Double Chocolate Cream Pie – TOTALLY DIVINE!

homemade chocolate pie

I recently started subscribing to Oprah’s magazine and I absolutely love it!  Great articles AND great recipes.  Like this double chocolate cream pie.  It starts off with a delicious pastry crust that’s easy to make.  Follow that with a layer of chocolate pie filling (think pudding but better) that is absolutely dreamy.  Top if off with a billowy chocolate whipped cream and you know you’ve got a winner!

If the recipe seems like too much work (although it truly is worth it) here are some shortcuts you can take:

  • You can use a frozen pie crust and just pre-baked it as directed.
  • You can use chocolate whipped topping in the tub for the topping.

Recipe and Photo Courtesy of Oprah.com

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies

chocolate peanut butter brownies

You can tell from my posts that I love the combination of chocolate and peanut butter.  LOVE!  So when Danielle at Hugs&CookiesXOXO posted this recipe, I just had to share it.  The peanut butter layer is like a cheesecake filling thanks to the addition of cream cheese.  Rich, decadent and perfect!

A timesaver for this recipe is to use your favorite brownie mix for the bottom layer.

peanut butter cheesecake bars

 

Homemade Salted Caramel – So Good!

how to make salted caramel

My friend Danielle over at Hugs&KissXOXO blog is an *amazing* dessert maker/creator.  And she has shared her never-fail method of how to make salted caramel.  As most of you probably know, salted caramel is very in now.  VERY.  And now you can get in on the trend; this liquid gold is delicious over ice cream, brownies, apple pie, spice cake – you name it!

Homemade Baked Chocolate Cake Donuts

how to bake donuts

If you want to achieve “Rock Star” status with your kids, spouse, friends, relatives, well just about with anybody…bake them some of these incredibly delicious chocolate donuts with chocolate glaze.

Let me start off by saying that this was the first time I made donuts.  And it couldn’t be easier.  You don’t even need a mixer; just whisk the ingredients by hand.  Put the batter into a ziplock bag, snip an end off and fill the donut pan 3/4’s full and 8-10 minutes later you have *perfect* chocolate donuts.

I bought my non-stick donut pan on Amazon for less than $10.  And the recipe below is an adaptation from a baked chocolate donut recipe in the cookbook “Mini Donuts” from Jessica Segarra that I ran across while visiting our local library last week.

chocolate glaze for donuts

Grandparents Day Gift Ideas

Grandparent’s Day is coming up soon.. September 8th.  I’ve done a little research, and found some fun ideas for gifts and honoring the grandparents in your life!

From the Bowdabra blog, a DIY photo tutorial on how to make a photo cube bouquet gift:

Photo-Cube-Bouquet-8--724x1024

 

 

Get a super cute Grandparents Day printable from Crissy’s Crafts.  One is dated for 2011, but the other one is timeless with “I Love My Grandparents” message:

grandparents-day-printable

 

From eighteen25 blog, a DIY tutorial WITH free printable, for making a grandkids photo album:

grandparent day Collage

And from Positively Splendid, another photograph gift idea – DIY photo tiles!  A little bit of work, but priceless!!

photo-tiles

DIY Photo Backgrounds and Backdrops

The “photo booth” idea for parties and events is still all the rage, and today I have some fun DIY background/backdrop ideas for you…along with a few props too!

First, from Pretty Providence, instructions on making  backdrop for less than $5.00!!

diy-photo-backdrop

 

 

From The Hungry Housewives, a FAB circus party… and although the photo I’m sharing is a backdrop for the table/food… it could easily be used or turned into a photo booth backdrop too!  The actual photo backdrop is further down  in the post.

circus-photo-backdrop

From Hello Hue, a lovely gender reveal party… and a VERY simple and fun photo backdrop idea.  Streamers… props… done!

revealphotobooth

And I have to confess, this idea is my favorite… using a quilt as a backdrop!  Instant color and texture, but very little effort!  I found this photo on pinteret (couldn’t find the original source), but I love the shabby chic look of it!

quilt-backdrop

Homemade Pretty Cakes!

It’s time for another edition of DIY Pretty Cakes!  There are such fabulous tutorials out there, and I can’t wait for you to see what I’ve found today!

From Polka Dot Bride, a DIY Rustic Ombre cake!  These are REALLY popular right now, and there’s an entire post telling you how to make a pretty cake!

Ombre-Cake-Decorating-Tutorial0942

 

From I am Baker, a post chock-full of help – video tutorials, images, and links to MORE tutorials!  Check out this AMAZING Neapolitan Rose Cake!!

cake-400x400

 

From the Hungry Housewife, how to make an ombre cake… LOVE the look of this one!  Video and step-by-step can be found on her site!  This is way easier than you would think!

ombre-cake

And these are cupcakes, but they are so pretty, I had to share!  From Life Is Sweets, a tutorial for making Flower Bouquet Cupcakes:

flower-bouquet-cupcakes

Sugar Cookie DIY

Did you know today is National Sugar Cookie Day?  I know sugar cookies seem more appropriate for fall and winter holidays, BUT..honestly.. isn’t any time a good time for sugar cookies?? I have some great recipes and ideas for using sugar cookies in your next summer party!

Martha Stewart has a simple yummy sugar cookie recipe HERE:

sugar-cookies1

 

My favorite sugar cookie designer and DIY’er is Sweet Sugar Belle.  Check out one of her recent posts on decorating sugar cookies.  You’ll want to check out her site – great cookies and tutorials!

Cookies-and-Milk-Cookies-Close-Up

From Kawaii Sweet World, a fun DIY youtube tutorial on making Watermelon Sugar cookies:

 

And from Intimate Weddings, a great post on making sugar cookies as wedding favors!

valentinescookies3sharp

Homemade Father’s Day Gift Ideas

It’s almost here… June 16th this year is Father’s Day, and there is still time to make some fantastic gifts for Dad, Grandpa, and even the Uncles!

From Crafty Texas Girls, a FAB tutorial in using chalk art to create the perfect photo for a Father’s Day gift.  Scroll through to the very end and they’ll explain how they framed it for $7!

fathers-day-chalk-art

From Lovely Indeed, an incredible apron sewing tutorial – for the Manly Man apron!  I love this idea, although I’m not sure of my capabilities with the sewing machine.  One thought to adapt this one – buy a plain white apron to decorate!

man-apron

From Curated by Kelly, an easy canvas art Father’s Day craft you can do with the kids:

canvas-art

And this one is my favorite DIY Father’s Day gift idea, only because I KNOW my husband would LOVE, LOVE this gift from his kids.  A custom “car play shirt” from The Blue Basket is a gift that keeps on giving, because every time he wears it, it’s fun AND he gets another “car” massage! Click through for the tutorial!

car-play-shirt

DIY Teacher Appreciation Gifts

I posted last year with some Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas, and I have a few new ideas that I found this year.  Between my three children, I have three home-room teachers, and three “extra” teachers that I need to plan for, so I’m trying to get started a little early!

From Skip to My Lou, a “thanks a latte” printable card – perfect for the teacher who is a coffee lover.

teacher-appreciation-gift

Check out this super cute altered Pringles can that can be filled with goodies for the teacher, from Glue Sticks and Tape:

pencil-can-teacher

Another GREAT idea from Skip to My Lou… a Summer Relaxation Kit – with a free teacher appreciation poem printable to help make this one easier for you!

teacher-appreciation-relaxation

 

And from Simply Seleta… a trendy teacher gift – so super cute, and budget friendly too!

teacher-appreciation-gift-trendy