Saturday, November 24, 2012

catching up...

so long time no post huh? sorry about that! i've been a busy lady. i took another trip to montana to visit family, there was lots of hustle & bustle to get ready for thanksgiving and i've been working on a special project...

my own etsy store!



i'm super excited! right now the store features carly tee designs handmade & repurposed photo decor products. and soon there will be soon vintage goodies too. you can find my shop here if you want to peek.

xo,
carly

Thursday, November 8, 2012

fabulous baker

there are many great things about being a part of the team at ellen hutson llc but an unexpected perk is meeting susan. susan is a sweet friend of ellen's & the team, who always brings amazing treats! i've been lucky enough to have many of susan's delicious treats (red velvet cakepops...mmm) but recently she brought us confetti cookies with pb chips & mini reese's pieces. they were so good that i HAD to make more for myself.

mine were definitely not as good as susan's. i substituted all butter for 1/2 shortening and that was a big mistake. my cookies were missing the delightful soft & roundness of susan's. check out the recipe here, try it soon and follow it exactly!

check out susan's blog for lots of other awesome recipes, my mother's apron strings.

xo
carly

p.s. i've heard susan is also a very, very talented papercrafter too!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

decorating your life

some of my favorite girls in the whole wide world are my former co-workers at decorating your life, a super duper cute vinyl company (it's the vinyl business that came from treasury of memories, the papercrafting store where i "grew up"). but anyways, i bring it up because the awesome decorating your life girls have a new venture, a daily deal that lasts for 24 hours. the first deal starts today and of course, it's adorable! and only $11!!!

check it out and sign up the the emails so you don't miss out on
any!

xo,
carly

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

cookie #7: molasses crinkles

my last few cookies from my cooky book project have been fine, just not ones that will become family favorites but these cookies are so wonderful! they feel like the perfect fall & winter treat! they are spicy & sweet (but not too sweet, just right for you kelly!), very similar to a gingersnap and perfect with a cup of tea or cocoa!

recipe:
-3/4 cup shortening
-1 cup brown sugar (packed)
-1 egg
-1/4 cup molasses
-2 1/4 flour
-2 tsp soda
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp cloves
-1 tsp cinnamon
-1 tsp ginger
-granulated sugar

mix shortening, sugar, egg and molasses and thoroughly. measure flour by dipping method or by sifting. blend all dry ingredients; stir in. chill.

heat oven to 375. roll dough in 1 1/4" balls. dip tops in sugar. place balls, sugared side up, 3" apart on greased baking sheet. sprinkle each with 2 or 3 drops of water. bake 10 to 12 minutes or just until set but not hard. makes 4 dozen cookies.

my notes:
i used butter instead of shortening so my cookies were flatter, crisper on the edges and chewy in the middle...a lovely combo really. i sprinkled water on 1 dozen but skipped it on the rest, it seemed unnecessary. and can i just say again, i love these cookies!

xo,
carly

Sunday, October 21, 2012

more brownies

after cookie #6 cocoa brownies, i've been feeling super excited to find a go-to brownie recipe so this one was next on my list. from the cooking classy blog, this is a great recipe, a nice chewy brownie with a super delicious frosting (and it's even better the next day).

however it's not quite the brownie i'm looking for. i'm sure i will find a way to taste test more brownies...back to the kitchen!

xo, carly

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

grateful

something about this time of year makes me feel especially grateful. maybe it's because fall is my favorite season or maybe it's the impending holidays but whatever the reason i'm feeling pretty thankful for a lot of special things in my life these days.

halloween candy...no just kidding! well i do really love those fun size treats and we all know i love sugar but that's not the kind of thing i'm feeling grateful for.

my husband...yesterday my tire blew out while i was driving by myself on the freeway. i was upset & scared and my sweet husband drove 50 miles to put the spare tire on my car. then he took me for my favorite pumpkin pancakes and followed me home to make sure i was safe. pretty awesome guy right?

