Pittsburgh to celebrate Roy's Dad turning 50.  His Dad is a HUGE Steelers fan and has never been to their home turf so we decided the perfect 50th birthday present was tickets to the game!  We were there for 3.5 days and tried our best to get as much in as possible.  Trey, as always, was the perfect traveler and such a trooper for all the activities.  We got in around noon on a Thursday and picked up the rental car and headed to our hotel to check in.  Roy's parents got in around 5 so we headed back to the airport to pick them up.  Everyone was pretty hungry so we decided to try out Primanti Brothers.  This restaurant is frequently shown on The Food Network and is know for their sandwiches with fries and coleslaw on them.  It was pretty tasty!

Friday morning was the tour of Heinz Field.  It was pretty cool to get to see the football stadium close up.  It took almost 3 hours to see everything.  The tour guide took us pretty much everywhere and let us take lots of pictures of everything!

The luxury suites which cost $45,000 a year to own.  PLUS you have to buy a ticket for each individual seat inside the suite.  The windows slide open so they can feel like part of the crowd on nice days or stay warm when it is snowing.  Crazy rich people!  Oh, and Trey was passed out for about an hour of the tour.

Roy and Trey hanging out in the press box.  He decided to wake back up!

The Steelers locker room.  I was surprised that the lockers were so small.  I just assumed they all had personal lockers that they left stuff in permanently.  Nope!  All they have in them is gear on game day.

Under the stadium on the ceilings is a ton of tubes running to the concession stands, bathrooms, kitchens, etc.  Notice the tubes labeled beer.  That is one heck of a keg!

And then on to the field!  Aaaaaaaaaaaa!  The grass was so nice!  They were still working on lining it since we were there Friday and the game wasn't until Sunday.

After the field tour we headed to Station Square and grabbed some lunch at Joe's Crab Shack.  Then it was on to the incline.  Cable cars that run up and down the mountain to take tourist up for a good view of the city.

While at the top I discovered an awesome setting on my camera for landscape photos.  Perfect timing!  Pittsburgh has a great city line.  You can see the stadium on the far left.

Saturday morning brought a new adventure.  We were only a 2 hour drive from Canton, OH and decided it would be a sin to not go to the Pro Football Hall of Fame while being so close!

When we first pulled up the building looked really small and we were questioning our decision to go!  It ended up being really neat though and had A TON of stuff inside.  Things from way back in the day when football first started........

The room of heads which is every class of Hall of Fame inductees since the beginning group with their year.  This picture is only about 1/4 of the room.

We had to take a time out to feed Trey!

Then we got to the room of The NFL of Today which had the best exhibit in the building........

After spending 4 hours inside The Hall of Fame we had seen it all!  We grabbed some lunch and hit the road back to Pittsburgh.

Finally, it was GAME DAY!  The whole reason we made this trip.  Roy's Dad was pumped up!  We got to the stadium almost 2 hours early.  Wandered around and people watched quite a bit and then headed to our seats.  Let's go Steelers!

We quickly realized that holding Trey the entire game was not going to be fun.  Plus it was sunny and he was getting hot.  The seat we were in were bleachers so we decided to make him a spot to play under the seats.  It was perfect!  He could stretch and kick.  And was also shaded from the sun a bit.  His favorite toy while under there?  Our pant legs!  Silly guy.

Trey living it up at his first NFL game!

We had a great time in Pittsburgh.  It was the perfect little weekend getaway.  But like all trips, it seemed way too short!  Monday came and it was time for everyone to part ways and head home.  Roy and I now have one more football stadium checked off our list.  For those of you who don't know, a couple years ago we made it our goal to hit every NFL stadium before we die.  4 down so far (Arizona, Tampa Bay, Miami, Pittsburgh) 28 more to go.