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First craft of the New Year

by Emma on December 30, 2011

in Craft,Personal

Cooking will always be my first love. But as you may have read, I have made my New Year’s resolution for 2012: I’m making a craft every week. It may be something for my home, to wear, to give as a gift, to get organized or just for fun! But the idea is that I spend a lot of time/creative energy in the kitchen (which I love!) but I love crafts and DIY too. So I’m just setting a goal to make sure I make time for that kind of fun creative endeavor too.

I talked more about New Year’s goals and my own over at A Beautiful Mess this week.

Anyway, I figured there’s no time like now… so even though it’s not quite 2012 yet I went ahead and got started on my 52 personal craft challenge. My first project is a DIY Instagram calendar. It’s just something I made as part of my mother’s Christmas gift. :) It was super easy and fun to put together, you can read all the instructions and see more pictures here.

Wishing you a safe and festive HAPPY NEW YEAR!

xo. Emma


Classic Green Bean Casserole

by Emma on December 28, 2011

in Side Dishes

Dude, can we just take a second to talk about green beans? This is important. Stop what you’re doing.

Deep breathe.

Don’t hate me now. But….

Why canned green beans. Just why.

I will concede if you absolutely cannot get fresh ones. I get that, you have no options so of course you must use canned. Of course. I’m not unreasonable, I can totally get that.

But. If there are fresh green beans to be had…. well… why not people. Fresh green beans are, like, so fun! They turn bright green as you blanch them, and they retain a slight crispness in this casserole.

Yeah. I know.

Give it a try if you never have. It’s something to do. Just saying.

Green Bean Casserole, makes enough for 6-8 as a side dish.

Needed: 2 lbs fresh green beans, 1/2 yellow onion, 2 cups fresh chopped mushrooms,1-2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 stick butter, 3 tablespoons flour, 1 cup cream, 1 1/2 cup vegetable stock, 1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese and 1 container of french fried onions.

Chop off the ends of the green beans, and cut into thirds (or however large you like your beans). Bring a large pot of water (with a  few teaspoons of salt) to a boil and blanch the beans for 5-8 minutes. Rinse in cool water and set aside over some paper towels to dry.

In a large pot or dutch oven heat the olive oil over medium/high heat. Saute the chopped onion until it begins to soften, then add in the chopped mushrooms and cook until they begin to sweat. Remove the onion and mushrooms from the pan and set aside. Melt the butter and add the flour, whisking as you do. Let this thicken slightly (1 minute or so) then pour in the cream and stock and stir to combine. As it heats up add back in the onions, mushrooms and green beans. Season with salt, pepper and garlic salt if you like (I did!). Stir it all together and add the french friend onions to the top.

Bake at 350 F for 18-20 minutes, until it starts to bubble.

xo. Emma


Apple Dumpling Cinnamon Rolls

by Emma on December 27, 2011

in Breakfast

This is what I made Christmas morning. What I love about these cinnamon rolls is they take about 30 minutes to make, including baking time.

Yeah. I know.

In the center of each roll is a bite of baked apple. It’s like a little prize in the center.

Is that weird? Well, whatev. I love sour apples paired with cinnamon and sugar, so I had to add it in. It’s a must.

Apple Dumpling Cinnamon Rolls, makes around 15 small/medium-sized rolls.

Needed: 1 package of puff pastry, 1/4 cup melted butter, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon cinnamon and 1 apple.

Thaw out your puff pastry ahead of time, in the refrigerator. Melt your butter and in a separate bowl combine the cinnamon and sugar. Peel, core and chop up your apple into long thin pieces. Roll out puff pastry and brush on melted butter. Sprinkle on cinnamon sugar, add apple slices to one end and roll up into a long log shape. Slice into cinnamon rolls and place on a prepared baking sheet.

Bake at 375 F for 18-22 minutes, until golden brown.

If you want to make a glaze while these are baking, go for it! I  made mine using 1 stick of melted butter and whisking in 1 cup of powder sugar and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Easy, right?

xo. Emma


Here’s to the New Year!

by Emma on December 26, 2011

in Personal

I hope you all had a wonderful and safe holiday weekend. Can you believe it’s almost 2012!? Man, this year has flown by.

*Don’t forget to grab your sponsor spot for January. I added a new size option last month, you can see details here. January will be my last month to accept sponsors, as I have some exciting changes happening in my blog life. I can’t wait to tell you more about later this week!

*I talked about tips for New Year’s resolutions, and shared my personal goal for 2012 over at A Beautiful Mess yesterday. Are you planning your resolution yet?

xo. Emma