Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Super Moist Caramel Brownie Bites

There are few things as perfect as caramel and chocolate so the two together is an absolute delight.  Rolo chocolates have always been one of my favorite's so sitting in my office and literally dreaming about caramel I decide to re-create this recipe from last year.  Trying to fool myself into smaller portions, I used this mini tin to bake the brownies and this cupcake corer to make a cavity.  My rolo craving was completely satisfied.




Ingredients:

1/4 cup cocoa
1 tsp instant espresso
1/2 cup hot water
2 oz chocolate
2 tbls margarine
1/3 cup olive oil
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup flour
dash of salt
3 oz chocolate chips
Caramel syrup

 Instructions:
1.  Adjust oven rack to the lowest position and heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 9/13 inch baking pan with foil, leaving about a one inch overhang on all sides.  Spray with nonstick cooking spray.

2.  Whisk cocoa, hot water in a large bowl until smooth.  Melt the 2 ounces of chocolate chips in the microwave and add the chocolate to the cocoa and water.  Whisk in the melted butter and oil.  Add eggs, yolk, and vanilla and continue to whisk until smooth.  Whisk sugar until fully incorporated.  Add flour and salt and mix with rubber spatula until combined.  Fold in the chocolate chips.

3.  Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 18 minutes.  The tooth pick method will not work for this recipe due to it's chewyness.
4.  Once cooled, core and fill the cavity with caramel.

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Monday, February 25, 2013

DIY Pink Mini

There is nothing more lady like than a hot pink mini, and with spring right around the corner this will transition perfectly.  In Italian wool crepe, this fabric is gorgeous and light with fantastic movement.  But of course I couldn't resist a touch of leather which gives this lady a little edge.

Using Vogue pattern V8841 for the skirt, I added about 3-4 inches to the waist to create a very high waist, and added pleats in the front and back for movement.  For the top, I used Vogue pattern V8815 for the  shell, removed 1" to create a crop, added a gathered sleeve, a 1 1/2" band around the bottom hem and leather on the collar and arm bands.





Skirt & Top- DIY
Boots: Schutz
Clutch- Balenciaga






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Friday, February 22, 2013

Thank You Refinery29

Thank you Refinery29 in my Tim Gunn Mood shout out voice

Click here to go to the original post

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Cocktail Hour- Chocolate Russian Martini

I consider myself a bartender in my own right and tend to come up with the most fantastic cocktails imaginable, to include making my very own wine.  I figure why keep these awesome libations to myself.  The following video is the first in the series I'm calling cocktail hour.
Cheers!











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Monday, February 18, 2013

DIY a little leather

If I could add leather to every piece of clothing I own, I would be in heaven.  It's such a luxurious  textile that can turn a classic into an edgy and an edgy into a classic.  When I picked up this beautiful stretch lemon wool blended twill that reminds me of a more structured neoprene, I knew It would look great with something black and a little tougher so leather it was.




Top- DIY Vogue V8870 view A
Alterations-Added more of a collar and cropped the length
Skirt- DIY New Look 6003 view E
Alterations: Added 2" to the waist band to create a high waist and added a full lining.
Arm Warmers- DIY
Boots: Givenchy
Clutch-Fendi
Shades: Ralph Lauren



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Thursday, February 14, 2013

DIY Valentine Day Pancake Mold

A great way to start off this Valentine Day is with a delightful breakfast treat.  My love of sweet potato pancakes started with a visit to a diner off the beaten path.  After that day, I made it my responsibility to try sweet potato pancakes in every restaurant that served them.  Unfortunately I came up empty and decided to make my own. After the third batch, I came up with a close contender.  After I mixed the ingredients, I realized I wanted to dye the pancakes pink but had no dye so I used the next best thing......beets.  Trust me, you can't taste the beet juice at all, and you can build the color intensity to your liking. 




Ingredients:

1/2 cup cooked sweet potato
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ground spice
1 thin slice of fresh beets juiced (use only 1 tsp of juice)
2 tbls olive oil


Directions:

1.  Whisk all ingredients together well.
2.  Spray a skillet with pam and place the mold in the skillet. 
3.  Pour the mix into the hot mould and allow to cook 70% before you remove the mold and flip.
4.  Cook the pancake on the opposite side and cook for an additional three minutes.


Mold Directions

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

DIY LBJ

When it comes to little black jackets, I will never have enough! So what's more adorable than a black boucle' peplum leather button jacket? The white one I plan to make.  I used Butterick pattern B4929 alterations: opted out of the gathered shoulders and shoulder pads, increased the peplum width by 1" and length by 4 inches to give the peplum more movement and allow it to close completely when buttoned.  Left the top bottom off to allow the jacket to fall open more naturally, and lined the jacket with a poly bend.






Jacket-DIY
Fur Stole-Vintage
Jeans-Work Custom
Top-Stella McCartney
Booties-Schutz
Clutch-JJ Winters

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Friday, February 08, 2013

DIY Winter White

I recently purchased this beautiful Oscar de la Renta wool crepe fabric and when it arrived I couldn't get past how deliciously beautiful it was.  The weight and drape is amazing and it just simply feels rich.  I thought about how great they would be as a loose fitting pant and remembered this Burda pattern.  I lined the pants in silk and added elastic at the hem to give them more personality.  They feel absolutely amazing.




Pants-DIY
Sweater- Zara
Jacket- BCBG
Heels- Jimmy Choo
Clutch-Fendi

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Wednesday, February 06, 2013

DIY Blue Suede Clutch

No color is more standout, beautiful and vibrant than cobalt blue! And while clearing out my stacks of fabrics and hides, I found this cobalt blue suede I stored away last month after transforming this and completely forgot about it.  I figured what better way to utilize this awesome color than with a clutch.  Considering my clutches are items in my closet I generally never get rid of, I will have this for quite some time.
To make this clutch a bit more interesting, I added dual invisible zippers, screw posts and a chain.





Download the instructions here
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Tuesday, February 05, 2013

DIY Wool Snood

When it comes to winter gear, unless I'm in the mountains I'm not a fan of bulky coats and ear muffs but hate being cold.  My solution which is evident by my improvised winter attire is fashionable top gear.  Nothing keeps me warmer than a handy snood.





Download the instructions here
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Friday, February 01, 2013

Peanut Butter Raisin Granola Squares

When I'm in need of a chewy treat and don't want to resort to my normal chocolatey moist decadence, my fall back is an awesome granola goodie.  These chewy granola squares not only curb my appetite but also satisfy my sugar craving.



 

Ingredients:

3/4 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup graham crackers crushed
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup peanut butter chips
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbs peanut butter
1tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 egg


Directions:


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine oats, graham crackers, cinnamon, peanut butter chips and raisins in a bowl, stirring until ingredients are mixed well.
  3. Mix molasses, olive oil, vanilla, peanut butter in a separate bowl.
  4. Pour molasses mixture over dry mixture, mixing well.
  5. Add egg and continue to stir.
  6. Press mixture into the bottom of a pan sprayed with pam.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes and allow to cool.
  8. Cut into squares.
Enjoy!

XOXO
Nikki


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