Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Holiday M&M Chocolate Chip Cookies

Merry Christmas, friends!  Here's a last-minute Christmas recipe I had so much fun making (and eating!)  The best part is that the prep and cooking time combined is only 20 minutes!

Prep Time: 20 min.
Yield: about 2 dozen
Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 and 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 3.5 oz vanilla pudding mix (I couldn't find 3.5 at our little store so I used 1 3.4)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup red and green M&Ms (again, our store didn't have holiday M&Ms, so I used brown as well as red and green)
Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Line baking sheet with Silpat silicone baking mat. (Parchment paper also works if you don't have one.) Set aside.
3. In large mixing bowl, cream butter with electric mixer for about 30 seconds. Add granulated and brown sugar, and beat for 3 minutes or until light and fluffy.
4. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until well incorporated.
5. In another mixing bowl, whisk together flour, pudding mix, baking soda, and salt. 
6. Add dry ingredients to butter sugar mixture and mix with an electric mixer until mostly incorporated.  Add chocolate chips and M&Ms, (reserving some) stir with a spoon until well mixed.
7. Scoop the cookie dough with cookie scoop (1-1/2 tablespoon). Roll into balls and placing on prepared cookie sheet spacing them 2" apart.  (The finished dough tends to be crumbly, but comes together when rolled into balls in your hands.)
8. Press reserved M&Ms and chocolate chips onto cookie balls.
9. Bake for 10-12 minutes.  11 minutes worked well for me. Cool for 2 minutes on cookie sheet, then transfer to baking rack to cool completely. 
10. Enjoy!








Monday, November 14, 2016

Reese's Pieces Puppy Chow


Hey friends!  Thanks for stopping by!  Today I wanna share this awesome puppy chow recipe which is an absolutely perfect snack for the holidays or just for a movie night. I absolutely love how Reese's Pieces are orange, yellow and brown because it's so festive for fall.

Ingredients:
9 cups rice Chex mix
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup butter
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cups Reeses's pieces
11/2 cups powdered sugar

Instructions:
1. Pour all the cereal into a large bowl
2. Melt peanut butter, butter, and chocolate chips in a pan on the stove at low-medium heat.
3. Add the vanilla, then pour over the cereal.
4. Stir until all the cereal is covered.
5. Put powdered sugar into a gallon bag.  Add cereal. close bag. and shake until all the cereal has sugar on it.
6. Add Reese's Pieces and shake a bit more.
7. Spread over wax paper to cool, then store in an airtight container.

Enjoy!

I hope y'all absolutely LOVE this puppy chow!  I know my family did. ;) Happy Thanksgiving!

Love,
Elyse




Sunday, November 6, 2016

Everyday Fall Fashion {from Grandma's closet}


























Hello friends!  Today for my fall fashion blog post, I'm modeling a simple, everyday outfit which I wore to run errands yesterday.
Sweater: Take Out, from my grandma's closet clean-out.  I absolutely love it!  My grandma has the best style. ;)
Jeans: Aeropostale, $26 on sale
Sneakers: Airwalk, $10.  These are super old; I've been wearing them for almost five years now! :D





















I recently picked up these cute little necklaces from my favorite local department store for only $15 for both of them.  My new favorite accessories! ;)
So there you have it.  A glimpse of my everyday wardrobe.  Life has been crazy lately with work and school, music lessons, moves, and events, and will become even more so with the coming holidays, but I plan to continue blogging as much as possible.  Hopefully once a week, but at least every other week. :)  I have several awesome holiday-ready recipes planned that will be on the blog closer to Thanksgiving.  Thanks so much for your continued support!  Hope y'all are having a wonderful day!

Love,
Elyse







Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Fall Fashion {Sweater + brown boots}





















Hello, friends!  Welcome back!  Thank you so much for stopping by!
This is another casual fall outfit, and definitely one of my very favorites!




















What I'm wearing:
Green jacket: Prince & Fox $30
Sweater: Aeropostale $10
Jeans: Aeropostale: $20
Boots: Walmart $20





















Who else loves casual fall outfits? Have a super amazing fall day!

