Sunday, May 26, 2013

Grain-free Dark Chocolate Cookies

My daughter is constantly on Pinterest pinning divine-looking desserts.  Most of them just stay on her boards, never again to see the light of day.  This recipe from Divine Baking, however, piqued my interest enough that  I gave it a second look.  It met my grain-free criteria and looked like it could be adapted to work with what I had on hand.  A few batches and tweaks later, we had a winner. 

Amazing Flourless Dark Chocolate Cookies with Mini Chocolate Chips!
My husband and son think these are amazing and say they taste like truffles.  Seriously, these are good enough that my son asked for them for his birthday INSTEAD of a cake.

Flourless Dark Chocolate Cookies
Adapted from this recipe from Divine Baking

Makes approximately 24 cookies.


6 oz of Baker's Bittersweet Chocolate
3 large egg whites
1 cup powdered sugar (plus 1/4 cup for coating)
1/2 of Hershey's Special Dark cocoa
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat or spray your baking sheet with non-stick spray.

2.  Melt the bittersweet chocolate in the microwave and set aside to cool slightly.

3.  Whisk together 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, dark cocoa, cornstarch, and salt in bowl and set aside.

4.  In medium bowl, beat your egg whites to soft peaks.  Gradually beat in 1/2 cup of powdered sugar.  Continue beating until your egg/sugar mixture looks like marshmallow cream.  On low speed, add in sugar/cocoa mixture.

5.  Add in lukewarm melted chocolate.  Add in chocolate chip minis.  At this point, your dough will start to stiffen as the melted chocolate cools.  Don't worry about it!

6.  Put your 1/4 cup of powdered sugar in a bowl and roll 1 rounded teaspoon (I used my small Pampered Chef scooper) of dough into a ball and roll in the sugar, then place on the baking sheet.  Repeat and don't worry as your dough gets stiffer and stiffer.  These cookies do not spread much at all, so you don't need to leave tons of room between them.

7.  Bake until puffy and the coating cracks (approximately 10 minutes).  Cool and serve.

Don't they look fabulous?
No flour and lots of chocolate...what is not to love?  These are a fabulous little cookie.  Buttercup definitely had a good eye when she pinned the recipe that inspired them.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Definitely a "Fashion DON'T" and old enough NOT to care!

I long ago gave up trying to be fashionable, trying to be trendy, trying to be cool.  I have a wardrobe full of clothes I like, that are comfortable (unless my weight has fluctuated too much!), and that look mostly presentable.  Still, that means that I have many articles of clothing that would warrant citations from the Fashion Police...not the least of which would be my collection of overalls.

Me, mowing in a pair of my overalls!
I love my overalls.  Seriously.  I love, love, love my overalls.  If you know me in real life, you know I wear them a lot.  I wear them to do chores, I wear them to work in the yard, I take them camping, I wear them to craft.  I pretty much wear them anywhere.   I know you'll find it difficult to believe, but it is hard to find overalls.  Despite my love of them, they haven't caught on in the mainstream fashion world, so I make do with what I've been able to find over the years. I have five pairs, all of which are 8+ years or older.  

Faded, dingy, old favorites!
My favorite pair overalls is roughly 15-years old and, yesterday, finally showed unmistakable evidence of how much I love them.  I was devastated.  A big old hole right on the butt.  Not on a seam, not easily hidden, and certainly not something I could just keep wearing.  It never occurred to me, however, to toss them.  Nope...not even for a second.  After a moment of hesitation, I decided that patching holes isn't just for kids clothes.  

Isn't this the cutest fabric?  Not exactly understated, though.
I pulled out one of the last little scraps of my favorite vintage owl fabric and got to work.  First, I enlarged a flower silhouette shape on the Silhouette machine.  Then I ironed Wonder Under on the back of my fabric and loaded into the Silhouette on the cutting mat and had the Silhouette cut the shape.  After that, I ironed it onto the section of my overalls and made quick work of using a zig zag stitch to attach the patch firmly to my beloved overalls. 

Look how big that patch is!  No hiding this!
Overalls are definitely a "fashion DON'T" and having a huge flower patch on my butt is probably compounding the violation, but I truly am old enough NOT to care.  In fact, I'm just happy to have my old friends back in wearable condition. 

Holding on to things you shouldn't?  Good for you!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Friendly Front Porch - Another Pinterest Inspired Project

I made a deal with myself when I realized how much time I spend on Pinterest.   I have to translate the inspiration I get from my pins into action. 

The Pinspiration:  Beautiful project by
9 o'clock Dance of Joy
This particular idea came from a pin from via The Diary of Dave's Wife who pinned a beautiful welcome sign posted by 9 o'clock Dance of Joy

I loved the original post so much that I immediately shared it via email with Superman.  Obviously, Superman loved it, too, because the very next day I had a post with a hook!  Time for me to get my fanny moving and figure out the rest of it.

My Silhouette machine made this so easy!
 Superman was able to take a board and use his router to give me the edge I wanted and a can of spray paint and some time with my Silhouette machine later, we had a sign for the post. 

Loved it just like this, but it needed a little something else.
I loved the way the sign with the post turned out and thought it looked really sweet with the cat we already had on the porch, but I felt like it needed something else.  So, I went on to use the spray paint to update some old plastic terra cotta pots to match and they are now lining the stairs to the front porch.    Looks fabulous!   Not bad for not too much time and $10, wouldn't you agree?

It is fabulous!  This is our interpretation...friendly, isn't it??
This was a simple project (at least the parts I did!).  Honestly, I think we spent more time waiting for paint to dry than anything else.  Oh, did I mention the best part, Sam-I-Am approves, too!

Sam, likes the flowers, too!
Pinspirations!  They're great, aren't they?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Teen Birthday Gift...Pinterest to the Rescue!

A few weeks ago, we were invited to join the celebration as a friend's daughter turned sixteen.  While I know the young woman casually, I really don't know her well, so I was stumped as to what to give her to celebrate her big day. 

Pleated Pouch and Hairband...Pinterest to the rescue!
Fortunately, I've been dedicated to actually making some of the things I pin onto Pinterest and my "Sewing Board" came to my rescue.

First, I had this little bag pinned from way back.  The original post is at Charm Stitch via How About Orange.  Her pattern is fabulous and her directions easy to follow.  It was a really quick project. 

Little pleated pouch with added wrist handle.
 I decided to add a little handle to make it a wristlet and used some contrasting fabric for the lining to make it fun.

Love the bright lining makes the green pop, doesn't it?
I love how it turned out.  In fact, I enjoyed the project so much, I headed back to Pinterest and found another quick project I could add to the gift, using the fabric I'd already selected!

Love these hairbands from The Long Thread.  These hairbands are technically reversible, but I chose to use the same fabric on both sides.  My only concern was that the hairband fit the recipient...I used Buttercup as my fit model and it worked out--phew!

Sorry for the terrible photo...I confess I didn't think to take pictures until it
was time to leave for the party!!
As always, you just never know when gifting a teenager, but as the evening progressed, the recipient was wearing the hairband, so I took that as a thumbs up! 

I put the hairband in the purse and attached the card with a curly green ribbon.
Really bright and fun and really easy!
Best of all, my Pinterest boards are not just a time suck...I really do use them!  What about you?  Are you making stuff you pin?


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Food for Thought

"Leisure is the mother of philosophy."
                               - Thomas Hobbes

Photo Credit: Joy Rickson

Don't forget to schedule time for absolutely nothing.  Your brain craves it...