these sweet girls (& their wonderful parents)...they are such good friends to shaun & i. they invite us to do fun things (like the swan trail pumpkin farm), they make us laugh a lot and they are willingly & gorgeous models.

and i'm just so grateful for everything fall! the cold & sunny days and the blustery, rainy ones too. the pumpkin muffins, tea, candles, bread...basically anything pumpkin but especially the pumpkin pie bagels at panera (oh my goodness!). hot drinks, cuddly blankets, scary movie nights...i could go on but i'll stop.  

hope your life is full of good things too!

xo,
carly

p.s. i just have to say there is one thing i don't feel grateful for, corn mazes. see tammy t's blog for her take on our experience...find it here.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

cookie #6: cocoa brownies

do brownies count as cookies? normally i would say they are their own food group but they are in the cookbook...and i've been on a little hunt to find a really wonderful brownie recipe because i'm embarrassed to admit that even with all the cooking and baking that i do, i still make duncan hines brownies from a box. and while i really love duncan, i was super excited to try these cocoa brownies!

recipe:
-1/2 cup shortening
-1 cup sugar
-2 eggs
-1 tsp vanilla
-2/3 cup flour
-1/2 cocoa
-1/2 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 chopped walnuts

heat oven to 350. mix shortening, sugar, eggs and vanilla until well blended. measure flour by dipping method or by sifting. blend dry ingredients; mix in. stir in nuts. spread in well-greased pan, 8x8x2. bake about 30 minutes. cool; cut into 2" squares. makes 16 brownies.

my notes:
i used butter instead of shortening and only later realized that vegetable oil might have been an even better substitution. and i skipped the walnuts because i'm allergic, lucky you if you can eat them. also i made 2 batches, 1 following the recipe and it was just a little bittersweet for my taste. the next had an extra cup of sugar and was a little more my style, a little more milk chocolate. alas, this is still not the wonderful brownie recipe i'm looking for. i'm planning to try this one next.

xo,
carly

Sunday, September 30, 2012

something cool...

i know i've chatted quite a bit about my super awesome friend tammy t here on this blog because she's always telling me about cool stuff or i'm sharing photo shoot sneak peeks of her cute family or she gives me ideas for a neat photo shoot so then i beg her family to test it out with me etc, etc. you get the idea right? tammy t is super cool. she's a fun, creative girl, with great style and a knack for knowing about all the fun "new" things.

so i have good news, tammy t has started her own blog! she claims she's still working out the kinks but i think it's already pretty awesome so find it here, tammythiele.com, you don't want to miss it!

xo,
carly

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

montana

i've been a little behind on the blogging lately and i realized that i never shared our trip to montana.

my husband has family in montana and i think most of his fondest childhood memories come from his summer trips to visit them. this was only my second trip and here's what i think about montana so far...the people are really nice; you have to do a lot of driving (wide open spaces); and so much beautiful scenery, which in my case is a mixed blessing because nature is not my friend. i'm allergic to every tree & grass indigenous to washington state and i'm sure if they tested me for montana trees & grasses, the results would not be favorable. i was muddling through my allergy sniffles like a champ when i received a little bug bite that turned into a massively swollen and bruised ankle, seriously it hurt to walk. you would have thought it was a bite from a radioactive, comic book bug. and in that case, i want super powers and not just a swollen ankle. but anyways, i majorly digress...

i'm not a nature photographer. i feel like these are a little incomplete without my family but my montana loved ones are camera shy. the photos that would really have captured this trip for me would have been my husband laughing with his aunt, his aunt and grandma playfully bickering and all of us sitting around a dinner table. next time, and until then i have these...



xo,
carly

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

a crush...

i have discovered the most beautiful food & photography blog, and while all you savvy people might already know, i'll share anyway, always with butter. julie marie, the creator of this amazing blog, has some awesome photography skills and her recipes look so heavenly! in fact, her recipe for blueberry cupcakes with honey buttercream looked so fabulous that i had to try it.