Love,
Elyse

Friday, October 21, 2016

Fall Fashion {Sweater + casual jeans}


Hey friends!  Hope y'all are enjoying this amazing fall weather!  I know I am.  Summer's the best, but after over 5 months of summer weather, I'm ready for it to be over for now. :)  So today I'm showing you guys a genuine, casual, everyday outfit.  The kind I wear to piano lessons, shopping, and other casual events.  Nothing fancy, but it's me on an everyday basis.

What I'm wearing:
Sweater: Self Esteem ($15, department store-this is old; I bought it two years ago.)
Jeans: Aeropostale ($20, just bought these; check out their website today, because everything's 50-70% off!)
Fringe boots: Walmart ($20)






















Most days I wear my hair either just down, or with a headband, ponytail or messy bun.  Today I have a ponytail with a headband just to add a cute touch. :)  Plus, since it's cloth, it's super comfy, which is hard to find in headbands.
Headband: department store, $3




















And a picture of the pumpkin, just for fun! ;)  Have a lovely day!

Love,
Elyse



Saturday, October 15, 2016

Fall Baking: Banana Bread & Muffin Recipe





















Hey friends!  So today's recipe isn't specifically a "fall recipe" but fall is the perfect time for baking, so I thought I'd share a recipe I made recently which is so yummy! :)  A perfect way to use up bananas that are too ripe for eating by themselves. With this recipe, you have the choice of bread or muffins, hence the name. :)  Normally I would make one or the other, but this time I made both!

Banana Bread & Muffin Recipe
Makes: 2-3 loaves of bread depending on pan size and how full you fill them or 24-36 muffins (I made 2 loaves of bread and 12 muffins)
Ingredients:
11/2 cups brown sugar
1 cup oil (I used coconut, but any vegetable oil works)
2 teaspoons vanilla
31/2 cups flour (I used whole wheat to make it healthier)
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
6 ripe bananas,mashed
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease loaf pans/or put muffin liners in muffin pans.
2. Mix together sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla. Mix in bananas.




















3. Add dry ingredients and nuts, if desired. Mix well.




















4. Fill pans and bake.  Bake loaves for 60 min. Bake muffins for 16-20 min.









































Enjoy!  Make sure to schedule a baking session (or two) into this coming week! ;)

Love,
Elyse


Sunday, October 9, 2016

Fall fashion {green jacket + taupe boots}


Hey friends! Here's the next installment of my fall fashion series! :)  Again featuring my favorite green jacket!  

\
So after this picture was taken, I realized I really should have gotten a picture from the back, so you can see the beautiful lace back of this shirt!  Oh well.  ;)
I recently bought these fringed taupe boots, and am really loving them.  Also, you can see my little brother's foot next to me. :D 

Outfit:
Green jacket-Prince & Fox (Aeropostale)
Top-thrift store $8
Jeggings-Aeropostale $12 (on sale)
Taupe fringe boots-Walmart $20

So there you have it!  My green jacket and these jeggings are both on my fall essentials list for sure!  What's on your fall fashion essentials list?

Love,
Elyse

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Pumpkin Dump Cake Recipe

Hello, friends!  Super excited to share this recipe with y'all today!  It's delicious and super easy, hence the name "dump cake".  Yep, you just dump the ingredients together, stick it in the oven, and voila! Your cake is complete! ;) I'm planning to make this for Thanksgiving in pie pans, because it's the taste of pumpkin pie with a slightly crunchy topping!





















Pumpkin Dump Cake
serves: 8-10
Ingredients:

  • 1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree (plain puree, not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 box spice cake mix
  • 1 cup butter (melted) 
















Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray 9x13 baking dish (or two pie pans) with nonstick cooking spray.  You can also sprinkle a bit of flour in pan to further keep it from sticking.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, stir pumpkin puree, evaporated milk, sugar, eggs and cinnamon until well combined.  





















3. Pour into baking dish.





















4. Sprinkle the dry cake mix on top of the pumpkin mixture.

















5. Drizzle the melted butter over the top.





















6. Bake for an hour or so.  I baked mine a few extra minutes.  The middle will be a little jiggly when done, but the whole pan shouldn't still be jiggly.  The cake will set fully as it cools, which will take at least a half hour.





















