Barbuzzo’s Salted Caramel Budino

I recently had lunch with a friend at Barbuzzo’s and tasted this delicious dessert that they sell in small individual jars. I immediately knew I wanted to make it for my sister and dad’s birthdays because my sister is obsessed with salted caramel anything and knew she’d love it. So… I found Barbuzzo’s actual recipe from Bon Appetit magazine online: found HERE.

The process of making these in individual containers was fun.

Here was the final result – though quite hard to photograph due to a cold jar.

If I make them again, I’ll do better with photographing it. I made them but had to add the caramel and whipped cream just prior to eating, so I took it all with me, and after the birthday boat ride and dinner, we had a bit of a dessert tailgate in the dark parking lot (I made dessert, my mom made a cake and brought some other desserts as well), so we didn’t do much in the way of photographing everything.

Cookies for Coworkers

How can anyone NOT love baking?!  It’s like a science project that you get to eat later!

I bake for coworkers- that’s right, you want me on your shift! ;o)

Chocolate chip cookies for tonight..

Salted Caramel Chocolate Shortbread Bars

This is absolutely, hands down, one of the most amazing things I have ever made.  Pinterest led me to this annie’s eats recipe, and it really was very easy to make, too.  It’s just scrumptious.  I used milk chocolate morsels instead of semi-sweet.  Warning:  This dessert is extremely sweet… take heed if you have an unfilled cavity or if you do not have any milk around.

My picture is not as nice and clean as hers.. but it sure does taste good.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies

More treats!  I made this little treat for friends.  I used this recipe and it makes A LOT.  It’s not the best treat in the world, but it’s tasty.  I’ve had them in the fridge, but it’s better when I put a small piece in the microwave for 20 seconds and eat it with a spoon.. just like I do with raw cookie dough :)

My First Cheesecake

Who knew cheesecake could be so easy to make?!  I thought it was supposed to be hard??  I followed this basic kraft foods recipe and it turned out pretty perfect.  [Robot tested and approved.]  I made it plain, but I enjoy it topped dumped with mini morsels.

Oreo Cheesecake Cookies

Found on Pinterest, I followed Brown Eyed Baker’s Recipe for these yummy cookies.  I made them twice.  The first time, I overcooked them.   The second time I reminded myself that there were no eggs in it, so I “undercooked” it, and it turned out much better!

Lemon Bars

I think maybe snow days were invented for the sheer purpose of baking. I found the most delicious recipe for lemon bars and decided to try them on a snowy blizzardy day like today. My mom used to make us lemon bars growing up, but they were always from a box.. I can’t remember the brand name but they were super delicious. Then they stopped making them and in college when I wanted some, I had to resort to a different brand name which tasted like Lysol. So this is the first time I’ve made them from scratch, and they are so much better than any other lemon bars I’ve ever tasted. Amazing.

Recipe can be found here:
Definitely worth trying!!

Here are my pics of the lemon bars (aka: deliciousness) I made this evening:

I have to say, these actually tasted better than they look!! They look like they could be dry, but they really are not, at all!

A Few December Projects

I finished all of my nursing pre-reqs somewhere towards the end of December and decided that in my 3 months off, I would work on all sorts of creative projects. I feared that once I am a nurse I will push the creativity out of my life and I wanted to immerse myself in it for a few months just to ensure that I would establish it as a part of my life forever.

As a kid, I loved to do anything artistic. I painted, I took pottery classes, anything and everything. My mom is an amazing artist and I wanted to be just like her. I had been taking art classes in school for as long as I can remember and then continued on to major in it in college. So for all these years, art has been somewhat of a chore… I mean, it was homework. It was always homework. So when I lost my job last August, I chose a new path for myself. It was a tough decision to make, but my best friend Tracy (plug: link to her photo blog to your right) put it to me simply… She asked me if I wanted to keep this interest I have in diseases (I always loved to research pathology) as a hobby or make it my career, or keep creative as my career or make it my hobby. It seemed so obvious to me after that. So here I am going back to school to be a nurse and eventually a nurse practitioner, and currently sitting here creating my first blog post for all my creative hobbies.

My sister got me a sewing machine for Christmas last year (2008), and I didn’t spend too much time figuring it out until the end of the year. So after sewing some minor things like making old halter tops into normal strapped tops, and cinching in some shirts that were too big for me, I decided to sit down and work on some real fun stuff.. little things I could start to make as gifts for friends. Sewing has now become a serious passion. It is probably the most fun thing anyone could ever get involved in! I can’t imagine being without my machine, and absolutely just love sharing my ideas with everyone. Hopefully one day I can get good and start selling things on Etsy.

My first project was a little wallet, or card holder. As you can see, my stitching is horrendous, but it was my very first! I have since figured out a much smarter way to make this same wallet. I gave this one to my sister for Christmas. Sorry for the poor quality photos, they were taken with my cell phone.

About a week before Christmas, I attempted to have a Christmas Cookie Baking Party, however a huge snowstorm came and dumped 2 ft of snow on us, so only one person made it. Anyway, it was the first time I ever made cookies from scratch, and I was surprised at how well they turned out! So I continued to make cookies for the next few weeks and for Christmas I invented Chai Tea Cookies with Crystallized Ginger.

Before having people over (which never happened) I wanted to get some stuff together in my apt. One of the things I had been meaning to do was to run out to ikea and buy these little $10 wooden stools that I could line up by the coat closet to look like a bench, but there would be three separate ones so that they can be used as extra seating as well. Well I bought them and decided to cover the seat portion of it with some striped fabric also from ikea. I love the way they turned out. They are cute and cheap, and just add a little something extra to my living room.

And who doesn’t love wrapping gifts?! I love it, and on Christmas Eve, I was bored at Mom & Dad’s and they asked me to wrap their gift to Nate, so here is what I came up with… I thoroughly enjoyed making a faux bow and adding his name to the gift as well.

Once again I apologize for the poor quality photos, I was using my cell phone to take these pictures because I never intended to put them up on a blog. From now on I will be using my DSLR as much as I possibly can (except for the next few posts!)

I hope you enjoy my new blog! Constructive criticism is always welcome!!