now this recipe involves first making blueberry preserves to top your cupcakes with, and i ask you, what kind of fool decides to make preserves for the first time just for a cupcake? well i just couldn't help myself! i didn't do too badly, though my preserves cooked a bit too long and came out a little more like jelly. and next time i will take julie marie's suggestion to add less sugar because my beautiful farmer's market blueberries were already so sweet!
preserves in progress

naked cupcakes

xo,
carly

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

silver sateen

there is a lovely old wooden dresser that has been knocking around our family for quite a few years. from what my mom can remember, it was left behind in a college apartment and given to my dad by the landlord when he was a student. i remember it in our house when i was little and it was a serious, dark wood stain. then it became my sister's and somewhere during her tween years my mom tried to win her over with a bedroom makeover that included the lovely shades of bright blue and lime green you see here.

during my sister's angsty teen years, i think the poor dresser ended up in a closet. then a abandoned in a spare room for years, now it's mine and it's time for a makeover. well actually for now it's my husband's dresser so we had to compromise on a few things like paint color but at least we agreed the blue & lime green combo had to go!

so after more than a few hours of stripping, sanding (oh the sanding,) and painting here is the dresser in it's beautiful new color, silver sateen.

complete with new drawer pulls and matching keyholes (thanks to shaun's ability to mix & match metal paint colors), i'm kinda in love. i would have done a bit more distressing but since i was compromising, i gave the edges just a light sanding.


one last summer project crossed off the list!

xo,
carly

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

cookie #5: lemon crinkles

i chose to try lemon crinkles because i had some lovely meyer lemons on hand and i also loved the recipe note in the cookbook:
"From Mrs. Alfred T. Neilson of Council Bluffs, Iowa, who prefers simple and easy recipes that leave her time for her hobby of making hats."
i'm a crafty girl so i have to appreciate the work of other crafty-hat-making-girls.

recipe:
-1/2 cup shortening
-1 cup brown sugar (packed)
-1 egg
-about 1 tbsp grated lemon rind
-1 1/2 cups flour
-1/2 tsp soda
-1/2 tsp cream of tartar
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp ginger
-granulated sugar

heat oven to 350 degrees. mix shortening, sugar and egg thoroughly; blend lemon rind. measure flour by dipping method or by sifting. blend dry ingredients; stir into sugar mixture. roll 1" balls; dip tops in granulated sugar. bake on ungreased baking sheet 10 to 12 minutes. makes about 3 dozen cookies.

my notes:
i used butter not shortening and i forgot the cream of tartar but my cookies turned out a little flat but fine. and i love the delicate lemon flavor of these cookies! i was hoping for a more distinct "crinkle" on top so i roll my 2nd dozen in powdered sugar but it pretty much all melted away too. oh well, they still tasted great!

xo,
carly

Monday, September 3, 2012

just one more reason i love him...

my adorable husband decided he wanted to make pickles. he's never made pickles before. and neither of us had ever canned anything but we went to the farmers market and picked out some cucumbers, dill and peppers. and now we have a batch of really good spicy dill pickles. he's pretty fabulous and i love that he gets these crazy ideas in his head.

hope you're all having a great holiday!

xo,
carly

p.s. we're making more pickles!

Monday, August 27, 2012

quick bread

thanks to the fabulous farmer's market there has been an abundance of plump little blueberries at our house this summer. so many in fact that i've been looking for new ways to prepare them. this recipe, blueberry oatmeal bread, from betty crocker turned out delish! it's a delicately sweet and super easy quick bread.

xo,
carly

Thursday, August 23, 2012

funny little project...

have i mentioned i love pinterest? LOVE it! there are so many fabulous, wonderful and silly-good-fun project ideas that i'm collecting. during these last days of summer i'm trying to complete a few like this...

pool noodle boot stuffers

kinda hysterical yes? i found this funny little project on pinterest, it comes from here. to complete my pool noodle boot stuffers, i used an electric knife (great for turkey & pool noodles apparently) and there wasn't even a mess to clean up. super awesome!