7. After it's cooled, slice and serve with whipped topping or vanilla ice cream.  The candy pumpkins add a cute touch, too. ;)
Refrigerate leftovers, and enjoy cold or hot. :)

Enjoy your fall day!

Love,
Elyse

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Fall Fashion Series {green jacket + floral lace}

Hey friends!  Today is day 1 of my fall fashion series, and I'm guest posting at Reflections of the Heart, hosted by my blogger friend Melani.  Check out the link to view outfit details!  Also be sure to check back here for another delicious and easy fall/Thanksgiving recipe later this week (isn't it crazy how close Thanksgiving really is?!)





















Have a very blessed day!

Love,
Elyse

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Apple Fritters

Hey everyone!  Today I'm sharing this delicious apple fritter recipe, which my sister and I recently made a couple times.  A great way to use up some of those apples! ;)

Apple Fritters
Makes: about 12 fritters (we sometimes double the recipe)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (plus 2 TBS)
  • 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 4 teaspoons vegetable oil (we use coconut) plus extra for frying
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dredging 
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 medium apples (Granny Smith is the best, but we use what we have on hand) cored, peeled, and cut into 1/2 in. thick rings














































Directions:
  1. In a medium bowl, combine 1/2 cup of the sugar and cinnamon.  Line a baking sheet with paper towels.
  2. In another medium bowl, whisk together the milk, cream, 4 teaspoons of oil, and eggs. Stir in the flour, baking powder, salt, and remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar until you have a smooth batter.
  3. In a large skillet, heat 2 inches of oil, until it reaches 375 degrees on a candy thermometer, and a drop of batter into the oil makes it bubble rapidly. 
  4. Dredge the apple slices in a small bowl of flour and then in the batter until all sides are coated.
  5. Working in batches, fry the apple slices until golden brown, about 4 minutes per batch, flipping them halfway through.
  6. Transfer the finished fritters to the lined baking sheet and continue frying.  Drop the fritters in the cinnamon mixture and serve hot (they're delicious cool, too)!









Enjoy!  Hope you're having a lovely fall day!
Love,
Elyse

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Apple Crisp

Hey everyone!  I'm back today with this delicious recipe, for celebrating fall!




















Recently our family bought about seventy pounds of apples we picked from an orchard, so we have a looot of apples to use up! We typically make a lot of apple crisps, apple fritters, fried apples, and apple sauce.

This is delicious eaten with ice cream or whipped topping!

Apple Crisp

Serves: 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 12-15 apples (depending on size, you may want to use more or less)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter (melted)
Directions:

1. Wash, core, peel, and slice and apples. (Peeling is optional.) Place apple slices into 9x13 baking dish.  
























2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  
























3. In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, oats, cinnamon, and sugar.  Add melted butter and mix together. The topping will be crumbly.  
4. Spoon topping over apples.
5. Bake crisp for 40-60 minutes, or until apples are soft.  Serve warm with a side of vanilla ice cream or whipped topping.
























6. Enjoy! 

Have a lovely fall day!  Hope it's cooler than mine (the high is 90 today in MO). ;)

Love,
Elyse

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Rollups

Hello, friends!  As promised, I'm back with a recipe which is very "fall-ish" and makes a great breakfast or snack.  
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Rollups
Yield: 12-22, depending on how
much of the loaf of bread you use;
I used all but the heels.
Ingredients:
1 loaf of white bread
1 8 oz. package softened cream cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup sugar
1 TBS cinnamon
1/2 cup melted butter

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Mix up the sugar and cinnamon; set aside
3. Mix up the softened cream cheese and powdered sugar
4. Cut off the bread crust and roll the bread flat with a rolling pin
5. Spread the cream cheese mixture onto the flattened bread, and roll up.
(I used a thin layer of cream cheese, because I used the whole loaf of bread; 
you could spread a thicker layer if you use less bread.)
6. Roll each of your rollups first in butter, then in the 
sugar and cinnamon mixture.  
7. Place rollups on ungreased baking sheet
8. Bake at 350 for 15-20 min until golden brown
Enjoy!

Have a beautifully blessed day!
Love,
Elyse