before the cut

after
 and by the way, sorry about the terrible photos. it was soooo dark & cloudy today, which i actually loved. i wore a sweater, yay! bring on the fall weather!!!

xo,
carly

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

cookie #4: caramel refrigerator cookies

hi friends!
it's been a while since my last post, seems i've lost track of time a bit. i've been busy in the kitchen and busy checking off my summer-project-to-do list so i have lots to share but let's start with my latest cookie from the cooky book...

caramel refrigerator cookies
recipe:
-1/2 cup shortening (part butter or margarine)
-1 cup brown sugar (packed)
-1 egg
-1/2 tsp vanilla
-1 3/4 cups flour
-1/2 tsp soda
-1/2 tsp salt

mix shortening, sugar, egg and vanilla thoroughly. measure flour by dipping method or by shifting. stir flour, soda and salt together; stir in. form in roll 2 1/2" across. wrap in wax paper. chill until firm.

heat over to 400. cut in 1/8" slices. places slices a little apart on ungreased baking sheet. bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. makes about 5 dozen cookies.

my notes:
broken record here but once again, i'm all butter, no shortening. these are sooooo easy! i made the dough in seriously 5 minutes, chilled overnight, sliced and baked while i was making pancakes in the morning. and besides easy, they taste awesome! i like mine a little softer in the middle with crispy edges so i might cut a little thicker than 1/8" and still bake just 8 minutes.

xo,
carly

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

fall colors

just a quick, happy snapshot...working on my fall wardrobe. loving polka dots & stripes, bright lipstick red, mint, ultramarine, navy and gray.

happy tuesday!
xo, carly

Monday, August 13, 2012

pretty little hand pies

i love sweets...candy, chocolate, cupcakes, especially cookies, the list could go on...but i don't really care for pie. not sure what it is, the crust maybe. usually if i'm going to have sugary cooked fruit, i would choose a nice crisp. however i have been obsessed with the idea of cute little hand pies. maybe i like portable sugar. anyways...

saturday i came home from the farmer's market with a whole bunch of lovely blueberries, chandler variety, the lovely lady who sold them to me said. thanks to pinterest i found a blueberry-specific recipe from the super fun blog, camille styles, find it here.

i sugared a few and glazed most (for an extra sugar kick). they tasted fabulous, the crust was flaky and i do believe it lives up to camille styles' claim of world's best. but...do you see how pale my pies are? anyone know why that might be?

well until i get it right, i'll be baking pretty little hand pies. i'll keep you posted and i'll get back to my sewing/t-shirt project soon.

xo, carly

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

cookie #3: cinnamon jumbles

we've been having a "seattle heatwave" around here (read: not nearly as hot as the rest of the country but out of character in the pacific northwest). 91 degrees the other day...much too hot to bake. today however, was a chilly 74 at my house and i really needed a cookie so i tested out recipe #3 cinnamon jumbles!

recipe:
-1/2 cup shortening (part butter or margarine)
-1 cup sugar
-1 egg
-3/4 cup buttermilk
-1 tsp vanilla
-2 cups flour
-1/2 tsp soda
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/4 cup sugar
-1 tsp cinnamon

mix shortening, 1 cup sugar and egg thoroughly. stir in buttermilk and vanilla. measure flour by sifting method or shifting. blend together flour, soda and salt; stir in. chill dough.

heat oven to 400 degrees. drop rounded teaspoonfuls of dough about 2" apart on a lightly greased baking sheet. sprinkle with a mixture of 1/4 cup and cinnamon. bake 8 to 10 min. or until set but not brown. makes about 4 dozen 2" cookies.

my notes:
do i need to keep saying that i used only butter and no shortening? right, so butter works great. the cookies are like super-soft-cakey snickerdoodles, very tasty.

xo, carly

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

the before...

so i hope i'm not the only one who spends ridiculous amounts of time on pinterest collecting bunches of wonderful ideas. i might be spending more time there then most, shameful really...but i'm finally going to spend sometime actually crafting these wonderful projects.

this fabulous xl grape fanta t-shirt is first on my list.

there are so many cool tutorials on pinterest on how to customize t-shirts that i just have to try one. and while i don't really sew, my cute mama is a former professional seamstress so i've got help. in fact maybe i'll actually learn something.

stay tuned for the after!
xo, carly

Sunday, July 29, 2012

cookie #2: oatmeal coconut crispies

sundays are becoming cooking days in our house. i prep food for the week like cutting up fruits & veggies, making dressings & marinates, and making cookies from a cooky book recipe. sundays are quickly becoming my favorite day of the week. today i made oatmeal coconut crispies and they are delicious!

recipe:
-1 cup shortening (part butter or margarine)
-1 cup granulated sugar
-1 cup brown sugar (packed)
-2 eggs
-1 tsp vanilla
-2 1/2 cups flour
-1 tsp soda
-1 tsp salt
-1 cup rolled oats
-1 cup flaked coconut

mix shortening, sugars, eggs and vanilla until fluffy. measure flour by dipping method or by sifting. blend flour, soda and salt thoroughly; stir into shortening mixture. blend in rolled oats and coconut (dough will be soft). shape into 2 rolls, each about 2" in diameter. wrap in waxed paper, refrigerate overnight.

heat oven to 400. cut into 1/4" slices. place on lightly greased baking sheet. bake about 12 minutes or until lightly browned. makes about 7 dozen cookies.

my notes:
once again i used all butter, no shortening. also i love butterscotch chips in oatmeal cookies so i added some into half this batch and i would highly recommend the addition. and if you don't feel like planning far enough ahead to refrigerate overnight, there is a recipe variation to make oatmeal coconut drops...make as directed above except use only 1 3/4 cups of flour. then drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto lightly greased (or parchment-covered) baking sheet.

xo, carly

Thursday, July 26, 2012

a little card...

i've been needing to make some thank you cards but i am woefully out of practice when it comes to cardmaking so it took me a ridiculously long time to come up with something simple. here it is (don't judge me too harshly)...

i used...
-bazzill cardstock for the card but because i've had it for eons, i have no idea what color it is.
-paper doilies, quartered and adhered with spray adhesive.
-kaiser rhinestones, which i think are discontinued.
-and a thank you banner i made because i didn't like any of the stamps i had.

thanks for letting me share!
xo, carly

Sunday, July 22, 2012

cookie #1: peanut butter

i baked my first batch of cookies from the cooky book today, peanut butter for old times sake. i had forgotten how much i love this recipe and how much i love peanut butter cookies! here is the recipe direct from the book...

recipe:
1/2 cup shortening (half butter or margarine)
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
1 egg
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp soda
1/4 tsp salt

mix shortening, peanut butter, sugars and egg thoroughly. measure flour by dipping method or by shifting. blend all dry ingredients; stir into shortening mix.

heat oven to 375. roll dough in 1 1/4" balls. place 3" apart on a lightly greased baking sheet. flatten crisscross style with a fork dipped in flour. bake 10 to 12 minutes. makes about 3 dozen 2 1/2" cookies.

my notes:
i hate shortening so i use a 1/2 cup of butter. i always throw in an extra spoonful of peanut butter and i use adams all-natural pb. i roll my 1 1/4" balls in granulated sugar before placing them on the cookie sheet and criss-crossing them with a "plain" fork, no flour. and one more thing, double this recipe because they go quickly!

i hope you love this recipe as much as i do!
xo, carly

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

a new project...

i made my first batch of cookies when i was 8, peanut butter with a few burned fingers. the recipe came from this adorable book, well not this exact one because that one still resides in my mom's kitchen. this book i picked up at one of my favorite thrift shops.

it was quite a thrill to find the cookbook that started my love affair with baking and you know i already loved cookies!

in the spirit of julie & julia, i'm planning to bake my way through this cookbook, in no particular order and avoiding any cookies that don't sound fabulous to me of course! i'll try a new cookie recipe and then tell you, dear reader, all about it, because as it says in the book, "happy the home with the full cooky jar".

xo, carly